Re: This place could power one thousand Thanksgivings.

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Structurally, I think it's impossible to have anything *but* a 2-party system under our constitution, unless we get IRV at the national level.


Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 11-29-09 7:50 AM
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IRV did come up in the conversation, and everyone generally agreed it was a good idea, and so it was just dropped and we moved onto the next point.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-29-09 7:52 AM
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You sort of can't drop IRV in that discussion, though, because IRV is the only (somewhat) plausible way you could carve a space for third parties in this country. Looking at our system vs. various parliamentary democracies is sort of interesting, but (a) there are a huge number of moving parts to try and control for to make the comparison meaningul and (b) we're never going to have a parliamentary system so what's the point?

In terms of stability, the problem with a two party system, at least as far as the concerns of marginalized voters goes, is that it's too stable. The voters in contention in any given election are going to be those who are willing to consider either party, either because they genuinely don't have a strong preference about the core issues at stake (i.e. they're idiots or not-well-informed) or the issues that are most important to them are totally peripheral to the party divisions. Either way the constituency being played to is not fundamentally likely to vigorously support their party's platform.

The problem with a parliamentary style multiparty system is not that you can't put together a governing coalition, it's that the governing coalition can be an ideologically incoherent marriage of convenience, which makes it more difficult to implement your actual intra-party platform, unless you're totally marginal and/or single-issue.

And, of course, if you think you can't have the problems of a two party system (two frustratingly similar parties swapping power back and forth with no real positive change) in a parliamentary system, look at civil liberties in the UK.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-29-09 8:06 AM
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The problem with a parliamentary style multiparty system is not that you can't put together a governing coalition, it's that the governing coalition can be an ideologically incoherent marriage of convenience

This happens in our two-party system too, it's just that the coalitions get put together before the elections.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 11-29-09 8:16 AM
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4: well, right, and the junior partners in that coalition are negotiating individually, as it were, and generally get shut out of the actual governing process.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-29-09 8:27 AM
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IRV at the national level is as likely as giving unicorns the right to vote. A conversation that depends on it is a conversation wasted. If more than 2 parties are not possible without either dissolving the Executive or going to IRV, then the conversation can just end. No matter how smart and/or motivated the participants.

But if we're going to go around waving magic wands, maybe there are some things with a higher priority than the two party system. We could maybe feed the hungry. Cure various mental illnesses. Stop child abuse. Or war.

As noted above, the problem isn't really that there's no party (or set of parties) for the apathetic or uninformed. It's that either coalition has to appeal to them -- with a cult of personality, some clever rhetoric, a little regression here and there -- to get in.

In a parliamentary system, the same would hold. Many people who comment here would end up in a Progressive party that could command a good solid 8% at the polls (what, you think 15%?) which, sometimes, would be good enough to get into a ruling coalition, and maybe get a cabinet seat or two. That is, we'll get HHS, but State and Defense will go to different elements.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11-29-09 10:29 AM
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6.last: I don't know enough about parties in parliamentary systems, but my sense is that there's often a couple substantial (over 5%) parties on the left, focusing variously on environmental, economic, international, and social issues. IOW, you have the Greens who want to save the planet and Reds who want to save the proletariat. The US doesn't have a hard Left of any size, so I think you'd end up with Greens with an enviro-pacifist bent and Progressives with a New Deal-type ethos.

Maybe I'm wrong about that, but my point is that Unfogged commenters would probably split across 2 parties which, if they could get traction, would together approach 15-20% on a regular basis. And would end up getting more than just HHS in a winning coalition.

The big questions, with the current electorate, are where do populists go and where does the centrist party end up? It looks to me like the Blue Dogs inherit the Democratic Party and pull in the remaining non-crazy Republicans (all 57 of them). I could also see a rightwing Populist (Beck-Palin) Party (sorry, Emerson) that splits the Republicans and leaves the GOP a neocon rump. For the foreseeable future the Democrats win every election but always need a coalition partner. In times of international stress, that's the GOP; in bad economic times, it's the Progressives. Although abortion could end up ripping the Dems apart - the party I'm imagining would be only nominally pro-choice, and I suspect that this would become untenable - maybe it would result in a re-merger of the Dems and Progressives while the Blue Dogs go to their natural GOP home.

All pointless speculation, but good enough for post-turkey jabber.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11-29-09 11:20 AM
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That is, we'll get HHS, but State and Defense will go to different elements.

What makes you think that? Junior coalition partners generally get at least one very important post, typically Foreign Affairs and/or Finance. Look at Germany or Israel.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11-29-09 11:39 AM
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Also 'Spain'? They've had a series of stable governments for ages. Gonzalez, Aznar, Zapatero. And then there's Switzerland which had the exact same four party coalition for half a century. But the Swiss are weird, not to mention xenophobic fucks who just approved a ban on minarets secret sharia missile batteries by a landslide.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11-29-09 11:47 AM
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Charley, your argument demonstrates that it was impossible for women to achieve the vote, or to bring about the 40-hour work week. An organized citizen's movement to bring about IRV is considerably more likely to succeed than one that ends world poverty or war.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 11-29-09 11:48 AM
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The Swiss are indeed really, really weird and xenophobic.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-29-09 11:57 AM
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Consider that fringe right-wing parties are going to peel more than 20-30% off of the Republican party. 26% of Americans think that ACORN stole the election for Obama. Freed of the necessity to win 51% of the vote, right-wing loonies will be able to drop the dog-whistle act and go for the gusto. So, you're going to end up with, what, a couple of small, fractious left-wing parties, two middling-sized center-right parties, and one or two relatively large nationalist/religious/fringe right-wing parties. The coalition you're going to end up with is probably an arrangement between the two corporate-sponsored center-right parties. There would be a lot of pressure on the centrist Democrats to form a government with the centrist Republicans, just to keep the extreme right-wingers out of the cabinet.


Posted by: ed bowlinger | Link to this comment | 11-29-09 12:11 PM
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10 -- And I'm saying there will never be 'an organized citizen's movement to bring about IRV' of sufficient size. Go ahead, prove me wrong: create it.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11-29-09 12:11 PM
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13: You are making the mistake that I, personally, give a shit about IRV. I was objecting to your evaluation of its plausibility. It's a smaller constitutional change than many we have already seen.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 11-29-09 12:15 PM
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14: I took his point to be that the other changes you mention had large, natural built-in constituencies, in a way that IRV does not, particularly. Perhaps if the non-crazy GOP manages to reclaim the party from the nutjobs, the nutjobs will be that constituency, but it strikes me as more likely they'd turn to violent revolution or possibly prayer. Or both, I guess.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-29-09 12:19 PM
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On the plus side of the Swiss referenda, Geneva approved a commuter rail line linking the city center with one of the three French suburban zones. Miraculous, Genevan urban planning and mass transit policy has generally been horrific. Plus the canton of Obwald rejected a cantonal government proposal to create special zones reserved for rich people.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11-29-09 12:22 PM
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Thanks, Sifu, that is what I meant.

Not only is there no natural constituency in favor (enough to mobilize etc) but there's a large and strong natural constituency against.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11-29-09 12:23 PM
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12: Hrm. Which looks like roughly what we have now.

In any event, all of these speculations assume that eligible voters actually vote. The results of the recent DKos poll on projected voter turnout in 2010 are pretty sobering: self-identified Democratic and Independent voters are meh about voting at all. (I've linked to Benen's post about this rather than to the original.)

I understand that the conversation at hand assumes ideal conditions, so that this semi-objection might seem a sidebar, but I do wonder what IRV would do to voter turnout. Are those who would be peeled off from the existing Republican or Democratic party in an IRV scenario just those who may well not, in our current system, be planning vote in the first place?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-29-09 12:33 PM
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But if we're going to go around waving magic wands, maybe there are some things with a higher priority than the two party system. We could maybe feed the hungry. Cure various mental illnesses. Stop child abuse. Or war.

CC, this is a very dreary approach to Thanksgiving conversation topics.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-29-09 1:05 PM
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I blame the other thread.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11-29-09 1:16 PM
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Heh. Reforming the two-party system in the US isn't a dreary approach to Thanksgiving conversation topics?

Here or in any number of other places, you'll get a healthy showing of responses that say: Not gonna happen. Next.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-29-09 1:21 PM
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If I'm going to go around waving magic wands, I'd stop the other thread.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-29-09 1:22 PM
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On the plus side of the Swiss referenda, Geneva approved a commuter rail line linking the city center with one of the three French suburban zones.

I've been hearing much more about that from CERN-ites (CERNois?) than the minaret ban....


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11-29-09 1:25 PM
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The football playoffs are a much better topic anyway. I don't think we have any SFA alums amongst the commentariat: I'd be interested to know if anyone thinks they'll get out of Missoula alive next weekend. And if they don't, and Richmond beats Appalachian State, that'll set up a replay of last year's championship match -- but since it's a semi, it'll be played here, in our lovely climate, two weeks hence


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11-29-09 1:49 PM
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23 General welfare interest only, I presume? Anyone who works at CERN and lives on that side of the greater Geneva area is insane unless it works perfectly for their spouse. Not that that's a bad thing, any sane Genevois should be happy that they're finally doing something to reverse the longstanding exurban car only sprawl development policy of the cantonal authorities, ironically promoted by the Greens in an unholy unspoken alliance with the hard right (NIMBYism plus fuck the foreigners who constitute the vast majority of the frontaliers).


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11-29-09 2:03 PM
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ironically promoted by the Greens in an unholy unspoken alliance with the hard right

Stupid multi-party system.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-29-09 2:04 PM
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Anyone who works at CERN and lives on that side of the greater Geneva area is insane unless it works perfectly for their spouse.

I've noticed a lot of Facebook messages about public transit, but haven't paid close attention, so I'm not entirely sure. But I thought some people who live in Meyrin and work at CERN are going to have an easier time getting to work now by catching some tram? This might not be the same as the commuter rail line you were talking about.

(Probably most of the people I know who work there live in Ferney-Voltaire or maybe Meyrin, but I have known a few people to live in downtown Geneva, mostly just because they really like being in a city, I think.)


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11-29-09 2:33 PM
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(My sense of the geography is fuzzy, so it's possible I just said three or four stupid or nonsensical things in one comment.)


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11-29-09 2:39 PM
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There is a new tram line going out to Meyrin with a planned extentsion to CERN. Unfortunately the alternative proposal to build a semi underground heavy rail line was rejected. The proposal that was just approved is a heavy rail line that will connect up the main train station in downtown Geneva with Annemasse, the largest individual Genevan suburban town in France, and through it the rest of the Chablais (Thonon, Evian, and the areas in between). And your geography is basically correct, Cern is a bit out from Meyrin on the French border with the Pays de Gex, so the closest French towns are Ferney, St. Genis and Thoiry. That area has seen its population double over the past thirty odd years. The canton's population has gone up much more modestly over that period, while the city proper hasn't gone up at all, courtesy of extreme restrictions on development, including commercial development, so you get both residential and employment sprawl.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11-29-09 3:05 PM
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|| At my second Thanksgiving on Friday, my father launched into a swearing and throwing things rage because he couldn't find a stupid power cord. When I determined that this was sufficient reason to pack my shit and go home, he thanked me for fucking up his fucking evening and I haven't spoken to my parents since. No real point here except that we should all remember the dysfunction that such holidays are truly all about |>


Posted by: Hillary Rodham Clinton | Link to this comment | 11-29-09 3:28 PM
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Blasted children. Baked sweet potatoes they'll eat. A delightfully fluffy sweet potato and Gruyere souffle? No chance. Grr.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-29-09 5:41 PM
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Geeze, Hillary, that stinks. What a lousy experience.

Is it worth saying: "Welcome back to Unfogged," where power cords never go missing? Consider it said.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 11-29-09 5:55 PM
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9, 11: The most depressing thing about that article to me was the end:

In an interview before the referendum, Mr. Ibram said that whatever the outcome of the vote, Muslims would lose out from a campaign that had played on fears of Islam and exposed deep-seated opposition to their community among many Swiss.

Well. I'm sure the 400,000 Muslim residents of Switzerland are delighted to hear that the New York Times has declared them not to be "Swiss."


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 11-29-09 6:00 PM
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30: Fortunately, I keep my power cords organized. When it was time to plug-in the Christmas tree, I knew right where the cords were. I like to save my rages for things that I couldn't have avoided with a little care, like traffic and human resources.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-29-09 6:04 PM
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31: I've been meaning to try a souffle ever since I realized that I had the crock (or whatever to cook one in). Maybe I'll get ambitious next weekend, but I think I'll start with sweet.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-29-09 6:06 PM
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33 I don't know the exact stats, but I'm pretty sure the vast majority of at least adult Muslim Swiss residents are not Swiss in the sense of citizenship. And most Swiss rather clearly don't like their Muslim fellow residents, or other non northern European white ones for that matter Outside of a few urban communes getting citizenship as a non-native born non white person is not easy. And it is no coincidence that the strongest votes against the initiative came in the canton of Geneva and the (half) canton of Basel-City - both overwhelmingly urban and quite progressive on race by Swiss standards. The last elections were won by a party using a poster showing three white sheep kicking a black sheep off the Swiss flag.

But the funniest thing I saw was in the NYT headline or blurb 'Swiss risk reputation for tolerance' or something like that. That's some amazing PR there.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11-29-09 6:22 PM
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I don't think IRV/STV would make any substantial difference unless you switched to multi-member constituencies, and then there are all sorts of allocation and balance problems to sort out (which is to say, more opportunities for gerrymandering), and the results can still be a little weird (see: Australian Senate). With single-member constituencies a few seats might end up going to people with different labels, but probably not very many and they'd probably be the same actual people who would have been elected anyway.

Proportional representation in the style of Germany would allow smaller parties to gain real representation, but it's probably impossible to reach that point. You'd need to increase the size of the House by a lot to make it work.


Posted by: wispa | Link to this comment | 11-29-09 6:22 PM
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blurb 'Swiss risk reputation for tolerance' or something like that. That's some amazing PR there

People seem to be confusing neutrality during 20th century wars for tolerance.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 11-29-09 6:31 PM
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36/38: Yeah, the "reputation for tolerance" thing was really something else.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11-29-09 6:32 PM
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American pop culture understanding of Switzerland.

Teraz, I understand that many adult Muslim residents of Switzerland are not Swiss citizens. To clarify, I was complaining about the NYT's implication that "Swiss" and "Muslim" are mutually exclusive categories.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 11-29-09 6:37 PM
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If the Times were to write that there is deep-seated opposition to Sarah Palin among many Americans, they would not be implying that Sarah Palin was not an American.


Posted by: Commenter-in-exile | Link to this comment | 11-29-09 6:41 PM
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I don't think it does imply that.


Posted by: wispa | Link to this comment | 11-29-09 6:43 PM
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For those interested there's an interactive district by district map of the results over at Le Temps. There you can see the way urban and francophone areas vs everybody else divide even more clearly with Zurich and Bern proper voting against while their eponymous cantons voted for. The only non-big city areas that voted against were the Lake Geneva littoral - i.e. Geneva and Lausanne suburbs, Neuchatel (small city, francophone), Fribourg (small city, mostly francophone) and some mostly small town/rural areas in Vaud, Neuchatel and Jura (all Francophone).


Posted by: teraz kurwa my |
Link to this comment | 11-29-09 7:07 PM
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Let's try that link again Swiss referendum map


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11-29-09 7:08 PM
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Here's a Times article on the black sheep poster, which (bafflingly) doesn't include any pictures of the poster itself. (Thanks, Beeb!)


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 11-29-09 7:31 PM
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Yeah, Hillary that's shitty. I'm really sorry. I hope your first Thanksgiving on Thursday was better.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11-29-09 7:32 PM
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So is this "Second Thanksgiving" a common practice? I've never heard of it before.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-29-09 7:34 PM
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Talking about atavistic nationalist feelings, FAZ, the most prestigious German daily paper, has an editorial entitled "Verzicht ist Verrat" (Renunciation is treason") i.e. the longtime slogan of the German expellee organizations meaning that any resignation to Germany's 1937 borders is treason. It is on the refusal of the German FDP (neo-libs, junior coalition partner) foreign minister to allow Erika Steinbach, the very hardline head of the German umbrella expellee organization, to become a member of the board for the German national memorial to the expulsions. They say this is the message that the Christian Democrats should give in their campaign against the foreign minister and supporting Steinbach. In this day and age it's like a paper coming out against affirmative action with the title Segregation now, etc.

They also have an editorial memorializing the 1950 'Charter of the Expellees' for its groundbreaking reconciliatory and pacifist stance with the slogan 'We renounce retribution and revenge'. The fact that the author of the Charter made it explicitly clear that this meant neither a renunciation of military force for the recovery of the territories, nor did a giving up of revenge mean that the official policy of the expellee orgs didn't include reverse ethnic cleansing, isn't mentioned. At least this little historical mythmaking is a generally commonplace bit of German truthiness, making it somewhat less egregious.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11-29-09 8:16 PM
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Dixon!


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11-29-09 8:39 PM
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49: The NBC announcer even called the play.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11-29-09 8:42 PM
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Sorry, people who don't care about football.

47: I think a lot of people do various kinds of re-combinations of friends and family for (combined) leftovers on Friday - most people still have pretty complete suites of leftovers, and it can be a nice way to see people with other Thursday obligations. Ideally, it avoids situations like HRC's - the whole point (IME) is that Thursday is obligation, Friday is chosen. In practice, I think, undesired family gloms onto the Friday festivities, but at least you can try to focus your energies elsewhere.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11-29-09 8:46 PM
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I know several people who do a Friday second Thanksgiving as a keep-the-peace effort and or geographic-compromise effort between two sets of parents or in-laws. Some of them seem much happier about the arrangement than others.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 11-29-09 8:50 PM
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It certainly makes sense to do something on Friday. I just find it odd that I've never come across it myself when evidence from this thread suggests that it's reasonably widespread.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-29-09 8:56 PM
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Anything but going to the store on the Friday after Thanksgiving. Putting up the Christmas tree/lights/whatever is nice, if that's something you do. I've found that heavy drinking the day after heavy eating is just too much anymore, so I've needed a new activity.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-29-09 9:07 PM
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WTF?

[football]


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11-29-09 9:08 PM
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53: A few years after college, it was really nice when a couple of our friends hosted a leftovers get-together. But it stopped working as we transformed from post-collegians to full-on adults with families and complicated arrangements of our own. We try to have our best-family-friends over on that Friday, but I think we've only managed it in like 2 years of 6 since we first did it. We're stable, but they're always dealing with shifting family shit - not nec. fraught, but to be managed regardless.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11-29-09 9:15 PM
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Quoth the Ravens, "Nevermore."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-29-09 9:33 PM
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Now I'm doubly-annoyed. I'm actually doing some work here by the TV. My expectation was that, with Roethlisberger out, I'd be able to focus mostly on the computer, but instead it was a close game, then it was a damn loss.

May as well be watching the Pirates.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11-29-09 9:37 PM
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We Americans sure go gaga over process issues like this (as a professor of mine noted). Based on my bastardized understanding of Arrow, I feel that there will be unsatisfying outcomes whatever structure you devise, and in the absence of manifest injustice (like disenfranchisement) it's far more efficient to work within the structure given us.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 11-29-09 9:56 PM
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Consider that fringe right-wing parties are going to peel more than 20-30% off of the Republican party. 26% of Americans think that ACORN stole the election for Obama. Freed of the necessity to win 51% of the vote, right-wing loonies will be able to drop the dog-whistle act and go for the gusto.

Hasn't really happened in Australia, it should be noted. (Yes the ALP's pretty centrist.) Mind you the Liberals are going nuts at the moment, so. (And fuck does Australia get to have exciting politics; leadership contests with double dissolution threats! All night Senate sittings! Possible oint sessions!)

MMP is a good solution, especially at US state level, I would imagine.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 11-29-09 10:10 PM
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It certainly makes sense to do something on Friday. I just find it odd that I've never come across it myself when evidence from this thread suggests that it's reasonably widespread.

In related news, none of the members of the two families I spent Thanksgiving with had ever heard of anyone sharpening knives either. At least not since about 1970. It seems to be viewed as a sort of milkman-like phenomenon.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 11-29-09 10:32 PM
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I'm imagining Ned earnestly asking all of his family members about this knife-sharpening issue.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-29-09 10:35 PM
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Thanks for the Switzerland news, Teraz. This is somewhat interesting. No word on how many of the mostly non-Swiss members of Switzerland's world champion under-17 soccer team are citizens of the country.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 11-29-09 10:35 PM
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I REMEMBER WHEN THE KNIFE-SHARPENING GUY WOULD COME FROM DOOR TO DOOR...AND THE MILKMAN, AND THE ICE MAN, AND THE COAL SCUTTLERS...AND THE GUY WHO REFILLED THE CARTRIDGES IN THE SELTZER BOTTLE.

ALL OF THOSE THINGS WENT AWAY WHEN THE DAMN HIPPIES SHOWED UP.


Posted by: OPINIONATED GRANDMA | Link to this comment | 11-29-09 10:37 PM
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Australia, for all its warts, does seem to be less generally deranged though. Their peculiar implementation of STV ends up putting a lot of the power with the parties still, since almost everybody votes above the line for the Senate. Lower house results aren't so weird though, and you're right that you'd expect at least some of that there if it were going to happen at all. There is a fair bit of a nutbar right-wing loony constituency around.

I really prefer an open list, Dutch style, over MMP. Formal electorates don't really serve any valuable purpose, and the threshold as it stands is plain stupid. Certainly it's better than FPP, but that's not a high bar to clear.


Posted by: wispa | Link to this comment | 11-29-09 10:37 PM
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61: Do you just buy new knives? Or cut very slowly?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-29-09 10:38 PM
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That's not cutting, it's sawing. I hope they're serrated knives, at least.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 11-29-09 10:49 PM
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They are.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-29-09 10:52 PM
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At least mine are. I can't speak for Ned.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-29-09 10:52 PM
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Every year, mom brings the turkey to the table and dad hauls out a big hunk of chert and his knapping kit.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-29-09 10:53 PM
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Hey, if it works, it works.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-29-09 10:56 PM
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You know the milk has turned when you can't even cut it with a serrated knife.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 11-29-09 10:56 PM
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That's why I was always suspicious of those combination milkman/knife-sharpeners.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 11-29-09 10:57 PM
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Yes, all knives are serrated, except the ones used for spreading.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 11-29-09 10:57 PM
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That's not a knife. It's a maul.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-29-09 10:58 PM
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I see you've played knifey-mauly before!


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 11-29-09 10:59 PM
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The life of the Gaul is ended by the maul.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11-29-09 11:05 PM
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Grannie, it's not the DFH, it's you moving to the burbs. The seltzer guy, the knife sharpener, and the milkman still exist here in Brooklyn. You could even go back to the old country - no seltzer but you can still get coal dumped into your building's basement.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11-29-09 11:07 PM
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The martyrdom of the saint was reported on in the Paul Maul Gazette.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 11-29-09 11:07 PM
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Teraz clearly knows this better than me, but the thing about Switzerland is that it's not really a modern country; it's more like a collection of medieval merchant city-states that have been rich enough to acquire enough trappings of modernity to appease the outside world (not to mention rich enough to build secret underground fortresses to house all of the citizenry). In some ways it's the weirdest country in Europe. And no, I don't think most Swiss would consider Muslims to be in any real sense Swiss, although there's a long tradition of tolerating foreigners in most cantons and treating them pretty well -- but not as Swiss.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11-29-09 11:30 PM
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63 Not sure how many of them are Swiss citizens. A few years ago the Swiss people, living up their reputation as a 'bastion of tolerance', rejected the idea of automatic citizenship for third generation 'foreign' residents. Same thing happened in the early nineties. Both were citizen vetos of federal law proposals as opposed to citizen initiatives like the one that just passed. On the plus side the Swiss did reject an attempt to overturn a Supreme Court decision making it illegal for local and cantonal governments to systematically refuse to naturalise people of the wrong ethnicity/race/religion.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 12:45 AM
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Note that the UDC (current top party, extreme right) poster on that 2004 vote featured black and brown hands grabbing Swiss passports with images of Osama bin Laden.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 12:47 AM
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My godparenst didn't have their Thanksgiving dinner until Saturday. They have a son who's a postdoc in Manhattan with two kids who borrowed their car to drive down on Thursday. She ddrove to New York on Wednesday in the Prius and took the bus back. Their other son is a musician in New York who works at Starbucks part-time who didn't get out of town until Friday evening.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 4:34 AM
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From periphery to periphery! In India, some Hindus also have a problem with minarets - they see the call to prayer as a way to annoy everyone else and Islamify a neighborhood. But I lived two blocks from one, and I stopped noticing the call to prayer after a few days.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 8:09 AM
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Before I sign off for the day, I can foreshadow a merging of threads next week when Swiss TV airs my interview. I didn't actually use the word 'bedwettery' but I expect the tolerance of some officials of that country will be tested a bit.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 8:50 AM
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I agree with 12 -- a multiparty system in the U.S. would liberate the underlying dynamic where loony fringies have a lot of power with the Reps while the Dems are dominated by centrist establishment. That would be helpful, since right now there are only two options for voters, one of which empowers loony fringies to gum up the system, so it happens on a fairly regular basis. Multiparty would open up all kinds of coalition options. There are implicit coalitions now with the Snowes of the world, but the ideological power in the Republican party makes them rarer than they should be.

On Europe, I think countries should be able to control immigration, including on racial grounds if they like (i.e. Switzerland's tribalism seems fine to me). I think people don't consider seriously enough the conflict between national sovereignty and a universal notion of human rights. (It is tempting to just reject the nation-state and nationalism altogether, but the nation is the most powerful tool by which communities get to assert themselves against global market forces). Anyway, the problem is when they let people reside there but don't give them rights.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 9:57 AM
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Yes, all knives are serrated, except the ones used for spreading.

Golly. So you chop onions and carrots and garlic with a serrated knife?


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 10:34 AM
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I think countries should be able to control immigration, including on racial grounds if they like

And I think countries that do so should be held up to shame and ridicule.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 10:40 AM
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87: I'm guessing that he doesn't chop onions and carrots and garlic at all.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 10:43 AM
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This has nothing to do with immigration control, but rather is a restriction on the rights of people who have already been allowed to immigrate and their descendants. To be fair, many of the people currently freaking out about Muslim immigration used to do the same about the large scale influx of Catholic migrants from Spain, Portugal, and especially Italy. The Genevan branch of the People's Party, or UDC as it is known in French, is to a large extent a descendant of the radical wing of Vigilance, an extreme right local party active from the late sixties to early nineties. They were a mix of hard right traditional nationalist protestant bourgeois types and good ol' Nazi ones - the aforementioned radical wing, complete with neopaganism, 'racial studies', and holocaust denialism. The party disintegrated in the early nineties over factional infighting. It's moderate wing mostly ended up in the Radical (Free Democrat) party - Switzerland's traditional mainstream non-Catholic right wing party, and its hardliners in the UDC.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 11:03 AM
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Robert, the Swiss are indeed rather strange with very far reaching federalism and strong cantonal identities. However, they also have a clear national identity.

As far as treatment of foreigners goes, that depends a lot on race, class, and whether you're seen as a permanent resident or a short term one or a visitor. (Short term white collar - a plus, short term unskilled migrant on an 'A' work permit, not good -see the movie Bread and Chocolate for a comitragic treatment) Place matters a lot too. As a 'genuine white' upper middle class kid in Geneva I only had a handful of minor xenophobia problems. Non whites of the same class in Geneva had somewhat more, but still not a big deal. Poorer immigrants away from the big cities were screwed. And I do mean 'poorer' not 'poor' - Switzerland is a rich country and people with decent blue collar jobs have a pretty respectable standard of living.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 11:16 AM
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Teraz, would you like to do a writeup of the vote for fistful?


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 11:43 AM
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Don't sell yourself cheap, teraz. Insist on a few euros more.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 12:10 PM
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93: Yeah, go right to the sequel.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 12:13 PM
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Jeez, JP. How little do you think of us?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 12:19 PM
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My mule doesn't like it when you make things explicit like that, JP.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 12:20 PM
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94: Now if you apologize, like I know you're going to, I might convince him that you really didn't mean it.


Posted by: MWNN | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 12:26 PM
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Nosflow is your mule? Or is that making things too explicit again? Circumstances are making my usually flawed judgment even more impaired today. (I guess I could just not comment ...)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 12:28 PM
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||

Holy shit there is just so much CRAP TO BUY for babies. I don't know how to dress a baby! Sob.

|>


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 12:30 PM
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At least one felt hat with little ears.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 12:33 PM
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99: You can buy diapers on the way home from the hospital, and that's the only thing you really need for the first few weeks. Everything else is just consumerism.

(I think that was in one of our parenting books.)


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 12:35 PM
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99: Due in spring? All you need are long- and short-sleeved onesies - come summer, that's all the kid has to wear. Friends and relatives will give presents of cute outfits and such. If you want, you can go on eBay for groups of items from parents whose kids have outgrown the first few months - that'll give you variety. But, honest, don't worry about anything but having enough onesies (you know that they basically need to change clothes after every diaper, right? Blowout city).

AB stenciled onesies for Iris, which made them cute on the cheap, but I don't know if you're crafty like that. Perhaps you could dye them in a pot of beans or something.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 12:36 PM
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101: Rob must live in the part of Ohio that never drops below 78 degrees.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 12:37 PM
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99: People will buy you stuff, and they really don't need much. Three or four packets of onesies gets you started, and then a couple of stretchy one-piece pajama thingies will be all you need until the kid's been around long enough for you to get a grasp of its wants. Anything not mentioned in this song is probably inessential.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 12:37 PM
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Oh, and a car seat. Some hospitals won't let you leave without a car seat. But that's it.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 12:38 PM
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Also, you can get almost everything you need for free off of Freecycle or from friends/relatives, or on the cheap from yard sales, flea markets, and consignment shops. Babies change size so quickly that they don't actually wear out much of anything before they outgrow it.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 12:39 PM
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Also, you must know other people with babies. They have boxes full of barely used baby clothes that are yours for the asking, and that they want to get out of their houses. Sniff around, and you will be inundated by the bonanza that is hand-me-downs. (This stays very seriously useful until five or six, when they start damaging their clothes. There's a heartbreakingly adorable little blue wool and velvet winter coat from when Sally was four or so that I still get to see at Christmas as it filters down through various friends of friends' kids.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 12:41 PM
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Pwned. Drat you.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 12:41 PM
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If the baby's due in early spring (which in Cleveland I think lasts til June?), you might want a sleepsack, since they can't sleep with covers when they're new. Iris loved to be swaddled, but Kai fought out of his from a pretty early age, so he needed something to keep him from freezing (it certainly wasn't going to be a raised thermostat).

But seriously, rob's basically right - clothing for babies is about pleasing grownups, not helping babies. Except, again, that they shouldn't be naked when it's 50 freaking degrees out.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 12:42 PM
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My impression is that it doesn't take long before you're part of a hand-clothes-down circuit. I'm pretty sure my nephews are the third or fourth wear-ers of most of their clothes.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 12:43 PM
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Sadly, our friends (with and without babies) all live very elsewhere, and I hate the kind of extra-effort shopping involved in yard sales and flea markets. It's vexing!

Three or four packets of onesies gets you started, and then a couple of stretchy one-piece pajama thingies will be all you need until the kid's been around long enough for you to get a grasp of its wants.

This is excellent news.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 12:44 PM
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107: We ended up buying a fair amount of stuff for Iris (she was a leading-edge girl for our cohort, so virtually no hand-me-downs), but friends who have 2 just-older boys designated Kai their inheritor, and we've bought almost literally nothing for him - every few months we exchange boxes, weed out the preppy stuff, and put him in their clothes. In fact, we just learned that we get a train table, which he will love.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 12:45 PM
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If you're worried about non-clothing bits of apparatus, there's really not much essential. Crib. I'm a big baby-sling booster (the soft fabric kind, not the strappy backpack-on-your-front kind, but people's mileages vary all over the place on this one.) Diaper bag, I'd improvise for a month or two with an old backpack or totebag, so you know what you want before you buy something. What am I missing?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 12:47 PM
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Don't forget a college education. Babies love those.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 12:48 PM
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I hate the kind of extra-effort shopping involved in yard sales and flea markets.

I'm generally with you, but it's more worth it for baby clothes than for adult stuff -- the clothes are much more likely to be in good shape (or literally unworn), and when you strike a vein of stuff there tends to be a fair amount all in one place, because of the 'growing so fast I need an entire new wardrobe every three months' thing. If you have any plausible source for used stuff, it's worth a bit of looking.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 12:51 PM
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our friends (with and without babies) all live very elsewhere

Still not speaking from direct experience, but I have the strong impression that you'll be meeting and socializing with other new parents. I think this is a period of expanding social circles, not least because you and other parents will have very similar needs.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 12:52 PM
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I second all this: do not worry about clothing the baby. You will not believe how much clothing you will be given.
Really. By people who do or don't have kids: they'll pile it on you.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 12:53 PM
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A surprisingly large number of little swaddling blankets (this isn't a defined term -- I just mean little blankets about a yard square or a little smaller) will be useful, because they get dirty like onesies. But people will give them to you.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 12:53 PM
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You need some drugstore-ish stuff, right? And, like, receiving blankets and stacks of cloths. And a changing pad. And then god knows what all nursing crap.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 12:54 PM
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You are all making me feel MUCH better.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 12:55 PM
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Also, you must know other people with babies. They have boxes full of barely used baby clothes that are yours for the asking, and that they want to get out of their houses.

The fact that babies go through articles so quickly makes the fact that there's a thriving baby-industrial ... industry ... kind of baffling.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 12:55 PM
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And then god knows what all nursing crap.

Don't you have those already?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 12:55 PM
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Receiving blankets and burp cloths are the kinds of things that you need TONS of if you have:
a) a winter baby
b) a small baby (6 lbs. or less)
c) a baby with reflux/colic/whatever they're calling it these days

Big stuff seems very individualized to me. Some parents/babies love the backpack, some don't. Some love the sling, some don't. It's not even possible to tell in advance which one you'll be. The parent can love the backpack, but if the baby hates it, you won't use it.

Warm, clean, and dry are important. The rest -- eh. You can wait a month or three and figure it out. Also, freecycle is handy for those of us who hate the extra-effort thrift shopping.

Where's Shamhat? She probably has some useful observations.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 12:57 PM
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stacks of cloths.

A couple packs of cloth diapers is nice for general wiping even if you're not cloth diapering. Nosflow is right about nursing, you're mostly equipped as you stand. But a couple of bottles and whatever kind of breastpump is appropriate for your needs, I suppose.

Drugstore stuff... I'm drawing a blank. You mean like baby shampoo?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 12:59 PM
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Nosflow is right about nursing, you're mostly equipped as you stand.

What about nursing pads and nursing bras and lanolin and so on?

Drugstore stuff: like diaper cream and thermometers.

But really, thank you, this conversation is getting me reassuringly back to my original position on all this stuff. There has been something extra anxiety-producing about the combination of future grandparents pushing us to get registered (bringing me into contact with things like registry checklists) and the knowledge that only about four people other than them are likely to give us anything.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 1:02 PM
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I hate the kind of extra-effort shopping involved in yard sales and flea markets.

You should do exactly what JRoth has done: have AB take care of it.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 1:03 PM
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While I generally hate box stores like anyone else, Target Gift Registry is incredibly useful for this specific purpose.

1. People can easily buy you stuff.
2. You can easily return stuff.
3. People can easily get you gift cards.
4. You can easily scan their suggested items and think of it as an upper bound on all possible things you could possibly need. This changes your task from "Think of everything" to "Eliminate as much as possible" which is much easier.
5. Then take the gift cards after your bundle of joy arrives and pick up whatever seems to fit your needs.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 1:06 PM
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My sister got this thing that I can only describe as a giant foam shelf that can be strapped about the waist, so that she can sit and nurse without having to hold the baby up armwise. Looks funny, probably convenient.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 1:06 PM
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I'd triage by "What's the likelihood it will be a big problem not to have this in the middle of the night?"

So:
- Diaper-rash ointment
- Nasal-suction bulb
- Rocking chair (aka "glider")

AFAICT, basic types of baby distress are mostly chafing/rash, stuffy nose, or general can't-sleep. You're not supposed to be giving infants cold medicine or anything like that, so you really just making them (and yourself) comfortable. Hungry can be fixed with breastmilk. Can't-burp and can't-poop can't be fixed with anything other then a trial-and-error process on the part of the caregiver.

You don't have to have a humidifier if you have a bathroom with hot water and a door that closes. It is important to be able to do that, though, so that the first time the baby is wheezing from a little cold, the parents don't have anxiety attacks from hearing the poor stuffed-up kid. Turn the shower on, let the room fill up with steam, you're done.


Posted by: Wit | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 1:06 PM
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What about nursing pads and nursing bras and lanolin and so on?

Those are all the kind of thing that you'll see what you need when you're in the situation, and there's not enough here that buying it ad hoc will be a burden. I hated nursing bras, and just yanked stretchy-cup bras down. Lanolin -- you need it if you're chafing, not if you're not, and it can stay on the shelf at Rite-Aid until you need it. And so on.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 1:06 PM
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128 is a nursing pillow. I found it super important. Nursing was kind of a (normal) disaster for the first two weeks and that helped a lot.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 1:10 PM
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You don't have to have a humidifier if you have a bathroom with hot water and a door that closes.

This was us a few weeks ago. Poor thing couldn't nurse because she was so stuffed up. She could scream, though.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 1:12 PM
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a giant foam shelf that can be strapped about the waist

The Boppy.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 1:12 PM
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I love being a know-it-all on this topic! I'm SOOO well-informed!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 1:12 PM
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Surely I'd give it for a nipple a rubber Tacitus
For a rattle a bag of broken Bach records
Tack Della Francesca all over its crib
Sew the Greek alphabet on its bib
And build for its playpen a roofless Parthenon


Posted by: OPINIONATED GREGORY CORSO | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 1:13 PM
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133: Technically mine is called My Breast Friend.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 1:13 PM
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I am so very glad I griped here. I feel infinitely better! (Please feel free to go on advising as long as you please.)


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 1:13 PM
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Nasal-suction bulb

You do want one of these, but nothing made my children scream louder. Jesus, they hated that thing.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 1:14 PM
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I will put in a warning against neato breastfeeding clothes with special-super-tit-revealing panels so that you can jam the baby through the flap and feed anywhere. Somehow, I got suckered into a number of these things, and they were awful -- inconvenient and prone to coming disarranged unexpectedly. Loose t-shirts and buttonfront shirts are the way to go.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 1:14 PM
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128 ="Boppy." Yes, get one.

Nursing pads, yes, get a set before you need to venture out of the house.

Your standard set of infant meds -- fever reducer, can't think of anything else. May expire before you ever need them, but nice to have on hand when the kid spikes a fever in the middle of the night and you're all hysterical.

Maybe a few packs of formula in case nursing doesn't take. It happens.

If you are paranoid (I was), a baby scale so you can measure precisely whether nursing is occurring.

Quick, healthy snacks for you -- an energy bar or whatever so you manage to get some nutrition in while exhausted and struggling to cope with a screaming infant for the first weeks.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 1:16 PM
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will put in a warning against neato breastfeeding clothes with special-super-tit-revealing panels so that you can jam the baby through the flap and feed anywhere. Somehow, I got suckered into a number of these things, and they were awful -- inconvenient and prone to coming disarranged unexpectedly. Loose t-shirts and buttonfront shirts are the way to go.

Seconded. I just wore t-shirts all summer and pulled them up. Now I'm wearing regular old sweaters, and just pulling them up. Easy-peasy.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 1:18 PM
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128 ="Boppy." Yes, get one.

NO! MY BREAST FRIEND!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 1:19 PM
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I could never make the Boppy work for me. I think it got some use as a not-quite-sitting-up-on-the-floor baby prop later, but not to help with feeding.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 1:20 PM
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"My Breast Friend" is good. I'm sure the Mineshaft can come up with better, though.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 1:21 PM
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Nasal-suction bulb

We've been over this, remember? Man up and suck it out.

For the rocking chair, get one (or better yet, have someone else get you one) of these. They rule, and they're not hideous like most baby products.

You're having just one, right?


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 1:21 PM
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142: What's in a name? A nursing pillow by any other name will smell as sour and milky.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 1:22 PM
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143: YOU SHOULD HAVE TRIED MY BREAST FRIEND!


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 1:22 PM
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WHAT, NOW WE'RE NOT FRIENDS ANYMORE?


Posted by: OPINIONATED BOPPY | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 1:22 PM
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Nasal-suction bulb

I wonder, can you Neti a baby?


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 1:22 PM
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149: Nobody can fit a baby in their nostril, Di.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 1:23 PM
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IIRC, the Breast Friend and the Boppy are pretty different: the BF actually straps around your waist, while the Boppy is just U-shaped without straps. I never tried the BF.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 1:24 PM
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149: I've seen recommendations that you squirt breastmilk up the nose of a congested baby -- same principle, except more dairy.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 1:25 PM
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150: Are you challenging me?


Posted by: OPINIONATED INTERNET | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 1:26 PM
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For the rocking chair, get one (or better yet, have someone else get you one) of these. They rule, and they're not hideous like most baby products.

That doesn't look like it vibrates. Why are you trying to sabotage Our Breast Commenters?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 1:27 PM
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Ooo, here's something I wish I'd bought ahead of time, but didn't. Waterproof mattress pad for the grownups' bed. If you're nursing in bed, and 9 out of 10 you will, there's a lot of leakage/spillage. We ended up throwing out the futon we'd been sleeping on when Sally was a year old, and man, did it need throwing out.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 1:28 PM
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(Di already hit this above, but with all the nursing advice, I feel that I should say that no one in a developed country ever died from formula, and if nursing doesn't work out it's not a tragedy. This has been a public service announcement.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 1:31 PM
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Big, big, big yes to 155. Not to mention that your mattress is likely get hit with more vomit over the next few years than any frat house mattress in America.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 1:32 PM
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redfox, we have unfortunately gotten rid of a lot of our baby stuff, so can't help much there. But we'll probably be getting rid of larger items in the next couple years: train table, play kitchen, possibly swingset (if you are interested), etc. It would be good to have someone local to give them to. Also I'll second everyone who says don't freak out and buy a lot of stuff. You will get tons of hand me downs (a lot of ours were mailed from out of town), plus it's much easier/cheaper to buy what you need as you need it than to try to guess what kind of stuff you'll need.


Posted by: Molly | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 1:33 PM
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Does baby formula include vital gut bacteria supplements?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 1:34 PM
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You're having just one, right?

Yep, just one. That baby rocker is a chic little item!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 1:34 PM
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154: It does! It's cantilevered, and the baby makes it move. It also folds flat, so it's easily portable. Get one! They should have them for people of all ages.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 1:35 PM
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The Bosom Buddy?
Fond Mammaries?
The Rack?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 1:36 PM
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It needs to vibrate. It really needs to vibrate. Or maybe not, but Hawaiian Punch slept 2-3x longer whenever we had the vibrating on.

So it's really up to the individual needs of the parent. Maybe you don't like stretches to stop and regain your sanity. It's individual.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 1:36 PM
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161: Oh. In that case, it really is a very lovely item. Much better looking than the ugly thing we've got.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 1:37 PM
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Thanks, Molly! I look forward to entering the hand-me-down cycle of life.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 1:37 PM
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The Suckle Paunch?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 1:37 PM
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165: It's called Hakuna Matota.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 1:39 PM
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144: Lumpenproletarian comrade.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 1:47 PM
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161 to 159.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 1:53 PM
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TotShelf
TeatSeat
LunchPad


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 1:55 PM
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145.2: OMG yes. The bouncy chair was incredibly vital to our collective sanity when Iris was new. She demanded near-constant motion while awake, so, when I wasn't holding her while bouncing on a yoga ball, I was using my foot to make the bouncy chair bounce. It was beside my chair at the dining table, and I'd sometimes catch myself bouncing it after she'd gone up to bed. Kai didn't love it so much, but it was still handy as hell.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 1:56 PM
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Oh, and H-G's Target idea at 127 is pretty good - as long as you bear in mind that most of it is nonsense, it's a useful sort of menu, and will provide a sort of backup for when you're at your wit's end - "This baby want's constant motion! How could I possibly provide that? Hmm, maybe Target has something...." While so much baby stuff is superfluous, the stuff that your particular snowflake cottons onto becomes life-saving.

Oh, here's a tip: if your baby shows a clear preference for a stuffed animal (this won't be for months or even a year+), try to get a second one - we did this with Iris' teddy bear, and it's been very calming to know that we will never have to face the loss of Buddy. She's 5.5 and getting pretty grownup (first report card today!), but if Buddy were lost, shit would hit the fan (she of course knows nothing).


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 2:01 PM
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Actually, I think that the vibrate function in the bouncy chair had gone bust by the time Kai had it - that may be why it never impressed him much. So yes, get the Baby Shiatsu Chair from Brookstone, by all means.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 2:04 PM
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172: Do you keep switching out versions of Buddy so that both of them get about the same amount of wear? Or do you have some story like "we found Buddy, he was at a salon!" to explain how pristine the current Buddy's replacement would look?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 2:05 PM
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172: Oh man, would it ever have destroyed my ability to trust anyone if I discovered that The Kangyhopper was not only not unique, but was also probably complicit in the deception.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 2:17 PM
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174: Totally swap.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 2:23 PM
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I can't approve of this, JRoth. I'm aghast.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 2:26 PM
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176: So how will you explain the newness of the new Buddy, should he ever be called into action?

Or is Iris just the unobservant sort?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 2:28 PM
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What JRoth doesn't know is that he actually has two daughters, and one's been kept in reserve in case anything should happen to the first.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 2:29 PM
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"We've replaced Iris with Folger's Crystals. Let's see if JRoth notices the difference."


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 2:33 PM
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180: Not before he's had a cup of coffee he won't.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 2:34 PM
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Anything not mentioned in this song is probably inessential.

Great song.

I had actually been thinking about mentioning that one to you after the previous David Bowie conversation, as a genuinely touching performance, but I see you already know it.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 2:34 PM
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The new Iris knows Greek and Sanskrit.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 2:35 PM
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The new Iris, who burns more than she shines.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 2:36 PM
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A second identical stuffed animal once there's a favorite is definitely useful advice. I forget the circumstances, but I remember desperately googling to look for a duplicate, to find that
i) there were web forums where numerous distraught parents, totally without sense or dignity, publicly despaired of a lost purple walrus or whatever.
ii) there is no indexing of stuffed animal names, which are not on the included on the label anyway.
Our animal turned up, left at someone else's house.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 2:37 PM
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Our new baby will only sleep on his front. Because it's been drilled into our heads that this will kill 95% of children who are left unsupervised in that position longer than 2 minutes, we bought this (used for $40) that sounds an alarm if it can't detect the baby breathing.
I also recommend one of these for swaddling the first few months, makes it harder for the baby to escape the burrito.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 2:51 PM
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||

Scene from a faculty meeting

Eminent Black Composer: I'm introducing a course on Black Classical composers. It is an important area that is neglected all around.

Non-music faculty member 1: But if it's Black music, shouldn't you be talking about jazz?

EBC: No, I really want to discuss a neglected part of the Black experience,

Non-music faculty member 2: If you talked about Blues, you'd attract a lot more students.

EBC: This is a course on classical music.

Non-music faculty member 3: You don't want to scare students away. You should really talk about blues and jazz.

EBC: This is a course on classical music.

etc.

|>


Posted by: George Washington | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 2:54 PM
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...she of course knows nothing....

In 15 or 16 years, she'll be saying something similar about you, having replaced your wrecked car/laptop/binoculars/Viking refrigerator with a cheap, inflatable replica.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 2:54 PM
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The Ta Ta Tutu


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 3:00 PM
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187: Wow.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 3:03 PM
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I meant regular swapping - every few months. He basically doesn't leave the house anymore, so it's less fraught (and he sees less wear and tear), but it's still nice to know.

Iris did once spot him in the basement laundry room and ask AB what he was doing there. Fortunately she was ~3 at the time and not a rigorous investigator.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 3:04 PM
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187 is mortifying. I don't know whether the racism or the philistinism is more mortifying.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 3:07 PM
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187 is reported with an astonishing degree of equanimity, George. I would be throwing things hard-pressed to demonstrate such dispassion in reporting it.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 3:09 PM
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Mr. 187 on the undercover cop racist faculty members


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 3:11 PM
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172 -- holy shit JRoth, you are stone cold hearted.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 3:16 PM
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No way, man. Back-up Bunny is the way to go. As an engineer, I'd like to see even more redundancy.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 3:21 PM
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I don't know whether the racism or the philistinism is more mortifying.

I'd say the racism. (But then, of course I would.)


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 3:21 PM
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187: OMFG. I had to reread it to note that there were (at least) three morons talking to the music professor. I would have been speechless with irritation/rage.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 3:24 PM
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197: Boetian.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 3:24 PM
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Boeotian. Fuck.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 3:27 PM
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I think there should be an automated Buddy monitoring system that alerts you when it's time to swap.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 3:27 PM
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Or an automated Buddy swapping system.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 3:28 PM
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I assume it was actually a jazz course. Right? Am I missing something?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 3:29 PM
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I'm surprised that people are surprised by 187. What surprises me is that the other faculty members didn't get around to insisting that the class should be about rap. I suppose they probably realized that that would have been racist. Or maybe they just thought rap would scare away students.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 3:33 PM
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I'm shocked by reactions like 195 - I'm just protecting my little girl from heartbreak and sleepless nights!


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 3:44 PM
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205: The Noble Lie of the Unitary Buddy is necessary to preserve Western Civilization!!!


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 3:48 PM
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205: My parents did this for my brother S's stuffed turtle "Freddy." When there became need to replace Freddy (he was grotty and his neck was stretched out because that was how S carried him around), my mother pretended to wash Freddy and then presented S with Capgras Freddy.* S shrieked and wailed and wanted Freddy back how he was. S then shrieked and wailed for the new Freddy. After switching back and forth for a while, S ended up with both: Freddy and Grampa.

*Locution stolen from jms.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 3:49 PM
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I'm just protecting my little girl from heartbreak and sleepless nights!

You can't do that, you know.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 4:07 PM
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Have copies of the attachment object and swap often.

Teraz should do a write up for afoe—not apo. (Halford should write his book.)

The Ta Ta Tutu was great.

That is all.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 4:08 PM
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So anyway, that dog Lassie sure lived a long time.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 4:09 PM
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You can't do that, you know.

You're not that young anymore, Ben.

So anyway, that dog Lassie sure lived a long time.

Iris' first word was the name of our dog, who then died before she turned 2. Surely you horrible people don't want her to face more loss at such a tender age.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 4:35 PM
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Incidentally, Iris arbitrarily selected a blanket of hers to be "Blankie" and act as an additional attachment object - this happened just a few months ago, so we know it's pretty bogus. And, indeed, while Buddy is unquestionably worth a trip back down if he's left in the living room at bedtime, Blankie gets and "eh" reaction from her. "Now if it was Buddy left down there..." she adds.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 4:37 PM
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Iris' first word was the name of our dog, who then died before she turned 2.

This is why you should always keep a clone of your pet in a box in the closet, in case it is needed.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 4:37 PM
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My sister still has her attachment object, which she STOLE from me, her three-year older brother. Not that I am bitter about it or maladjusted for it.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 4:40 PM
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213: And name him Chance. (Scroll down to Act One.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 4:40 PM
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JRoth, you around? Is now a good time to talk about inlaid linoleum?


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 5:02 PM
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There's never a good time to talk about inlaid linoleum.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 5:04 PM
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Really? I'm starting to suspect that it is fabulous.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 5:07 PM
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I might need this.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 5:09 PM
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The first rule of inlaid linoleum is that you do not talk about inlaid linoleum.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 5:10 PM
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That isn't one thing, Megan.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 5:13 PM
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Our 3 year old will still randomly note how our dog died. We were talking about going to a park to ride a bike, which was also where we used to walk the dog, and he said, "Our dog died. He died." Need to get to work on more efficient cloning methods.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 5:14 PM
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I don't understand how inlaid linoleum proposes to enforce that rule.

I think I could out-run inlaid linoleum.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 5:14 PM
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Inlaid Linoleum is great for an older kitchen (I think you have a bungalow?). The nicer vintage versions were pretty pricey when I looked, but I am currently really regretting a decision to go with solid wood and an oil-based finish in the kitchen and may end up going linoleum at some point regardless.


Posted by: robert halford | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 5:15 PM
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221: How did you end up answering that CL ad, shug? Did she write you back? Where are you guys going for brunch?


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 5:15 PM
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Just because it's a rule of inlaid linoleum, that doesn't mean that inlaid linoleum is the enforcer. Jeez, Megan, you're all over the place lately.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 5:16 PM
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Don't call me "shug", Megan.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 5:16 PM
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Have a 1915 bungalow. With the tile kitchen with a stripe.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 5:16 PM
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Can I call you "sugar" or "honey"? Because I do in my head.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 5:18 PM
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Q: Why did the inlaid linoleum cross the road?
A: Beats Megan.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 5:18 PM
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Can I call you "sugar" or "honey"? Because I do in my head.

No.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 5:19 PM
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I think Megan should start a band called Inlaid Linoleum.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 5:21 PM
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OK. But if you detect a slight pause at the end of my sentences to you, it might be because I'm silently adding an endearment.

Did you answer the CL ad?


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 5:22 PM
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I did. I have not been answered back.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 5:27 PM
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Excellent. What kind of kitchen floor do you have now?


Posted by: robert halford | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 5:28 PM
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231: Oh, sweetie pie, don't be like that.


Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 5:31 PM
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You can call me whatever you like, Choppo.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 5:31 PM
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I think (I don't know that much about flooring) that it is vinyl sheeting. It is scuffed and stuff. I wouldn't actually care enough to replace it, but I'm about to have two roommates who want to do house projects. I'm looking around for a project that could absorb their energy for two months.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 5:40 PM
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You may well have intact super-cool vintage linoleum underneath the vinyl sheeting -- a lot of times a vinyl layer was added over the original linoleum floor, protecting the bottom layer. You can pull up the first layer and check, and if you get lucky, just use some products to remove the glue and restore the old floor. My neighbors did that and have a great looking kitchen.


Posted by: robert halford | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 5:55 PM
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I'd be surprised. I'll definitely check, but it seems like the original owners went with cheaper materials in the rest of the house. The living room and dining room didn't get the nice hardwood floors or those inlay borders or anything.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 5:58 PM
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234: Did you use my letter?


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 6:01 PM
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Take up flooring. Find original Declaration of Independence. Profit! This is both my answer to 240 and our current college savings plan.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 6:03 PM
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while Buddy is unquestionably worth a trip back down if he's left in the living room at bedtime, Blankie gets and "eh" reaction from her

Blankie!! Gets an "eh" reaction?!

It's funny, the kids these days grow up so much more quickly, I somehow vaguely thought that even at that young an age they wouldn't be doing the Blankie (or whatever) kind of thing any more. But of course they do.

By way of explanation, I had occasion to spend some time with teenaged girls over Thanksgiving, and man, the kids these days. They were doing a kind of Miley Cyrus thing (I hazard a guess) -- full makeup, push-up bra, pretty much completely sexed up. At age 15/16? I've seen them over the last couple of years enough that I'm not really fazed any more, but it does occur to me: we were a hell of lot more awkward than that at that age.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 6:03 PM
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Historians know everything.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 6:10 PM
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217 cannot be true while these pictures exist.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 6:16 PM
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There's a whole tv channel about this, Megan. HGTV? You can watch people hacking up their floors and replacing the whole kit and caboodle. I don't know how scientific the presentation is.

I mean, while we're at it, radiant floor heating is super fantastic.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 6:39 PM
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This does not represent an advance over my youth, which was 20 years ago.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 6:43 PM
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247 to?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 6:46 PM
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Mais où sont les linoleums d'antan?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 6:46 PM
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I love everything about this picture. EVERYTHING.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 6:47 PM
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247 to full makeup, push-up bra, pretty much completely sexed up. At age 15/16?


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 6:47 PM
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250: But those look suspiciously like glasses of Mountain Dew, don't they? Rather bright yellow. Limoncello, perhaps.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 6:48 PM
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I think they are probably radioactive space beverages, to be honest.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 7:02 PM
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This one is my favorite, I think because it is so close to the actual flavor of my living room. But I love a lot of those photos.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 7:05 PM
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251: Ah.

A high school friend of mine has been posting pictures of us in high school, and we didn't look that. I think you're a decade younger than me. We weren't wearing full eye-liner and mascara as a matter of course when we were 15/16. I'm not sure whether it's that our parents wouldn't have allowed it, or that that simply wasn't the trend in those days, or that we wouldn't have had the guts.

Certainly the push-up bra with relatively low neckline wasn't a done thing. You'd look just slutty in my day.

A generational thing.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 7:08 PM
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Certainly the push-up bra with relatively low neckline wasn't a done thing. You'd look just slutty in my day.

Eh, I'm sure there were equivalent looks in your day that would be considered slutty by the Miley Cyrus contingent. I don't think anything significant has shifted in this department since the 60s.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 7:13 PM
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250: rfts, by "I love everything about this" do you mean that you'd like to recreate it?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 7:13 PM
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A high school friend of mine has been posting pictures of us in high school, and we didn't look that.

I bet a number of these teenagers' classmates don't either. And, you know, they may look slutty to those classmates.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 7:13 PM
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250: rfts, by "I love everything about this" do you mean that you'd like to recreate it?

No, I mean that the women do not occupy the same Cartesian space as one another, that the men are be-rouged and one is fondling a banana, etc.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 7:14 PM
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You're my age, about? Close to forty? Buckets of eyemakeup was certainly the trend among high-school aged girls in the eighties. You're right that there weren't a lot of low necklines or tight tops, mostly. But that was fashion, more than modesty, I think -- teenage clothes were certainly tighter/more exposed both before and after the eighties.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 7:14 PM
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What I'm shocked by is how many of my friends on Facebook are commenting about getting the Christmas dishes out, or the holiday decorations, etc. I'm not shocked by any one person at all.

I guess if I owned some I liked, and if I liked Christmas more, I'd put them up. It's just one of those snapshots into people's lives that is surprising when you first see the survey of your friends, and then retrospectiely not that surprising.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 7:19 PM
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We've been lighting the ol scented christmas candle. It's fuckin' on fire!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 7:20 PM
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I think 258 is right.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 7:23 PM
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There's a whole tv channel about this, Megan. HGTV?.

But how would I ever access it? I don't even...


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 7:25 PM
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259: I mean that the women do not occupy the same Cartesian space as one another, that the men are be-rouged and one is fondling a banana, etc.

Oh, thanks. I did wonder. Yes.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 7:27 PM
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They got Megan!


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 7:27 PM
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Whoa. The picture linked in 254 took me so very suddenly back to the kitchen in my maternal grandmother's house. I last set foot in there almost 20 years ago.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 7:30 PM
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I'm still wondering about photos where women do occupy the same cartesian space as one another.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 7:31 PM
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I'm still wondering about photos where women do occupy the same cartesian space as one another.

Hangin' out together in a shared cartesian space large enough to hold them both, as well as a number of kicky kitchen furnishings, HEEBIE.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 7:33 PM
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So it's not like one is pregnant with the other?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 7:35 PM
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Or maybe one is part boa constrictor and one was part hamster.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 7:36 PM
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Not usually!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 7:36 PM
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Maybe one is the windshield and the other is the bug.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 7:36 PM
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Sometimes you're the tonsils; sometimes you're the mouth.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 7:37 PM
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"My drawing was not a picture of a hat. It was a picture of a boa constrictor digesting its organdy-clad dinner guest."


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 7:38 PM
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Me and my friends are like tape and a dispenser in the kitchen.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 7:38 PM
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"Honey, we're having the neighbors for dinner tonight."


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 7:40 PM
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I haven't backed up through wherever these pictures are coming from, but they seem clearly to be advertisements -- for linoleum? -- and as such will be reinforcing whatever picture of male/female relations was considered desirable at the time.

Anyway, they're educational. I can't say I'm a fan of the decor.

A lot of work has been done on this sort of thing; there's undoubtedly something out there tracing gradual shifts in the depiction of family power structures. With pictorial demonstration.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 7:42 PM
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Oh, sorry. I see the tone has shifted. I dunno, I still don't like the decor.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 7:45 PM
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Parsimon does not appreciate fabulous.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 7:47 PM
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But...but...I'm fabulous! Does that mean...?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 7:52 PM
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Now I'm fabulously off to bed. Because it's a fab, fab 9:15 and this poor fab-hag can barely keep her eyes open.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 7:53 PM
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there's undoubtedly something out there tracing gradual shifts in the depiction of family power structures.

Yes! Situation comedies, according to which, the 1980s was the nadir of father competency. Then everyone moved to cities and stopped being married.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 7:59 PM
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Anti-slut AND anti-linoleum? Count me out, Parsimon..


Posted by: Opinionated Naked 50's Bad Girl Fetishist | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 8:04 PM
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Okay.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 8:08 PM
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The 1980s saw many cultural developments in the family that turned out to be dead-ends, such as robotic little girls, space puppets, and dads who coached basketball.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 8:24 PM
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283: Earlier than the Eighties, I think. I remember my father ranting about it back in the Fifties and probably before.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life_of_riley


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 8:27 PM
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and as such will be reinforcing whatever picture of male/female relations was considered desirable at the time.

For instance, relations governed by cthulhuloid geometry.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 8:34 PM
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That's fascinating, Biohazard. Thanks.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 8:36 PM
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I love William Bendix.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 9:08 PM
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290: He keeps showing up in the TCM movies I catch.

If "Riley" was the archetypical man who needed a good woman to get or keep him out of trouble, "Father Knows Best" had the opposite character. Robert Young/Jim Anderson was so friggin' calm and wise he was beyond nauseating. The morality plays and outcomes were totally obvious and predictable even to a pre-teen me.

However, there was an article mentioning that in Hollywood business dealings Ozzie Nelson was known as "The father who really knows best".

I'll leave the hands-on research for someone who is really interested but I do remember lots of serious articles back then about what roles like Riley, Ozzie, and Anderson REALLY SAID about the American man and his future in the post-war world. (None of them mentioned glowing screens, keyboards, and mice in cubicles) Ashley Montagu's "The Natural Superiority of Women" came out in 1953 and added some fuel to the fire too.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 10:42 PM
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I guess it's just funnier when the dad is a schmo. And also when he has a robot daughter.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 11-30-09 11:02 PM
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Megan! I'm here! Let's talk linoleum!

Shit, I missed that by a lot, didn't I?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 12- 1-09 7:00 AM
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When I finally build my dream house the kitchen will be tiled with linoleum Escher lizards. I think the living room will have Penrose tiles.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 12- 1-09 7:03 AM
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Back to the OP, one thing I meant to bring up earlier is that for some people I've met, the impetus to pine for a system with proportional representation seems to stem from a conception of their own vote as a profound act of personal expression, akin to one's choice of music, clothes, authors, etc., rather than as an actual means of getting things they want done.

I do sympathize, and would love to be able to vote more often for candidates I'm actually enthusiastic about rather than just less dissatisfied with than the opposition. But, I also get the feeling that in a proportional representation system, these same people would just transfer their disdain for the necessity of making mature pragmatic choices onto the after-election process of forming coalitions.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 12- 1-09 7:04 AM
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I think the living room will have Penrose tiles.

I know someone who did this.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12- 1-09 7:07 AM
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295: To be honest, I'd like to vote on what everyone wears and listens to, also.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12- 1-09 7:08 AM
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297: Oh I think you'd prefer dictatorial powers over sartorial and musical matters, not just one puny vote.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 12- 1-09 7:54 AM
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Well, I'd like the illusion of democracy. But perhaps it could have a lot of voter fraud.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12- 1-09 7:57 AM
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would love to be able to vote more often for candidates I'm actually enthusiastic about rather than just less dissatisfied with than the opposition

The problem I want PR or IRV to help with is the fact that other people won't do this, and my less-satisfying-but-electable candidate will have their votes siphoned off by the pie-in-the-sky candidate. The fact that I voted for a while in a PR system (Cambridge, MA city council and school board) reinforced this sense quite a bit.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 12- 1-09 8:16 AM
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JRoth! I have questions!

Could I have a grey floor with inlaid daisies?

How hard is this project going to be?

Can three chicks install the floor themselves if one of them is very craft-y, one of them actually knows about house maintenance, and the strong one can follow directions?

How would I buy the rolls of linoleum or marmoleum? There are bright pretty colors in those demo floors, but the boring flooring sites only show marbled neutral stuff.

Which do I want, linoleum or marmoleum?

The cuts have to be precise, don't they? Could I maybe have someone draw me a design of daisies and then take the rolls of flooring somewhere to be cut? There are machines that do that stuff, aren't there?

How come I didn't know that a linoleum floor could be so awesome until yesterday?


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12- 1-09 8:35 AM
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300: Agreed. If it can help voter turnout and keep, e.g., Nader from ruining America, I'm all for it.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 12- 1-09 8:43 AM
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On the other hand, it's nice when Ross Perot, Ron Paul, etc. siphon off the other side's votes.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 12- 1-09 8:43 AM
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I'm pretty sure marmoleum=linoleum. One's a trade name or something. I don't know anything else, though.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 1-09 8:45 AM
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Wikipedia says that marmoleum was the second iteration of linoleum, both invented a long time ago.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12- 1-09 8:48 AM
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305: Most of the classic period Roman mosaics are actually linoleum. The archeologists don't let you walk on them so nobody notices.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 1-09 8:51 AM
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No, a different long time ago.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12- 1-09 8:52 AM
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296: was it him?


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 12- 1-09 8:53 AM
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301: There are places that will laser cut just about any material into just about any shape. I've seen (but can't currently locate) a place that has downloadable software you use to sketch out your part on your computer, upload with the click of a button, and tadaa! Your part shows up by UPS a few days later. Spendy, but very cool.

Once you start down the path of custom cut linoleum you'll be tempted to go wild with wacky designs. You should give in to the temptation. Wacky is good.

This place is similar to the service I'm thinking of, but more oriented towards metals.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 12- 1-09 9:15 AM
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marmoleum:linoleum::marmite:vegemite


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12- 1-09 9:16 AM
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310: is banned:is banned::is banned:is banned


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 12- 1-09 9:19 AM
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308 is awesome.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12- 1-09 9:23 AM
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309: Togolosh, that's perfect. That's just what I need.

I'm trying to think how they will ship a small kitchen floor's worth of linoleum.

Yes, I am quite in favor of giving in to temptation. In for a penny, in for a pound, I say.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12- 1-09 9:24 AM
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311: Than analogy ban is like an umbrella protecting us from conversational dead-ends.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 1-09 9:24 AM
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How do you seal the cracks between the cut pieces? Can you heat-seal them together, or is there a finish coat?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 1-09 9:26 AM
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All of this is reviving my desire to have my bathroom floor look like a two lane road, with long yellow rectangles and Bott's dots down the center. Of course, there's no point in that until I get the clawfoot tub re-porcelainized with ghost flames (fast, not cauldron) and switch out the faucets for a steering wheel and a stick shift.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12- 1-09 9:28 AM
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The Youtube videos make it look like you do an excellent job cutting them, and then they mush together really close.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12- 1-09 9:29 AM
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313: Maybe your kitchen floor should be made out of paving stones.

Oh, that's togolosh. Sorry, I don't have daisies.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 12- 1-09 9:29 AM
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Nothing says "clean" like blown motors and race headers.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12- 1-09 9:29 AM
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Sometimes I think that JRoth doesn't really want to talk about inlaid linoleum.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12- 1-09 9:29 AM
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paving stones


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 12- 1-09 9:30 AM
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320: I think if you suggested you wanted the floor to look like a baseball diamond, you'd get more attention.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 1-09 9:33 AM
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Why would I want a floor to look like a baseball diamond? That's preposterous.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12- 1-09 9:39 AM
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Portions of it would hide dirt very well.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 1-09 9:41 AM
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323: JRoth's heart wants what it wants.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 12- 1-09 9:42 AM
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