For the Horde – Open Thread.

Get down to it, people.

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.

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123 Comments

  1. Four recaps today–Next Food Network Star, Sherlock, Game of Thrones, Mad men.

    One tired blogger. Me.

    • Rebecca Zicarelli

       /  May 14, 2012

      Didn’t want to correct you there; but it’s jellyfish, not octopus, on the Sherlock post. And that show gave me nightmares; perhaps the fog seeped out of my TV.

      • Fixt!

        • Rebecca Zicarelli

           /  May 14, 2012

          atta blogger!

          • I blame watching TV and taking notes straight through to 1:30am. And then doing the write ups from 7am-10am.

      • watson42

         /  May 14, 2012

        After I posted over at anibundel’s place, I was thinking about the normalization of the weird. To me, the concept (and practice) of putting GFP in an organism is so commonplace that the idea of it being guarded in some top secret underground government bunker is pretty hilarious. But to most people, the concept probably is rather out there.

        Granted, the idea is slightly more conspiracy-worthy if one assumes (as I did) that it was some other non-innocuous gene tagged with GFP that was the real danger. But still funny….I had fleeting thoughts of Monty Python’s killer rabbit. 🙂

        • Rebecca Zicarelli

           /  May 14, 2012

          I think perhaps we humans have a lot to learn about gene splicing from the Virus community. They’re the artists; we’re just hacks. And I so want a glow-in-the-dark angora bunny; day-glo yarns for my younger sprout the DJ/computer music artist.

          • watson42

             /  May 14, 2012

            Hacks is right. Though we’re getting better at it…slowly. Day-glo yarn would be pretty cool. There was a group in the news a while back that was trying to express silkworm silk proteins in goat milk IIRC. Now if one GFP-tagged the silk proteins, then you could have day-glo silk.

  2. Rebecca Zicarelli

     /  May 14, 2012

    Coates may be too busy being a writer and film star to blog for us today:
    http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2012/05/directing-a-film-isnt-all-terrible/257139/

    Nice pic there.

    And Hi everyone. It’s raining. I’m home knitting and writing. And Mother’s day brought out the apple blossoms in the back yard. Now if the rain will only pass so the bees can get after those blossoms, we’ll have apples come the end of summer.

    • stephen matlock

       /  May 14, 2012

      Oh my gosh – is that TNC in that pic? He’s looking great!

      • Rebecca Zicarelli

         /  May 14, 2012

        Yup; he’s the tall dude, if you hadn’t guessed. And he is looking good, no doubt.

    • caoil

       /  May 14, 2012

      What varieties of apples do you have?

      • Rebecca Zicarelli

         /  May 14, 2012

        The trees are ancient (and seriously in need of pruning). They’re kind of stunning, for each shows a distinct line around the trunk where the original trunk as cut from it’s top, and a desired variety grafted to it. So there’s a wild root, adapted to area, and a different top. There’s both red and yellow delicious, something like MacIntosh, and three crab apples, plus bunches of wild trees that have self-seeded and some I haven’t identified. I’ve recently planted some cortland and more macs.

        I don’t spray them, so they’re sometimes wormy. But I’d rather a little protein then pesticides in my back yard. Plus all the apple growers I knew as a kid died in their early 60’s or earlier of cancers. Makes a few worm tracks an okay thing in an apple.

        • caoil

           /  May 14, 2012

          Wow! You have quite a variety! And it sounds like some very successful grafting. We only have one transparent apple tree, and those aren’t particularly a pick-off-the-tree-and-eat kind. They make lovely applesauce, though. I just cut around the worm holes too. I never use pesticides as I don’t want to harm my bees!

          • stephen matlock

             /  May 14, 2012

            I have a transparent apple tree, too. They are wonderful. (I have six different apple varieties, two cherries, and a blueberry – plus huckleberries and 3 kinds of blackberries. It is a ginormous chore to keep up with them all.)

  3. Yesterday in three year olds, we indoctrinated my nieces into the “Happy Birthday ritual.” They were duly impressed.

    • Captain Button

       /  May 14, 2012

      Have you sent royalties to the Jackson estate?

  4. Captain Button

     /  May 14, 2012

    Haven’t watched GoT yet, hope to get to it tonight.

    Been rereading the Sandman comic compilations by Niel Gaiman.

    • Neil Gaiman panned Dark Shadows on Twitter.

      Now you know.

      • Who hasn’t panned Dark Shadows?

      • Captain Button

         /  May 14, 2012

        Geek that I am, I’ve been more thinking about relating the comic to the In Nomine tabletop role-playing game. Where you play angels and demons fighting the cold war for the souls of humanity.

      • Given the source material, I can’t say that I’m shocked.

      • carlos the dwarf

         /  May 14, 2012

        You guys, Dark Shadows is actually pretty good. [I saw it yesterday.] Don’t go in with super-high expectations, but Johnny Depp is really good and it’s actually got some very clever scenes.

  5. dmf

     /  May 14, 2012

  6. chingona

     /  May 14, 2012

    Sad, though not unexpected, news out of Colorado. A civil unions bill that didn’t make it out of committee last year (due to party line voting by Republicans) had, this year, enough votes – including Republican votes – to pass the full House, and made it out of every committee during the session. Republican leadership pulled some sort of maneuver to run the clock out on the general session, meaning that some 30 other bills that had all passed committees didn’t get a vote. Today, they convened a special session to take up all those orphaned bills, and the speaker assigned the civil unions bill to a committee where he knew it wouldn’t get out. Which is pretty dastardly.

    Nonetheless, I will try to see some hope in the shift from a year ago, when even Republicans known privately to be sympathetic to civil unions voted against it in committee, to this year, where it is known that it would pass if it could just get to the floor.

    Maybe next year? It’s very frustrating.

  7. Our two o clock interview showed up in jeans and sneakers and asked to use the bathroom to change into her suit.

    *sigh*

    • cofax

       /  May 14, 2012

      Oh, honey. Find a McDonalds on the way!

      I once drove 5 hours from SF to Eureka, changed in McDonald’s, drove another hour+, interviewed, and then drove all the way back to SF in one day.

      • She’s newly graduating. She may have thought we were going to be a bit on the “bigger” side, where one can use the bathroom in the lobby, and no one in the office 13 floors up the wiser.
        Unforch, we’re an office that barely holds 10.

      • Yeah, I’ve changed my clothes and shoes in a Starbucks bathroom more than once in my life. Including before job interviews…

      • If I gotta drive to the interview I go dressed proper right out the gate. I also run the car AC full blast to avoid sweating too much. And I don’t put the heavy business suit on until I get there. Who in their right minds expect people to interview in a long-sleeve thick blazer in Florida between the months of April to November, I ask you?!

    • LOL my interviewer for my 10 o’clock interview didn’t show up until 11, and then asked me to come back later….🙂 (hehe!)

      • She left her bag of clothes under the sink for the duration of the interview. Like we wouldn’t notice? So confused.

        • cofax

           /  May 14, 2012

          ::facepalm::

          I swear, college students need a mandatory seminar on Behaving Like Grownups before they graduate.

        • neighbors73

           /  May 14, 2012

          My question: is anyone going to give her feedback that clues her in? I mean, we had the woman last week with the shitty resume and poorly written cover letter, but I don’t think we’re telling her that.

      • wearyvoter

         /  May 14, 2012

        I once trekked all the way from East Lansing to Beloit, WI for an interview for a job with a newspaper, and when I got there, the person I was supposed to interview with was gone for the week. This was back before cell phones and email, but turns out the jerk knew a week before the interview that he wasn’t going to be available, and he still didn’t bother to have anyone call me to ask me if I wanted to reschedule. Just as well that it didn’t work out, but still….

        • Wow, I feel a bit better about that. My interviewer just forgot to write it in his calendar. That particular situation seems nasty.😦

          • wearyvoter

             /  May 14, 2012

            I was not pleased, but I guess in the long run, it was better that way. I wouldn’t want to work for someone who was that thoughtless.

    • Well at least she tried to change into more professional wear for interviewing. Some still show up in jeans, sneakers, and a t-shirt reading “Bikini Inspector” (where the job is NOT inspecting bikinis no less).

  8. cofax

     /  May 14, 2012

    Planning geekery: The Republicans in the House of Representatives want to delete the American Community Survey. ::facepalm:: They really don’t have a clue, do they? Anyone who has done any planning work (city, transportation, environmental, regional, etc) knows how valuable that data set is. Killing it is just stupid. ARGH.

    • dmf

       /  May 14, 2012

      don’t you know mankind plans and the invisible hand of the market laughs

    • carlos the dwarf

       /  May 14, 2012

      The Republicans want government run like a business? No big business would ever stop all attempts at market research.

      Republicanism long ago stopped being about smaller government or smarter government or better government or anything like that.

      • Bob Jones' Neighbor

         /  May 14, 2012

        No they don’t. They want it in bankruptcy. Reduce prices (taxes) for wealthy customers, cut product lines (for middle-income to poorer customers). That has nothing to do with business practice. And although they claim to be capitalists, they continue to ignore Adam Smith and perpetuate the mercantile system instead.

    • Not only planning. Public health would receive a real blow without that data as well. Granted we have more surveys to collect some of that info, but it’s valuable beyond measure.

    • socioprof

       /  May 14, 2012

      Sociologists are right there with you. I’m a qualitative urban sociologist and I certainly rely on that data.

    • If it’s not money going to defense contractors, CEOs, or hedge fund managers, Republicans think it ought to be cut.
      There is almost no civic-mindedness in today’s GOP.

      • Captain Button

         /  May 14, 2012

        After all, if the data is valuable, private industry will do a better job at it, right?

        • After JP Morgan lost another $2 billion AT LEAST this past weekend, if anyone tells me private industry does a better job I will call the cops and have that person arrested for fraud.

      • cofax

         /  May 14, 2012

        I can tell you as a defense contractor, the data certainly gets used by defense contractors!

  9. I’m putting my room up for sublet while I’m off on my internship this summer. It’ll be available starting June 12th and will go through mid/late August; I’m flexible on the end dates. It’s a furnished bedroom in a 4BR house, 3 minutes from the Benning Road Metro station on the Blue Line. Rent is $600 (with opportunities to be lowered) plus utilities, which usually come to around $70. If y’all know anyone who’s looking for an affordable place to live in DC this summer, send them my way.

  10. chingona

     /  May 14, 2012

    The Romney/bully story was briefly mentioned last week. I agree with the general consensus that I wouldn’t hold it against him based on the incidents themselves, but that I find his reaction now less than satisfying. (Keeping in mind that I already don’t care for Romney, so it’s not hard for me to continue to think ill of him.)

    Anyway … the newspaper where I work ran the WaPo piece over the weekend, as it was available on the wire, and this morning, I overheard our publisher (which, for those not familiar with newspapers, is much more of a business position and not at all concerned with day-to-day editorial decisions) complaining to our managing editor (who has a lot to do with day-to-day editorial decisions) that we ran the story. “How far back are we going to go?” he asked. Okay. That’s a fair question. “What about Obama’s drug use?” Well, we’ve run those stories, and he made it public knowledge in his book, so voters and readers have that information. “So if someone kills a bug, are we going to run an article about that? Is that what we’re going to do now? If someone kills a bug, that’s news?” The managing editor said, rather mildly, that he didn’t think that was the same thing, and that bullying is a topic that is in the news a lot, giving the story additional relevance. And that was about the end of the conversation.

    I’m still feeling a little sick about how he put it. Killing a bug. In his defense (sort of), he’s very insensitive about all sorts of things even when he means well. I heard him say jaw-droppingly offensive things while attempting to offer condolences to one of my co-workers after her father died. But I was still astounded at how he put it. Killing a bug.

    • carlos the dwarf

       /  May 14, 2012

      I continue to believe that the Romney bully story matters only because of his reaction to the story last week: If he’d shown contrition and made a genuine apology, no one would have cared. I don’t care that 18-year-old Romney was a bully, I care about 2012 candidate Romney. Romney’s non-apology shows us that he’s still the same bully that he was 40 years ago–and, when we choose our next president, that matters.

      • chingona

         /  May 14, 2012

        I agree. I guess I felt like my publisher’s reaction showed that Romney doesn’t need to show contrition because plenty of people see his victims as having no value. It’s one thing to say that lots of people do stuff when they are teenagers of which they aren’t proud. It’s another to equate his actions with killing a bug.

      • David L

         /  May 14, 2012

        Has he even said much more than saying he doesn’t remember it? I would be content with a statement saying he doesn’t condone that sort of action without specifically admitting or denying it, but I haven’t even heard that much.

        • He doesn’t remember it, but even if he did attack his fellow student it couldn’t have been because he was gay, because nobody was aware of the existence of homosexuality back then. Link: http://articles.latimes.com/2012/may/10/nation/la-na-romney-apology-20120511

          • Electronic Neko

             /  May 14, 2012

            I liked that move. He doesn’t remember the incident, but he does remember the kid in question and he remembers that he definitely didn’t consider the kid gay. I feel pretty sure I’d remember if I ever jumped someone with a pair of scissors, but I don’t remember which kids I thought might or might not be gay. His memory certainly works in interesting ways.

            And I really wish we could all agree that “if I did x, then I apologize” does not constitute an actual apology. Saying “If I hurt anyone I would be very sorry for it and apologize for it,” does not count as an apology, yet the article headline implies that Romney did in fact apologize.

          • baiskeli

             /  May 14, 2012

            After holding an afternoon rally for supporters on the banks of the Missouri River in Omaha, he apologized again during a TV interview with Neil Cavuto of Fox News. “I’ve seen the reports, not going to argue about that; I did some stupid things in high school,” he said. “If I hurt anyone I would be very sorry for it and apologize for it.”

            The Post also described incidents in which Romney, the son of then-Michigan Gov. George Romney, said, “Atta girl,” in class to a closeted gay student, and deliberately held a door closed while a sight-impaired teacher walked into it.

            Romney = Stifler (from “American Pie”).

  11. carlos the dwarf

     /  May 14, 2012

    In the wake of last week’s gay marriage news, I’ve been reading quite a bit about it, and I’m moving towards a conclusion that surprises me: This isn’t my fight. It is my fight, of course, in the sense that it’s my ability to someday choose to marry the love of my life that’s at stake here. But the fight that’s currently being fought is on terrain so foreign to me that it’s nearly impossible for me to engage with it in a meaningful way.
    I think the fight about gay marriage, at this point, is being waged almost entirely within the confines of the Christian faith: Most non-religious people and most Jewish people are firmly in favor of gay equality at this point. Gay marriage seems to me to have become the principal fight in Christianity’s generational battle: Sixty percent of children raised Christian no longer identify as Christians, and the majority of those who’ve left the faith cite Christianity’s increasing intolerance towards GLBT people as a primary reason they left. Furthermore, even among those young adult Christians who’ve remained Christians, the majority support civil equality for GLBT people.
    In my discussion of Beinart’s Crisis of Zionism in the past week, I’ve touched on the generation gap within Judaism, between the older generation for whom the victimhood narrative still resonates and the younger generation that cannot accept it. I think something similar is happening here within Christianity: There’s a generation gap between older Christians, who hold fast to traditional interpretations of their Scriptures, and the younger generation, who see this attitude as unChrist-like and contrary to the lived experience of their gay friends, family members, and peers.
    I can engage with the fight over the direction of Judaism, not just because I’m Jewish, but because I have a scholarly and experiential body of knowledge about Jewish history, theology, and culture. I was born with it, I’ve lived, and I’ve studied it. I have no similar understanding of Christianity, at any level.
    I’m confident that in the long term, my side of the argument will win. I’m no longer confident in my ability to move that argument, even a little bit. I’d love to hear what other people have to say about this, and (especially) dissenting arguments.

    • chingona

       /  May 14, 2012

      This is really interesting because to a large degree, I think the fight over marriage equality is also a fight about separation of church and state, which historically has been a fight that Jews have been very invested in. If you mean purely the hearts-and-minds fight, I think I probably agree with you (having not previously thought of it in the way you put it). There are politically conservative Jews who strongly oppose gay marriage for religious reasons, but they are small minority within a small minority – they certainly are not the ones driving the political debate. But in a legal sense, I see it not just as a fight about gay rights but also as a fight over which religious values get to be encoded in civil law, and that’s pretty important to religious minorities.

      • SWNC

         /  May 14, 2012

        That’s my take on it as well. I have yet to hear an argument against same-sex marriage that doesn’t essentially boil down to, “I don’t believe that God likes it.” But we as a nation shouldn’t go around making laws based on what some people believe God wants.

        • dmf

           /  May 14, 2012

          what’s the real democratic alternative in such an overwhelming theistic society?

          • dmf

             /  May 14, 2012

            heh, possible freudian slip meant to say overwhelmingLY

          • mythopoeia

             /  May 14, 2012

            You raise an interesting point. I would say that I can be a theist and acknowledge that what I believe God wants and what you believe God wants differ, and try to make laws that best hew to the Constitution, American ideals as set out in the Declaration of Independence, and considerations of ethics and the common good that are not or are lightly influenced by my theism.

            • dmf

               /  May 14, 2012

              wouldn’t you still be working for what you believe God wants, and would you really defer to other peoples’ ideals that you believed were false or unjust?
              not sure one can sort out what parts of one’s beliefs/interests would/could be apart from one’s faith (religious or otherwise) positions.

              • mythopoeia

                 /  May 14, 2012

                Example: I could believe that nonviolence is theologically and morally required in a just society, yet continue to pay taxes to fund the army and the police force, and also not start a campaign to ban all guns in society precisely because I believe that the second amendment overrules my desire to apply my theology to my fellow citizens.

          • SWNC

             /  May 14, 2012

            It’s a good question. In the particular case of same-sex marriage, it strikes me as most similar to how the Catholic church views the marriage of divorcees. They don’t recognize the marriage of two divorced folks as valid, but nobody goes around suggesting that the rest of society needs to consider those marriages invalid.

      • carlos the dwarf

         /  May 14, 2012

        On a broader level, this is a fight that ought to matter to religious minorities–I think you’re right about that. But they haven’t been treating it as such: Outside of a few states with large Ultra-Orthodox populations, there hasn’t been significant pressure on this issue from any group affiliated with Judaism (or Islam or Hinduism or any other religious minority). In contrast, every major anti-equality group out there is either directly affiliated with or primarily funded by a Christian group. But this is becoming less and less a gays vs. Christians fight, and more and more a Christians vs. Christians fight, as younger Christians line up in ever greater numbers with pro-equality forces.

    • dmf

       /  May 14, 2012

      seems right enuff, to the degree that you (or anyone) lack some basic common grounds with folks there is really little that can be done in the way of working something through with them at the social level and why civil rights (especially minority rights) will always take political action , can’t legislate morality but you certainly can gain rights and protections.

    • baiskeli

       /  May 14, 2012

      Most non-religious people and most Jewish people are firmly in favor of gay equality at this point. Gay marriage seems to me to have become the principal fight in Christianity’s generational battle: Sixty percent of children raised Christian no longer identify as Christians, and the majority of those who’ve left the faith cite Christianity’s increasing intolerance towards GLBT people as a primary reason they left. Furthermore, even among those young adult Christians who’ve remained Christians, the majority support civil equality for GLBT people.

      The battle may be generational in the U.S, but not overseas. I’ve posted before how U.S and Western evangelicals are pouring tons of money into developing countries to push an extreme Christian theology at the social, governmental and institutional level. I’d hazard a guess that my home country is now much more anti-gay than at any point in the last 30-40 years, and there is no break between the older generation and the younger generation on that. And it’s not just the anti-gay bigotry, it’s the pushing of a theology that abhors the poor, hates womens rights, is against sensible measures to protect against STD’s etc etc.

      I consider myself an Ex-Christian (and I was a devout practicing Protestant up until the age of 18-19), for a whole host of reasons, and intolerance towards GLBT is one of those reasons.

      I have seen some churches near where I live that seem very welcoming, and are even accepting of gays, are socially liberal etc, but at this point I just feel the whole institution of Christianity is deeply flawed (not to offend anyone, that’s just how I feel at this point).

      The ground that evangelical Christians are losing in the U.S is more than made up by concommitant gains overseas. During Bush’s administration, they were able to use the tools of the State Department and various programs to push that agenda (cutting funding for anything other than abstinence programs etc).

      • watson42

         /  May 14, 2012

        i’ve heard about this, but I’m not sure I understand it. What do they have to gain from pushing extreme theology on other countries? Do the evangelicals get money from overseas? Do they consider it a religious mandate?

        • baiskeli

           /  May 14, 2012

          They consider it a religious mandate.

  12. I somehow managed to not know that Mark Zuckerberg isn’t even 30 yet.

    • Captain Button

       /  May 14, 2012

      Is this an occasion for one of those “When Mozart was my age … he had been dead for two years.” moments?

      • It’s just like – hasn’t FB been around FOREVER? How could he be turning 28 today? Good lord, that man has fucking changed the world (for good or ill, I’ll leave to others) and he’s barely out of diapers.

        Is all.

        All due respect to the 28 and under crowd, of course. 28 is a perfectly reasonable age. It’s just not a reasonable age TO HAVE ALREADY CHANGED TO WORLD FROM STEM TO STERN. Is all.

        • Captain Button

           /  May 14, 2012

          See also those job announcements that ask candidates to have 5 years experience with software that was written 3 years ago.

          • carlos the dwarf

             /  May 14, 2012

            I come across a fair number that seek 10 years of social media experience. Written by people who clearly have no idea that Facebook is less than 10 years old.

        • aaron singer

           /  May 14, 2012

          I turned 28 last month. I am worth about $101 billion less than Mr. Zuckerberg. While I am also Jewish, I did not attend Harvard and rarely if ever wear hooded sweatshirts.

    • cofax

       /  May 14, 2012

      A ten-year-old girl climbed a V13 bouldering problem in Texas a few weeks ago. (For those not in the know, that’s practically Olympic-caliber levels of atheleticism.)

      Which is a round-about way of saying: We is old. ::sigh::

      • chingona

         /  May 14, 2012

        Sarah Ganim won a Pulitzer for her reporting on the Penn State sex abuse scandal. She’s 24.

      • Way to rain on my feeling good about being one move from finishing a V9. And that after climbing for 50% more time than that girl has been alive.

        • cofax

           /  May 14, 2012

          I’ve been climbing for 25 years, and on my very best day I can maybe manage a V3. But what the hell: good on her.

          It’s actually sparked quite a discussion in the climbing community about the inherent subjectivity of ratings: something that’s impossible for a 6’2″ guy may be only moderately hard for a 5’2″ woman. Or a child weighing 70 lbs…

          • It’s tough. I’ve been very, very slowly increasing the difficulty of the problems I can do, but it feels like a slog some days. Between the fact that difficulty seems to increase exponentially as grades go up and how quickly you can lose strength (a shoulder injury in January knocked me back to V1/V2 territory for months), I can see why people have to put in so much work to get that good. I don’t begrudge them any of it because my interests are just too varied to ever focus on one thing and get really, really good at it.

            I was in a climbing team back when I was in high school, so I know all about that. Seems like part of the trick is starting before puberty, so you can build up a very good strength:weight ratio. I know mine peaked right around the end of middle school (I certainly couldn’t do two dozen pullups anymore, even if I’m a lot stronger in absolute terms).

    • Mark Zuckerberg et al (read: those who have changed the world from stem to stern prior to age 30) are the reason some of us in the 25-30 age group feel like freaking under-achievers.

      • wearyvoter

         /  May 14, 2012

        Steve Jobs and Bill Gates were the Zuckerberg equivalents for us later-breaking boomers.

      • aaron singer

         /  May 14, 2012

        I am of that age group, and I can’t imagine achieving less than I have.

  13. Anyone know a good shawarma place around here?

    And what is shawarma? Anything like a gyro?

    • Shawarma is very similar to gyros except you have tahini sauce.

      Where to find a good one? May have to ask Tony Starks for that one.

      • So what’s tahini sauce? Anything like teriyaki or bbq or honey mustard or what?

        • Not quite. Tahini sauce is made from ground sesame seeds, I believe. It’s creamy, nutty, and kind of bitter. If you have too much it can take over the flavor of everything.

        • chingona

           /  May 14, 2012

          Tahini is what makes hummus and babaganoush taste like they do. If you can imagine the flavor that those two foods have in common – without the chickpeas and eggplant that distinguish them – that’s the tahini.

    • koolaide

       /  May 14, 2012

      now I’m craving the Med. food place near me. Gonna have to dig around to see if I’ve got a coupon.

  14. baiskeli

     /  May 14, 2012

    Didn’t do my bike race on saturday cause my cold had progressed to a chest cold.

    Co-worker who had the cold that I think I contracted emailed to let us know he is home with walking pneumonia. So that might be my diagnosis too if I did contract the cold from him (not certain, there have been quite a few different ones going around) (hopefully seeing doctor tomorrow).

    I actually feel better today, even without medicine. I spent all weekend lounging at home high on cold medicine. Also realizing I get kinda grumpy and ornery if I don’t ride for a few days.

    • Right now I’m trying to decide whether or not I’ll be up for back to back 50s in mid-September. My grad program is going on a retreat near Mt. Hood and it’d be kind of fun to ride out there, but we’re only staying overnight so I’m pretty sure I’d be hurting that Sunday. On the other hand, only staying overnight means that I wouldn’t have to carry too much in my panniers.

      • baiskeli

         /  May 14, 2012

        I think back to back 50s should be fine, that is if you don’t have ridiculous amounts of elevation.

        It seems like this week is shot as far as riding goes, so I’ll be getting back on the bike hopefully this weekend (if my cold is past and I don’t have walking pneumonia), with about a week off the bike (boo!!) and taking it easy for at least a week before resuming my harder rides and hill repeats.

        I don’t have other races planned (a couple I was interested in are filled up for my category) so I’m thinking of doing some centuries along with the CRW Climb to the Clouds (a century with Mt Wachusett as the mid-point) and keeping to my schedule of hill repeats once a week (they’ve really made a difference).

        There are some crits open during the week, and I might do them a couple of times, though I don’t especially love crits even though they suit my body type (no hills, reward fast-twitchers like me) I hate the closeness to other cyclists in the corners and some of them always end up being crash-fests.

        I did some serious cleaning of both bikes (as in simple green, degreaser, drying, oiling, polishing) and put race fenders on my steel bike, which is now my main commuting bike. I also changed the saddle on the Steel bike to a Fizik Arione I had lying around (same as the saddle on the carbon bike) and put on a shorter stem to make it’s geometry similar to the carbon bike).

        There must be some bike OCD diagnosis somewhere in the DSMV

    • stephen matlock

       /  May 14, 2012

      Dear friend baiskeli,

      DO NOT DICK AROUND WITH THIS. If you’re that sick, please go see a doctor (as you have said you will do).

      I have two friends nearly incapacitated for weeks because they let a simple “cold” linger to the point where they both developed chronic bronchitis.

      Please take this seriously.

      • baiskeli

         /  May 14, 2012

        Thanks

        I already made a doctors appt, and I’m not feeling too bad today (I’m at work, and other than a tickle in my throat and some sniffles I feel fine). The appt is a precaution just in case I do have walking Pneumonia.

    • Had pneumonia once. Started off feeling like a cold, but within two days I had to goto an emergency room and get doped up with enough antibiotics to kill that space amoeba from that Star Trek episode.

    • It was kind of nice to hear that almost no one is actually interested in buying those targets, but sad that someone thought there would actually be a viable market.

  15. koolaide

     /  May 14, 2012

    Today in moaning & whining & bitching…

    Unless the dealer had to take apart my driver’s side front door to install keyless entry (which I think doubtful given the car already had power locks & I think under dashboard is the standard install location), some fuckhead attempted to break into a car I’ve had ~2 weeks. It appears they tried to slide a tool between the door & body (by the top right corner of the door) to pop it open. Didn’t work but left my new car damaged. The front door & back door on the driver’s side don’t meet nicely at the top. I’m so pissed.

    I *think* it isn’t bent so much as to allow water to seep in during rain. I’ll find that out today (we’ve had rain) after work. I was so angry that I was incredibly rude to the neighbor when I was showing the damage to my mom. So now I’ve got to apologize to the neighbor for being an ass.

    I spent a lot of money (for me) on this car and I’m already unhappy about events related to it. Anyone have sage to burn over it?

    • caoil

       /  May 14, 2012

      I do, and I’ll give you a match to start it, too.

  16. David L

     /  May 14, 2012

    Note to the world: Your failure to plan ahead is not my motherfucking problem. I don’t care who needs what data for their 2:00 meeting, it’s not an emergency that’s severe enough to warrant me interrupting my lunch.

    You were lucky enough to have called my cell after I’d already put my order in at the drive-through. Otherwise, I would have been sorely tempted to eat in.

    • caoil

       /  May 14, 2012

      That’s a pretty big pet peeve of mine. I always want to ask if we should be calling 911 – otherwise? not a genuine emergency. No one (in an office situation) is going to actually die if we don’t get some printout or whatever to them in the next 5 minutes.

      Relatedly, I can never understand how a group of adults* capable of reading a calendar are always shocked by the arrival of Friday. Or any statutory holiday. It’s not like it snuck up on you, it’s been there the whole time. Probably marked in your Blackberry/iPhone/digital appendage, too!

      *in this case, lawyers

  17. watson42

     /  May 14, 2012

    Today in random awesomeness:

    I decided to self-medicate myself out of a funk brought on by a frustrating and unproductive day i.e. went to get some sugar in the form of a scone at a local coffee shop.

    It starts pouring rain right as I’m leaving and as I get out onto the sidewalk, an ~12-year old kid passes me, soaked to the skin, carrying a heavy backpack looking grumpy. I guess he has just gotten off the bus (the stop is a block and a half away) and on his way home. By the time I get my umbrella out and up, he’s already 25 feet ahead of me, right before a church where water is just sheeting down off the roof. I am just about to open my mouth to ask him if he wants to share my umbrella when I see him swerve into the curtain of water. I laugh out loud and he looks over his shoulder, flashes me a smile and shrugs as if to say, “hey, I’m already wet. Might as well enjoy it.” I waved and laughed. He made my day.

    • That’s basically how I feel about FiveFingers shoes. When I go for runs, I stop caring about tromping through the mud, because my feet are going to get wet and dirty no matter what. And feeling the mud squish between your toes is pretty fun.

    • efgoldman

       /  May 14, 2012

      If I’d had that speech, I might have stayed awake.
      But then, I never went to my college graduation. They handed my (then) wife my degree and said “please tell him not to bother coming back.” She mailed me a copy while I was in basic training – I had no idea I had enough credits.
      I sat through plenty of graduations, though. Two for the current (35 years) mrs efgoldman, three for the daughter.
      In the mid-90s I was the designated announcer for the Boston U radio station, for graduation. Memorial Day Sunday, broiling hot, sitting at a table in the middle of an AstroTurf field for three+ hours. The topper: the honoree and speaker was the University president’s best bud from Texas, one H. Ross Perot.
      I can still hear his nasal, whiny, screechy tenor drawl….

  18. neighbors73

     /  May 14, 2012

    I had a great MOther’s Day. We rode our bikes, I took a nap, we grilled and hung out with our neighbors. Good times.

  19. efgoldman

     /  May 14, 2012

    Sorry to be so late to the party. I’ve been saving a couple of items for ubergeeks, from over the weekend.

    Dr. Who geeks: Save your pennies:
    http://techcrunch.com/2010/06/18/the-tardis-is-up-for-auction/

    Game of Thrones (and other ancient fantasy geeks) time to go food shopping:
    http://thephoenix.com/Boston/food/138000-year-in-westeros/

  20. neighbors73

     /  May 14, 2012

    Horde sourcing: I’m going to try and put together a world mythology unit for my middle schoolers next year. The general idea at this point is parallel mythology: these are stories about creation, these are stories are about women, these are stories about heroes, etc.

    Any great ideas about sources for non-Western mythology? Any good apps or websites? What about Neil Gaimon? I hear his name associated a lot with these ideas, but not sure where to start.

    Big order, I know. Anything you’ve got would be helpful.

    • I love all the flood stories – Gilgamesh vs. Noah, etc – but you probably have a leg up on that already. And Mesopotamia is kind of “Western” Civ these days, isn’t it?

      • neighbors73

         /  May 14, 2012

        The idea is more to give a baseline for foundational myths and stories. Our 6th grade teacher still does The Outsiders, and when they read the Frost poem “Nothing Gold Can Stay”, she says many of them don’t know what EDEN is.

        So the idea of the unit is to provide some of those basics. Flood stories = good.

    • Websites: The Encyclopedia Mythica is a pretty good resource, but you kind of have to know what you’re looking for already and it’s definitely in a more scholarly tone. Godchecker is much more accessible to younger people.

      As far as parallels go, there are a whole lotta pantheons out there. Creation myths are a good start – a lot of stories are “so there was a bunch of chaos and then there wasn’t.” (Personally, I like the Chinese version about a giant cosmic egg.) You could look at specific deity archetypes – sun gods, death gods, trickster gods, etc.

  21. stephen matlock

     /  May 14, 2012

    EMILY.

    I ordered 5 more proof copies. They arrive Thursday.

    I can have one in the mail on Friday.