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March 2, 2021

Open thread 224
Posted by Patrick at 04:27 PM * 436 comments

For Teresa and me, March 1 has long been the anniversary of the day we moved to New York City, back in 1984.

This year, it was also the first anniversary of the announcement of the first known case of COVID-19 in New York City.

With any luck, we’ll live to mark future March 1sts as the anniversary of when Teresa got her first shot of the COVID-19 vaccine. And thanks to my being up-and-online freakishly early this morning, March 2, I unexpectedly got my own first shot today. We both have appointments for our second shots.

Signs and portents. Maybe we can make some light.

Comments on Open thread 224:
#1 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: March 02, 2021, 06:42 PM:

Thanks for the new Open Thread, Patrick!

I was able to make a vaccine appointment this morning--for April 16. I'm hoping to be able to find one somewhat sooner, but just having one is a big relief.

#2 ::: Cassy B. ::: (view all by) ::: March 02, 2021, 07:09 PM:

My husband's had his first shot; I'm hoping to eventually get mine, but I can't even make an appointment yet. Although in my state I'm eligible, in my county I'm not. Yet.

(My husband works IT, but he does it in a warehouse. And to give you some idea just how dangerous that environment is, he's already had COVID.)

So, socially isolating. I've gotten good at that in the last year...

#3 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: March 02, 2021, 07:27 PM:

I'm hoping to get the shot sometime - I'm eligible, but it doesn't seem to be available within 20 miles of me.

#4 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: March 02, 2021, 07:28 PM:

So glad you've both been able to get the vaccine! (Me too, since I've been working at a COVID-19 testing site [now also a vaccine site] since April 2020.)

#5 ::: Aquila ::: (view all by) ::: March 02, 2021, 07:31 PM:

That's great news, Patrick.

Celebrating each and every vaccination is a new and healing good.

#6 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: March 02, 2021, 07:34 PM:

> Signs and portents

I hope this turns out to have no relationship at all to Babylon 5 -- that'd be entirely too much excitement.

#7 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: March 02, 2021, 07:44 PM:

I forget whether I mentioned this, but Tom Galloway sent me a note that Wal-Mart in Texas was making appointments for shots. I originally thought I made one for Wednesday the 17th, but I messed up the process on the website and didn't. After calling them and confirming that I didn't have an appointment (I hadn't gotten a confirmation email) I got back on their site just past midnight to see if I could get an appointment for the next day to open up: this happened to be Friday the 19th.

Well, as things turned out I probably couldn't have kept that Wednesday the 17th appointment; but I did on the 19th. I was a little surprised that I was able to, what with everything going on in Texas that week, but it did happen.

No real side effects: just a little injection site pain, no worse than a flu shot. And I have an appointment for a second shot, four weeks after the first, which I may ask for in the opposite shoulder.

#8 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: March 02, 2021, 07:50 PM:

I check the Worldometers site for US coronavirus daily — my bookmark has the page subtitle saved from when I first bookmarked it:
"United States Coronavirus: 24,137 Cases and 288 Deaths" (sigh)

The daily new case number has been steadily dropping since the peak in early January. Last week it seemed to have leveled off. This week it seems to have gone back to dropping: looks like the leveling-off was really a bump back upwards due to the Super Bowl.

#9 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: March 02, 2021, 08:45 PM:

So happy to hear you and Teresa are getting your anti-COVID jabs, Patrick. Every time I heard that someone I know is getting their vaccine, it's like one more star lights up in my personal sky. And y'all are very bright stars indeed.

Between the pandemic curtailing my roller derby activities and the BMI being a bullshit metric for obesity, I get to claim one (1) high-risk condition under Colorado's vaccine schedule, and get myself jabbed whenever phase 1B.4 rolls around. Until then--and probably for some time after, too, from what I hear so far about post-vaccination asymptomatic transmission--the spouse and I will continue isolating, as we have been fortunate enough to be able to do so thoroughly with our fully work-from-home lives.

I really miss derby. Our league does Zoom workouts once a week, but it's not the same. Also those workouts have really brought home to me how much my fitness has deteriorated. And I don't mean the weight gain. Just, wow my strength and endurance have taken a nose-dive. I feel very wimpy and sad about it.

#10 ::: Sumana Harihareswara ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2021, 07:39 AM:

Yay and congrats!

I wrote up my NYC experience of getting the first Moderna shot, talking about eligibility in New York, booking the appointment, and how the process went.

#11 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2021, 08:25 AM:

Sumana's writeup, linked above, is informative and useful.

I've talked about our getting vaccinated both here and on Twitter, and I'm not unaware that this is bound to trigger unhappiness in some people who would like to get vaccinated and can't, yet, whether because of supply issues or the rules of their particular location. One person on Twitter described themself as having "impfneid," which turns out to one of those wonderful German compound words, in this case meaning "vaccine envy." I totally get that! My view is that it's overwhelmingly in the public interest that everyone eligible should get vaccinated as soon as possible, using any loophole legally available to them -- if the rules in Little Rock, Arkansas specify that used-car salesmen and court recorders over the age of 25 are eligible, let's get vaccines into those people's arms.

Is it fair? Of course it's not fair. But the basic mistake was the previous administration's decision to devolve most responsibility for dealing with the pandemic to state and local jurisdictions, which in the United States inevitably means a patchwork of wildly diverse laws, rules, and attitudes. The new administration is doing a lot to ameliorate this awful decision, but it can't really be completely fixed. Meanwhile, far and away, the most important thing is to get as many people vaccinated as possible, in as little time as possible -- not just for their individual good, but also for the good of everyone around them.

Neither of us is yet 65, currently the age that conveys automatic eligibility in New York state, although Teresa will turn 65 before she gets her second shot. Both of us qualified due to what are ominously called "comorbidities", in my case the Type 2 diabetes that I was diagnosed with five years ago and which runs in generations of my mother's family. We have already taken damage from not having been able to get vaccinated earlier -- if we had been able to get our shots when the vaccines were first available, I would have been able to travel to Tucson to be with my mother in the wake of my father's death last month, and Teresa would have been able to attend her mother's memorial service yesterday.

#12 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2021, 08:27 AM:

(I should note that my Little Rock, Arkansas example was entirely fanciful; I actually know nothing at all about the rules there regarding COVID-19 vaccine eligibility.)

#13 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2021, 09:06 AM:

I managed to snag an appointment for next week, so I cancelled the April appointment. (I hope it made someone else as happy as getting it made me yesterday morning.)

I work in a public library; we've been open for browsing since October. We have a lot of precautions in place--mask mandate, time limits, plexiglass barriers--but it still makes me very nervous.

#14 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2021, 10:45 AM:

Very pleased to hear that our esteemed hosts have had their first COVID vaccinations.

And 'hear hear!' to making some light. (Thanks for the new Open Thread, Patrick)

Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little @9: sympathies. It's hard when you can't do your preferred form of exercise. I've been saying for the past year that I'll cope mentally until/unless they stop me going out to run (running on the treadmill is not the same). Thankfully, so far that's not happened, and we too are lucky enough to be able to work from home.

Our extant parents have had first vaccinations, which reduces the worry level a bit. We should be offered ours within the next 6 weeks, according to the UK timetable. Then of course we have to wait for the second dose and at least a couple of weeks after that for full effect, so we're not about to stop minimising being close to other people, particularly indoors. Looking forward to my running club rstarting to hold runs again in about 4 weeks and to my first in-person ultramarathon of the year a couple of weeks after that.

Keep on keeping safe, everyone, and here's to as many people as possible being vaccinated as soon as possible, worldwide.

#15 ::: stefan jones ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2021, 11:14 AM:

Currently, Oregon has 45-65 year old folks getting theirs starting on June 1.

I'm fine with that. Get the older folks, teachers, and other school workers jabbed.

#16 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2021, 11:17 AM:

Patrick #11:

Was the previous administration's decision to let the state governments deal with it all binding? (Lot of things I wasn't paying attention to when that happened, what with spousal surgery a week or two before ...) In the light of Gov. Abbott of Texas proclaiming total statewide pandemic anarchy as of next week (but allowing for individual businesses to require masks in an entirely unenforceable manner), I wonder if there shouldn't be a Presidential executive order saying, "Sorry, it's back to the Feds just now and we say be medically/scientifically appropriate."

Personally, I'm miffed as maggots just now. We got our first shots in mid-January (different manufacturers and providers); spouse got his second as soon as allowed; mine got delayed twice for snow and ice, but finally happened last Monday. We've both been feeling the thing Teresa mentioned in a tweet about finally feeling some hope. Until yesterday afternoon, when Abbott's completely egregious BS announcement happened.

It's worse than somebody's suggestion that it was like taking your shoes off for the final mile or so of a marathon; more like getting to the final mile and then they release the ravening lions. Or maybe you're fighting along in some battle, making good progress, and you stop shooting just because you can see the cavalry coming to the rescue--way off on the horizon--this does not, alas, mean that your enemy is going to take a breather.

#17 ::: Doug K ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2021, 12:20 PM:

hooray for vaccines !

over at they are discussing how the German impf for vaccination is an exact cognate of English imp. Also, oaf and elf are the same word..

theoretically I am eligible as of Monday, CO is opening up for 60 and over. I'll have to start getting up early and surfing for appointments.

Nicole, I sympathize.. haven't been swimming indoors and not going to the gym, feels like old age and unfitness really caught up to me this past year.

My son is working at Mayo Clinic and got covid there, one week before his scheduled vaccination. Luckily it seems to have been a mild case and he's back at work and working out. He said the vaccine was worse than the disease. That is apparently common for young healthy people who already had covid, the shot then makes the immune system go a bit berserk.

#18 ::: Sumana Harihareswara ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2021, 12:28 PM:

Folks who would like to exercise a little more frequently: I wrote up a post about three ways I'm able to work out in my apartment (I tried a lot of different things and this is what has worked for me). If you have the ability to do videocalls, and if you know at least one other people who wants to be less sedentary as well, the "1:1 or small group videocalls working out with a YouTube video" approach might be good to try; it has been really helpful for me.

#19 ::: Jenny Islander ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2021, 12:42 PM:

I was bringing up some music on Youtube for the start of my workday and what to my wondering eyes should appear but Sarah Palin shilling for some kind of investment scheme. The snippet I had to endure before I could click past it suggested that whatever she was selling was the cure for the economic woes of 2020. She was also dressed and staged in ways that suggested a person making a political speech on a stage: I guess that's her sales hook.

And to think I used to sorta kinda respect her.

#20 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2021, 01:43 PM:

Doug K (17): Continually refreshing the vaccine appointment page is how I got (both of) mine. The necessary way to "refresh" the New York site is completely non-obvious, though. A coworker showed me how yesterday morning, and within about 15 minutes I had snagged a slot after trying unsuccessfully for days.

Good luck!

#21 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2021, 01:50 PM:

I got my second shot last Saturday (mild fever and achiness -- much better than many, thankyouveddymuch!), an Karen gets hers on this coming Saturday -- we are remarkably grateful for this. I followed the spirit rather than the letter of the registration process -- I could have claimed health-care-worker status, but I haven't been seeing clients since last February. So I went by age-status. Hoping others can get the vaccine very soon -- the administration saying there will be enough shots by the end of May for all US adults doesn't mean they'll be properly distributed, and that's definitely going to be a slow-motion nightmare!

#22 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2021, 10:09 PM:

I really hope my mother's able to get the shot soon. I don't expect it necessarily, but oh, it would be good to be able to relax a little. Not a ton, not 'go lick strangers' or anything, but there's a grandkid, in-laws who aren't all that great at isolating but provide necessary childcare, us working with people, and also we're in Iowa, where things are not great. I'm just so ready to stop balancing risks.

I didn't mind my second-shot side effects, but they were short-lived, dramatic in the way fevers can be, and kinda novel. Good job, immune system. Plus, some of it can be passed to the very young kiddo, according to early science.

#23 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2021, 11:11 PM:

Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little @9: sympathies on your changes; I was probably the last regular user of the local Y (it tried to stay open a little longer just for child care) and am Not Happy at the weight put on even with walking the local hills at the best speed I can manage. (I don't run -- none of the parts of the legs like it.) Having the nearest library close for renovations may have helped a tiny bit -- once outdoor pickups started I had to walk a bit further, and uphill -- but unless I can do something about the extra pounds I'm going to need to drop $$ on new formal pants whenever choral concerts start happening again, and I'm wondering what will happen on a ski slope or a ~ropes course.

Doug K @ 17: I wonder whether it's just young people? Given reports that the 2nd shot often gets a worse reaction than the 1st and that people who've had COVID may be OK with a single shot, I wonder whether everyone in that position should expect 2nd-shot effects.

Tom Whitmore @ 223::1029 : gah. Preview doesn't help if I don't actually think while I'm looking at it. (Following comment had the video link.)

#24 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2021, 11:30 PM:

Karen's having to travel after her second shot (to Florida) and I'm curious whether there's any indication of the long-haul effects being as stopped in their tracks as the severe disease by the vaccination. Since there are recent studies showing about 30% of the people who had even mild cases are showing some long-haul effects. Well, I suppose we'll find out.

#25 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: March 04, 2021, 05:56 AM:

Tom, I cannot find it now, but I was reading something just the other day that said that there are early indications that, yes, the vaccines can be seriously beneficial to "long-haul" COVID sufferers.

#26 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: March 04, 2021, 12:10 PM:

The Canadian government has just announced a change in policy: everyone will be able to get their first dose ASAP, and the second dose a few months later. This change will now have to trickle down through individual provinces' planning systems, to regions' health systems.

#27 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: March 04, 2021, 12:22 PM:

Patrick 25: Yes, I've been hearing that too, from experts on the Brian Lehrer show (I think).

I just heard yesterday that the J&J vaccine, which only protects 67% (IIRC) from COVID infection, is 100% effective in preventing hospitalization and death from COVID infection. Frankly, that's good enough for me.

But I'm going to get vaxed as soon as I can, with whatever vaccine is available.

#28 ::: Bill Stewart ::: (view all by) ::: March 04, 2021, 12:46 PM:

Team Pfizer here (got my second shot last week.) I'd just turned 65, and my county opened up a big new injection site at the fairgrounds and was taking 65-and-ups, capable of 1000 a day, so my wife found me a slot. (She turns 65 later this year, so hasn't had hers yet.) First one hit me really hard, with a day of fever and exhaustion; second one didn't bother me much, though I still needed 12 hours sleep.

My mom also got her first shot (Moderna), so I'll be able to visit her this summer, and my sisters have both had it (teacher and healthcare).

It would have made more sense for them to get all the essential workers vaccinated before work-from-home 65s like me, because they're more likely to catch and transmit the plague, but they've now opened a few more big sites and are trying to do better outreach to the local Latino community.

#29 ::: Bill Stewart ::: (view all by) ::: March 04, 2021, 12:47 PM:

And congratulations for having moved to NYC; looks like it worked for you!

#30 ::: stefan jones ::: (view all by) ::: March 04, 2021, 01:15 PM:

My mother (84, Westchester county resident) will be getting her second jab on Saturday. My sister did a lot of calling last month, and found a local pharmacy with a supply. Her health system originally had her scheduled for a week from now.

* * *
I'm on Liz Danforth's Discord. Last spring she came home from a trip to Spain with COVID-19, one of the first cases in Arizona. She's largely recovered, and has been donating convalescent plasma. Apparently, people who have had the disease only need one dose. Having been infected is essentially the first dose.

#31 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: March 04, 2021, 01:54 PM:

I had heard that Liz got it in the first wave. Thanks for letting me know she's recovered -- I just now realized, that's been an unclosed loop in my mind for nearly a year.

#32 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: March 04, 2021, 03:37 PM:

I got my first shot (Pfizer) at Medgar Evers College on Saturday, qualifying on the basis of my weight. (Me: “Finally my fat ass is good for something!”) Some info for anyone else who lives in the right ZIP codes to qualify for that location:

  • The confirmation email I got had a Google Calendar appointment attached, with the location given as “Medgar Evers College, 231 Crown Street,” with the ZIP code and such, but when I clicked the link to load the address in Google Maps, it ignored the actual address in favor of just pointing me at the main Medgar Evers College administration building, which is a couple of blocks west of 231 Crown St. Try just typing in the address, without the name of the college.
  • No photography allowed!
  • It seems to be run by the US Air Force. The guy to whom I showed my ID upon entering (yeah, you’ll need to bring ID) was wearing a USAF uniform, but had a Space Force patch on his arm. “Are you Air Force or Space Force?” I asked. “Air Force, but showing support for Space Force,” he replied.
  • The lines looked long, but it moved pretty quickly.
  • I saw people there in wheelchairs; the location is wheelchair-accessible. I also saw someone standing on line with a folding chair; a staffer asked him if he wanted someone to hold his place in line while he sat somewhere else. He turned down the offer, but if you’ve got limited mobility, it seems likely that things are set up to accommodate you.
  • I had to present the forms I’d printed out at home, but I don’t think I had to fill out any other forms. Maybe I had to sign something? I didn’t have to provide any sort of documentation of my co-morbidity.
  • The medical technician had me look over the answers I’d given to a bunch of medical questions when I’d originally made the reservation — like, had I had any other vaccinations in the past 14 days, did I currently have COVID symptoms, etc — and verify that nothing had changed.

#33 ::: stefan jones ::: (view all by) ::: March 04, 2021, 09:00 PM:

@Patrick #31: Liz just posted to her Patreon; lungs clear, slowly getting more energy, but still wondering about long-term effects.

(Two old Flying Buffalo alumni, Steve Crompton and Mike Stackpole, lost parents to COVID. Wretched year.)

#34 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: March 04, 2021, 10:40 PM:

Xopher @ 27: it has also been noted in multiple forums that the J&J vaccine was tested under more difficult circumstances, e.g. in areas where more-infectious versions of the virus had gotten around, so it's not clear how much less effective J&J is in the current world. (I've also read that it produced a similar reduction in cases severe enough to require hospitalization.) I'm still trying to get an appointment; this week's excuses for the shortage were an unexplained reduction in shipment size and the number of people needing second shots. Ghu, I hope some Democrat is good enough to kick Baker's charlie ass back into the private world; right now the big difference between him and Louis DeJoy seems to be that Baker is merely incompetent rather than outright malicious.

Speaking of J&J, it's been the subject of a Twitter storm: Epidemiologist’s tweet about Johnson & Johnson vaccine sets off a ‘pun party’. Tweet thread here in case the story is paywalled; since it starts with an observation that the J&J results graph is shaped like a johnson a lot of the comments are sophomoric or worse, but sometimes even low humor can be a balm.

#35 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: March 05, 2021, 05:55 AM:

Avram -- Just to clarify, the Medgar Evers mass vaccination site is now open to all residents of Brooklyn, not just people in certain zip codes.

#36 ::: Cassy B. ::: (view all by) ::: March 05, 2021, 09:38 AM:

I'd mentioned my husband got jabbed after having had COVID; what I didn't say was that he had a bad reaction to it. I didn't want to scare people off from getting jabbed. I should have known better; you guys are Fluorospherians....

He got jabbed with the first shot on a Friday; he basically had the flu (fever, exhaustion) for three days. Bad enough he took the following Monday off.

Still worth it.

His sister, a nurse who works the COVID floor on rotation at a major hospital, tells him that it's very, very typical for people who have had COVID to have a bad reaction on their first shot; the second shot is typically a piece of cake for them. And she speculates that those people who have a bad reaction to the shot who did not previously contract COVID... actually had it, non-symptomatically.

He's due for his second shot next week.

#37 ::: OtterB ::: (view all by) ::: March 05, 2021, 10:41 AM:

My husband got his second shot a couple of weeks ago; he is 65, which made him eligible, and had been volunteering at one of the local hospitals before the pandemic, which let him schedule through them even though his volunteer gig is still suspended.

My younger daughter has intellectual disabilities, which makes her eligible in our state. I am 63 with diabetes and obesity, but not yet eligible on that account. I took her for her first shot last week - appointment at a clinic run by a sister organization to the one she gets employment support through. She was near the end of the day and they started a waitlist in case of leftover doses, and so I got my first shot as well. (So did the guy who had brought his mom for her shot, and his wife who had been waiting in the car. Pleased for them too.)

I drove home feeling like a weight had been lifted. Not just the concern for getting a shot, since it seemed clear that would happen before too much longer, but the hassle of trying to figure out how/when to get one.

We get our followup on March 27. My plan had been to wait until at least two weeks after that before I did anything we hadn't been doing, but I think I'm going to make an exception for the Easter Vigil (masked, distanced) one week after the second shot. That will be my first in-person church in over a year. And I will be grateful.

I may have my daughter start taking public transit home from work in late April or early May. She works on a cleaning crew for the public library and they went back to work in the summer when the library staff did. It's all still curbside pickup in our county, no public in the building, but they're doing extra sanitizing for the staff.

It's good to hear about other people getting vaccinated too.

#38 ::: John A Arkansawyer ::: (view all by) ::: March 05, 2021, 12:17 PM:

PNH@11.5±.5: "(I should note that my Little Rock, Arkansas example was entirely fanciful; I actually know nothing at all about the rules there regarding COVID-19 vaccine eligibility.)"

Oh, how I wish I could say that!

Several acquaintances in the 65-75 range have their shots delayed because our governor decided not to follow CDC guidelines on that age range, while I just got my second, as a supposedly essential worker with an apparent complicating condition. I asked the folks at HR to look my stuff over a second time, to make sure I wasn't line-jumping. It still felt weird to get that shot. I took it all the same.

#39 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: March 05, 2021, 01:42 PM:

Teresa definitely had some difficult reactions to her initial Moderna shot, which was this past Monday; she's really only back to normal today.

As Casey B. says above, there's some evidence that people who already had COVID-19 tend to have strong reactions to their first shot, rather than (like most people) to their second. So Teresa's reaction adds more evidence to our suspicion that we both had a mild case early in the pandemic -- we were basically flattened for a couple of weeks in March and April, constantly running fevers, but none of the more lurid symptoms. (We already had a pulse oximeter, and used it constantly.) Our GP, with whom we videoconferenced while this was going on (and whose subspecialty is epidemiology), felt that it was more likely than not that we had it.

On the other hand, I had basically no reaction to my initial Pfizer shot on Tuesday, aside from a barely-noticeable soreness in my left arm. And when we got ourselves tested in July, T opted to test for antibodies as well, and that test came back negative. Of course, that was over three months after the mystery two-week illness. And the antibody tests are notoriously indeterminate. So go figure. We'll likely never know.

#40 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: March 05, 2021, 07:43 PM:

I had what I am convinced was COVID in early July; most of my doctors agree. The PCR test was negative, but that has a 20+% false negative rate. When I was tested for antibodies six weeks later, that was negative, too--but they don't always last very long.

Why am I so convinced it was COVID? Because I partially lost my sense of taste for a month. It was weird: I could taste basic things like bread and meat, but seasonings and spices were just gone. The day I first noticed, I had barbecued ribs for dinner. They smelled great, but they tasted like they didn't have any sauce on them. And onions didn't taste sharp (I love the sharpness of onions), they just tasted faintly green.

Since then, my tastebuds sort of fade in and out unpredictably. Sometimes I can't taste spiciness at all, or just barely, other times it comes through just fine.

Other than that, I had typical cold symptoms for about a week and extreme fatigue lasting for another week or so beyond that.

#41 ::: Mary Aileen is visiting the gnomes ::: (view all by) ::: March 05, 2021, 07:44 PM:

My long post about COVID symptoms has been held for review.

I could share some Reese's cups with the gnomes?

#42 ::: Singing Wren ::: (view all by) ::: March 05, 2021, 10:01 PM:

Interesting to hear about people’s reactions to the shots. My parents had COVID back in November, and were fine after their first shots (Pfizer), but hit hard by their second. Meanwhile, my uncle got hit hard by his first shot (Moderna) but was fine after his second. He hasn’t mentioned having had COVID during any of the family Zoom calls.

I’m still trying to figure out if I qualify under the employment rules for group 1c in my state. As I’m interpreting the rules, employees of my company’s parent company who have certain specific roles (listed on the state website) are eligible, but the rest of us are not. But if I find documentation that says any employee of a company in this industry is eligible, I’m signing up. (Apologies for the vagueness - I’m a software developer, and the market I’m in is niche enough that even this might be enough to identify my employer if you’re familiar with that sector.)

#43 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: March 05, 2021, 10:02 PM:

I'm VERY happy because a good friend who is in several high-risk categories is going in for the J&J single-dose shot tomorrow. Which she told in order to contextualize her "maybe" when I asked her whether she might be up for a bit of outdoor skating this weekend--she very wisely said she didn't want to commit to any physical activity while she didn't know how her body would react. I'll report back on how it goes for her, if she's OK with my sharing.

League workout kicked my butt again yesterday, but my butt was already pre-kicked by overdoing Wednesday afternoon's skating session. The small FB group that has been arranging such outings had this one at a cement pad close enough to my house that I decided to skate there and back too, which on reflection was probably a little much. (Some people in that group have been getting vaccinated too! Squee!)

#44 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: March 06, 2021, 05:23 AM:

Sorry about our mysteriously-aggressive comment filters, Mary Aileen. Published your comment.

#45 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: March 06, 2021, 10:23 AM:

Further discussion of relative efficacies, from NPR.

Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little @ 43: it's hard to know what is overdoing after a layoff without trying. A friend thought if one set of rehab exercises (after hip replacement) were good, two would be better -- and woke up very unhappily the next morning; I was extremely conservative last Fall after the Y fractionally reopened, restarting slow weights with 6 reps (had been doing 11) -- and found some muscles had weakened much more than others. Cheers for at least getting out; Boston finally warmed up enough last week that I could do archery without my fingers going numb.

#46 ::: Tony Zbaraschuk ::: (view all by) ::: March 06, 2021, 10:30 AM:

Got my first jab last week here in Texas (Moderna). Sore arm for a few days. Then an upset stomach, but that was probably from the grandkids.

I am still in regular amazement over how fast multiple vaccines have been developed and deployed.

#47 ::: Magenta Griffith ::: (view all by) ::: March 06, 2021, 11:57 AM:

I will get my second shot this evening at the Minneapolis Convention Center; huge building, and since they can't have conventions, it's being used for testing and vaccinations. I'm very hopeful today, mostly because of the shot. Also when I got the first shot, the high that day was -1 degrees and the low was -16. The high today will be 50 degrees.

#48 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: March 06, 2021, 12:03 PM:

A friend in upstate NY had something like a cold that killed her sense of taste, last spring. She's sure it was the virus, but that was when you couldn't get tested easily.

#49 ::: Steve Wright ::: (view all by) ::: March 06, 2021, 02:12 PM:

It's a week since I had my first (AstraZeneca) jab... it knocked me flat for a couple of days, and the injection site is still a little tender. But that's life, innit?

Since the process is being handled by the NHS in the Uk (and not farmed out to private companies owned by Tory donors), it was all pretty straighforward - my local surgery sent me a text message saying the shot was available, I phoned them up for an appointment, I turned up on the day, no problem. The jab was actually given by my mother's GP, who counts as an old friend of the family by now... she's lost at least a stone in weight since all this started, though. I know the NHS staff have been working to the limits since the pandemic hit, but the sight of her really did bring that home....

#50 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: March 06, 2021, 03:11 PM:

Patrick (44): Thanks.

#51 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: March 06, 2021, 03:23 PM:

CHip @45 - The problem with skating on my own, outside or at a rink or whatever, is I just enjoy it far too much. Like biking. I can go and go and go forEVer and not realize what a world of hurt I'm going to be in until I finally stop.

Whereas skating during formal practice has me watching the clock WAITING for it to be over, because the coaches are pushing me in a way I wouldn't have chosen to on my own. Which somehow only leaves me moderately sore the next day, and does good things for my endurance in general so that I can do longer sessions of skating on my own time without booby-trapping myself. Best of both worlds. ARGH I miss derby.

Probably heading back to the same concrete pad today (with or without my friend, depending on her vaccine reaction), but by car, so that I can listen to tunes out the rear hatch the way the neighbor kid and I used to do during high school, and also not wear myself out with the commute.

#52 ::: Rob Rusick ::: (view all by) ::: March 06, 2021, 08:31 PM:

Mary Aileen @20: The necessary way to "refresh" the New York site is completely non-obvious, though. A coworker showed me how yesterday morning, and within about 15 minutes I had snagged a slot after trying unsuccessfully for days.

The NYS site I'm looking at has an 'Update' button — which looks obvious. What's the non-obvious way of refreshing (if we're talking about the same website)?

#53 ::: Rob Rusick ::: (view all by) ::: March 06, 2021, 08:37 PM:

I copied the link from a tab I had open, but the link itself took me to a 'See if you may be Eligible to Receive the COVID-19 Vaccine'.

The 'Update' button is on a 'Locate Providers' page which I got to from that page, and shows the same URL.

#54 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: March 07, 2021, 11:45 AM:

Rob Rusick (52): The Update button will not get you where you need to be. Neither will refreshing the page. What you need to do is fill out the preliminary information, choose a site, and click on the link to register, which brings up a new tab. When there is nothing available (or someone else clicks faster and grabs the appointment out from under you), close the tab and click the link again. If you try to refresh the registration tab, it takes you back to the very beginning. I'm not sure what the Update button does, but it doesn't help.

I had been trying for weeks to get an appointment. Once a coworker showed me this method, I had one in ten minutes.

#55 ::: Angiportus Librarysaver ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2021, 05:18 PM:

My story was similar to many of yours--waiting, confusion, and then, done. I've got 1 more to go. But I had some more stuff to deal with while waiting. Surviving parent, handing me a homemade useful item last fall, snuck into the middle of it a newspaper article on how vaccines are less effective for fat people, how being fat is a bad factor for medical treatments. This despite being informed earlier by me that recent science shows that diets and so on don't work. Asked later if I had read that, I replied, "Yes, and it was like finding a piece of glass in a piece of cake." I don't recall the full conversation that ensued but I pointed out that in today's culture, being female or nonwhite or several other unchosen qualities also leads to worse outcomes, and they can't be helped either, and we went around and around for a short while but I said whatever it was I said to cause the offender to shut up...for now, without the use of bad words or ad hominems.
This is someone who I usually have a lot of faith in and we are quite close. But there is foulness below decks in this family that was described elsewhere on the dysfunctional family threads, and it keeps floating up in the bowl every so often no matter how good of a flush job I think I've done. I sometimes think the reason some people have kids is to distract them from their own flaws, real or bogus, to have someone smaller than them to project crap on. Worried about anything? Find something wrong with the kid. Reason 65,536 not to breed.
For the record, the medical personnel of all levels that I have met in the past few years have been polite and helpful.
I hope everyone gets their shots soon so we can have the libraries open again.

#56 ::: Bill Stewart ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2021, 05:54 PM:

joann@16 - The vaccines do two things
- Make it much less likely that you'll get sick if exposed, and especially unlikely that you'll get badly sick if sick.
- Cut down on transmission through the population, so fewer people are exposed, R-values go down, outbreaks fizzle out, and then FAR fewer people are exposed.

Gov. Abbott is apparently unconcerned with the latter, and as 23&Me says I am 3.3% Neandertal, rather higher than the average person of Western European ancestry, I can tell him to go back in his cave.

#57 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2021, 06:24 PM:

Everyone in this comment thread and everyone reading this, and everyone all these people know, and every citizen of every country any and all of these people are citizens of, are direct descendants of Neanderthals. By which I mean, everyone on the planet.

Because the most recent common ancestor of everyone alive on planet Earth today almost certainly did not live significantly earlier than 3500 years ago.

Yes, including the most isolated populations you can possibly imagine.

Yes, them too.

Really, I have got to write an ML front-page post about this.

#58 ::: Lucy Kemnitzer ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2021, 06:28 PM:

No vaccines available in Santa Cruz, no guesses on when they will be available. I believe it's because all the vaccines we're getting are going to vulnerable communities and frontline essential workers, so I'm not grumbling. Wistful whimpering now & then, yes. Daydreaming what I'll do when I've had my shots, yes.

#59 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: March 08, 2021, 07:32 PM:

Patrick Nielsen Hayden @57: Really, I have got to write an ML front-page post about this.

::chinhands:: Yes, please!

#60 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2021, 01:55 PM:

Norton Juster, who wrote "The Phantom Tollbooth", has died at 91.

#61 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2021, 05:24 PM:

He didn't write much, but what he did was cherce. I love both The Phantom Tollbooth and The Dot and the Line.

#62 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2021, 05:35 PM:

I just put up a sidelight about Norman Juster. The Phantom Tollbooth was huge for me and my younger brother Benjamin alike. Benjamin named his eldest son Milo, and Milo, who is now like 30 or something, is evidently quite okay with the origin of his given name.

(I suppose he could have an interesting conversation with Avram Davidson's son Frodo...)

#63 ::: Bill Stewart ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2021, 07:37 PM:

I really don't remember anything specific about The Phantom Tollbooth, other than visual memories of what the book looked like and the name Milo and I think there was a big dog, but what I don't remember, I remember extremely positively.

#64 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2021, 10:02 PM:

And Roger Mudd has died, at 93 (!)

#65 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: March 09, 2021, 10:05 PM:

Adding here that the websites telling me where I might get it frequently use straight-line distances. (Magic Mountain may be 11 miles as the crows fly, but it's about twice that by road: you have to go east to the pass, then northwest to the place. It's odd looking up at a ridge and seeing something that you normally see from the other side, and knowing that you've got at least another 40 minutes to go.)

#66 ::: thomas ::: (view all by) ::: March 10, 2021, 12:41 AM:

As the Aeslin mice might say about mRNA vaccines
Hail the Jab! Hail the Very Long Four Letter Word!

There was an announcement yesterday that New Zealand has ordered enough of the Pfizer vaccine for everyone, now there's better evidence on the reduction in transmission.

#67 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2021, 10:53 PM:

Mary Aileen vs the gnomes: what kind of Reese's? There was a story a week or so ago that Reese has produced a cup with no chocolate at all -- just ?sugar?-hardened peanut butter for the shell.

UNHAPPY ANNIVERSARY: according to NPR (heard this morning), today is the first anniversary of W.H.O. finally waking up enough to declare a pandemic. It's also the anniversary of a venue that I was about to do a concert in declaring that it was closed for the foreseeable future -- hardly surprising, as the BioGen idiots had already broadcast the virus around greater Boston (a couple I know had had to go into quarantine at least a week before because he was a contact of a known case), but the first we-really-mean-this to hit me personally. 5 days later I was possibly the last regular user of the local Y (it tried to stay open for child care), and 6 days later the libraries closed and I started investigating ebook readers. (How very retro that seems....) What was everyone else doing, or having done to them, on that day, and what was the first personal impact? I certainly am in no position to complain -- the only vaguely personal losses I can think of are distant connections of my partner's -- but I've been reading the NYT collection of my-first-impact stories and wondering whether somewhere T. S. Eliot is snickering.

#68 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: March 11, 2021, 11:03 PM:

I had two major massage venues I worked with at the start of last year: a chiropractor with an internationally-traveling tech-based clientele, and the Ballard Senior Center. I decided in February 2020 that there was just too much potential for cross-contamination with those two client bases, and stopped working with both in early February. The writing on the wall was clear to me at that point. I'm sorry I was so right.

#69 ::: OtterB ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2021, 09:13 AM:

I just commented about this over on Scalzi's Whatever.

I date my plague year to March 12 when the Sweet Adelines International organization canceled their regional women's barbershop competitions for spring 2020, and my chorus canceled rehearsals for the next two weeks "at least." Hah. That was before we knew that indoor singing in groups was a very high risk activity. My chorus's last in-person rehearsal was on March 10, 2020. That's the same rehearsal date as the choir in Washington State that ended up with over half the choir infected and two deaths. We were lucky.

My office went 100% remote at the end of January 2020 for a major renovation of our space. We didn't expect it to last this long but at least we all had everything we needed at home and didn't have to scramble with no notice.

My daughter was hospitalized in late February 2020 with pneumonia. Later antibody testing tells us that it was probably not an early case of COVID. We'd wondered. I sat in her hospital room (where I was allowed to be, with no masks etc. required) scrolling spreading plague news on my phone. It was rather surreal.

#70 ::: OtterB paging the gnomes ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2021, 09:17 AM:

My previous comment is being held in the glass and steel tower. Would the gnomes like some pretzels?

A similar comment was held for moderation at Scalzi's Whatever, so it's probably got an inadvertent Word of Power in it.

#71 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2021, 07:13 PM:

March 12, 2020, was the second day that my library changed the rules--again--on how many people could be in the library at a time and how long they could stay. Museums and other venues in the region were announcing closings.

It was the Friday of that week, March 13, where we suddenly went from making plans for low-contact/no-contact checkout to "we're closing completely at the end of today." It was initially announced for a week. I knew it would be longer, because the other libraries in the area were all saying either "two weeks" or "until the end of March." But I had no idea *how* long it would be!

#72 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2021, 10:27 PM:

I don't remember the exact date I was first impacted. It was in late March that I took my second monitor home from the office and started working from home full time. My mother and nephew had been scheduled to come visit Texas in early April, and they cancelled the trip — in retrospect really the only possible choice, but at the time I remember hoping it might still happen.

For quite a while my local upscale market had sharply reduced hours, and a long line to get in. Neither of those have been the case for a while, but they do still have hand sanitizer dispensers at all entrances, social distancing markers on the floor, and a mask mandate (even though our abjectly stupid governor has lifted mask requirements from the state — good for them).

#73 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2021, 10:44 PM:

I don't have the exact date memorized, though I could find it easily if I needed to: There was a week in March 2020 when I stayed at a bed and breakfast in Berthoud, CO to get out of the house while the spouse was hosting his annual private gaming mini-con (and quite a few of his guests had quite reasonably canceled by then). That week, that Thursday, I made the hour(ish) drive to Brighton for roller derby scrimmage at the Wagon Wheel skating rink, like I did every week, and I was listening to short story podcasts in advance of Nebula voting. I recall that, on my drive there, I was listening to “Give the Family My Love” by A.T. Greenblatt, and contemplating explaining to my team why I looked like I'd been crying my eyes out.

I arrived to an empty parking lot and the realization I'd neglected to check the league InstaTeam board for any last-minute news. I brought my laptop over to the spot where I could pick up somebody's unlocked xfinitiwifi network, and I found the announcement that, out of an abundance of caution, league scrimmages and practices were canceled until at least July.

(Of course they have been canceled ever since, though for a while, late summer, when numbers were going down for a bit, we had some optimistic outdoor drop-in newbie practices. With masks on, of course. Most of us, anyway.)

So I did what any really stupid person denied her one social outlet of the week would do: I drove back to Berthoud, had a beer at a local microbrewery, then followed some of the patrons down the street to another bar for karaoke.

I will confess that this was only my first karaoke outing that weekend. The next night I went to another. At the time I thought it endearing that the KJ was wiping down the microphone after every singer. I even had the wherewithal that weekend to put up, with more good humor than I usually do because BOUNDARIES AND CONSENT MATTER DAMMIT, with nonconsensual hugs from drunken bar-goers congratulating me on "killing it" after I sang. Yeah. That's how smart I was.

I think the only reason I didn't catch the virus was, I was in a tiny, tiny town that, despite calling itself The Garden Spot of Colorado, isn't exactly the first place tourists think to go in CO, or at least not in March. Most mornings I was the only one at breakfast in that B&B. Imagine if I'd been in Vail instead!

Back in Boulder on Monday, the spouse and I, acknowledging the high-risk ways we'd spent our time apart, quarantined from each other as much as we could in a 2-bed 2-bath 1-kitchen condo unit for the next two weeks. Neither of us developed symptoms, then or since. Thank goodness.

And so I guess that's my "how it started" pandemic anniversary post.

#74 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2021, 11:03 PM:

My pandemic has been atypical for the people I know socially: in a two-week period, I gave notice for a job I hated, fell into a COVID-support position at the hospital (same department, different people, so much better), conceived a child, and also the pandemic moved from 'watching the cat's posture change a bit, ummm' to 'oh no the barf meow'. I didn't stop going to work except for parental leave, nor did my excellent spousebeast (both at the hospital). I switched to overnight shifts partway through the summer, I had the whole pregnancy thing happening with concomitant anxiety, everything sort of piled on top of itself in term of effects so I never felt like it was just pandemic or just overnights, but also never felt like it was any of those at all, if that makes any sort of sense? My life improved markedly in almost every way from Oh No Barf Meow week, partly because the job I quit was so dramatically bad for me. I was more stressed, but that was pregnancy and worry that ____*. I completely lost any structure my weekends had, but then, I was on overnights, wasn't I. I put on a bridesmaid's dress and saw a Zoom wedding; I put on a face shield and went to a friend's in-person one. A few relatives have had COVID. No one's been hospitalized that I know of. People connected to friends have been, but among my own, the emotional damage has been worse than the illness.

*I can't come up with a way to say it here exactly. This isn't that conversation. It sucked.

I find that I am not hitting a wall but heading uphill in terms of emotions and resilience. I am so tired of wearing a mask. I am tired of performing okay with it because it's necessary and why complain. I am tired of wondering which businesses will still be there when I go downtown again someday, and tired of the guilt that clearly I just didn't support them well enough. I want a big dramatic Now This Is Over moment the same way we had a big dramatic Oh No Barf Meow moment, something like after the rain stops and everyone wanders around looking at storm damage and saying hi as they pass. We're not going to get it, but it would feel finished.

#75 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: March 12, 2021, 11:18 PM:

A few weeks ago, in a dream, having an "oh no, I'm not wearing a mask" moment. It was kind of odd; it's the only time that's happened.

#76 ::: Jenny Islander ::: (view all by) ::: March 13, 2021, 12:44 AM:

One of my children had a birthday on March 13 that was the last normal-seeming event here before everything closed. Not long after that I was told, at work, that I wasn't coming back in the morning. I didn't go back for six weeks. I was much luckier than most: my employer covered everybody's paycheck even before government money was available for that.

The children being home was not onerous, but it was ironic. This was the school year in which all of them had chosen to move from homeschool to in-facility school, and yet, here they were again.

#77 ::: Madeleine Robins ::: (view all by) ::: March 13, 2021, 12:10 PM:

Nice to see you back. And congratulations on getting your first shots. I am getting my second tomorrow (apparently age is good for something) and I'm feeling ridiculously excited about it. The possibility of seeing/hugging my kids looms before me (I haven't seen the elder in well over a year).

Tomorrow is also Pi day. Danny has requested a pumpkin pie, which I am making tonight (in case the shot knocks me out). Happy 3.14159265359etc.

#78 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: March 13, 2021, 05:48 PM:

Diatryma @ 73: I want a big dramatic Now This Is Over moment Older fans may recognize my periodic fantasy: the moment when a guest on a podium ceremonially cuts off their mask and everyone follows amid cheers, as we all cut off our hospital bracelets at MidAmericon. Then I think easing into normality will be better, both to match the beginning (drips snowballing, like the garbage cans in What's Up Doc) and because I think it will be safer and smoother. Maybe a recognition ceremony, e.g. a Medal of Freedom for Fauci?

#79 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: March 13, 2021, 06:01 PM:

Oh, and Massachusetts has stopped dealing with some pissant software developer and gotten a Google queueing package that has already survived high loads in several states. I haven't seen reports of whether it can pop as well as push, and it only handles the state sites so I'm still going to heed a privately-written program that monitors CVS, but I'm register and so can hope that even if I don't crouch over a hot monitor at oh-dark-hundred repeatedly I won't be swept away when the state thinks it's done with my priority group (no comorbidities and no key occupation, but over 65) and opens to everyone. It's even possible some of my partner's family will be able to gather for my mother-in-law's 85th birthday 2.5 months from now -- no small blessing as she's been alone over 4 years.

#80 ::: Singing Wren ::: (view all by) ::: March 13, 2021, 07:23 PM:

My great-aunt passed away on New Year’s Day, 2020, at the age of 103. The family gathered in our hometown for her burial, and a couple of the second cousins (her grandchildren and great nieces and great nephews, all adults now) decided we needed to plan our own gathering, apart from parents and grandparents. We tentatively settled on going to San Diego (where the youngest of the second cousins live), and agreed to plan further at my grandma’s 100th birthday party in May.

In February I got a work issued laptop, replacing my previous desktop. This was useful the first week of March, when I caught my annual spring cold and was able to work from home while I recovered. Up until Friday at lunchtime, I planned to be back in the office the next week. That was when management announced we'd primarily be working from home for the next two weeks. So I went in that afternoon to get my external monitors and my docking station. After the first two weeks of that, the few people remaining in the office were sent home as well.

We still celebrated Grandma’s 100th birthday, but it was nothing like we’d originally planned. The local relatives wore masks and stood around the parking lot of her assisted living community, and an aide brought Grandma out in her wheelchair. One family at a time went to wish her a happy birthday. Some of the out of town relatives made FaceTime calls to my phone, so I was back and forth a lot so she could see them.

My dad was scheduled to have surgery right before Thanksgiving, so we made plans to celebrate separately. Mom thought this was overkill, but then Dad’s pre-surgery COVID test came back positive. He never had any symptoms, but Mom had the now-classic loss of smell and discovered how much of her cooking technique relies on smelling when things are ready. (The surgery got rescheduled for December and went fine.)

I’ve attended two baby showers and three major holiday gatherings over Zoom since this all started, and watched two live-streamed funerals. I’m currently hoping to be vaccinated in time to attend the burial for the second (late April), and the baptism of my brother’s first child (due this month). We'll see what actually happens.

It’s been a weird year.

#81 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: March 13, 2021, 08:16 PM:

My father-in-law died in early January of last year, and there was no gathering for him for quite a while...and then my brother-in-law wanted to delay it because he was busy covering the primary season...and then a gathering became impossible. Maybe we'll finally get around to having one this summer. And then maybe a wake for my birth mother's husband in the autumn.

#82 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2021, 09:28 AM:

All my sympathies to the people who haven't been able to say goodbye, or to observe major anniversaries/rites. So far I've been lucky: the only thing I've missed is the marriage of mother-in-law's youngest grandchild (of four) to his long-time girlfriend -- and all that was missed was the party (which we hoped will happen next Fall) as they did a socially-distanced legal form last May. The MiL got her first shot recently and has been ~Zooming with her first great-grandchild (with another to come), so we have hopes she'll survive this.

wrt capacity-control lines: I've seen people with tablets or phones doing what I think is the clicker thing at supermarket entrances, but it has been many months since I've seen an actual line of people waiting for permission to come in -- except at a local Trader Joe's. I wouldn't have thought they did that much more business per area than other stores, but don't know what their actual limits are; the store is on the ground floor of a substantial new apartment building, so people may have reverted to smaller pickups rather than one big load every week or more. (One of the other grocery stores I shop at actually shut down its N-items-or-fewer checkouts for a time; I don't know whether they found nobody was using them or were trying to actively discourage small purchases.)

On a happier date note: NPR reminds us that 50 years ago last Monday, a group of true patriots broke into an FBI office, lifting documents that exposed COINTELPRO, leading (after too long a delay) to the Church Committee and the beginning of constraints on central law enforcement. May we never see Hoover's like again.

And an amusing counterfactual (one of a handful in Craig Brown's 150 Glimpses of the Beatles, which is interesting (at least to my age) in short doses): if Paul McCartney had actually studied instead of relying on school being easy for him (which it generally was) he would have passed an exam and gotten moved up a class, and never have been willing to socialize with George Harrison (a year younger), who he introduced (says this book) to the Quarrymen.

#83 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: March 14, 2021, 11:34 AM:

March 13 was the day when my husband's lung surgeon cleared him to go back to "normal life". Well, we all know how normal *that* got.

We'd basically been semi-quarantining already since late January because of the flurry of tests, biopsy, and all the other appointments that go with suddenly discovering that something that hadn't been there now was.

Our last fun thing out together was dinner a night or two before the surgery.

I last socialized (lunch outside with friend) at the end of February. She runs a medical non-profit, so she was pretty clear on what was coming--she thought. Not so much in practice.

Since then, weekly grocery trips, several trips to Home Despot, about the usual level of takeout, many doctor's appointments for him (and a couple for me), and a weekly Sunday drive, object get the hell out of Dodge for a few hours. Not quite as many walks around the neighborhood as my body really needs.

Husband had already been planning to take all of March off from his part-time university job, and then maybe work from home for a bit, so dragged his work computer home and generally cleaned out his office before the surgery. He's been back only once since, to kick some ailing piece of network equipment into submission.

Now that I'm three weeks past my second shot, I plan to visit a bookstore for the first time in over a year. Last week, I rewarded myself for a medical thing by collecting a latte (and assorted baked goods) from a favorite coffeehouse and consuming them at my desk.

Sometime, the small chorus I direct will all be able to rehearse together safely indoors, but it will take time--more than half the members moved to this new urbanist "paradise" to be close to the grandkids.

#84 ::: David Dyer-Bennet ::: (view all by) ::: March 15, 2021, 01:26 AM:

Got the J&J version a week ago (3/5); the arrival of J&J opened up a lot more appointments here in Minnesota, and I got notification email from the state's vaccine finder website, and was able to follow it up fast enough to get an appointment in just 2 days. I'm eligible in the local hierarchy based on sheer raw age.

This one had Army Reserve people doing all the line and traffic control. They seemed to be doing a great job, and I didn't see anybody try to object to the second masks they were handing out and telling people to put on, either.

The J&J was a less-preferred shot for me, but "whatever is available" was a highly-preferred shot. Looking into it some more once I knew I was getting it—the things that make the J&J look less good (at least to my eye) are mostly due to its being newer. Because, when it was being tested, the more transmissible variants were in the population. So a vaccine tested then is pretty inevitably going to look less good compared to one tested against just the older variants.

In the long run, I rather expect I'll need multiple vaccinations over months or years before we're anything like back to normal, and it might well become something like the yearly flu shot regimen. Which makes the initial vaccine less important, again.

So now that vaccination is real, Pamela and I and others are trying to figure out how much we're willing to open up any time soon. So far...not at all (I've got a week to go until I have much protection, and I'm the first on that since the J&J is faster that way). I think we might accept small social gatherings with other vaccinated people like sweeties we don't live with, when any of them are also vaccinated (this was not one of the issues with younger sweeties that had occurred to me!). Might pay some attention to CDC advice, depending on how good their arguments look (going to be less open than they advise, if we're not conforming).

This is over a year of vastly reduced in-person meetups. I feel like much of that year was wasted time (and wasted lives as people died of COVID) because of not merely incompetent but actively evil leadership. Not even only in the USA. And my big fear right now is that vaccinated people will rush out to start catching up and create a new big spike in infections. The win condition here is to reduce the pool of infections, darn it!

#85 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: March 15, 2021, 12:05 PM:

And my big fear right now is that vaccinated people will rush out to start catching up and create a new big spike in infections. The science is still out on an aspect of this, and I haven't even heard of large-scale investigations as to whether or not a vaccinated person can catch enough of a case to become infectious -- some qualified-seeming people saying this is ridiculous while others point to a plausible mechanism. News this morning is a report concluding that 3 feet is enough separation between children in school, based on observation but with no clear explanation (in the mundane news) why it should be so. (There are still arguments about how susceptible children are to (a) catching COVID-19 at all, and (b) transmitting it.) We will watch, and maybe learn.

an addendum to my comment about Hoover: last night we watched a PBS special about Elizabeth Smith Friedman, who did a lot of the theoretical work that led to WWII codebreaking, and I was reminded that Hoover seriously set back the work to mop up Nazi spying in South America by jumping on the network prematurely. (For details, see Liza Mundy's The Code Girls.) The glory-grabbing afterward was expectable but the sheer stupidity was not.

#86 ::: Mary Frances ::: (view all by) ::: March 15, 2021, 01:19 PM:

You have no idea how excited I was to see this thread, and how delighted I am to read about all the people being vaccinated. I'm just thrilled. I got my first shot (Pfizer) two weeks ago, and am waiting for my second--Illinois seems to have gotten its delivery system revved up and ready--and it's genuinely lovely to read about how many people are being protected. Thank you. May the trend continue.

#87 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: March 15, 2021, 02:01 PM:

Just saw this twitter thread (with link to report) about asymptomatic transmission post vaccination. TL;DR - at least with Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, initial studies show the chance of asymp. trans. is much reduced.

Had to reschedule my annual physical due to weather. Oodles of snow got dumped on Colorado over the weekend, and transportation is still iffy, so the hospital and related facilities are closed today. Upshot is, my new date is after the date when Colorado's 1.B4 vaccine phase starts (March 19, with availability to all adults "mid-April"), so I've messaged my GP asking about whether we can do that during my appointment too.

#88 ::: Russell Letson ::: (view all by) ::: March 15, 2021, 03:16 PM:

Thanks to a fortunate alignment of conditions (eagle-eyed friends, living in a distribution-hub town, being Old and patients of a pretty well-organized medical outfit), we are fully Pzizer'd and, three weeks on, theoretically as plague-proof as is possible to be. We even had our first in-person social interaction (with aforementioned Old & immunized eagle-eyed friends) in a year--pie on pi day. I'd almost forgotten what normal socializing is like.

We are cheered every time we hear of those who manage to get jabbed (and chagrined at how slow the going seems to be in many places). We, like OtterB, felt the lifting of a weight, even though we realize that it has merely shifted.

What's just as distressing is the range vaccination-resistant thinking all around, even when it falls short of Plandemic-style delusion. Partly because I had the time on my hands and partly because it's what I learned to do as a feature writer, I spent a lot of time following the research, the reports, the speculations, and the model-making, so I had an idea of where I was paying my money and taking my chances. It's a puzzlement how much strange ideation goes on. I have on-line friends and acquaintances who, faced with ambiguity or conflicting possibilities, opt for certainty of the wrong kind.

Oh, and happy to see a new thread here and the familiar virtual faces.

#89 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: March 15, 2021, 04:12 PM:

Strangest thing for me has been how...normal? lockdown has been, given how much of my life happens online? I don't miss going into the office, like, at all. I also don't miss the progressively compounding clusterf*ck that was the last administration. Whatever else might be said about the current regime, at least they're not actively trying to kill us all? And, have to say, props to my employer for doing stuff right. They even gave us WFHers a snow-day for that blizzard Nicole mentions in her @86. I am looking forward to going for walks while not fighting down rage at the maskholes with their naked faces hanging out. And also random jaunts to the grocery store without having to do a risk assessment calculation.

#90 ::: Russell Letson ::: (view all by) ::: March 15, 2021, 04:52 PM:

We're Pfizer'd, not Pzizer'd. Apparently the vaccine does not protect us from the dreaded cross-finger typo. (Though if the vial containing your vaccine *is* labeled "Pzizer," suspect that an eBay vendor has worked its way into the supply chain.)

#91 ::: Kip Williams ::: (view all by) ::: March 15, 2021, 05:36 PM:

A year ago, the Irish jam session I'm in (here in Western NY) canceled their annual St. Patrick's Day party, and shortly after, canceled everything else as well.

That was my major recurring thing. The Shakespeare group stopped its monthly meetings as well. Apart from that and a monthly small session, I didn't go out much anyway.

I heard that I could visit my Dad (in hospice at a rest home in MI), so I drove up there just in time for a new outbreak in the area to cause them to tighten the rules again. I saw him through his window, and drove two days back home again.

Been meeting weekly with a violinist friend to play duets. Most times we play at her place, where they can empty the large garage. We play at a distance, masked.

I'll get vaccinated next month. Tonight, the Irish group is going to see how much of a holiday party we can have via Zoom.

#92 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: March 15, 2021, 07:51 PM:

My workplace gave me three snow days last month. And they've made a real commitment to hiring of both people of color and women, and to encouraging women to take leadership roles. You'd hardly believe they started up in Texas.

#93 ::: Joyce Reynolds-Ward ::: (view all by) ::: March 15, 2021, 09:52 PM:

I'm 63 years old, mildly overweight, have asthma and am on inhaled cortisteroids to manage it. Currently staying in a small rural Oregon county on the other side of the state from Portland.

My 69-year-old husband has gotten the first Moderna vax, much more quickly than others his age in Portland have been doing.

My 34-year-old son (who does not live with us but in Portland) has Crohn's Disease, is on a immunosuppresent biologic to manage it, has gout, asthma, and irritable bowel disease as well. And is autistic. He has a housemate in her late 60s who has gotten her first shot.

According to Oregon, both my son and I are not eligible for the vaccine until June 1st, the next-to-the-last tier. So far Oregon hasn't updated its schedules after Biden's speech.

So it appears that in mid-April, I'll have a fully-immunized spouse while I'll be lucky to even know when I can get an appointment (unless thanks to the efficiency of local health care--not snark, it's for real--I can get in for a shot before June. The problem is that doses here get scheduled quickly, and we have been shorted in doses before).

I keep hearing that Oregon is doing a good job. But then I look at people elsewhere who are in similar circumstances who are getting shots much sooner and I've gotta wonder. Especially since the odds are good that I'll be able to get vaxxed sooner here--unless the state of Oregon forces our small county to hold to the statewide schedule after they've vaxxed all who are willing in the previous tiers.

No advice, please. I'm just whining. On the other hand, my circumstances are that I can sit tight--it's just annoying because my spouse will be under fewer restrictions than I will be. And please don't suggest vaccine location services. I am NOT risking a trip to Idaho, even if I could somehow persuade those damn locators to look further than 50 miles away or who don't send me to Walmart 70 miles away--which is a notorious hotspot with lousy mask protocol.

I could lie, I suppose. But even though I know others who have done it, I'm really reluctant to do so.

Sigh. Congrats to all of you who can get your shots, though. That's how we're going to beat it.

#94 ::: Jenny Islander ::: (view all by) ::: March 15, 2021, 10:26 PM:

I have read that my state (Alaska) currently leads the nation in vaccine delivery. Last Thursday, IIRC, vaccination was opened to all persons over 16. However, my 17-year-old and I are still waiting, because this town is getting X doses per week to distribute and the demand is more like 10X. I can't seem to get to the sign-up pages for any of the open-air vaccination clinics before they fill up.

My husband is in a neurological rehabilitation ward on the mainland, and got the shot the day the announcement went out.

#95 ::: Cassy B. ::: (view all by) ::: March 16, 2021, 08:29 AM:

Got my shot yesterday! My friend the pharmacist had one extra dose, and called me to see if I wanted it. I practically teleported to her pharmacy. One Moderna dose down; one to go. Arm sore; light headache the next day (which answers the question of whether I caught it asymptomatically when my husband had it; if I'd had COVID I'd be feeling MUCH worse today.)

Others may beware the ides of March; I'm going to celebrate it!

Good wishes to all here still waiting.

#96 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: March 16, 2021, 07:29 PM:

One of my co-workers got on our Slack today offering to help people schedule their appointments. Thanks to him, Katie was able to go to an HEB supermarket today and get her first — Moderna, like mine. As I've mentioned, I'm scheduled for my second in three days.

#97 ::: Jenny Islander ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2021, 02:09 AM:

Just when I thought my computer woes at work were over, Outlook lost the ability to read its own data file, again, after an update, again. This time it was a push update. Thanks, Windows 10!

I told my boss that I will begin researching a combination of programs that I can use to replace Outlook, and if this happens for a third time I will begin using them. I will miss the fast functionality of Outlook running in combination with the rest of the Office suite, but this is too much.

Hopefully tech support (local, not Microsoft!) will be able to resolve the issue soon.

#98 ::: Cassy B. ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2021, 08:55 AM:

About a month ago, Outlook started displaying the "from" line for all inquiries coming from filling out webforms on the company website as from (my company) as opposed to from (inquiring email address) as before. The tech firm still hasn't figured out why. (The "from" line in the open email says "from (inquiring email address) via (my company)" just as before; older emails display properly. What this means is that I now have hundreds of identical-looking emails in my email box every day; the only way to find a specific inquiry from a specific company is to use the search function. Which is annoying and slow and means that things are being dropped on the floor. Yet all the OLD inquiries display properly.

In contrast, the backup gmail account to which the inquiries are simultaneously cc'd displays the "from" as the inquirer, just as before.

'Tis a puzzlement. An irritating, irritating puzzlement. I'm leaning on the gmail account to keep track of what's coming in even as I have to use (for archival purposes) the Outlook account to send replies.

#99 ::: Jenny Islander ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2021, 11:46 AM:

I am leaning toward:

Calendar: We have one on the company website, which somebody else is responsible for not me; the paper one is for visitors and cleaners, and I can probably just keep it up by hand.

Directory and emails: We have another program that keeps a database of people we contact regularly, and it has an email composition feature; I just haven't had the time to learn how to use it, and of course it doesn't mesh seamlessly with Word et al. We got it relatively recently and I had been using Outlook in parallel with it just because Outlook was already there, but I could migrate entirely to the new software and just stop using Outlook for this stuff.

Saving received emails: Logging in directly with our ISP isn't...terribly bad? Like, if their server is down I can't see anything, but they actually have a lot of the same features as Outlook, just slower, including customized archival folders.

Task scheduling: This is the thorny devil. I have not found anything that works nearly as well. I need something that will remind me in 2 years and 3 days to do the biennial thing if that's what I need, and also continually remind me every Monday to do the Monday things, and furthermore track short-term one-off tasks, plus include extensive instructions in case somebody has to do my job on short notice. I am leaning toward just getting an old-school accordion file with dated tabs and teaching people how to use it.

#100 ::: Jenny Islander ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2021, 01:18 PM:

I don't know why I am so sentimental about this, but I am feeling sad over an announcement that a bit over a month from now, even calls made on a local exchange will have to be dialed using the area code. I realize that Alaska is lagging far behind many other states in this regard, but it feels, somehow, like losing roots. Like the edges of our community have been frayed, just a bit.

(I suppose there is also a blandly unmentioned cost increase involved, because all calls will thereafter be long distance.)

#101 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: March 17, 2021, 02:25 PM:

I don't think it will change costs - it's just that they run out of numbers and new ones get a different area code. L.A. has been doing this for years.
Yes, it's annoying to dial 10 digits (well, 11) to get someone in the next block, but it's better than getting wrong numbers all the time. ("Steven?" "Hello, I'd like to speak to Steven, please.")

#102 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: March 18, 2021, 01:04 AM:

It never rains but it pours:

10AM Monday: Boston Medical Center leaves vmail: do I want an appointment? (BMC started public queueing for all Boston residents a few weeks ago, unlike ~private hospitals that have been dealing only with previous patients -- or my regular chain-practice, which has apparently been getting trivial amounts of vaccine despite having probably hundreds of thousands of regular clients.)

4PM Monday: I finally check my vmail; after a long time on hold, I get a friendly scheduler who tells me I can get shot at 10AM Tuesday. I find this a bit disturbing: BMC is on the edge of a depressed area, has clinics in marginal areas, and has been trying to make sure that minorities don't get left behind; I'm surprised that appointments so soon are available so late in the day. (There were also early-morning appointments available at a clinic, which should have been good for first-shift workers.) But I suspect that turning this one down just means a slot will go unused, so I take it.

10AM Tuesday: the directions are inaccurate and the street by the site is being torn up, but I get a shot (Moderna) and an appointment for the 2nd dose.

4PM Tuesday: I get email from the state-sponsored chain of large-scale vax sites saying I'll get email Wednesday with a link for an appointment. I click the link that is supposed to say "no thanks."

small hours Wednesday: I get email with a link to make an appointment; I click another "no thanks" link, and hope somebody else gets an appointment.

~10AM Wednesday: the charlie in the corner office announces that next Monday front-line people (e.g. grocery clerks) and people over 60 will be able to get vaxxed, spreading from 65+ or >1 medical condition currently. I deduce that most of the 400K people who e-queued for the mega-sites last Friday (in the first ~16 hours it was possible) weren't currently eligible, as we're only getting ~150K doses/week and some of those are going to hospitals (e.g. BMC), CVS (huge pharmacy chain), etc. This means my partner will also get a shot soon.

Joyce Reynolds-Ward @ 92: I am baffled at Oregon's choices of what conditions don't put people in higher-priority groups, but not surprised that different states make differently-strange choices; here's hoping Oregon can step up distributing and administering doses to match the expected availability (enough for everyone by May 1).

#103 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2021, 12:20 PM:

Got my first vaccine dose (Oxford-AstraZenica) this morning. No complaints - very slick operation, out within a few minutes of entering the building. Of course I felt the injection, but I can barely see the mark where the needle went in, and no side-effects so far other than the arm feeling a bit sore for an hour or so after the vaccination. I had been going to run a 50K today, but as it was a virtual race I was able to move it and run last Saturday instead. So today I simply needed to get up at 0600 and get out the house in time to do my 2.5-hour run ending at the vaccine clinic appointment - then a gentle run home (less than a mile) afterwards.

Best of luck to everyone still waiting for theirs.

#104 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2021, 01:45 PM:

Item missed from my INRBIP: this all happened just a couple of days after I'd postponed jury duty, on the grounds that they wanted me to show up before I could expect to have gotten vaccinated. Probably just as well as my 2nd shot is scheduled for the day after I was to show up; the reminder letter was voluble about precautions, but spending so long in a closed room doesn't appeal even if the number of people in the pool is way down. I'll be going downtown in mid-September, when taking public transit is plausible (and might not even require a mask).

wrt which, it occurs to me that I was suggesting the wrong stfnal reference. "All around, without any fuss, the masks were coming off" has a certain something -- although not much, considering the places that are already dropping mask requirements; cf the Texas AG suing Austin for continuing to require masks in the city.

@dcb: you ran 2.5 hours to your appointment? I'm impressed, even if the way home was short.

#105 ::: Jenny Islander ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2021, 09:58 PM:

Got my first shot today! They had a big double-wall tent with built-in HVAC set up in the parking lot next to the Harbormaster Building, and my oldest and I were in and out in 20 minutes. That included 15 minutes of mandatory sit-down time, just in case we were among the very rare people who have immediate bad reactions.

#106 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2021, 11:13 PM:


#107 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2021, 10:43 PM:

Happy Birthday to our hostess Teresa!

#108 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2021, 10:05 PM:

Ah, shit. Another mass shooting in the U.S. This one's in Boulder. John and I are fine, we live a good 3 miles or so across town and were not anywhere near that particular retail plaza today. Am running around various online social spaces reassuring friends to that effect; am also fielding text messages from friends and family. It's a hell of a way to reconnect with folks.

Thoughts going out to those affected.

I hope Jacque checks in. She lives near me, and I'm reasonably sure her day-to-day doesn't take her to that area of town, but, still, I'll be happier when I hear from her.

#109 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2021, 10:06 PM:

Thanks - I *was* a bit worried, but I know it's not a small place with only two supermarkets.

#110 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2021, 10:15 PM:

@108 Heh. True that. It's not even the only King Soopers - there are no less than 2 closer to my house than, or at least as close as, the Table Mesa location where the shooting happened. (Plus we've been doing our groceries exclusively delivery and curbside. Yet another pandemic silver lining: I expect the number of customers in the store at the time was lower than it would have been in the "before times.")

#111 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2021, 10:05 AM:

Hey, everyone. Yeah, I'm over across town, closer to Nicole. But that's the neighborhood where I (and as it happens, also my boss, who is a tiny bit freaked out) grew up. Shopped at that grocery store, know the neighborhood well. The house I grew up in is three-four blocks from there. I just got up, so haven't seen any new information since about 6pm last evening.

#112 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2021, 10:09 AM:

Also, CZEdwards of this parish, & also a Boulder County resident, has stuff to say on Twitter.

#113 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2021, 11:39 AM:

Jacque and Nicole, thanks for checking in. I'm glad you're both okay, and CZEdwards, too.

#114 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: March 23, 2021, 08:50 PM:

Glad you're OK, Jacque. Thanks for checking in.

A roller derby acquaintance on FB told me that our former league photographer was there. He got out OK, but still, he was there.

#115 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: March 24, 2021, 11:35 PM:

Me @ 113:

A roller derby acquaintance on FB told me that our former league photographer was there. He got out OK, but still, he was there.

Shit. I just learned that he wasn't just shopping there - he was working there. So he witnessed a bunch of horror, his employment situation is in chaos, and three of the victims were his co-workers.

The league's organizing to reach out to him and send emotional and material support.

In completely unrelated news, except for being similarly filed under "this week sucks," I've learned that my hips have been secretly self-destructing all my life. The relevant phrase is "femoroacetabular impingement" and I am oscillating between very grumpy and identify crisis about it. At least it's early days. Got an anti-inflammatory prescribed and physical therapy scheduled. But apparently my competitive derby years are numbered more tightly than I'd originally assumed, and it makes me just that much more angry at the pandemic for wasting two of them.

#116 ::: Kip Williams ::: (view all by) ::: March 25, 2021, 11:38 AM:

I saw those news items about DFT's 757, and realized that it's the stuff of manly poetry:


I saw a reporter from a cable show
Who said, A jumbo jet rusts on the concrete
Surrendered to effects of sun and rain and snow
Its nose and chin thrust like a bully replete.
Wings that once bore dreams now sagging low.
Helpless wreckage sinking in its tracks
Silhouette's a lie; the heap's a dump,
One engine gone, its twin entwined with sacks

Upon its brow, the logos gold declare
"We lift aloft the name of Donald Trump!
His wealth a flame, his fame beyond compare."
A low-paid guard now shoos punk kids away
From relict hulk containing mostly air.
Stripes on patchy tarmac point at its decay.

#117 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: March 25, 2021, 03:42 PM:

Carrying on the poetry with an old favorite updated for current events:
this is just to say
i have blocked
the suez
which you
probably needed
for international
forgive me
im sideways
and my ship ass
is big

-- Rhiannon Shaw (borrowed from my partner's social-media feed)

#118 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: March 25, 2021, 05:19 PM:

CHip (116): I've seen two other versions of that poem used to parody that series of events. @fadeaccompli (whom I first met here on ML) did one of them, which started an amazing poetry thread.

#119 ::: Robert Glaub ::: (view all by) ::: March 25, 2021, 06:29 PM:

I have been pre-approved for a home mortgage of up to $300K.

#120 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: March 25, 2021, 10:21 PM:

Congratulations! (I think)

It probably feels something like when I got pre-approved for a car loan - right when I was starting to look for one.

#121 ::: Doug ::: (view all by) ::: March 26, 2021, 01:24 PM:

An acquaintance in a different part of social media writes —

Dear fellow translators: The typical upfront expense for translations is the greatest hurdle that translations face in the publishing space, especially in light of the fact that advances are no longer the norm for even full, English-original manuscripts. What — if any — creative approaches have some of the rest of you come up with in the interest of trying to expand the reach of translations in the difficult Anglophone market?

Emphasis added. Is this, in fact, a fact?

Speaking only for myself, I take a Dim View of doing unpaid work. I was also surprised to hear, from someone who has sold more than a dozen translations in mysteries and literary fiction that advances are not usual. Hence my question.

#122 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: March 26, 2021, 01:36 PM:

120: list
Carrolyxy on The point
Yipsgf on It's a big rock.
LorenaBlairnen on Portal fantasies, and cycles of desire
Yipequ on A brief note on linguistic markers
Tsebyl56245afsdfsaf5621 on Phil Foglio, Girl Genius, and me
Bryanyir on Varieties of insanity known to affect authors
Bryanuhn on Cycling, mindfulness, and urbanism
Laopyb on Finding Books to Read

#123 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: March 26, 2021, 06:07 PM:

Beverly Cleary has died. (at 104!)

#124 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: March 26, 2021, 07:12 PM:

link for 123

#125 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: March 27, 2021, 02:53 PM:

Is anyone actually in touch with Abi, Teresa, or Patrick? It's becoming abundantly obvious that ML needs a moderator / spam weeder who is actually present on a daily basis. I've volunteered to do this in the past, but emails from me to them in the past have not been refused...they've simply been ignored. I have no idea whether my messages to them have even been read.

#126 ::: John A Arkansawyer ::: (view all by) ::: March 27, 2021, 03:49 PM:

CHip@116: On Twitter, one Thinkwert had this to say:

I have blocked
the canal
that was in

and which
you were probably
for the global economy

Forgive me
it went sideways
so fast
and out of control

#127 ::: Angiportus Librarysaver ::: (view all by) ::: March 27, 2021, 05:34 PM:

I guess I heard about it when it was still over in China, before 2020 even began, and I thought "Sure hope that doesn't get over here." Well, next thing I knew it did. In this sector too. xkcd did a cartoon on it, and that's how you know something has Arrived. I forget which one or I'd link to it. A lot more since, of course. So the quarantine started and next thing I knew this place [old/disabled] was on lockdown and our morning coffee hour and bull session was canceled--that I really miss. And the libraries closed, which I miss just as much or even more.
You know things are really getting crazy when you say to a 95-year old relative that you have never been thru anything like this and they say they haven't either.
Same relative who is good at sewing provided me with masks, thank goodness, and I naturally do not touch people anyway. But it was a weird year, to have to worry about this all the time even if it was in the back of the mind, to wonder if one would even be around to see the end of the year.To sit around in one's retirement and realize how much worse the medical providers and other workers had it, how who knew when the world would recover. In September the now-traditional wildfire smoke event added to the fun.
In Nov. that thing invaded our building, courtesy of a caretaker who was involved with one of the residents, and another resident died and 2 were in the hospital a few days. One bright spot was that another pestilence was voted out.
And there still wasn't a vaccine. I've always been good at getting my shots and now I couldn't. But this late-winter they began arriving and I am pleased to announce that I got my 2nd one yesterday and am part of the immune herd--of course I will continue to mask up and be careful. I'm so glad to be unscathed and still have all my friends alive, inc. family. But who knows what will slither into our midst next?
Hey, at least we don't have a ship with a canal jammed into it.
I wonder what xkcd will do with *that* one.

#128 ::: Buddha Buck ::: (view all by) ::: March 27, 2021, 09:25 PM:

Angiportus Librarysaver @127:

Congratulations on your 2nd shot. I get mine tomorrow.

As for XKCD, I suspect we'll find out on Monday.

#129 ::: TomB ::: (view all by) ::: March 27, 2021, 10:56 PM:

Because of the spam I went back and reread the Toni Weisskopf gets almost everything wrong about the Futurian Exclusion, but we like her anyway thread. Talk about foreshadowing. It is another year before the puppies attack. In Teresa's main post she writes:

The worst rifts are always unforeseen.
I was also struck by Teresa's comment:
I've been thinking for a while now that the great right-wing noise machine has been deliberately inciting a chronic sense of outrage and resentment, especially via talk radio during those long miserable suburban commutes that no one consciously signed up for but almost everyone got.
Ironically the white flight to the suburbs was not good for family life. American conservatives have been sold a bill of goods over and over again by their corporate leaders, so of course they had to blame the liberals.

It will be interesting to see if this changes because of the pandemic and large numbers of middle class workers finding they can work from home.

#130 ::: Cadbury Moose ::: (view all by) ::: March 28, 2021, 06:03 AM:

David Goldfarb @ #125

I think the problem is that all three have RL problems to deal with at the moment, and ML is very much not a priority.

Patrick and Teresa both lost a parent in the last month or so, and Abi has a long-running (family?) problem to deal with as well.

The best solution might be to close all the threads except the current Open thread 224 and the Dysfunctional Families one in order to reduce the attack surface.

(Apart from the side effects of doing that, it also requires one or more of the moderation team/owners to do that, which is difficult.)

#131 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: March 28, 2021, 11:19 AM:

TomB@129: ISTM that blaming white flight to the suburbs is a bit simplistic; suburbs go back to before (e.g.) the civil rights movement of the 1960's. It may be more accurate to say that Gresham's Law also applies to public discourse, but slowly; it took decades for slimeballs to realize how much money there was in stirring up unjustified outrage in the media. (There were previous cases, such as Father Coughlin, even before the suburbs became major; however, the ones I've heard of tended to burn out -- perhaps not as quickly as McCarthy (who IIRC wasn't much on media), but none of them as long-lasting as he-whose-name-rhymes-with-flush.) Or the tipping point might be the combination of failures, revenge, and outright delusion that put a "grade-B movie-star governor" into the White House, leading to the Fairness Doctrine being abolished.
         However, it was interesting to go back and look at that commentary, and realize that Weisskopf had her head in a strange place (to be polite) even then. I find myself wondering why DisCon III invited her in the first place. It's not as if her views, or the quality of work under her name, were not known; one wonders whether there was a sort of Grand Compromise to invite both her and Malka Older (who I think treated Arisia very shabbily, but I'm sure others see it differently).

Cadbury Moose @130: the latest Dreadful Phrases thread isn't as active as this one (and probably not as Dysfunctional Families, but I have not been reading that), but it is still getting posts and IMO should not be sealed; there will always be assaults on (and praiseworthy episodes in) the English language.
         And I see Avram Grumer (who IIRC is the "Avram" who posted recently about getting vaccinated) is also listed as moderator; perhaps there's one person with keys and not having a bad case of life?

#133 ::: TomB ::: (view all by) ::: March 28, 2021, 02:05 PM:

CHip@131: Sure, nothing is simple. Maybe if instead of correcting me, consider it's more complicated than that. What I liked about Teresa's comment is there are lots of things "that no one consciously signed up for but almost everyone got". The American Dream turned out to be a fantasy, and not a very good one. Hey, we have a toolkit for analyzing not very good fantasies.

#134 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: March 28, 2021, 02:52 PM:

Cadbury Moose: I realize they all have life going on, and I'm not blaming them for it. What I'm suggesting as a simpler solution is for somebody to give me the keys to the kingdom.

#135 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: March 28, 2021, 11:54 PM:

David Goldfarb -- you're not, like, wearing a long goatee these days?

#136 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: March 29, 2021, 12:24 AM:

David Goldfarb @ 134 ...
Uh ... you haven't adopted a new pet recently, have you?

#137 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: March 29, 2021, 12:24 AM:

My wife has decided opinions about facial hair on men: I am therefore going to be clean-shaven for the foreseeable future.

#138 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: March 29, 2021, 10:40 AM:

David 137: I suspect you may have missed the point. Your 134 carries tones of "I alone can save you, if you swear your utter fealty! And as for those who have opposed me, I WILL MAKE YOU ALL PAY! Bwah-hah-hah!"

Not that you intended any such interpretation, or would in fact make people pay, just that it sounded rather like a supervillain speech.

#139 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: March 29, 2021, 12:29 PM:

Xopher, I was thinking "Grand Vizier", but that works too.

#140 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: March 29, 2021, 02:35 PM:

Some good has come out of this spam - I had an enjoyable time rereading the thread TomB links, though there was a bittersweet element to it, because some of the commenters in that thread are not with us anymore.

(My husband and I seem to have acquired vaccine appointments via the service, though I have a question about mine, as the Safeway where my appointment is seems to use a stricter set of eligibility requirements than the state does. The live support from Vaccine Fairy volunteers is excellent; I have a chat window up with them right now.)

#141 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: March 29, 2021, 02:41 PM:

Looking back I still don't see it, but with three different people saying they do, I'll accept that I expressed myself badly.

Would it help if I noted that I'd be fine with someone else such as Xopher getting the keys to the kingdom instead of me? My position here is that if I'm going to complain I'd better be prepared to volunteer to help.

#142 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: March 30, 2021, 01:29 PM:

We just booked an appointment for Inge to get her first shot in a couple of days. She's eligible because she's receiving chronic home care. Her chronic immune deficiency isn't yet a factor in the Ottawa Publich Health algorithm. I'm not yet eligible, even as her caregiver. So, to quote Nanki-Poo: "Modified rapture!"

#143 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: March 30, 2021, 07:47 PM:

What pinged my nope-sense was 'keys to the kingdom' specifically.

#144 ::: Joyce Reynolds-Ward ::: (view all by) ::: March 30, 2021, 09:56 PM:

And I got my vaccine appointment today! It's next week, but still...hurray! Took a joyful ride on the horse in celebration. She's happy to get out of the field because she's in with a yearling and a two-year-old--full sisters, and the elder is bullying the younger. Upon her return my girl took a big chomp out of the bully and made her move, then ambled off for salt and water, the other two sedately following behind her. I suspect that she's taken to ruling the pasture with a stern twenty-one years, I don't think she puts up with much young horse hijinks anymore.

#145 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: March 30, 2021, 10:14 PM:

@Diatryma: Well, what I really want is the key to the shed where they keep the weed-whacker. If there were a way to close off that shed from the control room I'd accept that and be happy about it. But there isn't. (And I promise I wouldn't use the weed-whacker on anyone other than spammers.)

#146 ::: Michael I ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2021, 08:40 AM:

First vaccine shot last Friday through one of Maryland's mass vaccination sites. Second shot on April 16.

(No particular side effects to the first shot except a very small bit of soreness. Apparently side effects are often worse for the second shot.)

#147 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2021, 11:57 AM:

You're getting the Pfizer shot, Michael I -- in general, the Moderna produces a stronger reaction to the second shot where Pfizer doesn't. That's because the second dose of Moderna is stronger than the first dose. Slightly different models. (I can tell it's Pfizer because it's a 3-week lag between shots rather than 4 weeks.)

Of course, YMMV,

#148 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2021, 02:54 PM:

I want to know where they keep the disemvoweller, and whether they keep it fully charged.

#149 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2021, 04:14 PM:

I thought it was solar-powered. With a built-in charger for the battery backup.

#150 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2021, 08:20 PM:

What's up with all the word salad spam we are getting lately?

And what is its payload?

#151 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2021, 09:12 PM:

In some cases, the payload is a link that you see if you mouse over the person's name. In others, they're trying to embed links in the text, but this *always* seems to fail, due to poor formatting or something. That seems weird to me.

#152 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: March 31, 2021, 09:22 PM:

I saw one where the payload was embedded as text with reverse square brackets around it. There seem to be several sites with sort-of-consistent names from each one - all the "bryan" ones are from one site. Like they can track back from that to see which drops work.

#153 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2021, 05:54 AM:

Mine (UK) was Oxford/Astra-Zenica and I'm expecting to be offered my second dose for 12 weeks after the first - which will coincide with my running a 100-mile race. Not a sensible combination, so I'm going to start phoning after 9 weeks to see if I can arrange it for 11 weeks, pretty please, giving me a week to recover from any side-effects and avoiding stressing the immune system two ways at the same time, which would not be sensible.

Joyce Reynolds-Ward @144: I wish I had the cat equivalent of your older horse at the moment. We have three 7-month-old semi-feral kittens that we adopted a few months back and two of them keep arguing (with chases and swipes and growls and snarls - including at 6am just outside our bedroom! We could do with an older animal to keep the peace.

#154 ::: Tony Zbaraschuk ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2021, 09:08 AM:

Local man reports getting second dose of the Moderna vaccine, and feeling just fine about it. (Small twinges at the site of the injection Do Not Count.)

#155 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2021, 12:29 PM:

For both me and Karen, the reaction happened about 12 hours after getting the second Moderna shot. My effects lasted about 12 hours after that; hers, about 24. It's a delayed reaction.

#156 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2021, 04:24 PM:

I got the second Pfizer shot on Tuesday. Wednesday morning I realized that my lymph nodes were swollen and painful. I then realized that I was exhausted; I took four hour-plus naps during the day. My temp was slightly elevated by evening, but never reached 100F. Today I am less tired and my lymph nodes are calming down. Not bad at all!

#157 ::: Charlie Stross ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2021, 04:32 PM:

Huh, vaccines ...

Allocation is centrally controlled and strictly by assigned group, here in Scotland. I got my first shot (AstraZeneca) on February 28th; I'm expecting the second about 12 weeks later, so mid-to-end of May. Meanwhile, Feorag is about 18 months younger and just below the 55 year old cut-off when they assigned people to groups, so is still awaiting hers -- should have been in the past couple of weeks, but there's a vaccine famine right now (UK gov was going to import 10M doses from India when Modi said "nope" due to an outbreak in Mumbia, leading to shortages for a 2-4 week period).

My first AZ shot didn't hurt but left me feeling like I was just on the edge of coming down with flu for about 24 hours (without actually starting a fever), then sandbagged/brain fogged for another 48 hours. Still better than getting the real thing, though.

#158 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: April 01, 2021, 11:43 PM:

Some sad news: Sylvain St-Pierre of Montreal, a nice guy and one of the mainstays of MonSFFA, passed away from COVID a couple of days ago.

#159 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: April 02, 2021, 02:42 AM:

Spouse done been jabbed today. Mr. Pfizer dunnit, in Longmont, with a needle. He reports a fascinating soreness to the arm ("It hurts to mess with it, but you can't stop messing with it, you know?") as his sole side-effect thus far.

Mine is Monday, so I cancelled my Tuesday PT appt. just in case I am not as fortunate with side-effects.

And as of RIGHT NOW, Apr 2, everyone in Colorado ages 16 and up is eligible.

Joel Polowin @158 - Ah, crud, that sucks. I'm so sorry. And angry too. And sorry.

#160 ::: Robert Glaub ::: (view all by) ::: April 02, 2021, 11:27 AM:

Got my second dose at the VA last week.

#161 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 02, 2021, 11:15 PM:

I now have appointments to get the vaccine - first one is Monday morning.

#162 ::: SunflowerP ::: (view all by) ::: April 03, 2021, 06:57 AM:

Nicole @140: 'Some good has come out of this spam - I had an enjoyable time rereading the thread TomB links, though there was a bittersweet element to it, because some of the commenters in that thread are not with us anymore.'

I was glad that one turned up; I'd wanted to revisit it (in connection with Baen's Barfight) but hadn't yet managed to track it down.

Typically, I use spam posts as a mechanism for discovering fine old posts - it's less daunting than a concerted attempt to read the whole archive would be. The recent floods of slimy pink stuff, though, have made that largely impractical, which cheeses me off no end.

David Goldfarb @145: 'Well, what I really want is the key to the shed where they keep the weed-whacker. If there were a way to close off that shed from the control room I'd accept that and be happy about it. But there isn't. (And I promise I wouldn't use the weed-whacker on anyone other than spammers.)'

I initially thought your 'keys to the kingdom' phrasing was an intentional quip - the sort made by someone generally known as a person who wouldn't abuse the power. (Takeover-plotting Grand Viziers have for many years now had a readily-available resource to remind them to avoid such self-indulgences... to which I see at least one Fluorospherian has contributed.) It can be correctly inferred from this that I, at any rate, take you to be a non-abuser (I imagine those who reacted to your phrasing are of similar mind, and were just running with the gag).

Basically, you're volunteering for gnome duty. We certainly are in dire need of weed-whacker operators. Are you on Twitter? IME, that's a reasonably-reliable place to ping the ML moderators and get a response.

#163 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: April 03, 2021, 08:03 PM:

I follow John Scalzi's Twitter regularly, but that's about the limit of my Twitter activity. And much as I love the community here I'm not willing to create a whole new social media account just for that purpose.

Thanks for the vote of confidence, SunflowerP: I got the impression that Diatryma at least didn't share it, regardless of what xeger and Xopher and Joel might have been thinking.

#164 ::: Juli Thompson ::: (view all by) ::: April 03, 2021, 10:48 PM:

@David Goldfarb, I, like SunflowerP in #162, took it for a lighthearted quip.

I have a Twitter account. Would you like me to politely invite our hosts to view your offer?

#165 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2021, 01:58 PM:

NYT reports the death of playwright Arthur Kopit, author of Oh Dad, Poor Dad, Mamma’s Hung You in the Closet and I’m Feelin’ So Sad and of the much-punchier Indians, which I co-(*)-tech-directed a college production of when I was a freshman. I kept hearing about interesting work of his and never seeing it; maybe I'll be able to fix that after theaters reopen.

(*)The other tech director went on to design sets (like many who tech directed in that theater) and is now an established ~architectural designer; I never thought of myself as an artist.

#166 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2021, 07:07 PM:

Juli@164: I think that would be a fine thing to do. Thank you.

#167 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2021, 03:40 AM:

David Goldfarb: I am sure the keys to the kingdom/weed-whacker shed (delete as applicable) would be safe in your hands!

#168 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2021, 01:59 PM:

In case I was unclear, I was joking -- I was amused by the implications of the "keys to the kingdom" phrase.

#169 ::: Juli Thompson ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2021, 07:18 PM:

David Goldfarb @ 166 - Done. I can’t PM Patrick, I suspect he wisely only allows that from people he knows. I tried to be brief and polite. I hope it works!

#170 ::: Juli Thompson ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2021, 07:22 PM:

Child #2 and I got our second shots Saturday - Pfizer. I had no side effects either time, other than brief soreness in my arm. She had fever and body aches for most of Sunday. Child #1, who lives separately, just got notified of her dates for the Moderna shots. I am very, very relieved, and will be able to sleep soundly once she gets them both.

#171 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2021, 09:51 PM:

I got Pfizered on Monday morning. No side-effects other than a mild soreness in the arm, and then only when I move it in certain positions. I'm braced for somewhat worse when I get my second, but Juli Thompson @ 170 is reassuring.

Since the Safeway was in her neighborhood, I stopped by the house of a dear friend for some chat on her porch. She and her spouse are fully vaccinated, two shots plus two weeks. I look forward to actually having them over to visit again in the near future!

#172 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: April 06, 2021, 10:45 PM:

I'm going to a game night in a week or so, adults fully vaccinated, baby present, there's a dog-- I don't even know what I'm going to do with this. The baby hasn't seen very many faces at all. This won't double the total number, but it'll be a big chunk. Just... social, with people, and talking, and not through a computer, how does this work.

#173 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2021, 10:59 PM:

gah. lost track of tabs. strange April Fool's described here.

In the meantime, vax continue to look up; my partner will be as-immune-as-Canby in 5 weeks, and so able to celebrate her mother's 85th birthday in person, hopefully with both sisters. I go for my 2nd next week, having booked at the beginning of a 2-day block I can afford to lose just in case of reaction.

#174 ::: OtterB ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2021, 09:15 AM:

Saturday will mark two weeks from the second Moderna shot for me and daughter the younger, who has intellectual disabilities and lives with us. My husband was fully vaccinated a month or two earlier (team Pfizer). Daughter the elder had her first shot Tuesday - her state opened up availability to all adults on Monday and she kept hitting "refresh" until she got an appointment. I am relieved. She is maid of honor in a friend's wedding in mid-May - rescheduled from spring 2020 - and was going anyway, and I feel MUCH better that she will be fully vaccinated before then.

One of my cousins is hosting a family reunion out of state over Memorial Day weekend. I had originally said we would not be coming, but when the CDC loosened recommendations on travel for the fully vaxed, we opted to go. I have made plane reservations. I have creeping anxiety about airports, flying, and All The Family. (They are not toxic, and at least one of my favorite cousins and my two surviving aunts will be there. It's just leaping from not-much-contact into all-the-contact.)

#175 ::: C Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2021, 04:46 PM:

We have three out of five in the household with at least one shot (eldest son is in line and youngest doesn't have a photo ID yet). We are running the gamut of American vaccines, with me getting the Pfitzer, Byrd the Moderna, and number 2 offspring had the J&J, which really knocked him for a loop.

#176 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2021, 05:43 PM:

I got my second Moderna jab today. No symptom so far (~6 hours later), not even a sore arm.

But my doctor sideeyed me and said "I hope you don't have any plans for tomorrow." So I'm not counting on a productive Friday.

#177 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2021, 07:14 PM:

I got my second Moderna shot three weeks ago, and I had a very sore arm but no other side effects worth mentioning. I might have gotten tired and gone to bed a little earlier than I otherwise would have, but then again I might have just been tired from activity. I certainly didn't have the rough time that some people have reported. So cheer up, Xopher, you could be one of the lucky ones in that regard.

#178 ::: SunflowerP ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2021, 08:17 PM:

I see that the number of people spotting and marking spam has dropped off. I don't demand of anyone that they take it on - it's boring and, given the recent high volume of it, time-consuming - but I do want to encourage more people to take part. The more of us doing it, the less boring and time-consuming it is for any one person; and when someone (existing moderator or newly-appointed gnome) armed with a weed-whacker/the keys to the kingdom finally comes along to rid us of the kudzu, having as much of it as possible already flagged will make their job exponentially less overwhelming.

A quick tutorial for anyone willing but uncertain: Add 'sees spam' to your name in the 'Type your name here:' field (try not to forget to remove the addition next time you're posting a non-spam-spotting post). Fill in the other fields as usual. Put '@[post number(s) of spammy post(s)]' in the 'Write here:' field. (Snark about the spam is optional - it takes more time, but can relieve the boredom.) Preview and post.

#179 ::: John A Arkansawyer ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2021, 11:33 PM:

I can't think of anywhere else to ask this and hope for an answer: In The Last Hot Time, are the Glasa gang and Glassisle related?

I just thumbed through The Well conference on that book and was sorry to see the <hidden> link explaining Kitsune's motivation had disappeared. I think I remember it--in a word, Cunfvn--but I wouldn't've minded the reassurance.

#180 ::: Singing Wren ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2021, 04:56 PM:

Got my second dose of the Pfizer vaccine this morning. Like with the first shot, the muscle where I got the shot is sore when I move it in certain positions, which is better than some flu shots and most tetanus shots I’ve had.

I felt a little tired the day after my first shot, but I consider that inconclusive since I'd also slept badly the night before (including a midnight text from my brother with his daughter’s birth announcement). Today I started feeling tired about 5.5 hours after getting the shot. This one I am willing to attribute to the shot since I slept well last night and had plenty of energy at lunchtime. We'll see how I feel over the weekend.

The timing worked out about as well as it could for me - I was able to get my first dose on the day eligibility opened for my age group, and two weeks from today I will be traveling (by plane) to attend my grandmother’s burial. (Her funeral was one of the virtual ones I mentioned in my previous post.) I wish I was traveling for happier reasons, but so it goes.

#181 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2021, 09:05 PM:

Husband (who works in a hospital) and I (who have been working at a COVID-19 testing and vaccine site for the past year) got vaccinated back in December/January. He had Pfizer, I had Moderna. Like a lot of folks upthread, I got my butt kicked (briefly) by the 2nd dose of Moderna--dizziness, fever & body aches starting the morning after, lasted less than 12 hours. My kids have had one jab each, one with Pfizer, one with Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) and I'm not sure what the youngest got.

#182 ::: Jenny Islander ::: (view all by) ::: April 09, 2021, 11:21 PM:

My oldest and I are getting our second jabs tomorrow! Instead of a giant pop-up tent by the harbor, we'll be lining up at the Bingo hall.

#183 ::: Elaine ::: (view all by) ::: April 10, 2021, 09:49 AM:

I am happy to see some posts at what was once one of my favorite Internet sites. I got my second jab eight days ago and am starting to feel much less anxious when I have to leave the house.

#184 ::: stefan jones ::: (view all by) ::: April 10, 2021, 11:07 AM:

All-eligible date for Oregon is April 19th, but I'm not confident that enough doses will be available that I'll get shots this month, or even in May.

#185 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: April 10, 2021, 03:09 PM:

I'm now eligible, by virtue of age, to be vaccinated at a local pharmacy. I filed my registration as soon as I found out, which was a few hours after the announcement on April 1st. I got a confirmation of my registration but haven't heard anything about how long I'm likely to have to wait. The other day, I saw that my usual pharmacy was open late to do vaccinations.

Our provincial premier just announced that people living in "hot spots" -- areas where the disease is most out of control -- will be eligible regardless of age, since those areas also have the lowest vaccination rates. I don't know to what degree those areas are less vaccinated by choice vs. by lack of useful access. There are correlations between political affiliation and vaccine refusal in Canada too.

#186 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: April 10, 2021, 03:52 PM:

John Arkansawyer @ 179: I wouldn't put anything past Ford, but I'm not sure the names were his -- he came to Bordertown quite late -- so they could be coincidence. It has been too long since I read LHT; must remedy this.

#187 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 11, 2021, 07:20 PM:

I see the Mageworlds books are out in e-book form. Hurray!

#188 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: April 11, 2021, 07:50 PM:

P J Evans (187): You mean the prequel books, right. The main sequence has been available as ebooks for years.

#189 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 11, 2021, 08:17 PM:

I hadn't seen them until now. Maybe they're getting better distribution.

#190 ::: Angiportus Librarysaver ::: (view all by) ::: April 11, 2021, 10:19 PM:

HLN: Area retiree wants to bellyache about something.
[First off,I hope you all can get your shots sooner rather than later; I'm pulling for you. I am now 2 weeks past the 2nd one, but the mask stays on.] Now, there's another situation going on, less scary but still annoying.
There's a big-name person who is a big huckster for phony or at least suspect medical things, mixed in with a lot of New-Age-sewage, and then there is a doctor who is working hard to debunk that nonsense. (The names aren't that important, there are probably other cases of this stuff going on.) And the doctor had a blog about various health issues, besides the need to debunk useless and perhaps dangerous "remedies". This doctor has also published a couple of books which I haven't read but which seem to be useful. Although not much affected by most of the issues she addresses, I considered her one of the good guys.
Anyway, the blog died just before the pandemic hit. And I had almost forgotten it until one of my other blogs mentioned that it had been reborn in a new form. So off I went to check it out and at once found that it was something you now have to subscribe to, to even read the blasted articles, let alone comment on them. The doctor stated that good writing should be paid for--which I can pretty much agree with *except* 2] she's making money as a doctor and from her books already, 2] the demographic she is trying to protect is one that has been historically underpaid and powerless and shouldn't have to scrape up 50 a year or 5 a month to read stuff that is as vital as she thinks it is. To me it smells like she is becoming as unhelpful, or dubious of merit, as her rival the charlatan. What use is all this knowledge if you can't afford to access it?
Not all of the important stuff is likely to be in her books, and the libraries and used bookstores might or might not have them. And I don't know who else is doing quite the same good work as she is.
It leaves a bad taste in my mind. I wonder if anyone else here feels the same way, if they have encountered this sort of thing elsewhere. There is wanting due recompense for one's work, and then there is being just too full of oneself; there is providing a useful service and then there's just trying to take the blogosphere for all it's got.
I'm about ready to go back to watching whirlpools on Youtube. I had some questions and comments--they weren't that urgent, but still. It's enough to make a hyena heave.
Where does the need to rake in the dough end and the need to save lives [or at least health] begin?

#191 ::: Jenny Islander ::: (view all by) ::: April 12, 2021, 01:54 PM:

The first Pfizer shot was no big deal for me or for my daughter, but the second knocked us both out! For me, it felt like a speedrun through the flu. I only felt medium crummy on Saturday after I got it, but on Sunday I had a humming headache, sick muscle aches, distracting joint pain, fever, chills, fever again, and profuse sweating in the middle of the night. My daughter got a headache and nausea. This morning I feel weak and wrung out.

But the two-week countdown to immunity has begun.

#192 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 12, 2021, 01:57 PM:

I have the second Pfizer in three weeks. I'm planning to do errands that day, so I can deal with the after-effects without having to run around during them.

#193 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: April 12, 2021, 07:38 PM:

Jenny Islander: From what I've read, both Moderna and Pfizer are about 80% effective even just two weeks after the first shot. It's true that they're only warranting the absolute maximum immunity two weeks after the second, but even now you should have a fair degree of protection. It isn't like someone comes along two weeks after the second shot and flips a switch.

#194 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: April 12, 2021, 07:47 PM:

David Goldfarb (193): My doctor niece pointed out that the Pfizer study graph of cumulative infections flattens out 12 days after the *first* shot, for those who got the actual vaccine. So yes, two weeks after the first shot one is pretty well protected.

#195 ::: Jennifer Barber ::: (view all by) ::: April 13, 2021, 11:22 AM:

I'm just glad so many of you got the Pfizer cycle before I started. When I first signed up I picked a date for the first shot that would get me the second on a day I was already scheduled to be off work; once I had it (very sore shoulder for that day and most of the next, enough to make typing painful--which is bad, since I do data entry!), I started seeing all of your reports of the worst effects being the day after the second, so I was able to reschedule my second appointment from a Monday to that Friday. I'll still be at work 12 hours after I receive it, but with any luck I should get most of the way through my shift before the badness begins, and will have an entire weekend to recover.

(My father had the Moderna back in January/February, no effects at all--but he's 68, and happy to have found an area of this whole Covid mess where being older is a benefit.)

#196 ::: lorax ::: (view all by) ::: April 13, 2021, 04:35 PM:

Mary Aileen (#194):

In addition to that beautiful Pfizer study graph, real-world data (based on essential workers who got the shot in December and January) finds ~80% efficacy after the first Pfizer dose. It's unknown how long this immunity would last without the second dose, which is why most places have continued with the three-week spacing used in the study, but there's definitely some protection even before the second dose:

#197 ::: John A Arkansawyer ::: (view all by) ::: April 13, 2021, 07:32 PM:

CHip@186: I've never quite understood--or known, might be better--exactly what Borderlands is/was. How The Last Hot Time relates to it is even further outside my understanding.

#198 ::: Chris ::: (view all by) ::: April 13, 2021, 09:17 PM:

For me, the second Moderna shot just resulted in a sore arm and general fatigue the next day. As opposed to the first shot, where I got stabbing pain if I tried to lift the arm, and felt thoroughly miserable all through a sleepless night and into the next day.

#199 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: April 13, 2021, 09:38 PM:

Mary Aileen @194: So yes, two weeks after the first shot one is pretty well protected.

Sadly doesn't appear to confer any protection against maskholes. I get my Pf#2 this coming Friday, but that was no comfort in dealing with two barefacers (& one gauze-facer) I encountered in the grocery store last Sunday.

I know better than to engage with bullies, I do. But they caught me by surprise* and I was...immoderate in my reaction.

They were laughing at me for being afraid of them. Took me a few hours to realize I wasn't afraid—I was enraged.

::SIGH:: Back to 7am Sunday grocery trips for me, I guess. :(

* Yay for being the first I've encountered since the start of the pandemic...?

#200 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 13, 2021, 10:30 PM:

It's that time of year: the Hugo finalists have been announced!

#201 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2021, 01:22 AM:

John A. Arkansawyer: Borderlands was a shared-world anthology series in which a major city (never made quite clear just which one) becomes the gateway to Faerie. I can probably give you more details if you want them, or they're out there for the Googling.

It's been a long time since I read The Last Hot Time but I recall the similarity between its conceit and that of the anthology series being obvious.

#202 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2021, 12:24 PM:

Useful for searching for Borderland stuff: the original anthologies were edited by Terri Windling and Mark Alan Arnold. Several authors later wrote novels in that setting.

#203 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2021, 07:48 PM:

There's also a more recent YA anthology including some excellent stories, Welcome to Bordertown.

#204 ::: John A Arkansawyer ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2021, 07:53 PM:

And I learned that someone else has used the name for a horror series. I wondered at first!

#205 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2021, 11:58 AM:

Part of the Borderland premise is that much of it is set in the territory between Faerie proper and the mundane lands that we know. Both magic and technology are somewhat unreliable. Spells sometimes have unexpected results, including "ordinarily I'd be able to undo this curse, but it's so warped that I can't imagine anyone being able to remove it, sorry". I seem to recall mention of a motorcycle that had both a mundane engine and a spellbox, so as to be able to run anywhere -- a kind of "hybrid" engine, I suppose.

#206 ::: Doug ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2021, 03:20 PM:

DisCon is being asked whether the title of a Hugo finalist in Best Related Work is in itself a violation of the con's code of conduct. Interesting times.

#207 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2021, 10:20 PM:

John A. Arkansawyer @ 204: I can see why that would be confusing; I hadn't heard of the horror version either -- not surprising as I generally avoid the mode.

various: I asked one of the Borderlands people (maybe Bull, but it was long enough ago that memory is dim) which city was used; they confirmed my suspicion that it was deliberately mixed details so it could not be identified with any particular city. Some of the how-people-got-there stories suggested to me that it was at least moderately central in the contiguous US, but I wouldn't rely on that.
The Last Hot Time is specifically set in Chicago, using many of its landmarks, but it tells us that Faerie overlapped into many cities (with varying reactions -- IIRC Miami was nuked in a panic). I definitely recall two police officers, one of them Fae, who appear in other stories, being in one scene of tLHT -- but that doesn't make the book canon; Terri Windling was ... very displeased ... about the book's existence when I raised it in a question at WFC panel about borders. Part of her grievance was probably the storyline, in which a young man comes to terms with being a top -- the original stories were designed to be YA-tolerable -- but I can see her being unhappy with many other facets. Note that Ford also is referenced (in alias) in Finder.

Jennifer Barber @ 195: I guess I'm with your father; I'm 67 and had Moderna #2 2 days ago, with no effect other than temperature the next day being 2 sigmas (0.6 degrees F) above my long-term average(*) -- although I heard that a couple almost my age who had 2nd shots a day earlier weren't nearly as lucky. And here I had booked the shot for a day when I had some time in which to be out of it. Makes up for some of the creaks I've been dealing with.

(*) Yes, I've been recording daily temps for most of a year. I'm a geek.

#208 ::: Dave Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: April 18, 2021, 07:32 AM:

Hugo Awards: I am slightly bummed that All Night Laundry didn't get a nomination, but I also know that I really did not have the spoons to venture into the storm and pitch it myself.

Second vaccine shot on Wednesday. I got to chat with my niece from 6-8 feet away yesterday after her crew match. Most of the family (including her) is either vaccinated or half-vaccinated, but her own college is lately getting hammered, so we kept to a distance.

#210 ::: Lylassandra ::: (view all by) ::: April 20, 2021, 01:26 AM:

Late to the party, but wanted to delurk and celebrate getting my first shot today! My husband’s had his first as well. My middle schooler is annoyed that kid-testing takes longer...

(Also, man, I just realized the email I use here is two emails old. I hate to mess things up by switching, but I probably should...)

#211 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: April 20, 2021, 10:31 AM:

Since the "view all by" is broken due to software updates, Lylassandra, changing emails doesn't make that much difference at this point!

#212 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: April 20, 2021, 06:06 PM:

The BBC reports the death of Jim Steinman.

#213 ::: stefan jones ::: (view all by) ::: April 21, 2021, 03:38 PM:

V - 15 minutes!

Getting my first jab -- Pfizer -- at a drive-through vaccination site at the local minor-league ball park. Opposite the local dog park, and I'm debating whether to take my German shepherd along with me for afterwards.

#214 ::: Heather Rose Jones ::: (view all by) ::: April 21, 2021, 08:06 PM:

[I'm just going to sidle in here as if I hadn't stepped out for the last four years...]

It does feel like the pandemic is turning a corner, though the streets to that corner are longer in some places than others. Given that I work for Big Pharma, I've had several interesting professional intersections around vaccine issues.

When my demographic came up as eligible, I got very frustrated with trying to make an appointment. Fortunately, I had an available dodge. My employer was sponsoring a vaccine clinic in one of our disused-due-to-lots-of-people-working-from-home parking lots. A local pharmacy provided the doses and medical personnel, but we provide the space, logistics, security, etc. And by volunteering to work logistics (ok, traffic control) I was able to secure a "leftover" Moderna dose at the end of the day.

But the other vaccine connection is more exciting: we're going to be producing mRNA vaccine. This is a brand new technology for our site, but we had a disused production space due to one of our products going out of production, and lots of excitement about the future of mRNA vaccines in general. We'll be producing for the international market, not the US, and likely won't be shipping product until 2022, but this is a long haul. (I thought about applying for one of the positions in the new vaccine department, but quickly decided that I didn't have the "start-up stamina" required for the job.)

Besides, I've discovered I love working remotely. And my employer has discovered that remote work can be a win-win, so they're planning to include massively flexible options going forward.

#215 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2021, 02:00 AM:

Welp, my husband got Pfizer #2 today! He got home around 2 PM, experienced fatigue sufficient to send him back to bed for the afternoon and evening, but seems close to back to normal now. (He's a serious night owl, so him being totally awake well into the wee hours is no anomaly.) We'll see how he fares tomorrow.

Mine will be Monday. SO EXCITE

#216 ::: Debra Bourne ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2021, 06:23 AM:

@213-215: Yay for good news on more people getting vaccinated. We've reached >95% of over-50s having had at least one dose in England - which is great and appears to give 65% protection. Not enough data yet for % protection from both doses.

In other news an anti-malarial vaccine developed at Oxford has been shown to have 75% efficacy. That's fantastic progress and hopefully it can be pushed through the approval process relatively quickly (now COVID has shown that's possible), because it's needed.

#217 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: April 24, 2021, 02:14 AM:

I was today years old when I learned that Vladimir Nabokov of all people wrote "Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex" 27 years before Larry Niven did, and in verse to boot.

#218 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: April 24, 2021, 10:04 AM:

It's worth noting that it was published for the first time last month, so one might be forgiven for not knowing about it earlier. Thank you for pointing to it here!

#219 ::: Dave Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2021, 12:40 PM:

Doing OK a few days after the vaccine. I was noticeable slower for a couple of days at work, but that didn't last too long. The muscle aches would have disapeared into my background noise if one of them weren't at the injection site.

#220 ::: Michael I ::: (view all by) ::: April 27, 2021, 12:50 PM:

Second shot back on April 16. There were no side effects other than a bit of soreness in the arm (I think a bit more than after the first shot but not that bad).

#221 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 28, 2021, 01:12 PM:

2021 takes another one - but not by Covid:
Michael Collins

#222 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: April 28, 2021, 02:18 PM:

My 2nd Pfizer shot on Monday came with only a bit of intermittent chills and aches, which oughtn't to have completely floored me for the next day. But it turns out I don't sleep too good when I've got chills and aches. And I don't get much done on a day that follows a night of not sleeping too good. So. Hooray for scheduling Tuesday as a recovery day.

I'm looking forward to a board games brunch on some restaurant patio after me and my bubble-mates all Level Up to Full Vax Efficacy. I think I've got the latest 2+2 date, that of May 10. I'm also looking forward to doing my own grocery shopping again. Lucky's North in Boulder has a really high-level curbside pickup game, but there have been a few times where I looked at the produce they picked out for me and shook my head sadly. Besides, I miss whim purchases based on "Oh, hey, that looks good" and "I had no idea that was a thing, I must try it."

#223 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 28, 2021, 02:25 PM:

Or looking at the sale shelves (clearance and bakery) and going "ooh, want".

#224 ::: Robert Glaub ::: (view all by) ::: April 28, 2021, 11:24 PM:

Got approved for a mortgage up to 400K along with 13K in closing costs.

#225 ::: Peter Erwin ::: (view all by) ::: April 29, 2021, 07:27 AM:

Xopher Halftongue @ 148
I want to know where they keep the disemvoweller, and whether they keep it fully charged.

I think the important thing is to make sure it is carefully stored where children can't get to it. Otherwise there will be the inevitable tragic self-disemvowelling accidents.

Like this:

Standard Life Aberdeen plc ("the Company") today announces its intention to change its name to "Abrdn plc". The new Abrdn name (pronounced “Aberdeen”) will be part of a modern, agile, digitally-enabled brand that will also be used for all the Company's client-facing businesses globally.

"Agile" presumably because they're getting rid of all those flabby vowels slowing them down.

(Via Matt Levine's frequently-hilarious "Money Matters" column.)

#226 ::: Mycroft W ::: (view all by) ::: April 29, 2021, 12:57 PM:

It means, of course "able to change tracks to next week's buzzwords without changing products, delivery or manglement policies."

Same as "Agile development" means "flexibility in what is required, and what gets done when, as long as all milestones are met and the 6-month project completion date is sacrosanct". IOW, 100% waterfall, except crunch time at the end of every two week "sprint" rather than just at the end of the project.

Alternatively, having looked at their wikipedia page, "able to look new and hip so that it can be sold to the next sucker who will try to save money by reducing headcount and then overpaying the C-suite for 'succeeding', only to find the only way to make their money back is to sell it again."

Of course, if they really want to rename themselves "A burden", to meet future truth in labelling laws, more power to them.

I notice that the brand is more important than the product. Works well for Coke; perhaps less well when the only goal of the user is "try to keep as much of my money safe from the disaster in progress as you can, would you? And try to steal only most of the profits, if you would, mate." But maybe the brand is aimed at companies looking for ways to pretend at employee pension without, you know, actually having to spend all that much money?

(Conflict of Interest note: my long-time investment company has rebranded three times in the last decade, each time causing much consternation and changing of guards. This is *exactly* what I look for in a decades-long business relationship.)

#227 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: April 30, 2021, 10:49 AM:

A possible amusement (either for info or for how-can-that-be): a 2013 New York Times dialog quiz. Mine came out plausibly: heavy on the BaltoWash area (where I lived ages 0-11 and 12-14) and moderate for ~Boston (where I've lived almost half a century). Material at the end says it's based on >300K samples, but doesn't say how many of those were native / native-until / immigrants.

#228 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: April 30, 2021, 12:52 PM:

Oddly, I end up either New York or in the middle of the South. And I have never lived in either place!

#229 ::: Chris ::: (view all by) ::: April 30, 2021, 10:26 PM:

Took the quiz three times (turns out it doesn’t ask the same questions each time), and it put me in three different places. Each one was fairly close to one of the places where I lived growing up, depending on which question with a distinctive answer it asked.

#230 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 30, 2021, 11:15 PM:

It had Albuquerque, Denver, and Wichita as the three most distinct answers. Most of them I was somewhere else entirely, as in the map was all blue.

#231 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2021, 12:27 AM:

Huh. It pretty much got me-- the three most similar cities were one forty minutes from where I grew up and two that bracketed where my mom grew up. It's hard to tell if I say words differently, though, as I read them differently.

#232 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: May 01, 2021, 05:47 PM:

The quiz puts me in Yonkers, Jersey City and Paterson.

So, downstream of where I am from.

#233 ::: Peter Erwin ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2021, 12:59 PM:

My favorite variation on the dialect quiz is the xkcd one. ("What do you call the baseball-sized garden bugs that, when poked, glow brightly and emit a warbling scream? A) What? B) Lawn buddies.")

#234 ::: OtterB ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2021, 03:49 PM:

It had Montgomery, Birmingham, and Mobile for me, none of which are terribly close. But the swath of the US in orange and red ran from Texas (where I lived until I was 14) to Maryland (where I lived during high school and again the past 20 years), including Virginia (where I went to college) and New Orleans and Oklahoma, both of which I lived in as an adult. So not too far off. It put too much weight on my use of "service road" for the road paralleling a highway; I could equally well have used access road.


#235 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2021, 06:37 PM:

It had me in California. Wrong coast. Although my mother was from there, and I'm sure I picked up some vocabulary from her.

#236 ::: Debra Bourne ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2021, 06:41 PM:

Re. 227 dialog quiz. People from outside the USA are not the intended users of this, of course. It suggested New York, Detroit and Grand Rapids for this Brit. Apparently New York is the only place in the whole USA where Mary, merry, and marry are generally all pronounced differently from one another. I don't know any UK area where they are -not- pronounced differently from one another.

#237 ::: John M. Burt ::: (view all by) ::: May 02, 2021, 09:21 PM:

Re #227 dialect quiz: I was offered Houston, Texas; Jackson, Mississippi; and Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota -- none of which are places I have lived, nor places any members of my immediate family have lived.
I wasn't in the Navy all that long, but that might have had some "averaging" influence on my dialect.

#238 ::: Julie L. ::: (view all by) ::: May 03, 2021, 05:17 PM:

This has me wondering— who else grew up with “yonder” as part of their vocab? “over here” (next to me) vs “right there” (next to you) vs. “way yonder” (neither)?

#239 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: May 03, 2021, 07:00 PM:

Julie L. (238): I did! But it was 'over' not 'way'.

"Where did my croquet ball land?"
"Over yonder, behind that tree."

'Way over yonder' would be even farther away.

#240 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: May 03, 2021, 07:07 PM:

I also had "over by" [place] as a kid. "Over to" [place] means it's your destination, but "over by" is just location - it's like "near" but in another place.

#241 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: May 03, 2021, 07:14 PM:

P J Evans (240): Same here. "Your ball is over by that tree" also works. And "[go] over to that tree to get it."

#242 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: May 04, 2021, 12:03 AM:

One question is strictly a "did you live in Detroit?" question. (Devil's Night is the night before Halloween.)

Despite this, the quiz assigned me Salt Lake City, Tacoma, and Seattle, with the Potato Bug apparently the distinguishing question. Map indicates that Potato Bug has a broad hot patch across Utah, and some yellow in the upper Northwest.

I note that a lot of settlers in Salt Lake City migrated from the small orange Potato Bug patch in western New York where I actually first learned to speak English. Detroit came later.

#243 ::: Jenny Islander ::: (view all by) ::: May 04, 2021, 12:40 AM:

@227: I speak Autistic, having kept words I ran across in my enormous and extremely varied reading, whether or not they "fit" with the way the people around me talked. I have lived in Alaska since I could barely talk. The quiz placed me on the Gulf of Mexico or the Atlantic coast of Florida.

#244 ::: Julie L. ::: (view all by) ::: May 04, 2021, 08:43 AM:

wrt picking up words through reading: I had a tendency to keep getting marked wrong on elementary-school spelling tests for using Brit spellings (picked up from LOTR, Watership Down etc) instead of US ones, but not knowing how to explain why those spellings felt right.

Flashbacks to a writing assignment returned with every instance of “grey” overwritten with an increasingly large red A written over the E.

#245 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: May 04, 2021, 10:53 AM:

I grew up reading British mysteries. Fortunately, I ended up bilingual, with only a few "tells" - doubled "l" in words being the biggest one. I still can't figure out how you can parse "dgm" in "judgement".

#246 ::: Allan Beatty ::: (view all by) ::: May 04, 2021, 01:09 PM:

PJ Evans @ 245:

In Old English they wrote cg for the J sound, but now for some reason this has become dg in judgment, acknowledgment, Wedgwood, etc. I don't really like the looks of it either, but it is a consistent pattern, not a one-off.

#247 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: May 04, 2021, 01:15 PM:

The first part of all of those has a noun ending in "e" in it. (Also "cg" doesn't make much sense as a precursor of "j". But I'm sure Xopher can tell us about it.)

#248 ::: Gray Woodland ::: (view all by) ::: May 04, 2021, 01:48 PM:

PJ Evans @ 45: British English is sort of split on "judgment" (boo!) vs "judgement" (yay!) This is actually a minor point in one of Margery Allingham's Campion mysteries, where one character has strong and idiosyncratic opinions about the right spelling of the word, and can't bring themselves to use the "wrong" one when fabricating a note ostensibly by somebody else.

Fortunately, the purpose is a benign bluff, and the one character who picks up the tell is the perpetrator's partner...

#249 ::: Gray Woodland ::: (view all by) ::: May 04, 2021, 01:51 PM:

Me @ 248: I ought to clarify that the "boo" and "yay" concerning rival spellings of "judgement" are purely my own sentiments. I don't, unfortunately, speak for British English on this matter...

#250 ::: Debra Bourne ::: (view all by) ::: May 04, 2021, 06:28 PM:

@244, @245: I grew up reading a lot of American-written SF, so I absorbed a fair amount of American vocabulary, although not so much American spellings. Some of the pronunciation differences still require me to think what the word I've just heard actually means: oregano for example. My present job is editing a scientific journal for an organisation based in the US and I have to keep reminding myself to use z not s in loads of words and so on. It's particularly difficult for me to use American spelings of scientific words: esophagus not oesophagus; anesthetic not anaesthetic, etc. But the proof readers are American so will correct my 'mistakes'!

#251 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: May 05, 2021, 08:05 AM:

I read tons of fanfic and while some authors are quite obvious about being in non-US areas and still writing about New York (it's mostly Avengers fic) it's really interesting how many subtle tells I've learned to find about, specifically, the UK. I really like this kind of localization.

Jenny Islander, I once explained how my accent works as saying that since I read so much, I am constantly trying to say things the way they are in my head: slightly different based on spelling. Knight, night, nite are all different, but I don't know how to pronounce the K with my mouth, just my brain.

#252 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: May 05, 2021, 08:18 PM:

Possible good news for west-coasters? NPR reports an app that gives a few seconds' warning of a quake. Doesn't seem like much, but apparently it's enough to get away from particularly dangerous places (e.g., next to the bookshelf with the encyclopedia on it?).

#253 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: May 05, 2021, 08:25 PM:

More than one app, I gather, and they suggest having more than one available to you.

#254 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: May 05, 2021, 11:15 PM:

In my experience of moderate-to-large earthquakes, there's enough time between feeling the first tremor and anything falling over to allow me to move from that level of danger, CHip. Not sure an extra few seconds would make a difference. When the Loma Prieta quake hit, I was on the second floor of a wood frame house, and thought the house might fall over -- wouldn't have had time to get away from that! But there was enough of a pause between the quake and the power going out for me to safely turn off the PC I'd been working on.

#255 ::: Julie L. ::: (view all by) ::: May 06, 2021, 06:44 AM:

Brit-narrated audiobooks often have more-or-less odd-sounding “American” characters... and then there was the Brit narrator of _The Tombs of Atuan_ whom I think was giving Ged a Caribbean accent??

#256 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: May 06, 2021, 09:54 AM:

The idea is the app lets you know *before* the first tremor hits.

#257 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: May 06, 2021, 01:10 PM:

Julie L. @255 -- Ged was dark-skinned and from an island nation, so I can sort of see where that came from, given a desire to give him a distinctive voice. But only "sort of".

#258 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: May 06, 2021, 08:08 PM:

Late to the party, perhaps, but Almost everything Diane Duane's written ... and on sale!

#259 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: May 08, 2021, 05:33 PM:

P J 247: I've never studied OE per se, but I'd speculate that since c alone was pronounced like the ch in Modern English cheese when followed by a front vowel, the g may have been placed there just to indicate voicing, therefore making the cg sound like the j in ME jeez. (If you say "cheese, jeez" you will feel the difference I'm talking about.)

#260 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: May 08, 2021, 06:44 PM:

I've met Mandarin: it's the difference between q and ch in pinyin, or the difference between j and zh. (It does require paying attention, for us sloppy English speakers.)

#261 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: May 10, 2021, 11:51 AM:

P J 260: Not sure if the scope of "Mandarin:" included the j and zh. In English the difference between those sounds isn't voicing, but the presence of a phonetic d in the former; compare pledger and pleasure.

#262 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: May 10, 2021, 01:40 PM:

Chuck/cheek and judge/jeep is the closest I can come in describing the difference: the second one in each pair is "higher" or "more forward" than the first.

#263 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: May 10, 2021, 02:36 PM:

P J 262: Oh! Yes, those are different sounds for sure. In English they're predictable from the following vowel (front vowel->fronted affricate). Are they distinctive in Mandarin (that is, are their otherwise-identical words which differ only in having one of the front ones or its back partner)?

#264 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: May 10, 2021, 03:45 PM:

I believe so: q (chee) and j (jee) are always letters followed by i.

Learning to notice the sounds and where they're made was a big part of it. (But their "r" which isn't an r is still difficult.)

#265 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: May 10, 2021, 04:30 PM:

I assumed the voiced and unvoiced versions were distinctive. I meant the front and back ones.

#266 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: May 10, 2021, 05:48 PM:

Xopher, that way. Their spelling is pretty much phonetic - for something using Roman letters.

#267 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: May 12, 2021, 07:07 PM:

A number of sources today report the death of Norman Lloyd at 106. Lloyd played a wide variety of ~supporting parts on stage and in movies and TV, as well as directing and producing; I recognized the name from John Houseman's autobiography, which describes the painstaking preparation of his ~Broadway debut as Cinna the Poet -- mistaken for a conspirator and lynched by a mob whipped up by Marc Anthony -- in the Mercury Theater's first production, a Julius Caesar costumed to imitate Mussolini's Italy. (I wonder how he felt watching the mob raid Congress?) He kept playing a vicious game of tennis into his 90's and working until very recently. The BBC's tribute. More detail in the New York Times but may be behind a paywall.

#268 ::: thomas ::: (view all by) ::: May 13, 2021, 03:01 AM:

Xopher, P J Evans. My understanding is that all the stops and affricates in Mandarin are voiceless. The distinctions in pinyin that look like English voiced/voiceless distinctions are actually unaspirated/aspirated. This was clearer in the Wade-Giles romanisation, which used a ' for aspiration, so ta1 (he/she/it) and da4 (big) would be t'a1 and ta4. And ji and qi would be chi and ch'i in Wade-Giles, aspirated and unaspirated voiceless alveolar-palatal affricates.

But position of articulation is also distinctive: eg between qi, ci, chi, which are alvelo-palatal, alveolar, and retroflex (and the corresponding unaspirated series).

#269 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: May 14, 2021, 11:11 AM:

Neighborhood Book of Face maintaining an even strain--I know most people are posting from their phones these days, but "an eat lamination diet" to figure out where the allergies are coming from sounds particularly painful outside of the context of puff pastry.

#270 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: May 14, 2021, 02:15 PM:

"Taste my Damascus steel, you cowardly wretches!"

#271 ::: thomas ::: (view all by) ::: May 14, 2021, 07:41 PM:

[goat]: Nom nom nom nom nom

#272 ::: Michael I ::: (view all by) ::: May 19, 2021, 09:09 AM:

Just thought I'd mention for Bujold fans.

The latest Penric & Desdemona book (The Assassins of Thasalon) has just been released. It appears to only be available in ebook (at least I didn't see a paper version on either Amazon or B&N).

#273 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: May 19, 2021, 11:31 AM:

IIRC, Bujold's contracts specify that print publications of her stories can't be released until at least 6 months after the electronic and audio versions.

#274 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: May 19, 2021, 04:22 PM:

The SFF writer and activist Don Sakers has died.

I met Don and his later-husband, the costumer Thomas Atkinson, at the Baltimore WorldCon in 1983. I was immediately charmed by both of them. I've seen them from time to time at conventions since then, read many of Don's books, and looked forward to his occasional Facebook posts.

#276 ::: Kip Williams ::: (view all by) ::: May 24, 2021, 11:15 AM:

I'm back from an exciting road trip to visit Dad in hospice.
# of dads now: 1!
# of root canals: 1! (and a false alarm)
# of eye surgeries coming up: 1
# of shots: 2
# of days since shot
# of deer hit: 0
# of miles driven: 1850

#277 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2021, 10:44 AM:

Congratulations on not hitting a deer; I've had a couple of near misses and remember them as ... unnerving.

Salman Rushdie argues that The Stories We Love Make Us Who We Are, with some discussion of what might have happened after the thousand-nights-and-a-night. Probably paywalled, but arguably worth waiting for the month to roll over.

#278 ::: Kathryn from Sunnyvale ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2021, 05:39 PM:

There's an SF event tonight (Happy Star Wars Day!) and the next few Tuesdays the fluorosphere will like.

Living histories are a way to hear from instead of hearing about people. These portrayals help us see that change that looks inevitable in retrospect was unlikely as it happened. Oklahoma Chautauqua is hosting a series of five living histories-- including a lovely one of Gene Roddenberry (1921-1981).

He's on tonight, Tuesday 5/25 at 8EDT/5PDT, and there'll be more on Tuesdays through June 16. His talk includes a Q&A (followed by Q&A with the scholar who portrays him). Other workshops will get into 'the making of' background, if you love diving into the Hows of this art.

The series also has Marshall Mcluhan, Marie Curie and others. (I've been working with this Marie Curie scholar: it's been quite eye opening to see the hunger for the Sensawunda of science/ research... Which of course also can lead to more SF readers and writers. I've got altruistic and selfish reasons to work on this.)

Sign up here for tonight's Gene Roddenberry or others in this Chautauqua series.

#279 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2021, 08:16 PM:

AKICIML: I'm reading This Is the Voice and have tripped across what seems like a major error: the author claims (while discussing ontogeny-recapitulates-philogeny) that fetuses extract oxygen from amniotic fluid via gills. This does not match the very little I remember of biology, or anything I can find in skimming Wikipedia, and seems massively implausible (how would enough oxygen get into the fluid?); does anyone have the background to comment on this, or a pointer to a plausibly authoritative source? Does this appear even temporarily? (W says human implantation happens around day 9, at which point the embryo starts getting everything from the mother; I wouldn't expect gills to appear that early, as they'd be useless without a circulatory system.) I've found one other passage ("amino acid bases" in DNA) that could be either the author's confusion or just compressing ~unimportant details, but this seems much further off base.

#280 ::: Buddha Buck ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2021, 10:12 PM:

CHip @279:

This EvoDevo article on ontogeny-recapitylates-philogeny (ORP) from Berkley is very explicit on the subject:

"For example, both chick and human embryos go through a stage where they have slits and arches in their necks like the gill slits and gill arches of fish. These structures are not gills and do not develop into gills in chicks and humans, but the fact that they are so similar to gill structures in fish at this point in development supports the idea that chicks and humans share a common ancestor with fish."

If there are no gills, there's no getting oxygen from amniotic fluid.

I wouldn't be surprised if the slits and arches develop into *something*, as evolution tends to use what it has to work with, but not something that is involved with getting oxygen from amniotic fluid. If I am understanding this page correctly, they turn into lots of different tissues in your neck -- larynx and trachea cartilage, glands like thymus, thyroid, and parathydroid, and even the stapes in the middle ear.

#281 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: May 26, 2021, 09:08 PM:

Definitely not gills. That's what the umbilical cord is for, and the placenta. Otherwise, prematurity wouldn't be as big a problem as it is, as 'oh shit no lungs yet' wouldn't be a thing.

#282 ::: thomas ::: (view all by) ::: May 28, 2021, 08:59 PM:

Definitely no gills, just pre-gill structures.

This is a case of ontology recapitulating philology: it's a good soundbite, so it develops into a factoid.

#283 ::: Cadbury Moose ::: (view all by) ::: May 29, 2021, 05:06 AM:

Thomas @ #282:

Not a mastoid? Has anyone tried nailing colours to one?

(Probably easier than nailing jelly to the ceiling.)

#284 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: May 30, 2021, 09:41 PM:

Thank you all for the facts, the references, and the outré puns. (It's been a very grey weekend in Boston, without nearly enough surrealism.) I realized after writing that Colapinto was probably confusing vestigial form with actual function, but still couldn't find a clear statement about it.

#285 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: June 04, 2021, 01:41 PM:

Hey, got an AKICIML question, short story division: There was a short story that appeared in, it feels like OMNI? Back in the early-mid '80s?

The premise was a group of guys who were trying to come up with a way to get The Powers That Be on board with environmental preservation.

So they came up with this fake "alien invasion" plot, and that's where all the polution & stuff was coming from, because the "aliens" planet had an atmosphere heavy in [sulphur]. The story centered around their interactions with a couple of [CEOs], and the one scene that's really vivid in my mind is where they had their target of the moment examining a "human corpse" which was actually a practical effect put together by their effects guy, and while the CEO is leaning over it looking at it really closely, it splits open to reveal the "alien" inside.

Title & author?

#286 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2021, 11:57 PM:

I have an AKICIML question too.

What was the story (from the 50s I'm pretty sure) where a fellow constructed a five-dimensional hypercube that folded itself down into a one-inch cube with an opening. Peering into it he saw a spinning globe that looked like a whirling marble.

Suddenly he cried out in pain, and threw the cube away. His eye was a ruined mess.

Angered, he took a hot fireplace poker and jammed it into the cube.

A few weeks later, a giant eye appeared in the sky. After a couple of weeks, 50 missiles were launched in to the eye, which disappeared.

Now he waits for the giant poker.

I absolutely LOVED this story when I read it. Who wrote it?

#287 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2021, 02:13 PM:

I posted the story ID requests to the rec.arts.sf.written newsgroup. Jacque, I got a reply for yours (<>):
"Occam's Scalpel" by Sturgeon

#288 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2021, 05:49 PM:

I found an answer from a Facebook friend. The story is "THE IFTH OF OOFTH" by Walter Tevis.

#289 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2021, 07:19 PM:

I read a copy of "The Ifth of Oofth" on-line. It has a couple of math errors: a 5-cube contains 10 4-cubes, not 8. Perhaps that's why the story ends unhappily. :-) It was published in 1957 in Galaxy, vs. Heinlein's 1941 "—And He Built a Crooked House—" in Astounding.

Vertices, edges, faces, cells (AKA cubes), hypercubes (i.e. 4-cubes), 5-cubes, etc. To calculate the number of any of these in the n-dimensional object, you double the number of that item in the (n-1)-dimensional object, and add the number of the "previous" item in the (n-1)-dimensional object. To calculate the number of, say, edges in a cube (3 dimensions), you double the number of edges in the 2-dimensional object (4 lines in a square, x 2) and add the number of vertices in a square (also 4) to get 12. To calculate the number of cubical cells in a hypercube (4 dimensions), you double the number of cubical cells in a cube (i.e. 1, x 2) and add the number of faces in a cube (6) giving 8. As each object is stretched along another dimension, each vertex becomes a line, each line becomes a square, etc., then you have to add the number of items in the two "ends" of the stretched object.

Now I'm trying to pin down a story in which a criminal tries to hide a stolen briefcase inside a high-dimensional cabinet, in which it appears to be a small geometric shape, only to have it stolen by a small wriggling creature inside the cabinet.

#290 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2021, 07:48 PM:

Joel@289: Pretty sure that's "Time Locker" by Henry Kuttner.

#291 ::: Kip Williams ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2021, 08:41 PM:

David: That sounds right to me. Big Gallgher fan here.

#292 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2021, 09:01 PM:

David @290 -- Yes, that's it. Thank you. That one's from 1942.

#293 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: June 07, 2021, 09:03 PM:

That will teach me to look in more frequently; I could have answered two of those. I read "Occam's Scalpel" in first publication (1972 If), during a brief time that I had magazine subscriptions; I remember it as odd for Sturgeon, because it was so much about engineering rather than heart -- but he'd played that story on global scale decades before.

#294 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2021, 11:19 PM:

Joel Polowin @287: Ah! Sturgeon! That explains the timing mis-match. Probably read it in one of his anthologies. (Not unlikely I even have it!)

Thank you!

#295 ::: Jenny Islander ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2021, 12:27 PM:

Got the latest push update from Windows last night, and woke up this morning to a "helpful" widget on my toolbar. Because my removing fricking Cortana didn't give a hint that no I do not want to see headlines first thing in the morning, no I do not want you to give me an abbreviated paraphrase of the actual NOAA forecast, no I don't care to see a rotating gallery of photos you found in my computer, go AWAY. I immediately found out how to get rid of it; the instructions mentioned that the actual function of the damn thing is, of course, to track your interests in order to sell you stuff. But I also found out from the same instructions how to turn off the hlepful periodic reminder to sync my whatevers with my I don't care, so that was nice.

#296 ::: Cassy B. ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2021, 06:19 PM:

@Jenny Islander, how do I get rid of that widget? Because I don't want it either. (It recommended stocks to me! And gave me sportsball scores! Harrumph!)

And there's no red X. No way I can find to make it GO AWAY.

#297 ::: Kip Williams ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2021, 08:26 PM:

I've been going through the settings for the app, closing "sports," "news," "entertainment," whatever, and then closing every source, one by one. At the end of the time, nothing looks different. There are even articles from sources it agreed to hide.

#298 ::: Kip Williams ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2021, 08:28 PM:

I spoke too soon. Here's a video that told me how to do it. Don't look at it unless you have FOURTEEN SECONDS to spare, though.

#299 ::: Cassy B. ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2021, 09:03 PM:

@Kip Williams, what's the URL for the video to turn off the intrusive Microsoft widget?

#300 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2021, 09:51 PM:

I turned off the widget by poking around in my Settings. I don't remember exactly what I did, though.

#301 ::: Kip Williams ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2021, 10:47 PM:

That's an excellent question, Cassy B! Sorry for not including it before (and apparently thinking I did).

#302 ::: Kip Williams ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2021, 10:49 PM:

And what they had me do was right-click in the taskbar (which I have at the bottom of my screen), and going to News and Interests pull-down menu, and choosing to turn them off. Saved fourteen seconds!

#303 ::: Jenny Islander ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2021, 11:21 PM:

I learned that if I go to Start (Windows icon)--Settings (gear icon)--System--Notifications & Actions, I can turn off the hlepful thing that periodically covers up what you're doing and asks you to sync your whatsit and adjust your whatever for the full Microsoft experience blah blah dataharvestingcakes.

#304 ::: Debra Bourne ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2021, 04:59 AM:

Sympathies to Jenny and everyone @295 et sequelae. The other solution is to use Classic Menu shell - you can have your computer start up and offer you a nice old-fashioned menu (ish) from the start button, no rotating widgets or any other apps in view. I use this and it makes my computer into a computer again, not a tablet-wannabe.

#305 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2021, 09:06 AM:

Debra Bourne (304): If you right-click on the Start icon, you get the classic start menu. It makes shutting down and restarting much simpler.

--Mary Aileen

#306 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: June 10, 2021, 11:05 AM:

I found that one *just yesterday*, when it insisted that I need to know the weather outside.


#307 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: June 14, 2021, 02:28 PM:

seen at dKos:
A priest, and minister, and a rabbit walk into a bar. The bartender asks “what’ll you have?”

The rabbit answers “don’t ask me, I’m a spellcheck error”

#308 ::: Susie ::: (view all by) ::: June 14, 2021, 03:46 PM:

#307: Or was the rabbit a clerical error?

#309 ::: Kip Williams ::: (view all by) ::: June 14, 2021, 04:14 PM:

#308: It would be cruel to say a multiplication error.

#310 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: June 15, 2021, 08:19 AM:

ICYMI: a Slate article argues that the Golden Mean is the most irrational number.

#311 ::: Buddha Buck ::: (view all by) ::: June 15, 2021, 10:11 PM:

CHip @310:

See also the Numberphile video on the "most irrationality" of the Golden Ratio. It even ties it into why it shows up in plants alot.

#312 ::: Chris ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2021, 10:40 PM:

@ 307, 308:

Seen somewhere not very long ago (might even have been in these parts, but a quick search doesn't find it):

A priest, a minister, and a rabbit walk into a blood drive. The rabbit says, "I think I'm a type O."

#313 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2021, 10:23 AM:

Jenny Islander @295: We just got a heads-up about that thing's imminent arrival on our work systems, and you've articulated my feelings about it very well. Mac has a fly-out of similar function (and, we presume, purpose) that I randomly manage to activate, that I have not yet figured out how to supress with extreme prejudice.

#314 ::: Clifton ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2021, 02:00 PM:

Jenny @295: You expressed my feelings about that thing on the task bar very well.

After my computer restarted from an update and it appeared, I think I was mildly alarmed; but when I merely pointed my mouse to it it to see what it was, and it popped up some panel with news about celebrities, I believe I actually hissed at my computer out loud like a startled cat.

At least I found it reasonably easy to turn off.

For those who are still struggling with it, right-click on an empty space in the task bar, on the pop-up menu find News and Interests, click that sub-menu and click 'Turn Off'. (This was familiar because any time I'm using a new Windows computer I immediately turn off Cortana and minimize the search box on the task bar.)

#315 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2021, 09:29 PM:

Re: unwanted things that are hard to turn off--my new metric for how old I am is "I remember when, once you bought something, you owned it."

#316 ::: Clifton ::: (view all by) ::: June 18, 2021, 02:17 AM:

Ugh, and today my work laptop caught it. At least this time I knew immediately how to turn it off - and not to point at it first.

#317 ::: Angiportus Librarysaver ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2021, 08:10 PM:

Large thanks to all who revealed how to get rid of the unasked-for thing on the lower toolbar. A relative just got badly hacked via (we think) a Microsloth news thingie, and on a brand-new computer as well. Our local heroic computer repair geniuses saved the day. Said relative uses McAfee, I use Avast--so far so good, but I find myself increasingly leery of any Microscoff app, including the photo, paint and weather ones I am used to.

#318 ::: Clifton ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2021, 09:31 PM:

Jenny @ 303:

OMG! THANK YOU! You mean I can finally make Windows 10 stop trying to sell me on using OneDrive? I thought I was relatively knowledgeable on Windows, but I did not realize there was any way to turn off the Windows nags and negging.

#319 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2021, 01:14 PM:

Re: µSloth...

#320 ::: Jenny Islander ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2021, 05:48 PM:

@318: "Windows nags and negging"

chef's kiss

#321 ::: Doug ::: (view all by) ::: June 22, 2021, 04:38 PM:

Oh my, the whole DisCon Hugo team just resigned.

#322 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: June 22, 2021, 05:44 PM:

Doug 321: Any info as to why? How did you hear of it?

#323 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: June 22, 2021, 05:50 PM:

There's been a fuss because they have limited seating for nominees (some of whom have many people), and some of the people are whining that maybe the Hugos should be separated from Worldcon. File770 has some, in the Scrolls over the last few days.

#324 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: June 22, 2021, 11:24 PM:

Doug @ 322 ...

Again? Just for balance/sanity, since the ones that are working well never seem to get mentioned -- there _are_ cons that still manage to run with a relative minimum of drama, yes?

#325 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: June 23, 2021, 12:34 AM:

xeger@324: Yes, some do; most cons hit patches of drama, even the well-run ones, but the well-run ones generally deal with it before it gets publicly ugly.

#326 ::: Doug ::: (view all by) ::: June 23, 2021, 05:45 AM:

322: Nicholas Whyte made a statement here on twitter. The gist seems to be what P J Evans mentions in 323, although the statement itself is both diplomatic and opaque.

I'm guessing that there were circles that could not be squared, and that the Hugo team and the con committee's leadership reached an impasse.

Listing 87 people (including "staff members who prefer not to be named") on your team, as Strange Horizons has done, strikes me as an obnoxious stunt. That one nomination accounts for nearly one-third of named persons for all of the 2021 Hugo finalists. The one category — Semiprozine — accounts for more than 40% of all named persons in this year's list of finalists. In addition to the 87 people from Strange Horizons, three other finalists list either "the team" or "the entire team," so I can see how this would create both logistical and equity challenges.

Is it right that for things like the pre-award reception (which I understand also has organizational elements for the award ceremony) or reserved seating for finalists, the finalists should basically consist of "Semiprozine" and "Everyone Else"?

#327 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: June 23, 2021, 02:55 PM:

Why can't they just say "pick 3 people to represent you"? Strange Horizons are being assholes.

#328 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: June 23, 2021, 05:30 PM:

Apparently it isn't them. They're scattered all over the world, and won't all be there. It's someone[s] who apparently feels that nominees should be part of the planning, if I understand the mess correctly (and I probably don't), or at least asked for input.

#329 ::: Pfusand ::: (view all by) ::: June 23, 2021, 07:59 PM:

[Somebody maybe thinks] "nominees should be part of the planning"

Uh, not a good look. Hal Clement was abruptly removed from the Noreascon [One] committee when his novel, Star Light, was nominated for the Hugo, because the WSFS rules stated that committee members were not allowed on the Hugo ballot. (He wanted to withdraw it.)

#330 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: June 23, 2021, 08:23 PM:

Strange Horizons is me, or I am part of it, and we pushed to list as many people as possible because everyone contributes to the success of the magazine. The original restriction on names was four-- not enough to list a single person per department, much less represent the amount of work that goes into each one. For the nomination slides and printed material, where the only expense is pixels.

I have no more idea precisely why the Hugos team resigned than anyone else. No one checked to see how many people were coming to the ceremony, which in our case is a bit fewer than are listed on the Powerpoint. Certainly no one asked us to be part of the planning.

#331 ::: Doug ::: (view all by) ::: June 24, 2021, 03:46 AM:

Looking forward to the year when a Best Novel finalist lists everyone in their Acknowledgments on the ballot because they contributed to the success of the work.

#332 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: June 24, 2021, 12:58 PM:

It's interesting here to look at the thesis of Howard S. Becker's classic sociological book Art Worlds, which looks at the social creation of art works and the need for publishers, booksellers, reviewers, printers, binders, papermakers and purchasers to be recognized as part of what leads a book to be called "art". The privileging of a single person as the artist can be legitimately questioned when we're dealing with a social construct.

That said, we have a long history of doing exactly that (making one person the "artist" where supporters get ignored). Those who contribute are necessary, but I wouldn't claim I deserve a Hugo because I was a reviewer for LOCUS in several years when the magazine won the award. But I did feel honored when LOCUS and all its contributors (specifically mentioned as part of the award) got an Alfie.

#333 ::: Dave Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2021, 08:47 AM:

Hm, before someone provided refs I would have sworn the "Occam's Scalpel" story was by Niven.

Regardless I'll note that the climactic premise is simply wrong: Active manipulation is not the simplest solution, because the whole business of global warming and ecological collapse is an entropic process.

We were born into a system containing a great deal of order and structure, cultivated by the biosphere over a billion-or-few years. (The creation of that structure/order was itself powered by the flow of energy from the sun past our planet.) Our current activities (escalating in the last few centuries) are disrupting the biosphere's order, notably by releasing a whole lot of carbon which had been sequestered by various processes, but also by physically breaking the infrastructure for a lot of ecological webs. A lot of the other issues involve dispersal of random substances throughout the ecology (more entropy), where they are unexpected and disruptive for the current

So yeah, no aliens needed -- just careless apes trashing the joint.

#334 ::: J Homes ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2021, 08:20 PM:

Dave Harmon @333,

If the story is the one I remember, that was not the point of the story. The idea was to convince some of the wealthy apes doing the trashing because it was good for bidness that Earth was under attack and the trashing was giving aid and comfort to the (imaginary) enemy.

J Homes

#335 ::: Dave Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2021, 09:31 PM:

J Homes #334: Except then there was that "stinger". Perhaps I was incorrect in calling it the "climactic" premise, it probably qualifies rather as anticlimax.

#336 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2021, 04:08 PM:

Diatryma @ 330: For the nomination slides and printed material, where the only expense is pixels. Not so. Trying to list dozens of people on one slide would require unreadably small type; trying to list everyone on printed material in readable type might or might not take an extra page, but IMO it would look very strange -- think about the appearance of most nominees taking ~2 lines and one taking 10-20. (I note that most Hugo votes are cast online, where these issues wouldn't appear; I'm addressing your specific points.)

My personal opinion is that if SH wants to present as an anarcho-socialist commune [sic] rather than a hierarchy with a clear peak people, it would be appropriate to list nobody, and to find some location where everyone on the staff could admire the trophy -- which brings up another issue: what names (if any) should go on the trophy? That's typically a very limited bit of space; in theory the design could be changed to create a vast tract of land for the names, but that would look ... interesting ... for all other winners.

OTOH, there's Maureen Kincaid Speller's Facebook post, which suggests that D3 did not either speak or hear clearly. (It would be nice to know just who on D3 talked to who on SH; there are a couple of ~senior fans on the concom who I would not trust to start by asking instead of assuming a problem.) I'd also like to see pictures of just how Fiyahcon handled the issues I raise, because I'm still interested in seeing how someone else solves a problem.

OTOOH, I've been ... amused ... by claims that the Hugos are too big for the Worldcon and should be split off; like the proposals to hand over Worldcon-running to professionals, I have my doubts about whether the proposers have thought about how the alternatives would work.

And now for something completely different:
Dave Harmon @ 335, what "stinger" are you speaking of? The end of the story makes clear that the bidness leader wasn't an alien, but that people had deliberately forged that idea to get the leader's successor to undo the leader's destructive policies. The idea of pushing people into saner action by the appearance of an outside threat wasn't invented in the paper version of Watchmen; Reynolds used it in 1953 ("Last Warning"), and Sturgeon used it in 1948 ("Unite and Conquer").

#337 ::: Kip Williams ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2021, 05:13 PM:

CHip: There's yer sequel to WAR OF THE WORLDS. Someone finds out it was a hoax.

#338 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2021, 08:09 PM:

Watchmen itself (at least the original comic) deliberately references an Outer Limits episode entitled "The Architects of Fear".

#339 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2021, 09:02 PM:

Asking rather than assuming is certainly a good guideline.

#340 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: July 02, 2021, 01:22 AM:

Mary Robinette Kowal has taken over chairing DisCon 3, this year's Worldcon. I wish her the best of luck with it, and hope it goes really well. She has a very interesting task ahead of her!

#341 ::: Dave Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: July 02, 2021, 10:06 AM:

CHip #336: I'm talking about where the protagonist and his accomplice are talking afterwards, and IIRC the story as a whole ends with the comment, "what would you expect, flying saucers?"

#342 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: July 02, 2021, 11:11 PM:

Dave Harmon @ 341: I'll have to find a copy and reread -- I don't remember that bit at all.

AP missed an opportunity for a headline: they should have said There is no Gap in Rohan! I guess the Very Secret Diaries have been almost forgotten....

#343 ::: Doug ::: (view all by) ::: July 03, 2021, 05:41 PM:

342: Still the prettiest!

#344 ::: thomas ::: (view all by) ::: July 06, 2021, 09:09 PM:

By the middle of 2021 it was already clear that more alphabets would be needed. Linguists were initially happy that so many people now recognised Amharic and Akkadian. The choice of Enochian in March 2023 was probably a mistake. At first, things went well: the angelic voices did no harm at the Poor Clares' convent in Prague on the Feast of St Agnes.

When it happened, nearly two months later, 'Human error' was initially blamed. 'Human' is perhaps more a hope than a firm conclusion, but 'Act of God' was definitely not available. As the public relations office had been one of the first casualties, the precise terminology wasn't anyone's highest priority

It's not that Spring campaign to eat out and support the hospitality industry was inappropriate. Case counts were low, and the Government had always wanted private money, rather than public money, to rebuild the industry. It was just unfortunate that it was Walpurgis Night when the radio ad campaign got superimposed on the daily case reports, and the Great Old Ones returned to dine on struggling local restaurateurs

#345 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: July 08, 2021, 07:02 PM:

thomas @344 -- Heh! See also this past Monday's XKCD.

#346 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: July 12, 2021, 01:59 AM:

Of possible Flurospheric interest:

I've just been made aware of a 1984 astrophysics paper by J. W. V. Storey, "The Detection of Shocked CO Emission from G333.6-0.2."

It's in verse.

It was a talk at a session of a conference. (Here "CO" means carbon monoxide. The KAO mentioned is the Kuiper Airborne Observatory, a high-flying plane which carried an infrared telescope.)


The lines were due to hydrogen
Molecules, and they
Don’t emit much until heated
To at least two thousand K

Well, people studied this for years,
Finding H2 everywhere.
But still these lines don’t tell you what
Density is there.

What we need’s another line:
Density dependent.
This view needs no genius
In order to defend it.

I’ve talked for several minutes now,
(I’ve half an hour to go),
I’m sure you’re most surprised I haven’t
Mentioned yet the KAO

Carbon monoxide, really hot,
Has heaps of good transitions
Depending critically upon
The density conditions.

These lines are in the far-IR,
But wait — here’s the best bit —
To see them you will need to use
The KAO, you guessed it!

Astronomer Ronald Drimmel mentioned the poem on Twitter; my "Alert Making Light!" reflex was triggered.

#347 ::: Dave Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: July 13, 2021, 07:10 AM:

A Necrohamster for Teresa.

#348 ::: Kip Williams ::: (view all by) ::: July 13, 2021, 11:37 AM:

Does it like Necro Wafers?

#349 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: July 15, 2021, 09:38 PM:

Nostalgia reigns: Discover's store has a source for the Space Cat books. These were among the very first books I borrowed from the local library; in retrospect they're not even middle-grade (let alone YA), but I remember them fondly. They also get a shoutout in the bridge of Sue Anderson's pastiche of "Towards the Empyrean Heights": "Pray, what authors should we preach/If we sci-fi want to teach?" "If you'd get an early start/Ruthven Todd will win the heart."

#350 ::: Dave Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: July 17, 2021, 06:59 AM:

CHip #349: I remember those too! So long ago... I'm half afraid to look back and see what the Suck Fairy has been up to.

#351 ::: stefan jones ::: (view all by) ::: July 17, 2021, 09:21 PM:

I remember reading the Space Cat books -- wildly out of order -- in 2nd grade. I think I had to wait until 3rd grade, which was in the Elementary School building with a much larger library, before I found the "missing" books in the series.

#352 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: July 22, 2021, 01:07 PM:

I found out before his death that David Bowie was a RWNJ, but I didn't know that Eric Clapton is an idiot.

#353 ::: Kip Williams ::: (view all by) ::: July 22, 2021, 09:07 PM:

Van Morrison, too.

#354 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2021, 11:21 AM:

My comment on Eric Clapton was "Good. Cancel ALL his appearances. Fuck you, Eric Clapton."

#355 ::: Jenny Islander ::: (view all by) ::: July 25, 2021, 12:28 AM:

I still listen to the Eagles, but I won't pay for their music since I heard "Get Over It."

(Spoilers because it isn't worth a listen: The climactic line is "I'd like to find your inner child and kick its little ass.")

#356 ::: Jenny Islander ::: (view all by) ::: July 25, 2021, 01:02 PM:

Oh, hey, speaking of rich jerks, here's a song about Bezos by Philip Labes. Warning: 1 F word.

#357 ::: John M. Burt ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2021, 12:36 PM:

I'm a member of a daily writing workshop (membership closed) called the Creative Coven, formed early in the lockdown. Six days a week, we gather at 0900 Pacific Time for a 20-minute writing sprint, in response to a prompt extracted from a poem, which the day's host reads in full at the end.

I'm mentioning it here because today's prompt was "so sweet", and yes, it came from "This is just to say" by William Carlos Williams. Somewhat to my surprise, no-one in the group knew about Making Light, and they were all amused by the idea of a group where they had made a "mascot" of the poem.

#358 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2021, 12:45 PM:

From the department of "weird ideas that my sleeping brain dreams up and chews on so I wake up really tired"...

There are gold alloys and compounds in literally every primary and secondary colour. It should be possible to create rainbow-coloured gold wedding rings. Somehow. But I don't know enough about metal crafting to see how to do it. The blue and purple materials are intermetallic compounds, not alloys, and brittle -- they can't be worked as metals, and even cutting them would require careful handling. This may be getting into Jon Singer territory..?

#359 ::: Jenny Islander ::: (view all by) ::: August 02, 2021, 01:28 AM:

Seen on Tumblr, with no word of a lie:

O F Cieri, writing as 0bfvscate, posted (August 21, 2019):

A peasant in 1400 trying to keep their kids from wandering through the woods alone: Every single blade of grass is intelligent, aware, and thirsty for human blood.

An eighteenth century author, scribbling down everyone’s grandma’s death grass story: Ok there’s a lot of overlap so I’m going to compress all the death grass stories into one creature and uhhhhh give the story a moral

A nineteenth century fiction author: There’s a tiny flying grass baby who loves you and kisses your knees when you skin them.

21st century fiction authors: The BLOODMAN is an ancient evil that has gone unchecked for CENTURIES. He comes from the forest. He returns to the forest. Forget everything you know about tiny flying grass babies; BLOODMAN is coming

And bourneblack responded:

21st Century Fanfiction Authors: And he wants to BANG

#360 ::: Jenny Islander ::: (view all by) ::: August 08, 2021, 09:34 PM:

I present for your delectation: Happy Accident Soup. It was supposed to be a different soup, but one of the major ingredients for that soup turned out to be missing and another had spoiled, so.

Bone from a baked ham, with meat that wouldn't come off
1 pound dried small white beans
Scant gallon water (approx.)
1 medium onion
Half pound fresh or frozen green beans, cut into small pieces
Half tablespoon salt
Teaspoon pepper
Splash of red wine vinegar

Early in the day, put the ham bone into your slow cooker. Pick over and rinse the beans and put them around the ham bone. Pour in the water, which should just about cover the bone. Cover and cook on High all day long. (You can soak the beans as usual, but starting with unsoaked beans gives a deeper flavor.)

In the middle of the afternoon, when the beans are soft, take the bone out and put it in a dish. Come back in half an hour or so; the bone should be cool enough to handle. I find that scrubbing my hands and pulling the meat off with my fingers and shredding it into the pot is easiest, but you may want to pull it off with a fork and dice it.

Add all of the other ingredients except the vinegar and keep simmering until everything is soft.

Stir, taste, add more pepper if wanted, put in the vinegar, and serve. The broth is fabulous.

#361 ::: April Grant ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2021, 06:40 PM:

I have a problem to solve, and it occurred to me to bring it to folks here It's a good problem to have. One of my very-short stories has just been accepted by a magazine and published (it's here. Content warning: horny talking statue.

That's not the problem. I'm delighted. This is the only problem: the website's style is a little difficult to read, and might cause discomfort for people with low vision. I was hoping to be able to solve this by adding an extension to the URL when I sent people links to the story, like adding ?style=mine to a Dreamwidth post.

So far, I haven't found a way to do that, and search engines are only giving me suggestions for building a website, not for offering more-accessible viewing options of other people's existing sites. I also can't access "reader view" in my browser on the magazine website, so I am guessing it doesn't work on Wordpress sites. (I'm in Firefox, if it matters.)

The only solution I've found thus far has been to use to view the plain text, but linking potential readers to a version of my story viewed through this site feels like an inappropriate move. I'm not sure whether it would count as re-posting the same story on a different website at the same time as the magazine is posting the story.

All suggestions welcomed.

#362 ::: Buddha Buck ::: (view all by) ::: August 14, 2021, 08:25 PM:

April @361:

Good story, lousy typography (as you know). Why they made the house choice to set everything in a small-caps font with only the barest of serifs I don't know.

Unfortunately, the only thing you can really do here is to talk with the editor of the magazine and ask for their assistance. There aren't any URL tricks you can do to force a readable style on the page without the assistance of the site itself providing the alternative.

What you might be able to do unilaterally is create a front-page for your story on your own site that provides a link to the magazine, as well as instructions on how the user can fix the readability problem.

Such as, the user can install a user CSS that can override the styling on that (or any) page replacing the bad font with something nicer,

Alternatively, the user can (on Chrome) right-click on the story text, select "inspect", scroll down in the styles pane to the h3 style and untick the box labeled 'font-family: "Marcellus SC", serif;". That will put it into a heavy-weight sans-serif font like OpenSans, Helvetica, or Ariel. There are four places in the CSS where a font is specified, two of them specifying OpenSans. Unticking them all will make the text revert to the default font (on my system, a nice sans-serif font). You can also untick the "font-weight: 400" style and make the text not so bold.

(note: the entire story is in level three headings?!? Now that is worth complaining about!)

Also, check your contract carefully. The submissions page says "We ask for first electronic rights, reprint or second rights, that revert to you once the next issue has been published (approximately 3 months)". I would interpret that as saying that once the next issue is out, you can publish the story on your own site, in the formatting you want. But I would double-check that with someone who can better interpret your contract.

I ran the page through WAVE, a website accessibility evaluation tool, and it unfortunately didn't pick up the readability problems we are seeing. All it picked up as errors was a few images that lacked alt text. I was hoping that a 3rd party tool that said "you're website sucks, and here's why" would help when talking with the magazine about why their website sucks. Maybe someone else knows a site that'll check for that sort of readability.

#363 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: August 24, 2021, 06:50 PM:

I wonder how many "sovereign citizens" I could get to try asserting that when they're acting pro se in court, anything they're asked would fall under "attorney-client privilege"?

#364 ::: Robert Glaub ::: (view all by) ::: August 30, 2021, 11:54 AM:

Getting cataract surgery 10/25.

#365 ::: stefan jones ::: (view all by) ::: August 30, 2021, 11:57 AM:

#364: I hope all goes well. Pretty routine these days!

#366 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: August 30, 2021, 08:53 PM:

I've seen the results described as like going from Ektachrome to Kodachrome.

#367 ::: Pfusand ::: (view all by) ::: August 31, 2021, 11:02 AM:

I had my eyes done two years ago, one at a time, of course. So there was this period of three weeks in which I could compare my regular vision with my new, UV-augmented vision. Especially check out flowers.

Oh, and (only for a month or so) morning sunlight had these amazing blues.

#368 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: September 01, 2021, 11:34 AM:

I really needed this:

#369 ::: Kip Williams ::: (view all by) ::: September 01, 2021, 08:16 PM:

Recent cataract surgery, here. July, I think it was. Still adjusting to twilight-zone world of leaves on trees and writing on signs.

#370 ::: Debra Bourne ::: (view all by) ::: September 02, 2021, 05:26 PM:

P J Evans @368: Thank you for sharing that - it was a fun read, particularly the end...

#371 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: September 02, 2021, 06:10 PM:

You're welcome!

(I have some others saved as text files, like what happens when aliens invade Earth. Or humans getting out into the galaxy and giving other species major headaches.)

#372 ::: Jenny Islander ::: (view all by) ::: September 03, 2021, 10:50 PM:

So you have to get a Microsoft account in order to keep playing Minecraft Java Edition now.

Just started the procedure for permanently deleting (not just deactivating) my Minecraft account.

Loved it for years; won't be playing it again.

#373 ::: Debra Bourne ::: (view all by) ::: September 05, 2021, 04:43 PM:

Jenny Islander @372: Sympathies for that.

#374 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2021, 10:17 PM:

Interesting article about chocolate: adding a little fat makes it easier to temper. ("A little" being a fraction of a percent!)

#375 ::: Mea ::: (view all by) ::: September 08, 2021, 11:40 AM:

#374 P J Evans - thanks, interesting article. Always interested in chocolate!! The article talks about adding phospholipids, and since I don't know what that is I googled and get as one result that "What is the most common phospholipid? Lecithin"
I thought that lecithin is an ingredient I see a lot in chocolate, and the article explains why it makes sense to use it because it makes tempering the chocolate a lot simpler and more reliable, so this article is explaining the why behind the use of lecithin? Or have I make a google-leap error in reasoning?

#376 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: September 08, 2021, 01:44 PM:

I don't think you're making a reasoning error. (They're certainly talking about small-batch chocolate tempering, at this point.)

#377 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: September 11, 2021, 11:38 AM:

Happy birthday, Xopher.

#378 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: September 11, 2021, 02:34 PM:

Hi, Xopher! May you have a glorious day!

#379 ::: Robert Glaub ::: (view all by) ::: September 11, 2021, 03:10 PM:

Twenty years ago today I was pulling the burned, broken bodies of friends from the rubble of the Pentagon.

#380 ::: stefan jones ::: (view all by) ::: September 13, 2021, 10:59 AM:

#379: :-(

#381 ::: Jenny Islander ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2021, 01:29 AM:

@379: I hope the pain has somewhat dimmed most of the time.

#382 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: September 21, 2021, 09:49 PM:

On a more cheerful note: last night, for the first time in over 18 months, I sat in a room with other members of the chorus I've been in for almost 2/3 of my life, and sang. (If I remember where I put the link to the masks we were wearing, I'll post it; for now, consider that we look a bit like the imperial troops that operate the Death Star's main weapon.) The first piece was ... lightweight ... but I still choked up at the end. We did an outdoor concert (individual wireless mikes) a few months ago, and hope to be able to do a holiday concert for two half-full halls -- all will depend on the ebb and flow of the pandemic over the next three months.

#383 ::: Kip Williams ::: (view all by) ::: September 22, 2021, 12:49 PM:

CHip, glad to hear it. I've been playing duos since March, 2020, with a violist friend from the Irish jam that has been suspended since that month, and we recently added a second weekly session where we're joined by an accordionist friend, and we find arrangements of classics and pops or make up our own. This has done a better job of keeping me sane than my invisible twin Jack ever did.

#384 ::: Kip Williams ::: (view all by) ::: September 22, 2021, 12:52 PM:

I should add that we are very careful. Sessions were masked for a long time, and we distanced and played either outside or in a ventilated garage. Recent events have us masked again. Better safe than sorry.

I bought a melodica some months back, and we keep talking about playing it in sessions, but it's an instrument you blow into, and that sounds like Contagion Central [with appealing hold music].

#385 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: September 22, 2021, 01:02 PM:

And on a less-cheerful note: adding 2 and 2 and getting 17 -- or maybe i. (NYT story -- may be paywalled.) The mistaken drone strike that killed 10 Afghanis started with misidentification of an alleged ISIS safe house, then went through one piece after another of confirmation bias, based on the allegedly good intelligence what ISIS was going to put a big bomb in a white Corolla. (One wonders about both the chain of this intelligence and the number of white Corollas in Kabul.) The theory that the U.S. will be able to strike at terrorist plans in Afghanistan from other countries takes another blow....

#386 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: September 22, 2021, 01:48 PM:

@Kip Williams: glad to hear somebody else has been able to make music. I would think a Melodica would be acceptable if both distanced and outside -- but that depends on personal risk assessment, and on the weather. (My partner tells me Beth Meacham recently posted ~"It's the first day of Fall, and do you know what that means in Arizona? Absolutely nothing -- it's still over 100F (although the sun sets in a different place).") Our "driveway concert" (actually in the parking lot of a suburban complex) was on a day that hit 90F (and humid); the ice cream truck that showed up afterward was most welcome.

#387 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: September 22, 2021, 07:39 PM:

We (actually Karen) arranged for the Ballard Sedentary Sousa Band to play in our driveway (as a sort-of rehearsal) for our 102-year-old neighbor Henri Boudreaux (who served with Patton in WWII) at the start of this month. Everyone enjoyed it. Henri is currently in the process of dying, but we got him a final concert at a point when he was completely able to enjoy it!

#388 ::: Pfusand ::: (view all by) ::: September 23, 2021, 08:54 AM:

Awww. That's really nice.

#389 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: September 24, 2021, 12:12 AM:

Just for the record: Henri died this morning. I will remember him.

#390 ::: Debra Bourne ::: (view all by) ::: September 24, 2021, 05:50 AM:

Tom Whitmore @389: May Henri's memory be a blessing. Really glad you managed to provide him with a final concert.

A year ago my mother (a big classical music buff) was saying she thought she might never get to hear live music again and my sister managed to arrange for a violinist to come and giver her a recital in her front garden. She really appreciated it. Early June this year she managed to go to the first concert the Hallé orchestra in Manchester had held since the start of our first lockdown in spring 2020. Soon after that she was diagnosed with anaemia, went into hospital for a blood transfusion, developed pneumonia and died at the beginning of July. She was 88. We didn't always see eye to eye, but I am so glad she got to actually go to a concert one last time.

#391 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: September 24, 2021, 10:58 AM:

For anything we do, there's always a last time. Sometimes we know it, sometimes we don't -- which is a good reason for appreciating things as we go.

#392 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: September 27, 2021, 04:31 PM:

Very belated thanks for the birthday wishes. Haven't been on here in a while.

#393 ::: Michael I ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2021, 03:04 PM:

Needs a bunch more research but it would be fitting if levels of the NfL protein turn out to be diagnostic for the severity of traumatic brain injury.

possible TBI blood test

#394 ::: Robert Glaub ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2021, 04:29 PM:

Had a disturbing incident at UMD today. I was standing around, wearing my Operation Desert Storm veteran jacket, leaning on my walking stick, when a fat slob wearing a MAGA hat deliberately knocked me over, calling me a libtard socialist bloodsucker. Unfortunately for him, three young women ROTC cadets witnessed the incident, chased him, knocked him to the ground and proceeded to pummel him mercilessly until the police arrived and took him into custody. He loudly protested that he was a Trump supporter so that he was immune from prosecution.

#395 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: September 29, 2021, 06:47 PM:

I'm glad he got arrested. I think he's going to learn that supporting the former guy isn't very effective protection from the consequences of his own actions.

#396 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2021, 12:11 AM:

Robert Glaub @394 -- Urgh. I'm glad they got the guy. Perhaps I'm too poorly informed about U.S. politics, but I'm not seeing why that jacket would mark you as a supposed liberal etc.

P J Evans @394 -- But the guy will come out OK when Delta Don is reinstated on March 4 on August 13th before Thanksgiving for sure. And the guy will then call Trump, who will personally reward him for his loyalty. <*eye roll*>

#397 ::: stefan jones ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2021, 01:40 PM:

#394: Good lord! I hope you're OK.

How the hell did he think supporting Trump made him immune?

#398 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: September 30, 2021, 01:49 PM:

Stefan Jones @397: it's an application of the magical law of contagion: things that are connected remain connected and gain some attributes from heach other.

Trump is immune from prosecution: I support Trump: therefore I am immune from prosecution. It's a fairly simple magical equation.

Now, he'd be very surprised to learn that he's attempting to practice magic, I expect.

#399 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2021, 12:03 PM:

Stefan Jones @397 -- Maybe he thinks that the local police and/or court officials are super-strong Trump supporters, and that they'd make the charges disappear? I've recently seen several YouTube videos of police officers being caught driving while impaired, begging the arresting officer to just make the charges go away, and being told that no, it's on video, that can't happen. Which kind of suggests that in the days before police body cameras, such things probably *did* happen.

I've been gingerly poking at the idea of doing an alternate version of the last bit of Othello, kind of like the "recently discovered folio edition of Hamlet". Othello would claim that as a Moorish citizen, he's not subject to Lodovico's jurisdiction, has an innate right to travel and therefore cannot be held, etc.

#400 ::: Cadbury Moose ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2021, 05:10 PM:

Joel @ #399

It must come as a nasty shock to certain police officers to discover that they are no longer above the law. (Not before time, either.)

#401 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: October 01, 2021, 08:56 PM:

@399: confirmations were extremely rare, but word in past decades was that make-this-go-away (and even "You will make this go away because I'm a judge/superior/...!") were common. Your Othello rehash would be cute; I've been waiting to hear all those ~"sovereign nation" types (who were clogging various courts with bogus lawsuits for some time) explain how they're totally different from the ~"Moorish" movement.

HLN: two nights ago we went out to dinner to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the conclusion of my partner's radiation treatment. I can immediately think of three women I know (including my ~oldest friend in fandom) who lost that battle, and another who had the subsequent hell of "But this TRAM try will work!" -- but sometimes we see medicine advance and are grateful.

#402 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: October 02, 2021, 01:29 PM:

CHip @401: There's considerable doctrinal overlap between the two groups, and they use a lot of the same arguments, but they're not quite the same. And I ran across a video of one sovcit insisting to the arresting officer that he wasn't "one of those sovereign citizens" on the basis that those guys always argued with police officers, whereas he was going to accept the traffic ticket and argue his case in court.

Some of them clearly know that what they're saying is BS, and are trying to be obstructive. Some of them are clearly deluded and believe what they're saying. A few are clearly mentally ill. Herbert Studstill, who described himself as "Moormish" in the *two* recorded incidents in which he got his car windows broken because he refused to cooperate with officers, seems to have some problems. Most people would have figured out after the first such incident that officers *could* in fact make him exit his vehicle.

#403 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: October 02, 2021, 03:30 PM:

Robert 394: Clearly delusional in addition to being a total asshole. At least he got a good pummeling.

I know we can't just pre-emptively attack anyone in a MAGA hat, but when I hear stories like this it's awfully tempting.

#405 ::: Doug ::: (view all by) ::: October 05, 2021, 05:21 AM:

I heard there was a set of words
That the kids memed and confused the olds
But you don't really care for poems, do you?
Well it goes like this: the plums, the box,
The sweet cold taste, and the breakfast lost
The baffling tweets reworking Carlos Williams

-- from Twitter user @joffeorama, back on 29 Nov 2017

#406 ::: Doug ::: (view all by) ::: October 06, 2021, 12:14 PM:

A long-time friend seeks the kind of knowledge that might only be contained in Making Light; namely, peer review for:

c. 250 ms pages, project explores how publishers form a ‘covert magisterium’ that shapes the reading and interpretation of bibles through footnotes and editorializations. Background in theology, book history, hermeneutics, or media history most welcome

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#411 ::: Debra sees spam x 4 ::: (view all by) ::: October 08, 2021, 11:45 AM:

Oh dear. Nothing original at all.

#413 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: October 08, 2021, 08:25 PM:

File 770 on Mary Kay Kare

#414 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2021, 07:03 PM:

Treat yourself.

Take seven minutes and fifty-five seconds.

Relax and watch Abi Sutherland, in fine form, addressing fellow technical writers on "The Best Technical Writing You've Never Seen."*

Abi describes John Muir's 1969 book How to Keep Your Volkswagen Alive: A Manual of Step by Step Procedures for the Compleat Idiot and in the process, we learn several reasons to love it, and also a good deal about the role this greasy volume came to play in Abi's family life.

*Readers who have indeed seen it, and may be tempted to point this out, are encouraged to sit on their hands.

#415 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: October 13, 2021, 07:55 PM:

ISTR my brother had a copy of that. (He owned one or another kind of VW from 1973 up until about 2015.)

#417 ::: Robert Glaub ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2021, 06:19 PM:

I had the honor and privilege of working with Colin Powell. A true gentleman.

#418 ::: Cassy B. ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2021, 07:11 PM:

Anyone hear anything about the hack? Has it been fixed?

#419 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: October 21, 2021, 12:13 PM:

Cassy B. @418: Apparently so (via James Nicoll). Anyone who followed through on the "you need to update Firefox" from it may have been infected with malware.

#420 ::: Michael I ::: (view all by) ::: October 24, 2021, 06:48 PM:

Just thought I'd mention.

New Penric & Desdemona novella is available in various ebook formats. "Knot of Shadows" released on October 21.

#421 ::: Kip Williams ::: (view all by) ::: October 27, 2021, 08:29 PM:

414 Bill Higgins: That's the book my brother-in-law got so he could fix his VW, and he was a Volkswagen mechanic for several years as a result. Now, that's good information presentation!

#422 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: November 05, 2021, 09:56 PM:

Got booster shot today.
Saw two hands of amazing nails while waiting: at least two inches beyond the fingertips, and lacquered in bright pink.

#423 ::: crazysoph ::: (view all by) ::: November 06, 2021, 07:12 AM:

Two inches - whoa. I have trouble with a mere 1/16th of an inch.

Crazy(Just the clicking on my computer keys alone - drives me mad!)Soph

#424 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: November 06, 2021, 11:07 AM:

Yeah - it's pretty much shouting "I don't have to use a keyboard", except she was using her smartphone.

#425 ::: Buddha Buck ::: (view all by) ::: November 22, 2021, 07:24 PM:

Is it just me, or has the styling on Making Light gone awry?

#426 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: November 24, 2021, 05:04 PM:

I'm seeing the same thing: white background, no text styling. And I get an error when I try to post here, regarding "Invalid request: corrupt character data for character set UTF-8".

With Firefox, I was able to fix it: menu View / Repair text encoding. This is allowing me to get to the "Preview" for posting, and also shows the background and text styling.

#427 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: November 24, 2021, 05:07 PM:

But the correct display is *only* for the posting preview page. The same trick applied to the regular page doesn't make a difference.

#428 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: November 25, 2021, 12:56 PM:

I'm seeing the same things.
Needs text encoding set to Unicode for Preview.

#429 ::: Buddha Buck ::: (view all by) ::: November 25, 2021, 05:23 PM:

I see it as trying to grab a stylesheet from

Blogads itself claims to have gone out of business in 2017, so I'm guessing that the feed.css file finally vanished.

The preview page appears to be getting (and 3 font style CSS files from the same source), and that's working.

I will see if replacing the feed.css from with the base-styles from makinglight helps.

#430 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: November 25, 2021, 07:32 PM:

Happy turkey (or whatever you prefer) day to all!

#431 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: December 18, 2021, 11:10 PM:

The 2021 Hugos, via Cally, who live-blogged them at File 770:
Best Fanzine: Nerds of a Feather
Best Fancast: The Coode Street Podcast
Best Fan Artist: Sara Felix
Best Fan Writer: Elsa Sjunneson
Best Editor – Short Form: Ellen Datlow
Best Editor – Long Form: Diana M. Pho
Best Semipro Zine: FIYAH Magazine
Best Graphic Story or Comic: Parable of the Sower
Best Pro Artist: Rovina Cai
Best Dramatic Presentation – Short Form: The Good Place: Whenever You’re Ready
Best Dramatic Presentation – Long Form: The Old Guard
Best Video Game: Hades
Lodestar Best Young Adult Book Award: A Wizard’s Guide to Defensive Baking
Best Related Work: Beowulf: A New Translation
Astounding Award for Best New Writer: Emily Tesh
Best Short Story: Metal Like Blood in the Dark
Best Novelette: Two Truths and a Lie
Best Novella: The Empress of Salt and Fortune
Best Series: The Murderbot Diaries
Best Novel: Network Effect

#432 ::: Allan Beatty ::: (view all by) ::: December 20, 2021, 08:28 AM:

Thanks, P J.

I am so out of it that I don't recognize any of those except Ellen Datlow. Maybe after I retire I'll have more time to read fiction.

#433 ::: Debra Bourne ::: (view all by) ::: December 21, 2021, 01:33 PM:

I just saw the last few posts - I've been trying but failing to post so it's great to see that Joel's fix works and I can get past Preview. I've been missing this community. Stay safe, everyone, and may you have a pleasant time over the festive season and a healthy and happy 2022.

#434 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: December 27, 2021, 03:18 AM:

Was thinking of you all this Solstice, as I do most years, because I made THE PIE again (from I think the Dec 2 2007 post). This time in two gluten free shells to accommodate friends' dietary restrictions, one with real sausage and one with mushroom crumble. The leeks at the grocery this year were HUGE, as were the celery root balls from the csa farm share. Had enough of the veggie filling to make another pie with the leftovers today, this time with a "real" (AP flour & butter) crust.

Tried to post about it on The Day, but had missed Joel's trick of getting to Preview via Firefox's Repair Text Encoding. Trying it now. Seems to be working. Thanks, Joel!

Anyway, miss you all, wishing you good things as the year turns and the light returns.

#435 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: December 28, 2021, 12:01 PM:

Happy New Year!
Hope everyone has enjoyed the season!

#436 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: December 28, 2021, 01:16 PM:

Seeing if this works to wish everyone the best of the season, and hopes for the new year.

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