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Here we go…

Ted Cruz. Still getting the hang.

Pretty sure I’m on Team Cruz in this thing. I can’t predict how this Mexican standoff will turn out — likely badly for the GOP, but that’s true of every single option that I can see. The media will make sure of it.

So, what the hell? Why not look like bomb throwing maniacs. My mother told me, first promote the notion that you’re a little bit crazy, then people will always be a little bit careful around you.

September 30, 2013 — 10:05 pm
Comments: 17

Well, that went better than expected

No, really. She growled and hissed and tensed like a guy wire on a suspension bridge, but no swipe at him. He’s been around three days, and she’s okay as long as she can’t actually see him. She’s hiding in the back of the house right now.

Last time I took a kitten in, she wouldn’t let me near her for a year. She let me feed her, though. She’s good like that.

Good weekend, folks!

September 27, 2013 — 11:11 pm
Comments: 11


Is it real? Well, it’s out there. Nobody’s taking responsibility as yet. I can just hear the brainstorming session, though:

“We need healthy young people to sign up for this thing. What do kids like?”
“Pictures of cute animals with funny captions?”

On a related note, we’re thinking of calling the kitten Buster. Short for Filibuster.

September 26, 2013 — 10:19 pm
Comments: 20


Oh, hell no, I didn’t name the kitten Narcissus. We’re still weighing options. And of course he’s tracking the arrow, not looking at himself.

But if I can’t use my new baby to score cheap posts on busy days, what IS the point?

September 25, 2013 — 9:12 pm
Comments: 22


Big and in color. Go on. You know you want it.

As I suspected from the slightly evasive emails, the big chunky dark ginger boy in the pictures was spoken for. May I present — that cat’s little brother.

This is a seriously tiny kitten. When I said “no way!” to age ten weeks, the woman copped to eight. Yeah, I dunno. He’s as small as Damien was at six weeks, and Damien was a shrimp. Well, we’ll stuff him full of calcium and protein and let him keep his balls as long as practical and see if we can’t big him up a bit.

Anyway, he’s a beautiful, charming little booger. He purred all the way home (almost a two hour trip), got out of his carry box, trotted to the john and had hisself a proper pee and poop (good GOD kitten shit is pungent), followed it with a big meal and now he’s tapped out on Uncle B’s chest, sparko.

I kind of painted myself into a corner here. I told Uncle B if he didn’t come up with a name, I was going to call the cat Jesus Christ Monkey Balls. That was two weeks ago. And. Well. No, it hasn’t stuck, but the poor little bastard is in peril of it sticking.

So here’s what we’re considering so far (audio).

September 24, 2013 — 9:23 pm
Comments: 52

The saddest lil’ chicken in the flock

Oh, god, look at that chicken! She’s fine. I mean she’s bitchier than an imperial crap-load of instant PMS cubes, but that, ladies and gentlemen, is a perfectly natural end-of-season chicken moult.

There’s supposedly a relationship between egg laying and moulting. The better the layer, the faster and more complete the moult. Then a good hen brushes herself off, grows new feathers and gets back to the business of laying eggs.

My girls usually shed a feather or two but otherwise sail through the moult looking okay, but they aren’t exactly cham-peen egg producers. Lucia puts a little more oomph into it, as befits Head Chicken.

Those awesome professional egg-a-day hybrid layers supposedly drop all their feathers in one big go, and you find them next morning clinging to the perch looking like an oven-ready roaster.

Violet didn’t go quite like that, but it was the most spectacular moult I’ve seen. The henhouse was like they’d had a pillow fight in there — feathers EVERYwhere.

And there she was, smoldering in the back of the run, giving me her best stink-eye. I think this process must be pretty uncomfortable, because she’s in an incredibly shitty mood. And she’s not a nice chicken to begin with. We don’t call her Violence for naught.

Anyway — yes, she was easily my best layer this Summer. Here she is in happier times — like, two months ago.

A hard moult is just the price you have to pay to be Miss Awesome Comb 2013.

September 23, 2013 — 9:12 pm
Comments: 17

Baby maybe

Good lord — who knew it would be this hard to find a ginger tom? I’ve been kitten shopping daily for two weeks now with nothing to show for it.

I can find plenty of pedigree cats — especially bengals and birmans — for hundreds of pounds each. For some reason, there are scores of little white, little black and little black and white kittens to be had out there. And tabbies (sorely tempted — I do love me a tabby). Any gingers were either too white or too fluffy (hey, it’s an illustrator thing) or way, way out of our neighborhood.

So, anyway, I think I’ve found a litter of gingers just inside our comfortable day-trip range. One is perfect, one is a little pale, one is a little fluffy and one is a girl. I can’t seem to get a clear answer which one is available, so — FIELD TRIP! I’ll let you know.

Good weekend, all!

September 20, 2013 — 9:43 pm
Comments: 46

Ohhhh…I mean…arrrrr

Oh, I wondered why the websites I visited today were talking all retarded, and the daily specials from Steam were pirate games. Yup. Talk Like a Pirate Day. Again. Gosh, it doesn’t seem like any time at all since the last TLaPD.

No, not a proper post at all, but I didn’t have NOTHING queued up for today, so I’m’onna run with it.

p.s. I bet this isn’t Lucy Worsley’s favorite holiday.

September 19, 2013 — 10:21 pm
Comments: 23


So that Elmer Fudd thing has a name: rhotacism. From the Greek rho, for R. It broadly describes one kind or another of effed up R, but most commonly substituting W for R.

And then Wikipedia opened its mouth and this came out: Lenition of intervocalic /t/ and /d/ to [d] or [ɾ] is also common in many modern English dialects (e.g. <got a lot of> (phonemically /gotə lotə/) becoming [godə lodə] or [goɾə loɾə]). Contrast is maintained with /ɹ/ because it is never realized as a flap in these dialects of English.

You know, I was following along pretty well that right up to that last bit. Tragically, I was never realized as a flap, either.

Anyway, we were talking a couple of days ago about BBC presenters with rhotacized Rs (about half of them, by my count) and specifically Lucy Worsely. Unlike most of the others, I think a lot of my readers would enjoy her stuff.

Her day job is Chief Curator of Historic Royal Palaces — Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace, Kensington Palace, the Banqueting House in Whitehall and Kew Palace. She’s currently overseeing major renovations worth major coin, so I guess she can’t be as much of a lightweight as she seems. Her television specialty is daily life, costume and customs of historic Britain, mostly (but not exclusively) the aristocracy.

Reader BJM tipped me off in the comments that much BBC content can be found in its entirely on YouTube (at least until the Corporation plays whack-a-mole with individual programs). And, sure enough, quick search turns up shit-tons of Lucy Worsley programs in all their glory.

I think I’ve watched most of those and +1 would recommend.

September 18, 2013 — 10:47 pm
Comments: 20


Oof. Sorry. Got jammed up dealing with Pa Stoat on his iPad tonight. I know he’s feeling better, because he was poking all the buttons and knobs to see what they would do. Mostly, they disconnect things.

As a bonus, Uncle B got to hear a man say “dadgum it” unironically.

Pa Stoat had a series of ear infections as a child, in the days before antibiotics. The treatment then was to puncture the eardrum to release pressure, else it was possible the infection would burst inwards — nearly always fatal. I promise you, I could describe this process in MUCH more cringeworthy clinical terms.

And so, when he was fourteen, his left eardrum exploded while he was practicing for the state cornet championship. I shittest thou not. He still thinks he coulda been a container.

In his thirties, he underwent an experimental surgery to replace the most damaged eardrum with a piece of vein from his arm, extracted and scraped thin. It didn’t work all that great, but I have an awesome childhood memory of him propped up in the hospital with his head wrapped in about a mile of bandage, looking like a spaceman. Or a swami.

So he’s always been deaf, and now he has an advanced case of ARG — age-related goofiness.

But, hey, he did offer to send me some porn. So. There’s that.

September 17, 2013 — 10:41 pm
Comments: 14