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Weekend public domain book thread…?

So, here’s a British classic that was new to me: Jock of the Bushveld. Dog adventure story, like Call of the Wild or White Fang. But in Africa. And nonfiction.

Wow. Very entertain. Much enjoy.

The links above go to Project Gutenberg. I don’t know when they started this, but they now offer Kindle editions, cleanly formatted, often with illustrations. Man, that opens up a whole lotta excellent free content for the ol’ reading device. And the holidays coming up (or as I think of Christmas, the Time of Reading).

So, anything in the out-of-copyright bin you’d recommend?

Here, I’ll go. In the fine old tradition of ghost stories for Christmas, how about some M.R. James? Or Algernon Blackwood?

The neighbor who recommended Jock of the Bushveld also loaned me a couple of nice old illustrated hardbacks by Ernest Thompson Seton, another adventurer and naturalist and sometime illustrator of the era (and early patron of the Boy Scouts). He — my neighbor — eagerly told me, “I have two thousand books in my library.”

Ah. Good. Ummmm…good weekend, all!

December 14, 2013 — 12:44 am
Comments: 54

Goddlemitey, how dumb are these guys?

So, Barack Obama tweeted this today.

Aw, lookit him, holding his pushy little message standing all Richie Rich in front of a giant gilt-framed oil painting and gold candlesticks with that huge shit-eating grin on his face.

Thanks, geniuses.

Here’s a big blank copy for you to play with, if you have a mind.

December 12, 2013 — 10:41 pm
Comments: 24


Remember the lady in the funeral selfie from yesterday, Helle Thorning-Schmidt? Prime Minister of Denmark? Well, it turns out, before she had that gig, she was a member of the European Parliament.

Presumably that’s where she met and married Stephen Kinnock, who worked in and around Brussels before taking a gig with the World Economic Forum — one of those institutions that gives conspiracy nuts hives.

His qualifications include being the son of Glenys Kinnock, former Member of the European Parliament, former Minister for Europe and former Minister of State for Africa and the United Nations.

Her qualifications include being the wife of Neil Kinnock, leader of the UK Labour party from 1999 to 2004 1994 to 2007. Actually, that’s pretty much it. That’s all of her qualifications right there.

Oh wait, ‘scuse me, beg pardon, I misspoke. That should be Baron and Baroness Kinnock.

In the bad old days, they called this guy, the guy in the picture with the shiny boots, the Uncle of Europe. Because every throne in the West was sat on or next to by a child of his mama. That didn’t work out so hot.

But don’t you worry, the modern European ruling class is totally different — Neil Kinnock’s dad was a coal miner, for cri-yi. I’m sure it’ll turn out much better this time.

p.s. You may remember Neil Kinnock as the man from whom Slow Joe Biden borrowed a few colorful phrases — and bits of personal biography — in his 1988 presidential run.

— 12:21 am
Comments: 13

Oh, man, Michelle looks *pissed*

Look at these guys. Look at ‘em!

Cameron, Helle Thorning-Schmidt (Prime Minister of Denmark) and Obama, grinning like frat boys at Mandela’s funeral and popping off a selfie. I suspect these guys are going to regret this snippet of bad optics going down in history.

Amateurs. Remember when a camera caught Clinton laughing as he came out of Ron Brown’s funeral, and he immediately made a boo-hoo face and wiped away a tear? That’s how you politick, gentlemen. (Bonus: that YouTube describes a paranoid theory of Ron Brown’s death I’d totally forgotten).

Embarrassing — my source for this image is Imgur — where it’s been posted, like, fifty times today. Imgur: the biggest little time suck on the internet (if you’re a lookin’-at-the-pictures kindofa weasel).

December 10, 2013 — 6:29 pm
Comments: 33

He came amongst us

So, could anybody stomach the MSNBC interview of Obama? Not me, but I got hung up on the HotAir headline (quoting Matthews): “He came to us. He came amongst us.”

Ick factor: off the scale.

We’re in one of those news cycles when my liver just can’t handle the news cycle. I scan portals, find articles about the news (articles with a soothing, congenial viewpoint), and learn what I know about what’s going on at one safe remove. Slashing at Medusa through a mirror.

Ace’s MacGuffin article nailed the general aura of unreality around the Obama Cult in general (and the Matthews interview in particular) best of all. I know most of you guys are regular Ace readers, but in case you ain’t.

December 9, 2013 — 11:23 pm
Comments: 19

Round 55: It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

So, thefritz racks up his third dick with Nelson Mandela. Nelson Mandela, at long last. Today, you will find many fawning hagiographies of Mandela. The BBC will be untouchable for a week.

Let me just say, “Yay! New DeadPool for Christmas!”

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.

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?

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 w00t!

March 7, 2014: I’ve closed comments on this one because it’s become a huge spam trap. Spambots tend to zero in on certain posts and hit them again and again. Go figure.

December 6, 2013 — 6:00 pm
Comments: 105

TheFritz takes the dick! TheFritz takes the dick!

Nelson Mandela, at last.

Ugh, the internet is going to be all gunked up with this for a while, eh? Oh, well. In a week of personal lameness, I can squeeze two blog days out of the old terrorist.

That’s right, folks. Here. Tomorrow. Six sharp WBT.
Dead Pool Round 55!

December 5, 2013 — 10:06 pm
Comments: 29

So close…

I’ve been playing Mad Jack Keepaway all evening, so no good content from me tonight. That boy is a nutcase.

But have a gander at this. Charlotte is a jealous goddess, so this represents real progress.

We went from: aware he exists, refuses to come in the house. To: aware he is in the house, runs as fast as possible from food bowl to front door and screams to go out. To: aware he is in the house, can curl up and sleep quite happily in the same room unless he hoves in sight, then much hissing and yowling. To: sleeps in the room with him quite happily, hisses and bops him one if he gets too close.

Sooner or later, they WILL curl up together, because cats are heat-seeking missiles, and other cats are soft and warm.

December 4, 2013 — 11:58 pm
Comments: 9

England stuffs

This style of roof is known as a “cat slide”. Okay, I think technically a cat slide is lower on one side and ours is symmetrical, but boy howdy — that cat sure slides purty on it. Go on, you know you want him big and in color.

On Saturday morning, we woke up to the hunt. Well, I didn’t. I slept right through it. But the hunt swept through the neighborhood.

I’m a little disappointed that nobody told us in advance. It’s a trust issue. Fox hunting is still hugely controversial here.

The people agin’ it say it’s impossibly, unnecessarily cruel to the foxes. And destructive of property. And illegal.

The people for it say foxes are vermin, country people have been dealing with them this way for hundreds of years and — Jesus Christ, mind your own business.

I have neighbors on both sides of the argument (though mostly pro-hunt, I suspect). I’m deeply ambivalent about it, but I have decided I don’t have to have an opinion on every little issue. I think this is proper foreigner attitude.

They keep the hunt secret as best they can to avoid protesters (though apparently there were a few), but I would have appreciated a heads up. I’m told when their blood is up, a pack of dogs has been known to sheer off from the main group and kill cats. And chickens. (Yeah, ouch, there’s that ambivalent thing again).

They scared up seven foxes this time, so I heard. They didn’t get them all, though. I sat outside with Jack last night (I have to run him around every few hours to work the satan out of him), and there was one screaming loud ol’ fox in the field next door.

It sounded like somebody was skinning a live swan.

December 3, 2013 — 10:25 pm
Comments: 28

Here we go!

I bet I’m getting fifty commercial emails a day, from everybody I’ve ever bought so much as a paperclip from. Mostly from the States, so they are — how you say? — out of luck sneaking a hand in my pocket this Christmas.

I dread this season. I’m a lousy gift shopper, Uncle B is incredibly hard to buy for and his birthday is too close to Xmas. If something’s big, I can’t afford it. If it’s small, he’s already bought it. If it’s weird, he’s probably not going to like it.

What I usually do is open up Amazon, close my eyes, think of him and poke stream-of-consciousness into the search box. For, like, a week, until I reach my money limit.

The thing above is one of my stranger successes. It’s a temperature-controlled butter dish. See, Brits use butter instead of mayo as a sandwich lubricant. And, on untoasted bread, the butter is either tear-it-up hard or sloppy soft, depending on the season and how long it’s been left out. This thing has a thermostat, a dial and a computer fan in the bottom, so the butter is always the perfect spreading temperature.

No, really, it was a hit.

What are some of your stranger Christmas successes? Seriously, I’m asking. Begging, even. I am allllll out of ideas this year.

December 2, 2013 — 11:32 pm
Comments: 31