[Lounge #419]

caecilian babies

This is the lounge. You can discuss anything you want, but you will do it kindly. Ooh, momma and baby caecilians!

Status: Heavily Moderated; Previous thread


  1. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says

    I surrender, you win rq. :)

    I’ve not only heard of The Emperor from Atlantis, I’ve seen a production of it. The Edmonton Opera staged it in the big theatre in town while their regular venue was being upgraded. I really enjoyed it. In places it felt a bit disjointed but it was really interesting, and being primed with the backstory of its creation made it quite moving. One of the members of my band at the time played flute in the orchestra for it. He was always a bit antiestablishment so he went on at some length about how this was the best thing the opera company had ever done. I’m not sure about that, but it sure wasn’t your typical opera. I also got to meet the director and the production designer at an after party. Damned if I could remember what we talked about, but what the hell, I’m sure the don’t remember either. :) I have vague memory that they made a point of using the original score, but that might be a lie.

    That season they also did selections from the Three Penny Opera in a disused movie theatre, complete with vendors selling beer and peanuts. It really was a good season.

    Night all. Last night I dreamt that a purple and pink dragon was flying around our kitchen, I’m hoping this trip down the memory of surrealist opera lane can top that.

  2. blf says

    Africa quiz — test your knowledge: “To celebrate Africa day on the anniversary of the birth of the Organisation of African Unity, 25 May 1963, we have put together this quiz.”

    I did not do too well — only 9 out of 15 — confirming my knowledge of “stuff” about Africa is abysmal. Unfortunately, I’ve no idea which ones I got wrong (I did guess on around half of them), since The Grauniad isn’t, for some reason, showing the answers…  ☹

  3. says

    …And, in my personal opinion, strong personal inclination can work a lot more miracles (progress) than plain natural talent, when applied in cases where natural talent seems to be scarce.

    That, roughly, too.

    I’ve previously done thousands on it in these threads, but broadly, I’d say ‘talent’ if by this you mean somehow truly innate ability above that of others is probably hugely overrated, its effects overstated, and really the only sense in which we have that ‘innate’ ability is a complex of conditions that set us up to acquire a skill relatively more or less easily. At more detail: in the very many things in life in which so-called ‘muscle memory’ (so-called because the memory is in no real way actually in the muscle; rather it’s learned patterns of behaviour your conscious mind can’t really mess with nor observe at all directly) is important, it’s frequently very complicated and hard to observe how you acquire that. But there’s really no substitute for practice…

    And the ‘complicated’ bit is mostly: there’s more and less effective practice for anything, habits that work and habits that don’t, and ruts those bits of your brain will get themselves into. Some things the way out is to get the right teacher to figure it out, somehow redirect you toward practicing effectively, fixing the right things in the right order.

    The good news then: you’re probably never really absolutely ‘doomed’ not to learn something, in the sense that your brain simply isn’t ‘suitable’ for given activity; brains are generally incredibly plastic. The not as clearly good news, however: your road will be different than anyone else’s, may be harder to navigate. And the best teacher in the world might still throw up their hands, have to confess, seriously, they’ve got no damned idea how to get you there from where you are. But even this doesn’t make anything impossible. Just harder.

    Still, I have to reemphasize: I think people get very unhealthy ideas around ‘talent’. Like I don’t have it, and that’s a thing you need, so I can’t do this…

    It’s just one of those errant reifications happen all through human culture. ‘Talent’ in that absolute sense of a ‘gift’ for doing something (or not) is roughly as real as were leprechauns and talking snakes. So that assumption you, personally, can’t do something because there’s some doom inscribed in the stars specifically for you, it’s probably bullshit. You probably can. Okay, you probably can’t become an Olympic sprinter or concert violinist in your sixties; you won’t live long enough for the latter and your joints do age in the case of the former. But you can probably become pretty damned good against the rest of your age group at anything the condition of those joints still allows, if you can make the time.

  4. chigau (違う) says

    The African quiz has a “Show Answers” button at the bottom.
    I refuse to report my score.

  5. blf says

    Palme d’Awful: the worst films for sale at Cannes (pictures):

    Every year, 20 of the world’s best new movies compete at the film festival. But there is also the marché, where other cinematic hopefuls are bought and sold

    2. Sharknado

    … [T]he citizens of LA … are blighted by a tornado of sharks. …

    3. Santa Claws

    In 1996, a horror movie called Santa Claws was made. Now it’s time for the kiddie version, in which Santa’s policy against delivering cats as presents — on account of his allergies, rather than any concern for animal welfare — is tested by [poopyhead], who gets the rules bent because he’s been so good. “But instead of one little kitten, the whole litter climbs into the sack. When Santa has a major allergic reaction, the kitties have to take over and deliver the presents.” Nothing says family fun more than a major allergic reaction.

    5. FDR American Badass

    Equipped by Einstein and the CIA with a bespoke Wheelchair Of Death, America’s wartime president battles polio-carrying Nazi werewolves …

  6. says

    It is ridiculous that the US govt can justify invasions and wars all in the name of freedom, democracy, and ending the War on Terror (blech, like you can end a concept in such a manner), yet some basic requirements for the safety of its citizenry cannot be maintained. I don’t know much about job creation, but is it unreasonable of me to think that working to improve the infrastructure of the US would employ A LOT of people?
    Yuck! I will eat peas if that’s what it takes to not see glow in the dark cockroaches discussed
    again :-)
    Seriously though, those things creep me out already. Glowing…ick. reminds me of that movie in the 70’s (?) About aggressive, radioactive roaches that killed people (don’t recall the name).

    Also, light pollution ??!

  7. blf says

    The African quiz has a “Show Answers” button at the bottom.

    Yes. And it doesn’t work. (Or at least didn’t when I tried it.)

  8. chigau (違う) says

    The Show Answers button worked for me.
    I got 15/15 the second time through.

  9. Hekuni Cat, MQG says

    JAL – I’m sorry to hear Little One has been unwell, and I hope your back feels better soon.

  10. opposablethumbs says

    really the only sense in which we have that ‘innate’ ability is a complex of conditions that set us up to acquire a skill relatively more or less easily. At more detail: in the very many things in life in which so-called ‘muscle memory’ (so-called because the memory is in no real way actually in the muscle; rather it’s learned patterns of behaviour your conscious mind can’t really mess with nor observe at all directly) is important, it’s frequently very complicated and hard to observe how you acquire that. But there’s really no substitute for practice…

    Well put, the bit I bolded here is more or less what I wanted to but failed to express. And it has the effect that some people will progress much more than others for the same amount of practice, so that it looks as if they need it less/as if practice is not as relevant a factor as “innate” ability. (and to all intents and purposes they do need it less, for any given immediate goal).
    None of which detracts one whit from the achievements of those who practice OR those who don’t; the difference lies in the narrative of the magic bean from deity-of-choice/Nature which in turn affects how we look at the task of teaching people certain skills or subtly put them off learning the skills for which they are the “wrong” sex/ethnicity etc.

  11. Beatrice (looking for a happy thought) says

    Parsnip is the cutest.

    I spent the last hour reading this article and comments: 21 Things to Stop Saying Unless You Hate Fat People

    It’s really good. My blood test results from the other day came to mind. I have a bit higher cholesterol levels than recommended, but the doctor didn’t even mention it. Who wants to bet about her comment were I fatter?

  12. says

    I so needed a Parsnip this morning: woke up to find my laptop burgled from my house mere inches from where I was sleeping. A few other things missing too. At least the laptop was broken and nothing of real value was taken.
    I failed the Africa quiz.
    Irony of the day: If I hadn’t spent all day yesterday clearing out the hallway to the bedroom, the burglar probably wouldn’t have dared to cross it.

  13. Beatrice (looking for a happy thought) says


    DIdn’t you have a break-in just a couple of months ago, or have I mixed you up with someone else? In any case, *hugs*

  14. David Marjanović says

    Caine sighted!!! ♥

    Santa Claws


    Equipped by Einstein and the CIA with a bespoke Wheelchair Of Death, America’s wartime president battles

    So far, so good… could actually be fun, I thought…

    polio-carrying Nazi werewolves …

    *epic facepalm*

  15. rowanvt says

    Jeez that’s scary, Dutchgirl.

    Parsnip had a physical exam today at the shelter because he is not-normal. He has tremors when he walks, and he’s much slower than a kitten his age should be. He also continues to tremble when just standing or even sitting. He had a decreased menace response, and a significant delay when tracking objects. He takes about 2 seconds to register that something has moved through his field of vision.

    The vet looked concerned when she saw the tremors, and after the menace and tracking problems she developed Serious Face, which is NEVER an expression you want to see on a doctor. So we’ve got a blood panel pending checking for signs of a liver shunt or hypothyroidism or something, though his symptoms don’t match either or those well, as he is a large and well proportioned kitten. :/


  16. carlie says

    Tony – what about the light pollution? Pretty nasty stuff, but not enough people think about it. :(

  17. Beatrice (looking for a happy thought) says

    No, this is that nightmare where you have to write a test you only found out about five minutes before, you don’t have your calculator, and all the questions in the test are from that one single lecture you skipped in the whole semester and had no one to copy notes from.

  18. chigau (違う) says

    And don’t forget about that part of the nightmare where you are naked.

  19. UnknownEric the Apostate says

    My nightmare is usually that (a) I missed the test altogether or (b) I missed the entire semester altogether. I wake up in a cold sweat at least once a month, convinced that I just flunked out of college. And I got my MLS 13 years ago! You’d think my brain would let me relax by now.

  20. Beatrice (looking for a happy thought) says

    And don’t forget about that part of the nightmare where you are naked.

    And so was the person sitting there before you.

  21. Eurasian magpie says

    Doesn’t anyone else have the version where you take a test unprepared, naked, and with an uncontrollable need to poop?

  22. UnknownEric the Apostate says

    I never have dreams where I’m naked in public. I do, however, regularly have dreams in which I’m in public clad only in my underpants. Sometimes, only a shirt. I hate those dreams.

  23. Beatrice (looking for a happy thought) says


    I don’t really remember having nightmares about being naked (but since they are common, I guess they happened to me too sometimes). My version of public humiliation nightmare was suddenly not being able to walk, and having to crawl on all fours to and through school.

  24. rowanvt says

    I don’t know that I’ve ever had a public humiliation nightmare. Most of my nightmares involve earthquakes, the ‘end of the world’ (though some of these then turn into survivalist dreams, such as the one where I spent an hour weeding lettuces), or myself dying. The dying in my dreams is fairly interesting, though, because I get annoyed at myself for letting myself die and then resurrect my body and keep going in the dream.


  25. David Marjanović says

    No time to finish catching up now or to check if this piece of good news has yet been posted: openly gay Boy Scouts are now allowed in the US, though leaders still aren’t.

    Further good news: I submitted the review I was supposed to write! And that’s over two weeks before the deadline!!!1!

    Bad news: I haven’t done any other work all week. Working on the next paper? Monday maybe…

    Speaking of “next paper”, there’s one that was supposed to come out (online-early) on Tuesday. Hasn’t happened. I’ll ask tomorrow if we simply asked for too many changes to the page proofs or if anything is missing from our side…

    Hey, Atheists! As long as we do good, Pope Francis says we’ll be redeemed! It’s even in the Bible!!!

    …Apparently he’s saying hell is empty.

    I don’t think he’s saying everyone goes to heaven, though. There’s still purgatory and limbo.

    Guess that’s called depression rearing its ugly head. Because although it’s quite normal to complain about the weather I don’t think it’s normal to actually cry because you don’t think you can stand another week without warmth and sunshine…

    *fluffy hugs* There’s sunshine once every few days over here. Yesterday and on Sunday for example. Feel free to come visit.

    Someone started a facebook page “I want this to be added to the constitution” as a parody.
    It says there:


    u drugom mjesecu

    *sniggering at the avoidance of the question how to call February – that’s a nationalist issue, right?*

    My personal favorite is “burek is a natural union between meat and pastry, it can be no other” (it can be made with cheese, but that just isn’t right, according to real connossieurs).


    Apparently, though, putting cheese in has a long, evil tradition.

    Even pure unions need some spice. :)


    Who was it who stated a few years ago, in this very Thread, that onion is basic staple food: “come home, chop onions, decide what to eat!”?

    Haven’t seen the movie, haven’t read this article: Star Trek Into Darkness spoiler FAQ.

    …I just read it, without having seen the movie. I laughed so much! Now I’ll be able to watch the movie and laugh instead of getting some kind of nervous breakdown! I’ll immediately recommend it on Fb. :-)

  26. Beatrice (looking for a happy thought) says

    *sniggering at the avoidance of the question how to call February – that’s a nationalist issue, right?*

    I sometimes feel that everything is a nationalist issue here, but I’m not sure I can think of how veljača….*lightbulb* (and duh!) Oh, you mean februar vs. veljača? I don’t think this was the case here. Using [ordinal number] mjesec is colloquial, for all months. Stupid, really, since it’s longer than using the proper name for each month, but there it is.
    Still, you are right in general. Februar definitely marks one as “possibly Serbian”, which can prove unhealthy in some company.

    How much onion my family used when my grandfather was alive is stuff of legend, and I’m trying to follow in his steps.

  27. Beatrice (looking for a happy thought) says

    I answered David, but my comment seems to have gotten caught in the spam filter. No idea why :/

  28. says

    Moment of Mormon Madness: Remember when right-wing, mormon painter, Jon McNaughton featured Jesus Christ holding the Constitution of the USA? (One Nation Under God)Well McNaughton is up to his usual tricks. He has produced a new work depicting Rachel Maddow, Harry Reid, George Clooney, Stephen Colbert, Sean Penn, Nancy Pelosi and a host of other evil, evil liberals conveniently confined on what looks like a barren island ringed with “Quarantine” tape, caution signs, biohazard signs and a “gun free” sign. They are joined by a spotted owl, and New York City is in the background.

    In case this subtle-as-a-baseball-bat-to-the-head approach does not get through to you, you can go to http://jonmcnaughton.com/content/ZoomDetailPages/LiberalismIsADisease.html and view the interactive version. Mouse over the dark, hooded figure and you get “Number one liberal, everyone knows that Satan is an advocate for control and less freedom for the individual. By the way, Jesus was not a liberal.”

    Coverage in the Salt Lake Tribune.

    McNaughton has become a darling to right-wing commentators like Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck, and has been ridiculed by Maddow and Colbert, among others. (Maybe that’s why they rated immortality in one of McNaughton’s paintings.)

  29. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    I don’t know much about job creation, but is it unreasonable of me to think that working to improve the infrastructure of the US would employ A LOT of people?

    Of course it would. That’s the problem. If the serfs aren’t desperately begging for any scrap of work they can get then the pigs will have to treat them like people. Much better to be a huge turd in a small pond.

  30. Dhorvath, OM says

    Oh. I dream that my car will flip over backwards and roll back down the hill it is driving up. Or that I am having a heart attack. Sometimes both. All other dreams fall into the “yeah, this is neat” file and are promptly abandoned when I wake.

  31. caecily (The Blind and the 'Pod-less) says

    Scientists uncover a secret to cockroaches’ adaptability

    Some of the others started calling me Foghorn, but fortunately I’m the kind of person for whom nicknames don’t stick.

    I hereby christen you FoghornFossilFishy, and may the FSM bless all that sail in you.
    *breaking champagne bottle across your bow*

    Completely unrelated to today’s xkcd (in that I read the comic two hours after these thoughts of which I am about to relate to you)(and I may later come up with further confusion to include in that parenthesized bit, but for now, onward!), an idea for a tee shirt come to my mind unbidden; a completely Not Safe For Work, Contrary to Civility, and generally Socially Unacceptable tee shirt, whereon the large text across the chest of the white shirt would say, Words Hurt, and around which would be scattered all of those ‘harmless’ epithets that assorted bigots think “don’t hurt nuthin'”: Ni**er, C*nt, Fa**ot, K*ke, R*ghead…all of the most popular slurs. And I can’t decide whether it would count as deepest, darkest, mostest-sarcastically ironic quasi-humor (but in a Good Cause)…or earn the publisher the greatest of possible (and deserved!) Anathemas. It’s very in-your-face (at least, for the literate!)…which is the point.
    And so I barf it up here for the most discerning audience I know, to consider its merits and demerits.
    Opinions? Rotten tomatoes? Peas???

    Re Moment of Mormon Madness, I’m slightly surprised that they outlaw fellatio

    I’m not. Anything that provides sexual release that doesn’t result in them spermozots ending up in the Tunnel of Luvv is “contraception”. Non-pharmaceutical contraception, yet, that goes the Pill one better, in that it doesn’t simply cause you to “never get pregnant at all”, as the Planned Parenthood’s radio advertising points out (to contrast it with the Evils of Abortion)—it means that there never was a chance of pregnancy. Shockhorror!

  32. Dhorvath, OM says

    I am quite sure that were I to wear that shirt it would be anathema, but others might pull it off just fine.

  33. Dhorvath, OM says

    The more things you outlaw that people want to do, the more guilt you can generate, the easier it is to make money.

  34. caecily (The Blind and the 'Pod-less) says

    Next page!

    2. Sharknado

    … [T]he citizens of LA … are blighted by a tornado of sharks. …

    A tornado…of sharks….
    *stunned amazement*
    Okay—howzabout a tornado of sharks with lasers?

    Poor, pitiful Parsnip.

    rowanvt, I will join you in worrying about Parsnip.

    Doesn’t anyone else have the version where you take a test unprepared, naked, and with an uncontrollable need to poop?

    Yes. And (apparently) there are no restrooms in the whole…damned…building.

    José Canseco has been charged with rape. Part of his defense is that he doesn’t have to rape to get sex from women. Others are defending him by noting that his alleged victim was photographed wearing a tight, short blue dress, and than she is an actress.

    Same song, different verse….

    I submitted the review I was supposed to write! And that’s over two weeks before the deadline!!!1!


    Caught up!
    *sneaking back for another look at Parsnip*

  35. carlie says

    Canseco was also tweeting crap trashing that woman a few days ago. Don’t know if he’s deleted them or not.

    After I started teaching, that test dream switched to finding out at finals week that there was a class I was supposed to have been teaching all semester but hadn’t.

    Saw the new Star Trek today. Was it not enough that Lucas crapped all over my childhood movie memories, but now Abrams has done it too?

  36. carlie says

    Still there: (reverse order due to Twitter)

    Jose Canseco ‏@JoseCanseco 4h
    If ur father truly believes i raped u he would have called me by now.

    Jose Canseco ‏@JoseCanseco 4h
    I want u to look ur father straight in his eyes and tell him the truth.then look ur kids in there eyes and do the same.

    Jose Canseco ‏@JoseCanseco 4h
    Susie who is putting so much pressure on u to lie.or is someone paying u off.

    Jose Canseco ‏@JoseCanseco 4h
    Y are u doing this u know i care about u and even invited ur kids to my home. U said ur father loves me. Can u lie to ur dad about me

    Jose Canseco ‏@JoseCanseco 4h
    I am asking you please to reconsider before i take a polygraph and the media comes down on you and your family.

    Jose Canseco ‏@JoseCanseco 4h
    Susie bell the best thing to do is to tell the truth before this gets out of hand for you.i know ur a good person that got some bad advice

    Jose Canseco ‏@JoseCanseco 4h
    Susie are you prepared to tell the world why you lied.those are very serious charges against me.your lawyer should advise ypu about purgery

    Jose Canseco ‏@JoseCanseco 5h
    Susie bell you should tell the truth tell everyone you lied.and y u lied.what will u do when i pass several polygraphs will u even take one.

  37. MissEla says

    Well, so far it looks like the bridge collapse was caused by an oversized truck (possibly with another semi trying to pass on the left, so the oversized couldn’t center his truck in the lanes). HOWEVER, this is a 58 year old bridge, so, yeah…

    I don’t know much about job creation, but is it unreasonable of me to think that working to improve the infrastructure of the US would employ A LOT of people?

    Of course it would. That’s the problem. If the serfs aren’t desperately begging for any scrap of work they can get then the pigs will have to treat them like people. Much better to be a huge turd in a small pond.

    Butbutbut, tax and spend! Big gubmint!!!!! Free market (somehow)!!!!!!!!!

  38. says

    Beatrice, yes, I was the victim of a different robbery at a different location. My bad luck must be at an end soon. This seems to have been the work of punk kids though, not as scary as the thugs with the gun. Brand new locks and new laptop.

  39. says

    Get all better Parsnip. I want to see pics of you until you are old and gray. And your soggy cuteness reminds me to bathe Jules and Verne.

  40. mildlymagnificent says

    Still, I have to reemphasize: I think people get very unhealthy ideas around ‘talent’. Like I don’t have it, and that’s a thing you need, so I can’t do this…

    This. So much this. It’s a really important message for parents and, regrettably, teachers. This mantra that goes around from parent (or teacher) to child, Ah well, I never had a maths brain either, needs to be challenged, refuted and eviscerated anywhere and everywhere it turns up. There’s no such thing as a maths “brain” for arithmetic. The number of people with dyscalculia and related learning disorders is very, very small and can be dealt with fairly easily with early identification and remedial work anyway.

    Absolutely everyone of normal intelligence – and that includes those in the whole of the first and most of the second standard deviation both sides of a 100 IQ ‘score’ – can do maths to year 10 level, probably a bit more with a judicious selection of topics. Good teaching with a well-structured curriculum, especially in primary school, can do this.

  41. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    Hello again everyone,

    Thanks for the well wishes and advice about my back. It helped and now I can walk just the bending/reaching/leaning that hurts. So..yay progress? I’m sitting here not feeling all that bad actually but you know my life is just never that simple and easy.

    I woke up coughing. Apparently, I’ve contracted the Little One’s cold. So now all the medicine and bed rest means nothing because cough fits render me crying in the fetal position anyways. Fucking. joy.

    It’s also the Little One’s b-day and we’ve gotten cake and ice cream for her. No presents except from others and dollar store streamers but she’s handling it like a champ. She’s so awesome. She made me ball my eyes out with her b-day wish of “I just want mommy to get better”. She’s also diabolically smart and when everyone was like “Is there anything else you want?”, she followed up by saying “To keep one of the kittens.” Brilliant little bastard she is. =)

    At that point, I wanted to say yes but thankfully I have the Roomie to be the sensible one.


    Parsnip is SO cute! I hope he’s okay. *crosses fingers*

    Fuck Jose Canseco.

    I’m so fucked up right now on all the medication, I’m sitting here trying to remember basic word definitions. Like I KNOW what they mean, but my brain’s like BLARH BLARG UHHHHH. I can’t parse shit. And I totally wrote “parse shit” as parsnip the first time around with no auto correct to blame. I’m tried of lying down and doing nothing (not to mention how much it hurts to get up) but I can’t think clearly enough to do anything. I tried just watching Whose Line Is It Anyways? but omfg laughing hurts so much. It’s like being suspended in limbo, I’d rather just pass out again but noooo I’ve slept for 12 hours already.


  42. says

    rowannvt (@519)

    Sounds like Parsnip has some kind of developmental delay (if that’s possible in cats). Are there kitty neurologists? (I’m not an expert, so take this with a huuuuuge chunk of rock salt.)

    In any case, best of luck (and plenty of snuggles and scritches and pettings) to the little dude.

    Beatrice (@524)

    For me, it’s always a class that I never signed up for, didn’t know existed, never attended, but somehow, I’m scheduled to take the final. And the floor is always, always at some ridiculous angle that keeps my brakes from actually working — cue a slow slide to the front of the room.

    Chigau (@525)

    And there’s the naked thing, too. Fortunately for me that’s just my natural dream-state unless the clothing is significant or symbolic within the dream itself.

    Lynna (@531)

    Can’t say I’m surprised by the rape allegations… or, unfortunately, the crazy-ass “defense” of the rapist — “Oh, well she was wearing a short skirt“, like it fucking excuses everything. Fucking disgusting. And after reading his tweets… oh. Fucking hell. He’s just digging himself deeper. Mr. Canseco ought to take his own damn advice, grow a spine, and tell the truth.

    re: Dreams

    Anybody else have bathroom dreams? Like, you’re in this maze of bathroom stalls, all alike, and each and every toilet is either broken, filled with (literal) shit (and totally unflushable), or somehow unusable, and you gotta GO, like, five minutes ago.

  43. John Morales says

    WMDKitty, yeah, I sometimes dream the toilet I go to use is filthy and so I seek another, though as a bloke it’s usually more an urinal area with puddles around it (and I am in bare feet but it makes dream-sense). Last time it happened it was in a hospital where men’s toilets were on odd-numbered floors and women’s on the ground and even-numbered floors, and the elevators were stuck.

    (Typically means I need to wake up and go urinate)

  44. John Morales says

    The Required Distance from Incumbent Pissers is one of the unspoken urinal etiquette rules.

  45. carlie says

    WMDKitty – I link to the Animaniacs’ Potty Emergency sketch every time this comes up, because I’m convinced one of their writers has this recurring dream too. :)

    (I also am sure this happens when I need to go to the bathroom and my brain is trying to make sense of that particular dilemma and stop me from doing so in my sleep)

  46. PatrickG says

    A random note: is anyone experiencing issues receiving email notifications of comment-section updates?

    I’m commenting (badly, I’m sure) in an active thread that I’m subscribed to… yet, I’ve got radio silence. I dislike having to refresh to make sure I’m not being redundant. :P

  47. PatrickG says

    Belay that last comment, apparently some keywords in the email updates are triggering my political-crap-spam filters. :)

  48. broboxley OT says

    made it to atlanta, drove to missippi and am currently enjoying cloying humidity and heat and my sinuses are unloading in great fashion

    But I have an issue, I dont usually bring this stuff up online but I have never had any room mate experience since the late 1960’s

    When I started my gig in fargo was looking for an apartment in fargo for my son and myself. I hate apartments, and long leases and spied a potential house with a short term but expensive lease. Still cheaper than a hotel

    A co-worker in mid 20’s was being kicked out of her room because owner’s exgf hated dogs and wanted to get the exgf back so tossed her right after she paid rent and naturally didnt have any money to pay the rent back

    She asked if she could rent a room at the house
    well I needed to discuss it with absent spouse at length. Unfortunately spouse’s english is her second language. Her language doesnt have pronouns, so although she has spoken english since very young she freely mixes his/her he/she and although I thought I had made it clear, my son with me agrees that I made it clear, it wasn;t until 3 weeks ago spouse went “Oh room mate is a WOMAN!!!!!

    So I flew home explained in detail that it was just a room rent to help out someone wirh a dog and you had okayed the deal, I was sorry she didnt understand. She realized that it was just that, a bad misunderstanding.

    Daughter whose main communication is usually text understood Mom’s mistake but informed me that as daughter she will never visit in Fargo while “that person was there”

    Well to me a deal is a deal so I decided to weather it out, even tho roomie called to complain about my son “trivial” last time I went home and spouse was pissed, “she acts like she owns you”

    This week spouse tells me daughter was asking why dad had a lady as a room mate. Spouse told her “well he is always looking at younger women. “(spouse is telling me this) I said why put fuel on the fire? Well that’s how I feel she said.

    3 days ago roommate warned that she is having a guest for dinner. I asked Son’s fiance to scrubbydo the kitchen as we are a tad sloppy, not dirty, sloppy. She made it spit shined, I saw the kitchen before I took son and fiance out to dinner.

    Came back, she was still entertaining so scrubbed the pots and dishes

    Yesterday, cooked wiped down all surfaces

    Left house at 6:30 am.

    At 6:40 I get a call from roommate, “I’m tired of this shit, there is food every where the stove is so thick with grease the pans stick to it and there is bugs in the kitchen. The trash is overflowing and there are no paper towels” I ask what kind of food and bugs. “well there is flour everywhere and some black bananas and the stove is full of grease.” I mentioned that the kitchen was scrubbydoo’d for her and her guest 2 days ago, it was clean when I left this morning so I suggest that my son was making frybread, so what kind of bugs?”
    flies and spiders
    well I know from experience that the trashcan is majic, it will not allow anyone but myself to empty it. The dishes and pots are majic, they refuse to be washed by anyone but me unless I make a special request.
    paper towels and toilet paper are also majic, they refused to be purchased by anyone but me.

    Roomie is burning past any personal boundries, trash is not a dire emergency to call me when I am with my family, it sounds like she has rights to me and my spouse resents this. Interupting my phone calls because the front door has funny marks is also not respecting my time.

    Is it time to make the roomie magical and head her down the highway? She is paid thru next friday. If I get one more call she is out now. When I get back will have a real clear do you understand me, we have issues, lets fix or find other accommodation. It’s like having an extra kid.

    any advice seriously considered. I may not understand roommate rules
    She only pays a flat fee, all internet heat electricity fridge tv included

  49. markbrown says

    Parsnip is seriously cute, and I add my hopes that everything is okay.

    Our kitten, Morgana, has recently been to the vet to get fixed, and is currently being affectionately called Cone Head. She’s not terribly happy about this turn of events, not that it’s stopped her menacing our OAP cat Jaffa, or stalking me while I’m on the computer. I love the way she runs away when she realises I’ve noticed her. :-)

    Dreams. I tend to only be naked from the waist down and trying to cover-up in those dreams. I also have to echo a previous commentator in that my other regular dreams put me back at University realising that I’m weeks late in handing in coursework, or moments away from an exam I haven’t studied for. Only 16 years out of date! There have also been some where I’ve been back at school and 20 years older than my classmates. Very weird.

  50. chigau (違う) says

    She’s too high maintenance.
    Tell her to find other accommodations.
    (I haven’t had a ‘roommate’ since the late 1990s.)

  51. broboxley OT says

    Oh, PZ I went to atlanta from gate G2 the ipad seating arrangements are awesome, now if they would only provide wifi connectivity to serve them all when the place is packed. Left a fb login live when the connection quit

  52. broboxley OT says

    thanks chigau, Just didn’t want to trigger because I didn’t understand the expectations generally understood. Last time I had roomies it was a crashpad and freestore. ALL WELCOME ALL FREE PLEASE CONTRIBUTE ON XXX GRANVILE vANCOUVER BC

  53. caecily (The Blind and the 'Pod-less) says

    broboxley, this woman is definitely abusing your generosity. At the very least, if such piddly crap is a National Emergency to her, then she is a poor fit for a roommate for you.

  54. says

    BeatriceIt’s also barely half past 7pm and I’m ready to drop into bed and sleep forever. Something must be wrong with me. Glad about the blood test results; sorry about the fatigue … I know that feeling all too well. Way too well … 7pm and I took a bit of lay-down as well.

    Sympathy and support for others who aren’t doing so well, especially JAL and Dalillama

    Cute wet Parsnip; I’ll add to the worrying about the tremors, rowanvt

    Spawn’s 15yr old eyes might just have a bit a nearsightedness and an astigmatism; perhaps contributing to the ongoing headaches. Even so he’s doing better than either of his parents at his age. But his head is too wide for most frames, so we must couldn’t order anything today.

    My own biopsy results: “benign”, yeah! Had two different nurses from the doctors office call me with the good news. Still doesn’t explain the fatigue, but at least there isn’t the big-C hanging over my head.

    Not to gloat at those who have shitty bosses, but it is definitely very satisfying to have colleagues argue w/ supervisor’s boss that they should accelerate the plan for cloning one’s self (because you’re so crucial/useful), and also having his boss in the room to hear as well. Improved an otherwise low-spoons day.

  55. broboxley OT says

    wondering why a usually half empty motel is full, apparently after interrogating a mispent underage yout going up the stairs with full racks under each arm. It is graduation night. Gonna be a long night. Advised all and sundry to have fun but stay out from behind the wheel. The answer is always “Yes sir, we are going to party here” I hope they all stay alive and are not ameteurs

  56. says

    John @554:
    Dude, that cries out to be DISTANCE REQUIRED.. so the acronym is DRIP.
    Don’t think so. Will check again. I just realized that with yahoo’s ridiculous spamming, I may have accidentally deleted yours as I tend to hit Delete on big chunks of email. yours may have been mixed up in there .

  57. says

    Glad you’re ok and boy did you get a new laptop fast.
    I hope this string of misfortune turns around for you, soon.
    Sorry, I meant to say that I was unfamiliar with light pollution.
    Why is everyone so giddy over Parsnip? The little fella is only 15 on the 10 point kyoot scale. Sheesh ;)

  58. bluentx says

    While researching ways to upcycle [Look, I learned a new word, Ma!] the ‘junk’ in my barn, I found this site which looks promising for garden ideas:

    One bit they linked to made me smile and I thought The Lounge might appreciate it, too.

    Several other sites look interesting with ways to utilize all that stuff my dad said would “come in handy one day”. Old screen doors, the old windows (w/iron weights) and transoms (w/hardware) even some rusty barbed wire! Ye-ha!

  59. ednaz says

    Beatrice @ 377
    Glad for the good test results so far. Hope the thyroid hormones check helps you find out what’s going on.
    *hugs and commiserations and hot tea*

    Thank You for sharing your vocal performances! So lovely. Saved for more enjoyment later. : D

    FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) @ 447

    Dueting New Order’s Temptation with my daughter doesn’t count.

    Why not? Can’t imagine what could count more? : )
    Parsnip, Please feel better soon.
    *gentle pet on head*
    Many hugs for you. Hope next week comes quickly.
    Had a bad dream and a breakthrough. Beat back the depression a little bit. *thumbsup*

    Here’s to easier days.

  60. ednaz says

    So glad your test results came back good. : )
    Hugs and hot tea for everyone not feeling well.

  61. rowanvt says

    O_o I just had an… experience… at starbucks this evening. I was sitting quietly and reading a book when a woman came up and took a picture of me and my brother. This is the second evening she’s done this and this time we confronted her. Apparently she “knows what we’re doing” and she’s sent my photo to the FBI. When challenged on what, exactly, we’re ‘doing’ aside from reading a book and drinking hot chocolate she smugly lapsed into Russian. She got really irate really quickly, and then began loudly proclaiming that I was assaulting her.

    My brother and I ended up calling the cops because of her erratic behaviour, and she ended up escorted from the premises.

    I’m a bit agitated that she has these photos of me and I’m worried what she’s doing with them.

  62. says

    Just so’s ya’ll know how odd I am–I haz a sad because I failed to overcook my popcorn properly. See, I like slightly burnt popcorn. Not black mind you, but singed gray. Mixed with regular popcorn the flavors are nice. Sadly, 3:30 seconds is too long.
    I also like overcooked bacon. Zero fat, even when cooked normally. But overcooked, not completely black? Nom Nom Nom.

  63. Ichthyic says

    Arizona Governor Jan Brewer sticks to her guns: expand Medicaid or I veto any bills that cross my desk.


    Jan’s gunz blazed a tale of Obama hatred for years. The reason she’s really doing this?

    every hospital in the State threatened to shut down services if she didn’t get this done.

  64. rowanvt says

    I have to be *at* work in 7 hours. I’m just so frazzled by strange lady at the starbucks that I’m wide awake. >_<

  65. Parrowing says

    I have the bathroom dream and the test dream also, but different.

    I majored in theatre, so my version of the test dream is that I’m the lead in a play and have somehow missed months of rehearsal to find myself backstage pre-opening night. Oh, and for some reason, I seem to always be playing some sort of Southern Belle from the early 1900s, which I’ve gleaned from the costumes I’m wearing in these dreams. I also have dreams that I’ve gone back to my Catholic high school but can’t find my old uniform, so the nuns are upset with me.

    The bathroom dream is actually really quite fun. It’s always that I’m being shown around a house for sale and all I want to do is find every bathroom in the place. Each bathroom is more opulent than the previous one and soon I get lost looking, but I don’t care. I just keep finding more secret passageways with hidden bathrooms, marble floored with showers like small swimming pools, bathrooms with thousands of stalls, etc.

    I never have the naked dream. My recurring nightmares involve waves that are suddenly huge (which I’m not afraid of while awake) and planes that are completely out of control (which I am afraid of while awake).


    Tony: I approve of the slightly singed popcorn. That’s a risky game to play though, as any more singed than slightly and the popcorn can just be tossed right out. I need my bacon soft and chewy, though. No crispy bacon for me.


    I’m sorry about frazzling situation, rowanvt.

  66. says

    Yup. That’s a risky game indeed. I know with one brand of popcorn in the mini microwave bags that I have to pop for @2:23 to get exactly the singer. But I haven’t figured it out for standard size bags. You can have all my soft, chewy Bacon btw :)

  67. says

    Ok, another silly thing I’d love to do one day: somehow be in a Scooby Doo style mystery. Obviously I’m not talking about an actual crime, but the cool monsters, secret passageways, nifty clues, getting to yell JINKIES!… sounds like FUN! I really like the idea of a giant mansion with secret passages (like CLUE).

  68. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    584 Tony! The Virtual Queer Shoop

    Ok, another silly thing I’d love to do one day: somehow be in a Scooby Doo style mystery. Obviously I’m not talking about an actual crime, but the cool monsters, secret passageways, nifty clues, getting to yell JINKIES!… sounds like FUN! I really like the idea of a giant mansion with secret passages (like CLUE).

    My soul mate!


    I mean, I’d love that too! I have the computer game clue that I play and I fucking love Scooby Doo.

  69. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    (because I’m going bottom up) 581

    Tony: I approve of the slightly singed popcorn. That’s a risky game to play though, as any more singed than slightly and the popcorn can just be tossed right out. I need my bacon soft and chewy, though. No crispy bacon for me.

    I like my bacon the same way! Roomie drives me nuts because he straight burns his bacon. But you and Tony can have all the singed popcorn though. I usually have my own bag because I’m the weirdo who likes the sweet kind, kettlecorn? I think it’s called.

    And I’m so staying out of the dream conversation.

  70. Parrowing says

    Thanks, Tony, I will take all the chewy bacon! Oh, and bacon is reeeeeeally good if you sprinkle some brown sugar on it, bake it in the oven, and then sprinkle some salt over it. Yum!


    I like kettle corn also, JAL, but I can’t find it where I live. Maybe I should look for it the next time I visit the US.


    Has anyone here used Airbnb?

  71. says

    Hi there
    Weather is actually almost nice (a bit cold, but I ain’t complaining) so we’Re going to get teh Vit D production running this afternoon

    Wow, sounds like this woman really has issues

    nekkid dreams
    I have them often but the funny thing is that it’s actually only slightly embarassing, like noticing a big fat stain on your T-shirt while some part of my brain screams “noooooooo U R nekkid!!!!!”

    don’t panic

    There’s a saying in German that goes ” Es ist noch kein Meister vom Himmel gefallen”
    No master ever turned up out of the blue (literally “dropped from the sky”)
    It’s something I try to hammer into #1’s head because she tends to get easily frustrated.
    I cannot deny that she’s very talented at drawing. I mean, she drew real recognizable people when she was 12 months old. But fact is also that since she has “talent” and likes it and is getting lots of praise and encouragement she also has about 10 times as much practise as the average kid her age.

    Dump her, seriously, Sounds like she’s a lot of trouble all around. I’m wondering how her former landlord’s version of “how she lost her flat” looks like….

  72. Ogvorbis, aquaskeptic groupie! says


    Boss’s boss’s boss cleared a brochure for publication. I, after consulting with boss and boss’s boss, printed 500. Then boss’s boss’s boss calls me and asks me to add Amtrak and delete all references to press day.

    One ream of paper recycled.

    Re: Dreams.

    Sorry. Staying out of that one.

    I don’t know much about job creation, but is it unreasonable of me to think that working to improve the infrastructure of the US would employ A LOT of people?

    Of course it would. That’s the problem. If the serfs aren’t desperately begging for any scrap of work they can get then the pigs will have to treat them like people. Much better to be a huge turd in a small pond.

    Not only that, but many of those who actually work in construction are [GASP] in unions! And get paid good wages and have benefits. Which is all un-American!

  73. Ogvorbis, aquaskeptic groupie! says


    [privilege]One of the reasons I like being a ark ranger is that I do not have to think about what I wear at work. Or what clothes to buy for work. And at home, I just wear comfortable and screw what anyone else thinks. Plus, being male, I’m allowed to go outside wearing an old t-shirt and shorts.[/privilege]

  74. Ogvorbis, aquaskeptic groupie! says

    If anyone sees a ‘p’ wandering around on its own, please lead it to my #592 and insert it before the word ‘ark’. Thank you.

  75. chigau (違う) says

    “ark” ranger had me worried ;)

    I’m just shopping for non-work clothes and shoes.
    I always try for women’s shirts and trousers but women’s clothing is stupid.

  76. Ogvorbis, aquaskeptic groupie! says

    “ark” ranger had me worried ;)

    I wonder if I could get a transfer to Kentucky? I hear they have good jelly down there.

  77. Beatrice (looking for a happy thought) says

    You reminded me. The only store I know of that has decent jeans is having a sale. I need to stock up for fall and next year.
    The last pair I bought has stretched beyond recognition and almost fallen apart (made the mistake of not buying in the mentioned store). One good thing about never throwing anything away in my house: I’m wearing trousers I bought some 8 or 9 years ago, but gained weight and couldn’t wear until now.

  78. Beatrice (looking for a happy thought) says

    I totally agree that women’s clothing is stupid. Besides all the things that are almost universally stupid on women’s clothing, there are also seasonal stupidities guided by current fashion.
    Are washed out jeans popular? Shall no store commit the crime of selling a pair of regular, consistently colored jeans I can wear to work without feeling like a slob.

  79. says

    This a moment of ex-mormon munificence calculated to counter Moments of Mormon Missionary Madness.

    Quite a few young mormon men and women find themselves pressured into serving a two-year mission. When they find they simply can no longer bear the cognitive dissonance and mistreatment associated with a mormon mission, they start looking for a way out.

    Some of these 18-22 year olds secretly turn to the Recovery from Mormonism forum for advice. Now the ex-mormons have decided to do something that will alleviate the problem. They are forming a Missionary Underground Railroad. If you would like to help, go here http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,905832 and read the outline of tasks/services that need doing. You can volunteer to help by posting in that thread.

    At this stage, the project is just getting started, so expect a lot of change and some confusion as it gets off the ground.

  80. says

    @ Ogvorbis

    If anyone sees a ‘p’ wandering around on its own, please lead it to my #592 and insert it before the word ‘ark’.

    Never mind “worried”, I nearly anicked. Fortunately I have a (temorary) solution. I went uthread and laid hands on all the …’s I could find. I then taed them all together to make a comosite … So here you go: Park.

    Unfortunately some of the other Loungers will have to be a … short:

    Tony! The Virtual Queer Shoo.
    Rofessor Ooyhead
    and theohontes (no relation of Ocahontas)

    Sorry, you all lost out.

    On the other hand:


    You are defntely all safe for now.

  81. says

    Pat Robertson on the tornados in Oklahoma: “If enough people were praying He would’ve intervened, you could pray, Jesus stilled the storm, you can still storms.” He also told people who live in areas prone to natural disasters that it’s “their fault, not God’s.”

    Right Wing Watch link. Video at the link.

  82. says

    (From the thugs thread)
    I am unable to search effectively on my phone, but I *think* the reference to someone talking about killing a commenter is meant to refer to a comment made by Tethys some months ago (in the ‘Dome). It was violent, but not about killing and Tethys very quickly retracted the comment.

    It’s like they latch on to one comment by one person (like ‘die in a fire’, another retracted one time comment), and ignore the apology, the response to it, and the fact that these comments are not repetitive.

  83. Goodbye Enemy Janine says

    Pat Robertson on the Holocaust in Europe: “If enough people were praying He would’ve intervened, you could pray, Jesus stilled the genocide, you can still genocide.” He also told people who live in areas prone to pograms that it’s “their fault, not God’s.”

    Sorry Lynna but I had to fuck with that quote.

  84. Beatrice (looking for a happy thought) says


    Nazis must have prayed harder, and He had to be fair.

  85. chigau (違う) says

    That’s it! A prayer scale!
    Base unit is a pat.
    Run-of-the-mill Christians can usually only manage a few decipats. But with enough of them, they could be equal to a megapat.
    Atheist entreaties aren’t worth a yoctopat.

  86. says

    Americans United link.

    Eight states have tried to pass legislation meant to promote creationism in public schools. All eight bills failed. They were styled as “academic freedom” bills, but enough people saw through the ruse that the bills were defeated.

    States involved: Virginia, Indiana, Missouri (twice), Montana, Oklahoma, Texas, Arizona, and Colorado.

    While this is very good news, we’re not done fighting this nonsense. Some of the backers of these bills intend to bring them up again and again, often with slightly altered language, but the same goal.

    Other groups have decided that the defeat of these bills is just one more reason to kill public schools and the Department of Education. Nefarious means of defunding public schools and of promoting religiously-based charter and private schools (with public money support) are being discussed.

  87. says

    Strange occurrences in Arizona: an atheist identifies himself as an atheist and offers a non-prayer to open a session of the Arizona House of Representatives. San Francisco Chronicle link. (Best link for full story, with details.)

    We have become accustomed to the flaky doings of politicians like Jeff Flake, and Jan Brewer. The atheist news out of Arizona, prompted by Representative Juan Mendez, a Democrat, is unexpected.

    Unfortunately, this story does not end well. Rep. Mendez was lambasted with criticism and has since asked members to join him in a makeup prayer of “repentance.”

    Political Wire link.

  88. UnknownEric the Apostate says

    there are also seasonal stupidities guided by current fashion.

    Fashion is stupidity in cycles.

  89. opposablethumbs says

    But I don’t want to be oosablethumbs :-(

    I’m not sure if the thumbs sound usable, which would be fine, or ooze-able, which would be worrying.

    Thank you to everyone who sent a well-wish or two for the Spawn Birthday Project. It was pretty successful, and offered about as much consolation as we could have hoped for a friend-less day; it turned out that he’d crossed paths with half of the house band quartet before in other venues, so there was no problem sitting in; he got to “lead” one number, duet on one, play background fills on one and generally join in on another, and he got chatting with a tableful of musicians in their twenties or so who were sitting with their friends. Today is the actual day itself, and we’re not doing anything (except eating slightly different food, and I baked a cake) but it’s kind-of-sort-of-ok-ish thanks to the midnight-to-3am jam session in Soho last night. Phew.

  90. says

    Salon link. Video at the link, 29-minute section of the documentary “This is What Winning Looks Like.”

    What is it really like to work/fight in Afghanistan?

    … Try doing that day in and day out — working with child molesters, working with people who are robbing people, murdering them. It wears on you after awhile. …

    In some parts of the country, the Marines must deal with an Afghan military force filled with drug users, sexual predators, swindlers and inept fighters….

    In one of the most disturbing scenes, Steuber confronts a local police chief about the young “chai boys” who are kidnapped and sexually molested by soldiers on the base. At least one boy was shot while trying to escape his captor. The chief argues that there is nothing he can do to stop the practice. “Those little boys stay willingly in the patrol bases and offer their asses in the night,” he claims.

    Scenes like these play out largely unedited, allowing us to witness the miscommunication and cultural gulf between the Marines and Afghans. The frustration and fatigue of the Marines is evident. Four of the Marines whom Anderson filmed in Afghanistan later committed suicide when they returned home….

  91. Beatrice (looking for a happy thought) says


    Quote attributed to Oscar Wilde:

    Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months.

  92. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    …so am I the only one who’s still really disturbed by the sleepingwytch thing yesterday?

  93. caecily (all out of cutesy caecilian references) says

    Had a bad dream and a breakthrough. Beat back the depression a little bit. *thumbsup*

    *thumbs up*

    “Illinois is set to ban abstinence only sex education in public schools!. There is a downside, but this is a fucking huge step.

    I’m guessing that a lot of them will choose the “decide not to offer any sex ed courses whatsoever” option.
    I’d like to be wrong.

    O_o I just had an… experience… at starbucks this evening.

    O-o indeed! I don’t blame you for being concerned that this woman has been taking pictures of you. Goodness only knows what she thinks you’ve been doing, but obviously it ain’t anything <i<good.
    Take care!

    I likes my bacon crrrrissssp!
    I also likes my bacon in mass quantities, but alas….

    I choose to assume that an “ark ranger” bears the same relationship to ordinary rangers that an “arkangel” bears to ordinary (if imaginary!) angels.

    The Missionary Underground Railroad idea sounds brilliant

    He also told people who live in areas prone to natural disasters that it’s “their fault, not God’s.”

    Again: Bible Belt. Tornado Alley. Substantial Overlap.

    opposablethumbs, I’m glad that the Spawn had jam for his birthday.

  94. chigau (違う) says

    is waaaay better than
    Ark Ranger
    (and the spelling is better than Archangel)
    (who would want to be an angel of architecture?)
    (or arches?)

  95. opposablethumbs says

    Thank you Tony and caecily :-)))
    rowanvt that sounds very disturbing. Is there any chance you can make some kind of official complaint against this person that might have the effect of police confiscating the device used and erasing the image file, or was it all over too quickly to get anything done?
    All good wishes for Parsnip’s health.

  96. says

    Kind of ‘rupt, but *hugs* and best wishes to Dutchgirl, rowanvt & Parsnip, JAL, and any others who may want/need them. Thanks as well for the support.

    Azkyroth, if you mean the one in the Pinker thread, you are not alone.

    Opposablethumbs, hopefully the spawn’s b-day goes well.

  97. opposablethumbs says

    Thank you , Dalillama, I appreciate it. I was afraid he was going to be really miserable, but it actually seems to have gone kind of ok.
    A whole heap of wishes that things look up for you and yours. I’m sorry long distance good wishes are a bit insubstantial :-\
    Good night, Horde.

  98. Ogvorbis: Arkangel of Doom! says

    I choose to assume that an “ark ranger” bears the same relationship to ordinary rangers that an “arkangel” bears to ordinary (if imaginary!) angels.

    No, it just means that I cannot type.

  99. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Azkyroth, if you mean the one in the Pinker thread, you are not alone.

    Cripes. I was thinking of the Lindsay thread. Was there more in other threads? O.O

    That whole exchange triggered me pretty heavily on multiple levels. At least it wasn’t as bad as it could be.

  100. Ogvorbis: Arkangel of Doom! says

    The Lindsey thread is interesting. I have now been called an amoral liar. I’m so proud.

  101. rowanvt says

    @ 624, Opposablethumbs:

    It all happened far too quick, really and by the time the cops arrived I was coming off the confrontation addrenaline rush and shivering badly so I didn’t bring it up.

    To everyone:

    Thank you all for the well wishes for Parsnip! Lab tests came back normal. I’m actually wondering if he had/has a bit of hydrocephalus due to the low blood protein levels he had those first couple days. Maybe the fluid built up in his brain early on and gave him the dumb but equalised back out as he got older, leaving him… well… him.

  102. Ogvorbis: Arkangel of Doom! says

    Hugs to rowanvt and parsnip.

    Heading for bed.

    G’night, all.

  103. caecily (all out of cutesy caecilian references) says

    Hurrah for normal blood tests for the Parsnip!

    ‘Night, Ogvorbis (Arkranger of Doom!)

  104. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says

    I’ve started a bloggy thing on tumblr. Why? Er. seemed like a good idea at the time?

    I’m going to be adding commenting ability just as soon as I figure out how. I wasn’t aware that that wasn’t a regular feature.

  105. chigau (違う) says

    FossilFishy #634
    Well, since I haven’t been on a bicycle in about 30 years, that first one with the imagery about the wrench does not speak to me.
    But you do.
    So, bookmarked.

  106. says

    Watching “Star Trek: TNG” (Ep: “The Outcast“).

    The following speech was quite moving.

    “I am female. I was born that way. I have had those feelings, those longings, all of my life. It is not unnatural. I am not sick because I feel this way. I do not need to be helped. I do not need to be cured. What I need, and what all of those who are like me need, is your understanding. And your compassion. We have not injured you in any way. And yet we are scorned and attacked. And all because we are different. What we do is no different from what you do. We talk and laugh. We complain about work. And we wonder about growing old. We talk about our families and we worry about the future. And we cry with each other when things seem hopeless. All of the loving things that you do with each other – that is what we do. And for that we are called misfits, and deviants and criminals. What right do you have to punish us? What right do you have to change us? What makes you think you can dictate how people love each other?”
    – Soren

  107. says

    Good morning

    Yay for Happy Birthday.
    Maybe, maybe things will get better for Sonspawn as he actually becomes an adult, since he seems to get along with them much better?


    If it cheers you any… As an African, I only scored an 8/15. (To be fair, that was like asking a European what brand of underwear Tony Blair wears. (Answer: “Who the fuck cares?”)

    Yeah, they left me with that impression, too.
    They were like old-school history exams: Dates and facts and no understanding. I mean, knowing what Mandela called himself doesn’t tell you anything about Apartheid, its history and consequences…

    I’m sorry you were triggered.
    I think in her case it is justified to say that this is somebody who is not fully responsible for her actions. That doesn’t make the harm she caused you any smaller

    Maybe Parsnip is the cat-equivalent to Hyperbole and a Half’s Simple Dog

    Belated Birthday wishes to the littel one.
    Good news is that the return vouchers arrived yesterday so I can send the stuff tomorrow.

  108. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    I think in her case it is justified to say that this is somebody who is not fully responsible for her actions.

    I don’t fucking see why, frankly, especially contrasted with how incredibly, depravedly fucking vicious certain people around here have been when I’ve cited my autism spectrum disorder in response to specific claims about my motives in connection with comments that were admittedly problematic. I suppose I can concentrate on how glad I am that none of them got involved in that conversation.

  109. opposablethumbs says

    Thank you Giliell. That’s pretty much the hope I’m clinging to, to a certain extent (because some of the greater ease with adults is precisely because adults tend to make allowances for kids; when he’s no longer a kid himself he won’t get that particular benefit of the doubt any more). He’ll always be at a considerable disadvantage socially – which of course translates into some disadvantage professionally too – but hopefully he’ll eventually have an actual friend or two … and at least he can play, which although he doesn’t realise it yet is a hell of a lot more than many people ever get.

    I’m going to stop rambling on about it so much, any minute now, I promise!
    Hyperbole and a Half manages to be simultaneously disturbing and so, so funny.
    I thought the Outcast ep of STNG was well done. Maybe a bit too “perfect”, even a little clunky, but for a major TV franchise to make such an unequivocal statement against homophobia and against the othering of anyone who isn’t cis het in general was a good statement to make.

    Anyone remember if there was any reaction when it first came out?

  110. opposablethumbs says

    Oh wow.

    There’s a robin that comes to our bird feeder every day, and lately it’s got to the point of taking food from people’s hands – it sort of hovers, snatches the food and wings it – and right now this minute we found that it had accidentally flown inside and couldn’t find the way out again. It was perching on top of a bookshelf, and trying to escape through a pane of glass … We managed to let it out of a window about a minute later; I so hope it hasn’t got hurt.

  111. opposablethumbs says

    Maybe it will consider the whole place a trap now, and won’t come back for food any more :(
    If we don’t see it any more we won’t know if it was hurt or not :((


    Hey, our dog was telling us it was there. Or rather, indicating “something is Rong” / “there is an anomaly in the kitchen”.

    Unfortunately as her actual behaviour was indistinguishable from her “give me moar breakfast plz” behaviour, we didn’t realise it was about the robin until we saw it and let it out, whereupon dog immediately ceased agitating and went and lay down.
    Great, now we have to start heeding her Lassie-type “distressed robin” timmy’s in the well routine, and 999 times out of 1000 the message’ll be “moar breakfast” :-\

  112. opposablethumbs says

    ETA the robin seems not to be too traumatised by its approx five minutes in the kitchen – it just came back for breakfast-snatched-from-a-finger as per usual, so hopefully it’s none the worse for its misadventure. Oof.

  113. Ogvorbis: Arkranger of Doom! says


    Sorry. You are correct. I am now Arkranger of Doom!. Sorry.

    By the way, why the love for caecilians? You got something against Aïstopoda? Cute things like Lethiscus stocki?

  114. rowanvt says

    Parsnip and Rosemary had their first experience with HyperDog last night. Parsnip discovered the halloween cat pose, and made his first hiss. Rosie was startled at first, too, but she’s a very brave and outgoing kitten.


    Rosie going “Mebbeh is nots so bad…”


    Parsnip also decided to go “Oh, you were concerned because I was never interested in playing? Well I’m going to repeatedly pounce your knee and bat your fingers today then, so HA!”


  115. says

    opposablethumbs glad the Robin seems okay; I presume Batman was nowhere to be seen?

    Thursday, as I was walking to my car on my way to work, I passed our crabapple tree. And suddenly there was a commotion in the bird feeder. This is a cylindrical wire mesh about 10 inches diameter and similarly tall, topped by a smooth copper cone. Now, normally when I startle a feeding bird I see it fly off. But this continued with seeds shooting out. A squirrel had managed to raise the lid and worm his way in. My presence caused him to run furiously in circles trying to find his way out. I doubt the adventure will do much to deter future raids on the feeders.

  116. Portia...are you ready boots? Start walkin' says

    way ‘rupt. (it’s a habit lately) I’m catching up slowly and want to tell dontpanic HOORAY for benignininity. :D Hope you get an explanation for your fatigue, though.

    You aren’t being unreasonable. Even if spouse is not being reasonable or not taking responsibility for misunderstanding you, spouse still takes WAY priority over this person that is not even behaving like a grown up. Sounds to me like your actual kid and his fiance(e?) take way less parenting than roommate does. (I’m sure this has been well answered for you, and I’m way behind, but still, my two cents).

    Re: other women backing me up at the sechumanist meeting. There was some backup, which was good. I’m not sure anybody else is quite as…outspoken as I am. There was one twenty something white guy whose input was “I have no idea what it’s like to not be a white upper middle class spoiled kid so I operate on the principle that I don’t know anything.” Which was kind of refreshing. There was one woman who said she like Jen McCreight when I mentioned her as an example of a woman who was harassed into silence. Which got me shouted at about how no one can force anyone to be silent that’s not possible zomg. (Yeah, like I said, she sounded like a pitter).

    Aaaanyway, we’ll see how it goes in the future.

    One other wrinkle was that there was a person present with whom I had done a legal consultation as a potential client the week before. Still figuring out just how awkward that should be, or not. : p

    And finally, on the Portia Show, we have a complete lack of a script for graceful rejection of romantic overtures. A fellow firefighter (on a neighboring department) with whom I have been friendly for several weeks texted me last night and asked if I wanted to “go to dinner or a night out.” I have lots of excuses that would be true but not true, i.e. “I don’t date firefighters anymore, gets too complicated” “I’m not over S, not ready to date.” But all those are just dodges because I just don’t feel that way about him. I don’t know how to say “It’s not me, it’s you” and put the issue totally to bed without being a jerk. I don’t think this guy will take it out on me or anything, I just have no script for honest, kind rejection. (Because this person is a friend, not because I feel obligated to be kind to every person who wants my attention).

  117. says

    I’ve been cleaning the house so i had lots of unused brainpower running wild and I think I came up with a hopeful thought:
    Although we all consider ourselves to be very special and outstanding snowflakes, truth is we’re plain ordinary people who make their important personal connections with other plain ordinary people life throws into our way: in school, at work, in college.
    Fact is, as we become adults the pool of people who might become our friends steadily grows. If I think about #1, the number of kids who could be her friends is a one digit number.
    Now, if there’s a limiting factor, the pool decreases again, but if it’s big enough to start with chances are big there’s somebody who fits.
    Without any of us noticing at the time, from all the folks I started college with, the two who became my friends were of a similar social background. Apparently “working-class / lower middle class” was a limiting factor. (Let’s face it, it’s hard to take somebody serious whose problem concerning the study abroad requirement is “who’se going to ride my horse” when yours is “how do I pay the rent and keep my job?”)
    So, als your son’s limiting factors are bigger, chances of finding somebody are smaller, but as he becomes an adult the pool will become much bigger.

  118. opposablethumbs says

    Nope, no sign of Batman, dontpanic (unless maybe there are bats at night occasionally and we don’t know about them). Squirrels are almost impossible to deter; the birdfeeder is suspended from a wire specifically to make it harder for them to get to, and they still try (doing all that Mission Impossible stuff to get along the wire and in; we’re winning so far, but it’s a close-run thing).
    The sechumanist meeting sounds promising despite possibly glitchy individuals, Portia. Hope it proves to be a good crowd to get together with. And, um, tricky wrt your colleague. I hope maybe some of the blokes might be able to weigh in on that one?
    That’s exactly true, Giliell. I was trying to get him to hear, just the other day, that the people you know at school don’t necessarily have anything in common with you than age and geography; that as you cross paths with more people you may cross paths with some with whom you do have things in common. I get it that it looks daunting from his perspective, though, of course. But you are absolutely right.
    Suppertime! Yay fud, I’m starving.

  119. rq says

    Hello, I’m back!
    I see lots of *hugs* for people, cats and other living organisms.

    opposablethumbs – I’m glad things went well with SonSpawn, and that he got lots of play-time!
    Portia – I don’t have much advice on the ‘No to dating’ script, except… just saying no, politely? :( *hugs* and sorry I can’t do better.
    Umm… that’s all in the immediate moment, I’ll be re-reading for more comprehension later!
    Things that happened this weekend:
    1. I discovered my legs really do glow in the dark.
    2. I lost the Privilege of Laughing at Husband for accidentally tractor-mowing the children’s hats, because… I accidentally tractor-mowed my own hat while tractor-mowing the apple orchard. Low-hanging branches and all that…
    3. We went racing through the fields, wind streaming through our hair… See the scenery flying by!
    4. It was very peace and quiet.
    More photos to follow (mostly of tall grasses, garden flowers, and out-of-focus birds).

  120. rq says

    Please replace ‘see’ with ‘have’ in my first sentence following the greeting up-post.
    Oh, and I forgot to mention, FossilFishy, I’m glad you finally have a blog! Bookmarked for future reading.

  121. says

    1. Looking at the sunshine you had, I hate you ;)
    2. I think as long as neither of you accidentially mows the children everything is OK

    And now I’m going to watch beasts of the southern wild, a movie I’ve been longing to watch for a while now.

  122. says

    In a combination book review and interview, journalist Dan Oppenheimer talks to George Packer about Packer’s newest book, “The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America.” The piece is long but well worth reading.


    There is no sense of shame at the high altitudes of our society. Certain social norms and taboos have disappeared. The idea has gone missing that there are certain things you really shouldn’t do, like firing 20 percent of your workforce while giving yourself a big raise as a CEO, which is a very common thing. Forty years ago people didn’t do that. They might have smoked and drank and had affairs with their secretaries, but they didn’t do that, and that taboo has been broken. That’s why I keep coming back to shame. [Packer is speaking.]

  123. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says


    I’d go with gently-but-brutally honest, something like: “Sorry, I really like you as a friend, but I don’t want to get into anything romantic with you.”

    My oldest friend is a woman who kindly but firmly rejected my romantic overtures.

  124. Portia...are you ready boots? Start walkin' says

    Thanks for the advice Nick. Those are good words.

    I was just about to text him but then my radio told me his department was getting a call. So the delay allowed me to see the further advice :)

    Though I probably would have waited anyway because I still really didn’t know what to sa.

  125. Portia...are you ready boots? Start walkin' says

    Thanks for the backup, though, Dalillama : )

    rq, that post about suicide was really touching. Thanks for sharing.

  126. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Yesterday was a long day. The Redhead dragooned me into taking her to the Chicago Gem and Mineral Association show, an annual fixture of hers ever since we got here 25 years ago (except last year). Held at the Du Page county fairgrounds (not even in Cook County, in an ironic comment). She got to visit with a lot of the exhibitors, whom she had made good acquaintances over the years, and thanked them in person for their support after her stroke. Made a couple of purchases, including getting her wedding ring recast to fit her now fatter fingers on her left (effected) hand. We stopped at a Thai place for a late dinner on our way home. I didn’t get to bed until almost midnight. She didn’t have me get her up until almost noon, but she slept most of the night for the first time in a week.

    I almost think one of the exhibitors might have convinced her into at least looking to a computer. The iPad awaits.

  127. Portia...are you ready boots? Start walkin' says

    update; his answer:

    Thats totally understandable and thanks for being up front

    I’m really relieved but I expected him to be adult about it. (But of course I’m still all tense and whatnot. Stupid socialization).

  128. rq says

    I’m sure it will take a few times of chatting/seeing him casually at work for the nervousness to pass, but as long as you’re both just as up front and cool about it, it will pass! :)
    and good night!

  129. Portia...are you ready boots? Start walkin' says

    One thing I forgot to mention about the secular humanist group is the high level of islamaphobia I saw. I had success pointing out that extremist fundamentalists come in all flavors and that violent ones are cherry picking their holy books just like the moderates we had discussed a few minutes before. And when I started listing Christian terrorists I got quite a bit of backup with other people listing off a lot as well. So there’s hope on that front. When I said Sam Harris was wrong about profiling, a white guy asked if I wouldn’t be nervous if I saw a group of nervous Muslim-looking people getting on my plane. I said “No.” at the same time as a couple other people. So that was good. I explained that if I were in an airport wearing a hijab I’d be nervous because I could be hauled away at any time and people like Sam Harris would be totally fine with it. Pitter Lady said that Sam Harris is Middle Eastern looking so it’s okay for him to support profiling. *facepalm*

  130. chigau (違う) says

    What I meant to say was:
    Portia #665

    Pitter Lady said that Sam Harris is Middle Eastern looking so it’s okay for him to support profiling.

    I think that Sam Harris said the same thing.

  131. Portia...are you ready boots? Start walkin' says

    Yeah I think she said he said that. I responded that some women think street harassment is flattering, but that doesn’t mean it’s right. That led down an ugly path wherein she first revealed her Pit-esque tendencies.

  132. Portia...are you ready boots? Start walkin' says

    I’m off to the Annual Family Memorial Day Bonfire/Campout. It hasn’t stopped raining all day. Aunt claims the fire is still going and will keep going. So here goes nothing, at least if we’re soggy we’ll have plenty of beer :) See y’all later.

  133. caecily (all out of cutesy caecilian references) says

    The Skeleton Lake of Roopkund, India.

    FossilFishy, be sure to tell us when it’s commentable. I wanna say “hi”.

    Ogvorbis: I’ve got nothing for (or against) Aïstopoda (Aïstopods?); in fact, I didn’t realise they existed until I followed your linky, just now.
    I only temporarily changed my ‘nym for this iteration of the [Lounge], because it tickled my (questionable) sense of humor.
    Normal Service Will Be Restored next [Lounge].

    government steals roundup resistant bees

    :( :( :( :( :(
    Tell me, please, that this isn’t openers on some sleazy government monopoly on crop fertilization….

    Portia, I never had cause to develop a script for that situation, so I can’t help—but will be quite interested to hear what advice anyone else has for it. After all, now that Son is Young and Single again, he may need it some day, and I’d like to have something to offer.

    rq, that link about the brother of the bipolar man who committed suicide brought tears to my eyes.
    I wish I could offer him a *hug*

  134. opposablethumbs says

    Thank you, rq. Oh, and tractor-mowing hats :-D

    Glad you got what sounds like good advice, Portia.