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More Whitehouse Foto Funnies


Still having fun with the official Whitehouse Flickr stream. I love this picture. It’s so WTF?

They don’t seem to bear any relationship to each other. Or reality. They’re like lawn ornaments or something.

What happened here? Did they pencil in “putting practice on the White House lawn” for 11? Or was it just spontaneous? You know, hop up, dash out of a meeting and putt, putt, putt? Is there a flunky off-camera holding their coats? Did someone set this up purely for a photo-op? And why?

Lots of the pictures in the stream show Obama and Biden together. Call me crazy, but I’m guessing they don’t really do all that much palling around. If they were smart, they’d keep Mad Uncle Joe in a box and just trot him out for pictures. And putting practice.

Obviously, they aren’t that smart.

April 30, 2009 — 5:42 pm
Comments: 33

Holy shit! Narcissist much?


(Picture nicked from the Official White House Flickr stream, which is good for a laugh).

Whoa! Check out Obama’s signature. I don’t know what a handwriting expert would make of it, but you can take it from a graphic artist (um, that would be me): this is a signature that has been practiced and practiced and fussed over and tinkered with until it’s just the way he wanted it.

This guy filled pages in his notebook with this during Homeroom. And probably Algebra class, too.

This is the John Edwards’ Poofy Bouffant of signatures. And I don’t think it’s an accident that the “O” and the “b” make a sort of Popey orb thing, do you?

Obama’s a lefty, too — I mean, he is left-handed — which makes this even more a labor of love. Lefties have to hover-write to avoid blotting their own copy.

And check out the pen. All the recent guys had their own personalized pens (which they give away after bill signings), but did the others include the president’s signature? I couldn’t find a picture of Dubya’s pen (it was a Cross), but I found Obama’s pen’s coming out photo shoot.


To be fair, it does look a bit like Bush signed his documents “GERBIL.”

April 29, 2009 — 5:39 pm
Comments: 44

As a matter of fact, yes — this *is* why I went to art school


And yes. I do feel better now. Thanks for asking.

April 28, 2009 — 4:30 pm
Comments: 63

A tale of two foodstuffs


How is everyone today? Feeling well? No high fevers or unexplained night sweats? Good, good.

I’ve mentioned this about British poultry before: the standard whole bird you get in the supermarket, they snap the poor bastard’s legs off right above the feet and jam the stumps up his ass. It’s so undignified; the Christmas turkey ’bout moves me to tears every year.

Well, Sunday’s bird got hisself half untrussed and waved a jaunty stump at us on his way to the death chamber. I thought it was poignant. I share.

As for see below — some sonofarodent got into the cupboard and ate up my bran flakes. Ate ’em all up! I hope he shits himself to death.


April 27, 2009 — 7:35 pm
Comments: 24

Labour cowards


Y’all have probably heard of the Gurkhas (probably best remembered for their wicked effective kukri knives). The Gorkha people of Nepal had been hiring themselves out for soldiers since the way back. The Brits discovered them when they fought them during the Nepalese War of 1814-16 and somehow managed to call them Gurkhas. They kick all kinds of butt.

Four original battalions of Gurkhas were formed into the East India Company, and they stayed loyal to the Crown through the Indian Mutiny…and every armed conflict Britain’s been part of ever since. Two hundred thousand of them joined up for Dubya-Dubya Eye-Eye and distinguished the hell out of themselves.

And now thousands of them are set to be deported from Britain. Gurkha veterans have been fighting for the right to live in Britain for a long time — and I don’t pretend to know the whole backstory — but the latest immigration rules released today are fucking evil: a soldier can stay if he’s served 20 years. The rank and file are only allowed to serve 15. Nice.

Oh, an enlisted man can stay if he got crippled in battle, or won a conspicuous decoration. You know, Audi Fucking Murphy is welcome, the rest of you can piss off.

I won’t get into a British immigration rant tonight (don’t-do-it-don’t-do-it-Weasel-don’t-do-it). But a country has to be completely retarded to turn away applicants who have put their lives on the line and, you know, spilled blood in defense of the realm and shit. One of these guys is worth a hundred wastrel immigrants like me.

And don’t get me started on the Pakistani splodey-dopes, Kenyan moochers and Albanian pimps…

April 24, 2009 — 8:02 pm
Comments: 28



These guys were behind a farm shop we visited today. There’s something…I dunno. Surreal about this picture. Maybe because they’re all looking in different directions. I can imagine some kind of dialogue of the absurd going on here. With geese!

The weather in our little corner of the realm has been gorgeous. Relentlessly, mercilessly, unflinchingly gorgeous. Since about the second week in February, it’s been sunny and in the fifties every damn day. It’s rained maybe twice. Uncle B is going nuts watering stuff in the garden.

Everybody says they don’t remember a Spring like it, ever.

This is not the English weather I signed on for.

I’m telling you, folks, all this frolicking in the sunshine is wearing me the hell out.

April 23, 2009 — 7:45 pm
Comments: 15



Aiii! It’s a fiesta! Is everyone else getting a big ol’ extra helping of spam lately? I don’t get much email spam (much to the disgust of Uncle B, who gets LOTS), but I’ve seen a definite uptick lately. And my comment spams are working hard to read like comments. They fail:

terrific site this sweasel.com great to see you have what I am actually looking for here and this this post is exactly what I am interested in. I shall be pleased to become a regular visitor

Eh. No you shan’t. No link in the message; the email address linked to a YouTube video about cheap car insurance.

From Russia with luncheonmeat:

Hello, dear colleagues.
Sori what not absolutely on a site theme sweasel.com I write.
To me it is very strong the script a cursor the auction Internet as on [url=http://redacted.ru/]the Scandinavian auction[/url] http://redacted.ru/ is necessary but that the script was free and it was possible to download!
I wish to open similar the Internet auction with antiques. Give advice please: how to open such the Internet auction?
Yours faithfully, Lena Ilyin.

You can just feel meaning struggling to break through the gibberish, can’t you? “Hi, guys! Sorry to be off-topic, but…”

This guy next decides to hump our collective leg for a moment before he makes his pitch:

Hi Everbody

I just became a member of this forum

Great work by the admin, mods and seriously every member around.

Yesterday I read that there is a treatment for diabetes on http://www.redacted.org
Is this way of curing diabetes mentioned actually true, If so I should have found out earlier! The source looks like a reliable healthcare news website

Could you someone tell me if this healthcare information is for real?

The weird thing is, I think he’s selling ringtones. At least, that’s where his email address points. What’s the deal with ringtones, anyhow? I understand the lucrative potential of Viagra and replica watches — theoretically — but ringtones?

That’s what this guy is selling, too. I love this one. Which is good, because I’ve gotten it more than once:


I kno it has nothing to do with what you wrote, but have you ever heard of http://www.redacted.info/ringtones.php . They seems to promise free ringtones

PS. Dont be an ass, this is NOT spam 😉

The postscript. It’s adorable. It’s not often I get called an ass with a winky-smiley.

Uncle B has a theory that you can tell your fortune from your spam. Unfortunately, I think his method involves splitting open spammers and examining their entrails.

April 22, 2009 — 7:25 pm
Comments: 30

Hopi farging carp on a popsicle!


Today we had a surveyor in to look at our deathwatch beetles. We got his name from a local real estate agent who deals in ancient buildings. It’s no good sending out a green surveyor; he would take one look at an old pile like Badger House and pee his pantses.

Our guy tapped and frowned and frowned and tapped and took a little dust sample in a 35mm film can (luckily we had one to spare). And then declared the house whole and sound and (almost certainly) in no danger at all, tappingdancing beetles or not. He offered us the use of a stethoscope for the Summer: if you can identify exactly where the little bastards are hanging out, he told us, it might be worth opening the wall to kill them. But otherwise, the damage you’d do tearing the place apart to find the infestation would be far more than the insects will do.

They don’t do much harm. They don’t do any harm fast. Their life cycle is (up to) twenty years. And they won’t spread in the absence of damp.

“After all, they came in with the wood and they haven’t knocked the place down yet,” he said, klonking his fist against a great oak beam.

And I said (proudly), “haha…oh, yes. We have documentation on the house going back four hundred years.”

And he said, “oh, no! These beams are MUCH older than that. Some are probably a thousand years old.”

And Uncle Badger said, “!” And I said, “!!!!!!!eleventythousandholyshit!!!!”

He explained. Nearly all the wood in the house would have been reclaimed from some earlier use: another house, a barn, a horse-cart. Wood was scarce around here and hard to come by and EVER-so-hard to work with. We’re talking hand tools and OAK. When we were looking to buy, we seriously considered one house built in the 15th or 16th C from beach flotsam (very common) and they even knew the name of the French shipwreck it came from.

It’s clear that some beams (top picture) weathered outside for…oh, hundreds of years, maybe. And I spent months poring over mysterious pegs and slots and cut marks, trying to figure out the original shape and purpose, when these artifacts probably had nothing whatever to do with Badger House.


No, seriously. Whoa.

It’s probably just as well I’m psychic as a potato.

April 21, 2009 — 8:24 pm
Comments: 21

It’s a bee! It’s a fly! It’s a bee fly!


Sorry about the crap picture, but I’ve been trying to get a shot of this screwy little bugger for two weeks. Uncle B and I have both seen him bumbling around the garden. I got one quick snap of him today and then there he was, gone.

He’s a funny little customer with a long, thin proboscis. Weird; like a tiny, hairy hummingbird (but no hummingbirds in England, alas). He hovers, he drinks nectar and he’s shy as a bastard if you try to get near him.

Turns out (thank you Google), he’s not a bee at all. He’s a fly that looks like a bee (probably to keep predators off). A bee fly, or bombyliid (thank you Wikipedia). Kind of an unpleasant piece of work, this — it’s a parasitoid, which means a parasite that always kills its host.

Bee flies lay their eggs in the nests or burrows of other insects, and the larvae eat the tenants. Yum!

I gather these things are kind of rare, so I should utup-shay about the ug-bay or we’ll probably have the conservation people on us.

April 20, 2009 — 7:49 pm
Comments: 16

Mao Zedong was a poopy head


Looks like the Chinese are getting stroppy again about people mocking Mao. I think that’s our cue to mock Mao, don’t you?

We know tens of millions died in Mao’s famines. Have you ever wondered if it was the passive incompetence of Communism, or whether he was an actively genocidal nutball? To examine the question, I mucho recommendo the book Hungry Ghosts. My copy is in a box somewhere, so I’ll pull this together from memory as best I can. And I’ll try to be brief.

Mao adored science. He was sure science would lift China to world dominance. Unfortunately, he had NO fucking idea what science was. He’d imprisoned most of the real scientists, anyhow, so he just took his best guess:

Communism + enthusiasm = science!

Mao believed nature actually worked on communist principles; that rice plants should be grown as close together as possible, since plants would cooperate, not compete. The propaganda rags of the day claimed elementary schoolchildren were making dramatic genetic breakthroughs in their school gardens during recess; that crops grown with communist methods were so thick, kids were photographed walking across the tops of the wheat stalks (it later came out they were standing on a bench); that it was unnecessary to build new roads when everyone in China would soon have his own personal airplane. Students declared the decimal point bourgeois and demanded the right to place it anywhere they liked. Oh, it was going to be Emerald City, man.

In short, the whole country went bugfuck crazy under Mao’s direction.

But, you know, when your boss is a nutcase who gets annoying people killed, you do your best not to be an annoying person. Provincial governors began to vie with each other who could promise the most balls-out insane wheat production numbers. Using Mao’s methods, you can produce twice as much wheat? Well, we can produce ten times as much! Oh, Yeah? Well, we can produce thirty times what we did last year! And so on. Anyone who didn’t play the game was out.

Beating the West at wheat growing (not really China’s crop) and steel production were Mao’s two biggest obsessions. But “steel production” isn’t what you think: you know, digging up iron ore and smelting it and shit. Oh, no. Peasants were made to build these makeshift furnaces in each village in which they melted down their own tools and utensils and hinges into useless lumps of mongrel metal. I am so not shitting you. AND, when they ran out of firewood, they burned their own furniture and doors to keep the fires going. AND, their best and strongest workers were drafted to run the furnaces (the ones that weren’t already working on wild-ass crazy projects like building earthen dams that would crumble to bits in no time) so that the fields were neglected.

And then, quite coincidentally, China had a bad growing season. Periodic regional famine is historically common in China, but this one — few tools, few workers, desperately wrong-headed stupid farming methods — was set to be a hum-dinger.

But when harvest time came around, Mao gathered his deputies and said, “okay — pony up!” (I paraphrase). And they’re like, “what?” And he goes, “you guys promised me a hundred times the grain we produced last year, so let’s have it!” And they said, “oh! Um. Sure, boss.”

But of course, they couldn’t scrape together half what they’d produced the year before, let alone a hundred times. So they came back to Mao with the only possible explanation: those bastard peasants are hiding it from us!

And, of course, the poor bastards were hiding some. The soldiers had come around again and again rounding up what little food they had, so of course they hid what they could or starved outright. If the peasants were caught hoarding food, they were taken to camps, or beaten to death on the spot. If they didn’t hoard food, they starved or ate dirt and died of stomach cramps. Ttwenty or thirty or even fifty million of them. All the while Mao was giving away food to friendly communist countries and letting much of the rest rot in warehouses. Because they had a hundred times the grain they needed, don’tcha know.

So! Was Mao a drooling bumpkin retard or a homicidal nutcake psycho? Do you know, I still have no idea.

April 17, 2009 — 8:03 pm
Comments: 30