This That and Very Definitely The Other

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So today is crazy-er than usual.  Heck, the whole week will be, for reasons already stated. BUT….

Passing thoughts in no particular order:

-If we ever fill a room with furniture so that I can’t SEE most of it (the room is packed with it until dining room’s floor is done) it can’t be that way for more than a week.  Also, if I can’t get there, neither can the cats.

We found where Euclid has been peeing. I could smell it, but couldn’t find it.  Except, of course, I happened to be on the stairs at the right moment.  Then I shifted heavy furniture around till I could get to it.  He’s probably been going there for MONTHS.  It’s clean now, but I feel like I bathed in cat pee, and have to take a shower. (Probably its aerosolizing in contact with hot water? I didn’t touch the stuff.)
In the future, any room that’s filled with furniture, should be for no more than a week, and hopefully less.  I need to be able to see every corner and clean when cats are bad.

It’s possible this will resolve when Euclid dies.  The others have been known to follow him, but Euclid has always had a problematic relationship with the boxes, since we got him when he was 1.  He’s now 19.

I think I’m getting him a kitty-cage, three floors, and keep him confined, pain-killed and happy.  We’ll take him out to cuddle in the evenings.  Honestly, mostly he sleeps, these days.  It’s that time.  Since we have another 3 cats and the youngest is 9, my guess is the cage will be used now and then over the next 10 years.

It’s also possible the others never engage in this kind of hooliganism.  Euclid was never too sure about the box (he seems to have been trained to paper) and he’s gotten worse.  Most of our elimination problems with the last batch disappeared when Randy died.  Pixie only had this problem when he could no longer walk much.  So… We’ll see.  But for now, Euclid will be confined, so I don’t kill him.

-Making a joke about Trump being the tar baby president, I found the book my kids had of Uncle Remus stories (not given by us, but I assumed it was THE BOOK, you know. So I never noticed) was “expurgated” meaning my kids don’t know a lot of references.  Apparently Uncle Remus is “racist” despite its being mostly African legends.  I find this bewildering.  I mean, it was one of the first books I was read (so before 4 or 5) and things like the Tar Baby and the Briar Patch are my family’s references, as much as anyone else’s. I hate bowdlerizers, whether from moral, historical or politically correct reasons.  I will accept things like “The Bible for children” ONLY on the understanding that they’re an introduction, but at some point children get the real thing.  And you never lie to them that the pale imitation is the real thing.

(Shudders at the idea future generations will try to bowdlerize Heinlein.  Well, me, too probably if anyone reads me in the future. BUT HEINLEIN would be a crime.)

– Somewhere along the line, I’ve missed some things about being an adult in the US.  Mostly because Dan also didn’t know them or assumed I knew them, and when I couldn’t find them when I first moved, in small town NC, I just assumed they didn’t exist.  Apparently, though they don’t go door to door, there are people who professionally sharpen knives in the US.  I’ve just been using the knives till home-sharpening no longer works, then donating them.  It’s fine, most of the sets were cheap, but our first set was good.  Oh, well. Took me thirty four years to find that out.  I wonder if it’s just me, or other people have such blind spots? You don’t even know what to ask, because you don’t know there’s anything to ask.

– looking decent takes a lot of time. I’m divided between continuing to only care about it when I have a special occasion like, oh, a wedding, and resuming just dressing in things that cover all crucial areas most of the time, or, you know, actually trying to make an effort to get to base level, now crazy child raising years are past, and then just maintaining.  Um… part of me thinks my husband deserves something better to look at than me skulking around in jeans and oversized t-shirt.  What to do, what to do… (And yes, sexissss.  Well. I like looking at him too, so turnabout is fair play.)

-This week we’re having warm weather, though I’ve heard of a snow storm approaching this weekend. (March, comes in like a lion and goes out like a wolverine, apparently.) I find I’m very anxious for convertible weather to get here.  Convertible weather is when we quit working at five or six and Dan says “Hey, want to go out in the convertible?”  Usually we drive the scenic route to the park and go for a walk.  Yeah, lame.  But also wonderful. Of such lame things is life made.

 

 

 

188 responses to “This That and Very Definitely The Other

    • Carrington Dixon

      Yes. When they go to bowdlerize Heinlein we shall all be surprised by what they leave in and out. The man went out of his way to be an equal opportunity offender.

  1. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    Chris Nuttall had a “news story” in one of his books where people were complaining about the “changes” in Heinlein’s Starman Jones.

    It seems that the PC idiots had made the Guild’s restrictions on knowledge “good”. 😈

  2. I wrote at the start of March that the month came in like a lamb with a lion in hot pursuit. I stand by my words.

    • We’ve had a few decent days this March. Sunday was quite pleasant, and the subsurface ice is melting, so the pumice/clay soil is starting to resemble dirt more than mud. Dirt is good.

      OTOH, as wet as it’s been, the trees should be at a much lower risk for bark beetle infestations. (Spoken with a lot of hope in my voice.)

      • We’ve had snow, tornadoes, hail that was still in drifts late the next afternoon, 85 MPH winds in town, and will have a hard freeze just to do in all the plants everyone is getting this week, and finish wiping out the blooming trees that the hail didn’t strip. I hope Mother Nature is getting it all out of her system now.

        • I remember reading somewhere, a character saying that Texas could have snow, tornadoes, hail, rain, and broiling sun in the same morning. The explaination quoted (which I believe I’ve read elsewhere a time or three) was “Hell, there ain’t nothin’ between us and Canada but one bob-wire fence, and THAT’S down half the time.”

          • The fence is between Amarillo and the North Pole, and it is indeed down most of the time.
            We had a weather station in my youth: a rock hanging by a rope from a cross-tree.
            If the rock was too hot to touch, it was a normal West Texas summer day.
            If the rock was wet, it was raining.
            If the rock was horizontal at the end of the rope, the wind was blowing.

          • Don’t like the weather in SW Ohio….wait 5 minutes.
            Remember one April, was playing football in the afternoon with my friends in shorts and t-shirt and the next morning there was a foot of snow on the ground.

            • Sounds about right, from what I remember growing up. Virginia’s better. Not a lot better, but somewhat better.

            • I woke up early this morning to rain. The rain stopped, then my satellite connection started acting up. Snow.

              Now we have an inch or more of absurdly wet snow/slush. It’s 33F outside, and this is one of the days I have to go to town. I think I won’t park on the hill by the dentist’s office. Might be nasty.

            • Don’t live in Montana. But one of the memes you see on line is labeled “Spring”. Open the door to check the weather, glorious beautiful spring sunny day, with bulbs flowering, butterflies, birds … Dash upstairs for spring wear, you know short sleeve shirt, shorts, sandals … Dash downstairs out the door to ,,, a foot of snow.

              Oregon foot hills still have snow on them both to the East (normal) and West of the Valley (not normal). Not feet of it, but it is there. Hoodo is still open and is planning on it at least through April. Neither Willamette Pass nor Hood have said anything about shutting down, they are likely to both have skiing at least through May at this rate. Good year for the ski slopes.

              Eastern Sierra’s has towns that have to tunnel out of the snow. The mountain areas will have more snow melt than they can hold back in the reservoirs or aquifers (force fed where they can). Heck the Colorado might even reach Mexico this year. LA River is going to flow.

              Fun times.

        • We’re supposed to get our first Spring thunder this Thursday. Not so spooky because everything is wet, but it’s letting us know Summer is a-comin’. Grass seeds are starting to sprout, but not much else. The best sign of spring is the arrival of new birds at the feeder. Finches and sparrows are now in the mix, along with a breeding pair of downy woodpeckers. (One of those was raised in a stump by the garden.)

          We still have a bit of snow in the shaded and low areas, and we’ll have freezes (either softish–high 20s, or mid 20s hard) for a few weeks. $SPOUSE says she’ll start the tomato seeds the first of May in the sunroom. Zucchini will be a couple weeks later. The usual plan is to get the seedlings in the greenhouse (tomatoes) or the raised beds/big pots (zucchini) by June 1. Had to push it off a week last year, and I wouldn’t be surprised it happens again.

          I expect a hard freeze once or twice in June, then it should be OK with only frostcloth. The joys of living above 4000′ in the West.

          (The brainiacs in the state capitol are planning on passing a cap and trade bill. There go my fuel expenses, just in time for Goreball cooling. Arggh.)

          • thephantom182

            We could still have another full-on snowstorm here in the Demented Dominion. 20F on the front porch of Chez Phantom this morning, hard frost on the windshields of The Fleet out there.

            Did y’all hear that the Green New-Deal of Occasional-Cortex was defeated by a vote of 57-0 in the Senate? 43 DemocRats voted “present”.

            In Canaduh, where it still snows in April and the frost still comes until 24th of May, that thing would have passed.

            • (Gets back from cleaning wet snow off the sat dish…)

              We frequently get a minor snowfall in June, so anti-global warming stuff must be mandatory. I suspect they’ll proclaim a big success if we get a Dalton/Maunder minimum and associated freezeout. Nothing makes the people in the state capital happier than making life harder on rural people.

            • AOC told people to vote “present.”

              • Whoops. MIsplaced

              • thephantom182

                AOC -said- she told people to vote “present.”

                I would need to see third-party video and documentation before believing that, given that it is AOC. Because SJWs always lie.

  3. So there’s where that mysteriously missing other went! As they say, life is what happens when you were planning something else.

  4. I never really got the Uncle Remus stories — although, thanks to Mom, we did have the complete and unexpurgated volume in the original. I’m afraid I was stymied because it was all in deep-Southern dialect … and as a child reader, it just did not track. I just did not know anyone who talked that way, back then … and so I bagged it all, and went to material which — on reading — did sound like what I knew.
    Which meant that my sense of humor was fatally corrupted by reading (over and over again, because the illustrations were just so gosh-darned funny!) Osbert Lancester’s “Here of All Places.” (A kind of potted history of architecture in Britain and the US. Very dry, deep and ponderous.)
    Oh… cat and dog pee from geriatric pets. Sigh. Conner the aged malti-poo (who must be nearly 20 if he is a day) has gone nearly blind, deaf and senile. If I take him to the door and point him outdoors when he begins to get antsy, he is OK. So far. The two cats who were the worst for peeing on stuff are now confined to the Catio, 24-7. As much as they protest this exile. We just had too much stuff wrecked by them spraying comparatively everywhere.

    • So far, Sara the 14 year old Lab-Aussie has been doing well indoors, though she considers her nighttime crate fair game for pee. (When I worked fire, Sara was a pup. When I got middle-night callouts, she’d usually pee in her crate. Still does with any disturbance, frequently from the other dog.)

      One of these days, we plan to redo the carpet in the master bedroom (most of the rest of the house is engineered wood or lino). That will be pee-proof carpet. Sara’s kid sister (Angie the border collie) is 12 now, and never liked absolutely loathes crates. If there are going to be bladder issues, we want things cleanable.

      • We got pet carpet. Good news, easy to deodorize. No visible stains. Don’t use black light on it.

        Next huge changes to the house flooring will be pet friendly, easy to clean, not carpet. Pet throw rugs like pet carpet, will be okay. But something that at some point I can go “done” and toss without conscious. But, have to convince other half of that. Not vinyl. Maybe plank ceramic tile. Don’t know. Haven’t done the research. Know wood, no matter how well protected, probably not best choice. But will see what the future brings.

        • I like tile floors in bathrooms, but vinyl works a lot better in the manufactured house. We have rugs in spots in the great room and in the back bedroom. So far, so good. I suspect Sara won’t last too much longer; she had a lot of seizures and there’s been some brain damage, especially in coordination issues. If it gets too hard for her, we’ll know it’s time. She’s pretty well given up on getting on the couch or the people-bed.

          I haven’t tried a black light on spots where we’ve used pee enzyme. (I’d have to bring in the bug zapper. Hmm.)

          • We have an area covered in pee pads for Nemo when no one is available to let him out. He also pees in the master bathroom and on packages we get mailed. He is very male and has a strong urge to mark. As Steve says : Master of all I pee on.”

        • Make sure it’s skid proof.

          • Make sure skid proof.

            Yes. Probably will anchor with furniture. Point is. Something that when “worn” out. We can deal with. Don’t see it happening anytime soon … Part of the problem is hubby, logically, won’t put any more money into the house.

            Flooring is one thing. But realistically the kitchen needs to be expanded, which means Utility needs to be relocated. Jr Suite needs to be added upstairs (if possible) in the over the garage addition put on by the prior owners, master bath needs to be enlarged, which means into the main bathroom, which then needs to be relocated. Major renovations to the existing house doesn’t have the same “penalties” that a new build would have. But still leaves us closer to the neighborhood elementary school than we now need to be … Seems mean to tie up a fantastic family home location within sight of the school.

            We have a house plan we’d love to tweak and build. But we can’t make up our minds where, other than “locally” but not into Eugene proper. Our neighborhood local is great. But any new build is immediately taken into Eugene. Eugene, for same size home, smaller lot, looking at triple or quadruple property taxes. Anywhere else in the county, only looking at double. Anything with a water well is out (after all the problems his folks had at their place between La Pine and Sunriver) … around and around we go.

            Yes. I get dizzy too.

        • Watch the throw rugs as they can be tripping hazards, especially as we get older.

    • Dialect is not good to inflict on children. I still have unfond memories of the fairy tales in Lang’s books where he left the tale in Scots. . . .

      • I never had a problem with it, but it was interesting to find out (later in life) how often they recorded dialectal features that no longer exist, or that only exist in old recordings from folklore hunters back in the day.

        A.lot of Victorian dialect texts were intended to be read out loud.

  5. Jesse Thorson

    Get a ceramic stick sharpener. I’ve been using one for 20+ years with the same knives (semi-good ones, cause I couldn’t afford the best). Just remember to give the knife a few strokes every time it’s used. Also, wash immediately after use, it only takes seconds for a sharp knife to start oxidizing along the edge.
    Do this and you’ll only have to replace knives that have been broken or, in MNSHO, been sharpened by one of the street guys who sharpen knives because the first thing most do is a coarse grind of the edge.
    Although, I admit to being a knife junky and own about 100 or so.

    • Routine proper use of a good sharpening “steel” is essential. Take a tip from Alton Brown.


      Or just become friends with “Mad” Mike Williamson.

      • What a knife steel does is true up the edge, correct rolling that comes from hard use. It does not actually create an edge, just keeps the existing edge useful longer.
        Professional mobile knife sharpeners will generally have special purpose belt sanders set up in a van or other vehicle. Coarse grind to restore a badly damaged edge, then increasingly fine grits until the blade can sliver a sheet of paper. With practice you can do the same at home with ceramic, diamond, or natural stones though it takes much longer.

        • thephantom182

          I have a relative who uses his Solingen carving knives on china plates all the time. I’ve told him about how ceramic is harder than steel, he does it anyway. (Family, right?) With the result that the blade is about the same on the front as the back, and they don’t cut so much as crush and abrade their way through the food. When you look at the blade straight on and you can see silver on the edge, that’s butter-knife territory.

          Five minutes with the coarse water stone and a couple more with the fine, I can put an edge on them that’ll shave your arm hair. (He then complains they’re “too sharp”. So I sharpen everything in his house, because I’m just that way. >:D ) This is not a big deal, just a matter of removing the material evenly across the cutting edge, not spending too much time in one place, and checking your work as you go.

          Then there are grinding machines.

          https://www.tormek.com/

          This thing costs ~$800. Not worth it. Busy Bee has the Taiwanese knock-off one for ~$160 CDN, that’s worth it. Cool grind, doesn’t burn the heat-treat out of your edge. I got one for my shop recently after a lifetime of high speed grinders, I love it. But that’s because I have to do things like re-condition the skew angle on antique plane irons. That -can- be done by hand with a stone, but it would take hours and I’d rather be using the plane to flatten something.

          Something else for non-woodworkers to note about grinding wheels, they are round. This means they leave a hollow-grind on your bevel, which is a good thing. When you go from wheel to polishing stone, the polishing of the edge goes very fast because most of the bevel isn’t touching. Only the very edge and the back of the bevel touch the stone. Because its a round cross-section. Hollow.

          • Metal, glass, and ceramic cutting boards are an abomination created by idiots who have no understanding of knives or sharp edges.
            Å hollow grind gives an edge that is easier to sharpen and gives a wicked sharp edge, the kind you see on high end Japanese blades as well as straight razors, though those are generally hollow on one side and flat on the other.
            On the other hand, with an abrasive belt you can get a convex blade profile which is less delicate and holds up better with heavy use for choppers, cleavers, or tools such as axes.
            I tend to use a fine diamond stone for minor touch ups, but have the Ken Onion model Worksharp for serious work. It has abrasive belts from 80 grit all the way to 5,000 grit, the former for serious metal reshaping, and the later for that final polish on a razor sharp edge.
            And a dull knife is far more dangerous than a sharp one. The dull ones will require a great deal more pressure, can easily slip off the work, and will leave a jagged tear if you cut yourself. A sharp knife glides through most any food prep substance. Greatest danger is when someone used to dull knives first encounters a sharp one, they always over cut.

            • Glass, ceramic, and marble “pastry boards” are a very specialized tools that should never be used for cutting vegetables or meat. Their true, proper use in life is to go in the freezer, then come out and keep the pastry dough cold while it’s being rolled out. This means you get a lot more working time with the dough without it heating up and the butter melting into the flour instead of staying as a laminated layer and giving true proper flakiness.

              Anybody who tries to thump vegetables or meat on ’em and then take a knife and start cutting deserves to be whacked with the specialized marble rolling pin that is also only for cold pastry dough.

              • One of the reasons I am so pleased to live when I do is that in addition to indoor plumbing, electric lighting and central heating and cooling … we have polyethylene cutting boards. As congenial to a knife blade as wood but capable of being sterilized through the dishwasher (another of modernity’s blessings!)


                And they come in a variety of colours and thicknesses!

                • thephantom182

                  Did you know that bacteria grow better on plastic cutting boards than wood? Its true. Wood kills them, plastic turns into a petri dish.

                  Did you know its virtually impossible to sterilize a plastic board? The little bastards hide in the scratches and cuts made by the knife. You have to soak them in bleach, and even then, it isn’t a sure thing.

                  Counter-intuitive, to say the least. I looked into it because I doubted the chef who told me. He was right. Said “told ya!” too, the prick. ~:(

  6. My random thoughts on your random thoughts:

    – There’s actually a lot to be said for Children’s Bibles. The Bible is a huge collection of various documents from a bunch of different authors that together kinda sorta tell the Christian story of how humanity got to this point and what God wants us to do with ourselves. Children’s Bibles often try to take that assortment and form a coherent, chronological story out of it. Reading one makes it a lot easier to keep track of who was prophesizing what, when, and why. I have a real Bible that I keep by my bed. But I also keep the Illustrated Children’s Bible there out of more than just a sentimental attachment.

    – Driving a convertible to the park and going for a walk is the very opposite of lame. It’s awesome, especially if you’re doing it with your true love. Enjoy every minute of it!

  7. The knife sharpening thing is very regional, that I know of– I know how to sharpen them myself, but some places have signs up for it.

    • When I was a kid, a guy had a handcart that he’d walk through town. Scissors and knives were his specialty.

      The local city used to have a knife sharpening business, but it closed a few years back. I have a ceramic sharpener* that works fairly well on kitchen knives. If I had to so some serious grind/sharpening, I’d fire up the Japanese waterstone grinder. Smaller knives do well on a diamond sharpening “stone”.

      (*) A Smith’s Sure-Sharp, 30+ years old, and no longer offered by Smith’s.

    • BobtheRegisterredFool

      I was taught, by someone with a lot of mechanical aptitude and specialized sharp objects, that one sharpened stuff oneself. That learning didn’t stick. Later, some machine shops I was around did sharpen some types of tools. I’m a lousy machinist, and didn’t pick up the supplemental tool sharpening skills either. I have no clue what normal is for my region.

    • JoAnns here has someone come in once a month to do scissors. There are a few knife sharpeners, but you have to ask at the knife stores (“The Knife Guys” and Riverfields) for who, when, and where.

    • Sure; wasn’t Joe the grinder in “The Old Man from the Mountain’s Coming Home” a traveling sharpener. There was a guy in town my dad would take his saw blades to.

  8. [Contemplates a convertible here in Pollen Season]

    Shudders.

    • Our Hyundai sunroof is one of those that goes back over the back seat. Not the part that opens, that is conventional size. Summer with sun shining in, it is generally covered up. But in the winter, or summer nights, the window cover is open to let in whatever light is available. We rarely have the actual window open itself; at least when driving. But as it is, almost like having a convertible without the wind and the pollen.

  9. William O. B'Livion

    RE: Knife sharpening:

    For those that don’t know there is *usually* some place in your city that sharpens knives for restaurants. They will usually do yours too. Unless they’re cr*p knives. Then they will turn up their noses. Decent knives aren’t expensive.

    RE: Looking Good.

    My wife lost 35 pounds in the last year. We’re both happy with the transformation. My turn.

    • I clued in a few years ago about pro-knife sharpeners. However, I haven’t gotten around to finding one in my area. I need to. Mostly I’m afraid of getting laughed at for my “crap knives”, and/or lectured about how horribly they are taken care of. I try to take care of my knives, but the other people who live in my house are prone to just throwing them in the drawer with everything else. Maybe I should find a knife pro to get an idea of what to keep and what to toss, and get recommendations for reasonable replacements.

      • *point* and that is part of why I don’t bother to find someone to sharpen my knives.

        I have them because I LIKE my knives. Their opinion is not desired, and that is before we start on the issue of folks not knowing nearly as much as they flatter themselves to know.

        • I do really like a few of my knives, so there is that. I’m pretty sure my favorite carving knife is a cheap no-brand (I like it anyway). Having that confirmed wouldn’t bother me all that much. Having a “knife snob” belittle me for owning it on the other hand, would really likely piss me off.

          The reality is, I suspect that most of my collection isn’t really all that bad. A vast majority of them are forged rather than stamped. They are all stainless steel. I have been told that stainless is junk and high carbon steel is where it’s at, I don’t know how widely that belief is accepted since a vast majority of kitchen knives I’ve seen have all been stainless.

          • A favorite in our household is a cheap cleaver (at a guess, 6″ long by 2.5″ high) intended for cheese slicing. We’ve managed to put an edge to it and it is terrific for such tasks as chopping ginger, garlic, carrots, onions and the like. Small and light enough to wield as a paring knife with enough weight of blade to handle roots — and the blade is better than a paring knife’s for scooping up the ingredients once chopped (or diced or minced) and dropping them into the wok.

            For heavy duty chopping we pull out the 12″ French Chef’s knife, but that little cleaver gets tremendous use.

            As for knife snobbery: if the knife serves your purposes that’s all that matters. Snobbery of any sort is evidence of a narrow mind which must devalue others to feel of value itself.

            • I have a vegetable knife that is shaped like a cleaver, only not quite as wide, that I really wanted to like because it looked neat. It is currently my sharpest knife because it’s always the last one I reach for. I never could quite get used to how straight the cutting surface of the blade is and how parallel the handle is to that cutting surface. With the curve to the blade, a chef’s knife allows for a shallow angle to the cutting board, where this vegetable knife doesn’t… at all.

              Darnit… all this knife talk is making me want to go out and shop for better knives.

          • A favorite in our household is a cheap cleaver (at a guess, 6″ long by 2.5″ high) intended for cheese slicing. We’ve managed to put an edge to it and it is terrific for such tasks as chopping ginger, garlic, carrots, onions and the like. Small and light enough to wield as a paring knife with enough weight of blade to handle roots — and the blade is better than a paring knife’s for scooping up the ingredients once chopped (or diced or minced) and dropping them into the wok.

            For heavy duty chopping we pull out the 12″ French Chef’s knife, but that little cleaver gets tremendous use.

            As for knife snobbery: if the knife serves your purposes that’s all that matters. Snobbery of any sort is evidence of a narrow mind which must devalue others to feel of value itself.

            BTW: WPDE

            • As I suspected — my page did not show the comment successfully posted at 4:05. My apple-juice abut the double-tap.

          • They would be REALLY pissed at my grandma’s favorite knife.
            It looks like a machete. The cook for Teddy Roosevelt’s camp gave/sold it to her mom.
            You can chop veggies down to a mince, or slice a watermelon in one go, or butcher joints with it, and it us easy to sharpen and use.

          • thephantom182

            I am a knife snob. I admit it.

            I covet a Damascus steel carving knife with all my poisonous little soul, Preciouss. I know alllll about the folding and the forging and the heat treating and the 200 Below cold treatment, and the GRINDING and, well, everything. I know everything. Because snobs know everything. Its what makes you a snob.

            But I do not -own- a Damascus steel carving knife. Because holy crap, they’re expensive. Like a car, almost. So massively not worth it.

            What I own is the restaurant supply Henkels 12″ yellow-handle special. Stainless, of course. Cheap! Doesn’t rust, holds an edge forever. I’ve had it a couple years now, never needed to re-grind it yet. It gets a lick of the steel when I start cooking, that’s it. Blazing sharp.

            It will hack through a chicken leg and then cut a paper thin slice off a tomato. It can cut a steak from the loin or take the skin off a salmon slab just fine, no need for the super-amazing Japanese watered-steel knife with the beautiful hamon that goes for ++$3000. (Which I want, a lot. Because its fun to want things I don’t need.)

            That chef’s knife plus a long yellow-handle bread knife and a little toad-stabber completes the Phantom kitchen armory. I have a super-crappy Chinese cleaver, but I only use it to cut the pound of frozen bacon in half for breakfast.

            Spent the money I saved on a table saw instead. ~:D Some guy makes fun of my cheap knife, I show him a pic of the table saw. Instant jealousy.

            • A few years ago, I found 8″ and 12″ chef’s knife set that had Damascus blades for a not TOO bad price. But we were in a hurry, so I didn’t get them. When I went back, they were gone… never to be seen again. sad…

  10. My version of convertible weather is when I am able to get the bike out. I usually do it early in March and have already seen a bunch of bikes out and going. I still need to get some things fixed before I can ride this year so it is sitting in the garage waiting.

  11. Mention the Tar Baby and I immediately think of “The United Idolators” from STALKY & CO.

  12. Thing is, I get why people think Song of the South is kind of racist. If there was ever an overly-rosy view of race relations during that period, that movie had it. Note: I don’t think it’s racist, just, well…bowdlerized.

    The Uncle Remus tales themselves, however? Good night, they’re all about the weaker guy getting one over on the stronger because he’s smarter, and racism doesn’t ever come into them. Speciesism, maybe, but racism? Don’t make me laugh, Br’er Bluenose.

    • *nod*
      That rabbit is the Irish, Scottish, the Jews, every “poor (local group or name)” story, what have you.

      Just with literal southern accents.

    • The tales, yep. I don’t think I ever saw Song of the South.

    • Timothy E. Harris

      I never understood why the early PC crowd took Song of the South any more seriously than The Story of Robin Hood, Hans Christian Anderson, Mary Poppins, or Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
      None of those films pretended to be accurate portrayals, they were Entertainment, not History.
      Some people just can’t stop being offended – it’s like they’re addicted to it.

      • Piffle – they don not take Song of the South seriously. What they take seriously is the opportunity it presents to reeeeeeeeeeeeee

        • Charlie Chan is now on the Disapproval List, because “bad Asian portrayal” or something. Charlie Freaking Chan, wildly successful, independenlly wealthy, and internationally reknowned police detective, is now a bad image.

          I guess they’ll come for Columbo next…

          • BobtheRegisterredFool

            Ableist because of the glass eye, and pretending to be a stupid suck up.

            Vanyel is homophobic, Ranma is transphobic, and Batman is Vigilantiphobic.

          • DANG ITALIANS!!!!11111!!!!!

          • Dude, they think KATO is insulting to Asians.

            Freaking magic-level martial arts, genius, loyal to death, but he has an accent and doesn’t share their cultural background so is insultingly bad.

            Who are the freaking supremacists?

          • I think their objection to Mr. Chan is that he was always played by a White actor, doing “yellowface.” Although I’ve no doubt they also object to the stereotypical portrayal in spite of that being exposed as a ploy to make racist Americans underestimate the estimable detective.

            No, really what I think is that they entered the fray determined to “Be Offended” and flaunt their moral superiority (what was, in earlier times, referred to as “having a big stick up their butt”) and simply looked for a pretext to Reeeeeee.

            Just imagine their reactions to The mandarin, Yellow Claw or (Heaven forfend!) Fu Manchu.

            Which reminds: reportedly the next series of films in the MCU will include a Shang Chi flick. I wonder how well they will manage to translate that dark, moody espionage series (had John le Carre written comics — and not gone all Bush Derangement — Shang Chi is what he’d have written) onto the screen?

            I think all hope of a faithful cinema (or television, which ought work well for translation of the serial adventure comic strip) adaptation of Terry and the Pirates is down the drain. If you haven’t read the collected adventures you owe it to yourself to get ’em while you can! In just the first year you can see Caniff grow artistically from barely adequate amateur to consummate professional as he learns to meet the demands of producing a daily strip, and his characterizations and story-telling were unsurpassed!

            • re: Terry & the Pirates:


              Should have taken opportunity to toss in an image, there are soooooo many good ones from which to choose that the selection is an embarrassment.

              Of course, I’ve no doubt that Hollywood would butcher the property, and the wake of dead actresses consequent to the battle to play the Dragon Lady would be devastating.

              N.B.: cover illustration from Terry and the Pirates Vol. 2: 1937-1938 | Library of American Comics

            • Oh, what a movie Terry and the Pirates would make – but yeah, there are some definite challenges, when it comes to racial stereotypes …
              I mused upon this, on my original military blog in (ulp!) 2005 –
              http://www.ncobrief.com/index.php/archives/terry-and-the-pirate-movie/

    • We didn’t have any of Harris’s books to read when I was young, although I now have a collection of the full set, just to have it.
      I saw “Song of the South” as a child, before it was banned in an early display of pre-Twitter SJW mobs, and loved the stories of Br’er Rabbit and his friends; I didn’t even notice the “frame” around them that seems to be the cause of the objections.

      Yes, the “warm fuzzying” of slavery was probably bad in some way, but it was a movie for children, for crying out loud — did they want a bunch of grade-schoolers watching the reality on the screen??
      Besides, Uncle Remus was the HERO.
      I think the Perpetually Offended wanted the film gone because it was too respectful of his humanity and generosity.
      The impulse to disappear him stems from the same ideology that made “Uncle Tom” a pejorative: because he was a true Christian who did not descend to the depths of his enslavers.
      (I finally got around to reading Stowe’s book a few years ago, and should have done so much sooner.)

      A Christmas or two past, Number Two Son found “Song of the South” online and bought everyone a copy to archive for the days when the Perpetually Offended are driven back under their rocks and we can watch it without locking the doors and pulling the drapes.

      • He wasn’t a slave. He was a share-cropper.

        (I still remember the sputtering review of Uncle Tom’s Cabin by a guy from India who talked about how Uncle Tom reminded him of Gandhi — HOW did he get such a bad rap?)

  13. Convertible weather will be here earlier for you than it will be for me…but it will come, oh yes. For right now, there’s still snow on the ground and my 560SL is still safely tucked away in a barn under a car cover.

  14. Christopher M. Chupik

    I’m old enough to remember when Song of the South still played on TV. In fact, I might have owned a read-along with record of Br’er Rabbit way back in the day.

    • I saw Song of the South on a Sunday Night watching The wonderful World of Disney. I guess it was around ’74 or ’76, but not after ’77. Shame it is not possible to get a Region 1 DVD copy.

      I still make comments like “Please don’t throw me in that there briar patch”. 😉

      Got a couple of the stories (Tar Baby and Laughing Place, iirc) in a old Children’s story book that I refuse to give up, but I’ve never seen the complete works.

      • The book I mentioned is “The Golden Treasury of Children’s Literature” It has 71 stories that include fairy tales and fables and excerpts from Just so stories, Mary Poppins, Winnie-the-Pooh, Uncle Remus, Pinocchio, Bambi, The hobbit, The Wizard of Oz.

        I highly recommend the book, whether you have kids or not. It is a great collection.

      • Region 1 DVD?

        https://www.zeusdvds.com/song-of-the-south-1946-dvd/
        At your service. Pretty good source of hard-to-find material, although packaging is a bit hit-or-miss for those OCD fiends who want their DVDs in (semi-)uniform casing. If need be you can always buy cheap blank DVD cases and print your own wrap-around insert.

        Product Description:
        Song of the South is a blend of live action and animation, based on the popular “Uncle Remus” stories of Joel Chandler Harris. Set in the years just after the Civil War, the story begins with young Johnny (Bobby Driscoll) being sent to live at the southern plantation of his grandmother (Lucile Watson) while his parents contemplate divorce. At first disconsolate, the boy is cheered up by African-American handyman Uncle Remus (James Baskett), who tells him many delightful fables concerning the clever trickster Br’er Rabbit, whose adventures are illustrated in cartoon form. Each story has a moral, which Johnny applies to the exigencies of his real life. Johnny’s mother (Ruth Warrick) disapproves of Uncle Remus, and orders the boy never to visit the kindly old black man again. Uncle Remus packs his bags and leaves; while chasing after him, Johnny is injured by a bull. He recovers thanks to the friendly presence of Uncle Remus, and all is forgiven. The film was awarded the Best Song Oscar for “Zip-a-dee Doo Dah,” and James Baskett won a special Oscar for his portrayal of Uncle Remus.

        • Thank you! ❤ ❤ ❤ I have been looking every couple of years for this movie. Last I saw it was in Region 2 only. Putting this on my *must get* list, if only to hear the music

  15. So, yesterday I found out what it was like to faint, even for the briefest of moments. That was an education. Not a fun one. I also ended up in ED.

    Exhaustion, sleeplessness, lack of food = blood pressure and blood sugar crash combo, plus baby’s pain is apparently not something I can endure.*

    *She was getting blood drawn for some tests. She’s so chubby they had problems finding a vein. And I wasn’t alone.

    • Oof. Yeah, that’s a nasty combo. Happened to me in the delivery room last spring: one second I’m fine, chatting with the delivering doctor, then my ears pop and start to ring, and I spent the next four-five hours in and out of consciousness until the nurse thinks to offer me juice and Graham crackers. (Baby was already delivered, I should say.)

      • Yeah, real nasty. She’s teething and clingy and so I didn’t get much of a chance to eat the previous day, and everyone was exhausted and kind of ‘just want to eat and rest’ so I didn’t also get to eat dinner until 9 pm and I had a splitting headache by then. I ate, but my blood sugar was already tunneling towards the planetary core at the time.

        So rushing around the next day, with barely any food … plus stress. Yeah. I also didn’t get to get home until almost 3 am this morning. (and I have medical appointments every day until end of the week. Ach.)

        The worst part about it is, I know that doing that results in days of recovery for me, gently eating small, frequent meals and drinking soda and actually eating sugar but I actively can’t take the time to take care of myself, because there’s only so much slack the guys can pick up.

        On the upside, today’s medical appointment = I’m no longer on blood thinners hurray!

    • Ouch!

      Sound serious.

        • You need to carry snacks and drinks with you, then. And stow some in secure boxes in your workspaces. drinks

          You know, there were circumstances in canon law where mothers could be forbidden to fast or even to abstain from meat – sometimes under pain of mortal sin, if the priests were worried enough about you! And I think you have now hit most of those circumstances! So please take care of yourself.

          • The fact that I carry food and sugared soda everywhere accounts for a lot of the weight I carry with me. I actually had a light lunch the day I fainted, light only because I couldn’t manage to eat more – I was still rather nauseous, and trying to gently raise my blood sugar with a pearl tea and a very large fries. I’d bought food from the Chinese take out place (meatballs) with the intent of eating them when we got home, and the whole trip ended up being longer than anticipated… and then much longer.

            Sigh.

            At least the food they fed me at the emergency room was alright, even though I couldn’t finish it (nausea again) and the food lady gave me extra desserts when she came to pick up my tray. (And that tomato and cheese soup. Yum.)

            • When our new puppy that we’d gotten after the death of our last dog, as a pet, started alerting to my blood sugar issues, she became a service dog in training. For me, not that much more training. I insist on obedience regardless. But, I can’t imagine dealing with her AND a sick baby or child. Yes, she keeps me from feeling faint or light headed. Great idea when driving.

              Despite her abilities, actually taking her everywhere is like having a toddler with you all the time, a very good little toddler (I at least don’t get tantrums.) You still have to make sure you have all the gear, including a cup for water, treats, etc. Load in/out of the car (since mine is “smaller” that means physically load). Seat belt in. Make sure no one runs over, steps on her, mobs her, in stores …

              My problem is I don’t like chasing the lows with high sugar or carb content. We’d be the bouncing ball chasing the low, then the high, then the crash. then the low, repeat and rinse. But raise it too slow and it takes forever to raise.

              When I traveled for work I did exactly what you do now. When we traveled on vacation, I rarely drive … I end up sleeping most the trip. Now that the pup is keeping me honest, that has changed. Still won’t do any driving, not if we are towing the trailer, but at least I can actually keep hubby company on the driving portion of the trip (it has been a bit of a joke). We known what has caused it all along. Didn’t know a service dog was an option.

              • Yeah, my problem is the sudden drops are just that – sudden. And the hospitals have this thing now of being ‘sugar free zones.’ The fruit juices are often not sweet enough for those sugar-just-crashed instances(I had problems when I was in the hospital for two months) and the other drinks they have available tend to have those artificial sweeteners which I am horribly allergic to (watch me pass out!) And they seem to be getting stricter – the vending machines don’t even have chips any more the last time I visited, nor M&Ms or candy bars, but loads and loads of overpriced dried fruit and nuts.

                I’m quite cranky about the whole no sugar thing, because the whole damn world went berserk about nut allergies, but I get this ‘no way, you’re making this up’ response if I say I’m allergic to sugar substitutes.

                • When I was first diagnosed I was told “don’t have sugar on an empty stomach.” Well that is not inaccurate. But that is a horribly incomplete list of thou shouldn’t, and not a whisper of what thou shall.

                  Not allergic to the artificial sweeteners (as far as I know), but in some ways they are worse because I’ll get an artificial feeling of boost while my BS goes in free fall. I’ve had my BS numbers be less after eating low calorie fruit yogurt, or just fruit or vegetables, than it was before I ate. Either that or it spiked and dropped within 15 minutes. Either explanation works. Been told that can’t be happening until they see the numbers and the resulting graph.

                  • I keep getting asked if I’m diabetic, and the answer is always ‘no.’ I’ve had my blood sugar tested so many times, it’s always on the lower side of normal, I’m told. I’ve met exactly one other person who had the same problems I had, and she said “Don’t go get diagnosed, they’ll tell you you’re diabetic, and then things get worse.” Older lady, she had tried all the things they tell diabetics to do regarding diet and quit when she concussed herself in a fall from the fainting spells. Like me, she went back to the careful management of food she did and … went back to normal. She reckoned we weren’t very common sorts, and it’s easier to just lump us with type 1 and 2 diabetics.

                    I found out I was allergic to artificial sweeteners the first time I tried a Diet Coke. A couple of pink pills rendered me flat on my back, and stopped me from wanting to claw off my face and down my throat.

                    When they released Coke Zero, there was a person giving out free samples at the local MiniStop near where I worked 12 years or so ago, and I tried it. I sipped, decided that it tasted a lot like the normal Coke and sipped again… three steps later, the familiar burning itches, and then my body demanding that I vomit it all out, along with my small intestines. Little pink pills again! But I was so incoherent that I was kindly sent home by my boss.

                    Two little sips.

                    Then there was the time my children and I were at a pancake place in Manila, and the itching happened… milder, and all of us felt it. We got as far as the sidewalk before all three of us threw up very violently in the gutter.

                    So yeah, not a formal diagnosis, but sod going for a proper test, because I feel horrible for up to three days afterward.

                    Small, frequent meals, boosted with a piece of hard candy or a handful of M&Ms or similar sweets; a can of Coca Cola sipped at over a few hours. Yeah, it does look like I’m constantly eating and I’ve got LOADS OF SUGAR (which results in the OMG you’re going to make yourself diabetic! response) but I wouldn’t tell anyone else to do what I do (because it would probably result in someone else gaining a lot of weight and actually getting diabetes.)

                    I tried briefly going low carb and my energy levels were so low, I spent most of my time sleeping. (The times I diet are usually to please a relative, and at least ‘give it a go’, before Rhys steps in and is very firm in saying it didn’t work and made things worse.)

                    Oh yeah! and today I found out I’m one of those rather uncommon people who have a very particular but potentially dangerous reaction to the medicines I was taking for my blood pressure, and this effect was visible only by a lengthened Q wave on an ECG.

                    The cardiologist said that the lengthened Q wave put me at higher risk of sudden faints. The state of exhaustion and stress I was in didn’t help, but the medication was something he could do something about.

                    >.<#####

                    *grumbles about my tendency to get the uncommon to rare side effects on medicines and such. Snarl. Grumble. Grumpy. Pout. Stomp foot. Stupid health weirdness. Yes, feel free to imagine a chibi version of me doing that.*

                    • Next time Elf complains about my ability to find new and exciting bugs, I am going to tell him it could be worse.
                      (You know how bugs usually don’t show up when you try to show someone? Mine do, half the time, and frequently vanish when the guy who just watched me do it tries.)

                    • I do this with salt. I apparently shed salt (which is why I can’t wear contact lenses. They get covered in salt and minerals within two hours.) So if I inadvertently (usually because I have a cold, can’t taste and don’t think about it) have been eating low salt and drinking low water (I usually do. I don’t remember) I end up severely dehydrated and in the hospital.

                    • Oh I feel you. I also have to keep up my blood sodium and electrolyte levels. All my muscles will hurt if I don’t, and at my worst I’ll sip soy sauce from a teaspoon.

                      Yeah, low salt, low sugar diets are death for me…

                    • Wow. Sounds like you are severely Hypoglycemic – inability to keep your BS up. Which is weird that they’d try to diagnose you as diabetic as my understanding Diabetic is the inability to manage BS; usually diagnosed because their BS never goes below 110 even when fasting.

                      I am definitely NOT allergic to artificial sweeteners, not what you describe.

                      I have what is call reactive hypoglycemia (the glucose test was not fun.) A continual diet of sugar would not help. OMG, the weight gain. I’d be a zombie. I’d still crash, eventually. Uh, no thank you. Been there done that. It is a pain, but I can deal with it.

                      Yes. I understand the sensitivity to medications. My standard response to “are you allergic to any medications”, is always “No. But tend to be sensitive to side effects medium to long term. Any pain type medication hit me HARD, immediately.” Always get patted on the head, until, you know, it happens, again … Good news addiction is unlikely. Developing a tolerance would be difficult.

                    • Yeah, because it’s ‘technically’ an inability, thus a ‘variation.’ Also because most doctors haven’t heard of hypoglycemia that isn’t caused by medication.

                      And it is a pain to have to manage it; when I worked in call centers in the Philippines there was a rule of you couldn’t keep food at the desk, but I found out if it was hard candy, it was fine. Also tea and coffee and bottled teas/water were okay as long as you had a lid that closed.

                      Yeah, I am lucky that the renal doc I got this pregnancy was super good, and realized that I’d been trying to tell them I had been through all this before from the previous pregnancy, and she listened. Got the docs who were more interested in clearing beds overruled and said “No, she’s staying my patient stop scaring her about sending her home.” And yeah, she said I was progressing in the exact same way I’d described for my previous pregnancy.

                    • >>”hypoglycemia that isn’t caused by medication”

                      Or, more recently, caused by gastric by pass surgery or equivalent. Not in my case, but now that is the first presumption.

                      Stress, no matter what the cause is, makes it worse. Today, not doing anything different, food wise, but because my Sleep Apnea device broke night before last (can’t get it fixed before Monday), I have slept horribly the last two nights. My BS numbers, while not hypo level, they are doing the bare minimal jump after you eat. Grrrr.

                      OTOH Pup is happy. She’s taken on the extra job of making sure mom breaths at night.

                      >>“No, she’s staying my patient stop scaring her about sending her home.”

                      Thank goodness!!!

                    • Yeah, Dr. Em’s fun. When she saw Jaenelle, she said “ohmygoodness I just wanna rip off those cheeeeeeks~~” *pinching at the air*

                      Me: *indicates chuuuuubbbbyyyy baby thighs*

                      Dr. Em: *makes joking bite – at – air motions*

                    • Sweetie, we love you but: Don’t Come To America!!!

                      E-record rules are burning out docs and killing patients
                      [SNIP]
                      Medical organizations warned that new technologies have unexpected side effects, and doctors and hospitals needed more time. But Obama pushed ahead, insisting it was an “emergency.”

                      IT vendors, including major donors to the Obama campaign, rushed to cash in.

                      Ten years later, here’s the wreckage. It comes with a warning not to allow radical health reformers, ­including today’s advocates for Medicare for All, to insist on sweeping overnight changes. ­Patients pay the price.

                      Incompatible networks: Taxpayers spent at least $26 billion but got a patchwork of systems that don’t communicate. If you’re in a car accident far from home, the ER doctors don’t have your medical records.

                      Cookie-cutter care: Obama’s high-tech guru, Dr. David Blumenthal, wanted top-down control of the treatment decisions doctors make. Doctors have to follow computer prompts or be punished ­financially with lower Medicare payments. Blumenthal predicted doctors would resist the loss of ­autonomy, but he also promised it would result in better care and savings from fewer unnecessary tests and treatments.

                      He was right about doctors resisting but wrong about everything else.

                      Stanford University researchers examining hospital records from six states, including New York and California, found that hospitals complying with the electronic records mandate don’t have better patient outcomes or survival rates.

                      Computer programs evaluating when physicians should prescribe statin drugs are “highly prone to errors,” according to a report by Emory University cardiologists.

                      Cardiologist Dr. Jeffrey Borer warns that atypical patients who don’t fit the protocols lose out.

                      [SNIP]

                      Dangerous errors: Getting rid of doctors’ illegible scrawls eliminates some medical mistakes but leads to others. One-third of pediatric patient-safety problems are linked to electronic medical ­records, according to research in Health ­Affairs.

                      Unhappy patients: They’re yearning for eye contact with their doctor and pestered with computer questions unrelated to why they came in.

                      Fixing this mess isn’t like tossing a defective toaster and getting a new one. Major hospitals spent $150 million apiece on these systems, and starting over is costly.

                      The lesson seems to be lost on Washington’s newest wave of health radicals. Many of the Democratic presidential contenders are pledging to abolish private insurers, eliminate employer-provided coverage and trust the federal government to provide better care for less with Medicare for All. Beware their hubris. We’ve been hurt by it before.

                • I can’t stand fat-free salad dressings. Don’t know the ingredient, but I can’t.

                  (Besides the utility of fat in the salad dressing in helping absorb fat-soluble vitamins.)

                  • *dry* Don’t let the fat-free fantatics see that.

                    Also, fat in my food = I don’t eat as much, because that gets burned. I eat something fatty when I expect that my day is something that will keep me from being able to readily access food/carbs/glucose.

                    Thing I hated when eating it: cauliflower rice. It was far, far too raw for my taste, rougher than the jasmine rice I was used to, and because I actually like cauliflower (steamed especially) I was surprised at how much I hated cauliflower ‘rice.’ The method of preparation may have had something to do with it too…

            • Okay, so you need more “quick protein.” Hmm. Or stuff that mixes slow and fast carbs, like peanut butter and honey, or cheese and crackers.

              Hmmmmm. I guess the question is, what are you eating when you feel healthy and energetic? A lot of good Filipino food and such, like in your blog recipes, right?

              So maybe less snacky food, and more “packed lunch,” like riceballs or stuff ?

              I struggle with sudden low blood sugar attacks myself, and sometimes I never do figure out what stress or bad eating pushed me off balance. But if I do not eat certain sugary things except as part of a balanced meal/snack, it tends to leave me alone. (And if I drink enough water. And if I do that ‘exhale with your lips pursed’ thing.) And sometimes I run out of salt or potassium, and that pushes me over. And so on. But if I consult my list of things I should do, a lot of times I can avoid low blood sugar and other unpleasantnesses.

    • thephantom182

      You passed out? Super fun, right?

      I, big strong man, used to pass out every time I got a needle. Without fail. Passed out on the parade square a couple of times too. Face-planted once, stumbled and went down the other time. Now that I’m old and dented with time, I only feel nauseous and get light-headed. Because I’ve learned to get my needles lying down.

      Maybe try eating, and drinking. Those seem to help. ~:D

      • Daughtorial Unit cannot give blood — BP flatlines and she passes out as soon as the needle enters. Some people just are that way.

        • thephantom182

          So I am told. I scared the hell out of my dentist once though, he thought I was dead. ~:D Then I woke up and scared him again. Undead!

    • SheSellsSeashells

      Aww. I wish you lived nearby, as I have a deep inborn urge to Feed People. Especially stressed-out people. ESPECIALLY people with small children who may be forgetting to care for themselves. Please accept this virtual casserole.

      (I know whereof I speak, having managed to worry myself straight into the hospital with skyrocketing blood pressure a few years back.)

      • Thank you ❤ Casseroles and frozen meat pies have been my lifesavers in food lately.

        *looks at daughter* Had to reinsert her NG feed tube last night after she sneezed it up. Poor thing. She still seems a bit tired as she's dozing off now…

  16. Nothing like a convertible. I bought my first in 1985, and have owned one ever since.

    • Yep. Except, the convertible I owned had a bad top, so whenever it rained the top dumped ALL the rain right in my lap! LOL! I am now happier with a car that has a good sun-roof. Water tight! No more looking like I peed myself! AND, while not quite as open as a convertible, I still get some air moving.

    • thephantom182

      Motorcycle. Wind in your hair, bugs in your teeth.

      I learned to wear a full-face helmet after taking a June bug to the eyebrow one spring, back when dinosaurs romed the Earth and I was a young delinquent. Ka-POW, baby. Like a Louisville Slugger.

    • Jesse Thorson

      I bought my first convertible new in 1965 (a GTO). Have had one, or it’s kissing cousin, the sunroof, on every car I’ve owned ever since.
      Now that I’m in my 8th decade, and my doctor says avoid the sun, I find I don’t open the roof as much. Just open the windows instead (well unless it’s snowing).

  17. “part of me thinks my husband deserves something better to look at than me skulking around in jeans and oversized t-shirt.”
    One of my friends, a West Texas farm wife who was the drop-dead beauty in our HS class, had that dilemma — not wanting to “overdress” for the tumbleweeds — until her husband gave her permission to not be dowdy.

  18. I MUST SHARE OH MY GOD THIS IS AMAZING.

    “After reading the Green New Deal, I am mostly afraid of not being able to get through this speech with a straight face.
    Mr. President, I rise today to consider the Green New Deal with the seriousness it deserves.”

    • Isn’t it nice when the DC gentlemen listen to Sarah’s instructions?

    • It tickles me that GND was actually put up for a vote in the Senate… and got exactly ZERO yea votes. All but five Democrats voted “Present”, but are crying that the vote was just a Republican stunt.

      Stunt? Bringing a submitted bill up for a vote is never a stunt. It’s the Senate working like it was intended to. Submitting a bill as idiotic, and as unlikely to pass as the GND, with the expectation that there would never be a vote. THAT is the stunt. The Democrats are just salty that they got called on their BS.

      • Gee, like the “Contract WITH America”[1] was a ‘stunt’? When ALL it said was “If we get a majority in the House, we will bring these things to the floor for a vote.” A VOTE. No promise of passage, or anything of the sort. Just a VOTE – something with a RECORD. And, gee, funny how Billy Clinton suddenly pulled a TINY bit closer to center to deal with that.

        [1] I’ve known dolts that swapped out ‘WITH’ for ‘ON’ thus revealing themselves to indeed BE dolts.

      • Technically what was voted upon was not a bill, it was a resolution (sort of like a “Budget” — another thing the Dems seem to consider a stunt as they haven’t passed one since Clinton was president.) The GND entirely lacked sufficient specificity to be a bill.

        The Dems decrying political stunts is the richest reversal since they turned Russia Hawks. If the Gaslight Media and Late Night Comics Pundits were not so thoroughly in the tank this would be the stuff of comedic legend.

        • Res… that only makes the Democrats MORE ridiculous for complaining about it being brought to a vote, and MORE hypocritical for voting “present”. They were all set to campaign on their support for GND, but actually vote for it? Apparently no…

          Frankly, I would have a LOT more respect for a Democrat who said “This is what I stand for!” and voted yea. Vote for them? um… NO. But I can respect someone for having the courage of their convictions even if I don’t agree with those convictions. I have no respect for sniveling hypocrites who pushed GND but then voted “present” because they didn’t really mean it.

          • I am somewhat in doubt that the Democrats can be “MORE ridiculous … MORE hypocritical”. I think they reached “Peak Hypocrisy” and “Peak Ridiculousness” at least a decade ago. And yet, they keep turning it up to eleven and the Gaslight Media goes along … This must be how the one-eyed man feels in the Kingdom of the Blind.

            Stand by for incoming Reeeeee over sexist, ablist metaphor.

            • thephantom182

              IMHO they hit Peak Gaslight in the Clinton administration. They were going to bury the Monica Lewinsky scandal. You remember Drudge had that blue dress story all to himself for four days before the Big Media dogs decided they looked like idiots? That was the last time they went for something that big.

              I’ll grant there’s a bigger -volume- of BS these days, witness the Muller probe, but we all knew it was bullsh1t. Gaslighting only works if the target believes the lies.

              • Does this mean they are now targeting if not themselves, the Left “True Believers” as they spin like a pulsar?

                • thephantom182

                  I think they’re saying “hold my beer, Bubba” to each other.

                  Rachel Maddow was crying on-air when the Muller report was released. Crying! Like the worst fricking thing in the world had just happened.

                  Did she cry when she announced the Las Vegas shooting? 58 dead, hundreds wounded. Was there a tear shed? Hell no.

                  Why was she crying? Because she attempted a reverse triple-Axel with a 1-1/2 twist, and face-planted on the landing.

                  Don Lemmon was not crying, because where there’s no sense there’s no feeling. Donny is too dumb to know he face-planted. Signal has not yet traveled through the several miles of bone to his tiny brain.

                  • Perhaps she was crying because she realized that, best case scenario, half her audience was leaving, and that half of those remaining were tuning in to watch her suffering.

                    Bad TV ratings news for the Church of the Resistance
                    MSNBC’s Rachael Maddow and similarly-minded #Resistance television hosts may need to find another Trump administration story to obsess over if they want to stay competitive. Because the implosion of the Russian collusion conspiracy this weekend may have just killed the monster ratings these anchors have enjoyed for the last two years.

                    • thephantom182

                      When the people tuning in to your show are the same ones that slow down to look at a car crash, hoping to see blood.

            • Oh, RES, you should know that there is no such thing as Peak Silly and “Yes They Can” get MORE ridiculous, no matter how ridiculous they start out. Silly is NOT a conserved quantity.

    • Christopher M. Chupik

      Best part is the woman sitting next to him, trying to keep a straight face.

    • Feather Blade

      “Climate change is an engineering problem. Not social engineering, the real kind.”

      XD

  19. 11B-Mailclerk

    For cleaning up cat pee, try Natures Miracle.

    If the carpet pad has gotten soaked, you may have to soak it rather thoroughly in NM to kill all the scent proteins.

    Or remove and replace it.

    The pee tends to spalsh further than we realize, so wider cleaning is needed.

    Hot water usually just disperses the scent proteins, which can lead to wider peeing.

    Household cleaners containing any ammonia at all can be counter-productive.

    I had an elderly buddy who just preferred certain spots. I was fortunate that he accepted that litter boxes appeared there. But sometimes he didn’t quite get the right end in the box.

    • If the carpet pad has gotten soaked, you may have to soak it rather thoroughly in NM to kill all the scent proteins.

      Read that, thought: I guess New Mexico’s aridity sucks the stench right out. But Sarah’s in CO, so this is probaby not much use.

      Must. Reboot. Brain. More coffee, STAT!

    • I have. Forever. It doesn’t work. As in at all.

    • This wasn’t on carpet, but on polyurethane, and I used hot water and bleach.

  20. thephantom182

    You guys with your crappy knife sharpening skillz are making my hair stand up. I will post some sharpening links at my blog if y’all will learn how to do it. Paying some dude to sharpen a knife, it offends my Scottish soul.

    Even the crappiest, softest cheapsh1t knife out there should last 10 years before it becomes an ice-pick.

    • thephantom182

    • LOL! Embarrassing, I know. I gave up sharpening my own knives after looking at the results. Most of my knife sharpening efforts ended up looking like the edge was flint-napped (I exaggerate, of course, but you get the idea.)

      As much as owning a flint knife would be neat, and I’ve often thought about trying to find someone to teach me how to do flint napping. I don’t think I would want to imitate that look on one of my “good” knives. 🙂

      • thephantom182

        You know what? Doesn’t have to be purrrty if it still cuts the tomato.

        In your defense, Stuart, I’m a bit of a mutant about this stuff. If I do a technique and fuck it up, I keep going until it comes out right. Or I make something up and get by until I understand why it isn’t working.

        Not everybody is like that (or more like almost nobody) but it works for me.

      • Archaeologists specializing in American paleoanthro, or any other paleo archaeologists. Grad students usually get taught to do it. Beer and flint seems to be a thing.

      • I wonder if that’s how serrated edged knives and swords got their start? Bad flint knappers converting to metals?

        • thephantom182

          Now you’ve got me thinking about it. When and where did saws first appear? I’m thinking Egypt, for cutting bone.

          • before that. There are neolithic wood saws made of bone.

            • thephantom182

              I recall from my ancient school days there were scythes made from jawbones with teeth of flint inserted from ancient Sumer, but I was thinking metal as opposed to stone.

              Funny thing about stone tools, they are incredibly sharp but you can’t pry with them. They snap instantly. Makes woodworking hard.

              I’m a little rusty on the whole “appearance of metal tools in the archaeological record” thing anyway. I was a big fan of stone tools back in the day, that was when the whole “modern flint knapping” thing started. Nobody was interested in saws or knives of metal. Bunch of hippies. ~:D

    • thephantom182

      A lot of this instruction above is gilding the lily. You can get any knife “sharp enough” with a rock off the side of the road, I’ve done it. Your Harbor Freight sharpening stone is more than good enough, and oil-stones are just as good as water stones. Everybody looooves them some Japanese water stones because they don’t get oil on everything, that’s about the only practical reason. You can literally use a brick and motor oil.

      If you can stand up, see lightning and hear thunder, you can sharpen your own knives. And you should. If you don’t want to because lazy or because you’re afraid to get cut, square up. I’ve -never- cut myself sharpening. Ever. And I’ve sharpened a lot of crazy stuff over the years, from swords to lawnmower blades and tiny chisels. People with palsy or tremors get a pass, all others should get on with it.

      So there. ~:D

      • BobtheRegisterredFool

        What about really bad manual dexterity and a tendency to stop paying attention in the middle of doing something?

      • It’s long amused me that “1/4 wave” optics can be worked by hand, and the Foucault test for 1/4 wave involves nothing more than a pinhole (or slit), a “knife edge” and a ruler – and perhaps a pencil. Sure, some great mathematics went into the setup, but the practical design is nothing fancy at all. AND.. it doesn’t take much to do better than the 1/4 wave that has/had been considered “acceptable” error. Now, technique to avoid ‘Turned (Down) Edge’ might take some effort…

      • Teaching kids to sharpen knives is a good way to get them comfortable with edges– they really won’t leap out to get you.
        That said, longest fight I ever had with mom was on knives. “Never buy a dull knife, if the guy who made it couldn’t sharpen it you can’t either.”
        Finally informed her I was buying the hilt, not the edge. 🙂

  21. Ever see the episode of Ming Tsai’s East Meets West with Morimoto? He brought in some of his knives and it is commented that his smallest knife started out as one of the larger knives, and after a year of being sharpened multiple times a day….

    • When I was a kid, my father knew some guys who had worked in meat packing plants. I remember being amazed at some of their knives, especially after seeing relatively new ones compared to older ones. The incredible shrinking knives!

  22. Lileks, this morning, reprints an old SF fanzine, here:
    http://lileks.com/bleats/archive/19/0319/032719.html
    Has letters from Robert Bloch and Piers Anthony.

  23. rightasusual2003gmailcom

    Sharpening knives: check out your local craft stores/sewing machine places – they often bring in a sharpener for a reasonable price – JoAnn Fabrics, Michaels, those kind of places.

  24. Shudders at the idea future generations will try to bowdlerize Heinlein. Well, me, too probably if anyone reads me in the future. BUT HEINLEIN would be a crime

    You are aware there is at least one series of Shakespeare with the original on trailing pages and facing page translations…

    into English.

    These are now used in schools because the language of Shakespeare is too hard and kids need to get the story so bowdlerized Shakespeare is a good thing.

    I picked up the Henry V, read the Prologue (one of my two favorite passages in Shakespeare, along with the word play between Helen and Paroles about virginity in All’s Well That Ends Well) and would have burned the book right there in B&N if I’d had a lighter.

  25. Re sharpening: I am lazy about sharpening my kitchen knives, although I do use the steel on them. This is ironic, because the second major skill set a woodturner acquires is how to sharpen one’s tools. The first skill is, when using any tool, to recognize that it needs sharpening.

    Yes, I DO keep my lathe tools sharp. 😉