Thursday, April 28, 2011

Another Very Important Issue

"Calling animals 'pets' is insulting, academics claim"
Domestic dogs, cats, hamsters or budgerigars should be rebranded as “companion animals” while owners should be known as “human carers”, they insist.
Even terms such as wildlife are dismissed as insulting to the animals concerned – who should instead be known as “free-living”, the academics including an Oxford professor suggest.
Good grief.
Don't these people have anything more important to think about?

So far, Molly and Daisy haven't released a statement regarding their preferred title.  I'll keep you posted, though.

Tuscaloosa Twister

I just can't get over the photos and video from yesterday's huge tornado in Tuscaloosa...

While I have always had a strong(er-than-average, I think) fear of violent weather and the possibility of being in the path of a tornado (which is probably the most frequent, consistent subject of my nightmares), even I don't really expect tornadoes in this number or of this magnitude, in the South. I used to think my degree of fear during tornado warnings was probably a little less than rational. This isn't Kansas, you know. Now I'm not as sure my level of fear is unwarranted.

People are less likely to have a basement, down here, than in some other parts of the country. If something like that is coming toward you, sheltering in a windowless, interior room (or closet) and covering yourself with blankets or a mattress might not be enough...

Prayers for everyone affected.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Internets Are Creepy

(And often annoying.  But I'm resisting the urge to write about that today.  Well, except for that little thing about Grooveshark, but that doesn't count, because it's not what's really annoying me online right now.)

Yesterday I uploaded that video snippet of Trixie playing with the Nylabones, and I mentioned the brand name in the description (both on YouTube and here in this blog).  Well, this morning I noticed that a third entity (not YouTube, not Blogger-- somewhere I definitely didn't post or mention the video or Nylabone at all) recommended that I "follow" Nylabone.  Coincidence, or somehow linked to yesterday's activities online?  I don't really like these creepy little reminders of how much the Internet probably knows about us all.

(And yet here I am, "feeding" it even more information. Oh well. (g))


Two days after I start using Grooveshark to put a music widget on this blog, they appear to have disabled that feature.  Man, do I have great timing, or what? 

Maybe this is temporary... Otherwise, annoyance.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Trixie Barks at Bones

It's so much fun when the People slide one of the dogs' Nylabones over the hard surface floor and send it flying toward you! (Just take Trixie's word for it.)

...Of course, it's a little anticlimactic, because, in the end, it's still just a gnawed-up plastic bone. Oh well. Such is life.

What You Missed

Let's see... What fascinating things have we been up to, lately?

Donald put up a partial wall of lattice on the east- (and easement-) facing side of our enclosed, covered patio, and we decided to use more railing to finish the adjacent portion of the north-facing side.  (We originally planned to make that portion a partial wall of lattice, too, but after we were further along in the process, we changed our minds.)

I need to do a little touch-up painting, but I think that the patio is pretty much done, now.  We've started paving (with stepping stones) the little path from the patio to the gate for our next outdoor project.

Library Book Sale--
A few weekends ago, a neighboring county's library system had their annual book sale.  It's become a tradition for us to go (for the past few years, at least), and Kimberly usually comes along with us.  All three of us found some books we had to have.  Donald found loads of P.G.Wodehouse paperbacks (among other things), while I found that almost everything I selected fits into the mystery genre.  At fifty cents for paperbacks and a dollar for hardcovers, you can feel like you're splurging without actually spending that much at all.

Big Lagoon & Tarkiln Bayou--
Last week, Donald had to drive further than usual to meet with a client, and because it was just around the corner from a couple of state parks we've enjoyed visiting before, I came along and he took off the rest of the day so we could to take advantage of the proximity.

We hiked hither and thither.  We stopped for a yummy fast food lunch in between parks.  We saw pitcher plants, a squirrel building a nest, sparkling blue water, mysterious black water, sugar-white sand, marsh grass, cattails, ferns, dragonflies, lots of anoles and skinks, a jumping fish, birds of prey, and a moccasin (in the shallow water below the little nature trail bridge).  (ETA:  Donald reminded me that he spotted a large, bright green frog-- not far from the moccasin-- and that reminded me that we also saw a largish turtle out for a swim.  The turtle's already made an appearance over on our Flickr photostream, for all you turtle-lovers out there. ;o))

I was dumb and didn't think I needed to bring sunscreen, so I ended up with a slight sunburn on my forehead and cheeks.  Next time I'll bring the sunscreen.  (Donald was spared because he wore a hat.) 

We took photos, but I haven't felt like editing and uploading many of them, yet.  We'll see whether I ever do.  I don't think many of them turned out that great, and I've already posted photos of those places, after a previous visit, so...

We've been seeing lightning bugs here in the early evenings.  We've had the best luck seeing them before it gets too completely dark... or late.   There's something magical about fireflies-- watching those twinkling lights against the dark trees and seeing a small, brief spark drifting just ahead of you... Less magical is the annoying whine of a mosquito right next to your ear as you try to enjoy the moment.  ("Ring the dinner bell, gals!  Soup's on!")

...And some other stuff I can't really remember at the moment.  Oh, Easter, for one, I guess.  (We had an "immediate family" Easter at my parents' house.)  Also, we got some plastic card covers/protectors for some of our newer games.  (That's very interesting.  You'd never have forgiven me if I'd forgotten to mention that.)  Have we earned board game geek status, yet? ;o)

...And I guess we'll call this finished.  (You can only take so much excitement in one day.)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Trixie Is Famebus!

Again!  ;o)

She likes to hunt (and pounce on) bugs (real or imaginary?) in the taller grass around the yard.  The only real downside of this method of bug-hunting is the mouthful of icky grass. A small price to pay.

Thursday, April 21, 2011


I'm probably just being naive, but the comments on this story surprised me.

Am I heartless for not feeling all that sorry for the mother?  I mean, obviously I don't know all the circumstances.  Possibly she's been a decent mother, over all.  Maybe there was just some awful mistake-- or there was a one-time lapse in judgment that led to the drug being in her home... Though one wonders how her kid knew where the drugs were, what the stuff even was (unless she saw someone using it and calling it by name), and um, why an 8-year-old wouldn't know it was illegal and shouldn't be brought to school and given to the teacher.  (Any chances she wanted her mother to get in trouble?  ...No, probably just not a very savvy kid.)

However, mostly it's this:  Seriously, woman, how hard is it to just not use or possess marijuana?

You know, I sometimes feel that I lack willpower.  I can't seem to make myself keep the house and yard in the sparkling, perfect order I would like.  I've failed to exercise consistently.  I still haven't made myself learn Swedish.  But at least I manage to not use harmful (oh, and also illegal) drugs, even though there are no young, corruptible children to witness it if I did.  Go, me!  ;o)

(What?  Too smug?)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


(Because I read this article this morning.)
For much of the past decade, the Iranian government has tolerated what it considers a particularly depraved and un-Islamic vice: the keeping of pet dogs.
Let me pause right there and say that if-- if-- I had any doubts about certain governments and their systems of belief, the thought that they'd label dog-ownership as depraved would be enough to make up my mind for me.  Such a thing must be based either in ignorance or in evilness.  Being familiar with good dogs and the intelligent, loving help they offer to any who seek it, I am convinced that such animals are one of God's most thoughtful gifts to mankind.   How could owning a dog (responsibly and kindly, without intent to abuse it or other people through it) ever be an example of depravity?  It's simply ridiculous.
During periodic crackdowns, police have confiscated dogs from their owners right off the street; and state media has lectured Iranians on the diseases spread by canines.
But apparently, many Iranians have ignored this nonsense and gone on having pet dogs (good for them!), which the state has more or less allowed or pretended not to notice.  However, that may change with the passage of proposed legislation that would criminalize dog ownership and introduce $100 - $500 fines for owners and confiscation of canine pets.

The article goes on, of course.  Most of it is predictable or familiar (dogs are "unclean", they're a "vulgar Western habit", they're the thin edge of the wedge of Westernization, they're a sign of rebellion against the powers that be, blah blah blah), but it's still interesting.  And sickening.  It's not the most sickening thing about Iran (and similar), but still... it's bad enough.  What is wrong with some people?

Friday, April 15, 2011

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The News of the Day, Twitter-Style

(A format of blog-post you've come to know and love, I'm sure.)


"Feral chickens roam wild in N.O. since Katrina..."
Picture them... bands of wild chickens terrorizing the citizens of New Orleans.  (Actually, it sounds like they're mostly just being annoyingly loud in the early morning hours.) 

"Wisc. man finds live missile in bathroom wall..."

Well, of course. Chocolate milk is the root of all evil, as you know.
I seem to remember drinking chocolate milk with my lunch a lot as a child.  I was still "skinny". Today, I never drink chocolate milk.  I drink unflavored 1% milk (because Donald doesn't like skim milk).  Am I that skinny now?  Hmpf.  No, I am not.  Clearly, chocolate milk keeps you fit and trim. 

"Couric Blames Local CBS Affiliates for Poor Ratings..." 
Ugh.  Just ugh.  I've never understood her so-called appeal.

"Sex workers scared as serial killer stalks Long Island..."
 Well, maybe they should consider a change in career.  I mean, I'm not saying they should expect people to try to murder them, but come on.  They have to know it's not exactly a safe "job", even under the best circumstances.  It's like saying that drug dealers are worried about their safety.  Yes?  And?

"Thermal Cameras On Boston Streets Can Show Activity Inside Homes..."
Weird.  According to the story, the point was the show heat loss in city homes, but I guess there's some fear that the cameras might be a little too powerful.  What's the point of of showing heat loss, anyway?  People should already know that they need to properly insulate their homes.  Is someone trying to guilt-trip people into using less electricity/heating?  (That really irks me, btw.)

"Egypt army sets new limits on free speech..."
Limited free speech?  Oxymoron time!

"Indonesian clinic touts smoking as cancer cure..."
 Well, it's about time someone recognized the healing properties of smoking.

"Girls robbed of $150 at lemonade stand..."
$150?  Where were these girls selling lemonade, and for what price?!  (And why were they keeping $150 at the stand instead of putting it somewhere for safe keeping?)  Oh yeah, and what a downright mean thing to do. (Apparently they were raising money for a young, disabled cousin, so it's even worse than your average stealing-from-youths story.)

NOOOOOOOOOOO!  ...My faith in everything has been shaken.

"Vegas woman dies after backroom cosmetic surgery; Botched buttocks enhancement..."
Again?  (There was a similar story, one of the other days I did a "news on Twitter" post.)  I still don't see why anyone would even want to undergo this procedure.

"UN proposal would give 'Mother Earth' same rights as humans..."

Monday, April 11, 2011

Um... Okay...

Yes, whoever designed this ad, this demonic-looking photo of a child has inspired me to become a social worker in 1YR.  Especially after having seen Case 39

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Days of the Week So Far

(By defining characteristics only.)

Baby Shower Day.
We had an immediate-family get-together to shower the expectant couple (C. and V.) with baby-related gifts.  They were almost able to squeeze it all into their vehicle, but not quite.  Now we're waiting to see if the new addition to the family will be a boy or a girl.  The due date is in early May, so we don't have too long to wait.

Also, Patio-Wall Day.
Donald managed to put up the lattice "wall" on the east- (and easement-) facing side of the patio.  We were putting in the final screws just as it was getting too dark to work.  I think it looks nice, but I need to touch up the paint here and there.  We have just one section of railing to put on the patio-- and then I guess we'll be done.  There are plenty of other projects we want to work on, though.  It's never-ending, I guess...

Nothing New Day.
(Can't recall anything of real interest from Monday.  I'll try to do better next time.)

"Two Snakes in One Day" Day.
I saw the first snake in the morning, on our porch-- probably the same one I saw before-- sticking its head out cautiously from the ceiling.

Little Snake

Then in the afternoon, I was clearing things from the glider on the patio.  I lifted a large plastic bowl (formerly one of the dogs' water bowls) from the top of an empty plastic pot (the kind plants come in from the nursery), and-- ta dah!-- there was Snake #2. It was only another small rat snake, but I hadn't been expecting to make the acquaintance of a snake of any description at that particular moment.  It didn't seem to be in a social mood, either, and immediately sought escape through one of the pot's drainage holes.  I couldn't have that, because the dogs were both right there.  To avoid a nasty scene, I carried the pot (with half the snake in and half the snake out) to the "outside the fence" side-yard and let the snake go.  I'd rather have it than something worse, so take care of yourself, little rat snake.  Eat up all the food in this area so the moccasins and rattlesnakes will be unimpressed and move on to better hunting grounds!

Roundup Day.
I sprayed Roundup in the morning.  I'm hopeful that I didn't get too much of it on anything I didn't want to kill.  So far, nothing's showing signs of sickliness (including weeds), but I guess it takes a couple of days before you start seeing results.  The results I have already seen are soreness from lugging around a 2-gallon garden sprayer (which according to the all-knowing Internet would weigh approximately 16.68 pounds).  What?  You aren't impressed?  Hmph.

So far, Thursday is working out to be Catch-Up-on-Everything-Else Day.  ;o)