First, a giant THANK YOU to MisterMix, who has resurrected not only the Lexicon (near the top of the left-hand column) but the Rotating Tags (at the far right of the blue header bar).
I would add multi-color flashing graphics to that THANK YOU, but I’m not tech-savvy enough to do so. Also, MisterMix would probably hunt me down through my ISP and kill me.
Second, it’s time for the 2013 Eurovision Song Finals, per NYMag:
… Whoever wins has the honor of hosting the next contest, and this Saturday, the task falls to last year’s winners, Sweden, who will be staging the grand finale in the city of Malmö. It promises to possess the ingredients for a perfect Eurovision final: Armenia’s song was penned by Black Sabbath; the U.K. is tactically deploying eighties soft-rock belter Bonnie Tyler; Greece’s kilt-wearing act sings about free alcohol; and Ukraine’s contribution features a dumbstruck medieval giant.
Then there’s the politics. Despite the well-meaning intentions of the Eurovision founders, this is the place where age-old allegiances and grudges can rear their glitter-encrusted heads. While a finely crafted tune will still receive the maximum 12 points, there is a tendency for neighbouring countries to vote for each other, while the UK’s zero points total in 2003 was interpreted by many as backlash against its involvement in the Iraq war. (Although this could be a convenient misreading of the fact that the UK’s 2003 entry just wasn’t very good.) In 1998, transsexual artist Dana International was chosen to represent Israel with her song “Diva,” and received a torrent of opposition from conservative groups in her own country who attempted to void her participation. But Eurovision Song Contest viewers embraced her performance and she went on to take first place. This year will see Finland’s entrants incorporate a lesbian wedding kiss in their act, and it will be interesting to see who’ll hand ‘nul points’ to Germany thanks to Angela Merkel’s fiscal whip-cracking….
Here is the official “We Are One” website. YouTube has a roster of all 39 song finalists. The Guardian‘s Datablog has two different data-crunching arguments, with one country appearing on both lists. Global sophisticates are invited to add their suggestions in the comments.
Apart from that, what’s on the agenda today?
The only thing I really know about Eurovision is ABBA. They won Eurovision with Waterloo. And then there was a Brit band named Brotherhood of Man who won later 70s/early80s. Kind of tale end of bubblegum pop. Agnetha(the blonde) from ABBA was on the BBC recently. She’s got new music out. I didn’t realize she had a real huge problem with flying, to the point where she couldn’t fly at all and had to use ground based transportation.
Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism
Curse you for sending me off to the google for half-remembered songs. Just for that, I inflict Dschinghis Khan on you.
No word from the city on out sewer issue so the grading work has stopped and the backyard shall now be a mud pit. The roses have begun to bloom so there is that.
The week-from-hell continues; today, I am up at 4 to meet a 5 AM on-site schedule.
Monday (when this ends, and I fly home to collapse) can’t come soon enough.
Woke up at 4:30 & could not go back to sleep. Tossed & turned for 40 minutes before I gave up & made a pot of coffee. Probably take a nap about the time the Mrs wakes up. I hate when this happens!
I am taking my antique Pontiac station wagon out for a drive up to the Dezer Automotive Museum in North Miami along with some other friends for a tour of the place and a picnic. This was going to be my first weekend at home in three weeks where I had nothing to do, but what the hell.
@raven: when life gives you a mud pit, make Tuesday night wrestling a feature of your neighborhood.
@Mustang Bobby: What year please? There was a beautiful 56 in “Hitchcock”.
Ah, I see, “older than 88”. Fast and loose with antique these days! I love the grill.
Got some kind of respiratory thing going on, fortunately I can take off work when I’m sick. Made it through the end of the week feeling crappy; hope to plant three mini roses and that will about do me in, the way I’m feeling now.
However, I was devotedly nursed by our oldest (17) and youngest (2.5) cats, so there’s that.
Well, after being thoroughly scolded by her boyfriend (my John), Koda is being as sweet as pie today. And the Pens won. So it’s a good start to what looks to be a nice weekend. I’m eating better so I had some Amazing Chicken from the fantastic local Chinese place and it was the best thing I’ve eaten since May 2. Dental surgery sucks
@raven: With most cars having a shelf life of ten years, getting an ’88 to last this long makes it an antique in the books of the car collectors. :) I’ve owned it since it was a year old.
I have fond recollection of our family’s 1954 Pontiac wagon with the straight 8 and three-on-the-tree. This one is its heir, along with memories of our 1967 Ford Country Squire with the same fake-wood trim and monster 390 cid V-8.
East coast body on west coast time, so I’m up at 0400 and looking for open coffee places near the hotel.
Business part of the trip is over; now I get on the road and go visit my beloved mountains until Tuesday.
Rolled out the final coat of paint on my kitchen ceiling. I waited for the sun to come up so I could see to do it right. Now I’ll take the dogs for a walk then hopefully sleep.
Oh, you lucky dog you! What I wouldn’t give to be able to sleep until 4:30 in the AM! It was 2:30 for me today…. Actually, after a lifetime of getting up at 3:30 in the AM so I can be on the job site at 6 or 7, waking up at 2:30 is only an hour early for me. I do sympathize tho as I suffer from insomnia on a regular basis. Earlier this week I woke up at midnight, tossed and turned for an hour plus before I finally gave up.
Today is the Dance Parade in NYC. Since it also happens to be armed forces day, I’m hoping that there is some kind of overlap, but I am not certain what that would look like. The services have marching bands…do they also have a tap troupe or cloggers?
@Mustang Bobby: my 66 chev truck had 3 on the tree but those bushings went 25 years ago so it’s hurst with an our lady of Guadalupe knob!
No orientation thread about Eurovision can be deemed complete without Finland’s Lordi win in 2006.
@Raven: How can I not love that!
The cassette player still works on the Pontiac. Can’t decide between Devo or Loverboy for today’s ride.
I will be giving a free Productivity / Anti-procrastination workshop for entrepreneurs, activists, artists, and others at the Grove Hall library in Dorchester, Boston. 12:30 – 4, and despite the serious topic we will have a great time.
Everyone invited, and if you are a Juicer and attend and do not introduce yourself to me I will have you fed to Tunch! :-)
The money here in Europe is all on Denmark to win the Eurovision. Lead singer is a great-great granddaughter of Queen Victoria, which for some reason seems to be important.
In non-Eurovision news, it appears the Russians have decided to arrest the guy they believe is CIA Chief of Station Moscow, saying that they’d warned the guy to stop with the provocative activities back in 2011. They’re very unhappy about this whole blonde-bewigged spy episode.
[‘An odd choice to try and turn an FSB counter-terrorism investigator working on the Tsarnaev case.’]
Man, what I absolutely can’t stand is people texting while I’m trying to have sex with them!
I’ve been boycotting Eurovision ever since 1996 when Father Ted Crilly was cruelly denied a win for “My Lovely Horse”.
I can still recall the haunting lyrics:
My lovely horse running through the field,
Where are you going with your fetlocks blowing in the wind?
I want to shower you with sugar lumps and ride you over fences,
Polish your hooves every single day and send you to the horse dentist.
My lovely horse, you’re a pony no more,
Running around with a man on your back like a train in the night, like a train in the night.
The issue for Eurovision is that if you win it you have to host it the next year. Luxembourg won it a few times in the old days but RTL (aka ‘radio luxembourg’) stopped sponsoring entrants when winning cost them too much money. Now they are extremely profitable after foisting some popular quiz shows on the world they ought to be willing to take the risk.
Well since this is a happy open thread, Happy Birthday to me! My 58th, and the festivities will include renewing my driver’s license and changing the cat litter.
Cannot think of this song contest without recalling a favorite Father Ted episode:
My Lovely Horse
Technical questions: How will you know? Will you feed everyone to Tunch just to be sure? Will those who are fed to Tunch later envy those who went first?
I was in Europe for two Eurovision contests in the early 80s. The first one featured such crappy songs that I didn’t bother watching the second.
Yup. it sucks.
oh I love Eurovision. hhis.
it’s rainy here in DC but at least it’s not muggy and yucky anymore.
@satby: Oh Happy Day!
Off to the Five Points Jazz Festival in summery Denver this morning. I will be taking my trusty iPad and drawing the bands. Always a nice excuse to talk to the musicians after they’re done, and occasionally I can chat up some women who seem impressed.
Eurosong: “All the internecine pobbling that goes with subjective Olympic judging circa The Cold War. with little of the human achievement provided by figure skating or gymnastics.”
(Disclaimer: I really enjoy ABBA, and am in the cult of “Chess”. And it’s not the “Euro” part that disinterests me, as I can’t stand US TV talent shows, their own kind of fail.)
@patroclus: So now I know where my daughter is!
I’ll be there about 2;30.
I might come next time.
Meh. I was thinking I’d just go to the next one.
Damn, clipped by a second or two. I guess that’s what happens when you put things off.
Cleaning aquarium, watering plants, dentist appointment to have tooth replaced, mowing lawn, etc.
Your basic Saturday. I’m thankful to have boring and predictable weekends. The work week (mostly air travel and unfamiliar worksites) is far too chaotic and variable.
I plan to not put any shoes on all weekend.
On Up!, I love watching Joy Reid make the case that if journalists do their job then people could get killed.
Real winner of an argument Joy.
Gave the older boys axes and tools yesterday and they pulled out some horrible over grown shrubs and several awful hydra like dwarf conifers. They even dug out the root balls so today work officially begins on creating perennial and edible beds behind the house and around the deck.
The beds I put in the last two years are absolutely bursting–I think they are going to be really nice this summer. I use fish emulsion and oh my do the plants love it. It is nasty stuff to apply though. The best part is that the old lab loves to garden. When he was young I had to constantly chase after him but now he is like Ferdinand the bull. He finds a shady spot and a stick and just enjoys the day.
@patroclus: At least they’re not just laying there doing nothing!
@satby: Simmah dawn nah! Simmah dawn.
Brother Shotgun of Sweet Reason
@Elmo: Which mountains? I went to school at the foot of Mt. Baldy (San Gabriels). Freshman year, it was 3 weeks before we actually saw the 10,000 ft mountain 10 miles away, thanks to the smog.
Hodor! Hodor Hodor.
It sounds awful, but I’m going to clean the house today. Haven’t had the energy to do it since my surgery, but I feel pretty energetic today and would like to dust and vacuum and try not to overdo it. It will feel good to have a sparkly house.
@patroclus: My sympathies. The bright light is quite distracting.
Higgs Boson's Mate
Getting rid of a bunch of stuff today. You know; stuff that you stored away because of a transient sentimental attachment, or because it might come in handy, or just because. Some will go to Goodwill and the rest into a hired dumpster.
My most recent birthday was my 65th. That is a clarifying thing.
Good morning Juicers.
Today is the day the old chicken run gets pulled down so we can figure out what is still usable and put that back up. Chickens won’t be arriving for another few weeks. Since winter just packed it’s bags a few short weeks ago here in frozen desolate MN we are waiting for the heat to really come and stay before getting our chicks. It’s just so much easier to raise them when it’s warm out. These are meat birds, not layers so we’ll butcher in the fall. Well, we won’t butcher them. I’ve done it once, and that was enough–so we’ll take them in for processing.
There is very little better that fresh raised chicken. Toward the end I always feel like one of those Wiley Coyote characters, you know the ones where the look at a live chicken and a thought bubble appears over their heads with a roasted chicken on a platter? LOL I know just how they feel…sorry to sound so carnivorous this lovely morn.
I’d like to raise some layers, but hus is less enthused and our neighbor trades eggs for my bread, so there is less incentive to do the work.
That’s my agenda. Have a great day, all.
Higgs Boson's Mate
Does processing include plucking? Back in the day I loved fresh raised chicken, but the tedium of plucking the buggers required mass quantities of ganja which often led me to seriously consider driving the twenty miles to Taco Bell.
@Higgs Boson’s Mate:
YES! And that’s the worst part…although honestly it’s all bad I think, and it makes it harder to eat them with as much gusto because in the back of my mind I’m always remembering….
The first year we raised them processing only cost a buck a bird…would have been 2002 or so…now it’s $3 but still way worth it.
Bonnie Tyler! She recorded one of my most hated songs ever, ‘It’s A Heartache’. I’m not a violent person, but that song made me wish that all of the physical injury that she sings about in that song would actually happen to her.
I love Eurovision and I watch it every year online. Yes there are politics involved. Yes countries often vote based on favoritism rather than the song. I still love it. This year’s controversy is over Finland’s entry “Marry Me” because the song ends with the singer kissing one of her female dancers. Homophobic broadcasters are pressuring Eurovision to censor it and there’s a petition to support the kiss at a website from All Out.
@Viva BrisVegas: YES ! Ted and Dougal were robbed !
@WereBear: Crying laughing here – thanks for the link !
Tonal (visible) Crow
I see that the proper spelling of “sockialism” is still not permitted here. Also too, the comment editor is still broken: the “expand and wrap” button is absent.
I should have known that other Juicers would get to “My Lovely Horse” before I hauled myself out of bed.
The new Ikea cabinet is fully built and put into place (and secured to the wall, because earthquakes), so now it’s a matter of getting everything else put into order around it and getting all of the excess crap currently stored in the bedroom out of there. Plus I want to try and go to Sport Chalet for their fitness fair today, but we’ll see.
I was thinking about saying that, but just couldn’t work up the energy.
@Brother Shotgun of Sweet Reason:
The smog is actually a lot better. You’re a lot more likely to miss the mountains from clouds than smog these days, at least if you’re living close to the 210. The smog situation here should be all the proof anyone in SCAQMD territory needs that government really can make things better.
Some of the managers at work just got back from Beijing and they compared the air there to when they were growing up in the Valley in the 1970s — they could actually see particulates hanging in the air. And it had just rained and the residents kept telling them how clear it was so … yeah.
I see the dude with the megaphone is still chained up in Cole’s basement being subjected to unspeakable things.
I have Chinese coworkers who have listed air quality as a reason for wanting to stay here rather than move back to China for retirement. I didn’t move to the LA area until 1990, and I still find it mind boggling that anyone would view air quality as a reason to stay in the LA area.
So the new Ikea cabinet has glass doors and you can see the shelves through the doors.
Charlotte, not understanding the concept of “clear glass,” just tried to jump onto the shelf.
Everytime Anne posts with a video embed, the video eats her entire post when viewed on iPhone – and the video link doesn’t work. (I can see it in Reader mode on Safari, but that deactivates the comments).
I realize the AARBJers surf from their desktop PCs, but us Gen Xers & Millenials surf from our smartphones these days. (And that overwhelmingly means an iPhone)
Could y’all see about optimizing the mobile site so it actually works? It’s where more and more of us surf.
/ this comment courtesy iPhone in a sammich shop
@JoyousMN: EGGSES!! Fresh hen eggs are worth keeping a brood over! Plus you can always just slaughter them when their egg laying days are over. Usually roosters are what we kill when they’re young unless you want to go through the trouble of making them capons.
Not a fan of the new style, but whatever. It’s ok in a browser, but the iPad version sucks big time. The left sidebar there takes up way too much screen space. There’s a toggle at the bottom to revert to browser mode, but it’s at the bottom and you have to toggle it every time.
I did like the blue serif title fonts that were there briefly. Current fonts kind of annoying to read, but not my blog.
@satby: Happy birthday!
I know. I love having layers for exactly that reason. It’s just that keeping them over the winter is a lot of work and since we can barter for them it’s easy to rationalize not doing the work.
The prophet Nostradumbass
That would be an ecumenical matter.
The new style doesn’t play nicely with Firefox (win7) when you want to zoom in on the text on the front page (most times I need to). You end with the outer columns getting wider and the center, more important column, getting narrower, and with just one or two words per line. If you zoom in enough, you finally get the center column only, but with a huge font that’s hard to read.
Seriously, this a deal killer for me. If I can’t read the text easily, I won’t waste my time with a website.
For Firefox, got to View-Zoom and make sutre that the ‘Zoom text Only’ option is enabled (checked).
Thenceforth, zooming will embiggen only the text size, not the column sizes.
dance around in your bones
I use the NoSquint add-on for Firefox. You can use full zoom (100%) for the page and text zoom to make the text whatever size you prefer (I use 150%) .
Works on any website and remembers your settings (i.e. no fiddling each and every time you load a page).
Also check out installing Stylish and once installed, click the little multi-colored S in the lower left corner and check for styles for Balloon Juice. Several folks who comment here have written styles just for BJ – my current favorite is Better Balloon Juice.
It takes less than a minute to do.
Thanks for the tip. This is the only website I’ve had the problem with since dumping Opera for Firefox.