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Land of the Tubby Tyrant [Apr. 12th, 2017|12:11 am]
xolo
[Tags|]
[Current Location |East Trumpistan]
[mood |cheerfulcheerful]

If, like me, you're fascinated by current events, then you'll probably enjoy 38 North, a blog with in-depth analysis of North Korea.

There's also The National Committee on North Korea, another good site. If you click on the Event Calendar at the top, you can find advance notice of lectures, symposia, etc, about North Korea.

Original posted at http://rain-gryphon.dreamwidth.org/5025.html
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Takaza [Apr. 9th, 2017|05:23 pm]
xolo
[Tags|]
[mood |discontentdiscontent]

Takaza's died. http://en.wikifur.com/wiki/Takaza I'm so out of the loop these days. An excellent person, and he'll be missed.

Original posted at http://rain-gryphon.dreamwidth.org/4745.html
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One Way, or the Other [Apr. 8th, 2017|11:36 pm]
xolo
[Tags|, , ]
[Current Location |East Trumpistan]
[mood |predatorypredatory]
[music |Pink Floyd: In the Flesh?]

Much of being POTUS looks like a completely thankless job, no matter how well you do it. To some degree, though, the annoyances are probably offset by getting to bomb objectionable foreigners.

*****

Battle Group #1 (the Carl Vinson and company) are returning to Korea. For some reason, that lurching, bombastic overture to Pink Floyd's "The Wall" seems to be my personal soundtrack for this.

http://rain-gryphon.dreamwidth.org/4396.html
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Tales of a Fruneautic Age [Apr. 6th, 2017|11:43 pm]
xolo
[Tags|, ]
[Current Location |East Trumpistan]
[mood |cheerfulcheerful]

Cow protection vigilantes.

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The idea of having a picture of Hitler in a colour-by-numbers book, where you're told what colour to make each space, does seem oddly appropriate in a way.

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One of the companies bidding on the new border wall is... Hadrian Construction!
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Vitam Imitatur Artem [Apr. 6th, 2017|10:11 pm]
xolo
[Tags|, ]
[Current Location |East Trumpistan]
[mood |calmcalm]

Life imitates art:

The Jungle Book.

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And Romeo and Juliette.
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Syria [Apr. 6th, 2017|09:57 pm]
xolo
[mood |discontentdiscontent]

And now we're bombing Syria. I think that's a mistake, and can only result in taking some of the pressure off ISIS.
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Like a 12-Wheeled Dog [Apr. 5th, 2017|09:50 pm]
xolo
[Tags|, , , , , ]
[Current Location |East Trumpistan]
[mood |cheerfulcheerful]

The President is going to donate his salary for the first quarter of the year to the preservation of Civil War battlefields. As expected, some are using this as a pretext to attack him, but I don't think any of those people are giving three months' salary to charity.

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I'm delighted that the NHL won't be letting its players go to the Olympics. The Olympics ought, I still contend, to be for amateur athletes only. I'm very much out of step with the zeitgeist on that, but so it goes.

I'm not entirely sure that I'd want to attend those Olympics anyway, given that the Crazy Fat Kid is just next door.

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Tonight, in buying eggs, I noticed that the local Meijers no longer has any battery hen eggs. They're all cage-free at a minimum, and I had my pick of three different brands of free-range eggs, so that's a cause for satisfaction.

My primary concern here, of course, is that chickens shouldn't be forced to live in tiny cages where they can't even turn around. That's just a horrifying idea. The free range eggs, however, actually taste better. It's a much richer, more complex flavour, and the yolks are slightly darker in colour. I'm assuming that's because of the birds being able to go bug hunting.

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Few things so dramatic as a steam boiler explosion.

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If you press matzoh dough into a silicone ice-cube mould, you can then just toss the entire thing into the soup, and let it cook until they've set in their shape, then press them out of the mould. Then you've got Matzoh Cube Soup :D

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I picked up an old copy of Cornelius Tacitus' "Histories" the other night, and read that again. Now I'm on a Roman history jag.
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Old Art! [Mar. 31st, 2017|10:12 pm]
xolo
[Tags|, , , ]
[Current Location |East Trumpistan]
[mood |cheerfulcheerful]
[music |Me: Ralph the Camel]

So, I opened up a container that I think has been sealed since 2002 or so, and found... Old-Ass Art! I remember drawing a lot of this, and just haven't seen it in years. None of it's really great, but it brings back memories, and like Grizabella from Cats, I'm finding that I can smile at those again. I currently don't have a scanner, so I just propped 'em up and photographed them. I may go back and do a better job, plus there's more art in storage, I'm sure. I need to create more stuff. I feel happier and better in control when I do.

Cartoon bat sleeping

I used to be a huge Rescue Rangers fan, and Foxglove was a solid favourite. This is ink on heavy paper, from Dec 1999.

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cartoon skwirl

Generic, rather awkward skwirl girl from Jan 2000. I think this and Foxglove both ended up in a small press fanzine called Sheepette Gazette.

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Stylized Purple Camel

Ralph the camel, from Jan 2000. This was because I had this boxed set of pastel sticks, and was screwing around trying to decide what to do with them, or if I even liked them. Ralph the Camel is from this song that I and one of my weird friends made up when we were 12 or so:

Ralph the Ca-mel!
He is e-vil!
He is here to spoil your Monday!
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday!
Ralph the Camel!

For some reason, I stuck a mane on him, so he ended up looking kind of like a pony, but he's still a camel. An evil, purple camel.

After not seeing it for 17 years, I find that I kind of like the heavily stylized manner of it.

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A Baby Dragon Rides a Planet through the Milky Way

Baby Dragon in the Milky Way. This is pigma pencil on Bristol, probably from summer of 2000. When I was little I used to love Casper the Friendly Ghost (until it finally dawned on me that he was dead, and then it got a bit weird). I had a View-Master reel set of Casper, and one of the pictures was Casper in the Milky Way, talking to an anthropomorphic star. That fascinated me. Thirty-five years later, my fascination with that scene gave birth to this. It's awkward, but I love the bright colours, and it somehow did manage to evoke what fascinated me about that scene.

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Dragon Flying Across the Full Moon

Dragon with Naughty Bits (Findra named it that). This is pigma pencil on Bristol, probably from summer of 2000. Just a generic dragon. I have a thing for big eyes, if it's not obvious.

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Little Pony in the Autumn

Sea Star. Pigma pencil on Bristol, definitely autumn of 2000. Sea Star was one of my MLP OCs (Personal Ponies, they were generally called back then). She lives in that castle with a bunch of her friends. I really like the leaves to the upper right. I had a maple right outside my window, and did those from life.

I'm really glad I found this one again!
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New! Improved! [Mar. 29th, 2017|05:40 pm]
xolo
[Tags|, , ]
[Current Location |East Trumpistan]
[mood |cheerfulcheerful]
[music |Jefferson Airplane: When the Earth Moves Again]

Some guy got eaten by a python! There's something in the idea of being eaten by a giant snake that's very attractive to me. There ought to be some sort of zookeeper-assisted suicide program that lets people get eaten by wild animals. The zoo could make a pile of money with pay-per-view.

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Haunting at the Cincinnati Zoo! When I clicked on the link, I thought it was going to be a Harambe snark.

*****

Fuck 'em up, NCAA! While I believe that Trump was absolutely correct to overturn Obama's over-reaching executive order, the law itself is an evil one, and should be opposed by all legitimate means. It's heartening to see the NCAA thinking of something besides money for once.

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Video of someone giving a desperately thirsty snake a drink from a bottle! They're obviously being cautious, but the snake is very well-behaved, and seems grateful. Perhaps it's just me, but there seems to be a lot of this sort of thing going on of late. There was a story a few weeks back about a shark who came meekly up to a swimmer to have a hook removed.
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In the Sun-Barrel [Mar. 27th, 2017|08:10 pm]
xolo
[Tags|, , ]
[Current Location |Not in Oz]
[mood |calmcalm]

It's difficult to see how anyone would expect children to prosper when they are saddled with deliberately hateful names. If that's really part of the 'traditional culture of Zambia' (and not, say, the translator entertaining himself at the gullible white lady's expense), then it's a pathological culture.

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Amritsar is going to have a museum about the Partition. I'd love to visit that, but probably never shall. That's one of the great upheavals that blighted the 20th century, yet for all that, it's remarkably difficult to find good English-language histories of it.

One of the things that has always stuck in my mind is a film clip, probably originally from a newsreel, that I saw as a child. There was a train, pulling out from a station, absolutely crusted over with people, hanging out the windows, clambering on top of the cars, terrified that they'd be left behind. People were falling between the train and platform, almost certainly to be crushed, but others immediately took their places to try to climb on to the cars.

*****

We had a tornado go by last night. I heard it, but didn't see anything, and it didn't touch down. NWS reports today:

03/26/17 0734 PM
FUNNEL CLOUD
LOCATION: HILLIARD, OH (FRANKLIN COUNTY)
SOURCE: TRAINED SPOTTER
REMARKS: TRAINED SPOTTER LOOKING WEST OF HILLIARD IDENTIFIED FUNNEL CLOUD

so that's uncomfortably close, but probably not the same one. Ours came by to the south (which Hilliard is to the south of us) but it was about 8:05, too late for it to have been the same funnel.

This happened, inconveniently enough, while the NWS radar was broken:

464
NOUS61 KILN 271349
FTMILN
Message Date: Mar 27 2017 15:14:29

THE KILN RADAR WILL REMAIN DOWN THROUGH AT LEAST MIDDAY TUESDAY 3/28. ADDITIONAL
PARTS ARE NEEDED FOR REPAIR.

I was asleep, and my phone started ringing and popped up the alert message ("NWS Tornado warning. A tornado is approaching you. Take shelter IMMEDIATELY") and of course went to the radar page to try and estimate if I thought it would hit us, only to find that it was down. So then I got dressed in haste, if not actual panic, and went outside and stood ten feet or so above ground, on a sheltered platform over a sunken walkway where I planned to go to ground if need be. I wanted to see it. A tornado bearing down on one isn't something everyone gets to see, and, of course, not everyone who gets to see it lives to relish the memory. I stood there about ten minutes, wondering if this was a dud, and then the rain increased instantly, from heavy to torrential, and then a few seconds later I heard a rushing sound to the south, like a waterfall. It was directional. It moved west to east, and was over and gone in a few seconds. The wind that had been from the west/southwest turned uncertain and stuttery, and blew for a bit from the southeast, before resuming its normal course. Almost immediately, the wind and rain lessened.

So, had that been a touchdown, and headed for me, I'd have had no time to go to ground. I would have had an excellent view, though. I was crying after it was over, not so much from fear as just from the emotional tension of having waited for ten minutes or so and then having had it actually happen.

It's generally safe to allow me to go outside without supervision, but with some things I really can be a dumbass.
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