TNET 30: Woke Brands

I noticed yesterday that TNET is overdue, so today’s video topic is a new TNET too. Sorry for not writing too much lately. I got over the winter depression, but I just did not get any inspiration the last few weeks. Combined with problems at work it made me grumpy and reclusive like a hermit. And to top it all off today I got down with flu-like symptoms, I had to excuse myself from work early due to a splitting headache and at home I found out I have a fever as well.

The latest video by hbobmerguy is really well made and thoughtful. It is important to remember, that corporations are not people, they are cynical and opportunistic entities that might, but also might not, contain good people in them, and rarely (very rarely) some good people might even be at the top management levels. When a company does something seemingly good, it probably is not without ulterior motive.

Open thread, talk about whatever you want, just don’t be an asshole.

Previous topic.


  1. voyager says

    I’m sorry things have been rough for you, Charly. I’ll keep my fingers crossed that whatever bug you’ve contracted will be short-lived.

    Another good video by hbomberguy. I like this kid. He’s smart, thoughtful, personable and makes me think.

  2. says

    Guess whose holidays are over.
    *Fistbump* for Charly. Spring is coming!

    I also saw that the second series of American Gods will start on Monday.

  3. rq says

    *hugs*, Charly

    Re: American Gods
    This is good news, finally Husband and I will have something to watch together every week.

    Also next week is school holidays for the kids, but this yes I get to take at least 2 days off and vegetate with them. By the time I finally get home on Sunday, I will be missing them terribly.

    (And no worries, I have more Macedonian posts planned.)

  4. Jazzlet says

    Sorry you’re feeling rough Charly, I hope this is the worst of it and that you are fully better soon.


    I had an appointment with my GP to review all of the blood tests I’ve been having and ???? seems to be the only answer she has. I’m being referred ‘non-urgently’ to Urology as the most consistent result is a bit of blood in my urine, it will probably take months for an appointment to come through. Otherwise, maybe I’m just one of those people in the 5% at outside of the normal range ??? possibly, perhaps? So I’m not going to fret about any of that, I’ve had no new symptoms so it’s not as if I’lll have reminders to fret :-)

    It was light when Mr J came home and if anything he was late home :-)

  5. voyager says

    Our days are noticeably longer, too. It’s almost 6 pm here and there’s still light in the sky. It’s fabulous.
    I’m glad your Dr. is being thorough and referring you to a specialist. I hope you don’t have to wait too long for an appointment. Waiting lists are a problem here, too. It can take a year or more to see an Orthopaedic surgeon and then you go on another wait list for the surgery to be done. There is an element of urgency built into our system, though, so that if your situation worsens you would be seen sooner.

  6. says

    fingers are crossed for good results. I’ve got one of those values as well. Apparently it’s super sensitive to alcohol in me…
    +++We are having a storm. It blew over a tree on the hill behind the house. Some very smart person behind whose garden the tree fell went out and to the fence to take pictures…

  7. Jazzlet says

    You daft thing! I hope you got some decent pictures out of it.

    Today we have been going from blue skies with fluffy white clouds right the way to snow and back again.
    Mr J has been trying to work out how to stop up the places we have identified rats are getting into the cavity wall. They chew through expanding foam. And Jake caught a rat by the compost heap, he killed it very quickly, but I wonder if it was ill to start off with as it shouldn’t have been anywhere he could get it in day light. Maybe a parasite? One of the ones that changes behaviour to increase the chances of it being passed on to the next host? I think I better pick up more worming etc tablets for the dogs.

  8. says

    Dying while taking a picture might be an on brand death for me, but given that it was a tree and not an ent, I decided to stay inside where it’s safe and dry. It will still be there tomorrow.

  9. says

    We had highest wind since 2014 when I bought meteostation and started to record local weather. Our greenhouses hold comparatively well -- the small one still stands and the bigger one has only lost two window panes so far. So the reinforcements that I have built into the small one seem to work, because last time we had a wind so strong it was dismantled by it.
    Damages so far about 120,-€, but the weather forecast is very grim for the next 24 hours, so the shit might hit the fan yet. I probably won’t be able to sleep well, the wind is very loud…

    Today I was finaly fever-free and pain-free even without medication, so tomorow I can go to work if I take it easy, which should not be a problem. I want to avoid going to the doctor if I can avoid it, I do not want to catch another disease in the waiting room.

  10. Jazzlet says

    Oops, sorry for calling you daft when you weren’t!

    Make sure you do take it easy.
    I hope your greenhouses both survive as intact as they are now. It’s windy here too, and for some reason high winds always make me tense, so I sympathise. I hope you do get some sleep, if you really don’t maybe re-think going to work?

  11. says

    I spoke too soon. I have mild fever again, so tomorow I am going to the doctor so I can stay at home a few more days. I do not intend to develop myocarditis or bronchitis or pneumonia from neglected flu.

  12. Jazzlet says

    Charly I hope you don’t have anything horrid already, although fever iincreasing over a day is common in several illnesses. I especally hope you don’t catch anything else while at the doctors. Sleep well.

    We have now added thunder hail, to rain, snow, sunshine and clouds from fluffy white to the darkest grey today. Settle down weather!

  13. chigau (違う) says

    At about noon today I checked the temperature. There was no “-” in front of the number.
    thermometer is broken?
    daylight saving time?
    global warming?

  14. says

    Today morning I visited my GP, he recommended rest and fluids (no surprise there) and evtl antipyretics until Friday. Subsequently I took my parents to shopping, because sick or not we cannot decide not to eat, and I took the paperwork to my employer and the health insurance company.
    It all took only about 4 hours, most of which I was sitting, but I was so tired afterwards that I slept five hours straight. Had I gone to work, it would not have ended well.

  15. lumipuna says

    A lone wolf was sighted in the suburbs of Helsinki this morning, just a couple km from my home. Police drove it a long way towards the east, into the woods. Expect indignation from rural Finns, since they’ve long complained about having to live with occasional wolf sightings, without the police showing up to herd the animal into someone else’s backyard (or better yet, shoot it).

    (brief video of the wolf by some morning commuters)

  16. Jazzlet says

    Well I’m glad you aren’t at work and have food in, along with someone to look after you. Rest up and enjoy your knife books.

    Poor wolf, it was clearly being seen off by those crows.

  17. Ice Swimmer says

    Charly, my best possibles for you!

    lumipuna @ 16

    I wonder if the wolf came to Helsinki so that it could hunt wabbits?

  18. says

    Charly, I hope you feel better soon.

    Friday we picked up Mum’s ashes. Today we went back for the death certificates, at which point I discovered that her birthdate is off by a week. I read the working copy over and over and never spotted that error, dammit. I’m getting some amended copies, but since it was my error, we have to pay for them and it’ll be another ten days. In the words of Charles Darwin, “I am very stupid and hate everything and everybody.” (Except you good beings, you’re all awesome.)

    I’ll be in the pillow fort until further notice, banging my head on the pillows.

  19. Jazzlet says

    Oh Anne I am sorry! Have some hot chocolate in a tip proof mug, so you won’t spill it over the pillows as you bang your head.

    When my dad died we discovered that he had never probated my mum’s will, she died nearly thirty years before he did, and the house was in her name as they assumed he would die first. In order to sort it all out one thing we had to do was prove they were married, but we couldn’t find a marriage certificate. They were married during the the war when both moved around a lot and although we knew some of the places they had lived none of us had any idea where they got married. All of the children were panicking, Mr J quietly went to Manchester Central Records Office, found out they’d been married in Cockermouth -- not somewhere any of us had known they’d lived -- and got a copy of the marriage certificate.

    I hope you are feeling as well as is possible when you’re ill if that makes sense.

    I am fretting about Thorn, I suspect she has some spinal degeneration going on, she’s doing a lot of involuntary ‘scratching’ particularly with her left back leg. I also don’t think the pain from her arthritis is entirely under control, she does warning off growls at Jake if he comes near her when she’s lying down. Writing this has convinced me I need to take her to the vet so I’ve an appointment for later today. Useful TNET!

  20. Jazzlet says

    Well that was some what reassuring, the vet doesn’t seem to be worried about the nerves as such. She agreed that Thorn is getting pain in her hips and spine, offered me a choice of pain killers, and I ended up laughing. They were Tramadol, paracetamol and Gabapentin, she started to explain each in turn after naming them, and each time I stopped her “I take that, I know about it in humans”. We’re starting with Tramadol, it may or may not work, but if it does work it has the least side effects, so fingers crossed. We’ve also got an anti- itch medicine as she is scratching her face for no obvious reason, but because the fur is still thin she’s damaging her skin, so more fingers crossed that works.

  21. says

    @Anne, have a hug, if it help. We are still dealing with my uncle’s inheritance, over one year since he died and things are stil not resolved because his siblings make needles and stupid obstructions.

    I am currently residing in a very literal pillow fort. I do not have fever anymore, but although I was doing nothing the whole day, I have exactly 37°C. So not a fever yet, not normal temperature either (I have typically 36,4°C when not working physically). I hope I get well until friday, because my brother has 50th birthday this weekend and I can’t go to the celebration if I am sick. The physician said I might get well, but also it might take three weeks, judged by how the bug afflicted other people in our town.

  22. voyager says

    I’m so sorry that things got a bit muddled. Don’t be too hard on yourself. There are so many things that need to be done when someone dies and they’re all things that you hardly ever do and you’re trying to do them full of grief and emotion. I hope it gets sorted out quickly. I’ll meet you in the pillow fort with a pot of Earl Gray tea and some oatmeal shortbreads.

    Poor Thorn. I hope the Tramadol makes her comfortable. We had another chocolate lab who was full of arthritis in her senior years. She was kept comfortable right up to the end with Tramadol and an anti-inflammatory called Meloxin. The last few months of her life she also used a high CBD marijuana oil. I use the oil myself and the vet thought it might be worth a try. It worked well, too. (I also use gabapentin and we did try that with our dog, but it wasn’t much help.)

    I hope it doesn’t take 3 weeks for you to feel better! It would be a shame to miss your brother’s 50th birthday. Stay in the pillow fort, drink, drink, drink and do your best to piss out the germs.

  23. says

    If it’s any help, the times I spotted the mistake in a text I’d written the second after I hit “print” is amazing.

    Poor Thorn. Getting old is a tough job.

    I hope you’re getting better and can go to your brother’s birthday.

    Re: houses and inheritance: I wished people did that sensibly while they’re still young enough. the cases I know of families that were torn apart or at the brink of ruins because of things like having to spilt or taxes or all that shit…


  24. Nightjar says

    Hi everyone. Sorry for disappearing, I’ve been reading and I have photos to share, but I haven’t been feeling very communicative lately. I’m alright, I think it’s just the approaching of the anniversary of my grandma’s death followed by my birthday that I really don’t feel like celebrating at all. Next week I should be back to normal. *hugs*

  25. Jazzlet says

    I hope you are well enough by Friday to you enjoy your brothe’s 50th birthday celebrations.

    I now wish I had taken Thorn to the vet sooner, she has had just three doses of each of Tramadol and the anti-itch medicine and she’s perked right up, as well as relaxing completely when she isn’t doing anything, no scratching or twtching! It’s so difficult to decide with her, she gets so very nervous it can be hard for the vets to work out what is going on, I’ve been told “well I can’t tell what her hips are like, but her back leg muscles are strong!” by more than one vet, because Thorn has tensed up so tigghtly they couldn’t manipulate the joints. Ah well, we’re both much happier now
    voyager Thorn’s been on Metacam/Meloxicam, different brands of the same anti-inflammatory which I guess will be the same or similar to Meloxin, for some time now, I had increased the dose whenever she showed persistant signs of discomfort, but had reached the maximum dose. I am so glad the Tramadol is working for her, the vet said it didn’t for all dogs.

  26. says

    Germ-free hugs for everyone.

    Shadow, my elderly cat, has decided she doesn’t feel like eating. I spent the morning before we headed to Aged Mum’s experimenting, and found that she will eat dry food and treats if they are either soaked in warm water or broken up into smaller bits. Canned food, however, she turns her nose up at entirely. So on top of everything else, I’m worried about her. I may have to make time to take her to the vet if she doesn’t start eating.

  27. Ice Swimmer says

    My warm thoughts for Anne, Charly, Jazzlet and anyone who’s under the weather or has pets with health issues.

    Nightjar, I’m also sorry for being less active. I’ve been busy with a school project, and I’ve had to play a compliance/conformance engineer for the last few days (I’m already fed up with standards). It’s quite close to the ninth anniversary of the death of my dad, so I get what you mean.

  28. says

    Our elderly cat got quite sick eating commercial cat food so now gets human grade home brand tuna canned in spring water as a part of its daily diet. The plate is always well polished.

  29. says

    Shadow is refusing to eat anything. I’m calling the vet this morning as soon as their office opens. We have to be careful with her diet because too much protein can make her kidney disease worse. I already had a full day of errands today, but I refuse to give up on her.

  30. says

    Lofty, thank you! I had a can of water-packed tuna in the cupboard. Shadow ate what I gave her and demanded more. She even ate some of her dry food that I put the tuna and water on. I’m still calling the vet, but if she can eat tuna, she isn’t entirely hopeless. I’m going to pick up some no-salt tuna when I go shopping this morning, because I’m sure that’ll be better for her kidneys.

  31. Jazzlet says

    Shadow stop adding to the stress that Anne is under, it isn’t kind to your servant.

    Thorn is now reminding us of her poison detecting abilities. She can detect drugs in food with ease and may or may not eat the adulterated food, you wont know until you have already committed to the method that worked the last x times you gave it her, but not this time.

  32. says

    Anne, good to see that Shadow is eating. Our Oscar is doing well a year or two after the tinned cat food scare, although 98% deaf and arthritic he’s still enjoying life at 18. I suspect that tinned pet food is seriously full of chemicals to hide the parlous state of the ingredients, so the cats now share what we thrive on.

  33. says

    I called Shadow’s vet when I got back. She suggested we try another catfood, this time one with rabbit. I went right over, got ten cans (they’ll refund on anything unopened), gave picky puss some -- she ate all of it, demanded more, ate a bit of that, and went off for a nap. This afternoon she ate more, and ate her coming-in treats as well, for the first time in several days. I can’t let my guard down yet, but things look good.

    Paul and I are giggling about eating Bugs Bunny.

  34. voyager says

    I understand about not wanting to celebrate your birthday, so I’ll just leave you a small good wish here. Your grandmother was obviously important in your life. I’d love to hear a story about her if you feel like sharing.

    I’m so happy to hear that Thorn’s feeling better. You took her to the vet as soon as you’d figured out something was wrong. I was here when it happened. Dogs are such masters at keeping things to themselves. I hope you can keep outfoxing with new ideas to get her tablet taken. Our old dog Lucy was the same. First we used something called pill pockets. That worked like twice, I think. Then it was hot dogs. That lasted longer. Then, meatloaf. That lasted for a while, too. After that we used cooked liver. She loved that so much she didn’t care about the tablet so that lasted until she died. With Jack, we only need to toss in it his food bowl and he’s got it.

    Ice Swimmer,
    Compliance and standards are boring. I hope it’s over soon. I once had to write a Policy and Procedure manual and it was mind-numbing. My thoughts are with you as you remember your father. I’d enjoy hearing a story about him if you feel like sharing.

    I’m glad to hear that Shadow’s eating again. I’m also glad that’s she’s eating Bugs Bunny and not the Easter Bunny.

  35. says

    Hugs to allb especially Anne and Nightjar.

    With all the big and horrible and important things going on in the world, we’re stuck with the problem of needing a new car.
    Mr took the car for the oil change and they told him that there’s a couple of things that need replacement soon and thinking about it, it’s not worth it since they’d cost more than the car is worth. Well, some bank will be glad to help us out…

  36. Ice Swimmer says

    voyager @ 36

    The deadline on the report was on Friday and our project manager, AFAIK, submitted it.

    I can tell you about my dad. He died ten days before his 57th birthday. He had type 1 diabetes, which he got when he was a teenager, a farmer’s son, the second youngest sibling of 5. I think that he already knew at a young age, that he may not live long. So he lived life to the full, working hard as a shop manager and cut and sold meat and fish behind the counter (and he was the go-to guy among his friends when they needed expertise on meat or fish) and loved fishing, small-time gambling (sports betting) and he liked to travel every now and then.

    He also met a woman three years older than he was, married, had a kid with her (who inherited his looks, temper and partly his work ethic). They divorced when I was 11 and Dad retired when he was 35 due to his worsening eyesight (diabetes does that). He knew how to deal with the blood sugar and insuline quite well, rarely getting in trouble with that.

    His condition started getting slowly worse when he was in his mid-to-late 40s, but he never complained much. During the last few years of his life, his heart and kidneys were getting in worse and worse shape and he had to spend more and more time in hospital. Also they had to amputate multiple toes and a finger and he started getting neural pains in his hands, he had just about all the complications diabetes can bring.

    His heart gave up one Friday. I had talked to him on the phone a few days before (he lived about 100 km away, and I could sense that he didn’t want me to see him when he was close to the end), and I think I called the nurses in the hospital on Thursday to ask how he was and he was sleeping. They called me from the hospital in the evening when I was in bed, after an exam week (I was doing my bachelor’s and working as a newspaper deliverer).

    His sisters (my aunts, uncle had died already at the time) and me tied the ends of the threads that were hanging loose and we were able to do it with no problems. His ashes were put in the same grave site in which Grandpa, Greatgrandpa and Greatgrandma had been buried.

  37. rq says

    Ice Swimmer
    Thank you for sharing.

    I’m glad to hear everyone’s pets seem to be on the mend!


    I hope you are feeling better!!

  38. gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet says

    Hi rq, Giliell, the unequivocal apology is here -- you closed comments seconds before I could comment !
    I didn’t think of it as a gendered slur so I succeeded in being mean and sexist at the same time. A+ for asshole.
    I hope I can bring a smile to help atone:
    Late last year we had a sensor trip in our house -- one that turns on lights when you walk into a dark room.
    Strange thing was it happened during the day with no one home… intruders?
    But our alarm wasn’t triggered…
    Big mystery.
    Fast forward to last week when I was doing a spring clean…
    And flushed out a really big lizard that had been living in our house! A huge bronze garden skink getting fat on spiders :)

  39. rq says

    I closed them up because I don’t want to monitor the post all day, and I apologize it didn’t give you the opportunity to apologize there (didn’t know you were second away…!), but I appreciate you using the open thread here to do so. Thanks.
    Any photos of that lizard?

  40. gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet says

    Not that specific lizard… but you can google bronze garden skink to get an idea -- they really do look metallic bronze! I will see if I can get a photo of one from the garden -- we have quite a few big ones up to about 25cm and you can get really close to them :)

    No need to apologise for that :) -- it has been 24hr coverage here and everyone’s emotions are raw. Me included -- and I wasn’t careful to see how my words may have appeared to others.

  41. says

    One hour. I was working in the garden for one hour today, because the weather was reasonably nice for a while (now it rains again, and wind howls). And I needed to know how I will fare, because tomorow I am going to work again.
    I am half dead from being tired now. That one and a half week illness has flushed all my winter exercise down the drain, I am weak as a kitten just as I would be if I did not exercise at all.

  42. Jazzlet says

    Thank you everyone for your comments about Thorn. So far cheese is working for her breakfast codeine, with the anti-itch tablet crushed into the food, and for evening the pills are put in pockets of her chicken drum sticks. Her face is looking a lot better, I think the anti-itch stuff is making a lot of difference, hopefully now she isn’t scratching herself so often her face will heal up so she wont need to take it permanently

    That doesn’t sound like you are really well yet :-( as Giliell says, take it easy.

  43. voyager says

    Ice Swimmer,
    Thanks for sharing your dad’s story. It must have been difficult for him to retire at 35. Gosh, you’re still so vital at that age. Diabetes just keeps picking away at people in little bits that soon add up to a lot. I’m sorry you lost him so young.

    Please take it easy. It sounds like you’re not fully better yet. It can take up to 3 weeks for flu symptoms to subside.

  44. Onamission5 says

    @Jazzlet: Thorne’s pill sniffing-out skills remind me so much of our Mollie! We too tried pill pockets, then hot dogs, then cheese, lunch meat, a half dozen other things, it feels like. When cheese et al quit working (because she began to associate treats with pills, I’m sure of it!) strangely enough the thing what (mostly) stymied her was to tuck her meds into a dollop of wet food atop her dry food, which was also lightly mixed with wet. Either she was too hungry at meals to care, or she decided the only way to get to the kibble was through the meds, or the smell of all that wet dog food overwhelmed her senses.

    If the cheese fails, which I sincerely hope it doesn’t, worth a try?

  45. Jazzlet says

    We are always interested in new concealers. We have used smooth liver pate in the past with reasonable effectivenes. Though if she does start ggetting too picky she is gentle enough that one can safely open her mouth and shove the capsule as far as possible down her throat, then hold her mouth shut while stroking her throat; I don’t like doing that, but it certainly works.

    I am getting more and more worried about Brexit, which doesn’t really make sense. Parliament voted against No Deal so my greatest personal worry -- the uninterupted supply of my numerous meds -- shouldn’t not be a problem. I guess it’s just that however often they vote against No Deal it’s going to happen if they don’t vote for a deal, and there are a lot of odious fuckers who want No Deal so badly the thought of it gives them wet dreams. The prominent ones are all Oxbridge educated men from families with money, used to power, used to getting their way and I am so so so very done with all of that crap that has been damaging British politics for centuries. It honestly makes me nauseous thinking about them, especially Rees-Mogg.

  46. rq says

    Parliament voted against No Deal

    This has been something of a mindbending exercise for me -- how can they vote against No Deal if they have… no deal?

    The prominent ones are all Oxbridge educated men from families with money, used to power, used to getting their way and I am so so so very done with all of that crap that has been damaging British politics for centuries.

    I can understand how this can be nauseating. If I remember correctly, aren’t there a whole slew of Brexiters who have already managed to move their business out of the country, even though they’re talking about how great business will be in the UK after March 29?
    It’s too bad they couldn’t make April 1 the Brexit deadline, what a joke that would be. And by “joke” I mean exactly what it is right now but with even more added irony or Schadenfreude or Monty Python or whatever it is that’s going on over there.

  47. says

    I share your worries, though I do not, of course, share your personal worries since it will affect the rest of us much less than you. Right now the EU position is one of head scratching, because nobody can figure out what the British government and parliament even want and why the rest should give it to them.

    Wooo-hooo, sunshine
    Also, I have one worry less. If you have a time contract for teaching in Germany you need a “certificate of having proven your qualification” and if you fail then you get blacklisted. The one responsible is the school principal. If you’re a regular teacher they come and visit two of your lessons or such and take into account your further work.
    You may remember that the principal of the school i work at is not my actual principal and boss, and I was wondering (and worried) about this certificate because I didn’t have a clue what my actual boss would want to see. I know that my not-boss principal is very happy with my work and would like to keep me and that he has communicated this to my boss. Yesterday we had a meeting and I asked my boss about it and he just said “I’ll write it for you and send it to the Ministry and give you a copy”.
    If somebody registered a slight earthquake it was the load that fell off my back and heart that moment.

  48. voyager says

    Congratulations on your new shiny job security! All your hard work has finally paid off. I think the school is very lucky to have you and I’m glad they realize it.

  49. says

    I wouldn’t exactly call it “job security”, but it’s a milestone, no longer a millstone, on my way to getting my contract renewed.

  50. says

    Hugs to all. Oh, Emily saw the first oriole of the year. I saw the first raccoon. Harbingers of spring, I guess. Do you folks need more birds? I could ask E if she’d mind my sharing her photos.

    Shadow is back to eating normally, or as normally as any cat. She’s also rediscovered the joy of paddling in her water (left front paw only), then drinking the ripples off the top of her paw. Then she leaves little wet pawprints all over the house and the next lap she sits on.

    Paul and I are still cleaning stuff at Aged Mum’s. Tomorrow is the memorial at the house. Given my sister, it’ll also be a festival of passive-aggressive attention-seeking. I can always hope she’ll be late, I guess.

  51. Jazzlet says

    Congratulations, that must be a glorious feeling! If they can’t find the money to keep you at this school is the certificate transferable?

    Anne CCL
    I obviously don’t speak for the Affinity Maintainers, but I’m always up for more bird photograph, and especially American ones as your birds are not my birds, well except for a few.
    I hope the memorial goes off ok without too much brouha from your sister. Have some strengthening beef tea -- I’ve never actually had beef tea, and I’m not sure I’d like it if I did, but it always sounds so nourishing, also it seems like a lot of work to make, so it’s an expression of care in itself.
    Good Shadow!

    Thorn has been curvetting, and demanding full body cuddles, she is definitely feeling a lot better :-D

  52. says

    Yay for Shadow being back to “cat normal”. I hope the memorial goes smoothly. Just pour enough rum in the punch. And yes, bird pics are always welcome.

    The certificate is transferable as it becomes part of my permanent record with the ministry. I am actually not too worried about getting my contract renewed. Here it’s not the individual schools that decide about funding, but the ministry allocates resources. And nobody wants to be a special ed teacher, which is why I got my job within three days of applying for it, despite my horrible grades and despite having been trained for a completely different area (I’m actually trained for secondary schools grades 5-13 up to and including what would be A-levels or high school exams), and as a full time teacher and for a full year, when most contracts are only for a term. If they wanted me that badly before I had some experience in that area, they will surely want me now after a year.
    But that would be “vinegar” as we say in German (i.e. impossible) without that damn certificate. And well, some security would be nice, especially now with the car needing a replacement.

  53. says

    I’ll ask Emily if I can share her photos -- I don’t think she’ll mind but better to ask. She gets birds in San Diego we don’t get in Brea, and not just seabirds. The world is a wonderful place.

    Which reminds me -- we got more rain here than usual this year, which means more painted lady butterflies hatched. Which means there are huge clouds of them flying north on their usual migration path.

  54. says


    Firstly, I am sick again. Or, more precisely, still, because I probably did not heal completely in the first place. First day at work I got fever again, second day too, and today, whilst slightly better, I still did not feel completely OK. I should stay in bed until tuesday, at least, according to my GP.

    Secondly, situation at my work came to a point when I decided that I simply cannot deal with this shit anymore and I urgently need a change. So I initiated negotiations about me leaving the company. They do not want to let me go. They really do not want to let me go. But since they do not have a choice in that matter -- that I have made perfectly clear -- the negotiations are now centered around not whether I will go, but how and when -- seeking a compromise between my and the company’s needs and wishes. Exact conditions were not negotiated yet, due to my illness and due to the company not being prepared for this alternative, but I hope I might get a little severance package on top of my due wages in exchange for helping the company to deal with my departure with minimal disruption. It seems having a reputation counts for something, but not entirely good something.

    Because the funny thing is that had I not had an excellent reputation, had I been seen as just another average joe, I would probably get larger severance package and faster dismissal without the requirement that I work for them a few months to avoid disruptions. Funny old world. This is not the first time I really feel punished for being good at my job. As Terry Pratchett said it -- dig the best holes, you get the biggest shovel.

  55. Jazzlet says

    Well it’s good news that it is going on your permanent record. I hope you get the news about whether or not they are keeping you, it’s horrid not knowing and so much easier to plan if you know either way.

    Sorry you are still ill, I hope you aren’t feeling too bad at the moment and are able to enjoy your books.
    I hope you get a decent severance package, and I very much look forward to seeing what you produce with your ‘spare’ time!

  56. Nightjar says

    Hi everyone, and thank you. I’m feeling much better and I’m back to sleeping enough hours per night again, which means I’m more productive which in turn means I have more time left at the end of the day for stuff that isn’t work-related. Which means maybe I will be back to commenting regularly soon. On the other hand I’m getting increasingly depressed by the news… but let’s not get into that.

    I’m glad to hear Shadow and Thorn are doing better!

    Giliell, yay for one less thing to worry about, congratulations on the getting the certificate.

    Get well soon, Charly, and best of luck for the negotiations. And I second Jazzlet, looking forward to see what you come up with when you have more time and less stress dragging you down.

    Voyager, #36
    Thank you. I think the best memories I keep of my grandmother all involve flowers and gardening. And farming. I always admired her for mostly being able to escape the gender roles forcefully imposed on women of her time over here, considering the lack of opportunities and choices she was given. Like almost all rural women of her time, she went to school for three years only, and after that she had to work for her family helping with housework and subsistence farming. She loved farming, hated housework, but as a woman she was supposed to do more of the latter and less of the former. After marrying and having her own family, she decided she wasn’t having any of that “women must spend most of their time between housework and church” nonsense anymore. First because she didn’t go to church at all (she had faith, but was very critical of the “churchgoer hypocrites” and didn’t want to “share her prayers with them”). Second because she was almost always outside of the house, gardening or farming as much as she pleased, and if anyone wanted housework done they could either do it themselves or wait for rain. She loved to share her flowers and produce with family and friends. She didn’t really enjoy cooking, but she loved baking bread and always baked enough to share with basically everyone around her. One of the last photos I took of her shows her holding a hoe with difficulty to weed her yard at 85 years of age. After that her vascular dementia worsened rapidly. She died of pneumonia two years after losing her autonomy.
    Today I took some photos of little red tulips that I brought from her garden after she died. They remind me of her. I will share them soon.

  57. voyager says

    I’m glad you’re feeling better and sleeping well again.
    Thanks for sharing your grandmother’s story. She sounds like a bit of a rebel and I’m sure she influenced your life in many interesting ways. I’m sorry you’ve lost her.

  58. Oggie: Mathom says

    Hello, all.

    I swear my son and his wife are trying to make things as complicated as possible.


    Not just twins, but identical twins.

    Not just identical twins, but one placenta, two amniotic sacks.

    Not just identical twins, one placenta, two amniotic sack, but unequal sharing of the placenta with edge placement of the umbilicae.

    Not just identical twins, one placenta, two amniotic sack, unequal sharing of the placenta with edge placement of the umbilicae, but some foetal to foetal transfusion going on.

    Not just identical twins, one placenta, two amniotic sack, unequal sharing of the placenta with edge placement of the umbilicae with some foetal to foetal transfusion going on, but my son is A+. Go ahead. Take a wild guess.

    If you guessed that his wife is A-, you win.

    Full term will be mid to late June. Ob-gyn’s prediction is mid-May. Which means in six or seven or eight weeks, I’ll be the grandfather of identical twin girls.

  59. voyager says

    Those are a few worrying complications, but it sounds like they have a good care team who are on top of things, I’ll keep good thoughts that both babies will be born safe and well. It must be an exciting prospect to think of identical baby girls to spoil (and mix up.)

  60. says

    Sounds like they decided to do the expert level pregnancy. As for Boy being A+ and his wife A-, this is usually irrelevant in first pregnancies, as the issue is foetus to mother transmission during birth, which can cause problems in subsequent pregnancies. But thankfully we’ve had Anti D for a long time now, which prevents the mother from producing antibodies, as this second kid of a 0- mother and 0+ father can tell you. Look at the bright side, your grandkids will also know their genotype, not just their phenotype. Oh, and it’s still possible that the twins are A- anyway, since you probably don’t know Boy’s genotype.
    Anyway, best luck for the family addition. Having made it to 6 full months is already a great thing and things will get better for the twins with every single day that passes (yes, I obsessively fretted over each “milestone”. I was not a happy pregnant person, which is one of the reasons why I will never be again.)

    Your grandma sounds wonderful (and not unlike mine, though mine loved cooking and sewing and always despaired at her less than tidy offspring). Mine had the good fortune of being born into a socialist family, marrying a socialist husband who was NOT a brocialist but who thought that equality starts at home. My memories of them are of them doing chores together. From the gardening to the preparation of the produce to the washing up. As a miner my grandpa could retire in his early 50s (and he showed them, living to 89, making the pay him for all the friends who didn’t see their 60th birthday) and there was never a question of him then spending his days on the couch and her serving him.

  61. says

    I am sorry for not writing, but I cannot concentrate on writing or reading for longer periods of time. I am beginning to suspect that this is not a flu or a viral infection at all and antibiotics might be needed.

  62. voyager says

    I hope the memorial service went well, but I’m sure you’re probably exhausted today. I hope your sister didn’t create too much fuss. And give Shadow an ear mooshie for being a good kitty.

    I hope your Dr. can figure out what’s going on. I’m sure all the stress at work isn’t helping, but negotiating a good exit package is pretty important so I hope you can get it done and get well. Don’t worry about things here.

  63. Jazzlet says

    Im sorry you aren’t up to concentrating for any legnth of time. I hope at least you have the sun we’ve been getting over here, and can sit out in it a little while. And I add my hopes to voyager’s that your doctor can get to the bottom of what’s wrong with you.

    I got a look at my bladder today, which was interesting, nothing wrong with it, so that was good. I’ve had some blood in my urine so my GP wanted me checking out. Kidney ultrasound tomorrow. It’s likely down to whichever it is of my drugs that has dried out my mouth and eyes, ie other mucus membranes, but it could be lack of oestrogen. I haven’t seen any blood, so it’s a small amount and I certainly don’t have any symptoms. This sort of thing does make me so grateful that I can use the NHS, which still largely works despite the Tories attempts to wreck it.

  64. says

    One more week in bed. Antibiotics it is. I hope they help. So far this illness was more annoying than anything else, but annoying nevertheless, and annoying a lot.

  65. Jazzlet says

    I hope the antibiotics work quickly ad you start to feel better quickly too.

    Kidney scan all clear :-)

  66. Jazzlet says

    And a clear ultrasound too, so that’s good.

    We do have a lot of signs of spring here, and when the sun is shining it is unseasonably warm, but when it’s not it’s still cold. I want proper warm weather, I’m bored of layers of clothes to keep warm.

  67. chigau (違う) says

    Tomorrow is garbage day.
    As I was taking the garbage to the bins, through my very dark back yard, I startled a deer.
    I did not have a heart attack but I don’t know about the deer.
    I will check in the morning.
    (Deer in the back yard are not unusual but they are seasonal. And early this year.)

  68. Ice Swimmer says

    Charly @ 71

    I’m hoping the antibiotics will antibiotic the harmful microbes that are feasting on you, so you can feel better.

  69. says

    I hope the antibiotics kick ass, Charly

    In case it didn’t make it, enjoy your meal, chigau

    Sorry for having been rather absent, it’s been a busy week. But we went to the zoo on Saturday and our albino roo’s got a baby! From an albino gentleman, so let’s see how it turns out!

  70. says

    Despite laying in bed the whole day, all the antibiotics managed so far was to ease the inflammation and raise my temperature half a degree celsius up. So, results are inconclusive after three days so far.

  71. voyager says

    The easing of inflammation is a good sign. The increase in temperature might just be your body burning out the infection. Half a degree isn’t too problematic, but keep an eye on it. I hope you’re drinking lots.

    Deer have strong hearts. It probably told the same story when it got home… “Boy, those humans startle easily. I hope they didn’t have a heart attack. They all look so fragile to me, what with only 2 legs and such small ears.”

  72. says

    The antibiotics did not help, at least not completely. I had fever still yesterday, so today the doc has told me I should stay in bec, drink fluids and come on wednesday for blood test. Either it will go away until Friday on its own, or he will get some info from the blood test.
    But being in bed until Friday it is for me -- and it sucks greatly. This is about the worst time for me to be sick, there is so much work in the garden to be done…

  73. says

    I’m sorry to hear, Charly
    I hope the docs can finally find something and whack it hard.
    Well, I’m not doing any gardening this year because there will be major overhauls in the garden and I’m not wasting my work.

  74. Jazzlet says

    Sorry you are still ill :-(

    What are you having done in the garden?

    I am trying very hard to get my sleeping pattern more aligned with the rest of the UK, rather than aligned with the Eastern USA. I am making progress, but then I regress and think it’s pointless trying and have to convince myself all over again that it will be good for me to sleep when everyone around me does and wake when they do. Or at least roughly when they do, I seem to need about 10 hours a ‘night’ at the moment which is ridiculous. I am trying becuse there is a lot of evidence that having ‘normal’ sleeping patterns helps with depression. I will get back on the horse again.

    And I am being driven slightly batty by the ‘o’ on my keyboard which is irratically responsive, so sometimes I can tap it as normal at others I have to jab it down hard and at still others a touch will result in several ‘o’s. I don’t like the keboard on this laptop anyway, it gives no indication that you have hit the letter hard enough, and I’m not that good a typist that I can always type looking at the screen. I think it needs a clean, but I have no idea how to do that, so I’ll have to learn!

  75. chigau (違う) says

    A deer came by, sporting the spring coat. (very scruffy)
    She also had a limp but managed to flee before I got the camera out.

  76. voyager says

    I hope a few days in bed does the trick. The garden work will wait (chores always do) and maybe it’s a good chance to spend some time with all your beautiful new books.

    Sleeping patterns can be hard to adjust. I’ve become a night owl myself. I have this thing called “wind up”, like with a clock. My system gets stimulated during the day and then at night I can’t shut it down. I guess that means I’m closer to UK time. Good luck trying to reset. Let me know if you find any tricks.

  77. rq says

    I seem to need about 10 hours a ‘night’ at the moment which is ridiculous.

    Ridiculous? Sure, but also my body’s #1 stress/depression response. Having trouble with [whatever]? Just sleep it off! And not in that good “let’s take a nap and be refreshed” way, but “maybe if we sleep long enough, it’ll be over”. Good luck with the sleep patterns, Jazzlet. Although in my opinion no timezone is free from shenanigans right now.

  78. says


    What are you having done in the garden?

    Well have a little terrace made wher3e we can put the tables and chairs, because currently we always sink into the ground, the path gets a new outfit and the stairsb need major overhaul before somebody breaks their neck. The steps aren’t only too short anyway, but also the concrete is crumbling. And since we’re at it, we’re having the little terrace directly behind the house renovated as well. Those things are 50 years old by now and start falling apart

    Re: sleep
    Right now I’m struggling with daylight savings time and I can’t wait for that shit to be cancelled.

  79. Nightjar says

    I’m sorry to hear you are still ill, Charly, I hope you start feeling well soon. That’s a lot of days in bed and it must indeed suck. :(



    Right now I’m struggling with daylight savings time and I can’t wait for that shit to be cancelled.

    Yep. Sleep is suffering and so is my ability to leave work on time to catch the bus, it turns out. I missed the one I wanted to take today because I wasn’t paying attention to the clock and it didn’t feel like it was that late already based on the sunlight hitting my desk. Yes, this means I’m very lucky to work in a place with plenty of natural light. But my point is… fuck daylight saving time.

  80. Ice Swimmer says

    I’m sorry to hear that the bug hasn’t given up, Charly!

    Last week I had a morning type sleeping cycle, but now I’m back to being a night owl. Lectures at 8 are going to be a bit less comfortable this week. It was so much easier when I was a youngster, but now doing 3-shift work would be awful (19 years ago, when I last did it, two out of three shifts were OK, morning shift was bad, but bearable). It’s easy to believe now what the older guys said about 3-shift work getting worse by age.

  81. rq says

    It’s easy to believe now what the older guys said about 3-shift work getting worse by age.

    I think back to 3 or so years ago, and the 8 years prior to that, when I worked nights, came home at 3 or 4, and was up at 7 or 8 with the tiny rqlings to do Things, including excursions, doctors’ visits, etc., only to greet Husband at the door and head out to work around 6 or 7 PM. Right now, it is enough for me to just think about those years and feel exhausted, and wonder what kinds of crazy youngsters would do that to themselves…

  82. Jazzlet says

    The most effective thing I have to enforce sleep times is Mirtazipine one of the anti-depressants I am on, It isn’t consistent, hence the struggle, but mosly two or three hours after I take it I’ll be nodding off, and if I don’t go to bed will fall asleep where I am, sitting upright sometimes. I didn’t know I could do that! I’m told it’s also pretty heavy duty, so probably not a solution for anyone else, and as I said some nights it just doesn’t have that effect, I look up from what I’m doing to realise it’s gone 4 am, but it does help.

    It’s been a bright sun with white fluffy clouds in blue sky alternating with rain sort of day here, but very cold for this time of year. I have washing that I would like to dry outside, but more rain is forecast. Bother.

    Lots of get well thoughts to Charly and rq.

  83. StevoR says

    @ ^ Jazzlet : Seconded by me.

    Its been a dusty,windy day here witha total fire ban & 33 degrees ( Fahrenheit) day

    Hopefully interesting space news here :

    Although it’s going to take a while yet before we know exactly how well Hayabusa -2 has done.

    A good news story from Oz :

    Plus an excellent analysis from an actual legal expert on the Barr (mis) summary of the Mueller report :

    which raises some durn good points I think.

  84. StevoR says

    Apologies, posted too early by mistake. That’s 33 degrees Celsius (91.4 Fahrenheit) day maximum temp here with it being well into our Autumn and everything still being extremely dry and hot here. We could really do with more rain and I’m very glad we’re heading towards winter and cooler temps and shorter days and longer nights. Daylight saving finally ending this coming weekend for us in South Oz.

    Also, its a small, thing, really inconsequential in the greater scheme of things but I so so love it that Stacey Abrams had wrote an article on Mesopotamian astronomy as a high school student :

    6 minutes 30 seconds mark in this clip from her interview on Colbert. Whole clip worth watching I think.

    Impressed by her and would love to see her as POTUS though clearly far too early in the process & she hasn’t officially declared. Or maybe her as a running mate to someone else? A Buttigieg-Abrams ticket? Would be ideal, probly won’t happen. Still can dream.

  85. says

    I got a second course of antibiotics yesterday, stronger antibiotics, for longer period. Because despite me being at home for three weeks already, from Wednesday til today the illness actualy got slowly a lot worse. Today it was at its worst in the whole three weeks that this bug is trying to kill me. That is why I was unable to post -- I have spent the whole day in bed.

    I really hope these antibiotics work. If not, I will have to go to an otorhinolaryngologist because it is beyond general practicioner’s capabilities to help me.

  86. Ice Swimmer says

    Charly @ 95

    I also hope the antibiotics you got will work. Stay safe.

    The job title of the specialist doctor is quite a mouthful.

  87. says

    And then they say German makes everything complicated, but HNO-Arzt (Hals-Nasen-Ohren-Arzt, Throath-nose-ears-Doc) really is shorter.
    I hope they can finally figure out what is wrong and then fix it!

  88. Nightjar says

    Charly, I’m sorry the bug isn’t giving up and somewhat concerned you are being given a second course of antibiotics… apparently without also trying to figure out what kind of bug it is in the meantime? That doesn’t sound like the ideal way to treat infections to this microbiologist. But hopefully these antibiotics will work!

  89. Jazzlet says

    Charly I am so sorry you are still ill, I hope the new lot of anti-biotics work.

    In English most people would say Ear, Nose and Throat specialist, or ENT, which is unusually clear for a medical specialism, usually they use a derivative of the Latin which is not at all helpful if you didn’t happen to learn Latin, and medical Latin at that. That may be because the official title is otolaryngologist.

  90. lumipuna says

    I saw an email announcement for a doctoral course in “equitation science”, thinking it’s likely some super difficult statistical stuff that sounds funnily like it’s got something to do with horses. Then I read the announcement.

    Course Description
    The course provides an in depth theoretical/practical knowledge at advanced level of horse behaviour/learning and its consequences for horse welfare and human-horse interactions. The course is designed to develop the participants’ scientific skills and ability to utilize an evidence-based approach when dealing with horses.

    The course provides participants with scientific and practical tools with which they can validate human-horse interactions to identify training methods which are ethical, effective and highlight those which represent problems for horse welfare.

  91. Ice Swimmer says

    Now, I’ll admit that the Finnish expression for ENT specialist is a bit lengthy, korva-, nenä ja kurkkutautien erikoislääkäri. Korva is ear, nenä is nose and kurkku is throat (and cucumber) and erikoislääkäri is specialist physician (lääkäri is doctor/physician, the word comes from Swedish, while Estonians loaned their word for doctor, arst, from German).

  92. rq says

    The otorhinolaryngologist in Latvian is called the otorinolaringologs (how original), but when shortened, everyone always says LORs, which puts all the parts in the wrong order, but is at least pronounceable.
    Personally, I like the idea of seeing an Ent for my cures.

  93. chigau (違う) says

    I received a new iPad for my birthday.
    Things have changed. @ffffffff&$@#$&&)(
    I hope all the infirm become more firm.
    I have photos of backyard deer but with the new device, I’m not quite sure how to send them.
    (the photos, not the deer)

  94. voyager says

    I’m sorry you’ve been having such a hard time of it lately. Hopefully the new antibiotic will do the trick and you’ll be feeling better soon.

  95. voyager says

    Belated Happy Birthday! I’m sure you’ll have fun with the new iPad once you figure it out.

  96. lumipuna says

    Giliell -- Indeed.

    Since some of us just discussed frog spawn over at Stderr -- I also saw the first local frog spawn over the weekend. It’s quite early, as spring tends to be nowadays.

    The soil is still relatively dry after last year’s drought -- It’s damp, but there’s not much puddles like there often are after snowmelt. Ironically, when the frogs spawn in these puddles during a damp spring, the tadpoles are almost certainly doomed. In ditches, they have a better chance for long term water supply.

    The lawns here look more dead than usually after snowmelt. They’ve suffered from an icy winter last year, then dry summer and another icy winter. I hope we’ll get some decent rain during May and June.

  97. chigau (違う) says

    It’s not the link click it’s convincing the iPad to do as I want, not what it wants.
    I’d like to crop my photo and remove the attached location info but iPad knows better.

  98. says

    Thanks for the well wishes. I do feel better, yesterday was first day I was completely fever-free the whole day. The antibiotics are due til Saturday, I was throught hem half way on Tuesday. The situation gets better every day, but I dare not to be optimistic yet. I have felt better multiple times already and the illnes always came back like a boomerang.

    In Czech otorhinolaryngologist is called ušní, nosní, krční (i.e. ear, nose, throte (adjective)), or ORL for short. Yes, full name is Czech, the abbreviation is Greek. That is often the case with medical profession here.

    I have nothing against ORL visit in principle, but it means 40 km drive there, 40 km drive back and a few hours waiting in the waiting room. Which means not only a lot of time wasted, but also a significant risk -- like driving 80 km with fever, being in waiting room risking catching another bug and exposing others to mine etc.

  99. says

    Now it looks like Charly’s germs went my way. Let’s hope my puddingbrain resolves its issues quickly.

    Ahh, ok. Bad I pad. And belated happy birthday.

  100. says

    Also, can I shake my head at my very beloved husband? We’ll get the new car on Friday and are supposed to turn in the old car on Thursday. Today, Wednesday, my beloved husband tells me that his colleague wants to buy the old car. He’ll take the car to his colleague and his colleague will drive him to the car dealer (120km one way!) and they’ll sort it out there. Without talking to the car dealer first.
    He was a bit put back when I told him the fuck no, sort it out with the car dealer first.

  101. voyager says

    Sorry to hear that you’re not feeling well. Most of the time I wish you lived closer, but today I’m glad you’re all the way over there.
    I’m looking forward to hearing how things go on Friday at the car dealership. I guarantee that the salesman won’t be expecting to close 2 deals.

    I’m glad you’re beginning to improve and I’m glad you’re all the way over there, too.

    I also hope you’re feeling better and I’m glad…well, you know.