Old MacDonald Had a Thread, Free-I-Free-I-O
April 18, 2022 3:33 PM   Subscribe

It's Monday and my day off and I've done like six hours of work anyway, which means now I absolutely get to put my feet up and crack open a nice cold can of Free Thread with the boys. (The boys are my cats. They're both girls, come to think of it. Anyway.) Come on in and talk about whatever the hell one talks about when one talks about things, I (increasingly literally) don't make the rules.
posted by cortex (122 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
Bad mood because of snow/rain the day after Easter plus since Feb.8 I’ve been a full-time caregiver for my husband. I don’t mind that fact; but there’s no subsidy or stipend for home care-givers unless he’s a veteran or on Medicaid (neither one, in his case.) I feel like writing AOC and Bernie, outlining my experience of giving skilled nursing care for NO MONEY. I realize it’s not wage-theft per se, but the fact remains, I’m not being paid by anyone for this work.
I wish I had a direct line to bad-guy bombers, to direct them to fly over the “health” insurance conglomerates who perpetrate this exploitation.
posted by BostonTerrier at 3:41 PM on April 18 [8 favorites]


Yesterday my wife was trying to hand feed a nuthatch when a downy woodpecker tried to horn-in on the action and the nuthatch did a threat display which we had never seen. That was pretty cool. Then today someone on my twitter feed shared a tweet showing one. Weird coincidence. So here it is for all y'all.
posted by srboisvert at 3:48 PM on April 18 [16 favorites]


Well, at least it's Tax Day in the US.

Edit: also I am trying but failing to befriend some crows.
posted by swift at 3:49 PM on April 18 [4 favorites]


My spouse is audibly bickering with TurboTax, so, you know, taxes!
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 3:52 PM on April 18 [1 favorite]


There's been some serious divebombs recently outside my front window of what appears to be (I only ever catch peripheral smears) local crows divebombing the squirrels that are always zooming around on the fence between our house and the next door neighbor. Wildlife drama, I'm here for it.

I have also been considering trying to befriend some crows, swift. I haven't actually started yet.
posted by cortex at 3:54 PM on April 18 [4 favorites]


Well, at least it's Tax Day in the US.

Not in New England and some other parts of the northeast!

The regional IRS office is in Massachusetts and today it is closed because today is Patriots' Day! Our tax filings are due tomorrow.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 3:56 PM on April 18 [2 favorites]


Threw in the towel and filed for an extension. Bought a house, sold a house, now in the middle of moving 350 miles away, nobody's got time for damn taxes.
posted by vverse23 at 3:59 PM on April 18 [4 favorites]


I've been taking a camera with me when we take the dog for walks on the weekends, but I decided not to yesterday because I'm still feeling a little under from covid. And of course we spot not only a great blue heron but a goddamn osprey hunting in the reservoir.

My wife was out of town about a month ago, and since I forgot my camera on that dog walk I saw a fox and a swan at our other usual location. I'm going to singlehandedly repopulate the animal species around here the rate I'm going.
posted by backseatpilot at 4:00 PM on April 18 [12 favorites]


Dentist tomorrow. Morale remains high. Mostly due to my dentist's excellent attitude about using nitrous.

Assistant: "We will start at the minimum level."
Dentist: "C'mon, look at this guy, he parties. Give him a bit more."

Good lord, dentist, I don't know if you actually could tell (I look like a large algebra teacher), but boy do I ever love you for it.

I'm assuming she said that as a joke, and upped the dosage due to my beefyness, but yes indeed I do party, and yes indeed I need a bit more than your average bear.
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 4:03 PM on April 18 [32 favorites]


Are people taking down their bird feeders? I have due to bird flu risk (not to me... to chickens) and the birds are angry. It is spring. They want seed. They do not want to take the smaller amounts of seed from the sill.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 4:03 PM on April 18 [2 favorites]


BostonTerrier, I hope things get better.

We've moved to a new house and frequently get deer in the backyard and it's delightful (video). Also our local zoo has a sloth experience which is also delightful (video).
posted by joannemerriam at 4:08 PM on April 18 [5 favorites]


The crows are busy right now, at least where I live, so don't fret. I talked with a couple this morning and they have stuff they need to do. They'll be ready for new friends when the eggs are hatched, but right now the nests aren't even ready.

After that, I was thinking about all the other creatures and specially the squirrels, and then I found a dead squirrel. It looked so young and alert, I wonder what happened? I mean, I'm sure squirrels have to die like other animals, but this one didn't look old at all. Was it pushed off a branch by a crow?

It's a late spring here, which is sort of strange, since the winter has been very mild. But then suddenly it got really cold. Now everything is bursting!
posted by mumimor at 4:08 PM on April 18 [3 favorites]


BlackLeotardFront, I scrubbed mine yesterday and have plans to douse it with vinegar regularly (Audobon Society said daily, I am not sure yet if I will be able to stick to that but am going to try). (Edited to add, I am talking about a birdbath not a bird feeder, I misread your question.)
posted by joannemerriam at 4:09 PM on April 18


We moved and apparently have deer who are extremely stealthy as they use our backyard as their favorite outhouse. I would mind less if they were at least a little decorative. But noooo….
posted by zenzenobia at 4:18 PM on April 18


Today was the day of the Boston Marathon and I had the day off (Patriot's Day... it's a Massachusetts thing) so my wife and I went down to cheer on a couple of friends, including Mefite JeffJon, who I know from outside of Metafilter. He finished in under four hours which is pretty damn impressive. (Jeff I hope you don't mind me outing you as a runner like this...)

The race runs through my town and I used to watch it as a kid so it's one of my favorite days of the year. It's a 26.2 mile long party where people along the route set up bands on their front lawns and spend the day cheering people on. It's one of those "humanity is pretty great sometimes" events.

I'm heading to New York City later this week to, believe it or not, ring in the New Year a few months late. I haven't been on a train since I started working from home two years ago. It'll be a quick trip, but a fun one.

In a previous Free Thread, Mefite achrise linked to some plans for bluebird nesting boxes and we've been wanting to attract some so I went and immediately built three of them and put them around the yard. Fingers crossed.
posted by bondcliff at 4:20 PM on April 18 [8 favorites]


I was at the local zoo this weekend, and all the aviaries were closed and the penguins were off exhibit due to the avian influenza.

But the flamingos were out enjoying a mister. Are flamingos flu-resistant? There was no one near that exhibit to ask, and cursory googling did not provide an answer.

Also, I learned that only one of the two river otters at this zoo swims on their back, so when I see an inverted otter, I know it is Piper.
posted by the primroses were over at 4:22 PM on April 18 [5 favorites]


Back in front of a screen today after four days of beach camping. While it's nice to be home, I can still hear the waves calling to me.
posted by dg at 4:25 PM on April 18 [7 favorites]


I am overanticipant for bird migration. Here in New Jersey, it really won't pick up until another week or so, but I want all the birds to BE.HERE.NOW. I must remain calm. Please keep on going with all bird related comments (or whatever else you want to talk about, it's a free thread after all).
posted by mollweide at 4:28 PM on April 18 [5 favorites]


Peanuts are beloved of corvids. Asian food stores carry big bags of raw peanuts in the shell. How to make friends with crows.
posted by Oyéah at 4:29 PM on April 18 [7 favorites]


Othello, the Hawk With Strong Opinions, has apparently had Feelings about my apartment complex and has moved elsewhere. I shall miss her hawky screeches.

Still no evidence of Barry, the Fuckboid, so mixed blessings.

Very quiet. Depressed grumping.
posted by JustSayNoDawg at 4:33 PM on April 18 [5 favorites]


My wife and I started our hiking season on Saturday. Sunday was cold, and it snowed overnight and started again this afternoon. Sigh. Enough already! I guess at least this will give me time to try and repair my boots.
posted by hearthpig at 4:35 PM on April 18 [2 favorites]


Randomly...I just moved to Louisville, Kentucky and need to find both a cardiologist and a good dentist. Memail me if you have a recommendation. (Also: coming from the SF bay area, I'm still in a bit of culture shock. Any tips would be appreciated.)
posted by Insert Clever Name Here at 4:37 PM on April 18 [1 favorite]


Yummy steamed tomatoes
posted by HeroZero at 4:37 PM on April 18


How to make friends with crows.

I was always under the impression the best one might achieve with a corvid was an uneasy detente.
posted by Insert Clever Name Here at 4:38 PM on April 18 [3 favorites]


So a while back, I helped a squirrel find it's way out of my office ceiling and out the front door. That was the second Ceiling Squirrel I have dealt with in this office management position.

I moved into a new apartment last week. The second morning I was awoken by the scritching of a squirrel in my balcony ceiling. That day, I heard *scritch*scritch*THUMP* and looked out my screen door to see a confused looking squirrel looking up at the hole and then at the railing. Clearly, it had missed its jump.

Yesterday, I looked out to see 2 squirrel faces peering out of the hole, and later 3! So my balcony ceiling is home to a squirrel family...

This my first time living alone (aside from Ceiling Squirrels), and the apartment management/maintenance are friendly. I'm loving it so far.
posted by MuChao at 4:41 PM on April 18 [6 favorites]


I was always under the impression the best one might achieve with a corvid was an uneasy detente.

Once you have paid him the Crow-Geld, you never get rid of the Crow.
posted by notoriety public at 4:41 PM on April 18 [12 favorites]


You can become a crow friend, from what I understand, just don't piss them off.
posted by mollweide at 4:42 PM on April 18 [2 favorites]


Now is mockingbird singing time. The best of songs.
posted by Oyéah at 4:43 PM on April 18 [3 favorites]


On the one hand, my coworker who's been out for a month finally returned! WHEW! On the other hand, we had so many staff members out today that we were down to a whopping four people (I note we're supposed to have about nine) halfway through the day. Oy. I have officially gotten as many emails done as I am capable of doing, so there's that, I guess.

A friend of mine keeps calling and calling (2-3 times a day) saying she is bored and wants entertainment. I am busy and during the maybe 2 hours a day I am not busy/i.e. eating, am too tired to entertain her. It's one thing to say "I'm busy all day today," but then she calls again? Every day? Even on a family holiday? SIGH.

I'm not sure about making friends with crows. On the one hand, sounds cute and fun. On the other hand, also sounds like your crow friend may harass you mercilessly if you can't feed it consistently. Also, there's this story about a crow gang...
posted by jenfullmoon at 4:45 PM on April 18 [3 favorites]


Insert Clever Name Here: You should call for a MeFi Meetup and meet some locals!
posted by hippybear at 4:46 PM on April 18 [1 favorite]


I did the first day of training today at my new job. You know those little plastic ampules that have a break-off top and are filled with a single dose of something? Yeah, that's the kind of place I'll be working. Toothpaste, COVID tests, some forms of makeup or lotion or something...

What I've learned today, my first day of training, is that this is not really a light factory production job. It is a paperwork-trail-generating job with some production activity attached to it. OMG SO MUCH PAPERWORK.

Day two of training tomorrow, looking forward to it!
posted by hippybear at 4:48 PM on April 18 [5 favorites]


The toddlers at work are in the love with The Alphabet Hip Hop. We were down two teachers today. Thankfully most of the kids weren't there or we would have been up shit's creek. I got to play school age teacher for an hour today. Thankfully they weren't the little shit heads that I had a few years ago.

I had a sparkly dress for Easter yesterday that I wore with my winter coat. Today we had snow. I swear the winter of 2022 is never going to end.

Ginger honey tea with bourbon feels good on a sore throat. I've had a raspy throat since last Monday. Singing Wednesday - Sunday at church didn't help. I'm feeling better after my tea tonight. Pretty sure it's the bourbon that's doing the heavy lifting.
posted by kathrynm at 5:02 PM on April 18 [3 favorites]


I'm probably not the only one that feels sad about you moving on, cortex.
posted by SPrintF at 5:03 PM on April 18 [3 favorites]


If it's any comfort, it's really just stepping down and staying put. More posts and bad puns, fewer grumpy tight-roping comments in MetaTalk.
posted by cortex at 5:09 PM on April 18 [18 favorites]


The wikipedia page for electrostatics is surprisingly funny.
posted by adept256 at 5:10 PM on April 18 [3 favorites]


I just found a New-to-me favorite method of curing hiccoughs. Previous favorite method was holding my breath while slowly drinking a glass of water. New favorite method is pressing the back of my tongue with a spoon and making myself gag a couple times. Hiccoughs gone!
posted by otherchaz at 5:10 PM on April 18 [1 favorite]


Also, there's this story about a crow gang...

Do not under any circumstance buy drugs from them. Be especially cautious around the deadly narcrow gang Corvid-19.
posted by otherchaz at 5:18 PM on April 18 [5 favorites]


Peanuts are beloved of corvids. Asian food stores carry big bags of raw peanuts in the shell.

I have started loudly throwing them in my wake (the peanuts, not the crows) when I leave the house. Will report back.

Also, Metafilter: More posts and bad puns.
posted by swift at 5:20 PM on April 18 [4 favorites]


Update: TurboTax has been argued into submission. Spouse is now reading with kindergartener.

Older two kids and I are looking for something to watch on streaming, since we just finished The Good Place (4th time) and the Netflix reboot of Lost in Space (first time). Suggestions? They also love "M*A*S*H" (2x through) and "The Martian" and "Apollo 13" -- smart TV/movies with sassy comedy is their sweet spot. "Short Circuit," "Wargames," "Adventures in Babysitting," and "Ferris Bueller" have all landed well when we did "dumb 80s movies mom watched as a kid" week.

That week was followed by "WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU'VE NEVER HEARD OF NIRVANA???" week and THAT was followed by "Okay, so, Weird Al ..." week.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 5:21 PM on April 18 [4 favorites]


We're replacing the carpet in a couple rooms in the condo. Have a contractor coming out later this week to measure things and drop off some samples. I have no idea what I'm doing.
posted by calamari kid at 5:27 PM on April 18


Have they seen Space Camp? I remember being briefly obsessed with it
posted by Countess Elena at 5:29 PM on April 18 [1 favorite]


The Neutral Zone is a film studio in Kingsland, Ga, which is conveniently about an hour away, that has a full Star Trek TOS set that they rent out ($500 per day) for Star Trek fan productions. They also have tours. Mrs. W and I are going on May 15 and I will live out a childhood dream of sitting in Captain Kirk's chair and standing in the transporter room.

If all goes well, I will have a fantastic new photo to be used starting next Fall in all of my syllabi!
posted by wittgenstein at 5:32 PM on April 18 [7 favorites]


Got my second booster a couple of hours ago and now the side effects are dueling with my allergies to see what will make me more miserable. On the other hand, the cat is taking the opportunity to snuggle so can't complain too much.
posted by The Ardship of Cambry at 5:32 PM on April 18 [3 favorites]


The wikipedia page for electrostatics is surprisingly funny.

It's true - those equations are hilarious!
posted by Greg_Ace at 5:33 PM on April 18


I enjoyed Yes Minister from a young age. People thought the concept wouldn't work, being too intellectual, when the audience were actually thirsty for political humour that wasn't dumbed-down.
posted by adept256 at 5:34 PM on April 18


Went down to Lompoc yesterday and caught much of the rocket launch & landing. Space X is using their landing ships for Starlink so you have to have a rare TLA* launch for the landing part.

Highly recommended, especially when there's not the remnants of a low pressure system generating clouds over the launch/landing facility.

*Three Letter Agency
posted by Heywood Mogroot III at 5:39 PM on April 18


James Burke's The Day The Universe Changed, Connections would be good TV?
posted by Heywood Mogroot III at 5:40 PM on April 18 [4 favorites]


If the kids can go a bit of comedy horror, I'd recommend the original 80s movie House, and also the original Fright Night. They're sort of comedy horror on the level that Ghostbusters is horror.
posted by hippybear at 5:44 PM on April 18 [1 favorite]


Heywood, if that is a question then emphatic yes.
posted by aquanaut at 5:47 PM on April 18 [2 favorites]


How to make friends with crows.

I was always under the impression the best one might achieve with a corvid was an uneasy detente.


There was the little girl in Washington State who made friends with crows.

She gave them food and the crows started bringing little gifts back to her.

>The crows would clear the feeder of peanuts, and leave shiny trinkets on the empty tray; an earring, a hinge, a polished rock. There wasn't a pattern. Gifts showed up sporadically - anything shiny and small enough to fit in a crow's mouth.

>One time it was a tiny piece of metal with the word "best" printed on it. "I don't know if they still have the part that says 'friend'," Gabi laughs, amused by the thought of a crow wearing a matching necklace.
posted by philfromhavelock at 6:06 PM on April 18 [10 favorites]


That was the second Ceiling Squirrel I have dealt with

and what does ceiling squirrel watch you do?
posted by pyramid termite at 6:12 PM on April 18 [4 favorites]


The electrostatic-force-demonstrating cat does not appear to be amused. Bemused perhaps. Definitely going back in the box, later, after you are done taking silly photos, there is serious work to be done.
posted by TreeRooster at 6:42 PM on April 18


I drove by the biggest possum I’ve ever seen in my life, just walking around the street in broad daylight. It was the size of a small medium sized dog. I never could have imagined that a possum could be that big and I didn’t even know that they come out in daylight. The whole thing was slightly amazing.
posted by gt2 at 6:50 PM on April 18 [3 favorites]


I was always under the impression the best one might achieve with a corvid was an uneasy detente.

I mean, that also accurately describes me most of the time.

When we were in Yellowstone I was sure the ravens were following me. There was one boinging around in circles in the parking lot near whatever basin Grand Prismatic Spring is in, and after I caught that I couldn't stop noticing one would land nearby whenever I stopped moving. Pause on a hike? Raven. Get out of the car in a parking lot? Raven. Mention the raven to my wife? Another raven would show up.
posted by fedward at 6:51 PM on April 18 [3 favorites]


Brit visiting California, drove into LA yesterday for the first time to meet friends. It just doesn't end, does it?
posted by 43rdAnd9th at 6:59 PM on April 18 [3 favorites]


I will see your birbs and raise you a moose. I had seen one next door earlier in the day (we get them in town pretty often in the winter). My partner was headed out the door with my dog and I casually said "Keep an eye out for moose" and he got one step out the door and came backing right up going WHOA WHOA WHOA WE'RE NOT GOING ANYWHERE. I looked out the window and there he was, a yearling snuggled down right outside the door chewing his cud. He was a very itchy moose, scratching himself a lot with his hind hooves and then using my tree branches to scratch his head. After a while he went into my back yard and nibbled a bunch of new growth off my birch tree. Finally we got bored of watching him and made a run for the car and went to my partner's house. So that was fun.
posted by HotToddy at 7:17 PM on April 18 [8 favorites]


I never could have imagined that a possum could be that big and I didn’t even know that they come out in daylight.

When they're that big they can come and go as they please.
posted by Greg_Ace at 7:18 PM on April 18 [3 favorites]


I hurt my back doing something dumb on (well, technically falling OFF) an indoor bouldering wall over the weekend - first we thought it was just a sprain, but x-rays my doc ordered “for reassurance” show a fractured L1 vertebra, hooray. Now awaiting the arrival of a pretty intense-looking back brace ordered by my doctor, which I’ll have to wear for the next couple months. Back injuries suck! (And yet it could have been much, much worse…)
posted by btfreek at 7:18 PM on April 18 [3 favorites]


Just finished the last assignment for an online course that is about teaching online courses. My time management skills, never the best, took a serious hit during the pandemic--when you're just trying to get through the day, actually accomplishing something during that day doesn't so much take a back seat as it's being towed on a makeshift trailer attached to your underpowered vehicle with a rusty twist of baling wire, to ludicrously extend the metaphor--and I'm just a teensy bit happy that at least the last assignment was turned in on time.
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:27 PM on April 18 [6 favorites]


Today was the day of the Boston Marathon... It's a 26.2 mile long party where people along the route set up bands on their front lawns and spend the day cheering people on. It's one of those "humanity is pretty great sometimes" events.

A few years ago, at a previous house, we unexpectedly found out that the city marathon was routed down our street. It wasn't very exciting to watch the runners, but far and away my favorite part was watching the wheelchairs and handcycles come flying past and careening around the corner.
posted by Dip Flash at 7:29 PM on April 18 [1 favorite]


We took our 14-yr old to see John Mulaney at Red Rocks on Easter. Great, great show. One of the greatest venues. Dave Chappelle did a surprise opening set. Chappelle is problematic, to be sure, but, wow, it was a thrill to see him live.

Mulaney forgot to put sunscreen on, and was facing the sun for most of his 1.5 hour set, which…yeesh, is not a good idea in the Colorado foothills. About halfway through his set, he asked for sunscreen, and about three plastic bottles of SPF 50 were flung on the stage. Mulaney borrowed sunglasses and a ridiculous sun hat from the crowd too. Really unique series of crowd interactions. So fun!

The traffic in and out of Red Rocks? Not so fun.
posted by Don.Kinsayder at 7:44 PM on April 18 [1 favorite]


I ordered a DSLR on eBay a few days ago, and it arrived today. It's a Canon EOS Rebel T7. I'm not sure why I did it. Despite my journalism background, I know pretty well nothing about photography. I haven't taken a photo "just because" for most of my life. And I really don't pay much attention to my surroundings. But, new things are good for the brain, and this will take me well out of my comfort zone. So far, I've managed to put the strap on the camera body and set the time and date. That was exhausting. Luckily for everyone on AskMeFi, I have a good friend who is a professional photographer, and he's excited for me to join this world.
posted by bryon at 8:26 PM on April 18 [4 favorites]


So, the thing about having a camera is... like I hardly ever do this... but when I do have a camera, I tend to start to look at the world differently. I'm not looking for selfies or souvenir photos, I'm looking for unexpected plays of color or light/shadow or whatever. My only real days of photography were in Junior High doing b/w for the yearbook, and I have this Leica app on my phone that lets me play with things in a way that, decades ago, I could only just shoot and hope they would turn out. Or try to manipulate in the darkroom to make work.

So, like, if you're a person who takes walks, or who wants to take walks... then take your camera and start looking for moments when the world presents itself to you as a small artistic moment, and then capture it. You'll have fun with this, and you'll see the world differently.

I don't take many photos at all, for whatever reason. But I've played with this at times, and I can recommend it for you if you want to explore it.
posted by hippybear at 8:35 PM on April 18 [9 favorites]


Seconding hippybear. When I took up photography I started paying a lot more attention to my surroundings, and noticing all sorts of details I'd been overlooking before. It's fun! Don't get hung up on any sort of "I have to be Good before this is enjoyable/worth my while" notions, just Take All The Pictures and see what you get. Hey, it's digital, so it's not like every frame costs you any money, eh? You can always delete the ones you don't like no harm no foul.
posted by Greg_Ace at 8:58 PM on April 18 [6 favorites]


I just finished applying to a job that would be so much cooler than any job I've ever had, and yet I think I have the right skills? No idea what the competition is like, I may have zero chance, so I'm just keeping my fingers crossed. I hope they at least get back to me soon.
posted by emjaybee at 9:28 PM on April 18 [8 favorites]


Mostly family friendly (but not childish) movie and TV recs:

The Truman Show (on HBO Max maybe?)

Better Off Ted (Hulu)
Psych (Peacock and Amazon Prime Video)
The Grinder (Tubi TV)
posted by Monochrome at 9:28 PM on April 18 [1 favorite]


nobody's got time for damn taxes.

Nonsense. All you need is a new filing system.
posted by flabdablet at 9:43 PM on April 18 [1 favorite]


emjaybee: I AM TOTALLY ROOTING FOR YOU! FIREWORKS AND AIRHORNS AND ALL KINDS OF SUPPORT!
posted by hippybear at 9:47 PM on April 18 [3 favorites]


Words that are clearly wrong: They do not sound appropriate at _all_.
[1] Petrichor.
[2] Crepuscular.
There may be others so take care.
( That feels better. )
posted by Richard Upton Pickman at 10:17 PM on April 18 [2 favorites]


Weird and Awkward.

Petr = rock*
ichor = discharged fluid

It's actually accumulated geosmin (from Actinomycetes [I love them!] and plant lipids [fats]) that get absorbed into "rocks." "Rocks" are surprisingly more porous than one would expect.

The rain frees those compounds, so, discharge from rock.

Crepescular - not sure where crepusculum came from, but the older creper (twilight) probably contributes to the English ver creep and the vernacular use of creep, used to denote both stealthy movement and being low-key disagreeably sexually aggressive - makes sense to me to describe ecological niches that are most active during the twilight setting sun.

IANAEtymologist


*shit, did I only just get that now? Pet rock ~ Rock rock?
posted by porpoise at 10:50 PM on April 18 [1 favorite]


Yeah Monochrome, 'Better Off Ted!'

I can't offer a you'll-likely-also-like that's superior to BOT. The writing is Big Tent Nerdy, anti-mindless-corporation, and smushes them together with heart. The casting is a coup and there's real chemistry on set.
posted by porpoise at 10:55 PM on April 18 [2 favorites]


Weird and Awkward. I'll proudly own that.

Its the way they SOUND.
Not their Etymology.

Thanks.
posted by Richard Upton Pickman at 11:15 PM on April 18


I worked on writing this morning. This afternoon I did grunt work with a wheelbarrow, rake, and shovel, hauling bricks to the backyard--an acre of Chihuahuan desert on a steep hillside. My project this afternoon was to set up a low retaining wall for SigOth to use for her flower bed. The loose, rocky soil was easy to manage. Clean dirt is good for you.

The backyard has a few scrub oaks, some yucca, sotol, rabbitbrush, snakeweed, and early blossoming desert wildflowers--primarily shades of blue or purple; I can identify only the desert vetch, but SigOth knows the names of them all. Cholla and several types of beavertail cacti accent the clearings.

The ridge where I live overlooks the San Vicente Arroyo, some eleven or twelve miles across and perhaps four or five hundred feet deep. I can see Cook's Peak, some 35 miles to the southeast. Today the temperature was in the mid-80s, with variable clouds and gentle, gusting winds that have lately changed from spring chilly to summer warm. Our ridge was swept with steady wind earlier in the week, gusting at times to forty miles per hour, but today was a gentle preview of summer. From our vantage point at 6000 feet, the sky is a kinetic part of the scenery. Contrails point to El Paso or Tucson; I imagine the pilots waving to one another as they pass. The contrails bleed into their altostratus brethren and make interesting, slow-moving designs in the pale sky.

Hummingbirds have been here for a few days, plus visiting Towhees, a brace of Thrashers, and the resident Desert Jays and Ravens. Honeybees move discreetly among the few early-flowering plants that have appeared.

Around five PM, I packed it in, put away the tools, and retired to the back patio to sit in the shade and sip some well-earned dark Lager. Life is good. SigOth prepared a wonderful veggie stew with an exotic name, using some of the dried peppers from the bundle we bought at a bit of store in Hatch (the pepper capital of the universe).

After dinner, we watched our favorite liberal-biased political news channel.

I should have known better, but the media are voluntary quicksand.

I promise you I don't want to get into a political discussion. However, I am deeply bummed that we'll probably bureaucratize our way out of doing the right thing while the worst thing finally comes to pass. We'll dust off our hands and say, oh well, we tried, and then call Putin a Poopie Head. My version of a nightmare is watching their magnificent president go down with the ship. He probably won't leave when those god-damned Russian missiles level Kyiv. I am ashamed to say that my darkest vision is that he'll be taken alive.

SigOth has gone to bed. I can't sleep. I worked out the chords to "Trouble in Mind," and I've spent the past few hours worrying them into patterns up and down the neck of my guitar. It helps; my fingers are sore. So I'm down for the night.
posted by mule98J at 11:21 PM on April 18 [5 favorites]


I changed some things in migraine treatments and am currently migraine free for the longest period since early December, long may this last. I’m going home to England next week, and then after a week my sister and niece are coming too! So excited to see them and catch up with some friends and family.
posted by ellieBOA at 1:21 AM on April 19 [8 favorites]


I was at my parents' in Cape Cod all weekend - went up on Friday and head back to New York yesterday. We compared birding notes, me telling them about the regular crowd at my own feeders (house sparrows, jays, mourning doves, purple finches, a couple cardinals, a dark-eyed junco) and they showed me the regulars at theirs (yellow finches, more jays, a chickadee and an opportunistic starling at the suet once). It spurred us to actually stop in at the Wild Birds Unlimited place we saw while tooling around the Cape on Saturday, where my folks bought a Cape-appropriate birdhouse (a quahog shell serves as a decorative perch) and I asked about whether I had any hope of getting hummingbirds if I put stuff out. (No such luck - but I did get some mealworms in hopes of luring the mockingbirds.)

Easter dinner was at my brother's place. My niece and nephew are growing out of the "let's play random stuff" phase and into the "let's obsessively talk about pop culture" phase, which I do WAY better with - my nephew and I got into an in-depth talk about which of the myriad MCU films deserved to be in the True Film Canon if you could only pick five.

But my niece was my triumph - she's 13, and at some point the other adults had all had enough wine where you lose your self-censor, and started hitting her with a five-person "Drugs Are Bad, M'Kay?" lecture with a side of "You Can Come Talk To Us About Anything, We Mean It". I'd gotten similar lectures at that age, but I didn't have any interest in drugs so those tended to just freak me out in the moment ("I already know this, why are you still trying to tell me this?") and it looked like she was having the same reaction.

My niece was still looking a little shell-shocked after the onslaught, so when the conversation moved on I sidled over. "So, yeah, looks like the grownups all got a little drunk and it made them all get really heavy and serious at you and stuff and it was weird." She just nodded, still a little overwhelmed. Then I leaned in closer and told her: "Now you know why I don't drink that much," and she cracked up, and I think I became the Cool Aunt right then.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:09 AM on April 19 [7 favorites]


Since this seems to be a bird-heavy thread, I'll once again plug the webcam site for our local peregrines. They're currently in the middle of sitting on four eggs that should be hatching in about three weeks or so. (Although there was some drama earlier this season with one male getting driven off by another one and disrupting the whole nesting thing temporarily, so no one's really sure how many of the four are viable. Stay tuned.)

NB: Be aware that they also eat in the nesting box occasionally, so you might see the occasional dismembered pigeon corpse. Grisly, but raptors gonna rapt.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 4:34 AM on April 19 [5 favorites]


Watched a little nature display yesterday and I realised I don't understand the simple mating dances of pigeons. So how am I meant to understand the complex mating rituals of humans?
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 4:39 AM on April 19 [4 favorites]


Petrichor.

One of my favorite whiskey aroma descriptors. That and 'like wet concrete after a rainstorm.'
posted by Insert Clever Name Here at 6:49 AM on April 19 [3 favorites]


It is a pulchritudinous word, for sure.
posted by cortex at 7:03 AM on April 19 [3 favorites]


Richard Upton Pickman I'll proudly own that.

oh, so sorry! I meant that the words 'weird' and 'awkward' get to me like petrichor and crepescular probably does you.
posted by porpoise at 7:32 AM on April 19 [2 favorites]


Is a place where we can share our dread? If not, please flag and delete.

If so, some recent chat in the Ukraine thread about the unifying effect of language has me thinking about how the GQP has turned it's eye upon Canada and the convenient fact that we speak ‘American’ up here in the Anglo part of the country. The signage that supported the FREEDUM CONVOY was calling for Trump to come liberate them from our socialist tyrant Trudeau. There's a ton of GQP support among the Duck Dynasty dipshits in the rural areas of southern Ontario who are very much invested in being the seed stock of a breakaway republic. Whenever Trump's supporters gain full control of the US government, they'll be claiming that at least the southern part of Ontario should be incorporated into their northern tier. At some near future point the US will divide along ‘cultural’ lines and might manage to disengage their states bloodlessly but controlling the Great Lakes and it's gateway to northern resources will be fought between a GQP/DEM forces as a battle to make Ontario part of Michigan (or possibly a breakaway Western New York) and East New York State. We'll be like a 50s Korean Peninsula within North America.
posted by brachiopod at 8:01 AM on April 19


So how am I meant to understand the complex mating rituals of humans?

I don't think any of us understand that shit.

I tend to be oblivious when someone's interested until OH CRAP I DIDN'T REALIZE HE'S COMING ON TO ME has dropped onto my head. I don't see 99% of the world as potential partners/attractive to me, so when someone does and (as usual) it's not mutual, it's terrifying. I feel like I was somehow "leading them on" by talking to them like a normal person, and I hate it.

And on the opposite side of the spectrum, I certainly cannot explain the strange semi-mating dance shenanigans I have been having going on for the last few years with the crush, for sure, and this is why I end up watching a lot of "10 Signs Someone Likey-Likes You" videos trying to figure it out :P (I know, I know...)

The few exes I've had were actually pretty clear right off as to interest and asking out/being interested in being asked out and made it easy and non-pressure-y.
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:23 AM on April 19 [2 favorites]


Since this seems to be a bird-heavy thread, I'll once again plug the webcam site for our local peregrines.....

And you've reminded me that another bird we saw all over the place in Cape Cod was ospreys. There are a lot of wetland areas where my parents live, and in every marsh there is a box set up in the middle for ospreys to nest on - and every one we passed was in use.

We also tried heading out to a pier near a fishery where my parents said seals hang out a lot; they weren't there that day however. Alas.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:29 AM on April 19 [1 favorite]


Behold: CROWBOX - for convincing all your corvid neighbors that you are the most bestest human ever. I really want to have this in my yard, but my laziness will not abide.
posted by hydra77 at 9:14 AM on April 19 [4 favorites]


Is a place where we can share our dread?

brachiopod, you'd be a damn fool not to see the dreadful possibilities.. and whether it's okay to share in the free thread or not, I'll leave it to others

anyone with eyes and a brain and a heart living in Alberta really cannot avoid these questions. The Houston-Calgary connection has been a thing since (oil) and there are many books on the subject.. the way petro-sector activity distorts and diminishes elected representation, and so on. Add on layers of organized misinformation and all the Q-bullshit, give it a jolt of pandemic conspiracy, and it's hard to get a good sleep at night thinking of where this all leads. Dread is heavy, and I like to stare across the river to a steep bluff north of town, you can find the ravens catching thermals and just having a great time of it. The ravens were here a long time before any of us and I suspect they'll outlast us too, then they'll succumb to time. What a paradox, the life we have.
posted by elkevelvet at 9:14 AM on April 19


There was the little girl in Washington State who made friends with crows.

I remember that BBC article and have thought of it about once a week in the seven years since. I've always intended to make it a starting point for a short story.
posted by neuron at 9:22 AM on April 19


Jenny Odell talks a little bit about her burgeoning friendship with crows as a little throughline in her book "How To Do Nothing", which is what put it on my mind again in particular recently. (It's also just a very good book, and has a lot to say about online life and patterns, in a way that was actually good for me in thinking positively about MetaFilter stuff lately.)
posted by cortex at 9:30 AM on April 19


I don't understand the simple mating dances of pigeons. So how am I meant to understand the complex mating rituals of humans?

It all works exactly the same. Just keep an eye out for the cooing, the feather preening and the weird little head bobbing thing and you can't go wrong.
posted by flabdablet at 9:38 AM on April 19 [5 favorites]


Thelonious Monk: Crepuscule with Nellie

It really surprised me when I looked up crepuscule, and found it means "twilight".

wikipedia says:
"Crepuscule with Nellie," recorded in 1957, "was Monk's only, what's called through-composed composition, meaning that there is no improvising. It is Monk's concerto, if you will, and in some ways it speaks for itself. But he wrote it very, very carefully and very deliberately and really struggled to make it sound the way it sounds. [... I]t was his love song for Nellie," said the author of the "definitive Monk biography",[5] Robin D. G. Kelley.[18]
posted by jjj606 at 12:03 PM on April 19


It really surprised me when I looked up crepuscule, and found it means "twilight".

Hence cats being described as crepuscular hunters.

It's such a lovely word. At our house, which is owned by two such hunters, we often refer to the post-evening-meal zoomies as "going a bit crepuscular".
posted by flabdablet at 12:15 PM on April 19 [2 favorites]


we often refer to the post-evening-meal zoomies as "going a bit crepuscular".

So (in keeping with the theme of pulchritudinous vocabulary), you might re-factor that as:

"taking a postprandial crepuscular"

(Aside: I'm pretty certain that the first time I ever heard the word "postprandial" spoken was by Dr. Smith in the original Lost in Space series.)
posted by Insert Clever Name Here at 12:31 PM on April 19


It's 9:45 PM here, and I'm only beginning to eat my dinner: minestrone so thick you can stand a spoon in it.
Tomorrow morning I'm leaving for Rome, my first trip abroad since my last trip to Rome in 2019. Everything about it has been extremely chaotic and hectic, because my workplace is in total disarray (long story), and ordering the tickets and hotel nearly didn't happen (it has to go though the state system), and I haven't gotten my per diem.

My dog hasn't been to the vet since 2019 either, so I had to find a place where they could get their own vet in to check him and vaccinate him -- when I finally found it, it was the most amazing place, so that was a ray of light. Now I am so exhausted I want to cry, maybe I should watch one of those videos with babies and puppies, to get the emotions going.

I was supposed to hand in two texts tonight, and they are both almost finished, but I think I'll get up very early instead of working now. I can't focus anymore more now.
posted by mumimor at 12:51 PM on April 19 [2 favorites]


"taking a postprandial crepuscular"

Postprandial sounds like far too relaxed a word to associate with what our feral little darlings do when they go a bit crepuscular.

I mainly like the sound of it. "Going a bit crepuscular" sounds like it ought to mean howling fizzing top-speed plot loss in general, regardless of time or circumstance. Every now and then I go a bit crepuscular myself.
posted by flabdablet at 1:26 PM on April 19


minestrone so thick you can stand a spoon in it

Does it taste right yet?
posted by flabdablet at 1:31 PM on April 19


Does it taste right yet?
Nah.. I put in a generous amount of cayenne, so I could sort of feel that. But the mice just took a break from their night out (to get warmer clothes on) and they say it is excellent. They also liked that I am working more on consistencies with different levels of cooked-ness for each veg.
posted by mumimor at 2:24 PM on April 19


My dwarf fruit trees and fig made it over the winter. The two grapes did not, but the grape that I bought on the fall and overwintered on my porch did. The Granny Smith I bought in the fall after hunting the nearest stores leafed out, so I'm excited to steward the trees to fruit. My weeping cherry is tiny but mighty, and hopefully she will get taller this year. I have a bunch of trees from The Arbor Day foundation to plant so I'm trying to decide where to put them for their best growth.

Now I'm soaking tea seeds (camellia sinesis) to hopefully grow some tea plants for homemade tea. I have herbs already and seeds for more that I'm going to start somewhere. The plight of a gardener, where to put all the plants! We have tomatoes & peppers and various other veggies to go into the ground. My asparagus is going well, and there are strawberries and blueberries already. I pruned down the roses and my gardenia, and I'm monitoring the gardenia, in case I need to prune more dead branches. Our raspberry grew roots through the pot into the ground, so she was extra stubborn about being moved to a less hazardous (to us) location.

I'm watching to see if my hibiscus made it over the winter, but my peonies all came back and are doing great, along with the lilies. Maybe this year they will be taller than the house. Not a lot of the spring bulbs, as they got very confused by the warm Dec and tried to bloom on Christmas (one hyacinth did actually). I'll need to be sure to feed them well this year.
posted by tlwright at 2:38 PM on April 19 [2 favorites]


Today's news from the world of work: a former coworker of mine who quit in September (why yes, that's six months ago...) has gotten hired here again! We don't have to train her or anything and she starts next Friday! So god bless there. She left here to go into a field in this organization that is...always hiring...for good reason of being super stressful, I suspect. I pretty much have the bad vibe every time someone says they got a new job in that field and for various reasons was unable to put on the "I'm so happy for you!" show at the time. But she's the first one I know of to have bailed, THAT soon. Dang. I won't do that job, though, it sounds worse than here.

My boss said today she didn't know why old/new coworker wanted to bail and we'd have to ask, and then said that our most recent departure who also went into that field 2 weeks ago had asked her, "if I hate it, can I come back," and my boss was all "well, we'll move on." I was all "oh, please, we are ALWAYS HIRING here, she can probably come back any time she wants!" Last I heard from coworker #2, she did not sound like she was loving it, so...who knows, maybe we get her back sometime too.

Anyway, I'm pretty surprised to get someone BACK here. That doesn't happen often.
posted by jenfullmoon at 4:21 PM on April 19 [2 favorites]


I drove by the biggest possum I’ve ever seen in my life, just walking around the street in broad daylight.

Happened to me in San Francisco in the '90s. I'm walking down Pacific toward Franklin and around the corner comes a possum that's bigger than a border collie, almost like a ROUS.

It's walking ahead of me by about 20 feet, just strolling down the sidewalk. I pass a women who exclaims, "Is that your pet?!" ... "Yes, ma'am. Exactly. That's my pet possum." :|
posted by mrgrimm at 4:51 PM on April 19 [3 favorites]


There was the little girl in Washington State who made friends with crows.

I remember that BBC article and have thought of it about once a week in the seven years since. I've always intended to make it a starting point for a short story.


Oh, well, if you don't know about the post-apocalyptic novel narrated by a crow living in Seattle called Hollow Kingdom, then you really need to know about that.

Oh, and while making this comment, I discovered there is a sequel, which I shall now order and read.
posted by hippybear at 5:07 PM on April 19 [7 favorites]


So, I finished my second day of training for my new job.

My old job was working in automotive glass sales, which isn't installing windshields, but is selling everything needed to the people who install the windshields. This previous job involved carrying windshields around all day. 30-50lbs on average, many of them a lot heavier. We would move about 300 windshields a day, and so during my shift, I would lift a good portion, maybe 1/3-1/2 of these myself, repeatedly, during the process of getting orders inspected and ready for delivery. This was breaking down my 50+ body.

I was with that company for over 10 years, and I'm sorry to have left, but not sorry to be away from that work.

My new job works in light industrial. Have you every had those little plastic packages that are single doses of, like, eyedrops or medicine, tiny things filled with liquid and you break off a part to access the contents? Yeah, that's what I'm going to be making. I won't care how many of these things I pick up every day. None of them weigh 30-50 lbs.

Don't really know what working there is like yet, but I have a very very very very very good feeling about this job. It feeds into weird parts of my weird brain in good ways. It's half the commute of my previous job, and easily 1/6 the stress (from what I can see so far).

I sort of quit my previous job on accident (I can explain if you insist, but would rather not), and got to spend 3 weeks doing job search, relaxing, a bit of intense housework, and now I'm starting anew.

Oh, and... 10 years with my previous job... It seems that if I am diligent at this job, despite taking a pay cut for starting pay, I could be making MORE within 12-18 months at this new job than I was after 10 years at my old one.

The Great Resignation is a real thing, but it isn't because people don't want to work. They don't want to do bullshit work for bullshit pay.
posted by hippybear at 5:14 PM on April 19 [10 favorites]


Apropos of crows and/or a belated Doubles Jubilee, see When Robot & Crow Saved East St. Louis [from a disease outbreak], a MeFi post about a free short scifi story.
posted by Monochrome at 6:11 PM on April 19 [2 favorites]




Holy shit! That's a beautiful thing.
posted by rhizome at 8:27 PM on April 19 [1 favorite]


pyramid termite, I have been obsessed with Mattias Krantz videos ever since you shared “ I filled my PIANO with WATER then played it” a few Free Threads ago!
posted by ellieBOA at 12:37 AM on April 20


Bird stuff:

How the hell do I keep pigeons away from the feeder? There is this one pigeon who hangs around in the morning and I keep trying to shoo him away from the window feeder but he is damn persistent. (At least the cardinals are getting their turn this morning.)

Work stuff:

I am in a techie work place, and we often have potential customers coming to visit. One such customer is coming to visit next week. My boss has decided that this customer should see that we have a static-free "clean room" as part of our space - and we are supposed to have a clean room, in our newly-refurbished space, but for supply-chain-related reasons that is one of the two last systems that we haven't been able to get finished and set up yet (the other is the elevator - ironically for me with my bum knee).

So we'd been using the designated clean-room space as regular office space. But my boss has decided that we should at least get things set up to LOOK like a clean room in time for this guy's arrival. And this has called for an all-hands-on-deck facilities team upheaval - clearing out the stuff in there, putting up a bunch of panelling and cleaning all the stuff that should go back in, hanging static-control curtains and barriers and such, sourcing and ordering stuff for the dressing/prep room area....all of which needs to arrive by the end of this week. I have been tasked with "finding the stuff for that room".

And this is also coming at a time when we've hired new people and are reshuffling office spaces to accommodate everyone....AND trying to smooth over the ruffled feathers for people whose moves didn't go the way they wanted because we put their chairs back in their office slightly to the right or because we aren't going to pay for the $200 fake ficus they wanted to make their office look prettier...AND trying to get everyone's business cards approved and ordered and sorted....AND trying to finish getting the mailroom set up that my boss insisted on even though everyone already uses the existing mailing corner in the shipping department anyway...

...and I got hit with all this on my first day back after a long-weekend vacation. At some point yesterday afternoon I made a master list of things to do on my white board. There are eight items on the list - and item number 5 reads "Kill self".
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:21 AM on April 20 [3 favorites]


It's such a lovely word. At our house, which is owned by two such hunters, we often refer to the post-evening-meal zoomies as "going a bit crepuscular".

My cat has a pretty consistent FIFO digestive queue so postprandial is also typically post-deuce and I refer to her zoomies as "ass-on-fire". It is also probably not a coincidence that she will eventually end up in one of the furthest corners of the apartment from her litter box until I take care of "the situation".
posted by srboisvert at 7:47 AM on April 20


There was the little girl in Washington State who made friends with crows.

I saved a crow fledgling from a cat once. It was trapped in my window well with the cat and "negotiations" during the resulting standoff were tense. I shooed the cat away and put a large branch in the window well. No result. I had to actually use the branch to prod the fledgling to hop on and then I put it up in a tall hedge. Then it hopped down and followed me around my yard for about half and hour and tried to come into the house with me. Later the day when I tried to go out it was waiting at the front door. So I went around to the back door....and there it was.

Don't make friends with crows unless you prepared for the commitment!
posted by srboisvert at 7:54 AM on April 20 [6 favorites]


"And that's how I met your mother."
posted by ivey at 8:39 AM on April 20 [5 favorites]


I just went out to install a battery in my car that I had on a charger for a day or so to keep it from going dead dead. So I grabbed the bits of paperwork that fluttered around the back seat so often.

It's my 10 year old performance appraisal paperwork. Hilarious, somewhere I have the rest of them, the things your boss drops off a few days after the meeting....

It's from about 12 years in and if you want to be pedantic and include a long sabbatical boss was my supervisor back in the day 20 years before that. We both thought the whole thing was stupid just like we both fought long and hard about blocking Napster and the the horrors of HTML email. We spent most of the "performance appraisal" meeting just dishing about the next year and what was planned and things that might or might not happen, then we cut out about 15 minutes in all caught up. It's not like any goals from last year came to fruition or any goals put down this year will either, things change much to fast for that..

But LOL, that year I was making sure things worked across SPARC/X86_Solaris/Linux and building out network performance testing infrastructure. Fun times.

I sorta hope I have the other years of paperwork filed away somewhere, I'm sure there's some good stuff in there somewhere. There's probably chuckle worthy bits and pieces in those old reports.
posted by zengargoyle at 9:31 AM on April 20 [1 favorite]


I've seen this hummingbird up close to the house for the last few days, and I suspected she had a nest nearby since she's been perching on a wire basket and the patio table. She hovers outside the plate glass door, suspended like a ballerina. Finally, I saw her nest yesterday. She balanced the nest on a thick wire behind a larger clay birdhouse hanging from the eaves where the Olive Thrushes usually nest. I'm always amazed by bird nests. How can something with no hands make such a gorgeously woven impromptu house? Out of spider webs, pine needles, bits of lint, maybe some saliva made of flower nectar. So I've seen her quietly sitting there, sitting, anticipating. I thought about her all last night sitting in the dark, sitting, anticipating. She is so extraordinary and brave. When she ventures out, she is angrily dive bombed by her fellow humming birds and wrens. She is my queen tiny dinosaur.
posted by effluvia at 10:41 AM on April 20 [6 favorites]


They finally hired a replacement teammate for my group, starts May 9, worked in a similar office before so she presumably has an idea of what mess she's getting into. Huzzah.

In other news, I have been scheduled to have a half hour conversation with the interim boss next week (everyone has to do it) and I don't wanna do it. I don't know this dude AT ALL and I have no idea if "I want to hear what problems the office has" is a legitimate request or just organizational placating BS, and/or if I am going to get myself in trouble if I answer honestly. Either way it seems unlikely the interim can do much since a lot of the problems here are because we can't get assistance from other offices, or money. Previously when anyone brings this stuff up to upper management, they sound sympathetic and then nothing ever happens. I don't want to have this conversation at all and I am being forced into it and I really can't lie and say "everything's fine!" when so many people have left in the last few months, at the very least.

I tend to be too blunt and honest, so giving me time to run my mouth to a higher-up is a bad idea in general. I'm ticked enough these days to REALLY WANT TO, except then I'll get myself In Trouble again. I just don't want the temptation to Say Something, because I really wanna, but it won't do any good and I am not feeling confident that I'll be able to shove my emotions under the couch and be bland and correct for that entire time, especially if he wants in person, which is somewhat on the table that day. Ugh.
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:46 AM on April 20


Hey remember when Dan Pashman from Sporkful was experimenting to make the "perfect" new pasta shape? They've got those noodles (cascatelli) at Trader Joe's now and they're pretty good.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:25 AM on April 20 [4 favorites]


That rube goldberg video is astounding! I bet that kid ends up making the big bucks doing something fun, and good for him.
posted by HotToddy at 11:39 AM on April 20


Recent twitter enthusiasm over a new psuedoscience book (on twitter, not here) prompts me to make my old and tired public service announcement:

Your brain is not a quantum phenomenon, by any reasonable definition of "quantum." Some of the small parts of your brain interact according to the laws of quantum mechanics. Just like light bulbs and dish soap, but no more than that. People spend years and millions of dollars to keep two isolated atoms or resonators in vacuum at cryogenic temperatures in a coherent state for tens of milliseconds. Your big, soupy, hot, wet brain is absolutely not doing that. It's complex and fascinating and hard to understand, but that's because big interacting systems are that way. Not because of any spooky quantum mechanics. There's no possible way anything bigger than a molecule or two in a human body maintains a coherent state during the time it takes one neuron to send a signal to another neuron. Anybody who tells you otherwise is either lying or badly misinformed. If they have a PhD in a related field, they're lying.

To quote Douglas Adams, isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too? Someday I'm going to meet Deepak Chopra and it's going and it will take considerable self-restraint to avoid breaking his nose for all the harm he's done to the public understanding of science. </rant>
posted by eotvos at 1:39 PM on April 20 [5 favorites]


Mmm, hot soup. I’m going to cheer myself up by telling myself that my brain is pho.
posted by Don.Kinsayder at 1:57 PM on April 20 [1 favorite]


About a couple months ago, a red tailed hawk landed on the squirrel's nest across from my balcony and started tearing into it to discover that it's innards were made of plastic bags (sorry/not sorry for vertical framing). It seemed to find the texture of the bags unpleasant and gave up. The squirrel emerged about 10 minutes later and scampered off but I spotted it returning a few times over the next couple days. The hawk returned a couple more times the following week and tore at the nest without luck. Eventually the squirrel abandoned the nest and most of it fell to the parking lot below. I noticed this week that the nest is having some reconstruction work done.
posted by brachiopod at 6:45 PM on April 20 [1 favorite]


Huh. As it turns out, home made Easter-harvest edibles are not really compatible with disciplined fasting, especially when backed up by copious refrigerated leftovers of huge lasagnes cooked to celebrate the homecoming of the rest of the family from their jaunt to far north Queensland.

Oh well. It's only a small setback. Back in the saddle I get...
posted by flabdablet at 11:09 AM on April 21 [1 favorite]


Well, I just got temporarily banned from twitter; achievement unlocked? It was for suggesting that a large, national political organization "walk into a lake" for needlessly doxing a guy who wore women's clothes once to a party. It seems that's an inducement to self harm. I suspect it won't be a terribly effective inducement. But, if you hear of any US Democratic legislators disappearing in lakes in the coming week, you'll know that I'm to blame.

I'm not sure robot moderation is actually doing more good than harm.
posted by eotvos at 3:30 PM on April 22 [3 favorites]


Well, I have finished my first week at my new job. Robot Tending is what I'm going to call this position. Mostly care and feeding with minor veterinarian duties. There are actual vets on staff to handle the major surgery.

My previous job involved a LOT of carrying around 30-50lb objects, many many of them, many times a day. And with a strict schedule of departing routes that had to be prepped and loaded. Endless time pressure, endless physical exertion.

This new job has none of that at all. Nothing is heavy, there is no time pressure. The pressure is to do the job correctly following all protocols and not to meet a schedule. The work is relaxed, the attitudes of those working there for a while is "do it right, not quickly", and there's a general sense of "this is a place people like to work" emanating from the employees that I haven't really seen in other workplaces I've been.

So, my place as a data point within the Great Resignation is... it was one of the best moves I've made in my life.
posted by hippybear at 3:47 PM on April 22 [8 favorites]


Walked my pup this afternoon and met another pup, a little terrier. His owner said he was friendly, which was true, so mine frisked around a little bit with him. I was watching both the dogs pretty hard, and so it was only then that I lifted my head to see that the guy was wearing a shirt that said in huge letters BABY LIVES MATTER. I am not about to act confrontational around my dog, so I went on my way, and he went his, back to join a friend who was set up in a parking lot with a big LET'S GO BRANDON flag.

What was their deal? Were they on their way to an asshole convention? Were they one? It just looked like the two of them, and it was nowhere special. Their dog was perhaps the only link to common humanity between us: to me, a reassurance that they were capable of it.
posted by Countess Elena at 3:56 PM on April 22 [1 favorite]


Today I was reminded of why I like my job.
I teach at a technical university, and right now, we probably have a bit more workplace drama than normal. But you know, there is drama everywhere.

However, I am on a study trip with a group of students, and it is lovely. Tonight we had the final dinner abroad, and one student had brought a guest, which was fine. But... several of our students are not neurotypical, to put it mildly, and this guest was pretty rude towards a couple of them.

We worked around it, but I really felt how all the students are accepting of each other, and help and protect each other, all the time. Not because we tell them to, but because they are decent human beings who like and respect their fellow humans. You don't see that everywhere.

The dinner was good, too.
posted by mumimor at 1:58 PM on April 23 [1 favorite]


1.5 acre island a mile off the coast of Maine for sale, few amenities, $340k, get it while it's... still there.
posted by Greg_Ace at 5:43 PM on April 23


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