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Don’t let the door hit you

I’m sitting here, minding my own business, gossiping on the internet, when this pops up. I don’t remember this happening when they retired any other Operating System.

No more Tuesday Windows updates? Threaten me with a good time, why don’t you?

I know, I know…security fixes. But this computer is 10 years old as I type and the gummy keyboard is starting to drive me crazy. The idea I’ll still be pecking away on it in October of 2025 is a stretch.

Have a good weekend, y’all!

June 28, 2024 — 6:35 pm
Comments: 4

We did the thing again

Did you know the original cat cafe was in Taiwan? Japanese tourists loved the idea and brought it home. There are now maybe 40 cat cafes in Tokyo and even a dog cafe.

I know all this because Uncle B shouted it to me from the other room.

Bunch of skinny little Romanian street kitties at our local, except the one skinny little ginger who was picked up off the street in Portugal by vacationing Italians.

Call me crazy, but I bet it would be cheaper to rehome cats in their country of origin than to fly them all over the world to be rehomed. Surely we have homegrown feral cats.

This is only the second time we’ve been. First time was in December. We’ve meant to come back ever since, but it’s been awkward finding time when we’re free and the kids are in school. Children take the zen atmosphere of a cat cafe and make it squeal.

Today, it was just us, the staff, a young French couple and 13 sleepy kitties drowsing in the sun. Very relaxing.

June 27, 2024 — 5:53 pm
Comments: 1

Wot a nice mustelid!

I decided on the Google Pixel 7a phone in the end. Before I could nerve myself up to buy it, Uncle B handed me a box earlier today – he bought it for me! Awwww.

Next comes the misery of setting up a new phone. I’m sure the last time I did it, it swooshed all my old data up to the cloud and swooshed it back down onto the new phone. Now, you git yer USB-C cable and connect the one phone directly to the other by USB port.

Something vaguely obscene about that.

All done. I have a few work-specific apps that I’ll need to finish setting up from the office, and I still have to teach it to recognize my bluetooth devices, but it was pretty painless.

Then comes my favorite part: choosing a ringtone. There are like 70 of them already on this phone! We laughed ourselves silly over some of them.

Which is good. I have a spasm of anxiety every time I hear a phone ring, so I choose silly sounds for my ringtone and change it periodically. An unfamiliar or silly sound doesn’t trigger that same gut-level uh-oh reflex.

For my main ringtone, I chose a woman’s fruity voice saying “ringggg, ringggg!” There was a very good flock of chickens one, but I used to have a ringtone like it and whenever my phone rang, I thought there was trouble in the henhouse.

And for Uncle B’s custom ringtone, a scratchy Victrola record tune. Because old.

My old phone keeps waking up and looking around. I think it’s sad.

June 26, 2024 — 5:38 pm
Comments: 9


English wines are becoming very fashionable – winning all sorts of awards and accolades, mightily pissing off the French. Particularly good are the sparkling wines, which of course cannot legally be called champagne.

This wine is usually upwards of £30, which is more than we like to spend on swill, but Uncle B found it on deep sale at Waitrose today. We are too cheap for our tastes.

Ridgeview is the vineyard, Bloomsbury is the wine. And yes it’s Bloomsbury as in Bloomsbury Group, who used to hang out in this part of Sussex.

Earlier today, Uncle B had some sort of successful business thingie (I don’t know, I’m a girl teehee). So we’re going to sit outside and drink it.

June 25, 2024 — 5:35 pm
Comments: 9


You know how people say they laughed out loud but you know what that means is they smirked a little in their heads? Well, I genuinely laughed out loud at this video. Uncle B leaned out the kitchen window and asked what was wrong with me. (Huh. I didn’t know he was there).

It’s about Inspirobot, an AI for writing inspirational quotes, and there are some doozies. The man’s delivery helps.

At first I thought the creators had done the “Cards Against Humanity” thing, where they seeded it full of phrases that were guaranteed to match up in funny ways and only funny ways. Amusing at first, boring after a while.

But I’ve been playing with the Inspirobot itself, and it does seem more of a good faith effort. For the most part. Its platitudes are nonsensical, but bland. I’ve only seen one picture repeat.

Except they have given it some vocabulary words it shouldn’t have that can’t help but pop up in inappropriate ways.

Hey, changing the subject – real question. Have you ever come across a rogue bee? There was a bee that harassed Uncle B this morning, in his face, buzzing around his head, and would NOT leave him alone until he went inside. Happened again later when he came back out. Happened to me after work, also twice.

Then we were just standing there talking and a bee flew up and stung him on the arm. Left the stinger behind and everything. He’s got a nasty dark spot in the middle of the sting, which I don’t recall seeing before.

The rest of the bees (there are always bees on the chimbly; we have bees in the attic) were perfectly calm and normal.

I assume it was the same bee all day and he was just…psycho?

June 24, 2024 — 6:43 pm
Comments: 8

Merry Solstice!

These are the scrotes spray painting Stonehenge orange. Security at Stonehenge is very tight. As with the art gallery incidents, this had to be done with the collusion of the venue. And, in all likelihood, even higher levels. They probably even had consultation about the nature of the paint and how to insure it did no real damage.

The question is – why? Everyone hates these shitbags and fervently hopes they get hurt or jailed for it. It does nothing for their cause. Just – why?

Anyway, we got ourselves invited to a solstice party tonight, so I’m off. Have a great weekend.

p.s. From here, the nights start drawing in.

June 21, 2024 — 4:24 pm
Comments: 9

I’ll show you mine if you show me yours

I’m coming to the conclusion I need to replace my phone. It’s about five years old and I use the heck out of it, so it’s developing quirks and screen scars.

My last three have been Motorola (but not the ones in the picture – I stole the pic from Cnet. Please no bully). And I’ve liked them well enough, but there’s an awful lot of phones on deep sale at the moment.

Uncle B’s is a Xiaomi – famous for its good camera. Camera is important to me – I take pictures for work and this place. But maybe not enough to put up with Xiaomi’s eccentric version of Android.

Some really good deals on Google’s Pixel 7a at the moment, no doubt because it’s been replaced by the Pixel 8a. Everyone raved about it when it came out.

I know, I know…Google. But if you think about it, it’s either that or some flavor of the CCP. So, like, who is eviller or looser with your data?

Love your phone or hate it? Tell me about it.

June 20, 2024 — 7:31 pm
Comments: 17

Weasel’s rambling adventure

There’s a local farm shop we like to go to – it is actually attached to the farm and the meat lives there. The farmer’s wife makes the best steak and kidney pie ever, so Uncle B tells me. I don’t eat organs. She makes them on Wednesdays, but last week they all sold out before we got there.

So this week he phones up and reserves two pies. Yes, we had pie reservations.

On the way to pick them up, we got stuck in a traffic jam. A rural traffic jam means one of two things: road work or an accident. It was an accident. Trailer jacknife started it, if I had to guess. By the look of it, nobody was hurt, but it was a giant mess.

So we came back the long, long way to miss it. It was a road we haven’t been down for some years. Had we been a couple of weeks earlier, it would have been white with hawthorn and mayflower. It was still a beautiful drive.

We passed a pair of swans on the banks of a stream. Fields of potatoes and wheat. We nearly smacked into a couple of cars ourselves (what is it about twisty backroads that makes locals the world over drive like loonies?).

Last time we were down that road, we found a lamb on the verge of escaping the fence into the road, so we turned up the drive and had a chat with the farmer. This felt quite wicked and subversive, because it was lockdown and we weren’t supposed to talk to strangers. We all had a laugh about it. We weren’t even six feet apart!

Anyway, we made it home with his pies (I got a wickedly expensive piece of cheesecake, for my part). And I hadn’t taken a single picture.

So enjoy this picture from June of 2020. This great rambling thug of a rose is, can you believe it, even bigger this year. The smaller white blossom you see to the upper right is an elder tree, that has now been completely covered in roses. And that was my Wednesday.

June 19, 2024 — 7:21 pm
Comments: 5

Look at that silly little tail

I, too, had a chick called Albert and this morning he tried to kill me again. Look at this goofy-looking little fuzzball and picture it.

He’s still goofy-looking but he grew into a giant, ridiculous, rage-filled monster. Only to me, though. He’s never attacked anyone else. Because I raised him, nature is telling him I’m the final boss and if he defeats me he will be crowned King Chicken. They say there’s nothing more dangerous than a hand-reared bull, for the same reason.

I’ve posted about his spurs before. You may laugh at the idea of a chicken-related injury, but he’s heavy enough and they’re sharp enough to do real damage. He caught me in the soft part of the knee once and crippled me for days.

Yes, I can easily fend him off if I see it coming, but he goes days and days without incident and then wakes up one morning with murder in his heart.

He’s the very last of my polands. I miss those silly bastards and their feathery afros.

June 18, 2024 — 6:52 pm
Comments: 8


My new favorite YouTube binge channel is A Chick Called Albert. He’s a Dutch hippie with an animal rescue – ho hum – but his claim to fame is (and this is unheard of) he will take rescue eggs and try to incubate them.

When gamekeepers are instructed to clear out the nests of ground-nesting birds, or poultry keepers or aviaries find abandoned mystery eggs, he’ll take them in and give them a shot. I’d hate to think what his failure rate is, but he does seem to know what he’s doing and his successes are awesome.

Several times, to my horror, he’s helped a chick along at hatching time. Poultry keepers are told never, ever to do this. The very first sign of life in an incubating egg is a robust vascular system – gnarly veins – growing along the inside of the shell (on candling, it’s honestly spooky as hell). These veins are not totally inactive at the time of hatching, and hurrying things along can kill the chick. But, again, he seems to know what he’s doing.

The little peeper in the thumbnail turned out to be a zebra finch. Watching him giving it a first feeding with a pipette and a magnifying glass was something else.

I absolutely adored hatching eggs, which is how I ended up with three roosters and one hen. Never again, I’m afraid. I’ll have to hatch vicariously through my friend Alwyn here. His posts have slowed way down, but his back-catalogue should keep me busy a while.

p.s. If you think it’s a little creepy that the first thing he does is kiss the newly hatched bird, he’s not. He’s warming it up with his breath because he’s taken it from the nice warm incubator into the cold room to examine it.

June 17, 2024 — 7:25 pm
Comments: 7