Otterday, and Open Thread

This handsome river otter hangs out on Grandfather Mountain, North Carolina.

Via Blue Ridge Blog.


Please feel free to use this thread to natter about anything your heart desires. Is there anything great happening in your life? Anything you want to get off your chest? Reading a great book? Anything in the news that you’d like to discuss? Commiserations, felicitations, temptations, contemplations, speculations?

Categories: arts & entertainment, fun & hobbies, Life

Tags: , , ,

20 replies

  1. I’m feeling a need to take some comfort in something cheerful. I recently discovered that Bridge was originally designed to be played with a tarot deck; that chuffs me to a quite surprising degree.

  2. I’m suffering a bad case of l’esprit d’escalier: I was on the edge of a heated discussion the other night where one young man was asking another young man why he bothered to go on living if he didn’t believe there was an afterlife because what was the point?
    I made a fairly predictable response to back up the unbeliever along the lines that since it wasn’t unbelievers saying that life was worthless without faith in an afterlife, that was his idea rather than ours, we actually would just live our lives for the daily rewards of direct experience, even if they would be gone when we died and the cold, cold cosmos wouldn’t care. This obviously lacked persuasive power.
    Of course I came up with a much better riposte in the middle of my dreams last night: if the only point of living is to get to some afterlife of eternal reward, then why the hell is the believer guy bothering to go on living for the next forty or fifty years (yes, he was quite young)? Why not just end it all now and get to that all-important afterlife ASAP?

  3. Which is always a good point, Tigtog.
    Me, I’m without any real contribution today, as I spent a good hour this afternoon removing a bunch of packed-in snow from the end of the drive and tossing it onto progressively larger piles. My arms feel half fallen off. White Christmases are vastly overrated.

  4. Does there need to be a point to make life enjoyable and valuable?
    Besides it’s my birthday, so I am happy to be (still) alive today.

  5. Does there need to be a point to make life enjoyable and valuable?

    I didn’t think so, but this guy seemed to think he’d made a killer argument against atheism – if we felt like life was worth living, then it means life must have a purpose, and that purpose must be eternal afterlife seemed to be his chain of reasoning – so atheists must secretly believe in an afterlife after all if we’re not all jumping off The Gap.

  6. P.S. Happy Birthday, Pen!

  7. I should probably be making this on one of your “introduce yourself” threads, but I thought I’d just jump in here. I’m feeling fantastic right now – I’ve just finished with finals, and (more exciting!) I’m in a new relationship that is really wonderful. 🙂 So,feeling happy.
    Also, this week, I’ve started commenting here, and am really enjoying putting my toes in the water at this wonderful blog. Thanks to everyone who’s been commenting back, and making me feel welcome here. (And thanks for writing such great stuff). 🙂

  8. Wendy, no need to wait for the invitation to introduce yourself! Welcome to the commentariat.

  9. Happy birthday Pen!
    I found myself being asked to define and defend feminism in an IM conversation last night, he was being genuinely curious so I sent him off to Feminism 101 and we had a very civil and I think productive exchange.
    Today we had new entertainment furniture delivered, our TV has been sitting on our coffee table for nearly a year so it’s very nice to have it back!
    mimbles’s last blog post..Cuddle deprived dog

  10. They kinda sorta almost get it… but then it’s just back to What about the Menz and Wimminz just Want Jewellery. Alternately cracking up and headdesking to this one.
    Via Fugs.
    Via Fugly Horse of the Day.

  11. Once again my parents could not be bothered to shop for my children and they received a card with two hundred bucks. I long ago rejected their money but it seems to me that now they are trying to buy my children. They don’t spend time with my kids they just throw money at them like that makes up for not being grandparents. No matter what I say it seems to them that money is the answer to everything. As I kid I had every material item I wanted but what I did not have was their attention. No bedtime stories or trips to the park but the latest trinket was always at my fingertips. I was so frustrated I just wanted to send the money back but their father says I have no right to reject it because it was sent to the kids and not me. Any thoughts or advice everyone?
    Renee’s last blog post..Katrina and the Hidden Race War

  12. @ Renee:
    I hear what you’re saying about the money. In my childhood, too, my parents (well, my mom, anyway) threw money at me instead of giving me her attention (my dad was drunk most of the time he wasn’t at work, so his attention wasn’t really on the table to begin with). I guess they really don’t “get” that money is not a substitute for love. (And not that my parents – or yours – didn’t love us. I assume they did, but somehow didn’t know how to show that love).
    I think what I’d do with the money is either put it away in an account for their college educations, or something like that, OR use it to take your family on a nice adventure somewhere – a trip to the zoo, or local aquarium, or weekend away. Use the money to buy an experience that will build wonderful memories for you and the kids – something that you all did together. As a way of dismantling the legacy your parents seem to want to continue.

  13. I finished the Golden Compas trilogy a few days ago, was pretty good up until the last resolution which left me saying ‘buh?’ made me think of that horrible latest Highlander movie ‘The whole point was for you to have a baby?! People died movie! You suck!’
    The other thing that is still annoying me about the books is the idea that people with dog Daemons were naturally subservient and thus always became servants. I found this wrong on oh so many levels. The first being that ‘some people are just naturally servants-slaves’ is a horrible notion, especially since people in that world will infer the meaning of someone’s daemon’s form I wouldn’t be surprised if this was self fulfilling. The second being that it’s not representative of dogs at all, if a human isn’t around or a human doesn’t have the dog’s respect who do you think takes charge? A dog that’s who. I would have liked them to represent Loyalty and show that it is separate to subservience, but that was never explored, none of the main characters had dog daemon’s and the author’s opinion of them was so obviously disdainful. This is why I always tend to take the Dog’s side in the cat vs dog debate even though I love both animals… ggrrrrr.

  14. Renee I’d use the money to do something great as a family as well. Go and do something you will all enjoy and remember for a long time.

  15. Headaches are back. I think I get them when I am dehydrated a little, which happens more than I’d like in winter.

  16. I haven’t read the Pullman trilogy yet, but did read some reviews. I also have problems with the idea that anyone can decide anyone else is born to be subservient–after all, their dog daemon could be an alpha. And I saw a Disney movie one time with a Native American theme, in which the shaman told everyone what their totem was–that majorly bugged me, if I had an animal totem I’d know better than anyone else what it was; I wouldn’t want someone else trying to pick one for me. (Same problem with Ged having to get his true name from the old fellow in the Earthsea books–I didn’t need anyone else for that job either.) So in addition to misconceptions about dogs, and about people that might have dog daemons or totems, you have the abrogation of any individual rights to choice of names, totems, etc. Or more precisely, the denial of the individual’s own knowledge of his or her nature–the assumption that he or she can’t know, and needs to be told. Maybe that’s why I don’t read/watch a lot of fantasy any more…

  17. Pullman’s daemons are a little more complicated than that – children’s daemons shift shape, being any animal at whim. It’s only when the child “grows up” that the daemon settles into a single shape. So there isn’t predeterminism as such, it’s totemism in the end as to how the daemon represents but not so much at birth.

  18. On second thoughts, did the Golden Compass books actually ever say that people with dog daemons *always* were servants/subservient? Didn’t some of the Investigators have dog daemons, and also many of the soldiers?
    I thought the observation was that *many* servants had dog daemons. This would reflect the beta dog pack-following behaviour, I guess, but it certainly wouldn’t apply to all dogs.

  19. Yes, the soliders who attacked the children in the snow after Lyra led them out of the place where they were severing them from their daemons all had German Shepherd daemons.
    I agree, it wasn’t determinism at all, it was totemism.

  20. Weren’t those soldiers’s daemons made to become German shepherds? Or did I make that up?
    I just returned from a trip to the lovely city of Melbourne, having managed to track down many, many good ice cream and chocolate shops there. I also got my exam results and I’m pleased to say I did really, really well and am very proud of myself! Today I started reading Here Lies Arthur by Philip Reeve, an author Beppie recommended a few weeks back. Now off I go to have a mid-afternoon snack and watch The West Wing! Best wishes to all for a great day :).

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