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All present and accounted for

tinykittens

So for everyone who’s been watching Corsica’s litter grow up, they done growed up and have been promised to new homes. For those of you on FaceBook, the update is here. For the sensible people who eschew social media (eschew, I say!), the score is:

Corsica & Faberge (that’s the tortie mama and the big black kitten – honestly, he was half again bigger than the others) go together to one home. Hatch & Florentine go together to another. Hatch is the ginger who had to wear a sock for a sweater because he had a wound he kept picking at, and Flo is one of the tabbies. I think the only girl in the bunch. Scrammy & MooShu are adopted together, too. That’s another ginger + tabby, though which is which I can never remember.

My experience is, cats are happier when they live with a sibling, but a lot less human oriented. I’m selfish enough to miss that last bit.

If you follow that FB link, they all have pages you can follow. Kitties pack their bags tomorrow (they’ve teased some kind of special performance) and move out on Saturday. Watch here.

June 22, 2017 — 10:14 pm
Comments: 9

That’s illegal, surely

weaselbaiting

Weasel baiting. Okay, it’s only part of a weasel, but still.

Terrier races from a local village fete this Saturday. Third from the left — the long-leggedy one — won three out of three while we watched. I think they ought to have instituted a size class.

This fete is currently our favorite. Good beer, superior ice cream from a local dairy, some interesting stalls.

Uncle B bought me a coat that I may or may not have the courage to show you (or, for that matter, wear in public). I wouldn’t think of modeling it today, though — it’s what passes for super hot here (mid-80s, at a guess).

If they call it a fun dog show, why was everybody so serious about it?

June 19, 2017 — 7:50 pm
Comments: 33

One angry rat

rattus

Rattus and I have been playing a game all evening. He finds an opening, I steal a brick from the path and plug it up. It won’t be long before I have bricks all the way around the run.

No, seriously. That’s what I think I’m going to have to do — put a course of brick all around. Unfortunately, I’ve run out of scavanged bricks. Probably have to buy some.

That is one angry, puzzled rodent…hee hee.

I think we’re going to have to shoot him. To answer the question from the thread below, yes we can get a proper .22, but the restrictions involved are way too onerous. Believe it or don’t. For now, we still have some pretty potent air rifles, though.

If we can figure out how to light him up.

June 15, 2017 — 10:42 pm
Comments: 30

Consarnit!

morehedge

Pictured: the adorable hedgehog who has put on a little show for the surveillance cameras all evening.

Not pictured: the giant rat who has been eating my chicken feed all night. The sonofabitch is a LOT faster than I am and managed to scoot before I could catch him every single time. I’ve got him now, though — I found his tunnel. He’d cleverly dug it behind the ramp to the henhouse so I never spotted it before.

Let’s see if you can dig through a brick, rattus!

June 14, 2017 — 10:44 pm
Comments: 24

Night visitor

hedgie

Did I tell you I got a four-camera surveillance system for my b’day? It’s essentially to replace the wildlife camera, which broke. I’ve had a high old time watching…moths, mostly. Oh, I’ve had fun, but this is the first really cool thing I’ve caught.

Hedgehog!

Last night. Only the second one in almost ten years. They’re getting rare, sadly. This one stuck his nose under a sack of coal and decided he was completely hidden and safe. I left him a tribute of cat food and came back to find him tucking in (pictured).

p.s. just went out and nearly stepped on him. Or another one. Hard to say, but this one might have been smaller.

Yes, we’ll probably stay up until the election returns start trickling in. Not with much enthusiasm. This is a choice between bad and really fucking awful.

June 8, 2017 — 11:01 pm
Comments: 11

Plaster badger

plasterbadger

Out drinkin’ with the neighbors tonight. The plaster badger is from last week’s show — actually, being the perpetual designated driver, Onkle B has been very abstemious tonight.

Not me. Goodnight!

See you back here tomorrow, 6 WBT for Dead Pool Round 97.

June 1, 2017 — 9:23 pm
Comments: 10

Homeboy

red-tailed-hawk

This from the country show on Saturday. Whenever it’s on offer, I always pay a couple quid to hold a raptor (that’s me on the left). Homeboy settled down eventually and let Uncle B snap some better pics.

Hope you had a nice long weekend, full of all the red-tailed hawks you could possibly desire.

May 29, 2017 — 8:38 pm
Comments: 20

Cat vs Mole

catvsmole

This ended in a way I did not expect. The video came across my FaceBook feed this evening and FB means it’s nigh impossible to share outside of FB itself. Meaning I had to go digging around YouTube to find it for you.

Turns out, this isn’t the only cat versus mole battle that ends in exactly this way.

I am doing invoices tonight. I haven’t been paid in almost three months because I freaking hate doing invoices. This is at least in part because I set myself up with an oh-so-clever spreadsheet that does all the arithmetic automagically for me. It’s such a monumental pain in the ass to work with, I’d be ever so much better off doing my own freaking sums on the back of a brown paper bag.

Technology, eh?

May 24, 2017 — 9:03 pm
Comments: 9

Oh. That explains it.

ecoli

Have you ever wondered why gut bacteria is such a hot topic at the moment? I know I have!

Wellll…in olden times, you studied bacteria by making a culture. You’d sterilize a needle, drag it across a toilet seat, wobble it across a petri dish full of nutrient agar or some shit, and a week later you’d have — several streaks of fuzz!

Then you could take a sample of that fuzz, put it under a pretty high-powered microscope, and you’d see — something that looked like a corkscrew, something that looked like a hotdog or something that looked like a basketball. Because that’s it; that’s all the different shapes that microbes come in.

And that’s about all you could do. You could try feeding some to a mouse, but that’s not very sporting.

A majority of important microbes — particularly gut microbes — won’t grow in a culture at all. We’ve been studying the ones that will. Turns out, e.coli isn’t a very numerous or important gut bacterium at all, it just LOVES to grow in a petri dish. Huh.

Easy DNA analysis is what changed all that. They can grind up poop samples and get a pretty good idea of what your intestinal rainforest consists of. Even better, they can look at the genes and tell what some of them do.

They can even culture more of the buggers, now that they can isolate strands and work out what they live on. Turns out, gut bacteria are madly picky eaters — which is why certain meals affect your guts fast and hard.

Week Two of my microbiome studies continues apace.

May 22, 2017 — 9:47 pm
Comments: 15

Got a haircut today. And it’s raining.

poland

Pic unrelated. That’s from somebody’s Pinterest page of Poland hens.

Go on, click. Nothing’s as cheer-you-up as a whole page of chickens with afros.

We needed the rain. We haven’t had a proper soaking literally for months. That may seem improbable, given England’s reputation for raining all the damn time, but we do get periods of draught.

When that happens, the irrigation ditches run low and the foxes and badgers(!) use them as super highways. Our neighbor across the way shot a fox with his (the neighbor’s) big Buff Orpington cockerel in his (the fox’s) mouth. Given that shotguns are all they’re allowed here, I didn’t like to ask after the rooster.

One of these days, I’m going to open a Twitter trolling account in the name Buff Orpington.

Oh, and I found the identity of Jack’s nemesis, the big ginger-and-white cat who’s been beating him up and stealing his lunch money. He’s a feral unfixed male who was deliberately introduced to the farm two farms over as a rat catcher. I wonder if they’d notice if his balls turned up missing…?

May 18, 2017 — 7:42 pm
Comments: 24