[Lounge #496]

This is the lounge. You can discuss anything you want, but you will do it kindly.

Status: Heavily Moderated; Previous thread


  1. Nick Gotts says


    Has usually happened to me either when someone phones for my wife and I answer, or from a cold-caller – when we had a landline, her name was in the directory but mine (by my choice) was not. Hasn’t happened, as far as I recall, for the past 9 months, when we’ve been without a landline. In Italy, where we’re currently based most of the time, and which is in most ways a disgustingly sexist culture, women do not take their husband’s name (although they do generally inherit their father’s).

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

    @opposablethumbs, #487:

    Matt Fishel – Football Song (I read somewhere that the extras in the scene on the pitch are all from a London gay team)
    If you like that track, he’s got a whole lot more which are comparably melodic, funny and sharp. (eh, what am I saying – you probably know his stuff from way back already)

    What? No! I’d never heard of Fishel. This is brilliant! I love it. Will have to listed to more. Thanks, OT!

    @Giliell, #500:

    Have you ever tried to deliberately fuck up the first sentence?

    Sometimes it helps me. I usually don’t recover right away, but if I deliberately write a bad sentence or two, then try to wind it around to writing seriously, that often takes a lot less time than waiting for that perfect first sentence to show up fully formed in my brain.

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

    @Cicely & Caitie Cat:

    Thanks! Keep ’em coming, silly or not. One of them is going to strike a chord.

  4. rq says

    Re: the first sentence, I would say write it out as stupid as it is, then keep writing. You will be editting anyway, right? ;) If it gets you started, then just get it down and over with. The brain is trying to trick you into not writing because it is declaring that you need THE PERFECT OPENING SENTENCE RIGHT NOW, when in fact it is just trying to get out of writing.
    So yeah, start at grade 3 if you need to, and then upgrade. :) Good luck!
    And thanks for the strawberry. YUM. I agree, the Spanish ones were shite this year, but I have to say, the Greek ones have been excellent.

  5. says

    Thanks I may try that. The thing is: you’re starting this whole fuck. This is the very first thing your reader will see about your text and writing style. And you sound like your third grade book report: “This text was written by this person and it’s good. ”
    Really catchy openings are not OK ’cause academia.
    BUT I made the new laptop and the old printer talk to each other. That’s something!

  6. bassmike says


    The Spanish ones weren’t very god this year.

    Just a little bit god then? Maybe a small god?

  7. opposablethumbs says

    Crip Dyke, I’m so glad you like it :-)))
    I especially like his song about the music industry.
    I’ve got several (and a couple of his videos) on my mp3 player, they’re very singable!

  8. says


    Just a little bit god then? Maybe a small god?

    It explains why rq’s Greek ones were much better: their Pantheon is much more kick-ass.

    Well, I got started. That’s something, isn’t it? Tomorrow I’ll write more. For today… well, daycare is still on strike…

  9. rq says

    Barely demigod, actually. Well, the Spanish ones available in Latvia, at least.
    Can’t wait for the local-local ones, though. They’re about the only kind of strawberry that I actually like (not a huge strawberry fan, raspberries here!). I guess it fits, as the Latvian pagan pantheon is pretty darn awesome.

  10. birgerjohansson says

    Irregular Webcomic http://www.irregularwebcomic.net/3381.html
    It’s baaack!!!!
    Just posting 2-3 times a week, but better than zero.
    — — — —
    IR. a few episodes on mentions Eta Cassiopeiae, a star much like our own.

    This reminds me; I have recently read “Lucky Planet”, a book supporting the anthropic principle since the Earth is currently at the edge of habitability in many ways, which is what we would expect if intelligent life is rare.

    By “edge” I mean in a relative sense. The Earth can still sustain life for another 600-1000 million years but haqs already used up 4.5 billion years of its “lifespan”.

    An example in the book:. A massive moon is good (probably because it can help induce “Milankovic cycles” with frequent ice ages) but is also likely to slow spin until the Earth enters orbital resonance (very bad, axial tilt becomes chaotic).
    In fact our arrangement in terms of moon size and other lunar details is one of the least stable options for a wide range of conditions.
    If big moons (with conditions that eventually evolve close to orbital resonance) are important for their ability to induce frequent ice ages, you would expect a world with intelligent life to be at the edge, at a sweet spot, with frequent ice ages but just short of getting orbital resonance (wich would create huge axial tilt and make the Earth uninhabitable for most life).

    (the author’s assumption is that ice ages shake up evolution and promotes rapid biological innovation)

  11. blf says

    Let pregnant school girls back into the classroom in Sierra Leone:

    The government of Sierra Leone issued a ruling last month barring “visibly pregnant” girls from attending class or even sitting for school equivalency exams, a decision that drew criticism from girls’ rights groups. While groups like Brac and others continue to advocate for the right of all girls to attend school, we can also draw attention to alternatives that allow girls who drop out, for whatever reason, to continue their education.

    The author of this article in The Grauniad is Scott MacMillan, “a senior writer and communications specialist at Brac USA.” BRAC, which now just seems to be a name, formerly stood for “Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee”, and describes itself as “the largest development organization in the world, […o]rganizing the poor using communities’ own human and material resources [and] creating an ecosystem in which the poor have the chance to seize control of their own lives. We do this with a holistic development approach geared toward inclusion, using tools like microfinance, education, healthcare, legal services, community empowerment and more.” (I am not familiar with BRAC.)

    “This is a baffling policy,” says Chernor Bah, a Sierra Leonean children’s rights advocate and an associate at the Population Council. “The government says that having pregnant girls in school might have a negative influence on other girls. Show me one girl who saw a pregnant girl and said, ‘I’d like to get pregnant too.’ And in any case, basic education is a right to all, full stop.”

    Others have joined the call to reconsider the ruling. “The ruling in Sierra Leone concerns us,” says Philippa Lei, advocacy director of the Malala Fund, the organisation co-founded by 2014 Nobel-peace-prize laureate Malala Yousafzai. “The Malala Fund is calling on all governments to provide at least 12 years of education free to every child. Their child-bearing or marital status is immaterial.”

    I assume the thugs in the UK will be joining the thugs in the USA in rapidly implementing Sierra Leone’s new policy, and also putting BRAC under obtrusive surveillance with a free trip to the Gitmo Bay colony on offer.

    At the moment, I believe the situation is unchanged in Sierra Leone; that is, the new law is in effect and presumably being enforced / obeyed, with unquestionably bad results.

  12. blf says

    Presidential hopeful Ben Carson bases 10% tax plan on biblical tithing. That presumably will not appeal to the thug base, who seem to prefer the current scheme, slightly adjusted: The 1% pay a nil rate of tax and “create jobs”, the 47% pay a 100% rate of tax and are jailed as freeloaders, Blacks in the remaining 52% are shot by the policegoons, and the remaining serfs pay for everything (medical care, education at all levels, …) and any remaining funds as tax, which is refunded to the 1% and kicked-back to the lawyers and politicians.

  13. blf says

    Someone — apologies to the person who suggested this, but sorry, I don’t recall precisely who at the moment — recently suggested a drink made from Kracken, rum, port, and something else (I forget what). I just tried a mix of Kracken, rum, port, neat, and, well, yuck! (Is, that, enough, commas, or, do, I, need, some, more, commas, ?,),

    Different tastes, presumably.

    I added some organic apple juice, which made it palatable, but please excuse me if I won’t be trying it again. Nonetheless, THANKS for the suggestion, which was a bit of a rarity as I happened to have all of the ingredients (except the one I cannot now recall) at-hand.

  14. Okidemia says

    Back with aching feet & legs and pitier kids (66.66% centipede bites rate during three days).

    Friday eve, I’ll check on farmers market for soft veggie peppers and Scotch bonnets. The latter can colour into orangish, deep red or purplish brown (the latest is most difficult to find). I’ll aim for ten/twenty seeds each sample each var. CD will tell me how many samples do stand on the list, you can sign up until friday (or later, if by chance there are enough samples).

    Now that I remember (I have hundred of seeds and it is about time to plant them), I can also send in Gwozey Peyi (Carribean “Redcurrant”) seeds, whose calyces can be cooked into teas or jellies.
    I don’t know if cultivation can resume into harvest in more temperate places, but best is to give a try. Please note that you would have to cross pollinate yourself if you grow them.

    CD: I’m going to try send you an email just after this comment.

  15. blf says

    Kudos to the New York Times. They published an article about a week ago on the exploitation of manicurists and there was been quite some fallout, not only in New York City, but elsewhere in the USA. (I admit to having not watched the story too closely, hence the lack of hyperlinks.) The Grauniad is now reporting Cuomo cracks down on nail salons in move to protect exploited workers:

    Andrew Cuomo, the governor of New York state, has ordered emergency regulations to curb exploitative practices in the burgeoning nail salon business that can leave workers without pay and suffering health problems.

    Cuomo announced the measures on Sunday, to go into effect immediately. The measures seek to improve working conditions for manicurists and are accompanied by the threat of forced closure for businesses that do not comply.

    Cuomo created a task force drawn from several state government agencies. It will go salon to salon across the state, investigating the environment and pay regime for workers responsible for providing manicures and pedicures, often at bargain prices in a highly competitive industry.

    Salons will be required to pay back wages and install ventilation systems where necessary, among measures aimed at preventing exploitation and health risks, according to the New York Times. The newspaper spurred the action from Cuomo after publishing an in-depth investigation into harsh conditions in the industry.


    Businesses will be required to post signs in six languages, informing workers of their rights.

    It is not uncommon for manicurists to be asked to work for no pay for several months when they first join a business, or to pay a joining fee, the Times reported. Both are illegal practices. Workers routinely work long shifts on very low pay and are exposed to harmful chemicals that can cause illnesses.

    With the number of nail salons in New York City tripling in the last 15 years to around 2,000, and with a “mani-pedi” costing $25 or less in many shops, the highly competitive business takes on thousands of recent immigrants for daily pay as low as $30 or even $10, the report said.


    I assume Faux & Kochroache Bros. will freakout about something (probably several things). In the meantime, lawyers will devise a way of dodging the new regulations, and their pals, the politicians, if they ultimately do bother to draft a law, will ensure it ultimately achieves the main purpose, enriching their pals, the lawyers.

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

    Eye surgery in less than an hour, due at Dr in about 25 min.

    I owe CaitieCat and e-mail, I’m just putting that out there.

    So…I’ll be back as soon as I’m allowed by my doctor to open my eyes.

    Love all and thanks for everyone’s help the last few days.

  17. rq says

    Crip Dyke
    *all the thumbs*

    Curious… This Caribbean red currant… I’m interested in that (European mailing list), though I’d need some growing/harvesting/using tips.

  18. birgerjohansson says

    Could “Dumping the Info” make a good name for a band?

    “Prince Shared a Gorgeous New Song in Tribute to Baltimore and Freddie Gray” http://www.slate.com/blogs/browbeat/2015/05/09/prince_shares_baltimore_a_tribute_song_for_the_city_of_freddie_gray_to_be.html

    — — — — — —
    Last Irish solider to be pardoned for fighting Nazis in WWII dies http://www.irishcentral.com/news/Last-Irish-solider-to-be-pardoned-for-fighting-Nazis-in-WWII-dies.html?utm_source=outbrain&utm_medium=content&utm_campaign=paid
    What the fuck??? They put people in prison for fighting Hitler? What is wrong with Ireland?

    — — — — — — —
    What makes peaceful neighbours become mass murderers? It’s time to ask uncomfortable questions about the brain mechanisms that allow ‘ordinary’ people to turn violent, says Itzhak Fried. http://www.nature.com/news/what-makes-peaceful-neighbours-become-mass-murderers-1.17504

    — — — — —
    The first late-night show ever was insane. Why have we never heard of it? http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/television/2015/05/broadway_open_house_1950_the_first_late_night_show_was_insane_and_we_ve.html

  19. says

    Special thoughts for CD.

    I’m going to have a selfish little rant here:
    Yesterday we spent the day with my brother and his family. After I had been there awhile, brother’s girlfriend explains that her kid #1 had a really high fever the night before. OK, this is where normal people might have sympathy for the kid. But me, I’m offended and terrified that they allowed me to play with a sick kid! I get sick really easily, and it usually turns into extra bad stuff (when people around me get colds, I get a ramped-up tonsillitis version). So now I’m sitting here just waiting to keel over. Oh, I want to have more empathy for the kid, but right now I’m too scared to care much. I really wish they understood how awful this is for me (again, empathy failure on my part). [sarcasm] Is it really too much to ask that parents of sick children put my needs first?[/sarcasm]

  20. says

    awakeinmo, I don’t think you are unreasonable. If they’d warned you, you could have made your own decision about how close to get to the kid. [hugs] offered and fingers crossed that you stay healthy.

    Speaking of crossed fingers, it looks like we might have fixed the dryer. Husband spent most of Saturday checking various possibilities. It looks like accumulated lint underneath plus, of all things, a wodge of plastic grocery bags in the vent pipe to the patio. Anyway, today one load has dried as it should. I’m anxiously awaiting the completion of the second.

  21. says

    Congressional dunderheads are not yet done with the “pain-capable” abortion bans:

    Republicans are aiming to reconsider this week the so-called “pain capable” abortion bill, which would prohibit abortions, in most cases, after 20 weeks of pregnancy. […]

    Leaders haven’t released the final language of the bill, but they seemingly have worked out the issues — though it wouldn’t exactly be the first time they’ve miscalculated where the conference is on the issue.


    Republicans are also still talking about ways in which they can defund Planned Parenthood, and tactics that will result in curtailing reproductive rights. They are spending some serious time on culture-war issues.

    The 37 new rules in 11 states are part of a strategy accelerated by abortion opponents in 2011, when provisions restricting abortion access began sweeping state legislatures. More than 200 such laws have passed in the last four years, with Louisiana, Mississippi, Kansas, Oklahoma and Arkansas leading the charge […] This year, more than 300 regulations were proposed in 45 states.

    […] On Thursday, a bill that would ban abortions after 20 weeks was introduced in Wisconsin, where lawmakers proposed a $10,000 fine or 42-month prison sentence for physicians who break the law. […]


  22. cicely says

    Giliell, the tastelessness you describe for strawberries sounds very like the problem I’ve had with most store-bought tomatoes; they looked a good game, but had no flavor, together with a sorta mealy texture. Yuck! Do not want!
    “They” seem to have gotten around to addressing the problem fairly recently; perhaps “they” will move on to restoring edibility to strawberries next.

    Crip Dyke: Informotional Publications? (Informative, and meant to facilitate motion?)
    (Not germane to the Point At Hand, but Booze Clues Press leaps to mind, for a publisher of tasty tipple tips (though it’s possible that there might be copyright-related issues…).)
    *tentacles crossed* on behalf of your eyeball/s.


    “Louisiana State Senator Claims Scientists Used to Burn Heretics Who Didn’t Agree with Them”


    awakeinmo: What Anne said.

    Anne, here’s hoping that your dryer is, indeed, healed.

  23. says

    The last load is out of the dryer. Success. Now that I know about lint buildup under the dryer, though, I’ll be cleaning under there on a more regular basis.

    I’d still like to know how those plastic bags got into the pipe. Some alien nest-builder perhaps?

  24. Okidemia says

    rq #19:
    Can’t tell much as for growing tips: it’s a weed and often turns out as a garden pest (though making a strong come back as a cash crop here, and it is cultivated as monocrop). I’d simply throw seeds out in May/June and get flowers by end of year, and harvest about two/three weeks after the flower is gone.

    I guess that it might grow well and fast wherever summertime is continental, as long as watered. The issue is more about how the plant deals with shortening days and in which reproductive state it is at the time. If it is flowering or it did flower early before, then harvest should not be a big deal. If it did not flower yet, I’d think it couldn’t offer any possible harvest.

    But predicting it from scratch is difficult, plants resilience to short days/long days is not easily managed.

  25. says

    George Zimmerman has been involved in another shootout.

    In other news, Republicans apparently object to healthcare for military dogs.

    […] The dogs carry out a wide range of specialized duties for the military teams to which they are attached: With a sense of smell 40 times greater than a human’s, the dogs are trained to detect and identify both explosive material and hostile or hiding humans. The dogs are twice as fast as a fit human, so anyone trying to escape is not likely to outrun [a military working dog]. […]

    A bill was proposed to take care of these dogs once they become too old or otherwise infirm to do their job. Republicans neutered the bill.

    […] These dogs are loyal to their handlers, and their handlers, in return, are loyal to them. These dogs did not volunteer for military service. They did not volunteer for dangerous duty. In fact, they do not even know that what they do is dangerous. They do their jobs not for devotion to duty, not for their country, but for their handlers’ approval, love, and affection. It is often said that you can judge a country by how it treats those who are most vulnerable. Military war dogs are vulnerable, with only their handlers to protect them after retirement. It is time for our government to step up and aid those who adopt these animals. The amount of money it would cost to provide veterinary care to this group of veterans for their animals is barely a drop in the bucket when compared to the amount of money pissed away by corporate tax breaks and loopholes, pointless weapons systems, and a bloated military industrial complex.


  26. Saad says

    I’m dying to know the details of Zimmerman’s 85th example of being an upstanding citizen.

    Since so far we know it had to do with road rage, and since George has had a similar incident not in the distant past where he was the aggressor (IIRC, he even followed the other person to their work), I’m guessing this isn’t going to exactly paint him as a model citizen either.

  27. Saad says

    And: I feel like if you run around getting involved in high profile gun-related incidents, people will assume they need to “shoot first.”

    Yeah, how many people can you attack and still claim that YOU were the one standing your ground.

  28. birgerjohansson says

    Cicely, let us not forget how the particle physicists demanded the death of Salman Rushdie.

  29. says

    More “I’m not a racist” racism from Georgia:

    A celebration turned to frustration and anger over the weekend as Nancy Gordeuck, a principal at TNT Academy in Georgia, made outrageous comments to the audience during the commencement ceremony. Witnesses report that she dismissed the audience and then tried to call them back when she realized she’d forgotten to introduce the valedictorian introduction and speech. By that point, one man decided to continue toward the door with his children and that’s when Nancy Gordeuck apparently lost her ever-lovin mind, calling the man a coward. She went further saying “you people are so rude” and as more in the crowd got up to walk out, she unleashed:

    “Look who’s leaving … all the black people.”

    Needless to say, the crowd DID become disruptive after that, even the valedictorian can be seen walking away from the podium.


    In a notpology issued later, Nancy Gordeuck, blamed the devil.

  30. rq says

    … And her son ranted at the n*gg*rs via Facebook. So.
    It’s all in the family. The devil, too.

  31. says

    rq @38, thanks for the additional info. I hadn’t seen that. Sheesh.

    In other news, Jeb Bush says he would have done the same as W. did in 2003. Yes, Jeb would have invaded Iraq.

  32. says

    Some good news — also, yay for green energy science!

    In its first six months of existence, the world’s first solar road is performing even better than developers thought.
    The road, which opened in the Netherlands in November of last year, has produced more than 3,000 kilowatt-hours of energy — enough to power a single household for one year, […]

    “If we translate this to an annual yield, we expect more than the 70kwh per square meter per year,” Sten de Wit, a spokesman for the project — dubbed SolaRoad — told Al Jazeera America. “We predicted [this] as an upper limit in the laboratory stage. We can therefore conclude that it was a successful first half year.” […]



  33. says

    Well, right-wingers have gone a step further: the USA’s morals are no longer like those of Nazi Germany, they are are worse. Yes, worse than the Nazis.

    […] Focus on the Family founder James Dobson warned that “immoral behavior” is leading America to be worse than Nazi Germany.

    Dobson’s fellow guest, pastor Jack Graham, warned that America is about to witness an “implosion,” […]

    Dobson went one step further: “America has killed over 55 million babies, 55 million. You know, the Holocaust involved 6 million Jews, we’re talking 55 million babies. There’s a Planned Parenthood about two blocks from my house and I drive past it every day and I see these cars out there and I fear for the women who are making, I think, the biggest mistake of their lives and certainly the implications for their babies. We need, as a nation, to repent of the immorality, what we see on television and in the movies and how young people are being led into immoral behavior,[…].”


  34. says

    Let’s see how many forms of bigotry and stupidity can be included in one statement by Ann Corcoran, a conservative woman full of hate and misinformation:

    […] Corcoran told Iowa talk radio host Jan Mickelson on Friday about her resistance to refugees from Muslim countries being resettled in her western Maryland community and throughout the country, saying that resettlement programs are a Democratic effort to gin up votes while pushing “the whole multicultural meme” on communities like hers.

    “I think that it is partly driven by progressives looking for reliable left-wing Democrat voters, that’s a driving force,” she said, “I think there’s a certain amount of just wanting to rub diversity in the noses of conservative communities and places where there isn’t a lot of diversity and just bringing them in and push the whole multicultural meme on us.”[…]


    The USA plans to allow about 2000 Syrian refugees into the country this year. That’s two thousand out of about 4 million. Ann Corcoran doesn’t want them in her backyard.

    “I can say from the standpoint of the Islamic reason for doing this, is that Mohammed told his followers to migrate to create an Islamic state throughout the world, and that’s exactly what they’re doing. Migration is a form of jihad.”

  35. Saad says

    The USA plans to allow about 2000 Syrian refugees into the country this year. That’s two thousand out of about 4 million. Ann Corcoran doesn’t want them in her backyard.

    “I can say from the standpoint of the Islamic reason for doing this, is that Mohammed told his followers to migrate to create an Islamic state throughout the world, and that’s exactly what they’re doing. Migration is a form of jihad.”

    Making birds and salmon the greatest threat to the America.

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

    I’m sure Ann Corcoran can say how things are “from the standpoint of the Islamic reason”.
    She forgot to say that migration is literally a form of jihad.

  37. says

    Saad @46:

    Making birds and salmon the greatest threat to the America.

    Thank you for that. I needed a laugh-out-loud moment.

    Monarch butterflies … also jihadists.

    Migrating Humboldt squid … jihad via predatory jumbo squid along the Pacific Ocean Shelf.

    Migrating sharks … sharknado jihad, one that we could send to Maryland, right? This is what Ann Corcoran needs to make her fantasies come true. An Islamic sharknado to rub diversity in Ann’s nose.

  38. says

    More WTF moments associated with the drought in California:

    Sacramento sells water to a bottler, DS Services of America, at 99 cents for every 748 gallons—the same rate as other commercial and residential customers. That water is then bottled and sold at Walmart for 88 cents per gallon, meaning that $1 of water from Sacramento turns into $658.24 for Walmart and DS Services.


  39. The Mellow Monkey says

    So my former partner–who was the one who left me, citing a loss of love–said he still loved me and that he’s angry and has a lot of stuff he wants to say, but worries it would be hurtful instead of helpful. My response was to cut off contact with him, with one last email saying he could be the one to re-initiate contact when he was no longer angry.

    I feel kind of heartless, but I don’t see how any of that is going to be healthy for me. I’ve got no obligation to subject myself to the anger and apparent wild swings in feeling (“I don’t love you anymore and want to end this”/”I’m still in love with you and outraged over this ending”) of somebody I used to be involved with. :/

  40. Morgan!? the Slithy Tove says

    Heartless? Perish the thought. I believe this comes under “Good Self Care.” I’m with you 1000%

  41. Morgan!? the Slithy Tove says

    I saw my sister-in-law yesterday. The first time since her suicide attempt. Her husband and daughter were present. We went to Grandma’s house for Mother’s Day brunch.

    I have never seen anyone look that bad and not be dead. I now know what a zombie would look like if they were real. The entire situation was very tense but thank Maude that mother-in-law was under instruction from me and from her granddaughter to be on her best behavior. That translates as STFU.

    I haven’t found out what meds she is taking, but whatever it is, it made her nearly comatose. The woman should not be out of the hospital. Our fucking medical industry won’t cover any more treatment.

    I am glad I saw her and hugged her gently and told her we love her. But oh Maude, I am exhausted today. I am glad that my chronic depression is still in hibernation.

  42. says

    Saad & Lynna:
    re-migration…you two had me in stitches. Thanks :)

    I find myself wondering what Corcoran thinks about Europeans “migrating” to the New World and causing the genocide of Indigenous Peoples.
    Or any other example of colonialism for that matter.


    morgan @55:
    Hugs and commiserations. I hope you get some well-deserved rest.
    Oh, and you’re good people.


    Mellow Monkey @51:
    As others have said, self-care is important and I don’t think you’re being heartless at all.

  43. rq says

    *hugs* and *higs* to Morgan (just… *hugs* and I hope she realizes the support she has and gets better), and The Mellow Monkey (no, he is not entitled to your time, esp. if the intro is about anger and this possibly not being a good idea – take care of yourself, and six months down the line, when he’s less angry, he can try a different approach and maybe laugh at himself, and even then, he will not be entitled to your time *hugs*).

    Speaking of Inspector Gadget, I’ve realized that that show portrays sexism at its finest (possibly in the scientific community?) – at least, the first couple of seasons do, it’s what the boys have been watching, haven’t caught them up to the new seasons yet. But the storyline, every time, is: extremely smart and technologically savvy (and non-sexualized! jeans and t-shirts and sneakers!) young girl figures out plot and saves the day while extracting bumbling middle-aged white man from various situations with trusty canine sidekick; bumbling middle-aged white man gets all the credit and has no clue it isn’t his to take. I sometimes wonder if he really is that unaware, but I’ve been quite impressed with how capable Peggy is in all kinds of situations.

    And I have a giant confession to make, pretty much on the scale of I-hate-zombie-movies (I do): I hate superhero movies. And I hate superheroes. I’ve been reading stuff about Age of Ultron and trying to decide if I should see it, and inevitably there’s always a segment about other superhero movies or TV shows, and I have this really odd, visceral, negative reaction to it all. So Daredevil series? Nope. I may give Agents of SHIELD a try, and I will do my best to go into it without any pre-negativized feelings, but… Spiderman movies? Superman? Nope. Ironman? Batman? After all, they’re technologically-based superheroes, not genetically altered people or non-human… But no. No. I think it comes down to hating the idea of saviours. I just have huge trouble identifying with the characters as superheroes (maybe I’ve watched too few superhero movies). I don’t get superheroes.
    Annnnyway. This does not in any way alter my opinions of those of you who love superhero movies and TV shows :) and I hope it won’t diminish your opinion of me. Just thought I’d get that out.
    (Agent Carter gets a pass because while it’s a superhero universe, the superheroes aren’t the focus of the story – it’s all about kicking ass as humanly as possible. From my perspective. As is all of this. Which I admit, can be and probably is flawed and totally wrong.)

  44. says

    This sounds mostly cool, though a bit scary too- Jeff Greenwald recounts his trip
    crossing the U.S. in an open-air, two-seater plane (excerpt):

    I hung my leg out of the cockpit and let the wind cool my foot. It was 10 in the morning. Two thousand feet straight down, the lowest airport in the United States – Furnace Creek, in Death Valley – was coming into view. The air temperature at this altitude was a mild 64F. When we landed, 10 minutes later, it was a broiling 106.

    After 35 years of travel writing, I was on one of the strangest adventures of my life. I was crossing the southwestern US in a small but powerful two-seater aeroplane called an AirCam. It looks like a double kayak with cloth-covered wings, two humongous engines and flimsy-looking landing wheels. It has no cockpit. The plane is controlled, up to its maximum altitude of 17,500ft, by a joystick.

    At the joystick was Bob Webster, a droll and brilliant adventurer half-jokingly known as the “Bill Gates of Oklahoma”. A software developer and inventor, Webster created some of the Midwest’s tech infrastructure in the early 1980s. He’s also a passionate pilot. In 2001, he and his brother Mike built this aeroplane from a $100,000 kit offered by Lockwood Aircraft.

    I first met Webster in 2008, on a group trek to Everest Base Camp. One morning, I woke at dawn and found Webster drinking coffee in the dining area. A high peak loomed above our village, with a Buddhist monastery crowning the summit: the perfect goal for a day hike. I asked him if he’d like to join me.“ Just got back,” he giggled.

    Over the years, we’d stayed in touch, and Webster had recently made me an irresistible offer. If I came to Oklahoma to visit his family, he’d fly me back to California in his AirCam. We’d spend a week or so heading west, refuelling and overnighting at some of the tiny general aviation airstrips along the way.

    “And unlike with the TSA,” he wrote, referring to US Transportation Safety Administration procedures for passenger jets, “you won’t have to take off your shoes to get into the plane, and can use your cell phone on takeoff.”

    Webster’s AirCam was parked in an unmarked hangar at the Claremore Regional Airport, a few minutes outside of Pryor, Oklahoma. It was painted deep maroon with yellow highlights and a Jolly Roger flag on the tail. It looked spindly but capable. I clamoured into the open back seat and Webster showed me how to buckle in – not that buckles would do much good if there were a catastrophe. The rudder pedals were under my feet, and a back-up joystick poked up between my knees – “in case I fall asleep”, he deadpanned.

    We taxied onto the runway, bouncing and rocking. The air was warm and humid. I felt naked without the fuselage. “Don’t worry,” Webster cackled through my headset. “If I’d taken off and landed this thing safely 99.99% of the time, I’d be dead now.”

    Then came the moment of truth. “Ready?!” he called. I shouted an affirmative. He turned onto the runway and pushed the throttle with his left hand. The engines roared and the AirCam sprang forward like a greyhound. I was pushed back into my seat, my headset clattering with static, the wind blubbering my lips. A sense of vertigo and weightlessness set in as I found myself suddenly airborne, the farms and barns and byways of northeast Oklahoma spreading out beneath me like a damp relief map.

    That first day brought a series of revelations. Even at a few thousand feet, it was much colder than I’d expected – and a lot windier. But at an average speed of about 70mph, the AirCam afforded a view of the United States like no other.

    We veered over the northern Oklahoma border and soared west over Kansas’ scattered farms and rolling hills – an all-American scene framed by trim country roads and high-tension lines. Some of the farms boasted a single oil derrick, pumping out a few barrels a day. “Not enough to live on,” Webster observed, “but a good extra income.”

    Pics available at the link.

  45. says

    rq @58:

    Annnnyway. This does not in any way alter my opinions of those of you who love superhero movies and TV shows :) and I hope it won’t diminish your opinion of me. Just thought I’d get that out.

    As someone holding the polar opposite opinion about superhero movies and tv shows, my opinion of you is not diminished in any way, shape, or form.

  46. says

    ‘rupt again. I elected to try to learn the facebooks and be more social, get back in touch with old friends and all that lot. Spent a week staring paralyzed at my computer screen, not talking to anyone. Very depressed now.

    *hugs* all ’round, particularly JAL, Azkyroth, TMM, and Morgan.
    Will take a runup and try to post again tomorrow sometime.

  47. says

    Good morning
    Little one was a bit clingy this morning when I dropped her off at the emergency daycare. And that after she asked me yesterday why I picked her up that early. Well, one more day and then my in-laws will be back and somebody else can have that place.

    re: Syrian refugees

    She forgot to say that migration is literally a form of jihad.

    Which, of course, causing a world-wide shortage in irony metres because those very people are fleeing from a jihad.
    First of all, not all Syrian refugees are muslim. #1’s friend and classmate isn’t. Second, if I wanted people who are very, very opposed to Daesh, I’d try Syrian refugees. If anybody is guaranteed to have a bad opinion of those people, it’s them.

    Your former partner sounds very entitled to me. It seems to me like he expects you to react positively to whatever mood change he is currently having without you getting any say. You don’t have to be his manic pixie girl. You’re doing the right thing.

    Hugs for you and your family

  48. bassmike says

    Re Syrian refugees: maybe they should turn the Statue of Liberty round so she has her back turned to the huddled masses escaping to a new world. /sarcasm.

    My orchestra has a concert on Sunday afternoon. We have a couple of singers singing show tunes with us. We’re only doing two pieces without them: An American in Paris and a Broadway medley. I think we have the balance slightly wrong. But if we have a sold out concert…I’m in the minority!

  49. rq says

    To make up for the wrong balance, play extra-loud during the pieces with singers. ;)
    In all seriousness, a sold-out crowd? Always a good sign. (And yes, it’s a bit painful to notice that it’s always the popular show tunes that bring out the huge crowds, not the heart-stopping, time-changing instrumental pieces. :( The trials of a classical musician.)
    I hope it goes well and is a lot of fun for everyone! (And that everybody stays on-key and in-time.)

  50. rq says

    Local news has a headline, I think from Joan Collins? “Young men don’t want to see women over 40 in movies”. So? WHAT ABOUT THE REST OF US? (I haven’t read the article. I just feel like being outraged just for the headline; I think it’s enough.)

  51. bassmike says

    Thanks rq . I’m sure it will be fun in the end. Under our previous conductor we did too many ‘time-changing instrumental’ pieces and alienated a considerable portion for our audience. Now, in most concerts, we have the balance right. This is a one-off concert, but if it’s popular, we may do more. I enjoy shows, but I find the show medleys we’re doing this time a little cheesy. Not enough to attract the MDP, but still!

  52. Saad says

    Another black man found dead, hanging from a tree

    This is the second occurrence in two months.

    While “nothing overt” points to foul play, authorities have not yet ruled it out, said Joe Wooten, special agent in charge with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

    Yep. A black man hanging from a tree in the South. Nothing seems to point to foul play.

    In March, an African-American man was found hanging from a tree in Mississippi with bedsheets around his neck attached to a limb about 15 feet high.

    Claiborne County Sheriff Marvin Lucas identified that man as Otis Byrd.

    “It could take a week, it could take two weeks, it could take months,” Lucas said about determining what happened to Byrd.

  53. blf says

    Two articles related by subject in The Grauniad:

    (1) US taxpayers subsidising world’s biggest fossil fuel companies: “Shell, ExxonMobil and Marathon Petroleum got subsidises granted by politicians who received significant campaign contributions from the fossil fuel industry…”.

    (2) FBI violated its own rules while spying on Keystone XL opponents:
    “● Houston investigation amounted to ‘substantial non-compliance’ of rules
    ● Internal memo labels pipeline opponents as ‘environmental extremists’
    ● FBI failed to get approval before it opened files on protesters in Texas”.

  54. rq says

    Decided to nap.
    Just had a dream where Tony and Obama were visiting the country and I was about to offer our cottage (in Canada) for Obama’s use, as he said he needs a summer home for vacation. Tony was just having a good time. :)

  55. says

    Wair, what?
    Why does #1 have the rest of the week off and why don’t I know about this?
    OK, the latter one is probably explained by #1 being her chaotic self, but why do they turn a holiday on Thursday into a five day break?

  56. Okidemia says

    rq #19:
    Sorry I forgot about uses tips. It is mostly cooked, but I guess it might be possible to find a recipe that turns it into a wonder carmine dye. I always get out of the kitchen with bloody hands when I use it.

    I have mostly a single use of it as a refreshing drink. I throw sepals from immature fruits in boiling water (say ca 20 flower remains in a liter). After two minutes I switch off the fire and let it cool down. When at room temp I sweeten and add half a lemon juice. Than I refrigerate it. Beware this is really an addictive drink… :)

    You have many other preps, some people prefer light infusions and consumme it warm.

  57. opposablethumbs says

    Many hugs to TMM and to Morgan. fwiw, I think that you are doing the right thing … come to think of it that kind of applies in both cases – what I meant was, that TMM you are right to be a bit wary and make sure you look after yourself in these circumstances; and Morgan I’m glad you were able to remind your SIL that people care about her – it must be very hard for her and for those trying to offer support too. Wishing you both all the best.
    Good luck with the concert, bassmike! Hope it’s fun :-)
    Hey, rq! ::just waving, just because:: PS if I get the deadly l’Inspecteur Gadget earworm (it was in France that I heard it a lot) I will blame you.

  58. says

    Giliell 72

    Why does #1 have the rest of the week off and why don’t I know about this?

    I really like that my kids’ school district gives out calendars at the beginning of the school year with the days off marked. It hangs on one of our corkboards and we always know when the kids stay home.

  59. says

    rq @70:
    I imagine the right wingers inhabiting the world of your dream would be incensed that Obama would hang out with an atheist, secular humanist, feminist, socially progressive person such as myself.

  60. rq says

    He seemed like a really fun guy. (You did, too, but that’s kind of a given. :) )

  61. rq says

    Tony @83
    Well, I’m glad I’m not the one who stooped so low… Or should I say, ‘shooped so low’?
    Doo-doo-doo-doo-doo INSPECTOR GADGET!
    Doo-doo-doo-doo-doo OO-OOOOOOO!!
    All of the kids know it. That, and the theme song to Duck Tales. And they yell at me when I get the words wrong.

  62. says

    Fox Host Downplays Need For Title IX Protections Because Female Athletes Are “Better At Fundraisers.”

    Brian Kilmeade: “Girls Are Even Better At Fundraising For The Most Part Than Boys. They’re More Enthusiastic, More Dedicated, And I’ll Be Sexist In Saying That”

    Oh, FFS. Yeah, that is sexist.

  63. says

    It was only a matter of time. Right-wingers have decided that Hillary Clinton is not qualified to be President, but because it is likely she will win the office they are laying the groundwork now to claim that she got there through “affirmative action.”

    If Hillary Clinton wins the presidency in 2016 she will not only be the nation’s first woman president but our second affirmative-action president. By affirmative-action president I mean that she, like Barack Obama, will have got into office partly for reasons extraneous to her political philosophy or to her merits, which, though fully tested while holding some of the highest offices in the land, have not been notably distinguished. […]

    How have we come to the point where we elect presidents of the United States not on their intrinsic qualities but because of the accidents of their birth: because they are black, or women, or, one day doubtless, gay, or disabled — not, in other words, for themselves but for the causes they seem to embody or represent, for their status as members of a victim group?


  64. says

    A female reporter stands up to DudeBro hecklers:

    […] As the Telegraph reports in an opening sentence designed to make your breakfast come up, “It has become a thing for people to interrupt live video broadcasts to shout into the mic “f__k her in the p___y”. A thing. An actual thing that idiots do and then giggle about. […] I could point out that it’s extremely hostile to women, but I’m pretty doubtful anybody who’s entertained by that sort of thing has the interests of making this world a better place for women at heart. But when Hunt, who CityNews says has “patiently endured several instances of the degrading phrase before” had it happen this time, she’d had enough.

    Hunt had been setting up to go live for broadcast and talking to fans outside the venue when a man walked up and uttered the phrase into her microphone. And then she did a surprising thing. She turned from the men she was talking to and said, “Hold on,” confronting the group who’d been standing nearby. “So were you guys waiting around to see if you could could ‘F her in the P’ me on live TV?” she asked. “Can I ask why you would want to do something like that?” Believe it or not, the gentlemen did not have an especially compelling argument for their choice. […]

    A sunglasses-sporting lad explained, “I feel like it’s quite substantial.” Hunt replied, “Seriously, it’s a disgusting thing to say. It’s degrading to women. And you would humiliate me on live television?” When he asked, “Are you actually filming this?” she replied, “I’m sick of this. I get this every single day, ten times a day, by rude guys like you.” Sunglasses guy reasoned, “It has nothing to do with you. It has everything to do with everyone else.” And another fan told her, “You’re lucky there’s not a f___ing vibrator in your ear like in England because it happens all the time.” Yeah, why isn’t she thanking him for his restraint? […]

    Salon link

    That kind of harassment reminds me of the awful, aren’t-we-badasses stupidity associated with some the frat boy songs that PZ highlighted recently.

  65. cicely says


    I’d still like to know how those plastic bags got into the pipe. Some alien nest-builder perhaps?

    My guess would be, birds. Birds’ll drag the damnedest stuff up a dryer vent-pipe.


    Cicely, let us not forget how the particle physicists demanded the death of Salman Rushdie.

    *smacking forehead*
    D’oh! How could I forget!
    If they could’ve made up their minds—burned at the stake? drawn and quartered? dragged to death by wild peas? all of the above???—the poor man would have been a goner for sure.

    *hugs* for The Mellow Monkey.
    I think you did what you had to do.


  66. opposablethumbs says

    Bwahahahaha Tony, you cannot make me click on that link you know. (thank goodness).

    Fortunately, too, also, as well, I know two earworm cures: doing anagrams (which works according to QI, though I’ve never tried it yet) and thinking of another tune (I have a couple mentally to hand at the moment, one of which is an odd (? maybe? it certainly sounds atypical to me) bit of Ellington/Strayhorn called the Vulture Song :-) which I heard at two performances recently (Ellington is not normally my thing; eh, of course it was because SonSpawn was playing … ))

  67. opposablethumbs says


    = link to the Vulture Song, if anyone happens to be curious (this is not the actual performance I heard but a professional recording – the original Ellington, if I understand correctly – though I promise what we heard (played by undergraduate conservatoire students) sounded very close to identical (they were playing for the Duke Ellington Society UK, and the whole thing was an exercise in reproducing the period execution as authentically as possible). The singer sounded different, of course, as it was a different voice. And the tempo was a shade faster, but other than that it was just like this. I really liked it, much more than the more typical (?) pieces.

  68. cicely says

    *hugs* for Morgan!?
    I’m so sorry about your SIL and her condition. Perhaps they can/will adjust her meds?
    *moar hugs*


    I find myself wondering what Corcoran thinks about Europeans “migrating” to the New World and causing the genocide of Indigenous Peoples.

    *blank-eyed stare*
    What genocide?
    Besides, 1) it’s okay when we do it, and 2) God willed it (to us and our posterity).

    rq, if I can deal with your Horse-loving ways, your superhero-hating ways can not diminish you in my esteem.

    *hugs* for Dalillama.
    Social stuff is hard.


    Another black man found dead, hanging from a tree

    […] “nothing overt” points to foul play

    Nope; nothing to see here, just move along, citizens….

    The migratory-jihadist birds are going to bring down Western Civilization by blocking up all our dryer vents, thus back-flushing lint into our homes and lungs, causing an increase in respiratory ailments.
    Yes, folks—Their sinister plan is to drown us all in our own snot.

  69. Yellow Thursday says

    Lynna @86:
    Reminds me of something my ex (who refused to vote) said after Obama was elected the first time. “They only elected him to prove to themselves that they aren’t racist.”

  70. says

    Oh, Texas, you have legislators who are making you look like vindictive, bigoted asshats … again.

    Texas lawmakers are gearing up to pass one of the country’s most aggressively anti-same-sex-marriage bills this week. The bill, HB 4105, would prohibit state and local governments from recognizing, granting or enforcing same-sex marriage licenses. More than half of the members of Texas’ House of Representatives have signed on as co-sponsors to the bill, […]

    The measure’s sponsors say it is a pre-emptive move ahead of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling expected in June that could legalize same-sex marriage nationwide. […]

    As gay marriage headed to the U.S.’s highest court, state legislators across the country introduced measures to undercut efforts to expand marriage rights to same-sex couples. Texas lawmakers put forward some 20 anti-gay bills this term. […]

    There are also concerns about a backlash to the measure, with Texas business leaders warning Texas legislators that anti-gay measures are bad for the state’s economy. […]

    “Astonishingly, some Texas lawmakers seem to have completely missed—or are purposely ignoring—the lessons learned from the harmful anti-LGBT debacle in Indiana,” said Stephen Peters, a Human Rights Campaign spokesman, in a statement. “These bills have nothing to do with Texas values and have everything to do with enshrining discrimination into state law.”[…]


  71. blf says

    Their sinister plan is to drown us all in our own snot.

    The mildly deranged penguin approves — no cheese-eating scumsnot — but suggests more screams. She refuses to disclose the source of the plastic bags, but does point out they don’t eat cheese, albeit the lintsphyxiated longpigs did.

  72. blf says

    I will raise the penguin alert status to bright red forthwith.

    Yer still using merely audible alerts? That’s so BCE, it’s BBB…BBCE the protoplanet’s work stoppage (strike). Back then, the dinosaurs were still waiting in the departures bar, drinking Galactic GargleBletches (the earliest known incantation of the Pan-Galactic GargleBlaster, rumored to be only as lethal as horse stuffed with zucchini). Even the peas were waiting for a Universe to be worth terrorizing.

  73. says

    blf, blf, tch tch tch… [shakes head]. How twenty-first century of you. Who said anything about audible alerts? After all, we don’t want the penguins to hear. We wouldn’t want them to know we’re on to their fiendish plans to hurt their feelings, now would we?

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

    My left eye is open!

    And ouch!

    And, tired.

    Okay that’s enough for now. Going back to bed.

    all the love to everyone, spread around as needed.

  75. carlie says

    Yay CripDyke!

    *hugs* Dalillama and Morgan

    TMM, ex forfeited any right to “make” you listen to them when they so abruptly broke up. They might “need” to talk to you, but that doesn’t mean you “need” to give them a platform and pay attention. This is a simple case of TOUGH COOKIES.

  76. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Good going CD. It gets better with time. Too slow, in my case, with two steps forward, and one back. Stepping forward at the moment. But who knows what tomorrow brings?

  77. says

    This could be trouble. I got a few hours of sleep, and then woke up at 2am local time (which was 7pm Minnesota time). I’m wide awake. I’m giving a morning plenary talk in a few hours, which will probably be about the time I start crashing, and then I have to stay conscious through the day.

    There will be coffee in my future. Lots and lots of coffee. Then I will pay dearly for it tonight.

  78. says

    “Just to be clear”? What kind of ridiculous intro was that? “Just to inform you” would have been better.

  79. chigau (違う) says

    How many fingers am I holding up?
    How many fingers am I holding up?

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

    Crip Dyke,

    I’m glad the surgery went well!

  81. samihawkins says

    So does anyone else here live in the Houston area? If so is your residence currently flooding like mine is? The water’s up to my ankles inside my apartment, outside it’s got another foot to go before it starts coming through the window, and the rain shows no signs of stopping.

    This is gonna be a long night.

  82. says

    Crip Dyke:
    Glad to hear the surgery went well. Hope you recover swiftly.

    ajb47 @105:
    My heart goes out to the family and friends of everyone affected by that crash and I hope investigators will discover the cause as soon as possible.


    samihawkins @109:
    Crap. That sounds awful. I hope you and your family are able to remain safe. Hopefully the rain will cease or diminish significantly before it comes through the window.

  83. samihawkins says

    Eh, don’t worry about me. There’s no real danger, even if it rains all night it won’t be high enough to do me harm. My family are safe as far as I know, I called mom when this first started and she seemed more annoyed at being woken up than worried about the water. I moved my PC, TV, and other stuff I care about to high spots in the apartment before it got really bad. I still got power and internet, which is just shocking to me considering they usually go out any time there’s lightning. My car is ruined, but it was a POS dodge that I needed to replace anyway. I’ve also been wanting to get a new apartment so this is the perfect excuse for that. No way could I get to sleep with this going on, I’m an insomniac under normal conditions much less this, so if the power/internet holds out I’m just gonna spend the night infront of my computer.

    Alright that’s the last of my ranting. I’ll report back if something interesting happens, but now that I’ve gotten all this off my chest I should be fine.

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


    Cool. I was afraid Mad Max would strengthen the trope of “white man to the rescue” instead of subvert it, but maybe I got the trailer wrong.
    (It looked like the women were strong and awesome, but of course, not strong and awesome enough to get by without whatevershisname who starts off chained to a car.)

  85. rq says

    Glad you’re okay, and my condolences to the families of those who died in that crash. I hope recovery and repair and all else will proceed quickly.

    Crip Dyke
    So, having one good eye, pick up this pencil! Then touch this dot! And here’s to a quick return of both eyes and depth perception. Have a good rest!! ♥

    I’d send you a helicopter but I’m all out, sorry. :( I hope the water stays out from the windows, at least – and yeah, here’s another stack of pumps and air mattresses! (Hope nothing valuable (emotionally or otherwise) is irreparably damaged.)

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

    seconding all the well wishes for you, samihawkins. Take care

  87. chigau (違う) says

    samihawkins (and everyone)
    Good thing PZ is away.
    We all know how he hates that ‘guy on the roof in a flood’ thing.

  88. bassmike says

    Stay safe samihawkins . I hope the rain has subsided.

    CD it’s good to hear from you. I hope everything continues to improve and with as little pain as possible.

    Good morning PZ ! (Just taking the opportunity while you’re in roughly the same time zone.)

  89. opposablethumbs says

    Yay, CD! Sorry for the pain, hope that is short-lived and that you are soon fully binocular again.

  90. rq says

    Stinging nettles are called ‘stinging nettles’ for a reason.
    And I was wearing gloves.
    Ah well, traditional folk… wisdom… has it that it’s good for the skin. Princess hands for me! HA hahahahahahaha ha ha hah hah haaa…

  91. says

    Yay! CD

    There’s one sort which, when in bloom, doesn’t sting. And you can take the flowers and suckle the nectar out of it, which is very sweet and was one of the trats my grandpa introduced me to as a child.

    Also: gnarf. I got a bit more than half a page written and I can be glad if I make it to two pages today because family.

  92. rq says

    Yes, I know that kind, too. Ripped up some of that from around the roses. But we had a patch of the nasty stinging stuff, complete with intricate, networked root system, that I want to eradicate from the more trafficked bits of the yard before shorts-and-bare-feet season is upon us. I just didn’t know if could sting right through gloves, too…

  93. bassmike says

    rq how can getting stung be considered good for your hands? What kind of twisted folk wisdom is that?

    Giliell at least you made it past the first sentence! I don’t know how you fit everything in.

  94. rq says

    Something something well SOMEbody has to get that stuff out of the garden? I don’t know, honestly. :P It massages your nerve endings.

  95. bassmike says

    When I was a kid a friend of mine slipped and rolled down a hill entirely covered in nettles. He must have lovely skin now!

  96. birgerjohansson says

    PZ, the Germans used something called “panzerskokolade” to deal with lack of sleep….

    — — — — — —
    Which reminds me: “Researchers discover how cocaine, amphetamines disrupt the brain’s normal functioning” http://medicalxpress.com/news/2015-05-cocaine-amphetamines-disrupt-brain-functioning.html

    — — — — — —
    LightSail team prepares for tests of mylar space wonder http://phys.org/news/2015-05-lightsail-team-mylar-space.html YEHAAAAA!!!!! I have been waiting for this since the seventies.

    — — — — —
    Tweaking the beak: Retracing the bird’s beak to its dinosaur origins, in the laboratory http://phys.org/news/2015-05-tweaking-beak-retracing-bird-dinosaur.html
    Imagine a bigger, smarter flightless Kea parrot, with a beak full of teeth .

  97. rq says

    I really hate those commercials or PSAs that show a day in the life of [white young man], and they go through all of his accessories: football, backpack, girlfriend… *sigh*

  98. chigau (違う) says

    I get the feeling that panzerschokolade wasn’t really chocolate…

  99. Saad says

    Oops, didn’t mean to link that to start 52 seconds into the video. Scroll to the beginning.

  100. carlie says

    Good lord. Child 2 has been having some more problems in school, and the guidance counselor thinks it might be useful to set up a behavior plan for him. Great, this is what we knew all along, that once he was off services he could always go back if needed. EXCEPT, they say now that his diagnosis is “too old”, and that he needs a new one to get back on a plan. Because autism magically goes away as you age? Really? It has to be a “current diagnosis”. I’ll try talking with the person who was his counselor until last year to see if that would work, but otherwise we’re talking about a huge ordeal of testing again, which might be a big blow to him since he thinks he’s doing much better. UGH.

  101. cicely says


    The mildly deranged penguin approves — no cheese-eating scumsnot — but suggests more screams.

    The MDP always recommends more screams.

    She refuses to disclose the source of the plastic bags, but does point out they don’t eat cheese,

    The Horses don’t eat cheese.
    Just sayin’.

    albeit the lintsphyxiated longpigs did.

    Indeed. Anguished, gurgling, congested screams.


    I will raise the penguin alert status to bright red forthwith.

    Soon, we will all be at Code Milky-Green.

    Speedy recovery, Crip Dyke!

    I hope you and yours weather the storm as intactly as possible.


    Imagine a bigger, smarter flightless Kea parrot, with a beak full of teeth .

    So, whaduya think, fellow-gamers? 2d4 bite damage?

    *hugs* for carlie; May reason and good sense prevail.
    Yeah, I know—the world doesn’t exactly run on reason and good sense; but, still….

  102. opposablethumbs says

    Argh, carlie! Shit, I so sympathise with this – we’ve been going through what feels like an endless merry-go-round of assessments assessments assessments with as yet nothing to show for it in terms of actual godsdamn concrete support ffs.

    I really hope there’s a way round it for you, and that #2 doesn’t have to go back on the testing treadmill :-(

    I mean, I get that it’s necessary and can be helpful to have assessments and for them to be updated sometimes – I just wish the seemingly endless stream of different services (divided here by borough, by age-of-person-concerned, by health-service-vs-education-service) could and would bloody well talk to each other more!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Even the people working in them seem to get confused as to which umbrella a given need should come under.

    My fingers shall remain xd for you and #2; it’s just so !?!??!?!?!?! when things knock a child back, when child is often making this huge effort to deal.

  103. blf says

    Imagine a bigger, smarter flightless Kea parrot, with a beak full of teeth.

    The mildly deranged penguin? Well, Ok, she’s better dressed that a parrot, and as the BBC revealed, isn’t flightless, and I’ve no idea how big a Kea is or whether or not Keas eat cheese, and she certainly doesn’t need any imagining (especially when she is racing up the stairs and then on up the wall and then gilding down the stairwell all the while playing what is either Bohemian Rhapsody or Mac the Knife on a bombarde, and, of course, screaming). Certainly the beak has teeth. So the quoted description is mostly spot-on.

  104. Saad says

    Lynna, #143

    I read your blockquote before clicking on the link and just a few words into it I knew exactly who it was.

    LOL… “I know how to build”

  105. Saad says

    “I know how to build”

    If it’s about building stuff, my one-year old niece is pretty amazing with a jumbo LEGO set. You’ve got tough competition, Donald.

  106. blf says

    Speaking of Mack the Knife (spelled correctly this time), it occurred to me I’d never fully grasped the lyrics of that song. After consulting Ye Pfffft! of All Knowledge on the song, I found this rendition, Kurt Weill: Mack the Knife — Baritone, harmonium, Pleyel piano. The singer (George Spitzer) is obviously skilled, but what makes it stand out (for me) is his enunciation — I can actually understand what is being said / sung, and get a vastly better idea what the song is actually about.

  107. Saad says

    Tony, #147

    I think you’d just go to the donotlink site and enter the URL and it will give you the donotlink version of the address to use. I’m not sure if there’s a different way to do it for blogs, but that’s how I’ve used it.

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

    Both eyes now open.

    Hard to loo at the screen, but since I touch type, I can navigate with blinks then add comments with eyes closed.

    Unfortuantely, that means I can’t actually **read** much. Did a search for ce and for crop to make sure I was getting your messages, but I can’t catch up on the thread yet. Things are getting better. I’m not relentlessly tired for no good reason 24 hours a day. I’ts dows to 19. I’m told that is about to get dramatically better, like in the next day or 2 I’ll be on my regular schedule.

    Had a small complication with incompatibility with the special contact lens they use to protect the healing areas after the surgery. The actual healing was going fine, but the lens was causing other problems. So now it’s out and I have to double-triple-pinkie promise not to rub my eye. Which I did. And then rubbed my eye thoughtlessly because the damn thing itches. Sigh.

    In any case, my above-average pain response to this particular surgery seems to be related to the lens, and haven it gone means I might be down to reasonable pain levels in 24 hours as well.

    After that, it’s just waiting for the light sensitivity to ge low enough to read again.

    I wish I could say I’m taking advantage of my incapacity, but since it’s my eyes, I can’t even kick back with a good book.

    Any way, more love, thanks for the support, and see you all soon.


    Oh, and what do people think about Border Crossing Press?

    Another thought, but I don’t like it quite as much, is “Press Up”.

  109. opposablethumbs says

    Good to see you with both eyes, CD, but sorry you’re in so much discomfort :-(((((

  110. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I wish I could say I’m taking advantage of my incapacity, but since it’s my eyes, I can’t even kick back with a good book.

    If you have books on download, you should be able to get a program that will read it for you, if it isn’t already built into Kindle, iBooks, etc.

  111. cicely says

    Crip Dyke, glad to hear you’ve got both eyes openable!
    Goggles, maybe? As a barrier to unthinking rubbing?

  112. Saad says

    CD, both eyes open is a good thing :)

    May I ask what procedure you had done?

  113. says

    CD, I have been known to refer to myself as an immigrant to womanhood; one of my former blogs was “twice_immigrant”. Twice Immigrant Press is rather nice too, come to think of it. Glad to hear you’re improving rapidly. :)

    Also, Fuck. Cancer.

    The best goalie I ever played with, Susan, died Monday from lung cancer in Toronto. She was brilliant, tall and strong, commanding in her area, and a lovely, highly intelligent, and well-read woman off the field, patron of the lesbian theatre, mother of two grown children, Nana to three grandchildren. It’s gutting to know she’s died, though not at all surprising or unexpected, as she was at home from the hospice for the purpose. FUCK CANCER. fuck.

    In other exciting (read: terrifying) news, my disability hearing is tomorrow. Basically, one hour of questioning by my lawyer, and then a single person decides whether or not I get it.

    Monkey Dance Iron Dancer Challenge!

    Now to go blow up some pixelpeople in various inventive ways to make all kinds of play money, as a sort of poor woman’s therapy (Grand Theft Auto Online; no actual people will be harmed, well maybe Chris is he’s a jerk, but only his avatar will be sieve-ilized).

    Oh – and is anyone else playing SimCity BuildIt? I’d love to add a friend or two in the game.

    *hugs*, *higs*, and a big steaming cup of bosons to all as needs ’em, including (but not limited to) from memory Jackie, Morgan, TMM, carlie, o’thumbs, Giliell, rq‘s poor stung hands, and JAL/DL in poor-person solidarity. And I’ve probably missed a few in there, please accept my apologies for not having a better memory, but it’s the meds, see, they mess with my head. :/

  114. Saad says

    Terrorist attack on Shias on bus in Karachi kills 43

    The assailants subdued the driver and separated (two) children from the others, the victims said and added that, “They told the passengers to keep their head low. One of the attackers situated in the rear side of the bus then ordered his associates to ‘shoot every one’ after which they indiscriminately targeted all passengers of the bus.”

    Most of my family is in Karachi. This is so scary and depressing. Random violence isn’t a rare thing there, but terrorist attacks like these usually stayed more in the north.

    Ahmed Marwat, a spokesman for Jundullah which is a splinter group of the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), talking to Reuters claimed responsibility for the attack.

    There are several terrorist groups active in Pakistan, but this is the first time I’m hearing of Jundallah. What’s even scarier is that apparently they left pamphlets behind that declared their support of ISIL. This is pure hate. The Agha Khanis are some of the most peaceful and progressive people in Pakistan. They can’t even pretend to claim some sort of retaliation against the government here.

    Yay for useless corrupt theocratic governments. All these terrorist groups definitely have some influence on the government. No way would a country with a capable military like Pakistan would let a bunch of terrorist groups exist within its borders and massacre its citizens on a regular basis.

  115. says

    Saad, would you be willing to e-mail me to discuss some private stuff about my daughter? If you would, get me on cavebabe the bolded parts 21@gmail of this .com sentence. Thanks.

    Pteryxx, I got your e-mail, just had a big pile of stuff on my mind this week with the hearing coming up. After it’s over, I should be in a better space to get back to things. :)

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

    sorry, I’m a bit ‘rupt

  117. says

    Cops behaving like asshats, again:

    The video, dated January 26, 2015, shows two teens sitting in a holding area at the Alton Police Department. An officer then walks in, says something, and then pulls out what appears to be a can of pepper spray and sprays both teens. One of the teens then twitches and shakes for several minutes.

    Yes, there is video. Without the video, no justice.


  118. says

    Rightwingers have pushed their latest conspiracy theory so hard that they now have 1/3 of Republicans believing that President Obama wants to use the U.S. military to take over Texas.

    A new survey from Public Policy Polling finds that one-third of Republicans believe the Jade Helm 15 conspiracy theory that “the government is trying to take over Texas,” and another 28 percent of GOP voters haven’t made up their minds yet about the matter.

    The right-wing frenzy over an upcoming military exercise called Jade Helm 15 has swept up the Republican governor of Texas and several other GOP leaders who wonder if the drill is part of a plan by President Obama to seize Texas, impose martial law, confiscate firearms and throw conservatives into closed Walmart stores that have been converted into FEMA camps.

    Among Republicans, PPP found that supporters of former Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz were most likely to believe the conspiracy theory. […]


  119. Saad says

    This is so funny.

    It’s a simple question, but one that stops Republican presidential hopefuls in their tracks: Who do you think is the greatest president alive today?

    CNN posed the question to several White House contenders gathered here recently at the Freedom Summit, a daylong conference with conservative activists ahead of next year’s primary in this crucial early-primary state.

    “Obviously the greatest president of my lifetime is Ronald Reagan,” said Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal.

    “I’ll leave that to the people to decide,” said Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, which is his guaranteed go-to line for questions he doesn’t want to answer. “Certainly the greatest president of recent generations was Ronald Reagan.”

    “I was a big fan, a very big fan of Ronald Reagan,” real estate mogul Donald Trump said.

    Ronald Reagan, as you might recall, has been dead for 11 years.

    There are reasons why these White House hopefuls are suddenly shy when pressed on their thoughts about the five surviving presidents.

    They can’t say Jimmy Carter, whose presidency is synonymous in GOP circles as weakness, or President Barack Obama, a man whose legacy they all have spent years trying to vanquish. Bill Clinton is a Democrat and the husband of Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton — so he’s out.

    That leaves the two Republicans: George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush, father and brother, respectively, of Jeb Bush, the former governor of Florida who is preparing his own bid for the Republican nomination. And an endorsement for a Bush could be construed as affirmation for Jeb Bush by proxy.

    They also know that if you say George W. Bush is the greatest living president, well, then you’re on camera saying you think George W. Bush is the greatest living president, and Democrats will have a field day.

    Fiendishly clever to limit it to living presidents. Respect to whomever came up with that question. I wish I could see the Republicans squirm.

    CaitieCat, #157

    Saad, would you be willing to e-mail me to discuss some private stuff about my daughter? If you would, get me on cavebabe the bolded parts 21@gmail of this .com sentence. Thanks.

    Sure thing. :)

  120. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Half of all Tea Party supporters believe the conspiracy theory described in comment #161.

    Cue their theme music.

  121. Saad says

    White people upset over having privilege and college misbehavior questioned by sociology professor

    Fury erupted this month over incoming Boston University sociology and African-American studies professor Saida Grundy’s tweets about white men, race and slavery.

    Grundy, a sociologist who studies race, gender and class, received her doctorate last year from the University of Michigan’s joint program in sociology and women’s studies. She is to start work in a tenure-track position at Boston University — the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s alma mater — on July 1.

    Her personal Twitter account has since been made private, but the Boston Globe reported some of the tweets: “why is white america so reluctant to identify white college males as a problem population?” and “every MLK week i commit myself to not spending a dime in white-owned businesses. and every year i find it nearly impossible.”

  122. Saad says

    Nerd, #164

    Good to know that doesn’t only happen to my links. I’m afraid your link is going to a ‘not found’ FTB page.

  123. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Saad, my copypasta is sometimes borked. my #164
    Should have been to a U-tube video of the Twilight Zone theme.
    My fault for not previewing (which wasn’t working last night).

  124. Saad says

    This is the most bizarre news I’ve read in a few days.

    North Korea executed its defense chief by putting him in front of an anti-aircraft gun at a firing range, Seoul’s National Intelligence Service told lawmakers, which would be the latest in a series of high-level purges since Kim Jong Un took charge.

    Hyon Yong Chol, who headed the isolated nuclear-capable country’s military, was charged with treason, including disobeying Kim and falling asleep during an event at which North Korea’s young leader was present, according to South Korean lawmakers briefed in a closed-door meeting with the spy agency on Wednesday.

    His execution was watched by hundreds of people, according to NIS intelligence shared with lawmakers.

    It was not clear how the NIS obtained the information and it is not possible to independently verify such reports from within secretive North Korea.

    “The NIS official said it had been confirmed by multiple sources. It is still just intelligence, but he said they were confident,” Shin Kyoung-min, a lawmaker and member of the opposition New Politics Alliance for Democracy, who attended the briefing, told Reuters.

    On an unrelated note as a bit of venting, I found out about this from my dad. Upon hearing that I hadn’t heard this yet, he mocked me by saying “Oh that’s right, you only worry about the Taliban news”, clearly referring to the bus massacre in Karachi that just happened (even though I hadn’t even spoken to him about it yet!). Just some of the moderate Sunni indifference to anti-Shia violence that I have to put up with. Pisses me off so much.

  125. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Ah, back to the old “this is where I put this”, but from the description, no in la casa.
    In this case, for a roast duck. Must have a piece of equipment I’ve never seen, so I don’t know what it looks like.

  126. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Minor details that make hunting for items easier. I did find the SS roaster pan and “x” stand for it like she said. Nope, no stainless steel pan in that cupboard matched that description. But there was a BOX that said 5 piece roaster set….
    “oh, I never took it out of the box”.
    At least I don’t have to use it to cook her dinner (probably a small lasagna nuked from the freezer, with a glass of red wine…with a straw).

  127. birgerjohansson says

    Chigau @ 130, the USAAF used the same stuff for aircrew doing long-range missions*
    There is a Jack Reacher novel about it.
    *Imagine a flightcrew with a nuclear bomb being stoned out of their minds.
    — — — — —
    Conga rats for Crip Dyke (but do you have the Evil Eye?? ).

    — — — — —
    Monsters vs. the middle class http://www.smbc-comics.com/index.php?id=3724

    Can we make bio-history a thing? Can we? Pleaaase! http://www.smbc-comics.com/index.php?id=3727

  128. says

    CaitieCat @155:
    I’m sorry to hear about your friend Susan.
    Also, good luck tomorrow with your hearing. Fingers crossed.

    Tangentially related to the subject of cancer-
    The identity of the new female Thor has been revealed.
    (while I won’t reveal who it is, I should add some mild spoilers, so…)
    Mild Spoilers Ahead:

    She’s a supporting cast member of Thor Odinson’s book, and she was recently diagnosed with cancer. In a twist on Thor Odinson’s secret identity of Donald Blake back in the 60s, when she transforms from Thor to her human form, her cancer worsens. I’ve read enough by writer Jason Aaron to trust that he will handle the subject appropriately.
    Incidentally, since the new Thor debuted, the book has seen higher sales than it did when Thor Odinson was the title character. Take that misogynists, supporters of the status quo, and diversity whiners!

  129. cicely says

    Fuck cancer.
    An “immigrant to womanhood”. I like it!
    Continuing to *cross all tentacles* for your hearing, tomorrow.

    *hugs, or other-and-acceptable gestures of solidarity and support* for Saad, with a hope for the safety of your family, friends, acquaintances, people vaguely associated with you, people…yeah.
    The safety of people.
    A wish for sanity and peace.

  130. rq says

    7AM is not the time you want to hear “Mum, there’s a funny lump on my head right here” (and no, you can’t just say, “Oh, that’s your nose, honey!”).
    It was a TICK. Scramble for a local doctor that is awake and practising before 8AM (yay). Then got some mixed news: we could send it in for testing, but it would be pointless because (a) Eldest is vaccinated against encephalitis and (b) they don’t have a test for Lyme disease anyway. (Yes, we have incredibly infectious ticks here – the encephalitis vaccine, while not covered by state health, is a pretty routine thing.)
    Now it’s watch-and-wait. *siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiigh* And I was starting to feel all better n everything.
    And it’s not the stinging nettles making me feel itchy all over this morning. :(

  131. tbtabby says

    Does anyone here know how to get rid of Adblocker Manager? I’ve checked for it in Firefox’s Add-On menu and Control Panel, but it’s not there.

  132. blf says

    Indonesian military insists on virginity tests to determine ‘naughty’ female recruits is quite important for turn[ing] back migrant boat with more than 500 on board: “Boat full of Rohingya Muslims and Bangladeshis given fuel and provisions and told they are not welcome”. (Actually, it was Malysia which turned back the boat, not Indonesia.)

    That second link, on the migrant boat, is distressing. Apparently there are a number of ships full of migrants (often, as per above, Rohingya Muslims (from Myanmar)) holding them hostage until they / their families can pay a ransom, after which they are returned to land (often(?) Thailand); what then happens I do not know. The Rohingya Muslims are “officially” stateless — Myanmar denies them citizenship — so I assume whatever does happen is not good…

    The Thais are cracking down on the people smugglers and arresting them. As a result, the captains / crews of those ships are, apparently, now starting to abandon the ships, leaving the captives / hostages to fend for themselves. To-date, despite pleas from the UN for Thailand and other countries in the area to act, there has been a suspicious lack of sightings and no rescues.

  133. says

    Slightly ‘rupt
    I need an office.

    *hugs* for carlie

    Privilege burn
    A glimpse into the mind of the well-meaning, very privileged person, aka Mr
    I don’t remember what exactly prompted my response, but I mentioned “well, that’s because you belong to the group of people who has been considered a person since the end of feudalism”
    He: “Huh?”
    Me: “Well, when you think of the Enlightenment, 1848 Revolution, all that jazz, when they said “human rights”, they were never talking about women, PoC or gay people.”
    He: “They weren’t? But I always thought that this was universal, like universal human rights!”
    Me: “Well, that’s what they want to make you believe.”
    Then we mentioned a few laws that were (and are) in existence during our lifetimes that clearly divide humans into people (straight white cis guys) and everybody else, and even though he knew them, it never made him realise…
    The good thing_ he is willing to learn.

  134. opposablethumbs says

    CaitieCat I’m so sorry about your friend. It’s horrible. Many {{{hugs}}} if acceptable.

  135. opposablethumbs says

    ugh, rq. Hope nothing comes of that tick or any of its small friends and relations, for any of you.

  136. carlie says

    Yikes, rq! How big was the tick? If it was on for less than 24 hours, chance of any transmission is very low.

  137. Don Quijote says

    Just paid my tax bill for 2014. If anybody is interested here is how my tax Euro is spent here in Spain.

    40% Pensions and other social benefits
    14% Health
    9% Education
    9% Infrastructure, agricultura, energy etc.
    8% General public services, institutions and development aid
    7% Interests
    5% Public order and security
    3% Culture, sport etc.
    2% Environment
    2% Defence
    1% Housing and community services

  138. blf says

    Following-up me@185, The New York Times published an editorial, The Rohingya Refugees, Adrift on SE Asia’s all-but-explicit refusal to assist the multiple thousands of people abandoned on ships:

    Thousands of people, both Muslim Rohingyas fleeing persecution in Myanmar and Bangladeshis seeking jobs in Malaysia, have been abandoned at sea recently in Southeast Asia by smugglers fearing arrest as Thailand cracks down on human traffickers. At least 8,000 people are in peril, yet the Southeast Asian nations off whose shores they drift have been reluctant to save them.

    Myanmar’s mistreatment of the Rohingya — which has been roundly condemned by the United States, the European Union, the United Nations and human rights groups — is the root of this crisis. Its government has even blocked the Association of Southeast Asian Nations from discussing the Rohingyas’ plight.

    In the last three years, about 140,000 people in Myanmar have been driven from their homes by anti-Rohingya violence. The United Nations has warned that 40,000 Rohingyas are in camps within several hundred yards of the coast, with monsoon season arriving within weeks.

    In the first quarter of this year, the United Nations estimated that 25,000 people fled Myanmar and Bangladesh. Just this week, more than 1,500 refugees from the two countries have made landfall in Indonesia and Malaysia.

    Last June, the United States downgraded Thailand and Malaysia to the worst category in its annual human trafficking report. […]

    The problem is that while governments are finally taking steps against smugglers, they have shown little mercy for their victims. Thailand has deported many Rohingyas back to Myanmar, where they face continued persecution and death threats. On Tuesday, the Indonesian Navy turned back a ship packed with refugees.


  139. blf says

    My basement is Ebola-free.
    There is other stuff down there….

    When the mildly deranged penguin wakes up, after providing her with an N-dimensional map to the exit (or nearest wall, about the same thing as far as she is concerned), a collection of gourmet tips and ballistic missile launches to the cheese shops is suggested.

  140. rq says

    It was a reasonably fresh tick, but it took the doctor two tries to get it out, and they can start puking when disturbed. And then it turned out that she left a piece of the mandible in by accident, so Eldest’s school nurse took the rest out sometime in the afternoon. So I just don’t know. :( Right now he’s being his usual cranky after-school self, but it’ll be a few days before I calm down. :)

    *hugs* to CaitieCat, as squeezy as desired!

  141. says

    My aunt is in for another round of chemo, but thankfully the tumor is limited to the original location and has not spread to other body parts. That’s what’s counting for good news these days.

    On the bad news side: Today somebody stole #1’s plushies on the playground. Fuck assholes. Fuck asshole parents.

    On the annoyed side: Yesterday we visited my other gran. When I hear my 93 year old gran being so sorry for my poor mother, I could puke. (Gran doesn’t know that the problem is that mum is an enthusiastic alcoholic)

  142. opposablethumbs says

    Cancer news is bad in my corner of the forest too. Friend’s mobility is currently badly fucked (possibly due to growth pressing on nerves) and digestive system impaired.
    I just want to send her things that are interesting/beautiful/funny – I sent her one or two wierd-and-wonderful links thanks to people here, now I come to think of it – so thank you Tony! (for the high-diving giraffes) and I’m always on the lookout for anything curious/intriguing/fun/probably not too taxing; any and all suggestions gratefully received.

  143. blf says

    On the latest set of N.Korean executions — which have not yet been confirmed — an analysis in The Grauniad yesterday (Purges and political manoeuvres: how volatile is Kim Jong-un?) points out “the most likely explanation for Hyon’s death is an insecure Kim attempting to exert his power and authority: ‘ultimately, this is not the sign of a man confident in his job’ [said Michael Madden, writing for the BBC].”

    Today, reflecting the extreme lack of clarity about what has happened or is happening in N.Korea, The Grauniad reports South Koreans row back over North Korea anti-aircraft gun execution claim:

    Intelligence officials say Hyon Yong-chol has been purged from office but they are not sure he was actually machine-gunned to death

    Doubts surfaced on Thursday over the reported execution of North Korea’s defence chief, as the original source, South Korea’s spy agency, said it had been unable to verify he had been put to death.

    Briefing a select parliamentary committee on Wednesday, the National Intelligence Service had said Hyon Yong-chol and cited intelligence suggesting he may have been executed using an anti-aircraft gun.

    The grim details of Hyon’s demise dominated headlines but the NIS on Thursday stressed that his execution had not been confirmed.


    The Agence France-Presse news agency said the confusion was partly the result of the way NIS briefings to parliament are carried out and reported. They take place behind closed doors, after which selected lawmakers pass on the information to the South Korean media.

    According to the lawmakers the NIS said Hyon was purged for disloyalty and dozing off during official events presided over by leader Kim Jong-un.


    It is perhaps worth pointing out that whilst the alleged purge / execution happened at the end of last month, it wasn’t until Wednesday-ish that the S.Korean NIS reported it (with the reports then being passed on indirectly in an obviously error-prone process). Hence, it’s not too surprising there hasn’t been much coverage.

  144. says

    The school principal from Georgia who thinks she’s not racist because she didn’t use the “n” word has been fired.

    […]In light of recent events, the board of directors of TNT Academy has moved to dismiss Nancy Gordeuk as principal. During the coming transition, we will continue to prioritize support for our most recent graduates. […]


    In a fleeting moment of frustration, “the devil” — and not deep-seated racial prejudice — prompted a Georgia high school principal to make racial remarks at a graduation ceremony.

    That was according to TNT Academy Principal Nancy Gordeuk, who stepped forward last weekend to apologize after she was captured on video condemning people for exiting the private school’s commencement early by saying: “Look who’s leaving … all the black people.”

    And now, Gordeuk has been fired by the Stone Mountain school she founded,[…]

  145. opposablethumbs says

    Thank you Anne !- I snagged a couple of those feather photos, in fact; they’re lovely :-)

  146. says

    In other news from our beloved and not at all racist southern states, Jeremiah Heaton, a mining executive, planted a homemade flag on some land in Africa and, well, claimed it.

    […]Heaton was journeying through the desolate southern stretches of Egypt and into an unclaimed 800-square-mile patch of arid desert. There, on June 16 — Emily’s seventh birthday — he planted a blue flag with four stars and a crown on a rocky hill. The area, a sandy expanse sitting along the Sudanese border, morphed from what locals call Bir Tawil into what Heaton and his family call the “Kingdom of North Sudan.”

    There, Heaton is the self-described king and Emily is his princess. […]

    Heaton, who ran for Congress out of Virginia’s 9th district in 2012 and lost, plans to reach out to the African Union for assistance in formally establishing the Kingdom of North Sudan and said that he is confident they will welcome him. Representatives from the Egyptian and Sudanese embassies in Washington did not respond to requests for comment Saturday.[…]

    Washington Post link

    There’s more:

    […] Disney really is making a fanciful movie of this beautiful family tale. […] How in the hell did Disney think this story was worth telling to the world? As the backlash has grown, it appears Disney is sticking with it.

    Second, this man is now raising money online and will allow you to become a knight, a real knight, or name a street, or have your face on the money in his newfound kingdom of North Sudan.

    Claiming that the 800 square miles are his, since they are currently uninhabited, and he put a flag there, Jeremiah Heaton has confirmed not just how little he thinks of Africa, but how little Disney thinks of Africa. Never would a random white American try such a stunt anywhere else in the world, but in the motherland of the people America has so furiously oppressed for hundreds of years. […]

    Daily Kos link

    There’s a photo of this asshat at the link. I admire his love for his daughter and I am disgusted by his cluelessness.

  147. says

    Art news, or money news, or Fox News pathetic awfulness news?

    Christie’s Auction House sold Pablo Picasso’s “Les Femmes D’Alger” for $179.4 million. Fox News covered the story by covering the breasts in the painting. Well, they didn’t actually cover the breasts, they just blurred parts of the painting. This is proof that right-wingers can recognize a breast no matter where or how it is represented in art.

    This is also proof that Fox News is deeply bizarre. Fox News is indecent. No nipples for you.


    Photos and screen grabs at the link.

  148. rq says

    I read about the ‘founding’ of the ‘Kingdom of North Sudan’ a while ago – I did not know Disney was making a movie about it. What. Absolute. Shit.
    As if there are no actual Sudanese princesses (or those from the area historically within the borders of what is now Sudan) about whom to make a good movie. Or not even a princess, just an ordinary girl living an extraordinary life in Sudan, right now. But alas, I suppose the darker the skin, the more invisibility you have.
    Fuck that family. I’m glad he loves his daughter enough to make her a real-life princess, but it just screams so much ENTITLEMENT and the cost is way too high.
    I hope the girl’s consciousness is raised very soon and that she gains enough social awareness to… abdicate, I suppose. :/

  149. rq says

    Also, he’s ready to go to the ends of the earth to grant his children’s wishes – okay, (a) why not some remote location in, say, Alaska? and (b) what happens when his daughter says, ‘Bring Kitty back to life, daddy! I don’t like that she’s dead!’?

  150. rq says

    (Because being a princess is just about owning some land, not actually governing or doing any of that hard, difficult shit with sorting out problems, issues and participating in the international community.)

    Sorry. I’m feeling (disproportionately?) pissed off about that article.

  151. says

    Update on politicians trying to give money to Ken Ham:

    If signed into law, HB 771 […] could provide tens of millions of dollars in taxpayer incentives to subsidize the construction of large-scale theme parks by tax-exempt churches and religious organizations. It’s an outrageous proposal, and what’s even more outrageous, the legislator behind the effort is suing the State of Kentucky for millions of dollars after it pulled the plug on new earth creationist Ken Ham’s ostentatious and delusional Noah’s Ark theme park.

    […] Louisiana State Rep. Mike Johnson has deservedly earned an enormous amount of state and national attention after he introduced House Bill 707, the so-called “Marriage and Conscience Act,” which would allow private businesses the right to expressly discriminate against a broad set of customers based on their belief about same-sex marriage and would prohibit the government from effectively enforcing any potential anti-discrimination claims […]

    Johnson represents Ken Ham, one of the world’s most notorious purveyors of pseudoscience. […] His [Ken Ham’s] oxymoronic Creation Museum in Kentucky is nothing more than a shrine to the scientifically illiterate, a false temple, a destination that markets itself to intransigent religious extremists. […]

    The good people of Kentucky sobered up and realized that they couldn’t give Ken Ham a dime to help him build his blatantly religious theme park. […]

    This seems abundantly obvious to almost anyone, particularly someone with a law degree. But not Mike Johnson, who courageously took on Ham’s case, arguing that Kentucky had no right to look at all of the ways Ham would use their money to, literally, build a theme park for his religion. That, he thinks, is discrimination.

    According to Johnson’s logic, if anyone is the victim here, it’s poor Ken Ham, whose grandiose plans for building a massive theme park that he couldn’t afford were quashed by the well-known liberal secularists […]

    Fortunately for Ken Ham, his lawyer recently got elected to the Louisiana House of Representatives,[…] So while the media has rightfully focused on Mike Johnson’s flashy bill, HB 707, the one that reimagines Jesus Christ as a paragon of intolerance, he managed to slip through HB 771, a convoluted piece of legislation that would establish an entirely new set of ridiculously lucrative tax incentives for anyone and everyone planning a tourist development, including a “theme restaurant” […] and an entirely new bureaucracy to approve those incentives. Rep. Johnson even remembered to include a provision about 501(c)(3) organizations, primarily so that we’d all know that Ken Ham’s group would definitely be included here.


  152. says

    Well, fuck cancer, fuck princesses, fuck Disney, fuck everything.
    I guess I’m over there in the pillow fort.
    I guess I’m not in a good place at the moment, with everything being a bit much.
    I mean, I should be really ok with what I got done this week, right? I started writing on Monday and I finished the theory part today, about 10-12% of the whole fucking thing, and probably the hardest part, ok?
    But do I feel good about it? Nope.
    So I’m over there with all the chocolate.

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

    more *hugs* for everyone

    I don’t think you got all the chocolate as I have some right here on my table. You can have that one too.

  154. rq says

    MMMMMMMMMMMMMmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm… I’m just going to grab a tiny slice while contributing some of this Oreo cheesecake (Oreo.Cheese.Cake.).
    I feel like all the recent inability to cope (smashing the crockery, not wanting hugs, etc.) is a prelude to something much bigger that could be diverted… somehow… but I’m not sure how, right now, because all the way that would seem like they would work? Are pretty much unavailable for one reason or another.
    And while taking a weekend out in the country during apple blossom season (it should be this weekend!) seems like a really good idea, I can’t tell if it is. But staying at home on my own just means I’m going to go to work and face the shitstorm that’s brewing there, too.
    Okay, back to the cake(s). Sorry for taking up so much space here. I really wish I was contributing better here, but I can’t even seem to do that. Please know that I have only the very best wishes and all the sympathies for everyone here (please apply as appropriate – you too, Giliell).
    Anyway. C’est la vie, I suppose, and that’s enough for now.

  155. rq says

    Sorry, that was rather bad timing with regard to leaving that comment right here right now.

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

    @Tony!, #182:

    Librarians breathe sigh of relieve as buildings declared E. Zola free.

    Libraries were declared free from E Zola on Saturday after 42 days without a new accusation, the medical charity Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) said, but it urged vigilance until the author was extinguished in neighbouring Guinea and Sierra Leone.

  157. Morgan!? the Slithy Tove says

    *A delivery person staggers toward the door of the Lounge dragging an enormous box*
    *Knock knock*
    Doorkeeper: Yes?
    Delivery Person: Delivery for Teh Horde.
    Doorkeeper: What is it?
    Delivery Person: Label says “abundant hugs, distribute liberally.”
    Doorkeeper: Yes! Just leave it in the middle of the room. Thanks.
    Delivery Person: Just sign here, ma’am.
    Doorkeeper: Okay. Can I give you a hug?
    Delivery Person: *grins* Yeah, sure.

  158. says

    Yay, Caitie

    Exactly that!
    I know that for me this “being at home all day” is really not good, but that’S the way things are at the moment.
    I will get my break next week. I’ll drive up to Cologne for a short meet up with PZ. If he’s coming all the way over ye olde pond I can drive for three hours, right?

  159. rq says

    You’ll have to extend greetings from this EuroPharyngulite.

    Yay, and I hope it results in positive things for you, too. Preferably financially positive.

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

    You’ll have to extend greetings from this EuroPharyngulite.

    From this one too.

  161. opposablethumbs says

    Yay, CaitieCat! I hope you get a good result.

    rq, I’m sorry things sound like they are so piled up right now. Have some hugs? Looks like we just got a fresh delivery … and maybe a nice cup of tea, too.

    A.N. Other EuroPharyngulite.

  162. Morgan!? the Slithy Tove says

    Conga rats on the good outcome. Hugs. Get some rest.

    rq, I advise breaking out the sledge hammer. And opah (warm blooded fish) are huge and beautiful.

    For everyone who is dealing with the curse of cancer… Fuck cancer. My skin cancer on my face just re-erupted, but it is tiny and not a big deal and will get taken care of. Except they always leave these odd ugly scars. Oh well, from young beautiful thing to an old scarred and wizened crone… such is life.

    And we will probably get more snow tomorrow. We couldn’t get any winter weather all winter. Now, we can’t get rid of it.


  163. rq says

    I’ll probably take your advice. Can’t wait for pruning season (pickings are slim at the moment).
    Also, good luck with your skin cancer, hopefully it gets taken care of as well as on all previous occasions.
    Also, snow???

    Thank you. *hugsback* Would love to have tea with you. :)

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


    It looks like the worst of what I was feeling yesterday was complications from the protective post-surgical lens. That lens was removed yesterday in a minor procedure that is scarcely more complicated than any time someone holds you motionless and removes your contact for you with forceps sharp enough to skewer a frozen pea. My doc has good hands.

    in any case, I was having far more light sensitivity than I should have had on day 3 (though serious sensitivity is expected, debilitating, “Zoh my god, who turned on that 1w led nightlight. You’re killing me! I wanted the 1w incandescent night light!. Turn it off, turn it off or my visual cortex will melt!” sensitivity was NOT expected.)

    We’ve got things back to where they should be, maybe even a bit better. Downside for folk who have having eye surgeries that compromise the integrity of their endothelium?

    You’re not allowed to use swimming pools. Or hot tubs.

    And, apparently, being the oral in oral-vaginal sex is considered a risk factor for endothelial infection and is thus not possible as it would put me in peril.

    I suggested to my partner that perhaps just a prim little kiss wouldn’t be too perilous, but no. “Much too perilous, I’m afraid,” she said.


  165. blf says

    Today has been a disaster. Not in any important sense, just annoying…
    I made it a point to get up whilst the sun was still out since today was, or so I recalled, an interesting local festival. Er, nope, I got the day wrong…
    Well, Ok, we can salvage being up before noon by having a nice lunch… Er, yes, but… The first restaurant I went to (let’s call it F) was, to my surprise, not-open. This was doubly annoying since I’d tried to go to F recently and they were full.

    F‘s being full is actually a good thing! I worry that many times when I’m at F‘s there are few-to-no other customers. It could, I suppose, be me — more likely the mildly deranged penguin (she’s off-putting whether you know her or not) — but none of the other restaurants seem to have the same problem, even if they are not as good (F‘s is quite good albeit the carte de vin could be better).

    So I wound up going to another reliable restaurant, which I’ll call M. Started off Ok, but there was some language confusion when I placed my order. Nothing serious, just amusing. And then the “Big Wait” — that time during any restaurant visit / dining when you suddenly seem to not exist at all, nothing seems to happening, the waiters seem to be ignoring you, and the mildly deranged penguin starts farting — in this case, it was practically an hour before I was served my starter. I was a bit annoyed, perhaps especially since they didn’t seem to be very busy but did seem to have a full front-of-house staff — but decided not to make a fuss since it did give me a change to read the entire newspaper and solve the sudoko puzzle (not much luck with the crossword).

    Home, a few comments at FtB, and a nap. Ok, but when I wake up, an internal debate on whether to go out for dinner or just toss something together myself. Decide to go to F‘s for dinner. They are open. Yeah! More language problems, so the ordering was a bit confused, but the vin was great. The food? Well… prepared as ordered. But my appetite wasn’t up to it… too “heavy”, I either should have either ordered something “lighter” or just “tossed together” something myself. Going out for dinner was a mistake, despite the vin

    The waiter at F‘s, who knows me, was clearly surprised and a bit concerned — I didn’t even order any cheese! — but his usual jovial self, with the “Big Wait” (which wasn’t all that big) being only for the bill.

    (Yeah, I know, “first world” “problems”…)

  166. blf says

    California judge bans abstinence-only teaching in teenage pregnancy ‘hot spot’: “Ruling says sex education must be ‘medically accurate and free of bias’ in suit against Clovis Unified school district which has some of state’s highest teen pregnancy and STD rates”.

    I am slightly familiar with the area (near-ish Fresno) since my family used to live in the general vicinity. At the time I was there: Extreme wingnutsland (so the district’s apparent policy doesn’t surprise me), near-chattel slavery of immigrants from Mexico (mostly), and oil barons. I got an accurate “sex ed”, perhaps because, as I’ve commented previously, I had the good fortune to attend a so-called “model high school” which was run more on University lines and academic / scholar-orientated, and before Prop 13 kicked-in.

    I am not sure my sister, 5-ish years younger, had the same benefits (albeit she did get an AA degree at the same community college mentioned in the other thread). By that time, as I understand it, the high school had reverted to the more “traditional” model, and whilst I don’t know what the “sex ed” was then like, there are reasons to think it was B*S*. Probably with plenty of macho B*s.

  167. Crudely Wrott, lurching towards recrudescence says

    Last Friday I had the worst internet connection ever! Typing in the comment field involved a ten-second latency for every character. It was hopeless.

    I’m at my son in law’s mother’s house now since we had to forgo the six-u Inner Tube to save dollars.

    I am raising the distress flag. Been putting it off in hopes of not having to but . . .

    Here is the scenario–SIL has lost the mortgage. We have a hard deadline to move out. It is June second.

    SIL and surviving daughter have finally finally! come around to the awareness of the cost of their dummy dope habit and have entered a treatment program. Wish the hell they’d done so six months ago when I told them what was going to happen if they didn’t knock off the stupid shit.

    We have found some local assistance for utility bills and for food. I’ve had to pick up the bill for water and am spending more out of pocket to keep the pantry stocked. The extra strain on my bank account is nail bitingly worrisome.

    Now, Older and Younger Mancubs are coping admirably well considering. I’m a nervous wreck which is not normal for me by any stretch. I’m also feeling like tits on a boar hog for not being able to hold a normal job. The part of me that lends verticality has walked off the job. I can make a little cash making sawdust at the bench but even combined with my Social Security it lends little clout to my wallet.

    SIL’s car is in the shop with a mystery problem so that leaves V’Ger as the only functioning vehicle for the five of us. (I looked down at the odometer one day last month and saw this sequnce of digits: 234567. Almost to the moon. Expecting Lunar Orbital Insertion around Octobert. Sooner if SIL’s car isn’t fixed.)

    Soooooo, I’m running up the distress flag.

    The Horde has shown its generosity many times, once for my benefit even. This time I’m asking not only for myself but for four others as well. If you have the wherewithal to throw some coins into my tin can then I can assure you that it will be spent judiciously and I will have at least two of the family here in the Lounge, in person, to acknowledge your compassion and generosity.

    On the prior occasion the wonderful Esteleth acted as intermediary in funneling your dollars to me. I’ve just sent her an email asking if she would do so again. For the moment, then, I’ll pause and then go check my in box and then I’ll come right back here.

    It pains me to have to ask but if I did not ask and we found ourselves in an even stickier wicket, then, well, a damned deep price for pride, eh?

    Back in a few minutes.

  168. opposablethumbs says

    Morgan, sorry about the skin cancer but hope it is as minor and easily dealt with as can be.

    CD, you are made of way sterner stuff than I. Just having a very very minor snip done a few years ago (under local anaesthetic) right next-door to a tear duct froze me with fear, even before the scalpel got within a foot of me. Hope you are all-the-way better soon (and have lots of lovely post-temporary-abstention sex to the joy of all concerned) (if that isn’t too impudent of me).

  169. opposablethumbs says

    That was way too impudent of me. I blame … I don’t know, I think I blame Things and also Stuff. My apologies.

  170. says

    Crip Dyke 227

    I suggested to my partner that perhaps just a prim little kiss wouldn’t be too perilous, but no. “Much too perilous, I’m afraid,” she said.

    Tell me you asked for just a little peril? Also, I didn’t know your vacancy light was grail-shaped.

  171. blf says

    Ozland out to feck the entire world, Australia lobbies Unesco to stop it from listing Great Barrier Reef as ‘in danger’:

    Frantic efforts to avoid adverse status for reef which could foil government plans to open up vast region in Queensland for new coal mines

    The Australian government is undertaking frantic diplomatic efforts to avoid the Great Barrier Reef being listed as “in danger” by the UN, amid rising international concern over the opening up of a vast region in the state of Queensland for gigantic new coal mines.


    It has emerged that Australian ministers and diplomats have visited 19 countries that provide committee members, including Portugal, Japan and Jamaica, in recent months in a desperate lobbying effort to avert an internationally embarrassing blacklisting for the ailing reef.

    An “in danger” listing for the huge marine ecosystem, the world’s largest living entity, would prove highly problematic to mining companies attempting to open a massive fossil fuel frontier in Queensland’s Galilee basin, an area of underground coal the size of Britain.

    Critics insist the Galilee basin projects would devastate global attempts to stay within a carbon ‘budget’ to avoid runaway climate change.


    Environmentalists also point out that the planned expansion of Abbot Point port on the Queensland coast to deal with the millions of tonnes of coal exports and the thousands of extra container ship journeys along narrow lanes will put pressure on the reef too.

    Most major financial institutions are signed up to the Equator Principles, a set of standards that deter the funding of projects that harm world heritage sites.


    Australia’s lobbying of Unesco’s world heritage committee has irked conservationists and opposition politicians who claim that more effort should be made in preserving the reef.

    “What the reef needs right now is action, not overseas lobbying trips,” said Larissa Waters, an Australian Greens senator.


  172. blf says

    I didn’t know your vacancy light was grail-shaped.

    Oh, wicked, bad, naughty Crip Dyke! She has been setting a light to our beacon, which, I’ve just remembered, is Grail shaped. It’s not the first time we’ve had this problem.

  173. Morgan!? the Slithy Tove says

    I so sorry for all the sucky things. I truly hope the drug rehab takes this time. Financially things are uber tight right now but let me do a bit of juggling and see what I can do.
    We really need the commune.

  174. Crudely Wrott, lurching towards recrudescence says

    Hello, Morgan!

    Anything will help. If many give a little needs might just be met. Most important now is keeping V’Ger gassed up and ready to go. I spent most of the last of this month’s stipend getting her annual safety inspection and renewing registration. Plus, kids gotta eat.

    I appreciate your concern. Means a lot. This place has some of the most pleasingly functional people. And we all get along so well!

  175. Crudely Wrott, lurching towards recrudescence says

    Folks, I gotta bug out right now. Grandpa’s limo and mobile think tank service is needed.
    I’ll be back tomorrow morning. Late morning, I suspect.

    *here, take these assorted hugs and pillow refills for the fort–I think if you dig down in the refills there might be some grog and maybe a chocolate something. Oh, here’s some love, too*

  176. Esteleth, RN's job is to save your ass, not kiss it says

    I can be the conduit for Crudely Wrott again. My PayPal is linked to the email address that is my nym at google. Inquires related to other methods of sending funds can also be directed to that address.

  177. Morgan!? the Slithy Tove says

    Damn. It is snowing. Didn’t wait for Friday. Spring? What spring?

  178. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Phew, got the back yard mowed before the rains hit. I swear it was getting too tall for a goat.

  179. says

    So, the slightly longer version.

    When I got there, there was an immigrant lady with her sister also there for a hearing, and since they had eight kids waiting between them, I let them go first. My lawyer cringed a bit when she said we’d had bad luck, as the tribune on this tribunal was a hardass. She said to expect hard questions, and a focus on medical evidence. ALSO, the Ministry sent someone to oppose my appeal; they don’t always, per resources, but they did for me. Huzzah.

    We get inside, and the first two questions established the tone that would continue: turned out that the tribune and I had the same baccalaureate, from the same university. We bonded briefly over linguistics, and she oohed and aahed over my translating languages. Far from being a hardass, I nearly had her in tears at least three times: when I mentioned my family cutting me off after transition, when I mentioned being in the military and having some…issues with military police who objected to my queerness, and when I mentioned being sexually assaulted by a doctor during transition. On the latter, she said, “I hope you reported him and had him charged.” I said I hadn’t, because he had sign-off on whether or not I could transition, so like my sisters before and after, I submitted and just took the chance to keep the thing on track.

    Anyway, we get to the end, and she’s still chatty and pleasant; my lawyer said in the elevator that you could have knocked her over with a feather to see how nice the lady was, and that she was quietly but firmly optimistic about how it had gone. Then, in the parking lot, we encountered the devil’s advocate, who had done her job competently but fairly, and while we chatted she asked if she could hug me. Which I said okay to, and she did, and I got to drive away thinking that things must have gone well, when opposing counsel wants to hug me.

    Her Ex-Cellency was at the hearing with me, and she said she thought it had gone really well too, so we can hope, anyway.

    Thanks for the warm thoughts and hugs and stuff, it was nice to be able to consider while waiting for the hearing to start.