[Lounge #371]

This is the lounge. You can discuss anything you want, but you will do it kindly. Aren’t baby Tasmanian Devils adorable?

Status: Heavily Moderated; Previous thread


  1. chigau (違わない) says

    bad potcullis. bad.
    trinioler #294 last thread (page 2)
    I’m not on Facebook but I like you, anyway♥.

    Get one of those cheap stick-on name-tags;
    “Hi! I’m Portia Lastname!
    (I am a valuable member of this office!”
    next day
    “Hi! I’m Portia Lastname!
    (We met yesterday!”
    Maybe not.

  2. marella says

    Poor little thing, his future is a bit iffy these days. There’s a hideous contagious cancer killing them all.

  3. ednaz says

    I am caught up!

    Caine and Audley – Thank You for sharing your artwork with us. So impressive!

    Improbable Joe – Happy Birthday! I left a case of beer for you in the fridge.

    JAL – Thank You for ranting for me. You don’t know how much I appreciate it.

    I also left several bottles of rum – Chigau, you must share – and a pitcher of sangria for anyone who wants some.

    Question for The Horde: It often seems like the conversation is over or played out (?) when I’m able to post. Do I post anyway or just read?

    I love learning here. : )

  4. Amphiox says

    Poor little thing, his future is a bit iffy these days. There’s a hideous contagious cancer killing them all.

    An interesting case of an infectious disease evolving from a mammal (somatic cell line, too).

  5. chigau (違わない) says

    Thanks for the rum.
    Read and post, even if the conversation seems played-out.
    We, The Horde™, cover the Planet.
    Someone will respond.

  6. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    Oh, Oh. Free giveaway for J.K. Rowling’s new book Casual Vacancy. *fingers crossed*

  7. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    I also left several bottles of rum – Chigau, you must share – and a pitcher of sangria for anyone who wants some.

    Never had sangria and would love to try!

    And your welcome about the ranting. It’s so helpful, isn’t it? I’m usually thanking others here for that same thing. They do it so much better and I’m usually too late to the party.

  8. chigau (違わない) says

    in a large bowl or glass jar, pour
    a bottle of wine
    fruit (fresh, frozen or tinned)
    leave it sit for a few hours
    drink the fluid and eat the fruit
    (if you use tinned fruit, reserve the liquid. it’s a bit tooo sweet)
    keep the children away
    the fruit is yummy and they’ll get drunk

  9. Hekuni Cat, MQG says

    Caine – Your pillow is gorgeous. Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays/times of year. That you can hand-sew a pillow in

    about 30 to 40 minutes from start to finish, depending on the amount of interruptions due to rattiness.

    leaves me virtually speechless with the exception of saying: You are amazing. (I know I’m repeating myself.)

    Thank you for the cultural background of turtles. This is one of the things I truly love about Pharyngula. I’m always learning something new and fascinating.

  10. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    I just thought of something that I should have realized awhile ago.

    I can check out GameStop to see what I can get for my ps3 games.

    Not much point in hanging on to ps3 games with no ps3. Besides, once Roomie moves out the games are worthless again to me since he’ll take his ps3 obviously. So I’m going to see what I can get for them.

  11. Tony •Prom King of Sunnydale High• says


    Question for The Horde: It often seems like the conversation is over or played out (?) when I’m able to post. Do I post anyway or just read?

    IMO, post away. There are often multiple conversations going and we all have certain perspectives to offer a given topic, so if you’re interested, please chime in.


    I’ve never been to tvtropes. How much fun is it?

  12. says

    Hekuni Cat, thank you. The sleep pillows go fast because they are small (7″ x 7″) and only 3 sides need stitching. I have enough of everything for one more, would you like one? If so, send me an e-mail letting me know where to send it.

  13. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    Really, Ing?

    It’s Skyrim and Oblivion so I’d think most people have them don’t they? And it’d have to sell for pretty cheap to buy off some other person, wouldn’t it?

    I mean hell, if anyone here wants them I’m game. I can send them and they are in perfect condition. Never even got to play Oblivion, it’s still in the wrapper FFS and kept Skryrim cared for religiously.

  14. chigau (違わない) says

    tvtropes is a bottomlessmultidimentionalpit.
    you keeps clicking links until 4 hours later you has no idea what was the original question.

  15. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    I get into TVTropes because of books. It’s so useful. And yes, you just keep clicking and clicking and clicking…

  16. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    I’ve never been to tvtropes. How much fun is it?

    I’ve been avoiding it for a while, but you can easily get sucked in, waste hours on it, acquire a frustrating habit of instinctively evaluating your own writing in terms of the tropes, and wind up wanting to break a whole cabinet of dishes once you have more than a glancing encounter with their absolute, idiotic insistence on either maintaining a careful, balanced neutrality between fire brigades and fires, or refusing to even discuss certain subjects (mainly the applicability of trope concepts to real life situations) for fear of offending the handful of people who make the reaction to Mohammed cartoons seem balanced and rational.

  17. chigau (違わない) says

    The other day because we had some found-money and the bills are paid, we Went Out To Eat.
    It was expensive ($65 for two, one beer each).
    But the food was Ambrosia and the service was the best I’ve experienced in 20 years.
    He served and picked-up plates like it was choreographed, without intruding.
    He got a big tip.

  18. Tony •Prom King of Sunnydale High• says

    Azkyroth @28:
    Is there something you’d like to tell us?
    Do you and tvtropes have a thing? I don’t want to get in the way :)

  19. Tony •Prom King of Sunnydale High• says

    I should be safe from the multidimensional pit. I’m sharing tvtropes with Veronica Mars.

  20. thecheekytakahe says

    The Matrix is on the TV. I like it – it’s a fun action movie, but it has such heavy handed Christian allegory. I mean – the third movie was entirely about Neo=Jesus. Even the red pill speech is basically identical to a bunch of missionary’s witnessing spiels.

    Also – when I saw the Tasmanian Devil, the first thing I thought of was Alesmith’s Horny Devil. Pretty good belgian ale. I’d rather have an imperial stout. Also –


    I’ve seen this bird before. He apparently likes stealing tourist’s lunches.

  21. lexie says

    Caine – I am very glad to hear that Chester has such good taste. He likes tea and lavender, such a perfect rat.

  22. lexie says

    Is the tea drinking, tea which you have given him or stealing from your cup when you’re not looking?

  23. says


    Is the tea drinking, tea which you have given him or stealing from your cup when you’re not looking?

    I give them tea, they have a dedicated tea dish, but Chester, along with the rest of them, happily helps themselves out of my cup, whether I’m looking or not. For some reason, they all seem to think it’s better out of my cup.

  24. lexie says

    Yes of course, don’t all pets want to steal the human food.

    My dog has plenty of easily accessible water bowls but for some reason my water glass on my bedside table is the best water available, I’m not sure if she’s just too lazy to walk to the kitchen, or if she knows it’s mine and wants to steal it or what. I also seem to have agreed to giving up part of every carrot I every want to eat.

  25. Crudely Wrott says

    Ooo. A menacingly lovely picture of a dirling whervish.
    Looks just like mine. Such little dirlings!

    Abba deet, abba deet, that’s fall, olks.

  26. Crudely Wrott says

    I’m not sure if she’s just too lazy to walk to the kitchen, or if she knows it’s mine and wants to steal it or what.

    My guess, lexie, is that not only does your water glass carry your scent, which your dog identifies with because she identifies with you, pack mentality, don’ch know, but if she spends much time in your bedroom the glass is closer than her water bowl in the kitchen and possibly the toilet. Dogs are like people that way.

    Were she living with me I’d take her preference as a compliment as well as a gesture of solidarity. I’d also experiment with a water bowl for her near the bed. Just to see, you know.

    Pro tip: puppies are happier when they get raised with kitties. Really, they are. The familiarity and habituation brings out the tolerance and kindness in the them and they grow into well adjusted critters. So do their humans. It brings out the egalitarianism in all three species and is a delight to all.

  27. Beatrice says

    Good morning.

    My former favorite bookstore had a discount on everything this morning so I decided to pay it a visit after a long time (I’ve been doing my shopping at another place lately).


    I mostly read books in English because why read a crappy translation when I can get the original and it’s cheaper, so this is about the section of books in English.

    Popular science? Gone down the black hole. A couple of books left, but they put them on the same shelf as religion. And there’s much more religion there than science. Besides, a book about evolution sitting between astrology and something about Mormons is just bizarre.

    The whole section is bizarre. “how to make money by selling useless books about getting rich” next to sport next to erotica next to philosophy next to history (which consists almost entirely of books about Hitler).

    And I could never figure out why they don’t just put erotica with the rest of fiction. Like, next to the freaking romance novels. Or are they afraid that the kind of people who buy pink monstrosities will need fainting couches if they see LGBT erotica or BDSM?

    Strange place.

  28. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    No they’re right. TV Tropes being crowd sourced is offensively committed to “Neutral” non-offensiveness. To give a perspective Crowning Moment of Awesome included the Catholic Church in WWII as a real world example.

    Before they eliminated THAT Real-Life Example section too, the Knight Templar article (TL;DR: people who take a “good” idea and pursue it to the point of being objectively evil) had, alongside such luminaries as Torquemada, an entry whining about tone in the “Social Justice Movement.”

  29. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    (Actually, at this point, TV Tropes has bent over backwards so far to please the least reasonable people in the room that I really couldn’t recommended it anymore even with the caveats about timewasting.)

  30. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    On a tangentially related note: is it feasible to mistake anything else for fresh thyme?

  31. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    I’ve never run into a problem with TVTropes. Did I just not notice, or have I not been to anything problematic yet?


    I appreciate the information.

  32. says


    I’m in moderation at Crommunist too…I think I’ve commented there once or twice before. Is that his default?

    Seems to be a WordPress problem.

    Hmmm, I love lavender. It has an instant soothing effect on me. I often drop some essence onto my warm-pack monster.
    Which reminds me that I wanted to make lots of neck-warm-packs for the family for christmas.

    Argh, have you ever tried to communicate mental health problems with somebody who has fortunately never had a taste of them?

  33. Beatrice says

    Argh, have you ever tried to communicate mental health problems with somebody who has fortunately never had a taste of them?

    Yes. Last week.

    I ended up complaining about it here.

    Since it made me decide not to ever broach that topic with my best friend again (and haven’t even talked to her since then), I can’t say anything uplifting.

    Argh, indeed.

  34. says

    I notice that due to Edwin Kagin’s recent posts, the cancer is spreading into his comments section. Scented Nectar, N_J, hannanibal, PG, and other malignant cells have already made an appearance.

  35. lexie says

    I’ve debated whether to post this or not, but it’s a follow up to one of my first posts about my personal life on Pharyngula and you were all so helpful then that I think I’ve decided to give anyone interested an update. A couple of months ago I posted that some of my school friends and I were having a girls night in when one of them brought up that she supported gay marriage much to the displeasure of several others one in particular. I joined in on the side in favour of gay marriage and was reasonably passionate, in the end despite the large number of studies I cited she just dismissed me by saying that she didn’t believe in statistics. I believe I was perfectly civil, and in an attempt to preserve the friendship I kept asking just to drop it, agree to disagree but she wouldn’t drop it and in the end I and others basically had to beg to move the topic on since it was totally obvious it wasn’t going anywhere at least that night. Then I asked what I should do and was I a horrible person by continuing to see them. Anyway it may transpire that they don’t want to see me, as they have just posted photos of them at the show, an event to which I was not invited. I’m not exactly sure how I feel about it. I am sad to lose them even though, I have recently felt very awkward with them, particularly when I have almost let it slip that I’m an atheist or that I think I am attracted to women and men. Prehaps this is the easiest way, I now don’t face to face their scorn or disgust or any other unpleasant reactions by coming out to them and I don’t have to keep feeling awkward. Anyway thanks to everyone who gave me advice back then and who made me feel better at the time.

  36. StevoR says

    Thought some may like to know that last week I finally finished reading the Iran : Empire of the Mind book on Persian / Iranian history that was recommended on a long ago thread here.

    Thanks, it was certainly fascinating and informative.

  37. lexie says

    Beatrice, I read what you wrote last time about your friend and don’t think I said it then but firstly *hugs* if you want them. The stigma around mental illness really irritates me, as in likely to get me hopping mad, it is a medical illness not a personal failure damn it. Hopefully I will see this change over the years but at the moment it means I have to keep a lot of my personal and my family problems totally secret (I suppose not have to but I choose to because getting it off my chest is less helpful than the boat load of crap you get by mentioning mental illness). Any *hug* or chocolate if you want them.

  38. StevoR says

    Couple of things stumbled upon online which some may find interesting here :


    Save The Last Great Telescope youtube – One the Green Bank Telescope (GBT)


    Dramatic illustration graphic here for Arctic sea ice loss.

    How much worse have things gotten there!

    But a sort of counter – see :


    For how much better things have become in other regards.

    Labour day Monday here in Oz I think – & the Stonekettle station blog author Jim Wright has been on a bit of a roll lately with a lot of excellent posts recently which are also well worth reading.

  39. StevoR says

    But a sort of counter …

    Oh & Planet America – Aussie ABC TV’s great show on US politics – has called the election for Obama too.

  40. Pteryxx says

    nitpick… Caine, if it’s not too much trouble, could you insert image placeholders for your pictures on Rattitude? It’d be much easier (for me) to load them by individual click.

  41. Beatrice says

    Connecticut teacher mistakenly kills son after neighbor reports robber

    Tyler Giuliano was pronounced dead at the scene. His father has not been charged with a crime.

    “We’re all waiting for that million-dollar answer: What was going through (Tyler’s) mind that night?” said New Fairfield resident and politician John Hodge. “Something like this really hit us hard. We do want to get the real answers here.”

    The possibly life saving answer would be to: What the fucking hell was going through that man’s head and why isn’t anyone wondering that instead of about a teenager sneaking home at night?

  42. McC2lhu saw what you did there. says

    lexie @55

    Time will help things along by picking your genuine friends for you. The problem with school ‘friends’ is they still think in terms of cliques, not with honest connection, or at least it is rare that they don’t think that way. I have noticed in the people around me that those that have a high number of friends don’t even have one or two particular stable friendships. Those that have a small assortment of friends connect on a much deeper and personal level and for a long time. I think the key to finding what you’re looking for is to remember that quality trumps quantity anytime. It helps if you ‘put yourself out there’ in the avenues that are most likely to let you meet the kind of people that are really going to be your friends. You know best where those people are likely to be, they are the places where you find more of the people interesting and engage your mind to participate, rather than be a spectator.

  43. says

    Good morning! Great way to start the morning too… Sleepy Time Snuggle Buddy making that weird “Eeeeerrrrrgg” noise in my ear, followed by Ginger pouncing over me to attack the cat, and dropping all 38 pounds of dog right on my lower back.

    Support and chocolate and bacon and terrorist fist jabs to everyone who needs them. I’m going to try to find brunch before it is full-on lunch time.

  44. lexie says

    My school ‘friends’ definitely do think in terms of cliques, but I think that the bigger problem with us ever forming a deep connection is that I met them at a conservative Christian school, coming from a conservative family and they did too. At the time I made friends with them I already had doubts about the whole religion thing but was desperately trying to ignore them and become sure in my faith, which resulted in me being even more religious. I still think that we did once have a decent friendship when I agreed with them on these issues but I escaped from that (well am escaping) but they are still in there and this definitely poses a strain on things as I now disagree with them on almost everything, which is hardly the basis of a brilliant friendship. Even the one who is more liberal (she’s the one in favour of gay marriage) is still deeply religious and I don’t know if even she would accept my atheism.

    I have never had a lot of friends, I would hate it, I would have to be much more sociable than I would ever want to be. I am trying to make new and better friendships, but am struggling in that endeavour, partly just due to my own reluctance to trust people. I have three friends from uni, I have a much better friendship with them but I’m still not sure.

  45. jose says

    I was reading Gould’s The Flamingo’s Smile and it kicks off like this:

    “In the Medieval glass of Canterbury Cathedral, an angel appears to the sleeping wise men and warns them to go straight home, and not return to Herod. Below, the corresponding event from the Old Testament teaches the faithful that each moment of Jesus’ life replays a piece of the past and that God has put meaning into time – Lot turns round and his wife becomes a pillar of salt … the common theme of both incidents: Don’t look back.”
    (emphasis mine)

    I’ve never heard of that. Each moment of Jesus’ life corresponds to an Old Testament passage? Is that mainstream Catholicism? I know Jesus is meant to fulfill prophecies (he won’t shut up about fulfilling “what is written”), but only prophecies, nothing more. Gould is taking this a step further to include all of the old testament, it would seem.

    If this is indeed common knowledge, is there a cross-reference table somewhere so we can check out which passages correspond to which?

  46. Beatrice says


    I certainly agree with McC2lhu about quality over quantity. I would just add a little something.

    Sometimes you might have a person or people in your life who are not quite friends and yet not just acquaintances. People with whom you won’t discuss anything too personal, but you might call them for an evening out occasionally.

    It’s perfectly fine to have “not quite friends” in your life, if you are capable of dealing with that kind of relationship.

  47. opposablethumbs says

    lexie, I’m sorry these “friends” are turning out not to be. That’s always hard; I hope they weren’t too big a presence in your life, and that the worthwhile ones – like the person who spoke in favour of sanity and fairness wrt marriage in the first place – stay good friends to you.

    And yes, as pointed out above, I hope you meet plenty more decent people through other activities/interests/in other ways; people with whom you can be yourself and who will value you for who you are.

    Hugs if I may and if you want ’em.

    “I don’t believe in statistics” – translation, in this case, “la la la ::fingers firmly in ears:: I refuse to acknowledge evidence or even reality”. argh.

  48. McC2lhu saw what you did there. says


    Beatrice is right, especially with where you find yourself at the moment. You may have to settle for these ‘almost friends’ for the time being. Since religious issues are going to be a point of contention that casts you as the ‘other’ in the group, it may be that you have to have to have a lot more superficial conversation, remembering that politics and religion are always the back-breakers in mixed-philosophy situations.

    Always keep in mind that you are still in school. Once you are shoved out into the rat race, you will (hopefully) have more time to explore your interests. It’s at these places, and as a more experienced and confident person, that you will meet people that are far more likely to really click. Think of the almost friends as the Scotch Tape that holds your social sanity together until you find the Krazy Glue and duct tape kind of friends that will inevitably present themselves at art galleries, or book clubs, or skepticons, or the like when you are out of the clique neighborhoods, especially the church-dominated ones that you have decided (I almost typed deicide-ed, which would be pretty accurate too) no longer fit what you believe to be true or worthy of your time.

  49. lexie says

    Thanks for the hugs opposable thumbs. One of them was a fairly big presence in my life, in fact she was the closest friend I had and the friendship I have had for the longest (11 years and I’m 23). I agree that that’s why she’s (different person to who’s described above) doing it, but it’s so infuriating, I can try and engage someone rationally but excluding bashing my head against a brick wall I have no response to that.
    I agree with you all about the quality vs quantity thing. I have never had many friends, I don’t even have many “not quite friends”, hell I probably don’t even have many vague acquaintances. I just struggle making quality friends, and I suppose part of the problem is that I struggle trusting people.

  50. lexie says

    McC2lhu, thanks for that I think that Beatrice is probably right, and the way you put it kind of solidified it for me.

  51. Beatrice says


    Not saying that you have to still associate with them (especially if their views are too awful for you to deal with), just that you don’t have to feel guilty if you do.
    (I’m not sure I was clear about that before)

    I have trust issues too. Yeah, that makes life and friendships difficult.

    I haven’t read all that much from you yet, but from what I have, it seems we have very similar personalities.
    Although, I can be quite an asshole and I’m not sure we’re all that similar in that aspect. ;)

  52. lexie says

    Beatrice, I agree with you on the us probably being similar thing. I haven’t found you to be an asshole, not sure if all this assholery (can I make that a word? please?) happens on [thunderdome] which I normally don’t read or if you mean against the trolls?

  53. Nutmeg says

    *hugs* and *tea* for lexie. I’m sorry that your friends seem to be pulling away from you.

    There are only two of my old Christian friends that I still see now, and I told both of them about my loss of faith as it was happening, because they weren’t the judgmental type. Those friendships still work because we decided that our shared history and friendship was more important than our differences, and we don’t talk too much about politics or religion. Even so, it’s a less open friendship than I have with my more like-minded friends.

    I drifted away from my high school friends when they became the party crowd in 12th grade, and I didn’t make more close friends until the end of undergrad, when I connected with the other students suffering through honours theses. I fit in more with my university friends than I ever did with another group. So I second the recommendations to look for groups of people you have things in common with, and see what happens.

    I also struggle trusting people, and I’ve found that a smallish group of friends, as opposed to one-on-one situations, works well for me. It doesn’t get too intense too fast, so you can get to know people for a long time before all the major sharing of secrets occurs. After a while, the one-on-one stuff becomes natural and more comfortable. YMMV.

  54. lexie says

    Thanks for the tea and hugs Nutmeg (tea is wonderful, so are hugs)

    Thanks for the tip on small groups. I’m hoping that I’ll find friends with more and more in common as I get more and more open about my beliefs and I suppose me generally.

  55. Socio-gen, something something... says

    Previous thread –

    Portia @ 797:

    I bartend now and then at the corner bar and several times have had people ask “Do you know So and So?

    The busybodies do get old, I feel you on that. Seems other people knew that my roommate was breaking the lease before I even knew.

    Oh, the name game! I think in every conversation I had with people I don’t know well (back home), the first ten minutes was spent chasing family connections — So, are you related to the [names] in [town]? No, that’s a different branch. My family is from [this town]. Oh, X and Y and Z? Yes, Z was my father. Oh, such a good man! Yep, very well respected in town. (and then silently to myself: who was an alcoholic asshole who didn’t want to see me or his grandchildren for 10 years after I divorced and only changed his mind when he went into hospice, and only because he wanted to give me his dying lecture on how evil and filled with sin I was.)

    I do the good ‘ol gal routine and the “being away didn’t change me” thing too. Since I’ve picked up the Minnesota “ohh” accent, I compensate at home by talking a bit faster and dropping g’s (singin’, dancin’, etc.) One thing that really bugged me was that, other than my kids and one sister, not one person wanted to hear what I’d been doing. It was as if they were trying to ignore it and pretend I hadn’t left. If I did bring up things I was studying or activities I got involved in, they all commented on how “radical” being away made me.

    And yes, the busybodies know everything and they only share with other people. Not you. Because that would ruin the show.

    Audley @ 800:

    Look at what Patricia made for DarkFetus!

    Oh the hat!! And the socks! And the sweater! And the hat!!!

    Patricia: The cute, it overwhelms!!

    New thread –

    Patrick Stewart! *adds 11th Hour to my queue*


    For some reason, they all seem to think it’s better out of my cup.

    My nieces and nephews were like that as toddlers/pre-schoolers. They liked tea, but my cup was always better — even when poured out of the same pot.

    Ugh! That kind of disorganization in a bookstore would drive me up the wall.

    Of course, I’m the kind of person whose bookshelves are organized in a sensible pattern — textbooks by subject area, non-fiction grouped by theme (biography, science, etc) and fiction grouped by genre (mystery, romance), divided into sub-genres (historical, paranormal, etc) and yes, the erotica lives next to my romance novels, sub-divided by genre. And…I alphabetize.

    My bookshelves, however, are the only organized space in my apartment.


    Argh, have you ever tried to communicate mental health problems with somebody who has fortunately never had a taste of them?

    Yes. It has never gone well.

    Sweet Cheebus! I just…what the fuck?! I hope the NRA is happy to know that yet another homeowner successfully defended his home….against his own relative.

    I am so sick of this John Wayne attitude that keeps killing innocent people. You know what my home protection is? An aluminum bat. Because I am a heck of a better baseball player than I am a shooter.

    As hard as it is when friends move on in a different direction, it’s harder (on you) to keep hiding yourself and your opinions in order to keep them. Pre-divorce, most of my friends were from my church. Post-divorce, I lost all but one — some right away, some after awhile because I was no longer the same person. It was tough to make new ones because of my social anxiety. I’m also pretty reserved, so it takes me a long time to get comfortable sharing my inner thoughts.

    But, if you do the things you love and go out to support the causes you believe in (as/when you’re able to do so), you will meet and make new friends. It’s sometimes a little bit easier because you already have a shared connection to build on. It takes time though, and as others have said, it’s perfectly fine to keep not-quite-friends so that you have people to do things with. I mostly have people I’m “friendly with” but who aren’t the people I’d be comfortable calling at 2am to take me to the ER.

    Also, internet friends ARE real friends, too. I have four women I’ve been friends with for almost 12 years now, whom I ‘met’ on a single moms listserv. We’ve never met in person (though we keep planning to), but know everything about each other, helped each other through bad times, laughed and cheered through the good, and they have been the best — and at times, the only — source of support I had. And they’re the only friends I didn’t lose daily contact with by moving 1300 miles.

    *hugs* and *chocolates*

  56. Beatrice says


    Maybe that part of me didn’t have many chances to emerge here on Pharyngula (except maybe when talking to trolls, in which case it’s an asset instead of a fault), but I can be unreasonably assholish to people in meatlife.

  57. says

    In the previous chapter of the [Lounge] someone asked for a link to prove that problems with voter fraud were more widespread than, say, a few folks being stupid.

    In-person voter fraud can’t be proven with links to reliable sources because they all back up the conclusion that there is .0000 to .00025% in-person voter fraud. This is the kind of fraud Republicans are trying to stop when state legislatures pass laws requiring new forms of ID. They took a non-existent problem and created a solution that negatively impacts mostly Obama voters.

    You can find some voter fraud in the realm of absentee ballots.

    You can also find voter fraud in the voter-registration efforts of Republicans, and I think this was our subject in the last thread. And I think this was the fraud that was questioned, perhaps being only a few lazy people submitting made-up names. This problem is widening. The more info that comes out, the more we see it is not just a few people, but a way of doing business. And, yes, there is link: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/49213312#.UGcQfhxkjRw

    What first appeared to be an isolated problem in one Florida county has now spread statewide, with election officials in nine counties informing prosecutors or state election officials about questionable voter registration forms filled out on behalf of the Republican Party of Florida.

    State Republican officials already have fired the vendor it had hired to register voters, and took the additional step of filing an election fraud complaint against the company, Strategic Allied Consulting, with state officials. That complaint was handed over Friday to state law-enforcement authorities….

    The same company that perpetrated the fraud in Florida was paid to do voter registration for Republicans in all the other swing states. I don’t know if they’ve been kicked out of those other states as well.

    In addition to voter registration fraud, Republicans are committing phone bank fraud, though perhaps this is only a result of stupid volunteers, and not an organized effort.

    “Yall sound like yall are senior citizens, right? Yeah. You don’t want Obama. You really don’ want Obama. Because he’ll get rid of your Medicare. You might as well say goodbye to it.”

    “I don’t know if you’ve done any research on Obama or not, but he is a Muslim… if he had his way, we’d be a socialistic country.”

    “Pay attention to Fox News.”

  58. says

    This is quote of the week for me:

    “Yall sound like yall are senior citizens, right? Yeah. You don’t want Obama. You really don’ want Obama. Because he’ll get rid of your Medicare. You might as well say goodbye to it.”

    “I don’t know if you’ve done any research on Obama or not, but he is a Muslim… if he had his way, we’d be a socialistic country.”

    Obama wants to get rid of Medicare, AND he’s a socialist? He wants you to be dependent on government, AND he’s going to take away your government benefits? Republicans REALLY ARE THIS FUCKING STUPID, AND THEY ARE HALF OF THE FUCKING COUNTRY!

    …I need a beer.

  59. says

    Bishop Thomas John Paprocki, the Roman Catholic Bishop of Springfield, Illinois says he is not going to tell you how to vote, and then he tells you that if you back the Democratic Party you may be putting your eternal salvation at risk.

    In the Catholic Times, the official newspaper of the Springfield diocese, Bishop Thomas John Paprocki uses the manufactured controversy about mentioning “God” in the Democratic Platform to argue that the Democrats are hostile to faith, and went on to attack Democrats for endorsing gay rights and opposing the criminalization of abortion. He said those two planks demonstrate that the Democrats “explicitly endorse intrinsic evils,” while noting that he has “read the Republican Party Platform and there is nothing in it that supports or promotes an intrinsic evil or a serious sin.”

    Paprocki concludes with a warning that while he is “not telling you which party or which candidates to vote for or against,” backing the Democratic Party may put your eternal salvation at risk: “a vote for a candidate who promotes actions or behaviors that are intrinsically evil and gravely sinful makes you morally complicit and places the eternal salvation of your own soul in serious jeopardy.”

    Video of Bishop Paprocki being an asshat and spouting poppycock:

  60. says

    Indecent proposals from the nutbags in the U.S. House of Representatives have come fast and furious this year …. while real work is ignored.

    Rep. Stephen Fincher (R-Tenn) proposed a resolution that ““reaffirms the importance of religion in the lives of United States citizens.” The resolution is offensive to non-christian religions, and extremely offensive to those of us that support church-state separation. And, of course, contains multiple inaccuracies lies.

    One claim is that the “first act of Congress in 1774 was a prayer.” That is pretty meaningless because that wasn’t the U.S. Congress. Not only did that First Continental Congress meet for just a few weeks, it didn’t include representatives of all 13 colonies. America hadn’t even declared independence yet from Britain, so to say the Congress in 1774 set the precedent for the United States is just not accurate….
    [deleted blather about Bible being best-selling book]

    A third claim made in the resolution references a 2007 study by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public life that found 92 percent of U.S. citizens believe in God and 78.4 percent identified as Christian. Here, the House is basically saying, “If you don’t believe in God, get out” and “If you aren’t Christian, you should probably leave, too.”…

    “This [resolution] only serves to divide rather than unite Americans,” said Edwina Rogers, executive director of the Secular Coalition for America, according to The Raw Story. “This resolution insinuates that because Christianity is the majority religion in the United States, the religion and its followers should be privileged by our government, but this logic is problematic – our Constitution is secular precisely to protect all Americans regardless of their religious beliefs or lack of religious beliefs.”…

  61. says

    Ah, this was also expected, but dreaded: the 13-year-old girl who was raped on the campus of a 17,000-member Tulsa megachurch was not the only victim.

    On Wednesday, five employees of the south Tulsa church — including the son and daughter-in-law of head pastor Sharon Daugherty — are scheduled to be arraigned in district court for allegedly waiting two weeks before reporting the rape of the 13-year-old by Denman to authorities. John Daugherty, Charica Daugherty, Paul Willemstein, Anna George and Harold “Frank” Sullivan each face one misdemeanor count of failing to report child abuse.

    The article lists the other purported episodes of abuse and of failing to report child abuse.

  62. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    So this beer and burger place I’ve been too posted this on their facebook status today

    We have Dr. Michael Gross here today in the private dining area working with people and counseling. He is an intutive, spiritual healer and works with fractured soul retrieval. Please stop by to spend some time with him if you need help. He has 30 minute appointments available.

    Confused I looked up fractured soul retrieval…

    Did you know that

    85 percent of soul fracturing is from past lives and only 15 percent is a result of current life events.

    how very interesting.

    I’m going to go hit myself in the hand with a hammer now.

  63. says

    Rachel Maddow brings us up to date on the latest efforts to end access to abortion in America. Women had better wake the fuck up and vote Republican governors and Republican legislators at the state level OUT.

    Republicans have passed new rules that are designed to make it economically difficult or impossible to open a women’s health clinic that also offers abortion services, or to continue to operate an existing clinic that offers abortion services. They are closing clinics with red tape that does not apply to any other kind of health clinic. And they are bragging about ending abortion in their states.

  64. Beatrice says

    Soul retrieval?
    Good thing Voldemort didn’t have access to that doctor. With his soul and sanity intact, he could have been invincible.

  65. says

    This is a follow-up to my post @83.

    Remember the video of the young woman registering only Republican voters in Colorado Springs? She claimed to be working for the El Paso County Clerk. That turned out to be wrong.

    On Friday, local officials confirmed that the young woman was working for a company called Strategic Allied Consulting, which specializes in signing up new voters. Strategic was fired Thursday by both the national and state Republican parties after it was linked to possible voter fraud in Florida….

    The young woman in the video is 20-year-old Victoria Bautista. [She is wearing a CTR (Choose The Right) mormon ring.]

    …Strategic required its employees to sign non-disclosure forms, pledging they wouldn’t tell anyone who they worked for. That’s why Bautista said on the video that she worked for the county clerk’s office — she was caught off-guard, and had to lie for Strategic… Link.

    Several news sources have pointed out that it is not illegal in Colorado to pre-screen people one is trying to register for voting. However, the lie about who you work for, coupled with the fact that some of Strategic’s leaders in Colorado had ordered business cards withe county GOP logo, and you definitely have an unethical operation.

    Republicans are trying to get the video taken down because it claims the young woman was doing something illegal, when she wasn’t. I think the underhandedness is proven and that’s reason enough to make the video available to the public.

    The video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rdk55dLsFhc

  66. says

    Rev BDC:

    I’m going to go hit myself in the hand with a hammer now.

    Some of the people in my area who manage to make their slow and painful way out of the mormon church turn to alternative medicine, to new age gobbledygook, and to other esoteric pursuits. As a result, we are fairly swimming in “clinics” offering this crap, including clinics that advertise on TV as being able to help children with medical conditions.

    Hammer time.

  67. birgerjohansson says

    When I try to scroll down the Pharyngula threads, I don’t get past the Friday cephalopod.
    No link to flip to older “pages”.
    Bug or new design omitting old stuff?

  68. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Bug or new design omitting old stuff?

    PZ had posted a BBC video of a cuttlefish in the OP that caused the loading to hang on some computers, right at the video. He supposedly fixed that with a more friendly video.

  69. says

    In the category of “Uniquely American Entertainment,” this year we have lots of Tea Party candidate ads. This one is for Kentucky congressional hopeful Andrew Beacham.

    A long shot Kentucky House candidate with deep ties to a radical anti-abortion leader is broadcasting a campaign ad like no other: It purports to show images of dismembered fetuses and murdered Jews and Christians while comparing President Barack Obama to Adolf Hitler and mass-murderer Ted Bundy. The ad touts the candidacy of the long-haired self-described tea partier Andrew Beacham, who is running as an independent against Republican Rep. Brett Guthrie in Kentucky’s 2nd District….

    Beacham is a longtime guerrilla-theater disciple of anti-abortion activist Randall Terry, whose strategy involves running for office and getting other people to run for office so that they can exploit loophole in the Federal Communications Commission’s indecency regulations. As my colleague Tim Murphy has reported, the loophole allows candidates to run graphic political ads that would otherwise be banned by the FCC….

    Coverage from Mother Jones.

    Scroll down to view the video (warning—contains extremely graphic images).

  70. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    Argh, have you ever tried to communicate mental health problems with somebody who has fortunately never had a taste of them?

    Yes. Money quote: “Well, if you can’t take medicine for it then it’s a choice!” >.>

  71. chigau (違わない) says

    Don’t be one of the 15%.
    Hammering will fracture your soul in this lifetime.
    (hand or head?)

  72. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    My morning so far

    Cut my finger and also cut my ankle

    with the same knife

    30 mins apart from each other

    My dog brought me a dead possum

    And my nosy neighbor made a point of stopping by to ask my why I had a big lighting setup on my back deck last night at 9:30 taking pictures while grilling.


    reboot please

  73. Beatrice says

    Would you say this quote comes from a socialist or anti-socialist?

    Classic social assistance can’t and shouldn’t be used to solve people’s problems today. I think we have reached the stage where smart development is the only answer, as well as what those anecdotes say: don’t give a man fish, give him the angle to catch his own fish.

  74. jose says

    I’d say it fits socialism. It’s about granting everybody a foundation so we can live with basic dignity no matter what. If you break your leg, if you grow a tumor, if your company goes bankrupt… socialism would like for nobody to be less than they could have been or would have wanted to be due to circumstances outside their control.

  75. Socio-gen, something something... says

    Lynna @ 91:

    They are closing clinics with red tape that does not apply to any other kind of health clinic.

    And people around me wonder why I am so “militant” when it comes to fighting for abortion and reproductive rights… I’m so sick of having to explain to people over and over and over and over again that preserving Roe means nothing — less than nothing — if more and more of these onerous and punitive restrictions are imposed. As Maddow said, it’s a right on paper only.

    It horrifies me how quickly we are returning to the pre-Roe days. I’ve heard from a couple of people online who are setting up or planning “Jane” networks in their states because access is becoming so limited that legal abortion, for all intents and purposes, no longer exists unless you have time, money, and the ability to travel.

    I don’t know if anyone is involved in doing this in my area (naturally, it’s not something you can Google for contacts) but I keep my ears open in case, so that I can offer whatever help I might provide.

    I’m guessing an anti-socialist, but one who doesn’t realize he’s describing socialism.

  76. Beatrice says

    Huh, I must have been unreasonably angered by this one then. I read it differently.

    (statement made by our president, and we generally consider ourselves a social state)

  77. Beatrice says

    Thanks, jose. You gave a much more reasonable explanation than what was going through my head.
    My reading was totally off the mark, and I should have realized that sooner.

    I’ll just go make myself a cup of tea to make the brain start working again.

  78. says


    Statement made by our traditionally conservative president, you mean? He’s a creep and an asshole, and only “good” by comparison with his opponents.

  79. says

    Good evening
    We approved of the wonderful weather today and took the kids to the Zoo. I think that I can probably illustrate my own “animals of the world ” book :)

    I’m sorry about your friends. I think I was about your age when I noticed that my BFF (since 1st grade!) was an emotional vampire who would call me when she was unhappy but who didn’t care much if I was in distress. It was hard. It was especially hard since I had only “got her back” 3 years before or so when she managed to escape an abusive relationship. But the people who are my friends now are different. They actually care. They’re family.

    re: mental health
    It didn’t go bad, but it was complicated. Mr. wants to understand, only I’m talking about things he has never encountered. The fact that doing simple stuff like writing a silly email to people who are actually nice causes my physical pain is just completely not understandable for him.
    So, given all your experiences that seems to have gone extremely well…


  80. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Beatrice, my guess is the quote is from an anti-socialist. What I saw was essentially saying stop giving folks money to live on, and make them train for work to support themselves. But, where are the jobs? What happens here is that they do low level training at a school owned by a friend of the president, and once “trained” support benefits are dropped to ensure diligence in job hunting. Never mind the training was for a job market with a glut of better trained people. At least that’s what happens on this side of the pond.

  81. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Rev. BDC: How did you rig up an airlock?

    Went down to the local homebrewing supply store and bought a couple from them.

    Cut a hole in the lid of a mason jar matching the size of the airlock rubber stoppper. Added the airlock to that.

  82. says

    Rev. BDC,

    OK, cool. I have a bunch of the 3-piece airlocks they list if you scroll down on your link. I have an extra rubber stopper too. I guess I just need Mason jars. :)

  83. Ogvorbis: broken and cynical says

    Hello. Threadrupt. Fever. Aches (speaking of which, where the hell did that muscles come from?). No effluvia yet. I hate sickypoo.

  84. cicely says

    I’ve never been to tvtropes. How much fun is it?

    Tony, it is one of the finest time-sinks known to this woman. An entire afternoon can disappear into its black-hole-like grasp. Easy.

    JAL, seconding Ing on the subject of GameStop. My DIL just gave them what she says will be the last of her game-resale business; they (at least locally) have changed up their policies, and didn’t hardly give her shit for her games.

    lexie: *hugs*. Falling irreversibly out of step with friends is sad and un-fun, but it happens. Happens with family, too; even without my mentioning my atheism outright, one of my nieces, who is drifting ever more fundagelical, is picking up the widening gulf between us in opinions and outlook, just from FB posts, comments, likes and such. I think the kick-over point may have been when I commented to her “God is SO GOOD!!” post with, “Lightly grilled and with mustard”, while punchy from lack of sleep. She hasn’t posted anything directly to me since.

    Sorry you’re sick, Ogvorbis. *sanitary hugs*

  85. says

    Gamestop isn’t bad when you have a lot of money and you do a lot of turnover. If you buy more than a few games a month and trade as fast as you buy you can get better than 50% value back in trade-in. If you want cash you’re screwed, and if you need two months to finish a game you’re screwed.

  86. opposablethumbs says

    Virtual, long-distance and hence non-contagious hugs to Ogvorbis, with (inevitably, but for really rlz) a Nice Cup of Tea. Sorry you’re crook, and hope you get better soon.

  87. Tony •Prom King of Sunnydale High• says


    Hello. Threadrupt. Fever. Aches (speaking of which, where the hell did that muscles come from?). No effluvia yet. I hate sickypoo.

    –Aren’t there some wonderful CAM products you can purchase to fix what ails you?
    Perhaps you can use the widely proven method of Homeopathy to come up with a cure for your fever (using sweat?).

    (the above was sarcasm)

  88. Portia says

    Sorry for my late responses, it’s been a busy day.

    Hug back atcha :)

    After the intro, smile politely and shake hands, while saying, “But that’s just my Secret Identity. Actually, I’m really (Name), Attorney At Law” and strike a heroic pose?

    Ha! I like it. I do need a secret identity…


    Get one of those cheap stick-on name-tags;
    “Hi! I’m Portia Lastname!
    (I am a valuable member of this office!”
    next day
    “Hi! I’m Portia Lastname!
    (We met yesterday!”

    Hahaha Maybe I can work this in when there’s no clients around.


    Seems to be a WordPress problem.

    Ah. Thanks.


    Since it made me decide not to ever broach that topic with my best friend again (and haven’t even talked to her since then), I can’t say anything uplifting.

    I hate when close friends respond the way yours did. I have several friends that I have put on my “personal issues are off the table” list because they Just. Didn’t. Get It. And there’s no way to fix that except protect yourself from the hurt. I’m sure I’m not telling you anything you don’t know, I just want to say I understand.


    Yep, very well respected in town. (and then silently to myself: who was an alcoholic asshole who didn’t want to see me or his grandchildren for 10 years after I divorced and only changed his mind when he went into hospice, and only because he wanted to give me his dying lecture on how evil and filled with sin I was.

    Wow. That sounds like my aunt. She hasn’t spoken to my mother (outside of my grandmother’s funeral) since my mom got a divorce. She learned over-piety from her father, my grandpa, and I feel about him as you do about your dad when people say how great he is. He’s not an alcoholic, but fuck he’s an asshole.

    I do the good ‘ol gal routine and the “being away didn’t change me” thing too. Since I’ve picked up the Minnesota “ohh” accent, I compensate at home by talking a bit faster and dropping g’s (singin’, dancin’, etc.) One thing that really bugged me was that, other than my kids and one sister, not one person wanted to hear what I’d been doing. It was as if they were trying to ignore it and pretend I hadn’t left. If I did bring up things I was studying or activities I got involved in, they all commented on how “radical” being away made me.

    Yep. I always felt like they didn’t care because it made them feel inadequate for not having “adventures.” I feel petty even thinking that. I think life in the little town is great for those who are suited to it. But the denigration of big city life is pretty grating to me. There are literally people in Illinois who advocate for kicking Cook County out of the state. It was an old joke, now it’s actual proposed state legislation. I can’t grasp the myopia… Of course, living in the city, I resented the condescension to rural life. I had one friend who marveled that people still lived on farms. Or “how do people live way out there?!”

    Ogvorbis Sorry you’re sick. I am a little bit too. I’ll share my herbal tea, if you like.

    SO fixed my old washer like it was nothing, and so now he has a new free washer : ) And we had to move one less washer.

    When my mom visits tomorrow she is bringing my 2 and 7 year old nieces with her! I am so thoroughly psyched to have them all here. They are bright and happy and brilliant and joyful and just….YAY.

    I got some red potatoes from a local farmer friend for my planned stew to feed the kiddies. Mmmm. Yum. I had to make him take my money for them.

  89. ednaz says

    Socio-gen – I hear you. I’m so good at telling happy nice stories about family members who have caused me misery. It makes me sick. I’m sorry you get stuck doing the same. Sending hugs and cookies.

  90. ednaz says

    Ogvorbis – I am sorry you are sick. Should I send one of my clones to wait on you ’til you get better?

    Portia – I would offer to send one of my clones to you – but you Mom is already on the way. You can’t top that.

    : )

  91. Therrin says

    Nutmeg, I recommend a six-letter URL. First two letters short-hand for easy, second two for television, a dot, then the country code of Italy. If you have usenet access, a poster with the nym teevee is usually the first copy to appear (I use ovafrnepu vasb(r13) to generate nzbs).

  92. lexie says

    Ogvorbis – :(, sorry you’re sick, chocolate? tea? biscuits?

    Ednaz, thanks for hugs and cookies.

    Echoes everyone else – Amy and Rory!!!!!

    Nutmeg – enjoy the episode

    Chigau – Amy and Rory are the current companions of the Doctor in Doctor Who.

  93. ImaginesABeach says

    Is it bad that I got myself all threadrupt because I had so much work at work this week that I couldn’t keep up?

  94. chigau (違わない) says

    lexie #139
    Thanks. I get that.
    I first saw Dr. Who in the mid60s but haven’t really followed much since Tom Baker.
    I’m still waiting on a female Doctor.
    (I don’t care about canon, I’m still waiting. :) )

  95. Hekuni Cat, MQG says


    I have enough of everything for one more, would you like one? If so, send me an e-mail letting me know where to send it.

    Email sent. Thank you! ♥

    lexie *hugs* and *chocolate*

    Ogvorbis, I hope you feel better soon.

  96. Therrin says

    Was the new Who episode good?

    I liked it more than the others so far this season (excepting maybe the first).

  97. lexie says

    Cigau, that would be awesome, cannon can change so I think that they could do it, but I don’t think they will.

    I also liked the new episode, I’m liking this season much more than the last one.

  98. Beatrice says

    Good morning

    No, NO, NO shut up about Amy and Rory. I won’t be able to download the episode until tomorrow and that comment by Therrin made me finish that word they wrote (bad Therrin, no spoilers!) and now I have a theory and I have to wait until tomorrow!

  99. Beatrice says

    … or actually that word Therrin didn’t finish, just wrote the first letter.

    And I finished the sentence in my head. Why did I do that?

  100. ibyea says

    Actually, the episode “The Doctor’s Wife” from season 32 made a gender bender Time Lord regeneration possible. So it would not be against canon.

  101. Beatrice says

    I still have that damn theory in my head, based on those glimpses from the new episode shown at the end of the last one. (although, technically, it’s followed by a second word and they together have the meaning that is relevant)

    I’ll just watch it tomorrow

  102. carlie says

    I don’t think it’s a spoiler to say that, like everything else Moffat has done with this show, it was high on emotion during, and falls apart on fridge logic right after.

  103. Beatrice says

    Like a grand logic fail at the end of last episode? I’m starting to get annoyed by these things.
    I know a lot of things get a free pass in Doctor universe, but there is such a thing as too much.

    Nevertheless, I’m excitedly waiting until I can watch this last episode tomorrow.

  104. carlie says

    Beatrice – no, more like a bunch of little ones. Nothing so glaring as to upset the show while watching.

  105. Pteryxx says

    Random interesting stuff via Boingboing:

    Thomas Jefferson as a slaveowner:

    Marilyn sez, “My historian friend Henry Wiencek was distressed when he found, halfway into his research on Master of the Mountain: Thomas Jefferson and His Slaves a new book about Thomas Jefferson, that generations of historians had been covering up Jefferson’s dark side: he wasn’t the lenient, soft-hearted, reluctant slave owner that he’d been made out to be. He found he could make money by raising slaves and selling them, and he allowed the littlest boys who worked under miserable conditions in his nail factory to be beaten if they were disobedient. Preview of the book in this month’s Smithsonian Magazine.”


    Very long preview here:


    Weaving slavery into a narrative about Thomas Jefferson usually presents a challenge to authors, but one writer managed to spin this vicious attack and terrible punishment of a nailery boy into a charming plantation tale. In a 1941 biography of Jefferson for “young adults” (ages 12 to 16) the author wrote: “In this beehive of industry no discord or revilings found entrance: there were no signs of discontent on the black shining faces as they worked under the direction of their master….The women sang at their tasks and the children old enough to work made nails leisurely, not too overworked for a prank now and then.”

    It might seem unfair to mock the misconceptions and sappy prose of “a simpler era,” except that this book, The Way of an Eagle, and hundreds like it, shaped the attitudes of generations of readers about slavery and African-Americans. Time magazine chose it as one of the “important books” of 1941 in the children’s literature category, and it gained a second life in America’s libraries when it was reprinted in 1961 as Thomas Jefferson: Fighter for Freedom and Human Rights.


    Completely different topic: why aren’t pacemaker users allowed to access their own medical data? From a TED talk:

    I have an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) for primary prevention of sudden cardiac arrest. I have been fighting for my right to access the data collected by the ICD for about 3 years now, without much success. Data about my heart is regularly collected from the implanted device by its manufacturer over remote monitoring.

    The modern ICD is a sophisticated computer capable of detecting and treating malignant arrhythmias. It is also capable of wireless telemetry, a feature that is used by all device manufacturers for remote patient monitoring. Today, there are about 5 top manufacturers of pacemakers and ICDs and 1MM patients being remotely monitored on a regular basis. Not a single one of these patients is allowed access to their device’s data.

    I am sure you’d agree that this is an objectionable practice and it must be stopped.



    And a report about the almost complete lack of fact-checking of political ads by the local TV stations paid to run them:


    Notable because, first, FCC regulations require full disclosure of the sources and rates paid for political ads, while the National Association of Broadcasters is suing over new requirements to make this information available online. Second, because while candidates may purchase ad time at the stations’ lowest rates, organizations such as SuperPACs pay full market rates, which increase with demand as elections approach.

  106. Pteryxx says

    From the Jefferson excerpt, about the workings of Monticello:

    During dinner Jefferson would open a panel in the side of the fireplace, insert an empty wine bottle and seconds later pull out a full bottle. We can imagine that he would delay explaining how this magic took place until an astonished guest put the question to him. The panel concealed a narrow dumbwaiter that descended to the basement. When Jefferson put an empty bottle in the compartment, a slave waiting in the basement pulled the dumbwaiter down, removed the empty, inserted a fresh bottle and sent it up to the master in a matter of seconds. Similarly, platters of hot food magically appeared on a revolving door fitted with shelves, and the used plates disappeared from sight on the same contrivance. Guests could not see or hear any of the activity, nor the links between the visible world and the invisible that magically produced Jefferson’s abundance.

    …suddenly I’m reminded of the house-elves at Hogwarts. *shudder*

  107. trinioler says

    How did the last episode fall apart? I just watched it so I’m curious. I know people said there were big plot holes, but I didn’t really see any.

  108. Esteleth, Who Knows How to Use Google says

    Blearg. Sick

    Started as a (more) runny nose and congestion.

    Now with hacking and productive coughing and tightness in the chest.

    Dammit, I do not have time for this shit.

  109. says

    Lexie, yes, Chester has been behaving. He’s generally well behaved, but he has his moments. It was thanks to Chester that I recently learned a new distress call. Chester was in the studio annex with me when I booted both Sam and Theo out. Not long after that, Chester went to where he last saw Same and Theo and let loose with a complex and long distress call. Very interesting.

  110. says

    Caine, the image of rat buddies helping themselves to coffee made me laugh. Also, cute attack.

    Here’s a Moment of Mormon Madness: Senator Harry Reid is a mormon, but he is also a Democrat and he doesn’t hold back in criticizing Mitt Romney. Some mormons are so hopped up about this that they are circulating a petition to have Harry Reid excommunicated.

    We, the undersigned, request that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints take corrective disciplinary action; to include revocation of Priesthood and/or Excommunication, against Senator Harry Mason Reid, for multiple and egregious offenses against Church Doctrine and Standards of Conduct as follows:

    Honesty: The 13th Article of Faith states: ‘We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men.’ Senator Reid has violated this tenet of Church Belief on multiple occasions; most recently by making dishonest, unsusbtantiated, and bad faith allegations of financial misconduct against Brother Mitt Romney, a fellow church member, in both interviews and in comments on the floor of the United States Senate….

    Actual petition can be found here:

    I think we should all sign it because it would be totally awesome if the LDS Church tried to excommunicate Harry Reid during an election season.

    A lot of the petition dwells on the supposed lies Harry Reid tells. On that basis, they should excommunicate Mitt Romney first. He’s the more prolific liar.

  111. Ogvorbis: broken and cynical says

    If it makes you feel less bad, a few weeks ago I sneezed hard and tore a muscle in my back that I didn’t even know existed.

    A few years back, I had walking pneumonia (well, actually they called it acute reactive lung disorder) and I tore three muscles in my back and cracked a rib by coughing too hard.

    :(, sorry you’re sick, chocolate? tea? biscuits?

    Cherry coke and a stuffed goat. Her name is Briar.

    Thanks for the well wishes.

    This morning, I have added an earache and the glands under my right jaw are now so swollen they feel like a bunch of grapes.


    Need goats.

  112. Portia says


    Portia – I would offer to send one of my clones to you – but you Mom is already on the way. You can’t top that.
    : )

    I appreciate the thought…but you really can’t, you’re right. :D


    Is it bad that I got myself all threadrupt because I had so much work at work this week that I couldn’t keep up?

    I suppose so, unless you really like your work. But it’s a quandary I can definitely sympathize with. I always wish I could keep up better. Or get commenting to work better on my phone.

    …suddenly I’m reminded of the house-elves at Hogwarts. *shudder*

    That is absolutely chilling. I might have to pick that book up though. Thanks for posting it.
    Esteleth and Ogvorbis
    Sending you hot tea and broth and *hugs* : (
    Lynna, OM

    I think we should all sign it because it would be totally awesome if the LDS Church tried to excommunicate Harry Reid during an election season.

    Excellent idea! Delightfully diabolical of you. They are so…weird. I mean haven’t they noticed what a lying liar from Liartown Mitt Romney is? Oh, maybe they’re doing that “hear no evil” thing.

  113. says

    I mean haven’t they noticed what a lying liar from Liartown Mitt Romney is?

    After years of exposure to mormonism, most of them, sadly, no longer have a functional bullshit detector.

    However, I think the main point the petition unwittingly makes is that it is one thing to lie, but it is a different and more evil kettle of fish entirely to:
    • point out that a member of the mormon aristocracy is not perfect
    • to stand in the way of a mormon “rescue” of the government of the USA
    • to recognize lies as lies if they are told by Mitt Romney

    Only speech that makes mormons, especially Mitt Romney, look bad is put into the category of “lies.” Any lie told by Mitt Romney is automatically transformed by god into a special kind of faith-promoting truth. Alchemy of mormon lies.

  114. Ogvorbis: broken and cynical says

    Only speech that makes mormons, especially Mitt Romney, look bad is put into the category of “lies.” Any lie told by Mitt Romney is automatically transformed by god into a special kind of faith-promoting truth. Alchemy of mormon lies.

    You could replace ‘moron’ with ‘GOP’ or ‘conservative’ and this would still be an absolutely accurate assessment.

  115. Ogvorbis: broken and cynical says

    Heh. That really was unintentional. ‘moron’ should really have been ‘mormon’. Not sure where the ‘m’ went. I’m going to go check a brown coloured bag of candy for those missing m’s. And m’s. And M&Ms.

  116. says

    If Mitt Romney is elected, his new mormon Ward in Washinton would the the Third Ward, pictured here by The Washington Post.

    Note photos #2 and #3, which are especially good at illustrating the tens of members who attend services in a meeting house built to hold hundreds or more. This is typical of mormon meetings. This is typical of the all-show and little-substance behind the myth of “fastest growing religion.”

    The accompanying text even buys into the mormon propaganda a bit:

    The ward to which Mitt Romney would belong if he were elected president is already the largest of the three Mormon congregations that meet in the District. After seven years of fighting neighborhood opposition, the ward will have this new building — or meeting house, in Mormon lingo — on 16th Street NW.

    If this is the “largest” it is sparsely, nay, pitifully populated.

  117. Pteryxx says

    more random cool shit, Jezebel via Skepchick: Something GOOD happens on Reddit.


    The mind of european_douchebag was SO INCREDIBLY BLOWN by the fact that women have hair on their bodies—and, yes, faces—and that some women are bold, self-assured, and pious enough not to cave to western beauty standards (and gender expectations), there was nothing for him to do but post her photo online and wait for the abuse to flood in.

    But then something totally lovely and unexpected happened. The woman in the photo responded:


    and an excerpt from Jessica Valenti’s new book “Why Have Kids”:


    Anthropologist Sarah Blaffer Hrdy argued in a 2001 Utah lecture, for example, that being female is seen as synonymous with having and nurturing as many children as possible. So when mothers abandon their children, it’s seen as unnatural. This simplistic, emotional response to parents — mothers, in particular — who give up their kids is part of the reason Americans have such a difficult time dealing with the issue. As Hrdy says, “No amount of legislation can ensure that mothers will love their babies.”

    That’s why programs like safe haven laws — age limitations or not — will never truly get to the heart of the matter. As Mary Lee Allen, director of the Children’s Defense Fund’s child welfare and mental health division, has has, “These laws help women to drop their babies off but do nothing to provide supports to women and children before this happens.”

    Unfortunately, discussing the structural issues has never been an American strong suit. Hrdy notes that legislators are too afraid to focus on sensible solutions. “Talking about the source of the problem would require policymakers to discuss sex education and contraception, not to mention abortion, and they view even nonsensical social policies as preferable to the prospect of political suicide.”

  118. Portia says

    Ogvorbis, I thought you were just being funny : )

    Lynna, thanks for that, it makes sense in the messed up way only Mormons can. I suppose in order to be a Mormon you necessarily have to suspend your bullshit meter. Wait, was that divisive? : P

  119. Ogvorbis: broken and cynical says

    Ogvorbis, I thought you were just being funny : )

    I am trying very hard to avoid any insult that has a physical or medical root. Moron was, at one time, a description of a very specific level of mental retardation. Were I to try to describe the way that Mormonism actually makes Mormons look, to me, I would use a phrase like, “They have the brainpower of a sackful of hammers.” And, please note, that I am not saying or even trying to imply that Mormons, or any other religious, or political, group are actually lacking in cognitive powers. Merely that their belief system, in comparison to actual reality, can make them appear, to me, to have the brainpower of coffee can full of mismatched washers.

  120. Beatrice says


    re: Doctor Who

    (rot13 in case people haven’t seen second to last episode yet (Year of the Slow Invasion))

    1. Nzl, Ebel naq Qbpgbe yrnir crbcyr gung unir orra gnxra ba gur fuvc jura vg oybjf hc
    2. Crbcyr’f urnegf jrer fgnegrq ntnva ol gur frpbaq jnir bs phorf… Ohg gurl jrera’g jbexvat sbe dhvgr fbzr gvzr: Qbpgbe naq Nzl unq gb trg gb gur ubfcvgny naq gura Qbpgbe uryq n yratgul pbairefngvba jvgu gur fuvc’f vagresnpr. Gubfr crbcyr fubhyq unir frevbhf oenva qnzntr, abg gb zragvba gung n ybg bs gurz fubhyqa’g unir jbxra hc ng nyy
    3. Gubfr gjb thlf gung jrer gnxvat crbcyr ner nyfb jrveq (jub? jung? jul?), ohg V’z jvyyvat gb gnxr gung jvgubhg zhpu dhrfgvba

  121. Portia says

    Good point, Ogvorbis. Thanks for the reminder. I should have given you more credit than that; you’re pretty conscious of that stuff.

  122. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    Trin, thanks for the games! I’ve heard so much about Half Life 2 but never played it. If only I wasn’t so terrible with getting lost and finding out where to go. I’ve had the same problem since the first video game I’ve ever played. Oh, but it’s so fun. Especially when drinking and I get to laugh out how many times I’ve already died.


  123. Ogvorbis: broken and cynical says

    I should have given you more credit than that; you’re pretty conscious of that stuff.

    Well, not really. But I do admit my lapses.

    Which happens frequently.

  124. says

    Get well soon, Ogvorbis!

    horse warning
    I think I’ve created a terrible chimaera. I’m making a hobby-horse for the little one’s birthday and I have just created the duck-mouthed horse.

    children story warning
    Ha, today the little one spent the first day without a diaper AND pants on her butt without peeing into them.
    OK, one time she peed into the bucket that usually holds her building blocks, but the toilet was occupied at that time so she figured out a different way.
    Kind of supports my pet theory that you can save yourself a lot of nerves if you just accept that potty training is mostly nonsense, encourage your children and wait patiently until they simply do it themselves.
    *looks forward to saving lots of money*

  125. says

    RollingStone takes a detailed look at Republican policies.

    …And Romney has now adopted every letter of the Ryan agenda. Take it from Ed Gillespie, senior adviser to the campaign: “If the Ryan budget had come to his desk as president,” Gillespie said of Romney, “he would have signed it, of course.”…

    This is followed by a look at bills Republicans passed since 2010.

  126. says

    Good news from California.

    California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a law prohibiting minors from being subjected to a form of therapy that seeks to change a person’s sexual orientation from gay to straight, reports the Los Angeles Times. The law, the first of its kind in the country, is a major victory for gay rights activist who, like the vast majority of mental health experts, insist the so-called conversion therapy, also known as reparative therapy, isn’t based on science and could be dangerous….

  127. says

    Oh, I meant to post this as part of my comment @182:

    The bill was largely opposed by Republican lawmakers who decried it as a violation of parents’ rights to raise their children as they wish. One conservative group has vowed to file suit against the measure, reports the LAT.

    Republicans want the right to torture their children.

  128. Ogvorbis: broken and cynical says

    Republicans want the right to torture their children.

    Of course. They want their kids to make exactly the same decision dad made. Anything else would be anarchy. Anarchy! Children thinking, adults actually making decisions, cats sleeping with dogs! Anarchy!

  129. says

    In other medical quackery news, Mitt Romney has decided to focus his campaign in Virginia on firing up lyme disease conspiracy theorists so that they’ll come to the polls and vote for him.

    If you are a doctor who believes that the CDC and NIH have misrepresented carefully vetted clinical trial data about the diagnosis and treatment of Lyme disease, however, you might diagnose your patient with chronic Lyme disease and prescribe an intensive, long-term, side-effect-laden, mega-dose of antibiotics.

    And who would be the biggest supporter of your and your patient’s right to pursue a worth-testing-but-found-wanting treatment? Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan.

    [Flyer title sent out by Romney campaign:] “Romney-Ryan: Doing More To Fight the Spread of Lyme Disease.” …

    The mailer promises that Romney and Ryan will:

    Ensure that government agencies have an open line of communication and work with patients, researchers, doctors, and businesses in an objective, comprehensive manner.
    Encourage increased options for the treatment of Lyme Disease and provide local physicians with protection from lawsuits to ensure they can treat the disease with the aggressive antibiotics that are required.

    Here’s a translation: Forget the science, just channel your legitimate fear of a dangerous disease and your misguided fear of the medical establishment into a vote for us….

  130. cm's changeable moniker says

    10th anniversary with Mrs. BDC today.


    I forgot our 10th this year, but then, so did mrs cm.

    If my parents hadn’t sent a card, we’d never have realised. :-/

  131. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    The Redhead has been catching up on all the TV shows she missed (up to near the end of the 2011-2012 season), thanks to me making a bunch of DVD’s for her while she was in rehab. The portable DVD player she has been using also takes USB drives with MP4 format. But, [public information announcement] the format must be basic MP4, not H.264, and less than 640 pixels wide.[/public information announcement]. Found that out trying to get around a show that was nothing but green screen as a DVD, which started out as MKV (blueray) format.

  132. A. Noyd says

    Ann Druyan just delivered a deliciously uncivil verbal thrashing to someone on Tumblr for posting racist photos. (Warning: NSFW pics at 2nd link.)

    In related news, up till last week I didn’t realize how it much of a “thing” it has become for hipsters to dress up in warpaint and NA adornments and take nude or semi-nude photos of themselves.

  133. ibyea says

    Lrnu, gung erfbyhgvba gb Gur Cbjre bs Guerr vf yvxr purrfr. Zber ubyrf guna lbh pna pbhag. Ohg V fgvyy ybirq gur erfg bs gur rcvfbqr.

  134. cicely says

    Amy and Roooooooorrrrryyyyyy!!!!!!!!


    Should I care who is Amy & Rory?

    Yes. Yes, you should.
    *raucously blowing nose*

  135. trinioler says

    God. So sad. Well-done too.

    But I think that episode was basically… a Nicholas Sparks movie set in the Who-verse.

    Same chords, same sort of voice-over by the dead woman, hoping to offer some succour to the heart-broken man. Very maltzy, but damn.

    Its used because it works.

    Damn, damn, damn, damn!

  136. says

    Hello, everyone!

    Mostly [Lounge]rupt (I see a Doctor Who discussion going on, though!), but I thought that I’d inform you all that today is the beginning of my 36th week of pregnancy. In other words, DarkFetus will become DarkInfant in a month (or less).

    Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! I’m so impatient and so excited!

  137. chigau (違わない) says

    Now, now, dear.
    It won’t do to get so excited, in your delicate condition.

  138. Esteleth, Elen síla lumenn' omentielvo says

    Bah. The DF is almost here and the blanket I’m making is 2 inches wide.

  139. Portia says

    I just put my two year old niece to bed. I sang until I was just about hoarse but I’m so happy : )

  140. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    How is the Redhead doing? Is she continuing to improve?

    The Redhead is still here, in good health. We had to wait to have a dental procedure done until she was off Warfarin, which stopped a month ago. The crown goes on tomorrow.

    She still does some exercises from her wheelchair daily, but has slacked off on walking. The problem there is that she keeps trying to make me responsible for her walks, and I won’t allow that. She is responsible for getting herself ready, and I will assist as needed. As I proved last night, when I took her rest periods to burn 3 DVD’s, set out both our medicines for the next week, looked for foodstuff in the basement, started dinner, and looked up stuff on the computer while she took her rest breaks between short walks in the house. Not sure the lesson sunk in: she walks when ready, and I work around it during her rest breaks. I just can’t set aside a big chunk of time solely for her; multitasking is required.

  141. ImaginesABeach says

    I keep looking at Rattitude and thinking how lucky Caine is that rats do not have opposable thumbs.

  142. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    We’re all lucky rats don’t have opposable thumbs. Otherwise, rats would rule the world! Haven’t you seen Pinky and The Brain?


  143. says


    I keep looking at Rattitude and thinking how lucky Caine is that rats do not have opposable thumbs.

    The lack does not slow them down any. If they did have thumbs, we’d have to cede the planet to them.

  144. Tony •Prom King of Sunnydale High• says

    Socio-gen @81:

    Because I am a heck of a better baseball player than I am a shooter.

    I’ve never owned a gun. Heck, I’ve never held one (I am mildly curious. One day I wouldn’t mind trying out a firing range). Without sufficient training, I can’t imagine I would be able to wield a gun effectively. A baseball bat though? Hells yes.
    That does make me wonder how many gun owners are properly trained in their use.

    It was tough to make new ones because of my social anxiety. I’m also pretty reserved, so it takes me a long time to get comfortable sharing my inner thoughts.

    Have you found yourself wanting-consciously or subconsciously-to associate less with certain friends? After M died, I avoided a lot of contact with people for some time. At the same time as I withdrew socially, I became more attracted to the Atheist/Skeptic movement, as well as the concept of Freethought. Given my views on theism (I consider myself an anti-theist), knowing the views of some of my friends (believers of course), and knowing that I do want to talk about important issues amongst my friends, I can think of a few that I’ve pulled away from. In part that was due to conflicting beliefs and knowing how offended some of them would be knowing how I feel. Another part is/was a lack of knowledge on my part. I wouldn’t want to enter a friendly discussion or an argument with a friend, and not know my shit (or how to convey it properly).

    RevBDC @90:
    from your link:

    Many people wonder about the following questions. What happens when souls are traumatized by emotional, physical, or spiritual pain in current or past lives? Do souls react to the effects of such events? How can healing take place at a soul level?

    I only have a few things the author needs to substantiate before I can read any further. Just this nagging question I have about this soul thingamabob and how one can know its reactions or how it can be healed.
    Nothing big.
    Where’s Ms. Daisy been lately? I know I’ve been quiet, but I’ve been trying to keep up with the Lounge (even started to check out the Thunderdome from time to time) and haven’t seen her lately.
    Portia @128:

    Ha! I like it. I do need a secret identity…

    Secret Identities are so passe dahling. Really, look at Xena or Buffy (really, what kinda cockamamie {spelled that right on the first try-wow!} secret id does Buffy have when she’s showing her powers all over Sunndyale?).
    How does
    Portia, Warrior Princess
    Portia the Vampire Slayer
    Portia, Rhetorical Flayer of the Apologists (you even get a nifty P:RFA out of this one)
    Facebook has emoticons for comments now?
    Where’s the facepalm?

  145. Portia says

    I am persuaded, Tony. I don’t feel quite like I’ve earned that last one, but it’s my favorite! Maybe I’ll try harder to live up to it :) I do much better flaying in person than online. Which is counter to my aversion to confrontation, oddly. But you’re so right, a public persona is much better. I’ve been working on my self-marketing skills this week…

  146. Tony •Prom King of Sunnydale High• says

    Pteryxx @173:
    I’m speechless.
    In a good way.
    Thank you for sharing that story.
    You ended that blockquote so diabolically. I just *had* to know what followed!

    wow, and I’m caught up!

  147. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    Ann Druyan just delivered a deliciously uncivil verbal thrashing to someone on Tumblr for posting racist photos. (Warning: NSFW pics at 2nd link.)


    They are not for women to wear.


  148. Beatrice says

    So… I’ve seen the last Doctor episode. I’ve cried like a baby.
    That part when they’re there and he wants to and then she too and then they both… cried my eyes out. And then again.

    Now that it’s done, I don’t understand a couple of things.

    Nyy gubfr natryf va Znaunggna tbg qrfgeblrq ol gur cnenqbk. Orpnhfr bs gur fnzr cnenqbk, Qbpgbe pna’g whfg cvpx hc Ebel naq Nzl. OHG ner Nzl naq Ebel rira gurer? Gur natryf tbg qrfgeblrq. N fheivibe tbg Ebel va gur raq, ohg rira vs vg frag uvz onpx gb gung cynpr… Gurer ner ab natryf gurer, rkprcg znlor n pbhcyr bs fheivibef. Fb Ebel naq Nzl ner serr gb yrnir. Yvxr, tb ba n fubeg gevc gb Ratynaq naq trg cvpxrq hc ol Qbpgbe gurer. Gurl boivbhfyl pna pbagnpg Zrybql, be engure fur pna pbagnpg gurz, fvapr Nzl trgf ure obbx choyvfurq.

    Naq orfvqrf, Qbpgbe pna’g trg gb 1938 Znaunggna. Jung nobhg 1942, 3, 54… juvpurire?

    Naq guvf jubyr “bapr lbh’ir frra lbhe shgher, lbh pna’g punatr vg” guvat. Vf guvf arj be unir V fbzrubj znantrq gb jngpu rirel Qbpgbe rcvfbqr fvapr ahzore 9 naq abg abgvpr gung (be sbetrg vg)?

  149. birgerjohansson says

    Would it be possible to insert the genes for this stuff during IVF? If you had a car accident and the spleen got trashed, you could just grow a new one.
    “Biologist discovers mammal with salamander-like regenerative abilities”: African spiny mouse http://phys.org/news/2012-09-biologist-mammal-salamander-like-regenerative-abilities.html
    And some brain molecules are more susceptible to Alzheimers (turning into tangles). Let’s change those too.
    And some birds have protection against cancer (except virsu-induced cancers). Let’s get those genes too.
    — — — — —

    “Jefferson the cruel slave owner” does not have a very nice ring to it. No wonder the stuff has been swept under the carpet.

  150. says

    Eric Grenier* tells off the BC media for irresponsibly reporting polling data.

    * – Canadian Nate Silver.

    Moreso posting this so you all can read the comments and see the local conservative talking points. My favourite post is the one by Ryan:

    I consider myself a centrist and I support the BC Liberals. Under the BC NDP economic growth lagged behind the Canadian average and the poverty rate increased. Under the BC Liberals the economy grew faster than the Canadian average and poverty decreased. What else matters?

    Gotta love Othering. The rest of the post is just more uncited claims.

    Or the one by Derek Andrew right below, trying to sound ‘reasonable’ until…

    Reviewing the body of evidence I think it clear the BC Liberal party is a centre-right political body. By contrast the BCNDP by virtue of their constitution is a radical socialist organisation bent on re-possessing and re-distributing wealth.

    Red-baiting ahoy!

    (And this is what passes for political discourse in my province…)

  151. Ogvorbis: broken and cynical says

    I dreamt last night that my boss and I want to the shooting range. I missed.

    I also dreamt about the nameless girl. Not good. I’d rather dream about my boss.

    In other words, DarkFetus will become DarkInfant in a month (or less).

    Or more.

    Sorry. Couldn’t resist.

    That’s fantastic.

    I want a DarkFetus advent calendar.

    Now that would be cool.

    Under each door? All the various indelicate things that happen to a woman’s body while she is carrying the parasite.

    Not sure the lesson sunk in: she walks when ready, and I work around it during her rest breaks. I just can’t set aside a big chunk of time solely for her; multitasking is required.

    Sounds as if you are both learning whole new relationship patterns. I hope things work in every way.

  152. says

    I don’t know why Daisy hasn’t been around FtB lately, but I have been getting emails from her pretty regularly, so she’s okay and everything. Would you like me to pass your email address on to her? (If so, shoot me an email– my addy can be found on my blog.)


    Or more.

    Hee hee hee. Despite the fact that my husband and I were both late in our arrivals, the DF won’t be. Because she is breech and my docs are having a hell of a time turning her, I’m scheduled for a c-section on October 24*. Now, if she does flip before then, we’re gonna cancel the surgery and I’ll pop her out the ol’ fashioned way, but the longer she stays in this position, the less likely that’s going to be.

    *I had debated whether or not to say anything about the ‘section in the [Lounge] since I am so sick and tired of arguing about my birth choices with people. But, whatever, this is more of a “just in case” measure and if anyone wants to criticize me or my docs, they are welcome to do so. I feel like I’m doing the right thing and that’s all that matters.

  153. Beatrice says

    Ms. Daisy Cutter commented on B&W yesterday.


    I feel like I’m doing the right thing and that’s all that matters.


    So sleepy.
    Not really tired (I have nothing to be tired from), just sleepy.

  154. trinioler says


    Gur Qbpgbe jnf shyy bs uhoevf bapr va gur arj trarengvba(Granag’f Qbpgbe) nobhg gur ehyrf bs gvzr. Ur orpnzr znavnpny, naq orag ernyvgl gb uvf qrfverf. Ur’q nyfb orra geniryyvat nybar, naq jnf pybfr gb uvf ertrarengvba gvzr. (Jngref bs Znef) Cneg bs gur vffhr vf gung ur jnagrq gb svtug gur qrngu cebcurpl gur Bbq unq znqr(ur xabpxf gjvpr) sbe uvf qrngu. Fb ur gubhtug vs ur pbhyq fnir Pncgnva Nqrynvqr ng yrnfg, gura gung zrnag ur pbhyq fnir uvzfrys. Ur’q nyernql frra gurve shgher. Ur xarj ubj vzcbegnag vg jnf.

    Fb vg jnf cneg frysvfuarff, cneg qrfcrengvba, naq cneg rtb.

    Ur’f yrnearq sebz gung nsgre gur zbeny qehoovat Pncgnva Nqrynvqr tnir uvz. “Jung tvirf lbh gur *evtug*?” juvpu chyyrq uvz hc fubeg.

    Ur nyernql xarj gung gur ynjf bs gvzr jrer gung bapr lbh xabj lbhe shgher, vgf vzzhgnoyr. Ur gevrq gb punatr gurz, naq snvyrq.

    Gur arj Qbpgbe, Zngg Fzvgu, unf orra irel vafvfgrag ba rafhevat nyy shgher xabjyrqtr vf npgrq ba. Gur Gvzr & Fcnpr fubeg fcrpvnyf, sbe rknzcyr.

    Gur ceboyrz V guvax urer vf gung gur Qbpgbe gnxrf guvf xabjyrqtr sne gbb yvgrenyyl. Ur qbrfa’g frr ybbcubyrf jura ur abeznyyl jbhyq orpnhfr ur vf whfg *fb* greevsvrq bs zrffvat guvatf hc.

    Fb ur’f frra gung gurl qvr va gur cnfg. Ur pna’g punatr gung. Be ng yrnfg ur *guvaxf* ur pna’g punatr gung. Nf bguref unir cbvagrq bhg, gurer ner boivbhf ybbcubyrf urer.

  155. trinioler says

    More for Beatrice:
    Gur bgure snpgbe vf gung gur Gvzr Ybeqf jrer hfvat rkgerzryl qnatrebhf gvzr jrncbaf qhevat gur Ynfg Gvzr Jne. Gurl jrer hfvat cnenqbk obzof naq fghss, naq gb fnir gur gvzrfgernz, ur unq gb ybpx obgu gur Qnyrxf naq gur Gvzr Ybeqf njnl.

    Ur’f unq gb pbzzvg gur terngrfg pevzr naq terngrfg npg bs fnivat gur havirefr va bar oybj, gb fnir gur gvzr fgernz. Fb uvf eryngvbafuvc jvgu gvzr, cnenqbkrf, rgp, vf rkgerzryl pbzcyvpngrq.

  156. FossilFishy (Νεοπτόλεμος's spellchecker) says

    I had debated whether or not to say anything about the ‘section in the [Lounge] since I am so sick and tired of arguing about my birth choices with people.

    The Small Fry was breech but we didn’t know it until after Mrs. Fishy’s waters broke. No chance of turning and after 24 hours labour wasn’t progressing so a c-section was the order of the day. I posted on-line to family and friends that if anyone dared to question our decision I would get them down and put the boots to them. Threats of violence are not cool, I knew that as I wrote it, but I couldn’t think of any other way express just how serious I was about not wanting to be second guessed. It worked, not a peep was heard. Well, not by me anyway. The privilege of being male and having a countenance that folks take seriously I suspect. I’ve never asked if Mrs. Fishy copped any flak over it. And given how upset she still is over the unexpected change in our birth plan I won’t be asking her anytime soon.

    All that aside, I’d like to think that by this point anyone wandering into the lounge would understand that it’s your body and your choice.

    On a happier note, I now have video of the Small Fry feeding grain to emus and ostriches. At one point I had her on my shoulders holding the bucket of grain and ostriches had no problem at all eating out of it. Awesome.

  157. Esteleth, Elen síla lumenn' omentielvo says

    *whine* I think I have pneumonia *whine*

    What started as a cold has now moved down into my lungs, and so I’m hacking and coughing (productively, but it is clear), breathing is labored and semi-painful, and I’ve got a low-grade fever.


    Of course, if I’m right that this started as a cold, then it is probably viral. So no Z-pack for me.

    *keeps pouting*

  158. says

    Thanks, FossilFishy. :)

    I expect most of the [Lounge]rs to be cool with everything, but you never know. I’ve been criticized by friends that I never expected would second guess me. As it is, I haven’t even posted about this on facebook ‘cos I just don’t want to hear it.

    (As it is, my Asshole Sister did take the opportunity to tell me that the breech presentation is my fault, my doc’s fault, the hospital’s fault (which I really don’t understand, since my doc has a private practice with admitting privileges to one of the hospitals in the area and I’ve only been to that hospital for blood work so far) and that I shouldn’t have scheduled the surgery in the first place.)

  159. says

    Hey, that’s two days late.
    When I took my classes with #1 one the midwives also told us about their birth experiences. One of them was “He was breech, we had a c-section.” Greatly reassured me in those people.

    Squirrels are cute

    Get well soon
    *pours tea with honey*

  160. dianne says

    Esteleth, there is a possibility of a bacterial superinfection on top of a cold. Get it checked out, especially if you’re feeling short of breath.

  161. says


    I’d get that looked at. Who knows what’s brewing in your lungs? Whatever it is, the sooner you start fighting it the quicker it will get beat.

  162. Esteleth, Elen síla lumenn' omentielvo says

    I have a doctor’s appointment in 3 hours. I’m going.

    I’ve had pneumonia enough to recognize the symptoms.

  163. FossilFishy (Νεοπτόλεμος's spellchecker) says

    Audley, the title Asshole is not sufficient for anyone who would say things like that to you. She’s your sister, you have titling rights, so I’ll keep my ideas for a better appellation to myself.

    I wanted to mention how smart I think it is that you’ve been learning infant care now. If there was one thing I wish I’d done differently it would be to have stopped reading birthing books and started reading caring for an infant books much sooner before the due date. The learning curve was so steep in those first few weeks that all I could see was a vertical wall with the faint hint of vultures at the top.

    My standout memory of one of those “Holy shit, I have no idea what I’m doing!” moments involved a yoga ball. In the early days Mrs. Fishy handled input and I for the most part handled output. So late night nappy changes were daddy/daughter affairs. Unfortunately, opening the velcro on the nappies was like ripping her skin off, or so you would believe by her cries. I kept a pair of ear plugs on the change table because her screams hit right in the frequencies where I have hearing damage, it hurt! Anyway, I wanted to calm the beast before taking her back to bed so I would rock her and walk around. This took a long time. Then I got the good idea to sit on the yoga ball and bounce a bit. It worked!

    Unfortunately, the next time it didn’t work until I bounced a little higher, and the next, and the next. That escalation led me to be almost launching myself off the ball by the time I stopped using that technique. There I was, boing, boing, boing, thinking “Come on, quiet down, you like this.” and suddenly I realised that one slip and I was going launch the hub across the room. Oi.

  164. FossilFishy (Νεοπτόλεμος's spellchecker) says

    Er, launch the bub that is. Though as a bike sorta person I did have hubs around too though they required a lot less attention.

  165. Socio-gen, something something... says

    What a weekend. At some point, when I get time, I’ll share the drama but suffice to say, I may never ride the bus on Saturday again.

    *happy clapping* Not long now!


    Without sufficient training, I can’t imagine I would be able to wield a gun effectively.

    Even with sufficient training, very few people can aim well enough to hit the broadside of a barn in an emotionally-charged situation.

    I can shoot a variety of weapons and even spent some time on the range with my brother and sister-in-law this summer. But, in the heat of the moment, I doubt I’d have time to aim well enough to stop someone, and the risk of having a weapon taken from me is high.

    I also know myself well enough to know that I wouldn’t be able to kill another person or live with myself if I did, except in the most extreme circumstances (to save a loved one, etc.)

    Have you found yourself wanting-consciously or subconsciously-to associate less with certain friends?

    I withdraw from people quite easily. Part of that is that I have a fear of rejection, so if I feel (or know) I can’t talk freely about certain things with someone, I’d rather just avoid them or keep them to acquaintance range. The other part is that, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve simply gotten tired of always being in the position of either having to agree to keep the peace or constantly defending myself when I’m not sure I know enough to do that well. Moving to Minnesota has been so good for me because there are far fewer people with whom I need to be silent and a lot more with whom I can discuss things without it turning into an argument that I’m not prepared for.

    People with whom I have to interact because of an interest or particular cause we share that really matters to me are more difficult. Even though most know I’m an atheist and seem okay with that, I find myself limiting my conversation to the program and general topics (family, weather, etc.). In some cases, it’s less of a problem, like the women’s leadership development program I work with and love promoting and being part of. The coordinator is also an atheist, so the program itself and the planning meetings are decidedly secular.

    Audley, again:

    I feel like I’m doing the right thing and that’s all that matters.


    Feel better soon! *chicken soup and tea*

  166. dianne says

    I had a c-section because the little one’s head was deflexed and so the labor was non-functional (apparently if the head’s not right, the cervix won’t dilate properly…I think.) Also, the c-section went from “now would be good, but let’s not hurry in the prep” to “right now, never mind the anesthesia” about the time I spiked a fever to 104 or 105. No, that’s not compatible with life if sustained more than transiently, in case you’re wondering. Having surgery with active proprioception is strange. Pain, fortunately, was well blocked either by pre-existing analgesics and the lidocaine that managed to squeeze in just pre-op (a good epidural is a thing of beauty) or possibly because I’d exhausted all available substance P earlier in labor and so my pain nerves had given up in disgust.

    Anyway, when people criticize me for having a c-section, I mostly just apologize for wanting to live and have a living child. That usually ends the discussion.

  167. says

    Fossil Fishy:
    I won’t use a stronger label for my Asshole Sister because there’s genuinely something bothering her about her own pregnancy– she has some irrational fears that are manifesting in strange ways. So, in some ways I feel bad for her, but I’m also pretty pissed at her at the same time. Kind of an awkward position to be in. Needless to say, I don’t need her crap and tend to avoid her whenever possible*.

    Did you know that all of my problems could have beeen solved by a visit to a chiropractor? Yeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaah…

    *I told her about scheduling the c-section because I felt it would be best to tell her on my own terms and get it over and done with as opposeed to waiting for her to find out from a third party and dealing with her shit then.

  168. chigau (違わない) says

    I know we’ve discussed this before but what is it about pregnancy and child-birth that makes everyone an expert?

  169. Richard Austin says

    So, friend of mine is trying to get his US passport renewed. IT expired a while ago.

    Normally, you mail it in with some money and a form and get a new one in like 12 weeks. Simple. He did that, and got back a notice asking for additional information. He sent that in, and got another. And another.

    At this point, he’s written his congressional representative and been told that he needs to supply medical, education, and religious (?) records. He’s now convinced The Government is trying to get his personal data to spy on him.

    He’s also at least slightly convinced that part of the problem is that he listed me as his “emergency contact” (he was my roommate when he filled out the form at the beginning of the year, and I’m probably the most “stable” person he knows – along more than one axis). See, back in high school, I applied for the Coast Guard Academy and was turned down for medical reasons (yes, I failed a DODMERB; go me). Shortly after, I got seriously recruited by the CIA (mom was an IRS worker at the time, step-dad is ex-career military) for about 4 months, but I ended up turning them down (mostly because of college issues). He knew about this (we were friends at the time) and has always “joked” that I never really turned them down and am actually some kind of CIA hacker/spy. Apparently, he wasn’t entirely joking.

    The flipside (which is totally incongruous with me being a government agent) is that he’s convinced The Government (I swear, you can hear the caps when he talks) is going to lock me in a room and interrogate me about his passport application.

    He’s also a libertarian.

    Yes, I’m glad he’s currently 1000 miles away and can only bug me by phone. *sigh*

  170. Portia says


    I’m glad for you that you have a plan you are comfortable with. And I’m glad you got the sister-telling out of the way. It’s much harder for those kinds of jerks to give you guilt or talk about it nastily if you just get it out unapologetically.


    I do the same thing, I just withdraw from people pretty quickly if I feel ill at ease with them. I have recently acquired a knack for limiting topics with certain people, too. It makes life so much easier when they are people I have to deal with. If I can self-police, it also helps me feel more in control and secure. Huh…I just realized why people say I’m guarded.


    Becuz wimmin can’t possible know what best for themselves! Even other women know better than that particular woman because, well, just because and if you reject The Behbeh Wisdom™ then you are just ROOD.

  171. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    I have not said a word about child birth because I know so little about it. Just watching my mother’s experience when I was growing up showed me that I cannot predict what will happen. She had one birth that went so “smoothly” (Calling a human birth “smooth”, snort.) that she delivered in the car on the way to the hospital while her last pregnancy damned near killed her and left her in the hospital for nearly three months.

    I know just enough to know that I know shit. I will not add to the confusion by adding an ill formed opinion.

    Please, not everybody is an expert.

  172. Richard Austin says

    I think there are so many “experts” on childbirth because it’s so terrifying for a lot of people. To compensate, there’s all this woo that has been built up and passed down from generation to generation, so people have their own family/culture/community version of “the really real best way” and try to pass it on.

  173. dianne says

    what is it about pregnancy and child-birth that makes everyone an expert?

    Probably the same thing that makes everyone an expert on how to raise children, whether you should breast feed or not, whether you should go back to work or not-all without knowing much about your specific situation. In short, it affects women and women aren’t allowed private lives or to make their own decisions.

  174. FossilFishy (Νεοπτόλεμος's spellchecker) says

    Fair enough Auldey. I’d say that all of my interactions with my family are fraught with those sorts of contradictory emotions. Mind you, I’m not close with them.

    Had a nice moment today, I told my grandmother-in-law that I thought chiropractic was bullshit and she agreed. I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised, I get along much better with family by marriage than I do with genetic relatives.

  175. says

    It’s not just the family woo, but there’s a ton of disinformation about pregnancy and childbirth right at our fingertips. Which is why they only advice I’d give to another pregnant woman is to stay the hell away from the internet and don’t be afraid to bug your doctors with every little question you have. That’s why you’re paying them, afterall.

  176. Ogvorbis: broken and cynical says


    I will never second guess the decisions made between doctor and patient (unless I am the patient). Having seen one difficult delivery (Wife was in labour for 62 hours before Boy finally showed up) and one ‘easy’ one (contractions started at midnight, water broke at 6:00am, Girl was born at 9:00 (and yes, it really was easy (for me, anyway (then again, I wasn’t the one passing an 8-pounder through a rather small orifice)))), I realize that, with all the variables, things can go wahooney-shaped real easily. Good luck with the C-section (if it remains needed, that it). But I do hope that the DarkFoetus realizes that arse over teakettle is the right way to be (in this case, anyway).

  177. Ogvorbis: broken and cynical says

    And just dealt with two Mormon missionaries. I told them, “No, thank you. I do not wish to discuss your religion. I am feeling really rational today and don’t want to fuck it up.” They looked confused, said thank you, offered me a copy of “The Book of Mormon” (I declined, saying I already have one), and left.

  178. A. Noyd says

    Azkyroth (#217)

    They are not for women to wear.


    Yeah, there’s sexism there, but it’s also true that warbonnets are a guy-only thing in the Plains cultures they originate from. A cultural practice being sexist makes it fair game for criticism, not appropriation. Subversion should be conscious, not accidental, and the right to subversion belongs foremost to the people whose culture is being subverted. Also, hipsters tend to defend this shit by saying they’re “appreciating” the cultures they’re plundering—something clearly false if what they’re doing is offensive to people of that culture, no matter the reason behind the offense.

  179. says

    A Moment of Mormon Madness aimed at missionaries. I don’t know if this is church-wide, but it certainly is widespread enough to ping the Cult! radar.

    Missionaries are required to close down all their personal accounts. Found this out from facebook a few days ago. Apparently he has to close down his facebook, skype, gmails, yahoo mail, hotmail, and whatever else account he has. He can’t just hand it off to someone, he has to close it all down. He says this is the new policy. WTF. The church has missionaries who blog, has missionaries who facebook chat, and they even have their own facebook page and youtube page.

    If someone really wanted to get TSCC in a pickle in Italy- all they would have to do is tip off the Guardia di Finanza that every missionary apartment contains a book full of names, dates of birth and phone numbers of non-consenting people and you could just sit back and watch the fireworks. The missions are very well aware that it is illegal- and we were specifically told during missionary trainings to NEVER mention the areabook to members or investigators.


  180. says

    More on the seemingly insane Lyme Disease political flyer sent out by the Romney campaign:

    … Helping drive the conspiracy theory is Michael Farris, a highly influential religious right activist and home-schooling advocate based in Virginia. Farris has no medical background, but he met privately with Romney in September to talk, among other things, “about Lyme disease.”



  181. Pteryxx says

    Not good news, but important to know… more on the ascent of Greece’s Golden Dawn.

    The Golden Dawn used to come out only at night. For a street-fighting fascist gang turned ascendant political party, with all the weary symbolism of flame-waving and puffed-up synchronized shouting, individual members of Greece’s ultra-right thug club were curiously reticent to attack immigrants and people of colour before nightfall—until now. Now, they’re killing in daylight.


    Thanks in part to its defenders in the police force, the Golden Dawn won 18 seats at the last elections with an agenda openly hostile to migrants and people of colour. It pursues the standard route for far-right extremist groups seeking to exploit economic hardship in Europe: appeals to nostalgia and patriotism combined with a scantily-clad agenda of violence.

    “I know many [who have been attacked by Golden Dawn members]” says Malick Abdul, a middle-aged Pakistani community leader in Nikaea. “Only a month ago there was a case where seventeen people were beaten in a bus station. The bus driver and steward, after dragging them off the bus, called Golden Dawn and they all attacked the group of Pakistanis. This happened in Pyrgos. I’ve been in Greece for 23 years now and it wasn’t like this before. We were having a wonderful time here. But in the last 4 years the atmosphere changed and things like that started happening. I have a shop here. My children were born here.”


  182. Richard Austin says

    So, here’s a question (and a bit of an intro):

    At a bar on Saturday, a couple of friends got into a discussion on food and variety of cuisine. One is from rural Texas and, until a couple of years ago when he moved to California, had never had anything other than basic Italian, Mexican, Tex/Mex, and more “traditional” American stuff; he’s never eaten Indian, Thai, French, German, or any other kind of foods. Other grew up in NYC and went so far as to state it was a moral failing to eat the same cuisine (not just meal but cuisine – say, going out for Chinese) two nights in a row (exceptions were generously granted for leftovers).

    Obviously there’s a huge amount of privilege in NYC-guy’s statement, but what he “defended” with was, “Don’t you think that it is important to be exposed to a wide variety of foods from different cultures?”

    And I had to stop and think.

    I’d probably say that variety itself isn’t an end but a means to an end: ensuring one can meet dietary requirements in a manner that is enjoyable. If one can do that without ever venturing beyond a single cuisine, I don’t see that as a problem. This was Texas-guy’s position: he liked what he liked, he was healthy, and he didn’t feel much interest in trying other foods.

    NYC-guy was adamant, though, that this was a travesty, so I’m curious what others think.

  183. says

    Thanks for being supportive. :)

    That’s the thing that gets me– besides reproductive health (everything from birth control and abortion to whether or not to have a c-section or vaginal birth), what other time do you get criticized for your medical choices? I mean for fuck’s sake, my granddad chose not to treat his prostrate cancer and no one even batted an eye at that, but I schedule a routine surgery and all of a sudden I’m wrong and my docs have pushed me into making a decision that’s bad for me and DarkFetus. *eyeroll*

  184. says

    More on the Republican voter fraud scandal:

    The RNC contracted with Nathan Sproul, who created Strategic Allied Consulting, despite Sproul’s controversial background. But in an amusing twist, the L.A. Times reported that Sproul “created Strategic Allied Consulting at the request of the Republican National Committee because of the bad publicity stemming from the past allegations.”

    In other words, the RNC was apparently aware of the accusations surrounding Sproul for years, so the party asked him to come up with a new entity to avoid the appearance of the party hiring a scandal-plagued firm — which, incidentally, is exactly what Republicans did.



  185. says

    Awkward. Romney invested in several Chinese firms that have been shown to be connected to or engaging in criminal activity.

    …Romney’s recently-released tax returns show that he invested in the parent company of Youku, a sort of Chinese YouTube that was a haven for pirated movies and TV shows, though the company is now apparently cleaning up its act.

    Another notable Romney investment, which has so far gone unnoticed, was in a Chinese private education company that was cited repeatedly in the late 1990s for selling bootleg American graduate school entrance exams and was forced by a Chinese court to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines in a landmark copyright case….

    “like other Chinese test-preparation schools, has been pirating and selling Educational Testing Service publications — thus compromising their integrity and costing the testing service money by violating its copyrights.” Educational Testing Service (ETS) is the private nonprofit giant responsible for the TOEFL, the GRE, and other tests.

    ETS began to get suspicious of New Oriental in late 2000 when they saw “a surprising increase in Chinese student test scores,” …/blockquote>

    “The blind trust is an age-old ruse. You can always tell a blind trust what it can and cannot do. You give a blind trust rules.” — Mitt Romney, 1994

  186. Pteryxx says

    “Don’t you think that it is important to be exposed to a wide variety of foods from different cultures?”

    For what it’s worth, while I wouldn’t get all moral-travesty about it, I do think it’s important to be exposed to other cultures’ foods, because food is so wrapped up in tradition, identity, and othering those scary others who eat weird gross things. I wonder whether your friend from Texas (who’s tried Italian and Mexican) has ever tried, say, pig’s feet or collard greens. Much closer to home. ;>

  187. says

    NYC-guy was adamant, though, that this was a travesty, so I’m curious what others think.


    Y’know, with everything else going on in the world, I’m just relieved to see this one in here…

    … seriously, it’s like showing up for a ‘Meet the Candidate’ thing, and instead of the first question being about where you stand on abortion or some damned thing, you get ‘Toilet paper… hang w/ opening in or out‘…

    But actually kind of seriously:

    I think, umm, yeah, with reference to your privilege observation, obviously, yeah, that is just a mite privileged. As: if you have the option for that kind of rage, you’re actually incredibly lucky. Bear that in mind. Forgive the ‘there are people starving in Africa’ trope, but, umm, there are people starving in Africa. And in the place I grew up, I don’t think there’s even a Tex Mex place, yet. There’s intermittently a Chinese place a few towns over… Has a way of going in and out of business. So if you live somewhere like that, I don’t think anyone’s got any business saying ‘Why haven’t you tried X?’ Howinhell are you going to try X if there just isn’t any for like a thousand kilometers? Same deal if you’re struggling to get by, and your only real option for such explorations is a restaurant. Any variety in food for some folk is a bit of a luxury. Commanding them as a moral imperative ‘thou shouldst try some Thai’ is probably just going to come across as a cruel joke. Like, sure, pal. And as long as we’re living in your fantasy world, I’ll take that two million dollar bottle of cognac to go with that…

    … that said, if you have the option to explore other cultures, and you don’t, I’m likely to wonder if you’re not at least curious, and sure, that seems a little blinkered.

    And that doesn’t stop at food. Art, religions, history, language, music of other cultures, there’s such variety. It’s a wide world, and the scary thing is, with modern communications and transportations, yes, you can get to the stuff you couldn’t before more easily, but that stuff is also getting ironed out and homogenized fast. So if you have time and the opportunity and money there’s an Ethiopian cuisine place in town and you’ve never been, seriously, yeah, why haven’t you? It is a bit of a travesty.

    (/Full disclosure: I’ve never been to a live opera, and they have those here. I hereby declare myself hypocritical, and guilty.)

  188. says

    I’m with Texas guy and I think that NYC guy sounds like a bit of an ass. I love trying all sorts of cuisine, but people should eat what they like and have the education to make healthy decisions for themselves.

    For instance, one of my SiLs grew up in the suburbs of a major city. However, she was not exposed to a lot of variety and to this day, if it’s not Italian or American fare, she’s just not interested*. But who cares? She’s happy and healthy and the rest of the family is fine with eating Italian when we eat out.

    *What does shock me (although I don’t think it’s a moral failing) is that she travels quite a bit now, but still won’t try the food. For instance, she went to Jamaica a couple of years back, but never left the all-inclusive hotel. If I were spending the money to travel but didn’t want to try the food, I’d travel around the US. *shrugs*

  189. says

    … umm, ‘that kind of range‘…

    (/But I am in a rage to hear there exist people who haven’t tried Thai, absolutely. Mad as hell, and I’m not gonna take it anymore!)

  190. Beatrice says

    Other grew up in NYC and went so far as to state it was a moral failing to eat the same cuisine (not just meal but cuisine – say, going out for Chinese) two nights in a row (exceptions were generously granted for leftovers).

    This is pretty insulting. I mean, “a moral failing”? This guy seems to have more privilege than he knows what to do with.
    His “defense” would make sense if he were generally interested in other cultures (is he?). This way, he just sounds like one of those people who think eating in a Vietnamese restaurant makes them an expert on the culture.

    It’s probably one of those things that can serve a good purpose of making someone more acquainted with other cultures, but it’s hardly the only or the best way. It’s barely a beginning. A one single little thing that is a part of experiencing other cultures. It’s certainly a perk of getting to know a different culture, at least if one is interested in trying new things.

    While getting to know other cultures is a good thing, especially for people who live in places with a lot of cultures getting mixed, I wouldn’t put it in absolute terms like your NYC guy.

    Variety is nice. Great. I like exploring when I cook. But that is solely a personal preference.

  191. cicely says

    Re Amy and Rory: (rot13)

    Fb…vs Ebel snyyvat gb uvf qrngu vafgrnq bs qlvat nybar jnf na natry-qrfgeblvat cnenqbk, va jung jnl vf Nzl wbvavat uvz, fb ur qbrf abg qvr nybar, abg n cnenqbk?

    Hayrff jr’er gnyxvat nobhg fvmrf naq qrterrf bs cnenqbk, naq gung guvf bar jnf ovt rabhtu gb nyybj bar natry gb fheivir naq fraq gurz onpx…ohg abg ovt rabhtu gb artngr gur jubyr guvat? Frrzf gb zr gung vg ovgrf vgf bja onpx….

    *chicken soup* for Esteleth. And *hugs*, of course.

  192. ImaginesABeach says

    Richard – I live in the suburbs of St. Paul, Minnesota. And I’m solidly middle class. There are lots of restaurants around with cuisine from all over the world and I could certainly afford to dine out more than I do. That being said, my children have limited exposure to world cuisines because 1) I cook dinner 6 or 7 times each week because it’s cheaper, 2) if we piled into the car and drove to a restaurant, ordered dinner and dined out on an evening when I’ve worked, we wouldn’t be home until 7:30 which is cutting it close for homework and such, and 3) I have issues (texture, taste, etc) that make it really hard for me to try new foods. I’m pretty sure that I have failed as a parent in many ways, but I just don’t think this is one of those ways.

  193. Beatrice says


    What does shock me (although I don’t think it’s a moral failing) is that she travels quite a bit now, but still won’t try the food.

    I find that baffling too.

    When I traveled to Florence, we mostly ate yogurts or cold salads from a supermarket and a sandwich occasionally (those were the best mozzarella &tomato sandwiches I ever had so I count them as trying Italian food). We were saving money.
    But three times we had a proper lunch at a proper Italian restaurant (and I absolutely refused to order pizza). We tried some great stuff, had some Chianti and enjoyed delicious Italian cuisine.

    That was one of the most important parts of the trip for me. I mean, if I had more money, I would have eaten in restaurants every day, trying all kinds of new things.

    No matter how important seeing things is on a trip, tasting is right up there too.

  194. Richard Austin says

    I’m one of those people for whom food isn’t really important. I almost never get cravings for things, and I’m very unadventurous with meals if left to my own devices (though I’m being forced to try new things thanks to my CSA – that was most of the point in starting it). So, I wasn’t sure if my position was at all based in subconscious bias to that fact; y’all have reassured me that I’m not totally off-base.

    And yes, NYC-guy does act like an ass about many things. I’m starting to get him to realize that his life, while it had it’s had its downsides, has been extremely privileged.

    Anyway, thanks. And, any recipes you have for Thai kermit eggplants (which I got this week – took me a couple days to figure out what they were) would be appreciated :) Looks like it’s mostly curry, which I have yet to figure out.

  195. says

    My SiL doesn’t necessarily see the sights, either, though. Like I said, she went to Jamaica and never left the hotel. She recently took a cruise that had several ports of call in Mexico and she hated it every time she left the ship* (and flat out refused to eat any of the food, even churros (which are one of my favorite things ever)). She also went to Paris recently and, although I don’t think she tried the more “exotic” (to an American palate) food, she did see the city.

    Like I said, I don’t think that it’s a moral failing, I just think it’s weird to travel somewhere and not explore, you know?

    *There were street vendors trying to sell their wares, OMG.

  196. Beatrice says

    Thai kermit eggplants

    Oooh, pretty.

    Sadly, this is the first time I hear of them, so I don’t know any recipes.

    For eggplants generally, I like to fry them in batter.

    There’s also Moroccan eggplant salad (there’s a version with and one without tomatoes). But again, I have no idea how it would taste with Thai kermit eggplants, just the regular purple kind.

  197. Beatrice says


    I don’t know how I missed that she never left the hotel! I somehow read it as never eaten out because of all-inclusive.

  198. Beatrice says

    I wouldn’t call it a moral failing, but certainly a waste of money.

    And very very strange.

    We walked for hours to see things around the city. And we weren’t very close to the city center so there was quite a walk just to get to the center. It was tiring* (August in Florence is hot as hell), but very rewarding.

    *When I say tiring, I’m not joking. I lost 2kg in those 10 days from all the walking in the heat, and eating less thanks to the heat and liters of water I consumed.

  199. carlie says

    Bah. The DF is almost here and the blanket I’m making is 2 inches wide.

    So is the blanket I’m making for my niece, who was born in July. oops.

    Esteleth, I hope you’re ok.

    Audley – honestly, it doesn’t matter how the baby arrives. Anyone who says differently is either trying to be defensive about their own choices, or just wants to assert superiority.

    <blockquote? “Don’t you think that it is important to be exposed to a wide variety of foods from different cultures?”

    I think it’s important to be exposed to a wide variety of cultures. How you decide to do that, though, is your own decision. In fact, you could come back at him with something about how trying different cuisines isn’t learning about other cultures so much as exploiting them simply to satisfy your own selfish hunger. After all, just eating food from a different culture is just a good thing for you – oh, I ate this new yummy food that I enjoyed. Learning about a culture, however, is figuring out another way to understand people’s viewpoints and lifestyles and motivations so that you can treat them better, which is better for everybody.

    But I really don’t understand people who travel and then treat the cultures they visit as scary and to be avoided. Why travel, then?

  200. says

    I know, weird, right? But, hey, it’s her money.

    As an aside, your trip to Italy reminds me of some of my family’s trips when I was growing up. We didn’t go abroad, but we would road trip it everywhere and while we didn’t eat out every day*, my parents did make sure that we got the opportunity to try the local food.

    I remember when I was 9 years old or so on vacation, my family stopped at a restaurant in South Dakota that served bison burgers (this was long before bison meat was available in the supermakets in the northeast). I steadfastly refused to try it because we had seen bison earlier in the trip and they were the most awesome animals ever and I thought that my dad was awful for wanting to eat one.

    *We had an RV and mom and dad would grill most nights.

  201. Beatrice says

    I think one of the main reasons I’m trying to be food-adventurous is that my family has always been the exact opposite.

    You wouldn’t believe the fairly common kinds of food we never ate because it just wasn’t a custom at our house (which mostly depended on what was customary food to my grandma).

  202. Esteleth, Elen síla lumenn' omentielvo says

    I am not sure what a hot rum toddy is, but I’m currently giving mine a screwdriver, which is going down smoothly.

  203. says

    Thank you. I feel like it’s a superiorty issue– having a c-section will mean that I’m not really going to go through labor and that I’m not womanly enough or some shit.

    To be honest, while I have been criticized*, I’ve been amazed at the amount of support that I’ve gotten from friends and family. For every grumptopus, there’s been two friends supporting me. It’s rather nice. :)

    *What the hell, people? She’s breech.

  204. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    Audley, I’ve been following your posts, although I haven’t commented much – I do hope all goes well.

    I’m one more grateful beneficiary of the c-section, without which I’d almost certainly be without both my wife and my son.

  205. Esteleth, Elen síla lumenn' omentielvo says

    Audley, I have eaten bison, beefalo, ostrich, emu, and llama (in addition to the “normal” meats). Bison is delicious. Tastes similar yet indescribably better somehow than beef.

  206. says

    Thanks, Nick. It’s heartbreaking to think that the women who are criticizing me* would dare criticize your wife, too.

    And thanks, everyone, for letting me vent.

    *In my case, it’s all women. Of the men I’ve told, they’ve either had stories about their mothers or partners, or they’ve been curious about the proceduce itself.

  207. Esteleth, Elen síla lumenn' omentielvo says

    I am running low on OJ, so I may switch later to JD and Pepsi.

  208. Esteleth, Elen síla lumenn' omentielvo says

    I am not a fan of rum. But I may try one of those with whiskey.

  209. says

    One of my good friends had a birth experience that ended up with an emergency c-section for one reason or another. (A large part of that was probably that her abusive drunk partner at the time was there fucking things up and making a scene.) Anyway, the whole thing was very traumatic for her, and the upshot was that when she was pregnant with her second baby she didn’t even want to think about labor and vaginal birth, it was too triggering and scary for her.

    So she found an OB who was completely cool with a planned c-section, and she ended up having a wonderful birth with her new, decent-human-being partner there, no fear for her, and everyone celebrating her new son.

    I really think the most important thing is feeling safe, confident and supported in your labor and birth. I’m sure you’re going to have a great birth Audley :) Roll on the DarkInfant!

  210. chigau (違わない) says

    Hot rum toddy
    add boiling water to rum, honey and lemon.
    sip slowly while inhaling the steam.
    repeat as needed

  211. says

    Yay, thank you kristin!

    I think knowing about the problem and being able to plan for it ahead of time is what’s really been helpful to me. Even if I go into labor before the 24th, I know what to expect from my doctors and the medical staff– having to have an emergency c-section would probably be much more difficult for me mentally.

    (It also helps that the RN who taught my Lamaze class included a video and a talk about c-sections with all of the live birth stuff, so I could have that discussion with my doctors and not be totally ignorant about the procedure.)

  212. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    Ing: thx on the 11th hour suggestion. I love me some Patrick Stewart. I’ve ditched cable entirely now, in favor of netflix (and vudu). This popped up on my recommended queue, but I didn’t bookmark it. Will def do so now.

  213. Portia says

    Mmmm now I want a toddy. But it’s the middle of the day so I’ll settle for this hot tea.

  214. cicely says

    I’ve eaten swan and peacock, both in SCA contexts. They both struck me as being pretty meh.

  215. says

    Oh, dear, oh dear. Billionaires are pissed off at President Obama.

    So Obama, defending his plan to raise taxes on the rich, says this:

    “If you are a wealthy C.E.O. or hedge-fund manager in America right now, your taxes are lower than they have ever been. They are lower than they have been since the nineteen-fifties,” the President said. “You can still ride on your corporate jet. You’re just going to have to pay a little more.”

    And billionaire hedge-fund manager Leon Cooperman, a former Obama supporter, responds with this:

    “You know, the largest and greatest country in the free world put a forty-seven-year-old guy that never worked a day in his life and made him in charge of the free world… Not totally different from taking Adolf Hitler in Germany and making him in charge of Germany because people were economically dissatisfied.”

    Cooperman, like so many of his fellow super-rich, is upset at Obama’s class-warfare “tone.” But in response, as Chrystia Freeland documents in her definitive New Yorker treatment of billionaire Obama hate, Cooperman raises the level of divisive rhetoric light-years beyond Obama’s, straight into a galaxy of ludicrous imbecility….

    How did someone that stupid become a billionaire? I suspect inheritance + criminality.

    More details here: http://www.salon.com/2012/10/01/the_billionaire_obama_hate_club/

  216. says

    More lovely, traditional sexual demands from a conservative, Republican, patriarchal nutbag who is also a Congressman:

    Tea Party Congressman, Allen West has not held back his patriarchal views during his re-election bid. The Florida Congressman said in April that supporters of Planned Parenthood and women’s rights activists were “neutering American men and bringing [them] to the point of this incredible weakness.”

    With such remarks in mind, Florida-based reporter Jose Lambiet published lines from a personal letter West sent to his wife, Dr. Angela West, from Iraq in 2003. In the missive, obtained by Gossip Extra, West tells his wife that she is to perform sex acts which are “standard and non-negotiable” on his return.

    “I do not want to hear ‘no’ or ‘we’ll see about that.’ I want my fantasies to be with you. God has authorized you and you only as my partner for intimacy and that is what I want,” West wrote, asking his wife whether she was committed to being his “porn star” and wearing only “two-piece swim suits” on vacation.


    Okay, so sex play and role playing are fine, but what’s up with this “non-negotiable” bit?

  217. Ichthyic says

    It only took 3 years… but I finally got my NZ residency approved!


    *happy dance*

  218. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    I am not a fan of rum. But I may try one of those with whiskey.

    If you like whiskey but do not like rum, try some of the longer aged rums. They tend to move in the whiskey flavor profiles because of the barrel aging.

    Ron Zacapa XO
    El Dorado 15
    Zaya Gran Reserva 12

    Are all good and fairly easy to find.

    But again this is coming from a guy with a blog named Pork n Whiskey so you can guess my usual choice.

  219. says

    I know we’ve discussed this before but what is it about pregnancy and child-birth that makes everyone an expert?

    Well, you come from a long line of people who successfully reproduced, so you’re clearly an expert on it the same way that coming from a long line of people who breathed makes you an expert on lungs.
    I think it’s partly a swing to the other extreme missing the mark as widely again as those OB/Gyns did who considered women a necessary evil in childbirth.

    Having had two spontaneous vaginal births without pain relief I can definetly see the perks of knowing when it’s going to happen and being able to plan ahead.
    Actually, with #1 the last two weeks or so (one before and one after my due date) drove me up the wall because I was sick and tired of being pregnant and I didn’t know when anything was going to happen.

    re: food
    Being able to taste a wide range of foods is a fucking big privilege. It’s a wonderful thing if you have the money and logistics to do so (I think I could spend 4 weeks in Berlin dining out in various Indian and Asian restuarants.) Do so if you can. But stop being an ass to people who don’t have that luck. And eating some Somalian food doesn’t mean you’re able to find it on a map so stop claiming that it actually is something about culture (quite often you won’t learn anything about the culture surrounding that food anyway).
    I had the big fortune that my parents were always very enthusiastic about food. When we were on holiday there would be at least one visit to a bar or restaurant to taste some of the local food. The rule was that you don’t have to eat it but you do have to taste it. I usually buy a cook-book wherever I go, even in Scotland.
    My husband didn’t have that fortune. Neither could his parents afford to travel nor would they eagerly try something new (lasagne counts as exotic over there), but he kept an open mind about other food. Although I wouldn’t call it a moral failure I would say that he would be close-minded if he didn’t try new food now that he has the possibility. People only going abroad if they know the place serves Schnitzel are not really my kind of people.

  220. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Okay, so sex play and role playing are fine, but what’s up with this “non-negotiable” bit?

    He wants a blow up doll, not a wife.

  221. Ichthyic says

    How did someone that stupid become a billionaire?

    happens all the time.

    there were a great many really stupid megamoney types created in the 90s.

    The ones I have met with directly made their initial money in real estate speculation (which takes zero brains, but also a very low ethical standard), and then magnified that through the massive bull markets that existed throughout much of that time (again, no brains involved – they paid others with brains to invest for them).

    and.. voila! you end up with someone with hundreds of millions of dollars gained over about 15-20 years max, that never actually had to do much work for it, OR have any brains to accomplish this task.

    but boy howdy, are they convinced they are the bees knees, and you should be listening to every word that comes out of their mouths.

  222. Ichthyic says

    ….well, i should say “happened”, since it’s no longer so easy to get seed money in real estate speculation.

  223. Socio-gen, something something... says

    If you don’t feel up to making toddies, there is always my favorite great-aunt’s cure for chest ailments:

    Hang out in bed with a hot water bottle or heating pad, three or four good books, and a pot of tea. Every time you cough, take a sip from the whiskey bottle. Nap often. Every time you wake up from a nap, take a sip from the bottle. Find someone to bring you fresh tea and chicken soup every couple of hours. Add a splash of whiskey to the tea.

  224. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    Thanks hotshoe! I got your Pratchett books just now! I’m so excited.

  225. dianne says

    Re food: Trying food from different cultures is fun if you have time, interest, and access. For example, I discovered only in adulthood that I like Ethiopian and Indian food. But a moral failing? All I can say is, “Shut up, NYC dude, you’re embarrassing us.”

  226. opposablethumbs says

    On a happier note, I now have video of the Small Fry feeding grain to emus and ostriches. At one point I had her on my shoulders holding the bucket of grain and ostriches had no problem at all eating out of it. Awesome.

    Wow, FossilFishy, that is seriously awesome!

    Audley, glad you’re set to ignore the griping of busybodies (and internet experts ;-D) and plan your plans to suit what you need. Especially glad that you have good support that you’re happy with, that matters more than a million armchair “experts” no matter how well-meaning some may be.

    Esteleth, :(((( and take care. Clearly I’ll have to think more powerful chicken-soup thoughts in a westerly direction. Hope you are OK soon.

    Ichthyic, congrats! That’s wonderful!

  227. Ogvorbis: broken and cynical says

    I freely admit that one of many reasons that I wear cowboy hats is that a ten-gallon hat often creates comments and opportunities to meet people. Usually they are friendly and fun. Sometimes?


    A few years ago:

    While walking from the deli to the bakery, I noticed that I was being watched. A little girl was staring at me. Cute as a button: blond hair in braids over the top of her head, pink cheeks, Little House on the Prairie dress. Basically, a pre-pubescent prairie muffin. I caught myself stereotyping her and her father as right wing religious types. Bad (((Billy))).

    She continued to stare at me as long as I was in view. I checked the sushi, but no veggie rolls for (((Girl))), so then to the checkout.

    All my goods were on the belt, and, lo and behold, the little girl and her dad got in line behind me. I could hear her talking to her daddy.

    “Is he, Daddy?” she asked. “Do you think he is? Huh? Do you?”

    Daddy smiled. “Well, honey, you could be polite and ask him.”

    “Okay.” She turned to me. “Excuse me, sir? Are you a cowboy?”

    I smiled. There I stood in my faded jeans, wide leather belt with a turquoise and wood inlay belt buckle, a western-style shirt, straw Stetson, and a circle beard, so I could understand the question (that hat (well, that style of hat) has garnered some strange comments over the years). “No. I’m a ranger.”

    Her face flushed. Her eyes goggled. Her jaw dropped. Then, in a voice dripping with awe, said, “Wow. I really . . . . Wow.”

    Daddy came to her rescue. “Our whole family just loves Chuck Norris, so meeting a real ranger, well . . . .”

    I kept my smile. Okay, so my stereotype was right on. “No. I’m a little different. I’m one of those liberal tree-hugging park rangers.” I didn’t even have to add that I’m an atheist to get a perfect reaction.

    Daddy’s smile turned to a full-face frown. “Oh.” he said. Then he grabbed his little meadow muffin by the shoulder, turned her around, and the two of them went to a longer line. Behind a little old lady with a full cart and a large hand full of coupons.

    I carefully removed my glasses and performed a perfect face palm.


    This evening, I went up to the grocery store to pick up eggs and large city trash bags. And

    I got into line behind an older man and a young boy. The little boy looked up at me, looked up at his dad, and said, “Daddy. It’s a cowboy.”

    Dad looked back at me and then down at his son and said, “No. He’s probably one of those gas frackers who are out to destroy the state. They come up from Texas, destroy the land, take the money and run.”

    The little boy said, “Oh.” Then he turned to me and stuck his tongue out.

    “Actually,” I said, “I’m a National Park Ranger. Part of my job is to make sure that there are still wild places for your children.”

    Dad glared at me and said, “You’re still an asshole,” turned his son by the shoulder to face away from me, and turned himself away.

    Sorry, dad. Did I just teach your son not to judge a book by it’s cover? Or that dad can be wrong?

    Anyway, some of my ‘cowboy hat chats’ are pure pleasure. And sometimes there are, as that dad pointed out, assholes,

  228. Ichthyic says

    “Our whole family just loves Chuck Norris, so meeting a real ranger, well . . . .”


  229. Portia says

    My visiting functioning alcohol stepdad bought a six pack and brought it to my house. I don’t have the courage to protest so I’m just gonna whine here if that’s ok. I hate when he drinks and I really really hate when I have to be around it but whenever I criticize it I am always the one who’s wrong and my mom just can’t handle the cognitive dissonance so she guilts me into silence without quite knowing what she’s doing. /whine over.

  230. carlie says

    Shark comes up and tries to take the food? Honey octopus don’t care. Honey octopus doesn’t give a shit. It just slaps the shit out of that shark and takes what it wants.

  231. says

    Ichthyic, congratulations!

    Esteleth, not toooo much whisky/rum. You don’t want to get dehydrated and hungover on top of being sick. Moderation is good, though – alcohol is a cough suppressant and antiseptic, as well as being comforting.

    I can see the point about moral failings IFF the foreign food-refusal is a matter of xenophobia. I’ve certainly seen that. People “jokingly” refusing to go to the local Vietnamese restaurant because they will be served dog or cat, or the place is dirty because foreign. Or if they’re rude about it, as with the cliched British tourist shoutily demanding egg and chips and none of your filthy foreign muck. In a local cafe in Spain. One of my uncles was like that.

    But some people are plain neophobic when it comes to food, and that one isn’t anything to do with morals.

  232. Portia says

    Thanks, Og. At least there’s no one else around to add the possibility of humiliation. (I am a champ of silver-lining-finding). I appreciate the hugs :)

    Alethea, I totally agree with your analysis. And with basically everyone else who has weighed in on the food discussion. I will cop to some food neophobia myself. (Tiny black whole baby octopus on my plate? It was 2 years ago and I’m still getting teasing from SO about the look on my face when they set that plate in front of me. His go-to phrase when we are out to eat is “Wanna trade?”)

  233. says

    My Bloke is a lot more neophobic that I am. I generally like to explore and am of the opinion that if you’ve never tried something you have NO grounds for sating you don’t like it. I do draw my own lines somewhere. Scorpion onna stick. Baleut.

  234. Portia says

    I agree with you for the most part. But I know myself well enough that if I don’t think I’ll like something, I give myself permission to go with a safe entree so as not to waste the dining out experience being unhappy with my food. And sometimes, you can just tell the texture is gonna be unpleasant (e.g. octopus for me). But, I did try one octopus head so I guess I’m hypocritical with my leniency for neophobics.

  235. Socio-gen, something something... says


    I’m sorry. *cyber-hug* I read a book many years ago in which the main character called his father’s drinking the elephant in the room that everyone was required to pretend was an ottoman.

    I’ve forgotten everything else about the book, but that line has stuck with me because it perfectly described my family and the way they pretended my father was this wonderful Christian family man. And the way they turned on anyone who had the temerity to point and say, “That’s a goddamned elephant!”

  236. Portia says

    Thanks Socio-gen. The weird thing is, Mom knows it’s a problem. Several years ago, she stayed with her parents for a month as a last-ditch ultimatum style effort at fixing it. It was better…for a while. So, she hates it (she just muttered “shit” when she heard another can open in the kitchen) but she doesn’t know how to fix it and is just hurt when I get upset for that reason. I think it’s powerlessness that really makes her distraught when I object to some drunken assholic thing he’s done. And then, I start doubting I’m even being reasonable to be embarrassed/mortified/whatever because no one else is objecting, because they are all too polite and so what am I doing being so rude! Obviously, there’s a spiral here.

    Thanks for the hugs and the understanding.

    On another note of pretending people are nice when they’re not…you may appreciate this small-town anecdote. I got a phone call earlier from a lady who knows my grandfather. She invited me to Rotary, because she’s knows I’m a new business in town and I am Granddad’s granddaughter. So now, I have to go, for the exposure, and pretend with everyone else that he is a nice, decent, person. But I figure that I can capitalize on his facade seeing as how I have to put up with what’s behind it. It does bother me that he will be able to trumpet about how he has potentially helped my career. : /

  237. Tony •Prom King of Sunnydale High• says


    NYC-guy was adamant, though, that this was a travesty, so I’m curious what others think.

    NYC guy takes things a bit far. It’s nothing close to a moral failing.
    I’ll admit to encouraging my friends to-occasionally-try out something new if we’re dining together (my parents raised me to at least try something once to know if I’ll like it or not-and I don’t judge anyone if they don’t do the same; I’ve kept to this for the most part; there are still items I wouldn’t knowingly consume). Or I’ll mention that I’ve tried something that I previously disliked, only to find that I adore it now (red onions, for instance; I never liked them growing up, but a few years ago, I decided to put them on my salads and now I love them). That allows the decision to be on their part. I can think of a few friends that don’t eat things (such as burgers, fish or hot dogs), but on the few occasions its come up, they’ve never offered any explanation other than “I just don’t like them”. The nagger in me has to stop quickly so I don’t pester them with further questions.

  238. says

    Richard Austin,

    I’m a big fan of a lot of different kinds of food, and I’m willing to try all sorts of stuff. But on the other hand, what other people eat is generally none of my business. It used to bother me more, but then I grew out of it. :) The only time it is ever an issue is if I’m out with someone who will order off of the kid’s menu rather than have some of the “non-American” food on the menu. Since that is pretty rare, no problems at all.

  239. Socio-gen, something something... says


    I think it’s powerlessness that really makes her distraught when I object to some drunken assholic thing he’s done.

    I so understand that. In our one heart-to-heart moment a few months after my father died, my mother was talking about his drinking and when I asked her why she let him hurt us (verbally and emotionally), she just shrugged and said, “What was I supposed to do?”

    Part of me gets that, because I spent ten years in a marriage from hell where that was exactly my thought, “What am I supposed to do?” Because the church and my family had me so brain-washed that literally I didn’t know any other options existed, and I know it was exactly the same for her: you got married, you stayed married, and whatever happened you put up with because that’s your lot in life and absolutely no one will do anything to help you.

    My inner child, on the other hand…she’d like to know why she wasn’t ever worth protecting.

    And then, I start doubting I’m even being reasonable to be embarrassed/mortified/whatever because no one else is objecting, because they are all too polite and so what am I doing being so rude! Obviously, there’s a spiral here.

    Exactly. Everyone gets so good at pretending it’s an ottoman, that obviously the problem is you because no one else sees the elephant.

    Of all the things I can’t forgive or forget, it’s that being raised in that house left me unable to trust my own judgment or to act on my own behalf for decades. And even now, when someone else causes a scene involving me, I’m humiliated because not only do I think I must have done something to cause it (otherwise it wouldn’t have happened) but I’m sure that’s what other people are thinking too. (Gosh, I have no idea why I might have social anxiety…)

    For example: my drama this weekend. I’d gone to get groceries (a four-bus round trip) and was on my way home. I’m at the transit station on my last bus, which is getting ready to pull out. I sat down with one tote bag by my feet and the other on my lap. Just as I’m putting my earbuds in so I can listen to music for the whole 8 minutes it takes to get to my stop, this woman behind me stands up and reaches over the seat to slap my arm as hard as she can while screaming over and over, “I hate you fucking skinny bitches. You’re ruining my life!”

    My reaction besides a scream of “WHAT THE FUCKING HELL?” was to burst into tears, my face bright red, and to be embarrassed that I’ve caused a scene.

    Luckily, another passenger caught her arm before she could hit me again and he and the driver got her off the bus. The driver offered to call the police but I was just shaking and sobbing and telling him I just wanted to go home. (Because FSM forbid I make the bus late or that I bother the police who have more important things to do.)

    Of course, once I got home I was PISSED and thought of everything I should have done — like yes, call the police, file a report, etc. But in that moment, all I wanted was to get out of there and not be stared at and judged by people who probably thought I did something or that I deserved it.

    Because that’s what happened for years of my life: my father would cause a scene; what I saw happen, and what I was told (and required to believe) happened were always two different things. And if I didn’t see it that way, that was my fault. I was crazy or silly or being emotional.

  240. says

    Portia, on food I don’t think there’s anything incumbent on you to try new stuff all the time. If I’m feeling exploratory that’s cool; if not, whatever. Chinese meals with shared plates are good for experimenting, too – plenty of other stuff to eat if you don’t like the trial one.

    As to the drunken stepdad I have no advice, only sympathies. Oh wait: one bit of advice – trust yourself! When other people are pretending it’s all OK, don’t get gaslighted.

  241. ImaginesABeach says

    I learned a new word – neophobia. Somehow it sounds much gentler than saying I’m really resistant to change. Around those with whom I spend time in meat space, I usually get away with just saying, “I have issues.”

  242. Portia says


    My inner child, on the other hand…she’d like to know why she wasn’t ever worth protecting.

    This exactly. I have psychoanalyzed my mother to death (it helps that we are very close, and I understand her better than anyone). I get why she does what she does. I get that she has issues like everyone else. And yet, I still feel immensely betrayed and hurt sometimes. That kid inside me wants to know why mom couldn’t make it better.

    Of all the things I can’t forgive or forget, it’s that being raised in that house left me unable to trust my own judgment or to act on my own behalf for decades. And even now, when someone else causes a scene involving me, I’m humiliated because not only do I think I must have done something to cause it (otherwise it wouldn’t have happened) but I’m sure that’s what other people are thinking too. (Gosh, I have no idea why I might have social anxiety…)

    YES! I have always thought maybe it was the homeschooling that made me feel anxious in social situations, but that feeling like there’s always a landmine in the next step you take? That’s from the home life. Even in very clear cut situations, I find a way I’m wrong. Roommate breaches the lease, well, I mean, I must have done something to make her want to move out so badly, what right do I have to tell her she can’t have her deposit back?

    this woman behind me stands up and reaches over the seat to slap my arm as hard as she can while screaming over and over, “I hate you fucking skinny bitches. You’re ruining my life!”

    Fucking hell, that’s insane! *hugs* for you after that shopping trip from hell (which sounds like it’s taxing without the criminal assault!)

    And if I didn’t see it that way, that was my fault. I was crazy or silly or being emotional.

    Usually, I am being cruel by bringing up such a painful subject and putting mother in a position where she has to face her helplessness. My feelings are immediately waved away and it is about her feelings. Because she doesn’t know how else to deal with it.

    On the bright side, he was not much more of an asshole than usual this evening. Mom and I did have to explain to him why it’s not ok to tell his 7 year old granddaughter that she will get “jumbo” if she keeps eating so much. SHE’S AN ENERGETIC FREAKING KID. FSM, I really think he thinks he’s helping.


    Chinese meals with shared plates are good for experimenting, too – plenty of other stuff to eat if you don’t like the trial one.

    Oh good idea. I haven’t been to one of those places since a trip to San Francisco when I was nine. I was very confused and delighted by this strange new method of food service.

    one bit of advice – trust yourself! When other people are pretending it’s all OK, don’t get gaslighted.

    This was invaluable. Thank you. I have recognized gaslighting in other areas of my life, but somehow, I had this huge blindspot for the most drastic example of it in my life.


    I am terrible at change too. I try to remind myself that I adjust eventually, and like the changes after a while. It rarely works. Each new thing, and I am kicking and screaming. This latest move is 5 months old, and I’m just adjusting to the new house. It’s a personal record.

  243. chigau (違わない) says

    If someone brought a six-pack to my house, expecting to drink it all himself, he’d be in for a surprise.
    *hugs* for the non-drinkers in the forced presence of boozers

  244. Portia says

    Thanks, Chigau. I don’t not drink, I just don’t drink much or around the stepdad. (Plus he buys terrible beer, ha).

    And now, you lovely people, I have to say goodnight. I have to get to Rotary Club breakfast meeting before court tomorrow. Early days are not my favorite, but once I’m up I like the morning sun on the river : )

  245. Ogvorbis: broken and cynical says

    Good night, all.

    Tomorrow, Wife and I are taking my 91-year-old neighbor to the doctor. Which means I actually have to get out of bed tomorrow. Even though tomorrow is Sunday.

  246. thunk, Blob Alert! says

    Wow. Hello all.

    Excuse my absence; I’ve been dealing with metric tons of schoolwork. Bah me.

    Good news is that I have more than a few people interested in my school secular group. Yayz.

    Also, things have been mostly sorted out.


    I’m a very picky eater; started when I was three, though my family is forcefully pressuring me half the time to try something new.

    Yeah, but… half the foods smell bad, and half of the remainder have the wrong texture. The rest I don’t want to have to deal with all these mixed flavors (yuck). So please don’t bother me if I’m having a loaf of bread straight.

  247. chigau (違わない) says

    You have the loaf of bread, I’ll have the jar of peanut butter.
    and an apple.

  248. says

    Hey, today I got back the poetry explication that gave me fits, and it turns out it was “outstanding”! Good thing too because I brought another one to turn in that was basically the same thing …

  249. Socio-gen, something something... says

    I’ve done two of my four peer reviews for my Quantitative class and I just want aspirin and strong liquor. The English language is being tortured in ways that turn the stomach and horrify the mind.

    How in the world do professors read dozens of these things a semester, hundreds a year, and not lose their minds or their will to live??


    Fucking hell, that’s insane! *hugs* for you after that shopping trip from hell (which sounds like it’s taxing without the criminal assault!)

    Aside from the whole pain and fear part, it was just so…weird. I’m used to snotty comments about my weight, like being told to eat a donut or stop throwing up, but no one’s ever been so offended by my size that they needed to hit me. The only good news is that I didn’t bruise as badly as I expected, probably because I put a bag of frozen peas (don’t judge!) on it as soon as I got home.

    Usually it’s not a bad trip, less than 3 hours altogether (and that’s counting 20-30 minutes checking out the new books and wandering the store because I can never remember which aisles have what). I actually look forward to the ride most weeks because it’s the one time when I don’t have to do anything else except listen to music. (I get sick if I try to read in a moving vehicle so even texting is out.)

    chigau: Ohmylanta.

    Bedtime for me as well. I have meeting at 9 with our leadership program’s coordinator to go over my funding proposal. Then, if it all looks good, I get to go to the Steering committee to beg for money to hold some alumnae events over the next year.

  250. Nutmeg says

    kristinc: Congrats! After reading your interpretation of “The Flea” a few days ago, I’m not surprised you got top marks. So, so perfect! I wish you could have turned that one in.

  251. Socio-gen, something something... says

    Hello! Don’t you just hate how schoolwork interferes with Pharyngula time?

    I just saw this weather video and was thinking of you.


    Okay, now I’m really going to bed….really.

  252. Patricia, OM says

    Congrats Ichthyic!

    Esteleth – When I have a horrid lung complaint I usually drink a lot of really hot chicken broth with garlic and ginger powder stirred into it. Sounds corny, but it helps.

    Update on The Pink , it is now tiled, has a mere three foot swath of PINK PLASTIC TILE, and is primer white everywhere else. So I have a question – you New Yorkers – The Pink is 7’2″ long and 4’6″ wide, is this the size of the famous New York kitchen? (Your kitchen)

  253. FossilFishy (Νεοπτόλεμος's spellchecker) says

    I loves me some cheese. Especially old, sharp cheddars and the like. I love me some bread. Especially fresh sourdoughs and just about anything with sesame seeds on a chewy crust. Put one of those cheeses between two pieces of one of those breads and I can’t eat it. There’s something about biting through soft stuff into slightly harder that turns my stomach. Yup, I eat like toddler: “Mom, MOM, my peas are touching my carrots! Whaaaaaa!”

  254. says

    Richard, NYC guy is an asshole. He’s not a little bit privileged, he’s oozing privilege. Sure, it’s grand to experience many cuisines, assuming one has the money and also lives in a place where many cuisines can be experienced. That said, what’s he’s doing is just another form of food policing and he ought to have that crap slapped out of him.

    Anyone who manages to be so judgmental over food is someone I doubt I’d take the time with to find out if they had any redeeming characteristics.

  255. says

    Okay, packages. I have everything boxed up and ready to mail, these should go out tomorrow:

    To Audley: baby quilt and two sleep pillows.

    To JAL: two sleep pillows and the artist trading card of Chas II.

    To Hekuni Cat: one sleep pillow.

  256. Beatrice says

    good morning, all

    “Mom, MOM, my peas are touching my carrots! Whaaaaaa!”

    Heh. I don’t have a problem with sandwiches, but am the same about food touching on my plate.

  257. Menyambal --- Sambal's Little Helper says


    The boy cat was sleeping on the coffee table that I had my feet up on. It turned out he was also sleeping on the sticky flap of a padded envelope. He got up with the envelope sticking to his fur, and, somehow, a back-scratcher attached to him as well. He didn’t panic and run, and when I called to him, he even took a step toward me, and just waited for me to help him out.

    I have never seen a cat do anything like that. I have seen many a cat have a fit for far less.

  258. says

    Good morning

    So, what that dad really taught his son was that it was OK to call a stranger who has done nothing besides standing behind him an asshole. Really, that’s the role model every parent strives to be.

    Big hugs.
    My mum is a not so fucntioning alcoholic and it took us all a long time to realize that. We ignored that the amount she drank was, although not healthy, problematic and we really didn’t make the connections between the alcohol and her break-downs.
    When my sister and I finally said that no, the problem here isn’t her job, her marriage, us, her father’s dead but not, the fact that she’s an alcoholic, we were the bad ones. We were lying. We just wanted to put her in her place, stigmatize her and then treat her as a sick person. What hurt was that our dad played along. That he applied pressure to us, especially me to “support her” the way she claimed she needed to be supported (by everybody doing exactly what she wanted us to do, so nobody caused her any grief because if we did it was our fault.
    Well, that was about 18 months ago. She still drinks and pretends that she doesn’t. My dad has realized what’s up and has withdrawn his “support”. And I’ve learned that the only thing I can do is set my own boundaries. I don’t care about being the bad girl anymore much. She can cry and beg and be angry and lie and blame me as much as she wants, the lever has broken.

    This exactly. I have psychoanalyzed my mother to death (it helps that we are very close, and I understand her better than anyone). I get why she does what she does. I get that she has issues like everyone else. And yet, I still feel immensely betrayed and hurt sometimes. That kid inside me wants to know why mom couldn’t make it better.

    Hmmm, I don’t. I think I understand pretty well why my mum did what she did (seperate issue from the alcohol). Although it left me scarred and hurt, I’m not really angry at her. I’m sad that there isn’t enough left of her to talk about it. You know, like when people are sad that they didn’t talk about something with somebody who died, only that she’s still walking and reathing.

    Yes, it’s amazing how much we’ll often take before we say something. Don’t make a scene, really. Dunno how many black marks I’ve gotten from people repeatedly slamming their trolleys into my heels…

    re: food
    I despise some things and I’m always annoyed when people want me to try new ways with X. I fucking don’t want to eat the 375th ppreparation of tofu and eggplant with dill and estragon topped with some smelly cheese and celery. I. Don’t. Like. It.
    And if you praise some exotic meat with “it’s like beef, only…” I’m out. I don’t want it.
    And I will not say a word about the fact that you don’t want the tentacles and tiny octopuses. Except: Pass them over.

  259. Beatrice says

    When I fry calamari, I always have to stand guard over the tentacles. If I don’t, my dad just puts all of them on his own plate.

  260. ednaz says

    Audley – I have been enjoying your updates of the Adventures of Audley and Darkfetus.
    I am so glad to read that you are not taking any baloney from anyone. You know what’s right and that’s all that matters.
    * hugs if you want them *

  261. ednaz says

    dianne @ #238
    Anyway, when people criticize me for having a c-section, I mostly just apologize for wanting to live and have a living child. That usually ends the discussion.

    This. Is. Excellent.

  262. carlie says

    I put this same thing at Lousy Canuck, but I’m so gobsmacked by the incompetence I’ll drop it here for consideration as well.

    Besides just the new Justin Vacula information, Edwina Rogers isn’t doing that great in her main job at SCA, either. According to this op-ed in the Washington Post, during a huge, designed to grab attention meeting on Capitol Hill, she said this:

    “What does that do to our non-theist community?” asked Edwina Rogers, executive director of the Secular Coalition for America, which bills itself as the only full-time lobbying group for atheists, agnostics, humanists and the like. “What does that do to our minority religions like voodooism, etcetera?”

    “voodooism, etc.”

    She could have talked about Buddhism, Hinduism, heck, when talking about how Jesusy everything is, even Judaism. You know, the religions with a lot of mainstream cred, the ones with millions of adherents in the US, the ones people don’t actively want to hurt? But no. She went for voodoo. Nice way to throw us right back into the stereotypical witch category, there. Heckuva job, Edwina. Heckuva job.

  263. Beatrice says



    Although, really, the article is pretty poorly written too. It doesn’t say much about… well, anything. It sort of tries to take a stab at atheists, but it looks more like it took a handful of knives and threw them at some vague points in the mist.

    But really, voodooism!?

  264. says

    So, my additional bloodworks came back. Everything except those liver values is nice and dandy, cholesterol and stuff. What are my chances that this might convince my doc that me being fat isn’t the problem of these liver values?
    My current pet theory is that it may be the bad tooth that’s being taken care of at the moment. So, let’s see in three months…

  265. dianne says

    Gileill: Excuse my intrusion, but if you’re liver is having problems, has your doctor looked for other problems? Autoimmune hepatitis and hemochromatosis come to mind for an otherwise healthy young woman with liver issues. Sometimes people get search satisfaction having found one possible cause of a problem and forget that they may need to look further…

  266. dianne says

    I beg your indulgence thread, a rant follows:

    I’ve been trying to get a drug approved for a patient with lousy insurance. Not lousy because it doesn’t cover much but lousy because they put so many barriers to care up that patients end up having bad outcomes due to delays in treatment. So, I have the following to say to the CEOs of said companies…

    May you contract a treatable illness only to find that you probably shouldn’t have used your own insurance no matter how bad it would look if you went with another company instead.

    May you spend your next million lives as mosquitoes as you appear to enjoy the role of disease causing blood sucking parasite.

    May Cthulu eat you last, only to find that your soul is so disgusting that it nauseates even an elder god and he vomit you back up and leave your half digested soul to wander the cosmos, a horror to all that meet it.

    Your greed and stupidity would disgust the Koch brothers. Mass murderers use you as an example of immorality. If there were any justice in the world, the earth would have swallowed you by now!

    …Yes, I would like to appeal this denial. No, I don’t care to have my rant critiqued. I don’t care how many better ones you’ve heard so far this morning.

  267. says

    The thing is, apart from that one value* being too high, she can’t find anything. We checked for Hepatitis twice, because a very recent infection might not show up on the bloodworks yet, did an ultrasound and so on. I cannot say I have liver-problems. Really, everything except that value is fine and dandy (except for the thyroid, but we know that). OTOH that same value is off the charts constantly in my sister and my dad, too.
    Never heard hemochromatosis, but the Pffft of all knowledge says it’s iron-overload. I’m actually rather anemic and take iron supplement**. Does that mean I can’t have it

    *Not speaking medical too well, she explained that there are three liver-values and that the one that is most easily disturbed by an infection and such is out of normal.

    **Which got my hb back into normal range. Liver value was off when it was still in the “eat a steak” range.

  268. Pteryxx says

    Background info on the SCA and Vacula, posted also at Stephanie’s.

    A commenter over at JT’s pointed out that the phone recordings of the SCA’s decisionmaking conference calls are publicly available:


    Kelly (26:00): “Do any of you have any interest in being a chair or co-chair?”
    Stacks Rosch: “I would nominate Justin.”
    Kelly: “Justin you’ve been nominated, what do you think?”
    Justin: “Thanks, I’ll accept the nomination.”
    Kelly: “Excellent, is anyone else interested and want to be co-chair?”
    Brian Fields: “I wouldn’t mind working with Justin. Justin and I work really well together, we’ve done a lot of stuff in the past.”
    Justin: “I’ll nominate Brian.”
    Kelly: “Ok Justin and Brian, you guys are going to be our co-chairs of our executive committee… Thank you so much for accepting… Woo hoo!”

    Basically it looks like vetting by discussion only, which again might be enough for a con grunt position with oversight in place, but is insufficient vetting for a co-chair of a lobbying org.

  269. says

    In no particular order:

    kristinc, congrats on your poem thingy!

    Giliell, cool that you are mostly healthy! Sorry about your teefs!

    Dianne, fuck the insurance bastards!

    Audley, I didn’t have money for RE6, so I went to the nearest Redbox and rented it at 12:05 in the morning!

    Carlie, “voodoo” would explain the SCA’s recent conduct better than anything real or logical I can think of!

    Socio-gen, don’t mix booze and aspirin. Both thin your blood, which could be bad juju.

    Thunk, cool beans about school, sorry about your food issues… I feel bad for you just because that must make things a semi-constant struggle.

  270. dianne says

    Never heard hemochromatosis

    Oops. Sorry! Hemochromatosis is basically a condition where your body can’t stop absorbing iron when you’ve got too much. Instead it just keeps storing the iron in the liver where it eventually becomes toxic. It’s thought that a heterozygous state (mutation in one gene) may be helpful in “the wild” (i.e. preindustrial society) because it improves iron stores so that women recover faster after pregnancy related blood loss and therefore the gene has survived.

    Probably a dumb question, but is your anemia definitely caused by iron deficiency? It’s not unknown for a primary care doctor to reflexively give iron to any young woman with anemia and if the anemia is caused by something else-for example, a mutation in the hemoglobin gene-you can end up anemic and iron overloaded. However, if I understand your description properly, you did respond well to iron so it’s unlikely that this is relevant to you.

  271. says


    It figures that Staks “no worthy women atheists this year” Rosch would find a way to be involved in this debacle. The SCA is a fucking joke.

  272. says

    … oddly, I keep reading ‘SCA’ as ‘Society for Creative Anachronism’…

    (/… come to think of it, is there a ‘Society for Chauvinist Anachronisms’?)

  273. Pteryxx says

    Joe, that’s a better catch than I realized… because there’s a problem with systemic misogyny and chilly climate, the recommendations of folks who work closely with a person can’t necessarily be trusted to capture their attitudes toward marginalized people. Obviously, if the person’s actions contribute to a chilly climate, they’ve selected for misogyny tolerance in their compatriots – and that’s who’s making the recommendations.

    There have to be principles of vetting specifically for inclusiveness.

  274. says

    Yes, the iron went well and my HB picked up again. Part of the Hashimoto thyroid thingy was that my cycle was very short, closer to three than four weeks with the heavy periods of a two times mother, so, no surprise there.
    I could reasonably predict that I’d need to increase the Thyroxin when I went back to 3 weeks

  275. says


    Rosch and Vacula are both bloggers over on Loftus’s new “I hate not being in charge of FtB” blog network. That guy is the biggest whiner I’ve ever seen in my life, and now he’s got a whole network of whiners and misogynists to stroke his pathetic ego while solidifying their hatred of FtB.

  276. Dhorvath, OM says

    So my partner is doing a cancer fund raiser this month culminating in lopping her hair off, (It’s below shoulder length at the moment.) I know the shorter hair is really no imposition on her, but it’s quite striking how many people think it’s a big deal to cut her hair. Words like brave and phrases like I could never do that just seem hard for me to fathom. Of course, I have not heard a voice from those around me suggesting how I should look for most of my life, so my incredulity is largely an artifact of ignorance, I am just trying to get my head wrapped around it.

    Still, I get the feeling the fund raiser works more because people fear radical change in hairstyle than because of sympathy for those who are forced to shed their hair in pursuit of life. My mother lost her hair during chemo and the last photo of her alive shows a striking cranium above her gaunt and so serious face. This is what we are hoping to eradicate.

  277. trinioler says


    Everyone asks me why I dyed my hair purple. I always put a note of incredulity in my response, “Why not?”

    They don’t seem to accept that, that people can choose to do something just because and not need a rational, thought-out reason for it. Especially something as fucking trivial as hair color.

  278. Dhorvath, OM says

    Trinioler, the no dye thing is a requirement for donating hair, not a knock on you. Timing is ever my bane.

  279. Richard Austin says


    My department includes the self-image group at the hospital here. That’s where patients can go to quite literally get makeovers and wigs and prosthetics of all kinds during and after treatment. With that background, I wholly support, encourage, and thank you and your wife for the effort.

    For a lot of people, “how I look in the mirror” is a huge factor in comfort and self-acceptance; yes, things like wigs or makeup could seem like “vanity items”, but they’re also ways to both normalize and help reclaim some sense of self after cancer and therapy have stripped away so much. Getting patients back to feeling like people, rather than like petri dishes, is extremely important to their quality of life.

  280. Patricia, OM says

    Cast on another eggplant, they are really fun to make. Today I get to put some colored pain on the walls in the bathroom. This morning was a shock when I walked in there and it was bright white!

  281. carlie says

    Dhorvath – your partner isn’t donating to locks of love, are they? Not to throw rain on the parade, but they’ve been bashed for selling off most of the hair they receive, as well as charging patients who do get the wigs. There are several other options:

    pantene great lengths

    wigs for kids

    children with hair loss

    And there are others, I’m sure. Maybe all of them sell excess, but I’d suggest researching each organization before deciding which to donate to. Apologies if they already have.

  282. cicely says

    Yup, I eat like toddler: “Mom, MOM, my peas are touching my carrots! Whaaaaaa!”

    Me, too, except that, of course, there would be no peas on my plate. That’s what the windowsill is for.

    The Husband doesn’t understand that I don’t want my food touching my other food; to him, since it’s going into the same stomach anyway, why can it possibly matter? In fact, he’ll *gulp* stir his food all together.

    I just spent 2hrs at the dentist doing two root canals. Now I feel like somebody punched my jaw.

    *hugs*. Also, *booze*; for later, if you’re on pain meds, for immediate consumption if not.

    … oddly, I keep reading ‘SCA’ as ‘Society for Creative Anachronism’…

    Me, too.

    Everyone asks me why I dyed my hair purple. I always put a note of incredulity in my response, “Why not?”
    They don’t seem to accept that, that people can choose to do something just because and not need a rational, thought-out reason for it. Especially something as fucking trivial as hair color.

    Why, I had this experience just last night! I went to a birthday dinner for a business-related acquaintance, and in the course of conversation mentioned to a gal I used to work with that I intend to dye part of my hair blue. She was horrified, and yes, incredulous. Then, when I told her that when my hair finishes graying to the point where bleach, and hair damage, aren’t an issue, I fully intend to dye the whole mess purple…she gaped. And said, “You’re not really?!?!?” I don’t think she believed me when I told her that yes, I do mean it.

  283. says

    All you picky eaters… I’d have felt really sorry for you in Boot Camp.

    I guess the MREs are somewhat better now, but they were pretty sorry when I was at Parris Island all those long years ago. For the stews and spaghetti and such, we were usually instructed to cut off a corner and squeeze the mess directly into our mouths like the astronauts do. One day though… we were ordered to remove everything from the brown plastic bag the “food” came in, pass up the candy and matches, pocket the TP, and then dump EVERYTHING ELSE back into the plastic bag and chow down. That’s everything: salt, sugar, coffee, creamer, little bottle of Tabasco, crackers, and peanut butter if that’s what came with yours. I think I “lucked out” that day and got the ham slice.

  284. Richard Austin says

    Not only do I keep my food separated out on my plate so that none of the separate portions are touching, but I also tend to eat it that way: one item at a time. Further, I usually eat things as they are served: if the sauce is on the side, I generally won’t use it.

    You don’t know how many times I’ve gotten chicken nuggets of various fast-food brands and had to repeat multiple times “no sauce, thanks”.

  285. says


    If you see this before you start playing Resident Evil 6, a quick word of warning: checkpoints are not auto-save points! You get constant checkpoints, but if you quit and come back the game can bump you back 20 minutes or more.

  286. Beatrice says

    If the sauce gets over the food, the food will become all soggy. Ew. I usually dip things into the sauce, but I like to do it on my own terms.

    If I want it to be all together, I’m going to cook it that way and then it will be a different dish. If it’s been done separately, then that wasn’t done without reason.

  287. Beatrice says

    I’m not a picky eater. I will eat almost anything you put in front of me, but I like things to be separate on the plate. Otherwise, I’ll eat them, but I probably won’t find it as good as it could have been.

  288. Patricia, OM says

    Sheesh, I made throw together gumbo last night for supper, and it sounds like none of you would have eaten any.

  289. Beatrice says

    Gumbo is meant to have things thrown in together, so I’d eat it. Or rather, try it, since I’ve never eaten gumbo before.

  290. says


    I’d have eaten it! I’m probably the least picky eater here. Not because of any superiority on my part, but because of how I was raised:

    1) Eat what’s on your plate, or it will be on your plate for the next meal, and the next, until you DO eat it!

    2) Free? You better take one for now, and one for later!

  291. Beatrice says

    Only things that aren’t part of the same dish aren’t supposed to touch on the plate. Like peas cooked separate from the carrot (shouldn’t touch!). If I throw them all together in a pan with some butter, that’s fine. Those are now parts of the same dish.

  292. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Sheesh, I made throw together gumbo last night for supper, and it sounds like none of you would have eaten any.

    [voice of Homer Simpson thinking of donuts]Gumbo….[/voice]

  293. Patricia, OM says

    Beatrice – My gumbo is really mild. Okra, french green beans, pimentos, grilled corn cut off the cobs, caramelized red onion, garlic, garbanzo beans, beef broth, black eyed peas, diced canned tomatoes, light seasoning of Tony Chachere’s Creole seasoning, celery seeds and two Italian sausages I had in the fridge.

    Probably lacking shrimp and fish it’s more stew than gumbo, but in Oregon anything with okra is gumbo. *snort*

  294. Beatrice says

    I wanted to write that I have no idea how I would go about acquiring okra, but then I saw on wiki that there is apparently some production of okra in Croatia. Interesting, since I can’t even find our name for it.

  295. says

    Audley, I think RE 5 had checkpoints that were sometimes too far apart for comfort but they were always autosave points as well. RE6 has checkpoints close together, and I guess if you just get killed you go back to the last checkpoint. But if you shut the game off you might lose 30 minutes of progress… like I did when I rented the game at midnight and played until 1AM, and then had to redo most of the first 20 minutes of the game.

  296. says

    Beatrice, it is OK to describe your weird eating habits. I’ve got some weird but constantly shifting odd habits myself. Sometimes I eat a third of each thing on my plate at a time, working clockwise. Other times, I’ll eat all of one, then all of the next, and so on. If I’m eating a casserole, I’ll spread it across my plate and eat from one end of the plate to the other, with a pretty obvious line between the part I’ve eaten and the rest of it.

    Patricia, if it has okra and tomatoes and the right spices, it is gumbo to me.

  297. Beatrice says

    Ah, found it. Okra is called bamija here. I’m pretty sure my dad used to mention bamija being used in his family.
    Hmm. New recipes…

  298. cicely says

    If the sauce gets over the food, the food will become all soggy. Ew. I usually dip things into the sauce, but I like to do it on my own terms.

    And if the food gets all soggy, I don’t want it any more.

    Only things that aren’t part of the same dish aren’t supposed to touch on the plate.


    Like peas cooked separate from the carrot (shouldn’t touch!).

    Peas are for the ratses, and carrots shouldn’t be cooked…but if they should, for some reason, find themselves on a plate together, then they definitely shouldn’t touch. You don’t want to get pea cooties all over your raw carrots.

  299. carlie says

    If we want to all feel weird about our food-eating habits, candy is a good topic, particularly the ones that come in layers:
    peanut butter cups

    Oreos – separate, scrape off white goo with teeth. Eat cookie pieces only if there is milk to dunk them in.

    Twix eating – first nibble off the excess chocolate from the sides of the piece, the parts that are just covering the cookie. Then peel off the caramel topping and eat. Last, eat the cookie, which is now totally denuded. Repeat for other twix bar. (Kit-Kats are the same with removing the side chocolate, but then one can eat the entire bar or separate the strata and eat separately.)

    Peanut butter cups – first nibble off the pointy bits all around. Then the side bits. Last, the peanut butter, with still a little chocolate disk on the top.

  300. Beatrice says

    *looks at the ground*

    I’ve never eaten Yorkshire pudding.

    Why are you all looking at me like that?

    My grandma hadn’t even heard of that kind of thing and mum mostly just made the same things she learned from grandma.

    I’m still working through all the wonderful things I never ate before and Yorkshire pudding somehow slipped down the list.

    ok, I forgot about it. I admit.

    Jesus, you people are judgmental.

  301. trinioler says

    Okay, yorkshire puddings and popovers are similar in ratios and construction, but vary slightly in density and size.

    Basically, you have a glob of dough, dropped into hot oil, where the water in the dough steams the dough into a long hollow cylinder, while the outside gets fried.

    Fried outside, steamed inside. The defining characteristic is usually a huge single/multiple cell of air inside a popover/yorkshire pudding.

    They’re made in muffin pans, so the muffin shape pushes the expansion up.

    The puddings are more dense, and smaller. Popovers can be easily 6 inches tall, while puddings are usually 3 or less.

  302. cicely says

    How do you eat yorkshire pudding without gravy?

    This has never been an issue for me, since I’ve never met a yorkshire pudding. :)

    To clarify, if a food is by nature squishy, like mashed potatoes, then there is no harm in putting gravy on it. If it is firm, but not squashy, like turkey, then gravy may be used. If it is meant to be crisp or crunchy, like anything battered and fried, then nevernevernevernevernever, except just before taking a bite.

    Popovers? Like a Hot Pocket™? Surely not!

  303. Patricia, OM says

    As far as I know yorkshire pudding is roast drippings, eggs and flour. Maybe….

  304. opposablethumbs says

    Now I want some gumbo … ::hungry::

    However, within the hour I will (hopefully) be getting outside a plateful of dauphinois (a very non-orthodox dauphinois, involving not just the layers of thin potato slices but also bacon and finely shredded leeks, with cream and milk and lots of fresh rosemary and thyme, and when it’s all baked it will have cheese on top and be decorated with sautéed strips of sweet red pepper). I may be tempted to pig out just a bit … om nom nom. With salad, to distract us from the creaminess of the cream. ::hungry::

  305. trinioler says

    There’s a recipe I use for Puddings, which make a good breakfast item combined with bacon and veggies mixed with the batter.

    Keep in mind that the chemistry of Pudidngs/Popovers is highly dependent on local air pressure, so you will have to experiment.

    1/3 cup flour
    1 egg
    1/3 cup skim milk

    Ratio format: 1 parts flour: 1 parts milk: 3 eggs

    Oil for the pan

    Preheat the oven at 425f. Heat the pan in the oven.
    Mix the milk with the egg. Really, really beat the egg. This is important. BEAT THE EGG A LOT.
    Add in flour. More mixing, enough to absorb all the flour.
    Pull out pan, add 1/4 cup|2 tblspoons of oil per muffin cup. Pour 1/4 cup of batter per cup until batter is gone.

    Stick in the oven. Keep in mind this relies on the water flash-steaming so make sure the oven is opened quickly and smoothly both times.

    Should be about 7-10 minutes. Will 2-3 popovers/puddings.

    Oh and make sure its oil that can take 425f without burning(ie vegetable oil).

  306. trinioler says

    I actually can’t remember how long the puddings will take, so uh… check often, but do not open the oven door. Check through the oven window.

  307. Patricia, OM says

    The thing about that gumbo is the only work involved is chopping and caramelizing the onions and garlic. While thats going you can slide the sausages out of their casings (chop coarsely) and snap the green beans. After that it’s just dumping cans of veg, and frozen okra. Stir it about once an hour, that’s it.

    This is funny, the men are up on the roof of the house swearing and joking, and I’m painting the bath and swearing.

  308. says

    I did not realize that Yorkshire puddings have so much similarity to Pannekuchen/dutch baby. I like savory pannekuchen (not sure that is even a real Thing, but I make it sometimes), so I should probably try my hand at a Yorkshire pudding at some point.

    cicely: I hate Americanized “chinese” food where battered & fried bits of meat sit in a sauce in a steam tray until it’s all soggy. What is the point? Either serve it braised in sauce or batter & fry it so it’s crispy. Choose one!

  309. A. R says

    I found this taped on the laminar flow hood in the pre-PCR room:

    Our Polymerase, who aret in buffer,
    hallowed be your primers.
    Your amplification come,
    your will be done,
    In vitro as it is in silico.
    Give us this day our amplification,
    and forgive us our pipetting errors,
    as we forgive those who contaminate our samples.
    And lead us not into biochemistry,
    but deliver us from ethidium bromide.

    For all reactions upto 50 cycles.

    I broke down laughing.

  310. says

    Mitt Romney is still touting Bain Capital as one of the big positives in his resumé. He has a list up on his website of companies he helped. The list includes Sealy.

    …Mitt Romney’s Bain led a $791 million buyout of Sealy in 1997, putting $140 million down and, in typical private-equity fashion, having Sealy borrow the remaining $651 million to finance the deal and assume responsibility for paying it back.

    Companies like Bain Capital … make money by putting businesses at risk. They say they turn struggling businesses around. But Sealy was not a turnaround — it was the market leader in its sector…..

    Bain and co-investors sold — “harvested,” if you like — Sealy in 2004 to fellow private equity firm KKR for $1.5 billion, pocketing $741 million for its $140 million investment.

    KKR then took Sealy public in 2006 at $16 a share. Like Bain, the new owners spent little on Sealy national advertising, likely figuring it was better to lock in a decent return. Tempur-Pedic, meanwhile, was spending big on ads, outflanking Sealy, which missed the chance to make good competing foam beds….

    A long-time Sealy executive told me he was very sad about last week’s sale. “I don’t like being acquired by an upstart like Tempur. We should have figured out how to handle them in the marketplace.” Now, some of Sealy’s 4,500 workers will likely lose their jobs in the merger.

    Thus Sealy joins Burger King and others on the list of Bain-acquired companies that collapsed soon after Bain cashed out — hardly surprising, since private equity is mostly about squeezing businesses as hard as possible, not creating long-term value.

    That’s a big problem, because private equity firms own companies employing one of every 10 Americans in the private sector — 10 million people.

    I hope one of the debate moderators asks Romney how Bain helped Sealy.

    Excerpt above is from Salon.

  311. Nutmeg says

    A.R: Definitely written by someone with lots of lab experience. I loved “in vitro as in silico”.

    Our lab has a statue of the Virgin Mary on top of the gel-viewing apparatus. And accidentally leaving the thermocycler at 94C and frying all your DNA is referred to as “making a sacrifice to the PCR gods”.

  312. says

    I’m convinced that the reason I can’t bake things is because I have a shitty cheap oven. That’s what happens when you rent, your slumlord buys the cheapest appliances imaginable from the scratch and dent warehouse. So they don’t have an accurate thermostat, and don’t hold a consistent temperature, and nothing turns out right.

  313. says

    Good evening

    thanks, cicely
    Pain is mostly OK. Took some medication before going to work

    re: food
    I’m a messy eater. Mashed potatoes, scrambled eggs and spinach become a huge chaos on my plate. As a child I loved to pour the juice from the beetroot-salad over my mashed potatoes and many things are just tossed together in a pan or pot.
    I just had a nashi-pear, which isn’t messy eating, but something I love for the texture. As I’m allergic against apples I simply love having fruit you can chew.

  314. Dhorvath, OM says

    Thanks for the heads up. We are actually tied into a larger fund raising effort focused on a bicycle tour called Cops for Cancer which takes place in the region every year. I am unsure of who ends up with hair, but do know there is a lot of media attention for this event and so would be surprised to hear it was anyone who has negative reputation regarding how they deal with donations. Still, worth a look.

  315. Beatrice says


    Our oven is in a pretty sorry state too. It’s usually enough to put it on higher temperature and/or leave whatever longer inside.

    Unfortunately, some things can never turn quite right that way (oven fries are never quite as crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside as they should be).

    Couple of times I had an opportunity to make them in a proper oven… No comparison.

  316. Pteryxx says

    more random neatness via Boingboing – Maggie Koerthe-Baker interviews the MRI fish crew who won an Ig Nobel for this!

    The methodology is straightforward. You take your subject and slide them into an fMRI machine, a humongous sleek, white ring, like a donut designed by Apple. Then you show the subject images of people engaging in social activities — shopping, talking, eating dinner. You flash 48 different photos in front of your subject’s eyes, and ask them to figure out what emotions the people in the photos were probably feeling. All in all, it’s a pretty basic neuroscience/psychology experiment. With one catch. The “subject” is a mature Atlantic salmon. And it is dead.


    In 2009, a team led by neuroscientist Craig Bennett and psychologist Abigail Baird ran an fMRI experiment using the salmon as their subject. Not only did they really put a dead (and frozen) fish into an fMRI machine, later analysis of their data actually produced evidence of brain activity — as if the dead fish were thinking. It wasn’t, of course. But Bennett’s and Baird’s research — which recently won a 2012 IgNobel Award — was meant to show how easily scientists can mislead themselves and why well-done statistics are vital.


  317. Dhorvath, OM says

    I like to eat. So even those things which I don’t like, I will eat. That said, I will pick peas out of fried rice, leave ’em in the bottom of a stew bowl, or assiduously (that looks wrong.) make them avoid my mouth by whatever other options available. Nasty.

  318. A. R says

    Nutmeg: I suspect my PI (who just made a $1,000 dollar sacrifice) put it up. We have a bunch of pictures above the hood: Sts. Watson, Crick, and Franklin, and a PCR god made from lab junk. We also have a Sts. Beijerinck, and Hayflick near the tissue culture hoods (they make your cells and viruses grow), and Sts Mendel and Pauling near the gel hood (they make your gels run properly and protect you from EtBr).

  319. says

    Cooking. Yes…

    Me and the offspring have been trying to make sour cream truffles, from a recipe my son brought home from a cooking course thing, for about a week now.

    First attempt: very wrong. Wrong temperature. Filling wouldn’t even set. A candy thermometer is apparently mandatory.

    Second attempt: fixing this, it almost came out right. But grueling, due to yet another minor error, and a bit of ambiguity in the recipe about what you do about a stage where the butter separates out. I want to mine this for comedy at greater length, but I’ll settle for: when chilled to a certain critical temperature, the filling came out so sticky this time it was a bit like some crazy slapstick routine involving supernaturally powerful glue sticking the actors intermittently to the ceiling, one plate bought it in pretty spectacular fashion largely due to the chaos this created, and in the general mayhem my effort at tempering chocolate fell apart when we blew past the last temperature check in trying to pry the now terrifyingly superadhesive filling off various things it really couldn’t stay stuck to indefinitely.

    I’ve confirmed what our last error was, and will now be hoping the third time is the charm. Wish me luck. I’m going in.

    (Puts on motorcycle helmet, enters kitchen…)

    (/Oh… But on the bright side, that second batch which sorta mostly worked (we did get a few intact truffles, at the end of the day, despite everything) was insanely tasty. So: promising.)

  320. says

    If I don’t get out of this neighborhood soon, I’m going to lose my mind. Just lose my fucking mind. Screaming children, shouting adults, and now I have new neighbors who think it is appropriate to tie their barking dog to their back porch and just leave it there for who knows how long.

  321. Pteryxx says

    BEST RESULT (spoilers for the Scicurious article)

    And the poster, and the paper that was eventually published, may have had an effect on the field. The authors note that at the time the poster was presented, between 25-40% of studies on fMRI being published were NOT using the corrected comparisons. But by the time this group won the Ignobel last week, that number had dropped to 10%. And who knows, it might, in part, be due to a dead fish.


  322. says

    Two things about the oven: when you have like a disposable $40-50*, invest in an oven thermometer and a pizza stone. Leave the stone on the bottom every time you use the oven and it will even out hot and cold spots. You won’t have to use a thermometer every time you cook, just often enough to determine how “off” the oven is.

    *One day soon! I have faith in you and BossNurse. :)

  323. says


    Cross your fingers that I’m out of the ghetto by the end of the year. BossNurse has an interview on Friday for a job she’s been working towards for about 4 weeks, they just bought her a round-trip plane ticket and booked her a hotel room to come visit them for a day… which to me sounds like a really good sign. Generally places don’t spring for $1000 worth of travel if they don’t want to hire you.

  324. trinioler says

    Joe, a tip for calibrating ovens:

    Take an oven-proof glass bowl, and a 1/3rd cup of sugar(if you can spare it) and put it in the oven. Start at 250f. If it melts, your oven is hot by 45 degrees farenheit.

    Raise the temperature by whatever gradient you like. Table sugar starts melting at 295f-300f. This will help you pinpoint how much “off” your oven is.

    In addition, you can carry out the same experiment in different parts of the oven to get a feel for the convection flow of the oven. “Does this area heat faster than this side?” etc.

  325. Pteryxx says

    good luck, BossNurse of Joe.


    also via BB, a breast-cancer cluster in the military that may give research some answers. MoJo has best coverage:

    Even when local cancer rates do pop out as statistically significant, it’s rarely possible to draw a straight line between environmental exposure and disease the way you can in the lab. (Our proof that radiation causes breast cancer came courtesy of that large-scale public health experiment known as the atomic bomb.) Some 200 different chemicals have been linked to mammary tumors in animals and people, but you can hardly lock human subjects in a lab and feed them TCE or benzene to see what happens.

    Yet in a sense, Lejeune is that lab. As Clapp notes, the numbers are huge: hundreds of thousands of men, women, and children exposed to contaminated water. What’s more, the military has precise records of who lived where and for how long. In some cases, it may even be possible to pinpoint, down to the trimester, when fetuses were exposed—knowledge useful for tracking developmental defects. Indeed, it was a survey indicating low birth weights that first caught the attention of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), which is now conducting massive health studies at Lejeune.


    Includes photos of two of the male breast cancer survivors, Marines both, who appeared in the Art beCAUSE breast cancer calendar.

    Also see:


  326. birgerjohansson says

    Scandinavia and the World:
    Drama Bear: http://satwcomic.com/drama-bear-returns
    Big Fucking Alphabets http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f488uJAQgmw
    — — — — —
    Improbable Joe,
    Great! Good luck!
    — — — —
    Read the transcripts from “Mock The Movie” at Lousy Canuck on FtB.
    The comments were waaay better than the films (reconstructed from memory):

    Sound in vacuum. Is this Star Wars?
    They left that alien piece of technology unguarded.
    Oops, it turned into a robot.
    They aim the shotgun carefully. Because shotguns are precision weapons.
    Taking off the helmet in the alien base is a good idea. All aliens breathe Earth air.
    Nice shot of the Moon. From the Moon.
    You killed my spouse of the last 14000 years. So logically, I should want to have sex with you.

  327. Pteryxx says

    dang, all this wonderful writing on the internet. From the MoJo Marine breast cancer article:

    Like many men with breast cancer, Devereaux was diagnosed late in the course of the disease. His treatment included a mastectomy and the removal of 22 lymph nodes, followed by radiation and 14 months of chemo. “It beat the crap out of me,” he says. In 2009 he learned that the cancer had spread to his spine, ribs, and hips. “There’s no cure this time.”

    Tough guy that he is, Devereaux has found comfort within the very female breast cancer community. “You go into all these pink buildings and places for your mammograms and appointments. You’re this dude, and all these women are looking at you. I meet these women, and they’re so much more open and honest and easy to talk to about emotions. Guys, all we talk about are football, eating, farting, and girls. So they really helped. I felt a burden lifted. I wanted to move forward. My goal now is to raise awareness.”

    Also there are *several* photos of male Marines from that breast-cancer calendar. I’m saving them to go alongside the women’s mastectomy photos.

  328. trinioler says

    Also, good luck for BossNurse!

    Keep in mind BigInternetCompanyB spent almost $1000 on me, to fly me four hours down to them, and I still didn’t get hired. Or at least they’re abysmally slow to contact me(its been three months now).

  329. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    Awesome! Thanks so much Caine!

    I have news. We are taking in a cat. The owner is really sick and got kicked off of the Arizona Medicaid for some stupid reason. So the owner is going back to their home state to get help. She and my parent’s have looked to find a home for the kitty but haven’t found one. We talked to our landlord about it and everything. At the very least we are taking it in for a few days. My parent’s can’t keep it since they have a girl kitty and the homeless kitty is a boy.

    We’ve looked up the information for pet food banks and all that. We don’t really want to turn over the kitty because of fears it might get put down. Little One has been over the owner’s house when we were getting stuff from there and loves the kitty. It’s all so heartbreaking.

    Roomie is not pleased, even if I’m doing all the work for the kitty but at least we are going to find it a better home for it. I mean I want the kitty and Little One wants the kitty but really a pet is too much up keep for food and all that.

  330. says

    Good luck to you and BossNurse!

    (Still, keep the pizza stone advice in mind. No matter where you end up living, you could still get a shitty oven!)

    There was a package waiting for me when I got home and it’s shaped suspiciously like an Xbox game. I wonder what it could be… .

  331. says

    I’ll pass on the well-wishing to my wife when I talk to her next. The good news is that she has a temp job, and she’s been offered her choice of permanent jobs by the company she is temping for. We don’t have all of our eggs in one basket. The job she’s interviewing for is better than the one she has, and probably better than the jobs that company can offer her on a permanent basis. The good news is that it looks like she won’t be without a job no matter what happens, and we’ll probably be moving no matter what happens.

  332. Pteryxx says

    JAL, good luck with the kitty, too. This might be helpful – advice on how to re-home pets directly instead of turning them over to the shelter networks. For instance, asking a local shelter if you can take your animal to one of their Adoption Days.


    Some of the tips require money, such as spaying/neutering/shots, but y’know. Pharyngula and all that. *cough* Sorry if you already knew all this stuff.

  333. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    Oh, no don’t be sorry Pteryxx! It’s great information. The boy kitty isn’t neutered so I’m looking online for free/low cost places right now. I’ll be calling around when mom gets home so I can use her landline and not use up all my minutes.

    The boy kitty is a year old already and doesn’t have any shots either. =(

    Of course, Step dad’s cat is 9 months or so and hasn’t been spayed yet. She was either too small and then they were going to take her in last month for the mobile free clinic that was near us at the time. She then went into heat! Terrible timing but she’s out of heat or almost out or something so we should get that taken care of soon too.

    There’s lots of help around so it’s a matter of finding a place/time we can get to really. If worse come to worse, there’s this place that does refunds for people on AHCCCS who have paid for the spay/neuter. You just have to go to a list of vets on their list.

  334. Esteleth, Elen síla lumenn' omentielvo says

    This may sound silly, but:
    1. I am an adult woman with small feet.
    2. I buy most of my footgear at Stride Rite, as their shoes are sturdy, comfortable, fit me well, and are easy on the pocketbook.
    3. Stride Rite thus sends me ads about buying Disney Princess™ shoes for my daughter.


  335. says


    Doesn’t sound silly. Sounds frustrating. My wife bought a child’s gift for a niece 6 years ago, and she still gets “girl gift” catalogs.

  336. Esteleth, Elen síla lumenn' omentielvo says

    Okay, I have downloaded the new Downton Abbey.

    Back later.

  337. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    Rant/Vent: (feel free to skip)

    Steam is so evil! Just after I complain about no being able to play my Elder Scrolls games, they have an Elder Scrolls Collection on sale for 60 bucks. That’s such an awesome deal. Hell, Oblivion is only 10 bucks, so I’m thinking of selling my games so I can at least get that.
    Ooooooh, I can go sell all my DVDs that I don’t even watch. I’m much more of a reader and TV watcher anyways. *rubs hands like an evil genius*

    Also, my Roomie is so fucking irritating! I’m cleaning up. I’m always the one to clean up. He doesn’t even pick up his own shit. Seriously annoying. He rolls cigarettes with a machine and just leaves the tobacco that falls out lying on the table. There’s a fucking mound of it on our table right now. I go to try and clean it and he’s all “NO! Save that! Just in case!” So do it yourfuckingself, jackass. I’m trying to clean and he’s all “you’re not doing it right! Stop moving my things! You’re just doing it to go through my stuff aren’t you?”

    Nope, I’m cleaning because the house is a mess. I’m tried of your junk just accumulating all up on the counter. Yeah, I know I do it too, but guess what? I’m cleaning up my crap too! I at least do it occasionally. He’s never done it. All he does is take out the trash every couple of days. That’s it. I do everything else. He complains about the tile floor being sticky, even though I just mopped it. Well, guess what douche? You can mop it too!

    Whenever I try to talk to him about moving the furniture, or how to sort the closet space and where to put his clothes, where he wants to store his stuff, all he says is “Do what you want I don’t care.” Then he complains about what I do with it. I mean really dude? If you had an opinion or didn’t like my suggestion, say so! Now you want me to re-do everything because you decided to be a jackass? Fuck no.

    Anyways, I’m trying to fucking clean now and I’ve hit a wall. I can’t vacuum because he’s a sleep. Yet I can’t do it later at night because he’s all “What about the neighbors?” Ugh. Our neighbors are morphine addicts who don’t notice anyways and it takes all of 10 minutes. Oh no wait, I now have to re-pick up all the stuff that’s on the floor again because you wouldn’t move for me to vacuum!

    Look, I hate cleaning too. I get it. I really do but you know what? I still fucking do it. And sometimes I get in a cleaning mood and it would be really fucking awesome if I could fucking clean when that happens. But noooooooooooooooooo. I mean it’s going to be my ass anyways if CPS stops by and sees the house a mess. He doesn’t give a shit about anything. I get that he’s stressed out about his debt, but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing but debt to deal with. I get that he’s the one working. I’m talking just pick up your own shit once in awhile. That’s all. Is that so hard? I mean yes, he’s paying all the bills but I’m not the maid. Especially not when I get shit for picking up, or get shit for not picking up. Even after I get a job again, he’ll still have to pay his share. Or I’ll just pay it all so he can save up to move out. But you know what, whatever happens he still needs to pick up all his tobacco and dirty sock and the shirts he throws in the corner and the pile of papers thrown under his desk.

    UGH. I can’t win.

  338. says


    Two things:

    1) Do you have a Paypal account? I can send you $10 for a game.

    2) I feel like your roommate is my wife… sort of. I’m the one who does the cleaning, and it DOES get frustrating. Especially when the house is trashed and my wife says “well, I’m going to go through the baskets by the door and sort through the junk mail!” like she’s doing something. The junk mail in the baskets is NEATLY STACKED IN BASKETS WHICH MEANS IT ISN’T PART OF THE FUCKING MESS!!!!! *deep breaths*

  339. Esteleth, Elen síla lumenn' omentielvo says

    Yes, A.R. The third episode aired last night in the UK. For no apparent reason, it is embargoed in the states until the spring, but dammit, I need me some Dowager Countess snark.

  340. Portia says

    JAL – That sucks. I get it. SO is actually a pretty neat person. Messes bug him. Dirt bugs him. He cleans at least every weekend. Except the bathroom. I have cleaned it once for him (we don’t actually live together) in the year and a half he has lived there. Until two weeks ago, he hadn’t cleaned it. It was a disaster zone. Not in clutter, just layers of grime. I’m sure it will get bad again before he does it.

    I feel you on the relationship catch-22s in more general terms, though. Like, I get in trouble if I’m direct about my feelings and ask (demand) that we have a talk about a problem. I also get shit if I’m passive aggressive because being direct was met with rejection and dismissal and “I’m having trouble empathizing right now.” Can’t win for losing. It’s really not fun. I’m sorry. I have hot tea to share, if it would calm nerves : / (No useful advice, sorry).

  341. says


    Yes, A.R. The third episode aired last night in the UK. For no apparent reason, it is embargoed in the states until the spring, but dammit, I need me some Dowager Countess snark.

    Why do you need to commit class warfare against me, and people like me? Why dammit… WHY!!!

  342. says

    Hi thread! And denizens thereof!

    I got a new job so I haven’t had as much time sitting here in front of the computer so I haven’t been in a couple of weeks. I had something I wanted to tell you guys about. You might remember I started commenting here (been reading a long time) a few weeks back to ask about what books would be recommended for me to learn about evolution (many of your recommendations are on the way, thanks everyone). I went to a meeting of the local atheist group this past weekend where a local college professor gave a talk on evolution – mainly about the state of the evidence for evolution and giving answers to the common arguments against it. It didn’t teach me a whole lot about what evolution is or how it works, but gave me some tools for talking about it, and then yesterday I had this conversation with an acquaintance by email which I was pleased with (because usually I avoid confrontation so thoroughly, I would normally have let the comment slip by instead of answering it. So I was happy, although the person was completely undeterred…his response was really quite comical.

    Thats the beauty about science. What I find har [sic] to accept is that how come other scientist haven’t come out to say something different about evolution? Then again is just a theory an idea not a fact. Sure we have fossils records but no fossil is ever 100% complete there is always something missing.

    I rather look at the future, artificial intelligence in robotics maybe one day they will answer some of our questions. Who knows they might be our legacy.

    I was mainly happy that I stood up for myself when directly questioned, which I would not have done before. I don’t think I’ll make a habit of wasting my time on class A idiots like that one (he thinks we came from aliens, because he doesn’t like the word evolve and isn’t religious).

  343. says


    It is cool that you can recognize bad arguments and feel confident enough to go after them. Congrats on the new job, and on getting out there and interacting with your local group.

  344. Portia says

    deborahbell, that’s awesome! Good for you and I’m glad you feel so good about calling out that crap. (My dad thinks we came from aliens too…but then aliens explains every mystery on the planet in his mind).

    How’s the job going?

  345. says

    HOLY FUCKING PILLOWPANTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I decided to be a little shady with the online file sharing last month. I knew I had done a little extra bandwidth on my account. There’s no way I ever thought I had done 650+ GB in two weeks. Not even trying, not even working for it.

    I’m out. No more shady shit for me.

  346. says

    Joe and Portia Thanks! I have been feeling more and more a desire to be real and upfront and say what I am thinking.

    The new job is repairing laptops, which is a huge change from selling cell phones (still technology related, but very different responsibilities). I’m still in training, but it seems really ridiculously easy – replace a part or two, put it back together, test and ship. I’m surprised at how easy it is really to take laptops apart – most computer people I’ve talked to seemed to think they were impossible to work on.

    The job doesn’t pay very well, it’s mandatory overtime, the “health insurance” they offer is crappy and 100% paid by the employee (I’m going to get a better and cheaper plan on my own I think) and the company is losing the contract for the particular laptop brand sometime soon (the date keeps getting extended out, so not sure how long). But it’s a move into IT, sort of, and it gets me out of working with the public, and a more or less temporary job with no customer interaction is what I wanted for the next little while. Hopefully by the time the contract ends I have my Unix certification and can get something a lot better.

    And the hours should keep my mind off the relationship that just ended, which I didn’t want to end. Given I’m still living in with him (haven’t had the money to do otherwise yet) I need the distraction.

  347. Portia says

    Sounds like the job will do for now, I’m glad it’s passable and not miserable. Also great to have the distraction from the unfun home life. Is he still acting like best buds? I guess it would be hard to figure out what else to do in a situation where you have to be around each other all the time. That’s a really crappy way to have to deal with the split up. I’m sorry : (

  348. says


    Repairing laptops with a contract from a brand is actually gravy compared to the alternative… repairing laptops without any official support. I dipped my oar into that world, and I wound up yanking my oar right back out after I’d done about $2000 bucks of free consulting. “Free” meaning assholes consulting with me to eliminate options and then turning to other people once I’d narrowed down the problem to a single source. I’d get paid a few bucks, and then the real profit went to someone else… so I just gave up.

  349. says

    Portia Yes, he is. I didn’t realize I had told about that. But yeah, he is acting like best buds, being really nice. We never fought, and were getting along fine when he broke up with me, so it’s not as weird as it sounds I guess; I have some guesses about why he is behaving the way he is, but not sure which is right. One thought is that he had wanted to break up for a while (which is true) because he was unhappy in some unspecified way (he wouldn’t ever explain it to me), so perhaps he had been in his heart not feeling a relationship but just friends for a while and doesn’t really understand why things should be different now. Or there’s the idea that he wanted out of the pressure of being in a relationship, some pressure he was putting on himself or felt from cultural expectations or something, and wants to still be close emotionally because he liked that part. Or there’s the idea that he may be trying to kind of let me down easy, because he knows I suffered from depression before meeting him and he is afraid that I will not do well if we break up and break it off cold. Or maybe it’s a mix of several factors.

    From my side it’s hard to move on, hard to get closure, hard to let go because I don’t want to and he’s making it fairly easy to hang on, and he doesn’t seem to get it on his own. I have thought about sitting down and talking to him about it, but I am both afraid to and just don’t want to. I’m afraid of his reaction to me telling him the way things are is not helpful for me. And I’m afraid of losing the comfort of being buddy buddy because I’m already struggling with sadness and stuff. So yeah, not sure what to do.

  350. says

    Joe Oh I can imagine. It’s interesting how easily the tenured techs can diagnose a problem. And while I can’t ship a unit with a new system board without getting it signed off on by escalations (basically a tenured rep in the site with special responsibilities) but I can order all the system boards I want from parts to test the problem. It’s a weird system to me, but seems to work.

    I think I like the actual work, but I don’t think I could live on the hourly rate at 40 hours a week. I would have to work about 50 hours a week to make what I was making in 30 hours at my sales job – but I am a happier person with this job, so it works for me. I don’t want to sound like I’m complaining; I am glad I took it and think it will be a positive overall.

  351. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    Aw thanks Joe for the offer! But really it’s okay. I should be focused on other things and hopefully Step Dad can find a buyer for my ps3 games to get some extra cash.


    I feel you on the relationship catch-22s in more general terms, though. Like, I get in trouble if I’m direct about my feelings and ask (demand) that we have a talk about a problem. I also get shit if I’m passive aggressive because being direct was met with rejection and dismissal and “I’m having trouble empathizing right now.” Can’t win for losing. It’s really not fun. I’m sorry. I have hot tea to share, if it would calm nerves : / (No useful advice, sorry).

    Exactly! It’s so downright irritating. The end result is always he does nothing and I get shit for doing things. It’s damn tiring, makes me not want to do anything. Of course, then things get really dirty and I force myself to do it, starting the cycle over again. GRRR.


    And the hours should keep my mind off the relationship that just ended, which I didn’t want to end. Given I’m still living in with him (haven’t had the money to do otherwise yet) I need the distraction.

    Oh, ouch. I’m sorry. That sucks, really sucks. Our situation is a bit different but Roomie is also my ex. I have no advice. =(

  352. Portia says

    deborahbell, sorry I poked a sore spot. I’ve been there. It can be so hard to extract yourself, but hopefully you can eventually get some emotional clarity. I’ve been in that ex/bff situation and it’s always messy and confusing. It seems like he doesn’t know what he he wants, either. I totally understand not wanting to hold him accountable for his confusing actions, or confront him at all about it. If I were you, I wouldn’t feel guilty for coasting until you have a different living situation to go to. Do whatever makes you feel comfortable and happy to get through the rough patch. (YMMV, I am no relationship expert, I don’t have the best track record, but this is what has gotten me out of tough situations in comparative well-being). Just go easy on yourself in general.

    JAL – It’s really no fun to feel like you’re playing chicken with something like cleaning when messes and dirt bother you. And I totally get bugged by that stuff so I can’t imagine how obnoxious that is. Especially with the stress of a possible CPS visit hanging over your head. So frustrating that even that doesn’t motivate him to do something about it himself. I shake my fist on your behalf.

  353. says


    The worst of it was that I did a few of these jobs for a contractor friend of mine, and then the homeowner would cut us both out of the deal. What little money I made came mostly from my contractor buddy even though he didn’t get paid for my consulting either, just because he felt bad that his clients were cheating me.

  354. Portia says

    (Also sorry, deborahbell, if my detail-recall is a little creepy. I just saw so many familiar elements in your situation that it stuck with me, I think).

  355. says

    JAL Thanks.

    Portia No, it was affirming to have you remember about the situation. I’m sorry if I spilled too much about it; the dilemma has been on my mind today. I’m really in a quandary.

    My first instinct is to just coast for a while, like you said. See if he backs off on his own eventually. See what I think about things after I’ve had time to get more of an even keel emotionally.

  356. Portia says

    Don’t be sorry. Spill all you need. I’m glad if what little I can do from here is helpful.

    When you’re in an emotional quagmire like yours, it is easily all-consuming. When you’ve spent so much of your time and energy on a relationship, everything seems to connect back to it. If talking here can help you sort something out or even just let off some of the steam, please do. I know that “thinking out loud” can be immensely helpful.

    I really hope that you can find a solution soon. Instincts are great things :) Glad you’re not gonna rush yourself.

    I have to go to bed now, but I’ll be around if you wanna talk. Lemme know if you ever wanna email :)

  357. says

    Portia I have to go to bed myself. New job starts early. :) Thanks again.

    When you’re in an emotional quagmire like yours, it is easily all-consuming. When you’ve spent so much of your time and energy on a relationship, everything seems to connect back to it.

    That’s it exactly.

  358. A. R says

    Esteleth: Hmmm, I shall have to see if the eeeebilll technique I used to get Series 2 will still work…

  359. Tigger_the_Wing says

    Alethea H. “Crocoduck” Dundee

    I’m hoping Ariaflame and Tigger the Wing will both make it to cocktails this arvo: mini Pharyngula meetup!

    I am so, so sorry that I missed you, Ariaflame and the cocktails. It was bad enough spending the weekend in hospital without the added frustration of missing the party.

    I’ll try to time my heart attack better next time. =^_^=

  360. says

    I can proudly report truffle victory.

    Wound up doing it myself in the middle of the night, but they are perfect, round, delicious, in flawlessly glossy tempered chocolate.

    And now I must sleep.

    (/And I’m laughing… But not really… At ‘playing chicken’ on cleaning. That’s what it is, all right. And about as funny as an ulcer, really, but I’m fucking laughing anyway. Ha. See? Laughing. Dammit.)

  361. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    Playing chicken on cleaning is the perfect way to describe it too. I get all huffy at doing all the work, think he’ll do it if I just leave it but nope, he doesn’t.

    It’s not like I’m a clean freak or anything. I’m a slob too but not the way he is. He’s the always lived at home at had his mom clean everything, and only cleaned his room when his mother’s nagging got to him. Then we moved in together. Oh joy. Apparently, my nagging does nothing since I’m not paying for everything like his mother did.

    Now earlier I did all the vacuuming. I literally vacuumed every area in the house except for where he was sleeping. He kept looking at me, giving me the stink eye and then fell right back asleep. An hour or so after I’m done with vacuuming he wakes up. Little One gets back from Grandma’s House and is officially sick. She falls asleep where Roomie was sleeping and now I’m screwed. She’s waking up like every 20 minutes crying and just plain miserable. My poor baby. =(

    When a little kid is sick and miserable, they make everyone sick and miserable.

    But I did at least get Roomie talking about cleaning. The passive aggressive conversation between my mother and I in front of him but not including him topped off the passive aggressive vacuuming. He’s now at least promised to do the mopping and deal with his crap in his area.

    Oh dear god, do I hope he finally follows through. It would be a lovely change of pace.

    Now, he’s not all bad mind you but he knows this is an issue.

  362. chigau (違わない) says

    I’m sorta caught-up but I really can’t keep up
    (and I have re-started the “Computer” 4 times)
    *hugs* for everyone and
    *may your bathrooms be clean*

  363. opposablethumbs says

    Tigger_the_Wing also hugs, and holy shit a heart attack?!?!? Well you’re typing, so I guess you’re home again? Hope you’re OK!

  364. chigau (違わない) says

    (I’m sooo ‘thrupt)
    *hugs* for tigger
    my ear just *popped*
    everything is LOUD

  365. says

    Good morning


    I’ll try to time my heart attack better next time. =^_^=

    Argh what?
    I hope you’re better now and everything went well. Virtual hugs and everything

    AJ Milne
    Share, please?

    If you’re still a bit unsure about the basics, search Potholer 54 on youtube. He has a really great “made easy” series that covers the basics.

    One of the greatest pitfalls is that adults will be reasonable people and you don’t have to argue details with them like with kids. I had this in Irland when I thought it would be no trouble if six people just cleaned up their own mess. We ended up with no plates because one guy just took his food to his room and left the plates there. And the American guy who just would ignore that there are no waste thingies in the sink so you can’t pour your scraps into it. And nobody except for me ever taking out the rubbish. When I stopped doing it it piled up until the kitches started to smell like a landfill.
    So, I’d recommend fixed rules that are written down and put where everybody can see them.
    Best wishes for the little one.

  366. Beatrice says

    You know how you know you are really bored? You go about washing all the windows and glass surfaces in the apartment just for the fun of it.

  367. Tigger_the_Wing says

    JAL hugs for LittleOne and a big Get Well Soon to all the poorly people.

    Thanks for all the hugs! =^_^=

    It was only a minor heart attack, but it was nevertheless disappointing because I had been feeling so well since the heart surgery on the 12th Sept (cardiac ablation to fix the arrhythmia) that I had felt able to start making plans for the first time in months. It was an unwelcome reminder that I’m not as able as I want to be and has put me right back in the wheelchair and dependent on others again. Blergh.

    However, I recovered so quickly that the cardiologist sent me home two days later to rest and await an angiogram as an outpatient on the 12th Oct.

    *****Boring Bits*****

    I had an angiogram in June 2007 and was diagnosed with Prinzmetal’s Angina (aka unstable angina, aka coronary artery spasm). I was told at the time (by the arsehole of a cardiologist I was seeing in Adelaide) that the coronary arteries were perfectly clear and as long as I took the nitrates there’d be no danger of a heart attack. (Funny, because I’d already had one).

    I have a really awesome cardiologist here in Canberra but she’s on leave yet, miracle of miracles, the guy I saw at the hospital was equally awesome. He looked into my history and came up with a different story. It appears that narrowing of my coronary arteries was in fact detected in that first angiogram; 20% narrowing at rest, increasing to 80% during a spasm.

    Awesome Hospital Guy said that, given my history of high cholesterol, it was certainly within the bounds of possibility that the narrowing could have got worse in the last five years and a mere 50% increase in narrowing (from 20% to 30%) would lead to 90% narrowing during a spasm and hence the increased angina pain and minor heart attack (troponin level of 0.04, whatever that means – I must look it up when I finish typing this!).

    The reason AHG wants me to undergo another angiogram is that he wants to see what’s going on, and (I hope!) do something about it; because if the base narrowing doubles, then the blockage during a spasm would be 100% – major heart attack time.

    *****/Boring Bits*****

    So that explains why I’ve failed to keep up with the [Lounge], sorry!

    But I did see the beautiful clothes Patricia made for DarkFetus, gorgeous! You are so talented!

  368. birgerjohansson says

    Miscellaneous news links:
    — — — —
    New hope for taming triple-negative breast cancer http://medicalxpress.com/news/2012-10-triple-negative-breast-cancer.html
    — — — —
    Study reveals *multiple* mechanisms may play role in Alzheimer’s http://medicalxpress.com/news/2012-10-reveals-multiple-mechanisms-role-alzheimer.html
    — — — —
    Anti-flu proteins work as designed, researchers confirm http://phys.org/news/2012-10-anti-flu-proteins.html

  369. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says


    I’m so sorry Tigger! I totally missed the whole heart attack mention and went to get what rest I could while Little One was sleeping.

    I’m glad you’ve recovered so quickly and I hope they figure it all out so you don’t have to go through that again.

    Thanks for the hugs for Little One. Thankfully, no chance for you to get sick through the ‘tubes from her.

  370. Beatrice says

    Do you know if it’s true that in Germany, unemployment services require the unemployed to go there every week and submit papers that show they were applying for jobs? And if they aren’t looking for work hard enough (minimum of 5 applications every week- seriously, at some point there is nowhere to apply anymore), they get kicked out?

    Because, it looks like this will be a new “thing” here soon, and morons are of course saying it’s because of EU, and Austria and Germany have it like that.

    Every shit they come up with is always “according to the standards of European Union”.

  371. Beatrice says

    Some weeks I send much more than 5 applications, but there are parts of the year when there is nothing to apply for.

  372. Tigger_the_Wing says

    HI Alethea! I really am sorry I missed your birthday. I was really looking forward to it. How did it go?

  373. Tigger_the_Wing says

    Beatrice , the employment situation in Europe is why we’re still in Australia. While hubby remains employed here, we simply cannot afford to go home even if my heart didn’t keep doing stupid shit to keep me on the ‘Do Not Fly’ list.