Respite Open Thread: NASA Needs You

I posted this in a thread earlier, but I’ll drop it here, too. We are all that little boy at the beginning of the video:

Bonus Pearl:

She’s doing great and fully integrated with her fowl siblings. She’s got plenty of attitude and if she wants you to pet, feed or otherwise pay attention, she’ll nibble on your finger or sleeve to get your attention. More photos here.

Respite open thread

59 replies
  1. 1
    TenguPhule says:

    Cake or Death

    why is it called jeopardy when there is nothing at stake really you don’t get shot if you lose or have to pay any money

    Your daily zen of Cole.

  2. 2
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    P. is v. cute.

  3. 3
    MattF says:

    A post in Language Log contains an interesting list of German words for things you didn’t realize needed words for them until you saw them. I knew a couple, but most were new to me. My favorite is Kummerspeck (literally, grief-bacon) for the weight you gain when you’re unhappy.

  4. 4
    randy khan says:

    Dear God, I miss him.

  5. 5
    Spanky says:

    Ground truth! I was doing similar with Landsat-3 40 years ago.

    I feel old.

  6. 6
    Barb 2 says:

    I love ducks.

    Thank you for the updates and photos.

    Lucky duck Pearl!

  7. 7

    @MattF: I learned the Yiddish word ‘Farpotshket’ the other day, which describes something that is broken because somebody tried to fix it.

  8. 8
    The Dangerman says:

    @randy khan:

    Dear God, I miss him.

    How we went from the best President of my lifetime to the current POS will be studied forever.

    ETA: Have we confirmed Pearl is a Pearl and not an Earl?

  9. 9

    As I mentioned in the past, I have a Ring doorbell here at the cave; I get alerts from neighbors(loose term) about suspicious and criminal activity. Today’s gem was a post about someone taking pictures of houses in the neighborhood. The poster went out and took a picture of the person’s car(a late model Benz) and reprimanded the photographer as well. Fortunately the comments tended to verge towards the sane. First, it’s not illegal to take pictures from public property(like the street), and as one commenter pointed out they’d see a Google truck doing exactly the same thing(the outrage). Second it was pointed out that the person was probably a realtor or an appraiser(one commenter ID’ed the appraiser). The stupid, it burns.

    ETA: I’ve actually run into this on my street, a person asking me why I took pictures of her husband’s car(I was taking a picture of the moon). Yes, I was on the sidewalk.

  10. 10
    meander says:

    Something good on the innertubes and TV if you are interested in Japan’s culture, food, trains, and other things: the NHK World service. I found it while channel surfing with my non-cable TV (it is on two channels in the SF Bay Area, 22-3 and 60-3). The network also has a website with many programs On Demand. In addition, many of the programs are officially or unofficially on YouTube, and on gizmos like Roku.

    Two of my favorite shows are “Begin Japanology” and “Trails to Oishii Tokyo” (formerly “Trails to Tsukiji”). “Begin Japanology” looks at a certain piece of culture in each episode, like bicycles, scissors, school satchels, tempura, plastic food models, etc. The show can be a bit clunky, but I found it easy to get over that. No subtitles — anything said in Japanese is translated by another voice.

    “Trails to Oishii Tokyo” (oishii = delicious) looks at one food each episode, starting at the wholesale market, then visiting farms and restaurants. Two days ago was a 2018 repeat about shiso (a.k.a. perilla?); last week was about natto. Some of my fave episodes have been about miso, konnyaku, and kombu seaweed. This show is heavily subtitled.

    To be sure, the network is primarily a public relations tool for Japan. So I wonder: why isn’t China funding one? Tons of Americans would watch an English-language show about scenic places in China, the ingredients used, and so forth. Or Mexico? I’d be 100% excited about a show that followed ingredients from Mexico City’s largest markets.

  11. 11
    Yutsano says:

    @Major Major Major Major: The first of many you will learn in the city, especially if you’re anywhere near a Jewish delicatessen.

    Today is definitely a good Friday. I’m going into a 3 day weekend. I have like almost no appointments and there’s almost no side work to do.

    And the best part?


    So yeah. I’m good today.

  12. 12
    Yutsano says:

    @The Dangerman: Yes. Has something to do with the tail feathers. TaMara can give more details.

  13. 13



    Trump resigned?

  14. 14
    TenguPhule says:


    To be sure, the network is primarily a public relations tool for Japan. So I wonder: why isn’t China funding one?

    China isn’t really interested in convincing other countries that its culture is great. China assumes it is already the greatest and that if you are too inferior to realize it, they can’t help you.

  15. 15
    EthylEster says:

    It looks like the AFLAC duck in commercials.

  16. 16
    EthylEster says:

    @TenguPhule wrote: China assumes it is already the greatest and that if you are too inferior to realize it, they can’t help you.

    Isn’t that also the US position?

  17. 17
    Mnemosyne says:


    There is a legitimate-looking newspaper that is actually filled with Chinese government propaganda that circulates around here in So Cal, mostly in areas where Chinese nationals and immigrants live.

  18. 18
    Uncle Omar says:

    Question for the commentariat…Is the Dana Loesch woman pimping some beet juice remedy for all ailments on an infomercial the same one who pimps the NRA?

  19. 19
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: You launched her husband’s car to the moon and took a picture of it?

    Is your evil lair in Glendale or a nearby mountain?

  20. 20
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @Uncle Omar: Yes. The NRA ammosexual is the beet juice lady.

  21. 21

    @mrmoshpotato: The location of the cave is a closely guarded secret and most decidedly Not Evil.

    Her husband’s car was parked on the street, she noticed my camera pointed in it’s general direction when I took the photo.

  22. 22

    @TenguPhule: No, but China has been trying to encourage tourism* of late. A channel showing the sights might be useful.

    *Madame and the kid were supposed to go to China in March, but they ended up with the cruise due to scheduling problems.

  23. 23
    Just One More Canuck says:

    @mrmoshpotato: Despicable Me was a documentary about Bill

  24. 24

    @Just One More Canuck: I have no idea what you’re talking about. Remember I live in a cave.

  25. 25
    Yutsano says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA: Ye gods I wish. My immediate supervisor. If the other one had…there would be much rejoicing.

  26. 26
    Humdog says:

    Question for the group: does anyone know how to encourage a bird to go away. Two weeks ago, a young large bird, robin maybe, saw itself in the reflection of the sliding glass door at our remote living room. He fell in love and has since been doing a courtship dance consisting of flying up to the glass, flapping its wings against it and then pooping all over the deck and threshold. After a week of cleaning, we put up butcher paper three feet high inside on the glass doors, thinking he’d no longer be able to see himself. Now, he flies up higher to kiss the dark glass and the poops are everywhere! We have no curtains on the slider, but we have a screen door that makes no difference and is now speckled with poop. The room is about 120 feet from the main house so when we see the bird and try to send the dogs out to chase him away they cannot figure out where we are sending them. Help!!

  27. 27
    Mnemosyne says:


    Yutsy, can you please Gmail me at mnemosyne dot muse? I’m going to be in your approximate neck of the woods next month when I come to Portland and I keep missing you online.

  28. 28
    Catherine D. says:

    Nibbled to death by ducks!

  29. 29
    zhena gogolia says:


    Somebody said to try putting up pictures of human faces.

  30. 30
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: @Just One More Canuck:Yeah. Bill literally lives under a big rock! And he has a fluffy doggy.

  31. 31
    MazeDancer says:

    Vicarious duck ownership is just wonderful. Love, love, love the pics and your excellently spun saga, TaMara.

    Especially love pic of the very large dog, curious, but not really caring about the duck in the kitchen, or at least not lunging at it. Equally love the duck not being the least big intimidated by the very large dog.

    You people have been working on me for so long, that, with the demise of Jamie McDunnett cat, leaving a 4th pet space, today, I inquired by email after a fairly large dog at the local shelter. 92 pounds. Described as shy, gentle, couch-potato. While all the dogs at the shelter are always described as “enthusiastic”, “energetic”, “loves to play and run”.

    No freaking out the cats. Or me.

    But was informed that Mr. 92 did not like cats. So dodged a bullet of sorts. But may keep watching the Wednesday Walk-Through vids of the available dogs. The Wednesday Walk-Through cat videos are also excellent. But 3 is enough for now. (Famous last words. As if one shows up at the door, of course, it’s welcome.)

  32. 32

    @mrmoshpotato: It’s a cave, and I have two doggies.

  33. 33
    Miss Bianca says:

    Pearl is so freaking cute.

    I wish I could get motivated to tackle the rest of the pile of shit I have to deal with. Got my article finished yesterday, but I still feel so damn knocked for a loop by my friend Danny’s death that I just want to crawl in a hole and pull it in after me right now.

  34. 34
    mrmoshpotato says:

    and the poops are everywhere!

    This needs to be added to the quote scroll under the site logo.

  35. 35
    Yutsano says:

    @Mnemosyne: Just sent one.

  36. 36
    ruemara says:

    @Miss Bianca: oh no. I’m so sorry. My deepest condolences. Taking time to process would be best.

  37. 37
    Yutsano says:

    @Miss Bianca: *hug*

    You need the long weekend to rest, recover, and mourn. I don’t think anyone could fault you for that.

  38. 38
    trollhattan says:

    We’re at Bottlrrock where Thomas Keller will sell you a sixty buck bucket of fried chicken. But I get to see Jenny Lewis so life is good.

    Also not at work.

  39. 39
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Yutsano: @ruemara: I wish I could…alas, the show(s) must go on. At least I only have to show up for a show tonight and rehearsals this weekend, not anything I hate. Even so…

  40. 40
    hedgehog the occasional commenter says:

    @Miss Bianca: *hug*

  41. 41
    Princess Leia says:

    My “good” news is that the 5 month old foster cat I took in is pregnant- 40 days or so along. She is a delight, so hard to be upset, except with the person who dumped her on the street.

  42. 42
  43. 43
    rikyrah says:

    Pearl is too cute 😍😍

  44. 44
    VeniceRiley says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: I went to China in 2007. Highly recommend it. We did Beijing and surrounding sights, Shenzhen, and Hong Kong.

    oh and if anyone is doing the touristy Great Wall day trip, skip climbing the wall unless you want it for the pictures. (With lots of fit blondes from EU on holiday) There is, instead, a great wall museum if you head just left instead of right. It was empty when I went there. There’s old blunderbusses and suchlike. Even further right, local extraordinary shrines that are not to be missed. An old infirm man let me ring the big bell with the swinging log. So loud as it echoes across the valley below. And there is a local bunch of vendors way in the back there. Also several more shrines can be found to the left of the wall stairs to the left and down. They’re like spectacular mini-temples with statuary, etc. So cool. I had a much better day than my colleagues, as I took the, um, steps less travelled.

  45. 45
    rikyrah says:

    Malcolm Nance (@MalcolmNance) Tweeted:
    WARNING: If Barr discloses intelligence sources who provided information on 2016 Russia attack then he is doing it deliberately & under orders from Trump to Destroy CIA/FBI capability in Russia. Immediate #impeachment is the only remedy.

  46. 46
    rikyrah says:

    Malcolm Nance (@MalcolmNance) Tweeted:
    WARNING: We are in grave danger. Trumps says he declassified all allied intelligence fm FBI, GCHQ, MI6, AVID & ASIS for AG Barr to get revenge. This is the end of the 5-EYES relationship. No one will EVER share intelligence with us again. #Imoeach to Save our Nation’s Security.

  47. 47

    NASA may need me, but it doesn’t need Trump

    The NASA executive tasked with strategizing a mission to the moon by 2024 has already resigned amid growing skepticism that the five-year deadline is feasible.
    Mark Sirangelo on April 9 was appointed special assistant to NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine, with NASA saying at the time he would help develop the 2024 strategy, as is the Trump administration’s goal. The administration has sped up the timeline from the previous goal of 2028, with Vice President Mike Pence saying in March, “Failure to achieve our goal to return an American astronaut to the moon in the next five years is not an option.”
    But six weeks later, Sirangelo has resigned, and Reuters reports that his “ouster was sealed by increasing skepticism that 2024 was a realistic deadline for moon landings.”

    -The Week

  48. 48
    Mnemosyne says:


    Got it and replied. Thx!

  49. 49
    Steve in the ATL says:


    skip climbing the wall unless you want it for the pictures. (With lots of fit blondes from EU on holiday)

    Wow that sounds just awful

  50. 50
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Miss Bianca:

    Honestly, take the time you need between your current commitments and don’t take on any new ones until you’re ready. Grieving takes time and you can’t rush it.

    If you tell the people you’re working with what it is you need from them, you may be able to get it, whether that means letting you do some of the physical work (hammering + grief can be quite cathartic) or not forcing you to make social chat right now.

  51. 51
    Aleta says:

    All ducks are cute, but how can her duck photos shine with such over-the-top personality. Pearl could have a media career or be a social duck influencer.

    Here’s another nice thing with photos, from Jennifer Brett @Jennifer__Brett
    It’s on threadreader so it’s easy to read.
    About a neighborhood showing their love for their retiring mailman.

    “He feeds all the cats,” said Peggy Corn, who’s been on Floyd’s route for decades. “They all know him, and they know that buggy!”
    “The dogs, too,” Floyd said. “The dogs get Milk Bones.”

  52. 52
    Sab says:

    @meander: @TenguPhule: I am pretty sure that China does have one. We used to watch it in NE Ohio when we had Time Warner cable. It got dropped when Spectrum took it over.

  53. 53
    VeniceRiley says:


    This is the end of the 5-EYES relationship.


  54. 54
  55. 55
    Aleta says:

    @Miss Bianca: I know. Been going through deep grieving myself. The daily grief and shock of the last two years has pulverized the underlayer that might have stabilized me some. It’s so fucking hard.

    (Btw no word yet from my friends. They said they’d be in touch and have a lot to do, so I’m waiting.)

  56. 56
    J R in WV says:


    Question for the group: does anyone know how to encourage a bird to go away.

    Yes. You can get vinyl images of owls and/or hawks that you can stick on the inside of the glass — this can be scary to a bird brain. Not expensive, doesn’t always work. More butcher paper maybe?

  57. 57
    Aleta says:

    @Humdog: Might be trying to fight his own reflection. So could you put up something that shades the window from the direction of the light that’s causing the reflection? If it’s always a certain time of day, you could look at the window (from outside the house) during that time period to study the reflecting light.

  58. 58
    jackmac says:

    It’s always a delight to see Barack Obama mingling with kids. He just lights up. Sigh. Miss him.

    Also, can you image the Orange S**t Weasel playing with kids, throwing a perfect spiral for a touchdown or launching a long fly ball for kids to chase as Obama did in the video?

  59. 59
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Aleta: That’s it, that’s exactly how I feel – like any inner resilience I may have had to weather grief has been completely ground down or eaten away by corrosive rage.

    Thx for the Lappie update!

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