Saturday Morning Open Thread

College Football day. I'm pressed for time so I will just be able to give you a few of my picks in the bigger games - Oklahoma, Ohio State, Mich State.

Go Gators!

Open Thread.

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    I got to use my new job/location (5.00 / 3) (#1)
    by observed on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 10:45:49 AM EST
    as a party topic last night.
    Coincidentally, it was at a 50th birthday party for someone else!I got to greet her from the "other side".
    Well, the first man who heard me explain that I'm leaving for a university job in Kazakhstan said"
    Well, that's a party stopper!" (British-ism).
    Exactly so, and that's why I took the job.
    Another  comment was from a woman who related that she knew a man who went to KZ in the Peace Corps, and loved it. Not only that, he came home with a male lover! Perceptive of her to tell me that part of the story.

    Also, a present from my brother-in-law (5.00 / 6) (#3)
    by observed on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 11:16:18 AM EST
    arrived yesterday: a winter parka from L.L. Bean with a furred hood which completely covers my face. One reviewer was from an observatory on a mountain in NH, where temperatures get to -80F (!!!!) with wind chill. This person found the coat fine even in that cold.
    When it's a balmy -40, I should have no problem.

    Sounds like an exciting adventure... (5.00 / 0) (#49)
    by easilydistracted on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 11:27:04 AM EST
    new job, new location, new continent, additional friends. Yep -- I'd say that sounds like a real exciting adventure. Good luck to you.

    Googling reveals nothing re the (none / 0) (#2)
    by oculus on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 11:13:27 AM EST
    origin of this phrase, which I've never heard before.  

    Perhaps he was so confounded he mixed (none / 0) (#4)
    by observed on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 11:17:32 AM EST
    up his words.

    Don't think so, as I found the phrase (none / 0) (#5)
    by oculus on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 11:21:38 AM EST
    as used.  Just interested in its origins.  

    Gotcha. Misunderstood your comment. (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by observed on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 11:25:16 AM EST
    BTW, my visa application is at the embassy, with a priority mail envelope to send my passport back. A member of the HR staff said the university would be in contact with the embassy to expedite approval. Optimistically, I could have it back by Tuesday or Wednesday and leave by the following weekend.

    Oculus, you might appreciate how (none / 0) (#10)
    by observed on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 11:37:48 AM EST
    i've been spending my time.
    Besides lazing around watching netflix, I'm playing the piano a lot. I'm making progress on several fugues from Art of the Fugue,
    working on a couple of Chopin etudes, and a movement from a Beethoven sonata.
    I know I won't be able to practice so much after I move,so I'm trying to make what progress I can.

    More adventure: finding a piano (none / 0) (#12)
    by oculus on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 12:19:21 PM EST
    for practicing.  

    I hope there is a music department (none / 0) (#14)
    by observed on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 12:24:29 PM EST
    and I could practice on their pianos. If not, I will probably buy an electronic keyboard. At the low end of the price scale, those are a much better buy than a piano.
    Plus, I won't have to worry about annoying my neighbord.
    If I could rent a good upright, that would be great too.

    I assume there are gym facilities at the school.
    I found exactly one yoga center listed in Astana.
    See if you can find it.. you'll be rewarded by some pics of a very hot pretzel.


    The piano tuner who (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by the capstan on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 08:25:25 PM EST
    took care of our grand for many years said if he were to buy a piano at that time (maybe the 90's), he'd get an electronic piano. My son also played a synthesizer (had 2 of the famous ones).  He gave them both away awhile back and he and my s-i-l bought an electronic piano.  (My son is now devoted to the violin.)  I miss the synth terribly; there was so much someone with both music and computer ability could do with it!  (My son is one of those folks who 'see' sounds as color.)

    Schools and churches are another (none / 0) (#15)
    by oculus on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 12:38:11 PM EST
    possible place to practice.  Turn on the charm.

    If only you were in the Northwest (none / 0) (#44)
    by shoephone on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 10:36:40 PM EST
    I'm selling a 42-year-old Yamaha console. Almost perfect condition. Beautiful sound and action. If you want to schedule a stop in Western Washington on your way to N. Europe, there's a deal to be made...

    Is Kazakhstan considered Europe or Asia? (none / 0) (#45)
    by shoephone on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 10:38:41 PM EST
    Asia. (none / 0) (#48)
    by observed on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 08:04:57 AM EST
    Yesterday Reuters (5.00 / 3) (#7)
    by Edger on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 11:23:45 AM EST
    reported that "Obama, yielding to pressure from his political base, has backed off a proposal to reform Social Security retirement benefits in a high-stakes deficits deal Congress needs to reach this year" and that "A senior administration official said his proposals to 12-member congressional panel tasked with finding the savings by November 23, were still being finalized. But they are expected to total as much as $3 trillion over 10 years and include tweaks to Medicare and Medicaid, the government's healthcare programs for the elderly and for the poor"

    I suppose if you just die younger from lack of medical care then that'll be your contribution to cutting social security outlays.

    And don't you ever forget that there is a poor starving homeless deficit out there with no place to go because everybody hates him, there are sunken eyed emaciated investment bankers wandering hat in hand all over the sidewalks of New York City who would love to start trickling down again if they had anything to trickle with, President Geithner looks like a friggin' soulless ghoul who hasn't slept in weeks, never mind in his car, the Pentagon is almost broke and stretched so thin they had to suck it up and ask NATO to bomb Libya for them fer chrissakes, and by next year Obama will have to reduce his troop level investment in Afghanistan to only about TWICE the number he had there the day he was inaugurated.

    Meanwhile,  It's Midnight in America:

    It is midnight in America. Brian is cleaning his gun. He has a constitutionally protected right to own a firearm, but he has no right to treatment for his bipolar disorder. Right now, he is in one of his down phases. The medications that would help him cost more than his family's total food bill each month, and to get those, he would have to see a psychiatrist and pay him $125 a visit. He has been down to the local MHMR, but they have a waiting list. When asked during the bright light of day if he was planning to hurt himself, he answered truthfully "No. I couldn't do that to my kids." But it is midnight now. The kids are asleep. He is alone with a bottle of whiskey and a handgun. The whiskey numbs the pain, briefly, and it is a lot cheaper than health care. He stares down the barrel of his gun. A bullet is even cheaper than whiskey, and it's a lot more permanent. He holds the gun to his head. His finger hesitates on the trigger. Will it hurt? Another swallow of whiskey bolsters his courage...

    Dear Mr. President. I know you wanted to emulate Ronald Reagan. I know you were planning to run your own version of "Morning in America" as part of your re-election campaign.


    But this isn't morning in America.

    Preceding paragraphs even more powerful (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by Towanda on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 01:25:20 PM EST
    to me.  Quite a read at the link, and I hope that it goes viral.  Thanks.

    Walter Mondale's daughter... (none / 0) (#6)
    by desertswine on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 11:21:46 AM EST
    Eleanor, has died.  She was only 51 and was once linked with Warren Zevon.

    So did Ted Kennedy's daughter (none / 0) (#11)
    by rdandrea on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 11:40:20 AM EST
    And former Sen. Charles Percy. (none / 0) (#13)
    by oculus on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 12:20:13 PM EST
    If only such Republicans existed now.  Or maybe they do but don't get any air time.  

    They've pretty much all (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by Zorba on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 01:57:40 PM EST
    been pushed out of the Republican Party.  Most of them are now either independents or Democrats.  (And there may be a few of these Republicans left here and there in local politics, but you won't be seeing them on the national stage.)

    Question: the "simple trick" or (none / 0) (#9)
    by observed on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 11:35:34 AM EST
    "ridiculously easy trick" ubiquitous ads:
    do they all have the same producer? The subject of the ads can vary greatly

    Michigan beats EMU 31-3. Such a (none / 0) (#18)
    by oculus on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 02:27:42 PM EST

    Auburn loses to Clemson! (none / 0) (#19)
    by Addison on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 02:36:07 PM EST
    I am surprised. I was pretty sure all the SEC teams were underranked and all the ACC teams were over-ranked. But there you go.

    Clemson has a great schedule for rising in the rankings (Florida St., Virginia Tech, South Carolina still to go) and esteem if they can win. Their schedule is much better than Virginia Tech's inexplicably weak schedule -- which will get them permanently booted from the top 20 at their first loss, I think.

    I've been worried since the first game. (none / 0) (#21)
    by jeffinalabama on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 04:44:30 PM EST
    Auburn's offense is fine, but the defense misses Fairley. Oh well, the season isn't over, and auburn lost to either the pros or graduation or otherwise 24 players after last year. the heart of the defense and some excellent defensive supporting staff...

    Too bad about Auburn (not!). (none / 0) (#23)
    by caseyOR on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 04:45:34 PM EST
    Can't say I'm sorry that Clemson won.

    Cap'n, them's almost (none / 0) (#24)
    by jeffinalabama on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 04:51:33 PM EST
    fightin' words, arrrrrr.

    I'm still a little testy over (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by caseyOR on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 05:01:23 PM EST
    last January's Bowl Championship Game. :-)

    In time, I am sure, I will get over it.


    Oregon is winning so far today. (none / 0) (#28)
    by caseyOR on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 05:07:45 PM EST
    At the end of the third quarter, Oregon leads Missouri State 56-10.

    So, yeah, I'm glad the Ducks ate doing so well today, and I was happy they beat the Nevada Wolfpack last week. Still, why the he!! didn't they show up to play in the season opener against LSU?

    Oh well, it's all part of being a fan. Here's hoping they hold their own in conference play. Stanford's pretty good this year.

    Go, Ducks!


    Oregon wins. Beats Missouri State 56-10. (none / 0) (#31)
    by caseyOR on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 05:35:46 PM EST
    Yeah, Ducks.

    And guess where (none / 0) (#39)
    by the capstan on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 08:54:15 PM EST
    I live?  (But my heart belongs to the Vols!)

    comment about me and where I live (none / 0) (#40)
    by the capstan on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 08:56:26 PM EST
    was supposed to go with Auburn/Clemson post.

    I can! (none / 0) (#47)
    by Amiss on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 12:55:31 AM EST
    Tulsa & Oklahoma State (none / 0) (#46)
    by CoralGables on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 12:24:48 AM EST
    are underway.

    Lightning has them playing on Hawaii time tonight.


    funny what can make us immediately in a rage. (none / 0) (#20)
    by jeffinalabama on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 04:32:33 PM EST
    An old friend/acquaintence's daughter, a Romanian, was beaten up by her husband. the cops refused to arrest the bum. Almost as though he had the right to do so.

    I've made an a%% of myself on the phone today in three different languages. If I felt better and had a job, I'd be on a flight right now.

    Notre Dame leading Michigan State in the (none / 0) (#22)
    by caseyOR on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 04:44:39 PM EST
    third quarter 21-10.

    So far so good for the Irish.

    Yeah, looking good for them so far. (none / 0) (#27)
    by Addison on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 05:03:56 PM EST
    Well, I'm sure Notre Dame will be happy with a win. But it'll make those close losses before sting a little harder knowing they could be up there in the rankings had they made 1-2 fewer mistakes.

    The loss to Michigan, geez, (none / 0) (#29)
    by caseyOR on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 05:08:38 PM EST
    that one hurt.

    Inappropriate public displays of affection (none / 0) (#25)
    by shoephone on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 04:55:20 PM EST
    It never ceases to amaze me how truly creepy some people are in public. In what universe do you not know that fondling and tongueing each other in the middle of the coffee house is just going to gross everyone else out? I dunno. Maybe it's because she's moaning and whimpering? Maybe it's because he's so physically unattractive? I'd poll the other customers, but half of them just got up and left when they saw the show begin in earnest.

    I will still sit here and work on my CV. As long as somebody slips a little hooch into my coffee, all should be okay.

    Uh-oh. He just took his jacket off. More hooch, please.

    Obama to propose millionaire minimum tax (none / 0) (#30)
    by caseyOR on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 05:32:00 PM EST
    rate. The NY Times just sent me a news bulletin that Obama intends to ask the Super Catfood Committee to enact a minimum tax rate in incomes over $1 mil. He has dubbed this the "Buffett Rule" named for Warren Buffett who has repeatedly said that he and his mega-rich friends pay a smaller percentage of earnings in taxes than do their secretaries. Buffett has pushed for a tax increase on the rich.

    Sounds good, right? Except that Obama's reason for this is not to redress the inequities of the tax code, but rather his reason for this is to encourage Democrats to support cuts to Medicare and Medicaid.

    In what world is Warren Buffett or Bill Gates or any of a number of Wall St. gamblers, paying a bit more in taxes equal to the hardships that will fall on people who depend on Medicare and Medicaid and cannot afford to wait until age 67 or to pay bigger co-pays and deductibles and premiums?  

    Where is the proportionality? The equity? This strikes me as more gimmick than anything. Sadly, I fear that way too many Dems in Congress will see this a a fair trade-off for cutting Medicare.

    Be interesting to hear what WB has to say (none / 0) (#35)
    by nycstray on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 06:53:27 PM EST
    about this. I don't recall him saying "Tax me more and scr*w everyone else on Medicare/Medicaid."

    It's also not their income tax break... (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by Dadler on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 07:16:47 PM EST
    ...that kills us, it's all that capital gains taxed at a low rate and especially all those financial transactions (bets) that pay NOTHING.  

    And the Eurozone rejects (none / 0) (#32)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 05:50:08 PM EST
    Geithners ideas for making the world seem solvent.  Go home Timmy....you won't be doing that to us.  We have tried to play the crisis card and stamped our feet.  They told us to get bent.  What now?  And if this doesn't make a full fledged global meltdown crisis break out, what then?  What does it mean?  Does it mean that all of the other times Geithner screamed crisis and we in the United States gave him everything that he wanted....that we were complete fear driven juiced dollar crazed idiots?

    And they told Timmy that they will (none / 0) (#34)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 06:20:15 PM EST
    be reforming and restructuring, not printing more money...and they felt like he was only there trying to hinder or stop that reform and restructuring.  And they told Timmy that they wanted to tax transactions since all this trading crap is sucking the life out of the economies and the people, and he had a cow.  He gave birth right there on the floor :)  If European countries "reform", what are we going to do?

    Wow (none / 0) (#33)
    by Addison on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 06:04:05 PM EST
    I was virtually certain -- certain enough to [verb for entertainment purposes only] on it -- that Navy would come in under the spread against South Carolina. But they're doing better than that! Big surprise. But good teams like South Carolina are good because of talent AND conditioning, so we'll see if Navy can keep it up...

    SEC having a rough go of it today, and Troy v. Arkansas has a huge spread! Just saying.

    Haha... (none / 0) (#37)
    by Addison on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 07:47:01 PM EST
    ...okay, so maybe Troy was a bridge too far.

    At Halftime (none / 0) (#41)
    by CoralGables on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 09:05:38 PM EST
    Helen could be heard saying "Woo Pig Sooie"

    No! I got that one, too! What a great day! (none / 0) (#42)
    by Addison on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 10:09:04 PM EST
    Never doubt going for a +24 is the lesson here!

    Worth the price of admission (none / 0) (#50)
    by MO Blue on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 12:32:19 PM EST
    Deep Thought

    Instead of war, can't we just install Bob Rubin as Treasury Secretary in countries we don't like?
    by Atrios at 17:12

    Dominique Strauss-Kahn on moral failing (none / 0) (#51)
    by MO Blue on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 03:37:28 PM EST
    PARIS (AP) -- Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former head of the International Monetary Fund, acknowledged Sunday his sexual encounter with a New York hotel maid was a "moral failing" on his part, but didn't involve any violence.

    In his first interview since his May 14 arrest over sexual assault accusations, Strauss-Kahn told France's TF1 television channel what happened between him and the maid, Nafissatou Diallo, "did not involve violence, constraint or aggression."

    Still, he acknowledged, it "was not only an inappropriate relationship, but more than that, it was an error." link