fire, ice, fur

January 23rd, 2013 | Other Projects

Here’s how cold it is.
thermometer

Here’s my office window.
ice

Here’s the fire.
stove

Here’s the cat.
fur

The power company sent out an email asking everyone to conserve electricity from 5pm till 8.

I just spent the entire day answering email. Usually I try to get at least some real work done every day but things have reached such a sad pass that I knew I couldn’t concentrate on anything creative until I answered some of these things. They’ve been piling up like a winter’s worth of snow, freezing and thawing and drifting as I answer some, lose track of some, read and re-read some, quailing at the prospect of concocting a sufficient response then closing them again unanswered and marking them “unread,” for the fourth time.

I have to be in a certain frame of mind to answer email, clear but not too clear (otherwise I’d read or write), energized but not too energized (otherwise I’d go out and ski). Maybe I just worry too much about being thorough, or articulate, or polite. I recently received a refreshingly concise email from someone, and at the bottom he had a tagline that read, “why are my emails so terse? emailcharter.org” These guidelines seem sort of helpful, especially the one about not sending contentless responses such as “great.”

But email is really just the tip of the iceberg. Keeping up with Twitter and Facebook can obviously take every moment of waking life if you let them. And you can’t ignore those things because more and more people use that stuff instead of email. Not to mention texting. Now I have to keep track of which friends communicate with phone, which with text, which with email, which via god knows what new social media engine. I know I sound like a cantankerous old lady, but I am a cantankerous old lady. My brain is still packed with the instruction manual for the electric typewriter I had in college, not to mention the manuals of dozens of appliances long gone to the landfill. I guess it helps that nothing comes with a manual any more, at least the incoming tide is stemmed. But I wish I could go in and delete some of that stuff from my hippocampus or wherever it’s lodged.

Well, I just had to get that off my chest I guess. By making a blog post, and telling you about it on Twitter. I’m sorry.

Here’s another rant while I’m at it. I just got a pair of nice warm gloves and promptly lost the right one. So I have one really great left glove that is of absolutely no use. I went online to see if there was any such thing as a glove bank, where people could send these items. I couldn’t find anything though, except someone’s lost glove art project. People who have only one arm should set up some kind of clearing house like that, don’t you think? I could also send them this awesome fleece mitten which I can’t bring myself to get rid of. Here it is closed.
Photo on 1-23-13 at 5.37 PM

And here it is with the fingers and thumb freed–the fleece flaps back and snaps to itself with strong little magnets. So you can text without taking your mittens altogether off.
Photo on 1-23-13 at 5.37 PM #2

Though I must confess that I just bought some of those gloves with magic fingertips that work on a touchscreen.

touch

Holly is looking over my shoulder and remarking on the extraordinary length of this blog post. I should make more frequent, shorter ones. Well, that’s another thing! God forbid we should exceed anyone’s attention span by going on for more than two sentences.

Okay, I really am sorry. I know you’re busy. Move along, nothing to see here.

82 Responses to “fire, ice, fur”

  1. Satia says:

    I struggle with finding the right gloves as well and I love those mitten conversion types. My husband just told me about the ones that allow you to use a touch screen. He was more excited about them than I but that’s probably because he has more touch screen toys than I. I have one. He has . . . more than one. Yep. Definitely more.

  2. Kellyann says:

    “I know I sound like a cantankerous old lady, but I am a cantankerous old lady.”

    That’s going to be my new email signature line. Properly attributed, of course.

  3. meg says:

    Valentines are coming!

    They’ll cheer you up. Or something.

    (sorry, skipped Solstice this year)

  4. Holly says:

    I take it back. You should always write and write and rant and ramble until the frosty-breath cows come home.

  5. Noting! Willing myself to be more succinct.

    I’ve got a big collection of mismatched gloves (none as excellent as that one) which I’d wear together, except they are all the left hand. I’ve also got these insulated booty kind of things that I can pull over my tennis shoes for when I have to go out on the trike in the intense cold. (Say, tomorrow.)

    Okay, and that was already not terse. There’s got to be some kind of resist/yet succumb move for it.

  6. Beck says:

    I just sent essentially the same message to one person via email, text and Facebook messaging because I wasn’t sure how to “find” her quickly…so I am cantankerous too, because that was a pain in the ass. And your lost glove is keeping company with all your lost socks, but I know you know that.

  7. Ellen Orleans says:

    Frosty-breath cows!

  8. leslie says:

    too bad…i have a friend with a birth anomaly, but it is her right hand that is like mine.

  9. dehelen says:

    You may go on as long as you wish as far as I’m concerned, for I am even older than you. I’m only sometimes cantankerous. I live in Portland, Oregon. I find single gloves and mittens every time I go outdoors. Why is that? Why do people lose only one? I always lose mine in pairs. Although I did see one of mine lying outside the car one day, and the other one was still inside. I don’t know how that happened, but it didn’t get lost. For awhile, I kept those singles, thinking I would match them up somehow, but they were almost always for the same hand. I don’t remember which one. Now I just put them up off the street in case the owner happens by again. Maybe you’ll find yours! Keep an eye out. xo

  10. dosia says:

    no, this is a great post. thanks for sharing your thoughts <3

  11. Ruth in RI says:

    What? I lost track of what you were saying after 5pm till 8.

  12. Cathy says:

    Now I want someone to invent a drink called a “frosty-breath cow.” My late mother-in-law loved a good black cow, aka a root beer float. What should we put in a frosty-breath cow recipe?

  13. Diana says:

    Here in Canada temperature is -24 with wind -38…Woody Allen said once “It’s so cold in Canada that there is no criminality here”.
    People wear Canada Goose jackets (some are just for going to Antarctica)and they sell good gloves and other accessories.

  14. Jody says:

    Hang on to that left glove, you might find the right one after the snow melts!

  15. NLC says:

    Diana#13:

    Someone (I think perhaps it was Garrison Keillor, and in any case I’m surely badly misquoting here) made a similar point, that one of the great things about really cold weather is that, at 20 below, depression is a luxury that your body simply can’t afford.

  16. Leanne says:

    Lovely. Thank god someone can write more than two sentences at a time. We used to want 400 page books and now a simple blog entry is too long. Well, I find it lovely. My studio windows look like yours, it is -23 here with -43 windchill this past Monday, and I wear those stretchy “magic gloves” with the fingers cut off while I work in the studio. I hear you about the suck of e-communication. blech. I miss when we got fantastic mail on various supports, scribbled with doodles by our fellow cartoonists. Yes, I do miss that a lot. Glad to see you’re keeping warm.

  17. Leanne says:

    Does your thermometer REALLY go to -60? wow. just wow.

  18. Elana Roston says:

    You’re charming.

  19. Eva says:

    I was sooooo happy to see a blog post from you after so long, and then, it was a bonus long one! I refuse to accept your apology!

    Also, Holly, thank you for adding frosty-breath cow to the lexicon!

  20. Kate L says:

    “Too low for zero.” – From some 80’s top 40 hit. Yikes! And, here I was feeling sorry for myself in weather that’s 11 degrees F above, with heat! Also, my father always used to remind me of this saying by Thomas Edison: “I would have written a shorter letter if I had had more time.” My father’s point (and he did have one) was something about… I forget. Oh, and please tell Mentor that he solved a web code problem for me today without even knowing about it! I couldn’t figure out why the text in one of my course web pages was all messed up compared to my other courses. Then I thought, “WWMD – What Would Mentor Do?” I went into SOURCE, and compared the code encantations (the proper term, I’m sure) of one of the good web sites to the bad one. They were different, and when I made the bad one’s code match the good one’s code – problem solved! Mentor, like the Lord, is all knowing and all present – even out on the High Plains!

    [What makes you think I didn't know about it, hmmm.... --Mentor]

  21. brooke r. says:

    off topic question Alison. I just realized that your dear Kitty, the Dr., is a “Calitabby” or Calico-Tabby, long haired. I recently adopted a cat – the Bisa – who is the same. I’ve had cats all my life, but I’ve never had one this crazy. I mean, she’s really nuts: she does things like bunny kick her face and then bite her back legs like she’s punishing her back legs for bunny kicking her face and preferring to play with spoons, coffee packets and jacks over a ball.. Was the Dr. like this? Or should I just attribute this beautiful, funny, lovely behavior to the Bisa being the Bisa?

  22. Suzanonymous says:

    Since the gloves have magnets, maybe another magnet will find them. In any case, I’m sure they’ll turn up.

  23. Alex K says:

    **content-free post**

    Glad you’re letting us hear from you again.

    Yeah!

  24. Katie C says:

    Alison,

    I did the same with the gloves the other day. My suggestion is walk in a loop (not just randomly of course, as you may be deemed a little unstable by some- but you’ll see the relevance when I finally get to the point!!). I Went for a walk in the snow today, proceeded to first lose the glove liner (a xmas present I thought was useless until I put it into my gloves and realised what a difference it made!); I then proceeded to lose a glove (both the right hand of course), walked around a reservoir in a loop and found the liner and glove on the way back!

  25. laura says:

    Do please rant along. Your thoughts are welcome to stretch our attention span!

  26. Maryann says:

    I love you Alison, and all your cranky old lady more than two sentence rants. I bet you’re one of those old radical feminists too – who think women should keep their own name if they get married! Damn, when did we become such dinosaurs?

  27. Linda says:

    So, at work I usually end up sending a reply to people’s email response with just “thanks” or something, because when I don’t, next time I see them they’ll say, “Did you get my email?” Do they really think it got lost if I don’t reply? or are they just making conversation?

  28. Katie C says:

    Rant away Alison- it’s refreshing! In fact I’ll add to it by sharing an experience:

    I work as a Youth Worker, and when my colleague and I deliver the sessions and the Youngsters appear with their Smart phones and Blackberries, I display all the behaviour, and come out with all the cliches such as “when I was your age” or “in my era”, that I swore as a teenager I’d never repeat when I got ‘old’ (35 seemed ancient as a teenager!). Anyway…. my colleague (Who’s in his 50’s) and I, have a laugh telling them about technology from the 70’s to 90’s. Our favourite’s describing the ‘brick shape and size’ of the first mobile phones, because the teenager’s really can’t comprehend this as a possibility, and ultimately believe we’re winding them up. We love reliving it via a non-technological ‘conversation’, whilst they research on the internet if it’s true!! ;o)

  29. hairball_of_hope says:

    My personal e-mail load is nothing compared to my work e-mail. I get about 270 e-mails a day at work, on average. About 30-40 are reports that I read and archive, some I just archive unread. The vast majority are things I have to respond to.

    I also do the terse “Thanks” or “I’ll look into this” replies so folks know I’ve read the message and they’re not being ignored.

    What’s really bad is that so many messages come with humongous attachments, which clog my e-mail to the point where I can no longer send messages. The dweebs of corporate IT have an absurdly small limit to the size of our e-mail message stores, and I spend inordinate amounts of time attempting to unclog things just so I can send replies to critical items from the Blackberry.

    Since we’re in rant mode here, I’ve switched on my patented Rant-O-Matic:

    I don’t mind USEFUL attachments, but I really do not need your cutesy signature which includes animated GIFs, bloated 2 Mb out-of-focus photos from your Blackberry that do not add useful information to your message, nor do I need twelve copies of the 6 Mb spreadsheet that thoughtless repliers did not bother to delete from their replies to the original message thread. And while I’ve got the Rant-O-Matic cranked up, how about putting all sixteen of your attachments into one zipfile so I can detach it from the message, file it somewhere, and delete the original message without having to do elaborate file housekeeping?

    Today is Sunday, and I’ve managed to get my unread messages below 200 for the first time all week (I was over 500 at the start of the week). I would much rather be reading a book instead of staring at that itty-bitty screen attempting to figure out what your functionally-illiterate staff (or perhaps functionally-illiterate YOU) are attempting to communicate.

    Switching off my Rant-O-Matic now…

    Yeah, count me in the Legion of Cantakerous Old Ladies. It’s a badge of honor.

    (… goes back to her anticipation of tonight’s Carnegie Hall concert with Renée Fleming and Susan Graham …)

  30. Is, or why isn’t there (let’s build it), a searchable transcript of DTWOF? Amazingly, Amazon’s Search Inside has tried to read The Essential DWTOF, but it didn’t do such a good job.

    I ask because I can’t recall a time when one of characters gets “sir’d”–but it had to happen, right? Can anyone help me out?

  31. NLC says:

    start-anywhere#30

    I don’t recall a specific DTWOF strip where this happens (although surely one exists), but there is a pre-DTWOF strip “Perils of a Midtown Dyke”.

    This is a “first person” strip (i.e. the narrator/protagonist is AB herself, or someone close). I can’t find an on-line copy of this strip, but it is re-printed in the first DTWOF collection (“Great Romances”) and I believe it also appears in the “Indelible Alison Bechdel”.

    Hope this helps.

    THREAD CONVERGENCE –> The strip also describes the adventures of a lost glove.

  32. Andrew B says:

    s-a, 30, in #111, “Famous Last Words”, a deliveryman calls Lois “sonny”. That’s so long ago that she still had her flat top. It’s in Essential and I think it’s also in Spawn.

    NLC, “Perils” is on page 28 of Indelible. On page 199 of Indelible there’s a four-panel strip that Alison did on that same general theme of a lesbian being asked what she’s doing in the women’s bathroom. It was commissioned for a book (Feinberg, Transgender Warriors), but it features Mo, Lois, and “Jillian”, who I think did briefly appear in the regular strip (or maybe was just mentioned?).

    Alison, Laila Lalami recently tweeted that the best thing about Twitter is that her hate mail now comes in compact 140-character bursts. She’s a liberal, secular but Muslim-defending, Moroccan-American, woman, writer, so I bet she gets more than her share of hate mail. Anyway, she’s looking on the bright side.

    And the sci-fi writer John Scalzi claims to have left an incoming message on his voice mail telling callers that he will never, ever check his voice mail and if they want to get in touch with him they should email or tweet. You don’t have to be that blunt about it, but how do you like to communicate? You’re an international comics celebrity! Throw your weight around a little.

    I predict that in the future, everyone will have an attention span of exactly 140 characters. This will be a huge advantage for speakers of languages like Chinese that use ideograms over speakers of languages like English that not only use an alphabet, but have bizarre inefficient spelling. You can say a lot more in 140 Chinese characters than you can in 140 English characters.

  33. Kate L says:

    I myself have never tweetered, and I have used a cellular communication device only once in my life. I kept wanting to hold it in front of me, like Spock did on Star Trek.

  34. Mentor says:

    [Testing. Nothing to see here. Move along. --Mentor]

  35. Acilius says:

    Glove bank! That’s a brilliant idea. It’s like the old line, “I pitied myself because I had no shoes, until I met a man who had no feet. He had some shoes he wasn’t using, so we worked something out.”

    Anyway, the post is not too long. It isn’t long enough!

  36. falloch says:

    Don’t know if this is the right place to post this, but I work in a village library in the UK, one that the local gov’t wanted to close, so the village took it over. And the library’s received loads more books from local residents that had ever been distributed by the local gov’t in years. I’m a volunteer (untrained) librarian, and yesterday suffered an embarrassing lack of information/support/etc. when a young woman came in, and asked me, very quietly, if there were any books in the library that had lesbians in them, and I frantically went through the shelves looking for what?: Virginia Woolf? Please help! Give me some titles to suggest – UK and US – I’ll gladly buy them through hated Amazon and donate them to my little local library just to keep this young lesbian hopeful that there are people like her in books and in the world! I so remember when it felt like the only lesbians in the world were the one that I read about in books, but I’ve been completely out of the reading loop for 30 years, Have already got Sarah Waters and Jeanette Winterston – but know there must be so much more by now … awaiting your suggestions …

  37. Anna in Albuquerque says:

    Obvious. Give the glove to the cat. Cat is amused, glove is repurposed as a toy. Or maybe not.

  38. Anonymous says:

    Single gloves are useful–if you are certain the other one will never reappear, particularly. Keep them around for when you need to do something by hand out of doors that will probably ruin your gloves, but when it is way too cold to do it without gloves on. A mismatched pair is great for this–you can feel virtuous about not messing up a good pair while ruining the mismatched set.

  39. Katie C says:

    Falloch,

    I don’t know what your budget is, but if it’s limited get Alison’s ‘The Essential Dykes To Watch Out For’. If it’s not limited buy all of Alison’s books!!

    Another must is Ellen Degeneres ‘The Funny Thing Is.. and ‘My Point And I Do Have One’. Jenny Roberts is great for a bit of lesbian and trans-gender crime: she also does signing’s and talks, and is a lovely woman. Finally a fantastic feminist book is ‘Women Who Run With The Wolves’. This is one of my personal favourites , alongside Alison’s ‘Are You My Mother’.

    To save taking up this blog space if you’re prepared to leave your email, I’ll send you a more extensive list. All above though, and without doubt Virginia Woolf if you haven’t already bought these, are a must! Hope that helps as a basis

  40. Andrew B says:

    falloch, this website occasionally tracks back to Alison’s posts. I don’t know that much about them, but their interests strongly coincide with yours. At the very least they have a lot of links you might find useful.

  41. Diamond says:

    Falloch 36 – how lucky for this young woman that you were the person she asked.

    If you want to avoid Amazon, I’d recommend the non-profit, environmentally helpful, online charity bookstore Green Metropolis, which has a gay and lesbian section:

    http://www.greenmetropolis.com

  42. Kate L says:

    … Sounds like falloch’s village in England is not too different from Smallville-on-the-High Plains when it comes to lesbians speaking in low voices and such. Not every place can be as socially advanced as London or San Francisco or Vermont. I still look at Alison’s work showing how the LGBT community can live out loud and roam free as being as revolutionary as the original Star Trek showing a world free of racial prejudice. Revolutionary Sister’s Fist in the air for DTWOF!

  43. Dr. Empirical says:

    Katie C (28) Last year while waiting in Alison’s autograph line, I was briefly left alone with out Aunt Suzie’s daughter Sadie. She and her friend were immersed in the textiverse, and in a desperate bid for attention I began to rant “In MY day, portable phones weighed FOURTEEN pounds! They were the size of bricks, and they had a retractable antenna you had to extend before you could use it!”

    They were astonished by this.

  44. Dr. Empirical says:

    Um, that should be “our” Aunt Suzie, not “out”. Although I’m sure she’s out.

  45. Katie C says:

    Dr Empirical

    The mis-spell definitely add’s a new dimension to the conversation ;o) I don’t know about you, but the look of sheer disbelief and horror on the faces of teens that a mobile the size of a brick was ever a possibility, really amuses me! I feel quite content being of that pre-technology era- give me an electric typewriter,a paperback book, and turn knob black and white tv anyday; it’s so much more fun finding what channel you’re after, and so much more satisfying getting a decent picture by twiddling the makeshift ariel made of a coathanger!

    For anybody like me, still kicking and screaming their way into the technological era, the Bradford Media Museum is a great place to relive the ‘good old days’ as they’ve got an amazing collection of historical cinematography equipment, the first ever negative, the first ever tv footage, and the first ever tv! Now if that makes me old and ‘a saddo’ as my neice very cheekily calls me, then as I told her, I therefore love being a ‘saddo’, and add ‘old and cantankerous’ onto that too, because I love that era! To me that’s far more interesting than staring at a computer game for hours whilst life passes me by and my backside goes dead ;o)

  46. falloch says:

    Thanks for the suggestions folks – these’ll get me started!!

  47. Kate L says:

    I could only find one shoe the other day, and thought of A.B. and you all. And, on these cold days on the High Plains, I wish that I could find those knitted booties that my sister made for me one Christmas!

  48. Katie C says:

    I have lost my glove again today!!

    Thought I’d put my ‘loop theory’ to the test tomorrow and see if I find it on my way back to work…… watch this space!

    I am aware though that on an intellectual level it doesn’t even touch ‘The Bechdel Test’, so if this bores you beyond oblivion…. ‘move along, nothing to see here’ ;o)

  49. Katie C says:

    For anybody who’s remotely interested…… I put the above theory to the test today and found my glove on a wall on my way to work ;o)

  50. Pam I says:

    What to do with a drawer full of left-hand gloves.
    Turn half of them inside-out.

    You may now applaud.

  51. Kate L says:

    Katie C… The Lost Sock Theorem states that no item of apparel is ever really lost in this universe. They simply slip thru wormholes in the space-time continuum until random fluctuations in the structure of space-time send them back to their approximate point of origin. Proof of the theorem includes the fact that recovered lost items never seem to be exactly where you had been!

  52. Kate L says:

    Earlier today, I volunteered to help in the campaign of a local progressive woman in the April city commission elections in Smallville. I remember being a volunteer when my father ran for the Smallville city commission in 1967. Having been trained as a commercial artist, he insisted on building his own wooden yard signs and hand-painting every one! Artists! :) My father lost, but that night as the election results came in, he was actually happy because one of the winning city commission candidates was Smallville’s first black city commissioner, and a little later on became Smallville’s first black mayor.
    * – The woman I’ll be helping this time wants to reinstate LGBT in the city anti-discrimination ordinance!

  53. Cathy says:

    Looks like a big snowstorm heading to New England–I hope all of you there stay warm and safe.

  54. Katie C says:

    Kate L,

    I’ve heard of the lost sock theory in relation to washing machines and static electricity creating a magnetic effect that creates a pull to another oppositely charged item or drainage pipe, hence it getting lost, but never in a universal sense. I certainly wouldn’t discount the theory you present though, as there’s so much that humans can’t comprehend, and will probably never understand, as it’s beyond the capabilities of our consciousness and preceptions of time and space. I’d say that’s why humans try to rationalise things we feel unsure of, both in our heads and with science. I always like to keep an open mind- I’ll look into The Lost Sock Theorem more!

    Good luck with the campaign ;o)

  55. Kate L says:

    Thanks, Katie C! Btw… Alison – the electric heat is back to normal now that Winter Storm Nemo is on its way, right? :(

  56. Therry and St. Jerome says:

    We are in the lower left hand corner of NH and I must say, this far inland Nemo is not too horrible. We have lots of snow, maybe 18″, but have been reading reports all morning of people from the more coastal areas of NH and especially Connecticut who have been positively SLAMMED by Nemo. They report WIND! and SNOW! and HOWLING! and more HOWLING! I haven’t read any reports of tidal overage, but this is definitely a right to left storm. Vermont being SO left, I doubt Ms. B is getting much beyond snow. I particularly like the posts on the Blog which must not be named here showing Batman whapping Robin across the face and snapping “You live in New England! Get over it!”

    Don’t know if I’ve mentioned, but we now have Mishka and Max, a tiny tortoise-shell and white and a GIANT black cat. Mishka is delicate and quirky and she whaps Max across the face and meows, “You live in New England! Get over it!”

    I visited Little gator recently! We had fun! Moved stuff for her. You should see that woman scurry up a ladder. An awesome sight. She is a woman of power!

  57. Maria Bareiss says:

    I liked the long post. It was crazy here in CT, but we have not lost power so far. (after Sandy had passed, we got power back, then lost it again for a day when the power crews turned it off to fix other areas)

    My brother attends Three Rivers Community College in Norwich, CT, and he just read an excerpt from Fun Home in a class there! I let him know that he could borrow a copy of the book from me when he has time for leisure again. I love that you’ve been mentioned in mainstream media like you’ve just had your first “serious” work printed. I have always found depth in your work – as well as a lot of fun!

    My mom, my husband and I have all been fans of your writing and art for a long time. My husband likes your Volvo and Beetle drawings, and he is a picky guy to impress, and he is crazy about both vehicles…)Thanks for the years of D2WO4!

    Maria in CT, a fan since darn near the beginning of Mo’s inception.

  58. Dr. Empirical says:

    We just got the edge of the storm here in PA! My friends in CT and MA are boasting of their snow shoveling prowess, and I haven’t heard from my cousin in VT. Seems the media buildup to the storm was highly exaggerated. What a surprise!

    I just started dating someone who’s never read a comic book. First thing I plan to hand her is Fun Home.

  59. PB says:

    You didn’t remark on it, Alison, so I’m not sure if you realised it, but the illustrator you mentioned, Francoise Gilot, is a very interesting woman. When she was 21, she met Pablo Picasso, who was then 61, and for the next 10 years she was his lover and muse, and she is the mother of his two children, Claude and Paloma. She later married Jonas Salk, the vaccine man, now also dead, but she is still around, still a talented artist in her own right, and still exhibiting, although I think getting involved with Picasso would have slowed her own artistic development and career down somewhat.

  60. Andrew B says:

    Dr E, you’re braver than I am. I don’t think I’d start a relationship with a gift about an awful marriage, and a man who lies to (at least two of) the most important women in his life. I’d start with something like Post DTWOF, preferably with the old cover art with all the alternative Mos.

    PB, no doubt you’re right that a lot of readers here needed an explanation of who Françoise Gilot is. I had to look her up when Alison first mentioned her. I have a feeling Alison already knew, though.

  61. Kate L says:

    Andrew B (#60) Alternative Mos in alternative DTWOF universes (universi)? Oh, I just knew that course in multidimensional mechanics I took at StarFleet Academy would come in handy someday in the DTWOF universe!

  62. little gator says:

    I lost a glove, and i know where it is. ONe minute I was wearing two, the next my bare hand was rummaging in my pocket for bus fare. I’m not going back to that bus stop just for a glove. It will join the like-new white baby shoe i found lying on the snow.

  63. Dr. Empirical says:

    Andrew: She was at my house last week and saw the stack of comics I’d bought that day. She idly picked up the first issue of the new Defenders book, which portrays Valkyrie rescuing a lady archeologist from some zombie vikings. The archeologist, who the brightly-colored caption proclaims “LIKES GIRLS!” plants a big wet one right on Valkyrie’s lips.

    So much for convincing her that comics aren’t puerile entertainment for the titillation of adolescent boys.

  64. Kate L says:

    The MaddowBlog has coverage and video of the meteor that exploded over the Ural Mountains of Russia earlier today, reportedly injuring hundreds with its sonic boom (and causing an astonishing amount of damage to the village of Chelyabinsk).
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=iCawTYPtehk#!

  65. Andrew B says:

    Kate, 64, as Charlie Stross observes, we’re all damned well lucky this didn’t happen thirty years ago. Good old Ronnie Raygun. (Also, for the record, Chelyabinsk is a large city — population over 1 million.)

    Dr E, ouch. What else can I say? But Post-DTWOF, or another dtwof collection from around that era, might go some way toward repairing the damage.

  66. Brazenfemme says:

    Hi all
    Lovely to “see” everyone again. I will take the C.O.L. badge of honour, too!

    Some of you might already roll with PhD comics, but I do love them! Here is a link to one of their short adventures at Comic-Con:
    http://www.phdcomics.com/tv/#030
    Enjoy!

  67. Kate L says:

    Andrew B (#65) thanks for the correction! I’m also impressed by the calm reaction of the residents of Chelyabinsk to having the biggest meteor air burst since Tunguska, 1908, take place overhead. I was fairly close to being accurate when I told my intro. geology classes yesterday that Chelyabinsk is about 1500 miles west of Tunguska. And, all, why did the two largest meteors to enter Earth’s atmosphere in the past 105 years both make their entry over Russia? Because it is the biggest country on Earth, and therefore presented a large and statistically-likely target. I did do a momentary double-take when I saw that Andrew B’s reply to my post started out “Kate, 64″, because the print edition of the local alternative newspaper that ran my Gay Agenda article about the transgendered part of LGBT published a picture of someone identified as the “oldest transsexual in China” next to my name(!) Oh, I just knew that I should have sent them a publicity still of Kate Mulgrew as Janeway, with the caption, visual approximation.

  68. little gator says:

    Kate L, not just Russia but Siberia.

  69. Dr. Empirical says:

    So anti-gay activist Orson Scott Card has been hired to write Adventures of Superman. Boycots, protests and counter-protests have begun.

    I normally maintain some separation between an artist and his/her work, but my personal dislkie for Mr. Card is so intense that I’ve been unable to enjoy his books since I first discovered what a vile person he is. Now I find he’s on the board of the National Organization for Marriage, and has advocated for the armed overthrow of the US government rather than obey judicial rulings that gay people have a right to marry.

    I buy the first issue of just about every comic that comes out, but for this one, I’ll pass. Orson Scott Card will never get one cent of my money.

  70. Lily says:

    At least you have one glove. My lovely, warm, perfect for riding my bike in the cold,have disappeared. I’m making do with those stretchy cheapos from the 99 cent shop. I keep telling myself that I lived in Minnesota for ^ years, NYC winters aren’t a problem. I am re-thinking this.

  71. Kate L says:

    How are my fellow Midwesterners faring with Winter Storm “Q”? I’m out of my house for the first time in 36 hours. Funny, but a foot of snow wouldn’t have seemed that unusual when I was a kid here in Smallville in the 60’s, but it is unusual, now. It’s almost like the climate is changing, or something. And, I just can’t get this 70’s lyric out of my head…
    I was talking to an Eskimo
    Said he was hoping for a fall of snow
    When up popped a sea lion ready to go
    Let’s go, let’s go, let’s go let’s go…

    Anyone know the song? Hint: it’s a Paul McCartney lyric, but it’s not a Beatle’s song!

  72. shadocat says:

    Kate, this is my second day of being snowed in. The major roads are reported to be clear, but here in Kansas City, we have a bad habit of not plowing the side streets (unless you are fortunate enough to have a city council person or a police chief for a neighbor!) Me-I plan to bake all day and watch TCM…

  73. shadocat says:

    Oh was that song a “Wings” song?

  74. Kate L says:

    shadocat (#74) Yes! Kids in the 70’s used to tell each other, “Did you know that Paul McCartney was in a group before Wings?” shadocat’s plan for today sounds like my plan for yesterday… Smallville is that far west and upweather from Kansas City. As of 6 am this morning, Smallville had not seen fit to plow the road that leads to my driveway, but I shoveled the snow myself about four times yesterday as it fell (so it didn’t overwhelm me), and I was able to drive out ok.

  75. Kate L says:

    Lordy, lordy… another winter blast – “Winter Storm Rocky” – is sweeping down the High Plains! This one promises even more snow. The Moo U satellite campus in Salina is already closed, and Moo U Central itself may close later today (Tuesday, Feb. 25th). Look out, shadocat, K.C. is in Rocky’s path!

  76. shadocat says:

    Kate L.- I know, it’s supposed to be awful and I’m already close to using up all my days off I’d saved all because of the stupid snow. Top that off, my car is DOA, so I’ll have to get another. Thinking about a monster truck right about now…

  77. Kate L says:

    I hear you, Sister – both weather & car-wise.

  78. Alex K says:

    From SCIENCE this week — we are what we eat; “male” gut flora can skew hormonal balance in immature female mice. (And might the converse not also apply, with feminisation in immature male mice stocked with “female” gut flora?) How this shrinks bits of the hypothalamus or lengthens the fetal finger of fate — Mo’s freakish flaw — is yet to be determined… required, as forevermore, further funding!

    Microbial exposures and sex hormones exert potent effects on autoimmune diseases, many of which are more prevalent in women. We demonstrate that early-life microbial exposures determine sex hormone levels and modify progression to autoimmunity in the nonobese diabetic (NOD) mouse model of type 1 diabetes (T1D). Colonization by commensal microbes elevated serum testosterone and protected NOD males from T1D. Transfer of gut microbiota from adult males to immature females altered the recipient’s microbiota, resulting in elevated testosterone and metabolomic changes, reduced islet inflammation and autoantibody production, and robust T1D protection. These effects were dependent on androgen receptor activity. Thus, the commensal microbial community alters sex hormone levels and regulates autoimmune disease fate in individuals with high genetic risk.

  79. Kate L says:

    Alex K (#79) You know, I thought I felt kind of queasy yesterday!

    Oh, btw, Pope Benedict XVI will continue drawing his Papalpuss comic strip even after leaving the papacy!

  80. Tei Tetua says:

    Losing one glove is certainly painful,
    But nothing compared to the pain
    Of losing one, throwing away the other
    And finding the first one again.

    ? Piet Hein

  81. Anna in Albuquerque says:

    Okay, enough. Where’s Alison?