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Dead Pool Round 107: The Sun is ‘ot!

Unkawill wins a second time with Barbara Bush, bless her heart. America’s mom. Everyone always remarked how much older she looked than George H.W. I assume she knew and wonder if it bothered her.

I shall gloss over the indecency of her critics this week.

Time for a new round. Are we ready?

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. Plus (Pupster’s Rule) no picking someone who’s only famous for being the oldest person alive.

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.

April 20, 2018 — 6:00 pm
Comments: 62

Pssst…hey, kid! You like comics?

I still have a lingering interest in comics (eh, I’m a illustrator. If I try hard enough, I can make that sound like something other than arrested development). I haven’t really said anything about the ongoing shitstorm known by the highly original moniker Comics Gate. If you care about comics, you know already. If you don’t care, you don’t care.

Synopsis: SJW’s attempt to take over and destroy yet another industry beloved of dudebros. They managed the takeover pretty well (most strikingly at Marvel comics) and they very nearly managed the ruin, but there was pushback.

One of the most effective pusher-backers is some guy calling himself Zack. Beginning about a year ago, he began making a couple of videos a day talking about comics. They have no scripting and lousy production values and are just him rambling over a shot of his knee with a comic on it. He’s a nobody who works in IT and clearly loves comics and — oh my god, it’s making the right people so crazy — he’s been the most effective in rallying opposition.

Honestly, click the link above and watch a few. He’s become my favorite congenial background noise for a boring job. I think he would be fun whether you read comics or not.

A couple of weeks ago, he fired up an Indiegogo to fund his own graphic novel. He’s been writing comics for years and he’s flogging the money to hire professional talent to do the art. He initially asked for $5,000 – a sum he managed to raise in minutes. As of five minutes ago, it’s up to $67,525, with two weeks left to go. It’s become something of a popular uprising.

Have a look. Back it if it you’re interested (the comic will go on sale in regular comic stores for a regular price after the launch in October). Watch some of his videos (particularly some of the earlier ones) if you want an idea of what’s been going on.

Then come back here, tomorrow, 6WBT for Dead Pool Round 108. (Remember: Weasel Blog Time does not observe British Summer Time).

April 19, 2018 — 8:48 pm
Comments: 13

Oh, I don’t like that…

Eh, I just did a Google search on my sad old machine upstairs and for the very first time, at the bottom of the search screen, it said something like “based on your search history, your location is THE LITTLE TEENY VILLAGE POPULATED MOSTLY BY SHEEP THAT YOU ACTUALLY LIVE IN(!!!)“. Substitute the real village name for the phrase in italics, obvsly.

Usually, the closest it gets is a largish town at least twenty miles away. When I use Opera, with its built-in VPN, it defaults to Amsterdam (which sometimes plays havoc with authentication).

I was sure I turned off location services on all my devices, but they have a bad habit of turning themselves back on after just about any software update. So the question is, who ratted me out — my phone? My Kindle? One of my three tablets? My desktop machine? The wheezy old thumper upstairs?

One thing’s for sure, it won’t be Uncle B’s machine. Dude is crazy paranoid.

So…what are you doing to keep Google out of your panties? Are you using a VPN? Are you paying for it? I…really don’t like this.

April 18, 2018 — 9:32 pm
Comments: 22

More fun with eBay UK

I’m still looking for a rough old writing slope I can use for an oil paint box. Everything so far is too big, too small, too fancy, too expensive or too crap. I’ll find it in the end. Meanwhile, I keep running into the most weird and wonderful things. If you ever have time to kill, I recommend going to eBay UK and looking at “best match” under, say, Antique Woodenware.

In addition to last week’s 18th Century Reeves paint box, I found an even more complete one from 1835, a fine student set from 1883, and various other also rans.

Turns out, George Rowney and Co. is also an older brand of art supplies than I realized, with two nice examples from the 19th C, a painter’s watercolor box and this one labeled “Box of Colours for Illuminating and Missal Painting” — I didn’t know that was still a thing in the Victorian age.

Also learned a word: treen. “Small domestic wooden objects, especially antiques.” AKA weird little bits of old wooden junk.

Behold, treen! Ow! Charming. Yipe! What’s he doing here? Ohhhh…I don’t think I want this on a cane topper. Ew.

Of course, I realize this post will age badly. Not long after the auctions are over, the links will go dead. Sometimes, you just gotta be there.

April 17, 2018 — 6:45 pm
Comments: 16

Heh. Neat.

The Natural History Museum is setting out to digitize 80 million specimens. Most of these are part of various herbariums (herbaria?), particularly the Hans Sloane Herbarium. Plant samples. You know.

The challenge is, most of this stuff is just plants pressed into albums. Not even glued, just pressed. You can imagine how hard it is to open and photograph that stuff without dropping bits all over the floor.

I don’t know if you can see it, but those little armatures holding the pages open? They’re made of Legos. Which makes perfect sense:

‘By making it completely out of Lego it is possible to have it ordered and shipped to almost anywhere, and the low cost makes it affordable to everyone. It is especially important for scientists in developing countries and students.’

To be honest, I’m surprised there doesn’t exist some special titanium-and-molybdenum super-sciencey chrome-plated lego-like but much more serious kind of building kit for projects like this.

Surprised and bitterly disappointed.

April 16, 2018 — 7:59 pm
Comments: 5

I think it’s a potato

The Museum of English Rural Life says: “We’ve been working hard on our difficult second album and we’ve put in a lot of hours and we’re really #excited and #proud to present our latest #viral hit it is this potato”

Something about the lack of punctuation there cracks me up. Almost as much as that disgusting engraving of a potato.

I’ve had a very silly week, me, and I’m ready for a very relaxing weekend. Who’s with me?

April 13, 2018 — 9:46 pm
Comments: 14

Aw, yiss…

Well. I knew Reeves was a British art material company, but I had no idea it was so old until this 18th Century watercolor box turned up on eBay. Do check out the pictures — it’s very nearly complete. It’s got untouched cake watercolors with a pattern stamped in them, it’s got all but one of the porcelain mixing dishes, and most of the printed ephemera. The neato engraving above is inside the lid (splattered with paint).

It’s also £500, but I don’t actually want it. This kind of thing belongs in a museum, not a working studio. I wasn’t looking for a paint box, I was looking for a writing slope that I can use for a paint box — hopefully, one that comes pre-battered. As you might imagine, very cool antiques turn up here on the regular and it’s nothing special.

Stupid, the Reeves website doesn’t say anything at all about the company history, that I could find (though it does have a cool front page animation). I had to go to some other art supply site to find “REEVES WAS FOUNDED IN 1766 AT A TIME WHEN ART WAS SYNONYMOUS WITH TRADITION AND WERE A BRAND THAT CHAMPIONED CREATIVITY. WILLIAM REEVES’ OPENED HIS FIRST SHOP CLOSE TO ST. PAUL’S CATHEDRAL IN LONDON, AND THE COMPANY REMAINS AS PASSIONATE ABOUT ART MATERIALS TODAY AS IT WAS WHEN IT WAS FIRST ESTABLISHED OVER 200 YEARS AGO.”

The site goes on to say the original Reeves made his fortune when he invented the moist watercolor. I don’t know what that means. Tubes?

April 11, 2018 — 9:07 pm
Comments: 4

You can, but should you?

So I soaked my ‘estate’ pipe in gin and sea salt until the ghost of the former owner ran away crying and then tried smoking a little mugwort.

It didn’t taste too awful at the time. It was fantastically enjoyable to see smoke coming out of my mouth for the first time in 21, almost 22, years. I don’t think I woke the beast. I hope not.

Effects? Hm. Not really. Slight headache and nasty taste in my mouth. I’ll let you know if I have super vivid dreams.

To be honest, I was a bit skeert and only smoked a little.

April 10, 2018 — 9:26 pm
Comments: 12

She found herself a little patch of sun…

They predicted rain all weekend long, and they were wrong. For a few hours, gloriously wrong. Sun, lambs, chickens…it’s here at last.

Of course, they predicted dry and cloudy today and it pissed all over me on the way home, so bad forecast giveth and bad forecast taketh away.

In this country, you’re better off just looking out the window.

April 9, 2018 — 9:38 pm
Comments: 12

I’m not taking it up again, I swear…

This is a sort of a ‘day in the life of weasel’ story. So I had to get an Amazon order up to £20 to cut loose the add-on items (does Amazon do this over there?), so I added a bag of mugwort tea, because I read that it helps you sleep. I like sleep. The tea came yesterday.

And then I read that mugwort makes you dream vividly if you smoke it before bed. I love dreams (I love smoking, too, but I haven’t done it in 21 years). It got me thinking whether I had a tobacco pipe around the house (I used to have a really cool one I bought at auction). Nope. Couldn’t find it.

So I spent an hour after work today going through the little antique-and-junque shops in town (of which there are many) looking for a tobacco pipe. I was told that smoking memorabilia was ‘in’ a few years ago, but nobody will touch the stuff now. Finally, at the eighth or so shop, I found the pipe in the picture.

Only it didn’t look like that when I bought it. The stem was a dull greeny-yellowy color which, the internet tells me, is to plastic what rust is to metal. Recommended to soak it in bleach for an hour (which suited me fine, as the idea of smoking some old dead man’s pipe is rather ick) and give it a good polish with fine grit. So I did.

Which just left the interior. As it happens, we had to swing out for some weekend shopping which took us close to my favorite hardware store. You should have seen the look of blank incomprehension on the young man’s face when I asked for pipe cleaners. I described. I mimed. I asked him if he ever took a craft class in elementary school. I wondered if his father was around today. Honestly, he had no idea. He sold me a bottle brush (I’ll use it for something else).

So. I await pipe cleaners. There’s a big craft shop in town that I feel sure will have them, even if they will probably be all glittery, so I’ll do that Monday. As dog is my witness, I am not putting that thing in my mouth until a dozen gin-soaked pipe cleaners have been pulled through the stem.

It’s a handsome and tactile little object, anyway. The inscription is ‘CLUBMAN – LONDON MADE’. I am pleased.

Have a good weekend, everyone!

April 6, 2018 — 9:35 pm
Comments: 29