TNET 39: Jelle’s Marble Runs

Previous thread.

I never was into sports of any kind, neither watching nor doing. But about two months ago I stumbled across this YouTube channel and I did watch quite a few videos of theirs. They are strangely captivating in their resemblance to real sports events, despite being decided solely by chance.

And yesterday I was reminded about its existence when watching John Oliver. He mentioned that if you are starved for sports events right now, then this might be something to satiate that hankering somewhat.

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


  1. chigau (違う) says

    My mother has tested positive.
    She had a fever a couple days ago but that’s gone and she has no other symptoms.
    Doctor seems optimistic not pessimistic.

  2. says

    Chigau, fingers crossed that it’s a mild case and your mother recovers quickly and fully.

    My daughter is getting back to normal finally, after her (assumed by the NHS doctor; they didn’t test) mild case. I could tell she was recovering when her morning bird walk photos increased massively. Edinburgh looks so beautiful, with all the flowers and the nesting birds. We, on the other hand, have nesting mockingbirds and a couple of very silly tomcats singing at our doors. The mockers keep bopping them, but they keep coming back. No, you silly boy, Shadow’s not interested! She’s a retired ladycat and 19.

  3. says

    Fingers crossed and best wishes

    I’m glad to hear. I only spent a few days in Edinburgh ages ago and I really liked it.
    Hehe, I remember when our neighbours had a female boxer dog and once when she was in heat a dachshund escaped his owner and tried to court her and I’m still wondering about how they’d have worked out logistics if he’d managed to get over the fence…

  4. Jazzlet says

    I hope your mother has been as ill as she is going to get.

    Good news about Emily.
    Our neighbours once called the police on my parents when our bitch was in heat with several noisy admirers singing her praises outside. The police came, but were not much impressed by our neighbours’ complaint, our dog was of course curled up by the stove, and it wasn’t her making the racket, but her voluble admirers; they did take the admirers away, but this was back in the 60s and people did let their dogs roam so I don’t suppose the owners learnt anything from the experience.

    I have been continuing with the therapy for recurrant depression, it is bringing up things I had forgotten all about. In particular my father telling my that I couldn’t go home after university, I am feeling hurt and angry at the memory, he had plenty of room -- he never moved from the house where all six of us had been brought up -- I don’t know why he did it, but uff …

  5. says

    @Chigau, let’s hope your mother’s case is a mild one. At the end of this, most of us will know someone who got it directly.

    @Jazzlet, fingers crossed for your therapy doing what its supposed to do and doing it well.

  6. lumipuna says

    (The following may amuse the teachers among us)

    My university occasionally sends the staff invitations to teaching demonstrations (which are public events) by new lecturer applicants. Now, those are held virtually like everything else.

    In my email message thumbnail, the invitation’s headline is shortened, displayed as “Virtual teaching demons…”

  7. says

    I think I want that as my official job title now.

    I’m in the last days of home office now. All our students return to school on a rota system, 2 days a week for 14 hours each, and I’m not looking forward to enforcing social distancing among the grades 5-7. Also my job becomes almost impossible. Instead of 4 classes in grade six we now have 10 with an absolute number of 8 hours a week. I cannot mix children from the different groups to form a remedial maths group, so this is not going to be much use. Those small groups mean that we need many more teachers now. Everybody and their dog is in school for all the hours every day, but since the kids are only here for two days we have to do homeschooling for the other days as well. One day next week we’ll have the leaving cert exams and we’re stretched so thin that our “back up” in case a teacher gets ill is the caretaker and the secretary!

    I remember that pain from my own time doing therapy. It wasn’t like a pain killer that you take and it gets better, it was more like having to dig out splinters. For some time I was a lot worse in therapy than I was before, because before you’re some kind of numb, just trying to make it through the day, but then you’re actively working on it and then you’re able to feel pain again and there’s a lot of it waiting to catch up. But at least for me it helped.
    Mind you, I’m not “cured”. Those unhealthy mechanisms still exist, but most of the time I’m able to catch myself and stop myself from going into a full downwards spiral. One thing that really helped me was accepting that as a part of me as well. I can’t undo my history. I can’t undo the fact that yes, something was damaged beyond repair. But I don’t have to and that’s ok. You’re still a full wonderful person.

  8. Jazzlet says

    Thank you Charly and Giliell. I am still stuck on my father saying I couldn’t come home, it’s not like there was no room or he couldn’t have afforded to support me -- anyway i’d have got unemployment benefit -- or any other reasonable thing. And then later he would try and guilt trip me for not visiting him much. *sigh8

    I honestly don’t know how you or the teachers here are supposed to manage, of course you will try, but sheesh it will be hard.

    I along with a truly significant percentage of my fellow citizens am absolutely furious with the arrogance of Dommonic Cummings, with Johnson’s and the Cabinet’s defence of his actions, with the whole “one rule for us, another rule for you”. It is sickening, but even the Daily Mail -spit- is livid, with him, and ovver forty Tory MP’s have called for his resignation, so I suppose that’s something.

  9. says

    Jazzlet, *hugs*. As a friend said once when my Aged Mum was laying on the guilt, parents know which buttons to push because they installed them. Good on you for sticking with the therapist! I tried one phone appointment, but the cat wanted to sit on me, and Kitty kept wandering in and out, and it was just too weird sitting in my livingroom anyway. So I’m letting it go for now.

    (Kitty is Katherine, younger daughter. The cat is Shadow.)

    I did everything on today’s schedule plus more, except the thing for myself. Maybe tomorrow, or the day after. I’ve lost all enthusiasm for the other half of that online class anyway.

  10. chigau (違う) says

    I received a letter from my mother.
    She is miserable and whiny.

  11. says

    That’s good to hear. Not the miserable and whiny, obviously (dunno if that’s her usual self. I think you get to be a bit whiny if you get Covid19), but the not dead part.

    I hope you can figure out a more comfortable setting once the current nightmare has passed. I think we should be training lots of therapists now, because they will be needed more than ever.


    Aaaaaand my in laws are broke again. Since we told them that we’d be glad to help but we’d also need to get together, go over their stuff and find a more permanent solution the last time, they went to my aunt in law this time. I guess it’s pretty bad, because after we laid out our conditions they said “no thanks” and somehow juggled it all for another year.
    But I guess my aunt in law will set out similar conditions (she used to work at a bank and has been angry about her brother and sister in law’s financial irresponsibility for about 40 years or so) and on top she’ll lend them money where we usually just bailed them out, which demonstrates exactly why they’re in that position in the first place: they were too proud to let us help them on a more permanent basis a year ago and they’re too proud to ask us again, so they prefer taking out a credit, even one without interest, to simply getting money and advice from us (we’d have involved said aunt in law anyway…)

  12. Jazzlet says

    It is odd doing it over the phone, but I shut Jake dog out, and Paul keeps him quiet as well as bringing me a coffee refill half way through -- I get dry mouth eyes etc. from one of the drugs I am on -- so it’s not too bad. In some way it may be better as I’m not looking to see how my therapist reacts to what I say, also we both have to listen very carefully which is no bad thing. But I am lucky, there are just the two of us and Jake, so there is no possibility of random interruptions, at least while Paul is still working from home.

    *shakes finger at Anne sternly* Do Something For YOU!

    Sorry about the misery and whinning but it’s good she’s well enough to be doing that.

    Oh dear, it sounds as if ructions will be happening :-(

  13. says

    Jazzlet, thank you! I did, sort of -- my walking Birkenstocks are all glued and sealed and ready to go, and today I finally did some personal maintenance I’ve been putting off. The good thing about wearing a mask in public is that no one can see the crone beard. The bad thing is that I let it go way too long, and I really don’t want to be the Bearded Cranky Cat Lady of Brea. So I should be good for a couple weeks, anyway.

    Chigau, I am very glad that your mom isn’t dead. I hope once she feels better, she’ll feel less whiny and miserable.

    Giliell, all the hugs.

  14. Jazzlet says

    Anne that made me laugh, I have been letting my eyebrows grow to see how long they will get. This is because my dad had truly impressive eybrows if left untended, one swept up, the other down, so far down it entirely covered his left eye. Mine don’t seem to be going in any particular direction, but the longest hairs are a good inch at this point, as they are pale they are also pretty much invisible so the experiment will continue!

  15. says

    Hehe, I did my “maintenance” some weeks ago already. I decided that I was not ready yet to go grey. And let’s be clear, I am mostly grey. For my 50th birthday (which is still mostly a decade off) I will go to a hairdresser (I like that as much as the dentist), have them die them grey first and in all colours of the rainbow second.

  16. says

    Jazzlet, that sounds like a fascinating study. My old-lady beard unfortunately grew too well, and we really didn’t need two bearded old fogeys in the family.

    Giliell, the summer after I turned fifty, I had purple streaks put in my hair over the grey streaks. As I recall, Emily was blasé about it, Paul was freaked out, and Kitty said I looked like a manga character. It was so fun that when the purple faded, I had it done again.

    I’m taking a self-care day today, aside from the necessary housework. Mostly just sitting and reading, with or without lap cat. Anything else can wait.

  17. voyager says

    I’m sorry your you’re Mom is feeling irritated and whiny. I hope it’s just the end stages of COVID 19 and not a permanent state of mind.

    *Hugs* Being rejected by a parent is devastating, but it’s better to be in touch with what’s broken. Therapy is a lot of hard work, but it helped me to redefine things on my own terms and learn to forgive as a way to help myself. I don’t think you ever forget the pain, but it can lose its power over you.

    I’m glad to hear that Emily is better.
    I hope you can find a way to manage therapy online. It seems like a good idea, but only if you can carve out some uninterrupted time, which isn’t often easy at home.

    Your schedule sounds awful right now. Good luck. I know you can manage it all, but I wish you didn’t have to.
    I don’t know what to say about your in-laws, except that I’m glad your family didn’t get pulled in this time.

  18. StevoR says

    Listen. Just listen. The voice, the lyics, the raw emotion and power :

    (Pretty sure I’ve shared this before but just right now, today with all that’s happeneing over in the States. Again. Seems apt and hope it helps to remind people.)

    Back when that was an extremely swear word, the context of the era. and now.. now.. :-(

    No words adquate.

    “And I must say tonight that a riot is the language of the unheard. And what is it America has failed to hear? … It has failed to hear that the promises of freedom and justice have not been met. And it has failed to hear that large segments of white society are more concerned about tranquility and the status quo than about justice and humanity.”

    ― Martin Luther King Jr.

    Source :

    I know that I don’t know the half of it here and sorry but ..

  19. says

    I hope you are all doing as well as can be expected.

    I’ve managed some self-care two days in a row now. First I run around doing All The Things on the have-to list, then I do something I want to. So far it’s mostly been sitting and reading, with or without Shadow.

    Tomorrow I’m going to reorganize the drawer that all the sticky tapes and glues and gluesticks have been tossed into. I’m going to throw out the dried-up stuff, and find some clear storage to sort things into, and make labels with my label maker. Seriously, this is my idea of a good time, when I’m in the mood. It’s very soothing, and there are visible results I can look at and feel good about myself. Yes, I’m a weirdo.

  20. Desert Son, OM says


    I’m terrible at the Internet, I’m in despair and rage for a nation and for a planet and for so many people, I’m on my second drink, and I miss Caine.

    So—tonight—I remember her and hold that memory. She was one of the finest, best teachers I ever had.

    Her art. Her voice. Her knowledge. Her perception. Her skill. Her community. Her humor. Her resonance. Her caring. Her precision. Her anger. Her hermitage. Her imagination. Her evocation. Her thunder. Her transformative, dynamic, piercing, diamond-tipped consciousness.

    I’m not much use, but I’m glad to see you, and I am reminded that existence is too interesting not to pay attention to it. If you need quiet, I stand outside the doors you have serenely bolted from within, setting stern gazes of admonishment upon the loutish. If you need loudness, I bring you a microphone and an amplifier and the sunglasses that strike fear in the hearts of your enemies.

    Health and respite and wondrous immensity to you all. May you find yourself delightfully surprised by something beautiful.

    Still learning,


  21. chigau (違う) says

    Nice to hear from you.
    I, too, have a large Caine-sized hole in my heart. You help to fill it.

  22. says


    Nice to hear from you.
    I, too, have a large Caine-sized hole in my heart. You help to fill it.

    What chigau said. I miss her fiercely, too.
    Please, nobody mistake my lighthearted posts for indifference. I’m just somebody who’s good at functioning during a crisis. I just wish for a break to properly break down.

  23. voyager says

    Robert, thank you for your words. They echo my feelings.

    Giliell, I hope there is an end in sight for you.

  24. Desert Son, OM says

    Abiding thanks, all.

    chigau, my thanks. Delighted to hear from you. I hope your mother’s health improves with each hour, until her only complaint is a lack of complaints.

    Giliell, my thanks, and all support for you. As I used to write to Caine: [stands with].

    Anne, may your moments of self care amplify and illuminate.

    voyager, my thanks for the kind note. May your days be filled with bright and bounding dogs reminding us of a grandeur of character for which to strive.

    Still learning,


  25. says

    Why do so many smokers think that their cigarette stubs are just no deal? I mean, apart from the dirt and the environmental impact, that shit is fucking dangerous. Today after school somebody came in and called because the hedges were starting to burn. It’s another year of drought, the dry grass and the dry leaves on the ground burned like nothing and it was starting to catch on the lower branches of the hedge. Now, I’ll admit, I always wanted to know how a fire extinguisher works and got the opportunity to find out, but seriously, 30 minutes later we’d all have been gone, who know who’d have spotted the fire then and when the firefighters would have arrived? Too bad we didn’t catch the person. A few hundred bucks for the new extinguisher might have taught them something.

    Life is sometimes weird. Today we visited my parents (just outdoors) because it was my mum’s birthday. Now it looks like they’re seriously preparing to move downstairs into my grandparents’ old flat and my mum wanted to talk about something with me. They were thinking about offering my sister and her husband the upstairs flat (only if my sister wasn’t that messy…), what do I think about it?
    Now, I absolutely support the idea. I know my sister was hurt when they first talked about renting the flat out and I do have my own house.
    But the funny thing is that my sister moved out very young, before she was even 18, while I lived with my parents well into my 20s (not a rare constellation when you have a narcistic parent) and we always talked about me taking over the house one day. Then one day my sister moved back in again and I bought another house and swore to never live with any parent ever again…

  26. says

    @Giliell, I must confess I often feel the urge to pick up the still-smoldering cigarette butts that some people toss away and extinguish them on their foreheads.

    Even putting aside the fire hazard, those things are a permanent burden on the environment, they contain plastic, tar, and nicotine, all things that are harmful to the environment in the long run.

  27. StevoR says

    There’s anti-racism and Black Lives Matter marches in Australiatoo though not aware of any for Adelaide specifically. I there is I’ll go.

    Of course we have our own issues especially regarding the treatment of Indigenous people here :

    (Transcript there should work though hopefully whole thing will video included?)

    & even enshrined in our constitution itself :

    Incidentally today your time, yesterday mine marks Mabo Day and the End of Reconciliation Week here :

    Always thought the colonisation of Australia by European powers was inevitable and that if Britain hadn’t then the Frecnh would have? I had until I stumbled across this fascinating quote and historic revelation the other day :

    “When LaPerouse became the first European to land on the island of Maui, he refused to declare it the possesion of France, as many other explorers would have on the grounds that the extent of the established population made such an action ridiculous.”

    Source : Page 243, ‘Lost Explorers’, Ed Wright, Murdoch Books, 2008.

    Imagine if (then) Lt Cook had thought the same, admittedly rather exceptional & enlightened way about the east coast of what’s now Australia? (Then dubbed by various name sfor difefernt areas incl New South Wales by Cook and New Holland for the Western part too.) What might have been? Cook certainly knew there were people there -- he claimed it anyway.

  28. StevoR says

    Steve Shives here -- powerful short clip :

    Went to this Black Lives Matter rally in Adelaide today. Huge crowd there :


    One thing learnt today.

    432 Indigenous people have died in police custody in Australia. Not a single cop has been held accountable.

  29. Jazzlet says

    Yup that is British, it would be from sometime in the early eighties, I can’t remember the name of the sketch show at this point, but that is a very young Rowan Atkinson, earlier than Black Adder.

  30. Oggie: Mathom says

    Wife and I were talking this morning as we folded some of the baby’s clothes. I love two of the T-shirts: One reads “Will Trade Sister for Dinosaur” and the other “Today I Want to be a Princess Dinosaur” with the word Princess crossed out. I am quite happy that dinosaurs are now both boys and girls. But there is still so much stereotyping.

    We got the girls a large plastic dump truck for their first birthdays. Great for holding toys and playing. When we were at Wally World, we loved the truck but there was no price on it. Wife asked a young woman what the price was. She scanned it and said $20. Wife told here we were getting it for our grandchildren. She said “I’m sure he will love it.” Wife smiled and explained they are twin girls. The Wally World woman said that was fantastic, rescanned the truck, punched a few buttons and said, “Now it is half price.”

    Wife remembers, as a kid, playing with Tonka Trucks and fire trucks. Which are all, now, firmly in the boys aisle. So much of toys for babies, toddlers, preschoolers, all the children, are now so dichotomous. Clothing, too. Don’t little girls like trucks? Fire trucks? or bright colours? Don’t little boys like castles? or rainbows? or soft colours?

    How did dinosaurs become neutral? I am NOT complaining. I love palaeontology. I have a trilobite sticker on the back of my car. I have about twenty feet of shelf space devoted to palaeontology books. And my granddaughters can wear dino shirts without the automatic assumption that they are boys.

    Anyway, I like the dino shirts, leggings, dresses, etc. that my granddaughters have.


    Wife and I are actually going to be able to take a short vacation next week. Three nights camping. One day prospecting for trilobites. Maybe some light walking (both of us are now officially disabled). Drives in the mountains. Waterfalls. We are looking forward to it.

  31. says

    Yay for a big plastic truck! And yay for being good grandparents. Just remember, it’s ok to wanna be a princess as well. Give them Merida, she rocks.
    My paternal grandfather was a sexist pig. When I was born, having an older sister, I was “only another girl”. When a year later my male cousin was born (“shotgun wedding”, both parents not having finished their professional training, living in my grandparents’ attic), he told my father to go ask his brother how it was done.
    Anyway, for my first christmas I got a doll from them. I was almost a year old, my birthday being 4 weeks after christmas. Family history says that I unwrapped the present, and then started to undress the doll, apparently still searching for the present that should be underneath all this complicated wrapping… When I realised there was no actual present underneath I threw the doll into a corner and played with something else. My grandfather swore and cursed and git me a big plastic truck for my birthday out of spite. i loved that truck.

  32. says

    Oggie and Giliell, everything was gendered back when my girls were small, so, 25 years or so ago. I had polite words with a ToysRUs employee (ie, please pass this on to management) because all the science, all the trains, even the Pokémon plush was “boys”.

    The girls had trains, dinosaurs, and Barbies. After a bit the Barbies were in the toybox and the dinosaurs wore Barbie clothes and lived in the Barbie house.

    Don’t ask me about my asshole father-in-law and his comments about our only having girls.

  33. says

    I do not remember how much were toy stores gendered around here when I was a kid, and being childless and single, I was not to a toy store for a while so I have no clue how it is today. I have briefly checked our online shops and whilst the first one that popped up on google did not have gender subdivisions, following two have and in the most idiotic and fucked-up way imaginable, so it seems if we did not have this cultural fuckwittery already, we definitively have picked it up from the west together with freedom.

    Old farts complaining about daughters and granddaughters deserve a smack around the earlobe. If I had children and my parents or my in-laws tried that shit around me, there would definitively be a flaming row.

    A fun story regarding how to make a son:

    One of my former colleagues told me during casual lunchbreak conversation that she really, really wanted to have a son. So she searched online on how to achieve that goal and on some discussion fora some women wrote that strong orgasms increase the probability of conceiving a male fetus. And she indeed did have a son, QED, it worked and people on these fora are definituvely talking truf to powah.

    As you can imagine, it left me completely dumbfounded and after several unsuccessful attempts, I gave up on trying to explain to her that this is not how biology works. Well, she was into homeopathy and a bit of an anti-vaxer too, so this idiocy was on the “less harmful” part of her personal quack spectrum I guess. At least her husband did not neglect her intimate needs for awhile and she had a lot of fun conceiving..

  34. says

    Asshole FiL’s remarks bothered me so much I cornered Paul later and asked if he missed having boys. He said he was perfectly happy with the daughters, and he wouldn’t have felt comfortable cuddling and showing affection to boy children. Which is a bit sad in itself but made me feel better.

    The really funny thing is that Paul is one of three, all boys, but all of them only had girls. Take that, FiL.

  35. says

    We are all doomed. Orange County is allowing more businesses to reopen, and at the same time making mask-wearing optional.

    “The County Health Officer’s previous Order requiring most residents to wear cloth face coverings outside their home when unable to physically distance themselves by at least six feet can now be safely modified to a strong SHOULD instead of a MUST.”
    Link to press release:

    I don’t know about the rest of the county population, but we’re still going to wear the damn masks. Gah!

  36. lumipuna says

    Speaking of masks, I just saw this week-old argument piece I found interesting:

    Around May, as we began gradually opening up the society here in Finland, the government commissioned a research review on whether it’d be a good idea to officially recommend masking in situations like grocery shops and public transport. The conclusion of that review, a couple weeks ago, was that the benefits of masking are small and uncertain. Around the same time, various experts were increasingly leaning towards recommending masking, and recommending that the government also recommends masking to the public.

    The long-awaited official statement was finally given last week: It says people “may” wear a mask if they feel like it. This is supposed to be “not a recommendation”, but also not an outright dismissal of the possible benefits, in which case the government might actually recommend against masking. (It’s been long recommended for the public to not waste proper filtration masks, if you can get those in the first place.) I get the subtle impression that the government doesn’t want to be held responsible for procuring masks for everyone.

    There was a general shortage of masks in early spring, though not as bad as in some other countries. Since then, both local and international manufacturers have been jacking up their production, and availability has improved somewhat, with only moderately jacked up prices. During the spring, I occasionally used my small stockpile of low-grade dust filter masks for grocery store trips, particularly when the weather was dry and windy and dusty -- that’s the main reason I’d bought those masks in the first place. Now, I’ve just bought a pack of standard disposable face covers and started experimenting on their use.

    Compared to the dust masks, the face covers turn out to be less steamy, which is very nice in summer weather, and they’re generally quite comfortable and easy to wear. I can fit the mask somewhat tightly on my face -- but only if I use my eye glasses to press the upper edge of the mask around my nose. That way, much of my breath seems to actually filter through the microfiber tissue. Good thing I wear the glasses, since without them the mask isn’t remotely airtight, and also slips very easily under my nose, especially when I talk. I know the filtration ability of these masks is very limited, and they’re largely meant just for spray cover, but even for that purpose a tighter fit should be better.

  37. says

    Here in all states minus one masks are mandatory, though in some cases you got to wonder what use a mask is that you wear into a big gym and take off when exercising begins…

  38. says

    People, we’re seriously cleaning up the cellar. It’s amazing how much rubbish winded up there in just three years.

  39. voyager says

    Masks are optional here, although some places (banks, Drs. offices, clinics, etc.) insist you wear one. Most people I’ve seen are wearing homemade reusable masks, but this week I’ve noticed that fewer people seem to have them on. I overheard a woman at the plant nursery today say she stopped wearing one because it was too hard to breathe. I wanted to tell her that COVID makes it even harder to breathe. I still wear one any time I’m going to encounter other people, which isn’t often. I seldom leave the house.

  40. says

    The fam went to Tokyo Central, the Asian market in Yorba Linda, this morning. The market was doing great business and everyone was wearing their mask. We are still using bandanas, but we do all wear them even though we also all wear glasses. Which fog. Better foggy than sick. Also, it’s allergy season and the mask makes my nose stop up, but I’m still wearing one around other people.

    In other news, I think one of the altered art bottles made into dolls is finished. One more to go, then I clean up and (probably) unearth my sewing machine. I have a lovely piece of batik, grey on grey grapeleaf pattern, that’s asking to be summer Turkish bloomers.

    Giliell, I hope you find good lost treasures and no nasty surprises!

  41. says

    I’ll tell you when I find out

    So far no gold coins or the amber room, but at least the only skeleton was a mouse. But it’s satisfying in an odd sort of way because we’re making some real progress.

  42. Jazzlet says

    Finding the amber room would be amazing, sadly I suspect more rubbish is likely.

    The things that may work for me with anger include:
    -- physical activity that results in something obvious, like pummeling kneading bread dough or clearing all of the dog hair off the carpets,
    -- if it’s possible getting lost in a book, though if I am too angry I can’t,
    -- ranting about the things that are making me angry with Paul ranting back, it doesn’t always work, but we quite often end up making dark jokes about all the awfulness,
    -- Jake doing some silly typically canine thing that makes me laugh despite myself.
    None of them are infallible, that’s why I have to wear a tooth guard at night to stop me damaging my teeth.


    Did you see the New Zealand ad about helping your children distinuish between what they learn on the net about relationships and what relationships are really like?

  43. voyager says

    I wish I had a good answer for you. I’m normally pretty chill, but lately, things have been getting to me, too. I try meditation, but I can’t always get there, so then I take a walk or do something physical that tires me out

    I’ve lived in the same house for 40 years. I don’t even want to talk about the state of my basement. We have a whole section nicknamed “The Hall of Shame.” It’s where all the useless things go to live. There are at least two push-button phones, a percolator coffee maker, a couple of old TVs, a window air conditioner and stacks of old record albums. Good Luck -- I hope you find a treasure or two.

    It’s a bitch wearing glasses with a mask, but I’m going to keep doing it until I feel safe, which might be a long time. I found a trick on You Tube that works well, though. Fold a kleenex just in the upper part of the mask on top of the nose. It doesn’t add to the difficulty breathing and it absorbs moisture keeping your specs clear.

    That’s a great ad. They have a few others that are just as attention grabbing. I think the rest of the world could learn a lot from the Kiwis.

  44. StevoR says

    So after reading Katydid’ds comment here last night :

    I remembered this character, scenes and settings from the Harry Potter books, umm, SPOILERS WARNING, I guess :

    The ghost and first victim of Tom Riddle / Voldemort “Moaning” Myrtle Warren who haunts the girls bathroom(s?) at Hogwarts. Thing is Harry and Ron as well as Hermione all use her help and are in her bathroom to access the Chamber of Secrets where the Basilisk is being held in the second book. So we have boys in the girls bathroom Oh noez!!1ty! In a JK Rowling book and its not only treated as okay and accepted its kinda essential for the plot even!

    Moreover, pretty sure Myrtle offered to share her toilet cubicle with Harry if he died* when he opened it and went down to save Ginny who’d taken the book that opened the chamber of secrets. Which, uh, Fawkes the (male I think FWIW?) Phoenix flew down / turned up in later too..

    Then there’s this scene from JK Rowling’s 4th book :

    Note esp @ 2 minutes 30 secs or so mark onwards..

    Oh and one final detail which is cited in my first link here on how Myrtle became a ghost and fell victim to the Basilisk :

    Ooooh, it was dreadful, it happened right in here. I’d hidden because Olive Hornby was teasing me about my glasses. The door was locked, and I was crying, and then I heard somebody come in. They said something funny, a different language, I think it must’ve been. Anyway, what really got me was that it was a boy speaking. So I unlocked the door to tell him to go and use his own toilet, and then… I died.”
    —Myrtle recounting her death

    So the last human thing was going to do was tell a boy she heard speaking in the girl’s bathroom – in Paseltongue (snake) – to “go away!” because he was a boy so .. yeah. Wow. The moral of the story there if there is one .. ?!

    Wonder if JK Rowling would write that particular scene that way these days? Does that indicate she’s changed and got much more TERF-y than she once was? I’d say so.Wonder toowhat she’d say about it now?

    Incidentally, pretty sure in a later book / movies (one of the last few?) Harry Potter and crew find adult wizards and witches flushing themselves into work at the Ministry of Magic so using toilets as travel devices seems to be a ..thing .. in the Potterverse.

    * This being the Potterverse it would not surprise me if there was a slash / fan fiction shipping Harry and Myrtle in an alt history here where that happens? Maybe?

  45. says

    Hey folks
    Sorry for being so quiet, but with still no word about my contract my anxiety is currently through the roof.

  46. Jazzlet says

    Sorry, that’s a hard situation to be in without all of the COVID-19 crap on top of it, it isn’t kind of your head teacher.

  47. says

    @Giliell, that sucks. That should not be a thing in Germany, that is something one expects from a third-world failed state like the USA.

    I personally got preliminary good news from my tax counselor in Germany today -- this time I might be eligible for a tax refund that is not negligible at all. Which has surprised me, but I surely won’t complain if that works out.

    The weather has at least made up for some of the serious droughts over these last few years. Most of CZ is no longer in drought condition and the soil is fully water-satiated for several meters. However it came with significant downsides -- there are areas where flash floods destroyed property and left people essentially homeless, or at least a lot poorer.

    Extreme weather increases its occurrence, I wonder whether that was predicted somewhere, somehow…

  48. says

    Giliell, I’m sorry. Hugs and good vibes for you.

    I’m feeling tired and lazy today. I think I’ll just roll with it, and only do what I feel like doing. Although I may call the library at noon when they open and see about curbside picking up my holds. Shadow thinks sitting in a comfy chair while she sits on me is an excellent idea, five big purrs.

  49. says


    Sorry, that’s a hard situation to be in without all of the COVID-19 crap on top of it, it isn’t kind of your head teacher.

    Oh, my head teacher has nothing to do with it. Neither my actual head teacher (my direct boss whom I see like 5 times a year. Working in special ed I administratively and discplinary wise I belong to the special ed centre, but I work at a comprehensive school), nor my “not boss”. If they had any say I’d have a permanent contract under my belt. It’s all the ministry and in the ministry, of course, the budget allocation. That’s a serious disadvantage of being a teacher: there’s like exactly one, maybe two possible employers. None of us teachers without a permanent contract have heard anything so far and I#m literally sick of it. I haven’t eaten all day because my stomach is one tight red hot ball. And it’s 7:30 pm here…

  50. Jazzlet says

    I hope you were able to get some sleep last night, and that you’ve been able to eat something today.

    It’s been pouring down here too, having had virtually no rain in April or May we are now inundated, with the odd dramatic thunder storm for a change. It’s supposed to be dry tomorrow, rainy again on Sunday, then dry for most of the rest of the week. We’ll see.

    Happy Juneteenth and Solstice.

  51. says

    Food: a little
    Sleep: some more. I think I just keeled over. My body is somewhat smarter than me.
    Our friends come over today for a Pokémon Go day.

  52. says

    Well, we had a nice day and my stomach calmed down a little.
    The house was sadly not a good object for my friend, but I got a bunch of tools for cheap.

  53. chigau (違う) says

    Did y’all know that putting cola in the ice-cube tray in an attempt to make cola-cubes results in a sticky mess?

  54. says

    Giliell, I hope you are feeling better today and that you caught lots of lovely Pokémon.

    chigau, did the cola separate or what? Sounds gross, I hope it didn’t make too much of a mess.

    Happy Solstice, everyone! Halfway through the longest year ever.

    I seem to have started collecting enamel tack pins (or at least, more), so I redid the corkboard I hung over the sewing machine for sewing instructions to also hold the fancy pins. Also too I redid the vision board. Today I drove to the library and contactless-pickuped my holds, so I have the new Ben Aaronovitch. I should reread at least the last one, because I’m very confused. The library is sort of open again, does that mean nature is healing?

    It looks like we will be planning a fun family expedition once a week now. This week was Barnes & Noble now it’s open again. Next week, Blick Arts. I might even venture to the Goodwill this week. All properly masked, of course.

  55. chigau (違う) says

    cola cubes do not freeze to a nice, solid, lump. like water-ice.
    more of a very-sticky-almost-solid-foamy… hard to describe
    get the kids to try it

  56. StevoR says

    Anyone know if Ed Brayton is okay? There’ been no new posts from him on Dispatches since June 15th now and nothing on his facebook page by him since June 8th. Hoping he’s okay but know he’s been pretty crook and so worried. Wondering if anyone on FTB knows something and if they can share or not? Understand if not, but aware that I’m not the only person who is concerned for him here.

  57. lumipuna says

    A while ago it was mentioned on the news that there’s a rash of telephone scammers offering “personal IT support” to Finnish phone numbers. Now I’ve got two of those calls within a couple days.

    The first caller spoke English in what sounded like Finnish accent. I thought it was odd, as usually these scammers are said to have an Indian accent -- presumably because in South Asia you can hire English speaking call center workers for peanuts. Meanwhile, you can’t generally find people in cheap labor countries who speak, for example, Finnish.

    OTOH you’d think using English isn’t perhaps very efficient for conning internet naive people in second-language countries. That goes especially for English spoken with a weird foreign accent -- obviously, in Finland we aren’t used to having our normal customer phone services outsourced to countries like Bangladesh. Even the genuine online services from Microsoft are automatically coming in Finnish if you have that set as your computer’s default language. I thought, maybe some scammers are actually Finnish, and only use English as an initial screening tool for their marks?

    The second caller had what sounded like a Chinese accent. I still asked, out of curiosity, if they have a “Finnish language service”. Clearly, this wasn’t the case.

  58. StevoR says

    Three great endangered species clips I’ve stumbled on lately. The Addra or Dama Gazelle, which is the tallest and largets and one of the rarest of its kind and yet I’ve only just recently heard of it that I recall :

    Regent honeyeater clip here featuring a beautiful critically endangered bird and there’s just something really soothing about this :

    A fascinating botantical adventure story & 25 minute long mini-doco here :

  59. chigau (違う) says

    The *air* in bubble-wrap and all those other packing-pillows.
    Where does that come from?

  60. Jazzlet says

    I have a whirlygig and I have -- and am -- using it! Such is the great excitment here, that I actually made a decision and ordered the whirlygig, that it arrived promptly, that Paul put in the soil spike -- which required pouring water down the spike and waiting twice so dry is the ground here, that we put the whirlygig out and that I have now dried several loads of laundry on it. Small pleasures and all that.

  61. chigau (違う) says

    That is what concerns me.
    What is in that air / atmosphere?
    Where is it from?
    What are their intentions?
    Is Trump involved?
    What was that noise?

  62. Ice Swimmer says

    Hello, all!

    I’ve been knee-deep in Master’s thesis writing, but the actual end seems to be closer now. I have a ton of revisions and some to do, but the all the parts have been written., including the Abstract in Finnish (Tiivistelmä). I haven’t written anything else serious but job applications, e-mails and and three tests in Finnish in the last two years, so it felt a bit strange, both good (it’s my language, after all) and awkward (I’ve learned many of the technical terms in English, but not in Finnish). Last week, I had my thesis seminar presentation, which I did online.

    I’ve been following the posts here, but haven’t had the energy to write.

    I got one of those “MS support” phone and e-mail scams earlier in spring. I had to ask the scammer to repeat what they said a few times before deciphering that they were trying to scam me, the accent was so thick. In my university setting, English language scams make a bit more sense, as there is a lot of people who aren’t Finnish and haven’t learned to speak or understand a lot of the language in the Finnish for Foreigners courses.

  63. says

    @Ice Swimmer, nice to hear from you! I hope your thesis presentation went well and you get your master’s degree soon enough.

  64. Jazzlet says

    Ice Swimmer
    Good to hear from you!

    I hope the revisions go smoothly, it can be a frustrating time so nearly finished, but not quite there, I hope it is not so for you.

  65. says

    Hey folks
    One more week of school, then it’s the holidays. Still no news about my contract, but at least my stomach has calmed down.

    Yay, Ice Swimmer. I know what you mean. I really found writing in German during the teacher training weird. Especially with our punctuation where the approach to commata is “sprinkle deliberately”.

  66. says

    Well, I went and signed up for Weight Watchers. Just the basic online program for six months, but I’ll be getting a free cookbook. It’s very different from my last time, and very confusing. Nevertheless, I will try to persist, because I weigh more now than I ever have, and it’s not good for me. Wish me luck?

  67. says

    Thank you, Charly. Healthy is what I need, and for me that has to start with getting the eating under control. I eat when I’m stressed, which is all the time these days.

  68. chigau (違う) says

    Cooking Lesson
    When using a rice cooker, the rice cooks more quickly if you turn on the cooker.
    This is probably also true if you are using a pot.
    You’re welcome.

  69. Jazzlet says

    Glad your stomach calmed down some, but I hope you get a contract damn soon.

    Have you any plans for the holidays? I’m not sure when the accepting of tourists is kicking in, but getting to Spain doesn’t look as hopeless as it did. Would you want to go?

    I wish you luck of course, but I particularly wish you a lack of weak moments. Lockdown hasn’t done my weight any favours either, and I need to lose some to be comfortable in my body.

    Yeah cooking food does mean it takes less calories to consume and digest. There are plenty of people who think the development of community, culture, civilisation even all boil down to us having spare time because we cooked our food.

    The weather this spring and into summer has been nuts; it was far too dry, now it feels like it’s been raining forever, though it’s probably only about a week, but the last two days were solid all day long you-will-get-wet-if-you-go-out rain. *whines* I can’t hang my washing out *whines*

  70. says

    Good luck

    Our plans for the holidays are to stay at home and enjoy our garden. I wouldn’t feel comfortable travelling anywhere and I don’t want to spend my holidays looking over my shoulder all the time. We’ll do day trips and host many barbecues. We can meet our friends and family again and I can live like that well.

    I just spent 2.5 hours at the dentist’s to prepare my teeth for the crown and the bridge. Now I’ve got a royal headache and torn corners of the mouth because I might be a loudmouth, but my mouth is also very small. It’s also the weirdest feeling in my mouth. But in just two weeks I will have actual teeth again.
    BTW, does anybody else hold their own hand when at the dentist’s?

  71. Ice Swimmer says

    The presentation went fine, but it was slightly too long.

    I’m hoping I can get the suggested revisions done quickly and clean up the text from multi-line complicated sentences with the verb in the last line and other difficult-to-read constructions*.

    Good luck!

    I hope you got regicidal painkillers to kill the royal headache.

    I think we got our comma rules from German or Swedish, definitely not English.
    * = The English teacher remarked to me that I’m not writing my thesis in German…

  72. chigau (違う) says

    I do a trance state when I go to the dentist. I’ve no idea what my hands are doing.

  73. lumipuna says

    I often complain about the weather, but this spring and summer have been very nice. It’s been largely sunny, with an occasional downpour of rain. I even saw a neat rainbow yesterday. There’s lush greenery, and within a few weeks there might be a good harvest of wild raspberries and bilberries. Eventually, there might be even MUSHROOMS!.

    Still more rain would be welcome, though. Last week was all too hot -- we almost broke the national record for June temperature. Now that it’s cooled down and rained some, I feel much better.

  74. Jazzlet says

    When I go to the dentist I rest my hands on the arm rests and consciously do not clench the rests, I also do mindful breathing keeping an ‘eye’ on the rest of my body to make sure I’m not tensing anything up. I hope your headache cleared up.

    I am glad you are planning nice things to do around home, I would certainly worry if you went to Spain.

  75. StevoR says

    This new livery (and the reasons for it) rocks :

    F1’s champion and toxic old racist boss past clash :

    Oh and locally, “my” (put last on ballott) state MP is an evil disgusting creep; part way too many :

    Respect to Connie Bonaros. So angy and disgusted about Duluk who is the MP for my electorate though he represents me not at all.

  76. says

    Arghs, TNET has dropped our of the sidebar again…
    We have a new baby in the family, my second cousin over in Berlin became a dad again. All is well, but holy fuck, what is it with young women’s desire to reenact grandma’s dying in childbirth? His girlfriend gave birth alone, in the tub, at night, claiming the midwife didn’t make it and letting her partner sleep. What the fuck? First of all, I had two kids so fast the doc didn’t make it in time for the second, but yes, I made it to the hospital in time. If you have time to let in water, you have time to call a fucking ambulance. And letting him sleep? She could have bled out in that tub and when their little daughter needed to get up for a pee she could have found her mum exsanguinated and her baby brother drowned in the morning. Sorry for ranting, but it’s just something I will never ever get.