Lost: Battalion. If found, please open thread.

You know what to do! (Don’t forget: I’m super busy with work – if you get stuck in moderation, I’ll fish you out as soon as ever I can!)

Standard FYI clause: My rule of thumb is that I wait for 2 hours after Ta-Nehisi would usually open a thread (roughly noon, EST), and if none is forthcoming, I put one up here.

224 Comments

  1. I finally got around to writing up reviews of Eagle Rare and Elmer T. Lee single barrel bourbons. Took longer than usual because the Elmer T. Lee presents very different faces at different times, which confused me for a while.

    http://cocktailchem.blogspot.com/2011/03/whiskey-review-single-barrel-bourbons.html

    • Hi Jordan! I have a question for you… I’ve seen your comments and blog posts about tiki drinks. I have a great tiki bar in my neighborhood and they serve a special cocktail of the week every Wednesday. When I go there, I tend to only drink one cocktail and then switch to water, because while I enjoy the taste, I don’t like the feeling of being tipsy or hung over. Anyway, last night’s drink was called the Rum Runner, and it absolutely clobbered me. I woke up this morning with a wicked headache. What the heck is in that thing? (I guess it’s hard to know, as I found a zillion variations online.) Is it possible that combining certain types of liqueurs can make them more potent than they are individually?

      • So the recipe from Beachbum Berry is:

        1 1/2 oz lime juice
        7/8 oz blackberry brandy
        7/8 creme de banana
        5/8 oz grenadine
        3/4 oz 151 rum

        Which, when you add everything up turns into a pretty potent drink. Not Zombie level potent, but pretty close to two drinks in one. Which isn’t entirely uncommon for tiki drinks, but might be more than what they’re usually serving.

        • Their drinks are frequently pretty strong. They’re rated on the menu on a scale of one to four. But this one must have been a five!

          • selenesmom

             /  March 22, 2012

            Don’t forget to hydrate, hydrate and hydrate, trow125!

    • aaron singer

       /  March 22, 2012

      As a fan of bourbon but not scotch, I appreciate the bourbon review.😉

      • I should have reviews of Weller Antique 107 and 12 Year up one of these days, but after that it might be a little while. The only other bourbon left un-reviewed from my stash is William Larue Weller 2010 and that one is probably going to wait for a special occasion before I crack it open.

        • aaron singer

           /  March 22, 2012

          My mom and sister gave me a bottle of Jefferson’s Reserve a few months ago, and I’m about 2/3 done with it. Very nice, drinkable bourbon.

          On a completely different note, my mom just got back from a wedding in Cabo San Lucas, and came back with something called ‘tequipal’, a tequila-based licor de cafe. Very smooth and yummy. I think it would go very well with my favorite creme liqeur, Amarula. Sounds like a trip to Binny’s is in store…

          • selenesmom

             /  March 22, 2012

            If you like it, then you may wish to keep in mind that you should be able to order a “Brave Bull” in most good bars with a retro orientation and get a Kahlua and tequila. The proportions can be debated, depending on the effect that you want. I like it about half and half, but I think it’s really supposed to be two Kahlua one tequila. If you’re trying this at home, it makes some difference if you use good tequila but you can cut a corner on the coffee liqueur. (I would think that, since I just said I drink it half and half. YMMV and also IANAL)

    • Dex

       /  March 22, 2012

      The basic version of Eagle Rare is one of my go-too reasonably-priced bourbons. Discovered it one night at one of the many whisk(e)y/bourbon bars here in the city.

  2. I have gradually realized that after what Steven Moffat did with River Song, I don’t want to watch any more Doctor Who as long as he’s the showrunner.

    • It’s ok. The thing about River Song is if you love her, you’ll love what Moffat is about. Because his storyline for her character sums up the fairytale aspect of his take on Dr Who.

      • Seriously? I always thought River was cool . . . although now she’s slightly less cool. And I prefer the old-fashioned fairy tales, with happy endings.

        • Darth Thulhu

           /  March 22, 2012

          As one who appreciates really old-fashioned fairy tales as nightmarish cautionary tales, where the happiest possible ending is “the children immolated the witch inside the oven she had planned to use to cook them and then fled home” … I will admit to liking the doomed beauty in Moffat’s vision.

          That said, mine is obviously not a universally-common taste.

  3. Things I didn’t need today:

    1) Drama.

    That’s it, asshole-who-shall-remain-unnamed, that’s all I didn’t need.

    Sigh.

    • caoil

       /  March 22, 2012

      If there was such a product as a Drama Remover – like a stain remover for laundry, only different – I would send you some.

    • Dex

       /  March 22, 2012

      I hate drama llamas. I feel like I have a whole herd of them following me around of late. Be careful. They spit.

  4. caoil

     /  March 22, 2012

    So, Sunday is Tolkien Reading Day/Destruction of the Ring Day. Anyone want to come over to my house and watch the movies avec moi? Breakfast (pastries), lunch (probably sandwiches), and dinner (veggie stew!) provided. Plus treats. No costumes necessary.

    • So much me.

      SO MUCH ME!

      • caoil

         /  March 22, 2012

        You just have to promise not to laugh at me for needing a lot of tissues.

    • Yeah, me, too, but unfortunately the normal duties of my life beckon.

      But – sounds like fun. I think I would pass out after the ninth hour, though.

      • caoil

         /  March 22, 2012

        Life? Don’t talk to me about life.

        Oops. Wrong book.

        I was really hoping it would be a typical March day in Vancouver, overcast, showers, barely grazing 8 degrees Celsius, the whole deal. Of course, just because I want to stay in and watch 12 hours of movies on the telly, it’s going to be completely clear, sunny, and in the teens.

        • WE’RE GETTING SUNNY WEATHER?

          Woot! I can mow the lawn, clean up the fallen branches, re-attach the fallen wisteria, clip the dogwood and maples, pull weeds, get out the flowerpots, track down all the blown-away tarps…

          Wait. Watching LOTR sounds way more productive.

          • caoil

             /  March 22, 2012

            I don’t know about you folks further south, but I’m getting “a mix of sun and cloud, high 8, low 3”. Which is going to make it difficult to get my partner to stay inside when all she’ll want to do is a day of yard work.

            • caoil

               /  March 22, 2012

              That should have said high of 12, not 8. Oh, me.

              • Ian

                 /  March 22, 2012

                -20F this morning. It will not end.

                • caoil

                   /  March 22, 2012

                  I AM SHIVERING ON YOUR BEHALF. Gah! My comfort range is between 2-23 degrees C. Anything outside of that and I start to get cranky.

    • That reminds me of the readings done by Tolkien himself. Here’s a clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4s59oDfDoI8

    • I suspect you may live too far away for me. But have a great time!

    • chingona

       /  March 22, 2012

      But will there be second breakfast?

      • caoil

         /  March 22, 2012

        Yes! Apples. And probably cookies.

        Another friend who is coming to watch asked if she could bring anything, and I jokingly told her “Lembas!”

        But since neither of us have a krumkakke iron, which is what some of the recipes call for, I think she might bring cupcakes.

      • watson42

         /  March 22, 2012

        And seedy cake?

    • I did this with friends on Superbowl Sunday. Highly recommended. Particularly with Hobbity-drinks (warning: consumption of such drinks may or may not increase references the Very Secret Diaries among certain populations*)

      *me…

  5. dmf

     /  March 22, 2012

  6. I just wanted to say I’ve had three very productive, pleasant days. It has been a long time since I’ve had a three-in-a-row experience.

    When does the other shoe drop?

    • caoil

       /  March 22, 2012

      *puts fingers in ears* there’s no other shoe! La la la la la la la!

      March seems to have done its come-in-like-a-lion thing, not only in terms of weather but also with a lot of bad things happening to people, so if it wants to go out like a lamb and things are a bit more calm, I’m good with that.

  7. doginajacket

     /  March 22, 2012

    So, a few weeks ago I asked the horde to help me through my dog’s illness. The meds I talked about at the time helped a lot for a while, but this week she began to get much worse again, so we made the heart breaking decision that it was time to say goodbye. If we had held on for even a few more days I think she would have completely lost the ability to walk.

    Yesterday we spent the afternoon with her, visiting her favorite places and giving her all her favorite foods. (She had pizza for dinner, her own slice all to herself.) Then in the evening the vet came to our home.

    I just want to thank you all for your support. I’ve especially been hanging on to Ian’s words about not waiting too long. I think we timed it right. She was still able to enjoy herself and know who we were and that we loved her, but she has been spared any further pain.

    • I am sorry for your loss.

    • caoil

       /  March 22, 2012

      Many, many hugs for you today.

    • Oh my friend. Many hugs to you and yours. I honestly believe that this is the last act of love that we can give our animals – to allow them to go, to love them enough to know that they need to go and help them to do so.

      I’m so glad that you had a beautiful last day together, and so glad that the vet could come to her house. You did a good, brave, loving thing. My condolences for your loss.

    • MightBeLying

       /  March 22, 2012

      So sorry for your loss. Your last day together sounds wonderful (from her perspective) – a whole slice!

    • My condolences.

    • Ian

       /  March 22, 2012

      I’m sorry, but know that you did well for your friend. It’s great that she was still eating and could enjoy that.

    • SWNC

       /  March 22, 2012

      I am so sorry for you. Dogs and cats truly are part of our families. You did the loving thing.

    • JHarper2

       /  March 22, 2012

      I am sorry for the empty place in your heart and in your home.
      Holding you tight in my thoughts.

    • Sad! Now I want to run home and hug my cats.

    • koolaide

       /  March 22, 2012

      I”m so sorry. I am glad you have the comfort (however small) of knowing you didn’t wait too long and that you were able to spend that last time together.

    • selenesmom

       /  March 22, 2012

      Sweet doggie. Sounds like your life is richer for having known her, and hers for having known you.

    • taylor16

       /  March 22, 2012

      Oh, I am so sorry for your loss. I’m so glad you gave her a wonderful last day together. Be kind to yourself while you grieve.

    • scone

       /  March 22, 2012

      You did the right thing. I’m sorry for your loss.

    • R_Bargis

       /  March 22, 2012

      Condolences and hugs. Your dog had a wonderful friend.

    • helensprogeny

       /  March 22, 2012

      I’m so very sorry for your loss.

    • Darth Thulhu

       /  March 22, 2012

      Hugs. Sorry for the difficulty of doing the loving thing. Kudos to you for giving them a good departure.

    • wearyvoter

       /  March 22, 2012

      So sorry.

  8. Justin

     /  March 22, 2012

    So, my friend wants me to design his website and logo despite having no real experience of the sort.

    But I’m unemployed anyway, why not take up a challenge.

    also, anyone know of a guide for using GIMP for the mentally deficient? That would be really helpful

    • Captain Button

       /  March 22, 2012

      I can’t get to it right now, but years ago I posted some links to GIMP tutorials I’d seen but not used. You might be able to get to them via this godawful google search link.

      But I could never understand GIMP and stuck with Inkscape.

      • Justin

         /  March 22, 2012

        Yeah, I’ve looked into Inkscape as well. My general problem though has been reading these guides and having no idea what any of the terms mean.

        I spent a really long time trying to figure out what they meant by “vector” for example.

  9. R_Bargis

     /  March 22, 2012

    The spouse and I are sure we don’t want babies any time soon (if ever), so while I still have insurance we decided to get an IUD, and because we don’t know what our health insurance situation is going to be like for the next ten to twelve years we decide to go with the Paragard. The OB/Gyn office manages to completely screw things up and I need to get this done before I lose my health insurance on April 1, so I spent a lot of yesterday on the phone.

    Everything finally gets worked out, and I get my price quote: $1200 for the IUD, $250 for the insertion, and of that total I will have to pay $972.12. Ouch! So much for that vacation/food that isn’t ramen/ever filling my car with gasoline again/turning the AC on. I’m trying to tell myself it’s cheaper than a baby but it’s still rough.

    • chingona

       /  March 22, 2012

      Woah! That’s with insurance? I paid out of pocket for my Paraguard in 2006, and it was $600. I wonder what’s with the inflation.

      • R_Bargis

         /  March 22, 2012

        I’m on my parents’ insurance, which will cover hormonal birth control but not any part of an IUD. My parents have a $2400 deductible and the $972.12 is how much there is left before it’s met. Since I’m married my parents have generously kept me on their insurance but asked me to make my own copays, which seems fair, so this cost is on me and the spouse. Maybe I should have just waited till I was uninsured and gone with Planned Parenthood (PP does not accept their insurance). Except then I’d have to start everything over again!

        I was stunned that it was so expensive, to the point that I could not help but say a few minced oaths after I recovered my breath. The most I’d heard from friends with insurance was $800. As usual, something is fishy in medical billing town.

        • chingona

           /  March 22, 2012

          I got a Mirena (on accident – I was supposed to get another Paragard, but was the victim of a medical error) in 2010, and it was $900, of which I paid $90. I don’t know what the typical price difference is between them, but it seems like the Paragard should be cheaper because it doesn’t have the hormones. It does seem fishy. If taylor16 is reading, maybe she’ll have a suggestion for investigating further. I have had situations where insurance didn’t pay out properly or I was overbilled. Some of it depends on how much energy you have to pursue, but it is a lot of money.

          • R_Bargis

             /  March 22, 2012

            “I got a [expensive medical device] on accident”

            Words that chill the soul.

            • chingona

               /  March 22, 2012

              Tell me about it! I mean, as far as medical errors go, it could be a lot worse. It’s not like they amputated the wrong leg or anything. But I’m still a little cranky about it, in particular because the Mirena, with the hormones, carries a different set of side effects and my body seems to be fairly sensitive to it. The side effects aren’t awful, but because they aren’t the ones I’d signed up for – and because I had a great experience with the Paragard – I feel more annoyed when I experience them.

              Here’s how it happened. I had told them I already knew I wanted the Paragard when I called to make the appointment, so we didn’t have a consult about the type of IUD before she put it in. She does the insertion, she leaves me to get dressed and points out the product information pamphlet on the counter for me to take with me when I leave. It’s the Mirena insert information. To her credit, she was mortified and extremely apologetic and offered to take it right out and put in a Paragard and also said they would document the mistake and discuss it at their staff meeting to make sure it didn’t happen again. The insertion is uncomfortable enough I didn’t really want to get back in the stirrups and do it again, but in retrospect, i think I should have taken her up on it.

              • R_Bargis

                 /  March 23, 2012

                I’m glad it more or less worked out but that’s still kind of terrifying. Thank you for sharing. More data-points are good.

    • chingona

       /  March 22, 2012

      Though, as someone with two of them, it’s still cheaper than kids. I know that doesn’t help the financial pain right now (I put mine on my credit card), but I think you’ll be happy with this decision in the long run. Sucks, though, that you couldn’t get better coverage.

    • Man, that’s just ridiculous. I think that’s actually more expensive that getting snipped (for a guy), which is peculiar given that it’s a non-surgical operation. Also, gotta wonder why insurance isn’t going to cover more when you compare it to the cost of birth control for 5-10 years.

      • chingona

         /  March 22, 2012

        I think it’s because they don’t think they’ll reap the benefit. You’ll probably change insurance companies and walk away with the benefit of their one-time payout.

      • R_Bargis

         /  March 22, 2012

        People switch insurance providers frequently, often because it’s tied to employment. While it’s cheaper for ME in the long term to get an IUD and not have babies it won’t save my for-profit insurance company any money. I’ll lose my insurance coverage in a month and they’ll be out $450 for something that will benefit ME for the next decade or more.

        So long as insurance companies can keep on passing the buck they have no reason to pay for preventative care – it’ll probably end up being someone else’s problem. And people are most expensive when they’re old, and by then the government pays for a lot of their health care.

        • Still seems weird to me. When I got snipped a few years ago, I ended up paying less than $300 out of pocket from a $1000+ procedure (they paid 80% after the first $200). They definitely won’t be getting the full benefit of that (for a number of reasons), but the coverage was fantastic. But it’s entirely possible that I just got a really good deal because my employer was a university/hospital, so a lot of the money effectively stays in house.

          • chingona

             /  March 22, 2012

            I think it varies a lot between insurance companies and depends on what your employer negotiates. Your employer is probably self-insured, and even if they’re not, with all the tenured faculty, there probably is an assumption that people will be with the institution for a long time.

            My insurance – which was not from a big institutional employer like that – paid 90 percent this time around. My insurance when I got the first one didn’t cover any kind of contraception at all because it was my husband’s student insurance from grad school, and the legislators of the great state of AZ think they shouldn’t pay for college students to have sex. Of course, we were married and that same insurance paid for my baby.

            • As always, sense, schmense.

            • taylor16

               /  March 22, 2012

              You are completely correct. What a patient pays out of pocket for any given thing is completely up to the individual policy they have. Which – well, you can try to make some sense out of it (large employer v. small company, university v. other type of employer, etc), but it’ll probably be futile. It makes no sense.

              Just make sure to read your insurance brochures closely so there are no surprises. No one ever wants to find out unexpectedly that they have a $10,000 deductible.

        • I have been through four job since 2007. With the exception of the preschool which was part-time and uninsured, I have always found myself on the same basic BCBS plan. it’s weird.

    • SWNC

       /  March 22, 2012

      Da-yum! That’s…not good insurance coverage. My sympathies. (And I wish every smarmy “Oh, birth control costs $9 a month at Wal-Mart” type could know about your experience.)

      I hope the Paragard works out for you. I’ve had mine for 3 years, and it’s the best thing since sliced bread, as far as I’m concerned.

      • R_Bargis

         /  March 22, 2012

        I think every smarmy “oh birth control costs $9 at Wal-Mart” type would say “why did you go with the most expensive thing out there when you could get the stuff that costs $9 a month at Wal-Mart?” It’s a beggars can’t be choosers kind of thing – shut up and take the cheap pills, and if you don’t like the side effects then just don’t have sex already, you sl*t.

        • chingona

           /  March 22, 2012

          Is this a done deal? Cause if it’s not in already, i would seriously consider going to PP. You’re not going to pay more. You might pay less. It shouldn’t be a big, complicated thing. You should be able to just make an appointment and go in.

          • R_Bargis

             /  March 22, 2012

            I had a thoroughly unimpressive experience with my understaffed and underfunded local branch and I kind of just want to get it over with on Tuesday at the private OB/Gyn office.

            • chingona

               /  March 22, 2012

              Fair enough.

              I hope it goes smoothly. I didn’t find it to be as bad as it had been made out to be. Hope you have a similar experience.

        • SWNC

           /  March 22, 2012

          You may be right. I also honestly think that a lot of people (mostly male people) have no freaking idea that there are multiple kinds of female birth control and that different women will have different reactions to the various kinds. Honestly, I wish I could sit all elected legislative bodies down for an informative health class: “This is how the birth control pill works, here are common side effects and health risks. This is how the Nuva-Ring works, here are common side effects and health risks. This is how an IUD works, here are common….” Or force them to read Our Bodies, Ourselves.

          (And ponies! Ponies for all of us while I’m dreaming!)

          • chingona

             /  March 22, 2012

            The first formulation of the pill that I took — and I’m guessing it was a cheap one because I got it for free at PP — made me bleed like a stuck pig for 10 days out of the month and left me seriously anemic. It took three tries to get a good one.

          • SWNC

             /  March 22, 2012

            And to be fair, I don’t know anything about prostate health. It’s an area about which I am totally ignorant. But I’m also not running around telling other people what they should do with their prostates.

            • aaron singer

               /  March 22, 2012

              Sadly, I know little of either female birth control or prostate health.

              • SWNC

                 /  March 22, 2012

                Can’t help you with the prostate part, but, seriously, if you want to learn more about female birth control, read Our Bodies, Ourselves. Very good info there,

        • mythopoeia

           /  March 22, 2012

          D’oh! I’m sorry your insurance is being a pain in the neck about this.

          I’ve been taking the equivalent of the $9 at Wal-Mart pills for 4 years now, and in that time I’ve already tried…5?…different generics, because I switched insurance, or because the insurance company changed which pharmacy took their prescription plan, and so on. Fun fact: the latest “brand” of generic I’ve tried took away the mood issues that had cropped up with previous generics. At least it worked in my favor this time… but yeah, all generics are not created equal either.

          • snailspace

             /  March 22, 2012

            All of the above were pretty much points that I emailed Sullivan about last week – he’d posted an analysis that once birth control was completely covered, its cost would go up because women would just go ahead and get the new designer pills without regard for cost. I pointed out that birth control choice is not a matter of newness and shininess (there’s no external logo or branding) – it’s about what *works*, which varies from woman to woman. And that most women I knew chose based on a) what works best for them, b) what their insurance covers, or c) the most workable intersection of a) and b).

            I also pointed out that if women had access to the best medicine for them, whether through best formulation or ease/sureness of use, that even if the per-time cost was higher than the cheapest generic, it would save money for the insurance company because it would have the fewest side effects and fewest unintended pregnancies.

            I believe my summing-up line was something like “Birth control is not shoes.”

    • taylor16

       /  March 22, 2012

      Hey! I’m here.

      You’re right that the most you should pay is the $972.14, if that’s what’s left on your deductible. However, it is possible that for your particular insurance company, their “allowable amount” for the procedures that they’ll bill might be lower than that. If that’s the case, your out of pocket will be less than that.

      If you want to more closely estimate it, you can ask your doctor for the specific procedure codes they will bill to your insurance, and then call the insurance company and ask them what they “allow” for each of the procedure codes. (Or if you’re with one of the major companies, I might be able to ballpark estimate those fees for you). It’s possible that it might be lower than $972. It really doesn’t matter what they bill to your insurance – what matters is what the insurance company will “allow” for the charges.

      However, it’s good if you know that the MOST you can be charged is $972. Then you’ll clearly be able to tell if there’s a problem.

      And yes. This crap is too expensive. I just got switched to a new birth control pill, which should change my out of pocket from $1000/year to about $400. Fingers crossed that the new pill agrees with my system…

      As always, if anything looks funny on your bills, let me know. We can hash it out over email.

      • R_Bargis

         /  March 22, 2012

        This is good to know. I will make sure to double-check on the allowable amount for procedures.

        I have Cigna. I’m deeply comforted to know that Cigna spent $4.4 million dollars between 2005 and 2009 on lobbying for legislation they favored. /sarcasm

        • taylor16

           /  March 22, 2012

          Oh, Cigna. Yeah. Anytime you’re with a for-profit insurance, you know you’re in for some trouble. I will say that I’ve had comparably fewer problems with Cigna in my work over the years than some of the other for-profits – United Healthcare, Aetna, the for-profit Blues. So hopefully even if they screw things up, you’ll be able to get it resolved fairly easily.

          • R_Bargis

             /  March 22, 2012

            My parents went from being with Kaiser Permanente for over a decade to Cigna. They were not happy, to say the least. But here’s hoping…

    • My IUD wasn’t covered at all. I had to pay $1000 out of pocket. I promise you, it will be the best $1000 you ever spend.

  10. chingona

     /  March 22, 2012

    I was in the bookstore today to get a gift for a kid, and I wandered over to the Jewish books section to see if they had the New American Haggadah. I only had a chance to leaf through it and haven’t really read any of it, but aesthetically, it is an absolutely gorgeous book. The typeface, the design, the layout, the artwork, the calligraphy are all just beautiful and every page is a surprise and they clearly put so much thought into it. I don’t have a good vocabulary for describing art, but on many of the pages, the Hebrew letters have been turned into art that has an almost 3D effect, and it’s almost alive on the page. I had read a number of positive reviews of the Haggadah that mentioned in an offhand way that it was nicely laid out, but I didn’t realize just how damn cool this book is (if you’re into that sort of thing). I wanted to buy an entire set to pass down through the generations, but I don’t have quite that much money right now, so I settled for one to savor, with the idea that I’ll buy more if it comes out in paperback.

    • carlos the dwarf

       /  March 22, 2012

      I’m actually not crazy about the artwork in it. And my father hates the constant need to reorient the book, and some of the non-traditional translations. But I love the interwoven timeline of Passover history, and I love the funny and thought-provoking reflections interspersed throughout the book. My family is hosting Passover this year for the first time in many, many years, so it falls to me to design a service. I’m going Haggadah shopping at my mom’s warehouse tomorrow. I’ll let you all know what I end up choosing.

      PS: Does anyone younger than me want to come to my seder? I’m really tired of having to be the one reciting the four questions every single year. I figured that SOMEONE in my family would have popped out a kid by the time I hit 24, but NOOOOOOO. I still have to be the baby in the family.

      • aaron singer

         /  March 22, 2012

        Thankfully I have younger cousins, we tend to have a pretty large extended family seder.

        That Haggadah sounds like a nice birthday gift for my mom, who is a former sunday-school teacher; her birthday is in the middle of April and often falls during Pesach* (as does mine).

        *That isn’t as bad it sounds: Flourless chocolate cake!

        • Captain Button

           /  March 22, 2012

          Don’t forget matzo and eggs!

          (With proper maple syrup.)

          • aaron singer

             /  March 22, 2012

            Matzo brei is good eatin’, but I wouldn’t stick a candle in it for a birthday.😉

      • Bookwoman

         /  March 22, 2012

        “I’m going Haggadah shopping at my mom’s warehouse tomorrow.”

        This sentence intrigues me. Please explain!

        • carlos the dwarf

           /  March 22, 2012

          My mom runs an independent book distributorship that specializes in childrens books and judaica, so she has a big warehouse full of books, and a whole room in that warehouse that’s overflowing with Jewish books, including haggadahs.

          • Bookwoman

             /  March 22, 2012

            I have never met your mother, but I like her enormously.

          • chingona

             /  March 22, 2012

            That would be a really cool place to wander around.

      • R_Bargis

         /  March 22, 2012

        Family holidays where there’s no one young enough to have child-like wonder are pretty sad. In my family it felt like no one really wanted to put in the effort for Christmas/Easter until there were babies to be excited about everything again.

        If I were younger than you I’d totally come – I love free Jewish food and reclining on pillows!

        • mythopoeia

           /  March 22, 2012

          Until three years ago the youngest person in our extended family was my teenage brother. Now there are three kids under three and a fourth on the way, and this generation isn’t done having babies yet. Holidays are going to change for sure.

      • Sisterbundel’s still the youngest in our family. She’s pushing 30.

        • carlos the dwarf

           /  March 22, 2012

          Yeah, that’ll probably happen to me. One cousin is perpetually single, and the other can’t seem to get to be in the same time zone with her boyfriend for any extended period of time.

      • Torrilin

         /  March 22, 2012

        I’m hoping my nephew is old enough for the questions this year… Not coz I’m the youngest, but because he’s almost 3, and it would be adorable.

  11. baiskeli

     /  March 22, 2012

    Do you need a smile today? Well, here you go

    Deaf Student ‘Speechless’ After Obama Responds To Him In Sign Language
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/21/deaf-student-obama-sign-language_n_1369118.html?ref=mostpopular

  12. Ian

     /  March 22, 2012

    If you think you’ve ever had a bad vacation, you should read this:

    http://newsminer.com/view/full_story/17965892/article-Mushing-Mess–Rescue-in-White-Mountains-raises-questions-about-%E2%80%9Cguided%E2%80%9D-mushing-trip?instance=home_news_window_left_top_4

    Long and poorly written, but just an insane confluence of incompetence, apathy, and naivete.

    • FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF

      that is insane. Also, I got a kick out of the almost-definitely-mail-order bride.

  13. DC Horde: There is a rally for Trayvon Martin planned for Saturday afternoon, 2-4pm, at 14th St & Pennsylvania Ave.

    I want to be there but I was just informed a couple hours ago that I am babysitting Saturday. Informed, not asked. Grrr.

  14. Captain Button

     /  March 22, 2012

    Horde Battalion attitude check!

    • David L

       /  March 22, 2012

      Southeastward and generally vertical. Or is that not the type of ‘attitude’ you meant.

    • SWNC

       /  March 22, 2012

      Bored and disgruntled at being inside on a gorgeous spring day. Counting down the minutes til I can go pick up the sprout from day care.

    • Nauseous at my desk, wishing I could lay my head down SIR.

    • Absolutely exhausted (still not sleeping), peeved at my brother for dumping nephews on me without asking and in substantial pain/discomfort from a cortisone shot. Not camping happily.

    • watson42

       /  March 22, 2012

      Depressed and frustrated and in need of a good laugh. Also a cold drink.

    • MightBeLying

       /  March 22, 2012

      Anxious. Predominantly avoidant/distracted type punctuated by occasional nausea.

    • Ian

       /  March 22, 2012

      Pushing unsettling thoughts about my life and its likely trajectory far into the back of my mind.

      • Dex

         /  March 22, 2012

        Own the trajectory. Bend the trajectory. Hope everything’s ok.

        • Ian

           /  March 22, 2012

          It’s okay. Normal end-of-winter misgivings. Am I going to put myself through that crap again next year? Of course. But why? How many more years? And what else could I do? Thanks for asking.

          • Dex

             /  March 22, 2012

            I suspected it might be the interminable winter, but didn’t want to assume.

            Location issues are huge. My wife and I are lucky in that we both love where we live. I had a long talk with a friend back home, whose marriage almost dissolved when they packed up the family and moved ~2,500 miles away from Toronto to San Diego. In their case, it was isolation from family and not weather or quality of life issues that caused the problems. They ultimately moved back home just to save the marriage, and things have been much better since. My buddy’s getting head-hunted to posh jobs around the world and he’s getting antsy, though. The give and take in dual career and family situations is a tough thing to negotiate.

            • Ian

               /  March 22, 2012

              Yeah. I worry about finding a job anywhere else. I’m 41, and my resume is bewildering even to me. My wife has better prospects but less interest in moving. And there’s the dog team. There are just so many barriers to moving, but I don’t love this place.

              • Dex

                 /  March 22, 2012

                You’ll find a way, I have no fear. I’m not sure what it says about me– I like to think it’s that I know a lot of interesting people– but many of my friends and acquaintances have made very drastic changes in their careers over the years, some of them older than you, and every single one that I can think of has thrived tremendously.

      • taylor16

         /  March 22, 2012

        Hey, story of my life!! Unsettling thoughts solidarity fist-bump to you!

        • Ian

           /  March 22, 2012

          Rueful and hesitant fist bump!

          • What ya’ll said.

          • taylor16

             /  March 22, 2012

            Now you have me worrying about what our solidary meeeeans….

            • Ian

               /  March 22, 2012

              Try not to worry about it too much.

              Different subject: Tonight is the night that my bracket claws its way out of the cellar. Mark my words.

    • Somewhat indecisive and unproductive. Hopefully this will be remedied soon.

    • Bookwoman

       /  March 22, 2012

      Tired and sore because I’ve been doing a lot of weeding and pruning. But happy because both my kids will be home this weekend.

    • R_Bargis

       /  March 22, 2012

      Kind of worn down from a week of having too much to do in too little time, but looking forward to my afternoon bus nap and a nice bike ride to and from my evening job so I can look at the pretty trees.

    • mythopoeia

       /  March 22, 2012

      Caffeinated; cheerful because it’s 70 and sunny and I am caffeinated as aforementioned. Somewhere at the back of my mind, disgruntled at the number of chores there are to be done at home.

    • Dex

       /  March 22, 2012

      Apologies in advance for being a motherfucker of a wet blanket, but:

      I am being lobbied by colleagues to pursue a grievance against my employer for wrongful termination. You know it’s bad when you tell people the story and they’re the ones who start crying and swearing. Don’t worry about me; I’ve got 18 months left on my contract and we have tons of money saved up. (My dean, who has a personal gripe with me, decided to over-rule a 4-1 vote by faculty in terms of my progress toward tenure. She was fired last year, was granted an additional year as lame duck has accepted a job elsewhere, and is blowing shit up on the way out the door; I just happen to be an easy target.)

      I’m kinda pissed off about the whole thing, but I comfort myself with the fact that I get to wake up every day and have my life, rather than waking up as a lying, vindictive unethical, immoral sack of shit.

      As this is the fourth-most pressing issue in my life right now, I don’t think I have the energy to fight it, although I would almost certainly win at the university and in a court of law. If I fought it at all, it would just be to offer some future protection to the colleagues that I’m leaving behind. Sometimes life is too short. I’m eminently and imminently employable. I’d rather be able to enjoy going to work, especially now that we’re bringing an anchor baby into the world.

      • Sorry man. I won’t josh around. It sucks – but on the good side of things, you know that it’s just a job and your soon-to-be-former-dean is just a prick. (Can I say “prick” on Emily’s blog?)

        That’s a real good thing – your attitude about life.

        And – thanks that you’re comfortable sharing this. There’s good things about life, and bad, and it helps to have a place to share with people what’s going on.

        • Dex

           /  March 22, 2012

          Thanks. Yeah, honestly, I consider a lot of you guys to be my friends and look forward to chatting with y’all just as much as I do many of my friends and family. I mean, I haven’t met most of you personally, but I feel like I know some of you well enough that I have little doubt that we’d get along famously in meatspace.

      • Ian

         /  March 22, 2012

        That’s terrible, but you have the right attitude. I understand your colleagues’ desire for you to win a public fight against this person, but who wants to waste months of life fighting with some asshole dean?

      • taylor16

         /  March 22, 2012

        Oh man, that sucks. The department doesn’t know what they’re missing.

        And yeah … I don’t blame you for not wanting to fight a vindictive academic dean. You know how I feel about those sorts of people.

        Anyway, you’ll be better off in the long run, I’m sure of it.

      • koolaide

         /  March 22, 2012

        That’s horrid. You are a better person than I will ever be to have the attitude you do. Good luck to you.

      • selenesmom

         /  March 22, 2012

        The only advice I have that might be of any use is to keep your own agenda very clear in your own mind, and stick to it. Almost certainly, this will mean doing what is best for you and your famil — but perhaps not for every single one of your colleagues, however much you may care about or respect them.

      • My sense is that you’re in a field that has employment options outside of academia. I’m not sure if the following rules apply if that’s true, but if you’re in a field where you work in academia or you don’t work — a philosopher or a historian or a linguist or sumsuch, then…

        When I was in a somewhat similar situation, I consulted with my employment law sister and the advice I got was basically don’t do it, not if you ever want to work again. You get a rep as a trouble maker and no one else will touch you. So you either have to have a case that’s so egregious that you can get enough money out of it to never have to work in the field again/retrain to do something else, or you eat it.

        • Dex

           /  March 22, 2012

          Yeah, that’s pretty much it. This is also why workplace discrimination suits almost never go forward. I’ve filed complaints several times on behalf of female colleagues and employees, and not a one has ever decided to pursue it.

          This case is actually pretty egregious, both from an action and a procedural standpoint. The lack of procedure followed alone would be enough to overturn the decision, but the actions and damages would almost certainly be actionable in court based on what I’ve been able to gather. I don’t need the money and litigation just isn’t in my personality.

          Honestly, I’ve been kind of overwhelmed at how much my colleagues are losing their shit over this. Even people who don’t particularly care for me have been taking action, which is kinda weird. There are people who have been in the school longer than I’ve been alive and they’ve never seen this happen before and in this way. I actually met with the Chancellor (i.e., president of the university) over it and he’s effectively told me that he would offer remedy even if all other appeals failed (he’s new to the school and I’ve got a good rapport with him).

          At this point, I will most likely offer to the school that I will resign my position rather than be terminated, but will take care to point out that they dodged a bullet with their handling of the situation.

          • helensprogeny

             /  March 22, 2012

            I have nothing to offer you but a shake of the head and a click of the SYMPATHY button. This kind of fucked up shit is one of the many reasons I left academia. So very sorry you’re having to experience this, and my sincere hopes that whatever comes next for you will be so sweet as to wipe all the present bitterness away.

            Also too, yeah – it does sound like you’re doing the right thing, for all the reasons Nora cited.

          • JHarper2

             /  March 22, 2012

            Oh Dex, how terrible. I once walked away from Toxic Boss, and a job I had loved before Toxic Boss became my Direct Supervisor.
            The load that left my back left me walking inches taller.
            Still would have loved to keep that job, but…

            If you can nail down a settlement and even more importantly a slew of good references and be on your way to a new situation, then that may be as good as can be hoped for.

          • If you change your mind, I can give you the name of a plaintiff’s employment law attorney who’s made her career winning settlements against universities and think tanks and those kinds of places. They aren’t like “normal” employers and it takes a specialist.

      • SWNC

         /  March 23, 2012

        I’m sorry you’re going through this. Dealing with asshole bosses is always stressful, and you’ve got rather a lot going on in your life, which can’t make it easy. But I agree with the others that your attitude seems like the healthiest. You could win this fight, but at what cost to your peace of mind?

    • GAH. So annoyed.

      For so many reasons.

      (But thank you for asking!)

    • dave in texas

       /  March 22, 2012

      Still just absolutely hammered with ginormous piles of work to do. Don’t these people know the legislature’s not in session?

      • R_Bargis

         /  March 22, 2012

        Oh, that kind of hammered.😦

        • David L

           /  March 22, 2012

          The Texas Legislature often has the effect of making people want to be the type of hammered you’re thinking of.

    • taylor16

       /  March 22, 2012

      So freaking busy at work, with more work coming down the pipeline.

      Which sucks, because I would really like to leave this job very soon. But with my boss offering me a sizable raise if I agree to stay on for another 6 months to a year, I’m sort of afraid I’ll be here forever.

      So that’s me today. Busy and anxious. But looking forward to relaxing this weekend.

    • caoil

       /  March 22, 2012

      Multilayered:
      Grumpy due to coworker’s absence from work today (she’s ill, but it still leaves me holding the bag, or more correctly, holding the help desk phone).
      Hopeful that tomorrow’s opening night viewing of “The Hunger Games” is good.
      Excited about sitting with a troupe of ladynerds on Sunday to watch LOTR. Where troupe = 4, because that’s about all that will fit in my tiny living room.

    • helensprogeny

       /  March 22, 2012

      After a horrible and long and ugly day yesterday, I actually got unexpectedly sprung from work at 2pm, which is why I’m now reclining on my couch, reading the OTAN. I have a slight emotional hangover from the ugliness yesterday, but it’s sunny, 80, glorious and I’m here, reading the OTAN. Did I mention I’m reading the OTAN? Life – how bad can it be when you’ve found the battalion?

    • Darth Thulhu

       /  March 22, 2012

      Horde Battalion attitude check!

      I feel bad about saying it given all the solid issues of those above … but pretty fantastic.

      Naw-Rúz off was wonderful. Last night was my store’s annual inventory, which is always a productive and delightful casual overnight work environment. We ended two hours before dawn and grabbed a leisurely breakfast maybe two miles from the western tip of the Catalina Mountains, watching a glorious sunrise break out. (Location was the same Safeway where Rep. Giffords was shot last year.)

      Two days of cold-front rain at the star of the week are now encouraging tons of desert plants to begin their budding for flowering.

      The overnight work has set my schedule perfectly to savor the midnight release of Hunger Games tonight. Prior to that, I’m going to monthly boardgaming night shortly, having slept gloriously through the lazy day.

      The Fast was recent enough that being able to grab a tasty snack whenever I want to is still a “pleasant and grateful surprise” each and every time.

      In two days I meet helensprogeny in meatspace.

      Life is good.

      Sorry to be so chipper.

      • helensprogeny

         /  March 22, 2012

        Woohoo for desert flowers, beautiful weather and meeting in meatspace!

        • /iz double-jelus

          • helensprogeny

             /  March 22, 2012

            We’d be very glad to have you, if ever you felt moved to visit our fair city.

          • helensprogeny

             /  March 22, 2012

            You are, after all, the designated itinerant Horde meet-up attendee. Surely with all your projects you could find a work excuse to visit the Old Pueblo. 🙂

      • Ian

         /  March 22, 2012

        No, this makes me feel good. It was awful reading your posts back when your store was closing, so it’s great to hear that you’re doing well.

        • Darth Thulhu

           /  March 23, 2012

          Current bookstore may not be long for the world either, but in the intervening years, it is joyous.

          I was at a different bookstore in the company that was *not* *working* *out* … so I am very glad I was able to make the hop over to where I am now

    • wearyvoter

       /  March 22, 2012

      Late reply because I just got back from job 2. Tired. But wide awake. Must get hubby to dig out the B-5 DVDs. (He’s on season 4 right now. Again.)

  15. I’ve never heard of Geeklist before today, but this extensive Twitter exchange (http://goo.gl/Ij7Ds) will ensure that I won’t ever visit it, knowingly. The link is to an extensive summary of the hostilities.

    I think Kane could have been more diplomatic about it, but the Geeklist guys’ response is, well, not very defensible, at the very best. At the very best. At worst, well… you can fill in the blanks for yourself.

    • So, the initial response was bad. Roping her employer in is just *disgusting*. And then they manage to go from bad to worse to WTF?!? land.

      Big up to her employer for calling out the BS, though.

      • Agreed. Super impressed with the employer.

        • It’s also good pushback against the general idea that people represent their companies at all times. Though I wonder how much of that comes from the startup culture where people are intimately tied to their companies.

    • SWNC

       /  March 22, 2012

      My word, the Geeklist people just come across as big old jerks. It’s like they’ve never heard the term “customer service.”

      (I know a guy who owns a wonderful comic book store. It’s like the exact opposite of the moldy dungeon in the basement stereotype. Clean, brightly-painted, friendly to women and children, with helpful sales clerks. It’s awesome. He swears that the secret of his success is that he doesn’t hire folks because they’re comic books fans. He hires folks because they like other people, have experience working with the public and are willing to learn about comic books if they don’t already know. I think there’s an important lesson in there for lots of geek-affiliated businesses.)

    • baiskeli

       /  March 22, 2012

      Gah f*ck

      I’ts CouchDB perform like a pornstar all over again. Don’t people ever f*ck*ng learn!

  16. David L

     /  March 22, 2012

    Today’s follow-up with the surgeon: My knee is as good as it’s going to get plus or minus some strength and balance and I should come back in 30-40 years for a knee replacement (I already figured one was in my future even before this.)

    • watson42

       /  March 22, 2012

      Very cool! As an owner of flawed knees myself, I encourage you to celebrate.

      • Captain Button

         /  March 22, 2012

        Glad to hear your are doing better.

        I had a slight crushing injury to my knee that had me hobbling around last year for a couple of months. Since I got it running I’ve sworn off running. If I need to exercise that is what bicycles are for.

        It still twinges me occassionally.

    • koolaide

       /  March 22, 2012

      Yay! Congrats on the good report.

    • Go fight win! Glad to hear you’re well.

    • helensprogeny

       /  March 22, 2012

      *CONFETTI!!*

  17. Ugh. There’s stuff on my blog. Go read it.

    If anyone needs me, I will be at my desk being run over by property tax returns and trying very hard not to vomit.

    • Included Blood and Chrome being turned down by SyFy, a GoT character featurette of Stannis Melisandre and Davos. Downton Abbey characters as dogs and an Idol recap.

      http://anibundel.wordpress.com/

      Afraid if I put more than one link I’ll be modded….

  18. Ugh. It’s an ugly world out there. See*: Twitter exchange between one M. Malkin and Marc Lamont Hill, who made the mistake of tweeting her to say “don’t bother retweeting racist trolls, it just encourages them”… and then hilarity ensues. If only, instead of hilarity, it was angry lashing out back at Hill.

    *or, don’t see. It’s just ugly.

  19. Ian

     /  March 22, 2012

    You lost me at M. Malkin.

    • dmf

       /  March 22, 2012

      yep that’s just some S&M type sh*t that I’ll pass on, isn’t daily life hard enuff without seeking out this kind of grief?

    • helensprogeny

       /  March 22, 2012

      Amen.

  20. David L

     /  March 22, 2012

    Just across Chris Hayes’ Twitter:

    This Saturday on @upwithchris: @tanehisi @PeterMoskos @MichelleBernard and @LilianaSegura

    • Funny, I just came here to post that.

      • BIGGER NEWS: He’s going to be on the NewHour tonight:
        RT @mike_melia: We examine #TrayvonMartin’s death tonight w/ @tanehisi, @donnabritt7, @reihansalam & @dennisbaxley.

        • Bah.

          I hate it that I have no access to cable or general TV service.

          So I have to say “bah” because I can’t say what I really want to say at missing this stuff.

          • Bookwoman

             /  March 22, 2012

            You’ll be able to watch it online after it airs: http://video.pbs.org/program/newshour/. Or maybe TNC will post his segment tomorrow.

          • I don’t know how much you’ll be missing with Salam on there. He’s been a jerk most times I’ve seen him on TV.

            • He wasn’t, actually, or at least I didn’t think so. The Florida legislator — author of SYG — wasn’t an asshole either; clueless in some ways, but not an asshole.

        • I think TNC needs to send Baiskeli a fruit basket for finding the Martin story and bringing it to the Lost Battalion’s attention.

  21. Dex

     /  March 22, 2012

    I would like to lodge a formal complaint against one JHarper2.

    My lawyers will, shortly, be sending you a cease and desist letter, asking that you refrain from being so upbeat and supportive, given your serious health condition.

    Your positive attitude, especially given the circumstances, has been impinging severely on my constitutional rights to throw pity parties and bake bitter cakes.

    (Seriously, man, seeing your grace has been very helpful of late. A thousand thank yous).

    • And, on the upside, you have now provided me with the quip with which I will annoy my children for the foreseeable future:

      “Will you just stop baking bitter cakes?”

    • JHarper2

       /  March 22, 2012

      I just saw this, I don’t really know what to say, except that I hope you have the strength to see through whatever you need to.
      I have a great support network, including not least the people here, which buoys me up and gets me through my own pity problems.

  22. Note the “temporarily”…

    Breaking News Alert
    The New York Times
    Thursday, March 22, 2012 — 4:05 PM EDT

    Police Chief in Sanford, Fla., Stepping Aside Amid Shooting Controversy

    The police chief at the center of a fatal neighborhood watch shooting says he is stepping down temporarily because he has become a distraction.

    Bill Lee, the chief of police in Sanford, Fla., made the announcement at a news conference on Thursday. Mr. Lee has been criticized after police did not arrest George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer who shot an unarmed black teen, Trayvon Martin, to death on Feb. 26.

  23. caoil

     /  March 22, 2012

    Oh! This will be a double-up for you FB people, but if there is anyone in the Horde who lives near the Uni of Southern California, who also needs a job, let me know. An old school friend was at some kind of networking event and talking to a recruiter from USC, and apparently they’re going to be doing a bunch of hiring for admin/office-y positions.

  24. COATES IS ON THE PBS NEWSHOUR LIVE RIGHT NOW.

    • Bookwoman

       /  March 22, 2012

      Indeed he is, looking very preppy in his coat and tie.

      It was a pretty good conversation until the sponsor of the Stand Your Ground law started blathering on about drugs and violence. Oy vey.

      • selenesmom

         /  March 22, 2012

        Oh that’s nice. The point of the law is that it makes it easier to shoot someone who is high as a kite and has no idea what is going on? Or maybe, people will refrain from smoking pot because what if they bump into a gun-toting lunatic?

        Of course, since Zimmerman wasn’t tested for drugs or alcohol, we have no information that would make this issue relevant to the death of Trayvon Martin, who was maybe on a bit of a sugar rush but nothing more.

      • @Bookwoman — see above. “oy vey” indeed. Clueless, but refreshingly not an asshole, as I said.

  25. That’s just so sad he was going to his fathers house and some guy decided to kill him for no reason😦