This is unheard of!

My university has closed the campus, and we’re supposed to shoo everyone off towards home, all because of a little blizzard. It’s like a Snow Day!

Unfortunately, getting kicked out of work just means I have to go home to Morris. In a blizzard. With everything shut down and locked up tight. Well, I hope I don’t get lost in a whiteout and freeze to death while trying to find the door to my house…

2:37. Made it home, covered in snow. All that wind also blows the snow in through every crevice — took my coat off and shed snow on everything. Afraid to go to the bathroom now.

3:10. Have discovered that the cupboard is bare. Should have stockpiled food yesterday. Too late now — the car is a chunk of ice, and there’s no way I’m walking outside.

Contemplating cannibalism.

3:28. Darn. Wife is snowbound in Willmar and will be spending the night there, so I’m going to be home alone. There goes the cannibalism idea. May have to carve out a chunk of my own thigh to survive.

Wait! The cat!

3:48. Took a long hard look at the cat. I’m not that hungry. Back to palpitating thigh for tenderness.


4:32. I’m feeling better now. I found the Narwhal song, and I’m playing it over and over. I won’t go insane now, no sir.

“Narwhals, Narwhals, swimmin’ in the ocean causing a commotion ’cause they are so awesome”. They are the jedi of the sea!

4:5B. sed5r hiujok pl[5678yhiu 9 ojm89uhiy ghe45e drt cf.

5:05! Wait! I found everything I need for waffles! And some hot cocoa mix hidden away in a cupboard! I’m saved! Waffle orgy at my house tonight! Sanity…restored!

I’m still going to be singing that Narwhal song for a while, though.


  1. Engr Tony says

    I always thought that Minnesotans were soft, especially when the Vikings stopped playing their home football games in an open air stadium. Green Bay and Chicago knows how to handle cold weather.

  2. Endor says

    “Green Bay and Chicago knows how to handle cold weather.”

    Hey man, don’t forget the king of winter weather masters – Buffalo, NY.

  3. says

    Unfortunately, getting kicked out of work just means I have to go home to Morris. In a blizzard.

    When I lived in Florida, my company would do something similar: When a hurricane or tropical storm was approaching, they would wait and wait and wait before excusing us from work, out of concern that they’d be wasting resources if we stayed home and then the storm swerved. Of course, by the time they were sure enough to send us home, they were invariably sending us out into the leading edge of the storm… and at that point they’d close the plant and require us to leave.

    Now that I’m in New England, the plant is never closed (for snow, that is; there haven’t been any hurricane threats since I arrived). Instead, they leave it to each employee to decide for him/herself whether it’s safe to drive to work. Naturally, this leads to lots of people driving when they really shouldn’t, because nobody wants to be the one wuss who couldn’t make it in.

    IOW, you can’t win for losin’!

  4. abb3w says

    Sounds like it might be time to ask the grad students where the comfiest couch is.

    Of course, Minnesotans generally have a clue how to drive in snow, and usually have vehicles designed for such, so making your way home is probably not quite such a menace as it would be south of the Mason-Dixon.

  5. Patricia, OM says

    It’s been snowing on and off here for three days, of course it melts away, it’s 38 degrees.

    I blame the typo’s on RBDC, if he would have taken his cooties in for the spay and neuter program we wouldn’t be in this crisis.

  6. 'Tis Himself says

    Back when Dilbert was both funny and germane, Scott Adams had a cartoon with the pointy-haired boss announcing “Because of the weather, all non-essential personnel may go home.” He then took notes on which employees considered themselves to be non-essential.

  7. says

    You could always move down here to the Bible Belt, where it is currently 75 degrees, though you would have to live in the eternal bask of religu-crazy. Come to think of it, does anyone have any spare bedrooms up there in the snowstorm??

  8. Nerd of Redhead, OM says

    And Da Yoopers in the Lake Superior snow belt think the people in Buffalo are wimps.

  9. says

    Close campus because of snow? They never do that here in Sweden! Sometimes I just want to move over that big Atlantic and soften up a bit. We just got a fresh foot of snow overnight. Where is spring? Why did my ancestors move here of all places? Southern Europe is nice and balmy this time of year! (I’ll get back with a bit more euphoric comments around midsummer.)

  10. says

    An acquaintance of mine works for the NWS and told me that a Colorado Low, Alberta Clipper and a pulse of Gulf Moisture have all converged in the area, so we are getting the equivalent of three storms all at the same time.

  11. Desert Son says

    justawriter at #17:

    a Colorado Low, Alberta Clipper and a pulse of Gulf Moisture

    These sound great! Pour me one of each! It’s after 5 p.m. somewhere.

    No kings,


    P.S. Currently 80 F/ 27 C here in central Texas. Forecast for continued adherence to religious superstition and un-critical thinking as a general trend in the region: likely.

  12. Newfie says

    Careful with that shovel, PZ.

    Top Three causes of death in Newfoundland:
    1.Heart attack while shoveling snow
    3.Chip fat fire

  13. Josh says

    I guess I shouldn’t mention that the cherry blossoms here are currently thinking about waking up?

  14. uppity cracka says

    I can’t sit idly by while someone insults my precious Vikings. And just how did Green Bay and Chicago fare in the dome this year? Exactly. Exactly.

  15. firemancarl says

    Snow you say? Hmm, it’s 85 here in Daytona Beach. Sun shining and a nice sea breeze. Oh, and I have a tan.

  16. says

    Every time ice or snow shuts down a university I’m reminded of my days working telecom during my time at Calvin College. Every time it happened my boss Dean would call with excitement in his voice. He knew this meant offices and classrooms would be unusually vacant, making for perfect big-project work hours that would be otherwise disruptive. While everyone else was huddled up and staying warm, we were dragging giant spools of 50-pair phone cable through snow drifts and crawling through nasty ceiling spaces.

  17. Tiska says

    “Contemplating Cannibalism”

    Oh… the quotemining. I hear ye pickaxe screeching.

  18. AKobold says

    I live in Brazil,
    it’s mid-summer,
    and it’s 38 degrees celsius outside (100 degrees fahrenheit)

    yeah, envy is a bitch! :)

  19. Rick McWilliams says

    I once teased my wife that our ships cat did not know that he was spare meat. She answered, that is what he thinks we are.

  20. Desert Son says

    Newfie at #20:

    Top Three causes of death in Newfoundland:
    1.Heart attack while shoveling snow
    3.Chip fat fire

    Why do I get the feeling there’s a correlation between #3 and #1?

    No kings,


  21. Desert Son says

    Also, if “Contemplating cannibalism” wasn’t a Tom Lehrer song, it should’ve been.

    No kings,


  22. says

    Contemplating cannibalism.

    Yay, atheism wins every time.

    We have the ability to turn humans into food. Not even Jesus did that!

    Although it is said that food is miraculously turned into Jesus–but that’s not where my interests lie.

    Glen D

  23. Endor says

    ” (100 degrees fahrenheit)

    yeah, envy is a bitch! :)”

    That doesn’t make me envious; that makes think “dear Cthluth! I hope you have an air conditioner!

  24. says

    Remember these helpful tips:

    1. Only eat muscle tissue.
    2. Cook until well-done.
    3. Since most Hooman’s are tough — slow cooking methods, like braising, are preferable.
    4. Humans are fatty, like beef, and their flesh marbles. They are, however, mild in flavor, closer to pork.

    Here is a recipe for Marinated Leg of In-Law:

    1 leg
    4 cups white wine
    12 chopped carrots
    4 diced white onions
    2 Bay leaves
    1/2 cup butter
    salt and pepper to taste
    grated Parmesan cheese


    Combine half of the wine, bay leaves, 2 of the onions, and salt and pepper to taste. Slice the leg into pieces the width of a normal steak. Place in glass cake pan and cover with marinade. Refrigerate, covered, for 36 – 48 hours, turning the meat occasionally.

    In a large skillet melt butter and add meat. Fry until the meat is golden brown on both sides. Remove meat from the pan and add the remaining onions and carrots and wine. Simmer until vegetables are soft.

    Pour vegetables and meat back into cake pan and bake for 2 hours at 375. Serve topped with grated Parmesan cheese, salad and wine. Feeds 4-6 people.

  25. says

    So, how many hundred feet do you need to go to get home?

    Don’t anyone feel sorry for PZ and his “commute” in the snow. I’ve been to his place — it’s maybe 250 meters, on foot, from his office to his house, with one public road (a quiet side-street) to cross. As long as he wears decent boots, no problem.

  26. Richard Smith says

    Now, PZ, don’t go making jokes about auto-cannibalism. That invariably leads to self-defecating humour.

  27. The Rev says

    PZ, be sure to screen da trophy wife for Crutzfeld-Jacob variant before you get all cannibally on her.

    Not to rub it in, but it’s 74 degrees here in Ohio. And a gorgeous sunny day to boot!

  28. Rjaye says

    Oh, dear, if the cat is the only option, PZ, remember that you may be on the cat’s menu, too. If he stares too hard at you while smacking his lips, don’t turn your back on him. Just start the stove and get the ketchup…

  29. Lana says

    Oh for goodness sake. I’m willing to bet there’s something in the kitchen you could eat. You might trying looking in the cabinets. You’re not one of those helpless men who needs someone to cook for you, are you?

    It wasn’t so long ago you had teenagers in the house so there must be a package of Ramen noodles or a can of ravioli. Those things have an indefinite shelf life.

    In my house, every now and then we have a blizzard dinner. We pretend there’s a blizzard and make dinner out of whatever we can scrounge. It’s actually kind of fun.

  30. rob says

    in case you are pooh-poohing PZ here is what the local st. paul news posted:

    “The National Weather Service predicts that winds gusting to 40 miles per hour will accompany 6 to 12 inches of snow and subzero windchills in western Minnesota by Tuesday night.”

    6-12 inches of snow isn’t so bad, except when it comes at 40 mph and -20°.

  31. JackC says

    You know, I hear there are millions of battered women in this country.

    And to think – all this time, I have been eating mine plain.

    (ducks and runs …)


  32. Richard Smith says

    @rob (#49)

    If he gets desperate enough to eat his own thigh, he’ll be pooh-poohing himself soon enough.

  33. says

    May have to carve out a chunk of my own thigh to survive.

    Own thigh? Shouldn’t that be tentacle/arm? You’ve got at least ten in total, so missing one or two shouldn’t be a big deal. And calamari is delicious (even the bearded kind), and quick and easy to prepare.

    In any case, I thought one of the purposes of grad turkeys and TAs was to serve as an emergency food supply. (Insert obligatory joke about them not even being useful for that…)

  34. ElMondo says

    “Wait! The cat!”

    Mostly hair… tough meat… reconsider your thigh. ;)

    Actually, if you have a pizza place with crazy drivers, think about calling them. I recall once one of the chains in my town was late on the draw of suspending deliveries, and the drivers said it was the best freakin’ 2 hours of their “careers”, since they were the only ones still delivering, and people were tipping nearly $10 to $20 for them to come out. Think about that. They actually grumbled when management shut them down.

    Granted, you may not wanna pay $20+ for a $10 pizza… but if the cat or your thigh looks more appealing, well, hey! Your choice. You more tender than a piece of pepperoni? ;) :D

  35. Michelle says

    A journal for survival. That’s gonna be thrilling. When are you gonna start talking to a random sports ball? :P

  36. Smidgy says

    Wise choice, passing on the cat. My one can cause fairly serious injury when I’m just trying to catch it to give it a worming tablet. I shudder to think what one will do if you’re trying to catch it to actually cause it harm.

    I have heard somewhere that human tastes like chicken, so maybe your thigh’s the best bet.

  37. AmericanGodless says

    Desert Son says, “Also, if ‘Contemplating cannibalism’ wasn’t a Tom Lehrer song, it should’ve been.” — There’s Rickity Tickity Tin — “She cut her baby brother in two.. and served him up as an Irish Stew, and invited the neighbors in.”

  38. H.H. says

    Pete Rooke: “That’s global warming for you…”

    [sigh] You’re such a fucking idiot.

  39. trj says

    Don’t do it, PZ!

    Sure, as atheists we all know that baby flesh is delicious, but you should only ever eat people from outside your family. It’s simple politeness.

    Call the local Jehovah’s Witness congregation and tell them you’d be interested to hear the good news, if they’d be so kind to send two people to discuss it with you. That should get you through the rest of the winter.

  40. Bride of Shrek OM says

    The lesson here is that one should always keep an emergency can of Spam in the cupboard.

    Actually, when I lived up north I had friends whose cyclone emergency supply kit consisted of a box of water cracker biscuits, three tins of smoked oysters, two bottles of cab sav and a couple of clean glasses.

  41. Nerd of Redhead, OM says

    That’s global warming for you…

    And part of the prediction of AGW is worse swings in the weather. Besides, a snowstorm in the midwest US in March is normal. Last year at this time I think I got about 8″ of snow here in the Chiwaukee metroplex area.

  42. NewEnglandBob says

    One hour and a half alone and he has cabin fever and going nuts?

    Don’t you have peanut butter? bread? crackers? frozen pizza? boxes of cereal? veggies? etc?

    Have I mentioned that about 100 of my tulips have come through the soil here in Massachusetts?

  43. says


    Never tried it. What does it taste like? I’d guess it be a bit woody, perhaps with a earthy taste, and piquant?

    It was still cool enough today here in southern France that a jacket was a good idea. Not much wind today (that’s been the real problem all last week, fecking freezing (relatively speaking)). Went out for dinner and had a tajine (lamb) with a decent local wine.

  44. says

    Please dig yourself out by Friday! I only just found out you’re speaking here in Chambana on the 13th and I’d be disappointed to miss you! ; )

  45. Inky says

    So you’re snowbound, with no food but plenty of internets.
    I think you should blog like the wind to stave off your hunger, and to determine the best use for your cut of thigh.

    Now, go write something cool, while I get ready to go out to dinner at a place known for heat-treated animal parts like elk steak, buffalo burgers, rack of lamp, and wild boar chops.

    Me, I’m not super hungry, so I might just go with a light steak salad, but I’m leaving for for a massive dessert with ice cream.

    Oh! You can take some snow from your yard and make snow cones!


  46. CS says

    From balmy Italy reporting temperatures in the mid 50’s, mosquitoes emerging, feral parakeets starting to mate, and first hedgehog of the season brought home by the dog.

  47. Janine, Insulting Sinner says


    I threw my lot in with the wrong group. I thought that Fearless Leader was made of sterner stuff.

    PZ, keep yourself alive or this could be your fate.

  48. says

    I guess I shouldn’t mention our nice 80F weather here in Atlanta… Well, we did have snow just last week though, which lends evidence to my theory that the tilt of the earth is different for our city.

  49. AnthonyK says

    Look. Now’s your chance PZ, at last. Kneel down, close your eyes, and let Jesus into your heart.
    It will only take a moment.
    But it could save a lifetime.
    We won’t mind.
    And if you do see him, ask how my mum is.
    I’ve always wanted to explain about that time she caught me-

  50. says

    One hour and a half alone and he has cabin fever and going nuts?

    Nah. Keep in mind Pee Zed occupies a couple of spare parallel dimensions connected to ours with wormholes or something—that’s how he’s able to keep his extra arms and tentacles and horns and the blood dripping from his fangs hidden—where time, if it even exists (there is some doubt), passes differently, or at least at a different rate. This is why Pee Zed has considerable difficulties with time here, such as not giving the sunday broadcast times in UTC, or posting in the middle of the night… he doesn’t realise that’s not the done thing in this universe.

    One consequence is that whilst it may seeem to be only 1½ hours in this set of dimensions, in Pee Zed’s sets, it’s an orange. He should eat it.

  51. BruceJ says

    ROFL. many years ago when I lived in the NYC region (Westchester co.), Hurricane Gloria hit us, Long Island mostly. Called work “Oh yes, you have to come intoday, we’re not closing!” Drove 15 miles though torrential rain, narrowly escape death a few times, get to work, dry in the parking garage, am told by a security guard to turn around and go home, place is close, no you can’t go in and work because you’re here already dammit.

    Drive BACK through torrential downpour , narrowly escape, etc. Get to our apartment, get inside.

    Rain stops.

    We had some friends come over, we played cards all day.

  52. Desert Son says

    AmericanGodless at #60,

    Good call on “Rickity-Tickity-Tin.” “Contemplating Cannibalism” had a kind of “Poisoning Pigeons in the Park” feel, what inspired me to muse as I did. Must be the alliteration.

    No kings,


  53. Patricia, OM says

    You must have something…tell us what you’ve scrounged. You’ve got a blog full of foodies and campers.

  54. AnthonyK says

    If you’re feeling hungry, you could always think of Ray Comfort.
    Then consume yourself with rage.

  55. Asemodeus says

    Had what I would call a light snow here in Reno last monday morning, considering that before I lived in Michigan, where it isn’t a blizzard until you see trees getting ripped out of the ground.

    But not apparently so for the natives here, as I listened to the 2 dozen accident reports on the radio on the way to college in the morning before the trucks got out. It’s like these city folks who live in the middle of a desert don’t know how to drive in snow!

  56. Ian H Spedding FCD says

    Hatches well and truly battened down here in Fargo. I’m assuming the rest of Fargo is still here, I can’t actually see much of it at the moment.

    Ahargh! Shiver me timbers if I b’ain’t surprised as ‘ow Cap’n Myers don’t ‘ave a barrel of salt pork and some boxes of weevil-ridden ‘ard tack stowed away in the ‘old. Soon the poor wretch’ll be as crack-brained as poor Ben Gunn and ravin’ ’bout Parmesan cheese most like! Aaaarrgh!

  57. Patricia, OM says

    Bride of Shrek, OM – Maybe we sluts aren’t so ignorant after all, I’ve probably got twenty cans of Spam, chili, soup, smoked clams and such just in one drawer.

    My husband jokes that we’ll run out of beer before we ever run out of food….as if men ever run out of beer. *snort*

  58. Will Oak says

    Argh! PZ, I had escaped from that song for a week, and thought I could keep my sanity. Then you had to link it.

    Guys, I think that the evil cephalopod overlords (barely) contained in PZs basement have escaped and are trying to take over his mind! Only a song so deliciously awesome yet annoying can save him?

  59. Ian says

    I hold your hand in mine, dear
    I press it to my lips
    I take a healthy bite
    From your dainty fingertips

    My joy would be complete, dear
    If you were only here
    But still I keep your hand
    As a precious souvenir

    The night you died I cut it off
    I really don’t know why
    For now each time I kiss it
    I get blood stains on my tie

    I’m sorry now I killed you
    For our love was something fine
    And ’til they come to get me
    I shall hold your hand in mine

  60. Hank Fox says

    Two words: Ramen.

    Oh, wait, that’s one word.

    Damn, it would be horrible to have a snowbound, web-connected friend starve to death, online, while you watched.

    I can barely finish these donuts, just thinking about it.

  61. BillCinSD says

    having a dog around for this is bad, Raytheist. It will go all Mary Provost on you. “She was a winner that became a doggies dinner” Nick Lowe (from his Jesus of Cool album)

  62. Janine, Insulting Sinner says

    4:5B. sed5r hiujok pl[5678yhiu 9 ojm89uhiy ghe45e drt cf.

    I am afraid that Fearless Leader has been consumed by his fears and has lost his mind.

    I mourn his passing.

  63. Nerd of Redhead, OM says

    Bride of Shrek, OM – Maybe we sluts aren’t so ignorant after all, I’ve probably got twenty cans of Spam, chili, soup, smoked clams and such just in one drawer.

    The Redhead has about two weeks worth of stuff like this in storage. In Michigan, you can lose power with tornados, ice storms, and blizzards which may take days to repair. So you learn to keep some stuff on hand so you can eat without power.

  64. blueelm says

    Oh man, I live in Texas and I’ve never even seen a foot of snow before. I did get stuck on campus once during a tornado though. I think no matter where you live in North America you’re prone to some kind of extreme weather… even if it’s just a really long drought.

  65. AnthonyK says

    They tell me I used to do a spot-on Ray Comfort impression.
    Then things became so painful, I stopped, and haven’t been able to do it since.
    Luckily, I did have a teething ring to hand.

  66. AnthonyK says

    How do you confuse Ray Comfort?
    Show him a chicken and an egg.
    Then tell him they’re related.

  67. says

    Contemplating cannibalism.

    I am reliably informed that garden-variety young-earth creationists taste like chicken, but that an oily professional tale-teller like Kent Hovind is more like duck.

    Bon appetit.

  68. Janine, Insulting Sinner says

    Scott Hatfield, you are almost as evil as an atheist. Nicely done.

  69. Nerd of Redhead, OM says

    I get the feeling PZ has already set up his overnight posts, and going to do something he rarely does. Get to bed early.

  70. Ouchimoo says


    If you liked Narwhals Narwhals you might also be interested these other timeless classics by Weebl:

    Badger Badger
    Magical Trevor
    and much much more!

  71. Long time lurker says

    You might be pleased to know that the weather is pretty crap in parts of NZ as well. No snow…yet, but I’m trapped at home with a sick baby.

    He likes the Narwhal song though, so I might leave it playing till it drives me nuts. Thanks for this. Do you have any other suggestions that might appeal to a 3 month old? :)

  72. Blind Squirrel FCD says

    I’m iced in too. Ramen for breakfast. Concluded the cat was inedible some years ago.

    Oh shit, that reminds me. the cat box needs changing. I guess I’m going outside after all.

  73. cactusren says

    Mmmm…waffles and cocoa for dinner! Just thinking about that is making my blood sugar shoot up. Glad you managed to scrounge up some food, PZ!

  74. cameron says

    If you enjoy some narwhal music, may I recommend the Interior Crocodile Alligator:

  75. EatenByChutulu says

    Come up North to the Fraser Valley, BC! Right now it’s gorgeous sunshine and not a cloud in the sky (despite yesterday’s bizarre 5 minute blizzard -it’s all melted away now). :)

  76. AKobold says

    @Endor (#38)
    You are right, in this heat wave, air conditioning is a primary necessity. However, if you see what Brazilian women wears in this heat, you would be envious…

  77. Dmitry says

    You DO realize, of course, that this winter storm is irrefutable evidence against all this global warming nonsense, right?


  78. Interrobang says

    In my house, I only ever have a culinary emergency if I run out of either garlic or onions. (That’s what I call “no food.”)

  79. says

    The sign that PZ actually went mad there is that he didn’t insert even a token “Ia! Ia! Cthulhu fhtagn” in the whole thing.

  80. Patricia, OM says

    I’d love to send you some lovely blue eggs to go with your waffles PZ. But Minnesota is a long way, and I throw like a girl. *sniff*

  81. Jafafa Hots says

    Off topic but I just got this email from some religious spammer:

    To: All Americans and Christians
    Date: Saturday, March 7, 2009, 5:21 AM

    Here’s your chance to let the media know where the
    people stand on our faith in God, as a nation.

    NBC is presently taking a poll on “In God We
    Trust” to stay on our American currency.

    Please send this to every Christian you know so they
    can vote on this important subject.

    Please do it right away, before NBC takes this off
    their web page. Poll is still open so you can vote:

    Click on the link to below. It will take you to the NBC page where

    youc can vote.



  82. says

    Since human flesh tastes really rancid, it is necessary to use lots of Ginger for flavoring.

    “Here, Ginger!” ___ (whistling noises) ___ “Here girl.”


  83. says

    Planning ahead, I made sure I had plenty of comestibles for a lengthy siege. So I have pork stew with dumplings.

    And beer. Lotsa beer.

  84. says

    I think PZ slipped. The line of “gibberish” at 4:5B is actually part of a summoning rite for Cthulhu!

    I mean look at the timestamp – he only wants you to think it strange… It’s actually hexidecimal time, 4:91 p.m.

    If you recite the “gibberish” out loud, something bad will happen!

  85. Jafafa Hots says

    And as far as Buffalo being king of winter etc., I dunno… It’s bike riding weather here lately.

    (well, with a balaclava anyway… but no snow.)

  86. Elwood Herring says

    Jafafa Hots: That poll is dead and buried. PZ has commented on it several times. There’s no point in voting on it, it’s a stiff, it’s shuffled off this mortal coil, it’s metabolic processes are now history. It’s off the twig, it’s kicked the bucket, it’s shuffled off its mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin’ choir invisibule…

  87. AnthonyK says

    I throw like a girl.

    You’re making things too difficult for yourself, Patricia.
    It’s no problem for me but then I usually throw, like, a ball.
    Infant-launching is no job for a lady.

  88. cactusren says

    Jajafa Hots @ 122: Old news. That poll has been up for months (at least) and already has over 12 million votes. Even Pharyngulation won’t help sway it by much now. Interesting that this email makes it sound so urgent, though…as if there’s actually legislation on this subject that’s about to be voted on and this one poll will be what makes the difference.

  89. Patricia, OM says

    We’re still having little flurries of snow. The pullets are patrolling the yard in their stoopid, stately walk as if it’s not happening.

    Someone mentioned tulips, yup mine are above ground, as are the daffodils, painted fern, and bleeding hearts.

  90. Ichthyic says

    yeah, all very entertaining.

    Just know that narwhals will not actually be able to stop Cthulhu from eating ye.

    er, I mean you.


  91. Elwood Herring says

    Oops – pardon the repeat. Serves me right for cutting & pasting without checking!

  92. Nerd of Redhead, OM says

    Patricia, I’d say load the trebuchet and fling the eggs to PZ, but with the snowstorm he wouldn’t be able to find them until the snow melts.

  93. Patricia, OM says

    AnthonyK – er…remember, pullets only. There are no infants in my eggs.

    If you should ever need some ‘special’ eggs to throw at the Phelps clan, let me know. *evil grin*

  94. says

    Great post?… OR GREATEST POST EVER?!?!


    See, this is a good reason to live 3 blocks from the lab– When we get blizzards and tornadoes and such, I just hike over there for a while. We always have food, coffee, electricity, heat/air conditioning, hot water for showers… Wait why dont I just live in the lab?

  95. says

    If you recite the “gibberish” out loud, something bad will happen!

    Yep. You may consider that confirmed.

    I sprained my tongue.

    (In other news, I have no tales of sun nor of Brazilian women in semi-undress. But I *did* spend the day snowboarding in -10C weather. Which around here does sorta count as balmy.)

  96. Patricia, OM says

    Nerd – I was pretty pleased with PZ’s birthday hurl. All that troll poop and the Kwok of shit…until I got up this morning and noticed the Kwok was back.

    It’d be my luck the eggs would freeze solid at the Minnesota state line and then crash through PZ’s front window.

  97. Ichthyic says

    Wait why dont I just live in the lab?


    you mean you don’t already?

    what kind of postdoc ARE you!


  98. says

    Woke up this morning to 14 inches of fresh powder and a balmy 20 degrees. Called into work told them not to expect me until much later. Made fresh tracks for hours! Keep your sunny beachin’ weather! “Rocky Mountain High, Colorado!” Didn’t even have to eat the cat!

  99. Brownian says

    Wait why dont I just live in the lab?

    It’s not all it’s cracked up to be, ERV. Sure, the food’s okay, and I like the researchers just fine, but they don’t let me have internet access unless I first demonstrate I can arrange and sort blocks by colour or shape or some other such nonsense, and this cage leaves a lot to be desired in the decor department.

    On the other hand, this summer I get a tire swing if I share my cucumber slices with the other subjects! Plus, X-43E (or Loreena, as I like to think of her) is sweet on me!

  100. Dan J says

    We’ve got four cats, and I wouldn’t put any of them on the menu, for various reasons… one’s too tough, one’s too small, etc.

    PZ coming to chambana? But where, exactly, and when? Friday the 13th? How apropos! Gotta get details.. gotta check schedule…

  101. chuko says

    It sounds like some of you don’t understand the whole Minnesota blizzard thing. A foot of snow last night? Green Bay and Chicago winter? No comparison.

  102. Nerd of Redhead, OM says

    6-12 inches of snow isn’t so bad, except when it comes at 40 mph and -20°.

    Only 12″? Try 24″, then been, there, done that (ex Yooper).

  103. Twin-Skies says


    Have you tried subscribing to World of Warcraft? It’s a great way to kill boredom.

  104. Ichthyic says

    On the other hand, this summer I get a tire swing if I share my cucumber slices with the other subjects! Plus, X-43E (or Loreena, as I like to think of her) is sweet on me!

    don’t do it! They’re just putting drugs in your water to make you THINK she’s sweet on you!

    It’s just a diabolical plan so they can steal ur babies!

  105. pcarini says

    Jack Rawlinson @ #99 is spot on. Weebl’s Pork song is perhaps the happiest song in the planet. I’ll never cook up bacon again without singing it to myself.

  106. Desert Son says

    Elwood Herring at #113:

    Sorry took so long to reply, have been away from the computer.

    “No kings” is just my personal stance on the rule of law (which I tend to support) over the rule of monarchs (which I don’t). Not that rule of law doesn’t have its problems, but it seems to me to be better than the rule of kings (or pick a ruler: popes, emperors, etc.). It’s idealistic to an extent, since no rule of law is perfect, obviously, but I hope it’s at least idealistic in the right direction.

    So . . . no kings,


  107. Katkinkate says

    While here in SE Queensland, Australia, we are wiping our brows in relief over a near miss from a Category 4 cyclone (Hamish). It’s generating a lot of rain for us though, which is much appreciated. I think it’s the furthest south I’ve ever seen a cyclone make it in my entire life … global warming?

  108. Jeanette says

    Yeah, cats are too stringy. Next time break out the barbecue sauce and lie in wait for the mail carrier.

  109. Lilith says

    #125 – that was my first thought, too.

    Maybe the idea is to order pizza online and then, if the pizza delivery guy makes it to your door, eat the pizza guy.

    Or does that sound too much like bad porn?

  110. says

    Well, I hope I don’t get lost in a whiteout and freeze to death while trying to find the door to my house…

    Those could have been your last posted words to the blogosphere. Weird. Glad you made it home.

    If you’d bought the farm on the way home to Morris, you coulda been our new age atheist Buddy Holly, only in a car, presumably alone, and with snow. The analogy isn’t perfect…. Your final ‘concert’ would have ended with the quote cited above.


  111. Tristan says

    While here in SE Queensland, Australia, we are wiping our brows in relief over a near miss from a Category 4 cyclone (Hamish). It’s generating a lot of rain for us though, which is much appreciated. I think it’s the furthest south I’ve ever seen a cyclone make it in my entire life … global warming?

    I don’t know if it’s really possible to claim that. Up until 1974, Brisbane used to be hit by a cyclone every seven years or so. Statistically speaking, we’re way overdue.

    Here you can see all the cyclone tracks that passed through Brissy between 1906 and 1973. There’s really quite a few of them.

  112. Patricia, OM says

    Category 4 cyclone Hamish

    aww, that was my first Bulldogs name, Hamish and he was a cute cyclone.

    Hey PZ, your storm made the six o’clock news out here in Oregon. It ain’t pretty!

  113. azqaz says

    PZ, remember, for a proper waffle orgy you must use butter and real maple syrup. Margarine and artificially maple flavored corn syrup are sadly lacking when going for the true hedonism of a waffle orgy.

  114. Menyambal says

    Nice day, here, at 72F, with first blossoms and buds. Still, I probably should have worn clothes when frolicking in the park.

    The very best Weebl’s song is Blimp, which praises helium. It starts off loud, though.

  115. kamaka says

    I almost had to put on a sweater today

    I’m sittin’ in the middle of this blizzard. Your sweater would buy you an extra 45 seconds in this howler… -5 F with 40 to 50 mph gusts, blazing white-outs where you can’t see 10 meters…

    Ate the dog last winter, now I keep smoked oysters and the like in the cupboard. Tasty Bite is the new Spam. Asceptically packaged Indian stews, rip the bag open and eat. Great back-pack food, too.

  116. Patricia, OM says

    Kamaka – We have enough food stashed in our house, and out at the farm to keep 20 mormons fat… but the beer, now come on.

    There’s the game beer, the beer in the beer fridge beer, the emergency beer, and then the home brew Australian Coopers stuff that he has been aging for two bloody years stacked in the black, cold darkness of the well house.

    In the summer there’s the lawn mowing beer, the BBQ’ing beer… need I go on?

  117. kamaka says

    Patricia, I am not making this up.

    Celebration ale.
    Double Dog Double Pale ale.
    Simcoe IPA
    Blithering Idiot Barleywine
    Devil Dancer Triple IPA
    Dogfish Head 120 Minute Hopped IPA

    I realise the present inventory is a bit poor now, but I live in the American Outback, I have to go for a long drive to replenish.

    Here, I have Bigfoot Barleywine aging in the dark darkness. Four bloody years. It would be longer, but I drank ’02-’04.

  118. GBM says

    as someone who has just completed a degree at UM Morris I have to say goddamn I am glad to be living where it is warm again. lol.

  119. Dave McCone says


    You aren’t thinking this through correctly. Who needs food when you have beer? I would suggest stockpiling, at the very least, an “emergency keg” in your “emergency kegerator”. At the very least, The Trophy Wife may be intrigued by the possibility of getting Snowball (or the latest dissection project) out of the fridge and into a dedicated “kegerator/project fridge”

  120. Pohranicni Straze says

    Welcome to Newgrounds. While you’re there, check out some of Matzerath’s stuff. He gets lots of flames from easily offended religious types. You might also enjoy Faith Fighter.

  121. Katkinkate says

    Thanks for that link Tristan. The map looks impressive. I reset the dates for a more recent record and it looks very active. Although I have to mention, most of those ‘cyclones’ had turned into rain depressions as soon as they crossed the coast or soon after crossing the Tropic of Capricorn. Strictly speaking a lot of those cyclone tracks continue after the cyclone was no longer recognised as such.

    If you look at Gertie (1995) it looks like the cyclone crossed Australia. I can guarantee you they did not receive a cyclone in Alice Springs (in the centre), but a nice thick band of rain showers probably made it across and it wasn’t called Gertie after it crossed the coast in Western Australia and died as a cyclone. As soon as Hamish collapses into a rain depression they expect the system to come back west and flood the coastal areas. This happens fairly often: it’s one of our main sources of water for the coastal cities. But we don’t consider it a cyclone any more ’cause it’s lost its puff.

    Now I’ll admit there’s no way to say any cyclone/hurricane/tornado/drought in particular is because of global warming. That comment was an echo of someone else’s comment further up the comments list. But I can state truthfully that I think it’s the furthest south I’ve ever seen a (still extant) cyclone make it in my entire life. It was category 4 off Fraser Island!! The systems are usually dying by then.

  122. Patricia, OM says

    Kamaka – I’m really sorry, I know nothing of beer. Well except it takes a lot of it to get through life. My husband drinks…no, swills the stuff.

    My part in the beer making is growing the hops, we have three varieties, and cooking up huge pots of that grainy stuff to pour into the 25 gallon demi-johns.

    That Australian Coopers home brew, it started out the color of a chestnut horse, but now it is the color of a blood bay horse. Personally, I think it must be atomic.

  123. says

    If you recite the “gibberish” out loud, something bad will happen!

    Well, with my wonky pronunciation, all I got was a stripper factory. (Yes, yes, you may take your clothes off dear. Again. But shouldn’t you put them on first?) I was hoping, of course, for a beer volcano to replenish my supply (of beer that is, not volcanoes)… (You are wearing clothes? Uh, where?)

  124. Love F says

    Damn you, sir! I was recovering from the Narwal song, and uptil now, I did fine. (Did you notice that sound and picture have slightly different lenghts?)

  125. Tristan says

    To Katkinkate: I remember growing up in Brisbane during the 80’s. The memory of the 74 floods was still strong, and every summer my schoolteachers would say, “be careful these holidays. We’re now x years overdue for our next cyclone.” Each year they didn’t come, the worry faded a bit more.

    These days, Brisbane is one of those cities that cyclones “just don’t hit.” It seems plausible to me that the lack of cyclones recently may be due to climate change shifting air and/or water flow patterns.

  126. Benjamin Geiger says

    The cat’s name wouldn’t happen to be “Menchi”, would it? </anime-geek>

  127. kamaka says

    My part in the beer making is growing the hops

    You brew the stuff!? Yikes! Atomic is good…

  128. Nerdette says

    I’m confused… I knew snow days (or ice days, back home in Kansas) existed for high schools, but they have never occurred at UChicago.

    But then again, as my core Social Sciences prof said “Class will never be canceled because of weather. This is the University of Chicago – the life of the mind. We could care less about your bodies.” And that of course lead to lecture concerning the mind and body…

    I’m envious of your snow day.

  129. Casey S says

    Wait is it still winter. I forget sometimes, it’s going to be 84 degrees here in Florida today :)

  130. says

    3:48. Took a long hard look at the cat. I’m not that hungry. Back to palpitating thigh for tenderness.

    Not in the mood for eating pussy?

    (Sorry, I had to.)

  131. Nerd of Redhead, OM says

    It looks like a piece of PZ’s storm blew (high winds) through are area last night. The temperature was about 50 F at 8 pm last night, and this morning it was 10 F. Ah the Midwest temperature jumps.

  132. says

    Ate the dog last winter

    That was a joke,right? Right?

    I’ve eaten dog; no joke. But I’ve never eaten “the dog.”

    What I mean is that when I lived in Korea (in 1986), I ate poshing-tahng (that’s a phonetic spelling, and from decades-old memory), a stew made of dog meat, as the guest of a group of male students. This seasonal dish is reputed to enhance male “stamina” (note, however, that it’s just one of approximately 2.374×1017 foods that are reputed to enhance stamina… and no, I didn’t notice any difference)… and my students were doing me quite an honor by hosting me at this meal (in a restaurant that specialized in this particular dish).

    The distinction I made about never having eaten “the dog” has to do with the fact that Koreans generally don’t keep dogs (or cats, for that matter) as housepets; the dogs served as food are raised as food in essentially the same way we might raise pigs or chickens. The stereotypes about Koreans and other Asians stealing and eating each others’ pets is completely false.

    Not for nothin’, but the dog stew I had was pretty tasty. Jus’ sayin’….

  133. Sven DiMilo says

    Celebration ale.
    Double Dog Double Pale ale.
    Simcoe IPA
    Blithering Idiot Barleywine
    Devil Dancer Triple IPA
    Dogfish Head 120 Minute Hopped IPA
    Bigfoot Barleywine

    Dude, you have excellent taste in the hoppy stuff.

    Factoid of the day: DID YOU KNOW that the family of plants that includes hops (genus Humulus) also includes the genus Cannabis?
    Easily my favorite plant family. Easily. (yay, Cannabaceae!)

  134. Patricia, OM says

    Kamaka, Yeah, we make home brew. It’s gonna be hard on the hops this year, the pullets try to strip the leaves off everything.

  135. says


    How hard is it to grow hops? And what sort of climate does it like (i.e., is it something I could grow in southern New England)?

    I have a garden (mostly hot peppers, though the little woman is after me to grow tomatoes, too), and I’ve been thinking about trying homebrewing again (I made a couple batches back in graduate school, but haven’t done anything since)… but the idea of growing my own hops had never occurred to me.

    Your people thirst for knowledge!

  136. KI says

    Bill, I’ve got a couple of pals who grow their own hops here in Minneapolis. They’re somewhat limited in choices, but if you can grow hot peppers, you can grow hops.

  137. Patricia, OM says

    Bill – Hops pretty much grow themselves like grape vines. We have them growing up the pergola out back as a shade vine. The hops hang down from above and are very easy to harvest. Just water them some, and train the vines where you want them to go.

    We have Mt. Hood and Nina varieties. They have survived from 9- to 107+ degrees for years now.

  138. says

    I thought you just had to swan across the street? Maybe for next winter you can get a couple of hiking sticks (like ski poles but the good ones are folding) and perhaps one of those foam helmets that bull-riders wear to prevent concussion.

    I had one of those “stride out on snow-covered ice” falls a couple of years ago and went straight back and thumped the back of my head. Luckily, I was wearing a woolly hat. It was too fast or I was too confident to “look at the belt buckle,” which helps to keep head off ground. It’s a good reflex to cultivate. You can get killed rollerblading with a fall like that.

    For those wintery moments, you might learn a song by Flanders & Swann, “The Whale”: “Oh why do I swim through seas Antarctical / Freezing cold in every particle?” Very catchy.

  139. Peter Ashby says

    How do you run out of food? True, on Sat we were out of veg, apart from the eternal tinned tomatoes and the frozen spinach. My wife gets twitchy if the number of tins of tomatoes in the pantry cupboard falls below 3. We have enough tinned soup for a week of lunches and large amounts of pasta, normal and gluten free. On first inspection we may seem like we are low in rice, until I show you the big bags that refill the plasticware and that’s only the long grain and the basmati. We also do rissotto and pudding rice. And of course at the bottom are flours galore, again both wheat and various gluten free alternatives so baking can be done. It’s only things like fresh stuff and milk and eggs, oh and cheese that would be in danger of running out if we got snowed in here in Eastern Scotland (unlikely).

    I have been deserted by the family too so I will I think have a gluten free pasta bake with fusili, tinned tomatoes, garlic, the remaining bacon, some of the pesto ala Genovese and some fresh parmessan. If I’m still hungry I have become a dab hand at gluten free pancakes. Cabin fever??? what that?

  140. Wintermute says

    I’d say poor PZ…

    except I live north of the border in the frozen wasteland that is Canada ;)

    We don’t get snow days even when there’s a foot of snow outside.

  141. Lee Picton says

    As a survivor of the Buffalo Blizzard of ’77, I can assure you that it was “the big one” in my life. (Some of the snow was still in piles in July and the last of the bodies was discovered in May, if I remember). The husbeast was stuck in the plant and never came home for three days and the plant came within 2 hours of shutting down the coke ovens (coke ovens are NEVER shut down), which would have necessitated a $200 million rebuild. I was at home with the infant spawn and we were running out of food. I briefly flirted with the idea of carving a teeny-weeny little spit for Tootsie, our recently deceased hampster whom I wrapped in Christmas paper inserted in a ziplock baggie and set her aside in the freezer to wait for spring when she could get a proper hampster burial. The national guard was called out and people had to sleep in the banks to keep the computers running (there are laws against banks closing when they are not in failure). And we were one on the lucky families – we never lost our heat or electricity. But we had some pretty strange meals for a few days.

  142. Sili says

    I move that Patricia stops mentioning her husband. It makes me sad to know that all the good ones are taken.

  143. JackC says

    Bill D

    given your proclivity for drink and study, I am surprised you haven’t looked into hop growing. NY used to be a MAJOR growing state, right next door to you really. I have a neighbor in Beacon that has hops as an ornamental on his fence.

    They prefer some huge trellis runs, but as Patricia says, you can pretty much do with them what you will. I think they are basically a weed. Not sure if there is a pun there in reference @185…

    And Kamaka, I too want to congratulate you on your selection. I am not quite the hophead, but that is the first time I have actually seen someone with Dogfishhead 120 since I had one myself about 2 years ago. 60 is thick on the ground, and 90 is not hard to find, but 120 is hens teeth.

    I also brew my own – it ain’t that hard. Getting high alcohol though is – generally requiring some special yeast. I know a lot of brewers that actually use champagne yeast for the task. The little beasties have to be able to survive the higher alcohol. About 6 is pretty much tops for the average home brewer.


  144. 'Tis Himself says

    Thanks for the link, Monado in Toronto. I’ve wanted to read the lyrics to one of my favorite Stan Rogers songs for years. Now if only someone would download it to U-Tube or Google Tunes.

  145. 'Tis Himself says

    Found it!

    Well they watched for him in Carmacks, Haines, and Carcross,
    With Teslin blocked there’s nowhere else to go,
    But he hit the four-wheel-drive in Johnson’s Crossing,
    Now he’s thirty-eight miles up the CANOL road.
    He’s thirty-eight miles up the CANOL road,
    In the Salmon Range at forty-eight below.

  146. Brownian says

    Ah, you just can’t beat Stan for good ol’ Canadian folk music. (Okay, except for maybe the McGarrigle sisters and Wade Hemsworth.)

  147. Bacopa says

    The front that brought you snow has brought us delightful days down here. Highs were in the 80s, but are now in the low 70s.

  148. azqaz says

    @187 Bill Dauphin

    Hop bines, yes bines, will take over if you let them. They like to climb lines and trellises, but aren’t opposed to fences, bushes, and just plain yards if nothing else is handy. Some are touchy about water needs, so check with your local homebrew shop and they can tell you what grows well in your area.

  149. says

    Thanks all for the info about hops. I’ll have to check with my local brew shop (I’ll have be in there anyway, if I’m to get back into the hobby) and cogitate on how to share my little patch of ground between my peppers, the tomatoes my wife wants, and hops.

    Patricia, your comment that they pretty much grow themselves encourages me, as I’m a fairly lazy gardener. Peppers also require very little care, once they’re in the ground. They don’t even want much water: As long as the plants have enough water to stay alive, the drier they are, the hotter (and thus better, according to me) the peppers.

    I’ve occasionally enjoyed Cave Creek beer, which has a whole jalapeno in each bottle, and one of the reasons I’m thinking of getting back into brewing is to try making something like that with my own peppers. The combined sensations of cold, wet, carbonation, and pepper “heat” makes for a fascinating drinking experience.

  150. Katkinkate says

    Posted by: Tristan @ 176 “To Katkinkate: I remember growing up in Brisbane during the 80’s. The memory of the 74 floods was still strong, and every summer my schoolteachers would say, “be careful these holidays. We’re now x years overdue for our next cyclone.” Each year they didn’t come, the worry faded a bit more.
    These days, Brisbane is one of those cities that cyclones “just don’t hit.” It seems plausible to me that the lack of cyclones recently may be due to climate change shifting air and/or water flow patterns.”

    Yeah you’re probably right. I moved to Brisbane well after all that and was too young at the time to remember anything from the news. I know the time-span of my memory in Brissy isn’t long enough to make any realistic judgement on the climate change from.