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Back in late June, reader rodent rescued up this beautiful beast and named her Suzie. She’d been dumped in an industrial park to fend for herself. Suzie repaid her debt by knitting this beautiful mini-me!

Then I spent some time scribbling flocked wallpaper all over them, because I can’t resist doodling on other people’s cats, and rodent’s photo was a bit dark and unfocused (Suzie, like all good mothers, tucked her infant safely into a dark box).

Just look at those baby toes. We will expect regular doses of d’awww, rodent.

August 19, 2014 — 9:43 pm
Comments: 12

Makes perfect sense, when you think about it

Behold, the tooth worm! This is an 18th Century sculpture carved in ivory (notice the pegs — it fits together and closes up) by an unknown artist.

But people really believed this was a thing. I mean, not this imaginative version, but people believed in a tooth worm that burrowed into teeth and made them go bad and ouchy. Believed it from antiquity right into the 20th C.

And when you think about it, extracted teeth would usually have little dark holes in them, like rotten apples. Yeah, worms. Makes sense. Compounded by the possibility that early dentists mistook nerves or blood vessels for worms while they were digging around in there.

Ow. Let’s not think about that too hard.

This is taken from a delightful blog I ran across in my travels, the Chirurgeon’s Apprentice. So many gruesome historical nuggets, I had difficulty picking just one.

Right, see you back here tomorrow? It’s time for Dead Pool Round 68! Be here or be somewhere else!

August 14, 2014 — 9:54 pm
Comments: 27

The big blow

Today, everybody was talking about the storm (except any of the news sites, for some reason). There were rumors of a tornado. Certainly, the whole business started off very effing strange indeed.

It had been an unusually hot day for England and thunderstorms were predicted in the afternoon. Everyone who was outside agreed you could stand and watch the storm come. On the one side sun, and behind it roared a great fist of cloud. It hit with a sudden blast. I’ve never felt wind like it. It blew junk from the garden straight through the house. I had to lean my entire bodyweight against the front door to get it to shut and latch.

The extreme wind only lasted ten minutes or so, but there was a pretty good thunderstorm behind it blowing all night long. We lost power early on so we sat in the dark and drank wine. After which I slept through most of it.

I tried to get a picture of the approaching monster — the sun was going down and those first clouds were dyed orange, with an absolutely sharp edge because it was moving so damned fast. It was an amazing thing to see. Alas, that’s when I discovered I busted my camera when I dropped it earlier. By the time I fetched another camera, it just looked like a regular old thunder boomer, see above. And in color.

And that’s why no post yesterday.

July 19, 2014 — 8:43 pm
Comments: 29

Sorry ’bout that

Friday’s post was pre-empted by the most hellacious thunderstorm. The leading edge of it was a blast of wind out of a clear blue sky that was like nothing I’ve felt before (and I played in Hurricane Gloria until the cops fussed at me). It blew garden debris the length of the house. Took my full weight leaning against the door to get it shut and latched.

Anyway, needless to say, we’ve been without power most of the night. All seems well now, but I’ve got to run. When I get back, I’ll see if any of the pictures I took do it justice.

— 8:09 am
Comments: 5


Uncle B had to go up to London tonight. It’s always “up” to London, by the way. Traditionally. And “down” from London to anywhere else, even if it’s to the North. But as it happens, London is North of here, so I’d be saying “up” in any case.

As he works from home, this is the first time I’ve been alone in this house in, like, six month. I’m'onna eat Doritos and play Hearthstone!

July 15, 2014 — 9:15 pm
Comments: 28

Participation trophy

That was one commenter’s reaction to some particularly lame post I read today. You tried. I dunno, maybe you had to be there — I thought third-degree burrrrn at the time.

Anyhoo, I made this.

My ambition is to make memes that go viral. And then I remember, nobody gets paid for that shit.

March 25, 2014 — 11:18 pm
Comments: 14

I am too a special snowflake

One of the art bloggers I read is having a bit of a hissy about negative criticism from commenters (not going to link — blog feuds are the lowest form of traffic whoring). Made me think for the umpty-umpth time about how big the internet is. And how, on the one hand, it allows any old Joe Schmoe to show his wares to the world. On the other, it allows any old Joe Schmoe to find your stuff and inform you that it sux dix.

Even harder to take, though — it puts you in direct competition with, like, the whole world. If you’re a one in a million talent, there are still thousands of others in your league. I don’t care how good you are — If you don’t find trawling the internet humbling, you don’t go to enough places.

Long ago on the header of Christopher Taylor’s blog, he said there were 90 million blogs on the ‘net. I don’t know where he got that number, but I suspect it got away from him pretty quick (like McDonald’s — remember when the signs bragged about the actual number of millions of burgers sold? Eventually, they gave up and put “metric asswad burgers sold”). That was a pretty daunting competition then, whatever it is now.

I got curious about the current number of connected world citizens, but I’m not good at math (I think “umpty-umpth” and “metric asswad” are actual mathematical concepts). So check me here. Wikipedia says the world population is 7.1 billion of which 61% are not using the internet. So, that means 39% are using the internet, and 39% of 7.1 billion is…2.77 billions, yes? Which looks like 2,770,000,000 writ out with all them zeroes, yes? And if you’re a picture blog, you’re pretty much accessible to all of them, regardless of language.

I’m thinking it’s going to be pretty easy to find people who don’t like your stuff.

March 12, 2014 — 11:45 pm
Comments: 20

and on and on and on…

I don’t usually leave you staring at a political P’shop over the weekend, but I just read the entirety of Obama’s nothingburger of a foreign policy speech and I had to get that ^^^^^ out of my system. (What is the matter with those bananas at MSNBC?!).

On a happier note, my new hit counter tells me my old one was seriously undercounting. How do I know which one is right? I was browsing the linked-from page and found this post from Doug Ross: per Alexa rankings, sweasel.com is the 180th most popular conservative news site.

That makes this the 876,001st most visited destination on the innertubes! Fewer than a million better places to hang out in cyberspace, baby. w00t!

Have a great Memorial Day weekend, Muricans!

May 24, 2013 — 9:08 pm
Comments: 44

Eh…stop that.

News junky + interesting times = I’m on the web a *lot* lately. And not in a real good mood. And now is the time — apparently — to try to sell me something by really pissing me off.

Have you noticed that? Online presences cranking up the annoyingness, maximising the intrusiveness and generally imposing on whatever relationship you thought you had with them?

Popovers. Popunders. That thing where an ad opens up at the top of an article, shoving the text down while you’re trying to read it, then closes itself, jerking the text upwards again. That thing where the whole screen goes dark and you think your computer is about to croak, and then a cheery ad appears in the middle of the screen and holds it to ransom.

Audio that auto-plays. Ingeniously hiding that little X that closes the ad window. Getting rid of that little X entirely. Running big, bright, colorful ads down the full length of the page on either margin. Ads disguised as newsletters from places where I have actually signed up for newsletters. Articles that should be a single page broken into twenty-page slideshows (every click is a hit!). Firewalls that are trivially easy to get around, but add an extra unnecessary dollop of ass ache to the reading experience.

Or that thing where there are a bunch of semi-interesting pictures at the bottom of an article linking to stuff on other sites, and you click one and it doesn’t take you to the article, but to a whole nother page with a whole bunch of links, and you find the one you wanted and click it and it doesn’t take you to an article but to a page that freezes while it pretends to download content and now you have four useless windows open and you think, “what just happened to me?” I don’t even click out-links any more.

Web ads have always been annoying, but these extra-specially asshole techniques are all pretty new. I know times are tight and people are desperate to make money, but making me want to burn down your office and piss on the ashes is probably not the best way to get your hand in my pocket.

p.s. That illustration was originally animated, but the animation really got on my tits. You’re welcome.

March 27, 2013 — 11:16 pm
Comments: 48

Wait, I…what? blog?

I just leaned out the kitchen window and took this snapshot. This, actually, is a big improvement. Most of the day, it’s been total blizzard whiteout sideways snow. I could barely make out the poor ewes in the field behind, heavy with lamb. Not really all that much snow, but the wind!

And I’m on Day 2 — right at the misery point — of that cold all the cool kids are coming down with.

If you’ll excuse me, I have drinking to do…

March 11, 2013 — 11:50 pm
Comments: 39