Metatalktail Hour: Open Thread November 5, 2021 6:32 AM   Subscribe

Happy Weekend, MetaFilter! This week, open thread! Is it warming up or cooling off in your part of the world? You got some holidays coming up? Supply chain making your life weird? Let's chat!
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) to MetaFilter-Related at 6:32 AM (72 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

I think cooling off, but I also fall for that trap every time and end up sweating my jeans off....
posted by token-ring at 7:23 AM on November 5, 2021 [3 favorites]

It's supposed to be spring here, but it's been pretty cool and grey...
My big achievement of the week is successfully introducing my two baby rats, Jasper and Nicodemus, into the big cage with the adult rats, Maurice and Frankie.
it's been fascinating to watch how they sort out the hierarchy, and how the different personalities deal with conflict.
Jasper in particular, the timid baby, always last to try anything scary, seems to be much more socially adept than his fierce and confident little brother Nicodemus.
Jasper just kept approaching the adult rats, instantly submitting to them, and refusing to stop being friendly.
Fierce Nicodemus seemed much more interested in claiming the most sought after sleeping spot, even if it meant he was alone in it.
Jasper was cuddling with Frankie in a few hours, and had won Maurice over by the next day while Nicodemus was still brooding triumphant but alone in the top hammock. Today they all seem perfectly fine, sleeping in one big pile and grooming one another. I'm so relieved!
Here is the moment when Jasper and Frankie were cuddling together for the first time.
posted by Zumbador at 7:44 AM on November 5, 2021 [23 favorites]

Here is the moment when Jasper and Frankie were cuddling together for the first time.

This completely made my day (and it's barely started), thank you!
posted by curious nu at 8:30 AM on November 5, 2021 [4 favorites]

Got my Moderna booster yesterday morning at 09:30. Awoke at 01:30 with hard chills which came in waves over the next few hours. Achy af this morning. No regrets.
posted by neuron at 8:56 AM on November 5, 2021 [11 favorites]

I just spent a year and a half in my apartment with the heat cranked up (included in the condo fee). Now I'm back in the office, moved to a new cube near the window, it's only November and I am FROZEN. :(
posted by Melismata at 9:31 AM on November 5, 2021

Getting colder fast. I decided it's finally time for a new coat (I hope I don't look that intense when I put it on).
posted by JanetLand at 9:33 AM on November 5, 2021 [2 favorites]

I arrived to work this morning to be greeted with the news that someone had just tested positive for Covid, and I had been flagged as "potentially exposed". I'm vaccinated, so I don't have to quarantine unless I start feeling sick myself - but I do have to go get a test, and I do have to stay masked at work until I get a negative test result. I had a careful conversation with the head of HR to find out "um....when might this have happened," and it turns out that I was flagged because I was sitting in front of the person during a mandatory health and safety training seminar - something which I find deeply ironic.

It also means that I have to wait until Monday to get tested (I was all ready to go do it tonight, but that would be too soon). I'd had some tentative plans to get outside at some point this weekend, since it's supposed to be sunny and still not quite that cold, but I also have a lot of putter-around-the-house kind of things I could also do, and I'm secretly kind of happy to have that excuse to stay inside and play with the latest Rancho Gordo bean club shipment or watch a bunch of movies or something.

I would be VERY surprised if I test positive myself, since I was sitting about five feet in front of this person in a large and drafty room and I have also been vaccinated. So this is more mildly inconvenient than a Cause For Alarm.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:33 AM on November 5, 2021 [12 favorites]

It’s brrrrr brrrrr cold here in North Carolina- I broke out my down jacket for the first time this season. I’m determined not to be cold this winter so I’m getting some long underwear this weekend.

We’re also going to set up a thanksgiving tree this weekend because why not? We’ll switch it to Christmas on Black Friday.
posted by jeoc at 10:01 AM on November 5, 2021 [1 favorite]

It's warming up in Chile. Thanks to the climate catastrophe, it was 34C last week, which is unheard of for this time of year. Had to buy a more ventilated bike helmet after I almost got heat stroke riding around sunset.
posted by signal at 10:19 AM on November 5, 2021 [2 favorites]

It's cooling down in Iowa. It was too warm for too long - mid-October before it really started to feel like fall.

I'm in the gym building while my library is being renovated, but every day I take a walk or two down to the main campus to observe the progress of construction and all the exciting noises and machines. I am so far refusing to put on a jacket for these walks - we'll see how long that lasts.
posted by Jeanne at 10:35 AM on November 5, 2021

We helped kiddo finish their science project A DAY EARLY and while it's not going to win any prizes, it might even be good enough to get a B. This is solid, considering they half-assed it until a week before the due date. So we're feeling like Parents of the Year over here and are ready to chill the fuck out this weekend.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:14 AM on November 5, 2021 [10 favorites]

Cooling off here, which is why I wound up going onto full alert when I got a call from a friend last Saturday: “We have a kitten situation”. Two kittens stashed by an unseen mama in friend’s window well. And Winter is Coming. I drive out there to take the kittens to foster.

Then on Sunday: “We have another kitten situation.” They at least saw mama this time, who ran for it as soon as they opened the door. Third kitten in the window well. We don’t know if there are any more that mama still had in her previous lair, but this late in the year we couldn’t take any chances. I took the third one in.

No sign of mama since. The kittens had a couple of high maintenance days, being just on the cusp of being able to poop but still needing stimulation to help them eliminate, but by today they are eating and pooping prodigiously and doing fine.

I don’t think we’ll ever know if we didn’t catch them all, but we are doing the best we can to give these three their best shot.

Did I mention that we already had four (adult) fosters from a hoarding rescue situation? There are twelve cats in my house right now. I can provide firm evidence that no, they are not cheaper by the dozen.
posted by notoriety public at 11:24 AM on November 5, 2021 [12 favorites]

Southern California, weather is a bit unremarkable. Cool like 50s in the early hours and mild 80s by afternoon. The time of the year when not cold/hot enough to even close the windows.


This morning at 4am I was coming back from the gas station across the street when I saw a cat and as always I try to say hello, they usually are strays and run away when a human stumbles across them. Not this guy. He meows and runs right up to me for some some killer kitty massage......... So I "good kitty" him for a few minutes.... He follows me home to my apartment. Give him a bowl of water and a hot dog (I have no other real cat-like food). Shut the door, he just keeps meowing at me, open the door do the "do you wanna come in cat dance". He comes in and investigates (I start worrying about "oops, have a cat"). Five minutes later and he's curled up on my lap purring up a storm and takes a nap. No collar or anything but he seemed interested in a neighbors apartment so I'm hoping that he just got out an was lost. It's still too early to ring doorbells and such trying to find his human but he eventually sorta wants/has to go back out. It's been nice to have a kitty in my lap for a few hours, sorta forgot what that was like but it's time to go. I caught the neighbor about 10am or so and found out that yay! yes he's some lost cat that they took home not too long ago (their two dogs are also sorta ex-shelter dogs and really sweet). So yeah, I should have just tossed him back over the fence into their porch. But evidentially he does get out and go exploring and neighbor had called him down out of a tree thirty minutes ago.

Guess I'll put some kitty treats and a can of food on the shopping list for the next random time he decides to go adventuring. Hope he turns up again?
posted by zengargoyle at 11:40 AM on November 5, 2021 [6 favorites]

There was snow in the higher elevations in the past few days which means snow tire appointment imminent. I just got my Moderna booster today. Felt kinda bleh already so if I feel more bleh I am okay with it. I've got my humidifier choogling (refilled it before even making coffee - priorities) and am enjoying a sunny autumn day where my heat is included in my rent.

posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:46 AM on November 5, 2021 [8 favorites]

Pretty chilly here for the past few days, but bright and sunny so that's pleasant. Perfect fall weather! I've been up and down all day opening the window, closing the window, turning on the heat, opening the window, etc. It feels too early in the season to have it closed up tight, plus the cats get all pouty if it's closed and I don't want to do that to them any sooner than I have to. Of course, when it's open they sit up there for a few minutes before wandering off leaving me to freeze; but let me go ahead and close it and they are back giving me the stink eye over it.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 12:04 PM on November 5, 2021 [3 favorites]

We got our first snow the other day.

I recently had my bad hip X-rayed. When it was broken the first time, the doctor who screwed it back together said it would most likely need to be replaced in ten years. That was 22 years and a second fracture ago. Current doc says it’s not great but definitely doesn’t need replacing yet. What the hell is my body made of.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 12:11 PM on November 5, 2021 [6 favorites]

What the hell is my body made of.

posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:22 PM on November 5, 2021 [2 favorites]

It’s climate changey here, alas, almost a week into November in the upper Midwestern US, and highs in the 50s. But on the bright side, it was a gorgeous day for a long walk. My workplace hosted its annual CME event over Zoom, and though my profession doesn’t give me a need for credits, I usually attend to stay up to speed in the field. This pandemic year, I got to listen to three fabulous talks while walking downtown in the sunshine… which gave me an excuse to get breakfast at the good bagel place. Yum.

Little eirias gets the vaccine in a little over a week, and will be two doses deep before Christmas. Halle-fucken-lujah!

Cheered by everyone’s booster stories. EmpressCallipygos, here’s hoping for an uneventful next few days!
posted by eirias at 12:26 PM on November 5, 2021 [5 favorites]

I just want a ribbon for changing course quickly during a tense meeting with some hospital staff and telling my boss that “I can’t pull a nursing home placement that will accept this patient out of thin air”, instead of saying the other place that I definitely can’t pull beds from.
posted by I am a Sock, I am an Island at 12:55 PM on November 5, 2021 [17 favorites]

Oh also, a sighting on my walk: a little bat apparently trying to hibernate outside, on a wall, at street level. :( That’s not going to go well for you, friend.
posted by eirias at 12:55 PM on November 5, 2021 [2 favorites]

Me and my lovely legal-partner-but-not-actually-married-in-Chile-but-yes-in-the-US-it's-complicated have our boosters, so a total of 2 Sinovac + 1 Pfizer, plus most people are vaccinated and everybody wears a mask, but still Delta is rising, but apparently only really affecting the unvaccinated.

I just found out that I'm taking over the design workshop I've been teaching for 7 years since my friend who used to be in charge is retiring, which is OK-ish news, I hope it's more pay because it WILL be more work, and another friend who was a student and TA in the same workshop and works with me on various projects, is going to be a co-teacher, which is great, makes the transition easier.

My 14yo son keeps getting mostly 7s in school (on a scale of 1 to 7), and has a ridiculously high GPA, and he's responsible and does the work but still manages to play like 3 hours of video games every day. He's great, plays keyboards, ukulele, produces music in Logic, is learning to model in Rhino3d and animate in Blender and wants to start learning to make games in Unity. He's like a much better version of myself with access to better gear. (My parents were great, but we lived in Pinochet's Chile in the '80s).

I spoil him as much as possible.
posted by signal at 12:59 PM on November 5, 2021 [18 favorites]

we got a new couch...2 years ago? recently I dropped something and down on the floor looking under there. apparently we have not cleaned under there since we got new couch? it is SO GROSS. so I'll be doing that this weekend.

no plans otherwise. I think I sliding into a bit of a depressive ep or SAD?? I'm ok but low energy and just want to eat constantly and sleep a lot. so maybe that will be the rest of my weekend plans? eating, naps, a book...
posted by supermedusa at 12:59 PM on November 5, 2021 [4 favorites]

The 10cm or so of snow that got dumped here a fortnight ago finally melted, but it looks to be kicking off again in the next few days, so I'm getting myself into the "snow from now 'til May" headspace.

Clocks changed Sunday last; sunset is currently at 15.20, getting earlier every day, and I COULDN'T BE HAPPIER.

I dragged my feet on decoupling the pier* until after the lake surface had frozen over and partially thawed, then -- like an idiot, it's fair to say -- knocked some tools and hardware over the side during the process. So after heaving away ice divots I got to spend a good several minutes stood tits-deep in freezing water, groping about with my toes for wrenches and bolts.

One of my new neighbours was heavily involved in motor sport for many years, and he came by and gave me a hand swapping out my car tyres, so I'm confident doing it myself from now on.

After nearly a year of unavailability was finally able to order some proper kettlebells. Collecting about 200kg of dead weight from the postal pickup point at the supermarket earned me some deeply sceptical looks from the clerks.

Got my second vaccine dose yesterday, and it feels like someone punched me in the armpit.

Messaged a friend back home earlier today and convinced him to pick up a couple of this year's neyðarkall for me on his lunch break.

*This lake serves as a reservoir, and the water level drops by ~3m in winter
posted by myotahapea at 1:06 PM on November 5, 2021 [5 favorites]

Being a nonbinary person entering their 40s and trying to figure out/manage two whole wardrobe changes, when your autistic self has never ever been even remotely fashionable in your entire life, is Some Kinda Bullshit, let me tell you.

We had a non-rainy Halloween for the first time in ages, I think, and then the following week was appropriately downpour-y, and now it's cold and sunny out, so at the weather is making sense right now.
posted by curious nu at 1:26 PM on November 5, 2021 [4 favorites]


This is the good time change. The spring one is the bad time change. Say all Sunday morning church music directors everywhere.
posted by Melismata at 1:58 PM on November 5, 2021 [4 favorites]

Last month a coworker friend invited me over for a small Halloween craft making party. It was so nice to hang out, at then end we agreed we needed to do another craft day in December to make a Christmas craft. Except between then and now my friend found a Star Trek craft book and it has reignited her love of Star Trek, so now we’ll be doing Star Trek theme Christmas ornament and cookies. I am very excited about this and going to get her a small Trek themed gift as a thank you.
posted by lepus at 1:59 PM on November 5, 2021 [2 favorites]

It's been getting chilly here in MN, but that is
a) totally normal for November; and
b) not the biggest weather/atmospheric story by far.

The last few nights there have been visible Northern Lights in northern/outstate MN! Pictures of the aurora have been filling up my various social media feeds. I live right in the Cities and would have to travel quite a ways to see anything - I'm hoping for another aurora event next week. I'll be going up to northern WI for a small board game convention at a lodge in a very good, very dark area of the state. Cross your fingers for another mass coronal ejection!
posted by Gray Duck at 1:59 PM on November 5, 2021 [7 favorites]

Five minutes later and he's curled up on my lap purring up a storm and takes a nap.

This has been happening to me recently except there are two of them. There's been no curling - more like jumping up on the kitchen counter (gross) and drinking water from a dirty bowl in the sink.

The other one came in and stayed for 24 hours. At about 17 hours I was stressed out that the cat had been in my personal space for so long.
posted by bendy at 2:40 PM on November 5, 2021 [1 favorite]

It's cooling off here in VA - I turned the heat on this week. However, tomorrow we fly to FL for a week with my F-I-L, so it'll be back to shorts once the FL weekend cold spell passes. It will be 60F and raining when we arrive tomorrow afternoon.
posted by COD at 3:27 PM on November 5, 2021 [1 favorite]

It's been a gorgeous fall day to stay home and do data analysis on the front porch here in Denver. I met another neighbor and border collie.
posted by deludingmyself at 4:36 PM on November 5, 2021 [1 favorite]

Bleah, chillyish here. I've noticed that The Cold Snap almost always happens within 24 hours of the time change, and that seems to be predicted on Feh. I had to go into the office today and also get covid tested, so I've been out in it a bit more. I haaaaaaaaaate it getting colder so much.
posted by jenfullmoon at 4:54 PM on November 5, 2021 [1 favorite]

"Little eirias gets the vaccine in a little over a week, and will be two doses deep before Christmas. Halle-fucken-lujah!"

Saaaaaaame, the two smallest McGees get their shots in a week! I know it's not over (I have nieces and nephews who are still too little), but I will exhale SO HARD. My five-year-old literally cheered like I told her she was going to Disney World.
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 5:15 PM on November 5, 2021 [10 favorites]

Goddamn cold here in New England in the morning.

My third kid turned in his college applications on Sunday night:one safe, and one shoot-the-moon pucker. Now we all pretend we're not thinking about it all the time for like four weeks.

Leaves still hanging in the trees so plenty of cold yard work to come. :7(

The oldest kid is eligible for a booster, which delights me. Looking forward to Thanksgiving, and the flock returning.
posted by wenestvedt at 5:52 PM on November 5, 2021 [3 favorites]

Very short term (hours): cooling off
Short term (days): warming up
Medium term (months): cooling off
Long term (years): warming up
Very long term (centuries): TBD
posted by Spathe Cadet at 6:25 PM on November 5, 2021 [1 favorite]

Now that we're boosted we've decided to make hay while the immunity um . . . have some dinner parties while we're as safe as we're gonna be. Lots of fun talking about whom we should invite and what we should make, great dinner parties of the past, etc.

Also we got some pallets from the flooring store and made the first bay of a planned three-bay compost setup which is really super satisfying to me. It's full of fall leaves. I am just such a homesteading crunchy person at heart. I lose sight of it from time to time but always come back to the compost, the canning, the bread, the gardening, the chickens, etc. and remember what makes me feel mellow and happy.

Also my dog is just the sweetest most affectionate dog ever. He could spend all day smooshing his adorable face into my hand. Never has anyone loved being petted more. He's the best.
posted by HotToddy at 6:41 PM on November 5, 2021 [4 favorites]

First frost the other morning.

Supply chain is fucking up my job good and proper. I sell hobby electronics: Raspberry Pis, components, etc. Things that were absolute staples of holidays sales are just gone. Like, "delivery next year, maybe". Despite our website saying clearly that if we're showing something out of stock, we don't have it, people will keep calling or emailing, trying different angles of "can you check in the back?". We're here to sell you stuff, people; you think we'd hide it away?
posted by scruss at 7:20 PM on November 5, 2021 [7 favorites]

Makes me think of the Christmas ads they used to run during WWII, promising all the consumer goods you’d be able to buy after the war.

Last Christmas felt a bit wartime-light, too. All those songs about dreaming of the Christmases back home, and next year maybe we’ll be with our loved one again, really hit home.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 8:36 PM on November 5, 2021 [6 favorites]

It was hot, dry and smoky here in eastern washington this summer, but the autumn has been glorious, with the leaves and needles (on larch trees) resplendent in the mountains. the rains have finally arrived and for a former west-sider, it's welcome and wonderful.
I'm 58, but still fit enough to play frisbee with my friends. Today, after working up a sweat in the rain, we went swimming in the Spokane river.
I hate the idea of losing daylight after work, but that's life in the northern hemi in the fall. oh well.
posted by OHenryPacey at 10:08 PM on November 5, 2021 [2 favorites]

My new migraine treatment seems to be working, so I feel cautiously optimistic after more than 50% of October was spent with a migraine. I’m at the stage of counting down weeks until I go home for Christmas which is fun! Decided I will decorate for Christmas in November for the first ever time since I’m leaving mid December anyway.
posted by ellieBOA at 3:51 AM on November 6, 2021 [7 favorites]

So yesterday BEGAN with a bang at work, with that Covid test. And then it ENDED with a bang - one of the other admins was let go, and I will be filling in for their scheduling support until we get a permanent replacement. My boss was great about giving me the news - he said that they'd asked me because I'm good at those tasks, and "that's what we need most". He also told me that he would be backing off on his own requests for me for the time being (even though he REALLY doesn't need to, he is super low-maintenance).

We also briefly discussed the Covid thing, and agreed that it was highly unlikely I actually would be infected. My boss came up with a hilarious way to put it - given that I was sitting in front of the guy, "I think the only way you could catch it is if you can lick the back of your own neck."


I'm still spending the weekend in homey cozy grounding tasks; the Rancho Gordo bean shipment was waiting for me last night, and I have all these beans to play with now, as well as some popcorn; I'd just got a pound of popcorn last week, so this is doubling my stash. I found a whole list of ideas for how to flavor/season/use popcorn, some of which sound very intriguing, so I should be able to up the consumption quite a bit (that Frito Pie idea especially caught my eye).


At the moment I am curled up in my room with a cup of cafe au lait and the radio, watching the visitors at my bird feeder. I have a ground floor apartment and access to the back yard my bedroom windows face, so I rigged up a bird feeder outside one with suction cups. So far I've mostly seen only a couple of common city birds - a couple of jays and a house finch, house sparrows, and this whole flock of VERY greedy and gluttonous mourning doves, particularly this one guy who is currently sitting directly on the seeds in the tray like Smaug and pecking all other birds when they approach. I've ordered another, smaller feeder that will cater more to the smaller birds so they'll at least get a chance.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:33 AM on November 6, 2021 [6 favorites]

I’m going to Mexico to go caving for 2 weeks around thanksgiving for the first time since 2005 & have been dieting/exercising to get ready since August. It’s pretty horrifying how badly I let myself go over the last year, but I had a goal, and have lost 9 pounds and my aerobic conditioning is way better. I’m ready for this!

I will be entirely out of cell phone range the entire time, so that will be an interesting change.
posted by Devils Rancher at 6:57 AM on November 6, 2021 [10 favorites]

Wood stove season has arrived abruptly, and I am thanking my past self for having loaded the house rick and stocked kindling while the weather was still good. It won't last forever--it's the first of many trips between the big rick and the house to lay in a supply of split wood--but it's enough to get me over the shock of oh, right, the house gets cold and I have to make a fire before it gets any colder. I have a firm belief that it takes a few weeks for the bones of the house to get cold. Once that cold is in its bones, though, the fight to keep it alive starts to involve airflow (fans, open doors, clear vents, sealing leaks) and attention (hauling wheelbarrows-full of wood on dry sunny days, reserving old newspaper, re-filling the stove every few hours, delaying the ceremonial First Burned Hand of the Season).

Thick frost on the ground for the last few days, and it's time to try post-frost persimmons, which were abundant this year (lots, and I did not get to pick all of them! But there's still time!). The trees are past peak color, but the ridgeline is still pretty with its pops of red and orange; between the fallen leaves and the disappeared corn stalks, the landscape is beginning to look pared back. I have to remind myself the this is the beginning of a longer process, and that three months from now, when I'm oppressed by cold and icy slush and there's so little color in the world, I can start seeds and have something green to hope for.
posted by MonkeyToes at 7:14 AM on November 6, 2021 [7 favorites]

Last year, the combination of winter, 100% remote working, and middle age all added up to Jeremias getting a chronic sore neck as well as aches & pains in new and unfamiliar places.

In an attempt to avoid this predicament again, I've been doing yoga for the first time in my life. The local studio offered a two week $30 unlimited classes deal for new students, and I took full advantage, trying out a different class and teachers (almost) every day.

It's now been almost a month and I'm really loving it so far! The studio offers a combination of online and in-studio classes. I have gone to a few of the classes indoors with a bit of trepidation, but the studio gets an A for installing new ventilation, requiring masks, and proof of vaccination. In addition, I'm able to preview how many people are in attendance before I sign up (or just choose the online option). It really helps that the studio is a 15 min walk or 3-4 min drive from my house.

As I was learning about the Yoga concept of finding "your edge" during a pose (basically, going right up to the point of discomfort) I realized there is a corollary with Covid. In this case "the edge" represents the level of risk one is willing to take. Going to a movie theater? Nope, still past my own threshold. Going to a light exercise class in a well-ventilated room with people taking all the precautions possible? Turns out that is where I'm at. (I will feel much more at ease after my booster though, unfortunately I'm not eligible yet.)
posted by jeremias at 8:34 AM on November 6, 2021 [5 favorites]

telling my boss that “I can’t pull a nursing home placement that will accept this patient out of thin air”, instead of saying the other place that I definitely can’t pull beds from.

One of the funnier things I have witnessed was a coworker at a former job having a discussion with the CEO. In the course of the conversation she started to use the phrase "talking out of my ass" but caught herself and changed it to the much more professional-sounding "speaking out of my butt."
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 10:46 AM on November 6, 2021 [7 favorites]

Mr dbmcd has been busy - the wheat in the front yard is up about 3-4”, the garlic is in (207 heads), and holes for new (to us, transplanting from a friend) blueberry bushes are dug and soil amended, ready to receive.
I had wonderful news a week ago, I took a test to see if there is any circulating tumor DNA in my blood, and the answer came back “non detectable”. I’ll take that as definitive of of cancer remission, thank you very much! I’m making good strides on range of motion, strength, and balance in my “Strength After Cancer” class - it’s only twice a week, but it sure feels good!
Today, I’ll be test baking a pumpkin Bundt cake to see if it will pass muster for Thanksgiving.
The days are getting darker/shorter/wetter, but we had a pretty nice fall.
posted by dbmcd at 11:11 AM on November 6, 2021 [11 favorites]

In the course of the conversation she started to use the phrase "talking out of my ass" but caught herself and changed it to the much more professional-sounding "speaking out of my butt."

"Pontificating out of my posterior."
posted by JanetLand at 11:22 AM on November 6, 2021 [8 favorites]

I've managed to keep from putting on my long johns so far this year. This is very far into November for this not to have happened yet. I always dread it happening because basically they go on and they are not not-worn again until sometime in Spring. So I'm putting it off as long as possible, but I suspect this week or next...

I'm flying to North Carolina for a concert in a couple of weeks (Genesis, which seems impossible, but then we also have a new ABBA album this week, so this timeline is weird), and I've no issues with the travel but I'm feeling trepidation about the actual Being In An Arena For A Rock Concert thing. But I'll get through it. I have pretty good masks, and am going with one of my oldest friends in the world, so yay.
posted by hippybear at 11:25 AM on November 6, 2021 [3 favorites]

It’s still HOT here in the southwestern US - yesterday it hit 90! I know, it’s a dry heat, but it keeps me from going on afternoon walks and gardening on my patio. I’m planning a trip to New York but it’s hard for me to plan my Fall vacation wardrobe when it’s hot outside.

On preview, I’m such a whiner! Revision: The evening temps are gorgeous here – perfect for outdoor dining! I’m planning a 10-day trip to New York for Thanksgiving where I’ll enjoy good food, a long overdue visit with relatives, and possibly a Broadway show. I’m so looking forward to wearing boots, fleece leggings, pullover sweaters and other cozy clothes!
posted by kbar1 at 11:40 AM on November 6, 2021 [2 favorites]

I got my booster yesterday and then slept 11 hours last night until 1 pm, woke up to a few "Hey are you okay?" texts (yes I was, just asleep). Feel okay today. Gonna enjoy that extra hour tomorrow.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:45 AM on November 6, 2021 [6 favorites]

My brother and his family are visiting Portland for the first time in too many years, and they're getting the unevenness of late autumn here with lots of rains and then sun breaks except wait nope back to rain again. Makes for a challenge to find places to eat outdoors, but other than that it's been a fantastic time; I've missed 'em all a bunch since we last saw them.

And my brother being my brother and the more impulsive "let's just Do The Thing" of the two of us, within a day of him getting into town we were at a local tattoo parlor getting identical ink. Old hat for him, but it's, at long last, my first tattoo. I like it. It might be the start of a lot.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:55 AM on November 6, 2021 [14 favorites]

This is shaping up to be a whole weekend of cozy domesticity and I REALLY needed it, I think.

My roommate and I each got into Cleaning Jags in our respective areas - me since it's part of my usual routine, and him because there's a girl he's hitting it off with in his bowling league and he realized "oh hey, I may want to invite her over sometime". We also re-sorted and organized a chaotic freezer, and he surrendered two whole pounds of fresh Japanese noodles over to me which I am going to be turning into meals over the next week.

I also started some of the dried lima beans soaking from the latest Rancho Gordo haul - I have a recipe that's nothing more than just cooking them, seasoning them just a little, and then serving them over rice, and that sounds so grounding I'm going to be making it tonight; those limas are currently sitting in a big jug on the counter and doing their soak.

Tackling the slow drain has been a less fun task, but I think I may have gotten a head start; I'm taking a break before resuming battle again.

The apples were piling up from the past CSA hauls, and some were just on the edge of "do something with me NOW before I go bad" so I turned them all into applesauce; fortunately, they made exactly enough applesauce for a pie filling (easiest pie in the world - dump 3 cups of applesauce into the bottom pie crust, sprinkle on some cinnamon, top with another crust, bake). I usually cheat and use the refrigerated pie crusts, but the grocery store up the street is out - so I am going to attempt to make the crust for that from scratch.

Sorting the papers in my office and mending a ripped jacket lining will wait until tomorrow I think. Right now I am keeping very still because an unfamiliar bird is across the yard and studying the bird feeder and I don't want to scare it away from stopping over.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:31 PM on November 6, 2021 [2 favorites]

Made a tart Tatin earlier (this has been going on for about a year now, I guess. I read a recipe somewhere and got a touch, uh, obsessed. See, I really but really like caramel (and not industrial caramel just regular sugar butter/cream and salt and heat) and if you hit it right, there's that layer of caramelly flavour then the flavour of the apples (are de rigour but I like pear better - plum is also pretty terrific. Apples it has to be the absolute right apple and I'm a bit to improvisational about the whole process to go out of my way for the right apples.)) And I hit on the secret to a great T-T, and its obvious so that I was kicking myself at first - the answer is salt, salt is the secret - but I had been using salted butter and leaving it at that, and it really wasn't enough salt. So this time I laid out my butter then gave it a borderline-excessive dusting of salt, then the sugar - then the pears and oh ... my my my my damnit but my goodness. It's a perfect food-ish: salt, sweet and fat all in one. Tacos are perfect, too, good ones, fresh ones: not too packed, three maybe four flavours and you're golden.

Fall keeps trying to kick off here - the leaves are an almost stroboscopic yellow and tumbling off the trees in great clumps - but the air is resolutely temperate. There's a breath of cool here and there but not much more. To be honest as much as I hate the brutal damp cold (3 celsius and 90% humidity is my kryptonite) it's somewhat normal and ... I keep dreading its arrival, then am frustrated that, going out wearing what should be seasonally appropriate apparel, I start getting clammy with sweat.
posted by From Bklyn at 1:33 PM on November 6, 2021 [6 favorites]

It's being wonderful here. A much needed change from the summer hellscape of fire smoke and record high heat. I made chicken soup today, it was too tan so I tossed in the last of my curry powder, then the juice of one lemon to brighten it up. My basils are still thriving! Over and out!
posted by Oyéah at 3:08 PM on November 6, 2021 [2 favorites]

It's so nice to be able to go for a brisk walk without getting disgustingly sweaty. Our temps in New Jersey have actually been a little cooler than normal for the past week, which is a distinct and welcome contrast from October.
posted by mollweide at 3:36 PM on November 6, 2021


This is the good time change. The spring one is the bad time change. Say all Sunday morning church music directors everywhere.

Ahem. Sunset was at 5:30 this week. It will be at 4:30 and tomorrow WE HAVE ANOTHER 6 WEEKS OF IT GETS WORSE AFTER THAT. This is, in no way, “the good one” THE TYRANNY OF WINTER STANDARD TIME MUST END.

Did I mention I teach in a windowless classroom? That probably does not help my attitude. We’re all going to school and work in the dark here in the north here any way you slice it….might as well have a sliver of light after work, is what I say. Any politician who makes this their platform has my sun-starved vote.

It is cold here but not cold enough for ice skating or frozen beach biking- it has been the worst weather for weeks, just 30-40 and raining. The forecast holds hope for skating maybe by the end of next week, though, although with it dark ridiculously early that’s a pursuit that probably needs to wait for a daylight weekend outing (at least for the first time). I’m charging all the bike lights today so I can still get out on the trails after work with the dog next week.

Very excited for all the kids in my life to get vaccinated and am hoping for news on vaccines for little littles soon so parents of toddlers can feel safer at long last.
posted by charmedimsure at 4:45 PM on November 6, 2021 [5 favorites]

My roommate and I each got into Cleaning Jags

Do they have, like, vacuum-cleaner attachments you can activate from a dashboard switch? Also they're pretty high-powered cars, I bet it's hard to avoid leaving rubber skid marks on bare-wood floors.

I'd buy a Self-Cleaning Jag - imagine never needing to take it through an auto-wash!
posted by Greg_Ace at 9:18 PM on November 6, 2021 [2 favorites]

It's getting colder in Austin. This week has been the change from t-shirt, shorts, and bare feet to long pants, shoes 'n socks and long sleeves. When it got down in the 40sF I gave in and turned off the AC and cranked on the heater.

On the supply chain side, I blew a tire this week and discovered that all my tires were cracking and needed to be replaced. When looking for tires, most of the well known brands were out of stock and no delivery expected anytime soon. So sprang for cheaper unknown brand. My excellent brother-in-law came to my rescue AGAIN (after the incidents with cutting down the leaning tree, and chopping up the fallen tree). He came into town and changed the blown tire for the little spare tirelette so I could drive to the tire place. Even more strong silent hero-like, he did not give voice to criticize my obliviousness about car care and maintenance. He aired up all the tires before letting me drive off.
posted by a humble nudibranch at 10:59 PM on November 6, 2021 [4 favorites]

My spouse sent me an early birthday present: a video greeting by Norman Lovett (the male Holly on Red dwarf.) It's both the silliest gift I've ever received, and also absolutely delightful. He goes on for five minutes riffing on things from his childhood and quotes lines from the show that more or less defined my childhood. (Also, the dude had COVID recently. But, he's okay. Or, better than okay.)

Using taxes to barely fund great television and then asking actors to spend a few hours a week recording birthday greetings for cash isn't a business model I'd have thought up. But, it's not bad.
posted by eotvos at 12:10 AM on November 7, 2021 [3 favorites]

Cold at night here in Maine. Currently 26 F at 3:00 a.m. Cannot sleep, got up and had a cup of cocoa and now onto herbal relaxation tea with agave syrup. Will putter around for a while and then try to lay down and get some sleep before dawn.

Lots going on here lately. Decided to get a new TV after my old one stopped working with Hulu. No cable here, only DSL streaming, so that's my lifeline. Not sure if I'll put the old TV in the bedroom, as the new one doesn't have the right ports for my old DVD player. Would love to figure out if I could find some adaptor to hook the old DVD player up to the new TV, so I can plug in my exercise & yoga DVD's, as I won't walk on the narrow road with no sidewalks in the winter. Too many speeders using it as a shortcut.

Rescued a cat that was left at a nearby house. It was inside an unheated cabin, with NO food, only water. The people never told anyone they were leaving and I went to check on him. I fed him, left a space heater on, and visited with him. He is a big old striped tabby tom cat, very chill and friendly. After a couple days of this, I found out they weren't coming back for him, so I took my cat carrier over there and was able to shove him in easily. Brought him back here, and he's fit right in with my two cats. I forgot his name, so I named him Brewster.

Found out that a checking account my late husband had had, which I thought had only $25 in it after we switched banks, had $270 in it, which I'd never claimed. They cut me a check and cashed it for me, so I went to Walmart and got some home goods, new kitchen curtains, apron/potholder/dishtowel set, some spices, and things like that. Today I hung my new curtains and cleaned off the toaster. Still have to clean all the dusty doo-dads that were on the kitchen sink windowsill and put them back.

Ordered new furniture, as I may be having company for Christmas. Invited my son and his girlfriend, who live in the Chicago area. I can sleep in my late husband's giant powerlift recliner, and they can have my bed. Got a small loveseat sized couch, an easy chair, and a coffee table and end table set, in striped wood with muted colors, it's really cute! Going for cabin/cottage core, been living with old dog and cat scratched furniture for over 5 years, the stuff that was here when we moved in. I have the name of a furniture removal company, but think my neighbors might take them to the dump for me.

Been doing crafts, making sun catchers, and putting washi tape and glitter glue on old Oui glass yogurt jars, then inserting an LED candle. They are really cute, and fast and easy to make. Then I took an old wine bottle, and inserted a string of mini LED lights into it, and topped it with an orange plastic acorn, from a package of those colorful Thanksgiving table scatters. I really love looking at that when it gets dark.

Got out the essential oil diffuser, and have some relaxation blend in that right now. I see a doctor in a couple of weeks, to address the insomnia issue, and the need to get everything done at once that's been going on lately. I've just been feeling like I need to prepare for winter and the holidays very early this year, while I do that every year, it's wayyyy worse this year! I got new tires in September, worried about shortages, and an oil change, which was needed.

Lots of emotional trigger days this week: my mother died today, 10 years ago, and her birthday would have been Nov. 9th. My birthday is 11/11, my late husband's was also 11/11. Not sure what I am doing yet, but luckily, am speaking with the bereavement counselor on Nov. 10th. Sure she will encourage me to do something nice for myself, but the home goods and new furniture are all early bday presents! I do practice self care, got a mani-pedi last week, took myself to brunch in a nice nearby town, but the thing with the cat really stressed me out. There's more to the story, of course, but they already had had 14 of their 17 cats taken away, the other two are at another neighbor's for now, as I could only take the one. I felt so bad for him, being left in the cold with no food, and it's been making me cry, and thinking of my mom and husband are also. Feel like hiring a maid to help me clean this place up, but I'm the type that would clean before they got here!

To top it all off, was putting away a bottle of key lime juice, which had leaked all over the bottom of one of my grocery bags. I shook it, and the top popped open and juice spewed up and out like a geyser. Sticky key lime juice all over the floor, the fridge doors, the top of the fridge (where I keep cereal and cracker boxes). So now I have to mop all of that up, as it was too dark, with just lamps on, to see it all, and I keep stepping on the sticky floor and it's driving me batty, but the sink is full of dishes so I can't fill the mop bucket. Ahhhhhh! So I'll be doing all that today, and I ran out of kitty litter after scooping today, because now I have 3 cats to clean up after... but at least I got all the trash taken to the transfer station, got rid of all my cardboard at the recycling station. One thing at a time, but redoing one's living space after sitting around being depressed for over a year is wicked hard all by yourself! Glad I have the cats to vent to, they do listen, I believe.

We too are getting one last burst of 50+ degree weather this week, before daytime highs run in the 40's in about a week or so. I have tons of sweatshirts, sweaters, scarves, new lounge pants, and all that stuff, so I will be plenty warm here. Can't wait to get my new furniture in about a week and a half, I will be over the moon when that arrives.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 1:48 AM on November 7, 2021 [14 favorites]

A couple of weeks ago, in a fit of nostalgia I pulled all my old analog camera gear out of storage. I've been holding on to my grandfather's collection for about 15 years, and I think I'm finally going to start using it.

Except... time (and our damp basement) has not been kind. Focus and aperture control all seem to be fine on the lenses, but a lot of the glass had evidence of fungus, a pretty common problem if you don't take care of your equipment. So, I've been spending the last couple weeks taking all the lenses apart, carefully cleaning the glass elements, and putting them back together. I haven't broken anything, which was a huge success in my book, and now all the glass looks pretty good! Unfortunately, I did round out one tiny screw, but the watch repair guy I go to thinks he'll be able to extract it and then I can finish up with the last lens.

After that, I need to take apart one of the camera bodies because it seems like the winding mechanism is mis-timed with the shutter release. That one worries me because I cannot find any reference material on this camera model (Canon FT QL). It's descendant, the FTb, has tons of information online, but I don't know how similar they are to each other.
posted by backseatpilot at 4:34 AM on November 7, 2021 [6 favorites]

Y'all, check this - you want to make this, it's surprisingly simple and good.

Take 2 cups of dried lima beans (Rancho Gordo if you can find them, if not that's okay I guess). Soak them for several hours in a huge bowl - they will double in size, and that's okay. Dump them in a big pot with 2 bay leaves and a piece of kombu (seaweed - it's probably lurking in your supermarket somewhere). Cover that with enough water to cover by 2 inches and bring to a full boil. Let boil for like 2 minutes, scraping off that foamy scum off the top, and then turn down the heat and let simmer until the beans are soft (it should take about an hour). Add a couple teaspoons of salt and let simmer another 10 minutes.

Then take it off the heat and fish out the bay leaves, and the kombu (the kombu may start going to pieces, so just be persistent). Dump it into a colander, but don't strain too well - you're just straining out the bulk of the water, and you WANT a little water still clinging to the beans; pour the beans back into the pot. I personally poured it into the colander and then poured the contents of the colander right back into the pot right away.

Then all you add is two tablespoons of olive oil, two tablespoons of cider vinegar, and a shake of red pepper flakes. Dump that into the beans, and then stir it all together kinda fast for about 30 seconds. This makes a simple sauce out of the vinegar, the oil, and the trace bits of water still on the beans.

I served that over some rice, and while it wasn't the most colorful meal I've ever had, it was very tasty. It also is pretty good cold over greens, so the leftovers are tucked in the fridge and I'll be brown-bagging them over the course of this coming week.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:59 AM on November 7, 2021 [3 favorites]

Brewster looks like an absolute sweetheart, Marie Mon Dieu. Very happy to hear he's settled nicely into your household.

Intentionally left behind, trapped (presumably) in an unheated space, with only water?
There is a special place in hell for people who abandon animals in this way.

Sending good thoughts your way in these next days. Hopefully Brewster's novel presence will provide a bit of positive distraction.
posted by myotahapea at 5:03 AM on November 7, 2021 [5 favorites]

Southern Colorado has been perfect. Warm afternoons and shivery mornings, the kitchen slate tiles are knife-sharp with cold at 6 am. On Friday night at 8 pm, the house was 73 degrees from the heat of the day. Autumn remains suspended in endless clear blue skies, when by this time we've usually had at least a snow or two.

It's such a pleasure, though, after a smoky summer where the air quality had us gasping and the heat had me hiding behind drawn curtains. This year was the last year I'll do without an air conditioner. Around here it's kind of a point of Colorado pride to go without one if you've lived here a long time, but climate changes and pride crumbles and now I have eight months to figure out which room to select as my own personal icebox.

The annual metafilter gift swap signups close on November 11! Lurkers and new members are especially welcome and it's a lot of fun. This will be my thirteenth(!) year participating. This year I'll also be helping to track packages again and I genuinely love emailing with everyone, so don't be shy if you want to check on package delivery or if we can clarify recipient guidance.

Needlegrrl has her annual holiday card exchange open as well and it's super cheerful and lovely and worth checking out if you love getting holiday mail. Both events are linked in the banner above. Join us!
posted by mochapickle at 8:45 AM on November 7, 2021 [4 favorites]

Pontificating out of my posterior.

Rectal rhetoric?
posted by nickmark at 12:01 PM on November 7, 2021 [2 favorites]

*anal wink*
posted by y2karl at 1:25 PM on November 7, 2021 [1 favorite]

We just moved to my hometown and bought a house in Montana after spending 9 years just south of Salt Lake City, UT. It's my spouse's first time living in this specific city, but we spent a few years together in MT before moving to UT.

And my goodness. it's autumn. Like, actually autumn. There are SO. MANY. BEAUTIFUL. TREES. And the leaves! The LEAVES, y'all! Our back yard has at least half a dozen trees including aspens, ash, crab apple, and a blue spruce. The front has a maple tree. Across the street there's a gorgeous gigantic willow. All the leaves have changed and most have fallen but it's actually autumn. Clear skies with some overcast and rainy days. I almost cried multiple times just looking at it all.

I didn't realize just how much I hated the climate and foliage in Utah. Looking out it seemed like there were a lot of trees, but there really weren't. And it would just go from summer to suddenly cold and gray with nothing in between. Now, we have a lawn covered in leaves and a small pond that needs skimming and the gutters need to be cleaned. But it's magical.
posted by Crystalinne at 2:08 PM on November 7, 2021 [7 favorites]

Spring may be sliding into a early summer (official La Nina phase - NZ always calls El cycles last - to the detriment of an ag/hort nation), has been a weird winter, third or forth in a row for many people in the mountains with low/no snow.

It was a record wet winter for many, or months of drizzle and fog - many plant nurseries lost plants from this. I do like a wet summer tho' as my plants survive wherever I have got a landscape going. Still planting some landscapes as it's been so wet soil is only drying out now. But spring has been amazing so much more flowery than usual - will be a mast year for many trees in Fall.

People refusing to accept supply chain collapse making life difficult, refusing to see how say the shortage/hyperinflation of a specific plastic bag (and it's future process chain) can make the end price completely unpredictable. Spent an hours emailing / phoning a client today to say I require a contract exclusion clause.

But work is busy and good, after years of low returns (and networking) it's improving and landscapes are becoming very large, and very complicated.

cortex! that could be the first node in a Menger sponge, a metaphor for many following..

charmedimsure That sound's nothing like the Alaska I remember from 1990.
posted by unearthed at 10:11 PM on November 7, 2021

It's past peak foliage here in New England, but I am finally going to get around to making a gallon of hard cider today from a gallon of local juice.

A little ginger and maybe cinnamon, some tannin and Fermaid K, and a packet of 1116 under the bung & bubbler: in you go, boys!
posted by wenestvedt at 7:15 AM on November 8, 2021 [5 favorites]

I am so glad I had a chill weekend because trying to catch up on covering for the person who just left at work is going to SLAM me like whoa. (I'll be fine, it's just trying to do some cleaning up and catching up that's causing some confusion. My boss DEFINITELY has my back though.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:01 AM on November 8, 2021

Brewster had settled in just fine with my two cats, after a few growls and hisses between them. He has his own spot on one chair, so it's all good here.

Wenestvedt, I just started some cranberry ginger mead, in the fermentation bucket now, waiting for the airlock to start bubbling. I'll siphon it off into the glass jug in a few days or so, will see how it goes. It's next to one of the heating vents, so should be happy.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 2:26 AM on November 11, 2021 [2 favorites]

I feel the need
The need for mead
posted by The Underpants Monster at 3:16 AM on November 11, 2021 [2 favorites]

I've got two teens, and I'm in my late fifties, so as you might imagine the relationships can get strained. But I just had a great interaction with my younger one. It was their dishes night, but because I know they're sensitive to smells, I washed out my empty plastic jar of diakon kim chee, which I'm saving to store hardware in.

"Why are you washing that? It's my dishes night."

Yeah, but you hate the smell of this kim chee and I want to save this jar so I thought I'd save you the smell and wash it myself.

"Yeah, thanks, I can't stand that smell."

And besides, I'm reorganizing all my hardware and these are great to store things in because you can see what's inside each jar. Also, then all my hardware will smell faintly of kim chee, so when I eventually die and you and your brother inherit my tools and hardware, thirty years later you'll go to fix something, and you'll pull a screw or a washer out of one of the jars, and you'll get the faintest whiff of diakon kim chee. And for a moment you'll remember me.

"Wow, Dad, that's some impressive trolling from the grave."

I'm playing the long game.
posted by Stanczyk at 2:32 PM on November 22, 2021 [6 favorites]

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