Link Love

There’s still time to get your ask the grumpies in for the next set of ask the grumpies!  (Of course, you can always ask the grumpies via email at












Another sexual assault allegation against the VA Lt Governor.








A creepy experience with rich people at a private club

Delagar describes her son’s recent visit to Planned Parenthood

What happened to the four finalists for the 2016 National Teacher of the Year?  (Also, dude, why are 3/4 of them guys … that seems bizarre given the gender balance of teachers)

Lori Lakin Hutcherson explains white privilege


Advocating for women helped optimizeyourlife’s career

STEM Role Models Posters

How to take your own passport photo (guess whose passport is about to expire…)

An experience using credit card rental car insurance

On budget constraints, endogeneity, and interconnectedness

Q&A with the costume designer for Crazy Rich Asians.  Peik Lin is my favorite.

Name a cockroach after your ex and then feed it to meerkats.

Just a reminder

Kittens and books




Soliciting more Ask the Grumpies!

Ask the grumpies is a feature we run almost every Friday (sometimes we post less-popular but still fascinating google questions). You ask, we answer, or we punt and ask the grumpy nation to answer. In any case, you get the benefit of not only our wisdom but the collective wisdom of the far wiser grumpy nation.

What questions do you have for us? What can we bring clarity or further confusion to? What can the grumpy nation ponder and discuss on your behalf? Ask in the comments below or email us at grumpyrumblings at gmail dot com.

February Challenge: The Fitness Ladder

Whenever my DH starts feeling out of shape, he digs out a “fitness ladder” that he got from some engineer on the internet and starts doing calisthenics.

The idea behind this ladder is that exercise shouldn’t be painful and shouldn’t suck.  If you will recall my February challenge a few years back with the 7 min workout, I hated that with a violent passion.  It worked, but it sucked.  So I stopped.

The fitness ladder basically says:  start at the first rung of the introductory ladder.

Introductory Ladder

Rung Bend Sit up Leg lift Push up Steps Count

1 2 3 4 2 105 1 30
2 3 4 5 3 140 1 65
3 4 6 6 3 170 2 20
4 6 7 8 4 200 2 50
5 7 9 9 5 225 3 0
6 8 10 10 6 255 3 30
7 10 11 12 7 280 3 55
8 12 13 14 8 305 4 5
9 14 15 16 9 325 4 25
10 16 16 18 11 350 4 50
11 18 18 20 12 370 4 70
12 20 20 22 13 390 5 15
13 23 21 25 15 405 5 30
14 25 23 27 16 425 5 50
15 28 25 30 18 440 5 65

What the numbers mean here, is, using rung 1 as an example, that you touch your toes twice.  Then you do 3 situps.  Then you do 4 leg lifts.  Then you do 2 pushups.  Then you run in place for 75 thingies (every time your left foot touches the ground, that’s one thingy), then you do 7 jumping jacks, and then you run in place for another 30 thingies.  When a rung feels easy, move to the next rung.  After the introductory ladder, there’s an advanced ladder with slightly different exercises.

Feb 1st, I did the first rung and everything was easy except running in place.  Feb 2nd I came down with a virus from DC2 (headache, tummy ache– vomiting in hir case, other stomach problems in my case), but was able to get through everything but the running and jumping jacks from rung 1 after sleeping most of the day.  (The bouncing was not a great idea for my stomach and I had to have seltzer).  Feb 3rd I was recovered and did the first rung with little effort so Feb 4th I moved to the second rung where I stayed feb 5th (almost forgot yesterday and ended up exercising right before bed.)

cheer me on, grumpy nation!  What’s your latest fitness thing?

Dispatches from the Year of the Oxygen Mask: January

I talked about my 2019 hopes/goals in a previous post.

Except for that one slip-up I noted early on, I have done a good job of noticing my spending and of not spending money on anything except food and mental health.  I should have said “(and mental health)” in my original post but I forgot to spell it out.  Of course I’m not going to *not* pay my therapist or psychiatrist.

So now I’m getting new meds (again).  I have been on almost every kind!  This one’s new.  I’m looking forward to finding out what fun side effects it will have!  (Narrator:  She was not looking forward to it.)  Currently I am in a 3-way fight with the insurance company and the pharmacy (and the shrink) to try and authorize the drug so that they’ll pay for it so that the pharmacy will fill it.  I cannot project-manage this situation and my job at the same time, so I’m sucking at both.  #SinglePayerNow

My lovely MIL continues to have Teh Sad.  She too has a therapist and medication, and she also has various bereavement groups.  Have I mentioned that my dad and all 4 of his kids are on psychiatric meds of various sorts?  (Some of us off-and-on.)  We’re doing better, though!  My family is looking forward to positive changes this year.

I almost went through all of January without spending money to fill my car’s gas tank.  I didn’t quite make it, but it was pretty close.  I think that’s pretty good!

Also, I spent like 85 minutes on the phone with TIAA-CREF yesterday and the upshot is that I need my husband to sign some forms in front of a notary.  Because my previous job set up their retirement accounts in a dumb way that means my spouse has first claim on what I do with my money, somehow.  So in order to move the money into an account that he doesn’t have to approve every transaction on, he has to sign some forms saying it’s ok for me to close my accounts with my money in them.  You can possibly imagine my reaction upon learning this on the phone: “That is some bullshit.  Get rid of that!”

I never thought the uni where I had my crappy tenured job would be good for much, but their retirement accounts are actually set up way better, so I’m consolidating everything I can into that one.  Like we effin’ have time to go to a notary during business hours, goddamn.

As a reminder, in February, I will go on Patreon and sign up to support at least 2 creators whose work I appreciate.

What giveth and/or taketh away your oxygen recently, Grumpeteers?

Wednesday we’ll talk about #2’s February challenge!

Link Love

This week in Texas Fascism.  Here’s an earlier story that lays it out.

Dunning Kruger effect explained Trump

Why are people assholes?  We don’t know either.  Maybe power?

This is frighteningly terrible (thread)

Yet another pf blog talks about how eating out should be worth it .  I like the chart!

Awesome downsized house (h/t agaishanlife)

No scrubs


Ask the grumpies: Thoughts on most recent budget

OMDG asks:

What are your thoughts on the budget that just got passed?

This was asked a year ago, and as per usual, we’ve put off the hard questions to the end.  The budget that got passed was awful.  It’s increased the deficit while becoming way less progressive, meaning there’s LESS investment in our future.  We’re neither spending more on nor saving more for the future.

That said, it could have been a ton worse.  The phone calls that we all made last year really did make a difference.  The marginal tax rate structure ended up not being as terrible as it could have been.  There were lots of horrible things that didn’t end up in the budget.  Even small things like not giving a tax advantage to teachers for buying supplies got saved from chopping.  Other investment things did get axed (like moving expenses), but it could have been worse.

As for us, we haven’t done our taxes yet, but I think we will have benefited given our income and the changes in marginal tax rates combined with the biggest cuts not really affecting us given where we live and our lack of mortgage interest situation.   This is our first year in which it truly makes no sense to itemize (last year we were like $200 of giving over the part where itemizing makes sense), and the new tax bill’s treatment of state/property taxes means that there’s not even any point to adding up our donations.  So that should save time.

I would gladly pay that money back if it meant that everyone in our situation and better situations had to pay and we could invest in our country’s future again.

Grumpeteers, what are your thoughts on the latest federal tax situation?