124 thoughts on “Speakeasy #9

  1. rq

    I’ll take you up on that, though the more I think about it, the more I think I could be thinking of The Penultimate Trump. That’s memory for ya.

  2. 5

    If it’s not The Penultimate Trump, someone ripped off Robert Ettinger pretty thoroughly. I can’t think of any other stories that match that one precisely.

  3. 8

    Sounds like Dalillama already came through, rq. 🙂

    Time for my afternoon liedown. One hour today, I think. We’ve had so little snow this winter, and already early in March it’s hit 15 (59F) two days running. Got to be our warmest winter on record.

    Also, hi Iris! What a pleasant surprise, your dropping in. 🙂

  4. 12

    Well, after a short reprieve, I’m back to “not giving a f*ck” about anything. This really should have been a sick day.

    Keep the Scotch coming…..

  5. rq

    I certainly missed the timing on that one. Oh well, more Campari for me!

    Thanks. The more I looked into it the more it seems as if it is the PT, though at the same time I’m convinced that it isn’t, not at all. I honestly remember him going back to suspended animation instead of Mars. Because nobody else ever gets woken up because it’s not in their contracts, but it was in his.
    Weird, this divergence. Meh.

  6. 15

    Anne, it was Klutz Tuesday here, too. I cut my finger open with a pair of paper scissors. I would never have thought they were sharp enough for that.
    At least I managed not to get blood all over my ribbon. It would have clashed nastily with the green.

    JimB, it’s only a feature if you deny the existence of Innocent Bystanders…or if there’s some kind of secondary targeting system to insure that only guilty bystanders are by-catch.

    carlie, congratulations on the eviction of your gallbladder! Wish I could do the same—the treacherous bastard!

    rq, I just wondered if the selling of the bucket to the night was in this Moulin Rouge version, or if it was entirely original.
    Thanks for the links; all is now made Less Murky.
    🙂 🙂
    And thanks also for the lynx.
    🙂 🙂 🙂


    I know a person who had his modem crush so often that he made a small fetish from old circuit boards and wire, which was dedicated to the computer gods. He prayed to it daily.

    I like it!
    ‘Way back in my college days, we used to burn magnesium ribbon in an attempt to gain the favor of the Computer God, before turning in our programming work.

    Apparently they don’t make squeegees like they used to. It seems very difficult to kill someone with one.

    Well, this was about 35 years ago. In these degenerate days, squeegees seem to mostly feature plastic structural bits (cheaper, doncherknow!); but the one of which I speak had solid brass for all but the flexy surface, and proved capable of lofting brain matter onto the ceiling of the gas station’s bay.
    I doubt you could get that kind of performance out of one of these flimsy, modern squeegees. 10 feet, max.


    Damn I’m sick of being poor. Too many bills, never enough money.

    I know that song, but too well.
    *hugs* and commiserations.

  7. rq

    The movie itself has little to do with buckets, but should my Eldest decide to remake it into his own version (it’s about the illicit nocturnal trade of gardening tools), I will be watching with great enthusiasm.
    … And I nearly misspelled your ‘nym again, I wrote it out last time and something seemed off, but I didn’t catch it… AND YOU KNOW WHY? Because my acquaintance with you made me think that ‘cicely’ is the more common form of the name, so I wrote it in the way that seemed rarer… because that is how I used to remember how to properly place the vowels of your ‘nym.

  8. 18

    I know of a couple of other stories in which basically nobody gets woken up except the plot-significant character. There’s a couple in Niven’s future history, Bujold’s Cryoburn is centered on what happens when a large part of the population is neither dead nor alive, etc. Thing is, there’s so damn many stories about ‘went to sleep and woke up in a horrible future’ that it’s hard to keep track. The Man Who Awoke goes in and out of suspension repeatedly. It’s totally possible that parts of another story are attaching themselves to Penultimate Trump in your memory. Happens to me all the time.

  9. rq

    It’s totally possible that parts of another story are attaching themselves to Penultimate Trump in your memory.

    If only that would happen in a coherent enough manner to create a brand-new ‘original’ and best-selling story. 🙂 (Which is to say, you’re most likely right – it’s just been poking my brain for the past day or so, and the True Answer will probably turn up in a couple of weeks, totally randomly, by remembering the correct keywords for Teh Googel; happened recently with a song I was trying to remember.)
    Thanks for the other suggestions, though. Also *hugs*

  10. 20

    Thanks rq.

    I hear what you are saying, cicely. But I’ll admit that there are times when I want *everyone* to clear out of the way. 🙂

  11. 22

    I don’t know how that alcohol made its way into that Shirley Temple. I was trying to make a non-alcoholic version bc I know you don’t like liquor 🙂
    In all seriousness, do you have a drink of choice or favorite liquor?

  12. 23

    Iris Vander Pluym:

    Tony! made me these Shirley Temples

    Nice find! I think I may be trying one of those…..

    Thoughts on Squid Ink cocktails?

    Mmmm, several of those sound worth trying – The Kraken and Pantera in particular.

  13. 24

    Tony, yes, PLEASE. A glass of white Zinfandel, Beringer, please?

    Our insurance is all screwed up – supposedly it was to run through June 2016, and a large chunk was deducted from Husband’s last check to pay his premiums for six months. We just found out last week that the extension was not in fact extended, and now we’re getting bills for my surgery and lab work. Someone at HR and someone at Kaiser are “working on it”, but not very fast, apparently. There are prescriptions due for refills very soon. Gah.

    cicely, sympathies and ouch! What were you working on? I spent a good while this morning clearing up the piles in my little wee “studio” so maybe I can avoid tripping and/or slipping again this week, but there’s nothing I can do about my finger but wait.

  14. 25

    Soft hugs to everybody, thanks. 🙂

    Today went very well, until I took my bandages off and realized there are STAPLES. STAPLES EVERYWHERE. For some reason I thought they would be the nice self-dissolving stitches that nothing has to be done with. Nope. There will be Removal. I’m definitely saving a couple of hydrocodone pills for taking right before and after that visit next week.

  15. 26


    I had staples too – I kept bandaids over them just so they wouldn’t snag on my clothes. By the time they came out, they didn’t hurt enough to need major drugs at all, just the 8-hour Tylenol I take for my arthritis. I hope you have the same experience, or even better. The places where they were look kind of like something alien bit me, but aside from that, they’re healing up nicely.

    Hugs are offered, but I’ll let you apply them as needed, I wouldn’t want to hurt you.

  16. 29

    @ Giliell

    Many years ago, I used to ask people a maths problem. It usually ended up in an argument about non maths things, but that’s another story.
    The first person I found who could solve it was a third grader. His mother and I were in a waiting room, waiting, and I asked her since she was a maths teacher. She said that her son, a third grader, would solve it so we asked him. He wagged his head back and forth as kids do for a minute or so then gave a correct answer.

    What is the minimum surface area of a (US) gallon of water?
    You would probably ask What is the minimum surface area of a liter of water?
    which is actually a much easier problem.

    </old person reminiscing

  17. rq

    I’m pretty sure it’s a bad idea to drop your breeches into the Deep Rifts. Just sayin’.

    Good luck with the insurance, Anne!


    I got glue.

    Not Elmer’s, I suppose.

  18. rq

    I wasn’t the only one (AlexanderZ – it’s not quite a slashfic, but it’ll do).

    Also, I put my heel through the floor again. Once we lose the floor, we lose the walls, but by then it will be summer so they*’ll probably just tell us to keep working because the weather’s so naaaahsss.

    * As defined by some vague nebulous ‘they’ who seem to swallow any and all complaints without choking once; ‘they’ have promised a May 1st deadline and I wonder what ‘they’ will promise next, once this deadline isn’t actually attained?

  19. 33


    In all seriousness, do you have a drink of choice or favorite liquor?

    Why, thank you for inquiring, good sir!

    For sipping: I am partial to dry Italian white wines: vermentino, verdicchio, trebbiano, some of the blends coming out of Orvieto, and higher-end Pinot Grigios. I also love French rosés from Provence, which tend to be dry, light and pale in color. Spanish whites from Cádiz are great too, but difficult to find outside of Spain (outside of Andalucia, for that matter).

    With food: all of the above with lighter fare, but with richer, boldly flavorful and more hearty meals, I like Italian reds from Barolo, Barbarescos, Tignanello, Brunello. YUM.

    For serious drinking: Vodka martini, up, dry, twist. I’ll do Grey Goose, Belvedere, Ketel, whatever, but my favorite is one out of New Zealand (WHAT?!) called Broken Shed—a bartender friend turned me on to it. Believe it or not, I only very recently discovered the joys of Tequila. Cazadores blanco is my fave for shots—another bartender friend’s recommendation. (Turns out I have LOTS of bartender friends…gosh, I wonder why that is? WEIRD.) He is Mexican, and has been expertly curating my journey into Tequila and Mezcal.


    And what do you prefer to imbibe?

  20. 34

    I’m growing plants and they are still alive!
    Chives are springing (sprouting?) ! I hope parsley is soon to follow so that I can put them on the window.

    I think I got myself a hobby.

  21. 35

    best wishes on a speedy recovery.

    …honestly, at this point, I can only conclude that either 1)whoever’s running this department is on the take, and has been skimming the funds that were supposed to go to repairs, 2)someone hired an ‘efficiency expert’ in from the private sector, or 3) whoever’s running this department isn’t competent to manage a chicken coop, let alone a government agency.


    Why do robocalls introduce themselves by name? It’s not going to stop anyone realizing pretty quickly that it’s a recording.

  22. 36

    DO I NEED A DRINK ?!!!!

    I’m still ‘coming down’ from a phone interview (hour or so ago) with a (T)exas (W)orkforce (C)omissission represenative !
    My (post-interview) feeling is that I will probably have to appeal. More than likely I will be turned down for unemployment benefits. Not unusual. ‘They’ hate paying up.
    Plus, it’s difficult explaining the situation to someone who (understandably) doesn’t know water treatment procedure.
    And, of course, my former employer tried to paint me as an irresponsible idiot with total disregard for public safety…. in order to make THEIR case.

    I am so damn tired of trying to ‘prove myself’ —even after 19 years (total) of dedication to ‘water quality’.

    On the other hand… Still working on my approach to an employment lawyer. ….Can I make a case of gender discrimination or even general favoritism (fellow operator who gets away with things due to his close friendship with supervisor) ?

    Stay tuned.

    And don’t get me started on the ‘Murphy’s Law’ effect I seem to be experiencing. One thing after the other breaks down around the (100 year-old) house right after income stops… Oh, Joy!

    Trying to keep chin up, stiff upper lip…. all those annoying cliches 🙂

    *hugs* on offer as needed and I do think I’ll head to the Pillow Fort, thanks !
    *drags Linis-type blanket behind and sucks thumb* : )

  23. 37

    If anybody has a spare 8 hours or so, please send them my way, they’d be greatly appreciated. This morning I left house at 7, this evening I came back at 7. Thank goodness for the Russian supermarket with the frozen pancakes.
    I hope that this will calm down once I get the knack of the job AND the work left to me by my predecessor done…
    And I’m still not finished cause I got to cover for somebody else first class tomorrow morning…
    Sorry for being a bit self centred. I leave some assorted hugs and cuddles in the basket.
    And an anecdote from “what we don’t know about life in the middle east”: Our topic this week was TV and what’s your favourite TV show. One of my students told me that back in Iran his favourite show was “Dr. Quinn”…

  24. 38

    Hugs for all and sundry. I finished my online class project and took pictures. There will be a blog post eventually.

    The new hummingbird nest has one egg so far (they usually lay two), and Emily and I think we actually saw her laying it. Her body language and the timing were both about right.

    Big News: Emily has been awarded a substantial fellowship by UCSD. That ought to help defray expenses a bit. She never ceases to impress us.

  25. 39

    Here lately, since I’ve been broke, I’ve been drinking wine from the Dollar Store. They have 1.5 mL bottles of Cabernet that I drink. When I had more expendable income, I liked going to bars and having a Vodka Press (tonic+ either soda or ginger ale or 7up), a Screwdriver, or a Rum Punch. When I can afford it, I like to drink quality vodka (like the ones you mentioned). I’ve also found I love the alcoholic root beer, and just found Henry’s Hard Orange Soda (which tastes like Sunkist with alcohol-deeeeeeeelicious).


    ::hands Anne a 24 oz glass of Beringer White Zin filled halfway up::


    ::hands bluentx some kind of alcoholic beverage::


    ::hands JimB this bottle of 12 year old single malt scotch::
    ::restocks the Campari which seems to run out rather quickly::

    Who’d I miss?

  26. 43

    Well, this seems to be a lesson in the difference in beaurocracy/ bureaucracy (which spelling do you prefer ?) and non-profit organizations .
    Shortly after posting my last rant my phone rang.
    It was a woman I spoke to two days ago (face to face) who at the time said her organization probably couldn’t help me much (me being too far from their usual sponsoring organizations). But even though she (Debbie) didn’t think I had much chance AT ALL of benefiting from their program…. she called me back today. She called me back just to say, “… The person I told you would be calling you with further information (Debbie’s supervisor)…. she won’t be calling at all…. she died within the last 24 hours ! ”
    Somehow, I don’t think the state of Texas would waste time to call ‘clients’ to inform them of such a situation. The gubment would just leave ya hangin’.

    *Thoughts of condolence* go out to the family of said non-profit rep……

  27. 44

    Beatrice: herb garden FTW! Such a good idea. Adding fresh herbs to anything, even craptastic canned soup, can transform meh to wow.


    DO I NEED A DRINK ?!!!!

    See Tony! ASAP. And don’t let him bullshit you with that Shirley Temple trick.

    Carlie: I don’t know what you’re dealing with, but I hope your healing is swift. As in, Dead Pool superpower swift.

    Giliell: I took some of your hugs and cuddles, and after I felt better, I left some there for you.

    Dalillama: I dunno. Seems to me there are plenty of people who wouldn’t easily grok that it’s a robocall: the hard of hearing, elderly, sheltered, unusually gullible, naive… It’s a bit of circular logic, but given the budgets and the stakes for such campaigns, it seems likely every word is thoroughly focus group tested, and wouldn’t be included if it didn’t reel in at least some people. : |

  28. 46

    ::hands bluentx some kind of alcoholic beverage::
    Thanks, Tony!!
    I’m not a picky drinker… just like I’m not a picky eater…… peas, cilantro, mayonnaise, (even Miracle-Whip on occasion !)… even CHEESE ! *ducks incoming Mildly Deranged Penguin* attack*
    What else can I praise in order to start a controversy….

  29. 47


    DO I NEED A DRINK ?!!!!

    *slides Scotch bottle down the bar*
    Help yourself, if interested.

    Congrats to Emily! Every bit helps, and it’s great to get acknowledged for ones achievements as well.

  30. 48


    ::hands JimB this bottle of 12 year old single malt scotch::

    Nice! I’ve heard good things about that Scotch. Haven’t had a chance to try any yet, though.

    Moi? Bullshit someone?!
    Well…I *never*!
    ::storms off with glowing halo of innocence hovering over bald head::

    My avatar is there as a reminder…..

  31. 49

    Not opposed to Scotch. Never quite acquired a taste for it but my Aberdeen-born ex-FIL did introduce me to a method of toleration. Don’t know why it works but it does for me …
    ‘Juice’ from an olive jar stirred in to Scotch (to taste) made a S neat or S & water interesting and tolerable..

  32. 50


    What else can I praise in order to start a controversy….


    And sorry you have to deal with the Texas government.


    Best wishes for a speedy getting used to not having a gallbladder, and I hope the staples come out without problems.

  33. 51

    It doesn’t matter where you get it, just how does it taste?
    I used to like Bardenheier’s hard cider which was very inexpensive.

    They have 1.5 mL bottles…

    I’m not certain that a .05 oz container would normally be called a bottle.

    Miracle whip? Even the ancient Hebrews knew about Miracle whip:
    Neither shalt thou bring an abomination into thine house, lest thou be a cursed thing like it: but thou shalt utterly detest it, and thou shalt utterly abhor it; for it is a cursed thing. (Deu 7:26)

  34. 52

    Praise Trump ?
    As they say, “Hell to the NO !”
    I can’t go THAT far !!!

    I still can’t figure out why some friends (who I thought should know better) are STILL sharing Trump memes on FB !
    Can’t understand why descendants of oppressed/thrown out of previous home-land peoples (Louisiana Acadians) would praise Trumps’ anti-immigrant/anti-refuge rhetoric !!
    Then again I do know… I read “What’s The Matter With Kansas”….
    Sad and disturbing !

  35. 53

    BIBLICAL criticism of Miracle Whip !!?? … Now I KNOW I must resist even an occasional temptation to imbibe !
    Who tells me to use MW in recipes ? Could it be…. Saaataan ? [/ Church Lady voice]

  36. 54

    So, of course brand-new, not Factory Reconditioned monitor dies. On it’s third day of use.
    I guess I just don’t live right.

    rq, when your Eldest debuts this opus, be sure to let us all know.
    We may want to send a bucket of flowers, or sumpthin’.
    You put.
    Your heel.
    Through the floor?

    *gentle hug* for carlie, and may the staples be as trouble-free as possible in their disinstallation.

    Anne, I’m sorry to hear that your insurance is messed up. Hope that they get it sorted soon.
    What I was doing, was cutting a length of green ribbon for my St. Patrick’s Easter Egg cane—and misjudging the relative positions of the scissor tips, and my finger, with results that I did not find even slightly humorous.
    Hurrah for the UCSD fellowship!


    I’m growing plants and they are still alive!

    My mint plants are still thriving—third year now—so I let myself get overconfident last year, and bought myself a begonia. It did very well out of doors, but when I fetched it in for the winter, it apparently realized just who it belonged to, and died by stages.
    We’ll see how the cactus I got to replace it does.


    Why do robocalls introduce themselves by name? It’s not going to stop anyone realizing pretty quickly that it’s a recording.

    Hey, all it’s got to do is fool some of the people, some of the time; and surely everybody learns how to recognize the bogus personal call, but not all at the same time. And their hope of sales rests on the young and inexperienced.

    *massive hug* and a *stiff drink* for bluentx. I’m sorry that ‘they’ are assholes.

    What else can I praise in order to start a controversy….

    You failed to praise the sagacity and essential well-meaningness of the Horses.
    (A Little Later Yet)

    Who tells me to use MW in recipes ?

    You don’t use Miracle Whip™ in recipes, silly—you use it on sandwiches. And in deviled eggs! Yum!

    *hugs* and sympathies for Gilliel. If I had a time-turner, I’d lend it to you.

  37. 55

    A few days ago, I was thrilled to see that my post on the African space opera had been shared on Facebook 158 times (which was the most any of my posts had been shared). I just checked and that number has jumped to 401! It’s a little thing, but it made my day.
    ::does a little happy dance::

  38. rq


    1)whoever’s running this department is on the take, and has been skimming the funds that were supposed to go to repairs, 2)someone hired an ‘efficiency expert’ in from the private sector, or 3) whoever’s running this department isn’t competent to manage a chicken coop, let alone a government agency.

    It’s a bit convoluted, but pretty much all of the above. I’m going to draw the chart and explain in a later comment (going to type from the home computer, because you know). You’re not far off, though – add to that a post-Soviet mentality and a post-Soviet bureaucracy and a massive everybody-knows-everybody old-boys’ network, and there’s a lot of resources bleeding off all over the place.

    I have to say a massive thank you to EVERYONE who posted comments during my evening/night, because I think it’s the first time I’ve started a morning at work with actual laughter. Biblical criticism of Miracle Whip (you’d think god would be all for miracle whips), owner-aware plants, olive juice in scotch… It was great.
    Assorted *higs* and *hugs* for those in need, and sadly my hourglass seems to be all out of time, but I hope the hecticness pays off in the end (that’s an apology for Giliell 😉 ).

    Tony, if the Campari is so intent on disappearing, please save me a bottle for the afternoon!

  39. 63

    I love your work! Also congrats on your daughter’s fellowship.
    I hope that the insurance stuff will be sorted out soon.

    I give up. What’s the answer?

    I loved that article. Currently our own PM is busy actively snubbing Obama (because what could the president of the world’s strongest superpower do, eh?), so it’s nice to see something like that Trudeau-Obama bromance.

    add to that a post-Soviet mentality and a post-Soviet bureaucracy

    Just so you know Soviet Union had a surprisingly well functioning Sanitation-Epidemiological Department. What you’re seeing is that “wonderful” middle ground between the old totalitarian system and the functional agencies of modern functional democracies.

    My father is going through unemployment hell himself right now, though nothing seems nearly as bad as what you’re going through in Texas. At least not in any country that has running water.


    One of my students told me that back in Iran his favourite show was “Dr. Quinn”

    That’s because METV are showing that non-stop. People in other ME countries will like the best show that isn’t banned by the authorities, and thanks to the internet even some shows that are being banned.
    That said, tastes seem to differ. For example, Game of Thrones isn’t nearly as popular here as in US.
    I think you and I are the only teetotalers here.

    I didn’t have lobster either.

  40. 64

    I have had lobster. It is revolting.


    At least not in any country that has running water.

    Depressingly large parts of the U.S. population haven’t, and of those who have it’s often not drinkable.

  41. 65


    Not sure what you meant by that 1.5 mL but 1.5 milliliters is a very common size for tiny disposable plastic test tubes used in biological research. This again reminded me of something from a few years back when I was a dedicated lurker on Pharyngula.

    At my work at the uni I tried to learn to operate a pipetting robot. Its complicated business, but might save you work if you routinely need to mix many small doses of same liquid formula in separate containers.

    This concept made me randomly think of both you and Caines rats. Like, this machine would be great for mixing drinks for a horde of couple dozen rats in a bar.

    I am always thankful for this mental image.

  42. 66

    Congrats on the FB shares.


    I finished my online class project, whee.

    Wow, those look great. I’m a very un-artisic person so I’m kind of amazed at the creative things people do.

    I’ve got several small-to-medium-size projects to do at home, that I really, REALLY want to get done this weekend. Hopefully I’ll have the energy to tackle them, rather than my usual weekend activity – laying about the house watching TV. 🙂

  43. rq


    Just so you know Soviet Union had a surprisingly well functioning Sanitation-Epidemiological Department.

    I’m pretty sure that’s dependent on where in the Soviet Union, and also what department, because our current issues have nothing to do with the Sanitation-Epidemiological Department. Or the Soviet Union. But the post-Soviet mentality that goes hand-in-hand with the PRIVATIZE EVERYTHING! attitude, while skimming into off-shore accounts. For the good of the country, of course.

    What you’re seeing is that “wonderful” middle ground between the old totalitarian system and the functional agencies of modern functional democracies.

    There’s nothing particularly functional about any part of the democracy here. But I guess that’s a by-product of democracy itself. In a weird way. If that makes any sense. Also, bureaucracy, which seems to be the one thing that carried over, hale and hearty, into the contemporary era.
    And just so you know, but it’s not personal, don’t try to convince me of anything that might attempt to convince me that there’s anything remotely resembling a functioning system of any kind in this country. Because there isn’t. Unless you’re a small business owner, in which case the tax system just plain sucks. I’m not in the mood, or going through the proper experiences, to believe in any positive systemic gains right now, and I don’t want to be convinced. Perhaps that’s a bit closed-minded, but seriously, I’m just not in the mood.


    Also, I have also never had lobster before. I hear good things about it. I have, however, had squid and octopus and liked both. I guess that puts me on the side of the crustaceans. Then again, everyone already knows I’m an arthropod kind of gal.

  44. 72

    Incidentally, those changes I spoke of a while back? We’re getting closer to the point when I can announce them. I really think people are going to be thrilled.

  45. 73

    re. Octopus:

    I recommend octopus salad (cooked octopus, cooked young potatoes, fresh paprika, tomatoes, olives, olive oil, etc. ) or octopus “salami” (cooked octopus rolled into “salami” shape, frozen and then sliced thin to serve with some green salad like ruccola, olive oil and/or acceto balsamico )

    re. Squid
    I’m much less refined about those, just toss them onto hot oil and serve with nice warm bread and I’m happy.

    I’m looking forward to the good news 🙂

  46. 74

    Protest today in Zagreb, a sign saying:

    I predsjednica i premijer bili su ekonomski migranti (The president and the prime minister were both economic immigrants)

    … referencing that they were both born in Croatia, but lived and worked in Canada for years before returning.
    As you can guess, the protest was in support of refugees and immigrants.

  47. 78

    I tend to forget that USA is a First World country only on average.

    I think you misunderstood me. I didn’t say that the current system you have works.

    don’t try to convince me of anything that might attempt to convince me that there’s anything remotely resembling a functioning system of any kind in this country

    I would never do such a thing! Latvians and good governance are natural enemies! Damn Latvians – YOU’VE RUINED LATVIA!*

    Great photos! I’ve never a seen the inside of hummingbird nest before.

    re: Sea food
    I don’t like most of it. I’ve tasted crab and to me it tastes like rubber chicken. Shrimps are slightly better, but still not my thing, and I’m not even going to touch clams and oysters.
    I do feel bad about having eaten cephalopods. They’re smart critters and don’t deserve to be caught and eaten. Unlike cows, goats and sheep, which are also smart (to very varying degrees), but deserve everything they get. Particularly the cows – I’ve met them and they’re assholes.
    Come to think of it, I wish camels would taste better – because there is no animal more assholish than a camel.

  48. 82

    Nice images of the hummingbird nest. Never seen one of those.
    I may have a few of those around the house soon. If you’ll recall, I’ve relocated from Pensacola to a small town outside of Panama City, Florida and I’m staying with my grand-aunt and first cousin (J). J is an outdoorsy type woman, and she had me buy a hummingbird feeder and some sort of powder that mixes with water to feed them. She said by summer we should have some hummingbirds in her backyard (the house is 5000 sq feet and she has her own porch and backyard).

    Also, I planted stuff for the first time in my life. J went out and bought some Miracle Gro and a bunch of plants and showed me how to properly plant them. We also planted veggies and herbs. I was rather excited, bc it was so new to me. When I had to run and buy some more Miracle Gro, I stopped off and bought an edamame plant, which I planted all on my lonesome. When it reaches maturity, it’ll be the first plant I’ve never killed! I’ve only ever tried to have a cactus, and I successfully killed that. I’ve wanted to grow herbs before, but never have (partly bc I didn’t know what I was doing, partly bc I’d killed the cactus, and partly bc I guess I was too lazy to learn how to tend herbs and stuff).

  49. 83

    Tony, I’m so glad you’ll have a garden, that’s always fun.

    Good luck with the hummies! We just use sugar water for our feeder – it came with directions – and we wash it out and refill with fresh food at least once a week, more often if the weather is hot, because the sugar water can ferment. Don’t use the kind of mix with red dye, the birds don’t need it to find the feeder, and the dye might not be good for them. If you have any questions, ask, I can always pass them on to Emily.

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    Something going on at FTBs .I keep getting errors for all blogs.

    Also Anne, I loved your art. I love paper and papery things in general. I keep saving cards and letters for a someday project. I enjoy looking at your pictures too.

    Dalillama I have not forgotten about the computer I have been swamped with the house stuff.

    The furniture came and was partly the wrong order and now I might not get what I originally ordered so I search again. I want to be cynical but mostly I want to be done. I do not do well with the whole house out of order and neither does my son. I think I have made it livable enough for now and his room is well ordered but I arranged it differently.

    The thread early on was a fun read. Smiles

  51. 85

    Tony, I had a garden during my first marriage but we had so much clay it was hard to get much to grow but when we moved I started planting a garden again when in 2000 I had a breakdown and when they let me out of the pokey(8 day all inclusive) I began to garden a small patch in the backyard with some flowers during my recuperation period. I am convinced it helped as it became my new passion and soon the entire yard was springing up. I love digging in the dirt.I wish you the GREENEST of thumbs and I am excited about the coming news.

  52. 86

    Caroline, thank you! I wish I had more space to play – I’d love to mess around with paints and all that, but there’s only so much I can get away with on the kitchen table.

    Good luck with your house. I hope you and your son can get all settled and comfy soon.

  53. 87


    I give up. What’s the answer?

    4pi((3V/4pi)^(1/3))^2)=483.6 cm^2, where V=1000 cc
    partial credit if you can explain the formula.

    The formula itself is trivial, the real problem is knowing a fact about water (easy) and overcoming a common misconception about surface area (not so easy). If they are still living, I know a couple o people that absolutely disbelieve the above answer due to their inability to discard a wrong idea of surface area. It’s really weird. I think it’s the same thing that allows a fundamentalist to believe something even when confronted with evidence to the contrary. They know they are right and that’s that, but it’s not limited to religious fundamentalism.
    Allow me to introduce Ms. Drusilla Clack:
    Once self-supported by conscience, once embarked on a career of manifest usefulness, the true Christian never yields. Neither public nor private influences produce the slightest effect on us, when we have once got our mission. Taxation may be the consequence of a mission; riots may be the consequence of a mission; wars may be the consequence of a mission: we go on with our work, irrespective of every human consideration which moves the world outside us. We are above reason; we are beyond ridicule; we see with nobody’s eyes, we hear with nobody’s ears, we feel with nobody’s hearts but our own. Glorious, glorious privilege! And how is it earned? Ah, my friends, you may spare yourselves the useless inquiry! We are the only people who can earn it – for we are the only people who are always right.

  54. 89

    Well, if’n they’re really really small ones like 62mm across, but the problem was about water. Though the concept would still be valid, the problem would be much more difficult in having to factor in the compressibility of cows. There seems to be a dearth of literature on that topic.

    I just had a vision of hundreds of 62mm spherical holstein cows drifting through the air like dandelion seeds.

    And I apologize: the ) after the ^2 is superfluous and in some editors would cause a mismatched parentheses error.

  55. 90

    Very technically, the answer is zero; if you pick a gallon of water that happens to be 200 meters deep in the ocean, for instance, it hasn’t any surface area at all. 🙂

  56. 91

    Possibly, but you have to delineate a specific gallon of water and to do that there must be a way to differentiate the water included in your selected gallon and water that is not in your selected gallon. I admit that the concept of surface area between selected water and not-selected water is fluid, but somewhere there is a selected molecule that is in contact with a not-selected molecule and this would constitute a surface between selected and not-selected as valid as that between water and not-water. Even such a virtual surface would still have the same strictures as the water not-water surface considered in the original problem.
    It might be different with the cows.

  57. 92


    You seem to be up very early.

    Your ocean water idea set me to thinking. What about a gallon o water crossing the event horizon to a black hole. True, during the spagettification stage the surface area will increase, but what about the ultimate end at the singularity?

  58. 93


    What did a camel do to you?

    Something that involved copious spitting, shitting and kicking. Simultaneously.
    I hate camels. Llamas are surprisingly nice, though.


    Wouldn’t be in any way related to spherical cows, would it?

    Yes, but only with universally distributed charge and mass.


    but what about the ultimate end at the singularity?

    Would it still be water?

    I’ve missed the whole ruckus with Trump’s rally in Chicago. His no-show was really telling. A song to him and his supporters.

  59. 98

    The Syrian peace talks are to begin this Monday and Assad is entering them from a clear position of strength. While the war is far from over and Assad still controls only a fraction of his country, most of the major population centers are either under his direct control or under the control of allied groups (which now include the Kurds) and he has Russia and momentum on his side.
    So there you have it – years of warfare, half a million dead, over ten millions displaced, the fighting still goes on and the dictatorship will remain, but at least the West didn’t dirty its hands in this icky war.
    Yes, I’m a bit bitter.

  60. 101

    On the “New Frontiers” thread over to FtB, I have posted three comments.
    They are all still in moderation.
    On my iPad, I can see my comments and nothing else.
    Is anyone else playing this game?

  61. 102

    I cannot speak to the congeniality of llamas, but they can be very determined. We once went to a drive-through wild animal place, and this one llama was not going to leave off chasing our van until we provided the appropriate tribute, dammit!
    And the first we knew about it was when I looked into the side-mirror, to see an all-too-close-up view of nostrils….

  62. 104

    The next person who talks about how easy teachers have it gets punched in the face. I “inherited” two exams from my predecessor which I need to grade. Now, I won’t say I’m very good at putting up exams, but I can recognise a bad one when I see it. I just hope that at least 2/3rds of the 8th grade got a pass so the exam is valid*. I also wrote one myself and I am pretty pleased with the results.

    *There’s a rule here that if 1/3 of a class gets a fail grade you either have to repeat the exam or document that the kids should have been able to pass. I clearly can’t do the latter and I really don’T want to do the former.

    Your books are precious

    Wait, I’m a teatotaler? I didn’t know….
    I drink little, but I most definitely do 😉

  63. 105

    My heat is bleeding but I finished grading that one exam. I haven’t even met that class yet. I’ll need to find out if they deserved those bad grades or not…

  64. 107

    Well, there goes our public television.
    The new government just changed all editors and presenters of the main News. They say that the new News are not going to be politically colored (implication: they have been until now), and they will concentrate only on facts (read: won’t be as critical of the current government as the old ones were, while they still could).

    Other changes in high places on public television are ongoing, the two channels dedicated to culture and documentaries are going to get mangled, I’m afraid (the choice of documentaries was always quite progressive and leftist – human rights and things like that, which current government isn’t very fond of).

    I can’t laugh at Trump. We have a Trump government already.
    It’s ridiculous. There have already been two cases of high officials (one minister and one vice minister) being discovered to having been charged of crimes 0r having done things they yet have to be charged for, only a couple of weeks after being elected. The government can’t agree on simplest things, let alone the country’s budget…. we are dooooooooomed.

  65. 109

    Oh yeah, Tony, and I’m just reading about a statement that one of the candidates to replace the above mentioned minister gave. It was regarding a parliament member representing the Serbian minority, who has recently been talking about a scary, hateful climate in Croatia, and feeling threatened as a Serb.
    The ass said that if the other man feels threatened and unsafe, he should move somewhere where he would feel safer.

    It’s just one scandal and example of marginal hate speech recently.

  66. 111


    We once went to a drive-through wild animal place, and this one llama was not going to leave off chasing our van until we provided the appropriate tribute, dammit!

    I’ve had the same experience with ostriches. A group of them set up a road block – once a car stopped next to them they would demand to open the window, poke their head inside to see if there is any food and if there was any they wouldn’t let you pass until you gave it all to them.


    Wait, I’m a teatotaler? I didn’t know….

    Relatively speaking.

    Croatia sounds like Israel a while back. Or Russia 17 years ago. As you can see from these examples you have nothing to worry about. Provided you can pass for the majority, of course.

  67. 112

    Nothing says “Freedom and Independence of the Press” like firing journalists you don’t like. Did you suddenly move to Turkey?

    Yeah, the elections. About 15% of small scale fascists. Next person who tells me we now have to care about the “worries” of those people gets punched as well. Somehow my worries about the global rise of fascism gets ignored….

  68. 113


    Well, one side of my family being of Serbian origin is not a widely known fact. I’m ashamed to say that I don’t advertise it, while not hiding that the other side is Slovenian. That ,the silence part, is not something I’m exactly proud of. On the other hand, I like being employable.

    You know, for those intent on blood typing, I’m exactly 0% True Croat.

    So while I “pass”, I’m totally a filthy infiltrator.

  69. 114

    Although.. .considering if someone asks I will say from what exact part of Croatia my dad is, it’s probably soon pretty obvious what I’m not saying.

    We kinda got a death threat when I was a baby for my mother’s side being from Slovenia, so we kept silent about my dad during the war and later. There were also some issues without our phone calls being listened to, and having our apartment ransacked by police. Fun times :). I’m lucky I mostly don’t remember them.

  70. 116

    chigau said:


    Thanks for the reminder.
    Now… do I have any other non-self-correcting time pieces around here…..

    Finally, the sun is shining after DAYS of overcast and/or rain. Yea!
    Did some laundry.. Utilizing solar-powered dryer (some people call it a clothes line)… cleaned and prepped a window to receive a new air conditioning unit I may not be able to afford to use this summer (*whimper & whine*)… about to make my bi-weekly ‘Payment Request’ for unemployment benefits I may never actually receive….Life is so exciting !!

    BTW, I’m researching it but choices are scarce in my area. Any one happen to have a Texas resource for employment lawyers I haven’t tried yet ? Google efforts are frustrating rather than helpful. Though I’m a (proud) card carrying member of the ACLU, from what I read on the ACLU Texas web site they probably wouldn’t be interested in my case but I may call them for possible referral. Also a long time member/contributor to SPLC. Maybe they can help in some way. *shrug*

    I’ve been working on a timeline/points of fact paper while trying to find someone relatively near by who may ‘take my case’ in this right to fire/good ole boy state.
    I just had to take a break from all the frustration ‘going over it’ again and again brings on so I came to The Speakeasy.

    *hugs* to all and *solidarity fist bump* to Beatrice, filthy infiltrator

    Life is so exciting

  71. 118

    Thanks for the songs rq!
    Even not understanding a word of the lyrics in the first one it was very nice indeed. And the second one helped revive my flagging ‘give-a-damn’. *goes off to listen to that Phoebe Snow song again followed closely by new addition to ‘fighting spirit’ playlist*

    I KNEW coming to youse guys would help some how. : )

  72. 119

    rq, it wasn’t a toll; it was an out-right attempt at extortion!

    We’ve got open primaries, come Tuesday, and The Husband and I are registered Independent.
    He’s thinking of voting Trump, purely to try to hamper Cruz; I’m going to try to help Sanders’ prospects.

  73. 120

    Last comment seems to have been lost in the web-abyss…
    short version: Nice songsrq!

    I mentioned the Louisiana (sister of a) friend who is a Trump supporter, right?
    Actual (childhood) friend messaged me today…. She TOO is a Trump supporter !!??
    I do not get it… and am sooo appalled and disappointed… yet there are those memories of good times back before either of us even THOUGHT of politics… *sigh*

  74. 122

    And yes, cicely:

    I did indeed neglect to praise The Horses when looking for more controversial subjects recently. Thanks for reminding me.
    Horseys are nice… *runs for cover*

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