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I understand these are popular

As my old granny used to say, sometimes you’ve just got to show a little ass.

Brits love their donkeys. Brits love other people’s donkeys. There are all sorts of charities for taking care of donkeys overseas. Our European neighbors have a bad habit of using donkeys hard and then…throwing them off of rooftops and such.

Seriously, it’s true. There’s some festival in Spain where they throw a donkey off the roof. Mostly they just work them to death, though. The lucky ones end up here.

Though this young ass is 100% British born, I think.

August 21, 2019 — 8:51 pm
Comments: 6

My, what a big boy

There’s always a falconry exhibit at these country shows, but I think this is the first time I saw someone exercise a bald eagle. Impressive.

The falconer explained that they do lose them from time to time (including while doing shows), but they have fancy gps collars now, hooked to fancy phone apps. He says if one flies off and doesn’t reappear for a while, he texts the bird: you are lost and collar texts back his location, including altitude. Neat.

This photo (and several other good ones) courtesy of Uncle B.

Oh! Speaking of neat apps, one of my elderly buds was telling me about the app that controls her hearing aids. She can do things you expect, like adjust bass and treble and volume and so on, but the app will also broadcast to her hearing aids. So she can listen to music or podcasts. Even better, during a lecture, she can ask to leave her phone at the podium and it will broadcast the speech back to her.

Technology: making geriatrics cool.

August 20, 2019 — 8:08 pm
Comments: 5

Pong!

We came home Saturday afternoon to the strangest smell. I thought it smelled like a solvent. I was kind of right. It was beer.

A mini-keg of beer blew out at the bottom seam and leaked five liters of brewski into the library carpet, every drop of it by the time we got home. (Naturally, we keep the booze in the library. Don’t you?).

It was cool, it was dark. It was in date. Nothing was stacked on top of it. It was from a large commercial brewer. It was, appropriately enough, Old Speckled Hen. Honestly, I’m stymied.

Uncle B sent a huffy “what gives?” to the brewery (he’s very good at those) but we haven’t had a reply yet.

I bought it for my birthday. I had this vision that I would get up on my birthday morning, sit in my favorite chair and be pleasantly sozzled all day long. But I couldn’t figure out how to fit it in the fridge, and I’m not really a daytime drinker anyway. It sounded good in my head, but it never happened.

And now it never shall. Happy Monday!

August 19, 2019 — 8:53 pm
Comments: 7

Dead Pool Round 124: Comes the Fall

Deborah HH wins again with Jeffrey Epstein. An inspired pick, and yet somehow I would have said a long shot.

I mean, can you believe this shit? From the article above: ‘If Epstein’s neck fracture was fresh, Hua said, then “at a minimum, it’s a very unusual suicide.”’

Ya think? Scare a bunch of perverted billionaires, and the whackiest things happen!

Okay. Enough of that. Are you ready?

0. Rule Zero (AKA Steve’s Rule): your pick has to be living when picked. Also, nobody whose execution date is circled on the calendar. Also, please don’t kill anybody. Plus (Pupster’s Rule) no picking someone who’s only famous for being the oldest person alive.

1. Pick a celebrity. Any celebrity — though I reserve the right to nix picks I never heard of (I don’t generally follow the Dead Pool threads carefully, so if you’re unsure of your pick, call it to my attention).

2. We start from scratch every time. No matter who you had last time, or who you may have called between rounds, you have to turn up on this very thread and stake your claim.

3. Poaching and other dirty tricks positively encouraged.

4. Your first choice sticks. Don’t just blurt something out, m’kay? Also, make sure you have a correct spelling of your choice somewhere in your comment. These threads get longish and I use search to figure out if we have a winner.

5. It’s up to you to search the thread and make sure your choice is unique. I’m waayyyy too lazy to catch the dupes. Popular picks go fast.

6. The pool stays open until somebody on the list dies. Feel free to jump in any time. Noobs, strangers, drive-bys and one-comment-wonders — all are welcome.

7. If you want your fabulous prize, you have to entrust me with a mailing address. If you’ve won before, send me your address again. I don’t keep good records.

8. The new DeadPool will begin 6pm WBT (Weasel’s Blog Time) the Friday after the last round is concluded.

The winner, if the winner chooses to entrust me with a mailing address, will receive an Official Certificate of Dick Winning and a small original drawing on paper suffused with elephant shit particles. Because I’m fresh out of fairy shit particles.

August 16, 2019 — 6:00 pm
Comments: 47

But can it pull a plough?

There were several of these tear-assing around the last country show. What they have to do with things rural I do not know, but the plough horse didn’t seem bothered.

I hate to think what it costs to run one of these in a country where gasoline is somewhere north of eight bucks a gallon.

Reminder: new Dead Pool tomorrow. I am still stunned at the brazenness of the Jeffrey Epstein murder.

I say ‘murder’ with confidence, because you can’t break bones in your neck with a jail cell hanging. Dude was manually strangled.

It takes a drop of approximately the height of the hangee to snap the neck. It’s more complicated than that – Albert Pierrepoint, long-serving British executioner, had a complex formula for working out the height of the drop, depending on the height and weight of the subject. Too short a drop, and the convict strangled slowly. Too long a drop, and his head popped off like a Barbie doll. Both very embarrassing for the hangman.

Anyway. You get the point. Somebody went into that cell and killed the man, and I’m sure we’ll never get to the bottom of it. Stand by for a bajillion speculative paperback exposés for, like, the rest of our lives.

But we don’t care about that. We care about Dead Pool Round 124. See you here!

August 15, 2019 — 8:58 pm
Comments: 9

This is my Not Happy face

It is August 14 AND WE HAVE THE CENTRAL HEATING ON. And not for the first time. Seriously, this is ridiculous.

We have had four whole days of weather in the 80s this summer, and the BBC keeps banging on about warmest month since records have been kept. I can’t even imagine how they’ve tortured the numbers to promote that lie.

I’m no meteorologist (and certainly not a climatologist, which I gather is what you call yourself if you’re a meteorologist who believes in global warmening), but it’s cold in here. And getting colder. The little I’ve read about sunspots and natural climate patterns leads me to believe we’re headed for something like a little ice age.

I’m not happy about this. I don’t like being cold and I certainly don’t look forward to being a cold old lady.

You know what, though? I wonder if there are deep state actors who are getting off on this. Not the grassroots true believers, but the shadowy bastards who make up our lords and masters: pushing the idea that the planet is burning up while we’re all shivering in our August cardigans. It’s just their sort of perverse.

Picture is a local beach today. Nicked from social media. You can nick things from social media, right? Don’t people relinquish exclusive rights when they post online?

August 14, 2019 — 8:28 pm
Comments: 9

Brother, can you spare a groat?

At a country show this weekend, we fell in with a group of very enthusiastic metal detectorists. They had some astonishing finds — although, if you read the labels, it was over quite an extended time period. I think one has a long wait between astonishing finds.

Many of them were probably votive offerings – small objects thrown into water for religious reasons. We…don’t really know much about this. My favorite of these — I was an idiot and didn’t get a picture — was a tiny head of a…well, I thought it was a wolf at first. But it either had three horns, or two standy-up ears and a single horn growing out of the center of its forehead. So! Either a wolf unicorn or, much more likely, the debbil.

I wonder who was trying to conjure that boi out of the brackish water and why?

Inset: a very good Henry VII silver groat. I love groats. Probably because I love saying ‘groat’. They were worth four pence and fell out of use in the Nineteenth C.

Uncle B bought me a metal detector when we first moved here. Then I discovered most of the land around is protected conservation land, no detectoring allowed. So I scanned our garden and found a few rusty nails. No groat for me!

August 13, 2019 — 9:02 pm
Comments: 12

Poor bird

The (British) National Gallery’s Picture of the Month this month is Joseph Wright of Darby’s “An Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump.”

I’m indebted to Uncle B for introducing me to this painter — and, in particular, this painting — years ago. Wright lived in the late 18th C and has been called the first painter of the Industrial Revolution.

Do click through and look at the painting in full, in color. He was famous for chiaroscuro and clever light effects, and the character studies are excellent. Whether the scientist sucks alllll the life out of the poor cockatiel is unclear.

And yes — Deborah HH has won another dick with Epstein. Even though it was the most predicted suicide in the history of predicted suicides, I’m still stunned by the brazenness of this one. But, you know — whadre we gonna do about it, eh? New Dead Pool Friday.

August 12, 2019 — 9:06 pm
Comments: 10

Keep an eye on this

Power outages over a huge swathe of the UK today. There are three things going on here:

Aging infrastructure. They haven’t been maintaining the old suppliers of electricity like they should. This is in large part because:

Push for green alternatives. They’re scrabbling to replace reliable, old-fashioned sources like coal and nuclear with windpower, wavepower and solar. Not only are these things inherently unable to pull the cart, but the old fossil fuel plants aren’t allowed to be maintained properly or upgraded.

But mostly because there are a lot more people on this little island than they’re letting on. The official figure is somewhere around 60 million, but lots of people think it’s at least 10 million more than that. Based on quantifiable data like housing shortages and stock movement in the big supermarket chains. (On an unrelated note, they pulled something like another 30 ‘migrants’ out of the water near us today alone).

It was pretty messy, because it essentially knocked out all transportation. On a Friday. People were using their phones to light their way out of the subway, at least one lady got stuck in a carriage because the doors wouldn’t open (where was the backup power to basic emergency services? Good question).

Expect more of this. But hey, I expect the enthusiasm for green energy to wane when Jemima can’t charge her iphone.

And yes we lost power, but just long enough to turn off our computers and not long enough that we noticed until we noticed our computers were off. Good weekend, everyone!

August 9, 2019 — 10:29 pm
Comments: 13

Feral no more

Twitter reminds me it’s International Cat Day. Slavish devotee of social media that I am, I have posted a cat.

Come to think of it, it’s nearly the anniversary of the day this little monkey stuck his head around our front door (not quite — I’ve just check the blog. It was July 27).

He’s grown into a lovely beast. A fine hunter and climber of trees. A bit of a wanderer.

Tree story. Most days when I get home, he stands outside and cries until I give up and go out to him. Whereupon he makes a great show of dashing up one particular tree (it’s an easy climber near the house) and back down again. Finally — and he’s very particular about this — he steps off the tree at shoulder height and onto my chest. We might repeat this four times in an afternoon.

I have several times rescued this boy out of a tree. The first time, he was genuinely and dangerously stuck — he was little and a neighborhood bully cat had chased him way up a tree with no side branches. Despite the conventional wisdom, I really don’t think he could have come down again intact without help. (In this case, a guy doing work on my neighbor’s house shinnied up the tree far enough to reach him and handed him down).

This may be fanciful of me, but I think he’s reliving a tree rescue over and over.

Anyway, check out social media. It’s fuller than usual of cat pictures tonight.

August 8, 2019 — 8:46 pm
Comments: 10