1. says

    What a fun video and lovely music.

    Yay for finding the money.
    As for #1, she does have a problem with being damn lazy. I mean, procrastination would be my middle name if we hadn’t put it off before it was too late, but she’s more than procrastinating.
    Well, the party was fun, there’s still cake.

  2. jazzlet says

    I can’t see a video :-(
    Could we have a link to the last TNET too please?

    Unexpected visit from niece and nephew which was lovely. They are especially precious as nephew was adopted at birth (blood parents both 16, and he was the result of their first sexual encounter), but decided he wanted to find his father (oldest big bro) as an adult, he’s only six years younger than me and feels like another little brother for all I didn’t know him growing up. Niece and her full brother were not allowed to see our family for years (their mother is very strange), so I didn’t see her at all from when she was three until she was fifteen and ran away from home with her little brother to stay with a school friend’s family. We were very lucky they were wonderful caring people who looked after neice and nephew, giving them space to make decisions about where they wanted to live, space to meet their father (oldest big bro again), space to learn he isn’t the monster their mother had painted.

  3. says

    @jazzlet, there is a link to previous thread and a video. I cannot do anything about them not showing for you, for me everything works just fine.

  4. voyager says

    Good news,
    My 92 year old mother-in-law successfully had her kidney removed on Friday. She remains in hospital with quite a lot of pain, but the operation went well. It’s hard to watch her struggle, though. She has been amazing me forever with her level of energy and ability to avoid aging. She still drives, shops, cooks, cleans and irons everyday and does it all with a smile and a bit of pink lipstick. She went into this surgery thinking she’d be fine in just a day or two. I tried to gently suggest that she might be down for a few weeks, but in her own mind she’s still only 50 and I underestimate her.

  5. voyager says

    Good work figuring out the missing money.
    I’m glad #1 had a good party. I give her big credit for sending out a thoughtful letter instead of just a quick note.

  6. lumipuna says

    I keep checking Europe’s weather map and whoa it’s still hot for some of you folks. Also been nearly constantly above average here, and the drought has only substantially broken within the last week.

  7. jazzlet says

    Mr Jazz had a kidney removed nearly three years ago when he was 57, he was still in hospital this far on from his operration, I think he was there for nearly a week in all. Your mother-in-law should not be in much pain though, what on earth are her docotors thinking? I know they are being more careful about opiates because of the addiction and overdose crisis, but she’s in hospital, they don’t have to send her home with months worth of them, she needs to be as pain-free as possible to heal quickly. I hope she is feeling better today.

  8. says

    Yep, up to 30° tomorrow. But in the night it’s autumn already so you dress according to the onion principle.

    Oh dear, I hope your Mum in law makes a quick recovery. At that age, every trip to the hospital is a risk in and on itself. I swear, if I had known back then what would happen when my gran broke her arm, we would just have kept her at home.

  9. says

    And today I found him, the guy who accuses everybody of being a Nazi. he really exists.
    In Germany we’re currently discussing abortion rights, or better said, whether doctors should be allowed to inform patients on their website that they’re doing abortions. Believe it or not, that’s illegal in Germany and forced birthers love to file reports to shut down docs. Recently, Christina Hänel, an OB/Gyn got convicted of this most serious crime.
    On Twitter, she a tweet where somebody was pointing out that the catholic newspaper never writes about sexual abuse in the catholic church but always about abortion.
    Christina Hänel asked “when will we finally acknowledge that born life needs to be protected, too?”
    I replied that I work in a school in a social hotspot and would much like it if we as a society cared for the kids who are already here and who suffer from poverty and abuse.
    So much for context.
    Then some dude called me a Nazi and attached a pic from German Nazi propaganda because obviously, when talking about reproductive rights and protection of children who are actually born, “children who are already here” means “blond German children”.
    Not that even without any refugees, a lot of the “children who are already here” are not ethnic Germans, so it wouldn’t even make sense then.

  10. Oggie. says


    I was recently called a NAZI. We were reading the minutes of a meeting held with government and private individuals to plan for an event in late October. One of the non-government committee members offered up a prayer to start the meeting. And the prayer not only went through, but it was quoted, verbatim, in the minutes. I, in my office meeting, said, “That’s not right,” and was called a NAZI for trying to force my religion down the throat of Christians.

    The person who stated that is a volunteer (a very good volunteer) who is going for a masters in secondary education and also works as a substitute in the local public schools. She also has a masters in US history but is very unhappy that she can not get a job in her field. I have to bite my tongue every time she complains. Her masters is from Liberty University and I so desperately want to tell her that places like the National Archives, the state archives, the Smithsonian, National Parks, state history museums, etc., would most likely prefer an historian who actually studied history, not the ahistory taught at Liberty.

  11. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Charly, good to hear you figured out your accounting problem. My favorite trick is copying a number, and transposing two digits.

    Voyager, good to hear your mother made it through the operation, and offer wishes on a speedy recovery.

  12. Ice Swimmer says


    All the best for your mother-in-law. My last surviving grandparent, grandpa, who’ll be 90 soon, is also a bit impatient and makes his moves quicker than it’s good for him, but he’s still living at home. He’s had both a malignant tumor removed from his forehead skin short time ago and he’s got new dentures, which still need more fitting. Hope your MiL will get the pain alleviation and everything else she needs from the hospital.

    It’s taken three days to get my math (linear algebra + calculus) brain in gear. The eureka moment this night felt so good.

  13. rq says

    Yeah, temperatures supposed to be soaring up to the high 20s this weekend, with nights below 10. The onion principle is definitely the way to go, though most mornings I’m not sure how many layers to put on and how many I’m willing to carry home in the evening…

    Sounds like that guy had a good solid argument, uh-huh. :P

    Best wishes to your MiL!!

    Ice Swimmer

    It’s taken three days to get my math (linear algebra + calculus) brain in gear.

    A few more weeks and you’ll be solving quantum physics problems, no question. :D (It is a good feeling, though -- I hope the good feeling lasts!)

  14. voyager says

    Thanks everyone for your good wishes. My mother-in-law is home from hospital already. Surgery was on Friday and she was sent home on Monday. I was gobsmacked when they called to tell us she had been discharged. She has a lot of nausea and hasn’t really eaten, but her pain seems well controlled.
    Ice Swimmer,
    Congratulations! It’s a great feeling when your brain finally clicks in.

  15. opus says

    I sent this to Caine last February, with a note that it had helped me immensely through the days when it became clear that my wife Diane would not survive cancer. I’d like to think that it helped her, so I will pass it on again. Somehow the colors he invokes always reminded me of Caine.
    It still brings me comfort, and remembrance.

  16. says

    Folks, today was a good day.
    When I started my current job the principal was a bit sceptical about the high school teacher being the special ed teacher.
    Today he asked how I was liking the job and said that he would be happy if I could imagine staying permanently as their special ed teacher.
    Now, this doesn’t translate into anything directly except probably a positive work review, but it feels so good after the horrors of teacher training.

  17. jazzlet says

    Giliell I am glad that he not only appreciates your work, but actually told you so, all too many managers forget to commend good work. Would you want to stay there permanently?

    It is far warmer here than it should be for the time of year.

  18. says

    I’m not entirely sure. I told him that I miss my actual subjects, especially English and he quickly said that that could be arranged. But I think that yes, I can at least imagine doing it for some years.

    I need somebody to explain boys to me
    During recess, some boys got into a fight. Then you always get some crying boy who demands justice and the you spend 30 minutes trodding through the schoolhouse, talking to 15 different kids who give you 5 contradictory versions of the events with each of them having at least three witnesses who swear it’s true.
    In the end you’re no smarter than before, so you simply demand apologies all around and they shake hands and they hug each other and are totally satisfied with the outcome.
    And I have no freaking clue what just happened.

  19. says

    @Giliell, I am glad that the effort seems to be paying off. Fingers crossed for more good days at work. I think it does translate directly into something, that something being the mentioned good feeling.
    I had, incindentally, a few good days at work too. My boss was visiting for three days and I asked him straightaway whether I shall look for a new job or not, because if so, now is the best time to say it because I will have a new job in a blink. And his answer was that as far as he knows it is not planned to can me and it is not desired for me to to leave either.
    In another converstation I was told that I should not constantly underestimate my capabilities and sell myself short. People tend to tell me that a lot, but I was never told this by my manager before.

    We are up to our necks in apples, plums and nuts. We have only one tree of each, but they seemed to be racing this year which yields more.

  20. jazzlet says

    Giliell that sounds really positive.

    Charly glad that you don’t have to worry about your job, and that your work is appreciated by both collegues and your boss.
    Will the apples keep? I presume the nuts will keep and the plums won’t without some sort of preserving. What kind of nuts are they?

  21. rq says

    The entire trilogy is depressing. Be prepared!
    It can be a bit of a shock, and a pleasant one, to realize that someone actually values your work. This has happened to me, and it’s… a good feeling, but it also comes with a side of ‘are we talking about the same me?’. I choose to take the positive and not insult other people for their opinions, and then the impostor tends to fade away a bit. Anyway, yay for job security!
    Also, lots of walnuts here, too. About to drop the real harvest, though ripe nuts are already dropping in ones and twos. And apple juice season is upon us, praise be to the juice press! I have a feeling I know what Husband will be doing out country this weekend (me, I’ve made the attempt to re-start choir singing and have a concert on Sunday).

    I have three of them, and even I couldn’t explain them to you. They act like weird little humans with giant principles that mustn’t be trampled by anyone, unless they’re being trampled by themselves for personal gain of some kind (and by ‘personal gain’ I mean protecting that one toy they haven’t touched for 6 months and have hid under the bed that another brother has just re-discovered and is politely asking if they can play with it).
    In other words, your guess is as good as mine!

  22. says

    Blast it. Had I know what I am going into, I probably would not start that book now. I am now curious about how it plays out, but I am not exactly in a state of mind ready for a depressing read.

  23. says

    That trilogy is damn hard.
    I actually liked how the author broke her characters.
    Not that I’m a malicious sadist, I liked how the events had a realistic effect on the characters.


    They act like weird little humans with giant principles that mustn’t be trampled by anyone, unless they’re being trampled by themselves for personal gain of some kind

    That, a lot.
    They insult, they bully, they push and kick and hit, but heavens beware they’re at the receiving end.
    Mr. says what they wanted from me was “permission” to be friends again. None of them was able to just apologise, so me throwing up my hands in resignation and just telling them “apologise and shake hands” was what they needed to save face.
    That even makes some weird male sense, I guess.

  24. rq says

    For me it was well worth the read, but I’m a fan of dystopia, if done well. This one was done well (not perfect, but well). Also what Giliell said about character growth and effects of events.

  25. jazzlet says

    Charly you don’t have to finish the book/trilogy and you certainly don’t have to do it now.

    We planted a walnut tree here, but we haven’t had any nuts from it yet. It has produced some, but last year all six (that we could see) were stolen by squirrels, and this year all fifteen were blown off in a storm before they were mature. Maybe next year.

  26. jazzlet says

    We have had a couple of storms big enough to be named pass through, Ali and Bronagh. On the walk we went on today there was a large branch ripped from a willow across the path in one place and a small oak tree in another as well as a lot of smaller bits of trees. The oak was clearly diseased, it had virtually no bark on it’s lower trunk, but even so trees and branches down this early is very unusual.

  27. rq says

    A tornado went through very close to where I grew up -- I had friends from there! And it’s pretty scary-looking right now. No fatalities reported so far, though.

  28. says

    We have a warning about high winds for today evening, I must go out and cover, weigh down or hide everything that might be blown away, and check the greenhouses.

  29. StevoR says

    Hayabusa-2 (“Peregrine Falcon-2) has successfully landed hopper “rovers” on Ryugu a Near Earth Asteroid :

    NB. Pics blurred becoz MINERVA’s* were spinning and moving.

    With the MASCOT** lander still to come :

    The sheer ingenuity of how they move this box around the asteroid (3 minute 20 second mark esp.) :

    Also, just in case folks haven’t already seen & don’t know:

    Ed Brayton of ‘Dispatches from the Culture Wars’ blog fame.

    * Typically unnecessarily convoluted acronym. (MIcro/Nano Experimental Robot Vehicle for Asteroid created by JAXA -- Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency & Grecian Goddess of wisdom / science.)

    ** See above & Mobile Asteroid Surface Scout. ‘Bçoz yeah, convoluted acronyms be necessary for reasons.

  30. voyager says

    Hi everyone. We left my mother-in-law in the capable hands of her nosy but helpful neighbour. We filled her fridge and freezer before leaving so she doesn’t need to worry about meals for a few weeks and we’ve arranged for help with cleaning. Honestly, she’s doing incredibly well. Better than most young people. I’m beginning to suspect she’s got superhuman blood or something. Anyway, it is ever so good to be home.

  31. rq says

    Even if she’s doing well, remind her to take it easy! Superhuman blood still needs time for recovery. ;) And hopefully the neighbour’s helpfulness will beat out their nosiness and not annoy your MiL into kicking her out before time.

  32. Nightjar says

    Hi everyone. I haven’t been feeling very social lately. I haven’t been feeling very productive either. Mostly I want to curl up in a ball and give up on everything. The hopelessness of stage 4 cancer is hard to fight. But if my mother is not curling up in a ball then I can’t do that either.

    Anyway, trying to find something to keep myself distracted I’ve started a photography project that I now realize will take me forever to finish. It’s fun, but I should have picked something easier. Basically the idea is to go through the alphabet again, but this time each letter will have to stand for a colour or shade and that colour or shade has to be prominent in the photo. I am currently tackling letter E and yesterday I thought I had it covered, but today I looked at the photo again and was unimpressed and decided I should do better. So, yeah, I’m not finishing this any time soon…

  33. jazzlet says

    Nightjar have whatever is most supportive, a hug, a friendly shoulder bump, a cup of hot chocolate, anything, you’re in a tough place so be kind to yourself.

  34. voyager says

    I’m sorry things are a bit rough right now. It’s difficult to watch the people we love struggle. This is an important time to take care of yourself though. I think the alphabet challenge is a great idea and who cares how long it takes. It gives you something else to focus on and it gets you out and about. I am excited to see it….I love your photos, but I can wait. If i lived closer i would brew you a tea and invite you over, but all I can offer now is an e-hug and long distance support.

  35. says

    Nightjar, I did not know your mother’s situation is as bad as that. You have my deepest sympathies. Please take care of yourself as well. Virtual hugs offered as required.

  36. jazzlet says

    Nightjar your project reminded me that there is a project I have been meaning to do. Our neighbour has an acer which hangs over our fence and conveniently hides our compost bins. It’s a glorious luminous red at the moment, and of course changes colour through the year, so I intend to take a photo a month to record the changes.

  37. Nightjar says

    Thank you all for your support. It helps, it really does.


    so I intend to take a photo a month to record the changes.

    That would be lovely, I would love to see that acer, any time of the year. I have often considered doing something similar but never got around to even pick a tree or a landscape.


    Yesterday night was different. The local amateur theatre group invited me again to do some photography related with their newest play, and this time I almost declined the invite because, well, I haven’t been feeling very social. But then I decided I should make an effort to go, and it was a good decision. This new play is brilliant and very dynamic, the whole action takes place outdoors, each scene in a different corner of the village, inviting the public to walk, rediscover these places and remember old traditions and the history of the village. The scenery is a treat for any photographer. I have many ideas and I can’t wait for their next rehearsal.

  38. says

    Big hugs
    I’m glad you had a good time last night and I’m looking forward to pictures. No pressure, eh?


    Wooo-hooo, almost autumn holidays. I don’t know how kids and teachers do it in countries where you have those incredibly long summer holidays and then almost none during the year.

  39. Nightjar says

    Thank you, Giliell.

    I am from a country with incredible long summer holidays, plus two weeks for Christmas/New Year and one week for Easter (if I remember correctly). Back when I was student there was also a week for Carnival, but for some incomprehensible reason that ended some years ago, during the financial crisis (seriously, don’t ask me why). I don’t know who decided this was a good system.

  40. says

    Ours started TODAY!!!!!
    Now, this means I may have time to catch my breath and prepare my lessons in advance, but also for some nice things.

  41. voyager says

    I’m glad you had a good evening out. I love the idea of multiple locations for different scenes. Audiences can be so much more receptive if you involve them in the play. In the play we’re doing on the weekend I start things off by winding through the audience sharing gossip. Having a photographer is important too. Nowadays you need to advertise on social media or no one comes! It also means a lot to the actors and crew to have good photos for themselves
    Enjoy your well-earned break. Canada has a long summer vacation too. In fact our kids have only been back to school for 3 weeks. There’s a long weekend this weekend for Thanksgiving and then no break until 2 weeks at Christmas.

  42. jazzlet says

    Giliell have a lovely break. The UK mostly does the long summer holiday thing despite the evidence that children go backwards in their learning with such a long break. There isn’t the uniformity there was when all schools, except public (private) schools, were under Local Authority control, but even so few of the Acadamies or Free Schools have adopted a different pattern.

    Nightjar that play sounds like it will be a lot of fun for everyone involved, as well as for the aubience.

    We had lovely weather today and took the dogs down to the Goyt River for a paddle. There is a ford that is still in use by the local farmer which is a particularly fine place to paddle and that is where we went. The trees aren’t as deep green as high summer, but aren’t quite turning either. We found a couple of blackthorns covered with sloes and picked enough for a bottle of gin’s worth of sloe gin. They are in the freezer softening up now, I’ve found it better to pick before the frosts and freeze the sloes myself, if I wait for the frosts there are rarely any sloes to be found.

  43. rq says

    We have 3 months of summer holidays (all of June, July and August), a week in October, a week in March and two weeks around christmas. Seems like a lot, compared to y’all…

  44. Ice Swimmer says

    Happy Autumn Break Giliell.

    I’m happy that you’ve had some good time, Nightjar.

    jazzlet @ 55

    Sloe gin is one of the traditions that’s quite unknown here. Home-made liqueurs are sometimes made, but as far as I understand, sloe isn’t very common in Finland.

    I was thinking today when I was at sauna, that I’ve lately spent more time at school than at home. I tend to do my homework and assignments at one of the Learning Centres of the University as I’ve found it easier to concentrate there than I would at home and there’s much more tabletop space for my computer, papers and books in the work spaces (basically small offices, with a door, desk and chairs that can be used by individual students or groups) of the Learning Centre than at home, as well as better external displays (multihead is great for many things) than I have. Also, it tends to be just as quiet as it is at home.

  45. says

    Ice Swimmer
    I did that same thing. Actually, for a few months I specifically drove 25 km there and 25 km back again because even the time spent commuting was more effective than working at home where I could easily distract myself.

    I did. I discovered some larvae feeding on my bushes.

  46. rq says

    Well, there’s a giant squirrel eating the walnuts in our backyard. Looks a lot like a large black dog, but I’m telling you, it’s a squirrel. (Got a good picture of the guilty face. Soon to be posted.)

  47. Nightjar says

    voyager @54,

    Audiences can be so much more receptive if you involve them in the play. In the play we’re doing on the weekend I start things off by winding through the audience sharing gossip.

    That sounds like a wonderful way to capture the audience’s attention from the beginning! I’ve noticed this group has a tendency to always come up with very interactive plays. The first one I helped them with they didn’t even use the stage, they arranged the chairs for the audience in a circle and everything took place inside or around that circle. That was a lot of fun too. They asked me to shoot not just at rehearsals but also during a show and that was a challenge. I had to move around the audience too, always keeping in mind in which direction the audience’s attention would turn to next, so I could be on the opposite side.


    jazzlet @55,

    We found a couple of blackthorns covered with sloes and picked enough for a bottle of gin’s worth of sloe gin.

    Ha! I don’t know why, but when I read the first part of that sentence and got to the word “sloes” my brain pictured sloe bugs. And then I read the rest of the sentence… Obviously I never tried sloe gin and I guess I never had to talk about the blackthorn fruit in English. But now that I know it sounds good. :)


    Ice Swimmer and Giliell,

    Interesting. I have always preferred to study/work at home when possible. One of the reasons is that I like to have music playing and headphones stop feeling comfortable after a few hours. The other is cats. I prefer to be where there are cats sleeping somewhere close to me.

  48. voyager says

    Opening night was a disaster. One of our new actors was stage struck and missed almost every cue. She’d done so well in rehearsals that none of us had a pickup prepared so there were these awkward pauses that just sucked the energy out of the room. Not exactly what you want at a comedy and it’s left me feeling drained. ‘Night all.

  49. rq says

    Oh no, voyager, that’s terrible!! Will she be able to get it together for the remaining performances? I hope you can all work things out and do better next time! *hugs*

  50. Ice Swimmer says

    Went to the countryside on Saturday. My last remaining grandparent, grandpa celebrated his 90th birthday. My aunts, uncle, their cousin and most of my mother’s side my cousins were there. It was nice and going there actually felt much better now than it did in similar parties when I was unemployed and not a student. Still, I was tired yesterday due to lack of sleep. Now, today I’ve had a proper night of sleep. Still, a bit behind in this blog, all the wonderful new things from you all folks including the art and photos of rq look like they deserve quite some attention.

  51. Ice Swimmer says

    Nightjar @ 61

    Music tends to distract me. However it distracts less than people talking, so my strategy in noisy computer class rooms and open plan offices is to have music in earphones to drown the noise, classical music in less noisy places and metal in more noisy places.

    In my opinion, open plan offices are one of the worst ideas for programmers and engineers and other people doing work that requires concentration, precision and is intellectually challenging. At least if there are people whose work required talking on the phone all the time nearby.

  52. says

    To me, open plan office is a downright daft idea. I would not be able to do any work in one of those.

    This week I had my boss visiting, and that means he was in the office with us. He was on the phone half of the time. Whenever that happened, I had to go outside the office and either do something else, or do nothing at all, but I simply cannot concentrate when someone is yammering constantly just a few meters from me.

    i also forbade my two colleagues in the office to use radio when I am present.

  53. voyager says

    Ice Swimmer,
    Glad to hear you’re feeling good about where you are. Student life is definitely tiring, but it’s so much better than feeling like you’ve failed at some part of life.

    As for open plan work spaces, they suck. One of the stranger disabilities that comes with my fibro is hyper-sensitive hearing and an inability to tune things out. I was working in an open plan office when I became sick and that was one of my early symptoms. I would go in early or stay late because I couldn’t work with the distractions.

  54. says

    I thought that this weekend I will have some spare time for the blog in the evenings.

    I was wrong. You would not believe how much time it takes to gather, cut, peel, slice and let dry just one basket of second rate apples. And it is one of those works that has to be done rightaway, because those are apples that would not last and get spoiled quickly. At this rate, I will be occupied for a few more evenings. But I will probably have enough dried apples to start to hate them in due course.

  55. Nightjar says

    voyager @62,

    *hugs* I hope you all can find a solution to make the next performances better.


    Ice Swimmer @64,

    Glad to hear you had a good time with your family. I know what you mean, I’ve had the “neither working nor studying” experience for a while and I know how uncomfortable it can be to answer the questions of relatives wanting to know what your current occupation is. It was even worse because for some reason during that period some of them also liked to ask when I was going to introduce “my boyfriend” to them, assuming way too much (I’m aromantic/asexual).


    I agree with everyone about open plan offices. Never worked in one, but I’m sure they suck.

  56. Ice Swimmer says

    voyager @ 62

    I also hope that your group can get past the bombing premiere and find ways to make things work. Comedy, as you implied, is a tough genre, so it doesn’t take much for things to go awry.

    Nightjar @ 69

    Finnish culture being the way it is, it wasn’t so much the actual difficult questions, but the thought of the questions being in people’s minds and my own shame was what bothered me, I think. I often pre-empted the questions on my employment status by saying I’m still unemployed, but trying to find some work. Direct questions about girlfriends have also been extremely rare if there are multiple relatives present.

  57. jazzlet says

    Anne the pillow fort is much appreciated, I’ve been curling up in it with a book, a new book even, I’ve been having a lot of trouble finishing new books, but this was short stories and I did manage to finish it.
    Dealing with Aged Parents is draining *spicy hot chocolate* for comfort and a bit of an energy boost.

    Voyager I hope the drama group has managed the second performance better, that poor woman must have been so upset :-(

    Ice Swimmer glad you had good time with family, I too have the difficulty of not being a student or in paid work, some of my family see that I do plenty of valuable work, others don’t know what to talk about in the absence of a job.

    I’ve worked in open plan offices and really didn’t like it, the smaller one was better, but even so it was hard to write when other staff were around, I used to do most of my writing after the other staff had gone home. I’d usually come in later to compensate and some how this was seen by many as morally deficient. yet when I did come in early the usual early ones would spend the first hour at work having coffee and discussing the previous night’s TV. I found that and the long social phone calls some of them had wrong, rather like stealing, we weren’t paid to chat about TV or talk to our friends. It’s not that I never did social chat, it’s just the amount some of the others did seemed to me to be taking the piss. We were working for the Local Authority with decent pay and good benefits paid for by our fellow citizens, so it was them we were stealing from. Sorry, bit of a rant!

  58. rq says

    I had to work in an open plan office for years, because all we had was a 5 by 5 (or so, I’m bad with estimations but it was small) room for 9 people. We’d calculated that we had less space each than we would be allotted in a cemetery. There were a lot of rules, most of which were worked out through mutual conflict and communication, with a strict moratorium on topics like politics.

  59. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    When I retired, I essentially had a private office. It was designed and used for many years a two-person office, but there was a fume hood just outside the door, so it was a bit noisy. I was used to the noise. The office was also on the second floor, and after the analytical staff move to a new building, there was now office space downstairs without fume hoods in use, so it was much quieter down there, and my last office mate moved downstairs.
    By then, I had a dotted organizational line to the quality assurance/regulatory affairs department, and was helping them with their backlog, on top of my normal work. The extra desk made it much easier to spread out documents.

  60. says

    I’m sorry to hear about the bad opening night. I hope the new member cam improve.

    Sorry for no Monday Mercurial.
    We went to a nice big Zoo and I brought back about 2000 pics, though I guess that 500 are “there was a bird of prey when I hit the button”

  61. rq says

    I am so sick of the phrase “family values”. I can’t wait for pre-elections to be over, and for the post-election political wrangling to begin. Oh, wait, no, I’m not excited about that, either. (Here’s a quick primer, if anyone’s interested… But generally speaking it’s the usual shitshow.)

  62. says

    I am so sick of the phrase “family values”

    You mean when lying, cheating conservatives assume that just because your family looks like what they think a family should look like you agree with their bigoted, small minded, homophobic, anti-choice stance?

  63. voyager says

    HI all,
    Our second and third performances were better. Not great, but better. Timing is really important in comedy and we seemed to always be a beat or so off. Oh, well. It’s all meant to be a bit of fun and we made it so.
    I had exactly the same experience in the office where I worked. I know people found me standoffish because I tried to keep my head down.

    None of that sounds like being retired.

    Harvest season is hard work.

    Snow!!!! Yikes.

    I’m having a lot of problems with my aged mum’s nursing home. Can I crawl into the pillow fort with you?

    I think all these “family values” types just value themselves. Everyone else can just fuck off.

  64. rq says

    Oh, that. And what voyager said.

    The most entertaining part of the pre-election so far has been when they built an escape room for eight of the most-likely-to-cross-the-5%-boundary parties, and I got to watch them struggle with elementary teamworking tasks. Illuminating! And also some of them should have not been let out…

    *hugs* Would you like some hot chocolate?

  65. says

    How does a mountain fuck? And does it not get put off of this activity when people walk it down? Or up? Or sideways? Or is this particular mountain into that kind of thing?

  66. rq says

    I think this particular mountain is into this kind of thing. But you can’t see it in the photos, just looks like an ordinary mountain. The unfucking kind.

  67. rq says

    Depends how I sign in, I have an author account (with picture) and on my phone the regular account (no picture).

  68. says

    Once on a campsite on the cliffs above the mighty Atlantic, we got woken up by the sound of sliding stones coming from the small footpath that led up there from the beach, a “wooomp” and loud cursing about “those fucking stones”. To this day, Mr is intrigued by the idea of copulating stones.
    We had a nice day at our friends’, with several walks, collecting material, crafting and eating.

  69. says

    Ooh, I’ve got a fucking anecdote too. Teenage us and a bunch of older brother’s friends got a pizza, and when one of them got his slice he exclaimed “I hate fucking mushrooms!”. He couldn’t work out why I cracked up with laughter.

  70. says

    voyager, of course! The pillow fort is transdimensional like the TARDIS. Just watch out for Hobbes, he’s fond of pounce-hugs.

    When mountains are fucking, do they give birth to little hills?

  71. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Voyager #80, I went back and read my post you commented on. You were right. It sounded like it what I was doing that after I was “retired”. Great eagle eye *rasies tankard of grog in salute*.
    I say was retired as my plan was to work another 8 months so that the Redhead would be on Medicare when I left. The company decided to buy me out, which included enough severance to cover the Redhead’s health insurance via COBRA until she was on Medicare. I jumped at the offer.

  72. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    It looks like weather roller coaster time here the upper Midwest. 10:00 pm local time, and the outside temperature is 81 F (27 C). My AC is running. I can see a front on Doppler radar headed my way, with a temperature drop of 25 F (14 C) expected overnight. The warming up again to almost today’s temps in a couple of days. Sigh.

  73. says

    When mountains are fucking, do they give birth to little hills?

    No, mice.
    There’s a saying in German: the mountain was in labour and it gave birth to a mouse.
    Meaning a lot of fuss with little result, especially in politics, when they talk and talk and talk about some great reforms and then change sime details around the edges.

  74. Nightjar says

    I’ve been away because work and because theater. The good news is that I got most of the photos I wanted during the rehearsals and now I just have to worry about taping one performance. Not that my tapes ever turn out great, but they just want it for their archives. First performance is tomorrow.


    Giliell, that saying exists in Portuguese too and is rather common. A montanha pariu um rato.

    (Yes, rato means mouse, not rat. A rat is a ratazana.)


    I’m now thinking of fucking weebles, and wondering if anyone will get the reference.

  75. Ice Swimmer says

    The sea is getting colder, now it’s under ten degrees Celsius. The sensation of cold water is more intense, now that the water is getting colder, than it was in spring with same temperatures. The sea level has been high lately (This means that entering water is easier in the place I go to, as you can just walk down the stairs and let the sea start carry you.) and Friday it was quite calm.

    Swimming and sauna are some of the things that keep me in the realm of sanity. This blog is another. The third is sleep, which I’ve been getting too little of.

    Good night!

  76. Ice Swimmer says

    The price of procrastination I did on Saturday was that I didn’t get to go to sauna on Sunday. However, as our local Moodle system replied:

    “Assignment was submitted 1 min 51 secs early”

    Doing it on Saturday would have been fun, but such is life. At least now I’ve started get to know how Simulink works.

  77. Ice Swimmer says

    jazzlet @ 98

    Thank you. I did. Next time, I’m going take the advantage of having slept well and actually do things.

  78. Nightjar says

    Ice Swimmer,

    There is that saying, don’t leave for tomorrow what you can do today. And then there is what my grandpa always said when he didn’t want to finish a task on a given day: “we never finish work, work will finish us”. Meaning that even if he finished that task that day, he would surely have more stuff to do the following day anyway, and the one after that and so on until death or incapacity. I’m sure that made a lot more sense back in his day, when there were no fixed deadlines but no hobbies were allowed either (“free” time was “subsistence farming” time). Even so, I admit to resorting to that phrase sometimes to justify a little procrastination. :D


    Yesterday were the last two performances of the theatre group (one in the evening and the other at night). I was able to do the final recordings and shootings and although I still have some post-processing to do, I am very happy with the end result. The director loved the photos from the rehearsals and told me exactly what she thought was missing, so yesterday I was after some very specific moments and images. More importantly, the feedback from the public was really nice this time, people laughed a lot and many cried at the end (of nostalgia… for older generations, this play was telling stories of their youth, often naming names and everything).

    Maybe I will share some photos of the scenery here eventually. I meant to ask the director last night if she would be okay with me using some photos for other purposes, but then we ended up talking about how much cancer sucks (her mother died of breast cancer a few years ago) and I forgot.

  79. jazzlet says

    Glad you managed to get what you and the director wanted and very glad that the later performances went well.

    I am waiting for the boiler service man to come -- any time between 1 and 5pm -- doing odd bits of tidying, but not anything I can’t interupt. I am also going slightly barmy as there seem to be a lot of delivery people as well as dustmen around which has been making Jake very barky. He has a bark that cuts right across my thoughts stopping them dead, right now he is settled, but I doubt the quiet will last. I have of course been using it as an opportunity for training, but it’s a balance, I do want him to bark if people are coming to us, but I don’t want him to bark if they aren’t and he has yet to learn that the pavement outside our front garden isn’t ours. And there he goes again …

  80. Ice Swimmer says

    Giliell @ 104

    I submitted this week’s assignments (granted, not for the same course, but others), due on Friday, today on Monday. All the deadlines here are hard deadlines and everything is submitted online.

    Nightjar @ 101

    That saying is familiar to me. Also, your grandpa’s saying sounds like a saying we have here that could be stated in English as “By doing work you can’t run out of work.”

    I’m happy that your photography project was a success.

  81. voyager says

    I’m glad your theater project turned out so well and I’d like to see some of your photos if possible.
    I feel for you with Jake. Jack has a shortish deep heavy bark which isn’t too hard to listen too, but my brother-in-law’s dog, who is the same size as Jack, has a higher piercing bark that feels like a saw blade to the brain and chest. He once barked for 3 hours straight while traveling in a car. Thankfully, I was traveling in a different car.
    Ice Swimmer,
    Submitting on-line sounds easy compared to the typewriter I wrestled with in college, but hard deadlines are scary. There’s no human factor to plead your circumstances to.

  82. says

    chigau and assorted Canadians
    Enjoy your long weekend

    Ice Swimmer
    We had that for the teacher training as well PLUS having to hand in physical copies, which meant that you could combine internet AND printer problems in one assignment.
    First of all, I am a person with permanent “I’m late, I’m in the wrong place, I’m in the right place at the wrong time” issues. I had literal nightmares in which I got locked up in a car park and couldn’t submit anything. I know many of my colleagues did the “upload 5 minutes before the deadline” thing but I wouldn’t have survived that.
    “Best” story that happened to me in that area was when I handed in my final thesis (probably comparable to a masters thesis, but a different system). Rules are that you have to hand in three physical copies and that of course your thesis has to be about the topic that you were given by your professor (usually in literature/cultural studies you can do pretty much whatever you want.)
    So I handed in my thesis, several months(!) before the due date (there’s no fixed due date for all final papers. You talk to your professor, collect their signatures that they are willing to read it, hand that in and then you get an official letter with the topic. Then you have 6 months) because I needed the grade early.
    I picked up my printed and bound copies, handed them in at the central exams office, rewarded myself with a coffee and a nougat muffin which I ate on the way to the car. When I arrived at the car I got a mail from the exams office addressed to my prof and sent in copy to me that I had handed in a thesis that did not match the topic.
    I was confused. I had to read 5 times to find the difference.
    A) I had written the titles of the books in italics, as it is conventional in literature.
    B) Somewhere along the way somebody had made a mistake and changed “Tamora Pierce” into “Tamara Pierce”, which nobody had noticed.
    Thankfully, my professor was in her office and replied within 5 minutes that
    A) Writing titles in italics is the correct way to do it.
    B) She was sorry for the typo in the name.
    I nearly died that day.
    When we next met she was like “what was that about?

  83. Ice Swimmer says

    Giliell @ 108

    I didn’t realize I touched a nerve that deep. I’m sorry.

    Having to submit ordinary assignments both online and as paper seems bureaucratic and wasteful.

  84. Nightjar says


    Somewhere along the way somebody had made a mistake and changed “Tamora Pierce” into “Tamara Pierce”, which nobody had noticed.

    Your story just reminded me of a typo I have in my masters thesis, although it is nowhere as panic-inducing as your story. Just WTF-inducing. I still don’t have an explanation for it. I spotted it as soon as I opened the printed copy, there it was, in the first page of the Introduction. I had an URL between parentheses that was supposed to end in “.html”, but instead it ended in “.htµ”. I copy/pasted the URL, and even if I didn’t, I wouldn’t have typed µ by accident. Now, sure, my masters was in biochem, the thesis is full of µl, µg, µM, µmoles and so on. But I don’t see how that explains the mysterious appearance of that character in the Introduction section, let alone it replacing “ml”. Of course no one noticed… until it was printed.

  85. says

    I proofread my thesis. Then a friend proofread it. Then when working in her corrections and suggestions, I found more. I guess there still are some…

    Tonight #1 went to a party hosted by the city for World Girls Day. Her first party all alone, meeting with friends. Until half past 8 when I picked her up. And I’m so going to get an earful from my mother in law about how I could let her go there aloneb because my father in law caught me seeing her off at the bus station and told me that he would never have dared…

  86. Nightjar says

    Hurricane Leslie is supposedly heading our way, we’re being told it will be the strongest storm to hit the Iberian Peninsula since 1842 and I am not even sure what to expect or how to prepare. I didn’t even know hurricanes were something we would have to worry about. I’ve been wandering aimlessly through the garden wondering which things I should try to protect and how, but I just have no idea. I predict I won’t be getting much sleep tonight.

  87. Ice Swimmer says

    Nightjar @114

    Stay safe! Falling trees would be the main hazard here and judging by the news, the same would hold true there.

  88. Nightjar says

    Hey, we’re all safe but without power since Saturday night. I’m writing from the lab and recharging my cell phone here since the city has power already. Our village is still waiting. It was scary. On Saturday evening the storm was predicted to make landfall in Lisbon, then we heard it had changed route and was moving north, then power went out and in the morning we found out through the radio that landfall was right here in our district. Thankfully we do not live near the coast where things were much worse. Some of our neighbours lost part of their roofs but thankfully our house is intact, the fruit trees are all standing and there were no damages that we couldn’t fix/replace/clean ourselves.

  89. voyager says

    I’m so glad that you’re well with only minor damage at home. It must have been an anxious night on Saturday, especially losing power so early. I hope they have your village up and running soon.

  90. Nightjar says

    Thanks. We have power again and the water is back too (it went out this morning for a few hours). I just finished cooking everything that thawed in the freezer, and it was quite a lot. I’m very tired and need a good night of sleep, hopefully life will be back to normal tomorrow. For me, because 60.000 homes are still without power. This country is so obviously not prepared for this kind of event, I don’t know how no one died especially considering there were people in campsites where the storm made landfall and they “flew” around together with their campers and got trapped inside. There are injuries but no deaths. How the fuck were those campsites NOT evacuated, I do not know.

    I guess we were lucky because at least here the storm was not very wet from the standpoint of water (as a certain Tiny Tyrant would put it). France is getting the worst of it now from what I heard.