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here’s another one

I swear to you, Uncle B invented this currency twenty years ago in a late-night ramble. He said what if there was a kind of point system — let’s call them nergs — that were worth a few pennies at most, and wherever you went on the internet, you could plunk down a few nergs on any content you liked. It wouldn’t cost you much, it wouldn’t give the creator much — except in the aggregate, if lots of people liked his content.

That’s what the Basic Attention Token is. It was invented in parallel to the Brave browser, but you can buy BAT independently.

I’ve started using Brave, both on my phone and my desktop(s). I like it a lot as a browser. And if you turn on the feature, it will reward you BAT for interacting with ads. Then you can poke the little BAT triangle symbol in the upper right corner and give a website a tip. Any website that is registered to receive BAT, that is.

No, this website is not registered to receive BAT. You cannot give me a nerg. Do not try.

I don’t think they’ve implemented the bit where you can straight convert BAT to dollars, but they promise it’s coming. I think you can convert BAT to some other cryptocurrency and thence to dollars. It blows me away, though, that they’ve given me BAT worth about $10 for doing nothing but looking at inoffensive ads. And then I can go I like the cut of your jib and make it rain nergs.

This one isn’t an investment, it’s a toy.

July 9, 2019 — 9:06 pm
Comments: 12

I’m back!

Internet came back in fits and starts last night, and then the blue light finally steadied. By that time, I had used 922 of the 1024 megabyte data allowance on my phone. Whew! That was close!

I know it’s a very tired observation, but I don’t believe how hard it was to go without internet just for two days. I mean, I was reading a book and I’d think, “must look up that word” or “I wonder if I can order some of that thing that online?” It was honestly like losing one of my senses.

But now I’m back! Looking up words I really ought to know already! Ordering stupid junk from Ebay! Meme-ing and shit-posting!

Feels good, man.

July 3, 2019 — 8:44 pm
Comments: 15

Lightning strike! Lightning strike!

We’ve been without internet most of the day. We had a hellatious lightning storm last night. Those two things may or may not be related.

The storm was over before dawn and the internet went down mid-morning, but it’s hard not to think they’re related.


Without internet.

Most of the day.

I don’t ever, ever, ever want to go through that again.

I read a book.


June 19, 2019 — 9:20 pm
Comments: 12


TUESDAY EDIT. I’m going to leave this up this week while I ruminate. Also, lazy.

WEDNESDAY EDIT. It feels weird, not squeezing out a post every night. I feel like I haven’t brushed my teeth or something. How about guest posts? Any of you have something you’ve always wanted to tell the internet? I don’t have a big reach, but if you’ve been holding in some burning truths about stamp collecting or dressage, I’m willing to entertain the idea.

THURSDAY EDIT. The internet was quiet. Too quiet.

FRIDAY EDIT. Thanks for the input, y’all. I will probably publish my half-assed instance and whip it into shape in realtime. Because I just can’t get enough of my own incompetence. I won’t be deleting anything, just de-internetting it for now. We’ll see. Did I mention lazy? Good weekend!

Request for comments, that is. I went poking through my old content over the weekend. Twelve years and 3,500 posts and I don’t know how to begin to sanitize it of possible copyright infringements.

I don’t even know how to decide what’s infringing. Wildlife photographers and freelancers whose work gets picked up by the media are touchy as hell about their content, I know that. Fair enough; they get ripped off all the time and they’ve been sore about it for years.

But what about news images in wide circulation? Memes? How much do I have to change somebody else’s image to make it transformative? It would take forever to go back through, if I even knew what to wipe.

What I’m thinking is, I’ll start a new instance of WordPress in a new directory, switch over and just retire the old content entirely. My stuff has gotten pretty repetitious anyway, as I’ve exhausted the novelty of being in England.

But I think it would break my heart to shutter the blog completely, at least right away. I’d miss you guys; I really would. I’m sure viewership and participation will fall off a cliff if I switch to irregular vague-blogging, but I’m open to suggestions.

I surely can’t hang a whole blog off a Dead Pool, can I?

June 10, 2019 — 9:11 pm
Comments: 45

Disappearing the stupid

I’m thinking I will pull some images and insert this (or one like it) in their place. Prophylactically, you unnerstand.

And I may pull some old posts entirely while I’m at it. I’ve said some mighty dumb stuff in the last 15 years. Ordinarily, I would say I have a duty to live with all the dumb stuff I’ve ever said hung ’round my neck, but as long as I’m revisiting everything…I don’t think I can resist the temptation.

I’ll back it all up first. And the Wayback Machine will have most of it. They’ve taken a snapshot of this site 380 times so far. I don’t know if that’s just the top page or everything, but it hardly matters. The internet never forgets.

Well, seldom forgets. Uncle B and I have been internetting long enough that our earliest interactions appear to have fallen off a cliff, but I’m guessing there’s some geek somewhere with a punched tape backup of the entirety of USENET 1987.

Anyway, I figured I’d let you guys know. You have a stake, after all, as commenters.

Ah, don’t worry. It’ll turn out I’m way too lazy to revisit 3,431 posts. Have a good weekend!

June 7, 2019 — 9:03 pm
Comments: 6


Uncle B and me at the car wash today. Car was covered in bird poop. This is a very birdy place.

I got a sort of extortion email at work today. Five years ago on our website, we used a thumbnail-sized photo on a blogpost and…turns out some durned fool grabbed it from a stock photography site. The email was from an agent representing the stockhouse. It demanded £100.

I have a feeling I know how this works. They probably have some kind of bot that catalogues the client’s portfolio and then goes looking for images from it on the web. Running the company name through the internet, quite a few people on forums are calling it a scam. But from what I know of copyright law, it isn’t a scam, it’s just extremely ugly practice.

The thing about copyright law, there’s no statute of limitations. So we could ignore it and they probably would decide it isn’t worth pursuing in the courts, but it would always be hanging out there. And the fact we ignored it would count very much against us and we might owe their legal fees and stuff.

I’m getting legal advice. The question is, are there other problematic pictures from the wayback?


Most of them are mine, but I’ve gotten lazy and pinched images from the online. I’m thinking of going back and removing any picture I think might potentially be a problem. There are only….3,430 posts on the site.

Good weekend, y’all!

June 6, 2019 — 9:07 pm
Comments: 10

I owe some of you an apology, looks like

I signed up for something using my stoaty@sweasel.com address today and…nothing happened. So I poked around sending myself messages and…nothing happened.

I checked the mail forwarding and everything looked hunky-dory, but stuff is just not getting through. I tried forwarding to a different address, and suddenly – newsletters! Erm, oh joy!

I don’t know how long this has been going on, but if you wrote to me at the address at the top of the blog, I never got it and chances are you never got a bounce message. I’m terribly sorry. I wasn’t ignoring you, I swear. This includes dick winners!

And speaking of which: tomorrow. Here. 6 WBT. DEAD POOL!!!

p.s. Today I got a notice from 23andme that my big brother finally turned in that DNA kit I sent him, like, five years ago. The bad news: turns out he really is my brother.

April 11, 2019 — 9:30 pm
Comments: 8

Let me call you sweetheart…

Twelve. The number of the bloggiversary is Twelve. What this blog lacks in content it has surely made up for in staying power.

Oh. And. This is also our tenth wedding anniversary, Uncle B and me. The tenth anniversary is tin or aluminum. And I’m, like, you’ve got to be shitting me! Ten years of my life and I’m going to get, what — a can of beans?

Screw that. He bought me chocolate and I bought him meat. And we bought ourselves a nice 17th Century coffer for the living room. It is not made of tin or aluminum.

I’m also taking tomorrow off, but I’m going to stop right now and queue up a Dead Pool ready to go. So tonight raise a toast to your favorite mustelids, probably, and meet us back here tomorrow, 6pm WBT for Dead Pool Round 119!

February 14, 2019 — 6:11 pm
Comments: 20

Big scary message

I tried to queue up a Dead Pool an hour ago and got a nasty WordPress database error. The suggested fix involved mucking around in the bowels of the blog, up to my elbows in other people’s diagnostics and other shit I don’t understand.

It may have dropped some things. Comments maybe. Maybe even posts.

In the end, there were some unrecoverable errors, but everything seems to be working. A little slow, maybe? Hard to tell. Our internet isn’t the best.

The Dead Pool should drop in a couple of hours and I’ll keep an eye
on the stability. Just a reminder, though — I have no idea
what I’m doing.


January 25, 2019 — 4:12 pm
Comments: 4

It’s my Blogiversary!


Today is my eleventh blogiversary! In that time, there have been damn few weekdays that I failed to squeeze out something on these pages. Often something extremely lame and bad, but those too are things.

It was easier at first. There was so much new stuff to post about, what with the immigration and the moving and England and all. I fear it’s getting repetitious now. The seasons and events come ’round the same every year. It’s what I love about them, but there’s not much new to say.

But I would miss it if I didn’t have it. It’s been such a part of my daily ritual for so long. Also, I’d miss you guys terribly. So here’s to another year of low effort Summer fete posts and stories of Merry Olde. Thanks for coming along for the ride.

p.s. Oh, and I got married nine years ago today.

February 14, 2018 — 9:24 pm
Comments: 29