Open Thread: Mutiny on the Trip to Bountiful


Yup, same John Rogers: “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”

Apart from not freezing, what’s on the agenda for the day?

87 replies
  1. 1
    PurpleGirl says:

    I do need to do some food shopping today. Luckily the market is a short walk from my building. Other than that I plan to stay inside where I’m warm.

    Looked at my calendar and I need to transfer appointments to it.

  2. 2
    NotMax says:

    High 40s with no insulation in the abode at all is not comfy.

  3. 3
    raven says:

    It’s nine here.

  4. 4
    JPL says:

    @raven: Wow, I’m jealous! It’s six here according to my thermometer.
    If you watch Joe, can you let us know if he talks about the group that broke into the FBI building.

  5. 5
    PurpleGirl says:

    The Senate has confirmed Janet Yellin as the new Fed Reserve chief.

  6. 6
    Fort Geek says:

    @NotMax: Sounds like my house. My oil-filled radiator heater has been full-on for 8 hours and seems to be struggling. It’s 21F with a 10F wind chill. Going to be hibernating under an electric blanket at this rate.

    To-do’s: research how to repair the heater section of my home heat pump. Probably should have fixed it months ago, but didn’t care while it wasn’t cold. Oops!

  7. 7
    gene108 says:


    Sorry to here that. I’ve been without heat in a cold snap before. It sucks. Stay warm.


    4.5 degrees in my neck of the woods per Weather Underground. I dread going to work to day. At least I do not have to deal with cleaning snow from my car, so I guess there’s a bright side, if you look hard enough.

    Sadly, no matter how bright the side is, it is not a warm side.

  8. 8

    I rode up in the elevator this morning with three other people bundled up with scarves, gloves, and hats… and the outside temperature was 55 F. But this is Miami, so it’s all relative.

  9. 9
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    Presently app 10 below (my thermometer doesn’t go that low) with expected high of 21. Gotta love Missouri weather. If you don’t like it? Stick around for 10 mins, it”ll change. Supposed to get more snow tomorrow night changing to sleet and freezing rain on Thursday. By Sunday we should be sunny and in the low 50’s.

  10. 10
    raven says:

    Zora Neale Hurston is the google thingy today.

  11. 11
  12. 12
    JPL says:

    @PurpleGirl: Senator Shaheen and Senator Warren arrived to late to cast their vote but wanted the record to show they supported the nominee. It’s not a surprise that their plane was late since they were flying out of Logan.

  13. 13
    raven says:

    @JPL: He’s screaming about how unemployment HAS TO BE PAID FOR BECAUSE OF THE DEFICIT!

    (and alot of Americans don’t want the benefits extended)

  14. 14
    Schlemizel says:

    A balmy -10 here at the moment! Such warmth makes life possible here on the frozen tundra. Plans? eh, SSDD. At least the potential for frost bite makes the ride to work exciting.

    BTW – not sure if you read about it but a young college student passed out on a porch a couple weeks ago and is going to lose fingers & toes to the frost bite she ended up with. They held a fund raiser for her Sunday night (a nice thing) but they held it at a bar, and people say irony is dead.

  15. 15
    JPL says:

    @raven: Did he mention that since our economy depends on consumer spending, that by not extending it, unemployment will grow? If he’s worried about the deficit, he should want to improve the economy.

  16. 16
    Schlemizel says:


    A: Its funny how only programs that help people need to be pad for, not crap like DoD, war and what nots

    B: My guess is everyone Shmoe knows doesn’t want UI extended, So that would be 100% of Americans to him

  17. 17
    Botsplainer says:

    Dunno how cold it is outside. Still in bed with snoring dog. Was 10 below when I went to sleep (always colder out here). Emergency heat has been running nonstop (we have a heat pump), and the house is down to 62. Local power grid is apparently having problems, they’re begging conservation.

    Meanwhile, wife is sweating in Bangkok.

  18. 18
    raven says:

    @Schlemizel: I hate to say “to be fair” but schmuckola did suggest taking it from defense.

  19. 19
    Poopyman says:

    It’s a rather balmy +7 (F, natch) here along the Ches Bay, with a nice northwest breeze to boot. This is one day where I don’t mind not having to go to work, since we’re not yet to the point of living in a cardboard box under the overpass.

    @raven: And fuck Scarborough and his Villager thugs.

  20. 20
    geg6 says:

    Real temp is -9F with wind chills at -20 to -30F right now here in the ‘Burgh. And one of our furnaces has died (we have two, long story, but it has to do with doubling the size of the house from the original structure). I’m taking the day off to wait for the repairman. Thank FSM, at least one of them is working.

    Not the worst thing to happen, I guess. Gives me the opportunity to watch the premiere of Downton Abbey since I recorded it the other night. No way I can get John to watch it, so we watched The Good Wife instead.

  21. 21
    Randy P says:

    I grew up in Syracuse and don’t remember ever feeling cold when I was a kid. So I thought I’d lost my cold adaptation when I was frequently cold in MD. Then I remembered that I used to dress differently up there: two shirts (I’m not normally an undershirt guy), two layers of socks, ski mask, pantyhose under the pants if it got really cold.

    Didn’t resort to most of that this morning except covering the face. But I did have my gloves off for a few minutes and that was enough to lose feeling in the fingers. It was 1 F here in the Philly burbs when I left the house.

  22. 22
    kdaug says:

    Released the thing unto a wider audience last night.

    Even when the contract says “I LOVE it” over and over again, there’s always the trepidation of waiting to hear from the rest in the field.

    Not extreme, it’s either gonna be “perfect” or “we need these changes”. But still, kinda like state fright – whole shitload of people you’ve never met reviewing your work.

    Fair enough. The waiting is the hardest part.

  23. 23
    geg6 says:


    Has anyone mentioned that the deficit has been going down at a record pace?

    And I have a simple solution to his completely irrational fear of the deficit monster. Raise taxes! On the 1% only! Joe Blow is a patriotic Merkin, so I imagine he’d be happy to pay more taxes to avoid the deficit monster!

  24. 24
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @raven: I don’t f’n believe it. The world’s magnetic have shifted again.

  25. 25
    Randy P says:

    @geg6: I’ve noticed when trying to engage wingnuts that their reaction to cold hard numbers is simply to say “no, that’s not true”. I remember Krugman describing that phenomenon when arguing on air with some wingnut and trying to point out the reduction in the government sector under Obama, using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

    I’ve lost the energy to personally engage wingnuts like the office guy who makes statements like “I don’t see why people claim Fox News has a bias”, so I’m afraid I’m not doing my part. At this point I dismiss them as hopeless causes.

  26. 26
    J.D. Rhoades says:


    Has anyone mentioned that the deficit has been going down at a record pace?

    Many times. They just go, “you’re lying! The debt has tripled under Obummer.” Or doubled, Or something. Repeat as necessary.

  27. 27
  28. 28
    J.D. Rhoades says:

    10 degrees here in NC. I’m about to strangle the cat. “I want to go out!” “No, it’s too cold, let me back in!” “No, I want to go out!” Over and over and over. Stupid beast.

  29. 29
    Debbie(aussie) says:

    Not to rub it in but down under in Ipswich at present it is 23.1C with 64% humidity. A very pleasant Tuesday evening.THE last four days were hell in the opposite of your travail.

  30. 30
    J.D. Rhoades says:

    @Randy P:

    I’ve noticed when trying to engage wingnuts that their reaction to cold hard numbers is simply to say “no, that’s not true”.

    When your primary information source treats making shit up as a feature, not a bug, then you just assume everyone else’s does too.

  31. 31
    sm*t cl*de says:

    In a way, HAL was 1st objectivist in space – cutting off handouts of air & nutrients to those nonproductive hibernating astronauts

    The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, but we like it like that, and in fact we pay extra for her strict discipline.

  32. 32
    Poopyman says:

    @Debbie(aussie): I’ve always found it easier to warm up when it’s cold than cool down when it’s hot and humid, so if I had a choice I’ll take what we’ve got.

    Unfortunately, here in Tidewater MD it’s not unusual to get summer temps over 40C with high humidity, so you can say we get the best of both worlds.

  33. 33
    Schlemizel says:


    So its not just Minnesota that has frozen over!

  34. 34
    Elizabelle says:

    Seven degrees in Northern Virginia.

    Epic twitter exchange between John Rogers and Billmon.

    We can keep warm by looking at the Zora Neale Hurston Google. It’s got a pond and palm trees. Guess it’s meant to be Eatonville, FL (near Orlando)?

  35. 35
    Steeplejack (tablet) says:’s got me at 3° right now. I left the oven open on “warm” last night to help the central heat. It feels okay in here, but I’m still in bed, and I got pinned by the housecat climbing on my hip after her breakfast.

  36. 36

    @Randy P:

    I’ve noticed when trying to engage wingnuts that their reaction to cold hard numbers is simply to say “no, that’s not true”.

    That’s meant to be the over age 8 version of “I know you are, but what am I?”

  37. 37
    Nina says:

    4 degrees this morning. Our across the street neighbor’s power went out last night at around midnight – someone hit a utility pole apparently. He came over and slept on our couch. The lights came on at around 4:30, he reports, but he was too warm and comfy to move back home. So we win the Good Neighbor award for the month, whee!

  38. 38
    Steeplejack (tablet) says:

    Weather Underground agrees: spread of temps around me between 2.1° and 4.3°. This is the coldest it has been in the eight years I have lived here.

  39. 39
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    Same temp here as @ NotMax’s: 48F. Supposed to get into the mid 70’s tomorrow.

  40. 40
    CarolDuhart2 says:

    minus 6 here-billed the “coldest day in 20 years”. Every school and college in the area is closed, along with a bunch of businesses. But it will be 48 and rainy on Saturday, and I’ will never been so glad in my life to see a bleak and rainy day in my life.

    One advantage of having an indoor kitty: she doesn’t need to go outside to use her litter box.

    Crocheting, working on my web pages, and just vegging out is my day’s agenda.

  41. 41
    J.D. Rhoades says:

    The good thing about these low temps is that it provides an opportunity for previously undiscovered fuckwits to out themselves, and suspected fuckwits to be confirmed. Just look for the people going “Hey, how about that global warming hurrr hurrr hurrr…”

  42. 42

    -10 and getting ready for the commute. Nice to hear its warm somewhere.

    Any day that starts with a billmon and John Rogers boilermaker is a good day, no matter how fracking cold it is.

  43. 43
    Just Some Fuckhead, Thought Leader says:

    For those who don’t know, before billmon started doing vaudeville, he was a pretty well-regarded political blogger.

  44. 44
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    Guess I’m not working today after all. The wife got her car stuck off the drive. Went out to pull her out with the truck but it’s so dark I couldn’t see a good hitching point that would not damage her car. So I sent her off with the new truck (***please oh please oh please***) so she can get to work and I will figure out how best to get her car out when she gets home.

    *** she really should be OK with it. It’s just bigger than the old one and this is the first time she has really driven it.

  45. 45
    Baud says:

    In six months, you all will be complaining about how hot it is. Whiners.

  46. 46
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @kdaug: Wanted to tell you I did your chicken soup with a few variations. Mmmm mmmm good.

    Couldn’t find any fresh jalapenos and was going to put in some canned ones when I saw my smoked chili’s. Threw a couple of them in along with a couple dried cayenne’s. Even the wife liked it.

    Thanx again.

  47. 47
    Phylllis says:

    It’s just freakin’ cold here, Weather Underground says 16F. We opted not to delay school but did let parents know we’d pick up bus riders at their door and the buildings would be open early. It’s about a five minute commute for me, so I plan to leave at the last possible moment. Forecast for Saturday? 72F.

  48. 48
    Elizabelle says:


    You’ve reminded me! I need to make that one. Chicken soup with garlic, ginger and jalapenos. Yum.

    But no marathon running after in this weather.

    Made a crockpot beef stew last night, seasoned with cocoa and cumin and other spices. It was yum. Having it again tonight, purely for simplicity.

  49. 49
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    Pastafarian Sworn Into Office Wearing A Colander (PHOTO)

    Christopher Schaeffer, a member of the “Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster,” was sworn in as a member of the Pomfret Town Council in New York wearing a colander, the Observer reported.

  50. 50
    Elizabelle says:

    PS: got my flu shot yesterday. Reminding you all that it’s not too late, if you’re so inclined.

    Minute Clinic at CVS had an “intradermal” vaccine, with a 1/16″ needle. Literally did not feel any sting. Great way to get a shot. Uses 40% less antigen, deposited in skin rather than muscle; used for adults 18-64.

    90 minute wait at 5:00 p, but lots of fresh magazines to scan while doing so. Another plus of getting pricked at CVS.

  51. 51
    WereBear says:

    @Mustang Bobby: Sheesh. Around her, in all seriousness, that’s shorts weather!

    We are at 2. Positive two!

  52. 52
  53. 53
    Poopyman says:

    @Elizabelle: You’ve reminded me of this article with halftime (m/l) stats in the H1N1 contest.

    It’s still out there, people.

  54. 54
    geg6 says:


    That’s our expected high temp today. +2. Fuck me.

  55. 55
    MomSense says:

    It is 17 here today which is warmer than it has been the last few weeks. Yesterday the temps went up to 40 with rain and everything melted. Of course it froze overnight so I think we could ice skate to town today. On the book of faces the people I grew up with are enjoying making fun of all the suckers who believe in global warming. We had the same science teachers so WTF happened?

  56. 56
    kdaug says:


    …smoked chili’s. Threw a couple of them in along with a couple dried cayenne

    There you go. It’s the capsaicin, mixed with the ginger and garlic, that gives it it’s punch.

    Sounds weird, but try eating it with a pickle/mustard/sauerkraut-heavy Ruben as a side. Serious noms.

    Glad you liked it.

  57. 57
    Shortstop says:

    Only yesterday could make this -10 (-30 wind chill) feel…not that bad. Ac-cen-tu-ate the positive!

  58. 58
    Paul in KY says:

    @Mustang Bobby: Have been in Miami when it was 40. Boy oh boy do they not like that!

  59. 59
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @kdaug: That’s not weird. A good rueben goes with anything.

  60. 60
    gene108 says:

    @J.D. Rhoades:

    I think most people do not understand the difference between debts and deficits. The deficit is going down, but it is still not a budget surplus therefore the debt is still going up.

    Of course, when we had full employment in the 1990’s, we had a budget surplus but more employed people paying taxes does not in anyway help to reduce the deficit and debt in the long run.

    I swear the folks, who are battling any and all fiscal expansion and modest tax increases on the rich are truly, truly evil given the suffering common folks are experiencing after the mess the truly rich made of the economy.

  61. 61
    Shortstop says:

    @Baud: Not I. People were telling Amir last night that his 95 and humid is a nightmare. I think it’s dreamy.

  62. 62
    gene108 says:

    I want to take all the money spent on the southern border fence with Mexico and expand the program exponentially to build a giant wall on our northern border so we can keep Canada from exporting anymore Polar Vortex’s to the USA.

  63. 63
    scav says:

    @Shortstop: In small doses, why not? Managed that and hotter in Iowa — slightly different vegetation and cuisine though. So, much might depend on one’s love of fresh tomatoes v. more zingy culinary elements.

  64. 64
    GHayduke (formerly lojasmo) says:


    -9 here with an expected high of 0

    I might take the dog for a walk.

  65. 65
    Amir Khalid says:

    The temperature’s not even that high in KL right now. It’s more like mid-70s to low 80s, with overcast skies and occasional rain.

  66. 66
    Elizabelle says:


    On the book of faces the people I grew up with are enjoying making fun of all the suckers who believe in global warming. We had the same science teachers so WTF happened?

    Dare you to put that comment up!

  67. 67
    HRA says:

    Here out in the burbs near Buffalo, NY it is 3 F and a double digit wind chill. Right now we are still having blizzard conditions non stop since yesterday. I went out earlier and cleared the deck at the front door up to the gate. The stairs of the deck have disappeared. I would guess we are now heading towards 3 feet of snow on the ground.

  68. 68
    rea says:

    Yup, same John Rogers

    One can almost forgive him for writing the script for the Transformers movie . . .

  69. 69
    Citizen_X says:

    @MomSense: You could show them the graphic (or direct them to the post) here. Basically, the polar air mass has slid off the North Pole into North America. It’s warmer in Siberia than in much of the US right now.

    There’s some discussion that this is at least partially due to AGW, but scientists don’t all agree with that.

  70. 70
    Someguy says:

    The notion of sending libertarians into space to die is certainly appealing, but it’s a lot more expensive, and less efficient, than simply shooting them. For that matter, couldn’t we simply drop them out of planes into the ocean? They’d approve of that because it’d be sink-or-swim, and that’s an approach they are definitely down with.

  71. 71
    TheronWare says:

    The wind outside was so strong it kept me up most of the night. I should have put in the earplugs – oh well.

  72. 72
    Paul in KY says:

    @Someguy: Good point about how inefficient it is to send them into space to kill them.

    One Objectivist, one bullet.

  73. 73
    Interrobang says:

    @sm*t cl*de: Hey, sm*t, you’re going to be in another of my quotes posts for that one.

    I’m glad someone else agrees with me that the libertarianization (if I can make up a word) of space means more dead astronauts. Safety is always the first casualty of economics, and, if he weren’t dead, you could ask Roger Boisjoly about how hard it is to keep that calculation out of even public-sector spaceflight (or you could look it up).

  74. 74
    Ken says:

    In an environment where opening the door wrong can kill everyone, there’s not going to be any individual freedom.

  75. 75
    Biff Longbotham says:

    Billmon’s HAL tweet is brilliant.

  76. 76
    Steve M. says:

    Billmon blocks me on Twitter. WTF? Because I don’t hate Obama enough from the left?

  77. 77
    burnspbesq says:

    @Paul in KY:

    One Objectivist, one bullet.

    And since they supposedly don’t believe in public goods, bill the estate for the fully loaded cost (including an allocable share of overhead) of doing the deed.

  78. 78
    Paul in KY says:

    @burnspbesq: Sounds like work for a lawyer!

  79. 79
    patrick II says:

    I feel guilty that I might be glad that “Leverage” was cancelled if John Rogers starts writing about politics again.

  80. 80
    burnspbesq says:

    @Paul in KY:

    Naw. Lawyers hire accountants for that shit.

  81. 81
    Mobile Grumpy Code Monkey says:

    Watched the livestream of the launch; remarkably drama-free for SpaceX. No fire on the pad, no engine shredding itself in flight. Just a boring, by the numbers launch.

    Starting to think that these people know what they are doing.

  82. 82
    MomSense says:


    It’s gotten so bad. I pretty much have to walk away now. I keep getting tagged in all their pro-torture, anti Obamacare stuff. It really is strange to think about how you can grow up in the same environment and exposed to the same teachers and end up with completely different world views.

    We are talking birtherism and Sandy Hook was staged as a pretense to take away our guns stuff.

  83. 83
    Paul in KY says:

    @MomSense: Boy, do you have some wacko Facebook people. Sandy Hook was staged to take away our guns?!?!?! I would run fast & don’t look back.

  84. 84
    fubar says:

    @gene108: agreed, only if it reflects back all your crazee tv. Seriously, we can only take so much up here. And, your welcome, these temps you are experiencing are just a normal winters day (or even spring like) for us.

  85. 85
    sm*t cl*de says:

    The notion of sending libertarians into space to die is certainly appealing, but it’s a lot more expensive

    It’s tradition. Don’t you kids read “The Marching Morons” these days?

  86. 86
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Paul in KY:
    Sandy Hook Conspiracy Theories (wikipedia link). Read them and weep.

  87. 87
    Shortstop says:

    @Amir Khalid: I thought they might have been exaggerating. But I truly don’t mind very hot temps or high humidity (when you actually have them).

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