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ROUND TEN: the last round should have been nine, but I’m innumerate

Sherlock clinches it with Dan Schorr — though it was a week before anybody noticed. In the Dead Pool, I mean. I hope somebody in real life threw a sheet over him or something.

1. Pick a celebrity. Any celebrity — though I reserve the right to nix picks I never heard of.

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 thread and stake your claim.

3. Poaching and other dirty tricks are positively encouraged.

4. Your first choice sticks. Don’t just blurt it out this time, m’kay?

5. It’s up to you to search the thread and make sure your choice is unique. 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 don’t want the fabulous prize, you’re smarter than you look. It takes me forever to put them in the mail, packages go by slow boat, typically take minimum eight to ten weeks and arrive looking beat all to shit.

8. The new DeadPool will begin 6pm WBT (Weasel’s Blog Time) the Friday after the last round is concluded.

The fabulous prize? Sweasel dot com’s unofficial sponsor, Aunty’s Spotted Dick! Mmmmm…it’s dickalicious!

July 30, 2010 — 6:00 pm
Comments: 165

Rose hips!

That’s what those are — the edible fruit of the wild rose. The books say you should harvest in September, after the first frost, but the rose in our hedge ripened this time last year, too. In fact, it caught me off guard last time and I didn’t make anything more interesting than cups of rose hip tea.

This year, I caught them in time and I’ve candied a bunch. Mmmmmm. I love the flavor of rose hips — something between an orange and a tomato.

During the war, my mother-in-law and other young women were sent out to collect rose hips to make syrup. Shipping had been terribly disrupted, citrus fruit was in short supply, and rose hips are incredibly high in vitamin C. Like, forty times an orange or something.

Next year, I think I’ll make syrup. You can crush whole fruit to make syrup. To make anything else, you have to cut them open and empty the seed pod — a highly painintheassical operation. Besides all the fiddly little seeds, the pods are lined with tiny hairs — he only known use for which is making novelty itching powder. No fooling.

You know, I haven’t eaten so much shit out of the yard since I was raised by wild hippies.


UPDATE: oh, right…almost forgot. Tomorrow. Dead Pool. Six p.m. Weasel Blog Time. Be there, or somebody else is going to get Zsa Zsa. And sherlock? If you want your dick, you need to shout out…

July 29, 2010 — 11:07 pm
Comments: 17

you know…

We need to make some friends who DON’T drink wine in the daytime, because it’s incumbent on me as hosestessssszzzzzzz….

July 28, 2010 — 9:01 pm
Comments: 13

Yes, but is it art?

Uncle B harvested the onions today — a bit early, but they’d bulbed up nicely and he needed the space. And here they are, clipped to the plastic thing he used for air-drying his socks when he lived in a small flat.

What? I thought it was brilliant.

Gotta run…we have a friend visiting tomorrow and I have to scrape the uppermost archeological layer of filth off the place.

July 27, 2010 — 10:33 pm
Comments: 27

Pagans to the left of me! Pagans to the right!

Here we are nearly through the Summer fête season, and I haven’t posted about any of our entertainments. I suppose when you’ve described one brass band and table full of knick knacks, you’ve pretty much told the story.

Here’s something new to me, though — we bought a corn dolly at the last one.

“Corn” here means wheat, oats, rye or barley — whatever your staple carb crop may be — and not just maize. Maize being the thing-on-the-cob we call corn.

Except for tuna and sweetcorn, which is indeed tuna salad with corn kernels in. Which is like…yeah. It’s like that.

God, being a immigrant is confusing.

Anyhoo, a corn dolly is a little sculpture plaited out of straw, either as a love token at harvest time, or a receptacle to hold the spirit of the grain until she can be ploughed back into the earth in Spring.

Children of the Corn. Rosemary’s Baby. Wicker Man. Can I just trust y’all to come up with your own pop culture film reference for the place where I am currently at?

Thank you.

July 26, 2010 — 11:02 pm
Comments: 24

Uncle Stinky? You bastards!

Thanks to everyone who sent me this link. And by “thanks” I mean AIIIIIIIIIUlulululululu!

So the backstory — these two Scots have started up a brewery called BrewDog. Their offerings are are beers of higher than usual alcohol content, and smartassery.

By a combination of freezing and storing in oak casks, they raised the alcohol content of ale to an astonishing 55% — that’s 110 proof beer, folks! They call it The End of History — because that’s it for the experiment.

They made twelve whole bottles at that strength and released eleven, seven in stoats and four in gray squirrels. Five hundred British pounds a whack.

Um, yeah. The taxidermy. Roadkill, they claim.

They could at least have found a skinnier bottle, so old Stoaty doesn’t look like he has a goiter.

They make some interesting beer. If only they weren’t such punks.

Closer to home, my first batch of homebrew is due to be ready in about a week. But there’s been a mounting crescendo of beer pong — by which I mean a stench, not a drinking game — coming from that quarter. So I had a look today and discovered my bung has been leaking — oi, quiet down, you in the back there!

I reckon I lost about a half pint onto the floor.

As long as I was messing around with it, I figured I’d have a taste. It hasn’t cleared yet, but it was very acceptable. In fact, it was fine.

My next experiment? Crazy-ass yeast.

Good weekend, everyone!

July 23, 2010 — 10:02 pm
Comments: 20

Random

Ettore Boiardi — Chef Boyardee — was a real person. I guess I knew that, though I was too young to have seen him in the commercials (click the picture for a YouTube).

I gather from paddling around the web that he was a famous and splendid chef, and his mass-produced food was actually very good — when he made it.

He sold the whole outfit to a food conglomerate in 1946, though, and that must have been when some accountant cried, “wait! This food needs more suck!”

Canned pasta. Yuck.

He’s the reason I never voluntarily ate pasta (or anything pretending to be Italian) until I was in my twenties and tripped over the real thing.

My chicken has a black eye. And a bloody comb. And a couple of scabby patches on the side of her head.

It looks like she flew full-tilt into the mesh and rode it down on her face. The two don’t fight, beyond a little belly bumping, so that’s surely exactly what happened.

Eh. She’ll be fine. Both well otherwise.

And about this Journolist thing. The attempted spin seems to be “who’s surprised that lefty opinion writers have lefty opinions?” Not so fast, sonny. There are many delightful nuggets in there.

■ The Listers are such utter douchenozzles.

■ They weren’t sharing opinions, they were building consensus on how best to spin — warp the reporting of — news for partisan advantage.

■ If I employed any of those bozos, I’d be pissed. They are paid for original work, not copypasta. Though all their bosses are liberals, so they’re only going to be pissed at the embarrassment.

■ How many more people are going to wreck their careers before it is generally understood there is no such thing as off the record??? I knew it in the days when ideas were written on paper. Didn’t you? Now that words fly around at the speed of electrons, no one should EVER type ANYthing he wouldn’t want to see under a blinking siren on the Drudge Report.

This scoop must be a godsend for Tucker Carlson, working to get a new site off the ground. So I totally understand why he’d dribble it out day by day. But I do so wish this one had gone down like the CRU emails dump — released in one big go for busy webmonkeys to crawl all over.

Breitbart offers a $100,000 reward for the archive and doesn’t get it? And Tucker does? I wonder how much he has and from whence it came.

Hey, I got a fabulous spotted dick for anyone Lister who leaks the archive to me.

July 22, 2010 — 10:50 pm
Comments: 26

Ummm…because I can?

You know, I might be the first person who ever digitally altered someone’s race.

I drove an early photo manipulation workstation in the mid Eighties, several years before Photoshop existed. We were doing this primitive computer simulation/game that involved lots of static head shots of various characters. It was a training thing. We had just finished, when it dawned on some clever sod that there weren’t any persons of color in it.

So, I took one of the characters — the one my boss had modeled for, as it happened — and made him a brother. It was a perfectly harmless bit of illustration. He looked handsomer in color, if I do say so myself.

Management was -=HORRIFIED=- when they saw it. They could quite put their finger on what was wrong about it, but they made me erase it on the spot and gave me to understand I’d done a Very Bad Thing and Must Never Tell Anyone.

Anyhow, a funny thing happened on the way to the national conversation on race we were supposed to be having…

So, I confess, I’m far too lazy to go listen to Part Two of the Shirley Sharrod/NAACP speech that was supposed to exonerate her and leave egg all over Breitbart’s face.

Because, frankly, I’m having a hell of a time imagining anything she could have said in Part Two that would get her off the hook for Part One. Except, maybe, “Oh my god, I was such an asshole, those things I was saying a few minutes ago…”

Did anybody listen to the whole thing?

July 21, 2010 — 10:41 pm
Comments: 24

Help a brother out?

Anybody got a good home remedy, repellant, preventative or treatment for flea bites? Second year running Uncle B’s been eaten alive with fleas. Really, his ankles are a mess.

They go after him in preference to the cat.

Me? Not a bite. Same thing for mosquitoes, which season we’re just coming into — he gets bitten all to shit, I haven’t had a nibble since I’ve been here.

We’ve got the cat on Frontline (the back-of-the-neck thing) and Program (screws with their eggs; goes in her food). I’ve vacuumed and sprayed the carpet (semi-)regularly. He’s tried tea tree oil, lavender oil, antihistamine cream, rockinghorse shit. About the only thing giving him any relief is some calendula hippie crap.

Any suggestions?

July 20, 2010 — 10:23 pm
Comments: 51

Screwing with the classics

The current topic at Freaking News is Degas. Which just cried out for the weasel treatment (The Absinthe Drinker meets plop-plop, fizz-fizz).

I really dislike the Impressionists. Not so much for their work — though some of it is truly hideous, some is okay — but because they have been so grossly overestimated and overpraised in my lifetime — and roundly congratulated for overthrowing the art that preceded them. They aren’t nearly good enough to be put forward as the bestest art that ever was.

I believed that before I got a look at the art they “overthrew” — the pre-Raphaelites and Victorian narrative painting. And when I did, my dislike of the Impressionists ripened into ripe dislike.

Late Victorian painting too often strayed into the silly and the sloppy-sentimental, I’ll cop to that, but it was by-god the most technically accomplished use of oil paint ever. Pre-impressionist Victorians loved to paint lush, creamy textures — polished wood, oriental carpets, mother of pearl, alabaster, fur, feathers — and they were irrepressible show-offs.

Sadly, “overthrow” is the right word. You couldn’t give away Victorian paintings for the longest time (there’s a persistent rumor that one of Alma Tadema‘s canvases was rescued off a trash heap). Museums that hold them seldom show them. I learned to keep an eye on side passages and other inauspicious hanging spots, in the hope of catching some stray bit of the 19th C collection accidentally on display.

That’s changing a bit, thanks in large part to Andrew Lloyd Weber. Hate his musicals, love his art collection.

July 19, 2010 — 11:11 pm
Comments: 23