TNET 28: I Hate Winter

Your mileage might vary. I hear there are people who like winter, for all the fun they cannot do at other time of the year – like skiing, skating etc. And the cold? Well you can just clothe appropriately, can’t you? No. When the temps fall bellow 10°C, my feelings can be summed up thus:

For me, the clothing is irrelevant to my experience even when putting aside the depression from lack of sunlight. When I clothe enough to not feel the cold, I feel very uncomfortable by how much the clothing restricts my movement and my field of vision. So I loathe having to dress in multiple layers of thick clothing to be able to go outside – only not to be able to do anything useful when I do so. Because even with thick gloves (which make any useful work impossible in themselves), when it is freezing my fingers go numb very quickly and upon return in warmth the Raynaud syndrome causes me intense pain.

Therefore I can forget skiing or any such shit, the hypothetical fun is not worth the torture I would have to endure each time I come back home, nevermind that sports are to me boring as shit in every conceivable form. The Raynaud syndrome can be triggered by temperatures below approx 10°C (I have not performed study to find the exact value) at any time of the year, it is not relative – I have got it when picking berries in the garden on a very cold summer day too. So about the only thing I could conceivably do in winter when going outside is a walk with my hands safely in my pockets and huddled up so I barely see anything. Not very entertaining, if you ask me, unless there is someone to talk to.

Am I grumpy enough yet?

Open thread, talk whatever you want, just do not be too sphincter about it.

– previous thread –


  1. Some Old Programmer says

    Charly, I understand how bulky clothing is an annoyance. Have you tried a very light underlayer, such as Thermasilk or the like? It can keep you very warm (so much so that I can’t wear it unless it’s at least below freezing, or colder if I have to be more physically active). Also, silk glove liners really help my perpetually cold hands (indoors as well as out). I hope this might be helpful …

  2. Nightjar says

    I like winter. But my winter is not your winter and is very different in terms of temperatures, sunlight and colour (winter wildflowers are lovely!), so it’s not really comparable. I suspect I would be a very grumpy person too if I lived closer to the poles (or maybe the snow would cheer me up until I adapted, I don’t know).

  3. says

    I Hate Summer, and most of it is still to come.

    A town about 300km north of here hit 47.7°C today. Fortunately our place only hit 33°C before the cool change rolled in off the south coast. Air conditioning is a survival must for me. Winter here is usually mild enough for daily outdoor activity so that’s when the hard outdoor work tends to get done. 10°C would be heaven for me.

  4. Ice Swimmer says

    Thank you, Charly, for providing a better understanding on the condition of fellow humans. It’s even more complicated than I thought and it’s true that some winter clothes can be quite bulky. Also, for physical activity there’s the conundrum that one needs to start a bit cold, because if the clothes are warm enough to keep you warm while you are still, you’ll be sweaty and thus wet during the activity and that will make you cold and miserable.

  5. Raucous Indignation says

    I received a letter from Germany yesterday. It contained a beautiful note and a pendant. To whom do I owe my thanks and gratitude!?

  6. voyager says

    Charly, I understand. At least twice day our routine is…
    Go pee. Then, put on the base layer of an incontinent pad (stupid, twitchy bladder hates the cold) long john’s, a long sleeved undershirt and one pair of cotton socks under one pair of wool socks.
    The next layer is a plush fleece hoodie and thick fleece pants.
    Then, the fun really starts. It’s time to grease up my little pig with paw protect (they use a lot of salt around here) and harness him up. Jack starts to get impatient now, but there’s still the outerwear to don.
    A lightweight down puffy coat that falls past my knees, a wool scarf, double layer wool tuque, lightweight gloves, then long boots zipped up over tucked in pants. Sometime in there take a moment to reassure Jack that we really are going out. Next, corral the Jack Pack (bags, treats, etc.), the camera, my keys and a second, heavier pair of gloves. Lastly, remove my glasses because they fog and freeze my cheeks and I’m finally ready to waddle out the door, half-blind, stiff as steel and looking like the mini-me version of The Michelin Man.

  7. says

    Raucous Indignation
    That would be me.
    Did I forget to sign it? That at least sounds very much like me.

    I’m OK with winter. I’m OK with weather in general. I know, complaining about the weather is a time honoured tradition and a victimless crime, but sometimes it annoys me because people seem to expect the weather to be perfect to their own personal liking.

  8. rq says

    I would be okay with winter if it settled on being either a plus or a minus winter. This waffling back-and-forth is most annoying, because it keeps me from appropriately planning winter wear (both for myself and for my children) and planning winter activities (we were this close to having an awesome, functioning skating rink in the backyard…).

  9. says

    They make these undersweaters for snowmobilers that have a battery pack in the pocket and little tubes of stuff that get warm. Basically a wearable electric blanket. They’re about $100 on ebay, search for “thermoelectric”.

    I know a person who knits like a goddess and I keep telling her she’d make a huge splash if she made thermoelectric scandinavian sweaters -- just knit the stuff right in…

    Snowmobile suits are the bomb. My first car had a totally nonfunctional heating system so I wore a snowsuit when I had to go out. I also hate being cold but I see it as a solvable problem. A snowsuit with a hot water bottle is fantastic.

    And while I am on the topic: a hot water bottle can be placed in your bed 1hr before you get in. Or if you are impatient just warm your bed with an electric hair dryer for 1 minute and hop right in. It’s orgasmic.

  10. says

    Addendum: they also make re-triggerable acetate heat packs -- you “reload” them by boiling them for an hour. They release a lot of heat. If you get 7 (one for each day of the week) you can pop one of those and put it in your bed an hour before bedtime.

  11. StevoR says

    Ed Brayton is in trouble. Please help :

    The Israeli government doesn’t want the world to pay attention to this news -- hence the timing :

    Defense Ministry panel holds 2-day session to approve West Bank homes while many Western governments that typically condemn such construction are on Christmas holiday.

    Oh and, this true story :

    Dammnit something in my eyes now..

    (& apologies if someone has beaten me to it with that or, well any of these.)

  12. StevoR says

    Oh and also :

    John Pilger’s The Coming War on China was broadcast on Aussie TV recently. What can I say? Except. Fuck Watch it. People should know.

    Also know about this :

    Now Walgett is well upstream in the Murray-Darling basin. The Barwon becomes the Darling river. And if it is this bad upstream, think about how bad it is further down. Now okay the Murray has other southern tributaries -- in drought too I think. Over here now in South Oz past the Coorong and Murray mouth in the Adelaide hills it is 26 degrees -- Celsius ( 78 F) at after 3 am local time. (Yup. Insomniac here. Can’t sleep.)

    If this is too grim well, see and hear this :

    One of my fave youtube clips of what humans could do when we co-operate, work together and be our best for saving each other and for (& through) science. I love this clip. Exemplifies our species best. Potential.

  13. kestrel says

    Great big teary hugs to Giliell.

    The hard thing about winter for me is all the extra work that’s entailed. First, yeah, all those clothes and boots and so on. But then it’s shoveling out gates, shoveling pathways, breaking ice on troughs, thawing all the frozen gate latches, hauling hay (in my little red sled) and slogging through the snow. We have about 18″ (45.75 cm) this morning and it’s still coming down… I’ll have to go out and do all that digging and shoveling again tonight, and again tomorrow morning. I guess it keeps me fit? I sure don’t worry about going to a gym and working out, so I’m saving myself that anyway.

    @SteveoR: that last link is a beautiful story. Thanks for that!

  14. springa73 says

    I’m not a big fan of either really cold or really hot weather, I’m more of a spring and fall kind of person. Unfortunately, where I live the really cold and really hot is more common than the mild, in between temperatures!

  15. Jazzlet says

    We mostly get miserable grey cold rain, so not even the beauty of snow or hard frost to compensate for the cold,and I do find it depressing. Snow is rarely deep enough to be a problem here so it cheers me up.

    We had to take Thorn to the vet today, she’s been losing the under fur from her face in patches, the vet isn’t entirely sure what is wrong, no obvious parasites, but rather a lot of yeast and bacteria. She gave us antibioitics and hibiscrub (an animal antiseptic) so we’ll try those and see how she responds. It will be interesting, Thorn is highly skilled at removing whatever goody you hide a pill in, so we may end up (as we have in the past) having to shove the antibiotic pills as far down her throat as we can get them, then hold her mouth shut until we’re sure she has swalloed the pill, twice a day :-( I hope not, but past experience isn’t promising. Washing her face with hibiscrub will be no problem, she won’t like it, but she’ll tolerate it, just make us feel thoroughly mean. As usual the vet bill made me extremely grateful for the NHS, it’s not that we can’t afford it, but it does give a little glimpse of the kind of health costs we could be paying.

  16. says

    Shoutout to the people who thought that bringing their unresolved family conflicts to the shops today was a good idea.
    Special greetings to the three who yelled at each other about who’s to pay for the fireworks.
    Honourable mentions to all the young families who thought that mummy, daddy, baby were a good combination for such a trip. I am sure your baby enjoyed being finally yelled at you because they were overwhelmed and you were, too.

  17. loplpo says

    Yeah, the winter clothing is uncomfortable. Also, the snow is practically non-existent (unless you live in the mountains and even there isn’t much of it) and when it falls, it quickly goes away in a matter of few days, so there’s really not much to do outdoors. The winters are getting warmer (I guess unfortunately not warm enough for you, Charly), more muddy and since I’m not little ignorant child anymore, all the things I enjoyed about winter (playing outside, Christmas, school holidays) can’t bring me joy no longer. But no matter how much I dislike winter, I still hate spring the most.

  18. Onamission5 says


    If you have a compound pharmacy nearby, they might (might) be able to turn your dog’s antibiotics into a liquid suspension that you could then give her with a syringe. Our Mollie is an old pro at eating around her medication as well, and it’s such a pain!

    Good luck.

  19. voyager says

    Poor Thorn. I hope the vet can figure it out soon.
    One of our local human drugstores makes veterinary compounds that taste like liver or beef. We’ve never needed to bother because our dogs will swallow anything that’s in their food bowl. Just toss the pill in with kibble and down it goes. You don’t even need to hide it. Labs love to eat.

  20. Jazzlet says

    Thank you all for those ideas. Mr Jazz made a grated cheese and partially crushed antibiotic ball that all went down easily, so we’ll do that for now. Though that trick may not last, she has been known to decide that a previously acceptable form of concealment, like covering a pill in liver pate, is now deeply suspicious, and she then licks all the concealer off the pill which she regards with the utmost disgust. *rolleyes*

    I do layers for winter, lots of thin layers with a final thicker layer, and some of the layers will be sleeveless so my arm movement isn’t too constricted. Sleeveless probably wouldn’t be good for you Charly as I imagine keeping your arms warm is important for keeping your hands warm. I remember learning in physiology that we can have a 15 degree C difference between our core temperature and our expremities without feeling discomfort, possible because of the efficient heat exchange between the arteries and veins in the limbs.

  21. kestrel says

    @Jazzlet, your stories of trying to get a dog to swallow a pill remind me of my mother, having to get my little brother to swallow a pill. He was just a toddler at the time and disliked pills. What she did was just throw the pill on the ground, as if it were accidental, and he would hurriedly grab and swallow it, apparently believing it to be candy.

    We once had a horse that was really intelligent about medicine in the food and would refuse to eat even the best treat ever, if it were at all hiding medication. Somehow he would “tell” the other horses, and they too would refuse to eat it. We had to tie that first horse up elsewhere, doctor the rest of the herd, and then begin the process of attempting to treat that first horse. However being intelligent he soon noticed this trend and began to get incredibly difficult to catch on doctoring days. This same horse hated the vet so much, the vet actually took to coming to our place in a different vehicle, wearing a disguise etc. Treatments back then were pretty invasive for horses so I can’t really blame him.

  22. Ice Swimmer says

    chigau @ 25

    Cold wind on bare, wet skin and wet socks or gloves are the most miserable kinds of low temperature things. The former is especially nasty if you come from room temperature.

  23. says

    Hah, I’m so smart, I can outwit myself!
    Each year we celebrate New Years Eve with our friends and as we all grew older, the focus shifted from drinks to food, so we always have elaborate dinners (one year I made a sci fi buffet, complete with pangalactic gargleblasters).
    This year, we’re going to travel the world. 5 continents in 5 courses, and to make things even more fun, none of us knows what the others are cooking.
    I got 1 starter and 1 main course (we’re only 4 families. 1 family hosts us all, 1 has to work and the other one is a one person family and that person is a terrible cook) and I got Europe and the Americas. My first idea was tamales, but I couldn’t get banana leaves, so I went for gumbo. For Europe it’s going to be Spanish croquetas. I already tried out the recipes and smartly decided to prepare many things already. the gumbo is all finished except for the prawns. I wisely decided that leaving prawns for two days is not a good idea. And I made the mass for the spinach croquetas and for the cheese and ham croquetas. Those are bechamel based. Then I cooked the rice for the paella croquetas, seasoned it well, added the peas and then I added the raw egg. Then I added a second egg, poured it into a baking pan and made rice cake…

  24. lumipuna says

    Here’s my annual circle of weather complaint:

    January-February: I wish it were spring already.
    March-April: I wish it were proper spring already.
    May: I wish it were summer already.
    June: I wish it were proper summer already.
    July: Hey, it’s full summer!
    August: Well, at least it’s not quite fall yet.
    September: At least it’s not proper fall yet
    October: At least it’s not winter yet
    November-December: I wish it were proper winter already.

  25. StevoR says

    Our daytime star is below the local horizon now; here in my specific timezone & sliver of our shared Pale Blue Dot.

    2018 daylight ends. For & at this particular point of spacetime & life.

    When it rises, it will be a new start. A new year. Because this point in our planet’s orbit. This day, this sunset & tomorrow’s sunrise are semi-arbitrarily chosen. To be calenderically significant.

    Years are what we make of them.

    Days are what we make of them.

    So what do we choose to make of them?

    Choose wisely.

    Make them better.
    Make that so.
    Why wouldn’t we?

    I look around at how things are in the world of this sunset of 2018. The world generally is so messed up & wrong. Bullies are winning. Douchebags are winning. Good people are suffering, tormented & in misery needlessly.

    Let’s remedy that.

    If 2018 has been a metaphorical global or personal nadir. (Lowest point.)

    Well, let’s make the new year change & be a rise towards a metaphorical shared zenith (Highest point.)

    Things always change.

    Lets hope & work to make them change for better, for fairer, for kinder, for more informed & more wonderful.

    One thing about sunsets is that they are indistinguishable from sunrises in reverse.

    Farewell 2018 & good riddance.

    Welcome 2019 & its potential to be a great year.

    We need to make it so.

    Let’s do it.


    Thankyou to all and wishing everyone here a better, happier, more marvellous 2019.

    Happy New Year!

    From across the world’s largest ocean and many time-zones away.

  26. springa73 says

    StevoR @ 30

    Well said! I hope we can all make it a better 2019, in our own lives and in the world in general.

  27. Ice Swimmer says

    Happy New Year!

    I’m on my way to the city, my friend and me are going to see a band. The gig is indoors, which given the weather forecast is a good thing as it’s quite windy and wet snow is falling.

  28. Jazzlet says

    I’m combining making some stollen with playing Jethro Tull loudly to drown out any bangs from fireworks. I’m waiting for the stollen dough to double in size before I shape it round the marzipan.

    I hope those of you celebrating have a lovely night!

  29. chigau (違う) says

    springa73 #32

    I hate wind in winter, but welcome a cool breeze in summer.

    I spent some time a few months ago in 30+°C with 30+kph winds.
    Damn near killed me.
    Now it’s -15°C with ~15kph winds.
    I am indoors.
    With rum.

  30. Nightjar says

    Happy New Year.

    Dinner was nice, midnight was spent at home trying to assure the cats the world wasn’t ending, just the year, and humans are weird like that. Today I went for a morning walk on my own, it was a very peaceful morning with almost everyone still asleep. There was dew and some frost, a warm sun beginning to melt it all away, and lots of birds that knew exactly what lenses I had with me (as usual).

    Best wishes for Thorn.

    Looking forward to the more detailed account of Giliell’s dinner, which sounds like it was awesome.

  31. says

    Happy New Year everyone. I just returned from my trip. As expected, the wi-fi at the hotel (more of a mountain cabin) was crap, so I could not even read reliably, so I have some catching up to do.

  32. voyager says

    That’s a beautiful sentiment and well said. Indeed, let’s do it.

    I’m looking forward to the rest of the story. Do you draw lots out of a hat or do you get to choose your continent? Also, I want to know what the person who can’t cook brought.

    I hope Thorn is still taking his medicine.

  33. Jazzlet says

    Thorn is being very good about taking her medicine and letting us wash her face. I’m not sure that either are making her better, but there are no new bald patches. As it is not getting worse we’ll see how she is at the end of the course of antibiotics.

    I’m fairly pleased with the ‘stollen’ I made, it’s tasty, not too sweet, a very good thing to have around to snack on.

  34. says

    Yay for Thorn being a good girl and taking her medicine. And Stollen is delicious.

    As you were all keen to know, the dinner was a great success and we decided to do the same thing again next year. The countries that were used this year are off the list (with the exception of New Zealand, because although Oceania has lots to offer, many recipes require special ingredients or fish and one person doesn’t like fish).
    We had drawn both, the courses and the continents out of the hat, with the exception of the friend who travels by train and before the actual meal nobody knew what the others would serve.
    First course was by my friend who cannot cook well. She chose a Thai noodle salad and you cannot do much wrong with a lot of fish sauce, soy sauce and roasted sesame oil. Asia ftw.
    Second were my croquetas and I’m glad I didn’t go for “we have 5 courses, I don’t need that many”, because they were gone quickly, including the leftovers. Europe’s sunny side.
    First main course was New Zealand lamb with a mustard crust (and beef for those who don’t like lamb) and root vegetables. The mustard wasn’t too overwhelming so it was delicious and exactly pink. Thankfully not “well done”, Oceania.
    Second main course was my gumbo, which will get a Tummy Thursday. Thankfully I still have some in the freezer. America the tastyful.
    Dessert was macadamia mouse, thin orange pie with creamed goat cheese and caramelised pistachios Ethiopian style. Nomnomnom, Africa.

  35. kestrel says

    Oh my…. I am drooling on my keyboard thinking about all that wonderful food…

    We got a big snowstorm and I spent yesterday shoveling. And then shoveling some more. We already had about 18″ ((45.72 cm) and then overnight about 2′ (.609 m) fell. Lucky thing I have snowshoes. As a farmer, I am thrilled with snow because it means water and that means things will grow in the spring. On the other hand it is not very convenient to have that much snow on the driveway, in front of gates, or in the places I need to walk every single day to do the chores. It makes you glad for the simple things, though. Like aspirin, for example.

  36. Jazzlet says

    That sounds like a fun and tasty feast with no one having to put too much effort into it, a great idea.

    I hope you don’t have any more snow at least until you have recovered from clearing the last two lots.

    It’s turned cold here, with the forecasters predicting it to get colder. We are going on holiday on Monday to Northumberland, snow when we are there would be lovely, but I do want to be able to get there. The cottage isn’t that isolated, so I think we’ll be alright.

  37. Onamission5 says

    Hey all,
    I’ve been pretty well absent from Affinity lately, and wasn’t exactly a reliable commenter before, but as part of my resolution to be more sociable in an effort to rebuild that which I’ve let atrophy due to anxiety (that is, social skills and friendships) am going to try to do better. Unfortunately, I do not return bearing good news.

    We had to let our sweet Pyrenees go on Dec. 30. Miss Mollie Rose was nearly 12 and we were so hoping she’d make it to her birthday month, but her body decided against all of us. A 1AM rush to the dog ER in which Spouse and I had to carry her bodily across our yard because she couldn’t stand or walk ended in us returning with only her collar and our memories. It was so hard. Not a week and a half ago she was “wrastling” with me on the floor as I tried to do yoga, in the way she did, trying to climb into my lap and bonking me playfully with her head, but now she’s gone. I sat on the floor with her, held her head; Spouse crouched and petted her, both of us telling her she was such a good girl, the best girl, snot on my sleeve as she sank into my hands.

    The house is too quiet now. I woke up the morning after and cried because I didn’t have to bang on the window or call at her to shaddup already, people are sleeping, it’s just a leaf, OMG. She barked so much it drove us nuts but these past couple days I miss her voice and her presence terribly. It’s been a long time since the kids or she were young enough that they would build pillow forts for her to come barreling into full bore, them laughing and squealing as their dog rolled around with her favorite people destroying their handiwork, but that still all seems like it was just a minute ago.

    Newman was distressed when we came back without her, went looking for but couldn’t find Mollie, smelled me up and down, traced all the routes in the yard which had her scent, and spent the following day avoiding his people, aloof. I’d try to pet him, he’d stiffen, give me a fuck off look. Or maybe I imagined it. He did come looking for attention on NYE, let me give tummy scritches. He still occasionally goes to the last spot where Mollie lay and smells it but seems to have accepted that she’s not here any more.

    This grief isn’t intense. It’s the kind that lingers in the background but has its moments, like running Mollie’s food bowl through the dishwasher or realizing there’s two dog beds on the porch, not one, and not knowing what or when or if to do anything about that. It’s sweeping up dog hair snowdrifts and knowing it’s mostly from Mollie. It’s making breakfast or dinner, reaching for the thyroid meds, and stopping myself. Newman doesn’t have thyroid issues. We don’t need these any more. Put them back on the window sill for safe keeping. Too soon.


    Kids back in school tomorrow, I’m not back to work for another 2 weeks. Could use the break but it’s gonna be a tight month. Good thing Spouse is picking up some winter house sitting gigs from his regular landscaping clients. Yikes.

  38. kestrel says

    @Onamission5: appreciate the resolution of trying to keep friendships alive -- a very good resolution, and I’m so glad to see you here! I have a hard time logging on sometimes because I live way out in the sticks and sometimes my internet is not so good.

    So sorry to hear about your dog but I applaud you on not being selfish and making a decision in her best interest, not yours. I hope that in times to come, you’ll remember that she was a great dog and that your family gave her a fantastic life. I’m so sorry you lost her, but also very glad you had her in your life.

  39. Ice Swimmer says

    Onamission5 @ 45

    Welcome back!

    My condolences. You gave her a good life and gave her peace when it couldn’t be good anymore.

  40. says

    Big hugs. One of our bunnies died this year and it nearly broke my heart when his surviving partner went looking for him and kept hopping to the place where we had buried him.

  41. Nightjar says


    I’m so sorry to hear about Mollie. It sounds like she felt loved and cared for until her very last moment, and that’s all we can do for them.
    Hugs. And scritches for Newman.

  42. Onamission5 says

    Oof, Giliell, that’s so rough.

    Thanks for the hugs, Jazzlet, chigau, Ice swimmer, Giliell, kestrel. Mollie was a very good dog. We probably waited too long; arthritis had been slowly taking away her enjoyable activities for a while, but her playful, loving, protective spirit remained steady to the end even if her body didn’t always cooperate.

    Kestrel, thank you! I’m not usually much for resolutions but operation GOTFOOTH 3.0 (aka: get onamission the fuck out of the house, version three) absolutely needs to happen. The younger kids are all in high school, they and Spouse cannot be my primary outlet forever. It’s so scary! Making friends is hard! What if I don’t have anything to give and end up disappointing perfectly nice people! What if I’m too boring, or needy, or self absorbed? Aaaaaaa! <— midlife crisis of the anxious hermit, I'm sure everyone has an idea how that brain weasel goes.

  43. kestrel says

    @Onamission5: LOL, GOTFOOTH 3.0, I love it! Despite the brain weasel you will be fine. :-) I have faith! ;-)

    I just put together a case of my new line of jewelry, as I hope to show it to the gallery owner today. So far people have had a good reaction to it but also so far, no one has voted with their dollars, and that’s kinda what I need to see happen at some point. Well my hope is, that if I get to see the gallery owner today, that I’ll get some input on the pricing structure I’ve put together as well as the pieces themselves. And hopefully, whatever pricing structure I eventually arrive at, it will be sufficient that I won’t be slowly going broke producing the jewelry.

    In the snow news, the tractor got stuck in the snow (briefly) and the Partner decided maybe we should get chains for it. Do you know how much a set of chains for a tractor cost? Neither did I. Six. Hundred. Dollars. OK, we need to be very careful not to get the tractor stuck in the future, because we’re sure not going to be buying tractor chains right now. I would need to sell a ton of jewelry to pay for that!

  44. Onamission5 says

    Six hundred dollars? Mind, the last time I bought chains was like 20 years ago and they were for a hatchback, but those maybe cost thirty bucks. That’s a mind boggling amount of money for something that only needs light to moderate seasonal use. Yikes!

  45. Jazzlet says

    It is horrid having to decide when, there is no perfectly right time, but if her spirit was still playful, loving and protective you did not wait too long. Have more *hugs*.
    Making friends is hard, I have none locally except my SiL. The one I did make locally moved to Denmark! And yes I know just how that brain weasel goes :-(

    Fingers crossed for jewellery sales at a good price.
    I did know tractor could get stuck, I didn’t know you could get chains for tractor tyres, but it doesn’t surprise me they cost that much.


    Would any of you like a large (in German Shepherd terms) black boy who will. not. stop. barking today for no obvious reason? Good ratter. Which actually may be the problem, I think we have rats in the walls again. We have cavity walls, and our first autumn/winter here we had rats in the cavity wall behind the radiator in the dining room, no doubt a very cosy place for them, and I wouldn’t have minded, but I could hear them scrabbling, so could the dogs and it drove them nuts. We put bait down (sorry Caine) in the little half height cellar where most of the holes to the cavity seemed to be until it was no longer taken, then blocked every access we could find and the problem didn’t reoccur, until now some seven years later when their descendants are back. There are plenty of good nesting places in the garden and we don’t mind them there, but do mind them in the walls of the house.

    Thorn is giving me The Eye, she is not pleased that I have put the hibiscrub on and am leaving it for a couple of minutes. She is even less pleased that I have taken a photograph of her in that state.

  46. says

    Any concrete plans yet? And I’m pretty sure you have a lot to give, but remember, it’s also OK to take.

    Good luck with the jewellery. Any chances that we’ll see pics?

  47. says

    @Onamission5 I know how you feel and you have my sympathies. Our doggie passed away three years ago and we still miss him. I also know how the brain weasel goes, oh yes.

    @kestrel, fingers crossed for your jewelry, lets hope it sells well. Also I would too like to see pics, if you do not mind.

  48. voyager says

    I’m so sorry you have lost your beloved Molllie. I know how deep that sadness is. We lost our fierce girl Lucy under almost identical circumstances last year. You have my deepest sympathy.

  49. Ice Swimmer says

    kestrel @ 54

    I’m wishing you the best with the new line of jewelry.

    I remember that Grandpa had snow chains for his old Massey-Ferguson and he used them for winter tasks such as snow plowing, skidding logs to the roadside when logging (thinning the forest to get better yield of high-grade timber, winter is the prime time for logging here, snow protects the ground and roots, also farmers have more time for this kind of work and some places are only accessible by vehicle only when the ground is frozen) and hauling hay and AIV silage to the barn.

  50. voyager says

    Good Luck with the new line. The work you’ve shared with us is gorgeous so I’m confident your new jewelery will be appealing.
    Also, $600 for tractor chains took my breath away for a second.

  51. rq says

    I can’t figure out of GOTFOOTH 3.0 should be read as “GO FORTH” or “GOT FOOT!”, either of which would work in a variety of metaphorical readings.
    Anyway Onamission5, good luck with your project with yourself, and feel free to express yourself around here (for starters), and take it from there -- taking things out of the comfort zone can be challenging, as is making new friends, but take it small steps at a time, resist the lizard brain, and remember you have an online support network!
    I’m very sorry to hear about Mollie. I’m glad she had good times before she went and I’m glad you and Spouse could give her the love and proper care she deserved -- scritches to poor Newman, I hope he realizes this isn’t your fault and forgives you eventually. *higs* and *hugs* as required

    I can only be an echo and say “pictures?” Of course, if this is something proprietary etc. then feel free to ignore, but I love the things you make, and it would be lovely to catch a glimpse into this new project.

    Good luck with the rats, if that’s what it is. I have bad memories of a rat infestation when I was a child, the memory of which is much amplified by the lens of childhood emotion, but I know it definitely was not pleasant (then again, for us it wasn’t just in the walls, it was in the house -- the dog we had then was no ratter, but the cat certainly was, even though these rats were… quite giant, according to my mum -- the cat was a big tom, but the rats were close to half his size and vicious as all hell, so it wasn’t a very fair fight (for the poor cat)). *shudder* Anyway, good luck.


    In other news, we got winter back -- who knows for how long, but after weeping bitter tears over the skating rink last week, Husband has now announced that we will have skateable ice this weekend! So we better make the best of it. I’m not sure if that was a veiled threat or what, but I plan on taking him up on that.
    In other, other news, as of Monday, school winter break is over! I’m not sure if this is good (I mean c’mon kids get to be at school all day!!!) or bad (the emotional roller coaster of waking them up, homework, activities, feeding them, etc. has smoothed out somewhat, but it’s never as hitch-free as I would like…).
    And please read this sentence as the stand-in for a longish angry rant I would like to write about certain things relating to professionalism in management figures, representation of ones place of employment in foreign countries, and the foisting of organizational responsibilities onto those not actually responsible for it.

  52. says


    In other, other news, as of Monday, school winter break is over!

    Yep, it is (here, too, and it was the longest ones we’ve had in ages).

    I’m not sure if this is good (I mean c’mon kids get to be at school all day!!!) or bad (the emotional roller coaster of waking them up, homework, activities, feeding them, etc. has smoothed out somewhat, but it’s never as hitch-free as I would like…).

    Well, the kids will be back in school, but so will I! There’s going to be a great big bunch of conferences and difficult parent teacher talks coming up in January.
    I wanted to do so much during this break and got so little done…

  53. kestrel says

    Hi everyone! I could not log on yesterday, just way too much going on. I have not yet shot photos of the new work but when I finally do I will try and share them.

    Now it’s gotten (relatively) warm again, and a huge ice dam just fell from the roof of the barn straight in front of my stall doors on one side of the barn. I did manage to pry one open this morning with a crowbar and lots of swearing, but the other two will have to be dug out or chipped out by hand. I’m still waiting for a huge ice dam to fall off the roof of the house; I am worried it will knock me in the head if I’m not careful. Some day there will be gutters up there… and perhaps a structure to break up the fall of the ice, so it does not kill me while I’m putting wood for the stove into the wood box.

    Sending best wishes to everyone for a better new year, and I hope it’s going OK so far. Also here are cookies! I’ve got lots and lots of butter cookies to share!

  54. Nightjar says

    I’m collecting cold viruses. Or something. I have been feeling miserable since Thursday night and my weekend is therefore ruined. Oh well.

    Best of luck, kestrel! I’d love to see photos too. And I’m totally accepting a cookie. ;)

  55. Jazzlet says

    I hope you don’t get hit on the head by an ice dam breaking or anything else come to that, and thanks for the cookies.

    I hope the cold viruses vamoose pretty damn quickly.

    The anti-biotics and hibiscrub have not stopped the spread of bald patches on Thorn’s muzzle, so now we’ve tried a Bravecto pill (which she ate happily!!) to kill dermodex ticks. It could be scabies, but it really doesn’t look like that. And I am suddenly feeling very itchy.

  56. says

    Get well soon, Nightjar
    I reached the point of antibiotics last week and they seem to work.

    Ouch. Here it is usual to have a grill on the roof if ice dams could fall on people.
    Yay for Thorn. Some words will do that. mention “lice” and I’m scratching my head for the next hour.

  57. kestrel says

    @Jazzlet, really sorry to hear the treatment has not worked… my mother had a cat that kept getting bare patches on her face around her muzzle and they finally decided she must be allergic to the plastic of the feed dishes! It was glass or steel feed/water bowls for the rest of her life. I know that itchy feeling well, one comfort: even if it is some sort of insect parasite, they are nearly always species specific and would not be the slightest bit interested in snacking on you. Probably not all that comforting…

    @Giliell: the original adobe farmhouse was built in the middle 1800’s by super poor farmers… they used dirt for insulation. Now that we’re restoring the house, though, yes -- we need to address that issue and that is a very good solution.

    @Nightjar: sorry about the viruses… it seems to be an issue this year for many people. Hope all the viruses are defeated and banished soon.

  58. Jazzlet says

    The vet did ask if Thorn’s bare areas had been red or at all raised, and I was able to say with confidence “I am sure it isn’t ringworm, I’d recognise that!”. When I was very much younger I was chucked out of the place I’d been renting, I ended up sharing a very large front room with my BFF who’d been made homeless at the same time, the couple who actually rented the flat, their daughter and their dog. Three of the adults, the baby and the dog got ringworm, I did get it, but just a small patch on my arm, the poor baby was covered in it, as was her father, her mother didn’t get it at all. The itching thing is very powerful, when I did a parasitology course the weeks that the lecturer covered human parasites of the skin had a lecture hall of a hundred or so students all wriggling and scratching themselves though I doubt any of us had most of the parasites covered. Some of us probably did have eyelash mites as many pepole do, and so long as they don’t cause irritation, which they don’t in most people, you’d never know you had them. *sorry*

  59. StevoR says

    When Rashida Tlaib is awesome and The Young Turks talk about it :

    Spot on. At the 10 minutes mark or so onwards especially. It isn’t the obscenity she said that matters; its the obscenity of who is in power & how he got there and what he’s done with it and the fact that Trumputin deserves impeachment.. (NB. “emoluments clause” = basically using the presidency for financial gain and being massively corrupt in using the highest executive office for personal monetary gain as I grok it anyhow.)

    Though I really want Pence gone first or at least as well and, thus, please, FSM, ramen , pls make Pelosi the POTUS next!

    Meanwhile in Oz just as in Charlottesville, we have nazis. Fucking nazis. In 2019. With a govt aligned evil scumbag senator named Fraser Anning using taxpayer money to support his neo-nazi mates in another state entirely from his own :

    Which they call “far right” instead of neo-nazi but they have .. people that crowd throwing nazi salutes and wearing SS memorabiila (e.g. helmets) proudly in public.

    Plus an awful sick excuse for a govt that doesn’t condemn them anywhere fucking near as much as they should because they have been blowing racist dog whistles foghorns since the Howard era and have been whipping up and supporting with Murdoch media beat ups colluding fear-mongering and hate against the Sudanese* community lately a stheir latest goat that’s ‘scaped. When the stats tell them they are utterly worng and misguided by 99 % : 1 % in terms of whta crimes they need to focus on :

    * South, (usually unlabelled as such North, Darfurian (Western Sudanese) and general plus “African” more widely (coz a continent with 54 countries full of very diverse varied ppl is all the same rii-iight?) or black African more pointedly(?) because, well, nuance, knowledge and thought,, they lack those.

  60. StevoR says

    So :

    If the love of money is the root of all evil ..

    & demonising other people is the trunk of all evil ..

    What do y’all think the leaves and canopy of evil is?

  61. voyager says

    A virus can really kick the stuffing out of you. I hope you’re feeling better.

    Butter cookies are my favourite. Thanks.

    Poor Thorn. She must be uncomfortable. I hope they figure it out soon.

  62. Nightjar says

    Thanks everyone for the well-wishes. I’m feeling better, but the cough is here to stay a few more days, it seems.

    I hope Thorn is doing better too, Jazzlet.

  63. StevoR says

    @ ^ Nightjar : Last line. Seconded.


    Phil Plait’s Bad Astronomy blog

    Galaxies, overlain upon galaxies, lying co-incidentally in line of sight of galaxies over yet more distant galaxies. Think about the implications and scale here. Astronomical. Literally. Each one of these is what used to be called (poetically & kinda accurately~ish) an “island universe.”

    Imagine zooming in on a fraction of a fraction of each of these galaxies. Zooming in exponentially upon hundreds or tens of thousands of stars and who knows how many worlds around each single star. Who knows how many habitable or inhabited exoplanets? What possibilities? (Remembering now that for most of Earth’s history life was only bacterial and for more of it confined to the sea and dominated by the likes of large trilobites, belemnites and amolocaris. )

    It is highly statistically unlikely but possible and -- we simply do not know for sure & cannot say for certain otherwise -- that we are alone even among all our Milky Way’s stars as sentient*, no as internet and rocketships and telescope building beings in our galaxy and even far beyond that.

    Perspective. Mind-breakingly vast awe and sense of scale. Just here. In these images on screen now if you’re watching this and thinking about it right now..

    Who knows how many or maybe how precious few beings like us could perhaps, possibly, (semi?)plausibly be found in a fraction of a fraction of a fraction x superscript, scientific notation and a shitload of zeroes for these images. These out of so many possible others.

    The vastness. The scale. The possibilities. The cosmic sense of perspective.

    Yet here we are. Us, humans on this one pale blue dot.* This speck around a speck inside a speck. Able to see this and grapple with this and living our tiny, amazing, hopefully happy, cosmically probly utterly insignificant -yet not to us and so many others -- lives.

    Do we matter? How do we define mattering?

    Are we significant? How do we define significant?

    We matter to us (& our families and friends whether human or canine or feline or other); our lives cast tiny ripples and echoes. What we do shapes our worlds, our 0. 0000000 … continue with the zeroes to near infinity .. but us and those around us.

    Our laughter, tears, rage, hopes, joy matters to ourselves, is felt deeply and experienced for all the surrounding unfathomable immensity of cosmological scale and our tiny, infinitesimally vanishingly small fraction of a fraction of a speck in the cosmos -- do we work to make it better than it is now? Why wouldn’t we?

    * Dogs dream, elephants mourn, octopi show lots of signs of great intelligence. Even of the creatures now living on Earth, I won’t say we are absolutely the smartest for sure. The most technologically advanced, yeah. But still. After all, dolphins didn’t elect Trump or Morriscum ( ;-) ) & aren’t currently wrecking the planet for our shared collective futures. :-(

  64. says

    I’m so glad this week is (almost) over.

    I spent what felt like all of my week but was actually only (ha!) half of my week on the case of a kid I probably won’t see again. But we had the very important tasks of “covering our own asses” and “creating a paper trail” on our agenda.
    It’s so frustrating when you’re expected to solve 100% of the problems but get exactly 0 power to do so.

  65. rq says

    It’s so frustrating when you’re expected to solve 100% of the problems but get exactly 0 power to do so.

    Ugh, I can only imagine.
    For me, it was just too much dealing with people -- and situations where I have the knowledge and the competence to do what I have to do, but with the extra responsibility of being the competent-and-knowledgeable face of the organization, which is a status completely exceeding my officially designated role. Herding cats that don’t belong to me comes to mind.

  66. Nightjar says

    it was just too much dealing with people

    With that I can relate. For a week that was half feeling ill and half being convalescent, I had to deal with people too much for my liking. On top of that I had to teach stuff to a new student, which means every task takes a lot more time to get done because I have to explain every step, which means I’m feeling even more tired this week.

    So, yeah. Yay for week being over.

  67. Jazzlet says

    Unusually I am very happy to be home from holiday, Hadrian’s Wall was bleak, not dramatically bleak with snow or driving rain, just damp, occasionally drizzly, miserably bleak.

  68. says

    Does anybody want some flatbread?
    Today’s my birthday (shameless begging for good wishes. I need them, I turned 40 ;) ) and to celebrate we had falafel. I asked my friend to bring some flatbread. Either 10 small ones (the 15 cm diameter ones) or 4 big ones (30 cm). First of all, her idea of small were 15 cm wide and 30 long and then she misread the OR for an AND, wondered why we needed that much bread but bought it anyway.
    I think I’m going to make flatbread pizza tomorrow…

  69. Nightjar says

    Happy birthday, Giliell!

    And here I thought today I had a break from birthdays, after the birthday parties I had on Saturday, Monday and yesterday and before the one I have tomorrow. Still I’m all for a virtual piece of flatbread, and I’m curious to see your cake too… ;)

  70. rq says

    Mm, flatbread!
    Happy birthday -- as we say, 40 is a round number (the 5s are half-round), which usually means extra happy birthdays, but for some reason there’s a superstition about the 40 birthday specifically, where you’re supposed to celebrate as quietly as possible. I say fuck that, have elaborate fancy cake, and enjoy yourself!! ♥

  71. Ice Swimmer says

    Happy Birthday Giliell!

    You seem to share birthday with Anne Brontë, Michelle Obama, Betty White, Muhammad Ali and violinist, composer and conductor Jaakko Kuusisto.

  72. says

    Thank y’all
    We’ll have a party come summer.
    And sorry for being quite absent, but work is the sixth circle of hell right now and my cold is back.

  73. lumipuna says

    I feel like I’m going to celebrate New Year sometime around spring equinox, when the winter is over and I feel more like being active and enjoying life. Though in the last couple weeks the weather has turned from outright miserable to properly wintery, so my mood is already slightly improving. The forecast is promising maybe clear weather for Monday morning’s lunar eclipse -- That’d be outright lucky this time of the year.

    My right arm is presumably healing quite well, but we’ll have to see the final Röntgen next week. The arm is still weak and gets tired and sore from a little workout.

  74. rq says

    The forecast is promising maybe clear weather for Monday morning’s lunar eclipse — That’d be outright lucky this time of the year.

    And how! Currently I have observed the usual pattern when it comes to sky phenomena in these parts: the night before last, clear skies and that knife-sharp, bright moonlight that is only possible in winter with snow; yesterday and last night, sun and, again, moonlight you can read by. This morning? Overcast. And snowing. And not likely to clear up before the eclipse, but I guess we’ll see (or not, as the case may be)?

  75. says

    I will not get up for the lunar eclipse. I lent my stalker tele lens to a friend. I need my sleep badly.
    I had to work yesterday because it was “open doors day” at school for the parents of the coming 5th graders. Next Saturday the same happens at #1’s school. Mr will have to leave early on Sunday because of a seminar, he’ll arrive late on Saturday the week afterwards and then I have to work again on a Saturday so the next weekend we’ll actually have together is the 16/17th of February…

  76. Jazzlet says

    If you are getting x-rays through your arm to check the bone healing the action would be ‘getting an x-ray’ and the result whether on film or digital would be ‘an x-ray’. I hope your arm is healng well, a little weakness is only to be expected, if frustrating.

    I’m betting on cloud here at the critical time, though it was clear earlier.

    Giliell sorry your cold is back, and I hope you manage to get some rest in between all of that and your family.

    Thorn’s face is definitely better than it was, not fully furred up, but heading that way, so it was dermodetic mange, probably as a result of her having the week of being off a couple of mnths back. apparently it’s one of those ‘most dogs have it, but it doesn’t get out of hand unless they are ill with something else’ things.

    Jake is gong a bit crazy with the (?) rat in the wall. It has to go, when we came back from our holiday it had chewed at the insulation on the live cable into the house!! I don’tknow what it is actually eating though as it hasnt been at any of our food. We have now put bait down (sorry Caine).

  77. rq says


    Actually, this is what we call x-rays here, too. I suppose it’s a bit like calling a lightbulb an edison, buuut… :D I like it!

  78. says

    Anyone desperate to see the lunar eclipse happening can of course find a live feed on the intertoobs. Here in Australia that’s the only option in any case as it will happen during the middle of the day.

  79. Ice Swimmer says

    Yes, X-ray is called röntgen in Finnish. In health care, it’s often abbreviated rtg AFAIK (my mom used to be a practical nurse and when I was kid, she brought me old unfilled hospital stationery/forms to be used for whatever I would need paper for).

  80. chigau (違う) says

    It’s overcast here. I can see the moon as a fuzzy blob.
    The eclipse is due to start in an hour and a half.
    Does all that mystical crap work if I can’t see the moon?

  81. chigau (違う) says

    Lofty #103
    Also, if the moon is in the sky UpOver over it’s not in the sky DownUnder.

  82. lumipuna says

    It was clear here, only with a little haze that made the eclipsed moon look like a brownish-grey smudge rather than a celestial object. I guess with our urban light pollution (amplified by the snow) you can’t get much better viewing than this.

    Overall, I had a very nice morning walk and felt noticeably more fresh than usually on early winter mornings (though now I’m getting sleepy at work). It was snowy and crispy (-15 C), very beautiful, not too slippery so I could look at the surroundings instead of looking at my feet.

  83. rq says

    I saw the moon quite clearly, to my great surprise -- it was a brown ball of shade while waiting for the train, but the shadow was already receding by the time I got off, a nice bright crescent showing and rapidly growing. And then it sank into some clouds (I was hoping to catch a photo from the office elevation). It’s been a beautiful morning in general, some surprisingly clear skies and a beautiful dawn -- makes sense, as apparently we’re at the start of an increasingly cold spell (supposed to hit the -20s by the end of the week).

  84. says

    chigau @106, that, and I hope it would be difficult to see a lunar eclipse while the sun is high in the sky. Unless something else was causing the eclipse.

  85. Jazzlet says

    It was actually raining at the beggining of the eclipse, there is a reason that areas like this are described as being in the rain shadow of a mountain or hill range, in my case the Pennines. I really hadn’t realised quite how much I would miss of astronomical events when we moved here. Oh well.

  86. voyager says

    Happy Belated Birthday! I’m sorry I missed it, but I hope it was wonderful. Don’t let 40 scare you. At 40 you’re just hitting your stride…still young, but old enough to be taken seriously. I’m sorry you’re not feeling well. Winter colds really suck. It’s hard enough just getting through winter when you don’t feel like shit.

    I hope your next x-rays show good and proper healing and that the arm gets progressively stronger.

    I’m so happy that Thorn’s feeling better and starting to get her hair back. Hairy dogs look so sad with bald spots. I didn’t know that about mange. I always thought it was an acquired infection that you got through contact with an infected dog.

  87. Jazzlet says

    Apparently there are two kinds of mange, the kind Thorn had which they can have at levels low enough to be asymptomatic, and the nastier kind that is more infectious as well as more virulent.

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