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Well, I’ll be damned

Jerry Maren, last of the Munchkins, has died aged 98. I didn’t think little people lived that long!

He was the middle of the Lollipop Guild trio. The one who handed the lollipop to Dorothy. He had kind of an interesting life, if you follow the link to the not-very-well-written Wikipedia article.

According to the article, “A small number of anonymous female extras are also reported to survive; as they were technically dwarves and not midgets, they are not counted as Munchkins.” Which I think is pretty darned ableist.

He died May 24. When someone pointed out (thank you, bogie) that he was a pick in the Dead Pool, I was sure there was last minute hanky panky. Who would’a thunk, after all?

But no, spunkus picked him fair and square on April 22. Step forward, spunkus, and claim your dick!

You know what that means: Tomorrow. 6WBT. Dead Pool Round 109. Getcher stiff, getcher stiff right here!

p.s. if you’re at all into YouTube, I recommend you give Cecil of D.I.C.K. and Comics a listen. It started as a piss-take of Diversity & Comics, but he’s funny in his own right. His last review was of the Wizard of Oz, which he described as “three bitches fighting over a hot pair of shoes.”

June 7, 2018 — 9:32 pm
Comments: 9

Here come the weather!

Thunderboomers off the coast of France. Heading: weaselwards.

It’s okay; I didn’t have anything to report today. I’m’a go take a bath and wait for it to blow over.

June 6, 2018 — 9:26 pm
Comments: 5

What herbs you growing?

Uncle B bought my Summer herbs today. He keeps asking if I want anything else and I can’t think of anything.

I have oregano, thyme, sage, rosemary, several kinds of mint, borage, hyssop, fennel, dill, something called winter savory, chamomile. Catnip. Growing randomly around the garden: chives, lemon balm, lemon verbena, several varieties of lavender, ground elder. Erm, nettles. Elderflowers. I’m sure I’m forgetting something.

Oh, the thing in the picture, which is called cotton lavender or lavender cotton and is related to neither cotton nor lavender. You can eat it.

What’s missing?

June 5, 2018 — 8:53 pm
Comments: 16

Infrared is magic

I’m a little late getting the surveillance cam going this year. Probably not too late to catch a hedgehog, if we have any (but, sadly, I haven’t seen any signs).

I have a little problem when I have the cameras going: I can’t look away. There’s almost never anything on them, and when there is, it’s going to be a cat, a rat, a fox or a hedgehog. But I got to stare at the pictures like Bigfoot is coming to dinner.

Would you guys mind if I use you as a note pad? It took me forever to get the camera going tonight. It’s super easy when you know, but I didn’t make notes last year. So FYI (or, really, FMI):

I don’t always use Chrome, but it has the IE extension that lets the browser emulation Internet Explorer, which the camera software wants for some reason.

Excuse me, I have to go keep an eye out for the Squatch.

June 4, 2018 — 9:20 pm
Comments: 6

The Chicken Man, the Chicken Man

After work today, we went to see the Chicken Man. I’m sure he has a name, but I’m sure I don’t know what it is.

We bought our first two chickens from him, eight years ago, and one is still going strong. I remember I was eyeballing some baby Orpingtons (perfectly ENORMOUS chickens when they’re all growed up) and Uncle B was looking miserable about it. Thinking of his garden, and what those giant poultry bombs could do to it.

We decided to decide later. On our way out the door, we passed some pretty little chickens. Uncle B said, “what are these? They look nice.” And the chicken man said, “pff! Those are bantams. I thought you wanted chickens.”

And the rest is history.

He’s far away, he’s very expensive, but I needed some stuff and sometimes only the Chicken Man will do. Have a great weekend!

June 1, 2018 — 8:46 pm
Comments: 15


Linocut fun.

I took a nap so deep this afternoon, I woke up thinking it was tomorrow morning. I got up, brushed fang, got dressed, let the chickens out and made a cup of coffee before I realized…the dishwasher hadn’t been loaded. And I couldn’t, no matter how hard I tried, remember having supper the night before (it’s steak night! Who forgets a good steak?).

No, I had not been drinking.

It was only when I sat down at the computer, called up the clock and saw it was 8 pm that I realized my mistake. Honestly, I thought something horrible had happened to my brain. It’s almost 11 now, and I’m not sure I’m over it.

I bet I don’t sleep tonight…

May 31, 2018 — 9:54 pm
Comments: 13


Saturday we went to the first big country fair of the season, and one of our very favorites. This one features acres (literally. Probably) of dealers in old junk, prominently old tools.

This was my only buy of the day, but what a score! It was a grubby old canvas tool roll with some rusty bits I didn’t think much of. I picked it up with a pair of pliers I liked the look of, and he charged me a fiver for the lot.

Got it home to find thirteen really nice quality chisels. Rusty to be sure, but they’re cleaning up and sharpening just fine. I’m not the world’s greatest sharpener (and curved chisels aren’t the easiest thing in the world to sharpen), but I’m getting there.

The four little ones on the left are all done. You can see there’s some pitting, but a bit of inner bevel at the edge takes care of that for practical purposes. Yeah, I’ve been burning up the “reclaiming old chisels” YouTube search.

I was actually looking for chisels. I plan to try my hand at some linoleum/wood block printing again (I was a printmaking major in art school). That’s why I need the tiny ones but I’m not in a hurry to put the effort into the larger ones. Even my sharpening skills are adequate for linoleum!

In all the acres of tools, I only found one other man selling chisels. It was a set of six, I think. Good but nothing special, in okay condition with wooden handles. Dude wanted £120 for it. Funny how these places work.

So, you reckon these things originally fit into a wooden handle?

May 30, 2018 — 8:57 pm
Comments: 11

Okay, now what?

I quit smoking twenty one years ago this month. I was a very heavy smoker, but I kicked it on the first try and never once cheated in all the years since. I tell you what, though, I’ve craved a cigarette every damn day of my miserable life since.

Years ago, I read something Jonah Goldberg wrote (it was probably just an entry in The Corner) about how he could smoke the occasional cigar and it didn’t kick off his cigarette cravings. I’ve wanted to try it ever since. I decided I was going to do it for my birthday this year.

Couldn’t find one for my birthday. I’ve asked at the tobacco counter at several supermarkets, but all they had were those little ones that are basically brown cigarettes. When we were in Waitrose Sunday (see above), I thought they were just the kind of place to have a decent cigar.

And they were. I guess. What do I know from a decent cigar? They certainly had a number of very expensive ones. This one set me back £12. I actually had a pang of horror when I got it home and realized IT’S A CUBAN CIGAR. Are those still illegal in the States? I feel very naughty.

Haven’t smoked it yet. I’m not sure I even know how. Uncle B says he’ll lock me out of the house if I smell of cigar. He’s kind of pissed off at me for buying it, to be honest.

May 29, 2018 — 8:03 pm
Comments: 33

Happy Memorial Day!

Hope you’ve had a splendid holiday weekend. Let me tell you about our Sunday.

We went to a fundraiser for a cat sanctuary. Eventually.

We got grievously lost. We’d been to this place before, but Uncle B was unsure of the last few miles and asked me to put the postcode into the satnav. Somehow, it was the wrong postcode entirely.

Forty minute trip took us two and a half hours, mostly up country lanes. Country lanes. Hereabouts, they often aren’t wide enough for two cars to pass (sometimes barely wide enough for one car to squeeze through), with thorn hedges on either side, blind bends and crazy farmers (and livestock) roaring up the other way.

The picture is from a Daily Mail article about a Polish truck driver who got stuck in a lane in Devon, but you get the general idea. This is not a fun driving experience. There is often a lot of backing up involved.

So we were late. There were no more plants at the plant stall or cakes at the cake stall and the cats were all hot, tired and sick of visitors. I got hissed at a lot.

To cheer ourselves up, we stopped at Waitrose on the way home to buy some treats. As Uncle B put our loot in the back of the car, the keys fell out of his pocket just as the hatched closed and the whole car automatically locked itself up tight.

Hour and a half for a service call. Luckily, our man managed to get it open without breaking anything.

Half an hour later, we rolled up on a little town just as a policeman put out the ROAD CLOSED sign. They do that when there’s the slightest accident: close the roads both ways. So it was back onto country lanes, but this time jammed solid with all the detoured traffic in both directions.


We got home eventually, and luckily our Saturday and Monday were pretty awesome. We’re about to go sit in the garden, burn things and drink wine.

How was yours?

May 28, 2018 — 7:58 pm
Comments: 6

He’s alright, folks. Really.

The Diversity and Comics guy — the one crowdfunding his own comic — is now up to $321,035 of the $5,000 he was asking for. The campaign for the actual comic ended weeks ago; the additional money will go toward starting his own publishing company, because the company that was going to publish his book backed out under dark circumstances. It’s a delightful internet drama, with lawsuits and everything. Look it up if you like that sort of thing.

His new company will be called Splatto Comics, and the origin is as follows.

America Chavez was a truly awful Marvel comic book. It’s been cancelled now (phew!) but Zack (the Diversity and Comics guy, not his real name) has often said that roasting issues of America is what made his channel. The whole run was a badly written, badly drawn heaping helping of clumsy SJW bullshit.

In one memorable panel (pictured here), a young America Chavez attempts to make friends with a dead cat. In the comic, it is blue and, as you can see, it has tire tracks up to and over it.

It was just so hilariously off-putting and wrong. The idea, the art — nothing but cringe. Zack dubbed the cat “Splatto del Gato” (America was full of pidgin Spanish, y’see) and a cheery blue cat with a tire track rakishly crossing one eye became the mascot for his channel.

And now for his company.

Much fan art was made. This one is mine. Sadly, I was not chosen for the official logo — this one was. Was it because I forgot to make him blue?

Have a lovely weekend, everyone. Our annual round of Summer fetes and festivals begins tomorrow…!

May 25, 2018 — 8:32 pm
Comments: 15