120: Hard Out There For A Nerd
 transcript  September 7, 2016 3:38 PM   Subscribe

Coming down the pipe a little late because summer scheduling is complicated, Jessamyn and I catch up on MetaFilter, MeFites getting married, MeFites going camping, MeFites arguing about stuff, and all the other things the doldrums of August bring with. This episode is about an hour and forty minutes and covers August 4th through September 7th.

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- Dictionary social media shade
- Behold, the number 120
- AKA the long hundred AKA Jimmy Wrongdozens
- Jessamyn's officiatin' (it was hella scenic)
- You say nihilism, I say nihilism
- Maps! Free the maps!
- Leaning tower of Cheesa

- Administrative Assistant to Accounting Practice by bkpiano
- Web Designer/Developer by hellomina

- Futile Fonts by scruss
- Ghost Patrol: Late Night Snack by aubilenon
- Lorem Ipsum by Elementary Penguin
- Handspan Theatre 1977 - 2002 by valetta
- Demake Bot by ignignokt (a couple of examples)
- Kevin's Files by luckynerd

- Barber bottles and fire grenades, demijohns and carboys by jessamyn
- there exists no evidence for ontological nihilism... by the man of twists and turns
- “Maps codify the miracle of existence.” by DigDoug
- ‾‾‾MAKE‾IT‾‾‾‾ ‾‾‾‾STRANGER‾‾‾‾ by Going To Maine
- Your stare was holding by steeringwheel
- Edible uses of cheese by Wordshore (of which: Friend acquires a lot of cheese. What to do with it?)
- Only shooting stars break the mold by Shmuel510
- Reasons I'm fat by Uncle
- Painting the Race to Space by Artw

Ask MeFi
- What are some surprising things that not everyone can do? by bq
- What do you call yourself in the second person singular? by signal
- My best manager did this... by Toddles
- Cooking shows - YouTube style by Lyn Never
- Fictional nerds by azalea_chant
- Appropriate to knit during classical music concert? by vacuumsealed
- Personal web-surfing at work: Is any amount acceptable? by alex1965

Featured this month:
- Just a Stranger by erikgrande
- Million Watts by chococat
- God Only Knows [Beach Boys cover] by not_on_display
- Night Train to Memphis by OverlappingElvis

- Of which, check out greenish's latest Music podcast
- Discussion of "derp" by hydropsyche
- Olympics on FanFare by cortex
- Happy Fun September by filthy light thief
- Mazel Tov! by not_on_display

- last month: Rio Olympics
- starting today: Rio Paralympics
- also you should totally watch Stranger Things
posted by cortex (staff) to MeFi Podcast at 3:38 PM (51 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

So I got myself a platter of assorted cheeses to nibble on while I listened to this. There's some Cheddar, a nice piece of Edam, some Leerdammer, the inevitable Camembert. No Brie, as it doesn't sit well in me late at night, and no Wensleydale, as it's too crumbly and gets into my beard and falls out the next morning, usually when I'm on some piece of gym equipment and lots of people are walking past.

But there is also some Red Leicester; and, just at the exact moment I pick up the first slice of this Red Leicester to eat, Jessamyn starts to describe ... that AskMeFi post.

What are the odds?

Latest update: Fred is still collecting cat hair from random cats but progress on the miniature donkey being made from said cat hair is very slow. He's sticking with this, though. Andy is banned from the bus service that goes through his village for trying to board the bus while holding an axe. Bob has gone quiet since the bust-up with Andy. I've just finished the Red Leicester on this plate and have moved on to the Gouda.

Also, the Leaning Tower of Cheesa linked photo above: awesome.
posted by Wordshore at 5:07 PM on September 7, 2016 [10 favorites]

Wait ... 120? Does that mean ten full years, a decade, of podcasts are now completed?
posted by Wordshore at 6:01 PM on September 7, 2016

First podcast was in Feb 2007, so we're close but not there yet. Apologies for all the birdfeeder noises on my end.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 6:20 PM on September 7, 2016 [1 favorite]

The bird noises in the background are a nice touch, to be perfectly honest.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 7:09 PM on September 7, 2016 [1 favorite]

Full disclosure: this was one of the rare podcasts that I recorded while on the clock, which I usually try to avoid but oh my GOD our schedules this last couple weeks and then that fucking internet outage yesterday. So if at any point I sound like I am zoning out while furrowing my brow at what did they just post in that thread it's probably because that was actually happening.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:24 PM on September 7, 2016 [3 favorites]

Leaning tower of Cheesa


It's so...beautiful.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 7:41 PM on September 7, 2016 [2 favorites]

Full disclosure: this was one of the rare podcasts that I recorded while on the clock

Does "on the clock" mean, "while being paid" or "while actively moderating Metafilter?"I am assuming that you mean the latter. It's impressive the way you can talk and herd cats at the same time.

Yelling, "Hya there! Get along little kitties!" doesn't count.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 9:49 PM on September 7, 2016

Leaning Tower of Cheesa
posted by clorox at 1:42 AM on September 8, 2016 [1 favorite]

So if at any point I sound like I am zoning out while furrowing my brow at what did they just post in that thread it's probably because that was actually happening.

posted by clorox at 1:47 AM on September 8, 2016

Thank you for another informative and enjoyable podcast. I'm glad you were both able to go on vacation and spend some time away from the Internets.

Twelfty is now one of my favorite words! For some reason I immediately thought it could be the name of a Smurf. (I also now randomly wonder when someone was last able to write "twelfty" as an amount on a check and have it go through without problems.)

Would never have guessed that a joke involving "Short Cuts" and "Short Circuit" would be the thing that would make me laugh out loud this time, but it did. :)

And FWIW, I also enjoyed the birds in the background and I hope the meditation moment returns next month.
posted by rangefinder 1.4 at 2:28 AM on September 8, 2016 [2 favorites]

Hey jessamyn, I'm pretty sure we're met because we're friends on Facebook? But I'm also just like, you know, some guy.
posted by OverlappingElvis at 9:09 AM on September 8, 2016 [1 favorite]

Okay, so I think I may have had this tickling my brain in the past -- hearing jessamyn on the podcast and such and meeting her in person -- but today I put the headphones on and start listening and I'm thinking wow, jessamyn's voice is really familiar or reminding of someone else, who could it be? and after about fifteen minutes I was all OMG, she sounds just like Nana Visitor!

Which I guess would be something that cortex would have noticed so maybe it's just me.

Other thoughts:

(my reaction to one exchange): Oh, yeah, what was that Robert Altman movie with Ally Sheedy?

"smallening" -- which is actually pretty great.

BTW, the sidebarred AskMe "...not everyone can do" led me there and then back to the visual imagination post which I had missed and so I read TFA and then the thread and it made me so, so happy. I'm so grateful for that -- not because I'm one of the unusual people, but because I was utterly ignorant of this sort of cognitive variation and it seems to me to be profoundly interesting and important. It's going into my toolkit of stuff that I use to get people to grok that different people are different from oneself in ways that you have to make an effort to even realize exist, let alone kind of maybe sort of understand. In the podcast you guys talk about the innervoice-addressing-self thread, but everyone doesn't necessarily even have a subvocalized inner voice in that sense (though I think most do to varying extent).

chococat's "Million Watts" is very good.

Thanks for the podcast!
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 9:17 AM on September 8, 2016 [1 favorite]

Re. the cheese, I think we might have spent more on it than both our wedding outfits combined.

There is a story behind it, and it's not just that we're both dangerously obsessed with cheese, even though that is also true. But I'm not sure metafilter is ready for another cheese tale so soon after Wordshore's phenomenal epic.
posted by greenish at 9:40 AM on September 8, 2016 [3 favorites]

Don't you dare doubt our readiness for cheese stories.

*waits expectantly*

(Also: mazel tov!)
posted by ocherdraco at 12:16 PM on September 8, 2016 [5 favorites]

Oh, and btw, I am not actually a puppeteer, though I have in the past (over a decade ago) done some stop-motion animation which involves creating a different kind of puppet.

I do, however, know an actual awesome puppeteer! My friend Roxie Myhrum is the artistic director at Puppet Showplace Theater in Brookline, MA. It's a super cool place.
posted by ocherdraco at 12:21 PM on September 8, 2016

I want to hear your cheese story too, greenish.
posted by Wordshore at 12:37 PM on September 8, 2016 [1 favorite]

ocherdraco, didn't I get some sort of holiday card from you (and your man) with puppets on it? No?
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 12:43 PM on September 8, 2016

Western pro athletes were let into the Olympics because the Soviet Union's athletes were state supported and trained, and their pay was their only income, hence pro athletes.
posted by Oyéah at 1:06 PM on September 8, 2016 [1 favorite]

Oh, yeah! My ex and I made those just for the card, though. You could buy build-your-own muppet kits from Toys R Us (we went to the one in Times Square, which had the indoor Ferris Wheel).
posted by ocherdraco at 1:36 PM on September 8, 2016 [1 favorite]

wow, jessamyn's voice is really familiar or reminding of someone else, who could it be? and after about fifteen minutes I was all OMG, she sounds just like Nana Visitor!

On the podcasts, cortex's voice always reminds me of Alan Alda, particularly in the narration of this piece on Free to Be You And Me. (Though honestly I haven't seen/listened to much else with Alan Alda in it so maybe his voice is not always like it is on Free to Be You and Me.)
posted by needs more cowbell at 5:14 PM on September 8, 2016

Twelfty is now one of my favorite words!

My son says eleventeen! It's very hard to tell what's a base that that you can suffix -teen or -ty onto if it doesn't already have than on there.

1) Wow, happy wedding, greenish!
2) Wow, happy birthday, Jessamyn!
3) Drafting was my favorite high school class. I only stopped because I wanted to take classes that had a higher grade weight, so I could improve my class ranking, so I could be allowed to have an electric guitar. Stupid educational system and parental reward system.
4) I feel like criticism on the Projects segment of the podcast has gotten deeper! I remember it (possibly erroneously) mostly being "here's a thing – hooray!" which was fine, but lately, it seems like there's a lot of discussion about what the podcasters did and didn't like and what might motivate a project.
posted by ignignokt at 6:58 PM on September 8, 2016 [1 favorite]

It sounded to me like they were worried about your ever-growing army of bots and were trying to find exploitable weaknesses.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 10:00 PM on September 8, 2016 [2 favorites]

" (I also now randomly wonder when someone was last able to write "twelfty" as an amount on a check and have it go through without problems.)"

I went through a phase of experimentation with what the stupidest thing I could write on my utility bill checks was and still get it cashed, during a period of rage at my utilities, and the answer is basically THEY CASH ANY DAMN FUCKING THING YOU GIVE THEM, no matter how ridiculous you get, as long as there's a payment stub so they can tell what the number is supposed to be.
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 12:36 AM on September 9, 2016 [6 favorites]

You guys, now I have "Rock Star" stuck in my head! Make it go away! I'm going to have to go listen to the Llama Song now to replace it!
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 5:21 AM on September 9, 2016

Here this will help
posted by French Fry at 6:42 AM on September 9, 2016


posted by Johnny Wallflower at 7:27 AM on September 9, 2016 [5 favorites]

Wikpedia: The long hundred was 120 but the long thousand was reckoned decimally as 10 hundreds (1200). . .
The Assize of Weights and Measures, one of England's statutes of uncertain date from c. 1300, shows both the short and long hundred in competing use: the hundred of kippers is formed by six score fish and the hundred of hemp canvas and linen cloth is formed by six score ells but the hundred of pounds to be used in measuring bulk goods is five times twenty and the hundred of fresh herring is five score fish.
WTF, old timey people‽ I was completely down with twelfty and the long hundred. . . but that's just crazy. Pick a base, damnit!

Also, adding ", tentywise" to the end of every number larger than 10 is my new favorite way to be annoying in written correspondence.

Also, also, I call dibs on the band name "primitive ell."

In short, neat!
posted by eotvos at 12:05 PM on September 9, 2016 [1 favorite]

Came in here to sing the praises of new-to-me twelfty after only listening to 5 minutes but everyone is already on it. I love y'all.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 3:31 PM on September 9, 2016 [2 favorites]

Cheese wedding cake news.
posted by Wordshore at 3:55 AM on September 10, 2016 [1 favorite]

Loved when Jessamyn downgraded Call Me Maybe from one of the best songs ever to one of the best pop songs of the last five years almost in the same breath. Wish I had one iota of that awareness/control of my massive tendency towards hyperbole.

Also, kinda feel like someone should set up hascortexwatchedthewireyet.com. That's a thing that needs to happen. Well, technically two things. Blithely ignoring my own List(s) Of Shame here when it comes to media as-yet unconsumed, natch.
posted by comealongpole at 8:30 AM on September 10, 2016 [4 favorites]

Hey, my getting-mentioned-in-the-podcast streak continues. Thanks guys!
posted by Artw at 11:13 AM on September 10, 2016 [1 favorite]

The transcript is open!
posted by Pronoiac at 9:30 AM on September 11, 2016 [2 favorites]


I totally did the mathematical equations. And I drew rebus puzzles for their names. And I wrote things phonetically in other scripts like Cyrillic. And one of them was my water company so I drew water molecules in all the way I knew how. And "Illinois" was in some of the names so I drew tiny Illinoises.

I don't even remember what I was so pissed off about that I started it, but I do know I did it for close to two years and I never had a check rejected no matter what stupid thing I wrote.
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 7:12 PM on September 11, 2016 [3 favorites]

If you'd like to delight some children or yourself, count by 11's: ...eighty-eight, ninety-nine, tenty-ten, eleventy-eleven, twelfty-twelve... :)
posted by ktkt at 12:33 AM on September 12, 2016 [6 favorites]

If anyone is interested in getting into broad-nib calligraphy I recommend the Calligrapher's Bible and Pilot Parallel pens. The ink comes in twelve colors or you can buy a piston converter and fill from a bottle.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 5:22 AM on September 13, 2016 [2 favorites]

tiny Illinoises

The sounds an Eastern Tiger Salamander makes when it doesn't feel well.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 7:12 AM on September 13, 2016 [7 favorites]

appropriate use of "got on like a house on fire" from jessamyn, btw.

… and you mentioned my futile fonts!
posted by scruss at 7:39 PM on September 13, 2016 [1 favorite]

A (small) update. I went back to the village which "Andy" and "Bob" live in, and "Fred" used to live in, this weekend just gone as I was one of the judges in their annual show. This ... didn't go well. Really unusually, they let participants and just about anyone else mingle with the judges while we were scoring the entries (which also took time as their weirdo system meant giving every entry in every category a mark out of ten). This was all problematic; I've linked to my ten tweets from judging in this comment.

I didn't see either "Andy" or "Bob" there, but one thing I didn't tweet about was the photo category, where locals could enter a picture of a local scene. I scanned the display of entries, and noticed one in particular looked ... familiar. Looking ever closer at it, I realised it was a photo of the previous residence of "Fred" and you could see the kitchen, and the fridge, through the window in the picture. I then realised, because of the angle and location, it could only have been taken from the residence of "Bob".

Me, on realising this: "Jesus M***********g Christ In F*****g Heaven"
Directly behind me: {polite cough}
Me, turning round: "Ah. Um, good afternoon, vicar."

And that's why I'm going to hell.

(Also, needless to say, I gave Bob's photo zero points)
posted by Wordshore at 12:57 PM on September 14, 2016 [6 favorites]

Forgot to write in last comment; brief conversation on leaving:

Me: "This system where the competitors and public can follow the judges around is a bit aggressive, isn't it?"
Chair of village show: "Yes! Someone last year said it made our village show like a cross between the Great British Bake Off and Reservoir Dogs. We're rather proud of it, to be honest."
posted by Wordshore at 1:27 PM on September 14, 2016 [3 favorites]

I got this album in the mail yesterday and I'm here to say that Cortex can rock the fuck out. For the love of Cortex, people, buy it.
posted by octobersurprise at 6:57 AM on September 15, 2016

I know I made this comment-joke before but I swear to God, I can hear the theme music from The Archers when I get to the end of most of Wordshore's tales of rural British life.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 7:35 AM on September 15, 2016 [1 favorite]

they think they're so fancy with their capital C's and their Scandinavian names, oooooh
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:43 AM on September 15, 2016 [3 favorites]

Depending on numerous factors but mainly weather and the propensity to identify and avoid unseemly incidents, aiming for two rural English village shows this Sunday coming:

- Wysall food fair (a few details on Facebook) - and some pictures from 2014.
- Wymeswold annual (information) - as this is MetaTalk, note that there is a recipe for Walnut Raisin Bread in there. Also, some pictures from 2012.

There may also be Morris Dancing.
posted by Wordshore at 8:23 AM on September 15, 2016

Dear Wordshore,

Please write a book about your experiences in English villages.

Your fellow MeFite,
rangefinder 1.4
posted by rangefinder 1.4 at 8:02 PM on September 15, 2016 [3 favorites]

Thanks, but I don't want to find myself banned from half the events in English villages. "We don't like your sort, writing about us" and the like. I'll stick to the occasional anecdote on MetaFilter; have just written up today's.

As concluded there, I'd be really keen to read other MeFites experiences in villages, or village shows, fetes, festivals or whatever. Especially if they involve food, and especially cheese.
posted by Wordshore at 1:00 PM on September 18, 2016 [1 favorite]

Alas, the season of summer festivals, fetes, and village shows with corrupt judging is now over in England. We're into autumn now; more by accident than design (in my usual way of spotting a bunch of random people doing something and just joining in) I went to a Harvest Festival in a random village church today, as it's that time of year.

And it was surprisingly good, though things have changed since back in my (very distant) day:
- There are new lyrics to the tune of Morning Has Broken!
- The village choir did a really good performance of What A Wonderful World halfway through.
- People applauded it.
- The ministers sermon was ... surprisingly good, and also strangely so similar to the one the Druids gave at the Autumn equinox ritual I attended last week.
- In fact, during a long chat with the minister, I pointed out that if you swapped his "heaven above" for the Druids "ground below", then the sermon / main readings were pretty much interchangeable. From my previous church experiences, this ... is not usually the case.
- People give largely tins and jars of things to Harvest Festival collections nowadays. I spotted several of Aldi sardines, Dolmio pasta toppings, many tins of rice pudding, and pasta.

Another interesting point of the service came at the notices at the start by a canny lady. She said the odd (but on reflection, so English) thing that some people were "uncomfortable" about donating to the current charity the church were involved in. But could they do it anyway, as the church made up the difference at the end of the year, so in a way people donating could consider themselves donating to the church organ fund, in an indirect way. I sat there grinning at this neat way of making people reluctant to donate to a charity because it helped "those people" (I'm not saying which one) feel either guilty, or empowered, to do so.

The church itself was also good to look at, though I had to wait until after the service and the first servings of food (next) before having a proper look and pictures. Some interesting carvings, a window described as the "new window" because it's only 700 years old, and a coat of arms from the 17th century that reminds me of my home village church.

Oh, that food? After the service, there was then the announcement of the Harvest Supper. Gosh! The far end of the nave was decked out with tables and we helped ourselves to a multi-course buffet featuring a cheese board (including a block of Red Leicester), various pickles, and many home made pies. The wine on the table was also hand-selected quality wines from France (literally: someone had done a long trip there to bring back a carful).

There was much chat, and people wanted to know how it compared to services in the Outer Hebrides, and my unusual upbringing (Protestant but went to Catholic schools). I ended up staying not far off three hours, at which point another crate of red wine and four new pies had appeared, so feeling pie-full, I left.

I think I may be dropping back into this particular church again...
posted by Wordshore at 2:38 PM on October 2, 2016 [3 favorites]

Ooh! Mentioned in podcast! Marionettefilter! Been so buried alive in the US election threads I didn't notice till now.

Thanks for the nice comments cortex and jessamyn - you made my day. I just finished processing scans of yet another batch of old photos for yet another show gallery - y'know, cleaning up dust and scratches and fixing faded colours. And moaning to myself how it'd be a lot easier if we'd had digital back then. Today I have to code them into their page and I was all weary and when will this ever be finished and oh dear there's so much more to do ... till I listened to your remarks and got a fine big enthusiasm bump and now I'm rearing to go. So thank you.

Hey ocherdraco, I checked out Puppet Showcase Theater's site, wish I could go see their "Cardboard Explosion", I love when people use unconventional materials.
posted by valetta at 5:34 PM on October 5, 2016 [2 favorites]

Hey, look, a transcript!
posted by zamboni at 9:55 AM on October 7, 2016 [6 favorites]

The transcript is done, thanks to zamboni, who did *every segment* except for the first one!
posted by Pronoiac at 6:34 AM on October 8, 2016 [4 favorites]

posted by Etrigan at 6:42 AM on October 8, 2016 [1 favorite]

You're tremendous, zamboni.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:40 AM on October 8, 2016 [3 favorites]

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