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Old age is a pig

So Diane Feinstein has left the Senate, the only way she was ever going to go. I don’t know much about her track record. I assume she was an egregious lefty just because of her constituency, but it’s all moot now. God speed, ma’am.

Speaking of egregious lefties, Newsom Gavin has vowed to appoint a black woman. Is that the most insulting thing you’ve ever heard? Imagine being the appointee.

“Hello, Ms Black Woman. Don’t bother with your résumé, I’m sure you’re the best candidate. Because black. And woman.”

Still, I suppose people who trade in identity politics don’t see the problem.

Too late for the Dead Pool this week, obviously. Congrats to Nana1 (I gather. I haven’t double checked yet). See you next week and hope your favorite pick doesn’t die on you before then!

Good weekend!

September 29, 2023 — 6:57 pm
Comments: 3

We smell.

Those little black triangles are places where the water supply is low to non-existent. We aren’t even that near one and our water is out. Has been, off and on, since last Friday.

My first idea for an illustration was cartoon stink lines. Nobody’s having a whole lot of hygiene. Thanks to our storage tank, I can at least wash my hair in rat water.

It feeds the toilet, too, so we’ve been able to flush as normal. Phew. It looks like times when we have a little water, it trickle-fills that tank.

What happened, you ask? Earthquake? Bombing campaign?

I can’t speak to all those other black triangles, but rumor has it in our area there was some planned maintenance project, during which some bit of engineering that hasn’t seen sunshine since Victoria went pop.

No idea when we’ll be clean again.

September 28, 2023 — 7:10 pm
Comments: 8

Now you’re just screwin’ with me

Six more community awards on Steam. This is hilarious.

Made me scrutinize my 26 friends. I see Skandia Recluse hasn’t logged onto Steam in 11 years. Gosh.

Worryingly, Ermine hasn’t logged on in 50 days. That’s not like him at all. Dude played enough Skyrim to apply for citizenship. Surly, you okay buddy?

I haven’t played any games in ages, myself. It’s summer. I’ve spent every minute I could sitting in the garden.

But now that cold weather is coming, I have been checking out digital amusements again. This VR experience is mildly hilarious: “A virtual reality project in Spain allows visitors to experience the episodes of daily discrimination suffered by lesbians, gays and transgender people.”

Headline: “12 minutes in the skin of a victim of LGBTphobia.” The illustration shows a woman sitting passively in a chair, so it’s – what? Twelve minutes of people walking past giving you the stink-eye?

Okay, the T I’ll give you – they probably get treated to lots of hairy eyeball in a typical day.

But how does anybody know you’re LGB unless you’re doing the naughty right there in front of everyone? Eh. Maybe it’s applying for home mortgages from bigots or something. Sounds riveting.

September 27, 2023 — 6:40 pm
Comments: 6

Well, this is shit

This was tied to a light pole near work. If you can’t read it:

What does the sap say?
The sap says nothing.
Tree-blood
its only sound
comes in death
a ghostly gurgling
when its tree is felled
to feed our fires
or make way for industry.
Birds sing of the loss
of habitat and homes
and of advancing predators
until, lacking food or shelter
they sing here no more.
The sap says nothing.

That’s not poetry, it’s a super long bumper sticker. Political art is turrble, y’all.

I wonder how many trees are felled to make way for a solar panel farm?

September 26, 2023 — 5:41 pm
Comments: 7

Krispy kon job

They made a big damn deal of it when they introduced Krispy Kreme donuts over here. I’m not sure why…I don’t think they’re made in the store bakery or anything. I tried one for nostalgia’s sake, and it was nothing like I remember the melty, warm goodness of a fresh Krispy Kreme donut.

Apparently, the real thing is another of those famous secret recipes and may contain potato: “…the recipe consisted of a cream (the eponymous “Kreme”) of fluffed egg whites, mashed potatoes, sugar, shortening and skim milk that was chilled and mixed with flour and then fried and covered in glaze. Today, very few people can say what exactly goes into a Krispy Kreme doughnut, with the top-secret recipe secured in a vault at company headquarters…”

It doesn’t travel well.

And can you see the price? That’s £2.25 for one ordinary glazed donut – or $2.75 in your US dollars. You’d have to be nuts to pay that for an unremarkable not very fresh glazed donut. The internet tells me the going rate in the States is $.99.

The Internet further says tells me there was once a Krispy Kreme sold in Selfridge’s for £1,000. It was gold and looked stupid.

KK was started in Nashville, so our local was probably one of the older ones. The back wall was glass and much of the process was automated. I’m having a hard time remembering the particulars because it was so long ago, but I have a vivid memory of donuts gliding down a conveyor belt into a bath of sugar glaze.

I’m getting it all confused with the local Krystal burger, though – probably because of the inappropriate K. Krystal is another story for another day.

September 25, 2023 — 6:53 pm
Comments: 14

Let’s talk underwear

Specifically thermal underwear.

Some years, it’s like God hits a light switch one day and makes summer turn to winter. Today has been such a day. Thank you, equinox.

I’m determined not to be cold this winter, so I’ve been shopping for some kind of longjohns. I find the world of fancy modern high-tech drawers very confusing. The new miracle fabrics are pitched to high performance winter athletes, who will be skiing or running and need something to wick sweat away.

That’s not me. I’m a sedentary old woman in a drafty 500 year old house and I just want to preserve all my precious body heat while I sit and shitpost. I don’t mind splashing out some money if the modern stuff is worth having.

Any underwear experts in the house? Am I just as well buying an old fashioned cotton union suit?

p.s. I know that’s a man in the picture, but it’s billed as unisex and it’s a woman in the main shot.

p.p.s. No, I do not want the zipper flap in the back, thank you.

p.p.p.s. Have a good weekend, everyone!

September 22, 2023 — 6:13 pm
Comments: 16

The Flower of Kent

This “distinctly ugly” cooking apple is known as the Flower of Kent. Its parent tree lives at Woolsthorpe Manor in Lincolnshire.

You know that about apples, do you? Apples are genetically diverse, so if you grow an apple tree from a seed, there’s no guarantee the resulting apple will taste like the parent – or even taste good! Hence apple trees are grown from cuttings grafted onto some other tree’s root stock.

All the varieties that have names have been grown from cuttings (or cuttings from cuttings) from an original tree somewhere. Every Granny Smith you’ve ever eaten came from a little slice of that one tree Maria Ann Smith bred in her orchard in Australia in 1868.

But I digress. This lumpy specimen is from the tree Newton sat under when “the notion of gravity came into his mind occasion’d by the fall of an apple.” And you can own one!

For a mere £30, you can buy a stick that was cut from a tree that was grown from a stick from Isaac Newton’s tree that can be grafted onto a root that will grow into a tree that will bear a fruit that is apparently very meh.

But if you smack someone upside the head with it, maybe they’ll get super smart.

September 21, 2023 — 6:51 pm
Comments: 3

I thought I was losing my flippin’ mind

Uncle B and me were browsing the wine section at Aldi when one of the price labels began to flip, like an old TV picture when the aerial was knocked out. When it stopped flipping, the text was white on red. It had gone on special as I watched.

DIGITAL PRICE TAGS, y’all! They don’t look it. They must use the same paper white technology that Kindle uses.

The above article says they’ve been around for years, so I guess I’m late again, but I was floored. They’re hooked straight into the store’s inventory system and update in real time. As they put it: No more ‘have you got any of this out the back?’

I slid one off the rail and had a closer look. They don’t get power or data off the rail – it was just straight plastic. They’re battery operated and wifi.

Then I found this pile of them in the freezer section. You can see they’re about 1/8th of an inch thick. I guess they just toss them when the battery runs down.

I’m astonished this is cost-effective. Alibaba’s got them for $13 each (but $6.60 for more than 10,000). So who knows, at Aldi scale.

What a time to be alive. Happy Equinox!

September 20, 2023 — 6:25 pm
Comments: 6

The Victorians were a little goofy

I can’t believe I’ve never posted about the Crystal Palace dinosaurs, but this is the only mention I could find. Where Uncle B last lived in London was near unto Crystal Palace Park, home of the famous Crystal Palace dinosaurs.

They were sculpted in the early 1850s by Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins to go with the new park. Mostly, they’re famous because of all the things he got wrong and silly, but this was the first ever effort to make a model from fossils, so that’s not really fair. Boo.

When we used to visit, the poor things were in rough shape and falling to bits, but they’ve since spent a bunch of money fixing them up. Yay!

Now English Heritage has gone and done 3D models, so you can play with them yourself. If you’ve never used Sketchfab, click on the model you want to see and give it a minute to load the model and then the texture, then:

Left mouse button and move the mouse to rotate the model around an invisible axis
Left mouse button, CTRL and move the mouse up and down to zoom in and out (or middle mouse button)
Left mouse button, SHIFT and move the mouse to pan back and forth (or right mouse button)
Left mouse button, ALT and move the mouse to move the light source around

You can find more Sketchfab controls here. I’ve spent more hours than I care to admit zooming around 3D models there. There some fantastic stuff. I even have a few of my own, but I think they’re under my civilian name.

September 19, 2023 — 6:16 pm
Comments: 1

Thanks, can I get you something…?

Erm, I got an award. I guess users buy them for each other on Steam. I got a Mad Scientist. Thanks, Mysterious Stranger. Can I buy you one? I’ve got literally 40,000 unspent points on Steam.

Feel free to friend me. I don’t do the social aspects, but it gives me a little thrill of community when the popup tells me what y’all are playing at the moment.


Roger Whittaker has died. He was 87. Remember Roger Whittaker? I’ve tried and cannot find the exact Roger Whittaker infomercial that is seared into my brain, but this one is close. Except it’s missing the one that goes “there’s a boat down in the harbor…”

Good job advertising, I guess, because other than these late night ads, I never heard of the man.

September 18, 2023 — 7:22 pm
Comments: 12