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Beer tragedies

A view looking across Tottenham Court Road towards the Horse Shoe Brewery, premises of Meux’s Brewery Company Limited. 20 Feb 1906.

The Horse Shoe Brewery was the source of the 1814 London Beer Flood when a huge vat within the brewery failed, resulting in over 323,000 imperial gallons of porter spilling into the surrounding streets. Nine people died as a result of the flood. Eight of these deaths were caused by drowning or the effects of falling debris from damaged buildings. One person died the following day from alcohol poisoning.

It is National Beer Day in Britain!

I bought one of those mini kegs of a nice beer to celebrate and somehow buggered up the opening. I can’t get any beer out of it. I twist the thing, it makes a gentle farty noise and a little dribble of bubbles sizzles out the top.

I will persevere.

You, on the other hand, can probably stand down. National Beer Day in the US is April 7 (anniversary of the signing of the Cullen–Harrison Act, which legalized the sale of weak beer. First crack in Prohibition). The day before is known as New Beer’s Eve.

Have a good weekend!

June 15, 2018 — 7:39 pm
Comments: 17

Lego of the Gods

Tweet from the British Museum says: “This 2,300-year-old #MysteryObject has a modern equivalent – what do you think it might have been used for?”

Eh. No idea. No associated article and no idea of scale, so I really could not say, BM.

…chasing a deadline tonight…

June 14, 2018 — 9:31 pm
Comments: 24


So, I was talking to an arty friend today about printmaking, and how I was taking an interest again. And she’s all, like, “Oh! You must go to the current show at Rye Art Gallery. It’s by a printmaker named Norman Ackroyd.”

No lie. Look at the image they’re advertising it with.

Weird coincidence? Maybe I saw the ad somewhere and didn’t consciously remember…?

I dunno.

And I missed it!

June 13, 2018 — 10:32 pm
Comments: 4

Oh, I like this

Norman Ackroyd. I like his stuff.

He’s a printmaker who works mainly in mezzotint — a kind of etching where you essentially ‘rough up’ the plate to hold ink in shades of gray. I found him on YouTube when I was looking for techniques of inking plates. With intaglio, that’s the hard part — inking up the plate.

Surface prints, like wood or linoleum cuts, you run an inky roller over the surface for the black and the stuff you’ve cut away are the whites. Easy peasy. Kind of.

Intaglio, where lines are etched or engraved into a plate, you have to force the ink down into those lines for the darks, then wipe it off the surface for the lights. This is tricky as hell. Wipe too much, and you pull the link out of the lines. Don’t wipe enough and the print looks dirty.

You ink up, then you wipe and wipe and wipe, usually with wipery things that aren’t very absorbent. Inky rags, starched muslin, newsprint. It’s what gives intaglio that soft, dream-like quality sometimes. (Ackryod’s technique is the fastest I’ve ever seen, btw).

Properly done, every print is exactly like every other in the run. When the plate starts to deteriorate (because of all the wiping and pressing) and the last print doesn’t look like the first, you halt the series, ruin the plate (by gouging a line through it, for example) and pull a print with the ruined plate. It’s so hard to do a whole run to a proper standard, even seasoned printmakers usually hire a professional pressman.

That’s the tradition, and traditional traditionalists are super strict about it. I’m beginning to question how traditionalist I am.

June 12, 2018 — 10:18 pm
Comments: 11

Face panties! For your cat!

Just something I found while I was looking for something else on eBay. Straight from China!

They’re supposed to protect you while you groom or otherwise do things to your cat.

I dunno. Every cat I’ve ever known, presented with one of these, would flip out and run backwards screaming. And, some fine Summer’s night when you least expect it, murder you in your sleep.

Hello and welcome to the second week in June.

June 11, 2018 — 8:05 pm
Comments: 11

Dead Pool Round 109: Lollipop Guild Edition

Well! There’s an end to the Lollipop Guild. Jerry Maren, last of the Munchkins, has died at the ripe old age of 98. And with that, spunkus takes the dick! And an eagle eye he must have, to have spotted that opportunity a month before it came to pass.

And with that, a new round has begun. Are you seated comfortably…?

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. Plus (Pupster’s Rule) no picking someone who’s only famous for being the oldest person alive.

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? Also, make sure you have a correct spelling of your choice somewhere in your comment. These threads get longish and I use search to figure out if we have a winner.

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, if the winner chooses to entrust me with a mailing address, will receive an Official Certificate of Dick Winning and a small original drawing on paper suffused with elephant shit particles. Because I’m fresh out of fairy shit particles.

June 8, 2018 — 6:00 pm
Comments: 75

Well, I’ll be damned

Jerry Maren, last of the Munchkins, has died aged 98. I didn’t think little people lived that long!

He was the middle of the Lollipop Guild trio. The one who handed the lollipop to Dorothy. He had kind of an interesting life, if you follow the link to the not-very-well-written Wikipedia article.

According to the article, “A small number of anonymous female extras are also reported to survive; as they were technically dwarves and not midgets, they are not counted as Munchkins.” Which I think is pretty darned ableist.

He died May 24. When someone pointed out (thank you, bogie) that he was a pick in the Dead Pool, I was sure there was last minute hanky panky. Who would’a thunk, after all?

But no, spunkus picked him fair and square on April 22. Step forward, spunkus, and claim your dick!

You know what that means: Tomorrow. 6WBT. Dead Pool Round 109. Getcher stiff, getcher stiff right here!

p.s. if you’re at all into YouTube, I recommend you give Cecil of D.I.C.K. and Comics a listen. It started as a piss-take of Diversity & Comics, but he’s funny in his own right. His last review was of the Wizard of Oz, which he described as “three bitches fighting over a hot pair of shoes.”

June 7, 2018 — 9:32 pm
Comments: 9

Here come the weather!

Thunderboomers off the coast of France. Heading: weaselwards.

It’s okay; I didn’t have anything to report today. I’m’a go take a bath and wait for it to blow over.

June 6, 2018 — 9:26 pm
Comments: 5

What herbs you growing?

Uncle B bought my Summer herbs today. He keeps asking if I want anything else and I can’t think of anything.

I have oregano, thyme, sage, rosemary, several kinds of mint, borage, hyssop, fennel, dill, something called winter savory, chamomile. Catnip. Growing randomly around the garden: chives, lemon balm, lemon verbena, several varieties of lavender, ground elder. Erm, nettles. Elderflowers. I’m sure I’m forgetting something.

Oh, the thing in the picture, which is called cotton lavender or lavender cotton and is related to neither cotton nor lavender. You can eat it.

What’s missing?

June 5, 2018 — 8:53 pm
Comments: 16

Infrared is magic

I’m a little late getting the surveillance cam going this year. Probably not too late to catch a hedgehog, if we have any (but, sadly, I haven’t seen any signs).

I have a little problem when I have the cameras going: I can’t look away. There’s almost never anything on them, and when there is, it’s going to be a cat, a rat, a fox or a hedgehog. But I got to stare at the pictures like Bigfoot is coming to dinner.

Would you guys mind if I use you as a note pad? It took me forever to get the camera going tonight. It’s super easy when you know, but I didn’t make notes last year. So FYI (or, really, FMI):

I don’t always use Chrome, but it has the IE extension that lets the browser emulation Internet Explorer, which the camera software wants for some reason.

Excuse me, I have to go keep an eye out for the Squatch.

June 4, 2018 — 9:20 pm
Comments: 6