This is a totally open thread, combined with these announcements, so please talk about whatever you want.
I think everyone knows by now that the 2023 Pet Calendars are a no go for this year.
Is everyone aware that you can get a .pdf file of all the calendar months with a $10 donation to Athenspets? If not, check out the post linked below for details.
We raised $605 for Athenspets from the announcement of the .pdf version of the calendar.
Balloon Juice pet postcards are available on Cafe Press – $8 for 8 postcards.
Cafe Press charges us $6 for 8 postcards, so we make $2 on each set of 8. We have earned $36 from that so far, so not what I would call a rousing response, but maybe they will catch on. We’ve added Thurston (!) and a few other new pets to the postcard page, so check that out if you are interested.
The folks who have ordered the postcards have told me that they are beautiful, and we are pleased to hear that!
Between the donations for the .pdf version and the $36 we have made from the postcards, we have raised about 1/4 of the $2,500 we normally raise through the calendars.
The amount that shows in the thermometer is the total amount we have raised for them since the beginning of time. It was at $5,126 when what would have been calendar season started. To state the obvious, money from Walter’s Fund that has gone toward emergency care for Athenspets animals is not reflected in the total.
We have helped save 2 dogs so far!
Totally open thread.
Thanks from the Classic City!
@raven: Did you see Steve in the
WTFATL asking this morning if you have him pied?
@WaterGirl: Yea, hilarious!!! We chatted a bit about local Athens music lore!
@WaterGirl: Ha! I successfully renamed that bastard in people’s minds.
I just found this tweet:
Are there plans to add all of the pets from the calendar to the postcards list?
And Jim Jordan get smacked down, not that he’ll care.
@Alison Rose: Most of our pet postcards are from the Favorite Dogs & Cats series in January, rather than from the calendar.
The photos folks submitted for the dogs & cats series tended to be much higher resolution than the calendar photos, which made them better candidates for postcards.
It’s also true that when we started the postcards project, we hoped that the calendar paper would actually arrive! So that entered into it, too.
Gin & Tonic
Gorgeous early spring day here, mostly sunny with some puffy clouds, gusty breezes, low 50’s. Spent a couple of hours sitting on the deck in the sun, reading. Strenuous activity is still contraindicated, so I’m doing my best.
@Gin & Tonic: Glad to hear you are doing so well, and are being rewarded with perfect spring weather.
*We were at 5 degrees one day last week.
I’m watching the results of yesterday’s multiple snow squalls melt off. I didn’t bother to shovel because of feeling like absolute crap from RSV, and I knew the sun would handle the sidewalks and driveway. So glad we have a South facing house.
@StringOnAStick: RSV is the ass-kicking respiratory virus. That sucks. I hope you feel better soon.
@WaterGirl: Man, is that ever true; it’s been at least 10 years since I’ve been this sick, maybe 25.
@WaterGirl: Does anyone trust Robert Costa as far as they can throw him?
@WaterGirl: I am missing something (of course, luddite here.) All I could see were postcards of Lily on the cover. Are there more options?
I tried through BJ shop.
An essay on pets, planned and unplanned, that come into your lives, including Bunky, the frog.
@Gin & Tonic: Did you have some kind of procedure?
@sab: Here’s the direct link to all the postcards.
Did any one see the Piers Morgan interview with Pudd’nBoots when he was asked where he was when he heard about 9-11? PB said something about, oh, yeah I’d just graduated from college and pivoted back to some political blah blah blah. He was apparently teaching in a private high school in Georgia then. Morgan didn’t ask the obvious question, “How wasted were you and who were you with?” Who doesn’t remember where they were on 9-11?
@sab: If you don’t regularly read the parody Jack Smith account, you might think that Trump is the “lunatic bomb throwing psycho” referred to in the sentence “lunatic bomb throwing psycho is loaded for bear”, you won’t know that that’s how Trump refers to the real Jack Smith.
@Bex: Answering about Sept 11 could lead the conversation to him being at Gitmo which could lead to the conversation about what he did when he was there.
@WaterGirl: Thanks. Ordered a bunch. I ordered many, but I especially like that Christmas rabbit. My stepson has a cat and a dog but he loves his rabbit.
Stressed rabbits eat their own families’ upholstery. Stressed dogs eat their own families’ chair and sofa legs. Cats just think and act outside the litterbox.
@WaterGirl: Head down. I missed the point.
Chipped in for both calendars plus a bit.
I hope next week brings all sorts of pain to various malefactors.
@WaterGirl: Important point!
@WaterGirl: Well, we just tested again and we’ve both coming up positive for Covid. We can identify the infection location and it took an extra day for my husband to get it, and as others have reported, there’s variability in our symptoms. No wonder I feel so crappy.
So it looks to me like we need about another $1,875 for this year’s Walter’s fund donation. I just bought 100 flag postcards for GOTV stuff so can’t do postcards right now. I’ll donate $50 directly to the fund for this year.
@StringOnAStick: Shit, that’s not good. Still, better to know it’s Covid than to not know.
I guess you were at some event where you were around a bunch of people?
Gin & Tonic
@zhena gogolia: Yes.
It has only been a bit over two years since we took in Dobby the Demon nutcase terrified cat until we we have Dobbles the silly guy trying to trip us on the stairs. Terrified cat to happy cat. At the start I never thought we would get here.
No One You Know
@sab: I’ve watched three cats adjust to the Forever Home. One knew from the moment her paws hit the ground. One believed it after a year. One got it after years of adjusting.
It’s always a deeply contented time when they finally know they’ve arrived.
@Gin & Tonic: I hope it went well.
Speaking of Walter Cole… FYI, that was the birth name of Darcelle, who originated drag entertainment in Portland, OR and kept going until passing away last week at age 92. Donating in her name.
I ordered the Henry & Jordy postcards. They are great! Looking forward to the next postcard campaign.
@No One You Know: Yes. I am so happy my guys all feel this is home. Hissy fits a bit, but that is just cats doing turf battles when everyone knows they are all at home.
ETA Cats had a silly turf battle today about who gets to be licked by the Pitmix. Stupid fight. Pitmix licks whom she likes, and she loves both cats. She licked Dobby and Shadow was offended and unlicked. Mouf and Meg were not even in the running.
ETA As a human I do think who wants to get licked by a pitmix’s slimy tongue? Yuck.
@SuzieC: They are so sweet together.
I can’t believe more people aren’t ordering Oliver.
I like his style! Not sure I would want to wake up to that every morning, but I love his attitude!
Dr. Jakyll and Miss Deride
@Gin & Tonic: I wanted to say a belated thanks for suggesting that fun limerick game the other day. However, it’s had side effects which may be deleterious to my mental health. I was reminded of my favorite anti-limerick, which goes:
There was an old man of St. Bees
Who was stung in the arm by a wasp.
When asked: “Does it hurt?”
He replied: “No, it doesn’t–
I’m so glad that it wasn’t a hornet.”
Then, since the juices had started to flow, I began trying to write real limericks on that first line. I’ve produced a half dozen so far, and if this site isn’t careful it may start to get spammed by them.
@sab: How funny.
Gin & Tonic
@zhena gogolia: Better than expected, thanks.
@UncleEbeneezer: I saw that twitter thread, and I could see that people had put in the tweet to unroll, but I didn’t know how to get to the unrolled version.
@Dr. Jakyll and Miss Deride: Maybe you can make a tradition of sharing one a day. Then we could all look forward to it, like the next Waffle or Wordle.
Or, you could spam us.
Hopefully, this will motivate our side in the upcoming election.
@WaterGirl: Not if you were an unlicked cat.
@Baud: Good luck with them at war with Dolly Parton. She was born and raised in their world and has never left it.
She understands them and does not happen to agree.
@WaterGirl: Yep. I thought the ventilation was pretty good but apparently not good enough.
@No One You Know: Yes. We have four cats who know they are safely at home, with a cat-loving pitbull mix.
Odie Hugh Manatee
I’ve got the .pdf calendars (and donated + a bit!) but just bought two packs of Morty postcards because Morty!
@StringOnAStick: My step-sister and her husband got covid this week. They will survive but not anything that anyone would want to get. Fever and very sick. Different symptoms every day but very sick every day.
@sab: Very sick is true; the only I’ve been this sick was true influenza in 1996. We still have our sense of smell and this is day 3, and I’m a very tiny bit better, yesterday I was 101 but it’s down today. My husband has a terrible sore throat, I don’t but I have bronchitis. The headache is universal.
@StringOnAStick: Paxlovid available? I’ve tested myself for Covid this afternoon and a couple days ago. Both were negative. No fever. A lot of nasal congestion. This morning I added an uncomfortable, unproductive cough. Probably a nastier than average common cold. I’m isolating in the guest bedroom. Good Luck!
Joy in FL
I ordered the postcards of my Great Dane with sunflowers. They came a few days ago. They are beautiful; I might be biased : )
I will donate some more to Walter’s Fund this evening.
I’m just waiting to get it at this point – as far as I can tell, haven’t had it yet, even though I’ve been working at a grocery store at Covid ground zero since it hit (Kirkland, WA)
Friday night, I was helping a customer at self checkout; she was buying a ton of cough/cold meds & obvs sick. She says “Yeah, my husband, son & all all have Covid. My other son is flying home from TX tonight, I have to pick him up at the airport – he just tested positive yesterday!” Yes, her dumbass son found out he had Covid and is still hopping an airplane from TX to Seattle.
Jesus H. Christos.
One of the reasons I still wear a mask at work (I’m in the minority) is so I don’t have to have complete control over my facial expressions when people say stupid shit right to my face.
@StringOnAStick: Yikes. Hope and pray you get better. Hope it helps that you know we are out there concerned.
@sab: I went to the grocery this morning and with a cart half full I remembered ( Yikes forgot my mask!) Like an idiot I just kept on shopping. Also didn’t tell my husband how I fucked up.
ETA My late father-in-law used to say trust is like the soul. Once it is gone it doesn’t come back. So don’t lie to your spouse.
Hope my fuckup doesn’t give us covid
ETA I think my FIL meant sexual misbehavior, but I think health misbehavior also.
@sab: Pfft, I tried that totally honesty stuff before we we married. Dumb idea.
@cckids: I’d need an iron mask.
Dr. Jakyll and Miss Deride
@WaterGirl: OK — installment #1 of the St. Bees Saga tomorrow.
“Rainbowland,” a song by Dolly Parton and Miley Cyrus that celebrates acceptance, was recently banned from a spring concert set list at a Wisconsin elementary school.
Sarah Schindler’s first-grade daughter came home from school last week, eager to show her mom the songs she’d be performing in the spring concert. She pulled up the songs on YouTube, Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World,” Kermit the Frog’s “Rainbow Connection” from “The Muppet Movie,” and a song she’d never heard before — “Rainbowland,” by Dolly Parton and Miley Cyrus.
Schindler said they were excited: “We love Dolly Parton!”
But a few days ago, her daughter returned home from school, and as soon as she walked through the door, she broke the news. “We can’t sing it anymore. We can’t sing ‘Rainbow Connection’ and we can’t sing ‘Rainbowland.'”
Schindler promptly reached out to Melissa Tempel, her daughter’s teacher, as well as the principal of the school, and phoned the school district superintendent. She was told the administration had nixed the songs, deeming them controversial.
Tempel, a first-grade dual language teacher at Heyer Elementary in Waukesha, Wisconsin, appeared to be just as upset as Schindler and her daughter. On Tuesday she tweeted, “My first graders were so excited to sing Rainbowland for our spring concert but it has been vetoed by our administration. When will it end?”
According to Schindler, the school board had “a conservative flip” in recent years following community uproar over COVID-19 mitigation strategies. “With that have come some policy changes that have been causing some controversy in our community,” she told the Los Angeles Times over a phone call on Friday.
“One of those is a controversial topics policy saying that teachers can’t have any kind of signage that could be deemed political. … Discussion of pronouns with students was another thing that came up. And teachers aren’t allowed to wear rainbows.”
Tempel wrote on Twitter “4 years ago we had an active diversity team and had @sharroky as our district equity consultant. Now we are Florida.”
Leigh Radichel Tracy is another Waukesha resident with children enrolled in the district who spoke with The Times about the ongoing controversy in the community. “The School District of Waukesha has really cracked down on anything LBGTQ,” she told The Times via Facebook Messenger. “So this song being an ‘issue’ has not in any way come as a surprise.
“My daughter is 17 and has been in the marching band community for four years. It’s a very welcoming community for kids that are LBGTQ. She has a lot of friends that identify as part of that community so it hurts her deeply,” she continued. “All that Miley and Dolly are saying is that they want to live in a world that is accepting, with no judgment and where people can be who they want to be.
“It’s so sad that this is seen as a ‘controversial issue’ by the School District of Waukesha. It’s a song about a beautiful place of acceptance.”
Lyrics to “Rainbowland” include the lines, “Wouldn’t it be nice to live in paradise / Where we’re free to be exactly who we are,” and “Let’s all dig down deep inside / Brush the judgment and fear aside.”
Schindler said that she thought the fuss over the first-grade concert was silly, and that rainbows had always been associated with springtime. She listened to the Miley Cyrus and Dolly Parton song and couldn’t understand why it would be considered controversial.
“I know, Miley Cyrus kind of has a past, in the spotlight with, you know, talking about drug use, and sexuality, and all of that,” she said. “And Dolly Parton supports drag queens, and you know, that’s another thing going about in our country these days.
“It feels like, because of these extreme policies that have been put into place by our school board in the past year or two, that administration, principals and teachers are now starting to second-guess all of their choices,” Schindler continued.
According to a Thursday tweet from Tempel, Kermit the Frog’s “Rainbow Connection” was reinstated in the set list after parents complained to administrators.
But, according to Schindler, Dolly Parton and Miley Cyrus’ “Rainbowland” remains banned, deemed too controversial for first-grade students.
The Times reached out to Waukesha school district Superintendent James Sebert for comment, but he did not immediately respond.
March 23, 2023
Los Angeles Time
Via Cheryl Rofer at The Other Place, much protest currently happening in Israel directed at the Prime Minister. The Consul General in New York has resigned and there may be a general strike tomorrow.
@Kelly: If your cough changes to productive, watch out. That’s where mine got going like it meant business.
It’s an intense night in Israel. Today the Defense Minister called on the Prime Minister to halt his push to bring the country’s judiciary under the government’s control. Tonight Netanyahu fired him. There were over 200,000 people protesting the plan last night, and most of them hit the streets and highways again at 11pm, when they heard Defense Minister Gallant had been sacked. A crowd in front of Netanyahu’s Jerusalem residence broke through barricades and was forced back with water cannon.
Tomorrow the central labor union, Histadrut will hold an emergency meeting and is expected to call a general strike. Polling shows the legislation is unpopular even among the ruling coalition’s voters, but Netanyahu is intent on pushing it through anyway, and exerting maximum pressure on the coalition’s Knesset members to back him. It will take 4 defections to stop the proposed law.
Laura Rozen is following this on her Twitter account, mainly linking to Israeli sources.
@Quinerly: Waukesha is wingnut HQ in Wisconsin. Morons.
@sab: I didn’t mean haha funny, I meant odd, unexpected, noteworthy, etc.
@cckids: We have friends who are leaving to go visit a daughter who lives in Germany in a few days. It is stories like these that have them determined to wear N -95 masks the entire trip.
@sab: It is thanks to the posts here by Anne Laurie that we’ve avoided getting Covid until now, and the way people shared their experiences here with getting it has been very helpful. Serves me right for getting too proud of having not yet gotten covid.
@Baud: A no vote on the judicial bill would not trigger an election immediately. But that and other stressors could eventually break up the coalition and lead to the sixth election since 2019.
Polling indicates that if an election were held now, all four coalition parties would lose votes. That incentivises them to hang together for now.
@Gin & Tonic:
Glad you’re on the mend.
OT question given your nym — what’s your take on Diet Tonic?
Nice sunny Sunday here — G & T weather!
Gin & Tonic
@Anyway: I don’t drink “diet” anything.
Seems like a problem that the more unpopular a party or party is, the harder they are to replace.
@Quinerly: Man! Are these people ever strange. A therimin version.
@Baud: Israel has a Parliamentary system like the UK’s. The Tories don’t have to call an election until early 2025, and Netanyahu doesn’t need to until 2026, if he can keep his coalition together.
Israel does not even have by-elections, because they use proportional representation and elect Knesset members by party slate. If an MK resigns or dies, the party chooses their replacement.
I think that Netanyahu cannot kick Gallant out of the Knesset, so he’ll be one vote against the judiciary bill to add to the opposition’s 56. But maybe Netanyahu can kick him out; they have some complicated rules in that area that I do not understand.
I am sorry not to have donated soon, but I just threw $40 into the Walter Fund kitty, and will now download (?) the calendars.
I’m also sorry not to have bought some postcards. I’m not sure how well they’ll work for GOTV purposes, but am willing to give it the ol’ college try!
FWIW, the retroviral drugs worked well for me. I was negative again at 5 days.
@CaseyL: No apologies! :-)
The links to download the .pdf files is in the linked post up top, but it makes sense to put them here, too. I should have done that earlier.
BJ Pet Calendar 2023 – A
BJ Pet Calendar 2023 – B
I will eventually buy some postcards–I had juuuuust stocked up (I currently have a stash of almost 300), but I also expect I will be making time for post carding next year, so . . . plus I was one of the agitators for postcards.
I’m actually MORE anxious about covid at this point–I’ve avoided it for three years, but so many people, here and in meatspace, are getting it for the first time; it makes me feel like it’s inevitable even though I still mask in grocery stores, etc. I really want a second bivalent booster, but I’m sort of holding off to see if they change the formula for new variants. Feh.
@narya: Don’t worry, but continue to be careful and mask indoors. I think that J and I got it at work in a 1+ hour meeting with the door closed when one of the audience was obviously ill…
Hang in there.
@Another Scott: Yeah, I mask at all stores, and I mostly avoid indoor things. I met up w/ two ex co-workers last week at a neighborhood bar, and we’re doing it again on Tuesday, but we can usually manage to stay away from others, and we mask to/from the bathroom, and it hasn’t been crowded when we’ve gone there. The consulting work is all virtual. The running season starts April 30, but most venues have outdoor space, and I mask when I’m indoors at those places. Realistically I’m doing everything I can except avoiding every other human being.
@WaterGirl: ThreadReader App is the one I use, but it’s been inconsistent in recent months. Sometimes it just never responds. Thanks Elon…