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Friday, October 24th, 2014 09:00 pm
  • Wash the dishes in your sink

  • Get your outfit for tomorrow together, including accessories

  • Set up coffee/tea/breakfast

  • Make your lunch

  • Put your keys somewhere obvious

  • Wash your face and brush your teeth

  • Charge your electronics

  • Pour a little cleaner in the toilet bowl (if you don’t have pets or children or sleepwalking adults)

  • Set your alarm

  • Go to bed at a reasonable hour

Friday, October 24th, 2014 08:15 pm
Sarah, sitting and putting labels on the 150-odd vials of BPAL I decanted today: "You know, I don't think it was an unreasonable request."

Me, opening 200-some vials that I bought secondhand to sniff them and determine if I like them or not: "What?"

Sarah: "'One of these days I should find a perfume I can wear to work', I said. And here we are, somehow that having turned into 'try everything BPAL has ever made'..."


(She is so very tolerant of the fact that "....that escalated quickly" is my life motto.)
Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 02:45 pm
Took me forever to fall back asleep.

The end result is that I'm trying to cram our schoolday into the afternoon. Well, we have all weekend as well.

Yesterday, I was working on math with Ana as Eva was doing multiplication alone. And all of a sudden Eva quietly tears a page out of their scrap paper, folds it, and puts it on Ana's erstwhile seat.

Me: What? Eva. Did you just pass a note to your sister?
Eva: *wild giggles* Oh no!
Me: You're in homeschool! You can't pass notes!
Ana: She didn't! It's just... scrap paper! *picking note up*
Me: Well, in my role as mean teacher, I think I'll read that aloud to the entire class!
Eva and Ana: *more giggling*

THE NOTE: I am a horrible drawer. Sorry, I cannot tell Connie.

There was a drawing attached. Indeed, it was horrible.
Friday, October 24th, 2014 02:44 pm
Working working working. Decanting decanting decanting. The cooking tv shows I'm watching in the background are making me hungry.

Read more... )
Friday, October 24th, 2014 04:00 pm

Posted by Ask a Manager

A reader writes:

I know you’ve spoken extensively about how volunteer work is important and can lend a substantive note to your resume and work experience. But can you discuss a little what kinds of volunteer work are more “important,” skills-wise, for employers? Is ten years of driving for Meals on Wheels going to be taken the same as five years of being a volunteer front-desk person at a hospital, or one year of volunteering with a political organization on their social media front? Is some volunteer experience “worth” more than others to employers, or does it depend totally on what the employer is looking for?

It really varies, depending on the types of roles you’re applying for. In general, volunteer work that’s related to the job you’re applying for is best, which for most jobs means that office work is better than something like driving for Meals on Wheels. But there are exceptions to that; if you were applying for a job working with the elderly or disabled, for instance, that Meals on Wheels experience might be more useful.

In general, the more your volunteer work relates in some way to the jobs you’re applying to, the better. Generally that’s through the specific skills you use (like your example of social media work), but sometimes it can be through the commitment you demonstrate to a particular issue or area (for example, volunteering on campaigns can be useful when applying for advocacy work).

There are also hiring managers who simply like to see community involvement, and in those cases what you did matters less than the fact that you did it — but the majority of the time, volunteering has the most impact on your job prospects when it demonstrates skills that you are key to the work you’re applying for.

Of course, there’s also a totally different way that volunteering can help in a job search: by  building your network. It’s still ideal if the work you’re doing relates to your field in some way (since building contacts in your field is generally more helpful than building them outside your field), but having a network that isn’t field-specific can still end up being enormously helpful when it comes to connecting you with others.

what kind of volunteering is most helpful? was originally published by Alison Green on Ask a Manager.

Friday, October 24th, 2014 03:00 pm

Posted by Ask a Manager

It’s the Friday open thread!

The comment section on this post is open for discussion with other readers on anything work-related that you want to talk about. If you want an answer from me, emailing me is still your best bet, but this is a chance to talk to other readers.

open thread – October 24, 2014 was originally published by Alison Green on Ask a Manager.

Friday, October 24th, 2014 02:00 pm

Posted by Brett Jonas

We get asked lots of questions when we’re doing farm tours, selling soap at craft fairs, or simply running errands.  Since most of those answers are heard only by the person who asked, we decided to share some of the common questions here on the blog.  And of course you can ask a question of […]
Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 06:00 pm

Posted by PJ Jonas

Quote Post

Emery finished “The Giver” by Lois Lowry and was not quite happy with the ending: “There’s a dark spot and then a light spot and then *BOOM* she ruins it!!”

The Giver

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014 02:00 pm

Posted by PJ Jonas

Reading is the foundation to our homeschooling.  In fact, one of my hardest challenges as a homeschooling mom has always been to keep quality books in front of my kids.  That job is a LOT easier now that Brett is really good at picking out good books for everyone to read.

Indigo certainly thinks so!


Friday, October 24th, 2014 08:32 am
I sent Cordelia (and Scott) to soccer practice even though she didn't want to go. She didn't strongly want not to go, and she didn't want to use the time to study for the test and quiz she has today. I don't think she had a bad time at practice. It was kind of cold for it (and I am glad we won't be going to the soccer game on Saturday!).

Cordelia is saying again that she wants to give me her cold in order to get rid of it. I think she knows it doesn't work that way; she just wishes it did. She also says she wants me to get it so that I know how she feels. Apparently, I haven't been sympathetic enough.

I know what the problem is with the next chapter of Rheotaxis, but I have no idea how to fix it. The problem is that nothing I have planned for the chapter advances the plot or develops the characters. It's necessary world building, but it doesn't serve the rest of the story the way that I want it to. I've only got one main character in the chapter, and the story requires that he change, not necessarily in this chapter but eventually. I'm not sure how to make this chapter help toward that end. Maybe I can't and should just focus on interesting world building. This is the payoff for things I've been talking about for chapters, a look at an alien culture (well, cultures, really, if I pull it off).

I'm just not as interested in world building as I am in the characters. This chapter is feeling like a chore, something I have to get through in order to get back to what interests me. I think that skipping it will weaken the story, but skipping it is very tempting. Nagi in the capital city doesn't interest me as much as what Yohji and Omi and Ran (and Crawford and Schuldig) are up to back at the base. But Nagi is a pivot on which the story turns. Developing him further is a good idea, and putting him out of his element ought to do that. It just isn't in what I've written so far.
Friday, October 24th, 2014 12:30 am
As y'all know, frequently autoimmune diseases travel in packs. So many of us have Lupus in addition to Sjogren's Syndrome. Here's a good introductory video with Lupus basics:

Friday, October 24th, 2014 04:03 am

Posted by Ask a Manager

It’s five answers to five questions. Here we go…

1. I can’t give my employee a good reference, but I don’t want her to stay in her job

I have an employee who has not been doing a good job for a while. This person has clearly been unhappy (grumpy at work, calls in sick all the time and may very well be ill) and is looking for another position within the same company. I would be happy to be rid of them. I cannot give them a good review (ethically) and have been avoiding the calls/emails of their potential new manager. Any advice?

If you’d be glad to get rid of this person, then you need to start the process of making that happen — or, in this case, talking to the person about what’s going on with them and what your expectations are for their performance (including attendance and demeanor). In general, when you’re not happy with someone’s performance, you should be giving them clear feedback about the problems, and then if things don’t improve, giving her clear and direct warnings about their performance and eventually letting them go if they don’t resolve the issues. In this case, however, you have a possibly sick employee, and the illness could certainly be causing the attendance and grumpiness problems. So step one here is to talk to her, tell her what you’ve noticed and that you’re concerned, find out what’s going on, and see what can be worked out.

As for the reference — which seems like the smallest of the issues you — you need to get back to the manager. It’s one thing to avoid reference calls from outside your company when you can’t give someone a good reference. But this other manager is a colleague from within your company; you really need to get back to them. But before you do that, you need to find out what’s up with your employee; it wouldn’t be fair to give a bad reference to someone for being sick if her work was good before this. (If her work wasn’t good before the health issues, then of course you can explain that.) In any case, it means you need to talk to the employee today, because continuing to put off your colleague will reflect badly on you.

2. Encouraging rejected candidates to apply again in the future

I’m in the process of hiring for an entry-level assistant to serve two departments here. I’ve come across a number of applicants who are wrong for this position but who might be strong candidates for a position or two we expect to open in other departments in the next 6-12 months. I do normally send all rejected candidates a “thanks but no” email, but is there any reason not to send these particular applicants an emails encouraging them to keep an eye out for those other possible openings or just other openings here in general? A colleague is suggesting that this may encourage unrealistic expectations, especially since I will not be the hiring manager for those other positions, but that strikes me as overly cautious. Thoughts?

It’s overly cautious. It’s fine to send that kind of email; there’s nothing in it that sounds remotely like a promise of employment.

3. What does it mean when job postings say “women and minorities encouraged to apply”?

What does it mean when job postings say things like “women and minorities encouraged to apply,” or when online applications request information about race and gender? Why would companies ask questions that could potentially introduce new biases so early in the application process? I’m a female minority in engineering and I have a gender and race neutral name. I suspect that many hiring managers reading my resume probably think I’m a white male, and that disclosing any information about my race and gender could only hurt my chances at getting an interview. Do companies that claim they are “affirmative action” actually use the answers to these questions, or do companies just ask for this information in case a disgruntled applicant complains about discrimination later on?

Statements like “women and minorities encouraged to apply” are there because either it’s true and they want you to know it, or they want to look like it’s true. Either way, U.S. employers can’t legally consider race in hiring (but they can make an effort to recruit a diverse pool).

As for applications that ask for that information, it’s generally separated from the information that hiring managers see and use to report in the aggregate on the composition of candidates and hires. (Companies with more than 100 employees or government contracts over a certain dollar amount have to report the aggregate demographic makeup of their applicants and employees to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.)

4. Should I get two bachelors degrees or one masters?

Is it better to get two bachelors degrees or one masters?

Two bachelors degrees is weird in most cases (with some limited exceptions). But that doesn’t mean you should get a masters either. Figure out what the career you want requires — which may be experience rather than degrees, particularly if you already have one bachelors — and then make decisions from there.

If the point here is to make yourself more marketable to employers, figure out what actually does that before making any plans. Too often people just assume that more education will do that, when in fact in many circumstances it won’t (and can even make your job search harder).

5. Can my employer ban jalapeños?

Is it legal to ban employees from eating anything containing jalapeños in the building due to one employee being allergic to them?

Yes, that is legal. A terrible tragedy were it to need to happen, as jalapeños are my favorite food, but legal nonetheless.

reference quandary for an employee I don’t want to keep, banning jalapeños, and more was originally published by Alison Green on Ask a Manager.

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 09:43 pm
Doctors Without Borders physician in NYC tests positive for Ebola

I saw that on the news while waiting for the boat. I was so happy the girls weren't paying any attention. They already panicked when that poor man in Dallas died. I had to show them the map to emphasize how very far away from NYC Texas is just to calm them down. (Homeschool geography, check!)

We usually watch CNN Student News every day, but we just might skip a day tomorrow.
Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 09:00 pm
  • Wash the dishes in your sink

  • Get your outfit for tomorrow together, including accessories

  • Set up coffee/tea/breakfast

  • Make your lunch

  • Put your keys somewhere obvious

  • Wash your face and brush your teeth

  • Charge your electronics

  • Pour a little cleaner in the toilet bowl (if you don’t have pets or children or sleepwalking adults)

  • Set your alarm

  • Go to bed at a reasonable hour

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 06:00 pm

Posted by Ask a Manager

OMG, I love this:

Dear Friend: Sorry. My heart says yes, but my schedule says no.

and this:

Sorry, no calls

(When I originally posted this, I assumed the author of the second piece had gotten permission to use the large amounts of Oatmeal content included there. Reading the comments on the piece over there, it appears he didn’t, which violates copyright law. Sigh. Here’s the original Oatmeal piece that a lot of that content came from.)


sorry, no calls was originally published by Alison Green on Ask a Manager.

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 04:30 pm

Posted by Ask a Manager

I recently wrote about mistakes to avoid in your one-on-one’s with your manager. Today, at Intuit QuickBase’s Fast Track blog, I’m talking about the mistakes you might be making in one-on-one’s if you’re the boss. You can read it here.

you’re making 4 mistakes in your one-on-ones with your team was originally published by Alison Green on Ask a Manager.

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 11:05 am


I can’t get enough of these, so here’s another before and after for Unfuck Your Habitat. I’ve been doing a ~much~ better job of staying on top of cleaning my room lately. This whole cleaning process, including sweeping and vacuuming, only took twenty minutes!

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 11:47 am
Yesterday morning, I had an eye exam. The doctor chastised me a little because it had been six years since I was last in. There's glaucoma and macular degeneration in the family (grandparents), and I really ought to be getting that checked every year. I might escape having trouble with either. Mom and Papa haven't had either yet so far as I know.

At any rate, my prescription has changed a bit, and the doctor recommended that I either get reading glasses or progressives. I'm not sure how well I'd deal with progressives. I think the height and distance of my laptop would be a major issue. I don't feel like I really need reading glasses, either. I have trouble with the print on some OTC medication bottles but not with much else. I'm not sure it's worth the more than $100 a pair of glasses is likely to run (I haven't priced glasses in years, so I don't know how much they are these days. I'm guessing low, I suspect).

I took in sunglasses because I knew they were going to dilate my eyes. The day was quite overcast, so maybe I could have gotten away without, but I wore them anyway. Because it was only a little after 11 when my eye exam ended (they took me in early because I arrived early. My actual appointment wasn't scheduled until 10:40), I stopped in at the new Walgreens on the corner of State and North University. I bought some candy and thought seriously about getting a flu shot. I decided to wait until the whole family goes for one.

At 11:30, Totoro opened, and I went in for lunch. I had the beef teriyaki bento (usually I have the chicken teriyaki). I regretted not having brought something to read. Of course, with my eyes still dilated, I might not have been able to read very easily.

After lunch, I walked down to the central bus station to catch the #1 home. I ran into our cleaning lady who was waiting for the same bus, and we talked all the way to my stop. I wonder where she lives these days. She said she was taking the bus home. She used to live in Ypsilanti, but the #1 doesn't go there.

Last night, our gaming group met, and [ profile] booniverse ran one of her convention scenarios. We all played various types of movie monsters. I'm not sure I really did much with my character. It didn't really have skills that were suited to the scenario.

I did completely lose track of time and forget to pick Cordelia up from volleyball practice. I felt terrible about that, particularly when she told me that her tummy hurt when I didn't come. She called me on the coach's cell phone, and it's only three minutes to the school, so it wasn't as terrible as it could have been, but it wasn't good. Next time, I'll set an alarm so that I don't forget.

This morning, I did my time in the school library. I checked books in and out. The other mother who was there did all the shelving. I did three classes worth of shelf markers. I had some questions on the last set I did, but I couldn't ask because the librarian had retreated her office in tears after a talk with the principal. I couldn't help but overhear. I felt really awkward. I ended up leaving a note with my questions so that the librarian will know what I didn't do.

Cordelia has another cold, a sore throat mainly this time. She doesn't have a fever, and she was feeling reasonably good apart from the sore throat, so I sent her to school. She has a test tomorrow, and she needs the preparation time.

My tailbone hurts. It feels like it's being pulled and twisted toward the left. I'm not sure what to do about that but hope that moving around helps.
Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 03:00 pm

Posted by Ask a Manager

A reader writes:

I manage a team of 22 that is responsible for supporting clients by phone and email. The company is closed on Christmas, the day after Christmas, New Years Eve, and New Year’s Day, so nobody is expected to work those days. However, of our 22 people, we’d want at least 12 in the office the rest of Christmas week and 16 during the rest of New Year’s week.

In the past, it has always been first come, first serve. This year, we are approaching critical mass and it’s still relatively early. Do we:

A. Announce that any holiday time off requests should be submitted by the end of October, then review them against each other and give preference to the more senior team members?

B. Mention that we could potentially hit our limit, but still approve them in the order them come in?

C. Not say anything and risk upset employees that have never heard “no” before – especially regarding the holidays they spend with family?

D. Another strategy?

I’d tell people ASAP what you said here — that you need to have at least 12 people in the office December 22-24 and 16 in the office Dec. 29-30 and Jan. 2. Ask people to submit their vacation requests to you ASAP so that you can determine if you’ll be able to grant incoming time-off requests and still have sufficient coverage, or whether you’ll need to modify some of them. Explain that if you’re not able to get enough coverage, you might need to deny some requests, but that you’ll do your best to avoid that happening.

If you do need to deny some, it’s perfectly reasonable to do it based on seniority. You can also ask people to submit their first and second choices for time away, and use seniority to bump people to their second choice if needed. And if you can, try make sure that everyone gets at least one of those weeks off if they want it; it’s going to breed resentment if some people get two weeks off while others get none.

A caution about using seniority as your system: If you have low turnover among your most senior people, this can lead to a situation where no one else can ever get the time they want, year after year. If that’s the case, you might instead use a rotation system so that newer people still have a chance to get holiday time off sometimes. Or you might do other sorts of rotations, such as putting people on a schedule that rotates time off between Thanksgiving week and the December holidays.

First come, first served, it can work, but it can end up not being fair if it means that some people turns in their holiday requests very early each year and thus reserve all the prime vacation slots months in advance and never have to share the burden of coverage with others.

Whatever system you end up with, if you do end up needing to deny some vacation requests, make sure you do the following:

1. Tell people as soon as possible so that they can plan accordingly.
2. Be apologetic about it and openly appreciative that people are willing to pitch in to make it work. That doesn’t mean that people will be thrilled about it, but seeming callous and unconcerned will make it go over worse.
3. Do what you can to make being in the office during the holidays more pleasant for people — bring in food and find other ways to show appreciation that they’re there.

how should we handle holiday vacation requests when we need to ensure coverage in the office? was originally published by Alison Green on Ask a Manager.

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 10:41 am
EVENT: Great War. LOCATION: Earth. DATE: October 23, 2077. RESULT: Destruction of civilization. INVOLVED PARTIES: United States, China, Soviet Union, other nuclear-capable nations. LEADERS: Final president of the United States, Chairman Cheng, others unknown. FORCES: United States Armed Forces, People's Liberation Army, Soviet Armed Forces, others unknown. CONNECTED EVENTS: Previous, Sino-American War; next, unknown.
Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 09:14 am


So today I started to unfuck my habitat!!! Took me roughly 3 20/10s just to do my desk area. Moving onto the rest of my room tomorrow! unfuckyourhabitat

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 12:30 am
Don't you love autumn? I do. I know, I know - many of us dread the weather turning chilly and triggering their Raynaud's symptoms, but for me fall means that my cutaneous lupus goes into hibernation.

Woo hoo!

Enjoy this autumn-y video.

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 04:03 am

Posted by Ask a Manager

It’s five answers to five questions. Here we go…

1. Are ads that target “recent college grads” age discrimination?

I am job-searching and keep seeing some really great jobs that I qualify for, posted by this same staffing company on job boards. ALL of the positions require a 4-year degree and most specify the applicant must be a recent college grad. I have actually seen this company go as far as to specify “must have had great grades in high school” or they sometimes ask for a specific college GPA. The ads will emphasize 2-3 times within the description that you must be a recent college grad. I actually applied for a position anyway, leaving off college dates on my resume and was contacted by a recruiter. She wrapped up the phone screen quickly when she learned that I had completed college 20 years ago. The fact I had strong experience in the industry for which she was recruiting seemed a moot point.

It’s is obvious to me they want 22-24-year-old applicants only. Isn’t this age discrimination? And if this is not age discrimination, can it really be considered a good hiring practice?

There’s nothing illegal about requiring a particular GPA since that doesn’t screen out people over a certain age, but a preference (or requirement) for recent college grads does violate federal laws against age discrimination.

In fact, the EEOC says clearly: “It is illegal for an employer to publish a job advertisement that shows a preference for or discourages someone from applying for a job because of his or her race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information. For example, a help-wanted ad that seeks ‘females’ or ‘recent college graduates’ may discourage men and people over 40 from applying and may violate the law.” More here.

2. Job application wants me to list contact info for friends who can verify my activities

Currently I am searching for jobs in the air travel industry as a flight attendant. While in the process of filling out an application for one company, in the Employment Gap Explanation section while listing my job history, it asked that I explain any employment gaps of one month or more. That’s all fine and good. But the fine print went on that I must list the name, address and phone number of the person(s) that can verify my activities during those times of unemployment. The kicker is they can’t be relatives!

I can understand their reasoning for asking that, as they have to be concerned about terrorism, but I can’t be the only one who thinks it’s just plain ridiculous! How can I explain a 6 month period of unemployment after I graduated college and I lived at home with my family during that time, while friends were still in school or out of town? I also don’t feel comfortable offering such personal information about my friends and acquaintances to the company, either. Am I overreacting?

That’s weird as hell. If it’s a security requirement and you want the job, I suppose you have to comply, just as you’d be giving similar information about family and friends for a security clearance. But yes, it’s bizarre.

3. Can I ask my old company about the results of a project I did?

I just left the company where I was working without a job in my field because the work environment was not healthy. I currently have a part-time job that pays well, so I’m not worried about the bills for a couple months at least. Before leaving, a person from another department told me about a challenge that they were having in their day-to-day work. Before I left, I finished implementing the solution to that challenge. I was the owner of that project and my manager knows that I worked really hard on it. However, I was not able to witness firsthand the results that the solution generated.

I now want to send an email asking if the results were positive or negative to the person who initially had the challenge. Even though it would be better for me to have numbers to evaluate the possible success rate, I understand that this person as a current member of the organization might need to keep the numbers confidential and might only be able to give me a general sense of the success rate. Do you think that I should send this email? I am also not sure how my former manager might take this if the person forwards the email to my manager? Should I cc my former manager on the email?

I don’t see anything wrong with reaching out and saying that you’ve been thinking about the project you did and wondering how it turned out for them. It’s unlikely that they’re going to respond to a casual inquiry like that with hard numbers though, so if that’s what you really want (for resume purposes), I think you’ll need to ask directly if it’s something they’d be willing to share and explain why you’re asking. I’d do that in a second email, though, once you hear back about how it went generally. No need to put them on the spot with that question if the first answer is “it hasn’t made a difference yet,” “it’s too early to tell,” or “it caused our network server to catch fire.”

I don’t think there’s any need to cc your former manager on the email, unless she’s in a particular position to answer the question too.

4. Will a job offer come from HR or from the hiring manager?

Will the hiring manager set up a meeting to offer me the job or will HR make the offer? I’m asking because the hiring manager sent an email to set up a meeting later in the week to talk about the job interview… but I thought HR would call or email me?

It totally depends on the employer. There’s no one playbook that every employer uses for this stuff. That said, in most cases, job offers are made over the phone, not in face-to-face meetings. That doesn’t mean that absolutely no one sets up a face-to-face meeting for it, but that’s a fairly unusual approach.

As for who makes job offers, smart managers make their own, because they want the chance to sell the candidate on the job and to have a personal connection. But plenty of managers let HR do it for them.

5. What does it mean when an employer takes down a job posting and hasn’t called my references?

What does it mean when a prospective employer takes down a job posting?

A hiring manager asked for my references but my references never got a phone call. Is this bad news?

Taking down a job posting can mean all sorts of things: They filled the job, they’re no longer accepting new applications but are still interviewing, they’re about to make an offer, they’re confident that they’ll hire someone from the current pool of candidates, the job ad expired from the site and no one noticed, they wanted to make a change to the job posting so took down the old one and haven’t put the new one up yet, or loads of other possibilities. You can’t know from the outside, and it’s pointless to try to read into it.

On the references issue, it’s possible that the manager hasn’t called your references yet but still plans to, or that she’s one of those managers who asks for references because she knows she’s supposed to but doesn’t always call them, or that they plan to make an offer to someone else (but might call your references if that falls through). Again, no way to know, and your best bet is to just move on and focus on other jobs until/unless you hear something from this employer.

job application wants me to list contact info for my friends, ads that target “recent college grads,” and more was originally published by Alison Green on Ask a Manager.

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 09:00 pm
  • Wash the dishes in your sink

  • Get your outfit for tomorrow together, including accessories

  • Set up coffee/tea/breakfast

  • Make your lunch

  • Put your keys somewhere obvious

  • Wash your face and brush your teeth

  • Charge your electronics

  • Pour a little cleaner in the toilet bowl (if you don’t have pets or children or sleepwalking adults)

  • Set your alarm

  • Go to bed at a reasonable hour

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 03:51 pm
Apparently the Fallout Bible 5 indicated that penguins were extinct in the Fallout universe, but that the status of hippos and elephants was unknown. Normally I try to use material from the Fallout Bibles (interviews with the developers/programmers/etc., mostly) for background material where I can, but I had not thought to search for the status of either penguins or hippos before this, because really, why would you.

I am now debating whether to go back and edit the OOM that mentioned penguins or not. I am mightily entertained by the image of the Camden Aquarium/Philadelphia Zoo's most incongruous wildlife having survived and wound up on the menu- my original plan for the post-nuke penguins- but I have a few other species I can put in the same space instead. The alternative is, FOB5 came out in 2002, and a lot of other Fallout material from that time frame was invalidated when the license got sold to Bethesda, so either the extinct status of penguins can be invalidated as well or it can be said that the only places any penguin species survived were all in areas no one ever expected and therefore did not think about.

Third alternative is, reassign the meaning of 'penguin'. I haven't mentioned anything about them in a culinary context yet so I can just as easily say 'there's things in the river that aren't penguins' was referring to some kind of funerary practice involving dumping the corpses of nuns and/or Pittsburgh sports fans into the Schuykill. I kind of like that one.

.... look, just- if you ever had the idea that you might want a look inside my brain, you probably ought to reassess that, okay? I'm just sayin'.