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My boy

I got four chickens right now, and two of them are boys. This is the more mature rooster. He’s not having hot chicken sex yet, but he doth cockadoodle and also doo.

Also, he rushes me first thing in the morning and gives me a good peck. Bastard.

Yeah, I’m reduced to snapshots on my phone decolorized with GIMP for now. I kind of like this lopsided snapshot of a chicken dashing out of the frame.

p.s. GIMP does some things better than Photoshop. It compresses jpgs smaller without looking lossy, for example. Interface sucks, though.

November 27, 2018 — 9:16 pm
Comments: 14

Here it comes…!

Over the weekend, I read everything I could find about Photoshop and what it likes to eat (works best with Intel, prefers processor speed to multiple cores…like that) and spec’ed the best machine I thought I could stretch to afford. It was a little hurty, but I believe in buying the best machine you possibly can in the hopes it will serve you longer.

Got to the checkout and…VAT had not been included.

They’re not supposed to do that for non-commercial clients. ‘Round these parts, VAT is 20%. If you think that isn’t a giant lead weight on the economy, I’m here to slap you around the ears with an inflated pig’s bladder.

Yes, I bought it anyway. Had it been anything less important to me, I would have dialed it back. A lot. Like, 20% worth, at least.

Current ETA is Monday the 10th (hey, after all that, I wasn’t going to pay for an expedited build). Oh, I also got a big ol’ monitor to replace the one that died a couple of months ago.

Stand by — you guys are about to get huge, sharp, colorful and super fast!

p.s. Stole the illustration from…somewhere.

November 26, 2018 — 8:11 pm
Comments: 8

oink!

Yes, my Thanksgiving was excellent. The only thing missing was, I didn’t have two days off. I had to limp into work this morning, champagne bonce and all.

Did anyone spot my error in yesterday’s post? I forgot to discard the color information in the image. That’s right — yesterday’s post was in color!

Of course, the color was gray and white, but still.

Have a good weekend! I think I’m’onna finally nail down the specs of my new machine over the next two days.

November 23, 2018 — 9:03 pm
Comments: 6

Happy T’day!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Yes indeed, we do celebrate Turkey Day in this British household, though we do it as an evening meal. It’s not much effort to get people on board with a gluttony holiday (though I never noticed until it was pointed out that we have exactly two turkey holidays and they’re a month apart).

It is also the anniversary of my arrival in this country. In fact, it is the TENTH anniversary this year.

I think Thanksgiving fell on the 23rd that year, but I count it from the holiday. I had Charlotte with me. You can’t put an animal on an airplane on a holiday, but the day before Thanksgiving isn’t a holiday in the States, and Thanksgiving isn’t a holiday in the UK, so we flew overnight and everything worked.

And here we are.

I hope you have your fill of food, family, liquor and whatever ball-centered physical activity your menfolk like to argue about.

We’re having a bottle of champagne and an old movie. And, naturally, turkey and stuffing and dinner rolls and candied yams and roast potatoes and lots and lots of it.

Blessings to you all!

November 22, 2018 — 8:49 pm
Comments: 10

Bad timing

In case you can’t read that first Subject: line through the moiré, it is “12 Items on your Steam Wishlist Are on Sale!” I could not possibly care less. Bad timing, Steam.

And no, I still haven’t done anything about replacing my computer. I’m shopping. Very, very slowly.

Oh, yah – I’m waiting to catch grief for Fur Hat World and comiXology.

p.s. That last one is Book Runes, a daily mailing of free Kindle books that are totally free books for a reason.

November 21, 2018 — 9:38 pm
Comments: 10

d’awwww

Since I am reduced to lameposting on this antedeluvial computer for now, do please have this cellphone snapshot of cat. This is the little stray we picked up (or, rather, trapped in a squirrel trap) this Summer.

He’s about seven months old now. In the house, he is a snuggle-monster. In the garden, he remembers he’s feral. He gets over it at mealtime.

He’s still intact. I’m dragging my feet on having him neutered until he fills out a little more. Testosterone is jet fuel.

Let’s call him Booboo, since we actually named him for the place where we live. It’s shocking how much he resembles our other black and white, both in looks and temperament.

She hates him, naturally.

November 20, 2018 — 8:27 pm
Comments: 8

too. much. choice.

Yup. My computer’s bricked. Now comes the painful process of replacing it.

Where once there were dozens of make-to-order sites in the UK, now I only know one: Novatech. I’ve always liked their stuff, though. All highly customizable. But I’m so far from the days when I thought I understood the innards of a computer, I am bewildered by the choices.

For a Photoshop machine, do I start with a gaming machine or a graphics workstation? I bought an Nvidia GTX 970 graphics card two years ago; is that still decent?

I’ve always believed in buying the best machine I could possibly afford, but I don’t even know where to concentrate any more.

If any of you tame computer geeks have insight, I’d be mighty grateful to hear it. I’m too boomer for this shit.

November 19, 2018 — 7:53 pm
Comments: 12

Dead Pool Round 115: from the depths of my cold, dead computer

Unkawill takes the dick with Roy Clark. A fine musician and my least favorite banjo player. The man had mad skills, but his style was pure cringe.

As I am pecking this out on a steam-powered computing machine after the death of my beloved tower, I shall forbear to chat. Here we 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.

November 16, 2018 — 6:00 pm
Comments: 66

shit.

My computer died this afternoon.

I woke it up from hibernation and it tripped a house circuit. When the power was restored, I hit the switch and…nothing. Not a flicker.

Is that the power supply? It sounds like the power supply.

That leaves me with a dilemma. Power supply is a trivial fix, but this is already a ten-year-old computer. It’s been an excellent one (I always stretch my budget to get the bestest machine I possibly can), but it’s had other hiccups.

In fact, there’s a chance the fancy new graphics card may have overloaded the power supply. I don’t know. Does it work like that?

Anyway, I’ll open it up over the weekend and see if there’s a…fuse or short or something. Like I could spot that. And then I have to make a painful choice.

What am I typing on now? I have a vintage 2003 XP machine up in my workroom that I use exclusively to look at pictures of chickens. Anything more sophisticated than that (like surfing the internet) and it whines and cries and gets the hives.

I’ll keep you posted.

p.s. Unkawill wins the Dead Pool with Roy Clarke. Despite my…issues…there will be a new Dead Pool tomorrow. Same weasel time, same weasel channel.

November 15, 2018 — 7:23 pm
Comments: 23

But wait, there’s more…

Divers around the area where the Antikythera Mechanism was found have discovered what they believe to be another piece of it. In fact, there have been continuous diving expeditions to the wreck site, official and otherwise, and all sorts of interesting things have come out of the water (though nothing as spectacular as this).

To refresh: in 1909, Greek sponge divers brought found a bunch of things on a 2,000 year old wreck near the island of Antikythera, including an unremarkable chunk of crap. Many years later, someone thought to x-ray the chunk of crap and discovered it was the corroded remains of a small, incredibly complex gear-driven analogue celestial computer.

The image above is an exploded view via computer model of what they think it looked like. Some of the structure is speculative, but quite a lot of it has been confirmed to be present and to work.

From the first link above (which is a very interesting article; you should read it):

The Mechanism could do not only basic math: with dozens of exquisitely worked cogwheels, it could calculate the movements of the sun and moon, predict eclipses and equinoxes, and could be used to track the solar system planets, the constellations, and much more.

We may never know how many cogwheels the original Antikythera Mechanism had. Assessments based on its functions in predicting the behavior of the cosmos range from 37 to over 70. For comparison, the most advanced Swiss watches have four cogwheels.

They don’t know exactly what the new bit is. It looks like a backplate of some kind. Under x-ray, there’s an etched image of a bull, so it may have something to do with the constellation of Taurus. It may not even be part of the famous mechanism, but it is metallurgically similar. Was there more than one?

There were all kinds of other things on the wreck I hadn’t heard of before; it was a huge ship. Like 50 life-sized statues of Homeric figures, and the wreck happened at a time when they think Homer had gone out of style. Antiques Roadshow, Ancient Greek Edition? Who knows?

And don’t tell me the Mechanism was the one and only calculating machine they had. Complex technologies don’t spring out of nowhere as a one-off. How much mind-blowing stuff has been completely lost to history…?

November 14, 2018 — 8:35 pm
Comments: 9