1. jazzlet says

    “Do NOT distract me when I am eating banananana”

    I mostly learnt to swim in unheated pools, which often meant little over 10C. Rather colder than I like.

  2. says

    I wish I had access to a pool, heated or no! It’s the best exercise for my bad spine, and there are little signs up all over the cancer center about light exercise for fatigue, with swimming number 1, yet with all the real estate Sanford has snapped up, there isn’t one fucking pool. I’d think that would be a minor expense in comparison to all the rest. I’m planning on moaning about that on Monday. :D

  3. Ice Swimmer says

    I Google Earthed Bismarck in the vicinity of Sanford Medical Center and there seem to be multiple parking lots. Redeveloping one could result in an indoor swimming pool and a parking garage where cars aren’t exposed to the elements. Of course it would take time and money. Also, I know that in Helsinki, one of the municipal swimming halls is built in a large bomb shelter.

  4. says

    Ice Swimmer, oh parking is a major problem for Sanford -- all those lots are packed full during the daytime, and there still isn’t enough parking for employees and patients. There’s never-ending ranting about the parking problem on all sides. Depending on appointment times, we’ve had to park at a building several blocks away from the hospital, and use the underground tunnel through the pain clinic into the hospital. Other times it’s been so bad, we’ve had no choice but to go with valet parking (which is free). Just takes a long time to get your car back.

    My former oncologist was ticketed many times because he had to park in a meter space. The parking lot next to my apt. building looks wonderfully empty at night, but by 5am, it’s completely full, not a space to spare, and it’s a damn big lot, one belonging to Sanford. The lot is to the back of the cancer center, yet there’s little room for cancer center employees there; it’s for main hospital employees.

    All that said, I know damn well that they could put residential pools into at least some of the apartment blocks they own. Right now, they are fueling money into the new hospital in Dickinson, and trying to lure employees there. They won’t do oncology there though, they’re still going to make everyone travel to Bismarck.

  5. voyager says

    I go to heated pool therapy twice a week at one of our retirement homes. The water is about 33 degrees and we do stretching exercises for 45 minutes. It costs $5 per session and it’s worth twice that plus. Part of my fibro is feeling like I live with double gravity and the water makes me feel light. I think it’s a bit salty, too. Plus the warm water loosens stuff up.
    We also have a huge indoor aquatic centre that costs about the same and a YMCA pool. That’s for a city of about 40,000.

  6. says

    There’s a relatively new pool complex outside Bismarck, but it’s 75 dollars a month for membership, and I’m not going to pay that for being able to swim maybe a few times a month. The senior center in Glen Ullin was a possibility, but free swimming takes place from 5am to 7am, which is utterly barbaric as far as I’m concerned. I just want to do laps and some diving.

  7. rq says

    Bananas are apparently the pinnacle of deliciousness.

    Yesterday the Song and Dance Festival opened, with a participant parade of 45000 people lasting 7.5 hrs. Bigger than the Olympics. I’m glad we stayed home to watch it on TV!

  8. voyager says

    Sorry about your situation. Charity shouldn’t be an expectation…sometimes it becomes abusive.

    Who the hell goes swimming at 5 a.m.?

    Jack and I think fireworks are stupid too. Last night we had a big Canada Day display at the park near our house that lasted half an hour. When it was over and Jack was beginning to relax our neighbours started setting them off. Poor Jack was afraid to go out for his last pee of the night.

  9. jazzlet says

    5 am would be a bit late for me, but I’d like to be able to go swimming what would be for me late at night, so maybe 2am or even late evening, 10pm say. But I’d be swimming shortly before I went to bed.

  10. StevoR says

    Interesting and disturbing article here :

    on James Buchanan, an obscure economist who may have been driving some really nasty things in the past towards and ever grimmer future.

    Giraffes are now on the endangered list :

    In better news though, the koala genome has been sequenced and some very interesting things found :

    -- including that it’s bigger than humans with 26,000 genes and it’s also something of a double-edged sword -- metaphorically speaking. (Literally speaking its a doubled edged helix I gather.)

    PS. The Parody Project has a new song out on youtube Zero Tolerance Parody of “Casual Conversation” (Don Caron) which is worth a watch & listen ireckon but also very depressing withsome confronting images -- on the USA refugee issue.

  11. jazzlet says

    We are at the start of the time of year when the dogs come in with grass seed in their coats. They have already come in with cleavers in their coats which are bad enough to get out, especially of Jakes flufffy bits, but the grass seed can be surprisingly tenacious too. We’ll get more cleavers lter, then burrs, poor dogs, they are very patient about us getting all these seed heads out, partly because we take great care not to pull their fur and of course to treat, but it’s not a fun activity.

    Jake is struggling to be good about barking, the neighbour on one side has blokes in landscaping his garden and one of the blokes never stops talking; the neighbour on the other side is away on holiday, and has someone staying to look after their animals, who lets their dog bark. A lot. Jake thinks , quite reasonably that if other dogs are allowed to bark freely it’s not fair that he can’t, but he still knows he’s not allowed to, apart from actual barking this is resulting in some extraordinary sounds of strangled barks, as well as lots of very audible disgusted sighs.

  12. rq says

    lots of very audible disgusted sighs.

    Y u so unfair, hooman?


    Thanks, everyone. Sorry I don’t have the emotional spoons to elaborate, but your support means a lot. In reply to Charly, though, yes: there’s a few-hour grace period where he understands, but then sobers up 100% and realizes hey, he’s totally got this! What professional help??
    I did tell Husband to find professional support for himself, though, because I can’t do it and he needs to talk it out with someone who knows this stuff and doesn’t have a negative super-emotional reaction every time the BiL needs rescuing. Or ‘enabling’, as I’ve taken to calling it. This came about mostly because Husband had the nerve to ask me why I was so mad at BiL, it’s not like he’s affecting my life!!!

  13. jazzlet says

    Y u so unfair, hooman?

    Partly, but also it’s Benji (neighbour dog) being ‘wrong’ again. They used to say hello through the fence, but Benji is now deaf and partially blind so he doesn’t hear their ‘hey we’re here!’ barks or see them, which drives my pair nutty, it’s so rude of him to stop greeting them! The barking for no obvious reason is another ‘wrong’ thing. I think Benji is probably getting a bit senile, he isn’t a young dog. I’ve been through that with a dog and have a lot of sympathy, but I think we’re going to have to say something. Benji can easily be barking for half an hour at a time.

    rq I don’t need gritty details to know it’s a difficult situation. Husband likes dancing on thin ice! I hope he has the sense to realise he needs help as much as his brother.

  14. Ice Swimmer says

    My warm thoughts for you, rq. I hope that what you said will resonate with your husband, sooner or later, deeply.

  15. Nightjar says

    *hugs*, rq. I have no experience with alcoholism, but I do with the “gets help -- feels better -- decides help is not needed -- gets worse -- gets into trouble -- needs help” cycle. The culprit is very different, schizophrenia, but I suppose the emotional exhaustion associated isn’t that different. :(

  16. jimb says

    Since Caine was the one who got me reading The Great Library series by Rachel Caine, I thought I’d mention that the 4th book Smoke & Iron is out today.

    Happy reading!

  17. voyager says

    Jack and I send our hopes for better days. Enabling is a hard cycle to break.

    Half an hour is a really long time for a dog to bark. Jack isn’t much of a barker (unless he’s scared), but that would amount of noise from a neighbour would have him on edge and restless.

  18. says

    Your husband is showing all the classical signs of co-dependency. Unfortunately, one of them is denial of said co-dependency. I remember the getting yelled at my father dealt out when my sister and I sent him a link to a website about it.

  19. jazzlet says

    The length of time spent barking, and that Benj isn’t barking at anything are two of the things that make me wonder if he is getting a bit senile. It does of course set the other dogs round about off too as they all start fretting about what is wrong. My neighbours are nice, but can be a bit oblivious to what is going on around them so I’m not sure if they realise Benji is setting everyone elses dogs off. Mr Jazz is probably the best person to go round and talk about it, he has a great knack for making people think they are doing him a favour by sorting out whatever the problem is, rather than that they are being nagged for it so they don’t get defensive with him.

  20. voyager says

    I wish Mr. Jazz good luck. Being able to put people at ease, especially when you’re talking about difficult stuff, is a rare talent.

  21. Ice Swimmer says

    On a lighter note:

    Have you ever seen a rainbow like this.

    The experts say it’s due to light reflected from the surface of the water.

  22. rq says

    Is ‘saatenkaari’ rainbow? Lovely and thanks for sharing, Ice Swimmer!

    Mr Jazz is indeed talented. Hope the talk results in results!

    I can imagine!! Enjoy your day!

  23. jazzlet says

    Giliell I hope lots of fun was had by everyone.

    Mr Jazz is also quite large, unless you are firmly committed to violence his size is enough to make most people think and think again; if his hair is tied back he looks like Anthony Hopkins in ‘Silence of the Lambs’ which probably convinces some of the doubters to listen. They’re not to know he would hurt a fly or a slug, but not much else. He doesn’t play on his size, until I told him he didn’t seem to be aware it could have the affect it does, but it does make most people pay attention in a way they simply don’t to smaller people. Plus of course he’s a bloke, sadly too many people still pay more attention to what men say than to what women say.

    Hot for England.

  24. Ice Swimmer says

    rq @ 33

    You’re welcome!

    Sateenkaari is Finnish for rainbow. Rainbow flag is sateenkaarilippu and a family in which at least one parent is LGBTQIA is sateenkaariperhe (this is a neologism).

    Rain is sade (genetive sateen) and an arc is kaari.

  25. voyager says

    Those are amazing photos. It must have been a bit of a thrill for your daughter to watch.

    Ice Swimmer
    Very odd, but beautiful.

  26. StevoR says

    @29. Ice Swimmer : Whoah!! No, no I haven’t. Marvellous sight & photo. I wonder if it has to do with the high latitude and consequent angle of the Sun?

  27. StevoR says

    Not sure how many other members are in Adelaide or surrounds but the weekly refugee vigil’s are still on incl. (sorry short notice indeed I know) tonight in front of parliament house 5.15 pm to 7 pm. We could really use more people.

  28. says

    Lots of fun was had.
    I rode a roller coaster. I’m not entirely sure if I’d do it again. I’m not entirely sure if “nearly passing out” is the desired effect.
    I’m sure as hell never going to ride one where you go on a looping.
    Personally I liked the giant swing and the Western Train with the VR lenses best.
    My stomach told me that I wasn’t really jumping and falling so my brain was enjoying the Indiana Jones style ride through the mine.
    The kids loved it and if you are out with younger kids and happen to be in Barcelona I definitely recommend the Tibidabo. All rides are accessible from 120 cm onwards and most are also adapted for disabled people who get preferential access.
    I would not recommend the time between June and the middle of September, as shuffling your kids off to summer camp is a time honoured Spanish tradition.

  29. Ice Swimmer says

    StevoR @ 39

    They say in the article that rainbows coming from reflected light are extremely rare, so many things must coincide. Low angle of sunlight may be one of them, I guess. Also, it’s worth noting that the lakes in Finnish Lake District can have a very complicated shape (lots of bays and peninsulas as well as islands) and there are many of them. From the pictures, one can see that the lake surface is calm, which probably makes the reflection more “sharp”.

    By searching for Taipalsaari in Google Earth or Maps will give one an idea on the shape of the lakes there. The by far the largest in that municipality is a part of the largest lake in Finland, Saimaa. The place names for basins of the lake mostly end with -selkä (literally back), strait is salmi, peninsula is niemi, bay is lahti and vesi means water.

  30. says

    Today was half success, half failure.

    I succeeded at making something to measure the hardness of steel. I failed at making a rondel for my dagger. Well, it was first time I was doing something like that so it would be nearly a miracle if I succeeded, so it does not bother me much. I will try another time again.

    I would much love to make posts about both those things, but I do not know whether I will be able to. Certainly not today, because I think I will fall aśleep in the shower.

  31. voyager says

    Hi everyone.
    I have a new post up about a feature series we’re starting here called Tree Tuesday. I think it will be a fun chance for everyone to share some interesting photos. I’ll be looking after the submissions and my email has been added to the sidebar so please feel free to send me your tree photos.

  32. rq says

    I heard the worst cherry-picking arguments the other day. See, we’ve had an unusually fruitful year, and I sent the kids out to harvest the sour cherry…
    The results of those arguments have since been transformed into compote, syrup and something resembling jam.

    Once I get at least one computer back in working order (they all died), I’ll be back to more regular commenting. Or when I go back to work after vacation, whichever happens first.

  33. rq says

    Anyone going to anti-Trump protests, be safe and have fun and make sure to yell something on my behalf, too.

  34. voyager says

    I’ll pitch in with rq and tell anyone going to a Trump protest to be safe. Counter protests are planned.

    Thanks! I can’t wait to see.,

  35. Ice Swimmer says

    lumipuna @ 53

    As others said, be safe! It’s good that you’re going. I’ve been rather busy lately and have a short fuse currently.

  36. lumipuna says

    The protest (about 1500 people) was a very safe event aside from weather (29 C, super hot by Finnish standards) and occasional noise.

    Local Trump fans (about 60 people) were gathering elsewhere to celebrate his arrival. It actually happened just now, several hours later. Smaller protests are expected tomorrow; I’m not attending.

  37. says

    We’r back home.
    My mother in law kindly cleaned most of our house, especially the kids’ rooms.
    Of course she chastised Mr for not doing so more often, trying to passive-aggressively bully us into houskeeping to her standards.
    I don’t know. It didn’t work the last ten times she did so, why does she think it will work this time?
    We still appreciate the help.

    Lots about the holidays later. I’m sorting about 3000 pics…

  38. Ice Swimmer says

    Now I’ve recovered some spoons and I’m feeling ok. Now there are drums, bass and a funkyish guitar comp in the piece I started yesterday, I’ve slept well and walked to the dinosaur watching tower and back in the incredibly hot weather and tried to take some photos.

    Giliell @ 58

    Welcome back!

    I’m guessing you didn’t even use burst-shoot, my favourite gigabyte wasting technique, to get those.

  39. chigau (違う) says

    Why are there Like bottons at Pharyngula?
    Has PZ been replaced by podperson?

  40. says

    Now, since TNET is going slow, I’m going to spam you with Giliell’s holiday tales.
    Just tell me when to stop.

    Let’s start backwards with the journey home. We live abou 1.200 km from barcelona and we usually split the journey into two parts: 70km the first day, 500 the second, with the first day usually being a Sunday with no trucks.
    This Sunday we suffered the perfect combination of bad and good luck.
    First we were stuck in the traffic jam from hell. There was an accident on the motorway and it took us about 1.5 hrs for like 7 or 8 km. In 35-38° heat.
    First of all, why do motorcyclists apparently harbour a death wish? They wove in and out between the lanes at a high speed, counting on stressed out, hot, exhausted car drivers always having the perfect reactions and some magical senses that would tell them about an approaching motorcycle that is going to appear out of nowhere and cut into the very space your car is going to be in a second or so.
    Of course there was also a share of car drivers that decided that they were better than everybody else and used the emergency lane. Only that this isn’t a feature everywhere so they’d occasionally cut in in front of you or drive into a bridge…
    All of this lead to us being much later than usually. Around Lyon there was a bit of drizzle, but then we drove past it into blue skies. The signs on the motorway were warning of strong winds, but everything was calm while we drove, but the skies in the rearviewmirror were black.
    We reached the campsite, were among the last to be admitted, got the caravan ready and then the thunderstorm that had been chasing us since Lyon arrived with a vengeance, stormy winds and heavy rain.
    No space in a restaurant, of course, because it was the time of the football final, but once in a while McD will do.

  41. says

    Aaaaand, my in laws are in financial troubles. Again. Nothing major, just the usual death of a thousand cuts of spending slightly more than you have, to be bailed out by us.
    I’m really hesitant about calling out working class people for bad financial habits, but holy fuck, maybe you really should cancel that membership to a gym you haven’t been to in 8 years. But no, that would be embarrassing, because she hasn’t been there in 8 years…
    Seriously, in their own private version of A Christmas Carol they will be visited by the ghosts of bad financial decisions of the past, present and future…

  42. says

    This friday or saturday I will probably stop any and all works completely and do absolutely nothing (icnluding reading on the internet) at least one whole day. I love spending all my free time with making knives and gardening, but I am exhausted and I really, really need a good rest. My body gives me signals that either I will get rest, or I will get ill.

  43. voyager says

    That drive sounds nightmarish, but what good storytelling.
    As for your in-laws, I think I understand your frustration. I have an entitled brother-in-law who lives the same way. Personally, I would be more embarrassed to ask for financial help than to cancel a gym membership.
    I hope you can catch your breath. A day or two of nothing sounds like a good start.

  44. says

    Holidays, part II, Spain and Catalunya
    This isn’t the first time we travelled to Barcelona. We always stay at a campsite in Mataró, some 30km from the city, and it’s kind of becoming out go-to holiday destination. Only the last two years we couldn’t go on a holiday because of the house and the move, so we “missed” all the fun political upheaval.
    Now, since family holidays don’t really lend themselves to long political discussions with the locals, this is just what I saw.
    Three years ago, you had only the Catalan flags flying from windows and balconies. I once saw the flag of the Spanish Republic and one single Spanish flag.
    Now the overwhelming majority is still Catalan, with the protest signs for the freedom of the political prisoners, but especially in the outskirts of Barcelona there were also many Spanish flags, which pretty much reflects on how divided the region actually is.
    It has also led to what I’d call “graffiti wars” with pro and against independence signs often layered on top of each other. Sadly this has also led to the very pretty anarchist graffitis on the walls of the underpass to the local beach being defiled.
    And while I can absolutely understand the Catalans being proud of their language and heritage, I would question the wisdom of choosing it as the language for signs asking tourists to respect the locals. I mean, I can decipher most Catalan because I speak Spanish and French and have some training in intercomprehension, but I doubt that many tourists do.
    Those signs are clearly for the locals telling them “hey, we’re on your side, we’re doing something”.

  45. says

    Take some rest

    They are the very people for whom the phrase “too poor to paint, too proud to whitewash” was invented. Their ideological dedication to keeping up the looks of being somewhere in the middle class has quite effectively prevented them from ever becoming middle class. I mean, they’re part of the so-called boomers, that short while when social mobility seemed to become feasible. But for both of them, a working woman was always a failure on behalf of the husband. Where I grew up with a working mum being the default, my mum in law always only worked when the family finances demanded it and then she usually worked some odd hours for cash.
    Now she complains about her pension being so small.
    When I first got to know them their fridge would always be full with name brand products. She was afraid to go shopping at Aldi because the neighbours could see her shopping at Aldi and think that she couldn’t afford the brand store. They were better than those neighbours shopping at Aldi!
    If somebody offers her a free sample in a supermarket she will buy the stuff because it wouldn’t be polite to say “no thanks” after taking a bite.
    When they went to buy a new car Mr begged them to allow him to come with them and do the bargaining, but no, because if he started to bargain, then the salesperson could think they couldn’t afford the car! So they went out alone, bought a car for the listed price at a time when 20-30% less were normal and were proud when they got some foot mats for free…
    I know my aunt in law has been begging them to allow her to review their finances, because she works at the bank and knows what insurances they actually need and such stuff, but no, they don’t need no stinkin’ help.
    I mean, we already support them every month, and I’m OK with supporting them, because they support us as well. We have more money, they have more time and we’re a family, but sometimes you just want to shake them and yell at them and tell them that they need to let us all help in other ways.

  46. gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet says

    Hello all! Long time since I last commented -- but I have been lurking suspiciously…


    Spirits of the Air Gremlins of the Clouds

    … I am really excited about!

    I have been waiting decades for this to happen :)

    And this too:

    Spirits of the Air Gremlins of the Clouds soundtrack

    You don’t need to see the film to love the music :)

    Nice to see some genuine Australian stuff being rereleased (especially now that Amazon is blocking me from getting any US releases -- BOOOO!)

  47. chigau (違う) says

    There is a thunderstorm here, seemingly right over the house.
    lovely loud and bangy rummbbbbly

  48. chigau (違う) says

    It’s actually raining!
    After almost three weeks of 30+C.
    Thanks a bunch god boy.

  49. gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet says

    Hi chigau :)

    just over your house?

    …because that would be weird…

  50. rq says

    Hi! I was just thinking about you and your drawings the other day and the yellow dirigible and its adventures. Good to see you!

  51. says

    Hi gobi!

    I have sorted the holiday pictures to make a fotobook.
    Holy fuck.
    But for one trip, by chance, the kids wore red in red and blue in blue and the pics of them together are very satisfying. I can also probably stock the Daily Bird with pics until 2020.

  52. says

    Giliell, got your email and answered, but just in case, answering here too. I sent off an email to PZ, he’s the only person who can add someone; as soon as I hear back from him, I’ll let you know. Any questions, holler at me, but you know the basics already.

    Doing a little *happy dance* here. :)

  53. gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet says

    Hi rq! I haven’t been doing much drawing lately -- crushed by a desk job.
    …but it’s good to have a few things to inspire -- like the movie/music rerelease I mentioned.
    And Shaun Tan has a new illustrated book out called Cicada!
    Ironically, about being crushed by a desk job.

  54. says

    Giliell, just heard from PZ, you should be all set up! Reload Affinity, and you should see a top navigation bar, have a poke around, and post when you will!

    rq, I think so. Giliell is joining the happy gang of Affinity bloggers. Now, if I could just get you on board…

  55. rq says

    That is excellent news!!!!

    Oh, the desk job. Ugh. The Tan book sounds like something I could gift to several people I know.
    I have never even heard of that film, but after watching the trailer, I feel that I shold have -- it basically ticks all the boxes I can’t define and usually just call “beautiful and weird”. I will be watching it soon.

  56. says

    Thanks. Got all mail and it looks like I can add things.
    We’ll see…

    Just yesterday I read a wonderful opinion piece about “the right to complain about your job”. How all that “do what you love” stuff is pretty damaging. Unfortunately it was in German.

  57. Oggie. says

    Hello, all.

    Sorry to have been absent for a while.

    Boy is now married. Girl and FSiL are closing on a house on Monday. Been rather chaotic.

    How all that “do what you love” stuff is pretty damaging.

    Hugs to gobi. I sort of understand about a crushing desk job. Right now, I am under the gun for a whole passel of publications. Which have to go through four layers of supervision. And each layer has to change something (otherwise, what is a supervisor for?). And right now, some supervisors are changing the corrections back to what I wrote in the first place. Luckily, this is not even a majority of my job. I cannot imagine doing this for eight hours a day.

    I’m also one of those assholes who actually does have a job doing what I love. Sorry.

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