Speakeasy #4

Kick back and relax in the Speakeasy! Everyone is welcome for social chit-chat, political talk, and whatever else might be on your mind. Just leave bigotry at the door and play nice.

Speakeasy #4

564 thoughts on “Speakeasy #4

  1. 351

    [refills hugs] rq, Giliell, move over a bit please. I’m having an inexplicable weepy unfocused panic attack day and I need to hide in the pillow fort.

    I can tell it’s going to be One of Those Days; even finishing reorganising the bead drawers didn’t help.

  2. 352


    I’m going to Oktoberfest with friends tomorrow. I know it’s not the best idea to go for just one day, considering the length of the drive there and back, but that’s how they planned it.

    I don’t suppose you were planning to go there tomorrow? (I think I read somewhere you were opposed to the whole concept….)

  3. 353


    I’m a big socialist with a huge thing for workers’ rights, who works for a private company with biggest capitalist ideas ever (at least we claim so)… so I am really thrilled with what you are your coworkers are doing and wish you all the best.

  4. 354

    *hugs* and/or *gestures of support* to Giliell, rq, Anne.
    I bit of mildly-surprising good news on this end – my car passed it’s mandatory smog test (Calif.). Surprising since it’s has been right at the maximum for hydrocarbons for the last 3 tests now (6 years). Every time I wait to hear that it failed, and each time it squeaks by. Safe for another 2 years. 🙂
    Saw The Martian last night. Very, very good movie. The book is one of the best I’ve read in while (I’m an engineer, a bit of a space geek, and have friends in the space industry in SoCal). I’m lousy at movie reviews, other than to say “I liked it”. 🙂

  5. 355

    *hugs* to everyone.

    That sucks 🙁
    Have an extra *hug*


    This might end up being a bigger shitstorm than anticipated.

    The die has been cast, the Rubican crossed, and an extra *hug* tossed.
    Stay strong – I believe in you.


    Saw The Martian last night. Very, very good movie.

    I guess I’ll have to watch it now. But I’ll do so under protest 😛

    Russia targets vetted Syrian rebels who are backed by the US:

    One strike hit the outskirts of Kafr Nabl, a town that has won renown as a symbol of the peaceful protest movement against Assad family rule. The local council there receives U.S. assistance, and the local rebels have been supported under a covert CIA program aimed at bolstering moderate rebels.

    The strike hit a training camp for a U.S.-vetted group called Suqour al-Jabal that is adjacent to Roman ruins on the outskirts of the town, according to activists in the area.

    Let me repeat: Russia is directly attacking a moderate resistance group backed by the US. How much worse the situation must become before the West realizes that Russia has declared a new Cold War?
    You do know what this means, don’t you? While Western centrist governments continue to drag their feet on this issue the only people with an actual solution will be the most reactionary and militant members of the right. A way is now being paved for another Nixon, Thatcher and Reagan.

  6. 356

    Great. Woman is awesome in that CSI show. Finishes the round of awesomeness with a prison rape joke.
    Asshole. I don’t even know why I’m watching this.

  7. rq

    Because sometimes it’s nice to watch trash? Husband and I are about to try and catch up on a couple more Game of Thrones episodes… I have to say, I don’t exactly enjoy the show as much as I did at the start (it gets a bit tedious, and this besides all that problematic crap what with rape, consent and treatment of women). But. It can be entertaining. I suppose. … ?

    Also, I just posted this on the Racism in America thread over at Pharyngula. I don’t know why it makes me antsy that I did, but… it does. But I did it anyway.

  8. 358


    Speaking about trash, The Big Bang Theory is on next. 🙂

    You did good, posting that. You can’t completely avoid some topics just because speaking up might stir some shit.

  9. 359

    Regarding Kim Davis and the pope:
    now that the new spin is that he had no idea who he was meeting, and the meeting wasn’t a sign of his approval, people are actually using the argument that “he meets all kinds of people, he’s the pope he’s supposed to love everyone”

    I’m sorry, I think I just headdesk myself a head injury.

  10. 360

    Hugs, crossed fingers and all the employment-related good luck wishes to rq, and also an assortment of hugs and wishes to everyone else. I think I’m going to hide in the pillow fort for a bit myself.

  11. 361


    I don’t know why it makes me antsy that I did, but… it does.

    The fact that certain reasonable words can’t be said on Pharyngula without making the poster feel antsy is one of the reasons why I don’t comment on the discussions threads there anymore.

  12. 363


    Maybe CA test equipment is made by VW?

    OK, that’s hilarious. Well done! 🙂

    **raises Scotch glass in acknowledgement**

  13. rq

    It’s so pretty, though, chigau. Majestic might be a better word. I’d love to drive it one day, I atent skeered of no road.

    Frankly, I was rather terrified on the roads of Ireland… especially when there’s two tour buses passing each other with millimeters to spare (on the plus side, they do this at a slow crawl).
    But I’m always most terrified on the local highways, because of the local driving culture. Semi approaching? Five cars in front of you with little space? Sure, you can pass them all! And then there’s four cars doing this. *shudder*

  14. 367

    HI there
    I hope you’Re having fun!
    Indeed I went to the Oktoberfest today, but to the one at the little one’s daycare.
    You remember correctly, I’m not overly fond of the Oktoberfest, especially not of the Bavarification of ther est of the country, as if nobody else ever had any traditions worth celebrating.

  15. 368

    This has just happened:
    My old, half-blind cat jumped on the refrigerator, from there leaped into the 20cm gap between the kitchen cabinet and the ceiling, run along the kitchen cabinet to get above the kitchen workbench and jumped down.
    All of that just so he could bypass me and get directly to the boiled eggs I’ve been cutting for my salad.

  16. 369

    Alexanderz, sounds like there’s life in the old cat yet.

    Husband is frying bacon for his breakfast. Patches is very, very interested, getting underfoot, begging and pointing her nose in the direction of the stove. She’s never eaten bacon in her life, but something about the aroma apparently awakened a primal instinct. Fierce hunter is stalking the wild, um, cured meats.

  17. 370


    Alexanderz, sounds like there’s life in the old cat yet.

    I don’t know where he gets the strength. At one moment he’s barely moving, slipping on his each second step he takes, and the next he’s running and jumping like crazy. I think the evening breeze does him good.

    Fierce hunter is stalking the wild, um, cured meats.

    She might be after the juices. I know that my cat likes to lick the fat/oil/whatever is left after I finish frying.


    as if nobody else ever had any traditions worth celebrating.

    I’ve only heard of Oktoberfest so far. I’d be interested to learn about the traditions/celebrations that are unique to your state.

  18. 371


    Patches is like Tigger – the real one, not the Disney travesty – she’ll eat anything she can steal, because you never know if Patcheses like buttered toast or not (for the record, they do). She also runs around the house sometimes making worra-worra noises, like Tigger, although she hasn’t attacked a tablecloth, yet.

    Ooh, Husband just called me outside because there was a pair of snowy egrets on the neighbor’s roof two houses down. They usually fly over on their way to the park to fish in the creek. I wonder if someone’s put in an ornamental koi pond or something.

  19. 372

    she’ll eat anything she can steal, because you never know if Patcheses like buttered toast or not (for the record, they do).

    Yup, this sounds familiar. Here the rule seems to be “if they’ve touched it, I’ll try it; you never know, I might like it. Yup, I do. No matter what it is, even if dogs don’t normally like lettuceandtomato. ”
    She draws the line at raw onion, though.

  20. 374

    offered dogs onions

    Oh no, absolutely not! Never offered them to her – but she lurks in the kitchen when anyone (mostly OH) is cooking, and if anything falls on the floor she pounces. However one time she pounced on the just-cut-off end of an onion, presumably on the grounds that whatever any one of us drops just might be her-food, and decided that no this definitely wasn’t.

  21. 375


    As as aside, can I use anchor tags for links here? I can’t remember.

    Yes. Anchor tags are one of the few tags that still work.

    Interestingly the cat’s no-no list is similar, but shorter, than the dog’s.
    However, they don’t mention a very important fact: Regular (i.e. non-medical) dry cat food can be dangerous. They still need to eat some of it to strengthen their teeth, but if that’s their primary it can lead to a blocking of the urinary tract in males.
    My cat had to have had his penis cut off to widen his urethra enough.
    Strangely enough after he recovered from that surgery he became even more aggressive to male cats.

  22. 376


    We used to have a dog who would get into the boxes of chocolate chip cookies if we left them where she could get to them. Never seemed to bother her. She was a Black Lab-Akita mix, so was not small, and it’s not like we left a lot of cookies in the box, because — chocolate chip cookies.

    We always tried to tell her chocolate was bad for her, but I don’t think she ever understood^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H cared. (Now that I’ve showed my age, does the strike tag work, too?)

    understood cared. Testing.

  23. 378


    Patches is like Tigger – the real one, not the Disney travesty – she’ll eat anything she can steal, because you never know if Patcheses like buttered toast or not (for the record, they do). She also runs around the house sometimes making worra-worra noises, like Tigger, although she hasn’t attacked a tablecloth, yet.

    We’ve taught Bozzley not to steal food, but anything that hits the floor he considers his by right, for the same reason. He hasn’t attacked a tablecloth, but he did develop a vendetta against a sock at one point.

    kind of ‘rupt, hugs all around. Most of my spare energy right now is going into preparing for the game I’m going to be running soon (btw, YOB, if you’re reading this, there’s email waiting for you).

  24. 379


    Are you running online or at the table? If online, VTT or PbP? What system?

    I know you’ve mentioned getting ready to run a game before, but I don’t think you offered details. Or, more probably, I missed them. I blame my root canal.

  25. 380

    We’ve never given the cats table scraps (except some turkey in season, the vets said that’s allowed), and never allowed them on the table, not that they listen. Back when the kitties were about two, I think, the vet noticed that they were turning into little furry blimps, especially Patches. She had us put them on rations instead of freefeeding.

    Patches, being something of a glutton (the vet’s term, not mine) did not take well to the change and decided that since we were keeping her from her rightful share of the food, she’d have ours instead. It’s been open warfare between us and Patches ever since – we have to guard anything on the table, she watches for an opening, and round and round we go…

  26. 381

    It’s online, on a virtual tabletop, but I’ve already got as many players as I can handle; sorry. Based on how much trouble I had getting a face to face group together I underestimated how much interest the online one would get, and it filled up fast. YOB expressed an interest back when I first mentioned it, so I knew to mention him. If you said something, I’m afraid I missed it. :/

  27. 382

    Is anyone here an editor of Wikipedia with picture posting privileges (I think it’s 10 edits)?
    There is an article about Roberta Williams, the Queen of the Graphic Adventure, that doesn’t have any picture in it. Her husband, who is arguably less famous than her, does have a picture. I was wondering if any of you could put any suitable picture of her in there?
    You can find old pictures on her husband’s site and a new one on 2GuysFromAndromeda. The latter was done as a free promotional so there shouldn’t be any problems with licensing (at least I hope so).

  28. 384


    Sorry, my intention was not to angle for an invite. I was just interested in what and how you were running. I remembered you mentioning trouble getting a tabletop group together, but not what the solution was.

    As it is, I am running three characters in my wife’s Play By Post on rpol.net, continuing a character who started tabletop on another of my wife’s games on rpol.net, and am slowly working on running a couple of my own games on rpol.net.

    I used to have a group that met regularly for 15 or so years tabletop, on Tuesday nights, and then we imploded a bit. Someone got annoyed at something and then retaliated in the other’s game (we would rotate running games), and the retaliation was out of bounds for me and we never really recovered. Now our Tuesdays are intermittent and not always with an RPG.

  29. 385

    Hullo, everyone. Sorry to be so scarce. I have zero excuse – I’ve just been feeling non-contact lately, for no good reason. Not even depressed, everything has been going more or less fine. Well, there was some credit card fraud, but we caught that quickly and it seems to have been an isolated event.

    My cat won’t eat any table food – I’ve offered her damn near everything just to test it out, and she won’t touch any of it. I guess that’s a good thing. She does, however, like to scratch and chew on shoes. We’ve taken to hiding them in boxes to keep her from them.

    Anne, good luck. I had a surgical consult Monday, and it was a bit weird. I’ll preface it by saying I know this is a great surgeon, but still. I went in and he asked about my symptoms, I had a color-coded symptom chart for the last two months, and he cut me off right as soon as I tried to show to him and said that if I’m having symptoms, their standard practice is that I should have the gallbladder removed, and launched right into when I’d have the surgery etc. I was all “wait wait WAIT”, and said I didn’t think the symptoms were affecting my life that badly yet, and couldn’t I wait and see? His response was “Of course, that’s exactly what I’d do too in your situation”. Wait, what? That’s… entirely the opposite of what he just said not two minutes before. I got what I wanted, the symptom list for “how do I know when everything has gone BAD and I need to go in NOW”, and he got a promise that I’ll call and come in for tests the next time I have a major attack to see just how bad it is. Whole thing took significantly less than 10 minutes.

    Hugs for everyone. Also, please to let me give you a little gift – if you haven’t listened to the soundtrack to Hamilton yet, DO IT. The soundtrack just went out a week or so ago, and it’s all up on youtube by now. It is FANTASTIC. Here’s a video from a few years ago right after the author wrote the first song, in which he also explains the concept a bit. I won’t even give away the info, it’s more fun to watch him do it: here

  30. 386

    Ah. It’s basicalyy gunslingers vs monsters, goulies, ghosties, long legged beasties, and things that go bump in the night. Not to mention corrupt authorities, bandits, con artists, Pinkertons, and company towns.

  31. 387


    I admit that you have more going on that I could handle as a GM. I came up running modules for D&D, all levels/editions. I tend to make my own adventures the same way. It works if you’re looking for a slightly lighter gaming experience.


    I put in 12 O’Clock High tonight. I haven’t watched it in awhile, because as great a movie as it is, it can be a little tough to watch. Anyone else watched it?

  32. 388

    No excuse or explenation needed. We’re glad to have you here whenever you feel like it.

    Alexander Z
    Well, it’S mostly country fairs and such, maypoles etc.Christmasmarkets. But especially those that are at harvest time are in a steady decline while at the same time there’s Oktoberfest, Oktoberfest and Oktoberfest. And come winter we all must go to the “Hüttengaudi” (after skying parties).
    Did I mention that both “traditions” heavily rely on too much alcohol and misogyny?

  33. 389


    Since we made the brilliant decision of going to Oktoberfest on its closing day, on a state holiday, on a Saturday afternoon, we of course couldn’t enter any of the tents. The people! So many (too many) people.

    The day was quite nice anyway, we strolled around town a lot (some of it because no one listened when I said the Oktoberfest tents were on the right, not left). Ate some good food, had some good beer in a beer hall. All in all, I had a nice time even though some others proclaimed the whole thing a debacle.

  34. 390

    Another day, another birthday – Elder Daughter is 27. She’s off to the park for some birding in the drizzle. Yes, we got a whole tenth of an inch of rain.

    We had planned a bookshop and getting malled expedition this morning, but poor Younger Daughter has a bad cold and isn’t up to getting dressed, let alone going out today. We’ll try again next Saturday; that’s Husband’s birthday, so celebration will be in order anyway. Younger is quite happy to stay home and watch more of the 4th Doctor episodes I DVRed this week.

    So, a quiet day at home with possible cooking experimentation by Husband. Works for me.

    Hugs to all. I’ll be in the pillow fort with my book and a cuppa.

  35. 391

    Well I sure got manipulated. The wealthy Mormon Honcho who lives across the street from me got me to commit to attending the Mormon Halloween party on Wed. Oct. 28. He has a several bedroom mini-mansion with lots of attached property. One of the things about mountain living, you can have palaces adjacent to modest dwellings (mine). There is very little zoning.

    So, the pavement on my driveway goes about 20 feet from my garage door and stops about 20 feet from the street. Between the two is dirt, and when it rains, mud. Whoever built this was an idiot. Mormon Honcho came over yesterday and offered to lay gravel in my dirt driveway, for free. He is a builder and has all the necessary machinery to do a professional job. I exclaimed over his generosity and he said, “That is what neighbors do.”

    The job took about an hour and a half and was a bit more complex than just dumping gravel. He did a very good job. About half way into it he says he has a request: In gratitude for the huge favor he has done for me, he would like me and hubby to attend the Mormon Halloween Party and that his “mission” in life is to do good. Well, what could I say? Hell no, I don’t believe in fairy tales and superstitious cults? So I laughed and said sure, we would attend. He does not know about our atheism or that my husband’s last name is ancient and respected Hebrew.

    We will go. I will report back. I will be pleasant and will challenge no one. But boy howdy, I sure got snookered. In his defense, Mormon Honcho is a nice man, as far as I know. I fully expect to get proselytized.

  36. 393

    Random thoughts:

    The storm and the death toll in France shatters my (falsely) comforting belief that Europe is a safe place when it comes to weather disasters.

    How can people at the same time pretend pope is irrelevant (when confronted with criticism of the institution’s conservativism ) and praise him for his progressiveness as if a couple of nice gestures meant anything? Just today, he started the synod about family. That is, about families that consist of a man, a woman and 3 and a half children.

    What some of you noted about Pharyngula… yes.

    I hope the people I went to Germany with yesterday will want to continue hanging out with me (friends of the friend whose wedding I’ve been to a couple of weeks ago). I like them, and I think we’re getting along quite well, although it’s difficult to determine because whichever way my thoughts on that go, I’m concerned I’m either reading the situation too optimistically because of my loneliness or that I’m being too fearful because of my lack of self confidence.

  37. 394

    Hopefully the price you got charged (by surprise, half-way through the job … for a “free” bit of neighbourly help) will not be too onerous and may even have some fun (or funny) aspects. If the worst comes to the worst, you may have an aching jaw for a while from having to grit your teeth all evening. And as Anne rightly says, your driveway should still be there afterwards :-s

  38. 395

    barkeeperin :

    “I put in 12 O’Clock High tonight.”

    Why did my brain substitute “High Noon” for this upon first reading ?
    Also,” Yes” I have seen it [12 O’Clock High] . Also read the book (within the last couple of years). My 2 cents: Movie = ’40’s Hollywood exciting/ (WWII) propaganda. Book = dry to boring (but I persevered to the end… I’m stubborn like that sometimes !!)
    Biped!? :
    “We will go. I will report back.”

    Yes, PLEASE !
    Don’t know why, but as they say on The Atheist Experience I’m fascinated by “What people believe and why…”

  39. 396


    The storm and the death toll in France shatters my (falsely) comforting belief that Europe is a safe place when it comes to weather disasters.

    To be fair, I think it’s due to an arrogant complacency of thinking “that can’t happen here”. I hope that now that they’ve seen how dangerous it can be, people will be much better prepared for future storms.

    How can people at the same time pretend pope is irrelevant (when confronted with criticism of the institution’s conservativism ) and praise him for his progressiveness

    I think his progressiveness is irrelevant. I suspect that some in The Church think the same way, but for completely different reasons.

    I’m concerned I’m either reading the situation too optimistically because of my loneliness or that I’m being too fearful because of my lack of self confidence.

    Beatrice, we’re all your friends, and as such I can say that you’re a wonderful person. Don’t worry – reach out to them and enjoy yourself. *hug*


    Well I sure got manipulated.

    Yup. Saying that he’ll do it for free, but then asking for a favor in return is a dick move. I’m exactly like you, though – I always feel the need to oblige people like that. Still, the party could prove nice. Have fun! (or say that you have explosive diarrhea and bail out as soon as you can.)

    He does not know about our atheism or that my husband’s last name is ancient and respected Hebrew.

    What’s wrong with a Hebrew name*? Do Mormons tend to be antisemitic**?
    *If the name is what I think it is, it’s surprisingly rare. That word was used only once in the last part of the last book of the Tanakh, dating it somewhere in the early 4th century BC. I wonder what that means for the cultural aspects of ancient Hebrews.
    **When my doctor was young, way back in the 1960s, he used to date a South Baptist girl in Arizona. She took him to meet her parents, but warned him “not to say or do anything Jewish”.


    Another day, another birthday – Elder Daughter is 27….
    We’ll try again next Saturday; that’s Husband’s birthday

    Happy birthday! For both of them. I bet it was fun when the daughters were younger – a whole of birthdays week after week.


    Well, it’S mostly country fairs and such, maypoles etc.Christmasmarkets.

    Sounds lovely. I love local culture and celebrations. The sights and smells and tastes are always overwhelming. Sad that Oktoberfest* is turning into the Starbucks of festivals.
    *My mother forwarded me a mail from my Bavarian family. It seems they’re not too happy about Oktoberfest either, but for different reasons – they can’t stand drunken foreigners parking their vans and mobile home everywhere, and going out to trash Munich.


    Not even depressed, everything has been going more or less fine.

    I’m glad things have been going well.

    His response was “Of course, that’s exactly what I’d do too in your situation”. Wait, what?

    It sounds like the place he works in has a policy of forcing people to do surgeries. When my spinal problems began doctors wanted to operate on me as well, even though they freely admitted that the operation has very slim chances of success and that they mostly needed the practice.
    Be careful. Hopefully your gallbladder won’t require an operation.
    Thanks for the video. *hugs* to you as well.
    *hugs* for everyone!

  40. 397


    I’m glad you had a nice trip. AFAIK you gotta reserve seats in the tents some time in advance. And i hope this new connection works out. And wasn’t the weather lovely?

    As for disasters, I think we’Re just much safer than the rest of the world for being geographically lucky with better official response.

    Well, at least you got gravel…
    In my experiencey ou need to approach such things with the right mindset: Be ready to amuse yourself.

    they can’t stand drunken foreigners parking their vans and mobile home everywhere, and going out to trash Munich.
    I’m wondering, do the prefer the locals trashing Munich?

    Ahhh, wanna hear how Germany is totally not racist?
    Mr’s aunt is a reading mentor.onc e a week she goes to a primary school to help kids whose first language isn’t German with reading. Now the kid she worked with for the last year is going to middle school so she needed a new charge. When she went there to meet her new kid the class teacher was absent and the one who temporarily replaced her assigned her a little black boy. They had great fun that afternoon, read 13 pages or so and when the boy’s parents came they chatted a while in perfect standard German, a feat most locals don’t manage. Really, why would you assign such a kid a reading mentor? Can’t have anything to do with him being black and we know that black people can’t be German and actually speak German….

  41. 398

    If you’re looking for an alternative to Oktoberfest, you might look at Samhuinn Festival in Scotland put on by the Beltrane Society on Oct 31st. A parade, a play, and probably some other stuff. I’ve never been (can’t afford the trip) but it looks like fun if you’re not put off by its slightly pagan atmosphere. Seems to be pretty popular. But it is a different kind of festival than Oktoberfest.

  42. 399


    I’m wondering, do the prefer the locals trashing Munich?

    No, my n-removed-cousin-in-law hates all violent drunks equally, for him Oktoberfest is an excuse to turn his city into ground zero. I’m not so sure about his family, though. They are not what you’d call “nice people”. I doubt that Bill O’rly would call them nice people.

    Really, why would you assign such a kid a reading mentor?

    To be fair, as racism goes it’s very benevolent. Isn’t it best to err on the side of giving a kid more education?


    If you’re looking for an alternative to Oktoberfest, you might look at Samhuinn Festival in Scotland put on by the Beltrane Society on Oct 31st.

    I was once on a long trip through Scotland and didn’t get to see anything like that. I feel cheated. I did, however, get called a “poofter” for not pronouncing their capital correctly, so I did end up getting some “cultural” experience.

  43. 400

    I’m home.
    My iPad has had a stroke.
    I had to restart everything on the home computer in order to get internet, in order to get an appointment to fix the iPad.
    and I don’t know if this comment will work

  44. 403

    @ tony . I don’t want to get too smashed at the party so early. So red wine, but you pour!
    .*okay “when”. Really. Stop lol*

    I’m definitely home here.

  45. 406


    Isn’t it best to err on the side of giving a kid more education?

    From what I know, people with a migratory background find this sort of stuff pretty offensive. The kid was put into a remedial reading class just because of his skin colour. Think about it: If everybody assumes you suck at German because of your skin colour, how’s that going to affect your chances in life? THere’s jobs you won’t get because you don’t even make it to the second round, grades you won’tget because you’re assumed incompetent at German…
    BTW, how do you manage to bold things?

    I can see your comment!

    *scritches*to WMDKitty


    I once saw the Highland Games on the Isle of Sky. Very neat. Yeah, I prefer pagan styley festivals and medieval/fantasy fairs. The atmosphere is much nicer. mr isn’T much into such things, but years ago I dragged him along to one and he had to admit that it was really nice and has come willingly several times since.

    Hello Antwerp!

  46. rq

    Bolding happens when you write ‘strong’ in the pointy bracket-type thingies.

    Allo, Antwerp.


    I hate passive-aggressive power struggles when the one side is trying to maintain power and the other side is just trying to be all ‘hey, we have a formerly-small now-rather-large issue here you could maybe finally look at?’
    It’s bound to get more forceful within a couple of weeks, but right now I swear they’re just antagonizing us in order to pass the audit.

  47. 408

    rq I hope the work situation improves very soon. My wife is having problems with work: she’s not sure she’ll have a job this time next year, and if so, whether it will be a downgraded one.
    Giliell I understand what you mean about the racism. It’s almost subliminal.

    Welcome Antwerp

    I’m struggling with things at the moment. We had a tough week last week with my daughter being unwell and then behaving very badly. Then a related unhappy incident at my in-laws which only made matters worse. Now I’m going through a down swing. On the plus side my daughter’s behavior has been very good for the last two days.

    …I’m be in the pillow fort.

  48. rq

    We’re actually counting on the work situation getting worse for a while. I mean, it could all just blow over with no change to the status quo and everybody calming down to the usual background simmer and just a few added sore feelings…
    But I think it will have to get worse before it gets better. It’s not small things that need to be done (you can’t exactly ignore a hole in the floor and feel good about it in the long run), and Management knows this, but has been avoiding it so long that they probably feel safer still avoiding it, because to let out the fact that they have been avoiding for so long is almost worse than just resolving the issue(s). They know we’re restless (we are now no longer allowed to submit individual complaints, they all have to be vetted by our immediate boss, who said she’s just going to pass everything on). They have no idea how restless.

    Hope your situation improves, though – the mood and everything. Sick children are never easy, and it usually takes a bit of time for them to recover completely, too.
    Good luck to your wife, too. I hope things resolve in a manner that is beneficial to her (and to you).
    *hugs* if you wants ’em!!!

  49. 410

    Hugs always appreciated rq !

    Sounds like something really needs to be done for you but no-one will take the initiative. An as you say; management have to acknowledge that there’s been a problem for a long time. In my experience, that’s not something that will happen easily!

    My wife’s situation will take months to resolve. There’s a managerial project to consolidate all the admin staff. It looks like someone was brought in to ‘improve’ things and they are unlikely to asses the situation and say that nothing needs changing. So they’ve implemented wholesale changes that look good on paper, but are disruptive and potentially catastrophic in reality. My wife doesn’t know what, of any, changes will happen to her. But the uncertainty is what make’s her life unpleasant.

  50. rq

    Ugh, uncertainty. Definitely unpleasant. Hope some certainty arrives soon, one way or another (at least that way you know how to react for the future).
    *more hugs*

  51. 412

    Wtf. I might have misheard that but I think some ass at work just told me I shouldn’t eat aa much because I’ve gotten fat.
    Seriously, dude?!
    I hope I misheard because… seriously?!

  52. 415

    rq, bragimike
    We can huddle together in the corner of familial job insecurity

    People. We should try doing without them

    THere’s nothing like knowing exactly what you want.
    The little one wants a black dress with embroidered flowers. I don’t have the time to make one from scratch so I want to add a skirt to a black shirt. Now I need black fabric with somewhat matching flowers…

  53. 417

    So yesterday I learned there is this thing the BBC made that references my wife. Having lived through it, and having my wife actually watch it, I can say that the movie sounds like a cross between “God’s Not Dead” and “Expelled”. It’s fictionalized (they don’t even use my wife’s name, or the name of the partner she worked with on the case, but they do use the law firm’s name), and is full of bad dialogue and completely ignores the actual facts of the case.

    I was going to give a little bit of detail, but it turns out that there is very little my wife feels comfortable having me say other than she wishes she were half as hot as the actress playing her.

  54. 418

    Don’t have much time.
    *Hugs* to everyone. Today seems like a day when everyone needs one.


    From what I know, people with a migratory background find this sort of stuff pretty offensive.

    I’m an immigrant and in my case the situation was the exact opposite – I was supposed to learn the language immediately with no help at all, and when I failed it was my fault for not being born right. For example, I got a high-school diploma, but only because I managed to pass the language exam by a point.
    I do see what you mean, though.
    rq already told you the secret of bolding, but if you’re ever curious about any html tag you can practice them here.

  55. 419

    Ahhhh, so that’s the secret!

    Oh, I’m totally in favour of giving people language classes. You may remember me ranting against our government doing exactly that: demanding that people learn German but nor giving them any possibility to do so. I’m just against treating every person of colour as if they couldn’t possibly be German and therefore in dire need of remedial language classes (thus also denying those resources to light skinned migrants who actually need those classes).
    It’s a bit like assigning girls to remedial maths just because they are wearing pink.

    Waves at awakeinmo

    Reality is usually just too boring for movies 😉

  56. rq

    *free hugs*
    I’m a little bit sad I never actually studied law-as-law right now. Looking into the legal aspects of work safety and things like that; and while Latvian legalese is easier on the brain than English legalese, I’m pretty sure there’s hooked little sentences hidden everywhere that negate everything that supports our unit. Or at least, I suspect so, because this is often what happens.

  57. 421

    When you are a bishop of the CoE with friends in high places you can get away with sexual abuse for decades.


    And for all that he gets a mere couple of years in prison, of which he will actually serve … who knows (what’s the betting he’s out in no time, on some trumped-up grounds to do with his age).

    It’s a bit of a volte-face after that, but I did also want to leave a package of assorted hugs here for all those dealing with stressful or otherwise unpleasant stuff (and anyone who isn’t, too!)

  58. rq

    I think I tossed out 150 euros worth of dentist receipts that I was saving for next year’s taxes. 🙁 Probably could have gotten at least 120 euros back, since they were for Middle Child’s teeth-fixing. 🙁 I am Not Pleased with myself.

  59. rq

    On the plus side, we did get a nice view of the aurora borealis from our rooftop just now. I think I’d prefer the receipts, though.

    *free hugs*

  60. 427

    rq, does your dentist keep records of payments? Mine does – I was able to get ours reprinted last time I needed them for taxes. I am envious, I’ve always wanted to see the aurora, and I just live too far south for it.

    Today is my day to stay home and do quiet things, that is, catch up on the big housework. I picked up and vacuumed the front half of the house and put away all the clean laundry (Patches helped by flattening my nice neatly folded stack of t-shirts). Now I’m pottering around with a bead project until it’s time for Aged Mum to call so I can start dragging her grocery list out of her. [refills hugs basket for everybody]

  61. 429

    You know, there’s nothing like opening a mail-order package from a small home business and being smacked upside the head with the reek of cigarette smoke. What’d she do, puff into the envelope before she sealed it? Seriously, folks, if you smoke, the least you can do is note that on your shop page. You might lose a few sales, but at least the people who buy from you would be prepared.

    The contents are in a sealed plastic bag with a dryer sheet (unscented) while I figure out what to clean them with. Since it’s jewelry with little organza gift bags, I’ll probably just go with a drop of TJ’s dish soap in cool water, not soak the pendant, and hope for the best. Sigh. I hate cigarettes.

    On t’other hand, today’s mail also brought Ancillary Mercy, so it wasn’t all bad.

  62. 431

    Do you have any extra input on this?
    It has been circulating everywhere I look, always implying that the German government is ignoring the attacks of foreigners on white, native Germans.

    You might have noticed that things have been calming down in Ukraine. Both sides have been pulling back their armor and the rebels have agreed to postpone their upcoming elections (in Ukraine elections are held for mayors and regional councils, whereas the governors are appointed by the Ukrainian president. Full elections in Donbass were seen as further sign of rebellion).
    What has changed? Russia got bored with Ukraine and has decided to torment Syria instead. For the past four days of Russia’s Syrian campaign the number of military incidents in Ukraine has dropped to a record low of 2 per day (although today there was a singular, yet major violation of the truce). It’s not every day you see such an immediate shift in a country’s war. And it’s brought about a change of focus from another country which claims not to be involved.
    You can figure out for yourselves what this bodes for Syria, the Middle East and the world.

  63. rq

    This passive aggression is killing me. Honestly, the longer this goes on, the less I have any idea where it’s going to end.

  64. 434

    Alexander Z
    I have no idea what to make of this. Do I believe that harassment and assault happens at the shelters? Absolutely, because those things happene everywhere and when you pack hundreds and hundreds of people together in too little space more incidents will happen than usually and with people not speaking the language, coming from a different culture, fearing for their reputation reports will be even lower than usually.
    What I’m wondering about is the sources. We got the police union which is traditionally right wing and then we have unnamed “women’s rights groups” who apparently warn about this but don’t have a name and a representative who could be quoted.

  65. rq

    Just the work stuff, really. We have a cleaning person who is currently replacing the previous cleaning person, who is taking time off for injuries. We work in a lab that has fairly strict cleanliness guidelines. It is now going on the fourth day that the cleaning person has not showed up at all to wash the floors (a daily requirement), the tenth day that we have to take out our own garbage, the second time within a couple of months that we have run out of toilet paper, and I think at least the third time that we’ve told someone verbally, and probably the second in writing. The people in charge of making sure the cleaning person does their job are the same people with whom we have shared a few of our most recent gripes about the quality and conditions of our workplace.
    Them and the people in charge of documentation, who are now refusing the register documents received by mail because it’s apparently on us to do so, when the actual workplace instruction says it’s their job.
    It could all, of course, just be a coincidence.
    But coincidentally, I think I’m going to get in touch with a couple of people who might have some legal opinions and advice, just in case.

  66. 439

    rq, you’re undoubtedly right to chat to someone(s) knowledgeable about the law. Always good to be well-informed in advance; I’m very very sorry that you need to be, though :-((((

    Hope you and your colleagues are holding up ok.

  67. rq

    To be completely honest, besides the background anxiety, I think we’re all kind of stoked for the fight. In a kind of all-or-nothing, last-chance, final-straw sort of way. There’s still a week for our superiors to show that they’re ready to take some action on our behalf, though – in the meantime, I’m still writing that rather lengthy description (complete with photos!) of pretty much everything that is wrong with our work conditions (probably minus the passive-aggressiveness, though we’ll be taking that forward, too). So yeah, if there’s no action by next Wednesday (we’ll probably give them until next Friday because we’re nice like that), this becomes an official document requiring real, physical action. After that, if there’s no tangible response within a reasonable amount of time, it goes to several state institutions responsible for workplace safety and workplace environment and other things like that.
    We’re all doing our best not to fuck up and not to provide anyone upstairs with a reason to pick on us, though lately they’ve been petty, right down to how my colleague writes the date on an official letter… Oh, and we ran out of TP again today, a situation that is not permissible by law. 😀

  68. 441

    I’ve been at my parents’ and was planning to stay until sometime in the afternoon (it’s state holiday here today). Got some emails from work in the morning and it turned out I had to hurry home do some urgent work.
    I left immediately after lunch, came here, turned on the computer and went to work… except the server in question is down.

    Also, this stupid apartment has a musty and damp smell ever since it got a bit colder. I want to call the landlord and count him all his relations. This building has horrible sound isolation, it’s damp all the time and I just can’t wait for the cold weather (sarcasm).
    If only I had time to look for some place else.

  69. 445

    Aw, I make it sound worse than it is. I’m actually in a pretty good mood right now so yay for that.
    I think my parents have an old dehumidifier so I’ll try that.

    *hugs* back. It sounds from the last couple of day you gals* need it more.

    * does that work as alternative to guy?

  70. 446

    Any Doctor Who fans here?

    It looks like I’m in the minority of fans who would be happy to see the show go for the next couple of decades. It’s strange. Why can’t people let go?

  71. 447

    Beatrice, I’m an old Dr Who fan, and I’m not really enjoying the current version. It’s gotten kind of, I don’t know how to describe it, mean or maybe sour. Maybe Moffat is trying to do too many things at once? I think it might be time to give it a rest.

    Younger Daughter and Husband are also fans and we usually watch the show together. I’ve noticed, though, that we’re having to make time to watch DW. It’s like it isn’t fun anymore.

  72. 448

    Continued, because I keep having thoughts – BBCAmerica has been running 4th Doctor episodes kind of randomly and I record them when I can. Younger Daughter has been watching those with much more enjoyment, and at some point Husband and I will watch a few favorites. YD would still rather watch Castle DVDs with lunch and dinner, though.

  73. 450

    Beatrice I’m with you on the Dr Who thing. I’ve watched it since 19 mumble mumble and Frankly they need to rest it for a while. They’ve had some ridiculous plot lines and it’s getting a bit stale.

  74. 451

    rq I’m glad you’ve clearly got everyone on board in the same boat, to mangle a metaphor. The fact that you’re all in this as a group must make all the difference, both mentally and in practical terms of forcing the appalling Upstairs Ones to pay attention! Fuerza 🙂

    beatrice, what a pain :-((( ! When do you think you’ll have a bit of time to look around for something better?

  75. rq

    Yep, we just had a discussion at lunch about how at least we’re all in this together and in good collegial relations with each other. I can’t imagine what it would be like if we still had to deal with each other’s pettiness. Even Colleague who is very pedantic and most likely to pick on everyone else’s little human mistakes is on board.

  76. 455


    What I’m wondering about is the sources. We got the police union which is traditionally right wing and then we have unnamed “women’s rights groups” who apparently warn about this but don’t have a name and a representative who could be quoted.

    I’ve noticed that too. It was very peculiar. I don’t doubt that there is crime in refugee communities, but accusing the German government of silencing any reports about it is fairly conspiratory. Relying entirely on one weak named source (the police union chief doesn’t directly accuse the government, nor does he provide any numbers – only warnings) and one completely anonymous source seems unprofessional.
    This isn’t the first time Reuters had baseless articles. Their policy of relying entirely on local reporters sometimes proves to be very problematic.

    Hang in there. In ten years you’ll be known as the Samuel Gompers of Latvia.


    It looks like I’m in the minority of fans who would be happy to see the show go for the next couple of decades. It’s strange. Why can’t people let go?

    I’m not a Whovian, but this has been my position on Star Trek since middle-late Deep Space 9. Long lasting franchises should be allowed to die and let newer, younger serials take their place.
    On an unrelated note, yes, I am the kind of person who can keep a grudge for nearly 20 years.

  77. 457

    Good morning
    I swear each morning there are people on the road who’d better walk. OTOH, when they walk they’Re also prone to just stepping into traffic in a way that would get the kids a serious talking to and being confined to my hand for a while…

    So, talking about refugees, and women, and liars.
    First of all, and this connects nicely with the Reuters article, the German right is currently discovering their love for gays and (non-immigrant German) women who must be protected from those evil muslim refugees. Everybody’s favourite anti-feminist Birgit Kelle (famously on record for telling the world that “Lesbians lick each other!”*) told the world that “German women and girls must be able to wear whatever they want!”. Which is funny because some time ago she told German women and girls that if they don’t want to be sexually harassed and assaulted they should take responsibility and button up their blouses…
    And you wouldn’t believe the number of people who are totally against marriage equality, adoption equality and sexual diversity education who also want to teach them evil Syrians about how to treat gays (because everybody knows there are no gay Syrians).
    And last but not least there’s our interior minister who claims that:
    -30% of Syrians seeking asylum aren’t actually Syrians (when there’s actually no data on this at all and the people running the shelters are talking about “some rare cases”)
    -They are likely to get away with it! (when the responsible officals themselves say that this is unlikely because they work with interpreters who are from those places so they’re not easily fooled)
    When confronted with his bullshit he claims that “of course there’s no data, we need to get that data first, but 30% is probably even a conservative estimate”

    Stop the planet I want off.

    *I’m always a bit sad for her when I think about that. Apparently the poor woman thinks that oral sex is the sole domain of lesbians.

  78. 458

    “And? To some of us, it doesn’t matter how consenting adults have sex. Why do others’ sex lives concern you?”

    I’d love to hear that response from a reporter or someone in the crowd upon hearing a politician or popular public figure make such a fearmongering comment like “lesbians lick themselves”.

  79. 459

    Oh, that comment was in a TV discussion on new curricula on sex ed that teach sexual diversity and that there is a broad range of ways to have sex except for “he sticks his dick in and sex is over when he’s finished”. Personally, I’d much prefer my kids to learn that in school and not the hardcore section of Youporn. What struck everybody was her singleing out lesbians for a sexual practice that is very popular among all combinations of bodies and genders that involve at least one vulva and clit. Makes you suspect that she and her husband stopped at “he sticks his dick in and sex is over when he’s finished”.

  80. 461


    OTOH, when they walk they’Re also prone to just stepping into traffic in a way that would get the kids a serious talking to and being confined to my hand for a while…

    Thank your lucky stars you’re not living in an ultra-orthodox neighborhood. I swear, they act like the road doesn’t even exist. My friend (an orthodox) once called that “far too much faith in God”.

    Everybody’s favourite anti-feminist Birgit Kelle (famously on record for telling the world that “Lesbians lick each other!”*)

    Perhaps she thinks she lives in the Soviet Union.
    BTW, that article mentions “mechanical-rubber product №2” as USSR’s name for condoms. In case you were wondering, mechanical-rubber products №1 were gas masks. Both products were made from the same rubber.

  81. 468

    Just so you know, I’m not feeling guilty about going to a restaurant with mum, without dad.
    We said we were going and asked if he wants to go too. As expected, he said no. But today he was sadly wondering what he was going to have for lunch when mum reminded him we were going out.

    He won’t go, but we’re rude for going without him. Basically, we shouldn’t go anywhere either.

    Also, there exits a cartoon “Oops, Noah is gone” . I will never understand how that story is marketed to children as cute.

  82. 470

    I realize I’m wading into conspiracy theory territory but.. an attack on pro-Kurdish peace protesters?
    I somehow doubt that was PKK.
    It could be ISIS, but I’m not counting out government influence

  83. 474


    I realize I’m wading into conspiracy theory territory but.. an attack on pro-Kurdish peace protesters?
    I somehow doubt that was PKK.
    It could be ISIS, but I’m not counting out government influence

    Nobody says it’s the PKK, not even Erdogan. ISIS is good bet since they are currently losing their war against the Kurds both in Iraq and Syria and they would have a lot to gain from turning the Kurds against Turkey (which supports many operations against ISIS).
    Nevertheless, you’re not conspiratory at all. Erdogan party is Turkey’s branch of the Muslim Brotherhood. The MB has enough radicals in its ranks for something like that without being called to do it explicitly by anyone. They don’t have to be affiliated with Erdogan and they might even be opposed to his government, but his ideology isn’t that far off from that of many suicide bombers.

    TV news haven’t reported on Turkey yet. The story has been relegated somewhere to the 7th Page Down in online papers.


    Same here, but we have an excuse – it looks like we’re gearing up for something that will dwarf this bombing in Ankara.

    Saw your new article today. It’s a great one. And the footnote strikes close to home.

  84. 475


    I’ve read about the rise in the number of attacks in Israel so…. another big strike against Palestinians Hamas’s supporters?

    I know I have read about more murders in Jerusalem recently, but it has been kind of buried.
    Searching for news now, I find this:
    Why is the world ignoring a wave of terror in Israel?
    Attacks like these do not occur in a vacuum. Such acts of pitiless slaughter are the direct result of a pervasive Palestinian infrastructure

    .. not biased at all, of course.

    On the other hand there is also this:
    Israel strikes Hamas sites in Gaza: Pregnant Palestinian woman, child killed as house collapses with this other article linked in the text of the first one: 5 Palestinians killed by Israeli forces amid concerns of escalating standoff

    Sounds like things are getting worse than usual again 🙁

  85. 476

    Hi there

    Re: Turkey
    More than 120 dead. And yeah, Erdogan is blaming the PKK and another Kurdish group and probably Isis. You know, if you think it likely that the Kurds bombed their own people, recklessly and mercylessly killing 120 of them just to gain sympathy as poor victims of terror, it doesn’t say anything about who committed that act of terrorism, but it says a lot about how you are thinking….

    I hope you had fun with your mum. Wallowing in self-pity is something your dad can perfectly do on his own.


    Saw your new article today. It’s a great one. And the footnote strikes close to home.


    Perhaps she thinks she lives in the Soviet Union.

    I think she’d at least fit perfectly into Putin’s Russia

    Ok, on Friday we had a meeting with our English professor to talk about our exam topics and have a bit of a mock exam. The first person to present her topic was so damn lucky she had that mock exam because she would have failed miserably and she would have earned it. Call me cruel, but I don’t think she’s even close to fit to teach in our multicultural and multination calssrooms.
    Her topic is American short stories, which have often been called “the quintessential national art form” of the USA. Would you believe that she tried to argue that “well, nowadays it’s not so clear anymore because nowadays the anthologies also include foreigners“? She also constantly used “native American authors” to refer to white Anglo Saxon authors….

    And since I’m rambling anyway…
    You’Re allowed to like problematic things, right? But you’realso allowed to like problematic people, right? I had some interseting discussions with Mr’s uncle in law last night, who is a conservative (though this probably means he’s left to Obama and Clinton). He is also willing to admit that maybe he hasn’t thought things out and is for example firmly on the side that the refugees are a big chance for our country.
    So hopefully I’ve given him some arguments to think about. For example, he’s in favour of marriage equality, but has issues with gay adoption. I pointed out two things:
    One: he just met a kid with two mums last week, did it look like that kid was missing something?
    Two: gay people are already allowed to be foster parents. So we think them perfectly capable of taking care of kids with special needs because they have been traumatized* by their heterosexual parents but we don’t think them capable of taking care of an ordinary baby? That doesn’t make sense. Apart from the fact that in many cases the kid in question has already been adopted by one parent…
    But really, I like him very much. We could have a discussion and exchange arguments and maybe he’ll reconsider his stances…

  86. rq

    Weird, the bombing in Turkey is nowhere in local news, and rather buried in Canadian news.
    I find myself disappointed (in the coverage – rather horrified at the bombing itself).

  87. 478

    Here’s one reason for the lack of information about the bombing:
    Ankara terror attack: Turkey censors media coverage of bombings as Twitter and Facebook ‘blocked’:

    The Turkish government has censored news coverage of the terror attack in Ankara as Twitter and other social media sites went down across the country.

    State media watchdog the Turkish Supreme Board of Radio and Television (RTÜK) imposed a ban on broadcasting images of the blast.

    A statement by RTÜK released on its official website said that; “The Turkish Prime Minister has imposed a temporary broadcast ban regarding the terror attack conducted in Ankara this morning.”

    A government spokesperson said the order covered images showing the moment of the blast, gruesome or bloody images or those “that create a feeling of panic”.

    He warned media organisations they could face a “full blackout” if they did not comply.

    Meanwhile, Turks reported that Twitter had been blocked on some of the country’s most popular networks, including Turkcell and TTNET.

    Some people also said they were unable to access Facebook in the wake of the blasts.

    Also, this isn’t the first time Turkey has enforced a social media blackout. And of course, there are the social media blackouts that the Turkish government supposedly is not responsible for. Uh-huh. They’d never do such a thing.

  88. 480

    I love that one Giliell. Of course the woman who started that is getting flack. Because being able to bring guns to campus is more important than being able to express yourself sexually in the manner you are comfortable with.

  89. 481


    .. not biased at all, of course.

    I agree with one line from that article:

    Attacks like these do not occur in a vacuum.

    Very true. The current round follows years of massive settlements expansion, including current attempts to legalize outposts (considered illegal even by Israeli law) on privately owned Palestinian land (up to very recently that was a red line), almost five years or weekly Price Tag terrorism from settlers (that is, on top of the usual terrorism), statements by many Israeli politicians that they won’t even try to pay lip service to a two-state solution, the growing popularity of Jews visiting the Temple Mount (a practice that was forbidden by Orthodox Judaism up to 1996, when the ban was lifted to prevent the implementation of the Oslo agreements), including such visits by settler right-wing extremists (yes, even relative to the regular settlers) and the supremely moronic, if not intentionally inflammatory, mishandling of the resulting crisis (Netanyahu ordered to stop any and all politician visiting the Temple Mount, including Muslims).
    So yes, the article got one sentence right.

    Sounds like things are getting worse than usual again

    That’s an understatement. There are no suicide attacks now – every attack is carried out by random individuals, men and women of all ages, who use cars, knives and stones. At the other end, Jewish lynch mobs have organized in almost every mixed city, something that was unthinkable fifteen years ago.
    It doesn’t look like something that the government can squelch with another seasonal war with Gaza. Hamas has only recently jumped on the bandwagon – the uprising seems to have caught everyone off guard. Just as it was in 1987 and 2000. This looks like the start of a third Intifada, and they tend to get more and more violent with every round.

    A bit of gallows humor: One guy said that he believes that sustained peace talks could be achieved after the fourth Intifada.

  90. 482


    More than 120 dead. And yeah, Erdogan is blaming the PKK and another Kurdish group and probably Isis.

    I’ve been watching the news and Erdogan and Davutoglu seem to alternate between blaming Daesh and the PKK. On the one hand three days of mourning were declared, on the other hand the police is using tear gas against the mourners.
    WTF? What kind of game Erdogan is playing this time? Or has he completely lost control?

    Would you believe that she tried to argue that “well, nowadays it’s not so clear anymore because nowadays the anthologies also include foreigners“? She also constantly used “native American authors” to refer to white Anglo Saxon authors….

    Stupidity… it burns!

    But really, I like him very much. We could have a discussion and exchange arguments and maybe he’ll reconsider his stances…

    He sounds like a Reasonable Conservative™. Similarly to its more elusive sub-species, the Decent&Humane Commander™, Reasonable Conservatives™ inhabit the few untouched pockets of pristine wilderness between the Progressive and Conservative biomes. They serve to assure each side that there is always hope for sensible dialogue and increase the overall faith in humanity.
    Take care of yours, Giliell, he’s endangered.

    cocks, not glocks

    From the article:

    You would receive a citation for taking a DILDO to class before you would get in trouble for taking a gun to class. Heaven forbid the penis.

    On the contrary! Penis is what it’s all about. Just holding an M16 sends pulses of throbbing virility into my netherings, whereas even the smallest bullet vibrator dwarfs my Greg Abbott, not to mention the big dildos that shrivel my Rick Perry into a Rupert Murdoch.

  91. JAL


    Hey everyone. Sorry I haven’t been keeping up. Things are going good for us now. I’m getting shit done. Made some good life changes like quit my soda dependency. I’ve got some appointments coming up to fix long term issues like my teeth (*crosses fingers*) and medication and shit.

    But right now I’m just fat, ugly, depressed and lonely. I have no friends. There’s Roomie but I can’t talk to him about shit. I have no time or energy left for a social life and even if I did, no clue how to go about it.

    I feel stuck, like I can’t move forward with that without getting shit like my teeth fixed first. And it’s just taking forever to see results. Like I’m exercising now and doing a skin care routine to get rid of my acne, but you can’t even tell. What’s the point of all this work if it’s not actually working? I’ll stick with it and keep trying like I have for months but it’s exhausting.

    *sigh* I’m tired and going to bed now. I’m sorry. *hugs* and *higs* to all. Sorry I’m a terrible friend. I hope ya’ll are doing well and commiserations for those dealing with shit.

  92. 484

    Remember, life’s much like an aircraft carrier: it takes a long time to turn it around. So yeah, you’re getting shit done but it will be ages until you’re back on track, but that’s not a sign of failure, it’s just the way the cookie crumbles.


    On the contrary! Penis is what it’s all about.

    I have the feeling that the fact that it’s a fake penis has a lot to do with the rage the dudebros are feeling. You know, if you define your person via your heterosexual dick then there’s nothing more threatening than a woman with a sex toy*.

    *Always remember: it’s not about size but about how fast it can vibrate and battery life.

  93. 490

    ‘mgonna start on page 2, ’cause I am a Bearer of Very Little Brain.
    ’cause it’s Monday.
    And there’s ragweed.
    And a serious dearth (“dearth” is a word, isn’t it? I think it is….) of sleep.

    Tony!, you could so easily have added a propeller to your aluminum foil beanie….

    *waving forward at* chigau.

    *also waving* at bragimike.

    *low-energy pouncehug* for opposablethumbs.

    *rebound pouncehugging* at rq.
    I hope your work situation improves dramatically…one way or another.


    Oh, and an extra *head desk* goes toward the fact that this Trump fan is Mexican-American !!! **


    Happy belated birthday, Anne, to Younger Daughter.
    Son is 30.
    *shaking head*

    Fierce hunter is stalking the wild, um, cured meats.

    Hey, those things can be vicious when they’re cornered…or past their “Sell By” date.

    *extra hugs* for Giliell. I’m sorry about your missed deadline.

    “Velvet violet” highlights are more nearly magenta, but otherwise turned out fine—very much what I’d hoped to achieve 3 (?) years ago, only with blue.

    Talking of cats, we haz a new kitteh—The Tiglet. She appears to be mostly grey/black stripey with a bit of orange stripey in the mix.
    She loves Cheetos—presumably for replenishing her supply of Orangeness.

  94. 492

    *pouncehug* for Dalillama.
    I’m sorry to hear about your hospitalized coworker.

    *pouncehug* (adjust degree of contact to taste)

    Another belated birthday well-wish, for Anne‘s Elder Daughter; and a post-dated happy birthday for Anne‘s Husband.

    Later this week: The Husband’s birthday (Thursday) and our anniversary (33rd? something like that) on Saturday—with (hopefully) the last session of our current RPG campaign sandwiched in between. Joyfulness!
    Maybe it’s just me, but this 5e Tiamat series seems awfully railroad-y. I’m looking forward to The End, and moving on to some Mutants & Masterminds.
    (Not my favorite game system, but nobody plays 2e AD&D anymore…*sniffle*….)

    *hugs* for Biped!?; I hope this Halloween party does not vex you, and that Mormon Neighbor doesn’t become pushy with the religion-centered invites in the future.

    *extra hugs* for Beatrice.

    Welcome In, Antwerp!
    I just suddenly flashed on The Lathe of Heaven.
    🙂 🙂

    Support&Solidarity for/with wmdkitty.
    And *catnip*.

    *pouncehug* for awakeinmo.

    Not a fan of the current Doctor.


    She also constantly used “native American authors” to refer to white Anglo Saxon authors….


    *hugs* and encouragement.

  95. 493

    You’re not alone – you’ve got us.


    She loves Cheetos—presumably for replenishing her supply of Orangeness.

    Does she lick the Cheetos or does she eat the entire thing?

  96. 494

    I have a new post up that deals with some aspects of parenting that I believe need to be more criticized. I’d love to hear thoughts from any of the parents who post.

  97. 496

    cicely! Much huggishness to you!
    Things generally a bit on the mildly chaotic side here, but am reading often-ish and wishing well and sending hugs to all in the speakeasy, like so: {{{hugs}}}

  98. 497


    I have some hugs for you, too. And I hope you have far less trouble with your teeth than I have had recently.


    *Always remember: it’s not about size but about how fast it can vibrate and battery life.

    I always heard that it isn’t the length of the rope or the depth of the well, it’s the angle you dangle the bucket.


    As of Friday, I live in a house with a teenager in it. My daughter has been teenagery for awhile now (spends most of her time in her room, you never know what mood she might be in), but it’s just become official.

    Also wanted to say that the last line in my previous post about the BBC dramatization of the case about Grand Theft Auto was actually written by my wife, because once I found out there was once again legal wrangling going on, I needed to make sure I didn’t put anything out there that was going to cause problems. So yes, my wife is the one who edited what I had written to say that the actress was hotter than her, not me.

  99. 498

    I have a cold.
    All *hugs* are more non-contact than usual.

    Yay for you on the good changes.
    Keep going; the little, incremental changes are the ones that will last.

  100. rq

    *free hugs*


    So today we sat down as a unit and discussed the whole thingie I’m writing for our direct superiors and how far it is likely to go and do we all agree to sign the thingie once it’s done, and we are All Systems Go, green lights all the way up-and-down. Crystal clear and enthusiastic agreement from everyone, right down to immediate suggestions about follow-up steps we’re going to take in case of several possible scenarios (including hand-waving and more stalling from management positions because we’re kind of tired of waiting). We’re even going to draw up a short meeting protocol about the fact that we have these concerns and that we all agree to write the thingie and sign it, just to have it down in writing in case there’s any pressure for anyone to recant later on or questions about coercion or something like that. This is both encouraging and anxiety-inducing, but mostly all warm-and-fuzzy-feeling because hey, we’re all in this together. For REALZ.
    So either things are going to get really bad or they’re going to go really well, but before anything starts going well at all, things are probably going to be pretty rough. We’ll see, though. The thingie is being one difficult fucker to write up, not least because it’s on top of all the other Stuff I have to get done. 😛

  101. 500

    Holding All The Thumbs and Crossing All The Fingers for you and your colleagues, rq. You sound extremely well-organised and also mentally well-prepared – clearly everybody has a pretty clear idea of what to expect, which is important in itself.

  102. 501

    JAL it’s good to hear from you. Sounds to me like you’re doing a tremendous amount of adulting, and that’s praiseworthy, something to be proud of if you’re up to thinking of it that way – but it’s also adult-type stuff that gives you long-term benefits while just making day-to-day life more annoying. Like, quitting soda is *great* in lots of ways, and difficult too – that’s quite an accomplishment – but in the short term, on any given day, it means not getting to have a soda as a treat or reward. All these major changes in your life, new job, getting things fixed finally, must be scary on some level even though they’re good changes. Maybe you can find some other kind of reward or self-care to indulge yourself in? Because you totally deserve it.

    I’ve been travelling again but I should have email access for the next couple of weeks if you want to write and vent at me. ; >

  103. rq

    Aw man Mikhail Baryshnikov (or however you anglicize that) will be performing in Riga in October and November… and I don’t think I have a chance of getting to see him. (Tickets are (a) sold out and (b) expensive.) This is a Sad.

  104. 505

    Thoughts about the Democratic debate (I’m not watching, but I’m learning a few things on FB):

    1- Huckabee made a racist statement on Twitter. I really hope Ben Carson doesn’t try to offer his opinion on the same subject, bc here lately, he seems like he’s *trying* be a bigger shithole that the other candidates.

    2- I’ve been told that none of the candidates has mentioned god yet. Republicans will probably be whining about this in the next day or so.


  105. rq

    This will now be my source of petulance and pouting for the next little while.
    This show, where he will be interpreting the poetry of Brodsky.

  106. 513

    Where’s your blog?
    You profile doesn’t link to it and your Blogger profile is unavailable.

    I don’t think you’re missing anything. Ten years ago my relative went to see Plisetskaya. She came to the stage for like half a minute, raised her leg 30cm, grunted, raised it 30cm more and went away. The rest of the show were some unknown young dancers.

    I’m currently waiting for the fridge repairman to come. He was supposed to have been here 20 minutes ago. But I know he’ll come.
    I know he’ll come. I know he’ll come. I know he’ll come.

  107. 514

    I don’t know how it is with repairmen (or customer service reps of a similar nature) in your neck of the woods, but in my experience, I’m usually given a window of time when they’ll show up. Often that window is like four or five hours. And more often than I’d like, the person shows up near the end of that window.

  108. 516

    I know, I’m just worried about the stuff outside the fridge.

    I still don’t trust him. My trust in famous aged dancer has forever been shaken and will only be restored by a free ticket to a good performance.
    My trust in anything can be restored with a free ticket to a good performance.
    Just saying.

  109. YOB

    Hey hey, peoples 🙂

    Totally ‘rupt. Some big projects dumped in my lamp, YOBling’s 12th birthday, my own 46th 🙁 aaannnnddd the pool is turning green. Sadly, with not enough hours to get everything done, reading my blogs has taken a backseat and that makes me a little grumpy. But, it’s all mostly good things keeping me away, so there is that.

    Anecdote Time!
    One of YOBling’s bday gifts was a Barnes & Noble gift card. So we’re going through and she’s trying to pick something out. Of course, we must look at everything before making a decision. Anyway, she decided to get the The Dangerous Book for Boys Chemistry Set. The funny part was that she decided to get it only after going on a rather loud-Ish exposition about the “for Boys” part and with my promise we would put a piece of tape over “Boys” and put “Girls” instead, then take a picture of her with it sticking out her tongue in a sassy way then I have to send the picture to B&N, the publisher and post it on Facebook. 🙂

    I still have to take the picture (no time! No time!) but I will post it for ya’ll when I do.

    Anyway, back to the digital grindstone. Many *hugs* for all!!!!

  110. 523

    YOB, I can only say that the Yobling is completely, utterly and totally ace :-))))(disambiguation: “ace” as it was/is used in the vernacular of my yout’ and to which I am accustomed, i.e. A1 excellent and all-round outstanding).

    Wishing her many happy chemistry experiments. (And wishing B&N to know better than to pull that sort of crap. Yeah, like gendering the exploration of science was such a great ideac ffs). ::raises glass to Yobling:: (it’s evening here; I’m allowed)

  111. rq

    Wow, YOB, go you and your parenting, and go YOBling!
    And good luck with the grindstone. I’m glad it’s good things happening.

    *hugs* for Anne and opposablethumbs and AlexanderZ and Beatrice and cicely and awakeinmo and Biped!? and Giliell and Tony and chigau and Rawnaeris and JAL and Pteryxx and anyone else recent or less recent that I’ve missed. Non-contact and little-contact varieties available; please be to accepting the thought more than the action itself.


    Throwing the book at someone is awfully difficult to do. There’s a lot of words in the book and a lot of potential weight behind them, most especially where they might try to throw the book back at us. Ah well. Tomorrow: I meet with our unofficial legal representative to have him read over the Thingie and see how reasonable we’re being.

  112. 526

    Completely ‘rupt, just getting back into things from a busy (but fun) weekend and busy (and slightly less-fun) work.


    This made me think of you:
    A cartographical guide to the Scotch distilleries in Scotland.

    I love that, thanks for posting it.

    I’ll attempt to get caught up with the goings-on throughout the day.

  113. 530

    I know that some of the purported teachings of Jesus are not that great. Does anyone have a link discussing any of his supposed teachings that would be considered immoral?

  114. 531

    I hate when I make a mistake or say/do something stupid bc it weighs on my mind like a ton of bricks and nothing I do can take my thoughts off the subject…Grr.

  115. 532

    you can try writing another awesome post like the one about parenting. Or go read something, or watch a new series.

    Something to pass the time, until the thoughts pass.

  116. 533


    his supposed teachings that would be considered immoral?

    Greta Christina did several pieces on this, but this one is the most universal (others are linked in the article).

    I hate when I make a mistake or say/do something stupid bc it weighs on my mind like a ton of bricks and nothing I do can take my thoughts off the subject…Grr.

    I know that feeling.


    Hello, I hope everyone is doing ok.

    I can finally use the fridge!

    I’m glad that you have legal council. More power to you – el pueblo unido jamás será vencido!

    Happy birthday to you and the YOBling. She’s a true firebrand.

  117. 534


    Yay for your fridge. I cleaned mine out yesterday (resulted in half a bucket of melted ice) so I can finally use the whole freezer again.

  118. 535

    Speaking of ice – apparently I had ice inside the walls, the tubes and even the internal control panel. Luckily the damage wasn’t extensive (the pipe blockage was the only real problem), but it was impressive. I had to dig out the fan with which I dry the cat so that the mechanic could unfreeze the internal parts without damaging them.

  119. 537

    Apparently I’m a bigot. Just found this out on FB.

    I posted a link to a story about this couple-two christians-who beat their son to death. I never criticized them for being christian. I merely criticized them for killing their son. She went all ‘No True Christian’ on me, and after some back and forth (in which I linked to and copy/pasted what the fallacy is), she told me I’m a bigot, that I’m ignorant, and that I’m an arrogant ass.
    She had me laughing my ass off. I’ll freely admit to being an ass sometimes. And probably arrogant once in a while. Definitely ignorant-every day in fact. Not aware of any bigoted opinions I hold-but given that I’m human, it’s possible I hold some that I haven’t evaluated and discarded. But the funny thing is, none of my comments support her assertions.

  120. 538

    Am I the only one on Facebook who only lets people they know see their stuff? I guess it’s because of how I thought of FB when I first got on, which was just as a way to play Scrabble (it was Scrabulous then) with my wife while she was at work. I still see it as a polite dinner party, I guess, just a place to (re)connect with friends, see what they’re up to, let them know what I’m up to. Heck, when I first started hearing that there were privacy issues, I took out most of the information I had on my profile (FB still keeps asking me to fill it back in sometimes).

    It just sometimes seems strange to me to hear that someone was called a bigot on their own news feed.

  121. 539

    I keep my profile set public. I do so largely so that people who are friends of my friends can comment on any posts I have. I’ve actually added a few friends on FB bc of that.
    The downside of that is that *anyone*, even random strangers (unaffiliated with my friends) can post on my wall.

  122. 541

    When you’re too tired to work in the evening so you go to bed, but then wake up at 5am to finish what you were supposed to finish for that day… and then you work network is down.
    Then you learn (again) that postponing for tomorrow today what you can could do today yesterday is never a good idea.

  123. rq

    Those are awesome photos. They make me think of home Canada. And the Laurentians. I think it’s a much prettier autumn there than here, this year.

  124. 545

    A public profile also means anyone who has met you or read your CV in meatspace can look up your opinions and decide whether they’re troublesome or not.
    Regarding that church:
    1. This really is a case of No True Christian as that sect is very likely heretical by any Christian standard. It’s like blaming Christianity on Judaism – they read from the same book, but there is enough difference between them to assign them to two different groups.
    2. It’s a perfect case against homeschooling. The main problem with homeschooling isn’t the quality of education, but that the children are much less protected against abuse as their parents, teachers and entire social circle are the same individuals. Also a good case against any closed sect or commune.

    Great photos!

  125. 547

    I love your fotos and I raise you some.

    Belated Happy Birthday and grrrrl power fistbump to the YOBling

    Sometimes I hate my husband. He usually calls when we’Re having dinner (no matter what time we’re having dinner. It’s a rare talent). Tonight he didn’t. And the kids went to bed. And another hour passed. So I tried calling him. Nobody answers the phone. I try the mobile. No response. Old mobile. Nothing.
    You know, I’m not a control freak. If he tells me in advance he’s going out and he won’t call I say “have fun”. But he hadn’t said anything, and he didn’t answer his mobile and I’m in a different city 100km away with the kids and I have no clue if he got run over by a car or whatever.
    Well, he went for a beer with his colleagues. The mobile? Oh, wait, there’S an unanswered call on the mobile!

    And a fun story for a change:
    Yesterday, the little one overheard me talking to one of her teachers saying something like “when she becomes a teenager..” She came running, with tears in her eyes. “MUM, I don’t want to become a teenager, I want to become a veterinarian!”

  126. 548

    Thanks for the compliments on the photos. If you haven’t already, feel free to poke around my other albums on Flickr. There are a few more from autumns past, and a couple from our spring flower show. I’ll also probably be taking more over the next week or two as the colors come in all across the county (there are more fall colors at the north end right now, and less near my home in the south).

  127. 551

    The desert has its beauty too. There are these trees, which I have no idea what they are, but Google Image Search seems to confuse them with Californian Joshua trees.

    Beautiful photos.

    “MUM, I don’t want to become a teenager, I want to become a veterinarian!”

    …and if that doesn’t work out she can always become a stand-up comedian.

  128. 552


    The desert has its beauty too.

    It does, but I don’t live in the “desert” part of Cal.

    Well, at least not yet.

    We really need some rain out here.

    (It’s normal for the hills around No. Cal. to be brown this time of year, but not everyone’s lawn and other vegetation.)

  129. 553

    Uh, oh!! Rick Perry must be praying.
    Bastrop county on fire (again), plus parts of Navarro county, Denton county, Dallas county, Coryell county….

  130. 554

    Another whistle has been blown.
    The Assassination Complex:

    The Intercept has obtained a cache of secret slides that provides a window into the inner workings of the U.S. military’s kill/capture operations at a key time in the evolution of the drone wars — between 2011 and 2013. The documents, which also outline the internal views of special operations forces on the shortcomings and flaws of the drone program, were provided by a source within the intelligence community who worked on the types of operations and programs described in the slides. The Intercept granted the source’s request for anonymity because the materials are classified and because the U.S. government has engaged in aggressive prosecution of whistleblowers. The stories in this series will refer to the source as “the source.”

    The source said he decided to provide these documents to The Intercept because he believes the public has a right to understand the process by which people are placed on kill lists and ultimately assassinated on orders from the highest echelons of the U.S. government. “This outrageous explosion of watchlisting — of monitoring people and racking and stacking them on lists, assigning them numbers, assigning them ‘baseball cards,’ assigning them death sentences without notice, on a worldwide battlefield — it was, from the very first instance, wrong,” the source said.

    Long read, but very informative (scary too).

  131. 555


    Yeah, it was, and I think he noticed I was pretty pissed off. Thankfully my friends were here and kept me distracted. It’s the helplessness, you know? My plan was to try calling until 11pm, the latest reasonable time for him to get home if he went for a beer and then alert his uncle who lives close.
    We really must talk about “how to use a mobile”.

    Thanks, Alexander and JIm B
    I#m currently rediscovering my love for nature photography now that I have a decent camera again…

    Do you think I can keep him?

  132. 557

    So you think the kid won’t mind if she doesn’t get him for her birthday?
    I’m also afraid that there’s no shortage of cuddly companions in this flat…

  133. rq

    I mean, the submission of our Awesome Thingie has been postponed for about a month (due to details in internal politics, not due to difference of opinion – HA there’s a second hole in our floor, so this baby’s going forward for sure), so the question is, do we try and hook the big fish NOW, or only after the First Submission (which is essentially a low-level submission and a formality that more or less legalizes further action, where the big fish might end up being important)?
    Sorry if that all seems cryptic. The whole unit’s a bit paranoid at the moment.

  134. 562

    A meetup 10 years after graduation.
    (Most of the) guys haven’t grown up a bit. They may drive fancy cars and work fancy jobs, but they are just as immature.
    (Most of the) girls work and/or have started families and can actually talk about life.
    It’s like two different worlds.

    All in all, it wasn’t bad. I’m glad I went, but I am a bit sorry I didn’t have a chance to chat with some people.

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