612 thoughts on “Speakeasy #6

  1. 351

    Is anybody else experiencing a case of stealth Tony?
    The sidebar says he commented in the Speakeasy, but I cannot see any posts.
    And can YOU see this?

  2. 352

    That’s odd. I thought I’ve left a few comments here and there. Probably glitches with the site. I just found that my posts aren’t linking to my FB page when I hit submit too, which is annoying.

  3. 353

    I see this one! And the one you addressed to Anne regarding the pillow fort. But not the one you allegedly posted between Dalillama and me

  4. 354

    I’ve been getting notifications of people commenting here, but the actual comments don’t show up on this page when I look for them. It takes several hours before they’re actually visible. Weird stuff.

  5. 355

    Hi, Everybody!

    Tony and the pillow fort thing: very cool and it would be super cool to have, but it doesn’t really feel like a pillow fort to me. Where do I put the dining room chairs with blankets draped over them?

    rq That video is really nice. Thanks for sharing it.


    AlexanderZ Ug. Ceiling repairs sucks. Hope it gets fixed with a minimal amount of inconvenience.

    giliell I know the feeling regarding addiction. My sister is a recovering addict. It took two short stays in prison and the threat of the next stay being 30 years with the loss of contact with her kids to finally bottom her out. She is good now, but for 10 years it was hell on all of us.


    Brony You asked about what attracts me to the burning man type festivals and it’s my introversion that does it.

    I figured out long ago that what makes group events hard for me is the constant self doubt. I become fixated on wether I’m “doing it right.” Am I being weird? Will I fit in? I call it “The Shy” and it still beats me sometimes. But when it comes to certain types of events (Burning Man, Renaissance festivals, LARP events, etc.) there really is no “normal” so I don’t have to worry about it. The idea of going to , say a football stadium to watch a game, fills me with dread and horror, but put me in a war pixie costume out among a bunch of other “freaks” (which is what I was wearing the first time I met Honored First Wife) and I’m good to go.

  6. 356

    Addendum to my previous comment regarding festivals:

    Comic/Sci-Fi/gaming conventions are totally within that category, too. I generally cosplay those. So I’m thinking that “The Shy” is vulnerable to costumes.

    and kryptonite

    And the color yellow

  7. 357


    The sidebar says he commented in the Speakeasy, but I cannot see any posts.

    Maybe it has to do with how Tony is answering. I’ve noticed that sometimes he replies to a specific comment and sometimes with regular comments (which count as a reply to OP). Supposedly there shouldn’t be any difference since we don’t have nested comments, but maybe there is some inconsistency in the software that treats those comments differently?
    That might also be the cause for the notification wierdness that Anne experiences.

    Really, while I agree that criminalisation is no solution to substance abuse, I’m wondering if the “it’s nobody’s business what adults do wth their bodies” have ever had an addict in their family…

    Same thing with the mentally ill – unless they’re running with a knife stubbing people nobody gives a fuck about them. I doubt that it’s the “personal freedom” argument at work – more like the governments (it’s the same here) using any excuse to cut social programs, like shelters and treatment centers.
    Also *hugs* 🙁


    It’s a classic.

    It’s also universally reviled. I remember when that thing was running every bloody night on one of the two national channels. People would switch to watch the Soviet of the Union. At least there there was a semblance of life, and you never knew when someone in the Politburo would drop dead (when that happened we got hours of classical music as compensation).

    What makes it a classic is not the plot, but how it was drawn. To get the thick fog and pseudo 3D effects (fog over the hedgehog, fog behind it, the horse stepping into view, etc.) the artists used many layers (I think 20 or so) of drawings. It was very time consuming, very difficult and, thanks to current technologies, utterly pointless.

  8. rq

    It’s also universally reviled.

    If you exclude the majority of my generation of Latvians, sure, it’s universally reviled. 🙂 Themes and quotes come up regularly in conversation and jokes.
    And current technologies be damned, apparently they weren’t available when the film was made, so kudos to the artists for doing such a fine mystical job. I think the artwork is beautiful. I’m sorry you’ve had such a terrible experience with the film. 😉

  9. 359

    re: my comments
    This comment is written in the response box WordPress provides for bloggers to read and/or respond to commenters. I’m commenting on AlexanderZ’* comment where he says

    Maybe it has to do with how Tony is answering. I’ve noticed that sometimes he replies to a specific comment and sometimes with regular comments (which count as a reply to OP).

    I’m curious how this will show up (or if it will)

    * (English instructors/afficionados/majors help here: where does the ‘s’ and the apostrophe go on the end of names like yours btw?)

  10. 360

    Io, Tony!
    posting this at 6:03pm EST

    With only one AlexanderZ, AlexanderZ’s comment is sufficient, but if there is more than one AlexanderZ, then you’d have to indicate which of the AlexanderZs made the AlexanderZ’s comment you are responding to.

  11. 361

    Whimper. Husband is avidly watching the Elephantine Festival of Mud-Slinging. Actually by now he’s probably snoring, but he says he’s awake. I have exiled myself to the den, where I can’t really sit comfortably, but at least there’s sort of a WiFi signal. I need a drink. Or some chocolate. And after the debates, he’ll want to watch post-game analysis, followed by The Voice. Urk.

    I’ll be over in the pillow fort with a blanket wrapped around my ears.

  12. 372

    Happy birthday, Tony! 40? Whippersnapper. Get off my lawn. Unless you have some whiskey.


    Anyway you could put headphones in and listen to music or watch something on the device you are posting with? For future events, now, of course.


    We got a new puppy. Been over a year since we lost our last dog and we finally felt like it was time. She’s a 6 month old lab mix rescued from a hoarding situation in North Carolina. We named her Beckett, since the whole family likes the TV show Castle. Picked her up Sunday.

  13. 379


    Aw, I ruined my BFFs christmas surprise from her daughter, but I swear I couldn’t have known. Dunno if you ever heard of the German fantasy author Markus Heitz. Apparently his bestseller “The Dwarves” has been turned into a musical(?) with one of the better German medieval rock bands, Corvus Corax. I saw the poster at work last night and immediately messaged my friend. Did she know that?
    Well, she didn’t. Her daughter did. And told her NOT to get herself tickets….
    I is sorry.

  14. 380

    Happy Birthday Tony!

    *hugs* to all. Been in lurk-mode lately, trying to get some projects done at work before the 2-week holiday shutdown.
    About halfway through Ancillary Justice, really enjoying it.
    Also really enjoyed the first 2 episodes of The Expanse on SyFy. Following the books pretty well – I’m current on the series – and visually it looks great.

  15. 381

    Dunno if you ever heard of the German fantasy author Markus Heitz.

    I have, actually, although I wonder if The Dwarves suffers in translation; I couldn’t get into it at all.

  16. 384


    I am showing that “Getting notice in email about a comment but the comment is not showing up on the thread” problem. I have an email from 2:53 pm EST that YOB has commented, but I am not seeing the comment on the thread. Also, I have posted a comment with one link to a video of my new puppy in response to Giliell’s request somewhere around the same time and my own comment is not showing up.

    (I am posting this at 4:13 pm EST)

  17. 385

    And right after I post my comment, I can see the other comments. Wonder if the problem is the link in the email? That’s what I usually use to get to the actual comment in the thread.

  18. rq

    Went to see a play. Sorry, a musical. They made The Hound of the Baskervilles into a musical. And a love story (WTF?). And they made Holmes religious.
    Yes, it was rather ghastly.
    On the plus side, I did not pay for the tickets, nor do I owe anyone money for those tickets.

  19. rq

    Also, I really like humanizing photos of authority figures. Like all of those of POTUS and FLOTUS having fun or sharing an intimate moment, like real human being in love do.
    Here’s a cutie of the Latvian president and his wife at some official function, having a moment. (For the record, he’s a sensible guy who likes to get in touch with the citizenry and making surprise visits to streetball games and the like. How is he on serious issues? I don’t know. But he has all the evidence of a backbone. We shall see.)

  20. 389

    It’s odd that Beatrice hasn’t commented in over a week anywhere. She’s usually very active with at least one comment a day either here or on FtB.

    Re: Site problems.
    Tony replied to me at 5:37PM server time, but that comment appears before rq‘s which was made at 2:18PM server time. Which means that there really are nested comments here, even though they look like regular comments.
    I got an email notification for all of the comments, and I can see all comments, including the one that barkeeperin didn’t see.
    So… a combination of malfunctioning nested comments and the return of the caching problem?

  21. 390

    I declare my demands for puppy cuteness satisfied.
    Yes, I’m a dog person. Not that I’ll ever get one, but I love them

    I must admit that I haven’t read The Dwarves. I only know some short stories from Heitz which I liked and I met him at conventions and such. He’s what you might call a “local lad” and I wouldn’t let the opportunity to get some fantasy and music slip through my fingers.

  22. 391


    I did take this 20 second or so video of her playing.

    Very cute. Like Giliell, I’m more of a dog person.

    Went to see a play. Sorry, a musical. They made The Hound of the Baskervilles into a musical. And a love story (WTF?). And they made Holmes religious.

    Blasphemy! 🙂

    That sounds absolutely horrid.

  23. rq

    ALSO *higs* and *hugs* to the multitude, most especially today for Tony on the occasion of his fortieth decade. Much love to you, Tony mah dear!!!

  24. 395

    Huh. Another data point. If I click the “commented” link in the top of the email, which I thought was supposed to take me to the actual comment, I don’t get the latest comments. This post, for example, has AlexanderZ‘s comment mentioning Beatrice’s absence as the last post, but I used rq‘s Higs and Hugs for Tony’s fortieth decade (wouldn’t that make him 400, BTW?)

    However, if I click on the “Reply” button, then I can see all the comments that I have emails for.

    I think I should check what happens when I go to the main page and follow links down to the Speakeasy thread and see what’s there.

    And rq, I also like the humanizing pictures of leaders. Other important people, too.

  25. rq

    I said ‘decade’, not ‘century’. 🙂 I’d love it if Tony wanted to live 400 years and spread his goodness, but I don’t know if he’ll last.

  26. 398

    Good morning

    So now my cousin’s been committed to the psychiatric hospital. Seriously, this is such a clusterfuck of things. A predisposition towards psychotic episodes combined with drug abuse combined with a completely fucked up upbringing*. I think he forgot that his mum is no longer there to take care of everything and protect him from the consequences of his actions.

    *A horrible combination of things. When he fucked something up, there would first be a big drama and believe me, our families believed in corporal punishment. When the dust had settled his parents would decide that really,, their boy wasn’t to blame at all. He was a victim of circumstances. Or other bad people had made him do things. Or he was just in the wrong company and the others had done the bad things. So not only did he never suffer any real consequences for his actions, he also felt to be the victim of the unfair punishment his parents had already dealt out. That doesn’t produces well adjusted adults in the long run…

    But you want good news right?
    We finally, after about 6 months of worrying sick, know the terms and conditions of Mr’s change in employment. While he will be part f the new company*, the conditions for those who change into that company are good. For the next 10 years they’re guaranteed the same conditions as those in the mother company, including all the benefits and are guaranteed their job. Plus some cash to sweeten the deal. The most important thing about this is that this is expensive for the company and you don’t sign such an expensive agreement if you want to close down the whole thing. Sure, new employees will get less than those in the mother company, but for once, that’s not our personal problem. It’s something the union must deal with.
    If things crash around our eas in 10 years I should be well able to feed us and he can play stay at home husband.

    *He always thought his boss, who will remain boss in the new company, did not have a good opinion of him, his work and abilities. Since the boss insisted that he change into the new company with him because he really needs his talents there I guess he was wrong…

  27. 399


    his fortieth decade

    40 decades is 400 years. Or am I reading it incorrectly? And now, going back to cut and paste from your post, I now see that Tony already picked up on it, so maybe it’s not just me.

  28. 402

    Congrats on your husband’s job! Yay for income security!

    So now my cousin’s been committed to the psychiatric hospital.

    Isn’t that a good thing? I mean, he’s now off the streets and getting care, right? Or am I missing something?

    Yes, I’m a dog person.

    Just kidding, I’m afraid of dogs, but deep down I like them. Most of them. Particularly collies.
    That reminds me, in Hebrew “hee” (sometimes pronounced “ee”) means “she” or “she is”. So some biology student posted a picture of a bacteria with Lassie’s head and the caption: “Lassie E. Coli”.
    I giggled, but a nearby researcher turned to and, in the compassionate and pitying voice, asked “do you really think it’s funny?”


    Also, I really like humanizing photos of authority figures.</blockquote
    Me too. I also can't stand people who think that all politicians are cynical and believe in nothing but personal gain. Sure, there are plenty of those, but generally one need strong convictions to push themselves hard enough to become a leading politician.
    Whether those convictions are good or bad is a whole different issue.

  29. 403

    Isn’t that a good thing? I mean, he’s now off the streets and getting care, right?
    Of course that’s right. But it’s a bit like getting treatment for a broken foot, only that you broke your foot by repeatedly hitting it with a hammer.
    The other problem is that for problems like his, care needs to be long term AND needs his participation.
    This is like with my mother: something everybody knew was coming except the person who could have stopped it…

  30. rq

    Well, now I can go ahead and laugh at myself. You’re absolutely correct. 😛 Apparently my math skills are at an all time low, while my self-confidence is at an all-time high. I’ll retroactively correct that to ‘fourth decade’ then. 😛 Sorry about the confusion.

  31. 406


    As someone who is a year and a couple weeks from the end of his fourth decade, I might be a little sensitive to it. 🙂 My kids are all like, “You’re so old, you’re almost 50” and I’m like, “I’m almost 49.”

  32. rq

    I hate to hurt you, but that’s the end of your fifth decade…
    haha And your reply sounds a lot like Middle Child’s reply to the statement, “So you’re five years old!” He always says, “No! I’m five and a half.” It’s all in the little increments. 🙂

  33. rq

    Having an attack of self-pity based on the most trivial and unimportant of things. I hate pettiness, but sometimes I can’t help it. It’s just a stupid way of being jealous of people who deserve all the good things because they’re kind and hard-working. After all, it’s not their fault I’m not on any kind of radar. (And, in the end, do I really want the attention?)

  34. 412

    Um, sorry for fucking up the HTML on the last page

    rq & barkeeerin
    Age is just a number!
    Yesterday I had a longish phone chat with Mr’s aunt. She’s thinking about retirement and is making a plan what to do then. So many things to learn, so many things to do!

    You’re allowed to be a bit petty. I’m pretty sure you’Re not petty towards those people,so it’s ok.

    I’ve just burried the idea of finishing the quilts for christmas. But they’re going to be gorgeous

  35. rq

    Ah, it’s an intermittent thing mostly based on the uncontrollable factors of not knowing the right people and being in a sort of generation gap, in addition to purposely invisibilizing myself from the ex-pat community locally. I mean, it’s all a bit contradictory, considering I prefer being behind the scenes, while most of this feeling is occupation-centric snobbery (as in, my job is more important than theirs, why doesn’t anyone ever want to talk about me?). But anyway. I suppose it’s the lack of acknowledgement that bothers me more than the actual attention. Like, hello, there’s people like me out here, too!
    But then, I’m not a young, single, aspiring entrepreneur, full of visions of the future. Nobody wants to hear about the difficulties and drudgery of reality and how hard it is to actually change things in this country, it’s all about the vibrant dreams of tomorrow! YES!

  36. rq

    This is so weird. I refresh, and I see no comments. I post a comment, and suddenly there’s like three extra comments!!!

    No, I’m being petty in my feelings. As for Those People, I know them and they’re dear friends and I really do wish them all the best and they deserve everything they’ve striven for. But, you know, sometimes petty feelings… oh well. At least it’s Thursday and I can finally have a normal work day tomorrow, none of this running around to christmas concerts and daycare events and school plays. (A lot of it is just tiredness, the pettiness, I mean. Wah, wah, someone take care of me!)
    (On the plus side, I really like how christmas – or winterfest, if one translates directly – events here focus on the pagan aspects of celebrating christmas Latvian-style, it’s a lot like a halloween-type thing except more singing and more dancing. Eldest’s class event didn’t even have Santa Claus, they had a Winterfest Goat and Death come to deliver presents. Scythe and all. And everyone had to dance with Death. Apparently it’s good luck.)

  37. 416

    Is anyone else seeing the Speakeasy in dark grey-blue with black letters, or am I just lucky? FYI, I’m on an android device using Chrome browser.

    And after I posted, the background went back to white. I haz a confuz.

  38. 417


    Yeah, this is new. The site at this moment, 9:43 pm EST, looks like it was made in 1995, after following the Reply link from the email notification of fullmetalfeminist‘s saying they are 6 months older than me. OS X using Firefox. Site was fine earlier today.

  39. rq

    I’m hoping that one of these fixes will let me comment from work again. I’ll even take a blue background if it lets me comment from work.

  40. 427

    I can relate. I have the same problem when I have to talk to groups of people, which is why I usually end up avoiding people all together.

    I’m hoping that one of these fixes will let me comment from work again.

    So why can’t you comment from work? The site doesn’t load or what?

  41. 429


    Sorry for worrying you folks, I’ve been so busy at work I didn’t even turn on the computer at home for a couple of days.

    Happy birthday, Tony!

  42. rq

    I don’t know what it is at work, but it’s on all possible browsers. Everything loads fine (so I can read y’all) but there’s no ‘Submit Comment’ button. I can’t even tab to it, it’s just not there. I don’t know how to fix that.

  43. 432

    Greetings and salutations to Beatrice!

    I’m the first person to say that I’m out of my depth, but there is something really odd with the Shoop’s comment code. For other WP sites the code is very simple (I’m using FF) as you can see on Sinmantyx or FtB (redirects to login, but otherwise similar).
    The Shoop, on the other hand, does some crazy long-ass Jetpack check instead.
    Is it possible that rq‘s work computer fails that check, which means she can view the site just fine, but can’t comment at all?

    To add further data: I tried to access the site via NewIPNow and the comment box (ONLY the comment box) gave me this error:
    “The requested resource could not be loaded because the server returned an error: 500 Internal Server Error (aba). Return to NewIPNow.com.”

    BTW, I think the Jetpack test is also why I have longer waiting time on this site compared to others (or even other IPs).

    If the comment box doesn’t give you an error message, try opening the site in Firefox. Go to View tab and choose Page Style – No style. After that you might be able to get a small commenting window and to navigate it using tab.
    I still think it’s the bloody security check acting up.

  44. 433

    The above links should be views in “view-source:”

    Anyway, since I’m here:
    Putin praises Trump (and other craziness):

    And he even inserted himself into the Republican presidential primary contest in the United States, speaking highly of Mr. Trump in remarks after the news conference ended.

    “There is no doubt that he is a very bright and talented man,” the Russian leader said. “It is not our business to assess his merits; that is up to the U.S. voters. But he is an absolute leader of the presidential race.”

    This one was taken out of 1984:

    At times, Mr. Putin sugarcoated grim economic news Russians were bound to discover in any case. While the government might soon lift the retirement age to save money, that is cause for celebration, he said, because Russians are now living longer — to an average age of 71.

    Indeed! Rejoice, for the chocolate ration was increased to 20 grams!

  45. 435

    This is yet another test. Some of the WP plugins refuse to play nicely with other WP plugins which is okay if I can just tweak it. But it seems the whole shebang needs retweaking with some frequency. I know I am doing SOMETHING wrong, but I have not yet figured it out. Let me know if things are or are not working for you.

  46. rq

    Unfortunately, work computer does not have Firefox (Explorer – please don’t laugh! -, and Chrome). I’d try your suggestion but I don’t have Admin privileges on my own work computer (nobody does – I think it’s because of the reorganization, where not even work owns the work computers, but the IT centre for all government agencies – please don’t laugh). I’ll see if I can talk to our computer guy, though. He’s pretty sensible, if a bit over-worked right now. 🙂


    So yesterday the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Well-being released some pre-marriage informational guideline type stuff, in order to educate couples about what to expect after marriage (essentially, “It’s not like the movies!”). EXCEPT. The entire thing is gender essentialist, right down to detailing driving styles and that it’s okay that men take more risks because, dammit, that’s what makes them men! And women are soft and round and careful and… I haven’t read the actual document, but the news article had a shitload of lenghty quotes and I nearly puked when I read it at work. Apparently one of their sources was that psychotherapist guy I mentioned just recently. Way to progressive, Ministries. Way to progressive.
    On the slightly plus side (because these guidelines have been worked out and released officially already), they’re facing a shitton of ridicule on social media.

  47. rq

    Also, AlexanderZ, re: the retirement age in Russia (yay, 71!)… There was talk here, at one point, of having a retirement age for men and a retirement age for women, because the official retirement age right now is 65. Unfortunately, men’s life expectancy is 62, while for women it is 72, and The Menz were complaining that it is unfair that they can’t even make it to retirement age, while women can manage a full seven years of labour-free living! 😀
    (No, men don’t need to recognize that their lifestyles (it’s the risk, the alcohol, the unwillingness to seek medical attention) are rather non-conducive to extended living, women should just work longer!)

  48. rq

    Trying to figure out if having a rather unexpected and unexpectedly high fever last night and being on medication today means I’m healthy enough to do the shopping I had planned. 🙁 I probably should do it (financial benefits in the form of my 5-day train ticket still being valid today abound), but tomorrow is Choir’s christmas concert and we’re doing Poulenc (among other terribly religious yet beautiful music) and I should probably stay home and go over the music and not stress myself out with the shopping crowds.
    This just means I’ll have to brave the multitudes sometime next week after work, an equally uninviting prospect. At least Husband and I have settled on what we need to buy the kids, plus second choices should first choices be difficult to find. Nevertheless, I think this has been one of our least organized christmases in several years. Can’t wait for it to be over.
    And on that note, here’s a real seasonal downer for your listening pleasure. As translated by me:
    A normal* christmas is coming,
    Doesn’t mean everyone has to get so excited.
    We have money but not a lot
    Don’t spend any more than you’re allowed

    A normal christmas is coming
    Mom is starting to beat the schnitzels
    We have rosols, as always too much,
    But the bacon rolls have too little bacon,
    Too little bacon.

    A normal christmas is coming,
    Don’t expect it to suddenly snow;
    You’re sitting at home anyway
    And mostly you don’t even care.

    A normal christmas is coming,
    A normal christmas is coming.

    A normal christmas is coming
    From the beginning of December already
    A normal christmas is here
    It will be the same as last year.

    * “Normal”, in colloquial Latvian, can mean anything from simply ordinary, to nothing particularly special.
    Man, that song sounds a lot more depressing when you write it out in English. I much prefer the Poulenc. 😛

  49. 439

    This comment section and Tony’s other posts look normal, but the older comment section looks bad, with a huge comment box at the top of the page, tiny comments, malfunctioning blockquotes (you can’t see the difference between them and regular italicized text) and outright weird layout.

    Is it possible to make a back up site with a WP supported theme like twenty-fourteen or fifteen and migrate all the posts and comments there to see if it fixes all the plugin problems?

    You could also try using a portable FF on a flash drive, but be sure to ask if you are allowed to plug them in, because if you don’t you won’t get site nor potato, only secret police.

    The entire thing is gender essentialist, right down to detailing driving styles and that it’s okay that men take more risks because, dammit, that’s what makes them men!

    Damn, that’s fucked up. Here our army is giving a course in LGBT rights to soldiers, including a lecture on transgender soldiers (religious recruits are exempt, though), and your government is still living in the stone age.

    Unfortunately, men’s life expectancy is 62, while for women it is 72

    It’s the same in Russia (and in all of the post-Soviet region) as well and for the same reasons – the 71 figure is the average, and it’s an outdated average to boot because it refers to 2013 data, well before the massive economic crash of the recent 2 years.

    The Menz were complaining that it is unfair that they can’t even make it to retirement age, while women can manage a full seven years of labour-free living!

    One wonder if it has anything to do with “…it’s okay that men take more risks because, dammit, that’s what makes them men!”? Naaaah, it must be the fault of those damn feminazis!

  50. rq

    won’t get site nor potato, only secret police

    You’re mistaken. This is Latvia: you always get a potato.
    So “won’t get site and large potato nor large potato alone, only secret police and small potato” would be more accurate. 🙂

    The sad thing about the local feminazis is that there’s a shitload of women in government positions, and they have the same sort of essentialist thinking. It is really depressing.

  51. 441


    We have rosols, as always too much,

    Rosols = Olivier?
    How can you have too much olivier???
    BTW, that’s how we celebrate New Year as well. But we also have vinegret, dressed herring, shproti, and at least a couple of ikura with butter sandwiches with cheap sparkling wine. No matter the financial situation – those things are a must.

    Other traditions include watching traditional Soviet New Year movies (it’s easy because there are only three) and listening to Kremlin kuranti hit twelve.

  52. rq

    Yes, I think rosols is olivier, and I’m sorry, I hate it. I can’t do it. It’s full of canned peas and processed meat. I love a good potato salad, but I can’t do the olivier.
    I also have a strong dislike towards vinegret, and most especially the dressed herring (though locally it is called “herring in a fur coat”). I did try that one recently, and it may not have been as bad as it could have been, but I also have a thing against beets. I like beets, I like borscht and I like marinated beets, but in combination with herring? Sorry, herring should be served only with sour cream and chives. And perhaps a potato.
    As for the sprats, this is the only acceptable brand. 🙂 (Currently embargoed, I believe. Or something. But when it comes to imports/exports, the sprats are always first on the line.)
    Funnily enough, Soviet New Year’s movies are popular here, too. Possibly because there are no Latvian ones, but American holiday movies (including the terrible Home Alone series and other such gems) are making inroads into the popular psyche.

  53. 443


    It’s full of canned peas and processed meat

    No, no, no, you don’t put any processed meat in it! Cook some chicken or turkey meat (only the chest and no skin!) and then dice it. It’ll give a delightful freshness to the salad. The peas can be replaced with canned corn, or diced inner parts of a cucumber (serve with some scallion greens and/or diced pickles). Or go without meat completely (use diced fried mushrooms).
    The beauty in olivier is the freedom to experiment to get the flavor just right.

    As for the sprats, this is the only acceptable brand.

    Rigan sprats (that’s how you transcribe it?) are the best! And yes, they are the latest victim of Russia’s “food diplomacy”.

    (though locally it is called “herring in a fur coat”)

    That’s the Russian name for it as well! I didn’t know how to properly call it here.
    BTW, “rosol” in Russian (рассол) means brine, from the word “sol” (соль) meaning salt.

    For some reason this site stopped remembering my details.

  54. rq

    The site’s been intermittently forgetting my details, but I figure that’s the least of my commenting worries. 😀

    The beauty in olivier is the freedom to experiment to get the flavor just right.

    That may be so, but this freedom is absent with rosols. There’s a pretty set recipe, wherein the absence of peas and/or processed meat makes it no longer rosols. The olivjē salad seems to be a completely different entity (includes chicken and carrots). (Although I have heard of vegetarian rosols, which nixes the meat and instead has carrots and apples; never been brave enough to try it.)
    And I have no idea how it got a name meaning (or originating from the word for) ‘brine’, possibly a nomenclature mix-up at some fancy strange-food party where the wrong name was attached to the wrong dish. Perhaps the briny broth was placed next to the olivier.
    Also, I’d love to try an olivier with chicken and corn instead of chopped up frankfurter-type meat and canned peas. That sounds far more acceptable. (Dill pickles are, of course, obligatory!)

  55. rq

    Never mind, comments just take a while to show up. 😛 Even your own!

    Rigan sprats

    I think in Canada they were marketed as simply “Riga sprats”. Same difference. 😛

  56. rq

    (I think it’s because of this line in the description:

    And as with all parenting moments when dads are in charge, it goes horribly, horribly wrong.

    I mean, things DO go horribly wrong, but it’s certainly not because the dad’s in charge.)

  57. 449


    Also, I’d love to try an olivier with chicken and corn instead of chopped up frankfurter-type meat and canned peas. That sounds far more acceptable. (Dill pickles are, of course, obligatory!)

    If you’re ever in the area you’re invited to our place. You’ll get the best olivier ever!

    Never mind, comments just take a while to show up. Even your own!

    I’m having that too. I keep doing a hard-reload to get the comments to refresh.
    BTW, that video was great!

    Speaking of great things – why didn’t anyone tell me of Canada’s glow-in-the-dark coins? With dinosaurs and space and what not? It’s so awesome. I might go so far to say it’s super special awesome. They really speak to my hoarding ways.

  58. 450

    You folks and your salads. You’re making me hungry. I like what we call French salad and it seems it’s olivier without meat:
    – potatoes, carrots, peas, eggs, mayonnaise
    I can’t wait to make it sometime next week. Also, cookies. And just nice things.
    I’m cooking frankfurters again, and it’s my first meal today.
    This work thing is driving me bonkers.

    I didn’t have time to brag, but I ditched work last weekend and took mom to Vienna for the weekend. I’ve been making it up at work before and after 🙂
    But I’m really glad we manged that little trip.

  59. rq


    If you’re ever in the area you’re invited to our place. You’ll get the best olivier ever!

    Careful. I might even take you up on that. One day.

    Oooh, Vienna! How was it? Any snow in your region?

  60. 452


    You folks and your salads. You’re making me hungry.

    You’re also invited!

    I’m cooking frankfurters again, and it’s my first meal today.
    This work thing is driving me bonkers.

    Your work sounds like a slave pit 🙁

    I ditched work last weekend and took mom to Vienna for the weekend

    I’m also curious how was it. I was in Vienna just once – for a few hours, because there was no direct plane from Moscow to where we were heading, and naturally we weren’t allowed to wander the streets. But I hope to visit it some day again.


    One day.

    I’m sure we’ll all meet some sunny day. 😉

  61. 453

    Well here is part of the explanation for why the site has been so wonky. Our webhost has been under a rather extreme DDOS attack from Anonymous. Seems one of ISIS’ websites was hosted there. It has been taken down. I wish I could blame all of our site’s troubles on that, but I can’t. And AlexanderZ, in response to one of your suggestions about using one of the approved WordPress themes, every one we’ve used has been an approved WordPress theme. All of their themes require additional plugins. The Themes are just bare bones designs.
    Ever onward.

  62. rq

    Well, that was weird! I saw my comment appear. And now it’s gone! Has someone been summing the Roostergeist of late???
    This calls for an exorcism. A traditional Latvian favourite is juniper.

    Canada has some pretty awesome coins. So does Latvia, though none with glow-in-the-dark bits or opal. *mild envy*

  63. 457

    Thanks for your hard work!

    Our webhost has been under a rather extreme DDOS attack from Anonymous. Seems one of ISIS’ websites was hosted there.

    So it’s true what they say about us lefties – we really are in bed with the enemies of freedom! /sarcasm

    Re: rq and the Leningrad AES
    For anyone curios, the Leningrad AES is a nuclear plant that is located in Russia, in the St. Petersburg (formally Leningrad) region, but, if I’m not mistaken, is closer to our rq than to St. Petersburg proper.
    This Friday the second energy block of the plant (that was modernized in 2007) started bellowing steam and had to be shut down. The Russian authorities claim that there was no change in the radiation level, nor has the steam escaped the reactor. The malfunctioning itself is an old one that was scheduled to close in 2017 anyway.
    The authorities seem to be on the level here and the lack of English news is probably a sign that nothing newsworthy is happening.

    That reminds me, did I ever tell you about the Chernobyl disaster? I was in Ukraine at the time and I remember the unnaturally large tomatoes that were harvested that month. Don’t remember how they tasted, though.

    Anyway, good night to you all – I’m off to bed.

  64. 458

    General *hugs*, pretty ‘rupt again.
    It’s possible that the reason that the computers at work still run IE is the same reason why so many offices in the States were so reluctant to upgrade from Windows 95 (and IE). It is my understanding that in the late 90s, a whole bunch of proprietary office software (customer records, inventory programs, etc.) were written in such a way that they were only compatible with the then-current version of Explorer, and had no actual upgrade path, so that the whole thing would have to be rebuilt from scratch to work with anything else.


    Tomorrow is the memorial, then Monday we’re off to my mother’s for holidays, then home again to start the workweek Wednesday.

  65. rq

    I have no idea. Considering our system at work is a mish-mash of American, German and local, it’s entirely possible.
    Hope all goes well for you in the coming week, too!

    And apparently there was a fire at a Belgian AES, too. WHAT IS THE WORLD COMING TO!
    Chernobyl, by the way, happened on my birthday. What a present for a two-year-old.

  66. rq

    Good morning.

    Nothing will remain for you of my fingertips,
    It is merely a small moment of contact.
    Day will come, and with people and the flood
    It will wash me away again.

    Nothing will remain for you from the way I looked [at you].
    Maybe one day – the eyes will narrow.
    And in three lonely moments
    Three instants will pass:

    Nothing. Nothing [accusative]. For no one.
    Three tiny measures,
    That, god willing, will not block out the light.
    And maybe the only ones. And maybe deliberately
    So small, that only they are seen.

    May your feet, walking the meadow, not feel
    The stabbing of the sharp thistles.
    Nothing shall remain. Everything was in passing.
    And also in passing – there was nothing.

    /I. Ziedonis/

  67. 461

    rq & AlexanderZ,

    No snow here, nor in Vienna.
    At this time of year Vienna’s main draw are the Advent markets. I found them a bit too crowded – the food was good, mulled wine as well, they were selling pretty (and expensive) decorations and other holiday-market stuff… but the crowds at the main market which was also celebrating it’s 30th year were just too much.
    Some smaller markets were better in that regard.

    I think I’d like to visit again in spring or early summer, when parks are green and blooming. When I could spend a whole day in the ZOO. There’s really a lot to see and enjoy. (I might have cried a bit in the Empress Sissi museum. I know she’s basically a marketing plan, but she was my “Disney princess” when I was little.)

  68. 462

    As someone working for an IT company selling office software to government institutions I can confirm Dalillama’s suggestion about Internet Explorer…. and say that the problems are even more recent than the end of the 90s.


    I’m very conflicted about my job situation.

    I’m too much of a socialist for this kind of capitalist exploitative work system – we may or may not get payed for working overtime, First Boss offered me a couple of days off off record which is ridiculous because it feels like a favour even though I worked those hours, I feel bad because I got that offer but a colleague who works just as much got nothing because reasons (only a couple of us women get days off, even though we’re not the only ones working overtime. I think it might be one of those situations of female privilege where I benefit from the fact that boss considers me fragile while the male colleagues should just tough up and work through that exhaustion. But I’m guessing).

    On the other hand, my self-doubt and loathing make me feel like I should be grateful for whatever I get, and that these couple of days off will help me recuperate for the next round so I should just say thank you and keep on.

    Another option I’m starting to consider is looking for a job in Slovenia.

  69. 463

    Good morning
    Oh damn, christmas stress.
    Very busy me.

    If you still need an equally quick, cheap, easy and impressive gift* for people who love skin care:
    Shower peeling salt. Mix ordinary salt with “plant stuff” (I made three kinds: with orange peel, rosemary and lavender) and a nice oil (I used fancy Argan oil, though it has quite a distinctive proper smell). I used fancy test tubes, but a marmelade jar would do as well. Done.


    Unfortunately, men’s life expectancy is 62, while for women it is 72

    IIRC the main “gains” made by women are in the 20s and 30s when men find a ton of creative ways to kill themselves accidentially (also higher success rates at suicide). Then add a lower likelyhood to do checkups/cancer screenings and worse overall health behaviour (drinking ,smoking). If a man makes it to retirement age he has quite a good shot at living as long as any woman.

    *this could also mean something that takes hours, costs money and is a disaster

  70. 464



    I feel bad because I got that offer but a colleague who works just as much got nothing because reasons

    You got it because you’re better than the others. Don’t sell yourself short!

    Another option I’m starting to consider is looking for a job in Slovenia.

    Good luck! I hope you find a saner place, or at least one that meets basic social requirements.


    If a man makes it to retirement age he has quite a good shot at living as long as any woman.

    On average, in OECD countries (pdf, p. 12/28 and onward), women live longer than men even at 60 or 65. The life expectancy gap has increased from ~3.6 years in 1958 to ~4.8 year to 2010.
    One curious observation is that men at 60 has almost exactly the same life expectancy curve as women at 65, despite male average pensionable age being only 1.6 years higher in 1958 and only 0.9 years higher in 2010.
    This means that sexist culture (which contributes to unhealthy male lifestyles compared to women) and workplace sexism (which is expressed in higher retirement age and likely and a difference of occupations and positions) is killing off men even after they reach retirement.

    You’d think that the MRAs be all over that and try to end sexism, but no.

  71. rq

    Tomorrow I pay a visit to the dentist. First time in four years, I think. But for once, I think the dentist might have some actual fixing to do.

  72. 467

    Thanks for that information!

    You’d think that the MRAs be all over that and try to end sexism, but no.

    You see, that’s their problem. Whenever there is actually something that’s a legitimate men’s issue (though not a men’s rights issue) it usually boils down to one of three things:
    1. Capitalism
    2. Toxic Masculinity
    3. Both
    But MRAs love both capitalism and toxic masculinity, so their solution is usually “why don’t these fucking women just die?” They cannot tackle issues like men’s suicide rates because that would mean tackling gender roles, men’s reluctance to seek treatment for mental health issues etc.

  73. 468

    *Advil flavored hugs to rq*


    1. Capitalism
    2. Toxic Masculinity
    3. Both

    To be frank, neoliberalism (which is sadly what modern capitalism is devolving to) is an economic version of toxic masculinity. Same excuses, same mindset, same victims and same victimizers.

    Depressing stuff:
    Most of the Hebrew political blogs I follow stopped updating or stopped being political. Some people are leaving the country altogether (those who can), some seeking comfort in woo (as was the case of a doctor of philosophy specializing in ethics and international law – now she writes about how yoga is similar to Sabbath), one guy even ended a post saying “we shall meet in the place where there is no darkness”.
    The worst part is that their pessimism is well justified. Several decades ago the country was in turmoil over the revelation that the secret service can legally torture people. The practice was banned (by Menachem Begin), then permitted with restrictions (the infamous “moderate pressure” of the Landau Commission), and finally was forbidden by the Supreme Court in all cases, except the “ticking clock scenario”.
    Recently the secret service officially admitted that they used torture to get confessions out of the settlers suspected in the terror attack in Duma (where a Palestinian toddler was burned alive and his parents later died from burn injuries) because that was the only way to get them convicted.
    Some left-wing organizations have protested against the use of torture, but the majority thinks that the only problem is that torture is being used against Jews (the article is almost a day old and is missing some details that were published in Hebrew since then).
    The funny part? Even under torture they only confessed in lesser crime, not the arson-murder, so even if somebody still believes that torture works, they still wouldn’t know who’s guilty.

    I can’t end on a sour note so here’s something fun:
    Canadian PM Trudeau: Baltic Nations Are “Not A Thing”

    new Canadian PM, Justin Trudeau, was asked which of the Baltic nations is his favourite. Trudeau answered, saying “that’s not a thing”.

    Trudeau has had numerous challenges with foreign policy gaffes. Earlier in 2015 he was unable to identify what NATO’s Article 5 was when asked by reporters and later mocked Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as a dispute over hockey.

    …and yet he’s still better than Harper. Imagine that.

  74. 469

    Instead of “I hope you find a saner place, or at least one that meets basic social requirements” I meant “basic social provisions” i.e. proper leave days and normal work hours, etc.
    Sorry, I fail Engrish.

  75. 470

    Then again, a bad-tempered beaver with serious dental issues and regressive policies would be better than Harper. Harper is a Twoo Believah, a serious millennialist (one with dead fish eyes and that Deep One pallor). He’s pro-fracking, for instance, because his Bible says we have to ruin the earth before Jesus can cum, or something. I’m not clear on the theology of it, but I’m pretty sure it involves wanking and feeling bad about wanking.

  76. 471

    A small brag… When we decided two years ago to move to the San Bernardino mountains I decided I would get involved in some volunteer work. What I didn’t know then is that the income divide is hugely evident up here. There is the very wealthy north side, and then there is everyone else. We live, metaphorically speaking, way on the other side of the tracks. There is a very large community of older folks, mostly because it is less expensive to live up here than down on the flatlands. I started driving a delivery route for Meals on Wheels about a year ago. The organization differs up here from the national organization in that we only have the ability to serve those with a medical need, not all the needy retirees. In any case, long story short, I just got elected to the Board of Directors and have taken on the responsibility of Coordinator of Volunteers. And if I don’t do the job well, the job won’t get done. I am happy to be doing this. It is something well worth doing.

  77. 472


    He’s pro-fracking, for instance, because his Bible says we have to ruin the earth before Jesus can cum, or something.

    Makes sense, oil is god’s ejaculate, after all (source: Book of Alex 1:1 – yes, that’s how my scripture begins, and it’s all downhill from there).

    Congrats, Biped!?, and very well done! I’m happy that there are people like you in the world 🙂

    Good night, folks. Sleep well.

  78. 473

    Congratulations and well done, Biped!

    Hugs offered to all and sundry. I’ve gotten through another round of Aged Mum grocery shopping this week without, I hope, forgetting anything critical. Now I just need to find time and privacy for the wrapping of the family members’ gifts.

  79. 475


    Thanks .I hope I’ll find something like that. Preferably soon, this is madness.
    (we’re debugging right now. specification for this was apparently written by drunk monkeys and I’m supposed to present it to clients tomorrow… er. today)

    You still moving back with your parents?

  80. 478

    Oh, fer fuck’s sake. I point out that IVF is inherently insulting to adoptees and foster children (it’s an implicit statement that one’s own DNA is more important than living, breathing children) and I get laid into because apparently, adults’ wants are more important than children’s needs, and how dare I try to take away people’s choices even though those choices cause explicit and untold harm to actual, living children!

    Well excuuuuuuse me, Princess, but those children are abso-fucking-lutely entitled to a loving, supportive family and a safe, secure home environment. I’m not going to shove them aside just so some jackass can have a child “of their own” (like it’s thing to be owned instead of a person). Also, the phrase “natural family” needs to be dropped, immediately, as it necessarily implies that adoptive families are unnatural.

    Then I got some other shitsack yelling at me for pointing out that surrogacy contracts are a form of indentured servitude (aka slavery), and are therefore legally unenforceable. She kept coming back with “but they HAVE been enforced,” which is utterly irrelevant as they cannot LEGALLY be enforced, even if some ass-backwards judges have wrongfully said they are. (Case in question involves a surrogate carrying triplets — 2m 1f — and the “parents” are demanding that she abort the girl-fetus. Said “parents” didn’t have any issues with having trips until one was identified as female.)

    But you know, I’m the bad guy for standing up for people’s RIGHTS.

  81. 487

    This morning we had a brunch at the community centre.
    There be left-overs:
    tofu stir-fry
    curry veggy soup
    open your USB
    everyone else, too

  82. 490

    Ghost in the Comment Machine… Coulda sworn I got that last ‘strong’ command right and closed it. Apologies.

    Annoying nitpick:
    When you discover a long lost childhood friend on Facebook but the page ‘isn’t accepting messages’. 🙁

  83. rq

    Well, that is the epitome of anti-climactic. I haven’t been to the dentist in 3 – 4 years (it may be as little as three, but I’m leaning towards four), and I decided it was high time since I’ve been experiencing some increased sensitivity, and a dark patch on one of my teeth. Prepared for the worst, it turns out that all I have is a mild case of receding gums (“getting long in the tooth” indeed) on the premolars adjacent to my incisors, and no cavities whatsoever. One of my sealants has stained in a rather odd fashion, that is all.
    I have to say, I feel slightly disappointed, and at the same time elated that my record of Perfect Teeth continues. Treated myself to a full course of dental hygiene instead – had the money set aside, so why not use it, right??


    re: Trudeau
    Ah, yes. I put that up on Facebook with the rathr facetious byline “This is not acceptable, Prime Minister Trudeau!” and proceeded to get into a discussion with a friend who insisted that Trudeau was merely pointing out that ranking the Baltic nations isn’t a thing, not that they aren’t a thing, and that I was simply reading it wrong. Interpreting it wrong. But then the EU reps from all the Baltic nations made a nice and low-key response, which I can’t access right now because I am at work, and oh hey, I can comment from work again!!!!!!
    Now I’m left wondering how the Book of Alex continues: “[O]il is god’s ejaculate. Jesus loves a good fracking.” … ?



    In any case, long story short, I just got elected to the Board of Directors and have taken on the responsibility of Coordinator of Volunteers.

    Congratulations!!!!!!! You are definitely the right person for the job. 🙂 May the meals keep wheeling on schedule and to the correct locations!!

  84. 492

    Yay biped


    I have to say, I feel slightly disappointed, and at the same time elated that my record of Perfect Teeth continues.

    I hate you.
    Not really. It’s just like I got the worst teeth on earth, thanks to my grandpa’s genes. If I didn’t go to the dentist for 3 years I’d have no teeth left…

    As for your Latvian marital advice:

    “Women’s psyche is also related to their anatomy – as the girl really has nothing between her legs that she can see and touch… the girl must trust her mother that there IS something there.

    That shit makes me angry. It’s probably the same people who insist that girls never actually do touch “what’s down there” because where would we be if they learned how their body can be pleased?

    We’ve been through this before and I’d appreciate if you dropped it here.

    Soft hugs


    Slovenians voted against equal marriage and adoption rights on the referendum this weekend.

    Yeah, the EU, pinnacle of human rights…

  85. rq

    I agree, I read that part and was particularly shocked… like, women and girls spend their lives thinking they’re boys who are missing something? I mean, in some ways, that’s what happens, but exactly because of texts like that, that insist that women’s bodies are not worth the time or the effort for familiarization… that eventually bleeds over into other aspects of life. It’s a cultural situation that refuses to acknowledge the inherent completeness of an AFAB body. And it pisses me off, too. I wonder how the men who wrote that document manage to please their wives, if at all?
    But as for this statement in particular:

    nothing between her legs that she can see and touch

    As it happens, the vulva and clitoris are invisible both in visible light and to nerve endings. Must be some kind of scientific fact that the feminazis have been keeping from everyone.
    Also the rampant cis-hetero gender binary. This comment is probably full to the brim of it, too. But it was glaring within that document even to me. Unfortunately, that is exactly the kind of advice that will satisfy the loud christian community, esp. those members in positions of governmental power.
    And just think! They’re still working out the guidelines on morality that were supposed to be implemented in the summer (due to that law that was passed). For the moment it appears that they’re focussing on things like honesty and diligence; the last update said they haven’t tackled the question of marriage and relationships yet. I cringe in anticipation…

  86. 495


    As it happens, the vulva and clitoris are invisible both in visible light and to nerve endings. Must be some kind of scientific fact that the feminazis have been keeping from everyone.

    Yep. As somebody whose sex ed was really good on the “this is how babies are made and this is how you avoid it” and horrible on everything else, this shit makes me angry. Vulvas and vaginas are just places for dicks to go and if you’re not one of those lucky people who get orgasms with PIV there’s clearly something wrong with you.
    I’m angry about all the orgasms I missed out on because I didn’T know 🙁

    And something nice: JK Rowling shuts down people who complain about black Hermione

  87. 496

    This comments section is acting up again (compare its layout to that of other posts with fewer comments and it’s completely different – seen on both FF and IE). However, when I open a specific comment on this thread in another tab or window the layout returns to normal. Curiouser and curiouser.

    *hugs* to chigau.
    We have some bugs here that may prevent you from viewing the comment that you’ve just made unless you do a hard-reload. Just don’t worry – if it says that the comment was posted, it probably did.
    Also, thanks for the USB goodies *nomnomnom*

    Women’s psyche is also related to their anatomy – as the girl really has nothing between her legs that she can see and touch… the girl must trust her mother that there IS something there.

    That’s fucking sickening. It was sickening before Freud said that, it was sickening when Freud said that and it’s even more sickening now. How do those people even keep their jobs?


    I point out that IVF is inherently insulting to adoptees and foster children

    (with apologies to Giliell)
    This like saying that fat-free diets are inherently insulting to starving children or that any apartment that is larger than a prison cell is inherently insulting to homeless people. You’re engaging in victim Olympics. The existence of a greater suffering doesn’t negate other types of suffering, and yes – not being able to succeed in a basic biologic function that exists even in bacteria is a form of suffering for consenting adults who seek that kind of fulfillment. And just like it’s unfair to be angry at someone who may or may not have a spare square meter in their home while there are homeless people in the world, it’s unfair to be angry at couples who seek IVF.


    I can comment from work again

    All glory to the Wizard!

    Now I’m left wondering how the Book of Alex continues: “[O]il is god’s ejaculate. Jesus loves a good fracking.” …

    “…and some good pumping after a hard drilling.” I see you know your scripture well, young acolyte. Let us end this with a prayer from the Book of Alex:
    Orgy-porgy, Divine One
    Sell the Oil before it’s gone
    Trading Stocks and charging Fees
    Greasy Barrels bring Release

    By the way, try googling do a barrel roll, zerg rush, or google image search for atari breakout. (I know it’s old news, but it always makes me smile)


    Yeah, the EU, pinnacle of human rights…

    The saddest part is that it’s often relatively true 🙁


    You still moving back with your parents?

    Thanks for asking! I’ve finished moving recently (maybe that’s why The Shoop keeps forgetting my details?) and I’ve even found a job. All good right? Nope. The new job pays the barest minimum the law allows and the hours can be long. So long hours times min. pay equals reasonable salary? Yes, except that I have chronic back pains (which aren’t recognized by the army, so I have trouble reporting to work HR), which means I need to gorge myself on painkillers to get by. At least the work is only 20 min. bus drive from home, so it’s not all bad.
    The apartment is really nice (my mother bought and renovated it) and I get along well with my mother. Even my cat is shitting around less – he still does it, but he usually manages to get to the vicinity of his litter box now (BTW, removing the top part of the closed litter box was a good idea – I think he getting afraid of the closed space for some reason).
    The only problem is my father who sits at home all day and demands to be fed. He’s literally willing to starve to death than move a finger to help around the house.

    Anyway, let’s close this night with prayer:
    Orgy-porgy, Divine One…

  88. 500

    If there was a test, I’ll just say that I’ve been tweeting along with the best Holiday movie ever — Die Hard (watching on DVD). It just barely beat out the second place movie — Lethal Weapon — this year.

  89. rq

    Orgy-porgy, Divine One
    Sell the Oil before it’s gone
    Trading Stocks and charging Fees
    Greasy Barrels bring Release.

    There, now I’ve done my daily duty.

    I’ve never understood why Die Hard 2 is so much more popular than Die Hard. Personally, I think Die Hard is the only ultimate holiday action movie ever. Alan Rickman completes it, adds just the right festive touch!

  90. rq

    Wonderful. It looks as if we are on the brink of an outbreak of whooping cough at work (two women in the fifth floor chemistry department so far – one confirmed, one potential case). Thankfully, we are down in the courtyard, so here’s hoping that distance and vaccines will do their thing. And that it’s only the two cases. But considering the general anti-vaxish environment, I’m not taking any bets. 🙁

  91. 503

    Whooping cough is not nice. I hope you avoid it rq .

    All our Christmas concerts are over now. Sadly my daughter was scared of me when I was painted green. Other than that the Kid’s concerts were fun.

  92. 505

    Stay healthy, rq.

    It’s raining here, been raining since about 9 PM last night. I drove across town, which was interesting, but since I was neither involved in nor caused any accidents, I call it a win. Husband gets to drive the family expedition later this morning, though.

  93. 506

    I know not this Die Hard 2 movie that you speak of.
    As rq can probably guess , Die Hard is the better one of the two for me and one of the best Christmas movies ever.

    My father at least is willing to cook, even if he spends the rest of the day in bed complaining how bored he is.
    I hope your work situation improves. I can’t imagine how difficult it is to work long hours while in significant pain.

    Best wishes to your and colleagues so that you don’t catch whopping cough.

    Everyone was arranging days off/vacation days today, spread out the next couple of weeks. (so my work isn’t a slave pit. They play at being libertarian, I think. We don’t actually always have payed overtime, but we do get some money or days off when boss people decide we should. I think libertarians would approve – who needs worker rights when your boss is fair and gives you days off when you deserve them… yeah, that’s nice except that you don’t get nearly as much as you actually work and boss people are capricious)
    Anyway, I arranged everything with First Boss. I get to connect everything with holidays nicely so that I get maximum number of days while spending minimum number of vacation days.
    He approves.
    But then comes this colleagues who pretends she’s my boss and suddenly my arrangement is inconvenient.

    I got pissed off and wrote First Boss an email asking him to please confirm whether I can go to vacation as we already arranged, that I made sure I respected all the limitations he gave (some of us can’t take days off at the same time because of our similar responsibilities) but after everything was declared fine (by him) suddenly Colleague has objections.
    I also wrote that I’m really annoyed that there are always some problems with my vacation after he already confirms it.

    Too rude?

  94. 507

    Just because it’s on the tip of my tongue but I can’t say it because it would probably get me into some deep shit with boss people:

    If I’m that indispensable, we should arrange a pay rise.

    Too bad I can’t say that to First Boss or someone above.

  95. 508

    We got back from the family art supply store expedition, just in time to catch a call from my surgeon’s office – he won’t be there on the day scheduled for my surgery, we need to reschedule. The damnèd Gallbother will be getting what it deserves on Tuesday the 5th.

    So now, instead of having almost a week after the holidays to prepare, I have basically the post-New Year’s weekend and the Monday. Better early than later, I guess. Gah.

  96. 509

    Hugs to all, Anne, Beatrice, rq and everyone else! You get a hug and you get a hug and you get a hug… everyone gets a hug!


    I can’t imagine how difficult it is to work long hours while in significant pain.

    Painkillers make a huge difference. They don’t eliminate the pain, but they make it manageable. Seriously, everyone here (and I know there are others like me here) who had to take Percocet knows what a difference it can make.

    Too rude?

    Not at all.
    A. Colleague is trying to screw you over on purpose. Be it jealousy or entitlement or whatever, it doesn’t matter. If you give an inch to people like that, they’ll take a mile.
    B. Colleague is undermining First Boss. Boss might not mind, but it’s something worth pointing out, because it shows a clear lack of thought or even disregard to Boss’ decision.

    Try to impress upon the Boss that you’re getting mixed signals and are confused as to who’s schedule you should follow now and in the future – the one authorized by Boss or the one insisted upon by Colleague.

    I liked Die Hard 1 and 3 better than 2nd, but I enjoyed 2nd as well. I also enjoyed Ghostbusters 2, The Addams Family 1&2 and Hudson Hawk.
    May the hate mail begin 😉

  97. rq

    I only mentioned Die Hard 2 because it seems to pop up on local TV around christmastime. Like a spontaneous generation or something, it’s really weird. I doubt it has any actual relation to Die Hard or Die Hard 3, though. Probably a hallucination brought upon by too many spices in my gingerbread and/or mulled wine/cider.

    Yesterday I was in the worst mood ever: I was the Ghost of the Christmas NO PRESENTS. (The kids were behaving, I was succumbing to mental exhaustion, so Husband told me I’m not allowed to do any baking last night, considering I fell asleep on the couch right after dinner.)
    Better today, and I am reassured by the thought that it will all soon be over.


    I think your wording is just fine, and I only hope that First Boss listens to you and keeps to his word, considering xe already agreed to everything. Good luck with actually getting your holiday!

  98. 512

    Good morning
    I think I might make it to christmas and if I manage that I’ll make it through as well

    Urgh. Fuck meddling colleagues

    And double fuck whomping cough. Why, why, WHY is that still a thing. But routine vaccination for adults only became a thing here two years or so ago. And only in combination with the tetanus/diphteria shot. Which I got 4 years ago… Now I simply hope that I still have immunity from having had it as a child …

    OK, I just almost fell out of the chair laughing. Kids are watching TV, some series with some cure alien and the makers recreated the 2001 opening scene with the black slate, complete with music. The kids thought I was going more crazy than usually…

  99. 513

    Finally got around to watching the movie Last Holiday (Queen Latifah). Fluffy fun ! [And post-Katrina New Orleans location scenes plus some subtle digs at pre/post- Katrina politics.] Despite the gratuitous church-y aspects in the beginning I liked the part at the end where she looks up at the sky saying’ “..You so WRONG, why you gonna do me like that ?”.

  100. 514

    “… routine vaccination for adults only became a thing here two years or so ago.”

    Until relatively recently I never thought about adult vaccinations either. I have a doctor’s appointment at the end of the month. I intend to ask her about this, especially since I HAVE NO IDEA when I was last vaccinated against anything other than a series of job related hepatitis shots or pertussis boosters.

  101. 515

    Pardon for screaming but I just refreshed my FB page.

    Nothing like finding a post from a ‘friend’ (first thing in the morning) … with Uncle Sam on his knees, hands clasped, looking up adoringly to Jesus on the cross…. to make ME wanna scream ! [Ugh!]

  102. 517

    I won’t bore you with my work with another long post so soon, but just an update about that vacation conundrum:

    We changed the dates a bit, but I also got an extra day off so I’m not complaining. Standing up for yourself can actually get you something occasionally? Huh, I should try it more often

  103. rq

    Hey bragimike I hope you have a good rest and plenty of happy times with your family and no illnesses for anyone! hope to read more of you in the next year!!! *hugs*

  104. 520

    I can’t imagine the jetlag your son will have if he’s flying to Melbourne from far away.

    Happy Holidays!
    See you in 2016.

  105. 521

    My mother has been visiting here with me at the house for the last 5 days. A few days ago, she abruptly asked me a question that she’d never inquired about before. We were standing in the kitchen, drinking wine, and she asked me how I “take care of things”. I didn’t initially know what she was talking about-though I had my suspicions-so I asked her to elaborate. She said that she knew I hadn’t been involved with anyone, and that since I was (in her eyes) a “healthy, homosexual male”, that I probably had sexual urges that needed satisfying. I was slightly taken aback bc this has *never* been something I’ve discussed with my mother (or father). Hell, I never got any conversation on “the birds and the bees”. My dumbfoundment didn’t last long and I simply responded with “I take matters into my own hands”. I’m still not sure where the question came from, as it wasn’t related to anything we’d previously discussed. I guess she was just curious (and admittedly, she said she would understand if I didn’t want to give an answer).

  106. 522

    Happy Mōdraniht to all!
    The Speakeasy is back to normal for me again (had to do another hard refresh), which is a good sign of things to come.

    Nick Gotts

    2am is probably not the ideal time to arrive on a new continent!

    Usually not, but today can be an exception 🙂


    I was (in her eyes) a “healthy, homosexual male”

    Awkward questions aside, it’s great that you’re out to your mom and she accepts you. Did you manage to convince your aunt to let you bring your pets?


    We changed the dates a bit, but I also got an extra day off so I’m not complaining.


    Happy holidays 😉
    See you next year.

    At least you’re feeling better today?


    Last Holiday

    Fluffy fun indeed. It’s not the best comedy I saw, but it’s very nice, fairly inoffensive (apart for some moments that you’ve mentioned) and Queen Latifah gives a superb performance. It was the first time I saw her on screen (I didn’t see Chicago till later) and it was a very good outing.

    Re: vaccines
    I had my first flu vaccine last week (my healthcare provider decided to make vaccines available to all age groups without the need to schedule an appointment or payment – very convenient) and I intend to get (time permitting) a pneumococcal vaccine next week, which will also be my first.

  107. 524

    It was the night before christmas and all around the house
    I was very busy and so was my spouse…

    Today is the Big Day in Germany, so last night I had to wrap the gifts.
    We’ll put up the tree and have raclette and I might even get a gift I didn’t buy myself.

    Wishing you all very happy holidays

    *Off to baking tiny servings of red velvet cake in tiny glasses for tomorrow’s dessert*

    I know it’s awkward, but I also find it incredibly sweet of your mum. She obviously cares very much about all aspects of your wellbeing.

  108. 526

    I love it!!!

    So I was reading today’s SMBC and decide to google nuetronium. I got some moronic video by ThunderF00t as 4th result.
    This is why I hate atheist assholes more than religious assholes – if I don’t want to hear about the latter I just avoid them, but the former keep oozing into view whether I want to or not.

  109. rq

    Can I spike my mulled wine with some rum? It’s not that I’m having a bad time. It’s just that everyone (besides the immediate family) I would like to be with has over-posted all over the FB about going home, and this year in particular that is particularly inadvertently hurtful.
    Plus there’s no snow. But then, there’s no snow (and even warmer temperatures!) in Canada either.

    Anyway. A happy midwinter solstice to everyone – echoing chigau,
    mulled wine!
    bacon rolls!
    dragging a log!
    great grey Latvian peas with bacon and onions!

    … And for the life of me I can never remember if it’s midwinter where you’re supposed to toss a pig’s head over the house for good luck. So we’ll skip that one, out of respect for the pig.

  110. 534


    Now I’m imagining all the times the pig’s head ended up on the roof, thanks to either weak aim or too much mulled wine.
    Speaking of mulled wine, I should make some after lunch.

  111. 535

    There was supposedly a terrorist attack planned for New Year’s Eve in Sarajevo. Wannabe attackers were arrested, but the bombs haven’t been found yet.

  112. 537

    Merry Xmas all!

    I was thinking the same thing, but decided not to say anything, lest I arouse the suspicion of pseudo-chigau.

    I hear the new Croatian PM is a former employee of Teva . Israel’s government hopes that he’ll be pro-settlers and refuses to boycott or even mark settler products.

  113. 538


    Oh great, and I thought that newspaper-comment-section dwellers accusing him of being an “American-Israeli puppet” was just internet paranoia and usual antisemitism.

    I can’t really comment on the current political situation here (but I will moan about it a bit anyway). I ignored most of it since the elections – it’s been a circus and I doubt that will change. We’re entering a dark period again, I’m afraid; of more privatization, more sellign off of our land and resources, more conservative positions regarding human rights… I’m pessimistic.

  114. 539

    Popping in to say happy holidays, everyone. 🙂

    Today went well for us. Yesterday it was looking to not – finally took Child 1 to the doctor after him being sluggish for 3 weeks and found out the reason is because he has mono, and then I had a doozy of a gallbladder attack (second one this week, but before that had been fine since August). But I cleared up, and he’s doing ok, and Spouse’s Christmas buying for the kids that I thought was overbuying of course turned out to be just about right. He got a “nanodrone” doodad for Child 1 that I thought was utterly ridiculous, and of course Child 1 liked that most of all. (To counter, I had gotten Child 2 a Mario toy that Spouse thought was silly, that of course Child 2 liked immensely.) We didn’t get each other “real” gifts because we’re saving up for house insulation, but he did get me a tiny Star Wars Rey figurine (there are no larger ones to be found, figures,) and I got him a cookbook at the cheap discount store.

    Haven’t talked to the family yet. Spouse traditionally calls his parents in the evening. I usually talk to mine in the morning, but I called yesterday for something and was told in that nice midwestern roundabout way not to call them, they’d call us (I kind of called too early last year), and they haven’t called yet. I hope they’re not miffed – part of what I got them for Christmas was sort of a gag gift.

    Anyway, sorry for not being around more, and I hope everyone has at least a couple of hours of peace and calm.

    *on mulled wine – I’ve never been much of a wine drinker, but the first time I had mulled wine I was all OMG AMAZING HAPPY DRINK.

  115. 540

    Happy Holly Day, Shoople!

    We mounted a family expedition to Aged Mum’s for luncheon. The traffic going from the OC to Altadena was lovely and clear. Coming back however… All the freeways heading east to the Inland Empire were stop-and-go. I don’t know why all those people were driving to San Bernardino on Christmas afternoon, but there certainly were a lot of them.

    Elder Daughter added a new bird to her life list – she spotted a pair of red-whiskered bulbuls on Mum’s block. They’re invasive aviary escapees, and apparently there is quite a population in LA county.

  116. 541

    carlie, gentle hugs and deepest sympathy on your misbehaving Gallbother. Mine will be getting its comeuppance, or should that be comeoutance? Anyway, it’ll be leaving in a couple weeks. I hope Child 1 is feeling better.

  117. 542


    newspaper-comment-section dwellers accusing him of being an “American-Israeli puppet” was just internet paranoia and usual antisemitism.

    Oh, it is. Teva is a multi-billion dollar company. Companies don’t care that much for this kind of politics – their business is business, and Teva is likely one of the least patriotic countries on the planet, seeing how they’ve recently paid a 0.4% total tax. And even if it did want to control Oreskovic it could have any leverage against a country’s PM.
    I simply find it amusing that “internet paranoia and usual antisemitism” is almost indistinguishable of Israeli paranoia and ubersemitism. Mind you, I don’t who in Israel’s government said that to the paper (the credit went to “policy makers in Jerusalem”), but given that most Israelis wouldn’t be able to find Croatia with a map, and given that our PM is also our minister of foreign affairs and is a complete looney toon to boot, I wouldn’t be surprised if that analysis came from Bibi himself or his spokesman.
    BTW, the article also praised Tomislav Karamarko as a pro-Israeli politician.

    Oh, and I share your pessimism. That’s the same shit world-over.

    *hugs* regarding your gallbladder attacks.

  118. 543

    Merry Xmas.friends. We are home, we’ve done the family thing and the thing with friends… and I am sad. Can’t really verbalize what it is that saddens me this evening, I just feel empty. Enough. To bed. Sleep well everyone.

  119. 544

    Happy Holidays for everyone. No snow here, Xmas Eve was sunny, Xmas day rainy and now the Staffan/Tapani/Steve storm wind (or the eastern margin of it) is blowing.

    I had the pleasure of seeing the dawn on the Xmas Eve over the calm waters of the Gulf of Finland when I was quietly swimming in the cool waters of the same Gulf. The sky was gold-coloured and the gold reflected to the sea. After looking at the scenery from a loon’s perspective for a while, my hands and feet started to feel too cold and I climbed out of the sea and went back to the sauna, just to come back a few times.

  120. rq

    Happy second christmas and continuing holidays. We’re in for a sharp drop in temperatures as of tomorrow, with perhaps some snow to go with it. Does this mean winter can finally begin? Who knows, but the giant sledding construction in our backyard is starting to look rather silly.

    *hugs* and *higs* to everyone and EVERYONE and everyone, too.

  121. 546

    Good morning, we’re also in for another sunny day, if a bit colder.

    I’m preparing French salad. Mum and I will go for a walk after lunch and then I’ll continue reading War with the Newts.
    It’s peaceful.

    nut roll!
    mulled wine!

  122. 547

    *hugs* all round. I suspect my gallbladder is getting into the action alongside the ulcer, my stomach is a mass of bile lately. Pretty ‘rupt, best holiday wishes to all.

  123. 548

    I hope you all survived the holidays.
    I think this will be on official records as the Christmas of Lego. Not that anybody minded, least the kids. The Lego Friends series have imensely improved, so there’s now a gas station and a hot air ballon and so on.
    But it also meant that it’s high time to phase out some stuff like the big Duplo blocks and the Playmobil stuff. Protest was raised. I offered them they could keep them, only that in that case I’d have to pack away the Lego. 🙂
    Worked well!

  124. rq

    I can’t wait to get out of here.
    Not that they’re all bad people, mind. But there’s this low-level background envy towards the rich, esp. those who got rich via questionable means, in the ‘why can’t we be that way’ way, plus the tacit (though openly ridiculed) idea that it is valid to court the good graces of these people by sacrificing family time on christmas day (to the emotional detriment of the wives and kids, pfffft, it’s for the good of the family, right)… I dunno. I suppose it’s all a valid point of view but something about the underlying dissatisfaction at and devaluation of one’s own accomplishments by comparison, and the inherent blaming of others, is just getting on my nerves.

  125. rq

    And also I’m feeling especially whiny this year for midwinter, and it seriously feels like I’m just barely coping (honestly, who wouldn’t rather stay curled up in bed and cry for no reason? SHOW OF HANDS!), but I’m relieved that the most social aspects are nearly done with. Too much people everywhere. Too much ‘go and be nice to them they’re MY family and I don’t want them looking at us funny because you’re acting strange’ (though this sentiment has become less explicit, it is still there). I just want things to be over.

  126. rq

    Monsters during the midwinter season.
    However, they got the dates wrong (haha): here, monster season, which resembles Halloween trick-or-treating but with scarier dress-up, lasts all the way until mid-February. And it starts in early November. After all, what else are you going to do during the long winter period? Visit the neighbours in freaky dress and dance for your food, of course! (I did mention, I think, that Eldest’s class’ christmas event featured Death, didn’t I…?)
    And yes, we are now home. And I am much relieved.

    *hugs* and *higs* for all!

  127. 556

    *hugs* to all

    My pains are getting worse and worse (last night I could only sleep 3 hours before the pain woke me up) and tomorrow I’ll have to stay extra long at work. Currently I have about 600mg of painkillers in me.
    The worst part is that I have to keep all of this a secret and keep smiling like nothing happens. You’re the only people I can tell anything.

  128. 562

    So. Speakeas-iers …Er… Speakeasy-ites?.. [Has the phraseology been worked out yet ?]

    Advice sought….

    I’m reading that as of 1/1/16 EVERYONE IN TEXAS (with few exceptions) will be allowed to ‘open carry’.
    1) If this is a misinterpretation I would LOVE to have the citation (s) necessary to counter the claim .
    2) I (being a snark/satire fan) would also love any witty comebacks/ irony meter busters/ points of contention to ponder that you might have to share.

    *hugs to all*

  129. 563

    Tornadoes Saturday (though not locally), RAIN Sunday and…. it’s Monday morning and it’s snowing !
    Ooooooo… pretty !!! but…. well, l guess I better go check weather.com for the forecast for my drive in to work tonight. 🙁

  130. 564

    I hope you’re all safe and dry
    I think my sister is trying to establish a new christmas tradition: Every other year at least she buys me something that smells like a meadow of spring flowers. only when I use the product it smells like that old lady who bought a bottle of cheap cologne 5 years ago and who used a liberal amount of it just today. Funny enough, I can buy smells for her (though that’s easy: just buy the one with the most vanilla)

    *gentle hugs* for Alexander

    I cut back on that family stuff some years ago. Christmas eve, the BIG DAY in Germany we stay AT HOME. NO GUESTS. Some years ago I tried to do right by everybody and it was a catastrophe (especially with my mother always being offended by the fact that we’d see people besides her as well). Nowadays we spend 1st day with mr’s extended family* and go visit my parents the second and if they don’t like that they can step on a Lego.

    Mr’s father’s siblings, partners and whatever family of the partner of the sibling who’s hosting it. Mr’s youngest uncle and especially his wife don’t care about these get togethers*. They never host them and they always come up with a plethora of excuses why they’re soooo sorry but they can’t attend. And every time everybody is disappointed and/or pities them for not being able to attend. It is a remarkable display of social ritual, communal lying and delusion and dishonesty.
    *Which is perfectly OK. I like them, so I enjoy myself, but I’m also of the firm opinion that if you don’t enjoy yourself you should be able to stay at home and have a nice day your way.

  131. rq

    It’s not a matter of trying to satisfy everyone. There’s only one correct place where we should be, and that’s spending at least several days out in the country, because that’s where Husband’s family congregates. And then we sit there for several days, surrounded by the same people, maaaaaybe making a trip to the nearest city to see Husband’s Uncle’s daughters perform in the christmas concert. But it’s all the people, all of the time, all with the same background tension that is usually due to Husband’s Father’s alcoholism, but this year Husband’s Uncle was also called away to go hunting (more a social affair than anything) on the other side of the country on christmas day with a crowd of business contacts, most of whom have acquired millions by rather shady means, and this is the company that he wants to keep. It just all seems so stupid and so boring. But it’s tradition.
    Husband usually wants to spend New Year’s the same way. The only way to avoid these things is to be sick or have one of the kids be sick. Then we stay home.

  132. rq

    *hugs* AlexanderZ – from the gentle end of the spectrum. I wish I could help you out somehow.


    In completely different news, we might be getting a dog. O.o

  133. 567

    Sounds to me like a very bad place to spend all that time 🙁
    Good luck with the dog. I’m afraid we’Re going to stay pet free. I’m personally toying with the idea of a reptile once we get a house. A dog is too much work, especially when you think about holidays, a cat would kill me.

  134. rq

    We’ve been thinking more seriously about getting a dog pretty much since we got a house, and just this past weekend we got news of a rescue pup of the appropriate potential adult size and breed that might be available for us. Now it’s a matter of deciding whether this really is the right time (I know the kids would love a dog to death, esp. Middle Child, he’s a domesticated-animal-whisperer extraordinaire), or do we keep the idea on hold until the next opportunity.
    I realize getting a dog isn’t like getting a new toy, there’s a huge amount of hassle, training and attention involved, but it’s a super-cute puppy (90% that it’s half Australian shepherd, most likely mixed with black lab, though there’s a good chance she’s got some border collie in her, too) and we might just take the leap. And no, no carting her off to the country if things don’t work out (though she will have to get used to travelling, since we can’t leave her at home under the supervision of the cats for weekends at a time).
    Speaking of cats, OriginalCat just may never ever speak to us again (except when necessary to be let in/outside or to tell us that the food bowl is nearing emptiness) if we get a dog, but that’s a sacrifice we’ll have to accept.

  135. 571

    90% that it’s half Australian shepherd, most likely mixed with black lab, though there’s a good chance she’s got some border collie in her, too)

    Awww. Our friends have an Australian shepherd/border collie mix and that’s the greatest dog I know. They trained him well from the start, so even as an unneutered male he’s much better behaved than most other dogs I know.
    Warning: shepherds like to herd. Which is great with kids as they can play “tag” until all of them collaps in a snuggly heap from exhaustion, but the untrained and under-worked shepherd also herds randomn cyclists and pedestrians 😉
    And you have the perfect reason to stay at home over New Year!

  136. rq

    Warning: shepherds like to herd.

    I know this one. Had an Australian shepherd in Canada. Never take those dogs biking. Even when well-trained, at speed, she insisted on herding everyone’s bikes closer – no, closer! CLOSER!!! I SAID CLOSER!!!!! – to the edge of the road until it was practically impossible to pedal forward, she was just about tangled up in the bike chain. Sweetest dog ever, though. And an all-weather-condition dog. She never liked living inside, though the door was certainly open to her – only very severe thunderstorms could get her inside for any length of time. -30 degrees and a blizzard? She was sitting out on her old tree stump perch in the middle of the yard looking like a rather self-satisfied lump of wool, completely unbothered. She lost more than half her weight in fur during the summer, though, turning all shiny and sleek.
    The plan is to train her (well, any dog that joins the family, really) from the start, to avoid difficulties in the future. I don’t really get the feeling that any dog in our household will be underworked. 😉

  137. 573


    I am using the articles and videos from here to train Beckett. It was kind of amazing how fast she learned Touch, Sit, Down, and picked up Leave It (although we’re only at Stage Two – treat in my hand. On the floor is hit or miss so far). Still need to start on Stay, and we’ve done a little bit of Recall (Come!). Might also need to start looking up how to curb jumping up on people, but that might just be a 7 month old puppy thing that requires more repetition.

    I hope everything works out for you.

  138. 576

    It is my very carefully considered opinion that dogs are the best people. I’ve lived with and loved them in varying size and kind all my life.

  139. 577

    Hulk Smash!
    The grand jury is most likely not going to indict the officers involved in Tamir Rice’s murder:

    After more than a year of investigation, a Cleveland grand jury declined to bring charges against either of the two police officers involved in the November 2014 shooting of Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old boy who was playing with a toy weapon in a park.

    Cuyahoga County prosecutor Timothy J. McGinty announced the decision Monday afternoon, adding that he did not recommend that grand jury bringing charges and that he believes both of the Cleveland police officers involved were reasonable in their belief that Rice had a real weapon.

    “The outcome will not cheer anyone, nor should it,” said McGinty, who called the shooting a “perfect storm of human error.”

    Reasonable belief???!!!
    They shot him within two seconds of arriving. They didn’t have time to assess the situation. They didn’t administer CPR. They wouldn’t let his sister near him. And this piece of shit says they had has sufficient reason to believe Rice had a weapon?!

  140. 578

    rq, I hope the new pup works out, and everybody has a happy home.

    A friend who used to work in collie rescue had stories about border collies – they have to have work to do, so they’ll herd children or other pets, or even furniture. She adopted a border collie mix, but she just couldn’t keep the poor dog busy. She found an actual sheep farm for him. Her current dog is a sweet old girl, a collie shelty mix.

    I’ve always thought that if we had to get a dog, it’d be a collie – they have the closest to a cat personality of any dog I’ve met.

  141. 580

    Thanks, gang!

    Stay safe, Texans!


    Husband’s Uncle was also called away to go hunting (more a social affair than anything) on the other side of the country on christmas day with a crowd of business contacts, most of whom have acquired millions by rather shady means, and this is the company that he wants to keep.

    To be honest that’s also the company that I’d like to keep. Especially on a hunting trip. A lot can happen on a hunting trip.


    Cuyahoga County prosecutor Timothy J. McGinty announced the decision Monday afternoon, adding that he did not recommend that grand jury bringing charges and that he believes both of the Cleveland police officers involved were reasonable in their belief that Rice had a real weapon.

    So the guy responsible for the prosecution acts like their de facto lawyer?
    Why am I not surprised? I bet the majority doesn’t see anything wrong here either. No institutional racism, no legalization of murder, nothing.

  142. rq

    I’m getting the feeling there are not many ifs left about getting that dog

    Why, whatever do you mean, Beatrice? 🙂


    A lot can happen on a hunting trip.

    Truer words have rarely been spoken.

    re: Tamir Rice
    My supply of words to express the unsurprised outrage has absconded. 12-year-old kid, fer fucks’ sake. Holy shit.

    So what you’re saying is that three kids may not be enough to keep the dog busy. Hmm. Well, there’s always chicken husbandry! 😉
    Also, *fluffy hugs* for you!

  143. 583

    I’m glad you know about the herding. Too many kids get shepherds cause they’re cute and then cannot cope with the fact that these dogs need WORK

    Always remember the most important rule of getting a puppy: taking lots of pictures for your puppy deprived friends.


    re: Tamir Rice
    My supply of words to express the unsurprised outrage has absconded. 12-year-old kid, fer fucks’ sake. Holy shit.


  144. rq

    Always remember the most important rule of getting a puppy: taking lots of pictures for your puppy deprived friends.

    Can’t imagine what you mean. What’s a picture?

  145. 585

    I didn’t even know this shit was happening:
    Our Constitutional court is set to discuss whether the law from 1978, permitting abortion, is constitutional.
    What the actual fuck? Women in my country could be denied abortion and I hear about this only now?! It should be all over the papers.

    And then some racist fuckers want me to be afraid of Syrian refugees, to be afraid of Muslims. It’s not Muslims who created the climate and organizations that are pushing our Constitutional court into this.

  146. 586

    Oh, and considering an anti-abortionist doctor has just been declared the president of the Croatian Parliament, I feel like I could cry just about now.

    .. it’s not paranoia when they really are after your rights.

  147. 587

    re: Constitutional court
    Apparently, the question about abortion has been sitting in their Inbox since 1991, and they have finally decided to put it on their schedule.

    If only I could be sure they did that in order to dismiss it once and for all.

  148. 589

    Probable next minister of health:
    – that life starts at conception is a medical fact
    – that abortion ends a human life is a fact
    – of course, we can’t make abortion illegal (he sounded kinda sorry about that), BUT we can’t keep implementing a law made by a totalitarian regime (communists, communists *horror*). We need to improve (?!) it in order to help women (?!) AND that new life
    – he BRAGS about discouraging 1/3 of women that came to him about having an abortion, when he was still practicing

    I hate everything like now.

    Well, I am kinda proud of my dad who said that the new president of the parliament (another anti-abortionist) is a disgrace who is trying to take us back to the time when church could say what a woman could do with herself.

  149. 590

    Yep, an area where women lost serious ground when the GDR ceased to exist in Germany. There they had a 12 weeks from conception right to an abortion (and paid). Now we may get one after counselling that is illegal but will kindly not be prosecuted…

    OK, I’m watching Swowhite and the huntsmen
    Spoilers ahead
    -Bechdel test: Thankfully the villain is a woman. Therefore the princess and the soon to be victimised young woman tak about her.
    -Then I was delighted about a Swowhite who kicks butt. Swims in the sea, rides a horse, attacs the evil brother. And becomes a damsel in distress as soon as the Man turns up.
    -Now another Man is out to save her
    -She tames the supernatural beast with her goodness and disobeys the Man. Kinda ok.
    -Oh, another woman! Maybe she’ll get a name? It’s all OK, their men have all gone. Women are allowed to be strong then, right?
    -The Man has saved her. She was actually fending well for herself before that…
    -The dwarves have arrived
    -Prophecy time!
    To be contuinued

  150. 591

    -MAgpies are good. I like that
    -Magic beasties. And elves. And a tortoise. I’m easly impressed!
    -She’S the Chosen One. I don’t know if the dialogues are that bad in the OV, but they’re cheesy stockphrases in German
    -She threw the Other Man off his horse. Good young lady!
    -Refrigerated wife of the Man. Revealed just in time to give him extra strength for revenge!
    -Noble sacrifice of one of the dawrves. I feel I’m playing Trope Bingo
    -heartfelt apology on behalf oth Other man for leaving her as a child. Accepted. Seriously, who’s writing those dialogues?
    -A fire burns in her. The Other Man thought of her every. single. day. The Man tells hin to tell her how he feels.
    -At least she kisses him first. Baby steps.
    -Poisoned apple! By the Other Man! No, the Queen who looks like the Other Man!
    -The Men come to the rescue!
    -The Kiss! BUt she still looks quite dead to me…
    -prettily dead, which is not the same as pretty dead…
    -THe Man is heartbroken. Again. His wife saved him from himself, but when she was dead he really couldn’t do any better, he needed another woman to save him.
    -The Kiss, the Kiss! THis one works!
    -“You need rest!”
    -Inspirational speech! “I can kill her!” Good kid.”Who wants to be my brother?” Sisters need not apply…
    -Serious Jeanne D’Arc vibes
    -Now LotR vibes.
    -She looks hot in armour! The Man says so
    -I am impressed by the serious fighting skills you learn while being raised in isolation in the dungeons. Except for “hide your hair”. That lesson was not covered. Thankfully nobody learned “grab the hair” either.
    -Nasty, nasty, evil Queen!
    -at this precise and deciding moment a kid shows up and demands attention
    -The Queen is aflame! And gets a dagger in her side.
    -Good triumphs!And they simply couldn’t forego the rapid aging shot
    -Mirro, mirror…
    -Now I get a warning that this contains product placements. WTF? Ravenwood armory?
    -But she gets to be Queen, not just married off. No resolution of the wannabe love triangle. I like that.
    -The Man has sad eyes.
    -The End

  151. rq

    And for the record, there are no more ifs about the puppy. Pictures to follow as soon as I can get the damn wagging thing to sit still for a nice portrait shot. 🙂

  152. 593



    Probably inevitable once you allowed the kids to see the puppy.


    So I’m now into the third movie of my Birthday Marvel Movie Marathon – Thor. True, birthday is not until tomorrow (here in US East), but there are now 12 movies, each longer than 2 hours.

  153. 595

    Giliell, have you seen Ever After? Cinderella rescues the charming prince from bandits, and that’s just the start. That was a good year for girls – we got Ever After, Mulan, and, I think, the live-people Madeline.

    rq, congratulations on the new addition to the family!

    So I had my pre-op consult this morning. One thing that was clear is that there’s no way I’ll want to leave the house, let alone proximity to my own bathroom, the day after my surgery. This afternoon we got a notice from our power company that they will be turning off electricity in our neighborhood for a full day. The day after my surgery. So, no internet, no TV, no heat, gas only if we light the stove burner with a match, and me not able to travel, especially away from a bathroom. For a whole day. Gah.

    Younger Daughter has a dentist appointment in the morning. I’m thinking of telling the family to go hang out at Starbucks or go to a movie or something. I’ll make a pile of blankets and try to sleep all day. I really don’t know what else to do.

  154. 596

    Charming and patient hubby and I are celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary today. And nobody thought it would last. It has, it will.

    Everyone, be as well as you can be. I’m leaving a huge pile of assorted hugs. Help yourself.

  155. 597

    Congrats, biped!

    And Wizard — I don’t know how much control you have over the email notifications that go out, but the links in them don’t seem to get me to the latest comment no matter which link I click.

    Also, I am never remembered and have to enter my name, email and website every time. This seems to be since the changeover, but since I post infrequently, I can’t be sure.

  156. 599

    Hi again. Earthquakes are “fun”. We had a 4.3 magnitude at 5km depth, epicenter is Devore, not far from here. Then a series of aftershocks of decreasing magnitude. No damage or injuries that I know of up here on the mountain. Be well, friends.

  157. rq

    Stay safe, Californians!!

    Congratulations to Biped!?, yay for proving people wrong!!

    Good luck, Anne. Murphy is a terrible law-giver.
    Also what I like about Ever After is that she rescues herself at the very end, leaving the prince looking rather silly and confused.

    Love the flowers, carlie!

    And a pre-emptive happy birthday to you, barkeeperin!
    PS I am also not remembered by the system and sometimes comments still appear and disappear, but that’s small potatoes compared to not being able to comment at all. 🙂

  158. 603

    Happy anniversary, Biped and happy birthday barkeeperin!

    I had plans for New Year’s Eve, but now I feel so shitty I’m thinking about canceling them. Apparently, I can only do vacation time if I can keep myself busy with something, otherwise I get really lethargic, sad and unsociable.

  159. 604

    Congratulations, Biped and Spouse

    And yay for puppy, rq

    And cute puppy, Barkeeperin

    I love Ever After. She’s smart and headstrong and everything. And the Prince is cured of being an idiot.

    *Hugs* for beatrice
    I kinda know that feeling. What have I done this week? I don’t know. Do you get in the mood for doing things once you start them? It often helps with me: I force myself to get off my arse and suddenly I’m feeling better.

    I think my kids are suffering from Legoitis. Even though they got tons for Christmas they just had to buy some more with the gift vouchers they got for their birthdays…
    Though I have to say the Lego Friends series has really improved. There’s still the horrible popstars series and I think the pet beauty parlour, but there’s also an animal clinic*, an astronomy set with telescope, hot air balloons, a gas station…
    *I think that veterinarians are a prim example of how “girls liking something” devalues something. Yep, it has become girly, just like horses. And suddenly it’s no longer a kick-ass STEM profession that requires skill, knowledge, years of training and guts but an easy peasy girly caring profession…

    New Years Eve:
    My friends are coming over as usually and this year, instead of cooking a three course meal, I’ll have a Sci-Fi buffet:
    -Pan-Galactic Gargle Blasters (recipe from Greta Christina)
    -Half-Moons (piroschki with spinach and feta filling)
    -Meteors (meatballs with salsa)
    -Comets (baked potatoes with sour cream)
    -Primordial Soup (Tomatoe and white beans with cabanossi)
    -Flying saucers (buns, decorated)
    -Satelites (cheese cubes with small tomatoes)
    -Strange Life Forms (filled eggs)
    -Aliens (decorated banananana bread cupcakes)

  160. 606


    The apartment is a lot cleaner than it was a couple of days ago, but in between cleaning stuff I just drift.
    I might just spend New Year’s Eve at my parents’. Maybe watch Die Hard or something like that and go to bed early (well, soon after midnight).

    Your menu sounds great!
    I might try my hand at Half-Moons.

  161. rq

    Your menu makes me hungry, Giliell!
    No big plans ourselves, we’ll see, we might decide on something spur-of-the-moment tomorrow during the day.
    But I think I’ll be making traditional Latvian grey peas with bacon and onion.

  162. YOB

    Hey All!
    Back home after spending week with Arkansas in-laws and no internet (so very ‘rupt)

    Studiously avoided politics and religion, so the week went well. A merry Christmas seemed to be had by all. Sooooo much food. What is it with southern grandmas and eating? Two full plates of food, a piece of pecan pie, a bowl of banan pudding (with Nilla wafers, not nock offs!) and I still get that downcast look when I turn down a piece of apple pie?!

    The storms here in Tx did no damage to the old homestead, so that is good. Most of the stuff seen on the news were to the north east of us.

    God thoughts to everybody!

  163. 610

    All that food, I’m hungry again!

    Here, Husband is going to cook a turkey dinner for New Year’s Eve – he didn’t get to cook the Thanksgiving or Christmas dinners, so he’s making up for lost time, or something. He bought a 14 lb turkey – for four people. We’re going to be up to our ears in food, especially after he makes turkey soup with the carcass. Oh well, he’ll have fun, and at least I won’t have to worry about putting food on the family for a few days.

    I did, however, convince him that this was not a good time to experiment with barbecuing a whole turkey.

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