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Don’t stare at the Angel of Death, honey

I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “Stoaty, how can you NOT be blogging the great liberal train wreck that is Obamacare?” I’ve soaked up every article I can find this week, I promise. I’ve enjoyed — I have so totally enjoyed — my Schadenfreude McNuggets Happy Meal.

But brain simply refuses to absorb the scope of what I’m looking at. Popular culture during and just after the Black Death (the Big One, 1348) is surprisingly free of references to the Black Death.

“Holy shit, dude — what just happened to us?” “Shhhh, dude. Shhhhhh.

I mean, I’d enjoy this fustercluck a lot more if I could see how a healthy medical service will come out the other side.

Oh, I know what else you’re thinking. “Stoaty,” you’re thinking, “you’re covered by the NHS now. What do you care?”

Well. Yes. I’m covered. The NHS isn’t truly awful, though it is awful in parts. Perhaps some day you’d like me to expand on that. But it’s just not…

Okay, for example — by law, a doctor’s appointment is ten minutes long here. If you think you have an especially thorny medical problem, you can book yourself for twenty.

Well, the British Medical Association’s GP negotiating team has just renegotiated that bit. In case your doctor thinks you really only need five minutes.

Good weekend, folks!

sock it to me

November 16, 2013 — 12:00 am
Comments: 15

In case you didn’t know where the Pixar logo comes from

Last week, I got caught up on a couple of Pixar flicks I missed on release (Tangled and Brave). A great joy. I’ve been a huge animation fan since forever and a computer graphics perfeshunal since pretty much the beginning, so it’s a cinch I’m a ginormous fan of 3D animation.

Damn, but the early stuff was awful. I had a friend who dated a guy who wrote software for 3D modeling in the early 80s. I thought that was the shit. They had this big expensive rig that built and animated a 3-D teapot. I think it took, like, three days to render a single freaking teapot. And it looked like ass. I loved it.

In 1988, I got to go to SIGGRAPH for the first and only time, and there I saw my very first Pixar film. Which was THE very first Pixar film — or at least the first one released under the name Pixar.

I still think Luxo jr is a masterpiece of character animation. I’m not alone. When it first started to roll — given when this was made — I think most of us just expected a render test (Pixar made their money selling dedicated animation hardware and software in those days). I was not expecting a clean, simple, brilliant short film.

Sadly, this was 1988, so I also got to see Pixar’s second and third releases at the same sitting — Red’s Dream and Tin Toy. Oh, jesus, that godawful clown! Oh god, that hideous lumpy baby! Brrrrrrr.

Even now. Every single time Pixar tries to do realistic humans — oh that Uncanny Valley!

sock it to me

November 15, 2013 — 12:33 am
Comments: 16


Locked in kitchen with fearsome creature. Not allowed out until beast asleep. Much loss of blood. Wifi signal weak, skootch behind fridge to get two bars. Can’t hold out much longer.



sock it to me

November 13, 2013 — 11:49 pm
Comments: 22

Hello, stoopit

I don’t know why I even look at the Mail. I’m convinced half the things in it are fakes or put-up jobs, and the other half are low rent and tacky. But there’s lots of it, and the internet has been boring lately.

Oh, well. This guy and his wife rescued two battery hens. And then, worried that the chickens would feel the cold, had little woolly pinafores made for them. Looking at the pictures, those birds do not look happy to me. I’m sure they’re like, “can we go back to our nice warm barn now?”

Though it can be hard to judge the mood of a chicken, I’m pretty sure my girls are missing Lucia. She was, after all, the one who told them what to do. Now they just drift around looking listless and unhappy. The weather isn’t helping. They don’t even come out of the hut most of the day.

With the death of Lucia, there’s room on the perch for Coco (who grew up to be a big, beautiful bird) in the main house, and Maggie (the crippled one) can have the nest box for the Winter, so she’s at least with the other girls. At last my whole glum, abbreviated flock is together now.

Dear Abby – I think my chickens are depressed.

sock it to me

November 12, 2013 — 11:34 pm
Comments: 17

Put me some knowledge

Happy Armistice Day slash Veterans Day, folks. Especially you veterans. And armistixes. The web seems boring today, so I will be, too.

Are any of you using Google+? Can you ‘splain it to me?

I’ve heard it called FaceBook without FaceBook. I get the impression Google is pushing it pretty hard right now, which is pissing people off. I understand they’ve tied Google+ to the comment system on YouTube, likewise pissing people off. And that’s pretty much all I know.

Uncle B and I have both seen a big uptick lately in requests for Google+ linkages and Hangouts. He’s a bit like this about social media. I’m willing to try things, but I live in terror that my tablet is going to rat me out to my desktop PC some day. You know — real name, medical history, jeans size, the latitude and longitude of the spot I’m sitting now typing this useless bullshit somehow find themselves on a banner ad on Drudge. With a link to my blog.

So. How about that Google+.

sock it to me

November 11, 2013 — 11:13 pm
Comments: 38

Now, that’s just silly

Apparently, he won a goodly number of them fair and square in the Navy during the war. So that’s not silly. But, gosh you’d think uniform regs would allow these guys to wear them in two rows, instead of one long pasteboard like some kind of banana republican.

If you’re curious to know what they are and what he got them for — all 17 of them — here you go.

Good weekend, folks!

sock it to me

November 9, 2013 — 12:00 am
Comments: 19

I don’t even…

Hmmmm…didja see this over at Jammie Wearing Fools? It’s Debbie Wasserman-Schultz defending Obamacare on MSNBC. Just after 1:10 she tries to say “misled” and ends up saying “my-zeld.”

Now, that’s not a slip of the tongue. I get those ‘tard tongue moments all the time. “Misled” might come out as “mislaid” or “missiled” or “trombone.”

But not “my-zeld” — that’s the kind of thing that happens when you’re cold reading someone else’s writing and a word doesn’t register for a second. It’s a read-y slip, not a think-y slip.

So, did she have a teleprompter with the answers on? And if the answers are scripted in advance, the questions would have to be scripted in advance, too. You can’t write the answers until you know the questions.

I mean, on the one hand, MSNBC. But on the other hand, really?

sock it to me

November 7, 2013 — 11:36 pm
Comments: 27

Help me, Edna! You’re my only hope!

I had coffee with one of my neighbors this morning. She’s an earthy farmer’s daughter type. I walk in the shop and she stares thoughtfully at my left tit for a moment and says, “you know, I think that’s the largest spider I’ve ever seen.”

I did my best shrieking Lord of the Dance impersonation. After I did, in fact, GEDDIDOFFAME! GEDDIDOFFAME! she said, “I’m sorry. I didn’t think you’d be the type…” Real disappointed-like.

Jesus. Live-and-let-live a placid kitchen spider is one thing, but how many people are cool with flipping tarantulas creeping up their chests?

Anyway, I won’t post a picture of the kind of spider I think it was. I’ve done a spider this week. Have a recent picture of Mad Jack. He’s old enough for his first shots now and he goes in for them tomorrow afternoon.

Today, he fell in the toilet and discovered water.

sock it to me

November 6, 2013 — 11:25 pm
Comments: 26

Remember, remember…

Lucia, our head chicken. Boss lady. We called her the Mary Poppins of hens; practically perfect in every way. I always said I’d build her a monument when she went.

Well, she went. I found her dead in the nest box this afternoon, not a mark on her. Heart attack, I guess. She was three and a half; we were expecting her to make five or six. I think she just awesomed herself to death, like a comet streaking across the sky.

I am sad. I shall drink now.

sock it to me

November 5, 2013 — 8:50 pm
Comments: 50

I’ll end up a Jain, I swear

My one concession to wussitude is spiders. We hates them, yes we does. We have some BIG, fast emeffers in this house that make me squeal and hop from foot to foot and call for Uncle B to bring the Spider Catching Jar (doubles as the Mouse Catching Jar, but I can drive that one myself).

And then there’s this beastie. I dunno. She’s kind of a nice spider. Legs outspread, she’s about the size of a quarter. She lives between the kitchen wall and the fridge, just below the light switch, and has done for months. She must eat, she’s been there so long, but her web is always tidy. No dessicated bodies or desperately struggling butterflies or anything.

We call her Edna.

First thing in the morning, it’s good morning, Edna. Lights out, it’s good night, Edna. Live and let live, I guess.

Monday is garbage day, which is a little tough on Edna. Two of her main guy wires attach to the lid of the kitchen trash can and I have to break them to get to the delicious garbage inside. She scrunches herself into a miserable ball and thinks invisible thoughts until I go away. I never see her make repairs, though. I think that’s why she doesn’t scare me — she is never on the move. She’s just always there, serenely in the center of her web, waving a leg occasionally.

I’m going to miss that spider when she goes, god help me.

sock it to me

November 4, 2013 — 11:36 pm
Comments: 34