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They make the most adorable sounds when they die

I finished the last of my antibiotics this morning. I don’t know if it’s the sickness or the medicine, but something has transformed my usual robustly lazy self into a still, tranquil lump of inert flesh. Man, I’m tired. I reckon one more weekend of bone idleness should set me on the road to recovery.

Or not. Whatever. I ain’t moving for two days.

To that end, I bought a little game: bad north. It’s a light strategy game from Sweden about Vikings murdering and pillaging your people, but the graphics are so adorable and the music is so catchy it makes genocide positively kawaii.

This is not big brain stuff. I think it’s available in phone edition, so it’s that kind of game. But after an hour or so of gameplay, I think this is a recommend.

Please join me in having an indolent and enjoyable weekend.

November 15, 2019 — 9:06 pm
Comments: 10

….spotted in a shop window this evening…

Stuffed rooster. He’s very good. It’s a very posh shop, so I’m sure it’s a very posh price.

It’s not Steiff, though. I looked. You can, however, have a Steiff Foghorn Leghorn for a mere £275. Whew!

p.s. I currently have four (4!) cockerels. Anyone want a snuggly chicken buddy? And I don’t mean stuffed.

November 14, 2019 — 9:50 pm
Comments: 6

Oh, and I can’t get this, either…

Pimento cheese. Fortunately, this one is super easy to fake.

When I first made this, I went out and bought a jar of pimientos. This was super expensive and, as it turned out, completely unnecessary. That’s right: the least important ingredient in pimento cheese is pimientos.

I get the same color (and flavor) from a big ol’ squeeze of Sriracha.

So it’s just cream cheese, mayo, shredded cheddar and Sriracha. And whatever else you want to fancy it up. Black pepper. Green olives. You shoulda seen Uncle B’s face when he walked in on me smashing this all up in a bowl today.

Oh, and another culinary note: if you order a chicken salad sandwich, you will get a chicken sandwich with a salad on it. Chunks of chicken with cucumbers and tomatoes. On buttered bread, as are all sandwiches. I have had to up my sandwich game to manage my homesickness.

Yeesh, food looks awful in black and white.

November 13, 2019 — 8:15 pm
Comments: 14

You don’t know what you’ve got…

…until you try to buy some and find you can’t.

I can’t get any kind of cinnamon candy here. Not redhots, not cinnamon hearts. None of that.

I mean, I can. You can get anything if you’re willing to pay international shipping. But there is no domestic version of hot cinnamon candy. We have not one but two candy stores in the town where I work, so I know whereof.

There are some candies that have cinnamon as part of the flavoring, but they’re like sweet, gentle ‘Christmas mince pie’ sorts of things. Not the vile and painful cinnamon treats of my youth.

Hard to believe after ten plus years I’m still finding things missing.

p.s. I just noticed the “artificial flavor” on the box. Geez, you guys — is real cinnamon not cheap enough for you?

November 12, 2019 — 8:00 pm
Comments: 16

I saw a deer today

You probably don’t recognize the image, as I think we’ve established that few of you play vidya games. That’s GLaDOS, the artificial intelligence hardware/software system from Portal 2. At one point, she informs you that “I saw a deer today.” Probably to make you feel bad that you haven’t been outside the industrial complex you’re stuck in for an indeterminate but very long time.

You don’t see the deer in the game, though. That’s fanart I stole off Imgur. It’s not even my fan art.

But I did actually see a deer today. We were visiting someone who lives up a lane in the woods, and a doe ambled across the road in front of us. It was very special.

And with that, I’m going back to my fainting couch. Antibiotics working, but ever so slowly.

November 11, 2019 — 9:16 pm
Comments: 8

Let the pill taking begin…

Amoxicillin. I arrived at work gasping and wheezing this morning and my boss made me go to the clinic.

At first I tried to make a regular appointment with my doctor, but the next available one is in three weeks. This thing would have either gone away or croaked me by then. So I made a so-called emergency appointment and got seen in an hour by a nurse practitioner.

The NHS paradox: good in a crisis, not so good for the routine.

She decided against steroids, but she could hear junk in my breath-bags, so antibiotics it is. It’ll be five weeks tomorrow since I caught this bug, so I guess an infection stands to reason, but I hate taking antibiotics. My gut microbiome is a sacred garden. Bring me kefir!

Still, it was great to have official doctor’s orders to skip out on work and be a lazy sack of shit all weekend. Have a good one!

November 8, 2019 — 8:27 pm
Comments: 6

Half an hour ago…

Because it’s not obvious, his location is my lap. Also not obvious: his other side is soaking wet. Equally not obvious: we are both seated in the only comfortable chair in the whole place.

We fight for it. I bought myself a little second hand tablet computer specifically to use as a Kindle when I sit in that chair, but the cat usually wins.

As for the wet, it has rained here every day for weeks. Everything is soaked. The ground is all slippy. My chicken runs are mud and the chickens are miserable. I’m thoroughly sick of it.

The weather isn’t always like England in England, but sometimes it’s the most England place imaginable.

November 7, 2019 — 8:51 pm
Comments: 11

Must be a relative

The encyclopedia version of the trap street is called a Mountweazel. It takes its name from an entry in the 1975 edition of The New Columbia Encyclopedia. Thus:

Mountweazel, Lillian Virginia, 1942-1973, American photographer, b. Bangs, Ohio. Turning from fountain design to photography in 1963, Mountweazel produced her celebrated portraits of the South Sierra Miwok in 1964. She was awarded government grants to make a series of photo-essays of unusual subject matter, including New York City buses, the cemeteries of Paris, and rural American mailboxes. The last group was exhibited extensively abroad and published as Flags Up! (1972). Mountweazel died at 31 in an explosion while on assignment for Combustibles magazine.

Goodness! How would anyone spot that as a fake?

A google search of “copyright trap” will yield a delightful afternoon of…whatever it was we decided to call stumbling around the web learning stupid stuff.

See also: Argleton.

November 6, 2019 — 8:17 pm
Comments: 6

An elusive address…

My boss asked me to borrow a map off the internet today, so I got to explain the concept of trap streets. These are fake streets inserted into maps so the cartography company can tell if somebody is ripping off their stuff. Not just streets, any fake feature can be inserted as a copyright trap.

They hit us over the head with this when I worked in a corporate art department. You work for deep pockets; do not steal.

Bartlett Place above is a famous one from the A-Z. The A-Z (pronounced “A to zed”, naturally) is the most famous street map in the UK. They sell them everywhere here (or did before GPS, anyway). I believe I once read that there are 200 trap streets (or features) in the A-Z for London.

Ironically, you can’t copyright trap streets, at least in US law. See if you can wrap your head around this decision:

“To treat ‘false’ facts interspersed among actual facts and represented as actual facts as fiction would mean that no one could ever reproduce or copy actual facts without risk of reproducing a false fact and thereby violating a copyright … If such were the law, information could never be reproduced or widely disseminated.”

I think I got that.

p.s. I wrote to the man and asked if we could use his map and he said yes.

November 5, 2019 — 7:31 pm
Comments: 4

To meditate upon

I’ve said it before; there really needs to be a name for the thing where you set off on the internet looking for a buttermilk biscuit recipe and hours later fetch up on a nine-year-old post from someone’s personal blog about the contents of a lunatic’s stomach.

Yes, that shiny, happy mandala up there is that. Stuff surgically removed from one man’s stomach. There’s an inventory and more (in color!) at the link, but it’s not very well preserved and the objects look like they’re sweating evil. I don’t necessarily recommend the click.

He died on the table.

November 4, 2019 — 9:24 pm
Comments: 13