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Dead Pool 161: New Year’s Eve Eve edition

So! Pelé copped it and Pablo won. I won’t comment on his career beyond noting that he played soccer and I had heard of him.

That is a very select group of athletes indeed.

It is absolutely wretched where I am. High wind and driving rain. I ran out, fed the chickens, and ran back to bed again with a book. I haven’t done that in decades.

Guess where I’m going now?

Let’s see which lucky, fast-typing bastiche gets the exPope. I thought about disqualifying him on the ground of blasphemy or summat, but I couldn’t keep a straight face.

C’mon, Your Holiness, hang on a while…For the laughs.

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.

December 30, 2022 — 6:00 pm
Comments: 52

Freaks of nature!

Waterfall flows upwards in Peacehaven, Sussex. Yes, it’s been just that windy. Filmed by a hiker yesterday on his state-of-the-art potatophone.

Welp, poor old Pelé copped it before Pope Kitteh. Congrats, Pablo. That means

New Year’s Eve Eve Dead Pool!

Be back tomorrow for positively the last Dead Pool of 2022.

December 29, 2022 — 7:52 pm
Comments: 1

Pope Kitteh

I did not realize until Sissy Willis linked to this old post on her blog that the pope emeritus, Pope Benedict XVI, was a famous lover of cats. And it was mutual.

“Every time he met a cat, he would talk to it, sometimes for a long time. The cat would follow him. Once about 10 cats followed him into the Vatican, and one of the Swiss Guards intervened, saying ‘Look, your eminence, the cats are invading the Holy See.'”

Huh. An image search of “Ratzinger cat” turns up lots of images, bless ‘im. Anyway, looks like poor old Ratz isn’t well.

Perhaps Lady Bast will have him.

December 28, 2022 — 6:43 pm
Comments: 4

That was boring. Here’s a picture of a stoat

I thought I’d stumbled over an interesting story today, but I traced it to the end and it was kind of boring. I’m going to tell it to you anyway.

We’ve been desperate for stuff to watch on TV over the holidays. The BBC has been dire. I haven’t watched any of the popular Netflix serieses (we have – ahem – access). I thought I’d check the reviews on Stranger Things (unrelated: have you watched it? Is it good? No spoilers, pls).

In the Wikipedia article, there was this curious statement: “Netflix did not initially reveal subscriber viewership numbers for their original series, and Symphony Technology Group compiled data for the season based on people using software on their phones that measures television viewing by detecting a program’s sound.”

Wait, what? Phones listening in on what people are watching? Symphony Technology Group is just an investment firm, why wouldn’t they name the actual app, unless it was some other sort of app that covertly snooped on people? Something interesting afoot!

Nope, not very. It was a real app with the sole purpose of tracking your TV habits and people signed up for it on purpose. In 2015, Symphony Advanced Media built an app called VideoPulse. They paid people $5 to $11 a month to let this thing listen in all the time (but not conversations, pinkie-swear).

I guess Nielsen doesn’t track streaming services effectively, and certainly not YouTube. It was a big gap in the data for people who rely on viewership figures. They got at least 15,000 to sign up.

VideoPulse learned some interesting stuff – like millenials aren’t really watching less TV as everyone thought, they’re just watching more YouTubes. Nobody was sure how good their numbers were, though, and they didn’t make money on it, so they dissolved in 2017.

On the other hand, if you follow @STOATBOT on Twitter, you get an adorable stoat in your feed every three hours.

December 27, 2022 — 7:38 pm
Comments: 10

My jeans are tight

Happy Boxing Day! The turkey was splendid. The little popup is relatively new here, so they think it’s voodoo. I always double check with a meat thermometer anyway.

It’s a big bird, so we thought it would take four hours. It took two and a half, so we had to hustle the side dishes along, but it all worked out. I still feel urpy from my excesses.

I’d very much consider roast beast instead of turkey, but beef has got so expensive and it often, after all that, isn’t very good. We at least know this (very expensive) bird from a (somewhat local) farm is going to be top notch every year.

What’d you have and how much is left?

December 26, 2022 — 7:08 pm
Comments: 10

It’s a knitted crèche, y’all

Spotted on top of a post box along the high street in the town of Tenterden, Kent. Here it is in color. The things you can do in a high trust society.

Not high trust for long, I’m afraid. I don’t know if you’ve read that ‘refugees’ – young single men of military age from perfectly safe countries – have been pouring over the channel, hundreds a day. The government has been housing them in four star hotels, feeding them and giving them a spending allowance, and no one knows why.

We’ve just learned a whole bunch are going to be billeted a few miles from us. There go my chickens.

But enough sadness. It’s Christmas Eve Eve. We’ve had the last of the deliveries, more food than we can possibly eat before it goes off (it’s tradition). Picked up the turkey. Wrapped all the presents (not really – we follow the Way of the Gift Bag). Pick out a Christmas special for TV tonight and we’re good to go.

Merry Christmas, everyone! See you on Boxing Day.

December 23, 2022 — 7:21 pm
Comments: 18

Christmas stoat, Christmas stoat

New! Uncle B bought me a lovely glass ornament.

I was going to tell you how I edited the pic in the library, so I could stay in my comfy chair and not come in here and use Photoshop, using a site called tinywow.com. It’s a site with a lot of free tools to edit images and videos and do a lot of other cool things with files. But it turns out it wouldn’t do the three things I needed – crop, resize and desaturate.

Never mind. The fire’s in the room with the Photoshop.

So who’s in the path of the bomb cyclone? Armybrat, don’t you go ignoring the iguana warning! That would be a helluva thing to have on your obituary.

December 22, 2022 — 7:44 pm
Comments: 13

Happy Solstice!

Welcome to the shortest day, the day we turn Stonehenge over to smelly hippies who have no more idea what the builders of Stonehenge believed than my chickens have.

I love this picture (uncredited); it shows how close Stonehenge is to a couple of major roads. See where the road splits in the upper left corner. The Heel Stone, middle left, is practically on the side of the road.

I was shocked. It loomed out of the plain like a Texaco station.

Still, there are 1,000 less famous stone circles left in the UK. Plenty of places to cavort naked on the solstice. Tip: pick the Summer solstice.

From here, Winter begins, but the days get longer again. I’ll take it.

In the thread before this one, tomfrompv suggested someone might want a break from my low effort holiday shitposting by submitting a guest post. If you’re burnin’ to be published on a low traffic but very elderly blog, message me at stoaty@sweasel.com.

December 21, 2022 — 5:48 pm
Comments: 7

Here we go…

Last day of work today. I’m off for a couple of weeks. I can’t be more precise as I’ll have to go in briefly in the middle to check on the building. A glorified janitor, me.

I usually come up with a cheap Christmas gimmick to spare me even the desultory effort of coming up with a post every day, but I drew a blank.

I briefly considered putting a perishable item of food outside and taking its picture every day to post. You know, the Twelve Days of Deteriorating Baloney or something. I’m pretty sure if a fox didn’t eat it and the cat didn’t eat it and the seagulls didn’t eat it a chicken would.

So it’ll just have to be me and my low effort shitposting this year.

Adorable ferret stolen from Reddit.

December 20, 2022 — 7:43 pm
Comments: 6

Happy Hanukkah, y’awl

Here’s a first-day-of-Hanukkah treat: Tom Lehrer has released his entire catalogue into the public domain, no strings.

I, Tom Lehrer, and the Tom Lehrer Trust 2007, hereby grant the following permissions:

All copyrights to lyrics or music written or composed by me have been relinquished, and therefore such songs are now in the public domain. All of my songs that have never been copyrighted, having been available for free for so long, are now also in the public domain.

It’s a very Tom Lehrer sort of thing to do.

The site opened November 1st and a notice says it won’t be up for long, so download ’em if you want ’em. (Note: if you go to download the albums as .rar files, The Remains of Tom Lehrer (disc 1) is missing. I’ve tried writing to them about it, but I can’t find contact info).

If you don’t know him (and we’re all a bit young for it) he was a mathematician who had success in the Fifties writing and performing biting and seriously funny satirical songs. There he is above singing National Brotherhood Week.

By the Seventies, he decided he didn’t want to do it any more and vanished, stage left. Went back to teaching math, leaving (barely) a trace. He’s 94.

A Christmas Carol

Christmas time is here, by golly,
Disapproval would be folly,
Deck the halls with hunks of holly,
Fill the cup and don’t say “when.”
Kill the turkeys, ducks and chickens,
Mix the punch, drag out the Dickens,
Even though the prospect sickens,
Brother, here we go again.

On Christmas Day you can’t get sore,
Your fellow man you must adore,
There’s time to rob him all the more
The other three hundred and sixty-four.

Relations, sparing no expense’ll
Send some useless old utensil,
Or a matching pen and pencil.
“Just the thing I need! how nice!”
It doesn’t matter how sincere it
Is, nor how heartfelt the spirit,
Sentiment will not endear it,
What’s important is the price.

Hark the Herald Tribune sings,
Advertising wondrous things.
God rest ye merry, merchants,
May you make the Yuletide pay.
Angels we have heard on high
Tell us to go out and buy!

So let the raucous sleigh bells jingle,
Hail our dear old friend Kris Kringle,
Driving his reindeer across the sky.
Don’t stand underneath when they fly by.

December 19, 2022 — 7:50 pm
Comments: 11