First weekend in May is still the best weekend ever, with Star Wars Day today (May the Fourth be with you!) as well as Derby Day here in Kentucky on top of Free Comic Book Day (and Iron Man 3 is out!) as well as Cinco de Mayo tomorrow. Maybe I’ll have more converts than last year, but I’m going to have a blast.
What are your plans for Best Weekend Ever(tm) this year?
Driving home from dinner last night, we saw a billboard for a local municipality’s seasonal celebration: “CINCO DE MAYO CELEBRATION: Friday, May 3.” The spousal unit and I found it amusing.
You forgot to mention Dr Who day too!
BBC America, a new episode.
Some great news in journalism:
From the LA Times:
These changes might not seem like a big deal, but they are in the right direction, they alter public perception, and they may inspire other organizations to make similar changes.
It’s raining like hell and 50 degrees in Athens. There are all kinds of activities getting ruined and I spent the morning doing deck and fence demolition in the muck. Now I’m watching fishing shows.
Chicken mole + beer!
Frantically starting to clean out the disastrous storage unit in the basement. We were lucky enough to sell our condo four days after listing and there is WAY too much to do in a short time.
Running Flying Pig Half Marathon. Then cleaning condo. Woot!!!
Walk along the Seine, Notre Dame, stuff like that.
Beer tasting 1-4. Lacrosse 7-9:30. Sunday yard then cookout. Off Monday too. Yum.
Right now, YouTube is showing me a logo with the Malaysian flag and a ballot box with “GE13” on it for 13th General Election so I don’t forget to vote on Sunday.
@srv: You lucky flaneur. Greet a few of the green folding chairs on yellowish dirt for me, esp if dragged a little under trees with new leaves.
Work meeting at 3, then a rooftop gathering after that, as it’s gotten very nice here in the Emerald City.
i can’t enjoy that race anymore since i found out they shoot all the losing horses in the head afterwards.
As Raven mentioned, it’s a rainy day and Georgia and I have two unhappy dogs. My son’s dog is visiting for the weekend and she and Miss Moxie love to romp outside, just not in the rain.
Lunch with the lady, then Iron Man 3D.
The 15″ of snow we got a couple days ago is melting, and it;’s raining off and on.
And Greek Orthodox Easter is tomorrow, too. Christos Anesti!
Question for the academics here:
Reinhart & Rogoff were famously shown up by a mere grad student from UMass for Excel errors in their austerity paper.
Rogoff is a full professor at Harvard. Reinhart is also an academic although with a much less classy (but probably much better paying) gig at the Peterson Institute.
My question is: Why the hell were academics using Excel in their papers? Don’t they have access to real mathematical and modeling tools? Matlab? R? Maybe an actual testable programming language?
Isn’t it amateurish in the extreme to use Excel in academic analysis?
Dammit, Fear The Kitten is out of the Derby. Now I’m gonna have to go with Charming Kitten or Palace Malice. I really wanted to yell ” Fear The Kitten!” Just dammit all.
what am i doing this weekend ?? ,, nursing a headache in my eye
NSferW visual representation:
Install new alternator in my truck.
BBQ chicken w/ friends tonight.
Penguins at 9am tomorrow. They better be ready this time.
It’ll be a full, rich weekend.
Cannabis brownies and a book.
Just signed to buy a condo yesterday. Chose the one that allows big dogs for my mutt, Lucky.
Cleaning and booking painters today to put my house up for sale. Stuff going to the dump & to give away. Lots of stuff going to the Habitat for Humanity Restore. Are Habitat Restores common in the US?
RobertDSC-PowerMac G5 Dual
Going through old CDs and DVDs for stuff to put on my iPhone. No money so I can’t do much otherwise.
I know, me too :-(
“Fear the Kitten” = best horse name EVAR!
As for me, I’m in a vibrating massage chair with my feet soaking in warm water. First pedicure of the season, although as JPL and Raven both noted, it’s a rainy chilly day here in Atlanta, so I may want to wait a little longer before inaugurating the new sandals.
Thanks for remembering!
Eeyiayia is arriving this afternoon, so we shall have a properly cooked Easter dinner this year….plus a kouloura loaf from an authentic Astoria bakery!
According to the BBC, Sunday is National Dawn Chorus Day – at 6.35 a.m. Greenwich Mean Time, someone will be recording the Dawn Chorus in a wood in England. If you’ve never heard it, you should check out BBC Radio 4 online – it’s lovely, as all the different kinds of songbirds wake up and start shouting ‘Me! Me! Me! My territory! My nest! Let’s get jiggy and make nestlings!, etc. etc.’ and then, once it’s light enough, they go off to find breakfast.
C’mon Fear the Kitten!
What’s wrong with Excel? Lots of people I know use Excel in their papers. It’s a serviceable tool for making plots and doing moderately simple analyses on small data sets, which is all that Reinhart & Rogoff were doing. From an academic standpoint*, the problem with their paper is that their results aren’t robust; you can literally invalidate their whole paper by deleting a single data point. That’s a problem with general methodology and thinness of analysis rather than a poor choice of tool.
*The much more serious problem was that austerian politicians were happy to take any paper that supported their predetermined decisions, no matter how weak its intellectual value.
Bill E Pilgrim
@srv: Peers at srv.
Wear a Balloon Juice T Shirt and I’ll say hello.
Depends a lot on what sort of problem you’re trying to solve. For some things, Excel is fine. It’s designed for financial and other sorts of modeling, to interact with business databases, and the like. If your problem fits in those domains, sure, it’s a good answer.
I certainly wouldn’t use it for a lot of the scripted analysis jobs I need (“Take that large text file, dice it into pieces based on the values of various fields inside the file, perform different transformations on the pieces, and produce a graph with 100,000 or more points on it”). Sure, it could be done, but it wouldn’t work very well, debugging is a pain, and of course the default set of graphs in Excel look like complete ass. The graphing tools in general in Excel are really oriented towards business use and are Elder-Gods-level horrific for scientific work.
Going to this event that always happens the 1st weekend in May: http://norwayday.org/
Missed you in the thread the other day where you talked about cataract surgery. I wanted to give you a little encouragement from my brother, an ophthalmologist with about 3,000 cataract operations under his belt.
First, it’s elective surgery. You don’t have to have it done. It’s your decision (in consultation with your doctor) whether the cataract is interfering enough with your vision–in low-light conditions, recognizing faces, doing some hobby, etc.–that you want it fixed. He likened it to a knee replacement: some people want to have it done because they have a very active lifestyle, other people can accept some discomfort and/or lack of mobility rather than have the operation.
Second, the technology is very good now. It’s outpatient surgery, it takes less than 30 minutes, and there should be little or no discomfort. People tend to freak out about it because it’s their eye!
Finally, he said you should do one eye at a time, and you want the operation done by a doctor who does a lot of cataract surgery. As with everything else, practice makes perfect.
@rikyrah: And the mother of the kid who killed his brother won’t be prosecuted either:
So perhaps the logic behind the decision to charge the black student is that she has not yet “gone through enough tragedy”?
This country is so fucked up.
Police: Woman stopped for DUI says she was celebrating getting license back from other DUI
This weekend I’m totally reliving every moment of last weekend: I went to visit my son and daughter-in-law for my 60th birthday and they surprised me by flying my younger son in from Texas. It was a huge surprise and overwhelmingly precious. Life doesn’t get any better and, for now, fuck politics!
Villago Delenda Est
Mud person. Needs to be taught a lesson.
What else would you expect?
I am heading to get that done right now :)
though I will wait with the sandals too because my big toe still has no nail :(
it is an absolutely beautiful day in DC. Makes me afraid of what kind of hellish summer awaits us.
@pamelabrown53: Happy belated birthday. It was so nice of your son and DIL to bring your other son for a visit.
So, best weekend ever… Friday night tango lessons. Saturday night Dance party and fundraiser at the French Embassy, Sunday Cinco de Mayo brunch with friends. Got to fit a bike ride in the sunshine in there somewhere.
@SiubhanDuinne: I know. I am sorely disappointed. What an awesome name!
Beautiful day today here. Very unusually cool and gorgeous for May. Loving it. Ate lunch outside and am heading to an outdoor birthday party in a bit. Mostly just taking it easy. Probably steaks and baked potatoes for dinner with some carrots and beets from the garden that I roast in the oven. Yum. Probably cook up the beet greens as well–they’re my favorite.
Seen some footage from the NRA convention. In crowd scenes in the exhibit spaces and also in meetings/speeches, I’d guess the attendees are about 90% white males, 8% white females and 2% non-white (both genders). About 75% of them seem to be over 50. Looks like plenty of overlap with the typical Teabagger and Republican.
Not a reply to that comment.
Just think, you get to wear those cool shades after.
I know a lot of people who have had it done because I ride the bus which is para transit. It is not a difficult time to have those babies removed. You will be so glad to see well.
Let us know so I can think of you.
You will be able to see how floofy Tunch and John are in all their glory.
Penguins do better at a low temp for longer time instead of hot and fast. Also, use a mopping sauce, not a bbq sauce while you cook them.
Obligatory musical link.
Doves built a nest over the window by the front door. So annoying (poop, smell, dive-bombing because protecting young) but also so cute. Adorable dove parent sits on nest looking down at people on the porch. Normally I’d shoo birds away if they tried to build a nest there, but these guys built it before I knew what was happening. So we’re going to let them stay and then hopefully discourage them if they try to do it again.
@MikeJ: I think that Malkin fellow will be toot tough for anything but slow stewing. Sidney on the other hand should still be tender enough for a nice flash barbecue.
Sitting around waiting for the carpet cleaners. We got all of our crap moved ahead of schedule, so now we’re just killing time.
A headache in your eye is probably a migraine (one-sided headaches are almost always migraines). Take Excedrin and lay down in a dark room until it goes away.
@srv: You win. Lucky bastid.
Just Some Fuckhead
It depends on the penguin. If you are cooking large or old penguins, yes, low temp long cooking time. If you are cooking the smaller endangered penguins, you can cook them hot and fast. Just use a meat thermometer to make sure internal temp is over 170 degrees.
Doesn’t mentioning the source of the flightless birds make it too high-falutin’ and status-ridden? Still, props for paying proper attention to techniques. Any chance of getting one braised?
I spent the morning collecting signatures with OFA for expanded background checks for gun sales. Had one threatening NRA guy, but over all, it went really well. Am now doing some design work for what will turn out to be $2 per hour. *sigh*
@efgoldman: A vague memory from the Psychopharmacology and Behavior (Recreational Drugs) course that I used for distribution (ha!) credit in college tells me that caffeine increases blood flow to the brain which is one of the reasons it is helpful as part of a hangover cure. It may also be part of the reason it works for migraines.
They used to think that caffeine helped because migraines were caused by blood vessel dialation and the caffeine would constrict them, but now they’re not sure what the mechanism is. All they know is, the combination works better than a placebo or than using just Tylenol or aspirin on their own.
You go lie down in a dark room because bright light aggravates migraines. I can sometimes get migraines triggered by nothing more than bright light.
Thanks very much for that, Steep! Everything you/your brother said aligns perfectly with what my own eye doctor has told me. I’m having just the left eye done at the moment — that cataract is much riper than the other, although I anticipate that I’ll need to get the right eye done at some point. And while the cataract is beginning to interfere with some things, it’s far from crippling. I’m not even having it done until late June/early July, as I have a fair amount of travel planned for June and it’s easier to schedule all the follow-up visits after I return. But everything I’ve heard is greatly reassuring. Many thanks for weighing in.
Grackles will have a harder time getting the suet (not that they won’t try) if you get the feeders that hang upside down.
You’re a Mogwai?
I reduced my migraines in a really major way by getting my nasal allergies under control. Turns out that something like 80 percent of people with nasal allergies also have migraines. Once I started taking Zyrtec every day, I was able to reduce my migraines down to once a month or less, unless I do something stupid like go outside for an extended period of time without my sunglasses. My doc gave me Relpax to try, but I felt like it didn’t work any better than good ol’ Excedrin.
I also get weather-related migraines sometimes, which is very annoying, but I can usually ward the worst of it off with Excedrin if I take it at the first twinge of pain. It usually happens if the humidity takes a sharp turn (either increase or decrease).
BBQ tri-tip marinated in lime and jalapeno, con cervezas. Working on cover art for music e-books to release next week.
Beyond tired of the wind here in NorCal, but better than the wildfires down south. Still, looking forward to breathing again eventually.
Mole girl, thankyewverymuch.
Well, The Sun Smells Too Loud.
I also have ADHD, so a caffeine dose that makes normal people hyper actually calms me down. I can take Excedrin at bedtime and sleep like a baby.
First glorious day of spring. No leaves yet to speak of, but close, and the fiddlehead greens are in the shops. I am off for a nice stroll towards a new pub down by Le Fleuve. There may be margaritas.
Sully provides cover to Niall on his homophobic statements:
I emailed Sully but I am sure it will not be read let alone published for Sully to try and defend against:
I find it amusing that you attacked and condemned Jodie Foster for being friends with Mel Gibson and bringing him as her date to an awards ceremony arguing (rightly, I would say) that Gibson is most likely homophobic and anti-Semitic. But Foster proclaims that Mel is good person based on their long friendship and feels that she knows what is in his heart and judges him by that rather than his rants and homophobic statements. You correctly argue that Mel should be judged by his statements and not his friendships.
“Her date last night, believe it or not, was wife-abusing, homophobic anti-Semite, Mel Gibson.”
But now that Niall Ferguson has said some very ugly, homophobic statements you decide to defend him on the basis of your friendship. Knowing in your heart that Niall is not a homophobe because he had you in his wedding and asked you to be the godfather to his child. Just like Jodie knows by her decades long friendship with Mel he could not possibly be a homophobe so you too know that Niall could not possibly be a homophobe.
” But I have known the man closely for many years – even read Corinthians at his recent wedding – and have never seen or heard or felt an iota of homophobia from him. He has supported me in all aspects of my life – and embraced my husband and my marriage … And one other small thing: if he really believed gay men had no interest in future generations, why would he have asked me, a gay man with HIV, to be the godfather to one of his sons? And why would I have accepted?”
Somehow you are the better person than Jodie Foster. You can know and discern what is in people’s hearts and can correctly act on it yet Jodie simply put cannot.
How are you any different or better than Jodie Foster? From where I sit, it appears you both have complicated friendships with people that at the very least feel comfortable making homophobic statements. The only difference is that Niall is smart enough to issue an immediate and “well crafted” apology to buy himself some cover and good will.
For years I’ve gotten headaches, possibly migraines, by exposure to too much sunlight. Summers I stay pale and wear sunglasses all the time when outside. What I found worked was aspirin, and a cold, dark room for a nap.
@Dupe70: You left out the part about Sully denouncing Ferguson’s comments in a post covering Ferguson’s apology for his statements. And it seems your beef is not with the Ferguson incident, but rather, is with Sully’s condemnation of Jodie Foster. Not exactly timely.
FYI, the rules for naming thoroughbred horses raced in U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico. An I.D. is tattooed under each horse’s upper lip.
But “Ronaldus Magnus” might sneak through.
Because the Libya thread died before anyone bothered to provide any real answers:
Old animosities thrive in post-Kadafi Libya
Cedric the Entertainer: best horse-race call ever. (Audio NSFW.)
@Keith: My point was not about whether Sully denounced behaviour but in the hypocrisy of Sullivan attacking Jodie for being friends with Mel and using the friendship as a shield for Mel only to have Sullivan turnaround and use the exact same argument to defend and forgive Niall.
This is typical of Sullivan. People he knows or likes or has a professional relationship are honest brokers all other people are usually not unless they get the Sullivan stamp of approval.
Higgs Boson's Mate
The last of my new camping gear was delivered Friday. Testing the new Coleman stove today. I’m old fashioned; the stove is a dual fuel Powerhouse model. After that I’ll be creating a new checklist for next week’s Joshua Tree campout.
Obama’s putative absence is key to creating the political space Senate Republicans need to negotiate in good faith. As Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) revealed in an interview about the gun bill’s failure this week, “There were some on my side who did not want to be seen helping the president do something he wanted to get done, just because the president wanted to do it.” (Toomey is one of the Senate’s most conservative members, but will face a tough re-election in 2016 and not coincidentally was an author of the failed gun bill.)
If the senators can use that space productively, their efforts will be part of a two-pronged strategy: First, force House Republicans to choose between cooperation and rejectionism by building strong bipartisan support for a budget bill in the Senate; second, let Republican Senators, rather than Obama himself, be the emissaries for that legislation.
WTF? Wasn’t Obama out front with the gun bill? The push=back against the theories of governance around ‘permission’ bona fides is this productive space theory
Did Jon Favreau have final editing authority for this story?
Also the 43rd anniversary of the shootings at Kent State.
May the victims rest in peace, and may we, sometime, rest feeling that we have built a world worthy of their sacrifice.
Sea kayaking then fish and chips today. A bike ride and catching up on work tomorrow then grilling some beer can chicken in the evening. Maybe some home depot. We’ll see if I have time.