1. lclane2 says

    The NRA statement today is admission that gun ownership imposes a burden on society. The NRA proposes that schools have armed guards. If we adopt the proposal it’s only fair that gun owners pay for it. I calculate that a tax of about $100/yr for each gun in the U.S. would pay for such a program. I’d be happy to see the NRA administer such a program.

  2. Beatrice says

    I was looking through my old elementary school photos. There was this one boy in another class in my year. He started in one of smaller schools that has classes only until 5th grade and then students travel further to our school, so we were about 11 when he started going to the same school as me.

    People always said he was “retarded”, I remember him dragging himself along the corridors, alone. If in company, it mostly meant the company was bullying him. I don’t think he finished school with us, but I don’t know whether his parents transferred him or pulled him out of school altogether.

    While looking at the photos and names, I remembered his name and did a little google search. I now know that he suffers from epilepsy, a pretty severe case. I can’t remember for sure, but I think I even saw him seizure a couple of times. It was laughed and mocked away by the students or dismissed as “that crazy boy”.

    I don’t think that knowing this in school would have helped me understand, but I wish I had known and I wish all of us hadn’t been such stupid fucking little assholes.

    I know that bullying would have been inexcusable in any case, so really, I just wish children weren’t so cruel to each other.

    I hope he has a nicer life now. I’m afraid he didn’t have much of a chance in elementary school.

    I don’t know why I suddenly feel so sad about this.

  3. rq says

    Because the world has ended? :( *hugs*
    Here, have a chocolate-covered prune soaked for two days in black-currant-flavoured Black Balsam. Husband’s just finishing them up (making, not eating).

  4. Beatrice says


    Another article even says how he had had a horrible time during schooling and still has no friends at all, except a dog. I’m crying now.

  5. Beatrice says

    have a chocolate-covered prune soaked for two days in black-currant-flavoured Black Balsam

    Oh, and this sounds delicious. Thanks!

  6. says


    I don’t think that knowing this in school would have helped me understand

    I imagine having correct information would have helped, a great deal. When I was in elementary school (private Catholic), there were two kids with epilepsy and it wasn’t uncommon for them to have seizures in class. We were all taught about epilepsy and no one was allowed to turn around and gape at someone having a seizure. It made a huge difference, because the other kids were much more prone to stop on someone attempting to mock or bully them on the basis of having epilepsy.

    Of course, it’s on the adults to see that kids have such information.

  7. Beatrice says


    I can’t remember any concrete information, so I’m assuming it boiled down to “he’s sick, leave him alone” which, of course, worked marvelously. *eyeroll*

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

    You’re sad because you’re compassionate, Beatrice. I’m sorry for him and for your sadness. But you know it’s not your fault.


    So often I’m glad I was homeschooled. : /

  9. Beatrice says

    Thanks for the hugs, but I don’t feel like I deserve hugs for this. I should be feeling bad about this, even though it’s not my fault.

  10. says


    A Catholic school doing something right. Now that’s a surprise.

    It was surprising. The nuns were scathingly strict* on that particular score, so no one even dreamed of making fun of kids for having epilepsy. They were treated like anyone else and both were popular (one girl, one boy.)
    *More than normal and they were strict and harsh as all hells. This was old school Catholicism all the way.

  11. says


    Yeah, you SHOULD feel bad about it. Not so much that it eats you up inside, but enough that it reminds you not to be that kind of person, or to allow other people to be terrible in your presence. I know I’ve done some terrible things in my life, and allowed other things to happen without objecting, and I feel bad about it too. Some of those things were as an adult, which makes them even worse. But I’ve managed to use the guilt to force me to stand up and say something when I see things, and to absolutely not engage in previous rotten behavior.

    It is OK to make mistakes, and even OK to forgive yourself for those mistakes… but only if you learn from them, only if you change yourself to not be the sort of person who keeps doing the wrong thing.

  12. says

    What Joe said, actually. I was trying to compose something like that but he beat me to it. So I’ll just offer more *hugs.*

    It really is amazing how predictable rightwingers are. Someone on my cousin’s Facebook was talking about how we need to return to ‘traditional values’ and progressivism is ruining this country. So I called him out on it, and he immediately started claiming I had anger issues and bleating about civility, and how one traditional value was ‘if you cant say something nice don’t say anything.” A classic combination of projection, hypocrisy and shutup that’s why.

  13. Ogvorbis: useless says

    Anyone read this story yet?

    This is Scott Vacula’s group. And also my current home town.

  14. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    I wonder what a list of these ‘ traditional values’ would look like.

  15. Ogvorbis: useless says

    abc World News is about to tell whether Noah’s Flood was real. I can hardly wait for the this.

    Prediction: local flood will be expanded to global scale.

    Prediction: I will not be able to remain silent while watching it.

    Prediction: They will waffle and still toss a bone to the radical religious right.

  16. rq says

    What Joe said.

    Apparently whining is a traditional value. I wonder if it’s marketable?

  17. Ogvorbis: useless says

    Oh, fuck. It’s Ballard and the fucking Black Sea flood.

    The flood happened 5k BC. A thousand years before the earth was created.

    I was right on all three predictions.

    So off to bed. G’night.

  18. Ogvorbis: useless says

    Forgot part of my minirant.

    According to Ballard, the flood happened ~5,000 BCE. In other words, 7,000 years ago. “Just as the bible says.”

    Act like a scientist, Ballard.

  19. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    I am going to try and avoid commenting in PZs new feminism thread since he is trying to do a social experiment. Dammit though, one of the things I have learned here is not to let harmful ideas go unchallenged.

  20. says


    I am going to try and avoid commenting in PZs new feminism thread since he is trying to do a social experiment.

    There’s no need to do that. Only one has shown and demonstrated an inability to follow directions. That, and an old godbot showed up.

  21. says

    I’ve got another live one on the Facebooks. I understand why a bunch of you folks don’t like going there.
    This one started in agreeing with a post proposing we arm the teachers. Suggestions of gun control were met with the Time article about how it’s not the guns it’s the cultural difference between Europe and the States that accounts for fewer mass shootings. I replied, (paraphrasing) ‘Yeah, but part of that cultural difference is that they don’t fetishize guns like we do, which is alo a reason they have sensible gun control laws. There’s not a huge lobby shrieking that everyone has a holy sacred inviolable right to as many firearms as they can afford and store.” He says it’s absurd to say that Americans Fetishize guns and I’m jsut overreacting to a vocal minority.. A few posts later, he asks why a responsible’ gun owner shouldn’t have an ak-47. When I ask why he should be allowed to run around with military ordnance, guess what the answer is? “FREEEDOM!!! LIBERY!!!!!RIGHTS!!!!” Seriously, do these people even listen to themselves when they talk?

  22. carlie says

    Scott Vacula? From Quantum Veap and Venterprise?

    lol forever, because I made that same connection immediately but never would have been able to come up with that reply.

    Beatrice, I have similar issues wrt things I have done in the past – I’ve mentioned it many times, but I was an evangelical fundie. Was too shy to do too much on the evangelical front, but I’ve had some “conversations” at people that I am really ashamed of now. All I can do is to be sure to teach my own children differently, treat people well going forward, and step in and stand up for people when I see others acting as I used to.

    Child is all well. Well, still coughing terribly, but much more peppy. Good thing, because he has a lot of homework to make up over the holiday break.

  23. says

    I really, really want an explanation as to what, specifically, “that does not mean that women should be made more powerful than men” means. Seems to me that equality has a very different definition for some people.

  24. carlie says


    *falls over of shock*

    If I never see another of those stupid t-shirt ads featuring busty women in skimpy shirts, it will be none too soon.

  25. Socio-gen, something something... says

    Survived the cold and the trip to the store to drag home a 24-pk of toilet paper, despite the strange looks on the bus. It should last until warm weather arrives. (Assuming I don’t end up with some sort of gastrointestinal plague between now and then.)

    Then surprise! FWB got back in town a day early (yay!) so we went out for an early dinner. He’s on board with The Plan. I decided that, rather than tell my mother directly (which I’d never do if this were real), I’d “slip” and mention it to the sis-in-law I know will spill the beans “accidentally” so she and Mom can tut-tut over my sinful ways and eventual burning.

    Yay and congratulations on furniture!

    Yay for new boots!

    Yes, I’m thinking The Plan could serve as a useful deterrent for years to come.

    Hugs, if you want them. And, what Joe said.

    And lo, by this sign you shall know that the Apocalypse is upon you: useful and appropriate advertising on FtB.

  26. rq says

    That sounds like a good plan! And congratulations on the successful hunt (for TP). :) I hope it wasn’t a tough haul home. ;)

  27. John Morales says


    I really, really want an explanation as to what, specifically, “that does not mean that women should be made more powerful than men” means. Seems to me that equality has a very different definition for some people.

    I think G. Orwell pinned that one down long ago: in a society where people are equal, some will be more equal than others.

  28. Socio-gen, something something... says

    The only real trouble is that the pack is so big, there’s no easy way of carrying it. I ended up holding against my hip like I would a toddler. (I’m going to write a letter to Scott and tell them that a carry-handle would be appreciated.) Normally, I wouldn’t buy such a big pack, but, as much as I hate going out in the cold, I’d really hate having to buy more in February when +6 will seem summery.

  29. Ogvorbis: useless says

    Cannot sleep. Knee throbbing. Watching Ball Sate v. UCF in the Beef O’Brady Bowl.

  30. bluentx says

    Gregory Greenwood said: “… to turn schools into armed camps.”
    So, the Glenn Beck/Alex Jones fantasy camps are coming true– with the help of the NRA?

    And parents HAVE YOU HEARD about the great new Christmas idea for the kiddies… Bullet proof backpacks! Cripes!
    As a retired cop said ” No way could they put the kind of armor in there that would stop the type of ammo used at Sandy Hook. And if they did the pack would be so heavy the kid couldn’t carry it and there would be no room for books.

  31. ednaz says

    Hello All!

    *Taking cue from Janine*

    If I had a rocket launcher
    I’d launch in the morning
    I’d launch in the evening…

    Socio-gen @ 42

    so she and Mom can tut-tut over my sinful ways and eventual burning.

    No worries, fire extinguisher at the ready.

  32. ednaz says

    Ogvorbis – I am sorry about your knee.

    I have a new pair of compression socks. Would you like one?
    They’re thigh-high and toeless!

    *presentation gesture*

  33. bluentx says

    Interrupting my reading of the “Experiment” thread (already WTFing).

    I had already decided,before ShermerGate- (is there another name) to let my subscription to Skeptic mag lapse- due to Sermer’s Libraturdiness, Harriet Hall’s anti-RW crap and other reasons.
    I intend to send a letter explaining my reasons for not renewing after so many (?) years. Anyone wanna help me compose the letter?

    Now back to WTFing….

  34. Ogvorbis: useless says

    I have a new pair of compression socks. Would you like one?

    No, thanks. This is a sprained knee and I allowed it to get too weak (my fault (normal, right?)). So, right now, my MCL is too weak and is putting extra strain on my distal hamstring. I also suspect that there is a horn flap tear, a small one, in the meniscus. The lock and pop, complete with a moment of exquisite pain, feels like a small tear in the cartilege. Which is, of course, inflaming the synovial lining (shut up, Firefox, ‘synovial’ is too a word!). No swelling. Just waiting for the mild painkiller to take the edge off.

    But with no swelling, compsocks really wouldn’t do much. Though I do have a pair that I will be wearing when driving to Florida. I also wear them on airplanes.

  35. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    Even if you had a rocket launcher, you have no Judge…
    (Will she get it?)

  36. John Morales says


    Anyone wanna help me compose the letter?

    Not I (it’s your letter, after all!), but you’re welcome to post its draft here for criticism and/or suggestions.

  37. Ogvorbis: useless says

    They are.

    Trying to bed myself again.

    Tomorrow, new tyres, oil change and an alignment. And pack the car for Florida.


  38. cicely says

    Ogvorbis, I send my sympathy for your knee.
    “Intelligent Design”.
    “In God’s image.”
    …ergo, this God has bad knees, and likes company in his misery.

    I have a new pair of compression socks. Would you like one?
    They’re thigh-high and toeless!

    Where do you get them?

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

    I may be a bit late with this but I had to post it here. I didn’t see it in 390, but maybe the thunderdome or 389?

    In any case, it’s the best response to this white-people-appropriate-and-misinterpret-the-mayan-calendar ridiculousness that I’ve seen yet.

  40. ednaz says

    Hi Cicely –

    The brand name is mediven. The local medical supply store orders them for me. If you want details you can e-mail me at
    my nym at specs and host and dot and com.

    Just take out the ‘ands’. : )

  41. cicely says

    Thanks, ednaz. I googled their website. Unfortunately, the ones I would find useful are also pricier than I can do, at least right now.
    I’ve bookmarked them for later, though.

  42. ednaz says

    Cicely – Yes, they are expensive as hell.

    If you don’t mind, can you reccomend a better (lower) price sock? Talking to someone who knows about a brand really makes a difference.

  43. cicely says

    Unfortunately, no. I’m entirely shopping around, myself. I’ve got a pair of knee high compression socks, but I’m not very pleased with them—they just won’t stay up. My calves are unnecessarily large anyway, and then when the swelling starts, the droopy-socks problem only gets worse. Luckily for me, my big-time problems with swelling in the lower legs and feet come in conjunction with heat (summer time, look out!) and salt intake (which I generally can keep on top of, but occasionally catch an unpleasant surprise in eating out), which means I’ve got a few months before it becomes a constant issue.

    Which is no excuse for winter.
    *huddling in sweats and flannels*

  44. ednaz says

    Cicely –
    Sorry I couldn’t be more help.
    (They do stay up, though.) : )

    Doc says get new every 3 months,(yeah, sure, I’m made of money) but I get new every 4 or 5 months.

    If I had the means, I’d send you a pair.

    Hope you find a brand that works the way you like.

  45. bastionofsass says

    Wanted to blog about some email I got recently about “Native Americans” discovering the secret to a 90 second facelift. What?

    Sounds suspicious, said skeptical me, but when I googled, I found that the “active” ingredients that are in a number of similar “facelift” products have been promoted by Dr. Oz!!! Zowie! What else do I need to know to be sure the product is safe and effective?

    Here’s what the product info says in part:

    “Unlike Botox, which paralyzes the muscle, Argireline is clinically proven to relax facial muscles by naturally inhibiting the release of brain neurotransmitters. It visibly reduces wrinkles in seconds, unlike Botox, which can take a few days.”

    I just want to check with people who know more about neurotransmitters than I do before I blog something incorrect about this:

    1. Could a topical cream/lotion affect neurotransmitters?
    2. If it could affect neurotransmitters, wouldn’t the product need to be approved by the FDA?
    3. Messing with neurotransmitters is something one shouldn’t do based on an ad (even with approval from Dr. Oz), right? Seems to me that that’s something that shouldn’t be undertaken without medical advice and supervision.
    4. If neurotransmitters were affected, wouldn’t more than just facial muscles be affected? Is there some way to limit any effects to just the face?

    In case you want, just out of curiosity, to see the website the email linked to:

    BTW, I looked and couldn’t find anything on the site about “Native Americans” discovering this miracle solution to sagging skin and wrinkles. That disappointed me.

  46. bluentx says

    Is this the same Dr. Oz ad that keeps popping up on Facebook?. (Can’t seem to find it right now.)
    I commented: “Dr.Oz is a hack” Some how the next time I saw the ad I couldn’t find my comment. Imagine that.

  47. FossilFishy (Νεοπτόλεμος's spellchecker) says

    Perhaps it’s my Canadianess and my ageiness but this is what “If I had a rocket launcher” means to me. And damn if that isn’t some of the tastiest guitar playing I’ve heard in a while.

  48. bastionofsass says


    Is this the same Dr. Oz ad that keeps popping up on Facebook?

    The email ad wasn’t from Dr. Oz, but from Visage Labs. I linked to their site.

    But when trying to find out more about product I got a number of search hits that mentioned that Dr. Oz had recommended similar products on his show.

    I don’t know anything about Dr. Oz’s ad on Facebook since I use Adblock. I’m always kind of shocked when I use iPad to check FB and I see all the ads.

    But if the FB ad was promoting some kind of woo, it probably was the same Dr. Oz.

  49. bluentx says

    It’s not just you. I thought of Bruce right off ,too.And have been trying to parse other comments/references
    since the post. Guess that shows my ageiness too.Maybe that’s why my driver license photo looks like I forgot to put my teeth in. (But…but..I don’t even wear dentures..yet.)

    Yeah, Visage Labs sounds right. I don’t use FB much. Hate it actually, but can’t seem to delete my account. Wouldn’t do any good anyway right? We are in their files FOREVER!

  50. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    Ok, that’s it for the night. I cannot stomach any more of the Slymepitters/misogynists/MRAs in the feminism thread. I know that PZ asked for them to show up, but damn…every time I think I am caught up, another crawls in. Hell, it looks like 3 different fuckwits just strolled in. Tomorrow (or, to be more accurate, later today) will be another story.

  51. MissEla says

    ednaz/cicely–Would prosthetic socks work, or are they not supportive enough? Cascade DAFO carries prosthetic and orthotic socks that you can order through their website (multiple sizes and colors). Cascade DAFO

    (Wow, that link is *huge* in preview! Hope it turns out like normal!)

  52. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Yeah, Bruce Cockburn was exactly what I meant. I remember how much right wingers hated that song. If I remember correctly, some were trashing the song in the youtube comments. (I know, never read them.) Damn good guitarist.

    In the late nineties, for a fund raiser for an anti-landmine organization, song writers like Steve Earle, Patty Griffin, Mary Chapin Carpenter and other were talking about song writing and singing song. It was the first time I heard Patty Griffin’s Top Of The World. I remember Steve Earle just saying “Wow!” when she was done.

    Bruce Cockburn played guitar for everyone besides talking about and playing his songs.

  53. says

    Hello lounge friends. How is everyone tonight/day?
    There are currently two moose asleep in my yard. We have a momma moose with a teenage baby moose laying rump to rump in the snow not 25 yards from my house. It’s painfully cold out, but sometimes there are benefits to visiting Fairbanks. The only bad thing is that I really miss my boyfriend. I know that sounds cheesy since we’ve only been apart for just over a week now, but I don’t like being without him, especially at night.

    Ogvorbis: I hope your knee feels better soon and that you can get to sleep.

    Tony: You’ve been amazing in the MRA thread. Seriously, you’re awesome. I gave up before #100. You deserve a break.

    Beatrice: Hugs, if you’d like them.

    carlie: Glad to hear that your son is feeling better.

    In other news, I think a climate-change denier just showed up in the Frontiers of Taxonomy thread. I was too tired to think up more than a quick insult.

  54. opposablethumbs says

    I’d “slip” and mention it to the sis-in-law I know will spill the beans “accidentally” so she and Mom can tut-tut over my sinful ways and eventual burning.

    Sounds like a plan, Socio Gen! Also sounds like you know exactly who you’re dealing with.
    Hope it has the desired effect and you get your peace and quiet back.

  55. Matt Penfold says

    In other news, I think a climate-change denier just showed up in the Frontiers of Taxonomy thread. I was too tired to think up more than a quick insult.

    I’ve seem that commentator before. He is none too bright, and not much fun as a chew-toy.

  56. says

    Good morning
    So, Mr. and I went to see the Hobbit last night.
    Very nice, but exhausting in 3D

    And this morning I needed to talk with #1 about religion. She got an overdose of christmas story in kindergarten this year and wanted to send letters to Jesus.
    So, I talked about stories and fairy tales and then we looked at the drawings and creatures in “The Voyage of the Basset” together.

  57. rq says

    Well, this is me popping in to wish everyone a happy weekend. And to whinge a bit, considering that the phone calls from Husband’s sister re: the state of (in)ebriation of their collective father have already begun and it’s the first day of the holidays (time off until the 26th) and we’re heading out to the country for some wonderful happy family-togetherness time and I am not pleased. Ah well. Solace lies in 1) taking computer along for work (no internet, boo, but at least I can work) and 2) heading home sometime on 24th (as long as Husband doesn’t get guilt-tripped by sister into staying longer) because I have choir duties on 25th and I don’t want to be rushing home the morning of (it’s been done, not pleasant).


    Assorted hugs and well-wishes all-round, some Christmas cookies and a great big gingerbread castle that we constructed last night, with help of my middle Brother-the-Architect.
    I wish we could stay in town this year, just once, just one year, but I suppose there are many years ahead for that kind of thing.
    Yeah, I turned hugs-for-everyone into whining-about-me.
    Well, here are some complaint-free hugs, and an even BIGGER gingerbread castle with four rounded towers and damn I should take a photo before we take it away and post it here for you all to enjoy! Especially the decorative chaos by Kids that ensued when gluing candies to the walls. :)

  58. Matt Penfold says

    :Very nice, but exhausting in 3D

    I’ve come to the conclusion I am not very keen on seeing films in 3D.

  59. carlie says

    She got an overdose of christmas story in kindergarten this year and wanted to send letters to Jesus.

    I know it’s probably obvious to everyone else, but it just hit me this year how solidly Santa is really just a god. He sees everything, punishes the bad, rewards the good, is the go-to heavy for inducing people to change their behavior to something more socially acceptable.

  60. Matt Penfold says

    I know it’s probably obvious to everyone else, but it just hit me this year how solidly Santa is really just a god. He sees everything, punishes the bad, rewards the good, is the go-to heavy for inducing people to change their behavior to something more socially acceptable.

    I am dressing up as Santa later this afternoon to play Santa at the children’s party in our village.

    It’s cool I will become a god when I do so! Who should I smite ?

  61. Socio-gen, something something... says

    Yep. Being far, far away has been a wonderful thing. Not having to deal with her every day, I started being able to see the ways she plays me, and, even if I can’t quite fight back when talking to her, I have figured some ways of using her own attitudes against her.


    She got an overdose of christmas story in kindergarten this year and wanted to send letters to Jesus.

    Oh dear.

    Hugs, if you want them and chocolate.

    I always hated having to go and spend the entire day at my paternal grandparents’ house every Xmas (mostly because we had to be there so early that we had to rush through the unwrapping of the gifts and I never got to play with any of my stuff). But tradition! So you had 18 kids, bored out of their skulls, watching the male relatives watch football and get progressively more drunk while the women worked in the kitchen. Fun times…

    I’ve actually used that comparison on people. If you get what you want, Santa obviously loves you and thinks you’re special. If you don’t, it’s because you were bad. The only difference between God and Santa is that one is going to burn you forever if you don’t do what he says. Though the other will supply coal for the fire.

  62. carlie says

    Just did the first real snow shoveling of the season, and it was only 3 inches. Much as I like not shoveling snow, that’s just weird.

  63. says

    Hope the weekend goes well

    Have you thought about writing a letter?
    The incredibly good thing about them is that you get to say waht you want to say without them being able to interrupt and play you.

    I wouldn’t mind Santa that much because there they grow out of it.
    Although I’m brutally honest about Santa, too. It’s make-belief, nothing else. I made the decission never ever to teach my children things I knew are lies.
    As a child, the adults around me found it incredibly cute to teach me and my cousin (much like my brother to me) stupid things which would amuse the adults and embarass us horribly once we found out that no, you can’t go to the tree school after highschool and no there are no hillside-sheep whose legs are shorter on one side than the other.
    I swore that they will never ever be humiliated because I knowingly taught them a lie.

  64. Beatrice says

    I’m on comment #340 of feminists experiment thread, and it’s not very impressive. I kept waiting for that deciding argument that is going to show a huge blind spot we all have about feminism, but I got nothing.

    I liked Cyranothe2nd’2 #62, as far as things I learned today go.

  65. says

    Hey Lounge Lizards!

    Just popping in for a brief pop-in. Spent the morning buying dollies to move my furniture, will spend my afternoon unpacking the truck. I have until next Friday to finish the job, but I’d like to get the bed out at least… the inflatable mattress I’m on has a small cat-claw leak in it and needs air every few hours.

  66. Krasnaya Koshka says

    Beatrice, way above at 4 and 6 –

    This reminds me of the time in junior high (when most are 12 and 13 y.o.) when it was decided to bring in a previously private group of kids who were developmentally disabled. It was a catastrophe.

    I sort of befriended a young man named Jeff who was so happy-go-lucky and didn’t seem to notice the relentless teasing of him. But once in music class (we actually had those back then) Jeff ran to the drinking fountain repeatedly, causing a disturbance because…well, because he was Jeff. Finally he was asked WHY? Why are you so thirsty?

    He responded, “Because my lungs are dry.” Laughet ensued. And I laughed along. Because I was too chicken- shit in that group setting to defend him, though he was my friend. I still feel really craptastic about that. Ugh.

    My gf has epilepsy and I’ve seen the many reactions to it. Most are kind but some are awful “No, she must be drunk or on drugs.” I hate that.

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

    i have never understood the use of 3D in the film industry.

    Is not a still photo 2D. What then of a film? Then, wouldn’t what we now call “3D movies” be 4D?

    I’m just saying.

  68. rq says

    Hahaha, I am out in the country, ‘working’, and I scammed myself some intermittent internet.

    Socio-gen, Beatrice, Giliell:
    Thanks for the thoughts! Things will take a turn for the worse once FiL arrives (tomorrow). In the meantime, it’s cold outside but all the fireplaces are warm and toasty and the drinking has begun (at least no sports). The kids are huddling beside me and watching Harry Potter, because it’s scary but they just can’t look away…!

  69. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    Not gonna say it…
    Not gonna say it…

    Screw that.

    3-D can suck the little eye crusties you get after waking up!
    Unless you’re the next Avatar, stop price gouging!

  70. Beatrice says

    3-D can suck the little eye crusties you get after waking up!

    I think this is the second time in recent weeks I’m agreeing with this kind of sentiment about 3D

  71. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    In other news, I still cannot effectively create a space between paragraphs, as seen in my response to the skeptical misogynist by way of evo psych dude in the Feminism thread…

  72. rq says

    I agree 100% with that statement. Because besides Avatar, all other movies have used it for shock value. For Avatar, it was simply a component of the scenery, to make it more expansive and to show its true depth and breadth (still a money-making gambit, but one well cone).
    I’ll go see the Hbbit and then I’ll see what I think of it.

  73. says

    Some things were really cool, like the moth (you know, Gandalf’s little friends) flying like 10 inches in front of your nose.
    As for prices, I expected worse. I was totally prepared to leave 40€ or something like that for the two of us from what I heard. Tickets were 22€ and we needed to buy the glasses which were 1,50€

  74. Ogvorbis: useless says


    Our clothes and sundries are by the front door. I have three books and six cigars carefully packed. The car has new tyres, has been aligned, and had the oil changed. I have done the cat litter and the cat food and water is set up for a week (Girl and FSiL will be dropping by daily to give the cats their canned food (spoiled little furry colons)). And I am now drinking an Ommegang Three Philosophers ale.

    And I almost feel relaxed.

  75. Beatrice says


    Have fun!


    I’ll be here during the holidays. I hope someone stays for the New Year’s Eve, ’cause you’re my company for the night.

  76. rq says

    I’ll probably be here New Year’s Eve, at least for some of the time. :) For this weekend, intermittent; next week, probably as usual. Are we going to have a happy party or are we going to go out of our way to ruin everyone else’s fun (only in good fun)?

  77. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    You know, squirrels are fascinating to watch. I am sitting here preparing to go to the gym and am engrossed in this cute critter flitting about a tree.

  78. says

    Have fun Oggie!

    Tony, I’m going to be here on and off all week, and my wife is working Xmas day so I’ll be around for most of that as well.


    The unpacking is going… OK? I hurt my leg on the very first thing coming out of the truck, which means I’m AWESOME! Nothing major, but I don’t have insurance, and won’t for a very long time, so I need to be just a little more careful. The big lucky thing of the day is that the TV fits in the nook built into the wall, so I won’t need to use a TV stand or a wall mount. And when I say “fits” I mean “slides in with a few millimeters to spare” and I had my fingers crossed the whole time.

    The bed is set up, so no more sleeping on the floor. I’m going to try to get the washer and dryer hooked up tomorrow so I can do some laundry, and if I can get the sofa out of the truck and into the house that’s pretty much all of the really heavy lifting left on the job. Yay!

  79. rq says

    Improbable Joe
    Lifting a TV with crossed fingers? Impressive! And yet you manage to hurt your leg… ;) I hope for a speedy recovery; I hope all is well. Hooray for moving in bit by bit!!

  80. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    Watching that squirrel reminds me of Caine’s rats. Utterly fascinating.

  81. John Morales says

    Tony, you were that close with your non-breaking space code, but you left out the terminating semi-colon.

    (& is the escape character to tell the parser an entity follows and ; is the terminator)

  82. Sili says

    I was just listening to Händel’s Messiah and it reminded me how much I miss Smoggy Batzrubble.

    (It was the “And we like sheep” chorus what did it.)

  83. Socio-gen, something something... says

    Horde advice needed. I got an invitation to a Mardi Gras party, which would be cool, except…. this is a party for the admin staff and faculty in the Soc/CJ dept. Technically, I’m staff, because I do my work-study there, but, none of the other work-study people were invited. (You would not believe how discreet those inquiries were.) I’m going to be the only student at a party thrown by one of the professors and attended by the other faculty and their families, some of whom I’ll have in future semesters.

    So, on one hand, I want to go (because party!), and on the other…it seems like it would be really, really awkward — and maybe crossing a line? — to socialize with my professors.

    Suggestions, comments?
    — —
    Hmmm…I’ll have to think about that. On one hand, a letter lets me express my feelings clearly, without being interrupted. On the other, my thoughts will be on paper for her to use as ammo with the rest of the family, and probably result in a guilt trip-filled phone call.

    Might be worth it…

    Safe travels!

    Yay for intermittent internet! Warm fires and Harry Potter sounds lovely!

    I’ll be here all week except for a couple-three hours Xmas Eve and most of Xmas afternoon.

  84. Socio-gen, something something... says

    I should add that, most of these professors are my age or somewhat older, so it’s not as if I’d be at the kiddie table. It just adds a whole weird dimension, being a student and at the same time being in the same age cohort.

  85. rq says

    Go socialize. :) I developed a good contact with one of my TAs in university and got invited to a couple of Christmas parties. Definitely worth it, as long as you remember which professors are yours and be polite and all that… These events can be very interesting and very educating, and they also provide you with a doorway into even more and better contacts. This is assuming this is a mildly sensible affair, and not just a raucous party that needs more bodies because students or something like that.
    I say go, without too many expectation, and hope that they all behave like professors and otherwise educated people! :)

  86. John Morales says


    Suggestions, comments?

    Seems to me you want to go, but are feeling a bit timid about doing so because of your relative status.

    I encourage you to take the punt, but remain aware you’re a bit of a newbie, and so take the lie of the land before you let your hair down*.

    (Remember, they’re just people, too!)

    * Yeah, mixed metaphorical idiomaticalness there. :)

  87. says

    I’ve gone to parties with professors before, even ones held at a professor’s house, and I’m an undergraduate. It wasn’t awkward at all. Actually, it was pretty fun. We had some great conversations, drank a little whiskey, and generally enjoyed ourselves. I’d say that if you like those professors and you think they’d be cool people to talk to, then go. Besides, if they invited you then they must think it’s ok for you to go, right?

    Beatrice: I really liked The Hobbit. I saw the regular version, not the 3D, and really enjoyed it.

    Joe: Congrats on getting all moved in and on not sleeping on the floor anymore.

    I just got done carrying in wood. Goodness, that stuff is heavy. I actually got hot carrying it. Now I’m just sitting around procrastinating writing this T.S. Eliot paper that’s due at the end of the month.

  88. Ogvorbis: useless says

    Trilbys are cool!

    Aren’t trilbys the little fuzzballs that eat grain and are born pregnant?

  89. chigau (違う) says

    Is this Mardi Gras party at Mardi Gras?
    You have a few months to evaluate the situation.
    [I say, go to the party but stay sober.
    and take pictures.]

  90. says


    Thanks! Getting off the floor is pretty cool… and almost as good is that I’m sitting in a real chair, rather than on the corner of my guitar amplifier.

  91. rq says

    Improbable Joe
    I love snazzy hats. I was just wondering if you’re having a snazzy hat party. I’d go. Probably try to make/decorate one myself, for added snazz.
    And yes, trilbies are cool. If they were more available (read: cheaper) here, the Husband would wear them. He likes snazzy hats, too.

  92. says


    You can get a trilby here for like $15-20, less than dinner for two at a half-ass restaurant. You can find a pretty wide selection at Target, or slightly nicer ones at department stores.

  93. rq says

    Problem: mailing overseas. :) Things can get crushed. BUT I appreciate the recommendation, and may try the overseas-method. This works best if I know one of my siblings will be visiting, because they tend to transport all kinds of wonderful things from back home with them.
    And damn, I have to go to bed, because talking about mailing and siblings is enough to make me feel teary and homesick. (That’s the beer talking.)


    Before I go, I would once again like to mention how much I love this place. Because I think it cannot be said enough. Yes, I’m reading through the Feminsm thread, and I am again reminded by the amazing-ness of the commentariat here. I wish I could list you all, but I know I would forget someone and that just would not be acceptable.

    PS I really will put together a Pharyngula Commune spreadsheet, if anyone’s interested. It will be my Winter Solstice present to all of you – because I got curious about the collection of talents and abilities and skills in this small circle of people. It’s the least I can do.


    On that note, I say good night, and I am grateful for not being cut off from all of you while I’m out in the country.
    Does that make me ungrateful to the people here or anti-social?
    Best to all, hugs where necessary/wanted whether requited or not!!

  94. Ogvorbis: useless says

    G’night, folks.

    I’m heading upstairs with a large shot of single malt and heading for bed. I am turning my computer off and do not expect to turn it on again until next Saturday.

    Everyone, be safe. Those of you visiting family, be very safe and good luck.

    You (all of you) mean a lot (or alot) to me. I feel very guilty that I have used you as a therapist as I figured out just why I react to certain things the way I do. Happy holidays/vacation/Christmas/Juel/Saturnalia/Solstice/etc. Have fun and be yourselfs.

  95. FossilFishy (Νεοπτόλεμος's spellchecker) says

    One of the things I love about Australia, and particularly rural Australia, is that hats are a normal part of one’s garb. Hooray for the gaping hole in the ozone layer!

    I’ve one of these in sage plaid, though mine is a bit darker and doesn’t h ave the red stripe. And one of these in black as well as a slate blue trilby and I never get the funny looks when wearing them that I used to get back in Canada.

  96. says

    One of the things I love about Australia

    One of the things I really dont like about Australia is when it’s 39C/102F outside and I have to go to work…

  97. FossilFishy (Νεοπτόλεμος's spellchecker) says

    Oh indeed rorschach. But for me it’s reversed. I have air-conditioning at work and none at home. This is not good for a cold-adapted Canadian. Sleep becomes a foreign thing. I’ve spent the last 4 years trying to increase my heat tolerance with no noticeable effect.

  98. says

    It turns out that I dress just like David Zayas as “Detective Angel Batista” on Dexter, now that I wear a trilby. It makes sense… we’re both Puerto Ricans with facial hair.

  99. Socio-gen, something something... says

    Thanks everyone! After reading your replies, I went ahead and sent my RSVP before I could talk myself out of going.

    Now, next question: since it’s a dish-to-pass — anyone have recipe that is cheap and fits the Mardi Gras theme?
    — —
    Definitely not going to be a raucous party. At the most, and depending on the amount of alcohol imbibed, we might end up with the resident Durkheimien (is that even a word?) debating the resident Weberian on the meaning of “values” and whether or not religion is necessary in determining said “values,” while the rest critique the arguments put forth. Otherwise, we’ll probably just discuss recent news/events from the sociological perspective.

    Exactly. My status fluctuates depending on context and I don’t want to assume a status I don’t have (if that makes sense?).

    I’m not really the “let your hair down” type. I might have a glass of wine and laugh too loud if someone tells a good joke, but that’s it.

    Yes, I usually have a good time talking to them in between classes or whatnot, so I should have fun. (Self: take note…we will have fun!) I think I tend to assume that invitations like this are some sort of “well, we can’t not invite her, but…” rather than being issued because they’d like me to attend. (Thank you, social anxiety!)

    Hooray on the TV and the bed. Good luck with the rest of the unpacking!

    Actually, the party’s on January 3rd. I guess it’s more of a Mardi Gras-themed “We Survived FA12” party.

    G’night, rq and Ogvorbis!


    One of the things I really dont like about Australia is when it’s 39C/102F outside and I have to go to work…

    I’m jealous. I’m sitting here wearing a full set of UnderArmour, a long-john shirt, a sweatshirt, jeans, and TWO pairs of socks. In my living room. (Admittedly, this is because I’m cheap and I refuse to turn the thermostat above 62 F.)

  100. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    Is the use of Fahrenheit more a USian thing, with Centigrade used by most other countries?

  101. cicely says

    Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal.

    Hmm…this peanut brittle seems to have a touch of peppermint in its ancestry. It’s not bad…but it’s certainly unexpected.

    How empty is The Lounge Commune going to be over the next week?

    Well, I expect to be here every day except Xmas day itself, when I’ll be at Son’s house to eat pizza and watch Hogfather. Not expecting to go anywhere for New Years.

    Tony, you are welcome to come to my house and wrangle all the squirrels you want…providing you’ll take the ones that won’t stay out of the attic. They’re much cuter when you don’t know for a fact that they are eating your house.

    Ogvorbis, have a good (and safe!) trip.
    and also

    I feel very guilty that I have used you as a therapist as I figured out just why I react to certain things the way I do.

    No need for guilt. We help each other out—and that’s how it’s supposed to be.

  102. John Morales says

    Tony, I checked the other day.

    From Wikipedia: “The Fahrenheit scale was replaced by the Celsius scale in most countries during the mid to late 20th century, though Canada retains it as a supplementary scale that can be used alongside Celsius. Fahrenheit remains the official scale of the United States, Cayman Islands, Palau, Bahamas and Belize.”

    (When I learnt about it, it was called ‘centigrade’)

  103. carlie says

    Socio-gen, if you can pull off being a little shy and flattered to be there, you will endear yourself to everyone and they will work to try to put you at ease. :)

    Happy trip, Oggie! Come back safe to us.

    I’ll be here all through the holidays, although I’m going to try to not be on the computer as much.

  104. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    John, Dalillama:
    So the continued use of Fahrenheit–American exceptionalism!

  105. says

    I have made my brine, it is cooling now. Ingredients: a mix of table salt and smoked sea salt, dark brown sugar, peppercorns, and some dried chinese-style chillies – lightly smoky. Thanks to Rev for helping me get the proportions right (and yes, I was careful and used half the volume of table salt as kosher salt.)

  106. FossilFishy (Νεοπτόλεμος's spellchecker) says

    Land area seems to be mostly expressed in acres here as well.

    I was in elementary school when Canada switched to metric. For years I knew what inside temps felt like in Fahrenheit because that’s what our furnace’s thermostat read and I knew what outside temps felt like in Celsius because that’s what the weather reports came in.

    I also still struggle with visualising people’s heights when they state them in metric. ‘Tis a strange nether world betwixt and between that I inhabit measurementwise.

  107. FossilFishy (Νεοπτόλεμος's spellchecker) says

    Have you tired Murray River Salt Alethea? It’s pretty tasty and has the lovely bonus of being a minor part of the desalinization of the Murry/Darling basin.

  108. says

    Oh yes, I keep the Murray pink salt in stock all the time. But I wanted to use the smoked salt I got recently. I thought that using all the smoked salt would be overpowering so I just mixed it with plain table salt to reduce the intensity.

  109. says

    Random-ish Threadstuff:

    I know ‘If I Had a Rocket Launcher’ from memory. Nor is it the only Cockburn tune from that era I can say this about…

    Padded with power, here they come
    International loan sharks backed by the guns
    Of market hungry military profiteers…

    Can’t play most of ’em worth a damn, mind. That guy, he had a certain not from this world thing going on with the guitar.

    Anyway, there were good things about the eighties.

    Also, re #2, I may have to encourage the spread of Canadatheism.

    … Okay. So bad idea. But dammit, it’s really crowded on my mountain right now. I wanted a little quiet early season time, and it just doesn’t look like that’s going to happen this year. And there’s a fair number of USAnians ‘mongst the pressing crowds. Convincing some of ’em there’s just no such place as here, look, it’s just tempting, y’know?

    Can’t really blame them, though. Sweet FSM did we get snow! Must have been 60 cm. After the shittiness that was last season, damn, it’s nice.

    Anyway: to the threadizens: I’ll be back in the deep stuff shortly (and for a telemark lesson in this crazy soup of snow, tomorrow, no less) and probably between there and handling cooking and wrapping and all for the next little while. So Merry Days After The Solstice to all, as this will probably be the last I’m in here for a bit.

  110. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    We are mostly metric in Australia. But people do still seem to measure height in feet and inches quite a lot.

    It makes sense – a third of a meter and ~1/10 of that are more intuitive given the scales humans operate at.

  111. FossilFishy (Νεοπτόλεμος's spellchecker) says

    Sounds really yummy Alethea.

    [looks at peanut butter sandwich]


  112. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    Herman Cain is dumb.

    Former presidential candidate Herman Cain makes a return to the world of media criticism today with a column accusing The New York Times of racism.

    Cain cites an opinion piece by University of Pennsylvania political science professor Adolph L. Reed Jr., himself an African-American, in which Reed refers to African-American Republicans as “tokens” and “a puzzle.”

    “Any newspaper that would publish a piece denigrating blacks as needing the benevolence of big government in order to serve their interests is obviously racist and deserves widespread censure for making such an insensitive and racially biased editorial decision,” Cain writes on his website,

    It’s like he didn’t read the original article.


    Or didn’t read for comprehension.

  113. John Morales says

    Azkyroth, most people are somewhat under two meters in height, tall people are a bit over two meters.

    (More to the point, you’re claiming a great distinction between measures that are well under an order of magnitude different*, and ignoring that a decimal system is far easier in terms of computation (without a calculator) for people who routinely use base-10 in their arithmetic)

    * .3048 of one, in fact — also note the difference between 1 yard and 1 meter (.9144) is less than between one inch and one tenth of a foot (.8333), yet the yard** is part of that supposedly “more intuitive” system.

    ** 3 feet or 36 inches, because that’s so intuitive too!

  114. Socio-gen, something something... says

    I forgot that Hogfather is on Netflix. It’ll be perfect after the Google Hangout and Simultaneous Gift Opening* with my sisters, their kids, and my kids on Xmas eve.

    *Three states, six computers, and ~15 people with all the technical skills of a kebob. This should be interesting….


    if you can pull off being a little shy and flattered to be there, you will endear yourself to everyone and they will work to try to put you at ease.

    I can do that without even trying. It’s my normal state of being. :)

    AJ Milne:
    Happy Merry and enjoy!

  115. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    Azkyroth, most people are somewhat under two meters in height, tall people are a bit over two meters.

    And you really can’t see why people would find, say “five and a half units” more intuitive than “one point six seven four” units or “one hundred and sixty seven units”?

    (More to the point, you’re claiming a great distinction between measures that are well under an order of magnitude different*, and ignoring that a decimal system is far easier in terms of computation (without a calculator) for people who routinely use base-10 in their arithmetic)

    I did nothing of the sort; I made a specific and qualified claim about a specific subset of the general category of units of length.

  116. John Morales says

    Bah, I am wrong above in one of the calculations above: the difference between 1 yard and 1 meter is 8.5% and between 1 inch and 1/10 of a foot it’s 1.6%.

    (It was obvious to me only when I looked back at the thread; I carelessly used 1/12 rather than 1/20:1/12 for it)

  117. John Morales says


    And you really can’t see why people would find, say “five and a half units” more intuitive than “one point six seven four” units or “one hundred and sixty seven units”?

    No; I find one and two thirds just as easy as five and a half.

    I did nothing of the sort; I made a specific and qualified claim about a specific subset of the general category of units of length.

    Well, I think it’s a silly claim. I think that people are comfortable with (and therefore find intuitive) the measurement units with which they grew up, and that a foot is no more intuitive than a meter (or a cubit, for that matter).

    Also, I see I made yet another typo in my previous comment. :|

  118. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    But if you allow “two thirds” you lose the decimal computation advantage you were trumpeting a moment ago.

    By “intuitive” I suppose I mean that it allows for a level of precision which is intermediate between numbers of decimal places in metric (0 and 1, or 1 and 2, generally) but which is convenient relative to the scales at which humans usually operate.

  119. says

    @ John Morales

    I think that people are comfortable with (and therefore find intuitive) the measurement units with which they grew up, and that a foot is no more intuitive than a meter (or a cubit, for that matter).

    Aaaaack! I must protest!

    Though this may seem true in very trivial cases, it does not hold true for more complicated cases. Imagine doing dimensional analysis in imperial units? The point about the SI system is that it allows one to develop such equations simply. Without the need of a complicated host of conversion factors. The simplicity and coherency inherent in SI frees one to work more intuitively.

  120. vaiyt says

    Just found out my college degree thesis was approved with honors, and the highest grade in the year :3

  121. vaiyt says

    I think that people are comfortable with (and therefore find intuitive) the measurement units with which they grew up, and that a foot is no more intuitive than a meter (or a cubit, for that matter).

    As someone who grew up with the metric system, I can attest to this. My height is a simple “one (meter) and seventy-two (centimeters)”, just as easy to remember and recite as “five foot (feet?) (and) seven (inches)”.

  122. John Morales says


    Imagine doing dimensional analysis in imperial units?

    Not a problem :)

    Dimensional analysis is done with dimensional units: time, mass, length etc. &dmash; so a foot-pound is the same dimensional unit as a meter-kilogram, both representing energy (displacement of a mass by a force).

    (Now, if you’re referring to computation with mixed units (e.g. hours and seconds), then the solution is to convert them all to a common denominator, which is straight-forward if time-consuming)

  123. FossilFishy (Νεοπτόλεμος's spellchecker) says

    I’d love to know what your thesis was on, if you can do so without giving too much personal info away that is, and if your not totally sick of talking about it.

  124. cicely says

    Just found out my college degree thesis was approved with honors, and the highest grade in the year :3


  125. John Morales says

    Also a particular sci-fi peeve of mine is the misuse of ‘force field’ to mean some sort of techno-magical barrier; a gravitational field is a force field.

    (SF peeve of mine)

  126. ajb47 says

    I am wondering what is the best way to move posts that might be tangents to blog posts over to the Lounge. Because what I am thinking now is that it requires a post to the “original” blog comment thread that links to the Lounge, but even that amount of off-topic posts seems wrong to me, but I don’t see a way around it if the conversation is interesting enough to continue.

    Is that the accepted convention? Post about feminism leads to post including netiquette and further discussion should be somewhere else (the Lounge). Post a netiquette reply to Lounge, post a response to blog post pointing to Lounge post?

    Sometimes I wish I were still using tin and able to reply via elm.

  127. Socio-gen, something something... says

    *chocolate* *confetti* *chocolate confetti*
    I’m the opposite. I grew up with feet and inches. I’m 5’2″ (or 60″) which is simple to remember, and I can easily figure out how much taller than me you are (5″). Whereas, if you only said 172 cm…well, first I have to do that conversion thing to figure out how tall I am in centimeters (60 times…2 point something?), then subtract, then convert it all back to feet and inches so I can figure out how much taller than me you are. :)

    What confused the daylights out of me as a kid was “stone” as a unit of weight. When I was 10-11, I read a lot of my grandmother’s old romance novels and most of the ones published in Britain used it. I always wondered, “How much is a stone and who came up with that?” Trying to find the answer taught me that you need to explain context when asking some questions, because asking the librarian “How much does a stone weigh” is not going to get a satisfactory answer. (It’s 14 pounds, by the way. Thank you, Miss Roof!)

  128. John Morales says

    ajb47, you can’t move posts here, you can only copy them.

    (Users here have no editing privilege; only the blog/post authors do)

    That said, some topic drift and metacommentary is expected on regular threads, especially as the comment count rises, and if it’s not abused no-one particularly minds.

    (I know I annoy some people with my comment tags… :) )

  129. ajb47 says

    John Morales @186

    Sorry “move” was the wrong term. I was wondering what the accepted way of taking a conversation away from a blog comment thread once a tangent has been spun off was. After 650 comments in the blog post asking for actual reasons for being against feminism, my adherence to the seemingly outmoded idea that people should think carefully about their posts came up, and since this was off-topic for the original blog post, I felt uncomfortable continuing the conversation there, but the move to here [Lounge] seemed to require a fully off-topic post on the original blog post comment thread pointing to the Lounge,

    I admit that my netiquette may be getting the better of me here.


  130. John Morales says

    ajb47, I for one find your observance of (and dedication to) netiquette exemplary, so please relax regarding that aspect.

    And you did precisely the right thing; a link in each place.

    (Just be aware of the difference between the Lounge and the Thunderdome!)

  131. ajb47 says

    John Morales @188

    A link from the original blog comment thread to the Lounge is correct. Check. That’s what I wanted to know. It feels weird but I guess that’s how it works with blogs rather than newsgroup posts.

    My netiquette comes from me joining the internet when I went back to college in 1992 and almost every Usenet newsgroup pointed to the netiquette group which said “Lurk. Lurk some more. And when you are done, Lurk a little more so you don’t post something that’s been discussed a score of times (in 1992, it was only a score – I may be exaggerating a little).” And then, the suggestions were to make sure your post said what you wanted it to say. Even back in 1992, when there were far fewer people in the discussions, they knew, or had already encountered, folks who were unclear in the expression of their ideas.

    Whoa. I have been wanting to post about my posting problems for awhile now, and I’m glad this came up with the [Lounge] as a place to post it. Half of what I read in the big discussion threads could use a throw back or shout out to the old Netiquette ideas of absorb the conversation before contributing and phrase your posts carefully.


  132. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    btw, if you’re at all worried about the appropriateness of talking about a subject in the Lounge, you can always take it to the Thunderdome, where *anything* goes.

  133. John Morales says


    My wife is a long-time fan of “Dr. Phil”, which annoys me since he may be a rather competent psychologist, but he’s an entertainer first and foremost, a goddist, a nepotist towards his family, and unabashedly promotes woo.

    Link to his site for the show on December 3, 2012 illustrating the latter claim:
    Skeptics Beware: The Psychic Intuitives Are Here.

  134. ajb47 says

    Tony @190

    No. I understand the uses for/differences between Lounge and Thunderdome. Heck, part of me wants to just put a post in Thunderdome that says, “Fuck.” For no reason whatsoever.

    As I think I said above, I didn’t find the “post in Lounge, post in original thread pointing to Lounge comment” a graceful way of handling it. But I came from Usenet where replying in email was a way to shunt tangents if necessary. This blog way of handling things is new to me, but the more I think about it, the more I realize there is no better way of handling the tangents.

    So I lurk. I’ve been lurking on Pharyngula for slightly over a year. One of my Facebook friends linked to a post where PZ showed that in fact, some random meteor did not have evidence of extra-terrestial life inside it. And lurking used to be the default position for people coming to a new situation.

    Yeah. Blog posts and comments seem extremely nonsensical to me.


  135. bluentx says

    “That’s American Exceptionalism with a capital “E”, son.”/Senator Claghorn-Foghorn Leghorn voice

  136. bluentx says

    Carlie said:

    “…I’m going to try not to be on the computer as much.”

    21st century Blasphemy!


  137. says

    I’m trying to stay away from commenting on blogs because I need to be doing research and blog arguments are a huge time suck that I can’t afford. But this thing that Kate’s talking about here struck me as a huge deal when I (independently) encountered it, and I would really like to see more people taking note of this and screaming at the NRA for it.

    Kate’s title, “A National Database of the Mentally Ill”, pretty much says it all. Wayne LaPierre, NRA executive veep, actually proposed such a thing in a press conference (do have a look at the transcript and/or watch the video that’s included with the NYTimes article), with an apparently straight face, and without even the fig leaf of trying to claim that the database would only include the “dangerously” mentally ill (however the hell one would determine that), rather than all of the roughly 25% of American adults who experience mental illness in any given year. There are so many problems with this it’s hard to even know where to start, and I’ve already spent enough time ranting about it in Ophelia’s and Kate’s comments that I don’t really have time to reiterate, but I’m sure y’all can work out the implications for yourselves.

    Seems to me there needs to be more outrage about this, tho, so I’m laying it in front of the Horde in hopes that that’ll raise its profile a bit. :/

  138. says

    Argh, I mean the video included with the NYTimes article. Apparently I’m tired enough that my brain is beginning to scramble words, so I’d better sign off for the night.

  139. bluentx says

    Anne C. Hanna:
    Don’t have time to read it all right now (at work). Just skimmed Kate’s post and your comment but I will get back to it. Thanks for directing me that way.

    Very important and not just a little creepy.

    What the NRA is opposed to registration databases for guns but people should be tracked like pets with a chip emplant ? Cripes! Is someone going to come by my house twice a day to watch how I react after each dose of my depression meds ? Aaargh!

  140. says

    Congrats, vaiyt!

    And Anne, thanks, I think? I had not read Kate’s article and assumed from the title that it was some kind of parody. I am very sad now.

    But I am cheering myself up now with pasta carbonara made with maple smoked bacon and a clove of smoked garlic, a nice glass of white, and a fancy (shop-bought) chocolate truffle for dessert.

  141. says

    We are mostly metric in Australia. But people do still seem to measure height in feet and inches quite a lot.

    Especially sports commentators. It’s hard to fathom.

  142. carlie says

    Socio-gen – we are the same height! Doesn’t it suck trying to buy clothes? Yes, yes it does. :)

    Vaiyt – congrats, and sorry about not recognizing you in the other thread. (and ixnay on the engered insultsgay).

    Now I shall go wrap presents that will be mailed, and therefore delivered, sometime between Christmas and new year’s. It’s the thought that counts, right? Not my fault that somebody decided to make a major holiday right after finals.

  143. carlie says

    I agree that the measurement type that is intuitive is the type you are most familiar with using to measure that thing. For instance, when I’m cooking, I eyeball amounts and think of them in terms of ounces. When I’m in the lab, I eyeball them and think of them in terms of milliliters. Each is equally easy, it’s just dependent on the situation and context.

  144. Matt Penfold says

    Stephen Fry once observed that the British use Fahrenheit to measure the temperature when it is hot (It’s boiling outside, must in the 80s) but Celsius when it is cold (It bloody freezing out there, must be – 10 at least!)

  145. carlie says

    I’m looking for some new podcasts to listen to and itunes searching sucks – does anyone have suggestions on things involving social justice issues? I’m looking for social/political analysis types of broadcasts from perspectives that don’t get as much general media attention – minority issues, indigenous issues, disability issues, etc.

  146. says

    I’ll be here for Xmas like every year(I work every Xmas, what’s the point of sitting at home, and it pays well), and I will be here for New Year as well, although I’m flying up to Canberra to work there NY Eve until 11pm this time around. So see yous then ;)

  147. says

    So, pretty ‘rut and it ain’t going to change any time soon.
    Plans for today:
    1.) Take family to Tchaikowsky’s Sleeping Beauty
    2.) Have lunch at in-laws
    3.) Leave family at in-laws and go home to clean up that mess for tomorrow, finish the kids’ dresses and make brownies.
    Everything worked well until after 2. and before 3. when my dad in law announced that no, he wasn’t feeling well, that his heart was giving him troubles and yes, please, call the paramedics.
    Good news: It’s not a heart attack yet, so he alerted us early enough.
    I can say nothing but good things about the team that came who worked in a team not less well choregraphed than the symphonic orchestra in the morning.
    So, now he’s in the university hospital…

  148. Gnumann+, nothing gnu under the sun (but the name sticks) says

    Stephen Fry once observed that the British use Fahrenheit to measure the temperature when it is hot (It’s boiling outside, must in the 80s) but Celsius when it is cold (It bloody freezing out there, must be – 10 at least!)

    My standard for really cold happen to be the same in both scales (approx -40).

  149. Beatrice says


    Oh no! At least he alerted you in time.
    I wish I could be sure my father would do the same.

  150. mildlymagnificent says

    Nice work, vaiyt. chocolate sprinkles on every thing … rainbows …. fireworks

    (Some clown managed to get hold of some fireworks and let them off a few hours ago next door but one. Presumably nicked from a carols by candlelight event around here. It was over 40C today! The only saving grace is that a cool change is setting in, it’s now 23 at 1 am, so the fire danger is lessened. More good luck than good management, though.)

  151. Beatrice says

    What did vaiyt do*? Oh, an excellent thesis. Congratulations!
    *this is what happens when I skip half the comments

  152. says

    Yay, vayit

    I guess your dad and my dad in law are about the same generation and type of men who moved from the care of their mothers into the care of their wives minus the authority to tell them what to do, so, in short he’s fundamentally ill equipped to care for himself but will not, of course, listen to what his wife says about healthy eating…

  153. says

    Best wishes for your father,, and *hugs*

    I’m up earlier than I wanted to be, as the ulcer flareup that woke me has precluded getting back to sleep for a while yet.
    Last night, my computer decided it wasn’t going to boot anymore. This is annoying, to say the least. The problem is apparently with wither the graphics driver or the graphics manager, but none of the recommended fixes I tried worked. I expect to be tinkering with it more today, and hopefully with better results, but not yet, because I’m still tired.

  154. Beatrice says


    You got the mentality partly right. There was a slight aberration of a couple of years living by himself, but he is now long used to mum taking care of everything.

    I don’t want to think what would have happened had his (second?) heart attack not happened while he was at home. There was already one he hadn’t even told us about until after we’ve heard from the doctors that the big one was most probably not the first.

    I hope your father in law gets released from hospital with as good results as possible.

  155. says

    Ahhh, my father in law’s first one was three years ago in the middle of the night, when he was rushed to the hospital with emergency surgery and everything.
    At that time, my mum in law called me in the morning to tell me and to inform me that she was indeed sitting on her butt in front of a different hospital where she had an appointment for that day and, of course, neither the bad weather nor the fact that she hadn’t slept at night could keep her from going there. A broken ankle could…

  156. Socio-gen, something something... says

    Good morning, all!

    I had the strangest dream last night. Some sort of Polar Express/Pharyngula mashup. We were on a train, and there was some kind of argument because some people wanted to talk amongst themselves in the club car, but other people were busy screaming that we had to talk to them and we weren’t allowed to leave the train…and then there was some kind of Bollywood dance number with the hot chocolate song….

    *shrug* I have no idea…

    Thanks for pointing me toward that, even if my reaction is mostly stunned silence.WTF? How far back would they go? I was hospitalized and treated for depression in the early 90’s*. Would I have to be on the registry?

    The NRA knows it would be completely unworkable — and wouldn’t change a damned thing. It’s just using every available scapegoat to turn public attention from the real problem: guns. The potential for discrimination

    * I always feel as if I’m appropriating the experiences of those with depression when mentioning this because, IMO, it was the result of years of gaslighting during my childhood and, later, my marriage. After my divorce and after moving out of the town my family lived in, I never experienced another episode, and I was only medicated during my hospital stay. I only mention it now because of the idea that it could put me in LaPierre’s database.

    Oh my non-existent gods, does it suck! Pants…pants are ridiculously difficult to buy. More so than the usual struggle women have trying to figure out which size they wear (depending on manufacturer, I’m anything from a 2 to a 7).

    *I realized just now that I wrote 5’2″=60″, which is incorrect; it’s 62″. Last thing I need is to lose any inches!

    Oh no! Glad your FIL let you know early enough to prevent serious damage.

    Rev. BDC:
    I dislike tinsel intensely. Feels weird in my hands, looks silly dripping from a tree, and you can’t get rid of it all afterwards, no matter how much vacuuming you do.

    Whoa! Good on Orleans Parish! I hope more districts follow their example.

  157. rq says

    Hello all, ‘rupting all the way. :)
    Congratulations to vayit, yay Socio-gen on sending the RSVP (and I’m only a bit taller than you), Metric all the way, and hugs for Giliell! I hope your FiL recovers well and quickly!
    Also, FossilFishy, very nice hats (way back up there).


    My turn to vent, please stop reading if want to avoid whining and frustration.
    So I mentioned yesterday that drama should ensue today due to the arrival of my FiL. Well, turns out quite the opposite – drama has ensued (so far low-level drama) due to his lack of arrival. But drama it is, because now I am uncertain as to whether he will be showing up at all, because all of his children are pissed off at him… for having a relationship with the wrong kind of woman. And being an incorrigible alcoholic, but you know. Small fry.
    So yesterday Husband’s sister took a detour through their hometown to pick up their little brother and head out to the country, because the FiL was apparently too drunk to drive himself and also was insisting he had a meeting to attend that evening. Fine.
    Turns out it wasn’t a meeting, but another woman – the local slut (I apologize for using the term), according to Husband and his siblings. None of them like her. The younger brother found this out after looking through his father’s phone to see what kind of a meeting was so important for him to come out to the country a day after everyone else.
    Now, they’re all mad and angry and upset (underneath all the HAHA and HAPPY HOLIDAYS) , because their father is seeing the wrong woman too soon after their mother’s death (she died last August).
    Now, I understand that they’re upset and they’re allowed to be, but the thing is, their father didn’t appreciate their mother in life – and they expect him to be able to appreciate her in death (that is, have a suitable mourning period – apparently over a year is not enough)? Also, he’s an adult. He can see who he likes. No, they don’t have to like it, but they shouldn’t be smashing their father’s phone over it. There’s so much more I could say, but all I can do here is stick to the computer and my translation and hope that he doesn’t get here, or if he does, that nobody opens the discussion – knowing Husband’s sister, this is a near-impossibility.
    Right now it looks as if he won’t be showing up at all just to spite his kids. That, or he went and got drunk and is now feeling sorry for himself and expecting the kids to show some kind of respect? concern? (for which they no longer have the patience or desire) for him, for them to somehow apologize to him… I mean, the younger brother wasn’t right in looking through his phone or smashing it just because he didn’t like what he found on it. And I believe that the mourning period should be as long as the mourner feels necessary, and he’s also free to see whom he likes, no matter the reputation of the person (ironically, while this woman has an ill repute in the local village where they grew up, she was a close friend of their mothers, who often defended her in general conversation).
    So I don’t know what to do even though I know there’s not much to do, because… Actually, I don’t even know why I worry, because I’m only peripherally involved and nobody has asked me for ideas, advice or recommendations, and I don’t plan on giving any besides ‘He’s an adult and is allowed to do as he likes’. And suffer the consequences, of course.
    I guess I just wanted to complain. Considering that yesterday the conversation from Husband’s older brother got very racist, this is turning into one delightful holiday.

    The one thing for which I’m grateful? The kids have not absorbed my passive dislike of tihs place and are always excited to visit. And it is a nice place, a house, lots of room inside and outside to run around – the lack of facilities is an issue for adults, not children, as is the general atmosphere. They’re having fun; that matters a lot!!

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

    *hangs head in shame*

    I can’t believe I didn’t recognize the tinsel line.

  159. carlie says

    Socio-gen – and the really annoying part is that it’s just about an inch too tall to be able to use capri pants as regular ones, so that avenue is right out. :p

    Thanks, Matt and Maureen!

    Realized this morning that the fact that the kids are getting one big gift each this year means we have nothing for the traditional christmas eve “you get to open one present of your choice” ritual, so I went out and got a shirt and a pair of sweatpants for each. So they’ll have two to choose from, and it’ll be clothes either way. Heh.*

    *when I was a kid, no matter how many presents there were, no matter how I chose, I always ended opening up the pajamas as the Christmas eve gift. Always. I don’t know how my parents managed to rig it.

  160. Matt Penfold says

    Somehow I have ended up being put in charge of compering our village carol concert this evening.

    So we are having no religious stuff like prayers or readings from the Bible. And absolutely no singing of Away in the Manager, since I hate that song.

  161. Socio-gen, something something... says

    So much ugh! Smashed his father’s cell phone?! I mean, I can understand being hurt and angry that your parent is seeing someone else (especially on top of all the other issues), but to destroy their property over it?

    I’m sorry you’re having to deal with all the nonsense, but glad the kids, at least, are having a good time. Hugs, if you want them.

  162. birgerjohansson says

    Piranha tops T Rex in the bite league, study finds
    Which is why I am breeding a variety that can survive in temperate climates, like the rivers of the Eastern seaboard, or in Europe.
    Next step: Cross-breed pirhana and lungfish, so shore dwellers get “interesting” visitors at night.
    — — — — — —
    PZ and meteors; would that have been ALH 84001?
    — — — — — —
    The old units are presumably a bit like the King James Bible edition. They have been around so long that they are seen as intrinsically correct, unlike pagan stuff like the metric system, or modern Bible editions.

  163. says


    I always feel as if I’m appropriating the experiences of those with depression when mentioning this because, IMO, it was the result of years of gaslighting during my childhood and, later, my marriage

    I’ve maintained for a long time that a large percentage of cases of even clinical levels of depression(and also anxiety and a number of other problems). are simply perfectly natural reactions to a deeply fucked up life situation, rather than a sign of any malfunction of the brain per se. Even in cases where there is actually neurological dysfunction underlying it, it can still be seriously aggravated by seriously problematic life situations.

  164. rq says

    Can we use the lunganhas for security in the Commune?

    Thanks, Socio-gen, I’ll take the hugs. Mostly I just wanted to get that out so I don’t sit on it all weekend.

    As long as it all stays in the background and doesn’t become a source of open conflict, it’ll be fine. I’m pretty sure that means the FiL doesn’t show up, so the kids will ask questions, but oh well. It’s just one more night.

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

    And capris are too long to be worn as capris! (Unless you have a friend who sews and will hem them up for you.)

    I was the terrible kid who found my parents secret hiding spot every year, and knew exactly what everyone was getting because my mom is an obsessive organizer and labeler. On the third year of successfully avoiding the pajamas package*, I gave myself away by announcing “I’m really going to like this [toy].” (I don’t even remember what it was.) From then on, we weren’t allowed to choose the Night Before gift.

    *I realized after having my kids, that parents do this so their kids look decent in the Xmas pictures, instead of wearing the normal ratty sweats with the holes.

    Sounds like a nice event!

    That makes complete sense to me. So often, what is a normal reaction to a loss or a traumatic event (or a “deeply fucked up life situation”) is treated as abnormal by people who think everyone should be happy happy joy joy all the time.

    My sister was diagnosed with depression 6 months after her husband died at age 25 from brain cancer. (She was 27.) I was, and still am, angry at the family for pushing her into a psychiatric hospital because it seemed that grieving the loss of your partner of 4 years and the father of your children, who died a year to the day after you married… that is an utterly normal reaction. I’m more angry at the docs who medicated her rather than help her through the grieving process.

    Most of my family (and neighbors) don’t bother with firecrackers. They just go out and shoot guns into the air. I have no idea why this is a tradition, but I hate it. It always sounds like WWIII has begun.

  166. Matt Penfold says

    Sounds like a nice event!

    It is. We are lucky in that because of a family connection in the village, a professional classically trained singer, and her partner, also a classically trained singer, come along and do some solos for us. Apparently years ago she made her first ever public performance at our carol service!

  167. rq says

    Your poor sister! I’m surprised nobody realized she was just having trouble grieving – although the lack of recognition of these things that seem so logical and normal seems to surprise me less and less. :( I hope she’s doing ok now.
    It’s also another reason why I don’t understand the purpose of a socially mandated grieving period – some people get over things fast (or just didn’t give a shit), but other people need lots of time to recover and put themselves and their lives back in order.

    I get flak from Husband’s family for not being always happy (social) enough, while direct family members are allowed to be variously pissed off and anti-social. Also, I’m a girl, and the ones usually being depressed and reticent are boys… But I’m not depressed. I just find socializing a chore. :/ In real life, at least.

  168. Socio-gen, something something... says

    One of the (few) things I miss about not being home for the holidays is not going to the annual free show given by a concert pianist who comes in at Xmas to visit her family. Listening to her play, you could almost believe in a god.

    Oh, they understood she was grieving, but they thought she should have “moved past it.” I think the problem was that she made other people uncomfortable by reminding them of her loss and making them sad. Plus, the cultural idea that if you aren’t happy all the time, something is terribly wrong with you.

    She is doing wonderfully well now. It took years for her to work through her grief and find happiness again, and of course, she’ll never really be “over it.” But she’s found her way back to smiling and laughter and joy.

    Socializing is hard for me as well. I’m not good at small talk, and I have little interest in things the majority of people around me like to talk about (reality TV? I don’t even own a TV!) and a tendency to dissect things from sociological and feminist perspectives. Plus I tend to be snarky (although I prefer calling it “dry humor”) which very few people seem to understand isn’t literal. So, I tend to be quiet and subdued, and get called anti-social and bitter and told to “smile” and “act happy.” (Which becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy because the more I worry about being called anti-social, the more quiet and subdued I become.)

    Put me in the right setting, of course, and I’m chatty as all hell, but those are rare.

  169. rq says

    I sense we share socializing genes. :) I like being snarky but I’ve discovered that, yes, a lot of people do not understand snark. Also, if I don’t smile, I look pretty scary (my best friend’s neutral face once told me I have a very off-putting neutral face). But like you, if in the right situation, I cannot be stopped/quieted/shut-up/otherwise disengaged. It’s one of my more wonderful qualities and is especially dominant when I drink (even in small amounts). Considering extended drinking leads to belligerence and general emotional loudness, I try to refrain, and while I used to be considered ‘fun’, since I’ve cut back on the drinking, I have become less so. :)
    Oh well, once I’m 50 or so I expect the society around me will be more accepting of snark from a past-middle-aged woman, and I can return to my old ways of putting down everyone around me without them noticing. Oh wait, snark =/= meanness… ;)

  170. says


    So… we live in a patriarchy where the whole society trends towards giving too much attention to the wants/needs of men to the detriment of women. So the problem with feminism according to the geniuses in that “experiment” thread… is that it doesn’t give enough attention to the wants/needs of men, in the only setting that isn’t already heavily weighted towards men? Seems like that’s pretty much the reason feminism exists in the first place, and the complaint is the rough equivalent of protesting that the one vegan restaurant in town “discriminates” against people who want to order a steak.

  171. Beatrice says


    I’m glad your sister is better now.

    I think a lot of us here share socializing genes. Except that I got the smiling lesson down perfectly after being admonished for looking unhappy too many times, so a smile has become something I automatically plaster on my face when in company. I’m still awkward and shy and quiet, but I smile and look endearing. I mostly hold in the snark when not in company of people I have known for ages. In the right company, I’m snarky and a right chatterbox.

  172. rq says

    Improbable Joe
    I think that’s it – and I link it to a failure to acknowledge one’s own privileges. Who said it recently on a thread – they feel so discriminated that they even need a piece of the oppression pie… Ech, someone said it better than I ever could.

  173. rq says

    I sense conflicts when all of us get together. Imagine trying to talk over each other!!! :)
    Anyway, my work continues in a short while – it is saune time!!!

  174. Socio-gen, something something... says

    Strangely, drinking makes me more subdued. I think it might be a holdover of always worrying that I would end up an oblivious alcoholic like my father. (He always thought he was the life of the party, but he was just embarassing.)

    I thought once I was over 40, snarkiness would be more tolerated, but…apparently not. Although, I can get away with saying “outrageous” things more often. I eventually want to be the kind of old woman who is rudely honest and snarky and wears “inappropriate” outfits and carries a walking stick with which to hit — okay, tap — annoying people. I’m not sure how old you have to be to get away with that, though. 70? 80?

    I’m half-afraid to go back to that thread for fear my blood pressure will do not-good things. I know I’m going to look though…

    I’ve been told that my neutral face looks sad, so I tend to do this half-smile thing that, while not quite expressing happiness, doesn’t make me look (to others) as if my dog died.

  175. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    I cannot smile for photos. At all. I try, but never works.

    That’s why I prefer the other side of the lens.

  176. Beatrice says

    Smiling for photos… I still haven’t perfected that smile. I always end up looking horrible. That’s why I run away from cameras.

  177. Nutmeg says

    Hi, everyone! I’ve been away and not even lurking much lately, and I missed you all! I’m managing to keep up with PET, but that’s about it. I’m trying to finish the labwork for my thesis, and that’s keeping me busy. Plus I’m working on writing/procrastinating about writing a couple of chapters. And fighting with various forms of data analysis that I don’t understand.

    I think I will probably be around a bit over the holidays. I just have the immediate family to contend with, and they’re not too demanding of my time. Mostly I stay out of the way by going to the lab a lot. It’s blissfully quiet in here, but also freezing. I think the university must turn the heat way down or off on the weekends. I wish I had enough dexterity to do benchwork in my parka.

    *hugs* and *chocolate* to all who need them, *cake* and *sparklers* for all who are celebrating something, *rattie scratches* to Mallory and the whole crew at Caine’s, and HAPPY MONKEY to everyone!

  178. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Just had someone tweet this at me after tweeting Rorschach’s blog post.

    There is a great deal of discussion in the media about whether Creatonism should be taught in schools. Many of its critics say it is little but a story, not to be taken literally and that there is no evidence for it. But I wondered, is the theory of evolution all that different?

    There is an implicit assumption that evolution is a coherent theory, with manifold and convincing proofs. Now I am aware of Darwin, his trip to the Galapagos islands, how he noticed that the birds had different size beaks according to their function, and how he extrapolated from that to form the basis of the theory of evolution. But I am not aware of any real, physical proof. As far as I am understand, the fossil record does not demonstrate any gradual changes consistent with evolution but instead several clear and marked points where certain periods came to an end and others begun. This may be a result of my ignorance, and I am very willing to be convinced. Its just that at the moment I have to believe in a theory that seems to be just that; a theory. If anyone can point me in the way of any tangible proof I would be very grateful. If not, then I guess it just comes down to which story you choose to believe in; whoever wrote Genesis or Darwin’s. Or maybe we can’t know all the answers, that there are limits to our knowledge and each theory involves a certain degree of assumption, and thus a certain degree of faith. That’s what I’m becoming increasing inclined to believe; that there are limits to what we can know and understand. I guess that’s why one of the last passages in ‘Bunker’ contains this line;

    “There is so much that the wisest will never know. But those who are truly wise generally have the wisdom to admit that the limits of their knowledge.”

    As Socrates said, ‘Wisest is he who knows he knows nothing.’ Bearing this in mind, please comment below as it would be fun to get a debate started on this.

  179. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    Please tell me you asked which creation story they were referring to…

  180. vaiyt says

    This may be a result of my ignorance, and I am very willing to be convinced.

    “But in the meantime I’ll feel free to pontificate as if I actually knew something.”

  181. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Yeah he’s back and forthing me now on twitter.

    Every one of us could have predicted this…

    “Just a theory”

  182. Socio-gen, something something... says

    Has anyone ever noticed that people who actually say (out loud or in print), “I’m willing to be convinced,” never are? It’s like telling someone you’re a nice guy — if you have to say it, you’re probably lying.

    Rev: did you tell him gravity was just a theory, too?

  183. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    so far nothing, hopefully he’s reading Coyne right now.

    But I suspect he wasn’t prepared for for someone challenging his idiocy.

  184. says


    I thought I would be all clever and shit and not pay anyone to unload my stuff, oh hell yeah me and BossNurse can move everything off the trailer and into the house ourselves, no biggie and saves me a couple of bucks. WHAT A FUCKING NIGHTMARE!

    I mean, we technically can get everything into the house, but at what cost? My wife is a middle-aged desk jockey and I’m a halfway-to-broken wreck of a human being. I woke up in the middle of the night and had to take a handful of painkillers to get back to sleep. Today we got the sofa into the house, and I can already tell that my right arm is going to be all but useless for the next few days based on how my elbow joint is starting to swell and ache. Add that to the pulled calf muscle and strained quads and twisted ankle… and it is a good thing that about the only thing left on the truck is boxes, about 4-5 trips worth of them.

    I am done for the next two hours, during which time I am going to drink a gallon of Gatorade, following which I will drink a gallon of beer and start unpacking boxes.

    My lovely wife was kind enough to buy me some video games for Xmas, but what she doesn’t know is that I was kind enough to buy me some video games too… no, just kidding! She doesn’t know that I bought her a bunch of movies. The Alien Anthology box set won’t be here until Wednesday, but I’ve got the latest Resident Evil “movie” and that Batman thingy for her.

  185. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    You mentioned Resident Evil upthread. That series is the best example of treading water. My goodness, there have been 5(?) movies and how much has been accomplished? The whole series could have been done as a trilogy.

  186. says

    Yeah, Tony… five movies, and none of it makes any fucking sense and basically nothing has happened. The whole series could have been done as a single long film, if you took all the slow-motion fighting and ran it at normal speed.

  187. carlie says

    Thing number 388235 I don’t like about winter holidays: firecrackers.

    ? This is a tradition with which I am unfamiliar.

    rq – so sorry about family drama.

    I’m not good at small talk, and I have little interest in things the majority of people around me like to talk about (reality TV? I don’t even own a TV!) and a tendency to dissect things from sociological and feminist perspectives.

    I’ve tried to learn tricks for small talk. If they bring up some show or something I don’t know about, I’ll ask what they like about it, rather than asking what the show is about (because I DON’T CARE about the show). Then they get to talk about themselves, which everyone likes to do. And then usually that spins off into one or two other related things, and that’s just about when you need to refresh your drink or whatnot so you can exit before the conversation runs completely dry. :)

  188. cm's changeable moniker says

    When I am an old woman I shall wear purple


    In my mid-20s, a secret santa, bought me, a bloke, the book. To this day, I have no idea what they were thinking …

  189. says

    So, dad in law had a catheder examination, no additional stents required, it was most likely too high blood pressure. So, medication will be adapted, words will be spoken. At least there’s no immediate danger.
    And we was on TV.
    Well, we was on the regional TV in the broadcast about the concert, but the kids were totally fascinated.

    Hugses about “happy” family reunion.

    Ahh, seems like you know my mother. Yep, that would be her thing, too: guilt-tripping, gaslighting, triggering. Every single conflict would run after a certain pattern, like a well-scripted dance and in the end she’d be totally justified in her Opinion about me.
    I learned that while I can’t stop her from turning on the music (nagging, questioning my authority, questioning my decisions etc), I can refuse to dance with her.

  190. rq says

    Glad to hear things are more-or-less ok. I hope the talking-to sticks!

    You mean I can’t be more and more snarky as I get older?? Too bad, I was looking forward to recovering the days of my youthful teenaged years, when it was acceptable for me to tell everyone off, because, you know, hormones. :)

    Love the link, though! Thanks, chigau! A new one to put on the favourites list. :)

    Yeah, doesn’t look like I’ll be going back to the Feminism thread. But, on that theme, had a rather interesting conversation about sexism and such with the Husband on the way out to the country. He’s something like an MRA but only because he hasn’t been educated otherwise, and I say that because in his mind, nothing is wrong – he has never experienced sexism towards women (!! his words!!) and none of his friends have mentioned that they have seen it or noticed it, hence – it must be a non-existent problem in our country. HA! Well, I explained about hand-shaking (about how men/boys here will not shake hands with women-friends; cheek-kisses for those close in the family/friends circle, but no hand-shaking) and how I feel horrible when his friends don’t even look at me when we arrive at parties/events, never mind shake my hand. And I also explained to him that there must be something wrong with his friends’ view of women if, when attending a wedding with wives, the men are on the dance floor, pissed drunk and ready to strip and be assholes to other people on the dance floor (e.g. the wife of one of the friends who just wants a dance with her husband), while the wives sit at a table in a different room being unhappy and depressed and talking about how difficult it is to keep their husbands in line. Follow-up: sometimes boys just want to be boys (says Husband-mine), to which I counter – a week previous, they’d all had the chance to get it out of their systems in the bachelor party (another tradition I despise), and they came to the wedding with their wives, not alone. Anyway, the point is we had a good conversation and I managed to explain a few things, especially the fact that he might not notice any discrimination against women because he’s not a woman.
    Had to get that out, too. And I see I have much educating to do, but I have the impression that it is ignorance that he is willing to erase. It’s been true so far, anyway. His fundamental way of thinking is already different from the average man here, and mostly I wonder how that happened, but I am grateful it did.

  191. rq says

    But re: the poem and it’s last few lines (getting pepole used to the shock: I say, go for the shock value. That’s what I would do, and in fact, I’m going to plan on the shock value. None of this advance warning, but straight-off-the-bat weirdness and purple clothes and red hats that don’t go. :) Most fun of all.
    ‘Make up for the sobriety of my youth.’

  192. says

    I, too share the ‘genes’ for lacking small talk and having a neutral face that reads as forbidding or pissed off.

    You have my sympathies on horrible family. Roommate is staying with us this year instead of having to deal with her horrible family. My mother and possibly brother are coming up for Christmas dinner too, as is L’s slightly woo-addled pseudo-foster-sister (long story), her hubby and our honorary niece, the spawn of hubby and his previous SO. Nevertheless, I can still safely predict very little drama (Mom might gently nag Roommate about her continued unemployment, but hopefully the other guests will distract her). I’m just reminded again that I’m very lucky in my family, what with the stories I hear here and elsewhere. We hope that my aunt might be able to turn up too, but her picture is in the dictionary under ‘flaky,’ so who knows.

  193. says

    vaiyt: Congrats! That’s really impressive.

    giliell Glad your FIL is ok.

    rq: I’m sorry that your family get-together is so full of drama and general nastiness. Hugs if you want them.

    Socio-gen, rq, and Beatrice: I have the same socializing problems. Luckily most of the parties or social situations that I attend have my boyfriend and/or a few of my friends there, so I always have someone to talk to.

    It looks like my family is not going to mass today, which means that I don’t have to hide in my bed pretending to be asleep while they leave. Yay!

  194. rq says

    Thanks to everyone for being here, and good night!
    *hugs* all around for those who want/need, some hot chocolate and a few bottles of mulled wine with gingerbread, too!

  195. didgen says

    Wayne la Pierre is a completely disgusting sack of feces. They won’t pay for teachers but there would magically be funds to pay for armed guards in every school. Then to so predictably turn all blame onto movies, video games and surprise surprise mentally ill people. No worry that these shooters are not really known for having a history of mental illness. Being evil is not a mental illness, it is simply what they chose to do.

  196. Orange Utan says


    Does anyone remember/know what happened with JAL?

    I think I’ve seen them on one of the feminism threads recently.

  197. didgen says

    Now that I have given my opinion of the NRA solution in a forum that I think has a good chance to be sane rational people, unlike my facebook acquaintances. I hope that you all are having reasonable preholidays.

  198. cicely says

    Good news: It’s not a heart attack yet, so he alerted us early enough.

    Good news indeed! Best wishes for your FiL.

    Not once you realise that sports commentators are EBIL!!!

    I blame the Horse racing.

    New Orleans evicts creationism and revisionist history from schools curriculums

    What a terrific Xmas present! Huzzah!

    *hugs* for rq, and commiserations for the Family Drama.

    Next step: Cross-breed pirhana and lungfish, so shore dwellers get “interesting” visitors at night.

    Oooooh! Stat that sucker up!
    Oh, oh, oh! Vampire pirhana lungfish!!
    *swooning with giddy gleefulness*
    (And perhaps slight malice.)

    Can we use the lunganhas for security in the Commune?

    I like this plan! I endorse this plan heartily!

    And capris are too long to be worn as capris!

    Nearly always true; I wear ’em anyways. I have never been known for my good taste; anyone who finds my lack of fashion sense disturbing can just look somewhere else.

    A donation has been made in all your names to the Human Fund


    I sense we share socializing genes.

    Socio-Gen, rq…perhaps we are triplets.

    Seems like that’s pretty much the reason feminism exists in the first place, and the complaint is the rough equivalent of protesting that the one vegan restaurant in town “discriminates” against people who want to order a steak.

    *proffering cigar*

    Okay…quads then, with the addition of Beatrice.


    I learned that while I can’t stop her from turning on the music (nagging, questioning my authority, questioning my decisions etc), I can refuse to dance with her.

    Yup. Lack of physical proximity helps, too.

    I guess we must be an entire litter.

    Does anyone remember/know what happened with JAL?

    This was asked a couple of days ago, but there was no answer. Does anyone know?

  199. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    Some extreme weather (for the UK) at present, in the form of heavy and persistent rain, and strong winds. Today, my wife and son were off to the in-laws down south, I was off to work (part-time job in a second-hand bookshop), but just before I left, my wife went into what we call the sitting room, and noticed that the cover of the sofa cover by the window was a bit wet. Looking more closely, the whole thing was soaking wet. As sometimes happens with heavy rain and strong winds, water had come in above the window. We hurriedly dismantled the sofa, draped covers over radiators, left the heating on. When they got to the station, they found that all trains were cancelled, due to a landslip on the line. Eventually they got transported past it by bus and reached their destination. Of course, others have had it a lot worse – 100 homes evacuated and flooded a few miles south of me, and in south-west England, whole towns flooded. As my wife said: “We’ve had enough rain now, it can stop.”

  200. opposablethumbs says

    Hope your dad in law is OK, Giliell. And it’s great that he was able to let you know in good time.

    I see I missed Ogbvorbis taking off on his travels … ::shouts after departing car:: drive safely Ogvorbis!

    Sympathies for the fraught family situation rq. In fact my most heartfelt sympathies to everyone who has to deal with difficult family and/or other-relationship-type situations, things not being as we wish they were or people NOT being there who you wish were there – in the next week or so. I am so right there with you … in spades :(

  201. vaiyt says

    The whole series could have been done as a trilogy.

    It could have been done as one movie. Everything from 2 onwards consisted on “Milla Jovovich wins at everything ever while Paul Anderson masturbates just offscreen”.

  202. says

    TACO SUNDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Folks, it is great to be home! My wife and I have been doing Taco Sunday for most of our marriage, and nothing says “home” like cheap crappy Old El Paso tacos with cheese, guacamole, lettuce, and plenty of Cholula hot sauce. I’m sitting in my comfy chair typing this, and in a few minutes I’m going to join my wife on our couch to watch some TV. Maybe we’ll pop some popcorn, and share it with our dog. It has been a long year for us, but nights like tonight make it all OK.

  203. Rodney Nelson says

    Some extreme weather (for the UK) at present, in the form of heavy and persistent rain

    I was under the impression that persistent rain was a feature of British weather.

    January brings the snow
    Makes your feet and fingers glow
    February’s Ice and sleet
    Freeze the toes right off your feet
    Welcome March with wintry wind
    Would thou wer’t not so unkind
    April brings the sweet spring showers
    On and on for hours and hours
    Farmers fear unkindly May
    Frost by night and hail by day
    June just rains and never stops
    Thirty days and spoils the crops
    In July the sun is hot
    Is it shining? No, it’s not
    August cold, and dank, and wet
    Brings more rain than any yet
    Bleak September’s mist and mud
    Is enough to chill the blood
    Then October adds a gale
    Wind and slush and rain and hail
    Dark November brings the fog
    Should not do it to a dog
    Freezing wet December then:
    Bloody January again!

    -Michael Flanders

  204. says


    Rich or poor, good times or bad, it is nice to have something regular you can count on. It keeps you grounded and focused. It was weird from September through the first of this month, with my wife being 1000+ miles away… but never more weird or lonely than on Sunday nights, when we didn’t get to share the simple process of assembling tacos together.

  205. FossilFishy (Νεοπτόλεμος's spellchecker) says


    Last day before Christmas, soon I will have a chance to stand still and survey the rubble of two weeks of insane busyness.

    We live in a funny time.

    Mrs. Fishy and the Small Fry are out of town. They’re 303km away according to Google maps. How strange that is, to know with an unnecessary degree of accuracy just how far away one’s loved ones are.

    I just received a text with this picture of the SF on a merry-go-round. That happy smile, that coy glance at her new friend of all of 3 minutes acquaintance just slays me. But then I’ve been under her spell since that moment in a motel in Colorado Springs. The one where she was asleep on my chest as I lay there exhausted from a long day of classes. The one where she opened her 3 month old eyes, looked up at me, smiled and snuggled down to fall back asleep.

    They’re 303kms away and yet I can share in my daughter’s joy at almost the very instant she’s experiencing it. How strange that is, how unprecedented that is, to see her smile while she’s still whizzing round and round delighting in the endlessly stretched time of a five year old’s perceptions, and delighting me in turn.

    We live in a golden time.

    That the scale of our world has been diminishing is not news. Our technologies, our phones and files, our wheels, our wings and our engines great and small are magic tools. Real life wands, reducing what was once unimaginable vastness down to human sized chunks.

    We live in a magical time.

    And for all the hurts and ills of our world, for all the anger, and hate, and places where our best efforts have seemingly been for naught, still, even still, I would not change the moment of my birth.

    We live in a beautiful time.

    And I refuse to pretend otherwise.

  206. FossilFishy (Νεοπτόλεμος's spellchecker) says

    That’s a big Hell YES! forThe BellRays. They put on one of the most electrifying shows I’ve ever seen. It was so good that the albums I bought seemed pale and weak in comparison.

  207. John Morales says

    Michael Goold @295, that’s not a grammar question, it’s a syntax question if the meaning would thereby be changed and an esthetic one otherwise.

    (The answer is yes if you want the symbol inside the tag, and no if you don’t)

  208. FossilFishy (Νεοπτόλεμος's spellchecker) says

    Lisa Kekaula is the fucking truth!

    And another hell YES! to that. She took a bunch of hip, cooler-than-thou alternative kids, the kind that stand at the back to show how unimpressed they are, and had them gathered around her screaming for more by the end of the show. I’d never seen anything like it before and haven’t seen anything like it since. The fact that they aren’t a household name is a travesty.

    Heh, I prefer to Party at Ground Zero.

  209. chigau (違う) says

    Watching Kung Fu Panda 2
    in a discussion of ‘daddy issues’,
    from a preying mantis:
    “I don’t have daddy issues mom bit his head off before I was born.”

  210. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    You know how sometimes you just don’t “get it”? When I first read RevBDC’s comment @288, I sat there puzzled and could not figure it out. Now, hours later, the lightbulb just went off. Sheesh.

  211. says

    If you’re at a loose end, and you’d like to chill out with a beer, you’re welcome to visit.

    Thank you Alathea! I know Kel is there, but who would know what he is up to these days…
    I will be working until 11pm on 31/12 and fly back home at 1pm on the 1st, so probably have to settle for a few quiet beers in my hotel.

  212. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    So I went out to our local gay bar tonight. I wound up on the dancefloor and just went into my zone. Thankfully there were few people on the dancefloor, bc I tend to prefer at least an arms length of space. The exhibitionist in me likes performing for crowds in this manner. I don’t dance for the attention, but for the personal enjoyment. But I love the [often] accompanying gazes. I won’t get too self deprecatory (dat a word?), but of the things I am good at, dancing is one of them. When the music is right and I get in my zone, all my problems fade away. It becomes me and the beat. I am so happy my mother taught me how to find the beat to any song. Watching dance videos (I own Darrins Dance Grooves), I have picked up a lot. I don’t have a style, rather, it is more freestyle. Dancing is such a release. To be able to move with the flow of a song, all the while choreographing yourself, trying not to replicate moves, dodging people and spilled drinks, plus keeping to your own space…it can be challenging. But by damn is it fun! So when I see people engrossed in watching me, it makes me feel good. It’s like a natural high.

  213. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    Socio-Gen @242:
    I’m sorry, were you describing yourself or me?
    Seriously, I have some idea what you mean. If I am in an unknown environment, I freeze up. I have been to parties with a friend before with no one I know. I feel like a leech if I stay too close to my friend, but opening up and relaxing just doesn’t come naturally. Now if I am introduced to someone and they spark a conversation that interests me, that can be enough to open me up. Funny thing though, in a work environment, especially one where I am a senior employee, I try to conversate with newer people or let them know that they are welcome to ask me anything. I don’t know why I can do that in one situation but not another. Perhaps it’s about my comfort zone.
    About conversations, I feel you. My awareness of social injustices inevitably spills over into any conversation. Even if I am watching tv with friends, the smallest thing can get me talking.
    I recently created a profile on a gay site called Adam4Adam. In trying to craft an interesting profile that spoke to my personality and interests, I faced difficulty at first. But then I turned to what I have learned during my time at FtB. The result:

    ” I like people who have opinions and aren’t afraid to discuss them. I like talking to people and finding out their beliefs and *why* they have those beliefs. I’m interested in the psychology of human behavior, the intersectionality of various forms of discrimination, the efforts to move humanity towards social/economic/political equality, and I value evidence based (not woo) science as one of the best tools for understanding and exploring the world around us. I like to dance, eat, laugh, & cry.”

    Since I’ve dated my share of vacuous men, or those who seem unable to give voice to their thought, I figured such a profile would attract people witha similar mindset (in fact, just today I had two people compliment me on specific parts of that profile).

  214. says

    Janine’s links have made me surf a myriad of 50’s and 60’s songs, and I’m currently breaking my fingers trying to play “Unchained Melody” on guitar. While attempting to not commit suicide after that Everly Brothers song. No, Im good, it’s just a sad song…

  215. chigau (違う) says

    I really love ‘Unchained Melody’.
    [who can really hit those notes??]

  216. george3 says

    Link goes to correct blog, then you have to scroll down to blog archive on rt. for Dec. to find it. sorry. I’ll get the hang of this eventually.

  217. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    Link goes to correct blog, then you have to scroll down to blog archive on rt. for Dec. to find it. sorry. I’ll get the hang of this eventually.

    Or just do a search for “dormice” in the bar at the upper left.

  218. says

    who can really hit those notes??

    Well it’s more that I’m a lousy player tbh. It’s a change of chords every 2-4 beats or so, and that sure has me struggling. No big deal for anyone competent in this I think.

    C Am F
    Oh, my love, my darling
    G C
    I’ve hungered for your touch
    Am G
    A long, lonely time
    C Am F
    And time, goes by so slowly
    G C
    And time, can do so much
    Am G
    Are you still mine?

    C G
    I need your love
    Am Em
    I need your love
    F G C C7
    God speed your love to me

    F G F G
    Lonely rivers flow to the sea to the sea
    F G C
    To the open arms of the sea
    F G F G
    Lonely rivers sigh wait for me wait for me
    F G C
    I’ll be coming home wait for me

    C Am F
    Oh, my love, my darling
    G C
    I’ve hungered for your touch
    Am G
    A long lonely time
    C Am F
    And time, goes by, so slowly
    G C
    And time, can do so much
    Am G
    Are you still mine?

    C G
    I need your love
    Am Em
    I need your love
    F G C
    God speed your love to me

    And also, there must be some major drama playing out not far from where I am, I can hear ambulances and fire trucks very close by, it’s been going on for a long time now, and still going. Freeway pileup, maybe. Or house fire. Something not good.

  219. rq says

    Morning goods.
    Tony I think I like how you dance. :) Also, I hope your profile yields non-vacuous men with great taste and good opinions and debating skills.

    yay for FiL (yours)! :)


    So a week ago, meteorologists predicted -26 for these days over Christmas. Ha. On Friday they changed their minds and said ice, thaw and +1 or 2. We woke up this morning to -15, high winds, and lots and lots of snow. It’ll make the drive back to the capital (a mere 250 km) interesting, long, slow, but overall – cosy in the car. If we time it right, the kids will sleep the entire way.
    Husband went out with his uncle to hunt for a tree to bring home. I hope they’re back soon, but they brought lots of shovels and sand (since the dirt roads ain’t the best especially when snowed over and iced).
    Still no sign of FiL, at this point a good thing. Nobody seems to be missing him.


    Ditto on the JAL question: anyone have news/updates?

  220. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Do not toss that post-Faces Rod at me.

    This is not a war.

    There is a connection between Unchained Melody and that selection of songs I linked to.

  221. says

    Btw, I can do this all night, because Im planning to spend all of Xmas Day tomorrow in splitting-headache agony, at least it will distract me from my misery.

  222. FossilFishy (Νεοπτόλεμος's spellchecker) says

    Oh dear. I leave work, ride home, go look at concrete drying, eat, water the garden and shut up the chooks for the night and come back to find too many music links to get through tonight. Ah well, Tomorrow then. If there’s one thing I’ve learned about Pharyngula, it’s that Janine’s music links are always worth a look, especially when I don’t recognise them.

    rorschach, are you playing those chords in open position or with barre chords? It’s much easier with barre chords.

  223. rq says

    Dancing With Yourself is not enough?

    By the way, FossilFishy, I agree with your post above about living in a beautiful world. And not having it any other way. :) Sounds like you have a busy day ahead.

    I don’t think I’ve expressed this before, but I appreciate your musical education.

  224. says

    I don’t think I’ve expressed this before, but I appreciate your musical education.

    Her knowledge of music(among other things) is unbelievable.

  225. rq says

    “Unbelievable” would be the operative word. It is flabbergasting. It gasts my flabber (ew). Every time.

  226. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    When I cannot tell the difference between “a” and “I”, it i time to quit.

    (a href=””>So I’m calling it quits.

    Wait a second, she has a christmas album.

  227. John Morales says

    Fuck the fucking fuckers: Pell says sorry to abuse victims in Christmas message.

    Cardinal Pell says he is shocked and ashamed by the abuse suffered at the hands of priests and teachers.

    He says it goes against the teachings of Jesus and Christians need faith in God’s goodness and love to cope with these disasters.

    The Archbishop of Sydney says where there is evil, there is less peace.

    “My heart and the heart of all believers, of all people, will go out to all those who cannot find peace at this time, especially those who have suffered at the hands of fellow Christians, Christian officials, priests, religious, teachers,” he said.

    “I am deeply sorry this has happened.

    We need the hope that comes to us from Christ’s birth with his call to conversion, to sorrow for sins and the necessity of reparation.
    Cardinal George Pell

    “We need our faith in God’s goodness and love to cope with these disasters, to help those who have been hurt.

    “We need the hope that comes to us from Christ’s birth with his call to conversion, to sorrow for sins and the necessity of reparation.”

    My heartfelt response to Pell

  228. rq says

    Well, time to have lunch and make the trek back to the capital. Here’s hoping the weather magically improves!!

  229. vaiyt says

    Walking down the mall to keep company to my mother. She saw a dancing Santa Claus in a store, dressed in nothing but a pair of bermuda pants. She said, “he’s almost naked!”. I replied, “do you really think he would be wearing those thick winter clothes in THIS climate?”.

  230. carlie says

    Do commas and periods go inside or outside of tags?

    I treat them like periods outside of quote marks. If the period isn’t part of the thing being tagged, it shouldn’t be in the thing being tagged.

    So if it’s a full sentence that’s tagged, then yes, include the period. If it’s a single word or phrase that happens to be at the end of the sentence, then no.*

    *Yes, I understand that the rule is to put the period inside the quotes if it’s a word at the end of the sentence. But I will swear, with my hand on an Oxford comma, that the rule is wrong.

  231. Beatrice says

    Beer lovers, is O’Hara’s Irish Red any good?

    We rarely buy beer and when we do, it’s some cheap store brand that people who probably never tasted piss say tastes like piss, so I decided to buy something nice for the holidays. I went with the good old tradition of choosing something with a pretty label.

    I’m obviously going to drink it now, I’m just wondering about the quality. (google indicates it’s good stuff)

  232. Matt Penfold says

    *Yes, I understand that the rule is to put the period inside the quotes if it’s a word at the end of the sentence. But I will swear, with my hand on an Oxford comma, that the rule is wrong.

    That’s the rule in US English, but in UK English the rule is to do it your way. Essentially no punctuation that was not in what is being quoted goes inside the quote marks.

  233. Socio-gen, something something... says

    Ugh. Can I just sleep till the new year? I’m not sure why, but this second year of being away from my kids at the holidays is harder than the first. Probably because they’ve all got problems and the best I can do is offer comfort over the phone. One engagement broken, one relationship on the rocks, and OldestSon got pink-slipped on Friday (Merry fucking Christmas from Best Buy) — at this point, all we need is a pregnancy and/or an arrest to turn it into a Tom Waits song.

    And then I realized I made a transposition error in my checkbook and now I’m about $150 short of what I need to survive until my overage comes in one month from now. Awesome. But I caught it early, before my account could be overdrawn, so there’s that!

    At least I’ll get to have dinner with the cousins this evening and then hangout with the family as we all open our Night Before gifts via Google. Hopefully it will improve my mood.
    — —
    socializing genes:
    I’m glad I’m not the only one who struggles with this! Of course, it’s probably why so many of us end up commenting on blogs — only your words matter, not what you look like or how you behave in company.

    I’ll try that! Usually, I mention that I don’t have TV and *thunk* goes the conversation as we all wonder what else we can talk about. Weather, usually.

    I like your ad! I haven’t used a dating site in a couple years, but that’s got to make it easier (on both sides) to sort out who might be worth meeting, rather than having to go through the entire dance of discovery — which can go so very wrong.

    One date I met through an online site seemed great — funny, well-read, etc. We’d been exchanging emails and phone calls for a couple of months and decided to meet in person. After meeting in the parking lot, he opened the restaurant door for me and said, “I’m old-fashioned. I don’t believe in this feminist stuff.” *needle scratch* I saved him the time and expense of dinner.

    We do live in a beautiful time (even if I’m not feeling it right at this moment). When I had OldestSon, I was 2800 miles from my family. They didn’t know what he looked like for 3 weeks, because first you had to get the photos developed, then mail them out. Calls were a Saturday-only, after 9pm thing and it took a minimum 8 days to send a letter and get a response.

    Almost 26 years later, from 1300 miles away, I saw my new nieces just minutes after they were born, can talk to/text my family for free since we all have the same cell provider, and — if all goes well tonight — we can use Hangout to share special moments.

    Not quite the same as being there in person to exchange hugs, but so much better than the old days.

    As someone accused of having little or no musical taste (my iPod has nothing but 80s rock and, *mumble* Nickelback. (I know, I know…)) I have no idea what those songs have in common, but, I’m enjoying listening to them!

    Glad the day went a little easier for you. Safe travels home!

  234. says

    Jeez, so Verizon sent my wife her new phone and it got here TODAY! Merry fucking Xmas!

    … of course, it didn’t come with a memory card, and it seems to be impossible to activate it, but what can you do?

  235. says

    I just went out for some last minute groceries and discovered that I had $0.77 left of my food stamps when I went to checkout, which was deeply fun.

    Check the details of the order to see if it was supposed to come with one, some don’t. If not, or if you want a bigger one, they can be had absurdly cheap online (I paid $0.02 for mine, plus shipping). Ot activate it, if it’s a smartphone you’re almost certainly going to have to activate it by calling Verizon (from another phone). Do this NOW, as tomorrow and for the next 3-5 days their lines will be completely overloaded with people activating their new Christmas phones.

  236. carlie says

    Tony – even without having ever seen you, I think you’re pretty hot.
    But then again, that’s the opinion of a frumpy middle-aged white lady, so there’s that.


  237. says


    Yeah, turns out it doesn’t come with a card at all, but has 16GB internal memory. So with the 32GB SD card I scavenged out of her old phone, my wife has “lots of gigabytes!” (her words) She called, her phone is activated, me and she are going to play “Samsung Galaxy S III commercial” with me co-starring as the hapless iPhone owner. :)

  238. says

    Oh wow, yeah. I only have an 8 GB card, but my phone’s at the bottom end of smartphones, it only came w/ a few hundred MB internal. I used to work customer service for Sprint, Christmas and the few days after were absolute hell.


  239. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Heh. I thought it was obvious. Those set of sixties era hit songs that I linked to after rorschach linked to Unchained Melody were recorded with what has been retroactively been dubbed The Wrecking Crew. They were a set of highly skilled LA based studio musicians that included Glen Campbell, Leon Russell, Carol Kaye, Hal Blaine and others.

    For example, most of the classic Beach Boys, those teen age symphonies for god that Brian Wilson worked on, the music were made by Brian Wilson and the Wrecking Crew. The Beach Boys just sang the vocal tracks.

  240. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    Taking a break from the feminist thread. My blood is boiling. Fucking scumbag lutherflint says women here don’t have it as bad as Jews in Nazi Germany. Way to handwave sexual assault asshat.

    Where’s the grog?
    And Sangria?

  241. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Imaginesabeach, for decades, these people were unknown to the general public even though we all heard their work.

    For example, here is the website for one of the key players, Carol Kaye. Here is a list of songs she played guitar on, including Unchained Melody. Here are a list of songs she played bass on.

    It really is rather awe inspiring.

  242. Beatrice says

    *slides a thick slice of gugelhupf** in Tony’s direction*

    **I remember that you are a bit picky when it comes to desserts, but I forgot what you like. This one’s freshly baked

  243. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    ::has to remind himself to take compliments on appearance without questioning the tastes of xe who is doing the complimenting; it is hard after 20 years of feeling unnatractive because you could play connect the dots with my acne; even after it subsided, I always projected my feelings about my appearance onto others, such that when I got a compliment, I refused to believe it was sincere; I knew I wasn’t attractive…this person says I am, but I am not, so they must be faking it to be nice::

    I realized a few years back that it is insulting to claim someone is lying when they compliment you. I still don’t have a great sense of self esteem, but these days, when I get a compliment, I say


    So, thank you.

  244. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says


    How could that guy be so clueless about you to make such a statement? “I don’t believe in feminism”…? It’s as if he paid no attention to your prior discussions.

    Nom Nom.
    Thank you.

  245. Ichthyic says

    merry xmas to all for whom it is the future, now. :)

    my xmas day weather is:


    humidity: 80%
    temp: 30C


    and here I am, about to roast a turkey in the oven, and make all the things for the standard xmas feast.

    At least I prepared with much chilled wine in the fridge!

    man, I don’t know if I’m ever going to get used to xmas in summer.

    …. OTOH, the beach looks nice…

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

    Threadrupt but jebus, the Rochester shooting. Someone of facebook has told me the “MOAR GUNS” solution is the answer. I told him that there were cops at the fire scene, so how exactly does he think this could have been helped by more guns?! I’m so livid I need to take some deep breaths.

  247. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    Thanks my friend.
    I followed your link to the story about the firefighters. What a damn tragedy. They were just trying to do their jobs and were killed. Life isn’t fair.
    Then I made the mistake of clicking on the article about a man who lost his girlfriend in the Sandy Hook massacre.
    I still have tears running down my face.

  248. rq says

    Home safe, for those interested.
    Counted 5 snowplows and 6 trains, not a cop in sight, just snow-snow-snow-blowing snow-snow…


    I’m starting to believe that spiders are out to get me, too. Second time they’ve set off the motion alarms while we’re 3 hours away and we have to wake up one of my family members in the godawful hours of the night (3AM, 5AM) in nasty weather for them to go turn the damn alarm off. Last night, and the last time we went out to the country. *sigh* Since it wasn’t the cat, the security tech said it’s probably a spider living inside the motion sensor in the living room. … I think the spider wants the neighbours pissed off at us.


    Any guy who dances like he loves it (which is what your description sounded like) is hot to me, no matter what his orientation or taste otherwise (that means you’re allowed to not like my favourite food). :) Something about the way people move when they’re really into music (dancing, playing) is extremely attractive to me (yeah, had a thing for musicians when I was younger… because I’m just so damn old :P).


    re: firefighters and gun control
    Please talk about gun control now. This is ridiculous – do you now send out a scouting party to every fire, to ‘secure the perimeter’, before allowing firefighters to do what they do best (save lives and fight fires)?


    Anyway there’s a bunch of beer with my name on it, so I’m going to go hit that and be back tomorrow. Hugs to those not where they wish to be tonight or with the people they would like to be with, and I hope everyone’s at least safe and sound and not caught out somewhere in freakish weather/cold/wind/rain/snow/travelling.

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

    I wasn’t as confident in expressing my feminism then, and tended to let him change the subject if it came up, so…maybe he thought I wasn’t serious, or that he could change my mind? In my darker moments, I suspect him of humoring me in order to get a face-to-face date because, hey, woman over 40 must be desperate for a little some-some, y’know?

    Can I come visit? It’s currently -2F with a windchill of -23 here in Fargo.

    Very probably. He still ranks way ahead of the guy who spent our first date telling me how he would be happy to be a “father figure” and bring discipline into my kids’ lives. Also ahead of the guy who sent me the address where we were meeting and didn’t understand why I was angry when Mapquest told me it was a motel. (I suppose they might have had a nice restaurant, though I’ve never encountered such a thing attached to any motel.)
    Jeezus fuck! Webster’s only 3-ish hours northwest of my hometown. I’ve done shows in their fire hall. They’re all volunteers.

    I have to go call my brother now. And maybe have a good cry.

  250. says

    Tony, hold you loaded absinthe spoon under the USB port. It’s not the best, but it’ll make you appreciate the fairies in the garden. ;-)

  251. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Talking about gun control now will just exploit the memories of the two murdered firefighters..

    (The great thing about this meme? There are enough high profile killings that there is always a recent incident that should not be exploited for political gain.)

  252. says

    I do not want to talk about guns. Will a hearty AAAARRRRGGGGH FFFFUUUUCK! do for a reaction?

    I am now waiting for the bloke to wake up so we can do the Irish coffee & present opening. There is a ridiculous amount under the tree, considering there’s just the two of us. It includes stuff from our families and our traditional gifts from the cats. This year Zeppo & Archie bought the bloke some beer, and some beer-flavoured tomato sauce & BBQ sauce. Quite good little shoppers, they are.

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


    The spiders. They are organizing. RUUUUUNNN.

    But seriously, that’s such a pain!

    Re: guns and fires: the cops do secure every emergency scene…if they know of a problem. For instance, cops secure a violent person in a domestic violence situation before the first responders go in to tend to wounded. In situations like this…well, somehow we are supposed to have known a person’s proclivity to violence and prevented them from owning a gun! Problem solved!

    Janine: What pisses me off is that it’s so insulting to their memories to brush the cause of their deaths under the rug. Raage.

  254. Ichthyic says

    Can I come visit? It’s currently -2F with a windchill of -23 here in Fargo.

    any time, and I think the flights have gotten much cheaper, too.

    unfortunately though, I don’t think they are any shorter.

    man, it is a nightmare being in a cramped plane for 14 hours straight. still brings back bad memories, 4 years later.

  255. carlie says

    It has also just now occurred to me how dangerous it would be to try to extinguish a fire at a house that has a lot of ammunition stored. I know firefighters already know all about this, but it just came to mind.

    I saw that story this morning, and, well, fuck. First it just hit me the obvious way, and then awhile later I thought about the fact that my brother is a firefighter. To think of some slimy asshole setting a fire specifically to ambush these people, who risk their lives every time the call goes out… fuck.
    Extra hugs to Portia, too.

  256. Matt Penfold says

    man, it is a nightmare being in a cramped plane for 14 hours straight. still brings back bad memories, 4 years later.

    I did LA to Auckland once, as part of a longer flight from London to Brisbane. The only thing that made it bearable was being able to grab four centre seats to myself on the trans-Pacific leg so I could stretch out and get some kip.

  257. Nepenthe says

    Spiders don’t have to organize. They are all alien monitoring devices, with secret hidden recording equipment (why did you think they needed so many “eyes” huh?). Thus they are all directed by their programming to be horrifying little critters and to be everywhere.

    Theories vary as to what they’re recording for. Some say they are gathering data for a future invasion force. I believe they are filming an extremely popular and long running reality television show.

  258. Socio-gen, something something... says

    Talked to the brother, who is a bit shaken. Like he said, firefighters go out every time knowing it could be their last call, but they never expect to be shot. The county is holding a candle service tonight at the firefighter’s memorial and all the fire companies are making plans to caravan to Webster for the funerals.

    Ooh! That can be my contribution to the Commune: spider relocation services!

    Hugs. Apparently, y’all should wear bullet-proof gear and maybe carry assault rifles on each rig? *blech* I just made myself sick writing that.

    Well that idea’s out. I can’t even pass an airport without getting the shudders. No way could I manage to get on a plane, much less stay on it for that long.


    To think of some slimy asshole setting a fire specifically to ambush these people, who risk their lives every time the call goes out… fuck.

    I know. And when you consider that most firefighters (and EMS) are volunteers, doing it for nothing more than the satisfaction of helping neighbors in need… even curse words aren’t enough to convey my anger and sadness that someone would deliberately target them.

  259. rq says

    Spiders have their benefits, but lately, they just haven’t done enough. All those benefits? Getting cancelled and overcome by a few very annoying negatives. Generally I support spiders, but due to the last couple of incidents, I’m ready to change my mind…

  260. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Where’s the grog?

    At the Pharyngula Saloon and Spanking Parlor. How many days old and how much? That way I’ll caluclate whether I need confiscate your vehicle keys and reserve an upstairs room for you…guarding by the Lilac Berets is extra.

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

    carlie and Socio-gen

    Thanks for the hugs. I think “shaken” is a good word for my state today. I can’t imagine it. Volunteers in particular go to fires because if we don’t show up to put out the flames (or bandage the wounds, or cut off the car door) no one else will. And to do that to someone….

    On facebook, someone I don’t know told me that if the guy hadn’t had a gun, he would have used a bow and arrow. I told him that an arrow might not even puncture fire gear, so I’d take that any day over a gun. He never did tell me how everyone who wants an assault rifle will automatically know where to get one illegally should they be banned again. And, if a fuckwad had almost anything *but* a gun, firefighters are incidentally well-armed and could take care of most problems if they really had to. Fire tools can serve more than their intended purpose. Axes, halligans, hell, even something as simple as a hose wrench would do in a pinch.


    We’ll get a bunch of bats for the commune, how’s that?

    Yes, come over to the right and proper anti-arachnid side.

  262. says

    Another fucking shooting… and of course the NRA answer is even more guns. Those folks? One part sales department, one part pro-violence group, with a pretty large sprinkling of seditious and racist ideas mixed in for flavor.

  263. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    What would their answer be if every adult in the US owned and carried a gun, resulting in no decrease of gun violence.

  264. cicely says

    NRA calls for end to childhood obesity by putting McDonalds in every school

    Giliell, hurrah for the FiL’s early homecoming, and a separate hurrah for the uncomplicationifaction of your day.

    *hugs* for Socio-gen and troubled offspring.

    And—confessions time—I admit that my office computer has a number of Nickelback videos bookmarked. (As mentioned above: I have no taste. It’s no secret—everyone knows it.)

    Tony posted a picture once.
    He is hot.

    And very huggable-looking.

    Ambushing firefighters. Now can the country talk about fucking gun control?

    Clearly those firefighters should have been—I started to say, “packing heat”—heavily armed. Then they could have had a shoot-out with the ambusher, while the house etc. burned, and if there were people trapped inside and they didn’t get to them time, well, fortunes of warit was just really bad luck for them. Sucks, but whatcanyado?

    Home safe, for those interested.


  265. says

    Tony, I’m guessing they expect the race war to start long before then… interesting to note that they aren’t exactly pleased with “urban” gun ownership *wink wink*

  266. cicely says

    Theories vary as to what they’re recording for. Some say they are gathering data for a future invasion force.

    Probably gathering intel for the Horses.

    *hugs* for Portia. And *strong drink*.

  267. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    Are you insinuating Wayne LaPierre only wants members of the ‘caucasian’ race to own guns?

  268. ajb47 says


    I read this somewhere, but has anyone argued that Travon Martin should have been armed?


  269. says

    Tony, I’m saying that the NRA is part of the marketing arm of the gun manufacturers AND a political group with an agenda that coincides with the most racist and reactionary elements in American society. Rather than move away from those elements, the NRA embraces them in the name of profit and political power. Besides looking at the politics of LaPierre and the Republican Party he is wedded to, it was also interesting that the pro-gun spokepeople on TV and radio weren’t interested in talking about the fact that mass shootings and spree killings in general are almost exclusively the province of white men, but if they were willing to talk about gun violence at all it was always redirected and re-framed as an “inner city” or “urban” issue. You know, black and brown people with guns.

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

    Thanks, cicely and Dalillama.

    I did have a glass of wine with dinner and the dinner guests, but then I stopped because stepdad was getting unruly and I just can’t stand to even vaguely support his drinking by drinking with him. So now the company has left, and I am cozied up in bed, being cranky and sad. On the bright side, I have a little time to try to catch up on the goings on here. I’m sorry for bursting in earlier in such a mood. I now offer commiserations, consolation and congratulations where appropriate.

    One of our line officers just sent this out, and I finally cried about the shooting today, even though this poem is a bit cheesy:

    Firefighter Night Before Christmas

    ‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house,
    All the firefighters were asleep, even the one called “The Louse”,

    The bunk room was filled, with farts and snores,
    With visions of no fires, nor calls to pry open doors,

    The Captain had just laid down, his big fat head,
    Hoping and praying, the night would be dead,

    When he heard a noise, out in the bay,
    If it were a burglar again, what would he say,

    As he snuck around the corner, and stepped onto the bay floor,
    He saw a such a sight, one never seen before,

    It was Clause standing there, looking at the truck with awe,
    The old man was crying, and quivering his jaw,

    The Captain filled with compassion, put a hand on his shoulder,
    Comforting as he’d done, helping others many times over,

    He said “It’s ok pops”, as Santa shivered and cried,
    Clause replied “I’m so sorry, I’m thinking of your brothers, that have died”,

    “I stood here looking, at the soot covered gear,
    And thought of them all, who advanced with no fear”,

    “I thought of the victims, they’d cut out of cars,
    And the drunk that they’d helped, who had just left the bars”,

    “I thought of your brothers, who ran out of air in a fire,
    And the ones who have helped, a child with bike, put air in the tire”,

    “I thought of the their families, who wonder and worry,
    When they leave for work, in a mighty big hurry”,

    “How fireman give selflessly, in a wreck, disaster, or fire,
    How they get the job done, and never, ever, seem to tire”,

    “I bowed my head in silence, and much to my surprise,
    A tear welled up, then more, ‘Till they filled up my eyes”,

    “How do you do it Cap?”, he asked in sadness,
    “It’s in our hearts” he replied, and we do it with gladness.”,

    At that time the tones went off, “Gotta go” said the captain with a sigh,
    “Someone’s in trouble, so I must say goodbye.”

    As the crew loaded up, Old Clause he stood back,
    Knowing these firefighters, Had just left the sack,

    As they pulled out the station, wiping sleep from their eyes,
    A firefighter said “Hey Cap”, “Was that Saint Nick?” with surprise,

    Clause smiled and replied, “Thanks David, Michael, Jim and Louse,
    Thanks all you firefighters, who save peoples house,”

    “Thanks Art, Steve,Harvey, Sherrie, and Ryan,
    I don’t know how you do it, but somehow you keep from cryin’

    “May God keep you safe, and in the palm of his hands,
    Keep you and guide you,
    While you serve and protect these great lands”

    Written: 1-December-2001
    ~Mark S. Warnick

    Aside from the obvious issue with the last line, it really got me. Ugh. Need to see some kitteh pictures or something. I’ll be cheerier after one last thought. We need to add one to the List of Commons Saying for Which We Need a Secular Alternative: “There but for the grace of God go I.”

    …okay, back to reading up :)

  271. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    I agree
    It is entirely possible, but I haven’t heard of anyone suggesting that Trayvon should have been carrying. In fact, that could mean something too…he was already walking with a hoodie while black. None of the same pro gun proponents advocating the arming of teachers would likely want to arm someone ‘like him’.

  272. Sophia, Michelin-starred General of the First Mediterranean Iron Chef Batallion says

    Mmm! Almost 11am on christmas day and the outside temp is already 35.1°C, supposed to top out at 39°C but it might hit 40. YAY.
    I hate hot weather. I’d hate it less if we had a pool and my skin wasn’t pastytransparentpalepinkyskin that burned within milliseconds of being anywhere near sunlight.

    Ham smells nice, though.

  273. ImaginesABeach says

    I wish I could adopt all of you and take you all to Christmas at my parents’ home. My dad is a retired physicist, so geek grandpa. My mom is a retired school nurse, so a realist. They raised my brother and I as atheists, but loved me when I tried to believe, and love my brother even though he became a Catholic. It doesn’t matter what I do, they think I’m wonderful. And they would love all of you too!

  274. dianne says

    Happy anything you celebrate if you celebrate anything this time of year, all. Caine, if you’re around, would you mind if I put an image of Neville on my facebook page?

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

    Chigau, can’t have women with guns. No matter the time of the month, they would never have the fortitude to use them “when it counts,” what with their delicate feminine constitution. Ergo, they shouldn’t have access to them at all. If there’s defending to do, the menfolk best do it.

  276. says

    It’s 230 in the afternoon, but I’ve decided that this day can not be endured sober any longer.
    And on TV I have the choice between EPL game reruns, NFL and Darts on the sports channels, and Christmas with the Kranks or A wonderful life on the other ones.

    Kill me now.

  277. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    In other news, I am bored out of my mind. I think I am going to follow rorscach’s lead and start drinking.

  278. chigau (違う) says

    I love watching darts.
    The choice between “Wonderful Life” and nine-inch steel needles would be a tough one.

  279. carlie says

    Oh, wow.
    I’m sitting on the couch, all preparations recently done, with just the tree lights, taking a rest before bed.
    And I’m staring at the other couch, and thinking about every christmas we’ve had in this house, 10 years exactly now I realize.
    And I’m remembering every year, and how the kids sit on that couch while I sit on this one, watching them open gifts and play and get bigger and older each time.
    And how I’m always a little melancholy, thinking about how we’re always alone, it’s always low-key, how our families are always across the country, how my kids don’t have the kinds of christmases I did with aunts and uncles and cousins falling over each other and food and noise and wrapping paper flying.
    every one of those christmases? have been happy. And the older I get, the more I realize how special that is. And how I won’t have many more with them, but for now, it’s so good.
    And I’m kind of overwhelmed by that. I’m so undeservedly lucky.

  280. ajb47 says

    chigau @437

    I’m in the States and we don’t get much in the way of darts competition on TV, but I am fascinated by it when it is on. I finished part of my basement, put in a bar, but there is not enough room for a billiard table, so I had to go with darts. After all this time, I wish I were better.


  281. carlie says

    Oh, now I feel like a jerk reading back upthread and seeing the crumminess other people are having. Not refreshing the page for ages gets me every time. I wish I could have everybody over for cookies and drinks.

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


    I’m glad you have such great memories and happy times to come. :)

    Maybe someday in the commune we’ll all have a lovely solstice celebration together, with hot toddies and dusted eggnog and tasty treats all around.

  283. ajb47 says

    OK, favorite holiday movies?

    Since 1987, I have not been able to decide between Lethal Weapon or Die Hard. Are there really any better holiday movies? I’d like to know.

    Right now, on 12/24, I put Die Hard in the DVD player.


  284. says

    I love watching darts.

    You’re weird! I’m really a sports person, but Darts for me ranks at the bottom of activities I might possibly enjoy doing or watching, like Lawn Bowls, or Waterpolo.

    At least the Cricket starts tomorrow.

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

    Q: How many NRA spokesmen does it take to change a lightbulb?
    A: More guns.

  286. ajb47 says


    Yeah, that, I think, was the point of whoever was more clever than me.

    NRA: Arm everyone.
    Trayvon Martin: Even me?

    In case it wasn’t clear, I was responding to your post about LaPierre asking about who should own guns.

    And perhaps I should say I am against outright bans on gun ownership, not that anyone here has posited that. I’ve been a hunter, though I never managed to actually bag anything. I don’t think civilians should own assault rifles, bazookas, and other such firearms, but I don’t think strict bans are the answer here in the States. My opinion, not backed by any formal studies, I admit it.

    It is probably my least liberal position, but it’s all based on hunting, I think.



  287. chigau (違う) says

    ajb47 #439
    re: darts
    practice practice practice
    practice practice practice
    and don’t drink too much

  288. chigau (違う) says

    I also like watching golf on TV because I don’t understand how the camera-people follow that little ball.
    and I ♥ curling
    (you’ll probably need to google that)

  289. says

    As to Golf, I find it extremely tiresome, but it can be a bit like Anaesthetics, boredom punctured by panic, when a player is 2 shots up at the last hole and puts the ball into the lake.


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

    Put a gun rack on that golf cart and your game will improve drastically. Because guns.

  291. ajb47 says

    chigau @450

    Don’t drink too much?

    Here is the really interesting thing: My friends and I have decided that yes, you have to drink the *right* amount.

    We haven’t quite found what the *right* amount is yet, though.

    (But my practice has allowed me to be able to group my darts pretty well, though I don’t always heit the number I’m aiming for.)


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

    I bumbled my way through a couple games of darts on Saturday night. We played “cutthroat” and then “gotcha” I didn’t win at either, but I had a fun time.

  293. says

    Today I had to go to Christmas Eve mass with my family. Ugggggg.

    I’m curious about this. I assume that you didn’t “have” to go, but rather felt obliged to do so. Why is that? I apologize if that is a too personal question. I’m not certain what I would do in the same situation, tbh.

  294. chigau (違う) says

    re: drink and bar-games
    I have a (small) window wherein my performance improves.
    Thereafter it gets ugly.

  295. ajb47 says

    chigau 461:

    Yes! That is what my group has decided. Lousy. Lousy. Not so bad. Pretty good. Right on and then back to pretty good. Pretty… lousy. lousy… really bad. bad. bad.


    I love darts, lousy though I am. When it comes to bar games, it probably goes darts, pool, then shuffleboard. And basically, if you’re having fun, and you don’t stick a dart in someone’s hand, then Yeah!


  296. chigau (違う) says

    I am not going back to the feminism thread tonight.
    Keep up the good work!
    Merry Happy to all!

  297. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    I also like darts. Playing with drinking socially is fun.
    Like poker, bowling and billiards, I just don’t count it as a sport however.
    I am done with that turd in the feminist thread. He’s gone too far for my tastes.

  298. says


    No, it’s a good question. My family knows that I’m an atheist, and they usually don’t even bother asking me to go to church. My mom has asked that I don’t tell my siblings that I’m an atheist because it will upset them or make them doubt or something. Anyway, I’ve agree to that while I visit them, partially because I don’t feel like arguing, and partially because they’re not my kids. I am going to have a talk with each of them once they move out, and really it’s only my little sister (11). My little brother (17) is old enough to have figured it out from facebook, so as long as I generally keep it to myself then it isn’t a problem. It’s not the best solution, but it’s what we’ve got. Ok, admittedly, it’s a pretty shitty arrangement, because I basically have to pretend like I agree with them, but again, it’s what we’ve got going on.

    Anyway, it’s generally a truce: they don’t ask me to go to church, and I keep quiet. But on Christmas it’s expected that I go because I would ruin Christmas if I didn’t. Honestly, I don’t want to have an argument on Christmas because everyone is otherwise so happy. On usual days they go to church in the morning, so I just sleep in, but Christmas Eve mass is in the evening, so it would be really obvious if everyone left and I stayed home. My sister would ask me all kinds of innocent questions, and I really don’t feel like dealing out that kind of trauma around Christmas. Also, my little sister was in the nativity play, and it would break her heart if I weren’t there to see. I’m only home twice a year, and we get along so well other than this that it doesn’t seem worth it to argue.

    So, all that basically boils down to me not wanting any arguments. (This applies to a lot of things really.) I never thought of myself as someone who would compromise on stuff like this, but when it comes to my family I’m really kind of a pushover. Goodness, why didn’t I just type that to begin with?

  299. says

    Also, my little sister was in the nativity play, and it would break her heart if I weren’t there to see.

    That makes a lot of sense to me, thanks for the answer! I guess it’s the “tell granny on her deathbed that god doesn’t exist” situation in another form…

    I went to a church for a wedding a few years ago, and it wasn’t something I could have gotten out of without upsetting a lot of people, so I went along. The only other time in maybe 30 years I’ve been inside a church was for a funeral, and by the end of it I could have killed the priest, his total disinterest in the dead person was just too obvious. At least I don’t have to deal with going to church with any family over Christmas.

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

    Blarg, that doesn’t sound like a fun time. : ( But I bet it was fun to see your sister in the show, though. Some consolation?

    I think last year was the first year that SO explicitly did not accompany his parents to Christmas mass. He literally trembled from the anxiety of being so obviously defiant of tradition and jebus, etc. Maybe when your siblings are older it’ll be easier for you to opt out? I’m thankful my own family is not church-going.
    Apparently my brother invited everyone over for Christmas morning, including our divorced parents and their significant others. This could be interesting…but it will be fun if for no other reason than it is my 8 year old niece’s birthday, and she is so joy-filled it’s contagious. And her 2 1/2 year old sister is almost competitively enthusiastic, so it will be great to see them.

    I just wish I didn’t have to share the day with my dad’s awful, spiteful, martyr of a girlfriend.

  301. says

    Maybe when your siblings are older it’ll be easier for you to opt out?

    Yeah, I think that will be the case. And yeah, it was nice to see my sister being a shepherd, even if she only had one cheesy line about Jesus. She was very proud of herself.

  302. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    You know I had to say it that way.

    Ing, don’t let the idiots keep you away.

  303. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    I’ll have to give a final report after baking, but I seem to have nailed low-fat pseudo-alfredo on the first try and white port is good enough that it’s kinda not good. O.o

    Also, my family remains dysfunctional enough to really hurt, but not dysfunctional enough that I don’t feel like a poseur/crybaby complaining. :(

  304. says

    Ing: Happy holidays to you!

    Azkyroth: If you feel like ranting about your family, we’d be more than happy to listen. I promise that you aren’t a crybaby. You shouldn’t feel guilty about them hurting your feelings.

  305. Tony ∞The Queer Shoop∞ says

    I look foward to that report. Low fat pseudo alfredo…sounds potentially good.

  306. says

    WMDKitty, can I have some summer holiday headbutts instead plz?

    1. Low fat but delicious alfredo? Recipe!
    2. Families can suck. Mine are perhaps similar? Not quite bad enough that I really should cut them out of my life, but also not any actual good. They’re living in their own imaginary & utterly self-centred world – I am a kind of cypher with no actual humanity. No interaction really possible – phone calls are monologues by them to their imaginary me. Yuk. It’s depressing.

  307. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    What I did:

    Took a *checks* 48oz CostCo container of lowfat cottage cheese and put it through the food processor last night, mixing 1 12oz can of fat free evaporated milk in. At this point it came out sort of gooey-jiggly but with lumps the size of a pencil dot instead of cottage cheese curds. Tonight, I cooked three shallots (about 3/4 lb) in about 2 tbsp of olive oil until the purple had mostly faded to gray, on medium heat, then mixed the cottage cheese/evaporated milk mixture with two more 12oz cans of fat free evaporated milk (including scraping the protein goo off the bottom) in a large pot, then heating it until it was pretty warm and all the congealed fats decongealed (or, for the pedants, substantial decongealment was observed), then poured as much as would fit in the blender and ran it on liquefy for about a minute, poured it back into the pot (in which about 1/4 of the mixture remained, repeated this, then added the shallots and what was left, after making two pans of pumpkin lasagna, of the aged parmesan cheese I got at CostCo (not the $10/lb Parmigiano Reggiano, the stuff that comes in 90 degree segments) and 1/3 cup of flour, then cooked it until the parmesan was fully melted. About halfway through melting the cheese I added 1 tsp of Italian Seasoning blend and at the end I added somewhere between 1/2 and 3/4 tsp black pepper, which all “real” alfredo seems to have. This marks the first time I have ever consciously added black pepper to something. We’ll see how it goes.

    What I wish I did:

    Measure the fucking parmesan. It was about 1 inch deep in the bottom of a Ziplock gallon bag so…2 cups?

    I may also regret not increasing the flour to 1/2 cup, but it’s still pretty warm and I’ll have to see how it cools. O.o

    Oh, and I added the drippings from the shitake mushrooms I sauteed in the white port I didn’t drink.

    (Did I mention it was a bit too good? x.x)

  308. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    *licks finger* okay, it neither tastes nor textures exactly like alfredo sauce, but it is a quite passable and quite good white sauce thus far and will fulfill the same niche excellently, I expect.

    Full disclosure: I have no idea how the fat actually compares, though with the lack of cream it SHOULD be favorable. The point was actually “full of fucking protein” rather than “low fat” per se.

    Also, I should have added 4-5 garlic cloves to the shallots. I was even prepared to, but decided garlic would clash in the dish I was making it for.

  309. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    (I should probably also mention that I whisked it pretty aggressively after the cheese melted.)

  310. John Morales says


    (I should probably also mention that I whisked it pretty aggressively after the cheese melted.)


    PS Merry Xmas all! :>

  311. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    Let it cool and scooped it into tupperwares. That recipe made about 10 cups after scraping the pan, but not going to heroic efforts.

    So far so good.

  312. says

    Haha, love the piecemeal recipe.Well done there. Sounds like too much effort for me at the moment, though, and honestly I’ve never liked evaporated milk. I have had some success with low fat white sauce using chicken stock thickened with cornflour, though. (Needs to be good quality stock.)

    Meanwhile, I am now well stuffed with turkey, stuffing, gravy & veg. Watching LotR and waiting for the interval to have pudding. Today’s loot included, very oddly, no books and no chocolate. But I have DVDs and other good things, and I get to read the Bloke’s new Tim Powers & Pratchett.

  313. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    So, a real recipe would be something like:

    48oz lowfat cottage cheese
    36oz (3 cans) fat-free evaporated milk
    3/4 lb shallots
    2 tbsp olive oil
    1/3 cup white whole wheat flour
    1 1/2 cups grated parmesan cheese
    1 tsp Italian Seasoning blend
    1/2 tsp black pepper, or to taste (or lack thereof)
    4 large cloves garlic (optional)

    Chop shallots and garlic if using and saute in olive oil on medium-high heat in secondary pan until color fades and slightly browned. Meanwhile, combine cottage cheese and evaporated milk in large saucepan, mix thoroughly, warm over medium-low heat, then blend in batches until satisfactorily smooth, turning down secondary pan’s burner if too browned. Add shallots and garlic to main pan, along with flour, seasoning, and pepper; mix thoroughly with whisk. Add parmesan cheese and cook until cheese melts, whisk again, then allow to cool if storing.

    I’ll check back on how THAT one goes.

  314. FossilFishy (Νεοπτόλεμος's spellchecker) says

    Christmas day is all but done and dusted here. Mrs. Fishy put off coming back ’til boxing day. She’s come down with a nasty cold and a full day of reli visits followed by a late train home was too much to contemplate. Her birthday celebration last around a month so why shouldn’t Christmas last two days? This means the Small Fry will have three consecutive days of presents. Nice work if you can get it.

    The delay is good. I cleaned all the things and tidied all the other things. They’ll now be returning to a house that doesn’t look like it’s been used for years by a succession of punk bands as a practice space/flop house, the latest tenants of which have just found out that they’re being evicted so the owner can tear it down. Twas like it never happened.

    A happy happy and a merry merry to one and all.

  315. says

    Christmas morning, can’t sleep, keeping myself amused with Sailor Moon SuperS… and remembering just why I hate, and I mean HATE Chibi-Usa. She’s not as obnoxious as she was in the latter half of R and the entirety of S…. but she’s in every gorram episode, because — for reasons never really defined in canon — this particular Big Bad (and Generals and their Monsters of the Week) require the power of Pegasus for the super-senshi powerup, and only Chibi-Moon can call him. So, less obnoxious, still annoying as all get out, and so. much. pink. *falls over from the overload*

    Maybe I should just skip right ahead to Stars…

  316. Lofty says

    Happy reason season everyone! 10pm here, we had a lazy day over all, hopefully a good night’s sleep ahead as the temperature has dropped to 14C with a stiff breeze from the Southern Ocean. Beats 41C a couple of days ago. G’night to the Aussies, g’day to the Europeans and g’mornin to the rest of you.

  317. carlie says

    Put a gun rack on that golf cart and your game will improve drastically. Because guns.

    Well, you do take shots in golf, right?

    Sorry for being so sappy last night. Given my lack of decent memory, of course after I went to bed it was then I remembered that there was that bad Christmas, and that not so good one, and then oh yeah THAT one… Heh. Rose colored glasses and all.

    blogofmyself – seeing your sister in the play makes it worth it, yeah? Maybe next year, if she’s not performing, you could be the one who’s cooking dinner while they’re at evening church.Then they might even be happy for you not to be there. ;)

    *hugs Ing*

    Azkyroth – yes, yes, recipe, now go ahead and vent!

    Child the younger has been awake for almost 4 hours already. He’s a bit excited. Cat is happily playing up and down the stairs with a bouncy ball she received, which should wake up child 1 short.. oh, here he is. Happy day (or evening), everyone!

  318. opposablethumbs says

    Heartfelt good wishes to all Horders who have had/are having/will have a good day, and even bigger and more heartfelt good wishes to those of us having a shitty one for any variety of reasons.

    Hugs and kittens to those who can’t be with the people they would like to be with, and those who are enduring people they would rather not be with; and THANK YOU to the Horde for being the Horde. (Currently, my particular admiration and appreciation to everyone in the Feminism thread. Reading you slice and dice the MRA misanthropes has been a pleasure and an inspiration!)

  319. says

    Happy whatever it is you are doing today! May you do what makes you happiest under the circumstances.

    Xmas is a special time, when my wife goes to work and I sit at home playing Halo 4. Oh, wait… I have unpacking to do! I guess it is like when I was a kid, opening boxes and never knowing exactly what I’ll find in any box? I’d like to make this sort of special for my wife to make up for the fact that she’s working today, by getting a big chunk of the unpacking and decorating finished before she gets home.

  320. Socio-gen, something something... says

    Greetings from “fucking cold” Minnesota, currently -13F with a -27 windchill. *shivers*

    Had a great dinner with the cousins, then we drove around checking out the holiday lights. Back home, after some technical difficulties, I hooked up with the family via Hangout and did the present opening. So much fun! Especially with my 1yo niece giving me cyber-kisses and yelling at me to “‘M’out!” (come out).

    Another dinner this afternoon. And then curling up on the couch with an afghan to watch Hogfather.

    Thanks for the hugs. Luckily, the three offspring are getting support from each other (and the aunts) while they go through all this, so I don’t feel quite so guilty about not being there.

    I hope today is better for you. Since I’m not the praying type, I offer heartfelt thanks to you and all those who are there when we need you.

    We need to add one to the List of Commons Saying for Which We Need a Secular Alternative: “There but for the grace of God go I.”

    I usually say “There, but for sheer dumb luck, go I.”

    Your family sounds wonderful!

    Your Christmases past sound so nice, even if they aren’t full of relatives and noise. (Or maybe, to me, because they aren’t full of relatives and noise.) Savor every moment!

    Favorite holiday movies? A Christmas Story. Never fails to make me laugh, even when I’m all by myself.

    on darts
    I’m horrible at darts. No one wants me on their team because, regardless of my state of inebriation, I have a tendency to hit the wall…and once, a human being. (It didn’t go in that deep! And it was his fault for walking too close to the board while I was shooting!)

    Yay for cleaning all the things!

  321. says

    Also… I think in my discussion of gun rights/control I’ve been arguing for Schrödinger’s shooter, to the tune of Schrödinger’s rapist but with a slightly different tempo. When I hear a gun nut argue “we don’t need to restrict weapons, because it will prevent non-criminals from getting guns” my answer is “EVERYONE starts out not being a criminal, if they buy the gun first and THEN commit the crime, then all the screening in the world doesn’t matter. Criminals don’t look different from non-criminals.” (Of course, there’s the racial element… to gun nuts, some people DO look different and that makes them more likely to be criminals)

    So if you can’t tell by looking at someone whether or not they will commit a gun crime, what do you do? Well… you can get at some of the underlying situation and try to prevent everyone from being in a position to do harm, and minimize the harm that you can’t prevent. If that means that no one can buy a semi-auto rifle with a crate of 50-round magazines, or we limit handguns to 5-shot revolvers and charge a 300% tax on ammo, that’s a tiny price to pay.

  322. says

    “EVERYONE starts out not being a criminal, if they buy the gun first and THEN commit the crime, then all the screening in the world doesn’t matter. Criminals don’t look different from non-criminals.”

    This is one that I’ve used too. I noted in an FB argument that very few if any of the mass shooters, for instance, have had prior criminal records. Nor did what’s his name, who shot Jordan Davis, or the guy who shot that pizza customer, and that’s just ones that have made the major news in the past couple weeks, and doesn’t even count the people who’ve shot late returning family members etc. by accident, who aren’t usually considered ‘criminals’ by most even after the fact, but that doesn’t really help whoever was unfortunate enough to stop a bullet, does it?