Tuesday, 13 November 2012

09:00 – UPS showed up yesterday with a partial shipment from one of our wholesalers. This was mainly small stuff that we were running short of. Fifteen dozen each of the 10 mL graduated cylinders, 15 cm plastic rulers, and 12″ lab thermometers. Oh, and a case of glass Petri dishes for the life science kits. The rest of the order is chemicals, which haven’t shipped yet.

Poor Colin. He’s terrified of banging noises, and they’re replacing the roof on the house across the street. He cringes each time he hears a pop or bang, so he’ll be doing a lot of cringing today. He’ll probably also have an accident or two in the house, because I can’t convince him to go outside.

30 thoughts on “Tuesday, 13 November 2012”

  1. “He’ll probably also have an accident or two in the house, because I can’t convince him to go outside.”

    How much does he weigh?

  2. About 75 pounds. But he’s stronger than I am.

    Also, dogs snap when they’re terrified. It’s not a conscious decision, so you can’t train them not to do it. And Colin can bite a broomstick in half. I’ve watched him do it.

  3. That, incidentally, is a Good Thing.

    The other night, Barbara took Colin for his after-dinner walk while I was loading the dishwasher and cleaning up the kitchen. She was gone much longer than usual, so I finally looked out the door and saw them standing down at the corner, talking to a neighbor. I walked down and said something about being afraid that she’d been abducted. She just laughed and said, “With Colin with me?” Which is true. If anyone ever attacked Barbara, Colin would turn the guy into ground meat in about 10 seconds flat.

  4. But would Colin be able to protect her from being beamed up in a Little Green Men abduction? Well… maybe not, but he might be able to take over the ship afterward. You keep telling how smart border collies are.

  5. Yeah, they’re smart. They’re also more observant than any human I’ve met. They’re Holmes-like in observation skills. They notice things about their humans’ behavior that even the humans aren’t aware of. I think I mentioned some time back that Colin knows the difference between me wearing eyeglass and lab goggles and reacts accordingly. It took me a while to figure that one out.

  6. Yeah, we have two of the canine variety in the house, and it’s amazing what they pick up on. If my wife gets up from her desk intending to go for a walk, WOW! If she is getting up for any other reason, yawn. Telepathy, I tell you, it’s telepathy. Seriously, clearly there is some small mannerism that they pick up on, but neither of us has any clue what it might be.

    One of our d0gs is scary smart; I am entirely sure I could teach him to count – really count – to at least three, if I’d only spend the time. The other dog is a Kelpie (Australian border collie), and would be even smarter, except that his brain is in a continual short-circuit from the sheer excitement of living. Not to mention food. FOOD! Zzzaappp, short circuit, what did you want, boss?

  7. Back in the 60’s, when we weren’t watching the weekend late-show horror movie hosted by Bill Cardill out of Pittsburgh, we sometimes watched the weekend late-show horror movie on channel 5 out of Cleveland, Ohio, hosted by Houlihan and Big Chuck. Houlihan was the smart one. I remember one of their skits. Big Chuck was trying to convince Houlihan that his horse could do math. Houlihan was skeptical. So, Houlihan asked the horse, “how much is two plus three?”. The horse responded by stomping its hoof: stomp, stomp, stomp, stomp, stomp and then stops and looks up. Big Chuck, looking on, finally can’t take it any more and tells the horse, “Come on, boy, one more!”

    Which reminds me of the time the guy in the control room of the TV station was watching porn. My friend and I were watching a standard horror movie with giant bugs or something. They cut away to a commercial. My mom came downstairs, which she never did while we were watching the late show, and looked in on us. When the commercial break ended, the guy in the control room punched the wrong button, and what should appear on our TV screen but serious hard-core porn. My mother levitated over to the TV set and turned it off. “I KNEW IT!”, she shouted, “I *knew* the two of you were up to something down here!” Despite our protests that we had nothing to do with it, I don’t think we ever convinced her.

  8. Our second deceased golden retriever was terrified of wind, a real basket case, literally. Until he got really old and decrepit and was just too beat to bother about it.

    Well it got into the low 60s yesterday but with very strong winds into the wee hours and today we’re back to normal, 43 now and dropping. Snow for several days on the mountaintops around here and we had ourselves a bit of a snow squall down here at sea level.

    And at least I know I have a job for the next ten weeks; gotta be on-call for BOTH Thanksgiving week and Xmas week, and also cover three weeks before the end of the year for yet another team member who has like thirty years in the place and evidently infinite vay-cay and personal time she has to use up. That doubles my workload right through the holidays as we also try to get the house in shape enough to have people over; at this point my contributions to that will be limited. Then in January we have a new cluster to build, with multiple blade centers, ,mission-critical stuff for the manufacturing people. After that, who knows? By then our taxes will have been jacked up again and costs of everything continuing to rise. While the current criminal terrorist regime keeps up its relentless assault on working and middle-class Mundanes like us and what’s left of the American republic. This will go faster now; Mittens and his cronies might have slowed it down for a year or two, but that’s it; better this way.

  9. “I have no imagination. That’s why I write non-fiction.”

    So you really were watching hard core porn in the Sixties on TV? Do you have a link to the guy responsible being sacked and getting 50 years in the slammer for it? Proof, or it didn’t happen.

    And, of course, you didn’t ogle the girls you were showering with at Oberlin. Not once.

    And you’ve stopped looking lustfully at attractive, nubile, fertile young women.

    If anyone is inclined to believe the above I have a bridge I’d like to sell them.

  10. Hardcore porn in the Sixties would be considered an elementary skool documentary these days. Hardcore porn these days makes even my hair stand on end. Not to mention what the creepy fucking perverts who keep pushing legislative agendas in this regard are planning.

    Wait–our host showered with girls at Oberlin? What the hell was I thinking going in the damn service? I coulda gone to college! Great, yet another stupid mistake to regret forever.

  11. Apparently Bob’s girlfriend-#372 went to Oberlin, and by 1972 that college had integrated not only dorm buildings but floors within dorms. Trouble was: only one bathroom per floor, so they had to be integrated too. A girl could walk past a guy having a slash, or a guy past a girl spending 30 minutes putting on/taking off her face. There was a marker on the door saying whether or not there was a guy was using the shower and only wanted other guys in there with him (the mind boggles) or a girl was using it and only girls were allowed. But 95% of the time no one cared, there was no restriction marker and Bob said last year that he’d showered with a dozen girls whose names he didn’t even know, plus 271 girls whose names he did know. And he never peeked. Not once. He kept his eyes tightly closed the whole time.

    I’m still not sure that I believe his stories about Oberlin, but then this happened in 1972 when *anything* could happen in US colleges… 🙂

  12. Yeah, we really did see hard-core porn on TV in the 60’s. I remember that it did make the newspaper. The technician was sacked, but I don’t remember any criminal charges. If you’re that interested, why not show us your Google-foo? This would have been around 1968, give or take, and the article would have appeared in the Pittsburgh Press or Post-Gazette, or both. I’m pretty sure the station call letters were WIIC. There. That should be enough to go on.

  13. My girlfriend’s name was Martha Henderson, and she wasn’t #372. Depending on how I count, she was either #2 or #3 of my serious girlfriends. Her roommate was Francie Lou Smith from Louisville, Kentucky. She was dating a guy named Tom, whose last name I forget. Francie was a virgin, which was unusual for a college freshman back then. She was also the only one of the four I never showered with. The two girls in the adjoining room were Margie Schwartz and Ellen Schneiderman, who was dating a guy named Jude.

    The sign was actually the cardboard backing from a legal pad. It had two holes punch on the short edges and a string to hang it from a hook on the bathroom door. One side was blank. If the sign was hung with the blank side showing, that meant whoever was in there didn’t care who else came in. The other side was an M or a W, depending on how the sign was hung, to indicate if the bathroom was currently men-only or women-only. I hasten to add that the M/W applied only to the gang shower. The outer room had sinks, toilet stalls, and urinals (I think…), and was accessible to anyone at any time.

    So, Greg, that should be enough information to test your Google-foo. Heck, why not track down Martha (IIRC, she married a guy from Painted Post, NY), Francie, Ellen, and Margie and ask them?

  14. Oh, yeah. It wasn’t a dozen girls serially. It was a dozen in parallel. As I remember, we’d just had a football game or a mud fight (it was kind of hard to be sure which) and everyone headed for the shower. There were a bunch of guys in there too.

  15. That’s just great. Bob Thompson was showering with chicks at college in 1972. Where was I? ‘Nam. Am I a putz or what? I need to go back in a time machine and kick myself in the ass.

    Devocalize politicians? Nah. They should just be shot out of hand. Along with lawyers, stockbrokers and other such financial speculators, college and university humanities and social “science” faculty and administrators, most publik skool administrators and union stooge officials, people who wear glasses—oh wait—I wear glasses…never mind.

  16. I can attest that the TV porn story was true. It sent a wave of shock through the industry. Did not stop porn viewing at our station, but it did make the techs patch out any machine that was involved, so you had to watch/listen in Telecine at the machine. Also, after that incident, no porn viewing until ALL the office staff had gone home.

    Of course that was back in the day when women only worked as secretaries in TV. Or the weather girl. Got much harder when women started working in the newsroom, which was staffed until midnight.

  17. Statistics guy analyzes how accurate the pollsters were, and translates it to Rep/Dem bias.


    Gallup was really off the scale with Rep bias.

    Actually, it is no wonder your outcome guess was off; nearly all the polls leaned Rep.

    Meanwhile, Indiana was another state like NC, where Republicans took a strong hold in state politics. Seems like only Mourdock lost, and that was at the national level. Indiana is overwhelmingly farm Republican, but Democrat in the big cities, and especially in the former car manufacturing union north of the state. Economy was the factor in the 2008 election, when it went for Nobama. Everybody I know who wants to be employed, is now. That is a change from when I returned from Deutschland.

  18. Hm, I don’t think the boss would approve of me doing all this Google research at work, so I guess I’ll get started at home.

    I had no idea that colleges back then, or at any time, had mixed bathrooms and showers. First I saw of the concept was in the SF flick Starship Troopers. Then, last year, Bob bewailed the existence of gender segregated bathrooms, blaming religion (of course.) I think it’s more likely that guys wouldn’t mind and sheilas would object strongly to mixed bathrooms. I guess it would have been interesting to have been born in Ohio in 1953 rather than Adelaide in 1958. I’ve told my younger niece that she was born 40 years too late, that she would have made a wonderful hippy. Looks like I was born five years too late.

  19. OFD wrote:

    “They should just be shot out of hand. Along with … people who wear glasses—oh wait—I wear glasses…never mind.”

    I just came back from my Ophthalmologist appointment, pretty good news, apart from having to wait an hour to see him. No sign of disease, my eyesight is about a line better in each eye, no refractive error (unlike 12 months ago), he advised against cataract surgery at this time. Come back in 18 months.

  20. “Of course that was back in the day when women only worked as secretaries in TV. Or the weather girl.”

    In about 1976 Channel 10 in Adelaide started with a sexily dressed blonde bimbo of a weathergirl who didn’t speak. I think the feminists were outraged that she was portrayed as so dumb. Things changed a bit by the Nineties, when one of the local stations contacted *my sister* with a view to interviewing her for the position of weatherwoman. A bit surprising that they’d want a 40 year old woman who’d had four kids for that role…

  21. Well, Oberlin was famously liberal, even for the time. And it was by no means the only college that had at least one or two co-ed dorms with co-ed showers.

    Actually, I lied. I did shower serially with women, as well as that parallel incident. I visited Martha at Oberlin many times. The card on the bathroom door was almost always showing the blank side. I usually showered with Martha, but probably half the time I went in alone to shower there was already a woman in there showering or one would come in to shower while I was already in there. I sometimes didn’t know their names because they were from the other end of the long hall. No one thought twice about it, other than prudes like Francie Lou. Everyone was used to naked men and women being around, and visiting boyfriends/girlfriends almost always stayed in their partners’ rooms, so people got used to trying to sleep while their roommates were having sex five feet away.

  22. What was the layout of the rooms? The only time I’ve seen a purported layout is in the movie Forrest Gump, where Jenny Curran’s room mate was pretending to sleep while Jenny and Forrest were talking in the same room. I had the impression that nowadays suites have separate rooms for one person (and their “friend/s”.)

    I think sleeping, or pretending to sleep when others are having sex in the same room would take a bit of getting used to.

    I said earlier that I’d never heard of the concept of mixed showers/bathrooms until I’d seen Starship Troopers. I just remembered a young female uni student at my church in about 1990 being scandalized that one of the residential colleges at our uni had mixed bathrooms. Not sure of the details, I wasn’t really paying attention, but it struck me as odd. If I’d been in charged of the residences at Oberlin at the time they were mixed I’d probably have integrated the buildings but had single sex floors. I find it pretty hard to believe that women would be prepared to use bathrooms and showers with guys they don’t know well. I guess if it had been me I just would have had to get used to it, but there wouldn’t have been much to see, as even by 18 I was quite short sighted.

  23. The Oberlin college administration (at least then, and probably still now) let the students run things as much as possible. There were traditional single-sex dorms available for those who wanted them, but Martha’s dorm was mixed, not just within the dorm or within floors, but within rooms. The students wanted it that way. I could never figure out how Francie Lou Smith ended up in that dorm.

    Either you didn’t live through sex, drugs, and rock-and-roll in the late 60’s and early 70’s or it didn’t make it to Adelaide. The Pill was widely available, and nearly all girls I knew took advantage. STDs were called VD, and there weren’t any that were drug resistant, other than herpes. If you caught something, you went down to the campus clinic, where they passed out antibiotics like candy. AIDS was far in the future. Casual sex and nudity was the norm on any campus that had even pretenses to being liberal. Alcohol and marijuana were everywhere. A lot of girls took the Flower Child thing seriously.

  24. My uni was similar, though one lived off campus to cohabitate with the opposite sex in that era. When my son was there 30 years later, the situation is now what Robert describes at Oberlin in the ‘70’s. Whatever goes on in the rooms is up to the students. This IS the Bible Belt and the restrooms are marked as to sex, but only for parents’ benefit, although most guys prefer the ones with urinals, and most girls object to guys standing and peeing in their toilet bowls, while spraying random drops all over the place.

    As the dorms there are being rebuilt, they are getting rid of the large common bath/toilet areas. It is now being designed to be more like apartments, as the privately-owned ones near the university are very successful, and cost only a hundred or so a month more than a dorm room. The new dorms have some rooms with private baths and small kitchenette, or two rooms with the bath/toilet between the two rooms that is shared.

    Back when my son was attending, I noted here that with effective birth control, sex is now recreation—shall we go play tennis? or stay home and have sex? Personally, I have no problem with that, and think if teens are hooked up sexually with a partner, they are much less of a problem to both parents and society. After all, that is how it has been until the last 50 or 60 years. In my grandparents’ generation, kids were finished with school at 13 or 14, working fulltime on the farm, and usually married by that time and quite regularly producing children to eventually work on the farm, usually beginning in earnest around age 7. This raising of the marriage age of consent is a recent development. Edgar Allan Poe married his 13 year-old cousin in Virginia, and it was not all that long ago in overall the history of mankind. In my lifetime, a girl used to be able to marry in Kentucky without parental approval at age 13, while boys had to have the MOTHER’s permission until 19.

  25. Okay, I didn’t know there were single sex dorms. I assumed that they were all mixed. If the students wanted it that way that’s okay with me, but I’m still surprised that the average woman would spring for it.

    I was a 14 year old kid living at home in 1972. When I started uni in 1976 I was still at home, so I didn’t *see* a lot of this stuff. I knew some of it was happening, but it was out of sight and out of mind.

    Adelaide’s nickname is “The City of Churches”, back in the Sixties South Australia was often called “The Wowser State” by easterners. We had a very conservative government ’till 1965, which was replaced by a Labor government led by an elderly conservative Catholic but with more liberal elements in it too. In 1967 the conservative Catholic ALP premier, Frank Walsh, was forced to retire due to age limits. He was replaced by Don Dunstan, a social liberal. In 1968 he lost the state election due to heavy weighting of electoral districts in favour of conservative country areas. The new Liberal (=conservative) government introduced effective abortion on demand in 1969, and in 1970 Labor got back in. In 1976 homosexuality was legalised, the first jurisdiction in Australia to do so I think.

    So yes, we went from being very conservative to very liberal from about 1968 to 1976. But I was a kid for most f this time so I didn’t really notice.

    I’m not worried about sharing bathrooms if the birds don’t mind, but I don’t think I could get used to the idea of my roommate having sex a few feet away. I’d rather come to an arrangement like getting a codeword to vacate the area for 2-3 hours, or having a couple of per-arranged times where I’d go to the library to study. I’m okay with nudity, but people having sex a few feet away? Pass.

    I don’t even like seeing couples having a passionate kiss in public. I just think “Save it for the bedroom, will you?”

  26. Vacate for 2 to 3 hours? My son’s roommate and his girlfriend slept together all night every night. Kind of hard to get away in that circumstance. Oh to be skinny enough to fit yourself and your girlfriend into one twin bed.

  27. Well, I wouldn’t put up with that. If they want to do that they can get their own place.

    And my sister and her hubbie would sleep in a single bed when they stayed for the weekend at our place. Don’t know how they did it.

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