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We didn’t do JACK today but go through Uncle B’s shit trying to get his paperwork ready for the bookkeeper. We’re refinancing Badger House and nobody’s lending just now. It ain’t easy making your net look tiny to the tax man and huge to the bank man. When your accountant is honest.

Also, Uncle B stores paperwork the way I imagine a giant hamster would. And his last bookkeeper vanished with half the papers we need. And his fiscal year starts (confusingly) in September, because that’s when he started working. Oh, also I’m completely innumerate.

On the whole, self-employment is a LOT less fun than unemployment. Pray he never figures that out.

November 30, 2009 — 9:03 pm
Comments: 20

We knew him when…




Goodness me, what a handsome lad! But who’s that banana holding him?

Why, it’s Christopher Taylor. Who has, apparently, published hisself a book.

So I guess when he’s not putting together thumping great blog essays, he amuses himself by writing novels.

Huh. I’m sensing a pattern here.



November 28, 2009 — 5:36 pm
Comments: 21

I hasn’t found that job yet :(


Okay, I may have altered the sub-head a bit.

I don’t have much to say for myself this fine post-Thanksgiving Friday night, so join me in trawling old WWII posters looking to steal stuff for inspiration.

Here’s Northwestern University‘s collection. And this guy’s Flickr set is excellent.

There are a few surprises. Like this one, which seems to be calling for racial harmony. And I didn’t realize they got this explicitly religious (hoo! That would make a modern ACLU guy’s cranium esplode).

MAN those people laid guilt trips on each other. “My daddy’s not coming home because you took the bus to the movies” sort of thing. Plus a lot of useless nannying. Eat your vegetables. Don’t start forest fires (yeah. Smokey was ALL OVER dubya-dubya eye-eye. Go figure).

Somebody told me once — don’t know if it’s true — that loose lips didn’t actually sink any ships at all. Still, it’s fun to revisit an era when you could express patriotism in totally non-ironic terms.

Good weekend, everyone!

November 27, 2009 — 7:21 pm
Comments: 15

Happy Thanksgiving!


We’re having duck for Thanksgiving! Because I’m a idiot!

Also, today is my first anniversary of being an immigrant. That was a happy coincidence, falling over the finish line just in time for Thanksgiving.

I am thankful for many things today. I’m especially thankful for Michelle Obama’s eyebrows. Because, somehow, hundreds of people doing a Google Images search for that rude picture of Michelle are clicking on my snark about her eyebrows instead.

Eat too much turkey, drink too much beer, watch too much foo’ball and get into a fight with Uncle Bill for me, everyone!

November 26, 2009 — 5:52 pm
Comments: 25

Talk about something else for a freaking second


My taste in music is…what’s the next stop after “eclectic”? Psychotic? Retarded?

Lots and lots of banjo music. Not all of it bluegrass. I have Chinese folk songs that sound like an alleycat with his balls clamped in a bench vise. I have klezmer. Played on the dobro. I own an album called Music to Strip By, which I bought for no other reason than I found it musically intriguing.

Point is, taking a music recommendation from me is often an exercise in x-treme suck.

But try it just this once. I’ve been listening to Pomplamoose lately, which is two kids shluffing around a shabby apartment in their pj’s making music. It’s fun to listen to, but it’s even more fun to watch — which you can do, thanks to their YouTube channel. They manage to put out a really rich sound, which they do almost entirely with conventional instruments. Surprisingly few electronics or post effects.

Watch for free, or download from their MySpace page (tracks are either a buck or free, though the free download thingie is junk). They’re also on iTunes, but I hate that shit — once you download the iTunes app, it stays resident forever.

Here — start with their cover of Beyonce’s All the Single Ladies and see if it’s not more fun to listen to than an cat with his balls in a vise.

November 25, 2009 — 8:23 pm
Comments: 31

Hockey stick? I’ll give you a hockey stick!!!!!1!


I cannot POSSIBLY be the first to think of this.

November 24, 2009 — 12:03 pm
Comments: 39

Schadenfreude Monday!


It’s a vile day here — wet, wild and windy (though I must say, unseasonably warm) — and I’ve spent the whole of it piled up on the couch reading the leaked emails and datafiles from the University of East Anglia. I love this kind of shitstorm. And the lame-o spin that goes with.

There won’t be a “hey, kids, let’s put on a giant hoax!” message. Not the point. The most scandalous bits are incontrovertible. To wit:

The Warmists are a small, insular crowd. It’s no use saying these were only a few scientists; they’re all on each other’s Rolodexes. The data these guys were pushing underpins mucho research. If that data is sloppy or nonexistent, it discredits a LOT of the science.

They leaned on journalists and editors. There’s not much virtue in “peer reviewed” papers if editors are pressured into or out of reviewing particular scientists.

They broke the law. Destroying information that is the subject of a Freedom of Information request is flat-out illegal. Also, some of the grant money discussion looked a little…fiddly.

They are fucking morons. Seriously. You don’t ever, EVER, EVARRRR put anything into writing that you wouldn’t want to read on the internet. I knew that. Didn’t you?

Journalists (particularly ones mentioned by name) will work hard to keep this information out of the funny papers, and they may succeed. Maybe. But the scientific community will be rocked by this. At the very least, it hamstrings the ability of these particular guys to strongarm editors and dismiss the opposition as beneath notice.

When Copenhagen fizzles, we’re going to see a lot more crude activist tearjerking bullshit like the stupid raining bears ad. Because — robbed of their extra-super-powerful 100% dissent-free global scientific consensus — that’s the best they’ve got.

Follow along at Watt’s Up With That and Climate Audit (among others). And remember, the good stuff is often in the comments.

November 23, 2009 — 4:19 pm
Comments: 28

Rooting for the home team


Apologies to my GLBT readers. I do have gay readers, right? Because if you guys are shunning me, it probably means my blog design reeks.

I went to art school, as you know — the Rhode Island School of Design. Which means I’ve had more gay friends than Marilyn Monroe. Put together.

PAHahaha! I’ve waited thirty years to use that line again.

Anyhow, I don’t care what you do as long as you don’t do it to kids or animals. And I don’t have to watch. And you shut the hell up about it every once in a while, huh?

But it’s time again for Stoaty to launch an appeal to base tribalism and try to move some merchandise up in here. Why, yes! You can get this design on a dark shirt, a light shirt or a couple of different bumperstickers.

The tagline is something a very puzzled young weasel is supposed to have pointed out when her mother tried to explain the concept of homosexuality. Why did Mother explain homosexuality to a six-year-old? Because she was a Thoroughly Modern woman. With some Very Strange friends.

Good weekend, all!

November 20, 2009 — 7:11 pm
Comments: 48

Wherein Stoaty flunks being an American


We’ve got turkey and roast potatoes and hot dinner rolls and candied sweet potatoes and…shit. I was SO SURE Thanksgiving was the THIRD Thursday in November.



Comes to something when my mother-in-law rings us up to say she’s been watching the telly and she’s pretty sure we’ve got the date wrong. Well, dammit, no limey bluehair’s gonna to tell ME when Thanksgiving is. It’s my favorite holiday, and I’ll celebrate it any day I like.

Anyway, the turkey won’t keep for a week.

What’s that? OF COURSE I passed my written driver’s test! I got 100% of the multiple choice questions and 58 out of a possible 75 points for that supremely pointless ‘hazard perception’ section (44 is passing). Now I have to start prepping for the real test — the one where I actually drive a car. Um…yay?

Afterward, Uncle B took me out for a Big Mac as a special Thanksgiving Day treat. I still lumme some special sauce, so maybe I’m an American after all.

November 19, 2009 — 4:32 pm
Comments: 45

Oh, that witty weasel


One of the fun side effects of marrying a foreigner is that he or she will not have heard the dumbass kid jokes EVERYbody in your home country knows from the age of, like, five. So you get credit for being having an incredibly quick wit. Or, anyhow, you have stuff to talk about. It goes like:

“I’m rubber, you’re glue!”
“What’s this?”
“It bounces off me and sticks to you!”
“Oh, I say, Weasel! How frightfully droll!”

So I got to explain, “do you have Prince Albert in a can?” and his companions, “do you have Prince Edward in a box?” and “do you have Martha White in a bag?” yesterday.

Actually, I never heard those last two. I found them (and the ad on the right) on the appropriate Wikipedia page.

Yep, that’s right. I looked up “do you have Prince Albert in a can?” on Wikipedia. I’m a thoroughly post-modern weasel.

I love the ad, by the way. It typifies the weird mix of respect and disrespect we held for Indians way back when we were allowed to have attitudes about Indians. I remember the expression “to put the Indian sign on” — it was sort of the evil eye — but not “Jimmy” as an adjective. Or “smartweed” for nasty tobacco.

And that’s all you’re getting out of me today. I’ve got a written driving exam tomorrow!

November 18, 2009 — 6:47 pm
Comments: 24