Open Thread


75 replies
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    Cole, you know the only thing that will make me perk up is a picture of Tunch. I’m just sayin’.

  3. 3
    beltane says:

    What does the United States gain by blindly supporting Israel’s every irrational outburst? Or I should say, what do those of us who are not preparing for the Rapture gain by this.

    Oh, and I’m hopping mad today.

  4. 4
    david mizner says:

    Israel has killed more Americans than Iran has.


  5. 5
    demo woman says:

    Maybe in honor of Lily, you should re-post the article that you wrote after visiting with Lily the second time.

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    beltane says:

    @david mizner: Not much is being made of the college student from New York whose left eye was blown out by the IDF last week. The young woman is not only American, but a Jewish-American, which doesn’t really fit the media’s narrative at all.

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    geg6 says:

    Yeah, me too, John.

    Lost electricity at about 10:30pm last night, right after I’d put my Tex-Mex chicken and rice into the slow cooker and turned it on. After putting it in the fridge, I went to bed thinking I’d put it on this morning, but, sadly, no electricity this morning either.

    So after sleeping in because I had no alarm, I got into the shower where I had nothing but cold water. As I shivered in the shower, cutting my legs to ribbons as I shaved them in the dark in cold water, the building fire alarm went off. Jumping out covered in soap and blood, I ran about the apartment to see if it was on fire and then back to the bathroom to put on a robe to run outside. As I was putting the robe on, I heard all the neighbors outside (had to have the windows open because no A/C) and knew that it was a false alarm. But we don’t know how to turn the alarm off and it wouldn’t stop. Went on screeching for the next 20 minutes.

    Called work to tell them I’d be late and drove to the bank to get some cash out of the ATM since my planned lunch was in the slow cooker and our campus food service is closed during summer and it turns out that the entire town had no electricity, including the only ATM on my way to work.

    I can’t wait to go home where, I am informed by the Duquesne Light website, I may or may not have electricity by midnight. My plans for the evening include throwing out everything in my refrigerator, including my lovely Tex-Mex chicken and rice.

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    Comrade Mary says:

    Weary? Try this.

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    david mizner says:


    Yeah. That’s the way the US media usually cover the IP conflict, by not covering it (aside from the “peace” process.) For years they’ve pretty much ignored the siege of Gaza.

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    @jeffreyw: This one, I want. And, I think your beef n’ broccoli combo would put my mom’s to shame (don’t tell her that).

    @Comrade Mary: Your link is broken. You fix.

  14. 14
    catclub says:

    xkcd on worst case in Gulf

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    jeffreyw says:

    @asiangrrlMN: Lips are zipped!

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    demo woman says:

    @jeffreyw: One of the pups has a butt twice the size of tunch. I didn’t think it was possible.

  17. 17

    Otis Redding had something to say about weariness.

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    jeffreyw says:

    @demo woman:
    LOL, to be fair, Tunch is the size of any three of those puppies combined.

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    D-Chance. says:

    Eighty Seventy-nine degrees and rain feel so… unusual. And good. No A/C; just a few open windows and a fan to keep things comfy.

    Best enjoy it now. June-October will be almost unbearable, if the last couple of weeks of May were any indication.

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    blahblahblah says:

    Hey John, will you make me a drink? I need one. May day is teh suck at work.

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    demo woman says:

    When I can divide my day lilies? I was going to wait until they finish blooming.

  22. 22

    Weary too. My cat Baby has gone missing for 2 days now. I can only hope one of the neighbours has him. He is a very friendly, gentle and trusting (indoor) cat. We’ve been doing work on the house and I’m sure one of the painters let him out.

    Send some good thoughts/prayers for his safe return.

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    pragmatism says:

    anyone else notice that a lot of people use “weary” when they want to use “wary” or “leery”? i emailed my local fox anchor to complain about it and she insisted that she was right. full disclosure: my wife will only watch the local fox news because their people are “better looking” and i stupidly agreed.

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    Captain Goto says:

    @geg6: Ouch ouch ouch. Sounds like the wife and I were lucky.

    Starting about 7:30 last night [right after my wife put the clothes in the dryer], our electricity went off/on/off/on/off/on/off/on/etc. over the course of about 2 hours during the storm, with the microwave kindly requesting that we reset the time/date each time. Finally came back on for good around 9PM.

    I blame conspicuous consumption — a couple weeks ago, at my ripe old age, I finally succumbed to creeping suburbanism and bought a gas grill for our tiny deck. So far, on 2 out of 3 nights that we intended to cook on it, Mother Nature has dumped on us with a f***load of rain. That’ll l’arn us ta be keepin’ up with the Joneses…

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    @toujoursdan: Oh, I’m so sorry to hear that. Baby is beautiful. I’m sending major vibes that she will get home safely.

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    @Captain Goto: Two words: Grill Pan.

    I bought one a year or so ago and it’s gotten really heavy use on my range top.

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    nancydarling says:

    I have been out of the BJ loop off and on since mid-April. What happened to BOB? Did he die? Just get tired of the well deserved derision? Write something so awful that he is put in the penalty box forever?

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    @nancydarling: The last, though I’m not so sure it’s forever.

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    I normally push my own work here in the open threads, but we just ran a column over at The Rumpus that I want to get wide distribution. We do an alt sort of advice column called Dear Sugar, where Sugar tends to answer questions about effed up relationships and the like, with a tilt toward what most people would call sexual deviancy. Her question today was “WTF?” Her answer begins like this:

    My father’s father made me jack him off when I was three and four and five. I wasn’t any good at it. My hands were too small and I couldn’t get the rhythm right and I didn’t understand what I was doing. I only knew I didn’t want to do it. Knew that it made me feel miserable and anxious in a way so sickeningly particular that I can feel that same particular sickness rising this very minute in my throat. I hated having to rub my grandfather’s cock, but there was nothing I could do. I had to do it. My grandfather babysat my older sister and me a couple times a week in that era of my life and most of the days that I was trapped in his house with him he would pull his already-getting-hard penis out of his pants and say come here and that was that.

    It’s one of the more powerful pieces of writing I’ve ever read.

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    @demo woman: You can pretty much divide daylilies any time, but for pure enjoyment of them I would wait until the blooms were done just to make sure you don’t lose any blooms due to the transplant shock. Having said that though daylilies are the toughest plants I have ever known, them and Canna.

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    geg6 says:

    @Captain Goto:

    Hah. My John and I were grilling in the rain ourselves just a couple of weeks ago.

    Hell, I’m 51 and he’s 63. We never learn.

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    geg6 says:


    Write something so awful that he is put in the penalty box forever?

    This. Thank FSM.

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    Chat Noir says:

    @toujoursdan: I’m so sorry. Sending best wishes for his safe return. My three cats are all indoors and I am obsessive about making sure the screen door is shut and locked at all times so nobody accidentally gets out.

    Please let us know when he comes home. I will hope for the best for him and for you.

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    That's Master of Accountancy to You, Pal (JMN) says:

    Halp! The site is broken, at least in Opera. There’s no word wrap. All the paragraphs stretch out to the right.

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    Redshift says:

    @Captain Goto:

    with the microwave kindly requesting that we reset the time/date each time

    I wrote a rant a while back about the compulsion of appliance and A/V manufacturers to put a clock in everything, whether it needs it or not. It seems to date from the VCR days, when they had the “timed recording” feature that no one could ever figure out how to use, and now it’s just gotten ridiculous. Whenever the power flickers, we have five or six clocks around the house that we have to reset, because having them flash is damned annoying. The A/V stuff is the worst, because no one does timed recordings with anything other than a DVR now. You’d think by now it would have occurred to them to at least give us a way to turn off the clock display.

    On the plus side for technology, my new replacement phone (after the first one didn’t get reception in my house or office, grrr) actually lets me turn off the loud start-up and shut-down music, which the previous one didn’t.

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    @asiangrrlMN: HE. That HE will get home safely. Sorry. Please keep us updated on Baby, toujoursdan.

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    Redshift says:

    @toujoursdan: Sending along best wishes and neighborhood navigation vibes.

    Our oldest bunny, Lab, is not doing well and may not survive much longer. He’s nearly twelve, so it’s not exactly surprising, but it’s still not good. However, he did perk up somewhat this morning, so maybe he’ll still surprise us.

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    QuaintIrene says:

    As I shivered in the shower, cutting my legs to ribbons as I shaved them in the dark in cold wate

    Sucks, sucks, sucks. I’m so sorry.
    Been there. Showering by candlelight leaves much to be desired.

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    mr. whipple says:

    @That’s Master of Accountancy to You, Pal (JMN):

    Yup. The needed fix is apparently more complex than originally predicted. Just keep refreshing until the page views correctly. It’ll get blown out again, but at least you can read the posts and replies.

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    SIA says:

    @ geg6
    Sounds like the last couple days have been pretty rough. Hope it gets better soon.

  42. 42
    Eric S. says:

    I walked by the Anti Cruelty Society the other day and, well, I’m going to succumb. It’s not going to happen immediately as obviously I have to do some prep work, get supplies, and make sure the roommate isn’t going to freak but it’s going to happen.

    So, a couple of questions. It’s going to be a kitty but I haven’t owned / lived with one since I lived with the parents 20 years ago. What suggestions do you have for preping a condo for cat living?

    Also, what do you know about Siberians? I understand they are at least partially hypoallergenic (sp?). I’d prefer to go with a shelter kitty but the hypoallergenic trait is a big plus.

    Thanks in advance with more to likely follow.

  43. 43
    Splitting Image says:


    Feeling small?

  44. 44
    burnspbesq says:


    That is just a sick amount of cuteness.

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    Steeplejack says:


    Are you insatiable?! You got not one but two pictures of Tunch yesterday. Try to pace yourself a little bit. Jeez.

  46. 46
    Steeplejack says:


    Okay, those aren’t dogs–they’re Ewoks. I think “sponsoring for citizenship” is more appropriate than “adopting.”

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    R-Jud says:

    Public service announcement for scrabble players: “xu” is an allowable word, according to the Collins Scrabble Dictionary.

    Apparently it is a unit of Vietnamese currency, and will bag you a minimum of 9 points. It was also my husband’s last word.

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    burnspbesq says:


    Showering by candlelight leaves much to be desired.

    Doesn’t that depend on who you’re showering with and what activity comes immediately after the shower?

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    Steeplejack says:


    Prayers transmitted. Good luck.

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    Steeplejack says:

    @That’s Master of Accountancy to You, Pal (JMN):

    Strong words coming from Mr. “My Asterisks Are Like Death Itself.” Step to the back of the line, bud. Problem reported (multiple times, which Cole really appreciates), and the gnomes are looking at it in the basement.

    I think it has to do with some combination of (a) something a plug-in or an ad is doing and (b) the reader’s browser allowing that something (probably nonstandard or sketchy) to pass. Can’t duplicate it myself, but I haven’t tried real hard.

    ETA: And I keep my browsers locked down sorta tight. Not über-tight, but tight. You know.

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    ellaesther says:

    @asiangrrlMN: Hey there! Thank you so much for your lovely comment and kind words on my blog. I am surrounded by friends who have lost jobs, or had husbands lose jobs, or are in fear of losing their house because the husband lost a job, etc, etc — I mean, truly, surrounded — and earlier today I finally admitted to them how dispirited I am, because who’s going to complain about not having just the right career to someone who may lose her house? Of course, they are my friends, and so they were lovely and understanding.

    (And thanks for the kind words on the Balloon Juice front page/perma-link placement! Did you see how my link reads? “Emily Hauser In your base killing your doodz.” Awesome sauce!)

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    Steeplejack says:


    Sappy as hell, and–wait a minute, I think I got something in my eye. I’ll be right back. [choke]

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    Redshift says:

    @Eric S.: Be sure to check local shelters and rescue groups to see if they have any less-allergenic breeds; you may not have to choose between that and a shelter kitty.

    My experience living with cats is about the same time frame as yours, so I don’t have any help there. If you want to know anything about living with rabbits, though… :-) (Bonus: many people who are allergic to cats aren’t allergic to rabbits!)

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    licensed to kill time says:

    Wow, that’s weird. Steeplejack’s comment at #50 has ellaesther’s comment within it.

    Plus, he used the HYPHEN BOMB! right after beating J Michael Neal about the head and shoulders for his asterisks!

    what is the world coming to.

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    canuckistani says:


    Apparently it is a unit of Vietnamese currency, and will bag you a minimum of 9 points. It was also my husband’s last word.

    Before he died of cranial scrabble-board insertion?

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    SIA says:

    @ toujoursdan
    Really hope your kitty comes home soon. When 1 of ours went missing once, I found some surprisingly good info online with advice on how/where to look. Will see if I can find and if so will post links.

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    Steeplejack says:


    Okay, here’s another thing that will “Fnord” a thread, or at least a couple of comments: putting italics immediately before a hyphen. As shown above, it causes WordPress (FYWP) to do strike-through on the rest of the comment and, for bonus points, append the following comment in a hideous mash-up.

    My apologies–especially to Ellaesther, whose comment got appended to mine (starting with AsiangrrlMN’s address).

  59. 59
    Poopyman says:

    Well, I’m fucked. I left my sunroof up and windows open a crack when I came in this AM and now it’s pouring like hell out there.

    Guess I’ll be sitting in a puddle on the hour commute tonight.


    I Blame Cole. These T-storms came from WVA.

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    Steeplejack says:

    @licensed to kill time:

    I thought my hyphen-fu was good, but there are always unknown regions ahead. It’s all about the journey, not the destination.

    ETA: And JMN’s asterisks killed whole threads, not just a couple of comments. Please, let’s have a sense of proportion. Ahem.

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    licensed to kill time says:

    @Steeplejack: Thar be dragons!

    ETA: just goofin’ on ya, no worries. no intent to offend ;-)

  62. 62
    Steeplejack says:

    @licensed to kill time:

    No offense taken. (Note to self: adjust humor humidifier from “very dry” to “dry.”)

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    Peter J says:

    Hmm. The google ads javascript at


    severely breaks the balloon-juice layout if you use Opera.

    Considering that I’ve only seen it mentioned once or twice here then I guess those being affected is a minority or there’s (hopefully not) a lot of ad blocking.

    While this is one of the few sites where I don’t block ads, I’m going to block that script.

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    Comrade Mary says:

    @Linkmeister: Thanks! That was my busted link.

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    russell says:

    salad for dinner with arugula, hard boiled egg, and grilled tuna. dressed with my wife’s home-made french vinagrette. homemade cheesecake for dessert. yowza.

    i’m off to play NOLA funk (meters, galactic, and the like) at a crap bar in somerville MA. we’ll be interrupting a dart game no doubt, but f**k ’em. they’ll hear funk and they’ll like it.

    it’s a mixed up shook up world but i’m having fun.

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    SIA says:

    @ russell

    “salad for dinner with arugula”

    Elitist. :)

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    Derek says:

    Oh, an open thread. More appropriate place for me to post this:


    This is all blatantly unconstitutional, right?

  68. 68
    Steeplejack says:


    Not the Meters (who I love), but some good NOLA funk–Dr. John, “Right Place, Wrong Time.”

    (Song starts at 1:05. Good git-box at 2:45.)

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    frankdawg says:


    I just hate all the stupid stuff that has clocks! When we lived in Florida we had power outages every day – no exaggeration, seriously every day sometimes only a few seconds others several minutes. I finally bought clock radios with battery backup so I didn’t have to reset the dang things every day. I gave up on the VCR but the microwave had an unadvertised feature & would last close to a minute before the clock would blitz out.

    The other addition to our lives in the 21st century is everything has an LED in it. After dark around the house its starting to look like a planetarium!

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    frankdawg says:


    Showering by candlelight leaves much to be desired.

    unless you are not alone in there ;)

    drat! I gotten beaten to it.

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    burnspbesq says:


    After dark around the house its starting to look like a planetarium!

    My office at home looks totally old-school when the lights are out – I recently bought a new headphone amplifier with tubes. Not sure I’m keeping it, though; love the way it sounds, but can’t get used to the noise.

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    Steeplejack says:


    Ah, here’s the NOLA funk vibe I was looking for: the Wild Magnolias, “(Somebody Got) Soul, Soul, Soul.”

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    Mnemosyne says:

    Good thing: We’re heading off on a weekend vacation in Santa Barbara tomorrow.

    Bad thing: Of course today is the day I get a huge amount of deadline-sensitive work piled on me in addition to everything else I have to get done before I leave. Grrr!

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    @Steeplejack: Thanks for pointing that out, otherwise, I would never have known her comment was hidden in yours! And, I can never get enough Tunchie, but, you know, I can quit any time I want….

    P.S. Hard to swallow with that hubris in your hubris in your throat, eh?

    ellaesther (I don’t dare respond to the fucked-up post), I love how your blog is described on the front page. That rules!

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    russell says:

    Showering by candlelight leaves much to be desired.

    I once had the pleasure of taking a shower outside at night. So, showering by starlight.

    That was freaking brilliant.

    Also, the Wild Magnolias are the shiznit. Ditto the Flaming Arrows, if you know those guys.

    They don’t bow.

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