web analytics

Bye, Roundy

poundcoin

Six days. That’s how far I made it into Inktober. See, there was somewhere we had to be Friday and after that…screw it. Now you know why I’m a shitposter on the internet and not a famous artiste.

So. Anyhoo. They’re comin’ for the pound coin. Well, they’re phasing out the old “round pound” in favor of a new, harder-to-manufacture coin.

The old one was super easy to counterfeit. They think there might have been 30 million fakes in circulation, around 3% of the total.

The new one is twelve-sided, bi-metal and has a ‘hologram’ – faint ridges in the metal that spell out the £ symbol when viewed from a certain angle. They are said to be unfakable.

They, of course, have been faked already. Because, you know, you don’t need to reproduce that super-fancy hologram for a slug to pass painlessly into circulation. Still, it is harder.

In theory, shopkeepers will stop accepting them in a week. In practice, I’m still getting them in my change and lots of people think the deadline will mostly be ignored. Still, if you’ve got some coins lying around from your last trip to Old Blighty, you might want to dash over and spend ’em right quick.

October 9, 2017 — 9:25 pm
Comments: 11

Dead Pool Round 103: Inktober Edition

inktober05Tonycc wins the dick with Tom Petty, using Carl’s gambit.

Y’all have figured out Carl’s strategy, yes? He keeps his powder dry and doesn’t make a pick when the Pool launches.

Then, if he’s lucky, the news will announce an unpicked celebrity has fallen deathly ill. If said celebrity takes a measurable amount of time to die, he swoops in and makes the pick and viola.

It usually fails, but he stands a statistically better chance than a random pick. Hence Carl is the dickwinningest of participants.

As an encourager of weaselly strategies, I approve.

It would be a boring old Dead Pool if everyone held off, but it won’t happen. The strategy will only support a very few people until it becomes a merry snipefest, like the last ten seconds of an eBay steal.

Right, now that I’ve ruined Carl’s fun, we can begin:

0. Rule Zero (AKA Steve’s Rule): your pick has to be living when picked. Also, nobody whose execution date is circled on the calendar. Also, please don’t kill anybody. Plus (Pupster’s Rule) no picking someone who’s only famous for being the oldest person alive.

1. Pick a celebrity. Any celebrity — though I reserve the right to nix picks I never heard of (I don’t generally follow the Dead Pool threads carefully, so if you’re unsure of your pick, call it to my attention).

2. We start from scratch every time. No matter who you had last time, or who you may have called between rounds, you have to turn up on this very thread and stake your claim.

3. Poaching and other dirty tricks positively encouraged.

4. Your first choice sticks. Don’t just blurt something out, m’kay? Also, make sure you have a correct spelling of your choice somewhere in your comment. These threads get longish and I use search to figure out if we have a winner.

5. It’s up to you to search the thread and make sure your choice is unique. I’m waayyyy too lazy to catch the dupes. Popular picks go fast.

6. The pool stays open until somebody on the list dies. Feel free to jump in any time. Noobs, strangers, drive-bys and one-comment-wonders — all are welcome.

7. If you want your fabulous prize, you have to entrust me with a mailing address. If you’ve won before, send me your address again. I don’t keep good records.

8. The new DeadPool will begin 6pm WBT (Weasel’s Blog Time) the Friday after the last round is concluded.

The winner, if the winner chooses to entrust me with a mailing address, will receive an Official Certificate of Dick Winning and a small original drawing on paper suffused with elephant shit particles. Because I’m fresh out of fairy shit particles.

October 6, 2017 — 6:00 pm
Comments: 82

Day 4

inktober04

I was short of time on Day 4, so I did a tiny Geralt of Rivia fanart (dude from the Witcher III game). Even though it’s very small, it still took considerable time to prep and put together, which is why I doubt I’ll make it to 31.

My mother trained in portraiture, and she was very good at it. I would love to have followed, but I cannot capture a likeness to save my immortal soul.

That’s a whole separate skill, quite apart from painting ability. I have a friend who is a not very good painter, but you look at her paintings and know who you’re looking at. Me, the most common reaction to my portraits is, “that’s a lovely picture of somebody, but it sure ain’t me.”

Here I demonstrate that I cannot reproduce an accurate likeness of a comic character with white hair, yellow slitty cat eyes and a huge scar. That’s just how good I am.

See you back here tomorrow for Dead Pool Round 103!

October 5, 2017 — 7:06 pm
Comments: 18

…and three…

inktober03

And on Day Three, Charlotte. About whom, update.

The wound on her head healed beautifully, or so I thought. But a week or so ago, I noticed it had opened and within a couple of days…icky abscess.

The vet dealt with it, but left an open hole to let it air. It looks like a gunshot wound.

So I’ve been giving her an antibiotic pill and washing her head with salt water. Twice a day. Fun! Tomorrow we go back for a followup appointment, but I gotta continue this regime until Sunday.

Charlotte is a hissy, growly cat…thank goodness she had all her teeth removed years ago.

p.s. Oh, shoot — I forgot the best bit! The vet also turned up a couple of harvest mites in Charlotte’s ear. That’s when I learned, that little pouch at the base of a cat’s ear? It’s called Henry’s pocket. No, I haven’t been able to find out who Henry was, and they aren’t really sure what the pocket is for. Possibly to absorb lower frequency sound so the cat can better hear the high frequency ones. Like squeaky mice.

p.p.s. I declare tonycc the winner of the Dead Pool. He picked Tom Petty while he was at death’s door, but still breathin’. Tom Petty, that is. Fair’s fair. Meet you all back here Friday, 6WBT for Dead Pool Round 103.

October 4, 2017 — 6:34 pm
Comments: 18

Day Two

inktober002

I realize this will get pretty boring, but I haven’t got the spoons to do a decent post AND a decent drawing. Maybe not even one of those things. Not to worry – I have the attention span of a fruit fly! I’ll never make 31 days.

And no, I do not intend to draw 31 wild pigs.

Talk amongst yourselves…

October 3, 2017 — 8:58 pm
Comments: 14

Well, maybe

inktober001

Welp, it’s Inktober again. Yes, it’s one of those silly internet things, along the lines of NaNoWriMo, but less like gargling salt water and broken glass.

The idea is that you do an ink drawing every day for the month of October and post it. It’s a way of practicing discipline and honing skills, enforced by peer pressure, so I expect to make it a week at most. Usually, I realize it’s Inktober about five days in, when I stumble over a drawing on social media, but I saw it coming this year.

Day one was yesterday, and that’s my Day One drawing up there. Hrm. I haven’t thought this through. I guess I’ll put them on my Twitter as I do them and post them here whenever. Y’all can take bets when I bottle out. It’ll be like an extra Dead Pool, with schadenfreude as the prize.

Oh, if you want to see some fun art, good and bad, search the #inktober tag on Twitter. It’s, like, hundreds a minute at the beginning. Substantially less toward the end.

p.s. Talk about anything you want in the comments.

October 2, 2017 — 8:46 pm
Comments: 14

Dead Pool Round 102: Farewell to Hef

Hugh Hefner, dead at last. It’s true that he bought the vault next to Marilyn Monroe, apparently, causing the Guardian to joke about “unwanted advances on women even in death.”

On Hefner, the opinion among men seems to be, “he lived the life he wanted.” And the opinion among women seems to be “ew.”

I believe this is win number four for ‘formerly known as skeptic.’ Also, the very first pick in the last pool. And thus another DeadPool favorite bites the dust.

Ready? Let’s go.

0. Rule Zero (AKA Steve’s Rule): your pick has to be living when picked. Also, nobody whose execution date is circled on the calendar. Also, please don’t kill anybody. Plus (Pupster’s Rule) no picking someone who’s only famous for being the oldest person alive.

1. Pick a celebrity. Any celebrity — though I reserve the right to nix picks I never heard of (I don’t generally follow the Dead Pool threads carefully, so if you’re unsure of your pick, call it to my attention).

2. We start from scratch every time. No matter who you had last time, or who you may have called between rounds, you have to turn up on this very thread and stake your claim.

3. Poaching and other dirty tricks positively encouraged.

4. Your first choice sticks. Don’t just blurt something out, m’kay? Also, make sure you have a correct spelling of your choice somewhere in your comment. These threads get longish and I use search to figure out if we have a winner.

5. It’s up to you to search the thread and make sure your choice is unique. I’m waayyyy too lazy to catch the dupes. Popular picks go fast.

6. The pool stays open until somebody on the list dies. Feel free to jump in any time. Noobs, strangers, drive-bys and one-comment-wonders — all are welcome.

7. If you want your fabulous prize, you have to entrust me with a mailing address. If you’ve won before, send me your address again. I don’t keep good records.

8. The new DeadPool will begin 6pm WBT (Weasel’s Blog Time) the Friday after the last round is concluded.

The winner, if the winner chooses to entrust me with a mailing address, will receive an Official Certificate of Dick Winning and a small original drawing on paper suffused with elephant shit particles. Because I’m fresh out of fairy shit particles.

September 29, 2017 — 6:00 pm
Comments: 100

Are they blind?

venus

We went to the movies tonight. Specifically, we went to see one of those exhibitions-on-screen, where they visit an exhibition in London and give you all sorts of history and detail. They get right up close on the paintings, which is neat.

venuseye

The thing in the header is Titian’s Venus with a Mirror. I was struck by something in it. He and his studio between them painted at least fifteen versions of this picture, but this is the one he kept in his studio until his death. Several commentaries I found online said perhaps it’s because, in the reflection, she looks like she’s looking out at the viewer.

To which I can only say ARE YOU BLIND? It’s a whole different face. The eye in the mirror is terrified. What could be taken as her hair in reflection could also be described as the saggy jowls of middle age. This is something like, ruined old lady peers in horror across the decades. Well, that’s what this ruined old lady thinks, anyhow.

I’ll not post the full version. I don’t actually like the picture much.

Okay, that’s enough artsy fartsy stuff for one week. Hef has died at last, and the commenter formerly known as Skeptic takes the dick (second dick in recent memory)!
That means…tomorrow.
Here.
6:00 WBT.

DEAD POOL ROUND 102. (Or whatever the hell it really is. I’ll have to ask Rich Rostrom).

September 28, 2017 — 10:07 pm
Comments: 7

Curious and true

detmoldhawk

Here’s a sad little story for you. Going to Bateman’s put me in mind of it.

Edward Julius and Charles Maurice Detmold were twin brothers born in Surrey in 1883. Their father was chronically ill, so they grew up in the house of an uncle who, among other things, collected Japanese woodcuts. The brothers became fascinated with drawing in the Japanese style.

It would be fair to call them prodigies: they both had exhibited in watercolor at the Royal Academy by the time they were 13. Mostly animal pictures. Before they were 20, they had several very successful picture books to their credit. Their fortunes really took off that year when they were asked to illustrate Kipling’s Jungle Book.

There’s a little room in Bateman’s that has some — maybe all — of these illustrations and a few more. I assume they’re the originals. Beautiful stuff.

The success of these pictures allowed them to divide their time between London and Ditchling, Sussex — not far from here. Half a year at each. In 1908, when they were 25, they were preparing to go down to Ditchling. Here’s where it gets weird.

Their local doctor gave them some chloroform to kill the housecat. Which Maurice did. Then he took the remainder of the chloroform and killed himself.

That’s it. That’s all the detail I’ve ever been able to glean from any source, and I have so many questions. Was the cat ill? Did people routinely kill their cats rather than bring them on holiday? I know people were shitty to cats back then, but that seems a bit much. Was Maurice depressed? Could it have been an accident? Or did he — this is my favorite theory — kill the cat and then feel so awful about it aferward that he offed himself?

Edward had a long and successful career after, though many reckon his brother had the more talent. In his seventies, Edward’s eyesight began to fail. He killed himself with a shot to the chest in 1957.

Well worth looking up their work. Here is the full image from the header. It’s a lovely thing. Not sure which Detmold did it, perhaps both. Looking at it, I think they used a combination of watered-down and full strength ink. Or perhaps it’s an etching — they did a lot of printmaking.

I know what your monkeybrain is telling you. It’s telling you if you were super careful and made a zillion little descriptive lines, you could maybe do something that looked like that. I’m here to inform you, sadly, from a lifetime of experience, monkeybrain lies.

September 27, 2017 — 8:42 pm
Comments: 13

I saw the Flit!

whitgift

We went to Bateman’s today, home of Rudyard Kipling and the setting for my favorite Kipling book, Puck of Pook’s Hill (a collection of short stories about Sussex, and I loved it long before I lived here).

We’ve been to Bateman’s many times, you may remember, but this time there promised to be an exhibition of Arthur Rackham‘s illustrations for Puck of Pook’s Hill. Rackham is one of my all time favorite illustrators, this one one of my all time favorite books — perfect, yes?

Meh. They only had three original paintings and a few framed prints. The room was small and dark and the pictures were framed under shiny glass. Hard to see and underwhelming. They didn’t even have any Rackham books or cards in the gift shop.

I did get to see the original of this picture, though. It’s called the Dymchurch Flit, Dymchurch being a coastal town and “the flit” was the fairies leaving England forever. Chapter 22 of the book.

The story goes that the fairies got sick of our shit in the 1530s, during the nastiness of the Reformation. They turned up on Romney Marsh with their bags packed — Romney Marsh being a stick-out bit of coastline that is the furthest southeast you can go on the island without getting your feet wet. There they begged the Widow Whitgift to let her sons sail them away in a boat, and she did.

They came back after three days, but one son was blind and the other mute, so they never told anyone what they saw. You can read the chapter here, with some footnotes and explanation here.

Not my favorite Rackham painting and not viewed under the best conditions, but it’s always a thrill to see the original of a work that you know well from reproduction.

September 26, 2017 — 7:36 pm
Comments: 13