Open Thread - Thurs 21 Dec 2023 - Io Saturnalia!

Io Saturnalia!

It's Winter Solstice (in this part of the northern hemisphere), the day with the shortest amount of sunlight for the year! And it's part of Saturnalia!


Chester, in England, still celebrates Saturnalia! (from a BBC article this year about Chester and the celebration)

After today, we in the northern hemisphere will be gaining light, not losing it. My mother, for one, always, always, celebrates this. And so does the rest of the family in consequence.

So, that's what I'm doing today. My family is coming over to the farm for a feast; we call it Saturnalia, because, who wouldn't? Smile Smile It'll be fun! And it makes it so that none of us are traveling on Christmas, or the day before or after. Phewww.

And that's what I've got for the Open Thread. Thanks for reading this little bit, hope your Solstice is good, and here's the open thread. Everything is interesting if you dive deep enough, so tell us about where you're diving! We wanna know!

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Sima's picture

Hope this day is going great for you. This week has been very stressful on the farm. Our buck (over 10 and a half years old: our oldest buck ever), Stinky (real name: Shekel) has lost the ability to walk. Not sure why. At first we thought he broke his back, but, he's been fighting and fighting to live and he's managing to crawl where he wants, eat and drink the hay, grain and water we bring him and do what he has to do. He doesn't complain; no moans, no screaming, no bleating. It seems like he's smiling and happy most of the time when he's not sleeping. He's been like this for almost 5 days! Because of the time of year, getting a vet in to see him has been impossible. If Stinky is still around after the hols, hopefully we can get a vet to see him then.


Stinky in 2016. Good looking boy wants his grain!

Anyway, enough of that. What's up with you? How's your pre-holiday week been?

Edited to add at 3pm Seattle time: Stinky has stood up! He is standing up to move around the hay, and to pee and poo. YAY!!! So, maybe he didn't break his back, but had a stroke? Ohh, and he's drinking water too Smile

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If you're poor now, my friend, then you'll stay poor.
These days, only the rich get given more. -- Martial book 5:81, c. AD 100 or so
Nothing ever changes -- Sima, c. AD 2020 or so

Granma's picture

@Sima

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Sima's picture

@Granma

A bit before the family arrived for the feast, Stinky stood up! He's moving around, and I swear he has a grin on his face :).

Hope your day is going well and thank you for the good thoughts!

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If you're poor now, my friend, then you'll stay poor.
These days, only the rich get given more. -- Martial book 5:81, c. AD 100 or so
Nothing ever changes -- Sima, c. AD 2020 or so

Lookout's picture

@Sima

Found a tick along his backbone, and when removed he gained use of his legs.

Hope your buck can recover as easily!

Winter_Solstice-3757676233.jpg

solstice light.jpg

soltice awaken.jpg

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Happy yule y'all!

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Sima's picture

@Lookout

But we are wondering if it was a stroke. Why? Because he stood up again, and is moving a little bit. He spends most of his time on the ground, but on his belly now, not on his side. And his legs are under his control. He's eating the hay we bring him and the grain, and is drinking the water we bring him. YAY!

BTW, I love the solstice images you put up. Thank you. My Mom says, 'Even if it's only 2 minutes a day, the light is getting longer!' For me, I love the changing of the seasons, all of them. So Summer Solstice rocks, Equinoxes rock, Winter Solstice rocks. Change is the thing!

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If you're poor now, my friend, then you'll stay poor.
These days, only the rich get given more. -- Martial book 5:81, c. AD 100 or so
Nothing ever changes -- Sima, c. AD 2020 or so

@Sima

like magic on the solstice
one more stand!

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Sima's picture

@QMS
I wouldn't be surprised and I'm very grateful for them :). Maybe Saturn told him, 'Not on my celebration!'. I dunno Smile

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If you're poor now, my friend, then you'll stay poor.
These days, only the rich get given more. -- Martial book 5:81, c. AD 100 or so
Nothing ever changes -- Sima, c. AD 2020 or so

Thanks for posting and have a cool Yule!

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Sima's picture

@QMS
Have a great Yule and a great Solstice Smile

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If you're poor now, my friend, then you'll stay poor.
These days, only the rich get given more. -- Martial book 5:81, c. AD 100 or so
Nothing ever changes -- Sima, c. AD 2020 or so

enhydra lutris's picture

to stinky. The idea of using a Saturnalia celebration to avoid Xmas traffic is clever I'll bring it up at our annual xmas celebration.

be well and have a good one

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

Sima's picture

@enhydra lutris
It went well! There was good news, Stinky actually stood up and moved around for a bit. Only a few steps, but it was good :). Maybe he had a stroke then? We aren't sure.

Avoiding traffic is important for my family, so Saturnalia works! Hope it might work for your family too.

Have a great holiday!

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5 users have voted.

If you're poor now, my friend, then you'll stay poor.
These days, only the rich get given more. -- Martial book 5:81, c. AD 100 or so
Nothing ever changes -- Sima, c. AD 2020 or so

Dawn's Meta's picture

@Sima @Sima had almost the exact same thing happen in the same time. He is eight and has been with us for seven of those years. He goes with us everywhere, so we are used to how he looks, acts, eats and breathes.

He seems very sensitive to toxins. We almost killed him when we switched to raw/real food. We gave him local Beef which he loves. He got sick and sicker over several weeks, and sent us on a desperate search for what could be wrong. We finally decided to restart feeding with the most organic meat we could get and within a few days he was markedly better. No more beef that is pastured so long in the same place they eat too short grass full of their own pee and poo. They are also full of antibiotics, wormicides, vaccines and other toxins.

Seeing what happened to our doggie we took it as a sign we should drop our use as well.

Now several months later we have had another incident with Teddy where he seemed confused, then less active, and finally had back legs that curled, weakness and couldn't control his movements and seemed to be in pain at times.

We looked for ticks which he gets regardless of the tick-a-cides we have used and found none. He did have one two weeks ago, but it was removed immediately.

Most sudden onset is an injury, some insect or toxin. Whelp we have been poisoning our dog with essential oils. We have been using Cedar oil mixed with Coconut to ward off fleas which were really bugging him. Cedarwood oil is supposed to be safe for dogs.

But this was a case where he did not do well with our "natural" attempt at making him more comfortable.

We washed him in ACV (Apple Cider Vinegar) Baking soda and warm water; fed him good cooked Chicken; kept him warm and waited overnight to see how it's going.

Good news, is that he is so much more himself. Yay. I just am not in any way ready for him not to be part of our world.

We will have to keep searching for good and non-toxic ways to prevent or kill Ticks and Fleas. Any suggestions are sooo welcome.

Best wishes for Stinky!

Sima, I want to thank you for your wonderful weekly column: it is a true gift. The essay you wrote about Russian music and art and musical rabbit holes sent me on an exploration of Borodin, Shostakovitch and other Russian classical composers. I wanted to post, but we were wrestling with a new pellet boiler/stove which we are still trying to settle down with. Real life makes posting in a timely way often very difficult.

No stove, no heat for this old stone barn. If I can recreate the final choices of composers I found maybe I can drop links into one of your coming weekly Open Threads?

Happy Solstice to you. We walk daily five kilometers and mark the position of the setting sun each day as we return home. We look forward to lengthening days.

Travels with Teddy. And Happy Christmas.

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A society grows great when old men plant trees in whose shade they know they shall never sit. Allegedly Greek, but more possibly fairly modern quote.

Consider helping by donating using the button in the upper left hand corner. Thank you.

enhydra lutris's picture

has a horribly distorted article entitled

US-Venezuela prisoner swap includes notorious key ally of Nicolás Maduro

.

10 persons held by Venezuela were released in exchange for Ales Saab. He was a diplomat sent on a mission to raise funds for Venezuela because of Venezuela's funds shortage caused by the US' illegal sanctions and theft of Venezuelan assets. We had him criminally arrested and extradited to the US by one of our criminal allies (if only as a co-conspirator in the arrest) and charged under some criminally extraterritorial "money laundering" statute which permits us to arrest foreign diplomats engaging in activities in foreign countries on behalf of a foreign country in which we have no legitimate interest. At least he is free. The article only mentions a couple of the US persons freed, but I'm guessing that they included those involved in one or more of the attempted coups.

be well and have a good one

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

@enhydra lutris Fat Leonard.

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"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." ---- William Casey, CIA Director, 1981

@on the cusp

to swindle the Navy out of $millions in bogus contracts.
Quite a few Navy brass got custard on their uniforms.

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@QMS The Military brass cannot win a war or negotiate a contract.
I sure thank them for their service.

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"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." ---- William Casey, CIA Director, 1981

enhydra lutris's picture

@on the cusp

be well and have a good one

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

Sima's picture

@QMS
wonder if they ate the custard? Smile Smile

I haven't followed this scandal at all. I'm assuming those who took the bribes are in jail? Not promoted in the service?

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4 users have voted.

If you're poor now, my friend, then you'll stay poor.
These days, only the rich get given more. -- Martial book 5:81, c. AD 100 or so
Nothing ever changes -- Sima, c. AD 2020 or so

studentofearth's picture

@on the cusp here are the best research links.

‘Fat Leonard’ — central figure in US Navy corruption case — breaks silence on podcast The San Diego Union-Tribune November 22, 2021 republished on Starts and Stripes

For the past several years, Leonard Glenn Francis — the figure at the center of the Navy’s worst corruption scandal in modern history — has been under house arrest in San Diego, eschewing interview requests and biding his time until his role as government cooperator is over.

Now, for reasons that aren’t entirely clear, Francis has opened the floodgates.

He secretly recorded a podcast with a Singapore-based journalist, offering for the first time publicly his own account of the bribery scandal that has rocked the Navy, led to the prosecution of dozens of military officials and put hundreds more under scrutiny.
...
Francis frequently shifts between braggadocious storytelling and an insistence that the Navy is ultimately to blame for unofficially sanctioning a corrupt system.

Fat Leonard Podcast transcripts Nine episodes in his own words. The audio is no longer available, but pdf transcripts are at the links on the page. Did not check out the streaming services listed on the page.

Episode One — Paper Ships
Leonard Francis became the most powerful military contractor in the Pacific, running a mafia organization at the heart of the U.S. Navy. He’s over 300 pounds, and charming. We meet him in jail, and explore why he’s talking exclusively to our host, author and journalist Tom Wright. We explore Leonard’s troubled childhood. It turns out this isn’t his first time in prison.
Oct 5, 2021

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Still yourself, deep water can absorb many disturbances with minimal reaction.
--When the opening appears release yourself.

Sima's picture

@studentofearth @studentofearth
Thanks for the links. I'm gonna get to reading as I digest my feast Smile

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4 users have voted.

If you're poor now, my friend, then you'll stay poor.
These days, only the rich get given more. -- Martial book 5:81, c. AD 100 or so
Nothing ever changes -- Sima, c. AD 2020 or so

Sima's picture

@enhydra lutris
'A notorious key allay of... Maduro'. Why is that notorious? Gads, I hate our propaganda machine.

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3 users have voted.

If you're poor now, my friend, then you'll stay poor.
These days, only the rich get given more. -- Martial book 5:81, c. AD 100 or so
Nothing ever changes -- Sima, c. AD 2020 or so

enhydra lutris's picture

storms, salmon are returning to the Mokolumne river in far larger numbers than has been the norm of late. Beyond that, Chinook are appearing in some of the local streams and creeks, even in urban areas, such as San Leandro Creek..

be well and have a good one

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

Sima's picture

@enhydra lutris
It's not rained as much as normal here, at least to judge by the height of the water in the stream, winter lake, and ditches. However, we've got some rain and that's good! November and early December were very rainy. Hope the salmon and other fish do well!

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3 users have voted.

If you're poor now, my friend, then you'll stay poor.
These days, only the rich get given more. -- Martial book 5:81, c. AD 100 or so
Nothing ever changes -- Sima, c. AD 2020 or so

Cassiodorus's picture

So there are four options, according to John Mearsheimer:

1) peaceful coexistence and true democracy -- this is quite possible, though it's only possible after an entropic situation in which the future of the current civilization on planet Earth is placed in doubt.

2) two-state solution -- of course this is the neocons' favorite alibi. As someone pointed out, however, this means granting state power to someone the IDF wants to exterminate, so no.

3) apartheid -- this is what the Netanyahu supporters really want, with of course the major caveats that a) there will be no Gaza Strip and b) they also get ethnic cleansing on a much slower time-table. The problem with the standard apartheid option is that the wider war is already baked in, which is what can be seen on the Israel-Lebanon border, in which the respective populations have been evacuated and are now living on either Israel's or Hezbollah's dime.

4) ethnic cleansing -- Mearsheimer's objections to this option are of no consequence. What Biden says is of no importance. Biden is concerned first and last with his own skin, having appointed a cabinet full of neocons. All of the major players know this already. Thus a likely possibility is that what we get is a wider war up to the point when we don't have a neocon President in the White House. It could be a long time.

The worst is yet to come.

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"The war on Gaza, backed by the West, is a demonstration that the West is willing to cross all lines. That it will discard any nuance of humanity. That it is willing to commit genocide" -- Moon of Alabama

@Cassiodorus

the first option is my favorite
with the caveat entropy, future and doubt
bundled together is another discussion.

Hope

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Sima's picture

@QMS
But it will not happen. Not given the history of the 'middle east' over the past, ohh, 4000 or more years Sad Dang it.

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If you're poor now, my friend, then you'll stay poor.
These days, only the rich get given more. -- Martial book 5:81, c. AD 100 or so
Nothing ever changes -- Sima, c. AD 2020 or so

Sima's picture

@Cassiodorus

Exactly.

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4 users have voted.

If you're poor now, my friend, then you'll stay poor.
These days, only the rich get given more. -- Martial book 5:81, c. AD 100 or so
Nothing ever changes -- Sima, c. AD 2020 or so

PS:

I hope that there is a positive result for Stinky and enjoy your Saturnalia gathering.

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@humphrey

kinda wonder about the craftsmanship these days ..

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Sima's picture

@humphrey
What a mess. Kinda indicative of how everything feels now, isn't it? A mess.

Thanks for the good wishes for Stinky and Saturnalia. It's turned out better than we hoped, Stinky is improving, and stood up! The feast was good. The food was great and now we are all going to be napping. Heh.

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4 users have voted.

If you're poor now, my friend, then you'll stay poor.
These days, only the rich get given more. -- Martial book 5:81, c. AD 100 or so
Nothing ever changes -- Sima, c. AD 2020 or so

Well, gathering family together, avoiding traffic...sounds like a plan, Stan.
We are headed off to buy some beef ribs. Seems a retired veterinarian I used for decades raises cattle, markets the beef, grass fed, no antibiotics or hormones. We intend to cook them in the Instantpot. That's the kind of Christmas meal one does when there is either no family, or no family within 5 or 6 or 7 states down the road.
I used to give my critters a massage, using the Linda Tellington-Jones method. (T-Touch) I attended a seminar where she demonstrated the technique on horses and dogs. I got her book, have applied the T-Touch to horses, dogs, and cats. All of them just went into the Zone, relaxed, got upset when I stopped.
With luck, the vet will be at the store, and I can catch up on his family news, and support he and his son on this wonderful meat market effort.
Thanks for the OT,
Sima!

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"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." ---- William Casey, CIA Director, 1981

Sima's picture

@on the cusp
At least a bit. He stood up for a bit and is drinking water and eating food. Yay!

What a great source of beef that is! Our neighbors raise beef like that. It's very good, but the waiting list to get some is usually about 1 year long! So we get our beef from WA and OR beef farmers, who market organic, free range, no drugs, beef. It's good, but expensive! We just had some today. It is making me want to nap :).

Have a great holiday, and a great Instapot holiday meal. Pretty sure that is what me and hubby are gonna be doing in a few days Smile

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4 users have voted.

If you're poor now, my friend, then you'll stay poor.
These days, only the rich get given more. -- Martial book 5:81, c. AD 100 or so
Nothing ever changes -- Sima, c. AD 2020 or so

freedom, and propaganda-free politics, rides into Hungary to save their poor, abused, repressed citizens!

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/dec/21/hungary-draconian-new-law-...

I was hoping my head would not explode before Christmas. Darn.

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