I’m Terribly Sorry

But I have some kind of stomach bug, and can’t seem to find my brain.  (And after being so late yesterday, too.  Sorry.)
I barely slept, so it’s not surprising.
I might try to do something later.  Sorry.

162 thoughts on “I’m Terribly Sorry

  1. Rest and recover. We’ll cover.

    Heck, we’ll do … hrmm.. better not do that.
    I’d offer an “Ask an ox” but I won’t be ready to answer anything for hours and hours and it’s not MY blog. (And is Askanox some drug one is supposed to ask one’s doctor if it’s right for them?)

    I could suggest a prompt for a 50 word or so bit of creativity…. but I’ve just listened to an audiobook about SL-1 and the prompt would be ‘critical’ and things well, you probably don’t want ATH going prompt critical.

    So, rest and recover. And hrmm… that rest idea sounds pretty good.

    1. I note that “Ask An Ox” does not actually promise any answers, so your inability to provide timely response is somewhat irrelevant and thus entirely in keeping with the tenor of this venue.

        1. Oxen. I can overlook many grammatical and spelling issues (and commit more than a few corkers myself, I admit), but that’s something that should be rather basic. See, there’s even a hydroxyl with a metal, and you can’t get much more basic than that. Also, this has been a three Negroni morning. Yeah, last night was… well, it’s been a three Negroni morning.

          1. I was going on the “mongooses” rule– oxen is the plural for an actual ox, but if used for a name it’s supposed to follow standard plural rules.

            ((((I was really, really hoping someone would say something so I could explain it. ^.^)))

          1. Superman– no, Clark Kent, Ma and Pa’s kid– is a good man, in addition to being nice.

            It would be like needing to explain why a guy doesn’t rape and murder women when he’s twice their size and it’s unlikely anybody would ever find out; while the possibility is at least theoretically there, you’ve got a rare egg where it’s a specific individual is going to even be tempted.

            1. And we can tell that the kink in question is, thank goodness, rare. I could be persuaded that a lot of rapes are happening without my knowledge. But it would be hard to overlook the number of adults murdered if the sexual targeting disorder that prefers murdered adults were not extremely rare.

              I would note that there is a case that Batman should be killed by Superman’s laser eyes. The one I’ve noticed relies on the argument that Batman’s quest for revenge is the product of a disordered brain, that there are more effective means of reaching his goals, and that his pursuit of them in this manner is willful endangerment to the point of criminal negligence. But analyzing comic book stuff without regard to the way that market necessities have distorted the worldbuilding means that moral conclusions are necessarily based on faulty reasoning.

              1. The one I’ve noticed relies on the argument that Batman’s quest for revenge is the product of a disordered brain, that there are more effective means of reaching his goals, and that his pursuit of them in this manner is willful endangerment to the point of criminal negligence.

                To which I reply:
                Fine, then you do it.

                If only temporarily stopping the criminals rises to “criminal negligence,” then not even attempting to do so is even worse.

                  1. If Batman were really serious about addressing Gotham criminal problem, there would be a lot more criminals in the morgue…

                    That the comic book writers won’t let the criminals stay dead or imprisoned means that it is absurd to assert that Batman should be a more lethal vigilante, or use his abilities to reform the Gotham police and legal system. No matter what Batman does, the writers will always write more criminals, or reuse the old ones.

                    1. From inside the story, though, Batman wouldn’t be killing the criminals.

                      He is trying to be a good man and actually fix the system– compare and contrast with the Punisher, who is focused on stopping individual wrong-doers.

                      Reasonably speaking, Batman’s way would work, via repeated embarrassment of the corrupt system; even inside the story, it improves from random murders at theaters to having Commissioner Gordon who either fully or somewhat works with a law-abiding vigilante… at which point most of the writers freak out because if things actually KEEP getting better, the story ends, so they either break it and go back to the prior steps, or Bats has to branch out in the areas he works. (Which makes Justice League work much better.)

                      ….I’d probably want a concealed carry license and a good lawyer if I was in Gotham, though.

                    2. Viewed as an exercise in economics, Batman, by reducing the likelihood of crime being successful, is increasing its cost. The Wayne Foundation is enhancing the likely success of alternatives to crime. It is a two-pronged approach.

                    3. My logic should imply that I don’t like repeated fanfic of the same series. I do. Therefore, I probably ought to get my head out of my rear where comic book canons and the superhero genre are concerned.

                      That I don’t like that the property holders cannot stop making official versions of the stories, and I dislike some of those versions, does not mean that I can’t build my own canon from the good ones and ignore anyone else.

                      My views on elasticity of official canons had evolved significantly since I had last examined those particular preconceptions.

              2. You just pointed out one of the key reasons not to model yourself after TV, movies, or even a large number of people in books. All those need drama and people doing things that are generally considered ‘bad’ in a civilized society.

                Lack of drama or people doing stupid and inappropriate things makes for very boring stories. “They talked it out like adults, end of story” vs 200+ pages of conflict, action, and conflicted dialogue. There are some exceptions.

    2. I donno, but is Askanox an Americanization of Ashkenazic?
      Seems like a logical linguistic drift to me.

        1. Hmmm. I don’t know about stomping. I’ve seen plenty of bovines ‘putting’ out plenty of ‘dirt’ over my misspent years growing up in dairy country.

        1. Argg, “for” the halibut.

          CPAP machine decided to go sideways (dirty contacts, I hope) so sleep was interesting and short. The department of redundancy department told me I needed to get the backup CPAP unit out Just In Case.

          1. My doctor recently wrote an order for me to get a new CPAP machine to use instead of my ten-year-old model. Note: to use instead, not t replace. He advised keeping the old one as a back-up.

            1. The current machine worked fine last night; the humidifier module plugs/snaps to the main section, and it hadn’t been apart since April. I miss the days when electronics used gold for connector contacts. So much less hassle.

              The previous machine was 11 years old and it was pretty well worn. I had spare funds, so I got two identical ones. I swap them once a year or so. (RCPete Insurance for the win.)

              The clinician’s manual was available from apneaboard dot com, so I’ve been able to do tweakage as necessary. (My regular doctor was able to place the prescription I wrote for him. There’s a lot of flexibility with an autoset machine.) Now that I’m insured, I could get a sleep study. Eventually. I have a minor issue that would need an expensive machine. to counteract. Research and the cardiologist say it’s not harmful, so I can wait.

  2. Have you looked behind the toilet? That’s where I usually find my brain when I have a stomach bug.

    OTOH, until you have recovered from that bug (may it soon occur) it might be prudent to store your brain in a safe space, such as a vintage Heinlein or some Agatha Christie. Even Georgette Heyer is likely preferable to lugging it about while ill.

  3. Have your cats been playing with your brain? 😈

    Seriously, Take Care. 😀

  4. Rest. Close your eyes. And listen as I say, “You are getting sleepy. Close your eyes. Eyes, not ice; you know you can’t close ice. Where were we?? You are getting sleepy. Sleep. Sleep Sleeeeeee…”

  5. I thought… hey, lets tell light hearted fun jokes. So since I don’t know any jokes, not generally being a very good joker, I tried to look them up.


    This does absolutely nothing to amuse but a great deal to prove the point that if you *explain* a joke, it’s not funny anymore.

    1. “Analyzing humour is like dissecting a frog. Few people are interested and the frog dies of it.” –E.B. White

  6. Everyone heard about the Amazon employees who ended up in the hospital (for real) when a robot broke open a package of bear repellent?

    The situation was grizzly.

  7. Hopefully it’s what hit our house last week.

    About a week of “well, it’s 7:30, the kids are in bed…and I’m exhausted. Good night, dear.”

  8. In other news, the mysterious theft of all the toilets from the 31st Precinct remains unsolved. The police have nothing to go on.

    1. You might give occasional very short “Still alive” reports, maybe, if you stay away longer? A sentence or two would be fine.

      So, the comments are going to be filled with really bad puns – or will it be jokes today? – now I suppose. I think I have something else to do for now. Washing dishes or similar. 😛

      1. Not the corner with the ivy painted on the wall. It doesn’t stay painted if you do.

        And then we have to fix it BEFORE Fluffy notices and fixes it with one blast of fire-breath.

      2. Excellent choice. While I was good at it, I never enjoyed the job that included writing reviews, running meetings, and laying folks off just before they RIFed me. I’d much rather be the exalted and feared technical guru.

    1. “systiternalized misoraciphobia of the hetrotoxarchy” – but can you say it backwards?
      Seriously, that is a superior locution.
      The book looks awesome – and you aren’t the only one who hasn’t read it in the three (3) days since it was published.
      Thanks for the link.

  9. OT (Is that a thing here?)

    The local university had a bunch of “It’s okay to be white” posters put up several weeks ago.

    The University pres flipped out and sent an incoherent email that said of course it’s okay to be white, but it’s not okay to say that it’s okay to be white because alleged white supremacists say the same thing.

    Now, today, the university’s Volunteerism and Social Action Center is hosting a “conversation” about “hate crime” in our area, specifically the aforementioned posters.

    I feel like I should go, to present to the NPCs the idea that if a statement is true, it is okay to say, regardless of who else is saying it, because even a broken clock is right twice a day.

    The very prospect of going is giving me dizzy spells, a headache, an upset stomach, and making me want to cry, all of which are normal physiological symptoms of extreme and overwhelming stress.

    So the question is (knowing that I probably won’t get an answer in the next hour before the thing starts): Should I stay or should I go?

    1. Someone should go put up a whole bunch of new posters that say, “We apologize for saying it’s okay to be white. Clearly it’s a very bad thing to be white and anyone who is white should be ashamed and should probably apologize.”

    2. Will it cause you long-term trouble, or short term trouble? If it is long-term trouble, I’d reluctantly suggest not going. Physical danger is a real consideration in some places, as is career destruction. Otherwise, I’d say go and phrase your objection carefully.

      Either way, I think you’re doing the right thing, and it is hard.

    3. Do not risk your career, or the safety of your family.

      When true statements are conceded to the white supremacists as something only they can say, they gain an advantage in the contest for the public’s support. If you want the white supremacists to fail, deny them these advantages.

    4. That said, this comes down to a conflict between two groups of religions.

      Saying that I cannot be good in the eyes of both makes this more of a religious statement than I mean it as.

      I do identify as and embrace being evil in their eyes. Now, unlike some of my sort, perhaps over in the Alt-Right, I do not regard what the left thinks is evil as being a useful guide to the difference between right and wrong.

      But if blood is culture, I apparently have literal Scotch-Irish ancestry. The Scotch-Irish were Scots who had live in Ireland as metaphorical and at times literal foot soldiers for the English regime there. My cultural heritage is of working for someone else’s empire, oppressing and committing cultural and at times literal genocide of indigenous peoples. I will tell my children that this is their cultural heritage, one that they can choose to follow.

      If the Left does not want to persuade people to follow in my foot steps, they should leave white people with a path of retreat. Because a cornered animal will fight.

    5. I do not know.

      Because your reaction is entirely rational– there very well may be a physical assault up to the point of hospitalization or death for speaking up.

    6. You know these people better than I do, so I won’t say what I think you should do, but I can tell you what I’d do in the same situation: I wouldn’t bother.

      The thing is, it seems almost certain to me that what you want to tell these people isn’t something they don’t already know. They are almost certainly not condemning such statements on the basis of whether it’s permissible to state factual truths or not. They’re condemning them because they’ve already made up their minds about the only imaginable reason anyone could have for wanting to state that particular truth out loud in that particular manner, time and place.

      I wish I still had the optimism of my youth, but I really do believe by now that whenever anyone asks to “have a conversation” about any given issue, what they really want to do is harangue anyone foolish enough to listen into agreeing and then shutting up. I will gladly listen to convincing arguments why this cynicism is wrong, but I can’t bring myself to bet against it these days.

      1. I agree with Stephen. They already *know* and telling them over again won’t change anything.

      2. I wish I still had the optimism of my youth, but I really do believe by now that whenever anyone asks to “have a conversation” about any given issue …

        When a parent, a partner, an employer or, when you are older, an adult child tells you that “We need to have a conversation” you can be unreasonably confident that your part in this conversation is going to mostly involve listening and much repetition of the phrase, “I understand.”

        There may also be some “I’m sorry.” What there won’t be is any interest in your reasons for not complying with their oh so reasonable, oh so considerate, oh so necessary “suggestions.”

        1. *sigh* Brain is still AWOL.

          Was supposed to include a part about “very good general rule.”

          Conversation equals lecture is obnoxious but common.

          1. Heh. I quit having these “conversations” with my late father’s wife for that very reason. Whenever she wanted that it always meant a lecture, and a lecture of what I had been doing wrong, and how I was a bad person, and need to apologize to her… finally I just refused to listen.

            And what was wrong seemed to always be what I had been doing lately. Like visiting. I came too often. I started going less often. Then I was a neglectful daughter who didn’t visit her father often enough. I started going a bit more often, and suddenly it was again too often. Rinse and repeat. With pretty much everything. I never found out what would have been the right way to behave to her.

            I tried to get along with her for years, but it is possible she actually was something like a narcissist. I at least prefer to think that most people without some sort of personality disorder would react to attempts to please them positively, and be able to admit that they can also be wrong sometimes. She was never ever wrong when it came to her dealings with me, in her opinion, and I always was.

            She did seem to treat my father fairly well though, from what he told me. He complained that she was bossy, but I never noticed any signs of any kind of abuse, emotional or otherwise. It seems that I was just something she really hadn’t wanted to come along with that deal.

            1. That sounds like a power thing– she HAD to find fault with you, so you’d know she was in charge.

              There’s also things like what my mom does– almost anything I do will get a comment on possible down sides, but it’s a short comment and I don’t have to agree with it. I can even argue with her, if I feel like it, but 90% of the time it’s just her worrying.

              I do sometimes wonder what color the sky is in the world she is remembering, and I learned not to bother trying to explain old annoyances, just understand what caused them and adapt around; my family is worth it. (I know some folks’ aren’t.)

              1. Territoriality. Wanted to make sure you knew it was her man and her house. But she could never be satisfied, because she never felt like the alpha female to herself. All her pickiness was an exhibition that she was afraid of you.

                1. Presumably was part of the problem especially in the beginning. Because the house father lived in when she moved in, and where they then stayed for a decade longer, wasn’t hers, or fully his. It had been my mother’s, and after her death, according to Finnish laws, I owned half of it, father the other half. I never made a point of that, or talked about it, not even after it was sold and they never paid me all that should have been coming to me – wasn’t that big a sum but anyway, and who knows, maybe that just made her even more resentful because basically after that I would have been able to cause some trouble to them had I been so inclined – but I think it may have been a big part of why she started to resent me so much. And of course she never could admit that she may have been wrong, so kept looking for the fault in me, any way she could.

            2. The experience of never getting things right, and never being told exactly what is right, is something I have also encountered with some people. “A” is not enough; “C” is too much; and they won’t articulate just where “B” lies on the scale. *
              (Cue the Goldilocks story: at least she recognized what was just right.)
              And the point, indeed, is control: keeping you guessing is the lever by which your behavior bends to their will. Ceasing to pay attention may well be the only way to deal with individuals; not so much an option for public figures, but we are seeing some of the GOP and the right-wing starting to take that road, because the demands are so patently ridiculous now.
              The only other option I can see is exerting your own will to the point that they no longer criticize you, but that goes bad in a hurry in families.
              However, in politics, that is probably why so many of us hired Mr. Trump to be our surrogate with the left.

              *I saw this play out back in the “torture is not who we are” days, when the left would complain about every possible tactic being used to get critical information from terrorists, and would never concede that there were any interrogation methods that they would be willing to accept, thus always being able to complain about anything the goverment did, no matter where it fell on the A-B-C continuum.

              1. I remember floating in the middle of the Indian ocean and being told that stuff I had to deal with by being enlisted were unacceptable abuse for prisoners.

                About the time I started ignoring the “everything I don’t like is torture” guys….

                1. I recently realized that I could argue that anyone who was against torture was so solely because of a racial hatred of the Plains Indians.

                  I’ve had a real shortage of knowing interaction with anti-torture activists who have thrown around the racism charges wantonly enough to justify the deployment of the argument.

                  1. *chuckles* I’d be a breaker, there, because I’d be pretty enthusiastic in them being totally freaking evil in that area….but I’m so far off the norm it’s not worth noting.

                2. I didn’t ignore them; instead I started looking at what they were willing to define as perfectly acceptable tactics for dealing with their fellow American political enemies both past (ACW) and present / future (climate deniers, NRA, Republicans) and comparing their definition of “war crimes” against foreign enemies. Many SJW head explosions resulted….. and I stopped giving them any charity WRT what they said being metaphorical.

                  Doesn’t matter whether we WANT a war with these people: we’re going to fight one and win decisively….. or they WILL enslave then kill us.

                  1. Most of them stopped talking to me after I didn’t accept their special definition of “torture” so never heard about their ideas about what was acceptable for them to do to thought-criminals.

    7. The local university flipped out a decade ago when someone put up posters saying “It’s OK To Be Straight.”

      Apparently the ABCD/EIEIO types took Grave Offense…

    8. it’s not okay to say that it’s okay to be white because alleged white supremacists say the same thing.

      I have heard that alleged white supremacists also claim that Black Lives Matter and, even more, that we should Believe All Women.

      So, obviously, if a thing becomes wrong because it is alleged that alleged white supremacists have said it …

      BTW, this principle has already been put into practice in NY under Mayor de Blasio who has decreed that, as fascists declared the trains should run on time, all subway traffic must be subject to random interruptions and delays.

      It’s for the children.

    9. Update: I went; I spoke, at least to the people at my table; it wasn’t anywhere near as bad as I feared. (Which… is usually the case, sad to say.)

      It probably helped that I took control of my table by arriving first and acting as moderator, and let everyone else speak on the first question, then offered my opinion on the second question -the one about the President’s response- first.

      The panelists – two professors and a freshman student – were mostly coherent, the freshman was naturally the least coherent (and most intersectional) of the three.

      As far as my tablemates – the old woman who’d been doing ethnic research actually agreed that the president’s response to the flyers was overblown and likely to trigger the racial tensions he sent it out to avoid. The other two women were young, inexperienced, and soft-headed hearted, and so thought that the President’s response was awesome.
      But one of them was intellectually consistent enough to say that she would condemn people for putting up, for example, “It’s okay to be hispanic” signs if La Raza had been using the phrase, and the signs were causing fear in the community.

      It probably wasn’t worth the time and stress though.

    10. Thanks for letting us know you went, and that it was okay to be there, just not very productive. Your tactics were good, but you were fighting on bad ground.

      “The other two women were young, inexperienced, and soft-headed hearted, and so thought that the President’s response was awesome.”

      Soft head leads to soft heart, and vice versa.
      As is often attributed to Churchill (with lots of paraphrases), “If you are not a liberal at 25, you have no heart; if you are not a conservative at 35, you have no brain”
      Two points: (1) liberals are not the same as socialists, and there are no liberals in academia or the Democrat leadership; (2) it is possible to be chronologially aged over 35, and mentally aged well under 25.

      (for reference to Feather Blade’s update)

  10. and can’t seem to find my brain

    That’s what you get for letting your mind wander. Hopefully it comes back to you soon.

  11. Jokes….
    An elephant walks into a bar…..and knocks it down.
    Why do elephants wear green berets? To hide on a pool table.
    Why do elephants wear green sneakers? So they cannot be seen in tall grass.
    Why do elephants wear red sneakers? Their green ones are in the wash.
    An elephant, a rhino and a gorilla walk into a bar…..and down it goes again.

    1. Why do ducks have flat feet? To stamp out forest fires.
      Why do elephants have flat feet? To stamp out burning ducks.

      1. Q. Why don’t you go into the jungle at 3 in the afternoon?
        A. That’s when the elephants are jumping out of trees.

        Q. Why are pygmies so short?
        A. They went into the jungle at 3 in the afternoon…

    2. An elephant on crutches limped into a bar.

      The bartender glanced at him and groaned, “Not another lame elephant joke!”

  12. A cartoonist was recently found mysteriously dead in his studio. Details of the crime are sketchy.

    1. A C, and E-Flat, and a G walk into a bar. What happens?

      Well, the bartender throws the E-Flat out because they don’t serve minors. As for the C and the G, they split a fifth between them!

      1. Luckily I’ve studied enough musical theory to get that one. 🙂

        Here’s a similar joke: Did you hear about the out-of-work quantum physicist who went into politics? He wanted to be a spin doctor, but his platform didn’t have enough Plancks.

      2. An elephant, an elf, and an editor walked into a bar.

        The bartender looked up and said, “Is this some kind of joke?”

  13. (Note: I’m Scottish myself by descent so I can get away with this joke.)

    An Englishman, an Irishman and a Scotsman walk into a pub and order a pint of their respective favourites. The pub is a seriously dingy and grotty place, however, and all three discover to their annoyance a fly in their drinks.

    The Englishman grimaces very faintly, picks the fly out delicately, flicks it away and calmly drinks as if nothing’s happened. The Irishman shrugs and swigs back his pint, fly and all. The Scotsman picks the fly out of his drink very carefully, turns it head-down back over the pint, and begins shaking it vigorously. The Englishman blinks and asks, “My word, Angus, what are you doing?”

    “Isnae it obvious? Ah’m tryin’ ta get the bugger t’spit it out!”

    1. I heard almost the same joke, except that in this case, the punchline was the Irishman holding the fly upside down above the drink and saying, “Spit it out, ya wee bastard!”

    2. That’s my grandfather’s joke! (AKA, Pat, so take a guess what his ancestry was.)

      But his had the Englishman dumping his drink out, the Scotsman fished it out and drank, and the Irishman slapped the fly on the back yelling “SPIT IT OUT, SPIT IT OUT!”

      1. I should note THE most important part of the joke:
        any speaking roles, you MUST be able to do an amusing version of the accent.

      2. It all depends on whether you’re making fun of the Irish for their alcoholism or the Scottish for their miserliness. 🙂 (I have both Irish and Scottish blood in me, so I’m amused by either.)

      3. Moral of the stories: some British apparently take their beer more seriously than other British, and are competitive about it too!

            1. As a cook I would have trouble being limited to beer. (Before I could not digest meat I used to make a lovely beef stew that uses Pilzner, but that is only one dish.) Not having various wines, brandy and rum on hand to use in the kitchen would make me sad … or for drinking add to that hard cider and port.

              1. I have to admit that although I don’t mind cider, it’s too sweet for me to drink a lot of on a regular basis. And port has never reminded me of anything but cough syrup. (I admit, if not proudly then at least matter-of-factly, to being a Philistine in many ways.)

                But I never said other types of drinks weren’t important. Only that beer was especially important. 😉

                  1. Certainly should do, although since (if I understand correctly) all the actual alcohol burns off or evaporates out during the cooking process, it strikes me you could use ordinary apple juice or even applesauce and get virtually the same effect.

                    (Pork chops with applesauce was a favourite childhood staple, although since I’m the only one in the house who eats pork these days it’s been a long time since I’ve had it.)

                    1. Actually, I wonder if alcoholic beverages were used because the alcohol would kill or prevent growth of pathogens that would love living in substances containing copious amounts of sugar?

                      Also, the additional loss due to the evaporation of alcohol may serve to lower the temperature of what’s being cooked, reducing the chances of it burning; as well as aiding in carrying off more obnoxious volatiles.

                      Finally, depending on how long you heat it, and how much alcohol is added, there may be a considerable amount of alcohol left, which changes the physical sensations of taste.

                    2. *wags paw back and forth* Alcohol helps keep the fat in solution long enough to keep the meat from drying, based on what I’ve seen while cooking. Also adds a different flavor, and doesn’t stick as badly as un-fermented sugars do. YMMV, IANAChef, nor do I play one on TV.

                    3. Depends on how long the cooking process is.
                      According to Dr. Andrew Weil, after an hour of cooking 25% of the added alcohol is still left.
                      After 2 1/2 hours of cooking 5% is left. – so from a typical bottle of hard cider (~5% alcohol) less than a gram of alcohol would be left in the pot.

                    4. to Mike in re alcohol and germs:
                      (trigger warning – more information than you probably want to know; put https where appropriate)

                      Wine was used anciently to disinfect drinking water and cleanse wounds; it was much stronger then, and seldom drunk “neat” (unwatered wine is rumored to be the cause of the death of Alexander the Great).

                      Sugar does not support bacterial growth, so there shouldn’t be any pathogens there for the alcohol to destroy. (Sugar also doesn’t support people growth; a professor I once knew routinely decried the students’s affinity for junk food, notably Twinkies. He pointed out one day that a research project on garbage found undecomposed cakes after decades in the landfill. “If germs won’t grow on it,” he said, “neither will you.”)

                      Honey is also antibacterial, and so no pathogens should be possible in mead either.
                      “The healing property of honey is due to the fact that it offers antibacterial activity, maintains a moist wound condition, and its high viscosity helps to provide a protective barrier to prevent infection. Its immunomodulatory property is relevant to wound repair too.”

                    5. Sugar, honey and bacteria– sugar absorbs water, that’s why bacteria doesn’t like it in high enough amounts. (There are some types that can still grow– famously, botulism.)

                      Twinkies would likely be found in a landfill due to lack of oxygen to help them rot, in addition to the sugar and if they’re still in the plastic, lack of water.

                    6. Botulism doesn’t actually grow in a high-sugar environment, but it produces spores which can survive until the sugar content gets diluted enough. This is the reason that honey can cause infant botulism poisoning – not because the botulinum bacteria were growing in the honey, but because the infant’s digestive system is not strong enough to kill it before it can grow enough to be dangerous.

                    7. On the flavor aspects of cooking with wine v. grape juice (or hard cider v. apple juice):
                      From recollections dating back before I joined the LDS Church (and thus restricted myself to the juice options), there really is a difference in taste.
                      Fermenting probably changes the characteristics of the organic substances in some way, and the cooked foods seemed to me to be a bit “sharper” than the non-alcoholic versions.

                    8. That said, four servings of alcohol divided by 12 slices for rumcake (to take a relatively strong example) would be basically a teaspoon of hard liquor BEFORE evaporation, so not really a big issue.

  14. Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama walk into a bar.
    The bartender says, “What is this, some kind of a joke?”

    1. I joined the posting community here back on July 12 of 2011, having been a sometime lurker before.  Over the years many of us have told Our Esteemed Hostess that she never has to apologize for being sick. To date it has been to no avail.

        1. To Our Esteemed Hostess:

          So we return to this discussion. You did post, albeit not at length. How many times do I have to explain this to you?

          1) There is a header.
          2) Something follows that header.
          3) Your audience has been engaged.
          4) There have been numerous responses.

          Therefore I conclude that there has been a post.

          You can be as guilty as you want for not having lived up to your incredibility high standards you set for yourself, I have no control over your feelings of obligation. Still, has it escaped your notice that those of us who follow your blog have, time and again, declared ourselves satisfied.

        2. Sarah, the necessity for you to apologize for not posting is exactly equal to the amount that we pay for it. That would be none.

      1. I figure it’s like the manners-dance, more about saying “I wish that it were otherwise” and the response being “we are grateful you ever do it at all” than “I have failed by not doing #thing” and “no, you must change your behavior.”

  15. But I have some kind of stomach bug, and can’t seem to find my brain.

    Oh! a Quest! A Quest! Our Esteemed Hostess has given us a Quest!
    (Likely the better response than paraphrasing John Dickinson — ‘When did you first notice it was missing?’)

    1. If her brain never comes back, Sarah can always take up law.

      (Punchline from a story about a really obnoxious lawyer who pushed the pathologist about the deceased’s brain and body being separated. The pathologist finally said, “Well, Counsel, it is possible he could be out practicing law.” The judge shut the lawyer down, once His Honor was able to regain order in the court.)

      1. Got a link to the court transcript? I’ve read that one in many versions, and I’d love to read the original. The fact that you know that the judge shut the lawyer down makes me hope that you might have read the transcript and can point me in its general direction.

        1. It was in a book of “great” courtroom moments. I’ll see if I still have it, or can find the title and compiler again.

    1. Just make chicken soup, no noodles.

      Wonders: Are there such a thing as ultra low carb paleo diet acceptable noodles? Would Egg Drop Soup be acceptable?

        1. Zucchini spirals are a great substitute for spaghetti. I served it to my sister once, with a good marinara sauce, and she never knew the difference until I told her. Had to get her a spiralizer the next day.

            1. Given the amount of free zucchini backyard gardeners are dumping on total strangers at harvest time, the ability for a shortage to exist that could raise the price ought to be causing some corporate farmers to either be ashamed of their incompetence or indicted for price fixing….. 😎

  16. I had a stomach bug about two months back. Turns out that one of my device games had infinite lives that day, so I got through about 40-50 levels.

    1. First choice to Alan Dean Foster’s “Icerigger.”

      Second choice to Philip Jose Farmer’s “The Green Odyssey.”

      Third choice to Hal Clement’s “Mission of Gravity.” (yeah, the masts of the Bree were only a few inches tall, but there were structural limits at four hundred gravities…)

  17. To what I wish I had said yesterday, per Christopher M Chupik, it is not necessary for you to apologize for being sick, but it is very gracious of you to apologize for the inconvenience.

  18. “…can’t seem to find my brain…” Check around Greebo’s cushion.I heard some thumping noises, he might have been playing with it.(Hope it’s not under the couch.)

    1. Ew, with little dust bunnies and hairballs stuck to it?
      Yeah, I hope its not under the couch either.

    2. Umm, if. you come across my car key while you’re at it, please let me know. I found the back-up copy last night but not the primary, and I went all yesterday w/o car. (Hey, I’ve looked practically everywhere else.)

      1. Heh.

        First thing I did when we got the new car:
        took the one key to store and got five copies made.

        Our house key? We rekey every house to one of a set of keys I have on hand.

        My pocket knife pack goes in every pair of pants I own– and it’s got spare keys on it. WHich has been useful often with #Kids.


        The originals of ALL OF THEM ARE GONE.

        No idea where, we had them by the door where the kids can’t even see them…they just f*in vanished.

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