off topic open thread

Semi-Open Thread for Happy Things. No Trolls.

Well, the box is correctly labeled, at least.
Well, the box is correctly labeled, at least.

An open thread — well, a semi-open thread — for all of those needing a respite from the news. No trolls, no arguments, no discussion of depressing stuff. Adorable animal pics encouraged.

If you have personal stuff to discuss that is more serious, there’s a separate thread for that here.

Email me if someone misbehaves here.


141 replies on “Semi-Open Thread for Happy Things. No Trolls.”

Some near-to-happy news from me too 🙂

Yesterday I attended the conciliatory audience for alimony and luckily my daughter’s father deigned to make himself present. He had a lot of excuses and a folder full of papers.

The moderator didn’t even let him speak or derail the conversation. She asked whether he was paying alimony, and cut him short at “No, BUT…”. She wouldn’t take anything but direct answers to her questions.

I think she smelled his stench from the elevator.

She told him he must make an offer, since he admitted to have a job at the moment, and he had to leave the room to talk to his lawyer in private, making it clear that his intended offer was exactly $0.

He made a bare-minimum offer, and the process indicates I only had the options to accept it, reject it, or accept it in a provisional manner so he has to pay said sum while the trial continues. Of course, I went for option 3.

So even though we are far from settled, I have a small income apart from my own job and things don’t look so desperate now in an economic sense.

And of course it was comforting to see him being put in his place for a change. I didn’t even have to say a word, the moderator only addressed me to ask “yes, no, or yes for now?”. So he has no one but himself to blame. (Or maybe that shrew asking questions and expecting direct answers!).

There’s still a lot of work to do, but this is one big step forward. I never stopped smiling since yesterday noon.

Given that I’ve never even worked in the private sector, it makes me wonder.

Well, it is a fantasy game, maybe you’re just playing out a fantasy. 🙂 Me, I _love_ playing paladins, despite being an atheist with a dim view of religion and crusades. If I had to analyze myself, I’d guess that It’s because I spend so much time thinking about the shades of grey in politics, morality and human behaviour. When I want to kick back and relax, I say “screw nuance” and go straight into “Buttkicking for Goodness!”


There’ll be a shop cat, I presume?

There will be an entire section of shop cats, filed between Shimada and Sibley, or possibly between Carter and Case. Valued customers may be permitted the use of the dangly toy.

There will be an entire section of shop cats, filed between Shimada and Sibley, or possibly between Carter and Case. Valued customers may be permitted the use of the dangly toy.

::sidles up to Ledasmom::

You will need staff to clean the litter and do the food, won’t you? Huh? Huh?


You will need staff to clean the litter and do the food, won’t you? Huh? Huh?

You’ll need to speak with Fluffy in Human Resources. Well, when I say “speak”, I mean “scratch her ears while she tries to unscrew her head”, but you probably knew that.

You’ll need to speak with Fluffy in Human Resources. Well, when I say “speak”, I mean “scratch her ears while she tries to unscrew her head”, but you probably knew that.

I’ll be hired in no time. I have a Master’s in Sucking Up to the Furrinati.

Hi all, been very quiet due to very busy at work plus PhD.

Just a request to please, *please* use any free mammogram screening service that you’re offered. I am currently recovering from surgery from the removal of a malignant tumour from one breast, and a sentinel lymph node biopsy – no discernable lump, no symptoms, but routine mammogram picked it up. In about 6 weeks I will be starting an intensive course of radiotherapy on the breast. I picked this course of treatment over the partial mastectomy option.

I get the pathology results of the biopsies (tumour removal and node) in a couple of days.

Hooray for socialist medicine. The fucking thing would have metatisized before I knew it existed.

Wow, pallygirl, what a scare. I’m glad they caught it, and I hope your recovery is smooth and nice.

(Thank god I don’t have boobs anymore. We have just enough breast cancer in my family that I’m glad to have my odds lowered, though not completely removed.)


Oh, dear. At least it was caught early. Here’s hoping the radiotherapy goes well. That must have been quite a scare.

Thanks, I’m all bruised and sore under the armpit. They injected me with blue and radioactive dye to find the sentinel lymph nodes and it looks like I have rolled my boob in blueberries. For the first 24 hours, it looked like I was peeing blue toilet bowl cleaner.


glad to hear they caught it early, and I hope your recovery goes smooth. Internet hugs if you want from me, + good thoughts.

Well wishes from me too, pallygirl! A client of ours had a pretty similar tumour, and so far post-surgery and radiotherapy seems to be doing really well. It’s so scary!

Love that item, grumpycat. Hunter S Thomcat is adorable (what’s the bet the S stands for Strangler in his mind?)

Mads had a moment of wickedness this morning. She shoved past me when I went to get the mail. She didn’t run off, just dived into the garden and started eating grass, her tail and back all fluffed up. I let her do it for a few minutes then picked her up to get the mail and come in. BUT!!! A man across the road walked around in his own front yard and Mads found this terrible threatenin’. She squirmed and kicked and generally made a huge fuss until I got her back inside.

She’s going to be really pissed off when I have to take her to the vet tomorrow for her checkup …

Yay! I know that feeling. I feel glad every time a fellow trans woman comes out to me and asks me for trans-related resources. It’s happened to me at least 3 times so far. I also had a friend of mine come out to me as bi, and she even did it while she was somewhat intoxicated.


I can’t imagine how many extra Furrinati we’d have here if every hairball threw up a new kitty … and the new kitties threw up hairballs … and the new hairballs … Trouble with Tribbles would have nothing on it.

I’m on a roll (a spam roll?) – this is armour of Louis’s, from the Musee de l’Armee in Paris. It weighs some 26.7 kg – 58.8 lb. For all its decoration (I love the look of it), it was working armour: it has a dent from a bullet near the left shoulder. Armour that probably saved his life …

This armour belonging to Cardinal Richelieu is even heavier, at 47.7 kg (105.6 lb).

I’ve been so happy finding those pics. It was like early days on the internet, finding pictures I’d never seen before, and seeing shots of armour he wore – the very armour in my favourite portrait, the one that had me burst into tears the first time I saw it at the Louvre – was so exciting. So I’ve done a new (yes, yet another) new pic. Not armoured, in this case!

The original is another famously handsome person whose name has become a verb. Prizes will be handed out for the first person to guess. Well, virtual prizes, anyway.

I know I’m spamming a bit but this is one of those cycles when I need to tell it or burst – and, damn, it’s good to have something joyous to say. I can’t go screaming it from the rooftops, so the interwebs will have to do!

A little political story with a happy ending:
When I was a kid, the norm in Sweden was that people were employed under conditions where they a) had a steady salary that they could rely on from month to month, and b) it took reasons to fire them. Reasons could be “we don’t need as much staff anymore”, but that’s still a real reason.
As we’ve had a right-wing government for the past eight years, they’ve gradually made it easier and easier, legal-wise, to hire and fire people as you see fit.

Now the company running the commuter trains in the southernmost parts of Sweden, Veolia, wanted to fire loads of people from their proper employments, and then let them work on a day-to-day basis, an arrangement that lots of employers understandably like. They have a skeleton crew of people with real employment, and then make calls to more people day by day as they need them, paying them for the precise amount of work that needs to be done each month. Saves money for the employers. For the employées this kind of arrangement means that they don’t know from month to month what they’re gonna earn, they can’t make plans, can’t get loans and they can never really have a day off in the normal way because they always have to wait for that mobile phone call asking them to dart in and do another day’s work.
So the commuter train staff in southern Sweden went on strike. Didn’t move the employers, so the rest of the commuter train staff in other parts of Sweden (including Husband) threatened with strike as well, a strike that would have begun today. And then other groups of workers announced that they, too, would go on sympathy strikes unless Veolia caved in. I don’t even remember all of them, but among others it was truck drivers, electricians, construction workers, restaurant workers, metal factory workers, painters, and grocery store workers. Eventually, with only hours left to the beginning of this huge announced strike, Veolia agreed to a deal where the most important parts were a) having a much bigger crew, not just a minimal skeleton crew, with real employment, and also b) paying really high wages to people who are hired-by-the-hour rather than having proper employments, making it unprofitable for Veolia to largely rely on this kind of system.

Husband was a bit miffed, almost, since he’d been so pepped for this huge strike. But yeah, this was cool, feels like a mile-stone. For so many years now, employers have been shitting more and more on employées, with full support from our right-wing government. Maybe that’s about to change. (Some of you might remember previous fights between employers and employées in the commuter train business that I’ve told you about, but it’s never been this big before.)

Yup. It’s supposedly at higher rates than whatever the award rate is for the work, to *cough* compensate *cough* people for having no paid sick leave, annual leave, long service leave – not even a paid bloody lunch-break. Not that a slightly higher rate helps when one’s in such a freaking insecure position in jobs that are low-paid anyway, like retail.

The other thing is that it’s supposed to be casual – not fixed days, let alone working full time – but try telling so many employers that it’s illegal to hire people that way.

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