TNET 44: Manscaped


I am not going to embed any of those or link to their site, but I have got an awful lot of ads on YouTube lately for the products in the title and I totally do not get it. Like, at all, on so, so many levels. It is a male-centered effort similar to the one that convinced women they should shave their legs.

At some time in our evolution, our species has decided for selecting for hair that grows almost indefinitely on our heads and to a very limited degree on other parts. It is a sad fact that cutting/trimming or excessively grooming head and facial hair is a necessity, otherwise it would get too big and entangled and would impede normal function. Those are our species’ equivalent of peacock’s tails or irish elk’s antlers. And I do get why someone would opt for regular shaving instead of regular trimming for whatever reasons – convenience, aesthetic preference etc. We have to chose there one of several options.

But I completely do not get why I should shave my chest or my groin. And I won’t. Regular hygiene is sufficient to keep me comfy and non-smelly and there is absolutely no health benefit to shaving body hair. In my case, there is even a downside which also the reason why I have a beard – I have sensitive skin and I react badly to shaving. However, that is not the point. We are the only species that is capable to alter or even downright mutilate perfectly healthy bodies for mere fashion. I will never understand why some people feel the need to inject pigment into healthy skin, or pierce and cut healthy functional organs in order to put pieces of metal in them. Oftentimes in a manner that impedes normal functioning and sometimes even endangers health.

I am not saying people should not be allowed to shave their balls, tatoo their faces, or pierce their tongues. Your body, your choice, just do not expect a compliment from me and we will get along just fine. But I find it ridiculous if it is a personal choice, doubly ridiculous if it is a fashion trend and several orders of magnitudes ridiculous if it is a concentrated effort of a company to sell me products that I neither need nor want. Unfortunately, they will probably succeed in convincing some, even though not me personally.

Open thread, you can talk whatever you want, under the condition of not being an asshole.

Previous thread.

Comments

  1. avalus says

    I got such ads in summer. Now its all stock trading app-adds. I hate both and reminds me why I should not use my phone for the y-tubes.

  2. Jazzlet says

    I have been rather dull and tired, but am feeling a lot better now, it’s always a surprise when we get a few days of winter sun and my mood perks right up, it’s not like it happens every year or anything *rollseyes at self* Jolly pleased that bulbs I managed to plant in the autumn, and before, are coming up all over, the snowdrops run riot in this garden, but I’ve got aconites, iris, even an anemone in flower in the basket by the back door with crocus elsewhere and daffodils shooting up like crazy, so they’ll be more flowers when these have gone. I did try to plant for a succession in the autumn, but apart from that I’m pretty sure there are some tulips somewhere I don’t recall what else I planted, so assuming the mysterious ‘they’ come up I’ll get a nice surprise.

    Mr J has had his first vaccination, AstraZeneca, as have all of my older relatives, he got in earlier than we expected due to the having one kidney and a history of idiosyncratic clotting. No idea when I’ll get mine, but the Government are saying we’ll all be done by mid-summer, it might even be true as so far the vaccine roll-out has gone according to the timetable they set.

    I’ve had to buy a new washing machine, to go with my new whirlygig from the summer. The old machine was well over fifteen years old, possibly over twenty and had decided that it would just whizz round the cycle withoout actually doing any of the washing, rinsing or spinning so we certainly got our moneys worth, no one was prepared to come and look at it for possible repair so that was that. In the UK we have an organisation callled the Consumer Assciation who do a lot of consumer goods testing, as well as getting user reports from members; they recommended a Bosch that had automatic liquid dispensing and which I could control from wherever I was using my phone! I bought an older model that didn’t do either, apart from me using washing powder rather than liquid, I don’t see the point of the controlling with my phone business, I can delay the wash with the one I bought but until a machine can select and load the washing, then hang it out along wit bringing it back inside if it rains I can’t see any advantage in cntrolling it from a distance. Plus I would have been paying nearly £100 for the priviledge!


    Hope you are all doing at least ok and managing to enjoy having a little more light in the day.

  3. Ice Swimmer says

    I’m not willing to shave any of my hair.

    I remember an anecdote told by a Finnish blogger/media entrepreneur who as a young man once shaved his balls with a razor, got an itch and was worried that his scrotal skin might get infected, so he disinfected the scrotum with plenty of Neo-Amisept (basically isopropanol). He told (in the blog post) that the burning sensation was terrifying and he went to the kitchen sink (full of dirty dishes) to rinse his groin, which did help, and only then he noticed that his flatmate was also in the kitchen.

  4. says

    Back when there still was something like Spa days, I always wondered if I was the only woman who grew pubic hair before the age of 60*…

    *Despite our reputation of being verklempt, Germans are very much ok with nudity. Nudist beaches have a more than a century old tradition and most saunas are mixed sex and nudist.

    Jazzlet
    I know what you mean. Also, this winter was especially dark. We had weeks of overhung skies without a ray of sunlight. I’m also with you with this whole “smart home” bullshit. First of all, anything that is connected to the internet can be hacked. Second, as you say, it doesn’t offer any additional service anyway.
    Yay for Mr. J getting his first vaccination. I could sign up, but don’t have an appointment yet. They bumped preschool, primary school and special ed teachers up to group 2.

  5. Jazzlet says

    I did shave my legs when I had to wear proper work clothes, and so tights, but happily turned my back on that long ago. Mr J is bearded and long-haired -- although less long haired than he used to be, he has lost about 10cm of length in the last six months for some reason. I’ve been long-haired since my twenties, between us we have saved a fortune in hair cutting costs over the years.

    Giliell
    Glad you are eligible, is getting an apppointment difficult? Now most of the vaccinations in the UK are the AstraZenica one they are mostly being done by GP’s who just tell you when to turn up. It seems to be the one thing the Government has got right, the fact that so much is being done by existing NHS providers is no doubt making all the difference as they are still fucking thing up -- see the ridicuous quarantine regime for people coming in from some countries, with no effective enforcement -- they’ve managed to mislay someone with the super infectious Brazilian variety -- very much taking people at their word, plus trusting tht they will enter via specified routes.

  6. Ice Swimmer says

    Jazzlet @ 5

    Um, is the vaccination carried out by medical doctors in the UK or do the GPs employ nurses who do the injections? Nurses do the vaccinations here.

    Here the municipality (which is responsible for the health care of the residents) has set up some locations for Covid vaccinations, one in a mall, another in an ice hockey arena and a few in local health care centers. If only we got more doses from the manufacturers…

  7. Jazzlet says

    Ice Swimmer
    I should have said GP practices as it is the practice nurses doing the actual injections. Although I was also wrong about them doing ‘most’ of the vaccinations, as there are also dedicated sites doing them. What confused me is that some of the dedicated sites are run by large GP practices. I have now been invited to book my appointments at one of those, which is good.

  8. says

    I am furious. I have tried to book vaccination appointments for my parents, and the system that our brilliant government came up with is so fucked up that it does not tell you what times are still free. You have to select an appointment time, send the reservation and only after that the site tells you -- in pigeon Czech no less! -- that the time is taken, please select another one. And after clicking through every single option and getting the same answer every single time, the site still did not say “sorry, no free slots left” but insisted that I should just pick another. A high schooler with basic programming knowledge should be able to come up with something more sensible. Not to mention that something that is supposed to help people over 70 requires internet access and more than a moderate amount of internet savvy.

  9. Ice Swimmer says

    Jazzlet @ 7

    I should have guessed as much. It’s just that NHS is a mystery to me (a centralized system with some sort of contractors as the general practitioner level, right?).

    Charly @ 8

    Let me guess, there is also a phone vaccination appointment service that lets you call them so they will call you back later if they ever get around to calling you? From what I’ve heard, the phone appointment systems here may not always call you back.

    When I was booking my now canceled (because I really don’t want to do it the same as my covid vaccine, postponing it to a time I’m more immune to the virus makes all the sense for me) dental check, I had problems finding an appointment slot as the first one was 3 months away.

    Not being able to find a slot because the next free one is in June wouldn’t really be any better than having a badly designed appointment booking system…

  10. says

    Charly
    My sympathies. It seems like our governments have decided to fuck it up royally. Here you cannot book a specific appointment. You can say “gimme my shot” and then they’ll tell you when you can come in. Which I would be ok with, if they actually vaccinated people. there’s a shitstorm against the Astra Zeneca vaccine, which is now lying around. Many people in priority group 1 don’t want it (fucking assholes should be pushed back to the end of the line behind the “general public”), and until last week elderly people weren’t supposed to get it. But until the priority group one is vaccinated, Priority group 2 doesn’t get appointments. And now they put the two most corrupt and incompetent doctors in charge of the vaccine taskforce…

    +++
    Well, after three Saturdays on my knees I have finally weeded the front yard and filled it up with mulch. Next week we can start with the backyard.

  11. Jazzlet says

    To my enormous surprise the UK Government vaccination booking system is easy to use and won’t let you book the first appointment without also booking the second, so I’ll get my first injection on Thursday week, and my second in June. I don’t know which vaccine it will be, and I don’t care, I’m just happy to have my appointments.

    Ice Swimmer
    Yes GP’s and dentists are contractors, they get paid an amount for each patient they have registered, then more for achieving targets. It is complicated and a result of the historical resistance to the idea of being direct employees from GP’s at the time of the NHS’s foundation. You do get the odd directly employed GP or dentist when none of the contracted ones are providing a service for an area; a friend of mine worked directly while setting up a practice in an area with no NHS dentist, then moved on when they insisted he buy the practice after a few years -- he wanted to be directly employed.

  12. Ice Swimmer says

    Jazzlet @ 11

    Here the health care system evolved from municipal doctors (officials of the municipality, definitely one of the local notables) to municipal hospitals and later health care centers run by the municipalities and central hospitals run by local alliances of municipalities. There have also always been private doctors and dentists as well as some private hospitals, for which you pay out of your pocket, but a part of the cost is covered by the state health insurance.

    I’m speculating that because of the social standing of the municipal doctors there may not have been an incentive to lobby for a system similar to the one you have in UK.

  13. Ice Swimmer says

    I got the Covid vaccine today and got assigned a second appointment for the booster vaccine at the end of May. The AstraZeneca vaccine is much less painful than a flu vaccine, they gave it to me with a thin and long needle. No side effects to speak of, so far.

    The process went smooth, with no unnecessary waiting at any point.

  14. Ice Swimmer says

    The side effects seem to have come with a delay. I had temperature last night and my head is still a bit heavy. However, I feel I’m recovering. The vaccine must be working…

  15. says

    Yay, Ice Swimmer!
    I still got no appointment, but my colleague, who signed up after me, got one… My hope is now that they want to start vaccination at your local GP in April and that things will speed up then.

    +++
    Grade five and six are back in school now, though with half size groups on alternating weeks, the rest will be back next week. And my heart is completely torn in two, because I’m so happy to see them, and I know that lockdown was so hard for many of them and so much progress we made has been lost, but on the other hand, I also know that this will drive infections.

  16. lumipuna says

    Today was one of those rare winter days when it’s sunny and the sun is somewhat high because it’s almost spring, but also there’s lots of shiny new snow and it’s not melting in the sun because the weather’s fairly cold.

  17. Gelaos says

    @Charly

    I will never understand why some people feel the need to inject pigment into healthy skin, or pierce and cut healthy functional organs in order to put pieces of metal in them. Oftentimes in a manner that impedes normal functioning and sometimes even endangers health.
    […] I find it ridiculous if it is a personal choice, doubly ridiculous if it is a fashion trend

    Well, as far as tattoos go I think that in some specific cases tattoos can enhance someone’s aesthetic appearance. Sort of like make-up: if done right, it looks great, can be considered as art even. If done bad, it’s simply horrible. Most tattoos fall somewhere in the middle. Also if the tattoos are too extensive (our former presidential candidate is an extreme example), can’t be hidden easily or if the tattooing causes too much pain, then I’m against it. But hey, if someone is willing to pass out from pain just in order to get a tattoo, it’s his/hers choice and I get it. And even if everything is safe, painless, etc., I’d still try to persuade that person to think reaaaly carefully, because -- unlike make-up or bodypaint -- the tattoo is permanent.

    I have a different feeling about body-piercing. If it’s not excessive or health-endangering, go and get it if you wish. But unlike tattoos, I don’t like piercings (including earrings) aestheticaly at all.

  18. says

    Oh, I think that some people have great tattoos. Others are less to my taste. It’s just that I know myself enough to know that I could never be happy with them. Like, 20 years ago I would have half the Lord of the Rings tattooed all over me, 10 years ago probably some steampunk. Now maybe a Pokémon? I’d end up with a whole bunch of them and never be actually satisfied, so I’ll stick with jewellery and t-shirts.

  19. Ice Swimmer says

    I’m afraid of getting allergic reactions to the pigments so I won’t have myself tattooed. Besides, I’m quite hairy, so the tattoos might not look that great. I did think about getting nipple piercings, as my male nipples are otherwise literally useless. But I couldn’t be arsed and I guess a ring on the nipple won’t make it significantly more useful for me.

    As for other people’s tattoos, some may be great, others not so much, but that’s none of my business. I won’t encourage anyone to get or remove tattoos (a proveably reformed nazi skinhead having their facial tattoos removed would be an exception).

  20. says

    @Gelaos, I know people who have tattoos, I have even designed a tattoo for one of my friends. But the truth of the matter is, I personally just do not like them. I have a visceral reaction to seeing tattoos and piercings and that is one of disgust and revulsion.
    BTW, I also do not like ostentatious make-up. The less obvious make-up is, the more OK I am with it.
    I do not know why, it just is that way.

    Today my father finally got a term at the hospital. He is going for radiation therapy and will spend there six weeks. He cannot get the vaccine for Covid until the therapy is over. To say that I am currently a bit worried would be a huge understatement.

  21. Ice Swimmer says

    Charly @ 21

    I’m hoping for the best possible for your father and you. Fuck cancer!

    Grandpa hasn’t been able to get his corona vaccine due to an inflammation. It is also possible that he’ll be in end-of-life care soon for reasons unrelated to the corona or the inflammation. I just hope he can avoid suffering and discomfort and he will live as long as he wishes to.

  22. says

    Charly
    Damn, I understand why you’re scared, especially with the situation in the Czech Republic being as bad as it is.

    +++
    In good news, I got my first appointment for the Astra Zeneca vaccine in two weeks. There’s currently a massive campaign against that particular vaccine that I don’t get. Entire countries have halted the vaccine completely after a few cases of thrombosis that are lower than the number of thrombosis cases you should expect in the population in that time without the vaccine. I mean, maybe we’ll get some more of the vaccine then, since for another reason the EU is currently the last on the list to get the vaccines they ordered. Now, I understand completely that it’s also not fair that we’re hoarding the vaccines and also block the global South from copying them, but this whole thing stinks.

  23. StevoR says

    @ 21. Charly & #22.Ice Swimmer : My sympathies for whatever little they may be worth.

    ***

    Thankyou and quoting for truth “Snarkrates” comment #8 somewhere on PZ Myers ‘Pharyngula’ blog a fair while ago :

    “It is my fondest hope that our progeny look back on our time & our prejudices with embarressment. If they don’t it means they will not have progressed.”

    I love and have shared with attribution a paraphrased version of that. Hope that’s okay.

  24. says

    Hey there. I’m still alive, just very tired. After being happy to get my vaccine appointment, everything is in jeopardy again because they halted the Astra Zeneca vaccine.

  25. lumipuna says

    Since I haven’t yet commented on the thread opener,

    I find it slightly odd that shaving/shaping one’s body hair in men is called “manscaping”, which seems to be a recently coined term. IDK if it technically includes shaping one’s facial hair (not to mention the hair on top of head) but that’s a very traditionally popular and actually very male-coded type of personal grooming. I figure the concept of body shaving was first popularized for women, and then someone decide “body shaving” was a feminine tradition, and men needed something separate but similar.

    (Also slightly odd that we call only hair growing below the neck “body hair” or in Finnish “skin hair”)

  26. Ice Swimmer says

    Giliell @ 26

    I was wondering how pissed off you would be after hearing the news. They haven’t halted giving it here, at least not yet.

  27. says

    @Giliell, that sucks. I am not an expert, but I think the kaboodle with Astra Zeneca vaccine is overblown. Four people have died out of seventeen million? That is ridiculous. We did not know which vaccine my mother gets prior to the appointment today, but we were in agreement that given the information available, there is no need to not get the vaccine if it is Astra Zeneca.
    In fact, as long as cigarettes remain legal, banning many things is ridiculous.

  28. lumipuna says

    Giliell at 4 wrote:

    Back when there still was something like Spa days, I always wondered if I was the only woman who grew pubic hair before the age of 60*…

    I haven’t gone to sauna with other people in recent years, and back when I did, I generally avoided looking other people’s bodies too closely (my eyesight without glasses isn’t very good, either). How did I learn this prudishness, or dare I say homophobic aversion? Anyway, I haven’t have much exposure to other men’s bodies in person. I vaguely recall that at least full pubic hair seemed to be the standard in my youth.

    I also notice that commercial imagery tends to erase body hair in both men and women, although imagery of women’s bodies is much more pervasive. Most of the time, I don’t even think about it, namely that my mental image of generic male and female bodies is biased in this way. Then, some days, I just admire my own body and find it to be “surprisingly” hairy, especially nowadays, since my chest and back hair has only gotten started growing as I approach middle age. I feel it looks kind of good, though in a different way that male bodies are “supposed” to look good. It feels slightly exotic, but also very much like my own body. Having a mostly hairless body would be nice, but extensive shaving would be not only too tedious for my lazy ass, the whole idea feels just wrong.

    Intellectually, I think my hair growth pattern isn’t remotely unusual, at least for my racial background. I’ve seen some data suggesting that people from Nordic region and Middle East are the world’s hairiest. (One common racist stereotype here in Finland is that Middle Eastern men are “more hairy” than us, possibly because their hair is darker and therefore more visible). I also try mentally remind myself that women tend to have leg and armpit hair, not to mention the pubic hair, which I actively appreciate in terms of erotic aesthetics.

    *Despite our reputation of being verklempt, Germans are very much ok with nudity. Nudist beaches have a more than a century old tradition and most saunas are mixed sex and nudist.

    Finns tend to think we are very much ok with sauna nudity as a nation. In reality, I get the sense that many of us only barely (hah) tolerate shared nudity for the sake of enjoying sauna. Our sauna is usually gender segregated, or at most mixed within nuclear family. It may be that in Finland sauna is traditionally meant for everyone, whereas in Germany it’s mainly for those who find shared nudity truly comfortable?

    Wearing of swimsuits in public saunas hasn’t really caught on, because it’s not traditional, because it was long thought “unhygienic” and because the facilities at public pools and spas are already built to be gender segregated anyway. In private family saunas, people may prefer to go one at a time, like in my family, since heating energy is cheap in this modern day. Nowadays in public facilities, there’s some pressure to normalize the choice of wearing a swimsuit in sauna for people who are really shy or gender nonconforming or from whatever cultural backgrounds.

  29. says

    lumipuna

    Finns tend to think we are very much ok with sauna nudity as a nation. In reality, I get the sense that many of us only barely (hah) tolerate shared nudity for the sake of enjoying sauna. Our sauna is usually gender segregated, or at most mixed within nuclear family. It may be that in Finland sauna is traditionally meant for everyone, whereas in Germany it’s mainly for those who find shared nudity truly comfortable?

    In Germany you have textile saunas and also nudist saunas. There are segregated saunas, and mixed saunas. the local swimming pool has reserved one afternoon for men, one for women. the spa where we go has a textile sauna but also a nudist area, though the latter is much bigger and more frequented. Given that people will run around, rub salt and honey on themselves and their partners, go to the communal shower or dip in the basin, you simply see lots of nekkid people. In fact, it would make people uncomfortable if you tried to not see them on purpose.

    Charly
    I don’t get it either. If we vaccinated my whole Bundesland with AZ twice, we#d get 8-10 cases of thrombosis, and that’s cases, not deaths. So far more than 900 people here have died of Covid… But I have to risk catching Covid, but am not allowed to take the risk with the vaccine…

    +++
    We now get two quick tests a week in school, only on a voluntary basis, of course. Or as a mother said: “I don’t want my daughter to get tested because I think she may be positive…

  30. Ice Swimmer says

    Giliell,

    About my comment @ 28, I’m sorry, I was tactless. I didn’t mean to rub your misfortune on your face, but I think my comment turned out thusly.

    At least EMA made a seemingly sensible decision, I’m hoping your govt follows it.

  31. Jazzlet says

    Gilliell
    I hope yur Gvernment change their mind in time for you to have your vaccination on the appointed day/


    I got my AstraZeneca vaccine earlier this afternoon. For some reason their were signs up telling us how many steps we would take to get to our vaccination and, afterwards, how many it would take to get back to the car park, not sure what that was about. I had to go to SportCity which is part of Manchester City’s stadium complex, I could theoretically have driven to the tram and got that in, but I drove all the way so I could go on to the largest Chinese supermarket around here. Lots of goodies like buns for steaming and other dim sum, plus some basics like light soy sauce which we’d almost run out of -- you can get it in supermarkets, but in piddly small bottles at twice the price of the ones at Wing Yip

  32. StevoR says

    @ ^ Jazzlet : No worries. Imagien howI feel! ;-)

    ( Icannot type for S and somehow only ever see typos later, mea culpa

    ***

    Grimly interesting article & set of true stories here -- WARNING : Gender role bigotry, confronting content :

    https://www.boredpanda.com/pointlessly-gendered-things/?utm_source=2844956_0_0_0&utm_medium=push&utm_campaign=WebPush

    I guess a lot of people have already heard of recent Aussie events re: our accused (known -- I believe Kate as do most people I think .hope) ) rapist AG Porter but fro those who haven’t seen and might want to the Four Corners episodes in question here :

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jm7a4vAnGGg

    Part I & here Part II :

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kmn9UP_q_Yk

    WARNING : Sexual assualt, misogyny, Scotty from Marketing Morrisson refs.

  33. StevoR says

    In much better more hopeful news :

    https://www.space.com/nasa-sls-megarocket-engine-test-artemis-1-march-2021

    This is rocket science and shows what we can achieve when we work together intelligently and co-operatively, .
    I find it a sign of hope and potential and really hope it gets to fly.

    In other astronomy news Vega seems to be hosting the literally second hottest planet yet found :

    http://www.sci-news.com/astronomy/vega-b-09429.html#disqus_thread

    Plus turns out insteller visitor Oumuamua might be a fragment of a once Pluto-like planet round another sun :

    https://news.agu.org/press-release/interstellar-object-oumuamua-is-likely-a-piece-of-a-pluto-like-planet

  34. StevoR says

  35. lumipuna says

    Giliell:

    In fact, it would make people uncomfortable if you tried to not see them on purpose.

    I suppose so, if you took it too far. It’s not like I try to never see anything at all.

    On the topic of body hair positivity, this cartoon (and the author’s comment) is kind of adorable. Also, mildly NSFW.

    https://satwcomic.com/the-canadian-siblings

    What’s the punchline? I think there’s some inside joke, if you’re sufficiently familiar with the Danish author’s other work and online persona. Otherwise, it’s just deliciously bold and sexy.

  36. says

    Jazzlet, don’t worry, I took in the spirit you meant it. It looks like all appointments here are still valid. Sometimes being a small place has its advantages. After the stop they didn’t halt vaccination completely or partially and simply switched to Biontech using some of the reserves.
    Yay for getting your first shot and some nice food.

    +++
    BTW, science is amazing. They already figured out the mechanism behind those rare forms of thrombosis and could therefore tell hospitals what treatment would be most effective.

  37. lumipuna says

    Speaking of the AZ vaccine, Finland has just now halted its use for a week (WTF????) after two people had severe complications. Also Sweden and Norway are still investigating the connections, while most other countries are resuming the use of the AZ vaccine.

  38. Jazzlet says

    Well I seem to have had no side effects at all, possibly a bit of lethargy, but that could just be the normal run-of-the-mill for me lethargy. Which may be down to my iron levels still being low or may not. Must buy some liver, the usual vegetable and small amounts of meat sources clearly not being enough.

    Giliell
    Glad to hear that, hope you have mild or no side effects.

    Iumipuna
    That seems pointless, except as a “look we’re not ignoring this!” performance.

  39. Ice Swimmer says

    I think they wouldn’t have halted the vaccinations with the AstraZeneca vaccine if Astra would be delivering more doses to Finland than they are currently.

    We got 12 000 doses last Friday and further 13 000 doses on Friday. The health care system is doing nationally on average over 20 000 doses/workday. Pfizer delivers over 100 000 doses/week. I suspect that part of the reason for the break is putting some pressure on AstraZeneca to provide a more consistent supply of vaccines.

  40. Oggie: Mathom says

    Hi, all,

    I have officially filed for disability retirement. I have radiculopathy, C7 & C8, permanent nerve damage to both right and left arms, plus the arthritis in my hips thanks to limping since I left the army 30 years ago, and the degenerating discs in my lumbar from falling off a cliff back in 17. My neurosurgeon told me that ‘it is what it is and it ain’t gettin no better.’ But things work. Sort of.

    Had to give up my car and get one with an automatic. Had to give up the banjo — I can flat strum a guitar, but picking a banjo? Cooking now requires an assistant to chop, dice, and mince. Dressing occasionally requires help with buttons. Work has decided, in writing, that I cannot do my job as a park ranger and they have nowhere else to put me.

    Fuck. I’m only 55 and I feel like I’m 75.

    On the plus side, I get to spend a great deal of time with my twin grand daughters. They talk to each other lots. I just cannot understand this younger generation. Or they are using a twin language. I love them. Though I am looking forward to post-diapers.

    It feels weird to be only 55 and will be retiring soon.

    Ice Swimmer: Our last snow melted, here in the valley, last week. Today it hit 77. Lots of wind, but the house is opened up and the heat is off.

  41. Oggie: Mathom says

    Oh, forgot. I got vaccinated through the VA (mild flu-like symptoms for the first Astra-Zeneca shot, next shot is on the 7th) and Wife got vaccinated through the school — she got the one-shot J&J. She felt like shit for about a day. But this means that, when school is out, we can visit my parents and her parents. Mine are in Maine, and I haven’t seen them since February, 2020. Hers are in Florida and we haven’t seen them since December of 2019.

  42. Ice Swimmer says

    Oggie @ 46

    I’ve been thinking about you every now and then. My warm thoughts for you! That sounds a lot of nerve and joint pain, I’m hoping the doctors can mitigate the symptoms.

    On the other hand, yay for the little ones and their antics (minus the diaper stuff)!

    Last night it rained and today was bright at first (7 ℃), but it’s going to be slightly foggy for the next week or so. A lot of snow has melted, but a lot of it still remains in the more shadowy spots and snow piles.

  43. says

    Oggie!!!!
    So good to hear from you. I’m sorry your body has decided to be ahead of its time. How old are the girls now? I mean, yeah,m language is all about communication and obviously the two have already found their favourite conversation partner and don’t want nothing to do with some ancient beings.

  44. says

    Hi. Oggie. I do hope for the best for you. It sucks to have such poor health at your age. Fingers crossed for the best possible outcome for you.
    ____________________________

    We got snow again yesterday. It melted today, but in the morning everything was completely white.

  45. says

    Heya
    Sorry for being rather quiet, but it’s the Easter holidays. Mr is home this week so I have little time for the computer. I got my first Vaccine shot on Monday, before they halted Astra Zeneca for under 60 yo on Tuesday. So far a bit of a sore arm but nothing else. What will happen with my second shot isn’t clear yet. They’ll probably switch to one or two shots of mRNA vaccine. That#s only due in June, though, and I hope that until then they have figured that out. Our Ministerpräsident has decided to turn us into guinea pigs by making us a “model region” for opening up with quick tests. This makes total sense. I mean, really, they have convinced me that testing will prevent infections. That’s why we’ve thrown away the condoms and bought a multipack of pregnancy tests instead as contraception.

  46. Ice Swimmer says

    Giliell @ 53

    Nice to hear that you didn’t get any worse symptoms. I think there’s a chance that they’ve figured out who really are at a risk from the AZ vaccine, by the time our boosters are due.

    First-wold problems:

    Finland has run into a new problem as bars and restaurants have been çlosed down or have restricted opening hour in the most corona-afflicted areas: Spoilage of beers and liqueurs (esp. stuff like like Baileys or Advocaat) in storage. The news here featured a bar that applied for a permit* to sell beer for off-premises use. It took the officials 4 months to grant the permit, but luckily the bar was able to sell most of the beer stock in danger of spoiling.

    As selling liqueurs for off-premises consumption is illegal, they did have to dump the contents of all the liqueur bottles that have been open for too long down the drain.

    __
    * = This is the new, liberalized and streamlined alcohol sales and serving regulation system introduced by the previous govt.

  47. lumipuna says

    According to a recent poll, men aged 30-39 (that’s me!) are the least religious demographic in Finland.

    https://yle.fi/uutiset/3-11858430

    Curiously, younger men have just recently become more interested in religion (both Christian and “alternative” stuff), reversing a longstanding trend of younger generations losing interest in religion. Meanwhile, Finnish young women are less religious than young women just about anywhere else.

    Somewhat amusingly, the article refers to Easter* as “originally a Christian holiday”, implying that secular celebration is the default for modern Easter. This is largely the much the case with Lutheran Finns (not to mention post-Lutheran folks such as myself). To some extent, religious celebration Easter is even perceived as somehow specific to Eastern Orthodox Christians, who are a tiny minority in Finland.

    *Since Finnish *pääsiäinen* also means Passover, one might quibble that it’s technically originally a Jewish holiday. In Finland, the existence of Jews and their traditions tends to be very much ignored in public discourse. Meanwhile in English, one might argue that “Easter” is technically originally a Pagan holiday based on its name.

  48. chigau (違う) says

    I am going to bed now.
    With the window …. open.
    It is +10 outside and +25 inside.
    I will be up to pee in an hour or so, so I can adjust things …

  49. chigau (違う) says

    oookay
    that’s how long that lasted
    the wind shifted to put a norther right into my window
    inside temp went to 21.9
    then I shut the window

  50. StevoR says

    @ Oggie: Mathom : Respect and best wishes from me. None of us get any younger sadly. Glad you are still here and good to read you commenting here.

    ***

    In case people are wondering -- Ingenuity is set to fly into Martian skies on the 11th of April -see :

    https://www.space.com/ingenuity-mars-helicopter-flight-delayed-april-11

    Plus fascinating mini-doco on the seafloor and how burrows ended the Ediacaran here with even tiny-soft-bodied little prehistoric critters havinga huge environmental impact :

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=getaQoYBD28

    Plus :

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-03-31/japans-cherry-blossoms-bloom-early-as-climate-warms/100042486

    Blooming too early
    Sakura flowers
    Seasons broken by us.

  51. Ice Swimmer says

    Grandpa died, peacefully. He was 92. Mom and Aunt visited him today and he was mostly sleeping. A while ago Mom called me and told that the people at old folk’s home called and said that he had passed away.

    He had paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (which is supposed to be a disease young people have, not people n their 90s), and thus had chronic anaemia. He quickly got tired of the blood transfusions and the visits to hospital to carry out them and refused to get them. He had been healthy most of his life. His strong muscles and quick movements combined with the low hemoglobin got him to pass out and fall over many times during the last few months.

    I knew this was coming and it’s a good thing he didn’t have suffer any more, to feel weak and dizzy. Still the grief is there.

  52. Jazzlet says

    Ice Swimmer I am sorry, it doesn’t matter how much you expect someone’s death, if you care for them it still hits you.

  53. chigau (違う) says

    well golly
    today is my birthday
    I almost missed it but Google sent me a message.
    creepy

  54. Ice Swimmer says

    chigau @ 65

    Congratulations and many happy returns!

    A storm is building up here, the wind is speeding up to gale force and it’s raining. It’s been often windy lately, but now gusts of 20 m/s wind are possible. I think the plastic fences of the light rail line construction site are going to fall over or fly tonight.

  55. Oggie: Mathom says

    Ice Swimmer:

    My condolences.

    hat sounds a lot of nerve and joint pain, I’m hoping the doctors can mitigate the symptoms.

    I get a quarterly shot for my lumbar DDD. Which works for about 60 days. As for my neck? Oy vey! The two lower cervicals that have the screws in them have bone pain. Nothing works except a sleeping pill. The joint and nerve pain can be treated with NSAIDs and muscle relaxers, but I have to be careful with the NSAIDs as my BP keeps skyrocketing (but is being managed). My neurosurgeon says, and I quote, “It is what it is. Eighty per cent is better than where you were.” And reading that over makes it sound a lot worse than it is. To top it off, I gave up cigars a year ago.

    Hi, Chigau and Charly.

    Gilliel:

    How old are the girls now? I mean, yeah,m language is all about communication and obviously the two have already found their favourite conversation partner and don’t want nothing to do with some ancient beings.

    The twins are 23 months old as of the 15th. Their vocalizations are incredibly complex. It sounds like they are speaking a foreign language. I just don’t understand this younger generation.

    StevoR:

    Respect and best wishes from me. None of us get any younger sadly. Glad you are still here and good to read you commenting here.

    Yeah. If I had known just how bad getting old could be I would have been a lot nicer to my body when I was younger.

    =============

    I’m currently making a batch of ciabbatta bread. Using a new recipe that included starting a biga yesterday. It really smells right. Also makes me very glad to have a big stand mixer — there is now way I could have hand mixed the really thick batter/really watery bread dough for a half hour even before the nerve damage.

    Going to have meat loaf and a salad with the bread.

  56. chigau (違う) says

    Oggie

    Yeah. If I had known just how bad getting old could be I would have been a lot nicer to my body when I was younger.

    Amen.

  57. says

    Ice Swimmer
    My sympathies and hugs if you want them.

    Chigau
    Belated happy birthday. Yeah birthdays aren’t what they used to be before you hit 2 digits.
    +++
    Sorry everybody for being awol. Things are still very stressful here with our government simply abandoning us in the middle of the third wave.
    At least I got my first vaccine shot. And of course all the talk about the Astra Zeneca vaccine has driven me crazy, because rationally knowing that I have little to worry about and not worrying are two different things.
    I’ll get my second shot in June with Biontech. Aaaaaand my sister finally got an appointment next week, on our grandpa’s 100th birthday (we wanted to celebrate Big. Just because he’s been dead for decade doesn’t mean that we don’t get a party), so in about two weeks it will be safe enough for us to hug.

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