Link love for a long long week

First off:

Need to do something to help victims of sexual assault?  Donate to RAINN.  They’ve been getting a lot of extra call volume lately.  We are thankful they exist.

Next up (for our US readers):  Call your senators again about Kavanaugh.  Even if they’re democrat or republican.  This is like the ACA again– dems need the numbers to bolster their claims and republicans need to know that what they’re doing is not acceptable.

Then:  If you’ve got money or time:  look at one of your state or local races and see what you can do– can you donate, become a deputy registrar, get a yard sign, fill out post-cards?  Check out our activism tab for suggestions.

Now it is time for links:

How to cope with the current news cycle as a sexual abuse survivor

The best part is the line under the comic about ferrets.  (cw:  Kavanaugh)

Details on the allegations against, and yale law school investigation into, professor Jed Rubenfeld

Here’s how to donate to MSU’s Sexual Assault Program (See above tweet)

Trump administration seeks to limit access to US for immigrants who are likely to use public assistance

How sexism affects women

Life in the sickest town in America


Stem careers and technological change

Get those lazy trust fund babies to work

Self-awareness and retirement savings decisions

Forbidden books humble bumble (not an affiliate– we just like books)

Podcasts for book lovers

Ask the grumpies: What’s your Harry Potter house

Leah asks:

What Harry Potter house are you and why?

You would think we’d both be Ravenclaw, being academic nerds and all.  Certainly not Gryffindor because that requires bravery not evidenced by an anonymous blog.  But actually, only one of us is Ravenclaw (with a bit of Hufflepuff mixed in depending on which quiz is taken).  The discovery that the other half of this blog wasn’t a fellow Ravenclaw was a huge shock to one of us.  We discuss the horrific discovery here.


Edited to add for our American audience:  Speaking of Slytherins.  Please call or fax your senators today about Kavanaugh.  They’re planning on voting this morning, then on SATURDAY, and then final vote on Monday.  The only thing that has a chance of stopping them is immediate public outcry.  Call (or fax) no matter who your senators are, red or blue.  This is necessary to show how mad people are.  Call even if you’ve called before.  If you need scripts: or .  Here’s where to fax for free: .  This is really important.  The American Bar Association just came out against him, so we have a chance, but only if we can delay these votes.  Please call, even if it’s scary.  Here’s our activism tab: for more resources.


  • I generally do not at all mind unsolicited advice.  Either it’s something I’d been wondering about or hadn’t really thought about and I welcome it, or it’s something for which I am very set in my opinion and said unsolicited advice allows me to provide my own advice in response, which is probably one of my favorite things to do.  I understand that this is one of my odd quirks that makes me an acquired taste.  Possibly because I have a pretty strong personality.  I’m not the wasabi of personalities, nor am I the anchovy… hm… maybe I’m the beet of personalities?  (I love beets!)
  • I need to do more stretching exercises because my muscles have been getting cranky.  But I just cannot with Yoga with Adrienne (which my sister is always pushing on me).  Why is it that “No BS yoga” courses cost so much more than the ones that come with a big side order of woo?  Really what I want is a physical therapist who will come into my home and tell me exactly which stretches to do to fix my problems.  Preferably one who is ok with me wearing my pajamas.  If I ever become obscenely wealthy, I will have to put a PT on staff.  (Spoiler:  This won’t happen.) (#2 would like to take this chance to plug the work of Jessamyn Stanley.)
  • DC1 somehow managed to get a sock on the top of hir ceiling fan.  :/  I am always finding kids’ (and *cough* my) socks everywhere in the house, but this was a new location.
  • DC1 and I have the same shoe size now.  So I ordered a pair of tennis shoes in hir size for me from Zappos.
  • DC2 got in trouble and we sent hir to hir room.  The next day I found a post it note on my desk where one side said “tickit” and the other side said, “for sending me to my room”.  DH got one too.  (I told hir that was inappropriate and not appreciated… but still…) (#2 thinks this is hilarious.)
  • Another year, another phonecall from the school in which I have to say, “Can you call my husband about that?” even though it says to call him first!  This one also had the benefit of calling my cell in my office where I don’t get much signal, so the person couldn’t even hear half of what I was saying.
  • I have to make a confession.  I don’t like the idea that Bert and Ernie are a couple because I think Bert can do better than someone who, as my 6 year old says, “is always messing with him”.  I’ve always felt that Bert and Ernie had a big brother little brother kind of relationship and that’s the only way it’s made sense that they live together.  (And rationally I’ve always figured their relationship was based on The Odd Couple for laughs.)  Ernie is such a jerk to Bert so much of the time, and Bert does not seem to appreciate Ernie’s practical jokes.  It’s not a healthy relationship.  (Disclaimer:  I identify with Bert and Ernie reminds me of my little sister before she hit her 30s.)  Evidence:  Ernie eating crackers in Bert’s bed, the banana in the ear practical joke, etc.  Plus, Ernie doesn’t appreciate that Bert can see beauty in the commonplace, such as the loveliness of Linoleum. Yes, I have spent a lot of time thinking about this.  I’m on board with Sesame St having gay couples that have healthier relationships– I don’t think that Bert and Ernie is a great relationship to emulate.

What foodstuff would you liken your personality to?

Posted in Uncategorized. Tags: . 21 Comments »

The quest to find the perfect toilet paper

One area in which we are not frugal is toilet paper.  As soon as I was responsible for my own toiletries, I decided I would never purchase scratchy thin paper again except in case of emergency.  Only reasonably soft double or triple ply will do.  (Confidentially:  My parents clog up the guest toilet every time they visit because they’re not used to the thicker paper.) [#2 thinks triple-ply is overkill.  Number two. hehehehehe.]

DH does most of the shopping and we’d figured out the kind of quilted paper we liked until suddenly it turned into icky tp that shed little tiny dusts of paper.  So after we finally ran out of the jumbo-pack (red package, quilted northern), DH, who had been on the receiving end of months of complaining nearly every time I used the restroom at home, decided to go ballistic and buy one of every “nice” toilet paper at the grocery store.

And, so I report back to you.

First off– the perfect tp is the one that #2 uses [it really is], and after visiting her last year I snuck into the cupboard where she keeps it and was sad to find out that it is a store brand local to her.  Boo.

Second–  Did you know that there are several different kinds of quilted northern? They are all soft, but some are terrible and some are great.

The toilet paper that won is Quilted Northern in the purple package.  The type:  ULTRA PLUSH.  This is soft, smooth, strong, and does not shed.  The perfect tp.

Do not confuse ultra plush with the Quilted Northern in the blue package, which is “Ultra soft & strong”  This tp is like a dandelion in terms of spreading fluff.  Not good.

Quilted Northern Super Soft is, as advertised, super soft.  If you are in pain or need a substitute kleenex, this is the one to go with.  Unfortunately, although it spreads less fluff than ultra soft and strong, it is still a shedder, and thus not as good as ultra plush.

Cottonelle ultra comfort care is another fluff spreader, though not as bad as Quilted Northern ultra soft and strong.

Charmin ultra gentle is also a fluff spreader, but without any redeeming qualities.

I also picked up some Trader Joe’s tp because it had the same pattern as #2’s paper and I was hoping it was the same product just different names, but no.  This is definitely usable TP, unlike Angelsoft, but still not as good as Quilted Northern Ultra Plush.

Cottonnelle wavy clean ripple is surprisingly thin.  It rips easily and also sheds.  It isn’t harsh at all, but it’s still not recommended.

7th generation is a step down from Trader Joe’s and, while a step up from Angelsoft, is really not all that pleasant.  Would not purchase again unless Angelsoft and worse were the only alternatives.  One roll does seem to last an awfully long time though.  This is probably a good guest bathroom choice.

Angelsoft is a lie.  It is UNACCEPTABLE.  Harsh and barely softer than what is available in most public restrooms.  This is conference hotel quality tp.  [Update:  I was at a Hilton for a conference recently, and I looked at the replacement tp roll, and indeed, it said, “Angel Soft” in large letters on the packaging.  So, go me?]

This post has been brought to you by our butts not appreciating frugality.  What toilet paper do you use?  How do you pick it out?

Link Love

Sometimes the onion isn’t really satire  (tw:  Kavanaugh)

Every man should be worried.  At least, I’m worried (tw: Kavanaugh)

Courtney Milan on the allegations against Kavanaugh

Trump’s new attack on immigrant children

One Republican Official Challenged Thousands of Voter Registrations in His County

This column is full of dark humor

How Maureen Johnson found out about Toad (tw: trump)

Gender peer effects in doctoral STEM programs

So true

PCOS and hirsuitism

Double debt single woman contemplates job changing

Eggplant caviar

Arrrrr librarrrrrrry thing

Ask the grumpies: Systems to catalogue books? Thoughts on endnote vs. librarything?

Lisa asks:

I was going to ask you and your readers [ed:  emphasis added] for recommendations on book catalogue systems, but then I saw your Library Thing icon and I read your very positive thoughts on that. I also see a brief reference to Endnote, so assume that you use Endnote for research.

Can you share your thoughts on the two different systems? I want to start a book catalogue for non-fiction books and texts, mainly based on my reading list so I have a central system for compiling book information (eg reviews, quotes, recommendations, “to buy”, “to borrow”, summaries, quotes etc etc). If I was to go into academic research (a possibility in a few years time), it is likely that I would use endnote for “real” research. At the moment I need something to manage my non-fiction reading list and “hobby research” which currently is a hodgepodge of messy notes, lists and links. I want to invest my time into a good catalogue system, but unsure if Library Thing is sufficient, or if I should take it a step further and look at Endnote. I can get a discount version of Endnote through my uni alumni, so cost is not a deciding factor. My preference is always just to use one system, but I am unsure if I am trying to force one system to do two different things (ie use Endnote as a book catalogue system, or use Library Thing for storing notes and quotes etc).

Can you compare Library Thing and Endnote? How you use each of them? How much cross-over is there? Would there be any scenario where you would recommend just using Endnote, ie for someone starting out with their book catalogue and notation systems? At what point do you prefer to segregate your work research and personal research systems?

also interested in your reader’s thoughts … particularly any librarians out there (I am in a regional area, otherwise I would be hassling the librarians in the city about this)

Also just out of curiosity, does anyone know what systems Journalists use for this sort of thing? I am not planning to become a journalist, but I am wondering if what I want to do is similar to what some journalists might do to keep track of their source information and ideas etc.

(I am not going to catalogue fiction books and I assume that Library Thing would be the best product for that scenario).

#1 says:
We’re glad you asked! To take the last question first, we have no idea what journalists do, but maybe someone in the comments will!

Other thoughts:

I think you might want two solutions for this.

For fiction and non-fiction books that I have for my own use, I love LibraryThing. Their cataloging setup works for me and I like its display options. The books I have for ‘professional’ purposes are in there too, although in my field we don’t use books so much as articles. You could have separate collections under one account if you want to separate things. The site is specialized for books and does not have an easy way to output citations or include page numbers. You can export a list of your library but that’s about it. No uploading files, although you can put some pictures in your account if you want to show them to people. It’s good for books in that it’s got ways you can put on your own tags and sort collections. You can put in up to 200 books for free before paying for an account. The lifetime membership I bought in 2003 is the best $25 I ever spent.

For articles, book chapters, web pages, etc., I use Zotero. I used to use EndNote but Zotero is free and open-source. You should choose one or the other, as it’s not easy to exchange libraries back and forth between them. These days I’m loving how Zotero lets me work across multiple computers and have access to my library everywhere both through a webpage and through a downloadable (free) program that sits on the local hard drive and integrates with word processing software for doing citations and bibliographies. Zotero, or anything like it, will reformat your paper and works cited for various formats required by publications with just a few clicks (e.g., Chicago style, APA, MLA). You can upload PDFs of your articles and Zotero will suck in the info you need for cataloging, such as date, title, DOI, etc. Then those PDFs (and your library) are accessible anywhere you can see a webpage. There’s a limited amount of free storage, but buying more isn’t expensive, and the amount they give you is totally fine for most purposes.

You could also do everything in Zotero if you wanted, although it doesn’t have pretty cover displays for books the way LibraryThing does. It’s certainly better to put books in Zotero than it is to put other media in LibraryThing, because Zotero is built with more flexibility as far as media type and cataloging it all correctly. You can put interviews, talks, government documents, films, etc. in there, and you can also use tagging and notes. Zotero doesn’t do quite as well as LT in managing, editing, and arranging collections of books, but it’s better for everything else and better for citations.

Does that help?

#2 says:  I use Endnote because it is free through my work, no other reason.  The best thing about librarything in my opinion is that you can buy a cuecat and scan in the barcodes of the physical books into library thing and it pulls everything up. With endnote/refworks/zotero, you have to look up the book in your library system or possibly some other way (maybe googlescholar will pull down cites, I don’t know) or else manually input the data. Endnote is lovely for making lists of works cited in any format that you need, which is the main reason I use it. I have zero crossover between the two systems– librarything is solely for my home library, endnote is solely for my research. But I mostly deal with articles and only the occasional book or book chapter for my work work.  If I were only allowed the use of one, I would go with endnote and just not catalog my fiction.

Why I like the Rake/Bluestocking trope

I don’t always like it.  I don’t like it when the rake is just a womanizing jerk.  I like it when the rake likes women and sees them as people who enjoy having a good time (generally merry widows or wives in unhappy arranged marriages or happy marriages of convenience).  He hasn’t found one he wants to settle down with yet, until he meets the bluestocking.

They’re both fighting against the strictures of society.  He accepts her ways because he hates society’s ways.  She craves the knowledge she believes only he can give her.

And yet, they’re also both rebelling in ways that society has prescribed them.  The woman cannot be a rake, she can only be a bluestocking.  The man cannot be a bluestocking and still rebel.  When they meet, she allows herself to indulge in sensuality, and he is allowed to share (and wallow in) his love of whatever academic subject he has hidden from his rakish friends.

They’re smart.  They have intelligent conversations.  They have witty senses of humor.  They share jokes that nobody else gets.  There’s lots of narration about their eyes, which sparkle with intelligence and humor.  They like each other.

They are people that the reader might like to know in person.  Or that the reader might even be, in another world.

And by meeting each other, they are allowed to be even more themselves, not less.  They free each other.  She allows him the ability to settle down and follow his true loves without caring what society thinks.  He allows her the freedom that she can only get through marriage to a husband who does not view her as property (or as a wealthy widow).  And they share many passions.

What happens to your cash-emergency-fund as your net worth grows?

A gai shan life recently was talking about how as her net worth has been growing, she’s realized she doesn’t need to have as much money in cash and CDs.

We’ve gone exactly the other direction — we now have well over a year of savings in savings accounts. It used to be that I only kept enough to get us through the unpaid summer plus a little cushion, so 1-4 months of expenses at any point in time, and I always thought having 6 months of expenses in savings was insane.  Who could afford to do that?  Back when we were in graduate school and I was getting paid 3x/year I would lock up money in CDs partly in order to lock in higher interest rates (we had 4.75% at one point!  Those were different days!), and partly so the money would be there when we actually needed it.  I am less likely to spend if I can’t see the money in checking.  I would not have done that if I’d been being paid monthly or biweekly.  We would put in money for retirement and then there just wouldn’t be that much left, so it seemed like the obvious next place for cash would be more retirement or the mortgage.  Not cash savings or taxable stocks.

Now, for no real logical reason (maybe I just like round numbers), my target for savings is much higher.  There was sort of a loose logic– enough to replace a car + summer savings in case DH loses his job again + random money for other emergencies and slow reimbursements.  We probably wouldn’t keep it quite as high as it is if I hadn’t opened up a higher interest savings account online.   And it definitely wouldn’t be as high if Trump weren’t president, what with fascism and all.  But we’re maxing out our retirement, the mortgage is gone, and we’re saving in 529s at a reasonable clip, so why not pay the opportunity costs to get a bit more peace of mind?

Which is more logical for what to do with your cash as your net worth grows?  You could go either way– you could be like Revanche and realize you’ll be ok even if there’s a crash, or you could go like me and realize that you can afford to lose the gains you’re losing by not picking riskier investments.

What has happened to the amount you keep in cash vs. stocks as your income grows?

Link Love

Tent shelter in Texas to add thousands of beds for immigrant children

Ronan Farrow reports on Brett Kavanaugh’s alleged rape attempt  (That’s what this secret document was probably about)

Why does Susan Collins hate free speech?

Does Brett Kavanaugh have a gambling problem?  Quite possible.  That’s probably the least shady possibility, the more shady ones involving Russia.


N K Jemisin talks about why mentioning race is important in this world

h/t to agaishanlife for this 2011 post on dealing with lovecraft’s racism and the lovecraft award

Not all harassment is sexual– how Les Moonves kept us from watching a ton of great sitcoms with strong female characters.

Facebook has empowered a conservative magazine to censor liberal viewpoints

You don’t own me

Vaulting workers into the middle class with higher pay

Must read gay romances.  Do you read eloisa james?

Blogspot is eating comments again, but I tried commenting on this one saying, “Are you me?”  (Here’s Proof from our archives)

This is pretty cool

Ask the Grumpies: Where to donate

bogart asks:

I’d like to give some $$$ (well, realistically, some $) to one or more campaign organizations (really organizations supporting campaigns, if you see what I mean — not candidates’, and probably not the Democrat’s, but something like Indivisible or Flippable that is working strategically nationwide to effect change by electing the good ones). Any you would recommend?


Nationwide movements that are looking strategically (in addition to the afore-mentioned Flippable):

Swingleft, Indivisible

Help marginalized people vote:

Voteriders, Let America Vote


There’s also a lot to be said for looking locally– depending on where you are, your dollars might make a difference in a local election, and local elections determine gerrymandering.

I’ve been trying to do a political action every weekday.  Since I am phone-less (phone free?) for about a week, that means I’ll be giving money places.  For example, today I did a bulk buy order for campaign pins that I’m going to give to a student activist I know to pass out.  Any suggestions you have in the comments have a good chance of receiving my money this week or next!  (Also, can you guys call about Kavanaugh or another important issue since I’m out of commission for a few days?)

What organizations does Grumpy Nation suggest?