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On “Weekend Plans Post: The State Fair

The state-fair-equivalent fairs here have pretty good bands every evening, and the gate price is way cheaper than concert tickets for those same bands at a more standard venue.

Because you THINK you can hang on to your money and just see the concert. But they know perfectly well you're going with a nine year old, and you're an old softy, and there is NO WAY you're going to blow less than $50 on ride tickets and $20 on horrifying fried food.

All that and we missed taking the little one to pet the goats - they were closing up that hall just as we arrived.

Anyway, that's my story of seeing A Tribe Called Red last month. It was a pretty good show.

On “2019 Time Capsule

Based on the Simpsons episode that predicted Lisa Simpson would clean up after president Trump's mess, the question is, which of the current candidates is most Lisa Simpson-like?

I'd say it's Elizabeth Warren.

Her running mate will be chosen specifically to be a mediocre white man because a significant portion of the electorate won't vote for a slate that doesn't contain at least one mediocre white man.

I'm going with John Delaney for this one.

And reiterating my standing prediction that whether it's during his first term, his second, or a subsequent one, Trump will die in office.

On “Pushed Over the Edge

I find that it’s easy enough to find smaller communities within a city (neighborhoods, congregations, sports fans, etc) but some people also like the idea that their town IS the smaller community.

That's just fine, as long as the smaller community doesn't turn against you. If the town is the community, moving on with your life when they've shunned you requires major life upheaval.

In a bigger city, you can keep your same home and probably stay at the same job and keep your kids at the same school, and just turn your back on the community that's turned its back on you - there will be another community for you.

Whether this was relevant to the woman in this incident is - well, we'll never know will we? In a city with multiple motorcycle clubs accepting new members, would she have just switched clubs? We'll never know.


What an absolutely horrible thing for the judge to do - to fire her because she's the victim of a campaign of harassment.

If a case of harassment came before his court, would he send the victim to jail? What an awful man.

On “If I Ran Facebook

(They can't reliably or accurately flag hate speech)


You left out timeline algorithms that apparently use a random number generator.

You see a thing on facebook, it makes you laugh. You click on your notifications. You go back, thinking you would like to send the thing to a friend - except now it is forever gone. You could scroll down all week, you will never see it again.

Clearly this requires government intervention.

On “Gillette: The Best a Meme Can Get


... boycott them because it’s more offensive to you that Gillette said their completion of the sentence out loud *than* that the other completion of the sentence is real to too many *trans* people ...


Oh sure - to the extent that there are still two sides fighting, it's a battle ground.

You can define the sides fairly easily by completing the sentence "trans people should ____" in two contradictory ways. Gillette has chosen something along the lines of "... exist in a welcoming society and have the loving support of their families" with that ad.

So if you decide to boycott them because you're on team contradictory completion of that sentence - well, that's a choice of sides alright.

If you choose to boycott them because it's more offensive to you that Gillette said their completion of the sentence out loud Ryan that the other completion of the sentence is real to too many teams people - that is as you say, no different from a choice of sides for the other completion.

On “We Don’t Really Care Why

Some of you heard that the evil man in Texas was a white supremacist declaring a one man war on Democrats and illegal immigrants and you clucked your tongues and were secretly thrilled that you could point at your political opposites and say “see? He’s one of yours.” Vindication of your fervent desire to hate righteously.

Do you sincerely believe this? That there are people who comment right here on this site, whose reaction to a mass murder was delight that the murderer liked the political party they don't? And you're still here writing for this audience?

I don't believe that, myself - and if I did, I wouldn't come back to OT.

On “Gillette: The Best a Meme Can Get

I just looked up that ad on youtube. That was delightful and heartwarming and I realize it's mostly there to manipulate me into buying shaving products (which it won't since I use a double edge safety razor and no cream).

But thanks for letting me know, I guess I'll try to remember to buy Crest brand toothpaste next time we run out.

If that's Gillette "picking a fight" - well, I guess I'm willing to fight whoever it is they're picking a fight with.

On “Saturday Morning Gaming: Quarto

We played a fun cooperative card game called "the mind" this weekend.

There are 100 sequentially numbered cards, of which the players are dealt hands of various sizes. The goal is to reveal the cards in ascending order, without discussing what cards you have. Kind of like an inverted poker game.

On “When The Landscaping Crew Stages a Walkout

A park near me uses a landscaping crew from the same labour pool. I have not yet managed to get out there during their workday though.

On “Actually, the Film Was Better Than These Books

A Scanner Darkly was also an exception to DensityDuck's observation about the films being film adaptations of an elevator pitch of the novel. While might have forgotten some bits of the novel by the time I saw the movie, I was struck by how closely the movie hewed to the book.


Speaking of novelizations being a "cheat" - I think Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere is an interesting case.

Gaiman's wrote the script for the BBC miniseries, and wrote the novel largely on set during filming. So the first chapters of the novel were written before the later episodes of the series were filmed - but it's still technically a novelization of the series.

I'm not sure which is better - both are excellent in any case.

On “In Which I Spend a Sleepless Night Contemplating the Cats Trailer

You've got to admire the accomplishment - they made a cat video the internet dislikes.

On “In the Summer, in the City…

I haven't heard that song in a while. If the radio stations here played it people might get annoyed - we're having a cool and very rainy summer so far. Not my very favourite but I'll take out over forest fire smoke.

On “Weekend Plans Post: The Perfect Pizza

When I have an hour to myself and a mealtime approaching, I don't really find myself not wishing to cook. I really really like to cook. If I have two hours to myself, I'll just cook something even fancier. If I'm eating out it's generally because I don't have time to go home, cook, eat, go back out and get to the thing that's in the opposite direction from where I am now. So I'll stop somewhere between here and there.

I had a chat a while ago with a friend of mine who was pursuing the perfect pizza. He is someone who, when he sets out in pursuit of a goal, gets serious about it. He got a laser thermometer so he could accurately determine the temperature of the exact bit of kitchen counter where the dough was rising so he could properly calibrate the rest time according to the pizza dough rest time spreadsheet he used. He did not build a wood oven in the back yard, but he did go to some lengths to get his domestic oven to be able to deliver heat to the crust fast enough for the perfect slightly-charred-but-still-chewy consistency.

I have yet to land an invitation for pizza.

This is the second of our two consecutive weekends where we're not going anywhere. Apparently we're rebuilding the back steps because Mr T decided their state of decay had advanced sufficiently so he went out to the hardware store and got materials for a new set of stairs. Then he dismantled the back stairs, so you just have to jump straight off the back deck, and that was as much time as he had that evening and now he's at work. This is so absolutely a classic Mr T move, you can't even imagine.

On “If Shakespeare Had a Mom

I guess. but this was an anarchist bookfair. There were zines about, I dunno, deconstructing gender in the context of kitchen work, of one's romantic relationships, etc. etc. - but not in the context of one's parenting. About supporting one another in mental health, various aspects of physical health - but not in preparation for childbirth. And so on.


I remember years ago at an anarchist book fair, fledermaus remarking that there were lots of books, zines, and discussions, about avoiding conception, obtaining abortions, etc., but nothing about choosing conception, childbirth, or parenting.

Like parenting was somehow incompatible with the very expansive definitions of radicalism or anarchism that qualified for inclusion at the zine tables - or was at best orthogonal to it, like parents could continue to write about prison abolition or whatever, but their home life ceased to be material for a contribution, became something that had to be taken care of so they could contribute one some other topic.

I'm not sure how much that was down to a lack of such publications, vs to their not appealing to the few people who had tables at the fair.

On “Bigot.

The M25 orbital motorway also comes in for a good skewering in that book. It's a fun read and a good show too.

I was in Manchester once, too young to really notice much about driving it. Other than that my impression of it is based on entirely second hand stores of the "madchester" rave scene, and that my cousin still throws house music parties there.


There are two or fewer ways to vote.

If you are one of the 2/3 or so of Americans who don't live in a swing state, all you options are equivalent to staying home.


"Well unfortunately that word choice skewed the debate for a couple of weeks"

Isn't it nice that we've hashed this out now. Will you commit to not letting it skew your commentary here in future?


"Now we art all here," said Hastur meaningfully, "we must recount the Deeds of the Day."

"Yeah. Deeds," said Crowley, with the slightly guilty look of one who is attending church for the first time in years and has forgotten which bits you stand up for.

Hastur cleared his throat.

"I have tempted a priest," he said. "As he walked down the street and saw the pretty girls in the sun, I put Doubt into his mind. He would have been a saint, but within a decade we shall have him."

"Nice one," said Crowley, helpfully.

"I have corrupted a politician," said Ligur. "I let him think a tiny bribe would not hurt. Within a year we shall have him."

They both looked expectantly at Crowley, who gave them a big smile.

"You'll like this," he said.

His smile became even wider and more conspiratorial.

"I tied up every portable telephone system in Central London for forty-five minutes at lunchtime," he said.

There was silence, except for the distant swishing of cars.

"Yes?" said Hastur. "And then what?"

"Look, it wasn't easy," said Crowley.

"That's all?" said Ligur.

"Look, people-"

"And exactly what has that done to secure souls for our master?" said Hastur.

Crowley pulled himself together.

What could he tell them? That twenty thousand people got bloody furious? That you could hear the arteries clanging shut all across the city? And that then they went back and took it out on their secretaries or traffic wardens or whatever, and they took it out on other people? In all kinds of vindictive little ways which, and here was the good bit, they thought up themselves For the rest of the day. The pass-along effects were incalculable. Thousands and thousands of souls all got a faint patina of tarnish, and you hardly had to lift a finger.

But you couldn't tell that to demons like Hastur and Ligur. Fourteenth-century minds, the lot of them. Spending years picking away at one soul. Admittedly it was craftsmanship, but you had to think differently these days. Not big, but wide. With five billion people in the world you couldn't pick the buggers off one by one any more; you had to spread your effort. But demons like Ligur and Hastur wouldn't understand. They'd never have thought up Welsh-language television, for example. Or value-added tax. Or Manchester.

He'd been particularly pleased with Manchester.

- Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman, Good Omens

On “The End of the Citizenship Fight

You can only sue over the sharing if you know it's taking place.

And once the data is handed over and mixed with data from other sources, it can't be unshared.

On “Weekend Plans Post: The Unexpected Toothectomy

Eugh, fledermaus just texted me - kiddo is going to need one tooth extracted, one filled, and three crowned. They're all baby teeth, fortunately. But gosh.

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