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I think I saw one of these today. Probably not this model, which is from California, but an electric motorcycle of some kind.

I was surprised to learn it’s a thing. Even Harley-Davidson has one.

All the articles I read go on about how fast they can go (very fast, by the way). But my question is, how far can they go on a charge? And how heavy is the battery?

Bike batteries like mine have about five years in them. Or, rather, they pledge to lose no more than 20% of their efficiency every year. And they’re hella expensive.

Anyway, it swooshed down the road we live on making a weird zzzZZZzzz sound. I’m surprised that’s acceptable. I thought most motorcycle riders were in it for the BURBLE-A-BURBLE-A-BURBLE-A.

If that becomes the default engine sound some day, the roadkill will be epic 🙁

August 31, 2020 — 8:00 pm
Comments: 8

Joe Ruby, co-creater of “Scooby-Doo,” died Wednesday aged 87

In an era dominated by truly horrible Hannah-Barbera animation, Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! stood out as something uniquely bizarre and ugly.

Who permitted four underage mixed-sex teenagers to spend their days travelling around in a van unchaperoned? Why was shaggy a Maynard G. Krebs beatnik, a character from the previous decade? Why the heck did “Where Are You!” end with an exclamation point and not a question mark??

Mostly, why did this program have staying power when others with a very similar formula (The Funky Phantom and Speed Buggy both featured a cast of teenagers with one novelty talking character) did not?

Look at the list and feel the memories flooding back, like PTSD flashbacks.

I make an exception for their adventure cartoons like Space Ghost and The Herculoids, which had character designs by the brilliant comics illustrator Alex Toth. A good man working in a severely limiting medium.

I had a boss who was a great admirer of Hannah-Barbera and their ability to cut corners and still get the job done. Cheap tricks like when Fred is talking they show Barney standing there blinking, and when Barney is talking they show Fred, to avoid having to animate lips. Says a lot about the man and how much fun he was to work for.

A final note: that thing Fred is wearing is an Apache scarf – a fashion item that exactly matches the show’s release date and vanished fairly quickly thereafter. They were usually gaudy scarves held together with a tacky bit of paste jewelelry called an Apache scarf ring. They were a dollar at JC Penney and I loved them.

Have a good weekend, everyone!

August 28, 2020 — 7:45 pm
Comments: 16

And I’m just over here eating fake Rice Crispies, like, “damn!”

To clarify, I’ve spent most of my day watching snippets of livestreams of your various charming riots.

But, yeah, this is a thing Aldi does – it makes knockoff products and puts them in boxes that are so close to the product they’re mimicking. I’d roll my eyes, but the fake products are really good. Sometimes better than the original.

I miss Aldi. We haven’t been since the mask mandate 🙁

August 27, 2020 — 7:24 pm
Comments: 11

See through toilets, y’all

These transparent toilets have been installed in a Tokyo park. According to the article, when you go inside and throw the lock, the glass becomes opaque.

I wouldn’t trust it. Would you trust it? I have a hard enough time dealing with public bathrooms as it is.

I guess the idea is you see the park behind the glass, but I’m confident the real story is an architect who figured out how to do something weird and had to try it.

What? You thought we were talking about books? Pff! It was only ever a matter of time before I got back on toilets.

August 26, 2020 — 8:16 pm
Comments: 10

Muh boiz

Us, this morning. Yes, it’s the first time I’ve been becatted by both at once. Yes, it’s adorable. Yes, sitting in one position for so long, I put my back out and had to take the good Ibuprofen. The one with codeine.

Yes, I can get that over the counter here. w00t!

So let’s just continue chewing over Deborah HH’s question from the previous thread: she is soliciting recommendations for good American novels. Let me think. It’s been a while since I read fiction.

When I was about 15 and living on a farm in the middle of nowhere in long Summer, I got hold of one of those 100 books you must read to be an Educated Person and tried to slog my way through it. I don’t remember how far I got before I gave up in despair, but I do remember the book that did for me: The Bridge of San Luis Rey. Feh.

I recommend Call of the Wild (dog -> wolf) or White Fang (wolf -> dog). I like Jack London.

Just about anything by Twain or Vonnegut. Well, maybe not late Vonnegut. Okay, Salinger. I guess. Nothing by Hemingway. Muh Southern representation, Flannery O’Connor.

The one I used to re-read every year but don’t necessarily recommend: The Snake Pit (the movie, as movies tend, doesn’t do it justice). The best book I absolutely don’t recommend because it’s pure nightmare fuel: Johnny Got His Gun. I hate murder mysteries, but reading Silence of the Lambs was the first time I ever stood up out of a chair in shock with a book in my hands (hated the movie).

I don’t know. I can’t dredge any more up. I’m rusty. I have a feeling I would’ve been able to write on this topic at great length thirty years ago. At some point, I unconsciously decided I don’t have time to read about things that didn’t happen.

August 25, 2020 — 7:17 pm
Comments: 20

Nobody told me this was a thing!!!

This is a Brother Scan N Cut. It scans line art and then cuts it out of stuff, like construction paper or adhesive stuff. Or you can feed it fonts and just tell it to cut stuff out.

It’s…I could make such fantastic…mandalas…doilies. Stuff. Shit, I don’t know. I’m not crafty. I just want to spend an afternoon playing with it.

I didn’t know such a thing existed in the world until Amazon offered me a replacement blade for one this morning.

August 24, 2020 — 7:35 pm
Comments: 18

The nights are drawing in

This is what popped into my head when I noticed how the nights are drawing in. And then I was so amused at the idea of Albert as a were-chicken, I had to make it so. (Just because an animal draws a little blood…)

Yeah, ‘scuse the jaggies. I couldn’t be bothered to fire up Photoshop. It wasn’t that funny.

But say, have you noticed how the nights are drawing in…? Have a good weekend, everyone!

August 21, 2020 — 7:39 pm
Comments: 7

Welly hits the books

Nothing going on today, so how about a kitten update?

Welly will be a year old just about a month from now. I think he has a lot of growing to do still. Either that, or he has a stupidly inappropriate tail. Honestly, it looks like it belongs to some other cat. Or maybe a snow leopard.

He and big cat get along famously, though Welly takes the lead. He’s a much more assertive cat.

He’s also a total sweetheart. Honestly, the two cat we have now are the best natured cats I’ve ever had. They don’t even play rough.

We are blessed with kitties.

p.s. He’s a chicken chaser, though.

August 20, 2020 — 8:27 pm
Comments: 16

And Henry Aduts, as himself

I hate those prove you’re human Captcha things as much as the next webizen, but this right here is why they exist. When I went into work yesterday and logged into the office computer for the first time in four months, there were over two thousand of these waiting for me.

Don’t worry, I don’t have to go through them. I’ve had the work account forwarded to a gmail account from the beginning, so they’ve all been dealt with.

I get about a dozen of these every day, and I’d say one in a hundred is a genuine inquiry. Over time, I’ve learned to recognize which ones to biff unopened.

Henry Aduts is selling a get rich quick scheme of some kind, several times a day. Not sure what, I’ve never clicked the link. Some kind of bot.

Girl’sfirstname Rogers has a $3,500 commission check waiting for me, often. I just need to give her my address.

Then there are usernames that follow a pattern: normal first name, screwy second name and a couple of uppercase letters tacked on the end. GeorgIzzCQ. AnthonyBoilkAS. KenCreedmoremitPP. NatashaLag941EA. Those are always selling gross porn. And by gross, the only description I actually remember is housewife torture porn.

You can imagine why that stuck in my head.

So, using my vast powers of deduction, the only two on that list I had to open were Robbin Crookes and Eric Jones. Yeah, they were spam, too, but they weren’t nasty spam and there were only two of them. It helps.

The one that makes me laugh – well, rage, then laugh – is the one that goes “Webform spam works, and I can prove it! You’re reading this message right now!” Yes, I’m reading it and hating you for wasting my time, stupid spammer person.

August 19, 2020 — 6:42 pm
Comments: 2

It’s still there

I went into the office today for the first time in four months.

What drove me to hoist my frail and elderly body out in public in time of plague? The Annual General Meeting. Specifically, dooing the paperwork in prep for it. If you thought the circumstances would warrant our organization skipping the AGM for this year, you don’t know Brits. They are mad about parliamentary procedure.

I mean, yeah, sure, they ruled an empire by adhering to strict rules of order, but asking a weasel to take meeting minutes seriously is a fool’s errand.

I had over 4,000 emails in my inbox 🙁

August 18, 2020 — 7:06 pm
Comments: 5