Re: A Year Off

1

What's a cross-sum?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05- 2-13 7:30 AM
horizontal rule
2

The addition sign is a little cross.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 2-13 7:31 AM
horizontal rule
3

Aka Kakuro. Silly puzzles.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 2-13 7:32 AM
horizontal rule
4

1) I am looking forward to reading the link when my day stops sucking, because I have constant fantasies of what my life would be like if I weren't on an internet heroin drip.

2) I stop eating desserts all the time. The cravings don't go away but there's a point ten days in where it stops feeling urgent. What wrecks it, and any other good dietary intentions, is usually my social life. If I were a hermit, I'd be skinny!! And rich!!


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 05- 2-13 7:33 AM
horizontal rule
5

With the internet, I spend a great deal of time reading things that aren't in any way connected to what I'm supposed to be doing. This differs from what I did before the internet mostly in terms of not involving paper.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 2-13 7:33 AM
horizontal rule
6

Last time I didn't have the internet or the functional equivalent (BBSs) I was twelve. I wasn't very productive when I was twelve. I also watched a shitload of MTV and read a great many sci-fi books five or six times.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 2-13 7:36 AM
horizontal rule
7

It took me a surprisingly long time to figure out what made the internet great. I didn't really discover blogs until 2005.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 2-13 7:37 AM
horizontal rule
8

I usually give up sweets for Lent, but I still eat muffins. I do avoid the ones with chocolate chips or frosting.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 2-13 7:56 AM
horizontal rule
9

I thought perhaps my sweet tooth would be recalibrated and I'd have a lower satiety point.

I quit drinking for the first five or six years after college. The first time after that I had a Milwaukee's Best, and it tasted incredibly strong and hoppy.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 05- 2-13 7:57 AM
horizontal rule
10

I tried a PBR the other day and I could barely finish it. I don't know what I'd make of it if I tried the Beast these days.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 2-13 7:59 AM
horizontal rule
11

8: I wouldn't have thrown out a bran muffin or something. I had some internal monitor that deemed these too dessert-like.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 2-13 8:03 AM
horizontal rule
12

What about a standard blueberry muffin, maybe with the usual dusting of sugar on the top?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 2-13 8:04 AM
horizontal rule
13

13: thrown out. Too cake-like.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 2-13 8:10 AM
horizontal rule
14

What about a blueberry scone?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 2-13 8:15 AM
horizontal rule
15

Nope.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 2-13 8:16 AM
horizontal rule
16

Really? Scones don't even taste good.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 2-13 8:17 AM
horizontal rule
17

No candy at all?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 05- 2-13 8:18 AM
horizontal rule
18

I somehow stopped eating desserts almost at all, counterintuitively, in college, when eating every meal in the moderately well-regarded dining halls. Probably I thought the smorgasbord of treats laid out was too much of a muchness. The only exception was a pint of Ben and Jerry's when all the semester's work was done. And that's persisted: sweets will disappear when they're provided at work, but I don't get any for home. I still have major eating problems, but centered on carbs and meat.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 05- 2-13 8:19 AM
horizontal rule
19

17: certainly not.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 2-13 8:22 AM
horizontal rule
20

This is like your posts on exercise and sports. I'm just thinking "Dude, heebs is hardcore."


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 05- 2-13 8:23 AM
horizontal rule
21

Gosh, heebie, weren't you sad? I guess it was a good thing you had Jammies.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 05- 2-13 8:24 AM
horizontal rule
22

I'd have to think about when I wasn't connected to some kind of electronic world, though I'm not sure if small, local dial-up BBSs with six users really count (Pesky long-distance phone rates).

I did once quit drinking for a couple of months, mostly to see if I could stop feeling like crap in the morning. Verdict: I feel like crap in the morning anyway.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 05- 2-13 8:25 AM
horizontal rule
23

I waste a lot of time online, but I don't think I wasted less time before I met the internet in college. (And I didn't really do much online stuff before the late 90s -- I read bits of Usenet passively, but I probably posted to it less than twenty times


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 2-13 8:28 AM
horizontal rule
24

20: you should hear me complain when I've got a hangnail.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 2-13 8:28 AM
horizontal rule
25

23: I don't think I ever posted to usenet, but I used to spend hours reading it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 2-13 8:29 AM
horizontal rule
26

Wasting time online: I read somewhere that in some jobs, productivity gains from technology has been surprisingly even. A wash but not a loss. 40 years ago, people had to go down to archives in some dingy basement to check records, and go to another room for the fax, or used the regular mail which is even slower, and had more in-person meetings. Today all that stuff can be done quickly at your own desk, and the time you would have saved is spent commenting on blogs.

Eating more healthily: I have tried and failed utterly to give up on junk food. Cut back on it a bit, but mostly just by transferring to slightly-less-junky food. Like, I don't really need more than a bowl of cereal in the morning to make it to lunch, but I have a soft spot for lemon poppy seed muffins and I walk by them most days in the cafeteria. If I just have cereal then I'm very likely to buy a muffin, so these days I've been having a bagel with cream cheese with my breakfast in addition to cereal. At best it's only a tiny bit healthier than a muffin and might even be worse, but at least it's cheaper. Oh well.

On the other hand, I've had no problems at all going pescetarian. I think I probably could have even gone vegetarian if my fiancée was willing. Apparently mass-produced carbs are more important to me than succulent bacon. Go figure.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 05- 2-13 8:55 AM
horizontal rule
27

Before the internet, I used to hang out in libraries and read shit-tons of magazines. The internet has made my content-devouring habit so much more convenient. Better content, too.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 05- 2-13 9:12 AM
horizontal rule
28

27: Even after the internet one of the ways I de-stressed was to walk into the periodicals stacks and pick up magazines almost at random and read them cover to cover. I learned all kinds of cool and obscure stuff. At one point I toyed with the idea of setting up a business that delivered random magazines by subscription. One month you get Vogue, next month it's Tunnels and Tunnelling, then Field and Stream, and so forth.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 05- 2-13 9:27 AM
horizontal rule
29

28: That's one of the things I did instead of writing my Master's thesis at University of Chicago.

Of course that was way pre-internet.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 05- 2-13 9:35 AM
horizontal rule
30

28: or Pie and Brownie, then Fancier Cat, then Hoop and Stick.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05- 2-13 9:48 AM
horizontal rule
31

28: Nonwoven Textiles; there's a journal for civic/commercial composters; ditto for maintaining sewer systems; at least one of the 17th c lit journals used to have quite understandable articles.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 05- 2-13 10:20 AM
horizontal rule
32

5 and 6, definitely.
Most times I encounter the internet-fast idea, it's in the context of "the internet is sneaky and evil, and will turn you into an evil blob", which if true, would make giving it up the right thing to do, I suppose.
I just figure that if you're a time-wasting-evil-blob with the net, you're probably a TWEB without it.


Posted by: Mentioner | Link to this comment | 05- 2-13 10:25 AM
horizontal rule
33

(Which is not to imply that 5 is a TWEB--at worst, probably just a TWB)


Posted by: Mentioner | Link to this comment | 05- 2-13 10:27 AM
horizontal rule
34

I've taken blog hiatuses (hiait?) every now and then, usually when I've totally so embarrassed myself by being aggressively wrong on the internet, I just can't go on. (As you folks know, this is a fairly high threshold for me.) Six or seven months, at least once, usually more like a month or two. I don't think I'm more productive. And I don't think my contributions when I come back are any more valuable.

I went off all media -- blogs, newspapers, TV, everything -- for 2 months beginning November 3, 2004. This was actually pretty good.

Doing without email is simply madness. Also impossible in my line of work.

On food, I'm nearing the end of my annual 9 month low carb stint, and have become so bored with my diet that I find myself just skipping meals altogether. It's lunch time right now, and if I could eat red beans and rice, I'd be down at that hole in the wall where they have the Cajun food. Or maybe the new Brazilian place. But no, sitting in the office, on the goddam internet, because another bunless bacon cheeseburger just doesn't seem worth the effort of cutting bites.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 05- 2-13 11:21 AM
horizontal rule
35

It's not that I think I would be less of a Time Wasting Evil Blob without the internet; it's that I think I would waste my time in better ways than trying to come up with something funny to say on facebook. I'm not sure if this judgment is moral or aesthetic or what.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 05- 2-13 11:30 AM
horizontal rule
36

33: Thanks.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 2-13 11:31 AM
horizontal rule
37

I didn't have a tv for about a year when I first went to San Francisco pre-Internet. I liked it. I mainly spent my time reading. I would give up the Internet if it was easy to do. I get a lot more done when I am not connected to the Internet.


Posted by: Lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 05- 2-13 11:59 AM
horizontal rule
38

34: Hiatūs.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 05- 2-13 12:59 PM
horizontal rule
39

I had no Internet access during the summer of 2003. I had the use of a computer, but it was fairly old and I never set it up for Internet access. I kept in touch with people by phone, read books from the library or bookstore, watched movies at the theater, and met new people at work (to the extent that I did meet people).

It doesn't really count as this experiment, though. For one thing, I did have that computer for games, even if just crappy ones like Minesweeper. For another, that was before I was aware of Internet communities, at least in the way I am now.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 05- 2-13 2:05 PM
horizontal rule
40

The way that I waste time on the internet (generally: reading ephemeral things) really fills me with self-loathing, but it's not clear what I'd be doing that would make me feel better if I weren't using it. And since my medium/long-term plans about learning how to code sort of require that I be connected, and it's my failure to get this stuff done that's one of the main drivers of the self-loathing, a general disconnect wouldn't help.

A good friend of mine--a Google engineer, as it happens, though he wasn't at the time--went quite some time, well over a year, without a home computer (and this was before smartphones), and seemed to like it. But not enough to stay with it, I guess.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 05- 2-13 5:44 PM
horizontal rule
41

I've been reading the linked post in the OP slowly and gradually, and becoming fearful: oh noes! He's going to decide that no-internet life is boring.

I have a speculation: he says he's used the internet constantly since he was twelve. I think that'll do it! You're just not going to be able to sustain an internet-free life if you've been constantly plugged in since puberty.

It's not the case that everyone *should* go internet-free, but I think this guy's youngish age has a lot to do with his eventually Meh experience.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05- 2-13 6:12 PM
horizontal rule
42

If I didn't have the internet, I think I would be far less efficient at looking at pictures of cats.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 05- 2-13 6:14 PM
horizontal rule
43

I think going off the internet would reduce my general sense of "too many heads still on bodies." Probably because it's easier online to imagine you are wielding a samurai sword that can take heads off of the bodies of assholes without legal repercussion.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05- 2-13 6:18 PM
horizontal rule
44

Probably because it's easier online to imagine you are wielding a samurai sword

We call this stage of ennerdening "The Stephenson Epiphany".


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 2-13 6:20 PM
horizontal rule
45

27

Before the internet, I used to hang out in libraries and read shit-tons of magazines. ...

Ditto.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 05- 2-13 6:28 PM
horizontal rule
46

I also used to spend most of my free time pre-internet reading magazines. I think switching to blogs has been a huge improvement in pretty much every way.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05- 2-13 6:36 PM
horizontal rule
47

Once this thread dies, I won't read it again for at least a year. If someone links to a comment in the thread, I'll close the tab immediately.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 05- 2-13 6:42 PM
horizontal rule
48

Before the internet, I used to have a lot more informal get-togethers with people.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05- 2-13 6:47 PM
horizontal rule
49

Hell, I was a huge fan of Viggo before LotR.

"Walk on the Moon", "American Yakuza" "Indian Runner", "Fresh Horses" "Reflecting Skin" "Ruby Cairo aka Deception" "Passion of Darkly Noon" and the Devil in "The Prophecy"

Thing is, Mortensen has made a career as a character actor by playing (very very well!) sketchy weakish floundering almost losers with uncertain morals and didn't seem a good fit for Aragorn.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05- 2-13 6:59 PM
horizontal rule
50

I also used to spend most of my free time pre-internet reading magazines for the articles.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 05- 2-13 7:20 PM
horizontal rule
51

Much of my early grad school procrastination involved reading a bunch of book reviews and articles in academic journals. That doesn't sound like procrastination, but this was stuff that wasn't assigned or necessarily relevant to whatever assignment I was putting off.

So by an academic involvement measure, reading regular news and blogs and stuff was a definite drop in "productivity." A climb in mental health, though. Mostly.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 05- 2-13 7:50 PM
horizontal rule
52

I just read the article in the OP. It's good, but I couldn't identify very much with his attitude at the beginning.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05- 2-13 8:48 PM
horizontal rule
53

reading ephemeral things

The archives are timeless.


Posted by: Kreskin | Link to this comment | 05- 2-13 8:56 PM
horizontal rule
54

When my wife and I moved into our previous flat, because the landlords had cocked up something [unintentionally] with the wiring, we had both no internet for about 6 weeks, and no TV for longer. I also wasn't able to connect up my hi-fi to the home network, so we had no digital music, either.

So for about a month or two, for amusument we listened to nothing but vinyl LPs and the radio, and read books and played chess/cards/Scrabble, etc. It was interesting, and quite pleasant. It turned out I didn't really miss the internet at home as much as I thought I would [I was still able to read blogs and check email at work], and not having digital music changed my listening habits back (or reinforced changes I was already beginning to make) in a way that has more or less stuck ever since.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05- 2-13 11:57 PM
horizontal rule
55

On Clapton being terrible. That's something I've been vocal about in the past. Not only a racist, but a terribly over-rated guitar player (Beano, and maybe a bit of early Cream excepted). But by way of counter-balance, here he is with Smokey Robinson quite recently, playing quite OK:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LswORBE1Wic

Also, Smokey Robinson, botox-aside still has it. Also, quite nice that a man with his catalogue of compositions, chose to cover something recent.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05- 3-13 12:06 AM
horizontal rule
56

We call this stage of ennerdening "The Stephenson Epiphany".

I never really understood the nerdly fascination with swordfighting. Swordfighting is hard, hard physical work - and really trying to kill someone with a sword would be a horrific experience, like trying to cut up a pig carcass with a cleaver while it was alive, screaming and trying to do the same to you. It's not Inigo Montoya executing a dazzling series of puntas rinversos, allongez, stoccatas, embrocatas, pasas sopras, puntas arenas, paso dobles and pablo nerudas before running his enemy neatly through the heart - uuurgh! - it's a dreadful, bloody spectacle with two men literally trying to hack each other to pieces. The terrible multiple wounds that you find on mediaeval battlefield dead are evidence of this.

Archery - especially given what modern bows are like, all counterbalances and carbon fibre - seems much more satisfyingly nerdly.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05- 3-13 1:39 AM
horizontal rule
57

I remember one of those archaeology docs where they reconstructed the physique and appearance of a 14th c. knight/soldier's body dug up at Stirling castle. The guy was 200lb plus of solid muscle, built like a rugby prop forward, and with a massive imbalance on his sword/bow side. Def. not elegant poncing type, which was more once guns arrived, and swords weren't serious weapons of war, I suppose.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05- 3-13 2:15 AM
horizontal rule
58

57: it's all about weapons and armour. Epee and foil fencing are closest to the sort of courtly/poncy 17th/18th century smallsword fencing that you're thinking about, and good fencers nowadays are thin and wiry. Partly, of course, with duelling you are just trying to draw blood and not necessarily to kill - even when you kill, it's with the point in a lunge, so you don't need a lot of arm strength, you need speed and dexterity.

14th century fighters would use the classic one-handed, cross-hilted arming sword - what you think of when you think "sword" - or maybe a longer bastard sword. That's more about repeated hacking with the edge rather than poking with the point, especially as you're hoping to get through mail. So, yes, prop-forward types - because they're fighting while loaded as well, with 30-50lb or more of mail and steel plate and shield.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05- 3-13 2:51 AM
horizontal rule
59

re: 58.1

Yeah, I used to fence. I competed for the university.* Also, had some coaching from the Olympic foil coach. I was never really that thin or wiry, though. At the time I was pretty lean and still struggled to get into any of the club jackets.

So I'm familiar with the technical differences.

I watched another doc in which some people were wearing full armour and doing 'stuff'. By way of debunking the whole 'knights couldn't get onto their feet if they fell over' stuff. As in running assault courses, vaulting over fences, climbing, doing push-ups, etc.

* which makes it sound like I was a fencing blue, but I only ever fenced for the novice team [people with less than 2 years training/competition].


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05- 3-13 3:48 AM
horizontal rule
60

and pablo nerudas

Heh.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05- 3-13 3:52 AM
horizontal rule
61

59.1: I didn't know that. Me too - school (where we had a couple of future national team members), and a bit at university. Not a Blue either though. Clearly we will need to duel at the next meetup.

Armour wasn't that heavy - at the Wallace Collection and various other places they've got replicas that you can try on, and it compares pretty well to modern armour (Kevlar helmet and body armour plates) which you can definitely do assault courses etc in.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05- 3-13 3:54 AM
horizontal rule
62

it's a dreadful, bloody spectacle with two men literally trying to hack each other to pieces.

THe Malkovich/Close version of Dangerous Liaisons was quite good at representing that. I'd expected the duel scene to be a typical cinematic pas de deux, but in fact you saw a couple of desperate, frightened and not very competent young men thrashing at each other and trying to dodge. Mostly trying to dodge. Much better than usual.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 05- 3-13 4:06 AM
horizontal rule
63

re: 61.1

Yeah. I wasn't ever that good. There were national team members training at Oxford, too, and they were so far ahead of me it was a joke. They weren't even interested in having a practice bout as it was boring and not a challenge. Compared to the other (relative) beginners, though, I was pretty good. A couple of times against other intermediate level fencers I had that experience that I rarely (or ever, really, unless I really out-reach the other person) get when kickboxing: that I could touch the other person with total impunity, at will, that every plan or move I executed would come off without ever being at risk of being touched myself. It was a very odd feeling. I haven't fenced at all in 10 years. My wife is keen I do some again.*

* as I was in pretty great shape at the time.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05- 3-13 4:24 AM
horizontal rule
64

I think the nerdy, or at least the SF fan, swordfighting thing comes from a belief that the courtly/poncy 17th/18th century smallsword fencing pwns the hack-and-slash medieval sort of thing, and so it's a straightforward brains-over-brawn fantasy. Think L. Sprague DeCamp's Compleat Enchanter stories -- American college professor falls into the world of the Faerie Queene and is unstoppable with his college epee team skills.

I'm not saying this is realistic, but I'm pretty sure that's part of the thinking.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 3-13 4:29 AM
horizontal rule
65

re: 64

Yeah. You used to get that [way before MMA days] a fair bit with esoteric martial art beats boxing, too. Similar nerdy brains beats brawn fantasy. Until people actually tried it. And then started introducing rules to ban or otherwise disadvantage boxers entering competitions, as they kept inconveniently beating people up.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05- 3-13 4:34 AM
horizontal rule
66

And fencing, particularly, is a forgiving sport for non-athletes to try to pick up. Somewhere in the archives I told the story of my one athletic achievement in high school, winning the class tournament at the end of a beginner fencing class, and I can't imagine another sport I could have done that in, having at the time zero muscle strength or aerobic conditioning.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 3-13 4:39 AM
horizontal rule
67

A "bastard sword". Now that sounds awesome. Is it a BASTARD of a sword? Or a sword for slaying THE BASTARDS?


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 05- 3-13 4:47 AM
horizontal rule
68

IIRC, the other thing you call it is a hand-and-a-half sword -- you've got one-handed swords, giant two-handed swords, and then an intermediate size where you switch between one and two handed grips like a backhand in tennis. I believe 'bastard' refers to the intermediate nature of it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 3-13 4:52 AM
horizontal rule
69

Wikipedia totally fails to support me in this, which suggests that I'm full of it. And I can't remember where I think I got it from. So disregard 68.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 3-13 4:53 AM
horizontal rule
70

I agree with 68. Hell with Wikipedia.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 3-13 4:58 AM
horizontal rule
71

Wikipedia in fact endorses your idea as a modern usage, it just doesn't apply to the late middle ages.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 05- 3-13 4:59 AM
horizontal rule
72

With the rise of plate armour, ISTR that the sword fell out of use in favour of the poleaxe, whose main use seems to have been used to bludgeon your oponent to the ground and then use your ballock knife to slide in through a convenient gap in the armour. (Eye slit, or as the name implies, other necessary gaps for movement.)


Posted by: Richard J | Link to this comment | 05- 3-13 5:05 AM
horizontal rule
73

71: So it does -- I should have finished reading the paragraph.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 3-13 5:12 AM
horizontal rule
74

66: Stock car racing.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 05- 3-13 5:18 AM
horizontal rule
75

What if your fantasy of sword play actually doesn't involve rapid foil movements but instead you just want to hack the necks off of dudes who piss you off with a blade? Once again, nerd dominance of the internet denies me a voice.

Also, I used to fence very seriously in Junior High/High School, but only in sabre -- the manliest of the three weapons. It was a shit-ton of fun and the absence of competition made it great. I'm about as far as you can get from a natural athlete but for a little while I was ranked 15 nationally in under-17s (out of maybe maximum I dunno, 300, so not actually impressive, but still, national ranking). I stupidly gave it up before college, and think periodically about going back but crossfit takes up too much time. I feel like I'm a bit old for sabre at this point and if I went back might switch to epee, the weapon you can do until you're 98*

*Literally, my first coach was 94 when I started taking lessons with him. Interesting guy.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05- 3-13 5:26 AM
horizontal rule
76

This guy. It was amazing taking a class in 1986 from a guy who had been in the 1928 olympics and taught Errol Flynn, but he died soon thereafter. Was almost blind with cataracts but could still fence.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05- 3-13 5:31 AM
horizontal rule
77

Sorry, this guy. Take two.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05- 3-13 5:32 AM
horizontal rule
78

By the way, in case you're interested in the topic of the OP but can't be bothered to read the article, the latest Vergecast is mostly dedicated to it, unsurprisingly, and also features "live" footage of Miller's reintroduction to the internet.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 05- 3-13 5:35 AM
horizontal rule
79

instead you just want to hack the necks off of dudes who piss you off with a blade? Once again, nerd dominance of the internet denies me a voice.

Different kind of nerd. It's a big tent, nerd brother.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 3-13 5:43 AM
horizontal rule
80

The tent poles are a series of tubes.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 3-13 5:53 AM
horizontal rule
81

OK fine nerd comity. Anyhow, check out the Ralph Faulkner story, the dude was a true badass.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05- 3-13 6:04 AM
horizontal rule
82

It seems to me like swords are the weapon for nerds simply because fantasy is the genre for nerds. Before the popularity of anime, there was Star Wars; before Star Wars, there was Lord of the Rings; before LotR, there was Conan and tons of pulpish stuff that's less well-known these days. Fancy epees or katanas or broadswords, they're all exotic and remote enough from day-to-day practicality to be important to escapist fiction. And then you've got the SCA crowd. If you want to get into any real-life version of a sword-and-sorcery story, you don't have the "sorcery" option, so that leaves the sword.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 05- 3-13 6:28 AM
horizontal rule
83

Oh god, Kid D is into swords. A friend of ours does Tudor recreation stuff, and gives her swordplay lessons every time we see him. Is she going to grow up into a nerd???


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 05- 3-13 7:52 AM
horizontal rule
84

If she does, it won't do her any harm. And if I've got the kids straight, her nom-du-other-blog works really entertainingly for a swordfighter: with sailing lessons, she'd be ready to take over for the Dread Pirate Roberts.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 3-13 7:54 AM
horizontal rule
85

83: Some guy down just down the block from that house I was showing here earlier this week did Tudor recreation stuff if killing your wife counts as Tudor recreation.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 3-13 7:56 AM
horizontal rule
86

84 - ha, yes.

85 - er, okaaaay.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 05- 3-13 9:02 AM
horizontal rule
87

My fencing teacher was in his late 80s. He had stories about a friend who was the fencing master to Teddy Roosevelt.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 05- 3-13 9:07 AM
horizontal rule
88

My teacher wasn't that old, early seventies maybe, but she had taught my mother fencing thirty years before.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 3-13 9:09 AM
horizontal rule
89

Or, late seventies. Looked very healthy for her age.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 3-13 9:11 AM
horizontal rule
90

Good lord. Is everyone on this blog a secret fencer? This next meetup is going to be AMAZING.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05- 3-13 9:20 AM
horizontal rule
91

||

Completely off topic, this is the stupidest idea I've seen in many a long year.

|>


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 05- 3-13 9:21 AM
horizontal rule
92

90: Swords out, motherfuckers!


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 3-13 9:23 AM
horizontal rule
93

90. Yes, it has a lot of potential beyond mere knife fights.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 05- 3-13 9:23 AM
horizontal rule
94

Part of the problem is people are looking at their own experiences, like break-ups and divorces, and making the mistake of treating children's emotions as if they were adults, he argues.

And by putting the spotlight on the negative aspects of close friendships, such as the friendship breaking down, adults are simply exaggerating day-to-day experiences.

Emerson, thou shouldst be blogging at this hour; the Mineshaft has need of thee.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05- 3-13 9:23 AM
horizontal rule
95

90: Swords out, motherfuckers!

I picture Fresh Salt resounding to the ring of drawn steel and the shouts of "one for all, and all for Mutumbo!"

I have an appropriate hat for this kind of scenario, if that would help.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05- 3-13 9:28 AM
horizontal rule
96

There's something to be said for 'best friend' language as not a great thing in that it encourages having few friends and putting those friends into implicit competition with each other for who's closest to you. But that's an argument for using different language to describe your friendships, not so much for telling kids not to have super-close friendships.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 3-13 9:29 AM
horizontal rule
97

I fenced enough in high school that I both broke a weapon on someone else and had someone else break one on me. Let's hear it for helmets and stiff jackets.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 05- 3-13 10:04 AM
horizontal rule
98

Breaking a foil on someone was kind of the high point of that one class I took. We both lunged, he missed, I didn't, and there I was stabbing him with a broken sword from a distance of about six inches. I walked around in an illusory cloud of toughness for weeks. (It takes sadly little to inflate my ego.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 3-13 10:09 AM
horizontal rule
99

We didn't have fencing where I was in high school, but getting a badminton birdie caught in the rafters of the gym was seen as a feat of supreme skill and strength. You had to be able to do it without looking like you were trying to do it or the gym teacher would try to make you pay for the birdie.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 3-13 10:15 AM
horizontal rule
100

I was also a fencer in high school. The local college club was run by a bunch of SCA dorks. My first teacher invited me after debating what class and level Bugs Bunny would be in D&D. (I think we settled on Illusionist/Thief in the twenties, but I dunno.)


Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 05- 3-13 4:24 PM
horizontal rule
101

Good lord! If you asked me before this thread how many high schools in America had fencing teams, my guess would definitely have been in the two digits. Now ... three?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05- 3-13 4:29 PM
horizontal rule
102

how many high schools in America had fencing teams

Personally, I'm surprised to learn that these schools were so openly sanctioning organized property crime.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05- 3-13 4:32 PM
horizontal rule
103

I fenced for a while too. Our headmistress was a fencer, and it was quite popular.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 05- 4-13 1:01 AM
horizontal rule
104

Yet another former fencer here too.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 05- 4-13 5:52 AM
horizontal rule
105

101 gets it exactly right.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 4-13 5:59 AM
horizontal rule
106

Cala was also a very competitive fencer, right?


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 05- 4-13 6:20 AM
horizontal rule
107

I don't think I even knew that fencing was offered at any high school except for poncy Little Lord Fauntleroy's School for Albino Hemophiliacs.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 4-13 6:24 AM
horizontal rule
108

I'd have said zero. What an unexpected commonality.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 05- 4-13 6:30 AM
horizontal rule
109

Wouldn't it be funny if you filled out a FOIA request and it just said "cats," and then the government had to provide you with every document it had regarding cats? I presume there are safeguards against this, but it would still be funny.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 05- 4-13 6:37 AM
horizontal rule
110

I took fencing as an after-school activity in 3rd grade, then privately (with the same teacher) in like 5th grade, and then again to fulfill part of my HS physical education requirement in 12th grade, through the University. Never really learned to fence worth a damn, but I still have some basic muscle memory, as evinced by my very fencing-movement approach to dance class a few weeks ago.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 05- 4-13 6:40 AM
horizontal rule
111

Or "Compare and contrast Austen's novels, due next Wednesday."


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 4-13 6:42 AM
horizontal rule
112

110: The oddest thing I ever did for a PE requirement was a unit on square dancing.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05- 4-13 6:46 AM
horizontal rule
113

My high school didn't offer fencing which I really wanted to do at the time. I've done kendo which is one hell of a work out and some Tai Chi Chen-style single straight sword form but that's not really fencing because no opponent but still lot's of fun.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 05- 4-13 6:58 AM
horizontal rule
114

112: My psychopathic teacher (she looked like an extra from A Boy and His Dog, and had similar politics to those characters) in 4th grade forced her students to square-dance instead of having recess in the winter. The only other option was to sit in the darkened classroom and read, which of course, I did. My fellow refuseniks were a little Asperger's fellow and a slight stupider version of myself. The former is now a USDOT researcher/community liaison and I think I saw the latter voting in the 2004 election. He looked like the intervening years had not been kind. We sat around and read comic books and kvetched about how awful the teacher was.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 05- 4-13 7:00 AM
horizontal rule
115

In hindsight, they probably should have put a colon into that title somewhere, or indeed, shortened it considerably.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 05- 4-13 7:01 AM
horizontal rule
116

she looked like an extra from A Boy and His Dog

Above ground or below?


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 05- 4-13 7:03 AM
horizontal rule
117

We did square dancing in elementary school. It was fine, whatever.

Weirdest thing I did for a gym credit was independent study ultimate frisbee. Which isn't that weird a sport, of course, but typically "independent study" and "high school gym class" are not coincident terms.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 4-13 7:12 AM
horizontal rule
118

I took lessons at the YMCA. There were only two of us who were teenagers, most of the club was grownups.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 05- 4-13 7:14 AM
horizontal rule
119

My oddest gym memory is that my high school didn't have a chin-up bar, and so they had us do the flexed arm hang on a freaking rafter, which obviously is owie to my delicate princess hands, and too big to wrap your thumb around quite right. It really seemed quite pathetic.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 4-13 7:16 AM
horizontal rule
120

||

Question: I am filling out HR stuff for my new job (!!!!!!), and I have to decide if I want life insurance. Do I want life insurance? It's something like $5 a month. Is this something that makes any sense for someone in my situation? I can see it for Mr. Sole Breadwinner with wife and kids in 1972, but I don't quite fit that mold.

|>


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 05- 4-13 7:20 AM
horizontal rule
121

If Tweety would be able to provide for Zardoz with the loss of your income, then no, I think.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 4-13 7:25 AM
horizontal rule
122

You should, nonetheless, get the life insurance.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 05- 4-13 7:26 AM
horizontal rule
123

Mr. Sole Breadwinner's responsibilities are now shared by 2 people, but since they might [knocks wood] nonetheless disappear at the same time, the (soon to be) third person has the same interests as those folks in 1972.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 05- 4-13 7:27 AM
horizontal rule
124

123: Ah, hadn't thought of that. Makes sense.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 05- 4-13 7:28 AM
horizontal rule
125

116: She looked exactly like the below-ground people when she had her full square dancing kit on. Clownishly made-up. She was also a BIG Reagan supporter and advocate of MX/SDI/whatever to keep the Russkies in line.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 05- 4-13 7:30 AM
horizontal rule
126

What about squash? Did a lot people play that in high school too? How about polo?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05- 4-13 7:32 AM
horizontal rule
127

I don't actually agree with 123 as a blanket statement, without regard to the other spouse's income.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 4-13 7:34 AM
horizontal rule
128

My reasoning is as Charley points out.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 05- 4-13 7:36 AM
horizontal rule
129

I guess I have to quit the blog now that I know I'm the only one who isn't a fencer. (I took a few lessons at, what are we calling it, my state's Summer Nerd Camp? But that wasn't enough to count.)


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05- 4-13 8:01 AM
horizontal rule
130

129: Also no fencing by me. I feel so left out


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 05- 4-13 8:03 AM
horizontal rule
131

126: I think mostly private schools have squash teams (my high school chemistry teacher is apparently trying to put a team together at my high school but has not done it yet I don't think). There is this organization, though.

A bunch of people in my lab play squash semi-regularly. I keep meaning to go try it.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 4-13 8:03 AM
horizontal rule
132

I never fenced, but I own swords. THAT'S TROUBLE.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 4-13 8:04 AM
horizontal rule
133

That's why they say good fencers make good neighbors.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05- 4-13 8:06 AM
horizontal rule
134

120

Question: I am filling out HR stuff for my new job (!!!!!!), and I have to decide if I want life insurance. Do I want life insurance? It's something like $5 a month. Is this something that makes any sense for someone in my situation? I can see it for Mr. Sole Breadwinner with wife and kids in 1972, but I don't quite fit that mold.

Even if life insurance makes sense for you it might be wise to check a few alternatives rather than just sign up for what is offered. Do you have options? Some places give you a year's salary worth with the option to buy more (which some people only do if they know that they are about to die, not that you always get warning). And of course this should be co-ordinated with your spouse.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 05- 4-13 8:20 AM
horizontal rule
135

I've never fenced, although so many of my friends do that I hear salle gossip. Did start on the butterfly swords, briefly.

Tell more about the dancing class, Natilo -- I can think of styles that fencing seems to work for, and others, not.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 05- 4-13 8:31 AM
horizontal rule
136

Unless one of you has an income big enough to pay all expenses and child care, both need life insurance even leaving aside the smaller odds of simultaneously dying.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 4-13 9:06 AM
horizontal rule
137

That's all expenses and childcare minus one adult, which is somewhat less. I mean, it's only $5/month, so I don't exactly know why I'm harping on this point. But insurance agencies are scammers, so I have a knee-jerk reaction to the idea that it's always a great idea to uncritically use their products.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 4-13 9:18 AM
horizontal rule
138

I was just thinking of the 'bread winner in 1972' argument and wanted to highlight that only the bread winner was insured because it was assumed that you could get a new wife or draft a female relative to replace the wife for free. That doesn't seem like a reasonable assumption these days.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 4-13 9:24 AM
horizontal rule
139

I was just thinking of the 'bread winner in 1972' argument and wanted to highlight that only the bread winner was insured because it was assumed that you could get a new wife or draft a female relative to replace the wife for free. That doesn't seem like a reasonable assumption these days.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 4-13 9:24 AM
horizontal rule
140

Thinking and thinking more.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 4-13 9:24 AM
horizontal rule
141

it was assumed that you could get a new wife or draft a female relative to replace the wife for free. That doesn't seem like a reasonable assumption these days.

Not with the salary cap.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 4-13 9:29 AM
horizontal rule
142

I keep thinking about the OP topic, the year off the internet, and what I guess the appealing thing about it is not about the time wasted or the cancer I'd be curing but rather about the helplessness the internet has bred. I don't even mean starting to type words I used to know into google to check the spelling. I mean knowing I can talk to someone at almost any hour of the day, and being very very very very reliant on that fact. Perhaps I will test that when most of my friends are three time zones to the right of me.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 05- 4-13 9:54 AM
horizontal rule
143

I didn't fence, but my son does. I would bet his school has a team when he reaches high school, but then it's more or less the school heebie described in 107.

Squash is a great game, and I should figure out where I can start playing again.


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 05- 4-13 10:33 AM
horizontal rule
144

Aren't some of the best fencers in the US from a school (or maybe it is an afterschool program) in an economically disadvantaged area in NYC? I think they do a human interest story about it every summer Olympics.

Everyone in grad school played squash, mostly having taken it up at the encouragement of several faculty members (all of whom went to Harvard). So let's blame Harvard grad school?


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05- 4-13 10:43 AM
horizontal rule
145

135.2: It was a sevi//anas class. The foot movements are similar to fencing steps (the arm stuff is actually not that much different either), so I kept getting all confused and taking WAY too big steps.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 05- 4-13 10:43 AM
horizontal rule
146

I guess it makes sense to do fencing at public schools in NYC, as it doesn't require much space and there will be a local supply of judges or scorers or whatever the officials are called.

Squash too, that doesn't take much space. How does it differ from the game of "racquetball" that I have actually heard people talk about playing in real life?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05- 4-13 10:45 AM
horizontal rule
147

How does it differ from the game of "racquetball" that I have actually heard people talk about playing in real life?

Well, first of all, squash is really regional to the northeast (like, New York is probably as far south and west as it gets), which is why you haven't heard of people playing it.

Anyhow, it is different from racquetball in that it uses a different, much less bouncy ball. Also the racquets are slightly different (bigger?).


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 4-13 10:54 AM
horizontal rule
148

Hm, apparently U.S. Squash is based in Pennsylvania. Still, I haven't heard of anybody playing it outside the northeast, but it's fairly popular (more popular than racquetball, probably, as far as that goes) here.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 4-13 10:57 AM
horizontal rule
149

I used to compete in fencing in college. so much fun.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 05- 4-13 11:01 AM
horizontal rule
150

147 -- Courts are different sizes too. I heard about squash in the BA in the mid 70s, but that was probably for migrants from the NE anyway. Didn't hear of RB until much later, and understood it to be an 'easier' variant of the former.

Not a player of either, so this is just disinterested folk understanding.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 05- 4-13 11:06 AM
horizontal rule
151

Have people all watched the new Janelle Monae? She is so righteous.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tEddixS-UoU


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 05- 4-13 11:10 AM
horizontal rule
152

Looking at wikipedia, I see that what I experienced in the 70s was basically a class thing. RB could be played on the handball courts that your local Y already had, and so caught on there. S has to be played on courts only for that purpose, which in the 70s, were mostly at elite institutions.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 05- 4-13 11:11 AM
horizontal rule
153

120: Mazel tov! What's the gig?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 05- 4-13 12:09 PM
horizontal rule
154

My high school didn't have fencing, but the local university did offer fencing classes, and one of my friends took them. I considered doing so too, but ended up not.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05- 4-13 2:39 PM
horizontal rule
155

120: Congrats! No idea on the insurance stuff, though.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05- 4-13 2:39 PM
horizontal rule
156

Wouldn't it be funny if you filled out a FOIA request and it just said "cats," and then the government had to provide you with every document it had regarding cats? I presume there are safeguards against this, but it would still be funny.

You have to pay for the cost of complying with the request (above a certain amount), so yeah.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05- 4-13 2:40 PM
horizontal rule
157

Squash is hilarious fun, in a SMASH way. (A neighbour of ours who was the mildest of men was a member of the rather posh tennis club, and played several times a week. Every so often he'd come back shuddering and sweating with rage and aggression, accusing his opponent of cheating.)


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 05- 4-13 3:23 PM
horizontal rule
158

I think there's provisions for denying frivolous or overly vague FOIA requests. You could maybe ask for all records relating to cats and fencing in Defense Department files.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 05- 4-13 3:35 PM
horizontal rule
159

There may be some official mechanism for denying frivolous requests, but IME the usual approach is to respond with an estimate of how much the request will cost and wait for the requester to modify or abandon the request.

(When I was with the Park Service here the regional FOIA officer was in the cubicle next to mine. I learned a lot about FOIA that year.)


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05- 4-13 3:40 PM
horizontal rule
160

156: No, I knew that, this would be assuming an unlimited budget. IMX, people usually write in a cap amount of $50 in copying fees or whatever they can pay, is that pretty universal.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 05- 4-13 3:51 PM
horizontal rule
161

120: Mazel tov! What's the gig?

Thanks! (and to teo, too.) It's a policy analyst position at the state's department of Health and Human Services. I am starting next week, which is sort of insane, given that I will be 35 weeks pregnant. Which also means that I suddenly need a professional wardrobe to get me through four weeks. I have one pair of pants and one skirt that will still work, and am hoping I don't outgrow either of those.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 05- 4-13 4:53 PM
horizontal rule
162

Yay! I hope the job treats you extremely well.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 05- 4-13 5:32 PM
horizontal rule
163

It's a policy analyst position at the state's department of Health and Human Services.

Good luck. I once did something similar.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 4-13 6:04 PM
horizontal rule
164

Heh, 163 sounds rather ominous.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 05- 4-13 6:26 PM
horizontal rule
165

No. It was fine. They paid me more money, adjusting for benefits and inflation, than any job I ever had despite the fact that I was far, far less capable back when I had that job.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 4-13 6:32 PM
horizontal rule
166

RB is great. Squash not.


Posted by: Lw | Link to this comment | 05- 5-13 6:48 PM
horizontal rule
167

SQUASH FIGHT!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 5-13 6:49 PM
horizontal rule
168

166 is the wrongest thing ever posted on Unfogged.


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 05- 5-13 6:52 PM
horizontal rule
169

I've never played squash, though I know many who love it. I started racquetball in gradschool. My eventual roommate got me into it. Lots of fun. I took up playing it with the off hand to practice with my wife.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 05- 5-13 7:33 PM
horizontal rule
170

Squash may be regional, but it's not non-existent elsewhere - there were squash courts around, growing up, and I knew the difference between squash and racquetball.

I've never actually played squash, but the time or two that I tried to actually hit the mushy little ball against the wall, I couldn't get it to bounce more than a foot off the wall. So I don't think my upper body strength is sufficient to play the damn game. So the game is stupid.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 5-13 7:37 PM
horizontal rule
171

Racquetball is fun, though, although a little scary.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 5-13 7:38 PM
horizontal rule
172

Not exactly on topic, but apparently the googletron doesnt have any results for "Kinseyian stimulus."


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 05- 5-13 7:40 PM
horizontal rule
173

A novel sexual act!


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05- 5-13 7:41 PM
horizontal rule
174

Bury it and dig it up again.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 05- 5-13 7:44 PM
horizontal rule
175

I played racquetball with my wife and she kept beating me. Finally, I found a serve she couldn't return and I did the same shot until I won. This is still a sore point, marriage-wise.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 5-13 7:54 PM
horizontal rule
176

161: Hooray for the new job!


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05- 5-13 7:56 PM
horizontal rule
177

175 is an extended metaphor, isn't it?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05- 5-13 7:56 PM
horizontal rule
178

Also yes, congrats to Blume.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05- 5-13 7:56 PM
horizontal rule
179

177: No.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 5-13 7:59 PM
horizontal rule
180

175: to avoid hard feelings i went to the off hand... But still didn't lose. I should let her force me into dressage contests or something to even it out.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 05- 5-13 8:04 PM
horizontal rule
181

You're married to a horse?!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05- 5-13 8:12 PM
horizontal rule
182

No wonder you kept winning at racquetball.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05- 5-13 8:12 PM
horizontal rule
183

170.2: one has to warm the ball up quite a bit before it will bounce as intended.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 05- 5-13 8:13 PM
horizontal rule
184

That would be even more lopsided in both directions. I'm just married to a non-racquet sports aficionado who had much expensive in the horsey-arts.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 05- 5-13 8:14 PM
horizontal rule
185

"expensives" s/b "experience"


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 05- 5-13 8:15 PM
horizontal rule
186

183 is definitely a metaphor.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05- 5-13 8:15 PM
horizontal rule
187

For what, though, neb? For what? I'll never tell.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 05- 5-13 8:37 PM
horizontal rule
188

Life. A metaphor for life.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 5-13 8:40 PM
horizontal rule
189

Or maybe a metaphor for the treatment of the native people by the people with blue shirts and guns in Colorado in the middle of the 19th century.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 5-13 8:44 PM
horizontal rule
190

But probably just life.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 05- 5-13 8:45 PM
horizontal rule
191

Life took my pseud.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 5-13 8:47 PM
horizontal rule
192

Sand Creek got a shout-out at the start of the new Iron Man movie. I was surprised. My older boy poked me and said, "That's what your book is about!" I was even more surprised that he knew that.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 05- 5-13 8:48 PM
horizontal rule
193

Tony Stark is all about national parks with crap scenery.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 5-13 8:50 PM
horizontal rule
194

Damn those blue-shirted ottocentists.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05- 5-13 8:52 PM
horizontal rule
195

I think they were mostly white guys.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 5-13 9:01 PM
horizontal rule
196

It's 2 AM and I'm still awake writing the talk I have to give tomorrow at 2 PM. Why do I do this?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05- 5-13 10:50 PM
horizontal rule
197

Because you can.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05- 5-13 11:10 PM
horizontal rule
198

Although actually I guess in this case it's not yet clear if that's true.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05- 5-13 11:12 PM
horizontal rule
199

192: I thought of you during that scene.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 05- 5-13 11:14 PM
horizontal rule
200

and I have to decide if I want life insurance. Do I want life insurance?

I tend to be a fan of the employer subsidized life insurance. For us anyways it means that if something unexpected happened to one of us the survivor would at least be able to pay off the house and set aside some college money for the kids.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 12:04 AM
horizontal rule
201

Well, yes, but your job presumably involves a substantially higher risk of death than Blume's.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 12:15 AM
horizontal rule
202

I'm just saying, "accidents" is pretty high on the list.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 12:20 AM
horizontal rule
203

Fair enough.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 12:23 AM
horizontal rule
204

I forget if they offered me life insurance when I started this job. I think they did and I declined it. It's not a big deal for me since I don't have any dependents, of course.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 12:33 AM
horizontal rule
205

"When every thing you have is insured and not stolen, a girl comes up with something to prove. Don't just stand there, bust a move--to human resources for benefits enrollment."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 4:33 AM
horizontal rule
206

Does life assurance work differently for you guys? Over here the policy matures after a number of years and you get a lump sum and/or an annuity. So it's a way of saving that also pays for your funeral and sets up your dependents if the worst happens. The RoI isn't the best in the world, but if it's subsidised by your employer it's a no brainer.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 5:00 AM
horizontal rule
207

What you are talking about we have and call it "whole life." "Term life" is when you only get paid if you die during the period of coverage. It doesn't mature and is much cheaper. I've never heard of an employer subsidizing anything else.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 5:12 AM
horizontal rule
208

Oh right. I think we have "term life" policies too, but people only use much unless they have kids and an income too low for anything better, but high enough to afford the premium. Which isn't many people - most either can't afford anything or stretch to a small whole life policy. I've never heard to employers subbing a decent policy either, only if I had I'd grab it with both hands.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 5:19 AM
horizontal rule
209

The second sentence in 208 makes no sense. Read "don't use them" for "only use much" to get the drift. No idea how that happened.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 5:24 AM
horizontal rule
210

Whole life has really gone out of fashion here, maybe because nobody has an income for anything better, but maybe because the employer subsidized term life policies are so cheap. I think it was $5/month to get a policy for my annual salary.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 5:27 AM
horizontal rule
211

Or maybe everybody else has whole life and I'm a slacker. I associate whole life policies with high pressure sales tactics and the like.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 5:32 AM
horizontal rule
212

I have the same impression -- that whole life as sold in the US is generally a bad deal, in that if you paid for term life and invested the difference between the cost of the term life and what you'd pay for whole life with the same benefit, you'd end up with more than the value of the whole life policy. I can't say that this is always true, but it looked right when Buck and I were looking at this last.

We're both heavily insured -- being a single parent is expensive, and if we both died somehow, we'd want there to be enough to take care of college and such. If you're youngish and healthy, term coverage is pretty cheap -- what we pay for a substantial benefit is small enough that it never even makes it on the list of things I consider saving money by cutting.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 5:59 AM
horizontal rule
213

My dad has a whole life policy that he wanted to cash out, being past 80 and all. They wanted to keep his money and kept running him in circles while suggesting different products. He had to write a "I'm an lawyer" letter to their legal department to stop it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 6:04 AM
horizontal rule
214

161: Congratulations! Jealous.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 6:47 AM
horizontal rule
215

Term life also has the benefit of not being taxable. If you are really rich, you can use it to pay estate taxes. It's also useful to have while an estate goes through probate.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 6:49 AM
horizontal rule
216

I did not know that.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 6:52 AM
horizontal rule
217

I'm also generally distrustful of insurance, and try to self-insure whenever possible. (Insurance companies make a lot of money, so why wouldn't I want to get into the insurance game when I can afford it?) However, life insurance seems to me the quintessential situation where I can't self-insure.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 7:33 AM
horizontal rule
218

161: Congratulations, Blume!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 05- 6-13 7:38 AM
horizontal rule
219

161: congratulations on the new gig, blume!


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 05- 7-13 12:21 AM
horizontal rule