web analytics

Sweet dreams

When I was little – and up into my thirties, I think – I had recurring dreams about a tornado. It was big and scary and powerful and yet strangely attractive. In some dreams, I understood it to be God and I would walk into it.

Years later, from some alt USENET group about dreams, I learned it is a very common one.

Well, maybe not ‘tornado is God’, but tornado dreams generally. I am 99% sure we all caught it off the Wizard of Oz.

Now, enjoy this video of a tornado in Laramie, Wyoming. It’s a Twitter link, if you care.

No, there’s no follow up. The video cuts before we know if the tornado reaches them. Sweet dreams!







September 7, 2020 — 8:10 pm
Comments: 5

All hail the birfday boi

I don’t think I’ve ever had a cat whose exact birthday I knew – except, of course, the ones I saw being born. Wellington’s birthday is today. He is one.

I think he’s got some growing yet to do, so I’m keeping him on the kitten food a little longer. He’s a skinny boy.

He’s also a pretty boy. I done him dirty shooting him with flash, but the without-flash version was just noise.

Have a good weekend, everyone!

September 4, 2020 — 7:48 pm
Comments: 7

Standing with Stones

We were casting around for something to watch the other day and hit upon a really excellent 2-hour documentary about British prehistoric sites. Standing With Stones was self-funded twelve years ago by a pair of non-archaeologists. It took them two years of driving around Britain.

Very well written and presented: no woo or aliens. A little speculation, but sensible. I shan’t spoil it for you, but I had no idea there were a thousand stone circles in Britain.

Their whole channel is worth a look: The Prehistory Guys. Also, their Patreon.

I love British prehistory, but it’s ultimately frustrating because we will never know enough about it. Still, modern techniques like ground-penetrating whotsit are uncovering all sorts of interesting new information. Go watch it!

September 3, 2020 — 7:52 pm
Comments: 9

The stoat whisperer

Robert E. Fuller is a British wildlife photographer and painter who has built a stoat wonderland on his property. Weaseltown. Boobytrapped with cameras, naturally.

Yay, he has a YouTube channel. Here’s his Stoat Camera Playlist. Not on the playlist, I recommend the longer How I Became a Stoat Whisperer.

Also not on the list, the ones I found first: Raising a Tiny Stoat Kit, This Adorable Stoat Kit is Now so Playful, When Two Adorable Stoats Meet for the First Time and These Stoat Kits Are Ready To Go Outdoors. It looks like they all belong in a playlist called Weasel Wildlife Rehabilitation that he hasn’t made yet. Perhaps he will after he releases these two into the wild.

Eh, his bird stuff is pretty good, too.

September 2, 2020 — 8:12 pm
Comments: 3

The language of love…

I knew a Russian woman who told me that English and German sound so similar to her, she was surprised we couldn’t understand each other.

I can almost get my head around “Mit 2 Keramiknäpfen.”

If I keep buying pet products over here, I’m bound to learn another language. In which I will be able to converse fluently, as long as the topic is “tuna with white fish” or “two ceramic bowls.” I dunno why pet product in particular are multilingual on the box.

That’s been a permanent change wrought by covid, anyway: buying catfood in bulk off the internet. Much cheaper, awesome selection and it gets to me in days. The only drag is getting rid of the packaging.

I usually try to do that right away, but Welly is enjoying the big cardboard box too much.

September 1, 2020 — 7:21 pm
Comments: 8


I think I saw one of these today. Probably not this model, which is from California, but an electric motorcycle of some kind.

I was surprised to learn it’s a thing. Even Harley-Davidson has one.

All the articles I read go on about how fast they can go (very fast, by the way). But my question is, how far can they go on a charge? And how heavy is the battery?

Bike batteries like mine have about five years in them. Or, rather, they pledge to lose no more than 20% of their efficiency every year. And they’re hella expensive.

Anyway, it swooshed down the road we live on making a weird zzzZZZzzz sound. I’m surprised that’s acceptable. I thought most motorcycle riders were in it for the BURBLE-A-BURBLE-A-BURBLE-A.

If that becomes the default engine sound some day, the roadkill will be epic 🙁

August 31, 2020 — 8:00 pm
Comments: 8

Joe Ruby, co-creater of “Scooby-Doo,” died Wednesday aged 87

In an era dominated by truly horrible Hannah-Barbera animation, Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! stood out as something uniquely bizarre and ugly.

Who permitted four underage mixed-sex teenagers to spend their days travelling around in a van unchaperoned? Why was shaggy a Maynard G. Krebs beatnik, a character from the previous decade? Why the heck did “Where Are You!” end with an exclamation point and not a question mark??

Mostly, why did this program have staying power when others with a very similar formula (The Funky Phantom and Speed Buggy both featured a cast of teenagers with one novelty talking character) did not?

Look at the list and feel the memories flooding back, like PTSD flashbacks.

I make an exception for their adventure cartoons like Space Ghost and The Herculoids, which had character designs by the brilliant comics illustrator Alex Toth. A good man working in a severely limiting medium.

I had a boss who was a great admirer of Hannah-Barbera and their ability to cut corners and still get the job done. Cheap tricks like when Fred is talking they show Barney standing there blinking, and when Barney is talking they show Fred, to avoid having to animate lips. Says a lot about the man and how much fun he was to work for.

A final note: that thing Fred is wearing is an Apache scarf – a fashion item that exactly matches the show’s release date and vanished fairly quickly thereafter. They were usually gaudy scarves held together with a tacky bit of paste jewelelry called an Apache scarf ring. They were a dollar at JC Penney and I loved them.

Have a good weekend, everyone!

August 28, 2020 — 7:45 pm
Comments: 16

And I’m just over here eating fake Rice Crispies, like, “damn!”

To clarify, I’ve spent most of my day watching snippets of livestreams of your various charming riots.

But, yeah, this is a thing Aldi does – it makes knockoff products and puts them in boxes that are so close to the product they’re mimicking. I’d roll my eyes, but the fake products are really good. Sometimes better than the original.

I miss Aldi. We haven’t been since the mask mandate 🙁

August 27, 2020 — 7:24 pm
Comments: 11

See through toilets, y’all

These transparent toilets have been installed in a Tokyo park. According to the article, when you go inside and throw the lock, the glass becomes opaque.

I wouldn’t trust it. Would you trust it? I have a hard enough time dealing with public bathrooms as it is.

I guess the idea is you see the park behind the glass, but I’m confident the real story is an architect who figured out how to do something weird and had to try it.

What? You thought we were talking about books? Pff! It was only ever a matter of time before I got back on toilets.

August 26, 2020 — 8:16 pm
Comments: 10

Muh boiz

Us, this morning. Yes, it’s the first time I’ve been becatted by both at once. Yes, it’s adorable. Yes, sitting in one position for so long, I put my back out and had to take the good Ibuprofen. The one with codeine.

Yes, I can get that over the counter here. w00t!

So let’s just continue chewing over Deborah HH’s question from the previous thread: she is soliciting recommendations for good American novels. Let me think. It’s been a while since I read fiction.

When I was about 15 and living on a farm in the middle of nowhere in long Summer, I got hold of one of those 100 books you must read to be an Educated Person and tried to slog my way through it. I don’t remember how far I got before I gave up in despair, but I do remember the book that did for me: The Bridge of San Luis Rey. Feh.

I recommend Call of the Wild (dog -> wolf) or White Fang (wolf -> dog). I like Jack London.

Just about anything by Twain or Vonnegut. Well, maybe not late Vonnegut. Okay, Salinger. I guess. Nothing by Hemingway. Muh Southern representation, Flannery O’Connor.

The one I used to re-read every year but don’t necessarily recommend: The Snake Pit (the movie, as movies tend, doesn’t do it justice). The best book I absolutely don’t recommend because it’s pure nightmare fuel: Johnny Got His Gun. I hate murder mysteries, but reading Silence of the Lambs was the first time I ever stood up out of a chair in shock with a book in my hands (hated the movie).

I don’t know. I can’t dredge any more up. I’m rusty. I have a feeling I would’ve been able to write on this topic at great length thirty years ago. At some point, I unconsciously decided I don’t have time to read about things that didn’t happen.

August 25, 2020 — 7:17 pm
Comments: 20