Saturday Morning Open Thread: Can’t Anybody Here Play This Game?…

Hey, remember all the way back last May, when the Oval Office Occupation Force couldn’t figure out how to work the phones? Apparently they still can’t!

It took the White House 22 minutes to figure out how to enable the “listening only” feature on a conference call on Thursday in which senior administration officials announced that President Trump would continue to waive nuclear program-related sanctions, keeping the deal intact.

“This White House can’t even run a f*cking conference call,” a reporter on an unmuted phone line angrily exclaimed to the entire call. “They don’t know how to mute their line.”

“It’s the illegitimate media that doesn’t know how to conduct themselves. They can’t mute their f*cking phones,” an unidentified official said. “Mute your phones.”

Another White House official repeatedly attempted to quiet the noisy line “so the people in charge” could talk.

“I think if everyone had half a brain and common sense and muted their phones, this wouldn’t be a problem,” she yelled in an apparent fit of frustration…

“All participants are now in listen-only mode,” the operator finally announced, much to the relief of everyone on the call. The call began at 1:07 p.m.

A State Department official announced at the end of the call that the technical difficulties prevented the senior administration officials from taking any questions from reporters…

181 replies
  1. 1
    NotMax says:

    Open Thread?

    A trend which needs to end.

    UK Steakhouse Charged £50,000 for Serving Food on Annoying Wooden Plank

    Health inspectors visited the UK restaurant after 14 people complained about food poisoning. Source

    Use a freakin’ plate.

  2. 2
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    After an all too brief hiatus, Winter has returned. At least we are having a winter this year.

  3. 3
    ThresherK says:

    Big thanks for all jackals who gave advice for my Dad used-car shopping.

    That Cherokee was already sold. Big thing: He was looking for a car for me! I had no idea, as we’re both in the market.

    In the most appreciative language I had, I thanked him and looked forward to more tire kicking with him, but said that that’s not a truck for me. We talked shop and he sounded cool about it. And he’s retired, so I’ll still ask his horse sense opinion and to look at things before I buy.

  4. 4
    Amir Khalid says:

    There are restaurants here where you eat your rice and side dishes off a section of banana leaf. It’s a traditional way of serving food around these parts. The banana leaves are single-use only, of course, but biodegradable and renewable.

  5. 5
    satby says:

    Well in case I’m gone when rikyrah gets here: Good morning 😃!

    Market day today after a horrible week. And tomorrow is my last day at the eye doctor’s office. I’m relieved but sad, because I was so pleased to have been offered the job just 17 months ago.

  6. 6
    raven says:

    @satby: Seems like yesterday. They are open on MLK Day?

  7. 7
    joel hanes says:

    Hell, I remember the first month — the Trumpies had neglected to send an advance facilities team to learn about the White House, and they were still having problems figuring out how to control the lighting.

  8. 8
  9. 9
    satby says:

    @raven: Yes, they are and will probably be busy. Evidently they hired someone, so we’ll see if she lasts. I feel really bad about how it turned out.
    It is what it is.

  10. 10
    mike in dc says:

    Anyone remember the phrase “Bush fatigue”? This seems more like Trump Exhaustion Syndrome. Multiple scandals/outrages per day. This can’t possibly be sustainable for 4(or 8! Shudder) years.

  11. 11
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    Went to the Reunification Palace this morning (the former residence of the President of South Vietnam.

    After seeing bomb craters at Cu Chi, Hoa Lo, Hanoi and Haiphong, fuck LBJ, fuck Nixon, fuck Kissinger, fuck Henry Cabot Lodge, fuck William Westmoreland…

  12. 12
    satby says:

    @raven: that was great. Good seats!

  13. 13
    Amir Khalid says:

    @joel hanes:
    Did they neglect to do it, or just not bother? They were quite capable of the latter, as I recall.

  14. 14
    satby says:

    @mike in dc: we’ll all stroke out.

  15. 15
    raven says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes: Did you go to Nui Ba Den? How about the Snake Farm at Dong Tam? Can Tho, Vinh Long and Sa Dec? Get up to Dalat?

  16. 16
    rikyrah says:

    Good morning, Everyone 😄😄😄

  17. 17
    bystander says:

    Maxine Waters (Watters?) announced yesterday that she would not be attending the SOTU. I wonder if there will be enoug absences to be noticeable. I’d prefer an occasional brick with a “you lie” tag attached flying from the gallery, but I’ll settle for a half-empty chamber.

  18. 18
    raven says:

    @satby: Yea, there is no sense of how jammed in we were but that doesn’t matter now.

  19. 19
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    It’s been a year and conference call service that administration uses is one of worst.

    He only hires the best people.

  20. 20
    satby says:

    @rikyrah: Oh good, I’m still here 😆. Good morning 🙋!

    I was so pissed off yesterday I went to Teespring and designed a T-shirt just so I could set the goal to one and then buy it for myself. Going to wear it around the racists here too.

  21. 21
    HeleninEire says:

    So this happened: I spent from 1:30pm till 8:00pm in the emergency room yesterday. This exact same thing happened to me in NY 15 years ago. So, I went out for lunch and I either fainted or had a seizure. Just walking around and all of a sudden I get super dizzy and I can’t read signs, meaning I could see the letters, but they made no logical sense. The next thing I know I’m waking up to a crowd surrounding me and then an ambulance came. I could not remember anything except my name. I even forgot where I worked or lived. As I sat in the ambulance my memory started to slowly come back.

    Exact same pattern as NY. They did a boatload of tests including an EKG, but as in NY they found nothing wrong. After about 2 hours in the hospital, while I was still hazy, most of my memory had come back. But I was exhausted. Finally around 8 they said we can’t find anything but one of the Senior Drs wants to see you, but he can’t do it for another 3 hours. Yeah, no. I’m going home. So I got a taxi, crawled into bed and slept for 10 hours.

    So its 11:30 Saturday morning and I’m up and about. The only lingering thing is I’m sore, I guess from falling, but other than that I’m feeling GRAND. I’m going to proceed on the premise that it’ll be another 15 years before it happens again.

    A couple of thoughts:

    WOW. Irish hospitals are FANCY. In the 6 hours I was waiting, they came around 3 times with a tray of free sandwiches and tea!! Imagine than doing that in America.

    Not one question or concern about insurance or how I’m going to pay. Heaven.

    One last thing; a request to my dual Facebook and Balloon Juice friends: please don’t comment about this on Facebook. Keeping it from my 83 year old Dad. No reason to worry him.


  22. 22
    satby says:

    @David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch: Wonder if it’s a service based offshore. Just because it would figure.

  23. 23
    satby says:

    @HeleninEire: Glad you’re feeling all right. Mum’s the word.

  24. 24
    JGabriel says:

    CBSNews (via Anne Laurie @ Top):

    It took the White House 22 minutes to figure out how to enable the “listening only” feature on a conference call …

    “This White House can’t even run a f*cking conference call,” a reporter on an unmuted phone line angrily exclaimed to the entire call. “They don’t know how to mute their line.”

    “It’s the illegitimate media that doesn’t know how to conduct themselves. They can’t mute their f*cking phones,” an unidentified official said. “Mute your phones.”

    So … the White House only wants to listen on the phone to Americans when their phones are on mute?

    It’s hard to know which is more appalling: the near-constant stream of lies from the Trump White House, or the rare moments of accidental honesty.

  25. 25
    ThresherK says:

    @mike in dc: Driftglass mentioned that also. The “lifeboats”, the means of escape by which every all-in right-winger could pretend they had nothing to do with GWB, were starting to get full in 2006. Then we got the IndahpennitConservative Tea Party.

    For Trump, it’s only taken 51 weeks after Inauguration Day!

    The only question is, what will they call themselves this time? The New, New Tea Party?

    (ETA Messed up link. Direct:

  26. 26
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    @satby: probably offshore. you know, one of those shithole countries like russia or the ones his wives fled from.

  27. 27
    Baud says:

    @rikyrah: Good morning.

  28. 28
    Baud says:

    @HeleninEire: Damm, take care.

    In the 6 hours I was waiting, they came around 3 times with a tray of free sandwiches and tea!! Imagine than doing that in America.

    Holy crap. It’s like they want you to get sick in Europe.

  29. 29
    Dave says:

    @JGabriel: The impromptu nature of the comment is indicative that most of the White House really does believe their own bullshit about illegitimate media. Or at the least have trained themselves to be so mindlessly on talking points that there is no practical difference.

  30. 30
    Raven says:

    @HeleninEire: You be careful with that now.

  31. 31
    Adria McDowell says:

    @Amir Khalid: Banana leaf…..reminds me of my grandmother- she’d make pasteles every time she visited!

  32. 32
    Lapassionara says:

    If this is what Trump meant by winning, I for one am completely tired of it.

    Good morning.

  33. 33
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @HeleninEire: Whew! indeed.

    My wife had an “episode” some years back (I do not recall all the details) Over the course of 2 separate visits to the ER in one night, they did a CAT scan and found “spots” on her brain which were indicative of a transient ischemic attack. In later consultations with her neurologist it was decided that the spots were actually just a side effect of her migraines. They never did figure out what happened to her that night but regardless, she finally quit smoking.

    Not much for giving medical advice on the internet but I would suggest you see a neurologist and get a CAT scan just to be safe. Especially in light of the return of my little Sis’ brain cancer which showed itself thru an increase in the residual seizures she has suffered from ever since her first bout with the big C.

  34. 34
    danielx says:


    Good morning!

  35. 35
    Kathleen says:

    @HeleninEire: Glad you’ve recovered! I also wanted to tell you I am an O’Neill also, from my father’s side.

  36. 36
    Kathleen says:

    @ThresherK: Or in honor of Trump “The Pee Party”?

  37. 37
    HeleninEire says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Thanks for the advice. Not sure what I’m going to do. Just thrilled that I have my memory back!

  38. 38
    HeleninEire says:

    @Kathleen: It’s the BEST name!

  39. 39
    Quinerly says:

    @NotMax: Love Eater! I remember hearing a few years back when serving/cooking on cedar planks was the rage, somebody (catering co, private party, or banquet hall…just remember it was not a restaurant) thought they were bright and saving money by buying in bulk treated roof cedar shingles from Home Depot.😈

  40. 40
    satby says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: yes, the first thing I thought of was TIA too, though a 15 year span between attacks would be unusual.

  41. 41
    Schlemazel says:

    Thanks. I don’t know if I just missed it or if you had not given us a trip report but I was wondering how your trip went. Nice to see the visuals.

  42. 42
    Quinerly says:

    @HeleninEire: Scary stuff. Take care of yourself.

  43. 43
    geg6 says:

    How, exactly, does one pull a muscle in one’s sleep? Asking for a friend.

  44. 44
    satby says:

    @HeleninEire: huh, just found this snippet:

    Sometimes a TIA is caused by a sharp drop in blood pressure that reduces blood flow to the brain. This is called a “low-flow” TIA. It is not as common as other types.

    from WebMD.

    Do consider following up on it with a neurologist.

  45. 45
    Adria McDowell says:

    @HeleninEire: That would drive me crazy- the not knowing why that happened to me.

    I’m glad you are feeling better, though.

    Just took the dog out: winter is BACK, baby! The poor neighbors have about a foot of snow piled against their door!

  46. 46
    HeleninEire says:

    @satby: Thanks. I saw that too. I will probably do some followup. Ironically HIGH blood pressure runs in my family, but mine has always been 110/70. Even when I was fat; 110/70.

    ETA: In NY they thought it was seizure because when they first took my bp it was through the roof, but in the short time it took for them to get me to the hospital, it was back to normal. Didn’t ask what it was yesterday, but in the hospital they took it every hour or so and were not concerned.

  47. 47
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @satby: There is so much we still don’t understand about the brain, who knows what the issue here is. They may never figure it out.

  48. 48

    @HeleninEire: Glad you’re feeling better. The tea must have done its job and cured what ailed you.

  49. 49
    p.a. says:

    @HeleninEire: Glad you’re OK today. Take care.

  50. 50
    satby says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: True. I hope your sister is doing ok.

  51. 51
    satby says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor (formerly Iowa Old Lady): Tea is the first response for just about everything in Ireland and the UK. Unless it’s time for a pint.

  52. 52
    HeleninEire says:

    @satby: This.

  53. 53
    Baud says:

    @geg6: Dreaming of chasing Trump from the White House?

  54. 54
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @geg6: A low grade charlie horse that didn’t quite wake you up but was there long enough to bruise the muscle?

  55. 55
    danielx says:

    Preface: spousal unit is not a particularly political person, although she did say in July 2017 “that guy might really become president” in reference to the shitgibbon. Prescient, she is.

    Spousal unit is watching morning news.

    Actual conversation just now:

    Spousal unit: How can he deny he used that language in front of a room full of people who quoted his exact words?
    Me: Well, my theory is that he creates his own reality. You know – this is the way I want it to be, this is the way it ought to he, this is the way it should be, therefore this is the way it really is.
    Spousal unit: Okay….
    Me: Or you could just say he’s a lying sonofabitch.
    Spousal unit: That’s much easier.
    Me: Yup.

    Other morning activities: Boris and Natasha are holding cat races, which involves leaping from one piece of furniture to another and charging through the house chasing each other at full tilt, doing that thing where the tails form an upside down U shape while they are galloping (Why do they do that?) Much chirping and trilling involved on Boris’ part; Natasha is the quieter type.

    It’s too early for this shit.

    They grow so fast. They looked like this in mid-July. (8.5 from the east german judge in cuteness olympics.) If BJers contemplate acquiring a kitten, I heartily recommend getting TWO if possible. Not twice as much fun to watch, more like ten times as much. There hasn’t been a day since we became their humans that they haven’t done something to make me laugh out loud. Stress reduction to the max, even when they do something like shoving a food bowl off the island.

    ETA: It’s fourteen degrees and snowy. Good day for making crockpot italian beef and very little else.

  56. 56
    Betty Cracker says:

    @HeleninEire: How scary! Hope everything is okay. FWIW, I and a couple of other family members have infrequent (as in three or four times in 30 years) fainting spells that remain a medical mystery despite extensive diagnostics in some cases. My experiences with these episodes are much as you described…things started getting fuzzy visually, and the next thing I knew, I was waking up on a floor with a crowd of strangers gawking at me. Anyhoo, hope yours turns out to be a nothingburger too!

  57. 57
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @satby: I haven’t talked to her in a few weeks. This is a reminder that I need to call her and check in.

  58. 58
    satby says:

    @danielx: the Irish judge awards a 9.

  59. 59
    HinTN says:

    Very nice!

  60. 60
    mai naem mobile says:

    There’s some woman from Rwanda who says Dolt45 is a big troll and we all need to ignore him. I agree with her. I don’t know how you accomplish it but this fucker needs to be ignored like a 3 year old attention seeking toddler. I wish twitter would ban him. The least Facebook and Google could do after what they let happen in 2016 is buy twitter and either ban Dolt45 or close it down. Pretty sure Jack Dorset would let it go kind of cheap because it’s never made money.

  61. 61
    Chyron HR says:


    It’s the illegitimate media that doesn’t know how to conduct themselves.

    But the important thing is that we saved the country from “The Clintons”.

  62. 62
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @danielx: Got a chicken out yesterday. I wanted something different then my usual roasted Italian chicken so I went looking for a recipe to tickle my fancy and ended up at the Mexico in my Kitchen website where I found Chicken Veracruz Style – Pollo A la Veracruzana. Perfect for a cold winter day:

    This chicken stew is a dish that I’ve been making for years without following a recipe, just the way I grew up cooking it. Just add a little bit of this, a pinch of that, and taste to check if it needs something else. It is so versatile and at the same time so forgiving because you can add other vegetables, and even though you don’t have all the seasonings, the stew will come out wonderful.

    I call it Veracruz Style because the basic ingredients are similar to those of the Red Snapper Veracruz Style Stew, but using chicken instead of fish. But many know this dish as “Chicken Stew” (estofado de pollo) or “chicken in tomato sauce”, and it is also similar to other recipes from Europe like chicken fricassee and chicken marengo. Veracruz is a state whose gastronomy is influenced by Spain, the many other European and African foreigners that arrived in Colonial times, and the Gulf of Mexico.

    If you’ve ever been to Veracruz, you know that the food alone is worth the trip.

  63. 63
    WereBear says:

    @satby: Well. Congrats for not having that particular form of suffering in your life.

  64. 64
    Yarrow says:

    @HeleninEire: Sorry to hear that. Must have been so scary. Please take care of yourself.

  65. 65
    Sloane Ranger says:

    @HeleninEire: Yes. You need to do some follow up. Don’t know much about the Irish Health Service but do you have a GP? If so I strongly advise you to see them. Even if nothing’s found it’s useful if they have it on your medical records for the future.

    In the meantime take care of yourself.

  66. 66
    Gin & Tonic says:

    Wind and rain kept me from sleeping much, now the temp is supposed to drop about 40 degrees in the next 8 hours, so that’ll be cool.

    I’ll probably be spending much of the day in the hospital. Things aren’t going swimmingly, and they won’t be releasing her today.

  67. 67
    debbie says:


    Yeah, but you get to retire! Congratulations!

  68. 68
  69. 69
    danielx says:


    It’s been fun to watch. Boris has turned into this hulking tabby cat while Natasha is still a dainty little thing. Boris is enormously affectionate and wants to be around his people ALL THE TIME. Natasha is a little more standoffish, but is the most inquisitive feline I have ever seen and possibly the smartest, a distinction for which I fear Boris will never be in the running. She has to be involved and watching everything, especially anything involving the ever-fascinating activities of humans preparing food. Her latest feat of curiosity satisfaction involved diving headfirst down the gap between the washing machine and dryer, which I would have sworn it was impossible for her to fit.

  70. 70
    Yarrow says:

    @Gin & Tonic: So sorry to hear that. Hope you both get some good news today.

  71. 71
    debbie says:


    Glad you’re okay, but follow-up is good. If for no other reason, you’ll find out what it isn’t.

  72. 72
    danielx says:


    Nom…..and I even have the capers.

  73. 73
    Jerzy Russian says:

    @danielx: Are they brother and sister? Our two siblings look pretty similar. The girl is a tabby with short hair, and the boy is black/gray and white with long hair.

    The Humane Society was big on adopting two kittens at once. They stimulate each other and keep themselves busy, and are best friends forever.

  74. 74
    debbie says:


    I only got 9. Who can keep them all straight anymore?

  75. 75
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @danielx: Always makes me think of the Nick Danger line: “stuffed, like an anchovy, with last night’s capers.”

  76. 76
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @danielx: Heh. I rarely use them but so do I.

  77. 77
    debbie says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    Missed what happened, but hoping there’s good news.

  78. 78
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    Well, my theory is that he creates his own reality. You know – this is the way I want it to be, this is the way it ought to he, this is the way it should be, therefore this is the way it really is.

    Very Gilbertian, reminiscent of the final bit of dialogue in The Mikado:

    Ko-Ko. It’s like this: When your Majesty says, ‘Let a thing be done,’ it’s as good as done – practically, it is done – because your Majesty’s will is law. Your Majesty says, ‘Kill a gentleman,’ and a gentleman is told off to be killed. Consequently, that gentleman is as good as dead – practically, he is dead – and if he is dead, why not say so?

    Mik. I see. Nothing could possibly be more satisfactory!

  79. 79
    mad citizen says:

    This conference call WH story is one of my top five stories so far. I spend about half my working time on conference calls/meetings, so their incompetence is quite funny to me. It could only be better if someone had put the call on hold and hold music played over the conference call–they would have imploded.

    Great tweet about the admins who possibly could have helped but chose not to–not that they would be asked to help. I wonder if any WH admin staff are permanent, like I’m guessing housekeeping and food staff.

  80. 80
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @debbie: My wife has pneumonia plus something else they haven’t figured out yet.

    ETA: bacterial.

  81. 81
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    So glad everything now seems to be all right, but that’s scary stuff. Like others here, I hope you’ll consider having additional tests done, just for peace of mind. Do pamper yourself over the weekend and take good care!

  82. 82
    JPL says:

    @Gin & Tonic: I’m so sorry, and hope that she turns the corner soon.

  83. 83
    Princess says:

    @HeleninEire: My Mum does something like this from time to time. You might ask your doctor whether it could be a vasovagal syncope. Her blood pressure tends to be low at the best of times.

  84. 84
    MomSense says:


    You probably strained a muscle before you fell asleep but it wasn’t bad enough to notice. After so many hours of being asleep and not moving much, the muscle stiffened and now you notice the strained muscle.

  85. 85
  86. 86
    SFAW says:


    It’s hard to know which is more appalling:

    For me, it was “the illegitimate media” line.

    Motherfucking fascists gonna fascist.

  87. 87
    Jeffro says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: oh I’m making that dish next week, definitely! Thanks OH!

  88. 88
    WereBear says:

    @HeleninEire: That is scary! Glad it’s over, and at least 15 more years until you have to consider it again…

  89. 89
    MomSense says:


    I’m glad you are ok, so reward yourself with a follow up visit to a doctor just to be safe. My good friend had a stroke recently and it has been stressful.

  90. 90
    SFAW says:


    I got 10 of 12.

    So did I. Scary.

  91. 91
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    Evidently they hired someone, so we’ll see if she lasts. I feel really bad about how it turned out.
    It is what it is.

    Over this entire time, you have gone well beyond the call of duty. You have nothing to feel bad about. It staggers me that the inept office “manager” is still there wreaking her own special brand of chaos.

  92. 92
    MomSense says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    Sending good thoughts to you and Mrs. G & T.

  93. 93
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    Wonder if it’s a service based offshore. Just because it would figure.

    Would not surprise me in the least. Great observation, satby!

  94. 94
    Schlemazel says:

    @Gin & Tonic:
    Well I hope you get good news today then.

  95. 95
    raven says:

    @Schlemazel: It was great! The Rose Parade and game were spectacular, family and friends were wonderful and I got sick as a dog even before we got back. I was so sick I couldn’t go to the National Championship but the consolation prize was that I payed for a good bit of our Cali trip with the proceeds from the tickets.

  96. 96
    RSA says:

    “It’s the illegitimate media that doesn’t know how to conduct themselves. They can’t mute their f*cking phones,” an unidentified official said. “Mute your phones.”

    For a long time now, conference call technology has included a “presentation mode” that mutes everyone except specific people who are giving a presentation. The obvious advantage is that it doesn’t require a large number of callers to all mute their own phones.

  97. 97
    raven says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Are you on FB with Helen?

  98. 98
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    Are you feeling any better?

  99. 99
    JPL says:


    Yeah, no. I’m going home. So I got a taxi, crawled into bed and slept for 10 hours.

    lol There probably is no one surprised that you just left. After all you decided to move to a new country and start over, and you did. Do follow up though.

  100. 100
    SiubhanDuinne says:



  101. 101
    danielx says:

    @Jerzy Russian:

    Nope, we just adopted them at the same time at one of those mega-adoption events. Problem with attending one of those events is that I want to take all the kitties home with me.

  102. 102
    debbie says:

    The article doesn’t say when this happened, but does that even matter?

    President Trump questioned why a career intelligence analyst wasn’t leading negotiations with North Korea on behalf of the United States because of her Korean heritage, NBC News reported Friday.

    Trump, who was meeting with the analyst as part of a briefing on a family being released by militants in Pakistan, waited until the briefing was over before questioning her where she was from.

    “New York,” she replied.

    Trump pressed on, asking her where her “people” are from.

    When the analyst responded that her parents were from South Korea, the president reportedly responded by asking a nearby adviser why the “pretty Korean lady” was not negotiating with North Korea’s government on behalf of the Trump administration.

    The analyst, whose name was not released, is reportedly trained in hostage negotiation, not diplomacy.

  103. 103
    raven says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Send me her info if you would, please.

  104. 104
    different-church-lady says:

    In one interview published Thursday, Zuckerberg suggested a renewed interest in his legacy following the birth of his two children: “It’s important to me that when Max and August grow up that they feel like what their father built was good for the world.”

    Well, it’s not. So fuck off.

  105. 105
    bemused says:


    Our two kitties are litter mates, both female longhairs, black. I love when they snuggle up together for a long nap (there’s probably no such thing as short cat naps) and because they’re both all black, they look like one huge cat. My favorite photo of them is of them sleeping together head to head so they formed a heart shape.

  106. 106
    raven says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Yea, I thought I was really ok but I got that damn goofy wheezing again last night so it was back to the couches.

  107. 107
    debbie says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    Jeez, I’m sorry. I know pneumonia sucks enough on its own. Fingers crossed they can figure out what that something else is.

  108. 108
    different-church-lady says:


    although she did say in July 2017 “that guy might really become president”

    You did mean 2016 right?

    When he got the nomination I had a feeling of foreboding. It’s like football: if you make the Super Bowl, you have a chance to win the Super Bowl, no matter what the sports writers say.

  109. 109
    raven says:

    @Gin & Tonic: I didn’t go to the game because I was afraid of getting that. Reports are that the security line was over 2 hrs in a cold rain so I guess I made the right choice. I hope they figure this out.

  110. 110
    debbie says:


    As in a muscle cramp? Many ways, like not drinking enough water or not getting enough potassium. As in a pulled muscle? I know I’ve done that, just by trying to change position under heavy covers.

  111. 111
    debbie says:


    In the past when I’ve had pneumonia, I’ve been told to give antibiotics a couple weeks to really take hold. I didn’t like hearing that, but in the end, the doctor was right.

  112. 112
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @different-church-lady: I thought it was built to help college kids get laid.

  113. 113
    Schlemazel says:

    Since we are being held hostage by an orange baboon and his troop of knuckle dragging buffoons maybe she could be of service to us?

  114. 114
    raven says:

    @debbie: She didn’t diagnose that but she did give me antibiotics so I got that goin for me.

  115. 115
    debbie says:


    At this point, we need all the help we can get!

  116. 116
    danielx says:


    Ours still snooze and snuggle together even though they’ve grown. Still wash each other while snuggling too, using a paw to pin down the other’s head if needed.

  117. 117
    HeleninEire says:

    @raven: Friendship accepted. At first I’m like, who da fuk dat? But after a sec it was obvious.

  118. 118
    debbie says:


    Great quiz, but so confusing trying to keep them all straight!

  119. 119
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @SFAW: I almost had 11 of 12. It was a toss up between the US and another.

  120. 120
    danielx says:


    Yes, 2016 – seems like a long time ago now. Maybe it’s the sensation that every month of the Trump regime is like a year in normal time

  121. 121
    Quinerly says:

    @debbie: You might find this piece interesting. I did. And for the Slate haters…it’s from Slate:

  122. 122
    debbie says:


    Yes, thanks. That last paragraph should be plastered all over his Twitter feed.

  123. 123
    bemused says:


    Same here. Our kitties are almost 7 now.

  124. 124
    Schlemazel says:

    Not just slate but Lord Saletan hisself!

    Why do the words “blind sow” and “acorn” pop into my head while reading this?
    But he does a very nice job of downplaying racism on the right & pretends that all those nice people who support the worst racist policies they can are not really racists & it is unkind of us to point out that they are racist. So he is still the guy we know him to be.

  125. 125
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    Have been thinking about Mrs G&T. Hope things start improving soon. So worrying and exhausting for you.

  126. 126
    Quinerly says:

    @Schlemazel: Points well taken. I still liked the piece. Clear, mostly to the point…nice list to refer to (I’m overwhelmed and forget some of this stuff from 2 plus years ago). Strong last sentences.

  127. 127
    Quinerly says:

    Big snicker…Moore supporters now trying to censure and/or oust Shelby:

  128. 128
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    Damn. Hope recovery is swift and sure.

  129. 129
    mai naem mobile says:

    @geg6: which muscle?

  130. 130
    satby says:

    @Gin & Tonic: all the best wishes for a full recovery to Mrs. G&T

    Yes, market’s slow today.

  131. 131
    different-church-lady says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    I thought it was built to help college kids get laid.

    Back when he built it, that probably seemed like it was good for the world.

  132. 132
    dopey-o says:


    Just walking around and all of a sudden I get super dizzy and I can’t read signs, meaning I could see the letters, but they made no logical sense.

    Variant of an Occular Migraine. Had one incident in which the existence of language was negated. Could not even think in words. After a lot of effort, I was able to say “Hospital”.
    And then, a couple of hours later everything was back in place. Never recurred. Now I use the best words.

  133. 133
    satby says:

    @danielx: I have always found black male cats to be the most lovey, most affectionate cats ever.

  134. 134
    MomSense says:

    Be careful. Hope you start feeling better.

  135. 135
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    For me, three afternoons in a row in the movie theatre.

    Yesterday I decided on the spur of the moment to go see The Post, and I strongly recommend it. It’s been at a very few remote cinemas with late-night screenings for the past few weeks, but yerday was the first day in wide release.

    Today is the Met Opera — not an opera per se but a documentary called “The Opera House” about the 50th anniversary of The Met at Lincoln Center. Since I lived in NYC at the time and vividly remember the excitement, I’m really looking forward to this!

    And then tomorrow is this month’s TCM Classics offering, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre. I’ve seen it only once in my life, 45 years ago, on TV, all chopped up with commercials. So that should be a real treat tomorrow.

    Bolshoi Ballet not til next weekend. Thank goodness. Don’t want to take in too much culture all at once 😈

  136. 136
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    Now I use the best words.


  137. 137
    TriassicSands says:


    Max and August will probably be billionaires so I imagine they’ll think what their father built was “good for the world.”

  138. 138
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: We own The Treasure of the Sierra Madre. It’s a classic.

  139. 139
  140. 140
    RedDirtGirl (AKA IvankaThrowUp) says:

    @HeleninEire: Hi, Helen! Don’t know if you’ll see this, but sorry that happened, but glad it happened in Ireland. Have a great weekend!

  141. 141
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    Nom…..and I even have the capers.

    You’re dancing around like a baby goat?

  142. 142
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    I know. It’s shocking and shameful that I don’t really know it. To be remedied tomorrow!

  143. 143
    OzarkHillbilly says:


    It’s shocking and shameful that I don’t really know it.

    Nah, days are short, not enuf time for everything.

  144. 144
    Kathleen says:

    @raven: Nice clear, crisp shots. Felt like I was sitting next to you watching.

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    Suzanne says:

    @HeleninEire: Wooooh, glad you’re okay!

    I too had some seizures some years ago. Did all the tests, never found anything wrong, so the docs surmised it was due to sleep deprivation (apparently that can induce seizures—who knew). I was on medication and never had another one, so about two years ago, with the permission of my doc, I stopped taking them. They made me repeat the tests (MRI, EEG), and once again they turned up normal. Only thing the MRI found was that I had a sinus infection. Don’t even get me started on how irritating that was. But anyway, the point is that brain shit happens and modern medicine often can’t find a reason why. Now my crazy FIL is having seizures, and he isn’t taking his medication regularly, and he’s driving. Scares the piss out of me.

    At least your hospital experience sounds like it was great.

  146. 146
    Kathleen says:

    @HeleninEire: Bestest name EVAH!!!!!

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    dnfree says:

    @HeleninEire: We have a friend who had occasional fainting spells but they could never figure out what was wrong afterward. Finally she had one while in the emergency room with medical personnel present. She turned out to need a pacemaker–occasionally her blood pressure would just drop precipitously. She has been fine for many years. So that might be something else to check? Good luck.

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    Kathleen says:

    @geg6: “A friend of mine” did it by just rolling over. Attempts to attribute it to an injury incurred while training for Olympics fell on deaf ears. Sad.

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    Ceci n est pas mon nym says:

    @Amir Khalid: And the traditional way to serve steamed blue crab in Maryland is to put paper on the table and drop a pile of crabs in front of you, onto the paper.

    But they change the paper after each diner.

    I’ve had things served on wooden boards (cheese, usually) or stone (there seems to be a minor trend of putting things on flat sheets of slate). But meat on wood is a bad combination, more difficult to keep bacteria free. I try not to use wooden cutting boards for meat, raw or cooked, and to wash thoroughly with hot water and soap if I do.

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    Kathleen says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Sorry to hear that. Sending you both light!

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    Another Scott says:

    @HeleninEire: Scary stuff. Glad you’re feeling better.

    Lots of good advice in this thread.

    One more thing to consider: My mom would occasionally have fainting spells. In her case it seemed to be related to problems controlling her potassium levels. We get very little potassium from our diet, but if we don’t get enough it causes problems (potassium is one of the ions that cross synapses so if you don’t have enough your nerves don’t work right!).

    Maybe eat a banana every morning, also too.

    Good luck!


  152. 152
    Kathleen says:

    @mad citizen: I’ve been on conference calls kind of like that. I thought the whole thing was Veep-esque and hysterical.

  153. 153
    Kathleen says:

    @raven: Also, too, are you getting enough rest?

    @debbie: Excellent point.

  154. 154

    am finding myself in a terrible situation of not being able to write anything.

  155. 155
    Kathleen says:

    @PaulWartenberg: May I come sit next to you?

  156. 156
    Kathleen says:

    @HeleninEire: @Another Scott: I also was wondering if dehydration or low potassium could trigger those. I think Helen is lots younger than me, but I’ve noticed that the older I get it seems the easier it is to get dehydrated.

    FWIW, my former running partner, who is a pediatric cardiologist, told me she’s had a couple of fainting spells but didn’t tell me if she was following with with a doctor. She told me in the past she has some issue with her blood (can’t remember what it is). She did not seem to be concerned about her fainting spells, however. She cracks me up because she’ll go to WebMD to get help in diagnosing her symptoms.

  157. 157
    MomSense says:


    Can’t wait for next weekend. Santa put a ticket in my stocking.

  158. 158
    RandomMonster says:


    The only question is, what will they call themselves this time? The New, New Tea Party?

    The NSDAP

  159. 159
    MomSense says:

    Sometimes I get so caught up in the weeds of all of these legislative and policy battles we keep having in this country that I forget the absurdity of it. We spend so much time and effort fighting about the basics. Health care, education, food security, clean water and air, transportation, etc. are all just the general fucking welfare.

    This situation is infuriating because it is so ridiculously foolish.

  160. 160
    MomSense says:


    Well when Reagan was the spokesperson for the opposition to Medicare they called it Operstion Coffee Cup so they could switch beverages.

  161. 161
    rikyrah says:


    Sounds like a wonderful way to spend time :)

  162. 162

    @PaulWartenberg: That has happened to me. For me, it was useful to write something different than I would usually write with the intent of not showing it ever to anyone else. It was for me. So write a picture book, a fanfic, a poem, and just enjoy it.

  163. 163
    laura says:

    @raven: Wowee Wow WOW! So many horses and flowers and bands, and the rosie-fingered dawn.
    And then that game! A heart stopper.
    What a day it must have been.
    Thank you Raven.

  164. 164
    WaterGirl says:

    @HeleninEire: I know someone this happened to before – twice – but I unfortunately don’t remember who it is or the cause. It may have even been someone here, I can’t recall. Whatever medical person was talking with the person I know knew what it was and assured her that her memory would come back, etc. That is would just be a passing thing for (the reason I can’t recall!)

    So do some more googling – and if anything more comes back to me, I will track you down! Steeplejack has the best google fu I have ever seen, maybe you can talk him into helping with the search.

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    SiubhanDuinne says:


    Sweet gift! I love R&J, and it should be a glorious performance!

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    PAM Dirac says:

    @HeleninEire: I know O’Neill doesn’t exactly narrow things down much, but if either of you have O’Neill’s in Newmarket-on-Fergus, County Clare, then we are probably related. I got a lot of genealogical information from a cousin that went to Ireland and was looking for the old family farm. He saw an O’Neill’s pub in Newmarket-on-Fergus and and figured the worst that could happen is he could have a pint and continue to wander. Mrs. O’Neill knew the whole story and knew exactly where the farm was. She would make a drink for the Americans that had all the colors of the Irish flag. She told some wonderful stories.

    Hope for 15+ years before anymore problems.

  167. 167
    Jay Noble says:

    @geg6: The same way you sprain an ankle. Or so I’m told. By a friend.

  168. 168
    frosty says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: 7 out of 12. I feel that all my time at BJ has been wasted. I must focus more!

  169. 169
    Kathleen says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor (formerly Iowa Old Lady): What a great suggestion! I saw John Scalzi interviewed yesterday on “The Ohio Network” on PBS and he said if he doesn’t enjoy what he’s writing he knows the reader won’t either so he uses that as his criterion. He also said he doesn’t believe in waiting for “The Muse” and that his career as a journalist taught him the discipline of sitting down to write with a deadline every day.

  170. 170
    Kathleen says:

    @PAM Dirac: Thank you so much for the lead. My grandfather never talked about his years in Ireland because they were too painful, other than to say he hated skim (“blue”) milk and had to have good, expensive shoes (my aunt has told me his life was similar to narrative in Angela’s Ashes).

  171. 171
    trnc says:

    Why did the White House hold a press conference of any kind with any media they consider to be illegitimate?

  172. 172
    Calouste says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I like that Russia is always one of the options, but never the answer.

  173. 173
    CaseyL says:

    @raven: Thank you raven, that was wonderful! Fantastic seats, too! Also very sorry to hear you caught something – seems to happen to me, too, these days any time I go somewhere there are lots of people. Hope you’re 100% better soon!

  174. 174
    HeleninEire says:

    Thanks to everyone who responded and gave me advice and support. Not sure what I’ll do at this point but I’ll keep you informed.

  175. 175
    cwmoss says:

    @ThresherK: They’ll call themselves The New Originals.

  176. 176
    PAM Dirac says:

    @Kathleen: O’Neills are all over the place in Ireland, so it is still a long shot that we are related, but I’ve done a lot of genealogical work in Ireland and would happy to help you if you are interested. So much is online these days that you can get an enormous amount done without leaving your chair.

  177. 177
    SWMBO says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Late to the thread but have they checked her for tick diseases? My mother was dying. Piece by piece every time I talked to her for months on end. The PCP sent her to a pulmonologist, a blood cancer specialist, everybody they could think of. They all said “there’s something wrong with you but we don’t know what it is.” In September of that year, I got a tick on me and my dogs had a couple of ticks on them. We waited 30 days to get through any incubation period to do the tests. My doc checked me for Lyme’s disease. Nope. My vet checked Pixie for all tick diseases. She came back with ehrlichia. Hmm. Is it zoonotic? Yes. Yes indeed it is. And my mother had every fucking one of the symptoms. She went to her PCP in November and asked for a tick panel. The doctor said they had checked for Lyme’s disease earlier and she didn’t have it. My mother took the printouts of the CDC for tick diseases and especially for ehrlichia. She lives a little south of STL. The next county over is the tick infection epicenter of the US. The doc had to look up the code for the test and send it off to California (at that time, there were 3 places in the US that could test for tick disease in humans. Dogs/cats can get tested in less than an hour in the vet’s office.) Took it about 2 weeks for them to get results. Yep. It was ehrlichia. The first day she was on the antibiotic, she said she wasn’t sure she was going to make it. The second day she was feeling some better. The third day she declared she was going to live–at least as long as she took the antibiotic. It took over 9 months of doxycycline to get her back on her feet. Most doctors don’t know there is more than one tick disease they can test for. And a lot of tick diseases can incubate and live in your system a long time before breaking out and becoming apparent. It couldn’t hurt for them to check.

  178. 178
    SWMBO says:

    Please to jail break my comment out of moderation?

  179. 179
    Another Scott says:


    It took over 9 months of doxycycline to get her back on her feet.


    It’s great you were so persistent, and that she pulled through.

    For all the tut-tutting and “you’re a hypochondriac, you shouldn’t do your own diagnosis” stuff that we mere mortals encounter, having the vast store of medical knowledge on the web is a great thing.

    Physicians are human and can’t know everything – especially about something as complex as the human body. They should welcome the help from their patients.


  180. 180
    SWMBO says:

    @Another Scott: This doctor did appreciate the help. She said later that my mother had helped several of her patients because she checked for tick diseases earlier in the diagnosis process. Every little bit helps.

    They sent her to a gastroenterologist and they found “abrasions” in her esophagus. Erhlichia causes mild, “weeping” bleeding that can show up like this or nose bleeds or bleeding hemorrhoids. Or easy bruising. But you have to know what you’re looking for. I don’t blame the doctors but I now worry that others aren’t getting diagnosed because “who ever heard of such a thing?”

  181. 181
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    Holy fuck, what a saga!! So glad she is better, and it’s divine work to set an example so that others will not suffer as much, but holey moley!

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