Abelian Grape

A not particularly scientific examination of a question of grammar.

Please answer the poll before reading comments. (I'm going to post my own thoughts as a comment.)

Poll #1998365 A not particularly scientific examination of a question of grammar.

Suppose you have a pet, and you're taking your pet in to visit the veterinarian. Your pet is sick, and you look a little worried. One of the nurse / technicians says to you: "Don't worry. His health and well-being are priceless with us." Focus on the preposition "with". This usage sounds...

...completely normal. Is it not?
...a little folksy, or maybe like a marketing line, but not actually wrong. Within the range of dialects you're familiar with.
...completely wrong. Invalid in any dialect of English you've been exposed to.
...something else. Your answer is not close enough to the above three options. Please explain in comments.
Abelian Grape

research recruitment: Queer women's experience with pregnancy and parenting.

This was passed on to me by a friend who knows the researcher:




The Research Group on Disparities in Health within the Department of Health and Behavior Studies at Teachers College, Columbia University, in New York, NY is studying the experiences of lesbian, bisexual, or queer-identified women who have sought the goals of childbirth and/or co-parenting.

  • You are being asked to fill out a confidential survey
  • Participation in this survey is limited to the first 200 participants
  • Participation in the study takes about 35-45 minutes
  • After 200 individuals complete the survey, the computer program will close the survey and send out bar–coded gift certificates ($300, $200 or $100) for use at www.Amazon.com to three randomly chosen e-mail accounts without in any way linking your identity to the survey results
  • Please go to the link below (www.surveymonkey.com/r/LGBTQ-PregnancyAndCo-ParentingStudy) to view the informed consent, learn about your rights as a participant and proceed to the survey.
  • We invite you to e-mail, text, and tweet others you know, asking them to:
    Go to www.surveymonkey.com/r/LGBTQ-PregnancyAndCo-ParentingStudy and take the survey for a chance to win a $300, $200, or $100 prize.


NOTE: Participants have a 3 in 200 chance of winning a $300, $200, or $100 bar-coded gift certificate for use on www.Amazon.com.

AMY R. LISS, M.S., Doctoral Candidate, Department of Health and Behavior Studies, Box 114, 525 W. 120th Street, New York, NY 10027; arl2140@tc.columbia.edu

BARBARA C. WALLACE, Ph.D., Director, Research Group on Disparities in Health, Professor of Health Education, Clinical Psychologist, Department of Health and Behavior Studies, Teachers College, Columbia University, Box 114, 525 W. 120th Street, New York, NY 10027; Bcw3@columbia.edu

Study Contact Number: 267-269-7411

  • Current Mood
    nerdy nerdy
Auros Face from wedding

Propositions initial skim...

Thus far, I haven't found any reason to disagree with Pete Stahl, which means voting YES on the whole set of propositions this year, which is, I think, the first time that's happened.

Will append a comment later if further research changes my mind.

ETA: Complete ballot.

The Sequoia Health District race is interesting. Three of the five candidates -- one incumbent and two challengers -- want to dissolve the district. And their suggestion that it should merge with the Peninsula Health District is not crazy! But I don't think we should be shutting it down immediately; the county can plan a vote on the issue of a merger without nuking the administrative architecture that's in place. And the "scandals" of the district having funded (a) a clinic that is technically just over the border outside its funding territory (but has over 750 district residents registered as active patients), and (b) a nursing education program that has had half of its graduates go on to work outside the district (so, we should keep all of them chained to stations here? keeping half here seems like success to me), both seem completely non-scandalous.
  • Current Mood
    busy busy
Focal Profile

Shameless Commerce Department

If you're considering noise cancelling headphones for commuting on our ridiculously loud trains around here, I recommend the QuietPoint ATH-ANC70, from Audio-Technica.

I bought a used pair of these portable (battery powered) noise-cancelling headphones recently, to use on the BART, and I really liked them. They deliver performance comparable to the best Bose or Sony stuff, at a significantly lower price point (admittedly still not cheap, but, well, $200 is significantly less than the $300-350 I was seeing for the comparable Sony and Bose models; and I got the used pair for somewhat less than that). Unfortunately, after a couple months of frequent use, something in the electronics died, and they stopped working. I was really bummed because they were not under warranty (and even if they were, I would've needed the original receipt from the guy I got them from). But I got in touch with tech support, and shipped the 'phones in to their service center.

They sent me back a brand new pair, along with a note saying that they concluded there was a manufacturing flaw in the ones I sent in, and they were replacing them free of charge, even though they had survived past the warranty period. They even paid the return shipping.

I figure when a company exceeds my expectations by that much, they deserve some recognition.
  • Current Mood
    surprised surprised
SF Opera

opera tickets: Madame Butterfly and La Traviata

Madame Butterfly Sunday 6/15/2014 2pm (CraigsList ad)

La Traviata Sunday 6/29/2014 2pm (CraigsList ad)

[ETA: Both sold.]

The seats are H20 and H22 in Orchestra Ring, on the outer aisle. The viewing angle is a bit steep, but the seats are far enough back not to be too bad on that count, while still being significantly closer than my old Dress Circle seats, and there's more legroom at a slightly lower price.

If you're interested in one of these, but the date doesn't work for you, I can arrange to exchange to a different date. Also, if you'd like to add more tickets, I can purchase additional individual tickets at the subscriber price, which is a 20-40% discount relative to what's listed on the website, depending on the specific date and seats you're looking at.

Each pair of tickets is $200 even. (Face value for each ticket is $98, or $196 for a pair, but there was also some tax and S&H.)
  • Current Mood
    busy busy
Auros Face from wedding

I made a dreamwidth account.

And hopefully it should be fully cross-posted (entries and comments) with LJ? I guess we'll see.

I still want to get some kind of offline backup tool so I can keep a local copy of my journal.

BTW, I'd had Groups for both access and reading purposes on LJ. Apparently those are two separate data structures on DW, and the Import tool copied groups over as Access filters. Anybody know a way to copy an existing access filter to be a reading filter?
  • Current Mood
    accomplished accomplished
Abelian Grape

Journal backup?

I have been using ljmigrate to periodically backup my journal, for years. But it seems like at some point, LJ changed something about how you access comments, such that the tool stopped finding them. (And it's long since been abandoned by its creator.) I didn't realize until today, because it's not throwing errors, but the last entry in the archive that has comments on it is from 8/14/12. The next time I backed up, none of the new entries got their comments attached. :-/

Anybody know a tool for this that's up-to-date? Or know enough about LJ's architecture to easily write a patch for ljmigrate.py?
Abelian Grape

A link for friends who like puzzles, word-games, trivia, and Schadenfreude.

The Ask Me Another episode I was on (along with Farhad Manjoo, Danny Pudi, and Adam Savage) is live: Puzzlin' On The Dock Of The Bay. Hear me lose! :-)

I blame Neil deGrasse Tyson and Carl Sagan for my loss. I had Cosmos top-of-mind, when I got the question that I messed up, because I'd re-watched the preview for the new series within a day or two before the taping, and I'd been searching for it on my TiVo to get the recording set up. I knew even as I was saying it that it wasn't the correct answer. (I almost said, "Cosmos-- no, Nova!" but my understanding of the rules, which they went over for us before the show, was that you don't get that kind of second chance. So I stifled the second answer, on the off chance that the rest of the competition wouldn't know it. I mean, I knew that wasn't going to happen, but, no need to just give the correct answer away... Anyways, I would've won if I hadn't shot myself in the foot; there was an item that's trimmed out of the recording that the rest of the contestants all didn't know.) Anyways, I loved the first ep of the new Cosmos enough that I've already forgiven Neil for everything. I've been looking forward to the series for a year or more, and thus far it hasn't disappointed me.

There are a couple of extras from the show in the AMA podcast feed. (The full show was about ~120 min, but only ~45 of that makes it to the radio. The extras are the best of what got cut.) You should subscribe. :-)

It was a lot of fun, and I got to talk to JoCo for a bit during the intermission. (We discussed catachthonian, experiences with acapella singing, TMBG, and the fact that "Ikea" was on the wedding playlist for plymouth and me.)

Also: You should watch the new Cosmos. And the old one, if you can get your hands on it. National Geographic Channel aired a marathon of it, leading into the new series, so I have the whole thing recorded, and plan to watch one episode of original before watching each ep of the new one. The first ep made me remember why I loved Carl Sagan so much. It's so sad that he left us when he was still relatively young.

Another thing I have to give away...

I use Zyliss' classic rotary grater all the time for hard cheeses. It may be my single favorite kitchen gadget.

I got this larger rotary grater for the wider drum with holes sized for semi-hard cheeses like cheddar, gruyere, jarlsberg, etc. The thing is, the handle's a little flimsy. I broke my first within a few months. But then they sent me a replacement under warranty. Then I broke it again, after having been careful with it for several years (four or five, I guess?) and wrote to ask them if I could buy just a new drum... They sent me a whole new grater, for free. Which means I now have an extra body, and an extra fine-hole drum. So if anyone wants it, let me know... It's a bit flimsy, but hey, it's free, and if you're careful with it, it should last a while. :-)

ETA: Claimed.