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I have a hilarious problem


I have a problem with video games, my imaginary friends: my house is cooler than Skyrim. Check out this photo. Yeah, there’s a roaring fire just behind the monitor. No, I haven’t ‘shopped the bits together.

I’m playing Witcher at the moment, but the principle is the same. Sword ‘n’ sorcery games are stuck somewhere between Medieval and Tudor Europe (well, the costumes in the Witcher look more 17th C, but it’s all of a piece). Big oak beams, brick inglenooks, wattle-and-daub walls. Yup, that’s our place.

I exist in a bubble of what I think of as ‘England porn.’ I work for an historical society, so my days are filled with even older buildings and old documents. My nights in Badger House involve getting sozzled in front of a roaring fire watching history programs on TV. Weekends, we go to village fetes, bonfires and stately homes.

Oh, it’s lovely. Don’t get me wrong. But I often have the feeling something horrible is sneaking up on me while I indulge.

sock it to me

November 2, 2015 — 10:07 pm
Comments: 14

Round 79: Scary Hallowe’en edition

Boo! Yeah, I know. It’s just the 30th. But I don’t post Saturdays, ai’ight?

Hutch wins dick a second time with Maureen O’Hara. Anybody know why the first Google hit I get on “maureen o’hara” goes to an obit at the World Socialist Website?

Not a bad writeup, but I just wonder if somebody is pressing a thumb on the algorithm there.

Oh, well! 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.

sock it to me

October 30, 2015 — 6:00 pm
Comments: 116

Christmas is coming. Just sayin’


Here something awesome I found when I was looking for something else. It’s an object that was up for auction in Germany. I tried to find a follow up to see how much it went for, but all I found was other assassin-wannabes drooling over it.

Anyhoo, it’s a Bible from 1600 that’s been hollowed out and the pages replaced with a wooden cabinet. The clever little drawers are neatly labeled with the names of herbal poisons. Empty, presumably.

The bigger green glass bottle in the center is labeled “Statutum hominibus semel mori” — It is given to a man to die.

The print inside the lid is described as 1682. If so, it’s a late edition — that there is a page out of Vesalius’ De humani corporis fabrica from 1543. I know this because reasons.

It’s hard to know what the hell this is all about. I can’t imagine any self-respecting poisoner leaving such a tangible lump of incriminatory evidence, nor yet someone commissioning such a beautiful object only to keep it hidden. I’m going to guess it was a prop, probably out of some gentleman’s cabinet of curiosities.

Even so, you’d have to assume our forebears were a lot less superstitious about blasphemy than we think.

Oh, and speaking of death (she said cheerily), Dead Pool Round 79. Tomorrow six sharp WBT. Be here or we’ll put something in your beer!

sock it to me

October 29, 2015 — 11:08 pm
Comments: 4



So when Karl Marx died — I know this is kind of hard to believe — they didn’t just shove him in a state-funded hole or cremate him and sprinkle his ashes over the Working Man’s Club. No, his friend Engels paid for him to have a big poncey tomb in the froo-froo Highgate Cemetery.

By the 1970s, there were no more burials in Highgate and, somehow or other, that meant no money was coming in. Surely a complete coincidence that the whole cemetery — but especially Marx’s tomb — fell into disrepair just about then and was picked apart by vandals. Now, here’s where it gets really weird — it turns out, groundskeepers won’t do their thing for free. You have to give them, like, money to look after stuff.

So a cooperative took over the running of the place in the Nineties (the Nineteen Nineties, remember them?) and began charging to see Marx’s tomb, with the moneys going to maintenance.

I guess the core of Marx’s philosophy must be: everything is free and nobody gets paid, because the little Marxlets are upset to fork out £4 to make the pilgrimage.

Not sure what is funnier: the guy who’s pissed at the fee because lately he’s doubled sales (a typo, surely) of his Marxist newspaper, so he knows people are super stoked about Communism. Or the picture of all those kidlets taking snapshots of the great man’s tomb with their i-Phones.

Thanks awfully to iamfelix for sending me a link to the article.

sock it to me

October 28, 2015 — 11:16 pm
Comments: 6

Well, shoot; I might have to buy this one


I’m kind of Iffy on the Assassin’s Creed series of games. That’s the one where you crawl all over historic cities wearing a cool cape and hood and stab people to death. It’s not that I object to stabbing people, I just found the gameplay and vestigial plots somewhat boring after a while.

On the other hand — the cities! The cities are incredibly cool and, I presume, reasonably accurate. I absolutely loved parkour’ing my way around Jerusalem and Acre. Having to stab someone to death occasionally was a small price to pay. I forgot how far into the series I got before I finally lost interest.

Also, my machine is now under-spec’ed. To keep up with the current generation of games, I’m going to have to upgrade my graphics card, at the least. And maybe the whole shootin’ match.

So I wasn’t planning on buying the latest iteration, Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate, even though it’s set in Victorian London and I lumme some Victorian London. And then I read an article titled Just how British is Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate? and changed my mind. I think it was this bit:

It might seem like an inconsequential addition at first, because it’s difficult to fully comprehend the Britishness of a fruit stall without a man bellowing things about discount pears. Stall-dwelling Fruit & Veg Men are a mystery. They come from London’s hidden underplaces, and speak in a lost language known as “Cabbage Speech”, or “Appletongue.” No British person can explain the compulsion to buy plastic bags full of greengages from shouting men in hats, but it’s as relevant to our cultural heritage as chicken tikka, disappointment, and avoiding smalltalk. You might not know it, Assassin’s Creed tomato artist, but your work is a crucial piece of set dressing.

This might not be London, but we by-God have a fruit stand in the market that could have slouched straight out of Dickens’ metropolis. I have never in my life been so drawn to buying a giant bowl of grapefruit for £1. That’s my long-term retirement plan — turning up at the market once a week, buying a big-ass load of vegetables and living on soup.

I just have to work out how to get Uncle B to eat vegetable soup.

sock it to me

October 27, 2015 — 9:42 pm
Comments: 11

Happy anniversary!


Another one. Magna Carta 800. Waterloo 200. Plague of London 350. This year has been a corker. Must be something about decade years.

And now Agincourt 600. The actual anniversary was yesterday, and I’m really surprised how little there was on the news or in general.

Maybe we’re all anniversaried out. Maybe we’re trying not to offend our best buds the Frenchies. Dunno.

Anyway, click over to the website. It’s good.

sock it to me

October 26, 2015 — 8:22 pm
Comments: 8

Time for more silly English street names

Let us end the week with more silly English street names (the photo is a repeat from 2010 — moi, with a found example). For the record, I’d be delighted to live up any of them. It would make filling out forms a sneaking delight.

The article is from the increasingly useless Telegraph. They’ve put themselves behind the lamest of paywalls. You can see the front page always, but you get a certain amount of freebie articles per…used to be month, think it’s per week now. After which — if you’re foolish enough to accept cookies, as I do — you have to spend ten seconds switching over to a different browser.

In the increasingly unlikely event there is something there I want to read, I usually fire up Explorer. So not only is it ever so fucking obvious how seldom there’s a worthwhile article on offer, but when there is, I mentally associate it with the stuttering, horrible performance of IE. Well done, chaps!

Right, that’s enough of that. Good weekend, all! Our clocks change and our weather turns colder this weekend…

sock it to me

October 23, 2015 — 8:18 pm
Comments: 19

Here ya go


Everything you ever wanted to know about tiaras.

More. More than I ever wanted to know about tiaras. I think they look fucking ridiculous. The only reason they don’t look sillier is that most royals are rather elegant looking ladies and it takes seriously stupid accessories to pull that down. (For a counter-example, check out the Duchess off Cornmoooo in that thread).

Huh. I’ve just discovered my blog doesn’t have a ‘fashion’ tag. Imagine that.

sock it to me

October 22, 2015 — 8:31 pm
Comments: 11

let ‘er rip

Dear Auntie Weasel,

I’d like to make fun of Chelsea Clinton, but somehow it just feels wrong. Like, she can’t help who her parents are, can she? Do we have any evidence she’s as much a piece of shit as her mama and daddy?

Feels Wrong, I Say

Dear Feels,

Here ya go:

It was an idyllic summer’s day on Martha’s Vineyard when a young Chelsea Clinton appeared unexpectedly in the kitchen of the luxury holiday home where the First Family were staying.

“Do you know who I am?” she asked, when Pierre Chauvet refused her request for fried chicken in place of the gourmet fish dish he was preparing.

“Of course I knew who she was,” laughed Mr Chauvet. “But fish is all I had.”

Chelsea, who was 13 at the time, eventually got her own way.

sock it to me

October 21, 2015 — 7:14 pm
Comments: 6


willy weasel eats pills

When commenter Scott the Badger threatened me with Sergeant Badger in the thread below, it reminded me I probably haven’t posted about Tufty Fluffytail, the road safety squirrel. He was the mascot of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents from 1953 until he perished in a tragic road safety accident.

Kidding! But…I dunno…couldn’t you have come up with a better road safety mascot than the animal voted Most Likely to be Found Squashed on the Yellow Dotted Line?

Tufty mostly served as the DoBee to Willy Weasel’s Don’tBee. Gallant to his Goofus.

That poor weasel. They ran him over (repeatedly), dunked him in the river, fed him Mama Weasel’s headache pills. He was forever getting hurt. And when Sergeant Badger came along, do you think there was sympathy? There was not! There was Willy up by the the nape and given a good shaking.

For some Christmases, Tufty Squirrel memorabilia was sure to find its way under our tree. (Remind me to play you the album sometime. It’s one of my treasured possessions).

I console myself with the knowledge that a realistic Willy Weasel would have disemboweled and et the lot of them (not counting Sergeant Badger, whom he would have smothered in his sleep).

Ahhhh…that’s better.

sock it to me

October 20, 2015 — 8:38 pm
Comments: 10