TNET 15: Fox and the Whale.

Fox And The Whale from robin joseph on Vimeo.

Fox And The Whale is an independently produced and self-financed Animated Short Film. The film was shortlisted for the 90th Oscars and is a nominee for the 2018 Canadian Screen Awards. If you are interested in supporting you can buy the Art of book & film package here

Open Thread. Don’t be an asshole. Thanks. Previous Thread.


  1. Oggie. says

    Open Thread. Don’t be an asshole.


    (But I’m good at being an asshole)

  2. rq says

    I like the mossy cliff, the entrance to the cave. And the afternoon nap, after catching a fish! The artist has caught the silence and stillness of the forest, together with all the life that goes on. Every frame has presence, and the viewpoints put you right in the middle. It was almost unnerving, brought back a lot of memories.

  3. says

    No time for movies, but some random teaching observations

    1. Sometimes the kids pleasantly surprise you. I’m doing presentations on political/protest songs with my grade 9. They got to choose freely. One group chose “Biko” by Peter Gabriel. I was more than pleasantly surprised.

    2. Started with “Death of a Salesman” by letting the students (grade 12) make mind maps about the roles of husband/father, wife/mother and son in the late 1940s. Afterwards we talked about what changed.
    Students: “Today women don’t stay at home anymore and do all the cooking. They have their own jobs. The grandparents do the cooking now!”
    It is sad but true and so indicative of our world filled with male rage at a society in which they are feeling lost. Women changed and expanded their roles and men just somehow stayed the same and now they’re like a dial phone in the world of smart phones, just with guns.
    Mr’s right wing colleague literally complained that nowadays women are economically independent and can leave their husbands and are not forced to stay with them.
    Mr countered that from his point of view he can be sure that his woman stays with him because she loves him and not because she’s forced to.

  4. kestrel says

    @Giliell, #6: Your post is filled with good stuff that I heartily agree with, most especially: “Women changed and expanded their roles and men just somehow stayed the same and now they’re like a dial phone in the world of smart phones, just with guns.” Excellent insight. Quoted for truth and I just might have to repeat it IRL.

    Also, Biko is a great song.

  5. lumipuna says

    A polar vortex is now taking over Europe, after leaving North America earlier (?). This is turning out to be a lopsided winter, since the first half of it was very mild. At least, this close to the spring a polar vortex shouldn’t cause record-cold temperatures, like it did in US two months ago.

  6. says


    This is turning out to be a lopsided winter, since the first half of it was very mild.

    This seems to be the new normal. Often during the last years we had a way too warm winter and then a cold spell in February with Easter seeing lower temperatures than Christmas.

    Ordered a new computer today. I’m going back to a nice big tower and a screen so I have some fucking space on my literal desktop. The laptop is getting increasingly shaky and I cannot afford to be without a computer in the following weeks.

  7. kestrel says

    @Charly, #10: OK, try this thought experiment. You are completely incapacitated -- I don’t know, maybe an auto accident. Or a severe illness (such as cancer, for example). Or you broke both legs and both arms, and you can not speak. You need to still get all the things you normally do, done, but -- now, you have to pay someone to do it.

    How much do you have to pay someone to do all the things you do? Including normal house chores, your work, and your knife making etc. How much would you have to pay someone to do all that? Also, could you only pay one person? Or would it have to be more than one, and how many would it be?

    Well, you might be surprised. Back in Dec. I had to leave for four days, so I could help my mother during her treatment for breast cancer. Two weeks in advance, I had to start training two people to do just my chores. Nothing else, just the chores. It took me two weeks to get these two people trained. (Doing chores is not as complicated as say, training people how to braid horsehair.) I had to pay $160.00 US in order to be gone for four days so I could help my mother. One time I had to be gone for a week, and it took FIVE people to do what I do in about an hour and a half each day.

    You are more amazing than you realize. I sincerely hope that you NEVER have to pay someone to do all that you do, because I doubt you could afford it.

  8. lumipuna says

    Giliell, I distinctly remember 2012-13 as the last consistent, long winter. There was a relatively cold beginning and end, while the middle was just cold enough to accumulate a thick snow cover here in Helsinki.

    [rambly memories]

    That early March I attended a conference in Geisenheim near Frankfurt -- my first visit to Germany. It was a nice break from winter, largely sunny with day temps around 10 C, many plants beginning to grow. Our host told me it was the first week of nice weather after a miserably murky winter. The small town milieu was nice, too.

    As I returned home, there was some sort of polar vortex, cold and sunny, too cold for any snowmelt, which would normally begin around that time. Out of curiosity, I kept checking the weather reports from Frankfurt area.

    Within just a couple days of my return, weather there turned really cold, day temps several degrees below freezing, with some snowfall and probably wind. That weather anomaly then lasted for weeks -- it was an unusually cold March here too but at least we had sunshine. I remember actually feeling sorry for the both the folks and plants in your general area.


  9. says

    The winter of 12\13 was horribly dark. I think the official record said we had less tgan 30 hours of sunshine from November to February.
    In some spell of intuition we had booked a holiday home in southern France over Easter. We started at home while sleet was falling down, had lunch somewhere it was green and tgen had supper outside at our destination.
    We breathed…

  10. lumipuna says

    Giliell, that was a perfect time to vacate in south, then -- just like the timing of my conference.

  11. says

    It was, it was indeed.
    If the weather patterns remain we will have to abandon the spring holidays in Alsace thing that we used to do.

    1. I want this fucking cold to end!
    2. I want the new computer to arrive.
    Took me like 15 min. to load this page.

  12. says

    Christ, we haven’t hit our deductible on insurance yet, so we just got our latest bill, for almost $2,000, and we have good health insurance. Fuckin’ A.

  13. says

    Jesus, that’s horrible.
    In Germany the highest deductible is 2% of your total income, so you’d need to make 100k to ever face 2000 is health cost.
    Also not in one go, more like 15 bucks here, and another 20 there, like I have to pay 5 bucks for my three months worth of thyroxine.

  14. says

    Oh, I could so live with 2% of total income! It’s terrifying how much you can end up owing, and for those without insurance, they face a lifetime of crushing debt they will never be able to pay off; not a lot of incentive to survive there.

  15. says

    I had to look up what “deductible” means and I am appaled. I know the concept from car and house insurance, but not with regard to health insurance. The US health care insurance system i amoral. I knew this already, but charging cancer patients a few thousand bucks upfront is especially sticky piece of the shitcake.

  16. says


    I knew this already, but charging cancer patients a few thousand bucks upfront is especially sticky piece of the shitcake.

    Everyone gets nailed with a deductible, no matter what ailment. When you have a bunch of smaller stuff, you just have to pay out of pocket for it, because deductible. It’s a piss.

  17. jazzlet says

    Sorry about the deductible, it stinks. Health care in the UK isn’t totally free, a little under 50% of the population have to pay for their prescritions, although thinking on that it must be less than that now as the Scottish Parliament made prescriptions free for all. In the rest of the UK prescriptions are free for under eighteens, over sixty-fives, and people with a selection of diseases you don’t get better from like Type 1 diabetes, and lucily for me hypothyroid. That means that rather than paying over £8 a prescrition I don’t pay a thing. You can get pre-pay certificates which will cover all the dugs you are prescribed in three months, six months or a year too whichare certainly worth getting if you have to take a lot of drugs, but don’t have any of the ‘permanent’ diseases. Nearly everyone has to pay for parking at hospitals, though at some hospitals cancer patients are exempt. But I can’t think f any situation in which a patient would have to pay that much for anything, unless it was a treatment that NICE has specifically said it wouldn’t pay for, and they are pretty much all treatments either with very low benefit for very high cost or unproven.

  18. says

    Sounds kind of similar to our system. You always have a small co-pay, like 10 € per night in hospital for max. X days (or until you hit your limit), or 5€ for a prescription. Max 2% per year, 1% for chronically ill people.

    unless it was a treatment that NICE has specifically said it wouldn’t pay for, and they are pretty much all treatments either with very low benefit for very high cost or unproven.

    Well, they just wanted to sell us “extras” on the little one’s braces. Which is a shit show. Main benefit of the 360€ more expensive model: it comes in colours, which of course guarantees fights with your kid.
    Teeth, teeth are expensive. And eyes.

  19. jazzlet says

    We don’t pay anything for hospital stays. We do pay for denistry, how much depends on whether it is something the NHS covers or something you can only have privately, or in some cases something the NHS will only pay for if you have tried a vastly inferior option and that has failed. I had a really crappy tooth that was mostly filling and the NHS would have wanted my dentist to try filling it again rather than capping it even though there was a very high probability that the tooth would have fallen apart in a fairly short space of time; I chose to pay to have it capped rather than go through two procedures with the associated pain, but I was lucky in that I had the money spare at the time.

  20. jazzlet says

    Oh and eye stuff is even more complicated, a bit like prescriptions there are people who get glasses for free if they accept particular frames, which these days aren’t bad. Then you might get the examination free, but have to pay for the glasses or, well there are varous possibliiies. My SiL has very odd shapped eye balls and a vision probblem that is best solved with a particular kind of contact lens, glass (yes glass) covering the whole of the front of the eye to the extent it has to have a small hole it it otherwise it would be impossible to remove because of the suction and she got those on the NHS ecause they were medically necessary.

  21. lumipuna says

    Last year I was billed some 180 € for my appendicitis diagnosis and treatment. I suppose that’s less than 10% of the total cost. A four-night hospital stay was about 35 € per night -- no idea what the cap would be. I could’ve spared one or two nights if the clinic wasn’t too busy treating Fight Club members that weekend.

    Eight years ago, my elective hernia surgery had a copay of about 100 €. The appendicitis was apparently an emergency, so I was only billed copay for the doctor’s visit and hospital stay.

  22. Onamission5 says

    Caine alluded to it, but y’all probably don’t even wanna know what the cost of cancer treatment looks like when someone doesn’t have private insurance. Warning: Fear and Loathing ahead

    My mom, who had to shutter her very small business in order to go into treatment, had to pay a couple tens of thousands out of pocket as a deposit for surgery. She also needed gene? immune? therapy and 2 years of chemo. If she hadn’t had a life insurance policy* to cash in, and if her oncologist hadn’t gotten her into a trial, and if the hospital hadn’t waived a good chunk of her treatment costs, and if she hadn’t known she would inherit a small sum from her elderly parents’ eminent deaths, she’d probably have died and left my disabled stepdad saddled with hundreds of thousands in debt, because at one point the drugs she was on were costing almost as much per month as she’d made annually while still working. And that’s not taking into account the financial and physical toll of a 120 mile round trip for each appointment, as the two closer hospitals-- one 30 miles away, one 40-- didn’t have resources for the treatment she needed.

    Her parents died within a couple years of each other, and, lucky her! she was able to pay off the rest of her treatment debt from the sale of her parents’ home. Because what everyone wants to be able to say to themselves is “If both of my parents die from their cancers then I can pay for treatment of mine.”

    But according to the GOP all she had to do was go to the ER and the taxpayer or hospital or some nebulous, magnanimous entity would have to/choose to shoulder the burden of her free health care. Because ERs totally treat Stage 4 breast cancer. You can get a double mastectomy and multiple lymphadenectomy at Urgent Care, right?

    *They could have sold the doublewide and surrounding property, I guess, but it’s not worth that much and then where would they live? Mom can’t work any more, stepdad hasn’t worked regularly since the 90’s. He does odd jobs to help keep them afloat when his health allows, which is less and less often. Their home is paid off. They can’t afford rent or assisted living and no way in hell are they moving in with either of their kids. But sure, we had the Greatest Health Care System in the World before Obama ruined everything by trying to give retirees on fixed income like my parents insurance they could afford.

    Anywho. Carry on.

  23. says

    Look-ee, look-ee
    New computer AND internet. I’m still jumping every time I click something and stuff then happens.
    After I got the cable and connected screen and pc, I tried to connect the shit to the internet, which suddenly decided to cease existence.
    After two calls with the hotline we found the problem. To connect the computer with the internet, I had to turn the router around to look at the password. Apparently that was the final movement that led to a cable fracture.

  24. KG says

    Speaking of foxes, I’ve been watching two fine red foxes playing in our garden and those to either side this afternoon. I’d only seen one at a time before. Today is the coldest day we’ve had this winter, with a keen wind and intermittent blizzards (there’s a “Red weather warning” out for the area, as a result of which my weekly oldies’* badminton got cancelled) -- but the foxes seem to like it, and watching them is ample compensation for missing badminton! If any of my photos have come out well, could I upload one here? If so, how do I go about it? There were also two fieldfares -- a kind of thrush that normally stays away from towns. And for the first time, a robin perched on our bird-feeder -- previously only tits and (at the opposite end of the size range, woodpigeons) have done so.

    *At 63, I’m pretty sure I’m the youngest, although it’s open to anyone over 50.

  25. says

    I envy you. I have only ever heard the fox, which sounds like a hoarse dog.

    If any of my photos have come out well, could I upload one here? If so, how do I go about it?

    Yes, please!
    Have a look at the sidebar where Caine included a link to her email for submissions.

  26. rq says

    a) The cold snap is at a week more now but it comes with amazing sunshine -- the car, however, doesn’t care and chooses to hibernate;
    b) Since ‘graduation’, I cannot find the stress, and a week and a half at work has not lowered the high, which says a lot about my mood levels the previous 6 months.

    *higz* *hugs* and *hurrahs* to all!

  27. says

    Congratulations, rq!

    I finally saw my doctor this morning. She ordered various blood tests, checked my achy joints, asked lots of questions, and gave me five days of Prednisone to see if that helps with the pain. We are in agreement that the cold weather is not helpful (although otherwise I am enjoying it). I mentioned that I was concerned that my weaker knee could give out when I walk any distance, and I wondered if a cane might help. Okay, she says, I’ll give you a cane. A nice nurse showed me how to adjust the height and how to walk with it, so I am now a cranky old lady with a cane to brandish. Heh.

  28. jazzlet says

    Congratulations rq!

    Anne I have a great deal of respect for cranky ladies with canes. A partially sighted friend used her cane to break the nose of someone attempting to mug her, he got caught because of it too!

    We have a few inches of snow which is still looking pretty. The temperature has dropped so it will be around for a few days at least, quite unusual here. We have an odd little microclimate that means we often get no snow even when places a few miles away are covered in the stuff.

  29. says

    Yes, that sounds familiar.

    Let me treat you to one of my favorite stories about my late gran.
    About 15 years ago I used go shopping staples with her about once a month.
    The trips were always an adventure, because she always remembered some things while already standing in the check out line.
    One dayb ehile stowing away the stuff she turned and caught somebody with her cane. Of course she apologized immediately, and the person hit said ” no problem, I’m not hurt and you didn’t do it with intent” (that’s a literal translation from tge German phrasing).
    To which my gran replied in the most deadpan way ever: “No, I did it with the cane.”

  30. chigau (違う) says

    Giliell’s Gran #44
    “No, I did it with the cane.”
    Our Giliell comes by it rightly.

  31. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Congratulations Lt. RQ.

    My parents are still alive, and in their late 80’s. Recently my mother fell getting out of the shower and broke a lower vertebrae. She’s not paralyzed, and able to walk short distances with a walker. In a lot of pain. Her treatment is medicines and physical therapy. Also doing more to “safe” the condo. My step father is 90, but he is doing what he can, and his children still live in the area and help out. I can’t do much other than an occasional visit as I’m 220 miles away by road, about 140 as the crow flies, with Lake Michigan causing the difference.

  32. jazzlet says

    We got more snow overnight. When I went to the butcher to get the dog meat more than half the local shops were closed. It was maybe 15cm/6″ of snow in all? More than half of Mr Jazz’s office didn’t manage to get into work, the boss because she has MS and the snow made it impossible for her to walk outside, the others either because the roads were not passable or (most of them) because the trains were completely messed up. Most of them will have been able to work from home as the boss does when she has a flare up. Some of them will have got rather more snow than we did, but all the same it is ridiculous. It is partly because the councils are so cash strapped that many haven’t been able to do the usual gritting, but it’s also just overall lack of preparedness. Mr Jazz’s train was the only one running to time when he was coming home.

  33. StevoR says

    Couple of stories from Australia that may interest folks if you haven’t already heard :

    Whilst the USA is debating what or whether to do anything about your fouled up awful gun laws; we’ve just had an amnest y which has successfully seen 57,324 firearms handed in between July and September to be registered or destroyed. Oh & a rocket launcher too -- see :,000-firearms-handed-in-across-country/9495440

    Plus one of our top cops -- the head of Victoria Police’s ethical standards body Brett Guerin -- has had to resign because he was caught making some horrifically racist,sexist and offensive statements on social media under a false name :

    Oh and in his resignation speech he apologised -- for swearing not for ,y’know being and spouting totally racist, sexist and vile stuff.

    @24. Charly : Have you ever seen Michael Moore’s Sickodocumentary on the US health system? Its good in a horrifying way :

    Full doco there I think, 2 hrs long from 2007.

    So lucky here in Australia that we have our excellent Medicare system of public heathcare. Ican onlybegin toimagine what it would be like being at the “mercy”of the USA’s healthcare and health insurance system.

    @14. chigau (違う) : Looks like your ‘u’ key might be broken?

  34. says

    Speaking of the weather, why are some men so patently unreasonable?
    We had temperatures below zero for two weeks now and today rain is coming from France. The lower part of the state is already covered with ice.
    I come from North b and while driving home #1s school called that they’re sending the kids home early.
    I arrived in our village when the rain started to fallb picked up the little one from school, went to my in laws’ to pick up#1 (they live next to the bus stop).
    My father in law insisted to come with us to finish some job around the house, no matter what I said.
    Right now it’s snowing, let’s hope it stays that way.

  35. says

    Field fares are together with starling a species that I used to see as early messengers of spring. I do not ever remember seeing them on snow.

    I hope the weather forecast is correct and it will be warmer tomorrow. I would very much like to harden the machete, but I do not want to do it when there is -20°C outside, since it would take much longer and I would burn much more gas. Not to mention that my nuts would freeze off.

    I seem to have either used up or misplaced all of my jewelers rouge. I started to make a new batch, but in the cold even chemistry is slow and I forgot to take the bucket in the house.

  36. rq says

    There is a herd of 8-year-old wild horses on the second floor. I am not going up there. ;)

  37. says

    And now a song thrush. I have never seen any thrushes (‘xept for the blackbirds, of course) here. Maybe it was the snow after the very cold spell or it was the old apples. I saw a female blackbird take off with quarter of an apple. Physics must have looked the other way.

    I always suspect Ghengis Khan’s hordes. Seriously, three weeks ago the plumber was here to replace some parts on the radiators upstairs. The guy is over 2m and build like a wardrobe. I was sittin g downstairs and he didn’t make half as much noise as the 25kg kid usually does.

  38. jazzlet says

    Giliell it’s the apples, my dad used to get field fares and red wings along with song thrushes and blackbirds feeding on his fallen apples.

  39. KG says


    Thanks for the pointer to the email to send stuff too. I’ve sent three fox photos -- not up to the high standards of most I’ve seen here, we’ll see what Caine thinks. Re your #51, I’ve also seen fieldfares in the garden. Normally in the UK they are strictly rural dwellers, as the name suggests, but I’ve read that they do habitually come into urban areas in very severe weather.

  40. rq says

    It was a birthday party, so I put my money on Hannibal’s elephants, but yes… I think physics gets it wrong sometimes, because the mass isn’t enough to produce that volume.


    *higs* and *hugs*

  41. Oggie. says

    Saw a Bald Eagle this morning. Cruising along the Lackawanna River looking for fish. Also saw three squirrels, a groundhog, a Blue Jay, a Hen Weigh, and an Osprey. We had a fire alarm go off this morning so we spent fifteen minutes standing around outside. Watching wildlife. Well, I also smoked a small cigar.

  42. Oggie. says


    I’ve sworn myself that once spring really arrives

    No spring here. We are expecting a foot of snow tomorrow into Thursday.

    Fun shoveling with my back so messed up.

  43. says


    Fun shoveling with my back so messed up

    Urgh, I’m sorry.
    Here winter is hopefully over (we just saw a 30°C jump between night temperatures last week and midday temperatures this week), but it’s actually those two to three weeks I hate the most: the snow is gone and everything is somewhere between grey and brown.

  44. Onamission5 says

    Second kid got her provisional license today! Was her second try, on the first attempt she bumped a curb, and that’s an auto-fail. The tester was a grumpy ass* and she found him somewhat intimidating but she passed! Whoot!

    Now I have to let her drive the car without me. Whimper. I’m gonna need a drink or a sedative or something.

    *Fair enough, I would also be a grumpy ass if my job was “get in car with strangers, put life in their hands, see if they can drive or not.” But he was a mite extra grumpy, I thought, compared to the tester she’d had before.

  45. Ice Swimmer says

    Onamission5 @ 65

    My congrats to the kid also.

    Giliell @ 68

    I passed on my first try when I was 18, but I’ve driven very little ever since. I did drive my grandma’s car a few times to get enough practice to be able to do the driving on the slippery surfaces course (on a special slippery track, paved with sheet metal and made slippery with soap and/or cooking oil) in order to get the permanent license.

    It’ll be 18 years from my last time behind the wheel in the summer.

  46. Onamission5 says

    I will pass along the congrats!

    I also failed my first try, but unlike Kid, I was too embarrassed to give it another go until I was in my 20’s.

  47. Ice Swimmer says

    I’d get a car if I had a job that would make it feasible to get one, that is if getting the car would enable me to earn or save more than it would cost to get and keep one. Cars and fuel are highly taxed here and the winter road conditions are corrosion-inducing (salt and gravel on the roads and streets). The purchase price difference is smaller now, I think, but a similar car used to cost twice as much in Finland as in Germany.

    Of course, if one were to live in the countryside, a car would be necessary, but here in the capital area, keeping one is a costly nuisance for a single guy, IMHO.

    Giliell, I hope the eyes thing is something that is temporary or fixable!

  48. says

    If the commentariat could spare a good thought for my cranky old Shadow-cat, I’d be most appreciative. She threw up blood again this morning, poor baby, so she’s confined to the house for the day to keep her from eating grass.

  49. jazzlet says

    Giliell I too hope your eyes are easily fixable or something that will heal up on it’s own

    Anne I hope Shadow-cat stops throwing up blood.

    The dose of anti-depressant I am on was increased a couple of weeks ago. I don’t feel good, but I am getting more things done than I was, so there’s that.

  50. says

    Anne, hopefully the cat will get well. A pet is family and it is not good when family members are sick.

    I have passed driving test the first time, but I failed the written exam. Funny that, I expected the opposite, which probably has led to me underestimating the written exam. Second time I passed with no problem.

    I am in the process of rebuilding my belt grinder. I hope to improve it. So far I managed to take it appart. And maybe build an accesory that might work. Maybe this weekend I will manage to get it work again.

    I also hope this weekend will the weather be warm enough for me to be able to harden the machete blade. And

  51. says

    Thanks, all. Shadow spent the day alternately napping and demanding OUT, and now she’s cautiously eating again. I just have to keep her away from the demon weed, um, the lawn, I guess. She’s been an indoor-outdoor cat most of her life. I don’t think keeping her inside full time will work well for anybody, so she’ll have to be watched more carefully while she’s outside.

    Also I heard back from my doctor -- I don’t have any of the more exotic rheumatic ailments, which is good but that means I can’t have any more of the pain med that worked best because the long-term side effects are very nasty. Oh well.

  52. rq says

    *hugs*/*higs* for everyone and *skritches* for ailing kitties out there, too!
    I’m really loving this ‘back at work’ thing happening in my life right now. Kind of waiting for the anvil to fall, but hey, at least I’m back where I feel most at home: among the bloodstains in the laboratory!!

  53. says

    Anne, hoping that Shadow’s health will improve.

    Watching Mr and #1 is a bit lije watching couples’ figure skating: everybody knows exactly what to do when, which each action of one leading to a precise and quick reaction of the other.
    Only that the result isn’t a visually pleasing athletic performance, but a huge fight.
    Mr’s “excuse” is “I am doing my best, I just can’t do anything else, she is driving me up the wall!”
    To which I pointed out that the kid can say the exact same thing.

  54. Ice Swimmer says

    The Chemo Bag in Cancer Chronicles got me thinking about bags with specific purposes and because this has nothing to do with cancer and health, and so I’m putting this ramble here.

    People have gym bags, laptop computer bags, school bags, hand bags and so on. I have a sauna bag, to be used when going to public saunas or swimming facilities. I bought one specifically for that purpose (a cheap messenger bag from Clas Ohlson). The contents are typically: Hair brush, towel, swimming trunks, personal hygiene products and a change of clothes.

    What kind of bags with a special use do people have?

  55. says

    @Ice Swimmer, I do not have a bag but I have a bonsai case. A medium size tool case containing everything needed for bonsai care. That way I do not need to search and collect the tools when I go re-potting or shaping the trees. My father has a plumbing case.

    They both come in handy because these tasks require a wide variety of different tools and materials that need to be carried to the work and away

  56. chigau (違う) says

    Not about anything here.
    mygod but the internets is fuuullllll of wankers.

  57. says

    Ice Swimmer
    School bag (obviously), which is a really good rucksack because damn is that thing heavy. Sam Vimes theory of economic injustice again. Bought it 6 or 7 years ago after running through a couple of cheap ones. If you ever want a rucksack, Deuter is a brand you might want ot look at.
    A camera bagpack, which can only be opened when not on your back and which has fitted compartments.
    A tool case for the caravan which Stays. In. There.

  58. rq says


    mygod but the internets is fuuullllll of wankers.

    You sound surprised. :D

    re: bags
    A small toolbox type case at work, for scissors, extra swabs, forceps, envelopes, indicative tests, etc. for collecting samples in neighbouring labs (like a mini crime scene kit).
    A sports bag for tae kwon do that I share with the kids (gloves, dobok, skipping rope, water).
    Used to carry the ever-present diaper bag (diapers, serviettes, toilet paper, extra baby clothes, extra food, snack for me, changing mat, ointment, extra toys, other random stuff).
    The sauna bag I put together for going out to the country (clean underwear, socks, pyjamas for everyone, plus assorted post-shower/bath items like q-tips and nail scissors).
    That’s off the top of my head.

  59. jazzlet says

    Knitting bag, WIP, pattern, spare balls of wool for WIP, pin tighteners for adjustable circular needles, cap ends for circular needles, ant iother pins sizes required for WIP, small scissors, crochet hook of suitable size for wool being used in WIP, place markers, stitch holders, usually cable needles as I don’t seem to be able to knit anything without cables at the moment.

    Dog bag that goes anywhere the dogs go if neither of us are wearing our winter coats with big pockets, shit bags, treat bag, spare lead (you never know when you will encounter a stray dog) with room for water and a folding bowl for walks places there will be no water. It also contains a net bag suitable for carrying any foraging we might find, mushrooms, wild garlic, sloes, whatever.

    There are also things that get put in every bag that goes somewhere with me like any pills I will be due to take or might need and something to down them with, nearly always coffee. I am looking for more pill boxes as I could do with some slightly larger ones. I want ones that I think are at the least pleasant to look at, not the medicinal looking ones. I’ll find what I want eventually, but so far I’ve not managed too, not that I’m hunting frantically!

  60. Ice Swimmer says

    Giliell @ 85

    I’ll try to remember Deuter and see if they’re available here. I do have a cheap rucksack I use in the summer, for outdoor concerts, festivals and picnics. I tend to pack a rain poncho, water bottles, snacks, an old duvet cover for sitting, emergency charger and warmer clothes for the night, if needed.

    Charly @ 83

    I should really put my (mechanical) tool case in order and get a bigger and better case for my electronics and electrical components, tools and soldering equipment.

  61. Ice Swimmer says

    I went to an A/diploma concert of a cellist in the process of graduating from Sibelius Academy (with a Master’s degree) on Wednesday. She played the Suite 3 in C major for solo Cello by Bach, the cello part in the Sonata for Cello and Piano by Poulenc (a staff member played the piano) and was the solo cellist in Elgar’s Cello Concerto in E minor (her fellow students played as a chamber orchestra) and IMHO she did well. The Poulenc piece was fun, flowing from beautiful melodies to other beautiful melodies, leaving the listener wondering how did this get here. Elgar’s Cello concerto had me in tears in the first movement.

    I also went to see the Ahti and Maija Lavonen exhibition in the Didrichsen Art Museum. There were works by both Ahti Lavonen who died in 1970 and his wife/widow Maija Lavonen. What really caught my attention were thetextile/fiber optics works by Maija Lavonen, the light made them gorgeous. Any photos I’ve seen don’t do them justice.

  62. Raucous Indignation says

    We are home from vacation. I hope all are doing well, especially our esteemed blogger. I mentioned a few weeks ago that we were getting a rescue named Dorie. Well Dorie went to another family, but we hopefully will probably get a different rescue, a white and black border collie mix named Panda.

  63. says

    I have a bag for letting the cat out thereof. It doesn’t mind being carried about in it for a little while.

  64. chigau (違う) says

    My work-vest, in its current incarnation, is a “fishing” vest. It contains:
    two or three different ways of making fire
    snare wire
    extra knife
    tiny flashlight
    notebook and pen
    space blanket
    three-year-old granola bar
    bug hat
    extra work gloves
    lip balm
    insect repellant
    parachute cord
    that’s from memory, I haven’t looked at it since last August

  65. rq says

    Ice Swimmer
    Back when I played in a youth orchestra (second violins), we did a lot of pieces, but the one that was tear-inducing was the cello solo piece, I think Fauré’s Elegy. Well-played cellos seem to have that effect.

  66. Oggie. says

    three-year-old granola bar

    So is it the three-year-old who slows everything down to an absolute crawl by insisting it will do everything itself? Getting dressed, tying shoe laces into knots, shirts on backwards, plaid pants with a striped shirt? Or is it the three-year-old who refuses all offers of restroom facilities three times, only to announce “I gotta go NOW!” when you are in the far left lane of five lanes of traffic on a busy highway with no chance of a rest area in the foreseeable future?

    Those were the days, my friend
    We thought they’d never end,
    That they would last
    Forever and a day!

  67. rq says

    It’s Schrodinger’s Granola Bar: if you throw it away, you’ll be in a situation where it would have been useful, whereas if you keep it in your pocket, you will never need it and besides it’s too old to eat. So, it is simultaneously expired and not expired.


    Took the kids to see Black Panther today. And I’m very pleased that I did (they’ve seen Captain America and the Avengers already), because they were riveted through the whole thing. And so was I: it’s a beautiful movie with fantastic characters (an excellent, excellent cast) and a better story-line than most superhero movies. Plus it didn’t shy away from talking about heavier stuff like oppression and racism. There was one point in the movie where Martin Freeman starts talking in the regularly heard, ‘accent-less’ American English, and it felt… weird, because it felt like he had the accent at that point. He was so clearly a foreigner, it was excellent. I really, really wanted the kids to see this movie (heh, they don’t realize I was trying to make a point!).
    I must say, I’m pleased with the last two films I’ve taken the kids to in theatres: the previous was Cars 3, and after the debacle that was Cars 2, I didn’t have high hopes for it, but it was surprisingly good. But then, they returned to the ideas of the original film, not the overblown theatrics of the second.
    Happy Saturday.

  68. says

    Also, glasses it is.
    Apparently I’ve always had some slight astigmatism, but my eyes used to compensate for it and, well, no longer being young farsightedness.
    I could have gotten away with reading glasses, but given my profession I don’t want to be that teacher, the one balancing her reading glasses on the tip of her nose and then looking at the pupils over the rim of said reading glasses.
    Once again I realised that despite earning about 10% above minimum wage, I couldn’t afford the things I need in order to be able to earn money.

  69. Onamission5 says

    Glasses, boo. Or yay, seeing? Either way.
    I am that person with the reading glasses balanced on her nose, when I am not the person squinting at the paper held at arm’s length.

    Spouse and I attended a third year of plays written, directed, and performed by high school students this evening. Kid2 wasn’t in a play this year but stage managed for one of her friends who wrote and directed, and we got to see a play by another of her friends. There were ten 10 minute skits total. A couple were cringe worthy, a couple really good, and the rest were lovely in their awkward earnestness. I might be strange but I do love high school theater. The kids all try so hard! They’re making art and learning stuff! Good for them!

  70. says

    I think it’s “yay, seeing”. Or better “seeing without completely exhausting myself”.
    I’ve always sworn myself not to be “that person” who will refuse to get glasses because of reasons, so now I have to put my money where my mouth is. But I’m getting a nice system where you can switch the side pieces. While I’m not so vain that I won’t wear glasses, I am vain enough that I don’t want my glasses and my eye make up and my shirt to look like a pub brawl.

  71. says

    Also, we made slime yesterday. If you ever need to urgently entertain some sproggen, here’s how you do it:
    Mix 1 cup of warm water with 1 cup of water soluble white crafting glue, some food colouring and maybe glitter (and this time it will stay where it’s supposed to stay) and about one cap of liquid detergent.
    Beat thoroughly, it will become slimy. If it’s still too liquid after 5 min or so, add some more detergent.
    As a side effect your kid’s hands will be as clean as never before.

  72. Ice Swimmer says

    Giliell @ 101

    As a lifetime glasses person (41 years out of 43), I welcome you to the club of the spectacularly bespectacled. Well, it may not be that spectacular, but it’s nice to see better and glasses do shield your eyes from the winds a bit, I feel the wind unpleasantly in my eyes if I go outdoors without glasses.

    The cost of glasses isn’t a nice thing, I agree. Here the opticians used to have constanly some dodgy discount campaigns (two lenses at the price of one was typical), which the consumer protection officials have been trying crack down on. I’m not sure if they still do. BTW, does the German law still seriously limit discount and sale campaigns?

    It would be kind of neat to have a Venetian mask with lenses.

  73. says

    Ice Swimmer
    No, those regulations have been abandoned a few years ago. And yeah, the big chains always have some dodgy discount system.
    Since I fortunately don’t have to rely on only my income I went to a small local optician where a friend of mine works. Which means I got some 25 bucks “friend of the employee” discount. They cannot compete via price, so they need to compete via service. They spent around 90 min on me measuring the eyes, looking for a frame that fits, etc. They know they cannot sell you shit. We once went to one of the big brands for Mr. When he finally got the glasses he had some problems, apparently the point where he was looking through wasn’t where it should be, and they simply refused to fix it. He got the money back, no problem, but still had no glasses.

  74. jazzlet says

    Giliell I am glad it was only glasses, and it is wise of you to go to somewhere they will look after you, something you have to wear every day is worth spending money on to get right. Although it does frustrate me how expensive even the cheapest glasses are, and I am lucky enough to be able to pay more to get the ones I really want, wire frameless. I need to go and pick up my new pair, maybe tomorrow.

  75. says

    Last year I had my eyes checked by two physicians. One has told me my farsightness is OK, but that I might need very mild reading glasses. The other one has told me tha my closesightness is OK, but I might need very mild glasses for driving. So I thanked them both and I continue without glasses.

    The work today did not go well.

    That is, the work on my belt grinder did go well -- I now have an improved grinder. It can still benefit from some tweaks and improvements, but it works better than before -- I now have detacheable arm that can be modified in three settings -- hadbelt, slackbelt and half hard- half slackbelt. And I started to work on the replacement arm that is supposed to hold grinding wheels of different diameters for fullering and hollow grinds. And now I can also build support table and vacuum cleaner adapter to better collect the dust. All in all that was a success.

    However the hardening of the machete is a complete flop. The seals on the container in which I was heating it cracked and as a result air got in and I did not notice it. Which has lead to decarburizing instead of enriching the surface. After I grind of the dirt and scale I will see whether it is harder on the inside, but I doubt it. The question is now whether to try again, start anew or finish it anyway. Even unhardened steel will cut, only it will go dull faster and will get scratched more easily.

    So I am tired as hell and only a half of my work today was any good.

    Yesterday I got a visit from one of my friends.He is getting a divorce (which suprised exactly nobody) and I have disappointed him gravely when I told him that I have no interest whatsoever to meet his new girlfriend. I told him that meeting his girlfriends is a total vaste of time, because the longest he has ever been with one woman was a few years, but more usually it is just a few months and I am simply not interested in meeting any of them. He is convinced -- again -- that this time he has met the right one. Which of course will not stop him from cheating on her -- again. I would be very suprised if this relationship turned out differently than the dozens of previous ones.

  76. StevoR says

    Despite the name of the channel which posts some great sabotaged versions of classic old songs this is far from a parody and far from funny but it is an incredibly powerful and moving tribute and response :

    WARNING : Emotionally confronting and possibly upsetting, gun violence references (though no pictures only ones of the victims.)

    In Memoria -- A response to the NRA Ads by the Parody Project, published on Mar 12, 2018.

    If you can bear it, I think this well worth watching and sharing.

  77. says

    Would anyone be interested in being set up as an author here? Posts could be anything you like, whenever you feel in the mood. I’m having a difficult time keeping Affinity up, and right now, I don’t have much energy or motivation. Absolutely no pressure at all.

  78. chigau (違う) says

    I’m not up to providing content but if you want another hand at cleaning and maintenance, I can probably help.

  79. says

    Thanks, Chigau. I don’t have the ability to set anyone else up as an admin; but it shouldn’t be a problem to add people as authors.

  80. jazzlet says

    Caine I suspect I speak for others when I say please don’t do more on the blog than is helpful to you while your treatment is going on. This isn’t the time to be worrying about maintaining the content unless that content is helping you.

  81. says

    Caine, I already have my own blog that I neglect, mostly by compiling elaborate articles in my head and then, when putting them on the screen, deciding “meh, nobody is interested in what you got to say” and doing nothing. So I do not think I would be of much help here.

    I agree with jazzlet. You are not obliged to churn out content if you do not feel like it, you are not our jumping monkey. Just, if possible, keep in touch so we know you are reasonably well (in the circumstances) and take as many breaks and as long as you need.

  82. says

    I’d volunteer, but I’m beyond the end of my tether. Ask again come summer. And what jazzlet said.

    Crazy, these people are crazy. And incompetent. And I’ll pay the price.
    Thursday in a week I’ve got this fucking teaching exam, one that counts. Really. This has been scheduled for months. We have told the powers that be this so they can remember and not schedule any exams for the pupils that day. Today I found out that they did nevertheless. And of course I’m the bad guy now because I pointed it out. Responsible dude from the school (whom I told several times) “Why didn’t you notice before?” Well, sorry that I didn’t control somebody who is part of the extended school administration to a greater degree than I do with my 8 year old.

  83. Ice Swimmer says

    I think jazzlet and Charly have expressed thoughts similar to mine very well about this blog and your efforts.

  84. says

    I’ll try to get you some more pictures but words are another matter. Busy just now looking after Partner’s new knee. Heh, perhaps I’ll try to photograph the x-ray of the new joint against the outside world.

  85. says

    Words aren’t needed! Half the time, I don’t write much, just have something interesting art wise to share, or photographs. Anyroad, no worries. I’m going to snooze in, so might be a late start on (my) Thursday.

  86. says

    I’m not sure they’ve invented a superhero for that yet.

    There’s a deer in my garden taking a nap

    And now, now I’ve got my topic for the exam. It’s not too bad, but it’s way farther in the progression of the topic than we are. But I think I can manage.
    My fellow trainee and friend C and I had been wondering why our English instructor had given all of our group his phone number and told them to call him as soon as they got their topic but us.
    Today I met him at school (he’s a teacher at our school) and asked him if he had a few minutes. He snapped at me that he’d been waiting for my call yesterday. I said I didn’t have his number. He claimed he had given it to me, same with C.
    How the fuck are you supposed to work with such people?

  87. StevoR says

    Just seen this -- former (?) FTB blogger if memory serves :

    Cristina Rad -- When Lawrence Krauss was inappropriate with me #MeToo

    WARNING : Sexual harrassment & assault references.

    Haven’t read /seen her blog / videos very often before or for a very long time. But i think she is entirely credible and deserves respect and I believe her.

    WARNING : Sexual harrassment & assault references.

  88. rq says

    Superhero? I’d settle for an aerosol spray of some kind -- When the ‘splainers keep ‘splainin’, Anti-Splain to the rescue! Now available in oldbook and sciencelab fragrances. Try our Super-Unsplain plug-in module for those persistent splainers who just won’t get out of your face! Guaranteed to last the whole workday. Coming soon, a portable model for those days when you’re on the move.
    Also, you have a lot of assholes in your professional life right now. I hope you kick ass and show ’em how it’s done. *hugs*

  89. says

    rq, on behalf of all mansplainers I wish to apologize for our insufferableness. We do not always know what we are doing. Not a good excuse, I know, but an explanation for at least some.

    I am still working on my skill of discerning when I am “mansplaining” and when I am just being myself. I tend to be ‘splainin’ pretty indiscriminately all the time to anyone who makes the mistake of listening to me.

    So. The project “refurbishing belt grinder” seems to be comming to an end. Things today went reasonably well -- it works. And it works better than it did before and I have now four different tools for it. I will have to tie myself to bed tomorrow so I take proper rest and do not overwork myself. I will be itching to test it but I really should take a day rest. Partly even because I am running out of wood and a day in the shop means more wood burned.

    The weather is truly crap. For a week it looked like a spring might come, and instead we have now the weather that was supposed to be here in december -- snow and frost.

  90. chigau (違う) says

    The current house-guest (HG) is house-guesting here because their parent is in the near-by hospital. In a very bad way.
    HG is out there shovelling the snow. I’d like to tell them to…
    yeah . no . not
    I don’t need to say anything

  91. rq says

    Thanks, but not necessary, you at least have awareness of your mansplainy habits, and (from what/how you write), you seem to understand the concept of “stop and think about it”, or even ” think before speaking”.
    Not all mansplainers are so fortunate.

    Best wishes for HG’s parent.
    Hope the snow does what it should.

  92. Raucous Indignation says

    Hi. We were going to adopt a rescue named Dorie, but she went to another family. BUT!! Yesterday a little rescue white and black puppy named Panda came home with us to get to know her new forever home. Her mom was a border collie mix. She is now sleeping on the couch , but Panda look like she has a little Labrador in her. She is now sleeping on the couch next to Raucous Spawn Omega. Panda’s older “sister” Pepper has been pretty good about the new addition to the family. The cats are as amused as one might imagine. I repaired the SpotBot this morning and used it within the hour.

  93. says

    I have come to the conclusion that my English instructor is probably suffering from the early signs of dementia but of course too full of himself to realise the problem might be him. At #120 I mentioned that story with the phone number. After he claimed both towards me and C that he had given us his number he called the colleague who was there when he supposedly gave C his number, again, claiming that he had done so. His colleague confirmed our version, but apparently he still cannot believe that he made a mistake.
    I mean, why on earth should we lie? We only had disadvantages from not being able to talk about it directly.

  94. says

    Also, talking about mansplainers, is anybody interested in taking my father in law off my hands for a few days? He likes working around the house and if you don’t understand a word, the better.
    I’ve got to prepare that damn exam lesson and that means writing the damn report on it and he keeps telling me I should stop “studying” because I won’t learn anything new any more anyway.

  95. says

    Giliell, if your father in law is strong and fit, I would have a lot of work for him here that would keep him occupied. Now only to find a way to persuade him to travel over 400 km to get to work…

  96. voyager says

    Giliell, I could use the help, but not the conversation. Maybe you could send him outdoors. There must be things that need fixing in the yard.

  97. Raucous Indignation says

    Definitely yard work. Stump pulling and grinding? Mucking out the septic? Oh! Do you have a highly pitched roof!? Do you need roofing work??

  98. Raucous Indignation says

    Okay, Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-. I sent puppy photos to Caine. You’ll see now!!

  99. says

    Thankfully the father in law does not live here. He’s still helping us with the last parts of the renovation, often coming over in the morning, leaving the toilet seat up in some sort of weird power struggle with me I think* and being as much of a 70 years old cis white het working class dude as he can be, complete with the cognitive dissonance of being very proud of his children (in law) having made it out of the manual labour one step away from being poor part of the working class and simultaneously despising all of us for working with our heads.

    *I have never ever witnessed him leaving the seat up at his own home.

    Just in time for the first day of spring I saw the first redstart.
    I also saw a lady woodpecker. Given that I never paid attention to the one tell-tale sign of the male ones I now must look through my pics to see if I actually had two all along…

  100. jimb says

    Just a quick “hello” to all. My blog reading is sporadic at best at the moment due to good & bad “busy”.

    The “good”: Getting Son ready for college in the Fall. He’s been accepted to his #3 school; unfortunately he didn’t get into his #1 (Cal Poly-SLO, hard to get into); we’ll hear from #2 school today.

    The “bad”: Work sucks more than usual. New management a layer above me, priorities shifting, causing everyone to be overloaded, making me especially irritable. Fortunately the house is well-stocked with beer & Scotch. :-)

  101. Oggie. says

    Giliell @144:

    Remember, all printers manufactured since 1999 have, by international accord, a stress sensor chip. The more important the document, the likelier the malfunction of the printer. The more time-sensitive the document, the likelier the malfunction of the printer. A Very Important Document with a narrow time window? You are better off using a clay tablet. Or marble and a chisel.

  102. jimb says


    I’ve read her Murderbot story -- looking forward to more coming out this year.

    (Is it wrong that I can identify with an autonomous robot that is scornful of humans and just wants to be left alone?)

  103. says

    Well, I’m glad I didn’t get an F, but I sure as hell didn’t get a fair grade.
    I didn’t get a fair chance to start with: I had to analyse and discuss whether Death of a Salesman is still relevant today when arsehole knew exactly that we hadn’t even dealt with half the play…

  104. Raucous Indignation says

    Giliell, congratulations. Now, back to the puppy. Guess whose house no longer has a land-line because an adorable puppy chewed through the cord? Any guesses? Any guesses at all? Anyone? Hrrmm?

  105. Ice Swimmer says

    Giliell @ 149

    Congrats on fending off the career killers for now!

    Raucous Indignation @ 152

    I think I could make a guess on who was chewed into the 21st century* (still, not good if you use the landline). Do yo still have the DSL or cable modem connection intact?

    * = Even my 89-year-old grandpa has a cellphone nowadays.

  106. says

    Giliell, congratulations. May seems still very far I guess.

    @Ice Swimmer, for example in our household we all have a cellphone, but we also still have a landline because internet and TV are provided by ouur ISP via VDSL.

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