Saturday Morning Open Thread

You know the drill.

Looks like more rain here again today. I suppose we need it, but it is making it hard to get anything done in the garden.

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43 replies
  1. 1
    djork says:

    And why the hell am I up on a Saturday morning?

    oh yeah, didn’t drink last night.

    Has anybody here tried Magic Hat Wacko? It’s their seasonal beer. Perfect summer beer, I think. Very refreshing

  2. 2
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    Funny article by the Washington Post ombudsman today.

    Not intentionally funny, but still. I’m always amazed when they describe all of this agonizing about the arcana of hewing to journalistic ethics and standards, while at the same time publishing George Will.

    It’s like being wracked with guilt about leaving work five minutes early, while blithely ignoring the fact that you commited armed robbery on the way home.

  3. 3
    Skepticat says:

    So, it’s a perfect day to run over to the animal shelter and bring home a little something.

  4. 4
    Fulcanelli says:

    Seems the rain and clouds have moved on and it’s looking to be a gorgeous spring day here in southern NE. Damn, now I’ve gotta mow the freaking lawn later on (or as I refer to it: making sure the weeds are all the same height) and after all the rain this week my lawn looks like Vietnam. Does Lowe’s sell Agent Orange?

  5. 5
    J. says:

    Lookie what greeted me when I went downstairs this morning! Nothing like a freshly killed mouse and two not-so-innocent-looking cats to start off your morning! I’m so proud.

    Btw, it is FINALLY sunny hear in the Northeast. Maybe it’s heading down to WV… (the good weather, not the mice).

  6. 6
    2th&nayle says:

    @Fulcanelli: Well, I doubt it, but they sell roundup which is just as bad. Try white vinegar for spot applications, especially around your flower and veggie gardens. Start with about 5:1.

  7. 7
    Incertus says:

    If anyone is still in the giving mood, a couple of friends-of-friends have volunteered to spend a summer in the Sudan to assist in opening a new school. The foundation they’re working with is covering their expenses once they get to the Sudan, but they have to cover their own airfare.

  8. 8
    2th&nayle says:

    Probably need to clarify. I’ve got a friend who has a greenhouse, so I get my vinegar from her. It’s stronger than most household vinegar. Probably don’t need to dilute the household type.

  9. 9
    Death By Mosquito Truck says:

    Oh yeah John, the second email. I mentioned you’d be crazy to get the second cat or a beagle.

  10. 10
    WereBear says:

    Be a Taoist, John! Perhaps the garden needs rain more than it needs you.

    And in any case, we can’t control the weather. Which is a good thing; we can only imagine how we’d screw it up.

    I take rain as the Universe sending a message about how I need to read more.

  11. 11
    Krista says:

    John, I still say Bella would be a lovely companion for you. Boston Terriers are very sweet doggies, and this one is fine with cats. Plus she’s already housetrained, spayed and knows how to use a dog door.

    Mind you, I’m a bit biased. My friends got a Boston recently, and he’s just a fantastic little dog — affectionate but not hyper, not too hard to train, doesn’t shed like crazy, big enough to be sturdy but not so big that you can’t lift him if he ever gets hurt or sick, and a very sweet personality. The only drawback is that they snore like a bugger.

  12. 12
    Throwin Stones says:


    You need the rain for the garden. Know what you mean, though. Tough to keep up on the yard in the spring in OH. It cleared up yesterday here and today looks beautiful. Should be heading your way.

    Too bad you bought the Subaru, cause this would have been the vehicle for you. Plus you’d be helping out GM.

    Good luck to your Pens. I think they’re going to need it.

  13. 13
    El Tiburon says:

    You lucky bastard.

    Oh, how I pray for rain. But NO! It’s a beautiful day here in Austin Texas so my happy ass will be transporting the big pile of dirt in my driveway to my backyard all goddamn day.

    Fortunately, it’s only getting into the mid-90s so I’ll only experience one, maybe two, heat strokes.

  14. 14
    Frank Sobotka says:

    Anyone watching the FA Cup Final?

  15. 15
    gbear says:

    It’s getting hard to keep the garden alive up here in the Twin Cities. We got a piddling last night but we’re already 5-6″ behind on rain and 10″ behind since last May. I’ve been watching the radar and all the rain (lots of it) seems to be passing just south of us along the MN/IA border, which makes it doubly frustrating. It’s not even June yet and lawns are turning brown around here. Please send some of that excess rain our way, thx.

  16. 16

    @djork: This is my summer beer. Good for those hot muggy summer evenings.

    Red Wings win tonight and take the Cup in six.

  17. 17
    Johnny B. Guud says:

    Anyone watching the FA Cup Final?

    Yes. Still getting over Barcelona winning another Champions League title the other day, though. Not a big fan of Man United, but I think Cristiano Ronaldo deserved another title. That, and Barcelona winning yet another title will irk me all summer.

    Premier League soccer is a thing of beauty, but still second to Serie A, in my opinion.

  18. 18

    Bill E Pilgrim, it’s the illusion. Gee, if they’re apologizing about this then they must have fact-checked George Will!

    J., the eternal struggle may have gotten a little more even. German scientists have implanted the human gene for speech into mice. “Hey, cheese it, the cat!”

  19. 19
    djork says:

    Good for those hot muggy summer evenings.

    Yeah, but do they have a song?

    Can’t get the blockquoting to work. damnit.

  20. 20
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @Bob In Pacifica: <blockquoteBill E Pilgrim, it’s the illusion. Gee, if they’re apologizing about this then they must have fact-checked George Will!

    Well, since even the source he used to support his claims wrote in to say he was full of shit, that second part would be a horse that’s hard to get back in the barn at this point.

    Actually they weren’t apologizing for anything today, just examining the delicate issues involved in bending over backwards to be so ethical, which as I say is sort of hilarious given that the now-famously fact-challenged dribblings of Will appear in the paper weekly.

  21. 21
    Crashman06 says:

    @djork: That stuff is interesting, and I usually don’t like Magic Hat (except #9). You know they brew Wacko with beet juice to get that color?

  22. 22
    J. says:

    @Bob in the Pacific: I saw the article, but no talking mice… yet. If our mice were smart, they’d start watching “Tom & Jerry” re-runs.

  23. 23
    AhabTRuler says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim: I wrote to the ombudsman once (Howell, I think). The response was comparable to a very mechanical and unenthusiastic hand-job.

  24. 24
    gbear says:

    Too good to not post. I’m not going to blockquote it because it would get screwed up anyway:

    Pennsylvania authorities say a Cumberland County man suggested dressing up in animal costumes during online sex chats with a 15-year-old boy. Agents found wolf- and cat-type costumes in his home. Alan David Berlin, a 40-year-old Carlisle, Pa., resident, also proposed visiting the boy’s Harrisburg home and having sex in the back yard while his parents slept, according to a news release from the Attorney General’s Office.

    Berlin, who used the screen name “alan_panda_bear”, requested nude photos of the boy and suggested they meet in a hotel room where a third person could photograph them having sex, the release says.

    The boy’s parents became concerned after discovering sexually graphic messages on their son’s computer and called the attorney general’s child predator unit, the release says. The unit began an investigation Tuesday.

    Berlin, a longtime staffer for a Republican state lawmaker, is charged with unlawful contact with a minor, a first-degree felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a $25,000 fine.

  25. 25
    Death By Mosquito Truck says:


    Berlin, a longtime staffer for a Republican state lawmaker, is charged with unlawful contact with a minor, a first-degree felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a $25,000 fine.

    Add him to the list.

  26. 26
    Frank Sobotka says:

    @Johnny B. Guud:

    Serie A is the National League of European club soccer. The English Premier League is the standard of football competition in the world. This really is not even debatable in my book.

  27. 27
    magisterludi says:

    A few pet references here leads me to ask- anyone know a good flea treatment that doesn’t cost as much as a mortgage payment? When you have multiple pets like me- three dogs, three cats- it sure seems that much. Frontline does the job, but I sure would like to find something cheaper.

  28. 28
    djork says:

    That stuff is interesting, and I usually don’t like Magic Hat (except #9). You know they brew Wacko with beet juice to get that color?

    Yeah, it’s very red. It is one of the most refreshing beers I’ve ever had and I, too, am not a big Magic Hat fan.

  29. 29
    henqiguai says:

    @djork (#19):

    Can’t get the blockquoting to work. damnit.

    Works better if you place the ‘to be blockquoted’ text between the &#060blockquote&#062 tags. Below is what you did (I know your pain on these issues, trust me…)

    &#060p&#062 Good for those hot muggy summer evenings.&#060/p&#062
    &#060p&#062Yeah, but do they have a song?&#060/p&#062 …

    &#060p&#062Can’t get the blockquoting to work. damnit.&#060/p&#062

  30. 30
    djork says:

    Works better if you place the ‘to be blockquoted’ text between the

    tags. Below is what you did (I know your pain on these issues, trust me…)

    No, I went back three times and tried to edit it to no avail.

    I’m blaming John and Word Press. That is my defense and I am sticking to it.

  31. 31
    grumpy realist says:

    Food stuff (for those of you looking to plant stuff in your garden): just got a bundle of rappecini (broccoli rabe) from Whole Foods and have been trying to recreate what the supermarket deli did back in dear old Tokyo. The stuff is slightly more bitter than Japanese na-no-ha (fat luck trying to track *that* stuff down here in Chicago) but not enough to make it inedible done Japanese style.

    So here’s the drill: 1 bundle rappecini, wash, trim stems. Parboil 3-4 minutes in slightly salted water, then chill in cold water, squeeze out excess. (You could probably also simply nuke the stuff in a microwave.) Lay in shallow tray.

    Sauce: Mix together 2 TBS light soy sauce, 1 packet dashi, 4 TBS water, and a sprinkle of sesame seed oil. (I replaced the first two ingredients with fish sauce and sugar, since I couldn’t get my hands on any dashi.) Sprinkle over rappecini, chill in fridge. Eat and get more Vitamin A than you can shake a stick at. (100 gms of the raw plant supposedly has 89% of your RDA.)

    (Looking on Wikipedia, this plant is closer to members of the mustard family than to broccoli. One of the other members of the family (rapeseed) gets grown for the oil in its seeds (duh) and in fact is one of the few oil-producing plants that can easily grow in Europe, IIRC.)

  32. 32
    henqiguai says:

    **sigh**. Yeah. Got curious about all the issues people seem to have with blockquoting so I went into workmode. I edit responses off-line in an XHTML compliant editor and kept it open after the post. The squirrely behavior is evident — I placed that last line inside the blockquote tags, but WordPress thoughtfully moved it outside. And yeah, it wouldn’t let me edit it during the grace period, either.

    Where’s John Cole ? Get a rope.

  33. 33
    p.a. says:

    (paraphrases) Liddy: hope [Sotomayor] isn’t in deliberations during menstruation.
    Newt: she’s un-American. She hates America.

    I have seen many discussions of ‘Peak Wingnut’, but not many on the physics of it. It seems the limit can be approached but never reached. Kind of like the universe with too much dark energy/not enough dark matter. It just keeps expanding. Possibly faster than the speed of light.

  34. 34
    OriGuy says:

    Continuing on from last night’s open thread, some dark fantasy for AsiangrrlMN:
    The Stepsister Scheme, by Jim Hines. Cinderella, Snow White, and Sleeping Beauty meet Charlie’s Angels. The heroines are based on the old, gruesome fairy tales, not the Disney versions.

    The Dresden Files series, by Jim Butcher. A Chicago private investigator deals with the occult.

  35. 35
    PeakVT says:

    Good op-ed by Bruce Bartlett: Liberaltarians?

    Also, I tried to determine where the style for the blockquotes is set, but I can’t find the line. Has anyone else looked at the CSS?

  36. 36
    Fulcanelli says:

    @gbear: GBear, you’ll have to make sure he’s listed in the Hall of Shame with the rest of the Republican deviants:

    WTF is it with these people? Wait, don’t answer that, it’ll just piss me off for the rest of the day.

  37. 37
    bago says:

    So after ripping apart the site and figuring out how it works, the block-quote weirdness and preview weirdness all stem from using a bunch of open source javascript libraries that all parse url strings, content strings, and the ajax posting a bit differently. You could be using Microsoft.XMLHTTP, msxml2.XMLHTTP, JQuery, SACK, or Thickbox libraries to parse the strings flying around all over. Each of them have a slightly different idea of what is and is not content.

    Sometimes the content is escaped, sometimes it isn’t and sometimes someone just decided to make their own additions to the URI RFC (2396).

    In particular, the usage of an unreserved character (section of the RFC below)

    2.3. Unreserved Characters Data characters that are allowed in a URI but do not have a reserved purpose are called unreserved. These include upper and lower case letters, decimal digits, and a limited set of punctuation marks and symbols. unreserved = alphanum | mark mark = "-" | "_" | "." | "!" | "~" | "*" | "'" | "(" | ")" Unreserved characters can be escaped without changing the semantics of the URI, but this should not be done unless the URI is being used in a context that does not allow the unescaped character to appear.

    in the url parsing regex.

    this.processURLString = function(string, encode) { encoded = encodeURIComponent(this.argumentSeparator); regexp = new RegExp(this.argumentSeparator + "|" + encoded);

    The example above is supposed to be indicative of random parsing rules, and not so much exactly what happens to the tags inside of a block-quote. That would require serious debugging to see what happens in the parsing stack over several libraries.

  38. 38
    bago says:

    It would also require the uncompressed version of the jQuery lib, because this shit
    is obfuscated as fuck.

    Admittedly though, this is cute:


  39. 39
    Anne Laurie says:

    A few pet references here leads me to ask- anyone know a good flea treatment that doesn’t cost as much as a mortgage payment? When you have multiple pets like me- three dogs, three cats- it sure seems that much.

    IF you can get your pets to eat it, brewer’s yeast actually works against most biting insects. (I understand it makes you smell Not-Like-Lunch to fleas, mosquitoes, etc. who are choosy about species.) Stuff also works for humans, but the problem is, you’ve got to remember to take the pills for at least 3 weeks *before* mosquito season. And some dogs & cats love the stuff, sprinkled on their food or as a treat (there’s a commercial dog supplement called Edge) while others won’t touch it on a bet.

    The ‘natural’ pet solution for infestations-in-progress is pennyroyal oil, sprayed in solution on their coats. The big caveat is that pennyroyal is also used in traditional medicine to “bring on a woman’s courses” (i.e., as a primitive abortificant) and should be used carefully or not at all around breeding females of any species.

    I’ve also been told that regular yard dustings of diatomaceous earth will keep down fleas, ticks, and Japanese beetles, but it’s been too rainy & I’ve been too lazy to use the duster I bought yet, so I can’t speak from personal experience.

  40. 40
    bago says:

    You open dozens of pages of source code to make a point, and you get one reply. Sigh.

  41. 41
    geemoney says:


    Good work, I wish I knew what you were talking about.

    Since I was waiting for an open thread, I would like to request the tag for posts, “Double shot of smooth yacht rock”. It’s like a subset of Clown Shoes. Alternatively, I was thinking that the tag “It sounded good in my head, and then I wrote it down” might be good. Heck, this post might just fit that second one.

    I can’t get that d*** Kirchick tweet out of my head, and (further) mockery must ensue.

    I am moderated! I blame the Kirchick tweet!

  42. 42
    Steeplejack says:


    Dude, no reply from this quarter because I know what is involved and I don’t want to get involved. Know what I mean?

    This is like feeling put-upon because of your group’s current code crisis, then hearing some other group bitching as you pass their cubes on your way to get coffee, and you find yourself thinking, “Jeez, we never had it so good. Those poor bastards are screwed.”

  43. 43
    bago says:

    Point taken.

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