Open Thread: Happy Shrove Tuesday!

An African-American Mardi Gras ‘battle song’, ostensibly in celebration of a medieval European holiday, slighty repurposed by a singer in the Solomon Islands. Truly, we are a global community!

Shrove Tuesday, of course, is the day before Ash Wednesday and the start of Lenten fasting (carne vale, farewell to meat). In the Northern European days when nobody had to look up this year’s lunar calendar, this was the hungry season for everyone — everything green was dead, the autumn stockpiles were running perilously low, the hens had stopped laying, and the beasts kept for next year’s use were getting as thin and peaky as the people. Still a fine excuse for using up the stocks of butter, sugar, eggs, and fancy add-ins with a batch of pancakes or crepes, though!

69 replies
  1. 1
    rikyrah says:

    Good Morning Everyone 😄😄😄

  2. 2
    Baud says:

    Some days we go no morning threads, other days we get two. It’s like the stock market in here.

  3. 3
    Raven says:

    Laissez les bons temps rouler

  4. 4
    rikyrah says:

    We got about a foot of snow last week. Decided to let my car ‘ be ‘ in the driveway. Went yesterday to dig it out. Between the snow and drifts, there was over a foot of snow on it, and it was surrounded by a foot and a half, because of drifts. I’m gonna let it be until the temperature rises.

    Had a time today, trying to get to the bus and then to the train. Sitting here, at the train station, waiting for my morning train, thinking about coming home via an alternate route, which will take longer, but be easier to travel 😞😟

  5. 5
    NotMax says:

    Occurred to my off kilter mind the other day that, what with his oft seen ‘raccoon eyes,’ Dolt 45 must have a tanning bed installed at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

    Eternally grateful no White House photographer has been granted access.

  6. 6
    efgoldman says:


    It’s like the stock market in here.

    Balloon Juice does a lot of things, but it never cost me money.
    Of course, I never gave Cole my card number

  7. 7
    rikyrah says:

    Watched the opening segment of Maddow, and she gave context to the email of Susan Rice’s that Grassley and Graham ‘released’.
    Rice did the email to put on the record that the Obama Administration already knew that Flynn was a traitor.

  8. 8
    efgoldman says:

    Mod, please dig my comment out of moderation hell (I used a new email)

  9. 9
    rikyrah says:

    Today is Mardi Gras?
    Happy Fat Tuesday 😄😄😄

  10. 10
    NotMax says:

    Oh lawdy, crepes.

    Used to be a small chain of eateries named La Crepe which offered something like 250 different fillings on the menu. Real good stuff. The apple and bleu cheese crepes were to die for.

  11. 11

    @NotMax: Tanning bed? That’s where Lord Smallgloves sleeps.

  12. 12
    satby says:

    @rikyrah: my car is still at the South Bend airport, where I caught the express coach shuttle to O’Hare before I left. But a friend is coming in a couple of hours to bring me up there so we can dig it out. Over a foot of snow here when I came back, but 40s and rainy tomorrow, so I want the car home before the flooding starts.

  13. 13
    Betty Cracker says:

    @rikyrah: Haven’t seen the Maddow segment yet, but I’ve got a post on that topic cooling in the back room. The thing that amazes me is that the Republicans think that memo is exculpatory for them somehow when it’s the exact opposite.

  14. 14
    Jeffro says:

    Hey good morning everyone! Did y’all know that Social Security can kill you? Seriously!

    Beyond parody over at Fox Snooze dot com:

    “A lot happens in our early 60s. Some change jobs, scale back working hours or retire. Our health-care coverage may shift. We may have fewer financial resources, or we may begin collecting Social Security,” Fitzpatrick told The Wall Street Journal. “About one-third of Americans immediately claim Social Security at 62. Ten percent of men retire in the month they turn 62.”

    The numbers, according to the study, show that there is a two percent increase in male mortality at age 62 in the country. “Over the 34 years we studied, there were an additional 400 to 800 deaths per year beyond what we expected, or an additional 13,000 to 27,000 excess male deaths within 12 months of turning 62,” the professor said.

    The researcher blames the increased mortality on the retirement as retirees tend to withdraw from life and no longer see the point in engaging.

    “Retirement could have positive long-run benefits for your health because you’re taking better care of yourself. Or it could be that, in the long run, retirement has a negative effect. You can think of how a retiree slowly withdraws from the world because he no longer has any reason to engage,” she told the WSJ.

    Man…I guess I’d better keep working until I drop, and give up my Medicard too. Here, corporate overlords! Here, Randian deep thinkers!

    YOU take my retirement money I’ve been saving all these years and YOU take my so-called Social “Security”!! I’ll just snack on some cat food in between my 2nd and 3rd jobs…

  15. 15
    satby says:

    It’s also Paczki Day, which is big around here and in Chicago.

  16. 16
    oldster says:

    Bizarre. I am getting a banner ad on this site from “KPRM”, i.e. the Prime Minister’s office in Poland, with a big picture of the front gates of Auschwitz (“Arbeit Macht Frei”), urging me to watch a movie about #GermanDeathCamps.

    So Poland is opening a new front in its war to deny any responsibility for any part of the Holocaust. This is just weird.

    I mean–I realize it was mostly the Germans. And I know that Poles suffered more, by percentage of population, than any other national group in WWII.

    But this new move by the Polish govt to whitewash their role in the Holocaust is super ugly. It’s blatant lying and censorship combined with authoritarian “big lie” tactics. Who does this new Prime Minister think he is, Donald Trump?

  17. 17
    Sab says:

    I have a problem with King cakes. I married a Catholic 17 years ago. We got a King cake. It was very cool. We put the baby Jesus in a toy car I had. The next year we had a problem. What to do with the new baby Jesus? We already had last year’s sitting in a toy car. We couldn’t throw either one out, but you can’t have two. We gave the new one away. That was our last year with King cakes.

  18. 18
    satby says:

    @Jeffro: the statistic is correct, but they’re discounting the fact that people who elect to retire at 62 often do so because of physical illness or injury that makes continued work difficult. And those physical ailments are often life-threatening on their own: heart disease, lung disease, diabetes. News media never draw distinctions between correlation and causation.

  19. 19
    Immanentize says:

    I love the New Orleans “Indians.” Most famous — The Wild Tchoupatoulas

  20. 20
    Raven says:

    @Jeffro: I ran into a friend last night who is 60 and been retired from teaching for a couple of years. She said it was great at first but now she is really adrift. She just can’t find anything that really matters to her anymore. I gave her encouragement and told her about a book I’d read about just such predicaments. My bride will be 60 when she retires in May but, at 68, I may keep working.

  21. 21
    Baud says:

    @Sab: It’s good to have a spare Jesus in case one ascends.

  22. 22
    NotMax says:


    What a marvelous title for a short story. “Jesus In The Junk Drawer”

  23. 23
    HinTN says:

    I made king cake for Lundi Gras.

  24. 24
    Jeffro says:


    News media never draw distinctions between correlation and causation.

    Exactly. And some “news” “media” would have folks identify an entirely wrong cause to boot, all to benefit the super-rich…I wonder what it’s like to be a sociopath in the service of other sociopaths??

  25. 25
    Baud says:

    @Jeffro: It’s a living.

  26. 26
    Immanentize says:

    @oldster: Also too, the Germans and their Polish collaborators confiscated all the property of Jews. Then after the war, the “new” Polish leaders (read Russians, mostly) refused to return the property to survivors claiming that the confiscations were by Germans and that the Polish ownership of that property was “reparations.”

    The Poles were conquered and mistreated, True. But they didn’t mind kicking down some. (I am Czech/Slovak/Polish on my Dad’s side…)

  27. 27
    HinTN says:

    @Betty Cracker: They think like their base.

    ETA: Maybe think is too strong a word.

  28. 28
    Betty Cracker says:

    So, the Shitgibbon was on Twitter earlier yapping about a DACA deal. Tom Cotton was just on Fox News saying that Trump’s immigration proposal isn’t a starting point but a final offer. If that’s true, there will be no deal.

  29. 29
    Sab says:

    @Baud: If we get a cake this year can we send our new one to you?

  30. 30
    Cacti says:

    I know everyone will be shocked at the names involved here:

    Maggie Haberman, Michael Bender, Josh Dawsey, and Jonathan Swan all agreed to a White House arranged, off the record sit down with Rob Porter just after the story of his abuse dropped.

    What must it be like to go through life, unburdened by any sense of ethics or integrity?

  31. 31
    Kay says:

    Facebook is losing young users at an even faster clip to Snapchat than previously forecast, according to new research from eMarketer.
    Less than half of U.S. Internet users ages 12 to 17 will use Facebook this year for the first time, the research firm says.

    They do love Snapchat, the young ins. I had a teenage witness patiently explain Snapchat to a judge the other day. To judges credit she didn’t know what Snapchat was so she asked the witness. Th egirl was charming about it- just very engaged and helpful and pleased to have been asked to be an expert on something.

    This tracks with what my high school freshman and his friends say, BTW. They think Facebook is for old people, by which they mean 40+. I love how they viciously reject products, all of a sudden, according to some weird tribal decision-making. It makes you believe in the human spirit again :)

    The Facebook fake news problem may solve itself.

  32. 32
    Baud says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    “If that’s true” is carrying a lot of weight given who were talking about.

  33. 33
    Baud says:


    Thanks, but I already have more Jesi than I know what to do with.

  34. 34
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Baud: He’s a liar alright, but I think Cotton is one of Shitgibbon’s go-to people on immigration. We’ll have to see what happens, but it’s not a hopeful note.

  35. 35
    Cacti says:


    Still not quite as bad as the Swiss, who held onto the The Third Reich’s blood money for 50 years and had to have it pried from their fingers by holocaust survivors.

  36. 36
    Immanentize says:

    @satby: This is so true. Sure, some people manage to retire at around 60 who are healthy and in a sufficient economic space to do so. But those who can, like @Raven: ‘s friend, but most of the people who “retired” at 60 or so either were not in great shape (SS and medicare all the way) or they went on to a new career path….

    Hell, in my job, like some of my colleagues, I could “retire in place” and have a job as long as I care to. Tenure — (as Justice Thurgood Marshall said when people complained about how old he was: “I have been appointed for life and I intend to fulfill my appointment.) But I am in my mid-50’s and I cannot imagine getting up each day doing the same thing I have done for decades for the rest of my life. I am looking for a new gig, frankly.

  37. 37
    Immanentize says:

    @Cacti: I like to think of the Swiss as the more perfected Nazis. Less blood, more cruelty.

  38. 38
    Sab says:

    @Baud: LOL

    For the sake of my eternal soul I am very glad I am not creative.

  39. 39
    narya says:

    I intended to make a king cake last night to bring to work, but I am a bit overwhelmed by a Big Thing that is due Thursday. So I didn’t. Maybe I’ll make it later in the week, even though that would be All Wrong.

    I want to retire. I turn the big six oh this year, so can’t retire & collect all my money, such as it is, for seven more years. Seriously, I’d retire tomorrow if I could. Well, Friday, anyway.

  40. 40
    retiredeng says:

    @satby: What are the statistics for those that drop dead on the job?

  41. 41
    Baud says:

    @Sab: My eternal soul became a lost cause many years ago. It’s freeing, in its own way.

  42. 42
    rikyrah says:

    Peanut wants to do Snapchat, but I am like, nope 😠

  43. 43
    Adria McDowell says:

    @oldster: I was just discussing this with my husband last night. It seems like a super weird campaign. Who doesn’t think those death camps were German??

  44. 44
    rikyrah says:

    @Betty Cracker:
    Cotton is a phucking racist, and perfectly in line with the Make America White Again immigration plan.

  45. 45
    satby says:

    @retiredeng: no idea. But one of them was the 46 year old SDM at one of my old accounts when I worked for the big IT outsourcer. Skinny, healthy appearing guy, massive coronary. Those were stressful jobs, and I was happy to walk away from the field at 59.

  46. 46
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Baud: At least you have a soul. I sold mine for 30 pieces of silver decades ago. And my ex wife got them in our divorce.

  47. 47
    eric says:

    @Immanentize: as a lawyer, i am best suited for practicing law and……………………………………………………………………………………………………um…………………..

  48. 48
    ET says:

    Happy Mardi Gras! Now that I live in DC my calendar is not as attuned to the Mardi Gras season but did remember to wear my “neutral ground side” t-shirt.

  49. 49
    jeffreyw says:

    Calendars came in yesterday’s mail dump. Good job, John and everyone.

  50. 50
    Kay says:


    Their childhood is a country you’re just visiting. I try to be a good tourist. You don’t have to live there!

    Let the locals show you around but don’t try to be a native. They know.

    I do love how they confound marketers. They’re like “we just figured out these avocado toast millennial people and now here’s this new bunch of aliens”

  51. 51
    Sab says:

    @Immanentize: Also hard to get up and do the usual gig when it involves manual labor and your back and/or knees are shot to hell, which is where my blue collar husband and his friends are.

    His back went out completely years ago. I supported us poorly for three years until he finally got disability, about the time of the 2008 financial collapse. He used to joke with his friends that he had never expected to be a gopd provider for his family by qualifying for SS disability. But he was a better provider than they were at that time.

    Gotta accept what life throws at you, but as a lifelong taxpayer, I wish we weren’t quite so dependent on life, instead of the government we have been paying.

  52. 52
    Waldo says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Republicans think that memo is exculpatory for them somehow when it’s the exact opposite.

    As we learned from the Nunes memo, it doesn’t matter that the facts don’t add up when you know your intended audience is never going to examine them.

  53. 53
    frosty says:

    @Raven: I’m planning on working until 68, partly to finish paying off the house and partly because it’s my only soshul life. I’m one of those guys worried about being adrift.

  54. 54
    Just One More Canuck says:

    @Jeffro: @satby: I read the article and it came across as one of the biggest piles of horseshit I’ve ever read. It’s possible that the author may have had a slight bias:

    Before arriving at Cornell, Maria Fitzpatrick was a Searle Freedom Trust postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for Economic Policy Research at Stanford University. (from her Cornell bio page)

    “The Searle Freedom Trust is a charitable foundation located in the United States. Its stated mission is “to support work that will lead to a more just, free, and prosperous society.” (per wiki). The foundation is a big donor to Cato, Heritage Foundation, Federalist Society, ALEC, etc.

    There’s no reason to assume that what the author wrote is anything other than what her sponsors wanted to hear

  55. 55
    Nicole says:

    Here in NYC, a lot of retirees volunteer. I mean, like EVERY DAY. One day at one museum, the next at the zoo, the next at another museum… it might as well be another job. And it seems to do them good- they move around all day, talk to visitors, etc. There were some volunteers when I was at the zoo who were there well into their 80s.

    I wish there was more of an outreach by cultural institutions and places like the local animal shelters that need volunteers to advertise with AARP, or even do local advertising in their area. I think it would do a lot of good for seniors, getting them out of the house and interacting with people and especially, being needed.

  56. 56
    danielx says:

    Ugh… man Boris has to go to the VET today, since he has some sort of growth on his lower lip. He was about half the size he is now last time we went, and I am not – not not not – looking forward to cramming him into the kitty carrier.

  57. 57
    Immanentize says:

    @eric: Bloviating on blogs? I have that on my resume…

  58. 58
    MomSense says:


    It has been happening for a long time. Once all the grandparents and great aunts and uncles jumped on, the kids stopped using it. They still use IG somewhat but snapchat is more fun.

  59. 59
    danielx says:


    I hear that….part of my gig-type income stream was house painting. Until a few weeks ago, when I was diagnosed with not one but two herniated disks and spinal stenosis to boot. Getting up on ladders and whatnot is no longer within the realm of possibility, so I have to crank up the Excel consulting quickly. It’s something, but I’ll miss the exercise every day.

  60. 60
    MomSense says:


    My mom refuses to volunteer. She also refuses to use ATMs or self checkout lines. She doesn’t want to displace workers who would otherwise be hired to do these jobs.

    Yes, my mom is an intense person.

  61. 61
    Jeffro says:

    @Just One More Canuck:

    I read the article and it came across as one of the biggest piles of horseshit I’ve ever read. It’s possible that the author may have had a slight bias.

    Ya think? =)

  62. 62
    Sloane Ranger says:

    When I was a Union rep I was a member of a joint committee. I can’t remember why but at one point we ended up examining pension records and discovering that there was a spike in deaths about 2 years after retirement.

    This was in the UK so all the people concerned had access to the NHS and what was, at the time, a reasonable civil service pension, so loss of medical care or financial issues were unlikely to be causal factors.

    The Occupational Health rep. told us that there was research showing that individuals whose social networks, sense of identity and self worth were tied up with work and job title and who were unable to form new friendships or reasons to get up in the morning died very soon after retirement. She did cite some papers but it’s been a long time and I’ve forgotten.

  63. 63
    Sab says:

    @danielx: Yikes. Incredibly painful but you are almost grateful for the pain when the stenosis nerve damage kicks in. My husband’ legs used to go numb, so he would fall over. I would hear a big crash downstairs, and he’d be splat on the floor. At that point they did back surgery, which was a big improvement.

  64. 64
    Adria McDowell says:

    @danielx: My husband has titanium pins in his back to fuse two vertebrae and has cadaver tendons in his right knee, and he fixes aircraft. Don’t ask me how he does it. He’s Superman as far as I’m concerned.

  65. 65
    StringOnAStick says:

    @danielx: Boris is a handsome boy. Wishing you easy crating and a “no big deal” vet visit. I find it easier to get cats into their carrier by spending it and lowering the cat into it. Usually you have to control their rear legs to make this work.

    Our 5 month old females go in for education ((“tutoring”) in 2 weeks. I think we need a second carrier now. Wow do they grow fast.

  66. 66
    Sab says:

    @Adria McDowell: He sounds tougher than my guy, and I never thought I would say that about anyone.

  67. 67
    gvg says:

    It’s not SS, it’s retirement at a late age. My dad worked in defense contracting at Martin Marietta. they had research shown to the employees that those who retired at 65 had an alarming tendency to die in about a year, wheras if you retired at 55, you tended to live a lot longer than 11 more years. Something about waiting till you are old and fossilized to retire is bad. this was statistics at his company, but general data for elsewhere trended the same. Shortly after this dad had two coworkers who retired at 65 die within a year. He invested frantically and retired at 55, now mid 70’s. mom followed him soon after because she envied his staying home, but was so bored she volunteered and still is. Hardly ever home but enjoys life. My parents were much more financially successful than I have managed and I will have to work till I am older. His job was not taxing to the health either. If they actually cared about people living longer, they would lower retirement age and it would increase the lifespan of the whole population. I am sure they would be horrified by the suggestion. my understanding is there is a lot of research that supports this.

  68. 68
    a thousand flouncing lurkers (was fidelio) says:

    @Jeffro: I would say many of people who retire at 62 are experiencing health issues. Of course, when they do show up to do the paperwork, the staff at the Social Security office tell them if they are retiring early because of their health, to file for disability at the same time, as they’ll get full benefits that way, but it’s entirely possible to be in poor health and not qualify for disability.
    So if you’re in poor health, especially if you’ve been unable to monitor your health problems adequately because that costs money you may not have (and you’re not yet qualified for Medicare–that comes in at 65!) I wonder what the odds are you’re going to get worse instead of better?

  69. 69
    Mnemosyne says:

    Brought King Cakes to work from a local bakery. They’ll probably be totally gone by lunchtime.

    Over the weekend, Ajabu educated us that Mardi Gras celebrations in the US actually originated in Mobile, Alabama. I hadn’t realized that the French originally settled Mobile and there is still a large Black Catholic community there, so that’s why they had Mardi Gras first.
    /#themoreyouknow 😄

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