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Things you see in the market

Thursday is market day, and for once we were out early enough to catch it.

I don’t know if we have the equivalent of these open air markets in the States. Maybe we do and I somehow missed it. I spent many happy hours in flea markets, but that’s not the same (the flea market equivalent here is the car boot sale, and we’re never out early enough to catch those).

This is all new stuff. Some of it scruffy and cheap. Some of it not so scruffy and cheap. Some of it not so scruffy and not so cheap. Some of it from local stores at pretty much their regular prices.

There’s food and clothes and jewelry and shoes and tools and pet food and incense and household goods. There’s a Persian parfumier and a fake Indian (feather Indian, not dot Indian) selling dream catchers. There used to be a baker who came over from France. There’s cheese and crabs and rutabegas (which they call swedes). There’s a big book stall and a guy with a wok and statues of the Buddha and flowers. It’s a pretty Dickensian day.

The market seems to fill an important niche in the local economy. Buses full of bluehairs turn up on the day. In a land where everything is very, very expensive, it’s a place to go to get cheap garbage bags and wooden clothes pins.

Anyhoo, as we were leaving, I said to Uncle B, “gosh, that guy looks like Tom Baker.”

And he was, like, “that’s probably because he’s Tom Baker.”

So, there you go, vintage Doctor Who fans. Wot I saw in the market today.

May 17, 2012 — 10:40 pm
Comments: 37


So I was searching Google images for an old comic strip and I turned up the image on the left. Hilarity ensued when Google Ads decided to pair it with the broad on the right.

Well, I LOL’ed.

BTW, the thing on the left is a publicity shot for The Romance of Helen Trent, the longest-running radio soap opera evah. It ran for 7,222 episodes from 1933 to 1960, during which time widow Helen Trent never remarried nor aged a day over 35.

You can listen to many of them online.

Oh, and the aged tart on the right looks even skankier in the original color ad.

May 16, 2012 — 9:39 pm
Comments: 27

The Self Esteem president

Did you see this today? Some bright spark at Heritage noticed that TeamObama has been diddling the presidential profiles at WhiteHouse.gov, inserting Obama’s accomplishments into the biographies of his predecessors.

As Commentary discovered:

Obama has added bullet points bragging about his own accomplishments to the biographical sketches of every single U.S. president since Calvin Coolidge (except, for some reason, Gerald Ford).

It’s pretty weak stuff, like “On August 14, 1935, President Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act. Today the Obama administration continues to protect seniors and ensure Social Security will be there for future generations.”

It’s not quite as bad as it sounds. He didn’t really “insert himself into” the biographies, he tacked his talking points at the bottom of the page in a little bullet list. (I checked it against the Wayback Machine and the biographies themselves appear unchanged). Adding a little modern addendum doesn’t seem like such a sin, until you think of Obama and his huge throbbing ego.

But it’s like, once you figure out what drives you crazy about somebody, it seems like every damn thing he does is that thing that drives you crazy.

Oh, hey, Bob just got back from China. Go look at his vacation pics. If there’s a Sinophiliac bone in your body…I recommend penicillin.

May 15, 2012 — 10:10 pm
Comments: 26


(click to embiggen and becolor)

Whoa. When Redd pointed me to That Newsweek cover, I thought it was a P’shop.


Obama may (or may not) have picked up a few votes by declaring his (nonbinding, verbal) support for gay marriage. But being declared the first gay president? Yeah, probably not helpful.

So the question is, did Andrew Sullivan (who is, let us remember, bugfuck crazy) call Obama gay because he just couldn’t contain his excitement (“…when I watched the interview, the tears came flooding down…), even if it might be politically damaging in 2012? Or does he think that the culture wars are finally won — in his favor? Or is he — eh, I dunno — bugfuck crazy?

May 14, 2012 — 8:02 pm
Comments: 40

For no particular reason, John Buscema

Burned my usual post-creating time cruising this random collection of John Buscema drawings. I suppose it’s kinda, sorta timely, since he did a lot of the iconic work on the Avengers comics (now a major motion picture!).

Me, I spent the long Summer between the end of High School and the beginning of college with Conan the Barbarian. Hey, when you’re going away to art school, you can do this and call it studying. Score!

Now don’t you feel silly about that stupid law or engineering degree, Sir or Madam?

Lookit the pictures, and have a good weekend!

Wait, if you haven’t seen the Hating Breitbart trailers, go and do that thing also.

May 11, 2012 — 10:31 pm
Comments: 31

Yes, sir, you certainly be

There are two important things you need to know about this photograph:

1. It has not been Photoshopped. Not by me, anyway.

2. It was hand picked by campaign staffers to be uploaded to Obama’s Facebook page and website.

Okay, three things:

3. It’s not the only embarrassing shot they chose to publicize. No sirree bob.

Go on, click the link. It’s not an icky old Obamalink, it’s from David Stein at Republican Party Animals (who’s written some funny captions to go with).

May 10, 2012 — 10:39 pm
Comments: 28

President Gutsy Call rides again

Hey. Well. So Obama took a stand on gay marriage that may or may not be slightly more popular than unpopular nationally, will make the people who were going to vote for him anyway somewhat happier with him, will make people who will never vote for him somewhat unhappier with him and won’t affect actual law or policy in any way.

Surely I can get a good post out of that.



May 9, 2012 — 9:18 pm
Comments: 31

Heyyyy, what’s Rummy doing on my nuts?

It’s a funny thing, being a furriner. The familiar crops up in the damnedest places.

Like — wait, what? What is this famous picture of Donald Rumsfeld gurning at a geisha doing on a packet of wasabi peanuts?

Apparently, Tyrrell’s just liked it. In fact, their headline over this image is “English Eccentrics.” Cheeky.

Whew, that got Time magazine’s panties in a wad.

One [unknown] remains: whether the hawkish neo-con, whom many Britons remember from the misadventure of the Iraq war, truly reflects the light-hearted and slightly eccentric view of life Tyrrell’s wishes to associate with its brand. Whichever way you look at it, it’s nuts.

Well, anyway, they got the story right. It was during President Gerald Ford’s 1974 trip to Japan. Rumsfeld was the WH Chief of Staff. He was passing a chopstick scrunched under his nose to the Geisha next to him. As you do.

This was apparently a competitive event, and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger won, thanks to superior physical endowments. His nose, people.

The peanuts are delicious.

May 8, 2012 — 8:55 pm
Comments: 22

Tea geekery

I’m a green tea geek. Okay, no, honestly, I’m an aspiring green tea geek. I like the stuff a lot, but I don’t know much about it.

At my old job in the States, I regularly worked with several Chinese scientists. When they learned I liked green tea, they kept me supplied with it. Unfortunately, none of the containers had a word of English on them. This makes the learning curve really, really steep.

I’m posting this picture in the hopes that Bob (welcome home, Bob!) can help me work out what this is. It’s the last of my stash. Yellow cardboard box with red lettering, the same front and back. On the sides, small type that looks like instructions, maybe.

Boy, they sure go in for minimalist packaging over there, don’t they? Stupid FDA ruins our food package aesthetics.

After the second infusion, this stuff unfurls into a…a…shrubbery. Seriously, it’s like a freaking Christmas tree in a pot.

Meanwhile, I’ve been hanging out with these people. It’s like tea porn. Really, really expensive tea porn.

This is the one I’m drinking at the moment. Let’s see…£10 for 50 grams…28 grams in an ounce, buck sixty to the British pound, I make that somewhere in the region of $10 an ounce.

Ugh. Pass the Lipton’s, somebody.

May 7, 2012 — 9:06 pm
Comments: 32

Julia, a tragedy in twelve acts

I confess — I feel more than a twinge of sympathy for the stupid drone (or, more likely, committee of drones) who came up with this Julia thing. I’ve done a thousand crappy educational slideshows just like it. Everything looks fine in bullet point form on the memo, and nobody spots the flaws, unintended messages and double entendres until it goes live and singes everyone’s eyebrows off.

The brief: show how Obama’s policies benefit women throughout their lives (do please stress the woman thing; they’re pushing that at the moment). Hey, I know, let’s take one woman — we’ll call her Julia — and look at a dozen points in her life when our policies could help her out. Easy peasy, light and breezy.

But once you string the whole thing together, it becomes the sad story of a woman with no face, no friends, no family. No lover, no husband, a son begat of turkey baster (who gets on a bus one day and is never seen again). She’s a gormless thing who needs a government handout at every turn. It takes her seven years to get a degree and then she takes a low-paying job that doesn’t require one. And when she’s old and her codin’ days are done, she hoes beans for free in a communal veg plot. Alone.

Oh, and apparently Obama is president for seventy years.

The problem with most of the programs in the slideshow is that they’re either small amounts, narrowly targeted beneficiaries or both. With the exception of education and Social Security — and nobody believes Obama or anybody else has got those licked — Julia gets a small amount of free stuff almost nobody gives a shit about. There’s absolutely fuck-all to be passionate about here.

F’rexample, the only people who care about the cost of birth control pills are women of childbearing age who want them. And women of childbearing age who want to be on the pill are the exact people who know that the pill isn’t very expensive or hard to get. Because, you know, they’re buying them now.

To the barricades, Comrades! The Romney/Ryan budget could cut programs like the Small Business Administration by 20%!

Oh, that poor Flashmonkey. Good weekend, all!

May 4, 2012 — 10:15 pm
Comments: 28