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Just in Time for Christmas!

Yay! A mailing from the Museum of Bad Art!

The theme of this year’s 16-month calendar is “DOPPLEHANGERS – An examination of paintings from the MOBA Collection that, accidentally or by design, resemble famous people.” MOBA merch including calendar here.

It’s one of my two regrets about leaving the States that I never visited the Museum of Bad Art in person, though I worked nearby. (The other is not spending the night at the Lizzie Borden B&B).

They totally redesigned their website, I see. Most of these paintings are unfamiliar and my favorites aren’t there.

You can see most of the collection online. Many’s the evening I got a snootful of joy juice and had a cruel snicker at some other poor artist’s expense. My secret nightmare is finding something of mine has made the grade (I left a lot of old, unfinished art at the curb when I left).

November 30, 2020 — 8:05 pm
Comments: 6

Pulling faces

Well, I see Anthony Hopkins is handling the lockdown well. The scarlet of his cheeks is really bringing out the blue of his eyes.

My dad did a lot of that toward the end of his life: gurning into his ipad. I’m not sure why. He couldn’t see himself, he was making faces at me. It’s like he was saying, “look, honey! I’m an old man! Amazing!”

It must be fun to be a famous villain. I’d have no end of game glaring at people. Margaret Hamilton, described as the nicest woman in Hollywood, said kids on the street would run away from her screaming. I wonder if she ever shouted after them, “and your little dog, too!”

Link goes to Twitter. I’ve decided my spleen can only take Twitter in five-minute chunklets. My desire to know what’s going on is perfectly balanced against the rage-making insanity that is social media.

November 24, 2020 — 9:23 pm
Comments: 5

We’re free! Kinda.

Gyms, shops and all hairdressers are set to reopen from December 3 and there’s even an early Christmas present for sport fans with crowds allowed back into stadiums from next week.

As expected, the new stricter tiered system will come into play from December 3 and will last until March next year. The Government’s ‘stay at home’ message will once again be dropped and collective worship, weddings and outdoor sports can resume. Social gathering will once again have to abide by the rule of six.

This from the Telegraph’s WhatsApp group. Okay, writing that sentence gave me temporal whiplash.

I’m surprised, actually. I thought we were going to be on hard lockdown until the vaccine got wide distribution. I wonder if they got the sense they were losing people. Because they were.

Oh, yes. The screenshot is from the game I’m playing and they did their homework on this one. Yes, Victorian Britons loved the banjo. It was the first musical craze to hop the Atlantic and it stayed popular, in one form or another, until WWII.

It started with the minstrel shows but, Brits being Brits, that just wasn’t posh enough. So they invented a style called Classic Banjo (not classical, mind) which consisted of happy little tunes played sitting down and wearing a tux.

And the banjos! They had dozens of home workshops turning out weird and wacky ‘jos . I own a few (they don’t age well and generally aren’t very expensive). I started to write a book about it once, then realized — oh, yeah. I’m lazy!

The men in the picture are glowing white because apparently I’m intimidating Mr Banjo by standing this close. I had to, to hear the tune. Didn’t recognize it, but it was generally in keeping with Classic Banjo. As is the banjo itself, if a little boring.

November 23, 2020 — 6:54 pm
Comments: 12

Weeee!

I’ve had a fetish for the rooftops of London since I made my poor mother take me to Mary Poppins, like, five freaking times. So I’m having great fun free-running the rooftops in Assassin’s Creed Syndicate. Victorian London. Nice.

The game is five years old now (I’m that cheap, yes), so the facial animations aren’t up to the current standard. But the sets – they have that nailed. Go on – click for the big color version. It’s purty.

I don’t usually play the female character, when there’s an option. The computer game fiction that a five-foot-nothin’ girly-girl can coldcock a giant hairy thug just using her adorable little fists…I mean, c’mon. Flying monsters? No problem. Magic spells? Fine. But enough is too much.

But Evie has a pointy stick. And a bitching wardrobe.

Only, it creeps me out how much she looks and sounds like someone I know.

Not talking about Twitter. That place is weird.

November 18, 2020 — 9:08 pm
Comments: 4

Then there’s this one

Dan Bongino has been around conservative media for a while, but I can’t say as I much paid attention. He’s a former NYC cop and Secret Service agent. He was in the personal security details of both Dubya and Obama.

Wikipedia tells me he had a cancerous tumor removed from his throat a couple of months ago. Ow.

Anyway, his Bongino Report is a good news aggregator I’ve used lately.

Only today, I’m kind of tapped out. Playing vidya games. Unusually for me, with a controller rather than keyboard and mouse. Just to shake things up. This involves a lot of me running Jacob Frye headlong into a brick wall, over and over.

If any of you guys see a kraken wandering around looking lost, point the poor wee beastie to Twitter, would you? They’re going nuts over there.

November 17, 2020 — 8:56 pm
Comments: 9

Spain does it again

Spain’s latest civic art restoration project was brilliant as usual. Ahem.

So, after a week of using Parler, some tips.

Clicking hashtags is useful, because you won’t be following enough people at first to make it interesting. When you do click a hashtag, the first three or four entries will be busty camwhores advertising their wares. Block them or you’ll see them over and over again, guaranteed (unless you like seeing busty camwhores – who am I to judge?).

I also report them as spam because they piss me off, but I don’t know how Parler feels about that. The platform that bills itself as ‘no-censor’ may have a funny attitude about kicking anyone, even spammers.

Second, the grifters. There are a few accounts hawking Trump commemorative coins and the like. I mute those rather than block (some paid to be promoted and I suppose it helps support the platform, but they made me feel grubby).

Third, the nuts. I mute them, too. There are some goofy-ass people on Parler, as you would expect on a platform founded on Twitter rejects. I suppose some are lefty trolls trying to make righties look crazier, but we’re perfectly capable of turning out genuine right-wing nutbars, thanks.

Follow the same people you follow elsewhere, but beware counterfeit accounts – there are lots of these. Do that enough and it starts to be a little more useful.

Once you’ve done all that…it’s still too slow and lacking engagement to be a Twitter replacement. Worth having open in a tab, though, for sure. Once they absorb the newcomers and tweak their software a bit, we’ll see.

Final tip: the phone app is swifter than the Web app.

Oh, and new Dead Pool tomorrow!

November 12, 2020 — 8:08 pm
Comments: 7

Feels icky

Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla is finally out, and it looks gorgeous. My kind of game.

Only…I dunno. You play as a Viking invading England, and the English are the baddies? That feels all kinds of wrong.

I know what you’re thinking: it’s a game. Go nuts. Have fun. But I never could cut loose and be a merry psychopath. I was always an in-game goody two-shoes.

I mean, not counting the whole ‘slay hundreds of people’ thing.

I didn’t find out until the third game that you could have sex with crew members in Mass Effect. I was horrified. What would that do to ship’s discipline, for heck’s sake?

Anyway, glad I missed it. Video game sex is cringe.

November 11, 2020 — 8:09 pm
Comments: 4

Bygone days

I remember Joe Biden used to do this really irritating thing, like a tic. Whenever he was grilling anyone in a hearing, every few seconds he would bare his teeth. It was just a flash. It wasn’t really a smile – it was lopsided and sarcastic looking. He bestowed it like a gift. Once I noticed it, it drove me up a tree.

That’s from the Clarence Thomas hearings. That’s when I first became aware of and learned to loathe Uncle Joe.

Here’s another fine moment. Remember his 1988 run, when someone asked him where he went to law school and how he placed, and he fired back with a nonsensical answer about his IQ. Oh, and that thing about a scholarship was a complete lie. Joe finished near the bottom of his class.

Good times, good times. He’s not like that now, of course. He’s just a shell. Poor old man.

November 10, 2020 — 8:47 pm
Comments: 6

Sigh. Okay.

Eh. I finally got irritated enough with Twitter to sign up for Parler. The sticking point with me was giving them a phone number. And you can’t give them a fake, because they use it to send you an authentication code (every time you log in on a new device, yay).

I’m getting sick of those – the subject line is always a number, but it’s not THE number. Who thought that was a good idea?

Anyhoo. Reactions.

The controls are slightly different to Twitter, which takes some getting used to. And as you might expect from a social media company whose backbone is composed of people who got kicked off of the more mainstream platform, it’s kind of like the rejects table in the junior high cafeteria.

Been there. Comfy as an old shoe.

My main objection is that it moves too slowly. Twitter is addictive because you’re getting those fast dopamine hits every few seconds (it’s especially addictive when you get an angry hit every few seconds, but I enthusiastically avoid that particular vice).

I suspect their site is part of the problem – it needs to be tweaked to move faster. And people aren’t as active there. But I also suspect I’m not following enough people to keep it moving. If you’re on there, hit me up. Or shout out to @StoatyWeasel on the platform.

At the moment, I’m keeping Twitter AND Parler open, to make sure I never have a moment’s mental clarity.

p.s. Yes! We have a Dead Pool winner. Poor old Alex Trebek. Not the shortest on record, but short. See you Friday!

November 9, 2020 — 8:14 pm
Comments: 12

Rah! Rah!

If you want an explanation of how Trump might possibly pull a rabbit out of his ass, I can recommend Rekieta’s latest livestream.

Or, if you don’t have 3:44 to watch lawyers sniff each other’s butts, the executive summary: forget a new election. That’s never happened in the history of ever.

Recount is where it’s at. Or, more accurately, vote verification. Specifically, the mail-in votes. For example, one of the contested states (I forget which) usually rejects 14% of mail-in ballots for being incorrectly filled out or illegible. This year, they’ve rejected .1%. Getting some of the likely bullshit votes tossed could substantially change the outcome.

Or, if the reasoned discourse of m’learned friend isn’t your bag, hold this happy thought: I think all sides can agree that Trump is a thin-skinned, narcissistic, angry, litigious asshole with access to a lot of money and nothing to lose. He’ll drag this through the courts to the bitter end and either get a win (though that’s looking improbable) or, at the very least, so expose the rotten innards of the Democrat machine that they’ll have to clean up their act.

I understand Florida’s voting system since 2000 is fast, clean and slick as a whistle. Sometimes they learn.

p.s. Dead Pool tomorrow!

November 5, 2020 — 9:06 pm
Comments: 7