abendgules: (Mountjoy)
...cannot resist a puppet version of Rush's 'Tom Sawyer'.

No idea who wimp.com are, but this was the source of my goats-entertaining-themselves-on-a-wobbleboard video, which can't be bad.
abendgules: (ohnoes_omg)
by gorging on the archive for 2 days.

Today's favourite, for all kinds of reasons.

More positively now I'm totally culturally prepared for Double Wars. :-)
abendgules: (Oooops)
...to Scandinavia and the world, a webcomic I've read about but not actually read in person til today.

Here's today's favourite for language buffs.

It's excellent preparation for going to Double Wars.

Hey [livejournal.com profile] gothwalk: I think we've just found a great solution for the 'how do we convey nuances of meaning on social media' question... just refer them to SatW.
abendgules: (editor)
...but once you start it's hard to stop. Though the 'numbered' headlines are really annoying.

This, though, was great fun: Definitive stereotype map of Britain and Ireland

"Offend your way around the British Isles"
abendgules: (fierce)




You have to read the reviews and questions for yourself...
abendgules: (knitting)
A Glasgow City of science is doing a health hygiene project for kids, and wants knitted microbes.

They are totally totally beautiful and cheaper than the stuffed ones you buy commercially.

This is courtesy of the craziest knitting blog I've ever seen - really. The unicorn dog harness, the Star Wars tapestry in crosstitch and the knitted wireframe webdesign is just amazing.

I'm passing the microbes round my work colleagues, so to speak, to see if anyone else wants to knit up some health protection germs.
abendgules: (self-portrait)
I've had this week off work, partly to spend time with [livejournal.com profile] badgersandjam, partly to hunt for our next place to live.

I didn't set out to take time off during the Olympics, that's just a surprise bonus, or something.
non-expert rambling about hockey )

Watching the skating makes me feel nostalgic for home - watching skating on TV feels like a part of a Canadian winter (as does turning on the TV, finding it's curling, and trying to find something else to watch).

It's charming to see that Canadians are still contenders on ice, and and that Brian Orser is coaching two of the top men. I always thought he was robbed of gold, and I'm not certain that their new scoring system is any better than the old score out of 6.0. Any 'sport' that needs a judge to tell you how you did, to me, isn't sport - it's athletic art.

It doesn't take away from the athleticism or the accomplishment, and I still like watching it - it just doesn't fit the 'higher, faster, stronger' qualification.

I tried to look up the names of the coaches for Canadian athletes, but it's as if they don't exist - they're not listed on the official Sochi 2014 site (which has all the athletes for all countries), and they're not on Skate Canada site and the Canadian Olympic site is a joke of a blog site. Hope they didn't pay a lot of money for the design, because it's appalling.

The British seem a bit embarrassed by the winter Olympics - as if it's not very British to be good at throwing yourself down a snowy hill at top speed, though it's ok to be expert at horse dancing in the summer events. Many people refer to the 'tea tray' event (skeleton and luge); I don't know who coined this term, but it's widespread in England, where I'd never heard it in Canada.

Blessedly, the BBC are doing an awesome job of coverage - they now have the capacity to cover all the events at once online, so if you don't want to watch the stick-fighting on ice, you can watch the flinging-down-the-hill events instead.

The BBC's crew is using a shopping trolley to carry their kit on the main campus, carrying light stands and other bits and pieces...and the trolley now has a following on twitter. It's extremely silly.
abendgules: (editor)
I want to share this link, because it's an excellent satire of a current issue, but realised it's not as funny outside of the reach of the BBC and current UK politics.

However for those in the know:
In response to a UKIP local counsellor sending a letter to the Prime Minister blaming the recent floods on the same-sex marriage bill,

someone has recorded the UKIP shipping weather forecast, with touches of other UKIP policies and remarks slipped in.

Context:
UKIP is the far right wing party: anti-gay, anti-women, anti-immigrant, anti-Europe, anti-change. They've gained a following among conservative voters who believe the tabloid propaganda that the country is going to the dogs, and it's everyone else's fault. Especially women. And immigrants. And gays.

Their MPs and prominent members have a knack for being caught on record making painfully misogynist and racist remarks and then getting mad at the press for recording them.

The counsellor's party has now suspended him. Even for UKIP, he's embarrassing.

The shipping forecast is just that - forecast of weather on the coasts. Wikipedia has a nice explanation.

But it's grown into a sort of mantra: a recital of island names and weather conditions, that takes about 2 and half minutes at the end of the news, that is read in a slow clear voice, apparently to allow listeners to write it down if needed (says Wikipedia - I didn't know that).

It's part of the background noise of living in the UK, like knowing the theme music to 'As it happens' or 'Hockey night in Canada'.

I think it's a connection to UK's heritage - a reminder that at one time these islands were far more island-ish, driven by island economies of shipping and trade, and far more dependent on the weather conditions than most people are now.

If you haven't heard it before, it's online. Or you can look at the map version on the BBC site.

ETA: sort of related: an observation on 'what is gay?' to help the political-hard-of-thinking, from the Grauniad (more cultural refs!).
abendgules: (hot choc comfort)
Last week was broken up by New Year's day, which I spent mostly snoozing or reading. It felt like Sunday night on Wednesday, and felt like Monday on Thursday. The highlight was finding that the day that felt like Tuesday was actually Friday - straight into a weekend.

This week is uninterrupted back to work-ness: most people back in the office, usual routines returning. Certainly commuting transportation was back to its usual squeezed-ness: takes 3-5 buses passing before one stops to let anyone on, no seats on the Tube right away. I'd be very happy if the whole year could run like Christmas period: no schoolage kids on the transportation, parents out of the office, easing pressure on transport just enough to enable it to run smoothly.

We've looked at the calendar, and ruled out most events this winter and spring, in favour of hunting for housing. So not a great deal to relieve the tedium of winter work. Sigh.

So since there's not a lot on - have some kittehs. Well, one kitteh, multiple times.

We already live over another flat, so our windows are one storey up. It would be a big drop for a cat, not a jump a cat would choose without an intermediary step.

Knowing this, I don't know why adding another 2' of height as she balances on the window frame makes me so much more nervous, compared to her sticking her schnozz out from the usual window-ledge level. She's not really at any greater risk from that extra height, but I flap like a chicken...

P8030012

She gained these dizzy heights in pursuit of flies, this summer. Flies are excellent entertainment, and she's quite good at cornering them against the window and pouncing. Delicious - the self-serve snack that staves off boredom.

P8030014

On to winter mode: more snuggling, snoozing and flopping.

Cat-like typing detected: this is Haggis guiding Robert's gaming, elbow on the spacebar, on my ancient slab of a Windows laptop.

haggis - the paw that controls the keyboard controls the world

Later that week: Haggis stakes her claim on someone's lap. I've known many cats who occupy a lap with commitment, enthusiasm and serious sprawl - never seen one splay like this to make sure noone can edge their way in.

haggishazhuman
abendgules: (hot choc comfort)
The 12 days of Christmas, as seen in Christchurch NZ, shared w/ my sweetie on teh Faceboobs.

Not quite as good as kitteh pr0n, but close.

Genius

Sep. 17th, 2013 02:18 pm
abendgules: (Romanesque_Initial)
A friendly exchange between neighbours, some of whom don't get it.

This is the first 'work' I've done all day, because our freaking network is down, again.

It's once more a not-work, and I'm working (not) for Offline Services today. Seriously tempted to take a laptop and go home.
abendgules: (abbey_cats)
...more offerings from the Guardian - cats doing yoga.

Since our network was once more down for half a day, I'm only now catching up on my daytime surfing...
abendgules: (abbey_cats)
...the cat brings her mouse into the house to play with it, cause it's too wet and yucky outside.

Harley was a mighty hunter and a proud one, telling us all about her exploits as she trotted up the stairs with a mouthful of mouse, keeping it just a little bit alive to round out the experience at home - to share with the incompetent non-hunters who needed teaching, I suppose.

Haggis had not, til now demonstrated her hunting skills, past chasing pencils around the bare floors. This is her first fall with us.

She brought her fully alive and kicking treasure in after midnight without comment, and it was the scrabbling in the dark that woke me. It was clearly too damp and chilly to play with it outside - far better to do laps round the bedroom, warm and dry, chasing it under all the furniture, flattening herself, stampeding the herds of dust rhinos from their underbed savannah habitats as she went.

Neither Robert and I could get a handle on this mouse - we could barely see it, it was so fast - and Haggis wasn't helping. And I was tired. So I took the easy option - stuffed my ears with earplugs and went back to sleep.

Next morning, it was clear that this toy hadn't wound down yet, but we still couldn't grab it from under Haggis' attentions. What fun, a game everyone could play! til finally it vanished...somewhere near a bag full of medieval clothes that, ah, still weren't unpacked from Raglan.

Haggis was stuck, and did circuits round and round the bag, very puzzled. I emptied the bag in one great heap on the bed and shook out the bag - no mousie.

We had to go to work, so we left an exhausted Haggis flopped on the bedroom floor.

I had visions of chasing this mouse around the house; of finding a rotting little corpse under my bed; of a headless wee body, like the one Harley left for me one birthday a couple of years ago, its ghost still hanging around the bedroom like Moaning Myrtle.

After work, I carefully shook out the pile of clothes, one item at a time, and sure enough, there was a stubborn? lucky? mouse clinging in the folds of my cloak. It managed to stay put long enough for me to carry it downstairs, and didn't leap for its life til it caught a whiff of fresh air - at least, that's what appeared to happen - maybe it was just lucky with its timing.

Hunting has given Haggis an appetite - she's inhaled all her kibbles from yesterday and today. We've seen her get the 10pm crazies before, but this was new. Can't decide if we're irritated or proud of her.
abendgules: (abbey_cats)
Everyone needs more kittehs on the intawebs.

23 sleeping positions illustrated by cats
abendgules: (abbey_cats)
...from the comfort of our pavilion.

July2013-3

Some of our kit was just transferred to our flat this week from the Vitus-wagon, including the pavilion canvas, snug in its Terafan-coloured canvas bag.

July2013-1

You'd think we'd made her a giant canvas cushion.
abendgules: (abbey_cats)
I'm at home this weekend, but it could be worse.
This pic is from earlier in the autumn, when our boiler wasn't working, and we were both wrapped up warmly indoors. It's a lovely sweater, but usually too warm to wear.
Heating now works, but Madam's habits are harder to change.

autumn2012 060

And so is my furniture
autumn2012 063

Note scribing slope to the left.
abendgules: (abbey_cats)
Will I live longer than my cat? on BBC.

Note cat is not dead, all evidence to the contrary.

You could do worse in your dotage than lie on the driveway, soaking up the sun.
abendgules: (editor)
You've possibly already seen this, but Sir Finvarr's blog (in his modern guise as an academic) was my introduction to Wordles, a toy for creating word clouds based on selected text.

Here's Finvarr's post about his wordles, based on his books about Charny's questions - I love the one about the jousts and tournaments.

Here's one my sweetie made earlier - the Magna Carta.

Here's one featured on the blog: the US Constitution  

I did a couple based on Robert's texts, and they look very cool, but you can't save them privately, only print them, or post them publicly.
abendgules: (abbey_cats)
Renaming tiger bread 'giraffe bread' at Sainsbury's.

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