1. says

    Azkyroth, there are a lot of films made by NAs, they usually don’t get much press. Sherman Alexie’s Smoke Signals comes to mind, along with Clearcut, Powwow Highway, Skins, Dance Me Outside, Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner and The Business of Fancydancing.

    There are more, I just can’t think of them right now.

  2. Tony ∞The Trolling Queer Duck∞ says

    You don’t even have to go as far as the antifeminist, patriarchy enforcing message to criticize these movies. Just discuss the horribly abusive, dysfunctional relationships and that’s enough to sink them.
    These movies exemplify the pervasive influence of anti critical religious thought and the normalization of gender stereotypes. That people (& sad to say I was one of them*) don’t see the dangerous messages running throughout the Twilight movies shows how far we haven’t come in the fight for gender equality.

    *I saw the first movie before I had my mind opened to sexism, patriarchy, etc so I didn’t think twice about it.

  3. Tony ∞The Trolling Queer Duck∞ says

    In the midst of all this Twilight crap and my stress earlier I forgot something…
    CAINE-its good to have you here once more.

  4. says

    CAINE-its good to have you here once more.

    Aaaw, you are so sweet. Thank you, Tony. ♥ I’ve missed everyone something fierce, but my workload is serious heavy and not going to be any lighter for a while, so I won’t be around as much as I’d like to be.

  5. says

    Good morning

    Big fat hugs for you and son

    Hugs for you, too
    I wished I could just beam you to your loved ones

    You already did a good job, now you need to keep it up. You’re going to make it.

    I suppose as a single parent who gets seen as male you get the worst crap of all worlds. Becuase probably nothing threatens their gender-ideas more than a single dad who manages without neighbouring housewifes cooking for them.


    I’ve known a couple other people who felt that molestation wasn’t anywhere near the worst thing that happened to them.

    I am somebody who is very, very aware of the fact that lack of physical abuse doesn’t mean that there’s lack of abuse. The spankings I received as a child didn’t damage me much, the emotional blackmail did.
    And as a woman, I’ve been a victim of sexual assault. Which woman hasn’t? The groping and pinching, the out of the blue comment that what I really need is for this guy to stick his dick into me…
    But with all of that, there’s something I’m immensely grateful for: I’ve never, ever been raped. And if somebody stole Sam Harris’ fucking magic wand and told me that I could choose between all the crap that happened and being raped once, I’d tell them they can stuff that wand where the sun doesn’t shine.

    Hugeses to you and tickles and treats to Gytha.
    Yesterday the kids shared the rabbit treats fairly with the rabbits. Must taste nice…

  6. says

    Well, they are at least marketed the same way kiddie treats are: Fruit! Vitamins! Minerals!
    And at the moment they are Attractively Tree Shaped!
    And wile talking about rabbits, yesterday Pünktchen failed to realize that the left door of the stable was open and bumped against the closed middle door three times until I noticed what his problem was and opened it for him.

  7. Tony ∞The Trolling Queer Duck∞ says

    Between all of us, what types of animal companions do we currently have?
    I have two cats and a dog.

  8. says

    Tony, for Chez Caine, it’s:

    2 Monster dogs, 1 White German Shepherd/Coyote cross (Dolly), 1 White German Shepherd/Chow cross (Jayne).

    5 Cats, 4 solid black (Ophelia, Sinister, Teddy & Grendel), 1 black & white (Elvis).

    24 rats and you all know who they are. :D

  9. says

    Well I don’t have any pets at all, but the kids have two rabbits who live with my parents (garden and stuff. Rabbits aren’t really the best pets to keep indoors). This flat is seriously pet-unfriendly. Well, not as such. If we didn’t have kids we could use their room for pets, and if I weren’t allergic to cats I could keep one of them.

  10. Tony ∞The Trolling Queer Duck∞ says

    Caine: wow. Is your home a big one? Or maybe with a sizeable yard?
    Somewhere in the dark recesses of my mind exists a fantasy of owning a plot of land and having enough space to have a LOT more animals (I used to want to buy all the animals at a pet store and bring them to this fantasy not-quite-farm).

  11. says

    @ Audley

    Cool pix. She looks soooo big and mature already. It seems like it was only a few days ago that DarkInfant was a DarkFetus.

    @ Caine

    You may have to give a few of Theo’s scritches to Merlin.

    The ratties’ virtual brother, Patches, is out and about doing alleycat stuff tonight, but he got lots of tickles and scritches last night. The virtual sisters are a bit skittish, what with this “new” bod in their house.

  12. carlie says

    Shorter Dawkins: “Dear Rape Victim, you don’t actually have as many problems as a Muslima.”

    Which I find credible; I’ve known a couple other people who felt that molestation wasn’t anywhere near the worst thing that happened to them. He really shouldn’t be generalizing from that… >.>

    Especially since this is one of the things that isn’t exacly a matter of opinion; you could compare the percentage of child sex abuse survivors who exhibit diagnosable psychiatric symptoms from the event to the percentage of Christians with diagnosable symptoms from learning Christianity. Methinks the numbers don’t match.

    I sincerely hope I ruined the movie for them. Such toxic bullshit should not be allowed to infest the minds of our young people unimpeded.

    Tree Lobsters put up a link to this easy to understand Twilight.

  13. rq says

    I was ‘pressuerd’ into reading the Twilight books becasue a friend of mine assured me they were really really romantic. But they felt off, for me, and then I started reading about them, and yeah, opened a whole new world…
    Incidentally, I have one cat. And three sons. :)

    Is Puenktchen’s name from a children’s story about a spotted little bunny who’s the only spotted bunny in a family of white ones…? (Just wondering, because I had a story about that when I was little, translated, of course. Loved it.)

  14. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    Caine, you got me beat by 1 cat and 24 rats, but we are babysitting a 120 lb. Swiss Mountain Dog who presently dwarfs our pitbull-boxer mix. 120lbs of unguided meat.

  15. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    The barbaric, uncivilized savage Native Americans (sorry, werewolves), want to kill Bella’s fetus.

    Technically, shape-shifters not werewolves. In the book they talk about it since they don’t do the whole change with the moon and weak to silver thing. They just change into a wolf form “coincidentally”. They discussed briefly how many chromosomes vamps, shape-shifters and humans have.

    I, like rq, was pressured into reading them because I was in a shelter at the time surrounded by young women my age going gaga for the series. Then my caseworker started talking about how great it was and suggested I read them so I could bond with the other girls better since I’m so anti-social.

    Yeah, that didn’t work out well. I hated it before I found out about the mormon thing and I (unfortunately) admittedly didn’t see the racism either at the time. Though I did mention how stupid it was the vampires were still in high school, how predictable it was, how crappily written, how Bella was just pathetic and Edward was creepy like my ex.

    Twihards hate me since I’ve read the books and know details they can’t shrug me off as just a “mindless hater”. Curse my memory, I’d rather just forget it completely.

  16. says

    Twihards hate me since I’ve read the books and know details they can’t shrug me off as just a “mindless hater”. Curse my memory, I’d rather just forget it completely.

    Same here. It was a really weird experience reading the books, because the writing was terrible and yet some of the peripheral characters and world-building were kind of interesting. It was as though anything the writer paid attention to was turned into creepy internalized misogyny and racism, but the stuff she just threw in there as filler was at least on par with some other popular urban fantasy out there.

    My only explanation is that every time she started to pay attention to what she was writing, she had to stop and masturbate furiously to thoughts of cold, marble-skinned teenagers.

  17. rq says

    Improbable Joe
    Happy birthday(s)!!
    How’s the packing?


    re: Twilight
    Yes, I’ll also admit that I wasn’t all that tuned in to the racism aspect until it was pointed out to me.
    And I thought Jacob’s character was ok, until it seemed that all kinds of misogynistic things were forced onto him, just to have some sort of mystical ‘conflict’ going between him and Bella (couldn’t stay just friends, right, because a teen romance without a love triangle just doesn’t work). Like the fact that he was suddenly morphed into looking a lot older than he was in the second, to provide more competition for Edwarrrrrd.

    It was the creepy I’m-so-ugly and he-just-won’t-leave-me-alone and ooooh-he’s-so-protective stuff that bothered me. The fact that it was advertised as a strong female lead type of book really pissed me off, because she definitely, definitely wasn’t.


    I promised I’d tell you how I came to discover I was atheist, and the short answer is children.
    That is, my first child. It happened unexpectedly (to everyone – and I mean everyone – around me), also out of wedlock, bla bla bla, and all that other heretic stuff. And I told a few friends back home about the great event, hoping for some kind of support, because I was depressed, scared, alone, ashamed, and also recovering from that whole childbirth experience (not a bad one, but I think it’s been mentioned that it’s an ordeal any way you look at it). The fact that some of them were Muslim didn’t bother me, because they knew I was Catholic and everything was shiny.
    Two of them took it well.
    One of them didn’t, at all, and while other people’s opinions shouldn’t matter, it did, because she wrote back this entire email tirade about sin (fornication, adultery) and being sinful (blablabla) and about how she thought I was better than that (this one hurt), and then she finished off with the whole idea that now would be the perfect time for me to finally turn to Allah.
    Before that, I hadn’t thought that people actually followed all these religious ideas in the modern world. Sure, my dad was considered ‘hard-core’ Catholic, but he only brought us to Church every Sunday, he didn’t force us (overtly, at least) into being just as hard-core. And then this supposed friend of mine came out with statements like this, without respecting the fact that I already, technically, had my own religion.
    And then I thought about Catholicism, and how my dad’s acceptance of the situation had definitely not come from religion but from the fact that he was a person, and all this other crap sort of came tumbling down…
    That was about 5+ years ago, and only recently I’ve been thinking about it again, and it’s becoming more and more clear to me.

    A lot of people say that children made them turn to God because religion and morals and shiny heaven and guiding children… Well, children made me turn away from god, because I just couldn’t see the point, when there was a truly magically REAL world all around that people were ignoring in favour of some obscure cult.
    Because in my mind, having a new human being and baby trumps any kind of sinfulness, in the end.
    And that’s some more of my story. :)

  18. says

    Same here. It was a really weird experience reading the books, because the writing was terrible and yet some of the peripheral characters and world-building were kind of interesting.

    My riffing friends and I speculated once that the difference between so bad it’s good and so bad it’s just horrible is if the work has a redeeming quality or a sense it could be salvaged. Pure incompetence is funny, some good ideas ruined by incompetence is tragic and frustrating.

  19. says

    Here’s a Moment of Mormon Madness, also book-related. This MMM was brought to my mind by the Twilight discussion up-thread.

    Utah sent a Glenn Beck-approved End Times novelist to congress in the form of Chris Stewart. During his primary campaign, Stewart’s supporters chanted, “The prophecy has been fulfilled! The prophecy has been fulfilled!” This mormon guy is also a former Air Force Pilot. (Book reviewers have called him “a Mormon Tom Clancy.” Endangered Utah Democrats call him, “Glenn Beck on steroids.”) In Stewart’s “Great and Terrible” series of books, there are characters like a Saudi crown prince that is also an agent of Satan. There’s an electromagnetic pulse aimed at the USA.

    When talking to mainstream media sources, Stewart is careful to distance himself from theology, and to claim his books are just entertaining fiction. But to LDS media sources he reveals his mormon underpinnings. When you read even snippets from the books, the mormon influences are obvious to any mormon, or to anyone reasonably informed about mormonism. It figures that a mormon author would think he is being subtle when he is being a blunt instrument for building the cult. Here’s what Stewart told Meridian Magazine, an LDS publication:

    “The timing for events of the last days can catch us unaware as well,” he said. “It is why we listen to the prophets and why we read the scriptures to be prepared. In the Book of Mormon, Samuel the Lamanite came and gave them a five-year warning before Christ’s birth. Maybe we’ll get that.”

    Read through the reviews on Amazon and you’ll see that readers get the mormon message:

    “The author provides an eerie review of how Satan and his minions may influence us in our decision-making and life directions,” writes one reviewer. Another adds: “I’m taking stock of our storage of food, water, medicines, and the means to protect ourselves and our neighborhood” in the event of an EMP strike.

    In an oh-my-god-no turn of events that involves a vulnerable young female, this male of the twisted-brain mormon priesthood variety is going to write the memoir of Elizabeth Smart. Or, if you wish to go with the propaganda version, he will be aiding Elizabeth Smart as she writes her memoir.

    Smart is also a mormon. She is the young woman who was abducted (in 2002) as a teenager by a radical, fundamentalist, polygamist mormon crazy dude. (“Homeless street preacher” was the acceptable, politically correct description of the kidnapper, but if you read the whole story you find out the guy lectured his victim with mormon scriptures, scriptures she already knew by heart.) Smart was raped multiple times, brainwashed, and held captive for nine months.

    Smart is now 25 years old, married to an RM (Returned Missionary), and attending BYU.

    I give her tremendous credit for surviving and recovering. But her immersion in the mormon culture, including hiring a crazy mormon guy to write her memoir, is troubling. It does not bode well.

  20. says

    That actually raises a question I have. how are Mormons into end times philosophy at all when the theology states that the world will continue until all have either explicitly accepted or rejected the Gospel? Doesn’t that sort of rule out any “fuck the unlucky late commer unbelievers” rapture bullshit?

    Fear of the end times puts coin in the pockets of people like Glenn Beck and Chris Stewart. Fear and high drama associated with the end times put tithe-paying sheeple in the church pews. Therefore, it is perfectly hunky dory to promulgate two conflicting strains of mormon dogma.

    First, there’s the “spreading the gospel to all nations” concept. Mormons even take credit for most of our modern communication network. As one ex-mormon put it, “modern inventions and advances were the direct result of the ‘priesthood’ being on the earth, and that they were mostly to enable the gospel to go forth to all nations.”

    Here is more detail from ex-mormon “Uncle Dale,”

    I’ve head members say that practucally *ALL* the technological and social advancement made on the planet, since the mid-19th century, was due to the spiritual “empowerment” of the USA, as the destined “Land of Promise,” re-blessed in 1830, by the rise of Mormonism.

    This line of thinking only corresponds to the earliest Mormon claims, if we picture the world having ended somewhere around 1833-1834. But the world did not end, and the great “gathering to Zion” in Jackson County, Missouri was a failure. Mormonism never became the dominant factor the American/world society.

    One of the two self-negating LDS claims must, obviously, be wrong — either the Saints will gather to Zion, while the rest of humanity is destroyed, or else humanity as a whole, will go on progressing, developing, evolving. I think that the alternative between these two ideas was decided during the infamous Zion’s Camp.

    With the Jackson County “Zion” a demonstrated failure, the Mormons went through about 150 years of promising to one day “redeem Zion” from the wicked Gentiles. … all hope of that political outcome diminished. And after 1847 it became little more than an unfulfilled memory.

  21. carlie says

    It just occurred to me – in minimizing child rape by saying that learning about hell is a much larger, bigger, important issue, Dawkins has that entirely in common with the Catholic Church.

  22. says

    I have often wondered if mormon leaders have decided that fulfills the spreading-the-true-gospel-to-all-nations clause of the end-times prophecies.

    They’re still big on sending out missionaries, so maybe not? Or perhaps the faithful have to continue marching in faithful lockstep even after the clause has been fulfilled, all in order to remain worthy of entrance into the Celestial Kingdom? Or maybe they are not yet done necrodunking all the dead Jews?

    I’ve heard many mormons claim that a Romney presidency would fulfill one of the predictors of the approach of the end times, (in a manner that is good for all mormons according to their view, and in a satisfyingly horrible way for all of us non-believers). They were quite confused when Romney lost.

  23. says

    For those who might like to read more about mormon doomsday preparations, here’s a thread in which ex-mormons discuss the preparations and beliefs of their true-believing relatives:,482741

    My brothers and I actually found a cave carved/blasted into the base of a cliff in an Idaho mountain range. The manmade steel door was off its hinges and the cave no longer contained end-times supplies, but a local rancher later confirmed that his end-times-obsessed mormon neighbors had modified an existing cave decades ago to use as a sanctuary during the apocalypse. I wonder if the twenty feet of winter snows gave them a reality check.

    There are also some food storage sites in the ice cave located in the old lava flows west of Idaho Falls, Pocatello and Blackfoot. I think these used to be carefully maintained, but have since fallen into disuse. Interestingly, mammoth hunters used some of these natural refrigerators to store meat.

  24. says

    Good evening

    Best wishes to Bossnurse.
    And since I can imagine that this must be a horrible day, so short after thanksgiving apart, remember that by christmas you’ll be together and in a much better situation.

    No, Pünktchen comes from the Erich Kästner* children’s book “Pünktchen and Anton”. #1 named her rabbit “Anton”, so we wnet for Pünktchen for the little one’s.

    Dawkins again
    Could those atheist guys please just STFU about rape not being as bad as X, especially when nobody asked them? I could understand if Harris or Dawkins had fucked that up when somebody asked them out of the blue, but you’ve got to be very dismissive of rape if that’s your go-to for “something that’s not as bad as X”
    *Everybody knows at least his Double Lottchen, which even made it to Hollywood: The story about the twin girls who grow up thinking they’re single kids growing up with a single dad/mum until they meet by chance.

  25. rq says

    Ing @30
    She is, at that… A very strong sociopathic role model. Because we really needed another one. :P

    And I +1 carlie, as well. I doubt he’d appreciate the parallel, though. Ha.

  26. rq says

    Actually, I also know Puenktchen and Anton, or Punktiņa un Antons, as they’re known here. It’s a classic children’s play usually presented right before the beginning of school.
    The Lotten story is also well-known, apparently used to be a children’s classic movie. Haven’t seen it, though, it’s for those who grew up here. One day I’ll have to look it up, though.
    Is the Little Witch originally German, as well? That’s a favourite in our house.

  27. says


    My wife is out driving around our new neighborhood, checking out the stores and she’ll time her trip to work on her way back to the hotel. She sent me a couple of pictures of the exterior of the new place. I just got done packing and cleaning the upstairs. I’ll pack the kitchen later today, and that will leave me five days to do the last two rooms.

  28. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    I suppose as a single parent who gets seen as male you get the worst crap of all worlds. Becuase probably nothing threatens their gender-ideas more than a single dad who manages without neighbouring housewifes cooking for them.

    I wouldn’t say the worst, but mainly because I’m pretty decent at insulating myself from people who have those attitudes. It’s more of a latent thing hanging over my head all the time, and I get “splattered” pretty regularly by strangers’ and acquaintances’ generalizations. That and the fact that my child sometimes seems more defenseless than usual against the PINK SHIT messages, and a lot of people seem to be very, very eager to push her into conventional feminine roles, despite her broad range of interests. :/

    The other thing, though, is that the way people were talking about the conflicting messages and unwinnables and constantly changing rules rung a lot of bells with my own experience trying, and trying to try, to fit in with neurotypical social expectations. Which I have memories of experiencing being yelled at for thinking was actually at all a big deal, though I suppose someone may come along and “correct” me… :/

  29. rq says

    Sorry, Azkyroth, didn’t quite parse that last sentence. :/ Please expand? I’m curious about your perspective on this, if you don’t mind sharing more.
    And any way I can express my support? Hugs, drinks, lots of hand clapping? :)

  30. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Caine (#501), I do not think that Dance Me Outside would count as a movie made by NAs. It was based on a collection of short stories by the same name written by W.P. Kinsella. While Kinsella has written a lot of stories about NAs, he is not NA. It does not seem that Bruce McDonald, the director, is NA either.

  31. Tony ∞The Trolling Queer Duck∞ says

    I wonder, if/when Dawkins’ comment is blogged about around FtB, how much of an uproar there will be from some irrational atheists who blindly support him. I also wonder if Rebecca Watson will write about it.
    Are there any figures detailing the success rate of converting people to Mormonism?
    Thanks for sharing your story. I can’t believe your friend giving you religious grief like that. The difficulties in being pregnant are enough without having people add to it with that crap.
    ICK. Sorry you had to read that Twilight crap.
    ISTR SMeyer being vague about the Mormon influences on her Twilight shit. It’s funny because I thought she was proud of her faith. It almost seems like she’s embarrassed. More likely she downplayed it to appeal to a broader range of people.

  32. says

    BossNurse tells me to send her thanks to you awesome peoples here, and doesn’t want me to tell you exactly what she bought but she got to spend a few hundred bucks on herself and that hasn’t happened in a very long time. So she’s having a pretty good day, considering.

  33. Tony ∞The Trolling Queer Duck∞ says

    Fantastic. She deserves to do that. Hopefully soon you will too.

  34. Tony ∞The Trolling Queer Duck∞ says

    Once I hit adulthood, I pretty much stopped asking for anything on my birthday. I certainly take no issue with family & friends choosing to do something for me, but I don’t need anything else.

  35. says

    Are there any figures detailing the success rate of converting people to Mormonism?

    Short answer: There are no accurate figures.

    Long answer: Over the years the LDS Church has continued to shorten the time and the required steps between a missionary’s intro of mormonism to potential convert and that convert’s baptism.

    More and more the emphasis has been on suckering people into baptism, after which it is assumed they will be committed to the church.

    Ex-mormon missionaries report all kinds of deceptive tactics used to get people to the baptismal font, including using good-looking young men to play on the emotions of young women, recruiting young boys to play baseball or basketball with missionaries, disguising proselytizing as providing English lessons, hiding most mormon dogma from “investigators,” and actually refusing to let go of someone’s hand until they agree to be baptized, baptizing drunks and drug addicts, approaching people who are ill or in other stressful situations, etc. “Flirt to convert” is a standard tactic.

    The LDS church counts all baptized persons as members. Converts who are baptized, but who may never again show up are still counted.

    Ex-mormons discussing “challenging” converts to be baptized:,610758,611043

    Ex-mormons discuss the church’s obsession with numbers of converts over quality of converts:

    Ex-mormons discuss the real membership count of LDS church wards:,711836,712901,quote=1

    In my mission 10% of the people on the records of a ward actually came at least once in a given year. If thats at all indicative of the LDS church as a whole, I would guess their true numbers are closer to 2 million. Except there are places like Utah and Idaho, where almost everyone goes to church to avoid being a social pariah in their neighborhood/ward, so the actual numbers will maybe be up in the 3-5 million range. I would be shocked to find that more than 5 million people ever go to the LDS church.

  36. says

    Ex-mormon, Nevin Pratt, gets into the data regarding converts, converts retained, membership numbers, etc.:

    Claimed membership went from 14,131,467 to 14,441,346, which would be an increase of 309,879.

    The church says they had “Children of Record” (COR) additions of 119,917.

    The church claims 281,312 new converts were baptized during 2011.

    119,917 (COR) + 281,312 (CONVERTS) = 401,229 total increase, which is 91,350 higher than their claimed increase of 309,879. Presumably this difference of 91,350 is due to deaths, because even if they are all deaths, it still isn’t enough statistical deaths for that large of a population. So, I will label the 91,350 as DEATHS, even though the church does not explicitly identify this group.

    With a convert retention rate of 30%, the 281,312 converts will result in 84,394 remaining converts after the first year.

    84,394 (CONVERTS) + 119,917 (COR) – 91,350 (DEATHS) = 112,961 (INCREASE). This does not include removal requests (where people resign from the church), and also is about 7,000 fewer that the similar 2010 calculation showed, again not counting removal requests.

    Even if you do not include the 30% convert retention rate calculation, but instead list ALL converts, it results in a “growth” rate of 2.19%, which is the lowest growth rate since 1947, using their own statistics.

    Their 2011 statistics show an increase in wards & branches (UNITS) of 124. If you take their reported increase of 309,879 divided by 124, it means that each new UNIT averaged 2,499 members. But when you take the total reported members of 14,441,346 divided by the total reported UNITS of 28,784, you only get 501.7 members per UNIT. Comparing 501.7 to 2,499 strongly suggests bad data is being reported by them somewhere– or, at the very least, it is strongly indicative of a convert retention problem that is not otherwise being reported. Also reporting DEATHS at a rate significantly lower than census statistics indicates bad data is being reported by them somewhere. And the total lack of resignation data in their current records reports again indicates bad data is being reported by them somewhere….

  37. Tony ∞The Trolling Queer Duck∞ says

    Thank you for the links.
    Given the underhanded tactics employed by the LDS church, is it possible that the Twilight books and movies are an attempt to sway people to Mormonism in some way?

  38. says

    Here’s one of many stories detailing the deceptive tacts used by mormon missionaries:

    … Most of us are familiar with missionary techniques for increasing numbers: quick teaching and baptism of children and teens and going after those “in transition,” such as people who have experienced a death in the family, loss of job, or other instability. In his excellent article, “I-Thou vs. I-It Conversions: The Mormon “Baseball Baptism” Era,” Michael Quinn explains how pressure for numbers drove these tactics, reaching their nadir in the era of the “Baseball Baptisms” in Britain in the 1960s.

    At least I thought that was the nadir until I read about “The Groberg Era” in the Tokyo South Mission in the late 1970s and early 1980s. …

    To achieve these goals, Kikuchi and Groberg implemented what they called the “Investigator Extraction” method. …

    [Missionaries] were instructed to use the major traffic centers as a resource pool, and make street contacts through a variety of cheap tricks, the most popular being to offer English lessons and tutoring ….

    Missionaries were to target teens, young adults, and needy types in their street contacting. These were “easy marks.” They were to take advantage of a certain Japanese reluctance to directly disagree or contradict in face-to-face interaction, and were given techniques on how to establish an easy rapport and how to get the “mark” to constantly agree with the missionary. A pattern was developed so that the missionary could steer the conversation and control it. Then the missionary would get the “mark” to agree to go with him/her and talk briefly about Something Very Important.

    The missionaries were to MAKE CONTACT AND NOT LOSE IT. They were to bring the “mark” to whatever teaching center had been designated and begin indoctrination immediately.

    The six missionary discussions were rewritten and condensed into six five- to ten-minute presentations. It was dramatized and made very charismatic. Missionaries were advised that they could “teach” all six discussions at once “if so directed by the spirit.”

    instructed to challenge the “mark” to baptism, immediately.

    If the “mark” accepted, missionaries were to contact their zone leaders and schedule a baptismal interview. Zone leaders were never more than ten or fifteen minutes away by train.

    Apartments/teaching centers/meeting-houses were all equipped with makeshift “baptismal fonts.” If the “mark” accepted and passed the “interview” (who would not? almost nobody failed it!), the “mark’ was loaned a white jumsuit or shift, and baptism immediately followed the six lessons and interview, witnessed by the Zone Leaders. Confirmation followed, again witnessed by the Zone Leaders…..

    … The entire process (contact to confirmation) was timed and refined until it was streamlined down to approximately 1.5 HOURS.

    The missionary was to exchange contact information (address and phone #) with the “new member,” give them a Book of Mormon, and give them a small map showing them where church services were held, times, etc.

    The contact was “allowed” to depart.

    New baptism statistics were posted weekly in the mission newsletter, to increase the level of competition among the missionaries….

  39. says

    Given the underhanded tactics employed by the LDS church, is it possible that the Twilight books and movies are an attempt to sway people to Mormonism in some way?

    There’s no conspiracy to use those books and movies to sway people to Mormonism. However, everything most mormons do ends up being in the service of Building the Kingdom. It’s just their default position.

    If you sit next to a table full of mormons at a restaurant in Utah, you will hear them talk about their daily lives in terms of church goals and church activities. The LDS Church dominates their thoughts, their conversation, their activities.

    If you spend Thanksgiving with mormon relatives, you will most likely find that every minute of that day, and every food served, is flavored with mormonism.

    The author of the Twilight books cannot escape her mormonism. Congressman Chris Stewart does not exist separate from his mormonism. Romney’s sense of entitlement and his failure to predict his loss was based in large part on his mormon faith. Romney’s campaign did not exist outside of his mormonism for him. All the people he trotted out to testify to his humanness and generosity were fellow mormons. Every damned one of them. No exceptions.

    Some mormons, like Harry Reid and Jon Huntsman, gain some distance from this largely unconscious drowning of everything in mormonism by distancing themselves from the dogma of the church, and from the daily activities the church requires. Reid is a convert. Romney is descended from generations of rabid mormons. That makes a difference too.

    No conspiracy is required when most of your sheeple automatically begin Building the Kingdom from their first waking moment every day.

  40. says

    So, got two wrap-around-the-neck hot packs done. One for grandma’s birthday and one for my little “christmas imp” we’re doing on another forum: Everybody gets one person to make a present and everybody gets a present, but from a different person.

    What you wrote about your experience rang something I had been thinking about for a while:
    We often claim, and rightly so, that religious morality is actually no morality at all, because it’s “do as I say or…”.
    But it’s also true that most religious people actually don’t get their morals there. They get their morals from the same place we all do: from empathy. They don’t teach their kids “don’t steal or you make baby Jesus sad” or “don’t steal or you go straight to hell”. They teach “don’t steal because the other person will be sad and you wouldn’t want somebody to take your stuff either.”

    BTW, “kids” is what made Mr. turn from “wishy-washy former Lutheran something beyond life” accomodationist ist a more gnu-like anti-thesist.

  41. rq says

    Tony @53
    That would be way too underhanded and sounds too much like a conspiracy theory. :) BUT, I might not put it completely past them to use the books in their own favour somehow.

    Which is why I’m beginning to wonder why people hang on to religion at all (the morals thing).
    I grew up with it (lots of church) and I kept it up myself (I like churches and when I went away to study, I needed something familiar, so I went to church every Sunday; eventually I joined the choir because I also needed some music in my life, but it was about the least religious church choir I’ve ever experienced or heard of – I believe the entire men’s section, barring one tenor, was gay, and openly so), but it was a comfort thing. While I still enjoy going to churches to visit (not during services), it’s for the architecture, the colours, the art, the music, the acoustics, the peace, the human genius of the building, the emotional investment…
    They should leave them open as monuments to period art and suffering. No more running around fooling people into guilt trips and wrong choices and denial of self.

  42. says


    Caine: wow. Is your home a big one? Or maybe with a sizeable yard?

    Yep, monster house with monster yard. We have two large cat kennels with window access for the cats.


    Caine, you got me beat by 1 cat and 24 rats, but we are babysitting a 120 lb. Swiss Mountain Dog who presently dwarfs our pitbull-boxer mix. 120lbs of unguided meat.

    Oy, my sympathies. Jayne is 120 lbs of serious, enthusiastic stupid.

    Theophontes, Theo doesn’t need to share his scritches, Merlin is doing fine. Theo may not get any scritches for a day or two, though. He led the troops onto one of my high worktables last night (a forbidden and usually inaccessible place), after spending some time chewing and figuring out just how to get up there. He’s a schemer.

    In other rat news, Amelia has decided that time with Mister is so precious (she gets very upset when he leaves every week), that he is no longer allowed to shower alone. She jumps right in the tub and hangs out with him while he takes a shower.

  43. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    [Harry] Reid is a convert. – Lynna

    I can just about grasp an otherwise intelligent person remaining imprisoned within such an obvious bunch of lies and hogwash as Mormonism if they were raised in it, but how the fuck could a person with more intelligence than a barnacle become a convert?

  44. says

    strange gods before me @65:

    Searching for “baseball baptisms” led me somewhere interesting:

    Yes, Quinn’s story was, (and is), heavily discussed on ex-mormon forums. One of his books used original source material to show that the mormon official end to polygamy in Utah was essentially a sham. He documented the General Authorities that remained married to more than one wife, the mormons who moved to Mexico and Canada to continue polygamy, etc. Good historian, and therefore an excommunicated mormon.

    This is from strange god’s link:

    In an April 2006 Wall Street Journal article, reporter Daniel Golden wrote that Quinn has become unhirable because almost all the funding for professorships in Mormon studies comes from Mormon donors. In 2003, Brigham Young University threatened to withdraw funding for a conference it was co-sponsoring at Yale if Quinn were allowed to speak.[citation needed] More recently Arizona State University administrators vetoed the department of religious studies in its recommendation to hire Quinn. ASU faculty believe officials fear alienating ASU’s 3,700 LDS students and offending Ira Fulton, a powerful Mormon donor who, according to Golden, has called Quinn a “nothing person…

    If ever you doubted that mormons in the morridor can ruin someone’s financial life, doubt no longer. Note that mormons also managed to affect a conference at Yale and hiring policies at Arizona State University.

    Theological thugs.

    Slate article about Michael Quinn, November 1, 2012

    “I have a hard time with historians, because they idolize the truth. The truth is not uplifting.” — mormon apostle, Boyd K. Packer

  45. rq says

    I just saw Commander Adama in the Green Hornet.


    Moment of courage: Eldest son asked for a purple fall jacket, and I bought one, in a beautiful shade of purple. I’m just so, so sad it’s much too large for him, but now I cross my fingers and hold my thumbs that he’ll still want that colour when he grows into it.

  46. says


    More rat stories! More rat stories!

    Ummm, let’s see…

    Mister has been training Amelia to pocket dive (in his T-shirt pocket) for treasure (specifically, certs). Amelia keeps on trying to do things the rat way, which means creating another entrance (read: chew hole in bottom of pocket). They go through this Abbot and Costello routine every week. Anyway, the upshot is that it’s Mister who has been effectively trained – he doesn’t dare show up home without awesome treats in his pocket.

  47. says

    Ex-mormons discuss Michael Quinn’s article that appeared in Vanity Fair:,672622,672622

    Ex-mormons discuss Michael Quinn’s article about post-Manifesto polygamy:,672622,672622

    Ex-mormon Steve Benson writes about his September, 2012 conversations with Michael Quinn:,645763,645825

    Further discussion by ex-mormons, including Steve Benson, about Michael Quinn’s fresh predicament as of September, 2012:,301265,301319

  48. says

    …how the fuck could a person with more intelligence than a barnacle become a convert?

    People believe what they are told by multiple sources. They seldom take the time to do their own research. Some don’t bother to apply their usual rigorous rules to their religion. Some do not even know how to vet various sources of information even if they do some research (though I wouldn’t put Harry Reid in this category).

    Most of Pharyngula’s readers know more about mormonism than LDS church members do. The LDS church does an excellent job of discouraging intellectual curiosity, of keeping its people too busy to look into non-church sources, and of scaring the bejeezus out of them with threats if they disobey.

    I don’t know for sure, but my bet is that Harry Reid would not destroy his established network of power just because he had doubts about mormonism.

  49. Tony ∞The Trolling Queer Duck∞ says

    Whats worse–many people dont think animals are intelligent. I believe many animals put the lie to that.

  50. chigau (無) says

    I just spent some time at Rattitude looking at the baby pictures.
    They were all sooooo cuuuuute!

  51. says


    I just spent some time at Rattitude looking at the baby pictures.
    They were all sooooo cuuuuute!

    Too cute by far. It pretty much guaranteed they weren’t going anywhere.

  52. rq says

    In all kinds of ways.
    Although I don’t know if it’s always intelligence, but just human blindness born of arrogance, which makes us complacent and easy to fool.

  53. carlie says

    Finally did the annual “cover up all the windows for the winter because they are the suckiest windows ever made” ritual today. I hate doing that. I’ve gone to at least one layer of 4 mil plastic on each, because we don’t pull the curtains back often in the winter anyway and light can still get through. Feels so rotten to have to eliminate the possibility of fresh air, though. But we do keep the kitchen window uncovered (obviously, sometimes you need to open them to let the smoke out!) and the bay window in the front stays clear so we can at least see outside. Blargh.

  54. says

    We’re having the opposite here, Carlie. I just ran the air conditioner for the first time yesterday – ten minutes of dustiness as it clears out from the winter disuse.

    I have two cats, Archie and Zeppo. (AKA Fluffbucket and Squeecat.) Our general idea is to keep the cat numbers in the range from 1-3.

  55. says


    I have two cats, Archie and Zeppo. (AKA Fluffbucket and Squeecat.) Our general idea is to keep the cat numbers in the range from 1-3.

    Yeah, we’re at 4 cats, and it is one too many. We’re got Randall aka Boobie, Boobs, Boobilicious… today is his sixth birthday! Ellie is a year younger than Boobs, Lucy is a year younger than Ellie, and Lily is around 2 years old.

    We don’t know how old exactly Lily is, since I picked her up off of the porch of a condemned house. The folks who got kicked out just… left her. I’m glad I rescued her, because she’s a little tiny thing with very little body fat and not much in the way of toughness or badassery. I can say that for sure, because she refuses to leave my office because she’s afraid of the other cats.

  56. says

    Improbable Joe:

    “Rat riot” sounds like a mass of adorableness… but as a former rat parent myself, I assume that in reality it involves a lot of biting.

    No, unless you count biting the sammich. Much fighting over the bits of sammich I gave them, though. It’s their first time with tuna, which is usually very popular.

    Gytha was beyond adorable, she grabbed a piece of tuna and proceeded to chew it with an expression of dreamy bliss on her face. I’m gonna have to start buying tuna for them now.

  57. cicely says

    Also joining the Concerned About Ogvorbis Club.

    Animal companions? 4 cats. Plus the inadvertent skunks, possums, and raccoons who think we’re running a buffet. Oh, yes, and the squirrels who think we’re living in a buffet.

    Oklahoma judge sentences guy to ten years of church attendance, thinks it’s probably constitutional.

    That sounds OK.

    Joe: Happy birthday to BossNurse, and to your…Boobie(???).

    I read the Twilight books.

    By the time I started through them, I’d heard just enough to be aware that there was an unusual religious bias to them (the Mormon underpinnings), which I thought might be an interesting change from the dominantly Xian bias (crosses, holy water, consecrated ground). But Belle is a wet noodle, and Edward is clearly some sort of stalker-fae (not a vampire at all, properly speaking), and the werewolf thing could have been interesting, but not as much as you’d think, and then there’s the whole “imprinting on infants as mates” thing, which isn’t creepy at all…. So, yeah. Interest lost.

    […]“modern inventions and advances were the direct result of the ‘priesthood’ being on the earth, and that they were mostly to enable the gospel to go forth to all nations.”

    Ridiculous! Everyone knows that the Intarweebs were mostly to enable pr0n to go forth to all nations!

    And also, cat pics.

    It just occurred to me – in minimizing child rape by saying that learning about hell is a much larger, bigger, important issue, Dawkins has that entirely in common with the Catholic Church.

    *chocolate liqueur*

    They don’t teach their kids “don’t steal or you make baby Jesus sad” or “don’t steal or you go straight to hell”.

    Except when they do. My anecdata: a woman here in Springfield was running a daycare/pre-school out of her home; a co-worker of mine (and a generally very religious woman) was appalled to hear that her 3-year old grand-daughter was being taught, there, that “if you don’t pick up your toys, baby Jesus will cry”, and “if you don’t do what you’re told, you’ll go to hell”. The grand-daughter was hastily removed from that situation, but for all I know, that daycare could still be in business.

  58. says

    How the hell is it that Singularity enthusiasts manage to only consider Technological solutions to human problems? How do you look at AGW and think “Von Neumann Scrubbers!” instead of “Reduce emissions”. Reminds me of Mechanists and Atomists in Genius: The Transgression.

  59. says

    But Belle is a wet noodle, and Edward is clearly some sort of stalker-fae (not a vampire at all, properly speaking), and the werewolf thing could have been interesting, but not as much as you’d think, and then there’s the whole “imprinting on infants as mates” thing, which isn’t creepy at all…. So, yeah. Interest lost.

    It actually occurred to me the other day that Bella was essentially a self-insert into a bastardized Anne Rice fanfic. Edward is a combination of Louis and Lestat. On the Lestat side, he reads minds and had used this ability in the past to only kill people who deserved to die and he’s a remarkably gifted musician. On the Louis side, he loathes himself and doesn’t enjoy being a vampire. And then the creepy side of Louis–an inappropriate relationship with a little girl vampire–got sloughed off onto Jacob.

  60. says


    How the hell is it that Singularity enthusiasts manage to only consider Technological solutions to human problems?

    It’s the age we live in, the technological age. Also, for a lot of people, it’s simply easier to believe that somehow or another, technology will somehow magically pull us back from the brink of utter catastrophe, so no worries, eh? Magical thinking for modern times.

  61. Esteleth مقدس پنیر اور بسکٹ کے ساتھ says


    So, the kinfolk and I went to the movies last night. We saw the new Bond flick, “Skyfall.”

    All in all it is pretty good.

    Except that my mother started going on about how OMG CREEPY the Javier Bardem character is, especially in the scene where he and Bond are threatening each other.

    Bardem’s character is a very hammy gay stereotype. Who attempts to creep Bond out by rubbing up against him (Bond makes a snide comment about how this isn’t his “first time” and appears utterly nonplussed, so they switch to more shooty/stabby/punchy methods).

    I asked my mom how that was any less creepy than a different scene featuring a man acting predatorily creepy towards a woman who wants him to go away (a woman who is much less badass than Bond), and she said, AND I QUOTE, “Well, it just IS.”


  62. chigau (無) says

    Every Engineering student I ever met believed “Technology got us into this mess, why can’t it get us out?”
    They don’t always get over it after they graduate.

  63. Socio-gen, something something... says

    Hello all! Stopping in while I eat a quick dinner before going back to writing papers.
    — —
    I am happily companion-free. It’s not that I don’t like animals, but I enjoy the freedom of being able to come and go as I please. Plus, my schedule is so packed that even house plants would be short-changed when it came to care.

    When my kids were still at home, though, we had animals. Over the years, there were several dogs, three cats, an iguana, a guinea pig, and three hamsters. One good thing about having kids and pets is that you usually get a few hilarious stories to tell.

    I take pride in being known in my family as “the one who ruined Twilight.” When my daughter and nieces first started reading the series and doing the “Ohhh it’s soooo wonderful” thing, I decided to read the books as well to see what they thought was so great.

    There was many a rant and many a passionate discussion of how this was not romantic but creepy and stalker-ific bordering on (and sometimes crossing right over to) abusive. I also talked with the older ones about how much Meyer’s depiction of a “perfect” romance lined up with my experience before marriage and how that turned out. Possessiveness, ragey freakouts, obsessive behavior, marriage and motherhood as the ultimate and only life goal, preferably to be achieved as early as possible? Check.

    The result was that I pretty much destroyed their ability to see it as romantic by the 3rd book. None of them could read without hearing my voice questioning why Bella was putting up with this or than crap. (Or so they said…)

    Improbable Joe
    Happy birthday(s)!

  64. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    *help* The Redhead appears to be watching Lifetime Movie Channel’s countdown to Xmas. I’m already bored out of my gourd with xmas movies, and I’m not really watching. */help*

  65. Menyambal --- in flagrante delicto says

    Yeah, Twilight is all bad relationships. The girl starts off with a bad relationship with her mom, then her dad, then the vampire kid. I tried to explain that to the local teen fangirl, and got a very snotty lecture about how I just didn’t understand anything about women. That girl is now in her 7th or 8th bad relationship since then, while I am married to the woman I was dating then, so huh.

    Socio-gen, I wish I’d managed what you did. Kudos.

    The girl is a dead ringer for the authoress, by the way. I think they call that sort of thing a “Mary Sue”.

    My big question is still this: Why were the vampires attending high school? If they’d pretended to be a few years older, they could have stayed home and avoided all kinds of trouble. (Oh, yeah, so that what’s-her-name could get the coolest guy in high school.)

  66. ibyea says

    When I went to watch Skyfall, while in a line for the ticket, I overheard some girls talking about Twilight. One of them mentioned about loving books and Twilight was bad and something about “burning it” when this other girl mentioned about Twilight and how some people liked it. It was amusing to hear this pre teen girl ripping on Twilight. ^_^

  67. Tony ∞The Trolling Queer Duck∞ says

    Pensacola is cold right now too (for this region). I think my normally non-existent nipples are so stiff they could cut through glass.
    I wonder what an Islam influenced teen melodrama meets horror lite book series would be like. Or even better—> Scientology.

  68. chigau (無) says

    Outside temperature is -15°C (about 5°F).
    I have a flannel nightgown, two quilts and a cat.
    I am quite comfy.

    I think I may hafta borrow that sparkly vampire stuff from the library.

  69. says

    Good morning

    I’ll answer you later today

    Your Mister has gorgeous hands, did I mention? I like them in the pictures :)

    After you mentioned the “grey sides” thing, I looked at Mr. His sides are much greyer than his top, whilewith me it’s the other way around.
    Explain that, Evophych!

    Baby Jesus again
    OK, at least around here they don’t. I’m pretty sure that baby Jesus usually doesn’t get mentioned outside the christmas story.
    Which means that at the moment I’m busy explaining the idea of “gods” to #1….

  70. Tony ∞The Trolling Queer Duck∞ says

    This is what is real: A woman feels pain. A woman feels fear. A woman knows she exists. A woman wants to live. She will fight and plead even when she is being poisoned to death by toxins in her blood or in our culture. A woman is a daughter, a friend, an organizer, a lover. Sometimes she is a dentist. Sometimes a man loves her enough to carry her broken body halfway around the globe.

    I came across this article at ALTERNET about Savita’s death. I really appreciated how the author described those elements that made Savita a person who was unique and worth saving (vs the fetus, which lacked all the above characteristics).

    [Heres hoping the blockquote & link work]

  71. Tony ∞The Trolling Queer Duck∞ says

    To anyone who is familiar with 50 Shades of Gray:
    the same blogger at SKEPCHICK who ripped apart Twilight is dreading the impending movie based on the book. I dont intend to read the book, but I’m curious: what is bad about it?

  72. says


    Your Mister has gorgeous hands, did I mention? I like them in the pictures :)

    I think so too! Mister doesn’t think so, though. He’s always been embarrassed about his “workman’s hands”. Silly man.

  73. Beatrice says


    I haven’t read the books, but I have been reading this hilarious review:

    Short story: naive (naive!) young woman meets rich (rich!) man, signs contract that she’ll become his submissive because he’s just dreamy. [sex scenes] [drama] [tormented childhood made him a deviant][sex scene] [drama] [he’s jealous] [sex scene][drama] [he follows/stalks/has someone else stalk her] [drama] [break up] [draaaaaaaaaaaama]
    Oh yeah, and that all happens in a couple of weeks knowing each other.
    And then there’s the second book…

    So, from what I have gathered from excerpts:
    – that’s not how you do BDSM, no seriously, it’s not
    – it’s creepy when someone follows your every move and calls or emails you every five seconds
    – no, interest in BDSM isn’t a consequence of traumatized childhoods
    – no, don’t buy her place of work!!
    – no, don’t follow her to another state when she visits mom!
    – no, manipulating a naive virgin into signing a contract that says you can do with her as you wish isn’t very nice (I mean, it’s fucking disgusting)
    – the girl character is such a badly written Mary Sue that Mary Sues everywhere are rolling their sky blue eyes and flipping her the red painted finger
    – …..
    – ….
    – lots more


    There is now an old guy in my neighborhood who thinks I’m a valet thief. I just wanted to help him, since he looked like crouching down to pick his valet up himself would be a problem.
    I just wanted to help :/

  74. birgerjohansson says

    I was too tired to think clearly this morning, and showed up for work. Only as I approached the entrance did I understand why there were so few people in the streets :-)
    — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —
    Sharing some fun reading:
    “Get Fuzzy: Masters of the Nonsenseverse” (reduced price Sunday-Monday)
    -Satchel re-creates the sinking of the Vasa by trying to flush a model of the battleship down the toilet.
    — — — — — — —
    “Cows of Our Planet (Far Side)”
    — — — — — — —

    It sucks when people misinterprets one’s good intentions.
    Sometimes, elderly get suspicious as a result of early dementia, which is even sadder.

  75. says


    There is now an old guy in my neighborhood who thinks I’m a valet thief. I just wanted to help him, since he looked like crouching down to pick his valet up himself would be a problem.
    I just wanted to help :/

    Elderly people often let their fear dictate their thoughts and tend to assume the worst because of it. So says the person who just officially reached ‘senior’ age.

  76. Beatrice says

    birgerjohansson ,

    I’m not blaming him for being suspicious, I just feel bad. I know he can’t know I wouldn’t have ran off with his money, but I still feel bad that someone thinks I’m a thief.

  77. ednaz says

    Tony – About 50 Shades of Grey

    Beatrice did very well explaining it.

    I will add it’s a manual on how to manipulate, control and abuse your SO.

  78. Beatrice says


    Now you won’t be getting any of the banana and chocolate bread I’m making. birgerjohansson, Caine, ednaz and anyone else hanging around will. But not you. :P

    I will add it’s a manual on how to manipulate, control and abuse your SO.

    Yup, definitely.

  79. opposablethumbs says

    thinks I’m a valet thief

    Well I would have to give some consideration to stealing Jeeves if I could (or rather, poaching his services, were he not so loyal to Bertie of course).
    Still no word from Ogvorbis? Does anyone have a non-ftb way of getting in touch just to see if he’s ok?
    hugs-kittehs-and/or-ratlets to all who would like some, especially those who are either far away from people they would like to be with, or lumbered with other people they would rather not have to deal with.

  80. says

    Still no word from Ogvorbis? Does anyone have a non-ftb way of getting in touch just to see if he’s ok?


    I haz them.
    The downside to being creative, skilled and competent is that small and easy projects quickly turn big and complicated…
    So, the hot-pack is evolving into a chinese dragon…

  81. rq says

    I don’t need none of your banana-whatever-delicious-stuff bread. I can make my own. :P

    But I compliment you on your succinct 50 Shades re-cap for Tony. Very well done, touching on all main abusive points.


    chigau @101
    If you read them expecting nothing good out of them, you might actually enjoy them in a weird, horrible kind of way – as you watch all the theories come true. :)


    Thank you for that, I’m joining the Worried About Ogvorbis Club, too. I hope you have some good (reassuring, at least) news soon!!!


    ednaz @119
    It definitely is a manual for that. I’m even having trouble getting through the negative re-caps, it’s that bad. Seriously makes me feel ill, and then I tried to talk to my sister about it, and she was all about how it’s just so objective and everyone has an opinion, right, so there’s no right way to look at it… *sigh* Well, I linked her to Jennifer Armintrout’s re-cap, and we’ll see if she changes her mind.


    Took the two elder sons to see The Nutcracker. I’d forgotten how much I enjoyed the music, and spent most of the two hours on the verge of tears (yup, classical music favourites will do that to me). The boys loved it, too, especially the younger one, who was mesmerized by the whole show.

  82. carlie says

    I haven’t read the books, but I have been reading this hilarious review:

    Thank you so much for introducing me to that. I started reading them and really liked them, then I got to this: “There is word for people who abandon their own problems and self-development to meddle with the problems and development of others. They’re called Britta.” and I think I fell in love.

  83. rq says

    You got to that point already? I’ve been working at it for more than a week, and I’ve only just made it past the Britta picture… :)
    And I agree, the whole thing is an excellent read, but I’m starting to not like it because the books seem way too long (even without reading them) and the re-caps are, in fact, depressing, because this shit is being glorified as some sort of exalted ideal to be reached.
    Anyway, must forge on to the end; better than reading the books themselves.

  84. carlie says

    rq – well, I was skimming and skipping around to the chapter headings that looked the most amusing. :) Have you read Mark Reads? That’ll keep you busy for awhile, too.

  85. ImaginesABeach says

    Heard this: on MPR yesterday. When I was in grade school, this was taught as the “Sioux Uprising of 1862” and they pretty much minimized the whole thing. BoyChild just finished a unit on the “US-Dakota War of 1862” where he wrote a paper explaining how the actions of the US government, white settlers and white traders led to the conflict, and how awful the US / white reaction was. I learned a lot from BoyChild, and more from this.

  86. rq says

    Definitely. :) Has a simple story (easy to follow dance moves), great music (Tchaikovsky) and some wonderful choreography. Lots of colours. As I posted over on ETEV: a lovely secular piece of Christmas magic, complete with wizard, far-off places, giant rats (or shrinking humans, as you wish), lots of glitter, and beautiful costumes.

    I could recommend other ballets, but I just love them and they’re also choreographer-dependent, for non-classic pieces (also sometimes someone decides to re-vamp a classic piece, with mixed results – example, Swan Lake). But Nutcracker is definitely a good place to start.

    Thanks for the link; it’s starting to look like I’ll never be out of reading materiel (I barely keep up with FtB as it is). :)

  87. rq says

    By ‘I just love them’ I meant I love ballet in general, and am willing to sit through quite a lot of crap, just because it’s labelled as ballet.
    For some awesome ballet prowess/co-ordination/synchronization, see this, especially the paired leap at the beginning.

  88. rq says

    By the way, carlie, did he read the Twilight books? The link seems familiar. IF he did, then I read those, and learned a lot about them in the process. I stopped reading when he did Harry Potter, because he was enjoying them too much.

  89. Beatrice says


    Thanks. I might gently direct mum towards tickets for The Nutcracker as a Christmas gift this year. :)

  90. says

    So, a funny thing happened on the way to Albuquerque…

    I was joking with my wife last night about going to Guitar Center and spending our whole moving money on guitar gear, or at least all of our decorating money. She was like “sure, go get something it is fine”… and I wasn’t going to, but then she told me that she’d already pulled a bunch of cash out of the bank account and what was left was actually spending money. And since she knows that her bonus check in on the way(confirmed that it was approved and signed through the payroll system) and it should arrive tomorrow or Tuesday…

    … I bought a reverb pedal. YAY! I had a reverb pedal, but I sold it for food back in September. So yeah and YAY! Just in time to play for two days and then pack it up along with everything else. I need to get it Velcro’d down on the board, so it doesn’t move around when I pack it. I could probably use to redo the whole thing, but that’s the sort of thing that derails packing entirely… I can do it as a separate project AFTER I do my obligatory two hours of real packing/cleaning.

    Speaking of which, I’m starting THAT work in 45 minutes, so nobody start yelling at me just yet… OK?

  91. rq says

    Improbable Joe
    I have my bullhorn on standby, just so you know.
    And YAY! for the reverb pedal. :) I’m happy for you!

  92. says

    Speaking of Twilight… I’m watching the Red Letter Media review of the most recent cinematic debacle. Yeah, I don’t need to see any of these movies or read any of these books. Life is too short, and my time is too valuable. I don’t have a job and I mostly sit and hang out with you people in between limping around the block with my dog, and even MY time is too valuable.

  93. Beatrice says

    Life is too short, and my time is too valuable. I don’t have a job and I mostly sit and hang out with you people in between limping around the block with my dog, and even MY time is too valuable.

  94. Pteryxx says

    Oi Joe, 45 minutes! *taps watch*

    Seconding thanks to Beatrice for recommending Armintrout’s review… it’d be too horribly depressing without the massive snark coating. I’ve already made loud laughing noises several times this morning.

    She also recommends her own Twitter: (JArmintrout)

    Which leads me to this: If you aren’t following me on twitter, you’re wasting your life and not using your internet time productively. I tweet all day long. I follow back. I am a tweet monster. And I will talk to pretty much anyone. The other day, I tweeted a picture of a candy bar that looked like a dick. If you weren’t following me, you missed that. Repent, and be healed.

    and she’s right…

    Jennifer Armintrout ‏@JArmintrout

    Look at a picture of Grumpy Cat. Now look at a picture of Wash from Firefly. What has been seen can never be unseen.

    Jennifer Armintrout ‏@JArmintrout

    @cjlemire You can’t take the sky from Grumpy Cat.

  95. says

    Alright, I have like 20 minutes left… and yeah. I put my box cutter and my marker in my pocket, and then took them out of my pocket, and now I have lost them. I am not going to get bogged down, I will just use a knife and a pen if I have to.

    But I have to walk my dog first.

  96. Beatrice says


    I could swear that I got the recommendation for Jennifer Armintrout here, so I think we should all be thanking someone else… I’m just not sure who mystery person is.


    Check the bathroom/toilet and the fridge. Lost things always end up in one of those places.

  97. says

    @ Caine

    [Theo] He led the troops onto one of my high worktables last night (a forbidden and usually inaccessible place), after spending some time chewing and figuring out just how to get up there. He’s a schemer.

    I am SUCH a proud virtual parent!

    @ All

    Egypt = Neo-Sudan?

  98. rq says

    Joe, I second Beatrice to find missing objects. Also, check other pants/coat pockets. Just in case.
    Weird how things wander off like that.

  99. rq says

    I suppose it’s unfair to be disappointed in someone’s second place, even if they’re taken firsts for so long…
    (Was watching skeleton again. They reach top speeds of 141 kph. Hurtling down ice head-first. I’m kind of stuck on the brave-stupid border on this one, yet I’m always suitably impressed.)

  100. carlie says

    I went to run one errand. One measly little errand. Some snow got thrown up on my driver’s window as I was driving. As I usually do in such situations, I rolled down the window to remove said snow.

    I’m sure you all know what comes next.

    And, of course, had we ever forced the kids to stack the wood that’s in the garage? No, of course not. Had we let all the summer tools pile up in there as well and not fall cleaned them out? Of course we had. IS IT SNOWING NOW? OF COURSE IT IS.

    Dammit dammit dammit dammit.

  101. says

    Good evening

    Well, so, you behaved like 90% of people, right?

    Yay for good things. I absolutely understand the necessity of those things to keep you from going crazy.
    And now get back to packing!

    Thanks for sending the mail to Ogvorbis.

  102. says

    So… yeah, that’s done. The upstairs is done except for disassembling the king-sized bed, which I will totally allow my movers to do on Friday. I’ve needed to recognize that the movers are movers and can do moving and I don’t have to do everything myself. I packed almost all of the small kitchen appliances, all of the spices and other dry/canned foodstuffs. In a little while, I’m going to pack all of the cookware and the last of the small appliances and whatever is in the kitchen drawers.

    That last bit is a stumper… how do you pack loose stuff like serving spoons and ice cream scoops and the like? I’m seriously thinking “dump in box, deal with on other side of move” and calling it a 5-minute job. :)

  103. carlie says

    Giliell – yeah, I know. But every time I thought about doing the garage cleaning, I’d think “at some point you’ll need to put the car in there, and it won’t be pretty”, but then I’d think “but we never use the garage for the car, so it doesn’t really matter, and what are the odds?” I’m hoping the window is just frozen down and will thaw, but knowing my luck, the motor is broken.

  104. says


    Nope, no idea what happened. And for a change I’m not going to joke about it either.

    Sign me up for being worried about Ogvorbis as well. I understand the need to take a break and walk away every so often, but this is a pretty long gap.

  105. Tony ∞The Trolling Queer Duck∞ says

    Thank you for the description of 50 SHADES. It sounds offensive and atrocious.
    A dump box for all that is probably what I would do as well. Alternately, you could wrap like with like in bubble wrap or saran wrap. Maybe a empty shoe box would work too.

  106. Tony ∞The Trolling Queer Duck∞ says

    I have now been sucked into the review of 50 SHADES by the blogger you linked to @112. OMG she(?) has done some serious work. From her comments on Bella, I’m guessing she has reviewed TWILIGHT too. This looks to be enjoyable.
    Arent you supposed to sit back in your PJs on the couch with a glass of wine and read a book? I’m going to do all that except read reviews of a book :)
    Odd question. As I’ve been exploring what functions my phone can perform, I noticed some strange characters on my keyboard. Does anyone know what the following are:


  107. says

    I’m thinking “dumping each drawer into a separate plastic shopping bag, and then all the bags go in a box” as my best of a bunch of bad ideas plan. I did a pretty good job with the spices, aided by the fact that I tend to buy the same 2-3 brands so they pack neatly together. I’m talking all non-fragile things, like metal measuring spoons and my spice grinder and the baggie thing for making cool frosting designs. The sort of stuff that organizing and packing could make a 5-minute job into an hour for no really great reason.

  108. opposablethumbs says

    € = euros (just as in $ = dollars)
    ¥ = yen
    £ = pounds sterling
    ¡ = what you put at the beginning of any phrase you’re going to end with a ! (in Spanish)
    ¿ = what you put at the beginning of any phrase you’re going to end with a ? (in Spanish)

    also, hi. And noooo twilight or 50-shades around here (ugh), but those reviews sound fun!

  109. Beatrice says


    Do take care not to choke on the wine, or ruin your couch by spewing the wine all over it. Yeah, she can be that funny.

    € Euro (currency)
    £ pound (currency)
    inverted question and exclamation mark are used in Spanish

    have no idea about the ¥, but I would guess Yen (currency)

  110. rq says

    from top down:
    Spanish punctuation (in front of an exclamatory sentence)
    Spanish punctuation (in front of a questioning sentence)

    Shaky on those last two, I’m sure someone can correct me, and they probably have other functions.

  111. rq says

    Dammit, Beatrice beat me to it.
    And yes, Tony, do take Beatrice’s warning to heart. She does a good job of snarky. She probably created the hat, for all I know.

  112. rq says

    Improbable Joe
    I would still say pack them into smaller bags or wrap them in cellophane or something, just to reduce noise. Unless you really enjoy the sound of small metallic objects shaking around some mystical box buried in the middle, which might or might not be something broken. :)

  113. Owen says

    I have it on good authority that 50 Shades is actually alternate-universe Twilight fanfic with the names changed. And having heard that, it makes way too much sense to me – flimsy 2-dimensional Mary Sue heroine plus OMGPERFECT creepy hero (well, male lead, anyway) plus fannish doing-it-wrong kinkiness. So now you can hate Stephanie Meyer even more…

  114. Beatrice says


    Yeah, I know that, but I don’t like using “ha ha it’s just fanfiction” as a derogatory factor since fanfics can actually be quite well written. It’s not all Mary Sue/Gary Stu crap.

    But yeah, it stinks that the author managed to publish a work of fanfiction as if it were original work.

  115. opposablethumbs says

    rq and Beatrice :-D hee! (I’m usually the last one)

    So now you can hate Stephanie Meyer even more…

    Is that even possible? (referring to hating her writing, anyway, rather than hating her as a person. I’d probably find her somewhat creepy, at a guess, though, if this is the kind of dreck she comes up with )

  116. Owen says

    My sister in law – from whom I learned that unpleasant fact – writes excellent fanfic, so I’m channeling her feelings of betrayal of her genre as well.

  117. thunk, cold air advection says

    Owen: So have I. It doesn’t change anything, but both works are a blot an humanity.

  118. Beatrice says


    Oh, sorry then. It was a short comment and I read it too uncharitably.

    Yeah, it really is an example of one of those fics that you automatically assume were written by a thirteen-year-old with a feeble grasp of both grammar and facts of life.

  119. rq says

    Considering the kind of language in the books (sentence structure, vocabulary, etc.) I am, in fact, extremely surprised they got published. I wrote tripe like that when I was 12 (seriously), and I read it now, and I know it’s bad. I wouldn’t dare send it to any publisher.
    I fully realize it’s all a money-making grab. But I’m still amazed at how low some people’s language skills bars are.
    I like my English grammatical and correct (mostly, anyway… I make my own mistakes).

  120. Tony ∞The Trolling Queer Duck∞ says

    See now I am curious who was SMeyer’s editor for the first book, as well as her publisher. I don’t know how bad the grammar and sentence structure were, but if they were lacking in quality to any degree, how did she get published?

  121. says

    I’ve noticed that publishing standards seem to be slipping a lot these days. I’ve been noticing more and more typos and minor continuity errors (wrong character name in a particular segment, that type of thing) slipping past the editors even in otherwise well-written books. I’ve also been noticing that I’m putting an increasing number of new books by new authors back down without finishing them, an incredibly unusual thing for me, simply because they read like stuff from a fifth grade creative writing class.

    Otherwise ‘rupt, but hugs all round, welcome back Caine, Crip Dyke, and others who’ve been gone. Add me to the list of Ogvorbis’ well-wishers as well,

  122. Esteleth مقدس پنیر اور بسکٹ کے ساتھ says

    Home from Turkey Day slumming with the Kinfolk.

    Tired. Beat the snowstorm. Dark clouds are piling on the horizon.

    *Makes tea* Anyone want a cup?

  123. rq says

    Meyer’s grammar and etc. was ok – not good, but mostly correct, though nothing approaching fine and particularly creative. James’ (50 Shades) grammar and sentence structure and choice of words is even worse.
    But both lack consistency in their arguments and presented facts.

  124. says

    Tony 180
    They were published by Little, Brown and Company, which is apparently now an imprint of Hachette USA, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hachette Livre. This brings up another of my pet peeves, which is the practice of endless nested subsidiaries, concealing who in fact owns what business interests. It makes even more of a mockery than usual of the idea of market influence through customer choice: if I don’t like the practices of company X and instead choose to patronize company Y, it’s virtually impossible to tell if they’re both the same because they’re part of company Z. If we can’t all the way to banning corporations from owning other corporations (there’s precedent in some states), we should at least ban the use of multiple names. If company X buys company Y, they should be legally required to start putting company X’s name, logo, etc. on all products, in place of any such signage for company Y.

  125. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    That last bit is a stumper… how do you pack loose stuff like serving spoons and ice cream scoops and the like? I’m seriously thinking “dump in box, deal with on other side of move” and calling it a 5-minute job. :)

    If you have any large tupperware-type things that’ll make it pretty simple. Dumping in a (smallish) box, with the knives positioned so they can’t possibly surprise anyone unpacking it, would probably work as well.

  126. rq says

    I’ll take one, ginger and honey if you have them. :)

    When you say things like that (putting new authors down), I start to feel glad I’m stuck with re-reading old favourites, due to my lack of freedom to peruse the bookstores. Is the situation that critical? Who are these new authors you’ve been putting down (out of interest)?
    The for-me new ones I’ve tried lately have been decent, although I take them by recommendation, mostly, except for one, who I discovered quite by accident. But I only read two of his early books, I don’t know if he’s gone downhill since then.

  127. Tony ∞The Trolling Queer Duck∞ says

    Dont forget bubble wrap. Lots and lots of it. Sooooo much fun to pop.
    Also fun to sneak up behind a cat and twist a handful and watch them dart off.
    I admit to being a stinker.

  128. says

    It’s not that bad in terms of new authors, really. It’s just that I’m one of those people who will almost always read through a book if I’ve gotten more than about a chapter into it, so I notice. Some authors that have stuck in my mind because I tried them recently are Robert Buettner, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, and Travis S. Taylor. I’d also recommend you stay away from anything John Ringo wrote after about 2006, but that’s a whole different story right there.

  129. rq says


    Why? What did John Ringo do?
    (I’ll keep an eye out for those authors in my giant pdf collection. Might be worth an attempt once I get through some of the better stuff!)

    One day one of the cats (or all of them, or I) will sneak up behind you with lots of bubblewarp, and *twist* – see how you like it!

  130. says


    He did (TW for sexual violence. Yes, in the reveiw. There are exerpts.)this. TL;DR: He wrote 50 Shades of Grey, only moreso, and with a lot more over the top action movie violence and teabagger propaganda. (I know, not teabaggers yet, but it’s the same damn stuff). Ever since that got published, he’s been handing the publisher batshit right-wing rants thinly disguised as fiction, and they’ve been publishing them, because people keep buying them.

  131. carlie says

    rq – please tell me you know of OH JOHN RINGO NO, possibly the best review ever written. TW: The book is terrible. Rapey, violently terrible, and is extensively referenced in the review.

  132. carlie says

    (also, my “best review” comment meaning “conveys the abject horror of reading something awful in a very palpable way”)

  133. rq says

    Nope, hadn’t heard of John Ringo, thanks Dalillama and carlie for that particular horror. :P
    Oh wait, checking out the link, I see I have in the recent past nearly bought one of his books (because they had the word ‘Paladin’ on them, I’m serious). I am now grateful that I didn’t!

  134. Menyambal --- in flagrante delicto says

    Lousy writing, bizarre sentence structure and faulty logic hasn’t stopped the bible from selling. I often argue that anyone who has little brain farts/tremors isn’t going to notice how disjointed it is—therefore, goofy people are religious.

    Yeah, I haven’t bought an e-reader of any kind since I haven’t heard of anything new that I want to pay money for. Seriously, the Twilight books are the newest things I’ve purchased. I bought them as presents for a pre-teen girl, and read the first one or two to try to be less staggeringly un-hip—it didn’t work.

    I’ve a cellphone that will let me read PDFs and text files, and I get those free off Gutenberg. They have other formats, of course. (They have some books from the mid-1900s, for you kids these days.)

  135. says

    and read the first one or two to try to be less staggeringly un-hip—it didn’t work.

    I’ve tried that sort of thing before. It never worked for me even when I was a teenager. I think that some of us are just doomed to live staggeringly un-hip lives.

    I get those free off Gutenberg.

    Manybooks has some by new writers too, looking for exposure. I’ve gotten great use from Gutenberg too, though.