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Dead Pool 164: baby lamb edition

LavenderGirl takes it with Tom Sizemore. The article notes “doctors determined that he had suffered a brain aneurysm as the result of a stroke” – but surely he suffered a stroke as the result of a brain aneurysm.

Stupid journalists.

I have never seen Sizemore in anything, ever, so my only observation is…I hate it when someone younger than me dies, and everyone’s like, “well, he had a good run.”

Are we ready? Then let’s 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.

March 10, 2023 — 6:00 pm
Comments: 47

It’s snowing in Yorkshire

Robert Fuller is a wildlife artist. Periodically, some thoughtful person sends me a link to his YouTube channel because he raised and rewilded two adorable baby stoats in 2021.

I’m linking because he also is running a couple of live streams, one from Fotherdale:

Welcome to ‘Live from Fotherdale’, a selection of bird cams streamed from inside barn owl and kestrel nests, a buzzard feeding post and a stoat habitat. This livestream also picks up passing foxes, hares, weasels and even badgers – offering the very best of British wildlife for you to enjoy.

And one from Ash Wood:

Welcome to ‘Live from Ash Wood’ where bird cams are streamed from a woodland habitat teeming with British wildlife. See inside tawny owl and kestrel nests, spot deer and badgers drinking at the pond and look out for the occasional sparrowhawk or buzzard flying through. There is a friendly live chat, offering a supportive and informative community of wildlife lovers for you to interact with as you watch the bird cams.

I was watching a little while ago and it was snowing like unto a bastard. This storm has missed us this year – well, it arrived as drizzle – meaning we won’t see any of the white stuff. I miss it. England is purty in the snow.

His streams don’t run 24/7, so I don’t know if those URLs will always work. If not, go to the Home tab on his channel and his livestreams, if any, will be there.

March 9, 2023 — 3:46 pm
Comments: 4

Corn pone accent

This video is making the rounds (sorry to link to Twitter, but it’s natively TikTok and I don’t even have that). It’s a woman doing a variety of Southern accents by way of explaining the Southern accent.

I’m not sure I agree with her thesis that a Southern accent is a English accent slowed down (also, she does a bad English accent). Though I have always been told the Appalachian mountain accent is an Elizabethan accent frozen in aspic. It’s strange and contains a lot of very old-fashioned sounding linguistic constructions.

She does a pretty good job shifting the accent westward. My stepmother’s accent was near the beginning – old Nashville. She sounds like Scarlet O’Hara. Hey, she called me the other day. Eighty-seven and still driving herself to the liquor store to buy wine.

Somewhere toward the end, I heard my original accent, which I have lost (to Uncle B’s disgust). I would describe my current accent as American neutral with a Southern vocabulary and a hint of Rhode Island. The Southern comes back when I am drunk, angry or talking to my cousin on the phone.

She’s absolutely right about Louisiana weirdnesses. My grandfather from Baton Rouge apparently had a Cajun accent (he wasn’t Cajun, but he had the accent). And my mother, who went to boarding school in New Orleans, said they sounded like Brooklyn. We can blame the Mississippi River for that.

I can think dozens of Southern accent variants, but thinking about it…that must be true for all accents everywhere. There’s certainly a difference between New York, Rhode Island and Massachusetts. And between Suffolk, Sussex and Yokshire. Though the old accents are all vanishing now, thanks to TV.

The illustration is what happens when you feed AI the start phrase “corn pone accent” – I suspect we have ourselves a corn pony here. I tried “Southern accent” at first and all it gave me was a picture of a porch. I was oddly offended.

March 8, 2023 — 8:29 pm
Comments: 12

Obviously, a cheese platter

Actually, no. I have no idea what this is. It’s called the Schist Disk or the Disc of Sabu.

It was found in in 1936 by Egyptologist Brian Walter Emery in the tomb of Prince Sabu, son of Adjuib Pharaoh, governor of the First Dynasty. That was, like, 5,000 years ago. It’s made of schist, a metamorphic rock that’s shaped over time in linear layers (it can be split along those lines, hence the name).

Schist is described as hard but brittle, so probably not a wheel. This thing is about two feet wide, and nobody can work out how the hell they made it. It’s not an unusual material and not absolutely unique in shape, but it would have been extremely difficult to work with this precision with the tools they had.

To give you an idea of the era we’re talking, there were also flint knives in the tomb.

I think it was made in some kind of grinding or sanding action, but it’s awfully precise. I wondered if it made a sound when spun around. This guy thinks it was an incense burner. This is the original link, gived my by Uncle B.

And yes, Lavendergirl takes it with Tom Sizemore. See you back here Friday! Or before. You can come before, you just can’t pick anyone in the Dead Pool.

March 7, 2023 — 8:24 pm
Comments: 11

Another soothing YouTube channel

Well, yes, the video above is particularly amusing. It made the rounds on Twitter yesterday He cuts a copy of Spare into little strips and uses them to make a beautiful…no, go see it for yourself.

The channel is David’s Woodturning and it’s really interesting. Glad I found it. He uses a lot of epoxy resins (and dyes and glitter) so that he can make gnarly chunks of driftwood and burl into something he can work on a lathe.

The resin appears to be pressure-cured somehow – he puts the unfinished bits in some kind of steel vessel with a pressure gauge for several days.

If you’re interested in his methods, he does talk through his project. If, however, you want a soothing meditative experience, I recommend you turn the sound off and play his videos at 2X speed.

March 6, 2023 — 7:41 pm
Comments: 14

Positively the last coffeepost

Hand grinder. Positively the last bit of coffee equipment I’m going to buy (well, I’d like another big china cup, but that hardly counts). The blade-type grinder I’ve had forever does a mixed sort of grind, with some of the beans ground to powder and some big chunks.

A burr-type grinder, with two metal blades an adjustable width apart, will make all the grounds the same size, whatever you dial it to be.

So! Combining all the bits I’ve bought and the things I’ve learned and I made a cup of coffee and it was…very nice. I used the Monsoon Malabar that I roasted myself last week (the book says to give it five days to a week).

Nice enough to be worth it now and again, fiddly enough that I wouldn’t do it for every cup of coffee.

The truth of the matter is, though, what I really wanted to post about today were LAMBS! In the field next door! A month ahead of the usual time! But I didn’t get any good pictures.


Have a good weekend, everyone.

March 3, 2023 — 7:22 pm
Comments: 8

The future is soon, maybe

Lookee here. I asked Brave a question and I got an AI answer. And it’s right, too. I’m not sure that I buy all the wonderful things AI will do for us, though.

Microsoft’s Bing AI sounds like a lunatic. Arguing, insulting, gaslighting…even flirting.

ChatGPT is the soyest of wokesters. I’ve signed up to play with ChatGPT, but I’m having trouble getting myself properly registered. It’s an email thing.

Oh, that thing I was asking about? The Key? It was a really stupid VR freebie. Twenty minutes of dark but unimpressive imagery and the final reveal is – surprise, the main character is a refugee. Then the narrator reads a bunch of statistics about refugees while you stand in one place staring out the window of her former hovel. There were no decisions at all, that I remember, and the only difficulty was moving around because the controls were retarded.

I’ve come to the conclusion that free VR content is the way it is because creators can get government grants to make it.

March 2, 2023 — 7:41 pm
Comments: 4

Farewell to Mister Glenn Popo

Ladies and gentlemen, the world has lost a legendary ‘fro. I heard today that Po, the cockerel I managed to pawn off on a friend, has gone to the great henhouse in the sky. Died in his sleep.

He’s the one, you may recall, who inherited an entire harem when he moved, including a lady turkey. Though, I must say, the turkey didn’t care for him so I don’t think he got very far with her.

He was one of six internet eggs I hatched nearly four years ago. I called him Po – or Popo – because that’s what was written on his egg shell, presumably short for Poland. The little girls at his new home called him Mister Glenn Popo. Little girls, eh?

No, he couldn’t see very well and, when startled – and he was startled a lot – he would zoom around the garden and bump into things with much loud clonking.

I don’t like posting when I lose animals, but I have bugger-all else to say for myself. I sat around in the comfy chair all day.

March 1, 2023 — 7:18 pm
Comments: 8

A drop more coffee geekery

I won’t keep doing this, I promise, but this thing came in the mail today and I’m excited. It’s a Kalita Wave, all’a way from Japan.

I know what you’re thinking. “Pff!” you’re thinking, “it’s a drip coffee maker, Weasel!” Well, yes…but it’s got a flat bottom with three holes. Supposedly, this keeps the coffee in optimum contact with the water as it brews.

Eh. This exact model secured a victory in the Coffee Masters competition at the London Coffee Festival two years running. So there!

Here’s what you do, distilled from various sources on the net:

1. Pour boiling water in it to warm everything up and wash off the paper taste. Empty it.
2. Grind the coffee and put in. Make a little well in the middle.
3. Pour just enough water in to get the grounds wet. This makes it ‘bloom’ – swell up and give off carbon dioxide. CO2 apparently makes it harder to extract flavor from the coffee (bonus: makes Greta cry).
4. Wait 10 – 45 seconds and maybe even stir it, depending on who you believe.
5. When the water has cooled to the desired temperature, slowly drizzle water around the sides until the grounds are evenly wet.
6. Do this (~twice) until you filled the cup.

It’s a tiny one-cup maker. It’s kinda small in there to ‘drizzle around the edges’, but the point is to pour slowly and meditatively while thinking pretentious thoughts.

I’ve used it once today. It made a very nice cup of coffee.

February 28, 2023 — 7:45 pm
Comments: 17

The adventure continues

Still playing with fancy coffee. I got this book, and it’s been a big help (I didn’t pay that much for it, though).

One thing he said has stuck with me. In coffee terms, he says, bitter is the opposite of acid (sour).

Not in absolute terms. I can think of things that are both bitter and acid. Lemon zest comes to mind.

But in coffee, dark roasts are bitter and light roasts are acid. Or so he says. Starbucks is all dark roast, and I think I’d describe it as acid rather than bitter (I hate Starbucks).

In fact, I’ve thought about this so much over the past few days, I’m not sure I understand what bitter *or* acid means any more.

Does this resonate with you?

Interesting tidbit: he says the lightest roast Starbucks sells – the Blonde Roast – is darker than the darkest roast most small artisanal roasters offer.

I’m just grateful I’m not into espresso. That’s the real money sink.

Hoffmann has a YouTube channel, if you’re innerested. I haven’t watched many of his videos, though.

February 27, 2023 — 8:41 pm
Comments: 5