The Watering Hole: December 9 – Baby, It’s Cold Outside

Picture by WaltTheMan at 7:15 AM on 12/08/2010.

The above pair of egrets are looking at the water in a drainage ditch and apparently debating the wisdom of entering the water. At the time the picture was taken, the temperature was 34Β°F and the wind was blowing at about 15 mph. In any case, the frogs and land crabs are probably in their snug little homes, cuddling up together against the frigid weather. Geckos, their summer prey, are off selling insurance.

This is our Open Thread. Please feel free to add your thoughts on this, or any other topic that comes to mind.

154 thoughts on “The Watering Hole: December 9 – Baby, It’s Cold Outside

  1. The population of Sandhill Cranes has been on a steady increase every winter in my area of Florida.
    I guess they were once hunted heavily and then protections were put in place.
    There are Snowy Egrets that wade the shores of the bass ponds and, as I write this an owl is lettting his presence be know from the pine trees in the lot next door.
    There is a family of Bald Eagles that nest nearby every winter. As the fledglings mature they can be seen learning to fish as their parents catch fish and show them the technique.
    The Osprey population has rebounded to healthy populations too.
    Bird watching in Florida is easy, all you have to do is walk outside.

  2. What happened to Lawrence O’Donnell last night? He just went off on Congressman Alan Grayson in a totally uncalled-for, and completely unprofessional way, that calls into question if he is fit to continue hosting his show.

    On the clip, O’Donnell asks Grayson about his signing on to Congressman Peter Welch’s letter to Nancy Pelosi, opposing the President’s tax-cut deal with Republicans. This happens starting at 5:10 into the segment of Tax Panel: Part One. Grayson’s answer sounds typically coherent, and logical, but watch Robert Greenstein while Grayson talks. At the 7:30 mark, Greenstein starts shaking his head, disagreeing with Grayson, and at 7:52, he starts rolling his eyes! Greenstein is a wonk, so I guess he’s the only person that knows anything.

    O’Donnell asks the next question to Grayson, at the 8:00 mark, about which tax bracket would receive the largest ‘percentage increase’, if the tax cuts expire, and Grayson’s answer doesn’t immediately please O’Donnell, so he interruptively launches into his tirade. Then he won’t even allow Grayson to explain or qualify his answer at first.

    Now, maybe technically, Grayson missed the fine point of O’Donnell’s question, the operative word here being ‘bracket’, but I don’t think he did it with any malicious intent, and his answer was factually accurate, that the capital gains tax rate goes up 264%, while the bottom tax bracket goes up 50 percent. What Alan Grayson might say to his district is irrelevant here, since they didn’t re-elect him, anyway.

    Has Lawrence O’Donnell gone off his meds? He certainly needs some if he is to continue hosting his show. I can’t imagine Keith talking to a guest like that, and certainly not Rachel. Ed Schultz, maybe, but even then only when he is confronted with a total Psycho-Talker babbling something completely inappropriate.

  3. I got 19 this morning. I had to let the woodstove go out when I saw the 12 forecast for Tuesday morning, with a pair of 19s on either side. I’ll need the wood worse next week. Tomorrow it’s supposed to get back above 50, but Sunday turn cold again. The last time the weather did this, got real cold early in December, the utility company used up it’s natural gas consignment too quickly, and the price of gas went way up because they had to buy more on the ‘spot market’. I don’t depend on gas, but a lot of people were convinced to buy ‘gas pack’ HVAC systems when it was cheaper than electric, and it really hurts them.

  4. I’ve at least got firewood, as the last big wind event actually dropped a tree right on top of my firewood pile! I thought we lived in the south House.

  5. Outstanding, I have a lot of green wood, like your felled tree, but I hate to burn that until next season. I may have to mix a little of it in, but it really clogs the stack unless you can burn it really hot, which speeds up the consumption of the dry wood.

  6. House,

    When I was living in a log cabin heated with a wood stove. I had a small room that I. dedicated to the storage of wood.
    This was due in part to the fact that I did not like going outside when it was like a skating rink.
    I also signed up for any kind of mail offer to receive as much junk mail as possible so I could burn it. Phone books, credit card apps, you name it. If they sent you something made of paper I wanted it coming to my address. Tell the Jehovah’s witness’s that you want as many copies of the watchtower that they can spare. Discarded particle board furniture burns hotter than hell too just beware of any coatings.
    Invent roommates to live at your address and have junk mail sent to them too.
    I know that is not planet friendly but I was freezing my butt off and the log cabin just slowed down the wind. It wasn’t built that well.

    • What’s up with the south? It’s supposed to be sunny and warm all the time!

      We’re at 37 degrees right now, with rain and snow in the forecast. I’m going to get that ice chipped off the shady part of the driveway today. I’m sure of it!

  7. Mornin all! Just wetter and wettest here in the NW. Rain pouring and a balmy 46 degrees.

    Looks like TP won’t let me comment anymore. My comment input box has a wierd scroll button set allowing only two lines of the text area to receive input, then when I press the submit comment button, nothing.
    I’ve allowed third party cookies on my browser, but something definitely screwered up.
    At home, when I try to log in to Disgust it sends me to a blank page where the hourglass thingy just does it’s whirling dervish imitation forever, doesn’t even time out. I left it on last night and this morning, the dervish was still on the dance floor.

    So I guess I’m done with TP. Any other sites besides Huffpo and Kos you all might suggest? C&L?.>>>???

  8. Yeah, Z, I’ll be hanging out here, for certain… Have fun over the holidays with your family!
    My older daughter Sasha is coming up from Santa Barbara after the New Year to help us celebrate my Dad’s 90th birthday. That’ll be a special treat!

  9. C & L is a reasonably small place to get acquainted with, and the traffic there is a lot more on weekends and holidays. I keep it open in the tab next to TP on this window. Not much in the way of trolls there.

    Huffpo is a black hole. Comments just get sucked in, no dialogue ever gets out.

    When I’m out of places to read I go to Common Dreams, Firedoglake, and Brad Blog. Never commented at any of those.

  10. What possible reason could those Xian fundie freaks have for picketing Elizabeth Edwards’ funeral?

    Fucking assholeratbastards!

    • I think you’ve hit the nail on the head, House.

      That bunch of filthy grifters loves the spotlight — and every opportunity to sue anyone who “interferes” with their right to free speech.


  11. House Democrats Reject Obama Tax Cut Deal In Non-Binding Vote

    In a meeting on Thursday morning, the House Democratic caucus rejected the president’s proposed deal on the Bush tax cuts but did not fully submarine the possibility of its passage, multiple sources tell The Huffington Post.

    Members, by voice vote, passed a motion to reject the deal as currently written. The motion had been put forward by Reps. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) and Lloyd Doggett (D-Tex.) and was seconded, informally, by Reps. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio) and Jay Inslee (D-WA).

    “It was an indication of disapproval and a rejection of the deal as currently written,” said one House Democratic aide.

    I would love to know what they insist on changing. I guess we’ll find out today or tomorrow. This validates Alan Grayson’s stance from last night, also.

    • Obama just gave away too much in his “deal” with the Repiggies. I don’t mind deal-making, that’s how things get done, but he gave away the damn farm, when the Repiggies were only demanding the farmhouse.

  12. Obama-GOP Deal Raises Taxes on Poorest Earners

    As part of the deal, Obama agreed to drop the Making Work Pay credit that was created as part of the stimulus package, and replace it with a lower payroll tax. That lost credit — of $400 or $800 — is greater than the amount low-income earners will save from the lower payroll tax, meaning, in total, they will pay more.

    I wish Grayson could have quoted this analysis to Lawrence O’Donnell in last night’s kerfuffle. Based on this, the bottom bracket loses either way!

  13. brrr, just reading those temps…
    how do you keep the pipes from freezing?


    vinyl, sounds as if you live in paradise (wild life-wise) no matter where you land – nice!

  14. I had an outside hose bib crack once, but the pipes under the house do fine. We always block all the foundation vents, which keeps the floor warmer and has to be done anyway. The pipes are wrapped in pipe insulation, even the pvc drains that we replaced, getting rid of the old cast iron drain pipe.

  15. It is 43 here now, but the temp will go up another 20 degrees by 2PM (4 hours from now).

    I can’t get used to these 30+ deg. swings from low to high. My metabolism will reset itself for one or the other, but this stuff leaves me unable to properly dress.

    • Layering is a science, Gary. Do some experimenting to find out what works best for you, and always make sure your hands and feet are warm. Sometimes a hat works, too. I find that if I wear a knit hat, I don’t need to dress as warmly.

      We have 50 degree temp swings in the summer, which can be rather startling!

  16. I’m afraid to admit it, but it’s 50F here, at least officially. Damp, yes, but at least this will help with the heating bill — a stretch of 50F+ highs. Difficult to be enthusiastic, since I have either got the flu or food poisoning.

  17. Freezing pipes? When I was in NY, I injected that foam stuff that comes pressurized in a can into any space where the pipes went up an outside partition defined by joists or risers, leaving the fiber glass insulation batts in place to buffer the foam expansion. After the foam had formed, I cut out any projecting out of the wall or floor and repaired the wall or floor.

  18. I’m actually very good at layering, which is why when it was 22 and windy in Chicago I wasn’t bothered by it. (And, for the record, I always wear a hat. I have several fedoras, though for summer I usually switch over to my Tilley T3.

  19. My goodness the trolls are more stupid than ever today.

    Here’s a summary of what I’ve learned on the latest TP thread.

    1) Rich people work 3-4 jobs

    2) The tax cut extension isn’t really a tax cut

    3) More soldiers have died under Obama than Bush

    4) We’re morons for not knowing the difference between an outlay and reduction in revenue (even though we do all know that they both make the deficit go up)

    5) Republicans are responsible.

    • Can’t you just see the stupid trolls anxiously watching Fux in the morning, and huddling close to the radio to listen to Beck & Limbaugh, just so they’ll have an idea of what to spew on progressive blogs that day?

      I’ve been working on my paper, so I haven’t looked at the latest thread on TP, but anyone can tell by reading their comments that the stupid trolls don’t understand the crap they’re posting. It’s pure regurgitation.

  20. zxbe, since I can’t post on TP at the moment, can you ask f47311 if he favors de-privatizing the military to save money on contractors??Thanks!

  21. Of course he trotted off to the Palin thread without answering.
    Would you mind terribly pestering him on every thread with that question???

    • I just saw that, zxbe. The asshole doesn’t even understand what he claims to stand for.

      The Dunning-Kruger Effect in full force!! Too stupid to know how stupid he is.

  22. Sorry, I was away from my desk. I work in a largish corporation, and they just sent out an e-mail announcing free cookies and hot chocolate in the the training room.

    The elevators were then clogged and a line formed.

    I work for a supersized version of The Office.

    But the hot chocolate was pretty good I must say.

    Unfortunately I’ve fallen behind on the current threads. lol

  23. Fell better gummitch. I’m sure it’s the flue or food poisoning because it couldn’t possibly be a hangover right? πŸ™‚

  24. House O’Donnell definitely went over the top last night. I think he just tries to prove too hard how much he knows about the Senate operations. He believes that if the legislation isn’t passed the poorest will be hit the hardest the soonest.

  25. Shayne, I’m sure you’re right. I just can’t post from work or home, but reading is always fun..I miss, posting, though…

  26. Feel better soon gummitch. Peppermint always helps me, even sticking a candy cane in boiling water then some ice and down the hatch seems to help.

  27. RUC, one of the worst hangovers of my life was from shots of peppermint schnapps. I burped peppermint for three days. Oh the good old days!

  28. I was just teasing you gummitch. Remember I tended bar on Rush street in Chicago so I knew more than my fair share of hard core drinkers. I knew of two guys who died from appendicitis because they were sure they were suffering from hangovers. Just be careful. And Remember that recurring bouts of nausea can always be a symptom of appendicitis.

    • Did someone say hangover? No thanks!!

      Shayne, those bar guys must have been used to some killer hangovers, if they mistook their symptoms of appendicitis for a hangover. My niece had appendicitis, and she said it hurt like hell!

  29. Oh no Shayne, peppermint schnapps, that has to hurt. My worst, amaretto, the Christmas I met my soon to be inlaws. I also told an audience of catholics the one dirty joke I know, involving of course a nun and a priest…

    Hey, our prez finally proved he can stand up to someone. Sadly, it’s the democrats in the House.

  30. I’m preoccupied with my last 2 weeks of work before getting laid off.
    Reports, loose ends, etc.
    And a supervisor who’s retiring….
    What a baby.

  31. I’ve been disappointed as well, but bless his heart he does look a lot older than he did in 2008. You can see this with all presidents, the good and the bad, they age overnight. I don’t know what would have happened to McCain, given he looks about as old has he can get.

  32. Yeah, McCain does look well preserved.
    Imagine what he would look like about now had he been elected.
    As for Palin, I’m not going there.

  33. I’m on pins and needles at the moment, Outstanding, regarding the permanent position.
    It’s in process.
    I’ll know in about a month whether that comes through.
    Meanwhile I do have next years work lined out, and will be back at least as a seasonal.
    Fortunately the layoff is only for 6 weeks, just long enough to take a vacation.
    Heading for Padre Island National Seashore to beachcomb.
    I hear it’s warm down there.
    It’s been getting down to ’round 33 degrees here at night….

  34. I’m likely to spend as much time in and around Aransas NWR ebb, I’d like to see a whooping crane or two.
    There’s plenty of country between here and there, including Big Bend, could turn into an adventure.

  35. houseofroberts December 9, 2010 11:47 am

    I have several fedoras

    “Just as long as you don’t wear them driving your car…”

    Well, not all at once. But when I’m doing mountain roads with the sun shifting 200+ degrees of angle while I drive, you damned right I’ve got a brim on. Something about not plummeting to my death because I’m blinded that seems to take presedence in my mind over other people’s unfounded sartorial prejudices.

  36. Raven, is green unbecoming of me?! – Does sound like a grand adventure indeed. You’ll be taking us along via your terrific eye for photographs (as Z has so sweetly asked)?

  37. – ah, Raven that was a smoooooth move – not a stupid one. You have Zooey all atwitter.

    [sorry. This naughty falcon was ‘listening’ at the keyhole]

  38. Gary, I meant driving in the left lane of a four lane road, with the left blinker on, and no turns in sight! πŸ˜‰

  39. I can’t hear my turn signals anymore, House of Roberts.
    I’ll drive for miles down the interstate before some biker passes me with interesting hand signals.

  40. Thanks for the video clip ebb.
    This has always bothered me, attatching collars and transmitters and such to wildlife.
    Sure, it enables research, but I can’t help feeling for the subjects, and their having to deal with the nuisance.

  41. Gary, don’t let them kid you that way…
    if that fedora is slight angle – — oooo weee, baby. I’ll be your passenger ;>


    Are There More Stars Than Grains Of Sand?

  42. Really Raven, I can never wait to take off my watch and wedding rings those transmitters or whatever must be a real nuisance to wildlife.

  43. And if you were available, 2ebb (unmarried or open) what I ride that would be!

    If the star count includes the entire universe, then without even looking (at the article), I’ll say “yes,” and by some very substantial orders of magnitude.

    People tend not to understand the vastness of space. We’ve an easy 250,000,000,000 (that’s billion) stars in our galaxy alone, and many 100’s of millions of equal sized galaxies just in that fragment of the universe that we can varioiusly observe. That many grains of sand (again, w/o doing the calculation or looking at the article) would probably pack a sphere at least as large as Earth’s orbit around the sun.

  44. I also carry a pocket watch, and look absolutely smashing in a dark, pin-striped suit.(Silver watch chain clibs to the belt loop, watch drops down into the front pocket. Check out Bogart in “The Big Sleep,” when he meets Bacall at the bar midway through the film. I already did that when I saw it in the movie. Classics are classic because they are timeless and constantly being re-invented.)

  45. I’m on the direct periphery of wolf issues here in New Mexico, Shayne, not part of policy but always having to deal with the issue.
    Between the namby-pamby researchers and the propaganda of the ranchers, out in the field I often have to diffuse situations and tell it like it is.

  46. Wolves are cool.
    So what if they eat a few cows?

    As Edward Abbey so succinctly stated:
    “My concern is not whether wolves eat cows, but rather do they eat enough of them.”

  47. Congrats on the paper, Z! I know I am always happy to get such projects “out the door.” The trick now is to ignore it, and only read your professor’s comments when you get it back. I say this because there are things of mine I’ve read a dozen times, and on the “baker’s” 13th I’ll still find typos.

    • Thanks, Gary. πŸ™‚

      I don’t usually have to worry about the typos, since I’m an excellent proofreader, but I will always find some sentence I would have written better. So yeah, I’m ignoring it now!

  48. Speaking of felines, oceolots have been seen in the neighborhood.
    On the heels of jaguar sightings over the past few years, the ranchers have become absolutely apoplectic.

    • Raven, there can’t possibly be enough ocelots and jaguars in the neighborhood to make a recognizable impact on the herds.

      A couple winters ago, someone spotted a wolf on the outskirts of my town. I was so excited! So were the town’s hunters — they were excited to go out and shoot it. Morons.

  49. (For one thing, the only cows the wolves will eat are the ones that are too sick to do anything but lay down and get eaten. Otherwise, the wolves are going to go after easier meals.)

  50. I also carry a pocket watch, and look absolutely smashing in a dark, pin-striped suit.(Silver watch chain clibs to the belt loop, watch drops down into the front pocket. Check out Bogart in β€œThe Big Sleep,” when he meets Bacall at the bar midway through the film. I already did that when I saw it in the movie. Classics are classic because they are timeless and constantly being re-invented.)

    Do you still have long hair pulled back with tie?
    (it only looks like I’m drooling. Really I’m not).


    hmm, we still need to firm up that (virtual) across the nation trip to AL – to take House to the shore for some Pelican watching! (Now that Raven will be in TX for a bit we’ll have to swing a bit further south to pick him up on the way…

  51. My current fantasy is to catch a certain psychotic cowgirl in the the act of shooting an endangered specie, and nail her hide to the barn.

    • The key, Gary, is to read your paper out loud to yourself.

      This is what I told the students when I was a TA in one of the Psych classes, and I could tell which ones actually did it. And they got better grades. πŸ˜‰

  52. “The key, Gary, is to read your paper out loud to yourself.”

    That’s one of the reasons folks always have a pen or pencil when they are presenting a paper. There you are, yakking along, and suddenly realizing that your brilliant work makes as much sense if you read it backwards as forwards. (Yup, correct that sentence … )

  53. Time for this sojourner to hit the rack.
    Long day ahead tomorrow assuaging the ego of a supervisor I was a little rough on today.
    Thanks for the good company everyone.

  54. There’s an awesome Rabbi on with Lawrence O’Donnell who is saying why Obama needs to be primaried. He made a ton of sense. He thinks Russ Feingold should run.

  55. Shayne, thanks for telling about the O’Donnell apology to Grayson. I might have skipped watching tonight. I wonder if it was viewer response or the near unanimous rejection of the bill by the House Dem Caucus.

    • The Senate wouldn’t even hold a vote on the DREAM Act and the Defense Authorization bill, so why does he believe they are acting in good faith on the tax cut deal?

  56. House I bet it was a bit of everything including his bosses telling him he was wrong and personal remorse including your reasons.

  57. Now that the President seems to be leaning in the DINO category, I’m a bit frustrated at what the next two years will be: a lengthy trip to the dentist sans Novocaine me thinks.

    Obama is definitely a one term President given his recent cave-ins with weak excuses.


    House is it warming up at all in your neck of the woods?

  58. Did I mention winter in Chicago sucks. My darling daughter won’t take a bus now that she’s a junior and every morning it’s like 12 degrees. It’s going to be a long winter.

  59. I’m cold just reading the temps you, House, zxbe, hooda, et alia write. I can’t imagine a full season of same. I’d opt for ‘home schooling’ in the winter faced with such weather ;>

  60. Shane,
    As a Junior in HS, I had to walk 2 miles each way, every day, when the snow was sometimes waist deep in Chicago. I was fortunate enough to live in Dallas at the time.

  61. I am so intrigued by M.C. – he’s on my list of using the ‘waybac’ machine to visit! (Galileo; DaVinci among others).

  62. Best quote ever!

    tpmania said:
    What company could have supported the US military in Iraq to the degree that Halliburton did?

    Because tainted water is nothing but Kombucha, Halliburton style

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