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I’m not even sure *this* is English

I’m doing it, guys. I’m doing the last ever bit of paperwork – going for my British citizenship.

I’ve been eligible for years now, I’m just. You know. Lazy.

Also, I hate, hate, HATE dealing with the immigration authorities here. They’re all surly brown people with a chip on their hijab.

So this is a tick box: I have promised to provide “The United States of America passport, identity card or official letter for S. Weasel to prove the level of English language required”

What does that mean? Showing my passport proves I speak English? It doesn’t, you know.

Oh, well. If I make it, I have to go take an oath to Charlie in public and then I get a new citizen welcome kit. Really.

Going to cost me £1,330, too. Still, I’ll be able to commit misdemeanors and not get deported. Worth it!

March 31, 2023 — 6:34 pm
Comments: 12

thispersondoesnotexist does not exist

Well! Uncle B was combing through his old bookmarks (the browser equivalent of rearranging your sock drawer) and discovered that thispersondoesnotexist.com is gone. Or, rather, the URL was bought by Stability AI and redirects to their product.

Confirmed by Reddit r/TPDNE a month ago. Though they don’t seem to know the story.

Stability AI’s product is called Stable Diffusion and it does a similar job to TPDNE, among other things. You’ve probably seen some illustrations created with it.

They offer a free Photoshop plugin, which got me all excited, but it only works with Photoshop 23.5 or newer.

I think my version is 9. Poop.

Anyway, TPDNE was always good for a fascinating half hour. The faces it generated were scary good – for the most part. It had problems with glasses, earrings, other people in the shot.

People used it a lot for things like fake Twitter profiles. I wonder if that played a part in its demise.

Oh, thiscatdoesnotexist is gone, too. It sucked.

March 30, 2023 — 7:49 pm
Comments: 5

Well, that didn’t last long

My fancy new coffee subscription service, kaput. I only had two deliveries.

I joined them after I saw an ad on Twitter. I wonder if they had one last marketing blowout trying to revive their fortunes.

Oh, well. I have now more or less figured out what I do and don’t like, so coffee surprise! isn’t such an important service.

I mean, I haven’t worked out what all that language about tropical fruit and notes of tobacco and chocolate means in real terms, but I know I cannot tell the difference between one dark roast and another. And I don’t like ’em.

March 29, 2023 — 7:20 pm
Comments: 8

Outdoor chocolate

The town was called Bunny, you see. It’s in Nottinghamshire.

So Nestlé snuck in in the middle of the night and renamed it Easter Bunny and built this ten-foot-tall chocolate rabbit. Yes, it’s all chocolate. Upwards of a hundred pounds of the stufff. The basket – also chocolate – has 698 treats in it, one for each person in the village.

The article describes it as a surprise to the village, but surely the mayor or someone was in on it. I feel like you have to have permission.

I mean, this is a nice story and all, but something about outdoor chocolate bothers me. I mean, won’t it…melt or get stuff stuck in it or the seagulls and rats and vandals will eat it and shit all over everything. It seems big unsanitary.

Oh, well. Bunny gets a park bench out of it – not made from chocolate.

March 28, 2023 — 6:35 pm
Comments: 5

A little Greek swag

Pretty little cup to go with my fancy coffees. It’s the tiniest demitasse I ever did see, but I have a carafe for the coffee, so that’s okay.

The latest is me trying (and failing) to make a proper Turkish coffee. I can’t tell you how many YouTubes I’ve watched.

You start with a medium roast arabica, ground to a fine powder. Add one heaping teaspoon per cup plus sugar (if desired) and water into a cezve (I don’t have a one of them, but I do have a small copper-bottomed vessel I used for making chai).

Heat it slowly over medium heat until just before the boiling point. It bubbles up and you skim off the crema into a cup (a larger cup than this, obvs), then slowly pour in the coffee. The grounds either dissolve or sink to the bottom, I’m not sure which is supposed to happen.

Because it doesn’t. I get a giant mouthful of hot grounds. Every time.

Oh, well. Once I pour it through a filter, it makes a really very nice cup of coffee. It’s just not a Turkish coffee.

March 27, 2023 — 6:59 pm
Comments: 7

Oh, c’mon!

This one is a reach. Local news site has accused Upper Dicker and Lower Dicker of being “rudely named Sussex hamlets.” I’ve been to both and they is innocent.

Dicker is a perfectly cromulent word. It’s no Pratt’s Bottom

I know what happened. All these local news sites run on a steady diet of “this pretty Sussex village” and “this quaint Sussex pub” stories. And, while we have a lot of both, they soon blow through all the really good ones. Then they get desperate.

We are situated on a road that runs several miles between a village and a town. Not surprisingly, we’re on this road a lot. It was recently featured in one of these items as one of the prettiest drives in Sussex.

I told Uncle B and he laughed. “The one with the industrial estate?” The very one. Sheep are quaint in lambing time, though.

Have a good weekend, everyone!

March 24, 2023 — 8:08 pm
Comments: 5

They’re not even my cats

Microchipping cats to become compulsory in the UK this year.

I know. I’m reduced to this. That’s just how boring and awful my day was today.

On a brighter note, some poor headline writer got to use “meow or never” – so that probably increased the quota of joy in the universe.

p.s. Yes. All my cats are chipped, always.

March 23, 2023 — 7:47 pm
Comments: 7


Weather was atrocious again today – wet and windy. We were going a little stir crazy, so we headed out to a new farm shop. Yes, that’s what we do for kicks. We have to go further and further afield to find new ones, though.

You might think they’re all alike, but wrong again, my imaginary internet friend. There are some things all farm shops seem to have in common – there’s a particular brand of frozen entrée name of Cook that’s in every one of them and some local grocery stores. I think Cook supplies the freezers for free, which explains that.

But they all have their specialities. Some have their own local fruit farm or market gardens. The one nearest us specializes in being terrible, which is a shame. It’s a fake farm shop for tourists.

The one we went to today specializes in meat. They rear their own pigs and sheep and especially cows. We like meat.

On a Summer’s day, you can watch the herd contentedly grazing behind the shop. You probably could’ve watched them discontentedly munching hay in a barn today if you had a mind to get wet.

They clearly have a mixed meat/dairy herd because FRESH MILK DISPENSER, Y’ALL! You buy the bottle (or bring it back washed), press the button and DAIRY MIRACLE. I’m very fond of milk.

I’d like to think on the other side of that wall is a cow hooked up to a milking machine.

March 22, 2023 — 7:15 pm
Comments: 8

Weary and elderly

You and me both, mate.

This sad seal washed up on the beach in Arun. He looked so awful, people kept calling animal control, who sent a vet out.

Because of course they did.

Turns out he’s just old and tired. And moulting.

I did not know seals spend one month a year shedding their hair and the whole layer of skin underneath it. During the month, they stop eating, sleep a lot, roll around on the sand and look like absolute shit.

That’s it, y’all. I’m moulting.

March 21, 2023 — 7:57 pm
Comments: 9

It’s the Equinox, y’all!

Hoo boy, that illustration does not work in black and white at all. I stole it from this article. From the article:

The equinox happens at the same moment worldwide, although our clock times reflect a different time zone…Interestingly, due to time zone differences, there isn’t a March 21 equinox in mainland U.S. during the entire 21st century! We won’t see a March 21 equinox again until 2101.

I’m going to post that paragraph just as if I understood it.

It well and truly felt like Spring over the weekend, but we’re back to damp and miserable today and for the foreseeable.

Changing the subject, I enjoyed this video: man demonstrates the ten types of magic. This guy is a brilliant stop-motion animator, so that’s probably a clue. If you want to know how he did #10, it’s not the obvious. I watched it a bajillion times to work it out.

If you don’t feel like watching it a bajillion times, I’ll spoil it in the comments.

March 20, 2023 — 7:25 pm
Comments: 10