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It all ends in tiers

Yesterday we came off of lockdown and into a three-tier system of restrictions. We are in Tier 2.

That means we can only be indoors with people from our ‘bubble’. We can meet other people, but only outside and in groups of six or smaller. Except sporting events, where there can now be several thousands. Fifteen people can go to a wedding, thirty to a funeral.

Pubs can be open, but only if they offer a substantial meal and we have to leave after we’ve eaten it. A scotch egg is not a substantial meal, but nobody knows what is one. Is it by weight? Or volume? These are mysteries.

We are near enough a Tier 3 county that we often shop there. Can we now? We don’t know.

That’s the regulations. The strong suggestions from an authoritarian government include no singing, no board games and no sitting on Santa’s knee.

I was going to try to do a humorous take on the restrictions, but when I started remembering what they actually are, I got big mad. And still, nobody we know has gotten sick. Really, they’re just fucking with us now.

Changing the subject, I just got email from Zazzle. I haven’t posted any new designs in so long, they’re going to start charging me rent. Anybody got a t-shirt or coffee mug they’ve been burning to get for Xmas? I can’t guarantee I’ll do it (you people come up with some complex picture concepts), but I’m all outta ideas. My Christmas card this year was going to be Santa arrested for covid violations, and then it actually happened.

Thanks. Thanks a lot.

December 3, 2020 — 8:04 pm
Comments: 7

Hmm…

The above is a site billing itself as the new alternative to Drudgereport: populist.press. At least, it bills itself that way if you don’t have popups blocked.

They’ve certainly mimicked the look and feel of Drudge. I found when I clicked links, though, it took me to a synopsis of the story hosted on populist.press itself. Then within that item you could click to read it on its original platform. I’m not sure why they’d do it that way – it’s more work for them, if nothing else – and it means you can’t just hover over the link to see if the article is from a source you trust.

Eh. Give it a try. I have a feeling lots of news sources will be shutting down in the days ahead.

November 16, 2020 — 8:23 pm
Comments: 7

Madame, present your license

Today, I was asked if I had a license to hold human remains. Well, not me, obviously. The historic society I work for.

Sir, this is an archive, not a charnel house.

I can’t even work out how you get one. There are tons of resources out there for how you import, store, handle, display or repatriate human remains, but none of them mentions a permit.

The backstory is that all building work in certain areas requires an official archeologist to be at the site to sift through anything you dig up. This is a good thing (tho expensive). If you wonder how on earth they found Richard III’s body under a parking lot, this is it.

And before the dig begins, the archeologist must find an appropriate place to store anything they might find. If there isn’t a big local museum (and sometimes even if there is), finds often go to the county council, where they are put in boxes and warehoused à la the end of Indiana Jones.

This is a pretty good thing, too. Every once in a while, a local archeology group will get a little money together and revisit stuff. Like, eight years ago, Eastbourne Borough Council’s museum service got a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (yet another good thing) to re-examine 300 skeletons that had been deposited with them over the years.

The most interesting find was Beachy Head Lady, a woman who grew up in southeast England during the Roman occupation. She was of sub-Saharan African descent!

My favorite, though, was a specimen from an archeology program we watched once. I’m irritated that I can’t find a link online; you’ll have to take my word. The bones had little holes drilled in them, almost certainly for re-articulating the skeleton. Thing is, whoever did it didn’t bother getting all the bones from the same body, so it’s not like it was a revered ancestor or anything.

You got that? Somebody dug up ancient bones and strung them together for purposes unknown. I believe it was a prehistoric proto-Hallowe’en prank and nothing will convince me otherwise.

Oh, one other thing I learned today. I, personally, technically need a license of some kind. I think. Someone once gave me a box of 19th Century microscope slides from University of Philadelphia Med School, including human tissue – a thing covered in the Human Tissue Act of 2004. I can be bothered to find out if I’m in breach.

September 30, 2020 — 8:09 pm
Comments: 5

Count Basie looks thoughtful

Yes, that’s definitely a black man on the right. In other variations of this logo, the white people are all staring at him like, “yes, even you, my dusky friend.”

What’s going on with that little girl and her poor stumpy arms, I do not know. It is all cringe.

Anyhoo. Neighbourhood Watch meeting by Zoom tonight, I kid you not.

It’s not quite the League of Busybodies. We do have a serious problem with rural crime, and it’s gotten worse this year. A whole lot of sheep stealing and tractor nicking.

Getting sneaky cellphone pics of strange cars in the neighborhood helps, if you can do it without a confrontation. Which you can’t always. Unfortunately, there’s no such thing as “felony staring at sheep.”

Many of the plates lead back to the same nearby town, causing speculation there might be an illicit butcher there.

September 29, 2020 — 6:35 pm
Comments: 12

Is it down for you?

I wanted to show you something from Facebook, but it won’t let me in. Been that way for at least an hour.

Sometimes sites object to my VPN, as if I’m bouncing around Europe like an international spy. I know where I’m ‘coming from’ when my sidebar ads are in Dutch or Spanish.

Oh, wait. Now it’s working. Thanks a lot, Facebook, for embarrassing me in front of my friends.

I wanted to point you to this video of mechanics completely disassembling a car dashboard to get to a rescue kitten that crawled up a vent. Kitten makes an appearance at the 4:00 mark.

Okay, it’s not much, but this is Monday we’re talking about. I’ll take what scraps of cheer I can find.

September 28, 2020 — 8:06 pm
Comments: 7

That’s the way we all became…

I just hosted a really big Zoom meeting. Well, it was twenty people, but that’s really big meeting when most of the participants are elderly technophobes. I was mutin’ microphones like a bastiche. I think the power went to my head.

I’m exhausted.

Many years ago, on a forum for arguing about politics, someone out of the blue informed me that he pictured me in his mind looking exactly like Ann B. Davis. If you’re wondering which one am I.

I’ve never been sure how I felt about that.

September 24, 2020 — 6:41 pm
Comments: 12

Mood.

Pallas cat from Uncle Al’s link. Don’t they have awesome faces?

Though, like many a funny cat picture, their most vivid “expression” is actually being caught at the beginning of a yawn.

Pardon me, folks. I’m a bit behind today.

September 23, 2020 — 7:34 pm
Comments: 4

Happy Equinox

Older readers may remember that there’s an abandoned orchard next to me (the astute may remember that I tried, unsuccessfully, to buy it once). I went today for my annual bucket of apples and…they had all been hoovered up.

Whoever did it had a good tidy up afterward and left two neat piles of brush, so I suspect something like a church group that was given permission.

Never mind. I got my bucket of apples. One tree was left unpicked, presumably for les autres. Or perhaps they seemed more trouble than they’re worth: they’re tiny and sweet.

Picking apples seemed a thing to do on the equinox.

September 21, 2020 — 7:57 pm
Comments: 8

Synchronized snoozing…

The boys this afternoon. They don’t do this a lot, but I love it when they do. They aren’t exactly like brothers yet, but I trust there will be a time when I find them curled together in a single snoring fuzzy ball.

It will probably have something to do with Winter.

Looks like the little one is fully recovered from whatever ailed him. Also, please note, he’s not such a little one any more (though he’s terribly skinny).

Good weekend, everyone!

September 18, 2020 — 6:23 pm
Comments: 15

Spooky

Uncle B found this: it’s a tool that lets you explore a few Welsh neolithic tombs in 3D.

I’m still watching videos from the Prehistory Guys. I’m fascinated. Not only are there a thousand stone circles in Britain (that’s right now, still standing, when we know most have been ploughed up or incorporated in other buildings), but apparently there are thousands more in France and Spain.

I had no idea. This makes it sound as though every community had one. Like it was the village church, community hall and sports club. There is evidence of burials in some, there is evidence of feasting in others (notably Stonehenge).

As for the sport idea, that’s just spitballing, but it makes sense. Many of the circles had a raised bank all around them, as if for spectators (most of these have been ploughed away). All sorts of things might have taken place in a henge.

I can’t recommend these guys enough. On the one hand, they laugh at the tendency of professional archaeologists (they aren’t) to see everything they don’t understand as having a religious purpose. On the other, they refuse to entertain any kind of woo-woo at all.

My interest in neolithic archaeology has been dampened for many years by my scorn for larping modern ‘Druids’.

Sorry I’m late. I was under a cat.

September 15, 2020 — 10:16 pm
Comments: 7