Sunday Evening Open Thread

I’m one of the minority who hasn’t read the books or seen the movies, so I can’t critique its accuracy, but: For your amusement, Foreign Policy on “Post Conflict Potter“:

At last, the long war against Voldemort and his army of Death Eaters has been brought to a responsible end. A short time ago, just a small band of brave witches and wizards at Hogwarts School stood between the dark forces and their ascension to power. Now their evil leader is dead, his armies are scattered, and the wizarding world can begin to recover from the terror they inflicted.
At such a moment of deliverance, it is natural to feel elation and closure — to allow ourselves the brief comfort of imagining that the drama, so meticulously documented by J.K. Rowling, is over. But if history teaches us anything (consider the bitter legacy still lingering from the 17th-century Goblin Wars or the recent experience of American Muggles in Iraq and Afghanistan), it is that the defeat of Voldemort by Harry Potter may have been the easy part. Indeed, one might even say it was child’s play. The hard work of postwar stabilization still lies ahead.
Former U.S. Deputy Defense Secretary John Hamre and retired Gen. Gordon Sullivan have described four pillars of post-conflict reconstruction: security, governance and participation, urgent social and economic needs, and justice and reconciliation. Of these pillars, the magical world can currently afford to feel complacent about only one — social and economic needs. After all, with the proper application of scouring, mending, and engorgement charms, much of the physical damage wrought by the war can be repaired, and food can be multiplied to meet the needs of the population. But with respect to the other imperatives, critical challenges remain…

What else is on everyone’s schedule for the end of another weekend?

66 replies
  1. 1
    4jkb4ia says:

    It’s not over, but I am starting to feel very sorry for Jason Dufner. Bradley has played absolutely unconscious, but Dufner has not won anything, ever, and he is going to remember that he choked he missed those two pars for the rest of his life.

  2. 2
    furioso ateo says:

    Currently taking baby steps towards starting a union at my workplace. First person I talked to about it said they were on board, so at least I’m not alone in this. I’d fall under the CWA, currently of Verizon Wireless Strike fame, and I’ve read some literature that they have available. It all seemed like solid advice, I guess I’m more asking for what people’s personal experiences are. I’m in Houston, TX doing this, so not much in the way of organizing around here, or even people to talk to about it.

    Any Bjers with advice, or personal anecdotes/experiences with Union organizing or unions in general?

  3. 3
    JenJen says:

    Just so it doesn’t go unnoticed, today marks a very gruesome anniversary in American history. 75 years ago today, Rainey Bethea was hanged in Owensboro, Kentucky. It was the last public execution in the United States.

    It’s hard for me to believe we were holding carnival-atmosphere public executions a mere 75 years ago, and not terribly far from where I live. The details are shocking enough, but the photograph that accompanies the story breaks my heart.

  4. 4
    Jewish Steel says:

    @JenJen: People can be such ghouls. Scenes like that make me despair.

    Apartheid style segregation within living memory is also a mind-blower for me.

  5. 5
    adolphus says:

    Moments like this put me to mind of the timeless wisdom on late night television watching from Primus:

    No dreads about the working day after though.
    Funny thing about weekends when you’re unemployed.
    They don’t quite mean so much,
    Except you get to hang out with all youur working friends.

  6. 6
    Cat Lady says:

    I drove past a Verizon picket line today, and am ignorant of their issues. I’m thinking of switching from Comcast who charges $200/mo for 2 phones, cable and high speed internet with OnDemand and DVRing, to Verizon, who “says” they’ll provide the same thing for $80/mo. I support the picketers. What do I need to know to make the right decision?

    ETA: I was just hoping to watch Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 OnDemand, but it’s not available yet. What to do?

  7. 7
  8. 8
    JenJen says:

    @Jewish Steel: Me, too. I simply can’t imagine.

    To lighten it up a wee bit, as a liberal and a hockey fan, may I recommend a glance at this National Review cover? Good for a chuckle (via Atrios). Ramesh Ponnuru FTW!

  9. 9
  10. 10
    Raven (formerly stuckinred) says:

    @jeffreyw: Auto-rotate them dudes!

  11. 11
  12. 12
    Cat Lady says:


    Ramesh Ponnuru FTW FAIL!

    fixt for accuracy.

  13. 13
  14. 14
    dmsilev says:

    We should reject calls by Order of the Phoenix hard-liners like Joe Lieberbottom, John “Mad Eye” McCain, and Lindsey Gramger to instead detain them without charge as “unlawful enemy spell-casters” for as long as the “war” against dark magic continues


  15. 15
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    One of the great things about Babylon 5 was that the war at the centerpiece of it ended early in the fourth season of the five year run.

    This was deliberate, in order to show what happens after the war. The answer in this case was “more wars” as the various powers sorted out the implications of “the big one”.

    I have no doubt that while Harry’s life became a lot less interesting after the Battle of Hogwarts, Kingsley Shacklebolt’s got much more interesting, in the Chinese curse sense, sorting out who was a willing follower of Voldemort and who was bewitched into it. Not to mention those who were collaborators with the “new order” of Voldemort, like the Umbridge woman, without formally being followers of Voldemort.

    Just as things remained interesting in post WWII Europe (particularly in Germany, which was utterly destitute for years following the surrender), things will remain interesting in Afghanistan and Iraq when we ever leave. We just won’t hear about them because the Village will have moved on to new shiny things. Heck, they’ve already done so in the case of Iraq.

  16. 16
    gbear says:

    My current laundromat book (dryer is broken) has been ‘A Stone Alone’ by Bill Wymann. I got interested in the Stones history when Keith Richard’s book came out, but the more I heard about Keith’s book, the less I wanted to read it. Wymann’s book is kind of fun in small doses, but a lot of his concert descriptions start to sound the same when reading for longer stretches. I’m almost halfway done with the book and we’re just up to ‘It’s All Over Now’ being a hit and they’re just starting to become big stars. Fun reading for an old rock geezer like me.

  17. 17
  18. 18
    PeakVT says:

    @furioso ateo: I can’t help, but I can wish you good luck.

  19. 19
    Raven (formerly stuckinred) says:

    @gbear: Dryers are pretty easy to fix. What’s it not doing?


  20. 20
    dmsilev says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    One of the great things about Babylon 5 was that the war at the centerpiece of it ended early in the fourth season of the five year run.

    To be fair though, part of that was that the writers weren’t sure that there would be a season 5 until most of season 4 had been written/shot. My understanding is that while the post-“big war” upheavals were part of the plan from the beginning, the original timetable for the series had the war ending in the first half of the fifth season. In the actuality, season 4 felt extremely rushed and crammed full of stuff due to the need to at least finish the big war, and then there wasn’t enough “main story” left, so S5 had a fair amount of filler material in it.

  21. 21
    gbear says:

    The heat is not kicking in. It’s a gas dryer.

  22. 22
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Raven (formerly stuckinred):

    Hey! Let her finish the book before you go telling her how to fix her dryer!

  23. 23
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @jeffreyw: I believe two or three of them were from me.

  24. 24
    Yutsano says:

    @jeffreyw: What’s not working about them? They look delicious to me!

    @furioso ateo: Go careful. Make your work record as impeccable as possible. If the management identifies you as the trouble element, they will bend over backwards to eliminate you in the most public way possible. It will take some scheduling outside of work at first. And much luck.

  25. 25
    Raven (formerly stuckinred) says:

    @gbear: Igniter? This site walks you through diagnoses

  26. 26
    Violet says:

    @Raven (formerly stuckinred):
    Second the recommendation for They diagnosed my washing machine problem, told me how to take it apart and what to do to fix it. It has another problem (squeaking, loud noise) and they told me if I posted a recording of it, they’d try to diagnose it for me. Really helpful people.

  27. 27
    lamh34 says:

    Watched “Constantine” on AMC. Saw this flick in the theatres with my sister. It’s become one of my fav Keanue Reeves films. I liked it then too. I gotta get this one of DVD!


    P.S. Gavin Rossdale (i.e. Mr. Gwen Stefani) is really hot as a “half-breed demon”!

    This is actually the 2nd “devil-themed” movie I’ve watched this weekend. Hmm, maybe my mind or the universe is trying to tell me something!

  28. 28
    Villago Delenda Est says:


    What was rushed was not the end of the Shadow War, but all the various conflicts that came in its wake, particularly the resolution of President Clark’s dictatorship. That was rushed in order to get most of the main plot points that were supposed to extend into the fifth (and final planned) season that were condensed because the fifth season was up in the air as the fourth season’s story unfolded.

    There was supposed to be more time to sort out the Shadow War’s wake, and that was lost as they compressed.

    Still, it came off not too badly, I think.

  29. 29
    gbear says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Actually, I’m a he. Bald and bearded. And yes it’s kind of nice to grab four dryers at the laundromat, read the book, and have it all done in half an hour for about $4.

    I will go check out that guru site though…

  30. 30
    srv says:

    +2 Blind Pig. Pondering taking a nap until AM for the Breaking Bad stream.

  31. 31
    dmsilev says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: I think we’re basically agreeing here; I just viewed the whole Earth political situation as one facet of the bigger war (Clark et al being basically puppets of the Shadows), so I didn’t think of the bigger war as being over until after the climax of the Earth civil war.

    As you say, in the end it came off pretty well. Certainly was an ambitious undertaking for syndicated TV, especially in an era when most shows were purely episodic.

  32. 32
    Cain says:


    How did you make the lamb meat?

  33. 33
    Dee Loralei says:

    I’ve just finished eating an excellent lasagna I prepared with some left-over homemade ricotta I made earlier in the week. As God is my witness, I shall never buy store-bought ricotta again. ( In my best Scarlett O’Hara voice.)

    I also made an oregano onion bread that was totes yummy. It made two round loaves, so I froze one and will make a muffaletta in a few weeks.

    And I’ve got a few Stella Artoise chilling and two brand new Leverages to watch.

    So yea sated and content tonight I am. And I refuse to worry about anything else until tomorrow.

  34. 34
    Paddy says:

    @jeffreyw: You sooo would get full points for plating on Iron Chef.

  35. 35
    jeffreyw says:

    @Yutsano: Today’s iteration was much the better of my, so far, two tries at these things. I think perhaps more meat as well as a doubling of the cheese will be a step forward.
    I’m starting to wonder…eggs and chorizo and jalapenos and cheeses?

  36. 36
    Yutsano says:

    @jeffreyw: Be careful, though. You can overfill them. It makes a delicious mess when it happens, but it is rather messy. Also: the warmer the ingredients that are not cheese when they hit the tortilla means better melting when you do cheese things up. I make pretty decent quesadillas.

  37. 37
    BruinKid says:

    Another urgent priority should be media diversification. A single wizarding newspaper — the Daily Prophet — cannot maintain its independence and hold government officials accountable when it has no competition (especially given the rumor, first published in the tabloid the Quibbler, that the Prophet may soon be bought by dark wizard Rupert Murdoch).


  38. 38
    jeffreyw says:

    @Cain: The meat in the gyros was bought formed, cooked, and sliced-frozen in a 5lb block. I broke it up into half pound chunks and stored them in my freezer. I thaw a chunk for a quick meal. I have made the Alton Brown recipe with ground lamb before, can’t say it was any better.

  39. 39
    Dee Loralei says:

    @jeffreyw: I had a breakfast like that when I was in Dallas a few months ago, the scrambled eggs also had fried tortilla strips and sliced avocado. Some of the best damned eggs I’ve ever eaten. It was garnished with sour cream and pico de gallo.

  40. 40
    jeffreyw says:

    @Paddy: I’m getting better at the whole presentation thing. I look back through some of my earlier pics and groan at the lighting and placement. I am having loads of fun.

  41. 41
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    Actually, I’m a he.

    My apologies! (On the Internet, nobody knows . . . .)

  42. 42
    jeffreyw says:

    @Yutsano: You will have to drop by W4D with some hints ‘n pics!

  43. 43
    lamh34 says:

    Well damn, from Color Purple to Imitation of Life! I’m gonna be damn depressed by the end of the night!

    Mahalia Jackson – Trouble of the World (Imitation of Life)

    Black or White, if this movie don’t make ya cry…you have NO soul!!!

  44. 44
    jeffreyw says:

    @Dee Loralei: Ooh! I think there’s a name for that, on the tip of my tongue…damn.

  45. 45
    Ben Cisco says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Ah, Babylon 5. Easily one of the greatest science fiction series in TV history. Much of our current domestic political atmosphere can be seen in the show.

  46. 46
  47. 47
    quannlace says:

    No schedule. I just wish it would STOP FUCKING RAINING !!!!

    Here in the New Jersey, we’ve had almost a whole month’s rain in 24 hours. Everythings flooded, water in the basement. Enough, please! I almost wish some of this would go down to Rick Perry’s prayer vigel.

  48. 48
    Villago Delenda Est says:


    Yeah, that interpretation is certainly valid…that the entire Earth situation was central to the entire plotline, although JMS, when asked about the “final battle” of the Shadow War, said that, yeah, the main conflict has been resolved (the entire First Ones manipulating the younger races thing), but there’s more conflict to come. Certainly from the POV of the major protagonists, the resolution of the Earth situation was anything but a skirmish…and was, after all, an integral part of the aftermath of the main conflict.

  49. 49
    Dee Loralei says:

    @jeffreyw: Yea, that picture looks very similar. Had no idea what it was called. So thanks for educating me.

  50. 50
    lamh34 says:


    ETA: BTW, the 2 versions of the movie are available on netflix. The clip I posted is from the version I saw as a young girl and it’s instant streaming.

    for anyone who cares…:)

  51. 51
    jeffreyw says:

    @Dee Loralei: I may have to do those again, just to take a better picture if for no other reason. lol

  52. 52
    Chris says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    One of the great things about Babylon 5 was that the war at the centerpiece of it ended early in the fourth season of the five year run.

    And one of the good things about Deep Space Nine was that it began at the end of a major conflict (Cardassia/Bajor) and spent a lot of time showing how both sides dealt with it (the general clusterfuck of trying to get Bajor on its feet, the Cardies dealing with the humiliation of having lost Bajor and eventually being driven to insane ideas).

  53. 53
    Hypnos says:

    So I’ve just stumbled upon this:

    “As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion,—as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of Mussulmen”

    Treaty of Tripoli, ratified by the US Congress in 1797, when basically all of the Founding Fathers were alive and kicking. And signing this document.

    So how come there is still room for debating whether the US is a Christian Nation or not?

    Oh yeah I remember. Reality is not part of the discussion.

  54. 54
    Dee Loralei says:

    Hmm Epicurious says migas are Spanish bread crumbs fried in ham or croutons. Wikipedia says it’s also bread and eggs… but then it showed a pic of a Tex-Mex migas, that looks a lot like the one I ate. So, I’ll call them Migas too, Jeffrey. LOL not that I was doubting you, I was looking for a recipe.

  55. 55
    PurpleGirl says:

    Some maintenance work is being overnight (11 pm Sunday to 7 am Monday) on my complex’s power plant. So they’ve asked us to turn off all electrical appliances and to unplug everything we can. Well, there are a few things I can unplug and other things I can’t because the plugs and wall outlets are behind furniture and hard to get too. (Just because I got to them one time doesn’t mean I can do it again.)

    My plan is to move to the bedroom for reading and crocheting by one lamp with the ceiling fan on. Unfortunately because it will be raining overnight I can’t open the windows.

  56. 56
    jeffreyw says:

    @Dee Loralei: That was a good while back, and I remember little, other than someone here in comments mentioned them, I give a h/t to mikefromtexas on the Flickr page. I’ve never done them again despite thinking at the time that they were very damn good eating.

  57. 57
    Villago Delenda Est says:


    DS9 is far and away my favorite Trek, precisely because it does deal in a more reality based way than most episodic television is ever allowed to. Specifically, in that what happens in episode A has repercussions that you’ll see in episodes E,J,M, and Q. Characters actually develop in DS9.

    Certainly the entire “aftermath of the occupation” plotline produced some really good shows…the one where the “Butcher of Gallitepp” is revealed have been a low level clerk who felt such remorse about the actions of his people that he sacrificed his life in an effort to bring about change.

  58. 58
    Chad N Freude says:

    @Cat Lady: The film is a series of spectacular computer-generated special effects separated by long boring stretches of human interaction devoid of anything resembling actual human interaction. Ralph Fiennes as Voldemort is pretty good, but he’s not human.

    You have been warned.

  59. 59
    andy says:

    Last night I checked out a farm-to-table thing the Crow Wing Co-op was involved with, and this afternoon I made a caponata before going in to work. Busy busy…

  60. 60
    RossInDetroit says:

    I had the very strange experience of picking up a magazine today at Borders and seeing my name on the first page I looked at. My last article was a year ago but apparently the letters column is way behind.
    Following up on the weirdness angle I hit the Mystery section and bought three Spy/Horror/Comic novels by Charles Stross. The first of which I’ve been distracting myself with for the last few hours.

  61. 61
    Chris says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Certainly the entire “aftermath of the occupation” plotline produced some really good shows…the one where the “Butcher of Gallitepp” is revealed have been a low level clerk who felt such remorse about the actions of his people that he sacrificed his life in an effort to bring about change.

    … and impersonated a war criminal in an attempt to put the occupation on trial, because Cardassia will never evolve unless it’s forced to look at its crimes and take responsibility for them.

    Great episode. And like someone above said about B5, plenty of our political atmosphere shows up in DS9 (albeit usually shown in Klingon or Cardassian politics instead).

  62. 62
    Ben Cisco says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    DS9 is far and away my favorite Trek, precisely because it does deal in a more reality based way than most episodic television is ever allowed to. Specifically, in that what happens in episode A has repercussions that you’ll see in episodes E,J,M, and Q. Characters actually develop in DS9.

    I approve of this post.

  63. 63
    Kristine says:

    @lamh34: I caught the last hour. I really like that movie.

    You must get the DVD. It contains cut scenes and the director’s explanation as to why he cut them. I agreed with his every decision. It was interesting to see how the tone of the tale could have changed if he’d kept them.

    And if I hadn’t gotten the DVD and watched the credits to the end, I wouldn’t have seen the rest of the ending.

  64. 64
    Amir Khalid says:

    I’m one of the minority who hasn’t read the books or seen the movies

    You need to fix that, you really do.

    @gbear: Haven’t seen Bill Wyman’s book, although I’ve heard of it. Wyman retired from recording and touring with the Rolling Stones about 20 years ago, but he’s still part of the band’s inner circle and still its semi-official archivist/historian. I’d have thought he had a better Stones book in him than you’ve described.

    I actually found Keith’s book Life well worth reading. The prose reads like it’s Keef himself talking to you; there’s plenty of druggie high jinks and low-life chums, sure, but it’s never a mindless celebration of that. There’s stuff about being a family man, what it was like to lose a child only two months old, growing as musician and performer, watching himself and Mick grow apart, his head injury, even a recipe for bangers and mash. I loved it.

  65. 65
    Exurban Mom says:

    @gbear: laundromats are the bomb. A friend of mine calls it “declaring laundry bankruptcy,” taking the whole shebang to the laundromat, and literally 1.5 hours later, it’s all done, compared to the chore taking an entire day at home.

    Love the Potter piece. My fave line:

    The use of any form of torture should be banned, whether by the infamous Cruciatus Curse or methods euphemistically known as “enhanced hexation.”

    Enhanced hexation. Heh.

  66. 66
    kindness says:

    So I haven’t had the idiot box on much this weekend. Have Bachmann & Perry called up the apocalypse yet?
    @Exurban Mom: Yea but they frown upon doing bhong rips at the laundrotmat.

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