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December 5, 2007

Open thread 96
Posted by Abi Sutherland at 05:36 PM *

If sixty-nine is an intimate number, lover and beloved curled up together, yin and yang, light and shadow, all of that…then what can we say of ninety-six? A number of estrangement, back to back and curled up in silence, lovers who no longer speak?

For me 96 is not like that. There is a song I heard once, years ago, from a group called the Whammadiddle Dingbats, but it’s originally by a chap named Dillon Bustin. It begins thus:

There is a highway, runs to the country.
There is a gravel road through the hills.
There is a small lane, winding through a meadow.
There is a footpath into wilderness.
There I found a log house, built by a settler.
I found a big barn there, built by his sons.
I found the orchard, abandoned by their children,
All forgotten by everyone.

California Highway 96, which runs from Willow Creek up to I5 out past Happy Camp (where everyone is a Happy Camper as long as you don’t make that joke), passes through Weitchpec on its way. Just north of town lies a certain turnout, from which a gravel road winds its way past an old ranch house and through a disused corral filled with rusting fridges and washing machines. If you unlock the chain across the road (closed with the rancher’s trick of interlocking padlocks, so everyone has his own key) and drive on up the mountain, taking the correct turn at every fork, you come to a turnout on the right, with a flat spot to park your car. The old road, cut long ago by a drunkard, has washed out in a dozen places: walk it now, don’t drive. Peer over the side of the bank at the concrete blocks, still shaped like the bags that got left out in the rain. Beware the rattlesnakes and the black widows, and don’t step in the poison oak or the bear scat. At a certain place, unmarked, turn left and head into the trees. The path, barely traceable under the fallen leaves, descends sharply through close-grown Doug firs and tan oaks before emerging at the edge of a landslide. If you’re lucky, you can just see a cabin in among the trees to your left. Come on a winter evening, and maybe the smoke will be drifting out of the tin chimney. Maybe the kerosene lamps will be shining in the windows.

It is always thus in my dreams.

The snake in the cellar, the mouse in the cupboard,
The swallows in the sleeploft, the frog at the spring:
We’ll be a-waiting, we’ll have the lamps all burning
We’ll be a-yearning for what you will bring.

Much later, it occurs to me that I should supply the name of the song. It’s Moonshine in the White Pines.

Comments on Open thread 96:
#1 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 05:58 PM:

ooo, I get to be the first poster on Abi's first thread!

#2 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 05:58 PM:

Congratulations on making the front page, Abi!

For me, the iconic reading of ninety-six, is the Third World Band's 'Ninety-six degrees in the shade (real hot)'.

#3 ::: John A Arkansawyer ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 05:59 PM:

First post for abi's first post!

#4 ::: adamsj ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 06:00 PM:

Cursors. Foiled again. You damn kids.

#5 ::: Alberto ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 06:01 PM:

Congratulations, Abi!

#6 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 06:03 PM:

96 is the low end of normal pre-ovulatory basal body temperature.

#7 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 06:03 PM:

a little touch of horror in the night
it passes and the sunlight remains weak
the past's not pleasant and the future's bleak

we wait for monsters at the edge of sight
we wait since only fools would go to seek
a little touch of horror in the night

nothing will ever sapience requite
the largest bird has blood upon its beak
and no one intervenes to save the meek
a little touch of horror in the night

#8 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 06:07 PM:

No love for "96 Tears"?

#9 ::: Dave Hutchinson ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 06:11 PM:

Bill Rodgers, 96, became Scotland's oldest bridegroom when he married long-term girlfriend Liz, 72, Perth last weekend.

#10 ::: Dave Hutchinson ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 06:12 PM:

I meant `near Perth.' Sorry.

#11 ::: candle ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 06:17 PM:

Yay, abi!

[Or are we supposed to make sure there's some content in these messages? If so - how about Ninety Six?]

#12 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 06:22 PM:

There's the 'Ninety-Six' district in one of the Carolinas (South, I think).

#13 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 06:23 PM:

Welcome, Abi Sutherland, to the Making Light control room. (Directly beneath the massive Dirigible Mooring Tower atop the Flatiron Building in New York.)

#14 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 06:30 PM:

Yeah, they let me into the special room where all the secrets are kept. It's intricate and peculiar, and all the chairs are very comfortable.

Did you know Teresa has the microfiche backup of the Library of Alexandria in there? If you peer closely you can see the grain of the papyrus, pared so thin it's translucent, on which tiny slaves copied all the texts. I could spend a year or two poring over the archives. More, unless my Greek improves.

And the DISEMVOWELLER. My god. It's just so...um. Words fail me. Just, um.

I won't describe the first aid kit in the corner. I'm a little afraid of it, despite the extremely detailed instructions posted inside the lid. Or maybe because of them. I didn't know bodies did that.

#15 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 06:34 PM:

Wikipedia says the Book of Revelation was supposed to have been written in the year 96.

Well, "96 Tears" was taken. You go with what you got. Congrats on the post, Abi. I was in danger of being within ten thousand comments of catching up.

I hope I can post first in Open Thread 98.6. I got a good one.

#16 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 06:35 PM:

Jeff Duntemann is looking for fanfiction and fan art to continue the didactic tales of soldering and antenna-mounting in the Carl and Jerry series.

#17 ::: Nathan ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 06:39 PM:

Could this be the 96 you refer to? Just another nice drive in the country.

#18 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 06:40 PM:

I like 96 because that's the year (if you add 1900) Bill Clinton became President again, and this without cheating or starting a war.

#19 ::: Dan Layman-Kennedy ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 06:43 PM:

'96 was the year I met my wife. We have our tenth anniversary in May.

's a good number.

#20 ::: Tania ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 06:45 PM:

Congratulations Abi! Be careful around the disemvoweller, or you might to use the first aid kit.

I offer up M96.

#21 ::: Jonathan Shaw ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 06:47 PM:

Number 96 was a groundbreaking soap in Australia in the 1970s -- naked bottoms seemed to be the main thrilling innovation.

#22 ::: Tania ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 06:47 PM:

arrgh. And I even looked in the preview. Abi might need to use the first aid kit.

Serge, the package arrived today. Thanks! I'll be checking it out this weekend.

#23 ::: Manon ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 06:48 PM:

#8: I hate that song. It creeps me out.

And now it's stuck in my head. Curse you! *shakes tiny fist*

#24 ::: Zed ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 06:48 PM:

re: the Richter Scales' "Here Comes Another Bubble" Particle, I'd like to recommend their "You've Got Mail" and "Stockholm Syndrome", available on their website.

#25 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 06:54 PM:

Tania @ 22... Glad to hear it. I hope you enjoy the videotape of The Hard Nut as much as we have. We'll be seeing the whole thing live on Dec 20, when Sue and I drive to the Bay Area. Yay!

#26 ::: Nathan ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 06:59 PM:

Rene Descartes was born on March 31, 1596 in Touraine, France. When he visited Pascal in 1647, he said "the only way to do good work in mathematics ...is to never allow anyone to make me get up in the morning before I feel inclined to do so"

Yay 1596

#27 ::: Kevin Riggle ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 07:00 PM:

Congrats, abi!

That description of the highway feels like the introduction to a text adventure game. Maybe it's the second-person narrative style. Maybe it's because of its resemblance to the introduction of the first adventure game. (Maybe it's because I should be working on mine for class tomorrow instead of reading Making Light, sigh.)

#28 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 07:08 PM:

Manon @ 23: And now it's stuck in my head. Curse you!

*pumps fist and bellows "SONGMASTER" in deepest voice*

You're right, though--it is creepy.

Fortunately, I'm still in denial about "Walk Away, Renee."

#29 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 07:09 PM:

Abi @ 14... And the DISEMVOWELLER. My god. It's just so...um. Words fail me. Just, um.

I always thought it looked like something from Girl Genius, but crazier.

#30 ::: John Hawkes-Reed ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 07:12 PM:

... And here's another M96

(One should always have a test motorway)

#31 ::: Claude Muncey ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 07:30 PM:

Congratulations and fruitcake, Abi.

Did you know Teresa has the microfiche backup of the Library of Alexandria in there?
What I want to know is whether the lost volumes from the Cottonian Library are in the shelves behind that. With the busts.

#32 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 07:34 PM:

Tim @ #28, Ah, but which version of Walk Away Renée? The Left Banke's or the one by Linda Ronstadt/Ann Savoy on their album Adieu False Heart?

#33 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 07:36 PM:

In an episode of "WKRP in Cincinnati," gonzo-disk jockey Johnny Fever remarks:

"Ninety six? How do you do that?"

Context? I don't remember. But you don't forget a line like that.

#34 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 07:40 PM:

Hi there, Abi!

And, um, happy holidays, yarn people. I've told myself I should do this for a few months now.

Three or so years ago, I went to Peru for a Spanish class. Disappointing class (partly my own fault) but we did spend time in, you know, Peru. Where alpacas are kind of common, and edible as well. I got the bright idea that for Christmas, I'd get some alpaca yarn, which had to be cheaper, and make Mom a scarf.
So I went to market, asked around, failed to be market-savvy and intelligent, desired strongly not to haggle (almost every time a shopkeeper approached me to ask what I was looking for, I wanted to run away and hide), found out that either what I was buying or what I had bought the day before may contain synthetics, and ended up with a cone of pretty fuzzy grey three-ply alpaca yarn.

I cannot work with it to save my life.

So. Yarn people. I have yarn. I'm probably never going to use it because I can't figure out *how*. This yarn deserves to be made into something interesting. I don't know exactly what went into it, besides, presumably, alpaca. I don't know what's in the four or so balls I bought at an earlier market (never tried working with them because there wasn't enough for a scarf). I don't know how to treat it, how it has been treated, anything.

And I sort of figure knitters and crocheters here might. So, um. Email me, username at gmail, if you can give some yarn a home.

(oh god I'm opening floodgates aren't I this is going to end badly with people offended what if it's not even alpaca I have no more idea what I'm doing now than when I bought it)

#35 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 07:44 PM:

I think that 96 in bed is just as intimate. It means that two people have been together for a long time and they don't need to see each other. Just touching is enough, provided you don't have 3 dogs sharing the bed with you.

#36 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 07:47 PM:

Linkmeister @ 32: Never heard (or heard of) the Ronstadt/Savoy (although I'd certainly be interested to), but I do know that I prefer the Left Banke's version to the Four Tops'. The latter is good, of course, but doesn't quite capture the perfect melancholy of the original.

#37 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 07:54 PM:

Tim, if you want melancholy, listen to the Ronstadt/Savoy version. It's even slower, and the two voices meld amazingly well. I'm reasonably sure it's on iTunes, but if not Amazon has it. There used to be a video clip at Amazon of the two of them singing it live on Bill Maher's show, but that was a promo while the album was new (six or seven months ago).

Note: I am a hard-core Ronstadt fan with about 16 of her albums in my possession, so I may not be entirely unbiased.

#38 ::: Nathan ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 08:02 PM:

Stefan Jones @33
You can find every script for WKRP at the link if you want to find the episode.

#39 ::: cherish ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 08:09 PM:

'96 was My Year in New York City - not exactly my favorite year, but one rich in stories and characters and, ahem, *growth experiences.*

Funny you should mention Dillon Bustin. He got his start in folk music and folklore studies here in Bloomington, IN and I was vaguely acquainted with him way back when. Bought his one album, The Dillon Bustin Almanac. The song you quote was on it. Also a beautiful a cappella madrigal about gardening, a swinging little piece about the delights of good wood in a good wood stove, and other songs about real people and real things.

Dillon's great gift to Bloomington was his discovery and promotion of the home-grown working-man musician, Lotus Dickey, who composed his own songs, a vast library of complex ditties full of wordplay, affection, reverence and ragtime rhythms. After Lotus' death, a folk music festival grew into a vibrant world music festival bearing his name: Lotus.

Thank you, Dillon Bustin, for writing good songs and finding good songs.

#40 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 08:11 PM:

Hurray for Abi!

(I'm still not really back. Maybe after finals.)

#41 ::: John Houghton ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 08:29 PM:

An American/Scottish/Nederlandsche cheer for abi!

And my brother lives in (or outside of) Happy Camp, CA (dredging the river for gold in the summer). Has to drive for a bit to get a cell signal so he can call us.

#42 ::: Susan Kitchens ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 08:31 PM:

I threw a party in 1996. On a Tuesday night, I believe. February 29, 1996. A Leap Day party, because it was the last leap day of the 20th century. Or of the 1900s, depending where you draw those centurial/millennial lines. Someone said, "But it's a Tuesday night. Can't you move the party to the weekend?" Alas, no. It's on leap day or not at all.

#43 ::: John Houghton ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 08:32 PM:

Stefan Jones (33):

"Ninety six? How do you do that?"

It requires another couple.

#44 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 08:36 PM:

TexAnne @ 40... Yeah, about time you came back. I was beginning to think that fear of my bad jokes was keeping you away.

#45 ::: Terry (in Germany) ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 08:36 PM:

whoot! abi.

In response to the poem.

Old apple cart

I took it while I was at Ft. Lewis. I want to say it was Nov. 2003, but it might have been October. There was a huge pumpkin field on the other side of the road.

I need to rescan it, as that one doesn't truly capture the numinous quality of the original.

#46 ::: Mez ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 08:39 PM:

The version of 'Walk away, Renee' that Billy Bragg created drives me nuts. That may have been his intention.

#47 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 08:46 PM:

Congratulations on being abi, FPP!

Serge 35: Just touching is enough, provided you don't have 3 dogs sharing the bed with you.

Especially at night. Because Jeremiah was a bullfrog.

#48 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 08:50 PM:

Xopher @ 47... Huh?

#49 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 08:55 PM:

I got it, Xopher. The wonders of googling. Yeah, every night is a Three Dog Night around here.

#50 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 09:08 PM:

Ahh, thank you Abi.

Had another soul-sucking day at work and your short, pretty piece of prose made me a little weepy.

Blessings full of warmth, sunlight and flowers flowing your way. it made me feel better. Thank you.

#51 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 09:10 PM:

Xopher: Because Jeremiah was a bullfrog.

...until the three dogs et him in the night. Now he is an ex-bullfrog.

(It was a curious incident.)

#52 ::: Pyre ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 09:17 PM:

69 is a Tai Chi disk, the yin and the yang chasing each other eternally around the central point counterclockwise, or widdershins as you will; so a mote it be, locked in place even as it moves.

96 is a bit of Celtic knotwork, the line swirling up, circling left and down and right, then ducking under the paper a moment, to come up circling right and down and left, then continue swirling up and away; we catch but this moment of its Gypsy-free wanderings.

#54 ::: Pyre ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 09:24 PM:

Has anyone else noticed the URL of this thread?

http://nielsenhayden.com/makinglight/archives/009690.html

#55 ::: Nathan ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 09:26 PM:

John Houghton @43
Stefan Jones (33):

"Ninety six? How do you do that?"

It requires another couple.

Actually, I believe it requires just a smidge less than 40% of another couple. Maybe our host with the medical experience can tell us how you accomplish that. I have no idea.

#56 ::: Todd Larason ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 09:29 PM:

Pyre @54: Open thread 94 got similar treatment.

#57 ::: Adrian ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 09:47 PM:

Speaking of roads, I find myself with an uncomfortable need to drive a car in the forseeable future. I'm capable of getting lost anywhere, but getting lost inside my own apartment is pretty low risk. I have a drivers license and a street-legal car, though I am too timid to make much use of them beyond proof of ID. (Having the car identifies me as an independent adult from Metro Detroit.) Thus far, I have managed to commute to work without a car by judicious choice of jobs and apartments, but my need to take a temporary job in an inconvenient place may defeat that strategy.

My mother, who loves me and worries that my sense of direction may be weak enough to be problematic, wants to buy me a GPS to put in the car. I want something I can use in the car to guide me between home and a contract job, and around traffic jams as needed. I also want to be able to take it out of the car, in case I need to not get lost on foot when I am walking 3 miles between new apartments, commuter rail stations, workplaces, etc. Can anyone recommend a device that would be good for both applications? I'm more interested in ease of use and reliability than in having a lot of features to play with.

#58 ::: Pyre ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 09:54 PM:

Nathan @ 55:

Actually, I believe it requires just a smidge less than 40% of another couple. Maybe our host with the medical experience can tell us how you accomplish that. I have no idea.
To three significant digits, the additional requirement is .391 -- which, if you represent that as letters (C, I, and A, respectively), tells you precisely who they're in bed with, knowingly or not.

#59 ::: Nathan ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 10:24 PM:

So Pyre @ 55 (if you are who you say you are),

96 is not to be trusted?

P.S. It takes a warped mind to have come up with that. I like that.

#60 ::: Pyre ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 10:37 PM:

Nathan @ 59:

Well, at least it tells you why they're lying back to back staring outward.

No doubt trying to spot the hidden cameras...

#61 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 10:44 PM:

1996 was a memorable year for me. I turned 50. My father died.

X-rays were discovered in 1896. In 1796 the French Revolution was still happening. Catherine the Great died. In 1696 there was an undertakers' revolt in Amsterdam. Yes, really. No, I haven't a clue.

#62 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 10:52 PM:

I have absolutely nothing to add here except for another big happy w00t for abi. W00t, abi!

#63 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 10:53 PM:

So, I just bought two copies of "My Book House" on Ebay. It's a 12-volume storybook set that we grew up with in my family. I have the family copy, and it's MINE, damnit! In order to stave off other claimants, I volunteered to help get copies of the thing for my brothers who have young children.

First copy, all 12 volumes, plus two extra "parent guide" type volumes: $66. Second copy, all 12 volumes, plus one of the extras: $155. The difference is that the seller on the second one mentioned "Sambo" in the listing.

No real point, I just thought it was interesting.

#64 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 11:20 PM:

JESR, that whole thing resurrects my feelings during our 1993 floods here in middle America. I've always lived on high ground, usually without a thought. In my current home we'd have to have a biblical flood to affect us seriously, we're over 100 feet above the Missouri River flood plain on the bluffs to the south of the river (we're not far up the hill and south from Crown Center, where the Heinlein event was held last summer)

i think it would be unbearable to live on an actual flood plain.

It may a subconscious urge, the house I grew up in was in a surburban neighborhood but in mid-slope of a creek drainage. Because of the way the developer had NOT dealt with the lay of the land, when it rained hard we had a river into our basement windows....Dad had to reshape the yard (he basically put a berm to keep the water running downhill but not toward our basement).

Plus Kitchen Impossible just did an event in Biloxi, which culminanted in the chef (Robert) presenting the keys to her refurbished home to one of the people who cooked for him. It seems cruel, at least Biloxi won't give a certificate of occupacy for a perfectly remodeled house unless you also have a minimum requirement of furniture (dining room, living room, bedroom set, who knows what else). Kitchen Impossible bought the furniture for her.

#65 ::: Summer Storms ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 11:32 PM:

Congratulations, Abi. Awesome post!

96... hmmm. I think some of my relatives came to the U.S. in 1896.

#66 ::: Summer Storms ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 11:34 PM:

(And yes, I mean relatives, though I think I had ancestors that came then too. But IIRC, that is the year that my great-uncle arrived here.)

#67 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 11:35 PM:

Congratulations, Abi. None better.

#68 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 11:37 PM:

Returning to politics for a moment: did anyone else hear the tapes of today's SCOTUS session? Topic was an attempt to get them to overrule an intermediate court's decision that everything is legal at Guantanamo, nobody has anything allowable to say about it, move along.... Summaries are always doubtworthy (and I swear I heard the announcer say "Scalito" at one point), but it sounds as if three of the justices were intent on proving their ignorance of any law or precedent that disagreed with their political convictions. One of the ali's even asked whether counsel for the appellant could point to \any/ case where a ]battlefield capture[ had had so many rights as had already been granted, and got a list right back.

#69 ::: John Chu ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 11:43 PM:

#68: There's one thing I'm glad came up at today's session. The administration position seems to be that to give POWs these rights is unprecedented. But how come after all these years of insisting that they aren't POWs, the administration is now talking about them as if they were? Are they POWs or aren't they? The administration seems to change its position on this based on whichever will give them the result they want.

#70 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 11:48 PM:

Xopher, #47: Liar! ;-)

In 1996 I was turning 40. I'd been planning for some time to celebrate my 40th birthday by throwing BirthdayCon; I had a hotel picked out, and was going to invite everyone in my various circles of friends.* And then my life fell apart, and I couldn't afford to do it. I still rather mourn the lost opportunity.

* By the time you included everyone I knew from SF fandom, running Musicon, SCA, and contradancing, that would have been some 500 people scattered across 7 or 8 states. I was figuring I'd probably get a 1-or-2-in-10 attendance ratio.

#71 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2007, 11:54 PM:

Welcome, Abi!

Have they mentioned that, as least-senior poster, it's now your job to clean out the vowel bins on the Disemvoweler?

#72 ::: julia ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2007, 12:04 AM:

Gracious, abi, how very cool.

Diatryma, I feel as if I'm adversely affecting my karma by trying to talk a yarn person out of deaccessioning yarn they'd made up their mind to release, but I've found I can work really difficult yarns with the new baseball-bat-sized crochet hooks, and there're some neat patterns for large-hook knitting in the Interweave Crochet pattern books.

I imagine it'd felt beautifully.

#73 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2007, 12:25 AM:

Thanks for the idea, Julia; I'll try a gigantor hook if no one wants it, but I'm not terribly good at that kind of weird proportion crocheting. Knitting seems to take to it a little better, but I cannot learn knitting from the internet.
It's not the worst yarn I've ever played with (Lion Brand Homespun) but it's also not something I want to wreck learning how to work with it.

#74 ::: Heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2007, 12:27 AM:

ZOMG, abi is teh frontpagiest! Yay!

(I suppose we ought to thank Rachel for putting this idea into our hosts' heads? Or was that merely serendipitous?)

Tania @ 20: "Be careful around the disemvoweller, or you might to use the first aid kit."

I've heard stories...you know, rms and lgs lying everywhere, the walls spattered with bld... Be careful!

(I have this mental image of a patient lying in a hospital bed with little houses attached to their shoulders, and tree trunks coming out of their hips. Nearby, a doctor is saying, "We did the best we could! Reconstruction after disemvowelment is always a little hit and miss!")

#75 ::: Melissa (oddharmonic) ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2007, 12:29 AM:

Domitian was assassinated in the year 96.

Chip @ 68: I get most of my SCOTUS coverage from NPR. I wouldn't be surprised to hear Nina Totenberg let "Scalito" slip. Once I heard her say "What do you mean we, white man?" while recounting the day's court activity.

#76 ::: Tania ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2007, 12:34 AM:

Avram @ 71: Have you been sending the vowels to Bosnia? Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!

#77 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2007, 12:55 AM:

Tania, that's hilarious. I'm a regular listener to CarTalk, and I don't recall that at all. Guess I should check the website occasionally.

#78 ::: Mez ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2007, 12:59 AM:

Tania #76, I think Asus is using a fairly large bulk order. They started with EEE (Eee?), perhaps because it's the commonest in English and, I assume, cheapest, but they'll probably work through the others for different models.

#79 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2007, 01:02 AM:

abi! Congratulations!

Linkmeister, #37, when I decided to alphabetize my CDs, I was surprised to find out that I have as many Emmylou Harris CDs as I do Linda Ronstadt CDs. After that, it drops off sharply.

Diatryma, #73, I crochet with Lion Brand Homespun rather frequently -- why don't you like it?

#80 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2007, 01:21 AM:

Marilee @ #79, then you probably have Western Wall: The Tucson Sessions, the album of duets with LR and EH. That's spectacular.

I didn't care a lot for either Trio album, mostly because there was too much Dolly Parton for my taste on each.

#81 ::: julia ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2007, 01:54 AM:

Diatryma @ 73

Gotta go with Marilee here - I crocheted the kid a robe out of homespun with a really big hook, and it's a wonder of coziness. It made up pretty quickly, too.

Also, whatever the color is called that's navy, violet and teal is just gorgeous.

#82 ::: Todd Larason ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2007, 01:56 AM:

puny /mp3disk/my-cds% find . -name data\.dump | cut -f 2 -d / | sort | uniq -c | sort -rn | head
75 Depeche Mode
36 Soundtracks
35 Various Artists
31 The Cure
23 Firesign Theatre
21 Lords of Acid
19 Bob Dylan
17 Violent Femmes
17 Leonard Cohen
17 Jeff Buckley

#83 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2007, 02:12 AM:

Looking at all the reviews of the Kindle, it's becoming very apparent that Amazon are a mail-order company rather than a tech company. They're a company that makes money by applying tech to the paperwork problem of a mail order business.

The Kindle is a tech product. But they're not Apple.

I think it's also likely that the two halves of the business that the Kindle has to sell to--readers and publishers--are less tech savvy than we might like to think. I don't think books will suffer the same sort of tech-related market crash that music has, but the Kindle isn't something to exploit the possible markets; it's something to stop them being different.

#84 ::: Naomi Libicki ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2007, 02:14 AM:

Alter and I have been watching old Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies with our 1.5-year-old.

(I will never say a bad word about political correctness again. But I digress.)

At last three or four times, a character has said "You are now in the hands of the dear old Maestro," or something similar. This is clearly a reference to something, but I have no idea what.

Google isn't talking.

Help?

#85 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2007, 02:22 AM:

Mr. Google thinks it's probably a reference to big band leader Ben Bernie.

#86 ::: Pyre ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2007, 02:27 AM:

Justice Scalito -- yes, that's right. Also Justices Stouter, Ginnedy, and Bremas. What's the matter, don't you recognize all these names?

#87 ::: Pyre ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2007, 02:29 AM:

Not to leave out Chief Justice D. P. Roberts.

#88 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2007, 02:48 AM:

Naomi #84: Google isn't talking.

...yet.

#89 ::: A.J. Luxton ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2007, 03:00 AM:

I love ML numerology. But am in terse mode, because Fu Xing is trying to nurse on my left hand. That is the orphaned kitten, who has made it to the naming stage. "Lucky Star."

#90 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2007, 04:01 AM:

I'm already sick of the Christmas music that's being overplayed in the stores. Who's got some interesting recommendations for stuff that hasn't been done to death? A few of my personal favorites:

1) We Three Kings by the Roches. A nice mix of sacred and secular pieces in an amazing range of styles -- classical, jazz/rock, meditative, silly/fun.

2) Winter's Dance by Golden Bough. Seasonal songs with a pagan and Dickensian feel, some pretty instrumentals, and a guest appearance by Leif Sorbye of Tempest.

3) Christmas Renaissance by Richard Searles and Gilbert Yslas. All-instrumental, guitar and harpsichord, with other period instruments here and there. Searles also has an album called Winter Air which isn't quite as Christmasy, but feels seasonal.

#91 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2007, 04:21 AM:

'96 was the year that Katie (whom some of you have met) and I first got together as more than friends.

#92 ::: Debbie ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2007, 04:51 AM:

My cousin's daughter was born on Leap Day in 1996, and she's turning into one smart cookie. This summer we were at a theme park that had guess-your-age-or-weight booths, and she won a prize because she's "really" only two. And it was all her idea.

#93 ::: A.J. Luxton ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2007, 04:55 AM:

Re: bubble,

I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by
        layoffs, starving hysterical in black teeshirts,
dragging themselves back to their parents' couches
        looking for the next tech job,
Java-headed hackers burning for the new electronic
        connection to the economic dynamo in the World-Wide Web...

(Think not that I mock. This was the fate of many real friends.)

#94 ::: miriam beetle ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2007, 05:03 AM:

96 is my husband's lucky number, since he was six.... he always liked multiples of three & the way sixes & nines mirror each other, & around that time he started racing quarter-midget cars. his first choice for his car number was 69, but his parents said no (& wouldn't say why). 96 was "his" number ever since.

i think i was around here for when my lucky number, 64, came up as an open thread. but i don't remember it.

1996 was a pretty good year for me, or at least five weeks of it were so blazingly good that they outweigh anything else that may have happened. i went on an israel program, fell in love for the first time, & met two of my favourite artists while we were all teenagers.

#95 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2007, 07:24 AM:

abi sutherland
posting her first open thread
but where be dragons?

#96 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2007, 07:34 AM:

Here are 96 Dragons.

#97 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2007, 07:41 AM:

Avram @71:
Have they mentioned that, as least-senior poster, it's now your job to clean out the vowel bins on the Disemvoweler?

I can't get the vowel bin open. Jim said to ask you for the left-handed screwdriver...?

#98 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2007, 07:55 AM:

Abi... There's no sonic screwdriver lying around?

#99 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2007, 07:59 AM:

Naomi Libicki @ 84... Mi>"You are now in the hands of the dear old Maestro"

Leopold Stokowski, maybe?
There was one cartoon where Bugs Bunny pretended being he.

Oh, and my wife gave ME a DVD set of those cartoons last Christmas. I have no idea why she thought that was an appropriate present for someone over 50. Really.

#100 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2007, 08:18 AM:

hey LibraryThing-ers, I didn't know this but LT has a deal to get free early review copies of a bunch of books. I don't have time to do reviews (I'm a medium-slow reader) but some of y'all will probably be interested.

#101 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2007, 08:23 AM:

Serge #99: As I mentioned in my #85, I think the "Old Maestro" is Ben Bernie, who had a popular radio show during the time period of the cartoons involved. He's probably also the reason that some cartoon characters repeat his signature catchphrase "yowsa, yowsa, yowsa" [spellings vary]. See also cartoon character Ben Birdie.

#102 ::: Tim Hall ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2007, 08:24 AM:

A week ago I saw a band called "69 Eyes". They were awful.

#103 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2007, 08:51 AM:

Lee at 90, I thought my family was the only one that played the Roches Christmas CD. It's on heavy rotation with Canadian Brass, the Chipmunks, and one or two Tuba Christmases. The tubas are the best, because they're low and can be ignored fairly easily, but are still recognizable and fun.

I have a scarf of Homespun, made for me rather than by me, and I like it a lot. I think it's just that I'm pretty tense when I crochet and I never found a way to see the stitches using that yarn. I did a scarf in bright yellow eyelashy yarn-- the kind of yarn you get if you shave Big Bird and spin it-- and that was the same situation, but I was able to do the first couple rows by feel and after that, it was mostly sticking the hook in at appropriate intervals and adjusting when it stopped being rectangular. It is not the world's most precise scarf, but it came out okay.
My brother decided to learn to crochet a couple years ago. He didn't have money for a big gift for his girlfriend, so about a week before Christmas, Mom showed him chain and double crochet, then took him to buy yarn. Because he is a Krahe, he picked a dark boucle. Like me, he had trouble seeing the stitches; unlike me, he ran with it, figured out a way to mirror the tentacle on one side of the scarf, and his girlfriend liked it.

The alpaca is now claimed and is more likely to grow up to be something gorgeous.

#104 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2007, 09:07 AM:

Earl @ 101... Oops.

#105 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2007, 09:08 AM:

Serge @98:
There's no sonic screwdriver lying around?

I gave the sonic screwdriver away at Easter. Besides, it doesn't fit that last screw, the one next to the kneuter valve.

#106 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2007, 09:22 AM:

Abi @ 108...

Lecturer: Okay, so what you want to do is this: You want to attack at the most vulnerable spot. Come at it from this angle and locate the automatic flip-flop override device here, which in turn will defuse the antigyroscopic preinterface thruster chamber, and the pneumatic centripetal antigravity shield deflectors, then you simply deactivate the axial gyro-presubinertia-photomegatronic oscillator that you see here.
Fluke Starbucker: Huh?
Lecturer: You pull the plug!

#107 ::: TChem ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2007, 09:26 AM:

Rt. 96 is the road I'll be taking to my new home in a little under two months. Not the 96 in California, though.

#108 ::: Terry (still in Germany) ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2007, 10:13 AM:

A piece of depressing news. One of the guys here was scammed by PA. Not badly (he didn’t buy any of the “discount” runs, refused the “agent” and the like. But he did sign the seven year contract.

Worse, he then went and fell for “Rose bud”(?) to print a children’s book. They bilked him for $1,400, and aren’t returning his calls. I have no idea if the books are salable (the one is a “life in the army” novel, which I suspect suffers from being treated as a novel, instead of being cast as a memoir.

He tried, but after a couple of dozen rejection letters got snagged. On the upside, he knows he was scammed and isn’t too bitter. Downside, he bought a lot of the PA crap about the market being about whom one knows and new talent doesn’t have a chance.

He didn’t know how an agent works, and was surprised when I told him they don’t charge fees, but rather take a cut of royalties.

Assuming, for the sake of argument, that his kid’s book has some merit, anyone have any idea of who he might pitch it too?

The worst of it, as expected, he’s a little put off the whole idea of trying to pitch the book anymore. Some of it is that he’s not really (so far as I can tell) willing to consider editing/reworking the book (he didn’t like what the one “editor” was telling him about how much he needed to use the word, “fuck” which, “I use like commas” not completely untrue to the subject, but not, perhaps the best sort of writing style), but more of it is that, having gotten rejected, and then fleeced, he’s just about given up.

One more reason to loathe PA.

#109 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2007, 10:34 AM:

Highway 96 in Tennessee is road the bridge called the Natchez Trace Parkway Arches crosses over; it's the first segmentally constructed concrete arch bridge in the United States. The picture at the Wikipedia article is nice, but doesn't convey the full effect of being on 96 and looking up to see the bridge up ahead of you. Another picture of the bridge by the same photographer.

I was just about to post this, when the wonders of flickr found a full-on picture of the bridge in another photographer's stream.

Go, abi!

#110 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2007, 10:39 AM:

I don't exactly miss -- really, I'm just nostalgic for -- the old disemvoweller from our pre-computer days, with its clunky viewscope, and its re-inking assembly that always got clogged.

#111 ::: Susan ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2007, 10:43 AM:

Congrats abi!

I was hoping for a new open thread, 'cause I'd like to borrow the collective expertise here on a couple of questions. The last person offering useful advice on this topic abruptly stopped speaking to me, and I am wandering around cluelessly in the technological wilderness. I figure the accumulated know-how here is probably significant. Any help and advice would be appreciated.

(1) if one were going to register a domain name, what company is the best combination of cheap and adequately supplied with support for idiots? Any registrars to avoid?

(2) if one were going to blog, what blogging, um, entity(?) is the best? I'd be curious to hear from anyone with a blog about experiences with LJ, Movable Type, Typepad, Blogspot, etc. I assume it's difficult to transfer stuff over once started, so I'd like to make an intelligent choice.

(3) I don't read many blogs and wandered in here originally because I've met the NHs several times via fandom. I don't think this applies to ML because the community aspect here is the strongest I've ever seen, but any idea what attracts people in general to read blogs by total strangers? I have a friend who has several hundred regular readers on her LJ apparently just because she lives in NYC and has a pulse. I love her but I find this mystifying. Why do people do this? Am I just a martian in finding this extraordinarily weird?

(Why, yes, it appears that I plan to commit bloggage, and since talking to myself bores me I hope other people will come talk to me there. I'm planning on divesting myself of some body mass the hard way over the holidays (the surgical solution to holiday depression - sort of an extreme version of cutting and self-mutilation!) and - assuming I survive the process - will need something distracting to do that doesn't involve gauze and leaking body fluids while penned in bed/house for a couple of weeks. I don't think O'Brian will last me a full two weeks. Pondering the mysteries of Regency drawers and poussettes just might, but I expect I'll also manage to set up a blog. I also fantasize about being visited by a Segway, which strikes me as the perfect solution to the combination of too easily fatigued to walk around and too medicated/mobility-impaired to drive.)

#112 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2007, 10:45 AM:

Teresa @ 110... I found a photo of Abi with the NEW disewvoweller.

#113 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2007, 10:49 AM:

Susan @ 111... I'd recommend LJ. It's very cheap. And very easy to get started and you have a choice of layouts and colors. (I'm still miffed that people didn't like my LJ's original bright-green background.)

#114 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2007, 10:50 AM:

if one were going to blog, what blogging, um, entity(?) is the best? I'd be curious to hear from anyone with a blog about experiences with LJ, Movable Type, Typepad, Blogspot, etc. I assume it's difficult to transfer stuff over once started, so I'd like to make an intelligent choice.

I have something of a fondness for Blog City, though I know it's not one of the popular choices. Their page-layout editor is horrifically clunky, and I'm not nuts about the fact that the edit-HTML option just runs everything together as soon as you close that window, but they have hands-down the best stats-tracking I've seen in any of the free blogging platforms and a very nice WYSIWYG entry editor. I prefer them to Blogger and LiveJournal (especially because LJ is blocked by many sites as a "chat" URL).

#115 ::: Susan ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2007, 10:56 AM:

I should clarify that it does not have to be a free blog platform (thank you, Carrie, for the word I needed!) I am willing to pay a reasonable amount. I also do not have my own server, so it has to be, um, stored(?) on {platforms}'s machines and be friendly to a non-programmer.


#116 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2007, 10:57 AM:

#111 Susan
LJ is pretty much designed for the barely computer literate (I know this because that's me). The main attraction for it otherwise (AFAIK) is the ease of connecting with people, given that their format is designed mainly for that sort of thing. Also, you get a fairly good service for free, if, like me, you don't want to spend any money you don't have to so that you can spend it somewhere else. I have no idea if the new ownership will be as inclined to get panicky about trivial idiocies as the old one was.

I can't speak to other services' virtues or failings, not having used them.

#117 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2007, 11:02 AM:

Oh, I should add: Blog City has paid options as well if you want more storage space or more bandwidth, but their default is like 2 gigs a month and I've never come within shouting distance of exceeding it. Also you don't have to use the page-layout editor if you don't want to, because they have a fine selection of default appearances for most any taste.

#118 ::: Terry (still in Germany) ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2007, 11:15 AM:

I like Lj, it has some swell social features, but I might hold off for a bit, because the new purchase by СУП has some interesting implications.

Me, I'm invested, so it will take some effort for my intertia to overcome the loss of features I like (and the ease of audience I've gained).

TK

#119 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2007, 11:17 AM:

Right, fidelio. The basic is free, but the inexpensive yearly payment allows you room for lots of pictures. And for more icons. ("How do I feel today? Scared that my my boss will fire me? Then maybe Wile E. Coyote with the 'Help!' sign might be indicated.")

#120 ::: Jo Walton ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2007, 11:21 AM:

Abi! Yay! That's so cool!

#121 ::: Terry (still in Germany) ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2007, 11:23 AM:

More about the purchase.

It looks as if some of the present tools being added (to flag, accounts, and thus make it harder for people to see) are related to СУП being a Russian company, and Lj being the blog engine of choice in Russia.

Blogs were a large part of the Orange Revolution (which was a setback for Putin). СУП is tied to Putin, and the Kremlin, so there is an incentive to be able to break up lines of easy communication, should there be a populist/progressive backlash to the present goings on.

СУП says they will remain incorporated in California, but....

#122 ::: Susan ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2007, 11:33 AM:

Okay, I'm doing this all wrong! Let me spell out the things I neglected to mention in my earlier post.

(1) In large part, I am doing this to talk about Dance History Things which are filling up my brain and spilling out my ears (and, unfortunately, my mouth in front of people who are bored senseless by my geekery). This means it will be something of a professional blog for me and should be able to accommodate things like a store and a calendar widget and music and video files.

(2) LJ's various, um, quirks about what they allow have kind of turned me off, and I find the whole "friends" thing and the associated high-school-type social dramas I have observed around it more than slightly nauseating. It would have to be a pretty spiffy platform to outweigh these issues.

(3) I am not a programmer, but I can find my way around HTML reasonably well.

(4) As anyone who knows me in person can testify, "dipping a toe in the water" is not actually an aspect of my personality. More like "swan dive off the high board" (and hope there isn't concrete below.) I've spent several months thinking about this intensely and whether I could do something interesting and worthwhile and informative. Of course, I may end up {splat} on the concrete, but if I'm going to do this, I will make a serious attempt to create a real resource for dance history geeks and anyone who needs information on the topic.

#123 ::: Susan ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2007, 11:42 AM:

Underlying my thoughts on this whole blog thing is the whole pixel-stained technopeasant issue and how that applies to being a dance historian in the 21st century. I've been thinking hard about the bit about the enemy of an SF writer being obscurity, not piracy and how this relates to my natural tendency to hover protectively around my research and mutter "mine mine mine!" Giving away fiction appears to do good things for a writer's sales; I'm in a different position in that I don't really have actual works to peddle (someday there will be Books, but not yet), so what I am peddling is being hired to teach or lecture. Obscurity is definitely a problem. Does giving research away for free help with that? Gonna find out!

Also, I miss dance-geeking with my teacher. No one person can replace him but maybe a small horde would come close.

#124 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2007, 11:48 AM:

Susan, given what I've seen of some of the more dig-deeper-hole aspects of their handling of various issues, I can understand your reaction to LJ's management (we all remember the Terror of the Nipples, right?), and as Terry notes, we have no idea of what the New Order will bring us. I haven't been directly affected by any of this, but I've noticed it, along with a lot of other people.

As for teh drama, well, there are people who are going to have to have teh drama where ever they go and whatever they do when get there. There are countless people on LJ who manage to blog and comment on others' blogs like sensible people. There are also idiots aplenty out there, as you've noticed already.

But yay! Susan blogging about dance stuff! Woo-hoo! Susan with a dance website! More woo-hoo!

#125 ::: Faren Miller ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2007, 11:50 AM:

I think Happy Camp is somewhere in the general (CA Gold Rush) vicinity of Port Wine, where my maternal grandmother was born in a union of the Caya and Farren families. The only trace of Port Wine now is an obscure plaque -- no buildings left at all.

#126 ::: Susan ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2007, 11:58 AM:

quoth fidelio
But yay! Susan blogging about dance stuff! Woo-hoo! Susan with a dance website! More woo-hoo!

Thankee. But, um, could you please explain why you're so excited? I'm back to the mystified thing again. I know why the topic excites me and a few other folks here who are also dance history types, but, um, are you another one? Have you felt a hole in your life where knowledge of historical dance forms ought to be? Are you a writer who wants to not be held up to ridicule 'cause you display rampaging ignorance in dance scenes? Or are you just abstractly excited by in-depth geekery about anything? Inquiring minds want to know!

#127 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2007, 12:05 PM:

Faren @ 125

I know where Weitchpec is, and it's in Humboldt county (we made a trip with part between Redding and Eureka, about the time I /e/s/c/a/p/e/d/ graduated from high school). So I'm guessing that Happy Camp is, too. Not that there wasn't more than one of them ....

#128 ::: Nancy Lebovitz ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2007, 12:06 PM:

Here's some excellent Christmas music by Praetorius--this cassette is on the rare side (I have the record), but I expect that Praetorius' other Christmas music is worth catching up with.

In regards to the mall murder/suicide, terrorism, and various other things: I've been thinking for a while that the desire to make a difference is a very strong motivation, and some people will settle for making a negative difference if they can't make a positive one. I don't know if there are people who prefer making a negative difference.

I don't have a feeling for what proportion of people are content with making some difference to the people they know or a smallish group, and what proportion feels that it takes a much larger than average difference to count for anything.

In any case, it seems to me that conventional education is set up on the assumption that most people shouldn't expect to make a difference.

What would a society look like where the desire to make a difference was taken seriously?

#129 ::: Clark E. Myers ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2007, 12:08 PM:

#111 - 122: store may be the major consideration. Taking things as a business (including adjunct to a major interest regardless of making money on the net) and not a friends and family operation nor yet an effort to sway the next election then:
I suggest separating the 3 elements of:
(1) Registration
(2) Hosting
(3) Help

(1)I'd register with a top lever vendor not a lower level reseller. There is a little savings possible with a reseller but more long term assurance with a top level vendor - especially when registration and hosting are separated.

I'd register a number of related names, variant spellings and all the domains com/net/org/eu et. al..

(2) I'd consider hosting with the top level registration vendor - e.g. but not necessarily Network Solutions - and also look locally for a host with the possibility of face to face problem resolution when the store goes down in a seasonal rush.

(3) I'd find help locally whether it be a wiseass teenager or a volunteer at a Senior Center as available.

#130 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2007, 12:09 PM:

I'm excited by geeks being geeks. I read knit blogs but crochet, I read a coffee blog and can't stand the taste, I read sewing blogs while forbidding myself any sewing projects, so a dance blog is just fine.

#131 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2007, 12:10 PM:

Well, I'm always excited by in-depth geekery about things, and I'm also excited whenever said in-depth geekery has a chance to escape into the world and spread like (insert fast-spreading thing of your choice).

Also, while I'm not a big dancer, I think's a fun, cool thing, and the thought of having another place to aim dance-inquiring minds among the various re-enactors I know makes me chortle.

Also, having the site will get you more kudos (and possibly more work) and how can that be bad?

#132 ::: Suzanne F. ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2007, 12:23 PM:

Susan: I'm for Wordpress. It's very flexible and can incorporate most anything that you'd like to do.

Cliopatria's History Blogroll (ground central for the historoblogosphere) doesn't seem to list any dance history blogs, so there's a gaping hole in the internet's knowledge of dance history. And of course, in-depth geekery on most any subject should be supported.

#133 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2007, 12:35 PM:

Susan, I wouldn't worry too much about the action of Snacky's Law on an LJ friend's list. I put mine together as a reading list in Buffy fandom, and innocently included both sides of a few of the most lethal feuds in that notoriously fractious fandom; I'm on good terms with nearly all of them still. The secret is to be unwanky yourself, and to remember that f-lock is your friend when you are tempted to vent.

This has not stopped me from being banned on a couple of other journals, most memorably for objecting, loudly and specifically, to a verbose essay contending that Spike was not ADHD. The author expanded on a list of that character's qualities which were, from the point of view of a person with an actual ADHD diagnosis, pretty much a checklist of ADDult behaviors. Her amazing skills at tl;dr made a point by point refutation more than my bad wiring was up to, and the frustration of the attempt led me to intemperate (although perfectly accurate) snark.

Compared to the noticeboards on which I got my earliest online schooling Live Journal is incredibly civil if also terribly passive-aggressive.

#134 ::: midori ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2007, 12:44 PM:

Yay Susan!!!111

Q:(1) register a domain name?
A: They are all worthy of avoidance.
I use godaddy, because they are convenient and cheap. (7$/yr) They also incorporate a whois anonymizing service for an extra 10$/yr. They sell a ton of other crap services on their site, which has an execrable interface. Look for coupon codes, btw, you'll save some money. You'll need a calculator to get the best deal - it's stupid stuff comparing like 5$ off 7 domain names or 30% off 1.

Make sure you sign up for somebody's anonymizing service, otherwise your billing address, phone number, and email will be visible to the whole internet and assorted stalkers.

Q:(2) if one were going to blog, what blogging, um, entity(?) is the best?
A: Wordpress. Scalzi uses it, and hasn't been able to break it, unlike Moveable Type. It's free, unlike Moveable Type. You can get it with almost any hosting company. It's extensible: putting in new plugins is as simple as dropping a textfile in the right directory and picking it with the (pretty good) graphical user interface. It has plugins for everything, including spam filtration. I use it, though not rigorously. It's alterable: you can download new themes that rearrange what things are presented, and how they are styled, easily. You can learn to make your own relatively easily, it's just bits of html and css style sheets, with a dash of learning that this bit of code does this operation.

You haven't asked about web hosting: if you did not know, hosting is renting a server, and is a distinct service from renting a domain name. You don't need (and don't want) your webhost and your registrar being the same company. (Connecting the two means copying a line of text from your webhost into a textbox on your registrar's site. Very easy.)

Q: (3) any idea what attracts people in general to read blogs by total strangers?
A: Expertise. Network effects (i.e. all of us.) Don't worry, you'll be fine.

#135 ::: Tania ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2007, 01:26 PM:

Susan, I'm an enthusiastic, barely adequate dancer. However...

I read historical novels and history tomes like other people consume mind altering substances. So, reading a blog on history of dance, development and progression of dance, how dance affects social interaction, etc. would, to use a phrase that I rarely use, rock my socks.

I can't believe I just used that phrase. ::face palms::

The good thing is, I'm fairly ignorant on the subject of dance, so you could tell me anything you wanted and I'm believe it! Oh, the power you could wield for good or evil. Bwahahahaha!!

The plethora of exclamation points I am using just shows how excited I am at the prospect of you having a blog.

#136 ::: Skwid ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2007, 01:29 PM:

It occurred to me the other day that I'd been listening to Teresa's theme song for over a year without even realizing it!

#137 ::: Nancy C. Mittens ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2007, 01:35 PM:

Susan, I'm excited because I like seeing people geek out, dance is interesting, and I have always been interested in the bits that you've posted here.

And maybe, just maybe, I can convince my SO that we need to make period costume and to go dancing.

Also, my LibraryThing fascination has been superceded by a Ravlery fascination. (redrose on both) I'll be back to LT as soon as I finish inputting the last pile of projects into my queue, and maybe my stash.

(And the spellchecker doesn't know supercede.)

#138 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2007, 01:45 PM:

NancyC @ 137

Possibly the spellchecker wants to be superseded.

#139 ::: Nancy C. Mittens ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2007, 01:48 PM:

Dang it! I looked it up at dictionary.com, and thought it was ok.

#140 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2007, 01:54 PM:

Susan, #111: Registering a domain name and finding a domain host are two different things. For the former, I strongly recommend godaddy.com, despite the silly-sounding name. For the latter, you'll need to do a bit more research; it may be that there's someone relatively local to you who'd be better than the Big Names.

If all you want is a blog rather than a website, that's a third thing altogether, and I second (third, fourth?) the recommendation for LiveJournal. It's relatively easy to use and provides several features that a lot of the other majors don't, such as comment threading.

Re "friends", that's kind of a misnomer now, but it's a holdover from LJ's starting place as a way for people who were RL friends to keep in touch online. And the way to avoid drama is to hang around the more drama-free areas (which is mostly where us Old Pharts hang out).

There are LJ layouts which allow you to link to various websites of interest, one of which could definitely be a store -- a lot of jewelry makers do that, and writers link to their own websites, etc.

If you do choose LJ, I guarantee that you'll go on my reading list, and I'll also point several dance-enthusiast pals in your direction!

#141 ::: Nathan ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2007, 02:24 PM:

FROM MERRIAM WEBSTER

supercede
One entry found.


supercede

Main Entry:
su·per·cede

variant of supersede

usage Supercede has occurred as a spelling variant of supersede since the 17th century, and it is common in current published writing. It continues, however, to be widely regarded as an error.

#142 ::: Soon Lee ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2007, 02:30 PM:

Mez @46:

I said 'I'm the most illegible bachelor in town'
And she said 'Yea, that's why I can never
understand any of those silly
letters you send me'"

Brilliant.

#143 ::: Adrian ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2007, 02:40 PM:

Can anyone recommend devices or techniques to make medium-distance driving safer, easier, and more comfortable for an inexperienced driver? It's been years since I've driven more than an hour at a time, and I usually try to avoid trips over 20 minutes, but I'll be driving at least an hour each way to work for the next few months. At least one way will be in the dark.

I vaguely remember hearing a traffic hymn a long time ago, suitable for both drivers and pedestrians.
Please don't hit us random persons
Please do not squash us like bugs
Please try hard to drive around us
Even though you're taking drugs
Does anyone know where it came from? And is there more where it came from?

#144 ::: beth meacham ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2007, 02:54 PM:

Our genial hosts wrote the Hymn Before Setting Out On A Journey. I do not recall all the words, though I've heard it many times, and even hummed along.

I expect they'll be along in a moment with it.

#145 ::: Janet Croft ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2007, 03:18 PM:

Christmas music -- I really like Rockapella's "Rockapella Christmas." Especially wonderful is their version of "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch." I have not heard their "Comfort and Joy," and it's got the newer band line-up and reviews are mixed.

Adrian -- The best advice is study your maps beforehand. I wound up getting majorly lost recently on a road I drive about twice a year, just because it was dark out and I didn't review my maps the night before. Know where you are headed; have an idea of an alternate route or bail-out point just in case; have a collection of print-outs with your route highlighted AND real area maps and city maps. Print them out large enough that you can glance quickly at them without having to refocus your eyes down to teeny-tiny print. AAA is your friend -- to me, the membership fee is worth it for maps, guidebooks, and especially TripTiks.

Pace yourself -- know if you're the type who can drive for three hours straight or just one, and mark the rest stops clearly on your map. Carry drinks and snacks where you can get them -- sometime you just need a soda to get you that next 30 miles to a good stopping point. Planning to drive that route again? Note down the good gas stations and confusing intersections.

I'm low tech and like paper maps myself, though I did just get a phone with GPS. Haven't tried it for driving directions, though.

#146 ::: Todd Larason ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2007, 03:27 PM:

Adrian @143 -- I find the music or audio is very important. It needs to be something upbeat and engaging enough to keep the driver awake, but not something energetic, forceful and tempo-increasing enough to encourage ever-increasing speeds. Patti Smith's "Horses" is a poor choice for the latter reason.

Lately I've been mostly enjoying the Escape Pod sf-story podcast for my ~45 minute commute.

#147 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2007, 03:34 PM:

Adrian, according to everything I've read, the single most important thing you can do to make you a safer long-distance driver is the simplest to advise and the hardest to accomplish: get sufficient sleep every night. Don't short yourself during the week and try to make it up on the weekend.

#148 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2007, 03:37 PM:

Adrian: until you get the route completely down, don't start with music or anything to take away your attention. At least the first couple times, you should be driving and nothing else. If it turns out you need something to listen to, add it, but start with quiet.
Make sure your seat and mirrors are adjusted right. Again, this is something for the first few trips.
Know your route, keep a map or two handy, and look at the route just before you go. It's not foolproof, but it helps a great deal.

Things to keep in the car that are not for emergencies but might make that specific hour easier: flashlight, a few dollars in change, suitable music setup (mine is kind of haphazard, but not the worst I've experienced), something easily eaten that doesn't go bad very quickly.

#149 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2007, 03:49 PM:

Recent Garmin GPS TV adverts filk the Carol of the Bells pretty effectively.

#150 ::: midori ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2007, 03:59 PM:

Adrian, 143,
Can anyone recommend devices or techniques to make medium-distance driving safer, easier, and more comfortable for an inexperienced driver?

Safer:
Number one is precisely what JESR says: sufficient sleep. Your body will unilaterally obtain enough REM sleep, should you deprive it. (Sometimes only for a few seconds at a time, but...)
Also: prescription sunglasses. Expensive,* but worth it. The most dangerous driving you'll do (on a regular basis) is near dusk and near dawn, when the sun is low in the sky. You lose a lot of detail in the shadows when your iris is trying to block out a bright light. A bonus is that it eliminates most trivial surface reflections, and makes some tinted windows transparent, making it fractionally easier to predict the behavior of other drivers.

*if you only keep them in the car, the chances of you ever losing them/sitting on them/etc are pretty small. They can last much longer than regular glasses that way.

#151 ::: Debbie ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2007, 04:18 PM:

Adrian, I'll second what Midori said. When the sun is low and the streets are wet, the glare can be very dangerous. Continuing the line of thought, keeping your windows clean and clear, inside and out, is also helpful.

#152 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2007, 04:24 PM:

Adrian... If driving where it might snow, get a scraper for the ice that might accumulate on the front windshield.

#153 ::: Nathan ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2007, 04:33 PM:

Adrian

In addition to what everyone else has said, I think the main thing is confidence and you won't gain confidence in anything you don't do repeatedly. Take a practice drive (or two) on the route you'll be following; both ways in daylight. Give yourself some landmarks that are really easy to pick out so you know when turns are coming up. Try to get to the point where the route is second nature and you can concentrate on the driving itself.

and another snow tip (and I believe this one's a law in most places.)

When you clear the snow off your car, clear the roof too. You create a hazard when the snow on your roof starts blowing off at the cars behind you, and it also suck big-time when you hit the brakes and the whole roof-full-o-snow slides down your windshield and blinds you.

#154 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2007, 04:34 PM:

(My favorite Christmas song.)

Christmas time is here
Happiness and cheer
Fun for all that children call
Their favorite time of the year

Snowflakes in the air
Carols everywhere
Olden times and ancient rhymes
Of love and dreams to share

Sleigh bells in the air
Beauty everywhere
Yuletide by the fireside
And joyful memories there

Christmas time is here
We'll be drawing near
Oh, that we could always see
Such spirit through the year
Oh, that we could always see
Such spirit through the year...

#155 ::: Martin Sutherland ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2007, 04:35 PM:

On the subject of interesting Christmas music, how about some Death Metal to spread a little fëstive chëer?

#156 ::: guthrie ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2007, 05:06 PM:

#102- TIm Hall- I saw them last week as well, at the Barrowlands in Glasgow, as the support act for "Within temptation". I didn't like them much, but at least they seemed to be trying.

As for medium distance driving, I find a radio with preset stations very useful. I can switch between talking people on radio 4 to music of various kinds, without taking my attention off the road, and the change in noise helps stimulate me. (Especially when some mendacious politician comes on and I have to concentrate to avoid crashing the car in annoyance)

#157 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2007, 05:55 PM:

Driving:

I used to bring a 2-liter bottle of Mountain Dew on long car trips. The caffeine kept me awake, and the diuretic effects kept me going. As in, I had to pull over into rest stops and pee. This is a good thing; it makes rest stops mandatory.

Becoming obsessive-compulsive about windshield cleanliness is another good thing. It ensures good visibility, and it makes you pull over to wipe crap off your windows.

Bring a camera.

#158 ::: Nancy C. Mittens ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2007, 06:08 PM:

I find that the windshield wiper fluid with the RainX in it is a wonderful thing. The water beads up and flows off the window, and the ice is easier to clean off.

If you are able (There are temperature limits on the application), RainX-ing and FogX-ing your windows is a good idea.

#159 ::: Julia Jones ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2007, 06:13 PM:

*Polaroid* sunglasses, if you're sensitive to reflection glare. They cut out the glare without cutting down the rest of the light too badly -- and glare can be an issue even on a cloudy day.

#160 ::: midori ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2007, 06:15 PM:

Adrian,
I should mention that if you are talking about drives of 60 to 85 minutes, to not let all of our well meaning advice turn this into something intimidating. Experience itself should turn this commute into something innocuous soon enough.

#161 ::: Peter Erwin ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2007, 06:19 PM:

Because it's an open thread:

A bookstore built inside a former Dominican church, in Maastricht.

And for extra biblio-aesthetic whiplash, there's the competition-winning design for an extension to the Czech National Library in Prague: a giant alien amoeba.

(Apologies if this has been posted or discussed before...)

#162 ::: Todd Larason ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2007, 06:28 PM:

Xopher @972 in the previous thread: (re: Tin Man, which I've now finished watching) why MS instead of DG? Mary Sue, or is there some other reference I'm missing?

V jbhyq unir orra unccvre vs Qbebgul Tnyr unqa'g orra fubja; jvgu ure, V'z abj fghpx gelvat gb fubrubea guvf vagb gur Jvmneq puebabybtl, naq vg whfg qbrfa'g svg. Jvgubhg ure, vg jnf fbzr nygreangr ernyvgl / qvssrerag ernyvmngvba bs gur nepurglcr glcr guvat, juvpu V jnf bxnl jvgu. Rkprcg sbe gur raqvat; vg jnf gbb arng naq gvql naq _rnfl_.

#163 ::: midori ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2007, 06:41 PM:

Oh, I just found a wonderful bit of writing on the...well, I won't spoil it, but it's very much in the vein of what Jim MacDonald wrote on November 14, 2007, (Of Fire, Fire, Fire I Sing… ), it's regarding a historical anniversary for those who hail from Canada, and it's short.

Please take a look.

#164 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2007, 07:10 PM:

Hey, here's something heartwarming from LiveJournal. This guy's college (Berklee) is giving an honorary degree to Chris Guest! "An honorary degree in music," writes Oakenguy.

And they did it by holding a huge concert. With a video contribution from Elvis Costello. A huge concert that ended with Guest on guitar, the college president on drums, and 50 bassists parading down the aisles playing 'Big Bottom'.

What is this strange, alien sensation in my chest? C-could it actually be...school pride?
Way to go, Berklee! Turn it up to 11!
#165 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2007, 07:41 PM:

A. J. @ 93 - I have been corrupted. I kept reading your most excellent Howl pastiche to the tune of TMBG's "I Should Be Allowed To Think." For fairly obvious reasons.

I am past Xmas Carol Saturation Point and slowly approaching the Infuration Horizon. This annual process has been jump-started by a co-worker getting fairly snide at me when I mentioned my chagrin at a radio station playing nothing but Christmas music from Thanksgiving until New Year. "Yes, isn't it great?!" he said, in that ya wanna make something of it? tone of voice. I made glad-you-like-it-not-my-style kind of noises, and he said something pitying along the lines of "Yes, it must be hard for you with that kind of attitude." Like, y'know, I'm missing a vital moral component because I don't like having the stuff shoved down my throat in every public space for six weeks straight. And this from someone that I had thought was incapable of uttering a mean word to anyone. It really stung.

Why is Christmas music so privileged that someone who, like me, doesn't care for the stuff much after a day or so, gets accused of having an attitude problem? Even by people who know I'm not Christian! And therefore it's just another damn genre to me! I don't insult him for not liking to listen to nothing but Tori Amos straight for a month, or A-Ha's East of the Sun, West of the Moon (the latter of which I did for the entirety of NaNoWriMo for reasons I'm still not entirely cognizent of). It's not like Christmas, or Christianity, has a monopoly on celebrating the spirit of giving or lighting lights against the darkest night of the year. But if I don't like the music, I must be a "Scrooge." As though Dickens had nothing deeper or more nuanced in mind with that character than "archetypal Christmas hater."

I know, I know why this is. Rhetorical question. Every so often I am compelled to moan about it.

On the topic of Christmas music we don't get sick of, I heard Jim Croce's "It Doesn't Have To Be That Way" in the grocery store yesterday, and it wasn't until the next song came on that I realized it was part of a Christmas set list:

Crowded stores, the corner Santa Claus
Tinseled afternoons
And the sidewalk bands who play their songs
Slightly out of tune

On the windy winter afternoons
There walks a lonely man
And if I told you who he is
I think you'd understand

I like that one a lot.

#166 ::: Dena Shunra ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2007, 07:43 PM:

Is the Open Thread a good place to point out the fascinating position by the British Crown Prosecution about collecting "information of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism"?

Samina Malik's story here - and a bit of a caution to those of use who collect information in general, and the (smaller but growing group of the) ones who are particularly fascinated with security theater, real security, and the tantalizing gap between them where ancient dances can be projected?

#167 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2007, 07:52 PM:

Todd 162: I meant Mary Sue. And I agree with what you said in the ROT13 section.

#168 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2007, 08:12 PM:

Todd @162, I concur with Xopher on the rot-13 part.

#169 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2007, 08:22 PM:

Past a certain age, a once-a-year Christmas is just too often. At this point in my life, the season seems to come about every three months or so.

So if I were king of da forest, I'd rule that Christmas would come yearly for children under the age of 15, every two years for people 15 - 30, every three years from 31-50, and every four years after that.

#170 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2007, 08:29 PM:

Just got Garth Ennis's revamped Dan Dare. I never read the original, but I found this story engaging, in a very sad kind of way.

#171 ::: Pyre ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2007, 08:31 PM:

Xopher @ 167: And here I thought you might have meant Matilda Stanton (or Staunton), riffing off L. Frank Baum's family history.

Stanton was his mother's maiden name -- and the reason that one of his pen names was "Schuyler Staunton".

Freethinker and rights activist Matilda Joslyn Gage was his beloved mother-in-law.

The character Dorothy Gale was named afer MJG's granddaughter (Baum's niece) Dorothy Louise Gage, who died in infancy.

#172 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2007, 08:38 PM:

Christmas music is like patriotic music for me-- I love the good stuff, but there is such a lot of bad stuff to get through.

#173 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2007, 08:54 PM:

I just wish some talented songwriters would come up with some new Christmas music, rather than simply new arrangements of the same material I've been hearing since I could recognize individual songs.

#174 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2007, 09:08 PM:

Nicole

The runway (well, taxiway) light colors: the answer is actually 'yes'. One airport has very blue lights along the taxiway, the other has a green close to the same color as the beacon.

#175 ::: Nathan ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2007, 09:12 PM:

OK, open thread and all...

On the local news tonight, they ran a story about how since the Whopper is turning 50, they had Madame Tousaud's recreate the Burger King character, (the creepy one from the commercials) in the museum. Then they had the guy in the costume unveiling the damned thing.

I just find it a little strange that they'd make a wax figure of something that's already basically a puppet.

You may now return to your posts. That is all.

#176 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2007, 09:16 PM:

Diatryma @ #103: ...the kind of yarn you get if you shave Big Bird and spin it...

<boggle>... LOL!

#177 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2007, 09:23 PM:

The danger of new Christmas songs is the same as with new patriotic songs (sorry, the comparison came to me and it is far too perfect for me to let go). You want something that feels like "Silver Bells" and end up with "Christmas Shoes". I'd be happy to find more new-to-me Christmas music, written whenever.

#178 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2007, 09:40 PM:

Those who were participating in the "Container Architecture" thread may find this interesting.

Nicole, if I were in your position I'd bring in a heavy rotation of pagan-oriented music and play it until your cow-orker complained. Then I'd look at him pityingly and say, "It must be hard for you with that kind of an attitude."

David, #176: That particular kind of yarn has been called "muppet-hide" by my knitting friends for years, because that's what it looks like once you've knit it up.

#179 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2007, 09:54 PM:

Just a heads-up; I noticed from my anti-spam/AV report for yesterday that it had deleted some bounced virus emails supposedly from "me" (sent from the address I post from here) to Charlie Stross's and Linkmeister's email addresses. (No, they weren't actually from me unless that virus can infect Mutt on a Unix shell account.)

I suspect that means some regular reader of this blog is infected with the latest Windows virus nastiness and spreading it around. For the next little while, be slightly cautious opening email from fellow ML readers, and whoever you are out there, get that thing treated damnit!

#180 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2007, 09:55 PM:

Nathan @ 175... the Whopper is turning 50

I'm older than the Whopper.
Thanks.
I think I'll go have a drink.

#181 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2007, 10:00 PM:

The fun thing about the shaved yellow scarf is that it has a pocket on one end (the end that wasn't very rectangular at all) and a big fat bobble on the other. The friend I gave it to reported that her Italian greyhound goes nuts trying to kill the bobble, and now he just wants to catch the entire scarf. It must smell like Big Bird still.
Furry and eyelash yarn isn't always appropriate, no matter what yarn manufacturers think. But in some cases it's the only thing that will do.

#182 ::: Terry (in Germany) ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2007, 11:45 PM:

Susan: Drama? Happens everywhere. The tricks, as said is to avoid drama-laden people/places.

There are some very nice aspects to Lj. Part of my intertia is (despite the low esteem in which is is, largely, held in the "world o' blogging" it has some solid features.

I don't have to worry about comment spam.

I have a blog roll which only takes one tab. I can put together lots of such blogrolls.

For 20 bucks a year, I have a gig of photo-hosting, newer features make it possible to just dump a photo to my Lj, without having to do things elsewhere (like mess with flickr)

My concerns about our new russian overlords are political (and since I write about politics, that may become important).

I am with fidelio, squeeing. Why? Because I like people. I like people who know things, and share the knowledge. If you were on Lj, I'd add you in a heartbeat, because I like the subjects on which you plan to write (30 years tripping the light fantastic in Regency, and not enough in Baltic and Elizabethan. I'm bent).

More, I think blogging is fun, and the thought of someone else who likes words having fun I can share... as they say, "priceless".

On Christmas. It's really nice being in Germany. When we go to town things are much more subtle, and the PX isn't all carols all the time.

I like the Roches, love that Croce song and have none of the other things I like handy (the Cheiftans Bells of Dublin has some wonderful stufff on it).

But I like Christmas carols, and practice them (when Maia can't hear me) year round

#183 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2007, 11:52 PM:

Linkmeister, #80, er, no, I hadn't heard of that one, but it's on my wishlist now. As to Dolly Parton, I not only have both Trios, but three of her solo albums. When I went through the CDs before the renovations, I ended up with mostly country, R&B, and folk.

Julia, #81, I've used a lot of the yarn you gave me -- most of it into scarves and hats and mittens to give to the shelter.

Lee, #90, The only CD I have of winter holiday music is A Winter's Night: Christmas in the Great Hall -- all instrumentals by Ensemble Galilei.

Susan, #126, I just like knowing stuff, and you know a lot of stuff about dance history. It's interesting reading people who really know what they're writing.

Adrian, #143, is there any way you can take an experienced driver with you the first few times?

18 years ago today, 14 women were killed in the name of feminism at the Ecole Polytechnique.

#184 ::: Pyre ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 12:06 AM:

Marilee @ 183, I think "in the name of anti-feminism" might be truer.

#185 ::: Susan ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 12:23 AM:

My favorite carol is "Good King Wenceslas", preferably sung in a sprightly manner rather than as a dirge.

#186 ::: Tania ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 12:27 AM:

I was an undergraduate in an engineering program in 1989, and still remember the horror of the news.

#187 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 12:34 AM:

Susan @ #185, I always liked that one for selfish reasons: it has my saint's name in its second line.

I'm partial to "Silver Bells" because it paints images better than most.

#188 ::: Tania ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 12:36 AM:

Susan - ooh, yes. I love it when you get people to sing parts in "Good King Wenceslas", a nice baritone for the king and a sweet young tenor for the page, and the rest of us singing the other parts. Jolly and festive.

#189 ::: Rozasharn ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 01:05 AM:

Adrian @143
If you're interested in other music with a 'surviving traffic' theme, you may be interested in "Grandpa’s Advice" by Adie Grey and Dave MacKenzie

Sample:

When you’re out here on your own
Just assume that everybody else is half-asleep or stoned
They’re all jerks,
And not a one knows how to drive
So you gotta pay attention to make it home alive
I’ll give you my philosophy, I guarantee it works
Repeat it after me, kid,
They’re all jerks.

You may also be interested in Cartalk's vast list of car-related songs they've played on the show. Sadly it doesn't include lyrics, but many of them are worth looking up.

#190 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 01:07 AM:

In #173 Linkmeister writes:

I just wish some talented songwriters would come up with some new Christmas music, rather than simply new arrangements of the same material I've been hearing since I could recognize individual songs.

I believe that songwriters, talented or no, come up with new Christmas music all the time. But the canon of Christmas songs froze sometime in the mid-Sixties, and new songs are almost never assimilated into it.

While we're on the subject, here's something I often recommend this time of year: Tris McCall's Christmas Abstract, a splendid commentary on a whole bunch of holiday songs.

#191 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 01:19 AM:

Another thumbs up for Wenceslas. A bright a happy tune, and there's a line in it I dig:

Heat was in the very soil which the saint had printed.

There's something interestingly pagan-ish about a guy so kindly his footprints sizzle.

#192 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 02:23 AM:

midori @ 163

That was really beautiful; I was crying by the time I finished reading it. It has a special resonance for me; as I think I've mentioned here before, I watched from ten miles away as a town in California was destroyed by about 500 tons of Navy bombs in a train that caught fire. In that case we were very lucky, because a) no one was killed or even seriously injured and b) that train was scheduled to go by about 15 feet from my kitchen window a few hours later. So I have some idea what that looked and felt like. I admire Vince Coleman immensely for what he did.

#193 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 02:33 AM:

Susan, #185: GKW is my favorite traditional carol, both because it tells a story and because it makes an important point (and one which much modern-day Christianity seems to have forgotten). One of the reasons I like the Roches' album so much is a subtle change they make in the lyrics of that song; instead of singing, "Therefore Christian men be sure / wealth or rank possessing," they sing it, "Therefore everyone be sure". I don't sing it any other way now.

#194 ::: Madeline F ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 02:37 AM:

So, open thread... I just got around to replacing the batteries in my smoke detectors. Now I have a couple 9 volt batteries sitting at my left hand that probably still have plenty of juice in them. Seems a shame to throw them out, but the flashlight I thought took 9V actually takes C...

What cool stuff do you guys have that uses 9V batteries? Or AAAA batteries, since I can take the 9V's apart to get 6 AAAA's.

Apparently there are teeeeny little 2-LED flashlights that are just caps on 9V batteries, but they're all sold with a battery included, so that kindof defeats the purpose... And all the emergency cell phone chargers I'm seeing use AAs...

#57 Adrian: I'm sorry no one has GPS suggestions, because one of my LJ friends just asked for the exact same thing. For driving, I find it useful to have the radio on, because otherwise my brain has enough space to start considering things and then I get wrapped up in thinking. Better to whistle along while watching the road.

#128 Nancy Lebovitz: I have a theory that people want to be heard. The ones who feel like no one's listening to them are more likely to do something huge and crazy that they think can't be ignored. I'm not sure if most people actually want to change things as much as they want to have people giving some consideration to what they say.

Also, yay abi!
A voice of peace
In a jingly season
Largesse indeed

#195 ::: Madeline F ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 02:50 AM:

I also love Good King Wenceslas. "Those of you who bless the poor, shall in turn be ble-ees-sed..." Also, since I'm watching all the Clone Wars animated stuff now... I mean, I'm seeing Jedi all over, but the holy man/apprentice thing is fun in a sweet way.

#57 Adrian: (Oh, though why not connect the dots in case he gets suggestions on his post?)

#164 Kip W: Yay! I love Christopher Guest. Everything I've seen him in, his character is all about love and the strange ways it manifests. And Eee! the Boston Globe article linked off the Berklee article mentions that Guest used to perform with Arlo Guthrie!!

#196 ::: A.J. Luxton ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 04:30 AM:

I know some people like Christmas music, but does anyone like Christmas muzak? I really think that in the era of consumer demographics (which the kitten has helped me type three times as 'convsumer', 'consuvmer', and 'conjnsumerv') someone should have been able to figure out by now that we are all sick of it.

Today I went to the mall in Yangzhou and found that, though the city is largely not celebrating Christmas, the mall is -- by playing umpteen Chinese renditions of Jingle Bells (or "Ding Ding Dong") back to back continuously, and dressing up the mall workers as Santa's elves. I found it very surreal, but tiresome, except for the one version that had someone rapping (in Mandarin of course) for a bridge. I did not hear a song that wasn't Jingle Bells, and I was in there for about twenty-five minutes.

Nicole J. L-L., @ 165: If I had a personal coat of arms, "I don't want the world, I just want your half" would be the motto.

#197 ::: Greg M. ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 04:35 AM:

Hey, does anyone else here suffer from a Making Light *addiction?* I'm serious. By which I mean, I wanted to work on my play about an evil talking laundry room last night. By "wanted" I mean "needed." And I sat down at the computer, and had to read the whole rest of the thread on the SFWA. All of it. For 45 minutes.
Seriously, I need the equivalent of a Nicorette patch. This & liberal political blogs. Freakin' soft addiction.
And now I'm going to have to read all of *this* thread… sigh…

#198 ::: Greg M. ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 05:06 AM:

Abi, if the power goes out, and you need to manually generate power for the disemvoweller, you may be able to do so here.

#74 ::: Heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2007, 12:27 AM:
Heresiarch, you win an internets. It's in the mail.

Christmas music not played enough:
1) Anything from "The Nightmare Before Christmas"
2) The theme from the British animated film "The Snowman" (usually airs on PBS Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, also available on DVD)
3) "The Night Santa Went Crazy" and "Christmas At Ground Zero," Weird Al.
(Nicole@165, you will particularly like these two.)
4) Benjamin Britten's cycle of carols

#199 ::: Terry (in Germany) ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 05:10 AM:

I have waves of heavy usage. Lately it's been really heavy, and here in Germany it's a strange (well, that's not the right word, but...) sort of way to touch base with home.

#200 ::: aabieie ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 05:26 AM:

Oaouh shieiut!

eIeai jououste drouppeiede aiea fuiulle beieine oaouf espaieire vouweiles! Theiay'reie eieveirywhaieire!

Muouste cleaiene theaime ououp beiafouure aeineyioune coumeies.

#201 ::: Neil Willcox ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 06:06 AM:

Does no one read the Making Light Secret Email List? Abi has been smart, interesting, interested, kind and witty since I first started reading here; she contributes fascinating bookbinding information, exquisite poetry and adds insight to almost everything she involves herself with.

Clearly she is a Sock-Troll* who intends to destroy Making Light**.

__
*Related to the underpant gnomes:

1. Create Sock Puppets
2. ?
3. WORLD DOMINATION!

** Reference to the latest Wikipedia kerfuffle.

#202 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 06:37 AM:

The thing I can't stand about seasonal music is when it's polluted with chipmunk or other animal transformations.

#203 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 06:52 AM:

Earl @ 202... And there I was, about to mention that one of my favarote Christmas TV specials is Olive, the Other Reindeer... Oh well. It did end with UltraMan and the big Tokyo-destroying monster dancing together. And with the Pope getting a baseball cap.

#204 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 06:58 AM:

Julie L suggested that I should post about this... I'll be in the Bay Area the week before Christmas, provided that the long drive from New Mexico doesn't involve the minivan going off the road and down a mountainside if it snows at the Tehachapi Pass. Julie and I and a couple of other fluorosphericals are hoping to meet in the evening, on December 18. Care to join us? Where? We don't know yet. That'd depend on who'd be there, and who needs transportation.

#205 ::: Niall McAuley ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 07:07 AM:

Looking at wikipedia's list of Christmas hits, I'd say all of the following have been added to the canon of Christmas music here in Ireland since the 60s:

"Happy Xmas (War Is Over)", John Lennon, 1971
"Merry Xmas Everybody", Slade, 1973
"Lonely This Christmas", Mud, 1974
"In Dulci Jubilo", Mike Oldfield, 1975
"I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day", Wizzard, 1973
"Wonderful Christmastime", Paul McCartney, 1979
"Stop the Cavalry", Jona Lewie, 1980
"Another Rock and ROll Christmas", Gary Glitter, 1984
"Last Christmas", Wham, 1984
"Do They Know It's Christmas?", Band Aid, 1984
"Merry CHristmas Everyone", Shakin Stevens, 1985
"Fairytale of New York", The Pogues with Kirsty MacColl, 1987
"Driving Home for Christmas", Chris Rea, 1988
"Mistletoe and Wine", Cliff Richard, 1988
"All I Want for Christmas is You", Mariah Cary, 1994


#206 ::: Terry (in Germany) ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 07:16 AM:

Serge: Argghhh. Maybe Maia and I can find a reason to be north that early (we plan to be at Dickens' Faire the weekend of the 21st).

If so, yes, I think we would love to lower our various SDS numbers of various Flourosphereians

#207 ::: Martin Wisse ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 07:19 AM:

For Susan, at 111 and further:

If you're looking for somebody to register your domain name and host a website and provide blogging software, may I recommend powweb.com?

It's the one I use, you get one free domain name of your choice with your subscription and it's eight dollars a month for iirc 200 gigs of bandwith and 20 gigs of disc space. They also provide one button installation of a great many popular blogging platforms, including wordpress, plus free e-commerce software and such.

#208 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 07:21 AM:

My favourite Xmas carols haven't been mentioned yet: The Holly and the Ivy, and In the Bleak Midwinter.

My favourite patriotic music: An die Freude, of course.

#209 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 08:13 AM:

Serge #203, What I object to is along the lines of Jingle Bells done with dog barks, and the annoying high-pitched audio transform that makes the Chipmunks possible. Just try to think of a musical Chipmunks version of Citizen Kane without cringing....

#210 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 08:17 AM:

Bruce @ 192

Ah, *that* train. The report I found online said (in effect) it was a good thing it was too long for its siding: they had to split it to park it there.

#211 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 08:34 AM:

My favorite Christmas carol story is Mark Evanier's encounter with Mel Torme.

#212 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 09:00 AM:

"Good King Wenceslas" used to confuse me; since I learned it from the Roches' version, and they are not terribly clear singers for lyrics, I thought for years that someone actually died. And it doesn't seem to be so. Sigh. There's also "Chiron Beta Prime" from Jonathan Coulton, which is fun.

#213 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 09:08 AM:

re 190: A lot of the reason is that the Christmas music market is simply saturated. New sacred stuff does come out-- I highly recommend "Maria Walks Amid the Thorn", for one-- but there's so much already out there that the music publishers have to be really impressed before they'll take on new stuff. And then it has to become well enough known. A great deal of this stuff is not suitable for the mall, though some of it could go on the specialty shop's CD player when they get tired of Maggie Sansone. There's some wonderful colonial New England stuff wandering around out there which is underrecorded and could work on the Muzak (e.g. Sherburne and the two settings of "Methinks I hear a heavenly host").

As far as Christmas standards are concerned, I think we've become too styliscally fragmented and too cynical.

BTW, "Good King Wenceslas" isn't that old: it's a Victorian construct with words by John Mason Neale and a spring carol tune from Piae Cantiones. And while I'm at it, the "Ukrainian Carol of the Bells" isn't old either, and (at least in Ukrainian) isn't about bells anyway. The original song is about a bird; the English lyrics came along later and are in fact still under copyright.

#214 ::: R. M. Koske ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 09:11 AM:

I'm discovering that it is very, very hard to add Christmas music to your own canon.

My parents had a reel-to-reel tape player, and sometime very early in their marriage, possibly before I was born, my father put four Christmas albums on one reel. A Boston Pops Christmas album that begins with the lovely, booming "A Christmas Festival", a choral album by the Norman Luboff choir, a Chet Atkins Christmas album, and a Jim Reeves Christmas album.* Start the player going and you had four hours of nonstop Christmas music. We loved it.

That's what Christmas has to sound like, and adding anything new has been quite hard. I've managed to shoehorn a few Mannheim Steamroller songs in (I know, I know, but their Veni, Veni is quite nice). Other than that, not much sticks.

I think part of it is that it has gotten harder for me to get excited about Christmas as I get older. So the ancient stuff has the association of my childhood excitement, while the new stuff is just more Christmas music.

*Everything but the Pops sounds a bit dated but still acceptable, I think. Jim Reeves includes one unfortunate but catchy song about a poor Mexican asking Santa to give him a peso to buy a ring so he can marry his girlfriend. I love it, but I'm worried that it is even more offensive than I think it is, so I try not to play it in public.

#215 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 09:14 AM:

Oh, rowrbazzle. I'm amazed that I'm the first to mention Deck Us All With Boston Charlie, Walt Kelly's ode to the Green Line.

#216 ::: Tim Hall ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 09:17 AM:

#156 Guthrie:

I saw 69 Eyes at Manchester Academy, also supporting Within Temptation. 69 Eyes came over as having put too much effort into their image, and not enough into the music. And programmed keyboards - ugh!

Do you think "The missing link between Enya and Rammstein" even remotely describes Within Temptation? Thought they were good, but not quite in the same league as Marillion the following night. I've reviewed both on my blog.

#218 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 09:27 AM:

Hey, Serge--I like your bad jokes. Except when you beat me to the ones I wanted to make.

Susan--oooooh, yes, please start a blog!

My favorite Christmas CD is Sanctus (Ex Cathedra/Jeffrey Skidmore). Anonymous 4's On Yoolis Night is OK, if you like all women, all the time. I do, but not as a steady diet. William Christie did a CD of Charpentier's Christmas stuff. Gothic Voices' The Service of Venus and Mars has two Christmas songs on it--"Lullay, lullay" and "Ther is no rose of swych vertu"--and the rest of the stuff is also really good, including a riproaring "Agincourt Carol." (Oh, and Messiah, part the first, of course! But you have to be careful which version you get. Some of them are terrible.)

Hm, I seem to be back now. Temporarily, anyway.

#219 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 09:29 AM:

Adrian@57 I want something I can use in the car to guide me between home and a contract job, and around traffic jams as needed. I also want to be able to take it out of the car, in case I need to not get lost on foot when I am walking 3 miles between new apartments, commuter rail stations, workplaces, etc. Can anyone recommend a device that would be good for both applications? I'm more interested in ease of use and reliability than in having a lot of features to play with.

Sorry if this is too late. I have a Garmin 76CS Plus. It's a handheld unit that is designed to be usable by hikers, but it also can load hi-res maps and compute turn-by-turn directions for your car, including recalculating in case you miss a turn or whatever.

If you get the GPS, you have to get the "detailed maps" (called something like that) to do turn-by-turn navigation. The map software loads on your PC, and covers like all of North America (and they have other continents too that you can buy). You then have to hook the unit up to your PC with a USB cable, and select which sections to download into the GPS non-volatile memory.

The memory isnt' big enough to fit the whole US, so you have to pick what is important to you. But it's got enough memory that you can get all the maps for probably 10 states around you. Which means you should be covered for most trips.

I don't know if Garmin has a newer version of this Model. but I'd recommmend it or whatever newer version of it is available. Also, get the external antenna and cigarette lighter adapter. I use NiMH rechargable batteries and a separate recharger. the unit doesn't charge the batteries in it, so you'll want some kind of charger from Radio Shack. It uses 2AA batteries, so I got 4 rechargable batteries. a pair is always in the unit. and a pair is always in the charger.

#220 ::: guthrie ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 09:34 AM:

Tim # 216- I am not a music critic, but I think there is a bit of Enya in there, certainly. But Rammstein? naw, except insofar as lots of people have been doing metal with strings added kind of stuff. Also Within temptations songs make a bit more sense than Rammsteins do, at least to me, but then I don't speak german.
Plus your spot on about whatshernames voice, without it the band would be sort of middling.

I admit to never having heard Marillion before, so have no idea if they are better than within temptation.
Also, I have little concert going experience, and to be honest find that CD's sound better. Ok, at the concert you get the crowd effects and sound so loud it gives you a massage, but somehow I just don't find them better than the CD.

Which is sort of the opposite of classical stuff, interestingly enough. Classical concerts come across to me as being far deeper and more interesting than the CD's, whereas metal etc is better on CD than in person.
But I have no doubt that both sound better when you are playing in the band or orchestra.

#221 ::: Malthus ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 09:34 AM:

I've been playing with the Web 2.0 name generator.

So far, my favorites are "Myopia" and "Skynte". I think I may actually register "Skynte"; it's great!

#222 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 09:36 AM:

Cool, Garmin now has a upgraded model (76CSx) that will let you plug in memory cards so you can have as much memory as they make in a card, and you can put different maps on different cards, so you don't need a PC to change maps in the memory. Nice improvement.

It's shown here.

#223 ::: R. M. Koske ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 09:40 AM:

Am I the only one who can't get to Kip W's link at #164? Livejournal is absolutely insistent that I must log in, which I won't do at work. It keeps looping me to a login page. Is this new behavior because of the new policies? I've never seen it do this before. Usually stuff that is friends-locked just says you don't have permission.

#224 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 10:10 AM:

Earl Cooley III @ 209... The Chipmunks? Gag. Maybe they're what Hiro was having nightmares about.

#225 ::: Brandon Allbery ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 10:11 AM:

Lee @178: I'd try that with Chanukah music, except that it's mostly worse.

#226 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 10:13 AM:

TexAnne @ 218... Flattery, eh?

"Serge, how do you manage to say so many stupid things in one day?"
"Easy. I get up early."

#227 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 10:14 AM:

R.M.Koske @ 219... I'm discovering that it is very, very hard to add Christmas music to your own canon.

"Mister Hornblower! Fire all canons!"

#228 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 10:16 AM:

One of Tom Holt's novels has a grim, cheerless world where the Greco-Roman gods are still worshipped, and carols include


Bad King Atreus looked out
On the slopes of Pindus;
Lightning came and rubbed him out,
Burning him to cinders;
Atreus, the silly sod,
Came to Jove's attention;
People who offend a god
Don't collect their pe-en-sion.

#229 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 10:21 AM:

Terry (in Germany) @ 206... I don't know if the evening of December 22 would be feasible. You know, there's nothing to prevent you and other fluorosphericals from meeting if I couldn't make it. Let's see how that goes.

#230 ::: Christopher Davis ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 10:23 AM:

R.M. Koske (#223): It's not just you; I am logged in, and get a 403 Forbidden on that page. I'm guessing that it's "friends"-locked, and Kip can see it but most of the rest of us can't.

#231 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 10:30 AM:

Serge #227: Surely that should be, 'Mr Pachelbel, fire your canon!'

#232 ::: Terry (in Germany) ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 10:41 AM:

Serge: If it can't work, it can't work.

But, if I have my geography aright, tehachapi isn't too far from home. Maia is on break, and we might be able to either meet somewhere on the way, or just head up to SF a few days early and find people to visit.

#233 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 10:48 AM:

"There is no rose" is one of those things that gets re-set a lot; besides my own, Britten's, and the original, I know of two other versions.

re 214: My parents had that Norman Luboff album. It actually has a couple of uncommon goodies on it (Billings's Shiloh for one). I'm surprised nobody has brought up the Ray Conniff album that scarred by childhood and haunts the halls of commerce to this day.

We also had such a tape, except it was a cassette and it was recorded off WLIF (old "beautiful music" station in No. Va.) without benefit of electrical connection between the radio and the tape deck.

re 208: Holst or Harold Darke? (For me, it's the Holst, but I am made to sing the other nearly every year at church.)

Another great holly carol is the Sans Day Carol.

#234 ::: R. M. Koske ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 10:57 AM:

What genre is Rammstein? Really what I want to know is what genre is Kompressor, but I'm not sure if they're well known or not. They sound similar to what little Rammstein I've heard. I'm not into the style at all, but I found a recording of "Girl from Ipanema" by Kompressor that I adore.

"Tall and tan and young and lovely,
the girl from Ipanema goes walking
and when she passes,
everyone she passes says,

AAAAAAARRGGH!" (Imagine the most agonized, horrified cry you can, held for several beats.)

I can listen to that bit over and over, and laugh myself silly every time. I'm not sure how one is supposed to interpret the song without assuming it is a joke.


#233 - C. Wingate -I'm not sure we're talking about the same Norman Luboff album. My parents had "Christmas with the Norman Luboff Choir," and Shiloh isn't in the track listing on Amazon.

#235 ::: Faren Miller ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 10:59 AM:

Fans of crocheting and knitting might want to check out the Pieter Hugo photo on p.22 of the 12/10 New Yorker: a rather piratical looking African guy with his pet hyena, whose muzzle seems to be made from crocheted cord or rope. (Folks in NYC can see the original at the Milo gallery.)

#236 ::: Faren Miller ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 11:09 AM:

PS to PJ Evans (#127): I Googled La Porte, the nearest extant town to Port Wine, and it turns out to be in Plumas County, not Humboldt. Same kind of "lonesome road" feeling, though.

#237 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 11:17 AM:

On one of my two trips to Phoenix, probably the first, I was taken to Mountain Shadows with a group of fen.

Today WFMU has posted mp3s of an LP by Dick and Libby Halleman, recorded at the place itself. I don't think this is the group I saw -- there was a polka band playing when I was there. Still, this band has Lawrence Welk's approval, so maybe it was them.

Anyway, one more set of mp3s to download. For me, at least. Pass the word to all the Scottsdale crowd, please. Bruce, you getting this?

#238 ::: Dave Luckett ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 11:22 AM:

Serge, if you're reading, I need to know if "C'est un infamie!" is something a Frenchman might say, if he were seriously ticked off by being falsely arrested. Would he, perhaps, use an emphasiser, or a different word order. or different words? The general sense in English would be "This is a disgrace!", said with strong indignation.

#239 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 11:23 AM:

Coo! If I'd realized Patricia was on there, I'd have downloaded it, no matter who it was by. I wonder if YouTube has Perez Prado playing it... (Ah! The answer is "sí"!)

#240 ::: midori ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 11:25 AM:

further advice for Susan
Domain names: Psychic Whois is a fun tool. Great cat-vacuummer that one. It autocompletes/autopredicts domain names and lets you know which ones are already taken. Handy for identifying some one-character typo sites.

Clark E. Myers, in 129, mentioned taking common typos for a domain name as well as the .net, .org, etcs. I'm more of the school of thought that you only really need the .com. (Unless you really are an "organization", in which case you really need the .com and the .org, because everyone uses .com even when they know better. The python programming language site is .org, but sadly the .com equivalent is porn, so, well, you can fill in the blanks.

Typos are much less significant than they used to be, since "less experienced" internet users often just type the domain name into google. That's how most people who aren't directly linked to you will find you anyway.

Hosting/blogging platforms:
I forgot to mention the distinction between wordpress.com vs. wordpress.org. The dot-com offers free (and paid) blogs using Wordpress software. Robert Scoble uses the free dot-com version - it's robust enough. The main downside to the freely hosted version is the lack of customization. I'd pick free wordpress over Google's Blogger anyday, if for no other reason than the default templates for Blogger make it hard for users to click back to the beginning of the blog and read from there.

The dot-org Wordpress site is where you can get support, themes, plugins, etc for the free, open source Wordpress software. You can also download it there, but really, any webhost worth its salt has a one-click installer for your account.

I mentioned Moveable Type in my other post; I didn't mention that I think it has a cooler name, and that our hosts use it.

Oh, and why am I so excited? Well, because I'm a geek for all kinds of knowledge, the more rare and obscure the better. The idea of having someone I know, however peripherally, write intelligently about something technical that they love, is awesome!

#241 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 11:27 AM:

Terry (in Germany) @ 232... By the time we get to Tehachapi and then to Bakersfield (where we'll stay for the night>), it'll be late so that wouldn't work. As for your coming to the Bay Area a few days early, I don't think I'd be worth it, but a meeting of a few ML people would, and not just for your 6 degrees of separation. (I have multiple ways of getting a Two to the Disemvoweller, by the way.) Well, we still have almost 2 weeks to figure something out.

#242 ::: Tracie ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 11:36 AM:

C. Wingate @213: "Maria walks among the thorn" (Maria durch ein' Dornwald ging) is wonderfully mysterious, but it's not new. 16th or 17th century, possibly older. However, it does lend itself to modern arrangement. I like to improvise on it in my endless Christmas set, just before a slowed down "Personent Hodie"

I'm amused at the slow proliferation of the Scottish song "Gloomy Winter" [sic] as Christmas music. I recorded it back in the early 90s. The lyrics start out "Gloomy winter's noo awa'...", as in "it's spring, now let's go out into nature and do something natural."

A piece of new(ish) Christmas music I'm surprised I don't hear more often -- mawkish though it may be -- is Somewhere in my Memory from the Home Alone movies. Pleasant harmonies, no cringably high notes, and no religious content, all factors that make it perfect for school choirs and bands. (Pairing it with a Harry Potter tribute in this video is weird, but it works on several levels.) Just don't pay too much attention to the lyrics or you'll need an insulin shot.

#243 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 11:44 AM:

re 234: Hmmmm.... We definitely had that one, so I must be remembering Shiloh from a different album.

.....

Ah, here it is, on this Robert Shaw Chorale album. (It's listed as "Shepherd's Carol"; the clip of that track is playing the last verse of it.) This one also has "I Wonder as I Wander". the great Southern contribution to the genre.

#244 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 11:47 AM:

231:

Serge Says:

"New From General Products -
Feed your Priest
on
Canon Fodder!"

#245 ::: Tracie ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 11:59 AM:

More "new" Christmas music:

Combining the sublime and the ridiculous, "The Carol of the Field Mice" from The Wind in the Willows set to Daquin's Noel No. 10.

And in another setting, to Joseph Sobol's tune on Kiltartan Road's recording. (This is a full length sample - enjoy.) I just love this one!

Sounds traditional, but Three Kings, here recrded by local faves the Solstice Sisters, was written by Robbie O'Connell.
The Sisters are great -- buy their CD. (Not distributed nationally, so I hope it's okay to put in a plug here.)

#246 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 12:28 PM:

ajay @ 244... Or on cownon udder?

#247 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 12:32 PM:

My wife is severely allergic to Xmas music - I think its ubiquity comes across as a reminder that "You're Jewish? You don't count." The only Xmas music we tolerate this time of year is The Bobs' Too Many Santas, which is utterly delightful. I love '50 Kilowatt Tree'

#248 ::: Graydon ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 12:38 PM:

While I have limited affection for Christmas music, Loreena McKennitt's "To Drive the Cold Winter Away", the Irish Descendant's "The Gift" (despite including "The Little Drummer Boy") and the Barra McNeil's "Christmas Album" (there's a second one, now, but that I haven't heard) can all, in my view, stand listening to more than once.

#249 ::: Susan ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 12:42 PM:

Good King Wenceslas: I also like the story aspect and the fact that he's actually going out and DOING something good. When I was young, I was fascinated by the sentence "Hither page and stand by me, if thou knowst it telling, yonder peasant who is he; where and what his dwelling?" The Yoda-like reordering of subjects and objects just enthralled me.

My biggest frustration is that it's hard to find a recording that is (1) the complete song and (2) sprightly!

Since I'm not Christian, I also change "Christian men" when I sing it - I use "goodly men" or whatever comes to mind. But I don't sing it in public, since my singing voice is right up there with the average tone-deaf frog.


#250 ::: Susan ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 12:49 PM:

I was never particularly fond of "fluorosphere", but "fluorospherical" is just horrendous. Now I have visions of everyone I know on the ML blown up to Violet Beauregarde-like proportions. Yick!

#251 ::: Susan ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 12:57 PM:

Everyone who thinks I ought to start a blog and states or implies that they will come enjoy it:

You are all crazy, but I'm grateful for it. Watch this space (or whatever open thread is current) for an announcement around the new year.

I think maybe my lack of general blog-reading (even on topics that interest me) has as much to do with time as anything else. I barely manage to read ML and Kos, and I tend to vanish for long periods when life gets hectic. Maybe I just have poor time-management skills.

#252 ::: Tim Hall ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 01:01 PM:

#220 guthrie "I am not a music critic, but I think there is a bit of Enya in there, certainly. But Rammstein? naw, except insofar as lots of people have been doing metal with strings added kind of stuff".

Vocally there's no parallel at all (Opera diva vs, Darth Vader in German?). But I could hear a lot of similarities in the instumentation, with heavy use of big synthesiser chords, and an absence of guitar solos. The symphonic influence in Within Temptation is a lot more overt, though.

"Plus your spot on about whatshernames voice, without it the band would be sort of middling".

I know that a couple of other band members write quite a bit of the music, but live they definitely came over as Sharon den Adel and a somewhat anonymous backing band.

"Also, I have little concert going experience, and to be honest find that CD's sound better. Ok, at the concert you get the crowd effects and sound so loud it gives you a massage, but somehow I just don't find them better than the CD"

I find the sound quality varies a lot from venue to venue. Some just sound like a loud poor-quality CD. But the best live bands add an energy and atmosphere that you can't experience sitting at home listening to the stereo.

#234 R. M. Koske "What genre is Rammstein?"

Generally classed as 'Industrial Metal'.

And combining the rock concerts theme with the traditional Christmas music theme, anyone from England or Benelux going to see any dates on Mostly Autumn's December tour? Their Xmas shows usually see them play a couple of hours of their own music (everything from hard rock and atmospheric Celtic/prog epics to folk-rock jigs) with up to half an hour of Christmas standards. Last year they played "Silent Night" in a five-part harmony, along with a version of Greg Lake's "I Believe in Father Christmas" which is an order of magnitude less cheesy than the original. And their original material is great as well.

#253 ::: Susan ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 01:06 PM:

Favorite overall Christmas CD:
Carols for Dancing by Renaissonics. Lively music, delightfully free of lyrics. As a bonus, you can dance to it. Originally from a WGBH (Boston) broadcast.

#254 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 01:07 PM:

Susan...

You're right, 'fluorospherical' does have some ghastly girth-related connotations to it. (Says this Bolger-like MLer.)

As or your blog/site... Me, I can't dance my way out of a dunce cap, but it makes me happy when someone gets to do and talk about what they enjoy.

#255 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 01:11 PM:

Bill Higgins, #190: Re Tris McCall -- boy, did she get up on the wrong side of the bed that morning or what? What a cranky little brat.

Niall, #205: The only one of those that I recognize at all is the Lennon piece; I don't think any of the others have made it into the American rotation. And technically speaking, "In Dulci Jubilo" doesn't count as a new song added to the canon, only a new arrangement. Same goes for the Mannheim Steamroller pieces that have achieved mall-ubiquity here. I think some of the TSO non-traditional bits may have snuck in, but it's a little too early to be sure.

Fragano, #208: The Holly and the Ivy is another one for which the version I like best is not the standard. The Golden Bough album I mentioned above fixes the horrible scansion problem in the chorus*, and now I flatly refuse to sing it any other way.

In the Bleak Midwinter, I'm afraid, is one of the ones I just can't stand. It's a dirge and puts me to sleep. Lo How A Rose E'er Blooming does the same thing.

R.M. Koske, #214: I have the opposite of your situation. Most of the songs my parents loved, and which I associate with childhood Christmases, now grate on me like fingernails on a chalkboard. (Their standard Christmas music was the Firestone Christmas Album series, if that makes it any clearer.) I've had to develop my own personal Christmas canon, with the added difficulty of no longer being Christian myself. My tastes now run to early-music carols, songs from other cultures, and instrumental arrangements (which give me the music that sounds "right" without the cognitive dissonance of the words).

ajay, #228: That's hilarious! Is there any more of it?


* The traditional chorus scansion, with beats marked by | symbols:
"The | playing | of | the | merry | or- | gan, sweet | singing | in | the | choir."
Golden Bough's version:
"The | playing | of the | merry | or- | gan, | sweet | singing | in | the | choir."
The first time I heard it, it was like a thunderbolt; that forced scansion had always bugged the hell out of me, and someone had finally FIXED it!

#256 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 01:23 PM:

I apparently did a good deed yesterday. The office building's fire alarm went off, which meant I had to put on that stupid red cap, make sure everybody from my corner was leaving their cubicle and going down the stairs, then follow them out. Except that, when I caught up with 'my' people down the stairwell, one of my cubicle neighbors, a 71-year-old woman, was in a lot of pain because of one of her knees. I told her to step aside and I stayed with her near the stairwell's man trap until an expert came who said she could go back upstairs on the elevator because (surprise) this was a drill. I went outside by myself, waited in the parking lot, until we were told we could go back inside. When I stepped onto our floor, there was that woman trying to limp back. So I just scooped her up and brought her to her office. I should be happy for having helped her, except that someone said that, since I had gone thru the fire-drill training, I should have known that the man trap was a safe place even in a real emergency. My cubicle neighbor is home since yesterday. Braces, crutches and torn ligaments. With good deeds like that...

#257 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 01:31 PM:

Tris McCall -- boy, did she get up on the wrong side of the bed that morning or what? What a cranky little brat.

Tris McCall is male (I'd guess that "Tris" is short for Tristram), and I for one find his crankiness highly enjoyable and thought-provoking, even in cases like this where I disagree with him a lot. I may be biased because I'm a big fan of his songwriting, though.

#258 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 01:44 PM:

My favorite Christmas albums:

Vince Guaraldi, A Charlie Brown Christmas
King's College Choir, Christmas Favorites
Last Train Home, Holiday Limited (contains a first-rate original song, "Home For Christmas", and a pretty good New Year's Eve song as well)
John Fahey, The New Possibility
The Roches, We Three Kings
The Watersons, Frost And Fire (actually a year-round song cycle, but hey)
A video of Maddy Prior and the Carnival Band taped off the BBC
My friend Steve's annual compilation
My workplace's annual holiday CD

#259 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 01:48 PM:

And, not to make this disagree-with-Lee day, but "In The Bleak Midwinter" and "Es Ist Ein Ros Entsprungen" are probably my two favorite carols, with stiff competition from "Down In The Forest" and "Coventry Carol." But I'm a dirge-y guy.

"Jingle Bells" is far from being a good composition, but it has a protean quality that makes lots of entertaining weird versions possible.

#260 ::: R. M. Koske ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 02:04 PM:

#256, Serge -

"Man trap"? What is that? (Other than a Trek episode?)

#261 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 02:13 PM:

I'm really enjoying singing Britten's Ceremony of Carols this year, as I've mentioned elsewhere.

I actually like The Little Drummer Boy, sappy and historically absurd though it is, because it's the only carol where people will let me drum! (Not that some of the more dirgy ones couldn't use picking up with a little creative membranophonics, but people who like to sit around singing Christmas carols seldom appreciate this.)

#262 ::: R. M. Koske ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 02:13 PM:

#252, Tim Hall - Thank you!

#255, Lee - Yes, I could see that you'd have trouble enjoying your childhood songs under those circumstances. I'm having the best success adding the same kind of music you are, which makes me wonder if there isn't something about that kind of thing that makes it easier to print as "Christmas." Probably the fact that many familiar carols are themselves early music, so early music sounds Christmassy?

Tonight when I get home I think I'm going to use the suggestions here to seed a Pandora station. Ought to be interesting. (Which thread was it that had the cello discussion? I want to use that to seed a station, too, but I can't recall which it was.)

#263 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 02:24 PM:

Hmm, it appears that Tris McCall is, not to put too fine a point on it, a flaming asshole and bigot. "[W]e ought to be beyond nature worship by now," indeed. G fck yrslf wth splntry wdn crcfx, Trs.

That was his comment on "Deck the Halls," which is certainly Pagan, but I must say I personally resent people who think nature worship is somehow primitive and unsophisticated.

Yep, the woods are full of 'em. And they're all flaming assholes.

#264 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 02:29 PM:

R.M.Koske @ 260... "Man trap"? What is that? (Other than a Trek episode?)

It's the short corridor between the stairwell's door and the door that leads to the rest of the floor. Yeah... That sounds silly. And it was indeed not the best Star Trek episode.

#265 ::: Debbie ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 02:31 PM:

Tim Walters @258 -- thanks for mentioning the King's College Choir album. I've got an older album on cassette (which I can't seem to find at the moment, drat), which has a version of "Away in a Manger" I'd never heard before. The familiar tune (in the US, anyway) is so cloying I've always seriously disliked it; the alternate is much nicer.

#266 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 02:32 PM:

Lee (255), Tim Walters (259): I have to agree with Tim* that Lo How a Rose is terrific. It's one of my very favorite Christmas carols. It does help to sing it in a sprightly manner, which is how I've always** heard it. When I sing it myself, I have a tendancy to smooth out the rhythm, but that's just me.

One of my favorite Christmas albums is Schooner Fare's Home for the Holidays. Familiar carols mixed with more obscure pieces, including Lo How a Rose--the main reason I bought it.

*I keep typing that as 'Time'.
**As far as I can remember.

#267 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 02:35 PM:

Xopher (261): I also like Little Drummer Boy. I bought Emmylou Harris's Light of the Stable for that song (and because I like her anyway); the rest of it is good, too.

#268 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 02:37 PM:

I must confess that my husband has been playing Christmas music since two days after Thanksgiving, and I think the only reason it started that late was that we were on the road before that.

Christmas faves not mentioned:

"Christmas from Clare", cond. John Rutter

Joan Baez, "Noel" (includes some great Peter Schickele arrangements, particularly "What Child is This?"

Bach Magnificat

I agree totally w/ TexAnne on the William Christie Charpentier CD.

My own favorite carols are "Coventry Carol" and "Es ist ein Rose Entsprungen", along with the Britten carols, and something called "Personent Hodie" that I learned at thriteen for a carol service and have since lost track of. When I was a wee mite of eight, I couldn't get enough of "We Three Kings", just because the music was so mysterious.

I've got a couple of bits of music that I always associate with Christmas even though they aren't necessarily Christmas music, because I discovered them in the runup to the holidays when I was fifteen: Prokofiev's "Lt. Kije Suite", and the "Glory of Gabrieli" album with E. Power Biggs and various others in San Marco.

And I'd like to put in a plug for something written instead of sung, that is incredibly evocative: the "Dulce Domum" chapter from _The Wind in the Willows_.

#269 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 02:51 PM:

Faren and PJ:

Happy Camp is in Siskyou County, which lies northeast of Humboldt. However, it is on the same river as Weitchpec (the Klamath). County lines are administrative demarcations. Watersheds are reality.*

I find the countryside up that way a little too dry, and the species mix is wrong as a result. Too many pine trees make the baby Bigfoot cry.

-----
* the map is not the territory**
** or so I am informed

#270 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 02:52 PM:

Lee #255: If I had to guess, I'd say you probably know "Last Christmas" and "Fairytale of New York" whether you think you do or not. Or at least, they're incredibly huge here (Rhode Island) every Christmas, and I'd imagine they are other places. "Fairytale of New York" is one of my favorite songs, period; I don't particularly think of it as Christmasy, even though it is. To me it's just another fantastic Kirsty MacColl song.

As for "In the Bleak Midwinter," if you can find the version by The Pipettes, it's worth it (er...at least, if you like that kind of thing, which I do). Not a dirge any longer.

#271 ::: R. M. Koske ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 02:54 PM:

#264, Serge -

Huh. I don't think I've ever been in a building that has one of those. Our stairwells open directly on the hallways. But it makes sense that it would be a good place to wait for rescue if you needed to. One blogger I read* spotted a sign at Yale that called those kinds of places "areas of refuge." Good name for it, I think.

*Gretchen Ruben.

#272 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 02:55 PM:

Yet another music thread making me wish for other people's collections. Le sigh.

Abi, your bit about watersheds made me laugh when I very much needed it-- almost done with one problem of a Water Quality assignment. I know so much more about water quality now than I did four months ago. It's always Iowa's fault, for one, or at least the things involving nutrients in the Mississippi. Invasive species are bad, but I knew that already. A big drainage area means poor water quality (because it probably involves Iowa).

#273 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 02:58 PM:

#173 Linkmeister and others:

Christmas songs played in public are intended to maximize the warm glow of buying stuff, so I don't think they're wanting new, interesting, explicitly religious new songs, anything thought provoking, etc.

As Brad Delong would lament: Why oh why can't we have a decent Christmas songwriting corps?

#274 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 02:58 PM:

abi @ 269

You prefer the area farther west, I take it? More fog, bigger trees?

#275 ::: Tracie ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 03:00 PM:

O magnum* mysterium**, et admirabile sacramentum, ut animalia viderent Dominum natum, jacentem in praesepio! Beata Virgo, cujus viscera meruerunt portare Dominum Christum. Alleluia.

O great mystery, and wonderful sacrament, that animals should see the new-born Lord, lying in a manger! Blessed is the Virgin whose womb was worthy to bear Christ the Lord. Alleluia!

The do it yourselves versions.

*Morten Lauridsen
**Tomas Luis de Victoria

#276 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 03:01 PM:

Mary Aileen @ 266: I keep typing that as 'Time'.

I do the same thing, oddly enough. Maybe I should just change my name.

It's one of my very favorite Christmas carols. It does help to sing it in a sprightly manner

You might like my version, although it's beyond "sprightly" and well into "maniacally perky."

#277 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 03:07 PM:

Tracie 275: I've sung the Victoria, and I love it. I've been trying to get my three friends (a soprano, an alto, and a bass) to go caroling with it, but they think I'm crazy.

#278 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 03:09 PM:

R.M.Koske @ 271... No matter what they're called, I am rather dubious about those areas really being safe.

#279 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 03:10 PM:

My favorite Christmas song is probably "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer".... ;-)

#280 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 03:16 PM:

PJ Evans @274:
You prefer the area farther west, I take it? More fog, bigger trees?

No, I like to be one rain shadow in from the coast, which means no fog to speak of and relatively small trees. Redwoods are pretty, but they're not home.

What I love is a mixed woodland, primarily Douglas fir, tan oak, madrone and bay laurel*, with touches of live or valley oak. Undergrowth should be sparse, with patches of blackberry** and huckleberry†. Bracken is welcome in strict moderation; gooseberry and thimbleberry are encouraged. Rosa Californica or nutcana should appear, and poison oak is tolerated like the drunkard uncle you have to invite to the wedding.

A copy of Jepson is essential, but does not occur naturally.‡

-----
* my favorite tree of all trees in the world: fast growing, graceful, fragrant, good in soups, good for climbing
** yes, yes, I know
† I was the only one of the family to like huckleberries, which meant I had an entire forest's worth to myself
‡ yes, my father was an amateur botanist. Why do you ask?

#281 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 03:16 PM:

Xopher @ 277... they think I'm crazy.

To quote that Crawford/Davis movie:
"But you are, my dear, you are."
It's meant in a good way, of course.

#282 ::: Soon Lee ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 03:18 PM:

The latest Lj kerfuffle appears to be a particularly hamfisted attempt to censor interests searching.

FYI, on LJ, you can add your interests to your userprofile. These may be used to search e.g. for other LJ users with similar interests. But now, searches for e.g. "child pornography" & "spic" no longer return any results.

No warning was given that this was going to be implemented. Worse, the blocking mechanism is so FUBARed that any other search term that has a blocked term as a stem, is also blocked. So with the above examples, "anti child pornography" would likewise return no hits. Ditto, "spicy food" or "Spice Girls".

#283 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 03:22 PM:

Tris McCall spends a lot of time complaining that Christmas carols tend to focus on Jesus as a baby. But that's what the holiday is about. He shouldn't blame the songs for being about the holiday they were written for.

One thing I did like about that piece was the distinction he draws between Christmas carols and Christmas music. Exactly. I like most of the former and very little of the latter. It's entirely understandable why radio stations would tend to stick to the more secular songs, particularly in this area with its large non-Christian population, but that doesn't make me any happier about it. I'd probably get pretty sick of many carols, too, if I heard them nonstop since before Thanksgiving, but at least I could enjoy them the first fifty times each.

#284 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 03:33 PM:

Todd #82: Marry me?

#285 ::: Tania ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 03:35 PM:

David Harmon @ 279: Don't forget the B side "Percy the Puny Poinsettia."

I've always been fond of Bring a Torch, Jeanette, Isabella, probably because we sang it in choir, and it has a role-playing element with the singing.

#286 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 03:39 PM:

Avram, I don't know if you've found what you want for the curried cashews, but the WashPost has a similar recipe for Prohibition Peanuts that gives the mechanics.

#287 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 03:42 PM:

abi

Munz, here. More portable, anyway. (I get a kick out of showing people pictures of elephant-heads.)

#288 ::: Niall McAuley ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 03:43 PM:

Of that list I wrote earlier, the only one I really like is "Fairytale of New York".

#289 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 03:51 PM:

Fred Clark has a thread about Christmas music going too. There are more nouveau selections, from a brief glance.

#290 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 03:52 PM:

Xopher, 277: If we're ever in the same town for Christmas, I'll go with you. (Alto here. Oh, you'd noticed?)

#291 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 04:10 PM:

In December '06 NPR came out with a list of "The Best, Worst and Weirdest" of 2006 Christmas album releases.

It includes Sufjan Stevens, Sarah McLachlan, Brad Paisley and The Klezmatics.

#292 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 04:11 PM:

Favorite Christmas music: not very much of it. The only full album I can stand to listen to is the Chieftains' "Bells of Dublin." Favorite carol: absolutely the Coventry Carol, Mixolydian mode just does me in. Alison Moyet recorded a very lovely version. I have a soft spot for Fairytale of New York, of course, and there are a couple of rock-radio standards I enjoy, like the Kinks' "Father Christmas" for cynical and Greg Lake's "I Believe in Father Christmas" for less so. If I hear "The Twelve Pains of Christmas" ONCE a year, it amuses me (You're so smart, YOU put up the lights!) but not more than that. I have an original fundraising 45 of the Band-Aid song, of course.

And I kind of like the video of Bert McCracken's cover of "Merry Christmas/War Is Over" but that has a lot to do with a crush on a certain drummer.

I have been known to wear earplugs or concealed earphones to avoid the Tin Pan Alley secular-Christmas standards. Yuck yuck yuck.

#293 ::: Tracie ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 04:22 PM:

Christmas music you probably won’t hear in the supermarket:

Our Lady of Perpetual Help Chant Choir, Mid Earth Rejoices. Be sure to listen to “The Other Shore” – not Christmas music exactly, but in the spirit of the season as it is celebrated today.

Kansas City Chorale, Nativitas. Includes Kevin Oldham’s amazing resetting of “Silent Night.” --as far as I know, this is the only recording of it. You’d think it couldn’t be done, but Oldham wrote a new tune, and it works.

San Antonio Vocal Arts Ensemble (SAVAE) -- La Noche Buena; Native Angels; El Milagro de Guadalupe and Guadalupe, Virgen de los Indios. Renaissance and Baroque music from the Americas, combining European, African and Aztec early music performance practices.

#294 ::: mcz ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 04:39 PM:

joann @ #268:

Personent hodie and Gaudete are two of my favorites. A vague memory that they had both originated or been collected in Piae Cantiones led me to this CD.

I must have it. I must. :)

#295 ::: geekosaur ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 04:41 PM:

Tim Hall @216: "missing link between Enya and Rammstein"?? My brain just exploded.

guthrie @220: Check Rammstein lyrics sites; they often include English translations, although those often miss some things. They're actually quite thoughtful (and fond of puns, which sadly only work in German).

R. M. Koske @234: They describe themselves as "dance metal"; sounds reasonable to me.

... @221: I think modern building codes require them, as they've just retrofitted such areas into the old building where I work due to other changes; it's fairly recent though (last 10-15 years?).

#296 ::: Todd Larason ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 04:46 PM:

Rikibeth @284 -- okay, it's a deal. Should I ask what makes me so irresistible? The obsessive completist streak? The obsessive organizational streak? The obsessive geekiness streak?

If it was solely the musical taste, perhaps this snippit from my 'borrowed' directory can increase my attractiveness further...

puny /mp3disk/borrowed% find . -name data\.dump | cut -f 2 -d / | sort | uniq -c | sort -rn | head -5
64 Depeche Mode
26 KLF
19 New Order
16 The Cure
15 Leonard Cohen
Except for the KLF, those are mostly live concert recordings.

#297 ::: Tracie ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 04:46 PM:

Christmas depression music.

On Christmas eve of my first Christmas away from home, I awoke to Stan Rogers' "First Christmas", and I couldn't even get out of bed to slit my wrists. One of the most depressing songs ever.

"If We Make it Through December". They won't.

The aforementioned "Fairytale of New York." Depressing and angry.

Loreena McKennitt's "Dickens Dublin". From the point of view of a homeless women dying on the streets of Dublin during the Famine, it is the very essence of Celtic music -- wrist-slittingly depressing and it's a sing-along! We used to do this one (without the child nattering about a tiger) at a big fundraiser for a womens' shelter, and the audience was guaranteed to weep into their checkbooks while singing along. And we warmed them up with "Christmas in the Trenches." Manipulative? You bet!

#298 ::: Tania ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 04:56 PM:

Avram - This month's issue of Fine Cooking* has a garam masala cashew recipe that might be analogous to what you are looking for. Recipe Zaar appears to have version of the recipe. I've used a similar technique to make spiced pecans for Thanksgiving food garnish. I have to hide them from John, or make extra, as he likes to snack.

*perused last night while in line at the Post Office

#299 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 04:59 PM:

The aforementioned "Home For Christmas" is a bit of a downer:

I wish I hadn't called
It hurt to hear your voice
I got the timezones backward
The line was full of noise

And you promised to be home for Christmas
Life is short and talk is cheap
So don't make promises you can't keep
You promised to be home for Christmas
I'm not going to hold my breath
The breath you used to take away from me

#300 ::: mcz ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 05:10 PM:

Dickens' Dublin is the only one of McKennitt's songs I find unbearable -- because of the nattering kid.

These CDs are on my must-listen Christmas list:

The King's Singers: Christmas
The King's Singers: A Little Christmas Music
Loreena McKennitt: To Drive The Cold Winter Away
Blackmore's Night: Winter Carols
Christchurch Cathedral Choir: Remember Bethlehem

And this other version of Jake Thackray's Remember Bethelem on YouTube that I just discovered this morning.

#301 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 05:16 PM:

What's your favorite (or least favorite) filmed adaptation of A Christmas Carol? I have two favorites: the Alastair Sim one, and the Rowan Atkinson one.

#302 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 05:18 PM:

Tim, #259: Not to worry. If we all liked the same things, think what a haggis shortage there'd be!

Tracie, #275: Given my general distaste for dirges, you'd think I wouldn't like "O Magnum Mysterium". But I do... go figure. Somehow it comes across as majestic rather than draggy.

mcz, #294: I adore "Personent hodie," and "In Dulci Jubilo," and a lot of the other Latin ones; apparently being in a language I don't know is as good as being instrumental. I like "Gaudete" too, but I was spoiled by hearing the Steeleye Span version first, and now all the others sound wrong.

Speaking of Steeleye, Maddy Pryor and the Carnival Band have a New-Orleans-style version of "Angels from the Realms of Glory" that's an absolute hoot!

#303 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 05:20 PM:

I just stumbled across a Christmas CD I made last year--it's goofy at times, but I likes it.

1. Le Sport, Last Christmas (Wham! cover)
2. Sally Shapiro, Anorak Christmas
3. Erasure, She Won't Be Home
4. El Vez, Feliz Navidad
5. Jona Lewie, Stop the Cavalry
6. The Raveonettes, The Christmas Song (not the chestnuts one)
7. Throwing Muses, Santa Claus
8. The Long Blondes, Christmas Is Canceled
9. Darlene Love, Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)
10. Yoko Ono, Listen, the Snow Is Falling
11. Suzanne Vega, Coventry Carol
12. Belle & Sebastian, O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
13. The Ramones, Danny Says
14. The Pipettes, In the Bleak Midwinter
15. John & Yoko, Happy XMas (War Is Over)

#304 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 05:26 PM:

(These are the French lyrics for Tannenbaum. Whether you asked for it or not.)

Mon beau sapin, roi des forêts,
Que j’aime ta parure!
Mon beau sapin, roi des forêts,
Que j’aime ta parure!

Quand par l’hiver, bois et guérets
Sont dépouillés de leurs attraits.
Mon beau sapin, roi des forêts,
Tu gardes ta parure.

Toi que Noël planta chez nous
Au saint anniversaire,
Toi que Noël planta chez nous
Au saint anniversaire,
Joli sapin, comme ils sont doux
Et tes bonbons et tes joujoux.
Mon beau sapin, roi des forêts,
Que j’aime ta parure!

Mon beau sapin, tes verts sommets
Et leur fidèle ombrage.
Mon beau sapin, tes verts sommets
Et leur fidèle ombrage.
De la foi qui ne ment jamais,
De la constance et de la paix.
Mon beau sapin, roi des forêts,
Fidèle à ta parure!

Mon beau sapin, roi des forêts,
Que j’aime ta parure!
Mon beau sapin, roi des forêts,
Que j’aime ta parure!

Quand par l’hiver, bois et guérets
Sont dépouillés de leurs attraits.
Mon beau sapin, roi des forêts,
Tu gardes ta parure.

#305 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 05:29 PM:

I am now trying to compose a Christmas wish list, for the ease and comfort of my relatives. This is not proving to be easy.

Things I really want and don't have:
- at least 27 hours a day; 30 would be preferable
- enough money to buy a really spacious house next year
- fluency in Dutch, right now
- good weather
- a promise that my bike will always be as wonderful as it is now
- clothes that fit me without alteration

(I'll list some goats and suchlike, but they're not goat-giving people.)

Most of the things that I want, I already have. Family, friends, interests, challenges, puzzles, a good job, health.

I hope everyone else is similarly troubled.

#306 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 05:36 PM:

Abi @ 305... How about a rapière and a red cape to go with you new job in these parts?

#307 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 05:48 PM:

Whoever did the last edit on the blogroll put "Lawyers, Guns and Money" into 'Friends', instead of 'Collectives', where it had been living.

Just saying.

#308 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 05:53 PM:

abi, if I had a spare fluency in Dutch, I'd give it to you in a heartbeat.

#309 ::: midori ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 06:14 PM:

Soon Lee, 282
re: LJ kerfuffle.
See also:
they've given users a tool that will easily identify minors without telling them they've been spotted. Minors can't join or be invited to "explicit" communities... so all someone has to do is send out invites to anyone they suspect is underage; if the invite comes back with "can't invite that person," they've got a target.

#310 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 06:19 PM:

Abi @ 305...

Why do you want a flying Dutchman?
("Fluency in Dutch, Serge."
Oh. Nevermind.

#311 ::: midori ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 06:19 PM:

Bruce Cohen, 192,
That was really beautiful; I was crying by the time I finished reading it. It has a special resonance for me; as I think I've mentioned here before, I watched from ten miles away as a town in California was destroyed by about 500 tons of Navy bombs in a train that caught fire. In that case we were very lucky, because a) no one was killed or even seriously injured and b) that train was scheduled to go by about 15 feet from my kitchen window a few hours later. So I have some idea what that looked and felt like. I admire Vince Coleman immensely for what he did.
Thanks Bruce.
Do you have a link to an account of that? I'm really quite curious.

#312 ::: Sam Kelly ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 07:29 PM:

I'm listening to Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh by Maddy Prior and the Carnival Band at the moment. The Albion Band's Christmas music is also very good, though I don't have a copy of their Mystery Play music CD at the moment.

I must also confess to a fondness for Christmas Elvis and Christmas Doris. In small doses.

#313 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 07:37 PM:

Serge @301, I'm actually ridiculously fond of the Mr. Magoo version, because, mostly, of the horrid little group that sings "We're despicable" as they bundle up the bed linens.

Otherwise, I much prefer just reading the book.

#314 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 07:48 PM:

JESR @ 313... I must confess never having read the book. As for the Magoo version, I never saw that one, or the Muppet version, or Patrick Stewart's. Reginald Owen's was OK. I liked some things about the George C. Scott version, but Tiny Tim was absolutely atrocious. Also, Scott being Scott, I never believed that his Scrooge would tremble in fear when Marley shows up. But that's just me.

#315 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 07:55 PM:

I must also confess to a fondness for Christmas Elvis and Christmas Doris. In small doses.

Don't tell anybody, but I occasionally play Christmas Slim. And Christmas Phil, although that has a lot more cred.

#316 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 07:55 PM:

The Albert Finney musical version of A Christmas Carol is overblown and overlong, but a) it dramatizes a few bits of the book I haven't seen elsewhere, and b) some of the songs are actually kind of catchy. And c) Best Ghost of Christmas Present Ever.

The Mr. Magoo version, when shown on TV, is chopped up and horribly faded. Yes, some of that music is great.

#317 ::: Pyre ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 08:00 PM:

Dave Luckett @ 238:

I need to know if "C'est un infamie!" is something a Frenchman might say, if he were seriously ticked off by being falsely arrested. Would he, perhaps, use an emphasiser, or a different word order. or different words? The general sense in English would be "This is a disgrace!", said with strong indignation.
C'est un infâme !
 

#318 ::: Pyre ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 08:16 PM:

Susan @ 250:

I was never particularly fond of "fluorosphere", but "fluorospherical" is just horrendous.
Fluorospherious?   Fluorospherian?   Fluorospherish?   Fluorospherese?   Fluorospheresianish?

(I assume "fluorospheric" and "fluorospherial" would be too close to the form you mention.)

#319 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 08:36 PM:

Why not just "fluors?"

#320 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 08:46 PM:

Lee #255: I see what you mean.

#321 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 08:55 PM:

C. Wingate #233: The Holst, I believe.

#322 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 08:57 PM:

Pyre... Fluorescents? Neons?

#323 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 08:58 PM:

re 253: I have to wonder at the person who thought that "Remember O Thou Man" was dance music. Speaking of dirge-like...

re 301: I've always preferred the Geo. C. Scott version. The P. Stewart version has some good points (Joel Grey, the anachronistic singing of "Silent Night") but the last ghost is horrible, and Stewart just fails to convince as a Victorian.

re 294: Very tempting.

#324 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 08:59 PM:

Apropos of many thoughts so far.

Abi, I'd help in a heartbeat if it was possible.

Good King Wenceslas is one of my favorite carols, because it actually shows someone acting on good deeds, not just bemoaning how sad poverty is.

Then there's this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jU6iP0WLsU8

And I can't for the life of me figure out why our FM radio market (dominated by Entrecom and ClearChannel) has TWO All-Christmas stations THAT FARKING STARTED UP THE FIRST OF NOVEMBER. Grr. And no classical FM station. KXTR was reassigned to 1650 AM, but may be defunct now.

#325 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 09:05 PM:

C Wingate @ 323.. I used to like Scott's Scrooge as much as Sim's, then one Christmas, we watched them back to back. I don't know what Dickens's Scrooge was like, but I thought that Sim had a gleeful meanness and theatricality that sounded right.

Stefan Jones @ 316... I can't remember what the Ghost of Christmas Present was like in Finney, but I rather liked the idea of him being played by the Equalizer in the Scott film. And Susannah York as the Ghost of Christmas Past was nice. Interesting how the Sim movie has the latter dressed like a druid.

#326 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 09:12 PM:

Serge #304: I prefer it with these lyrics.

#327 ::: Scott Taylor ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 09:16 PM:

Is it wrong that the Speed Racer trailer makes me mwah-hah-hah like a little mad scientist?

(no, really. I mwah-ha-ha'd. I'm kinda scared...) :-D

#328 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 09:24 PM:

Fragano @ 326... I'm not expecting that version to play on American stations any time soon.

#329 ::: Tracie ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 09:24 PM:

The tune to "Remember O Thou Man" is good dance music if played at the right speed (and without the cautionary but depressing lyrics). Fast and sprightly and it's a galliard (per me). Slower, with some swing and it's a waltz (per Susan).

#330 ::: Susan ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 09:38 PM:

Tracie @ #321:
The tune to "Remember O Thou Man" is good dance music if played at the right speed (and without the cautionary but depressing lyrics). Fast and sprightly and it's a galliard (per me). Slower, with some swing and it's a waltz (per Susan).

Susan has no per on this (I've never heard of it), but wants to let you know she has the back-trick as strong as any man in Illyria and is not sure she wants to galliard to anything she can waltz to or vice-versa. Wouldn't there be an unpleasant wrongness of emphasis in one or the other?

#331 ::: Susan ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 09:39 PM:

Arrgh. 321=329.

#332 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 09:56 PM:

#316
With razzleberry dressing!

It's actually fairly close to the as-written version, most of the time, given the framing device of it being a musical/stage play which Mr Magoo is in.

#333 ::: A.J. Luxton ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 09:56 PM:

R.M. Koske @ 234, thanks for recommending the KOMPRESSOR cover of Girl from Ipanema. I found it conveniently on Youtube, and I'm definitely going to have to pass this on to some people.

Christmas music: one I can say I truly like without qualifying my answer is the Carol of the Bells. There's just something grand and a little frightening about it. Heck, anything complicatedly choral or in a minor key beats the usual suspects...

The H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society did a very nice version of their own, on the Very Scary Solstice album. I recommend it as an antidote. I still haven't heard "Even Scarier Solstice", the followup album they're touting, but everything they've done has wonderful production values.

My favorite track from the first V.S.S. would have to be 'Little Rare Book Room', which someone has kindly given the lyrics to, here: I'll never hear 'Little Drummer Boy' the same way again.

#334 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 09:58 PM:

Serge #328: Nor I, frankly. Though it can be heard
here.

#335 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 10:03 PM:

Fragano @ 334... Thanks. Say, is it my imagination or is the accent a tad thick?

#336 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 10:07 PM:

I've been looking for something on YouTube. They have many clips from Space: Above and Beyond, but nothing from their Christmas episode, which opened with a montage of photos from the Great War while the seraglio movement from The NutCracker is playing. If someone has a link to that...

#337 ::: Tracie ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 10:09 PM:

Sorry, Susan. While you were a prominent poster on the thread, and we did discuss dance, it was indeed someone else who suggested waltzing to "Remember O Thou Man."

My post wasn't intended to suggest that waltz music and galliard music (speed, accent or rhythm) were interchangeable, but that the same triple-time tune could be played to be danceable either way. But a waltz at galliard speed would be very scary. Maybe as scary as this. (Christmas content warning.)

#338 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 10:12 PM:

Serge #335: Nope, that's a genuine Irish folk singer.

#339 ::: Tracie ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 10:20 PM:

And now for something compleeeetly different:
Of Atlantis: The Video

She's not a quitter.

#340 ::: Tracie ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 10:27 PM:

Serge & Fragano: Then there's this.

#341 ::: Tracie ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 10:35 PM:

Oops. That choral thing wasn't really that scary. This is scary. No wonder they all look depressed.

I'm trying to do too many things at once with a crappy substitute monitor (mine is sick). I think I'll go drink some hot cocoa with peppermint schnapps.

#342 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 10:56 PM:

Tracie @ 339... "I am half man, half Orion"... Huh?

#343 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 11:01 PM:

I like "Remember O Thou Man," but it's probably more fun to sing than to listen to.

"And the Glory of the Lord" (from Messiah) is a menuet if done properly, by which I mean fast enough.

And the old classic "Southern Comfort Ye, My People." (Not my joke, alas, though a slug of bourbon before our Lessons and Carols got me through the service last week. I hate laryngitis season.)

I'm on dialup, so I'm not going near YouTube to look for it--but there's a great one called "Rejoice in the Lord alway." I want to say it's late Renaissance English, or anyway it's got that fabulous "all music is dance music!" bounce.

Oh, I forgot my childhood LPs. English Medieval Carols and Italian Dances, plus another one I've forgotten the name of. Very, very early recordings of early music, before Historically Informed Performance had ever been thought of...so part of me cringes at the Wagnerian sopranos, but the rest of me basks in the feeling of "it's Christmas now."

#344 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2007, 11:24 PM:

R.M. Koske, #223, it's Forbidden for me, too, which means it's a friends-locked post.

#345 ::: Dave Luckett ::: (view all by) ::: December 08, 2007, 01:07 AM:

I had the idea that "infame" (with circumflex on the a) was the adjective, and "infamie" was the noun. My French-English Dictionary contains both.

#346 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: December 08, 2007, 01:26 AM:

Tracie, #337: That would be a very nice contradance waltz piece, neither too brisk nor too slow.

#347 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: December 08, 2007, 01:32 AM:

Tracie, #339: Hey, does anyone know what the music they used is from? I didn't see a music credit.

#348 ::: Allan Beatty ::: (view all by) ::: December 08, 2007, 01:35 AM:

I've come to appreciate liturgical traditions that make a clear distinction between Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany music, so here are some of my favorites for each.

Advent

Sleepers, wake! A voice astounds us (sound), written by Philipp Nicolai in 1597. But it's hard for me to imagine it was written 410 years ago. Bach based a chorale on it. Various English translations; I'm familiar with the one by Carl Daw.

The Magnificat is of course an advent text which has been given many settings. One which moves me greatly is "Sing, my soul, the greatness of the Lord", by Buryl Red and Ragan Courtney, from a musical called Celebrate life.

Christmas

A recent addition to my favorites is a French/First Nations carol, 'Twas in the moon of wintertime.

Epiphany

Brightest and best of the sons of the morning (sound) is a traditional American hymn with various versions of the lyrics and several tunes. I like the version that begins "Hail the bless'd morn, see the great Mediator," to a tune called Star in the east..

Secular Christmas music

It's sentimental, but I'm partial to Merry Christmas, darling as sung by Karen Carpenter.

Winter music

Someone pointed out that Jingle bells is what the Beach Boys would have sung 150 years ago.

#349 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: December 08, 2007, 02:45 AM:

I need note that I haven't seen Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol for decades; I'm not sure I've ever seen it in color, even. But it's more fun than a barrel of monkeys, and we all need some absurdity with this season. With razzleberry dressing.

As for the other possibilities: Albert Finney's version is fine, but really, none of the movie reproductions can equal the best bits in my imagination; I prefer radio readings to any other non print version. I don't like Dickens at all but I love A Christmas Carol. It's quite possible that this is because I had it read aloud to me several times when I was of an age to be read to.

#350 ::: Keir ::: (view all by) ::: December 08, 2007, 03:09 AM:

Dave: I'm pretty sure you can say `l'infâme'. Certainly Voltaire does, at any rate.

#351 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: December 08, 2007, 03:16 AM:

Why is Serge so conspicuously silent on this question of French? Is he perhaps embarrassed to speak on the issue of infamy and disgrace?

#352 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: December 08, 2007, 03:25 AM:

Greg M. @ 198: Thanks, I always wanted one of those!

aabieie @ 200: I think an anonymous donation to Snt Gdwn's Hsptl Fr Th rrdmbly Trllsh might be in order.

Earl Cooley III @ 209: "What I object to is along the lines of Jingle Bells done with dog barks, and the annoying high-pitched audio transform that makes the Chipmunks possible."

I have a soft spot for the Swedish (I think) Chipmunks cover of Gangsta's Paradise, but other than that, I'm with you.

Xopher @ 261: "I actually like The Little Drummer Boy, sappy and historically absurd though it is, because it's the only carol where people will let me drum!"

While I recognize that, objectively, The Little Drummer Boy is an atrocity against good taste, it still makes me all sniffly. I blame West Wing.

On a totally unrelated subject, I've been watching Angel season four, and Brqvchf Pbzcyrk much? ARGHHH. Though the episode "Awakening" vf ol sne gur orfg vgrengvba bs gur "Vg jnf nyy n qernz" fpugvpx RINE. That pretty much sums up my take on season four so far: occasional gems of episodes embedded in a thick strata of suck.

#353 ::: Randolph Fritz ::: (view all by) ::: December 08, 2007, 03:31 AM:

A short reflection on The Golden Compass: I have decided that the very stone of Oxford must be imbued with neo-platonism.

Well, it would explain a lot...

#354 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: December 08, 2007, 03:58 AM:

Serge@204: Count me in! I'm in the East Bay, convenient to buses and BART, but would need a lift if we're meeting somewhere away from where those go.

#355 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 08, 2007, 06:43 AM:

David Goldfarb @ 354... Good, good. A lift you shall get to wherever people want to go, and if someone else needs to be picked up...

#356 ::: Pyre ::: (view all by) ::: December 08, 2007, 06:49 AM:

So much for sleep.

Dave Luckett @ 345: In #317 I gave a link to Google's web-hits on the phrase "c'est un infâme".

Here is that web-hits link again.

Here is another link, to book-hits including dictionaries and well-known writers.

Please look at even the first screenfull of the first page of each of those lists.

You'll notice that in some cases "c'est un infâme" is followed by a noun, and in some cases it is not.

I'm very sorry that in the latter case the literal word-for-word translation "That's an infamous!" doesn't track English grammatical form precisely... but this is certainly not the only case where that's true.

"L'État, c'est moi" is word-for-word "The State, it's me"; but we translate the meaning by altering the sequence to "I am the State."

Such a translation-by-meaning of "C'est un infâme!" would be "That's infamous!", or (as more commonly phrased in English) "That's disgraceful!"

Well. Back to trying to sleep.

#357 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 08, 2007, 06:52 AM:

ethan @ 351... Why is Serge so conspicuously silent on this question of French? Is he perhaps embarrassed to speak on the issue of infamy and disgrace?

You've been talking to my boss, eh? That being said, infâmie indeed is the noun, and infâme is the adjective. As Keir pointed out, one can say l'infâme, which translates as the infamous one. Perfectly colloquial in French. Besides, who can argue with Voltaire, especially if he's played by Richard Kiel? (Or don't you remember that that was the name of Doctor Loveless's henchman in The Wild Wild West?)

#358 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: December 08, 2007, 06:56 AM:

I'm not Serge, but here goes. "Infâme" is an adjective. "L'infâme" is a noun, "the infamous person." "L'infâmie" is a noun, "the infamy." "This is infamous" = "c'est infâme!" but I think "c'est une infâmie" is closer to what's wanted, as the extra syllables nearly double the available outrage.

Ooh, or you can say "I have never seen such an infamy!" "J'ai jamais vu une infâmie pareille!" (or "une telle infâmie" if you don't like yods.)

#359 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 08, 2007, 06:58 AM:

Pyre @ 356... "C'est un infâme!" would be "That's infamous!"

Not quite. "C'est un infâme!" would be "That's an infamous one!"

As for sleep, aka le sommeil, who needs it, especially when one can have coffee, aka du café?

#360 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: December 08, 2007, 06:58 AM:

Oh, never mind....

#361 ::: Terry (in Germany) ::: (view all by) ::: December 08, 2007, 07:00 AM:

aabieie @ 200: Perhaps you could sell them to the Welsh...?

Then again, just dropping them in the post to Polynesia, where they will be most useful might be in order.

#362 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 08, 2007, 07:04 AM:

TexAnne @ 358... I'm not Serge, but here goes

Darn sock-puppet thinks it can have a will of its own now? But yes, "c'est une infâmie" implies greater outrage than "c'est infâme!"

#363 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 08, 2007, 07:21 AM:

"Cherchez l'infâme."

#364 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: December 08, 2007, 07:26 AM:

But Serge, while I'm sometimes woolly-headed and I often make socks--in fact I'm making one right now--no one can accuse me of being your sockpuppet. For one thing, I'm provably real, having met many Fluorospheridians.

#365 ::: Dave Luckett ::: (view all by) ::: December 08, 2007, 07:34 AM:

Thank you, Serge, TexAnne and Pyre. Of course I made the dreadful error of taking "infamie" as masculine, but I'm glad I got it, as we say in my country, within coo-ee.

#366 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 08, 2007, 07:59 AM:

TexAnne @ 364... I'm provably real, having met many Fluorospheridians

As if that proved anything, without a DNA sample of the yarn... By the way, do you think that Susan would find 'Fluorospheridian' to have less ghastly girth-related connotations than 'Fluorospherical'? On the other hand, 'Fluorospheridian' sounds like some silly alien race from Star Trek or from Doctor Who.

#367 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 08, 2007, 08:07 AM:

Dave Luckett @ 365... You're welcome. Tu es la bienvenue.

#368 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 08, 2007, 08:57 AM:

Did you know that yesterday would have Leigh Brackett's 92nd birthday?

#369 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: December 08, 2007, 09:03 AM:

To quote Julius Caesar:

"Infamy! Infamy! They've all got it in for me!"

Well, that's the version from Carry On, Cleo.


More carrying on

#370 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 08, 2007, 09:16 AM:

Dave Bell @ 369... Soon to be released, Mel Brooks's Here Come The Ides...

#372 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 08, 2007, 09:45 AM:

Time for a Holly Jolly MythBusters Christmas, with rolling roasts, roving monkeys, wandering robots, bubbling mentos and, of course, some bang and spark.

#373 ::: Faren Miller ::: (view all by) ::: December 08, 2007, 10:54 AM:

My favorite part of December is snow on the distant San Francisco Peaks above Flagstaff. (We might get a smattering in Prescott today as well.)

As to ubiquitous Xmas music, did anyone else notice that three of the first TV ads to use it this year were all set to the Carol of the Bells, or whatever it's called (prominent mention of bells, fast pace, and early on it keeps ascending the scale in a somewhat minor key, or so this non-musician hears it). That's actually one of my faves, no matter how the ad lyrics profane it -- one translates it entirely to "duh"s. Otherwise, I go for medieval/renaissance and Vince G.

And why do I keep seeing "hodie" as "hoodie"? I *do* know the Latin.

#374 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: December 08, 2007, 10:59 AM:

Madeline F @ #195: I love Christopher Guest. Everything I've seen him in, his character is all about love and the strange ways it manifests.

You haven't seen (or didn't recognise him in) 'The Princess Bride', I take it?

#375 ::: Terry (in Germany) ::: (view all by) ::: December 08, 2007, 11:50 AM:

Three? In Los Angeles it seemed to be not less than five.

It's not really minor, it's folk modal (being a Ukrainian carol, as is; I think discussed above).

#376 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: December 08, 2007, 12:05 PM:

Huckabee is a certifiable nutbar. And am I the only one who thinks this kid was a paid plant?

#377 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: December 08, 2007, 12:08 PM:

Tracie #340: I prefer the White Cockade version to the Tannenbaum version, myself.

#378 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: December 08, 2007, 12:13 PM:

Hesiarch, Angel s4 (or, in lj fannish code AtS s4) was the first full-season Jossverse program I watched all the way through, in order, unspoiled- since Firefly was not aired in order. There are things to love about it: nyy gur qerpx vf pbhagrenpgrq ol Jrfyrl'f fprar jvgu Yvynu'f pbecfr, sbe vafgnapr, be gur bire-gur-gbc ubeebe zbivr fghss va "Unorhf Pbecfrf" ohg gur Pbaabe/Pbeqryvn fgbelyvar fgvyy vexf. And "Down Under" may be one of the best season-openers in any series, ever, as far as I'm concerned; it efficiently and concisely lays out the characters and relationships in media res, leaving very little unexplained (rkprcg sbe gur fgbel bs jul naq ubj Jrfyrl Jlaqnz-Celpr unf orpbzr hafghpx sebz gur erfg bs gur tebhc, juvpu vf abg fbzrguvat nzranoyr gb n fubeg rkcynangvba).

#379 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: December 08, 2007, 12:27 PM:

Allan Beatty (348): "'Twas in the Moon of Wintertime" is one of my favorites, too.

#380 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: December 08, 2007, 12:44 PM:

December 8 today. 27 years since John Lennon died.

#381 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: December 08, 2007, 12:53 PM:

Allan, #348: I'm sorry to say that "'Twas in the Moon of Wintertime" is one of those that I loved as a kid, and which now makes me cringe. I didn't realize when I heard it back then that the people of the First Nations actually had their own religion. Now it comes across as another cheesy Christian attempt to assimilate other religions and file off the serial numbers.

Heresiarch, #352: That's a pretty accurate summation of Angel S4. I won't spoiler the ending of the season for you, but I will say that I expect an even louder AAAARRRRRGH! when you get there. Even my partner's daughter, who's an absolute Angel fanatic, said that getting S4 on DVD would be a waste of money.

Serge, #370: *holds nose and runs screaming into the night* [1]

[1] This is actually a compliment of no mean order.

#382 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: December 08, 2007, 01:19 PM:

Xopher #376: No, you're not the only one.

#383 ::: Epacris ::: (view all by) ::: December 08, 2007, 01:43 PM:

Serge (@304) I didn't realise there was an alternative tune to the Tannenbaum one, see here for much detail. I wonder if the French (Christmassy) words could be sung to the 'White Cockade' tune?

and also at (@368), my first thought was: "Is that from Hinge and Bracket?", but that was the late Dame Hilda Bracket. Not to be confused with the Hinge & Brackett Construction Ltd company.

#384 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: December 08, 2007, 01:45 PM:

Faren @ #373, I've often thought one of the prettier drives in the country is north from Flagstaff to the Grand Canyon, with the San Francisco Peaks ahead of you.

I wonder if Bagdad, Arizona has any people left in it at all. My aunt and uncle used to live there long ago.

#385 ::: Madeline F ::: (view all by) ::: December 08, 2007, 01:47 PM:

#204 Serge: Oo, I'm in the Bay Area (Oakland, near 19th Street BART) and it sounds like quite a lark to meet up with some ML folk... I could give one person a ride somewhere, too. I wonder if Kathryn from Sunnyvale is free that night? She seems neat. And I know there are a couple others whose nyms I forget...

#371 Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey: Thank you for the link to the Jeff Duntemann discussion of HDM! That's exactly the feeling I got from those books.

#374 Paul A.: "Get some rest. If you haven't got your health, you haven't got anything."

#386 ::: Epacris ::: (view all by) ::: December 08, 2007, 01:53 PM:

Fragano (@377) Oops. I hadn't seen your post while I was composing mine. But I like the information at Helen Sheenan's pages as well as the music.

#387 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: December 08, 2007, 02:07 PM:

Start the day with a refreshing glass of Olbermann.

#388 ::: Bruce E. Durocher II ::: (view all by) ::: December 08, 2007, 02:25 PM:

Now that the publisher A Common Reader is dead (they apparently went into bankruptcy), does anyone have one of their final catalogs? They always had the most interesting reprints--including all Betty McDonald's non-fiction books.

#389 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: December 08, 2007, 02:35 PM:

Xopher #376: Yee-ikes. So does Huckabee think that his god that allows evil because we need free will reached into a bunch of people's brains and forced them to support Huckabee? I don't get it. I guess it's ineffable?

Stefan #387: I think I might be a little bit in love with that guy.

#390 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: December 08, 2007, 02:41 PM:

Epacris #386: No problem. So do I.

#391 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: December 08, 2007, 02:48 PM:

Seen today, spray-painted on a wall in one of the poorest districts of Edinburgh*:

DANTE CALLED HER BEATRICE

There's a story in there somewhere.

-----
* I'm back for the weekend, clearing up loose ends and saying goodbye

#392 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: December 08, 2007, 02:50 PM:

Lee (381): I don't see it as assimilating other religions so much as a missionary using imagery that would be familiar to his converts. Seems rather laudable to me. YMobviouslyV.

#393 ::: Allan Beatty ::: (view all by) ::: December 08, 2007, 03:11 PM:

Lee @381:

The people of the First Nations actually had their own religion.

So did the Europeans. But unlike the snarky Tris McCall linked above, I don't mind holly and trees in Christmas songs.

#394 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 08, 2007, 03:29 PM:

Lee @ 381... Thanks. I do my best to do my worst.

#395 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: December 08, 2007, 03:35 PM:

Count me in for the 18th. I'm in SF but could make it to the East Bay or Peninsula.

I don't know what the lyrics to "Carol of the Bells" are, but in my head it goes "ding fucking dong/all season long" repeatedly.


#396 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 08, 2007, 03:41 PM:

Madeline F @ 385... So far, that Dec 18 meeting has Kathryn, Julie L, Dawno and David Goldfarb. Terry (from Germany) apparently is considering it. I'll be staying at my in-laws in Concord and my minivan could have 3 passengers - or more, if some people are willing to sit on the floor way in the back. As for where we should meet, don't be surprised when you and others start getting emails about Brittney Spears and farm animals... er... titled 'mini ML meeting'.

#397 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: December 08, 2007, 04:21 PM:

I'm grading finals at the moment, and have come up with these, ahem, gems:

The gods love pious since it is morally right no matter who is involved. To them, there is a being greater than the next when piety is in play. IT goes hand and hand with the 10 commandments today. We obey them because they are worthy of being obeyed and God approves of them not; we obey the 10 commandments because God approves of them. The 10 commandments are based on morals and so is piety.

Growing up his parents felt his smartness should be explored, so they sent him to Rome to gain more knowledge.

He did not understand the concept that the only one true God had at that point of time so; he decided to write a book that goes in to detail of Gods purpose of this happening.

His family disagreed to new foundation he had built for himself so, his bothers took him captive back to his family castle and held him captive for over a year. They felt as if this would be very beneficiary and corrupt his way of thinking.

When going through their works one will find a number of different views of governing and creating a governing system, but even though the systems differ they still center around the idea of a predominate class, which in most cases consisted of white Europeans, and secondary and third classes, which could range from improvised persons and or slaves.

#398 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: December 08, 2007, 04:27 PM:

Mary Aileen, #392: I also can't help but imagine someone like Frank Sinatra crooning "Feliz Navidad" to an audience of Mexicans. Post-Catholicism, it's just patronizing; prior to that, it becomes downright icky.

Tim, #395: You just made both me and my Christmas-music-hating partner guffaw uproariously. Even though I like CotB, I can comprehend that reaction!

#399 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: December 08, 2007, 04:31 PM:

Serge @ 396: My e-mail address is "walters@" followed by the domain you get when you click on my name.

#400 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 08, 2007, 04:38 PM:

Tim Walters @ 399... Duly noted. See you soon!

#401 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 08, 2007, 04:40 PM:

Fragano @ 397... IT goes hand and hand with the 10 commandments today

If the Commandments have hands, does that mean they are sometimes found with their fingers in the pie-ty?

#402 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: December 08, 2007, 04:45 PM:

Serge #401: Only for those involved with IT, apparently.

#403 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: December 08, 2007, 04:53 PM:

Tim Walters #395: I don't know what the lyrics to "Carol of the Bells" are, but in my head it goes "ding fucking dong/all season long" repeatedly.

I've got two of those. There's "It's the most godawful time of the year," and there's "Silver bells, silver bells/It's Christmas time, ain't it shitty?"

#404 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 08, 2007, 04:56 PM:

If I were good at it, I'd try to come up with new lyrics for "Tannenbaum" and call it "Trapped In A Tomb", but neither Poe nor poet am I so I'll abstain.

#405 ::: midori ::: (view all by) ::: December 08, 2007, 05:12 PM:

Frickin' awesome!
PW says that Tor and Seven Seas (boutique U.S. manga publisher*) are teaming up! Bonus includes:

Not only will the new venture release a combination of original and licensed manga, but also YA prose fiction and “light novels,” a Japanese format featuring illustrated prose novels at small trim size that are generally based on popular manga series.
Yay! Maybe I'll finally get access to cool stuff like the Full Metal Panic light novels!
*in other words, original manga products by non Japanese artists plus nifty licensed translations.

#406 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: December 08, 2007, 05:48 PM:

re 381: Considering that the only majority Episcopal places in the US are Indian reservations, I think it's a bit presumptuous for others to tell them whether or not they they should keep or abandon their old religions for a new one. That said, "'Twas in the Moon of Wintertime" makes me cringe too, but maybe for the wrong reasons.

#407 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: December 08, 2007, 06:10 PM:

Fragnao #397:

I really like the idea of improvised persons.

#408 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: December 08, 2007, 06:12 PM:

Er, Fragano, sorry about mistyping your name. Just back up from the fifth power failure since 1 am. No clue as to what's going on, but lots of stuff keeps going off.

#409 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: December 08, 2007, 06:14 PM:

Aj Luxton #333:

The local public radio guy had a fit one year of playing every "Carol of the Bells" he could lay his hands on, all in one go. We recorded about 2 hours worth, or however long the tape lasted, but there were *lots* more. Some were very scary indeed.

#410 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: December 08, 2007, 06:25 PM:

Lee @ #398: Even though I like CotB, I can comprehend that reaction!

I like it as well, actually, although it requires proper handling even more than most carols. One of my co-workers did a version in the style of Philip Glass, which is both funny and effective.

#411 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: December 08, 2007, 06:31 PM:

Texanne #343 Oh, I forgot my childhood LPs. English Medieval Carols and Italian Dances, plus another one I've forgotten the name of. Very, very early recordings of early music, before Historically Informed Performance had ever been thought of...so part of me cringes at the Wagnerian sopranos, but the rest of me basks in the feeling of "it's Christmas now."

Sounds like Noah Greenberg and the New York Musica Antiqua? They came in a boxed set from back in the 40s; I found them in the early 70s as a rerelease.

There's a Purcell "Rejoice in the Lord Alway"; are you thinking of that? I've got it in an Alfred Deller recording either just earlier than or contemporary to the Greenberg.

#412 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: December 08, 2007, 06:32 PM:

Make that power failure #6. Natives are starting to break out the pitchforks to go along with the torches.

#413 ::: Rob Rusick ::: (view all by) ::: December 08, 2007, 06:37 PM:

Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey @371: Also interesting: Jeff Duntemann's comments on the trilogy's theology.

Thanks for the links; this one in particular.

A few years ago my mom gave me the first couple of books in Pullman's trilogy to vet for my niece. She had enjoyed the Harry Potter stories, and my mom had noted the Pullman stories had been described as popular among young adults. However, fantasy and SF were not to her own tastes, so she thought I could evaluate them for her.

I liked the books enough that I hunted down the third book in the trilogy, and then passed along the whole set to my niece. I also took the opportunity to give her a brief description of gnostic theology, as it was one of the themes in the books.

All the talk about the atheism in Pullman's trilogy misses the mark entirely, IMO.

The lady in question is an intelligent and voracious reader (in her first year of college now); I recently gave her a copy of Flatland.

#414 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: December 08, 2007, 06:43 PM:

I forgot another favorite seasonal song, "The Christians and the Pagans" by Dar Williams.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U_Xdk4PujOE

'cause now when Christians sit with Pagans only pumpkin pies are burning." my favorite line.

#415 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: December 08, 2007, 06:44 PM:

Lee (398): I'm not sure what you're getting at with this: Post-Catholicism, it's just patronizing; prior to that, it becomes downright icky. Could you unpack that a little?

It is my understanding that TitMoW was written by a missionary to the Huron Indians for his congregation to sing, so I don't quite see how their former religion comes into it. Unless you're objecting to the whole idea of missionaries, which I could certainly sympathize with.

#416 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: December 08, 2007, 07:15 PM:

joann #407/408: That's a grade point off for you!

I am impressed by the idea of 'improvised persons' as well. I'm not sure what on earth the young person who wrote that meant.

#417 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: December 08, 2007, 07:25 PM:

Fragano @416:

imprisoned persons, perhaps?

Speaking of which, I wonder what it's like to be imprisoned by bothers. I pictured a tower room whose doorway is protected by some sort of spell. As you cross the threshold, a soft Winnie the Pooh voice begins to speak in your ear.

The further away from your prison you venture, the louder the voice becomes. The inanity drags at your mind like hunny until you collapse into blessed unconsciousness. You awake in your room again, the voice silent until you venture forth again.

For the corruption of the ways of thinking, I'd recommend Piglet doing a fan-dance.

#418 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: December 08, 2007, 07:26 PM:

Paula 414: When the camp where we have a Pagan gathering was taken over (management and ownership) by a Christian group, and they were a little freaked out by us at first, one of our community's most talented singers sang that song at the feast. As far as I know there was no actual friction, and things got better once they realized that we actually IMPROVED the camp while we were there (grass seeding bare patches, etc.).

#419 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: December 08, 2007, 07:35 PM:

abi #417: It could also be 'impoverished'. I keep telling students that my job is not to guess at what they mean.

Now I have to get the image of Piglet doing a fan dance out of my mind!

#420 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: December 08, 2007, 07:43 PM:

joann: That'd be John Aielli? I never could forgive him for Tramp Day.

New York Musica Antiqua, could be. Or it could be the Primavera Singers. I don't think I saw the covers enough to know--my parents had a changer, and they'd just leave all the Christmas records on a stack, turning them over as needed.

#421 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: December 08, 2007, 07:48 PM:

I often think I'm an improvised person.

Hey, don't knock "Carol of the Bells" too much. It's the tune that taught me to beat three against two.

#422 ::: Suzanne F. ::: (view all by) ::: December 08, 2007, 07:54 PM:

I was going to add "Mele Kalikimaka" to any list of slightly questionable xmas songs, but I looked up the lyrics and they're pretty harmless.

#423 ::: Syd ::: (view all by) ::: December 08, 2007, 08:00 PM:

Let's see...

Congratulations to Abi, whose poeticalness has always impressed me!

The Alistair Sim Christmas Carol (or Scrooge, depending on where it was released), the George C. Scott and Mr. Magoo versions of same, and Patrick Stewart's solo stage performance (which is abolutely priceless in my opinion; a decent substitute is the audio CD version. His TNT production was, unfortunately, pedestrian in the extreme, to my way of thinking).

Favorite Christmas music: Carol of the Bells (instrumental, preferably, as most of the vocal versions I've heard strike me as rather shrill); The Christmas Song; Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas; Run Run Rudolph; Grandma Got Run Over...; Blue Christmas; God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen; A Charlie Brown Christmas; A Consort of Choral Christmas Carols (P.D.Q. Bach); For Unto Us a Child is Born and Hallelujah! from Handel's Messiah; and Stan Freberg's Green Christmas. There are others, but these are what come to mind most often...

#424 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: December 08, 2007, 08:05 PM:

Suzanne @ #422, Mele Kalikimaka is just an attempt at translation. If you want satirical Hawaiian Christmas music, look no further than the local version of The Twelve Days of Christmas.

I never knew the backstory that site tells, but I've heard the song for years and years. I do like a "mynah bird in one papaya tree," although all the mynahs around our place just cruise the grounds.

#425 ::: Stephen Sample ::: (view all by) ::: December 08, 2007, 08:15 PM:

Mary Dell @ 6: 96° F is also my normal body temperature (well, actually I run a bit hotter than 96, but below 97). It made it really hard to convince the nurse that I was sick in elementary school, since 2 degrees of fever looked just like "normal".

I guess I'm permanently pre-ovulatory, so it sounds like I'm in range.

Lee @ 90: I like Sing We Noel, by the Boston Camerata. It's all carols that would be period for Colonial America (so, of course, a lot of them are much older than that), and the singing is lovely. And you get carols like Ad cantus leticie and Nova, nova; Aue fitt ex Eva.

For the store situation, knowing other words to the same tune (either filks or more traditional material) works wonders for me. I haven't yet burst into The People's Flag/Keep the Red Flag Flying in a mall, but I've been tempted.

Janet Croft @ 145 re the AAA recommendation: ...or Better World Club. Pretty much all the benefits of AAA, but with better carma (pun theirs). Plus they do roadside assistance for bikes, too!

Susan @ 185: ack! how can anyone sing Good King Sauerkraut ^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H Wenceslas in anything but a sprightly manner? I mean, a dirgelike We Three Kings is okay, but Good King Wenceslaus?

Earl Cooley III @ 202: do the "Oh woe is me/Oh woe is me/Oh once I had/A hamster tree" lyrics fall in that category?

#426 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: December 08, 2007, 08:16 PM:

Still grading, still groaning. Misery loves company:

Current leaders could be endowed with the idyllic of these theorists and use it as justification for how they correlate that top others.

Democracy is a form of the government by the form of the people.

South Africa environment is not the best in the country.

The citizens aren’t able to republish their water supply when ever they need to.

Surrounded by neighboring countries and natural borders, land is one thing that South Africa is unable to produce more of.

#427 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: December 08, 2007, 08:24 PM:

Fragano, "land is one thing that South Africa is unable to produce more of."

Can't remember. Does South Africa have volcanoes?

We used to have a 1/4-acre plot on the Big Island, and when it was overrun by Kilauea Dad said our land was accreting nicely.

#428 ::: Graydon ::: (view all by) ::: December 08, 2007, 08:26 PM:

The Huron Carol -- what is the precursor/ur-text of "Twas in the Moon of Wintertime" was written by Jesuits off to convert the Huron; the original lyrics are in Huron; the English lyrics are a twentieth century creation, and shouldn't be held against Jean de Brébeuf. (I believe they're also derived from the French translation, not the Huron.)

Considering what happened to those particular Jesuits, and their really comprehensive general educational efforts as well as missionary efforts, I don't think cultural appropriation is really the appropriate charge to level against them either.

The Huron version is absolutely haunting, even if one cannot (as I most certainly cannot!) understand a word of it.

#429 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: December 08, 2007, 08:36 PM:

Linkmeister #427: South Africa's volcanoes are, as far as I know, extinct.

#430 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: December 08, 2007, 08:59 PM:

ajay @ #228, that sounds like something out of Silverlock.

Tim @ #259, have you heard James Taylor sing "Jingle Bells" in blues style?

Fragano @ #397, have you ever made those kids read their papers out loud?

Re "Good King Wenceslas": the snotty footnote in the Oxford Book of Carols is so priceless that reading it aloud has become a tradition in my family:
"This rather confused narrative owes its popularity to the delightful tune, which is that of a Spring carol, ‘Tempus adest floridum’, No. 99. Unfortunately Neale in 1853 substituted for the Spring carol this ‘Good King Wenceslas’, one of his less happy pieces, which E. Duncan goes so far as to call ‘doggerel’, and Bullen condemns as ‘poor and commonplace to the last degree’. The time has not yet come for a comprehensive book to discard it; but we reprint the tune in its proper setting (‘Spring has now unwrapped the flowers’), not without hope that, with the present wealth of carols for Christmas, ‘Good King Wenceslas’ may gradually pass into disuse, and the tune be restored to spring-time. Neale did the same kind of thing to another Spring carol, ‘In vernali tempore’ (No. 98; cf. No. 102); but this was not popularized by Bramley & Stainer."

A bit of Googling reveals this equally snotty comment in the Penguin Book of Carols:
"Product of an unnatural marriage between Victorian whimsy and the thirteenth-century dance carol (Piae Cantiones) Tempus adest floridum. [...] The tune is in the quick-moving virile measure of the branle family of dance tunes that swept Europe, characterized by a stamp on the heavy minim beats - a typical hurdy-gurdy tune. A late medieval song of similar structure is printed in the New Oxford History of Music (vol. III, p. 357). The Tempus adest floridum tune should be sung in unison, at its approximate speed, not slower than half-note = 120, two strong beats to a bar, with clapping drum, and plucked instruments, and a drone for the realization of the travail Neale’s ponderous moral doggerel has imposed upon a light-hearted spring dance measure. If, treated as this carol should be treated, it sounds ridiculous to pseudo-religious words, this only shows how ridiculous they are in such a contest: ‘Ste-phen’, ‘cru-el’, etc., are bathos on the accented stamp-notes. In spirit, in feeling, as in fact, it is entirely pagan. Danced as ‘twist’, with modern rhythm accompaniment, this tune would be nearer to its authentic style. (This is bound to disappoint the people who enjoy wallowing in cumbrous, harmonized settings and Master and Page solos.) The sooner this carol is restored to spring and its rightful treatment, the better."

To both of these I give a resounding THBBBBPTTT!!

My favorite Christmas music ranges from Bach's Christmas Oratorio to A Charlie Brown Christmas to quite a lot of Robert Shaw's stuff (Angels on High is a great album) to Daniel Pinkham's Christmas Cantata to, yes, Mannheim Steamroller. I also like Rockapella Christmas (but not Comfort and Joy), James Taylor at Christmas, and even Toolbox Christmas. If I had to pick a favorite Christmas song it would probably be "I Wonder As I Wander", or perhaps one of Hall Johnson's or William Dawson's spirituals. Or "Riu, Riu" from Medieval Roots.

#431 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: December 08, 2007, 09:08 PM:

Lila, I think both of those are absolutely delightful! GKW has a great tune and abominable, theologically incorrect (so say my Christian friends) words.

#432 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: December 08, 2007, 09:12 PM:

Lila #430:

I doubt I'd be allowed to, since that might embarrass them. Also, quite a few of them wouldn't see what was wrong.

#433 ::: T.W ::: (view all by) ::: December 08, 2007, 09:17 PM:

Lila 430,
Loreena McKennitt did a version of Wenceslas that has a guitar cord that feels very dance like or skipping. Mind you her God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen sounds like you can belly dance to it.
You can sample the sound here:
http://www.quinlanroad.com/explorethemusic/wintergarden.asp

#434 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: December 08, 2007, 09:21 PM:

Fragano, a friend of mine who worked at a college writing center for a few years tells me when he used to have people read papers like that out loud, they wouldn't read--they would say, in simple, understandable language, what they had meant to write. And they would always be startled when he pointed out to them that they weren't reading what was on the page.

#435 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: December 08, 2007, 09:25 PM:

Stephen Sample #425: No, I won't begrudge Clive Barker's right to lament his missing cuddly fruit; that would be beyond my normally curmudgeonly capacity for holiday season cruelty.

#436 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: December 08, 2007, 09:30 PM:

Saw "The Golden Compass," the movie, this afternoon.

Not as bad as some of the reviews suggest; nowhere near as good as it could have been.

As is often the case, I admire efforts like this for even trying. It's like the fourth Harry Potter movie; you're left flabbergasted at what they managed to do even as you're disappointed at what they left out, and at much of the execution.

What I like best: The Magisterium is clearly a religious authority. What the "little cut" that Mrs. Coulter wants for everybody else's kid is clearly intended to neuter soul and sexuality. The serial numbers may have been filed off, but they didn't do a good job. I admire that kind of ballsiness.

#437 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: December 08, 2007, 09:40 PM:

ethan #434: Hmm. That might work in a writing centre (ours was abolished by fiat from on high), but not in a classroom.

Students have told me 'I mean X' and haven't been happy when I've pointed out 'You didn't write that, and I can only go by what you write.'

#438 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: December 08, 2007, 09:58 PM:

Gack, no writing center? Yeesh. Stupid fiat. Sympathies.

#440 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: December 08, 2007, 11:20 PM:

Ethan, that is one reason I always read my short stories out loud before I send them off. It seriously disturbs the cats (less so now because I have no 'talking cats' right now). But it jerks out problems in a way no other amount of viewing a story can.

A few tiimes I've found myself reading along and going "WTF, how does that make sense....?" And then edited severely.

#441 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: December 08, 2007, 11:32 PM:

Stefan Jones @#436: I agree about The Golden Compass...just saw it this afternoon. It was wonderful to see things brought to life so close to the way I imagined them. The ships and machines were all really cool.

I wondered, the whole time I was watching, how they would deal with gur obbx'f raqvat, juvpu vf fb fcrpgnphyneyl qvfvyyhfvbavat. V jnf nsenvq gurl'q punatr vg, ohg vafgrnq vg whfg jenccrq hc rneyl, jvgu gung bzvabhf abgr bs "V'z oevatvat zl sngure jung ur arrqf," jvgu Ylen abg xabjvat gung Ebtre vf jung fur'f oevatvat. Fgvyy, V unq orra ubcvat hc hagvy gung cbvag gung gurl zvtug npghnyyl unir gur areir gb fgvpx jvgu gur obbx'f raqvat.

Nicole Kidman was a perfect choice, and her daemon was just as I imagined him. Daniel Craig was good too, but as soon as there was a bit of action I suddenly thought of him as Bond again, so that was a bit annoying...it kicked me right out of the story.

All in all, It felt kind of like a glorious set of illustrations for the book, rather than a full alternate telling of the same story.

#442 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: December 08, 2007, 11:52 PM:

Madeline F@385: Hey, that's right where I am! I work at the Copymat a couple of blocks down the street...do you know it?

#443 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 12:08 AM:

Ethan #403:

"Have yourself a surly little Christmas..."

#444 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 12:16 AM:

I think "improvised persons" must be some kind of PC term for robots.

#445 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 12:59 AM:

Mary Dell @#441, Stefan Jones @ #436 -

My wife and I saw The Golden Compass this afternoon, and my reaction was similar - an entertaining, if perhaps imperfect, visualization of the novel.

My wife hasn't read the book, so she came it to it pure, and loved it. I had finished the novel a few days before seeing it, and I was impressed with how the moviemakers had realized some of the imaginings in the book. The daemons were extremely well done, and Ian Mckellen was born to voice an Armored Bear. Kudos as well to Nicole Kidman for her icy-sweet performance as Mrs. Coulter, and Dakota Blue Richards (what a great name!) as Lyra.

Where the movie was lacking a bit was in the direction - Chris Weitz's effort lacked some awareness of where the emotional peaks should have been, and the movie felt a bit a hurried.

But all in all, I liked it.

#446 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 01:00 AM:

One thing I was wondering...do people in Lyra's universe have pets?

#447 ::: Scott Taylor ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 01:29 AM:

hmm...

So, Simcon is going on its thirtieth year of existence, and I'm trying hard to think of primarily gaming conventions (other than Origins and Gencon) that have been running continuously for a longer period of time.

Anyone have any ideas? I know Making Light is more SF-con (and specifically SF-Litcon) in general - but I also know there's a passel of gamers and ex-gamers lurking around in the margins.

(I did find one - DunDraCon, which is two years older, according to their website and wikipedia. CanGames might be older - I'm not sure. I'm almost certain Cold Wars and Historicon are older - but they overlap only peripherally).

#448 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 01:39 AM:

#441: There's a discussion about the choice of the movie's ending-point here. Lrnu, cbbe Ebtre. Ur trgf fnpevsvprq. Gung jvyy pbzr nf n fubpx. Gurl nyfb unq Ylen fhttrfg gur cbffvovyvgl bs erwbvavat xvqf jvgu gurve frirerq qnrzbaf; Ovyyl gur 'Tlcgvna cerfhznoyl fheivirq.

V xvaq bs qbhog gurer jvyy or frdhryf. Abg hayrff guvf vafgnyyzrag ernyyl qbrf nznmvatyl jryy.

#446: In the book, Mrs. Coulter tells Lyra that severed daemons would be the (paraphrasing) "best pets in the world." So the concept is there.

And I imagine there'd be cats that do mousing and dogs that herd sheep.

#449 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 01:41 AM:

OwlCon has been going almost that long: their next convention is #28 in February, at Rice University in Houston, Tx.

#450 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 01:44 AM:

Has anybody seen Charlie Stross recently? This seems like it might be rather up his alley...

#451 ::: JKRichard ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 01:49 AM:

Xeger @ 450 It's thought no data was taken by the robbers, however.

...right. Just like those laptops that were lost by the VA.

#452 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 02:19 AM:

JKRichard @ 451 ...
Xeger @ 450 It's thought no data was taken by the robbers, however.
...right. Just like those laptops that were lost by the VA.

A Reg reader who works for an investment bank says it is suffering major network outages today as a result of the raid.

Actually, given the cost of networking gear[0], I'd be willing to believe that they lost no data, but did lose gear...

[0] Running easily into the millions for remarkably small items

#453 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 03:11 AM:

Tim, #410: Now you've reminded me (tangentially) of my favorite CotB story. I was in the Concert Choir in college, and for a fund-raiser we did Singing Christmas Cards every year. One of the options was CotB, and of course that was the one everyone wanted. (After singing it 10 or 12 times a night for 3 nights running, I was more than a little burned out on it!)

One night one of our victims^H^H^H^H^H^H^H carolees had to be dragged out of the shower by his suitemates, and appeared at the door wearing only a towel. The next day, someone unfamiliar said hello to me in the bookstore, and turned out to be Towel Guy. And just once, I got the Blinding Flash of Inspiration at exactly the right time, and said, "Oh! I didn't recognize you with your clothes on!"

Mary Aileen, #415: Yeah, that was a bit obscure, wasn't it? Let me try again. The scenario in question is some white crooner singing "Feliz Navidad" to an audience consisting of Mexicans.

If we think of it occurring in the present, when Catholicism is the dominant religion in Mexico, then it feels (to me) like patronization, as if the singer is saying, "See, I can ape your cute little culture too." Yes, an alternate reading is, "I'm trying to perform something in the cultural reference of my audience," but that's not the first one that occurs to me.

If we think of it occurring in the past, as TitMoWT appears to have been done, then it runs up against my general opinion of missionaries, which is "con-men"* and therefore triggers the "icky" flag.

Stephen, #425: I occasionally find myself softly singing the filk lyrics to the Hallelujah Chorus in the mall. "I'm a soprano! I'm a tenor! She's not an alto! She's not an alto! Hallelujah!"

Xopher, #431: GKW also has a message which badly needs to be dusted off and restored to its previous prominence on the mantlepiece of modern Christianity: the responsibility of the well-off toward the poor. In a time when the Gospel of Prosperity rules the faith and poverty is seen as evidence of moral depravity, I keep wanting to pound soi-disant Christians like James Dobson, Rick Warren, and Joel Osteen** over the head with it until it SINKS IN.

Earl, #449: Yes, and for the first time since I moved here, neither my partner nor I will be attending. In an interesting shell game, he will be running tables at an anime-con in KC for Pegasus Publishing, and our friend from White Lightning Productions will be running our booth at OwlCon. Me... I'm going to be English dancing to Bare Necessities in OKC!

* Note that I don't have a problem with people who, out of their personal religious convictions, want to help those less fortunate than themselves improve their lives. The problem occurs when "not having the same religion I do" is seen as less fortunate and in need of improvement. Since an important part of missionary work involves exactly that -- fixing those poor unfortunates who believe in a different religion -- I consider it Not Done In Good Faith.***

** Joel Osteen's megachurch, which I drive past several times a week, used to be a basketball arena. Its exterior shows no cross nor any other Christian symbol, but only the names of Osteen and his wife. One supposes this to be meaningful; the message is no longer the Bible itself, but the Bible According to Osteen.

*** Yes, I mean that in multiple senses of the word.

#454 ::: Randolph Fritz ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 03:28 AM:

I just realized that the alternate history of the Golden Compass might have been designed to upset both Catholic and Protestant authoritarians; va gung uvfgbel Wbua Pnyiva orpbzr cbcr. Chyyzna, V guvax, qvffrzoyrf, bu, whfg n ovg. Ohg gura, ur vairagrq Ylen.

#455 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 03:40 AM:

xeger @450:
Has anybody seen Charlie Stross recently? This seems like it might be rather up his alley...

Charlie is at a book signing gig in London this weekend, to my very great disappointment. Since I'm in Edinburgh, I had been hoping to get together for a dram or so.

#456 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 05:40 AM:

Lila @ 430: Tim @ #259, have you heard James Taylor sing "Jingle Bells" in blues style?

I have not. My first, perhaps unkind, thought is that James Taylor plus blues is already a fairly unlikely combination, but I'll keep an open mind.

Lee @ 255: Steeleye Span did "The Holly And The Ivy" to a completely different tune with an even worse scansion problem: the second syllable of "organ" was emphasized, so it sounded like "the playing of the merrier gun."

#457 ::: Neil Willcox ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 06:33 AM:

#339 - After watching that, I'm sure I've read that comic*. (But I can assure you it's neither of these)

Have to say I wasn't keen on Ian Mckellen as the voice of Iorek Byrnison; he sounded too educated to my ears.

* Archimede's declarations sound like a bad comicbook villian introducing himself in as few panels as possible so we can get to the fight. And that's not always a bad thing; perhaps Lanaia should think about writing a comic?

#458 ::: Stephen Sample ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 06:47 AM:

Lee @ 453: the SF club in college had a tradition of going Pumpkin Caroling at Halloween with filks of Christmas music.

Most of the filks were the usual goblin and Fake Witch fare, but one member of the group invented a Halloween version of the Hallelujah Chorus on the way to the house of one of the religion professors. It was great fun.

For you are/Going to give us/Candy.
Halloween! Halloween!/Halloween! Halloween!
Or we will/Never stop this/Singing.

#459 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 06:53 AM:

This article in Wikipedia about some aspects of Discworld is prefaced by a truly sidesplitting editorial comment. The best response to it I could come up with while laughing that hard was "No, really?".

#460 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 08:26 AM:

Ooh, fun for early-music fans...Victoria's Missa O Magnum Mysterium! Last night I found that if you know the motet, it's not that hard to sightread the mass.

#461 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 08:32 AM:

Xopher @ 421... I often think I'm an improvised person.

Feeling half-baked today?
Kneading help?

#462 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 08:36 AM:

Fragano @ 436... Current leaders could be endowed with the idyllic of these theorists and use it as justification for how they correlate that top others.

Sounds like an ad for male enhancement.

#463 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 08:50 AM:

I saw Golden Compass. I've never read the book, but it did feel rushed in places during the first two thirds. Kind of like when I saw Serenity, which I think was put together from some of the show's unproduced scripts. The stitches showed. But I liked it and so did most of the audience I saw it with. I was bummed that Daniel Craig wasn't in it more, but the whole cast was great. And I loved Eva Green. And it was GREAT to see a girl as the story's very resourceful main character.

#464 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 09:04 AM:

Some questions about Compass's daemons...

In the movie anyway, we are told that they are our souls. That says something interesting about Scoresbye's character since his jackrabbit daemon is female. And if humans have daemons because they have souls, what is the situation for other primates, or dolphins? Maybe that's covered in the original books.

#465 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 09:39 AM:

Serge #464: Only humans have dæmons. This is part of the plot of the series [rot-13 encoded for those who want to avoid a possible spoiler] nf gur Cnafreowøear xvat qrfcrengryl jnagf n qæzba.

#466 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 09:41 AM:

Serge #462: It could be. It had me flummoxed.

#467 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 09:49 AM:

My understanding was that daemons are always or at least usually opposite gender (sex? I haven't read the books in that much detail looking into it).

#468 ::: Sue Krinard ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 09:51 AM:

I'm usually a lurker because of a book that's way late, but I had to comment on THE GOLDEN COMPASS.

Okay ... I loved it. The critics are panning it, and I honestly don't see why. There were bits in the beginning that could have used more fleshing out, and I would have given a great deal to see a lot more of Daniel Craig, but I was fascinated throughout. Having not as yet read the books, I wasn't doing any of that sort of comparison, and I thought the film stood beautifully on its own. Nor did I feel the message was in any way obscured.

I loved the talking animals. I loved the fantastic cityscapes. I loved the sheer visual imagination on display in every frame. It was like one of my childhood fantasies come true.

As a professional storyteller, I'm usually quick to find flaws in movies and am not easy to please. But this film certainly pleased me, and I look forward to seeing the "unchopped" cut on DVD.

#469 ::: Sue Krinard ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 09:55 AM:

And I forgot to add ... if I'd seen more of wonderful girl protagonists like Lyra, I might have grown up relating more to heroines than heroes when I read my SF and fantasy. (I disdained female heroes for most of my teens and throughout my 20's, because the men were SO much more interesting in much of the SF that was being written. (I still relate as easily to male characters as female, if not more.) Andre Norton didn't quite win me over.

Now, of course, kids have so many other options, and I'm thrilled to see a girl take front and center stage in a fantasy film.

#470 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 10:15 AM:

Diatryma @ 467... So I've just been told elsewhere. The daemon that spoke the most was the girl's, and it sounded like her own voice, to my tin ear anyway. Few of the adult daemons got to say anything, and the most prominent one was Eeevil Mrs. Coulter's monkey, which never uttered a word. So, when Hester the jackrabbit spoke with Kathy Bates's voice, I made a foolish assumption.

#471 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 10:29 AM:

Lee (453): Okay, that makes sense. Thank you.

I'm not overly fond of missionaries myself, despite family history. (My grandparents were missionaries in China for twenty years.)

#472 ::: y ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 10:33 AM:

Lee, #453: Osteen is following a tradition here, I think. Check out whose name is front and center on the facade of St. Peter's...

#473 ::: Susan ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 10:50 AM:

I am considering seeing Golden Compass, but I also have the trilogy at home waiting to be read. I'm not sure if I should read them first, which will perhaps lead to being disappointed in the movie, as is almost always the case, but might also make the experience richer, or whether to go to the movie cold and then read the books. Any thoughts from the folks familiar with both books and movie?

#474 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 10:55 AM:

Continuing to grade finals. Here are some more samples:

Next there is Cicero who created lawyers.

The government of Kuwait is a Middle Eastern country whose head of government is based upon a hereditary heir to the throne.

In its Economy, China has just acquired the rights to a new type of extradition technology for use in extracting crude oil.

The French model has evolved from a revolution to a republic.

The core of Frances administrative and political system is known as the bureaucracy, which was created by the country itself.

France is a multiethnic country that has become complicated with the assimilation.

China is a country that is run by a Leninist party that gives the country to right to bare as many children as they please, however many families tend to only have one child.

#475 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 11:01 AM:

Fragano @ 474... The government of Kuwait is a Middle Eastern country whose head of government is based upon a hereditary heir to the throne.

To the heads, where resides the porcelain throne?

#476 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 11:06 AM:

I thought that they had been doing with Golden Compass what was done with Lord of the Rings, with everything being filmed so that the movies could be released one year apart. I was mistaken, it seems, and they're waiting to see how well this movie does before they film the second one. Unfortunately, I don't think that Golden Compass stands even less on its own any more than The Fellowship of the Ring did.

#477 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 11:06 AM:

Serge #475: That's one possible interpretation, I suppose.

#478 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 11:07 AM:

The fortune cookie I got from Herdthinners this morning:
Everywhere I go I'm asked if I think the university stifles writers. My opinion is that they don't stifle enough of them. There's many a bestseller that could have been prevented by a good teacher.
-- Flannery O'Connor

#479 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 11:10 AM:

Fragano #474:

Too bad about the extraditing oil. It would solve any number of problems, no?

#480 ::: Rob Rusick ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 11:10 AM:

Totally off topic on what anyone else is discussing... I was trying to find some info on a local artist named Krisha (a Polish derived name, AFAIK), and Google insists that I'm looking for Krishna. And I can't find an email addr to tell it otherwise. Any ideas?

#481 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 11:13 AM:

Rob, local to where?

#482 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 11:16 AM:

The Alastair Sim version ("Scrooge") is the One True "Christmas Carol"", in these parts. Enthusiastically watched every year.

We're also partial to the "Blue Carbuncle" episode of the Jeremy Brett Sherlock Holmes, and the Christmas episode of season 2 of "All Creatures." Also fun, with a bit of a Christas theme, is the "Royal Ruby" episode of "Poirot".

#483 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 11:17 AM:

TexAnne #420:

Yes, Aielli. What was Tramp Day? Or do I want to know?

#484 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 11:19 AM:

Rob #480:

Probably trying to teach you to suck eggs, but what about adding the town name to the search field?

#485 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 11:28 AM:

My family is fiercely divided on Christmas movies. My father and brother love A Christmas Story, but... no. Twenty-four hours of that is not happening. Christmas Day itself is interrupted by Miracle on 34th Street, because AMC does their twenty-four hour marathon of the old version, alternating between black and white and colorized. Dad and I adore that one, and have a pretty good sense of when to 'just check' so we can see the little girl from Rotterdam. I've never seen It's a Wonderful Life, and I imprinted on the Muppets for my Christmas Carol needs. If it doesn't have the Swedish Chef, it's not Dickens.

#486 ::: Faren Miller ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 11:29 AM:

Linkmaster (way back at #384): I've never taken that northward route in winter, but the Peaks are often visible from our part of Prescott. They appeared in all their snowy glory earlier this morning, before the clouds rolled back in.

And there's really no need to look elsewhere for snow today, since we got at least an inch of it here overnight. I can enjoy the sight more now that my neighbor's cat -- who was yowling on my side porch at 2:30 a.m. when I got up to feed Emperor Horton, and turned out to be outside (still or again) when I checked around 7 this morning -- is safely back home. As a Bay Arean, I tend to think of even minor snowfalls as lethal for housepets exposed to them too long, but my husband from Maine *told* me not to worry!

[Horton's a thick-furred critter, official breed Norwegian Forest Cat, with a great ruff at this time of year and long tufts even around his paws, so he looks more suited to this weather than a rambunctious young shorthair. But he's strictly a house cat, currently fast asleep on the bed near a heat vent.]

As for Bagdad AZ, I still hear it mentioned on the occasional weather report, so it must not have withered away altogether....

#487 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 11:42 AM:

Susan @#473: Hmmm...I'd recommend reading them. My husband hasn't read them and he found the movie a bit "eh," partly because the exciting ideas of the book (like the nature of dust, and the intense relationship between Lyra and her daemon) weren't really there on the screen. So to him it felt a bit like a by-the-numbers fantasy. As an example, he told me that nf fbba nf ur fnj gung gurl jrer pebffvat na vpl ghaqen, ur gubhtug "gurer'f tbvat gb or n punfz gung frcnengrf gurz." Naq bs pbhefr, gurer jnf. I didn't trip on that cliche (or others), because I was more engaged with the characters and story than he was.

To my mind it comes down to this: superlative book (particularly the first one in the trilogy), okay movie. So if you're going to come to one of them pure & unspoiled, the book is more deserving of the honor.

#488 ::: guthrie ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 12:12 PM:

I see it has gotten onto Pullmans "Dark Materials" trilogy.

Now, I have a problem. I would like to discuss the books, but cannot do so without giving everything away.
Nevertheless, I shall ask the question:
Does anyone else think that the trilogy is not actually for children at all?
I read it when I was 27. I felt I just managed to get it, but the changes in characters motivations through the trilogy were, I felt, too complex for children to understand. Bearing in mind that I found Alan Garners "Red Shift" too complex when I was at school, and the same with Dorothy Dunnets "Lymond" saga. Both of these I had to re-read when older than 18 in order to get the full emotional impact of the characters and the events.
I feel the same way about the trilogy- that although the basic story is simple enough, there are a lot of nuances that mean it is not really a childrens book. Harry potter, despite the shades of grey in it, is a children/ teenagers book, whereas the dark materials is barely even a teengaer series, in my opinion.
Which is not to say that children/ teenagers can't enjoy it, just that the full ramifications of the plot and cahracters will likely escape them.

Anyone agree with me?

#489 ::: guthrie ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 12:15 PM:

Abi, #391- where exactly in Edinburgh? I was born and brougth up in Edinburgh, and have never seen such intellectual and correctly spelled graphiti before. I have however got my suspicions. There wasn't any kind of theatre thing going on nearby?


(I am currently dogsitting at my dads in Balerno, before going back to Polmont)

#490 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 12:19 PM:

Diatryma @ 485... I've never seen It's a Wonderful Life/i>

I know it's fashionable to trash him as sappy and treacly and worse, but I like it. My wife won't watch it because she finds it too depressing. After all, it starts on Christmas Eve with the main character contemplating suicide, and the revelation that his whole life was a series of obstacles to his own dreams. With shmaltz like that...

I'll confess to having a certain fondness for White Christmas. Vera-Ellen to Danny Kaye: "You are not exactly Superman, but you are awfully available."

#491 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 12:36 PM:

Rob: Google's search algorithms were changed significantly earlier this year. (Try searching for geek legends for a similar instance of too-helpful correction.) The remedy appears to be to put the seemingly-misspelled word in quotes, as: "Krisha". This was not formerly necessary, but now seems to tell the search engine, "Yes, I really mean exactly what I typed."

If I feed that in - just tested it - I get back only results for "Krisha", not "Krishna". (Though some of the results are for pages misspelling Krishna.)

#492 ::: T.W ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 01:38 PM:

Guthrie 488,

Dark Materials would have been in line with what I was reading when I was sixteen had it existed then. Then again I was of the type of teen that though Narnia was for babies and dropped it after I was 12 because it just didn't make sense when I thought about all the things Lewis obviously didn't.
Darkness and maturity of subject matter really depends on personality and experiences.
I think Pullman was aiming at teens and not falling into the cult of innocence trap that many adults approach kids from.

#493 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 01:39 PM:

I did something foolish yesterday... Being in dire need of whole socks, meaning socks without holes, I went to the mall. It took less than 5 minutes to find the socks, and more than 20 minutes to pay for them.

#494 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 01:45 PM:

joann #479: It might!

All I know is that I'm learning many things.

#495 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 01:47 PM:

Guthrie... TW... When I was discovering written SF at my high-school library, I never made the difference based on the main character. Heck, I devoured everything I could lay my hands upon. Mind you, had I come across Pullman's stories at that age, I'd have been greatly surprised because I didn't know of anybody who wrote stories where the main character was a girl.

#496 ::: T.W ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 02:00 PM:

Serge 494,

I've noticed some of Pullman's biggest fans online are women between the ages of 20-30(who often are also bitter at Lewis for the butchering of Susan).

#497 ::: guthrie ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 02:00 PM:

TW- yes, that sounds about the bottom end of the range. Several of my friends (none of whom are noted for being slow readers) have agreed that the Dark materials trilogy isn't quite for children,so I was interested in finding out what sort of range people thought it covered.

By means of further calibration, and because this is an open thread, I was reading Alistair Maclean books at 12, and James Bond by 13 or so. However these were relatively unsubtle. The only reason I didn't read LotR before I was 15 was that the beggining was very dull and I didn't get through it first time I tried.

#498 ::: Allan Beatty ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 02:09 PM:

Bruce @459: It's instructive to see that Wikipedia has a ready-made template to insert that editorial comment with a few keystrokes.

Guthrie @488: Yes, I agree that His Dark Materials is definitely deeper than the Harry Potter books, and perhaps even more than The Lord of the Rings (although my judgment there may be biased by the familiarization of having read it umpteen times). So kids can enjoy it, and adults with more life experience can understand further aspects of it.

What other kids' books can anyone suggest that repay adults who reread them? For example, I saw more nuance in The Cat in the Hat after studying recursion in computer science.

#499 ::: guthrie ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 02:11 PM:

TW at 496- The biggest reason I didn't re-read the Narnia series after I was about 11 or 12 was that the world felt wrong. It was too claustrophobic and enclosed. By contrast Pullmans creation cannot be so accused.

(Yet oddly enough I did like the first two books of Lewis' SF trilogy)

#500 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 02:23 PM:

"His Dark Materials" is deeper, better written, and more intelligent than the Harry Potter books, but it is nowhere near as accessible, or just plain fun.

#467, 470: Virtually every daemon is of the opposite sex than its person. In the book, Lyra remembers a kindly and protective scholar whose daemon was male. I suspect Pullman was suggesting that the fellow was gay.

The movie-voice of Pan was supplied Freddie Highmore, a young boy. He's supposed to be male . . . but yes, sometime it's hard to tell.

#501 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 02:40 PM:

Serge @ 493: Re socks - when my wife and I went to Las Vegas a few years ago, I was true to my usual form, and forgot something - socks. So that early afternoon, I went hunting on the Strip for socks. The first store was near the floor of the Mirage, and it was a boutique that charged $20/pair. No thanks. Even if the pseudo-gold thread looked pretty.

Wandering around, I found a Banana Republic, and they had a sale of 4 pairs for $20 - that worked.

I agree, this time of year is maddening for shoppers who want to do something other than Christmas shopping.

#502 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 02:56 PM:

#488: Well, HDM is a layered narrative -- adults, and more educated folks, will pick up on more stuff, but even for a younger teen, it's still a "ripping yarn". Of course, that's also part of the problems with making it into a movie....

#503 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 03:23 PM:

Allan, #498: Re-reading Alcott's Rose In Bloom after 10 years of reading Regency romances was an eye-opener. All sorts of cultural and social issues that went right past me at age 9 suddenly became much more visible.

Conversely, I didn't find the Oz books until I was a teenager, and by then they were a complete turnoff. Baum's tendency to talk down to his readers probably won't be noticed by a 6-year-old, but at 15 I found it patronizing and offensive.

#504 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 03:54 PM:

#501: I used to help run booths at big trade shows. I'd been to Las Vegas maybe ten times before going to grad school in 1995, and got to know the rough layout of the city outside of the strip. This was useful for picking up supplies for the hospitality suite where the big sales meetings took place.

It was safe to say I knew where to buy socks. Or cheap snacks. Or lumber to put a keyboard tray on a display kiosk.

I went back to Vegas in 2001 . . . the first time on my own nickel, and the first time I went there overland. As it happens, I had actually forgotten to bring something . . . socks or underwear, I forget which. I confidentially left the Tropicana and . . . got lost. Not because I'd forgotten the place, but because it had changed. Major intersections had turned into overpass / underpass arrangements, and retail landmarks had disappeared. A road that had once kind of petered out into a residential street stayed a major boulevard that stretched on to the foothills. I eventually found a "mundane" shopping center, but it wasn't easy.

#505 ::: Debbie ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 03:57 PM:

The Golden Compass website explains a lot about daemons, and has a feature to let you find out what yours is.

Tying together a couple of aspects of this thread, the polar bears in the Golden Compass keep reminding me somehow of Tolkien's "Letters from Father Christmas".

As for re-reading books as an adult, I've found that Lloyd Alexander's Chronicles of Prydain wore well (for me, anyway). On the other hand, I disliked Heinlein intensely as an adult although I greatly enjoyed the space adventure stories as a teen; at some point his portrayal of women seriously annoyed me.

There were other books -- Heidi and the Five Little Peppers books come to mind -- that I loved fiercely as a child. It was a weird experience to read them later and be more or less appalled at both the language and the societal assumptions contained within.

#506 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 04:08 PM:

Stefan Jones @ 504... I knew where to buy socks. Or cheap snacks. Or lumber (...) I had actually forgotten to bring something . . . socks or underwear, I forget which. I confidentially left the Tropicana and . . . got lost.

Wooden undies are most uncomfortable, I've heard.

#507 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 04:15 PM:

Debbie @ 505... My daemon supposedly is a mouse named Suidan. Could have been worse. Like an oyster named Oscar.

#508 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 04:23 PM:

Serge @ 506 ...
Wooden undies are most uncomfortable, I've heard.

Oh!!! Is -that- what they mean by 'morning wood' !?!

#509 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 04:27 PM:

joann, 483: Tramp Day...well, you know how Aielli gets obsessed and plays stuff he really likes over and over and over. That day, he'd managed to hypnotize himself with some minimalist composer's latest POS. Take a scratchy recording of a tramp singing, "Jesus' love never FAILED me--yet. Never FAILED me--yet. Never FAAAAAAAAILED me--yeeeet," looping endlessly against a background of Swooping Orchestral Ironic Cheese. I don't think the piece was actually an eternity long; it might have been just 45 min. But that was all Aielli played that day. Sometimes he varied the program, though, by saying "This is SO GREAT!" over the "music." After that, I listened to him only on early-music concert days....

#510 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 04:42 PM:

TexAnne #509:

I figured it was probably something like that. I decided many years ago that he talked more than he played music, so gave him up entirely. (Along with radio in general, but that's another story.)

#511 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 04:46 PM:

Serge #507: My dæmon is a chimpanzee named Suidan...

#512 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 04:47 PM:

The yearly Christmas potato candy has been made (not by me), and it had the interesting effect of summoning the stalled cold front. It's raining, I see sunshine, and the temperature's dropped about 15F in the last hour or so.

Over the next couple of weeks, I need to bake two or three grand batches of madeleines, make one or two tiramisus, and experiment with truffle-making tomorrow. If those turn out, then I'll make some ginger ones for another event.

#513 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 04:59 PM:

Great Moments in Church Music: "Comfort, comfort ye my people," with the organist taking it at its original dance-tune tempo, with an ostinato keeping the proper dance time. Wheeee! (Did you know it's hard to sing while giggling?)

#514 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 05:08 PM:

Finally, finishing up with the task of grading, I present these nuggets:

The Greta Leap Forward (1958) was based on industrialization but it went bad.

The twelve Shiisms and the role of the religious are given to the legal scholar.

China and Iran are communist countries.

Years prior to them becoming a developed country china was being pushed out of the international trade, their poverty rate was at its highest and the crime rate tried to increase.

There are a few reasons why I feel that mexico was the most interesting mexico overcame their obstacles.

It is possible that democracy can uproot itself into the Chinese democracy in the future but the likelihood of democracy embedding itself soon is hard to tell.

This new future came with a large consequence and burden set on the shoulders of the people at that time.

Han Feizi can be called the “Chinese Machiavelli” because he shared some of the same political outlooks of those owned by Niccoló Machiavelli.

South Africa is a country on the southern tip of Africa and recently gained its independence in 1912.

Aquinas and Calvin were brought the idea of Christianity to the world.

With the knowledge of Christian ways and moral ethics we as a people were able to prove our right to freedom.

Another philosopher who built most of his theories on positive thought and self fulfillment was Augustine of Hippo (354-430AD).

Democracy means to be ruled by the person which is broken up into groups of government.

The entity of Healthcare poses great threats to lives and the livelihoods of all people.

I believe that Plato, Aristotle, and Rousseau are two great philosophers that anyone studying their work can achieve a bit of knowledge.

By taking a step back and looking at the whole picture, one self can study pious, self knowledge, arch of all things, and more.

#515 ::: Epacris ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 05:16 PM:

TexAnne (@509, 420) That would be the piece by Gavin Bryars, composed around 1970. The full length is 74 minutes. Here's an interview transcript from 2004, when he was composer-in-residence at the Festival of Perth. The story about the reaction to a broadcast (of the new recording with Tom Waits?) of "Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet" in Winnipeg in the early-mid 1990s (?) might be interesting to, say, Bostonians. He doesn't make any reference to treating it 'ironically' with the orchestration.

#516 ::: T.W ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 05:36 PM:

Fragano 514,

What class and grade are those? I feel like weeping for the future. You have a good stock of booze on hand to ease the pain right?

#517 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 05:36 PM:

TexAnne @ 513... Great Moments in Church Music

A great moment in music was heard in the early 1990s when the San Francisco Symphonic Orchestra did Holst's The Planets and the organ got stuck at the very end of Uranus.

#518 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 05:41 PM:

Fragano @ 511... How many Suidans do they have?

#519 ::: Kelly McCullough ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 05:45 PM:

Just a note that the latest set of updates to the Making Light Indices are up over at Wyrdsmiths. I'm up through August 2006 now and hoping to finish 2006 before 2007 ends and makes me feel as though I'm 2 years behind instead of just 1.

#520 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 05:46 PM:

the organ got stuck at the very end of Uranus.

Sounds painful!

#521 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 05:47 PM:

I have a spider-daemon named Alexius. At least for a little while.

#522 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 05:51 PM:

guthrie @489:
where exactly in Edinburgh? I was born and brougth up in Edinburgh, and have never seen such intellectual and correctly spelled graphiti before. I have however got my suspicions. There wasn't any kind of theatre thing going on nearby?

Most of the way down Leith Walk. The second to last left turn before the Foot O' The Walk leads into what looks like a small industrial estate. It's spray-painted on the wall there, visible from the Walk itself as you head north. I saw it while riding a 22 bus from town.

I don't think there's any theatre going on down that way, not even during the Festival.

I'm back north of Amsterdam now, though.

#523 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 05:52 PM:

ethan @ 520... Sounds painful!

I don't know. People were laughing.

#524 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 05:55 PM:

TW #516: That's two different classes, both junior level.

#525 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 06:07 PM:

PJ @ 521... Alexius? Not Sidney the spider daemon?

#526 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 06:10 PM:

Kelly @519:

That index continues to be insanely cool. Thank you so much for doing it.

#527 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 06:24 PM:

Sorry, this thread is beyond my ability to comprehend, or anything. So. Many. Posts. Anyway, the nub of Oakenguy's comment was quoted in mine, and the article I linked tells the rest.

Good King Wenceslaus, by the way, was a spring carol, and the words we all know were put in about 150 years ago. Not that there's anything wrong with that!

#528 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 06:33 PM:

I ended up with a snow leopard daemon. I forget her name.

Darn. I was hoping for a wolf or coyote.

#529 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 06:37 PM:

The fun thing with the daemon quiz is that you can post it and other people say whether they agree or not. And then it changes, because it's a daemon and that's what they do. I think your answers put you in a certain daemon subset, and other people's perceptions of you narrow it down further. It might settle after a while, but I haven't played with it that much.

#530 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 06:42 PM:

Serge: alas, no. Or maybe that should be Alexius, no.

#531 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 06:44 PM:

Kingsoft, the company responsible for the bad translations noted in Patrick's latest sidelight, has also been used by Chinese manufacturers of products to be sold in America, with less than amusing results once they got over here.

(personal note: I'm relieved that the company I used to work for wasn't responsible for those mistranslations ... I have a few horror stories of things that got caught before final release)

#532 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 07:09 PM:

Serge #518: I can't imagine they came up with too many names.

#533 ::: Neil Willcox ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 07:22 PM:

Snow Leopard called Pelagia. It claims it won't settle for 12 days.

I believe that Plato, Aristotle, and Rousseau are two great philosophers...

If that sentence had ended in a way that made sense that might have been a joke. It amused me anyway. No I won't say at which philosopher's expense.

#534 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 07:27 PM:

Tonight, on Turner Classic Movies, 1941's King of the Zombies: "...a mad scientist raises the dead to fight for Hitler in World War II..."

#535 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 07:51 PM:

My wife does not care for A Christmas Story. But she didn't have my dad for a dad. She doesn't have my engagement with old-time radio shows. And she never stood backstage and watched Jean Shepherd unreel a monologue, playing the audience's emotions like so many strings on a Stradivarius.

#536 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 08:06 PM:

A question for those who've watched Rankin/Bass's Rudolph The Red-nosed Reindeer... All the male elves are bald and their ears are pointy. So are the ear of the female elves, who have blond hair. And you have Hermie the elf who wants to be a dentist, whose hair is blond, and his ears round. Do you think this might be because, years before, the Kringles were having matrimonial difficulties?

#537 ::: flowery tops ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 08:49 PM:

My daemon is an osprey named something or other.

I love the Dark Materials trilogy, as does my eleven year old. He is deeply offended that his school library doesn't have any Pullmans, some guff about them not being suitable for primary aged kids.

I also loved the Narnia books (not so much the last two or three, from memory), and I'm ashamed to admit that the Christian allegory went skimming merrily right over my oblivious head.

Books I read eagerly as a child, and love more and more are most of Ursula Le Guin's books.

#538 ::: Kelly McCullough ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 08:53 PM:

Abi @ 526,

You're welcome. It's actually quite entertaining to do in an obsessive-compulsive organizational kind of way.

#539 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 09:26 PM:

Neil Willcox #533: Rousseau always gets the dirty end of the stick...

#540 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 09:30 PM:

In the Department of I Bet Everybody Else Knew This Already, Lindemans makes an apple lambic!! It's not quite as good as the raspberry or peach, but it'll do, especially since it's very hard to find a decent dry cider around here.

#541 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 09:43 PM:

Rob, #480, put Krisha in quotes: "Krisha" and you'll get a list of folks with that name, some of whom seem to be performers.

Serge, #534, this afternoon on TCM, On the Town!

#542 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 09:48 PM:

Marilee @ 541... I had to skip On The Town this afternoon, but luckily I have it on DVD. I still like Betty Garrett the best.

#543 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 09:53 PM:

Fragano, if you ever need someone to buy you a drink and serve as designated driver, drop me a line. I'm right over here in Athens, and both my parents were teachers, so I have a great deal of respect for the profession and its difficulties.

#544 ::: Susan ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 09:59 PM:

My daemon is an ocelot named Diodium. I can has kitteh!

#545 ::: Susan ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 10:13 PM:

Any Mac experts here? I have this little iBook which I am trying to connect via wireless to my home network and it invariably says that the password is incorrect. (1) I know my password, it is not incorrect, and (2) I had the same problem at a friend's house this weekend. This is making me Crazy. Other people have connected to my network without undue problems (or at least without any problems they shared with me.)

#546 ::: Julie L. ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 10:17 PM:

Because I need new contact lenses, I initially misread TexAnne's 540 as "Lindemans makes an apple iambic!!" which made me envision an abi/Serge joint venture that would be "ap-PLE"-ing.

#547 ::: Stephen Sample ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 10:23 PM:

Susan @545: what security type is the home network using? Some vintages of iBook only support WEP (and not WPA). I don't think that would be reported as "wrong password", but I'm not positive.

If the network is using WEP, there are restrictions on password length for cross-platform compatibility; I've only encountered errors connecting PCs to a Mac-based wireless network, but it might work the other way as well. And that one definitely does show up as "wrong password". If I remember correctly, 128-bit WEP keys have to be exactly 13 characters.

If the network is restricted to specific wireless cards, that might give you a "wrong password" error as well, but I think that's less likely than the password length issue.

#548 ::: Scott Taylor ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 10:24 PM:

Susan - what type of wireless network are you trying to connect to, and what OS are you running on the iBook?

#549 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 10:33 PM:

Serge #534: Any movie with zombies and Nazis is OK by me.

#550 ::: Susan ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 10:38 PM:

Okay, cancel Mac guru alert temporarily. I've solved it on my home network - I needed to change from WEP password to the one with hex and enter the loooong hex key instead of the password.

However, I tried that solution on my friend's network this morning and it failed there. (And yes, she has an exactly 13-letter password.) So something is still rotten in the state of iBook here, and the next time I'm at her place I will perform the summon guru ritual when all the relevant hardware is within reach.

But thanks anyway to those prepared to jump to my rescue here; you validate my Blanche approach to all things computer-related. Anyone want to tell me if there is a way to turn the delete key on this iBook into an actual delete key instead of a backspace key?

#551 ::: Scott Taylor ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 10:44 PM:

hrmm...

Susan, it sounds like you're using one of the earlier versions of OS X - some of them had problems with translating text PWs into hex for WEP, AIR (and why are you using WEP? It's inherently insecure, in this day and age. WPA2 ftw.)

If that's the case, there are certain implementations of WEP on some wireless routers that simply Don't Play Nice with early versions of 10.x (this was pretty much fixed in OSX 10.4 - since updating to 4, the only problems I've had connecting are misconfigured access points that have redirects and the like, or poor signal strength - oh, for a Macbook Mini, so I can replace my (otherwise very nice) 12" Powerbook and its Faraday cage of an aluminum case).

#552 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 10:58 PM:

Serge #517, Ethan #520:

I'm just waiting for Jim Macdonald's post: Trauma And You: Organ Extraction.

#553 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 11:10 PM:

albatross @ 552... Tonight on the Discovery-Health Channel...

#554 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 11:12 PM:

ethan @ 549... I remember seeing the poster for that one. Never saw it. Should I ask my wife to put it on our NetFlix list, along with They Saved Hitler's Brain, and that episode of Wonder Woman where bad guys clone you-know-who until WW steps in and declones him?

#555 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 11:17 PM:

Last time I was back East, I gave my parents a bunch of CDs with old Jean Shepherd radio shows. (Originally MP3s, from some website or another, via a friend.)

One of them was the original Christmas adventure. Much sharper and darker.

#556 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 11:23 PM:

Susan @ 550... you validate my Blanche approach to all things computer-related

I usually blanch when Sue tells me her computer is acting up.

#557 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 11:45 PM:

Lee @ 381: AtS s4 update: Filled with forebodings from your reply, I've watched the last few episodes with trepidation--I'm now up to episode 18. I'm happy and somewhat surprised to report that it's definitely taken an upswing. Gurl erpbirerq sebz gurve rcvp svg bs pbyyrpgvir fghcvq naq ernyvmrq gung vg'f Pbeql jub'f gur ovt onq, naq gurer jrer fbzr pehapul zbeny qrpvfvbaf gb or znqr gung jrer znqr va vagrerfgvat jnlf. Naq abj Mbr--re, Tvan Gbeerf unf fubja hc! Juvpu vf pbby obgu va gur sna-fdhrr jnl, ohg nyfb fur znxrf sbe na vagevthvat ivyyvna.

I've been thinking that a big part of what was driving me batty before was the information asymmetry between me and the characters. We knew who the big bad was way before the characters did. That's always tricky to pull off without making the viewer utterly enraged at the character's obliviousness. It reminded me of the most recent George R.R. Martin book, A Feast for Crows, where Oevraar fcraqf gur jubyr gubhfnaq cntrf bs vg jnaqrevat nebhaq ybbxvat sbe Fnafn va gur evireynaqf, jura jr gur ernqref xabj fur vfa'g gurer. Frustration!

(Wow--LeetKey knows not to ROT13 html. Neat!)

P.S. Lee @ 453, what does ^H^H^H^H mean? My google-fu failed me.

#558 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 11:54 PM:

Serge @ 556 ... I usually blanch when Sue tells me her computer is acting up.

obImage: Serge dashes into the kitchen, nuts in hand, looking for boiling water and ice cubes...

#559 ::: Christopher Davis ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2007, 11:55 PM:

heresiarch (#557) asks about ^H. That's one way of saying 'backspace', and was often used on USENET for things like sarcastic^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H amusing rephrasings. (For brevity, ^W is "word delete backwards" in the standard UNIX stty settings, so you may see that instead.) In HTML, I usually use <s> to strikethrough the "deletion", but not all blog comment systems will let it through. (*cough cough*)

#560 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 10, 2007, 12:03 AM:

xeger @ 558... Not quite. Sue does amazing things with her computer, but she doesn't know how she does those things. One of these days, she'll accidentally make her laptop self-aware and it'll start saying "Ex-ter-mi-nate!" or do a Brando impersonation and how it coulda been a condenser.

#561 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: December 10, 2007, 12:24 AM:

Heresiarch, #557: It's ancient (dumb-terminal?) code for "backspace". Strikethrough HTML doesn't work in the comments here, so ^H-ing the text you want to pretend-to-not-show serves the same purpose.

#562 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: December 10, 2007, 12:47 AM:

Serge @560 ...
xeger @ 558... Not quite. Sue does amazing things with her computer, but she doesn't know how she does those things. One of these days, she'll accidentally make her laptop self-aware and it'll start saying "Ex-ter-mi-nate!" or do a Brando impersonation and how it coulda been a condenser.

Crossing threads, my littlest feline thinks laptops were made for warming her delicate parts, and has managed some absolutely astounding things[0] in the process of doing so.

[0] Dammit! That feline does -not- have opposable thumbs, either!

#563 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: December 10, 2007, 01:45 AM:

It tells me that my daemon is a lion named Xanthia. (Which I happen to know means "Yellow".) Oddly enough, it gave me a picture of a male lion instead of a lioness.

#564 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: December 10, 2007, 02:32 AM:

Lee #561: Strikethrough HTML doesn't work in the comments here

FTFY. heh.

#565 ::: A.J. Luxton ::: (view all by) ::: December 10, 2007, 02:33 AM:

Fragano @ 514: I sympathize. My oral EFL class handed in an essay a few days ago of the 'what have you learned so far / what do you hope to learn' variety. I am on the one hand very proud of my students, many of whom had never met a native-speaking English teacher and had previously regarded English as a sort of intellectual torture instrument. On the other hand, there are gems like this:

"When we discuss, we improved our capacity of reproduction."

(I do not think it means what you think it means.)

Also, one of my students confessed "I sit there like a wood." That one made me laugh both because it's true, and because it shows some self-awareness on his part that means he's going to get better about it.

--

Regarding that fcking mistranslation, which I've been following eagerly: I haven't seen that one yet in daily life, but I'm sure I will somewhere if I stay around here long enough. Good to see the mystery solved. I think 'thoroughly deplorable' is overstatement, though; it's one of many translation errors, and translation errors make rude words as often as not. People around here giggle when I say I like to eat tofu. Thanks to ChinesePod, I now know why. It's fairly unavoidable, since I'm a vegetarian and my students like to ask what I eat, so I just say "Yes, I know, funny!" and move on.

Now, I still think my size XL boxer shorts -- labeled 'lard-bucket's shorts' -- are an intentional act of malice by a drunk foreigner, but they're on a store brand that has almost everything else labeled correctly... and 'lard-bucket' is just too colloquial. There's a certain amount of bluntness that occurs even in reasonably good translations -- so they could have 'fat shorts' without too much trouble -- but I doubt even the craziest dictionary could come up with 'lard-bucket'.

Then again, all machine translation has the potential to go horribly awry; language is just too subtle. I still don't know why Babelfish translates 'wow' into French as 'défaut de la reproduction sonore', which according to reverse translation means 'defect of the sound reproduction.' I mean, what? No, just what is Babelfish thinking? Maybe I should send that one to Language Log...

#566 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: December 10, 2007, 06:12 AM:

Neil Wilcox @ 533

Plato, Aristotle, and Rousseau walk into a bar, and the bartender says ...

#567 ::: guthrie ::: (view all by) ::: December 10, 2007, 06:27 AM:

Abi at 522- I know where you mean. I might pop by and have a look sometime.
But remember, Leith has its own festival now:

http://www.leithfestival.com/

Albeit on in June. Leith has been heavily gentrified in the past 5 years, and as usual, locals can hardly afford to buy there anymore. I wonder if a more literate incomer is trying to make a point? There are so many stories that could be thought of.

#568 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: December 10, 2007, 06:44 AM:

Lee and Christopher Davis: Ah, it all becomes clear now.

#569 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: December 10, 2007, 07:28 AM:

Lila #543: Thanks for the offer! I suspect that this evening or tomorrow evening there will be a member of the Martini family, with my name on it, in front of me.

#570 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: December 10, 2007, 07:33 AM:

A J Luxton #565: Your students, at least, have the excuse of being native speakers of another language (Chinese, correct?).

#571 ::: Epacris ::: (view all by) ::: December 10, 2007, 07:46 AM:

Testing strikethrough. This seems to work if you use <strike>strike</strike>through

#572 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: December 10, 2007, 08:03 AM:

Fragano Ledgister #570:

Whereas your students speak a language of no Earthly origin.

#573 ::: Rob Rusick ::: (view all by) ::: December 10, 2007, 08:08 AM:

Clifton Royston @491: Rob: Google's search algorithms were changed significantly earlier this year. (Try searching for geek legends for a similar instance of too-helpful correction.)

I'm betting that 'geek' is a typo here, but it's entertaining; it makes me wonder what geek legends would be.

Yes, this is annoying. The suggestion at the top of the page (Did you mean... ?) was helpful; the assumption that I did is not.

The remedy appears to be to put the seemingly-misspelled word in quotes, as: "Krisha". This was not formerly necessary, but now seems to tell the search engine, "Yes, I really mean exactly what I typed."

Thanks, that works (as you noted).

joann @484: [..] what about adding the town name to the search field?

:) Yes I did.

Diatryma @481: Rob, local to where?

Rochester, NY. Is it a familiar name? The lady in question does a lot of murals.

After that, I still didn't get anywhere with my search, where I was trying to recall a vaguely remembered last name. I was really looking to do a little name dropping in another conversation; it helps to have the actual name.

#574 ::: JennR ::: (view all by) ::: December 10, 2007, 08:33 AM:

A.J. @ 565:Then again, all machine translation has the potential to go horribly awry; language is just too subtle. I still don't know why Babelfish translates 'wow' into French as 'défaut de la reproduction sonore', which according to reverse translation means 'defect of the sound reproduction.' I mean, what? No, just what is Babelfish thinking?

"Wow", when used in the proper context, is a defect in a sound system. (iirc, it's the effect you get when the tape isn't moving at a consistent speed during recording or playback.) It would seem that Babelfish isn't aware of its use as an exclamation.

#575 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 10, 2007, 09:12 AM:

About machine translation going awry... I remember a comic-strip that was translated into French by a human. One scene had a character go scared and the word balloon's 'Gulp!' was replaced by 'Avale!', which is another word for 'to swallow'.

#576 ::: Kelly McCullough ::: (view all by) ::: December 10, 2007, 09:12 AM:

guthrie @ 567

I'll have to check out the Leith festival this year. I'm in the US most of the time, but will be in the Edinburgh area for a couple of months this spring, and my wife and I were married in Leith.

#577 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: December 10, 2007, 09:14 AM:

572: Fragano to students - "Good news, most of you passed the end of term paper. Bad news, you all failed the Turing Test."

(obligatory XKCD here)

#578 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: December 10, 2007, 09:43 AM:

Mary Dell #572: Only one or two of them!

#579 ::: Christopher Davis ::: (view all by) ::: December 10, 2007, 10:31 AM:

So you can't strikeout with <s> and you can't strikeout with <strike>. Got it.

#580 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: December 10, 2007, 10:51 AM:

Rob Rusick @ 573

Geek Legends: tales from the life of the Quux, Those Who Reside in the steam tunnels under MIT, safe-cracking and quantum electrodynamics, the night the physicists took Vegas, sex in microgravity, and many more.

#581 ::: Neil Willcox ::: (view all by) ::: December 10, 2007, 11:05 AM:

Bruce Cohen @566 Plato, Aristotle, and Rousseau walk into a bar, and the bartender says ...

I don't know this one, but I'm betting there's a play on the name "Kant" in the punchline.

No? Damn it, so much for my impure reason.

#582 ::: Alan Braggins ::: (view all by) ::: December 10, 2007, 11:10 AM:

> iirc, it's the effect you get when the tape isn't moving at a consistent speed during recording or playback

Or other similar effects, like a record hole is slightly off centre. Flutter is the same sort of thing at higher frequencies.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wow_%28recording%29

#583 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 10, 2007, 11:55 AM:

Neil Willcox @ 581.. "You Kant handle the Truth!"

#584 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: December 10, 2007, 12:12 PM:

Paging Mr Macdonald -- got another one for your hypothermia post:

Michigan hiker goes missing on Mauna Loa

#585 ::: Rick Owens ::: (view all by) ::: December 10, 2007, 12:17 PM:

Madeline F. @ 194:

A few years ago I bought a handful of PAL flashlights and I've never regretted it. They're bigger than the snapon lights you mention, but IMHO having the rubber armor is worth it. The standby mode makes a great nightlight in dark halls.

If you want a way to use every last little bit of power from the batteries, googling "Joule Thief" will show you a circuit that'll drain the little buggers dry.

#586 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: December 10, 2007, 12:32 PM:

I really did mean "geek". It came up on a mailing list because someone actually was searching for *geek* myths, or *geek* legends, or some phrase of the kind, and could not get Google to stop auto-correcting it to "greek" and finding all the wrong things.

#587 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: December 10, 2007, 12:35 PM:

Earl, #564: Huh. I could swear that the last time I tried it, it didn't work, and I'd filed that information in the back of my mind. Okay, time for a little test experiment...

Does Not Work in preview. I'll try hitting Post and see what happens.

#588 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: December 10, 2007, 12:43 PM:

JESR @313:

"...and razzleberry dressing..."

One vote for Magoo's Christmas Carol from this corner too.

#589 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: December 10, 2007, 12:44 PM:

Okay, somebody explain why Earl can get strikethrough HTML to work and I can't!

Epacris, #571: Hmmm, testing checking that now...

Yes, that worked. Note to self: to get strikethrough here, you have to use "strike" and "/strike" rather than just "s" and "/s". Thanks!

#590 ::: Nancy C. Mittens ::: (view all by) ::: December 10, 2007, 12:57 PM:

I vote for "fluorophers" as a word for the people of Making Light. It is also distinct from fluorophor.

#591 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: December 10, 2007, 01:05 PM:

ajay #577: Some of my students may think I'm a computer.

#592 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: December 10, 2007, 01:07 PM:

Neil Willcox #581:

{breaking into song}

At last ends the age of Kant!

{/breaking out of song}

#593 ::: Adrian ::: (view all by) ::: December 10, 2007, 01:14 PM:

Janet (145), I am looking for a GPS, and collecting maps and directions on paper. I was delighted to discover that AAA now Triptiks available online (and that getting them online means nobody laughs at me for getting one for a trip of less than 50 miles.) AAA directions are different from those of the other direction/mapping services like MapQuest et al. I don't know if they involve somewhat more miles, but they don't involve I-93. As I don't think I have ever driven from this apartment to I-93 without getting lost, it turns out to be a net win.

There's not much point in arrangements for "the next 30 miles to a good stopping point." The whole drive is not all that much longer than 30 miles, though I expect it will often be delayed by weather and traffic. My idea of "medium distance" is based on 20 years of fairly drastic driving avoidance.

Diatryma (148), your suggestions about knowing the route and adjusting everything should help make it less scary as well as safer. Thanks. I also appreciate the thoughts about the flashlight (I have a good one on my coat, where it's useful in my normal life as a pedestrian) and snacks.

#594 ::: Adrian ::: (view all by) ::: December 10, 2007, 01:19 PM:

JESR (147) wrote:
Adrian, according to everything I've read, the single most important thing you can do to make you a safer long-distance driver is the simplest to advise and the hardest to accomplish: get sufficient sleep every night. Don't short yourself during the week and try to make it up on the weekend.

Oh wow. That is so true somebody should put it on a sampler. (Of course, most of the people who KNOW how true it is don't have time for making samplers with other people's sayings.) Thank you.

#595 ::: elise ::: (view all by) ::: December 10, 2007, 01:40 PM:

I'm late to the thread, but hey, congratulations abi, and congratulations to Making Light, for adding an excellent one!

#596 ::: Glenn Hauman ::: (view all by) ::: December 10, 2007, 02:17 PM:

Had no idea whether to put this in the comics threads or the Ron Paul thread, but:

Ron Paul's favorite superhero.

Certainly a choice I wouldn't expect from any of the other candidates.

#597 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: December 10, 2007, 02:22 PM:

Glad to help, Adrian. My drives are either ten- and twenty-minute runs around town for groceries or the two and a half hour trip back to my family's house. Things that don't bug me when I go to Hy-Vee really get to me about forty minutes later.
Of course, who knows what will happen when I go home for the holidays. I'm bringing the cat, and we haven't tried this before. She may never forgive me.

#598 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: December 10, 2007, 03:07 PM:

#285 Tania: Actually, I don't think I've ever heard that one ... the one I mentioned was a regular with various radio stations in NYC as I was growing up.


#571, #589 re: strikethrough:

Hah, I'd been burned by that one previously. Perhaps Teresa could put that in the comment-form cheat sheet?

#599 ::: Lois Fundis ::: (view all by) ::: December 10, 2007, 03:43 PM:

Another vote for Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol. I have it on VHS and watch it at least once every year. Magoo is an excellent casting choice for Scrooge!

I'd like to share this site: the Oldies editor of About.com is counting down his choices for The Top 40 Christmas Oldies Songs. He's only up to #22 so I think this is going to take until New Year's, but it's an interesting list with lots of neat trivia: Willie Nelson wrote Roy Orbison's "Pretty Paper." "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" was considered controversial!

My secret favorite Christmas song: there's a Mantovani arrangement of "The Holly and the Ivy" that I just love. I have it on an old LP and spent quite a few bucks finding a CD with it -- apparently he did several arrangements of the song, and I had to buy several CDs to sort out which were which. (Ordered several from Amazon.)

Also, naturally, Bruce Springsteen's version of "Santa Claus is Coming to Town." (Wonder if Clarence ever got his new saxophone?) :-)

But mostly I love the old hymns I grew up with in Methodist Sunday School: "Joy to the World," "Hark the Herald Angels Sing," "O Little Town of Bethlehem," etc. And maybe especially -- since I don't really get much into Christmas until midway through Advent -- the O Antiphons, best known from "O Come, O Come Emmanuel."

I have a whole LJ post half-written in my head about the different sorts of holiday music: religious, semi-religious, secular, songs about winter, songs about New Year's, songs that just sort of got tacked on onto "the holidays" by association ("Lucy and Linus" from "A Charlie Brown Christmas, for example)... Someday I need to write it all out.

And of course Hannukah. The day before Thanksgiving I was in Walmart and they were playing, of all things, Adam Sandler's Hannukah song. I wonder they realize Hannukah ends Dec. 13 this year, or if they'll keep it on the playlist all the way to Christmas? But you hardly ever hear Hannukah songs at all in the "holiday" music at stores!

#600 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 10, 2007, 04:00 PM:

Speaking of Christmas music... Has anybody read Connie Willis's short story All Seated on the Ground? It is the tradition for Asimov's December issue to publish a Christmas story by Willis. This one has aliens who land at Denver University and nobody knows what they want because the aliens aren't saying anything. All they do is frown in stern disapproval, reminding the narrator of her dreaded Aunt Judith. POSSIBLE SPOILERS Eventually there is a breakthrough when she realizes that the aliens respond to commands from certain Christmas music, but she can't figure out which does it and which doesn't, and she finds herself having to keep them from hearing most such music because of references to the slaying of children, and of grandmothers being run over by reindeer.

#601 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: December 10, 2007, 04:36 PM:

Lois @ #599, "Someday I need to write it all out."

Um. I respectfully point out that this is the appropriate season in which to do that. I'd read it.

#602 ::: Tania ::: (view all by) ::: December 10, 2007, 05:45 PM:

David Harmon @ 598: On the single of Grandma Got Run Over... is Percy the Puny Poinsettia. It's a silly song, but very singable when you're baby-sitting and trying to keep the little buggers occupied.

#603 ::: Kathryn from Sunnyvale ::: (view all by) ::: December 10, 2007, 07:06 PM:

C. Wingate @217*

The Santa-San Song**

[Main]
I laid a trap for Santa
put dust where he'd be walking
it lay undisturbed but there's a
Doka in my stocking.

Ninja, ninja ninja,
He sprang up from my chimney,
He isn't made of magic
But does know use of shoge.

[Little brother interlude]
ニ ヌ ネ ノ
ジ ズ ゼ
kaginawa up
the ninja came, and ran the warlord through

[Main Song]
The reason you can't seize him
Is Santa is a Ninja
He isn't from the North Pole
His castle is in Ginza.

Ninja, ninja ninja,
Santa makes kujji-in,
His list is always perfect
Because he's mastered Jin.

[Person 2, song 2, then add to Main]
Don't look for his eyes
Metsubishi flies.

[Person 3 etc]
I'll throw the shuriken,
It didn't fly- I'll try again

[Person 4 etc]
Now when you run
in cat-foot tabi shoes
You'll know
Why warlords always lose

[Person 5, etc]
Ninja socks, for my toes
hot saki, warms my nose

[Main]
Ninja, ninja ninja,
Santa knows ninjutsu,
You can never see him
He wears a fuligin suit

------------
* who posted that phrase right at the wrong time for an earworm. I also now know that there's Santa parkour.

** ttto & in the form of Southpark's Dreidel Song

#605 ::: xeger-sees-broken-html ::: (view all by) ::: December 10, 2007, 09:47 PM:

... please make it stop! Remove the extra quote!

#606 ::: vian ::: (view all by) ::: December 10, 2007, 10:00 PM:

xeger@605

Sorry about that - it worked OK in preview, and then crapped out when I posted it.

But W00T for action figures of this sort, anyhow.

#607 ::: Adrian ::: (view all by) ::: December 10, 2007, 10:34 PM:

Midori (150), Debbie (151), Julia (159): Thanks for the suggestions about sunglasses. I have really excellent polarized sunglasses that go over my prescription glasses. They block a lot more glare than prescription sunglasses because they shield the sides and top. They're pretty funny-looking, though.


Nancy (158), RainX seems like a great idea. Where does one find such a thing? (I mean, what sort of store? Or do you have to get it mail order?) Does it spray on like window cleaner, or does it require hand-intensive polishing, like a wax? Driving is going do a lot of damage to my hands, so I'm trying to minimize other damage as much as possible.

#608 ::: Adrian ::: (view all by) ::: December 10, 2007, 10:57 PM:

Madeline (195), Were you trying to point me to your friend's LJ post, looking for GPS suggestions? It's locked. I've narrowed down my GPS choices to a Garmin 200W or TomTom One LE. What I'd really like is something spatially small, with a "pedestrian mode," and the option of getting a "route around bad traffic" service month-to-month without also paying for a lot of other clutter. It looks like the TomTom has the pedestrian mode, and the Garmin has the traffic feature.

Greg (219), The Garmin 76CS Plus looks like it might be a possibility, though it's more expensive than what I had been considering (not surprising, as it seems a lot more rugged.) Thanks for the suggestion.

#609 ::: oliviacw ::: (view all by) ::: December 10, 2007, 11:12 PM:

Just wanted to toss in my two favorite non-traditional Christmas songs: "Christmas Wrapping" from the Waitresses, and "2000 miles" from the Pretenders. Both hearkening back to my early/mid-teen years, which probably explains why the general theme in both of longing for a loved one struck and has stayed with me. Aside from them both being excellent songs, of course!

Also, has anyone else noticed a resurgence of "Baby It's Cold Outside"? You used to never hear it on muzak and whatnot, but I've come across it several times while shopping this year.

#610 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2007, 12:19 AM:

BTW, I have been socially remiss: Congratulations, abi. It couldn't happen to a nicer and more deserving fluorospheroidon.

#611 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2007, 12:49 AM:

The text has turned all topsy turvy, and impossible to read. when this has happened before when I drag over it it becomes dark enough to read. Now it isn't.

???

it still sounds like rain out and we still have power. May not in the a.m. Oklahoma got this ahead of us and have major suckage.

#612 ::: Soon Lee ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2007, 01:30 AM:

Serge @600:

The Willis is delightful.

#613 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2007, 06:28 AM:

Soon Lee @ 612... Indeed. Didn't some of her earlier Christmas stories get published in one book recently? This one made me want to read more of them.

#614 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2007, 06:30 AM:

I just tried googling "geek legends" and got lots of geekiness with nary a Greek in sight. So maybe they refined things again, or just changed them back.

Xeger@605 and Paula@611: Are you using the latest version of Safari? I'm using 3.0.4 and it isn't doing that thing anymore where the broken link mungs the rest of the text in the thread.

#615 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2007, 06:47 AM:

re 606: Here's the link fixed.

That is the flipping weirdest thing I've seen in a long time.

#616 ::: flowery tops ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2007, 07:05 AM:

Re: the Bosch figures, which I've seen before, but how did I not notice the Escher and Bruegel and Arcimboldo...what fun. I wish I had a shallow cabinet somewhere to display a collection like this (and the dollars to buy them!).

#617 ::: Debbie ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2007, 07:53 AM:

My daughter is getting an electric guitar plus amp for Christmas. Maybe I should order that Bosch "Ears With Knife" figurine?

Silly Christmas music: growing up in Tampa (where we had real cigar boxes for our school supplies), we tended to sing,

"We Three Kings of Orient are
Trying to smoke a Tampa cigar.
It was loaded
And exploded
We Three Kings of Orient were."

Pretty Christmas music: "Whence ist that Goodly Fragrance?", a carol that sounds good at both sprightly and more meditative tempi.

#618 ::: Nancy C. Mittens ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2007, 09:38 AM:

Adrian at 607:

My local grocery store (Wegman's) stocks the Rain-X in the windshield wiper fluid; it's bright orange rather than blue, and twice the price ($2 per bottle, instead of $1).

The direct application stuff can be had in the car aisle, sometimes, or at your local auto parts store. They come in throwaway wipes as well. I think there is a temperature limit on application for this stuff though, which may mean you'll have to wait for a suitably warm day.

#619 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2007, 09:39 AM:

David Goldfarb @ 614 ... the problem HTML's been fixed.

Debbie @ 617 ... our variant of the same made it a rubber cigar, although I wonder now if that was, at one point, a russian cigar.

#620 ::: R. M. Koske ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2007, 09:48 AM:

#295, geekoasaur - Thanks for the info on Rammstein. Good descriptions make talking about music much easier.

#333, A.J. Luxton - You're welcome, and thanks for the youtube link. I'd found the song as an MP3, so I'm very curious about the video (and have to wait til I get home to see it. Darn net-nanny!)

#425, Stephen Sample - I'm normally a little over 96° F also. My mother for years told every one of our doctors that one of her kids had a lower normal temp than usual, but she never could remember which one of us it actually was. I only discovered it was me last year.

#586, Clifton Royston, #614, David Goldfarb - I was going to post on the same point, David. I'm getting decent results off of geek legends (with no quotes) though the "did you mean" link is gone, which I'm not sure I like. Krisha gets me a slightly different page - I get three hits on what I typed (one of which might be a hit on a typo) then "See results for krishna" and three more results on that spelling, then the rest of the page is what I typed, not the corrected version.

#621 ::: Adrian ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2007, 10:12 AM:

Nancy (618), thank you so much! It's a good thing I checked back here before going out for the day. This is probably going to be the warmest day of the week.

#622 ::: Kelly McCullough ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2007, 10:18 AM:

Adrian @ 608. For what it's worth, when we were looking into GPS we spent some time chatting with REI's expert who convinced us that it was cheaper and more practical to get a good car GPS and a separate unit for walking and hiking. Basically, you can get two good specialized units for significantly less than a general unit and both will do their individual jobs better than the general.

#623 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2007, 10:37 AM:

xeber @ 619

You learned that one, too, huh?

There was a guy on my train last night, telling someone (via cellphone) the variant of 'Jingle Bells' he'd met:

Jingle bells, Batman smells,
Robin's laid an egg,
A wheel's come off the Batmobile,
The Joker's on his way.

(At the age I'd have learned that version, we hadn't even heard of Batman yet.)

#624 ::: Susan ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2007, 10:48 AM:

A wheel's come off the Batmobile,
The Joker's on his way.

He had it wrong! The version I learned on the playground goes:

Batmobile's lost a wheel
And Penguin [or Joker or insert favorite two-syllable villain here] got away.

So there!

#625 ::: James Moar ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2007, 11:00 AM:

Susan@624

I had a different version:

Jingle bells, Batman smells,
Robin flew away,
The Batmobile has lost its wheel,
The Joker laid an egg.

(And from seeing P J Evans @623, I finally realise that last line is a memetic mutation)

#626 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2007, 11:04 AM:

Ever see the episode of the animated Batman TV show where Mark Hamill's Joker actually sang it while decorating the prison's Christmas Tree?

#627 ::: R. M. Koske ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2007, 11:12 AM:

I'd like a little social guidance, please?

In the "Keep your head down" thread, there's a turn of phrase that just makes me smile.

Terry (in Germany) says, "I have 35 years of trigger time, and like onceamarine on everything from dinky pistols to stuff that blows the front half of a tank out the back half."

"..blows the front half of a tank out of the back half." What a great way to put it. I've got to remember to mention that to my husband and our tank-happy friend. And in most threads, eh, I'd say so. I'm not embarrassed to bring it up here. But would it be okay to put it in that thread? They're talking pretty hot and heavy, at least as far as I've caught up. I can't tell whether it would be an annoying disturbance or a welcome distraction.

Clues on how to choose in the future would be welcome, too.

#628 ::: midori ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2007, 11:30 AM:

R. M. Koske, 627,
I have no understanding of what you are asking.

#629 ::: R. M. Koske ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2007, 11:43 AM:

Would it be wrong to put my (off topic, really) comment into that volitile thread? How can I tell when an off-topic comment would be okay, and when it wouldn't?

#630 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2007, 11:44 AM:

RM Koske @627:

I rather liked that phrase too. As for posting your comment in that thread, yes, please do.

My perspective, as a newly minted moderator, is that these side discussions and peripheral comments are like those fences you see on the sides of mountains in Swizerland*. They can slow the momentum of an escalating argument down enough to prevent an avalanche.

Also, one of Teresa's points about disemvoweling is that it prevents angry comments from leaping to the eye. It's based on the observation that what we read affects our emotions before hit hits our brains. Reading flames makes people tense up. In the same vein, interesting and discursive side notes release tension. That's why Serge makes puns, and why I write poetry.

----
* albeit much more appealing to the eye

#631 ::: R. M. Koske ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2007, 01:06 PM:

Aah. So it is not just okay, it is potentially a service to post things like that. Thanks, abi.

#632 ::: Syd ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2007, 01:18 PM:

re: 623 through 625--

At my grade school, the variant I always heard was:

Jingle Bells, Santa smells,
Rudolph laid and egg...

Of which this is all I can remember and I don't know whether that's a good thing or a bad one!

And for some reason, this all brings to mind a rhyme my grandfather used to tell me. I only remembered the first four lines:

Where can a man find a cap for his knee
Or a key to the lock of his hair?
Can his eyes be called an academy
Because there are pupils there?

But the Internet is sometimes a wonderful way to recover lost memories.

#633 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2007, 01:29 PM:

Syd, I'll add a different second line:
we used 'Easter's on its way'.

(The things kids teach each other when the adults have left the area ....)

#634 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2007, 01:35 PM:

Our version rhymed:

Jingle Bells, Batman smells,
Robin ran away,
Batmobile lost a wheel,
Commissioner's eatin' hay.

#635 ::: Carol Kimball ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2007, 01:38 PM:

Set your audio brain program to screechy little kids:

We three kings of Orient are
Tried to smoke a rubber cigar
It was loaded, it exploded,
[BANG] (as loudly as possible)

(Very, very sweetly and softly)
Silent night...

#636 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2007, 01:48 PM:

Jingle bells, Batman smells,
Robin laid an egg.
The Batmobile lost a wheel,
And Penguin got away.

#637 ::: Julie L. ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2007, 02:03 PM:

Carol @635: Isn't there supposed to be a countdown aspect? so that between the two stanzas you've typed out, there are two additional ones which begin "We two kings of orient are" and "We one king(s) of orient are" (I suppose there's another variant of the latter in which both the verb and the following rhyme are fixed, but if so I don't know it).

#638 ::: Todd Larason ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2007, 02:05 PM:

Adrian @608: I have a TomTom model of some sort, and it also has a monthly traffic service. I didn't suggest it for you earlier because I don't think it has a pedestrian mode, and even if it does it seems uncomfortably heavy to me to carry around. I'd be surprised if the TomTom One LE didn't have the traffic service as well.

#639 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2007, 02:16 PM:

Anyone with an interest in childrens' parody songs, and who isn't already aware of Greasy Grimy Gopher Guts, should rectify this ASAP. As a bonus, a lot of the contributors are fen, so you're likely to run into names you recognize!

#640 ::: Dan Layman-Kennedy ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2007, 02:23 PM:

Looking at the Scary Solstice tracklists on the HPL Historical Society's site, there seems to be one glaring omission, which I endeavor to correct here. (Well, actually, I'm sure it's been done before, but here's mine anyway. That's the Folk Tradition for you.)

On the 13th day of Mythos, Cthulhu gave to me:
13 polyps whistling
12 mi-go buzzing
11 daemons flauting
10 ghouls a-meeping
9 cultists chanting
8 nightgaunts tickling
7 byakhees flapping
6 deep ones baying
5 FORMLESS THINGS!
4 crawling worms
3 rat hordes
2 Great Old Ones
And a volume of necromancy.

#641 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2007, 02:28 PM:

Deck the halls with gasoline (fa la la la la&c)
Strike a match and watch it gleam
Burn the schoolyard down to ashes
Aren't you glad you played with matches?

Joy to the world, my teacher's dead
we barbecued her head!
What happened to the body?
We flushed it down the potty
and round and round it went
and round and round it went
and round and round and round it went.

We also did Batman and occasionally We Three Kings, but Kings was difficult-- we didn't know the original song very well (as happens when you're young) and never liked the repetitive countdown.

#642 ::: Dawno ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2007, 02:46 PM:

Is anyone (else) going to do the SantaThing on LibraryThing?

#643 ::: Jon Baker ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2007, 03:00 PM:

Kathryn in Sunnyvale @ 603:

It's not "southpark's dreidel song", it's "The dreidel song", which long predates Southpark. Making up new verses is an old tradition.

The song was originally written sometime around WW I by Samuel E. Goldfarb, a cantor in Brooklyn and later in Las Vegas and Seattle. He was my great-uncle's brother.

They were a big cantorial family. Samuel had a big effect on Reform liturgical music, his brother Israel taught Cantorial Music at the (Conservative) Jewish Theological Seminary for 50 years, and my great-uncle was a cantor in a small Orthodox synagogue (which still exists).

See here and here for more info.

(trying to reestablish identity under real name rather than silly-ish "thanbo")

#644 ::: R. M. Koske ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2007, 03:08 PM:

Regarding the Southpark version of the Dreidel song - can someone with a good ear for rhythm tell me if Cartman's part* is just slightly after the downbeat? Last time I listened to it, I could have sworn that he had an eighth-rest or so at the beginnings of his part, but my co-worker insisted I was wrong.

If it does, I'm pretty impressed with Trey Parker's rhythmic ability. That's not easy.

*I can't remember it clearly enough to use more precise wording. It might have been every phrase, or (more likely) every verse.

#645 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2007, 03:12 PM:

Good King Wenceslas first looked out
On the Feast of Stephen
Snowball hit him on the snout
Now it's all uneven.

#646 ::: Jon Baker ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2007, 03:18 PM:

Or from Pogo

Good king Wenceslaus, LOOK OUT!
On your feets uneven

Re We three kings:

I learned it (from Southron friends, IIRC) as

...BAM!
We two kings of orientar
Smoking on a rubber cigar...
We one king...
BAM!
God rest ye merry gentlemen...

#647 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2007, 03:29 PM:

Jon

I learned it as:
Good King Sourkraut looked out
On his feets uneven
Where the snoo lay round an' bout
All kerchoo achieving
'Snoo?'
'What's snoo?'
'Nothing; what's snoo with you?'

Bark us all bow-wows of folly ....

#648 ::: Tim Walters ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2007, 03:31 PM:

Good King Wenceslaus looked out
On the feast of Stephen
Turned his knickers inside out
'Cause his bum was freezin'

#649 ::: Kathryn from Sunnyvale ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2007, 03:41 PM:

Jon @643,

Of course, but my version is specifically a parody of Southpark's version*- down to the toddler trying to sing the alphabet.

R.M. Koske @644
Having listened to the song (YouTube, music w/o video) a few times recently... yes, you're right. Cartman's song is offset vs. the 4 other tunes. It is a nicely crafted bit of tunesmithing**.

-------
*I could have said 'Southpark's 5-part version of the Dreidel song' for clarity.

** and why I couldn't un-earworm'Santa is a Ninja.' Everything just followed.

#650 ::: Todd Larason ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2007, 03:43 PM:

Jon Baker @643 -- related to nothing except your (probably coincidental) name, does "Urubamba" mean anything special to you?

#651 ::: Ahayweh ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2007, 03:52 PM:

I distinctly recall it going

"Jingle Bells, Batman smells,
Robin laid an egg,
The Batmobile lost a wheel,
And Joker learned ballet."

Which doesn't, come to look at it again, make a whole lot of *sense*. I wonder if somebody along the line mondegreened "the Joker got away"?

#652 ::: R. M. Koske ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2007, 04:17 PM:

#649, Kathryn from Sunnyvale

Thank you! I think that tiny offset is part of why I find it so appealing. That, and the layered structure, which I always love.

My favorite song-in-parts like that is the Good Night, Sleep Tight medley from Five Pennies. Louis Armstrong and Danny Kaye, along with a child-actress. (I haven't discovered for certain who she is - the child in the movie is played by two different actresses, so I'm not sure which one is in this song.)

You might be able to hear it here - there's a large gap at the top of the page that looks suspiciously like a blocked video. Since I can't see it, of course I can't vouch that it is worksafe. (Sorry!)

#653 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2007, 04:20 PM:

R.M.Koske @ 652...

Susan Gordon ... Dorothy Nichols, ages 6 to 8
Tuesday Weld ... Dorothy Nichols, age 12 to 14

#654 ::: flowery tops ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2007, 04:20 PM:

I'm so sorry to be so off topic: but I made jam last night! From cherries off my own trees! Talk about gum control, I was testing it every five seconds towards the end.

#655 ::: Jon Baker ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2007, 04:21 PM:

Todd:

No. Should it? Wiki says it's a valley/river/town in Peru.

As for the last name, my father Anglicized it from Beckerman in 1939, so the only Bakers to which I'm related are my parents, brother, aunt and a cousin (surviving, not married and using husband's name).

When people find out my name is Baker and we're a musical family, they ask "Are you related to Julie Baker" (meaning long-time first flute in the Philharmonic Julius Baker). I respond "Why yes, she's my aunt in the Bronx" (Juliet Baker).

#656 ::: R. M. Koske ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2007, 04:28 PM:

Serge, thank you. My bet is that it is Tuesday Weld because I'd have expected them to use the older child for most of the story, but I'll have to dig and discover when the song appears in the movie.

I haven't seen the movie. I discovered the song first. I'm not entirely sure I want to see it - it is a true story about a bandleader who gives up touring (I'm told that in those days, that amounted to giving up his career entirely) to take care of his sick daughter.

#657 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2007, 04:29 PM:

flowery tops @ 654... I'm so sorry to be so off topic (...) Talk about gum control

First, this is an open thread. Second, that other thread is the pits.

Congratulations!

#658 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2007, 04:33 PM:

Not to distract from al these fond memories of perverse versions of Christmas music, but!
The Victoria and Albert is sending out a traveling exhibition of medieval and renaissance stuff. Details.

Fortuitously, at least for me, its stop in Louisville, Kentucky will overlap with the travelling exhibit Gee's Bend: The Architecture of the Quilt.

#659 ::: flowery tops ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2007, 04:50 PM:

Serge @ 657:
Yes, I know, but everyone is talking about Christmas music, and there's me with my (ruby hued, insanely delicious) jam.

I don't associate it with Christmas, but I'm very fond of the Christ Child Lullaby that you can have a wee listen to on this page. I'm with the Little Drummer Boy haters, but I admit freely that I have issues. Growing up, my family wasn't so much for the holiday tradition making: we had presents, and a hot dinner that my mother sweated and swore over all day (until I got old enough to argue against it), but not much in the way of actual traditions, so while I'm wracking my brains for what sounds like Christmas to me, I can't think of much. I like my dog Jingle Bells, and I have some South Park Christmas songs, but actually Fairytale of New York probably is my favourite too. Although I like hearing all those silly Christmas songs while I'm out shopping.

#660 ::: flowery tops ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2007, 04:57 PM:

Oh my goodness, lookit what I found: Christmas Dogs Synchronised Lights.

#661 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2007, 04:57 PM:

flowery tops @ 659... everyone is talking about Christmas music, and there's me with my (ruby hued, insanely delicious) jam.

You defintiely are in a jam.

Christmas stuff... My wife and enjoy watching Rankin/Bass's Rudolph even though Kris Kringle is a jerk. I much prefer Yukon Cornelius, whose dog team reminds me of the canines that live with us. And I still want to know why Hermie is the only elf with round ears.

#662 ::: Todd Larason ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2007, 04:58 PM:

Jon Baker @ 655 No. Should it? Wiki says it's a valley/river/town in Peru.

Only if you were the Jonathan Baker I used to work with, on a project named after the Peruvian river. Purely coincidental, but I had to ask.

#663 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2007, 05:15 PM:

Knitting! There isn't enough knitting in this open thread.

Can anyone recommend a vertically symmetrical (as much as knitting can be vertically symmetrical) lace pattern? I want to put it in a sock cuff, so that when you fold it over and rejoin onto the k1p1 rib you get nice little scallops at the top and NO I DON'T WANNA CROCHET IT THAT'S *CHEATING*

I've been trying to make one up, but I fear I haven't yet reached that level of knitting mastery.

In other news, I will be seeing The Golden Compass Thursday, and posts thus far give me hope that I will enjoy it. I will also be seeing I Am Legend on Monday and have been ignoring everything except the "Wowie!" sensation the trailers give me (and the chorus of "Soooo cooooool!" coming from my husband and various other people gathered round the TV).

#664 ::: flowery tops ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2007, 05:21 PM:

Is it a picot edge you want? You knit holes in, and then fold the edge over and either pick up stitches or sew it up afterwards, and then you have a nice bumpy edge.

#665 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2007, 05:21 PM:

Serge: it's because with pointy ears, focus groups saw his departure from the North Pole to the Island of Misfit Toys in distressingly (for the producers) Miltonian terms. They also cut his line "Better to practice dentistry on the Island of Misfit Toys than to make toys at the North Pole!"

#666 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2007, 05:23 PM:

Off by one, dammit.

Well, let's try this: Bwah-hah-hah!

#667 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2007, 05:30 PM:

Xopher @ 665... You don't think it might be explained by the Kringles's marriage having hit a rough patch a few years before?

#668 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2007, 05:30 PM:

Nicole
There's alway the fagoting patterns: k2tog, yo (or ssk, yo). Endless variations: depending on where the following rows put the decreases (and which direction they slant), you can get zigzags or straight lines.

But you already know this.

#669 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2007, 05:37 PM:

Serge: I can't remember if there are ANY female elves in that show. If not...then no. Yes, I noticed your earlier comment about that, but couldn't think of a response. ("Nine months before Hermie's birth, Santa became the Escaped Clause" just wasn't good enough.)

P J 668: There's alway the fagoting patterns

ExCUSE me!?!?!?!?

Oh wait. One g. Not a misspelling.

Never mind.

(Stop jerking, knee.)

#670 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2007, 05:41 PM:

Xopher @ 669... There are female elves and they have blonde hair. Just like Hermie. But is Hermie strictly male? His very name...

#671 ::: Tracie ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2007, 05:43 PM:

As my 7th grade choir was performing the sing-along portion of our annual Christmas concert, my mother and her friend sat in the front row and sang with utter sincerity:

Deck us all with Boston Charlie,
Walla Walla, Wash, and Kalamazoo!
Nora's freezin' on the trolley,
Swaller dollar cauliflower alley-garoo!

Don't we know archaic barrel,
Lullaby Lilla boy, Louisville Lou?
Trolley Molly don't love Harold,
Boola boola Pensacoola hullabaloo!

I think we 7th graders managed straight faces. Thank you, Walt Kelly!

#672 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2007, 06:13 PM:

Serge 670: He's fem as all getout, but that doesn't mean he isn't male. Please. Next you'll be talking in an Austrian accent about "girly-men."

#673 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2007, 06:20 PM:

Xopher @ 669

That thought had crossed my mind, yes. (You might know that the professional (guilded) knitters used to be male.)

Stop snickering!

#674 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2007, 06:23 PM:

Xopher @ 672... C'mon. That was just one of my stupid jokes. Besides, it's not like I fit the expectations most people have about heterosexual men. Still, my apologies for the misunderstanding, and no offense was intended.

#675 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2007, 06:27 PM:

Serge! I was joking back! Honest!

#676 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2007, 06:32 PM:

Xopher @ 675... Phew! Do you think that the Thread That Shall Not Be Named is getting to us?

#677 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2007, 06:35 PM:

Yes. Yes, I do.

#678 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2007, 06:41 PM:

Boys! No fighting in the open thread!

Unrelatedly, I'm reading Steven Brust's Agyar currently, and this sentence struck me as lovely and true: "We create our own omens, I think, and then mystify ourselves trying to understand their significance."

#679 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2007, 06:45 PM:

ethan @ 678... I knew I shouldn't have used chicken entrails. Maybe trout entrails, with all that this entails.

#680 ::: A.J. Luxton ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2007, 06:48 PM:

Fragano @ 570:

...I thought yours were too, from the error pattern. I weep.

And yes, the fact that they speak Mandarin with such great fluency (even when they're supposed to be doing something else, alas) is why I look on my students' errors with fondness.


JennR @ 574: Wow! (or should I say: A defect in sound reproduction!) I had no idea, and yes, that makes sense.


--

Yesterday I saw a CD case with a message on it to the effect of "it is important that you are my fried." Very simple errors are sometimes the funniest...

--

My partner Teaotter just knit an ammonite, visible at her LJ.

#681 ::: Susan ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2007, 06:49 PM:

ethan @ # 678:
Are you enjoying Agyar? I read it years ago and just did not connect with it at all. It's still on my shelves, though; I could give it another try.

#682 ::: A.J. Luxton ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2007, 06:49 PM:

Fragano @ 570:

...I thought yours were too, from the error pattern. I weep.

And yes, the fact that they speak Mandarin with such great fluency (even when they're supposed to be doing something else, alas) is why I look on my students' errors with fondness.


JennR @ 574: Wow! (or should I say: A defect in sound reproduction!) I had no idea, and yes, that makes sense.


--

Yesterday I saw a CD case with a message on it to the effect of "it is important that you are my fried." Very simple errors are sometimes the funniest...

--

My partner Teaotter just knit an ammonite, visible at her LJ.

#683 ::: Tania ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2007, 06:52 PM:

Serge @ 679: On the one hand it sounds fishy to me, but on the other, I guess you should use whatever's lyorn around the house.

#684 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2007, 06:52 PM:

P J 673: You might know that the professional (guilded) knitters used to be male.

Well, they were still male even after they were guilded, right?

Oh wait. Guilded. Members of a guild!

Never mind.

#685 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2007, 06:56 PM:

I really like the idea of Sweeney Todd as a Christmas movie. I'm not at all confident that the movie as cast and produced (Johnny Depp? Angela Bonham-Carter?) will work, but I'd love to see it as a double bill with Edward Scissorhands.

#686 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2007, 06:58 PM:

Tania @ 683... I'm loxed.

#687 ::: Tania ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2007, 06:59 PM:

Xopher, does this mean new members of the guild, just learning to knit, would be known as castontro?

#688 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2007, 07:04 PM:

I've been thinking (ow!) about taking my 6-year-old nephew to see The Golden Compass, but I wonder if it'd scare the living daylights out of him.

#689 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2007, 07:05 PM:

Serge #679: Add gin contrails, and you may yet prevail.

Susan #681: I'm actually loving Agyar to tiny little bits, but I can very easily see how others would find it unappealing. It's got a very specifically mannered prose style, an odd, experimental narrative structure, and a lot of brutality, a good proportion of which is directed at women. It's all done in a way that I personally don't have a problem with*, and in fact find fascinating, but I can definitely understand being put off by it.

So I'm not really sure whether to recommend giving it another try or not. I'm loving it so much that I'm tempted to say yes, absolutely, but it's such an odd book that YM, as they say, MV.

*In terms of it being an aesthetically enjoyable work, I mean. I'm not trying to say that violence against women is OK in my eyes, which I hope is obvious.**
**More shades of The Thread That Need Not Be Named creating jumpiness, here.

#690 ::: Tania ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2007, 07:06 PM:

Serge @ 686: I just wanted to teckla your funny bone.

#691 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2007, 07:10 PM:

Nicole--I'm confused. You're doing this sock top-down, yes? Do you want the bumps on the top of the cuff, or do you want an anklet that folds over and hides the joshing ribbing? If the latter, do some feather-and-fan flat, then join wrong-side-out and continue with the ribbing. Then you can either sew up the seam or not, depending on how it fits.

#692 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2007, 07:15 PM:

Serge, Tania, I think you both orca settle down. This has been dragon on long enough!

#693 ::: Tania ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2007, 07:24 PM:

TexAnne, I don't think we're being taken athyra-iously. I dzur hope not!

#694 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2007, 07:32 PM:

#688: "but I wonder if it'd scare the living daylights out of him"

It would scare the daylights out of him if you're lucky!

Seriously, I suspect it would alternately bore, puzzle, and scare a six year old. There's no bloody violence (though you'd EXPECT some blood in a fight between two giant polar bears, vapyhqvat bar jub unf uvf sevttvat YBJRE WNJ xabpxrq bss), but there is some depiction of very cruel behavior, and rough-looking soldiers menacing children.

#695 ::: R.M. Koske ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2007, 07:37 PM:

Finally got home and got to watch the video I posted a link to at #652. That looks like a six-to-eight year old to my uneducated eyes, so I'd say it is Susan Gordon. Unfortunately, the arrangement isn't the one I know, and I don't like it as well.

What is supposed to happen is that Armstrong sings a verse of Goodnight, Sleep Tight, then Kaye joins in with Lullabye in Ragtime and they both sing one verse of their songs, and then Gordon joins in. They left out the middle, presumably because it made the film drag. Susan Gordon sings very nicely, but she's not the selling point of the song for me.

#696 ::: Tracie ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2007, 07:48 PM:

I guess I had a weird childhood. Our version was:

Jingle bells, shotgun shells,
Santa Claus is dead.
Rudolph took a 45
And shot him in the head. Hey!

Not as funny now as it was then.

#697 ::: petra ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2007, 08:02 PM:

Tracie #696:

Still very funny!

I'm SO going to be singing that under my breath in the mall when the muzak is annoying the @#! out of me...

/relurk

#698 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2007, 08:28 PM:

First off, I apologize for saying there wasn't enough knitting in the thread. It had gone on so long, I had forgotten it had contained the immortal description, "If you shave Big Bird and spin it."

Second off: Definitely looking for something more showy than { k2tog, yo } to make picots. Want nice big frilly seashell scallops. TexAnne, to try to unconfuse: I'm knitting toe-up. I am now working on the cuff. In past, I have changed from k2p2 to k1p1, folded over the k1p1 portion, picked up the stitches at the beginning of the k1p1 portion alternately with the existing stitches, and cast off. This makes a nice thick hem. This time around, I'm going on longer with the k1p1 part to make it more of a cuff when folded over, but I want something fantastically showily lacy at the fold-over. So my plan is to pause for a bit of lacy something or other (turning the sock inside out first), fold it over, pick up the sts at the beg. of the lace alternately with existing stitches, and then continue in k1 p1 until long enough to not look dorky folded over.

Not sure even that made sense. I guess the better question is:

Can you knit a lace scallop *upside down*?

#699 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2007, 08:31 PM:

By the way:

Savory Pie is currently closed for comments (damn spammers). Would like to say THANK YOU to Teresa for the recommendation of Trader Joe's for saffron. We had occasion to visit a friend in Boston this past weekend, and I picked up two of the cute little alchemical corked bottles.

$4 for .035 oz. That's at least two *really* generous pinches.

Not as good as the Costco deal (What was that? $30 for one ounce?) but best deal I am likely to get my hands on in the near future.

I'm working on the pies now. Next time, remind me to read the whole recipe before I go, "Slice finely? Bah! Mince it up in the food chopper! ...oh, now I'm supposed to strain it in a collander. Um. Do I have any cheesecloth in this house? How about a sifter?"

#700 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2007, 08:35 PM:

ethan @ 689... Add gin contrails, and you may yet prevail.

Will gin help tip, not just me, but also Life's scales?

#701 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2007, 08:37 PM:

Tania / TexAnne... To quote Jack Nicholson, you can't handle the trout!

#702 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2007, 08:41 PM:

Stefan Jones @ 694... I suspect it would alternately bore, puzzle, and scare a six year old.

Probably. The scary stuff would be that children are being mistreated by adults. And the scene of Lyra being surrounded by all those bears... Well, I'll ask his parents when I'm in the Bay Area next week. Hopefully, I won't be stuck going to see the Chipmunks movie instead.

#703 ::: T.W ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2007, 08:49 PM:

I'm only a knitting basics but I have reference material. Knitted lace stitches my books have classics like traveling vine which is a verticle left edge scallop and fern a horizontal edge but I suppose if you combine with one of the eyelets you get a nice lace effect.
Also got beech leaf, crest of wave, drooping elm leaf, garter lace, leaf lace, lace wings, madeira cascade, lace medallion, old shale, pearl barred scallop, scroll lace, some assorted cable lace and yarn overs.

#704 ::: Julie L. ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2007, 08:52 PM:

Nicole: you may wish to check your public library for any/all of Barbara Walker's encyclopedic "Treasury of Knitting Patterns" books; iirc there are four of them by that name plus at least one edition of "Mosaic Knitting" (two-color slip-stitch patterns), though imho most of the good stuff is in the first two "Treasury" volumes after which it gets samey. It looks like she also had a book entirely devoted to knitted lace patterns, but I don't think I've ever seen it, and thus don't know whether the same information is recapped in the "Treasury" series.

#705 ::: Kathryn from Sunnyvale ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2007, 08:57 PM:

On Saffron, an offer to the flourisque fluorosphii (re Nicole @699)

If anyone here has not had saffron and would like to test it out before spending $300-$1500/lb (Costco vs. regular grocery store) on it, or if you simply are out of saffron, I can send a few pinches to you via mail. An ounce of saffron is vast, I am finding.

This would be within the US*. Just email me at the email linked in the KfS address in the upper left of this comment.

And if you're coming to the SF Bay Area MakingWeight dinner next week, I can bring it in person. Ditto, most likely, with Denvention** next year, but you'd have to remind me.

_____
* I'm not sure if there'd be issues sending it x-border to Canada (although I'll be up there at the end of the month, so maybe something can be worked out).

** and the "Burningman in 2010" bid party

#706 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2007, 09:04 PM:

Kathryn from Sunnyvale #705: I'm not sure if there'd be issues sending it x-border to Canada

Well, that depends. Could it possibly be construed as pornographic?

#707 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2007, 09:13 PM:

Any chemists here? I'm looking for Tergitol™ 15-S-7 Surfactant to clean vinyl records and CDs the way the cool kids Library of Congress does. It looks like only chem supply houses sell it.

If there's a commercially-available substitute known to the fluorosphere, that would be just as good.

#708 ::: Carol Kimball ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2007, 09:25 PM:

#637 ::: Julie L.

Carol @635: Isn't there supposed to be a countdown aspect? so that between the two stanzas you've typed out, there are two additional ones which begin "We two kings of orient are" and "We one king(s) of orient are" (I suppose there's another variant of the latter in which both the verb and the following rhyme are fixed, but if so I don't know it).

Aargh! You're quite right. Shows how long it's been since I went caroling.

And re: "Orient are" - I heard this as "Orient-are", as if that were the name of the country. So "We, two Kings of Orientar" and "I, One King of Orientar" made sense.

#709 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2007, 09:37 PM:

ethan @ #678, Brust is the only author who ever managed to make me enjoy a vampire novel.

(BTW, the cafepress merchandise came out pretty good. I got a "Shut up, Loiosh" coffee mug for myself and a Valabar's t-shirt for my daughter who works at The Grit.)

serge @ #702, if he hasn't seen "Enchanted" yet, you might take him to see that.

#710 ::: Nancy C. Mittens ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2007, 09:40 PM:

The Barbara Walker Lace book is The Craft of Lace Knitting and I was told that it contains all the lace patterns of the first two treasuries. The third book was originally published as Mosaic Knitting.

#711 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2007, 09:40 PM:

Book recco's noted. Muchas gracias!

Re: savory pie - currently the crust is not yet not yet burnt.

#712 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2007, 09:53 PM:

Lila @ 709... Enchanted? That's an idea. And it's certainly better than watching Alvin and the Chipmunks. Also, I promised him a few weeks ago that I'd bring a DVD of those old Superman cartoons by Max Fleischer. That, plus my DVD set of Bugs Bunny cartoons should keep alive my reputation as the coolest uncle.

#713 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2007, 10:07 PM:

Serge @712: I second the endorsement of Enchanted, one of the more entertaining Disney live-action films in a while. Amy Adams is a sweetie.

The Max Fleisher Superman cartoons are a lot of fun, and I loved the way Sky Captain ripped off paid homage to them.

#714 ::: Soon Lee ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2007, 10:10 PM:

Serge #613:
It's "Miracle and Other Christmas Stories". It's got some excellent stories in it like "Miracle" & "Inn" and a delightful introduction by Willis in her trademark chatty manner wherein she shares her love of Christmas stories and movies (with examples). Very apt for this time of year.

It's a bit strange here in the Antipodes. The beginning of December marks the official start of summer, the daily temperatures now regularly exceed 20C and the pohutukawas a.k.a. New Zealand Christmas trees are blooming. It's BBQ season. Songs about white Christmases, sleighs and snowmen are a bit incongruous.

#715 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2007, 10:25 PM:

Soon Lee @ 714... Thanks. I'll make sure to look for it next week, when I go to the Bay Area's SF bookstores.

#716 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2007, 10:27 PM:

Steve C @ 713... Ah, yes, those giant robots...

#717 ::: MD² ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2007, 10:30 PM:

So late I'm hoping to earn a price of sort for it: congrats to abi.

There's a Cornelius album called "69 96" now that I think of it.

Also, now that I've seen the various incarnations of the famed disemvoweller, part of me wants to shout a faux-vigorous "Go on, do it, disemvowel me !", but I won't because, knowing the place, I would get what I ask.

Dave Luckett (#238 and on): I need to know if "C'est une infamie!" is something a Frenchman might say, if he were seriously ticked off by being falsely arrested.

Might do the trick, but understand that the sense of rejection/disgust conveyed by the sentence is very strong (typing "infamie" in google, I find in the first page: human trafficking, parents condemned for letting their child starve to death... one is a page on Céline, the word being used here obviously for shock value, same with that blog post on our ubuesque [Damn, how do you even translate that] President); the word is very close to "monstruosité" or "atrocité". Also: to my Parisian hear, it has an old-fashioned or provincial tone, if said Frenchman happens to be any or both, it helps. More something I might read than hear nowadays.

I guess I'd just go with more mellow "C'est une honte !". Though I'm not satisfied with it either. (All this explains fairly well why I don't do translations for a living.)

Serge (#304): strangely, the version I learned as a kid had "verdure" instead of "parure". I guess I learned the poor man's one. Yours makes more sense too.

Xopher (#421): I often think I'm an improvised person.

I often fear we all are.

Fragano Ledgister (#539) Rousseau always gets the dirty end of the stick...

Come on, you know he loves it...

Serge (#575): About machine translation going awry...

Can't get as bad as video-game translations in French. I used to collect the most memorable ones in my notebooks, from "Don't you go dying on me" translated, quite literally, as "Ne va pas mourir sur moi" to my personal favorite "bastard sword" as "épée de bâtard".
Nothing beats the constant improper use of passé simple in grating factor though (found quite often also in translated Wikipédia articles now that I think of it).

As far as Christmas Music, I'm pretty sure you savory people will have been assaulted with it already, but, for no reason I can find, people (I dare not say friends anymore) around me this year have decided to pester me with Gunther's (NSFW) Christmas Song and it's (NSFW also) parody.
Just passing the joy along for seasonal mood's sake.
I'm going to kill someone soon.

Susan (#111): I have a friend who has several hundred regular readers on her LJ apparently just because she lives in NYC and has a pulse. I love her but I find this mystifying. Why do people do this? Am I just a martian in finding this extraordinarily weird?

The Lord Dunsany quote in the Commonplaces Sidebar sums things up perfefctly for me.
I spend an unhealthy amount of my free, healthy, time looking at people with a "wtf" bubble popping over my head (complete with Metal Gear alarm sound). Good blog-posts, like good conversation, in a less satisfying manner I agree, but with the sad advantage that I don't have to meet every posters to enjoy what they have to say, tell me why the door doesn't "merely look chilly", as I was seeing it.
Weird ? I guess so. There's magic in that.

#718 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2007, 10:53 PM:

MD&2sup;... the version I learned as a kid had "verdure" instead of "parure".

For all I know, both versions may be perfectly legit.

#719 ::: Jon Baker ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2007, 11:06 PM:

Todd @ 662:

I'm Jonathan J. Baker. For 4 months, about 18 years ago, there was a Jonathan C. Baker who was a product manager for one of our other major products. Aside from all our phone calls and mail being misdirected for those few months, for years afterwards I would get calls from the holder of his mortgage, telling me I was late on payments. I'd have to explain that I had no accounts with their bank. A few months later, another call, another explanation.

Tracie @ 671:

Hey, my mother taught me that one too! She still had a couple of Pogo collections around the house when we were small. I'm afraid my brother & I read them to shreds.

Then there's my fake Xmas filk - well, Adeste doesn't look too differet from Adele, and I had an Aunt Adele, so...

(TTTO Adeste Fidelis)
Adele Zemansky
Great-aunt in New Jersey
who grows orchids
winning prizes for them at fairs.

(no it doesn't go any farther)
(yes, her husband was Dr. Mark W. Zemansky)

#720 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2007, 11:47 PM:

#712: A stack of cheap DVDs -- carefully selected -- could provide far more fun than a trip to the theater. Particularly one playing Alvin and the Chipmunks.

When Peter Jackson released his King Kong, he also cleaned up and restored the original. The resulting DVD is GORGEOUS and at six your nephew might be ready for it. The fact that it's in B&W and set far away would make it less scary.

#721 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2007, 11:53 PM:

I'm watching an Anthony Bourdain show about Sicily.

He's eating a pasta lunch with a bunch of caper-pickers.

You can tell just be looking that the sauce is fresh and utterly authentic.

Son of a bitch, it's too late to cook, and I've already brushed my teeth, but damn, I am tempted to start boiling water.

#722 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: December 11, 2007, 11:57 PM:

And finally:

HOGFATHER ALERT.

Part one of two is playing tonight on "PAX" (aka ION) at 9:00 (yeah, sorry, that's too late a notice except for those of you in Alaska and Hawaii). Part II is playing tomorrow. A combined four hour version (probably with lots of commercials) is playing on 12/23 at 7:00 pm.

#723 ::: Pyre ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 12:02 AM:

xeger @ 562:

Dammit! That feline does -not- have opposable thumbs, either!
A common misconception.

Once you realize the thumbs are not only opposable but retractable (and retracted whenever humans are around), much that was previously a mystery becomes clear.

And mewing helplessly for humans to open doors, cat food bags, etc., is just to convince us that whoever's stealing food from the fridge couldn't possibly be the poor widdle kitty.

But I once had a week-long guest cat (his pet human was traveling), who would stand on his hind legs and turn doorknobs with his front paws. The secret's blown. Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice... uh, I won't be fooled again.


A.J. Luxton @ 565: Thank you for the link to Language Log. The translation is entirely understandable. We all know that long words are more elegant than short words, so naturally, when presented with a choice of translations -- "do", two letters; "dry", three letters; or "f***", four letters -- it's best to choose the longest.


Neil Wilcox @ 533 & 581, Bruce Cohen @ 566, Serge @ 583:

Plato, Aristotle, and Rousseau walk into a bar, and each asks for "a real beer". The bartender serves beers to Aristotle and Rousseau, and leaves Plato alone. Plato asks again for "a real beer". The bartender turns to his assistant and says, "You, Kant, handle the Truth!"

(Okay, so that wasn't an Ideal bar joke....)


Kelly McCullough @ 576:

I'll have to check out the Leith festival this year. ... my wife and I were married in Leith.
Then thou know'st already ye must be sober enough to pronounce tongue-twisters, lest the Leith police dismisseth ye not.


All:

"Si-i-lent Night..."

[pauses; walks away]

#724 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 12:03 AM:

Serge, #600, I wrote about All Seated On the Ground in my LJ when I read it, before I reviewed the issue! I bet it will make the best-ofs.

Nicole, #663, I feel just the same way when a crochet pattern tells me to knit a ribbing! There are perfectly good ways to crochet ribbing!

#725 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 12:29 AM:

OK, so I volunteered to cook Xmas dinner this year. Got a ham. Got a roast beast. No idea how to cook either one. Googled for recipes. So far, nothing really strikes my fancy. But I noticed something that I sort of skimmed over and ignored while trying to figure out how to cook the thanksgiving turkey.

Why is it that when you take a roast beast out of the oven it gets hotter? At least that's what it seems that some recipes say regarding taking the beast out of the oven and letting it sit on the counter for 15 minutes before cutting.

Conservation of energy would seem to say that the oven was adding energy. Sitting on the counter in the open is letting energy disappate. So it should cool down.

Is there like a maxwell demon installed on roast beasts now a days? Or some really wild nanotech that I missed in the news?

#726 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 12:43 AM:

Fidelio, #658: Believe it or not, I'll actually be in Louisville on the last weekend it's there. Would there be any chance perhaps we could get together and go see it? I'd need transportation.

flowery tops, #659: I'm envious! Your jam sounds wonderful.

Pyre, #723: Our Grey Mouser* understands how doorknobs work, and is tall enough to reach them. Fortunately, he's not interested in getting outside, and the connecting door that separates the public and private parts of the house has a sticky latch which he can't get enough torque to open. (The cats are confined to the public areas, mostly because neither of us is thrilled by having 14 pounds of Mouser-jumping-off-the-windowsill land on us in the middle of the night.)

* Yes, we also have a Fafhrd.

#727 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 12:44 AM:

Greg, the heat already in the roast makes it continue to cook for some time after you take it out. I think that instruction is to prevent overcooking it.

#728 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 12:52 AM:

Greg @ #725, Why is it that when you take a roast beast out of the oven it gets hotter?

It's not getting hotter, it's just continuing to cook. The exterior may cool, but the internal temp takes longer to drop.*

The other reason to "rest" your roast beast is to let the juices seal in. Believe me, you don't want to carve a beast before that happens, unless you've got the carving board on the A Section of your local fishwrap. Meat juice is thin and flows everywhere.

*Others may have a more technically-sound explanation, but that one suited my curious nieces.

#729 ::: Syd ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 01:13 AM:

Greg London @ 725:

In between the heating up in the oven and the cooling off on the counter (covered loosely with foil, as many recipes recommend) is carryover heat. Which, IIRC from one or another of Alton Brown's explanations, means that a large hunk of beast has stored enough internal heat while in the oven to continue cooking itself for ten to twenty more minutes without additional application of heat.

The resting period has the added advantage of allowing the lovely juices to be reabsorbed by the hunk of roast beast, rather than running all over the cutting board, which is what will happen if you slice into it straight from the oven.

I must now go look up what a maxwell demon is, because it sounds like a far less prosaic--and thus, far more entertaining!--explanation than mine!

#730 ::: Syd ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 01:19 AM:

Egad...Xopher and Linkmeister hadn't posted when I started typing my response to Greg, I'm sure they hadn't...

#731 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 01:25 AM:

Linkmeister@728: It's not getting hotter, it's just continuing to cook.

But this recipe says:

roast "until internal temperature reached 130 degrees for medium rare. Remove from oven. Let roast rest for 15 minutes for internal temperature to rise."

they either are saying the internal temp goes up after you take it out of the oven, or they are selecting a very bad choice of words. But it's not the only recipe that I've run into that says something like that.

#732 ::: Todd Larason ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 01:49 AM:

Greg, I think Syd and Linkmeister are essentially right, but not quite answering the question you're asking.

When the recipe says "internal temperature", what it really means is "temperature of the coolest part of the flesh". For a boneless non-convex essentially solid piece of meat, that will be at the point furthest from the surface. Bones (which conduct heat faster than flesh), complicated shapes (which lead to circulating air), etc. complicate that somewhat, and it's not always obvious to me what it means in practice. For a turkey, it seems to mean somewhere deep in the breast.

Anyway, once you understand that, it all becomes clear, or at least it did to me when I wondered about the same thing. It's not that additional heat is added to the meat after you remove it from the oven (because of course it's not); it's just that the heat is continuing to equalize across the whole object. Some of the heat from the warmer outside area is being dissipated into the outside air, but some of it is moving deeper into the cooler part of the meat.

#734 ::: Syd ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 01:53 AM:

Greg @ 731--a quick Google jaunt brings me this site, which has a temperature chart about a quarter-page down.

Using it and your recipe as an example, if the roast comes to 130 degress internally, then rises another 15 degrees during its rest period, that brings its total internal temp to 145 degrees, which is medium by the chart referenced above...but medium rare by this one here. (The first is a cooking site, the second a university, so that may account for the discrepancy...)

Todd's "equalizing temperatures" description pretty much covers it.

#735 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 02:04 AM:

Stefan @ #722, Yup! Thanks! It actually started at 8:00 pm HST, so I missed the first half-hour and am thus very confused*, but that's alright.

*It's been a year or two since I read the book.

Greg, yes, Todd's explanation works for me, too. The closest-to-the-surface meat is more well-done than the center of the beast, you'll notice when carving (rarest in the middle), but those temps move inward as well as outward while the beast is resting.

#736 ::: Tania ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 02:20 AM:

aarrrggh. I went to the gym tonight, so I missed Hogfather. ::stomps feet in frustration::

Thanks for the thought, it was very kind. ::grumbles about dratted physical fitness interfering with important things like Death and Susan::

#737 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 02:26 AM:

Todd@732, Thanks, that was driving me bonkers.

#738 ::: Sam Kelly ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 03:21 AM:

Diatryma at 641: Argh. Now I can't get 'Deck the Halls' back to the original tune, it's stuck on 'Men of Harlech'.

#739 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 04:39 AM:

Syd, #729: Maxwell's Demon.

Sam, #738: Unfortunately, it stops scanning at the 4th line. That's a shame, because if it worked I could reduce a roomful of filkers to gibbering insanity with it!

#740 ::: Debbie ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 06:34 AM:

Greg London --

Although others have already answered your question, you might still be interested in this reference (and potentially the whole site -- plus, he's got a recipe for standing rib roast):

http://www.cookingforengineers.com/article/224/Heat-Transfer-and-Cooking

#741 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 07:16 AM:

Lee #739: It could be workshopped at a filk circle, where they'll help you perfect it just before they slip into gibbering insanity.

On second thought, that would probably be considered a war crimes violation of the Joke Warfare ban under the Geneva conventions....

#742 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 08:09 AM:

Madeline F @ #385:

Touché.

#743 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 08:20 AM:

re Hogfather, I bought the DVD at Borders, thanks to advice from Serge back on Open Thread 95. Not bad.

#744 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 08:29 AM:

Pyre @ #723: And mewing helplessly for humans to open doors, cat food bags, etc., is just to convince us that whoever's stealing food from the fridge couldn't possibly be the poor widdle kitty.

My parents' fridge, in fact, now has a latch on it (set at human height) because of the poor widdle kitty pulling the door open and nicking stuff.

Oddly, although he can open any door that he can get his paw around an edge of and pull - and if there isn't an edge he can get his paw around, he'll make one, given half a chance - he has no idea what to do when presented with a door, even an unlatched door, that is opened by pushing.

#745 ::: R. M. Koske ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 08:35 AM:

My mother once sent me to buy some saffron for her. The best price she'd found was at a farmer's market in Atlanta, and she doesn't live here. I was supposed to buy it and bring it down to her the next time I visited.

Since it was for an SCA feast, she needed more than usual, and told me to get her three ounces. It sounded reasonable until I got to the market and discovered it was sold in .1 ounce boxes. I had put two cases of ten boxes into the cart and was reaching for the third when my common sense kicked in and I called her. Did she really want thirty boxes of saffron? That was a bigger hit to my checkbook than I really wanted to take if I could avoid it.

No, she wanted three boxes, and thought they were one-ounce boxes. My cell phone paid for itself that day.

#722, Stefan Jones - I didn't know it was a four-hour piece. I spotted it in my listings last night for tonight and have the Tivo all primed for it. Dammit. I'll have to check for it on the 23rd. Thanks for the info.

#746 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 08:36 AM:

Can the fluorosphere help me with a gift suggestion? My Dad is having trouble finding a special gift for Mom. They're both scholars of languages, literature, & history. His particular thing is medieval law and the literature of courtly love, and hers is 19th century continental literature. Also they're devout Catholics and 3rd order Benedictines.

So, I can think of plenty of things for ME to get her, but this would be from Dad, so what I'd love to find is some kind of new prestigious book in one of the fields above, or a reissue of something classic. For example, a couple of years back I helped him find a 3-volume suvey of Italian poetry (in Italian) at...ummm, it's a store in Cabridge, MA that has an online presence, I forget the name. Anyway, that was a big hit.

Ideas, anyone?

#747 ::: Julia Jones ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 08:45 AM:

Bad tidings for the Hogfather fans -- it turns out that Terry Pratchett has something rather more serious than a tiny stroke, in the shape of early onset Alzheimer's. More information currently on the front page of Paul Kidby's website.

(I will refrain from using the language I used on LiveJournal this morning. You may consider it said.)

#748 ::: R. M. Koske ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 09:39 AM:

Damn webnanny.

Having the darn thing is annoying enough, but they keep changing the definitions of "not allowed."

Six months ago, I couldn't go to flickr, but linked pictures in a web page worked fine. Then they shut off the pictures, so sites like Brookly

#749 ::: R. M. Koske ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 09:41 AM:

Oops. Let's try that again.

Damn webnanny.

Having the darn thing is annoying enough, but they keep changing the definitions of "not allowed."

Six months ago, I couldn't go to flickr, but linked pictures worked. Then they changed it so that those didn't work either, and sites like Brooklyn Tweed lost all their images. Livejournal was blocked, too, and youtube, but youtube was only partially blocked. Many of my co-workers could get to it, though I never figured out the trick.

IMDB is out, but eBay is not, which still baffles me. Snopes, too, was not allowed.

Then things changed. Flickr was okay in all forms, and Livejournal. I can get to Snopes and IMDB.

Then it changes again. Now Flickr is back to "linked images only." I haven't tried LJ, but dammit - they've blocked me from reading the comments on Blogspot blogs.

#750 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 09:44 AM:

I want to put it in a sock cuff, so that when you fold it over and rejoin onto the k1p1 rib you get nice little scallops at the top...

You want a picot edge.

Knit some round, at least five, in whatever pattern. Then do a round of *k2tog, YO*. Then return to whatever pattern. The round with the YOs is the fold line and makes the scalloped edge. You can either do a provisional CO and knit the flap together, or just do whatever CO you like and sew it down.

#751 ::: Faren Miller ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 09:45 AM:

Last night was my first chance to see "Hogfather, Part One" (sounds like a certain Brando movie about the Mafia). Zillions of commercials, including the really annoying ones for upcoming shows that they run *over* a corner of the movie, but it was good enough that I might spring for the DVD in future. It could make a nice new holiday trad....

As others have noted, Death isn't done quite right, but I guess they had to make it blatant for the non-cognescenti. The guy who plays Teatime reminds me of the young Malcom McDowell (creepy!), and Susan is a gem.

#752 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 09:45 AM:

Lee @#726--
If I lived in Louisville, my answer would be "Sure, why not?" As it is, I'll have to say "Let's wait and see," since I already have one much longer trip (to Kansas City) on the books for that month. Depending on when I go to KC, it might be impossible (I haven't managed to conquer that bilocation thingy yet) or impractical (too dead tired). We'll see, and if you find someone else to see it with, go for it!

#753 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 10:03 AM:

Nicole, 698: Do you absolutely have to have a hem? I doubt a double thickness of fabric will wave the way you want. If you want something that looks solid, try 10 rnds of garter. If you're okay with no hem, plenty of lace patterns make scalloped tops. F&F, Ostrich Plumes (though I've never tried it in the round)...if the CO edge is wavy in the Barbara Walker picture, the BO edge will be wavy too.

#754 ::: R. M. Koske ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 10:03 AM:

#747, Julia Jones

Oh. That's...

oh.

#755 ::: A.J. Luxton ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 10:04 AM:

Pyre @ 723: You a-want to be thanking Patrick, as I got it from the Sidelights.

Julia Jones @ 747: Damn. I'm very upset to hear about that.

Met Pratchett once at a signing. Gracious man, good author. I don't know what to say.

#756 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 10:05 AM:

I found this photo of Abi doing her job as Moderator of the Fluorosphere. It is lonely up there. Looks cold too.

#757 ::: R. M. Koske ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 10:14 AM:

#751, Faren Miller

The guy who plays Teatime reminds me of the young Malcom McDowell (creepy!)

I'm fond of that actor - He is (was?) a regular in Hustle. I hadn't noticed that resemblance until you mentioned it, but yes, he does have something that calls Malcolm McDowell to mind, doesn't he?

His appearance in Hogfather is extra incentive for me to watch it, as if Pratchett's name weren't enough.

#758 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 10:15 AM:

Julia @ #747: oh, damn, damn, damn.

#759 ::: A.J. Luxton ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 10:20 AM:

R.M. Koske @ 749: Sounds like something similar to what I have to contend with here. (I think there are too many prepositions for the size of that sentence, but I'm gonna leave it.)

There's the Great Firewall, of course -- doesn't block Making Light, but blocks LJ; allows me to load pages on Flickr but without the images; Youtube was blocked until this last week, and now it's in the clear, go figure. Wikipedia is blocked, blocked, blocked.

I can use Tor to get around it, but only on my own computer.

Then there's the more recent problem: the school firewall. This one doesn't seem to block any websites that the GFOC doesn't block, but it does make the net run much slower -- which, on top of Tor's running at about a quarter of base internet speed, means LJ and Wikipedia pages often time out. But I can still get them eventually.* And they seem to have blocked telnet, which is irritating.

Anyone know a way around telnet blocking?


*What irks me more is that Wikipedia is not editable through Tor -- including, last I checked, the talk page where one is supposed to file complaints about being unable to edit through a proxy from China. And living here has caused me to notice how China is conspicuously absent from a number of the articles that should provide information about it...

#760 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 10:22 AM:

Julia Jones #747: Holy shit, that's fucking awful.

#762 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 11:04 AM:

Julia @ 747... Sorry to hear about Pratchett.

#763 ::: R. M. Koske ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 11:07 AM:

The one consolation for the blocking is the sometimes odd combinations of "where I was trying to go" and "why it is blocked."

There was a particle a while back on Mad Hatter cakes. Blocked for sex. Clothing places that sell underwear and mention it too prominently are blocked for "Swimwear and lingerie" (which leads me to wonder if they think people are really going to be whacking off at their desks to the Victoria's Secret catalog.) And once I was on an educational site, full of info for elementary school teachers, where every single ad had a little square proclaiming it blocked for sex.

It isn't much of a substitute, but it is occasionally amusing.

#764 ::: Janet Brennan Croft ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 11:23 AM:

Hogfather has joined our rotation of holiday movies. It's really, really good, with lots of nice shivery "myffic" bits.

That's really upsetting about Terry Pratchett, but I hope he'll be holding up the "I aten't dead" sign for many years yet. Though this may mean he won't make the Discworld con in Phoenix in 2009, where I was really hoping to meet him.

#765 ::: Todd Larason ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 11:37 AM:

AJ @ 759 -- do you really mean telnet, or do you mean ssh? I know there are some tools for tunnelling ssh over http to get through draconian firewalls, but I'm blanking on the names right now; I'll try to dig up the names if they'd be helpful to you.

#766 ::: Lucy Kemnitzer ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 11:55 AM:

I desperately need some advice, and an open thread at Making Light is the widest forum I can think of that I can bring this question to.

My kid is living in Prague (my son the medical student!!! I actually get all the old jokes about Jewish mothers and their sons-the-doctors now). I sent him a money order to pay his rent and food with and he can't get any bank to take it. Unlike a check, you can't just tear up a money order and be done with it. He's got a month's worth of money he can't spend and it's almost time to send him next month's money (which I guess we'll wire him or something, though wiring money is expensive).

How can he cash that money order? So far the only things I've thought of are to go to a forex outlet -- which I don't know will work -- or even the US embassy which was singularly unhelpful when he tried to get help with his student visa (which I believe is still unresolved, but nobody seems to care). We can't actually afford to blow the money off and start over.

#767 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 12:01 PM:

Lucy: I would think he'd have to go to a forex place. Have you tried searching for an American Express branch there? IIRC, that's what it used to be before it was a credit card.

#769 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 12:46 PM:

Jim @ 768... I hesitate to ask, but is there such a thing as an Arcimboldo action figure?

#770 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 12:47 PM:

Lucy Kemnitzer @ 766 ...

There's a comment here that boils down to Western Union or wait forever.

#771 ::: Scott Taylor ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 12:49 PM:

Tis the season -

Charlie Brown Christmas Tree

(Yes, this is, in fact, the tree for my apartment this year...).

#772 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 01:02 PM:

A.J. Luxton #680: What I'm seeing is the effect of years of really bad English teaching at the elementary and middle school level, coupled with the excessive use of multiple choice examinations in high schools.

I was stopped by a student once and asked what I meant by 'inimical'. This was a middle-class, native-born American. I found that deeply disturbing.

#773 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 01:04 PM:

Boston-area police panic again.

(This time, it was an abandoned TV set, in Cambridge)

#774 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 01:07 PM:

Scott Taylor @ 771... Ohmygod. Thanks for the link! It'll be the perfect present for my wife.

#775 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 01:11 PM:

Jon Meltzer... This time, it was an abandoned TV set

Remidns me of the Max Headroom episode where the police gasped in horror upon finding a TV set with an "off" switch.

#776 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 01:12 PM:

Lucy, see if the bank you might wire to is a member of the Automated Clearing House (ACH) system (he ought to be able to find that out with a phone call to a non-teller personage there). If so, it's much cheaper than wire. It might even be free, although to a foreign bank maybe not.

AMEX originally was a competitor to Thomas Cook in offering financial and mail services to Americans overseas, as mentioned above; I don't know if they still do that.

#777 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 01:13 PM:

Fragano, 772: God, yes. I've started to ask my classes whether everybody knows what a noun is. (They do, usually, but they then completely fail to grasp what pronouns are.) Let us not discuss the comments on my evaluation forms. "She expects us to learn grammar!!!" is a very mild example.

#778 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 01:15 PM:

Serge #686: That bagels description.

#779 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 01:17 PM:

TexAnne @ 777... "She expects us to learn grammar!!!"

The horror, the horror!

#780 ::: R. M. Koske ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 01:24 PM:

#777, TexAnne -
I hope that it is taken as a compliment by your bosses in spite of the fact that it is intended as a complaint.

I generally try not to think too hard about the poor state of language knowledge, because it makes me very very sad. (This from the person who misspelled "volatile" earlier. Oops.)

#781 ::: Clark E. Myers ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 01:32 PM:

Sad news on Discworld News
Frankly, I would prefer it if people kept things cheerful, because I think there's time for at least a few more books yet :o)

see also http://books.guardian.co.uk/news/articles/0,,2226306,00.html?gusrc=rss&feed=10

#782 ::: Tania ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 01:36 PM:

Lucy - when my younger SIL was living in London, I would send her money through PayPal, which she could then transfer into her bank account with Bank of Scotland. Would something like that be feasible?

#783 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 01:39 PM:

Julia Jones #747: That's truly sad news.

#784 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 01:40 PM:

I gave up on watching Hogfather "live." I'll wait until my TiFaux records it so I can zip through the commercials.

I think they did a good job; I didn't especially like the book (maybe 1 in 6 Discworld books do anything for me), but I'm enjoying the dramatization.

I hope Pratchett has enough years of lucidity to a) finish more books, and b) maybe do some campaigning and fund raising toward research and a cure.

#785 ::: Scott H ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 01:41 PM:

A.J. Luxton @ 759: Anyone know a way around telnet blocking?

If you're inside the firewall trying to telnet out to a machine (that you control) in the wider world, the first thing I'd try is have your telnet server run on a non-standard port that isn't being blocked by the firewall. So, like, run telnetd (or whatever) on port 80 rather than the default of 23.

Thereafter, you can reach the service by typing:

telnet Your_IP_Address 80

It's less likely to work if you're trying to reach a box inside the firewall from the wider world due to NATing and such, but it's worth a shot. Same deal--just set up telnet on your box to monitor some port that isn't blocked by the firewall and telnet in, specifying your IP, followed by a space, followed by that port.

Having said that, however, I'd encourage you to stay away from telnet, period. Ditto FTP. Both protocols transmit passwords in the clear, visible to any 12-year-old with a packet sniffer and time on their hands (which is essentially all of them these days). Instead use SSH as a telnet replacement and scp or sftp as an FTP replacement.

Personally, the way I get around those pesky work firewalls / filters is by using the Apache server on my box at home as an intermediary. There's an extension to the Apache web server called mod_proxy that will allow you to connect to your home server using a browser at work (or wherever) . You talk to your web server, it goes and fetches the pages you want and returns them to your browser, bypassing the filters The Man is using to Keep You Down.

It's not trivial to set up, but it's darn handy. Details on request.

#786 ::: Scott H ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 01:43 PM:

A.J. Luxton @ 759: Anyone know a way around telnet blocking?

If you're inside the firewall trying to telnet out to a machine (that you control) in the wider world, the first thing I'd try is have your telnet server run on a non-standard port that isn't being blocked by the firewall. So, like, run telnetd (or whatever) on port 80 rather than the default of 23.

Thereafter, you can reach the service by typing:

telnet Your_IP_Address 80

It's less likely to work if you're trying to reach a box inside the firewall from the wider world due to NATing and such, but it's worth a shot. Same deal--just set up telnet on your box to monitor some port that isn't blocked by the firewall and telnet in, specifying your IP, followed by a space, followed by that port.

Having said that, however, I'd encourage you to stay away from telnet, period. Ditto FTP. Both protocols transmit passwords in the clear, visible to any 12-year-old with a packet sniffer and time on their hands (which is essentially all of them these days). Instead use SSH as a telnet replacement and scp or sftp as an FTP replacement.

Personally, the way I get around those pesky work firewalls / filters is by using the Apache server on my box at home as an intermediary. There's an extension to the Apache web server called mod_proxy that will allow you to connect to your home server using a browser at work (or wherever) . You talk to your web server, it goes and fetches the pages you want and returns them to your browser, bypassing the filters The Man is using to Keep You Down.

It's not trivial to set up, but it's darn handy. Details on request.

#787 ::: Scott H ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 01:48 PM:

Of course, such a setup may lead to the heartache and embarrassment of double posting.

#788 ::: Jon H ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 01:55 PM:

TexAnne wrote: "God, yes. I've started to ask my classes whether everybody knows what a noun is."

Under certain circumstances questions like that can be tricky, if you assume the questioner can't possibly be asking what a noun is, so perhaps there's some advanced definition I haven't been made aware of.

#789 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 01:56 PM:

MD² #717: Is that a statement of the general will?

#790 ::: Debbie ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 02:03 PM:

Serge @769-- I hesitate to ask, but is there such a thing as an Arcimboldo action figure?

No, only still lives.

#791 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 02:07 PM:

I'm looking to the fluorosphere for a story identification. In the recognizable future, people can sign up to have an experienced remote operator run them through difficult spots (job interviews, social situations, ...); the assigned operator decides he wants the customer's girl and acts excessively suavely, then pulls a switch so the danseuse in the next booth gets control at an inopportune moment (during arguments about the judging of a most-beautiful-bosom contest). A nagging memory says de Camp, but it seems a little social for him. Any bells ringing?

catchup comments (logistics for Smofcon got a little time-consuming...):

Pyre@86: "Scalito" is a common slam dating back to Alito's nomination; I was thinking a professional announcer would know it and guard against it. The others I've never seen.

TNH@110: I have permission from Davey to say that the re-inking assembly caused her to cough up a lung through her left ear. (We're both home with the glotch, which is how I have time to do this during the day.)

Adrian -- as you find, over-eyeglasses sunglasses are a lifesaver. Did you find somebody other than http://www.sunglassesoverglasses.com/escort.htm#B, or a local vendor? (I'm in NW Boston, so your mention of 93 suggests a real store might be useful.

Fragano@208: \which/ holly-and-ivy? I know 3 (churchly, dancing, and ~Appalachian) and suspect that's not all.

Wingate@233: My chorus does the Holst about every other year; just once I'd like to do the version recorded by the King's College choir (Darke? begins miiii re soool mi doo tii).

This year's assignment is mostly repeats (hardly surprising after 31 years); the most pleasant surprise among the new pieces is a Holst setting of litany words to "Jesus Christ s'habille en pauvre". (Favorite repeat? Several choices: Praetorius, "In Dulci Jubilo"; Pinkham's Xmas Cantata; Healy Willan, "A Spotless Rose". And our first time doing "Riu Riu Chiu", which I heard a long time ago.) Shout-out to Tracie@275 as we're doing the Lauridsen OMM.

Lee@255: which tune? I learned "playing of" as you cite, but 2 other versions of "organ singing":
- merry or- | ga-n, sweet | (dance)
- merry or- | gan, sweet singing | (churchly)

re ^H: those of us who date far enough back to remember TTY lines have been known to make \y\k\r\a\n\s\ apposite comments.

#792 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 02:11 PM:

Debbie @ 790... No, only still lives.

In the produce department?

#793 ::: Debbie ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 02:19 PM:

Serge -- or maybe in the hard likker aisle?

#794 ::: Julie L. ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 02:24 PM:

Lucy: as per Tania, PayPal should work; until last year, its functionality in the Czech Republic was limited to outward payments only, but at this point it now allows transfers in both directions, with subsequent withdrawals to US or local banks.

#795 ::: Julia Jones ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 02:30 PM:

One of the alt.fan.pratchett regulars has just posted to the relevant thread there, citing a relative's experience with one of the new drugs for Alzheimer's. Apparently it worked as promised, not just halting but reversing some of the damage.

Drugs like that offer the promise that someone diagnosed now might be kept going long enough for the next improvement in treatment. Hanging on until the next improvement, and the next, and the next, is not a good way to live with a progressive disease, but it's a lot better than the alternative.

#796 ::: eric ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 02:33 PM:

Linkmeister @776 ACH is mostly (but not completely, it's something like 99.999%) US only. There are cross border exchanges, but they're really rare, generally corp-corp and it's unlikely that you'd be able to take advantage of them as a retail customer and not a big org.

(Like many things, there's a lot to the ACH system, but 5% of it is 80% of the traffic)

#797 ::: Scott Taylor ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 02:34 PM:

Serge @ (mumble)
Scott Taylor @ 771... Ohmygod. Thanks for the link! It'll be the perfect present for my wife.

Hey, no problem, I figured *someone* in the Flourosphere would find it useful.

#798 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 02:51 PM:

Debbie @ 793... maybe in the hard likker aisle?

Are we going to have to discuss gin control again?

#799 ::: Debbie ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 02:58 PM:

Only if the fruit is fermenting.

#800 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 03:05 PM:

R. M. Koske @780: We'll see. If not, I'll be loudly annoyed.

#801 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 03:10 PM:

TexAnne #777: I haven't asked my students that question yet, but I might.

You're trying to teach them another language by teaching them grammar? Quel horreur! What on earth did they think they were supposed to be learning?

#802 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 03:14 PM:

Fragano, 801: Oh, you know, how to get out of college. (A language is required for most students here.)

#803 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 03:15 PM:

Serge #798: Gin control? Last night I was avoiding it.

#804 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 03:19 PM:

Debbie @ 799... Are you sure? Am I going to have to de-cider for you?

#805 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 03:21 PM:

TexAnne #802: I suspect I have a solid bloc of students who have no desire to learn anything, but who want to have nice jobs.

I also recently had the interesting experience of addressing in Spanish a student who had just told me of a desire to minor in Spanish and being met with flat incomprehension -- and being told I was speaking too quickly, even though I was speaking slowly. (¿No crees que el español es muy fácil de aprender? I had naïvely asked.)

#806 ::: Debbie ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 03:30 PM:

Debbie @ 799... Are you sure? Am I going to have to de-cider for you?

Juniper know. But since stills produce liquor -- I'll take both!

#807 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 03:32 PM:

CHip #791: Sung by a church choir (which, for those that know me, may come as a surprise).

#808 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 03:33 PM:

Debbie @ 806... I apple-aud your decision.

#809 ::: Debbie ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 03:45 PM:

I apple-aud your decision.

Thanks much. Your praise meads a lot to me.

#810 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 03:46 PM:

I minored in Spanish by accident-- I like the language and parts of the history, so I ended up taking enough classes. Of course, I don't speak Spanish to my Chilean or Mexican colleagues; I have this thing about my facility in a language and looking really, really stupid in front of people. The only way I can think to beat it is to travel more, but when I was in Costa Rica and Peru-- in the context of a travel course with a bunch of white English-speakers, to be fair-- no one spoke Spanish to me unless I made it clear that yes, I was making things difficult on purpose. It feels condescending to me. I sometimes think that I internalized the idea of white privilege too strongly, and am now attempting to minimize my inevitable faults by not interacting with anything that could expose them (which is itself privilege, but then I get all sad).
I can see a lot of things wrong with the job market that demands a degree, any degree, the colleges which make it not only possible but sometimes necessary to be unenthused about learning, and my Spanish curriculum specifically.

And now I've lost a lot of Spanish. Drat.

#811 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 03:54 PM:

Diatryma #810: The need for formal qualifications is a product of the need to justify decisions about hiring and promotion in objective terms. It's become more acute as more people have graduated from universities and colleges, making the labour market more competitive and thus increasing pressure to use formal qualifications as a means of deciding who to hire.

#812 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 04:04 PM:

Serge #808: That's perry good of you.

#813 ::: Adrian ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 04:21 PM:

Chip (791), I bought my sunglasses from the Ronald Riesz, the optician in Arlington Center. (He's made several pair of glasses for me over the years, and I've been very pleased with his work.) My sunglasses are a little bigger than those you link to, without the opaque divider between the polarized part in front and the polarized side piece. I don't know what they're called, but Vicki buys some just like them somewhere in New York.

#814 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 04:21 PM:

eric @ #796, I thought ACH might be domestic-only, but what the heck, I thought, give it a shot. Globalization, doncha know?

#815 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 04:28 PM:

TexAnne #802:

Don't some colleges still require one to have already acquired a (foreign)[*] language before getting in? Or is that just very retro of me?

[*] From Fragano's students' POV, English would appear to be a foreign language, alas.

#816 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 05:16 PM:

joann, 815: Yes, that's still true. I probably should have said "X semesters or their equivalent"--most places let people place out with AP courses or an in-house placement test.

#817 ::: Jon H ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 05:26 PM:

Julia #795:"One of the alt.fan.pratchett regulars has just posted to the relevant thread there, citing a relative's experience with one of the new drugs for Alzheimer's"

I actually kinda suspect he doesn't have Alzheimer's as such, but rather early-stage vascular dementia. Given his history of high blood pressure and heart surgery and the recent mini-strokes, it seems far more likely that he'd have vascular dementia than a 'rare form of alzheimers'.

That said, maybe he's calling it the latter because it sounds better than 'dementia'. Vascular dementia at least has the 'advantage' that the decline can be slowed or maybe even halted if you get the underlying vascular problems under control before too much damage is done.

#818 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 05:28 PM:

Fragano @ 812... Distill going on?

#819 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 05:34 PM:

Serge, 818: No, it was scotched.

#820 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 05:39 PM:

TexAnne... If whiskeep at it, Abi is going to use the BIG disemvoweller on us.

#821 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 05:48 PM:

Serge: she's probably smiling rye-ly. (Has that one been used? I can't remem-bour, bonne idiote that I am...)

#822 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 06:05 PM:

W00t! (First time I ever used that word. Might be the last.) Particles-Sidelights race condition spotted!

#823 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 06:11 PM:

In #791 CHip writes:

I'm looking to the fluorosphere for a story identification. In the recognizable future, people can sign up to have an experienced remote operator run them through difficult spots (job interviews, social situations, ...); the assigned operator decides he wants the customer's girl and acts excessively suavely, then pulls a switch so the danseuse in the next booth gets control at an inopportune moment (during arguments about the judging of a most-beautiful-bosom contest). A nagging memory says de Camp, but it seems a little social for him. Any bells ringing?

It is indeed L. Sprague de Camp, in "The Guided Man."

#824 ::: Susan ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 06:17 PM:

Okay, this is interesting. My father, from whom I am long estranged and with whom I have exchanged no presents and only two or three conversations in the past 15 years, has sent me a book: The Complete Guide to Asperger's Syndrome. There's a card, which I have not opened and am currently staring at like one would a small, nervous, and possibly rabid animal. I'm not sure if the book title is meant to be an editorial comment, or if he's just buying a book that he thinks would interest me (yes), which would be rather unlike my father. I'm not sure if I should open this card or burn it or if it was smart to open the package in the first place.

Life is just never dull.

#825 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 06:39 PM:

Susan (824): Are there any circumstances under which you could see yourself letting your father back into your life, even in a limited way? If so, open the card. (Would it help to have someone else around when (if) you do?)

If you never want anything to do with him ever again, period, burn the card and give the book to charity.

#826 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 07:00 PM:

Spam subject line: "Don't be ashamed of your male machine size."

#827 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 07:01 PM:

Susan, for what it's worth, I think Mary Aileen's advice is good.

#828 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 07:05 PM:

Serge #818: Something is brewing.

#829 ::: Tania ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 07:09 PM:

I think y'all should put a cork in it!

#830 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 07:13 PM:

Serge #820: I suspect you of using a Canadian club.

#831 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 07:29 PM:

Susan @#824: You forgot possibility #3, where he's "coming out" as an Aspie. Anyway, just open the card, already. The worst it could be is offensive.

Full Disclosure: A similar gift massively redirected my view of myself and of my prior life, modulo NVLD for Asperger's.

#832 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 07:39 PM:

Susan @ 824... Better to know than to wonder.

#833 ::: Jon H ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 07:41 PM:

Susan #824: I agree with David.

I wouldn't be surprised if this is his way of saying "I found out I have this, which is why I/we etc etc etc".

#834 ::: Jon H ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 07:43 PM:

Also, I think Mary Aileen's advice to burn the card is awful, especially in context.

We're talking about an estranged father, not an old stalker.

#835 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 07:47 PM:

I just got this spam:

Canned Butter from New Zealand and Canned Cheese..

#836 ::: Dan Layman-Kennedy ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 07:47 PM:

Susan, I don't know what the circumstances are of your own estrangement, but as one in a similar circumstance, I'd be all freaked the hell out too.

If the same thing happened to me, I'd return the gift and the unopened card with a note, as politely-worded as I could manage, that he may not attempt to get in contact with me unless and until he made considerable and extensive good-faith efforts to make amends with the many people I love that he's hurt, in such measure that makes it clear he understands the damage he's done; otherwise he's trying to get something (a relationship with me) that he's done nothing to deserve, and I have to go on the assumption that he hasn't changed since I last told him to get bent. Your own situation is no doubt different in a number of ways, so you can only know your own measure of what would be acceptable conditions for him to come back into your life. But I sure wouldn't step any further into it than you're comfortable doing, and I think you should stay firm about setting the necessary parameters on your own terms. And if this is giving you the wiggins, you should most definitely listen to your instincts.

#837 ::: Dan Layman-Kennedy ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 07:54 PM:

Jon H, those are not necessarily different things. I refer you to my recent posts in the MySpace Suicide thread for why "he's your father" may not be a helpful perspective here.

#838 ::: vian ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 08:18 PM:

Reasons to cry at work:

News just hitting the wires: Terry Pratchett has announced he has early-onset Alzheimer's.

http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,22917625-23109,00.html

#839 ::: Jon H ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 08:23 PM:

" he may not attempt to get in contact with me unless and until he made considerable and extensive good-faith efforts to make amends with the many people I love that he's hurt"

So if everyone in your circle does the same, then how would he make amends? Every time he tried he'd just get it shoved back in his face, "go make up with everyone else first before I'll deign to consider it!".

Someone has to go first, show some balls, and not shun the poor bastard.

#840 ::: Adrian ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 08:36 PM:

Susan, is there anybody you trust to read the card for you? To determine if it's an attempt to apologize (possibly using the book as an explanation for his previous failures of social skills) or if he's trying to snipe at you. It's useful if your friend can distinguish between, "It's an apology, but so clumsy and self-justifying you probably wouldn't want to bother with it," and "It's a real apology from somebody who has never tried to make one before." But the really important thing I'd want my friend to tell me in those circumstances would be either, "He's trying to apologize, I'll put the kettle on while you read it," or "You don't want to see this. I'll get rid of it for you."

#841 ::: Jon H ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 08:40 PM:

"Jon H, those are not necessarily different things. "

No, but I'm guessing the odds don't favor it. There are a million reasons for people to become estranged. The most common reason is probably simply that the parent left and never kept in touch.

And if the parent is sending a book about Asperger's, I'm guessing it has something to do with the parent having been distant and having a hard time making emotional attachments, etc.

I'm just going on the small amount of information provided. Nothing was stated to suggest any other reason for the estrangement, or that the cause was anything but mundane.

And certainly nothing was stated which would lead me to think the proper course of action would be to burn the card, shun the parent, and get a guard dog because ZOMFG it's a zombie estranged parent who wants to eat your brainz!!!!1 RUN!

So, no, I'm not going to assume the worst.

#842 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 08:46 PM:

Jon H, I understand that your motives are probably all for the best, but please don't talk the way you're talking. Thank you.

#843 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 09:16 PM:

Serge #835: So did I.

#844 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 09:21 PM:

Susan #824: How old is your father? It could be that he wants to be reconciled to you before dying. On the other hand, if your estrangement was the result of manipulative behaviour on his part, it could be an attempt to manipulate and control your feelings.

#845 ::: Susan ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 09:24 PM:

Well, I find it unlikely beyond belief that my father is suggesting he has Asperger's. I would laugh myself sick at the idea. I also find it unlikely that the note contains any sort of apology, since his official version of things is that it's all my fault for being an undutiful daughter, and I doubt the idea that he's an emotionally abusive father has ever crossed his mind. (Of his four children, I'm by far the least screwed up psychologically in the long term, unless my half-sibs pull it together by the time they reach adulthood.)

My clever mother suggests that maybe one of my half-sibs (father + wicked stepmother) has it, which doesn't seem hugely likely from what I've heard of them, but I guess whether one has been diagnosed might also depend on how trendy the diagnosis is right now.

The question is whether I'm willing to deal with my father. He obviously wants something from me, and I can come up with the three or four most likely things without too much trouble. Is it worth it? Will I get anything out of it? Can I go back into the game and know when to withdraw if I'm going to get hurt? Am I experienced enough now to play to win? He has something I might want, too, but I am pretty sure he doesn't know it, which gives me some advantage. I also don't want it that much, ditto.

The other possibility is that someone is dead or dying. But I think notification of that wouldn't come with a book.

While I'm pondering suggestions (best so far: get someone else to read it for me, the only problem being that the relevant person is in NYC and hard to get in the same place as the note), I do want to mention that the first person to suggest burning the note was me, so don't jump on Mary Aileen about it.

#846 ::: Dan Layman-Kennedy ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 09:28 PM:

OFFS, Jon. You don't know anything about my situation, or what "the poor bastard" did to make me decide to be as far the fuck away from him as I could manage. Suffice to say it was not, in the main, a crime against me. The fact that he's proven incapable of understanding why anyone would object to the cruel, grasping, manipulative way he treated anyone he thought could be of use to him is right at the top of the list, though.

So please, please, please stop what I must in good faith assume is a well-meant attempt to recast this abusive waste of biomass as some sort of put-upon sad-sack victim; he never quite managed to do that, and I'm afraid you won't either. As to the implication that the only reason I might want to keep such a person at a great distance is a lack of "balls" - well, if I don't give that its due address, it's only because I've never lost my vowels around here and I'd rather not break my record.

#847 ::: Susan ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 09:34 PM:

Fragano:
My father is 62. And his track record of trying to manipulate and control me is long and ugly. It would be neat if he ever learned that it's just not going to work anymore because I am willing to simply walk away.

The problem right now is that his timing sucks. I'm a week out from surgery, which is scaring me to death even though there's no real reason anything should go wrong. It's the holidays. My romantic life has gone completely down the toilet. I'm alternating between general stress and depression. This isn't a great time for me to play delicate emotional games.

#848 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 09:44 PM:

Susan #847: In that case,you don't need any more stress on your emotions than you have already. I'd say drop the whole thing down an oubliette, and forget about it.

I raised the question of age because when my father was showing signs of not having much longer to live (at 81), my youngest brother helped to effect a reconciliation (though we weren't so much estranged as drifted apart).

#849 ::: Jon H ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 09:49 PM:

Dan wrote: "So please, please, please stop what I must in good faith assume is a well-meant attempt to recast this abusive waste of biomass as some sort of put-upon sad-sack victim"

Actually, I was really referring to your insistence on projecting your family drama onto someone else based on zero evidence.

Maybe your situation justifies blocking someone off like that, but nobody else's family is yours, yet you're basically suggesting that someone else adopt your own family's dysfunction. Which by the sound of it isn't particularly nice or helpful, is it?

I doubt you'd consider your family situation something to be envied, so why encourage other people to emulate it? With all due respect, it doesn't seem to be working all that well for you.

#850 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 09:50 PM:

Susan, that sucks all around. The only suggestion I have is to have someone else read the note, and you've already thought of that.
You have my sympathies and support, for what little they do.

#851 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 09:59 PM:

some here have heard me beotch about job. Well, they let me go today, gentle release with two weeks pay, some vacation time left over (more $$) and 10 weeks severance. And can file for unemployment (I was on the verge of going "f-you I QUIT! which means you do not get unemployment.)

No more throwing up before I go to work (it was that stressful).

Susan, I'd recommend waiting until you feel stronger and less adrift. Or just send it back and let it go. You need all the healing thoughts you can (sending them your way...) and you don't need bad shit just right now. Get well soon.

#852 ::: Susan ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 10:00 PM:

Jon H.: Dan is being more helpful than you in this situation. I'm sure you mean well, but I don't think you quite grasp how damaging and hurtful your attitude is to people in his situation and mine.

#853 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 10:01 PM:

Jon H, you did not have to suggest that everyone else was overreacting. It is possible to say that you think people are projecting their own family dynamics onto another situation without implying that there is no way they can be right.

I do think there was evidence that the family dynamic is more 'be wary' than 'be open and friendly': Susan suggested burning the card. If someone asks me what to do with a card and physically destroying it is a reasonable option, I know my family experience does not apply and that I have to know more.

#854 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 10:06 PM:

Paula @ 851... Congratulations. Honestly.

#855 ::: flowery tops ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 10:10 PM:

susan @ 824:
As another person with an estranged father, I'd ask someone (probably husband) to vet the card for me too. And good luck. Hope it's something that will make you happy.

#856 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 10:11 PM:

Susan, #824: Do you have a friend you'd trust to screen the card for you? Preferably one who knows the standard coded attack-phrases. They could at least tell you whether or not it's overtly toxic, and then you could make an informed decision about whether to read it yourself. The book, OTOH, you can read for your own enjoyment no matter why it was sent.

Further comment after reading #847: So put it aside for a few weeks, or a few months, until you're in a better headspace. There's no rule that says you absolutely HAVE to deal with it RIGHT NOW.

Jon H... I don't know much about Dan's situation either, but given what I've heard him say about it, what you just said is asinine. How about extending a little of that "benefit of the doubt" stuff to the person who's, like, actually HERE and talking with us?

#857 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 10:13 PM:

like I said in my LJ, I'm actually relieved, Serge. Thanks.

#858 ::: Dan Layman-Kennedy ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 10:14 PM:

Jon, my family fucking situation is just fucking fine, thankyouverymuch, because I have taken the necessary measures to ensure that the people I surround myself with are one who love me rather than the ones who try to use and brainwash me. Again, you don't know what you're talking about, and you've moved on from there to being actually offensive and mean.

The hell with my vowels. Go fuck yourself.

#859 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 10:16 PM:

Paula #851: I second Serge's congratulations. I'm sure whatever's next for you will be a massive improvement.

#860 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 10:28 PM:

Paula #851: I echo Serge's congratulations, and hope you find a worthwhile job soon.

#861 ::: Jon H ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 10:29 PM:

Diatryma wrote: "I do think there was evidence that the family dynamic is more 'be wary' than 'be open and friendly': Susan suggested burning the card. "

True, but people in these situations do tend to dig themselves deep into positions which are hard to back out of. Burning the card might be the gut-level impulse which feels right but only perpetuates the past behavior patterns that have gotten things where they are now.

Perhaps Dan's situation is closer to Susan's than I expected. And if Susan's just looking for someone in the same situation to confirm her preexisting inclination to burn the card and keep the status quo, then his advice will do fine.

But I don't think it's usually best practice to get your advice from someone in the same emotional place that you yourself are in.

#862 ::: Susan ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 10:55 PM:

Jon H:
Now you're really over the line into being offensive to both me and Dan.

True, but people in these situations do tend to dig themselves deep into positions which are hard to back out of. Burning the card might be the gut-level impulse which feels right but only perpetuates the past behavior patterns that have gotten things where they are now.

The point you are missing, or perhaps unable to comprehend, is that right now things are really quite satisfactory. Maintaining the status quo and perpetuating the intelligent behavior pattern (ignoring my father) that led to this state of contentment is the safest and probably the smartest route for me.

Perhaps Dan's situation is closer to Susan's than I expected. And if Susan's just looking for someone in the same situation to confirm her preexisting inclination to burn the card and keep the status quo, then his advice will do fine.

That bit's just offensive. You also didn't read my original post very carefully, 'cause you've pretty much got the whole situation backwards.

But I don't think it's usually best practice to get your advice from someone in the same emotional place that you yourself are in.

Better than someone so lacking in empathy that they can't even grasp the situation. My situation isn't quite the same as Dan's, but at least he does understand.

#863 ::: Dan Layman-Kennedy ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 11:01 PM:

I would certainly hope that Susan would do otherwise than to stretch her own situation onto the Procrustean bed of my own and blindly follow my lead. Knowing that she is a rational and intelligent person, I had faith that she would take anything useful, should there be any such, out of what I had to say and discard the rest. I hope I made it clear that I understood her circumstances would surely be different from my own and that her judgment should be the last rule; if not, let me restate as much now.

But I cannot in any case agree that people should not be open to advice from others in similar circumstances, emotional or otherwise. Knowing that you're not alone in crisis is frequently a necessary first step in gaining perspective. In particular, when you're in recovery from emotional abuse and manipulation (which I did not know she was, but suspected as at least a possibility), it's often helpful to have someone who's been through the same assure you that you are not in fact the crazy one.

Anyway, far too many pixels have been expended tonight on my own unfortunate history of drama, I fear at the expense of addressing Susan's current situation, and I'm not going to talk about it any more.

Susan, I hope that all this thrashing around has been helpful in some way. I don't envy you having to deal with this crap now, especially at an already delicate time. It's a tough call. You're right to do what you need to do to protect yourself. You're not the crazy one.

Jon, my previous outburst notwithstanding, I do appreciate that you've been genuinely trying to help. I only wish that, with so many sincere requests from all corners to stop digging, you hadn't thrown aside your shovel and reached for a jackhammer.

#864 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 11:28 PM:

Bill -- thanks for the reference. I have a handful of de Camp on the shelves, but neither of the ones SFDB lists.

#865 ::: Susan ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 11:28 PM:

Dan: the problem is that Jon is taking the blame-the-victim approach, which for me at least has unhelpful echoes of my father's sort of manipulation. But recognizing the tactic means it's just not going to make much impact on me; my father's much slicker about it and it doesn't work for him either. Neither Jon nor my father is going to be able to convince me that the status quo is anything but a positive achievement; the only question in my mind is whether there's any good reason to change it, with the greatest danger being my own curiosity.

#866 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 11:34 PM:

Susan, that's awful. I got away from an emotionally abusive ex, but not before I read some words I wish I hadn't. If you have any doubts about reading the card, mail it to your friend in NYC. That way, the OMGFEAR jolt will have had days to dissipate--and if your friend thinks you should know what's in the note, s/he can read it to you over the phone. (Hm. Or not. I don't know if I would have wanted to hear Ex's words in a friend's voice. But while the card was going through the holiday rush at the post office, you'd have time to consider the question.)

#867 ::: Kathryn from Sunnyvale ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 11:48 PM:

Anyone here familiar with Wikipedia's policies (if it has them) on editor usernames- the use of a person's name (not their own) as a username? If yes, I've got a couple of questions I'd like to ask via email. Thanks

#868 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: December 12, 2007, 11:55 PM:

I understand too. People who come from functional families never understand. They try, but they really don't get it.

That said, however: Susan, I think there is much merit in the idea of having someone vet the card for you. You could mail it to your friend in NYC, for example. There's no hurry here. If he or she thinks it's a good thing for you to hear, s/he can send it back or read it to you over the phone. If not, s/he can destroy it and never tell you what it said.

I didn't speak to my own dad for over 10 years. Then I decided to cautiously approach (my situation is not the same as yours), taking steps to ensure that I could escape if need be, and fully prepared to turn aside the kinds of attacks he subjected me to in my youth. No such thing occurred. In my case it turned out well, but there are no guarantees.

I predict that whatever the card turns out to be, it won't be a full, abject apology for everything he's done wrong. I don't know him, but if he's as stubborn as my old man, he'll probably want to just pretend none of it ever happened.

In my case, I chose to go along with that, because I realized that not only was my father not the person who'd done terrible things to me as a child (age mellowed him; he never should have had children, and became a much better person once his children had all moved out), he actually didn't remember them. Carrying my rage was poisoning me, not him.

Again, I stress that most or all of this may not be applicable. Only you can decide.

#869 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: December 13, 2007, 12:03 AM:

Hmm, I took a long time writing my last post, and hadn't seen TexAnne's. TexAnne, great minds think alike!

#870 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: December 13, 2007, 12:41 AM:

Susan #824:

I think it's important to consider the card's power over you. Is it less if you open it, or more? Will you be tormented with wondering about it later, if you burn it? If your father can say things to you that totally spin your head, it's probably better not to give him a voice by reading it. If you're in a good enough place that you can shake it off after a couple of days, though, or where reading something that makes you go "yep, he's still an asshole" will help you move forward in your life, the card may help you.

I think it's also important to distinguish between reading the card, and REPLYING to the card. Sending it back unopened is a reply; writing back to him is a reply. Etc. There's nothing to prevent you from opening it, reading it, absorbing whatever it contains, and totally blowing him off afterwards. Opening the card may give power to the father-in-your-head but it won't end your estrangement with the actual guy, if all he receives in response is silence.

In the unlikely event that he says something amazing in the card, that makes you inclined to forgive him...well, if he's serious he'll send another card later, and say it again. It sounds like he owes you more than one attempt.

Anyway, based on what works for me, personally, if I found myself in your shoes,* I would read the card, then burn it, then burn the book, then do some kind of appropriate witch mojo with the ashes, write in my journal obsessively for a couple of days, and then move on with my life.

*my shoes are similar.

#871 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: December 13, 2007, 12:45 AM:

Susan@862: right now things are really quite satisfactory.

Then that is your answer. You are obliged to no one. If you would like a warm, friendly, open, loving relationship with (insert any person you want, really), but that person is incapable of giving you what you want, and instead end up consistently hurting you in some way, you are in no way obliged to put up with them, simply because they are (insert their family relation, random social compulsion, whatever, here).

the only question in my mind is whether there's any good reason to change it

Well, there is one thing that looks like it would be an improvement for you, regardless of how the relationship with your father turns out. And that would be for you to be able to get to a point where you wouldn't fear reading a nasty letter from your father.

If you haven't read it, and you're afraid to read it, then the thing that might be worth attempting to change the status quo would be to try to get yourself to the point where your father's letter might be the nastiest piece of work there was, and it wouldn't be an issue for you.

Not that anyone is going to be impervious to negativity, but that if his letter were negative, then you'd be able to vent, do your thing, and then get back to a place where you get that what your father (or anyone else, really) thinks of you doesn't actually define you or your self worth.

If you aren't there yet, then don't open the letter. Maybe have someone read it, but swear to them before hand that they not tell you anything other than "thumbs down" if it's negative and that they destroy the letter and not answer any further questions about it from you. If it's a generally positive letter, then they can give it to you, and you can take it from there.

Because, your father's opinion of you really doesn't define you. And at least having that sort of agreement between you and your card-reader will minimize his negative opinion of you having far more power over you than your own opinion of yourself.

When you think you can be with his negativity, without it affecting your worth, then you can go back to him at that later time if you want. And if he turns out to still be negative, you can walk away knowing it doesn't change who you are. And if he turns out to be a changed man, a better man, then you can start a new relationship with him based on what the two of you contribute to each other.

If you're still confused or conflicted, I'd say talk to someone. If you want, I'd be willing to give you a couple of free coaching calls. Consider it my "user tax" to Making Light netizens.

#872 ::: Lucy Kemnitzer ::: (view all by) ::: December 13, 2007, 12:54 AM:

Thanks, everybody. I've told him to make himself a paypal account backed up by his Czech bank (we're struggling with his US bank currently -- there is a long story there amounting to the one single fact that they will only deal with him over the telephone, no matter what I tell them about where he is and what that means), and I've pointed him to Western Union in Prague for that one money order.

#873 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: December 13, 2007, 02:45 AM:

Xopher, #868: My father, during the years after my mother's death, also didn't remember having done the things that caused me not to trust him. My reaction was quite different from yours; to me, that felt like being told that my trust and my feelings weren't important enough for him even to notice that he'd abused them. And to this day I'm still not sure that he just didn't want to admit he'd been wrong about anything, and "forgetting" was the easiest way to achieve that while taking another swipe at me at the same time. That was one of his primary MOs -- no matter how innocuous (or even nice) on the surface, there was always a casual assumption of my incompetence, physical or mental, at the core of anything he did or said to me.

I've also been thru something similar with a friend who had a period of severe mental problems (the kind where I was going down the list of symptoms for "paranoid schozophrenia" in an abnormal-psych text and checking off well over half of them). This is someone who was as close to me as a brother for 20 years -- but he can't remember the things he did during that period that scared the living shit out of me. In this case I believe that he really doesn't remember; however, it leaves me completely unable to deal with him on anything but the most superficial terms, because we can't talk about the anger and betrayal issues, and I can't look at him any more without them getting in the way.

Which is all to say that I'm glad you were able to get past that sort of thing with your father. My need for closure is too strong for me to "just let it go" like that; instead, I had to let the source go to be able to walk away.

#874 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: December 13, 2007, 02:48 AM:

Susan: I had intended to post some not-concretely-helpful-but-empathetic things from work, but had second thoughts about posting this sort of comment from there. Sorry to see that some of the comments deteriorated a bit, but glad they did not throw you.

So, my not-concretely-helpful comments: On the whole I think you're doing quite well to sit there eying it like a live cobra. I tend to get dissociative enough about attempted contacts from my father that I manage to simply not remember that the letter or card is sitting on the table in front of me and disattend them out of my awareness, until they get covered up with other papers and I eventually find them a few weeks or months later and freak out again. Lather, rinse, repeat.

I'd agree that about the only helpful thing is having somebody who knows you emotionally read it for you - I've occasionally had my wife do that for letters from my father.

#875 ::: A.J. Luxton ::: (view all by) ::: December 13, 2007, 04:07 AM:

Scott H. @ 785 - Alas, I'm not trying to get to a box I control; I'm trying to get to a MUSH. They usually use different ports than that entirely, but no ports work. Telnet itself seems to be blocked.

Fragano @ 772: Ouch. What impresses me about your student quotations is the ... lack of basic rhythm in spoken or written flow, which is why I thought you must be teaching ESL. Being so 'tone deaf' to English usually requires beginning with something else. I wouldn't be nearly so flabbergasted by papers full of 'totally' and 'like' and all the stuff one inserts into speech that doesn't really belong so much in text. As another poster said, if they're native speakers, they don't all pass the Turing test.

One can get past all kinds of bad education with the simple habit of reading books, but kids generally have to develop that at a pre-kindergarten age for it to stick, I've noticed. (At least by informally polling my friends on when they learned to read.)

Susan @ 824: There's lots of good advice above -- I agree with the posters who've said you might do best to give it to a friend. I'll add, if right now is a bad time: Give it to a friend, in a box, and ask them to keep it for you and help you with it LATER. When 'later' arrives, ask them to take a look and toss it if it's dreck.

But in many cases that kind of thing would be a 'coming out'. Especially after years of no contact.

And I agree with most of what Mary Dell said @ 870, except for one piece: if he is coming out as an Aspie, there's a chance he would not say it again. I'm in that spectrum, and have trouble with this; I often assume that no response after the first time means a rejection, which may be useful with literary magazines but not so helpful for social contact... It may or may not be the same for others, of course.

Whatever you do, take care of yourself first.

#876 ::: Todd Larason ::: (view all by) ::: December 13, 2007, 04:28 AM:

AJ @ 875, it's not really meaningful to say that "telnet itself seems to be blocked". For most intents[1], telnet is just an interactive interface to a raw TCP socket. If we assume the filtering isn't looking at the contents of the traffic (which is a reasonable assumption here; I can go into details why if you like), then what's being blocked or allowed are combinations of (source address, source port, destination address, destination port).

Firewalls and filters can be configured in two fundamentally different ways, traditionally called whitelisting and blacklisting (sometimes called greenlisting and redlisting). Most people use blacklisting for outgoing connections -- that is, allowing most things and selectively disallowing a few things -- and whitelisting for incoming connections -- disallowing most things and selectively allowing a few things.

I suspect what you're seeing is a firewall, either the GFoC or your local school firewall, that's using whitelisting for outgoing connections. You could verify that telnet basically works by running "telnet www.baidu.com 80" then typing "GET / HTTP/1.0" and hitting return twice. That will use telnet as a (very basic) web browser, fetching baidu's front page.

So, where does that leave you? Trying to convince the MUSH to run on a port which is left open, if there is such a thing -- 80 (http), 25 (smtp -- outgoing mail), 443 (secure http) are possibilities. Is port 22 open? (does 'telnet 69.55.225.181 22' respond with 'SSH-1.99-OpenSSH_3.1p1'?) If so, then you could ssh to the free world and telnet from there. There are various worse-case hacks for tunnelling TCP over protocols like DNS, but they're too slow to be fun.


[1] Okay, the telnet protocol technically supports some session negotiation protocol elements, but I'd be a little surprised if your MUSH was using them and absolutely shocked if your MUSH depended on them.

#877 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: December 13, 2007, 05:53 AM:

Generally, considering comments 824ff:

There appears to be some kind of signal that people from disastrously abusive families can exchange. I, not being part of that particular club, don't know the handshake or the code words (though the description of any communication as a "small, nervous, and possibly rabid animal" is probably one). However, hanging out in this community, I have become aware that there is this subtext in some people's communication, and I frame my contributions to discussions of family dynamics based on that awareness.

(As Xopher says in 868, People who come from functional families never understand. They try, but they really don't get it.)

Having said that, I am now going to weigh in.

Jon's suggestions are based on an estrangement dividing an equal relationship, and they may work in those circumstances. But, as a parent, I am vividly conscious that I am not in an equal relationship with my children. I have vastly more power than they do, both at the moment and in the way my actions shape our future relations. It's terrifying, really; I lie awake nights worrying about it.

This inequality touches every interaction. As a parent, I must not, when my children say "I hate you", say "I hate you too". To put it another way, they are entitled to emotional support from me, but I am not entitled to a reciprocal degree of support from them. (They may give it, and I reward that behavior, but it is not mine by right.) As my mother used to say, I have to be the grownup in this relationship. And that means that if I put my kids in a situation where they have to "show some balls" to make the relationship work, then I also have to accept that the relationship may not work, and that it's my fault if it doesn't.

Susan's father is not entitled to make her feel this way. It is not his right. He is not being the grownup in the situation, and whatever reply he gets (within the bounds of the civil and penal code) is legitimate. This includes no reply at all.

Jon H @849:
Pot, kettle. You, too, are projecting your own family experience on what appears to be a wildly different situation. Maybe this comment was an honest mistake, but it was a grave one. You pretty much deserved what came next, I'm afraid.

Take it as a learning experience.

Dan @858:
I'm not going to disemvowel your comment unless you want me to. Or, if you prefer, I can change the key word in all its appearances to something else. Tell me what you want.

If another moderator decides that the comment has to go, it goes without prejudice, purely to keep the endorphin levels down to casual readers.

Jon H @861:
When you step in a minefield, stop walking.

Susan:
Get that thing out of your house. If you have nowhere else to send it, ask me for my address. If you want the book gone too, I'll take it and repay you shipping costs. If you need to burn it, I'll fund the matches.

#878 ::: A.J. Luxton ::: (view all by) ::: December 13, 2007, 06:47 AM:

Todd @ 876: Thanks for helping to troubleshoot. I'm rather convinced this is a lost cause, though.

The ports the MUSH uses are 5000 and 50000, but I tried both.

telnet://www.baidu.com:80 pulls up a terminal window, which then closes; I can't seem to keep it open long enough to get the front page.

Okay, I succeeded in keeping it open long enough to type in the GET command but the window closed and I did not get to the front page.

#879 ::: Susan ::: (view all by) ::: December 13, 2007, 07:46 AM:

Many thanks to everyone for all the helpful advice. It helps just to have plenty of (as Dan said) no-you're-not-crazy voices around.

abi: the card and the book are not as stressful as, say, the other pile of books I need to box up and RTS, though there are certain interesting commonalities in the two situations.

general: I think I'm in a strong enough place to read the card and either ignore it or respond to it as I see fit. So first I'm going to speculate and then I'm going to read the card. I can explain the reasoning behind my guesses if anyone's that curious.

1) The person with Asperger's is:
a. my father
b. me
c. my half-sister
d. no one, he just thought it was an interesting topic I'd enjoy
e. no one, he picked the book totally at random

(best guess: c. least likely: a. most positive option: d.)

2) the included guilt trip about how bad a person I am to not talk to him will focus on:
a. my elderly grandparents
b. my half-sibs
c. my full-sib and nieces
d. him
e. me
f. none of the above, he's finally given up the tactic, at least temporarily.
(best guess: b. least likely: d. most positive option: f.)

3. the other option. the card is a generic Christmas card with just a signature and I'm now playing head games with myself.


Curiosity will now proceed to kill the cat.

#880 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 13, 2007, 07:50 AM:

Susan @ 879... We all wish you the best outcome.

#881 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: December 13, 2007, 08:47 AM:

abi @#877: wise words, thank you.

Susan @#879: good luck!

#882 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 13, 2007, 09:58 AM:

Here are the latest news about next week's mini ML gathering in the Bay Area…

The date: December 18
The time: starting at 6pm

The place:
Pacific Coast Brewing Company
906 Washington St Oakland, CA 94607.
510-836-2739

There's supposed to be easy parking nearby, but here is how to get there by BART:
Get on a train going to Oakland
Get off at the 12th St. Station Oakland City Center Station
Walk up to Broadway Walk to 10th St. (south)
Turn Right, walk one block
Turn Left on Washington
You're there!

So far, there are 10 of us who said they will be there. There may be more, if Significant Others come along. If you want to join the festivities, just show up, or send me an email. (Mind you, I'll be on the road from New Mexico from early on Monday morning until about lunch time on Tuesday, but I will check my mail as soon as I can.) The reservation is under my name for a group called (what else?) "Making Light". Or look for this guy. Sorry. Wrong photo. Look for that guy.

A word to Kathryn from Sunnyvale… We promise not to talk about Earth's life having originated elsewhere.

#883 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: December 13, 2007, 10:29 AM:

Susan: Take this with an I-come-from-a-functional-family grain of salt, but I think reading the letter is the better choice.* More information is better than less. A lot can happen in fifteen years; if nothing else, it gives you another data point.

*Though of course protecting yourself takes priority.

#884 ::: Craig Helfgott ::: (view all by) ::: December 13, 2007, 11:02 AM:

In re KnitML:

My prediction is that they will find that there is a formal equivalence between knitting patterns and Turing machines (or possibly Wang tiles), and that therefore showing that a given pattern is physically possible is equivalent to the Halting Problem. (And therefore can only be solved in the general case by an appeal to the gods -- or at least an oracle).

Bear in mind, though, that this prediction is made in total ignorance of knitting mechanics.

#885 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: December 13, 2007, 11:14 AM:

Susan: Whatever you end up doing is the right thing for you to do, because what you decide to do is the thing you can cope with best. Also, good luck with the surgery, and may next year have many better things in it.

Paula: What a wonderful way to start the holidays! You can look forward to the new year with something like genuine optimism.

Dan and others: as Xopher and Abi said, I'm in the group without a clue, but putting your heads and hearts where you can live happily and sanely is a great good thing, because (if nothing else, although I hope many other good things have happened/do happen as a result) you have a hope that way of learning not to do to others what's been done to you. So, three cheers and a tiger for you all, even if it means that you have had to make choices about how you deal with your family that I can't begin to imagine confronting.

#886 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: December 13, 2007, 11:21 AM:

#879: I received a similar Aspergers message from a sister that I am estranged from; in my case it was 1)b. (I didn't allow things to get to the guilt trip stage.) The trigger was that we were both at a funeral and I didn't want to get into an argument within sight of the coffin and with all the relatives there.

In my case I wrote back that it had been years since we'd seen each other, there's nothing I can do about our previous relationship, I have moved on with my life, and that she has to do the same.

If your father is actually abusive, rather than just difficult, I suspect that he's trying a blame-the-victim see-this-explains-your-mental-abnormalities approach.

I wish you luck; and, yes, I know that all the holiday crap just makes things worse.

#887 ::: Nancy C. Mittens ::: (view all by) ::: December 13, 2007, 11:36 AM:

Susan,

[[sending positive vibes/thoughts/prayers in your direction]] Families can sure suck.

Paula,

Yay!

#888 ::: R. M. Koske ::: (view all by) ::: December 13, 2007, 11:55 AM:

I'm not clear - is the KnitML project supposed to end up with human-readable code? Or is it going to be code that you pass through a reader to render a human-readable pattern? I can see both being useful, but it will take a long, long while for me to learn to read that code if there's no rendering program.

#889 ::: R. M. Koske ::: (view all by) ::: December 13, 2007, 12:29 PM:

My reading comprehension needs work.

If KnitML were an adopted standard, there would be many available patterns in KnitML and many types of knitting software written to manipulate them.

"Software written to manipulate them" answers the question. And even if it didn't, some of the things the project aims to make possible would demand a rendering program.

# Size a pattern up or down to any size, not just the sizes that come with the pattern
# Recalculate a pattern for your gauge rather than the one that came with the pattern
# Explicitly write out mathematically complex directions (e.g., "increase 34 stitches evenly over 171 stiches")

Heck, they even use the word "render" in the bullet points. So, yeah. I'm apparently not so good at this "reading" thing.

Ha. At least I'll enjoy practicing.

#890 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: December 13, 2007, 01:12 PM:

A.J. Luxton #875: The idea of reading as an activity for either recreation or personal development seems alien to a lot of my students. That's a large part of the problem. Add to that a tendency to write papers at the last minute (for which they have no excuse since the essay assignments and due dates are set out for them in the syllabi), and the results can be the reverse of fascinating.

I did try out the suggestion to have a student read an offending passage aloud on one student; that student stopped after about 30 seconds and agreed with me that what had been written was incoherent.

#891 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: December 13, 2007, 02:06 PM:

Susan,

Relevant only as an extremely tiny molehill to your daunting Everest: I find in myself a tendency to avoid reading emails concerning topics I'm stressed about. I did say this was a molehill; topics tend to be "that project I'm really late on" or "possibly heated responses to that possibly clueless post I made on BBS/Blog Thread/Mailing List". Regardless, once the cycle of avoidance starts, I find it hard to stop, and the very existence of the thing I'm avoiding (and the fact that I am avoiding it) becomes a source of increasing stress and stomach acid until I finally force myself to read what's there to be read. After that, [my inbox/the blog thread] becomes no longer a source of stress and I sleep better.

Which is to say, my own personal experience suggests that dealing with the scary communication in some way is loads better, long run, than giving it the power to continue to be a mental area of radiation poisoning in one's life. But I can't overemphasize that this personal anecdote registers maybe a .01, if that, on the scale your current situation weighs in as a 100 on.

In any case, I hope that this turns out to be the case for you, as you've stated intent to read the darn thing. Lots of energy, strength, and indomitableness to you.

#892 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: December 13, 2007, 02:56 PM:

Emma Woodhouse, rugose, squamous, and rich, with a subterranean home and carnivorous disposition, seemed to unite some of the worst curses of existence; and had lived nearly twenty-one thousand years beneath the world with every intention to distress and vex it.

#893 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: December 13, 2007, 02:57 PM:

Oh, blast! That was for Abi's elevator game. Damned tabs.

#894 ::: Kathryn from Sunnyvale ::: (view all by) ::: December 13, 2007, 03:43 PM:

Following up on my own 867... here's a made-up example of what I'm asking about Wikipedia.

Imagine an editor on WP called themselves "TheTeresaNielsenHayden." TTNH mostly makes weird edits- poorly written, filled with subtle errors- about science fiction. TTNH also insinuates that Tor has poor finances.

Would the real TNH have any recourse with WP about this editor and the fakeTNH name?

#895 ::: morgue ::: (view all by) ::: December 13, 2007, 04:31 PM:

Has anyone else noticed that "woot" acronymises its own award? Word of 07 => Wo07 = woot!

(Can I say acronymises? :P)

#896 ::: R. M. Koske ::: (view all by) ::: December 13, 2007, 04:38 PM:

I'm rather startled to realize that I think there are two separate correct spellings for w00t, with specific usages attached to them. As the word of the year, I want it spelled with zeroes. In dialogue, I want it spelled with the letter O. Zeroes look wrong in dialogue, and the letter O looks wrong everywhere else.

I have the feeling that the letter O will become the common spelling.

#897 ::: Todd Larason ::: (view all by) ::: December 13, 2007, 05:05 PM:

Kathryn @894 -- I was hoping someone who Actually Knew would answer, but seeing as that hasn't happened, I'll chime in with the little I think I know.

Ahh, here we go; what you want is section 2.4 of WP:USERNAME:

You are allowed to edit under your real name, but you are not allowed to edit under the real name of a well-known living person unless either (1) you are that person, or (2) you aren't that person, but it is your real name, and you make it clear that you are not that person. Usernames that are real names of well-known people may be blocked until it can be confirmed that the user in question is using their real name. If you aren't famous, but share the name of a famous person, it is best to leave a note on your user page making this explicit.

If you are a well-known living person who is blocked for using your real name, please don't take offense! Realize that we block such usernames to protect you from being impersonated. If you want to use your real name to edit, it is fine, but you will need to prove you are who you say you are. The best way to do this is through Wikipedia:OTRS, by sending an email to info-en-q@wikimedia.org.

So whether or not TNH would have recourse would depend on whether she is "well-known", which sounds similar-to-but-different-from the question of whether or not she's "notable". There be dragons.

For the curious, how I found this: I knew the policy had been used against Stephen Colbert, in a rather transparent blackmail attempt by an admin trying to get mentioned on the Colbert Report; see the User:Stephencolbert for that trail, and note that that user made edits that Stephen Colbert was shown making on-air, at their recording time rather than air time, so there was already no doubt as to the account's authenticity.

#898 ::: Susan ::: (view all by) ::: December 13, 2007, 05:17 PM:

One Of Those Days, the sort that starts out with a perfectly fine paid blood donation for research (normal control for DNA study of Crohn's disease), then goes downhill rapidly when what ought to be a routine pre-op physical and clearance for surgery turns into a nightmare of crackling lungs and a possible diagnosis of surgery-killing pneumonia, resulting in me getting excessively cozy with a chest x-ray machine ("now press your chest up against it and wrap your arms around it") and a diagnosis of No, They're Just Mysterious Non-Pneumonia Crackles, and culminating in another blood draw that shouldn't have been necessary and a return walk back to work that has left me covered in a fine layer of sleet and severely pissed off at the three-hour hole punched in my day.

#899 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: December 13, 2007, 05:20 PM:

Susan (898): Yikes! My sympathies. I'm glad it wasn't pneumonia, at least.

#900 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 13, 2007, 05:22 PM:

Susan... Better a 3-hour-hole in your day than the Bad News you could have received.

#901 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 13, 2007, 05:28 PM:

Today's Christmas lunch/potluck left me feeling bizarre. The other participants are people who work on the same floor but not with me. (I'm in New Mexico while my co-workers are in San Francisco.) One thing in the conversation led to another and, before you knew it, they were making cracks about atheists and Christmas. If I had opened my mouth, they'd have felt uncomfortable after my (polite) comments would have made them realize they didn't know what they were talking about.

#902 ::: Susan ::: (view all by) ::: December 13, 2007, 05:43 PM:

Family play-by-mail psychodrama update:

I actually read the card this morning before getting sucked into work and annoying medical procedures. I get half a gold star on question #1 - c: my half-sister has been diagnosed with Asperger's, combined with b: he thinks that since it's hereditary (really?) either my full-sister or I might have it as well, so he is sending me (and my full-sister) an informative book. And, surprisingly, I got a pleasant surprise on #2 - f: no attempt at a guilt trip. I'm almost impressed. He might be sending the book to my sister as well as camouflage, of course, since while it's not a completely off-target guess for me, I can't think of anyone more completely un-Asperger's than my sister.

Since a note by mail is pleasingly nonaggressive (he's noticed that I ignore his email!) I might even answer it, especially since this happens to present the opening for the one thing I might want, which is private access to my half-sister without the presence of my father, stepmother, and half-brother as well. I suspect that if I present myself as slightly Aspie I might be able to arrange this on the basis of Shared Disorder Bonding or somesuch.

I'll have to consider whether the girl might still be worth the effort at this point (the half-sibs are 12, I think, close to 13) and whether I am charitable enough to walk voluntarily back into the family psychodrama on a support mission for a kid I've only met once and who might be a completely lost cause by now. I'm reasonably sure this isn't a honey-trap - I don't think he's aware that I'm interested in the girl, but even if he was, getting her diagnosed with Asperger's just to mess with my head seems a little over the top even for him.

In any event, I am not upset or freaked, just sort of coldly considering the pros and cons of responding to this.

#903 ::: Kathryn from Sunnyvale ::: (view all by) ::: December 13, 2007, 05:46 PM:

Todd @897,

Thanks- that does seem to be all they have, which doesn't get into 'using the real name of a non-notable' person. TNH probably has recourse, because she is notable enough to have a WP entry.

But say it isn't TNH but "Slushreader McFan" whose name gets used, where SMcF isn't famous, but he is working in the publishing industry. The editor using 'TheSlushreaderMcFan' makes weird and bad edits. Zero chance that TSMcF has that real name. Any recourse?

#904 ::: Todd Larason ::: (view all by) ::: December 13, 2007, 05:53 PM:

Kathryn @903 -- nothing I know of, but that's where we hope someone who's been way more active there chimes in. Vicki might know if she's around; maybe mentioning her will set her ears a-burning.

#905 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: December 13, 2007, 06:26 PM:

wrt an aspect of the discussion of Susan's issue: memories are tricky things -- expecting the inflicter of pain to remember as clearly as the inflictee doesn't work. (It's not dishonesty, just how important events were \at/ \that/ \time/.) That doesn't make the inflictee's pain any less -- seeing it as inflicted casually instead of meaningfully can make it worse -- but it can provide a path to move forward IFF desired.

There are cases where realizing in retrospect that the inflicter was probably drunk is also helpful; "in vino veritas" is less than half of the truth.

No, I don't think my experiences measure up to many mentioned here; especially because I spent a decade (long after the episodes) listening to parent and much-more-present-for-abuse younger sibling complaining about each other, so I have some sense how much worse things can be -- at least when the inflictee isn't already partly moved out. But I have \some/ perspective.

#906 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: December 13, 2007, 06:29 PM:

I've always spelled it w00t because of l337speak, but as an acronym, "Word of 07" will be outdated in exactly 18 days.

Of course you know about usr/bin/w00t, right? This maybe should have gone in the webcomics thread, but, come on, that is so last week.

Susan: Sounds like you've had a mixed day. Condolences on the extra PITA today turned out to be, but glad you're not seriously ill and that the letter turned out to be more benign than expected.

#907 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: December 13, 2007, 06:30 PM:

Susan 902: I'm glad that turned out so well. In fact, had it been nicer than that you would have been suspicious (and so would I).

#908 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: December 13, 2007, 06:41 PM:

Susan, I'm happy that the letter thing seems to have turned out for the better, and my sympathies on your medical issues. Hope all goes well with that.

#909 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: December 13, 2007, 06:58 PM:

Hey, look! It only took 8 days for Abi's first thread to approach the event horizon!

#910 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 13, 2007, 07:12 PM:

TexAnne @ 909... I noticd that too and was wondering if this was something of a record. As for the event horizon, it wasn't a very good movie - what little of it I saw anyway.

#911 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: December 13, 2007, 07:25 PM:

Yay Susan for being healthy, and also for not having undue stress to deal with from the card.

Not only did the thread spool out quickly, it did so with a fiery debate and two games going on at the same time. Lots of conversation happening.

#912 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: December 13, 2007, 07:28 PM:

Susan #898: I'm glad it turned out not to be pneumonia. That would have been a lot of no fun.

#913 ::: Kathryn from Sunnyvale ::: (view all by) ::: December 13, 2007, 08:03 PM:

Todd @904,

I have to imagine it's happened before, but I wasn't finding any examples other than the notables.

Asking on WP itself- at least in any form that mentions TheSlushreaderMcFan- would just be an evil-bat-signal that someone has noticed. That's why I've told the real S. McFan not to do that. Otherwise I'm out of ideas. (perhaps, because I'm in Silicon Valley, I can see if I have a (foa)foaf at WP. hmmmm.)

#914 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: December 13, 2007, 08:39 PM:

Susan @ 902: That sounds like just about the best possible outcome. I'm glad for you! (Also, yay on the not pneumonia.)

Being able to support your half-sister and let her know that no, she isn't crazy, would be--like you said--a substantial act of grace.

#915 ::: Dan Layman-Kennedy ::: (view all by) ::: December 13, 2007, 08:58 PM:

Susan, that sounds like about as good an outcome as could reasonably hoped for. I breathed a sigh of relief for your sake. (My sympathy for the otherwise crappy day, though.)

#916 ::: A.J. Luxton ::: (view all by) ::: December 13, 2007, 10:13 PM:

Yay Susan -- and best of luck in anything that comes next.

#918 ::: Dave Luckett ::: (view all by) ::: December 13, 2007, 10:44 PM:

Fragano #805. I speak no Spanish at all. I have not consulted any reference. Did you ask the student, "Do you believe that Spanish is very easy to learn?"

If you did, I think I might minor in Spanish.

#919 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 13, 2007, 11:54 PM:

Mary Dell @ 917... I especially like the one about Tantalus.

#920 ::: Tania ::: (view all by) ::: December 14, 2007, 01:10 AM:

Susan, I'm so glad that it turned out fairly ok.

Paula, good luck! I hope you find something satisfying, fulfilling, enjoyable, and lucrative.

#921 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: December 14, 2007, 02:36 AM:

Serge @ #919:

You did notice that there's more than one page of them, right? (The "Espionage" poster on page 2 is also pretty good.)

#922 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: December 14, 2007, 02:40 AM:

Nicole @ #891: I did say this was a molehill; topics tend to be "that project I'm really late on" or "possibly heated responses to that possibly clueless post I made on BBS/Blog Thread/Mailing List". Regardless, once the cycle of avoidance starts, I find it hard to stop, and the very existence of the thing I'm avoiding (and the fact that I am avoiding it) becomes a source of increasing stress and stomach acid until I finally force myself to read what's there to be read.

Emmett's Law: When you get around to doing it, what ever it is, it will require less effort and mental stress to complete than you've expended on avoiding it.

#923 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: December 14, 2007, 03:00 AM:

Stefan Jones, #722, all right! I was so disappointed I'd missed Hogfather, but I put it in my book so it will go on my schedule!

Pyre, #723, I once had a cat who learned doorknobs early, but was still working on deadbolts when he died.

Jon H, #834, Ghu no, you want to put it in the recycling container for mixed paper! What the heck makes you think he's not a stalker? My father got into my house and went through my stuff. My father tried to have me declared incompetent during my second renal failure so he could take everything I own (he wanted to kill my cats!). I don't know what Susan's problem with her dad is, but folks like us tend to recognize them. When you get a present from a manipulative bastard, you don't want to do anything that goes along with his plans. I haven't accepted presents in a looooong time and even the stupid cards only come on my birthday and Christmas. I'm sure the city saves a bit of money that they don't go in the trash.

Serge, #835, yes, I got NZ dairy goods spammed, too.

Susan, #898, Eeek! At least it's not pneumonia!

Susan, #902, the card was not as bad as you thought!

#924 ::: Pyre ::: (view all by) ::: December 14, 2007, 06:58 AM:

w00t! Jumper trailer! A conflict involving people who can "jump" (teleport) to any place or time!

Is credit going to Poul Anderson (e.g. There Will Be Time)?

#925 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: December 14, 2007, 07:01 AM:

Dave Luckett #918: Close enough!

#926 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 14, 2007, 07:08 AM:

Paul A @ 921... "Apollo: And you thought the girls wore short skirts on this show."

#927 ::: Pyre ::: (view all by) ::: December 14, 2007, 07:17 AM:

Susan:

Points for courage.

Many, many, many points for courage.

#928 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: December 14, 2007, 07:30 AM:

Pyre @ 924: Why wouldn't credit go to Steven Gould?

#929 ::: Paul Duncanson ::: (view all by) ::: December 14, 2007, 07:34 AM:

Pyre @ 924: Is credit going to Poul Anderson (e.g. There Will Be Time)?

Probably not. It is based on the Steven Gould novel of the same name (which I liked quite a bit).

#930 ::: Pyre ::: (view all by) ::: December 14, 2007, 07:36 AM:

Jon H: Between the dispute on this thread and at Pharyngula -- in both places about Terry Pratchett's recent diagnosis, and here also about others' family relationships -- readers might easily get the impression that your posts claim more knowledge about others' life situations than those others have themselves, since for you to be right they'd have to be wrong.

Such a claim would be so palpably ludicrous (and offensive) that I have trouble believing you intended to make it -- even though reading and re-reading your posts leaves me with no alternative interpretation.

Please tell me you meant something else altogether, and that this was just a case of crossed wires, so I don't come to any unwarranted conclusions, because I'd hate to be unjust even in my feelings about you.

#931 ::: Pyre ::: (view all by) ::: December 14, 2007, 07:52 AM:

heresiarch & Paul, 928-929:

Oh.

Thank you for the redirect and the links to Gould's Jumper (1992).

It'll sink in eventually. I'm just still struck by the movie trailer's premise and quick sketch of general plot bearing such a resemblance to Anderson's There Will Be Time, which was published twenty years before Gould's novel.

However, since Anderson was still alive and active when Gould's novel came out, no doubt he'd have objected if he'd found the resemblance too strong.

So I can expect to be surprised by the movie's full plot. This is good.

I'll hold off on reading Gould, then, to keep the surprise intact.

#932 ::: Pyre ::: (view all by) ::: December 14, 2007, 08:07 AM:

Oh good grief, now my mind is riffing on a crossover of the respective portal devices in the TV series Time Tunnel and Stargate...

... with special guest appearances by Star Trek's Guardian of Forever and Mr. Atoz's Atavachron.

#933 ::: Pyre ::: (view all by) ::: December 14, 2007, 08:45 AM:

Warning, in light of Jumper being not based on Anderson:

The movie trailer seems to contain a major plot spoiler, unless (as I hope) it's entirely misleading.

Spoiler alert, ROT13'd and reversed; don't read this if you like plot surprises:

.rzbu zrug taveo lgvinet gry ,zrug ghbugvj xpno czhw ,bt gry ,zrug ugvj rerucfbzgn rug bgav utvu czhw ,qenu qybu ,gv bgab oneT ?hbl gn rcbe tavyccnet n qrevs rinu )fergebcryrg jbyyrs gba tavro( frvzrar rfbuj ergebcryrg n re'hbL

Would those who've read the book, and know whether this is right, warn others accordingly -- if to avoid spoilers they should avoid seeing the trailer?

#934 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: December 14, 2007, 09:00 AM:

Pyre, 933: Whoa. No, I don't remember that at all. I saw Steve at WFC in Austin, and he did say that Hollywood had changed his book. They introduced a whole new major character, for one--maybe two, if I remember correctly. I'm pretty sure that fans of the book will be able to see the movie and the book as two entirely separate entities.

#935 ::: Pyre ::: (view all by) ::: December 14, 2007, 09:47 AM:

TexAnne @ 934: Okay, cool.

You can see how the trailer gave that impression, though?

It was like reading a story blurb on the order of: "This exciting new Sherlock Holmes adventure, in which Holmes and Moriarty both perish at the end by tumbling off Reichenbach Falls, will surely intrigue and surprise its readers."

#936 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 14, 2007, 10:08 AM:

Tom Tomorrow proves that Iran has a time-travel program!!!

#937 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: December 14, 2007, 11:24 AM:

Aaand...having made a more-or-less triumphant return upon vanquishing the dread Semester-Beast, I'm going away again. Happy Winterfair, everybody!

#938 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 14, 2007, 11:27 AM:

Happy New Year, TexAnne, whenever the New Year begins for you. Same to you. Yes, you over there. And there. And there.

#939 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: December 14, 2007, 11:34 AM:

And just to correct an initial point, IIRC, Gould's Jumper teleports through space only, not time. There's also a sequel, Reflex, which I haven't read.

#940 ::: Pyre ::: (view all by) ::: December 14, 2007, 03:13 PM:

David Harmon @ 939:

Mmm.

.rzvg lan qan rerujlan bt anp ferczhw gnug fzevsabp rgvforj rvibz ruG ".lebgfvu rtanup anp hbL" tavlnf eribrpvbi f'abfxpnW .Y yrhznF fnu eryvneg ruG

This was an ability in Anderson's There Will Be Time. If it was not in Gould's Jumper, then I wonder if there's been some story-swapping, á la Blade Runner.

#941 ::: Lexica ::: (view all by) ::: December 14, 2007, 04:07 PM:

Pacific Coast Brewing? *ears perk up* I wasn't sure if I would be able to make the get-together on the 18th (being in pre-solstice hermit mode and currently recovering from a cold), but considering that Pacific Coast is four blocks from my office, I think the Universe is telling me to stop being a hermit for the evening.

#942 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 14, 2007, 04:15 PM:

Lexica @ 941... So you will definitely show up? Perfect! We'll start at 6pm, but others may show up later. Just ask for the Making Light group.

#943 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: December 14, 2007, 05:53 PM:

Todd @ 296: Yes, it was the music taste, although geekiness and organization in the service of completism are no crimes. And your addendum did, in fact, increase the attractiveness!

Here's the next ten on my iTunes shuffle, so you have a chance to back away:

Memorare The Crüxshadows
Johnny & Sally Stealing From Peter
San Quentin Johnny Cash
Ever Fallen In Love Thursday (fairly faithful cover of the original Buzzcocks version)
Home Of The Brave Black 47
Running To Stand Still U2
Piano Man Billy Joel
The Ash Grove Lenahan
Take Lots With Alcohol Alkaline Trio
The Schooner Lake Set Gaelic Storm

And it took me so long to respond because I've been coming home tired from long days of making biscotti, florentines, gingersnaps, and rolled butter cookies. And a lot of cheesecakes. Christmas cookie platter season...

#944 ::: Paul Duncanson ::: (view all by) ::: December 14, 2007, 07:09 PM:

Pyre @ 940: I don't see anything in the trailers or the web site that mentions time travel at all. Every ancient structure is shown in a ruined state and the words you quote are fairly common phrases that are often used to refer to non-time-travelling experiences.

If I offer to bake a cake for someone at "any time" that wouldn't normally be taken to mean that I can bake them one on June 5th 1974 if they ask for it and none of the people who have previously been said to have "changed history" have been time travellers.

If time travel was a feature of jumping in the movie, surely it would be a big enough selling point that they would show it somewhere in the trailer.

#945 ::: Soon Lee ::: (view all by) ::: December 14, 2007, 07:45 PM:

Serge #835, Fragano Ledgister #843 and Marilee #923:

Do canned butter and canned cheese from New Zealand go well with spiced ham?*

*Asking as a curious New Zealander.

#946 ::: Pyre ::: (view all by) ::: December 14, 2007, 08:40 PM:

Paul @ 944: Besides Jackson's "You can change history" in the trailer, the website has a "CIA briefing paper" saying: "They have used their abilities for personal gain, to escape their enemies and to change the course of history."

Now in a poetic (or trite and trivial) sense any action by any person may be said "to change [the course of] history", but it would be odd for a briefing paper to use that phrase in that sense, especially when stressing "any time" by repetition.

#947 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: December 14, 2007, 09:03 PM:

Pyre: I haven't seen the trailers, myself, so I can't comment on them.

Nor had I previously seen anyone combine rot13 and back-to-front reversal! That one took a moment to figure out! ;-)

#948 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: December 14, 2007, 09:54 PM:

TexAnne@934: Pyre's first comment is \not/ totally unrelated; it sounds like a crude combination of two events in the book, combined with typical Hollywood souping-up of the book's reasoned limits. Pyre: one or the other is going to be a spoiler; you should choose which. The book is very good (not just for an early work), even if a bit wish-fulfilling.
various, wrt credits: Gould's dedication notes Bester as the progenitor of the rogue-teleporter story; I'd love to see The Stars My Destination (featuring PyrE, not Pyre) as a movie, but replacing the expository lumps at the beginning would be tricky (and without them, a lot of the action is senseless).
wrt changing history, even Pyre's last comment: intelligence agencies tend to believe they're in control, so they could say anyone disrupting their plans was changing history. Or Hollywood could have decided that some of the fast work was implausible without time travel as well as teleportation; I'll wait (and see, unless the reviews are bad -- I no longer have the energy to see even bad movies just because they're SF).

#949 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: December 14, 2007, 10:55 PM:

From the blurb on the YouTube Jumper Trailer: "A genetic anomaly allows a young man to teleport himself anywhere. He discovers this gift has existed for centuries and finds himself in a war that has been raging for thousands of years between "Jumpers" and those who have sworn to kill them."

Say whaaa? Either they're borrowing a lot from the second book (which I haven't read yet) or they are engaging in some serious re-writing.

I really liked Jumper as a kid. It had a lot about him testing the exact limits of his powers, trying to figure out how exactly it works. This definitely appealed to my nerdy info-cravings. It also, interestingly, features one of the most dead-on, accurate cover illustrations of all time. It actually depicts an actual scene from the book! And is a good cover!

So I hope they don't screw it up too bad, or (alternately) screw it up so bad I can pretend it's a totally different story.

#950 ::: Pyre ::: (view all by) ::: December 14, 2007, 10:57 PM:

CHip @ 948: Yes, Bester had a whole society of teleporters with different ranges, and one essentially unlimited rogue. You know the plot.

Anderson had (1) a time-jumper, (2) who encounters others of his kind, (3) and an oppressive subgroup who would enslave or kill the others, (4) then fights back.

Here are the Jumper trailers. Perhaps the "crude combination" is in how clips are sequenced therein -- which may bear no resemblance to the sequence of scenes in the actual movie.

#951 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: December 15, 2007, 12:34 AM:

Pyre, #931, we will all be surprised by the movie's plot. It takes the idea of the book and changes it into a shoot-it-up with a different protagonist. They had Gould write a new novel to go with the movie: Jumper: Griffin's Story (the editorial reviews are mostly about the original Jumper).

heresiarch, #949, Reflex is great. If you liked Jumper, you should read Reflex. I have no opinion yet on the movie or new book which are completely different people and stories.

#952 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: December 15, 2007, 12:07 PM:

Soon Lee #945: Canned 'cheddar' from the Land of the Long White Cloud does go with 'spiced ham' and other 'luncheon meat', as anyone who has lived in the Jamaican countryside can tell you.

#953 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: December 16, 2007, 01:08 AM:

If sixty-nine is an intimate number, lover and beloved curled up together, yin and yang, light and shadow, all of that…then what can we say of ninety-six? A number of estrangement, back to back and curled up in silence, lovers who no longer speak?

This is a curious and ironic thread heading...the coming Tuesday night gathering that was organized in this thread has triggered a quarrel between my longtime SO and myself. (She would not wish me to give more details, and I will not do so.)

It's something that's been a long time in coming, and I hope that in the end our relationship will be stronger for it, but right now there is a significant chance that we may end up apart instead.

#954 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: December 16, 2007, 01:14 AM:

David Goldfarb @ 953 ... best outcome to thee and she, whatever that may be, divergence or convergence.

#955 ::: Dave Luckett ::: (view all by) ::: December 16, 2007, 04:53 AM:

Canned cheese? Canned cheese?

For the love of Ghu and all his little piglets, why?

#956 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: December 16, 2007, 05:34 AM:

David Goldfarb @953:

I am sorry to hear it. I liked her a lot when I met her at Easter. I hope you can work it out.

#957 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: December 16, 2007, 09:31 AM:

David Goldfarb @ 953... I am so very sorry.

#958 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: December 16, 2007, 10:48 AM:

David Goldfarb #953: I hope that matters are resolved amicably. You have my sympathy.

#959 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: December 16, 2007, 10:35 PM:

David, I hope things work out. I've heard of her from you for a long time and feel like I know her to some extent.

#960 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: December 16, 2007, 10:41 PM:

A commenter on Andy Wheeler's blog* brought up this WashPost blog post Great Sci Fi for People Who Think They Don't Like Sci Fi because the WP writer lists only fairly old books. I skimmed down the long list of comments and noticed that there are very few books by female authors listed until you get to Faren Miller's post at the bottom.

*Andy was complaining that Itzkoff's piece on SF books for presidents doesn't actually require Itzkoff to have read SF recently.

#961 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: December 22, 2007, 04:49 AM:

A brief update: Katie and I went to see The Golden Compass last night (*) and based on how things went I have strong reason to hope that we're getting through this.

(*) I enjoyed it, and it seemed reasonably faithful to the book; though I doubt I would have gone to see it if it weren't that Katie wanted to.

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