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Say no to the Turkish delight!

Al Gore is the White Witch

I got it! Al Gore is the White Witch!

That’s why it snows wherever he goes. That’s why he’s desperate to make us cool things down, even though the climate is manifestly not getting warmer.

They’re snowed in in Copenhagen. It’s predicted in D.C. They’re predicting snow for us tonight, too, so I’m making cookies in case that means Al’s dropping in unexpectedly.

I’m not just saying this to be nasty: have you ever noticed there’s something drag-queen-y in Gore’s face? It’s partly that his eyebrows look shaved, but it’s something else about his eyes. And his high nostrils.

Why would drag queens have high nostrils? Shut up is why.

December 17, 2009 — 6:50 pm
Comments: 25

Those barbaric bastards!!!


I took French in High School. I didn’t want to. I wanted to take Latin or, failing that, maybe German or something. But I had to take a language, and French was the only class with open seats. I ended up actually enjoying the reading and writing part (and being pretty good at it) but sucking royally at speaking. I gots the performance anxiety.

Anyway, that’s neither ici nor là-bas. Point is, somehow, I never mentally translated Alouette until Uncle B brought it up yesterday.

Dude. It’s about skinning skylarks! Those lovely little songbirds! Wikipedia says the song is French Canuckian, where they used to eat skylarks. Check it out:

Little skylark, lovely little skylark
Little lark, I will pluck your feathers off
I’ll pluck the feathers off your head
I’ll pluck the feathers off your head
Off your head – off your head
Little lark, little lark

Then they go on to pluck Off your beak, Off your neck, Off your wings, Off your back, Off your legs and Off your tail. Jesus ke-rist, you people!

Eh. The pomme doesn’t fall far from the pommier. The old Ripley’s Believe it or Not Show — the one with Jack Palance, which really should have been called “Believe It Or Not, Foreigners Eat Some Really Weird Shit” — did a whole segment on ortolan prepared and eaten in the traditional French manner.

Bon appetit!

December 16, 2009 — 8:18 pm
Comments: 28

It must be Christmas


Yes, Christmas. That wonderful time of year when there’s nothing between my furry ears but visions of sugarplums. I gots the brain freeze.

I was going to post about webcollage, which is a kind of neat site that does random word searches of Google Images and turns them into a collage.

It refreshes once a minute. It’s a bit hypnotic at first.

And then I realized that, like, 80% of all the pictures on the internet are porn. I realized this because they started turning up in collages. Oh, holy crap.

I wasn’t searching for that picture, Uncle B — I swears.

So I got nothing.

I know what you’re thinking, and you’re WRONG. This blog is NOT boring, and I can prove it — I’ve broken the Alexa top one million.

Yeah, that’s right. There are now only 725,361 blogs more interesting than mine. Take that!

What I want to know is, how come 6.5% of my site traffic is coming from Sweden? 



December 15, 2009 — 8:09 pm
Comments: 22


treeFirst time EVER I’ve finished Christmas this far ahead. Probably because it’s the first time in a decade I haven’t been falling off an airplane right before the big day.

We sent our cards, put up the tree, did all our shopping. We’re having a Very Amazon Christmas this year. Even our Christmas goose is coming by special delivery.

Yep. Goose this year. I hesitated because they’re so large and not very nice cold the next day, but we found a Waitrose that was selling half geese.

This is our bestest tree ever, too. It’s the first time we’ve spent any money on one. Our usual MO was to drive all around the county on the 23rd scavenging for a hunchback reject nobody else wanted. Two years running, we got a pretty decent tree for £1 at the Spar shop (think 7-11). One year, we had to fashion a tree toupée from twine and surplus branches.

And what did I get YOU for Christmas? This crappy post! 


December 14, 2009 — 7:50 pm
Comments: 19



Ugh. I just watched the opening film for the Copenhagen climate summit for the first time. It’s awful. No, don’t bother — it’s not fun awful, it’s just bad.

Surprisingly bad. I mean, it’s not even a good example of tear-jerking child exploitative propaganda. It’s perfunctory. It doesn’t connect. It could be titled Girl Makes Mildly Distressed Faces In Front Of a Green Screen.

And, yes, her teddy bear is a polar bear. And, yes — of course she drops it into a huge crevice that opens in the earth. And, sure, we get a shot of her hand reaching for it. Languidly. The way you might reach for the potato chip you dropped. You’d like it, but on second thought, you know it’s probably better to let the dog have it.

I thought the left was supposed to have all the clever creative types on board?

Good weekend, everyone!

December 11, 2009 — 5:21 pm
Comments: 34


climate variation over time

The fabulous Watt’s Up With That ran a series of charts a few days ago showing temperature variation over time in Greenland ice cores. And by “over time” I mean going back over 400,000 years.

I thought it would make a cracking animation, with the fades and the arrows and the background music. But WordPress doesn’t play nice with Flash (which, in any case, is on my desktop machine in semi-exile). So I thought I’d do a simple Javascript dingus where you could click the picture to see the next one. Turns out, WordPress plays even less well with Javascript. Finally, in despair, I cut together a badly-paced lame-o animated .gif file that sucks ALL KINDS of ass.

Eh. Sorry. I really need to uncrate some of my old, professional tools and build some spiffier visuals. Reload the page to rewind.

Anyhow, do go read the article in the original Geek (not all the increments are in my retardimation). When he zooms all the way back to the longest view, it’s obvious that the earth’s most comfortable resting place is deep, deep cold. The last ten thousand years — you know, the period when our species crawled out of the muck and flourished — have all been much, MUCH warmer than the preceding umpty-ump hundreds of thousands.

And the 20th Century doesn’t come close to being the warmest of the warm.

December 10, 2009 — 7:06 pm
Comments: 37

So where do newts come in the plague hierarchy?


Man, that’s like the fifth little dude I’ve had to scoop up and put outside. Mostly from the same spot on the carpet. Nowhere near a door, so I can’t work out where they’re coming from. We haven’t had a frost yet; I’m guessing their hibernation instincts are messed up this year.

This isn’t the ever-so-fucking posh crested newt, it’s the common or garden smooth newt. Or possibly a palmate newt. The difference is Mr Smooth has spots on his throat, but this little feller was having a shit enough day without me flipping him over and giving him an anatomy exam.

What? Yes. Yes, this WAS the most interesting thing that happened to me today.

December 9, 2009 — 7:43 pm
Comments: 39

Number crunching…


I used this calculator to estimate our combined household carbon dioxide output at 6.76 tonnes per year. That’s “tonnes” with a “nes” on the end, on account of it’s some gay European thing. Then I worked out the super-mathemagical guzintas in 41,000 tonnes — the estimate for the Copenhagen Summit in this Telegraph article.

The same article estimates the summit will include:
1,200 limousines
140 extra private jets
15,000 delegates and officials,
5,000 journalists
98 world leaders
The usual celebretards
(Plus 50,000 protesters, I read somewhere else)
The hotels, menus and entertainments don’t bear thinking of

All this to tell ME I’ve been living too high on the hog and I have to cut way, way back on my selfish lifestyle to save the world. FUCK YOU, you oily, dimwitted, sanctimonious, shit-eating kleptocrats. If there’s going severe belt-tightening, YOU FIRST.

The Telegraph article hilariously concludes, “The temptation, then, is to dismiss the whole thing as a ridiculous circus.”

No, really? YA THINK?

GAH! <thud>

December 8, 2009 — 8:28 pm
Comments: 27

Recycling: I do it for Al

Al Gore Poetry

Heh. I’d forgotten this graphic until somebody Stumbleupon’d it. I’m guessing it turns up on Google with some combination of “Al Gore” and “poetry”.

Oh, I do hope so.

Reposted in honor of the Copenhagen summit. I wonder if they scheduled this thing knowing every American who heard “December 7” automatically thought, “a date that will live in infamy.”

Me, I’m busy cleaning house today. You know how your mother used to complain that she had to clear up before the maid came? I can top that — I’m tidying for the county rat-catcher. We’ve got uninvited guests and it’s a government service here.

I don’t want him stepping in the door and saying, “Ah. I can see your problem, ma’am. You’re a pair of filthy, disgusting slobs.”

December 7, 2009 — 4:56 pm
Comments: 25

Stuff hippies like


I confess: in the States, I shopped at Whole Foods sometimes. The organic thing is a total crock of shit, but they sell beautifully chosen food — and a lot of exotic things I couldn’t get in my regular Stop ‘n’ Shop run. Sometimes I’m willing to pay through the nose for that.

Here, I scratch that same itch at painfully quaint specialty stores. Where I bought this stuff today — fancy, multicolored, fru-fru, popping corn. Zaramama was the Incan goddess of maize (for reals — I just looked it up).

Whenever a food or cosmetic is associated with an Incan deity, slap a hand over your pocket quick — a hippie is surely trying to steal your wallet.

I’m recently reconnecting with popcorn. My dad — who is super health conscious — popped the stuff in shopping bag quantities. With no salt or added fat. It was appallingly healthy and there was lots and lots of it. When I left home, I swore I’d never touch the stuff again.

So I missed out on movie popcorn and the whole “movie popcorn” manufactured scandal. The one where those pinch-faced lefty scolds at the Center for Science in the Public Interest claimed a medium popcorn contains “more fat than a breakfast of bacon and eggs, a Big Mac and fries, and a steak dinner combined.”

Uh huh. That seems pretty implausible, but…whatever. At least you can safely ignore the part where they warn you off cooking it in coconut oil — turns out the stuff is probably pretty good for you. And good for popping corn, because it’s stable at high temperatures.

I have a simpleton’s sullen distrust of the microwave oven, so I pop my corn on the stovetop in a deep iron skillet with a lid. In coconut oil. Then a light spritz of oil to make the salt stick.

Corn pops because of the hard outer shell — the starch inside can super-heat before the shell goes bang. This happens at around 360°F in a delightful crunchy starch esplosion. If you end up with small, chewy popcorn, you cooked it too hot. If you have many unpopped kernels, you didn’t cook it hot enough.

This stuff? I made some a little while ago. Very nice. No unpopped kernels, fluffy and crispy and exceptionally tasty. I looked online, though, and nobody is selling it any cheaper than my shopkeeper. Special occasion popcorn, then.

Good weekend, everyone!

December 4, 2009 — 8:12 pm
Comments: 36