Today was a misty, mizzly, miserable sort of day. It precipitated: something more than fog but something less than rain. We did our weekly shop then set out in search of lunch.
I’ll be honest with you, we stopped Mickey D’s first. But the school holidays are on so the place was chock full of screaming children. Um, no.
So we went on to an old pub not far away. We’ve been in this one many times, but we’re not regulars and we heard it’s under new management. When we walked in, honest to god it was like a Hammer film. You know the scene, where strangers walk into a country pub and all conversation stops and grizzly old men squint at them over pints of beer? That one.
Being the smooth social operator that I am, I gibbered, “Oh my gawd, this is like a Hammer film, where strangers walk into a country pub…”
Turns out, it’s not new management, it’s old management. The man who owns the place and has rented it to a series of wannabes has taken it on again to build the business back up. He came and sat by the fire (see crappy cellphone photo of fire) and all the old boys told us spooky stories about the pub.
He told us about a wounded smuggler being brought in to have his injuries dressed (this was — and is — a *big time* smuggling area, beginning in the 18th C. Before that, it was piracy). And a notorious and probably fictional murder on a bridge nearby. We’d heard of that one.
More recently, there was the neighbor up the hill who had 17 children. All their water came from a big rainwater butt. One day, the man next door disappeared. Three days later, they find him drowned in the water butt with his pockets full of nuts and bolts. Suicide by fresh water supply. Pretty unneighborly, if you ask me.
And the bloke who tried to kill himself with a humane killer. My advice, don’t Google it. It’s a sort of gun barrel with one round in it. Put it against an animal’s head and hit it with a hammer, bang. So he put it against his own forehead, swung, missed and smacked himself in the eye with the hammer. A sort of happy ending. Well, we laughed.
There was the inevitable pub ghost. All it did was move a chair and smell like rotten eggs, though, so I wasn’t impressed.
Also, the food wasn’t bad and the beer was excellent. All in all, a most convivial way to spend an English afternoon.
October 29, 2014 — 9:22 pm
The answer is yes. Yes, it has.
This is exactly what it looks like: a woman with a foot where her knee should be, but backwards.
This East Yorkshire woman had bone cancer, so they removed her thigh and knee. Then they moved her lower leg up to replace her thigh, but turned it around facing backwards. That way, her ankle bends in the same direction her knee used to.
It makes a certain sense. I get it. It’s not unlike having a big toe grafted to replace a thumb. But…I dunno. I could maybe, after a lot of years, get used to having a toe on my hand.
Having my foot where my knee should be but facing backwards rattles me on a deep, baseline body image level. I can’t explain it. Just, trust me…I would freak the fuck out. Every day until they took it offa me.
This lady looks happy, though, so who am I to judge? brrrrrr
October 28, 2014 — 8:12 pm
It’s between Battle and Hastings. As in Battle of Hastings? 1066?
Oh, well. We should’ve ordered the greasy breakfast; the burgers weren’t great.
October 27, 2014 — 8:54 pm
Step up, Homer, and claim your dick. I love the serendipitous wins.
Ready? Here we go…
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.
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.
October 24, 2014 — 6:00 pm
But I don’t want to talk about that. I want to talk about GamerGate.
GamerGate is an unfolding nasty slap-fight between low-status nerdy video game players and high-status hipster smartasses. It should be small and meaningless, but it’s blossomed into something big and ugly…and emblematic.
I’m firmly on Team Nerd, but I haven’t been able to articulate what I think about it — and before I managed to do it, someone at PopeHat did it ever so much better than I could, with links and references and everything. (If you don’t read PopeHat, I recommend that you do. This group blog frequently pisses me off — I’m just sure they take more pokes at my team than they do the other guys — but is nearly always thoughtful and interesting and seldom wasted time).
Clark does a bang-up job relating the current kerfuffle to the larger historical trends, which is the very thing I have been thinking about lately. Larger historical trends, I mean. If you haven’t got time for the whole thing, skip to the bit that’s sub-headed “Our forces have Technograd surrounded are pounding it with shame bombs, and our sappers are inside the walls” (I’d link to it directly, but there isn’t a tag for me to grab onto. That’s nerd talk).
Oh, and see you back here tomorrow, 6pm WBT, Dead Pool Round 70!
October 23, 2014 — 9:06 pm
Long story short: Englishwoman hears the roar of a motorcycle, then the smack of something against her front window, examines the CCTV footage and decides she was visited by a fairy.
But you know what I immediately thought, right? Cottingly Fairies is what.
Long story short: during WWI, two little girls in England took pictures of themselves in the garden surrounded by terrible paper cutouts of fairies. For some reason, quite a lot of people believed they were real, included Arthur Conan Doyle. Astonishingly, this was still the subject of controversy when I first got into photography in the Seventies.
I’ve never understood why. Honestly, they’re terrible fakes. They’re not even good illustrations (and so much of their era). I was always particularly struck by #4, in which our fairy sports a modern Flapper bob. I mean, geez — is that a Marcel wave?
Anyway, one of the little girls confessed in 1981 (when she was no longer a little girl, duh) that she’d traced the fairies out of a 1915 picture book, thereby laying to rest one of the dumbest controversies ever.
October 22, 2014 — 7:58 pm
That reminds me. I did an inventory of dick winners this weekend. I have addresses for everybody I need, except: Carl (win #3), Scott the Badger (is that #2 for you?), hutch (did we meet in Boston that time?), platypuss (I was sure you’d sent me an address, but I can’t find it) and drew458 (is that #2 for you, too?). Just because you’ve won before doesn’t mean I can easily work out your address. Don’t be shy. You’ve won dick, fair and square.
Nope. Never gets old.
Once again, thanks for your patience. I’ve started to build drawing time into my day again, but I’m mighty rusty.
By the way, don’t indulge in a sigh or relief just yet, re: ebola. We seem to have a calming, especially outside Africa, but the BIG ones start with a few fizzles before they really get going. The Great Flu pandemic of 1918 was preceded by a little hiccup of an outbreak six months before. And I think they traced the AIDS Patient Zero back decades before anyone noticed a sudden weird uptick of Kaposi’s sarcoma in San Fran.
One of the things that can turn a local outbreak into raging pandemic is large groups of people living in close proximity. It’s not the spread so much as the opportunity to mutate rapidly. Like the barracks of WWI. Or — widely rumored — the immigrant camps of 2014 that may have given us a more aggressive Enterovirus D68.
And on that cheery note — see you back here,
Friday, 6pm WBT, Dead Pool Round 70!
October 21, 2014 — 10:27 pm
Just ran across this in the newspaper: little origami paper airplanes. Propeller at one end, controller at the other. Fly ‘em by waving your smart phone around. Run for 10 minutes, up to 180 feet away. Don’t cost an arm and a leg. Christmas will be here before you know it. Just saying.
We’re bracing for the ass end of Hurricane Gonzalo or Bazinga or Zoobadebeebop or whatevers. High wind and rain starting about midnight. It looks like the worst of it will pass North of us, but our little microclimate is subject to wilder-than-predicted weather, so we’re bracing anyway.
If you don’t hear from us, it’s because we have a tree tangled in the phone wires. We were trying to cut them free this afternoon, with only moderate success. One good gust could take our internet away.
It’s an elder tree, see, so it grows really, really fast and we didn’t notice it had gotten entangled. Also, you have to be careful trimming elder trees. If you don’t ask the Elder Mother nicely before you cut, she’ll give you restless leg syndrome.
October 20, 2014 — 10:14 pm
Meh, I’m probably not going anywhere with this. I just had it stuck in my head, the resemblance between Medieval plague doctors and all those guys in hazmat suits.
I’m a big fan of pandemics. Have I ever mentioned that? Black Death, Spanish flu, polio. Been reading up on them for years, only in part because we’re overdue for another big one.
Ebola is probably — probably — not it.
Cons: it isn’t all that easy to spread (maybe. I think). We’re close to a vaccine, and a treatment.
Pros: it’s nasty. It’s virulent. We’re months away from a tested treatment, and a proper supply of it. And our officials — all of them — are proving themselves to be utterly incompetent boobs.
So. Don’t lose sleep over it. But, you know, if you see cans of tuna on sale, pick up a few. Goes good with saltines, just saying.
p.s. this Enterovirus D68 is giving ebola competition. Leaving aside persistent rumors that it came across the border with this year’s children’s crusade, it’s an evil customer in is own right. Goes for the kids. Half a dozen deaths, and at least one outbreak later resulted in polio-like muscle weakness several weeks later. One to watch.
p.p.s. have a good weekend!
October 17, 2014 — 8:50 pm
Well, this is unusual. He must’ve snuck up on her while she was asleep on the cold frame (a cold frame is like a little halfway house for plants raised under glass but destined for out-of-doors, for those of us who don’t garden). When the sun shines on it, it warms up and becomes a cat magnet. She still hates him with a hissing, growling passion, though.
It’s been warm for October, and wet. Which is what we got all last Winter. I suppose it’s better than cold and wet, but it’s awfully dreary when it goes on month after month.
But do I care? I do not. Uncle B bought me my first pair of decent wellington boots. These ones. They’re soft and warm and snug and stink to high heaven.
Also, a Swiss army surplus rain poncho. This one. Two ladies walked up to me on the street the other day and burst out laughing, so I’m pretty sure I look amazing in it.
October 16, 2014 — 8:41 pm