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Weasel tested, Wile E. Coyote approved


I’m totally indebted to Pupster for this suggestion. It’s a PaintStick. You suck paint up into it and then squoosh it out through the roller. It KICKS ASS. I covered more square feet in an hour after work today than I did all day Saturday (though I did do a bunch of edging on Saturday).

I went to five different stores trying to find it (including Ace Hardware and Target, which HomeRight’s website said would have them). Nope. One smartass tried to hand me a stick. You know, a the kind you stir paint with. I got the impression they all knew what I was talking about but they were just screwing with me. Rhode Island is like that.

I finally broke down and ordered it on Amazon. I got Black and Decker’s version, because I’ve always liked B&D’s stuff. Only $25 — as opposed to $40, so plenty left over to get two-day shipping.

Thanks, Dog. I owe you one.

sock it to me

April 10, 2008 — 5:44 pm
Comments: 17

Because I’m retentive, that’s why


Y’all know Brits called toilet paper “bog roll,” right? I’m as sure as can be that’s where the term “blogroll” comes from.

Anyhoo…updated mine. This is not as easy as it sounds. I don’t like the built-in WordPress blogroll manager, on account of it does stupid things like alphabetizes blogs that begin with “the” under “t”. But I didn’t want to drop it into my sidebar code because I shuffle the stuff in my sidebars so much. So I saved blogroll.php as a separate file and pull it into my side bar with an <include> tag.

Because I’m retentive, that’s why.

Now, I couldn’t just absorb the master list of moronblogs Conservative Belle assembled. Noooo. Some of the blogs were listed by owner name, and some by blog name. And some of them (Protein Wisdom comes to mind) have a relationship with AoSHQ, but I don’t really think of them as moronblogs proper. If you held a Zippo to my toes and made me cough up a definition — a thing I expect to happen any day now — I’d say a moronblog is a blog started by an Ace reader who woke up one morning and thought, “Waaaaaait a minute! I drink! I cuss! I have opinions! Why not me?”

So I’ll be tinkering with the thing for quite a bit until I have it just right. Because I’m…well, you know what I am. Only, I can’t edit my blogroll from work, because I can get to my WordPress dashboard, but not my BlueHost dashboard. Any editing of my blogroll happens in the narrow window between when I get home and when I am too snockered to shuffle around in the guts of my own blog.

The moronosphere links are a departure. Up until now, my blogroll was my daily reading list. I liked them all. I know there are some excellent blogs in the moronosphere (many of you should’ve been on my blogroll ages ago; I apologize), but I know there are some I won’t much like (not naming names, rhymes with “Mabriel Galor”) and I’m getting all wadded up figuring out who updates often and where I left comments. In short, I’m going nuts trying to absorb so many new links into my habits.

I don’t think you people appreciate how hard it is to be retentive.

Anyhow, for anyone who wants to pinch my work-in-progress version of the moronroll, you can look at in isolation at this link. If I remember correctly from my WordPress days, if you view source that page, copy the text and paste it into a text widget, you can drop it on your WP sidebar.

Squeak if you think an edit should be made. I want to keep this as accurate as possible. Re-ten-tive.

sock it to me

April 9, 2008 — 2:04 pm
Comments: 49

New neighbor

laa bamb

Uncle B just sent me a bunch of pictures he took this morning of this little dude and friends. The field behind the house is full of new lambs and the ewes seem confident B can’t get over the stream, so they let the babies get quite close. Well, he had to use a long lens, but still…laa-bams in the back yard!

I swear I did not Photoshop that gleam in his eye or the smile on his face.

sock it to me

April 8, 2008 — 6:11 pm
Comments: 61

A Farewell to Arse: Charlton Heston’s Buttocks 1924-2008

charlton heston

tocks sequence

Those of you who missed the theatrical release may not know this, but the original Planet of the Apes starred Charlton Heston’s ass. Oh, there were other characters in it — the rest of Mr Heston, for example — but the 44-year-old Heston bottom stole the show. It left round, bi-lobal smoochies all over that movie.

I was eight years old in 1968 when Planet of the Apes was released. I had never seen male ass before, not counting the brief flash of white as my father dove behind the dresser the morning I walked into the parents’ room unannounced. I imprinted on the Heston brand instantly.

“Yes,” I thought, “that is correct. That is what one of those looks like.”

Women are, as a rule, not moved by visuals the way men are. Men will react to a mere silhouette, which is why so many of them drive right off the road chasing the Mudflap Girl, Silent Killer of America’s Highways.

Women are turned on by the backstory. Will he wrestle a bear? Does he like kittens? Is he the unacknowledged illigitimate son of the Earl of Wessex? There’s a bit of hairy chest and heaving bosom in there, sure, but it’s mostly about personal history. Women can get the vapors from A&E’s Biography.

It’s a true but seldom-acknowledged fact that Harlequin romance novels are hard-core porn for women.

So I’m not being cute when I tell you you my fascination with the Heston ‘tocks is not an especially sexual thing. It’s more like…recognizing an archetype. Like finding the Golden Mean of bottoms. Oh, sure, there are plenty more muscular asses out there, but I hate gym bodies. Heston had a splendid ordinary guy physique. I went to art school a decade later and paid large money to stare intently for hours at various specimens of naked humanity: no ass ever truly measured up. Not one.

Charlton Heston died on Saturday at the age of 84. Of Alzheimer’s, which is a shit disease because it kills you years before it kills you.

He was by all accounts that matter a good and genuine man: a real outdoorsman, a great father, happily married to the same woman for sixty something years.

Lefties snark that the causes he supported in his lifetime show a philosophical change for the worse, if not plain old intellectual confusion: from his strong pro-civil rights and anti-McCarthy stands in the 1960s to his later prominent support for Reagan and the NRA. But it’s all of a piece: it’s about people minding their own damn business, getting out of the way and leaving each other the hell alone.

Good man. Great movies. But, oh dear, what an exceptionally fine ass.

sock it to me

April 7, 2008 — 5:43 am
Comments: 66

It’s snowing at Badger House today

snow on badger house

The lambing has started so the fields behind are sprinkled with laa-bams curled up against their mothers in the snow. Uncle B has a roaring coal fire going in the grate. And here’s me, rolling paint across the crusty nicotine-stained walls of Weasel Towers.


Good thing I drink.

sock it to me

April 6, 2008 — 1:11 pm
Comments: 20

Yay! More suckage!

happy friday!

Ugh. Ceiling painting. I had the roof redone a few years ago, but not before I got some staining. Ceiling stains are not very attractive to buyers.

I was painting away one day this week with one of those extension things. I didn’t realize the handle of my roller was broken and I got a face full of wet, painty roller. And had to clean up my newly finished floors first.

I hate doing ceilings.

What’s that you say? I should have done the ceilings before the floors? Well, you can fuck right off.

sock it to me

April 5, 2008 — 10:24 am
Comments: 26

I’m no expert on this blogging thing

…but even I know leaving your dead mother at the top of the page is likely to be a conversation stopper. Especially for those of you without a deceased parent of your own to discuss. I have to deliver a project today, so here: have an open thread.

I’ve never declared an open thread before, because you know why? Because I’d feel like a real maroon if nobody posted on it, that’s why.

So please not to be making Weasel feel like a real maroon. I’m a motherless orphling, you know.


sock it to me

April 4, 2008 — 7:06 am
Comments: 31


butts only

Ten years ago today — at about three in the morning, actually — my mother died. Way, way out in the woods in the middle of an hellacious thunderboomer. Pancreatic cancer, quick and ugly. She never saw seventy. She was madder than hell about that. I’ll post about my mother some time, but right now I want to talk about that day.

It was stupid, with a hundred surreal and inappropriately funny moments. You’d think when your mom dies it would be like you’re the Birthday Girl and everybody has to be nice to you, but somebody apparently forgot to make a law about that.

There was the Ritual Flushing of the Leftover Narcotics at Dawn. And the moment the hospice nurse turned to me and said, “you’re being so great about all this — will you help me move the body?”

I drove into town behind Mom and the undertaker. It was raining like a bastard. Do you know the old Carter family song Will That Circle Be Unbroken?

I told that undertaker,
“Undertaker, please drive slow.
That’s my mother you are hauling,
And I hate to see her go.”

My dad loves that song. My mother always thought it was hilarious. Hauling. Like Mama was a pickup-load of corn likker or something. Stupid hillbillies. I promised myself I’d come home and have a really good howl when I’d finished the paperwork, but I never got it. The undertaker forgot he’d left me in his kitchen, so I sat back there drinking burnt coffee with nondairy creamer and flipping a pencil into the sink for over two hours.

When I got back to the house, I called the office, and the secretary — normally a very nice person — roughed me up good. So how was I going to turn some work in? Turns out she misheard me. She thought I said my modem had died. She almost dislocated a joint apologizing later.

Then I had this handwritten list of numbers Mother wanted me to call. All her BFF’s from back in the day. Fifty years ago. None of them had seen her in years and they all wanted to talk about their latest gall bladder operation or pneumonia or whatever. I don’t think a one of those self-absorbed old coots even said, “I’m sorry.”

I was rushing to get everything done because it was a Friday and nothing would be open over the weekend. I wanted the hell out of there. Last stop of a long day was the bank and her safe deposit box. The bank manager said we had to sit together in her office and do a manual inventory of the contents.

Now there’s a sad job. Have you ever picked through anyone’s last effects? Deeds and divorce papers and bits of worthless jewelry. Letters and souvenirs that mean everything to one person, and nothing to anyone else. No meaning, no value. Useless flotsam. Do posterity a favor and get rid of this stuff your own damn self before you go.

Last thing in the box, shoved way in the back, was a small, plain gray plastic cylinder. I’ve still got it. I’d post a picture, but I’ve packed it for the move. “What’s this?” Weasel says, and twists off the lid.


It was one of those springy things with the squeaker in. You know, like the gag snakes they put in the fake can of peanuts? Only, this one was industrial-grade. Where they hell does somebody get an industrial squeaky snake spring thing? SHIT!

Did I say that out loud? I don’t know. I turned to see the whole staff of the bank had quietly snuck up behind me. They were in on it. I guess. Nobody would tell me anything about it, not then and not ever.

I’m kind of jumpy, y’all. Wrapped a little too tight. “Goosey” Mother called it. She loved it when I got hiccups. Lots of people love sneaking up on me. I guess some time in the six months between her diagnosis and her death, Mother went to the bank and dropped that evil fucker in the back of the box. I’d like to think it helped her get through the bad nights, thinking about that one last posthumous screaming kick in the ass she was going to give her baby girl.

G’bye, Mother. Almost joined you ten years ago today.

I’m guessing that was the plan.

sock it to me

April 3, 2008 — 7:01 pm
Comments: 26

Bad hair, good story


This is a heartwarming story of high-tech vigilante justice; kind of a flash mob in reverse. The dude with the really unfortunate haircut (and tattoo) is Jesse McPherson. He was robbed. On March 12, thieves broke into his apartment and stole his TV, his Powerbook and his X-Box.

Police dusted for fingerprints and then totally lost interest.

So McPherson used Google maps to find all the pawn shops in his area and, sure enough, the first hit had been offered a computer that sounded like his (wrong charger; lid wouldn’t stay open properly). So he snapped a pretty good photo of the perp from a surveillance camera image. Police still not interested.

Meanwhile, cow-orkers got together and bought him a new X-Box. When he logged in to his X-Box Live account, there was a message waiting, purportedly from the thief, offering to sell him back his own X-Box.

The username of the message leaver was not a brand new account created especially for this taunting. Oh stupid, stupid taunting message leaver.

The police: still not interested. But the innernets: always up for a lynching. McPherson submitted a post to Digg, and off it went. Worldwide. Accounts for Taunting Message Leaver turned up on Photobucket (with pictures of his winky!), YouTube (including a rap performance), MySpace, AIM. Real name, address and phone number followed soon after. The kid was harassed out of every available orifice: gaming, chat, email, IM, txt, phone.

It was a kid, too. Turns out, the idiot taunting kid with the X-Box was (probably) not the thief. My favorite bit:

One avenger, from England, even posted a recording on YouTube of a phone call he had with the kid’s furious mom, who was adamant her son wasn’t a thief but had bought the Xbox from a neighborhood crack-head.

Ohhhhh…well, that’s okay then, Mom.

Mom and co. left the X-Box on McPherson’s stoop, along with a beg for mercy.

And the thief? Once the story got international press (in actual, like, newspapers and stuff) the police developed an interest at last. The fingerprints matched two; arrest warrants have been issued. The Powerbook mysteriously appeared on McPherson’s doorstep. His TV, however, is probably gone for good.

It’s like my old mother used to say. “Stoaty,” she’d say, “don’t be a dick.”

sock it to me

— 9:02 am
Comments: 28



The San Francisco City Hall is a beautiful, ornate building in the Beaux-Arts style. It was built to replace one the earthquake knocked down and has been continuously renovated, including a record-breakingly huge seismic retrofit of the dome after the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989.

But they missed a spot. In the room where the Board of Supervisors sits, the president’s chair is on a raised dais. Five steps leading to one chair. Steps without handicap access.

This is San Francisco we’re talking. Can’t just let it go. Particularly when Supervisor Michela Alioto-Pier — who is not the president and never will be, but is in a wheel chair — threatens to sue the city.

Okay, whatever. Let the lady have her ramp. What can it possibly cost to build a ramp over five steps? Oh, about a million and a quarter.

It starts with a hundred grand worth of design work and 3D models. Then there’s the asbestos tile and lead paint removal. The dias is carved out of Manchurian oak, and they don’t just give that stuff away in corn flake boxes, you know.

Let’s see…there’s a supervisor, a construction consultant and an electrical consultant. The Bureau of Architecture, Bureau of Construction Management and Department of Technology and Information Services get involved. There’s $16,500 just in permits and fees. Oh, these things add up. Even before you toss in the $300,000 for the new audio-visual system, which you might as well do at the same time because construction will mess with the existing system.

The kicker? The president doesn’t actually use the chair these days. He sits on the floor with everyone else. So the chair is entirely symbolic.

Exactly! says Michela Alioto-Pier. Symbols matter. We didn’t leave the segregated waterfountains in place because they were historical, did we?

“I deserve equal access to every part of the chamber,” Alioto-Pier told her colleagues, adding that ending discrimination is worth the $1 million.

Discrimination. White people discriminated against black people. The laws of physics discriminate against cripples. Honestly, it’s not the same thing, injustice-wise. And I wonder when persons of color are going to get sick of the civil rights movement being compared to every little bitch and gripe on the leftist To Do list.

The president of the Board of Supervisors balked (after the price tag went public, anyhow), pointing out that a million plus can build a lot of ramps around the city that people will actually use, but Alioto-Pier will have none of it. Access to every inch of City Hall is what she wants, and the law by-god says she should have it.

And this is what’s wrong with grievance politicians: they don’t hugely care about fixing anything. Making things better would be bad for business. It’s about proving how important their particular special need is by forcing vast sums of public money to be thrown at it. It’s about status and dominance and sweet, sweet media attention. It’s about harnessing the awesome power of the state to their personal attention whoring.

That’s how you spot professional activists: when you give them what they want, they get angrier.

I remember years ago, we were all pretty embarrassed when it was pointed out how simple it would be to make sidewalks easier for people in wheelchairs. Everyone happily signed onto the sensible idea of a few spots near the entrance for handicapped parking. That turned into this. Bad liberal movements often get their first push from the good nature of the general population.

See, lefties, this is why righties fight your pet causes so hard. It’s not that wingers hate cripples. It’s that whenever we think we’re signing up for a sensible solution to a real problem, somehow ten years down the line you have us paying $10,000 an inch for an empty gesture. Just to prove you can.


sock it to me

April 2, 2008 — 9:11 am
Comments: 35