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I don’t work Wednesdays. This morning over a leisurely coffee, I thought I’d download a free calendar from the internet to do some scheduling stuff.

But I didn’t like the look of any of the ones I found, so I decided to download a template and fuss with it.

But none of the templates were laid out exactly the way I wanted (I need the week to start Monday, for example), so I decided to build one from scratch.

I am not good at templates. Fortunately, I’m pretty good at stealing code. I found a calendar tutorial for Libre Office and I was humming along, comprehending stuff fine, until I got to the bit in the picture above.

If you can’t read it, it’s

By knowing the first day of the month we can get the day of the week. In my example it’s a Wednesday. The function that returns the day of week from a date is WEEKDAY. The formula is =WEEKDAY(DATE(G1,MATCH(A1,$Settings.A1:A12,0),1)). You should get a number from 1 to 7.

Yeah, no. Never mind. I pinched it and it worked.

People who understand spreadsheets can make them sing. I don’t think I’m ever going to be that person.

September 8, 2021 — 8:52 pm
Comments: 10

Abandon hope all ye who enter here

That’s a still from a mildly amusing Youtube of cats interrupting meetings. You’ve probably seen it; it was making the rounds.

I post it because I don’t have any pictures of my moggies making absolute nuisances of themselves just now. I had to host a Zoom meeting of the managing board, and there’s me trying to look all professional and together, and there’s my cats waving their assholes in the camera.

They’re not usually so clingy. I know what was up. They were *pissed* that I was jabbering away at an inanimate object and ignoring them, the dual centers of the universe.

That’s nothing. You should’ve heard when I was late for Chicken Bedtime.

September 7, 2021 — 8:00 pm
Comments: 3

Lookitim go!

Bill the Badger takes his leave. I tried slowing the video down, but then he’s just a slower streak of blur.

He was snuffling around the front garden late last night right when I wanted to go to bed. I knew the moment I opened the front door he would vanish, and there you have it (I can hit a button and manually record to this computer).

Behold, my white trash chicken empire! This is what happens when you expect three or four bantams and you get ten.

The house to the far left was my very first. It was slated for demolition when I suddenly had to house a bunch of cockerels. The one in the middle was a hospital cage I used for sick chickens. It was never meant for permanent housing. Whoever gets stuck in it overnight gets the most free range time next day to compensate.

The one at the far right is the proper new chicken house. Currently, it houses the two hens and one rooster. Why is the fox so much better at catching hens?

September 6, 2021 — 6:40 pm
Comments: 6

He’s back, dammit

I kept the chicken food inside for six weeks, which was a right royal pain. I thought by now, he would have gravitated to a new neighborhood, but my June badger has returned to pinch chicken food.

That’s the picture from last time. After that, I somehow managed to turn off the recording function on my surveillance cameras. I’m kind of relieved. I always dreaded seeing something awful unfold on video.

So late last night, I spotted an amorphous hump of fur rooting around in the feed bin on the camera last night and I said to Uncle B, “You sure you don’t have raccoons in England?” El baj was so into eating my layers pellets that I walked right up to him and he didn’t notice me until I spoke.

It’s a nearly full 20-kilo bag of chicken feed with a nearly full 20-kilo bag of cracked corn, so I don’t think I can drag them in the house without making a mess. Funny, he’s never been interested in the corn, just the pellets.

I tied the lid of the bin down with a bungee, but I doubt that will stop him and I don’t want to hurt him. Bungee cord-associated ocular trauma is a thing, y’all.

So I put a couple of folded, defunct metal lawn chairs on top of that. It won’t stop him either, but I’m hoping it’ll be loud and that will startle him. Or at least alert me.

I’ll keep you posted. Good weekend, all!

September 3, 2021 — 7:28 pm
Comments: 20

What do you see?

I see a weasel sucking his paw.

I said to Uncle B, “look – a weasel!” and for some reason he thought I was staring at the mortar between the stones. I think he thought I was tripping.

From the same church as Saturday’s fete.

September 2, 2021 — 8:20 pm
Comments: 19

Remember this?

Remember this thing? It’s a relic of around 2000 AD called soda constructor. It’s a little 2D creature simulator. The straight lines are bones or muscles, the dots are joints. When you’ve built a thing and you’re happy with it, run the simulation and it…does stuff.

Walks. Hops. Adjust the stiffness, friction and gravity. And K. I’ve forgotten what K is.

Here’s an interesting interview with the creator, Ed Burton.

The thing in the picture is the default creature. I played with it years ago and managed to shake it up so badly it broke. Lay on the ground quivering. I felt surprisingly awful about that (because I’m an anthropomorphizing moron).

I went to find it today and hit a lot of broken links, but finally managed to find a working version here. Oddly, in the instructions the author says it’s strictly for beta testing and please don’t share the link, so I dunno if I should’ve.

Seems fully working and true to the original. Try a few pre-built models. The default creature is daintywalker.xml. But don’t tell ’em I sent you.

September 1, 2021 — 8:04 pm
Comments: 5

Well, that’s horrible

Well, that’s. Hm. Really ugly.

According to the auction listing, it was made in Sussex in the Thirties, not licensed by Disney, and was therefore subject to a vicious patent dispute. Hence, they are rare (£80 – £120 kind of rare).

Where have I seen this nightmare-inducing figure before? Oh, yeah. My blog.

August 31, 2021 — 7:23 pm
Comments: 3

Summer fade

We went to the third of three church fetes today (there were four, we missed one). It’s the last long weekend of the Summer and that’s probably it for the small local happenings. If we’re lucky, there will be a country show or two still.

It was PACKED. We go to this one every year, and there were at least twice as many there as usual. Maybe three times.

To be honest, it was a little too busy. I don’t like crowds at the best of times and this is hardly the best of times.

I saw one mask, Uncle B saw another and he saw a hand sanitizing station. That was it. Other than that, it was 100% the old normal and nobody cared. They’re going to have a hard time if they try another lockdown, I predict.

Do you recognize the illustration? Would you if I revealed the two airborne objects at the right should be green? They were recolored gray in this instance; I doubt the original had any meaning for the Brit who pinched it.

August 30, 2021 — 5:43 pm
Comments: 7


We went to see my friend with the pet turkey today. This is her with her best friend, a rescue hen. They cuddle. (D’awwww). They’re largely inside pets now.

Yes. I asked. They just wipe it up. Bit of a hippie, this one.

She had a whole flock of rescue chooks at one time, but the fox got most of them. This girl was spared because the other chickens didn’t like her so she was asleep on the porch by herself when tragedy struck.

There’s some kind of life lesson there, but I can’t work it out.

Miz Turkey was amazingly vocal this time. It wasn’t gobbles, either. It was little whistly sounds. She was trying so hard to talk. Then she walked over and got a big beakful of my upper arm and gave it a good shake.

Ah. Hungry.

The lady would maybe like to take one of my four cockerels and I’m tempted, but they do seem to have an awful lot of accidents re: fox. I’d have to live with the fact I sent my boy into the danger zone. Also, these two are so sweet together, I wonder if a loud-ass rooster is really wanted in the mix.

I’ll have a think. Good weekend, everyone!

August 27, 2021 — 7:24 pm
Comments: 5

Bringing in the sheaves

The day they bale the hay always feels strange. I can’t really explain. It’s a cinch a little black and white photo won’t give any sense of it. The color version isn’t much better, either. I need Uncle B’s fancy new lens. Or a drone.

Or 70mm Technicolor!

The actual field is about three times the size of the color pic and the way the bales are dotted along it makes them seem meaningful. Like Stonehenge. The hay, it speaks to me!

They’re baled, not rolled up into those giant rolls, because this was a dwarf wheat crop. I don’t think the stalks are long enough to roll. You can see a few unharvested ears left in front. Didn’t even come to my knee.

Harvest service this Sunday. Here comes Fall!

August 26, 2021 — 7:23 pm
Comments: 13