Shared posts

23 Sep 19:23

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Lines


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If you rotate your head about 30 degrees and cross your eyes a little, it should show up.

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23 Sep 16:50

New Savage Love: Power Tripping

by Dan Savage
by Dan Savage
Joe Newton

I’m a 26-year-old masculine straight guy who loves exploiting the fantasies so many gay men have about straight men. When a gay guy is into me because I look like his straight-masculine-jock dream, it’s a power trip like no other. It’s always a specific type of bottom gay dude I seek out when I get on Grindr: a very feminine “thicc” guy with a pretty face and physical features begging for a dick. The kind of guy where from the right angles you can’t tell the difference between his big ass and a thicc chick’s big ass. And I always follow the same script: I send my dick pics, I make one of these thicc bottom boys want me, and I tell him to send me a video of him twerking like a stripper for me. But I don’t go through with the meetup. I’ve experimented a few times and have gotten head from a few guys, but I have no interest in dick or fucking one of these dudes. I don’t want to harm anyone or live a lie, but I don’t feel queer or bisexual at all. I actually feel like I’m “earning my heterosexuality” when I do this. It’s like I’m proving to myself just how straight I am by teasing these gay guys. And in all honestly, I feel like I’m doing them a service because a lot of gay guys are looking for that rare, mythical thing—the straight and strict Dom top—and I can play that role. But on some level, this all seems pretty fucked up and I don’t know why I do this and sometimes I’m confused by it. I also worry this comes from a homophobic place. (“Look at this dumb twink, he’s so stupid and obsessed with dick he’ll do whatever I tell him to, I’m the alpha.”) And I guess it is homophobic because when you remove the intensity and power trip of being the straight male in this scenario, I just have no interest in guys at all. I know this was heavy. Sorry. But please answer my question.

Ally Loves Personifying Homophobic Assholes

23 Sep 16:41

Engines of Our Ingenuity 2712: Yutaka Taniyama and the Taniyama Shimura Conjecture

by Dr. Andy Boyd
Epispode: 2712 Yutaka Taniyama and the Taniyama-Shimura Conjecture. Today, a tragic ending.
23 Sep 16:39

We think the Texas hurricane season is probably over

by Eric Berger

It’s a strange time a year. The historical peak of the Atlantic hurricane season came fewer than two weeks ago. Moreover, a little more than a week ago, Hurricane Nicholas struck the Texas coast and knocked out power for hundreds of thousands in the region. And today, Space City Weather is saying hurricane season is probably over for Texas? Really? Why yes. Yes we are.

There are a couple of reasons for this. Historically, the odds of a hurricane striking the state of Texas are about 1-in-50 after September 24. Our confidence is increased this year because, looking ahead at the next 10 days, the western Gulf of Mexico looks pretty quiet, especially north of the Bay of Campeche. This is the time of year when the jet streak starts a seasonal swing southward, and our region becomes more prone to cold fronts, which push any tropical systems in the Gulf of Mexico to the east. We’ve already seen one weak front about 12 days ago, a stronger one yesterday, and there’s perhaps another front coming early in October.

All of this means that we’re pretty confident that Texas is not going to get hit by another hurricane this year, even though the “Atlantic season” runs through November 30. We may very well still see tropical mischief, in the form of a depression or moisture that sparks some heavy rainfall. But the blowy, storm-surge stuff—we’re probably done with worrying about that for 2021. As always, we’ll keep an eye on the tropics. But you don’t have to if you don’t want to.

Your sunrise temperatures on Thursday morning. (Weather Bell)


There’s not a whole lot to say about our weather other than it’s gorgeous. Lows this morning range from the 50s inland to about 70 right along the coast. Today will bring more dry air, with light easterly winds, sunny skies, and highs in the mid-80s. Lows tonight will drop into the low 60s.

Friday and Saturday

Expect more of the same. Highs in the 80s. Sunny skies. Mostly dry air.


The second half of the weekend should see continued sunny skies, but dewpoints are going start climbing, and so while temperatures remain in the 80s it will start to feel a touch more humid. Lows Sunday night will be notably warmer, likely only dropping to around 70 in Houston.

Skies will be mostly sunny this week, before turning mostly cloudy next week. (Weather Bell)

Next week

Much of next week will be something of a return to summer-lite weather, with highs near 90 degrees, lows in the low 70s, and lots of clouds. As the influence of high pressure lessens, we’ll open back up to moisture from the Gulf of Mexico, and rain chances will increase to perhaps 50 or 60 percent each day. As a rough guess I’d say much of the metro area sees 1 to 3 inches of rain total, or thereabouts. But it’s still too early for any precision. The models are starting to hint at a front in the Friday or Saturday range of next week, but there are certainly no guarantees.

23 Sep 16:38

how do I not feel jealous of my wealthier coworkers?

by Ask a Manager

This post, how do I not feel jealous of my wealthier coworkers? , was originally published by Alison Green on Ask a Manager.

It’s the Thursday “ask the readers” question. A reader writes:

I grew up in deep poverty with an extremely dysfunctional and abusive set of parents. It was not the “money and food were tight sometimes, but we always had love” kind of poverty. I ultimately aged out of the system when I was 18 and managed to accumulate a massive amount of student debt and graduate right into the recession. I have little contact with my family.

However, I currently work at a wealthy university. Most of the students and my colleagues are way more privileged than I can ever hope to be. Most have very little, if any, student debt, and supportive families. I am often the only person like this that they know. I am never sure how to handle situations where people are discussing things that are so far out of my league, like buying houses, traveling, kids and families, etc.. People aren’t doing it maliciously or to rub it in my face, but just part of the everyday conversation. I don’t want to be a martyr and say that their experience is nothing compared to mine because I understand that everyone has their own personal issues and trauma and it is all valid. But at the same time, I get tired of the pity and the false “proudness” that people give me when I explain my background. Sometimes I wanna scream when people talk about how they got this house for a steal at $250,000 or how they had to alter their yearly European vacation when I am over here proud I have a checking and savings account with actual money in it. How do I handle these situations and not feel jealous all the time?

Readers, what’s your advice?

23 Sep 16:33

Haggle your way to a new car

by Mary Kelly

what you should know before you buy a car

What You Should Know Before You Buy a Car

This is one of those books that is part consumer guide and part “let me show you the sleazy dealer underworld”. I don’t think that today’s car shopping remotely resembles how it was in the 1960s. Like any consumer purchase, there should be an attitude of “caveat emptor”. Car shopping today is much different with the Internet and sites like Kelley Blue Book,, Autotrader, and others that can give consumers more information and buying options.

By the 1970s, there was considerable change in product liability laws and other consumer protections. So, by the end of the 1970s, this book would have been out of date and eligible for weeding. Since this isn’t a straight up buying guide, but rather a bit of a narrative on shady sales techniques, it might have value in a specialty collection on consumer scams or business practices.


back cover

dealer profit

choosing a car


The post Haggle your way to a new car appeared first on Awful Library Books.

23 Sep 16:31

Banana bread

by Cassandra Calin

The end.

23 Sep 13:17

Happy Fall Day, Houston!

by Eric Berger

This is my second favorite post of the year to write—that fall’s first real front has finally arrived in Houston. (Tomorrow, I plan to write my favorite). Not only will we see drier and cooler air, one of the pleasant surprises of this front is its sticking power. We should see about four days and notably cooler nights before humidity levels start to creep up on Sunday. More typically, our first fall front washes out within a couple of days. So let’s enjoy!


Dewpoints have generally fallen to the upper 50s this morning, and should fall further throughout the day. Accordingly, the air will feel much drier. With lots of sunshine, temperatures will quickly warm to the mid-80s this afternoon, but drop again as the Sun sets. Winds will be out of the north from 10 to 15 mph with higher gusts. Overnight lows will vary widely, from about 50 degrees in Conroe to 70 degrees right along the coast, in Galveston Island.

Thursday morning’s low temperatures are going to be sublime. (Weather Bell)

Thursday and Friday

More of the same: Sunny skies, highs in the low- to mid-80s, and cool nights down in the low 60s in Houston, and cooler for outlying areas.

Saturday and Sunday

The weekend looks a bit warmer, with highs in the mid- to upper 80s, but there should still be enough dry air to keep conditions pleasant, especially on Saturday. Skies will be sunny, and rain chances near zero. Plan outdoor activities with confidence.

Houston’s rain chances are zero until next Tuesday or Wednesday, after which a wetter period may return. (Weather Bell)

Next week

As the onshore flow really returns on Sunday, we’ll start to see dewpoints climb, and we’ll get back to late summertime weather with highs near 90 degrees. Rain chances should also start to increase by Tuesday or Wednesday as atmospheric moisture levels rise, along with lots of cloud cover. Most of next week will probably be warmer and muggier.

23 Sep 11:30

Comic for 2021.09.22

New Cyanide and Happiness Comic
23 Sep 11:29

So Much

by Reza
23 Sep 11:28


by (JerryMaguire)
23 Sep 11:27

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Decision


Click here to go see the bonus panel!

Just to be 100% clear this has nothing to do with any current event - it was written months ago and I suspect I can use it to whinge online for ever after.

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Last chance to buy!

23 Sep 11:25

Sloped Border

"The slope will be 74° at ground level." "Okay, I think we can hack together a  ... wait, why did they specify ground level? It's 74° everywhere, right? ... Oh no, there's a whole section in the treaty labeled 'curvature.'"
23 Sep 11:23

Brain on Tea

by Sarah Andersen


22 Sep 11:31

Nicotine and Caffeine

by Holly

Nicotine and Caffeine coverFocus on Nicotine and Caffeine

Submitter: It’s a little jarring to see nicotine and caffeine lumped together. Maybe nicotine has decreased in “everyday drug” status since 1990 or maybe I just don’t take caffeine seriously enough, but it seems like an odd pairing. And the “current” stats (from 1989) on smoking are obviously a little of out date by now—down from 29% to about 14% in 2019, per the CDC. The sentence “Like little smokestacks, smokers send out poisonous gasses into the world around them and deep into the world inside them” is pretty great though.

Holly: I think you’re right – smoking is just not as commonplace as it was when this book was published. Caffeine use, however, is still very prevalent (or, at least was in 2018 when that article was published). And I agree – we don’t generally lump those two drugs together. Maybe also because there’s no age-related law on purchasing caffeinated foods and beverages. Kids can buy a chocolate candy bar and a Coke; they can’t buy cigarettes.

Ordinary drugs

Peer Pressure

Cool and Macho

Tobacco addiction

Smoking statistics


The post Nicotine and Caffeine appeared first on Awful Library Books.

22 Sep 11:29

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Respect


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Anyone who takes this the wrong way and chooses to email me will be met with profound respect.

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21 Sep 13:34

I was fired for taking initiative (and undermining my manager)

by Ask a Manager

This post, I was fired for taking initiative (and undermining my manager) , was originally published by Alison Green on Ask a Manager.

I’m on vacation today. This was originally published in 2016.

A reader writes:

Last summer, I decided to re-enter the workforce after five years of raising my kids. I applied to a bunch of jobs that I thought I could do, and got an interview at this one very small  company (~20 employees). The people I interviewed with — my future manager and her boss/the COO — were upfront with me that I didn’t possess the exact qualifications they were looking for, but I interviewed well and they decided to give me a few (paid) one-off assignments to see if I would be able to learn what I needed to do the job. I proved myself and they brought me on full-time. 

I spent the first four months at that company doing a lot of learning on my own. My manager (let’s call her Betty) wasn’t very involved with my training at all, always claiming she had tons of work to do. Instead, she gave me lists of resources (training manuals, online certification classes, etc.) to go through, checked in with me maybe once a day, and assigned me a “starter project” so that I could “learn on the job.” So I basically taught myself everything I needed to learn, and the project I worked on was a huge success for the company. It launched about five months after I was hired. I got a raise out of it, and everyone in management seemed very happy with my work.

Once I had finished that project and the account I’d launched was doing well, I noticed some of the tactics/skills I’d used could be implemented on another account that wasn’t performing as well as the one I’d just launched.  I told Betty about my plan, and she completely blew me off. Basically she told me that she “already had plans” for this account, that she didn’t need my help, and instead assigned me to another (less important) project. Needless to say, I was more than a little insulted by her attitude. 

But I know that sometimes you have to push hard to get things done. I calmed myself down, and waited until the next day when Betty left for a vacation, and I went to Betty’s boss (Veronica). I walked her through the improvements I wanted to make on this other account. I was given the green light to go ahead and start that work. Clearly this was the right thing to do! Veronica wouldn’t have given me the go-ahead otherwise, right?

Well, Betty returned from her vacation on a Friday a few weeks later. I came in that Monday morning and found that she had sabotaged all of my work over the weekend! She went through everything I’d worked on that had already launched and made a bunch of changes, took down some stuff, and more. Essentially she did everything she could so that I wouldn’t be able to show the improvements that I’d made to the suffering account, and reverted it to how it was performing in the past.  She also sent me a very passive-aggressive email along the lines of “let’s chat about this first thing Monday.”

In order to preempt another hissy fit from her, and once I assessed the gravity of what she’d done, I went into the meeting with Betty, but pulled Veronica into the conference room as well. I proceeded to explain to Betty that this project had been assigned to me by Veronica, and that she had no business interfering with my work. I was very clear that what she had done was unprofessional, extremely disrespectful, that the results I’d produced were speaking for themselves and that she shouldn’t meddle in things that don’t concern her.  Of course I was very angry and maybe I was a little forceful during that meeting, but I feel like I had every right to be upset at what she did! 

Betty was very quiet during this meeting. At the time I figured she just couldn’t think of how to defend her actions. Now I understand it’s because she’s even more conniving than I thought she was.

The next morning, I was called in to sit down with Veronica and the CEO. They told me that things weren’t working out, gave me a severance check, and told me I was laid off. 

I feel that I was treated extremely unfairly by this company. I had a clearly incompetent manager, I never received proper training, and when I tried to help by taking on important projects, my work was sabotaged and I was punished for my initiative. I think Betty may even have spread harsh rumors about me in the industry because despite applying to a bunch of jobs since then, I’ve had very few interviews, and the ones I’ve had never went past the references stage. 

Some of my friends are telling me I should let this go and count my blessings that I’m out of that environment, while my husband wants me to get a lawyer involved. Money’s tight right now, and I really need income, even if it’s returning to work for that company (under a different manager). What should I do? 

You weren’t fired for taking initiative. You were fired for undermining your manager by going around her to her own boss after she already told you no, and for not being clear with Veronica that Betty had already told you no, and for having a bizarrely aggressive attitude about it when called out on it.

Here’s how this looks from a manager’s perspective:

* You offered to take on a particular project, but your manager told you she had it covered. You found this insulting, even though it’s your manager’s prerogative to decide who will work on what projects, to have her own plans for accounts, and to decline your help.

* As soon as your manager left for vacation, you went over her head to her own boss to ask the same question that you’d already been told no about. You didn’t tell Veronica that Betty had already told you no, which means that she didn’t have the full context to make a decision.

* You interpreted Veronica’s “yes” as meaning that Betty had been wrong, when all it really means is that Veronica didn’t have full information. When you write, “Veronica wouldn’t have given me the go-ahead otherwise, right?” the answer to that is no. Betty probably knows the work she oversees more intimately than Veronica, and could have all sorts of good reasons for saying no that Veronica didn’t know about (for instance, that your ideas had been tried in the past but didn’t work for particular reasons, or that a stronger plan was already in progress, or that the client specifically rejected those ideas in the past, or all sorts of other things). But even leaving that aside, there’s no way that Veronica wouldn’t want to know that Betty had already weighed in on this, and it seems like you intentionally didn’t tell her that.

* Then, when called out on it once Betty returned, you disingenuously claimed that Veronica had assigned you the work — when in fact you’d asked Veronica to let you do it without telling her Betty had already said no.

* Most incredibly, you had the audacity to say that Betty had no business “interfering” with your work — when she is your manager. Your manager’s business is to intervene in your work, if that’s what she judges is needed. She has complete standing to interfere in your work. You even said she shouldn’t meddle “in things that don’t concern her,” when your entire job is her concern.

* To make matters worse, you describe yourself as being angry and forceful in the meeting where you asserted all this.

* Throughout this, you interpreted all of Betty’s behavior in the worst possible light: You say she wasn’t involved with your training when she was meeting with you daily, gave you what sounds like significant resources to learn from, and assigned you work designed to help you learn on the job — all of which sounds pretty good, not something worthy of contempt.  When she undid the work that you did after she specifically told you not to, you called that sabotage (!). You described her as “passive-aggressive” when she said you’d need to meet to discuss all this, when that’s just straightforward and direct. You describe her as having “hissy fits” and being “conniving.” This is just a bizarrely adversarial approach toward Betty, and it’s rooted in a really fundamental misunderstanding of what your manager’s role is and the authority that she has over your work.

I’ll be blunt here: I would have fired you too. Most managers would. This isn’t a matter of making a mistake. This is a situation where you deliberately went around your boss, deceived your boss’s boss, and attacked when called out on it, and you still don’t think you did anything wrong. Firing was a logical response.

As for getting a lawyer involved, I’m not sure what grounds your husband thinks you’d have for legal action, but nothing you’ve described here is illegal. Companies are allowed to fire people for any reason they want, as long as it’s not based on race, sex, religion, disability, or other protected characteristics and as long as it’s not as retaliation for exercising a legally protected right like reporting discrimination. Even if Betty was wrong in her assessment — and it doesn’t sound like she was — it would be perfectly legal to fire you for any of this.

The best thing you can do now is to use this as a flag that you need to do some serious re-thinking about how offices work and what it means to have a manager. If you find another job without doing that, you’re going to see this repeat itself.

21 Sep 13:29

update: should I explain I quit on my second day because my coworker was overwhelmingly difficult?

by Ask a Manager

This post, update: should I explain I quit on my second day because my coworker was overwhelmingly difficult? , was originally published by Alison Green on Ask a Manager.

Remember the letter-writer who quit on her second day because her coworker was horrible (and who, among other problems, gave her 45 minutes of training how to switch on a standard light switch) and kept getting approached by board members who wanted to know the real reason she left? Here’s the update.

After I read your response, I promised myself I’d say something if I saw one of the board members. Didn’t have to wait long because I seem to be bumping into them everywhere (two of their spouses work with me). After talking with two separate board members, I have a huge amount of gratitude for the bullet I dodged.

First, I bumped into the woman who conducted my interview, we’ll call her Board Member 1. Board Member 1 is in her 60s. We spoke briefly and I think I know why Amy gets away with stuff. (For reference since I didn’t offer it at first, I’m in my late 20s, Amy is in her late 50s.)

I walked Board Member 1 through Amy’s greatest hits, including sharing negative stories about the board and instructors, the light switch thing, and her godawful customer service. I told her about Amy’s oversharing without relaying details, but that the content was inappropriate and made me feel unsafe and uncomfortable. She immediately sang Amy’s praises and said that Amy had told the board I refused to pay attention and was on my phone the whole time. Board Member 1 then went into a tangent about my generation being lazy and not wanting to work hard and always needing safe spaces. I was speechless.

After I picked my jaw up off the floor, I thanked my lucky stars that I had enough self-preservation skills to get the hell out of there.

I also ran into the younger board member who asked me about Amy’s behavior. We’ll call him Board Member 2, who is much closer to my age. I spilled all the tea and left nothing out, including my panic attack and the conversation with Board Member 1. Nothing I said shocked him but he was obviously upset. He said I lasted longer than the previous employee, who walked out after an hour. I don’t think I have a big enough yikes for that, and I’m also not thrilled that they all had an inkling Amy was like this and just let me go into the apeshit ball pit with no support. He asked me to write up my experience with Amy, including my conversation with Board Member 1 and whatever I was comfortable sharing regarding my reasons for leaving, and send it to him for next month’s board meeting. At least I don’t feel like diving under a rock when I see the other board members.

Mystery solved. Good riddance. I have a better new job that doesn’t give me panic attacks. I do have half a mind to send the board my therapy copays for reimbursement though.

21 Sep 13:27

I disabled my coworker’s caps-lock key, employee calls me his “manageress,” and more

by Ask a Manager

This post, I disabled my coworker’s caps-lock key, employee calls me his “manageress,” and more , was originally published by Alison Green on Ask a Manager.

I’m on vacation today. Here are some past letters that I’m making new again, rather than leaving them to wilt in the archives.

1. I was fired after disabling my coworker’s caps-lock key

I just finished my sophomore year of college. For the summer, I got a three-month internship at a company that does work in the field I am getting my degree in and want to work in after I graduate. This was my second job, after the internship somewhere else I had last summer. I was hoping to get some good experience like last summer.

I was paired with the same person for two-thirds of the work I was doing. She has lots of skills, but I noticed when she types she uses the caps-lock key each time she needed to make a capital letter instead of using the shift key. She is only five years older than me, and she is very good with technology and computers. I didn’t understand why she would type this way, because even though she does type fast and efficiently, using the caps-lock key would slow her down. I mentioned it to her and even showed her, and she said she had no idea but she would keep on using the caps-lock key.

I thought she just needed to see how efficient it was so when I was using her computer I disabled the caps-lock key. She was very upset when she found out that it didn’t work and I explained what I did and why she should give the shift key a chance. She complained to the manager, and even though I was just trying to make things more efficient, the manager sided with her and I was let go a month into my internship. HR sided with her too when I went to them. I’m confused because I was only trying to help and make things more efficient. Did I really do something wrong or did the company overreact?

You overstepped. You interfered with someone’s workflow, which you didn’t have any right to do. This isn’t a perfect analogy, but it’s similar to if you decided that her filing system was inefficient and completely reorganized her files without her permission; it’s not yours to do and it would undoubtedly mess up her workflow.

You can’t mess with people’s computer, files, etc., even if you’re just trying to help. It’s presumptuous and it’s overstepping.

Firing you was an extreme response, but it’s possible they’d had other concerns and this was a final straw kind of thing.


2. Employee keeps referring to me as his “manageress”

I was recently promoted from a four person team and became the head of that team, replacing a male manager who departed.

I have no complaints, except that one person consistently refers to me in emails to others as his “manageress” instead of his “manager” – e.g. “I’ve copied my manageress into this email”.

Even with that person, I have no complaints about his performance, which makes me think I should just let it drop, but I wanted to ask if you think that’s the right thing to do and also if it’s normal to refer to female managers as “manageresses”?

No, it’s not normal. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he’s doing it because he thinks it’s funny, but you should tell him to stop because your gender doesn’t need to be such a focus of how he identifies you at work. Also, it’s like the problem with saying “male nurse” or “woman cop”; he’s saying that he thinks that men are the default for managers.

I’d say this: “Hey, Bob, I know that’s meant to be funny, but please cut it out; I don’t want that kind of focus on gender on our team.”

(I’m picturing this guy as the “hello, m’lady” guy from this Amy Schumer sketch.)


3. Bringing a camera to a job interview

I’m going to interview with a company in the gaming industry next week in their headquarters. Their headquarters are a monument to nerd-ism, and I’d love to bring a camera and take some pictures! Do you think it would look good if a candidate says: “Can I take a picture of this 5 feet tall statue of a game character?” Or I ask for a picture with one of my interviewers, who works as a game designer on a title that sold 25 million copies the same day it was released?

I’m so excited about this opportunity, and I don’t want to ruin it because of a silly mistake.

Don’t do it. You’ll look like you’re there as a fan rather than a serious candidate. Plus, they’re making time to talk with you as a job candidate, not as a fan who wants to take pictures. While some people might not be put off by it, enough will that it’s too much of a risk. (Read this for a longer explanation of a similar situation.)


4. What to say to a job applicant who plagiarized a cover letter

Since you posted the question about the stolen cover letter on May 5, I’ve received that same cover letter, too. There are a few tweaks, but it’s nearly identical.

I’d like to let the candidate know her plagiarism was discovered. She applied through our applicant tracking system, so we haven’t been in contact before. I’m comfortable giving candidates feedback, but I can’t figure out how to contact a stranger for the sole purpose of telling her she effed up. Email? Phone? What’s a way to phrase it that’s direct, but not overly punitive or condescending?

As an additional note, she’s completely unqualified for the position she applied to. Even with a perfect cover letter, I’d reject her.

I’m glad you’re going to say something; this pisses me off.

In the past when I’ve had similar situations, I’ve sent an email saying something like: “This cover letter appears to be pulled from (URL). Can you shed any light?”

I include that last sentence because (a) I find it fascinating to see what people say, and (b) I believe, perhaps overly optimistically, that  being made uncomfortable in that specific way decreases the chances they’ll do it again … but even if not, it’s reasonable for them to have to deal with the awkwardness of it.


5. Recruiter wants me to run jobs by her before I apply

I began working with a staffing agency in the past few weeks. I’m still at my current job until next week, but am moving mid-June and the recruiter has been talking to me about possible opportunities that would start in that timeframe. They do creative staffing–web, editing, graphic design.

I’ve read your previous posts on recruiters, and this lady seems like a respectable one, or at least one who won’t jerk me around. She’s been respectful of my time, has asked more probing questions about my experience to give her clients a better idea of my skills, and she mentioned that they get payment directly from the client, instead of a percentage of what my rates are, so the pay range I’d given was what I’d actually be paid. I haven’t done any interviews or jobs yet, obviously, but so far it’s been a good experience.

My question is this: She has mentioned that if I see a job I want to apply to, I should run it by her so she can see if she has a contact at the company. That makes sense, but I also suspect it’s a way for her to get more clients. Should I actually do this, or will it hurt my chances if it’s someone she hasn’t worked with and she approaches them out of the blue?

Yesterday, I had a former coworker contact me about a job his company is hiring for. I ran it by her as asked, but I’m worried that if she approaches them, they’d find it odd, especially since my coworker knows that I’d heard about the job directly and not through the agency.

Nooooo, don’t do that! If that company isn’t working with her already (and they’re probably not), then she’ll be using your interest as a way to try to win their business. If they’re not interested in working with a staffing firm (and they’re probably not, which is why they’re advertising on their own), then she may now “own” your candidacy and they won’t consider you (even if you later apply on your own) because they don’t want to pay a staffing firm fee.

Don’t think of a recruiter as being like your agent; they don’t need to manage every contact for you. She’s one part of your job search, but not the whole thing.


21 Sep 13:18

Finger Craft

by Mary Kelly

finger weaving cover

The Basic Book of Finger Weaving

Another craptastic craft book for your consideration. The copy I happened to see was pretty beat up. That said, all I had to do was note the quasi “harvest gold” palette of colors to determine that this book was straight out of the 1970s. Looking at the crafts, you can see this is related to the macrame books of the same era. Everyone knew about macrame, but I never heard the term finger weaving used.

Of course we have some perennial 1970s looks: ponchos, vests, and a decorative collar. I believe I have seen a similar example of an afghan on every couch when I was a kid.

This is a weeder, the dirt on the book and a somewhat broken binding qualifies it for the recycle pile. Retro crafts can be something fun, but how about a book from this century?

I think I am ready for some Brady Bunch re-runs after looking at this gem.




weaving materials


clothing examples

simple doll and collar


The post Finger Craft appeared first on Awful Library Books.

21 Sep 13:16

Comic for 2021.09.19

New Cyanide and Happiness Comic
21 Sep 13:16

Comic for 2021.09.20

New Cyanide and Happiness Comic
21 Sep 13:16

Comic for 2021.09.21

New Cyanide and Happiness Comic
21 Sep 11:21

Houston to celebrate “Fall Day” just two days from now

by Eric Berger

A few years ago Dan Reilly, the warning coordination meteorologist at the local National Weather Service, and I were discussing fall cool fronts. The first day it truly felt like fall in Houston should be a holiday, we agreed. Every year since, Space City Weather has designated the first day it will truly feel like “fall” in Houston as Fall Day. This year, that day comes on Wednesday, after a front moves through overnight and brings much cooler and drier air to the region. It may not be an official holiday, but it sure should be one after we survive summer.

Low temperature forecast for Wednesday night and Thursday morning. (Weather Bell)


Before we get to the front, however, Houston will experience a little bit more heat. Highs today should reach at least the low 90s, with sunny skies. Rain chances are essentially zero north of Interstate 10, and perhaps 10 to 20 percent closer to the coast. Winds will be light, out of the southwest, at 5 mph. Conditions overnight will be warm and muggy.


This will be another hot, humid, and sunny day in Houston, but it will be the last one for awhile. That’s because a bona fide front will push through Houston. The timing is a bit uncertain yet, but expect a broken line of showers and thunderstorms to reach central Houston perhaps around sunset, and push off the coast during the late evening hours. After this, drier air will move into the region during the overnight hours. Most of the region should wake up Wednesday morning to dewpoints in the 50s.

NAM model forecast for the radar at 7pm CT Tuesday. This is only a very rough estimate. (Weather Bell)

Fall Day

This will be a fine day, with sunny skies, moderate northerly winds of 10 to 15 mph, and highs in the low 80s. As the sun drops toward the horizon, so too will temperatures. Inland lows likely will reach the upper 50s, with areas closer to the coast staying in the low 60s.

Thursday and Friday

These should be sunny, pleasant days with highs in the low 80s, and overnight lows down around 60 degrees.

Saturday and Sunday

We should see some warming over the weekend, but even with mostly sunny skies I don’t think highs will get above the mid- to upper-80s. Dewpoints will remain lower than summertime levels, so while it won’t be cold, it won’t be unpleasantly steamy, either.

Monday morning tropics forecast. (National Hurricane Center)


Call it the Charlie Hustle tropics forecast, with Peter and Rose active in the Atlantic Ocean. Fortunately, neither storm presents a significant threat to any landmasses. Beyond this, the red X off the coast of Africa could very well develop as it moves west across the Atlantic Ocean. This system seems unlikely to be bound for the Gulf of Mexico, however. Overall, in fact threats to the Gulf over the next 10 days are fairly low. I’m not complaining.

21 Sep 11:19


21 Sep 11:18

Tinker Toothpick Bottle Opener Spy (VOY S2E17)

by (Adam Pranica and Benjamin Harrison review Star Trek)
21 Sep 11:14

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Library


Click here to go see the bonus panel!

If you think this is bad you should see the library of literary references. Also the well-populated shelf about sasquatch and aliens.

Today's News:
21 Sep 11:06

It's time to login to Cat Twitter

this is a diesel sweeties comic strip

IN OTHER NEWS: I have a small print run of gonk gonk shirts in stock now

21 Sep 11:04

Stoicicsm City

by Corey Mohler
"In Ancient Rome, stoic philosopher Seneca founded a city based on Stoic philosophy, where all would live according to nature, and be happy and virtuous. "

Narration: "It was a paradise on Earth, where all followed the teachings of Stoic virtue."

Seneca: "Can i buy some bread?"
Vendor: "There was a drought, so there is no bread to be had."
Seneca: "That is beyond my control so has no effect on my happiness."

Narration: "But then the warlord Agamemnon came to conquer the Stoic city."

Agamemnon: "I will burn this city to the ground if you don't submit to me!"

Seneca: "That's fine. It doesn't bother us."

Agamemnon: "Wait...what did he say?"
Agamemnon's general: "I think he said it doesn't bother them."
Agamemnon: "Alright...i guess, uh...burn it to the ground then."

Description, the city burns, and Seneca is sitting in the fire.

Seneca: "This is fine."
20 Sep 10:56

Warmer weather returning, but the odds of Houston’s first true fall front increase for next week

by Matt Lanza

We continue to enjoy fairly quiet weather across the region in the wake of Hurricane Nicholas. Today will be no exception, though things get a bit more unsettled this weekend. But the drumbeat regarding our first legitimate autumn cold front is growing louder today. For now at least, it would seem that some very nice weather is on the horizon for the back half of next week. More on that below.


Friday will probably be similar to Thursday in a lot of ways with clouds and sunshine sharing the sky. Yesterday saw upper-70s at Bush Airport compared to mid-80s at Hobby. Today should probably see 90 or better in a lot of locations, provided the sun is out a good bit. Otherwise, look for mid to upper-80s, still warmer than Thursday.

A warm but fairly pleasant Friday should be in store for most of the area, with little rain chance. (NOAA)

Rain chances are quite slim to none today.

Saturday & Sunday

We sort of settle back into more of a typical late summer pattern this weekend, as Eric’s been noting the last couple days. The coverage of showers and storms expected has wobbled a bit lately, but it looks like we’ll have decent coverage of showers tomorrow and maybe a bit less coverage on Sunday. We’ll have a good bit of humidity and highs in the upper-80s to low-90s depending on cloud cover. Morning lows should be in the 70s.

Early next week

Monday looks pretty good right now with just a chance of a shower or storm but otherwise partly to mostly sunny. Look for morning 70s and afternoon 90s. Tuesday looks similar, though with perhaps a slight nudge up in rain chances.

Cold front update!

On to what should be the good news. Both the GFS & European models are in agreement on a cold front coming into the area on Wednesday. They differ on exact timing and how strong it will be, but they both show it distinctly in their forecasts and ensembles for the most part. Here are the low temperature charts from the 51 Euro ensemble members and the 31 GFS ensemble members. I’ve boxed in the period for next week.

Both the Euro (left) and GFS (right) have good agreement among the majority of their ensemble members for a cold front through Houston next week, though they differ on exact timing and amplitude. Click to enlarge. (Weather Bell)

The Euro is at nearly 100 percent agreement on a pretty potent cold front reaching the area, closer to Wednesday morning. The GFS, however looks to be at more like 50 to 55 percent agreement, with most ensemble members not quite as cool as the Euro. But, when you look closer at the GFS, it does bring a strong front south; it just manages to whiff to our east, bringing most cool air into Louisiana, rather than Texas. That same chart above and to the right shows more like 90 percent agreement in a front when you look at it for Lake Charles, which seems a bit odd to me.

I would say there’s a bit of uncertainty right now on the finer details, like whether it’s 60 to 65 or 65 to 70 in the mornings late next week (though I will say that it’s quite tantalizing to see several European ensemble members in the 50s). In terms of getting the front through Houston, that’s looking like an increasingly likely proposition. Assuming that’s the case, expect a period of showers or thunderstorms Tuesday night or Wednesday, followed by mostly sunny conditions for the end of the week. Highs would be in the 80s with low humidity. And again, we’ll see about how cool morning lows go.


The Atlantic remains active with two areas still holding at a 70 percent chance of development over the next 5 days. Both are expected to head out to sea.

While the tropics remain busy, as is typical for September, none is a realistic threat to the Gulf. (NOAA)

Some folks will continue to point to Invest 95L (the red area in the central Atlantic) as being concerning, but in order for it to come more west, it would have to remain a disheveled mess and would likely get ripped apart before it got far enough west to be concerning. Oh, and with a cold front likely to get well offshore next week, the western Gulf is protected through at least next weekend. In other words, you can rest easy. No concerns for us.

Have a great weekend!