An open thread for Commie conversationalists.

OMG Passover is tomorrow! The cleaning! The crumbs! The dishpan hands!

You, my beloved Horde, may have at it, though. And if you get stuck in moderation because I’m in the kitchen scrubbing, I’ll fish you out as soon as 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.

170 Comments

  1. JHarper2

     /  April 5, 2012

    A family member came through difficult surgery today. Although it was hoped it could be done laprocopically it was not certain, but everything worked out all right and this person should be home in a few days.
    We still need to wait on the pathology on the tumour, but are hopeful.
    We are also very thankful!

    • stephen matlock

       /  April 5, 2012

      Glad to hear this, JHarper

    • Bookwoman

       /  April 5, 2012

      Best wishes for everything to be ok!

  2. cofax

     /  April 5, 2012

    Best cake, or Best Cake EVER?
    Check it out.

    I wish I could take the opportunity here to reply to all the comments over on the mothership that I couldn’t reply to–our webmonitoring system now allows me to read Disqus comments, but not to log in. But it would be ridiculous.

    In other news, I still haven’t seen The Hunger Games, but I saw, and enjoyed, John Carter, not solely for Taylor Kitsch’s shirtlessness (although that helped). I particularly loved the Tharks.

    • Darth Thulhu

       /  April 5, 2012

      If the cake had a shirtless Taylor Kitsch, it could possibly qualify for Best. Cake. EVER. … but as it is, it will have to settle for “Best Cake for now”🙂

    • Captain Button

       /  April 5, 2012

      Straight from Candy Mountain, Charlie!

  3. Hooray, baseball! That is all.

    • David L

       /  April 5, 2012

      Glad to have it back, even if Selig did totally foul up the idea of an “opening day” with those two for-real games in Japan last week.

    • efgoldman

       /  April 5, 2012

      Sox/Detroit scoreless so far, middle of the 4th.
      I just have it on in the background, not paying close attention. The NESN announcer’s voices are as much a sign of spring as all the robins which won’t get off my lawn.

      • taylor16

         /  April 5, 2012

        I’ve never been so happy to have a private office and dual computer screens (and ESPN3 screening capability) as I am right now.

        I’ve been back in Michigan celebrating Opening Day with my Detroit friends every year for the past 5 or 6. It’s practically a state holiday around those parts. I’m trying not to dwell on the fact that I’m at work … but at least I can watch the game.

        Go Tigers! (sorry efg🙂

        • efgoldman

           /  April 5, 2012

          Still scoreless, mid-7th, both starters still in. Verlander is freakin’ amazing. Gotta’ respect him, even though he’s the opposition.

          It’s practically a state holiday around those parts.
          Hell, its always been practically a holiday in Boston. The local TV stations make a production out of covering “truck day”, the day the equipment truck leaves Fenway for Florida.

          • taylor16

             /  April 5, 2012

            Well, damn. Sox should’ve taken Lester out an inning early, and Tigers should’ve let Verlander stay in to complete the game.

            Oh, baseball…

          • taylor16

             /  April 5, 2012

            YIPPEEEEEEEE!!!!

            (and I’m sorry…)

            • efgoldman

               /  April 5, 2012

              Enh.
              1) Its a long season.
              2) I have very low expectations for this season . Not much is going to bother me.

              • wearyvoter

                 /  April 5, 2012

                My brother-in-law and his wife are in a mixed marriage. He’s a Tigers fan; she’s Bosox. (As a Michigan native, I am obligated to root for the Tigers, so my apologies for being cheerful about the results.)

    • JHarper2

       /  April 5, 2012


      Carlin!

      • helensprogeny

         /  April 5, 2012

        This bit and Cats v. Dogs – just vintage, golden Carlin. Thanks for the laugh.

    • aaron singer

       /  April 5, 2012

      It’s likely to be a long season on the south side of Chicago (and the north side, as well, for that matter), but it’s still baseball, I love it no matter what.

  4. efgoldman

     /  April 5, 2012

    Emily, Pesach plus Shabbat makes for a very Seder. Are your kids up to it?

    • efgoldman

       /  April 5, 2012

      Aaargh edit edit edit…
      very long Seder…

  5. JHarper2

     /  April 5, 2012

    Today in paranoia (certain Texas Congressman edition)
    An explanation of how JP Morgan was a British agent of the Bank of England, who set up the Federal Reserve to work for the bank of England, founded the White Star Line to bring Latin Church members to the US to wipe out its protestant nature and sunk the Titanic to wipe out his rivals John Jacob Astor and Guggenheim.
    http://www.reformation.org/british-spy-jp-morgan.html

    Main site.
    http://www.reformation.org/

    • Darth Thulhu

       /  April 5, 2012

      What is most clear from that is that Nikola Tesla was the second coming of Jesus, thwarted insidiously by JP Morgan. Clearly, JP Morgan was the Anti-Christ, spawn sent of Satan to thwart the mercy of JEHOVAH!

      I think I need to make some new Illuninati cards, now.

    • Bookwoman

       /  April 5, 2012

      Well it’s refreshing to see that, for once, the Jews aren’t to blame.😉

      • efgoldman

         /  April 5, 2012

        Well it’s refreshing to see that, for once, the Jews aren’t to blame.
        Wait! Wasn’t JP Morgan’s brother-in-law’s accountant Jewish?

        • Bookwoman

           /  April 5, 2012

          Aren’t they always?

          • efgoldman

             /  April 5, 2012

            Aren’t they always?
            And his cousin’s father’s denstis, also too.

    • R_Bargis

       /  April 5, 2012

      It has a conspiracy on the War of 1812! As a reenactor of that mostly-forgotten war I am INCREDIBLY EXCITED that crazy people are saying crazy things about it! Why is the Star Spangled 200 Commission not on top of this???

      http://www.reformation.org/war-of-1812.html

      • R_Bargis

         /  April 5, 2012

        The first sentence is still the best: “200 years ago this year, Great Britain invaded the newborn United States and the great Orthodox Russian nation using her secret agent Napoleon Bonaparte.”

        LOVE LOVE LOVE

        • cofax

           /  April 5, 2012

          200 years ago this year, Great Britain invaded the newborn United States and the great Orthodox Russian nation using her secret agent Napoleon Bonaparte

          I love this sentence. I want to take it home and feed it pie.

          • R_Bargis

             /  April 5, 2012

            The article only gets better and better as you read to the end.

            “JEHOVAH was fighting against the British because they planned on giving the Louisiana Territory back to Spain. He surrounded general Jackson and his brave men with his angels and the British were routed… The British lion limped back to England with wounded pride and thirsting for revenge. That opportunity came again in 1861 with the British instigated Civil War.”

            And DID YOU KNOW “The British are still fighting the United States!! Their diabolical “Federal” Reserve Bank is the 3rd reincarnation of the corrupt 1st Bank of the “United States. The “Federal” Reserve Bank is a branch of the Bank of England. This corrupt bank is the 3rd reincarnation of the 1st bank that financed Napoleon. The bank’s mission is to use the U.S. to end the so-called Great Schism and restore the Papal States in Italy.”

            I love it. This fills me with almost as much joy as timecube.

            • JHarper2

               /  April 5, 2012

              I know! This is just so much interesting stuff.

              I went there, truth to tell, because I had an nostalgic comic nerd moment for the Comics Illustrated Version of the story of William Wallace, and I got the story of how the Catholic Church was using the English to destroy the purity of the Celtic peoples indigenous church.

  6. Idol last nigthwas a total let down after least week’s major high. The best song of the night was….Wing Beneath My Wings. I shit you not.

    There’s other stuff on my blog too. Including one where I accidentally disagreeed with Emily. Check it: http://anibundel.wordpress.com/

    • Darth Thulhu

       /  April 5, 2012

      Hopefully you’ve learned from that accident and will never, ever let it happen again.

  7. Bookwoman

     /  April 5, 2012

    Has anyone seen this very strange article about The Atlantic, written by someone who apparently used to write for Jezebel? I can’t really make any sense of it through all the snark: http://thebaffler.com/notebook/2012/04/omniscient_gentlemen_of_the_atlantic

    • cofax

       /  April 5, 2012

      I… don’t understand that essay. Especially the idea that The Atlantic is a CIA FRONT. WTF?

      • Bookwoman

         /  April 5, 2012

        I’m glad you don’t understand it either, so then it’s not just my reading comprehension.

      • JHarper2

         /  April 5, 2012

        The CIA is a front of The Khan.

        • efgoldman

           /  April 5, 2012

          …or the other way around…

        • aaron singer

           /  April 5, 2012

          Which CIA?

          /lots of passover cooking to do

      • Darth Thulhu

         /  April 5, 2012

        That’s why they had to get rid of Sullivan. Non-citizen, opposed to torture techniques, unable to receive visa clearances due to the HIV travel ban.

        Now that Operation Trayvon is near completion, the entire site is poised to serve as distractionary cover when Operation Goldblog III goes into effect just before the October 17 attacks.

        JEHOVAH!

        • Bookwoman

           /  April 5, 2012

          I cannot like this comment enough.

      • It’s supposed to be funny.
        She was shuffled from jezebel after the drinking and thinking segment where she said rape was just a natural coming of age thing for girls. She was let go from Gawker soon after for not fitting in. She landed somewhere semi-high profile in the political world, but was then fired for publishing the name of a rape victim. She has this odd perspective that rape is something girls should expect and learn to deal with if they’re going to insist on being equal to men–that they can’t demand equality and victimhood at the same time.

        • aaron singer

           /  April 5, 2012

          If that’s the case… I’m even more baffled than I was to begin with.

        • caoil

           /  April 5, 2012

          This leaves me dumbfounded. And again, making Sideshow Bob growls.

        • LizR

           /  April 5, 2012

          She has this odd perspective that rape is something girls should expect and learn to deal with if they’re going to insist on being equal to men–that they can’t demand equality and victimhood at the same time.

          There are some fundamental problems with the meaning of the word “equality” as she uses it. I don’t envy your previous exposure to her.

          • She worked well with the original Jezebel gang. Outside of that, yeah, reading her always feels off. I followed her a twitter for a short time, but she was really depressing and ugly there, so I stopped.

    • JHarper2

       /  April 5, 2012

      The Blog is called The Buffler.

      • Bookwoman

         /  April 5, 2012

        Well I’m both buffled and baffled.

        • Captain Button

           /  April 5, 2012

          But are you bewitched, bothered and bewildered?

          • Bookwoman

             /  April 5, 2012

            I’m wild again, beguiled again.

            • Captain Button

               /  April 5, 2012

              Wild Thing, I think you move me.

              • Bookwoman

                 /  April 5, 2012

                But you don’t know for sure?

              • Ian

                 /  April 5, 2012

                Same guy wrote Angel of the Morning and Storybook Children.

                • Ian

                   /  April 5, 2012

                  Sorry, I might have just put two unpleasant songs in people’s heads. I will mitigate as best I can:

                  • Bookwoman

                     /  April 5, 2012

                    Sorry, I might have just put two unpleasant songs in people’s heads.

                    Seriously. Now you’ve made me think of Juice Newton. Thanks a lot.

            • Vexed again, perplexed again . . .

              • Bookwoman

                 /  April 5, 2012

                It’s such a great song. And such dirty lyrics.

                • It’s one of my very favorites. Not just for the dirty lyrics, but also because it tells the whole story of a love affair, from start to finish. How many popular songs do that?

                  • Ian

                     /  April 5, 2012

                    There’s “Honey” by Bobby Goldsboro.

                    • Bookwoman

                       /  April 5, 2012

                      You are a cruel, cruel man.

                    • Fortunately I don’t know that song.

                    • efgoldman

                       /  April 5, 2012

                      Aaaugh! I know that’s gonna’ be an earworm.
                      The great white North has freeze-dried your brain!
                      Also too the text in the vcomment box disappears on the right side when it gets way over here ==>>>>

          • David L

             /  April 5, 2012

            What about bemused? Or befuddled? (Man, does English have a lot of words for “confused” that start with be-)

            Also, my favorite company name in the list at the end of Monty Python’s “Confuse-A-Cat” sketch: “Bewilderbeest.”

            • Captain Button

               /  April 5, 2012

              I preferred “Obfuscate-a-Thompson’s-Gazelle”.

    • Yeah, that’s Moe. She…well, she’s an oddball.
      She used to write for Jezebel, but according to her own account she took the job ironically. She’s got issues. Also, she’s been fired from just about everywhere. Don’t get me wrong. she’s entertaining. And there are times where I really do agree with her, even though her potions might be considered extreme, to put it politely. But her sense of humor is extremely warped.

      • LizR

         /  April 5, 2012

        Soooooo, is that article supposed to be satire?

      • efgoldman

         /  April 5, 2012

        Also, she’s been fired from just about everywhere.
        An equal-opportunity Olbermann?

  8. Blog flog:

    It’s holy week, so I have a couple of posts about religion up on the blog:

    http://testudomeles.blogspot.com/2012/04/holy-week-pt-1-strangeness-of-liturgy.html

    http://testudomeles.blogspot.com/2012/04/holy-week-pt-2-religion-adolescence-and.html

    They’re a bit more personal than is usual for me, but oh well.

    • Bookwoman

       /  April 5, 2012

      Thanks for those. I’m a relatively new Episcopalian (5 years) and didn’t become a Christian of any variety until I was 40. So the liturgy is, while becoming more familiar all the time, not yet ‘in my bones’ in the same was as it is for a cradle Episcopalian like you. The language in many parts of the prayer book is just gorgeous.

    • David L

       /  April 5, 2012

      Good reading. The Easter/Passover timeframe is when I notice my complete lack of having been educated/educating myself on the topic of religion. It starts to feel like something like Harry Potter after a while (yes, I’ve never read Harry Potter, either)–it’s so culturally ubiquitous that I can’t help but have a rough idea of the plot and characters, but I’ve never gotten into the details.

      • If you’re curious about the Easter thing, the Gospels of Mark and Matthew probably have the best narratives — Mark is the earliest Gospel, and is mostly an account of the passion (that is to say, the events leading up to Jesus’s death), and has an extremely brief, rather enigmatic account of Jesus’ resurrection. Matthew fleshes out more of the familiar details about the latter.

        The interesting thing about religion, though, is that the stories are really only part of the picture — Easter is as much about the rituals that people perform here and now as it is about the story people read about, at least in my way of viewing things. I imagine that Passover is similar for many Jews.

        • Captain Button

           /  April 5, 2012

          For me, Passover was more about the annual family reunion (father’s side).

          Plus the Matzoh-and-eggs.

    • stephen matlock

       /  April 5, 2012

      WAKnight

      This song explains my own journey more than any other:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NW1G6j60ARI

      Amor De Mi Alma
      Yo no naci, sino para quereros;
      Mi alma os ha cortado a su medida;
      Habito del alma misma, del alma misma os quiero.
      Escrito esta en mi alma vuestro gesto;

      Yo lo leo tan solo que aun de vos me guardo en esto.
      Quanto tengo, confiesso yo de veros;
      Y por vos naci, por vos tengo la vida,
      Habito del alma misma os quiero.

      Y por vos e de morir,
      Y por vos muero.
      Por vos.

      I was born to love only you
      My soul has formed you to its measure
      I want you as a garment for my soul
      Your very image is written on my soul

      Such indescribable intimacy, I hide even from you
      All that I have, I owe to you
      For you I was born, and for you I live
      I want you as a garment for my soul

      And for you I must die
      And for you I give my last breath
      For you

      Garcilaso de la Vega 1501-36
      (English trans. provided by Z. Randall Stroope)

      I first heard this song right around the death of my father; my son was a soloist in a choir that sang this song in a gorgeous modern church/cathedral. It somehow all tied me together – my father, my son, the idea that something within me wants to be connected and to know that there is something more than just feeling and thinking.

      I cannot explain the longing for connection. It is just there. I cannot listen to this song without weeping. Every time.

      Where is he that commands my attention?

      This is holy week to me.

  9. Won’t be around the rest of the day, but I wanted to make sure everyone saw Andrea Campbell’s amazing article in the NYT. Intense personal story about health care reform and insurance access from a social policy scholar.

    • I read it, even though the last thing I need is to feel more depressed about America’s healthcare situation. Scalia is like, “Why don’t people just buy health insurance when they need it?”

    • taylor16

       /  April 5, 2012

      Bookmarked for later, thanks.

      I just can’t read an article called “Down the Insurance Rabbit Hole” today … because here at work, I am exactly in that place today.

      Is it the weekend yet?

  10. dmf

     /  April 5, 2012

    • Captain Button

       /  April 5, 2012

      How much is the fine for cannibalism?

    • helensprogeny

       /  April 5, 2012

      Oh, much, much love for the Cannibals. Roland Gift. MmmmmMmmm. Thanks for this.

      • David L

         /  April 5, 2012

        My creative dyslexia turned “cannibals” into “cannabis.” My reaction: “Man, that’s out of the blue.”

  11. stephen matlock

     /  April 5, 2012

    So in case you forgot or didn’t pay attention to me:

    I’m the host for Word Jazz and the Poetry Slam. Ten writers read their works, we have two rounds of audience participation in hot-dog poetry (write poetry on the spot), we announce the two winners of the contest (one from Roma Italy for a real touch of class!), and I entertain people with my witty, wry, and droll commentary. My humility and lack of self-awareness really shines through.

    Note that we receive support from both the jazz club (Boxley’s in North Bend) as well as The Snoqualmie Tribe.

    No chinchillas are harmed during the production.

    The tables are all sold out, but their may be seats in the booths and near the rear.

  12. David L

     /  April 5, 2012

    I have come to the conclusion that 2:30 PM on the day before a long weekend is just about the most inconvenient time to schedule a one-hour meeting, if you have my schedule and my need to not be interrupted during a task, lest I forget what I was doing.

    I can’t start anything major just after lunch (which I take around 1:00) because I only have an hour in which to do it. Then, after the meeting inevitably runs a little bit long and it’s around 4 when I get back to my desk, I’m in that awkward period where it’s a little too early to just call it a day (even on the day before a holiday) but also too late to start anything that won’t have to be left until Tuesday.

    • efgoldman

       /  April 5, 2012

      I have come to the conclusion that 2:30 PM on the day before a long weekend is just about the most inconvenient time to schedule a one-hour meeting…
      My my manager’s boss (a VP) used to schedule her managers’ meeting for 4:00 on Friday. Every week.

      • helensprogeny

         /  April 5, 2012

        One of my employers routinely schedules departmental meetings at 8am on Saturdays. (We’re a 24/7 operation.) Fortunately, my other job requires my services early enough on Saturdays that I can’t make it to the meetings. Fortunate in no small part because I live 45 minutes (one way) from this job, which means I’d have to leave my house at 7am, on a Saturday, to get to a meeting I’m not even remotely interested in going to – ever. My heart goes out to my less fortunate colleagues.

  13. chingona

     /  April 5, 2012

    Emily, what’s the strangest place you found crumbs?

    I was pretty surprised at all the crumbs when I lifted up the pad on the changing table, but then I remembered all the times I’ve plopped the little one down for a change while she had a graham cracker or some such in her hand to distract her.

    • socioprof

       /  April 5, 2012

      Ooh, ooh. Pick me! Pick me! My bra. Breastfeeding + babies eating cheerios and crackers = crumbs in the nursing bra. Those snaps, hooks, and flaps are exceptional crumbcatchers.

      • chingona

         /  April 5, 2012

        It’s always a little disturbing to take your bra off for the night and a bunch of cheerios fall out.

      • efgoldman

         /  April 5, 2012

        Ummm…. ignaorant, non-kosher male here.
        How do you make yourself kosher for passover?

      • corkingiron

         /  April 5, 2012

        Stuck to the middle of my tie – like a cheerio’s tie pin – all through parent’s nite ’til one young Mom cracked up…..and understood.

  14. Captain Button

     /  April 5, 2012

    My Lack-Of-God! It’s TROTSKY!

  15. socioprof

     /  April 5, 2012

    I’m baking banana bread right now. I used coconut oil for the first time in my baking. I can’t wait for it to come out in a few minutes. The whiffs from the oven (and from what spilled onto my hands) I’m getting are amazing.

    • Bookwoman

       /  April 5, 2012

      That sounds dangerously good.

      • socioprof

         /  April 5, 2012

        It just came out of the oven. We’ll see if the kids like it when they come home–if not, more for us. I am looking forward to having some tomorrow morning with my coffee.

    • dave in texas

       /  April 5, 2012

      I made, believe it or not, some cantalope bread the other day. I should know better than to buy a cantalope this early in the year, but I always do anyway, and the one I got was audibly, loudly crunchy. I went and googled cantalope recipes, thinking I’d get a lot of smoothie-type concoctions, but ran across that recipe for bread, and it turned to be really good, esepcially for a nonbaker like me.

      • stephen matlock

         /  April 5, 2012

        I grew up in California in the 50s/60s, and cantaloupes and Crenshaws and Persians and honeydews were soft and dewy and creamy and sweet sweet sweet. For the life of me I cannot figure out how people can eat crunchy melons – they are tasteless to boot.

        • dave in texas

           /  April 5, 2012

          Oddly enough, this crunchy one was actually pretty sweet, but man, I’d hate to been hit by a piece of it, it could have been fatal. One day I’ll learn never to buy a melon before the middle of June.

          Oh yeah, Crenshaws–mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

  16. baiskeli

     /  April 5, 2012

    Bike geek stuff

    So, I’m officially the Dr Kevorkian of bicycle wheels. After I snapped my third spoke on my Easton EA90 wheels, my bike shop sent them back to the manufacturer for repair or total spoke replacement (they’re less than a year). They gave me loaner wheels.

    Well, on my ride to work yesterday morning, I hear a ping, and a spoke flies off into traffic (WTF!, snapped at both ends). The loaner rear wheel (Shimano WH something or other) has just snapped a spoke. Manage to make it in to work by loosening brake lever to avoid now warped rear wheel. The problem might be that the loaner wheel was one of those ultra-light low spoke count wheels (unlike my Easton EA90’s which are regular spoke count)

    I weight all of 175lbs, so there is no reason I should be snapping spokes left, right and center.

    Luckily, I still have my old Mavic Ksyrium Elites (hubs a tiny bit notchy and rims really worn, but servicable), but I’ve pressed them into duty while awaiting the return of my Easton EA90s. I have to drop off the loaner wheels at the bike shop and see the shop owners face at the fact that I snapped a spoke on the loaner wheels.

    • Ian

       /  April 5, 2012

      I really want you to try a set of wheels that looks like this and then tell me how it affects your performance (remember to factor in time spent not dealing with broken spokes):

      • baiskeli

         /  April 5, 2012

        I’m about to get a new bike, I’m going to slap a set of high spoke count wheels on my current bike and make it my commuter/rain bike (the 2 bikes I’m looking at come with regular high spoke count wheels so I’d just swap the wheels).

        The Mavic Ksyrium Elite wheels I re-purposed have the same spoke count as the Easton ones, but in 5 years of hard riding I never broke a spoke (or even had to true them).

        I’m beginning to think the issue is not the number of spokes but the manufacturer. The loaner wheel whose spoke I snapped is definitely a wheel I would never choose on my own due to its low spoke count.

        • Ian

           /  April 5, 2012

          Definitely low-spoke designs can work, but they’re much more likely not to work. But I need to stop. I’m on the edge of transforming from Ian to Retrogrouch. Nobody wants to hang out with Retrogrouch.

        • Yeah. Like I said before, I’ve been running Bontrager Selects, which only have 18 spokes per wheel, and except for the one that got dented going over an expansion joint, they’ve been completely bomb-proof.

          • Ian

             /  April 5, 2012

            “except for the one that got dented going over an expansion joint”

            That’s not bomb-proof! That’s not bomb-proof! (Can’t seem to stop the transformation.)

            • baiskeli

               /  April 5, 2012

              Retrogrouch!!!!

              Just kidding.

              • Ian

                 /  April 5, 2012

                When did all-wool shorts become a luxury item! Kids today can’t even glue on a tubular! Index shifting is an anti-consumer conspiracy! Carbon is only stronger in the lab! Cassette systems are inf–actually cassette systems are lighter and more durable. But carbon is only stronger in the lab!

                • baiskeli

                   /  April 5, 2012

                  chamois is for wimps. Real men use sides of beef*, and only need one gear.

                  *This is actually true, early cyclists used to stuff cuts of beef in their bike shorts to prevent chaffing.

                  I realized I’d become a retro-grouch when I realized I’m riding 9 speed while everyone else is on 10 speed, and I cannot fathom the need for electric shifting.

                  • Ian

                     /  April 5, 2012

                    I grudgingly put a 9-speed cassette on my snow bike because I needed a cassette with a spider in order not to damage the aluminum freehub shell. But they can’t make me index the shifting! My other two bikes have 7-speed Suntour freewheels. That’s right. Freewheels.

                  • stephen matlock

                     /  April 5, 2012

                    “I cannot fathom the need for electric shifting.”

                    I did not know this was even a feature.

                    My mind reels.

    • Captain Button

       /  April 5, 2012

      My front bike wheel actually uses a wheelchair tire because Schwinn standard size rims from back in 1984 weren’t actually that standard. So standard tires don’t fit right. Not even Schwinn’s these days.

  17. taylor16

     /  April 5, 2012

    So, as an Indiana resident, apparently I’m all set to start killing cops legally now:

    http://www.addictinginfo.org/2012/03/23/indiana-governor-signs-bill-allowing-citizens-to-use-deadly-force-against-police-officers-into-law/

    As I said on FB when I posted this … I think the police are out of control and I generally support measures that give people some defense against them and the right to protect themselves against abuses.

    However, this is not exactly what I had in mind. In fact, this sounds horrendous.

    • Ian

       /  April 5, 2012

      Good news for the armored personnel carrier industry!

    • dmf

       /  April 5, 2012

      do you have to join a militia first?

      • taylor16

         /  April 5, 2012

        Well (h/t to l_roberts on Facebook), I’m white … so I’m pretty sure I’ll be fine either way.

        I just can’t wait until the first story of some OK Corral-style shootout that ensues from some criminal “believing” that the cops who show up to arrest him are there without reason.

        Hopefully it won’t be on my street…😦

    • So… it really is ‘us vs. them’ now…

  18. David L

     /  April 5, 2012

    The Romney campaign waited two days after the primary to make a major gaffe instead of just one: “Romney, Who Holds Two Harvard Degrees, Says Obama Spent ‘Too Much Time’ At Harvard”

    http://2012.talkingpointsmemo.com/2012/04/romney-who-holds-two-harvard-degrees-says-obama-spent-too-much-time-at-harvard.php

    • I’m at the point where I think anyone who has any kind of degree from Harvard and/or Yale should be banned from government service altogether. Clubby little freaks. Start hiring moar people from Rollins College!

      • Bob Jones' Neighbor

         /  April 5, 2012

        Or at least Stetson (my son’s undergrad alma mater).

  19. Anyone want a free 7-day trial of Star Wars The Old Republic?

    http://www.swtor.com/info/friends?intcmp=eaint721

    Do I have 25 friends I can invite…?

  20. watson42

     /  April 5, 2012

    So, my cousin has decided on Google+ for keeping everyone updated with his cancer treatment, scheduling things, etc. so I’ve received an invite.

    Anyone have any words of wisdom about Google+?
    I admit I’m disturbed by Google’s ongoing privacy creep. Added to which, I purposely keep my online presence guarded after being seriously stalked. Plus, I’m job hunting and try to keep professional and personal separate.

    • cofax

       /  April 5, 2012

      Google is doing everything it can to link up people’s identities with their legal names. Which is why I won’t join Google+: I am not going to have my legal name linked on the nets with my various blog commentary and fannish activities, for any potential (or current) employer to discover.

      • neighbors73

         /  April 5, 2012

        Can you unjoin google+? I might want to.

        • cofax

           /  April 5, 2012

          IIRC, it’s difficult to do so without deleting your entire Google profile–and thereby losing ALL YOUR EMAIL.

          Or so I hear.

    • stephen matlock

       /  April 5, 2012

      I keep my private life and my public life separate. If I post something publically, it’s something I think won’t come back to bite me.

      I’ve had a few instances where Facebook has gotten me in to trouble – while my Facebook postings were semi-private, it connected me to a public post I made that also tied me to my workplace — which is a big no-no. It wasn’t deliberate on my part – it was Facebook doing something I wasn’t aware of. Since then I’ve deleted any work info from my Facebook account, and I don’t list anything (if I can help it) on any public persona of where I work, who employs me, or what I do.

      I don’t think Google is doing it as an evil thing; it’s a marketing and sales thing. But I think they dismiss the way it can be used to evil ends, and for that reason, while I’m OK with Google sharing, I deliberately limit what I say where Google can see it.

    • caoil

       /  April 5, 2012

      Well, I don’t know how you feel about a little white lie, but I have given false names to both FB (surname is made up) and G+ (the G+ one will only be accurate when my name change goes through).

      • Darth Thulhu

         /  April 5, 2012

        On G+, I go by my given name: “Darth Thulhu”

        • efgoldman

           /  April 5, 2012

          Did your parents watch Star Wars on their honeymoon?

  21. corkingiron

     /  April 5, 2012

    In solidarity with our host and all her cleaning, I decided to disassemble our dishwasher and clean it; there sure are a lot of whoosit’s and widgets and I think at least one blast-o-matic zorchitron (mark 3) in them things!

    • watson42

       /  April 5, 2012

      Times like that you need a sonic screwdriver.

    • efgoldman

       /  April 5, 2012

      Any parts left over when you put it back together?

    • corkingiron

       /  April 5, 2012

      No – but the cat’s gone missing……

  22. enstar

     /  April 5, 2012

    hordesourcing a question:

    off the top of your head, give me two early-mid 20th century science fiction novels that you think would pair nicely for a discussion group.

    • cofax

       /  April 5, 2012

      If you want a discussion resulting in a gender war: Heinlein’s Time Enough for Love and almost anything by Joanna Russ.

      If you’d rather avoid that: Starship Troopers, by Heinlein, and The Forever War, by Joe Haldeman. That’s pretty much the classic face-off.

      Or, hmm. Mote in God’s Eye by Pournelle & Niven, and Golden Witchbreed by Mary Gentle. Or almost any of Cherryh’s novels involving aliens–The Faded Sun or The Pride of Chanur.

      • Ray Bradbury, Martian Chronicles

        • cofax

           /  April 5, 2012

          I love the Martian Chronicles, but I dispute that it’s a novel.

      • cofax

         /  April 5, 2012

        Or, you know, anything by Heinlein and anything by Le Guin. *grins*

      • enstar

         /  April 5, 2012

        anything a little less racy than heinlein? this is for a very, very traditional high school, and i can’t rock the boat too much. the martian chronicles is a pretty good idea, and i’ve actually read part of it, but i’m thinking of something a little more tame to go with it.

        honestly, this isn’t an era i’ve read much of, so i’m mostly working from other people’s impressions of different novels or stories.

        • cofax

           /  April 5, 2012

          Hmm, a very traditional high school?

          Okay, how about Red Planet, which is a Heinlein juvenile–adventures but with some politics, and Bradbury’s Martian Chronicles, which gives you two separate looks at how we imagined Mars back in the day. I don’t think there’s any sex in either one of them, although I don’t remember enough to say they’re not offensive in any other way.

          You could try some Andre Norton: The Stars Are Ours is about an anti-science totalitarian government, from which one last group of scientists escapes in an interstellar ship, and lands on a planet with its own history of oppression. Also a YA novel, as are many of her stories.

        • Darth Thulhu

           /  April 5, 2012

          How very, very traditional are we talking? Brophy Catholic Preparatory School traditional? Mormon charter school traditional?

          If sexytimes can not even be hinted at, that burns most Heinlein and Niven and LeGuin and Delaney, and probably rules out the most famous Octavia Butler.

          The “not late 1900s” caveat is cutting out a lot of prime fiction. Most of Cherryh’s output, Sagan’s only fictive work, several prominent writers.

          I think Niven and Pournelle’s The Mote in God’s Eye doesn’t have anything more sexual than a longing male thought-bubble or two. It has absolute buckets of Technology Defines the Premise and Constrains the Plot, as well as some seriously zany alien biology.

          Ideally, the inverse I would pair that to is CJ Cherryh’s Foreigner, but that was written 1994. The alien-human axes are most properly completely inverted from Mote there. If you just want a compare/contrast, her earliest work barely hits your timeframe, and gives a scifi setting of great detail while absolutely not being military-minded scifi.

        • Captain_Button

           /  April 5, 2012

          I want to suggest Arthur C. Clarke’s The City and the Stars (1956) but I am blocking on a companion book.

          TCatS is a very distant ultra-tech city full of semi-posthumans on a dying Earth, where the protagonist breaks out of the strictures because he wants to know why.

          Wait, now I’m thinking of some possible companion books:

          Jack Vance, The Last Castle (1966) Decadent custom-bound aristocrats on a mostly empty Earth must deal (or not) with a rebellion of their alien slaves.

          or

          Robert Silverberg Nightwings (1968) A distant future ruined and decadent caste-ridden Earth awaits the long-promised Invasion of Alien Overlords. This is the only one that has any sex in it as I recall, but I don’t recall it being very explicit.

      • wearyvoter

         /  April 5, 2012

        Definitely “The Mote in God’s Eye.” “Lucifer’s Hammer” (same authors ) is also interesting.

    • watson42

       /  April 5, 2012

      Wow, that is a great question. I feel like some sort of Philip K Dick-William Gibson pairing would be interesting, but Gibson is late 20th century.

      I guess it depends on the kind of discussion you’re looking for. A pair of differing libertarian works would be interesting to discuss, especially in light of the current political climate. (That pretty much screams Heinlein and someone else) Or how about apocalyptic novels? One of my personal faves is “Lucifer’s Hammer”; Niven always did his best work when co-authoring IMO. Not sure what to pair it with though.

      I like the idea of pairing Heinlein and Le Guin. 🙂

    • efgoldman

       /  April 5, 2012

      I wqas a teenager in the late 1950. I must have read hundreds of SF books, some great ones, some real dreck, and everything in between.My all time favorite from the period is Fredric Brown.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fredric_Brown#Works

    • mythopoeia

       /  April 5, 2012

      I realize you’re asking after pairs, but what about one of the books from C.S. Lewis’s space trilogy, paired with more hard/dystopian sci-fi? (Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandra, That Hideous Strength.) Many of them will likely be familiar with him from reading Narnia. (Although goodness knows that doesn’t translate into liking him…high school is the time a lot of kids tend to realize exactly what the allegory in Narnia is and get irritated.)

  23. dmf

     /  April 5, 2012

    • efgoldman

       /  April 5, 2012

      Why’s he wearing a Santa hat?
      (If this is real, the kid’s REALLY got rhythm!)

  24. caoil

     /  April 5, 2012

    I don’t know if any of you read pamie.com (or have read her books), but I was just pointed today to her annual raising-money-for-libraries event, Dewey Donation System. Libraries! Books! Good Things!

    Of course, this shouldn’t be necessary, because libraries should be properly funded and staffed, but I know my rainbow- and unicorn-filled worldview is not actually reality.

  25. carlosthedwarf

     /  April 5, 2012

    I discovered yesterday that I’m going to have to teach my boss how to use twitter. He doesn’t seem to understand that no one wants to know that he’s just now hearing about an event that happened a month ago. It’s especially egregious because he wants his twitter feed to be a source of news about his industry.

    • stephen matlock

       /  April 5, 2012

      Funny. Sounds very Dilbert-y.

      • carlosthedwarf

         /  April 5, 2012

        Even better–he never tweets links. His general twitter use plan is:
        1. Clip an article or an calendar entry from a dead-tree version of a major newspaper
        2. Put it in a folder to marinate for 2-4 weeks, to ensure it loses all possible newsworthiness.
        3. Write a tweet about that article, prefacing it with the phrase, “just hrd”. Do not link to the online version of the article. Insert a hashtag with his website’s url, just for shits and giggles.
        4. Schedule that tweet to publish at some point the following week.

        • stephen matlock

           /  April 6, 2012

          Well, I did laugh at this. I barely keep up with Twitter as it is, checking about every four hours, and I’m following about 100 or so people/feeds I find interesting.

    • mythopoeia

       /  April 5, 2012

      Get as many people from his field as you can in his feed, then assign him to read his feed every day. That’s the best way to learn the flow of the Twitterverse. (Twittersphere? Whatever.)

      • carlosthedwarf

         /  April 5, 2012

        He’s got a thousand people in his feed. I have no clue who most of them are, and most of them never seem to say much that’s relevant to his business.

        Also, my boss is interested in the outside world only to the extent that it enables him to sell more. [My boss became a quite wealthy man by being very good at selling a product that’s cheap to produce but mostly worthless.] I don’t think I could get him to spend much time reading his feed, as there would be no direct connection between that and his sales figures.

  26. caoil

     /  April 5, 2012

    Oh! And before I forget, happy Passover (to those celebrating it), happy Easter (to those celebrating it), and happy chocolate-and-long-weekend to everyone else!

    This heathen Canadian will be eating candies and watching ‘Life of Brian’.