web analytics


My great aunt was Jeanne Eagels’ understudy in the 1922 Broadway production of Rain.

I just looked it up and Jeanne Eagels had a sad end. She developed a taste for alcohol and ultimately paired it with heroin. By the end, she was also using chloral hydrate to sleep.


She keeled over one day while talking to her doctor – or, as we call it where I come from – up and died. She was 39.

Too late for my auntie to play the part, though.


I know it’s England, but GEEZ.

My auntie did alright for herself. She dated Fred MacMurray for a while, but eventually moved on to marry an obscenely rich man from one of the old fortunes.

Her daughter is younger than my dad. I’ve met her, but she never asked me over to Martha’s Vineyard. Huh.

November 21, 2022 — 8:02 pm
Comments: 5

Imagine my excitement

I got a message from 23andme with the subject “View your unread Neanderthal report”. Oooo! Big fan of the cavemen, me. The link took me to a page that said “You have more Neanderthal DNA than 94% of other customers.”

Well, maybe. They’ve actually refined my Neanderthal DNA *down* a little, to less than two percent. But what they’ve done is found a tentative relationship between Neanderthal DNA snippets and certain characteristics. I only have one such snippet: it’s associated with a worse sense of direction.

Guys, I have the worst sense of direction of anybody in the whole history of sense of direction. I am true to thee, my Neanderthal ancestor.

I do NOT have the variants for these things, but I really should: having difficulty discarding rarely-used possessions, generally not feeling angry when hungry (hangry), having a worse sense of smell, being more likely to cry while cutting onions and being more likely to have a fear of public speaking.

Maybe they’ll rejigger the results again sometime soon and find me more Neanderthal. They do that a lot.

January 4, 2021 — 8:03 pm
Comments: 7

She’ll be comin’ ’round the mountain when she comes

Alright, you guys, this is it. A month ago, I mentioned I had a cousin coming to visit. I have spent essentially all my free time since then tidying up the problem areas.

You know. The Problem Areas.

That leaves our main living quarters still to go. I have about three days. Folks, I have vacuumed my guts out (which is every bit as horrible as it sounds). I can’t fail now.

Forgive me, I’m going to leave this as an open thread for the whole dang week. I’ll drop in from time to time and break up any brouhaha, fisticuffs or shenanigans but otherwise…knock yourselves out!

I’ll see you on the other side. Of the week. Not, like, the Other Side.

September 3, 2018 — 9:19 pm
Comments: 103

Terms and conditions may apply



Okay, I don’t know if this applies. I got this (^^^) in the mail this afternoon, but I can’t find a similar offer on their website. So maybe they’re just mining people who have been members and quit. I’m not sure how you take advantage if you’re not one of those people, though there doesn’t appear to be a special code or anything.

Have you done the ancestry.com lark? It’s the best of the for-pay genealogy sites. But it’s incredibly expensive, per month or per year — especially if you’re an American or some other flavor of colonial and you need access to international records. On the order of $30 a month or more.

This is cheeky of them, because your human brain sifting through their records transforms their raw data into something big and important and far more valuable. You are building their commodity for them.

But here’s the thing: they know that. So when you drop your membership, they don’t delete your data. All your family trees are still there and you can look at them all you like, you just can’t add to them while your membership is lapsed.

So you can join for a month, beaver away at it like a bastard, and then drop it before you get charged for another month.

Even better, you get two weeks free to start. I signed up over my birthday, when I knew I would have free time, and pecked away at it for fourteen days and then canceled. I got a lot done and it ain’t cost me squat. I shall probably take advantage of this free weekend, too. And why not?

August 26, 2015 — 9:20 pm
Comments: 12

Uncle B’s new camera

Actually, this is a lousy way to show off his new camera. There was so much foliage in the image, the filesize was huge and I had to squeeze the .jpg down to stupid lossy.

Suffice it to say it’s awesome, and the first picture he took was this handsome shot of Jack.

August 12, 2014 — 9:40 pm
Comments: 13


Oof. Sorry. Got jammed up dealing with Pa Stoat on his iPad tonight. I know he’s feeling better, because he was poking all the buttons and knobs to see what they would do. Mostly, they disconnect things.

As a bonus, Uncle B got to hear a man say “dadgum it” unironically.

Pa Stoat had a series of ear infections as a child, in the days before antibiotics. The treatment then was to puncture the eardrum to release pressure, else it was possible the infection would burst inwards — nearly always fatal. I promise you, I could describe this process in MUCH more cringeworthy clinical terms.

And so, when he was fourteen, his left eardrum exploded while he was practicing for the state cornet championship. I shittest thou not. He still thinks he coulda been a container.

In his thirties, he underwent an experimental surgery to replace the most damaged eardrum with a piece of vein from his arm, extracted and scraped thin. It didn’t work all that great, but I have an awesome childhood memory of him propped up in the hospital with his head wrapped in about a mile of bandage, looking like a spaceman. Or a swami.

So he’s always been deaf, and now he has an advanced case of ARG — age-related goofiness.

But, hey, he did offer to send me some porn. So. There’s that.

September 17, 2013 — 10:41 pm
Comments: 14

Five years ago today…

…I posted this nude pic of my mother.

No, I look like my dad. Why do people always ask me that?

December 11, 2012 — 11:24 pm
Comments: 34

Paging Meester Bunny, Meester Bugs Bunny

You ready for this? This is the contents of one ten-inch pot. Huh? Huh? Any closer together, and I reckon these carrots would have facets.

Uncle B spent a lot of years in an upstairs flat smack in the middle of London. That’s where he developed the ability to grow whole fields of waving wheat in little teeny pots.

We’re going to fire up the chimenea, sit under the stars and get quietly snockered. It’s Friday. Have a good weekend, all!

July 9, 2010 — 10:03 pm
Comments: 21



Well, that’s just swell. Using his awesome Google-fu, my nephew has discovered my blog. That means I can’t say bad words any more. Like shit. Or nipple. Or pillock. It’s a fambly friendly weasel from now on.

So, we took the gang out to our favorite chish and fips shop on Tuesday. I was twiddling the silverware waiting for our order (as you do) and I discovered my knife and fork were moderately magnetized. We went around the table, and all of our silverware was magnetized. Can any Professor Smartypants out there tell me why? Something to do with industrial dishwashers, perhaps?

It was fucking fascinating, is all I can say.

Have a good weekend, everyone!

September 4, 2009 — 5:45 pm
Comments: 23

Mad old bats in stereo


Uncle B’s mother is in the hizzouse. Okay for me; I get along with her just peachy, but I think the poor bastard feels like he’s in a mad old bat sandwich, and he’s the olive loaf.

Today, we all drove to the beautiful, haunted town of Winchelsea in East Sussex. Old Winchelsea was a large and important medieval town, until it was swept into the sea by a massive flood in 1287. Edward I ordered Winchelsea rebuilt on the hill above. A newfangled planned town, with the streets built on a grid.

The new Winchelsea was likewise a thriving port. But it was sacked by the French and the Spanish a few times and especially hard hit by the Black Death of 1348. When the harbor silted up in the 16th C, that was pretty much it. Winchelsea today is tiny and spooky and lovely and full of terribly, terribly rich people.

The surviving church — actually, the surviving chunk of the surviving church — is at the center of the grid, and it’s spectacular. For two months in 1855, John Everett Millais stood about where I’m standing inside and painted L’Enfant du Regiment, a wounded little girl asleep on the tomb of a knight (from a fictional story about an orphan adopted by her father’s regiment).

Well, he painted the tomb on this spot; he painted the little girl later in his studio. And a damn fine job he made of it, too. Millais is hit or miss — when he’s good, he’s very, very good and when he’s not, he isn’t so much. This one is very fine. It’s oil on paper laid on canvas mounted on board. It lives in Connecticut at the Yale Center for British Art.

And tomorrow? Dunno yet. Presumably, two old bats and Olive Loaf hit the road again…

August 25, 2009 — 6:55 pm
Comments: 2