Thursday, 30 December 2021

The Year of the Invaded Sideboard

 What a year it's been!
 Poor Tim...
 Poor Ms Nations...
 Poor ABBA...  
 Someone had a bit of a cough.
 . . .
 . . .
 . . .
 Oh, er... Poor BEAST.  
 And aside from everything else, our poor Sideboard took quite a pummelling.  Having seen off an expanse of pink [thank you, Dinah] and a giant old lady [also by Dinah] in previous years, 2021 has seen no less than five invasions!  
 But before we get to those, a quick heads-up about this year's Coven Awards: Unlike previous years, there aren't any awards per se, rather a selection of bits & bobs from your blogs throughout the year that we enjoyed, appreciated, or just remembered to make a note of at the time.
 The remembered bit is key.  Our memory is pretty terrible, so these aren't neccessarily the best bits, just noted or remembered bits.
 Oh, and there's much less self-indulgence from us, too.
 Although there is some, of course:  Star Trek.  Men we like.  Sofas that we think are ghastly (not your new one, Ms Scarlet - we haven't seen it yet...)  It's our blog, after all.
 Quite.  Anyway, let's get on with it before the dratted SubCs realise we've started without them.
 Ooh, yes!  On with the show, and the Sideboard Invasions:

  The first, in January, was by professional sideboard invader, Dinahmow, with an enormous luna astronaut complete with narrowboat (naturally).

 Let's start with a little Music, shall we?  Introduced to us by Jon (of course), this has become one of my most played pieces this year: Let's Danzón - Gustavo Dudamel at the Proms Arturo Márquez Danzón Nº 2 


Dance : Jon attempted to prise Colin's Anusol from the grip of-  Oh.  Sorry.  I misheard.  It's Prisencolinensinainciusol as we discovered here: Motivi per essere allegri

Monday, 27 December 2021

"Aunty Anne just gobbed at us."

 It's almost the end of the year, so here are most of the things I've read, watched and listened to since my last update back in September.  Unfortunately, I don't have much time to spend on this as I need all the time I can get to work on the end-of-year roundup (which I've barely begun - Eeeek!).


⌑  Light from Uncommon Stars (2021), by Ryka Aoki - I read this to learn more about trans people and because the premise sounded bonkers (cursed violins and alien-replicated donuts, anyone?), and also because it was likened, in style and feeling, to Becky Chambers' (one of my favourite authors) novels.  The descriptions and world-building were good - everything came alive easily in my head - and it felt clean and comfortable (despite some horrible transphobia and ignorance-fueled violence suffered by Katrina, one of the main characters).  Secondary characters seemed to get short shrift, though (Lan Tran's family in particular) - I didn't feel I got to know them, they just did things.  Overall, I rather liked it, but probably won't revisit it.

⌑  White Trash Warlock (2020), by David R. Slater - This one I read because of this part of the description in the Tor review: "This is no Chosen One narrative—this is a regular guy, who just happens to have a bit of magic, trying to do his best in life."  Although I quite liked it, I probably won't go back to this one (or any sequels) either.

⌑  Little, Big (1981), by John Crowley - I'm only about a fifth of the way through (if that), and I'm finding it hard-going (it's not an easy read like the previous two novels), but it is quite fascinating.


⌑   The Indispensible Calvin and Hobbes, by Bill Watterson - Just a delight, as always.

[strip via]

Thursday, 23 December 2021

IDV's [redacted] Winterval Panto! (Part 2)

No.  I'm not doing anymore narrating.
You'll have to get someone else to do it.
But, Very Mistress...
No!  There was more to do than you led me to believe,
and having to do it all in italics as well is too much!
Well, who else can I get on such short notice?
Who hasn't had a part yet?  Ms Nations?  Rimpy?  Melanie?
I bet Upton would be very good? 
Americans?!  Has that Jameson's gone to your head already?
The Great British public won't have bloody Americans
narrating a panto!  No. They can be the Audience.
You snob!  Well, what about Mago, then?  He's just had
his eyes done so reading the script will be a good test.
And Dobbin's not really in this part, so he's free.
Mago...?  Hmmm... Yes.  Mago!
High above the land in a castle floating amongst the clouds, lived a giant.
In diesem Moment in the castle's great hall, the giant was enjoying a breakfast of Ferrero Rocher freshly laid by his golden goose foil-covered droid while being half-heartedly seranaded by his golden robot harp.  The castle's Very Mistress, Fetchsleep, was ensconced in her fainting web, trying - und failing - to get a bit of shut-eye...
 "Ah, isn't Jack beautiful?  I just want to eat him all up!  When do you think he'll get here?"
 "Sigh... I really couldn't say - I'm not the one sat in front of the crystal ball!  And when I said no more narrating, I didn't mean for you to cast me in the story instead.  I need my beauty sleep to be ready for legions of punters once I don the Infomaniac Mistletoe Belt Buckle.  So, has he discovered the Cobaeanstalk?"
 "No, not yet.  I've been watching him for hours and haven't even caught a glimpse of his maypole yet!"
 "I'm not surprised - It is December, after all.  What's he doing now, then?  Like I care..."
 "It looks like he's lolling about in bed.  Or riding some sort of sea monster?  It's difficult to tell as the picture in the 'ball isn't very clear."
 "Well, wake me when something interesting happens."
 "Righto.  Golden Harp?  This music is a bit lacklustre - can you play something else, please?  And nothing Christmassy."
 "Oh, 'play something else' he says!  If only it was that easy.  Where are my muses, hmm?  Where are all the big, dumb, muscular lunks to stimulate my creativity?  Oh, that's right - you ate them!  If you want me to play with myself and pluck my own strings, then I'll need the stimulus to do so.  'Play something else' indeed.  Easy for you to say having swallowed all my men.  I don't know why I bother?!  Golden Tinfoil Goose droid agrees with me, don't you?"
 "Beep boop."

Monday, 20 December 2021

IDV's Wonderful* Winterval Panto! (Part 1**)

* lit. full of wonder at how this travesty of cliches, assumptions, and lazy writing came into being.
** Fortunately for you, there are only two parts to this.
Continued from A Pink Prelude...
... And for that 'Grotbags' comment I can do the narrating
reclined on my fainting chaise in the wings?
For the last time: Yes!
Good.  I can't be arsed with navigating shoddily constructed scenery while flouncing about in ridiculous costumes - I've seen what's in store for Jon in wardrobe.
I just want a bit of a lie down with a drink.  Or twelve.
There's a barrel of Jameson's and a straw all set out back.
Now, if you would kindly take your place?
Script!  Where's my script?
Christ!  It's on the chaise!
Please, Very Mistress, the cast - your Infomaniac Drinking Team - and audience are getting restless.
All right.  Keep your knickers on, IDV!
Just remember who you're talking to.
Yes, Very Mistress.
Right.  The narrator is all set.  Places everyone!
Curtain up in five, four, three...

In a lightly thronged rural village marketplace-
Can half a dozen people be classified as a 'throng'?
Some of them don't even appear to be real people.  Are they cardboard cut-outs?
Of course they're made of cardboard, Very Mistress.
You know the budgets for these things are practically non-existent.
Well, we did have the budget for Savvy to appear in person here,
but she's late as usual, so that's 25 quid down the drain...
We haven't got time for that now!
Very Mistress, if you could continue narrating, please?
Oh.  Yes.  Where was I?  Ah, yes:
In a lightly thronged marketplace we find a young woman- 
Man?  Is he?  [squints]  Oh, yes, of course.
I forgot that in panto the principle boy is usually played by a female actor.
If we can get on, please?
Just before I do, the script says "a young man" - how young is that then?  20s?  30s?
I only ask because - and I'm not saying that I think she's too...
experienced for the role - isn't that Ms Scarlet?
[sigh] Yes.  It is.  Fortunately, as I'm sure you remember, Ms Scarlet is at least ten years younger here over the Cusp than her birth certificate would have you believe, thanks to that time-travel nincompoopery that occurred over her birthday earlier this year.
Now, if you please?
Of course.  Of course.  Where were we?
Oh, yes, 'thronged marketplace', 'young man':
Anyway, his name is Jack and he's here with his overbearing - and rather garishly dressed, if you ask me - mother, a Dame of some repute, to sell various mud-based artisinal products and some dubious beauty treatments made from butter...

Saturday, 18 December 2021

A Pink Prelude...

Continued from... The I.T. Wizard of Oz and
Vworp  Vworp  Vworp

 As the Great Glass Elevator containing Norma-D2 and C3-Peenee faded from view, Mistress Maddie and IDV surfaced from the frothing gincuzzi.
 "Did you hear something?"
 "No.  And neither did you, so come on" Maddie said dragging IDV down again, the two of them disappearing beneath the spume-laden surface.

R E I N I T I A L I S I N G . . .

 "Oh, no" I muttered resurfacing, spitting a bow-tie from between my teeth - where did that come from?  "Not again.  Not now!" 
R E I N I T I A L I S A T I O N   C O M P L E T E.
S T O R Y   C H A N G E   I N   T H R E E . . .

 "What?  What's going on?" Maddie spluttered. 
 "The story's reinitialising!"
T W O . . .
 "So?!  So, I haven't quite got around to writing the next bit, yet!  If it doesn't have a new story to latch onto, the reinitialisation will flail around picking up any old bits of narrative that've been left laying around!"
O N E . . .
 "Well, I don't see that it'll be any different from any of your other efforts then, Tootes?"
M A R K.
A thrilled IDV
(not in shot, Maddie & Asriel)
 Like Venus rising from the waves - albeit it with more stubble - Asriel emerged from the foaming gincuzzi, a look of confusion on his face.  "Where...?  Where am I?"  The confusion turned to mild panic.  "Where are my clothes?!  And my bow-tie?!?!"
 "Oh!" I exclaimed.  "Maybe this won't turn out so badly after all?"
 Maddie clearly agreed as she assisted in pulling Asriel under, the faint grin of realisation that appeared on his lips was followed into the foam by his trademark raised eyebrow...

Monday, 13 December 2021

Soon to be 399...

 Sorry I haven't been around much over the past couple of weeks or so.  Amongst other things, I had some bad news last month that's affected me more than I thought it would.  It was something that I've known was coming for a while now, but I just thought I'd have another couple of years or so before it became real.  Unfortunately, Car is seriously ill, and is not expected to make it beyond the end of 2022.

A frosty Car from back in January
 Car went in for its MOT in the middle of November, and I knew my purse wouldn't get through unscathed.  I'd had a bad feeling about Car for most of this year, and even considered getting a new car back in September, but my optimism - buoyed on by my superb procrastinatory skills and a hefty dose of denial - won out.  Which meant that come MOT time, I submitted Car for the roadworthiness test, stubbornly forseeing a rose-tinted, birds & butterflies (yes, even at that time of year - I saw a peacock butterfly at the beginning of this month, no less), happy ending - possibly involving the doe-eyed young mechanic who had seen to Car previously.

Tuesday, 30 November 2021

Time For Another Tunes On Tuesday

 While I recover from the exhausting hosting duties of the Garden Photos Event - which I thought went fabulously, so thank you once again to everyone who took part - I thought I'd share some of the "snappy tunes" that I was listening to while putting the event together (thank you for the suggestion, Mr Tonking*).

 Hopefully you'll find something you like amongst this rather eclectic collection.  So, in no particular order... 

"Moonlight Rendezvous" - BEAST IN BLACK (discovered at the Star Trek forum that I frequent)


"Cry Little Sister" | Theme from The Lost Boys - Gerard McMann (love the film, and this song!)

Sunday, 28 November 2021

GPE #13 : The Finale



Garden Photos Event

2021 Finale

It's hot work being a gardener's boy!

 Yes, we have reached the end of this year's Infomaniac Garden Photos Event, and what a year it's been.  Your gardens, vases, and dog-bums have been eye-opening, enviable, and a little bit sick-making!  Thank you so much to everyone who took part - whether you opened your garden (outdoors or in), provided snacks, or just visited & commented - I hope you enjoyed it and that you've been inspired to undertake another year of gardening, whatever your skill level.  

 And an especially big thank you to The Very Mistress, without whom we wouldn't have a Garden Photos Event!  A potted history - complete with links to Events past - can be found at last year's 10th Annual Lady Garden Presentation Anniversary premier, with links to all the 2020 gardens included in that year's finale, up my, I mean, in my, I mean at the rear.  Oh, you know what I mean!

 Anyway, let's get on with with wrapping this thing up, shall we?  We have the links to this year's gardens followed by some interesting stats to get through.

Friday, 26 November 2021

GPE #12 : Mind-Your-Own-Business, IDV!

Disappointments and Delights

H E X E N H Ä U S L I   D E V I C E


Delightful as always were our Pineapple lilies
 I'm not overly thrilled with how our garden has grown this year.  The prolonged cold from winter, through spring and into summer, plus the lack of sunshine and more rain than we're used to in England's driest county, meant that some of the more tender plants haven't done so well, or just didn't even make any effort to grow at all!
 That was directed at the Starfish Iris (Ferraria crispa) and Batflower (Tacca integrifolia) tubers I planted - nothing!  The Starfish Iris may grow next year as the tubers are still firm, but the Batflower rhizomes were attacked from the top by mould, and from the bottom by fungus gnat (sciarid fly) larvae and eventually carked it.  Bah!
 I did get some Tacca chantieri seeds from Madam A & Jon at the beginning of the year, but they haven't come up either (although they can take several months, apparently...).  My Gloriosa seeds did sprout however, managed a handful of leaves each, then were either demolished by slugs or succumbed to the cold - although I did get a couple of small tubers out of them for next year, though.  And the Iris Burgemeister was doing quite well until a week of exceptionally cold, wet weather caused all the flower buds to fall off (plus I planted it in completely the wrong place - not enough sun).

Top left: the hideous batflower stump which taunted me with that small patch of green for months on end.  Bah!  Top right: Gloriosa superba seedlings giving false hope.
Bottom  left: The strappy leaves of Iris Burgemeister can just about be made out to the left of the birdtable.  And bottom right: Starfish Iris tubers doing nothing.  Nothing!

And this is how they should have looked.  From left to right: Close-up of Tacca flower buds (looking for all the world like a couple of hanging bats) chez Dinahmow, (I probably should have taken note of her 2008 post);  Gloriosa superbum superba also courtesy of Dinah;  Irises found at Maddie's (I was going to snatch one of Ms Nations' examples, but the colours of Maddie's were a better match);  and Ferraria crispa (no one has grown these as far as I'm aware, so this photo came from the internet and forms the basis of the packaging featured in my Happy post), the Starfish Iris.


Wednesday, 24 November 2021

GPE #11 : Savvy Cancels Christmas

The Garden Photos Event presents

(by the skin of her teeth)



 Surprise!  Yes, Savvy made it!  Well past the deadline (I received these only a week ago), but what's new? 

"A gift from the MITM"
[Note the lovely clear water in the vase.
'Petra, if you're reading, this is how it should be done! - IDV]

"I have a brown thumb"
[Fortunately, Dracaena fragrans "Warneckei" (if that's what this is)
can tolerate a variety of neglect...]

Monday, 22 November 2021

GPE #10 : A Fan of Peenee's

A Case of 

M I S T A K E N   I D E N T I T Y

at the Garden Photos Event

 Now, this is a bit of an odd one.  I received this email along with the following three photos at the end of October:

"Good day Mr. Peenee,

I am a new fan of your blog as I enjoy uncut dick* and they are hard to find here in the U.S. 

Sending you some humble pictures of my home and two rose bushes that came from my Grandfather’s garden. They have graced my yard (family home) for over 60 years.

Thank you for all the wonderful posts!"

-- A fan of Peenee's from Portland, Maine

 I have withheld the senders name to respect at least some of their privacy as they didn't respond to my query about whether they were really meant for the GPE, or just for Peenee.  But, equally, as there was no response, I feel perfectly justified in sharing these garden photos:

Saturday, 20 November 2021

GPE #9 : Melanie's Nature-led Naughtiness

In  Proximity  to  Purple

a Garden Photos Event installation by



 Here we are in Melanie's garden for the ninth stop on the Garden Photos Event tour.  Let's see what she has for us:

Fuchsia and ferns

Thursday, 18 November 2021

GPE #8 : Jon & Madam Arcati's Garden Show'n'Tell

Jon and Madam Arcati
welcome you to

D E L O R E S   D E L A R G O   T O W E R S


A Garden Photos Event feature

 Yes, it's the turn of Jon & Madam A with their ever popular efforts in the Extensive Gardens of Delores Delargo Towers.  And it starts with a star...


"Star of the Year": Geranium maderense - after a three-year wait, this magnificent 3ft-by-3ft gem flowered from early May to the end of June!

Tuesday, 16 November 2021

GPE #7 : Gardening for Gratis, by Mitzi

M I T Z I ' S

T A L E S  F R O M  T H E  L A N Ā I

a Garden Photos Event feature

 I was going to attempt a witty introduction, but it'll be clear when you read through that I have no hope of matching Mitzi's wits, so I'll just let her get on with it.  Take it away, Mitzi!

Variegated ivy cuttings, taken from the local graveyard!
See the summer house in the background?  I caught the maid in fragrante delicto late one night in there with a grindr meet!  Least said, soonest mended.

Sunday, 14 November 2021

GPE #6 : Pam Demic's Veiny, Purple Love Cabbage

Maddie, the Mistress Borghese

stars as

P A M   D E M I C

in the

Garden Photos Event

 I'm looking forward to seeing everybody's garden or succulents again.  Of course the Mistress is ready and dressed for the tour this year.

 Since I am torn between the Casa du Borghese which has no garden, and the ancestral manor, I was able to potter around in my Mother's garden and bring some of the splendor back from what my father had done in his gardening hobby days.  This year the new back garden or shade garden turned out lovely from plants my father had originally had in the garden... mostly hostas and Astilbe, with some mountain mint thrown in for good measure.  The shade garden had in it this spring some lovely peony and alliums. 

Friday, 12 November 2021

GPE #5 : Ms Scarlet and her Pulsating Pink Bush!

The Great Blogging Gardening Show


M S   S C A R L E T

and her

Pulsating Pink Bush!

 Ms Scarlet renamed The Infomaniac Garden Photos Event to "The Great Blogging Gardening Show" (possibly due to a bout of overexcitedness.  Or forgetfulness...).  But, whatever it's called, it wouldn't be complete without a showing of Ms Scarlet's Big Pink Bush™ so, for your delectation, here it is in all its pulsating perfection:

 Now, let's hear what Ms Scarlet has to say about her gardening efforts, shall we?

 Dear Mr Devine,

 As you are aware I am not much of a gardener, I don't like getting my hands dirty, nor do I like unearthing live electricity cables [commonly found beneath the gardens of Devon], despite this I have done my best to provide enough pictures of my back yard to have a post all to myself.

 Firstly, some pretty flowers, freshly bought from the garden centre - to be honest it might have been kinder to rent them as I think they are dead now.  I believe they fell victim to the enormous slugs.

Wednesday, 10 November 2021

GPE #4 : Clue - The Dinahmow Edition


at the

Garden Photos Event

with the

Sensitive Weed! 

I am going to try sending some garden pics.  Well, you managed it, Dinahmow.   On the day, if my memory marbles have not rolled away, I'll try to put more on my blog!  And you managed that, too!  But huge thanks, in advance, for hosting the garden party.  Ooh!  Did I say "party"?  I wonder if there will be crocque em bouche and Black Forest?  She's thinking of this.

1. Red Anthurium

Monday, 8 November 2021

GPE #3 : Top-Dressing with Hound


at the

 Gymkhana of Gardening

 Hound is not a gardener - he lives in Birmingham, for Christsakes! - but has seen fit to take part in this "gymkhana of gardening" (his own words) in his own inimitable way.  Let's see what he has to show us:

"Against my better judgement, a picture of me gardening"

 Now, Hound only sent me two images displaying his gardening 'skills' - the one above, and another that beggars description, quite frankly.  But, before we get to that one, I scoured his 2021 blog posts in an effort to find some greenery to pad this out a bit.  The results were... lacking, let's just say.  I found two pictures only very tangentially related to gardening - both from April:

Friday, 5 November 2021

GPE #2 : Rancho FirstNations

The Gardens of

R A N C H O  F I R S T N A T I O N S

'The Crap Fence'
 Now, Ms Nations got herself a new camera phone earlier in the year, and was so excited at the prospect that she had this to say: "Hold your horses, get ye ahold of The Mistress and Inexplicable DeVice and let them know the news:
FIRSTNATIONS HAS TAKEN PICTURES OF HER SPRING GARDEN!!!" and, consequently, was the first of you to provide snaps for the Infomaniac Garden Photos Event 2021.

 In fact, she sent me reams upon reams of garden photos - well, 48 or so - back in May!  (Now that's dedication to the cause - take note for next year, the rest of you).  But, in the excitement of the moment, the only thing she had to say about her garden was: "Here it is! Today everything began blooming! Squeee!!!"

 However, with a little research, I was able to find some of these photos (along with many others) on her blog, Steve.  Because 'Steve' is almost as a nice a name as 'Paul' was., and have lifted some of Ms Nation's comments from there to use here (linked to for your convenience).

 So as not to create a post ten miles long which would wear your scrolling fingers out to get through, I took the liberty of grouping some of the similarly themed photos together in what I hope are pleasing combinations.  Oh, and I'm sure you all know by now, just click the photos to embigulate them.  Or, right click and open in a new tab/window.  FYI, the photos on Ms Nations' blog are even bigger still, so if you see something that you want a real close up view of, just go there for a proper snoop.

Wednesday, 3 November 2021

GPE #1 - Terrifying Triffidery Results & The League of Extraordinary Gardeners

 Yes, it's that time at last!

Welcome to the


 Garden Photos Event 2021!

I see many of you managed to get through the Terrifying Triffidery exhibit relatively unscathed.
No matter, there's always next year...

 Right, then.  We'd better start the show.  First up, a little background for any newcomers or the easily befuddled:  The Garden Photos Event first appeared on our screens ten years ago, brought into existence by The Very Mistress (then known as MJ), the Infomaniac herself!  It was an occasion for Infomaniac Bitches to show off their green fingers and thumbs by displaying their gardens/windowboxes/houseplants/salad drawer for all and sundry to gaze at in wonder/mine for ideas/critique with scathing derision - no, not that last one, forget that.  For you see, the GPE was a safe space to mingle and enjoy the greenery, and NOT a competition (as The Very Mistress had to stress more than once).

 It was so popular that it became an annual event and, in 2020, The Very Mistress relinquished the reins to me (a great honour indeed) which is why the GPE is now being hosted here at Inexplicable Device.  A little more of its history can be found here, along with links to all the featured gardens up until 2020.  Links to 2020's gardens can be found here (or just click my Garden Photos Event label/tag-thingy).

 So, onto the gardens.  Let me just throw open the French doors so we can all go outsi-

 Ah.  It appears that my League of Extraordinary Gardeners haven't quite finished all their mowing and hoeing.  Apologies.  Um...  Oh, what to do now?  Ah!  I know: let's take a look at those Terrifying Triffidery specimens and find out who sent in what.

Sunday, 31 October 2021

Terrifying Triffidery 2021: A Garden Photos Event Attraction

- "It is amazing, really, how many plants we think of as benign are actually merely biding their time before they kill us all and conquer the planet!" Jx -

I couldn't have said it better myself, Jon.

 Ah, welcome to the 2021 edition of Terrifying Triffidery! 

 Before we get going, you'll be a little taster for-
 No!  The line is "Here's a little taster of what's coming up" and point to Venus and her many mouths on the right there.
 But she's hungry!
 You're not to feed the visiting Blogorati to the Triffids!  What do you think we stocked up on all those commoners, chavs and other people for?
 Oh.  Well, yes, okay then.  I did wonder why the gift shop's pick-n-mix dispensers were full of oiks.  
 I knew I should have done this myself...
 Oh, you're such a worrywart.  I'm sure the Blogorati weren't even paying attention.  Look!  They've already tired of your nagging and wandered off to see if they can guess which of them sent in what.
 Hmmmph!  I hope you remembered to label the specimens?
 Of course I did!  I hope...

Thursday, 28 October 2021

Art Trek: Creepy Cosplay

 Disaster has struck!

 Okay, so that may be a bit overdramatic... 

 I'd just finished sewing a couple of bits of gold ribbon around the cuffs of a cheapo red long-sleeved T-shirt, went to put it on so I could pin on the narrower gold ribbon for the shoulder yoke and...

... couldn't get my hands through the sleeve cuffs anymore!!!

 "What is that silly witch going on about?", I hear you ask.  Why, it's (nearing*) the end of a month so that means it's time for some Star Trek fan art.  My Star Trek fan art!  As my piece, "These are a few of my favourite things!" got the most votes in the previous challenge, I got to set the theme for this one - and here it is:

The theme for this challenge is Creepy Cosplay!

Friday, 22 October 2021

Wet Shags with Old Groynes

 Oh, there's so much to do and yet so little time!
 Where has the year gone?  And why do I have the feeling that something important is coming up?
Well, why don't you look at the calendar, you dolt?!
 But what a splendid idea:

 Ah, just in time!  Allowing for time zones and other time travel-related nonsense, while still the 22nd here, it is the 23rd in Queensland so: Happy birthday, Dinahmow!
 And in a couple of days time, it will be Mistress Maddie's turn on the birthday merry-go-round!


Sunday, 17 October 2021

Cetacean Ops!!!

 It's happened! It's finally happened!!  After over 30 years since its first mention in televised Star Trek (TNG's "Yesterday's Enterprise" in 1990), cetacean ops (operations) has made it on screen in Lower Decks' final episode of season two, "First First Contact"!

 Cetacean ops is an area aboard Federation starships (and spacestations as well as planet-based facilities, I shouldn't wonder) for crew who prefer a certain moistness, i.e. being submerged.  In the Star Trek universe, whales and dolphins are sapient (as I'm sure they are in our universe, but getting the majority of humans to recognise that is a topic for another place & time) and seem to enjoy the same privileges as other sapient beings, including joining Starfleet and serving on a starship.

 In Lower Decks (LDS), as with the Star Trek The Next Generation Technical Manual, and the USS Enterprise NCC-1701-D Blueprints, the cetaceans (beluga whales in LDS, and dolphins & Takaya's whales (a type of Orca] in the TNG tech manual and blueprints) are navigation specialists. 

 Here are some screenshots I took of USS Cerritos' cetacean ops from "First First Contact" (owner/creator ViacomCBS) - minor spoilers ahead for the episode:

The Lower Deckers - Rutherford, Mariner, Tendi, and Boimler - enter Cetacean Ops.
The logo on the floor seems to be inspired by the Cetacean Institute logo (from ST IV: The Voyage Home) which was itself just the logo of the Monterey Bay Aquarium where the Cetacean Institute scenes were filmed.
Note the balls, foam swimming noodle, and buckets of fish on the left.  Those whacking great rocks on the edge seem to be a nod towards a more natural work space.

Tuesday, 12 October 2021

"grumbumblegrumpf ..."

... Mago muttered at yet another of IDV's nags about the
impending deadline of this year's Garden Photos Event.


Yes, it's time for another reminder to submit your snaps for the 2021 

Garden Photos Event

So I'm expecting more muttering when he sees this post...


 Just like last year, the Infomaniac Garden Photos Event will be held here at this very blog in November.  So, for those of you who wish to take part - and for those of you who don't but are going to anyway so that you don't get nagged/berated/turned-into-a-frog-or-woodlouse etc. - please email me your garden photo/s by Thursday 28th October!

 You can submit just one photo (of a prized specimen/object of ridicule, or your whole garden), or a multitude of snaps showcasing all manner of green-fingered/thumbed efforts.  And please include a brief - or verbose - blurb with each photo/set-of-photos, ideally something that amongst other things (gardening tales, tips & observations, full on rants about shovelling horse shit, for example) states what the plant is, because I'm not Jon (The Official Plant Spotter of Blogdom) and I don't want to do any more research than I have to!

 If you submit three or more photos (and blurb/s) you'll almost certainly get a GPE post all to yourself.  One or two photos will probably mean that you'll end up sharing the limelight with another member of the Blogorati - Except for Hound who has already sent me his "photo" and, due to the subject matter, will be enjoying a post all of his own. 
 I'm sure you'll thank me when you gaze upon his gardening methods!

 Almost forgot: As well as your GPE photo/s, if you have something suitable, please also send me a photo/photos of terrifying Triffids, poisonous plants, or carnivorous Caryophyllales (look it up) for the Hallowe'en warm-up event: Terrifying Triffidery!  And if you don't have anything suitable, just take some extreme close-up/weirdly lit/oddly angled photos of otherwise ordinary plants for that creepy look.  If you get stuck, why not take a look at last year's Triffids for ideas. 

 And for any of The Very Mistress's old guard Bitches, or any lurkers or only occasional/sporadic visitors here who would like to take part - please do!  If you're not sure what this is all about, please click here for info and a little history. and here for links to last year's gardens.  Oh, and don't worry if you haven't ever commented here before, and don't concern yourselves with not knowing who we are/us not knowing who you are - the more the merrier!
Besides, we'll need a few extra bodies to placate the Triffids...
Shhhhhh!!!  We're supposed to be encouraging people to join in,
not scaring them off!
 Don't listen to them.  No one will be thrown to the Triffids.  Although, if you stumble over an errant plant pot and fall in, well...
 Anyway, photos and blurbs can be sent to my blog's gmail account (just click on my profile link on my Sideboard to get it), or to my personal hotmail account (for those of you who have it) - by Thursday 28th October (Savvy!  This means you!!). 
 I'm really looking forward to seeing how your gardens grow!

Thursday, 7 October 2021

Migration Time

Not quite as dramatic as the stripes seen here.

 As it's my day off work, I got up a bit later than usual and made my way down to the seafront around the time the sun was rising.  Of course, it was far too cloudy to actually see the sun, but I did see something else...

"There's a firey star hidden out there somewhere."