Almost certainly not Johnny Depp.

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Below are the 50 most recent journal entries recorded in The Weasel King's LiveJournal:

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    Saturday, February 6th, 2016
    7:28 pm
    6:55 pm
    Tuesday, January 26th, 2016
    8:19 pm
    6:13 pm
    3:28 pm
    A Slice Of Life.
    me: "I have just moved about 80kg of lead. Lead is heavy."

    torrain: "What were you doing with 80kg of lead?"

    me: "Throwing it away. Because who needs 80kg of lead?"

    torrain: "No-one, but who has it in the first place?"

    me: "I did. Which is why I had to move it."

    I am the most helpful conversationalist.
    Thursday, January 21st, 2016
    11:36 am
    9:24 am
    9:23 am
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    Wednesday, January 20th, 2016
    3:51 pm
    1:54 pm
    CalTech scientists find a planet.
    Specifically, they found evidence of a ninth planet, orbiting the sun. About 10x Earth's mass, with a period of between 10k and 20k years.
    11:16 am
    Tuesday, January 19th, 2016
    11:52 am
    Thursday, January 14th, 2016
    11:01 pm
    10:05 pm
    Adventures in self-destruction.
    Anglican Church excommunicates *THEIR LARGEST SOURCE OF FUNDING*.

    Because, y'see, the American branch of the Anglicans is less bigoted than the Official State Church Of Great Britain, and the Anglicans simply aren't having that. So they want to starve themselves, because they'd rather starve than be good people.
    Wednesday, January 13th, 2016
    6:03 pm
    4:37 pm
    4:18 pm
    Friday Tradition!

    Ever seen a live choir cover *a thunderstorm* before?

    (After about two minutes they segue to a pretty darn neat Toto cover)

    Their entire Youtube page is full of interesting choices for a church choir - a love letter to John Williams, the theme to Skyfall, a medley of Beach Boys songs, etc.
    2:18 pm
    This is Sparky.
     photo NealSmithNWRKarenVisteSparkmanFWS_zpsrhncjj75.jpg

    He was struck by lightning.
    He's okay with that but not too sure about you.
    Saturday, January 9th, 2016
    6:28 pm
    So there's this thing American media does.
    I'm not going to argue about whether or not this crowd were all the racist supporters of racist shithead Donald Trump or not.

    I'm not going to claim the neo-nazi rally didn't have that number of people, or that a lot of Trump's neo-nazi supporters didn't come out to support him.

    No, y'see, I believe The Trumpenfuhrer has supporters all over the US, and I believe he got a bunch of them out in rural Massachusetts.

    The issue I take is the Washington Post's suggestion that since it was SO COLD, all of those people must really have been Real True Brownshirts in order to stand in line. Because it was 29 degrees Fahrenheit.

    Seriously? 29 Shitty System That No First World Country Uses Degrees is your benchmark for cold? That's *negative one*. One degree below freezing. That's fucking t-shirt weather. If I was there to watch the train wreck of bigoted assholes cheering Hitler's Second-Alternate Substitute Waterboy, I wouldn't *blink* at -1 temperatures, and neither, I suspect, would the inhabitants of Northern Massachusetts.

    So no, WaPo, you can't conclude anything about the nature of the crowd, on that BALMY, UNUSUALLY WARM day in January. If anything, you should expect that the mild temperatures got more rubberneckers out than usual.
    9:24 am
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    Thursday, January 7th, 2016
    2:32 pm
    Poor Trash Panda.
    View post on

    He figured out the candy floss and actually got his snack on the third try.
    Wednesday, January 6th, 2016
    2:06 pm
    Catching up on cheffery again.
    I'm way behind on recording recipies again. I've made this one a half-dozen times and it's turned out great every time, so I really should have written it down sooner.

    Paprika Chicken And Spinach In White Wine Butter Thyme Sauce.

    Recipe reproduced to avoid linkrot, with notes.Collapse )
    1:21 pm
    2015 Hugo Thoughts, Part 2: Video!
    Whoo boy this is a good year for things. I'm not even going to TRY to list everything I saw that qualified, I'll just stick to things I think might make it onto my ballot and things that DEFINITELY won't.

    Best Dramatic Long Form:
    Let's start here with the 400kg gorilla that is going to be the eventual winner: Mad Max: Fury Road. It's going to make the ballot and it's going to win. It deserves it. There are many other choices that, in a year without Fury Road, would be potential winners, but none of them deserve to beat Fury Road.
    (I'm voting for Fury Road, for the record. Because it is the best thing.)

    Other great choices:
    Inside Out
    It Follows
    Rick And Morty Season 2
    Jessica Jones

    Certainly adequate choices:
    Age Of Ultron
    Crimson Peak
    Ex Machina

    I am noping the fuck out and you should too because my personally tastes are objectively correct, that's why:
    Star Wars: The Force Awakens - because, seriously, being way better than the prequels doesn't make up for still being worse than the remastered Return Of The Jedi with added musical numbers and more Ewoks. It's the first JJ Abrams movie to ever not be complete shit, but "not complete shit" does not a Hugo nominee make. Nope.

    Anything involving Doctor Who - I haven't seen a good episode of this in years, and Moffat's sexism is really repugnant. Nope.

    Anything involving Game Of Thrones - I've complained about the two writing groups on this show, the ones who are good and the ones who just add more gratuitous rape and torture scenes because "it's HBO". Amusingly, the showrunners have ALSO complained about this, but unlike me they should have been able to do something about it and they haven't. And I can't think of a single episode where I didn't completely hate a bunch of the scenes, for this reason. Nope.

    Chappie - gee, a director famous for racist overtones and whitewashed casting makes *another* movie in South Africa that has no black actors, and also casts literal white supremacists - open, enthusiastic racists - in key roles. Nope.

    Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell - the TV show was exactly like the book. I threw the book across the room in disgust and never finished it. Nope.

    Ones I haven't seen but have heard great things about:
    The Martian - I don't hate Matt Damon the way I hate Tom Cruise, but he's still the reason I haven't seen it yet. I'm not going to nominate it, but I'll watch it if it hits the ballot.

    The Man In The High Castle - I'm not finished this yet. Two episodes in, if it keeps going like it is now it's going in "certainly adequate" at least and likely "other great". And then it will lose to Fury Road.

    Welcome To Night Vale - This is just not my thing. I get that it's good and I like it in tiny doses but I can't get into it.

    Ones that started in 2015 but they're not over yet so they're eligible in 2016 and not now:
    The Expanse Season 1
    Supergirl Season 1

    Best Dramatic Short Form:
    Rick And Morty deserves a Hugo but the season as a whole is going to lose to Fury Road, so I want to pick a specific episode to nominate for Short Form. The problem is they're *all good*. Probably the best standalone episode for a new viewer is "Total Rickall", in which the family are trapped in their house with alien parasites that insert themselves in your memory and reproduce by flashback. So I'll nominate that one.

    Community: RV Repair And Palmistry is a very clever low-key time-travel story, in the same mold as earlier Hugo nominee Remedial Chaos Theory was to alternate worlds. Free to watch on Yahoo TV for as long as Yahoo TV lasts, which I believe is something like "until next week".

    Supergirl: Red Faced is a surprisingly deep examination of what it means and how people react when a woman gets angry. And Callista Flockhart's Cat Grant is awesome. As I understand the rules, if this make the ballot, it makes Season 1 as a whole ineligible next year - but I kinda suspect Season 1 as a whole won't be as good as this episode was, since this is definitely the best so far.

    Ones I would nominate but am not for Reasons:
    "John Scalzi Is Not A Very Popular Author And I Myself Am Quite Popular," the Audiobook, Read by Me, John Scalzi - John Scalzi has requested no award nominations in 2015 and has said that he is going to decline any nominations, because he's sitting on a gargantuan 10 year book contract with multiple movie and TV things and needs no award bump.

    ..... I don't actually have a lot of Short Form favourites, and that seems a little odd. What am I missing, Short Form Fans? Part of my problem is that I see binge-watch series like Daredevil and Jessica Jones as single works and have trouble picking out individual episodes.

    And have I missed any really great Long Form options, either?
    Tuesday, January 5th, 2016
    11:17 am
    Collecting Hugo thoughts, part 1.
    So I need to make my Hugo nominations. I was tagging *most* stuff as I found it, but not all of it, and now I need to filter through it and decide what gets a nom and what doesn't.

    Let's start with the easy category, Best Short Story, since I don't read a lot of short stories. The ones I read that I really loved are:

    "Cat Pictures, Please" - Naomi Kritzer
    "Steve Rogers, PR Disaster" from Rearranging The Alphabet (and I asked the author for permission to nominate it and got it, here)
    "Palimpsest" - Frances Rowat
    "John Scalzi Is Not A Popular Author And I Myself Am Quite Popular By Theophilus Pratt" - Alexandra Erin - have to check the number of words on this, I might have it in the wrong category.
    "Monkey King, Fairie Queen" - Zen Cho

    That's less than 5, the first three are truly excellent and the last two decent. I don't really need to filter this category down unless people have a bunch of suggestions I love in the comments.

    Novella and Novelette: I seriously don't read a lot of short fiction. The Alexandra Erin from above might actually go in one of these instead.

    Novels are a little harder:
    Calibre tells me that in 2015 I read these 2015 novels:
    Terry and Rhianna Pratchett, "The Shepherd's Crown"
    Chuck Wendig, "Star Wars: Aftermath"
    Zen Cho, "Sorcerer To The Crown"
    Neal Stephenson, "Seveneves"
    Jenny Lawson, "Furiously Happy"
    Seth Dickinson, "The Traitor Baru Cormorant"
    Jim Butcher, "The Aeronaut's Windlass"
    Charles Stross, "The Annihilation Score"
    Ann Leckie, "Ancillary Mercy"

    I also read a crapton of other books that aren't from 2015 and don't count. And, in something I consider HILARIOUS, *the entire Discworld*, all 41 novels, may technically be eligible for Best Novel. This fact, and the arguments it will spawn, warm my cockles greatly, especially because the Discworld oeuvre contains several of the best SFF books ever written.

    So, that list is too big, gotta cut it down some.
    Ancillary Mercy and The Traitor Baru Cormorant are two of the best books I've read in years, both are definitely going on the list.

    The Aeronaut's Windlass was unreadable crap - I bailed on it after several Oh Look At All The Steampunk chapters, so it's definitely off.

    I didn't throw Sorcerer To The Crown across the room like I did Strange & Norrell, but it was a very near thing; apparently I have a VERY LOW tolerance for Second Order Idiot Plots based on inbred prats harrumphing about how things just are Not Proper. The fact that it was well-written enough that I finished it doesn't change that I didn't like it, so it's off.

    Seveneves was an entertaining, breezy read, as long as you don't mind that all the non-physics science wasn't just wrong it was actively stupid, few of the characters act remotely like humans, the author has no idea how long a "year" is, and neither Kerbal Space Program The Novel nor the attached novella have an ending. Still, despite that, I found myself liking it and would probably consider it better than No Award. I don't think I'll nominate it, though.

    Star Wars: Aftermath: Uh, yeah, no, sorry. While it was certainly the best movie-tie-in I've read in decades, it still wasn't great on a scale of my first two picks.

    If Terry Pratchett wasn't dead and The Shepherd's Crown wasn't his last book I'd never nominate it. It felt flat, and not up to the standard of the really good novels. But it *is* his last book, and that gives it sentimental weight. Still, I think I'm going to stick "all 41 Discworld Novels" on my nomination because really, Pratchett doesn't need my single vote and getting The Discworld on as a whole on would make me laugh for days.

    Furiously Happy is allegedly nonfiction. If you've read it, you'll see why I use "allegedly". It's frankly awesome but I'm not sure it really counts as a "SFF novel" or even a "novel". Still, just being nonfiction doesn't prevent Hugo awards from being given out - Apollo 11 won Best Dramatic Presentation, after all - but not being SFF-appropriate does. (I might keep this one. Probably not.)

    That leaves The Annihilation Score. Which I really liked, but is book 6 of an ongoing series and isn't the best of them.

    So I'm looking at
    The Traitor Baru Cormorant
    Ancillary Mercy
    The Entire Damn Discworld, Yes All 41 Novels
    Furiously Happy (probably not)

    which leaves me with one or two spots, and waffling about including The Annihilation Score. Which is a pretty nice place to be and leaves room for ones I've missed.

    Audience Participation: What 2015 fiction works have I missed, that I *should* read and maybe include?

    Next time: Dramatic Presentations, I think.
    9:27 am
    Monday, January 4th, 2016
    9:43 pm
    3:35 pm
    Friday, January 1st, 2016
    11:42 pm
    "What We Talk About When We Talk About Lying Crazypants Liars Who Lie"

    Scott Lynch discusses the lies of sad bigot shithead John C Wright.
    Wednesday, December 30th, 2015
    12:09 pm
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    Tuesday, December 29th, 2015
    10:22 am
    Monday, December 28th, 2015
    11:56 pm
    Wednesday, December 23rd, 2015
    1:50 pm
    Tuesday, December 22nd, 2015
    7:03 pm
    2:18 pm
    Rich American Christians are horrifying, horrible goddamn people sometimes.

    UpTV, a TV channel for "uplifting" Christian programming, decided to air a Fuck With Poor People Special for Christmas this year.

    They went to Atlanta, found a bunch of poor kids between 6 and 11, and asked them what the most expensive thing they wanted for Christmas was, and what the most expensive thing their parents wanted for Christmas was. Then each child was handed their ultimate gift and told that they could either keep it, or give it up and their parents would get their gifts instead.

    EVENTUALLY UpTV revealed that both parents and kids would be keeping the gifts, they weren't actually giving them up, but, seriously, "Dance for our table scraps, unwealthy child! Dance!"

    That's amazingly fucking cruel. YouAreDumb puts it wonderfully.

    The Salvation Army, given that they have an actual literal death toll of people they've murdered for being insufficiently compliant, are still the worst "Christian Charity" organisation, but fuck you UpTV, that's not a title you should be competing for.
    Sunday, December 20th, 2015
    3:57 pm
    Nerd Blasphemy, Redux.
    Went to see The Force Awakens - non-3D on a Sunday afternoon meant a nice non-crowded theatre.

    Executive summary: Easily the best Star Wars movie since 1983. No Ewoks, no Gungans, no 50s diners with muppet cooks, no blatant clumsy racist caricatures. Interesting new characters, fun callbacks to old characters, surprisingly deep writing.

    And despite his best efforts JJ Abrams didn't manage to ruin it.

    He really, really, really tried, though, and did some serious damage in the process. I'd rank TFA below Return Of The Jedi, even the special edition with extra Ewoks and additional musical numbers, *entirely* because of blatant Abrams-isms that are clearly the exact same mistakes he makes over and over again in everything he does.

    Spoilers in the comments.
    Friday, December 18th, 2015
    11:04 pm
    10:57 pm
    I must stop Christmas from coming, but it's ATTACHED TO THE BACK OF MY HEAD FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK AAAAARGH FUCK.

    11:30 am
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    10:58 am
    Nerd blasphemy.
    I'm actually not really interested in The Force Awakens..

    I sorta feel bad about that because I used to be a huge Star Wars fan. I played all the video games, I devoured the Expanded Universe books[1], I went to go see the re-releases in the theatre, etc. I even read "Star Wars: Aftermath" this year but that was mostly on the strength of it being a Chuck Wendig book, not a Star Wars book.

    But when it comes down to it, The Force Awakens is a Star Wars movie, and a JJ Abrams movie, and a Disney movie. Disney is hit or miss and their name on a film doesn't inherently mean "good" or "bad" to me, but there hasn't been a good Star Wars movie since 1983 and there's never been a good JJ Abrams movie. I just can't seem to get *excited* about it, certainly not enough to deal with a crowded theatre.

    The reviews so far are excellent so I'll probably go see it sometime soon. Just... I can't shake my expectation of being disappointed because, well, promising-looking Star Wars movies have been disappointing for decades and promising-looking JJ Abrams movies have been disappointing forever, and walking into a movie expecting to be disappointed isn't *fun*, y'know?

    [1]: True story: Star Wars books were where I first started *really noticing* author names in shared-universe fiction, because, well, I'd realised that "Kevin J Anderson" was a name that meant the book was utter shit and not worth reading even though I would normally love to read more about Jedi and starfighters and all the rest.
    Thursday, December 17th, 2015
    4:48 pm
    Wednesday, December 16th, 2015
    10:51 am
    10:08 am
    Tuesday, December 15th, 2015
    6:24 pm
    Dear Lazyweb.
    What's the magic spell to make Mozilla products obey me? Because when I'm looking for a reference to Frank Castle in Thunderbird, and I put literally "The Punisher" (quotes and all) in the search field, I should NOT be finding references to "punishment" and a certainly shouldn't be finding ones that aren't preceded by the word "the". There isn't even a "no, really, I want to you search precisely for WHAT I TOLD YOU TO SEARCH PRECISELY FOR" option.

    Fucking hell, Mozilla, I use your tools because "wave bread at my kitchen and pray it doesn't choose the blender to 'make toast'" is NOT MY THING.

    Between this, "hiring neo-nazis", and "default Yahoo search", Mozilla are making me wonder very hard about how hard it would be to just use gmail-to-check-imap permanently I'M JUST SAYING.

    (More seriously: Does anyone know the trick to making "Thunderbird, find me THIS EXACT PHRASE AND NO OTHER" work?)
    Monday, December 14th, 2015
    2:24 pm
    12:56 pm
    12:45 pm
    Sunday, December 13th, 2015
    7:26 pm
    A thought on DC properties.
    So I 've been watching Supergirl with torrain and it's pretty darn good. It's nowhere close to as good as Jessica Jones or Daredevil (about as good as Agents Of Shield, I'd say), but it's better than Arrow. DC's TV properties have consistently been so much better than their movies that it's hard to believe they're from the same company.[1]

    But there's a thing that really bothers me: Consistently, over and over, the characters on Supergirl reference the events of the movie Man Of Steel and *they all seem to think Superman was a hero*. No: Superman was a murderous psychopath, an amoral and vindictive thief, a menace to everyone around him, the cause of almost all the problems in the movie, and only *slightly* better than Zod because Zod actively wanted all humans dead and Superman just didn't give a shit about 6.99999999 out of every 7 billion humans. And it drags me out of the narrative every single time Supergirl-verse pretends that didn't happen.

    And then I realised. The characters on Supergirl are talking about Superman as a hero because he *was* a hero. They're saying he saved the world because he *did* save the world. They aren't talking about his massive uncaring collateral damage because *that didn't happen*.

    In Supergirl, the events referred to from Man Of Steel happened, mostly, but not the way the movie said they did. Pa Kent didn't tell Clark to let children die (an outright lie), Clark didn't stand idly by and watch Pa Kent commit suicide (he tried to save him and failed), Superman wasn't vindictive and thieving and didn't cause millions in property damage out of pique, and he certainly didn't kill at least as many innocent people from Metropolis as Zod did. The movie Man Of Steel is not an accurate recounting of events, it's the Fox News version.

    Man Of Steel is an in-universe film, full of lies, produced and paid for by Lex Luthor.[2]

    Now everything makes so much more sense.

    [1]: The trick: It's not the same company. It's just that DC has given permission for The CW to make perfectly acceptable The CW shows that tie in with and reference their movies, while reserving the full force of terribleness that WB and DC are notorious for for their feature films.

    [2]: This also explains, by the way, why in Dawn Of Justice the role of Lex Luthor (billionaire with an irrational hatred of Superman) is being played by Bruce Wayne.
    Friday, December 11th, 2015
    4:29 pm
    Wednesday, December 9th, 2015
    4:15 pm
    A developer with principles.
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    “Uninstall Notepad++ if you voted for the Front National.

    I don’t care about losing users and I want you to know:

    Notepad++ is written by an immigrant, and I shit all over you[1].”

    (The Front National is the French extreme-right openly-white-supremacist-party. They’re the French equivalent of the UK British National Party , the Canadian Christian Heritage Party, or the US Republican Party.)

    [1]: A less literal translation would be "go fuck yourselves"
    Monday, December 7th, 2015
    1:32 pm
    .....aaaaaaargh livejournal has "helpfully" swapped me to "the new version of the friends page" and it's COMPLETE GARBAGE. Bad colours, low contrast, one skinny little column in the middle instead of using the width of the window it's in, post details like accounts, date, time, permalink, etc *above* the post content instead of *beside* the post content As Is Right And Proper (and also As I Have Set It To Do Dammit).

    And there's a notice at the top "you're viewing the new version of the Friends page. If you want to use it by default, click here" but there's NO WAY TO STOP USING IT. I can set this as my permanent (garbage, hard to read, poorly laid out) page, but I *can't swap back to the layout I set*.

    I hate computers.
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