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Well, this is shit

This was tied to a light pole near work. If you can’t read it:

What does the sap say?
The sap says nothing.
its only sound
comes in death
a ghostly gurgling
when its tree is felled
to feed our fires
or make way for industry.
Birds sing of the loss
of habitat and homes
and of advancing predators
until, lacking food or shelter
they sing here no more.
The sap says nothing.

That’s not poetry, it’s a super long bumper sticker. Political art is turrble, y’all.

I wonder how many trees are felled to make way for a solar panel farm?

September 26, 2023 — 5:41 pm
Comments: 7

Krispy kon job

They made a big damn deal of it when they introduced Krispy Kreme donuts over here. I’m not sure why…I don’t think they’re made in the store bakery or anything. I tried one for nostalgia’s sake, and it was nothing like I remember the melty, warm goodness of a fresh Krispy Kreme donut.

Apparently, the real thing is another of those famous secret recipes and may contain potato: “…the recipe consisted of a cream (the eponymous “Kreme”) of fluffed egg whites, mashed potatoes, sugar, shortening and skim milk that was chilled and mixed with flour and then fried and covered in glaze. Today, very few people can say what exactly goes into a Krispy Kreme doughnut, with the top-secret recipe secured in a vault at company headquarters…”

It doesn’t travel well.

And can you see the price? That’s £2.25 for one ordinary glazed donut – or $2.75 in your US dollars. You’d have to be nuts to pay that for an unremarkable not very fresh glazed donut. The internet tells me the going rate in the States is $.99.

The Internet further says tells me there was once a Krispy Kreme sold in Selfridge’s for £1,000. It was gold and looked stupid.

KK was started in Nashville, so our local was probably one of the older ones. The back wall was glass and much of the process was automated. I’m having a hard time remembering the particulars because it was so long ago, but I have a vivid memory of donuts gliding down a conveyor belt into a bath of sugar glaze.

I’m getting it all confused with the local Krystal burger, though – probably because of the inappropriate K. Krystal is another story for another day.

September 25, 2023 — 6:53 pm
Comments: 13

Let’s talk underwear

Specifically thermal underwear.

Some years, it’s like God hits a light switch one day and makes summer turn to winter. Today has been such a day. Thank you, equinox.

I’m determined not to be cold this winter, so I’ve been shopping for some kind of longjohns. I find the world of fancy modern high-tech drawers very confusing. The new miracle fabrics are pitched to high performance winter athletes, who will be skiing or running and need something to wick sweat away.

That’s not me. I’m a sedentary old woman in a drafty 500 year old house and I just want to preserve all my precious body heat while I sit and shitpost. I don’t mind splashing out some money if the modern stuff is worth having.

Any underwear experts in the house? Am I just as well buying an old fashioned cotton union suit?

p.s. I know that’s a man in the picture, but it’s billed as unisex and it’s a woman in the main shot.

p.p.s. No, I do not want the zipper flap in the back, thank you.

p.p.p.s. Have a good weekend, everyone!

September 22, 2023 — 6:13 pm
Comments: 16

The Flower of Kent

This “distinctly ugly” cooking apple is known as the Flower of Kent. Its parent tree lives at Woolsthorpe Manor in Lincolnshire.

You know that about apples, do you? Apples are genetically diverse, so if you grow an apple tree from a seed, there’s no guarantee the resulting apple will taste like the parent – or even taste good! Hence apple trees are grown from cuttings grafted onto some other tree’s root stock.

All the varieties that have names have been grown from cuttings (or cuttings from cuttings) from an original tree somewhere. Every Granny Smith you’ve ever eaten came from a little slice of that one tree Maria Ann Smith bred in her orchard in Australia in 1868.

But I digress. This lumpy specimen is from the tree Newton sat under when “the notion of gravity came into his mind occasion’d by the fall of an apple.” And you can own one!

For a mere £30, you can buy a stick that was cut from a tree that was grown from a stick from Isaac Newton’s tree that can be grafted onto a root that will grow into a tree that will bear a fruit that is apparently very meh.

But if you smack someone upside the head with it, maybe they’ll get super smart.

September 21, 2023 — 6:51 pm
Comments: 3

I thought I was losing my flippin’ mind

Uncle B and me were browsing the wine section at Aldi when one of the price labels began to flip, like an old TV picture when the aerial was knocked out. When it stopped flipping, the text was white on red. It had gone on special as I watched.

DIGITAL PRICE TAGS, y’all! They don’t look it. They must use the same paper white technology that Kindle uses.

The above article says they’ve been around for years, so I guess I’m late again, but I was floored. They’re hooked straight into the store’s inventory system and update in real time. As they put it: No more ‘have you got any of this out the back?’

I slid one off the rail and had a closer look. They don’t get power or data off the rail – it was just straight plastic. They’re battery operated and wifi.

Then I found this pile of them in the freezer section. You can see they’re about 1/8th of an inch thick. I guess they just toss them when the battery runs down.

I’m astonished this is cost-effective. Alibaba’s got them for $13 each (but $6.60 for more than 10,000). So who knows, at Aldi scale.

What a time to be alive. Happy Equinox!

September 20, 2023 — 6:25 pm
Comments: 6

The Victorians were a little goofy

I can’t believe I’ve never posted about the Crystal Palace dinosaurs, but this is the only mention I could find. Where Uncle B last lived in London was near unto Crystal Palace Park, home of the famous Crystal Palace dinosaurs.

They were sculpted in the early 1850s by Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins to go with the new park. Mostly, they’re famous because of all the things he got wrong and silly, but this was the first ever effort to make a model from fossils, so that’s not really fair. Boo.

When we used to visit, the poor things were in rough shape and falling to bits, but they’ve since spent a bunch of money fixing them up. Yay!

Now English Heritage has gone and done 3D models, so you can play with them yourself. If you’ve never used Sketchfab, click on the model you want to see and give it a minute to load the model and then the texture, then:

Left mouse button and move the mouse to rotate the model around an invisible axis
Left mouse button, CTRL and move the mouse up and down to zoom in and out (or middle mouse button)
Left mouse button, SHIFT and move the mouse to pan back and forth (or right mouse button)
Left mouse button, ALT and move the mouse to move the light source around

You can find more Sketchfab controls here. I’ve spent more hours than I care to admit zooming around 3D models there. There some fantastic stuff. I even have a few of my own, but I think they’re under my civilian name.

September 19, 2023 — 6:16 pm
Comments: 1

Thanks, can I get you something…?

Erm, I got an award. I guess users buy them for each other on Steam. I got a Mad Scientist. Thanks, Mysterious Stranger. Can I buy you one? I’ve got literally 40,000 unspent points on Steam.

Feel free to friend me. I don’t do the social aspects, but it gives me a little thrill of community when the popup tells me what y’all are playing at the moment.

Roger Whittaker has died. He was 87. Remember Roger Whittaker? I’ve tried and cannot find the exact Roger Whittaker infomercial that is seared into my brain, but this one is close. Except it’s missing the one that goes “there’s a boat down in the harbor…”

Good job advertising, I guess, because other than these late night ads, I never heard of the man.

September 18, 2023 — 7:22 pm
Comments: 12

Literally two seconds

Still addicted to watching YouTubes of police body cam arrests. I’ve watched so many field sobriety tests, I catch myself rooting for the suspects. You go girl, you totally aced that heel-to-toe thing.

Honestly, some of those people did alright, from what I can see. Either the cops are looking at something special, or they’re just basing the bust on the smell of alcohol.

One thing I am as sure as sure can be – if I ever have to take the field sobriety test, I’m totally going to jail. I’ve always been badly uncoordinated and I’m losing my balance as I get older. Forget the heel-to-toe thing, I can’t last two seconds with my arms to my sides and one foot in the air. Literally two seconds. They’re looking for thirty.

Ironically, I do better after I have a couple of drinks.

p.s. Good thing I don’t have a driver’s license, huh?

p.p.s. That’s not me in the picture. It’s an Arizona judge after ‘a couple’ of glasses of wine.

p.p.p.s. Have a wunnerful weekend!

September 15, 2023 — 7:42 pm
Comments: 9

Guys, guys…he sent me an email!

Thing is, this is almost certainly true. In fact, you’d probably have to travel a fair old distance to find another registered Republican. There’s a woman from Texas who lives in a village about five miles away – maybe she’s higher up the Republican ranking than me.

This was a fundraising email from the NRSC which ISTR has an iffy relationship with Trump. Shameless. They used his picture and tried to sound like him and everything. Which means they know which GOP faction the energy (read:money) is coming from. *thinky face*

September 14, 2023 — 7:27 pm
Comments: 4


Good crop of cobnuts this year (local Kent species of hazelnut). Our other cobnut tree has not a single nut on it, that I can see. Farming be like that.

Then we had the sad duty of retiring our oldest freezer. Uncle B bought the thing before we even met in person. It’s really sad because it was still rock solid, but mice or rats had chewed a scary lump out of the power cord.

Freezer archeology was the usual. The top half was all within the last year or so. Then we get to the fruit level and the dates start dropping. We kept a lot of it, but even more went into the compost bin. Uncle B was very sad, having grown it all with his own furry paw.

I think the oldest thing in there was 2009. Except for way, way down at the bottom: four rolls of 35mm film. Remember storing film in the freezer?

September 13, 2023 — 6:49 pm
Comments: 15