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Because everything should taste like bacon


Bacon salt. I get a little hankering for some down-home processed chemical fake empty-calorie useless tongue-corroding junk from time to time, and this seemed perfect.

So, does it? Not really. Well, kind of. To the same degree and for the same reason Bacos tastes a little like bacon and a little like armpit: it’s made from paprika and autolyzed yeast extract and like that.

Put it this way: bacon salt is low in sodium. And it’s kosher.


August 17, 2009 — 6:03 pm
Comments: 27



So we’re minding our own business, tooling down a country lane when all of a suddenly, out of nowhere, there’s this almighty howl — the kind of hypersonic roar you don’t so much hear as feel in your breastbone and molars — and I look up through the sunroof to see the goddamned Red Arrows scream over our heads. By some astonishing chance, framed exactly in our sunroof.

Low. Real low. Low enough to scare the sheeps and the cows. Low enough to induce poor Uncle B — doing his best to keep his eyes on the road — to make hisself a little puddle.

The Red Arrows are the RAF’s Blue Angels. I saw them in Rhode Island last year and they were awesomely awesome. It’s a big ol’ nine-jet flying group. They shot over us in a formation of five, pause, four. They were coming back from an air show in Eastbourne (we saw them, way off in the distance, headed toward it yesterday).

Oh, hey, I remembered the blog Bruce writes for: And Still I Persist. Okay, no I didn’t. He wrote and told me. And what’s even more embarrassing — as I suspected — I never blogrolled it in the first place. Which is dumb because it’s a good ‘un.

Go. Read it.

I called Bruce “Poindexter” once, and he’s never let me forget it. Also, I may have threatened to beat him up and steal his lunch money. Or something. It was a long time ago and I’m unclear on the details.

And so ends a lame week in lameness. Good weekend, everyone!

August 14, 2009 — 7:40 pm
Comments: 27

Stoats in the News!


Uncle B has been giving me hell this week about how stupid and lame my posts have been. And I’m, like, “pff! Dude! Don’t sell me short. I can be a lot stupider and lamer.” Here goes.

Top picture: Christopher Taylor of Word Around the Net sent me the link. Man thought he’d hit a stoat in the road, drove thirty something miles to his home, woke up next morning to find an apparently healthy stoat poking its head out of his grill. I’m guessing that little beast was pissed.

Say what you will about the decline of the once-proud Daily Telegraph (where he found that item) — they run some really fine pictures of cute animals and funny signs from around the world.

Just minutes after Christopher’s link, Bruce sent me this item, intriguingly headlined Family harassed by vengeful weasel.

A man in China trapped a weasel in his yard and released it in the hills and has been plagued by the weasel’s mate ever since.

“It excretes on tables, and even throws dead mice corpses into our home. The scariest thing was when it jumped onto our bed, screaming. It seems to be protesting at me for catching his wife.”

Ah, the old excreting-on-tables ploy. The classics never get old.

The article is complete cock, of course (please to be reading complete cock in Uncle B’s accent. It’s a Britishism that doesn’t sound right in Americanese). Unless Chinese ones are fundamentally different, weasels don’t mate for life or stick together in pairs.

In fact, in an unusual, repulsive and highly successful reproductive strategy, tiny newborn weasels are often impregnated by they weasel-daddies, after which gestation is put “on hold” until the she-weasel is grown and the conditions are favorable. Weasels (but not stoats) are nasty baby-makin’ fools.

The Chinese characters for weasel translate literally as yellow rat wolf. I just happen to know that.

What I don’t know is which blog Bruce writes for. I’ve been staring at my blogroll for twenty minutes, disconsolately poking links and trying to remember.

Yes! That’s the kind of pharmaceutical-grade stupid and lame I have to offer!

August 13, 2009 — 7:46 pm
Comments: 10

It’s official: Brits are pussies


I miss chipmunks. I did a lot of day-hiking around Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Connecticut, where the old stone farm walls are alive with the little chirping, fur-headed bastards. If you sit very still and make clucking noises, their curiosity gets the better of them and they’ll come out to see what you’re up to.

Not because clucking noises make sense to chipmunks; they come out to see what the hell is the matter with you, lady?

A woman in a shop today was telling us about an article she just read: a new and dangerous invasive species has been spotted in the UK. Yup. Chipmunks. Siberian chipmunks, bought as pets in France and escaped into the wild. They’re coming through the Channel Tunnel.

Now, I’ll give them this: chipmunks can carry Lyme and rabies, two diseases I have spent considerable energy trying not to get a dose of and was ever so grateful to get away from. So, okay, this isn’t good news news, even to a sentimental, rat-lovin’ weasel. But

“They look cuddly and harmless, and this makes them particularly dangerous. If startled, they can give a nasty nip, especially when cornered.”

??? I mean, c’mon. Chipmunks.

She gave me the newspaper, which goes onto say that the latest sighting was on the Isle of Sheppey (East of London). A chipmunk got into somebody’s kitchen and was chowing down on the Crunchy Nut Cornflakes (yes, they specified).

And the family’s pets were left traumatised by the invader — which caused the latest in a series of ‘chipmunk alerts’ [chipmunk alerts!] issued after fears that a species from Siberia which carries diseases had reached these shores.

The creature left Bryan and Susan’s two cats shaking — and they and the family’s dog now can’t go into the garden.

Mum-of-four Susan, 44, from Minster, said: “It was terrifying. I’ve never seen anything like it.”

Honestly! I know two pussycats and a certain beautiful fairy princess who need to cowboy up a little…

August 12, 2009 — 7:24 pm
Comments: 18

More cute animal pictures


This is Dawn’s new critter. It’s some variety of Mexican hairless, I think. Good luck paper training that puppy, Dawn!

Me, I just harvested the peppermint plant. It smells like a packet of Wrigley’s in here. What the hell am I going to do with a crapload of mint? Honestly, how much tea can one weasel drink?

August 11, 2009 — 6:22 pm
Comments: 15

You gotta read the fine print…


We stopped at a tiny cafe for a burger last week and I picked up this flyer. Other than the name of the cafe (which is sponsoring this, I guess) and the address, this is the whole thing. High-larious.

Speaking of fine print, I was trying to do a graphic about Obamacare when I caught that bug on Friday. It was going to be the Hammer of Reform descending upon the Sore Toe of Health Care. I’d found a nice example of a hammer and I was browsing a selection of toes. When I clicked on one, all hell broke loose.

That’s right. I caught a computer virus on a picture of somebody’s big toe. You’d think for all the grief I went through, it could’ve been some hentai or a filthy limerick or something.

August 10, 2009 — 7:09 pm
Comments: 12

I has a virus :_(

No, no…not the pig flu kind. I was browsing Google Images earlier, and I apparently clicked on sumpin’ I shouldn’t’ve. Next thing I know, my screen explodes in a cascade of adorable Japanamations and ladies with ginormous breasteses.

It’s a bad mamajama, this one. It made SuperAntiSpyware run home bawling to its mama. It stole Trend Micro’s lunchmoney. Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware wouldn’t even come out of its own setup icon when I double clicked it.

Using a combination of Safe Mode and Autoruns by Sysinternals, I’ve managed to wipe two of the bastards (b.exe and msa.exe), but there’s something bad still in there. Every five minutes or so, some damn thing disables Task Manager and Regedit. Every ten, an Explorer window pops up and reaches for the internet. There’s nothing obviously virusy in the process list, so it’s something masquerading as a legit component.

Oh, well. Screw it. It’s Friday night and I have this here Linux rig. It runs hotter’n a firecracker, but it’s clean as a whistle. I have Firefox and Freecell; I am golden.

Have a better weekend than mine, everyone. Let’s hope I get it sorted by Monday…

August 7, 2009 — 7:04 pm
Comments: 37

Look! Cute animal pictures!



We pass this horse on the way to the supermarket, several times a week. And every damn time, he’s got his teeth sunk in that post and he’s pulling with everything he’s got. I don’t know if his teeth hurt him or he’s bored out of his tiny horse mind.

And speaking of tiny horse minds, this here is Allen’s new puppy. In case you didn’t see it in the comments, he’s a rescue pup. Mostly wolf by ancestry and his former owners didn’t realize that meant plenty of howling at the moon. Idiots.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m scarin’ up some books for Jesus. The church is having a fundraiser this weekend, and I promised to cough up some books for the jumble sale.

That is when Weasel realized that even after unpacking and assimilating a goodly number of volumes, she still had twenty-four boxes of books to deal with. Curse me and my extreme literacy!

August 6, 2009 — 6:11 pm
Comments: 12

Northwest passage discovered at last by 28,800 peripatetic rubber duckies

Drudge had a headline today about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch — a floating stream of stray plastic junk hundreds of miles long — and the scientists that follow it. They’re looking for the impact all this drifting shit might have on marine life, but there are happier uses for our seagoing garbage.

Flotsametrics is the term coined by oceanographer Curtis Ebbesmeyer for tracking ocean currents by following floating garbage. He isn’t the first to do it, but he came up with a neat word and a book and stuff.

Also, an especially lucky spill. In January of 1992, a consignment of plastic bath toys fell off a Chinese ship into the Pacific — frogs, beavers and turtles and, of course, rubber duckies. Durable plastic, designed for floating, perfect. Soon, their packaging rotted away and the rubber duckies began their long journey.

A lucky few swam South and were picked up in Hawaii, South America and other sunny climes, but the bulk went North…Alaska, the Northwest Passage, Greenland. They spent some time frozen in icepack. Down the East Coast of the US. Last I heard of them, they’d crossed the Atlantic and were headed for the beaches of Britain — June of 2007, fifteen years after they started. A few are picked up at each landing. The duckies have now faded to white.

Ebbesmeyer tracked the toys mostly to test a computer program written by Jim Ingraham of NOAA. I had a DOS version of this program years ago, and it was way cool to watch the little junk trails swirl around and around in the sea.

Ebbesmeyer’s website, Beachcombers’ Alert, has more on this and many other kinds of fascinating floating crap.

August 5, 2009 — 7:34 pm
Comments: 14

There’s no need to bark at me


Never mind what I was doing out picking peas at one in the morning. We eat late, and peas are best cooked as soon as possible after picking, m’kay? So anyhow, I was out back under a full moon last night with a flashlight snugged in my armpit, filling a sack with peas, when I heard the most amazing…well, this:


I snagged that audio from this defunct Angelfire site and then bent the pitch down a little, but it still doesn’t match exactly what I heard. That shit was spooky.

I swung the flashlight up and caught a pair of green eyes about a hundred feet away in the fallow field behind the house. Okay, but here’s the thing — that’s when the son of a bitch started running toward me. That’s the side of the house with the wide drainage ditch, or I seriously think I’d have made a puddle.

Fox. It must not have known how to process a flashlight beam and assumed a little weasel-scaring aggression was called for. It kept barking until I went to get Uncle B, but it was gone by the time we got back.

Oh, well. There is some comfort knowing there really aren’t all that many big mammals in the UK, and none of them are rabid.

The field on the front side of the house is full of a half dozen of our neighbor’s rams most of the time. And dozens of runnybabbits. I love to go out with a flashlight on dark nights and shine it into that field. The whole thing lights up with little red hoppity-hoppity bunny-glow eyes and slow, solemn green sheep eyes. Verily, it is an hoot.

It always reminds me of the condom scene from Skin Deep.

I know, I know. Way to step on my own mood.

August 4, 2009 — 7:51 pm
Comments: 22