1. says

    Oggie – you are silly.


    Latin experts – translation?

    Mea culpa, ecce signum,
    Corpus vile, coram deo
    Pactum serva,
    Scala caeli, gloria patri, pax et bonum
    Sine cura, vade mecum,
    Casus belli, lusus naturae

    Dies illa, velut luna, dona es virtum

  2. Ogvorbis: Exhausted and broken says

    Oggie – you are silly.

    Unless the conversation drifts to something I actually know something about, that’s pretty much all I’m good for.

  3. mythbri says

    Yes. Yes it is a pangolin type of day, because I had never seen one of these before!


    There is a painting rampaging its way through Facebook at the moment (FB is the only way I can stay in touch with some people – otherwise, the hassle would be more than enough for me to say goodbye to it forever) that shows a bunch of children in a classroom with a female teacher, hanging out with Jesus.

    This picture enrages me. It enrages me because of the message it carries – that these tiny kids, who were all around 6 years old, who were instantly snuffed out by an asshole with a gun and far too many bullets are somehow better off now. Because people believe in this fictional place in Heaven, they do not truly feel the magnitude of the loss. This isn’t enough to make them change. This isn’t enough for them to want change. This is just “one of those things” that happens. It’s sad for a long time, but those of us not intimately connected will forget about it all too soon, without any meaningful change having taken place.


    Seriously, what is the minimum amount of children required to die in a single shooting before we can move past the debate about even having a debate about gun control, and our mental health system?


  4. says

    @Katherine #2 – Best I can tell:

    My guilt, behold the sign,
    Weak body, before God,
    Keep the pact,
    The scale of Heaven, glory to the Father, peace and goodness
    Without care, go with me,
    The case for war, a freak of nature

    That day, like the moon, is giving virtue.

    Also known as the Balrog Boogie by the Diablo Swing Orchestra.

  5. says

    Ooh also I sent out the Merry Squidmass cards to a bunch of family members, not sure what to expect. There isn’t anything blatant on them, but with Fox’s war on xmas I am slightly worried a few may throw hissy fits.

    Just thought I’d share.

  6. Crip Dyke, MQ, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Crip Dyke: conscious and human, experiences spare time after a period without not dissimilar in length to the amount of time spent hibernating each year by a brown bear in the Canadian Rockies.

    …And her first morning experiencing said spare time involves FIrst Snow and her beloved husky.

    Wow. Even with the partner at work, this is a great morning.

    I’m pretending right now that I don’t have to clean the house of weeks of accumulated crap. For now, I slept in til 7, and didn’t pick up a computer til 8:30 (5:30 being more average on school days, as early as 4am sometimes since studying in the evening is Right Out). Glorious.

    Carlie – sorry things have been so traumatic. Nothing to that of the families in the Newton shooting itself, of course, but obviously so, so stressful. Being outside of the US, our girls didn’t get too much of this, mercifully.

    Portia – I just discovered a place nearby that makes vegan cupcakes. I have now had 2 – one after I finished my first final exam, one after I finished my last. I smell a delicious tradition developing.

    Have to read the “break a leg”” discussion – haven’t yet, though I noticed it existed. I suspect David Marjonovic is involved – the thread is always good for some education when he’s around.

    Best to everyone. I’ll be poking around much more regularly over the next couple weeks – for you good or your ill I leave to your judgement.


  7. Ogvorbis: Silly says

    I see pangolin and immediately ankylosaurus comes to mind.

    [pedant]More of a nodosaur. No club on the tail.[/pedant]

  8. says

    @Katherine #10 – Given how disjointed the phrases are, I suspect the writer just took random phrases from the Catholic liturgy and archaic expressions and strung them together. Describing them as “lyrics” is a bit generous, IMO.

    I had to look up lusus naturae; it literally means “game of nature” but was apparently used a few centuries ago to describe something that didn’t fit in with preconceived notions of “natural.”

  9. pHred says

    Finished grading the on-line discussion forum! Hurray – it’s chocolate time!

    Sigh, then I have to grade another set of submissions and stacks of exit slips before I can assign final grades. But still – chocolate – ooh – I can go to the bookstore and get peppermint hot chocolate! Even better!

    Can listen to the news at all – makes me either cry or get violently angry. Neither is helpful right now. Son (10) knows in general what happened, daughter (5) is being completely sheltered from it, thank goodness.

  10. says

    … also known as the Balrog Boogie by the Diablo Swing Orchestra


    I feel richer, somehow, for now knowing there is such a thing.

    (There always should have been, obviously.)

    … in other news, re enraging Facebook posts and That Thing That Everyone Is Talking About, I think I’ve generally made up my mind not to talk about That Thing That Everyone Is Talking About…

    … except, of course, where I mention that I’m not talking about it. Shouldn’t have said, should I have?

    Oh well.

    Sorta more seriously: it’s not that I think no one should talk about it, nor do I judge those who do (tho’ I can’t help judging those who say really stupid stuff about it, so sympathies, seriously, mythbri/#5, and suddenly, I’m oddly grateful to my Facebook friends, none of whom yet–knocks wood–has posted anything quite so sick making as that…)

    … and sure, maybe even it’s kinda a luxury I enjoy that I get not to talk about it. But then, I see this as kind of a service, really, I can provide, given this luxury…

    Ye, I can thus be a That Thing-free zone, for anyone who needs one. It’s a sort of guarantee, even. Talk to me, and I’m really very unlikely to say much about it, at least. If you bring it up, indeed, I’m likely even gently to change the subject.

    And I try therefore also to do things that have nothing to do with That Thing…

    … like this thing, for example (MP3), done on a sequencer for cello, piano, and bass… with a faint notion that if it gets to someplace that I like it enough I may actually redo it properly, with real instruments…

    (May have to recruit a pianist, mind… keyboards really aren’t my thing, thing is.)

    … also, I’m totally down with talking about food. Like those cookies I’m gonna have to whip out for tomorrow as my daughter volunteered them to her class partt. Great recipe. Standard chocolate chip thing, but w/ ground espresso, and one of my standards. Dunno if I’ve ever dumped it here previously.

    Wet mix:

    1/2 c butter
    1 c light brown sugar
    2 tbsp vanilla
    3 tbsp white sugar
    1 egg

    Dry mix:

    1-3/4 c pastry flour
    1/2 tsp baking soda
    1/2 tsp baking powder
    1/2 tsp salt
    ~ 2 tbsp fine ground espresso or any nice, dark coffee

    … and then a huge pile of semisweet chocolate chips, to taste.

    375 F, or 365 F in convection if you have it. 6-8 min or until gently browned.

    Method is the usual cookie thing. Cream the butter. It’s easiest just to leave it out a bit, first, obviously. Then pound the sugars into this. Add the egg and the vanilla, mix again. This is your wet mix…

    Mix the dry ingredients, add to wet mix until consistent. Stir in chocolate chips.

    I’m told they’re mildly addictive, and likely to get you invited back anywhere you bring them. Whether this has anything to do with the coffee, I’ll never tell.

    … and I’m serious about the pastry flour. If you’re stuck with general purpose, go a little lighter on it; might also work out.

    I also prefer real vanilla for this one. You’ve probably heard the real rule about artificial for baking, but these things, it just seems to work better. I think it’s something about the coffee being in there.

  11. chigau (違う) says

    lusus naturae not ‘game of nature’, ‘sport of nature’.
    Where ‘sport’ means ‘freak’.

  12. joed says

    Does anyone have any ideas about this.
    Worldwide the military kills women and children and all sorts of defenseless folks often. The shooters get rewards for the killing. These soldiers are at the peak of physical health. These killings are ordinary and usual and happen daily.
    Healthy humans are capable of the most heartbreaking, immoral acts.
    Psychologically speaking, why do non-military shooters go after the most defenseless of people.
    What really gets me to thinking is the question as to why these sort of tragedies are directed at the most defenseless of people?!
    Why don’t these shooters attack a police station or military base? Seems they don’t have an escape plan or end up killing self as planned any way?
    I am in no way suggesting that police and military bases should be attacked. I don’t want any human to be a victim of violence.
    Is there some psychological advantage(whatever that is) to going after children?

  13. says

    …And her first morning experiencing said spare time involves FIrst Snow and her beloved husky.

    Glad your First Snow experience is a good one. We’re getting it here just in time for my bicycle commute to work.

  14. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    Another thing…how happy can those kids possibly be without their loved ones? If heaven were real then all those childten are up there without their parents, siblings, or relatives.

  15. Rey Fox says

    Okay, that is actually cute.

    Whaddya mean, actually cute? All the other little woobies in previous Lounge episodes are chopped liver?

    Lynna: Do you have any stories specifically about Walmart in India? My pen pal from Delhi seems to be happily anticipating their arrival. And she’s an environmental economics student.

  16. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    Oggie, I didn’t mean to imply they were identical, just that there are similarities. Although pangolin with an ankly tail would be cool.

  17. Ogvorbis: Silly says

    Now joed is just spamming… is that three threads so far?

    That we know of. That is just on Pharyngula.

  18. Ogvorbis: Silly says

    Whaddya mean, actually cute? All the other little woobies in previous Lounge episodes are chopped liver?

    No. Just a personal observation. Sorry.

    Although pangolin with an ankly tail would be cool.

    Are you kidding? That’d hurt like hell!

  19. Beatrice says



    I miss this place, but somebody is incredibly demanding of my time!

    And how is somebody doing?

  20. Crip Dyke, MQ, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @ Tony – Of course!

    Unfortunately my computer has completely died – using Ms Crip Dyke’s computer. I can snap a pic w/ my ipod anytime, but I’m not sure how to upload it – w/ my bone problems, I tend t use the ipod only for music, not for things that involve typing.

    Thus you may have to wait a week for my ridiculously excessive, brand new 15″ macbook pro (yes, I have to pay it before it will turn on) with super modern retina display! and SSD! Not to mention apple’s super-traditional HEMSRP!*

    At that point, not only will I have my traditional method of uploading pictures, but I will also have a nigh-endless stream of old pics for you.

    But right now, I think you’re right: I need to take a pic of her in the snow!!

    *the HE = Hugely Enhanced

  21. says

    Hey folks, merry early and/or late whatever you celebrate. I’d love to be here more, but my only “chair” right now is the corner of my guitar amp and the aches and pains it is causing me to sit here keeps me off the computer, at least when I’m sober. :)

    Yay for Audley’s somebody! Tony, your prezzie is delayed ever so slightly but still on its way! Weird dinosaur-looking baby animals are cool!

  22. cicely (fair to partly cranky, with scattered umbrage in the afternoon) says

    Portia: re the job application—yay! Even if you don’t get it, or choose to take it, at least you won’t have to kick yourself that you didn’t try.

    This is also awesome. For smiles and WTFs.

    And here is the follow-up.
    (Hat tip: Propnomicon)

    Ogvorbis: your acquaintance is an asshat.

    Just thought you should know.
    Also, kudos for your ‘translation’ from the Latin @744 (previous [Lounge]. Brilliant!

  23. cag says

    I’m having problems getting my comments posted( i.e. Digital Cuttlefish), so this is a test on a blog where the WordPress logon works. On some other blogs there is no ability to logon to WordPress and I get a message about

    Possible Imposter
    You are attempting to post a comment with information (i.e. email address or login ID) belonging to a registered user. If you have an account on this site, please login to make your comment. Otherwise, please try again with different information.

    Does anyone else have this problem or a solution?

  24. cicely (fair to partly cranky, with scattered umbrage in the afternoon) says

    And here’s a late-breaking closing parenthesis to go with that: )

  25. Ogvorbis: Silly says

    your acquaintance is an asshat.

    Yeah. I kinda figgered that one out. I may be slow, but I eventually get somewhere.

    Also, kudos for your ‘translation’ from the Latin @744 (previous [Lounge]. Brilliant!

    You and Katherine need to get together. She says silly, you say brilliant.

  26. Beatrice says


    Good to hear that the little one is allowing you to sleep.

    In case anyone here uses Instagram (or just needs another reason to hate Facebook):

    Facebook has infuriated users of the photo-sharing and filtering service Instagram by changing its terms of service to allow it to sell peoples’ uploaded photos or related data.

    That means that Instagram photos could be used in advertising, without reference to the owner, with all the payments going to Instagram. There is no opt-out from that use except to stop using the service and to delete your photos.

  27. cicely (fair to partly cranky, with scattered umbrage in the afternoon) says

    That weather forecast linked @3 is wrong, as it inaccurately portrays the Apocalypse as being borne by meteorites, instead of by Horses (as will be the case). And it makes no mention of the peas at all—another important clue.

    I smell propaganda by the Pro-Horse Lobby. rq, where were you, when that lying, so-called “weather forecast” was released?

    Audely, happy, festive squid to you, too.

  28. cicely (fair to partly cranky, with scattered umbrage in the afternoon) says

    Cripes! I tried to take it back, but my finger had already pressed “Submit Comment”.

    Audley, apologies for ‘nym manglage. Hail Tpyos!

  29. Beatrice says


    And it makes no mention of the peas at all—another important clue.

    You have mistaken flaming peas for meteorites. And the Judgement shall rain on the pea haters!

  30. says

    JOED: If you can’t recognize the offensiveness of your question, your first response should be to KEEP IT OUT OF THE LOUNGE. NOW. Go toddle off somewhere else.

  31. says

    I’ve just about finished sequence 11 and I loooooooooooathe the naval missions*, so I’ve done what has been demanded and skipped the rest. I might go back to them eventually.

    AC3 has been great ‘cos I can easily just put in an hour at a time, even if it’s just collecting feathers ot wailing on red coats or whatever. Currently, I’m top 10% in the world for riots started, so there’s that, too. :)

    On a completely different note, DarkBaby now fits in the Thing 1 & Thing 2 pjs you bought her– they’re in the wash now and she’ll be wearing them tomorrow!

    *Still better than the tower defense bullshit in Revelations.

  32. rq says

    I was in a hell of my own (shopping again). I had nothing to do with that. I’d rather the horsies come and take over the world and I could play with them and run with them and fly with them all day long…

    re: the painting @5 posted by mythbri
    I’ve had that put up by friends on my facebook, as well as other posts, and I replied to one of them (posted about it yesterday here in Lounge). This painting, where the kids are all happy because they’re in heaven and Jesus tells them he’ll take care of their parents (what, send another tragedy to bring them up to heaven????), nearly made me puke. The same friend who shared that shared this other text with a letter to the dead children about how their lives had a purpose because due to their deaths, millions of children around the world felt a little bit more love from their parents. Also, puke. PUKEPUKEPUKE. ([aside] Funny, in Latvian puķe is flower, giving a whole new meaning to the phrase ‘This smells like puke’.)
    Anyway. I wrote the friend about the letter bit, saying it is horrible and I can’t support that idea at all because the tragedy should be about them, and her reply was all about how something light and good should be taken from every tragedy, and if this is the good that everyone is getting, then it should be supported, but it’s not disrespectful blablabla… I called her on the bullshit, because What about the parents of those children? Are they supposed to feel better now? but it all ended with Everyone’s entitled to their own opinion, thank you for sharing.


    With that it is my turn to say a bit thank you to the Pharyngula online commune, because without you (seriously, all of you, even you, who don’t feel addressed), I would not be even writing about one post. I would be sitting silently and thinking BULLSHIT to myself and doing nothing. I have gotten a lot of courage from you. This is I think the third time in the past two weeks I have had the courage to speak to an issue that disturbed me. And it’s all because of you and one quiet weekend that allowed me 3 hours alone and some time to think. THANK YOU more than I can say. I’m even considering coming out publicly as atheist, and I really wanted to share a post of Ophelia Benson’s on my Facebook last week, but I’m still too scared for that. I think I’ll wait until my dad passes away. But sitll, the fact tha I’m even considering that – well, thank you thank you thank you all, for your kindness, and strength, and ability to argue, and to fight and willingness to stand up for what is right, and to admit to weakness but not see weakness in it, to admit to being tired and human and flawed, and you’re all so beautiful to me, and all you are, are a bunch of words on my screen… But I’m more grateful than you could ever know. /end to personal sappy confession

  33. rq says

    Glad to hear DarkBaby is doing so well and sleeping so soundly! /jealous

    Seconding cicely on the asshat-ness of the acquaintance.

    Crip Dyke
    Sounds like wonderful morning.

    I commend you for your courage, even if SO did press the button. Still brave. :)

  34. cicely (fair to partly cranky, with scattered umbrage in the afternoon) says


    Mutant peas, if peas at all; ’cause those clearly are no ordinary peas.



    I see…<mumbling>…misinformation, disinformation, distraction…</mumbling>

    You’re in on it with rq, seeking to divert the public’s attention away from the imminent arrival of the Horses.

    But I’m on to you, now!!! Your lies shall not prevail!!!!!

    *Hoverchairing through the town, shouting “The Horses are coming! The Horses are coming!”*

  35. pHred says

    Not a good sign that my first response to looking at a students work is to think “You are smarter than this you #$)*&%*#)!!”

    Apparently the chocolate didn’t work well enough.

  36. strange gods before me ॐ says


    It looks like what’s happening is you are typing in the same nym and/or email as you use for your registered account, and so the WordPress software assumes that someone is trying to impersonate your account.

    If the login is broken on other FtB sites, you can either:

    1) log in here and then click over to the other site where you want to comment (this should work because your login cookie is shared across all of FtB), or,

    2) type in a different nym and email at the other site which doesn’t require registration.

  37. says

    Lynna: Do you have any stories specifically about Walmart in India? My pen pal from Delhi seems to be happily anticipating their arrival. And she’s an environmental economics student.

    Lots of corrupt practices in India, see links below.

    For those that want to see more specifics on the Wal-Mart corruption and bribery evil, as presented in the previous [Lounge] thread, here’s the link:

  38. says


    Yay for PJs!

    Boo for sailing, right? I’m just about done with sequence 9, interrupted by my XBox and TV and game all being in the back of a truck that I won’t get until either Friday or next Wednesday. I’m a little disappointed in the focus on a million things that aren’t ASSASSINATIONS, but the game is still pretty good.

    To everyone: could altitude be responsible for part of why my legs hurt so much? Ever since I got to New Mexico, I’ve had this sort of tingling ache in my quads whenever I stand or walk for too long, or sit in an awkward position for more than 2-3 minutes.

  39. opposablethumbs says

    Yay for 6 hours on the trot, Audley – that’s not bad going :-) And I bet the Thing 1, Thing 2 pjs are ultra-cute!
    I’m really glad you feel that way about this place, rq. I find it looms quite sizeably large on my horizon too, in the very best way! I don’t really post much at all, but I read a lot (or alot, of course) and it means a great deal to me to hang out here. It was thanks to this place that I weighed in on a discussion of abortion in this other place I frequent, whereas I would previously most probably have ground my teeth and clicked [close] without saying anything. And it actually turned out that the site owner agreed with me, so yay!

  40. says

    I actually like all the side stuff– gives the game a nice depth. Hell, even the homestead missions have been fun and you barely kill anyone doing those.

    I’m also intrigued that Connor is actually a nice guy. With friends and people who like him and junk. It’s weird, outside of games where you pick your alignment, I can’t think of another game (that has a developed plot/characters) with a nice protagonist.

    I’ve been out of the loop for a few weeks– you’ve moved? Does this mean BossNurse has a new job? Are congrats in order? :)

  41. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    I’m glad you are able to find compassion, warmth and a sense of community here. That you feel more comfortable addressing social ills IRL and being a non believer is awesome.

  42. says

    Holy shit Audley, you missed a lot!

    I used to live in Virginia, and I now live in New Mexico. 2/3 of the way driving, my car died and I had to abandon it and rent a car to get the rest of the way. My cats and dog made it safe, and the formerly office-only cat is part of the family. When I got here, I didn’t have enough money to pay for my stuff to be delivered, so hopefully this week or the middle of next week I’ll get my stuff out of storage. My wife is working an likes her job, even though the past few days have been pretty rough.

    I think that’s it over here. I’ve been around newborns, so I know a little about what your days and sleepless nights are like. :)

  43. says

    Oh, the most important details:

    *The neighborhood is quiet and safe!

    *My gun is unloaded with a cable lock running through it, and then locked in a case with two padlocks on it, in a locked filing cabinet.

  44. Crip Dyke, MQ, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Grrrr. Hurin in the Cray Cray thread is giving me explosive personality disorder.

    Quick, someone send me pictures of otters or something.

  45. Ogvorbis: useless says

    Why the fuck do I get into threads that I know, KNOW!, are gonna go places I do not want to go? Am I really that masochistic? Or just stupid?

  46. Ogvorbis: useless says

    Thanks, Beatrice.

    It’s almost refreshing to be triggered from 9/11 rather than scouts.

  47. Ogvorbis: useless says

    This is for dianne when you come over here.

    Your comment triggered me big time. Nothing you wrote was wrong, bad, off in any way. That I triggered is my fault, not yours. My problem, not yours. Yours was not the only one that was setting off alarm bells. I just need to learn to avoid the triggers and I’m not bright enough to do that yet. Or ever. Sorry.

  48. Crip Dyke, MQ, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Beatrice, thank you. that and Mano’s posting of the Sodomobile Freedom Rides (which I had seen before, but was nicely edited) has brought me back to a better place.

    As for Audley – Squeeeeeeee!

    I had lost all track of incubation time. We have a darkbaby! Hooray!

    As some genius once sang, “How long has this been goin’ on?”

    Anyone know which lounge has all the relevant announcements so that Audley doesn’t have to repost all the deets just for me?

    And, and, is the cutie named Max?

  49. says

    Good evening

    Crip Dyke
    Yay for wonderful snowy husky morning

    Yay for champion pooper darkbaby

    There#s a pile of them, help yourselves

    Warm fuzzy feeling #1
    I got a christmas present from one of my students, a very nice glass pendant. Glad I brought something for everybody, too.

    Warm fuzzy feeling #2
    The woman who made me that present is kinda catholic. Cross necklace, crucifixes in the house and such. Now, for the start of each lesson my students tell about their week, what happened, what they did. Now, she told about her holiday and then menitioned her daughter and her “novia”. Since I knew about her daughter and her long-time boyfriend, I asked her if she had mixed up the endings.
    “oh yes, of course, how silly, but that wouldn’t be a problem either”

  50. dianne says

    Ogvorbis: I’m very sorry I triggered you! I really should have known better. It’s not your fault that I was being insensitive!

  51. Ogvorbis: useless says


    You were not being insensitive. At all. You’re comment was right on. And appropriate to the discussion. It is not your fault that I triggered. It is my problem, not yours. There is no need to apologize. If I have made you feel that you should apologize then I am in the wrong and am sorry.

  52. John Morales says

    Katherine in the previous: “… she’s got a shaven head, she’s got green eyes and black hair and light skin.”

    Describing someone a shaven head kinda conflicts with describing them as having black hair.

  53. dianne says

    If I have made you feel that you should apologize then I am in the wrong and am sorry.

    Maybe I shouldn’t go with my first impulse, which was to apologize for making you feel this way…I’m sorry that you were triggered, regardless of fault, anyway.

  54. cicely (fair to partly cranky, with scattered afternoon umbrage) says

    Describing someone a shaven head kinda conflicts with describing them as having black hair.

    Eyebrows, eyelashes, body hair….

  55. Crip Dyke, MQ, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @ rq

    squee-worthy wall of infant amphibious mustelids is squee-worthy :-)

    @ nakkustoppeli

    adorable immature land-lubbing mustelids are adorable :-)

    @audley –
    going to visit blog now.

    @ only 7 weeks or so, 6 hours in a row is quite the accomplishment! My dog is 13 years and she doesn’t always allow me to sleep for 6 hours!

  56. Crip Dyke, MQ, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Look the google-image bit was a good gambit, rq, but Audley wins for best otterbaby picture with not a picture of a baby otter, but a picture of darkbaby with snuggly otter-stuffies on her carseat!!! Or at least snuggly generic-mustelids, which I will so interpret!*

    While I may post one or two more times, I am making a valiant attempt to flounce: I need to get some food in me and drive back to the states if I am to see family and friends before I have to start a research project for a professor of mine a week before classes begin…and they begin on jan 2nd. What cruel fate is that?

    Oh, and while I’m in the states, I have to finish an article for publication.

    Y’know, I seem to remember someone saying something about vacation. Sigh. Well, it’s still different writing something for publication than cramming for exams.

    Different and much, much better.

    *yes, they look a little more ferret like than otter-like, but it’s a matter of a) degree, and b) the topic was otters already. Ferrets can have their turn next week.

  57. Portia, sporty and glam, pelted with pastries says


    Thanks. You summed up my thought process on applying for the job : )


    I commend you for your courage, even if SO did press the button. Still brave. :)

    As usual, even in the midst of an exhausting day, you can make me smile. Thank you!

    Crip Dyke
    Congrats on the forthcoming publication!


    Today, I had one client with an arrest warrant I wasn’t expecting, and another without an arrest warrant I was expecting. I feel like there’s dramedy writers scripting my life sometimes.


    SO’s dad just walked into SO’s office (where I am currently camped out with my laptop and files) and asked when my interview is for the job I only applied for yesterday. SO CANNOT KEEP HIS DAMN MOUTH SHUT. Arg. We’ve been over this. *grousegrousegrouse*

  58. rq says

    Crip Dyke
    Obviously, next time I will have to go for quality, not quantity!

    Many welcomes. :)


    And with that, I flounce. No late-night translating tonight. Because.
    Tomorrow, however… Ick.
    Hugs all around for all those dealing with douchery on FtB and also those who just want hugs. Hot drinks to the rest.

  59. ImaginesABeach says

    furnace is working again. Adonis did not live up to his name but he was nice and FIXED THE FURNACE!y

  60. John Morales says

    Nick, that atheist census reminds me of the old usenet “atheist number” (alt.atheism).

    Huh — a quick Googling brought up this old post:

    Michelle Malkin 27/06/1999

    On Sun, 27 Jun 1999 17:53:26 GMT, [email redacted] wrote:

    Welcome to alt.atheism, Lucy. To join the atheist/agnostic list,
    please send the following information to: [email redacted]
    the name and/or nickname you want on the list
    are you an atheist, atheist agnostic, atheist freethinker
    or Buddhist atheist
    your year of birth
    the country you live in
    your gender
    Michelle Malkin (Mickey)
    ^^ ^^ ^^ ^^ ^^ ^^ ^^ ^^ ^^ ^^ ^^ ^^ ^^ ^^ ^^ ^^ ^^ ^^ ^^ ^^ ^^ ^^ ^^ ^^ ^^
    alt.atheism atheist/agnostic list #1 ULC minister #3
    EAC Bible Thumper Thumper BAAWA Knight Who Says SPONG!
    ^^ ^^ ^^ ^^ ^^ ^^ ^^ ^^ ^^ ^^ ^^ ^^ ^^ ^^ ^^ ^^ ^^ ^^ ^^ ^^ ^^ ^^ ^^ ^^ ^^
    Morality is doing what is right no matter what you are told.
    Religion is doing what you are told no matter what is right.
    - Jerry Sturdivant -
    ^^ ^^ ^^ ^^ ^^ ^^ ^^ ^^ ^^ ^^ ^^ ^^ ^^ ^^ ^^ ^^ ^^ ^^ ^^ ^^ ^^ ^^ ^^ ^^ ^^

  61. ednaz says

    Hello All!
    Slightly threadrupt but I must say –
    Ogvorbis (Latin Translator Extraordinaire) For The WIN!!
    : D

  62. StevoR, fallible human being says

    Fascinating exoplanet news regarding Tau Ceti :


    Although still quite a few cautionary notes and still needing to be confirmed. Interestingly Tau Ceti is an old, metal poor thick disk population star too. See :

    Which could mean that these exoplanets of Tau Cet are very metal poor but then again..? Discovering these worlds is just the beginning – so much still to learn about them.

  63. Beatrice says

    Yup, weird at this time of day (I’m not usually up this early). And I could catch up with the night-comments really quickly.

    First day of work. Hoping that I’m going to work with some nice people.

    /excited like a first grader

  64. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    Can I borrow someone’s GUN NUT BEGONE spray? Mine is almost out.
    Fuck, where do these idiots come from? I feel like Ripley trying to escape with Newt. They’re everywhere!!!

  65. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    What makes you say that?
    Is it the impending arrival of the black hole? Maybe you are worried about a little pole shifting going on…? Perhaps a celestial alignment has got you out of whack?

  66. Pteryxx says

    kick ass science: (also Ed Yong is on NatGeo now)

    The frog apocalypse fungus hides in crayfish

    In one of these surveys, done in September, McMahon found that one in every six crayfish was infected with the fungus, even though none of the local frogs were. This fits with previous studies showing that Bd kills amphibians in the spring, but is absent during the autumn. Maybe it hides in crayfish during this off-peak season, and jumps into frogs later. Certainly, the infected crayfish can harbour the fungus for months.

    But McMahon hadn’t yet shown that the fungus could jump from crayfish to frogs. To close the loop, her team did a more thorough survey of 97 Colorado wetlands, swabbing the skins of more than 9,000 amphibians. They found that those from wetlands with Orconectes crayfish were twice as likely to be infected with Bd, and that the presence of crayfish predicted the levels of infection better than anything else.

    And then, the smoking gun: McMahon placed uninfected tadpoles in the same tanks as infected crayfish, and found that 70 percent of them picked up the fungus.

    It’s an unparalleled suite of experiments. And it offers the first conclusive proof that Bd can infect hosts other than amphibians, in a way that eventually loops back to its favoured victims. “It was extremely important to me to make sure we did a very thorough job because I was worried others might be a little sceptical,” says McMahon. “[We wanted to present] the most concrete story possible.”

  67. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    ….what the fuck does the internet MEAN there’s no analytic general solution to find the height of a circular segment given its radius and area?

    What the HELL do we make the mathematicians we keep around eat instead of letting them glance at the kibble, mutter “a solution exists,” and go back to the blackboard until they collapse for?!

    *bangs head against wall*

  68. rq says

    Good morning and YAY BEATRICE!!!

    re: The Idiots (of all kinds):
    They’re trying to wear us down with numbers and volume. We must resist!

    In other news, there is no other news.

  69. says

    Can’t say this was the best of days. First I got stuck on the bloody internet last night and went to bed at 6am. Then I woke up at 11 already because it was insanely hot, thought I’ll have a relaxed arvo by going into town, walked into the casino just to find someone having CPR at the front door, eventually went inside and lost 200 bucks gambling.

    Back home now with my tail between my legs. It’s probably going to hail next or something.

  70. se habla espol says

    #109, Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven
    19 December 2012 at 1:03 am (UTC -6) asks:

    ….what the fuck does the internet MEAN there’s no analytic general solution to find the height of a circular segment given its radius and area?

    In some contexts, ‘analytic’ means real arithmetic only, no trig, no complex, etc. Off the top of my head, it seems that a general solution would involve square root (ok) of the area (ok), division (ok) by π (ok, since it’s a real), division by the radius (ok), and sine or cosine (oops).
    The problem may, in fact, be equivalent to squaring the circle, but it’s too late tonight to think about that.

  71. rq says

    I can only offer my nearly-three-year-old’s solution to most life’s problems: a giant box of cars, trucks and tractors. Because what more do you need? :)

    (The method was attempted on littlest today, who is having one of those days – can’t put him down without some complaining or whining, even creeping across the carpet with some impressive sound effects – and when it didn’t succeed, clumsy older-brother hugs were offered instead (of the here-let-me-smother-you-for-a-while variety). Sometimes, they’re amazingly kind to each other…)

  72. se habla espol says

    John Morales, yes, I’m reputed to be a speaker of ESPOL (not to be confused with Español, which is something entirely else). 
    But, as the first sentence of my comment says, “analytic“, in some contexts, does not allow trig. The Wolfram cite uses trig functions. 
    The original comment does not give either (a) the context in which analytic is to be read, nor (b) which ‘height’ it was referring to. I chose a different height than the Wolfram cite, the radius times the sine of the angle. (Put one side of the angle on the x axis for visualization.) Since I didn’t want to try mathematical notation in this blog (because it often doesn’t work in blog software – the software corrupts the necessary html), I just winged it in english, listing some of the operations and quantities needed.  
    In either case, there is a closed-form solution, but it’s not analytic in the context-dependent sense I specified. My presumption is that the no-trig meaning of analytic resolves the problem in Azkyroth’s question. That’s what I was addressing, math errors to the contrary notwithstanding.

  73. se habla espol says

    rorschach, are you talking to me (and perhaps John M)? If so, I’m doing the best I can.

  74. FossilFishy (Νεοπτόλεμος's spellchecker) says

    Oh looky, a big hunk of concrete that is ours. And the next day. Watching concrete dry is about as much fun as it sounds. Mind you, the pic shows how the “suede” colouring is going to lighten as it dries and has a tiny Mrs. Fishy and Small Fry for scale.

    So far every contractor who’s shown up has looked at the slab and asked “Is this the shed?” It’s starting to bother Mrs. Fishy. It’s a small house, it’s what we can afford and it will be very energy efficient due in large part to its size.

    And we’ve had our first financial hurdle to overcome. The mortgage insurance that we were required to get is not part of the payout for the various stages of building. We have to wait until the first home owner’s grant from the government comes through to be able to pay it and until that time the builder’s have downed tools and are counting this as delay time that we have incurred. There’s a penalty to us if they go late because of our delays just as there is one for them. Blah.

  75. rq says

    Nothing wrong with a shed, if it’s cosy and snug for a three-Fishy family! :) (And yes, I know, the same question again and again does get annoying…) I love your building updates. Still waiting for all those major crises that are supposed to put me off house-building forever. ;)
    *sending lots of wishes for speedy home owner’s grants* I’ll bring out a second jar of thumbs to hold for you.

  76. bluentx says


    As someone else said (John Morales?) I too missed the earlier discussions on The Commune. Links possible to most concentrated discussion times? OR… were you, rq, serious about putting together a spreadsheet? After all it sounds like you have ALL THE TIME INTHE WORLD.
    *kidding,,kidding. Don’t revoke my Commie privileges !!*

    I would offer my 2 1/2 acres for the cause bu,t though I hoped never to have to move again- who REALLY thinks Texas and a commune of lefty, non-believers is a good combination–seriously!?

    Enjoying the conversation on perfect(as we can make it) worlds… :)

  77. FossilFishy (Νεοπτόλεμος's spellchecker) says

    Cheers rq. Whinging aside, it’s going pretty well so far.

    Our brief to the builder was in fact: “liveable shed”. Over time it became more like a small house, but that’s okay. One of the features that isn’t obvious at this stage is that the west(isn) and east(isn) sides will have long overhanging roofs. The east one will be an outdoor living area that we’ll flyscreen in to make it actually liveable in the summer. It will have an overhead fan and a large sink/laundry trough with drinking water from the rain barrel.

    The design also features pretty big windows in every room, a nice secondary benefit of passive solar design. You have to let the winter sun shine on all the lovely concrete so that heat can re-radiate into the house at night. Windows that can also remain uncovered once the sun is above the eaves in summer because of the double glazing; it might be small but it won’t be claustrophobic.

  78. FossilFishy (Νεοπτόλεμος's spellchecker) says

    Sigh, that’d be west and east “isn”. ‘Tis the season for retail workers to be tired, fah, la, la, la, la…la, la, la damn!

  79. rq says

    It’s never good to put all valuable people on one small piece of property.
    And yes, I am more-or-less serious about spreadsheeting, but I’m trying to figure out how. I think I have a method, but at best, it’ll be ready sometime after Christmas/before New Year’s, so we’ll be missing the Apocalypse completely. (I hope nobody minds.) I’ll need something to do out in the country.
    And don’t try my patience, or I’ll put you down for dead-donkey-wrangling instead of whatever it was you were going to do. Damn commies…
    Oh wait.

  80. FossilFishy (Νεοπτόλεμος's spellchecker) says

    What the hell “ish” there we go, damn auto-correct.

  81. bluentx says

    Oh, and I was warned about “worshiping’ HTML and encouraged to opt for the Goddess of Typos. [Thank you, Ogi-wan for that sage advise.]

    And in view of #123: Hail Typos !

  82. rq says

    The one thing I really like about characteristic Australian architecture is the whole long overhanging roof (usually + veranda) idea. I know in a northern country like this one it’s not a very good idea (need all the sun we can get in winter), but I love the look. Can’t wait to see what this will look like when done! :)

  83. bluentx says

    Yes, 2 1/2 is a bit restricting but then there is the 40-something acres which surround me — owned by Mr.Goat and Donkey-man… Hummm.. could kill two birds with one….

    There I go having those evil thoughts again…But 50-ish acers would ba a start….

  84. John Morales says

    se habla espol, I think you’re restricting analytical expressions to being algebraic expressions, when you exclude trig functions.

    BTW, WordPress supports LaTex (not that I’m any good at it):

    A = R^2 \cos^{-1}\frac{(R - h)} {R} - (R-h)\sqrt{(2 Rh - h^2)}

  85. FossilFishy (Νεοπτόλεμος's spellchecker) says

    On the north(ish) and south(ish) walls the eaves will be much shorter and they’re going to be louvred so that they block the summer sun and let more of the winter through. Those classic Aussie farm houses are fine in summer but they’re really, really dark and depressing in winter. Especially here in Victoria which is around the same latitude south as Seoul and San Francisco are north, neither place being known as needing special architecture to deal with summer heat.

  86. bluentx says


    I haven’t personally done any concrete work since the ’80’s but the pics look good from here!

    And since we’re scouting possible locations… *wink,wink,nudge,nudge*

  87. rq says

    Yeah, but we need a) water and b) distance from all those individualist, colonialist survivor-types. Suggestions have ranged from Alaska, and ummm somewhere warmer, and I think Alaska again. Someone mentioned east coast of North America, I think. On a personal note, Brazil and Argentina seem to be favourite places for recluse communes. A full review of all comments is necessary to determine exactly what was recommended where.
    The bonus of Alaska is: untouched nature, soon to become warmer due to global warming; more edible mushrooms than elsewhere on the continent (mushroom-wise, Europe/Asia would be a better bet); sea-water (for salt acquisition); lots of space and beautiful scenery. Winter is an unresolved issue for some.

  88. rq says

    We’d need a village of those for all of us. The energy savings would be worth it, probably – FossilFishy can let us know once it’s all up and running!

  89. bluentx says

    Alaska: not near Wasilla I hope? *shudder*

    East coast of NA: Solar flare doomsdayers predicting a grid blackout for that area soon, How many electricians, electrical engineer types are in on ‘Tha Plan’?

    South America: I heard that George HW Bush bought up much of Paraguay a few years ago- property on top of one of the biggest aquifers in the world…We could make an offer…:)

  90. FossilFishy (Νεοπτόλεμος's spellchecker) says

    We’ve got two acres and so long as people are willing to stay out of the way when I’m test firing the catapult, the more the merrier. We have a ground water bore that came with the property. Assuming that it’s as deep as the one we’re using now it should hold for a fair few folks. The rainwater tank from the roof is a little one unfortunately, we can’t afford a big one at the moment. That’s on the list of future upgrades. I’m not sure the worm farm waste water treatment system will handle too many people. The next door neighbour is in the septic cleaning business, perhaps we could make some arrangement.

    The owners of the seven star energy rated homes that this company has built in the area told us that they are getting 18-25c inside temperatures in winter without supplemental heating unless there’s a run of a week or more of cloudy, cold weather. Our’s is eight star, on paper, so we’re not expecting to use the heating much. Add to that the solar hot water system and the photovoltaics (still a bit iffy financially on the PV’s, we’ll get them so long as no more surprise costs come along) and our energy costs are going to be pretty cheap.

    Thanks bluentx. It looks pretty good to me too, but I’m a total amateur. It’s smooth, and level to within my spirit level’s ability to detect. The aggregate is starting to show as it dries and it looks consistent in distribution and size. They could still stuff it up when they grind and polish though. (pessimism added just for rq)

  91. FossilFishy (Νεοπτόλεμος's spellchecker) says

    Night all. My bed calls with a siren song, exactly unlike those heard in wee hours of metropolises.

  92. rq says

    Yeah, FossilFishy, wouldn’t want to get all excited too early. :)

    John Morales
    It’s just the Pharyngula commune for surviving the end of the world. A counter-product to stand fast against the individual survivor/zombie-hunter types who insist on shooting first and asking questions later. For a safer post-apocalyptic world.

  93. FossilFishy (Νεοπτόλεμος's spellchecker) says

    Oh,one last thought: we’re not going to be off-grid in any meaningful sense as far as electricity goes. Batteries and their management systems are very expensive.

    Also, to do this kind of building requires a robust industrial infrastructure. If you want it for the commune it all has to be built before the end of the world. That’s the essential irony of modern off-the-gridders, the vast majority of them require the grid in order to get off of it.

  94. bluentx says

    Worm farm wastewater treatment system… Interesting. Don’t remember THAT being covered in any of my WWT training classes. Must look into i,t if only in case MY septic system goes kaput.

    And honest folks: Somethin’ wacky goin’ on with my laptop or what have you today. Sooo many glitches while typing, typos even with previewing… sometimes I can’t even see punctuation I KNOW I’ve put in until after posting–then there are multiple commas, etc. Aaaargh!

  95. rq says

    Electricity-wise, we had solar batteries and wind/water-mills suggested as generators. Practical applications to be figured out by trial and error, I suppose.

  96. bluentx says

    rq @143:

    “ stand fast against the individual survivor/zombie-hunter types..”

    So, would that make screenings of “Zombieland” something to be avoided,or a training film/documentary?

  97. rq says

    A matter of choice. :) I don’t like zombie movies, period. I’m not going to make any decisions about “Zombieland”, since I’ve never seen the movie and have no way to rate its educational value. ;)

  98. bluentx says

    I generally don’t care for zombie movies either (what IS with the plethora lately: Big Screen zombies &vampires !?) but Zombieland gave me a chuckle.

    Ooo.. and now that I think about it a fitting tribute to Zombie Twinkies, too! If only that crap would really die.

  99. bluentx says

    And speaking of vampires–this one should go to bed. Sun’s comin’ up!

    G’night and G’morn’ all…

  100. pHred says

    Sigh – on the last class, compiling grades by importing them into Excel and found out that the on-line grade book is messed up. Kinda defeats the purpose if I have to go through and verify every grade by hand. Would have been faster to write them all down by hand.
    The throwing papers down the stairwell method is starting to look attractive, except it would involve throwing the computer down the stairs and using some kind of oracular method to convert the broken bits and pieces into grade.
    On the plus side, have found a really good gluten free pancake recipe for my son!

  101. Ogvorbis: useless says

    I plan to try to be smart today (which is, in and of itself, remarkable) and stay out of the damn gun threads. I will probably be stupid and go there anyway, but I will try not to.

    I’m going to withdraw for a bit in case my presence is triggering Ogvorbis.

    Far too late to do any good, but your presence does not trigger me. What I read on the thread that I should have been smart enough to stay out of triggered me. Not you.

    They’re trying to wear us down with numbers and volume.

    They are succeeding.

    Oh, and I was warned about “worshiping’ HTML and encouraged to opt for the Goddess of Typos. [Thank you, Ogi-wan for that sage advise.]

    It is Tpyos. You have now displeased Tpyos. Not godo.

  102. rq says

    You have my long-distance moral support in your endeavour to Be Smart (Smrt?). As we used to say before those atrocious French tests, Bon succes!

    Oh might Ogi-wan, acolyte of cute and clever Tpyos, if the grasshopper displeases the mighty powers that are Tpyos, shall the spiritual gift of wrong spelling visit him no more?

    As for the idiots, we must prevail. Must. They can not succeed. But that is a story for another day.

  103. birgerjohansson says

    There is a graphic novel out there, “Zombies vs. Robots”, I haven’t read it but it got good reviews.
    — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —
    Tau Ceti: Sun-like star only twelve light years away may have a habitable planet -5 times the mass of Earth? Such planets may have too much water to allow land to reach the surface.
    — — — — — — — — — —
    Do palm trees hold the key to (almost) immortality? -750 year old functioning plant cells.
    — — — — — — — — — —
    Professor examines the historic and contemporary proliferation of memes Go, honey badgers!
    — — — — — — —
    Study shows yields have plateaued or dropped in many places for world’s most important crops
    — — — — —
    Project puts drought-tolerant crops in the spotlight

  104. birgerjohansson says

    A pangolin with acid for blood would have the ultimate combination of defence mechanisms.

    And, yes, the nodosaurs need more publicity.

  105. Ogvorbis: useless says

    Good news:

    Boy did not lose his job for having too much money in the register when he was robbed at knifepoint while pulling a double shift to cover a hole in the staffing for a different store.

    Friend of mine snapped a photo of a sign outside a fire company up the valley. They were raising money for Sandy victims. The sign read:


  106. chigau (違う) says

    Good that Boy was neither harmed nor fired.
    Now he can pull a few more double shifts.
    ’tis the season.

  107. Ogvorbis: useless says


    He puts in about 30 hours a week at his home store. There are four other stores that ask him, frequently, to either come in and take a shift or organize the store according to the latest incarnation of the ‘plan-o-gram.’ He’s hoping for more extra shifts between now and Saturday as he will be coming with Wife and I to Florida to visit the my inlaws. For a college student, winter break is the season for extra shifts. Whenever possible.

    Wife and I are glad he wasn’t injured, too.

  108. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    Very glad sonspawn was neither injured, nor fired Ogvorbis.
    I have been having the same issue for months now. I noticed that I stopped getting Lounge updates and checkef my subscriptions. Somehow in the process, I get random subscription requests AND new blog entries from all over FtB. It is quite annoying.

  109. blf says

    Unless the conversation drifts to something I actually know something about, [silly is] pretty much all I’m good for.

    That’s silly.


    The mildly deranged penguin is looking forward to the Long Cycle Calendar Collapse in a day or three. The last calendar collapse she saw was the Great Collapsing Hrung Disaster, and all that did was wipe out Betelgeuse Seven.

  110. Ogvorbis: useless says

    That’s silly.

    No, just honest.

    I know next to nothing about philosophy — I barely grok the damn cave, much less anything deeper. I am not a scientist — I read lots in palaeontology but that doesn’t make me anything other than boring. My degree is in military history but I work with industrial and transportation history — and some of that I actually know something about. So, really, being silly is about 98% of me here. Well, that and complaining about my mental health issues.

  111. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    John Morales at 133:

    Thank you. Now, tell me what happens when you plug that expression into Wolfram Alpha and ask it to solve for h symbolically?

  112. Portia, sporty and glam, pelted with pastries says

    Good morning, Lounge!

    Ogvorbis, what you call silly, I call enjoyable conversation.

  113. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    In some contexts, ‘analytic’ means real arithmetic only, no trig, no complex, etc. Off the top of my head, it seems that a general solution would involve square root (ok) of the area (ok), division (ok) by π (ok, since it’s a real), division by the radius (ok), and sine or cosine (oops).


    Abuse(?) of Laplace (or related) transforms to solve A=0.5(R^2)(θ-sin(θ)) for theta and working from there is about the only idea I have. >.>

  114. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    Don’t be silly :)
    You downplay your empathy and critical thinking skills, as well as your unique voice and perspective of the world.
    You contribute silliness, yes.
    But your contributions far exceed that.

  115. Ogvorbis: useless says

    You downplay your empathy and critical thinking skills, as well as your unique voice and perspective of the world.

    Sorry. I’m feeling really down, really useless, really worthless, really broken. I need a fucking vacation.

    Oh, wait. After today, I don’t work until January 3d. That should help.

  116. Beatrice says

    First day on the job: finds out mentor’s vacation starts on monday

    Um, it looks like I’m going to have to do all (or most of) his regular work. How am I supposed to know what to do, I just started today?!?!?!

  117. Portia, sporty and glam, pelted with pastries says

    Tony said it better : ) I second it.

    Audley: I just squeed out loud. Love it

  118. Portia, sporty and glam, pelted with pastries says


    Whoa, that’s quite a bit to have dumped in your lap. Do you think you can pick his brain for the rest of the week?

  119. blf says

    I need a fucking vacation.

    Whilst that’s a good thing to do on vacation, I also suggest sometimes eating and sleeping. And a bit of poo-throwing does wonders.

  120. says

    IME knowing about philosophy tends to make people less useful, not more so, if it does anything. Seriously, though, besides what you do here, (see Tony above), in the time I’ve been here I’ve lost track of the number of times you weren’t posting much because you were busy helping fight wildfires. That’s bad ass, my friend. Aside from that, knowing history is never a bad thing; if nothing else, you’ve always got a cool story or two to entertain people with.

  121. Portia, sporty and glam, pelted with pastries says

    Moral support is what we’re here for, Ogvorbis. (Along with silliness when appropriate). Hold on, you’re almost to your R&R!

  122. Ogvorbis: useless says

    I’ve lost track of the number of times you weren’t posting much because you were busy helping fight wildfires.


  123. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    My recent bout with _self worth where are you_ had me feeling the same way. Have you tried isolating why you feel this way? Are there goals you’ve not achieved that you have tied into your self worth? Because that’s exactly what I was doing. Everything that was wrong in my life financially as well as romantically was wrapped up in my sense of what kind of person I am. It took my parents and the support of The Horde for me to realize that even in my dark hours I am still a good person with a big heart who is cared for by many. My accomplishments or lack thereof do not change the quality of my character.
    The same holds true of you my friend.

  124. Portia, sporty and glam, pelted with pastries says

    *hugs* to Tony. Your writing gives me warm fuzzies, and it is so very true.

  125. chigau (違う) says

    Watch this.
    I am closing my Pharyngula tabs for at least 6 hours.
    work to do


  126. Rodney Nelson says

    rq #156

    As we used to say before those atrocious French tests, Bon succes!

    Before you go for a walk do you say, Bon marche?

  127. Beatrice says


    I’m hoping that I’m wrong, but I doubt I’ll be able to answer all the calls with a “Please call in two weeks”. I’ll try to learn as much as I can in two (2!) days that are left.


    Hah! Yes, it does look like that.

    Btw, Ogvorbis, I second all the good things others wrote about you. You rock and you’re one of my favorite people here. Even if you don’t believe me, it’s true :)


    *dies of cute*

  128. Ogvorbis: useless says

    Before you go for a walk do you say, Bon Marché?M

    Nope, we say that in late February.

  129. David Marjanović says

    Not caught up.

    Cute pangolin.

    Job announcement that might interest some people here:


    Tuesday, December 18, 2012 12:29:35 PM
    The Center for North American Herpetology
    Lawrence, Kansas

    Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
    Cornell University
    Lab Technician III – Job # 19196

    Job Description
    Research position in evolutionary biology/herpetology lab. Provide tech support for molecular systematics and comparative population genetics/genomics research. Specific responsibilities include DNA isolation, PCR, library construction, sample preparation, editing sequence data, using genomic database and searching tools, running phylogenetic and population genetic software, and data interpretation. General responsibilities include maintaining and purchasing laboratory supplies, assisting with grant proposal and manuscript preparation, and assisting with student training. This is a one-year appointment, renewable for a second year upon satisfactory performance. Endowed college employee benefits apply.

    BS in biology-related field strongly preferred with at least one year of experience in a molecular biology or molecular systematics environment. Working knowledge of standard molecular lab protocols and basic field biology techniques. Neatness, attention to detail, good organizational skills and ability to manage people and be a team leader. Some weekend/evening hours will be necessary for field collecting trips, and time-sensitive lab procedures.

    Applications will be accepted through January 30, 2013

    Inquiries can be directed to Dr. Kelly Zamudio at krz2 [at] cornell [university].

    Located in Ithaca, NY, Cornell University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action educator and employer.

    To apply please visit:

  130. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    Aaaaand the Laplace transform method produces complex angles. I suppose I should just solve it numerically, but then I have to do that every time we design one of these :(

  131. Ogvorbis: useless says

    Oh, there’s no place like eggs for the Hollandaise,
    ‘Cause no matter how many times you poach,
    When you pine for eggs with more cholesterol,
    Then you can’t be sauce on eggs that’re poached

    yes, my mind really is that out there today.

  132. Ogvorbis: useless says

    Try that again, this time without the Tpyos:

    Oh, there’s no place like eggs for the Hollandaise,
    ‘Cause no matter how many times you poach,
    When you pine for eggs with more cholesterol,
    Then you can’t beat sauce on eggs that have been poached!

  133. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    We aren’t going to have poached eggs as the morning Commune meal, are we? I like mine scrambled, boiled or fried hard. That’s about the it.

  134. says

    Somebody is wearing the adorable pjs I bought them!! I can’t wait to show BossNurse when she gets home tonight… and shout “See! I told you I could do something right!”

  135. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Bork finally got Borked. I will not attend the funeral but I might dance on his grave.

    Saturday night is alright for a massacre.

    (If you youngsters do not get it, look up Robert Bork and Watergate.)

  136. says

    You know I just thought of something: How many of these gun nuts would be saying that black or brown people need guns? They only ever talk about arming up white folks.

  137. says

    Geong Hwa:
    Of course not. Who did you think they’re arming themselves against? IME, gun nuts tend to be absolutely terrified of both’gangbangers’ i.e. young black men in general,and of a general blakc uprising againt whites as ‘revenge for slavery’. They are convinced that there are large armed bands of dark skinned people roaming the land committng atrocities, and that all dark skinne dpeople are just inches fromjoining them and destroying everything they can get their hands on. It’s a really, really fucking disturbing mindset, especially when someone who seeme d reasonable starts spouting it out of the blue.

  138. says

    Hi there
    *mostly skimming*
    I swear, when we’re living in the Commune after the Zombie-apocalypse and the zombies prove to be unreasonable we can always send Mr. out for scavenging, because I swear that some days his brain is entirely unnoticable.
    Today he went to town to pick up #1’s bicicle, which he helped choosing.
    He came back with the wrong bike…

  139. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    A public service announcement:

    Living vicariously through kids is extremely unhealthy.

    On the other hand, parenthood DOES offer you a wonderful opportunity to be the parent you always wished you had.

    *cocks staplegun, grabs 50lb box of Christmas lights* :D

  140. Ogvorbis: useless says

    On the other hand, parenthood DOES offer you a wonderful opportunity to be the parent you always wished you had.

    Then how come I spent years opening my mouth and hearing my dad come out? Not all the time, but often enough to disturb me.

  141. cicely (fair to partly cranky, with scattered afternoon umbrage) says

    English how does it work…


    Boy did not lose his job for having too much money in the register when he was robbed at knifepoint while pulling a double shift to cover a hole in the staffing for a different store.

    Boo! for the robbery; but Yay! for continuing employment.

    Wife and I are glad he wasn’t injured, too.

    And another Yay! for non-injury.

    Bro. Ogvorbis, I will ever-so-diffidently point out that my noise-to-info ratio is much higher than yours.
    Much, much higher. If you want to do a “race to the bottom”, I’ve got you beat, hands down.

    The best I can hope to achieve is “mildly entertaining”. And I’m good with that.

    First day on the job: finds out mentor’s vacation starts on monday
    Um, it looks like I’m going to have to do all (or most of) his regular work. How am I supposed to know what to do, I just started today?!?!?!

    May I recommend the Blind Panic? It’s very popular….

    When you pine for eggs with more cholesterol,

    More cholesterol?!? The things are tasty little cholesterol bombs, as is! One whole day’s recommended dosage in each and every one.

    (There have been times I could have been tempted to do serious mayhem, in exchange for a plate of devilled eggs.)

  142. Ogvorbis: useless says

    The things are tasty little cholesterol bombs, as is! One whole day’s recommended dosage in each and every one.

    My doctor keeps telling me to eat more, more, more eggs. She is threatening to put me cholesterol pills to add cholesterol to my blood. Two months before my heart attack scare, my total cholesterol was 71. While in the hospital, my cholesterol was 51, 61 and 54. Last month, my total cholesterol was 31. Yes, 31. Unfortunately, my ratio of bad to good cholesterol is still out of whack. And it is out of whack by the same ratio no matter what my total count is.

    Sister was hospitalized, some years ago, with what they thought was an autoimmune disease. When they did blood work, they went ahead and checked her cholesterol. It was 7. They gave her an IV of it and the symptoms disappeared within 12 hours.

  143. Owen says

    Our family’s usual response to devilled eggs is “Oh, those are perilous. Way too perilous for you. Let me save you from the peril…”

  144. opposablethumbs says

    I really really love the chemistree, carlie!
    Crossed tentacles your first day at work goes/is going/went (eh, time-zones) well, Beatrice! ETA Oh boy, you get like three days to get ready to fill in for your immediate boss? Blimey. Hey, I’ll keep the tentacles crossed if you like but actually I reckon you’ll ace it. :-)
    And I’m beyond glad that Son was not harmed, Ogvorbis. Also, I’m thirding (fourthing etc.) the opinion that you are a most cool person to have around. Seriously, Ogvorbis, you’re good people and we’re the better for having you here.
    Audley, veeeeery cute. Serious case of cuteness you have going on there, oh yes indeed – really great choice, Improbable Joe!

  145. rq says

    I skimmed and I’m exhausted and I’ll have more later, but mostly I noticed that another giant round of hugs is needed, and also that Tony likes his eggs boiled hard (where, in Latvian, ‘eggs’ is a slang term for testicles.
    Not sure whether I’ll be laughing or crying about that one, still somewhere in between and it’s not even that funny.

    Sorry for the quasi-emotional dump, it’s just that there’s so much to do and not enough hours for me to sleep and I’m running short on days before the deadline.

    Ogvorbis, I value your presence here, I really do, because what may be silly conversation to you is actually a very welcome respite from stress I seem to get myself into on a daily basis, and I appreciate your silliness. Yours too, cicely. Please don’t consider yourself useless. You’re not, as well as far from boring.
    I must really be exhausted if writing the sentences above actually set off the crying. This is bad.
    Will be back later when in shape to translate some more crap about opening beach-side resorts on the coast of Latvia and why the government doesn’t fund them enough. Interesting stuff, that. Too bad there’s so much of it.

    (Cute baby, Audley, but mine’s just so much cuter! ;) No, no pictures, otherwise it’ll be a competition. At the moment it’s a motherly opinion. ;) Glad to hear you’re both doing well and snuggly!)

  146. Socio-gen, something something... says

    Last paper turned in! I’m free….FREEEEEE! ‘Til 1/14, anyway.
    — —
    Belated congrats on the new job! And “eep” on the mentor leaving you on your own so soon.

    So glad Son is okay and not fired! My daughter works for a convenience store chain in the Twin Tiers and several of their stores have been hit over the last few months. Makes me nervous all the time…
    Also joining in with the chorus that appreciates your contributions!

    Oh she is SO adorable!


    where, in Latvian, ‘eggs’ is a slang term for testicles.

    Now, I have to clean the desk, the keyboard, and the monitor after spewing tea on them all.
    I may never be able to eat eggs again without laughing.
    I’ve been trying to come up with a list of things I might contribute to the commune, but really, I’m more of the unskilled labor type. I’m pretty good at weeding a garden, fairly capable of providing care and activities for kids of various ages (and haven’t lost or maimed any!) and can cook, although it’s mostly down-home style meals, nothing fancier than a pot roast. Mostly, I’m good at what what former co-worker called “scut work” — cleaning, lifting, carrying, and organizing.
    In short, I’d make a fine assistant (or live-in nanny/housekeeper) to someone with real skills and ability!!
    — —
    Erm…to anyone: how to I make spaces between my paragraphs without putting a period in there? Or are the spaces just not showing in preview, but will appear after I hit submit?

  147. Ogvorbis: useless says

    Just told a visitor where to go (politely). He was wearing a hoodie and on the front was an ‘n’ made out of french fries? like half of the McDonald’s logo. Underneath, it said, “Noah: I’m flooding it!”

    Nice. A Christian t-shirt mocking what was, if it was real, that is, the greatest mass murder of all time.

  148. Portia, sporty and glam, pelted with pastries says

    Socio-gen, they just don’t appear in preview. But if you want more spaces, use & nbsp ; without the spaces.

    And congrats on being dooooone.

  149. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    Do i need to use angle brackets for nbsp like i do with blockquote? Also, what about that ‘&’ ?

  150. Portia, sporty and glam, pelted with pastries says

    An allegedly HUGE SNOWSTORM is on its way here. I am going to go hole up with hot tea and have happily avoided having to go to court tomorrow morning. As long as I have internet, it will be fine. I should stop on my way home for wrapping paper, but I just feel so tired.

    I did have a fun idea to use the leftover orange syrup from candying the orange peels. I’m going to try my hand at making cocktail mix with some vodka and cranberry juice. Gift it with instructions to mix it with your favorite soda, maybe.

    rq Hope you feel better soon, and get a chance for some rest. *hugs* for you.

  151. says

    Reinforcing: Og, hang in. This is FtB. It has an OgVorbis.This is how things are supposed to be. Do you want to mess with the natural order?

    (That was a rhetorical question. The answer is: no, you don’t. Just read Shakespeare. It always leads to trouble. Really messy final acts. And if you can’t trust the Bard, who can you trust, huh?)

    … and re the knifepoint thing/keeping his job thing… umm…

    Geez. That’s… Umm… Good.

    (You know the Futurama men’s reactions in the ‘Death by Snoo Snoo’ scene? Where their faces keep cycling from ‘cool…’ to ‘oh, wait…’ It’s kinda like that. Only less deliberately cheesy sci fi tropeish.)

    Oh. I think it’s wonderful they’re collecting for victims of New Jersey, too…

    I wonder, tho’… To qualify for aid, do you have to actually be directly harmed by Jersey? Like, say, born there, or flying through Newark? Or will it be sufficient if you can document that you’ve been trapped in some other airport lounge and Jersey Shore was the only thing on, and no matter what you did, however you buried your head between the lobes of your travel pillow and shoved wadded-up bits of toilet paper borrowed from the airport washroom into your ears, you still knew it was there?

    In other news, congratulations to Socio-Gen. I have one more semi-serious meeting to attend to, a few more numbers to send out, but am seeing the light beckoning…

    Or the dark… I guess… Since that will be the solstice…

    Anyway. Something’s beckoning. And it involves not working for a brief period. Which I’m filing under good.

  152. rq says

    Thank you muchly.
    And hot tea + scrumptious cookies are good preparation for a massive snow-storm (not of hurricane proportions). Also, a SO for heating needs is recommended. ;)

    Congrats on being done!

    What a start to the job! I hope you absorb all necessary information incredibly quickly, and I’m sure it’ll go well – although, considering the Christmas season is pretty nuts everywhere… Is there staff to help you out? I certainly hope so!

  153. Portia, sporty and glam, pelted with pastries says


    The SO for heating is great idea, but untenable, sadly. He has his kids tonight (the physical custody is every other full week, with a Wednesday in the middle of the off-week so the kids don’t go too long without either parent). So he can’t stay at my house. And with a big storm, the fire department is on sort of heightened alert, and I want to be on hand for the inevitable power outages and car accidents that we’ll be called to. SO lives 25 minutes from me, so I’d be liable to get stuck out there if I don’t go home tonight. Sigh. So I’ll settle for tea, netflix, and knitting. And the Lounge for company :D

    Thunk, if you’re around, I’d appreciate your weather take on Draco. He’ll be heading your way shortly after he drops the slush and wind in my area. Unless I recall incorrectly and you are still in finals mode, in which case, carry on and ignore me. :)

  154. John Morales says

    Azkyroth, I see what you mean.

    Seems to me the simplest form is h=R-Rcos(½θ)

    Since you know A and R, you can find θ from 2A/R² = θ – sinθ.

    (I got a feeling it should be possible to solve for theta in terms of x* when x= θ -sinθ, but I’m too rusty)

    * Maybe by substitution.

  155. Hekuni Cat, MQG says

    Behind as usual but…

    Krasnaya Koshka – *hugs*


    I felt honored that he came out to me.
    I consider that a present to himself, though one that made me happy for him (so the joy was something of a present for me).

    Beautiful story. Also, Happy Birthday!

    bluentx – Welcome to The Lounge and Happy Birthday!

    dianne – *hugs*

    Katherine – Get well soon.

    Crip Dyke – Congrats on completing your first term in law school and good luck with your next.

    ImaginesABeach – Sorry about your furnace. *hugs and hot chocolate*

    Ogvorbis – *hugs and chocolate* You contribute far more than you are giving yourself credit for. Also, good news that Boy is still employed and better still that he is unharmed.

    Beatrice – Good luck in your new job. *hugs*

    cicely – I always look forward to your posts and *pouncehugs*

    DarkBaby and pjs – Squee!

  156. says

    Ogvorbis, you’ve got to cut yourself some slack and give yourself some credit. You’re probably at least 2-3 times more useful than me, because I can’t even pull off “silly” with any real skill.

  157. rq says

    Improbable Joe
    You may not be silly, but I value your contributions here.
    And that sounds so bloody silly considering I’m a relative new-comer here, but I don’t know how else to phrase it at this time of day.

    Too bad about the SO, but I guess you can’t always win them all! :) Have a good storm, and I hope the tea holds out.


    Good night, all!

  158. Socio-gen, something something... says

    Thanks and thanks! I didn’t want to find out, by posting wall-o’-text that the space didn’t exist anymore.

    Good luck with Draco.* Apparently it’s going to stay south of me, which is nice (for me). Best wishes for safe returns from call-outs!

    *What is up with the naming of the winter storms? Did I miss a memo about this? Blizzards and such are nasty, but it’s not like they’re the equivalent to a hurricane, tornado, or earthquake.

    Ogvorbis: Missed this earlier:


    *snicker* That is SO Pennsylvanian!

    AJ Milne:
    For Pennsylvanians, New Jersey’s mere existence is enough to cause harm. Born in Jersey? You’re doomed for life. Travelled through Jersey? Decontaminate before stepping foot on PA soil. Watched Jersey Shore? You’re dead to us.

  159. Portia, sporty and glam, pelted with pastries says

    Yeah, this is the first named winter storm I’m aware of. It might alleviate all the “SNOWMAGGEDON” type snow-puns, though, so I’m on board. After the Big One of 2010 (Remember the photos of Lake Shore Drive that February? Hundreds of abandoned cars), it wouldn’t be terrible to have a name to call them, even if they aren’t as devastating as a hurricane. The worst of it is apparently going to hit a bit north of me, which is nice (for me:). Thanks for the well wishes. Hopefully people will be smart (ha!) and not cause too much trouble.

  160. ImaginesABeach says

    Socio-gen, apparently the Weather Channel has decided to name winter storms. I assume it will make them money.

  161. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Yea! New hot water heater is finally installed, up to code and approved by the city, and working at a good temperature (warm, but not scalding hot if not mixed with cold water). The dishwasher is finally running, which is good as hand washing dishes in a small bin of water heated in the microwave isn’t really productive.

    Yea!s to numerous folks with good news.

  162. says

    in Latvian, ‘eggs’ is a slang term for testicles.

    Also true in Spanish and a number of other languages.

    Good news that SonVorbis is still employed, bad that he was robbed, congratulations to those finishing exams as well.

    Ogvorbis, you’ve got to cut yourself some slack and give yourself some credit. You’re probably at least 2-3 times more useful than me, because I can’t even pull off “silly” with any real skill.

    This goes for me too. My ‘silly’ tends to come off more as ‘odd’ or sometimes ‘disturbing’ which is why I try to avoid doing it in company. Also, I have no useable skills whatsoever beyond basic household tasks I’m technically a skilled LMT, but I’ve got tendinitis in my shoulder so I can’t do that anymore, and I know how to organize things/people, but I’ve got nothing to organize and people generally scare me, which makes applying that one hard too.

    On a completely different note, I know we have some French speakers on here, and my own French is very rusty. Would “Le Gazon de ménétrier” be a valid translation of ‘Fiddler’s Green?’

  163. bluentx says

    re: Ogvorbis @ #156:

    Have mercy! How so you appease the Goddess when you misspell Tpyos? *sheesh*
    Virtual floggings?…
    Writing “I will not misspell Tpyos” 1,000 times on the blackboard?…

    And BTW.. Before starting to- I thought about commenting many times. On more than one occasion it was because of one of your comments. (“Oooo! Mr. Ogvorbis’ history class is in session ! Yea! Park ranger, firefighting or train stories oh, my!”)
    And as far as being ‘silly’-sometimes ya need recess rather than class time.


    Good luck (or something) with the storm. Meanwhile, ..sweating in Texas…in December.
    Is this still NORTH America or did I miss that memo,too?

  164. Socio-gen, something something... says

    I’m guessing there have been at least 3 others, since we’re on a “D” name, assuming they follow the hurricane-naming model.

    Hopefully people will be smart (ha!) and not cause too much trouble.

    Good luck with that! My brother the FF/EMT believes that, in our county, “blizzard conditions” means “Let’s go to Walmart.” And that, upon discovering 18 inches of snow plus ice causes one’s vehicle to meet tree/guardrail/house/other vehicle, said members of the public will greet their first responders with, “What took you so long to get here?!”

    Ohhh, the Weather Channel… that explains a great deal. I guess they ran out of ways to smush the word “snow” into a word meaning “very bad thing” in order to hype sorta-events into “THE GREATEST DISASTER EVER FACED BY HUMANITY IN OUR LIFETIME!”


    YAY for a new hot water heater!

  165. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    A commenter named Koshka talks about how xe lost one of hir children (in the ‘good time to be offline’ thread).

  166. Portia, sporty and glam, pelted with pastries says

    I’m guessing there have been at least 3 others, since we’re on a “D” name, assuming they follow the hurricane-naming model.

    You make a good point.

    “blizzard conditions” means “Let’s go to Walmart.”

    Ha, so true. Most people I know have prepared to hole up and wait it out. Then again, I don’t have much room to talk. During the 2010 storm, I drove across Illinois at about 5-20 mph from school to my best friend’s house. She was a week from her due date and I had promised to be with her during labor and delivery. It turned out to be a good thing I went, though, because she went into labor a day and a half later. And being snowed in with friends is pretty fun, too. :) I’m hoping my cousin’s school (where she teaches) is canceled tomorrow so she can make it a mile down the road to bake cookies with me :)

  167. says

    My ‘silly’ tends to come off more as ‘odd’ or sometimes ‘disturbing’…

    (Looks concerned…)

    … but… you say that like it’s a bad thing.

    This… This calls so much into question.

    … also, it poses a practical problem for me, if it recommends the self-restraint–even self-censorship–you seem to have arrived at.

    As, see, besides my ‘silly’, my ‘serious’ also comes off as ‘odd’ and sometimes ‘disturbing’.

    As, for that matter, does my ‘disinterested’. As does my ‘nonplussed’…

    … as does my ‘enraged’… as does my ‘flirtatious’… as does my ‘going to the bathroom’… as does my ‘sleeping’… as does my ‘buying a coffee’… as does my ‘not even here’…

    (/I’m told my ‘crossing the street’ is generally pretty conventional and unalarming tho’.)

  168. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    Oooh I want to bake cookies with you too.
    But I hate the cold.
    How do we work around that…?
    Perhaps if Nerd finishes the Foodstuff USB Transporter 9000…

  169. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    If one can be ‘nonplussed’, can one also be ‘plussed’?
    And if people can be ‘under-‘ and ‘over-‘ whelmed, why is no one ever just ‘whelmed’?

  170. carlie says

    And if people can be ‘under-’ and ‘over-’ whelmed, why is no one ever just ‘whelmed’?

    Probably for the same reason there is underwear and outerwear, but no “wear”. :)

    The pieces of holiday shopping are coming together! The hardest one was my grandmother, and I finally in a fit of desperation cooked up an idea of giving my brother a gift card for a restaurant for his family (which was going to be their gift anyway) large enough to cover grandma too, and ask him for them to take her out to eat. He very kindly agreed. :)

  171. Portia, sporty and glam, pelted with pastries says

    All this linguistics is leaving me positively combobulated. :)

  172. bluentx says

    I would say “Come on down, ya’ll!” but … yeah.. Texas. I’m aware…very aware of the shortcomings. *sigh*

  173. Portia, sporty and glam, pelted with pastries says

    The warmth is appealing though, feel free to keep gloating about that, as it is one of Texas’ few strong points. :)

  174. Portia, sporty and glam, pelted with pastries says

    I would. I much prefer heat to cold. Even triple digit heat.

  175. Portia, sporty and glam, pelted with pastries says

    Glad you found a solution, carlie. I’m currently trying to think of a family gift for good friends of mine. Or rather, a couple gift, since I’m going to knit the little one a hat. (The little one who was born during the Snowmaggedon). I hate feeling pressure to find a gift when nothing comes to mind.

  176. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    ::gloating, he removes his shirt and steps outside under the starlit sky and screams::
    Thank you FSM for granting me such pleasant temperatures….

  177. bluentx says

    [Paraphrasing:] “I use to say George W. Bush wasn’t a stupid man. I don’t agree with his politics but I did’t think he was stupid. .. Then he announced he was spending the entire month of August in Central Texas…I give up…”
    — Molly Ivins

    Damn, I miss Molly!

  178. ImaginesABeach says

    Back in 1991, it started snowing on Halloween, and continued for 3 days. We got around 36 inches of snow. I was living with a friend who loved to but alcohol, and a friend who was a bartender got snowed in with us. We spent the weekend snowbound and plowed.

  179. John Morales says


    If one can be ‘nonplussed’, can one also be ‘plussed’?


    And if people can be ‘under-’ and ‘over-’ whelmed, why is no one ever just ‘whelmed’?

    Because the term has fallen into desuetude.

  180. Portia, sporty and glam, pelted with pastries says

    Snowmaggedon was what they called the February 2010 storm, Tony.

    ImaginesABeach, I see what you did there! And I snickered. I got snowed in with Mormons. But man we ate a lot of candy.

  181. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    SteveOR, you shouldn’t post in the Lounge. Our response to you is beyond what should be done here, so you are artificially hiding behind the civility in this thread. Stay at the Thunderdome, where people can really give you what you should hear, which isn’t what you want to hear. And never will be. You have burned too many bridges…

  182. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    John M:
    Do all the people in your life carry dictionaries when around you? You have an extensive vocabulary.

  183. carlie says

    but … yeah.. Texas. I’m aware…very aware of the shortcomings.

    I hear the stars at night are big and bright there.


  184. John Morales says

    Tony, I love words and have a felicitously fortunate facility for employing them appositely, as well as a retentive lexical memory.

    (That’s longstanding; many (many) years ago, my sisters gave me this book as a Christmas present)

  185. chigau (違う) says

    I was sooo hoping that “desuetude” was a typo.
    But I learned this night that I have never heard it pronounced correctly, so I have never thought about the spelling.
    [dis-use-it-ude] or something similar.
    I am going back to my cave.
    I think “underwear and outerwear” are like the yin/yang symbol ☯.

  186. bluentx says

    Google Pharyangulated this night!
    Somewhere in the bowels of Google Mountain you can hear: “Why so many hits on ‘desuetude’ ?”

  187. Josh, Exasperated SpokesGay says

    Hey lounge lizards. I’m good, excepting the ordinary stress of prepping myself for three or four days with family in upstate New York who are in a constant state of drama creation and internecine war. Fuck, I hate the holidays. Why can’t grown-ups just act like grown-ups, plaster a fake smile onto their face, eat, drink, and be merry, and then go home? No, there must be histrionics.

    Nothing most of us don’t go through; I’m just complaining:) At least we all agreed we’re not doing the whole gift thing (so tiresome). I told my mother today I hadn’t done any shopping and certainly didn’t expect or want anything except company and sharing meals together. She said, “Thank fuck, because we’re paying bills for Christmas.” That’s done and dusted, at least.

  188. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    I just built a big fucking fire in my parent’s fireplace here in the NC mountains. I cannot tell you how much I love doing that.

  189. bluentx says

    All quiet on the Southern Front. As said above: “Come on down, ya’ll”!
    And bring the cat(s). Mine seem to have gotten lazy. Cleaned a mouse nest (winter home) out of the bottom of my stove Mon. morning! Squeaking (Mom in labor?) led me to the cozy group among my baking pans!

  190. says

    Rev. BigDumbChimp,

    My teenaged home is in the NC foothills. On a night like tonight, there’s hardly anything better than a huge fire, is there? Shit, I might start one here in New Mexico just for shits and grins.

  191. Hekuni Cat, MQG says


    Back in 1991, it started snowing on Halloween, and continued for 3 days. We got around 36 inches of snow.

    I remember this storm. The law firm I worked for at the time had no snow policy*, so on the first morning of the storm, I trudged through 18″ of snow to Hennepin Avenue to catch a bus. It was actually easier to get to work that day (snow emergency route) than it was for the next week.

    *The senior attorneys instituted one as a result of this storm.

    Josh! *pouncehug*

  192. says

    Ogvorbis, cicely, and Joe: I know I’m new, but for what it’s worth, I like all of you, and I think your contributions (silly or not) are part of what make this place so awesome. People like you are one of the biggest reasons I stopped lurking and started commenting.

    Nerd of Redhead: Glad to hear that your water heater is in and working properly.

    Audley: DarkBaby is still adorable.

    God luck to everyone who is expecting a snow storm soon. It’s still cold here, but most of the snow arrived before I did.

    So, next semester I’m going to be doing an independent study in Marxist literary criticism with one of my favorite professors. We’re trying to choose our text, so he’s given me a short list to consider. I don’t know if any of you are into this sort of thing, but if you are, which one of these would you pick? Theodor Adorno’s The Culture Industry, Pierre Macherey’s A Theory of Literary Production, Althusser’s For Marx or On Lenin and Philosophy, Raymond Williams’s Marxism and Literature, Adorno and Horkheimer’s The Dialectic of Enlightenment, or Walter Benjamin’s Illuminations?
    The fact that I’m so excited about this probably means that I’m a huge dork, but whatever.

  193. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Sure do. Mayberry.

    I grew up in Winston-Salem currently in Roaring Gap, NC near Elkin, I can see Pilot Mountain from my parent’s porch.

  194. cicely (fair to partly cranky, with scattered afternoon umbrage) says

    *hugs* and emotional support for rq. Get some rest!

    *anotherpouncehug* for Hekuni Cat

    Improbable Joe, what you need is a shtick of some kind. Horses, peas, pullets, penguins and such are all taken, but the multiverse is a biggish sorta place. Look around, see what you can find—under the couch cushions, perhaps. There’s often good material to be found there, if only because of its relative safety from the erosions and abrasions of butts. Of jokes. In the seats.
    Sorry, folks. Got a bit carried away, there.

    New hot water heater is finally installed


    *pouncehug* for Josh.

  195. says

    I just built a big fucking fire in my parent’s fireplace here in the NC mountains. I cannot tell you how much I love doing that.

    This is one of my favourite necessary rituals. Especially coming into something cold, remote, and small, and making it suddenly habitable. That bit where right around the fire is still the only place anyone wants to be, and they’re all together, cold extremities pointed inward, also good. Splitting kindling for the next time, a bit of the chill still around as the heat is coming back, also also good.

  196. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    Oooh, lookie:

    Entertainment Weekly have learned that Bryan Singer is set to Executive Produce a new Twilight Zone series for CBS TV Studios. They do say, however, that things are still at a very early stage, and it’s not even a given that the show would go to the CBS Network.

    I really like the original Twilight Zone series.


    Pacific Rim sounds coooooool:

    When legions of monstrous creatures, known as Kaiju, started rising from the sea, a war began that would take millions of lives and consume humanity’s resources for years on end.

    To combat the giant Kaiju, a special type of weapon was devised: massive robots, called Jaegers, which are controlled simultaneously by two pilots whose minds are locked in a neural bridge. But even the Jaegers are proving nearly defenseless in the face of the relentless Kaiju.

    On the verge of defeat, the forces defending mankind have no choice but to turn to two unlikely heroes – a washed up former pilot (Charlie Hunnam) and an untested trainee (Rinko Kikuchi) – who are teamed to drive a legendary but seemingly obsolete Jaeger from the past. Together, they stand as mankind’s last hope against the mounting apocalypse.

  197. Josh, Exasperated SpokesGay says

    Chimpie—Oh, how I envy you the luxury of a wood fire. My Little House in Vermont is just too small for either a woodstove or a fireplace. That’s why I compensate by lighting (and auxiliary heating) the place in winter with antique kerosene lamps. Not at all because fags approaching middle age like antiques. Nope.

    bluentx—Bring the cats? Are you sure you’re ready for that jelly? Cuz their fur’s too bootylicious for you babe.

    Hekuni Cat and Cicely—Skritchy, rolling-over-on-belly-purr for your pouncehugs.

    Hekuni Cat II—You watch your meatspace mailbox now, ya hear?

  198. says

    Joe and RevBDC: Hey, look at that, NC people. My teenage home was in the mountains of NC, near WCU. I liked the woods and creeks, but never really got along with most people there. The conservatives were really strong in my town, and it was hard to find any socially liberal friends. I’m now going to UNCG, and the boyfriend goes to UNCSA in Winston-Salem. As much as I felt uncomfortable in the mountains, I still miss them sometimes. They are so beautiful, and I love the diversity of plant and animal life there. Even now, visiting the park feels like coming home.

  199. says

    Rev, we’re absolutely neighbors separated by time then! Small world, isn’t it?

    cicely, I tried to come up with a couple of catch-phrases, but neither “there’s good eating on a fetus” nor “I’mma stick my wee-wee in it!” ever got much traction. I’m smart but often not clever, and my social skills are pretty shoddy at best. The coolest, most engaged and life-like you’ll ever see me involves a miniature Scotty in my head shouting “I’m givin’ ‘er all she’s got Ciptain! The shields cannae hold!”

  200. says

    Oh, and my wife just explained to me that if we start a fire, we have to turn off the heat for the rest of the house, or else the air intake sucks the smoke from the fireplace and distributes it evenly across the whole house.

  201. says

    You know, it’s not a bad place. The ensembles there are top-notch. The boyfriend just started grad school there this year, and he really likes it so far. I’ll be moving over there next year, so I’ll probably end up spending a lot more time over there then.

  202. Josh, Exasperated SpokesGay says


    I really like the original Twilight Zone series.

    It’s the best. It’s on Netflix streaming so I’ve watched almost four seasons over the past week. Extra special fun cuz Rod Serling is from Ithaca/upstate NY where I grew up and where my family is. He throws in lots of references to that area. The episode where the lady is in the bus station and her doppelganger is trying to take over her life? She was getting on the bus to Cortland, my home town. Also my grandma’s favorite story was when Serling was hanging out in a bar she was drinking at in the late 50s and bummed a cigarette from her.

    Other things about Twilight Zone:

    1. So many notable actors appeared on it.

    2. A very young Robert Redford is breathtakingly beautiful in “Nothing in the Dark.” I didn’t recognize him at first. I just thought to myself, “That man is arrestingly lovely. . who is that?”

    3. Bill Shatner was a total hottie in “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet.”

    4. Agnes Moorehead (‘Endora,’ Samantha’s mother, on Bewitched) lead an episode.

    5. Dick York, the first of two Darrens on “Bewitched” also lead an episode.

    6. Jack Klugman starred in two episodes.

    7. Leonard Nimoy had a bit part in the episode, “A quality of Mercy.”

    8. Serling was such a peacenik humanist it’s amazing his scripts ever got on the air.

    9. It’s a cookbook.


  203. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    My parents split time between W-S and this house. It’s a good town. Great art community.

    Visit SECCA when you’re there.

  204. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    It’s on Netflix streaming

    I had no idea. I just got Netflix and have been so obsorbed with breaking bad and mad men first few seasons I haven’t looked around much.

  205. carlie says

    As many things as I hate about my house, and as many things as I hate about my wood stove, I have to admit I love to heck sitting in front of a fire when the heat is all radiating out. It just feels so primally safe and good. Winter cold. Fire warm. If I close my eyes it’s almost like summer sun heat.

    Josh! Miss you around here. :) We don’t go see family for winter holidays- too iffy for travel, and not enough time. So we miss out on all the drama, but it’s a little small and lonely too.

    Spouse did not get a flu shot, and is currently paying for it with a raging case of the flu. Child missed his chorus concert tonight due to a cold/cough that has been dragging him down for a couple of weeks. Blech to sickness!

  206. carlie says

    Any Arrested Development fans? Since Netflix is going to start having new episodes soon, they’re “advertising” by having all of the fake shows featured in AD listed in their search as instant watch, which then takes you to a commercial for the new AD. I am overly amused by this.

  207. says

    Fireplaces are nice when you’re out in the sticks. If it were up to me, the damn things would be banned in city limits, though. Dust domes plus woodsmoke=very unpleasant.

    Welcome back. Whenever anyone else talks about the holidays, I’m thankful again that my family actually get along, and tend to have peaceful and pleasant holidays. The first time L came to a family Thanksgiving with me, he was stunned, because as he put it “I didn’t realize it was possible to have a Thanksgiving where no one got into a screaming fight.”

  208. chigau (違う) says

    One of my favorite episodes of Third Rock From the Sun gave Bill Shatner and John Lithgow a couple of throw-away lines about Nightmare at 20,000 Feet.

  209. Portia, sporty and glam, pelted with pastries says


    I just built a big fucking fire in my parent’s fireplace here in the NC mountains. I cannot tell you how much I love doing that.

    It is uniquely comforting. My mom’s house has a lovely fireplace in the kitchen, which I look forward to sitting around with cousins next week. My nephew is 2 ½, and for about a year he has been pointing to the thing and announcing “FIRE HOT” so we all don’t burn ourselves. Very considerate.


    I really like the original Twilight Zone series.

    Me too.


    Any Arrested Development fans?

    *raises both hands and flails enthusiastically*
    That *is* an amusing marketing gag.
    Last Christmas, SO got me a shirt that said “Bob Loblaw’s Law Blog” :D with a gavel, too.

    Re:Family drama

    I’m working on figuring out how to not push my sister’s buttons at family gatherings. We get along generally, but we just get on each other’s nerves at the slightest provocation. In other relationships, I’ve had success figuring out what I was contributing to the sniping and then stopping. I can’t figure out how to do that with her. *shrug*

  210. says

    Speaking of family holiday drama…

    Every year my sister-in-law sends me a card. I am ambivalent about her, but entirely sure that I’m better off without my brother in my life. He has looked down on me for years, has been nasty to me and my other brother, has taken advantage of my parents pretty regularly for his entire adult life…

    The final straw was Christmas a few years ago, where I said I would try to get my nephew/his son a educational aid(his kid is autistic). Well, I wasn’t able to do it because I had gotten laid off from work, and was trying to go back to school, and I had to pay for my books out-of-pocket the first semester. I actually missed a mortgage payment over it, money was so tight. He called me and shit on me hard for letting his kid down, and didn’t give a shit that I was broke and in financial trouble. I’ve not talked to him since, and frankly I could die without being bothered that I’ve never spoken to him again.

    Just thought I would share… I’ve already found my solution, right?

  211. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    Well, just how wacky are people?

    It’s not the end of the world, and they know it.
    Bombarded by anxious calls about whether the world will end Dec. 21, NASA administrators have set up a website to bring America back to its senses.
    Whereas the space agency typically receives around 90 calls per day on a variety of topics, NASA has been fielding 200 to 300 inquiries of late dealing with this rumor.

    Read more:

  212. bluentx says

    SC beat me to it.
    Favorite episode ever: Time Enough At Last
    Remember seeing that as a kid (in reruns, you understand- ahem) thinking that would be my luck. Break my glasses, not be able to read all those lovely books…Fortunately, I’m not quite that blind but it would be uncomfortable.

  213. Portia, sporty and glam, pelted with pastries says

    Very cute rattie pics, thanks for sharing, Caine!

    (And for reminding me to go take the sweet potatoes out of the oven).

  214. carlie says

    Captain Awkward tackles people asking about your happy holiday plans with your shitty family.

    Portia – I only finally watched AD a couple of summers ago, mainlined on Netflix Instant, so I became one of those annoying people who start making the in-jokes years after everyone else has long since tired of them, turning me into this xkcd.

  215. Portia, sporty and glam, pelted with pastries says

    Yep, Joe, I’d say you found the solution. That’s too bad. What a jerkwad. Sort of nice that SIL still makes a tiny effort?


    I just made a lunch date with a favorite professor of mine for the afternoon that I’ll be passing through Chicago. I’m so excited. I adoooore her. And she seems to think I’m alright, as she’s excited for our lunch as well.

  216. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Turkeys can stand higher heat when smoking. I do mine at around 300-325.

    Brine overnight in a brine of 1cup brown sugar 1cup kosher salt per 1gallon water

    2tbs black peppercorns

    Boil 1quart water add salt and sugar and peppercorns

    Pour 3quart ice cold water into the salt sugar solution (adjust for how much brine you need)

    Prepare a huge pot or cooler for brining (clean)

    If you have room in a fridge submerge bird in a big pot cover with brine

    If no fridge room cover bird with enough brine in a clean cooler. Cover with zip locks full of ice.

    Remove, dry

    Press softened butter thyme and s+p under skin

    Rub skin with butter, kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper

    If you feel like it rub skin with spice blend, Cajun etc….

    Smoke at 300-325 until internal thigh temp is 165-170

    Or indirect grill same

  217. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    So I tried my hand at some sorta kinda version of stir fry. It didn’t come out remotely close to stir fry…probably because I didn’t even bother trying to google a recipe; but it was still *damn* good. A little ground chicken, some powdered ginger, salt, pepper, honey, garlic salt, low sodium soy sauce, sauteed onions, minced garlic, tabasco, sweet Thai chili sauce…and in a new one for me, some carrots and broccoli. I waited until the last few minutes to add the carrots and broccoli, so that they could retain their crunch. It worked perfectly. Then I put all that over a wild/brown rice & quinoa mix. Can I say *delish*??? I don’t normally like to mix veggies in with my rice, but I decided to go out on a limb, and it worked. I don’t like mushy carrots and veggies (which is what I’m accustomed to with stir fry and mexican rice and fried rice; along with cicely’s favorite–peas)

  218. bluentx says

    Ahh..the holidays. That time of year when I’m almost (almost) glad my siblings don’t speak to me..

  219. Portia, sporty and glam, pelted with pastries says


    I ♥ Captain Awkward.

    AD: I think it’s timeless. I don’t know very many people who did watch it when it was on the air, ha. I didn’t get it to it from the beginning of airing myself, I think it was partway through the first season or something like that. What matters is, you’re one of us now. The in-jokes never stop being funny. Netflix has made it far too easy for me to recruit friends and family members into the fandom.

  220. Portia, sporty and glam, pelted with pastries says


    *holds out plate and makes puppy eyes*

    I can has sum?

  221. Portia, sporty and glam, pelted with pastries says

    Thanks! But seriously, that sounds delish. Recipes for that sort of thing are overrated. : )

  222. says


    The rats like *pistachios*?
    They have good taste!

    Oh yes, nuts about them. :D Seems a universal, other people’s rats love them also. Scroll down to the ‘Fishing in Style’ post for an adorable shot of Pearl being a piglet.


    Holy shit those are cute.

    Thanks! They are seriously digging this Ratmas business.

  223. carlie says

    There are too many of the good Twilight Zones to have a single favorite.
    Time Enough At Last, of course, also
    Most unusual camera
    Penny for your thoughts
    The invaders
    Number 12 looks just like you
    I sing the body electric
    The eye of the beholder
    The silence
    that one where the couple’s car breaks down and they get stuck in the restaurant with the fortune-telling machine

  224. says


    Seems like you did fine with that stir-fry. I’l be honest, I can never get the textures to be quite right, but as long as the flavors work you’re totally in business.


    Yeah, sis-in-law is OK. Too bad my brother is an entitled brat. He’s done me bad, but the fact that he keeps on doing my parents wrong is why I’ve never bothered attempting any sort of patching-up.


    I made a salad for dinner tonight. Marinated some chicken in vinaigrette dressing my wife had in the fridge, then cooked it and let it cool off. Then it was veggies from the farmer’s market: a head of romaine lettuce, cucumbers, onions, mushrooms, and tomatoes all in a creamy Parmesan dressing. Just really good and satisfying. BTW, this is me saying that I’ve found a farmer’s market that sells fresh produce at very good prices. :)

  225. says

    … so I just lit a fire. Enough talk. Need fire.

    It’s a little silly. I don’t really need this room heated. But then again, I do tend to be pretty productive sitting here, next to it.

  226. carlie says

    What matters is, you’re one of us now. The in-jokes never stop being funny.

    My twitter a couple of days ago: “Grades are done. Steve Holt!”

  227. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    I haven’t watched it in years, but my favorite Twilight Zone movie is the one where the Devil is captured and gets free.
    I also like the Gremlin one (Terror at 20,000 feet?).

  228. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    Okay, MOST of the lights that will require the use of a stepladder or being in the muddy places are up. Since there’s a 20% chance of rain tomorrow that’s good.

    We went to a holiday sing-along and supervised neighborhood caroling thing at the creature’s school this evening. One of the songs had the following lyrics:

    Feliz navidad
    Feliz navidad
    Feliz navidad
    prospero ano y felicidad

    I failed to suppress laughter but tactfully and discretely pointed out the “character map” Accessory program to the person who composed the powerpoint. x.x

  229. John Morales says

    Huh. I thought of The Sandkings, but that’s from the new The Outer Limits.

    (As usual, I’d read the story before I saw the show)

    PS I remember liking Omni magazine and was saddened as I saw it going downhill and becoming wooier.

  230. Josh, Exasperated SpokesGay says

    Breaking news by text from SpokesMom. Texting with her about upcoming Xmas. Trying to convince her to sit down with me and label all the old family photos from the 30s on and jot down the history as she’s the last one who knows who they are. We have a whole box of them (you know, the old black and white snaps printed on heavy paper with scalloped edges).

    SpokesGay: Ma, do I remember right that grandma worked as a secretary for Robert Moog?

    Ma: Yep. She was his secretary in 1964, the year before he demonstrated the synthesizer in Trumansburg, NY, where we lived. You know he was involved with the theremin too, right?

    SpokesGay: See, this is why I want to get the family history down!

    Ma: Don’t forget, your Aunt Mary Ellen cleaned house for him too.

    Good times.

  231. consciousness razor says

    You know he was involved with the theremin too, right?

    I’m not sure what that means, but the theremin was invented several years before Moog was born.

  232. Josh, Exasperated SpokesGay says

    but the theremin was invented several years before Moog was born

    Yes, it was. He built kits and instructions for it, but it was not his invention.

  233. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    I’m sick of watching MSNBC and seeing those damn Cancer Treatment Center commercials!
    I’e been without cable for a few weeks, so I’ve been unable to watch tv and had almost forgotten how annoying those commercials were.
    Why SC? Why?

  234. consciousness razor says

    He built kits and instructions for it, but it was not his invention.

    Yep. I thought you might have been misinformed.

    He was a pretty cool dude.

  235. Josh, Exasperated SpokesGay says

    Oh, those Cancer Treatment Center commercials—-aren’t they the ones that act all like, “Your doc says you’re gonna die? Well, we don’t think so!” Or am I thinking of some other entity?

  236. Josh, Exasperated SpokesGay says

    God damn it. I’m running out of kerosene. Forgot to get the juice to top up the lamps.

  237. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    And if people can be ‘under-’ and ‘over-’ whelmed, why is no one ever just ‘whelmed’?

    The “whelmed” state is not an integer multiple of the responsive emotion quantum.

  238. says

    Why SC? Why?


    Oh, those Cancer Treatment Center commercials—-aren’t they the ones that act all like, “Your doc says you’re gonna die? Well, we don’t think so!” Or am I thinking of some other entity?

    No, that’s them. The worst is the suggestion that their customers are fighters, with the clear implication that people who die just don’t care enough about continuing to live. (This is also a subject taken up, to my great pleasure, in Pink Ribbons, Inc.)

    I was just noticing today how CTC trumpets their “customer satisfaction” rating of like 97%. Well,…yeah…

  239. Josh, Exasperated SpokesGay says


    No, that’s them. The worst is the suggestion that their customers are fighters, with the clear implication that people who die just don’t care enough about continuing to live.

    I hate that shit. Not just philosophically, but because it does a real disservice to real people who really need to face the fact of their death for their own sake and for the sake of their survivors. If you like, email about this some time.

  240. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    …or worse, it is related to to the event in an essentially non-algebraic way, and can only be numerically approximated.

  241. Portia, sporty and glam, pelted with pastries says

    My nose is cold too. Because it never thaws out for the whole dang winter. On the bright side, the days about about to start getting longer.

  242. says

    My nose is cold. You know why? Feckin’ kero ran out. That’s why.

    Over here, Melbourne is experiencing a Diesel shortage. I have enough for maybe 50 kilometres in the tank now, and couldn’t find a single petrol station in the vicinity today that had any Diesel left. At risk of being stranded soon.

  243. Josh, Exasperated SpokesGay says


    Aye, it is dirty. But what’s the flash point? That’s important for an indoor lamp.

  244. Josh, Exasperated SpokesGay says

    I should clarify:

    1. My house’s heating system runs on piped city natural gas. I’m in no danger of freezing to death.

    2. I *voluntarily* light the house with kerosene lamps, mostly antique, in the winter.,

    3. The lamps add charm, but the mantle-burning models also throw off enough heat to keep the temperature stable, which results in a savings. I can have both heat and light from the kerosene lamps and keep the gas furnace off except in the coldest conditions.

  245. Portia, sporty and glam, pelted with pastries says

    I always end up staying up too late when SO isn’t around. Sigh. It should be easier without the snoring. I don’t know why I have so much trouble laying down my head to try to sleep by myself. Doesn’t help that snow thunder seems way louder than regular thunder.

    /sleepy rambling

  246. says

    In other news, I can not see my child on xmas day because ex is “having a family thing”. See, this is why I hope I never run out of alcohol. The gift that keeps on giving.

  247. John Morales says

    Josh, I had to look up their respective flash points (diesel 144 °F, kerosene 100–162 °F according to Wikipedia), so much of a muchness AFAICT.

    (I am relying on anecdotal evidence as to its suitability)

  248. says

    Portia: I have the same problem. Both the boyfriend and I are visiting our families right now, and it is taking me forever to get to sleep without him.

    Rorschach: I’m sorry your ex is being a jerk. But hey, The Walking Dead is cool. One of my good friends has a collection of them. I really should get around to borrowing them some time.

    The family and I just put together a gingerbread house thingy. The icing was tasty. Now I’m sitting next to the wood stove warming my feet. According to the weather channel it’s supposed to get even colder tomorrow. It’s always hard to tell how cold it actually is here because our thermometer bottoms out at -40.

  249. Portia, sporty and glam, pelted with pastries says

    Ok, I’m gonna try to fall asleep and snuggle my teddy bear. (Don’t judge me!) Gotta be well-rested for being snow in tomorrow.

  250. Hekuni Cat, MQG says

    Josh – I will keep a cat’s eye on my mailbox.

    SpokesGay: Ma, do I remember right that grandma worked as a secretary for Robert Moog?

    After she immigrated in 1921, my grandmother worked as a domestic for Oscar Mayer. :P

    You definitely need to get your family history recorded and the photos labeled. Boxes of unidentified pictures, gathering dust, are a sad thing to find. I say this as someone who helped clean out my in-laws’ house after my mother-in-law’s death. Once the older generation is gone, it is difficult or impossible to recapture the information they carry with them.

    Perhaps your mother would be willing to use audio equipment to record her stories. My husband taped his parents’ telling stories. Unfortunately he only got part of what he wanted recorded before he ran out of time.

  251. rq says

    Good morning!
    Snow! Yay…! Because we needed more on day I have to be out of the house with the stroller (they don’t clean sidewalks here)… Nothing like slogging a half-hour to the busstop (usually 10 min max) because you’re climbing over all the snowbanks and wading through the beautiful, pristine, freshly-fallen stuff.

    For the math nuts: Have you seen this? A different sort of look at Alice in Wonderland.

    re: recording history
    I volunteered at the Museum of Occupation here a few years ago, and they ended up taking me on one of their trips to find those who have been deported and record all their stories. So for about a week I got to hear other people’s memories (horror stories). The saddest part was the 95-year-old who had experienced both deportations and still survived to return, but she wouldn’t get out of bed to talk to us, because, in her opinion, she ‘wasn’t fit to be seen’.
    Hudband’s grandfather apparently had amazing stories to tell, too, but nobody recorded him, and, while being generally healthy, he died very suddenly before anything at all could be recorded. So much information lost!
    (PS Audio equipment is one of the best ways, because you get their exact words and emotions; video is even better, but some people might not like being filmed.)

    On a lighter note:
    Here’s a recipe for testicle salad:
    2 hard (yes!) boiled eggs
    1 avocado (ripe) (because legend has it that avocado also mean testicle)
    salt and pepper
    dash of chilli
    possibly some lime juice (but not too much)

    :) Serve to unsuspecting guests/friends/acquaintances/yourself.


    Good night to all those snuggling down with their teddy bears.

  252. Useless says

    Hello? Just checking to see if I’ve been banished to the hinterlands for some reason without warning, since one of my submitted comments didn’t come up.

  253. rq says

    Yeah, bluentx, too bad I’ll be away from the computer! Are you sure you’ll be ok without me???

  254. says

    @ rq

    Good night to all those snuggling down with their teddy bears.

    Still a few hours to go before teddy time in China.

    wrt historic recordings: There used to be a series of red poles stuck into the pavements in Den Haag, that played a constant recording of the voices of the survivors of the (Allied, in error) bombing of their neighborhoods. I cannot find it on the interwebz, so it might not exist anymore. Nevertheless a fascinating initiative.

  255. rq says

    Oh and Tony you want to add some sour cream and very finely chopped onion to that. :) Garlic is optional.

  256. rq says

    I think that was the strangest thing I’ve seen so far today…….
    Vulcans + hobbits does a very confused rq make…

  257. opposablethumbs says

    Dalillama – maybe “la place des violoneux” (or “la place des ménétriers”, but a real francophone is needed to tell us just how olde worlde that might sound). I gather that “violoneux” can be depreciative in France but not so much in Québec, so it depends where you’re addressing. I am voting for plural fiddlers, but if there’s only going to be one then we’d have la place du violoneux.
    John Morales

    If one can be ‘nonplussed’, can one also be ‘plussed’?


    And if people can be ‘under-’ and ‘over-’ whelmed, why is no one ever just ‘whelmed’?

    Because the term has fallen into desuetude.

    We demand they be brought back into uetude.

    9. It’s a cookbook.

    I first read that story in a pulp science fiction mag – “Amazing Stories”, maybe?? Fond memories!
    Caine, the ratmas pictures are wonderful. They really know how to have a good time! (and you give them such an incredible environment)
    Rorschach, I’m so sorry about not getting to see your kid. I’m gearing up for a shitty holiday – again – but nothing like that. I hope you are OK and that you get to see each other right before or right after, at least.
    Improbable Joe, sounds like you’re well rid of that particular brother.

  258. says

    I hope you are OK

    Thanks, that’s kind of you, but this stuff is what leaves one constantly not ok, drinking too much, and generally dispairing.

  259. bluentx says

    Vulcans + hobbits. Oh, yeeaah. Got that one on a Dr. Demento CD… Did I really admit that…

  260. bluentx says

    I’ll be offline for an hour or so. Heading home from work. If I miss your exit: Good luck out there. We’re all counting on you. And I know. “Don’t call you Shirley.”

  261. rq says

    I would stick with menetrier (with appropriate accents, of course), but you can’t say ‘gazon’ for ‘green’. I would say verger (which has a more ‘garden’ meaning but it’s green) rather than just place, other words I found don’t really do it for me… It’s been a while since I exercised my French, but I would suggest the combination: Le Verger du menetrier or Le Verger des menetriers or just Le Verger menetrier.
    I remind my (quebecois) French is rather rusty. But those are my suggestions.

    I hope the Christmas Spirit gets your ex. In the meantime, :( *hugs* and some holiday spirits…

  262. rq says

    That sounds like an awesomely awesome installation/piece of art (nice google-fu photo). That kind of thing should be kept alive, if only to remind people, via the voices of those passed away, of the horrors of war and their consequences.

  263. opposablethumbs says

    I was hoping place would work as in la place du village. The green in Fiddlers’ Green is definitely a village green, wouldn’t you say? I mean, not a garden or orchard, but just the empty space in the middle of the buildings, with the pub on one side and the church (probably) on the other and a horse-trough or duckpond somewhere :-)
    Rorschach, yes. Things that aren’t working as one wishes they could are always made worse by that insidious pressure for people to be full of cheer for the holidays. Ugh. Can I send you some internet-stranger hugs? If I may. They’re not much, I wish they were more.

  264. carlie says

    I’m sorry, rorschach. If it helps any at all, your kid probably won’t really notice the difference. We didn’t have different parents’ houses, but we did have a lot of relatives, and at the time and now I saw it as just a smear of Christmases – there was christmas here, and then at this house, and then at this house… there wasn’t any ranking or noticing particularly who was there on which day, it just made for a longer holiday with multiple celebrations.

    Child 2 got sick a few weeks ago. A few days of bad cough, general miserableness, not even enough to skip school. Then child 1 got it, has missed three days of school already in the last 2 weeks, is currently on a downswing. Then yesterday spouse came down with full-blown flu (the only one in the family not to get a flu shot). I just woke up at ungodly o’clock coughing a little and craving fruit/juice so badly I had to get up and have some. I do not think this bodes well for me.

  265. carlie says

    Holy shit, could my first sentence be read wrong. I didn’t mean your child wouldn’t notice the difference that you’re not there, I meant not notice the difference that the day you celebrate together isn’t the “real” christmas day. Oh, this is the time I really wish we had a short-term edit function.

  266. says


    all good. I do think that they dope him up on the whole Xmas spiel, but I cant be sure to what extent since I dont fucking see him. Hope you get better soon!

  267. bluentx says

    Earlier I mentioned sweating …in December. The cliche goes ” The weather in Texas.. just wait.. it’ll change (well, duh!) but the gist is understood.

    Now feeling the effects of outer edges of Draco?? Norther blew in a few hours after that “sweating ” post, Now it’s 40 above (that’s F before you ask), feels like 29,wind at 23 mph, gusts to 39.
    Not Portia, Josh et.a,l cold by any means, but uncomfortable coming home at 5am.

    Yeah, I know “Pfft, piece o’ cake” says rq, etc. Just sayin’… weird weather compared to ‘the usual’ around these parts.

  268. rq says

    Place might work, too, but it sounds too… I don’t know. I’m pretty sure a ‘green’ was historically green, too, but you know what? I’ll ask the French expert in my family (my mum) tonight and see what she says. *shrug* I was trying to find a synonym for ‘square’ (as in a town square). Something to do with ‘marketplace’ might also work. But I like the sound of the verger, I always associate the word with lush green lawns…


    Someone had bought a Christmas tree, and on the way home, the entire bus smelled of evergreen.

  269. says

    Hi there
    In an hour my last lecture for this years starts and then I can fully concentrate on the christmas mayhem.
    As for family, I’m the ungrateful bastard who ruinied it all, because I refused to play along “happy family” and spend the evening at my parents’ as if the last year had never happened. I would have if my grandmas would have enjoyed it, but they don’t do evenings anymore, so I invited everybody for coffee and cake the second day of christmas.

    Oh shit I’m sorry for your son. Iirc that’ the second scary incident that happened to him in a short time.

    Sorry you don’t get to see your kid on christmas.

  270. FossilFishy (Νεοπτόλεμος's spellchecker) says

    I’m really sorry to hear how hard it’s going for you rorschach. I can well imagine what that would be like and it ties my stomach in secondhand knots.

    From the “Privilege Comes in Many, Varied and Bizarre Forms” file:

    One of the gifts that a sucky childhood bestows upon the lucky atheist (well, this lucky atheist anyway) is a profound indifference to the Christmas season. I have no warm, fuzzy memories of yuletide family gatherings, no fond remembrances that I wish to recreate for my little one. In fact, my most abiding memories are of drunken adults almost coming to blows over the rules of Monopoly, and repeated electrical shocks from sticking my ten year old finger in the live sockets of an outdoor set of Christmas lights. Replacing the burnt out bulbs was a task given to me by my father because he was too drunk to climb the ladder.

    I’ll be alone this Christmas. Mrs Fishy and the Small Fry left today for Melbourne to see the varied and sundry rellies living there. They’ll be returning late Christmas day. This caused much consternation and hand-wringing amongst the aunties and unclies. “Oh no, Fishy will be alone on Christmas!” was heard, followed by “What will he do? Isn’t there anywhere he can go?”

    Meanwhile, I’m thinking “I’ll be alone for Christmas! Fuck yes, a day to myself!”

    Being in retail I’ve been working flat out for weeks now and for much of that time I’ve been sick. When Mrs. Fishy tentatively broached going away for a week I startled her with my enthusiastic endorsement. Having them away means that I can stay late after I shut the shop and get all the things done without feeling guilty about missing dinner-time, bath-time and/or bedtime stories.

    Sure I miss them, even now, just hours past their departure, but the season has nothing to do with it. I know it sounds corny, but they really are my definition of home. Perhaps in the new house it will be different, but as it stands now this rambling rented farm house always feels slightly foreign in their absence, like a familiar chain hotel in an unfamiliar city.

    But here’s the thing: they are coming back, and the more I miss them the more that reunion will rock.

    I’m a lucky man.

    I hope that all those having a hard time find some succour. Not just now, but in all future trials and travails.

    I hope that the absences that drag on and the hardships that plague are balanced by reunions and reliefs beyond all expectations.

    I leave that hope here, gift wrapped and pretty. And should it not fit, or the colour be unsuitable I’m willing to exchange it for whatever it is an internet stranger can do to help. Up to and including shutting up and minding my own business.

    Goodnight all. May all our tomorrows be better than all our todays.

  271. bluentx says

    Well, tomorrow’s the big day*!! Don’t ya think that last sentance deserves more than one(!)? But not four or more: I understand THAT denotes a sick mind. (The meds are working today,the meds are working today…whew)!**

    Sooo…how many of you are going to be with me in The Lounge through the dreded ACTUAL holidays ? We may not celebrate in the same way but we still have to endure disruptions in our normal routines, (Like those McDonalds employees they want to “volunteer” to work christmas day (at regular pay.of course).)

    Hope to see some of you here C. Eve and C. Day but if not have a Merry whatever. :)

    *Death! Distruction!! Mahem!

    **Black humor from a clinical depressive at the end of a long night, looking forward to nine days straight of 10 hour shifts, two hour daily commutes.. /whining

  272. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    @Rev: thank you! I’m not quite sure what I’m going to end up doing, but that is a help. You had a blog, I remember, but what was it called? I couldn’t find it – there is simply too much about bourbon & bacon on the web :)

    Pork N Whiskey

    Woefully unattended the past month due to me working my ass off, but I have a number of posts queued up.

  273. bluentx says

    Read #402 after posting #403:

    Sooo…as per the first partof #402 …that’s a “Yes/RSVP” for The Days ? I might find FossilFishy in my Lounge Stocking?:)))

    Time for bed.

    G’night and G’mornin’….

  274. blf says

    Oh, and my wife just explained to me that if we start a fire, we have to turn off the heat for the rest of the house, or else the air intake sucks the smoke from the fireplace and distributes it evenly across the whole house.

    Install a chimney. The mildly deranged penguin points out this can be done cheaply and quickly using some of the dynamite leftover from the packing and unpacking. Probably should be placed about the fireplace in your house, but that’s optional…

    (I originally tpyed Chimay but that doesn’t need any extra dynamite to enjoy.)

  275. opposablethumbs says

    I have to say, FossilFishy, your #402 hit all the nails on their respective heads for me.

    My situation is quite different – I do have the warm fuzzy and in our case completely atheist xmas family memories, but not any more now – but your overall sentiment is Just Exactly IT as far as I’m concerned.

    You don’t half have a turn of phrase on you when you want to, mate :-D
    Don’t yet know if I’ll be around online or not, at the moment, but if I am I’ll be waving to you too bluentx! Take care, and I really hope the next few days don’t take it out of you too much!

  276. ithgar says

    So, a local atheist group (Roanoke Virginia) put up billboards saying “Don’t believe in God? Join the club.”
    The local news posts a photo of said billboard on facebook, and cue the silliness. Here is a link to the photo:
    And the story on their website:,0,1484312.story
    And my friends wonder why I’m an atheist…

  277. blf says

    The mildly deranged penguin suspects the sentient but stoopid cider, last known to be watching the India–England cricket, is despondent. England won the test series, depriving the cider (and the rest of the world) of usually great comedy as they contrive to find ever-more-hilarious ways to loose. England were off to a great start, loosing the first test in a typically silly way (is there a Ministry for Silly Ways to Loose Your Wicket?), but India pulled a fast one, adopting English tactics, and hence loosing the rest of the test matches.

    The cider cannot have been amused. Since it seems a bitconsiderably unstable, something bad is probably gonna happen…

    Maybe having the Long Count Calendar Collapse within a day or so was prearranged by those clever ancient Mayans to stop the cider. You know, have a Great Final Party and actually drink the stuff.

    Failing that, anyone know a psychotic cider therapist?
    Um, that is, a therapist for psychotic cider, not one who is psychotic cider.

  278. blf says

    I’m on a bus and on the internet.

    I was wondering what that big packet that just went by was. It made quite a lump in the cable.

    (And here I was thinking a forty-foot killer rat was trying to do a DoS-attack or something…)

  279. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    Once again, you touch my heart. The way you speak of Mrs Fishy & Small Fry @402 is amazing. I am very happy they have such a loving husband/father and that you appreciate them as much as you do.

  280. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    Oh happy happy joy joy.
    I got to wake up with a moderately throbbing headache and a fairly swollen throat. I guess I am coming down with something. So strange though…I have not been sick in years. No allergies, no flu. This sucks.
    Oh and Pensacola is under a tornado warning to boot!

  281. chigau (違う) says

    It made quite a lump in the cable.

    I thought the Intertubes was being delivered by invisible varihued unicorns.

  282. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    As I have done for many years, I have volunteered to work xmas eve and day so that people with families can spend time with them. I figure since I cannot afford to travel to Orlando, at least I can make some money and grant some happiness to others. No idea how busy I will be, but I usually have no problem keeping up with Pharyngula at work.

  283. says

    My contribution to perspective on this whole Christmas thing comes from my niece, who is ten years old. She sat on Santa’s lap in one of those mall-Santa situations and asked him for “A unicorn that poops rainbows.” She did this completely unprompted. She’s a brilliant little girl, one that often call her teachers out on their errors.

    In other news, commentary on the Newtown shooting has reached a new low:

    There was not a single adult male on the school premises when the shooting occurred. In this school of 450 students, a sizeable number of whom were undoubtedly 11- and 12-year-old boys (it was a K–6 school), all the personnel — the teachers, the principal, the assistant principal, the school psychologist, the “reading specialist” — were female. There didn’t even seem to be a male janitor to heave his bucket at Adam Lanza’s knees.

    Women and small children are sitting ducks for mass-murderers…. [A] feminized setting is a setting in which helpless passivity is the norm….

    That, my friends, is a conservative, female writing in the National Review. Charlotte Allen is one horrific piece of work.

    From coverage on The Maddow Blog:

    She wrote there was “not a single adult male on the school premises,” which isn’t true. She wrote that Sandy Hook was “a K–6 school,” which isn’t true. She wrote all of the teachers at the school were women, which isn’t true. She said there was no male janitor, which isn’t true. Indeed, Andrew Kaczynski noted that the “first two sentences” in Allen’s piece “contain five factual errors.”

    What’s more, there were no “husky 12-year-old boys” at the school.

    And even if there were, I’d remind Allen that Y chromosomes do not contain magical bullet-resistant powers. Look at any of the recent mass shootings in the United States and you’ll find victims of both genders.

    As for the Flight 93 comparison, it’s true that the people on that flight showed remarkable bravery, and saved countless lives on the ground, but I hope folks will appreciate the qualitative differences between charging at men holding box cutters and men holding AR-15s.

  284. Portia, sporty and glam, pelted with pastries says

    Good morning. We are up to a full-blown blizzard warning at this point. I am preparing knitting and reading to take to the fire station if my power goes out. SO went to work, and is west of me. He says the blizzard has hit there, and that he will go home just as soon as he gets this and that and the other thing done. I want him to GO HOME and be safe. : (

  285. Portia, sporty and glam, pelted with pastries says

    Hope you and yours feel better soon : (

    Actually that’s not too much warmer than ‘round these parts.

  286. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    She also spouts this BS
    ” Parents of sick children need to be realistic about them. I know at least two sets of fine and devoted parents who have had the misfortune to raise sons who were troubled for genetic reasons beyond anyone’s control. Either of those boys could have been an Adam Lanza. You simply can’t give a non-working, non-school-enrolled 20-year-old man free range of your home, much less your cache of weapons. You have to set boundaries. You have to say, “You can’t live here anymore — you’re an adult, and it’s time for you to be a man. We’ll give you all the support you need, but we won’t be enablers.” Unfortunately, the idea of being an “adult” and a “man” once one has reached physical maturity seems to have faded out of our coddling culture”

  287. says

    opposablethumbs, rq
    I used gazon because it’s the translation of ‘greensward’ from an 1843 English-French dictionary I downloaded onto my phone from Project Gutenberg. rq, did you mean to say that Menetrier was Quebecois for fiddler? If so, I’d prefer a different word, but violoneux has entirely the wrong feel.

    My sympathies, that sucks.

    That’s incredibly cute.

    So I commented on a friend’s FB, who was blithering about arming the teachers, and one of his friends waded in, and he’s now saying that we don’t fetishize guns as a culture and it’s ridiculous to say we do. I don’t even know how to deal with this crap, but right wingers like to pull it all the time.

  288. says

    Good morning folks!

    I too woke up feeling cruddy and crappy, someone must have emailed me a virus into my nose! Yay!

    I’m working on creating an Official SpokesGuitar Fund this weekend, on account of I’m going to have a little extra money this week but not enough for the guitar. Rather than waste the money on food or heat or most likely beer, I’m going to transfer all of the money into my PayPal account and pray that I don’t waste it. Then hopefully I’ll start adding money to it in drips and drops until I have enough to get something good, rather than something now… a problem that has plagued me my whole life.

  289. says


    I too shall be (mostly) alone on Christmas. I shall be happily ensconced in my home, playing games and watching movies and cuddling with little kitties. It will be enjoyable, and I won’t have to contend with grandmothers asking when I’m going to get a girlfriend or my family trying to get me to attend the Christmas Eve Communion at their church and giving me the guilty eye when I refuse because fuck that was uncomfortable the last time I went.

  290. Krasnaya Koshka says

    Has anyone else had this horrible little turd show up on their FB (if you, indeed, are on FB)?

    20 Things a Mother Should Tell Her Son

    1. You will set the tone for the sexual relationship, so don’t take something away from her that you can’t give back.

    2. Play a sport. It will teach you how to win honorably, lose gracefully, respect authority, work with others, manage your time and stay out of trouble. And maybe even throw or catch.

    3. Use careful aim when you pee. Somebody’s got to clean that up, you know.

    4. Save money when you’re young because you’re going to need it some day.

    5. Allow me to introduce you to the dishwasher, oven, washing machine, iron, vacuum, mop and broom. Now please go use them.

    6. Pray and be a spiritual leader.

    7. Don’t ever be a bully and don’t ever start a fight, but if some idiot clocks you, please defend yourself.

    8. Your knowledge and education is something that nobody can take away from you.

    9. Treat women kindly. Forever is a long time to live alone and it’s even longer to live with somebody who hates your guts.

    10. Take pride in your appearance.

    11. Be strong and tender at the same time.

    12. A woman can do everything that you can do. This includes her having a successful career and you changing diapers at 3 A.M. Mutual respect is the key to a good relationship.

    13. “Yes ma’am” and “yes sir” still go a long way.

    14. The reason that they’re called “private parts” is because they’re “private”. Please do not scratch them in public.

    15. Peer pressure is a scary thing. Be a good leader and others will follow.

    16. Bringing her flowers for no reason is always a good idea.

    17. Be patriotic.

    18. Potty humor isn’t the only thing that’s humorous.

    19. Please choose your spouse wisely. My daughter-in-law will be the gatekeeper for me spending time with you and my grandchildren.

    20. Remember to call your mother because I might be missing you.

    I mean, really, what century are we in? I am freakin’ out on all the “Oh yes, gads yes!” responses. One atheist spoke up and was belittled with “I feel sorry for you”.

    28,000 shares of old-timey gender-policing.

    Ugh, sorry, this is the lounge and I should chill in the lounge.

  291. Portia, sporty and glam, pelted with pastries says

    Ok, call #1 up and down. They called because their dryer was on fire. Dryer fire, fun to say, and ok to joke about because it was out before we got there. Only mishap was that I somehow gave myself a gash in my finger while putting on my gear. It’s a talent.

  292. chigau (違う) says

    Krasnaya Koshka #427
    This one is good.

    5. Allow me to introduce you to the dishwasher, oven, washing machine, iron, vacuum, mop and broom. Now please go use them.


  293. Krasnaya Koshka says

    Tony @ 422 quoted Charlotte Allen (via Lynna) – ‘Unfortunately, the idea of being an “adult” and a “man” once one has reached physical maturity seems to have faded out of our coddling culture.’

    This strikes me as very odd since I live in Russia and most young people here live with their parents to at least 25 (many until they’re in their 30’s and most when they are married and having their first children). Russians (I’ve spoken to–only a few hundred) think the American habit of tossing kids out young is beastly. They cannot comprehend that I was forced to fend for myself as a teen.

    When I first moved here, I thought my gf’s nephews were horrible moochers (still living with their parents after 25!) since my mom kicked me out at 17 but that* would be a dereliction of parental duty here.

    *Kicking your kid out at 17. I am not so eloquent tonight. Apologies.

  294. cicely (Chock-full of Nuts!) says

    Improbable Joe: You underestimate yourself! You are plenty clever; you just have yet to find the Phrase That Pays.
    Or maybe you could juggle.

    My nose is cold too. Because it never thaws out for the whole dang winter.


    My eggs are cold.


    *hug* for rorschach.

  295. thunk, weirdness in the fifth month says

    In the spirit of unofficial naming, Large Low Pressure System Baldur is busy tornado-ing over the south, as well as blizzarding near portia’s location north of me.

    I remain in the uneasy middle, eagerly awaiting the deformation band to move over me and dump 4 inches of convectively enhanced snow.

  296. Krasnaya Koshka says

    chigau (違う) – Yes, all kids should be taught how to do those things. Agreed. (I’ve met a surprising number of people in my life that didn’t know how to run a washing machine.)

    Definitely not all of them are problematic, but the tone of it was icky.

  297. Portia, sporty and glam, pelted with pastries says

    1. You will set the tone for the sexual relationship, so don’t take something away from her that you can’t give back.

    If this means what I think it means, it could be boiled down to two words: “Don’t rape.” But I’m not certain that’s what it means, because I don’t speak Fuckwit. That’s one of the things I do hate about facebook is the crap that the masses coo over like this.

    Thunk, I’m actually to your west. : ) But it’s coming down thick and heavy here. The snow is almost horizontal and the flakes are wet and big.

  298. Krasnaya Koshka says

    Ugh, my 435 sounds elitist but it’s kind of the opposite. They HAD washing machines growing up, but they never had to use them for themselves.

  299. Krasnaya Koshka says

    Portia @ 436- I hadn’t thought of it that way. I don’t know whether that’s better than how I interpreted it or worse. “You will set the tone” just rubs me the wrong way. “She will be compliant” is how I read it.

    Katherine Lorraine, Chaton de la Mort @ 432 – I agree. The whole list isn’t craptastic.

    In other news: What time is this “end of the world” shindig supposed to happen tomorrow?

  300. Portia, sporty and glam, pelted with pastries says

    What I don’t get is what the warning is. What is the son not supposed to take that he can’t give back? “Virginity”?

  301. thunk, weirdness in the fifth month says

    But it’s coming down thick and heavy here. The snow is almost horizontal and the flakes are wet and big.

    Lots of instability occurring in the region NW of the low pressure; convective cells are just glomming onto the bands and dumping large amounts of snow very quickly.

  302. chigau (違う) says

    Krasnaya Koshka

    What time is this “end of the world” shindig supposed to happen tomorrow?

    And is it the same in all time zones?
    Do I stay up late or get up early?

  303. Krasnaya Koshka says

    chigau (違う) – Right? I’m pretty far ahead time zone-wise so I would like to give a heads up, if possible.

    One and a half hours until December 21st here.

  304. Krasnaya Koshka says

    Wait, isn’t Australia already well into December 21st? Where are our beloved correspondents?

  305. says


    if you stop by, don’t the rats chew on the Ratmas Tree lights?

    You’d think so, but they haven’t so far. There’s a string in their cheap little tree I’m too lazy to get off and they’ve left it alone so far. Climbing the Ratmas Tree seems to be much more exciting, along with stealing ornaments.

  306. Portia, sporty and glam, pelted with pastries says

    Glad to hear it, thunk.


    It occurs to me that I should have taken the deck furniture in.

  307. cicely (Chock-full of Nuts!) says

    My guess is it would be related to the Mayan time zone.

    I’d think so; after all, it’s their Apocalypse.

  308. Ichthyic says

    Has anyone from Australia or New Zealand posted recently?

    *static noises*




    *sounds of massive fire*

    absolutely nothing happening here.

  309. Portia, sporty and glam, pelted with pastries says

    Real conversation with a client last week:
    C: Har har the world’s gonna end, but maybe just for the Mexicans since it’s their calendar/
    Me: Erm, you mean Mayans?
    C: No, Mexicans. But it’s all the same anyway, it’s all South America.
    Me: Mexico is North America…so…
    C: I’m talkin’ Army geography.


  310. Esteleth has eaten ALL the gingerbread! Suck it! says


    Been very busy.

    I have good news and bad news.

    The good news is that the experiments I did recently neatly support my hypothesis.

    The bad news is that my hypothesis is that the past eight months have been a waste of time and materials.


    Unrelated: my employer is in a dispute with some of its employees. So the union is standing outside the main entrance with a big-ass sign announcing this fact. It is not a picket line (and the union employees in question are at work).
    I looked into the dispute, and I think the employees (and the union) are in the right, and I support unionization in general.

    That said. A big-ass sign that says than “SHAME ON [EMPLOYER]” in giant letters and “labor dispute” in tiny letters is … unclear. I suppose it makes recycling it easier, but I rather feel like I shouldn’t have to google very specific terms to even find out what the dispute is about.

  311. says

    Crispy Christ on Toast, is it the end of the world again?


    Okay. Goodbye everyone, I enjoyed knowing all you, what a terrible, tragic thing and all that. Be sure you have your towel and I hear laying down with a bag over your head might help.

    See you all tomorrow.

  312. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    I took “you will set the tone…” The same wsy you did. Portia makes a good point though.

  313. Krasnaya Koshka says

    My guess is it would be related to the Mayan time zone.

    Ah, yes, well, there is that, of course. :)

    I had two (private) lessons today with two young adults and their grandmothers* both asked me about the “end of lights”. (Which I now have been informed means the end of life, the word for “light” means so many other things, I’ve discovered.)

    Russians often do this with me to guage my belief in religion. I recall entire classes asking me about the apocalypse in May. They believe (in this case, they = my students and their babushki) that, because I’m American, I’m highly religious.

    “I’ll be here on Monday,” I said and, phew, sigh of relief. In my limited experience, people in Saint Petersburg are atheists. Or they have tchotchke from the church about but only because “why not?” The only Americans I have ever met in the last three years here have been Mormon missionaries.

    *Because the world here revolves around babushki. Grandmothers keep everything going and families often live with their babushki, or very near to them.

  314. Esteleth has eaten ALL the gingerbread! Suck it! says

    Re: the Apocalypse.

    I saw a thing on the teevee about the hooplah over the Mayan end-of-the-world shebang.

    The reporters went and interviewed scared people in the US, Europe, and various other places.

    And then they went to Mexico and talked to some actual Mayans. The response of the Mayans: “Huh?” :D :D

  315. cicely (Chock-full of Nuts!) says

    […]and I hear laying down with a bag over your head might help.

    That could totally work, ’cause if you can’t see it, then It can’t see you.
    The Horse, of course. Of the Apocalypse.

  316. Krasnaya Koshka says

    Portia @453 – That sounds exactly like one of my male cousins. And why I cut him out of my life. Ugh.

  317. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    I suddenly have this image of all your rats lined up with towels and itsy bitsy bags over their heads…

  318. Krasnaya Koshka says

    cicely (Chock-full of Nuts!) – You’ve made me laugh my ass off so many times. Thank you!

  319. Ichthyic says

    The bad news is that my hypothesis is that the past eight months have been a waste of time and materials.

    post hoc!


  320. says


    I suddenly have this image of all your rats lined up with towels and itsy bitsy bags over their heads…

    The rats *always* have their towels handy. As for me…
    42 towel right here in my studio, check. Large Don’t Panic towel handy in the bathroom. I’m good.

  321. Krasnaya Koshka says

    Ichthyic @ 451 – As per usual, a group of Russians here tonight (and my American friend!) and we’re all dying of laughter. Wait, is THIS the apocalypse? From the inside? You are sneaky, Ichthyic. Well played.

  322. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    You know, there are 4 horsemen, thus 4 horses.
    And they’re “coming to get you Barbara!”

  323. thunk, weirdness in the fifth month says


    From personal experience, few people of my extended family-ish thing are devuoutly religious. Most are either part of some soft form of theism, some deists and nones, and the few outspoken atheists (mostly the younglings) and strongly-Christian people (one family I know) are well in the minority.

    At our house, Christmas is a secular occasion, which is relatively minor compared to New Years (all night food/dance party, with Ded Moroz coming and delivering presents).

  324. Beatrice says


    It is so lovely that you decorate a tree just for your rats. What a lucky mischief they are. ;)
    Too bad Beatrice is so shy, I rarely see her.


    I’m sorry that you won’t be able to see your son for Christmas.

    Mum and I talking about how ironing sucks, father comes in.

    Me: I strongly oppose ironing. Nothing really needs to be ironed.
    Father: But what about shirts?
    Me: *bah*
    Father: Aha, you say that now, we’ll see you when you marry someone who wears white shirts every day for work.
    Me. Look, nothing will fall off if he takes an iron into his hand and irons his own shirts.
    Father: You always have to philosophize about everything. One can’t talk to you. *leaves*

  325. cicely (Chock-full of Nuts!) says

    The number of horsemen does not signify. Keep your eye on the Horses. Each and every last one of the evil suckers.

  326. says


    It is so lovely that you decorate a tree just for your rats. What a lucky mischief they are. ;)

    They are indeed. They also provide me with fabulous photo ops and much entertainment. It’s more than a fair trade. :D

    Too bad Beatrice is so shy, I rarely see her.

    I just got a shot of her and Zoe showing up for sweet potato mash yesterday! I have yet to get it posted. Beatrice is doing great, she loves the playstation and it turns out she’s a champion at chewing [holes in] and cracking walnuts. She’s such a sweetheart. On those rare occasions she lets me catch her, she really enjoys going on shoulder rides around the house.

  327. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    Oh this is too rich!
    I have laughed so much, which really isn’t good for my throat.
    Newt Gingrich supports marriage equality:

    In a stunning reversal, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) said this week that he thinks his party needs to “accommodate and deal with reality” and get on board with legal equality for same-sex couples. Gingrich, who pushed the unconstitutional Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) through Congress in 1996, has been one of the nation’s most consistent opponents of marriage equality.

  328. Krasnaya Koshka says

    Thunk – Exactly.

    And there is another really excellent commenter here simply named Koshka but I am not that person. I only realized well after I’d started commenting as Krasnaya Koshka that they had already been commenting,and doing it well. By that time I’d already sort of established myself so I wasn’t sure whether to go back to my gaming name of Krasnii Kot or continue on as is. (I didn’t want to hide my female-ness here so I changed my long-established name to the female.)

    Anyway, Thunk! I’m happy to see you! Yes, in Russia the 25th of December means nothing and it’s all about New Year’s. And then Old New Year’s. So SPb shuts down from January 1st to the 15th. Just because. I LOVE how many holidays they have here because they’re real holidays. I can step into our courtyard and sample food from all over the former USSR and slide on fake “sugrop”s and listen to children belting out “narodnii pesnii”, folk songs. This is a very social culture.

    Beatrice, I’m so sorry. This is not very different from my (American) father. Of course, you deserve better. I have so many more things to say but they all sound insipid or patronizing or miminalizing.

    I love that you post snippets from your life here because it makes me feel I’m not alone (to be perfectly selfish).

  329. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    Been meaning to ask…where did the gingerbread meme come from? I’ve seen a few commenters use it in their responses.
    Ironing does suck. I cannot figure out where the black gunk comes from on my iron. Nor hos to be rid of it. Really sucks when I go to iron my _white_ shirt.
    Oh, and shame on your dad for expecting the wife to iron the husbands clothes.

  330. says

    I hadn’t felt I was missing out much on not really paying much attention to the Mayan Apocalypse thing. Y’know… It’s sorta background silliness, now, anyway. Someone, somewhere always thinks Planet X is on collision course with us or somethin’… So now it’s just a few more. Not my problem unless I’m manning poor NASA’s phone lines…

    … and then I saw some tabloid news type report about people organizing these ‘last chance to do it/go out with a bang’ sex parties…

    (Shakes head…)

    I must be getting old. Idea didn’t even occur to me.

  331. Krasnaya Koshka says

    And Caine, since you might be hopefully here–You’re the reason I first started following Pharyngula. I read your outrage on something (I can’t even remember) in 2007 (late) or 2008 and I fell in love with your voice. You were speaking for me! You were so strong and took no shit and, though I’d been at the first gay pride parade in Phoenix in 1981 (and had been pelted with rocks and arrested–with no record, luckily), I would cower from online arguments.

    I’m a fairly insular human and generally am not outgoing but I have been an activist in real life, many times. I could not do that online. (Why? I don’t know. Maybe because facing people is more my style.)

    BUT. It was because of you, Caine, that I started to find my online voice and because the very first time I ventured a comment on Pharyngula YOU congratulated me.

    Yeah, I’m not generally prone to hero worship but I respect you deeply and you have made a big difference in my not being shy online anymore. So thank you.

  332. Esteleth has eaten ALL the gingerbread! Suck it! says


    where did the gingerbread meme come from

    I am not sure where the meme came from, but my nym comes from a very simple source. To wit, I like gingerbread.

  333. Beatrice says


    That was nice to read about Bea.

    Krasnaya Koshka,

    This particular episode with my father was more amusing than annoying, to be honest. Especially with that ending where he didn’t know what to say. (Not denying that his position is sexist, of course)


    Hm, the iron I rarely touch used to leak black too. It just stopped eventually.

  334. Krasnaya Koshka says

    Beatrice, ah, okay. Yeah. I had actually almost posted about how much I love to iron but then thought that was beside the point. I hope I wasn’t putting words in your mouth.

    I shouldn’t comment on father things at all because I only know mine and he’s horrific. My gf’s father is long dead and I’ve never known actual fathers IRL.

    My students here in Russia are my by-proxy kids (besides my nieces and nephews) and I’ve never met any of their fathers, only their mothers and grandmothers.

    Fathers to me are a bit like unicorns.

  335. says

    Krasnaya Koshka:

    So thank you.

    Goodness. Thank you. From the first time I read you, I thought and felt your voice is a very valuable one and I’m so happy you use it more often here.

  336. says

    Gad, the rats are going a bit crazed. I’ve hung more ornaments on the Ratmas Tree and Agnes is determined to steal each and every one and there has been much more tree climbing. Now I’m putting candy canes on the tree. Oh my!

  337. Krasnaya Koshka says

    Ah, Caine, you make me miss my rats terribly. Though ten was the most I could host. :)

  338. Portia, sporty and glam, pelted with pastries says

    Draco update: power went out so I walked down the hill to the fire station. The village got the generators running down here so that people can come stay warm if they need to. Hopefully the snow lets up soon. I hope I dont have to figure out somewhere else to stay tonight, while I’m hoping for things. Well there are choirs at the station but I know from experience they are not comfy.

  339. Beatrice says

    Krasnaya Koshka,

    You were also very supportive the last time I was more bitter about my father, and I appreciate that. You may have a different perspective about fathers, but that doesn’t make your thoughts and experiences that you share any less valuable.

    What I can’t grok is how you can love ironing. ;)

  340. says

    Krasnaya Koshka:

    Ah, Caine, you make me miss my rats terribly. Though ten was the most I could host. :)

    Aaaaw. Artemis is freaking out. She’s pulled down about 8 candy canes off the tree and she knows there are more up there. Just hasn’t figured out how to get them.


    Do you know about Extreme Ironing?

  341. rq says

    Jumping in the middle of things:
    1) I hate ironing. With a passion. My grandmother even ironed socks. I do not understand. I do not understand.
    2) Portia, I did not know you were a firefighting lawyer. You are officially My New Hero.
    3) I also do not understand extreme ironing.
    4) Had first Christmas concert today with the choir. Atrocious but people love this crap. Ah well. Too bad we don’t get paid.
    5) Eldest also had his (totally secular) christmas party at his kindergarten. Snow White and Mr Frost and a Winter Witch. Very adorable.
    6) Middle brother is in town for a few days. Yay for my side of the family! Sanity may yet reign.

  342. Beatrice says


    First time I hear read about it.

    “the latest danger sport that combines the thrills of an extreme outdoor activity with the satisfaction of a well-pressed shirt.”


  343. dianne says

    Speaking-maybe-of rats, the small one is asking for a pet for Christmas. Anyone have any thoughts on the relative merits of various small animal pets? Know any that can live alone and tolerate time by themselves? We could probably handle multiple very small animals (several mice or gerbils, maybe 2 rats or hamsters), but the getting left alone for hours at a time thing is inevitable…fish maybe?

  344. ImaginesABeach says

    regarding the fbook advice for sons, I would tweak it a little and make it:
    Advice from parents to their children
    1. Play games. It will teach you how to win honorably, lose gracefully, respect authority, work with others, manage your time and stay out of trouble.
    3. Use careful aim when you pee. Clean it up if you miss.
    4. Save money when you’re young because you’re going to need it some day.
    5. Allow me to introduce you to the dishwasher, oven, washing machine, iron, vacuum, mop and broom. Now please go use them.
    6. Don’t ever be a bully and don’t ever start a fight.
    8. Your knowledge and education is something that nobody can take away from you.
    9. Treat people kindly. Forever is a long time to live alone and it’s even longer to live with somebody who hates your guts.
    10. Take pride in your appearance.
    11. Be strong and tender at the same time.
    12. Most women and most men can do everything that the other can do. This includes having a successful career and changing diapers at 3 A.M. Mutual respect is the key to a good relationship.
    13. “Yes ma’am” and “yes sir” still go a long way.
    14. The reason that they’re called “private parts” is because they’re “private”. Please do not scratch them in public.
    15. Peer pressure is a scary thing. Be a good leader and others will follow.
    16. Bringing someone flowers for no reason is a good idea if the are the kind of person who likes that sort of thing.
    17. Be patriotic but not blindly.
    18. Potty humor isn’t the only thing that’s humorous.
    19. Please choose your partner wisely.
    20. Remember to call your parents because we might be missing you.

  345. says

    Dianne, rats are fine being left on their own. You do need to spend quality time with them, though, as when you’re gone for hours, they get very excited about you being back and need contact.

  346. dianne says

    Most women and most men can do everything that the other can do. This includes having a successful career and changing diapers at 3 A.M.

    Really men are MUCH better at changing diapers at 3 am than women. It’s just in their genes: hunting, making bad jokes, changing diapers at 3 am.

    Which brings me to an ancillary piece of advice: beware of people who tell you that you’re “naturally” better at something. They’re trying to limit you or get you to do the dirty work.Or, more often, both.

  347. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    Growing up, the only pet I was able to have was a gerbil. I had several of them over a period of 5-6 years. They don’t live very long, but they are easy to care for, and from what I recall, they are fine being alone. Still, I think if possible, getting two would be great so they would have company. Warning: they sometimes bite and it hurts a bit. If your little ones are not used to that, they might be in for a surprise.

  348. says


    Geez, don’t those rats know candy canes will rot their teeth?

    Rats have wonder teeth. They are monophyodonts, however, they only have incisors and molars, and their incisors are open rooted, so they are constantly growing. The eruption rate (the rate of growth) of the rat’s incisors is very high: the adult rat’s upper incisors grow on average about 2.2 mm per week (0.31-0.32 mm per day), and the lower incisors grow about 2.8 mm per week (0.4 mm per day). It takes about 40-50 days for new tooth generated at the base to reach the tip. The entire tooth is therefore never more than 40-50 days old. This rapid growth also keeps the rats’ incisors from getting cavities: any cavity would rapidly grow out and be worn away.

  349. dianne says

    Oh, and always doubt a result that confirm’s the experimenter’s preconceived ideas. It may be accurate, but there’s a higher than average probability that a subconscious (or conscious) bias has been introduced into the data.

  350. FossilFishy (Νεοπτόλεμος's spellchecker) says

    Look I don’t have much time. I have to warn you all. The horror is great…they were right they WERE RIGHT!!!1!!!!11!1! Over most of Australia…no I can’t perhaps its better to not know…fuck it I must. Today TODAY the sun came up and and and it’s a beautiful summer day, the cicadas are crying out in their despair or perhaps their horniness and magpies are singing “waddle giggle gargle gaggle poodle” and no no NO I can’t go on, its too horrible….an expect high of 30c and light winds…goodbye dear sweet friends its been great knowing you….

  351. carlie says

    Portia – U R firefighter? One of my brothers is too. :) Volunteer, but he’s good at it and does a lot of it.

    If this means what I think it means, it could be boiled down to two words: “Don’t rape.” But I’m not certain that’s what it means, because I don’t speak Fuckwit.

    I believe it specifically means not to take her virginity. Once she doesn’t have it, though, doesn’t matter, because fundies believe that you turn from a super special snowflake of purity straight into a slut once you have sex, assuming you’re a girl and you aren’t married yet.

    Krasnaya Koshka – thanks for clearing that up; I had wondered as well.

    Today I went on a hopping expedition to the major!outlet!mall! aways away. Needed items were obtained, and fun with friends was had. The coup of the day was getting a box of Harry and David pears for $5, because they’re at peak ripeness. I’ve always wondered if those fancy $30 a box pears were any better than grocery store pears, and now I can find out. (I assume the answer is NO.) So, anyone have good recipes for doing things with pears, besides just poaching them in nice juices?