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We escaped!

First warm and sunny day of 2021, and oh how good it was to feel sun on my face. March might still have an ass-kicking stored up for us, but Winter has definitely turned the corner. They’ve turned the ewes into the field behind us and the lambs will be popping around on the banks soon.

Hang on, folks! We’re almost there!

February 26, 2021 — 6:34 pm
Comments: 5

I ain’t even mad

Lookee who tried to pull a fast one, Steve. Nice try, Steve.

What do you guys even know about Ferlinghetti, anyhoo? I remember my mother talking about this guy.

Never mind. I didn’t have anything to post about tonight anyway. So thanks, Steve. Dead Pool 141 still stands!

February 25, 2021 — 8:04 pm
Comments: 20

Rejoice! There’s a new blue!

Okay, but it’s kind of a big deal. Blue is a rare color in nature, and stable blue pigments even rarer. For a long time, all we had were ground up semi-precious stones like Lapis, which is why they saved it for the Virgin Mary’s robes. You probably knew that.

Even now, many blue pigments – the cobalts, for example – are expensive and a bit toxic. Cerulean is a cobalt color and very expensive and I have to have one tube on hand, because it is exactly the slightly lemony blue of the sky at the horizon. I still have the same tube from art school because I don’t paint landscapes very often.

This new one is called YinMn Blue but it is not, as it sounds, Chinese. It was discovered by two guys at Oregon State University twelve years ago. They were looking for novel electronic components. The name is from the three elements that make it up: Yttrium (Y), Indium (In), and Magnesium (Mn).

In the improbable event you find this at all interesting, there’s a good article on it here.

It looks like a good blue. Strong and opaque, but not overwhelming when mixed with other colors. I was once traumatized by a tragic pthalocyanine raw pigment spill. It stained me and everything I touched a vivid blue.


Sad to inform you that BullDawgGuy has won the pool with Rush Limbaugh. Fare thee well, Rush.

February 16, 2021 — 7:44 pm
Comments: 19

Dead Pool Round 140: Happy New Year! edition

Happy Year of the Ox, everyone. Yep, today is Chinese New Year. I nicked the image off Wikimedia so goodness knows what the text says. Gibberish, if I’m lucky.

Catnip wins round 139 with George P. Schultz, who served three Republican administrations, most notably as Reagan’s Secretary of State. His middle name was Pratt.

This amuses me.

We used to pass through the town of Pratt’s Bottom on the way from London to Sussex. I always wanted to stop for tea in Pratt’s Bottom.

This is win #3 for catnip. Hurrah!

Right. 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.

February 12, 2021 — 6:00 pm
Comments: 59

I’m wrapped a little too tight for this


I had to play host to a Zoom lecture tonight. I’ve never done that before, but the speaker has done a lot of it and told me not to worry, to turn over hosting to him once he started speaking.

Bad. No. That’s not how you do it. Once I gave him hosting, I had no controls at all. I couldn’t mute or kick anyone or let in latecomers in, and he was too absorbed in his subject to do it (and I don’t think he knew how).

Chaos ensued. It was a very small chaos, to be sure, but I was braced the whole time for a bigger chaos.

There were several loud and unmuted. There was that guy who didn’t know his camera was on and strolled around his house the whole time. There was one with no name, no camera and no mic that I was sure would turn out to be a wrong ‘un.

But we got it sorted in the end and, more the point, absolutely no penis pictures were thrust upon my elderly employers. Whew.

I need gin.


DING-DING-DING. We have a dickwinner. Catnip takes it with George P. Schultz. I think we have time to squeeze a DEAD POOL in tomorrow! You know when, you know where!

February 11, 2021 — 9:11 pm
Comments: 11

I had it exactly backwards

The word ‘chintzy’ drifted across my consciousness this afternoon. By the diktat of my new lockdown rules, that means I had to look up ‘chintz’.

I knew it was a fabric. I was astonished to learn it isn’t so much. It’s more about the style of decoration. It originated in 16th Century India – the word is derived from the Hindi chīnt, meaning spotted or freckled. It’s about the busy, often floral block prints.

But chintz was often printed on calico, another word I completely misunderstood. Calico is a rough fabric made from unbleached cotton, and by ‘unbleached’ I mean not fully processed so there’s still bits of shit in it. Also from India, 16th C, named after the city of Calicut (not to be confused with Calcutta).

So gaudy print + cheap fabric = chintzy. I thought calico was the decoration and chintz was the fabric. I was bassackwards.

And while we’re here, muslin (a much more refined woven cotton than calico) was named for Mosul, as in Iraq. Where it isn’t actually from.

And that’s the end of today’s edition of “Things You Could Damn Well Have Looked Up on Wikipedia Yourownself If You Cared.”

January 26, 2021 — 6:02 pm
Comments: 16

Ain’t nobody got time for that…

One side effect of being on Twitter so much is learning how many people have, or are planning to have, podcasts. Or YouTube rant channels or whatever.

Some of them I maybe, sorta have an interest in topically – but holy geez, they’re so long! Hours, some of them.

And they all start off with their intro (okay, branding, I get it) and then they natter on for a while about their schedule for the next week and what they’re playing on Twitch afterwards. I mean, you’re five, ten minutes in and they still haven’t said anything on-topic. I DON’T HAVE THE ATTENTION SPAN.

Surely, there isn’t a market for so much content from the same angle. And who has time for this? Who has two hours to be captive? You can skim a headline aggregator in seconds. Done.

p.s. yes, I’m trying to wean myself off Twitter. I need a project.

p.p.s. have a good weekend, everyone!

January 22, 2021 — 7:49 pm
Comments: 16

Everything is stupid. Let’s laugh at these women.

The photo is described as “Women wear plastic headgear intended to protect the wearer from snowstorms in Montreal, 1939.” I mean, I guess.

That’s all I’ve got the heart for. I’ve spent most of the evening in bed under an electric blanket.

Quaint Tudor farmhouses were not built for comfort; there’s a reason they invited the cows into the house.

January 18, 2021 — 9:23 pm
Comments: 7

Dead Pool Round 138: 2021 wears army boots

Mrs Carl wins it with Tanya Roberts, best known as the Bond girl in View to a Kill. This Dead Pool should have happened last Friday, but I warn’t paying attention.

I do a lot of that lately.

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.

January 15, 2021 — 6:00 pm
Comments: 72

Clap for the NHS, my ass

Let me tell you a story about the NHS.

I get my blood pressure meds from the pharmacy attached to my local clinic. Since the onset of covid, you don’t go in the building to access the drugs, they serve you from one of the 3 windows facing the parking lot.

On the window is a sign: please knock.

Today, as I walked up to this window, I made eye contact with one of the pharmacists inside. So I think to myself, “she saw me, no need to knock, I’ll let her finish what she’s doing.”

And I wait. And I wait. It is the middle of January and it’s lightly drizzling. I am not a young woman. I am gray of hair and wrinkled of visage.

And still I wait. I have now made brief eye contact with two of the three pharmacists working inside, all of whom can easily see there’s a person standing there. In the rain.

If I knock now, I think, it’ll look like I’m trying to rush them, since it’s obvious I’m here. I still don’t quite believe what I suspect is happening.

After a while, an elderly man joins me in the queue, six foot behind, naturally. A while after that, an elderly woman joins behind him. We are three old people standing in the Winter’s rain.

Now I’m kinda mad, but I’m also socially awkward. A better woman would have made a fuss, I know that, but I am a coward. I turn to the man behind me and say, “you try.”

He goes up, knocks on the window, gets served instantly. After which they serve me and the other old woman.

The sign said knock, comrade.

There are people who are loving this new world of rules and procedures. I hope some form of polite society survives them.

January 14, 2021 — 6:17 pm
Comments: 18