1. pHred says

    Thanks! This is a distraction technique I am attempting since I can’t concentrate on work at all at the moment. I am also going to leave really early in order to miss rush hour and hopefully most of the traffic.

    Ugh! I think that

    spent his life and livelihood in the Silver State’s desert climate

    means his brain has turned to leather. I worked at a ranch in Wyoming for a while as a teen and the guy I worked with was okay, but his father – bore a creepy resemblance to Bundy.

  2. pHred says


    Esteleth is a sentient anthropomorphic talking tree?

    Now I have this weird picture of an anthropomorphic tree riding a bicycle in my brain. It isn’t working right.

    OTOH – Esteleth I am so jealous ! That sounds absolutely wonderful. I wish it were safe to do that around here – it’s all asphalt and crazy drivers.

  3. says

    pHred @1:

    Ugh! I think that

    spent his life and livelihood in the Silver State’s desert climate

    means his brain has turned to leather. I worked at a ranch in Wyoming for a while as a teen and the guy I worked with was okay, but his father – bore a creepy resemblance to Bundy.

    “There was people …” and “They was spiritually touched.” That’s Cliven Bundy’s version of the English language. He does not believe in subject/verb agreement. So, maybe that’s the effect of working on a ranch in one of western states? Link to comment on previous page. Scroll down for comment from rq.

  4. opposablethumbs says

    Being able to use a decent – even pleasant – cycle route sounds really great, Esteleth :-) (it’s all roads, exhaust fumes and dodgy drivers in too much of a hurry around here too).

  5. says

    Here’s is, finally, some good news when it comes to keeping clinics that provide abortion open. And it comes from Alabama. (Emphasis is mine.)

    Probably the single most important constitutional issue facing women who seek abortions is whether a state may enact a sham health law which, on its surface, appears designed to make abortions safer — but which, in reality, is designed to create regulatory burdens that limit access to abortions. An Alabama law that was declared unconstitutional on Monday is one of the most aggressive examples of these sham health laws. […]

    In striking down this law, Judge Thompson begins with the Supreme Court’s decision in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, a vague opinion that has largely enabled anti-abortion judges to uphold restrictions on women’s reproductive health while simultaneously allowing judges who support the right to choose to do the opposite. As Thompson interprets the Supreme Court’s precedents, his court “must determine whether, examining the regulation in its real-world context,” it imposes an obstacle to women’s right to choose an abortion that “is more significant than is warranted by the State’s justifications for the regulation.” […]

    Think Progress link.

  6. opposablethumbs says

    ::whispers:: we are going to get proper 500+ comment numbers restored at some point, right? Where would we be without our fix of 666 and 667 (or whatever the fax number of the beast was)? Plus being able to refer properly to the right comment, of course. ::very quietly:: harrumph.
    brony, it’s good to see you – please feel free to talk about whatever you want/need to, or not if it turns out it’s not the right moment, but whenever you like. And I hope you get some helpful or at least supportive answers.

  7. says

    More coverage on the new set of legos that feature female scientists:

    First LEGO released Professor C. Bodin, a Nobrick Prize winner and the first female scientist minifigure in September. Now kids looking to play with female scientists will have even more options after the company released the Research Institute kit with three new women scientists.

    The package contains a paleontologist with her magnifying glass and a dinosaur skeleton, an astronomer with a telescope, and a chemist with beakers and a lab. The set was created by geologist Ellen Kooijman and was picked as part of its 2014 Winter Review of Lego Ideas, submissions from outside the company for new product ideas. […]

  8. Rob Grigjanis says

    Lynna @4:

    That’s Cliven Bundy’s version of the English language. He does not believe in subject/verb agreement.

    Sorry, but that’s just Standard English chauvinism. This use of ‘was’ would agree with the Appalachian.

    Where I grew up, ‘were’ would be used where Standard speakers would use ‘was’.

  9. cicely says

    Love the new background!


    I think the weather wizards are predicting Santa Ana winds later this week. Southern California. If you don’t like the weather, wait a bit, it’ll change.

    Or catch fire.

    Rob Grigjanis:

    All I know is that if you want to get to work in the winter, you should engage in stotting while waiting for a bus.

    *reading Wiki link*
    Hmmm. Not with these knees.
    I see two possible scenarios:
    1) Attempt to stot, land badly, and be eaten by the lurking predators, thereby enabling the Young and Spry to make good their escape.
    2) Attempt to stot, launch badly, incapacitating the predators with laughter, thereby enabling the Young and Spry to club the predators to death.
    Neither of these options gets me to work, in any season; but at least the Young and Spry will, thereby enabling them to provide sustenance for the Next Generation.
    *cue music: The Circle of Life*

    Really, haven’t we moved beyond “gypsies steal babies” trope by now?

    Got mole problems?

    ButchKitties: Meds, if relevant. Pre-arrangement for any pets.

    August 13.

    Hi, Brony

    Would it be alright if I asked about some things that I’m dealing with here?

    Of course it would!

    Hi, pHred!
    *return-volley of dark chocolate and support*

  10. rq says

    Lynna @8
    I want that LEGO set for the dinosaur skeleton. Because dinosaur skeleton. The fact that there are women scientists included? Absolutely amazing bonus. :)

  11. The Mellow Monkey says

    Lynna @ 4

    “There was people …” and “They was spiritually touched.” That’s Cliven Bundy’s version of the English language. He does not believe in subject/verb agreement. So, maybe that’s the effect of working on a ranch in one of western states?

    That’s a pretty common bit of dialect. I grew up in southern Nevada and a number of natives to the area would use “was” in this way. I know I’ve run into it outside of Nevada as well.

    Come to think of it, I’m frequently asked by relatives when they should use were vs. was to sound “proper.”

  12. says

    @lynna 8, I saw that set at the Lego store here Saturday. The bad news was they were sold out. The good news was they had gotten the shipment in Friday, and sold out Friday.

    The mini Trex is awesome, and the chemist has volumetric and Erlenmyer flasks *squees*

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

    I want to create and modify nations in Freeciv. But I’m having trouble doing so.

    I’m using a macbook pro retina, 1.5 years old, latest OS (Mavericks update).

    Anyone able to do this for me or help me figure out what I don’t know?

    I’m not getting any file “nations.ruleset” or “aztec.ruleset” or anything like these coming up in finder searches. I’m sure that there’s a “hidden” attribute, but I’m flummoxed about how to reveal hidden in these searches. I used to be able to do it easily, but I haven’t done it for a while and not on recent mac OS’s.

    Thanks for any help.

  14. says


    It might seem weird that I have social anxiety issues since I’m so ready to give a strong opinion and wrestle with ideas in other places. It’s a weird thing where I’m always able to talk about things, concepts, but regular casual personal conversation? That has always been difficult. I’m usually on the outside looking in and feeling conflicted and confused.

    Now I need to figure out how to ask about what I’m thinking about.

  15. Rob Grigjanis says

    Brony @15:

    It might seem weird that I have social anxiety issues since I’m so ready to give a strong opinion and wrestle with ideas in other places.

    I’ve always thought people who don’t (seem to) have social anxiety issues are weird.

  16. opposablethumbs says

    x-posted from the ‘Dome:

    I am going to retire now and mourn bitterly and inconsolably for the ancient and venerable kindle that I accidentally killed today. While I’m trying to work out how/if to afford a replacement, if anyone’s got any heartfelt pros and cons about ereaders I would be grateful to hear ’em.

  17. morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor says

    Rob Grigjanis @ 18,

    I’ve always thought people who don’t (seem to) have social anxiety issues are weird.

    Hear, hear! I could not agree more.

  18. morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor says

    And now in Soup News:

    I’ve simplified my Cauliflower, Broccoli, Cheddar soup to 10 ingredients and 5 steps and it is even better than before. Yum. If anyone wants the recipe again, just ask.

  19. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    OMFG, just spent the most stressful day dealing with first day of second grade. Not the usual “my baby’s growing up!” either. Nope, her school didn’t get shit right this morning for pick up or drop off.

    See, her school is under construction this year so they’re busing the kids out to nearby schools based on grade. There’s three buses taking the kids to each school.

    This morning all three buses were late. The first by 12 minutes, the second by 25 minutes and Little One’s was the very last. Her bus mysteriously disappeared/never left (the fucking school can’t/won’t say) and they had to call in another bus to pick them up, which showed up 45 minutes past the original pick up time. K-3 kids standing in the 100 degree heat starting at 8 o’clock in the morning. They assigned colors as a way to help kids know the right bus like every other fucking school I’ve heard of. (Obviously some use animals, numbers, whatever same damn principal.) NONE of the right colors were used for picking up. Why? Not a goddamn clue. The kids were all sweaty, miserable and wanted to go home by the time the bus finally came. When we got there, they were all bright smiles and excitement. Way to fucking go, school officials. Good job.

    I didn’t think they could possible screw up dropping off that badly. I was wrong–it was so much worse. The first bus came at the right time but it dropped kids off from a different school than their color. Hmm, okay. Half an hour later a second bus comes. Same thing. A school official pulls up telling us the bus from Little One’s school just left and will be here shortly. Half an hour after school got out. We parents are practically panicked at this point. A mother I was talking to has a son in Little One’s class and a girl several grades higher going to another campus. Her daughter gets off the next bus with the other kids who are all upset and crying. They got out on time but their bus left early without them, leaving them waiting all that time while the bus dropped everyone else off and came back. Buses both from our district and others keeping flying by but still no sign of the k-3 kids.
    I’m on the verge of tears. A bus pulls up. Bus driver talks to the kids for several minutes and I’m like why aren’t you letting them off the bus. I’m in hysterics, crying and about to shout to let them off the bus. If Little One isn’t on that bus, I dunno what the fuck I’m going to do and I can’t see her yet. They start letting the kids off, and the mother of two gets her son and wishes me well since they’re letting the kids off one at a time. Finally, she’s there. A full hour after getting out of school and 45 minutes (her school building is literally down the fucking street, past two intersections) after she was supposed to be dropped off, I’m hugging her and crying in relief. Her bus, again, just didn’t show the fuck up. They had to call in a bus to get them.

    When we left, there were still parents waiting. The school didn’t get a damn thing right today. I was expecting some lateness but this? Not. acceptable. They’ve done this routine before just last year when the school down the street was under construction and bussed kids up to Little One’s school. How the fuck do you get it SO wrong?

    While we were waiting, the school officials were off to the side talking to each other and chatting. Gave little information and didn’t reassure us at all. When the second bus that dropped kids off pulled up, one dude waves and was like “Sorry, we’ll get better!” BETTER? Half the kids weren’t even there at that point, waving us off and smiling was not a good move. It pissed us off more than ever because uh, hello, where the fuck are our kids?

    GRRRR. *grumble mumble*

  20. A. Noyd says

    An update on the shenanigans of Randy Queen, that teen-girl-fetishizing, has-been hack of a comic book “artist”: He’s now further abusing DMCA to try to get Tumblr posts taken down that criticize him without displaying any of his shitty, shitty art. (Here is the updated version of the post I linked before.)

  21. carlie says

    JAL – that really, really sucks. Not entirely unusual, though; one year on the first day of school my kids’ bus was over an hour late past its normal dropping off time, and when the kids finally got home, their story was that the driver got lost and kept driving around (and gave me landmarks that were well off the route), kept ignoring the kids telling him where to go because he refused to believe they knew, but refused to call the depot for directions because he was new and didn’t want to get in trouble. A couple of towns over, a couple of years ago a bus dropped off kids (including kindergarteners) in a freakin’ street median on the first day. I don’t know what’s wrong with people.

  22. toska says

    Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan ban synthetic underwear:

    From July 1st, 2014, the inner layer of underwear, it seems this mostly affects ladies underwear, may not be manufactured from synthetic material. In all of the Customs Union. That means no more lacy underpants, (popularly understood as a ban on anything but granny panties) in Russia, Belarus and, perhaps most tragically, Kazakhstan.

  23. toska says


    It’s a weird thing where I’m always able to talk about things, concepts, but regular casual personal conversation?

    I have a lot of social anxiety issues, *especially* when it comes to personal issues. It doesn’t seem like a weird thing at all to me. It took me a while to gather up my courage to post here (not even personal topics), so I admire your courage for trying. Take all the time you need :)

  24. nyarlathotep says

    I love music and I always have. Pop country and my mother’s 60s-70-s rock formed the foundation for my early music tastes. I still love a lot of what my mother exposed me to, but hip-hop both back then and now has been a love of mine. I came to classic hip-hop late in life, like a lot of my friends did, but because of this I’ve found a latent love the past few years.

  25. nyarlathotep says

    Now, yo! Yo, what up? Your time is running out
    It’s for real though, let’s connect politic, ditto
    We could trade places, get lifted in the staircases
    Word up, peace, incarcerated scarfaces – Raekwon, “Incarcerated Scarfaces”

  26. says

    What a crappy way to get the new school year started. Sorry you and the little one had to deal with that fuckup.



    It took me a while to gather up my courage to post here (not even personal topics), so I admire your courage for trying. Take all the time you need :)

    Do you feel more at ease now that you’ve begun commenting here?



    I’ve simplified my Cauliflower, Broccoli, Cheddar soup to 10 ingredients and 5 steps and it is even better than before. Yum. If anyone wants the recipe again, just ask.

    I’m not a fan of cauliflower, but I’d be interested in a recipe for broccoli and cheddar soup :)

  27. jste says

    Morgan: I’ve been hunting around for new and interesting recipe ideas, and that sounds like some of my favourite ingredients in a soup! I’d love to see your recipe!

    Anyone else bugged by the comment numbering starting over again now that we’ve hit page two?

  28. birgerjohansson says

    Azkyroth @ 486:
    “Because splash-damagy body shaming is totally the right response to harassment. >.>

    I have no idea myself of how to to properly deter people who send such utterly stupid pictures. First, I would have to understand how their minds work , but I don’t want to go there (shudders).

  29. opposablethumbs says

    JAL I’m so sorry – what a shitty way to start the school year. Hope Little One is OK and not too upset. And that they get their godsdamn act together!

    August seems too soon to start school, though. Here it’s September! Mind you, school doesn’t break up until near the end of July – I suppose you break up earlier too?
    Just in case anyone has any ereader advice, I’m x-posting the following from the ‘Dome (thinking about maybe one day trying to replace the kindle I accidentally broke yesterday):

    Interesting that three of you all have Nooks. Shall investigate.

    My main priorities would be:
    first and foremost, be able to put in all kinds of files, dammit, or as many as possible, including pdfs (but Calibre mostly takes charge of that, thank goodness). I have some that were originally html, txt, doc, pdf, mobi, epub … whatever. If it could cope with the occasional image that would be a bonus.
    1) read comfortably (obviously) for eyes that are juuuust starting to feel less sprightly than they once did (so being able to adjust the size easily for pdfs would be great, as well as a crisp display)
    2) read in bed at night in the dark (I’d love a built-in light rather than having to get a cover with a light as an extra)
    3) being able to organise/re-organise the titles easily for easy searching would be nice

    I don’t tend to do much in the way of notes, but on the other hand if I could type without having to struggle to use teenytiny buttons the size of an ant’s knackers then it might be easier, so I would occasionally write the odd note.

    Thank you all for the info – and thank you for all those details, Inaji. I’ve never had any files with sound on the old one, but maybe I should! When you say sound and visuals … you mean some books and texts have sound effects? Or can these things play vids or something!?!? (Shirley not …)

  30. rq says

    Oh, geez, I hope they really do do better, I can’t imagine the stress!! *hugs*

    I have a Kobo, the one that reads like paper, for which I do not actually buy books, but import them via the Calibre program (where formats can be changed at need, including pdf, epub and I think djvu – and I can bypass that whole thing) from my computer. It’s a minor hassle, but I prefer doing all my book-arranging on the computer anyway (larger screen, etc.).
    It does excellent size adjustments, has a backlit surface for night-reading (adjustable brightness), excellent battery life, plus includes the usual accessories like a dictionary, bookmarking, things like that. The only thing I haven’t done much playing around with is the sorting, since I don’t tend to sort my books, but I know there’s an option to build ‘Shelves’ of books, and your library can be searched by title, author and several other options. It has internet (obviously), but I keep that turned off – I know it has a direct link to Facebook, where it can tell all your friends what you’re reading and how fast you’re reading. :P
    Not sure about notes, either, since I don’t actually make any, but judging from the other button sizes (in the search function, etc.) they’re not too small. It’s all touch-screen, by the way, which doesn’t make me flail with enthusiasm, but I’m getting used to it. Page turns are faster. :)
    I wouldn’t know about cost, as it was gifted to me by my elder brother, but it might be worth looking into.

  31. bassmike says

    Playing catch up with lounge and the new layout – I’ve been unwell, but I’m better now. I’ll add my name to the list of people hoping that we can get back to sequential numbering of new pages.

    JAL You’re experience with the buses sounds like every parent’s nightmare. Not to mention the trauma it causes to the kids. I’m shocked by the school’s cavalier attitude.

    Butchkitties I’m late mentioning this, but I’m thinking of you and your partner at the moment. As many of the our lounge friends know I went through the same thing with my dad earlier this year. I sincerely hope it works out well.

    *hugs*, chocolate, cheese, assorted confectionery and beverages for all.

  32. opposablethumbs says

    Thank you rq! Yes, Calibre is totally and utterly brilliant (I was using it already with my old, beloved, former deceased ex-kindle that has met an untimely end). But it didn’t cope very well with pdfs, I couldn’t easily or comfortably re-size or flow them. I guess this may continue to be a problem with most (all?) ereaders for a while. If night reading is comfortable, that’s a major plus, though. Is that the Kobo Glo model?

  33. toska says


    Do you feel more at ease now that you’ve begun commenting here?

    I do! The first comment was a bugger though.


    Anyone else bugged by the comment numbering starting over again now that we’ve hit page two?

    At first I thought I put a comment on the wrong thread. It caused me about 15 seconds of confusion. I don’t think it’ll be too difficult to adjust to, though.

  34. rq says

    It’s a bit bothersome, and kind of a throwback to the olden days (by which I mean about 2 years ago, when I started commenting, and it was the same thing). They should fix that soon (I hope). A small thing, yes, but bothersome.

  35. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    Thanks everyone.
    #36 opposablethumbs
    The best e-reader for pdfs is the Kobo Aura currently with their easy, quick re-flow and touch inputs. That website does great reviews with videos, including drop tests. I may not be able to buy a new e-reader but I love the old one I have (Nook) and love reading about e-readers. If I could get a new one, the Kobo Aura would be hard to beat.

  36. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    Oh since you mentioned in TDome how it’s interesting we all have Nooks:

    Nooks are great for the extra space and not being locked in to anything. However, if you use Calibre for converting and don’t use larger files like pdfs or horde excessively without SD cards e-readers usually get about 2,000 books on them. Kobo Aura doesn’t have those things but are best for pdfs (you should see them in the video, honestly). B&N has also gotten out of the e-reader game last time I’ve read and hasn’t had a new one for a few years. The lastest e-reader for them is the Nook Simple Touch. It’s still a solid e-reader but not the newest tech or best experience for pdfs.

  37. says

    Late as usual, but on the subject of e-readers –

    I actually ended up buying a tablet instead – Staples was running a special and I had a gift card and some other discounts, so I bought a Nexus 7. The little word processor (QuickOffice) does a good job with PDFs, and I put both the nook and kindle apps on for ebooks, and it came with Google books on. I haven’t tried to arrange the books, except by title or author, and they’re scattered between several readers. I should probably look into listing them all in one place.

    So not much help I guess. But I do like being able to internet while the daughters are fighting over the PC.

  38. opposablethumbs says

    JAL, many thanks! Not sure what the prices might be like in the UK – it looks awfully deluxe :-) …. ooh, having had a quick glance it looks like it’s not hugely different from the competition in terms of price over here.

    Thank you for pointing me at that review site!

  39. katybe says

    On the subject of books more generally, I have a feeling I saw someone someone on FTB recommend a book called The Steerswoman by Rosemary Kirstein a couple of months back and figure there’s a good chance it came from someone who at least posts here even if I may have magpied the suggestion from a different blog, given it specifically came up as an example of good writing of female characters in fantasy work. I just wanted to thank whoever it was, as I finally got around to reading it last week, and am now onto volume 2, and am finding it intriguing. If you’re reading this and know you aren’t the person who deserves my thanks, I’d like to pass on the recommendation in turn!

  40. katybe says

    Meaningless test. Feel free to ignore. I know I generally put 2 spaces after each sentence, but it looks as though the second one gets stripped out before it posts. Unless I just missed it from my last comment for some reason, hence double checking it here.

  41. opposablethumbs says

    Thank you Anne – sounds like you got a bargain there! I like the idea a lot (mobile Pharyngula everywhere, yay) but I don’t think I could afford a tablet and I might not be around free wifi places all that much so I wouldn’t really get the benefit. I think you get more ereader to the pound than you get tablet, don’t you? :-)

  42. says

    Right, here it goes.

    TL;DR: Loving and sexless marriage, and dealing with the emotional fallout.
    Like many others and really big social problems there are lots of little pieces that add up to a picture that leaves you feeling like a fly trapped in a web. Some of this is humbling given the sorts of things I try to support around here, but I’m not the only one around here that figured out how they were screwing up in the past and has been trying to do better and provide insights on how and why they were screwing up. The themes are similar enough to lots of things that get discussed around here so I’m hoping that there might be something that I just don’t know that will help. I’m kind of in stasis in some aspects of my life and am just not sure where to go from here. There are two things I want to ask about, but I’ll just do this one right now because I can be really wordy and I don’t want to fill up the place with me (though the pieces interconnect among the problems like often happens). But some back story is needed.

    I’m married to my wife who I have been in a relationship with since 1995, we are high school sweethearts with all the advantages and disadvantages that this includes. We are very close and there is no risk of the relationship ending (there are many areas where we are complimentary, have fun, and have things in common) but there are serious problems going on that we are trying to deal with. We are both experiencing some pretty serious psychological issues and working with our respective psychologists. She has borderline personality disorder, clinical depression, some social anxiety and is an introvert. I have tourette’s syndrome, adhd, social anxiety, am an introvert (who wishes he was not), and am suffering emotional fallout from how my mental issues led to a failed science career (this has to do with problem #2). We both have psychologists and are trying to work though things.

    We were each other’s first serious relationship and we both had very little relationship experience before that (one other attempt each and it lasted about a week). So many typical mistakes due to inexperience were made but we tried to deal with them and stay together. The actual success of this is uncertain because of how many problems can cause reactions that stay behind while you forgot how the reaction got there to begin with. She and I honestly don’t know if these older issues are buried in current problems. She has a history of sexual abuse and I was from that conservative culture that can tend to produce men with good intent, but who are blind to the non-verbal language of others and I was a teen-age, hormone filled kid. It took some time but eventually she started explicitly telling me that she did not like what I was doing and because I did have good intentions and honestly loved her I stopped and started the process of trying to learn the non-verbal things that every person wants their partner to pick up on. The ultimate success of that is also in question on different levels (the nature of TS and ADHD make some things had to do by mere instinct), but sex and consent were not problems after that.

    It took her a long time be she has come to realize that for whatever reason she and sex just don’t agree with one another much. The evidence of this does cover our relationship as sex was not really a thing that happened as often as it seems to for “most people” and I can admit that I wanted more than I ever got. We just don’t know the source of her lack of desire (and even repulsion from sex at this time and in other times in the past, life is very difficult for many reasons right now). She says that she does now know why she feels this way and I believe her. We don’t know if it’s because of our past mistakes, or the sexual abuse she suffered before I met her, or some combination of BPD, depression and/or the other issues, of even if she is asexual or demisexual. No one owes another person something like sex and I do many things to try to minimize the pressure on her and help as she tried to figure out the issues that she is dealing with. I try to eliminate as many of the little things that we tend to do when we want sex and don’t just say it, the most I do is to find out how she has been feeling about sex in general from time to time (but not too much, I check for that).

    But despite all the efforts to create an environment where the problem can be solved there are emotional effects that are taking a toll. She knows that I am a very sexual person by nature and that makes her feel guilty no matter how I try to minimize it for psychological reasons. And I have to admit that the sort of person I am gains emotional effects from sex that make life easier to deal with. It’s comforting and makes you think that everything will be ok and that makes it easier to move forward with everything more generally. She even suggested that we open up our relationship but honestly that is not likely to be a solution for a lot of reasons. I’m trying to fix my own psychological crap and I don’t know if I’m the sort of person many others will find a good partner. The combined set of issues I am going through are making me more socially anxious and introverted than ever, I essentially have no real-life friends and being the one to make friends was always a problem, I tend to accept friendships (I am working on this but it is painful and slow). My dating inexperience will be a factor and I am in my late 30’s. I still have the emotional cultural baggage that makes polyamory emotionally complicated. And you just don’t go looking for sex, friendship has to come first and be an emotional priority or one is likely to screw everything up.

    It’s a nasty vicious structure but we do love each other. I can’t imagine a life without her and I don’t want one without her because of the things we do share. Metaphorically she is in my very soul. But…

    So that is the problem. I’m not really sure what to do. If worse comes to worst we would not be the only sexless marriage out there and I’m reasonable sure I can endure in the long term. But I’m looking for anything I can do to make the situation as healthy and capable of moving forward as possible. any suggestions or insights?

  43. rq says

    I have the Kobo Aura, and I would agree, it handles pretty much any format really well (pdfs included!). I’ve also been switching them between formats (pdf to epub, vice versa) with Calibre, and it’s been no problem at all.

  44. says

    “She says that she does now know why she feels this way and I believe her.”

    Should actually read,

    “She says that she does not know why she feels this way and I believe her.”

  45. says

    I wish I had something more than Internet hugs for you, Brony, but raised atheist and currently poly and pansexual, I really don’t have any points of contact with that set of issues – the obvious solutions to me are all things that don’t work for you (and you’ve mentioned them), so I can’t really add anything useful. Maybe sex workers? But I don’t know what your local legal situation is, or money, or whether you could even consider such a thing. But it’s about the only one you didn’t mention that comes to mind.

    If it helps even slightly, I read every word, and I have nothing but empathy for you both. And I hope someone has some useful thoughts for you, and sorry that I really don’t. :/

  46. says

    Thank you for that CatieCat. I suspect that I am pansexual myself, but just did not have a life where I was able to explore such. Sex workers? I live in Texas and the sorts of social circles where one would even look for one, and use of such services while not accidentally making things more difficult for such persons are not part of my experience.

  47. pHred says

    22@JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness
    My husband actually read about that situation on the news and was telling me about it this morning. We both agreed that we would be completely freaked out. I hope today goes better. That is horrible. In Kindergarten our son was devastated when his bus drove past our house and he had to keep riding to the end of the route before they turned back to drop him off. He should have been like the 3rd kid off. He refused to even get on the bus for days and he still doesn’t like them. It is amazing the effect those kinds of events can have on a child.

    [My Vent]
    Oh and in a similar vein, I did get on that highway to drive down to get my daughter – turns out that the problem with elevated highways is that everyone is flying around at 55++ miles per hour and when all of your phobias jump on you at once trying to give you a full blown anxiety attack, there isn’t any place to pull over to throw up. And telling me it is an irrational fear doesn’t help because when you look at the statistics being worried about dying in a car accident is pretty rational compared to fear of flying etc, plus it has already almost happened to me – thus the mess that I am in.

    I ended up fixating on the butt of the motorcyclist in front of me (not because I was enamored of his butt – if there was a car I would have fixated on that) and concentrated on not hyperventilating. I just barely managed to find all of the right swoops and merges to get where I was going but it was pretty hellish for me. At this point I am thinking that I will just drive through the sketchy neighborhoods and as long as no one sets fire to my car I will manage.

    I want to move somewhere I don’t need cars or highways!

  48. opposablethumbs says

    Thank you rq. Definitely on the “go and play with it in the shop to see how it feels, even if I might not actually go shopping” list :-)
    Brony, I am glad that it’s been possible for you to say how things are. My deepest respects to you both for trying to work through some difficult and – I guess – sometimes pretty damn painful things while nevertheless looking out for each other and caring so much about each other’s wellbeing. I don’t have the knowledge or the wisdom – I only wish I did – except to say I think you have the best aims and attitude; I very much hope that there might be people around who do have something really helpful to tell you. I hope that the therapy you are doing proves positive and useful. I think it’s amazing and great that you are communicating with each other as much as you can. If I may, long-distance virtual e-hugs to you both.

  49. says

    @Brony, I can sympathize to an extent, as a grey-ace married to a sexual. We don’t usually have too many problems as long as he outright asks for sex, as I am oblivious to the nonverbal cues. Getting him to where he would use verbal took about two years for us. However, I don’t have any revulsion to sex, just don’t really think about it.

    I’ve suggested opening our relationship as well, although we haven’t yet done so.

    FWIW, we’re Texan as well. That is a hard culture to work poly relationships or sex workers into.

    Good luck. Wish I had actual advice to offer

  50. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    I’m sorry I can’t be of any help. *hugs* and sympathy for you and your wife.

    It was a tiny little storm! How could your water heater die, you stupid hotel?!
    On the other hand, the thing was either at the end of its stregth, or you were saving on heating, considering I never actually had hot water, just warm enough to shower without cringing.

  51. Pteryxx says

    Brony, my respects and e-hugs to you both as well. I also think it’s wonderful that you’re able to communicate and work on all this with mutual respect and caring. As I’m an extrovert who’s willing to talk entirely too much about sex <_< that's where my advice tends to go, so… if you'd rather keep that off the thread, feel free to email me at my nym at the oft-mentioned gee mail thingy. (Actually could you mail me anyway?) And in my experience, my counselors so far have known less about sex than I do.

    Basically, I'd suggest talking about and trying some activities that aren't sex, or aren't quite sex, but involve intimacy and some of the same cues – such as massage or back rubs, or maybe being naked under a blanket while watching movies? Something that fits what you do in your lives without being too strange or intimidating. It might help to explore around the edges of what is problematic while still engaging in activities that are enjoyable in their own right.

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


    It took me 3-6months before posting my first comment, and that was after I had been a part of a regular online community before (though it had been a few years). My first post got roundly criticized as tone trolling. It was certainly a tone argument, though I wasn’t trolling. But I shut up for a good long time after that – I don’t remember how long. Then posted relatively few (5? 10? 20? I can’t imagine more than that) comments over the next 10 to 20 months) comments from whenever my 2nd comment hit til 3d4k. Then I started posting regularly, but it still took *more* months before I posted in TET.

    So I think your hurdle in first posts – both first posts on individual topics and first posts in the Lounge/TD – is pretty normal, Toska. Listen to Tony!. He’s a good one.

    All are welcome here, but there is a sense that this space is for “real” community members. Many who used to be lurkers feel the need to post elsewhere on Pharyngula before posting here, as if there is a cover charge to enter the Lounge.

    You don’t need to post elsewhere. You don’t need to need to write a really well-praised comment. You don’t need to get a pat on the back from PZ. You read Pharyngula? You want to say something not-inconsistent with the values of the Lounge? And say it in a manner not-inconsistent with the values of the Lounge? And you haven’t previously been banned?

    You are welcome here.


    Rare poster?


    Doesn’t matter. The Lounge ain’t for trolling, and disagreement here should be expressed with overt gentleness and compassion for the people involved. Most of Pharyngula is about ideas and information – and tearing bad ideas and misinformation apart is considered a public service. The Lounge is about people – and tearing people apart is considered horrible.

    If you have something to express, but your reason for expressing it isn’t just about floating an idea, adding some facts, or correcting SIWOTI, and if you can do it without being mean, write it here.

    There’s no minimum facility with words, no minimum Pharyngula contribution, and no minimum ideological agreement needed to express yourself here.

    Pull up a USB, download some grog, and write.

  53. morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor says

    Broccoli Cauliflower Cheese Soup

    1 bunch broccoli (3 large stalks with stems) and equal amount cauliflower (1 large or 2 small heads)

    8 cups broth of choice (I use 4 cups veggie and 4 cups chicken)

    1 large yellow onion

    4 large cloves garlic (or more) crushed or minced fine

    1 1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg (or more)

    1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin (or more)

    8 – 12 ounces sharp aged white cheddar cheese or Gruyere cheese, shredded (the more the better)

    4 – 8 ounces heavy cream (optional)

    kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

    All the ingredients are approximate measures. I do not cook with precision, but I do cook with passion.

    1) Chop onion and garlic and saute in small amount of olive oil until translucent. Dump it into the soup pot.

    2) Coarse chop the broccoli and/or cauliflower. Dump it into the soup pot.

    3) Add broth. Cook, covered, over medium heat until veggies are very well done, about 20-30 minutes.

    4) Allow to cool a bit. Puree in batches in blender. Return it to the soup pot.

    5) Add grated cheese, stirring constantly, until all cheese is melted.

    6) At this point you can start to judge your preferred consistency. Add cream to desired consistency. Keep heat at medium.

    7) Stir in the nutmeg and cumin. (The broth I use has plenty of salt, and cheese has salt, and I usually do not add additional.)

    8) Cover, and cook over low heat for about a half hour, stirring often. Taste and adjust seasonings.

    (Protip) It is better to use a non stick soup pot if you have one because thick soups, especially ones with cheese really want to stick to the bottom and burn.
    Stir frequently. No burning allowed. This freezes well.

    This results in a rich creamy soup with nicely layered flavors. If you want to punch it up try adding hot sauce or cayenne pepper. Be creative!

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


    Awesome news.

    Speaking of awesome friend new, you know those friends that you love forever, but you hardly ever speak to?

    I’ve got may 6 or 8 of them. It comes from depression making one a bad correspondent, but not making one love others less. When you connect with others who have the same problem, they tend to be forgiving about the lapses.

    In any case, I’m not exaggerating in any way when I say that these are people that I genuinely love, and for whom I would do a ton. Though my then-partner and I eventually separated, when I saw one of these friends in person one time I was just about to get engaged to then-partner. I was having a ring custom-made. I misunderstood the pricing and it was $600 more than I thought. Ugh. The artist was amazing, and the work truly unique, but I needed $600 for the raw gold that I hadn’t planned on. Loving friend coughed up $500 on the spot. Told me to pay her whenever, it was coming out of her retirement money, so she just needed it before she turned 65. I tried to pay her back a couple years later. She asked me if I could really afford it. I acknowledged it was a bit of a stretch, but it was the first time I had $500 laying around. She told me to keep it in savings, she didn’t want me to suddenly need money if car repairs or whatever struck. A couple years later, money got tight, and with going back to school, they’ve stayed tight. I still haven’t paid her back, though I often think of what it would take to do it.

    She lives far away – farther now that I’m in Canada. But we have friends in common that are better communicators than we are. So, we see each other once in a blue moon, but we get info about each other’s lives much more often.

    And this is why I was so fucking surprised to see her byline in DISCOVER magazine last night. What? She and I met doing science education, and her name isn’t that common (not super-rare like mine, where I’m the only First+Last in the English speaking world, apparently, but uncommon) so I’m absolutely sure it’s her. Moreover, it wasn’t merely on a story, it was also on an issue-introduction page. She may still be writing freelance, but if so, she’s got a very good relationship with the editors and has been doing this for a while. My guess is that she does work more-or-less like a project-coordinator position. Whether that’s on staff or freelance, I don’t know, but I’m going to find out today.

    In any case, she was apparently responsible for putting together a special issue collecting previously published articles + 1 or 2 new ones on the topic of “mind & brain”. One interview and one article were hers, in addition to the introduction. The friend’s house I was at had a couple of other DISCOVER’s around. I grabbed one. Nothing. I grabbed another. One article. Not a fluke. My friend is writing for DISCOVER and I didn’t know.

    What the hell is this world coming to? When we were kids we would joke around about doing exactly this kind of thing when we grew up. And I didn’t get to throw her a party?


    That’s it. I’m buying a bottle of scotch and flying to Friend’s Home City, breaking into her apartment, and forcing her to celebrate with me.*
    *Boundaries? Ethics? What curious concepts you raise!

  55. says

    Wow, lots going on. I went and got squishificated this morning, got out much earlier than I expected, and had some fun on the way home.

    Brony, hugs and respect. The people here are good people and good listeners; I lurked around for several years before I finally posted something, and I was (and still am) impressed with their compassion and wisdom.

    opposable thumbs, I don’t know what it’s like in your neck of the woods, but around here the best selection of e-readers of all brands was at an office supply store. Getting your hands on the electronic gismo and actually playing with it is best, if you can.

    *refills basket of hugs, sets out tea and cookies*

  56. Pteryxx says

    Random neat things –

    A trailer for the Life in the Woods Minecraft modpack inspired by Thoreau. youtube link

    from The Mary Sue – Marvel puts on a private screening of Guardians of the Galaxy for disabled Rocket Raccoon creator Bill Mantlo.

    Mantlo, who first created the character of Rocket along with artist Keith Giffen in 1976, was the victim of a hit-and-run in 1992 and has been recovering from a traumatic brain injury ever since, which leaves him and his family saddled with expensive medical bills for his continuous care. According to his brother and legal guardian, Michael Mantlo, Marvel and the comic creator have always had a fairly good relationship with one another (though despite compensating him for “anything that he’s entitled to compensation for,” they haven’t been able to cover all his expenses, so please consider donating to his rehabilitation fund to help out yourself). But the company decided to up the ante recently by hosting a private screening of the film for Mantlo’s friends and family.

  57. says

    Thank you opposablethumbs.
    I’m not the only with painful stuff. At least we seen to have the tools to deal with it without descending into the projection, and defense mechanisms and more that so many others resort to because they don’t have the understanding about what is going on (well, some defense mechanisms, but they are identified and being worked on). Relatively speaking things could be worse.

    Thank you Rawnaeris.
    I take cognitive differences very seriously and it’s nice to see that things can be worked with on that level. So many different kinds of people that society tries to ignore! And all of them so informative to what we are as a group. Austin is not so bad as the rest of the state, but it’s still Texas.

    Thank you Beatrice.
    It’s ok if you don’t have anything. Getting to talk about it helps and so do the hugs and sympathy.

    Thank you Pteryxx.
    Talking about sex? That does not bother me one bit and neither do introverts. Ironically tourettes makes you look like an extrovert while being an introvert since it’s a bit like being an adult child (I can’t say if the introversion is TS or a response to societies reaction to it). Heck I often try to relate what I know about brain science to the sheer diversity of porn I see out there in places like the furry community and such. I have no idea if any of those ideas mean anything, but the answers will be fascinating. And sometimes I find myself entirely too willing to talk about things like tourettes which may accidentally get weird for other people. It’s too bad because how brains make minds is ridiculously fascinating despite the ways it bumps into painful experiences. I guess that’s one I’m still figuring out how to handle well.
    We have and do some other intimate and affectionate things. We cuddle. We are still openly affectionate for one another. We know that blame is not really a thing that can exist here despite the fact that instincts sometimes try to drive us to blame ourselves. We have tried some things like cuddling in front of a movie without clothes, but that one is still a bit weird. *shrugs* It is what it is.

    I think about emailing you if you think you can help and the conversation might get a bit much for around here. I’m not really very sensitive when it comes to topics though.

  58. says

    Crap. That should say “That does not bother me one bit and neither do extroverts.” in #68. There is always at least one damn typo.

  59. opposablethumbs says

    Crip Dyke that’s brilliant news! And wow, that person sounds like a wonderful friend. I’m glad for you :-D

    Anne, yes – I’m definitely going to go and play in a shop or two when I get the chance. Office supply place sounds like a good idea (we have, well … PC World, I suppose :-\ And Staples.

    Tea! And biscuits! Om nom nom.

  60. toska says

    I offer my sympathies. The fact that you and your wife are both searching and open to solutions is a positive here, so hold onto hope. I hope other commenters will have some useful advice for you both.
    Crip Dyke
    Thank you for making me feel welcome here. I lurked around Pharyngula (and other wonderful ftb blogs) for quite awhile before even thinking about posting. I’ve learned a lot from many of the regular commenters here, and the not-so-regular commenters too. You’ve* helped me figure out what kind of atheist I want to be, and I’ve gained a lot without commenting at all.
    I grew up in a culture where progressive was a bad word, so I think that engaging in the conversations that take place in this blog will help me pull out my own problematic ideas even more. And hell, I might even have something interesting to say every once in a while ;)
    *This “you” applies to the people of this blog, as well as to you personally. And many other individual commenters.

  61. morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor says

    Hey Horde!

    We have new bloggers! Check the front page!

    Welcome everyone.

  62. says

    @CD yes, this friend is one of those friends. We don’t talk real often, but if I need *anything* he’s right there. He took time out of hanging with friends and his girlfriend to keep me virtual company while I was in the hospital, for example.

    He’s also a friend I tend to live vicariously through, because he’ll do stuff I would never have the nerve for, like backpacking across Asia for 6 months, or moving to France to support his girlfriend going to grad school.

  63. cicely says


    I am going to retire now and mourn bitterly and inconsolably for the ancient and venerable kindle that I accidentally killed today.

    I am sorry for your loss.
    *large floral display*
    I have a Nook, but I use it almost exclusively to keep my Game reference books on, for they are many, and the weight adds up.

    *hugs*, both for you and for Little One.
    That is, indeed, an impressive-sounding clusterfuck.

    Hi, bassmike! Sorry you’ve been unwell, glad you’re better, hopefully the hazmat suit can go back into storage.

    Brony, I wish I had helpful advice to offer you.
    *hugs, or other acceptable and non-intrusive gestures of sympathy and support*

    *hugs* and support for pHred, as well. There are reasons why I won’t drive in Very Large Cities. Or in the rain, when it’s dark. Or, these days, when it’s dark, whether it’s raining or not.

  64. says

    Some charitable organizations with a conservative base and a conservative agenda have no ethics whatsoever. Some are operating illegally, and some are ripping off veterans, the one group that all conservatives claim to love.

    Move America Forward calls itself the nation’s “largest grassroots pro-troop organization,” and has recruited a bevy of Republican luminaries, including former Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush and former Vice President Dick Cheney, to support its efforts.

    Yet an examination of its fundraising appeals, tax records and other documents shows that Move America Forward has repeatedly misled donors and inflated its charitable accomplishments, while funneling millions of dollars in revenue to the men behind the group and their political consulting firms.

    The driving force behind Move America Forward is Sal Russo, 67, the longtime political consultant who is listed on the 10-year-old charity’s tax returns as chief strategist.

    Russo is better known for helping to form the Our Country Deserves Better PAC, also known as the Tea Party Express, one of the largest Tea Party groups in the country. Consultants from his Sacramento-based firm, Russo, Marsh and Associates, also set up two other PACs, the Move America Forward Freedom PAC and the Conservative Campaign Committee, to aid conservative causes and candidates.

    This group’s tax returns show that it paid more than $2.3 million to Russo, about 30% of the expenditures.

    Move america Forward claimed to have delivered care packages it never delivered. They plagiarized photos and other promo material from other organizations. They lied about a connection to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center — no such association exists.

    No problem. Rush Limbaugh, Rick Perry, Dick Cheney and other conservatives love, just love Move America Forward.

    The Daily Beast link.

  65. says


    So that is the problem. I’m not really sure what to do. If worse comes to worst we would not be the only sexless marriage out there and I’m reasonable sure I can endure in the long term. But I’m looking for anything I can do to make the situation as healthy and capable of moving forward as possible. any suggestions or insights?

    Thank you for sharing that with us.
    I wish I had some advice to offer you.
    I also hope that posting this has been a source of some relief for you.

    pHred @57:
    I’m glad you were able to find a way to avoid having an anxiety attack. I don’t have anxiety issues, but I find driving in highway traffic can be aggravating. Especially in large cities (how do I hate thee Atlanta, GA). Adding the possibility of an anxiety attack on top of that is frightening.


    Crip Dyke:

    It took me 3-6months before posting my first comment, and that was after I had been a part of a regular online community before (though it had been a few years). My first post got roundly criticized as tone trolling.

    My first post was also a ‘tone police’ post. I remember getting a very mild response from Aquaria on the matter of policing tone. Once my Pharyngula reading began in earnest, I realized that she was indeed being nice, because the rhetorical beatdowns she gave people were a thing to behold.

    Also, I’d like to second your advice to new commenters here. I think part of the hesitance on the part of some people is due to the community here. Many of the regulars have been here for some time and developed relationships. That can seem intimidating to some people. Some may see it as intrusive to comment when people are talking about something important. The thing is, as the Lounge is about any topic, you don’t need to worry about intruding on a conversation (this isn’t a place for private conversations-that would be a place intrusions would be unwelcome). It’s a public space provided by PZ for anyone who wants (provided, as CD says, you follow the very easy to follow rules). I think we’re a pretty welcoming crowd around here, so if any of you lurkers out there feel like commenting, by all means, please do. We don’t bite (that’s the Thunderdome; although I guess that’s more gnashing and shredding than simply biting).
    Personally, I welcome any and all voices.
    Also, I threw this out there a while back, but my offer still stands. If anyone wants to have someone to talk to or wants to share something that they don’t feel comfortable bringing up here (for whatever reason)…or if someone wants support or understanding…or if you have a question…feel free to email me. I may not have the answers, but I will listen and be supportive. My email is f r e e t h i n k e r….7519 at the gmail thingee (no spaces or punctuation).

    You don’t need to post elsewhere. You don’t need to need to write a really well-praised comment.

    I remember thinking I needed to comment around Pharyngula before I said anything in the Lounge. It was almost as if I felt I needed to establish myself, or show credentials to comment here (and yes, it was a hurdle for me to leave that first comment)-which of course wasn’t the case. My reasons for being reluctant to post weren’t based in any objective facts. They were all based on my feelings (I don’t know about anyone else, but there are times when feelings aren’t a good rationale for our actions).

  66. says

    In case you need further evidence that the border crisis has forced the Republican Party further to the right on immigration than even Mitt Romney was in 2012, watch this new ad that GOP Rep. Tom Cotton appears to be running in the Arkansas Senate race against Democratic incumbent Mark Pryor.

    Washington Post link.

    […] The ad mirrors the broader GOP posture, which is to treat it as a self-evident fact that the migrant crisis shows a border in chaos. In reality, as the Associated Press has explained, the children crossing the border does not tell the broader story here, which is that various metrics suggest that illegal immigration is actually lower than in recent years.

    Indeed, this Cotton ad approaches Grade A Ted Cruz/Steve King demagoguery on this issue. What makes this particularly interesting is that Cotton has been hailed as a candidate who unites the Tea Party with the “GOP establishment.” Yet he is now trafficking in rhetoric about immigration that is well outside the comfort level of many in the “GOP establishment” who favor reform. […]

    […] The House GOP, under pressure from hardline elements within the party, voted on Friday to strip protections from immigrants brought to this country illegally as children, and in the process, made it official that the GOP is the party of maximum deportations. […]

    I can’t figure out why these Republican politicians think it will do them some good to run off the cliff at the far rightwing edge of political policy.

  67. says

    I can’t believe that I screwed up welcoming Heina so badly. And I even had one of those damn tourettes logic flips and typed quote when I meant something else and pushed the button too fast. I really hate this crap sometimes.

  68. rq says

    *hugs* for bassmike! I just wish you could have a better run in the health department really soon. :(

    Well done, pHred! I’m glad you got that done with safely, using a method that seemed to work for you (motorcyclist butt? really? :D). Hopefully next time you’ll either (a) not feel so nervous about it or (b) have better options than shady neighbourhoods (one can dream).

    Thank you for sharing, and as others have mentioned, I am impressed with the level of commitment and communication you and your wife have for each other. I hope you both find (a) solution(s) that is (are) mutually satisfactory and also beneficial to your relationship/intimacy/etc. I have some internet *hugs* on offer, if you like, and all my best wishes – when I get home, I’ll put out some thumbs on hold for you!

    Heh, I jumped into the Lounge pretty much without commenting elsewhere on Pharyngula, though commenting here has led to commenting elsewhere on Pharyngula. I did, however, comment for several months over on ETEV (mostly on the nature posts, because – hey – flower and bird identification is non-controversial!), which kind of helped with the online shyness and stuff. I think what led me to understand that people might like what I say when Dana emailed me to ask me if everything was okay, because I’d lapsed in commenting due to a family long-weekend trip and she missed my comments. *blush* Don’t know why I’m telling you, but I guess you just never know when or how your comments might be read or affect someone, so unless you’re saying truly despicable things (and you don’t strike me as the type), feel free to say what’s on your mind, and rest assured – someone is always paying attention. I think. ;)

    Crip Dyke
    Those friends are the awesomest, truly. Make sure that you force that $500 right into her hand, too, while you’re over there. ;)
    But I had a run-in with a similar type friend while I was in Canada. We don’t really talk much (online or elsewhere) but I needed a place to stay for a night with the kids, and he basically offered and opened his house to us, even though he was to be away that night. I’d do the same for him, in a heartbeat. We met up the following day, and he even asked me why I even remember him (because we had slightly different friend-circles in high school and he was surprised I even kept in touch with him since then). How do you tell someone they’re merely awesome, and that they’ve done a lot in small incremental things to open your eyes in a lot of different ways just by being who they are and awesome in general? I stuck with the ‘*shrug* Because you’re kind of awesome!’ line. Don’t know, I have a hard time doing justice to my feelings at times like that.

    Anyway. Work is calling, and the network is up today. *underhanded fistpump*

  69. Pteryxx says

    Brony – then I guess the question that needs to be asked is if she wants to be interested in sex for its own sake, and for her own sake. That probably isn’t a simple question… I know that when I was sexually abused by my ex-partner, for instance, I found sex to be repellent for several years, and have gradually broken that up by way of a variety of approaches and experiments, much like a long siege. Even now I can get triggered in the middle of a happy romp. It’s been a lot of work, ongoing work, and that’s with my very dedicated interest in being sexual in the first place. Over those years I’ve also explored possible medical and physiological causes before figuring out that the abuse was simply THE cause. Anxiety and past trauma can manifest as physical symptoms, and physical symptoms can cause anxiety reactions which can then become learned responses. So I’m thinking that her position on this needs to be paramount, because yours seems to boil down to supporting her in your mutual relationship while hoping that sex can be part of it.

    I’d like to email you anyway, somewhat tangent to this discussion. Also I’m asking around about Minecraft servers that might suit you.

  70. says

    More drinking water problems, this time in Canada.

    Hundreds of people in British Columbia can’t use their water after more than a billion gallons of mining waste spilled into rivers and creeks in the province’s Cariboo region.

    A breach in a tailings pond from the open-pit Mount Polley copper and gold mine sent five million cubic meters (1.3 billion gallons) of slurry gushing into Hazeltine Creek in B.C. That’s the equivalent of 2,000 Olympic swimming pools of waste, the CBC reports. Tailings ponds from mineral mines store a mix of water, chemicals and ground-up minerals left over from mining operations.

    The flow of the mining waste, which can contain things like arsenic, mercury, and sulfur, uprooted trees on its way to the creek and forced a water ban for about 300 people who live in the region. That number could grow, as authorities determine just how far the waste has traveled. The cause of the breach is still unknown. […]

    The mining effluent may make its way to the Fraser River — a possibility not confirmed by authorities as a probability, but since the Quesnel and Cariboo River systems feed the Fraser, I think it is likely.

    One of the creeks in the area that used to be four feet wide is now 150 feet wide. Scary implications for long-term impacts.

  71. says

    Bad news out of Nebraska: the state denies one woman a driver’s license because she is married to another woman.

    The state of Nebraska told Sue Stroesser she could not have a driver’s license for the first time in 35 years. That’s because her driver’s license was previously under the name Sue Kirchofer, and the state refuses to recognize her name change because it would mean recognizing her same-sex marriage from neighboring state Iowa. […]

  72. opposablethumbs says

    I am sorry for your loss.
    *large floral display*

    Thank you cicely. I’m touched. sniff ::dashes tear from eye:: ::arranges flowers in a suitably sombre manner::

  73. Esteleth is Groot says

    opposablethumbs, I don’t know if you saw my recent TDome comment, but I’d be willing to send you my Nook-thinks-its-a-Kindle for the cost of shipping, which looks to be about $50 or less.

  74. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says


    Heh, I think it took me at least a year to stop feeling like I was interrupting someone or peeking into personal info (I know, hello internet) that was none of my business, when I first started commenting in the Lounge (TET).

  75. says

    Here’s another instance of an ethical lapse that should put some Republicans in jail. The Republican State Leadership Committee (RSLC) is best known for nurturing Republican majorities in state governments, a tactic that allowed Republicans to redraw congressional maps so that in future voting cycles it would be almost impossible to defeat Republican candidates.

    Now the RSLC is about to become infamous for another scheme, laundering donations from Indian Tribe gambling profits to make it all clean and acceptable to conservative voters. (You’ve heard a similar story before. Remember Ralph Reed and Jack Abramoff’s schemes that ripped off Indian Tribes at the expense of other Indian Tribes — all part of a supposedly Christian anti-gambling scheme meant to coddle the conservative/religious base? Republicans do not learn from past mistakes.)

    At the height of its political emergence, the RSLC was implicated in a risky campaign finance scheme that an internal report warned could trigger “possible criminal penalties” and “ultimately threaten the organization’s continued existence,” according to a confidential document POLITICO obtained from a source.

    Never disclosed until now, the document detailed an investigation into alleged misconduct by multiple RSLC officials during the crucial 2010 election cycle: It charged that national RSLC leaders conspired improperly with the leader of the Alabama Republican Party to use the RSLC as a pass-through for controversial Indian tribe donations, essentially laundering “toxic” money from the gaming industry by routing it out of state and then back into Alabama.

    It is … common knowledge and wisdom in Alabama that taking a contribution directly from the tribe is political suicide for a Republican candidate or public official,” the report stated. “Here RSLC appears to have served as both a recipient of the funds in question and as a donor of the funds back to Alabama, thereby permitting Mike Hubbard to do indirectly that which he could not do directly.”

    It also sent $100,000 to a group, Citizens for a Better Alabama, that the report describes as “the renamed ‘Citizens Against Legalized Lottery’ (‘CALL’), one of the Christian groups through which Jack Abramoff funneled Choctaw Indian-money.”

    So, they are busy conning and ripping off Indian Tribes, veterans, and even the Christians they claim as supporters. Ethically challenged Republicans, that’s how they roll.

  76. says


    Playing catch up with lounge and the new layout – I’ve been unwell, but I’m better now. I’ll add my name to the list of people hoping that we can get back to sequential numbering of new pages.

    I hope you get better soon my friend.

    (I’m going to pretend that your comment was #538).



    I think what led me to understand that people might like what I say when Dana emailed me to ask me if everything was okay, because I’d lapsed in commenting due to a family long-weekend trip and she missed my comments.

    I remember being bummed out when you said (last year?) that you were going to cut back on commenting here. I was glad to see you return. But I’m biased. I think you’re neat.

    Oh, and your Canadian friend is indeed awesome.

  77. Esteleth is Groot says

    Can anyone who has a cat give me advice on how to persuade a cat to open their mouth long enough to stick an oral syringe in? Because she’s got the “lock the jaw shut tightly” trick down pat.

  78. says

    Thank you toska.
    I have hope. I always seem to manage to find some of that when it comes to her.

    Thank you cicely.
    The hugs and good wished do help.

    Thank you Tony.
    This was giving me some relief until I let that make me a bit lazy with my typing in welcoming Heina. I made amends and hopefully the embarrassment will make me more careful in the future. TS makes you use your concentration as much as possible. My system 2 must be interesting. I guess we will see how I feel.

    Thank you rq.

    @ Pteryxx
    If she can’t be interested in sex for its own sake or her own sake then there will be no sex. I’ll not risk her mental health for anything. For whatever reason she can’t and emotions can be as good as real despite what some in the skeptic/atheist community act like. So in some respects it’s not complicated. Her position is paramount because while the lack of sex is stressful, it’s nothing compared to what she has had to deal with.
    It’s only been a year or so since we have been really hard core about the therapy and working with the psychological help functionally so we will hopefully get ideas at some point. At the moment awareness of little things that we don’t normally see are more important. I suspect that the abuse is the cause as well (details having to do with BPD), but I can’t really risk that being wishful thinking and missing that I played a role. If that is the case that needs to be functionally addressed.

  79. says

    Well, Brony, I can say I’m glad you’re around FTB because you make consistently cogent and kind comments, or cutting and concise cracks, as appropriate. And I find that valuable ally work.

  80. rq says

    re: thumbs
    It has to do with the local way of saying ‘Good luck’ or ‘Fingers crossed’ – it translates to ‘I’ll hold my thumbs for you’, except I never have enough thumbs to go around, hence why I keep (= hold, close enough, it’s the same word in reverse translation!!) them in jars in a row on my desk. … Or something. I usually have a really cute picture (if you like baby monkeys) to go with the saying, but the link is on the computer at home, so I’ll pass that along once I’m done at work.
    No, I don’t actually have jars of thumbs on my desk, though considering my line of work… Echh, no. Ew. Gross. :P

  81. rq says

    You’re far too kind.
    But at least we now have each other on the Dreaded FB. :)

  82. says

    Seconding CaitieCat’s #93.



    No, I don’t actually have jars of thumbs on my desk, though considering my line of work… Echh, no. Ew. Gross. :P

    Of course you don’t.
    They’re all at home on your computer table :)

  83. Pteryxx says

    Brony – I agree, and what I need to make clear is that she needs to answer to herself whether sex is something she wants to want. Because of the guilt you mention, it might be difficult for her to admit that to you, or to herself in terms of the relationship she has with you. Because of past trauma, it might be difficult to imagine what wanting sex would be like, or what wanting it again might be like if she has had sexual desires in the past. (I definitely remember being bewildered that the kind of sex I’d enjoyed in the past was abhorrent post-abuse, even just to think about, and now it’s mostly, usually, enjoyable again.) When I’ve brought this up with counselors, most of them aren’t very experienced or comfortable discussing the specifics. And if she’s asexual or demisexual, then that also needs to be conceivable, acceptable, and not a source of further guilt.

    Libby Anne at LoveJoyFeminism talks a lot about purity culture and the messed-up way it creates guilt and obviates consent. Maybe that would help?

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


    I’m seconding Pteryxx:

    what I need to make clear is that she needs to answer to herself whether sex is something she wants to want. Because of the guilt you mention, it might be difficult for her to admit that to you, or to herself in terms of the relationship she has with you. Because of past trauma, it might be difficult to imagine what wanting sex would be like, or what wanting it again might be like if she has had sexual desires in the past.

    As an adult, I’ve twice gone years without sex (okay, well two) including self-sex. I didn’t want sex. I didn’t know what kind of sex I would want if I had sex. There was just…nothing.

    But I was always clear that my reasons for not wanting sex had to do with societal messages about (or at least relationship-inhibiting aspects of) my queerness and transness and geekiness and politics and appearance. They didn’t have to do with me **actually believing** that sex is undesirable **in theory**. Just in practice.

    For some parts of those times (and other, shorter periods), I really believed that a practical lived experience in which sex was desirable was beyond any possibility in my life. But most of the time I thought that there would come a time again when I would want touch and/or sex. So I couldn’t honestly answer a question about whether I would ever want sex with “no”. I could say, “I don’t want to want sex, but I know that my life includes desire and long periods of no desire, and so the logical conclusion is that if I don’t croak in the next year or two, eventually I will have desire again.”

    Knowing what your own relationship is with sexual desire is very important.

    “I experience it, but it’s excruciating and I hate it, which instantly transforms it into something else completely horrible, which guarantees I won’t actually have any sex based on it,”

    is different from,
    “It just never occurs to me that sex is a possibility, therefore I’ll never have sex born out of my own desires.”

    If she doesn’t want to want sex, then you shouldn’t be “helping” her get to a place where she feels desire. If she does, then as a partner it’s okay to ask, “What would help you get to the place where you want to arrive?” and then follow her suggestions.

    Also, at some point you’re going to have to talk about this stuff. If it’s too traumatic for her to talk about it now, fine. But the only way a topic can be made taboo in a relationship without damage to that relationship is when
    a) it’s a taboo about something that, for whatever reasons, predictable or non-, it doesn’t come up during the relationship, like a taboo about talking about orange blueberries. Most of us just don’t talk about them because there’s no evidence they exist, and if they did it wouldn’t really change anything besides a brief smirk at naming something a blueberry when it’s orange…and then chomping the damn thing, to the same effects of delight and nutrition as any other blueberry. But if you two (each or together) have an actual taboo against talking about them, still the effect on your relationship will be negligible. Likewise, a taboo about talking about the sex you have with other people has exactly the same effect as a partnership where discussing the sex had with other people is encouraged if, in both cases, no sex with other people is ever had.

    b) the topic is made taboo by mutual agreement after a long period of working out exactly what significance the topic holds, with each now-fully-informed party firmly believing that the benefits of silence outweigh the benefits of further discussion.

    Temporary silence = fine.
    Permanent silence, in your case, probably not fine. It doesn’t sound like you two are in a place where you have explored things enough to really reach that fully-informed place. It’s literally too painful to get there. Also, whether your relationship is ultimately sexual or sexless, sexual possibilities and contexts will be present unless and until clarified by fully-informed comprehensive agreements. So this isn’t a case of orange blueberries.

    I support you. I’m happy you brought this here. If I can be of any help, I will.

    Good luck.

  85. says

    @ CatieCat
    Thank you. I do try to be a good ally. I’m glad that “cutting and concise” is what you are seeing. I can get a bit over-the-top on occasion and hitting the right level of aggression is challenging.

    @ rq
    Ok, that makes sense now :)

    @ Crip Dyke
    I’m giving her all the room I can to figure out how she feels about sex on her own terms. Getting some perspectives on if I am doing that correctly is just the sort of thing I am looking for so thank you. I’m trying to keep my perspectives out of it as much as possible. The angle I am aiming for is for her to figure out what she is on her own terms. When I do ask her about how things are from time to time I keep it neutral and about her feelings. But it might be good to show her your comment and make sure that this is working out (she does know about me asking in her and she is ok with it. She knows that I don’t mind her looking and making sure that I am at a level that she is comfortable with). We are talking about possible ruts and avoiding uncomfortable things. We are keeping a couples counselor as an option in case we need to figure out any avoided items. Otherwise I think that we are in a period of becoming aware of the situation as is. We have been constructive when it come to the random periods when things get more stressed for various reasons.
    I’m actually losing the self-sex desire myself at the moment and that is not normal for me. It has me concerned, but I’m chalking that up to total stress situation. I guess that is kind of convenient in a way except for the fact that I don’t have that particular bit of stress relief at the moment.
    I think the impacts of social information on how we feel about ourselves with respect to sex are way underappreciated. I’m sorry that you had that experience. I hope that things are better now. I have wondered about how difficult dating and relationships are for people like trans folks and that is another thing that keeps me fighting how we have society arranged. I try to focus any negative emotions I have about my situation on the external factors that let this happen to begin with as I am with respect to the sorts of things you have dealt with.

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

    @David Marjanović, #352 (yes, the previous page):

    Pants are oppression, says the sage.

    Oppression = prejudice + pants?

  87. opposablethumbs says

    Esteleth that is so kind of you! (I saw your comment in the Dome, but I thought at first you meant you could send within-the-US only.)

    I might possibly have a line on one belonging to a friend in Wales (she has two now!) but if that doesn’t work out I’ll post and ask you, yes? Just one thing I wanted to ask, though, is whether it’s one with a screen that illuminates in dim light (e.g. for reading at night) – I think that might make a lot of difference to me now that my eyes are, ahem, starting to feel their age a bit! :-)

    Thank you so, so much. It’s such a generous thing to offer!

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


    I’m sending up the BatGiliell signal.

    Wanna e-mail me? Thanks.

  89. Esteleth is Groot says

    Opposablethumbs the one I have is a Nook Color circa 2010. The screen lights up, and you can set it to have the amount of light auto-adjust based on ambient light conditions.

  90. says

    Really, Utah? Really?

    Utah on Tuesday became the first state to file a petition with the U.S. Supreme Court asking the nation’s nine justices to weigh in on the issue of same-sex marriage.

    It’s the state’s last chance to revive its voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage, which was found to violate the U.S. Constitution by a federal judge and, most recently, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals.

    The Supreme Court is on break until the fall, at which point the justices will review Utah’s petition and decide whether to hear the case — known as granting certiorari.

    Should the court decline to hear the case and deny Utah’s request, the 10th Circuit’s decision would stand — effectively legalizing same-sex marriage in all of the states in that circuit: Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah and Wyoming.

    The question presented to the court, according to the state’s petition, is “whether the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits a state from defining or recognizing marriage only as the legal union between a man and a woman.” […]

    Maybe this will turn out well. SCOTUS may refuse to hear the case.

  91. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    FYI, Opposablethumbs, since I haven’t seen it mentioned: Nook Color and Nook HD+ are technically tablets. The Nook Color has an LCD screen, not an e-ink screen like e-readers. It comes down to preference and before lights on e-readers were standard LCD was the best way to read in dim light. But now, there’s several generations of most e-readers with lights included except for Sony’s latest e-reader for example. Now reading in dim or total darkness is easy with e-ink screens.

    Reading on the Nook Simple Touch with Light and the Kindle with light (forget the name of it) is, for me, preferable because I don’t get the eye strain and the lights work wonderfully. On that website I linked there’s videos of the lights on e-readers in different darkness test to see how the lights work. Lights now are always adjustable on e-readers as well. There’s also comparisons side by side of e-readers and tablets so you can see how the different screens look as well.

  92. Esteleth is Groot says

    Random amusement/facepalming: there was an exam today in class.

    One question on the exam had to do with stomach tubes, and one of the (incorrect) answers was about how the pH of the aspirate drawn up the tube was 8.0.

    A classmate was arguing afterwards about how this was maybe a correct answer, because “while the pH of the stomach isn’t exactly 8.0, it is really acidic.”


  93. says

    Crip Dyke (from elsewhere):

    The “there is no act of interpretation inherent in the role of a judge; there is only Zul” school of thought.

    Ghostbusters reference, right?

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


    Nursing student thinks that?

    Wow. One wonders what that student thinks pH is?

    @Tony! 110/610:

  95. Esteleth is Groot says

    @Crip Dyke:
    To be fair, they were immediately called out on that, and went, “…oh. Right.”

  96. says

    This made me think of you:
    Have you watched Guardians of the Galaxy yet? It’s unlike any superhero movie you’ve seen — mostly because of Groot, the best, funniest, sweetest, strongest walking-tree sidekick ever. Like Game of Thrones’s Hodor, he’s a man of little words. His Pokémon-level communication skills allows him to say only, “I am Groot,” repeatedly (and in that order) — and now there’s an app, GrootBoard ($1, Android) that lets you do just that.

    It replaces your Android device’s keyboard with just one button that emits just one message (spoiler alert: it’s “I am Groot”). There’s also an Android app called Hodor Keyboard ($1) for, you know, the Hodor fans out there.

    Two dozen low-wage workers at Kentucky State University (KSU) will get a raise to $10.25 an hour after the school’s interim president asked for his pay to be cut by about 25 percent, the Lexington Herald-Leader reports. The workers currently make as little as $7.25 an hour, the lowest wage allowed by federal law.
    “This is not a publicity stunt,” interim KSU president Raymond Burse told the newspaper. “You don’t give up $90,000 for publicity. I did this for the people,” he said. Burse, who retired from an executive position at General Electric in 2012, pointed out that “I don’t need to work” and “the people who do the hard work and heavy lifting, they are at the lower pay scale.”
    Burse will only be KSU president for the next year while the school’s board searches for a long-term replacement for Mary Evans Sias, who retired at the end of June after 10 years as president. He was set to be paid just under $350,000 and asked that $90,000 of that be spent on staff wages instead. There is no guarantee that the workers’ wages will remain at $10.25 under future regimes should the school’s board of regents decide it needs that money for other purposes.

    I would like to see more of this. He did it out of compassion for others, and I think that’s wonderful. I’m sure Burse could use that $90K, but low wage workers *need* the extra money in a way I doubt he does. At $7.25/hr and an average 40 hour work week, those workers would take home roughly $13,920/year. Raising their wage to $10.25/hr means they’ll take home an additional $120/week, almost $500 extra dollars a month, and slightly more than $19K/year. That’s pretty substantial in my book. That can raise people out of poverty.
    He says he didn’t do this to shame other school presidents, but to be honest, I wouldn’t have a problem with him doing so. Instead of $350K, he’s going to be making around $260K. I’d kill (not literally, mind you; that whole ‘valuing human life’ thing would prevent me from even thinking of taking a life) to make half that amount ($130K), a third ($85K), a quarter ($65K), or even a fifth ($52K).

  97. Esteleth is Groot says

    I have decided that if you put Hodor and Groot in the same room, the result would be exquisite poetry.

    Incidentally, the character known as Hodor is not actually named Hodor. His name is Walder.

  98. says

    Am I correct in thinking that a wage increase for 12 low wage employees is more beneficial to the economy than a raise for one person (looking at the above example of the KSU President asking for a pay cut)?

  99. PatrickG says

    Hi Horde!

    Sorry for any threadrupt, but my partner’s organization is suddenly faced with an issue I thought people here might be able to help with.

    She’s an attorney for a disability advocacy organization, and they’ve suddenly been impacted by the software they’re using to create pdf files for client access no longer supporting screen-reader functionality. They’re kind of flailing at the moment, and the only semi-viable alternative seems to be Adobe Acrobat XI, which will cost $150/user, and is totally outside their budget (~200 employees*).

    They’re investigating Adobe’s charitable/non-profit options, and I’ve volunteered to try and find some shareware/freeware alternatives. I can’t speak for the organization, but my partner seems to think that a donation to developers would be possible, since it’s helping them out of a jam. Just not at Adobe levels.

    Anybody got a lead? I’m out the door, but will check back in for responses.

    * Note: Not all 200 employees necessarily need it, but most do, and managing licenses brings some additional costs. They (CAPS FOR EMPHASIS) do not have the best IT support.

  100. says

    Remember that image of Laverne Cox as Wonder Woman I linked to a while back? Comic Book Resources writer Noah Berlatsky has written a column discussing why this would be a good idea:

    The recently revealed image of Gal Gadot as a Xena-like Wonder Woman has sold a number of folks on her in the role, but artist seraphatonin has presented an unexpected but brilliant alternative: Laverne Cox (“Orange is the New Black”). The idea was first suggested by tumblr poster noottersontheflightdeck, and seraphtonin created a marvelous mash-up image of Cox in a classic version of the costume, looking transcendent, inspiring, strong and ready to take man’s world on.

    Seraphatonin isn’t against Gal Gadot in the role, but as she explained to me, she loves the idea of Cox as Diana for a simple reason. “She represents so much of what Hollywood considers unmarketable — she’s black, she’s trans, she’s a woman… Part of what’s always drawn me to Diana is her dedication to defending those who can’t defend themselves, and that dedication could be so much more complex and personal if she herself experienced the sexism and racism she fights against.”


    Those are all great reasons to cast Cox as Diana, but here’s another one: William Moulton Marston, Wonder Woman’s creator, feminist, psychologist and crank, would probably love it.

    Marston’s been dead for six decades, so he can’t speak for himself on this, and there is the unfortunate fact that, even by the ugly standards of his day, his comics could be very insensitive, or even racist. Still, I’d like to think he could have gotten beyond that, and there are other reasons to think he would have been enthusiastic about Cox picking up the golden lasso.

    First among these is that the original “Wonder Woman” comics were full nigh-to-bursting with cross-dressing and gender swapping. “Sensation Comics” #2, one of the very first Wonder Woman stories, released in 1942, featured the evil Dr. Poison, a misshapen, green-garbed scientist. At the end of the issue, he is revealed to be a shapely woman — who is swatted on the rear as punishment by Wonder Woman’s burly sidekick, Etta Candy. Cross-dressing is not the same as trans identity, of course — but in the context of a comic, where the characters aren’t real people anyway, the symbolism is easy to blur. We don’t know for sure, after all, whether Dr. Poison considers himself a man or a woman — and indeed that ambiguity seems intentional on Marston’s part. (Though he does seem to prefer to live as a man, so I’ve stuck with the male pronoun.)

    This ambiguous gender identity would be a reoccurring theme in Marston’s comics. In 1944, Wonder Woman encounters the mustachioed villain Hypnota — only to discover that he’s actually the twin sister of his hypnotized servant named (wait for it) Serva. Again, in “Sensation Comics” #46, from 1946, the Blue Snowman, who seems to have been created in collaboration with Marston’s co-writer and assistant Joyce Murchison, pops off his blue cloud head for what is by now a familiar reversal, revealing himself to be a woman. Finally, in the last issue Marston wrote, “Wonder Woman” #28, published after his death, all three of his cross-dressing villains return. Wonder Woman knows who they all are, so there’s no reason for disguises, but they still dress as men anyway. Because, why not?

    I’ve never read any of the Golden Age Wonder Woman comics, so I had little knowledge of Marston’s thoughts on masculinity and femininity.

  101. says

    I just wanted to thank everyone again for the advice. If I somehow missed responding to something I apologize because this has actually been kind of challenging and not because of anything that anyone here did.

    I don’t know how obvious it is but normally when I post around here I keep to a sort of routine. There are things that I am used to doing and things I’m not. If you increase the number of people involved it gets harder and I knew that this was going to be a challenge. New things take time to sink in and the social dynamics of a new space are among the slowest. They do sink in though, it’s just harder to hear social information under all the noise and I have to concentrate (and sleep on things a lot). The results of letting my guard down or really new or intense things can be strange and sometimes accidentally rude enough that I felt I should write this.

    On top of that it was one of the more difficult things that I have ever written and I probably should have figured that there would be a price of some kind for the emotional effort. I just wish that it was not paid while trying to welcome a new person to FTB. Normally my processing issues are pretty minor, but this was a special case. I do like to challenge myself when I can but that gets complicated when the results can be unpredictable.

  102. says

    I don’t think there’s anything here that you need apologize for.
    Given your stated difficulty in commenting, I hope you know that you’re always welcome here.


    Did ya’ll know that women liked Guardians of the Galaxy? I know, I know. Women are a monolith and only like romantic comedies (or so the thinking in Hollywood seems to go).

    Guardians of the Galaxy, the latest comic-book movie from the Marvel stable, has been doing brisk business in the US. Box-office receipts from its opening weekend amounted to a very healthy $94m, ahead of X:Men: Days of Future Past ($90m) and just behind Transformers: Age of Extinction ($100m), making it the third-biggest opening weekend of 2014 so far. And while that is impressive – given that this is one of Marvel’s lesser-known properties – what’s really getting everyone’s attention is the proportion of female viewers who have flocked to the cinema. According to exit polls, almost half of the audience (44%) so far have been women , well above the usual figures for a Marvel superhero film. Why do women love Guardians of the Galaxy?

    Well, let’s just save the boffins in white coats (or cosplaying in elaborate homemade costumes) some time by asking a couple of questions: are women human? Do they, being in possession of the full complement of human emotions, like fun? If the answer to both those questions is “yes”, then it’s quite clear: women like Guardians of the Galaxy because it is a good movie. It is witty, quirky and fun, and has plenty of charm. It is a superhero film that wears its heart on its sleeve, but still has wonderfully heroic moments, big explosions, a talking – and angry – raccoon and a tree-like humanoid with a five-word vocabulary. There is much to love here.

    I think the answer to both those questions is indeed a yes. A resounding yes. Maybe this will be the kick in the rear that Hollywood needs to diversify its output and appeal to a different segment of its fanbase (the menz will be ever so pissed off if Hollywood stops catering solely to them…the poor dears; I’ll happily collect their tears and use them to water the Commune grounds).

  103. Hekuni Cat, MQG says

    Threadrupt before today. Damn migraines.

    JAL – *hugs and kittens* I hope they do better in the future.

    rq – *pouncehug and chocolate* You will get an email tomorrow.

    How do you tell someone they’re merely awesome, and that they’ve done a lot in small incremental things to open your eyes in a lot of different ways just by being who they are and awesome in general? I stuck with the ‘*shrug* Because you’re kind of awesome!’ line.

    I generally take that approach too. Some people are simply awesome and should be told that.

    bassmike – I’m glad you’re feeling better, and here’s hoping you and your family will continue to feel good.

    opposablethumbs – *pouncehug and chocolate* I’m sorry about your Kindle. Good luck finding a replacement.

    Brony – *hugs and kittens* I don’t have any advice for your situation. I’m happy others have been able to make good suggestions.

    toska – Welcome to the Lounge!


    Can anyone who has a cat give me advice on how to persuade a cat to open their mouth long enough to stick an oral syringe in? Because she’s got the “lock the jaw shut tightly” trick down pat.

    All I can say is good luck. The only times it worked for me were a matter of luck. That is, my kitty decided I was trying to help her, and she opened her mouth. There was no great achievement on my part; she simply decided to stop fighting it. When you are trying to give cats pills, sometimes stroking them under the chin will cause them to swallow the pill. In my experience, this works about 1 in 4 attempts. Generally my kitties have been prone to spitting them out rather than swallowing them. :|

    I’ll leave this pile of *hugs, pouncehugs, chocolate, and kittens* for anyone who needs them.

  104. toska says


    Can anyone who has a cat give me advice on how to persuade a cat to open their mouth long enough to stick an oral syringe in? Because she’s got the “lock the jaw shut tightly” trick down pat.

    As someone who has worked in animal shelters and a veterinary hospital, it depends how aggressively your cat is “defending” herself from the meds. If she’s not likely to lash out and hurt you, I find it works best to get her securely in your lap and hold her close to avoid too much squirming, then use one hand to stroke the sides of her gums and teeth while keeping the other hand ready to squirt the meds in her mouth the moment it opens. If she is going to struggle or fight too much to hold her safely and effectively in this position, it may help to wrap her in a towel or, if possible, get a second person scruff her. Good luck! If you still have trouble and can afford a visit to the vet, most vets or techs are willing to help show you some methods to make things easier….. or at least feasible.

  105. chigau (違う) says

    Cats have a slight gap between the canines and the premolars.
    Even when their jaws are clenched, you should be able to lift a lip on the side of their mouth and slip in the tip of the syringe.

  106. says


    Generally, as a journalistic rule of thumb, it’s a wise idea to avoid bringing up X-rated fan fiction during an interview—unless you want your subject to bolt. However, when your subject is Chriss Pratt—the man who went “snake out” on Parks and Rec—all bets are off.

    The Guardians of the Galaxy star sat down with BuzzFeed to discuss the film and the conversation moved to the subject of erotic fan fiction. “No, should I be scared?” Pratt replied when asked if he knew anything about the fanfic floating around the web. The interviewer, Whitney Jefferson, assured him: “It’s all complimentary,” continuing, “It’s just people that think you guys are super hot and should be hooking up with each other.”

    Pratt’s reply: “Like, me, Chris Evans, and Robert Downey Jr.? I’ll have to say I agree. It sounds pretty fun.” Yes. Yes it does.

    I’m not attracted to RDJr, but the other two I could get behind.

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

    @Tony!, #125/625:

    the other two I could get behind.

    i see what you did there.

    Also? interested in advance news of Age of Ultron? Check out the early release photos of Janet Van Dyne’s costume.

  108. says

    Crip Dyke:

    i see what you did there.

    To think, I was going to say “I could get in front of that”…

    Also? interested in advance news of Age of Ultron? Check out the early release photos of Janet Van Dyne’s costume.

    I wasn’t aware they added Jan to the roster. Now I’m getting worried that movie will have too many characters.

  109. A. Noyd says

    Esteleth (#91)

    Can anyone who has a cat give me advice on how to persuade a cat to open their mouth long enough to stick an oral syringe in? Because she’s got the “lock the jaw shut tightly” trick down pat.

    When I was working at a cat rescue, I had to get liquid dewormer into all the intake cats. I’d set a cat on the counter, grab up all the slack in its scruff and crank its head back as far as it would naturally go towards its tail. Then I’d prize open its jaws with the index finger of the hand holding the syringe and swing the barrel of the syringe into the gap. Finally, I’d express the syringe near the back of its tongue (slow enough that it could keep up with swallowing and not choke).

    I don’t know that it was necessarily the best technique, but I only got bit once out of maybe a thousand cats. The real difficulty is in a) steeling yourself to manhandle your precious darling in such an uncouth fashion and b) manipulating the syringe with the same hand holding the cat’s mouth open. I’d recommend practicing (b) a bit first using something that isn’t an actual cat.

    Alternatively, you can make a towel sausage of your cat so it can’t struggle, pull its head up as best you can, and insert the tip of the syringe into its cheek, aiming for the gap at the back of the jaw where the teeth end. (You don’t have to necessarily get it in the gap, just pointed that way. Bonus if you can get gravity on your side so the liquid is flowing downward.) Then express the syringe a very small amount at a time. The downside to this technique is, if it refuses to swallow, all the stuff in the syringe will dribble out of its cheek get everywhere. Sometimes the opposite will happen, though, and the fluid in its cheek will cause the cat to unclamp its jaw.

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


    Really? I cried when I saw her. I felt an amazing feeling of awe and wonder and apprehension and …and…and…

    For me it was a moment that, when one looks back on one’s life, stands out for its defining importance.

  111. says

    I iz rupt
    My internet started to break down periodically.
    Now, since there had been heavy rain and thunderstorms, and our TV had been gone for five days already (different provider. Only serious alternative to my current provider, but after that, not an alternative at all), I called my provider to find out whether it was their problem or my problem. After a waiting time of 30 minutes (I have the hunch that this waiting time is artificial. They just want to discourage people who call because they feel like their internet is slow) I got somebody to check my line. Well, no, line is OK, router is dying.
    So, off to town to get a new one. I got serviced by the apprentice and told him that I needed a new router and phone, ’cause my phone is integrated in the router.
    “A phone integrated in the router? I’ve never heard of such a thing!”
    Well, I didn’t say “that’s because when I bought it you were still in primary school”, but I did think it :)
    At least he didn’t ask me if I needed technical support for setting up the router. Which, as you can see, is working again. Unlike the phone, of which I’ll take care of now

  112. rq says

    Hiii! How are you? Hope the summer’s not getting you down too much, we’ve been having the craziest heat-wave, still going decently strong.

  113. 2kittehs says


    Can anyone who has a cat give me advice on how to persuade a cat to open their mouth long enough to stick an oral syringe in? Because she’s got the “lock the jaw shut tightly” trick down pat.

    I have to pill Fribbs every day, with one of those long pill-popper thingies. I hold her so my palm’s on top of her head and my fingers gripping her upper jaw, and move her head up. Sometimes she tries to keep her jaw shut, sometimes she doesn’t, sometimes she starts waving the feet around, but it works. She’s 18 and not as strong as she was, but strong enough to stop me doing it any other way (trying to open her mouth by gripping the lower jaw = bad idea).

    Good luck!

  114. bassmike says

    Thanks everyone for your kind wishes. I’m keeping the hazmat suit on standby as I’m not 100% yet. I’m still not sure what has brought it on.

    Unfortunately I’ve never owned a cat so I can’t comment on how to get a syringe into its mouth. Now if it was a small child……

    Neither am I in a position to help Brony . Sorry!

    We’ve finally booked a family holiday. So I’m looking forward to introducing my daughter to the delights of the British seaside and all that that entails.

    I can’t believe how quickly her vocabulary and speech in general has progressed recently. It’s amazing how all this happens at such an early age.