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March 17, 2014

Open thread 195
Posted by Abi Sutherland at 05:58 PM *

For many years, I had a drawer in my bindery that was simply “the tool drawer”. It had hammers, saws, knives, sharpeners, awls, scissors, planes, band sticks*, pliers, a brayer, screwdrivers, and assorted similar gadgetry.

When I moved to a new workspace a couple of years ago, I had to split that category of items across two drawers. I did it without much conscious thought. The rough distribution came out as {hammers, band sticks, pliers, brayer, screwdrivers} and {saws, knives, sharpeners, awls, scissors, planes}. It was only about a year later that I understood my own internal logic. One drawer held tools for putting together and building; the other held tools for breaking down and making smaller.

And it was only last week that I realized, with entirely self-conscious irony, the names of these drawers really must be “lumpers” and “splitters”.

* long wooden sticks with specific-sized grooves cut in them, used to form spine leather over raised bands

Continued from Open thread 194. Continued in Open thread 196.

Comments on Open thread 195:
#1 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2014, 06:13 PM:


Cute video showing the obsessive symmetry of shots in Wes Anderson films:

Also shows the bizarre variety of Wes Anderson films.

#2 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2014, 06:16 PM:

I'd never heard of a brayer before.

I had to look it up.

I may have used one without knowing its name.

#3 ::: janetl ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2014, 06:40 PM:

Stefan Jones @ 1: The perfect centering is almost disturbing!

I just saw a little video that I found charming: Superman finds a GoPro camera

This is now the last week of my job. I'm taking time off next week, while in the final throes of moving. I finished the "document stuff for people to pick things up after I'm gone" last week, so today, and probably the rest of this week, is peaceful.

#4 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2014, 06:41 PM:

I mentioned this on the Sugar Problem thread, but when I was forced to divide my kitchen gadget drawers, the split wound up being "pastry" and "savory". With a Microplane in each.

#5 ::: Allan Beatty ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2014, 06:52 PM:

That is how my office supplies are divided up. Scotch tape, staples, brass fasteners, and paper clips are all together. Scissors and hole punchers are on another shelf.

#6 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2014, 06:56 PM:

"Superman finds a GoPro" is hilarious!

#7 ::: Henry Troup ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2014, 07:22 PM:

My toolbox logic is similar. I have tools of rotation, cutting tools, tools for applying force, and some special sections, one for measuring and marking, and one for electrical tools.

#8 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2014, 07:40 PM:

janetl, #3: Cute video, but I take issue slightly with the ending. Superman isn't careless with his strength; he wouldn't leave a crater in someone's yard for no good reason. Still, that's a minor flaw in an otherwise-worthy achievement.

Re kitchen gadgets, ours seem to have split themselves out between "spoons, spatulas, long forks, and mashing tools" and "everything else".

#9 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2014, 08:04 PM:

Our utensil drawers are Metal and Plastic, since we have roughly similar volumes of each.

#10 ::: Tim Illingworth ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2014, 08:10 PM:

Or sharps and flats...

#11 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2014, 08:31 PM:

We take the pummel since we have to ride,
no need to fumble, there’s a ready flow;
though words are warmer, life retains its glow
both here and where we see high mountain’s side
wake in new green. Our hearts no longer hide
from the assertion that they truly know
what is their will. We’ve seen the golden blow
after the panic and we share the pride.
No worse disaster that we care to mark
in daily news or nightly tale of care
can come so close, or make our souls to smart;
but what’s important is the end of dark
erasure of the hard weight of despair
from where it lay upon each normal heart.

#12 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2014, 09:02 PM:

Superman finds a GoPro is awesome. :) Thanks!

#13 ::: estelendur ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2014, 09:04 PM:

apropos odaiawai @916/194, I find it a fascinating example of linguistic drift that one can *sell* something for a "usurious price."

It's a bit like paying interest on the printer, I suppose (or razor), since you must pay it if you want to keep getting the benefit.

#14 ::: Miramon ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2014, 09:22 PM:

Oh well, sell it at an uxorious price instead, then.

#15 ::: HelenS ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2014, 09:32 PM:

My kitchen things are mostly separated into cutters (broadly interpreted, including peelers, graters, can openers, etc.) and stirrers/servers. Stirrers next to the stove, cutters by the prep surface.

#16 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2014, 11:10 PM:

Spoons and spatulas / flippers: Heavy ceramic urn at the back of the counter.

Big knives: Wooden block to the left of the stove.

Smaller knives, graters, pizza cutters, spring-loaded clips, scissors: Big drawer to the left of the stove.

Beaters and other beater attachments have their own drawer.

#17 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2014, 11:39 PM:

We have a lot of drawers and cabinets of kitchen implements, and some that live in jars/racks next to the stove. Their division is not rational, though it is practical -- the most-used items are near where they're used, the least-used are in the basement pantry. I mean -- how often do we use the abelskiver pan, or the meatloaf pan (with its rack that lifts the meatloaf out and drains it), or the turkey-roasting pan? We've got portions of most of the methods mentioned here in use.

#18 ::: Cal Dunn ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2014, 01:19 AM:

The eating cutlery is above the stove, in a pen holder, since the Fowler's jar broke. Teaspoons have their own container, and there's a third for my teeny wooden spice spoons and the wooden honey thingy that hasn't been seasoned yet. I put the preserve spoon (metal with holes in it) in with the spice spoons, because it can't be used for eating. My beloved puts it with the eating cutlery, presumably because it's regular-spoon-sized and not made of wood.

The "sharp" knives are also above the stove, so they don't rattle around in the drawer and get blunt. And they stay above the stove, because we never use them, because they're blunt.

All other kitchen implements live in the drawer under the sink, except for the big ladle, the big whisk, the wooden spoon and the enormous lifter, which live in the cupboard under the sink with some of the baking dishes. My mezzaluna knife is in storage and I want it back.

Crockery lives in the microwave. We can't run the microwave (not enough power) so it's become a cupboard with an air-tight door. It's great when you make too many pancakes for breakfast, put them in the microwave to keep the ants off, and then find them again when you're getting out the plates for dinner. Stealth dessert!

#19 ::: Cal Dunn ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2014, 01:21 AM:

And of course by "wooden spoon" I mean "rolling pin". I don't think we even have a wooden spoon.

#20 ::: Bruce Webb ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2014, 01:58 AM:

Hmm when I saw that split I immediately thought:
"sharps" vs "dulls". Or from the perspective of a hand wanting to wield a tool "dangerous" or "safe" when reachng into a tool bag/tool drawer. I mean I would feel pretty safe blindly rummaging through a drawer full of {hammers, band sticks, pliers, brayer, screwdrivers}, at worst you would scuff up a knuckle. But you would be a fairly moronic handyman to just blindly feel around in a bag/drawer of {saws, knives, sharpeners, awls, scissors, planes}. You can mostly grap the wrong end of a hammer or pair of pliers in the dark. Awls and wood planes? Not so much.

#21 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2014, 04:09 AM:

Bruce Webb @20:
from the perspective of a hand wanting to wield a tool "dangerous" or "safe" when reachng into a tool bag/tool drawer. I mean I would feel pretty safe blindly rummaging through a drawer full of {hammers, band sticks, pliers, brayer, screwdrivers}, at worst you would scuff up a knuckle. But you would be a fairly moronic handyman to just blindly feel around in a bag/drawer of {saws, knives, sharpeners, awls, scissors, planes}. You can mostly grap the wrong end of a hammer or pair of pliers in the dark. Awls and wood planes? Not so much.

One of the things I do with spare leather and spare time is to make cases and sheathes for things. So all my knives and awls have sheaths, my Japanese screw punch has a little case for its pointy bits, and my planes have protective wraps. And my saw still has its guard over the teeth.

Because ouch, otherwise.

#22 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2014, 04:12 AM:

I keep the teaspoons in a mug* near the kettle**, in the section of the kitchen devoted to tea/infusion making***. The mugs are also kept in a cupboard near this. For some reason this placement of the teaspoons right next to the tea and coffee confuses guests who can't find them in the cutlery drawer.

Near the stove I have the wooden and bamboo spoons and spatulas in a bamboo holder while the other large plain and slotted spoons, ladle etc which are commonly used in food prep are in a large tube which a bottle of single malt arrived in (I've weighted it wit a bag of sand in the bottom). All the other kitchen implements are higgledy-piggledy in one drawer.

* A "Space Station Freedom" mug, which I love having, since it never got built.
** Electric kettle, of course, this being the UK.
*** About 138 varieties of flavoured black teas, oolong, flavoured (and plain) green teas, flavoured and plain rooibos, and a variety of herbal infusions.

#23 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2014, 07:57 AM:

For some reason, the only tool found at the office, in plain sight among the paper reams shelves, is a hammer.

#24 ::: Cassy B. ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2014, 08:06 AM:

Serge Broom @23, to intimidate the computers into behaving? <grin>

#25 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2014, 09:26 AM:

Cassie B @ 24... Or for severe cases of Code Rage.

#26 ::: dotless ı ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2014, 09:43 AM:

Just on one side of the stove we have three upright containers which seem to be divided into

  1. wooden spoons, skewers, and spurtles (I suppose that's "long wooden things beginning with 's'");
  2. chopsticks (both cooking and eating); and
  3. spatulas, ladles, and other things that don't fit into categories #1 or #2.

Knives are on the other side.

#27 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2014, 10:20 AM:

I discovered yesterday that my waffle iron is not in the Appliances cabinet, the Small Appliances cabinet, or any of the top shelves. So I made pancakes instead. We have a mix of kitchen implements and a similar mix of kitchen ownership, for lack of a better word; one roommate does a lot more serious cooking and owns correspondingly more stuff. I have a middling amount, sufficient for me, as long as I can find it. And there are never enough spoons because I have a chocolate milk habit and if we skip dishes a few days in a row, we run out entirely.

Also, Abi, I have been considering bookbinding as a sort of revenge against the embroidered-books class I took some time ago. I want to show that all the ways in which my book is flawed are because of things outside my control and that I can do it better forever so there, Marilla! This seems like a terrible motive to take up a new and fairly intense craft, particularly when I have a crafting queue with deadlines. But you make it sound so organized and I can't help but cargo-cult myself into thinking that if I took up bookbinding, I would be more like you and that would be amazing.

#28 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2014, 10:41 AM:

Diatryma @27:

Actually, I'm organized partly because I have to be. I have far more tools than I need (and day I will talk about the sheer quantity of leather that I have, and the ways I've Ikea-hacked paper storage). This is the product of a year or two of being too busy to bind, but wanting to feel like I was "doing something toward binding".

Also, I'm morbidly addicted to hardware stores. They're like stationers, or yarn stores. Worse than gelaterias and pastry-shops.

And if it's any comfort, you should see the early bindings I have up on my moribund bookbinding instructional site. Click through to the binding notes, where I go into some detail about how I did...sub-optimal work.

I did a bookbinding demo for Fiona's class last Friday, and one of the things we talked about in the question time afterward was how I didn't start out making neat, tidy little books. "If you do something badly, and you want to do it better, you have to practice," I said in my needing-practice Dutch.

(That was a fun demo. Many of the questions afterward were less about the technical details of binding, and more about themselves: how do you deal with losing concentration?, asked the girl I know is terribly distractible. How do you learn a difficult skill? asked a boy who sounds like he's tempted to give up when things he tries go wrong. About half the time, the real question they were asking was what can you tell us about growing up? Nine-to-twelve year olds, right on the brink of puberty, looking for road maps, knowing I was foreign and wondering what parallax I could give.)

#29 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2014, 11:24 AM:

I left tools at work: screwdrivers and pliers. They have occasionally come in handy. (Also a bread knife, because of the occasional need to slice cakes and bread.)

#30 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2014, 12:03 PM:

I just remembered that I have a small hammer in my desk, wih a screwdriver inside its handle.

#31 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2014, 12:31 PM:

I have so many tool drawers I have to have categories for the categories. Which mostly works out to things that fit in this size drawer vs things that fit in that size drawer.

Turns out that files, drill bits, and jewelry saw blades are all one category. (That's also where the ice pick lives.) Key rings, locks, chains, and various O-rings are all one category. The chest-of-drawers on my desk contains things-that-connect-things-together, such as split rings, bulldog clips, and clothespins. That's also where salt wheels and their holders live because guinea pigs.

Ya gotcher tape drawer, yer string drawer (which includes light twine and found shoelaces) and yer Sculpy drawer. Two drawers for beads. Junque, which includes thumbtacks, little-screw-em-in loops and suchlike.

My acrylic paint has metastasized, and needs to be recollected and organized.

And on and on....

#32 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2014, 12:36 PM:

Jacque @31:

I categorize most of those things as "materials". I have about eight or nine Ikea little-drawers things with such contents as beads, vellum scraps, acrylic paints, oil paints, chicken foot leather and fishskin, thread, buttons, zippers, parchment, string/laces/waxed cord, lace and tapes, eelskins, and scented well as the Lumper Drawer and the Splitter Drawer.

And we Will Not Discuss the three boxes of fabric I spent the weekend organizing and folding into the maximally efficient shapes. Nor the Yarn Stash, oh no, not that...

#33 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2014, 12:44 PM:

Abi, since you place your tools in different drawers by philosophical category, putting the wrong tool in the wrong drawer would be a category mistake. Your use of philosophical tools makes me wonder if you could construct a solid intellectual framework?

#34 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2014, 12:53 PM:

Fragano @33:
Your use of philosophical tools makes me wonder if you could construct a solid intellectual framework?

Only if I could find someone to diagram it first: an intellectual-framework drawer. Probably from some bureau or other in government.

#35 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2014, 12:59 PM:

dcb @22: For some reason this placement of the teaspoons right next to the tea and coffee confuses guests who can't find them in the cutlery drawer.

You need a hyperlink. Maybe a nicely finished piece of wood, about teaspon sized, and label it "teaspoons near kettle"?

abi @28: Also, I'm morbidly addicted to hardware stores.

Oh boy, are you glad you don't live in driving distance of McGuckin's.

I went looking for fluid weight a couple of weeks back, and was chagrined to learn that McG's doesn't carry bird-shot by the pound anymore. They only have 25lb bags, which was much more than I needed. My guy Barry, though, had a flash of inspiration, and showed me over to the BB section, and I was able to purchase a suitable quantity of BBs (which come in 1lb, 5lb, and up quantities).

Nine-to-twelve year olds, right on the brink of puberty, looking for road maps, knowing I was foreign and wondering what parallax I could give.

Wow. This gives me goose-bumps. What were your answers?

abi @32: I categorize most of those things as "materials".

Huh. I suppose I would too. I hadn't thought about it. Given that I not infequently build my own tools, I guess the line between "tool" and "material" can get a little foggy sometimes.

chicken foot leather and fishskin

O.o For reals? What do you use these materials for? Fishskin I can kinda see, but it would never in a million years have occurred to me that leather from chicken feet would be a thing. Assuming of course, these are actually the thing the label claims, unlike, say, moleskin, which doesn't actually come from actual moles. To the best of my knowledge.

Nor the Yarn Stash, oh no, not that...

Heh. My Yarn Stash currently lives in a couple of bags hanging in the hall closet (along with my stock of embroidery floss). (Because I don't have drawers big enough—and besides, I got my current stock of drawers before yarn became an issue.) Well, except for the skeins that live in a bag over by the patio door with the Tetrion sculpture they're currently employed in building. (I keep forgetting about that one. It's a good sculpture to travel with because it's eye-catching, and doesn't require squirty substances to work on.)

#36 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2014, 01:00 PM:

Sometime this summer, if all goes well, I will move from a 940 square foot three-bedroom house to a 480 square foot living space: it will be one large room with a bathroom. My office (file cabinets, big bookshelf, desk with computer, big shredder, work table, etc.) will remain for now in the larger house, in one of the three bedrooms.

I spend a lot of time these days thinking about my possessions and making piles of things to give away, donate, or sell. (As you might imagine, the books are a real problem.) It's very interesting to look at every single one of one's possessions and think: Do I need this? Really? Are you sure?

#37 ::: Fade Manley ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2014, 01:01 PM:

Almost every single cabinet and drawer in my kitchen--and there are many, because it's a gloriously large kitchen--is labeled. Standard white sticky office label, like you'd put on a file folder. Because when we moved into a ginormous new house, and ended up with three people with different cooking habits and organizational expectations sharing space, well... It needed labeling. And my memory is poor anyway.

I have been increasingly tempted lately to add shelf labels to the pantry, which was originally organized based on what seemed logical to me, and is thus slowly and constantly falling out of that order, because it's not necessarily logical to anyone else. Adding labels seems more productive than me being suddenly annoyed that there are boxes of discount instant stuffing where the soda should be, or that the rice has been misfiled, or that the canned goods are not following the sweets-meats-vegetables-soups-savories progression.

#38 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2014, 01:26 PM:

Jacque @35:
What were your answers?

To the girl who struggles with concentration: Yes, sometimes I lose track of what I'm doing. What I try to do then is to take a little break, just five or ten minutes, and eat something if I'm hungry. I find that when I go back to my work after that, it's easier to focus.

To the boy who gives up: When I started, I made a lot of mistakes. But I kept practicing, and after a while, it got easier for me. Most people start out being bad at things and practice to get better. It's part of learning.

In general, I emphasized that a skill like that takes practice, but that if you are willing to keep trying, then things get easier. I tried to make it sound achievable.

For reals?

For reals. Chicken foot leather looks rather like the scaly trunk of a tree. It's quite thick and tough. It, eelskin and fish leather are all things I have onlaid onto other leather, or used as spine strips (well, not the chicken feet) for quarter bindings (bindings with leather spines and paper/cloth elsewhere).

I haven't used the chicken feet much, because they're a pain to pare thinnner. And the easiest way to use them on books—back-pared onlay—requires that you thin them down, stick them onto leather, turn the leather over, and pare the back of it to even out the thickness. It's fiddly work, themore fiddly the thicker the thing you're onlaying.

But they're really neat. I bought them from a very grumpy man who sells weird leathers (cow stomachs! manta ray skins!) out of The Hague.

Lizzy L @36:
You're moving away from the house I visited, then? Best of luck for the move.

Fade @37:
Because the workspace is my space, I haven't labeled any of the drawers. It feels kind of weird and very me as a result. But in a shared space, it would never work.

#39 ::: SamChevre ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2014, 02:04 PM:

Labeling, and what's in what drawers, make me remember that of all the things in imaginary futures, the one that made me go "I want!!!" is the RFID-enabled drawers and boxes, with all items tagged, in Cory Doctorow's Makers.

I'm the sort of person who can spend 10 minutes looking for a knife that is right in front of me, with an onion peel on it.

#40 ::: dotless ı ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2014, 02:13 PM:

HLN: Local couple go to see Veronica Mars movie, and consider both Kickstarter payment and theater admission fees money well spent.

I've been enjoying the news articles on box office numbers which are honest enough to say, "We have no idea how to interpret the numbers in this case."

#41 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2014, 02:17 PM:

AKICIML - My wife and I are planning a vacation this year to see the Fall foliage in New England. We've been thinking of various ways to do this, and I'd like to tap the good people here for ideas.

We plan on taking two or two and half weeks for this. I've been checking various options, such as

Bus Tour with overnights in various cities


Flying to Herndon VA (to visit with relatives for a day or two) and renting a car to proceed Northeast, and getting our reservations for accommodations planned in advance


Flying to Maine, and renting a car and proceeding south, again arranging hotels in advance


Driving from Houston to New England and back.

The last option allows us more freedom in packing and so forth. I plan on doing a lot of photography.

Any ideas or other options? Thanks!

#42 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2014, 02:29 PM:

abi @38: I bought them from a very grumpy man who sells weird leathers (cow stomachs! manta ray skins!) out of The Hague.

Now there's a character for an urban fantasy, if ever I heard one. The guy that Nicholas Cage's character would go see.

#43 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2014, 03:03 PM:

Steve C @41. If you choose the last option, I suggest either driving through the Arkansas Ozarks or up the Natchez Trace Parkway, and then across Tennessee either through the Smokies on 441, or using I-40 to Asheville, NC, and from there utilizing the Blue Ridge Parkway north.
Neither the Natchez Trace or the Blue Ridge Parkways are fast drives, but they are very beautiful. The latter meanders a lot, and taking some short cuts may prove advisable (which can justify making some stops for local history, crafts, or other entertainments.) Pisgah Inn in North Carolina is nice, with good food, and Blackberry Farm in Walland, Tennessee is famous for its food and events. There are quite a few old resorts in the North Carolina mountains, as people from farther south summered there before air conditioning made life pleasanter. The Jarrett House in Dillsboro is one such, with traditional food, including things like vinegar pie. Cashiers, Highlands, and Franklin are all towns designed for tourism. Expect mountain roads in all these places.

#44 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2014, 03:13 PM:

Re Teresa's Athene Synecdoche particle, does anyone else see a resemblance to Trogdor? (Thanks to my middle daughter for pointing this out.)

#45 ::: Rob Hansen ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2014, 03:14 PM:

Saturday was the day the final matches of this year's Six Nations Rugby Tournament over here, and who would be the eventually winner went down to the final minute of the final match. That one was Ireland v France and I was rooting for Ireland because of a) Celtic solidarity, b) Ireland losing would give England the tournament, and c) because Ireland winning moved Wales one position higher in the table. So Ireland won the match and the tournament and there was much celebrating. The following day I was in town and couldn't help but notice large numbers of people dressed in green and/or wearing those silly leprechaun hats. Since Ireland had played France in Paris this was a little weird. "I guess London Irish are *really* happy about winning," I thought to myself. Then I came across the big St. Patrick's Day party in Leicester Square. Funny how I hadn't noticed the date.

#46 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2014, 03:25 PM:

Abi #34: Since you're in the private sector, I wonder if you're on the proper premises?

#47 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2014, 03:27 PM:

abi at 38: No, I'm not moving away. I'll e-mail you.

#48 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2014, 03:35 PM:

Steve C. @41: Blue Ridge Parkway -- Mabry Mill, good food and stone ground grits. And wonderful breakfasts...

#49 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2014, 03:38 PM:

Fidelio and Lori - thanks for the suggestions!

#50 ::: shadowsong ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2014, 04:01 PM:

Miramon @14: A price that is submissive and overly fond of its wife? Is there a second definition of uxorious that I'm missing here?

Kitchen utensils: I have a deep sharps drawer, a utensil crock for spoons and spatulas and tongs and such, and a wide shallow drawer for anything not in the previous two locations (measuring cups and spoons, bottle openers, etc).

Crafting: I have one storage chest and one similarly sized cardboard box of fabric. I consider that quite restrained; my husband disagrees. I also have a big paint bucket full of crafting supplies, set in a big cardboard box with the surrounding space filled in by the rest of the crafting supplies. I think I need organization.

SamChevre @39: God yes! I've been describing that RFID item-and-bin tagging system to anyone who will listen. I'm just waiting for RFID tags to get smaller - the ones I can find at retail are at least the size of a quarter but the thickness of, like, three of them. I'm hoping for stickers.

#51 ::: Cygnet ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2014, 04:25 PM:

If only dogs could talk ...

We live in the middle of nowhere in Arizona's high country, right?

Had a dog show up today, with a tracking/training collar on like hunters use, and a second sturdy collar. Two different names on two different tags on his collars.

No answer at the first #.

Second number is his FORMER owner's number. Apparently, he's been missing since the fall bear hunt, which closed in iirc early December. She's going to try to reach the new owner and connect with us later.

Bet he has a few stories to tell ...

#52 ::: D. Potter ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2014, 04:35 PM:

Serge@30: Only one screwdriver inside? I have a matryoshka hammer. Somewhere in here.

#53 ::: Fade Manley ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2014, 04:44 PM:

Regarding the Catullus 63 particle, I am in awe of that video partly because the Galliambic meter makes me pull my hair out. It goes roughly like this:

˘ ˘ – ˘ – ˘ – –// ˘ ˘ – ˘ ˘ ˘ ˘ ×

However, as pretty much any instance of two short syllables could be two instead, and then adding elision... Well. I'm doing a lot of counting of syllables forward and backward, and swearing, as I try to figure out when a given adjective is nominative singular feminine, ablative singular feminine, nominative plural neuter, or accusative plural neuter.

There are an awful lot of words ending in -a in this poem. Sigh. But it's so lovely to listen to it being read properly, I can almost forgive Catullus for that.

#54 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2014, 04:53 PM:

Today I did a little rearranging of the shelves in my basement/garage.

One shelf is Kitchen Overflow. Pots and pans I don't use very often. I think I have too many, but I'm not sure which ones to donate.

I also think I'm going to donate my giant found colander:

It is beautiful, but I've never used it.

#55 ::: Melissa ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2014, 05:35 PM:

I have a sharp things drawer, a spatula drawer, a random things drawer, and a tableware drawer in my kitchen. If I mix sharp things in with anything else, I risk slicing open my finger. (Again)

#56 ::: janetl ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2014, 06:10 PM:

My husband cooks. I bake. The baking things are (mostly) segregated. Big things (whisk, ladles, etc.) are commingled in a crock on the counter.

We do not run out of teaspoons, despite only running the dishwasher every few days, because my mother was willing to behave in an ethically questionable manner. Way back when, Oneida ran an ad in women's magazines with a coupon. If you returned the coupon with 25 cents, they would mail you a teaspoon as a sample of the pattern you were interested in. The coupon said "one offer per person", but mom violated that shamelessly, amassing extra teaspoons in her pattern, and that of each of her daughters. When I married and registered a flatware pattern, I choose her's, so I got my own stash as wedding presents, and inherited her's when she passed away. I can vouch for the quality of that model of their flatware (since discontinued), as my pieces are 30 years old, and mom's are older, and they still look good—with the caveat that I don't put the knives in the dishwasher.

#57 ::: janetl ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2014, 06:23 PM:

I have many, many rubber (or silicon) scrapers. There's a huge one suitable for gently folding the large bowlful of beaten eggs and melted chocolate and butter that becomes flourless chocolate torte. I have tiny ones to get the last bit out of a bottle. There's a narrow one perfect for cleaning the fluffy lemon zest out of the back of the Microplane. There are medium sized ones just right for getting the last bits out of a KitchenAid bowl, and big dough scrapers for working with bread dough and whacking off hunks of cookie dough, and general counter cleanup.

OK, It's a personal problem. But all that lovely butter, chocolate, sugar...and so on...carefully melted/creamed/folded/sifted—why would you waste a single drop?!

#58 ::: Cadbury Moose ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2014, 06:51 PM:

Stefan @#54

That's not a colander, it's a netwok!

#59 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2014, 06:55 PM:

janetl @57:

Ah, but do you have a flessenlikker?

They're ubiquitous here, but almost unknown anywhere else. Apparently they were originally used to get vla (a kind of chocolate pudding) out of the bottles during the days of doorstep delivery; now they have a flat edge to do the same for the cardboard cartons we get at the supermarket.

#60 ::: janetl ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2014, 07:12 PM:

abi @ 59: Yes! I have one, and it's perfect for glass jars of applesauce. I shall call it a flessenlikker from now on, with a flourish.

#61 ::: Miramon ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2014, 08:11 PM:

Shadowsong@50. Yes, makes as much sense as a usurious price, and is more charming.

#62 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2014, 08:12 PM:

dcb, #22: That would confuse me too; I would look for teaspoons in the silverware drawer, because that's where we keep them. We don't have a "cutlery drawer" per se -- table knives are stored with the rest of the silverware, steak knives in the drawer next to it, cooking knives are in the knife block on the counter.

Lizzy, #36: I have some friends who did that, back before I met them. Their solution was to rent a storage unit, into which they offloaded whatever wouldn't fit into the new apartment. The original plan was for her to go over there and work on it periodically, as time permitted. Since tasks expand to soak up available time, that didn't happen, and they ended up just maintaining the unit until he died. My partner and I helped her clean it out -- there was a hard deadline because the property had been sold for development -- and the amount of the contents that went straight into the trash was disheartening for all of us, mostly her as she contemplated having paid rent to store that for all those years. I think of it as a cautionary tale.

Various: I need to do better labeling on the drawers in my workspace. But before I can do that, I need to get more of a handle on the organization of said workspace. On the good side, Container Store is now carrying the modular drawer organizers I use again -- they'd stopped for a while.

Steve C., #41: Driving up and back will soak up 3 days each way, and that's if you're like us and can drive at least 10 hours a day. OTOH, as you note, it does give you more flexibility in packing, which is a consideration.

If you fly, I strongly suggest shipping anything valuable via FedEx. You can ship a box ahead to your hotel and mark it "Hold For Arrival" -- we do that a lot. And it means your valuables don't have to go thru TSA "security" and risk being rifled. Expensive camera equipment would be at risk even going via carry-on.

Shadowsong, #50: Only two big storage bins of fabric? I'm with you; your husband doesn't know many crafts-type people, does he? :-)

#63 ::: oldster ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2014, 08:20 PM:


"Vla" is a very strange-looking Dutch word. On a hunch I checked to see if it is related to "flan"--yup, though a bit remotely:

From earlier vlade, from Middle Dutch vlade, from Old Dutch *flatho, *flatha, from Proto-Germanic *flaþô, *flaþōn (“flat cake”).

(1846) French flan (“cheesecake, custard tart, flan”), from Old French flaon, from Late Latin fladonem, accusative of flado (“flat cake”), from Old Frankish *flado (“flat cake”), from Proto-Germanic *flaþô (“flat cake”), from Proto-Indo-European *plat-, *pla- (“flat, broad”)

(both from Wiktionary)

Not clear that they have influenced each other very recently.

I suppose the flessenlikker was invented because this stuff was too thick to move via pump. It would clog up the impeller in the pump, and then people would complain, "you've vla'd the impeller!"

#64 ::: Carol Kimball ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2014, 08:37 PM:

vla'd the impeller

#65 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2014, 09:59 PM:

Lee at 62: Yes, several people have suggested that method to me. Since I do intend to get rid of stuff, and not just move it around, I won't employ it.

I am comfortable in compact spaces: the small house I live in now is actually too big for me. I am looking forward to shedding, paring down, divesting, simplifying. Parts of the process are difficult -- no linen closet! Where will I put blankets and sheets? -- but I am rather enjoying these early stages. We'll see how long that lasts.

#66 ::: Allan Beatty ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2014, 10:16 PM:

Abi at #34: Only if I could find someone to diagram it first: an intellectual-framework drawer. Probably from some bureau or other in government.

Besides government bureaus, the ISO and the W3C do those kinds of things. You could also crowdsource it and get a folksonomy.

#67 ::: Laura Gillian ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2014, 10:24 PM:

abi @28, I'm not 9-12 years old, but your bookbinding/growing up talk sounds fascinating. And if it's question time: How do you do things that are hard? What about when you want to give up? How can you be sure you're doing the right things? *chinhands*

I moved from a rather large house to a 1 bedroom apartment to a tiny studio apartment last year, shedding belongings along the way, and I still have too few shelves and drawers to properly categorize my things. I'm cranky about this, because I'm a person who likes to have things alphabetized chronologically by color and neatly labeled.

Currently all my crafty things are sharing space and it makes me itchy that crayons and beads and origami paper all reside in the same box alongside the adhesives. Stationery has its own box, but it has to share with printer paper and legal pads. Yarn and fiber fill two boxes plus some overflow for needles, crochet hooks, measuring tapes, stitch markers, and assorted yarny tools.

The kitchen organization is even sketchier. I have silverware, wooden spoons, rubber/silicone scrapers, and can openers jumbled together in one tiny drawer. (There's an internal order, but insufficient space to prevent them from intermingling.) I used to categorize utensils in different drawers according to whether they could cut me or not. There was a "safe to reach in without looking" drawer and a "not so much" drawer.

I keep tools for measuring in the next drawer (kitchen scale, measuring cups and spoons, thermometer) but I had to stick the funnels in there too. Baking dishes go in one cupboard; eating dishes go in another; small appliances (blender, coffee grinder, etc.) go above the stove. I have a box of supplies for fancy baking and cake/cookie decorating, but it has to live on the top shelf of the closet until I re-reorganize or build more shelves.

Maybe I could start hanging things from the ceiling...

#68 ::: Cygnet ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2014, 10:29 PM:

Dog's owner found! Dog was NOT missing for three months.

Neither name on the tags was correct. But, eventually, the correct person was found. (The dog was still wearing an expensive collar with the previous owner's name on it, and a borrowed radio tracking collar with another guy's name on the ID on it.)

Turns out we know the owner. He's the foreman for the rancher who runs cattle in this area. He said he'd only had the dog a few weeks, lost him on a hunt a few weeks ago (previous owner's wife was totally wrong on the time frame), found him again several days later, and then lost him again today when he was fixing fences and the dog took off. I assume the collar wasn't working for whatever reason.

Bottom line, not a miracle survival story, just a hunting hound in need of more training and a GPS equipped collar.

#69 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2014, 10:43 PM:

Lee @ #63 - Thanks - shipping is certainly an idea. I've known people who've lost their camera gear that way.

#70 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2014, 10:44 PM:

Ack! I meant that I've known people who lost their camera gear while flying with it.

#71 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2014, 02:07 AM:

Laura Gillian @67: *chinhands* and things alphabetized chronologically by color

Hi there. You need to comment here more often. :-)

#72 ::: Cheryl ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2014, 02:27 AM:

I wish I could sort and organise my kitchen that way. While it's large in footprint, it's very badly designed - I have 3 drawers, total. Two are quite deep; apparently I'm meant to keep pots in them. However, that would leave me with one drawer to keep everything else, and it's too shallow for anything more than flatware.

I really wish I could rip the whole thing out and redo it in a useful setup. The ironic part is that it's all newly done, just before I moved in here. I'm sure I would have preferred the original, just because I'm positive it would have had drawers!

#73 ::: TomB ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2014, 03:00 AM:

When the only tool you have is a hammer, everything looks like a wood screw.

#74 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2014, 05:26 AM:

Laura Gillian @67:
And if it's question time: How do you do things that are hard? What about when you want to give up? How can you be sure you're doing the right things? *chinhands*

Well, I know you enough from elseweb to know that things are hard for you right now, but that you're doing a lot of very right things. Including, by the way, taking care of your body during this stressful time and relying on a good community of friends (which community I also see you building up when you have spoons to do so, so extra double bounus ice cream points there).

Remember in everything I say that I am liek whoa privileged, by the way, so if something I ever suggest is actually just me showing my privilege, tell me so. But a few thoughts that I'd put out there (these are all basically my classic fuckups):

* Be realistic about how much you can actually multitask. It's tempting, when there's too much work for too little time, to try to do three or four things at once. And sometimes you can! But monitor the quality, because if you have to re-do too much you didn't actually save that much time.

* Never underestimate the value of a good night's sleep. Which is to say, if you can get it, grab it. And if you can't, remember that you're going to be a little short of your best and work with that.

* Chase joy. I saw someone on Captain Awkward who calendars five minutes a day to do an image search on "baby [animal]" and just look at things that make them happy. Whatever that thing is for you, seek it out if you can.

* If you hit a wall, if things are difficult, if you just can't do something, give yourself a freaking break. Notice when you find yourself using "I should" as a way to beat yourself up and ask yourself "says who?" Some things are difficult for each of us, even if they're easy for other people. If we can learn to accept that, we can use the energy we'd otherwise use beating ourselves up to tackle that difficulty.

(Note that there is a regressive loop in here around "I should be able to stop beating myself up". My extensive experimentation has established that it is functionally infinite. You do not need to replicate my results.)

* Although it's tempting to search for "the right thing" or "the right answer", very often what you really have is a range of things/answers with varying degrees of rightness. This isn't a math test where all options but one are wrong and will get you marked down. Try looking for a right answer, or a sufficiently right answer.

#75 ::: Steve Taylor ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2014, 05:54 AM:

Tool categorisation: my wife puts the potato peeler in with the knives, presumably on the grounds of being bladed. I put it in with the teaspoons, as a potato peeler is a type of miscellaneous, and miscellaneous is a subclass of teaspoon.

If only everyone saw things my way.

#76 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2014, 06:04 AM:

Steve Taylor @75:

My husband and I are eleven or twelve years into an argument about whether socks are a sub-category of underwear or not. (Him: yes. Me: no, except if you're the Red Hot Chili Peppers)

Mixed marriages. Whatcha gonna do?

#77 ::: oldster ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2014, 06:11 AM:

Perhaps your husband thinks that socks and underwear are both instances of inner-wear, i.e. layers that go directly against the skin, and have another layer of covering over them? How does he feel about mixing t-shirts in with the socks and underwear?

#78 ::: Ingvar M ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2014, 06:25 AM:

oldster @ #77,
abi @ #76:

Interesting. I tend to think of "underwear" as "things designed specifically to be worn in/under clothes". But, I don't really consider shoes as "clothes", they're essentially protective gear.

So, to me, underwear are things that are worn under (inside) clothes, but as shoes (and helmets, and chainmail and other armor) isn't clothes, things worn specifically to facilitate the wearing of these are not "underwear".

#79 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2014, 06:32 AM:

To me, 'underwear' means clothing that hides and/or protects your naughty bits. Unless we're talking about bathing suits. Thus, socks would not be underwear - unless you have a thing about feet.

#80 ::: oldster ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2014, 06:39 AM:

Fair point, Ingvar. If I saw someone wearing a fabric hood in preparation to donning a helmet (as, e.g. firefighters wear fire-resistant Kevlar or Nomex balaclavas under their helmets), I would be unlikely to say, "you have underwear on your head!"

But then again, I separate my socks from my "underpants" (as I do not usually say, but here it is worth disambiguating). So I cannot vouch for how it would look to someone who mixes them.

#81 ::: Dave Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2014, 06:43 AM:

Laura Gillian #67: Two thoughts on organizing the stuff: (1) stacking plastic drawers are relatively cheap and can be translucent or transparent. (2) For multiple groups of small-things that need to share a drawer or box, I like to separate them with ziplock bags of various sizes, from pill bags (find near pharmacy counters) though snack and sandwich sizes up to gallon and larger freezer bags.¹ That's been keeping my computer-parts collections from overflowing their boxes for years. For sharpish things I also have small plastic boxes that latch shut.

¹ Compared to "storage" bags, "freezer" bags are usually of tougher material, sometimes have a better zipper, and feature a white bit to write on.

#82 ::: oldster ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2014, 06:49 AM:


Ah, the naughty-bits criterion. Interesting! This predicts that when more parts of the body are considered naughty, more items of clothing will be considered underwear.

And a glance at Victoriana confirms the theory! Back when a glimpse of stocking was looked on as something shocking there was a great deal more to underwear.

E.g. massive whalebone-stiffened torso sheaths. Is that underwear? Corset is!

#83 ::: Dave Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2014, 06:53 AM:

Re: underwear/socks: I'm another person who considers socks as underwear ("smallclothes"). This was reinforced by that until recently, my socks and other underwear were all wash-hot cotton stuff, and pretty much the only such stuff I have. When short on spoons, I don't even need to separate them, just dump the "whites" load from clean-laundry bag into the drawers. ("Fold underwear"? no, just no.) T-shirts and dress socks were always separate, because they don't go in the same load.

However, since I started getting wash-cold socks (Gold Toe), I've been keeping those separate, which actually got me back into separating the other hot-wash cotton smallclothes while I was at it. (The new socks are worth the trouble, though.)

#84 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2014, 07:20 AM:

abi, #74: Although it's tempting to search for "the right thing" or "the right answer", very often what you really have is a range of things/answers with varying degrees of rightness. This isn't a math test where all options but one are wrong and will get you marked down. Try looking for A right answer, or a SUFFICIENTLY right answer.

QFT. The temptation to think that there's only one Right Answer is a natural outgrowth of One-True-Wayism, and a lot of our culture is heavily steeped in the latter. And since you can never be certain that some piece of future information won't indicate that a different choice might have been (marginally) better, looking for the One Right Answer is a really good way to invoke decision paralysis. It's better to do the best you can with the information you have than to do the absolutely perfect thing too late.

Steve T., #75: To me, "teaspoon" is a subclass of "silverware" (aka "things that you use to eat with at the table"), while "potato peeler" is a subclass of "cooking tools" -- which means they'd never even be in the same drawer, let alone the same compartment. Subclasses of "teaspoons" include soup spoons and grapefruit spoons -- or rather, all of those things are used similarly and can therefore be stored together.

abi, #76: I don't think of socks as underwear because I don't have to put them on when I get dressed -- they're not an essential part of the process. Socks are accessories. (And whether they're underwear or not, they still need their own drawer because I have too many of them to go in with the bras and panties.) Pantyhose/tights partake of both the sock and the underwear nature because the upper part has to be concealed; leggings, OTOH, are definitely outerwear.

#85 ::: oldster ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2014, 08:14 AM:

Lee @84


as opposed to, "In my Father's house there are many drawers, organized in many different ways; sock drawers, drawers full of under-drawers, some drawers with lumpers and splitters in the same drawers, drawers filled with cleavers and drawers with cud-chewers, drawers of wood and hewers of water; also attractive crocks, some slightly chipped; a variety of bins, some labeled, some unlabeled, some labeled "Unlabeled;" baskets that contain fabric scraps, fat quarters, potato peelers, clothes you can peel off, potato ricers, and rice pilaf, and no few heaps. Also, next door my Mother has a yurt."

#86 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2014, 08:31 AM:

* Those belonging to the Emperor
* Those knitted in precious threads
* Those that, from a distance, resemble underwear
* Those which are worn out and used as pet toys

#87 ::: oldster ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2014, 08:54 AM:

Carrie @86:

Exactly. I think we keep coming back to the Emporium because Abi has an enduring interest in categorization.

Not that I am trying to pigeon-hole her.

#88 ::: Cassy B. ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2014, 08:55 AM:

Oldster @85, Carrie S @86; thank you both. Those posts made me giggle on a morning when I am short of sleep and consequently grumpy and really needed the giggle.

#89 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2014, 09:50 AM:

oldster @63: Such biting wit! And...@82 as well. Keep this up and we might have to change your nom de ML to "Rapunzel".

#90 ::: elise ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2014, 10:33 AM:

oldster @85: *claps hands in delight*

Lizzy, felicitations on the upcoming downsizing and transplantation!

Tim Illingworth @10: I really, really love "sharps and flats" and may borrow that one. Currently there's an old dresser near my packing and shipping area that holds various supplies. The drawers are labeled "things" "things" "things" "things" "things" and "stuff".

#91 ::: Cadbury Moose ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2014, 10:47 AM:

Oldster @ #85

Please accept this internet with my compliments. I feel sure you have a drawer that will hold it.

#92 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2014, 10:50 AM:

"What's that man doing in my drawers?!"
- Myrna Loy to William Powell in one of the 'Thin Man' movies

#93 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2014, 10:56 AM:

HLN: local woman is sick of being jerked around by her very sparse but still stressful work. Tired of being called in or called off at last moment, tired of agreeing to schedule A and having schedule B dropped on her at last minute, tired of whole shebang. If local woman can scrape up enough money to make the grad school thing a reality, she may well shake the dust of her current profession off her feet, rather than try to maintain her license.

p.s. also tired of oblique sneering at her sporadic work hours by patients who think she chooses this over steady employment.

#94 ::: dotless ı ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2014, 11:12 AM:

Ingvar M@78: I don't really consider shoes as "clothes", they're essentially protective gear.

Interestingly*, the U.S. Supreme Court just this year decided on the boundary between "clothes" and "protective gear". This was only for the interpretation of a particular statute, of course; and for those purposes they (unanimously) included shoes and hardhats in "clothes".

Amusingly*, the statute title, taken out of context, invites a SFnal reading: the Portal-to-Portal Act. I really want to color that title in orange and blue.

elise@90: The drawers are labeled "things" "things" "things" "things" "things" and "stuff".

I love that they are actually labeled that way.

* For anyone who finds these things interesting or amusing.

#95 ::: Cadbury Moose ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2014, 11:17 AM:

dotless i wrote @#94
elise@90: The drawers are labeled "things" "things" "things" "things" "things" and "stuff".

I love that they are actually labeled that way.

They can take my Happy Jackson "Random Crap" bag when they pry it from my cold, dead, hooves.

#96 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2014, 11:34 AM:

To me, underpants and socks are both subcategories of "tiny particle size laundry that's annoying to sort and fold," and are therefore washed together. :->

#97 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2014, 12:22 PM:

Ribbons and zippers and chicken-foot leather,
Vintage-shop buttons all tied up together,
Olive-wood crosses and headbanding cores,
These are the things that I keep in my drawers.

Brush-cleaning soap-cakes and three-layered foils,
Flattened ballet-shoes and essential oils,
Fossilized seashells from long dried-up shores
These are the things that I keep in my drawers

Steampunky clock parts and polish to shine 'em,
Rough-hewn containers and paper to line 'em,
Brass cover corners collected in fours,
These are the things that I keep in my drawers.


this is just to say

I have moved
the socks
that were with
your underwear

and which
you were probably
as underwear

Forgive me
they aren't underwear.
really, they're not.
so very not.

#98 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2014, 12:31 PM:

Lila @ 93... My best wishes.

#99 ::: OtterB ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2014, 12:53 PM:

abi @97, Snort. Appreciate them both, but especially, for some reason, the flattened ballet shoes.

#100 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2014, 01:00 PM:

Fortunately we have enough dresser drawers to Separate All The Things.

There are separate drawers for socks, boxers, bras, and panties, and the one for my stockings/tights/socks (which also contains my sewing box, the cloth tape measure, and the spare hair dryer). Also a scarf drawer. Which last sort of suggests that such drawers are not necessarily for underwear per se, but for bits of things you wear that require spaces to put them in rather than hangers to hang them on. (And no, I don't fold nuthin'. So sue me.)

As to potato peelers, they are stored in the back right-hand side of the non-sharp tools drawer, in company with the apple corer and any number of ice cream/cookie dough scoops of various sizes. Because handles. I think.

#101 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2014, 01:33 PM:

TomB @73: When the only tool you have is a hammer, everything looks like a wood screw.

Once upon a time, my dad and I were repairing something. For whatever reason, the only nail-like object on hand was a wood screw. So, my dad pounded it in, as if it were a nail.

When I expressed surprised, he intoned, "'There's more than one way to skin a cat,' he said as he drove the screw like a nail."

Elliott Mason @96: To me, underpants and socks are both subcategories of "tiny particle size laundry that's annoying to sort and fold," and are therefore washed together.

But: lingerie bags! Extract from washed laundry, unzip, and chuck into appropriate corner of underwear* drawer. (I gave up folding socks, panties, and bras a loooooonnng time ago. Life is too short, yo.)

* Yes, I'm in the "socks are underwear camp" mostly because they're little. Tank-tops go in that drawer, too, instead of with the t-shirts, because they're small, and don't sit on hangers well.

abi @97: :-) :-) :-)

they aren't underwear

Are, too. :-)

My chester drawers: Top drawer: shiny-pretties, such as my silk brocade sashes. Next drawer: undies, bras, tanktops, socks, & lingerie bags. Third drawer: back-stock tai-chi shoes, bandanas and suchlike, & morning exercise widgetry. Bottom drawer: gis (both Aikido and Karate) and associated pads and belts.

Kitchen drawers: 1: flatware and stuff of similar size (tiny whisk, chopsticks, peelers, garlic press, &c) 2: long skinny food tools: spatulas, ladels, &c. 3: twisties, rubber bands, and bags/wrap.

HLN: Local guinea pig reports that, after dental appointment, his teeth are all wrong and, though hungry, eating is just Too Damn Much Trouble. Local guinea pig mom concurs, and is sympathetic but unrelenting about the need for guinea pig to ingest hated squirty-food.

#102 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2014, 01:41 PM:

RE kitchen storage:

I've occasionally seen, in the local "Big Lots!" discount store, kitchen island carts. Flat pack furniture knock-offs of pricier designs, as is the way of things.

They generally have a couple-three of square feet of work surface, a couple of drawers, and cabinet space. Some have things like a built in paper towel rod, spice rack, and a tilt-out dohicky you put a trash can in.

I imagine something like that would be very handy in cases where you have a kitchen with lots of floor space but a lack of work space / storage.

If I were to assemble such an item, I'd add reinforce things with wood glue and screwed-in angles.

#103 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2014, 01:51 PM:

Lee @62: US "silverware"= UK "cutlery", so your "silverware drawer" = my "cutlery drawer." And (a) there really is no room in our cutlery/silverware drawer for teaspoons; (b) the major use of teaspoons in our household is to do with making tea (or coffee, for guests) therefore it is logical (for our household) to have them where this occurs, rather than on the other side of the kitchen...

#104 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2014, 02:24 PM:

Jacque #101:

I have found a variety of plastic hanger that has grooves cut into the parts between where the shoulder and the neck go so that the straps on a tank top are nicely corralled. They also at least sort of work for those knit sleeved tops with really wide necklines.

#105 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2014, 02:24 PM:

TomB @73, Jacque @101:

I use "hammering screws" as verbal shorthand for "doing things the hard way". Usual response is pause...grin.

Jacque @101:
Are, too. :-)

Are not. :-P

#106 ::: Buddha Buck ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2014, 02:27 PM:

I don't mix socks and underwear in a drawer. I used to, but I've found I don't particularly like drawers for clothes since it is very hard to search them for specific items without ruining any organization they had. That, and the stuff on top/in front gets used more than the stuff in the back/on bottom.

As such, my preferred method of working with socks is the two-bucket approach: I have two clean sock buckets. I take pairs of clean socks from one bucket, and put freshly laundered socks into the other bucket. When one bucket is empty, I swap buckets.

I suspect I'm unusual in my use of buckets.

#107 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2014, 02:28 PM:

my socks aren't underwear, but that's the drawer they're in, because they're not jeans and they're not t-shirts.

#108 ::: Jeremy Leader ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2014, 03:13 PM:

Sharp tools possessing the knife nature (relatively long and narrow, sharp edge, handle roughly in line with the edge) go in a wooden block on top of the the microwave. Sharp tools not possessing the knife nature (grater, microplane, small simple ceramic-bladed mandoline that gets used fairly often, large elaborate multi-attachment mandoline that rarely gets used) go in the "here be danger" drawer. Near that is the strainers/sifter/colander cabinet. Pots and pans go in various cabinets below the counter; dishes and glasses go in various cabinets above the counter. Tableware (butter knives, forks, spoons, chopsticks, and one serrated knife that doesn't have a spot in the knife block, and is often used at the table for tasks like sub-dividing desserts) have their own drawer with an organizer. All other utensils go in the big utensil drawer. I have tried unsuccessfully to convince the rest of the household that long utensils should have their handles pointing towards the front of the drawer rather than scattered atop one another at random angles.

At one time, in the garage I had a large metric toolbox and a smaller non-metric toolbox. Now I have a socket set with both types of sockets and its own case, and two sets of combination wrenches that live in their own caddies on top of the workbench. The former metric toolbox now holds smaller commonly used tools such as pliers and screwdrivers in the top tray, and long tools in the bottom (hacksaw, small handsaw, pop-riveter, carpenter's hammer, etc.). The former non-metric toolbox now mostly holds more violent tools, such as box cutters, shears, files, ball-peen hammers, a set of cold chisels and punches, masonry drills (the old kind intended to be struck with a hammer), and a pickle fork (intended for separating car suspension ball-joints, but only ever used as a heavy two-pronged chisel/pry bar for demolition-type tasks). I think there are still a few orphaned wrenches denominated in the appropriate units in each toolbox as a reminder of the boxes' previous purposes.

Oh, and in "Superman finds a GoPro" I was amused to see how much Metropolis resembles Los Angeles!

#109 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2014, 03:32 PM:

I was bemused several years ago to discover that spouse keeps, among other such miracles or organization, an entire plastic bin strictly devoted to all the stuff needed to hang pictures, except for actual hammers, screwdrivers and pliers: neatly coiled wire in several weights, small nails, larger nails, wall anchors in multiple flavors. Recently we hung a heavy picture on a stone wall; nothing in the kit worked with what was already on the back of the picture, and so the bin now has been supplemented with the remainder of the mirror-hanging kit he purchased.

#110 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2014, 04:32 PM:

I switched to boxers from briefs some years ago (after seeing an x-ray of my hip) and they no longer fit conveniently in the drawer with the socks. I don't wash them with the socks because all the socks are white and none of the boxers are.

oldster 82: You are evoll. And, of course, we love you for it.

ibid. 85: Magnificent!

abi 97: Love it! Especially the TIJTS one.

#111 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2014, 04:56 PM:

A quick poll around the office said socks are not underwear, based upon the embarrassment that would not occur if socks were exposed.

#112 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2014, 05:10 PM:

We have a Hoosier and a baker's rack, the latter holding "utensils that can be hung on a hook and which are not knives". The latter are spread out over two drawers (the smaller, in the Hoosier, contains those that are not trusted to anyone but myself) and a knife block. I am in the process of replacing the drawer fronts on the cabinets given that they are/were held on by tiny nails rather than honest joinery; the replacements are using dovetails.

#113 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2014, 05:11 PM:

I don't think it would occur to me to call socks underwear, but I do nonetheless put socks and underwear in the same drawer, and so does my wife.

(Four drawers in my dresser: socks and underwear; t-shirts; work-acceptable knit shirts; pants and more t-shirts, there being too many t-shirts to fit in just the one drawer. The knit shirts don't get a great deal of wear since I've been living in Houston and not working, but I have some hope of changing that soon.)

#114 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2014, 05:18 PM:

My socks don't fit in the same drawer with the underwear -- not because I have so MUCH underwear but because the total volume of socks won't fit in any single drawer we have (they're in a cardboard box atop the dresser, and spilling out of it. We need a better solution).

#115 ::: Cheryl ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2014, 06:07 PM:

@102 Stefan Jones

[Kitchen carts] generally have a couple-three of square feet of work surface, a couple of drawers, and cabinet space. Some have things like a built in paper towel rod, spice rack, and a tilt-out dohicky you put a trash can in.

I imagine something like that would be very handy in cases where you have a kitchen with lots of floor space but a lack of work space / storage.

I did buy a kitchen trolley when I first moved in; it has a small drawer and a couple of shelves which I've filled with baskets. I also have a portable dishwasher, which gives me a bit more counter space on which to put baskets with covers. It's still not really enough, when you consider how few cupboards I have. Even inside the cupboards, space is wasted - the shelves are much too far apart. I bought several wire racks so that I can use more of the vertical space.

Even the placement of the sink is weird - it's in the corner next to the back door, making it difficult to get a dish drainer next to it.

The under-counter cupboards are incredibly awkward. I have these two corner doors (they're hinged, and the whole corner opens up). It looks big, except that not only do they have the same lack of shelf space issue, they're so deep that I have to get down on my knees and put half my body inside the cupboard to reach anything.

The whole thing is just a bad design.

#116 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2014, 06:17 PM:

I think that's what my mother would file as 'kitchens designed by men'.

#117 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2014, 06:24 PM:

joann, #104: The skinny hangers with what feels like a flocked surface work marvelously for wide-necked garments and anything else with a tendency to slide off the hanger. The only drawback to them is that if you put heavy things on them, after a while they break -- so, not suitable for coats and heavy sweaters or for fancy dresses with beadwork and sequins.

Oh ghod, my dresser drawers, which are badly in need of reorganizing. I have 2 dressers. The older one, which has been with me since I was about 12 years old, has 4 small drawers across the top with 2 columns of 3 larger drawers underneath. The upper drawers, left to right, are: small belts & miscellaneous odd bits that I've had forever and don't want to get rid of (like my sealed capsule with a mercury blob, and my collection of foreign coins); miscellaneous belt-pouches; miscellaneous small purses and gloves; knee-high nylons and the tights that I wear most frequently. The left-hand column is shorts, socks, and sweaters (the shorts and sweaters drawers swap place as seasonally appropriate). The right-hand column is underwear (aka bras and panties), costuming stuff, and specialty lingerie (long-johns, slinky nightgowns, camisoles, etc.).

The other dresser has 3 full-length drawers, which are devoted to turtlenecks, plain T-shirts*, and winterwear (sweatpants, heavy long-sleeved shirts). Next to the dressers I have a tower of stackable wire shelving, which holds my regular T-shirts, leggings & knit slacks, jeans, etc.

One side of the bedroom closet holds mostly tops, including plain T-shirts of tunic length and holiday-themed shirts. The other holds dresses and skirts. The hall closet holds costuming stuff. The cedar wardrobe in the foyer holds fancy-dress things and my few remaining SCA outfits.

There are also 6 storage boxes under the bed, but they mostly contain shoes and non-clothing items.

I have way too many clothes.

* By which I mean the kind that can alternately be described as "a short-sleeved cotton shell" and worn with work clothes.

#118 ::: Cassy B. ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2014, 06:51 PM:

Cheryl @115, would a carousel help with the too-deep corner cabinet problem?

HERE's an example, but there are a wide variety of sizes and shapes (and prices).

#119 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2014, 07:04 PM:

Lee #117:

I've got a couple of the flocked (or whatever--mine seem to have thin foam rubber glued on) hangers, but I have no clue where they came from--maybe came with things I bought at shops. No reliable source means no reliance on them. Do you have an known source for yours?

#120 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2014, 07:08 PM:

Cassy B #118, Cheryl #115:

Carousels for the win. I currently have two small Tupperware carousels for spices, but the big size for cabinets can be amazing. My father once designed a kitchen that was way too small, but he did cause carousels to live in the corners, and that was the only thing that saved it. And a friend currently has a U-shaped kitchen at least 30% too small, and says she couldn't survive without the carousels.

#121 ::: eric ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2014, 07:31 PM:

P J Evans@116: I could design a perfectly cromulent kitchen -- I'm just not sure that I could do it on a budget in my current space.

#122 ::: iamnothing ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2014, 07:32 PM:

Isn't Synecdoche where all the SF story ideas come from?

#123 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2014, 07:47 PM:

eric, it has to do with the misfeatures - like cupboards that aren't entirely usable because you have to crawl into them. Or they're only 10 inches deep, so anything larger won't fit.

The kitchen she and my father designed for their house was big and had lots of storage space - partly spoiled when the sliding door to the utility room took more space than expected.

#124 ::: Cheryl ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2014, 07:55 PM:

@118 Cassy B. & 120 joann

I'd love to have carousels, or at least one in the left-hand cupboard. The right-hand side has the plumbing for the sink (not only do I have to kneel down and scootch inside, I have to reach around the flipping pipes to get stuff), so a carousel wouldn't work.

Buying more stuff isn't really an option right now, alas.

#125 ::: Cheryl ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2014, 07:59 PM:

@116 P J Evans

I don't know who "designed" it, but I would certainly like to have A Word with zir.

#126 ::: Allan Beatty ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2014, 08:06 PM:

"Kitchens designed by men."

At least there should be enough power outlets.

#127 ::: Allan Beatty ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2014, 08:08 PM:

Come to think of it, maybe that explains how my kitchen was designed. Lots of power outlets, lots of lights, but there are only two drawers. Even in my tiny apartment kitchen I had four drawers, so this took some adjusting, plus my boyfriend moved in with me had we have different ideas about where to put things.

#128 ::: Colin Hinz ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2014, 08:09 PM:

Years ago I rescued from a junkpile a very sturdy old filing cabinet. I hauled it home hundreds of miles (crossing an international border, even -- an amusing story in itself) and up a flight of stairs into my (then) abode. Only then did I discover that the drawers were made for some weird paper size which was somewhat smaller than ordinary letter-size paper. Or in other words, my new acquisition was utterly useless for the purpose for which it was intended.

So I put it to use as a tool cabinet. Three of the drawers have held the same labels for over two decades: blunt (hammers, prybars, clamps), sharp (knives, saws, drill bits, tin snips), and then there's "measure and twist" (tape measures, micrometers, squares, protractors; and then screwdrivers, nutdrivers, pliers and wrenches).

It's a simple enough taxonomy that people who aren't me can make use of it, and find the tools they need. The "these drawers are too full to be optimally useful" problem, however....

#129 ::: Jeremy Leader ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2014, 08:21 PM:

Colin Hinz @128: If the cabinet was made to hold letter-sized papers in the "landscape" orientation (long dimension horizontal) and it's too small for your paper, I'd gues you have a cabinet sized for US 8.5x11 inch letter paper (aka "ANSI A" or just "Letter"), in a locale where you use ISO A4 size paper.

Either that, or your cabinet was made for the old UK Quarto size, which according to Wikipedia was 8x10 inches. Or perhaps for the pre-Reagan "Government Letter", 8x10.5 inches.

Time for me to stop reading Wikipedia paper-size pages and get back to work.

So which international border did you cross with this filing cabinet?

#130 ::: Cheryl ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2014, 08:23 PM:

@126 Allan Beatty

At least there should be enough power outlets.

I have two, one on each side.

I screwed power bars to the underside of the top cabinets. Fortunately I don't tend to run many things at once.

#131 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2014, 09:04 PM:

P J Evans, #116: "Designed by men" is the phrase I use to describe hotel bathrooms where the toilet paper is mounted so as to be behind you (hence awkward and difficult to reach) when you're sitting on the toilet. In every case I've encountered, it would have been perfectly feasible to have mounted it on either a side wall or the vanity instead.

joann3, #119: Target has them. So does the Container Store, and probably any other place where you'd go to buy hangers. These may actually be better than the ones I have, since the ad copy says they're made of steel. Oh, and the covering is definitely not foam rubber -- it feels more like the flocking on wallpaper. I've had hangers with foam rubber on them, and they deteriorate after a year or two. These don't.

#132 ::: Lin Daniel ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2014, 10:14 PM:

Conversation on y'all vs all y'all:

I've been out of touch, so left my comments with no follow up. I'm working on reading relevant bits and getting an answer from the person who told me there was a difference.

As far as being a Yankee Doin It Rong, I always thought y'all was both singular and plural, like "you" is used.

My maternal grandmother is from Britain, and having various relatives come for a visit has generated a number of language-based stories. One involved a cousin standing on a street corner, somewhere in the Deep South (nobody remembers where any more). Said cousin was approached by a woman who asked, "Y'all waitin for a bus?" The cousin in question looked around, and finding himself alone, asked the woman if she meant him, as there was only the one of him currently standing there.

Ah, just got feedback from person who told me y'all is singular and all y'all is plural. She picked it up while she was living in North Carolina.

#133 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2014, 10:26 PM:

Carousels (or whatever you want to call them) have one drawback: the empty space in the farthest corner, where you have to take everything off to get back into it to collect the stuff that fell or was shoved off. It's a corner that only a cat can love.

#134 ::: jonesnori/Lenore Jones ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2014, 10:53 PM:

Lin Daniel 132 - so we still don't have a native speaker of the dialect who makes that claim. Hearsay is difficult because of the associative use, as in my example, "Do y'all carry milk?", said to a lone shop clerk, who might reply, "Yes, we do." The y'all, like the we, is not singular, it's associative (or corporate, if you prefer).

So we'd have to hear some specific quoted conversations to better judge.

#135 ::: Lin Daniel ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2014, 11:32 PM:

Laura Gillian @67

because I'm a person who likes to have things alphabetized chronologically by color and neatly labeled.

That's so very me!
Having moved six times in four years, all but the first and last having to put stuff in storage, paring down with each move but the last one, repacking stuff coming out of storage more based on weight (because I have to be able to carry it) than matching contents, I know what I have but no idea where it is. There are at least 10 boxes that are labeled "misc" and a number. The list of what's in each box says things like "fabric, yarn, books, and a puzzle" or "papers, magazines, black purse, kimono shoes", with no clue which black purse. There are at least 30 boxes labeled "books" and no other identifier. I remind myself how much fun it will be, once I have shelving, to unpack all this again. Like Christmas, from me to me. And no one else living here to move stuff once each piece has a place of its own.

I recently put together a set of bookshelves with a shelf for my very tall coffee table books. Once I find them.

#136 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: March 19, 2014, 11:36 PM:

'Like Christmas'

That's how I felt, when my mother and I moved into town (with real movers doing most of the work) and unpacked the three dish boxes in the kitchen - necessity, we couldn't get at the stove without moving them. There were a couple of screwdrivers in the boxes that weren't ours - I think movers must buy them by the case.

#137 ::: Lin Daniel ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2014, 12:15 AM:

I wish to update my statement. There are quite a number of boxes that have meticulous inventory sheets. I have a spreadsheet with the exact location of every box in every stack, each box linked to a page of contents. It's just those "misc" boxes without a complete inventory, packed in a hurry, that lean heavily on my mind. And the books, whose inventory was taken with a camera. A camera glitch lost all thse pics and I was not going to unpack them to re-inventory. Not that close to the last move, anyway.

#138 ::: Colin Hinz ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2014, 01:50 AM:

Jeremy @129:

The cabinet was jettisoned by Wayne State University, so yeah, my first guess would have been "Government letter" size. But no, it's smaller than that -- inside dimensions of the drawers are only 7" x 10". The drawers were originally labelled "old records" so perhaps they were sized for a specific type of form?

A friend and I brought it over to Canada, along with a bunch of other scavenged stuff. At the border we were asked if we had anything to declare. We answered, "Nope, we didn't buy a thing."

The border agent then queried, "Well, what's all that, then?", referring to the gleanings which were jammed into my small car, right to the ceiling.

"Oh that. We dumpstered it at Wayne State."

"Oh, OK. Welcome back to Canada."

#139 ::: Laura Gillian ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2014, 03:49 AM:

Jacque @71 *grins* *waves* Thanks, I may just do that. :-)

abi @74 I didn’t actually expect you to answer my questions; I must’ve momentarily forgotten who I was talking to. Thanks muchly for not replying in Dutch as if it were part of your actual bookbinding talk. (I'm reasonably certain I could find a translator, but still.) And I appreciate your extra double generosity with the bonus points.

Your answers do seem to have a more-than-theoretical feeling of experience about them. I definitely, definitely recognize the “should” loop. And I really should be better at not should-ing myself to death all the time, yanno? And all these things I don’t know—I should have learned them before now... This "give yourself a freaking break" thing, perhaps I should look into it.

The Right Thing and One-True-Wayism are handy labels for a set of ideas that were previously unnameable.

Dave Harmon @81 Freezer bags are exceedingly useful for a great many things, aren’t they? I separate things in sub-boxes and bags where I can. The problem is a lack of floor space—well, a lack of floor space and an inability to buy new furniture and storage solutions at the moment. I steal meaningful glances at the windows of the Container Store and wist after innumerable tiny drawers, each containing one thing and one thing only. With hand-calligraphed labels, the extras of which will (of course) be stored in their own, self-referentially labeled, drawer.

Socks are not underwear, but I store mine next to the underwear, which I do fold. Next to socks are tank tops and camisoles, tights, and bras. That fills one quadrant of my non-hanging-up clothes storage. The next quadrant contains pajamas, yoga pants, shorts, leotards, and other workout clothes. Except for tights, which are all stored together, and sportsbras, which belong with bras. The third quadrant is work-appropriate shirts and blouses and the last is for long- and short-sleeved everyday shirts, in separate piles. Sweaters are piled on top of the shelf. My cat does not entirely approve of my organizational system and periodically takes it upon herself to improve it. When this happens, I find my clothes pulled from their shelves and arranged in a pattern on the floor that is undoubtedly artistically significant to feline sensibilities.

Cheryl @130 I read “I screwed power bars to the underside of the top cabinets” and envisioned a number of energy bars in shiny wrappers attached to your cabinetry. For emergency snackage, perhaps.

Lin Daniel @135 and 137 I very much admire your inventory and spreadsheet system!

#140 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2014, 04:56 AM:

Laura Gillian @139:

Ah. Yes, I often miss rhetorical questions, particularly in writing. It's possible that at this point in my life, we're all better just accepting that it's past praying for.

With regard to bags, sometimes I take scraps of fabric and make colorful, variegated tote bags to use as "project bags". Then I end up giving them all away for various reasons, then make more, and the cycle begins anew.

#141 ::: Ingvar M ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2014, 06:28 AM:

oldster @ #80:

I separate them, but that is because when all the things are washed, the briefs and boxers fill a large drawer, and the socks can usefully be separated in "I have a matched pair, balled up" and "I haven't bothered creating a matched pair" and those get filed in two separated drawers, each just under half the volume of the large drawer.

A third drawer houses t-shirts, a fourth houses a mix of denims, corderoys, shorts, cargos and a few cotton tracksuit bottoms (they're for around-the-house and for extra heat outdoors, should a cold snap coincide with "wearing thin-fabric legwear").

#142 ::: Fade Manley ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2014, 10:09 AM:

I am not a native speaker of y'all, but I use it casually in conversation as a handy second-person plural that I always wanted.* The majority of my experience with it here in Austin bears out that usage... but Austin is, in some ways, the least Texan part of Texas, and so once again I'm not sure how much that qualifies as "native" usage.

That said, I've occasionally found myself using "y'all" in the singular in almost exactly the same way I would use "they" in the singular; for a somewhat hypothetical second person, or one representing a group rather than their** own personal selves. So that maps somewhat to the "y'all" usage when pointed at people acting as representatives in some way, and "all y'all" as the next step of clarity when making it clear that it's not being used in that form. Much like one actually throws in a periodic clarifying "ustedes" in Spanish to show that a given verb form is actually being used in the polite second person, and not the third, despite the verb forms being identical in that case.

* Well, at least as far back as when I discovered as a child that Spanish had one and English didn't, which seemed very unfair. Especially since I found the vosotros conjugations hilarious. All those I's! Which finally made sense when I got to Latin...

** Yes, well.

#143 ::: Victoria ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2014, 10:44 AM:

I store my clothes by size and weight and use. I currently have enough storage to give each category it's own place. Socks have a sock draw, T-shirts a T-shirt drawer. Slacks, jeans, sweaters/winter weight shirts, summer weight shirts, blazers, dresses, skirts, etc.

Socks I classify as socks. Neither underwear nor clothing, they're protective gear and/or insulation. (My feet are my body's thermostat.)

My current kitchen sucks. It has a built-in double sink in the corner with "drainboard" area on either side. No drawers. No cupboards. No counters. Three wall plugs and that's it. The previous owner of the apartment (who also owned the building) didn't cook, so that's all they wanted.

My solutions: two wire racks, one is filled with custom-made bins* I did myself that act as the pantry. One has all my cooking utensils. I have a table and one of those rolling carts for functional counter space. The rest of my storage is made up of modular storage. I have six stacking drawers that hold my silverware/flatware(top) and the cooking utensils that don't live in my knife block or tool bin on the counter (second). Miscellaneous baking including things like leavening agents and food coloring (third). Good Linens ie table cloths, napkins, and so on (fourth). Cleaning linens ie. dish cloths, tea towels, scrubbing stuff (fifth & sixth) I also invested in more modular storage cubes with adjustable shelves that can be configured for trays, bins and boxes for the rest of my kitchen stuff.

Oh, the joys of living in a half-assed renovated loft. The only built in storage is in the bathroom where I have a very lovely vanity with lots of storage.

I've invested a goodly amount in modular storage drawers and cubes. The ones I bought back in college (the six stacking drawers in my kitchen) have more than paid for themselves.

Next up: re-purposing the milk crates I inherited from a friend into storage cabinets.

* Supplies: cardboard boxes left over from the move, strapping tape, cotton duck/canvass, thread, and some hot glue. Tools: yardstick, pencil (or other marking tool) carpet knife, sewing machine. The pre-made bins available to me didn't fit the shelves.

#144 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2014, 11:02 AM:

Our very own Lucius Shepard passed away two days ago.

#145 ::: Cassy B. ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2014, 11:23 AM:

Serge Broom @144, thank you for passing this on; when online friends go missing one often never knows if they're just elsewhere or... not.

My condolences to his friends.

#147 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2014, 12:36 PM:

Fred Phelps has died. Will his funeral be picketed by decent human beings?

#148 ::: Mycroft W ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2014, 12:56 PM:

Very northerner here - so much so that Yankee is as much an insult as it would be in Charleston (we're the Tories, TYVM, or the United Empire Loyalists)*.

But from experience, I hear "y'all" as singular in *entity*, but generic in number - I've heard the equivalent to "y'all waitin' for the bus?" above, and also "y'all call me back if there's a problem" aimed at the bridge table - 4 of us, but one table. "y'all headin' to the show?" to a group walking in one's general direction is another example. "All y'all", is explicitly plural, usually treating each person seprately (especially in what Mr. Blue would probably phrase the Southern Dismissive, were he to extend his Short Course in the use of the F-word in Canada).

But as I said, that's from limited contact.

*well, my family is neither - almost certainly we'd be Old Labour (mining town Oop North, seriously working class)

#149 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2014, 02:29 PM:

Fragano 147: Given that WBC kicked him out for not being hateful enough, they'll probably picket his funeral themselves.

#150 ::: Cally Soukup ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2014, 02:44 PM:

Xopher: do we know that's why they kicked him out? Last I read, nobody was talking to the press about it. I've heard several theories; the one that makes the most sense to me is that, since their theology claims that nobody who's right with God will ever die, the fact that he was dying meant that he was not right with God. But not necessarily because he wasn't hateful enough.

This is, however, not confirmed (or denied) by anybody who actually knows the reason he was excommunicated.

#151 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2014, 02:51 PM:

Cally, that's what I heard, but I don't even remember where, so maybe it was just a rumor.

#152 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2014, 03:30 PM:

abi & Laura Gillian: give yourself a freaking break

Also: when one accomplishes something, even seemingly "minor," that gets one a little further through the day, give yourself some freaking credit.

#153 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2014, 03:51 PM:

Rumor has it that he was kicked out last year some time, apparently for wanting to change their policies to something slightly more moderate. No one's sure if it's his wife or his daughter who have been running the show from backstage (because they're also patriarchal, and don't think women should run things - openly). Family members who wanted to see him before he died were apparently blocked.

#154 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2014, 03:53 PM:

I like The Onion's take on the event:

"Fred Phelps, Man Who Forever Stopped March Of Gay Rights, Dead At 84"

#155 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2014, 04:00 PM:

I preferred Jim Phelps.

#156 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2014, 04:05 PM:

I've heard more than one person theorize that WBC has, paradoxically, pushed gay rights forward by being so thoroughly repugnant about the whole matter. I don't know if I buy it, but I'm can't say I find it totally implasible either.

In any case, I hope that if there is an afterlife, Phelps is treated with the very kindness and mercy that he wanted withheld from others. And if there isn't, I can think of no better refutation of his life's work than to be charitable about his death.

#157 ::: Mongoose ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2014, 04:21 PM:

I have a sock drawer for ordinary socks, but the Serious Winter Socks (which I've had to go back into since my boiler shuffled off its mortal coil a couple of weeks ago) don't fit into it. They take up part of another drawer, which otherwise contains Thermal Thingies. I rarely wear those these days, but if I can't afford to replace the boiler before next winter I'm going to be finding them quite useful.

Underpants have their own drawer, and vests tend to live with pyjamas. As for the kitchen, I have one drawer with an organiser in it which contains cutlery, sharp knives, and wooden spoons (those are there because I use them so often), and another drawer containing all other kitchen implements, such as rolling pins, funnels, spatulae, ingenious gadgets enabling wristically challenged mongooses to open jars and bottles without major agony, and so forth. These are all jumbled together because there is no practicable way of both organising them and fitting them all into the drawer, unless anyone's got a mini TARDIS they're not using. Preferably one with its own set of nested quantum subdrawers.

#158 ::: Mongoose ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2014, 04:22 PM:

abi @ 156: there are not words to tell you how heartily I agree with that sentiment.

#159 ::: Carol Kimball ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2014, 04:29 PM:

abi @156:
In any case, I hope that if there is an afterlife, Phelps is treated with the very kindness and mercy that he wanted withheld from others. And if there isn't, I can think of no better refutation of his life's work than to be charitable about his death.

I'm with Mongoose @158. Also, I wanted to see it again.

#160 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2014, 04:31 PM:

That's how I feel. He was damaged, and he needs help he wouldn't accept in life.

#161 ::: Teka Lynn ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2014, 05:35 PM:

I will not be picketing his funeral. There's been enough of that.

#162 ::: Mongoose ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2014, 05:43 PM:

Just realised I have unintentionally perpetrated a semantic ambiguity. I am British, so when I say "vests", I mean these, not these.

#163 ::: Cal Dunn ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2014, 05:44 PM:

Mongoose @156: unless anyone's got a mini TARDIS they're not using. Preferably one with its own set of nested quantum subdrawers.

I find this idea intriguing, and I would like to join the waiting list.

#164 ::: Q. Pheevr ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2014, 05:47 PM:

Will his funeral be picketed by decent human beings?

No, because decent human beings don't picket funerals.

#165 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2014, 05:56 PM:

Mongoose at 162: thank you.

I'd call that either an undershirt or a tank top, I think.

#166 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2014, 06:45 PM:

Q. Pheevr #164: Indeed.

#167 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2014, 06:46 PM:

Word is that Phelps will not have a funeral because they don't do such things.

#168 ::: shadowsong ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2014, 06:59 PM:

I was sad because Phelps managed to infect others with his hatred who will carry on without him... but one of my friends came up with a much better way of looking at it:

Thank you Fred Phelps for pulling anti-gay hatred away from the mainstream and into the radical margins of society. You helped make the world more accepting of gays and less tolerant of bigotry.
#169 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2014, 07:30 PM:

I think he needs a New Orleans-style jazz memorial procession. Preferably with drag queens.

#170 ::: Kevin Reid ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2014, 07:52 PM:

Socks are underwear; their job is to keep what’s inside comfortable and what’s outside clean, and you don’t wear them twice in a row.

My non-kitchen drawers:

  • things that are not in my pockets
  • medicine cabinet annex
  • things one uses without leaving one's chair
  • underwear
  • tools and cables
  • things whose commonality is not yet clear
  • plastic bags
  • things things came in
#171 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2014, 08:02 PM:

Q. Pheevr 164: I have quoted this elsewhere. Very nicely put.

I should have asked before: do you want attribution?

#172 ::: Dave Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2014, 09:08 PM:

Is Facebook committing suicide?"

Certainly looks to me like they're waving the axe at their golden goose....

#173 ::: iamnothing ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2014, 11:03 PM:

Serge Broom @144 I never met him (in person or online) but especially liked _A Handbook of American Prayer_.

#174 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2014, 11:57 PM:

"Is Facebook TRYING to PUT itself OUT of BUSINESS???"

(No doubt I've muffed that somehow.)

#175 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2014, 12:38 AM:

I gave up on clothing drawers years ago. I store underwear, T-shirts, and pajamas in a set of those wire cube units. This used to rest against my old bedroom wall; now it is set up under a shelf in a walk-in closet.

The sock bins have a lip -- made of a cube-up cube side -- to keep the socks from rolling out.

#176 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2014, 08:41 AM:

iamnothing @ 173... I'm putting that Shepard book on my buy-this queue.

#177 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2014, 09:23 AM:

Happy Birthday, Teresa!

#178 ::: Michael I ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2014, 09:28 AM:

Happy Birthday, Teresa!

#179 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2014, 09:53 AM:

Felicitous natal anniversary, Teresa!

#180 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2014, 09:57 AM:

¡Cumpleaños feliz, Teresa!

#181 ::: dotless ı ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2014, 10:05 AM:

Feliz aniversário, Teresa!

#182 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2014, 10:08 AM:

Gefeliceteerd, Teresa! En gefeliceteerd, Patrick, aan de verjaardag van Teresa!

#183 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2014, 10:36 AM:

Happy birthday, Teresa!

#184 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2014, 11:12 AM:


#185 ::: Pendrift ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2014, 11:24 AM:

Joyeux anniversaire, Teresa!

#186 ::: SamChevre ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2014, 11:32 AM:

Hallicher Geburtsdaag, Teresa.

#187 ::: Cassy B. ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2014, 11:39 AM:


♪...may the candles on your cake
    burn like cities in your wake...♫

Not appropriate? Sorry... <slinks off>

#188 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2014, 12:06 PM:

Hippo Birdie, Teresa!

#189 ::: Tracie ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2014, 12:12 PM:

It's Teresa's birthday! Do a happy dance.

#190 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2014, 12:22 PM:

Happy Birthday, Teresa!

#191 ::: Cadbury Moose ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2014, 12:28 PM:

<loud scrubbing noises and a small tidal wave of foam>

Hippo Bathday, Teresa!

#192 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2014, 12:30 PM:

Invoking AKICIML --

Can anyone recommend a good biography of St. Therese of Lisieux? I've tried to read her autobiography, "The Story of a Soul" three times in the last five months and bounced off of it EVERY time. The dear saint's writing style is like someone dragging their fingernails over a chalkboard.

(The third attempt left me muttering, "Little Flower? Huh...I'd have called her obsessively babbling brook...")

#193 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2014, 12:31 PM:

Happy Birthday, Teresa!

#194 ::: Dave Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2014, 12:52 PM:

Happy Birthday, Teresa!

#195 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2014, 01:02 PM:

Happy Birthday TNH, and enjoy Florence!

There's a water fountain on the side of city hall that has free fizzy mineral water.

#196 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2014, 01:19 PM:

Happy b-day, Teresa!

#197 ::: Victoria ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2014, 01:52 PM:

...and many more, Teresa! May the next year of your existence be a good one.

#199 ::: Benjamin Wolfe ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2014, 01:57 PM:

Happy birthday, Teresa!

#200 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2014, 01:58 PM:

Cally 61: And that has almost the same tune as "Guinevere" from Camelot.

A couple of open-thready kinds of things:

First, I think I have a crush on fiatlapides (the guy who reads the Catullus over there, and whose nom-de-YouTube appears to my untrained eye to mean "let there be stones"). Start out with an extremely attractive young man, have him do something really impressive (and impressive intellectually AND artistically, which gets triple points in my book), then add to that the fact that the rhythm itself is a sexy, body-moving rhythm (I really want to learn to drum it) and...sigh, another useless, hopeless crush.

I'll get over it.

Separately, earlier today Patrick Brennan (@Pat_Bren) tweeted

They're called "alpha males" because they're broken, primitive, buggy versions of real humans.
I loved this! It also made me want to get a t-shirt that says "BETA MALE/(may have bugs in some feminism modules)" on the front and "please submit feedback in writing" on the back. Alternatively, or maybe in addition, a more generally wearable one that says "BETA VERSION/please submit feedback in writing." But given the dudebros out there pounding their little chests and yelling about how they're alpha males, I really want the BETA MALE one.

Finally, my friend sent me this list of barcode prefixes to help enable national boycotts (or "buycotts," a term I just learned). Prefixes 460-469 indicate that the code was assigned to a company in Russia (not necessarily that the product was manufactured there, but Russian companies are more to the point anyway). 729 indicates the same thing for Israel.

#201 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2014, 02:00 PM:

Arggh. The Cally 61 belonged in the other thread.

#202 ::: Mongoose ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2014, 02:04 PM:

Teresa: many happy returns from me, and Hiccy Birdie from Wilfred the chronically inebriated cuddly penguin.

#203 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2014, 02:16 PM:

Happy, happy birthday, Teresa!

#204 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2014, 02:43 PM:

Happy Birthday Teresa!

#205 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2014, 02:53 PM:

In the department of Sharing The Good Stuff, I just ran across an anime series on Crunchyroll called Tonari no Seki-Kun: The Master of Killing Time (link goes to free streaming; their app is also easy to use and doesn't require a paid membership to work).

Every ep opens at the back of a (pre-college; they look twelveish? Hard to tell in anime) history classroom. A girl named Yokoi is perennially distracted from the lesson, despite her best intentions, because the guy next to her, Seki, is EPIC at fiddling around with bizarre little crud on his desk. In the first ep he makes an amazing 'falling dominoes' layout from an improbable number of rectangular erasers and random other school supplies he has handy. It only escalates from there.

Lots of good fun. Of course, Yokoi is the only one who ever gets in trouble from their teacher for failing to pay attention in class. :->

#206 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2014, 02:56 PM:

Quickie post to try to knock free a server error?

#207 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2014, 03:05 PM:

#172, #174: The obligation to uphold Net tradition compels me to write:

"Imminent death of Facebook predicted; film at eleven."

#208 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2014, 03:11 PM:

Since my last post, I have learned that my dear friend, sometime mentor, and adopted coven-sister (our covens were adopted sister covens) Judy Harrow passed away, apparently peacefully in her sleep, sometime last night.

I was just chatting with her yesterday! We were on Facebook chat, and I was offering to come help her with heavy-lifting stuff, and told her how to save "the glorious Spring portrait that Joanne Barret created" (her words) to her computer. I told her she was the closest thing to a Wiccan mentor I ever had (we were eclectics and didn't know any other Wiccans for a long time), and she said this: "Actually, you found what you sought within yourself, and, in so doing, challenged my Gard orthodoxy. So back atcha!" I responded "Yay us! LOL" and she responded in kind.

I didn't think that would be our last conversation. I'm thanking the gods I got to have it, though.

Walk in joy and beauty, Judy. The Powers that Be will welcome you to the neverending feast, and give you a place of honor.

#209 ::: iamnothing ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2014, 03:48 PM:

my condolences, Xopher.

#210 ::: Victoria ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2014, 03:54 PM:

Xopher, my sympathies.

#211 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2014, 04:01 PM:

I'm so sorry, Xopher.

#212 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2014, 04:04 PM:

Adding my condolences, Xopher. Glad you and she were blessed with that conversation.

Knowing you're loved and appreciated is not a bad way to go out, methinks.

#213 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2014, 04:15 PM:

My friend Peg has already written an obit of sorts: Sad, Sudden Loss of a Pagan Elder: Rest in Peace, Judy Harrow

#214 ::: OtterB ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2014, 04:27 PM:

Xopher, my condolences. I'm glad you had that last conversation.

#215 ::: Cassy B. ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2014, 04:50 PM:

Xopher, sincere condolences.

#216 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2014, 05:19 PM:

Thank you, everyone. Going into the numb stage, maybe with a little bad temper.

#217 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2014, 05:33 PM:

Xopher: Condolences. Really glad to hear that you had that last conversation. It's clear she will continue to live in your memories.

#218 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2014, 05:42 PM:

Condolences, Xopher. The pictures suggest she had a face used to kindness.

#219 ::: Lenora Rose ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2014, 05:45 PM:

Happy Birthday, Teresa!

#220 ::: Lenora Rose ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2014, 06:26 PM:

I only wish our kitchen were as organized even as most of these, but between insufficient cupboard space and the recent emergency "Move these out of the drawers the toddler can get into now that he couldn't before" what little organization I had been able to put together has collapsed (Okay. Most of the silverware is in one drawer. Except the infant cutlery. And the steakknives.)

The plan is to supplement the current cupboards -- which really are no more than we had when the kitchen was a third the size it currently is, but at least they have *Drawers* -- with Billy bookcases (Ideally those with doors for at least the bottom portion) or one of the other shelving styles at Ikea (So far Billy's simplicity still appeals most, as the slightly fancier ones mostly are not a match for the rest of the room, where Billy tends to go invisible).

Of course, my sorting methods are a mite eclectic. My brother found our kitchen entirely counter-intuitive, and while much of that is the workaround nature of where things are placed meantime, some of it really is just that it makes sense to me.

My prime example of my perfectly reasonable and intuitive to me method of sorting was the way I linked together one particular shelf of Colin's DVDs (TV shows). The flow went Father Ted to the Vicar of Dibley (Religious comedy) to Brother Cafael (Religious themes and British mystery) to Jonathan Creek to Lovejoy (British mysteries, the latter with Ian McShane) to Deadwood (Ian McShane). Perfectly logical, right?

(if we had QI in solid form instead of Digital, I'd be stumped how to wedge it in beside Jonathan Creek, though.)

ON another line of thought, I am finding I see less of interest on Facebook, and I am starting to half feel like I would do better to start hanging out on twitter, or sticking to LJ. Dreamwidth and here.

And that's the only place to see things relevant to some members of my family, and a couple of friends I really want to support,m and I start waffling -- then S. posts another status update about her children*, and I know I'm not giving it up entirely until the whole thing falls down.

Cutting down visits, though, is getting much easier.

There should be some way a user can direct their own feed, and override their algorithms. And the ways to see "all posts" instead of "highlights" even when visiting someone's personal page to find out what didn't make it into the feed should be considerably more obvious.

*Seriously. Some peoples' posts about their kids are really of interest only to other parents, or even to fewer than that. Hers are gems.

#221 ::: Lenora Rose ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2014, 06:28 PM:

And clearly I took way too long to write a lot of nothing.

Condolences, Xopher.

#222 ::: Buddha Buck ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2014, 06:50 PM:

I, too, knew Judy, although I only saw her occasionally.

Among her accomplishments were working in the early '80s to clarify New York marriage laws so that neopagans could get married by their own religious leaders. As such, I have enjoyed relaying to her the legal progress of same sex marriage.

Today a judge in Michigan ruled that state's ban unconstitutional. It saddens me that I can't share that news (and my analysis) with her.

#223 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2014, 07:03 PM:

Xopher, my deepest sympathies.

#224 ::: Dave Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2014, 08:35 PM:

Xopher Halftongue #208: My sympathies and condolences.

#225 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2014, 08:44 PM:


#226 ::: oldster ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2014, 09:21 PM:

Xopher, I am very sorry to hear of your loss.

#227 ::: Clifton ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2014, 09:57 PM:

Many happy returns to Teresa!

And to Xopher, may you have many joyous memories of your friend.

#228 ::: B. Durbin ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2014, 10:17 PM:

On kitchens: We have a dingus drawer, a doohickey drawer, and a couple of drawers that are more mundane. We are currently storing our knives in the inoperable microwave/hood that is PART of the stupid stove (which means we can't just rip it out without replacing the whole range.) It keeps the knives out of kid-reach, because the builder-cheap 80s-standard cabinets aren't designed in a way that would allow for any meaningful child-proofing. (We had an extension fence around the whole thing for a while since it's part of the tiniest "great room" concept you could imagine.)

We also have small appliance storage in the garage. This is not the world's largest kitchen, and the builder-cheap cabinets block off a lot of the usable space in the non-square angles.

#229 ::: D. Potter ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2014, 10:29 PM:

Xopher, my condolences.

(Judy was one of my earliest acquaintances in fandom.)

#230 ::: Magenta Griffith ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2014, 10:55 PM:

My condolences, Xopher. I hadn't seen Judy in years, but she was a friend to me as well, back in the day. A great lady is gone.

#231 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2014, 11:07 PM:

Sorry for that loss, Xopher — and anyone else who knew her. It's good you had such a rewarding conversation when you did.


#232 ::: Lin Daniel ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2014, 12:51 AM:

Happy birthday, Teresa, a little late.

Xopher, others, my sympathies on the loss of your friend.

#233 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2014, 02:40 AM:

Thanks again everyone.

Stefan, she definitely did.

Buddha, I remember when that fight was going on. David Dinkins was the guy they were fighting against.

I'm moving into the "this is all going to turn out to be a mistake, right?" phase.

#234 ::: Syd ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2014, 02:44 AM:

A slightly belated Happy Birthday to Teresa, and my sympathies to Xopher--hugs offered all 'round as might be acceptable.

Have been doing much reading but not much posting. ***waves***

Organization...I'm still working on being less organizationally...challenged, shall we say. I'm going to take a goodly portion of this weekend to sort out and rethink and rearrange to make better use of the little space I have, which can only be considered a useful skill to develop. As to What Goes, socks and undies go in the same drawer now, although they did not cohabit in my dresser when I had the house. Two small chests of drawers rather than a nicely capacious dresser may have something to do with it.

In the interests of being able to avoid digging through said socks for a matching pair, I fold 'em. So, socks/undies in one drawer, nightclothes/lounging-around-by-myself stuff in the next. The bottom drawer of one chest holds OMG BRA SALE AT [favorite lingerie store, although they have apparently decided to stop making ALL my favorite styles, so I'll be looking for a new vendor], plus a pair of casual trousers that are worn out enough to consider making sloppy cutoffs out of them.

In the other chest of drawers, first drawer is my work-suitable tops (t-shirt/pullover style), next is standard casual t-shirts, including those emblazoned in some manner (e.g., Dr. Who, Cirque de Soleil, etc.), and bottom drawer is jeans. I do have some closet space, but it is not as well organized and is therefore in need of revamping.

Kitcheny stuff is...also not as well organized. But I know if I keep on not doing my own cooking, I will not succeed in any strategy for healthy eating, so figuring out what and where, from the dishes and the cookware to the knives and mandoline, is a necessity. Fun times! :)

In the HLN department, area woman has recently become the happy owner of a tattoo. "I thought about it on and off for ages," she reports, "then finally decided if I wasn't really interested in getting it done, I should (Feh on 'should'. Or possibly faugh.) find a better use for the brain space. Turns out I really was interested." Now that the itchy, flaky stage is over, she is unreservedly pleased.

She also plans to visit Reno at the end of the month to see her friend's band's CD release show...and has purchased a ticket to attend Burning Man for the first time. As she explained, "I decided I was ready for an adventure of MY choosing, rather than the sort the universe dropped on my head for a couple of years. It'll be a challenge on multiple levels, but I'm really looking forward to it." She then went off to look for tutus, as Tutu Tuesday is apparently a Thing That Happens at Burning Man.

#235 ::: Rob Hansen ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2014, 06:06 AM:

Belated birthday wishes, Teresa, and condolences on your loss, Xopher.

#236 ::: Rob Hansen ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2014, 06:11 AM:

This is interesting. The new Ms MARVEL comic featuring a Muslim superhero is big news in comics markets across the world, but she failed to make an impact in America:


Is a Muslim superhero just too hard a sell over there, I wonder?

#237 ::: Neil W ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2014, 08:31 AM:

Xopher - My sympathies.

#238 ::: Neil W ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2014, 08:39 AM:

Rob Hansen @236 - Are those the ComiXology digital comic charts? I wonder if part of the difference is in availability of physical copies. (Since I get to my (UK) local comic book store about once very six months I don't actually know what it's like)

That said, someone dressed up in the Stars and Stripes is already pretty exotic over here, so Kamala Khan is less of a stretch.

#239 ::: Rob Hansen ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2014, 11:28 AM:

The wonderful moment someone learns their life's work is correct:

five sigma at point two

#240 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2014, 12:16 PM:

So sorry, Xopher.

#241 ::: D. Potter ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2014, 12:39 PM:

And happy (belated) birthday to Teresa!

#242 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2014, 12:40 PM:

My condolences, Xopher.

#243 ::: Sandy B. ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2014, 12:53 PM:

Sorry to hear of your loss, Xopher.

#244 ::: Sandy B. ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2014, 12:56 PM:

Also: totally stole that alpha-males line.

#245 ::: janetl ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2014, 01:37 PM:

Rob Hansen @ 236 & Neil W @ 238: Reading that article and the comments, it does sound like it's referring to digital sales only. I know that I've been walking to my local comics store for my shiny paper copy of Ms. Marvel on the day it comes out each month. This week I headed there after having lunch with a friend, and she came along and picked up #1 and #2.

I enjoyed G. Willow Wilson's novel Alif the Unseen, and follow her on twitter—she's entertaining and informative. Her blog post Sex, Gender, And The Comics Industry is just plain wonderful. I quoted the line "I dress like a nun. A nun with possible terrorist connections. Who has strabismus." to someone just yesterday.

#248 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2014, 05:27 PM:

Ouch! Got caught by the double-poster demon.

#249 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2014, 06:16 PM:

Open threadiness: today I am grateful that, no matter how frustrating my job situation is, it at least does not involve FLAMING TUMBLEWEEDS FALLING FROM THE SKY.

#250 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2014, 06:17 PM:

As I said on Facebook, Fragano, people who are better than me.

#252 ::: Dave Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2014, 08:23 PM:

New XPrize: For a robot capable of giving a TED talk.

Aside from SF creeping into reality again... well, knowing what I do about AI, it strikes me as kinda snarky.

#253 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2014, 08:30 PM:

Lila @c 249... I guess the tumbleweeds got really mad at Eddie Albert for the failure to communicate.

#254 ::: Michael I ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2014, 09:38 PM:

Xopher, my condolences.

#255 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2014, 09:50 PM:

Serge: apparently tumbleweeds are pursuing collective action against humans.

#256 ::: Lin Daniel ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2014, 10:58 PM:

Teresa's particle on hats:


*ahem* That is to say, I'm glad I'm not fashionable.
And you thought those falling for Nigerian scams were gullible.

(searching for brain bleach)

#257 ::: Rob Hansen ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2014, 09:05 AM:

Wish I'd been at this London bus shelter that day:

meteor strike

#258 ::: Mongoose ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2014, 11:35 AM:

Xopher @ 251: I doff the hat of your choice to Nate Phelps. (Note that none of my hats looks anything like any of those in the Particle. I am eccentric, but not that eccentric.)

HLN: local herpestid has been asked to write an article on asexuality for a large LGBT website. Mum agrees that this is a Good Thing, but has decided - correctly, I think - that we had better not tell Dad. He is 85 and inclined to wibble and splutter.

#259 ::: Adel ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2014, 12:41 PM:

Mongoose: I would be interested in an update once the article is up. I have a dear friend who recently came out as asexual, someone who I had/have been somewhat romantically connected to. It's complicated, as these things usually are, and any knowledge and understanding I can glean will be a Good Thing.

Teresa: Many belated felicitations on, as the above-mentioned friend calls it, Martian Flag Day. Why Martian Flag Day I don't know, but everyone whose natal anniversary coincides ends up President of Mars for that day. He's a strange beast, and it (usually) derails me

Xopher: Many belated condolences for your loss. My fervent hopes had been that 2014 would be the year to recover from the emotional strain of the losses in 2013, but apparently no such luck.

#260 ::: Adel ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2014, 12:43 PM:

Oh bugger. That sentence ending in (usually) derails me should have ended with a witty reference to dirges, swords and yaks, but I blew it. Mea culpa.

#261 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2014, 12:49 PM:

Rob Hansen #257: The surging tentacle is just as frightening.

#262 ::: Patrick Connors ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2014, 01:52 PM:

Lila #249: Bookmarked for future reference. I have a toxic boss.

#263 ::: Cadbury Moose ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2014, 01:53 PM:

Fragano @ #261

Indeed, where is Bob Howard when you need him?

#264 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2014, 02:03 PM:

Xopher at 110:
Why did seeing an xray of your hip make you switch to boxers?

#265 ::: Syd ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2014, 02:56 PM:

If any Fluorospherians are are, or have friends who are, pet owners in the San Fernando Valley area of LA, I'm in potentially dire need of a petsitter for the end of March and would appreciate local referrals for same. I'd asked my landlady, who'd done the honors for my four kittehs the last time I went out of town, but she is traveling herself that weekend and offered the task to the handyman (also a tenant), who said yes.

All's well until she texts me this morning with the news that Handyman has backed out because he doesn't want to be held responsible if one of the cats gets out. Landlady says she's asked another of the tenants but has not gotten an answer yet.

My texted response to Landlady was to please let me know what Other Tenant says. My internal response to Handyman Who Is Leaving Me in the Lurch at Very Nearly the Last Minute is: you want to make sure none of the cats escape? MAKE SURE YOU SHUT THE STUPID DOOR BEHIND YOU.

If I have to cancel this trip I am going to be really disappointed. Prayers/good mojo/good thoughts in the direction of Other Tenant saying yes or a referral to a reputable petsitter with time available for this weekend will be gratefully appreciated.

***grumbles while looking for petsitters inline***

#266 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2014, 03:19 PM:

Thanks yet again, everyone. Your support means a lot.

This morning in the Episcopal church where I sing, during the Prayers of the People, Lenore remembered Judy as a leader of the Wiccan community, cited her work in interfaith outreach, and prayed "that we may accept the faiths and beliefs of others as she did, with love and understanding."

Works for me. I didn't break down crying, but it was a near thing.

Erik 264: Because of what else I saw on the x-ray* and what my briefs were doing to it. Or them.

*X-rays, contrary to my belief up until that time, don't show hard material only, and pass through soft tissue invisibly, leaving no shadow. No, indeed not.

#267 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2014, 03:19 PM:

Syd @ 265 ...
If I have to cancel this trip I am going to be really disappointed. Prayers/good mojo/good thoughts in the direction of Other Tenant saying yes or a referral to a reputable petsitter with time available for this weekend will be gratefully appreciated.

Yikes! I'll keep my proverbial fingers crossed that things sort out well for you.

#268 ::: Mongoose ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2014, 03:52 PM:

Adel @ 259: I will do that. In the meantime, you can get a lot of information from the FAQ section of AVEN, which is, in my opinion, one of the best FAQ pages on the Internet.

Xopher @ 266: that sounds like one awesome church.

#269 ::: Mongoose ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2014, 03:53 PM:

My link, she is b0rked. It's supposed to go to Sorry.

#270 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2014, 03:57 PM:

It is, o herpestid, it is. Amazingly so.

#271 ::: nerdycellist ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2014, 04:51 PM:

Syd @ #265 -

Whereabouts in the SFV? How much people-time do they need? I'm in the Hollywood-ish area and work in the valley, so I may be able to help.

#272 ::: Syd ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2014, 05:40 PM:

xeger @ 267, thank you! nerdycellist @ 271, the closest freeway offramp is the 405 at Nordoff, and I'm just slightly west of there, if that gives you sufficient info.

I went over to chat with Landlady about something else, and she has a couple of other possibilities she'll check into for me. Plus Handyman also popped in for something and it turns out he's also not been feeling quite up to snuff lately and that's at least as much behind his decision as the chance of cat escape, so I can't really hold it against him. But on the other hand, I was honest about how much being able to make this trip means to me, so he may change his mind. I assured him I was NOT trying to pressure him, and I wasn't, this is a big thing to me--but I don't want anyone to feel coerced.

Still, feels like progress. Which...which is sometimes what happens when I remember it's okay to ask friends for help, even in the form of good thoughts. Go, me. :)

#273 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2014, 07:03 PM:

if all else falls through, I'm in the valley.

#274 ::: Syd ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2014, 07:19 PM:

P J Evans @ 273, you ROCK. I am hoping that one of the other possibilities my landlady came up with will pan out, but just in case, when would I need to let you know that all else had fallen through? I mean, I know the sooner the better, but still.

And thank you for even thinking about it. I appreciate it no end. :)

#275 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2014, 08:45 PM:

Chicago Area Fluorospherians: anyone interested in a mini-Gathering of Light in early June? I will be taking my daughter, who is a complete 1893 Chicago World's Fair fangirl, to this exhibit and probably to a bunch of other touristy type sites as well. And probably taking selfies in places mentioned in the Dresden Files and other stuff like that, because I have no shame.

#276 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2014, 08:50 PM:

I'd love to tourguide, Lila. We'll be out of town starting somewhere midmonth (14th-ish), but are available before that.

#277 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2014, 09:06 PM:

Syd, one day or two would be enough.

#278 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2014, 09:57 PM:

Foodie news:

I made tabouli from scratch yesterday. Usually I start with the mix (wheat, seasonings) and add minced parsely, but the bulk grocery no longer carried the stuff. They *did* have bulgar wheat, with instructions for boiling it. I added lemon juice, dried onions, and olive oil to the boiling mess; after cooling I mixed in parsely, chopped olives, minced garlic, chopped tomato, more olive oil and lemon juice. (Non sodium worriers could add salt.)

It came out great, and the leftovers tasted even better.

#279 ::: Syd ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2014, 10:02 PM:

P J Evans @ 277, I will comment here no later than Wednesday evening to let you know. Thank you. :)

#280 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2014, 10:30 PM:

Elliott: awesome! I will take you up on that.

Stefan Jones: if you have leftover bulgur, you might try making frumenty.

#281 ::: Victoria ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2014, 11:35 PM:

My Aunt Mary passed. She was by no means a part of fandom, but she was definitely the kind of character much appreciated here.

She was a nurse in a hospital as well as a farm wife for most of her life. She buried two husbands and treated her children and step-children to equal amounts of love and support and exasperation. She would feed anyone they brought home with them, as long as she was notified first. She thought it the height of rudeness not to have a place set for the strangers at her table upon their arrival.

Aunt Mary survived a two story fall from a ladder, complications from surgery and a two month coma. After her recovery, she went back to gardening, cooking for the boys (sons/stepsons) who farmed for her, and babysitting her grandchildren after school. She didn't slow down for another fifteen years.

She was allergic to alfalfa, indigo and the color blue (more specifically, the chemicals that turn things blue).

Her body stopped making blood. When the drugs and transfusions failed to re-start her bone marrow, she told the doctors to stop poking at her. She'd lived enough, and there were younger people who needed the help more. She was 88.

#282 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2014, 11:49 PM:

Condolences, Victoria. She sounded like a person worth knowing.

* * *
Wikipedia notes that Frumenty was sometimes eaten with porpoise chunks. Porpoise counted as a fish, so it was Friday friendly. I think I'll pass on that variant.

#283 ::: Kevin Riggle ::: (view all by) ::: March 24, 2014, 12:34 AM:

Requiescat, Victoria.

Just popping in quick to mention that a friend of mine is Kickstarting his 4X (explore, expand, exploit, and exterminate) space strategy game which has realistic lightspeed signal delay. He's just recently posted a demo which looks really well thought-through. It's called Slower Than Light.

It seems relevant to the interests of people here. I would really like to see it funded.

#284 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: March 24, 2014, 12:57 AM:

"Slow than Light" sounds like the kind of game I'd have totally lost myself in twenty years ago.

#285 ::: praisegod barebones ::: (view all by) ::: March 24, 2014, 01:29 AM:

Stefan Jones @278: Bulgur wheat comes in several sizes of grain. If you get the smallest one - roughly the same size as couscous - which is probably what you want for tabbouleh, you can add boiling water and let it stand for a few minutes, and it should be good to go.

(Also - it makes a good, and relatively quick, alternative grain to rice and or pasta.)

#286 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: March 24, 2014, 06:36 AM:

Condolences, Victoria.

#287 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: March 24, 2014, 07:49 AM:

Victoria, may her memory be a blessing and an inspiration.

#288 ::: rea ::: (view all by) ::: March 24, 2014, 07:52 AM:

Woke up from a dream about moving refrigerators. Back and upper arms extremely sore . . . Went around house to make sure I hadn't actually moved any refrigerators in my sleep.

#289 ::: Dave Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: March 24, 2014, 08:22 AM:

Victoria #281: My condolences.

#290 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: March 24, 2014, 08:33 AM:

Victoria @ 281 ...

Empathies and condolences -- your Aunt Mary sounds like a delightful (and sometimes frustrating) person to have known.

#291 ::: OtterB ::: (view all by) ::: March 24, 2014, 09:01 AM:

Victoria @281 She sounds wonderful. Condolences to you and all the family.

#292 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: March 24, 2014, 10:17 AM:

Victoria, my sympathies.

#293 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: March 24, 2014, 11:06 AM:

Xopher: Your friend sounds awesome, as does your church.

Syd @265: If other options fall through, check with your vet, or any vet's office in your vacinity; sometimes vet techs will do pet sitting for whatever the going daily rate is.

This is my fallback measure for the pigs if neighbors/friends are unavailable.

Victoria: She sounds like an amazing lady, and good on her for asserting her choice.

Stefan Jones @282: Wikipedia notes that Frumenty was sometimes eaten with porpoise chunks. Porpoise counted as a fish, so it was Friday friendly. I think I'll pass on that variant.

I wonder if they meant dolphin?

#294 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: March 24, 2014, 12:20 PM:

My condolences to Xopher and Victoria. Those women you mourn were Makers of Light.

#295 ::: dotless ı ::: (view all by) ::: March 24, 2014, 01:19 PM:

Xopher@208: My condolences. Likewise, Victoria@281.

praisegod barebones@285: When I think of bulgur the first thing that comes to mind is kibbeh, especially the baked lamb- or pumpkin-based kinds. (Which is reminding me that we have bulgur in the kitchen and haven't made kibbeh in a while...)

#296 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: March 24, 2014, 03:04 PM:

Condolences to Xopher and Victoria. It's good to set down stories of people — something I should probably be doing now, before, well, never mind.

#297 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: March 24, 2014, 03:05 PM:

Another Slower than Light. This one's a fillo I drew for an early MarsCon (third one, most likely) back in the Virginia years.

#298 ::: Clifton ::: (view all by) ::: March 24, 2014, 03:14 PM:

Stefan: Bulgur is one of our "go-to" quick grains to go with a meal; it's even easier and faster than rice, in my opinion. You can make it just by soaking it in boiling water and covering it, or you can make it in the rice cooker (1 c bulgur to 1 1/2 c water.) I was inspired just yesterday to try adding some already-cooked bulgur to the oatmeal I was cooking for breakfast, with good results - a pleasing hearty grain flavor.

I try to keep some stock of bulgur on hand as emergency food, because in a pinch you could prepare it even with no heat source, as long as you've got water to soak it in.

Fresh made tabouli is great stuff, especially for the summer months, and very easy work for very refreshing results. There are a lot of national variations in terms of proportions of vegetables and grain, choices of veggies, choices of seasonings, and so on. I should make some soon.

#299 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: March 24, 2014, 04:08 PM:

Happy belated birthday, Teresa!

Xopher and Victoria, my condolences.

Lila, #255: After looking at that article, two thoughts spring to mind:

1) "We've been told we're on our own. Our property, our mess." Well, Colorado Springs is a Libertarian stronghold, after all.

2) In their shoes, I'd be looking at the feasibility of a controlled burn. Pick a location that's mostly dirt, start a fire, and feed it tumbleweeds in a controlled manner, with people standing by to make sure it doesn't spit sparks and start a wildfire. This has the advantage of removing the continuing fire threat as well as the immediate problem.

Jacque, #293: It's probably very easy to confuse the two.

#300 ::: Buddha Buck ::: (view all by) ::: March 24, 2014, 04:17 PM:

Lee 299:

I don't live in fire country, but even here I would suspect that an attempt at a controlled burn of that much naturally-dried plant matter in a brand new subdivision during dry weather would be looked upon poorly by the local fire marshal.

I suspect that with tumbleweeds they would burn hot and fast, so there would be additional problems keeping the fire going without burning out or getting out of control.

#301 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: March 24, 2014, 05:52 PM:

Lee @ #299: my first thought was "feed them to a mulcher." I have no direct experience of tumbleweeds, but they look like they're mostly open space. If chopped up, they should be much more compact. Then maybe you could compost them, or at least bag them up.

After seeing the video at 249, setting them on fire is WAY down my list.

#302 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: March 24, 2014, 06:36 PM:

Lila... Hitchcock's "Dial 'M' for Mulcher"?

#303 ::: Cally Soukup ::: (view all by) ::: March 24, 2014, 06:44 PM:

Lila: I'd be interested in tagging along for that, schedule permitting.

#304 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: March 24, 2014, 06:47 PM:

Open space and prickly. When they're small (up to about ten inches tall) they're not hard to remove from the ground by simply pulling them up. (I spent several days removing inch-high seedlings from the front yard, once. It's easy to recognize them, even at that stage.)

#305 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: March 24, 2014, 06:55 PM:

Cally: awesome! We're still in the "are we driving or taking Megabus" stage. Driving: shorter, more control, more comfortable. Bus: whole hell of a lot cheaper. Will keep y'all posted.

P.J. Evans, yeah, the *second* thing that came to mind was "OMG the seedlings next time it rains!"

#306 ::: Sarah ::: (view all by) ::: March 24, 2014, 08:18 PM:

Shadowsong@50. Yes, makes as much sense as a usurious price, and is more charming.

I think “uxorious prices” are those charged on Valentine’s Day items.

P J Evans @ #153
Family members who wanted to see him before he died were apparently blocked.

That’s the strangest part as far as I’m concerned. How could they excommunicate him and then prevent other excommunicated family from seeing him?

#307 ::: Lin Daniel ::: (view all by) ::: March 24, 2014, 10:20 PM:

Victoria, my condolences. It sounds like she was a formidable lady.

#308 ::: Lin Daniel ::: (view all by) ::: March 24, 2014, 10:34 PM:

I've been reading old threads as spam comments bring them to my notice. I missed a lot of stuff the last couple of years because life. And insanity. And chaos. So just for the silliness of it, I decided to start at the beginning of Making Light. I highly recommend it, as there are links to resources I never knew existed. The The Internet Speculative Fiction Database alone is a joy (no, I didn't know). Wheeee!

#309 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: March 25, 2014, 09:31 AM:

In an interesting, and highly underreported indicative plebiscite this past Sunday, more than two million voters in the Veneto declared their support for the restoration of a Venetian republic. Anyone interested in the possible opening for the post of Doge?

#310 ::: Cassy B. ::: (view all by) ::: March 25, 2014, 10:22 AM:

Does Venice have a strong enough economy to pump enough money into their infrastructure to combat their increasingly dire flooding problems? Sounds like a good time to have a national government, rather than being a city-state...

#311 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: March 25, 2014, 10:29 AM:

Cassy B. #310: Actually, it does. The northern Italian regions are richer than the southern ones. One complaint is that they get back 5 euros out of every 7 they pay in taxes, the other two going to the Mezzogiorno.

#312 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: March 25, 2014, 10:29 AM:

Cassy B. #310: Actually, it does. The northern Italian regions are richer than the southern ones. One complaint is that they get back 5 euros out of every 7 they pay in taxes, the other two going to the Mezzogiorno.

#313 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: March 25, 2014, 10:48 AM:

Fragano: So Italy is like the US, with the North supporting the South via tax money?

#314 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: March 25, 2014, 10:59 AM:

Lee #313: Not a bad comparison. Except the people who are promoting racism and threatening secession (the Liga Nord), are northerners.

Plus, there are a few interesting northern minorities, Francophones (the Valdotains), Germans (the South Tyroleans/Upper Adigeans), Friulans, Sards, and Catalan-speakers.

#315 ::: SamChevre ::: (view all by) ::: March 25, 2014, 11:33 AM:

On Italy, a random nitpick and an actual comment:

Fragano Ledgister, the South Tyrol speaks German, but is historically Austrian; Austrians and Germans don't (seem in my experience to) think of themselves as one people.

Lee, the subsidization of the South by the North in Italy is much more blatant than it is in the US; in the US, it's largely driven (IIRC) by military base locations; in Italy, it's much more straight transfer spending.

#316 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: March 25, 2014, 12:07 PM:

SamChevre #315:

That, presumably, is why August Heinrich Hoffman von Fallersleben declared:

Von der Maas bis an die Memel,
Von der Etsch bis an den Belt,
Deutschland, Deutschland über alles,
Über alles in der Welt!

(From the Meuse right up to Memel,
From the Adige up to the Belt
Germany, Germany above everything
Above everything in the world!)

Presumably because nineteenth century German nationalist poets, and the people who adopted their verse as the national song of Germany, made a huge distinction between Austrians and Germans, and thought that the South Tyrol (not to mention Lithuania, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Denmark) could not be part of Germany.

#317 ::: SamChevre ::: (view all by) ::: March 25, 2014, 12:20 PM:

Presumably because nineteenth century German nationalist poets, and the people who adopted their verse as the national song of Germany, made a huge distinction between Austrians and Germans

German nationalists did not make the distinction; Austrians tended to find it important.

#319 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: March 25, 2014, 01:52 PM:

Lila #275, Elliott #276, Cally #303:

I am always up for a social gathering, so keep me informed (higgins at fnal dot gov). Would also enjoy seeing that exhibit at the Field Museum. I have never been to a World's Fair, and their era seems to have passed. Though I am more of a 1964 or maybe 1939 sort of guy, I think I would enjoy meeting an 1893 fangirl.

Also let me know if a visit to Fermilab is desired.

#320 ::: SamChevre ::: (view all by) ::: March 25, 2014, 03:03 PM:

Fragano Ledgister @ 316

Okay, I got back from lunch and realized that my 317 is me, getting my buttons pushed[1]. Here's a more considered version.

Nineteenth-century German nationalists were trying to define/create a German nation, which didn't exist at the time. In good 19th-century nationalist fashion, they based their nation on language[2]--all German-speakers are one people, so they should be one nation[3].

There were two competing ideas (you have to remember that Deutschland ueber alles is propaganda): one is the multi-ethnic empire (of which the Austro-Hungarian Empire is the exemplar in Europe), and the other is the historic sub-national polities (Bavaria, Pomerania, Hannover, etc). So while German nationalists were happy to count German-speaking Austrians as "Germans", the Austrians generally were not much in favor of that categorization; they were rather proud to be Austrian.

1) My ancestry includes empire Jews; Germanization was rather a disaster for the empire Jews in general. And I have several friends who had family who remembered the Anschluss unhappily.
2) Ethnic nationalism is in the running for "all-time most disastrous political idea".
3) "One people, one nation" - it's more clearly dangerous in German.

#321 ::: Syd ::: (view all by) ::: March 25, 2014, 03:42 PM:

Kitty-sitting issue solved! Thank you again, P J Evans, for your willingness to step in if necessary--I greatly appreciate it. :D

#322 ::: Soon Lee ::: (view all by) ::: March 25, 2014, 03:47 PM:

Fragano Ledgister #309:

much history                so uncertain

wow           possible intrigue

       much discussion        very economics

#323 ::: Soon Lee ::: (view all by) ::: March 25, 2014, 03:52 PM:

Person was collateral damage when unnamed person attempted to cut the Gordian knot only to discover (via mixed metaphor) that said knot was attached to sword of Damocles.

(Person has now retreated to lick emotional wounds)

#324 ::: Cassy B. ::: (view all by) ::: March 25, 2014, 03:57 PM:

Soon Lee @323, Ouch. Condolences.

(Been there; done that; crawled under a rock and hid.)

#325 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: March 25, 2014, 04:21 PM:

Scritch them for me!

#326 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: March 25, 2014, 04:21 PM:

Bill Higgins @ #319: FERMILAB??? Hell to the YEAH!

Soon Lee @ # 323: Ow. I hope less drama ensues in the following days.

#327 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: March 25, 2014, 04:28 PM:

Apparently music really can keep the elderly Mr. and Mrs. Hill from dying prematurely (at least of Alzheimer's).

(Actually it says singing show tunes, specifically, reduces dementia vs. listening, but I couldn't resist the joke.)

#328 ::: Buddha Buck ::: (view all by) ::: March 25, 2014, 04:28 PM:

I wonder if they would bring back the traditional method of electing the Doge. I would say it's delightfully Baroque, but it predates the Baroque era by several hundred years.

#329 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: March 25, 2014, 05:28 PM:

Bill Higgins: we will now be adding to our party the fangirl's little sister, who will by then be A.B., Earth and Atmospheric Science, Georgia Tech, 2014. Trip was originally fangirl's birthday present, now will also encompass geologist girl's graduation present. Thanks!

Also: why does Fermilab have a herd of bison? Inquiring minds want to know!

Also, Elliott and Cassy: both girls are deeply into Anime, which I understand you are as well.

Other interests in the party include SF/Fantasy in general (all 3); bellydance, henna (the elder); SPAAAAAACE (all 3 of us but the youngest is the one who actually knows something about it); music (we all sing, eldest plays double bass, youngest plays violin & piano and composes). We also all write fanfic in various fandoms. The elder has studied Japanese and German; the younger, Latin and Russian. I retain about 6 words each of Spanish, Latin, Greek, ASL, Anglo-Saxon, German and Mandarin.

My eldest child, who alas works too hard to come with us, is a professional actor and stunt performer, Kung Fu and Lion Dance student, singer and violinist.

Never a dull moment at our house.

#330 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: March 25, 2014, 05:39 PM:

re the sidebar item "Catullus 63 sung in Galliambic Meter"

Am I the only one who momentarily misread that as "Calculus sung in Galliambic meter"?

#331 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: March 25, 2014, 05:43 PM:

Bill Higgins... Is it at Fermilab that the tour guide made a Morbius joke?

#332 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: March 25, 2014, 06:08 PM:

Lila: I am only an egg in anime-fandom, though I begin to see the shape of The Way Japanese Stories Are Different. Thanks to CrunchyRoll, I'm actually following several series that are still airing new in Japan (!!! My 1992-vintage self is gaping at the flying-car levels of awesomely futuristic this is).

#333 ::: oldster ::: (view all by) ::: March 25, 2014, 06:14 PM:

Lila @ 329--

Fermilab is at the forefront of particle physics, and they keep an ear to the ground for new elementary particles that may play a role in holding together the universe.

We all know about the Higgs Boson, but in order to account for certain lepton-lipton interactions, physics have postulated there may be a class of smaller, electrical neutral particle called "bison". These have mostly shown up as large clusters of particles inside cloud-chambers, and so physicists refer to them as "herds" of bison.

There have been other suggestive artifacts in the cloud-chambers: hoof prints, thick wooly fleece, loud snorting noises. Research continues! See it in action at Fermilab!

#334 ::: oldster ::: (view all by) ::: March 25, 2014, 06:18 PM:

Sorry--credit where credit is due. If the existence of the bison particle is ever confirmed, then it will probably receive the name of the brilliant theoretician who first posited it, Dr. Hogg.

#335 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: March 25, 2014, 06:26 PM:

God, I love this place.

#336 ::: Errolwi ::: (view all by) ::: March 25, 2014, 07:42 PM:

Re Fermilab Bison:
This was covered in the 'Stuff you missed in history class' podcast - I can't remember how much was mentioned about the bison specifically.

Felicia the Ferret (and Other Fermilab Animals)

#338 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: March 25, 2014, 08:23 PM:

SamChevre #320: You obviously know far more than I do about history and political thought. I'll relinquish the field to you.

#340 ::: Clifton ::: (view all by) ::: March 25, 2014, 09:07 PM:

Fragano @337: And also you can has your own cryptocurrency! This is sounding like a better gig by the minuet!*

* Tyop too good to correct.

#341 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: March 25, 2014, 09:31 PM:

Cally: my apologies for typing your sister's name! (Never having met either of you f2f probably inclines me to make more of such boneheaded errors.)

#342 ::: Janet Brennan Croft ::: (view all by) ::: March 25, 2014, 09:44 PM:

Organizing, too soon old too late schmart department: For decades I've kept a list of what's in the freezer, neatly categorized and dated, which I use to plan meals and direct semi-annual purges. But I recently added two new tricks. One, different shaped containers for different things, so e.g. all single-serving leftovers in shallow round sour cream cartons, all fruit in square pint boxes. Two, ingredients frozen in single serving portions in foil, all of one kind tucked in a labelled freezer bag, and bags of similar type of thing together in a plastic bin, so e.g., all poultry in one bin, all seafood in another, all nuts in a third. ("Nuts is right." But it cuts down on the labeling and the problem of labels falling off, not to mention adding another barrier to freezer burn. All the bacon portions are in one bag, the list tells me the date they were added, and I don't buy more till the bag is empty.)

#343 ::: Cygnet ::: (view all by) ::: March 25, 2014, 09:45 PM:

Re: Tumbleweeds.

I've disposed of them in small numbers by fire. They burn like they were dipped in gasoline. One knee-high tumbleweed will shoot flames several feet in the air. I always either burnt them in a burn barrel (small ones) or with a pitchfork in hand to pin them down while they burned (bigger ones). Still, it IS the best way to dispose of them because burning them destroys the seeds. However, that's a handful at a time, on a still humid day.

Getting rid of large numbers of tumbleweeds would be really problematic. You can't safely burn them around anything else flammable, as the video shows -- they're almost explosively inflammable, and the amount of heat they put off is incredible.

Getting them in a wood chipper would be harder than it sounds -- at least, you wouldn't find me volunteering for that job. They're covered in stickers and very fine skin-irritating hairs, so it's like trying to wrestle a cactus the size of a bean bag. They don't weigh much, but that's the only thing they have going for them as far as disposal goes.

If you do bust them down into smaller pieces, you end up breaking loose LOTS of seeds in the process, so the problem just repeats itself next winter.

Nothing actually eats tumbleweeds except for maybe very hungry goats, when nothing else at all is available. My goats will eat creosote, sagebrush, and juniper long before they'd eat tumbleweeds.

Probably the best solution would be to haul them by the tractor-trailer load to the nearest burn pit, where they could be safely burned. If no burn pit is available, a gravel pit or quarry would work.

You could make a community festival of it -- instead of Burning Man, Burning Tumbleweed Day. I'm sure it would be quite a spectacle to watch.

You could also sell them on eBay.

#344 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: March 25, 2014, 10:32 PM:

Clifton 340: Or even a better gigue by the minuet. And wasn't that Parhelion about Catullus read in galliardic meter?

I'll stop there. I don't want to start a bransle.

#345 ::: Cally Soukup ::: (view all by) ::: March 25, 2014, 11:08 PM:

Lila @341

Or not. We're identical twins . Seriously, don't worry about it.

So how many days do you have to do Chicago? Because between us we could probably fill as many as you've got....

#347 ::: Cassy B. ::: (view all by) ::: March 25, 2014, 11:36 PM:

Lila @341, seriously, we're used to it. Our online "voices" are apparently very, very similar.

I'm not jumping onto the Chicago Gathering of Light because I'm likely to be seriously overscheduled and not available. But if I happen to be free, I'll come along...

#348 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: March 25, 2014, 11:55 PM:

I confess some reluctance to follow Oldster's account in #333 with a mundane answer to Lila's question. Nevertheless--

Robert R. Wilson, Fermilab's founding director, spent much of his youth on Wyoming ranches and, in the 1930s, worked on ranches during summers of his college years. He loved bison, which were once abundant, but by then had dwindled to just a few.

Flash past the Berkeley cyclotrons, Los Alamos, and a career building particle accelerators. In 1968 Wilson's job was to build a gigantic machine. The federal govenment had obtained 6800 acres of Illinois prairie. Most of it had been farmland. There were barns and fences and silos.

Wilson wanted bison.

He was leading his people in exploring a the scientific frontier. The bison would be a living reminder of the American frontier. And it would be nice to show them to visitors from around the world.

In 1969, the laboratory bought a bull from Wyoming and four cows from Colorado. In 1970, they were joined by 21 head provided by the Illinois Department of Conservation. The bison became symbolic of Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory. Their descendants are still here.

Here's what Fermilab has to say about bison. And about the large tracts of restored native prairie on site. (The buffalo pasture is separate from the native prairie.)

Here's an announcement released when calves were born in 2013. It's about time for new calves again. We hold an auction every couple of years to limit the size of the herd.

Here's a profile of a Fermilab herdsman.

There exist declassified home movies of Wilson on horseback, courtesy of Los Alamos National Laboratory.

By the way, people here seem to use the words "buffalo" and "bison" interchangeably. So do I. I've never gotten particularly close to the animals, but I do see them often.

There's no particular reason a high-energy physics laboratory needs buffalo, but the same could be said for native prairie, an art gallery, concerts, or Wilson's own sculptures. Mostly-- my opinion, not that of Fermilab-- he thought it would be neat to have bison, and he used his discretion as Director to make it happen. I'm glad he did.

#349 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: March 26, 2014, 12:20 AM:

Hey! After writing what I just wrote, I clicked on the sleazy-book-mill article Nancy Liebowitz and Janet Brennan Croft pointed out (#346 and #339, respectively). Guess what's on the cover of Joseph Stromberg's undergraduate thesis, as ground out by VDM's print-on-demand sausage machine?

The actual cover design was predetermined—blue and white, with an unsightly red stripe across the bottom—and I was forced to choose a piece of cover art from a gallery of a few hundred clip-art images and stock photos. I searched for anything that might be even slightly relevant to my thesis, like a picture of a prairie (it was about how federal land policies affected a Native American reservation in South Dakota), but found nothing. In the end, I chose a black-and-white drawing of a bison, with sad, cartoonish eyes.

How's that for a coincidence?

The same publishing empire was responsible for the worst excuse for a book I've ever seen.

#350 ::: oldster ::: (view all by) ::: March 26, 2014, 06:42 AM:

Bill @348--

Surely you don't expect us to believe that far-fetched concatenation of coincidences and specious rationalizations? The bare unmotivated assertion that "Wilson wanted bison," followed by a strained analogy between metaphorical "frontiers" of science and the historical "frontier" of European aggression. It's flatly unconvincing.

I think anyone who compares our explanations by the canons of sound scientific methodology will agree that mine is simpler, more elegant, posits fewer entities and relies on fewer ad hoc assumptions. I leave it to the reader to reach their own verdict.

#351 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: March 26, 2014, 07:43 AM:

Cally @ #345: about three? Planning is still in the blastocyst stage....

Cassy @ #347: thanks. Would love to meet you as well, if feasible. Having one of those overscheduled weeks myself, at the moment.

Bill and oldster: I'll be over here. Taking notes. With popcorn.

#352 ::: John A Arkansawyer ::: (view all by) ::: March 26, 2014, 08:34 AM:

Here's an AKICIML observation/question: I've noticed that my gas water heater is doing something interesting (for values of "interesting" that I hope include "non-fatal"), and I don't understand why. Perhaps someone can illuminate my situation. If I get up in the morning and take a shower, I get lukewarm water. If I then turn it off, wait a few minutes, and turn it back on, it's soon steamy hot.

What the heck is going on there, anyway? And will it someday kill me in my sleep?

#353 ::: Sandy B. ::: (view all by) ::: March 26, 2014, 09:17 AM:

John@352: I have a really bad guess. If it works out, I'm going to feel like Sherlock Holmes.

The shower is some distance from the water heater and you have solid metal pipes. Additionally, the pipes go through an area that is near the outside of the house. And that area has recently, unknown to you, suffered an insulation failure of some sort.

What this would do: you'd start with cold water in cold pipes. As you replaced that with hot water, the pipes would cool the water and the water would [slowly] heat the pipes. Result: lukewarm water at the shower head.

If you leave the hot water in the pipes for a couple of minutes, the pipes will warm up significantly and the water that makes it to the shower head will be hot.

#354 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: March 26, 2014, 09:39 AM:

John A Arkansawyer: (possible, explains behavior, not guaranteed to be what's actually happening) Might be your energy-saver setting.

Starting in the late 90s, big-tank water heaters became available that would, instead of maintaining the tank at MAX-DESIRED-TEMP 24/7/265.25, would behave like this:

- Water level lowers. As it refills, heater gears up to max heating, brings entire tank to MAX-DESIRED-TEMP.
- Once MDT is reached, it coasts; it has a MIN-ACCEPTABLE-TEMP setting inbuilt too, and it waits till it gets to that before
- Reheating the full tank to HOT-ENOUGH-TEMP, a third setpoint.

It will never again hit MDT until a sufficient volume of water is taken out of it (or you reboot it). My mother used to get around the problem of no-hot-showers-in-AM by washing dishes first, which used enough hot water to kick it up.

If she wanted to take a bath (which, given our preferences, requires starting with a full, fully heated tank) she would run just-enough HET water in the bottom of our cast-iron tub, let it sit (warming the tub) and listen to the water heater to see when it (a) turned on, (b) quit filling, and (c) turned off: at which point, bathtime.

#355 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: March 26, 2014, 10:23 AM:

Clifton #340: The best part of the job, from all the official portraits I've seen, appears to have been the hat.

#356 ::: Cally Soukup ::: (view all by) ::: March 26, 2014, 10:43 AM:

Lila: Oh, good. With three days you'll have enough time to do Fermilab, the Dresden road trip, and a museum or two. And the top of the Sears Tower if it's a clear day and you feel like exercising anybody's fear of heights. And to eat our iconic foods. Of which we've got at least four: Stuffed or deep-dish pizza, Chicago hot dogs, Maxwell Street Polish, and Italian sausage. (You may notice a lot of sausages on that list. All I can say is "Meat packer to the world".) And I'm told that if you like pastrami, Manny's Deli is one of the premier places on the planet, though I've never eaten there myself.

What kind of museums does your bunch like, if any?

#357 ::: John A Arkansawyer ::: (view all by) ::: March 26, 2014, 11:03 AM:

Sandy B., Elliott Mason @ 353-354: I left out a detail, which is that this has been happening for about a year now, which makes the otherwise ingenious suggestion about failed insulation fairly unlikely.

I bet the other is what's happening, given the age of the house and what I know about its history. If I can figure out how to get the lights back on in the laundry room, I'll explore and find out. Till then, it's good to know I'm not insane.

#358 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: March 26, 2014, 11:17 AM:

John A. Arkansawyer: it's a pretty common feature. The newer water heaters, you can turn it off or adjustimicate its temperatures; for the first ones, they came with Three Preset Temps and that's all they know how to do, yessir.

Either way, running some water (usually in the quarter- to third-of-the-tank range, however big the tank is) and waiting for it to refill and rewarm will give you a full tank of SCALD-YESSSSSS, if that's in fact what's going on.

Advantage: it really does save energy for all the times it's sitting there fingertwiddling with a full tank of water nobody's using just now.

#360 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: March 26, 2014, 12:07 PM:

oldster @333-334: Here is your internet. You win.

#361 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: March 26, 2014, 02:53 PM:

Cally @ #356: Um...we can't think of a kind of museum we don't like. Maybe gross oddity type museums like Ripley's not so much. But science, art, history, hands-on educational: all good. Also aquariums, zoos, whatever.

One of us has been up the Willis née Sears Tower, and another of us is seriously unhappy with heights, so we'll see. Also one of us is vegetarian, so not so much with the sausage. Deep dish pizza YES. We used to have a place here run by a Chicagoan in exile and we miss it.

I just today learned that Jim Butcher will be in Chicago on 6/4 so we may well have to schedule the trip to include that date. It will give us a venue to wear our Team Thomas t-shirts.

From here on out (and you too Bill & Elliott, and anyone else who wants to play): If you'd like to take this to email, I'm lila at mark and lila dot com, minus the spaces ("and" is spelled out).

#362 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: March 26, 2014, 03:59 PM:

Open thread-y baking question: Does baking powder eventually lose its potency?

The cake I baked today doesn't seem to have risen at all. It's always fairly dense--whole wheat flour and wheat germ doesn't have enough gluten to rise well--but not completely flat like this. Except for the time my sister forgot the baking powder altogether. I know I remembered to add it today, the tablespoon that the recipe calls for. But I've had that canister for quite a while, so it could have gone bad, if it ever does. Does it?

#363 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: March 26, 2014, 04:02 PM:

It does lose potency over time. Faster if it's damp, IIRC.

#364 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: March 26, 2014, 04:10 PM:

Xopher (363): Thanks. I bet that's the explanation. I forget exactly how long I've had that canister, but it's definitely measured in the multiple years.

Next issue: I need to go buy more powdered sugar before I can make the frosting (chocolate buttercream--yum!).

#365 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: March 26, 2014, 04:15 PM:

Baking powder is well-known for losing its oomph over time. They put dates on the cans, so you know when it's going to become unreliable. The recommendation I've seen is to buy the smallest package possible (which is always more than you're going to use before it dies).

#366 ::: Buddha Buck ::: (view all by) ::: March 26, 2014, 04:19 PM:

Mary Aileen #362:

Yes, it can weaken. Baking powder is a mix of dry chemicals (traditionally baking soda and cream of tartar, but now other chemicals are used) that, when mixed into a batter react with each other to produce carbon dioxide to leaven the batter.

It needs water to react, but there is water in the air, and that can be enough for it to react slowly over time.

#367 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: March 26, 2014, 04:21 PM:

Apparently the currently-in-progress two-part episode of NCIS really IS intended to sell a new spinoff: NCIS: New Orleans

#368 ::: SamChevre ::: (view all by) ::: March 26, 2014, 04:53 PM:

Mary Aileen @ 362

Baking powder loses it's oomph over time, but modern double-acting (heat-activated) baking powder is much more stable than the older types.

It's easy to test by putting a spoonful of baking powder into boiling water; it should react almost explosively.

#369 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: March 26, 2014, 05:03 PM:

SamChevre (682): Thanks. I knew one could proof yeast, but I didn't know about testing baking powder.

I belatedly checked the best-by date on the bottom of the can: October 2009. Yeah, I'd say that's been around a little too long. At least it didn't explode in the cupboard like the elderly can of pineapple chunks did last year.

Thanks, everyone. I'll know better next time.

#370 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: March 26, 2014, 06:19 PM:

Mine says 'Jun 2011'. It's probably dead.

#371 ::: Cheryl ::: (view all by) ::: March 26, 2014, 06:31 PM:

The baking powder question reminds me to ask: is baking soda that has gotten wet and then dried out still usable?

My brand new box of soda was left on the counter, and somehow the dish rack was dripping water all over the counter instead of into the sink. It seems like it all wicked up into the box of soda, which is why I didn't notice sooner.

The soda is now a solid block, but, if I chip it up and put it through the food processor, will the resulting newly re-powdered soda still be good? Or is it a loss and I shouldn't bother?

#372 ::: janetl ::: (view all by) ::: March 26, 2014, 06:37 PM:

Our move to Pittsburgh is underway -- the movers are in the house today, packing everything up. I had a handful of paperbacks out to supplement my Kobo for the trip. When I gathered things up for the drive to the hotel, I found that I'd accidentally grabbed a book that I've re-read recently. The boxes were all taped up and I didn't want to be a nuisance (and I didn't want to lug an extra book) so I put it through my neighbor's mailslot. I think she'll figure it out!

#373 ::: Buddha Buck ::: (view all by) ::: March 26, 2014, 06:49 PM:

Cheryl #371: I think baking soda should be OK, as long as your water isn't particularly acidic (usually not a problem). It doesn't have anything in it that will react with itself.

But it's also relatively cheap, so I'd be tempted to recommend the kitchen safety standby: when in doubt, throw it out.

#374 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: March 26, 2014, 06:51 PM:

P J Evans (370): Probably. Earl Cooley posted a link on FB that said that baking powder is usually good for about a year after the best-by date, but 2011 is a lot older than that by now.

#375 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: March 26, 2014, 06:54 PM:

@Cheryl: I don't know if it would be worth the trouble.

That is, if you are going through the trouble of making a nice loaf of bread, start with a fresh batch rather than risk the effort and cost of the other ingredients.

The soda might still have anti-stink properties, and/or be used for cleaning.


Walgreen's sells little tins of Clabber Girl baking powder. Smaller than a tuna fish can. A good size for occasional bakers, I think.

Also FWIW. Walgreen's also sells conveniently sized boxes of baking soda for as cheap as $.59. I have half a dozen in reserve. The open one on my stove backsplash is used to dry-brush my glass cooktop and for putting out fires.

#376 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: March 26, 2014, 06:55 PM:

Have a good move janetl! Are you driving east?

#377 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: March 26, 2014, 07:25 PM:

Another thing I miss about my home town: we had a buffalo herd. Not a huge one, but they went where they wanted, usually hanging out by Lindenmeier Lake, though I expect the housing developments up there probably eventually made them inconvenient. I wonder if any of them were sold to Los Alamos.

Yeah, yeah, bison. We called them buffalo. I've seen water buffalo in Guilin, and the differences are clear. Here are some. I don't think I ever got a good enough picture of them lounging in the water.

#378 ::: Cheryl ::: (view all by) ::: March 26, 2014, 08:24 PM:

in re baking soda answers: thanks, everyone!

I'll keep it for the catbox and buy a new one for baking (the one that got wet was the big bulk size, and brand new. It's not expensive, but I just hate to waste things, I guess).

#379 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: March 26, 2014, 08:27 PM:

Stefan Jones (375): Walgreen's sells little tins of Clabber Girl baking powder. Smaller than a tuna fish can. A good size for occasional bakers, I think.

I'll have to look for those. Next time I need baking powder, which might be a year from now.

#380 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: March 27, 2014, 01:57 AM:

Just tested it. It isn't dead yet. (I keep it in the fridge, which may be better than a cupboard.)

#381 ::: Soon Lee ::: (view all by) ::: March 27, 2014, 03:22 AM:

Lila #361:

Not all museums are likeable; two immediately spring to mind. In January, we visited the War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh City a.k.a. Saigon, Vietnam, and the Toul Sleng Genocide Museum in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. They were both rather confronting experiences. In Saigon, the sections with war photos & the victims of Agent Orange (there were deformed fetuses in glass containers) were heartbreaking.

Even more intense was visiting Toul Sleng. It was hard to hear the stories told by our guide (who survived the Khmer Rouge), of the atrocities committed in what was a school, a place of learning. Toul Sleng is a quiet eerie place, and there are displays of bones & skulls of the Khmer Rouge victims.

We also met the last two living survivors of Toul Sleng who were there most days. The Khmer Rouge policy of detaining not only a suspect, but all of their immediate family as well meant that when the killing happened, whole families were murdered. So the two survivors have no immediate family left and are at Toul Sleng most days partly for human company, but also to share their stories to anyone who wanted to listen.

The War Remnants Museum & the Toul Sleng Genocide Museum were tough experiences, shocking but worthwhile. They were real eye-openers and I was glad we visited. Those museums are necessary so we remember the past, bear witness to evil deeds, and do our best to be better humans. But I don't think I could ever bring myself to like those places. Sorry to be a downer.

On the other hand, I greatly enjoyed visiting the British Museum London, the Louvre in Paris, the Doge's Palace in Venice and many other likeable museums I have had to fortune to visit.

#382 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: March 27, 2014, 04:24 AM:

Cally @356

"Maxwell Street Polish"?

That conjures up some bizarre momentary images of products used by those machines which trundle along streets with the big mechanical brushes. It's the famous difference between "polish" and "Polish", and whether one should capitalise a brandname.

#383 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: March 27, 2014, 07:23 AM:

Soon Lee: agreed. I have never been to a war museum or similar (though the Holocaust Museum is on my bucket list), but parts of the Bodies exhibit were difficult for me (what used to be called "monstrous births", about which I'll spare details) while other parts filled me with awe and even delight (the freestanding circulatory system).

As you say, "like" was a poor word choice.

#384 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: March 27, 2014, 09:06 AM:

Cally Soukup #356: The one museum I've spent any time in in Chicago is the Art Institute. That's because it has been conveniently located close to the hotel where the Midwest Political Science Association holds its annual convention. Unfortunately, I haven't been to the MPSA in several years, so that I have not seen the most famous American piece in the Art Institute, Grant Wood's 'American Gothic'. I have, however, seen Seurat's 'Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte' which is definitely worth the visit.

#385 ::: Cassy B. ::: (view all by) ::: March 27, 2014, 09:20 AM:

Lila @361, if you like hands-on-educational the Museum of Science and Industry is great fun. For natural history (dinosaur bones, gem collections, etc) you want the Field Museum. For the best collection of French Impressionist paintings outside of France, you want the Art Institute of Chicago. A small museum that I remember mostly for mummies (but it has Babylonian/Assyrian stuff too) is the Oriental Institute. I hear the museum of Contemporary Art is good, but I've not been there. And I've not been to the Adler Planetarium or the Shedd Aquarium since I was about eight. Really should go back. Brookfield Zoo is a world-class zoo. Um.... We did the River Architectural Tour a few years back (sit on a boat up and down the Chicago River and learn about the buildings as you go past) which was cool....

Dave Bell @382, a "Maxwell Street Polish" is a Polish (PO-lish, not PAH-lish) sausage on a bun, heaped high with sauteed chopped onions and slathered with mustard. The onions should be a in a varied state of cooking, with some dark, soft, and fully caramelized, while others are still mostly crisp. Very tasty, if one eats sausage. And onion.

#386 ::: OtterB ::: (view all by) ::: March 27, 2014, 12:43 PM:

I moved out of the Chicago suburbs 14 years ago and don't get back very often. This June won't be one of them. But you're making me want to visit a number of museums again (not to mention participate in the mini-gathering of Light).

Your agenda seems plenty full, but I'll put in a plug for one of my favorite places, which is on the route from downtown Chicago out to Fermilab: The Morton Arboretum.

#387 ::: B. Durbin ::: (view all by) ::: March 27, 2014, 03:20 PM:

HLN: Our production of HMS Pinafore goes up next week. It's especially fun as we've got a married couple playing the romantic leads, so they're being extra cute.

We also can't close the curtains because of the set design. Ought to be interesting.

#388 ::: Soon Lee ::: (view all by) ::: March 27, 2014, 08:12 PM:

Lila #383:

Perhaps "worthwhile" is a better word? I can't think of any museums that aren't worthwhile in some way.

(Obligatory typo correction*: It's "Tuol Sleng", not "Toul Sleng".)

*Let's see if Muphry's Law is in play.

#389 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: March 27, 2014, 08:42 PM:

Cassy B @ #385, I would eat the hell out of one of those Maxwell Street Polish things.

(I keep trying to imagine what I would show/feed someone who came down here to my stomping grounds. Um...well, Athens has The Grit. And the State Botanical Garden is cool. We have a tiny zoo with a very congenial buzzard and a woodchuck and a possum, some old but still spry bobcats and some rather intimidating alligators. And the Double-Barreled Cannon and The Tree That Owns Itself [or, more precisely, the Scion of the Tree That Owned Itself, Which Now, In Its Turn, Owns Itself]. And the Junkman's Daughter's Brother (named after its sister store, the Junkman's Daughter in Atlanta), which is a lot like Archie McPhee. And a fairly good art museum, a greenway, some pleasant parks and a river to kayak on if you don't insist on whitewater. And a rather good art-house cinema with free Bad Movie Night Wednesdays. And of course, the famous music scene, about which I am, alas, clueless.)

#390 ::: Benjamin Wolfe ::: (view all by) ::: March 27, 2014, 08:45 PM:

My Amazing Girlfriend and I were in Chicago back in December (right before it went really amazingly cold), and one thing I'd suggest, just for the total cool/nerdy factor is going out to American Science and Surplus. It's a surplus store, mostly dealing in scientific apparatus, toys, optics, electronics and some militaria (but not much of the last). We found a variety of awesome things there, and they'll happily ship stuff back for you for very reasonable fees.

#391 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: March 27, 2014, 09:21 PM:

Steve C @ 41:
* definitely drive southward; it will be easier to stay in the peak of the change front (although note the CF has a vertical component; if you drive yourself, spend time on side roads up slopes.)
* a tour bus saves a lot of worries (food, lodging, strange roads, stranger drivers); YMWV re being pegged to a schedule with 40 strangers.
* NE also has a lot of ziplines, often frantic for customers by foliage time; worthwhile if the idea appeals at all. No, you won't see much while zipping, but the other 99% of the time you're likely to spend far enough above ground level to get better views. (Zoar in Charlemont MA has a good course for this.) And if you really want to work out the kinks of long sitting, try an adventure course; the one at Gunstock gets you well up into the trees, although they may be more evergreen than deciduous.

abi @ 105: back when I was regularly doing stage carpentry, hammering screws was the best way to get them started. Granted that was 40+ years ago, when sharp-pointed deck screws weren't found in (our?) shops, but still.

wrt Rob Hansen @ 239: a little-heralded documentary called Particle Fever is in Boston this week. Goes up to the announcement of the ]discovery[ of the Higgs boson; I don't know whether any of it is irretrievably wrong, but even the gosh-wowest narrator is a physics PhD.

HLN: on Tuesday somebody came to reroute the stack vent, so that today two teams could mount solar panels on our bit of south-facing roof and wire them into the panel. Nothing will be switched on until inspection, but I'm looking forward to checking the meter for power flowing into the grid on nice June days.

AKICIML: I've misplaced the author of a series (4 as of last year) of ~mysteries set in a small (made-up?) town in the Canadian Rockies. The main viewpoint is a young woman who begins the series as a probationary patroller in the local police; her parents are expedition outfitters. Does this ring any bells?

#392 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: March 27, 2014, 10:36 PM:

I do love me a good museum. The Victoria & Albert is worth more visits, and I hope I get to. In a rather different way, the Frontier Times Museum in Bandera, Texas is a favorite of mine. This is no nouvelle cuisine museum that believes in having one object all alone in a cavernous white space with lights trained upon it. They have a bunch of stuff they want to share, and they put it all out there to be seen. It was founded by the guy who used to put out Frontier Times, a magazine that liked odd stories about the old West. I have 39 selected photos of it here. Sadly, they don't seem to have the Will Rogers clipping I've wanted to read again, where he writes a last letter to his recently deceased pal Charley Russell, which brought an unironic lump to my throat. I couldn't find it among the many pages of free PDFs at his homepage, either. (Those are worth checking out.)

The Pioneer Museum in Fort Collins used to be like the Frontier Times Museum, with shelves that groaned under the weight of the wonders they contained. I liked chatting with the curator, Mr. Smiley. When they built the new library (I did a small bit of the cement work as a temp), they demolished the little sandstone WPA building (made to harmonize with the Carnegie library building on the same block). They didn't need to, they just felt like it. Then they put the museum in the old library building, which has a lot more space.

What did they do with all that space? They made it into a modern type museum, with a maximum of empty space surrounding the few items they chose to put on display, and maximum use of large placards and blown-up photos to cheat the eye. I still like going there, but it's a sad echo of its former greatness.

#393 ::: Cally Soukup ::: (view all by) ::: March 27, 2014, 11:00 PM:

Note that there's an American Science and Surplus just down the street from Fermilab, so it'd be very, very easy to combine that visit. Even though that stretch of road is under serious amounts of construction, the traffic shouldn't be too bad.

#394 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: March 27, 2014, 11:27 PM:

CHip (391): The mystery series you're looking for sounds like the one by Vicky Delany. The main character is Molly (short for Moonlight) Smith; her mother is an aging hippie.

#395 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: March 28, 2014, 12:40 AM:

I still talk about the Kansas City museums, both the WW1 and the Steamboat Arabia. The latter is particularly fun because of the story that goes along with it-- a bunch of guys who decide to become treasure-hunters and end up learning historical preservation on the fly.

#396 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: March 28, 2014, 02:22 AM:

CHip @391: two teams could mount solar panels on our bit of south-facing roof and wire them into the panel. Nothing will be switched on until inspection

Be sure to get your roof inspected, too. We had solar panels mounted on some of the roofs in our complex (under inadequate supervision) and the results were, um, unfortunate. And quite expensive.

#397 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: March 28, 2014, 10:28 AM:

CHip @ 391 -

Thanks for the suggestions. A zipline sounds like a tempting idea, if only once.

#398 ::: John A Arkansawyer ::: (view all by) ::: March 28, 2014, 12:22 PM:

Steve C. @ 41: Do consider driving through the Arkansas Ozarks. They are beautiful and on your way, too. Amtrak passes through them at night both ways, so sadly that's not an option.

#399 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: March 28, 2014, 03:52 PM:

AKICIML for the UK contingent: Does 'rising eight' (in age) mean that the person is almost eight, that is to say, seven years old but soon to have a birthday?

Just saw that in a piece of Sherlock Holmes fanfic written by Dorothy Sayers. (Yes, really.)

#400 ::: Pendrift ::: (view all by) ::: March 28, 2014, 04:41 PM:


This is just to say

I have shut off
the valve
found under
the bathtub

and which
supplies water
to taps
in my flat.

The drip drip
drip drip drip drip drip
drip drip
drove me nuts.

Attempts to take assembly apart to replace O-rings have thus far proved unsuccessful. Grmph.

#401 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: March 28, 2014, 05:28 PM:

Open threadiness:

My youngest child contemplates some of her favorite authors.

#402 ::: oldster ::: (view all by) ::: March 28, 2014, 05:33 PM:

@399 Xopher, you might recall the lyrics:

"Two-and-twenty now he's rising,
And alone he's fit to fly,
Which we're bent on signalizing
With unusual revelry. "

This is sung after Frederick has turned 21. So, yes, "rising eight" means currently seven.

#403 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: March 28, 2014, 05:36 PM:

oldster: dammit, now I'm going to have "Pour, o, pour the pirate sherry" running through my head all night.

Could be worse, I suppose.

#404 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: March 28, 2014, 05:48 PM:

Xopher Halftongue @399: Yes.

#405 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: March 28, 2014, 05:51 PM:

Of course, oldster @402 provided a much more poetic reply.

Pendrift @400: Sympathies, but liked the verse. Of course, this has set off memories of when my flat was flooded due to a leak on the cold water hose leading to the washing machine...

#406 ::: Soon Lee ::: (view all by) ::: March 28, 2014, 07:25 PM:

Articles & promos abound for the documentary on never-made Alejandro Jadorowsky's version of "Dune". I found this ~11 minute youtube clip of an old VHS excerpt, which given it's VHS, predates the documentary that's just been released?

#407 ::: janetl ::: (view all by) ::: March 28, 2014, 08:31 PM:

Stefan Jones @ 376: We shall do our very best to have a good move, and the gremlins shall do their best to arrange the opposite!

We are not driving. Neither of us enjoys a long distance drive, and the stress of the whole move is high enough without adding that. I have some reward points that covered most of the plane tickets, so if I avert my eyes from considering points real money, then flying and shipping the car is cheaper than driving and several days of hotels. Closing was today (Friday), and our plane tickets are for Saturday. Today's dismal, rainy downpour is good for making us want to shake the raindrops off of our boots.

We'll be living in a month-to-month apartment while we look for a house to buy in Pittsburgh. Our realtor here said that There Will Be Professional Photos, and she was so right. I'm amazed how dark and confusing some of the photos are on real estate listings.

BTW, if you want to clean things out, and aren't up to heavy lifting/own a pickup/enjoy driving to the dump—I recommend 1-800-GOT-JUNK. As we de-cluttered for the move, we donated a lot of things to Goodwill or to Portland's excellent Community Warehouse and Free Geek, but there's stuff that's not really donation-quality, or awkward furniture that they're unlikely to get any benefit from. GOT-JUNK showed up right on time, looked it over and gave us a quote, then hauled it off. They recycle/sell what they can, and dispose of the rest. They moved some stuff for us that we weren't even giving them, and swept up the floor when they were done. Good guys.

#408 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: March 29, 2014, 12:22 AM:

Wheee! Just had another one. Richter 5+, epicenter between La Habra and Brea, in northern Orange County. (What I got was vertigo. Instant-acting Dramamine would be nice.)

#409 ::: Dave Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: March 29, 2014, 11:47 AM:

One for the scam annals: Minecraft scam convention happens in Florida. One of MC's foremost Youtubers takes them down hard.

They took in most of $50K, for which the attendees were wandering around on what looks like concrete. They lied about all their sponsorships, blew off prizes (including a bounced prize check), unpaid staff, closed after 2 hours. Refunds? yeah right. And at the core, a contest offering fame and stardom on Youtube, under their sponsorship.

The guy posted a long list of disclaimers and excuses ("I am not a scammer, I just did it for my family, and stuff went wrong..." really) in the comments, but I'm not hugely impressed. The events as described do not add up to good faith, and the results were to traumatize a lot of children. Bebop (the video host) has more details on his background.

And another one is still nominally scheduled for NYC -- people have already paid for tickets, but the website has been pulled, and again no refunds are forthcoming.

#410 ::: Rob Rusick ::: (view all by) ::: March 29, 2014, 01:12 PM:

Re: museums - an interesting (and recent) experience...

A nephew had expressed interest in seeing The National Museum of Play on his visit, so I took him there yesterday afternoon.

Much to see, but his favorite section was a display of playable classic arcade games. You use tokens instead of quarters, and you get 5 tokens for a dollar. Most games were playable with one token.

Among the games was a 'Fix-it Felix' arcade game.

Researching this morning (Googling 'fix it felix museum of play') I found a pdf of the museum's Summer 2013 newsletter. One of the features within described how they had received an arcade game built by Disney in 2012 to promote the movie 'Wreck it Ralph' (eighty had been built).

I have to admit until then I had been totally convinced it was a real arcade game of the era — largely because it was sitting with classic arcade games of the era without further comment (i.e, signage identifying it as a retro re-creation).

In related news, I also got the high score on 'Asteroids'.

#411 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: March 29, 2014, 01:47 PM:

Dave H., #409: The most charitable interpretation that can be put on this is that somebody had no clue about how much work goes into running a convention. I'm more inclined to think that it was a deliberate "these people will pay for ANYTHING if it has the word Minecraft on it" take-the-money-and-run blowout.

#412 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: March 29, 2014, 02:26 PM:

Rather than hitting them all individuslly, I will just note that we're having a horrible spam flood right now, and then get out of the way while Their Lownesses have some fun.

#413 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: March 29, 2014, 02:43 PM:

I started to report them and then noticed that just about every remaining thread is being hit. I hope there's a good global way of killing them.

#414 ::: Idumea Arbacoochee, Speaker to Tall People ::: (view all by) ::: March 29, 2014, 03:01 PM:

On it. Built a temp filter that should catch them all until Akismet figures it out. But I have to do it quickly, because I have house guests...

I'm also going to unpublish the reports in the various threads, because there are so many that it's impossible to see what people are actually talking about.

#415 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: March 29, 2014, 03:41 PM:

please do. (I was having fun trying to make them not all identical).

#416 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: March 29, 2014, 03:42 PM:

And I'm gnomed, but that's okay - the comment was for the gnomes.

#417 ::: Idumea Arbacoochee, Speaker to Tall People ::: (view all by) ::: March 29, 2014, 03:56 PM:

PJ Evans @416:

Ironically, your email address is shaped like the email-address pattern I was using to stop the spam. However, the spam wave also seems to be done.

I'm looking at the threads they targeted to see if any of them are frequent targets. I've been trying to reduce our attack surface by closing ones where the conversation is over and the spammers are active.

#418 ::: Dave Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: March 29, 2014, 04:33 PM:

Lee #411: The thing is, "good faith" includes having a reasonable idea of what promises you can fulfill. In any case, what I saw both from the video and from occasional victims in the comments, does not incline me to charity.

#419 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: March 29, 2014, 06:35 PM:

Categories derived from a Peek Freans tin full of vintage buttons:

Metallic buttons
Buttons that are pink
Coat buttons
Big buttons for sweaters
Little button for twin sets
Shirt buttons with four holes
Shirt buttons with two holes
Real mother-of-pearl buttons
Plastic buttons simulating mother-of-pearl
Dark blue and green buttons
Buttons where the thread holes are in a recessed cats-eye
Black buttons
Brown buttons
Buttons of unknown material and oversized thread-holes, oddly reminiscent of skulls
Buttons that clearly all used to be on the same garment
Collar studs.

#420 ::: B. Durbin ::: (view all by) ::: March 29, 2014, 06:42 PM:

Any shaped buttons? My Nana had some that looked like bowls of fruit—always a favorite to a small child. I wonder if my mom knows where that tin is...

#421 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: March 29, 2014, 06:53 PM:

Before my mother was born someone broke into my grandparents' house, piled up many of their possessions, and poured indelible ink all over them*. There was clothing in the pile, which was ruined; my grandmother saved the buttons.

So in the button box of my childhood, the last category was "buttons stained with ink".

* and it is only now,as I am telling this story, that I realize how strange it is. Why did someone break in? Who was it? How big was the bottle of ink, or how small the pile? Why did she save buttons marked by such an act of vandalism?

And, thinking about those questions, I can make some reasonable guesses as to the answers. Not here on the internet, but in my head at least, I think I understand.

#422 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: March 29, 2014, 07:05 PM:

B. Durbin: there are, in fact, a couple of buttons shaped like bunches of grapes. Clear grapes, white leaves.

abi, that situation sounds like something from an old-fashioned mystery novel. I've been digging into Patricia Wentworth's Miss Silver mysteries lately - same time frame as Agatha Christie's career, but new to me - and the juxtaposition of the unexpected, the potentially dangerous, and the domestic is evocative.

#423 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: March 29, 2014, 07:17 PM:

Rikibeth @ 419 ...
re: buttons and categories, I've sorted mine (all 10 [smallish - 7 1/4 x 24"] drawers of them) roughly by colour, size, style and material for the more common ones, with an additional category with it's own set of subdivisions for old, uncommon or really cool buttons [or (e), all of the above]

The studs (collar and front), cufflinks and other oddments that seem to end up in with the buttons all get distributed out to appropriate containers (studs and cufflinks have their own section; the rest are distributed as appropriate to type of object)

#424 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: March 29, 2014, 08:07 PM:

xeger, tomorrow I mean to go out and buy a couple of sizes of very small ziplock bags ("snack" size and one of the jewelry sorts ought to work) so that I can keep these buttons sorted for future use. I am, as yet, undecided about whether to store the collection in the Peek Freans tin, or to use the wooden box that once held Swiss honey soap cakes in which my pre-existing button stash was living. I've mostly used up the cookie-tin's worth of vintage buttons I'd bought at an SCA auction twenty-some years ago, but a few remain, and there have been additions - the buttons off the Swedish rifleman's greatcoat that finally wore out last year, some modern gold pierced floral ones retrieved from some discarded costume or other, the pebbled silvertone ones that came off the present-day German army greatcoat when I swapped them out for WWII RAF insignia buttons for Jack Harkness cosplay... but mostly I was down to oddments, either not distnctive or really awesome but not enough of them for a project, so waiting for that time when you need just one really cool button.

A bit of googling has told me that the ones that remind me of skulls are, in fact, antique bone underwear buttons, and the temptation to make myself a quantity of Edwardian underthings, both ladies' and gentlemen's versions, is wickedly strong. The temptation to run them up on the treadle Singer is also there. This is not actually likely to happen, but the desire exists.

I also have quite a lot of packaged notions to sort - hem tape, seam binding, that sort of thing. Once I know what I have, I'll know what I might want to use, and what I can pull out of the stash for whatever project the teenager tackles next.

#425 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: March 29, 2014, 08:26 PM:

Rikibeth @ 424 ...
These watchmakers cases are a tad dear initially, but last for years, and are perfect for this sort of thing (and I'll eventually get to the point where I have more than a few sets of them, and most of mine aren't in the plastic containers sold for nuts'n'bolts or tupperware)

but mostly I was down to oddments, either not distnctive or really awesome but not enough of them for a project, so waiting for that time when you need just one really cool button.

FWIW, I've started mixing really cool buttons that are sufficiently similar -- works nicely in odd groupings.

If this next run of $currentWorkProject works, I'm hoping to spend the rest of tonight/tomorrow getting back to the drawing (well, okay -- pattern drafting) board, and seeing about grading some of these patterns down to size.

#426 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: March 29, 2014, 11:47 PM:

xeger, lead me not into temptation with those watchmaker's cases!

I think that some of my coolest singleton buttons are destined to adorn the crazy quilt that I intend to start up on again. I've realized that I need to separate my scraps by color or I'll lose much too much time pawing through the mishmash crate trying to decide on the next piece.

This all started with the buttons, but as I had to abandon them until I could get the ziplocks, I spent the next few hours untangling, coiling, and pinning the ribbon-and-trim scraps (and putting them all in one container), teasing out the hideously expensive Japan silver thread from a workbasket tangle and getting it onto cardboard floss bobbins (also relevant to the crazy quilt, as spiders and spiderwebs are traditional embellishments and Japan silver is PERFECT for that), and finding ALL the spools of thread and putting THEM in one place. In the course of all of this, I found quite a stash of hand-sewing needles, including craft, upholstery, and quilting needles, and a nearly full paper of silk pins (180 pins, 19 cents), not to mention a pair of small steel scissors (slightly larger than emproidery scissors, but not shears) still on their card, marked at 69 cents.

Vintage sewing notions, subdivision Estate Stash, subdivision Someone Else's Aunt.

#427 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: March 30, 2014, 12:05 AM:

Rikibeth @ 426 ...
xeger, lead me not into temptation with those watchmaker's cases!

They're worth it ... ;D

Vintage sewing notions, subdivision Estate Stash, subdivision Someone Else's Aunt.

Ah, yes ...

I've been working on the Great Amalgamation Project (see also: -how many- of those do I have ?!?!?!!!), trying to at least get all of the [thread|needles|ribbon|tools of various sorts|books|...] into one location, rather than having them in so many places that it seems like I'm setting up caches against ... well ... something :D

#428 ::: Sarah ::: (view all by) ::: March 30, 2014, 09:05 AM:

dammit, now I'm going to have "Pour, o, pour the pirate sherry" running through my head all night.

Well as long as it already is, have a Pirates of Penzance fanfic: in which it's 1940, and Frederic finally gets to celebrate his 20th birthday.

#429 ::: Sarah ::: (view all by) ::: March 30, 2014, 09:06 AM:

Sorry, make that 21st.

#430 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: March 30, 2014, 11:25 AM:

Game of Thrones cakes.
These are amazing.

#431 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: March 30, 2014, 12:22 PM:

I seem to have set up a cache of needles somewhere in my house; I can visualize the box and I know what's in it, but I can't find the dratted thing. I am unwilling to buy more leather needles (I own six or nine, most unused) and I'd like to fix the strap on my bag sometime before Wiscon. Or at least partially fix it. I don't have enough elkhide to do it properly.

#432 ::: Jenny Islander ::: (view all by) ::: March 30, 2014, 02:12 PM:

Re the Sidelight about programmers and addresses: Back when I worked for a financial planner, I repeatedly ran into people at mutual fund, insurance, etc., companies who flat-out refused to believe that some people don't have officially platted residence addresses. I still remember one of them telling me sniffily, "People don't live in P.O. boxes."

"Okay," I said, "if you have to have a residence address--realize that they never get mail there--it's [name] Island."

"Okay, what's the rest of it?"

"There isn't any. They own the island."

"The . . . whole island?"

"Yeah, they're homesteading it."

"Homestead? Like Laura Ingalls?" Poor woman sounded like she was about to cry or yell at me, or possibly both. So I explained the Homestead Act. I'm not sure what she put down for a residence address in the end, or whether she even believed me; I think she finally just found an excuse to end the call because cheese error. (An extended family in a similar fix finally bought a set of house numbers--1, 2, 3, 4--for the homestead residences and got one of those official-looking signs with the family name on it for the gravel "street" running from their houses down to the beach. Then all they had to do was explain in certain situations that they were an unincorporated community.)

#433 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: March 30, 2014, 02:41 PM:

Apparently the part of Texas my parents retired to got around to putting actual numbers on rural houses, so they have real addresses now instead of box numbers on a mail route. (UPS and other delivery services usually got it, but you might have had to explain the location to the the first time or two.)

#434 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: March 30, 2014, 03:25 PM:

My West Texas grandparents just had a route number, and no box number, but the mail always found them. Not only that, but for a large portion of the time they lived there (60s through early 80s), they had two deliveries a day.

#435 ::: Jenny Islander ::: (view all by) ::: March 30, 2014, 03:45 PM:

AKICIML: If I sat down to an old-fashioned home-cooked meal on an ordinary weeknight in a Cajun home, what would be on the table? I don't mean exact dishes, but order of service. Like, if the hunters in the family had gone out for squirrels and there was a nice squirrel stew on rice, would it be treated as a one-pot meal? Served with bread? Preceded by a salad, or accompanied by a separate vegetable dish? Would people expect to eat dessert afterward, or linger for tea or coffee? And what would traditionally be served to drink with dinner, if anything?

#436 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: March 30, 2014, 04:36 PM:

The house I grew up in during my teens has only a name and a road, no house number. Not a problem for post, but for delivery services we took to adding things like "Next to number XX." Then there was the unofficial local name (which was, for example, scrawled on the newspapers when the local newsagents/corner shop used to deliver them); it was based on the colour that the house was painted: "The Pink Farm."

#437 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: March 30, 2014, 04:44 PM:

In my mom's small town in far northwest California, all the mail goes to boxes at the post office, but the houses technically have 'street addresses' and there are brass numbers on the houses and everything, official-like. You address the mail to the house and it goes to the post office and the sorter puts it in the right box. I think UPS delivers to the post office instead of to houses, but FedEx insists on driving around on the streets. Unless you buy the kind of delivery where FedEx expects the USPS to do the last-mile part, in which case they act like UPS.

#438 ::: Cadbury Moose ::: (view all by) ::: March 30, 2014, 05:04 PM:

Elliot Mason @ #437

Don't talk to this moose about UPS.


(A piece of test equipment that arrived with all four feet punched through the two layers of corrugated cardboard that formed the bottom of the box.)

"...It should be remembered that goods in transit receive very rough handling,
a free drop onto concrete from a height of 4' 6" is not improbable, and
packaging should as far as possible be made to meet these conditions".
-- The British Army has obviously used UPS.

#439 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: March 30, 2014, 05:10 PM:

I just washed my dog* and sang through "I've been Working on the Railroad" several times for my sanity.

And then on the third run-through I suddenly realized how odd the structure is. At least as I've learned it, it has 4 parts, each with its own tune and meter, none of which repeat.

* I've been workin' on the railroad, all the livelong day ...
* Dinah, won't you blow (x3) your horn ...
* Someone's in the kitchen with Dinah ...
* (and singing) Good Night, Ladies ...

It's not a verse/chorus/verse/chorus/bridge song at all! And somehow I never noticed how weird it is, and how unlike most of the other kiddy songs I learned at about the same age.

Do other people sing it differently (maybe I just learned it odd)? Are there other songs that do this?

I could go wade around Wikipedia and, but it struck me as the kind of conversation I'd love to have in a consuite, and y'all are my when-not-at-cons consuite conversation. :->

* He objects. Vocally. At very short distances from my head (because I'm shampooing his chest, etc). I sing in self-defense. Have I mentioned he's a beagle? It's not his fault, his ancestors were genetically selected for resonant baying that can be heard for miles ...

#440 ::: D. Potter ::: (view all by) ::: March 30, 2014, 05:30 PM:

Re: addresses, military: Parts of my childhood were spent on two Army bases. One had, I think, street names and numbers but had to be routed through the adjacent town; the other, overseas, had various military abbreviations capped with an APO number I think routed through New York (it was 50+ years ago, so that's fuzzy).

Elliott Mason @439: I've always thought it was song fragments strung together (my fourth was "Fee Fie Fiddly-eye-oh," etc.), like "Here Comes The Sun King/Mean Mr. Mustard/Polythene Pam/She Came In Through The Bathroom Window."

#441 ::: OtterB ::: (view all by) ::: March 30, 2014, 05:43 PM:

Elliott Mason @439, D. Potter @440
I learned "I've Been Working on the Railroad" the same way D. Potter did.

Someone's in the kitchen with Dinah
Someone's in the kitchen I know-o-o-o
Someone's in the kitchen with Dinah
Strumming on the old banjo, and singing
Fee, fi, fiddle-e-i-oh, etc.

Goodnight ladies wasn't part of it.

#442 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: March 30, 2014, 06:06 PM:

Also. But I have to say that ending it with 'Good Night, Ladies' would be entirely appropriate.

#443 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: March 30, 2014, 07:07 PM:

432 et seq.: My best friend in high school lived on a star route: no road name or number, no pox number, just "star route". The school itself didn't even have that; it had no address at all, just a town.

#444 ::: Lin Daniel sees spam ::: (view all by) ::: March 30, 2014, 07:54 PM:

Chicago area stuff- Brookfield Zoo
jan and I visited the Brookfield Zoo just after Chicon in 2012. I wanted to see a genetically real wombat, not just jan "The Wombat" finder. It was a very hot, humid day. The zoo wombats were sprawled on their backs, completely disregarding the sign that said wombats rarely sleep that way. They only lacked a book to look like jan napping in his recliner.

#445 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: March 30, 2014, 08:06 PM:

Along those lines, there are a number of places that have a road by the name of 'Temporary Road', where it's nothing of the sort.

In at least one instance that I know of, the car insurance company were exceedingly difficult about paying out thanks to the name of the road -- clearly any accident on 'Temporary Road' must be due to some poor sod driving where they shouldn't ...

#446 ::: Henry Troup ::: (view all by) ::: March 30, 2014, 08:18 PM:

C. Wingate @#443

I have both a street number and a p.o. Box number(in Canada). Mail sent to the street address eventually arrives, stamped "please have your mail addressed to your p.o. Box".

#447 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: March 30, 2014, 08:25 PM:

I've seen 'Future Street' a few times on maps. Occasionally, it's the actual name of the street.

#448 ::: Allan Beatty ::: (view all by) ::: March 30, 2014, 08:38 PM:

I give you Future City, Illinois. It's best days lie in the past. It is just down the Ohio River from Metropolis.

#449 ::: Allan Beatty ::: (view all by) ::: March 30, 2014, 08:38 PM:

It took several ohnoseconds for the above to post, so yes I am well aware of the error.

#450 ::: Dave Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: March 30, 2014, 08:57 PM:

Dirty-mind test. Or, why ambiguous images are not the friend of a sign-maker.

#451 ::: Allan Beatty ::: (view all by) ::: March 30, 2014, 09:09 PM:

Thanks for the sidelight for Falsehoods Programmers Believe About Addresses. Since most of the examples were from the UK, let me affirm from my professional experience that nearly all of them apply in the US and Canada as well.

If you are designing a web form (or whatever) to collect addresses, you're best off not trying to do any validation on the front end, and passing it off to a commercial package on the back end to clean them up according to official standards and assign the postal codes.

And I look forward to a sequel called Falsehoods Programmers Believe About Email Addresses. If none is forthcoming, I shall have to write it myself.

#452 ::: Vicki ::: (view all by) ::: March 30, 2014, 09:32 PM:

The sidebar item has someone whose address explains that Kerguelen Island is part of a specific French territory, and then ends with "France." And I was reminded of a small address database I used to maintain, in which two or three people's addresses ended "VIA HELSINKI"

The line before that was "ESTONIA."

#453 ::: Jenny Islander ::: (view all by) ::: March 30, 2014, 09:44 PM:

Remote islands are one thing, but many streets connected to the city grid had no names when I was growing up. Apparently it was left up to the developers of subdivisions to do the paperwork to get the streets named, and most of them didn't bother. The fire department agitated to have all streets named because they got sick and tired of being called out to "three houses down from Magnusens' old place, I don't know what the name of the family who lives there is now, but you know, it's the one with the treehouse next to the road."

#454 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: March 30, 2014, 10:35 PM:

It's been a good season for the Bluebonnets in Texas.

#455 ::: jonesnori/Lenore Jones ::: (view all by) ::: March 30, 2014, 11:19 PM:

I learned the fiddlie-aye-oh version also. That song does have a very unusual structure. You would think it would be hard to learn, but obviously a lot of us managed it.

#456 ::: jonesnori/Lenore Jones ::: (view all by) ::: March 30, 2014, 11:31 PM:

Oh, and in the version I learned, the third and fourth sections have very similar tunes, and both end with the same line, "strumming on the old banjo."

#457 ::: Jenny Islander ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2014, 12:09 AM:

Has anybody here ever heard of a recipe for veal cutlets that calls for sauteing the cutlets without bread or beaten egg, seasoning only with salt and red pepper flakes, then adding cooked pasta, stock, and diced cheese, simmering briefly, and finally plating the result with a topping of buttered crumbs? It sounds tasty, but does it have a name beyond "Italian Veal Cutlets?"

#458 ::: Lin Daniel ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2014, 12:13 AM:

Cadbury Moose @438
I have three basic levels of putting things in boxes.

1. I'm storing it. Minimal padding in case I pull the box off the shelf vigorously.

2. Moving. Enough padding for grab-n-stack moving.

3. Shipping. The container and its contents must survive being dropped off the roof of a two-story building. I've been
known to toss stuff end over end down the hall, then reopen the package to confirm safeness, before letting *any* shipper handle it. My brother thinks that's a great way to do things. My brother works for FedEx.

And apologies for not removing spam in name in previous post.

#459 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2014, 08:29 AM:

I learned "I've Been Working on the Railroad" thus:

Title, ends with Dinah blowing her horn
Dinah won't you blow
Someone's in the kitchen with Dinah! WITH A BANJO!
Fee fie fiddly!

I wonder if some people sing it as a group song canon? round thing, like fish and chips and vinegar.

#460 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2014, 08:48 AM:

The street I live on is a counterexample in the Falsehoods About Addresses list. I am oddly charmed. :)

#461 ::: OtterB ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2014, 09:16 AM:

Diatryma @459 I wonder if some people sing it as a group song canon? round thing, like fish and chips and vinegar.

I was wondering that about the "Fee fie fiddly" vs. "Good night ladies." My mental audiation isn't good enough to be sure, but although they aren't the same tune, I think those two sections have similar enough rhythm and harmony that they could be sung against each other.

#462 ::: SamChevre ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2014, 09:19 AM:

C. Wingate @ 443

I grew up with a Star Route address.

Those addresses are a great example of "solved the problem, but was really hard to extend." At least where I grew up, a Star Route was a mail carrier's route, and the numbers were in route order; it worked great for mail delivery, but was less than helpful to anyone else who wanted to navigate based on an address.

#463 ::: oldster ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2014, 09:20 AM:

Note for fans of Ta-Nehisi Coates--he is back in top form with his latest column.

#464 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2014, 10:24 AM:

re 453: the story of trying to find our way around Johnstown, PA just after they did that. It turns out that just because The Authorities assign names to the roads doesn't mean anyone who lives on them knows what they are.

Meanwhile, at the office we have a request to match people up by last name and birth date. Uh, right. Guesses as to how many people named Smith are born on any given day?

#465 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2014, 12:23 PM:

Lila @401: Oh, that's great! I love expression art. Like this contribution over at Cute Overload.

You have to look close to catch it, but the cat's expression is just hilarious.

#466 ::: Ingvar M ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2014, 12:42 PM:

C Wingate @ #464:

Quite a few. I'd expect roughly even chances of finding two or more, if you give me a random selection of 23 Smiths.

#467 ::: Neil W ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2014, 01:05 PM:

Due to a change in use of a building near here it required a new postal address. It is the only door opening onto that street. The Post Office discovered that it had no record of the street* so asked the town council for the name of the street. The town council searched it's records and discovered the street had no name. The post office required a name, so after a small amount of debate it was named "No Name Street".

The building that had caused all of this was bought by a Frenchman who opened a cafe/deli/bakery shop. To show his appreciation of the town council's eccentricity he named his shop "No Name Shop". (His business has also expanded to another No Name Shop in another town, which is rather sadly located on a street with a name).

* It is only about 10 metres long.

#468 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2014, 01:55 PM:

Today is the last day for Hugo nominations.

#469 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2014, 03:29 PM:

Random insight: Instead of 'telegraphic', future generations will refer to concise, terse language as 'twitterific' ('twitteric'? 'twitterish'?).

#470 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2014, 05:23 PM:

The road I grew up on was just a Rural Route for a number of years, but we (and others) called it Horsetooth Road because it went up the hill to Horsetooth Reservoir. Makes sense. When the city officially named it (at first with a sign that said HORSHTOOTH RD, which I called in to the paper), they decided that another road about a quarter mile away that came into Taft Hill from the other direction was the rest of Horsetooth Road.

Years later, they extended the other part of Horsetooth and decided that my old road, the one that actually goes to Horsetooth was just a county road with a number, so they retired our address.

No, I can't make it any more confusing.

#471 ::: Heather Rose Jones ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2014, 06:00 PM:

Diatryma @ 459

I wonder if some people sing it as a group song canon? round thing, like fish and chips and vinegar.

Unless I'm inventing false memories of childhood, I believe I did learn it as a group round with each distinct section being a "part". I learned the "Fee fi fiddl-ee-ey-o" version and there was an optional ornamented variant with banjo sounds that went:

Fee *plunka* fi *plunka* fiddle-ee-ey-o *plunka*
Fee fi fiddle-ee-ey-o *plunka* *plunka* *plunka*
Fee *plunka* fi *plunka* fiddle-ee-ey-oooooh *plonk*
Strumming on the old banjo

(I was going to post this to the original discussion, but it seemed to have died down by the time I saw it so I thought I'd missed the boat.)

#472 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2014, 06:44 PM:

"Falsehoods programmers believe about addresses" sidebar item:

I am reminded of what I hear about Japanese addresses: They translate to things like "The third building in the tenth block of the twenty-first neighborhood" and which building is the third one might depend on the order they were built in.

#473 ::: Clifton ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2014, 06:57 PM:

Erik @ 472: Pretty much. My address when I was 8, as I still remember it, began "Naitomachi Ichi no san, Shinjuku-ku", roughly "Naito neighborhood, number one [house] on number three [street], Shinjuku district." The house was in the middle of the block, so the number one might well have referred to relative age; it wasn't the kind of question I wondered about at the time.

Dave Harmon @ 450: It's rare that I would need to say this, but apparently my mind isn't dirty enough. I can't see anything particularly suggestive in that picture no matter how I squint at it; to me it reads as a man or woman (possibly intentionally gender-ambiguous) sitting in an easy chair reading a book. The most ambiguity I can get out of it is that the base of the chair could look like the hem of a dress hanging down, but that's not terribly risqué.

#474 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2014, 07:06 PM:

Jacque @ #465, *snork*!

Re addresses, I think one sign of aging is when you start giving directions with landmarks that used to be there. "Turn left where they took down that big oak tree a few years back", or "just before the house where the So-and-sos used to live."

In related HLN, the main road into my subdivision is finally open again, only FIVE AND A HALF MONTHS after the drainage project that closed it was scheduled to be completed. Now everywhere I have to go, I can get there five to ten minutes faster.

#475 ::: Jeremy Leader ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2014, 07:06 PM:

Clifton @473: I didn't see it at first, either, until I realized the bmsqe ar ftq naaw could be re-seen as tmud bgxxqp nmow uz m bazk-fmux (Rot-13'd to avoid spoiler). I still have to strain to see it that way, though.

#476 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2014, 07:12 PM:

Jeremy Leader (475): Your ROT-13 doesn't seem to resolve into anything but more gibberish. Help?

#477 ::: Clifton ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2014, 07:14 PM:

Me just above: ... and re the address, "Ichi no san" is literally just "One of three". House/building and street are to be inferred, and while our little neighborhood "Naitomachi" had an actual name, the next couple over were also just numbers - "san-chome" and "yon-chome", or nneighborhoods three and four.

#478 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2014, 07:15 PM:

He seems to have rot12'ed by accident, assuming that "annj" is supposed to be "book".

#479 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2014, 07:18 PM:

Carrie S. (478): Thanks. I was able to decipher it with that hint.

#480 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2014, 07:20 PM:

Last month I saw, at the local discount / odd lot grocery, tubs of JIF chocolate mint peanut butter for sale cheap.

"Gee, I bet that would go well on brownies," I thought, and bought four tubs.

It turns out one tub was enough for two large pans of brownies. And the result is mightily, awfully rich.

Any ideas what else I might do with chocolate mint peanut butter? I don't eat sandwiches or bread that often these days.

#481 ::: Dave Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2014, 09:04 PM:

Clifton #473: The dirty secret is revealed (and also hinted) in the comments there, so I'll just say it's a near-complete reparsing of the bottom half of the picture. I saw it within a few seconds, after being primed by their headline.

#482 ::: Jenny Islander ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2014, 09:34 PM:

More funny road stories:

Once upon a time, there was a town that was shoving steadily up the slopes of a long, low mountain because the other direction to go was sort of cold, wet, and deep. Being systematic and ambitious, the town planners laid out roads and assigned street addresses before chainsaw was ever set to brush. The crown of the in-town road system was to be called, oddly for a road that runs along the hip of a mountain, Hillside Street. Hillside was going to connect the tops of a lot of older lanes that meandered up the mountainside and petered out in muddy parking areas. So, while Hillside itself was being built in the alder hells, the top houses on each of the feeder lanes were renumbered as part of Hillside, with official green signs noting the change to Hillside where each lane bent leftward as it went steeply up.

While the alderiffic part of Hillside was still being worked on, the hip of the mountain a bit further on went grrrinnddROOOOOOOARsploooshrattlerattle. Away went the one road that connected the town with its airport and everyone in that direction who might want to buy milk, away down into the cold and wet, away down from its former altitude, which was pretty much at the same level as, oh, Hillside.


The new part of Hillside came to an unceremonious end, the road out of town was completely redone at a much lower level away from the stratum of rotten rock that had eaten the old one, and now every ten years the census workers stand helplessly at the top of every lane on the mountainside, clutching their wildly optimistic federal-issue maps, wondering how the hell you get from 418 Hillside to 426 Hillside without bushwhacking through alder hells and devil's club. Bless their hearts, the town planners never bothered to make official note of the fact that most of Hillside doesn't actually exist!

#483 ::: Henry Troup ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2014, 10:15 PM:

Allan Beatty @#451 asks for the companion, Falsehoods programmers believe about email addresses. I recommend I knew how to validate an email address until I read the RFC.

#484 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2014, 11:51 PM:

AKICML question -- I posted a comment recently in the comment section of "On the Media" (an NPR program) looking at the validity of some statistics they quoted about the Exxon Valdez oil spill. It has subsequently vanished, after a day or so of actually being on their site. Anyone know why this might have happened? There was nothing obscene or defamatory involved.

#485 ::: Clifton ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2014, 12:09 AM:

Tom Whitmore: While anybody In Making Light (or not in) might speculate, it seems luminously obvious to me that the only person or persons who would know why your post may have been removed would be those who maintain that particular portion of that NPR website. Surely the question would be more usefully asked somewhere over there or of someone over there?

#486 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2014, 01:39 AM:

Clifton: I'd ask there, if there were any easy way to do so -- they don't have any obvious (to me) Contact Us information on the site. I tried that before coming here.

#487 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2014, 07:25 AM:

A question about the current state of vision/VR research, maybe Benhamin Wolfe can give some answer?

Last Friday, after the Facebook acquisition of Oculus VR, a story appeared, in several places, asking if VR was more likely to make women sick.

Example in the New World Nores blog

All the different versions link to a single piece by one Danah Boyd on Quartz.

Her original paper (PDF) was published in 2000, and does suggest there are some gender-related differences. But she doesn't mention any later research. Her research was prompted by her own bad reaction to VR in 1997, and I am afraid that her Oculus-hostility feels more the result of her personal reaction than the research.

The timing, and the age of the research linked to, does fit with the hostile reactions to the Facebook takeover, and matches a common pattern of media stories on science, indicating some newsworthy breakthrough which is often not replicated by later research.

But I don't know if there has been any later research, and I don't know enough of the jargon to do any useful searches. So is my caution really justified?

#488 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2014, 07:44 AM:

I used to live at Church Farm. One of those addresses with no streetname, even though it was in the heart of the village, directly opposite the church. The postcode covered us, another farm adjacent to the church, and maybe the church itself.

The road between us and the church was High Street, and the same postcode was applied to houses both uphill and downhill of the church.

The postal town was Lincoln, some twenty miles to the south. Every so often, some large truck, delivering something like 20 tonnes of fertiliser, would drive to Lincoln and ask directions. And the best route to Lincoln from the north would add maybe 60 miles to the total distance.

That stopped with a combination of a change in the postal town to Market Rasen and the use of sat-nav. Though one truck, coming to collect a load of wheat, did comes across one of those flimsy Ancholme bridges. See Horkstow Bridge for an instance of a truck not making the the crossing.

Meanwhile, Horkstow Grange by Steeleye Span.

#489 ::: Dave Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2014, 07:50 AM:

Dave Bell #487: Not sure... but on the other side, Mojang had been negotiating support for the Oculus Rift, but they dropped the idea after the Facebook buyout. Notch (founder of Mojang) tweeted "Facebook creeps me out".

Personally, I don't blame him....

#490 ::: janetl ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2014, 08:35 AM:

On the subject of addresses (and names): When I was in college, I worked at a bank in New Holland, PA. Some of the customers were Amish -- we had hitching posts with space for buggies in the parking lot, as did a lot of businesses in New Holland.

The Amish farmers often had addresses such as "Rural Route 1". They didn't have phone numbers, and there were common first and last names in the community, so telling people apart was challenging. One man used the abbreviation A.B. after his name. I didn't recognize it as one I'd seen before, and asked someone what it meant. It was "Abraham's Son". He'd had businesses confuse him with another man with the same name so many times, that he'd started adding the full phrase, and eventually abbreviated it.

#491 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2014, 09:19 AM:

When I was a kid our address was "Box 130 RD 3 Arona Road". The RD part being, of course, "rural delivery". Then we got a "real" address, while I was in high school. And then, some time after I had moved out, a different real address.

What really confuses me is that the first street number was three digits, and the current one is four. I haven't a clue why the renumbering happened; it can't be the subdivision that began when I was a pre-teen, because all those houses use street numbers on the subdivision's streets.

#492 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2014, 09:47 AM:

Happy #whanthataprilleday!

#493 ::: John A Arkansawyer ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2014, 10:16 AM:

I think I might, just this minute*, have reached the conclusion that it's time for me to move, and that means the Bay Area.

How does one go about maximizing the speed with which one can get hired in an area in which one does not yet live?

*no, nothing happened...and that's just exactly it, sometimes, isn't it?

#494 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2014, 10:37 AM:

John: well, as far as I know, Rule One of Job-Hunting is "Tell everyone you know that you're looking for a job". So it sounds like you're already on it.

#495 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2014, 10:42 AM:

On names, absurd, odd, and otherwise: On the western shore of Kingston Harbour is a cluster of low, dry hills covered with scrub and trees. They are known as the Hellshire Hills, and the beach below them is called Hellshire Beach.* Older maps show them as the 'Healthshire Hills', and a Google search will find them with that name.

In fact, 'Healthshire' seems to be a euphemism for 'Hellshire' a name originally given because the aridity of the region suggested that it was a county of Hell. The aboriginal inhabitants, according to one map I've seen, called the area 'Guatibacoa', but I've no idea what that means.

* You can see what the beach looks like (or looked like thirty years ago) if you watch the film Countryman a lot of which was shot there back in 1980/81.

#496 ::: Naomi Parkhurst ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2014, 10:43 AM:

We were driving through Richmond, Virginia yesterday when we passed an exit for a road whose official name appears to be simply "Boulevard". It even has its own Wikipedia page. I bet that would throw some people's road name expectations for a loop.

#497 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2014, 11:02 AM:

Naomi Parkhurst #496: There's also a Boulevard in Atlanta.

#498 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2014, 11:03 AM:

Ron Miller has posted two galleries(1, 2) of 1970s-era US convention cosplay photos on io9 today. I found them fascinating, and thought others here might like them (or recognize participants).

It's interesting to me that most of them seem to be drawing from book cover paintings, something I rarely see cosplayed at current cons.

Also, VERY NSFW -- lots of bare breasts and a couple of visible, um, bare crotches.

#499 ::: Cadbury Moose ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2014, 11:09 AM:

There's an "Avenue Road" in Birmingham (UK).

(Local moose has no idea what was wrong with the old one.)

Oh, and the road to the Police helipad at Sheffield airport managed to get on the maps as "Letsby Avenue" due to some wag.

#500 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2014, 11:19 AM:

Open Threadiness: anyone else ever have this experience?

The fanfic I'm writing had a title that specifically referred to two occurrences in the (embryonic) plot. As of its current state (about 2/3 done), there are now 10 different aspects of the story that fit the theme. Only two of them (plus the original two) were intentional.

And I just noticed this morning a group of images that, unnoticed, coalesced into a symbolic reference that I had no intention of including, but that will shape where I am going in the next story.

Why is my subconscious so much better at structure than I am??

#501 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2014, 11:23 AM:

I dunno, Lila. I woke up this morning from a vivid, long exploration of a world whose viewpoint characters live (spaceship-style) inside lobotomized space-whales that almost nobody knows are lobotomized space-whales (and some of the crewfolks are viewed as nonsentient by the other crewfolks, when they're not). The space-whales are slowly dying out, because it turns out that their crews are way less good at managing space-whale sex lives and breeding than unoccupied whales were. And having parallel atmo/heating/electricity infrastructure running in duct-tubing through one's bodily parts and organs doesn't exactly make one healthy.

It was hella cool, but I have a kid to take care of and breakfast to make sure I eat, and no idea which end to grab hold of for writing it all DOWN from regardless, so it's probably going to be mostly forgotten. Sigh.

#502 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2014, 11:27 AM:

Grimsby has a Boulevard Avenue.

Caistor High Street is not the same as High Street, Caistor.

There's also a High Street which isn't even a road, in Cumbria, west of Haweswater.

#503 ::: Cassy B. ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2014, 11:36 AM:

Cadbury Moose @499, could you explain "Letsby Avenue" for an ignorant colonial who doesn't get the joke?

#504 ::: Cheryl ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2014, 11:48 AM:

Toronto has its own Avenue Road, with accompanying Wikipedia article.

According to that article, "...Avenue Road is a common street name elsewhere, notably London, where at least 40 streets bear this name."

Montreal has "The Boulevard" (no Wikipedia entry, alas).

Chateauguay, where I grew up, tends to name its streets in "sections". There's the section named after flowers, the section named after trees, the section named after composers (called The Musical Village by locals), etc. After Bill 101, the city went around changing street names to their French equivalent; so, Cedar Street became rue des Cèdres, Tulip Street became rue des Tulipes...

The exception is where they had finally paved over a small section behind a shopping centre, where everyone had been driving over the mud for years, simply because it was more convenient than driving around the other side. Since it paralleled Maple, they called it des Érables, French for Maple. When they changed the street names over, they realized they couldn't have two parallel streets with the same name (yay for that, anyway), and left Maple alone, making it one of the few English street names in town.

#505 ::: Cadbury Moose ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2014, 12:00 PM:

Cassy B @ 503

(Which rhymes very neatly.)

British cultural reference (comedy/children's games) supposedly said by the police when arresting people.

reference here


"All right, what's going on here, then?"
"Evenin' all."
"You're nicked"

and many others.

#506 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2014, 12:18 PM:

Atlanta (actually DeKalb County, outside the city limits) has a street named The Byway. I'm not sure if there are any houses officially on it, however.

#507 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2014, 12:28 PM:

There's a 'Cul-de-Sac Avenue' in northeast Anaheim. It's a cul-de-sac.

#508 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2014, 12:31 PM:

I recognize a couple of the faces as belonging to LA-area fans. The blue-and-gold feathered crown is on Kathy Sanders, and the gent in knee-breeches and his lady are the Pelzi.

#509 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2014, 01:05 PM:

Athens has Boulevard. Not anything Boulevard, or Boulevard anything, or even The Boulevard.

#510 ::: Heather Rose Jones ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2014, 01:56 PM:

My favorite weird address datum comes from the two years I lived on "40th Street Way", a one-block frontage-like street paralleling 40th St in Oakland. See Google Maps link.

In other news of the day, I'm having a delightful time participating in #whanthataprilleday on Twitter by sending out (one line at a time) the opening paragraph to my short story "Hoywferch" translated into the original Medieval Welsh.

#511 ::: Cassy B. ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2014, 02:03 PM:

My husband, before we were married, lived on North Avene. West North Avenue, to be precise. In apartment E.

So his address read "123 E W. North Avenue"....

Confused people no end...

#512 ::: SamChevre ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2014, 02:32 PM:

Lila @ 509, Naomi Parkhurst @ 496

Richmond's Boulevard, like Athens', is just that. For example, the VMFA is at 200 N. Boulevard.

Cassy B. @ 511 makes me remember.

Memphis TN has an East Parkway, a North Parkway, and a South Parkway, forming 3 sides of a rough square (there's no West Parkway), on their respective sides. So completely reasonable directions might be "go east on North Parkway, then south on East Parkway to the intersection with South Parkway."

#513 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2014, 02:36 PM:

Two roads near here are named "Sandilands" and "Upfield" - nothing else in the name.

Then there are the two roads both called "Hayes Lane", a few hundred yards from each other in Bromley (plus "Hayes Road" coming off one of those).

#514 ::: Jeremy Leader ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2014, 02:44 PM:

Me, @479: D'oh, that's what I get for being old-school and trying to do rot-13 via the command-line, and mis-typing the parameters to the "tr" command. What I did was actually rot-12 for lower case, and rot-10 for upper case (if there had been any), except for A and B which I would have translated to m and n (making the whole mess non-invertible!). tr turns out to be very forgiving of set1 and set2 being different sizes!

#515 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2014, 03:03 PM:

Elliott, #498: Remember the era those costumes were from -- post-Star Trek and pre-Star Wars (except for that one Luke & Leia shot). There weren't a lot of visual representations of SF available except book covers, and comics fandom hadn't fully made it into the overlap yet. These days, people have a much wider range of visual representations to choose from.

Also, the "sense of whimsy" Miller bemoans the loss of is still widely visible at smaller local & regional cons. Worldcon, however, has become Serious Business -- a lot of the exhibitors there are professional costumers looking to pick up another credential in their CV. But I can still pull together a costume out of my closet, and I do so at a lot of cons; I just don't enter it in the official Masquerade any more, because that EATS THE WHOLE CON and I don't have the patience for it.

#517 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2014, 03:10 PM:

re 466: It was birth date rather than birthday, so it took a lot more twenty people to get a hit, but in one customer's database there were more than eight hundred "Smith"s who shared a birth date with someone else.

And in the continuing road name saga: of course one of the most traditional rule-breakers is Broadway. I mentioned the last time around the spot in Maryland where River Road and River Road run parallel to each other on opposite sides of the Patapsco. As you can imagine, when I had to find a place on one of these roads, it blew both Google's and Mapquest's tiny minds. One of them had the wrong road; the other picked a spot some fifteen miles further west. Fortunately I had the presence of mind to look at the map and call the place for directions; unfortunately the people I was meeting there used a Garmin.

#518 ::: Jenny Islander ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2014, 03:20 PM:

@Stefan Jones no. 480: Good golly, send that delicious stuff to a food bank stat! (Optional: Also send along brownie mix or the dry ingredients for brownies, and a recipe.)

#519 ::: Chris ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2014, 03:35 PM:

One department of my company has the shipping address of "1 Main Street". There has never been a Main Street in this town; the building in question was, until recently, a numberless building at the intersection of two nameless roads. Last year, the town finally got around to naming most of its nameless roads, so now "1 Main Street" is a numberless building at the corner of two named roads, neither of which is Main Street.

Not far away, there's an establishment whose street address is "End of Highway ##".

#520 ::: Sandy B. ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2014, 04:49 PM:

@498 etc: What was the process by which the "bodies are fine, let's show them off" movement from the '60s and '70s got quashed? I think I asked this, or a similar question, in another Open Thread.

Around 1978, in my smart-but-9-year-old mind, it seemed like people were just going to give up that whole bothering-about-nudity-and-sex thing. Then ... not.

@494: I'm looking for a job. Sustainable energy engineer, 19 years of software and 1 year of energy background, Northeastern US by preference.
arohybhfzranpr@lnubb.pbz if you want more info .

#521 ::: Cadbury Moose ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2014, 05:58 PM:

Another famous address:

No.1 London

#522 ::: Soon Lee ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2014, 06:12 PM:

Boulevard Drive in New Plymouth is actually a cul-de-sac.

#524 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2014, 06:27 PM:

Sandy B @520

I don't know the process, but by the end of the decade we had Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan, and that does suggest a lot about the changes that were happening.

#525 ::: OtterB ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2014, 06:37 PM:

Cadbury Moose @523, those remind me of my one gig navigating in Germany while my husband drove the rental car. I kept seeing signs for Ein Bahn Strasse, which I mentally translated as "One Highway Street" and couldn't find on the map anywhere. Eventually, when we saw signs for Ein Bahn Strasse miles from the first sighting, I figured it out. I don't think we went the wrong way down any of those one way streets. :-)

#526 ::: estelendur ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2014, 07:04 PM:

Dave Bell @487: That's deeply confusing and strange research. Anecdata: I am biofemale with an unaltered hormone profile and I have *never* suffered motion sickness; in fact the Oculus Rift was an exhilarating experience and I loved it to pieces.

I objected to the Facebook takeover because I appreciated the way the Rift was a completely open platform and I highly doubt that Facebook will allow it to stay that way.

Lila @500: I can't say I've had that happen to me with a written thing, although arguably I've been moving towards fitting/realizing my name in my life since I acquired it some ten years ago. But that's very cool!

Some publishing news of the day...

#527 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2014, 07:31 PM:

Sandy B. @520: Around 1978, in my smart-but-9-year-old mind, it seemed like people were just going to give up that whole bothering-about-nudity-and-sex thing. Then ... not.

Yeah, actually, I remember that, too. The timing suggests that the baby boomers were starting to get asked awkward questions by their own kids, and reflexively fell back on the old "Hush your mouth!" reflex.

#528 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2014, 07:35 PM:

HLN: local woman is pleased to note that nearly the whole of April Fool's Day has passed with nary a "joke." She doesn't miss in the least the now-retired "character" who felt compelled to leave messages on new employees' desks instructing them to call a phone number and ask for "Myra Maines." The number, of course, being the local Coroner's office.

#529 ::: dotless ı ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2014, 08:06 PM:

HLN: Lots of things I've been meaning to follow up on here, but a houseful of colds over the past week has taken over all spare time and energy. One thing I have managed to do, thanks to the colds, is make several batches of congee, which is really easy to make in a rice cooker even with a stuffy head. So, a dead-simple recipe, at least if you have a rice cooker with a "porridge" setting. (I'm sure it's also straightforward on the stove, but it may take a different amount of water.) Here's what "congee" means here:

  • 1 rice-cooker cup of rice (approx 3/4 cup)
  • 1 large handful dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 2 inch knob of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced thin
  • chicken stock
  • 1 cup diced or shredded cooked chicken (optional)
Rinse rice. Cover mushrooms in hot water and soak 30 min or 2 min in microwave at high. Trim any stems off mushrooms, saving the liquid, and cut mushrooms small. Top up the liquid with chicken stock to make 5 cups. Combine everything in rice cooker, set for porridge, and go lie down for a while. Salt congee to taste, eat, and go lie down again.

Everything approximate, but the lie-downs are recommended.

Fun etymology note: while trying to translate "congee" into Portuguese we were reminded of Portuguese "canja" (chicken and rice, but not usually as porridge-like). According to the OED, the Portuguese word may be the route by which the original Tamil or Malayalam made it into English.

#530 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2014, 08:13 PM:

Oh my beebly-bob, dotless ı, that sounds AMAZEBALLS for someone with a cold. I want some. Right now. *eyes rice cooker*

#531 ::: janetl ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2014, 08:31 PM:

John A Arkansawyer @ 493: My husband and I made the decision to move just that fast, then spent some time researching cities to move to.

My husband kept his old job and is working remotely. I didn't make much of an effort to find a new job here from a distance, just figured I'd get here, and start looking—and going to industry events to network. I did let everyone know (Linkedin, Twitter, etc), and to my surprise one of the recruiters I know in Portland knew some people in Pittsburgh and introduced me.

We've settled into a month-to-month apartment, found the laundry room, bought groceries, found a realtor, and started looking at houses. How anyone managed to find their way around Pittsburgh as a newbie without a GPS is a mystery to me!

#533 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2014, 09:54 PM:

Have fun exploring, Janet! Lots of non-euclidian twists and turns in Pittsburgh; you'll get lost a lot! (GPS is cheating!)

The first weekend I moved to Pittsburgh (fall '95) I picked one of the colored circle routes -- it might have been blue -- and drove the whole thing, as a way of seeing the city and environs.

Not far from my apartment in Squirrel Hill is a sort of "secret" neighborhood called Duck Hollow (as I recall). You go down a one way road that looks like it just serves to bring people to the waterfront, hang a left over a bridge, and find yourself in this tiny hamlet surrounded by the slag heaps, right on the river.

#534 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2014, 10:03 PM:

Janet, I'd be delighted to show you around a bit if you like.

#535 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2014, 10:33 PM:

There is this cat
On the arm of this recliner
Who wishes nothing more
Than for me to keep on keeping on
Scratching her neck
And I do this because
There is a buzz
A rumbling
A trill
That issues from I don’t know where
But I feel it
Under my thumb
And I will stop
Any second now
Because I can’t do this forever

#536 ::: Dave Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2014, 10:40 PM:

Sandy B. #520: My impression is that, that was never a universal shift in mores -- indeed, I suspect that public nudity was largely driven by the counterculture's social aggression.¹

Regarding "baby boomers getting asked awkward questions of their kids" -- I don't think so, because it's perfectly possible to raise kids with openness about the body. But... the original counterculture movers were still getting older -- people mostly calm down as they get older (hormonal changes),² and they get more socialized (getting the rough edges knocked off them). Then too, as the counterculture went on, people started rediscovering the reasons for various social norms, and the practical consequences of ignoring them.

But note that a fair bit of the shift did stick -- the modesty norms in America these days are as much a function of the local weather as the local or national cultures, and nude beaches etc. are unremarkable. That's a significant change, and given the existing social patterns of the USA, it would be astonishing if casual nudity had become a national norm.

¹ "What're you rebelling against?" "What'tya got?". The counterculture's occasional physical aggression got some press, but its social aggression was far more widespread. Protests are social and sometimes physical aggression. "Freak the mundanes" (in general, coercing someone's attention) is social aggression. And out-of-context nudity in particular can be made or taken as social and/or sexual aggression.
² aka "It's amazing how much mature wisdom resembles being too tired".

#537 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2014, 10:58 PM:

Consider that women wearing slacks or jeans don't get the kind of attention now that they did back in the 60s, nor to guys with long hair (or longish). That seems to be a fairly permanent change, along with the loss of ties.

#538 ::: Brenda Kalt ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2014, 11:10 PM:

For women, slacks to church.

#539 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2014, 11:13 PM:

When I was a kid, a coat and tie was mandatory at church. Not anymore, as far as I can tell.

#540 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2014, 11:19 PM:

Brenda, #538: Oh ghod yes. When I was in college, back in the 70s, there was an epic battle between myself and my parents because, having reluctantly agreed to accompany them to church, I presented myself in a nice 3-piece pantsuit and blouse. Nor did I endear myself to them by arguing that this was an outfit I was wearing for job interviews, and they couldn't tell me that going to church was more important than that! The eventual outcome was that neither they nor I went, because I wouldn't change clothes, they refused to take me unless I did, and they wouldn't go without me (an entirely different level of power struggle). The fact that this was a no-lose situation for me -- either I got to wear what I wanted to wear, or I didn't get dragged to church, and either way I won -- was apparently not something that impinged upon their notice.

#541 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: April 02, 2014, 12:32 AM:

Mary Aileen @ 394: Yes! Brilliant!

Jacque @ 397: thanks for the warning, but that's been checked; one of the install packager's engineers looked in the attic and said the beams needed sistering. This surprised me as it's dimensional lumber on ~1' centers -- I wonder what kind of roof would \not/ need reinforcement -- but he said they'd take care of it at no additional charge.

Sarah @ 428: and I'll have a mental picture of pirates examining the sherry for flaws -- as in, doesn't anybody know the difference between "pour" and "pore" any more? I can't remember the last time I've seen the latter used when it was meant; using the former seems counterintuitive, as (IIRC) there are no other cases where "our" is pronounced "or". (At least in U.S. English; do U.K. speakers pronounce "honour" as "onnor" rather than "onner"?)

various on street IDs: Washington DC numbers buildings by block rather than sequentially; e.g., on any street, the first building past 20th St. will be 200{1,2}. To keep the location advantage that this gives, streets starting uptown begin with large numbers; e.g., River Road starts at around 4101, because the end in DC starts around 41st St. Montgomery County continues this -- uselessly, since the streets aren't ordered; as a result, the house my parents built in 1951, 0.9 miles up a country road (itself 0.6 miles from a junction with River Road, several miles from its start), was numbered 10835 when it was finally assigned a number (~1963). And next door was 10825, on the theory that the 2-acre-minimum zoning might one day be dropped. (It hasn't; in fact, there's been at least one pair of lots merged and rebuilt with a single house. Gah. In my time the rich show-offs were kept on the far side of the village, where we didn't have to look at them....)

Neil @ 467: a late friend was commonly referred to as Richard NMI Harter, because that was how the Marine Corps had handled his parents' ... parsimony ... with names.

Jenny Islander @ 482: sounds like the planners were a little too ambitious. Across the Charles River from Boston, a developer put 2nd St. (or maybe 3rd) next to the water on the assumption that there would be expansion -- but that water was shallow enough to fill. (1st St is now 2 long blocks from the probably-final boundary of the river.)

Elliott Mason @ 498: I remember some of those costumes, and would point to past arguments here about the definition of "cosplay". Most of those pictures show contest costumes that can't be worn around the convention, and some don't have even the wearer's stories behind them; e.g., the cavalier with a lady dressed only in scattered stars make up a non-existent Kelly Freas painting, complete with logo. (Those two are Brons and Selma Burrows, Boston fen who gafiated (IIRC) in the 1980's; the costume was shown at Suncon (Labor Day weekend, 1977.) Other IDS:
* I \think/ the couple in skulls, cream, and sparklies are the Resnicks. (Remembered from an article in a Worldcon PR at least 30 years ago; I know Mike Resnick did Chun the Unavoidable, but am vague on whether they or the Stopas did this Vance-esque one that was also pictured.) The photo in the 2nd group shows his spear, but not the impaled baby that (IIRC) was on the end of it.
* The woman in flowing red looks like Ann Layman Chancellor.
* Adding to #500: the guy is Drew Sanders; the costume ("Silver apples of the Moon, golden apples of the Sun") came out of their imaginations, possibly inspired by the Yeats poem that several folkies have covered. This was one of the highlights of the Noreascon Two costume exhibit, possibly the first major exhibit of SF-convention costumes.

Cheryl @ 504: I can imagine locals calling Boul. St. Laurent "{The,Le} Boulevard", but I take it this name applies to some other street? Where is it?

Lee @ 515: not entirely pre-SW; IIRC, the Sanders also dates from Suncon. SW took a while to make headway against the flashier costumes from people's imaginations, partly because it had only a few doable costumes. I recall ~4 individual Leias brought together for a group shot at Noreascon 2 (1980) -- but they were ignorable on stage compared to Chance's "Elementals" and Patri's Pugliese's "Polesotechnic League" (complete with Adzel carrying Chee Lan on his "back").

Sandy B @ 520, ff: as noted above, a lot of those costumes were contest-only; they weren't worn around the convention, where they would have excited more than comment.
      I doubt that peer pressure had much effect in the U.S., even though fans got tired of mundane press illustrating the convention with the least-dressed female they could find. (I have only anecdotes from outside the U.S., such as the 1979 Brit who said she wouldn't be able to continue revealing costumes since she was about to get married.)
      I suspect costumers and judges became more interested in costumes as art rather than skin-display once the novelty of near-nudity wore off. Discon 2 (1974) announced they'd have an award for "most primal", but "no costume is no costume" was established enough that it shows up in de Camp's The Goblin Tower (1968). pace Jacque @ 527, I doubt that children had much to do with the shift in SF costuming; a lot of fans don't reproduce (or gafiate to reproduce).

#542 ::: janetl ::: (view all by) ::: April 02, 2014, 12:57 AM:

Carrie S. @ 534: How kind! I'll send you email. Thanks.

#543 ::: Cheryl ::: (view all by) ::: April 02, 2014, 02:41 AM:

@541 CHip

Cheryl @ 504: I can imagine locals calling Boul. St. Laurent "{The,Le} Boulevard", but I take it this name applies to some other street? Where is it?

Anyone who tries calling boul. St. Laurent "The Boulevard" will immediately be pegged as Not From Here. It is St. Laurent/St. Lawrence, or often The Main.

The Boulevard runs from Côte des Neiges Road on the Mountain, down through Westmount to Victoria Ave., where it turns into Côte St. Luc Road.

#544 ::: Inquisitive Raven ::: (view all by) ::: April 02, 2014, 07:28 AM:

On addresses: No love for Street Road? Oddly, until I read that Wikipedia article, I'd thought it was named for the Street family. They're rather prominent in local politics after all, and I had no idea how old the street is.

There's also South Street, but that may be sufficiently famous to not be confusing.

More address fun in southeastern PA: The City of West Chester is the County seat of Chester County. The City of Chester is in Delaware County. They are nowhere near each other.

#545 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: April 02, 2014, 08:16 AM:

Cadbury Moose #523: That reminds me of the guidance issued by the Garda Siochana a few years ago after the Irish authorities found themselves arresting a good number of Polish drivers for infractions of the Highway Code. Too many of the persons arrested, it turns out, were named 'Driving License'.

#546 ::: janetl ::: (view all by) ::: April 02, 2014, 08:57 AM:

Stefan Jones @ 533: Have fun exploring, Janet! Lots of non-euclidian twists and turns in Pittsburgh; you'll get lost a lot! (GPS is cheating!)
We're looking at a house near the corner of Beechwood and Monitor today. Which one of the places where those two streets cross, I won't say. At least it's not on a corner where one street intersects itself!

#547 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: April 02, 2014, 10:15 AM:

Inquisitive Raven #244: My wife used to live on Street Road.

#548 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: April 02, 2014, 10:23 AM:

I am proud of my public school system today. It is supporting a middle school math teacher in her public transition to female, in the same job she had when she was thought male.

Though a lot of our local journalism outlets clearly haven't read the AP's guidelines for talking about trans* people (I know, because I read them when I was on my community college's newspaper, and several places are in violation).

#549 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: April 02, 2014, 11:29 AM:

Sandy B @520--Having been in my teens and very early twenties in the 1970s and my twenties in the early and mid 1980s, I think one of the things that happened was that while everyone got a lot more relaxed about what, and how much clothing was appropriate (or necessary) a lot of women (and no doubt some men!) got very tired of display being confused with consent. Because there were plenty of people who did that then, and not just in fandom, but complaining about it got an even worse reaction than it does now.

It's a part of the whole "We had a sexual revolution and now you young people are all such prudes" thing you sometimes encounter--given the immense changes in attitudes about sex and gender in the past fity or sixty years it really is like night and day, but for some people, unless you are willing to have sex at the drop of a hat (usually theirs), talk about sex constantly, and make a big to-do about How Open You Are, Really!, you're the prisoner of sexual hangups.

In other words, we had a revolution, a lot of things changed and people became more open, tolerant, and able to talk about and discuss sex and gender issues. Then things moved back to the center a bit, as people adjusted, and life moves on.

Trust me, hormonal birth control advertisements on television are not something you'd have seen fifty years ago. Neither are ads for impotency treatments. Fifty years ago, having your bra straps show was the sign of a slattern, or an awkward wardrobe malfunction. Now, it's just a fashion statement.

The world changed, and then people decided they liked a little privacy, and some control over when, where, and to whom they exposed their bodies and desires.

#550 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: April 02, 2014, 11:38 AM:

"Remind me why I do this again."
"Rotten eggs and the safety of mankind."

Ten years ago today, del Toro's "Hellboy" was released.

#551 ::: dotless ı ::: (view all by) ::: April 02, 2014, 12:05 PM:

Someone is Wrong on the Internet instance of the morning:'s listing for "Astérix e os pictos", the Galician translation of "Astérix chez les Pictes", says "[Spanish]" in the heading, and "French" in the product info, and the "Update the product information" link has options for neither "Galician" nor "Galego". Why am I letting this bother me?

#552 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: April 02, 2014, 12:13 PM:

I got my first flat tire two days ago. For complex reasons I haven't yet had a chance to get the blown one fixed, so we're on the donut.

About how many miles should I expect to be able to cautiously drive on it? It feels really weird and sounds funny.

#553 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: April 02, 2014, 12:18 PM:

dotles i #551: Pro qué é un crimen contra o galeguismo e temos que loitar pra defender os dereitos e a dignidade da lengua de Rosalía.

#554 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: April 02, 2014, 12:18 PM:

dotles i #551: Pro qué é un crimen contra o galeguismo e temos que loitar pra defender os dereitos e a dignidade da lengua de Rosalía.

#555 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: April 02, 2014, 12:18 PM:

dotles i #551: Pro qué é un crimen contra o galeguismo e temos que loitar pra defender os dereitos e a dignidade da lengua de Rosalía.

#556 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: April 02, 2014, 12:20 PM:

Ye ghods and diminutive piscines, I have struck the bureaucratic demon and posted in triplicate. How on earth did I manage to commit such an evil act, and in Galician?

#557 ::: Cadbury Moose ::: (view all by) ::: April 02, 2014, 12:27 PM:

Fragano @ #556

What I tell you three times is true?

#558 ::: Cadbury Moose ::: (view all by) ::: April 02, 2014, 12:30 PM:

Of course, it could be an effect of the Galician; I noticed a tagline once stating "The official religion of France is Bureaucracy: they've replaced the Trinity with the Triplicate".

Who knows? (Certainly not this moose.)

#559 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: April 02, 2014, 12:55 PM:

Cadbury Moose #556: Cicáis.

#560 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: April 02, 2014, 01:12 PM:

re 52: They are typically rated for extremely short distances: I'm pretty sure the owner's manual will say not to drive more than fifty or so miles on it.

#561 ::: Cheryl ::: (view all by) ::: April 02, 2014, 01:35 PM:

@552 Elliott Mason

I had never heard of anyone calling the spare tire a "donut" before. A Google search says it's common, though. Huh.

This Popular Mechanics article just says "limited distances", also suggests keeping speeds under 50mph (80km/h), and explains why.

TL;DR - it can screw up your differential, which is way more expensive to fix than a flat tire.

#562 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: April 02, 2014, 01:51 PM:

The differential issue is only going to matter if it's mounted on the front, in which case the handling is going to drive you mad quickly anyway. The tire wear issue is more serious and affects it no matter where it's mounted.

#563 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: April 02, 2014, 02:06 PM:

HLN: Well, we had a few days of warm, breathable air, but those days are gone.

Monday's pollen count: 50
Tuesday's pollen count: 214
Wednesday's pollen count: 963.

Just so you know, "high" is anything above 90. "Extreme" is anything above 1500. I've seen it go over 5000.

#564 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: April 02, 2014, 02:20 PM:

@Janetl: I lived at the very "bottom" of Beechwood's "U," in apartments overlooking the river.

I could walk to the base of Murray to go to a Giant Eagle, or up the road a bit to buy real-actual-bagels.

I liked that area a lot.

#565 ::: Cheryl ::: (view all by) ::: April 02, 2014, 02:52 PM:

@562 C. Wingate

The differential issue is only going to matter if it's mounted on the front

Assuming Elliott has front-wheel rather than all-wheel (or even rear-wheel) drive, yes.

They are also horrible for driving on anything but dry pavement; if you live anywhere where there's actual weather (do I remember Chicago correctly?), you will want to slow way down - they have nothing for traction.

#566 ::: Cassy B. ::: (view all by) ::: April 02, 2014, 04:18 PM:

Cheryl @565, not just weather; POTHOLES. Thousands and thousands of tire-eating potholes.

Elliot, get that donut tire swapped out as soon as you can; a donut doesn't have much clearance between the rim and the rubber, and it'll get wiped out by the potholes even faster than a regular tire.

#567 ::: Cassy B. ::: (view all by) ::: April 02, 2014, 04:19 PM:

Me, above: That's Elliott. Two Ts. I *know* that...

#568 ::: Jeremy Leader ::: (view all by) ::: April 02, 2014, 04:30 PM:

Re donut spares: I think last time I looked at an owner's manual, they limited the speed rather than the distance (less than 50mph, I think). As others have noted, the effect on handling makes them less safe than 4 normal tires. I once worked with a guy who slept in a campground in the mountains near Los Angeles during the week, returning to his family in Las Vegas every weekend, driving back and forth in a compact car with a donut spare on a rear wheel every time. Not something I would recommend!

#569 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: April 02, 2014, 05:22 PM:

I once put* a donut spare on in place of a flat tire, then promptly had an Issue that sent me to the emergency room. When I got home two days later, the spare tire was completely flat without having been driven on at all. So yeah, don't trust them any longer than absolutely necessary.

*or rather, called AAA and had them put

#570 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: April 02, 2014, 06:16 PM:

Cheryl, #561: Part of what may be confusing you is that "donut" is not really an alternate term for "spare tire". A donut spare is common in small cars because it saves quite a bit of space by comparison to a real spare tire. But its only purpose is to get you from where you had the flat to a place where you can get a real tire put back on the car ASAP. Yes, people push the limits, for reasons of time or money. But that donut isn't likely to last very long, and when it goes, there you are out on the side of the road with no spare at all. That's a tow call, which is ex$pen$ive as hell, and will invariably trash whatever plans you had made for the rest of the day.

#571 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: April 02, 2014, 06:20 PM:

The problem is finding the free slice of time to get it done. OF COURSE it happened the one week when all my kid-is-in-school time is already pre-promised volunteering AT her school. Argh. I'm going to have to figure out how to do it with her in the car tomorrow morning.

#572 ::: Andrew Plotkin ::: (view all by) ::: April 02, 2014, 06:23 PM:

janetl@546: "At least it's not on a corner where one street intersects itself!"

Here's a fun game: drive along Murray to where it goes over the bridge over Beechwood. Continue to the first left. Keep taking the first left at every opportunity.

In a Euclidean city, this would take you around the block and you'd be back where you started after four turns.

In Pittsburgh, the results are nondeterministic. But I once tried this and eventually found myself where I started -- on Murray, going over the bridge -- *in the other direction*.

#573 ::: Andrew Plotkin ::: (view all by) ::: April 02, 2014, 06:25 PM:

Re above: I meant to type "first right", not "left". Safer, and the more obvious way to "go around the block".

Stupid having-trouble-with-"left"-and-"right"-which-is-not-dyslexia-but-something-else.

#574 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: April 02, 2014, 07:10 PM:

Andrew Plotkin (572): My siblings and I once figured out, with the aid of a map, that walking around the suburban Atlanta "block" we lived on would be about five miles. More if you went in and out all of the dead ends to avoid crossing the street. I couldn't even begin to guess how many sides it had--complicated by the fact that exactly none of those streets, except possibly some of the shorter dead ends, were remotely straight. The next "block" over is much smaller, and bounded by exactly four streets, but still far from rectangular.

#575 ::: Cheryl ::: (view all by) ::: April 02, 2014, 07:30 PM:


Cheryl, #561: Part of what may be confusing you is that "donut" is not really an alternate term for "spare tire". A donut spare is common in small cars because it saves quite a bit of space by comparison to a real spare tire.

Ah! Thank you. That's actually what I have in my car (with a bright yellow rim), but I've always just heard it called the spare.

That's a tow call, which is ex$pen$ive as hell, and will invariably trash whatever plans you had made for the rest of the day.

CAA/AAA is your friend. Really, I think a membership is the best thing a car owner can buy (or be given).

It doesn't really help with plans for the rest of the day, but at around $75/year (renewal is less expensive than the first year), it has paid for itself several times over.

Last month, my cousin and his wife were on their way to a family wedding when their car broke down. Towing to the garage: $300-odd.

Last week, my other cousin's brakes went (that was a fun drive home!). CAA towing: $8 (she was a couple of km past the max distance, or it would have been free).

And she has an associate membership, for $40/year.

#576 ::: Vicki ::: (view all by) ::: April 02, 2014, 07:41 PM:

If "turn right where the gas station used to be" means that the person giving the directions is getting old, does a radio station announcing "there's a traffic jam where the gas tanks used to be" mean that the audience is getting old, or just that the traffic reporter is?

#577 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: April 02, 2014, 07:44 PM:

#572: I lived near that intersection. I got to know it well, and learned how to not get stuck driving to (town to the east with the mall).

Another fun one: West on Forbes from Squirrel Hill. North on Craig. East on side street a block north. South on (road that runs past Mr. Rogers studio).

This puts you in a ravine 50' below Forbes, on a road that runs through a no-man's-land with CMU looming to the left and the Carnegie Institute museum to the right. It eventually takes you to an ethnic neighborhood that seems to exist in its own pocket of space-time. I was only able to find the road out the far side once.

As I recall, there's a house perched on the side of the hill along that stretch of Murray.

#578 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: April 02, 2014, 07:50 PM:

(And I've kind of forgotten what I was going to say about that all-on-its-own house.)

#579 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: April 02, 2014, 08:21 PM:

Elliott, #571: I suspect that if you tell the school you have to deal with a car-safety issue and need an hour of that time back, they'll be okay with it. If there's a Discount Tire anywhere in convenient distance, that's what I recommend; we get all our tires there, and spring for the road-hazard warranty as well. This means that when the tire picks up a nail and is non-repairable, I get a new one for the price of buying the warranty on it, a very significant savings!

Cheryl, #575: As much as we're on the road, you'd better believe we have AAA, with the extended-mileage towing rider as well. It's saved our hides on more than one occasion. There are a lot of things we'll give up before we ever let that membership lapse.

Back in 2011, late at night on our drive up to the Reno Worldcon, there was a sudden scary THUMP from underneath the car. We stopped, backed up, looked to see what we'd run over, couldn't find anything, couldn't see anything wrong, and eventually kept on going. Several weeks later, my partner figured out what had caused the scary THUMP -- it was the spare tire falling off the car! (On my car, it's under the cargo area, and apparently the securing bolt had worked its way loose. In the dark, we never saw it.) Well, other things kept happening, and replacing the spare kept sliding down the priority list, and then one evening we had a flat tire. And no spare. Fortunately, we were only returning home from having had dinner out -- but it took nearly an hour for AAA to get someone to us, and then the car still had to be towed home. My partner could have changed the tire in 15 minutes flat. Replacing the spare went to the top of the priority list the next day.

#580 ::: dotless ı ::: (view all by) ::: April 02, 2014, 08:52 PM:

Fragano Ledgister@553: I was going to say "too much coffee on top of a cold", but I like your answer much better.

O negócio e o seguinte: I can read only a little Portuguese, and even less Galician (and even less Castilian than that, for that matter), so I'd make a poor defender for a lengua de Rosalía, but I hate to see it erased like that. (My spouse is a bit better off: being a native Portuguese speaker who studied Castilian she can generally make sense of Galician and make herself understood, but she reports that the former misses some subtleties and the latter relies on a certain amount of good will on the part of the listener.)

#581 ::: Teka Lynn ::: (view all by) ::: April 02, 2014, 09:23 PM:

@580: On Youtube, I found a Portuguese TV news segment about Galician speakers who call it a separate language versus Galician speakers who call it a variant dialect of Portuguese.

I could understand the "separate language" guy they interviewed, but I couldn't make out a word of the guy who felt Galician and Portuguese are the same.

#582 ::: Bruce H. ::: (view all by) ::: April 02, 2014, 09:30 PM:

CHip @541

>> ... as (IIRC) there are no other cases where "our" is pronounced "or".

How about fore and four?

#583 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: April 03, 2014, 03:31 AM:

Bruce H @582

In my particular British English accent there are some distinctions between "-or", "-our", and "-ore" which seem rather subtle, and some which are rather obvious. But I speak funny.

#584 ::: jonesnori/Lenore Jones ::: (view all by) ::: April 03, 2014, 08:13 AM:

Naomi Parkhurst 496 and Fragano Legister 497, and later odd address posters (I know I'm late to the party), I used to live on Boulevard in Gainesville, Georgia.

One of my sisters once lived at 4 1/2 (South) Easy Street. That was in Georgia, too, but I've forgotten which town.

#585 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: April 03, 2014, 08:16 AM:

dotless i #580: Verdade? My case is simpler: My mother is Galician, and it is, in effect, my third language, after English and Spanish.

#586 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: April 03, 2014, 08:25 AM:

Teka Lynn #581: After several centuries of political separation, plus the massive loss of status that followed the provincialisation of Galicia, Galician is definitely a distinct language from Portuguese.

The advocates of Galegoportugués, who are a distinct minority, advocate a different orthography from both standard Portuguese and standard Galician, one that is closer to Portuguese than the Academic Galician standard. Thus, where the word for 'no' is written 'não' in Portuguese (and pronounced approximately 'nam') and 'non' in Galician (pronounced approximately as spelt, somewhere between 'nong' and 'nung') the Galegoportugués spelling is 'nom'.

#587 ::: Sandy B. ::: (view all by) ::: April 03, 2014, 09:59 AM:

There was an idea going around Facebook at one point: instead of buying pretty people drinks in bars, buy them books in bookstores.

I'm a happily married man but I nearly did that yesterday. There was a temptation.

#588 ::: dotless ı ::: (view all by) ::: April 03, 2014, 10:45 AM:

Fragano Ledgister@585,586: I'd remembered you mentioning that, though not how you ordered the languages. My impression of Galicia itself is very positive, but it's all from the oddly bounded perspective of a pilgrim. That perhaps made me more familiar with the mud than with the people. As for the language, I have good personal reasons to work on improving my Portuguese, and any time that lets me understand something in Galician or Castilian is a happy side effect at the moment. I did appreciate you giving me a good Galician excuse for my otherwise pointless irritation yesterday.

I've found the politics around the Iberian languages fascinating and bewildering: walking across northern Spain and seeing separatist graffiti in Leonese (using multiple orthographies, and advocating separation of León from Castile, if I understood correctly); hearing disagreements among Catalan speakers about teaching Castilian; or finding an Asterix book in Mirandese in Portugal. I remember one local somewhere along the way summing up the current situation in Spain as "Franco used to kill you if you used any of these languages, so now everyone wants to use only their own."

I can imagine various reasons why someone might want to emphasize or deemphasize the link between Galician and Portuguese. Given the amount of effort that has already gone into unifying orthography among Lusophones, though, am I wrong in suspecting that the Galegoportugués spelling isn't going to catch on very widely?

#589 ::: Rob Hansen ::: (view all by) ::: April 03, 2014, 12:03 PM:

This is a genuine ad that appeared in newspapers yesterday morning:

Servants of the Wankh

#590 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: April 03, 2014, 12:12 PM:

Lenore, one of my friends lived at 123-A Easy Street here in Athens.

#591 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: April 03, 2014, 12:12 PM:

Lenore, one of my friends lived at 123-A Easy Street here in Athens.

My eldest was born in Gainesville, and went to Brenau U.

#592 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: April 03, 2014, 01:15 PM:

dotless i #588: Some of the Iberian languages are dialects of Castillian, others are more complex. In Valencia, the official language is Valencian. That's Catalan with, essentially, a Valencian accent (or as a Catalan once put it to me 'ès la mateixa lingua', it's the same language). Asturian, or Bable, is what happens when the Old Leonese language gets heavily influenced by both Castillian and Galician (mostly the former).

Galegoportugués has an orthography that does violence to the way that Galician is actually spoken. If a person's name is, say, Xosé, it makes no sense to write it as 'José' because it's going to get a Castillian, not a Galician (far less a Portuguese) pronunciation.

#593 ::: jonesnori/Lenore Jones ::: (view all by) ::: April 03, 2014, 01:27 PM:

Lila 591: Really? My mom was Dean of Students at Brenau from 1968-1973.

#594 ::: oliviacw ::: (view all by) ::: April 03, 2014, 03:51 PM:

Chip @541. Bruce Bauer @582:

and of course, your! Pour, four, your.

#595 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 03, 2014, 04:29 PM:

Fragano, I've seen an early 19th century [Castilian] Spanish-English dictionary that used X where I'm used to seeing J (e.g. baxa/baja).

#596 ::: Anne Sheller ::: (view all by) ::: April 03, 2014, 04:57 PM:

oliviacw #594 - For me, pour sounds like poor, not pore, so does not rhyme with four/fore/for or your/yore.

#597 ::: estelendur ::: (view all by) ::: April 03, 2014, 05:02 PM:

oliviacw@594, Anne Sheller@596, for me, poor/pour/pore sound identical.

#598 ::: Cassy B. ::: (view all by) ::: April 03, 2014, 05:06 PM:

Anne Shelter @596, whereas in my dialect, "pour" (a glass of water), "poor" (indigent), and "pore" (small hole) are virtually indistinquishable. "Pour" might have a VERY slight dipthong (she says, sounding the words out to herself...)

(I don't hear a difference between Mary, marry, and merry, either. But I can tell "which" from "witch". And a pen and a pin are VERY different sounds which would never be confused.)

#599 ::: jonesnori/Lenore Jones ::: (view all by) ::: April 03, 2014, 06:08 PM:

Cassy B 598, same for me on all counts.

#600 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: April 03, 2014, 06:35 PM:

For me 'pour' and 'pore' are the same, but 'poor' is quite different. It's 'poo' with an 'r' on the end, same vowel as 'pool'.

Liquids mess up the vowel they follow though, so it's hard to hear the core vowel sometimes. In the dialect I grew up hearing most, 'l' after a vowel usually has a schwa that pops in before it. So 'pool' is pronounced "poo-uhl" and 'school' is "schoo-uhl." I think I've lost most of that, but I revert on occasion.

#601 ::: Dave Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: April 03, 2014, 06:36 PM:

Hmm. For me, I think "pour" and "poor" are slightly different (more "oo") than "pore", but I'm not sure my (somewhat slurred) speech would let anyone tell.

I do have three clearly different pronunciations for Mary/marry/merry, and nominally for which/witch (my speech impediment probably obscures that last one as well).

#602 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: April 03, 2014, 06:53 PM:

Oh, yeah, thanks Dave: 'Merry'/'Mary'/'marry' are all the same to me (unless I'm speaking Shakespeare, in which case the last two are the same and the first one is different). My native dialect doesn't distinguish between 'which' and 'witch'. 'Which witch is which' is much funnier in that dialect! I have learned, when singing, to distinguish them, not that my current choir director would care.

#603 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: April 03, 2014, 07:04 PM:

'Pore' and 'pour' are identical for me, but 'poor' is distinctly different. And 'your' rhymes with 'poor', not the other two, so oliviacw's suggestion at #594 of 'your' to be an '-our' match for 'pour' confused me no end.

Mary/merry/marry are normally the same for me, although I can make them sound different if I try really, really hard.

#604 ::: Cadbury Moose ::: (view all by) ::: April 03, 2014, 07:25 PM:

Local moose reckons:

Pour and pore are homophones and rhyme with core, more, door and your.

Mary, merry and marry are all different, rhyming with wary, very and Harry respectively.

For local values of "Central England". YMMV*

*Your Moose May Vary.

#605 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: April 03, 2014, 08:03 PM:

P J Evans #595: Castillian went through a sound shift in the sixteenth century in which the sound represented by x (the same sound as ch in French and sh in English was replaced by a guttural represented by j (roughly an aspirated kh sound -- the Ayatollah Khamenei becomes the Ayatola Jamenei as rendered in the Spanish press), some printed words retained the older spellings for a while, but the pronunciation shifted. Other peninsular languages retained both the pronunciation and the orthography.

#606 ::: dotless ı ::: (view all by) ::: April 03, 2014, 08:23 PM:

Fragano Ledgister@592: Do you know if there's a particular political alignment associated with the push for Galegoportugués? There seems to be a political side to all of the linguistic arguments there (perhaps all linguistic arguments everywhere) but, as I said, I find it fairly bewildering.

#607 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 03, 2014, 10:15 PM:

That's interesting. All I've met is (I think) Mexican. Or at least Western Hemisphere Spanish, which is not the same thing.

#608 ::: John A Arkansawyer ::: (view all by) ::: April 03, 2014, 10:42 PM:

So if I've only seen The Avengers and most of Agents of SHIELD, am I prepped for Winter Soldier?

#609 ::: Cassy B. ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2014, 12:08 AM:

Cadbury Moose @604 Mary, merry and marry are all different, rhyming with wary, very and Harry respectively.

All six words rhyme with each other in my dialect. (Aren't dialects fun? <grin> Mine's Great Lakes Midwestern. It's not quite Chicago; I don't have the flat a. Very similar (although not quite identical) to American Broadcast standard.)

#610 ::: Cheryl ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2014, 01:19 AM:

@608 John A Arkansawyer

So if I've only seen The Avengers and most of Agents of SHIELD, am I prepped for Winter Soldier?

I would say you really should see the first Captain America before The Winter Soldier. It will matter.

I don't think the other movies will matter so much, but I'm only going off what I know from the comics.

#611 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2014, 07:20 AM:

I agree with Cheryl. There's a voice in the trailer you need to be able to recognize. Watch Cap I.

#612 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2014, 07:30 AM:

dotless i #606: Yes, there is. Advocates of Galegoportugués are ultranationalists. My first encounter with it was a graffito in Santiago reading 'Isto nom é Espanha'. Mainstream Galician nationalists -- the Bloque Nacional Galego -- support autonomy and the current statute, and, at most, want to encourage more widespread use of the language and a bit more power for the Xunta. Ultranationalists want independence or union with Portugal.

#613 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2014, 08:43 AM:

Whenever I read the homophone/nonhomophone discussion, I am reminded that I often read the words with different pronunciations-- 'knight' and 'night' are two I use as examples. I don't think I say them with any different emphasis, but they are different in my head. Maybe it's not possible to differentiate them; I've sometimes said that part of my accent is that I am desperately trying to pronounce silent letters.

Character names are similar. Lynn Flewelling's Seregil and Rae Carson's Ximena both have an ambiguous sound... and what I 'hear' when I read them is also ambiguous. I try not to say 'Seregil' because I never know what's going to come out, but it'll be wrong.

#614 ::: Cally Soukup ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2014, 09:46 AM:

Speaking of character names and orthography, is anyone else annoyed at the character names in Weber's Safehold series? I'm enjoying the books, but the names are ARRGH. He's changed the orthography, but not, as far as I can tell, the pronunciation. All those ys and zhs in the middle of words completely throw off my name recognition algorithm. They make all the names "look alike" in some way to my brain, even though they aren't, really. And there are a LOT of names to remember. I've been buying them in hardcover, but it's gotten to the point that I want to get the ebook instead, and do a search-and-replace on all the character names (conveniently found at the end of the book) to standard orthography so the orthography will be INVISIBLE again, and I can just read the blinkin' book without stumbling over nearly Every Single Name.

Frankly, I'd have thought that in a culture with a very strong tradition of literacy, orthography wouldn't change, but pronunciation would. He's done it the other way around, and it makes me come to a screeching stop while I have to parse each name the hard way.

I know it's far, far to late for him to change things, but it still makes me grumble.

#615 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2014, 10:01 AM:

Home sick. Fourth cold this winter. Have collected viruses from Rome, Boston, and maybe Peoria.

Contemplative Benedict, contemplative otter, appalled Benedict, appalled otter, calm Benedict, calm otter, enraged Benedict, enraged otter, looming Benedict...

#616 ::: Anne Sheller ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2014, 10:11 AM:

My accent is mixed. I was born in East Tennessee, and spent most of the first 9 years of my life there. My parents were Midwesterners; my mother was from Indianapolis and was on radio in the 40's, while my father was from Barberton, OH, a son of Hungarian immigrants. We lived in California for a few years, then moved to eastern Iowa. I spent my teens and early 20's in Iowa and Minnesota. Then I moved to West Virginia, and have spent the last 35 years bouncing between there and the Ohio-Kentucky border.

I would guess that my accent is predominantly Midwestern, but a bit of Southern Upland flavors it.

#617 ::: dotless ı ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2014, 11:44 AM:

Fragano Ledgister@612: Thanks, that makes sense, to the extent that I can make sense of any of it. So, probably a more extreme position than the Leonese independence graffiti I mentioned earlier.

#618 ::: dotless ı ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2014, 12:49 PM:

Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey@615: Contemplative Benedict, contemplative otter, appalled Benedict, appalled otter, calm Benedict, calm otter, enraged Benedict, enraged otter, looming Benedict...

Sympathies on the cold; and I really wish I didn't understand your comment.

#619 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2014, 01:18 PM:

Cally Soukup (614): I agree 100% with every word of your comment. I find the names somewhat easier to deal with if I can turn off the part of my brain that tries to figure out what the originals that they mutated from were and instead just treat them as fantasy names, but it doesn't always work.

(Boy, that second sentence is confusing.)

#620 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2014, 01:55 PM:

OK, I just watched Captain America again. Trying very hard not to be annoyed by all the anachronisms, because it's a comic-book movie set in a universe I've described on another thread as "WW2DU" (World War II Disintegrator Universe), and there was no Hydra, no Red Skull, no secret superhero-generation program, etc. etc. I get all that.

The woman in an implausibly-high position of authority in the US Army? That's an improvement on the historical world (and also I'm not entirely sure I'm right about women in the Army). The fact that she goes into combat seems less plausible.

OK, they have women in combat. That I can buy. That there's only ONE woman in combat out of hundreds of soldiers is harder. If SHE can go into combat, why aren't there lots of other women there?

But the thing that really stuck in my craw was that, while all the male soldiers wear WWII combat attire, including helmets, she walks in bare-headed and wearing a fashionable shiny leather jacket.

This is not just another Flying Snowman. She's being treated as too stupid to protect her head, or more concerned with having fabulous hair. (Yes, I know the filmmakers want her to be easy to spot. This is STUPID. No one in combat wants to be easy to spot!) She's not otherwise a stupid woman (or a vain one, or any of the other negative adjectives sexists attribute to women—including the aggressive femme fatale played by Natalie Dormer in a brief cameo), so this is also inconsistent with her character.

And yeah, the movie is a few years old now. But that's kinda when I see most movies these days.

#621 ::: Benjamin Wolfe ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2014, 02:09 PM:

Cally Soukup at 614: I came at that series slightly differently (I originally listened to the first book, rather than reading it), so I think I got to dodge the worst of the naming problem. Weber's modifications to spelling are definitely weird, though.

The first two books were great driving-to-and-from-work material in 2008 though.

#622 ::: eric ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2014, 02:19 PM:

My wife insists that "Carrie" and "Kerry" sound different. To me, they both sound the same as carry -- i.e. the central sound is the same as 'air'. She gets maybe 1/4 the way to 'car' for Carrie.

(I've got a northmidwestern/east coastish sort of accent, she's got the remains of a N. Irish one. )

#623 ::: Jeremy Leader ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2014, 02:28 PM:

eric @622: To me, "Carrie" sounds like "marry", "Kerry" sounds like "merry", and "air" has the same sound as "Mary". The 3 sounds are distinct to me. I grew up in central NJ; my wife, who grew up in S. California, claims that the 3 pairs of words all contain the same sound. She also claims that after 3 decades in California, I have to strain to make them sound different, but I don't think I'm straining.

#624 ::: Cadbury Moose ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2014, 05:29 PM:

I think Patrick's highlight on "Photography and brown skin" is full of people missing the point (some deliberately).

Snapshot photography is a compromise at best, and fails dreadfully if the subject doesn't average out to 18% grey. (Especially when you add automatic camera meters and photographic printers that make this assumption.)

It's perfectly possible to take good photographs of mixed dark and light subjects (without resorting to the full Zone System), but it needs a bit of knowledge (grey is 18%, white skin is around 36% and dark skin around 9% (probably less for really dark skin). An incident-reading light meter (or a grey card and standard meter) and some manual correction to the exposure will make a big difference. (The next battle is getting it past the printing process, of course.)

Dang! I need to get out and do more photography.

#625 ::: Jeremy Leader ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2014, 06:40 PM:

Cadbury Moose @624: I had the impression that some of the time they were talking about professional photography (several mentions of "lighting the subject", and "Vanity Fair covers", both of which go a ways beyond "snapshot photography").

And when they talked about "snapshot photography", they also talked about how most photolabs used to use as their standard for adjusting colors a color card that had an image of a Caucasian woman in order to make sure that "white" skin tones came out correctly.

Also, I don't think different skin tones vary only in brightness (though that's all that matters for B&W photography, more or less). For color photography, different films have different response curves, meaning they may alter some tones (including some skin tones) in ways that may make them look more or less attractive. The claim is that for a long time, color films were designed to make Caucasian skin tones attractive, and non-Caucasian tones were not given the same attention.

I (as a technically-savvy non-photographer) get the impression that digital photography makea such color adjustments much easier after the fact. Also, high-dynamic-range techniques might help, though I find the colors in many HDR images somewhat odd, so I wouldn't be surprised if all skin tones would look weird in HDR. Maybe that's why I've only seen HDR used for landscapes? I could imagine a piece of software that would recognize different skin tones, and apply different color corrections to the different parts of the image, in order to produce attractive portraits of people of different colors.

#626 ::: Henry Troup ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2014, 08:33 PM:

Xopher @#620
In 1942, Alice Sheldon(*) was a major in the US Army. In photo-intelligence, not too far from the fictional superhero project.

(*) She wasn't then "Sheldon".

#627 ::: Chris ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2014, 08:47 PM:

I find myself reminded of a story I was once told, of a relative who took a photography course many years ago. The final exam was to take and develop a single picture: a very dark African woman in a black dress against a black background, next to a very light Scandinavian woman in a white dress against a white background.

#628 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2014, 09:34 PM:

Cheryl @ 575: Every auto insurance policy I've had (40 years now, as insurance is mandatory in Massachusetts) has offered towing coverage for much less than a membership in AAA. I joined AAA for a collection of reasons that are now less relevant (e.g., free mapping (which was sometimes worth what I paid for it), guidebooks (whose hotel ratings are IME very unreliable), so I've been thinking of dropping because their politics tend to push their ideas of car interests over other things I value. I suppose this isn't surprising, but it can be annoying.

Bruce H @ 582, oliviacw @ 594: I should have known MLers would be enough more awake than I was to come up with other cases.

#629 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2014, 09:54 PM:

Chris @ 627 - Generally, the human eye can distinguish much more latitude than a photograph can. Traditional film photography can yield about two stops of latitude in an exposure, but the eye can see about ten stops. Hence the popularity of HDR (High Dynamic Range) photography that uses digital manipulation to reveal more from the very faint to the very bright and increase contrast.

#630 ::: jonesnori/Lenore Jones ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2014, 10:02 PM:

Xopher Halftongue 620: As far as helmets, I agree that it's ridiculous, but this wouldn't be the only film doing it. I remember in the Lord of the Rings movies that major characters didn't wear helmets. I've seen that in Dr. Who episodes as well. Doesn't make it any less ridiculous, but at least it's not because she's female.

#631 ::: Cheryl ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2014, 10:21 PM:

@628 CHip

Cheryl @ 575: Every auto insurance policy I've had (40 years now, as insurance is mandatory in Massachusetts) has offered towing coverage for much less than a membership in AAA

I have never had an auto insurance policy in which towing coverage was even optional (insurance is also mandatory in QC), nor has anyone I have ever known. Perhaps this is a local norm.

I have no opinion on AAA's politics, as I have no knowledge of them, or whether they match CAA's politics or not.

#632 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2014, 11:28 PM:

Towing isn't always a necessity, but AAA also will change a flat or give you some gas or jump-start your car.

#633 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2014, 11:42 PM:

Steve C., #632: And we spend a lot of time in states far from our state of residence. I won't say AAA is flawless, but they are both nationwide and reliable. And our experience of having work done in AAA-approved repair shops has been uniformly good.

#634 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2014, 11:59 PM:

I've had them jump-start mine, because the battery can die very fast. Fix a flat, once. (A small but very sharp nail, which wouldn't have bee visible from more than a coupe of feet away.)

#635 ::: Cheryl ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2014, 01:06 AM:

@632 Steve C.

Towing isn't always a necessity, but AAA also will change a flat or give you some gas or jump-start your car.

Heck, CAA-Quebec will install a whole new battery. Or come get you if your bicycle is broken. They'll even drive you home.

#636 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2014, 01:32 AM:

Diatryma @613: I've sometimes said that part of my accent is that I am desperately trying to pronounce silent letters.

One of my neighbors is Polish. She's the only person I've ever met that actually succeeds in pronouncing all of the letters in "asthma."

#637 ::: Syd ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2014, 02:21 AM:

dotless ı @ 618, Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey @ 615 is referring to abi's Parhelia "2048 with Benedict Cumberbatch and otters". Because there is a meme that went viral about this time two years ago featuring otters who "look like" Benedict Cumberbatch (primarily in poses from the BBC's Sherlock, it seems to me). Hence, in the 2048 game, you merge two photos of "contemplative Cumberbatch" and get a photo of an otter in a similar pose. And so on. Which may well be more than you wanted to know.

Amusing game, though.

#640 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2014, 08:59 AM:

You know, much as we all hate spam, it did remind me of the wonderful Open Thread C.

#641 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2014, 08:59 AM:

Jacque (636): I can pronounce all of the letters in 'asthma' if I think about it, but I don't do it routinely.

#642 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2014, 10:09 AM:

I was singled out by my linguistics teacher (in Georgia) as having a 'phony accent,' an idiolect. He wasn't being mean, just describing. I grew up in Colorado and learned a lot of words out of the dictionary instead of hearing them. I guess I grew up around a fairly neutral accent with some quirks and ironed out the quirks.

Years later, in Virginia, I used a Posh British accent in a play, guided by a professionally made tape explaining the differences and bolstered by the assistant director pointing out lapses. I'd used it before, which may have helped. At the end of production, a fellow actor whose opinions I valued (and would still, if she was where I am) crushed me without knowing it by praising my accent in the show, adding that she wasn't sure at the start that I'd pull it off, what with my southern accent. I thanked her, smiled, went home and died. I'm sure I do not have a southern accent, thank you.

If I did have one, I'd like the Virginia accent one of the music teachers at Christopher Newport U had (he was old enough that I'll guess he may have retired by now, but maybe not), which sounded like the personification of courtly politeness. It had round vowels, and a gentle tune. It was always a pleasure to chat with him about Septimus Winner, composer of "Whispering Hope," "Listen to the Mocking BIrd," "Ten Little Indians," and "Der Deitscher's Dog (Oh Where, Oh Where…)." His name is obscure, but his tune are still remembered.

I read the article on non-Caucasian skin tones. I didn't comment at the site, as it is Facebook-locked, but I wondered if correcting curves (which only helps if Photoshop is part of the process) would be of use. To bring out the contrast in one part of a picture, it's possible to steal some from others. Open the curves menu (command-M for Macs). Hold down the Option key to get the eyedropper icon and wave it over the area you want to bring out, and see where it occurs on the curve for each component color. Then you squinch the curve to make this area more vertical. Don't go overboard. Maybe fade it all a little after you're done. I've used this to give more range to faces (mostly) and other things, and I think it would give more definition to those who aren't pasty like me.

#643 ::: Cassy B. ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2014, 10:15 AM:

Bruce E. Durocher II @638, I'm afraid I don't get it. An invisible man tap-dancing on a movie set? Tap-shoes dropping from a height onto a movie set? I'm pretty sure it's a movie set; you can see the edges and the fan used to create wind....

Maybe I just need some caffeine...

#644 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2014, 10:17 AM:

Bruce @638: Looks great for 52 seconds, then I think I'm in line behind everyone else who wants to look at it. I'm trying downloading it now so I can watch it offline. And when I say 'looks great,' I mean it looks like a great idea, beautifully drawn, and well animated, so not surprising that it's popular.

#645 ::: Cassy B. ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2014, 10:24 AM:

Kip @644, it's animated? It wasn't moving when I followed the link. Ok, now I understand why I didn't get it....

#646 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2014, 10:25 AM:

Cassy, it's a tribute to "Singin' in the Rain," a movie about making movies — hence the movie sets. It's not an invisible man dancing, it's two separate shoes (one dancing with the voice of Gene Kelly, one dancing with the voice of Donald O'Connor) in ways no invisible man wearing them could move.

I know that doesn't explain anything, but I got that much because I've seen the movie (lots of times, because it makes me happy every time). My favorite part is where a film executive demonstrates "a talk-ing pic-ture" wearing ridiculous make-up, though Lena's line "Then everybody was a dope" comes close. Because even though Lena is shown to be a narcissistic dunce, her reflexive evaluation of fashions in history is pretty darned good.

#647 ::: OtterB ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2014, 10:26 AM:

Bruce E. Durocher @638 and John A Arkansawyer @639, thanks for those links. They were individually delightful and collectively a double punch to a "is there nothing good in the world" attitude I have been beset with recently.

#648 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2014, 10:29 AM:

TomB @73: I'm not the world's greatest carpenter, but I know what kind of wrench to pound in a screw with.

Cassy @645 (crossed posts): It's animated when it moves. I have about 4/5 of it downloaded now and I'll soon see it move all the way through, if I'm lucky.

#649 ::: Cassy B. sees spam ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2014, 10:33 AM:

Kip @646, I saw a single frame, with a pair of tapshoes and the ghost off to one side (not obviously a ghost; she wasn't translucent in that frame, just desaturated.)

Once I turned down my security permissions for the site, then I got the video. With music. Very charming, and I did recognize the singing-in-the-rain reference. (I actually kind of wondered from the cartoon still I initially saw whether it was Singing In the Rain because of the ladder and the fan....)

#650 ::: Neil W ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2014, 11:13 AM:

Xopher @620 (Yes, I know the filmmakers want her to be easy to spot. This is STUPID. No one in combat wants to be easy to spot!)

Yes. They are thinking superhero movie, where our heroes (and villains) stand out*, but this is still (mostly) a war movie, where they don't want to be spotted. However this would be possible to do better in a variety of ways (from most to least stupid IMO)
- she could lose her helmet at the start of a sequence;
- she could wear a helmet that's distinctive and keep a (more sensible) leather jacket;
- she could have a uniform and helmet that is subtly different to regular ones and have a different silhouette;
- she could be in a functionally indistinguishable uniform but be highlighted by clever choreography, lighting and filming techniques.

But, instead, she's a female comic book sidekick and gets a costume that doesn't make sense.

* Like on a comicbook page.

#651 ::: Dave Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2014, 11:17 AM:

Regarding AAA: I don't think anybody complains about their services -- they're famously reliable and helpful. Their political "liability" is that they are direct advocates of automobile use -- as opposed to other forms of transportation.¹ It turns out that's a problem in the big picture, but even so, there's a bunch of folks who'd do well to emulate their approach: If you want something to be popular, work on making it easier and safer for individuals. (That being what AAA service does, for driving places.)

¹ Was it here at ML that I saw the link about how they originally helped shift the presumption of "what streets are for" from pedestrianism to automobiles? (If not, it may have been my local weekly, I should be able to look up the article.)

#652 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2014, 11:21 AM:

Mary Aileen 641: Why would you, except as a party trick? Pronouncing all the letters isn't how that word is pronounced.

Kip 642: I was singled out by my linguistics teacher (in Georgia) as having a 'phony accent,' an idiolect. He wasn't being mean, just describing.

I'll take your word that he wasn't trying to be mean, but he WAS being stupid and abusive. 'Phony accent' is an attack, and is NOT the definition of 'idiolect'.

#653 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2014, 11:40 AM:

Why I'm ending my boycott of Barilla.

#654 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2014, 11:52 AM:

Jacque, #636: I can pronounce all the letters in "asthma" if you accept the "th" diphthong. For that matter, I can also pronounce "diphthong" and "asterisk" properly.

#655 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2014, 11:57 AM:

'th' is not a diphthong. A diphthong is two vowels pronounced in one syllable. 'th' is a spelling of a single consonant.

#656 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2014, 12:00 PM:

Xopher (652): Mainly as a party trick, yeah.

Lee (654): So can I. How about 'ophthalmologist'?

#657 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2014, 12:09 PM:

One of the things I love about the ANWB1, which fills the ecological niche of the AAA in the Netherlands, is that it is not an automobile advocacy organization. It started as a cyclists' organization (the name stands for Algemene Nederlandsche Wielrijders-Bond: General Dutch Cyclists' Federation).

Now it does roadside repairs and towing for drivers, produces maps and disseminates travel information, and generally advocates for all road users. But it isn't in the cars-first business.

Which is more of "NL is basically a different universe", but it does underline the fact that none of these things is inevitable.

#658 ::: Cheryl ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2014, 12:43 PM:

I don't know about AAA, but CAA (or at least CAA-Quebec) does advocate for better public transportation, sharing the road with bikes and pedestrians, was well as alternatively powered vehicles. It all comes under "Sustainable Mobility".

#659 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2014, 12:50 PM:

abi 657: Which is more of "NL is basically a different universe"

You say "different." I say "better." I think the US could stand to learn from the Dutch model on a lot of things. I'm probably not going to learn Dutch and move to the Netherlands at my stage of life, but damn. If only I'd known.

#660 ::: Naomi Parkhurst ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2014, 01:01 PM:

Trying to shake loose a post lost to the dreaded Internal Server Error.

#661 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2014, 01:03 PM:

Xopher @659:
You say "different." I say "better."

Sometimes. On the other hand, the night before the local-council elections last month, Geert Wilders asked a rally of his followers, "Do we want more Moroccans in the Netherlands, or fewer?" And his followers shouted, "Fewer, fewer, fewer."

Which in Dutch is "Minder, minder, minder", where "min" rhymes with "thin".

On the gripping hand, he's getting hammered in the polls for doing it. But European Parliament elections are next month, and he's going to be every kind of horrible in the lead-up.

#662 ::: Naomi Parkhurst ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2014, 01:05 PM:

Hm. Didn't work. I was trying to post about a North American alternative to AAA called Better World Club. Not going to try to add the link this time; they have the .com domain, not .org. They do a lot of the same things, but also do roadside assistance for bicyclists and advocate for better public transit.

#663 ::: Idumea Arbacoochee, Speaker to Tall People ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2014, 01:10 PM:

Naomi Parkhurst @660:

Alas, it is not in the back end. I'm afraid that the Woordenverslinders, who lie in wait for comments as they travel the dark paths from preview to posting, have dragged it off and devoured it.

I am sorry. I am sure that it died bravely.

#664 ::: Naomi Parkhurst ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2014, 01:15 PM:

I thank you for looking!

I had trouble with the link; I suspect that by the time I got it right in preview, something else had gone awry.

#665 ::: Idumea Arbacoochee, Speaker to Tall People ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2014, 01:17 PM:

Naomi Parkhurst @662:


Please note that the content of the comment has nothing to do with whether it is devoured. Server errors are a product of some problems with the back end and/or the environment Making Light is currently running in.

If a server error happens after the comment has been added to the database, then another post in the same thread will trigger a rebuild of the relevant pages and indices, and both comments will appear. But if it happens earlier, before the comment has been added to the database, then it's gone.

There is action being taken on this matter, but we're hampered by basic people-availability issues.

#666 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2014, 01:17 PM:

Yeah, abi, I keep forgetting you have your crazy bigoted shitheads too.

On a lighter note, here's a review of Captain America: The Winter Soldier from gay news publication Towleroad. Sounds pretty good, and at least according to this reviewer, Black Widow gets treated more as she deserves in this one.

#667 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2014, 02:03 PM:

I went to see The Winter Soldier yesterday. I agree with the review Xopher linked above, especially about the fight scenes - I tend to think any movie with action sequences can and should cut them by 20% to improve the film, but I wasn't bored here - and with its treatment of Black Widow.

I went to see it with my housemate, who's far more of a comics nerd than I am, directly as a result of the Avengers movie - she turned to the comics because she found that she needed more Black Widow and Hawkeye in her life. She was also pleased with the movie, and was able to point out some comics-world details that I wouldn't have noticed but that made her squee.

Mild barely-spoilery complaint, presented as dialogue whispered during the film:

Housemate: *wince* Ouch...
Me: So, is the Falcon super-soldiered up? Because he should have major road rash right now.
Housemate: No, he's not. That's why I said ouch.

But "unrealistic lack of damage" is as silly a complaint as "they should run out of ammo faster." Movie rules, not real-life ones.

Also, costume-design possible Easter egg: pay attention to Black Widow's necklace. Tiny. Unrelated to movie plot or action. Just...a thing.

Two post-credits sequences, so stay through all of them.

#668 ::: Bruce E. Durocher II ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2014, 02:10 PM:

Cassy B., Kip W.: I'm sorry you had the issues with it playing: I used the Vimo link because A) I seem to get clearer video views there than YouTube, and B) while the YouTube comments are overwhelmingly popular, they're disconcerting: "I love classical music!" "I love Swing!" I wish I knew more about the artist beyond the fact that they're heavily into Vocaloid.

That reminds me: I've been looking for the name of a piece of music software that was mentioned once at Metafilter and someone here might know what it is. I found links to demos at that time at YouTube, but can't remember the name to find it again. You could feed in a piece of music and it would allow you to change the source chords in the sample: one of the videos showed where they'd fed in Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, grabbed the Mellotron part out, shifted the pitch, and put it back in again. I know that it was NOT Autotune, but can't remember what it was called. Any ideas?

#669 ::: Cheryl ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2014, 07:49 PM:

On April 1st and 2nd, it snowed 40cm in Newfoundland.

Then this happened.

"Oh jumping Jesus tonight!"

#670 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2014, 09:09 PM:

Mary Aileen @656: There's an internationally-known bridge player named Jacek Pszczoɫa. Everybody calls him "Pepsi". (Even on Bridge Base Online, when featuring him on their Vu-Graph.) Myself, I don't see what's so hard about saying "Pszczoɫa".

(For those who may not have encountered much Polish: they use "z" in digraphs where we use "h", so "sz" is like "sh" and "cz" is like "ch". I actually think this is more sensible than our system.)

#671 ::: dotless ı ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2014, 09:24 PM:

Syd@637: Thanks, I got the reference; I was just wishing that I didn't know the game quite so well at this point.

Xopher Halftongue@666, Rikibeth@667: I also saw The Winter Soldier yesterday, and also agree with the review, as well as with most of Chris Lough's review on (including the complaints).

Also, costume-design possible Easter egg: pay attention to Black Widow's necklace. Tiny. Unrelated to movie plot or action. Just...a thing.

Very minor spoiler, rot-13'ed: Vs vg'f n ersrerapr gb Unjxrlr, gubhtu, vg vf eryrinag gb n zvabe pbzcynvag nobhg gur svyz: tvira gur pvephzfgnaprf vg frrzf yvxr gurl fubhyq unir ng yrnfg unq n yvar va gurer gb rkcynva jul gurl pbhyqa'g chyy uvz va.

#672 ::: John A Arkansawyer ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2014, 10:10 PM:

I find myself really wanting to see a movie, and that movie is Winter Soldier, and it looks like if I don't go tonight, I won't get a chance for days, and I've yet to turn up the first Captain America.

I think I might go tonight, unprepared. None of you who gave me good advice to do otherwise should hold yourselves accountable for my inexplicable, typical inability to accept it. Plus I might not go. Maybe.

#673 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2014, 10:23 PM:

Xopher, #655: You're right. The word I should have used was "phoneme".

#674 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2014, 10:30 PM:

Spoilerless "Winter Soldier" review: OMG THAT MOVIE WAS AWESOME!

#675 ::: Michael I ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2014, 08:58 AM:

John Arkensawyer@672

For what it's worth, I saw Winter Soldier yesterday and you don't NEED to see the first Captain America movie before seeing Winter Soldier. I'm sure there are places where the first movie would add some additional depth but all the background you need is included in Winter Soldier itself.

(It's how the Marvel movies have tended to work. They are interconnected. They do provide some context for each other. But they are sufficiently self-contained that they can be watched on their own.)

#676 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2014, 09:46 AM:

I haven't seen "Winter Soldier" yet, but AstroCity's Kurt Busiek loved it. 'Nuff said.

#677 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2014, 10:05 AM:

Just saw it. I liked it.

I really did notice how careless the bad guys were of collateral damage. Over and over again. That may not be how Steve defined the bad guys, but it works for me.

#678 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2014, 06:37 PM:

abi @ 677... Glad to hear. Disregard toward collateral damage was but one of the many problems I had with "Man of Steel", especially when our Kryptonian hero whose first act, after vanquishing the bad guys, was to kiss his girl friend, instead of looking for survivors under the many collapsed buildings.

#679 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2014, 09:11 PM:

I watched The Lego Movie today, and it was adorable. Very funny and very clever.

I'm saving Winter Soldier for next weekend.

#680 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2014, 10:07 PM:

Cheryl @ 669: that looks like an impressive demonstration of idiocy. Not being able to deal with drifted snow seems like it ought to be a particularly implausible Newfie joke....
      Not such spectacular video, but another indicator of the winter we've been having: a snowstorm on 26 March completely missed Boston but put >8" on Cape Cod, which normally gets rain when Boston gets snow. I tell myself the winter must be over because I can read in the unheated basement without freezing; we'll see how true that is.

Adding my thanks to Bruce@638 re the SitR video; sometimes I wish my shoes had that much personality.

#681 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2014, 11:06 PM:

Bruce E. Derocher II @ 638 - Well, thanks to you, I have new earworm since I've played that a dozen time and shared it on FB.


It really is a lovely piece of work, delightful an ineffably sad at the same time.

#682 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2014, 11:56 PM:

Collateral damage. What was the line from the all-consuming fight in Alan Moore's "Miracleman"? I tried to believe the car I threw at him was empty…

#683 ::: Bruce E. Durocher II ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2014, 12:21 AM:

Ever have something drop down the cultural rathole? I mentioned the comic strip Oh Carol to my wife, and she never saw it while in Boston and Yakima. Tried to do a web search, and there's no evidence it ever existed...

#684 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2014, 12:43 AM:

Kip W: "My apologists have claimed the car that I first hurled at Bates was empty, those who'd been inside having all previously escaped.

I'm sorry, but that isn't true."

#685 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2014, 08:48 AM:

Ben Grimm: "Ladies, I'm gonna need to borrow your car."
Old Lady: "The transmission sticks."
Ben Grimm: "Not gonna be a problem!"
[hurls the car in the direction of Doom]

#686 ::: Niall McAuley ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2014, 09:50 AM:

Minor Winter Soldier Easter egg:

Look in Robert Redford's fridge.

#687 ::: Jennifer Baughman ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2014, 11:03 AM:

Niall #686: I caught that! And pointed it out to the husband! But did you catch the Easter Egg on Avpx'f gbzofgbar? (Big spoiler, do not un-ROT if you haven't seen it!)

So, yeah, Husband and I really, really, really enjoyed Winter Soldier. Mini-review follows, with the caveat that I generally love what Marvel's doing with the cinematic universe, and I'm a comics fan from way back. (And erring on the side of caution, ROT-13ing anything that might be a spoiler.)

You can understand it without having seen Captain America: The First Avenger; there's a scene fairly early on that provides most of the necessary background, plus a few flashbacks. That said, I think it's better for having seen the first one. I also think it's better than the first one--The First Avenger has a few slow spots, and it's a little too slow to get from sickly Steve to Captain America. (Though I would not lose a second of Erskine for the world.) If there are wasted scenes in Winter Soldier, I didn't see them--must go see again to double-check. (The highest mark of movie regard in our house is "Yeah, we'd go see that again, full price.") Husband described it as "The Casablanca of superhero movies." It's that tight.

It did a very good job of capturing the style of a 70's political thriller in the context of the current political atmosphere. The choice of Robert Redford to play Pierce was brilliant. (Though, during the scene where he's talking to Steve, I had a sudden intense longing to see the alternate-universe Captain America in which Cap was played by a young Redford.)

The Falcon has a much more prominent role than the trailers suggest, and that's a good thing. He is very strongly written, as is Natasha, and though Maria Hill is a smaller role, she's no less competent. Of the five major protagonists (Fury, Cap, Natasha, Sam, and the Winter Soldier), two are black and one is female. None of them are stereotyped. All of them are three-dimensional. The strong characterization extends to the fight choreography--each character had a distinctive and consistent fighting style. Black Widow emphasizes stealth, misdirection, and precise application of momentum, to compensate for her smaller build and lesser mass. Minor spoiler: Gurer'f n fubg jurer fur'f gelvat gb gnxr fbzrbar unys ntnva ure fvmr qbja, naq vg gnxrf ure gjb gevrf rira jvgu n ehaavat fgneg. Falcon has the two-gun mojo, and his style is agile and fast, on or off the ground. And the best way I can describe Cap's style is a quote from the "Civil War" comic: "I've seen him fight dozens of times, tried to study his moves--but until this moment, I never realized--there ARE no moves. It's all ONE move, from start to finish. Smooth, quick, a ballet, deadly, and fast. And powerful."

Now I can haz my Black Widow movie, pleez?

Minor spoiler: V jnf rfcrpvnyyl vzcerffrq jvgu gur jnl Fnz (Snypba) vf vagebqhprq, abg nf fbzrbar jub vqbyvmrf Pnc (ur unf na rkuvovg ng gur Fzvgufbavna!), ohg nf n sryybj irgrena, nyfb erpragyl erghearq sebz orvat va-pbhagel. Vg'f n avpr jnl gb rzcunfvmr gung Fgrir vfa'g nyy gung sne erzbirq sebz gur jne.

#688 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2014, 11:07 AM:

Very nice article by Ezra Klein on motivated reasoning in politics.

One of the worst things about our national political discussion is that most of it is carried out by very smart people whose jobs depend on coming to the conclusions demanded by their employers. The result is that we get a hell of a lot of clever argument intended to back-justify whatever various powerful people and organizations have already decided to do, and not much actual open intellectual inquiry. And that amplifies this tendency of most everyone to have their tribal affiliation muck up their ability to think straight.

#689 ::: dotless ı ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2014, 12:19 PM:

Is it worth creating a spoiler thread for the movie?

Jennifer Baughman@687: It's that tight.

I think that a couple of the fight/chase scenes could have been trimmed (particularly the Shel nffnffvangvba punfr), but I agree, there weren't many wasted moments, and I could (will if we can schedule it) happily watch it again in the theater just for the characterization.

Of the five major protagonists (Fury, Cap, Natasha, Sam, and the Winter Soldier), two are black and one is female. None of them are stereotyped. All of them are three-dimensional.

And Hill is still a strong secondary character, and they're clearly setting up Funeba Pnegre for a more prominent role. (I was trying to remember immediately afterwards if the film passes the Bechdel test, though, and all I could come up with was a marginal exchange about ballistics; which, admittedly, is one brief exchange more than they bothered to put in The Avengers.)

Now I can haz my Black Widow movie, pleez?

Yes please!

V jnf rfcrpvnyyl vzcerffrq jvgu gur jnl Fnz (Snypba) vf vagebqhprq

Gung'f n tbbq cbvag. V nyfb gubhtug gur erirny nobhg uvf zvyvgnel onpxtebhaq nf qbar ernyyl avpryl: abg "Ybbx, V'z n fhcreureb", ohg "Urer ner zl fxvyyf; pna V uryc?"

#690 ::: dotless ı ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2014, 12:39 PM:

Stefan Jones@679: I watched The Lego Movie today, and it was adorable. Very funny and very clever.

I agree with you entirely about the first three quarters of the film, more or less. I was much more ambivalent after that point. Still worth seeing, but I really wished they hadn't gone in that direction; it left a slightly bad taste in my mouth.

#691 ::: Cheryl ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2014, 12:58 PM:

Mickey Rooney has died.

#692 ::: Jennifer Baughman ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2014, 01:03 PM:

I would dig on a spoiler thread!

dotless i #689:

See, I think the Shel nffnffvangvba punfr was brilliantly done, and I'm wondering if Gbal Fgnex xabjf gung FUVRYQ fgbyr Wneivf. Gung pne jnf gbb erfcbafvir gb or whfg na rkcreg flfgrz. "Air conditioning" indeed! ;)

And Hill is still a strong secondary character, and they're clearly setting up Funeba Pnegre for a more prominent role.

Absolutely. If they're going with the general Cap canon, she becomes Cap's arj ybir vagrerfg. (Nyfb, V guvax gung vs gurl'er abg tbvat gb znxr Uvyy gur urnq bs n er-sbetrq FUVRYQ, naq vs fur jbexf sbe Fgnex Vaqhfgevrf, fur arrqf gb gnxr bire Gbal'f frphevgl qrgnvy, fvapr Unccl Ubtna jnf fb tevribhfyl jbhaqrq va VZ3. Be gur urnq bs n Fgnex Vaqhfgevrf vagryyvtrapr argjbex. Bx, gung'f n fpnel gubhtug.)

I can haz Avpx Shel naq Znevn Uvyy zbivr: Gur Funggrerq Fuvryq?

I'm almost absolutely sure the movie doesn't pass the Bechdel test (the ballistics exchange was in the context of Shel trggvat fubg ol gur Jvagre Fbyqvre, so I don't think it counts), but then, this is one of those movies about which the Bechdel test is misleading. The scene where Steve and Natasha take a road trip, for example, is a wonderful bit of dialogue; it reveals a little more of Nat's character, and best of all, there's no sexual subcontext. Stripping away the characters, it's simply a highly competent person having a very important conversation with their equally highly competent colleague that they aren't sure they can trust, but want to. Steve could be having that conversation with Tony Stark and it would work. Fury and Steve and Sam treat Natasha and Maria like peers, and best of all, it's completely natural. I honestly can't think of a better portrayal of a female action hero since Alien. (Maybe Sarah Connor, though her heroism is inextricably tied up with being a mother.) (PAY ATTENTION, HOLLYWOOD!)

Gung'f n tbbq cbvag. V nyfb gubhtug gur erirny nobhg uvf zvyvgnel onpxtebhaq nf qbar ernyyl avpryl: abg "Ybbx, V'z n fhcreureb", ohg "Urer ner zl fxvyyf; pna V uryc?"


"Jung'f gung?"
"Zl erfhzr."
"V arire fnvq V jnf n cvybg."

#693 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2014, 01:33 PM:

Spolier thread? Here ya go!

#694 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2014, 01:36 PM:

Thank you, abi!

Now a) I won't have to be tantalized by all the ROT-13'd text which people have been so considerate about concealing (and I mean that sincerely: thank you, folks) and b) when I finally spring for a ticket and go see the damn thing I'll have a place to burble about it!

#695 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2014, 01:37 PM:

Lee @654: I can pronounce all the letters in "asthma" if you accept the "th" diphthong. For that matter, I can also pronounce "diphthong" and "asterisk" properly.

Ula manages the "t" and the "h" and the "th", as well as the "s" and the "m". It is truly a wonder to behold.

#696 ::: dotless ı ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2014, 01:50 PM:

abi@693: Spolier thread? Here ya go!

Thanks abi! All that rotating can't be good for the letters in the long term.

Should that thread also be considered available for Agents of SHIELD spoilers, where both are relevant?

#697 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2014, 01:56 PM:

There's another thread for Agents of SHIELD; not everyone has seen both. (Me, for instance!)

#698 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2014, 02:38 PM:

abi @693: Spolier thread? Here ya go!


#699 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2014, 09:13 PM:

There's this big fellow, very strong, and rather jealous. He comes home early one day, and his wife is wearing a nightgown, and he thinks her nervous smile looks guilty. He races to the street-facing kitchen window, and sees a man looking around nervously and buttoning his collar as he heads for his car. Overcome by rage, the big man grabs the closest thing to hand — a Frigidaire — and throws it at the other. Blackout.

Scene two takes place at the Pearly Gates. A short queue is moving past the Admitting Angel, who asks each man his name and how he came to die. "I don't really know what happened," says the first man. "I was just running for my car, and something like a refrigerator hit me out of nowhere." "Pass to the next station," says the angel.

"I don't know what happened," says the second man. "I was throwing a refrigerator, and everything went black. Maybe it was my heart." "Pass to the next station."

The third man shrugged in puzzlement. "I have no idea how I died," he said. "I was hiding in this refrigerator…"

(You can probably guess what inspired this recounting of an old story. I didn't want to say it before, lest it spoil the tale.)

#700 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2014, 11:56 PM:

Trolls can be infuriating. But sometimes they can just be hilarious, as in this example from a discussion of Brandon Eich elseweb:

As for the slugs that forced him out, they’re slowly turning into the type of people that George Orwell so eloquently wrote about in 1984 and that Herr Stalin so ruthlessly used to control his people.
That's right, Herr Stalin. The serious commentariat pretty well exploded with derisive laughter.

(Not trying to have that conversation here. Instead, if you want to join it, start by reading the entry and comments on Scalzi's blog, here.)

#701 ::: Neil W ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2014, 07:21 AM:

Now I can haz my Black Widow movie, pleez?

I would say that maybe they should be making more movies, more characters and more cross-overs but we'd probably get more Iron Man 2s rather than more Iron Mans.

(Somebody elseweb keeps saying that what they really want is a Loki movie. I replied that he's already had three. Yes, he had to steal them. That's how you know it's a Loki movie.)

#702 ::: Cassy B. sees spam ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2014, 08:36 AM:

I never say Thor 2. Is that a problem for Winter Soldier? (I never saw Thor 1 either, for that matter, but Avengers was still perfectly clear...) I did see Captain America 1, but I'm hazy on the details...

#703 ::: Cassy B. doesn't spot spam after all ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2014, 09:11 AM:

My nym stuck. Sorry.

And me, above: I never saw Thor 2. I can say it just fine...

#704 ::: Mark D. ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2014, 09:36 AM:

For Jim Macdonald, and anyone else who appreciates good sleight-of-hand:
Why Stockholm Rocks

#705 ::: James Moar ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2014, 09:40 AM:

No references that I can think of to Thor 2, and you'll be filled in on the more important points from Captain America 1.

#706 ::: Jennifer Baughman ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2014, 09:55 AM:

Neil W #701:

(Somebody elseweb keeps saying that what they really want is a Loki movie. I replied that he's already had three. Yes, he had to steal them. That's how you know it's a Loki movie.)

That's... so perfect!

Cassy B., yes, you can absolutely see Winter Soldier without having seen Thor 2, no worries there. The two movies Husband and I re-watched were Cap 1 and Avengers.

#707 ::: Jimcat ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2014, 10:03 AM:

Been a long time since I was here, but I saw something today that I thought I'd like to see the Making Light community's reaction to.

Seems as though some Christians with small minds and big mouths have been threatening to bring back the Crusades and the Inquisition, in response to what they see as the gross offense of human rights for homosexuals. First, I know that the gay-rights issue has been done to death and as far as I, and probably most people here, are concerned, the argument is over and we're in the mopping-up phase. Second, I know that the chances of a new Crusade are slim to none. (The Inquisition would require the Catholic Church to be the established religion and greatest temporal power in the country, for which the chances are exactly none.)

What piqued my curiosity was seeing several references to this blog post:

Which is often attributed to "Sci-fi writer John C. Wright".

I've been away from the science fiction community for a while, so the name John C. Wright doesn't ring any bells. But seeing his writing and noting phrases like " Gay so-called Marriage" and "pro-perversion Human Rights Campaign", I have to ask: what's up with this guy? Is he actually a member of the science fiction community, or just some fringe whacko who cranks out some screed and proclaims himself a "sci-fi author" as well as a greater arbiter of morality than the Pope?

I know that there are conservative science fiction writers, and even bigoted science fiction writers, but I was wondering how this guy even got in the door, if indeed he has done so.

#708 ::: Dave Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2014, 10:37 AM:

John C. Wright is the author of the "Orphans of Chaos" trilogy, which I quite liked. I am sorry to hear that he himself is broadcasting poisonous views. Unfortunately, one aspect of the novels is "suspicious" there... they take personal relativism to the level of physics. Which is a cute conceit... but people thinking their views dictate reality, is precisely the problem we're seeing from the conservatives....

Trilogy precis: Six species of gods, each with a different approach to physics/magic -- as in, given a fancy telescope and laser setup in view of the moon, a member of one species measures the speed of light as relativistic... then someone from another species takes over the rig, and suddenly the readings start indicating an absolute frame of reference. (This is while the protagonists are discovering just how weird their world is....)

#709 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2014, 10:45 AM:

Jimcat @ 707... threatening to bring back the Crusades and the Inquisition

Butbutbut... *Nobody* expects the Spanish Inquisition!

#710 ::: Neil W ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2014, 10:50 AM:

Jennifer Baughman @706 - I am riffing off other people noting that OF COURSE Loki stole this scene/that scene/Thor/Avengers/Thor 2 because that's what Loki does. I simply noticed that the theft was much larger than anyone had suspected. As one would expect from etc. etc.

#711 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2014, 11:12 AM:

Jimcat 707: Welcome back! I don't know anything about the issues you raise here, but they're interesting and I'm looking forward to the discussion.

The name 'John C. Wright' does sound familiar, but not in any way that I can connect, even after reading the comments that followed yours.

Dave 708: That's interesting. It strikes me that "their opinion determines the laws of physics" is a sufficient qualification for calling someone a god!

#712 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2014, 11:48 AM:

Serge Broom #709: It's the red frocks they wear.

#713 ::: janetl ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2014, 12:30 PM:

Jimcat @ 707: Wright's post specifically mentions Chick-a-fil as one of the brave companies upholding traditional values and courageously facing down the mob. By coincidence, a friend on Facebook linked to an article about how Chick-a-fil is making changes, and the CEO has now "fully backed away from such public pronouncements that mix personal opinion on social issues with corporate policy. 'All of us become more wise as time goes by,' he says, apologetically, in a rare, one-hour sit-down interview. 'We sincerely care about all people.'"

The tide has turned, the demographics are obvious to any business with half a brain, but the rear guard will keep yelling at the waves.

#714 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2014, 12:49 PM:

janetl (713): Fulfilling my daily allotment of pedantry: that's 'Chick-fil-a'.

#715 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2014, 01:12 PM:

Yeah, it's supposed to sound like "chicken filet" without actually making any claims they could be sued over.

#716 ::: janetl ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2014, 03:48 PM:

Mary Aileen @ 714: Oops! Vegetarian-ish eater who avoids chains here. My mistake.
This picture may be appropriate at this point: This is the most subtle troll I have seen in ten years..

#717 ::: Cally Soukup ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2014, 04:25 PM:

Xopher: to be fair, I've had their chicken sandwiches a few times when they were giving them away for free (hey, it costs them money and I get a free lunch. Win-win.) It's a pretty good sandwich, with a decent sized chunk of chicken on it. I'd say it's better than McD's chicken sandwich.

#718 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2014, 04:41 PM:

Xopher, #715:

Yeah, it's supposed to sound like "chicken filet" without actually making any claims they could be sued over.

Not, for most of my life, living anyplace where this chain had outposts, and thus being out of earshot of any of their TV or radio advertising, if any, I mentally pronounce Chick-fil-a to rhyme with "Godzilla."

(They have opened a few restaurants in the Chicago area in very recent years.)

#719 ::: Dave Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2014, 05:26 PM:

Xopher Halftongue #711: It strikes me that "their opinion determines the laws of physics" is a sufficient qualification for calling someone a god!

Well, yeah, though the protagonists are very junior among their respective kinds. (They were hostages taken as infants... then the children grew up, and hijinks ensued.) The gods of mythology are noted, mostly among the antagonist group (the protagonists have one each of the other five types).

But it's not just opinion, but viewpoint and abilities -- each of them experiences the greater universe as having a very different structure and nature, and can work with it on their own basis. Also, the natural "advice" given by each group to its opposite would be almost guaranteed to be dangerously wrong for the recipient.

As I said, great fun in a story, but in real life... the attitude is problematic, because in fact, there is a single world, and its rules are what they are, without respect to opinion.

#720 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2014, 05:37 PM:

I have not said anything bad about their product or the quality thereof!

And actually it's more likely they just wanted a spelling that could be trademarked.

Bill, they're officially "Chick-fil-A," with a capital A. Methinks they want to pronounce that as the name of the letter, making the "fil-A" part "filet."

#721 ::: Dave Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2014, 06:22 PM:

And now I'm sorry I didn't ROT-13 much of my last comment.

Having now read Wright's linked piece, I'll also note that there's a lot of that "Christians are persecuted" vibe in it, but with a normally-implicit second part showing: A vindictive "and when we get back in real power, we'll punish all those people who dared disobey our God!"

#722 ::: Dave Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2014, 06:52 PM:

And, breaking news: A newly discovered bug in SSL called "Heartbleed" basically kill web security.

It occurs to me that this might well be the method the NSA apparently had for breaking SSL.

#723 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2014, 08:41 PM:

Wright has been known as ... difficult ... for some time; IIRC, Cheryl Morgan had an interesting dustup with him some years ago.
      IMHO, "Orphans of Chaos" suffered from a variant of the Friday syndrome; an adventurous, kickass female narrator who turns to mush around strong men.

#724 ::: Leah Miller ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2014, 08:49 PM:

I had been tapering off Chick-fil-A for a while, but it wasn't until the last round of revelations that I stopped entirely. The problem is that they are, legitimately, the best fast food chicken sandwich I have ever had. Remarkably consistent, never salty or soggy, with really good fries. Today at work, my cube-mates were all describing the sandwiches in tortuous detail. It's frustrating that a restaurant that is well-run in so many other ways has such an odious destination for its profits.

Honestly, it was this brilliant Paul F Tompkins comedy bit that pushed me over the line from "maybe one a year" or "only when it's somebody else's turn to pick lunch" to "never again, unless it's free." This piece is a bit of a departure for Tompkins, who is usually not overtly political. Still it maintains the personal, rambling, gently mocking tone that has made Tompkins one of my favorite comedians in recent years.

#725 ::: Dave Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2014, 09:31 PM:

Addendum: This site (recommended by tests whether the site you enter is vulnerable.

#726 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2014, 09:36 PM:

Note on recent Parhelia -- it's "litographs", not "lithographs." A very easy mistake to make. I also think they're also really cool, and I want to see them get the googlejuice they deserve.

#727 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2014, 09:48 PM:

And I wasn't quite quick enough to change that to "Parhelion"....

#728 ::: Sandy B. ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2014, 10:39 PM:

Has Making Light heard this song ? Frank Turner, "Once We Were Anarchists"? I needed to get some perspective back. I'm not sure how to say this... a discussion about Elsa's ice powers in Frozen led to studying the video, which led to me feeling like an old creepy guy, and this video fixed me right up.

#729 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2014, 11:57 PM:

The last time I ate Chik-Fil-A, it was for Gay Pride Cow Day: dress up like a cow, get a free meal. A bunch of people came as gay pride cows to raise awareness of said chain's discrimination... but you know, we live in Iowa City. It's not that there are no bigots, far from it, but we were also aware that the people taking our cow-names and orders were having fun right along with us.

Not quite as ridiculous as Occupy Iowa City (hint: College Green Park is pretty damned occupied) but still a bit weird. Fun dressing up as a rainbow-splotched cow, though. And really good food, yes.

#730 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2014, 12:16 AM:

Chick-fil-A is supposedly cleaning up its act as far as homophobia is concerned, but I don't know any details.

#731 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2014, 01:11 AM:

janetl, #713: Well, that's... I won't say "good news" exactly because it's still sad that they're only walking back on the bigotry because not doing so was costing them money. But it's better news. Doesn't mean I'm any more likely to eat there in the future, but that's my personal opinion -- I don't think their food is very good.

#732 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2014, 01:59 AM:

But if I'd read janetl's link at 713 I would have known the details. As it was, I forgot already that this is where I saw words to that effect.

Sorry, janetl.

#733 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2014, 03:54 AM:

Thanks, Tom. Fixed. (I posted it quite late at night my time, so my wetware autocorrect module hijacked my fingers.)

#734 ::: Cheryl ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2014, 05:20 AM:

For those avoiding both the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Winter Soldier threads because you're behind seeing either, just wanted to say: I would have been really peeved if I'd seen the latest ep first, before seeing the movie. Just letting people know, in case anyone was waffling.

#735 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2014, 07:08 AM:

I used to work at Chick-fil-A and I now have a lesbian daughter. My feelings are decidedly mixed.

On the one hand, they have a genuinely good product that is made from actual food ingredients (don't ask me how many lemons I squeezed!). The one I worked for also treated their employees well and fairly (they hired me when I got fired from my previous job for being pregnant). On the other hand, bigotry. And even good fast food is bad for you.

I've eaten there once since the recent softening of position. Am unlikely to do so often, for multiple reasons, but it's no longer an absolute automatic "no", for either me or my daughter.

#736 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2014, 11:19 AM:

Elseweb, just had to engage in the delicate process of trying to call off a pile-on when I agree with the crowd piling on, on a site where I am not a moderator or in any way in a leadership position.

I used the phrase 'I for one'. Insect overlords were not being discussed.

#737 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2014, 11:55 AM:

Cheryl @734: I would have been really peeved if I'd seen the latest ep first, before seeing the movie. Just letting people know, in case anyone was waffling.

THANK you. I have the latest S.H.I.E.L.D. in my Hulu queue, and it looks like I will have to wait until the 20th for my movie buddy to be free to see CA, so this heads-up is very much appreciated.

#738 ::: Carol Kimball ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2014, 01:05 PM:

Incredible embellishment on The Game of Thrones costumes

#739 ::: B. Durbin ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2014, 01:15 PM:

It's very hard to be productive when you're relying one somebody else to give you material and they simply don't do it. (This is an entirely voluntary project on my part, but it does have a deadline which is fast approaching.) I think the worst part is that nobody involved has understood my frustration in the five or more years I've been doing this on a yearly basis.

All I want is some photos. Please?

#740 ::: James Moar ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2014, 01:21 PM:

I used the phrase 'I for one'. Insect overlords were not being discussed.

What about Roman numerals?

#741 ::: dotless ı ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2014, 01:28 PM:

James Moar@740:

I used the phrase 'I for one'.
What about Roman numerals?

"I for I" never comes out well.

#742 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2014, 01:38 PM:

B. Durbin: Yes: being downstream of people not doing their parts: incredibly frustrating. Especially when it works out that "bad planning on their part does consititute an emergency on my part." One of the few things that could move me to casting hexes on the parties in question.

#743 ::: Cheryl ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2014, 01:48 PM:

@737 Jacque

THANK you. I have the latest S.H.I.E.L.D. in my Hulu queue, and it looks like I will have to wait until the 20th for my movie buddy to be free to see CA, so this heads-up is very much appreciated.

Oh, you're welcome! Glad I posted, then.

#744 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2014, 02:59 PM:

Huh. I specifically asked another friend of mine if I should hold off on catching up until I see it (likely months from now), and she said that in her opinion, seeing the movie 'in continuity' is really really good for both the movie and the show, but that she wouldn't recommend a lengthy hold-off on the show just for not seeing the movie.

LA LA LA LA I haven't seen it myself, merely relaying. :->

#745 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2014, 03:07 PM:

I appreciate the spoiler threads. I didn't see WINTER SOLDIER last weekend, and I'm holding off on last night's SHIELD, and it has been tough avoiding spoiler-memes on Twitter.

#746 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2014, 04:30 PM:

Jimcat @707, Wright’s a real science fiction writer. Has a bunch of novels published by Tor, grew up reading old pulps and comics, plays role-playing games, goes to conventions, all that jazz. If his political opinions weren’t odious to you, you’d find nothing odd about him.

And even his politics aren’t all that unusual among science fiction authors — there are plenty of right-wing reactionaries in the field. John W Campbell was a white supremacist, and he was very influential in his day.

#747 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2014, 04:37 PM:

dotless 741: "I for I" never comes out well.

Leaves the whole world bleyend.

#748 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2014, 05:24 PM:

Lee @731: Let's say it's good news in the sense that it means there is a handle people can use to bring about better behavior in a soulless corporation.

I've eaten at Chik-fil-A once, maybe twice in the last eleven years, because once we left Virginia, we just never ran into any of them. I happened upon one on a road trip a couple years back (while looking for a reported White Castle) and was happy to chuck my plans and dine on something I'd always enjoyed. Lucky for me, it was before the metaphoric storm.

Both places we've lived since Virginia — western MA and western NY — have the disadvantage (or blessing in disguise) of having no Chik-fil-A, no Hardee's, no White Castle. I'd eat at these places, at least once in a while if they presented themselves. I find them on trips once in a while.

West Springfield did have a remarkable one-of-a-kind (now two) place, the White Hut (since 1937), which did a fantastic amount of business in its crowded interior. The counter resembled a sort of stock market, with people shoving up to shout or otherwise signal their order from the spartan menu. If you wanted to eat in, there were two tables. There was sawdust on the floor.

Anyway, I'll be making a road trip very soon. I expect I'll find a White Castle either in Ohio or Michigan (I have an app on my phone to tell me where). When we hit the U.P., I may go in for one or two pasties. Or maybe the Thai place in Manistique will shock me by being open this time.

#749 ::: Andrew Plotkin ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2014, 05:55 PM:

Avram@746: "Wright’s a real science fiction writer. Has a bunch of novels published by Tor, grew up reading old pulps and comics, plays role-playing games, goes to conventions, all that jazz. If his political opinions weren’t odious to you, you’d find nothing odd about him."

When I read Wright's first SF trilogy, knowing nothing about his political opinions, I found that he'd gutted a far-future space-opera trilogy so that he could say "Look! Objectivism is so smart!" in the last few chapters of the third book. With extra smug and smug sauce on the side.

So *that* was odd, or a big disappointment, anyhow. I've avoided his books since.

(I don't know whether he was a homophobe at that point. I've heard that he later converted from Randist-atheism to objectivist-Christianity. Or something. The details are off my radar.)

(Previous paragraph I originally mistyped as "...whether he was a homophone". I guess anybody named "Wright" is a life-long homophone no matter what, amirite?)

#750 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2014, 06:05 PM:

The White Hut sounds something like Phillipe's in Los Angeles. Sawdust on the floors (it has rooms), people in lines waiting to get to the counter, long tables. (French dip sandwiches, since 1918.)

#751 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2014, 06:49 PM:

Kip, #748: Ah yes, White Castle (or its Southern equivalent, Krystal). Every few years I get a yen to eat there, and then I remember why I don't. :-)

#752 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2014, 08:15 PM:

I have now seen the latest Agents of SHIELD (but not Cap Am 2), and I can see why some people say DO NOT WATCH IT and other people say "Ehh, either way."

There is An Event that happens during the timeframe covered by both this ep and the movie. Whichever way you know about it first, it will color your ability to watch the other one unspoiled.

I don't mind spoilers (and I do mind having to chase down TV shows six weeks late), so I watched the TV show; but there is irrevocable shared history that happens because of Event (vague, generalized spoiler rot13ed; it wouldn't have bothered my enjoyment of either: Gurer vf n eribyg jvguva FUVRYQ gung unf sne-ernpuvat pbafrdhraprf ba gur ragver ZPH jbeyq) and it happened in both.

Sort of a Nerilka's Story/Moreta Dragonlady of Pern situation. I have a friend who read the former not knowing the latter existed and he found a major Happening of both novels to be a betrayal of his trust as a reader; I can see the same thing possibly happening here.

#753 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2014, 08:35 PM:

Stuff and nonsense. I realize I hadn't read/been 'here' for a while, we've been a bit busy.

Jim Murray 'celebrated' my birthday weekend by having a heart attack on Saturday, March 15 and triple bypass on St. Patrick's Day.

He is doing very well, there was zero heart muscle damage. He's started physical therapy, and is getting bored around the house (six weeks of no lifting over 10 lbs is annoying him but. He gets scolded, we don't want him hurting the healing bone).

So life has been interesting. But my sweetie is okay, which is the best part of it.

#754 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2014, 08:38 PM:

Paula Helm Murray (753): How frightening! I'm glad he's doing well, and hope he continues to improve.

#755 ::: Cally Soukup ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2014, 08:39 PM:

Paula: I'm glad Jim is healing well!

#756 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2014, 08:56 PM:

Paula: yikes! My sympathies on the scary drama (and the tedious restrictions), and my congratulations on the excellent outcome!

#757 ::: Bruce E. Durocher II ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2014, 09:26 PM:

I have been watching an extremely funny TV series from Japan. I hesitate to talk about it here, because...well, there's a TV Trope called "Under the Radar." Think of the Jurgen jokes about swords, staffs, and pikes. Or the UK version of TW3 where a war room of generals tried to game out the opposing army's smegma attack--that's Under the Radar. The TV Tropes listing for the show says, in its entirety, "The radar is broken."

Anyway, the show is named "Seitokai Yakuindomo," it is freely available online, and a throwawy joke in the first ten minutes of the first episode has guaranteed that I will never be able to watch or read a "harem" anime or manga without sniggering like Muttley first. (The folks doing the adaptation realized that the structure looked like a harem show setup, so walked right up to it, smiled brightly, and drove a god-damned caber through the heart of it just to get it over with.)

The setup is simple: a once-private girl's high school has gone co-ed because of declining birth rates. The male protagonist decides to enroll because he lives nearby. (This is where we have the four second joke about the males who signed up because they thought they could live out a harem show that had me on the floor.) It then enthusiastically stands every attending high-school cliche on every head it can find, because most of the students believe the crap they've heard about male students, much to his dismay. (On Track & Field Day his bullhorn introduction is as "The school Stud Horse" while the crowd cheers.) Yes, they do stoop to "The Lover's Tree" joke. And execute it perfectly. I recommend it highly.

#758 ::: Bruce E. Durocher II ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2014, 09:27 PM:

I have been watching an extremely funny TV series from Japan. I hesitate to talk about it here, because...well, there's a TV Trope called "Under the Radar." Think of the Jurgen jokes about swords, staffs, and pikes. Or the UK version of TW3 where a war room of generals tried to game out the opposing army's smegma attack--that's Under the Radar. The TV Tropes listing for the show says, in its entirety, "The radar is broken."

Anyway, the show is named "Seitokai Yakuindomo," it is freely available online, and a throwawy joke in the first ten minutes of the first episode has guaranteed that I will never be able to watch or read a "harem" anime or manga without sniggering like Muttley first. (The folks doing the adaptation realized that the structure looked like a harem show setup, so walked right up to it, smiled brightly, and drove a god-damned caber through the heart of it just to get it over with.)

The setup is simple: a once-private girl's high school has gone co-ed because of declining birth rates. The male protagonist decides to enroll because he lives nearby. (This is where we have the four second joke about the males who signed up because they thought they could live out a harem show that had me on the floor.) It then enthusiastically stands every attending high-school cliche on every head it can find, because most of the students believe the crap they've heard about male students, much to his dismay. (On Track & Field Day his bullhorn introduction is as "The school Stud Horse" while the crowd cheers.) Yes, they do stoop to "The Lover's Tree" joke. And execute it perfectly. I recommend it highly.

#759 ::: Bruce E. Durocher II hates Internal Server Errors ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2014, 09:29 PM:

Damn it, internal server error and then double posts! Sorry.

#760 ::: Bruce E. Durocher II hates Internal Server Errors ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2014, 09:31 PM:

Damn it, internal server error and then double posts, followed by a message that I've posted too often and should try again in a short while. Feh.

#761 ::: Bruce E. Durocher II bloody gives up. ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2014, 09:34 PM:

I'm taking a walk and going to bed. Screw this.

#762 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2014, 10:51 PM:

@Jim via Paula: Patience and swift healing!

#763 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2014, 10:55 PM:

A good article on the Heartbleed SSL vulnerability:

Short version: You are going to have to change EVERY password to a site that uses SSL encryption, the technique that lets browsers and web servers communicate securlely.

Even if a site didn't use the effected version of SSL . . . well, this is a good excuse to come up with a new set of long, complicated passwords.

This site: will let you enter a website name and get a report on its CURRENT status.

Current status means the site is safe to log into so you can change the password. It doesn't mean that the site was only recently fixed.


#764 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: April 10, 2014, 12:31 AM:

I'm okay with Chik-Fil-A and other businesses changing their stated positions due to market pressures. I like what that says about the world. If Cheerios thinks a multiracial family will sell more cereal, it means multiracial families matter. Mercenary, yes, but it reflects a change I like.

#765 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: April 10, 2014, 12:51 AM:

#638, #646: Who is the ghost watching the shoes dance?

Are we meant to recognize her, or is she an original character?

Googling avails me not, so I suspect the latter to be the case.

#766 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: April 10, 2014, 01:40 AM:

I expect it's an original character, too, Bill -- and I'd love to see more!

#767 ::: Jenny Islander ::: (view all by) ::: April 10, 2014, 02:52 AM:

Said it before, feel compelled to say it again because more and more of these . . . things . . . are bobbing to the top of my art searches and they are not tagged for Safe Search to filter out:

I don't object to pictures of Bilbo Baggins getting some romance. Really, I don't. Middle-aged fussbudgets (raises hand) deserve love too. But when you draw Bilbo as a tween getting manhandled by a large, strong adult such as, oh, Thorin, I get seriously skeeved out. Short as a child does not mean looks like a child. Please, fandom, quit it.

#768 ::: Leah Miller ::: (view all by) ::: April 10, 2014, 07:07 AM:

@Bill Higgns #765

We are meant to recognize her, but not in the way you're thinking. She may not be a specific character, but she is a visual representation of the archetypal Japanese ghost.

If we were watching an American kids' TV show, the shorthand for "ghost!" might be a person with a sheet over their head. She represents the visual shorthand for that concept in Japanese culture - a person (especially a girl) wearing that style of white kimono, with that headband, and no feet*. The outfit is used in Japanese burial rites, so the costume appears in all forms of Japanese ghost stories... from fun ones for little kids to serious scary ones.

I tried to loosely translate the video creator's text description, but my Japanese is really rusty, and even with online dictionaries I can only roughly paraphrase:

"I was able to participate in the FRENZ2013**. Here is my submission with very little loss in image quality. After watching Singin' In the Rain this idea hit me with a crash, and it's been percolating for about two and a half years.
It was great to be able to do this.
It's a wonderful movie! People who haven't seen it definitely should."

*The "no feet" thing is pretty common for ghosts, but it is even more strongly emphasized in Japanese stories.
**From what I can find, it's a Japanese short film festival held over several days in Shinjuku. There seems to be no information about it in English, but the bits I can get from the event website seem really cool.

#769 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: April 10, 2014, 07:23 AM:

Andrew Plotkin #749: "I guess anybody named "Wright" is a life-long homophone no matter what, amirite?"

Many moons ago, I was watching television in Jamaica when the continuity announcer, one Diana Wright (who had briefly been a schoolmate of mine), informed the viewers that a 'ma-ca-bree' film would be shown. For this, and sundry other solecisms, she became one of the country's major antonyms.

#770 ::: Dave Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: April 10, 2014, 08:29 AM:

Paula Helm Murray #753: Yipes! Here's sympathies for the past, congratulations for the present, and best wishes for the future!.

#771 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: April 10, 2014, 09:49 AM:

Paula Helm Murray #753: Oh my goodness! Sympathies and best wishes to you both.

#772 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: April 10, 2014, 09:50 AM:

Paula Helm Murray #753: Oh my goodness! Sympathies and best wishes to you both.

#773 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: April 10, 2014, 09:54 AM:

Two days ago I submitted a nomination to the vice president of a professional organisation to which I belong. She emailed me her thanks, in the process misspelling my name. She then sent me an email apologising for so doing, but excusing herself on the grounds that the misspelling was based on how my first wife, a friend of hers, pronounces my name.

Problem: My first wife pronounces, and spells, my name correctly. Do I shoot myself now, or later?

#774 ::: Cassy B. ::: (view all by) ::: April 10, 2014, 10:18 AM:

Fragano Ledgister @773, let it go. Some battles you can't win...

Cassy (not Cassie; not Casey, not Kassy, not Kassi, not Cassi...)

#775 ::: dotless ı ::: (view all by) ::: April 10, 2014, 10:54 AM:

Fragano Ledgister@773: Do I shoot myself now, or later?

You lost me there. Why are you the one to be shot?

#776 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: April 10, 2014, 11:23 AM:


Thus providing yet another demonstration that the right place to put the period in sentences of the form "I'm sorry I did X, but..." is immediately after the X.

#777 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: April 10, 2014, 11:30 AM:

OK, this is weird. I was searching for the weight of the Titanic, the Google search page popped up the following text:

At that waterline, Titanic weighed 52,310 tons or 117,174,400 pounds. The Ship's hull and non prescription viagra superstructure contained 4,632,800 cubic feet (46,328 gross tons) of space. Of that, 2,183,100 cubic feet (21,831 net tons) were used to make money by carrying passengers or cargo.
See what's wrong with this picture? The offending words aren't in the actual FAQ referenced by that link, so this must have been there the last time Google swept it or something.

#778 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: April 10, 2014, 11:43 AM:

Wow, Paula! That's pretty intense news.

Best to you both.

#779 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: April 10, 2014, 12:25 PM:

dotless i #775: To put myself out of misery.

#780 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: April 10, 2014, 12:31 PM:

I think the idea is that putting THEM out of YOUR misery would be better.

I do not condone anyone being shot at any time, though. Hear that, NSA?

#781 ::: Nancy Lebovitz ::: (view all by) ::: April 10, 2014, 03:37 PM:

#700 ::: Xopher Halftongue

I want video of the slugs turning into people.

Chick Fil A recipe-- as it happens' I never ate at Chick Fil A so I can't vouch for it, but the reviews are enthusiastic.

#782 ::: Clifton ::: (view all by) ::: April 10, 2014, 04:09 PM:

Paula Murray: Sympathy and good thoughts, as others have said. You have my hopes for your Jim making a complete recovery.

#783 ::: Neil W ::: (view all by) ::: April 10, 2014, 04:30 PM:

Xopher @777 The Ship's hull and non prescription viagra superstructure...

Well, presumably the superstructure was erected on the hull.

#784 ::: Sarah ::: (view all by) ::: April 10, 2014, 04:49 PM:

I've noticed a few times when I do a Google search on a phrase, that sometimes I'll get several previews of a block of text containing that phrase, and usually one seems legit (say, it's a paragraph from a novel on googlebooks or something) and then further down there will be duplicate versions that have ads inserted between the words. I assume it's some sort of spam strategy.

#785 ::: Sarah ::: (view all by) ::: April 10, 2014, 04:56 PM:

Additional --

So, am I right in assuming that the purpose of spam is not really to increase sales, but to trick people into clicking on something that takes them to the spammers' clients' websites, so that the spammers can say "look how many hits we got for your website, pay up?" Because I can't imagine that any of the spams I've seen would be effective as a sales pitch; though I suppose it's so cheap to send out a million of 'em that only one sale is needed to make the exercise worthwhile. (All these quantities being vague estimates, of course.)

#786 ::: Victoria ::: (view all by) ::: April 10, 2014, 05:23 PM:

Is it a bad thing when I get teary eyed over an episode of Cosmos? The bit where Tyson talks about Sagan?

#787 ::: Cassy B. ::: (view all by) ::: April 10, 2014, 05:30 PM:

Victoria @786, then we're bad together.

#788 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 10, 2014, 05:38 PM:

That, yeah. It would explain some of the stuff we report here.

#789 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: April 10, 2014, 06:50 PM:

Victoria, 786:

Is it a bad thing when I get teary eyed over an episode of Cosmos? The bit where Tyson talks about Sagan?

No, my own reaction to the scene where Tyson shows Sagan's diary for 1975, marked with the day the teenager met the astronomer, is a bad thing.

"Ha! I met Sagan several months earlier than you did!"

#790 ::: Andrew Plotkin ::: (view all by) ::: April 10, 2014, 06:56 PM:

Clarification on Heartbleed thing: you want to change your password on each site *after* that site patches themself and installs new security certificates. (Until they do, fool's errand.)

The on-the-ball sites have already done this. But, in general, keep an eye on announcements and so on.

#791 ::: Clifton ::: (view all by) ::: April 10, 2014, 09:48 PM:

The other Buddhists here - I know there are a few - may be interested to hear that I'll be doing the Jukai ceremony ("Receiving the precepts") in the tradition of the Diamond Sangha Zen lineage this Sunday, together with 4 fellow students.

(I'm not sure how to best describe for non-Buddhists what Jukai means; it's sometimes described as taking "lay vows", which is something of an oxymoron, particularly as we're a lay group not a monastic group. Essentially it means expressing our commitment to and understanding of the 16 major precepts in Zen Buddhism; in our tradition, each of us uses vows we've written for ourselves in a very personal form. Do Christian forms have anything similar, other than Confirmation?)

#792 ::: Jenny Islander ::: (view all by) ::: April 10, 2014, 10:17 PM:

@Clifton no. 791: Many denominations recite one of the ancient creeds every Sunday. Some denominations also expect the entire congregation to respond during the rite of Holy Baptism, when the candidate (or adult sponsor) is asked questions meant to affirm commitment to Christianity. This is an expression of intent to live as a community, aiding one another in our lives as Christians. None of this involves writing one's own declaration of faith, however.

Come to think of it, most of the liturgical churches (that is, the old ones) that I know of reserve spontaneous expressions of faith for private times. Such prayers are understood to be private, or if public, silent. The emotional weight of listening to someone's spontaneous words of devotion to the Almighty is similar to that of happening to overhear two lovers who think they are alone together.

#793 ::: Clifton ::: (view all by) ::: April 10, 2014, 11:21 PM:

While Zen prizes spontaneity in context, spontaneous words of devotion isn't exactly what's going on here. We've each spent much of the last year writing and rewriting and rewriting each of these, reviewing them with our teacher and with each other, with our teacher pushing us to get closer and more precise in expressing our actual personal experience of that precept.

Come to that, even though this entire process is an expression of devotion, "devotion to the Almighty" isn't exactly where most Buddhism is coming from either, and certainly not Zen; that's obviously a profoundly different attitude than traditional/mainstream Christianity.

I'm not trying to say "this is better"; I'm really just trying to clarify what it isn't like. Originally I was just trying to figure out if I could communicate it better by way of some commonality I could point to or make an analogy to, since I know that the majority of the community here are Christians. Maybe there isn't such a common point, or maybe my attempt to explain it just is not coming through.

At any rate, this is a joyous occasion for me and that's mostly what I wished to share with my comrades here.

#794 ::: Jenny Islander ::: (view all by) ::: April 11, 2014, 12:19 AM:

@Clifton no. 793: Thank you for the exposition! What I know about Buddhism could be written on a fingernail.

With this information, the closest parallel I can find is midrash as we practiced it in my adult religious education class, in which we laid out a passage, talked about it, thought, talked some more, studied the interpretations of others and talked about those, went home and prayed and thought about it some more, came back, and communally worked out one or more conclusions about the passage, which we wrote down in our notebooks and/or on butcher paper on the wall.

Coming at it from another direction, couples in many denominations are free to write their own wedding vows as long as they do not contravene the denomination's teaching about marriage. However, while advance counseling is often required in order to be married by the clergyperson, the act of writing the vows is a lot more loosey-goosey than the careful and attentive process you describe!

May you remember this joyous occasion for a very long time.

#795 ::: jonesnori/Lenore Jones ::: (view all by) ::: April 11, 2014, 12:51 AM:

Clifton & Jenny: Persons intending to enter ordained Christian ministry spend a long time writing a personal Credo, or belief statement, at least in the Episcopal Church. I don't know the exact way they do it, but I believe they have to defend it at some point in the ordination process.

Clifton, may the ceremony be joyous and meaningful!

#796 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: April 11, 2014, 01:13 AM:

Clifton @791:

Congratulations! I'm not of the tradition, but even without the context of Zen, I still have the context of you. And it sounds like it's been a good and worthwhile way to spend a year. I hope Sunday is marvellous.

#797 ::: Clifton ::: (view all by) ::: April 11, 2014, 01:59 AM:

abi: "...but even without the context of Zen, I still have the context of you."

Thank you; that is an incredibly sweet thing to say, and I'll treasure it. (And it's my birthday! And that's a very nice present.)

#798 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: April 11, 2014, 02:16 AM:

Clifton @797:

You say smart, thoughtful stuff that leaves me unsurprised that you're pusuing this course. I appreciate it, as a member of the community and a mod.

Also! It's your birthday? You share it with my son, who is Now A Teenager. I hope your year is, let us say, more peaceful than his is likely to be.

#799 ::: OtterB ::: (view all by) ::: April 11, 2014, 05:23 AM:

Clifton @791 Congratulations. I deeply respect joyous commitment to something bigger than oneself.

Re a Christian parallel, one of my e-friends has become a lay oblate of a Benedictine monastery, which is a way of affiliating oneself with a particular monastery while continuing one's normal work and family life. Benedictine monasteries live by the rule of St. Benedict, which has specifications about times for work and prayer and silence, possessions, how the monks should treat each other, etc. Part of my friend's formation process as an oblate was writing her own rule. It wasn't so much about beliefs, which for us are laid out in the creed, as about the concrete ways in which she would live out those beliefs in her own circumstances.

It's the closest parallel I can think of, but it's by no means common among Christians, and is mostly (though not entirely) a Catholic and Episcopalian thing.

#800 ::: Patrick Connors ::: (view all by) ::: April 11, 2014, 10:19 AM:

I'm not terribly religious myself, but the notion of thinking about and refining personal rules strikes me as good. I have personal rules, they're just not written down - maybe they should be.

I'm going to go look up St. Benedict's rules this weekend. I can really use some guidance on "number of posessions".

#801 ::: OtterB ::: (view all by) ::: April 11, 2014, 11:29 AM:

Patrick Connors @800, the original St. Benedict's rule is very much oriented toward running a monastery 1500 years ago and may not feel very applicable. Look for something about St. Benedict in everyday life for a more modern take. I'm partial to Always We Begin Again by John McQuiston, especially for someone who self-identifies as not terribly religious.

#802 ::: eric ::: (view all by) ::: April 11, 2014, 12:15 PM:

Is anyone else in Montreal for the weekend? I've already run into one commenter at PyCon. Maybe mini GOL?

#803 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: April 12, 2014, 12:57 AM:

Clifton @793: This is me, gleefully sharing my ignorance: Would a reasonable paraphrase of the vows' intent be something along the lines of, "This is the kind of person I aspire to be, and this is how I aspire to live my life"?

#804 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: April 12, 2014, 12:26 PM:

I am looking forward to September 2015. That's when we'll see the premiere of tv series "The Expanse", about human growth into our solar system then beyond, based on the novels by James S.A. Corey, aka local writers Daniel Abraham and Ty Frank. Some of the writers involved in "Iron Man" are behind this and, while each episode will be first aired on SyFy, the network, which is now run by people who like SF, will not own this. That means no space shark.

#805 ::: Clifton ::: (view all by) ::: April 12, 2014, 01:56 PM:

Jacque @803: Yes! Exactly that!

As my teacher Michael likes to express it, it says "This is what works for me." It's not about imposing somebody else's arbitrary rules, but about discovering what's really at work within your life and at the roots of the values you feel down in your bones.

In my case I was drawn into it over a year ago because I realized I could no longer eat fish from time to time, or eat meat occasionally as I used to - I love the taste of ahi, but I was too aware that that tuna had probably really wanted to be alive. Discussing that with Michael and asking him about the precepts led him to say "It seems like you might be ready for this" and everything flowed from there.

In the Zen tradition which comes through Japan, there are 16 major precepts: the Three Refuges, the Three Pure Precepts - "do no evil" (or "maintain the precepts"), "practice all good", and "liberate all beings" - and the Ten Grave Precepts, beginning with "No killing", "No stealing", "No sexual misconduct", "No lying", ... and after I started looking into each enough to understand it, each seemed essentially inevitable.

I could write about this for hours, but I don't want to monopolize the discussion.

#806 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: April 12, 2014, 02:03 PM:

Clifton @805:

Please do feel free to go on. Anyone who doesn't want to discuss it can just scroll by. And I, for one, would like to read what you have to say.

#807 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: April 12, 2014, 02:33 PM:

I for two.

#808 ::: OtterB ::: (view all by) ::: April 12, 2014, 02:52 PM:

Me three, Clifton.

What I know of Buddhism, which is not very much, I have encountered in my reading about contemplative prayer. I would like to hear more of your experience with it.

#809 ::: Patrick Connors ::: (view all by) ::: April 12, 2014, 04:31 PM:

And I for four. This is fascinating.

In reference to St Benedict's Rules earlier, it turns out I've read the original before, but like so much of what I read (I am quite the magpie) it didn't immediately stick. This time perhaps I'm ready to pay attention.

#810 ::: Clifton ::: (view all by) ::: April 13, 2014, 02:43 AM:

Hi, we were just out having a family birthday dinner (jointly celebrating mine on the 10th, my wife's on the 13th, tomorrow.) I will write some more about this tomorrow or over the next couple days, since folks are interested.

#811 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: April 13, 2014, 02:55 AM:

It's not a command performance to be done as! soon! as! possible!, Clifton. It's just that if you have time to write, you have an audience.

It's Sunday for me already, and a beautiful day. I'll be thinking about you today, hoping that it all goes well.

#812 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: April 13, 2014, 06:33 AM:

Me for five, when you have time, Clifton.

I should have been out running the London Marathon this morning. I was looking forward to being able to say "I was in a race with Mo Farah", and to being able to answer simply "yes" to the people in and near London who ask "so have you run The Marathon?", and for whom only the London Marathon counts*. Instead I can only watch it. Maybe next year or the year after, if my tendon heals okay and I can return to distance running and reasonable (for me) speed. Starting with small steps: I ran my parkrun yesterday; just under 29 minutes for the 5K, so about 9.19/mile. I wasn't pushing at all, but it felt both very slow and harder work than it ought to at that low speed. Oh well, really not surprising after six months off. Must be sensible and not push too far or too fast too soon.

* For whom the answer "well I've run the Manchester Marathon, and Beach Head Marathon, and the London Ultra 50K and half a dozen 50-milers" gets met with a disinterested "oh, so you haven't run The Marathon then." ARRRGGGHH!

#813 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: April 13, 2014, 06:55 AM:

dcb @812:

I'm so happy to hear that you're running again!

There's always next year for the London Marathon.

#814 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: April 13, 2014, 07:30 AM:

abi: Thanks; yes, it feels good to be running again, even if only slowly and over short distances. As for next year, that depends whether they let me carry over the good-for-age place I earned at Manchester in 2012. If not, I'll need to run another marathon next year in under 3.50 to earn a place for London again for 2016. I actually prefer trail, but I'd like to run London ONCE and I'd prefer to run it with a GFA place. All assuming that the tendon lets me go back to distance.

#815 ::: John A Arkansawyer ::: (view all by) ::: April 13, 2014, 08:54 AM:

Okay, I've just managed to do something spectacularly goofy. I"m supposed to give a sermon in three hours and I don't have a prop, the audio from MLK's 3/18/68 speech in Memphis.

I thought I had this. I've given this sermon before, but perhaps that was when I had the now-stolen laptop. I can do without it, but I'd rather not.

So: If one of you has access in the next hour or two to Michael Honey's All Labor Has Dignity, his book of King's speeches on labor, and specifically the CD, ping me, puh-leeze!

#816 ::: Dave Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: April 13, 2014, 12:33 PM:

dcb #812: Congratulations! Just take it slow... there will be lots of temptation to push, but the priority is to not re-injure yourself. Remember, even if you don't make the 2015 Marathon, there'll be another year after that!

#817 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: April 13, 2014, 01:39 PM:

HLN: local woman had forgotten, over the past decade, how much steel guitar strings resemble a cheese cutter in action on fingertips without calluses. Also, she is apparently still capable of songwriting. Huh.

#818 ::: Andrew Willett ::: (view all by) ::: April 13, 2014, 01:42 PM:

Just checking in to say that I have spent the last, what, 2 hours and change falling down the rabbit hole that is the gaynerd616 tumblr (home to the Rule 63 Ororo particle) and I'm not even at the end yet and I probably won't stop until I get there. Thank you, Teresa.

#819 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: April 13, 2014, 02:26 PM:

HLN: Local man, having given Chrome a good shot, has decided "we hates it for ever," and has installed Firefox on his new computer. To his surprise he was able to find his bookmark file from the old (dead) computer and successfully transfer the bookmarks.

Local man is also in a cranky mood, having cleaned up a gift from the local coffee vandal for a second day in a row. Local man considered and rejected certain counterproductive activities, such as putting up this sign:

To the useless waste of skin who keeps dumping coffee on our stoop: We will catch you. And when we do, we will prosecute you. Should you choose to eat shit and die prior to that time, we would support you in that decision.
Still more counterproductive activities would involve breaking local man's oath against doing baneful magic, and have also been ruled out.

#820 ::: Buddha Buck ::: (view all by) ::: April 13, 2014, 03:46 PM:

HLN: Local man discovers last Tuesday that three days of growing centerline abdominal pain is a perfectly reasonable presentation for appendicitis. His primary care physician and a nurse practitioner at the same office both demonstrate a diagnostic technique consisting of pushing on the right side of the abdomen and suddenly releasing, while measuring how far the patient leaps off the exam bed. Later examining health-care practitioners were cautioned not to repeat the test.

The offending organ was removed Wednesday morning, and local man expects to return to work on Monday. Local man notes that, due to the ACA, his new health insurance policy this year includes a reasonably low annual out-of-pocket expenses limit, for which he says: "Thanks, Obama!"

#821 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 13, 2014, 03:53 PM:

I would think that hoping for said coffee vandal to become a victim of similar practices, in hopes of opening their mind, would be appropriate.

#822 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: April 13, 2014, 04:10 PM:

Xopher, #819: I would not consider it "baneful magic" to cast what one of my friends used to call a mirror-spell -- one that reflects negative energy directed at you back onto the sender. If the person stops vandalizing your home, they will never suffer anything from it.

Open Threadiness: Wisconsin Republican drops out of race after being caught on tape discussing illegal campaign tactics.
To me, the most interesting bit is a comment from another Republican buried deep in the story:
In the Journal Sentinel interview, Grothman called Ellis' comments "outrageous" but said he was bothered by people pretending to befriend someone so they could secretly record them. He said he wanted to know who put Project Veritas up to seeking Ellis out to record him.
"It's kind of a new world, isn't it?" Grothman said. "And a scary world."

Yes -- it's a world where your party's pet media and the people they control (*cough* Seth Breitbart *cough*) are no longer the only ones with access to video equipment. And one where you've taught your opponents how to turn your own tactics back against you. One might almost say it's the world of Little Brother.

#823 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: April 13, 2014, 04:28 PM:

Buddha Buck: OW! Congratulations on having insurance, on a timely (if horribly painful) diagnosis, and an effective treatment. Best wishes for a swift recovery!

#824 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: April 13, 2014, 04:42 PM:

Buddha Buck: Best wishes for a speedy recovery.

I've been auto-chutneying myself again. Eight new ideas for stuffed animals to make in the last week. ::sigh:: This is why I've been at least two years behind on craft projects since 1996.

#825 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: April 13, 2014, 06:09 PM:

Buddha 820: That diagnostic technique could have spontaneously changed into "how hard does the patient slug the doctor." So glad it didn't, and that you're OK. Hooray for Obamacare!

P J 821: My oath won't allow me to target another person without their permission. I can HOPE for whatever I want, but...well, there's a fine line.

Lee 822: I'm allowed to protect myself, but directing it back at them is borderline. Also, doesn't really stop them from pouring coffee. I suppose I could make a "don't trash these steps" ward, but I haven't found such magic to be terribly effective.

#826 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: April 13, 2014, 06:16 PM:

Lila @817: Ouch!

Buddha Buck @820: Double ouch! Very pleased to hear it was diagnosed and operated on - and affordably at that.

Dave Harmon @816: Thanks. Yes, I'm being careful and not pushing it. Really, for a runner, I'm being amazingly sensible and patient!

Xopher @819: Sympathies.

#827 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 13, 2014, 06:26 PM:

Xopher, hope may be the only tool available ... but I can hope that someone will spill coffee on their front stoop at least once a week. It's really not cool, what they're doing, and it should affect them.

(grumpy because someone across the fence in the townhouses was very loud very late last night, until sometime around owlfart:30. I was dreaming of standing at an attic window with a cat-pointer.)

#828 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: April 13, 2014, 07:42 PM:

Xopher, #825: Not trying to argue with you, just pointing out things for your consideration.
- It's like certain forms of martial arts, where you turn the opponent's own energy against them. If your opponent doesn't provide the energy in the first place, nothing happens.
- If your opponent suddenly has other things in hir life to worry about, perhaps sie will lose interest in pouring coffee on your doorstep.

Off in a completely different direction, is there any good place around your door to put a small security camera? Or even a not-so-small one that's fake and intended to be noticed?

#829 ::: Jeremy Leader ::: (view all by) ::: April 13, 2014, 07:53 PM:

Xopher, it's possible that a small polite sign, saying something like "please don't dump beverages here, we're tired of cleaning up after you" (or describing whatever other negative effects they're having on you) might possibly help. It's entirely possible that they think "it's just coffee, it'll dry up or wash away without bothering anyone", and having the reality of their impact pointed out to them might help. Or, of course, it might have no effect at all if they're really thoughtless and uncaring. It's unlikely to make the situation any worse, though.

#830 ::: jonesnori/Lenore Jones ::: (view all by) ::: April 13, 2014, 08:12 PM:

Re: the coffee vandal, we think it is deliberate and aimed at us, because neighboring buildings don't seem to be getting hit, and it's happening several times a week. A camera is in the plans. It's frustrating, though. Did we inadvertently offend someone? How could someone dislike us that much and we not have a clue?

#831 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: April 13, 2014, 09:09 PM:

Jeremy, this isn't inadvertent or careless. It was dustpan contents before it was coffee. Someone is trashing our stoop deliberately.

I suspect we had the wrong kind of signs in our windows during the last election. Or two.

I hope the camera catches the person rather than just intimidating them out of doing it. I want to know who and why, and punishing them would be good too.

I also want to beat them senseless, but (like other base impulses noted above) that's a non-starter.

#832 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: April 13, 2014, 10:50 PM:

Avram @ 746: Campbell's day ended 43 years ago, and people stopped taking him seriously long before that due to his obvious crank enthusiasms. I don't try to track what every writer says for themself, but ISTM that Wright is an outlier. (Not an isolated case -- cf Michael Flynn -- but an outlier. AFAIK, even Card at his worst had the sense to be polite enough not to embarass his cobelievers.)

Sarah @ 785: Many net users haven't had the benefit of useful information like the crash course in phishing detection that Teresa gave us some years ago. But I expect you're also right about both hits and the low yield needed; if just a few people think the magic box can't lie to them, the spammer wins.

abi @ 798: Is there anything particularly you are dreading re your new teenager's first year, or is it just That Time Of Life? (Going by hints and rumors, as I'm childless and not party to the details about niephews' upgrowings; distance does that.) In any case, here's hoping the next year is bearable; your comments of the past years suggest you're living in a relatively sane society, but there's only so much that can help.

dcb @ 812: good luck on your future running, and hopes you'll never see the kind of event we saw in Boston last year. (We're being reminded by masses of media coverage about everything related, in the runup to the race on 21 Apr.) A possible good omen, or even goal: on the way to my pittance of exercise this evening, I saw a car with a "26.2" sticker (an increasingly common vanity in a country that uses "English" measurements, and especially in a city with a marathon somewhat out of proportion to its population) accompanied by a "140.6" sticker which I had to look up (not remembering the length of the Iron Man).

also good wishes to Buddha Buck @ 820; I guess the running joke in Asterix and the Chieftain's Shield wasn't exaggerated (although that was liver stress rather than appendicitis).

#833 ::: Jenny Islander ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2014, 03:02 AM:

Oh hey, look, a Sailormoon reboot that isn't grimdark or clubwear!

Casual and physically powerful Jupiter, I-only-tease-my-friends fashionista Venus, bubbly and friendly Moon, self-effacing yet inquisitive Mercury, and serious and protective Mars: they're all here. And the costumes! They each get a piece of practical armor* a la the beginning of Magic Knights Rayearth, a nod to the girl power theme of the original Sailormoon that gets overlooked when people try to update or refresh the characters. The rest of the outfits keep the original "wow, I'm maturing physically so I get to wear this stuff now!" skater/upper form student vibe, the girl part of girl power, while being distinctive.

Bonus: For a long time I thought that all of the Sailor Scouts looked like they were playing pretend in skating or school outfits because the first one to awaken thought of her Scout persona as herself, but cooler, and the second to awaken, Sailormoon, was a fan of the first, and so on. Well, take a look at Venus's cute little chain belt in her regular clothes. It turns into her Venus Love Chain weapon. How awesome is that!

*Okay, except for the inescapable boobplate.

#834 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2014, 03:50 AM:

The indie game development community thought they were getting some good publicity about the way game dev is done. The sponsors thought they were getting a "reality" TV show, complete with abusive product placement and contracts that allowed for "misrepresentation for dramatic purposes". The result? Developers 1, assholes 0.

And the trigger that sent it all to hell? The director engaging in sexual stereotyping, reducing the female participants to "pretty faces". On the positive side, EVERYBODY -- men and women both -- called bullshit and walked out. Link goes to one person's blog post; you can get to posts from several other participants' posts down at the bottom.

#835 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2014, 07:24 AM:

Buddha Buck #820: Best wishes for a speedy recovery.

If you no longer have an appendix, are you now Buddha Buck 2nd edition?

#836 ::: Cadbury Moose ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2014, 07:54 AM:

Jenny Islander footnoted: @ #833

Okay, except for the inescapable boobplate.


Look out, it's the inescapable boobplate!

(Possibly something like Chun the unavoidable, or maybe it's the name of Scalzi's next band?)

#837 ::: Neil W ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2014, 08:27 AM:

Next time I run fantasy role playing game*, inescapable boobplate will be in a treasure hoard.

* Christmas based on recent scheduling

#838 ::: Buddha Buck ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2014, 09:00 AM:

Fragano 835: More like the expurgated or condensed version.

#839 ::: Cadbury Moose ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2014, 09:40 AM:

Buddha Buck @ #838

The abridged Buddha Buck.

(Hoping this does not summon up the not to be named R**d*r's D*g*st and its inexorable junkmail demon.)

#840 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2014, 10:20 AM:

Inescapable boobplate sounds like an item from Munchkin.

Lee @ #834, that's pretty much how I wish all reality shows would play out.

#841 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2014, 10:26 AM:

That was an interesting article. Hurray for the developers!

#842 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2014, 11:32 AM:

Lila @817: steel guitar strings resemble a cheese cutter in action on fingertips without calluses.

My local luthier recommends a liberal coating of Super Glue to supplement/substitute for callouses.

#843 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2014, 12:05 PM:

Jacque: sounds plausible, but alas, I work in healthcare and have to keep my hands free of foreign substances (not even allowed to wear nail polish). I'm a little worried that if I put superglue on and off repeatedly it might take skin with it, or at least tenderize the already tenderized bits.

I'm just going to switch to piano for a few days till they quit feeling raw, then try to work up to building some calluses. But thanks!

#844 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2014, 12:25 PM:

Lila: Do you have access to finger cots? Maybe two-three layers of those? Or Super Glue on the outside of the cot?

#845 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2014, 12:32 PM:

Jacque: I could get finger cots, but since I'm not up against any kind of deadline I can just practice a little each day & build up the calluses. I've done it before. (And I've lost enough dexterity from being out of practice that I'm loath to give up any more!)

#846 ::: E. Liddell ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2014, 01:23 PM:

Jenny Islander @833: I have a funny feeling that the actual reboot (that is, the new Sailor Moon anime series supposedly airing in Japan this summer) will probably change the designs rather less.

#847 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2014, 01:27 PM:

CHip @832:

No specific worries. Just that every now and then his body chemistry goes through a step change and suddenly he's short-tempered and stompy. Normal adolescence, in other words. It can be a rough ride.

#848 ::: Sandy B. ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2014, 02:41 PM:

@834: It's amazing how much people in Hollywood get used to being around other people in Hollywood. By which I mean people that will put up with literally anything to be in front of a camera.

#849 ::: Clifton ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2014, 02:53 PM:

abi: As my son, 12, said a couple months ago, "I'm *really* angry! And I don't even know what I'm angry about?!" We let him know it's what happens, and just something he'll have to ride out from time to time. Yeah, it's starting.

#850 ::: Sandy B. ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2014, 03:06 PM:

A better article on the game jam @834 is here. I had to read about ten paragraphs in before I had any idea what actually happened.

#851 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2014, 03:47 PM:

If parents won't talk to their kids about hormone surges, sometimes whatever the kid happens to be experiencing when one of them happens becomes a source of anger ever after.

Fortunately the parents here have good sense.

#852 ::: Jeremy Leader ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2014, 04:15 PM:

Clifton @849: when my older son, now 13, was about 11, we started jokingly referring to that sort of thing as "rehearsal for being a teenager". Since then, the good parts have gotten better, and the bad parts haven't gotten much worse (knock on wood!).

#853 ::: janetl ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2014, 06:53 PM:

Buddha Buck @ 820: After my laparoscopic appendectomy, I felt pretty much ready to go back to work in one week. I did walk every day, keeping track of distance and going a little further every time. And slept all I could!

#854 ::: estelendur ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2014, 08:52 PM:

Buddha Buck, ouch! I hope you recover as smoothly as can be expected

dcb, glad to hear you're running again :)

Xopher and Lenore, I hope whoever it is either stops or gets caught or both

#855 ::: Buddha Buck ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2014, 11:03 PM:

Janetl: I went back to work today, but I did leave after only half a day. I currently plan to start walking to work (30 min each way) on Wednesday, but I may decide to take longer.

I am finding that as long as it doesn't tire me out, walking tends to relieve the pain.

#856 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2014, 04:41 AM:

There's a red moon in the sky.

Lunar eclipse from Houston area

#858 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2014, 08:45 AM:

Hyperlocal news... Local man is now two degrees of separation from Sigourney Weaver. Local man was talking to local writer Steven Gould (aka SFWA's Prez) who's been working with James Cameron on further "Avatar" tales. Local writer then showed a pic he took when Weaver joined a story conference. (As for why the local writer is involved, it turns out that Cameron *reads* his stories.) By the way, yes, she *is* tall.

#859 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2014, 09:30 AM:

Hey Cally Soukup: I got an email from your email address with a dodgy link in it. I don't know if there's some sort of spoofing or if you've been hacked, but I though you should know.

#860 ::: Cally Soukup ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2014, 09:44 AM:

abi: My email got hacked while I was on the JoCo cruise. While they don't seem to have done anything nefarious with the contents of said email account (and I use a different password for everything anyway), they did start spoofing my email to people in my addressbook. Luckily, there's only a dozen or two people in my addressbook, unluckily for you, you're one of them. Sorry about that. There's nothing I can do.

The good news is that I'm told the email is pretty obviously not from me, so I'm pretty confident that none of the people in my addressbook will have opened it.

I'm a little annoyed at Yahoo; thanks to the hacking I had to change my email pw, and then thanks to Heartbleed I had to change it again. I do wonder if the hackers used Heartbleed in the first place....

#861 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2014, 10:23 AM:

HLN: Local woman gets all verklempt after reading very kind review of song lyrics she wrote. (Sample: "That one line stabbed me right in the heart, and then the next stanzas ram a whole set of kitchen cutlery after it.") Local woman should probably get a life, but damn it, she has so few achievements in the real world.

Local woman doubles down on her practice time, determined to record tune to go with lyrics because she is proud of it too.

If any of you have ever wondered if you should bother writing reviews of fanfic, fan art or whatever, that you enjoy: yes. Yes you should.

#862 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2014, 12:55 PM:

Lila's experience is why I try to leave comments on pieces I particularly like on Ao3, because even if my comment is lame and consists entirely of flailing and the word "FEEEEEELS", and it's on a fic from six years ago, maybe that one little jolt of positive reinforcement will make a difference in the writer's day.

And if not they can always delete the notification and ignore it. :->

#863 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2014, 03:01 PM:

Regarding the Particle "J.C. Leyendecker meets Robert W. Chambers," with the enigmatic waterfowl in the distance, the proper caption is:


#864 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2014, 03:07 PM:

HLN: Area scientist drains all mystery from delightful old illustration. Film at eleven.

J.C. Leyendecker's work appeared often on covers of the Saturday Evening Post, and this is the cover of the June 3, 1905 issue. Illustrated is Robert W. Chambers's story "A State of Mind." It became part of book we can find on Project Gutenberg, Adventures of a Modest Man.

One can also read the story in its orignal form, for Google Books has scanned the magazine (alas, this particular issue has lost its front cover).

Two sport fishermen, trespassing on land belonging to Vassar College, observe a stream suddenly swelling.

At the same instant Ellis caught sight of something in midstream bearing down on them in a smother of foam—an enormous lizard-like creature floundering throat-deep in the flood.

"What is it, Ellis? Look! It's got a tail ten feet long! Great Heaven, look at it!"

"I see it," said Ellis, hoarsely. "I never saw such a thing——"

"It's opening its jaws!" gasped Jones.

Ellis, a trifle white around the cheekbones, stared in frozen silence at the fearsome creature as it swept down on them. A crested wave rolled it over; four fearsome claws waved in the air; then the creature righted itself and swung in toward the bank.

"Upon my word!" stammered Ellis; "it's part of their theatrical property. Lord! how real it looked out yonder. I knew it couldn't be alive, but—Jones, see how my hands are shaking. Would you believe a man could be rattled like that?"

"Believe it? I should say I could! Look at the thing wabbling there in the shallows as though it were trying to move its flippers! Look at it, Ellis; see how it seems to wriggle and paddle——"

The words froze on his lips; the immense creature was moving; the scaled claws churned the shallows; a spasm shook the head; the jaws gaped.

"Help!" said a very sweet and frightened voice.

Ellis got hold of one claw, Jones the other, almost before they comprehended—certainly before, deep in the scaly creature's maw, they discovered the frightened but lovely features of the grey-eyed girl who had snap-shot them.

"Please pull," she said; "I can't swim in this!"

Almost hysterically they soothed her as they tugged and steered the thing into the flooded forest.

"Mr. Ellis—please—please don't pull quite so hard," she called out.

"Oh, did I hurt you?" he cried so tenderly that, even in the shock of emotions, Jones was ashamed of him.

"No, you don't hurt me, Mr. Ellis; I'm all right inside here, but I—I—you must not pull this papier-mâché dragon to pieces——"

"What do I care for the dragon if you are in danger?" cried Ellis, excitedly.

But it was a frightened and vexed voice that answered almost tearfully: "If you pull too hard on the pasteboard legs something dreadful may happen. I—this dragon is—is about the only clothing I have on!"

Ellis dropped the flipper, seized it again, and gazed into the scared eyes of Jones.

"For Heaven's sake, go easy," he hissed, "or the thing will come apart!"

Jones, in a cold perspiration, stood knee-deep in the flood, not daring to touch the flipper again.

"You help here," he whispered, hoarsely. "If she stands up, now, you can support her to camp, can't you?"

Ellis bent over and looked into the gaping jaws of Fafnir the Dragon.

"Miss Sandys," he said seriously, "do you think you could get on your hind—on your feet?"

The legs of the monster splashed, groping for the bottom; Ellis passed his arm around the scaly body; Fafnir arose, rather wabbly, and took one dripping step forward.

"I fancy we can manage it now, Jones," said Ellis, cheerfully, turning around; but Jones did not answer; he was running away, dashing and splashing down the flooded forest. Beyond, rocking wildly in a gilded boat, sat two people and a placid swan.

"Good Lord!" faltered Ellis, as the dragon turned with a little shriek. "Is the whole Summer School being washed away?"

"No," she said excitedly, "but the dam broke. Helen and Professor Rawson tried to save the swan-boat—we were giving tableaux from "Lohengrin" and "The Rheingold"—and—oh! oh! oh! such a torrent came! Helen—there she is in armour—Helen tried to paddle the boat, but the swans pulled the other way, and they flapped so wildly that Helen called for help. Then one of the Rhine-maidens—Professor Rawson—waded in and got aboard, but the paddle broke and they were adrift. Then one of those horrid swans got loose, and everybody screamed, and the water rose higher and higher, and nobody helped anybody, so, so—as I swim well, I jumped in without waiting to undress—you see I had been acting the dragon, Fafnir, and I went in just as I was; but the papier-mâché dragon kept turning turtle with me, and first I knew I was being spun around like a top."

So it's cosplay, 1905 style.

#865 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2014, 03:09 PM:

P.S. I cannot easily picture how one can soothe another almost hysterically.

#866 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2014, 04:57 PM:

I very much recommend this Interfluidity post about inequuality and rent-seeking. I often disagree with him, but he always makes me think.

#867 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2014, 06:05 PM:

HLN: Local humans travel cat in small soft dog carrier (60 x 38 x 46 cm high i.e. 24 x 15 x 18 inches) in car for five-hour journey, instead of in standard cat basket, with very positive result: cat appears bored but relaxed, instead of stressed, panting and vomiting. Local humans very pleased and only wish had thought of this earlier; cat also very pleased (but more pleased to get back home and out of boring car).

CHip @832, estelendur @854: thanks. CHip: yes, I too hope I'm never caught up in anything like that.

Buddha Buck @855: great to hear recovery is progressing so well.

#868 ::: Dave Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2014, 08:54 PM:

Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey #865:

"CalmdownCalmdownPlease calm down!"

#869 ::: Lucy Kemnitzer ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2014, 09:08 PM:

I liked having teenagers, though with the older one it was a bit scary because he was kind of down in the dumps and couldn't figure out how to get a purchase on the things he needed to do to prepare for his ambitions. . . . but there is a way through. He was having some trouble being in high school, but he tested out of highschool, bumped along for a few years doing bits of jobs and attending community college, transferred to four-year college, got into a foreign medical school, graduated . . .

and now it's all scary again because he's about to go through the dreaded "Match" to get into a residency program here in the States.

#870 ::: shadowsong ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2014, 09:55 PM:

Re: hysterical soothing, it's pretty much a "blind leading the blind" situation. Even in the midst of tragedy, there is a little bit of humor in seeing someone choke out "Oh honey, don't cry," through their tears.

#871 ::: Victoria ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2014, 12:46 PM:

Found this as a result of office conversation tangent (one of my co-workers and I love the new Jim Henson's Creature Shop) about the necessity of eyes and minimal illustration techniques.

#872 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2014, 02:21 PM:

Victoria: I've finally gotten around to watching Farscape, which I guess is actually Brian Henson, but the lineage definitely shows.

The puppetry is often awkward and clumsy, but at the same time very evokative. I was especially impressed the first time I noticed Rygel smile with his eyes.

I have to say, while the stories have the usual mix of stand-out episodes versus time-fillers, the concept design is head-and-shoulders above any other TV sf, and they have a much higher hit-rate of non-humanoid aliens. Interestingly, they manage to short-circuit my perpetual meta "how did they do that" commentary that usually runs in the back of my mind, and I've actually had to remind myself occassionally that "This is just a TV show, not reality."

#873 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2014, 07:39 PM:

Well, that was kinda fun. Some racist asshole (with "I love Jesus" or something in their profile) on Twitter used the N word about Obama (yawn), and we were discussing it, and I remarked that they would probably use the N word about Jesus if they saw what he really looked like. But that's not the fun part.

They actually tweeted back and said "how do you know what Jesus looks like?"

I said "Looked like. When he was alive. Today he mostly looks like homeless people, people in prison, people with AIDS..." Pointed out that the Ancient Israelites were not white, then "If Jesus ever met a white person in his life, it was Pilate...if he even counts by neo-Nazi, 'blood in the face' standards."

I really enjoyed writing that to a white racist who claims to be Christian. Probably this shows my baser nature. And probably I'll have to block them.

Jacque 872: You are and ever shall be my beloved sister. I think FarScape is the best SF that has ever been on TV, and even if some of the aliens are Equus-like evocations of creatures rather than perfectly realistic depictions, I found my suspension of disbelief challenged much less often than on, say, Stargate SG-1.

#874 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2014, 09:33 PM:

This poem is stuck in traffic
Behind a fifty-poem pileup
On the road more traveled

#875 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2014, 10:05 PM:

abi @ 847: It's been long enough that I'd forgotten about chemistry -- although I had one advantage your son doesn't: I was 3500 miles away from my peer group when I went through the most obvious change. I went from 1st soprano to 2nd bass in 14 exciting months, with the usual zigs and zags; most of Dragondrums is tosh, but the scene where Piemur's voice starts breaking hit home. (Yes, I hear menarche is a bear -- but a voice with all the discipline of a whiffleball is visible.) Send him my sympathies if you think it will help.

Xopher @ 873: see Sherred, "E for Effort". Hook is a reliable time viewer; best quote from an unreleased project (after successes starting with a biopic of Alexander): "But it doesn't even look like Him!"

#876 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2014, 10:12 PM:

Fuck cancer. Fuck it right in the ear.

#877 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2014, 10:16 PM:

I lost my pocket money, maybe $30, earlier today or last night.

Now I'm wondering where it might have fallen out, and whether it would be worth looking around the less-populated places.

Complication: Raining.


I'm going to pretend I dropped it at the Fred Meyer gas station, and that one of the likely-under-paid attendents had a very pleasant surprise.

#878 ::: Cassy B. ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2014, 10:23 PM:

Carrie S @876, condolences. Cancer sucks.

#879 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2014, 11:38 PM:

I wrote #877 before seeing Carrie's message.

Fuck cancer.

#880 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2014, 12:38 AM:

Cancer does indeed suck. Fuck cancer. Condolences, Carrie S.

#881 ::: GlendaP ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2014, 01:16 AM:

Carrie S @876: Fuck cancer and the horse it rode in on.

#882 ::: Cadbury Moose ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2014, 03:22 AM:

Carrie S.

Fuck cancer with the bell-end of a ragman's trumpet and no lubricant.

#883 ::: Anne Sheller ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2014, 06:00 AM:

Oh Hell, Carrie. Fuck cancer indeed.

#884 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2014, 07:13 AM:

Carrie S., oh no. Wishing you the best support, the best care, and the best friends to get you through this.

#885 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2014, 08:08 AM:

I should have said what Lila said. Let me add that if there's any support or help I can give (as a former cancer patient, albeit one who had it relatively easy), I'm available.

#886 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2014, 08:35 AM:

Thanks, everyone.

It was pancreatic and he was diagnosed a month and a half ago. He got to have Seder at home with his wife.

What gets to me is how fast it was.

#887 ::: Cassy B. ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2014, 08:39 AM:

Carrie S @886, <hugs> I've heard it's not because pancreatic cancer is particularly fast, it's because you don't know you've had it for several years, until you get symptoms, by which time you're in stage four. I'm so sorry for your friend and his family. And for you.

#888 ::: Jennifer Baughman ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2014, 09:33 AM:

Carrie S @886: Fuck cancer, indeed, and pancreatic especially. I can confirm Cassy B.'s statement from personal experience (my grandmother died of pancreatic cancer over 20 years ago, and treatment and diagnosis hasn't gotten much better since). It's hard to find in its early stages, and it tends to be aggressive. I'm sorry for your loss.

#889 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2014, 09:59 AM:

Sorry for your loss, Carrie. I'm glad it's not you, though.

My dad died of pancreatic cancer in 2009. Actually it turned out to be cancer of the membrane surrounding the pancreas, but they couldn't tell until after he was dead, which is the other problem with pancreatic cancer: the pancreas is so vascular that even exploratory surgery near it is terribly dangerous.

#890 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2014, 11:04 AM:

Carrie, I'm sorry for your loss. Fuck cancer, indeed.

#891 ::: estelendur ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2014, 11:19 AM:

Fuck cancer :( Carrie, I'm so sorry for your loss

#892 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2014, 12:51 PM:

I just had a friend (not close) die of pancreatic cancer as well, Carrie -- my most sincere condolences. He chose not to go for any of the treatments, and I think I understand why.

I'm not going to say "Fuck cancer" because I don't want to get that intimate with it. (And people here seem to be saying "Rape cancer" underneath the words, which is a somewhat different thought.)

#893 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2014, 01:55 PM:

Carrie: Fuck cancer indeed!

My younger brother has been in hospital for almost ten weeks as a result of a variety of GI complaints. A scan has just revealed endocrine tumours of the duodenum, so he's being moved to another hospital for surgery. Fortunately, he's in London so all of this is covered by the NHS.

#894 ::: Sandy B. ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2014, 02:03 PM:

Down with cancer. May it become a footnote in a history class, one of those things that people mix up with mumps.

(My mother died of pancreatic cancer. A year after her mother died, so... too soon.)

#895 ::: eric ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2014, 03:08 PM:

My aunt has had pancreatic cancer for 3 years now. It was caught extremely early, so treatment was effective and is, for now, cancer free. The statics on that appear to be so unlikely as to be non-existent.

An uncle on the other side of the family was not so lucky -- initially his was thought to be liver cancer, but it was pancreatic cancer that had spread.

#896 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2014, 03:34 PM:

Surely there must be a tech billionaire who has lost someone to pancreatic cancer.

One who could earn incredible amounts of karma by offering, say, a $10 million bounty for finding an early test for the cancer.

#897 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2014, 03:40 PM:

RE Person of Interest:

This show has taken a dark turn. Nothing out of the blue, but perhaps sooner than viewers were led to suspect.

Orpnhfr gur grnz fcnerq gur yvsr bs n cbyvgvpvna jub gura tnir n guhzof-hc gb gur ercynprzrag, ab-fnsrthneqf fheirvyynapr znpuvar, gur grnz vf va qrnqyl crevy bs trggvat qrgrpgrq naq ehoorq bhg.

V guvax vg jbhyq or pbby vs, nf na rknzcyr bs xnezn va npgvba, Gur Znpuvar pnyyrq hc rirelobql jubfr nff jnf fnirq ol gur grnz bire gur ynfg guerr frnfbaf naq qverpgrq gurz gb qb frrzvatyl enaqbz guvatf gb fnir Bhe Urebrf nffrf.

"Qevir lbhe pne gb 123eq naq 5gu naq qhzc n oneery bs puvpxra sng va sebag bs gur freivpr ragenapr."

"Yrnir $300 va ovyyf va gur fbhgureazbfg qenva fcbhg bs 231 Cnex Nirahr."

"Tb gb CF-13 naq chyy gur sver nynez."

#898 ::: eric ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2014, 04:04 PM:

Stephan Jones@ 896 -- There's the Jobs Estate...

#899 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2014, 04:38 PM:

Carrie S. @876: Sympathies.

Fragano Ledgister @893: good luck for effective treatment for your brother.

#900 ::: Errolwi ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2014, 05:10 PM:

RE Person of Interest:

I'm a few episodes behind, but "a dark turn"?
Surely "another dark turn", or "a darker turn"?
The show's opening premise was the nice happy-clappy tag-on to the depressing governmental panopticon.

#901 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2014, 06:44 PM:

Stefan Jones #898: Well Katie Couric bought UVA Hospital a whole new cancer center in memory of her sister Emily.

#902 ::: jonesnori/Lenore Jones ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2014, 08:00 PM:

Carrie S, my sympathies as well. I'm glad he got to have a last seder at home with his wife. As a cancer widow, I appreciated very much the time I had with John after he was diagnosed.

#903 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2014, 08:56 PM:

Well, yesterday was an interesting day. I woke up thinking "I'll go to the gym and then hit the PATH train for my cancer followup this afternoon."

Then I realized that my insurance has changed (mostly for the better, and thank you President Obama), and I might need a referral. A quick look at my card let me know that yes, I did, and also that they'd signed me up for a PCP I'd never heard of, instead of the one I selected (who I've been seeing for years).

I called them and after some initial confusion (the number on the card was for the pediatric side of the practice) they fit me in for a 10:15 appointment, which was very nice of them. Fortunately for me they were in Hoboken. I kept thanking them for rescuing me from my foolishness.

Fast-forward to: saw the doctor, who was quite nice (as was everyone in his office), got a referral, and headed off to the PATH train. Made my appointment in good time AND got a clean bill of health from the cancer doctor, so AWTEW.

Got that? I'm CANCER FREE for another four months! Happy, but I still felt exhausted, mostly (I think) from the panic; also feeling a bit bruised from kicking myself.

#904 ::: OtterB ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2014, 09:19 PM:

Xopher @903, Yay for cancer-free, and also for a fairly easy recovery from bureaucratic complications.

#905 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2014, 09:34 PM:

OtterB, indeed, nearly a miraculous one.

#906 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2014, 09:57 PM:

Xopher: hooray on several fronts!

#907 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2014, 10:10 PM:

Xopher, #903: Congratulations!

When I first got my BCBS card, they had assigned me to a PCP I'd never heard of -- not the one I'd requested, and much less convenient -- and it took a couple of inquiries and a little patience to get it worked out. But now I have a card with the right PCP on it (the person I'd been using, sans insurance, for the last 10 years).

#908 ::: Lin Daniel ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2014, 01:12 AM:

HLNews: Local woman has taken up Morris dancing. Posting on Book of Face, local woman has gotten nice remarks and encouragement, and the requisite sneer-all-in-good-fun from the expected source. Biggest problem is not laughing so much as to cause the woman playing dance music on the tin whistle to laugh too much to play. Local woman is a bit...uncoordinated.

Local woman is in need of red socks. It not being either Valentine's Day or Chrstmas, red socks knee or calf high are not in evidence at local stores. Suggestions welcome.

#909 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2014, 01:17 AM:

Lin Daniel @908: Enjoy the Morris! May your May Day dawn brightly. (I gave it up several years ago after my back started hurting -- with most people, it's the knees that give out. But I wouldn't trade the years I danced for anything!)

#910 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2014, 01:47 AM:

Lin, #908: Googling "red knee socks" produces a wealth of options online. Unless you have a specific issue such as wide calves or you need them immediately, you should be able to find something reasonably priced.

#911 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2014, 02:39 AM:

You all know the warning signs of Vanity Publishing, and now I think I am seeing them in adverts for other services promoted by the Big River.

There has been a renaming of parts, so that which once was Lovefilm is now $BIG_RIVER Prime. Late last year I started getting emails offering discount vouchers, and I was offered six months of Lovefilm for the price of one month, and I am trying it out.

But the voucher came through another subsidiary service which is offering discounts on all sorts of stuff, and one of the particular sorts of stuff is the online training course. Creative writing was one. 90% discount or more...

But what really rang the alarm bells for me was the course on teaching English as a foreign language, a 150-hour accredited course for GBP 30. It sounded too good to be true. I clicked on the link. I was being told that I could go to exotic places and teach English, and all I had to do was complete this course.

There was no mention of any qualifications needed. You too can become a writer teacher.

Now, I have a vague feeling that somebody here has actually done this. Were they in Japan? But they came from the USA, and I know, from other accounts, that the US educational system teaches the kids a lot more about English grammar that I ever saw at school. English schools are notoriously bad at teaching any foreign language.

They were selling the fringe benefits, the glamour of an exotic locale, without any apparent attention to whether you had any language skills. It fit rather well with the news stories about people getting visas to come to the UK to study English, and vanishing into the grey economy.

The next day I was offered a course to become a Special Educational Needs support assistant. Which isn't about just sitting next to a kid reading a story. It included some of the same sorts of work as you get when caring for an elederly parent. It's more very low-grade nursing than teaching.

Oh, and you need to pass a Criminal Records check. No mention of that in the advertising.

It's starting to look like a very familiar pattern.

The Big River does warehousing and dispatch very well. Why do they have to move into the business of the con artist? Why does the pressure for any business to find new ways of making money get answered with this sort of scam?

Doesn't anyone at the source of the Big River know the value of honesty?

#912 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2014, 06:22 AM:

Xopher @ 903... Glad to hear!

#913 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2014, 06:27 AM:

In case you didn't already know, Vonda McIntyre's fantasy novel "The Moon and the Sun" is being made into a movie. I've seen a photo of her in Versailles sitting next to Pierce Brosnan.

#914 ::: SamChevre ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2014, 07:14 AM:

Dave Bell @ 911

Those sound like scams, but maybe a different sort of scam than you are thinking.

I've had friends who taught English abroad, and have a friend who's a Special Educational Needs Assistant (and one who's a CNA-Certified Nursing Assistant.) AFAIK, there are absolutely no credentials required to teach English; the friend I had who did it had a GED[1]. Similarly for CNA/SENA--the credential is a two-week class covering basic legal standards. The job is more like being a father than like being a lawyer--the requirements to be good at it aren't really things one learns from books.

1) Ex-Mennonite, like me, so hadn't attended high school. He's taught Sunday School classes that I've taken, and is a very good and capable teacher.

#915 ::: Neil W ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2014, 10:22 AM:

Previously on Making Light there was a brief discussion of how the PAX games thing was setting up a Diversity Lounge (and how this was probably not too clever an idea). Now Pax has happened, here's a report from someone who manned a booth in the Diversity Lounge. To summarise: It was not great (being separate from other parts of the expo meant it mostly reached people already interested) but not terrible either.

#916 ::: Dave Luckett ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2014, 12:34 PM:

My mother was dead of brain cancer - a left parietal lobe glyoma - at the age of sixty-five. It took just over a year to kill her, taking her faculties of speech with it, and then slowly destroying everything.

The surgeon who operated told me: "I couldn't get it all. I'm sorry. Nine months, I'd say. But we'll beat it some day."

He was correct within a month. May he be right about all of it. Please God.

But if it please God that we do, why did He come up with this in the first place?

#917 ::: Sandy B. ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2014, 12:58 PM:

Re PAX: " The Massachusetts Convention Center Authority reportedly ordered Robert Khoo to change six women’s restrooms into men’s restrooms."

I took an arbitrary chunk of an arbitrary picture of the PAX floor and counted about 8 women out of 32 humans, so approx. 25% female. 35% female restrooms (14/40) doesn't seem ridiculous under those circumstances. Presumably they've seen this event before and have some idea of typical usage ratios.

#918 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2014, 01:51 PM:

I once went to an event in a convention center with adaptable restrooms. Let's see if this diagram holds up:

--- D ---------------------- D ---
Convention Hall

"FFFFF" was a regular lady's room, with stalls and sinks. "MMMMM," a men's room, with stalls and urinals and sinks.

In between was a section of stalls only (maybe sinks?) with a lockable door (d) on either end.

If the event was a "guy" thing, the door to the dedicated woman's room was locked, and vice-versa.

#919 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2014, 01:51 PM:

Public Service Announcement: Bubble liquid is very slippery. If someone's hypothetical child were to hypothetically spill a large volume of it down some important-for-household-transportation stairs, the Large Responsible Person who cleans it up should be utmost careful not to slip in it while cleaning it up.

I'm not sure exactly what's in Bubble Magic brand, but it took 18 buckets of hot water and a lot of scrubbing to make the steps not slippery again.


Also, my pants are now wet, and I have no other clean pairs. :-/

#920 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2014, 01:53 PM:

Sandy B. (917): Did women then have to go farther than men to get to an appropriate bathroom in some circumstances? Also, does your analysis take into account that women take longer* to go to the bathroom?

*Because no urinals. And because pantyhose.

#921 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2014, 01:58 PM:

Stefan Jones (918): That maybe makes sense. But what that setup needs is another lockable door in the middle of the xxxxxx's, so that the two sides can be even when appropriate. Also, the women's side should have as many stalls as the men's does stalls and urinals (not just even numbers of stalls with the Men's having urinals in addition)*.

*For all I know, this is standard practice. But somehow I doubt it.

#922 ::: Cassy B. ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2014, 02:08 PM:

Elliott Mason @919, on the bright side, those hypothetical stairs are now, hypothetically, the cleanest they have *ever* been since they were installed...

I heard once that the major ingredients of soap bubble solution are dish detergent and glycerine. Don't know if that's still true.

#923 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2014, 02:20 PM:

For all I know, [having the same number of toilets] is standard practice. But somehow I doubt it.

As far as I know, it's not only standard, it's legally mandated [in the US]. Colloquially referred to as "potty parity". (This is also why the women's room can't have more toilets than the men's, despite women usually taking longer.)

#924 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2014, 02:52 PM:

Elliott: someone's hypothetical child once drank half a (small) bottle of Bubble Magic brand soap bubble liquid. Frantic call to Poison Control (you can tell this was my first child) elicited the advice that said liquid is non-toxic and not dangerous, though "it might make her sick to her stomach". (It didn't.) Belated thanks to the nice person on the Poison Control Hotline who didn't laugh at me.

This is the same child who, encouraged by the success of her previous endeavor, later licked ALL THE FROSTING off her grandfather's birthday cake.)

(I hasten to add that this is NOT one of the two descendants of mine whom you'll be meeting in Chicago in June. Those two are MUCH better behaved. For all you know.)

#925 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2014, 02:54 PM:

Elliott Mason @ 919... Did the hypothetical child explain the purpose?

#926 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2014, 02:55 PM:

And now I apologize for this post, which is designed to knock my previous apology loose from the intertubes, because Internal Server Error.

#927 ::: Lila has no idea ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2014, 02:57 PM:

Well, the post that disappeared was apologizing for the extra ) in #924.

#928 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2014, 03:01 PM:

#921: The middle section might have had a middle door for fine-tuning toilet allocation. It has been maybe 19 years since I saw this arrangement.

#929 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2014, 03:02 PM:

Cassy B @922: Well, since we scrubbed off a significant portion of the paint, yes, cleanest they've been since we bought the place ... Dish soap and glycerine are the main ingredients tin the homemade recipes I have access to. I just wish someplace would sell me glycerine. CVS and Walgreens both look at me like I'm nuts when I ask; when I was a kid it was stocked right next to the epsom salts, but apparently has gone out of favor? I can mail-order some, but it seems weird to mail-order a heavy liquid and pay shipping for it.

Lila @924: Soap solutions sometimes have a laxative effect (loose stools). Even if that offspring were along I wouldn't hold it against them; I've not recounted even A FRACTION of the stupid stuff I pulled in my childhood, and I endeavor to rise above those previous standards towards Adultitude. :->

Serge @925: She didn't do it on purpose, it was overspill from opening the Massive Stock Bottle of bubble liquid (sitting on the stairs waiting for me to bring the first armload of Outside Playing Stuff indoors and then ferry it in with the second load) and dipping her wand in it carelessly in ways that caused a good bit of spillage. She may also have tried to refill the smaller bubble bottle, which is tricky enough FOR ME when wielding a full gallon of source ... and my arms are stronger than hers. And it has a far worse handle than milk jugs do.

#930 ::: Neil W ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2014, 03:05 PM:

I should probably have noted @915 that I am aware of several attendees of PAX who were completely unimpressed by the diversity lounge. One queer Game Developer (who didn't visit the lounge) made the point on twitter 'I don't want to be hidden away, or made a spectacle of as "diverse." I'm at PAX to show games to as many as I can!' So there's that too.

#931 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2014, 04:16 PM:

Elliott Mason (929): My mother has a bottle of liquid glycerine--no idea where she bought it (or how long she's had it). I could ask.

Glycerine is also useful for cleaning ink out of cloth.

#932 ::: Cassy B. ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2014, 04:42 PM:

Elliott Mason @929, I bought glycerine for a craft project a few years ago. I'm trying to remember if it was at Walgreens or at a craft-supply store. I'm guessing the latter, but I'm really not sure now. It only came in relatively small bottles; I'm guessing maybe 6 ounces or so, but that's just a guess.

#933 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2014, 05:15 PM:

I remember it used to be buyable at ordinary drugstores (near the epsom salts) in quite large bottles, as big or bigger than the biggest hydrogen peroxide ones ... I happen to know this because my great-grandmother used it for two household health reasons. She took spoonfuls of it as a laxative, and she rubbed it on my cousin's exceptionally-dry-skinned arms and legs right before bed.

#934 ::: Henry Troup ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2014, 05:25 PM:

Elliott Mason at 929
CVS website lists 6oz bottle of pure glycerine USP. Did you ask at the prescription counter? I know that some Canadian pharmacies are actually two businesses, and the front doesn't really know what the back stocks.

#935 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2014, 08:12 PM:

AKICIML: anybody in the medical field want to help me with a writing question? I need to know whether a particular fictional injury is plausible, and where the incision would be made to repair said injury.

Don't look at me like that. I like to make as few people as possible go "ARRRGH" when they read my fanfic. (Unless they're arrghing about cliffhangers and so on. I'm fine with that. Muahaha.)

#936 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2014, 08:53 PM:

Hah! Please disregard the above; I actually found an article on PubMed discussing the exact injury I was contemplating, including a description of the surgical approach. Win!

#937 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2014, 10:21 PM:

On special-ed aideship: yup, that's my job. I got it by subbing. No special training; I have done additional training, but subbing was a background check and a bunch of unclear handouts on child abuse reports. Other people came to it via regular hiring in the school disrict, may as well work with kids as long as you have one or as long as no one else is hiring, or by knowing kiddos personally.

#938 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2014, 03:51 AM:

Just dropped in to guage how close we are to the next Open Thread. Lila's @936 is a very weird comment to read out of context. A little...worrisome, you might say.

;-) :-)

#939 ::: Dave Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2014, 07:49 AM:

Elliott Mason #919: it took 18 buckets of hot water and a lot of scrubbing to make the steps not slippery again.

Yeah, almost any sort of liquid soap will get like that, especially if carpet is involved. 18 buckets is a lot, but I'd assume the stairs made it difficult to properly soak any one area. (For general info, the basic method for dealing with liquid-soap spills: Remove as much liquid as possible. Add water, scrub to dislodge and dilute remaining soap. Repeat until frothing stops.)

Regarding glycerine, it's been used for a bunch of industrial/hobby and culinary things for a long time, but it's long past patenting and monopoly, so I suspect it's simply losing the shelf-space competition. Possibly aggravated because one of its uses is in explosives and the like... classic organic fuel with OH handles on the molecule, shipped as a nice stable liquid. (That's aside from nitroglycerine, which also needs fuming nitric acid and a certain defect in survival skills.) ISTR it's also used in making dynamite.

#940 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2014, 08:20 AM:

Jacque: Be afraid.

Actually, if you think that's bad, you should read the stuff my kids write. Like the one where Hans keeps Anna frozen in the basement. Or the one where the Lorax still lives among the trees, but has another name. (NB to Chicago crowd: THESE are the two you'll be meeting.)

#941 ::: Buddha Buck ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2014, 08:38 AM:

Dave Harmon #939:

Glycerin is a by-product of soap manufacture, and I assume it is also created endogenously in the body as well. I don't think there's ever been a patent/monopoly on it as it is very old. Dynamite is a mixture of nitroglycerin and a porous filler (sawdust, diatomaceous earth, etc) as a stabilizer, so it depends on glycerin as much as its nitroglycerin does.

#942 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2014, 12:04 PM:

Lila @935/936: thank you. I really hate it when writers get that sort of thing wrong.

#943 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2014, 12:15 PM:

Lila @935/936: thank you I really hate it when writers get that sort of thing wrong.

#944 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2014, 12:51 PM:

dcb, I can't claim superiority at overcoming "you don't know what you don't know"; medical knowledge is one of the things I have just enough of to realize my ignorance, and to have some notion which questions to ask.

I am sure that there are MANY realms where my ignorance shows plainly, though in at least some of those cases it's because I tried and failed to get a beta from someone more knowledgeable.

If I ever have a manuscript accepted for publication, I look forward to having access to an actual editor!

#945 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2014, 03:47 PM:

Lila @944: You realised. And you asked, and went to PubMed to try to find out; that's so much more than many writers bother to do. I'm giving you due credit for that. [Also: I have a veterinary degree and like and am good at ferreting out veterinary/zoological/medical stuff, and as of yesterday I am unemployed (just been made redundant) so feel free to ask if you want assistance with looking up something like this.]

#946 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2014, 04:18 PM:

dcb: Ouch! Best of luck in quickly becoming employed again. And I may take you up on that offer sometime, thanks.

#947 ::: John A Arkansawyer ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2014, 05:47 PM:

Am I a bad person for reacting to one particular item by ordering a case of popcorn and a new recliner?

#948 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2014, 06:26 PM:

Elliott Mason (929): I asked my mother about her bottle of glycerine; unfortunately, her answer doesn't help: She bought it at an independent drugstore* that went out of business 15-20 years ago. She suggests trying an independent or compounding pharmacy.

*Drug Emporium, in suburban Atlanta

#949 ::: jonesnori/Lenore Jones ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2014, 06:28 PM:

John A Arkansawyer @947, popcorn would seem to be indicated. I'm also feeling that actually voting might be more important than usual.

#950 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2014, 06:29 PM:

Follow-up to my #948: CVS sells liquid glycerin online, in the "Lip and Cold Sore" category, under "Colds and Flu". Maybe check there in the physical stores (assuming you haven't already)? In other words, it could be a classification problem, like in that recent thread about grocery items and where stores stock them.

#951 ::: John A Arkansawyer ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2014, 07:01 PM:

jonesnori/Lenore Jones @ 949: And I'm feeling that your feeling was maybe felt by some other folks back a little while. Oh, the feels!

#952 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2014, 07:28 PM:

Dave H, #939: Not exactly. Dynamite is made by soaking nitroglycerin into a matrix material (canonically, kieselguhr / diatomaceous earth) to stabilize it. And I see that Buddha Buck got there ahead of me @941.

John A., #947: Definitely fanwank-potential. I will certainly be voting in at least a few of the categories.

#953 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2014, 07:33 PM:

This is not the first time that a block vote has been suspected of getting a work nominated for a Hugo award. As I recall, in 1987 we were cheerfully taking the publisher's free booze at the Eastercon, but that particular work did not get close to winning.

Note to Publishers: my Doctor would prefer you sent me cash money this year.

#954 ::: janetl ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2014, 08:35 PM:

Ancillary Justice is nominated, and that's splendid.

#955 ::: Cally Soukup ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2014, 08:42 PM:

I've bought glycerine (indeed, the very glycerine that Cassy has) at Hobby Lobby near the soap making supplies; a decently sized Michaels' would be a reasonable place to try, too. And now I can't remember if it's Michael's or Michaels'. But anyway, I'd try a craft store.

#956 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2014, 09:40 PM:

Dave 953: You mean this one? The one whose title appears AFTER "No Award"?

I think we can make that happen again, don't you?

#957 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2014, 10:47 PM:

Xopher: we can hope; I don't know how many Hugo voters this year will be new enough not to appreciate the use of No Award. I'm rarely current enough to nominate but usually unhappy enough with the nominations to put at least one work below no award in most of the categories -- but I'm not planning to be a member of LonCon.

Lin @ 908: consider me as having quoted Obi-Wan's line to Luke after he first succeeds in invoking the Force (something about a Wider Universe that I can't come up with consistently). I haven't Morrised much since school, but came back for a many-set dance for said school's 100th anniversary; lots of good memories.

semi HLN: L is in NYC to celebrate 20th wedding anniversary; was bemused to note highly-recommended Eataly (high-end market with several specialized quick restaurants) is a few hundred feet from the Flatiron building. Does Tor's gelato fan know how close great gelato is? (I've never had sour-cherry flavor before, or such intense caramel.)

#958 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: April 20, 2014, 12:58 AM:

Cally Soukup @955: In fact it's neither: correct is "Michaels" with no apostrophe at all.

#959 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: April 20, 2014, 03:17 AM:

Lila @946: Thanks. I'm going to have a few weeks to rest and read and do stuff around the house (I've been working flat out for 17 years and could do with a break) then will start seriously looking for another job. I also have a non-fiction writing project, not work related, with nearly 80K words written on the first draft, and with a time constraint for finishing, and I've not managed to do much on it during the last two months of stress and uncertainty. Now I need to get going again, carry out more interviews, get another 20K words written, then start tightening it up. At least I won't be fitting it in around work any more.

Re. Hugo awards, I've been thinking about going to Loncon - after all, it's only an hour's travel from our house. This might just be what I need to go register - and vote.

#960 ::: Cally Soukup ::: (view all by) ::: April 20, 2014, 03:40 AM:

David: thanks. I hate it when I draw a blank like that.

#961 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: April 20, 2014, 04:01 AM:

One thing I'd say about the Hugo nominations: if there was ballot-box stuffing, that means that a bunch of people bought supporting memberships in Loncon who wouldn't have otherwise done so.

The thing is, the Jonathan Ross thing notwithstanding, Loncon looks to be being run as a progressive, inclusive con, with a good anti-harrassment policy and everything. And the con now has more funds to do all of these progressive and inclusive things. Since it's also already one of the largest Worldcons ever, the message is pretty clear: inclusiveness succeeds.

So I'm kind of looking at this as an asshole tax, basically.

#962 ::: Bill Stewart ::: (view all by) ::: April 20, 2014, 05:07 AM:

Carrie S., I'm so sorry. I lost my father to pancreatic back in the 90s, when he was in his late 60s. He lived with it for about three years (on mild chemo, of the "give you a bit more time" variety rather than the "actually curing it" variety.) He'd originally gone to the doctor for digestive upset that wouldn't respond to the usual OTC stuff.

#963 ::: Bill Stewart ::: (view all by) ::: April 20, 2014, 05:10 AM:

Lin Daniel@908, try going to Hot Topic in your local mall. It may only find you socks in the wrong red, with skulls on them, but it'll be a start.

#964 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: April 20, 2014, 08:15 AM:

abi @ 961... As writer Daniel Abraham approximately said on facebook, it's relatively easy to stuff the ballot for the preliminaries, but not for who will actually win. That being said, I'm glad that one of my nominees made it to the finals. I'd have liked my wife's work to be on the finals, but you know what they say about snowballs in Hell.

#965 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: April 20, 2014, 08:34 AM:

Lin Daniel @ #908, soccer socks come in team colors (primaries plus green and orange and purple); you can find them at athletic stores and sometimes in the boys' or men's section of department stores.

#966 ::: janetl ::: (view all by) ::: April 20, 2014, 10:03 AM:

I look forward to getting the Hugo reading packet and diving into the short fiction. I won't vote in a category unless I've read—or tried to read—all the nominated works. I have put novels and novellas aside unfinished if I wasn't enjoying them after finishing a reasonable sample.

On the novels, I don't wait for the reading packet. I've already read Ancillary Justice and Parasite. I shall read Neptune's Brood next. The only way I'll finish The Wheel of Time series is if I discover that I adore it and gobble it down. I've never picked up one of the books in the past, so that could happen.

It shall be most interesting to compare how many people with memberships bother to vote this year, compared to last. A supporting membership, at $40, is expensive, but at least there is the reading packet. I confess that I'm terrible at keeping up with reading short fiction in magazines, but I love the Hugo reading packet. I guess it's an anthology "edited" by enthusiastic readers!

#967 ::: Carol Kimball ::: (view all by) ::: April 20, 2014, 10:10 AM:

My google-foo is not strong enough today.

Remember the old B&W ad of a guy sitting in front of speakers clutching the arms of his chair, with his hair streaming out behind and his refreshing beverage tipping over? I'd thought it was Bose, but that didn't turn anything up.

Searching for "powerful speaker" also got me shots of Obama!

#968 ::: Carol Kimball ::: (view all by) ::: April 20, 2014, 10:13 AM:

Ha. Found it. You guys are fast.

#969 ::: Nancy C. Mittens ::: (view all by) ::: April 20, 2014, 10:18 AM:

Carol, Maxell

#970 ::: janetl ::: (view all by) ::: April 20, 2014, 11:42 AM:

Hugos, continuing 966: I see that Neptune's Brood is (1) space opera, and (2) the second book in the series. That is good and good!

When one of my nephews was a child, he used the form adjective-and-adjective for emphasis. I thought it was fine way to speak.

#971 ::: John A Arkansawyer ::: (view all by) ::: April 20, 2014, 11:47 AM:

I thought of it less as potential stuffing (which is, in my book, cheating) and more as block voting (which, in my book, isn't).

#972 ::: Dave Luckett ::: (view all by) ::: April 20, 2014, 11:59 AM:

Sally and I will be at LonCon. We will be voting for the Hugos. Boy, will we be voting for the Hugos.

#973 ::: Dave Luckett ::: (view all by) ::: April 20, 2014, 12:00 PM:

Sally and I will be at LonCon. We will be voting for the Hugos. Boy, will we be voting for the Hugos.

#974 ::: Dave Luckett ::: (view all by) ::: April 20, 2014, 12:02 PM:

Aak! Double post. It gave me a 404 first time, I swear.

#975 ::: janetl ::: (view all by) ::: April 20, 2014, 12:03 PM:

971: I agree. If a group of fans wants gets organized to all nominate the same work, they can. If at time the enthusiasm is more about the views of the author than the particular work in question... well, awards are always somewhat about the popularity of the author, as much as we'd like them to be purely about the work in question.

It's a lot harder to get enough votes to win, than it is to get enough to make the list of nominees.

#976 ::: janetl ::: (view all by) ::: April 20, 2014, 12:14 PM:

Isn't it lovely that the Hugo committee releases some much data about the nominations and votes?

In 2013, there were only 616 ballots submitted to nominate novelettes*. The top story received 89 nominations (14.5%), and the 5th received 38 (6% of the total nominations).

Once the nomination was done, there were 1,364 votes cast for the novelette award. The winning story had 393 votes for best.

*Just to pick a category at, you know, random.

#977 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: April 20, 2014, 01:34 PM:

There's a lot of interesting stuff on this year's Hugo ballot. The Dramatic Short Form is even more than usual a "best Doctor Who" award this year, though the concentration may split the fan vote and give it to one of the other two.

I was amused and pleased to see XKCD's "Time" story nominated for Graphic Story (though it could be Dramatic -- either Short Form for a speeded-up YouTube version or VERY LONG FORM for its original multi-month runtime). It's an innovative piece of speculative fiction, innovatively told, and well worth more attention from fandom at large than it got in initial release.

#978 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: April 20, 2014, 03:48 PM:

Easter services are over for another year. Thanks be to $DEITY.

#979 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: April 20, 2014, 04:11 PM:

Wow. I didn't think anything could make me feel sorry for Vox Day. This does.

#980 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 20, 2014, 04:25 PM:

It certainly isn't the first time that a single group has gotten someone nominated who otherwise wouldn't have made it. (1984. For those with long memories. All the nominations for that particular writer were on forms from a single publication, most of them had no one else nominated, and several came from a single address. Hell yes we noticed.)

#981 ::: Buddha Buck ::: (view all by) ::: April 20, 2014, 04:41 PM:

PJ Evans #980: I don't see anything in the 1984 nominee list that stands out as weird or unusual. But I was young in 1984, and perhaps am unfamiliar with the fandom politics of the day. The 1987 nomination list would seem to me more like what you described.

#982 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: April 20, 2014, 05:00 PM:

Hyperlocal self-promotion (expialidocious):

Local woman writes fansong for Dresden Files and is inordinately pleased with how it turned out. (Sound quality not too hot, but meh.)

Fans of the series who don't object to such things are invited to give it a listen. WARNING: SPOILERS for the series through "Changes". Lyrics here.

Local woman promises a moratorium on pimping her stuff now, unless she submits something to Tor and it gets accepted; then all bets are off. ;-)

#983 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 20, 2014, 06:10 PM:

The huhu was word-of-mouth, at the time. The thing succeeded to the extent of one nomination; the rules literally didn't cover the situation for nominations. (You may consider me still pissed at the people.)

They apparently thought no one would notice ten nominations from one address, on memberships paid for with successively-numbered money orders. Might as well have had strobe lights, high-wattage speakers, and neon paint jobs.

#984 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: April 20, 2014, 09:05 PM:

Lila @982: That sort of happy occasion is ALWAYS ON TOPIC. Sort of an "always reblog" moment, to go tumblrspeek.

#985 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: April 20, 2014, 11:45 PM:

Elliott Mason@977: Theoretically, at least, the Australian ballot prevents that kind of vote-splitting from being a problem. Anyone who puts "The Name of the Doctor" first will probably rank "The Day of the Doctor" above "The Rains of Castamere", and vice versa; so all (or at least nearly all) of the Doctor Who fans will wind up voting for the most popular Doctor Who episode over Game of Thrones.

(Me, I'd be willing to give odds on "The Day of the Doctor", and I am not a betting man.)

#986 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: April 21, 2014, 02:26 AM:

Dave B., #953: I can think of a lot of occasions which I would characterize as a "bloc vote" getting something nominated, or even chosen. The Hugos are a popular award, and an author with a lot of fans is not in any way prohibited from mobilizing their fan base to get out and vote. Certainly Bujold fandom has pushed a few Hugos thru! And the Hugo for Digger wouldn't have happened if Ursula Vernon's fans hadn't voted in significant numbers.

Also, just getting something onto the ballot isn't particularly difficult; this year, all it took was a minimum of ~100 votes to break the 5% threshold, and after that it would only have been a question of how divided the vote was. The final vote is a significantly harder nut to crack.

abi, #962: IHNC, IJWTS "asshole tax" again. *snerk*

Lila, #982: That's nice, and you have a lovely voice. Will you be bringing it to next year's GAFilk?

#987 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: April 21, 2014, 05:37 AM:

It would be sort of appropriate for the British Broadcasting Corporation to get a Special Hugo. 75 years since the first TV SF, 50 years since the first Doctor Who, Quatermass, all the radio such as Journey into Space, The Foundation Trilogy, and The Lord of the Rings, their history of science fiction and fantasy programming.

What would our world be like without the BBC?

#988 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: April 21, 2014, 05:38 AM:

It would be sort of appropriate for the British Broadcasting Corporation to get a Special Hugo. 75 years since the first TV SF, 50 years since the first Doctor Who, Quatermass, all the radio such as Journey into Space, The Foundation Trilogy, and The Lord of the Rings, their history of science fiction and fantasy programming.

What would our world be like without the BBC?

#989 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: April 21, 2014, 07:22 AM:

Lee: thank you. Unlikely, as I hope to be in grad school next year and therefore chronically short of both time and money!

#990 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: April 21, 2014, 10:36 AM:

By the way, there's a new Open Thread.

#991 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: April 21, 2014, 01:43 PM:



#992 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: April 21, 2014, 03:54 PM:


#993 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: April 21, 2014, 05:52 PM:


#994 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: April 21, 2014, 06:30 PM:


#995 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: April 21, 2014, 07:38 PM:

Aw, shoulda been another Echo, echo in there. But whatever, yeah.

#996 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2014, 11:44 AM:

Oops. Sorry! :-) (I also realized I shoulda put an initial-cap "Echo" in my @992.)

#997 ::: Steve Miller ::: (view all by) ::: April 24, 2014, 01:17 PM:

As a tool user and woodworking instructor, I used to tell students we had two classes of tools: hammers and "edge tools" (knives, chisels, planes, and saws).

On further thought, I came to the conclusion there's only one class: hammers. The only difference between a hammer and a knife is, essentially, the acuteness of the striking surface.

(BTW, a fork is an over-ambitious knife!)

#998 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: April 24, 2014, 01:40 PM:

So when everything looks like a nail, your only tool is a hammer?

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