web analytics

w00t!

Watching Perseverance land on Mars in realtime. Laterz, y’all.

Remember, Dead Pool tomorrow!

February 18, 2021 — 9:03 pm
Comments: 8

All too soon

Farewell to Rush Limbaugh, the man who taught me to put butter on steak. Gosh, he just turned 70 this month. How sad.

Social media will be completely unusable for a day, between righties being sad and lefties being inappropriate. I didn’t feel right posting the usual nonsense tonight, so have an open thread. Talk about anything you like.

Wonder if them poor Texans have thawed out yet.

February 17, 2021 — 7:03 pm
Comments: 13

Rejoice! There’s a new blue!

Okay, but it’s kind of a big deal. Blue is a rare color in nature, and stable blue pigments even rarer. For a long time, all we had were ground up semi-precious stones like Lapis, which is why they saved it for the Virgin Mary’s robes. You probably knew that.

Even now, many blue pigments – the cobalts, for example – are expensive and a bit toxic. Cerulean is a cobalt color and very expensive and I have to have one tube on hand, because it is exactly the slightly lemony blue of the sky at the horizon. I still have the same tube from art school because I don’t paint landscapes very often.

This new one is called YinMn Blue but it is not, as it sounds, Chinese. It was discovered by two guys at Oregon State University twelve years ago. They were looking for novel electronic components. The name is from the three elements that make it up: Yttrium (Y), Indium (In), and Magnesium (Mn).

In the improbable event you find this at all interesting, there’s a good article on it here.

It looks like a good blue. Strong and opaque, but not overwhelming when mixed with other colors. I was once traumatized by a tragic pthalocyanine raw pigment spill. It stained me and everything I touched a vivid blue.


Sad to inform you that BullDawgGuy has won the pool with Rush Limbaugh. Fare thee well, Rush.

February 16, 2021 — 7:44 pm
Comments: 19

It’s a gingerbread duck

From our local bakery. For whom we are very grateful.

They fled town a couple of years ago because the rents were exorbitant. Now they’ve opened back up in the middle of all this (in a much smaller shop without an eat-in section) and we make a point of stopping there every few days.

Their bread is excellent. They make a mean doughnut. I’m a little iffy on the gingerbread ducks.

More to the point, we’re trying to be as thoughtful as we can about where our money goes.

No matter how good your intentions, you can’t avoid buying goods from China. I doubt there’s a zipper factory left anywhere else in the world, and I don’t look so good in a toga.

But I can certainly avoid giving my money to Bezos. We’re still lucky enough to have a local butcher and greengrocer and several excellent farm shops, and now our baker again, so we can cut down on supermarkets.

I don’t have much power, but I’ll enthusiastically swing my tiny axe.

February 15, 2021 — 7:55 pm
Comments: 11

Dead Pool Round 140: Happy New Year! edition

Happy Year of the Ox, everyone. Yep, today is Chinese New Year. I nicked the image off Wikimedia so goodness knows what the text says. Gibberish, if I’m lucky.

Catnip wins round 139 with George P. Schultz, who served three Republican administrations, most notably as Reagan’s Secretary of State. His middle name was Pratt.

This amuses me.

We used to pass through the town of Pratt’s Bottom on the way from London to Sussex. I always wanted to stop for tea in Pratt’s Bottom.

This is win #3 for catnip. Hurrah!

Right. Ready?

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.

February 12, 2021 — 6:00 pm
Comments: 59

I’m wrapped a little too tight for this


I had to play host to a Zoom lecture tonight. I’ve never done that before, but the speaker has done a lot of it and told me not to worry, to turn over hosting to him once he started speaking.

Bad. No. That’s not how you do it. Once I gave him hosting, I had no controls at all. I couldn’t mute or kick anyone or let in latecomers in, and he was too absorbed in his subject to do it (and I don’t think he knew how).

Chaos ensued. It was a very small chaos, to be sure, but I was braced the whole time for a bigger chaos.

There were several loud and unmuted. There was that guy who didn’t know his camera was on and strolled around his house the whole time. There was one with no name, no camera and no mic that I was sure would turn out to be a wrong ‘un.

But we got it sorted in the end and, more the point, absolutely no penis pictures were thrust upon my elderly employers. Whew.

I need gin.


DING-DING-DING. We have a dickwinner. Catnip takes it with George P. Schultz. I think we have time to squeeze a DEAD POOL in tomorrow! You know when, you know where!

February 11, 2021 — 9:11 pm
Comments: 11

I need to get better at this

It’s been a long time since I felt like I knew what I was doing on the Internet, but I think it’s time I started paying better attention to trackers. As the saying goes, if the product is free, you are the product.

The above results are from EFF’s privacy tracker tracker using the Brave browser. Once again, a plug for Brave. Though I regularly use a couple of other browsers and they didn’t do so well.

Also Device Info is kind of interesting. You probably already knew how much a web page can learn about your machine – and it’s pretty benign, for the most part. But, really, how many fonts you have and what they are? Your battery charge, whether it’s plugged in and how long until it’s fully charged? That’s just stoopit.

Have fun.

Oh, it’s getting down to 19° tonight (that’s -7° Euro). That’s the coldest I’ve ever known it to get here, and well into ‘burst pipe’ territory. I’ve got to go cover up my chicken house as best I can (the wooden door is frozen open). Not looking forward to this!

February 10, 2021 — 7:54 pm
Comments: 5

Tales from the Klondike

The actual Klondike, not my living room today (though it sure am cold in here).

Dawson City grew up around the Klondike Gold Rush. It went from a remote Indian camp to a city of 40,000 back down to a town of 8,000 when the gold rush ended in 1899. It’s hovered around 1,000 ever since.

But it had a movie theater. And because it was so remote, it was the end of the line for the movie circuit. That is, after the movies were shown, they were thrown away.

In 1978, a construction company accidentally stumbled over them, buried under a hockey rink. They dated from 1903 to 1929. In all, there were 533 reels of film, some from silents that were thought to have been lost forever. Many were damaged, but I imagine the cold helped preserve them. We know how nitrate film likes to burst into flames.

Wikipedia on the Dawson Film Find.

Dawson City: Frozen Time is a 2016 documentary put together from the reels, though I gather “documentary” is not a very good description. It’s something altogether more dreamy and strange.

You can watch the official trailer on YouTube.

What? No. I haven’t seen it yet. I’m waiting to find a used copy. I use this blog as a notepad, you know.

p.s. Bonus. The totally unrelated short film Battle at Big Rock is totally worth ten minutes of your life. Stick around for the credits.

February 9, 2021 — 8:09 pm
Comments: 9

It snew.

Not much. An inch or so. It’s more about the temps – in the mid-20s – that are making all the wet muck outside hard and slick. We aren’t used to this here.

I had to take a kettle to the chicken water to free it up. The Polands were goose-stepping around the garden like it warn’t nothing, but the Pekins refused to come out of the henhouse until they were nigh unto starving.

My first two Pekins did that a decade ago, after a fall of snow. Took one look at the white stuff, decided it was of the devil and didn’t come out for three days. I wonder if they snuck a drink of water during that time.

It’s been a revolving door for cats. Come inside get bored. Go outside paws cold. Repeat every ten minutes.

It’s so cold in the house we took the unprecedented step of lighting the fire in the afternoon. That’s going to cost a fortune. And this is for the foreseeable.

Kumbaya global warming.

February 8, 2021 — 7:41 pm
Comments: 25

Dead Pool Round 139: I saw a snowdrop today!

Blake takes the dick with Dustin Diamond aka Screech. I’m too old for Saved by the Bell. Come to think of it, aren’t most of you old also? How did you know who this guy is?

Never mind. I had a thing about bad children’s cartoons in the Nineties when I had a boring job and a TV at my desk. I kept telling everyone Pokémon was going to be huge, but would they listen?

Right. Ready?

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.

February 5, 2021 — 6:00 pm
Comments: 73