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First day allowed out in the grass. +1. Loved it lots. Would recommend to other chickens.

Carefully supervised, of course. They got lunged at a few times, pecked once or twice. Mostly ignored.

Yes, Vita got her licks in, I’m happy to say. It was great to see her stick up for her position at last. Nobody was hurt, just lots of squeaking and flapping. And peeping and burbling and scratching and pecking. A good time was had by all. There will be video here, as soon as it’s done uploading. Which will be, like, another hour even though it’s just a minute long, because our upload speed sucks.

Yes, fuck it, I went with chickens again. Good weekend, folks!

June 14, 2013 — 9:56 pm
Comments: 31

Chicken drama

That bird on the other side of the mesh is Vita, the most beautiful chicken in the whole parish. She is also, no doubt about it, the very bottom of the pecking order. All the other chickens (including the tiny black one in the corner) pecked and belly-bumped and fought their quarter to claim their spot in the poultry hierarchy. It’s a somewhat fluid thing, the pecking order — except for Lucia (top hen) and Vita (bottom hen).

Vita never tried. She never fought. She gave up from day one. I looked out the window one day to see her lying motionless, beak-down in the grass, the top two chickens taking turns giving her a good hard peck. I though she’d died and they were trying to revive her, but no…she was just lying there letting them demonstrate her position on the social scale.

Sometimes, she goes off by herself for a little wallow in the sunshine, solo. Although these days, her role is so firmly established, nobody much bothers to give her a hard time any more. She’s kind of Invisible Vita, bottom chicken. She breaks my heart, that chicken.

Until the new babies. They’re in their own run in the daytime now, so the other chickens can see them and get used to them, but not get at them. Oh, Vita is very interested in the babies. Yes indeed. She’ll stare at the chicks for a few minutes, then bang give the mesh a peck and make them jump. I think Vita doesn’t want to be bottom hen any more. But the piebald, Maggie, and the little black bird, Coco, are feisty little so-and-sos and won’t give up without a fight.

It’s going to be an interesting Summer.

June 13, 2013 — 11:14 pm
Comments: 17

I came here to post stupid Photoshops and chicken blog, and I’m all out of stupid Photoshops

That’s it. It’s official. My brain has vapor-locked. I am now so full of rage and despair I am literally incapable of tweezing out a single off-pissing outrage to post about today.

Some think A scandal was released to distract from B scandal, and C scandal was leaked to kill B scandal, and D scandal was…what the hell are we up to now, N scandal? I think, probably not. Because they all boil down to one scandal: the government has grown incalculably huge, mighty, incompetent, partisan and, apparently, invulnerable and we — you and I, dear readers — are its natural enemies.

Most of the foot soldiers on our side of the fight are acting like the NSA is holding something juicy over their heads and demanding they act stupid.

That’s not a real accusation.

Well, except Lindsey Graham. I bet they have an awesome file on Miss Lindsey.

So I’m going to sit over here and chicken blog until the fog clears a little. Join me, won’t you? Or pick a scandal and bitch about it. Either one is good.

June 12, 2013 — 10:53 pm
Comments: 31


Houston couple had tequila, argued before man fatally stabbed by stiletto heel

Yeah, I got nothing. Only, I cannot beLIEVE anyone on the right wants to debate whether or not Snowden is an asshole. I so totally don’t care. Don’t care. Is the government hoovering up domestic phone metadata or not? All else is noise.

June 11, 2013 — 10:18 pm
Comments: 15

If only there was a way to narrow the search down a little

I know, I know…we’ve known forever the spooks were data-mining. But not on this scale. If nothing else, I didn’t think private companies would cooperate with the government so happily. If nothing else, the technology wasn’t there to store and sift the sheer volume of data. Not until recently.

To hear Jim Sensenbrenner tell it, if the Feds were interested in somebody, they were supposed to get a warrant for his phone records (he wrote the Patriot Act, he should know). What they did instead was get a warrant for everybody’s records, so the records would be around in case they get interested in somebody later.

I have no words.

How carefully the higher ups have explained to us that no-one is listening in on phone conversations. Maybe, but the metadata is plenty bad enough. No, it is not okay for the government to know who’s calling a shrink or a clap clinic. I remind you, leaking shit is Obama’s signature move. In future, all of our candidates may have to be Mormons – nobody else is clean enough.

And for all that technological hoo-ha, they missed the Tsarnaev brothers – and Major Hasan – who should have rung more alarm bells than Quasimodo. I guess two hundred billion data points a month isn’t the same things as intelligence.

On a happier note, if you lose somebody’s phone number, you can file an FOIA request.

June 10, 2013 — 8:35 pm
Comments: 35

Round 51: Summer At Last edition

So m takes the dick with Frank Lautenberg, the last of the liberal lions. Also, the Senate’s last WWII vet and the last of the “New Deal” liberals.

Also, can we observe a moment of silence for Esther Williams? America’s mermaid. I was a big fan. Don’t judge me.

Now, on to the roolz:

0. Rule Zero (AKA Steve’s Rule): your pick has to be living when picked. Also, nobody whose execution date is circled on the calendar. Also, please don’t kill anybody.

1. Pick a celebrity. Any celebrity — though I reserve the right to nix picks I never heard of (I don’t generally follow the Dead Pool threads carefully, so if you’re unsure of your pick, call it to my attention).

2. We start from scratch every time. No matter who you had last time, or who you may have called between rounds, you have to turn up on this very thread and stake your claim.

3. Poaching and other dirty tricks positively encouraged.

4. Your first choice sticks. Don’t just blurt something out, m’kay?

5. It’s up to you to search the thread and make sure your choice is unique. I’m waayyyy too lazy to catch the dupes. Popular picks go fast.

6. The pool stays open until somebody on the list dies. Feel free to jump in any time. Noobs, strangers, drive-bys and one-comment-wonders — all are welcome.

7. If you want your fabulous prize, you have to entrust me with a mailing address. If you’ve won before, send me your address again. I don’t keep good records.

8. The new DeadPool will begin 6pm WBT (Weasel’s Blog Time) the Friday after the last round is concluded.

The winner will receive an Official Certificate of Dick Winning and a small original sketch par moi. That is, if the winner chooses to send me a mailing address. I wouldn’t blame the winner for not, because what if I turned up one day and asked to sleep on the couch and tried to touch the winner for money? Still…official certificate!

June 7, 2013 — 6:00 pm
Comments: 127

I will put you some forbidden knowledge

The Appleby Horse Fair was held today, as it has been for three hundred something years. King James II granted a Royal Charter in 1685 allowing the fair to be held ‘near the River Eden’. So they do. They wash the horses in the river, gallop them down the ‘mad mile’ and then have a big horse sale.

It’s pretty much just a Gypsy affair now. Um, and that’s where it gets complicated.

There are the Gypsies of Romany descent, who have lived in England for many hundreds of years. There are Gypsies from Romania, the kind Adolph had a thing for. There is a traditionally nomadic people of Irish ethnicity who are also called Gypsies. And there are a number of crusties, essentially rag-tag old hippies and acid casualties who have dropped off the grid and live out of vans. And they are all, confusingly for a foreigner, called “Travellers” now. And protected by the government so hard, bald eagles think to themselves “geez, that’s a little over the top, isn’t it?”

I asked Uncle B a question about this a second ago, and he was like, “oh, god, you’re not going there, are you?” No. I’m not. This is one of those giant sore nerve-ending societal issues that the wise foreigner keeps her nose out of. I just had to explain it enough to talk about the article.

The Appleby Horse Fair is Romany Gypsies, of the kind that have been here since forever. The old farmers around here traditionally rubbed along with them pretty well. They’d let them park their wagons in the fields and hire them as seasonal labor.

So anyway, go to the article at the link and look at the horses. Notice anything?

The horses are almost all paints — that is, black with white splotches. Or white with black splotches, if you prefer. We recently watched an ancient program about the country — a relic from those long, long ago days before political correctness — that explained that Gypsies and American Indians love paints above all other horses. Because they’re both horse-stealing cultures and paints are each so individually unique and easily identifiable, it’s as good as a serial number.

So now you know.

Remember, Dead Pool tomorrow. Six sharp!

June 6, 2013 — 11:10 pm
Comments: 30

For this image, I am truly sorry

Oh, I am sorry. This is Lindsey Graham’s publicity still at full resolution. I swear I did not Photoshop this in any way, other than to make it monochrome. Then I sat down to do the weasel magic, but I just couldn’t…somehow…couldn’t look away from those pale, weird baby blues.

And I wasn’t strong enough to live with this picture all by myself.

So, Lindsey Graham, eh? National Journal reports that Lindsey mused aloud today whether bloggers deserve First Amendment protection. They describe it as a slip-up. Ha! Ha! Of course he knows they deserve First Amendment protection.

Actually, I buy that excuse. Even Graham isn’t boneheaded enough to claim the Bill of Rights doesn’t apply. But then the National Journal guy goes on to say something even stupider than Lindsey: “What Graham really meant to ask was whether bloggers deserve the specific protections of the First Amendment that are granted to the press.”


Here is the whole relevant chunk of the 1st Am:

“Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press…”

That’s it. That’s all. That’s the entirety of the text regarding the press in ALLLLL of the founding documents: Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights. DO YOU SEE ANY SPECIFIC PROTECTIONS IN THERE, MISTER?!?

In fact, you could argue that speech — things non-journalists say — is mentioned before the press — things journalists say — and is therefore the more important and double-plus-protected of the two. But that’s just a “Mom always liked me best” kind of observation. Any custom or case law that has accreted around the First Amendment since then has to stand on its own merits, without wrapping itself in the Founders.


Thenk yew.

I feel better.

Let the record show: I misspelled “Lindsey” with an E as “Lindsay” with an A throughout. I’ve just gone back and fixed it. Sorry if I misled you into a spelling error.

June 5, 2013 — 10:14 pm
Comments: 19

Wave g’bye to privacy, folks!

Saw this at a country show over the weekend. It’s the size of a pizza box. It will hover, stable and nearly silent, from a few inches to dozens of feet high. It will run for twenty minutes on a battery. It will send video back in real time. It has built in GPS. If it loses signal or runs low on juice, it returns to the place it was launched and lands.

The owner had only taken delivery a couple of hours before and had never run an RC vehicle before, and he was driving it like a champ. I asked how far he’d managed to send it, and he pointed to a clump of trees I reckon were a quarter mile away.

The base unit is £499, no doubt cheaper in the States (it’s American made Chinese made, Uncle B reminds me. I think the company’s American, though).

And yes, it comes in black.

June 4, 2013 — 9:33 pm
Comments: 50

Important Chicken Update


Brought home the new chooks this afternoon. The little black one is about five weeks, the little two-tone is about seven weeks. We can’t be more precise. Because our chicken lady is a bing-bong, is why. They’re getting along fine, though, so that shouldn’t be a problem.

No names yet. We’re thinking of calling the piebald one Magpie, Maggie for short. The little black one we’re trying very hard not to call Shaniqua or Towanda. Because people ask, and then we have to tell them.

And now begins the long, slow process of integrating them into the flock.

In related news, I bought a new high-powered squirt gun today.

June 3, 2013 — 8:29 pm
Comments: 27