Early Open Thread.

It looks to me like maybe TNC isn’t going to be open threading today either, and I’m about to leave my desk for the rest of the day, so…. Just in case: Have at it!

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. [But today I didn’t wait!]

157 Comments

  1. My lunch meeting is delayed. Here’s the link to the DC Horde meetup survey:
    http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/2TLVSGC

    Meanwhile, there’s an American Idol recap on my blog, a tribute to Gogo, a call to cast Mark Sheppard in GoT and at 2pm, there will be a tribute to Donna Summer. RIP.

    • caoil

       /  May 17, 2012

      He’s definitely a Hey! It’s that Guy! sort (Mark Sheppard). I did have to look him up to figure out exactly where I’d seen him before, but X-Files in the list made everything click.

    • Captain Button

       /  May 17, 2012

      Self-plagiarizing my suggestions from over there:

      Has Mance Rayder been cast yet?

      Did we see Thoros of Myr (the Brotherhood Red Priest) with Lord Beric?

      Stag-rider guy, but he’s only shown up once.

      One of Theon’s uncles?

      One of Pycell’s replacements or a maester of the Citadel?

  2. Captain Button

     /  May 17, 2012

    Do premature OTANs suffer from low comment counts?

    • it’s better than not getting it up at all.

      the THREAD, i mean.

  3. helensprogeny

     /  May 17, 2012

    TUCSON HORDE

    Just want to repost: We’re planning a meet-up for this coming Sunday (May 20) around noonish, place yet to be determined. Interested parties may contact me at helensprogeny@yahoo dot com with suggestions and comments. Come one, come all! Don’t be shy!

    • i wish i could!

      this is my last week of classes, and then finals week starts on monday, so i will be swamped until i finish my grades. another time, perhaps.

      • helensprogeny

         /  May 17, 2012

        Oh, boo! We’re meeting up in honor of WM Rine’s visit to our corner of the world. But yes, maybe as the summer progresses we can find another time to meet up. I’m going to be around for most of June, just kicking back. Let’s revisit this!

    • chingona

       /  May 17, 2012

      Wish I could be there.

  4. caoil

     /  May 17, 2012

    (insert sad and slightly green-tinted comment about how excellent it is that there are all these meetups happening)

  5. Captain Button

     /  May 17, 2012

    I’ve been rereading Roger Zelazny’s Amber series and am now wondering of there is an annotated version or timeline detailing what was actually happening at various points, as opposed to the lies and speculation that abound in that maze of mirrors.

    • Oh, the joys of an unreliable narrator. From what I understand, he also intentionally left a lot of dangling plot points, so something never really get resolved.

  6. dmf

     /  May 17, 2012

  7. stephen matlock

     /  May 17, 2012

    Really tired: up at 3:00 to be at work by 4:00 to be in conference calls with India. Eyes feel like bags of cement.

    • caoil

       /  May 17, 2012

      Do you get to go home at an appropriately early time?

      • stephen matlock

         /  May 17, 2012

        I’m leaving here in a few moments. The lack of sleep + the extremely high pollen count is making me miserable. Good thing it’s just allergies & not something serious like a chest cold which I might ignore because I go bike riding.

        Guilt: the gift that keeps on giving.

        • caoil

           /  May 17, 2012

          I see what you did there. 😉
          Well – off you go, and have a good nap!

    • baiskeli

       /  May 17, 2012

      Sorry, that just sounds painful as hell.

      • stephen matlock

         /  May 17, 2012

        I am so dang tired and achy. Plus I’ve had to mark up three documents for our 5-year-plan with cogent, articulate, and accurate comments. I’m staring at the text wondering why the black letters wander all over the page as I try to focus on the TINY LITTLE COMMENT BALLOONS Word uses.

        • Dex

           /  May 17, 2012

          This is a very common complaint and as usual not solvable with Word’s help function. What version are you working on? I just changed mine. I’m on 2010. It is a royal pain in the ass to find unless you know what you’re looking for. I’m not sure if you, personally, are allowed to change the docs in this case, but for now or future reference:

          On the main ribbon, click the Styles arrow on the bottom right of that group. Before you start, check the box that says “Show Preview” so that you can see what your changes will look like prior to accepting. Click “Manage Styles” at the bottom in the middle. There will be a big list of styles that you can modify. Scroll way down and about halfway down you’ll see “Balloon Text”. Modify as you see fit, and choose whether you want it changed for this document or all future documents.

  8. Blog flogging! I finally wrapped up reviewing three very different whiskies from the Springbank distillery. Contrary to what would have been the case even six months ago, the heavily peated one was the best.

    http://cocktailchem.blogspot.com/2012/05/whisky-review-campbeltown-gift-set.html

    • watson42

       /  May 17, 2012

      I love that you’ve come over to the dark side i.e. peat! 🙂 I was surprised you like Ardbeg, since it’s very much on the peat-brine side of the scale. You need to try some Laphroaig. (mmmm….)

      • It has been a fairly rapid evolution. Even last fall I was declaring that Highland Park 12 was almost too peaty for me. But I am a convert now. I especially like peat + sherry combos like Talisker Distillery Edition. I’m looking forward to trying Ardbeg Uigeadail one of these days.

        I actually meant to buy a bottle of Laphroaig Triplewood a while back, but unfortunately the store was out. Sadly it’s massively overpriced here in Oregon ($90+). Might just have to take the plunge and get a bottle of Quarter Cask instead, as that’s the one everybody seems to love and is only a few bucks more than the regular 10 year old.

        • watson42

           /  May 17, 2012

          I’m told the Ardbeg Uigeadail is amazing. I haven’t tried the Laphroaig Quarter Cask. I need a job right quick, because I’m running out of whisky at home except for the pricey stuff that I refuse to drink just because I want a whisky. 🙂

          • Dex

             /  May 17, 2012

            My expensive stuff always seems to disappear first.😦 I finally sucked it up and bought a couple handles of swill.

            At this point, I still don’t enjoy Laphroaig. It tastes too much like those big smelly permanent magic markers that I used as a kid. This probably sounds like an exaggeration, but the first time I tasted it, I was mentally transported back to my elementary school classroom.

            • watson42

               /  May 17, 2012

              In general, the same is true for me – expensive stuff ends up getting consumed first. But when the company shut down, I swore to myself no buying booze until I got a job. In reasonably-priced whisky, I’m down to the last quarter of a bottle of Glenmorangie. It’s worse with the wine: all I have left are some rather pricey bottles in the basement. [In my darker moments I wonder if I’ll ever drink whisky again…I wonder if I’ll ever find a job.]

              I remember those markers! They would squeak when you wrote with them. I can see where Laphroaig might conjure that….though I think Ardbeg might be closer…

              • aaron singer

                 /  May 17, 2012

                My dad passed away in 2005, and the last two years of his life he worked in the tasting room of a winery on California’s central coast. He loved traveling all around the state and trading wines with the many wineries he would visit. Now a case of those are still in the basement, awaiting to be opened. I think of them as too nice to drink just every day, but most of them are 10 or so years old by now, and I don’t know how many of them are even still good.

          • Alas that we’re on different coasts. I’d be more than happy to share my whisk(e)y, especially if it came with good conversation.

            I have a few bottles in the back of my cabinet that are waiting for… something… I’ll have to open something good on my birthday this year, but I’m not sure what. The Talisker 25 might have to wait until I graduate.

  9. socioprof

     /  May 17, 2012

    Wow–the artists that I listened to in the backseat of my parents’ Pontiacs (dad had a Grand Prix and mom a Grand Am) are dying. This week alone there was Chuck Brown and today, Donna Summer.

    • JHarper2

       /  May 17, 2012

      RIP Donna Summers. My musical life and listening is more and more a mausoleum of sadness and memory.
      /Ties onion to belt.
      You young people, ( and all people actually) if you have a choice between going to hear someone and not going because it might be inconvenient and expensive and you can “catch them next time” go to hear the music/the play/see the art.

      Build memories, and there may not be a next time.

      • aaron singer

         /  May 17, 2012

        I already regret not going to see a LCD Soundsystem/M.I.A. concert in 2006 or 2007, as the former group/person retired a couple years ago. Oh well.

    • JHarper2

       /  May 17, 2012

      Today is the 22nd anniversary of the loss of Jim Henson.
      Hug a muppet.

  10. koolaide

     /  May 17, 2012

    I asked this question too late yesterday so I’ll ask again:

    Does anyone here know how I might learn to fix a box fan? Alternatively, anyone here want to teach me how to fix a box fan? I’m not that handy but I want to learn. The box fan I bought at a yard sale last summer worked then but it is dead now despite looking only a couple of years old.

    • Captain Button

       /  May 17, 2012

      Dead as in does not turn on at all or dead as in seems to stick and turns very very slowly? Does it make a humming noise when turned on?

      • koolaide

         /  May 17, 2012

        Dead as in does not turn on. It did make a humming noise when it first died but now, nothing.

        • Buy another one. It will save you much effort and heartache.

          • koolaide

             /  May 17, 2012

            What if I buy one to use but sacrifice this one upon the altar of my desire to learn how to Fixt Thangs? (if I knew where to look to learn how to fix things)

            • That’s a reasonable compromise. Just don’t leave yourself without a working fan during the summer.

              • koolaide

                 /  May 17, 2012

                So…..

                can you teach me how to fix my fan?

  11. David L

     /  May 17, 2012

    Oh, the fun of working in local government….
    1. Boss asks Database Guy #1 to produce a report about mumblemumble, just as a proof of concept.
    2. Database Guy #1 makes assumptions and doesn’t bother to check them because it wasn’t supposed to be more than a spitball thing.
    3. Boss never asks Database Guy #1 to make changes to the report.
    4. People start using the report and assuming it’s correct.
    5. HQ gets an open records request about mumblemumble, forwards it to Database Guy #2
    6. Database Guy #2 uses Database Guy #1’s report to answer the open records request
    7. Shitstorm ensues because the person at HQ who’s over mumblemumble doesn’t like the numbers (even though they seem to be right) and doesn’t know where they came from but we sent them to the media

    • koolaide

       /  May 17, 2012

      Oh. good luck.

    • cofax

       /  May 17, 2012

      Oh, yeah, FSM forbid any information ever gets released to the press.

      I spent several weeks last year writing a FAQ for the program I help administer. In it I put no information that I don’t tell people in person when they call me to ask about it. I’ve talked individually to the press, members of the public, government agencies, non-profits, and congressional staff. This stuff is true, and not particularly embarrassing to us, other than showing just how difficult it is to get anything done.

      So I finish the FAQ and I send it upstairs for review so it can provided to the Public Affairs folks, and maybe emailed out to the public or shared with other agencies/organizations. A year later, I learn that it’s been killed. The Muckety Mucks don’t want to provide that information in any organized fashion. Just redirect them to [X] website, which (a) we don’t administer, (b) is out of date and rarely updated, and (c) doesn’t cover everything I talk about in the FAQ.

      It’s ridiculous. I’m not upset about the waste of my time, but this horror of actually sharing information with the public really peeves me. It’s fear-driven policy making.

      • Captain Button

         /  May 17, 2012

        If the government doesn’t trust the people, why doesn’t it dissolve it and elect a new people?

    • Bob Jones' Neighbor

       /  May 17, 2012

      Kife was so much easier when every proof of concept was not immediately available to folks who had no idea what they were looking at. I mean, if it’s in the company intranet, it’s got to be accurate, n/est-çe pas?

      • Bob Jones' Neighbor

         /  May 17, 2012

        Damn! I meant “Life was so much easier…”

        • JHarper2

           /  May 17, 2012

          But back in the past, Kife really was much easier. Kife is so hard today, especially for young people starting out.

      • David L

         /  May 17, 2012

        Better than “on the company intranet”–it’s prominently displayed on the intranet home page. The data is updated on a “If nobody objects by the nth of the month, it goes up” basis, and they never told us it was wrong….

    • Captain Button

       /  May 17, 2012

      For bonus points, is Database Guy #1 dead or no longer working there, so that there is no way to tell why things were written in a particular way?

      • David L

         /  May 17, 2012

        Nope. But he’s the only understands the underlying data. It’s all very wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey stuff, because of the rather labyrynthine nature of the way that stuff pretty much has to be handled on the back end.

        • Captain Button

           /  May 17, 2012

          So Wally from Dilbert, then?

          • efgoldman

             /  May 17, 2012

            Wally was always my hero. All he needed was a beard, and I wanted to be him when I grew up.

  12. 90 goddamn minutes later I’m out of my meeting. Why do people DO these lunch meeting things? They are the most useless things ever in the history of free lunch.

    • carlos the dwarf

       /  May 17, 2012

      Because the higher-ups who arrange these things appreciate the free lunch as much as you do?

    • Captain Button

       /  May 17, 2012

      How many of those 90 minutes did you think it was almost over, only 5-10 minutes left?

    • caoil

       /  May 17, 2012

      Aren’t all meetings an excuse to elaborately doodle?

    • helensprogeny

       /  May 17, 2012

      I have felt this way about literally every meeting I’ve ever been to in my life. Please, god, send me an email or a memo. Please, please don’t make me go to a meeting.

      So, yeah, sympathies.

      • Captain Button

         /  May 17, 2012

        I am appointing you to the Unnecessary Meetings Reduction Committee.

        (I saw an ad once for Muppet management training films to show at meetings. They had one for “Meeting Mania”, ‘natch.)

      • corkingiron

         /  May 17, 2012

        Sign in our Office when I was teaching: Hold a Meeting!! The Practical Alternative to Work!”

        My Department Head was notorious for not holding meetings (although we adored him for that and other qualities) – since holding regular department meetings were pretty much a command and control kind of thing. We even had a School Superintendent come all the way up from the Board Office (aka “Fort Fumble”) to find out what was going on.

        He went away satisfied, because the Department Head pulled down a thick binder that had the minutes of the non-existent monthly meetings bound in neat chronological order. Every so often the Department Head would type up some minutes, pass them around and when we’d agreed that we were glad we had missed that meeting – into the binder it went.

        It’s simple really – you don’t need to have a meeting to have the minutes recorded……

        • efgoldman

           /  May 17, 2012

          …the Department Head pulled down a thick binder that had the minutes of the non-existent monthly meetings bound in neat chronological order.
          Oh, too much. That sounds almost too good to be true. Made me laugh… then made me yearn for your boss.

        • helensprogeny

           /  May 17, 2012

          OMG. LOVELOVELOVE!!!

          If ever again I find myself the head of a department or in charge of meetings of any kind, I am soooooooo stealing this. This is EXACTLY the way meetings should be held.

    • I used to work in an office on the East Coast, for a company whose main office was on the West Coast. So just to annoy everyone, our lunch conference calls were their breakfast conference calls. . . and their afternoon calls sometimes required the East Coasters to stay until 7 or 8 pm.

      • helensprogeny

         /  May 17, 2012

        I’m actually supposed to go to a meeting next week that starts at 6:30pm. After a day of rushing around on my feet and facing a 45 minute drive home, you just know that attending a departmental meeting that starts at dinner time is exactly what I want to do. Also too, as far as I know, there is no food involved. I’m seriously considering the value of a “family emergency” which will crop up conveniently about 4pm and require my attention the instant I finish with my final client at 6pm.

  13. David L

     /  May 17, 2012

    Thankfully, I’m not involved, but I’m able to overhear the conversations. My story today goes something like this:

    Contact: Can you send me a list of all users? I think someone has access she shouldn’t have.
    Me: Here you go.
    Contact: Can you send me a list of every form that was completed by Jane Doe?
    Me: Sure. Here it is.
    Contact: There are 250 forms here going back two years. I only need the ones she completed.
    Me: Those are just the ones she completed. I was a little bit surprised by the number.
    Me: (Silently thanks a deity or three that he isn’t responsible for giving anyone access or for cleaning up the mess that has been made.)

    • David L

       /  May 17, 2012

      Oops. Should have been a reply to Koolaide’s reply to me above. Either I’m inept or WordPress has its own elf issues.

      • koolaide

         /  May 17, 2012

        I found your reply🙂

        And dang. Glad you’re just a semi-bystander not in the crossfire/directly involved.

      • Captain Button

         /  May 17, 2012

        The Domino Theory as it applies to virtual nonhuman revolutions.

  14. In follow up to yesterday’s gripes about the Catholic Church…

    The Baltimore Archdiocese yesterday installed a new bishop. A hardline, hard right bishop. (Oh, goody.) The Baltimore Sun ran a photo in the print edition (unfortunately, they didn’t put it online) of the packed cathedral for the ceremony. No one was under 40. There was one black face. One guy might have been Latino, not sure. Not a single woman. NOT. ONE.

    The problem with the Catholic Church, in one photograph.

    • efgoldman

       /  May 17, 2012

      The Baltimore Archdiocese yesterday installed a new bishop. A hardline, hard right bishop.
      Well, there’s a big surprise.

    • cofax

       /  May 17, 2012

      Not a single woman. NOT. ONE

      Wow. That’s pretty surprising, since individual parishes are really dependent on women volunteers to keep everything running.

      • koolaide

         /  May 17, 2012

        That’s what I was thinking.

        And also, too. Not for the first time did I wonder what dumb@ss is in charge of the PR b/c surely someone should have made sure to get a woman somewhere in a photo. It’s not that I want to defend the RCC leadership for their stupid choices but sometimes the way they go about their stupid choices makes my mind boggle even more. Like, who was the idiot that thought a publc statement from the church should actually use the words “less about poverty” when criticizing nuns? Wasn’t there a better way to talk about that stupidness?* Who says church people should do less about poverty and think there won’t be major blow back?

        *again, I’m not on the RCC leadership’s side here. I think they’re wrong.

        • dmf

           /  May 17, 2012

          was there a major blow back over the nuns/poverty issue? no one seemed to say peep when the soon to be current pope was busy inquisitoring various liberation minded theologians.

          • koolaide

             /  May 17, 2012

            I personally have heard more “I can’t believe they’re doing this” type stuff but anecdote not being plural of data and all…

      • There were apparently women at the ceremony – the Sun made a point of interviewing a few – but you can’t see any the photo. Only thing I can figure is they’re so far in the back they’re unidentifiable.

      • dmf

         /  May 17, 2012

        and to fill the pews, where laity invited cuz this is a bit puzzling demographic wise..

      • Captain Button

         /  May 17, 2012

        Well, they are Vessels of Iniquity, aren’t they?

        (Whatever that is>)

        • Captain Button

           /  May 17, 2012

          Unclosed tags, D’oh!

          Need “edit” button along with the “like” button.

    • baiskeli

       /  May 17, 2012

      The Baltimore Archdiocese yesterday installed a new bishop.

      Baltimore Archdiocese Bishop ver 2.0 Readme.txt

      Changes in this version
      version number incremented
      minor UI changes

      Core Dependencies,/i>
      lib-social-conservatism-1.0.x
      lib-anti-feminist-1.0.x
      lib-anti-multiculturalism

      Conflicts with the following installed programs
      lib-vatican-2.0
      lib-liberation-theology-1.x

    • Dex

       /  May 17, 2012

      And here I thought it was only Buddhist monks that self-immolated.

      In the end, there is a deliciousness to it for me. The church hierarchy is doing to itself what they worked so hard to prevent courts of law from rightfully accomplishing.

      • koolaide

         /  May 17, 2012

        prevent the courts of law from rightfully accomplishing

        I haven’t been following the trial in Philly. Is that likely to result in conviction? I don’t think it’s been getting appropriate national attention (or I haven’t looked in the right places) but maybe it will if dude is convicted. Anyone here know more?

  15. efgoldman

     /  May 17, 2012

    Leaving work in a couple of minutes (still on a four-hour schedule). Gonna’ stop and see the three o’clock show of Avengers on the way home, then stop for Chinese.
    [mrs efgoldman has no desire to avenge; she’s off the the BlueGrass on the Bogs Festival for the weekend. In penance I have to take her to Dark Shadows next week.]
    I’m almost 67, I don’t know any of the back stories of any of the characters (except Ironman), never read the comic books, but I think it won’t matter. I expect to have fun, and not to have to think very much.

    • efgoldman

       /  May 17, 2012

      to the BlueGrass….
      I heard there’s such a thing as an edit button…

    • baiskeli

       /  May 17, 2012

      My wife and I watched the Avengers last weekend. Mrs Goldman doesn’t know what she’s missing (my wife is not into action movies, so I was surprised when she suggested we go see the Avengers).

      It is really good (and even better in 3D).

    • efgoldman

       /  May 17, 2012

      I expect to have fun, and not to have to think very much.
      And lo and behold, I was right. A fun 2.5 hours. Lots of ‘splosions.
      And it was a private showing. They sold exactly one ticket for the 3:00 show. Very strange experience in even a fairly small Plex theater. I wish I had a pause button (for the call of nature) but apparently I missed one of the non-action scenes.
      I don’t know how much was from the comic books, but there was a hell of a lot of imagination there.
      Because everyone said “wait through the credits” so I did. It wasn’t worth it.
      BUT: did every f-ing digital artist in the world work on that movie? It was too fast to count, but jeez, must have been hundreds, maybe thousands.

      • aaron singer

         /  May 17, 2012

        What, you don’t like shawarma?!!?

  16. cofax

     /  May 17, 2012

    Avengers fans: Obsidian Wings today has an interesting piece on movie reviewers who apparently didn’t see Black Widow do anything interesting in the film.

    As I said in the comments over there, it’s a strange reversal of the phenomenon where people who see a group which is 30% female as “overwhelmingly women”, and yet I think it comes from the same place.

  17. I am surrounded by idiots.

    On the way in, the traffic guy called an accident with leaking fluids at an intersection that doesn’t exist. The two roads in question never get within a half mile of each other.

    Once here, I read the local paper. A County Councilman (not mine, thankfully) testified before an ethics commission yesterday that he doesn’t remember going to the Superbowl. Dude, you’re either lying or you were stoned. Either way, you shouldn’t be running a snowball stand.

    Then comes our favorite idiot, work category. An opposing ‘attorney’. In parentheses, because he’s been disbarred from the practice of law. However, he’s still practicing it anyway. When we called him out on it, he claimed he couldn’t go to court but he can do anything else. WRONG. He can’t do anything. Furthermore, his website and letterhead still say ‘Law Offices of’. FAIL. And he blamed our office for ‘not cashing the check’ he sent us 18 months ago. He sent us a fax of a check. He never sent the check. Gee, wonder why we didn’t cash it? He claims our attorney screwed up the case…and this guy put the fax in the machine upside down. Got news for you, there’s a problem here and it ain’t us.

    • caoil

       /  May 17, 2012

      I think perhaps you win (dubious honour it may be) for work-related idiots. Mine from yesterday was an assistant, who one might think had at least a passing understanding of the basics of Word, who called for help because she needed to change her document to landscape. I very nearly laughed into the phone.

      • Don’t laugh. Nobody teaches that in school anymore…😦

        • caoil

           /  May 17, 2012

          They do give them basic Word training in legal assistant schools, though, which is what she would’ve gone through quite recently. Honestly I was just dumbfounded. First I thought, okay, maybe she has multiple sections, and she just wants to impact one particular spot, that’s fine, section breaks can be rather confusing for people. But no, she explained that it was the entire document. I don’t know how she’s going to cope when we switch to 2010, if she doesn’t have the basic concepts of Word generally.

      • In her defense, perhaps it’s the version of Word she’s having trouble with? Going back and forth amongst 2000, 2004, 2007 and 2010, I sometimes I have trouble finding things myself. (I have 0 and 10 at home, we have 4 and 7 at work.)

        • caoil

           /  May 17, 2012

          It’s certainly possible, though usually people say “I’m so confused! I use x at home and I never know which menu to use when I’m here!”. This was much more of a tone of, I don’t even know where to begin to look for this.

    • That ‘attorney’ needs to see the inside of a jail cell for the next 5-10 years for fraudulent practice.

      At some point, it would be nice to have a constitutional amendment outlawing Teh Stupid, but enforcement would be a beech.

      • efgoldman

         /  May 17, 2012

        iAt some point, it would be nice to have a constitutional amendment outlawing Teh Stupid, but enforcement would be a beech.
        Paul, ask yourself for a minute – who goes to Congress?
        That’s like asking the cows to pass a law requiring humans to eat more steak.

        • efgoldman

           /  May 17, 2012

          Format fail. But I expect the hall monitor has left for the night.

  18. stephen matlock

     /  May 17, 2012

    Made it home, am flipping tired, and going to bed for a bit.

    I am expecting a package–should be more proof copies of the book. So later this afternoon off to the post office I go.

  19. caoil

     /  May 17, 2012

    This new tumblr, Yo, Should I Dump This Asshole, is making me laugh so much this morning. Yes, from the same minds behind Yo Is This Racist.

  20. Saw a psychologist today, as part of the unemployment support via Vocational Rehab.

    She gave me a homework assignment: I have to work on my smile.
    😐

    • dmf

       /  May 17, 2012

      sorry about that, when psychology got into the business of behavioral management and promoting positivity they left behind any trace of caring for the soul.

      • MightBeLying

         /  May 17, 2012

        You have provided no emoticons so I cannot judge the tone of your statement. Snarky one-liner? Or serious comment? Because as a clinical psychologist with some interest in “positive psychology” (which I think is stupidly named and Marty Seligman is really good at self-promotion but I will ignore this because the field actually has made some important contributions) I might type out a substantial reply if it is the latter.

        Also, good job Paul for following through on your homework! Even if it seems silly🙂 Perhaps one of her goals is to have you doing something silly?

        • dmf

           /  May 17, 2012

          I was serious in my commiseration and in my general disregard for “positive” thinking, Seligman has actually walked back much of his early salesmanship but the state of the art is lacking to say the least.

        • chingona

           /  May 17, 2012

          Is this similar to CBT or different?

          • dmf

             /  May 17, 2012

            they often share some common assumptions/techniques.

        • efgoldman

           /  May 17, 2012

          Perhaps one of her goals is to have you doing something silly?
          He posts here and at Balloon Juice, doesn’t he?

    • watson42

       /  May 17, 2012

      Dare I ask what “work on your smile” means? Is your smile an evil smirk that you make while you stroke a fluffy white kitty and raise your eyebrow? Do you cackle maniacally about your plan for world domination when you smile?

      I know I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating (fwiw): I am constantly impressed that you keep plugging away at the job search with such equanimity and good humor. This shit is *demoralizing* there you are, trying everything you can. Some (too many) days, I alternate between wanting to give up or bash things with steel bar stock (I don’t own a baseball bat).

      • aaron singer

         /  May 17, 2012

        Been out of work since November 2010. I’ve been plugging away at job applications since; only thing I can do is keep on sending them and keep on keeping on in interviews.

        • watson42

           /  May 17, 2012

          For me, this is what demonstrates how f*-ed up everything is. The Horde is a group of very intelligent, curious, motivated people yet there are *way* too many of us who have been out of work for too long. wtf?

          So what do you do to keep from making yourself crazy?

          Also: what sort of work are you looking for? Do you have a geographical preference?

          • Captain Button

             /  May 17, 2012

            Is there a possible selection effect from unemployed people having more spare time to comment online?

            • aaron singer

               /  May 17, 2012

              I definitely think this plays a part.

          • Justin

             /  May 17, 2012

            The crazy will generally pop out from time to time regardless of what you do to mitigate it.

          • aaron singer

             /  May 17, 2012

            I worked on a couple political campaigns in 2010, so had been mostly looking at campaign work or something related. So, the vast majority of interviews I’ve had since last summer have been political-related. In the last couple months many campaigns are hiring for the stretch run to November, so to speak, and I think it’s getting pretty late in the game now, so I’m looking elsewhere now. I just had an interview last week at a used book store that I waiting to hear back from.
            1
            Those are jobs. As for a career, I have no idea. I looked into MLS degrees, but talking to other horders and friends who have gone down that route, I backed off because of the awful job market for librarians. Many college friends are finishing up law school now, but I know I don’t want to do that, either (another flooded job market, too). And in looking for campaign jobs, I’ve been applying anywhere around the country in which I have seen an opening; luckily I am in a position where the only thing preventing me from being able to move ASAP is the need to buy a car, but that can be done quickly.

    • enstar

       /  May 17, 2012

      hey paul, when the swtor server merges finally happen (someday down the line), i say we try to get the horde players reunited together again. i feel bad that i’ve been so absent from namaadi, but with most of my guild buddies and friends on a different server, it has been hard to try to split my time effectively.

  21. David L

     /  May 17, 2012

    Just got done listening to RadioLab’s “short” (26 minutes, which is pretty long for one of their “shorts”) about Alan Turing. I highly recommend it, even if you’re vaguely aware with his life and work.

    http://www.radiolab.org/blogs/radiolab-blog/2012/mar/19/turing-problem/

    • dmf

       /  May 17, 2012

      have you read A Madman Dreams of Turing Machines ?

      • David L

         /  May 17, 2012

        I haven’t. That podcast mentioned it and it was the first I’d heard about it.

        • dmf

           /  May 17, 2012

          I liked it but I think you have to really have some interest in such topics to dive in.

    • aaron singer

       /  May 17, 2012

      Having just read Stephenson’s Cryptonomicon, I look forward to it. I have a whole bunch of RadioLab podcasts which I have yet to listen.

  22. Ian

     /  May 17, 2012

    Revisited winter yesterday. I was here:

    65.51746, -145.52455

    Plenty of concrete-like snow, no leaves on the (few) trees, ice in shore eddies. We took a seismic station with a certain kind of crappy data and turned it into a seismic station with differently crappy data. And I got hailed on. It was fun.

    • Damn, that’s the middle of nowhere.

      • Ian

         /  May 17, 2012

        2.5 hours driving from Fairbanks and then ten minutes in a helicopter.

        • koolaide

           /  May 17, 2012

          Why was it not possible to take the helicopter from Fairbanks? /pointless question to which no answer is expected

          • Ian

             /  May 17, 2012

            Too much weight for the distance. The R44 carried one tech, the instrument, and spare fuel to the site from Fairbanks, then came back to the road to get me and additional supplies. So I drove 5 hours while my partner flew for 2.

            • koolaide

               /  May 17, 2012

              Ah. That makes sense then. Thanks.

  23. caoil

     /  May 17, 2012

    In today’s bit of weirdness, synchronicity, coincidence, or whatever you want to call it, I see Racialicious has linked to an interview on the Guardian website with Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje. The weird part is…yesterday on Twitter I noticed he started following me. Which I don’t really understand, and other than potentially Dominic Monaghan I don’t think I’m following any accounts we’d have in common? So, kind of neat but also a little odd. I might take it as a sign that I’m supposed to write him for his autograph, for my collection.
    (Also, this movie he’s doing sounds soooo interesting.)

    • baiskeli

       /  May 17, 2012

      This is so many levels of cool.

      • caoil

         /  May 17, 2012

        INORITE? I sat at my desk and just stared at the laptop for a few moments, thinking DOES NOT COMPUTE. ERROR. Now I feel a slightly-increased pressure to be more interesting. Won’t happen, but the pressure’s there. 😉

  24. R_Bargis

     /  May 17, 2012

    The Italian intern in my office asked me for a recommendation on a book about contemporary US history or politics to get as a gift for a relative. Said relative has excellent English. Any ideas? I got nothing (books on US history yes, contemporary.. no clue), though I did suggest she pick up some magazines (the Atlantic, Newsweek, the New Yorker)

  25. chingona

     /  May 17, 2012

    As someone who has spend a fair amount of time in the feminist blogosphere, long enough to abandon several places out of despair at the constant circular firing squad, I found the “Is This Feminist?” tumblr pretty great.

    It’s pictures of women doing things, and then some cogent analysis on whether it’s “feminist.”

    This woman is listening to music on headphones. IS THIS FEMINIST?

    To be clear, there’s nothing inherently problematic about music, which many believe is an interest that started in the pre-patriarchal era when ancient people beat drums while contemplating the Venus de Willendorf. But we have to ask why this woman is using headphones, essentially cutting out her listening choices from the community. Being private about our musical choices makes it easier to listen to everything from misogynist rap music to douche-y sexist indie bands like Modest Mouse. It would be better if she opened her taste up to accountability. PROBLEMATIC.

    This woman is riding two dolphins, in a magical moment of pure joy, feeling like a mermaid princess surveying her kingdom in a glimmering sea chariot. IS THIS FEMINIST?
    No. Feeling like a mermaid princess betrays an internalized ideological support of monarchy. Also, animals were not created to be our servants! Read “The Sexual Politics of Meat” some time! PROBLEMATIC.

  26. Justin

     /  May 17, 2012

    *sigh*

    Argument with my friend over tipping. She doesn’t believe in tipping, and says it’s an American thing (which is kind of irrelevant). My perspective is generally wrapped around having seen the movie “Waiting,” the fact that tipped employees receive lower wages, and the fact that they have to deal with incredibly high maintenance people like my mother.

    Yet for some reason I can’t generate any response to my friend beyond “gee, you’re kind of a jerk, huh?”

    • koolaide

       /  May 17, 2012

      Is your friend American? I take it she knows and does not care that wait staff make much less than minimum wage b/c of the expectation that tips will bring their wages up to (or past) minimum wage? Does she “not believe” in paying for services rendered?

      Also, too. I wouldn’t eat at the same place twice w/ her if servers are the same😉

      • Justin

         /  May 17, 2012

        She was born overseas but pretty much raised in the states. For her, it has nothing to do with the quality of servers. She just doesn’t believe in tipping. It just bothers me that she needs reasoning beyond “it’s called being polite at the very least.”

        • koolaide

           /  May 17, 2012

          I agree w/ you in that she shouldn’t need reasons beyond the phrase I learned here yesterday “Because the social mores of our day require this to be the ways things are.”

          I take it she wasn’t convinced by the “they get paid ~$2 an hour by the company and tips help keep them alive” argument.

          • helensprogeny

             /  May 17, 2012

            Plus waiting tables is in general Really Freaking Hard Work. As in, physical labor. And it’s a very real skill. Maybe she should get a job waiting tables for a week and see how she likes not getting tipped for the hard, underpaid skilled labor she does.

    • At gaming, we have to cope with a guy who absolutely will not pay a penny over the listed price for whatever he orders for delivery. No tax, and he’s esp. adamant he won’t pay for a tip. The rest of us wind up chipping in bits trying to cover the deficiency.

      What does he do for a living? He’s a pizza delivery guy.

      • Captain Button

         /  May 17, 2012

        Does he refuse to accept tips when he is working?

  27. Quote of the day:
    Mitt Romney: “I’m not sure what I said, but I stand by it”

    • “I’m not sure what I said, but I stand by it”

      Why, Mittens, dear, you said you were a Black Muslim Communist transgendered member of the Kennedy clan and Ronald Reagan was gay, don’t you remember?

  28. carlosthedwarf

     /  May 17, 2012

    Today in Facebook: A Facebook friend of a Facebook friend, on JWoww’s new book, The Rules According to JWOWW: Shore-Tested Secrets on Landing a Mint Guy, Staying Fresh to Death, and Kicking the Competition to the Curb:

    “JWOWW likens the void of death, and our own limits of understanding our mortality to the experience of looking out towards the ocean at the shoreline of Seaside and searching deep within herself for meaning in a meaningless world. How does one stay fresh in the giant dance club that is this universe, when we all know someday the fists will stop pumping and the beats will stop bumping. These are the issues JWOWW addresses quite brilliantly in this literary masterpiece.”

    • carlosthedwarf

       /  May 17, 2012

      There’s so much amazing stuff on my Facebook feed, I feel like I should turn this into a regular Open Thread feature

    • koolaide

       /  May 17, 2012

      I had to google who JWoww is.

      • doginajacket

         /  May 17, 2012

        So did I. Apparently I should break out that pile of friendship bracelets I’ve got in my “highschool memories” shoebox as they’re going to be this summer’s must-have accessory.

      • helensprogeny

         /  May 17, 2012

        I’m right here in the cave with you.