707 thoughts on “Speakeasy #3

  1. 351

    I hate this new initiative that we bring back school uniforms, as an attempt to erase social differeneces between children. My mum wore it in elementary school and she assures me that the differences between the ritch and the poor were no less obivious (hemline of her faded coat being extended every year and other girls always having a nice new one, just as one example).

    With all the gadgets and more accessories available to children, things can now only be more hopeless.

  2. 352


    I tried to be an island, but I’m weak.


    Fresh. Neighbors brought them yesterday and it’s usually the only time a year I eat nice fresh figs just from the tree. Although, I ate four or five so that’s hardly overdoing it.

  3. 354

    Beatrice 4:32am
    Perhaps if schools went back to being for education and not social clubs. Many USAian schools no longer teach cursive handwriting. Just think, a generation of people who will not be able to sign their names! According to Time magazine (in July 2014) a Tennessee woman complained to her state representative that her son in high school couldn’t read the homework assignments the teacher wrote on the board in cursive.

    Bright computer screens
    New dark ages
    Knowledge is not known

  4. rq

    Probably the same one, I think they only have the one (currently).
    Here’s the article in Latvian, there were about 50 people inside at the time, but what’s heartening is that, even though the fire wasn’t particularly serious (external damage, quickly extinguished, nobody injured, etc.), the police are treating it extremely seriously, with the implication more seriously than a regular case of arson.

  5. 360

    Now that I’m more actively following, news about refugees, especially the situation in Hungary are comming in quicker than I can follow or repost.

    When I get home ,I’ll need to visit one of the centers collecting things to send to Serbia.

  6. YOB

    YOBling’s school spent a little time teaching them to read cursive but none on actually writing cursive. When Honored First Wife and I first found out, we were pissed off. But, as we sat and talked about it, we both came to the conclusion that it isn’t that big of a deal, really. Here’s some of the reasons* why we eventually came to support the school’s decision:
    1. When was the last time we’ve even seen actual cursive writing, let alone actually used it to convey information to another person? The only time we could remember within the last decade is the birthday cards from HFW’s 86 year old grandmother. Even our handwritten notes to one another is as likely to be printed as it is to be cursive. (Or for me specifically, I use a weird combination of both when writing longhand.)
    2. What is the school doing with that time, if not teaching cursive? In our case, the curriculum includes quite a lot of classes covering material that simply did not exist 30 years ago (in school). There’s IT technologies, robotics, discourses on social media, anti-bullying/tolerance education, etc. Given a choice between a class on cursive writing and a class on tolerance or robotics, cursive loses, in my mind.
    3. What is the usefullness of cursive writing? It’s “prettier” than print, but then again, the majority of cursive writing examples in our memory have been terrible. Faster? I type way way faster (on a keyboard, not so much on a touchscreen). Signatures? How many peoples signatures are actually legible? Not many that I’ve seen.

    Schools not teaching cursive anymore? Meh.

    * as applicable to us being USAnian, middle class. Reasons may not apply universally. 🙂

  7. YOB

    Similar sig? That’s interesting. Did she have a major role in your learning to sign your name?

    I have two distinct signatures, depending upon what I’m signing. My “official” (checks, mortgage, etc) signature is legible but ugly. My “unofficial” sig (credit card receipts mostly) is a very pretty and flamboyant, IMHO, scribble. Not even a remote attempt at letters or anything.

  8. 364

    I think it’s mostly that we are both too.. something to bother with some kind of fancy signature so we both just write our surname in cursive. And for some reasno, yes, when I write in cursive I have a fairly similar writing style to my mom, and my late grandma.
    Mom was involved with my early school days, so we probably practiced writing together. I don’t really remember that kind of thing.

  9. 365

    Hi all!
    I was out weeding along the back fence the other day when my neighbor came outside. He informed me that he had sprayed herbicide on the kudzu along the fence. He then went on at length explaining how invasive kudzu is, etc etc. Yes, I know. I have a vague understanding of kudzu as an invasive species in these parts. What I should have told him is that:
    A. It isn’t kudzu.
    B. It isn’t exactly on his property.

    I also toyed with the option of adding
    C. Instead of spending time killing my plants*, maybe you should clean up the stinky dog crap in your yard once in awhile. When the wind turns westerly, it’s really unpleasant.

    But, being raised to be a polite little girl, I just smiled, nodded and made rude comments when he was out of earshot.

    It’s an ancient euonymus, which honestly I really don’t care for anyway. But the principle!

  10. 366

    I want, no, I need 17.2 billion US dollars. I already know what to do with them:
    The first step would be to buy the Nishinoshima island. It’s a rapidly expanding island in the pacific ocean. It also has an active volcano, which is very important for step two of my plan.
    I know what you’re thinking – Alex, you magnificent economic genius, wouldn’t you rather have enough money to pay your bills and unfreeze your on-and-off frozen bank account? The answer is no. I’ve had that account problem for years, but I’ve never had an island with an active volcano.
    Besides, by step #179 there would be no more need for banks.

  11. 367

    It’s jail time for Kim Davis, the clerk in Kentucky. And I think, with the charge being Contempt of Court, she stays there until she decides she will no longer show contempt to the Court. Best of all, while she is in jail, someone else gets to issue the marriage licenses.

  12. 370

    barkeeperin, serves Kim Davis right. I hope she learns something about tolerance, diversity, and minding her own business, but I doubt she will.

    I actually went out and had fun this morning – two of my requests came in at the Yorba Linda (yes, home of the Nixon Library, gah) library, so Elder Daughter and I trekked over there and disported ourselves at the Friends of the Library bookshop. Two paperbacks on Aged Mum’s Sue Grafton want list, three John Sanfords for the Husband, and a Modern Library Somerset Maugham for my collection, plus some treasures for the Elder Daughter. That’s the most fun I’ve gotten out of ten bucks in a very long time. Then we got lunch on the way home.

    Plus, I ran all the necessary shopping errands on my list this morning. Yay.

  13. 372

    rq, and my B&N preorders all came yesterday. I’m reading A Red-Rose Chain (Seanan McGuire’s latest) now, and I have The Shepherd’s Crown waiting. That’ll be hard to read, though; it’s Pratchett’s last work, sniffle.

    But I finally (!) got to go out and have some fun. I am giddy with delight, wheeeee!

  14. rq

    Well, then a double-yay for YOU!! It’s a great feeling to finally (yes, finally!) have that little bit of fun. I’m glad you had the chance and that everything went swimmingly.
    This calls for extra tea!

  15. rq

    Oh my goodness, Rawnaeris, I completely forgot to extend my congratulations (as presented by this fine line of conga rats) to you!!! Will you please accept them now?

  16. 383

    Rawnaeris! Have some belated congratulations from me as well!

    So it’s a game designed to appeal to people who think The Martian was the best movie ever made?
    Mind you, there already are games based on this concepts. This game adds modern graphics (a significant addition) and more exploration options, but it already takes many unscientific shortcuts and considering its gameplay appears to be very repetitious, I doubt that this game will ever take off (HAH!).

  17. 384

    YOB 10:06 am

    Your arguments are rational and reasonable.

    Personally my response to 1 is daily. I do a lot of handwriting.
    In response to 2, in Texas it would allow a lot more time for teaching the controversy in science classes (/snark)
    And for 3, a person could, if so inclined, do some research to see if private schools and academies are going the same way. Here’re some other ideas.
    Commenter Lynne misses the point and commenter jeremyjanson has an interesting outlook.
    After a period of time, the skill would be a simple and convenient yet unobtrusive class marker.
    Modo loquens.

  18. 385


    Great work! And, while mostly in the future, isn’t it great to know there are good things on the way? As you say, less stress and that’s always good.

  19. YOB

    Re: cursive

    I guess it boils down to how much relevance each person ascribes to the ability. I give it none. As far as class goes, access to technology will have far greater impact on a child than wether or not they can write cursive. My daughter may not be able to write cursive, but at 11 she can type about 30 wpm (on smaller keyboards) and can hand code a basic html webpage. And I’m perfectly fine with that. 🙂

    Oh, and not all Texas schools are teaching the controversy. :p

  20. rq

    Maybe The Martian is the best movie ever made! (I mean, I haven’t seen it, so maybe…? I kind of want to read the book first, but, haha, it suffers from Classic Lone Male Lead syndrome, and that’s been a bit of a deterrent, never mind all the good things I’ve heard about it. I’m sure they fixed all that in the movie.)
    Anyway, I’d be interested in playing that game. Sure, it might be repetitive, and not quite as scientifically accurate as advertised, but as something to do to relax and kill time and turn the brain off from anything serious? I can see enjoying myself. 🙂
    (Incidentally, hope you are well – how’s that 17.2 billion coming along?)

  21. rq

    You forget the impending climate crisis which will return us to a time of no electricity, constant darkness, and only birch bark and carrier pigeons as a means of communication! (I mean, no paper, right…?) Having neat, legible penmanship is imperative if we are to maintain any civilization at all…

  22. 391

    mostly thred’rupt *;

    Concentration is the hard part !

    Been off (not mentally- THAT’S constant). Just trying to maintain on my days off.

    Hope ALL are coping or at least… (as I do) … thinking good thoughts TO MAINTAIN !

    LOVE TO ALL MY—-* LOUNGE* SPEAKEASY* BARFLY* compatriates !!!!

    *Going back (when possible) to catch up !

  23. 392

    “You forget the impending climate crisis which will return us to a time of no electricity, constant darkness, …”

    Reminds me of the time …. Midnight + 1— 2000 AND 2001:
    Night shift at The Water Plant : —-Phone rings @ midnight + 1: [Me]: ” ______ Water Plant .” [City Manager] “Everything okay?” [Prince plays in the background: …”Party Like It’s 1999″ !!!] “Just fine, Boss !” [Roll eyes, ‘Like, you believed the Y2K’ers !!!???’]

  24. 396

    I started The Shepherd’s Crown last night, just finished this morning. It was good, and it made me cry, and that’s all I’m going to say here, because I don’t want to spoil it for anyone else.

    I’m having a slow day today because this is Aged Mum Weekend and it’s going to be all rush rush rush, so just laundry and maybe some studio pottering. Now, I can either read one of my new library books or reread X, now that I’ve reread the previous two Kinsey Millhones. I think I’ll go for murder mystery, and then get back to fantasy and science fiction; switching between the two genres is rather jarring, I find.

  25. 397

    rq that’s an excellent article (just forwarded it to Spawn#1). Thank you.

    A couple of years ago I was involved in the localisation of a primary school maths course imported from Japan; I was thoroughly pissed off when I offered to fix the gender imbalance in the examples used, and the agency organising it turned me down (even though I linked them to a couple of academic studies on stereotype threat specifically in maths, and said I’d do the extra work at no extra charge – and it would have been easy, too) because they said it would be too much trouble making sure it all matched up across the question books, answer booklets and teachers’ book :-((((

  26. 398

    re. refugees
    There is a person on Go read this that I can’t even respond to because they are making me sick.
    From now on I’m considering the phrase illegal immigrants to be hate speech.

  27. 400

    Well no, because men are like flies. I don’t supposed we’re allowed to swat them off? And you know those sticky papers for catching flies? Hmmmm.

  28. 406


    it suffers from Classic Lone Male Lead syndrome

    …and thus it cannot be a good book!
    To be honest, I haven’t read the book myself either. Based on the trailer for the movie and what I’ve read about it I doubt that I’ll like it very much when and if I’ll read or see the movie. I did notice that many of the people who recommend it and are anxious about the movie also hyped the new Star Trek movies, and that is something which I can never forgive. tuHmoH quvHa’ghach je!
    (Yeah, I’m not being fair. But scifi hasn’t been kind to me lately)

    Incidentally, hope you are well

    I’m OK, thanks for asking!

    ow’s that 17.2 billion coming along?

    I’ve found a ten Euro bill recently, which is pretty amazing considering we’re not in Europe! That goes straight into my Overl— Island Buying fund. Yeah, that’s the ticket.

    Incidentally I have a game to recommend. Fate of the World puts you in charge of a rapidly heating Earth in 2020. It tries to be scientifically accurate (with limited success) and allows for various ways of dealing with many problems caused directly and indirectly by GW (including lack of food, water, storms, fires, falling GDP, political instability and ultimately nuclear wars) in your attempt to solve various scenarios, each with different goals and initial settings.
    Ever wanted to manage billions of refugees seeking food and water? Now you can! (spoiler: they all die)
    It’s one of the hardest games I’ve ever played. Even the tutorial mission is of medium difficulty. The actual missions are nearly impossible, but the gameplay is extremely simple.
    So, if that’s your thing go give it a try.
    (FYI, the developer and publisher have gone out of business a couple of years ago)

  29. rq

    haha, It’s not so much that CLML syndrome automatically makes it a bad book, but I’ve become rather wary of such books.


    Annnd thus ends the first week of school/daycare/kindergarten. Everyone has survived, and I am still on official vacation time. The real test starts week after next, when I actually have to go to work during the day,
    In other big news, we borrowed some money from my mum to bring our furnace into the 20th century, so now no more running downstairs to the basement every few hours to add brickettes to the furnace, it’s all automated on granules now! I’ll have to retire the title of Fire Goddess, but the best part is, I can’t burn the house down anymore (at least, it’s a lot more difficult to do). I can’t tell y’all how awesome this is. Mostly the automated part, rather than the no-arson part. 😀

  30. 408

    I’ve read The Martian and while there is no reason that the lead had to be male it doesn’t do a bad job as far as gender is concerned. The crew is pretty equally split between men and women and the commander is a woman who is not only competent, but respected and obeyed.

    Being who and what I am I’m sure I’ve missed some of the subtleties, but in the broad strokes it isn’t particularly sexist. Mind you, when the main action concerns a person who is more profoundly alone than any human ever before, that might not be hard.

    It’s been described as a book for folks who loved the scenes in Apollo 13 where they cobble together a fix for the air scrubber. It is in fact a whole book of that sort of thing. It’s competence porn in other words. The pleasure for me comes from projecting myself (falsely) onto someone who is so much better at things than I am. It’s also fascinating to see how many ways the author found to put his protagonist in peril. Ways that according to interviews I’ve seen with him he did his level best to get accurate to reality.

    I loved it. YMMV.

  31. rq

    Thanks for that, FossilFishy! “Competence porn” – I love it. I heard Neal Stephenson’s Seveneves described similarly. Another one on the reading list.

  32. 410

    Just finished Seveneves, it was good but brutal, emotionally speaking. I ended up crying at more than one point. It is competence porn of a sort, but I’d say that it’s even more desperate and hanging-on-by-the-fingernails than The Martian. Nothing is certain and no one is safe in Seveneves because any character could die and the story would go on.

  33. 411

    It’s been described as a book for folks who loved the scenes in Apollo 13 where they cobble together a fix for the air scrubber.


    *ahem* Anyway, I'm still alive and should soon have a permanent (ha!) address again.

    JAL you have email. Hope things are going okay for you and Little One.

  34. 412

    HI folks, I’m back!
    Actually, we came back beyonderday*, but as camping holidays go, we had a lot of work afterwards.
    I took about 1300 fotos (not kidding), so I may post one or three in the future.

    *The day before yesterday. English is lacking a word for this so I made you one.

  35. 413

    Hey, Giliell!

    Does anyone remember if Nick Gotts found his way here? I just saw him on Love Joy Feminism and I couldn’t remeber when was the last time I read him.

  36. rq

    I’ve seen Nick on Pharyngula threads here and there.

    Hi, Giliell!!! Love the new word. 😉

    *sigh* It’s like everyone gets to the good books before I do. 😉 I did read The Peripheral (William Gibson) at the beginning of summer, though.


    Musical interlude with the classic ‘I don’t really get it’ music video, a requisite when making music videos in Latvia. I present a neat version of Prokofiev’s Night Rider.

  37. 419

    I opted to go to a friend’s bacheloretter party instead of uni generation gathering because I figured I should put her first.
    She invited us for drinks, food and suggested we go out later to dance.
    BUt some smartass then suggested each one of use brings “something the bride might need in her married life” and said she’d bring some “props” . With winky smily faces.
    There are going to be a lot of sexual alusion, aren’t there?
    Maybe even some horrible game revolving around sexuality.

    I don’t wanne. *whine*

  38. 420

    Don’t give in! Fight sexy with unsexy! For every “orgasmatron 9000” mention the other things that (often) come with marriage – painful labor, shitty dippers, children puking their food like ill-mannered cats!

  39. rq

    Is she living with her fiance? If so, you should look at the pile of sex toys and snicker knowingly: “Y’all think she doesn’t have any of this stuff already?” Bonus points if you can say it with a southern drawl, because of the ‘y’all’.
    I wonder, though, if the smartass is under the impression that the bride-to-be will be okay with this sort of display… I don’t know what kind of a person she is, but if she specifically said food, drinks and dancing, then why is someone planning a potentially unpleasant or unwanted or uncomfortable surprise? Is it the tradition in Croatia? (I have no idea, I didn’t have a ‘real’ bachelorette party.)
    And I hate the idea that married life is all about the sex. No, actually, it’s about the hard work and patience and compromises you have to make (within limits, of course). Communicating with another person, etc. Which kind of brings to mind an idea… a gift that helps with communication and/or planning (a whiteboard with markers to place in a visible spot, a stack of post-it notes and/or magnetized clipboards for the fridge, a notebook (my sister gave Husband and I some post-its that were called ‘nag-notes’), a proper radio-alarm clock…) might be something a bit different but totally applicable to the current definition of necessary items in marriage. Just a thought.

  40. 422

    Opt for a hammer and screwdrivers. Everybody needs them.

    I labelled and packed #1’s school supplies. Shitton of fucking work that only gets noticed when not done correctly.
    Also, I buy her quality pencils and sharpeners and erasers at the start of each school year and then quickly go for increasingly cheaper replacements.
    I swear she eats erasers for breakfast…

  41. rq

    (I did discover them mid-summer at the bottom of his backpack, where he swore they hadn’t been before… All six of them.)

  42. 425

    Well, I think it’s the lament of paremts everywhere.
    I’m surprised they haven’t discovered Babylonian clay tablets yet mentioning the problem…
    My only consolation is that the little one is frighteningly tidy and keeps her stuff in perfect order.

  43. 426

    Good morning.
    Great suggestions! I can work with that. They already live together and no, I don’t know whether she’s comfortable with the suggestion (she was in the mailing list, but it’s not like she’ll say anything).

    I don’t think bachelorette parties were a thing here at all before we “imported” them from US. That’s why I’m not sure how it’s supposed to look like and whether I’m paranoid to interpret those little gifts and props as I did.

    It’s September. Did anyone else’s year just fly by?

  44. 427

    Boy, I’ve missed my blog. It’s only been a few days, but it seems longer. The last four days have wiped me out. I actually had to bow out of helping with construction work halfway through today. It was just too much. I hadn’t gotten good sleep the last three nights. I hadn’t been eating right, and after working in the sun today for three hours I just wasn’t feeling up to snuff. I’m feeling better now, finally. Although I still need something to relax my muscles. That may have something to do with my sleeping problems.

    Oh, and I am a crispy shoop right now. My face, neck, arms, and legs are darker than they’ve ever been.

    I hope everyone is doing ok. Will catch up when sometime Sunday (my days are out of whack too; I know it’s technically Sunday, but I’m still awake from Saturday, so to me, it’s still Sat.)

  45. 431

    I promised you pictures, right?
    I really loved this holiday and I really, really needed it.
    I know, it sounds like well-off person talking shit, but I think I escaped the Black Dog. Some days into the holiday, I noticed I was smiling. I also noticed that I hadn’t been smiling just so in a long time. Only those polite “I’m expected to smile” smiles.

  46. 435

    I’m glad the vacation helped, Giliell. It sounds like it was just what you needed.

    Back from Aged Mum’s, whew. Things actually went well for a change. I don’t even have to worry about returning the new and defective TV; they fiddled with it more, and hey presto, now it’s working properly. So I can actually have tomorrow off, more or less. And it’s three weeks until the next grocery run this time, too. I’m going to take a nap.

  47. 437

    Beautiful video. Didn’t like the guy, though – compared to her he did very little. I know holding her like that is no small feat in itself, but he was several leagues below her – she’s a top professional and he’s merely a top amateur.

    I knew that Russia was supplying Assad, but I didn’t know they were giving him new weaponry. How can he even pay them? Or is that their version of “humanitarian aid”?

    Recent sightings of brand new Russian armoured vehicles in Syria, of types never previously supplied to its ally, suggest that with the Assad regime suffering serious reverses, Moscow is intent on redressing the military balance.

    Subsequently, the Syrian army has released video material that shows seemingly brand new BTR-82A infantry combat vehicles in action or on exercises – a variant of the vehicle that has never before been supplied to the Syrian military.

    The vehicles appear to be in a Russian paint scheme and thus may have been taken straight from Russian army stocks.

  48. 438

    totes ‘rupt.
    Hi everyone. Hugs and muscle relaxants as needed.

    rq, the poem you mention is a note that
    William Carlos Williams wrote to his wife and was then published as a poem:
    This is just to say

    I have eaten
    the plums
    that were in
    the icebox

    and which
    you were probably
    for breakfast

    Forgive me
    they were delicious
    so sweet
    and so cold

  49. rq

    Yep, that’s the classic criticism from ‘Dancing with the Stars’ shows here, too – and I’ve even heard it of world class pairs and dance figure skaters, that the man is there to showcase the woman. Which is a damn shame, because the disbalance is so visible. But oh well.

    Thanks, I did find it due to a memory jar and some google fu after I wrote that first comment. It’s amazing how only a few right words (“I have eaten all the”) can lead you to the right answer. 🙂

    And welcome back, Giliell!!! Loverly pictures. Mild envy has ensued, but I’m super-glad you had a good time and had a chance to unwind enough to smile and have great fun (and take great photos!).

  50. 442

    Shhhhhhhh! Elder Daughter and I are the only ones awake here, and I’m only up because the Gallbother wouldn’t let me sleep in. She’s up because the backyard birds expect to be fed on time, and because she likes to go to the park before it gets too hot.

  51. 443

    Wow, September has started and the supermarket has put up the Christmas stuff. Not that I wouldn’t eat Lebkuchen in March…
    Unfortunately, my jeans informed me that Aioli, artesan ice cream, ensaimadas for breakfast, red wine, sherry and cocktails put more pressure on the already strained relationship with my waistbands, so food has been moved to the list of forbidden items.

    Bad, bad gallbother

    Thank you all. The holiday was really what we needed. And since we basically repeated last year’s holiday, we really noticed how things are getting better. The little one grew some stamina and we only had #1 major incident of totally freaking out with #1.
    That was unfortunately Park Güell. Last year she really wanted to go, bit behaved that badly that morning that she had to stay home. So of course we went this year. Unfortunately, during that year her expectations of what it is grew exponentially and were bound to be disappointed, but we didn’t notice beforehand.
    Everything was good once we left there.

    Another thing you could see is how the crisis is hitting Spain harder and harder. “Closed” and “to let” signs everywhere, even on the famous La Rambla. Yet there still seem to be rich, rich, rich people as there were new houses being advertised for a mere 400k.
    Immigrants are of course hit hardest, selling trinkets and stuff to tourists.

    Also, I seem to have found pleasure reading for #1. Thea Stilton Graphic Novels.
    The Geronimo Stilton TV series is one of the better ones currently on TV and the graphic novels feature 5 protagonists from Australia, China, France, China and Tansania.

  52. 444

    I saw that you tried to argue some sense over at the new B&. My sympathies for trying. But byn ow they are so invested in their narrative, I’m afraid it’s hopeless.

  53. 445

    I’m just going to replenish the basket of hugs, and retreat to the pillow fort for the day.

    I spent half an hour this morning on my little wee cellphone, being transferred from place to place while the nice tech support people tried to find someone who could help figure out why our landline is not working today. The repair tech will be here on Wednesday between 8 AM and 6 PM. I don’t actually have to be home, but I think I’d rather, just in case.

    I called Aged Mum and told her, or rather her caregiver, to call the cellphone number until further notice. I should probably call some other people, but right now I can’t think of where to start, so I won’t bother. Tomorrow whichever cat I can catch first goes to the vet, and Thursday is the other cat’s turn. This is going to be such a fun week…

    Well, at least the telemarketers can’t annoy me for now – the line just rings, and rings, and rings, and the machine doesn’t even pick up. Serves ’em right.

  54. 447


    Well, at least the telemarketers can’t annoy me for now – the line just rings, and rings, and rings, and the machine doesn’t even pick up. Serves ’em right.

    As someone who worked as a telemarketer before, I can assure you that we don’t want to call you anymore than you want to get a call from us. We do it because it’s our job and we need food. It’s an unpleasant job, but you get what you can.
    I’m not blaming you or anything, just saying that the people you should be angry at aren’t on the other side of the phone – they’re the ones who hire people to answer their phones for them.

    I’m sometimes annoyed at how anti-scientific sentiments embedded themselves into all political views. It’s particularly annoying on the left, because that’s the policy I care about.
    Take this song for example. Wouldn’t it be better without the lines about antibiotics and vaccination?

    This article is circling the web. It looks to me like a call for more moderation, but it offers no practical advise. Should we call out people who misuse the call out method or would it also be part of the “call out culture”?

  55. 448

    Thanks to that John Oliver post on Pharyngula, I remembered once upon a time going on a why is everyone against math rant in the Lounge. I googled “beatrice math rant lounge” and it was the first result (google search is good and somewhere at home I even have some printed out papers on it. Should look into that because MATH IS AWESOME).
    Now I’m reading old Lounge threads. Ah, nostalgia.

  56. 449


    When I do actually pick the phone up and it’s a telemarketer, I try to be polite. But it’s hard when the calls start before 7 AM and keep on until after 10 PM. I’m jumpy enough about the phone as it is, what with Aged Mum being in frail health.

  57. 450

    Heya peeps, can I ask if anyone in the US can help me out with a p*y p*l transfer tomorrow? Otherwise international-ness will take a bite out of it. Hope the hugs pile is warm/cool enough for anyone who wants it that way.

  58. 451

    About telemarketers… What ever happened to the Federal Do Not Call list? I registered my phone numbers with them years ago, then again a while back, but it seems anyone and everyone can call my numbers and pitch anything.

  59. 452

    Biped – for what it’s worth the random telemarketers usually are calling illegally, but since they’re using throwaway numbers and lie about their contact information there’s not much use in turning them in, I keep trying. Political callers are exempt IIRC and so is any company that does business with you or any company that trades call lists with them unless you go through specific opt-out procedures for each of them…

  60. 453

    Biped, the telemarketers laugh at the Do Not Call list. They deny knowing about it, they tell me my number isn’t on the list (it is, I check periodically), they pretend to be someone from Husband’s work, and from what I’ve read, they can thwart caller ID if you have it. Either they block the number, or they copy a number from your phone’s directory so you think it’s someone you should answer.

  61. 454

    Regarding that article you’re not sure about calling out… it doesn’t strike me as a call to moderation but as a “you can’t say anything anymore these days without offeding someone” whine. Or alternatively, “you got feminism* in my atheism anarchism”.

    *or trans activism or anti-racist activism or choose any other group

  62. 456


    they copy a number from your phone’s directory so you think it’s someone you should answer.

    This means that either your, or your friends’/loved ones’ phone has been hacked. That usually happens when you install apps that request access to your phonebook.

    I agree – she’s a true hero. Good for her for not breaking his neck, she probably could have done it but chose not to.


    Or alternatively, “you got feminism* in my atheism anarchism”.
    *or trans activism or anti-racist activism or choose any other group

    That would explain why one “progressive” atheist linked to that article. Nevertheless, there really is a problem when you have one ready-made response to any comment regardless of context (incidentally, one commenter on the John Oliver thread exemplified that behavior on other threads).
    Remember how, during the Thunderdome-Mended Drum remodeling, many people argued that there should be some limits to aggressive or cookie-cutter responses? This is something I’ve been trying to think about more for the last month or so, and I’ve been looking into both left and right wing groups.

    I discovered that both groups act surprisingly similarly regarding new commenters and use the same markers and methods. Just like calling someone a “c*nt” or “f*g” will mark you (rightfully) as unprogressive in a progressive space, not using those words in a conservative space will mark you as an outsider (also rightfully). Both sides like to use slogans, for example one atheist slogan that is often misused (like when the hyper-skeptics want to dismiss rape or harassment accounts) is “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence”, even though that’s a very useful slogans. I’m sure you can think of many others.
    Aside: one particularly funny phrase that’s being thrown around by regressives who aren’t complete scum and still care about some minor form of equality is “I’m not a SJW – I’m a Social Justice Activist/Advocate“. Usually spoken by a dudebro who has never done any activism in his entire life.

    Those slogans do cheapen the conversation like any auto-piloted comment does. But I also think they’re very important in the current age of social media. If you can’t deliver a statement in 140 characters, you’re effectively forfeiting your position to anyone who can. And this means taking shortcuts, even when some nuance can be very helpful.

    Luckily, social media aren’t everything and people still have blogs to discuss nuanced positions. However, they need to be very informed and very careful to explain their position. If they dismiss points with but a few snappy sentences they’re being as simplistic as the social media comments, but without the excuse of a limiting medium.
    Similarly writers who express their outrage in slogans and social media terms when they have a blog to write a thoughtful piece are also being lazy, though, unlike the above case, they firmly stay within their in-group so any potential damage is minimal.

    What I’m saying is that the various SJW and anti-SJW articles and posts I’m seeing lately are partially about the eternal fight between progressives and regressives, but also an example of social interaction catching up to technology. Which is why some generally progressive older people can be very hostile to SJW terminology – even if they use social media, they don’t “live” in it or internalize it as much as younger people.

    Or I’m full of shit.
    Like I’ve said, I really am confused about this subject.

  63. 458


    OK, I’ll have to read that again tomorrow when my head is a bit more clear.
    You do have a point, and you’e certainly not full of shit.
    Slogans can be useful, but at the same time can restrict you, if I’m understanding you correctly (at least part of what your were saying). Yeah, I can see that. Instead of engaging people, it’s easier to just shoot a quick “intent isn’t magic”… but then again, as people have been arguing for a while now on Pharyngula, sometimes it just gets too much, explaining the same thing over and over again.
    I’m not sure what the right answer is. Maybe as long as there are some people ready to write long ranty comments, it’s ok that someone else gives a short response?
    And then again there’s the balance between people who have more of a platform choosing to do one over the other, and people who have a small to non-existent platform.

  64. 459

    I’m not a maths person, but I understand it’s necessity and usefulness. Maybe I’d change curricula a bit away from calculus towards statistics, but seriously, this is fucking important!

    It’s actually fairly restricted in Germany:
    Only if you are a customer.
    Only if you agreed.
    THey have to show their number.
    That doesn’t keep the Indian “Microsoft” callers from calling regularly. At least by now they should know they’re wasting their time…

  65. 460

    AlexanderZ, the phone number trick is something I’ve only ever read of. I’ve been wondering how that was done, so thanks for explaining it. If I ever have a phone that does apps, I’ll watch out for that trick.

    Giliell, yeah, those “Microsoft” callers are the worst. One of them called at 5 AM once. I was afraid it was Aged Mum’s caregiver with scary bad news (yes, that is how my mind runs), so I ran across the room and grabbed the phone. That guy got an earful.

    It’s 95° in the patio, in the shade,and still climbing. It’s predicted to keep getting hotter all week. This will be such a fun week, I just can’t tell you how fun. :p

  66. 463

    Also DO NOT WANT. Up here at 5500 feet altitude the weather folks say we won’t get above 87 Degrees F. Whooppee… anything above 70 is too hot for me.
    On another note, you know how broadcast weather folk often have names that must be faux. I often thought that Storm Drain would be an excellent name for a weather talker.

  67. 464

    Dallas Raines really is his name, and he’s one of the few who actually knows what he’s talking about. So this week is going to be hot, and humid in the mountains to boot, with thunderstorms. Urk.

  68. 466

    Your reaction is perfectly reasonable. After all nobody calls at 5 am to ask how you’re doing and would you like to grab some coffee on Wednesday?

    Don’t be ridiculous. That woman has a scary evil religion andisal so probably brown.

    I hate people #1, TW transphobia
    So, last night I watched a German talkshow on “gender”. I only watched because I kind of promised one of the reasonable folks (she hardly got a word in edgewise) and followed the Twitter hashtag. The usual misogyny was bad, the casual transphobia worse. One woman from a women’s union, a lady in her 50s with a bony face structure and a deep voice got constantly called “he”, a pro feminist male ploitician with long hair “the bearded lady”. And that’s the people who think that we really don’t need any of those conversationsa round sex and gender.

    I hate people #2
    Folks who use their mobile while driving backwards in the car park in front of the primary school at 5 to 8 should have their driving license revoked without any possiblility to ever get it back again.

    I hate my body
    Apparently lactose intolerance is hitting. I lay awake for hours last night with painful, painul stomach cramps.

  69. 467

    Giliell, sympathies on the evil cramps. I hope you’re feeling better by now.

    The middle of the night/early AM calls I get are more along the lines of “your dad’s heart stopped, we’re going over to the hospital” (and on my birthday, too) followed by “he’s gone, can you come up here” or the Husband calling to tell me that he totalled his car on the freeway going to work (fortunately nobody was injured). So I hope you can understand why I get jumpy about early morning phone calls.

    Today I get to take whichever cat I can catch first to the vet. Wish me luck?

  70. 468


    Slogans can be useful, but at the same time can restrict you, if I’m understanding you correctly (at least part of what your were saying). Yeah, I can see that. Instead of engaging people, it’s easier to just shoot a quick “intent isn’t magic”

    Yes, exactly. And you’re also right about the flip side – that giving a detailed answer is impossible every single time the same topic comes up. Eventually it should falls on the leaders or most knowledgeable members of any progressive space to temper sloganistic comments with more in-depth discussions or links to such a response. Those who don’t aren’t moving the conversation forward.
    On the other side, dismissing a group based solely on low-platform writings while ignoring the larger works associated to that group is pure ignorance.

    Maybe as long as there are some people ready to write long ranty comments, it’s ok that someone else gives a short response?


  71. 469

    Been there, done that!
    My two grandpa’s died in the early morning, very unexpectedly, my gran in the middle of the night (predictably). And then there’s alcoholic mum and you never know what you’re in for with her…

    Good luck with the cat!

    Question to cat servants: Could you keep an outdoor cat without access to the main house (but a sheltered place in the basement, for example?) I mean, we’Re planning for the garden with the house, and the kids are begging for a pet, but I’m too allergic to keep a cat in the house (and they constantly want to be adopted by me, I swear)…

  72. 470

    Dreams… I always dream, every night, and I usually recall them. And they are often narrative. I have used some as the basis for stories. The weirdness that exists in my brain astounds me. They are rarely “happy” dreams, but last night’s dream was a keeper. I was Cassandra: I said precisely and honestly everything I wanted to say to everyone; friend, family or stranger. It was a hugely satisfying dream.

  73. 471

    About cats… I am not a cat servant, I am a pooch servant. But, and this is a big one: Ethically, a cat should never be kept outdoors, or even let out. They are prey driven and kill beasties. If the only beasties they ever killed were vermin, that would be grand, but it has been calculated that your average cat kills approx. 100 birds every year. And in all fairness to your little ones, what is the point of having a pet if it can’t be an indoor member of the family?
    To learn more please see the information from the American Bird Conservancy. I’ll get off my soap box now.

  74. 472

    I looked the bird problem up and German environmental organisations come to a different conclusion. They don’t see outdoor cats as a threat to the bird population, saying that the larger problem is feral cats and the lack of biodiversity in agriculture.
    Residential neighbourhoods are the area where we have the biggest growth in bird numbers and diversity.

    what is the point of having a pet if it can’t be an indoor member of the family?

    You can play with it, care for it and snuggle with it outside? That’s the way I had all my rabbits and I loved them dearly.

  75. 473

    Um. My cats are indoor/outdoor cats, outdoors during the day if they want, but they have a strict curfew and are brought in before it gets dark and not allowed out again until full light. Yes, they have caught house finches (which are very common), but less than a dozen between them I their lifetimes, also an occasional mouse. Usually, it’s grasshoppers, the tails of lizards, falling leaves, and once, a baby pomegranate. We have a big backyard with lots of trees and bushes to nap under, and mostly they just watch the birds and don’t even try to catch them. Patches does have ambitions of catching Squirrel Nemesis some day, but I don’t think there’s a chance. My cats are both spayed, they have regular checkups and dental visits, and they get treated for fleas, ticks, etc as recommended by their vet. [climbs off soapbox]

    Giliell, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having a mostly outdoor cat, but if you’re that allergic, wouldn’t you just end up allergic to the family members who had close contact with the cat?

  76. 474

    A bit ‘rupt from the long weekend, hopefully catching up soon.
    Work seems to have settled down, which is good. My frustration/irritation was starting to leak out and be expressed externally – which is not a good thing. Fortunately, I have a very understanding manager.
    Since this week looks to be HOT here in NorCal, I think I’ll switch to nice cool vodka tonics for the time being.
    Pteryxx – if you still help with the payment thing, email me at jimb259 at yahoo dot com.
    *hugs* and *well wishes* to all.

  77. 475

    Fuck. I’m so tired of being stressed out about money. On top of regular bills, I also have to pay the late fees for rent- $75 the first day (the 4th) and $5 each additional day. I have maybe a third of what I need.

    I applied for the position at My Modern Metropolis. We’ll see what happens there. A FB friend posted about a job opening at RH Reality Check, which I’m about to go check out. And of course, I have sold a fair amount of comics on ebay, so there’s a little bit of money coming in there (though not til the end of the month).
    Between that and the exhaustion from working outdoors last week, I just have no energy to blog–even though there’s plenty of stuff to talk about.

    I hope I get out of this financial and mood funk soon. I’d *love* to be able to have fun again at some point in my life too.

  78. 476

    With cats it seems to be about the dosage with me. Outdoor petting: fine. People who have cats in my home: fine. A home with a cat? Give me a serving of anti allergy medication and I can go for the night

    Check your paypal

  79. 478

    I have opinions!

    Outdoor cats:
    I don’t have a cat (allergic) and I get annoyed by the neighbors’ outdoor cats. They poo in my yard and chase away/eat the bunnies. (I like the bunnies.)

    I loved your vacation pictures. Especially the mosaic fountain beast. Glad you had a good time.

  80. rq

    My kids is currently a lot like pets: one’s got worms, the other’s got fleas. The third is currently clean of vermin, but I suppose it’s only a matter of time.
    And the car is haunted.

    Fuck this shit.

  81. 480

    Damn. Sorry to hear that. I haven’t had worms, but the fleas? I had to deal with that in 2013. That was no pleasant. I still shudder when I remember standing on the carpet and watching those fuckers jump all up my legs. And of course bc I wasn’t aware of them in the beginning, I managed to bring some into my bedroom with me (which has long since been off limits to pets). It took a good six months before the house was free of them.

  82. 482

    Damn, I’m sorry to hear.
    *cross my fingers and spit*
    We’ve been very lucky on that front. My personal nightmare are lice because we have like 500 stuffed animals here.

    The fountain beastie is the inofficial mascot of Barcelona and lizards are everywhere.

  83. 487

    Let’s make it difficult for you-a genie grants you that wish, with the caveat that you can only be fluent in your top 5 favorite languages. Which ones would they be?

  84. 488

    Aw, hell…
    Italian (I hope to visit someday).
    Only two more??
    Mandarin. NO wait- Cantonese.
    Some sort of Arabic.

    Of course, there’s a separate list for the more practical fantasy of being an art conservator:
    Ancient Greek
    Coptic Egyptian

  85. 492

    Thanks, Anne. I appreciate the sentiment and agree it is too hot to touch anyone. Even the doggies.

    chigau… your are there? What is the temperature?

  86. 494

    ‘rupt-ish. Hi everyone. Conga-rats or commiserations where appropriate. Hugs for the basket, cushions and blankies and extra card-tables for the pillow fort…

    Needing to vent a little frustration, and rather than ranting all over somebody else’s FB wall…
    Yeah, it’s about that county clerk in Tennesee. I keep hearing the boo-hooing about how nobody should be in jail, and nobody should be compelled to go against their moral choices…and also so much “No True Xtian” that I just want to barf.
    RAWRRRR (preachin’ to the choir edition):
    Honestly, I have NO sympathy for someone whose “moral choices” involve DENYING RIGHTS to other people. Just knock it off with that weak-sauce, *special pleading* rationalization. This woman is doing real harm to real citizens who deserve *their* rights under the law.
    Follow the f*cking US Constitution, as interpreted by the f*cking Supreme Court of the US, or go get another f*cking job. NOBODY has the right to IMPOSE their “moral choices” on other people–certainly NOT while acting as a representative of the government, and NOT when those OTHER PEOPLE are thereby DENIED their right to live as THEY would LAWFULLY choose to do.

    This also applies to pharmacists or pharmacy folk who aren’t employed by the government, but want the “right” to not fill a legal prescription based on *their* religious belief and their *mere perception* of whether they believe the customer should be getting oral contraceptives. FUCK. THAT. NOISE. Do NOT impose your so-called conscience on ME.
    (I think my state supremes have recently overturned some so-called “conscience clause” laws, which makes me very happy indeed).

  87. 498

    In my Cassandra mode, I would tell that county clerk that No!, in fact, her choices are anything But moral. If morality equals “the common good” she ain’t it.

  88. 499


    Honestly, I have NO sympathy for someone whose “moral choices” involve DENYING RIGHTS to other people.

    I couldn’t agree more. This goes for all people, in general, but even more so, as you said, for someone who is a representative of the gov’t.

  89. 503

    Been a while since I looked in to the ‘roost, so, hi!
    Anyway, a helpful hint as how to manage tough and hot jobs was suggested to me by a physio many years ago: take two ibuprofen BEFORE you get sore, ie with breakfast. Also a couple of magnesium salt tablets. This is what I now do before every big day out on the bicycle and it means I can still use my crummy knees when I get home.
    Cheers and I hope your situation improves soon.

  90. 506

    Hi, Lofty!

    Seconding the vitamin-I-is-for-Ibuprofen and the salt (magnesium) supplement suggestions. Potassium in some form probably wouldn’t hurt if you could find a source. Best not to take the ibuprofen on an empty stomach if you can help it at all.

    Is it likely to be any cooler for you tomorrow?

  91. 510

    Have you tried a hypoallergenic breed?
    Note: not all Siamese are hypoallergenic, I think that only the modern breed Siamese are, traditional are as allergenic as any other cat.
    Furthermore, no cat is fully hypoallergenic, only less allergenic than others, but in your case (i.e. being able to tolerate cats outside of your home) it may be enough.

    Oh dear. I hope your children are getting better.


    Arctic archaeology sounds cool. Any interesting discoveries/stories you wish to share?

  92. 511

    I’m pleased to hear that you had a good holiday Giliell. Barcelona is a lovely city, or was until the financial crisis hit Spain.

    rq you have my sympathies with your children. I’m expecting such things from my daughter as it’s only a matter of time.

    I’ll be in the pillow fort for the moment. I’m feeling a little fragile and vulnerable as present.

  93. 512

    Best. Cold. Call. Ever. (for a certain value of “best”) …. a cold caller a minute ago, attempting to sell “a device that you attach to your phone to block unwanted calls”.

    Hi all! Well wishes.
    Demo in London on Saturday (though I do realise that anyone nearby probably knows about it already) to call on govt. to welcome refugees.

  94. 514

    That’s 6-7 mosquito bites on just one foot? (I had long jeans, but no socks)
    2 more or less, they are kinda merging into each other

    And curse short shirt + low cut jeans . I was bent over and now they got to me in that line between shirt and jeans.

    I just went back in the garden to check some plants! 15 minutes tops.

    … bastards

  95. 518

    It’s quiet here

    I was on a three week vacation which is ending after this weekend and now I’m getting end-of-vacation jitters.

    It’s so pretty and peaceful here, I like it here (in Slovenia).

  96. 519

    It’s hamsin week again over here, and you know what that means – several mm of fine sand covering everything left in the open. I have sand on my table, on my bed, on my food and on my cat.
    He seems just as pissed off as I am. Poor fellow, but I’m afraid to wash him just yet because the sand might stick to his fur even more afterwards.

  97. rq

    Thanks, everyone. We’ve all been dewormed – apparently worms is one of those things where you have to medicate as a family. Fun times!
    The fleas seem to be receding, as they were imported from somewhere. I even requested that they change the sheets on Middle Child’s bed at kindergarten, which they were quite willing to do (and even washed everything out with turpentine), and he came home with no new pimples. Thumbs held.

    I brought the car to the mechanic’s, but no diagnosis yet. It’s just no fun when it jumps and stalls in the middle of an intersection, repeatedly. In a town 200+ kilometres from home. Yippers, yesterday was not too fun.

    So today I bought red pants. They make me feel brave.

    And to top tonight’s better news night off, it’s Youngest’s turn to pick a movie. He loves dinosaur movies, so today he was all for the BBC dinosaur documentary “Planet Dinosaur”, until I accidentally clicked on “Your Inner Fish” and they all saw all the skeleton and early animal animations. There was a lot of excited yelling with the intro: SKELETONS! BRAINS! LIZARDS! FOSSILS! SERIOUSLY, IN CANADA???? So now they’re wrapped up in Neil Shubin.

  98. rq

    Ew mosquitos, Beatrice. 🙁 I hope the itchiness passes quick!

    I don’t mind sand, as long as it’s on a beach or in a playground. Sand in the bed has got to be the worst (except maybe only for sand in the underwear *shudder*).

  99. 523

    alexander Z
    Well, I haven’t engaged in a cat breed field test. I know that with dogs it really depends on the breed. I love boxers, but their slobber makes my skin break out in blisters, but I totally don’t mind our friends collie-australian shepherd mix licking my face.

    Heard about the sandstorms on the kiddie news*. They say they’re really bad this year.
    *Actually, much better than the adult news. Much fairer and more balanced and also always including some interesting tidbit about the world like that.

    I’m glad to hear. it must be a nightmare for a kindergarten as well…
    BTW, do you mean kindergarten in the American or the sensible sense?

  100. rq

    I suppose in the sensible sense, where it’s a daycare with a strong educational component? 🙂 Is that what you mean?

  101. 526

    We had about 20 minutes of spit from the sky earlier. Then it cleared up and in rolled the humidity. And that’s when I chose to walk to the post office.

  102. 527

    Ahhh, so Vorschule, literally pre-school
    I swear, ‘murikans simply got that fucking wrong.
    It’s integrated in kindergarten here (that’s where you send your 3-6 year olds) and really starts on MOnday here with a teacher coming in. They do lot’s of educational trips and projects and visit the school and so on.
    Fortunately it’s not the one #1 doesn’t talk to, that would not be an auspicious beginning, although the little one talks to everybody and the problem is to make her shut up once in a while. I swear she swallowed a gallon of sea water cause she couldn’t close her mouth for 5 minutes.
    SEriously, if you ever meet her, only tell her things you don’t mind to share with the rest of the world. I had to take her to college once for some administrative stuff and while I stood waiting in the corridor she asked me loudly “MUuuuuuuum, are you wearing undies today?”

  103. 528

    How do you craft a cover letter? I ask because The Mary Sue is hiring for a weekend editor position:

    Applications are open to ANYONE but applicants who are LGBTQ+, people of color, people with disabilities, etc. are encouraged to apply. We’re always looking to diversify our voice. But what exactly are some of the qualities we’re looking for?

    Someone who can consume a large amount of information in a short time.
    Someone who can multitask.
    Photoshop or other photo editing software knowledge a plus.
    Someone who’s FUN!
    Someone who’s proud to be called a geek.
    Someone who’s proud to be called a feminist.
    Someone who can take direction and follow through with assigned tasks.
    Someone familiar with social justice issues and how they intersect with comics, games, movies, and other media.
    Familiarity with WordPress and a background in science or tech are definite pluses, although not absolutely essential.

    What should your application contain? These things exactly, no more and no less:

    The subject line of your email must read: “TMS Weekend Editor 2015.″
    A brief cover letter as the BODY of your email.
    Your resume/CV (as an email attachment).
    Two links to samples of your writing. Preferably one “news” piece and one “opinion” piece.
    Link(s) to your personal website/blog, public social media accounts, and any other relevant writing.

  104. 529

    Completely rupt.
    Tony! Cover letters are generally short, and give the hirer basic information such as why you are interested in the job, why you think you would bring something new to the table/conversation, etc. basically, why should they read your resume. It’s also a “can you follow instructions” test.

    Indeed.com and about.com and monster all have examples of general ideas.

    Does that help?

  105. 531

    Tony!, that position sounds like just the thing for you. I second Rawnaeris, there should be examples of cover letters available online.

    Wow, the weather is really weird. It’s socked in, very windy, and the temp has dropped from 101 to 93 in the last hour or so. Dallas The Weather Wizard says there’s a thunderstorm cell moving through Orange County south of us, and Huntington Beach has been evacuated as a precaution due to possible lightning strikes.

  106. 533

    Anne: Wouldn’t mind a 8-10 degrees drop in temp up here (SF Bay Area). Sadly, I’ll be getting hotter going home. Right now it’s 10 degrees hotter at home than work (94 vs 104). Ugh.
    Good luck on the job application, Tony!

  107. 536

    And it’s off to the Pillow Fort for me.

    Been slacking like whoa in the self-care department, and as much as I want a hot shower, I am absolutely dreading the effort that goes into it.

    See, I tried to fix my sleep schedule. I was sleeping from about 0400 to 1200, nice and stable, if a little odd. In my attempts to “fix” this, I’ve ended up staying awake until 0800, grabbing a few hours of sleep, and then going about my day, with a heavy-duty nap around dinner time.

    I don’t even want to know what’ll happen if I try to fix this.

  108. 537


    Sleep crap is crap. You have my sympathy.

    I am an insomniac, of a sort. Long story. The point is, I would LOVE to be able to retreat to somewhere where there are no time devices. I would love to watch my bod and brain readjust to a natural circadian rhythm. I think it would take a month or two, and I sure would need support and help, but boy howdy, I think it would be grand.

  109. 538

    Good luck!

    That’s a familiar story. I have sleeping problems right now – I go to bed in the evening and wake up in the early morning.
    Usually a bit of sleep deprecation and a cocktail of painkillers do wonders to readjust my inner clock. At least until the next episode comes.


    Saw a black bear and cub, today.

    Wonderful! I love black bears. They’re nowhere near as aggressive as brown bears and it’s a joy to watch them or eat berries together from the same bush.
    Granted, I haven’t been in Siberia in ages, so I might be romanticizing my memories.


    Heard about the sandstorms on the kiddie news

    I wonder how they report the harsher news, like the current refugee crisis or the various wars.

    I had to take her to college once for some administrative stuff and while I stood waiting in the corridor she asked me loudly “MUuuuuuuum, are you wearing undies today?”

    lol. My mother told me that when I was three she, me and an OBKhSS lieutenant were riding in a lift when suddenly I turned towards him and said “dog”.
    He asked me what I meant, but my mother, keenly aware of her son’s stupidity, attempted to diffuse the situation saying “oh, we were reading a book about doggies. Isn’t that what you mean dear? The nice puppies from the book? Remember the puppies? Think of the puppies!”.
    I ignored her, kept looking straight at the CheKist and said “you, sir, are a fog”.
    Hilarity ensued and continued for several years afterwards.

    We’ve also started getting more mosquitoes this week. Like, a lot more. An entire swarm of the buggers.
    I have this condition where blood doesn’t circulate well in my legs, so my lower body, particularly my feet, are engorged with blood. Today I woke up with several bites in almost the same spot on my foot (as well as a few more bites on both legs).
    Combined with my regular swelling it feels bad, but looks even worse.

  110. 539

    re: mosquitoes
    I just realized this, but a few hours ago (it’s 12:39 am my time) I took the dogs outside in the front yard for a few minutes and I was not bitten even one time. And this was a few hours after a spot of rain. *And* I was wearing shorts and no shirt, so any skeeters would have had ample exposed shoop flesh to chew upon. It’s probably too much to hope that they’re gone for a while though.

  111. rq

    Something like that – ages 3 and 4 receive minor educational materials, just the usual stimulation and learning of letters, lots of drawing and things like that. Ages 5 and 6 are the official preparatory (pre-school) years, so they are taught to write, to read and some simple arithmetic. In addition to all years getting music classes, dancing (more like free movement), sports (in a general sense of running around wildly), outdoor time, and two-and-a-half meals a day. And naptime, of course. 😀

  112. 543

    Alexander Z

    I wonder how they report the harsher news, like the current refugee crisis or the various wars.

    Actually quite well. They explain in adequate ways why people are fleeing (much less simplistic than you’d think), with lots of compassion. Not sugar coating too much, but also not doing this “let me show dead bodies” thing regular outlets think is information.

    I really don’t understand other countires’ insistance that children learn to read and write before they start actual school. What about kids who don’t go there, or is it mandatory (though in Germany, where it’s not mandatory about 98% of kids attend at least the last year before school)?
    That’s what 1st grade is for here, and it doesn’t look like we’re losing on other countries*. Here the last year is to ease them into things. Sure the program before is also very educational, they have projects about food, or animals and stuff and the last year is to prepare them some more, to train fine motor skills and such, ease them into “sitting still and doing as you’re told”.
    *Contrary to popular belief, educators know that you cannot teach all things at every age. The brain matures, the whole body matures. It seems to me that writing’s one of these things: You can start early and teach with a lot of effort, or you can start later and teach more easily, reaching the same effects along the way. Sure, at age 6 children who start early will have an advantage over children who start later, but at age 8 the advantage seems to have worn off.

    Ho-Ly Cupcake
    When this kid starts puberty we’ll either have settled these “you’re not the boss of me” issues already or we’ll kill each other.
    Lesson of the month: If you snap at your mum when you want her to do something for you, she drops it.
    Yes, I’m tone trolling my kid. Because her tone is insufferable.

    Fingers are crossed. Sounds like the position for you!

  113. rq

    It’s a mandatory program, technically the last TWO years before school starts. And kindergartens have to accept your kid, even if it’s just for the morning part where they actually teach stuff, if they don’t have a full-day spot for you. And if you switch kindergartens, for example, it’s on the former kindergarten to receive assurance from your new kindergarten (in written form) that this education is being guaranteed and that you’re not just taking your kid out of the system.
    I suppose I should clarify, they’re expected to know how to read (in mostly capital letters) and how to print in capital letters before going to school – they learn handwriting while at school, and they also get some pretty intensive reading practice.
    But I mean, the school year here is from September 1 to May 31, so you have to squeeze a lot of stuff into a much shorter timeframe than other countries! (Recent efforts to, maybe, logically, extend the school year a bit was met with rather fervid resistance – THE SUMMER! THE CHILDREN WILL NOT HAVE A SUMMER! Umm actually they’ll still have two whole months of it.)

  114. 545


    That’s a looong summer. Is there some sort of day care for children old enough to go to school but young enough they can’t be left home alone?
    Otherwise, that must be hell for parents. Which is a reason I’m a bit surprised the suggestion wasn’t met with a sigh or relief heard all the way to Zagreb 🙂

  115. 546

    It’s also a summer so long children forget half of what they learned already…
    We get six weeks in summer, two in autumn, 2 over christmas, 2 over easter and a few odd days the states juggle around local celebrations.
    Here mandatory starts at six. Though I recently got confirmation that no matter what you do, you’re doing it wrong. Cut off date in my state is July 1st, #1 was born on July 5th and you may all remember the trouble we had to get her into school “early”.
    Little one was born at the end of October and we’re getting asked why we didn’t send her to school early…
    Yeah, I mean intellectually she’d be able, and she’s a total social butterfly. But then she’d be almost year and a half younger than her oldest classmates and more than two if somebody repeats a class. I don’t want a 12 year old girl in a class of 14 year old boys.
    She’ll also still be all about school even if she has a mighty headstart next year. She’s so damn eager to please.
    Kids learn to read and write print here first, which has changed from the times when I went to school. I think that’s really good, because as soon as they know some letters they can read what’S printed all around them. Back then there were special “written in script” books for first graders and they were too few and very boring.

  116. 547

    Overheard in the store today:
    Cashier was talking to a customer, they seem to know each other. She says that a refugee center is being built in the main city, in the quartier where her sister lives. She assures herself and the customer that she has absolutely nothing against refugees, but she’s not sure it’s the best idea to put them “among people”.

  117. YOB

    Tony Good luck! That would be an awesome gig.


    Sure, age 6 children who start early will have an advantage over children who start later, but at age 8 the advantage seems to have worn off.

    In a case of similar, but different: YOBling spent her 4-6 years going to Finnish daycare and Kindergarten. There were English speaking schools nearby-ish, but we wanted her to learn the language, so we threw her in the deep end. She picked up the language quickly and didn’t have any real problems. That is, until we moved back to the states and she started First grade. The “extra” letters in the alphabet she had learned, the different pronunciations, etc put her back at first. But, by the end of the first year she was at level and by the end of second, above level. Finnish early education is more focused on teaching the children “how to be good students later on” rather than “how to do X now” and that worked very well for us. So, at least in the case of YOBling, your statement above holds true, I think.

    …starts puberty we’ll either have settled these “you’re not the boss of me” issues…

    Bwahahaha [wipes tear from eye] Yeah, good luck with that. 🙂

  118. rq

    Ugh. People.

    I’m all for a shorter summer. The teachers all assign reading and Eldest’s teacher even provided them with activity books reviewing the entire year, but I know not everyone completed them and not all teachers are this thoughtful (or with the dedication to put that kind of package together, it was pretty neat).
    I actually don’t know what people have against a shorter summer vacation, because it IS a childcare issue. Most daycares, though, operate year-round, and during their vacation time (usually four weeks of summer at some point) the provide alternative daycare options so people can still take their kids to school. A lot of families also cart the kids off to the country and leave them there for the entire three months, too – either with a grandmother, grandparents, or other rural family. We don’t have that option, so next summer it’ll be nightshifts again for me. Also summer camps (week-long day-camps, mostly), but we checked a few out this spring and… they’re expensive. I’d love for Eldest to go, and even Middle Child, since a few were within his age range, but we don’t have the 300+ euros to spare.
    (Also the shorter school year means they have a huge amount of material to go through in a relatively shorter time, and last year Eldest’s teacher complained that she has the time to teach the material, but not to reinforce it via repetition. And a lot of kids have trouble with that, understandably. There’s talk of reforming the educational system every now and then, but many of the public don’t see any issues with the current one, after all, they went through it, and what bad things happened? HAHA And the newest complication was ‘teaching morality’, since in the spring the parliament passed a morality clause, that only moral things must be taught to kids in schools, but there’s no actual guidelines (it was brought in to reduce ‘gay propaganda’, so you can imagine what it’s all about), and teachers are confused – are they supposed to skip all that classical literature about failed love affairs, too much drinking, and otherwise dissolute people? Eldest’s teacher was like, only half-jokingly, wondering if she was still allowed to teach, as she’s been divorced two times and just got married a third time…?)

  119. YOB

    …supposed to skip all that classical literature about failed love affairs, too much drinking, and otherwise dissolute people?

    Welp, there goes Shakespeare, Poe, Wilde, Byron, and the Shelleys

  120. 552

    Warning, rant
    Somebody scratched my driver’S door. Now I’m not one of those people who break out in tears because there’s a scratch in the paint, but have the fucking decency to fucking contact me.
    I first suspected the people who are repairing the elevator ’cause they parked alongside me most of the time, but we talked and there’s no way his car was that.

    I don’t think there’s any school system I’d choose over Finland.


    A lot of families also cart the kids off to the country and leave them there for the entire three months, too – either with a grandmother, grandparents, or other rural family.

    A lot of families’ ability to work, especially women’s is due to the fact that other family members don’t. My mum could only go to school while my sister was young, and back to work when I was little because my gran was a housewife. I couldn’t have done this whole college thingy without my MIL having retired early. Which comes back to bite a society a generation later…

    Fucking assholes

    Something funny
    The minister for work in Germany, a social democrat, wanted/wants to introduce safety guidelines for Paternoster, which was dubbed a “Paternoster driving license” by the press, regulating safety and access.
    An FDP (German libertarial party that lost most of its seats everywhere) politician made fun of her on Facebook, talking about unnecessary overregulation.
    Guess who rode a Paternoster two days ago, ignored safety regulations and caused a bad accident?

  121. 554

    Go for it! You are a great writer (and a pretty awesome human being). Best of luck!

    Ugh. People can just suck sometimes.

    Aw. Sorry about the car.

  122. rq

    The edit function doesn’t seem to work. 🙁 I wanted to recommend reading the article above to see how the youtube closed-captioning system deals with Welsh.

  123. 559

    Paternoster freak me out. I hate regular lifts, but a lift that never stops moving, a lift where you call fall down going in and going out, get your legs caught in the gap and then feel them slowly crushed, spraying blood on the other passengers – a lift like that is just a bit too much for me.

    The edit function hasn’t been working since the Update From Hell over a week ago.

  124. 560

    Hmmmmmm. The “edit function” has a mind of its own. It does not play nicely with others. Drat. I need to find a different edit plugin. Better yet, I need to find a version of WordPress that does not need plugins. Fat chance.

  125. 562

    I want to go here!

    The Øresund has made it easier than ever before to travel between countries that are separated by water. This unique passageway connects the cities of Copenhagen, Denmark with Malmö, Sweden, doing so in two ways: a cable-stayed bridge runs five miles to an artificial island, where it then transitions into a tunnel that extends an additional two and a half miles. A motorway occupies the upper level while the railway line runs below.

    The man-made island that connects bridge and tunnel is called Peberholm, and it’s had an unexpectedly positive impact for the local flora and fauna. Species have been allowed to freely develop, and it’s since become a haven for biologists— as a popular breeding ground for birds in addition to a habitat for the rare green toad.

    The responsibility of operating the bridge falls on both countries, and its neighboring states help keep the structure running. Drivers must pay a toll to cross the Øresund, but the cost seems worth it. By having the bridge, a region of 3.7 million people are afforded the freedom to live in one country but work in another.

    As a kid, I was always fascinated by tunnels.

  126. 563

    You could remove it completely and replace it with a preview plugins (no, you can’t haz WordPress without plugins – it’s a the platform’s feature 😉 )

    If you were wondering why the bridge is needed…
    Supposedly it is based on a real law.
    Good night, everyone – I’m off to bed.

  127. 564

    that Corgie is the best

    Aaaand, in more parental woes, today was the day a bunch of #1’s clothing learned to fly. The kids have to clean up their stuff each day so it won’t become a huge mess by the weekend like it used to be. The little one is super tidy, #1 is worse than me. So today their tasks were really unfair.
    Unfair to the little one whose task it was to clean up the living room that was a mess after #1 only did it halfway yesterday while #1 had to clean their room, which had been cleaned by the little one yesterday. Basically, all she had to do was to put the clothing she had pulled out of the wardrobe in the morning back in there again.
    The little one did her task. #1 sang. And played. And drew. For over an hour I reminded her, begged her, tried to reason with her and told her early on that I’d throw the stuff out of the window cause apprently she doesn’t need it anymore.
    Yes, yes, mum.
    After an hour I told her that she had a final 10 minutes and that I would throw her stuff out.
    Yes, yes, mum.
    8 minutes left.
    4 minutes left
    2 minutes left.
    No problem
    1 minute left, final warning
    Yeah yeah
    -1 one minute, kid is in the living room watching TV
    I walk past with an armload of clothing
    “You’re kidding me, mum!”
    Unfortunately, a gush of wind caught the stuff and now most of it is hanging in the trees. That was not planned.
    On her attempts to retrieve what she could she found kiddie shirt that was not ours. Apparently an experience more children make…

    Quick to prepare and delicious dessert:
    1 roll of bake yourself buns, like Pillsbury, cut each bun into about 6 pieces
    1/2 stick of butter. Melt in a bowl and add the dough slowly so each piece gets covered. Spread evenly in a pie form
    2 apples, peeled, finely diced. Add to dough
    Add a generous hand full of raisins or currants
    Cover with lots of sugar and cinnamon
    Bake for about 30 minutes.
    Serves 4-6

  128. 565


    I want to go here!

    Me too! It looks beautiful and I’m fascinated by big engineering projects like this. I guessed at the reason for the bridge/tunnel combo, but looked it up anyway. Cool.
    Condolences on the parenting woes. We were fortunate that son seemed OK with cleaning up after himself. Although now that he’s a teenager……..sigh.

    And the dessert does sound delicious. Might even have to make it – it’s OK if I use both raisins and currants? 🙂

  129. 566

    JIm B
    Go ahead. I never understood what’s supposed to be the difference between them anyway. In German there’s just “Rosinen”.

    Well, one of the reasons why I really want to get out of the flat and into a house is to give the little one her own room so she doesn’t have to suffer permanently from her sister’s tendency to turn everything into Pompeii: cause utter devastation and then ignore it for the next twothousand years.
    Parenting is hard, doing so while balancing the needs of more than one kid is harder

  130. 569

    I think I’m going to move back home. I know I’m being a baby but I just can’t get used to this apartment – I’m unable to sleep. Sound isolation sucks and my bed is over one of the entrance doors to the building, with the other door being 2 meters away. And the staircase is right behind one of the side walls.
    So every time someone slams one of the entrance doors (they usually slam both) I wake up. When some of the neighbors walk like elephants on the staircase I wake up. With all the waking up, the noise outside sometimes keeps me from going back to sleep (the street is much busier than it seemed).
    Sucky sound isolation means sucky warmth isolation. More precisely, there is none (I asked the landlord). I’m already cold and it looks like I’m going to spend a fortune on heating.

    Two biggest student homes in the city are closed for renovation so more students than usual are looking for apartments, which led to an increase in prices. Besides, I don’t think I can go through this again only to land who knows where.

    I know I’m a baby. I just wanted to make a good choice. I’m very indecisive, and of course this time I went and made a choice I fucked up.
    But I’m embarrassed about going back on this.

  131. 570

    Don’t be embarassed. It didn’t work out and that happens to all of us once in a while. You’re getting out of it with a black eye and that’s OK. Don’t fall for the cult of toughness. It’s a shitty club and even their hymns suck.

  132. 571

    another way I fail at being adult human:
    This stupid bachelorette party. Best friend told me to buy the bride sexy underwear or a nice, feminine nightgown.

    What if everyone else takes the suggestion as a joke, and I come with something like that?
    I also have no idea what size I should get, even if I bought something like that. I’m terrible at judging size and I know she had issues with some clothes for the wedding because she’s somewhere over the L size.

    It just makes me uncomfortable to buy someone else sexy anything. And the whole idea is pretty sexist anyways. They already live together, nothing is going to change except some legalities.

  133. 573

    As for the friend and the bride: Be yourself. You know, the person who suggested this is probably the kind of person who thinks that’s fun. You don’t, so it won’t be fun even if you go with it.
    Or you can go for the full joke, buy her a pretty bracelet, pack it in a huge box and say that she should just wear that.

  134. 575

    About the living situation: Exactly what Giliell said. Sometimes stuff just doesn’t work out.
    I moved back to my parents’ house after an apartment fiasco. It actually worked out really well, as I was there to help when my brother died, and they were around to help when I started looking for a home (I able to save a lot of money while living there).
    I guess what I’m trying to say is, don’t look at it as a necessarily bad thing. I could be an opportunity for better things to come. Also, if you’re not getting any sleep there, fuck it.

    Also also, about the party, once again, what Giliell said. (She’s on a roll!) Don’t feel obligated to buy your friend a certain kind of gift just because one person wants to hijack the fun. I’m sure your friend would appreciate something thoughtful from you.

  135. 576

    I think that you should not give up the apartment yet.
    Try good ear-plugs for the sound and small space-heaters for the warmth.
    (I like my privacy so much, I will put up with a lot of shit to keep it.)
    Unless you actually know the person’s actual size, don’t give clothing as a gift.

    Gifts for a bachelorette party for part of a couple who have been living together?
    Food or kitchen utensils.

  136. 577


    Sometimes sleeping with a radio on or a white noise generator can muffle other sounds. I don’t know how much of a slam the door makes, however. And if it doesn’t work out, you mark it down in your book as a learning experience and move on. You have a book, right?

    And Giliell’s bracelet idea is a good way to play into the joke and still not need to buy some flimsy nightgown thingy. Since they have lived together for awhile, you could also go with a couple of nice, soft, fleecy throw blankets for snuggling under together. Not spicy, but maybe kinda romantic.


    That solar tornado was pretty cool. The universe is a wondrous and terrifying place.

  137. YOB

    Gifts for a bachelorette party for part of a couple who have been living together?
    Food or kitchen utensils

    I second chigau’s suggestion.

    These are things that almost every kitchen could use more of AND when given, just waggle your eyebrows and then everyone can insert whatever level of “naughtiness” they are comfortable with within their own imaginations.

  138. YOB

    Following on barkeeperin’s then chigau’s then my own thoughts about the bachelorette party…

    What about a gift basket-y type gift containing champagne, glasses, chocolates, etc. A romantic evening in a box, so to speak. Not naughty per se but more like a prelude to naughtiness.

  139. 580

    I ran into a similar problem when I was invited to my niece’s bridal shower some years ago. We were instructed to get her some sexy underwear, not gift wrapped, as part of a party game. (I hate those party games.) They were going to string up all the underwear and then the bride was supposed to guess which person gave which item. I went along with it, reluctantly. But someone else did the perfect thing: They purchased a pair of cotton briefs with leopard spots that had to be an off-the-charts size. Truly huge, possibly for a 400 pound person. It was funny. The bride and her bridegroom subsequently took a photo of themselves together, fully clothed, wearing these undies.

  140. 581

    Thank you for all the thoughtfull comments. I did go with the underwear – a nice set with a tiny bit of lace that I wouldn’t really call sexy but it’s not just a regular set of briefs either. I think that’s more her style anyway. THe only possible issue is size.

    I really didn’t want to go with anything for the kitchen, because it would automatically go with assumptions about woman’s work in the kitchen.

  141. 582

    This bachlorette party topic got me thinking about other absurd activities that take place (or used to, I hope the practice has died out) at gatherings of people to celebrate “female” things. In this instance, there is the baby shower for the pregnant mum-to-be. At a baby shower the mum is gifted will all sorts of things that are lovely usefuls for the babe. But there are also the gag gifts and party games. One of these is a diaper, into which has been placed a chunk of milk chocolate. This is melted in a microwave, then elaborately wrapped as a gift. The result of course accurately resembles a dirty diaper loaded with poo. When opened, this gift is passed around and the guests are obligated to taste the chocolate. Tacky.

  142. 583

    Sorry, accidental posting too soon.

    I do like barkeeperin’s suggestion of a snuggli blanket. Oh well, it’s done now, I’ll stop worrying (until tomorrow evening). What’s done is done. Mum thinks the set is really nice and tasteful.

    re: apartment
    I was considering that already. I’ll try radio and then ambient noises and then we’ll see.

    Oh yes, privacy. That one makes me hesitate. I like my privacy.

  143. 585

    I second everything that Giliell said.
    I can’t remember the number of apartments I’ve gone through. An apartment is always a huge gamble and you can never be fully prepared (have I told you about the time I lived in one with a rat infestation? That’s when I got my little cat buddy). Currently I’m sleeping with earplugs.
    As for kitchen utensils – no, there is nothing sexist about it. At the moment I would kill for a decent set of knives or some large plastic/wooden spoons.
    Everybody could use kitchen utensils. Especially newlyweds.

  144. 586

    They say in Labour Party
    There are no neutrals there
    You either be a Corbyn man
    Or a thug for Tony Blair

    I’m very excited for Corbyn’s victory. He, and Sander’s candidature in USA is a good sign that the current neoliberal supremacy is at an end.

  145. 587

    I’ll echo what others have said. Sometimes it doesn’t work out and you need to do what’s right for you.

    I had a host of “life issues” during my 2nd year of college and ended up dropping out for 2 years and moving back in with my mom (who I didn’t really get along with all that well, but had nowhere else to go). Worked, saved money, matured (I had started college at 17 and wasn’t as ready as I thought) and went back to school. Not only did I get much better grades and ultimately my degree, I also met the future MrsB my first month back. 🙂

    It was initially tough to accept – there was a whole bunch of “fail”, both real and perceived. Not least of which was I was the first in my family to go to college. But things weren’t working out as they were and at least I was able to realize I needed to do *something*. Always with the goal of going back to school, so I was able to focus on that to help ease the sting of the decision.

    So it may be a difficult decision now, but realizing it’s temporary and will help get to the goal in the long-run can help. At least it did with me.

    Good luck with whatever decision you make.

  146. 588

    *hugs* for all, kind of ‘rupt. Sorry I haven’t been around, I messed up my thumb in a bike wreck, and have been unable to type much. Still not at 100%, but it’s healing, slowly.

  147. 590


    I messed up my thumb in a bike wreck, and have been unable to type much.

    Same one that got bruised a couple of weeks ago? You unlucky guy.
    *hugs* and I wish a swift recovery.

    You stand before a device that has two hourglasses, one for measuring 35 seconds and one for 15 seconds. When the “start” button is pushed both hourglasses are immediately turned and begin to measure time. You have buttons for turning upside down any of the hourglasses at any time, as many times as you want.
    Your goal: to press the “stop” button exactly 40 seconds after you pressed the “start” button.
    (You may not fiddle with the device in any way outside of pressing the buttons, nor can you interact with the device in any way before pressing “start”)
    Bonus points: this puzzle is from a game I liked. What was the game called?

  148. 594

    Oh. My. Cats.

    This is ridiculous

    Link goes to a screencap of the conversation (if you can call it a conversation) with a guy whining about how white, cis-het, able-bodied men are discriminated against and treated unfairly and how feminists want “special rights”. He deliberately misinterprets what has been said, puts words in people’s mouths, and then tries to play the victim, while accusing me of saying things I never actually said.

    Am I, like, way off base like nameless is claiming, or is he the whiny man-child he appears to be?

  149. 596

    Without even looking, I’m going to be he’s a whiny man-child.

    ::goes to take a peek::
    ::comes back::

    Yup. Mighty Whiny Man-Child is his name.

  150. 597

    Done! I just finished restringing an old knotted endless loop necklace for Aged Mum. I’ve never done one without a clasp before, and all the tutorials disagreed with each other about how to finish it off. I finally went with my instincts, and iI put glue on the last few knots just to be safe. I think it’ll hold, but if it doesn’t I’ll just do it over again.

    So that’s done. Now, what’s next? Besides slaying the various household usefuls, but those don’t count. I’ll decide tomorrow. Have a good evening, all.

  151. 599

    I got it, I got it!
    Was on the wrong track at the beginning, but then I remembered the fundamental nature of hourglasses.

    Re-stocks hugs


    I just finished restringing an old knotted endless loop necklace for Aged Mum.

    I need to get a birthday present done. Maybe I should ask my friend if she’s by now getting tired of wolf-themed embroidered T-shirts…

    Why, why, why can’t people ever get diversity right?
    Those who remember gender diversity forget about racial diversity, those who remember racial diversity forget about gender diversity.
    #1 had to read a dialogue in her reading book for school. There was a Turkish origin kid with a Turkish name, an Asian origin kid with an Asian name, a German origin kid with a German name. All boys. The school principal is a man, contrary to reality. The “new pupil” (a dog) is a boy. Onle the teacher is a woman, so that the only female character is the teacher, satisfying the cliché.
    Out of 6 speaking roles, only one is female, and the narrator (generic masculinum, of course).
    It’s sending a good message to kids with an immigrant background: “We’re here, we’re a normal part of a German classroom.” For girls? “We have no voice.” Which is double troublesome for girls with a cultural background (not all immigrant backgrounds, not only immigrant backgrounds) that reinforces “women must be silent” more rigidly.

  152. 600

    Giliell, I wasn’t planning to bother with pictures since it was just a restring job, but if you’d like, I’ll see what I can do.

    I am a weather witch. I made it rain. I noticed that the potted plants in the patio were all perishing from lack of water, so I got the Husband to help water them. About a minute later, it started to rain. Of course that just raises the humidity, and since the temp is already in the 80s and rising, that’s not a good thing, but still… Hee hee, I have weather powers.

  153. 602

    That 9/11 terrorist guy might have been a GamerGater.

    Damn. I hope you’re getting the all the medical help you. Best wishes.

    Congrats to Giliell!
    (chigau, I laughed way more than I should have. I was picturing you trying to apply the zui quan technique to puzzle solving)

    The answer is:
    1. Wait for the smaller clock to run out sand, then flip it. 15 sec. have passed.
    2. Wait for it to run out of sand again and flip again. 30 sec. have passed.
    3. Wait for the big clock to run out of sand. 35 sec. have passed. The small clock has 10 sec. worth of sand in the upper half and 5 sec. worth of sand in the lower half. Flip it.
    4. Wait for it ran out of the 5 sec. of sand and you’re done – exactly 40 sec. have passed!

    JimB, the game is Castle of Dr. Brain and while very out-dated, it’s still great for kids. Most of the puzzles are centered around math, spacial recognition and logic.

    Since I’ve scared Tony with the previous puzzle, I shall make amends by offering a word puzzle:

    Three fools did once sacrifice,
    To win a contest long ago.
    Dobe Oyle, a Kingdom lad,
    gave his blood to start.
    A goblin man, Ethorat,
    hacked out his dying heart.
    Sue Oyle, Dobe’s sister, won,
    she cast away her soul.

    1st hint: The answer is a three word phrase.
    2nd hint: 1st word contains three letters, the 2nd two letters and the 3rd three letters.

  154. 603

    So, seems that we (as of half a day ago) can haz an actual honest-to-FSM moderate as leader of the Labour Party, aka the current Opposition.

    Of course in the current climate an actual moderate looks like what most of the mainstream media consider a radical left-wing extremist … though as Corbyn points out, it’s a very modest demand to say that in a wealthy country nobody should be hungry or homeless.

  155. 605

    I’m not on Twitter, but if I was, I might start a #Fearedformylife hashtag.

    “I feared for my life. He had a balloon. A balloon I tell you!”
    “That purple backpack had me fearing for my life.”
    “When I looked her way, her watch glistened and almost blinded me. I thought it was a weapon. I feared for my life.”

  156. 607

    At 2am I was just wishing I could go home. From 3am until we left about 4am, I was imagining I was wearing The Red Shoes and dancing myself to death (it passed the time).

    Survived first bachelorette party. It was nice until I was just too tired and sick of the crowd in the club, I just wish I didn’t have to stay so long. (just 4 guests, and one left very quickly so I felt bad about leaving early )

  157. 608

    There’s bound to be some things I disagree with somewhere, but he’s better news than I’ve heard in a while from any party leader.

    Summary of one of his campaign positions: http://www.jeremyforlabour.com/working_with_women

    and full text: https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/jeremyforlabour/pages/87/attachments/original/1438076296/WorkingWithWomen.pdf?1438076296

    A couple of quotes from the summary:

    He argues that companies should publish mandatory equal pay audits as an essential step towards equal pay for equal work. Further, he holds that all those in work are given equal protection from discrimination from day one, with no employment tribunal fees to bar the poorest from accessing justice.

    And, since gender discrimination doesn’t end outside the office door, Jeremy also argues for the need to challenge everyday sexism by promoting Personal, Social Health and Economic (PSHE) education in schools, including sex and relationship education. He plans to proactively ensure that laws on sexual assault and protection from harassment are implemented, to ensure that women do not feel ashamed or belittled by reporting behaviour they find intimidating to the police.

    If elected Labour leader, Jeremy commits to a 50% women shadow cabinet, and to work towards 50% of Labour MPs being women.

    A point from the full document:

    We should protect womens’ rights and their reproductive health, opposing the cuts to health services that are restricting womens’ rights in practice and take action to stop anti-choice protesters from restricting access to abortion services

    (bolding mine)

  158. 609

    Beatrice, just adding in (late) to say that moving back home isn’t a failure. It’s recognizing what’s best for you right now and doing it, even in the face of potential criticism. I call it brave. So there.

  159. 611

    It’s great that Corbyn won the leadership. He even celebrated it by singing The Red Flag, that cheeky bastard.
    My only reservation about him is his dedication to unilateral nuclear disarmament. In a world where Russia keeps expanding and even threatens Denmark with nuclear war it’s paramount to maintain a forceful foreign and nuclear policy to protect weaker European nations. Even if he doesn’t act on this agenda, it’s enough that he has it to be perceived a weakling by the Kremlin. And in a MAD doctrine perception is everything.


    Have I ever shared the story of when I stripped for a bachelorette party?

    No, please tell everything in photographic detail.
    (Just kidding 😉 )

  160. 612


    Moving back home isn’t a sign of failure.

    I’ve spent a number of my adult years living (off and on) with my parents. (Uh, I’ve been in some shady-ass housing situations. The last of which was a literal garage.)

    There’s no shame in living with your parents.

  161. 617


    It is not and it shouldn’t be. Especially here where it’s custom for people to live with parents long into adulthood unless they are forced to move to another town for work.

    I just .. I feel like I fail at everything, so this feels like another failure at making a decision. Plus, my dad was a major reason for moving and now I’m hesitant to go back. Although, I upset about his bad treatment of mum and me this way too.

  162. 618

    goodevening my dears
    After it was the right thing to cancel our trip to the state capitol zoo (that sounds impressive, right? Now think Vermont or Rhode Island for the value of “state capitol”) because them’s the rules, it was the right thing to do today because rules are rules. And we were so. lucky. Yesterday was a brilliant early autumn day. Today it was grey with a permanent drizzle, but we went anyway. And at about 3 o’clock bam! the clouds disappear and we get the most beautiful sunshine, t-shirt temperatures AND and almost empty zoo because of the “bad weather”.

    Also, I made you Apfelkuchen

    I’m glad everything went well.

    Nice necklace. I love such things that can pop up a uni coloured shirt like this.

    I hope Corbyn stays true. There’s nothing worse than getting neoliberalism, except getting neoliberalism after you’d hoped for actual liberalism.

  163. 619


    I’m glad the postponed zoo trip turned out great! You reminded me that I haven’t been to ours in a while, and September is one of the best months to go.
    I was planning apple pancakes for one day this week, but I might make that apple pie instead.

  164. 620

    Oh, and of course I brought you pictures
    The penguins were cute and it was quite interesting to see the young one getting fed. At one point the adult decided it had enough and that they themself would like a bite and the youngster acted as if it was starving to death right now.
    They also have arkwards, eh ardvaarks (no pictures because they live in the “night zoo”). What Mr didn’t realize was that the glass was only on the lower half of the enclosure and the upper half was open. You should have seen his face when the animal decided to take a good look at HIM, got on its hind legs and almost pushed its snout into his face.

  165. 623

    Hi cicely, hi everyone!

    rq, you got it in one!

    The sand storm is over and I’ve finished my laundry. I was putting it in the drawers, when I got curious about one pair of underwear. I looked at its label tag and it read XXXXXXXL.
    WTF?! Sure, I’m fat – about 6” and weight around 200lb, but I’m not 7X fat. I assumed it was made by Lilliputians, but no, it was made in China like everything else.

  166. 626

    Oh, I have the best size story.
    There used to be a fantasy festival I always went to. I went there when I was pregnant, I went there with baby and baby and toddler and everything. They always had an event t-shirt you had to pre-oder ‘Cause it was a small event and when #1 was 2 I decided to get her a girly S so she could wear it as a dress. Only that it was so large I could have made a sleeping bag for her. The next year I decided that if girly S was that large, girly XXL could fit me, cause I like them better than regular Ts. Turned out that the XXL that year was smaller than the S the year before…

    Can I whine a little?
    You all know that apart from her being an alcoholic I have other issues with my mother and a very strained relationship, especially because of her constant “U no good”, especially when it’s about my children.
    Now, while she was constantly drunk the last two years this wasn’t too much of an issue, but she’s been dry for a few weeks and feeling better (and totally over 20 years of alcoholism, all by herself!) she’s getting back into her old habits, only without the capacity to do so.
    The little one has been complaining about her shoes being too small, mostly because her sister just got two new pairs, one for PE, one for wearing on the street. Knowing that this isn’t urgent (because you can actually feel where the toe is) I told her I’d get her some this week when those with the blinking LEDs are on offer. Of course my mother couldn’t just let that be. She went looking for shoes for both kids on Saturday. Today I picked the shoes up. They’re way too large (why did she write down the sizes they need? Oh, wait, that information came from me and we all know I can’t be trusted to know my kids’ shoe size) and for kids getting cool shoes they can’t wear is actually worse than not getting cool new shoes. Guess who can deal with the fallout from this? Yep, that’s me…

  167. YOB

    Kinda ‘rupt. Just got in from an 11 hour 572 mile (920km) road trip ferrying people around to help take care of Dad.

    *raises beer mug* Here’s to hoping for refundable shoes, quickly healing thumbs, and all manner of good things happening to everyone.

    Regarding choosing apartments:
    I’ve lived in a LOT of apartments over the years on three different continents. I can say with some hard won experience that picking a bad apartment is almost NEVER a result of poor decision making based on the info available when making the choice. Most of the reasons that made an apartment bad, for me, were things I could not have known until after I had moved in. It sounds like the same kind of thing for you, Beatrice. This experience, while extremely sucky to go through, will help inform you about future choices.

    A short tale from my own life in choosing apartments. One of my first ones was crappy and I knew it. The parts that I knew were crappy were acceptable to me, at the time. It was tiny, had bad parking options, stained carpet, weird smell, etc. All things I could live with. What I didn’t realize was that the weird smell was the landlord’s (poor) attempt to eradicate a roach infestation. And I mean INFESTATION! The first couple of nights were not so bad, but by night 3 or 4 they really came out. Hundreds. On the ceiling!! In my BED!

    Long story short, I learned to identify that smell so that when I would look at an apartment and smelled that smell, I was outta there. Didn’t care how nice it looked.

    Sometimes, wrong =/= bad

  168. 630

    Hugs to Giliell. I have in the past successfully taken things back to stores that I was sure they wouldn’t take back, so maybe you’ll be in luck.

    Hugs to Beatrice again, too. That’s got to be unsettling and scary, but there’s nothing you did wrong.

  169. 632

    *hugs* and sympathy for Giliell.


    What I didn’t realize was that the weird smell was the landlord’s (poor) attempt to eradicate a roach infestation. And I mean INFESTATION! The first couple of nights were not so bad, but by night 3 or 4 they really came out. Hundreds. On the ceiling!! In my BED!

    *frantic purificatory gestures, with a slight edge of Total Fuckin’ Panic*
    Reminds me of the last time we spent a weekend at my mom’s house; it wasn’t bad the first day/night, which were unseasonably cool for July—a few isolated sightings only. That second day/night, however, are the reason why we nevernevernever open a package that has come from her house, inside ours. Roaches just chillin’ on the dishes…roaches crawling around inside the bread wrapper…the cats’ food completely obscured by a dense layer of roaches…and then, that night, they got serious. When they started dropping from the ceiling and onto Husband’s face at just after midnight, that was it; we left right then (giving Great Offense in the process) and drove the 3 1/2 miles home. We left all our baggage, including my purse, locked into the trunk of the car for a blisteringly-hot week, before taking it all out and going over it thoroughly, out in the driveway. Passers-by were looking, but we
    We have not been back there, since—it’s been something like 20 years, and while this is not the only reason, it’s a big one.

    r, I will gladly avail myself of some of those *hugs*, and offer you one in exchange.

  170. 633

    Is my memory shot or what? Two weeks ago I forgot my laptop password and had to call mum to check in my little black book.
    Today, I forgot my card’s password for ATM.

  171. 634

    YOB’s roach story is bad but cicely’s “they started dropping from the ceiling and onto Husband’s face at just after midnight”…. *drops hugs into the speakeasy and runs away screaming*

  172. 635

    Thank y’all
    The shoes can be returned, by my mother, if she ever gets to it. In the end it’s not my money, but it’s my children… And yeah, she still gets me with her blatant attempts at out-mothering me.

    Else, we had a really good day, except for maths. Seriously, they had to do 80! problems of the same type. No wonder the kid hates maths by now. I had to sit next to her for a full hour so she wouldn’t distract herself because it was totally useless. Cinderella had more useful tasks than that.

    But she loves her new French lessons and the little one is showing a talent for English.

  173. YOB

    Sorry to have squicked everyone out. It was 3 months before I could get moved out. Won’t go into details but it was one of the worst places I’ve ever lived. (And I once spent 4 months living in an actual hole in the ground in the Arabian desert that was better than that.)

    I’m usually very bug friendly and have passed that onto YOBling. We have no problem catching (known non-bitey) spiders with our bare hands, let caterpillars, grasshoppers, pill-bugs, worms crawl on us, Etc. Bug are cool. Bugs are fascinating.

    Roaches are not bugs. They are tiny Type V demons that must be exorcised! None shall pass! Nuke them from orbit!

  174. 640

    Roaches are not bugs. They are tiny Type V demons that must be exorcised! None shall pass! Nuke them from orbit!

    With *napalm!*
    Lots and lots of *napalm!*.
    They were created by the Horses to inherit the Earth, y’know.
    After we fuck it up.

  175. YOB

    These stories of roaches are creeeeeepy…

    We could change the subject? To something like… I don’t know, maybe a certain Shoop’s experience at a bachelorette party? 😉

  176. YOB

    they were created by the Horses to inherit the Earth, y’know.
    After we fuck it up.

    I wonder if Magrathea got their client files mixed up and Earth wasn’t really built for mice…



    I’m avoiding work. Can you tell?

  177. 645

    Considering myself extremely lucky we live in what is not currently roach country. We get occasional waves of mice (srsly adorable on an individual basis, gross on any other), while outdoors there are intermittent rats (together with plenty of foxes and owls who I hope are scoffing at least some of them). If climate change continues as the 1% and the religidiots clearly want it to, there will be ants. I disapprove of ants in the kitchen.

    I think Interested Parties need to know all about Tony’s experience at the Hen Night. (I would be the first to agree that Hen Night is a pretty daft-sounding name, but then so is “Bachelorette Party”) 🙂

  178. 646

    Actually, come to think of it, I’d just really love to hear (well, read!) another Tony Tale on any topic. Tony Tales are great, and if you’re of a mind to tell one I bet I’m far from the only person of a mind to read it.
    Salutations to the inhabitants of the Roost, especially including, though not confined to, those who might have an injured thumb. And those who we haven’t seen for ages and who just dropped by (yay!). And those who are lovely and generous with hugs. And, well, all of you!

  179. 647

    Puppies! A good friend and her husband rescued a small female dog on July 27. They think she is part Chihuahua and part Papillon and 100% adorable. They adopted her with an agreement to have her spayed. Wellllll, they took her in last week and the vet said, “This dog is pregnant!” They now know that she will be having six pups of unknown paternity and was probably impregnated about a week before they adopted her.
    I have been “informed” that I will be taking at least one, possibly two puppies. That will make us a four dog household. Yikes! But, no problem. We love doggies. We will probably name one Pipsqueak.

  180. 650

    There’s not really much that medical help can do; it’s not bad enough to need surgery, so all a doctor could really do is tell me to wear a brace, use a cold pack, go easy on it, and take a lot of anti inflammatories. I can give myself that advice perfectly well.

    Sympathies on the bachelorette party; where I work those events are simultaneously our bread and butter and the bane of our existence.
    Nthing what others have said about the apartment situation; along with the other very true things folks have said about apartments in general, I personally find that I simply can’t live alone; it doesn’t have to be family, but I have to share housing with someone. I find this odd, because I’m not otherwise terribly social, and don’t like most people very much, but there it is.

    I almost stripped for a bachelorette party once, but when I arrived they’d got someone else, on the grounds that the agency I had been contacted through didn’t exist. A thoroughly annoying night.

  181. 653

    “… the landlord’s (poor) attempt to eradicate a roach infestation. And I mean INFESTATION!”

    Oh,my ! YOB, you lived in Austin circa 1983?!* We were neighbors in the 4-plex on Wilson Street?! I just KNEW we had a special connection— now it makes total sense ! 🙂

    ” Roaches are not bugs. They are tiny Type V demons that must be exorcised! None shall pass! Nuke them from orbit!”

    cicely said:
    “With *napalm!*
    Lots and lots of *napalm!*.

    They were created by the Horses to inherit the Earth, y’know.
    After we fuck it up.”

    –“Huh, though I personally don’t have much experience with Horses (only ridden twice in my life), I did enjoy it. Perhaps I need to reconsider my position. Could Horses (really) be EVIL ? Could Cicely have been right all along?! **
    Reading further in thread (though remnants of past horrors may distract me). ***shudder, shudder***


    Is there a way to express curiosity about Tony’s (party comment) without sounding lecherous or desperate? 🙂

    * “Cockroach (Eeech!) Creepiness’ can be a bonding experience !

    ** After all, I trust Cicely’s opinion in SO MANY other ways…..

  182. 654

    I second opposablethumbs: I’m really glad I don’t live in roach territory. I find mosquitos and fleas and lice bad enough.
    And yes, please, Tony story!

    Now back to bad for exams preparation. Last week and this have been the weirdest exams preparation ever, because I need to read my primary literature and I can do that in bed. Actually, it works really well in bed because I’m not distracted by stuff there. So just one more book and I can delve into the secondary literature.
    And afterwards I’ll need something cheerful to read. Maybe the kiddo’s graphic novels or stuff because if you ever want to break your heart singlehandedly, read 6 books by African American women in a row. I now know why I prefer fantasy: No matter what horrors happen, they don’t actually happen. Reading Toni Morrison, Alice Walker and Maya Angelou is a different matter because you know that shit is real.

  183. rq

    Speaking of fantasy fiction, why do male authors believe that a girl/young woman, upon encountering a child, would immediately form a nurturing bond with that child and refuse to leave it behind? While the male protagonist speculates that, at sixteen, she’s just replacing her childhood dolls with a real child? With the subtle ‘women, they never grow out of it’ undercurrent? That’s not a particularly interesting fantasy-type reaction.
    In fact, it’s pissing me off.

  184. 656

    The closest I have ever come in my life to living alone was 8 weeks I spent in Canada when I was in college, on a summer academic trip. And even then I was staying in a dorm, so there were always people around just outside my door if I wanted to hang out. I’ve literally never lived by myself, and I don’t know if I could deal with it. The few times Spouse and Children have all been gone at once on a trip together, I start to get antsy and feel weird sometime that first evening.

  185. 657

    There’s wet stuff on the ground, and in the air, and falling from the sky. What could it be?

    Today is cat dentist day, wish me luck.

    Ewwww, roaches! I grew up in an infested house, Not Fun.

    Hugs for all, I’ll just leave the refilled basket here.

  186. 658


    why do male authors believe that a girl/young woman, upon encountering a child, would immediately form a nurturing bond with that child and refuse to leave it behind?

    Different question: Why would the male characters be completely horrible assholes and do leave the kid behind? I mean, unless you want to establish thema s the villains. I propose a gender-neutral test for villainy: Leave a kid in the wilderness. No more gratitous rape and sexual violence.

  187. rq

    In this case, the child would not be abandoned but merely left with her original family group (though without direct parents – but then, the two protafonists are currently inhabiting the bodies of primitive/ape-like humans). So that direct sort of assholery is out, at least this time.

  188. rq

    Considering that in grade 1 or 2, a child goes to choir in order to learn how to sing and to improve on extant skills, and needs no prior experience in music… how does a teacher of music just tell a child ‘No, you can’t sing well enough’ (considering the child is 8) and tell him he cannot come to choir anymore? How the hell is (a) that child supposed to feel about future participation in choir (also considering that this was a voluntary desire expressed on the child’s behalf, not pressure from parents) and also how the hell is (b) that child supposed to learn for future purposes?
    So I wrote an e-mail asking for clarification, and asking maybe to let him attend a few rehearsals and see how he feels about it, and… basically got a ‘fuck off’. If I get another ‘fuck off’ (even if politely worded), I’m going to forward the correspondence to the school director and complain about this attitude, because for fucks’ sake, I know my child isn’t a musical genius, but he wants to learn to sing in a choir: isn’t that what school is for? I’m unbelievably pissed off right now.

  189. 661

    “There’s wet stuff on the ground, and in the air, and falling from the sky. What could it be?”

    Wet roaches?

    rq, that’s terrible. A 2nd grade school choir should not be by audition only, for pete’s sake!

  190. rq

    Apparently they’re preparing for a festival.
    In May.
    Which means no wrong notes ever EVER EVER!!! And it’s our fault for not sending our child to choir last year.
    Which makes me question her ability (or desire) to teach singing to children, if she can’t right a few wrong notes over the course of several fucking months.
    Yep, I’ll be writing the director, but I think I need to calm down a bit first.

  191. 664

    A festival whose outcome will determine the entire amount of funding for the school for the next year? Because otherwise, seriously. People see kids and expect a certain amount of not-goodness. For second grade, I’d be happy if none of them are actively picking their nose during the song.

  192. YOB

    I sounds to me like the music “teacher” is trying to set up some sort of perfect choir that xe can point to and say “I did that, am I not awesome! Yay, Me.” 🙁 I’ve seen teachers/coaches like that before. To those kind of people, it is not about the kids and their learning or enjoyment, it is about the accolades.

  193. 667

    rq that just shrieks “incompetence” as well as “shit attitude”. The wonderful skill a primary or secondary-school music teacher has or at least aspires to is precisely to work with and enable the best from kids whose skills and prior experience are varied.
    I’ve seen teachers with the ability to arrange a piece to match the most eclectic ensemble so they could all enjoy it, all make a genuine contribution, all have something to be rightly happy with and proud of helping create; those are the teachers I admire. This person sounds like they don’t know how to do that, and don’t know how to teach music in the first place (otherwise they’d be able to get anyone to improve on whatever their starting point is). And there is practically no such thing as a young child who can’t – sadly there are too many who’ve been told they can’t.
    I am so sorry this was done and said to Child; and I hope the director is not such an arse. I’m angry just thinking about it; you must be bloody livid.

  194. rq

    Thanks all for the support. I’ve spoken to Husband and he ran into Eldest’s (the Child in question) regular teacher and she was absolutely incomprehendant (I made up that word), too. Because teachers regularly get sent emails about how there are so few children in the choir, esp. boys’ voices (we need them to grow into strong manly voices, as there’s a huge deficit!), and she’s planning to say something about it, too. Eldest was pretty emotionally shaken, too. So we’ve decided to write a strongly-worded letter to the director, not with the intention of getting Eldest into the choir (because honestly, with an attitude like that, we don’t want him with that teacher) but to indicate the problematic aspects of her attitude, and whether she honestly, well and truly, represents the school’s attitude towards the budding talents of children. I’ve already written a first draft, but I see it will have to be toned down a bit. 🙂
    Seriously, thanks. I’ve been feeling like a terrible Barfly of late due to changes in the schedule and low energy levels and a background anxiety about work stuff, so I plan on improving, and I’m super-happy and glad to receive such unconditional support from y’all. I think I might shed a tear for the second time today.

  195. 669

    I have not been a well citizen. I have very crummy health coverage. I have been waiting three months to see the doctor. My appointment was at 9:00am this morning. I live up on Parched BumFuck Nowhere Mountain in dry California (which usually I love but today I don’t) and it takes about 45 minutes in good weather to reach the doctor’s office. At midnight last night it started raining and it hasn’t stopped. Yea, provisionally. Everything is flooding. People are driving like idiots and sliding off the road. I got in my car with plenty of time to spare and the piece ‘o shit will not start. The only reason I am driving such an unreliable piece ‘o shit is because husband was driving my car three months ago and it was hit by a drunken fool. My car is STILL in the shop. It was supposed to be fixed quite some time ago. (very long story) The piece ‘o shit that is sitting dead in my driveway is on loan from a very generous friend. I called road service and because of the rain they are overloaded with calls and cannot get here to jump start my battery for hours. I called the doctor’s office and they were very understanding but they are booked up full and I may not be able to get in for another three months. They promised to slot me in on the very next cancellation. Yippee…

    An electrical breaker that controls my kitchen blew out. The refrigerator is running thanks to a long extension cord. The electrician may or may not be able to get here today.

    We are trying to set up a home office for my husband so that he does not have to commute 4 hours every day. AT&T (after a week’s worth of haggling) promised to be here yesterday to install a land line. Must be a land line. They did not show up, and did not call. Now they say that my address does not exist.

    Send in the dragons! I am in a slaying mood.
    (This comment may show up twice. If so, sorry.)

  196. YOB

    In lieu of hugs and pillows, I offer *dun dun dun* A Random Musing 🙂

    So, I was listening to this TED Radio Hour during my epic transTexas road trip. I highly recommend it, as it posed some really fascinating questions about us as humans and our relationship with technology. There were a few things that caught my attention, especially.

    1. Amber Case – Cyborg Anthropologist! Apparently, Cyborg Anthropology is a thing. How cool is that?! Also, the talk is fantastic. If you only listen to part of the show, listen to that part. I’m <3 Case and her ideas very much right now.

    2. At some point, I can't really remember when, the idea that we have two (or more) different identities. We have a physical IRL body/mind and an on-line "body/mind" that has to be maintained. There is also that factor of time and permanence of our on-line identities. It was the time part that really got me thinking. I went back and looked at some of the comments I made from several years ago and I barely recognize myself. It's almost like digital time travel. The "me" of now looking at the "me" of yesteryears. A little freaky, frankly. I wonder what "future me" will think of "now me"?

    [We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming]

  197. YOB

    On second thought, hugs and pillows are definitely needed so…

    *hugs* and *soft comfy pillows* with lots of soothing manatees peeking in

  198. 676

    *hugs* That is indeed a pisser. We’ve gotten the “Your address doesn’t exist” before, but only from shippers, not utilities.

    What an asshole.

    I woke up far too early this morning, and couldn’t get back to sleep. I’m still exhausted, though.

  199. 678

    *hugs biped*

    Also, rq, just to reinforce that our support isn’t just out of our asses, I was in choir from 3rd grade (the first year we were able to start) until college. I was in show choirs, competition choirs, musicals. My children have been in choir for the past nine years doing the same. I’ve seen every type of school choir performance there probably is. And that teacher is wrongity-wrong-wrong-WRONG.

  200. 680

    bluentx: I assure you, Horses are, indeed, Evil. The very essence of Evil, in fact, on four restrainedly-fiery hooves (each). They use alla that Horseback riding and flowing manes and impression of sleek, well-oiled power to sucker the unwary.
    Do Not Be Fooled!!!
    (And remember—Always Trust Centauri cicely!)

    rq: At age 8? WTever-lovin’F???
    *shaking head*
    Sounds like possibly the teacher is confusing a “class” with a “competition-grade choir”.
    There are a lot of *roaches* currently infesting this Thread; package some of ’em up and send them to this (alleged) teacher, with my compliments.


    Wet roaches?

    (*purificatory gestures* going into overdrive.)

    *hugs* and commiserations for Biped!?.
    Sometimes life is like a box of dog turds, Forrest. You never know what you’re gonna get…but it will be unappetizing. Even when coated in chocolate.
    I’m willing to bet that AT&T could damned well find your address—if there was a bill involved.
    At the very least, they would leave no roach turd stone un-turned.

  201. rq

    Well, we wrote up the letter together, and towards the end we caught ourselves thinking, ‘hey, maybe we’re overthinking this, maybe this isn’t so bad!’ until I went to take screenshots of my correspondence with the choir instructor and showed them to Husband and now he’s set on adding some extra strong words to the letter tomorrow. It all feels so dramatic.

  202. 682

    Serious hugs. What ana sshole, that teacher. Seriously, at that age everything should be about fun.

    We want pictures!

    Something funny
    Today I tried calling the urology for an appointment for the little one. Looking on the website for the phone number I came across the number for “minimally invasive stone therapy”. Acronym? MIST. That sounds wonderful in English, right? Your kidney stones are going to dissolve themselves, light as mist.
    Only, in German “Mist” is manure, frequently used as an epiteph. And if you fuck something up you create “mist”. If you really fuck it up you create Bockmist, billy goat manure…

  203. 683

    Sorry I haven’t responded with the story ya’ll. For that matter, sorry for not writing more. I’ve been in a bit of a funk lately. That, combined with finding a lack of inspiration and blanking whenever I start to write a blog post, is the reason I’ve been a little scarce. The post I just put up took several days for me to write, but I think I feel like I’ve reconnected with whatever inspirational writing ability lay within me. We’ll see.

    In any case, I’ll tell the story soon.

    No Tony Tales to report though.

  204. rq

    You have ruined my romantic dreams, Giliell.
    I choose to believe that this tree is the great-great-great-something-grandtree of the original beech tree at the sight. So there. 😛
    (Anyway, I just thought it was a cool reveal.)

    *general hugs*, also for the lower ranks.

  205. 687

    Tony, hugs and also extra anti-funk hugs, and also you know –
    it’s just meant to say hi! enthusiastic Tony-readers here! and not meant to to poke you and say write! write faster!
    But you know that, right?

  206. 688

    I will ruin your dream further: The original tree, whose great-great-great-great-grandchild uncovered the remains now, was not planted by a lover, but by the murderer, who wanted to make sure people wouldn’t dig in that place.
    Inspired by Annette von Droste-Hülshoff’s Die Judenbuche

    Speaking of dreams, I had a photographer’S nightmare (as in literally I was dreaming): there was the motif of my life, I managed to grab my camera, and then I noticed I had unscrewed the lens and forgotten to put one back on again…
    As for the motif: I was in some place at the coast. What coast, I don’t know. The general view was towards another part of the coast that fell steeply and in some sort of terraces to the sea. And now, one evening, when everything there is tinged in light blues, greys and pinks, something is capsizing ships. Big ships. Without warning. Without being seen. Without the sea being in turmoil. And then there’s the ship. This ship looks like somebody took the goblin city from “Labyrith” and put it onto an old wooden ship*. And it is going past that steep coastline and everything is so beautiful and I want to take a picture before whatever monster is currently sinking ships is sinking it, and then NO LENS.
    Yes, you can blame dream me for being an asshole because all I thought about was a foto and not the little goblins that must have been on the ship.
    *And no, that didn’t strike me as patently absurd

  207. YOB

    I will ruin your dream further: The original tree, whose great-great-great-great-grandchild uncovered the remains now, was not planted by a lover, but by the murderer, who wanted to make sure people wouldn’t dig in that place.

    … What if it was not planted by a murderer but by a powerful Druid? Planted to confine Teh Evil *dun dun dun* within the life affirming roots of the tree (and its subsequent generations.)
    And now? Now the evil is free to walk among us! 🙂

    Weird dreams are weird.
    A couple of weeks ago, I dreamed I was IN a Minecraft world. Sitting in my spruce plank block cabin. All of a sudden a giant John Deer tractor (which do not exist in Minecraft) is driving over my cabin trapping/crushing me. The tractor is being driven by my Dad (how could I know? I couldn’t see the driver but, at the same time, I could). The tractor/Dad was realistic, not “minecrafted”. Not sure what to make of that.

  208. YOB

    I’ve been in a bit of a funk lately.

    I’m guessing that it is not the good, George Clinton, kind of funk. 🙁

    *offers a Funkadelic hug*

  209. rq

    The original tree, whose great-great-great-great-grandchild uncovered the remains now, was not planted by a lover, but by the murderer, who wanted to make sure people wouldn’t dig in that place.

    No, that actually works for my definition of ‘romance’.

    Best not to ask, I suppose.

    *free hugs for all*, esp. for our Eminent Host, the One and Only Shoop the Magnificent.
    Less intrusive gestures also available.

  210. 692

    *hugs* for Tony!, Biped?!, rq and everyone else!

    I’ve been catching up lately and I literally facepalmed when I read Sam Harris’ new defense of profiling. Then I told his line about Seinfeld and Bin Laden to somebody in meatspace and we did a synchronized facepalm.
    Oh dear. I don’t know in what sheltered little world Harris has been living in, but here on planet Earth, Arabs and Jews look exactly the same. Which is one of the many reasons why profiling doesn’t work. If it did, wouldn’t you think that it would be heavily employed by Israel?
    It’s not like Israel has a lot of moral conviction, nor is it because nobody thought of it before. It was tried. And it failed. Repeatedly. At one point, I remember the instructions being to search every ultra-orthodox Jew, because terrorists were smart enough to adapt to any previous possible identifier. And even this method didn’t work, because they simply dressed up differently.
    Israel’s solution was to build a giant wall and prevent almost all Palestinians (from the occupied territories) from entering Green Line Israel. So unless Harris is proposing Trump’s wall initiative, or the much more articulate PZ’s giant dome plan, he’s in a bit of a bind.
    Blimey what a moron.


    What if it was not planted by a murderer but by a powerful Druid? Planted to confine Teh Evil

    “Ernest Scared Stupid” was based on a true story!

  211. 693

    Hi all.

    Shout-outs to Giliell for recent mother troubles, rq for recent choir tyrant troubles, Tony for recent trouble troubles. If anyone has troubles that I missed, I’m sorry. Have some hugs.
    Question for folks with child-rearing experience.
    My nephew is having his second birthday this weekend. I think he has enough (too many) toys, and want to get him a more activity-based gift. Would finger paints be appropriate for a two-year-old?

  212. YOB

    We had pretty good luck with the bog standard Crayola Washable Finger Paint (4 ct). However, YOBling’s skin did turn a little rashy red (though not an actual rash) if the paint was allowed to dry on her for too long. Note: her skin is extremely pale and sensitive. I mean, like, really sensitive.

    A super fun thing we did with her was to tape down long pieces of butcher paper to the kitchen (tile) floor, strip her to her undies and then let her just go crazy with the paint. (No splashing, though 🙂 )

  213. rq

    While my child-instinct says YES!!!, my mother-instinct says Consult with the parents. Fingerpaints ARE a great activity-based gift for a 2-year-old, but they’re quite messy, and can try the patience of those supervising (because honestly, NEVER leave a 2-year-old unattended with access to fingerpaints…). Large crayons, large markers, etc., are all good, too, with a lower messiness coefficient (which by no means it zero!).

  214. 696

    pLease check with the parents.
    I would NOT have appreciated finger paint because of our living conditions. The kids would have been super sad and I would have been annoyed because I would have been the “bad one”.
    Outdoor chalk, otoh, is always appreciated

  215. 700

    Thanks for the input!
    I’ll ask the parentals. But I must admit that I like the idea of a gift that might force my brother to put down the game controller and pay attention to what his kid is doing.

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