Friday, October 24, 2014

This Post Won't Matter in Five Months

Actually, this won't matter in five minutes.  But I'm gonna write about it anyway!  ;o)

Reactions to other people's reactions to "The News":

"Americans are so dumb!  NEWSFLASH: You're not going to die of Ebola! Stop panicking!!"
We know that.  Being interested in developments in the Ebola story is not the same as panicking.  It's only reasonable that people want to know what's happening-- including our country's plan for dealing with it.  Also, the cute comparisons of Ebola and the flu are everywhere.  We've seen them all, now.  You're not impressing anyone, so you can stop. 

"How come people only care about Ebola now that it's in the U.S.?  (Racists...)"
Of course people will pay more attention to a very deadly disease when it is in their own country than when it's contained to an entirely different continent.  That doesn't mean we don't care about the people in other places who are dealing with it-- but come on.  Are you really this dense-- or are you lying to yourself?

"People need to shut up about Renée Zellwegger's face!  Why can't you let women age in peace?!  This is all YOUR FAULT, Western society!!"
Does it "really matter"?  No.  Is R.Z. free to do whatever she wants to her own face?  Obviously.  But she's a famous actress, and as such, she's opened herself up to comment.  That said, few are saying that she's unattractive, now-- or even that she looks much older. ("Ewww!  She's not in her 20s anymore.  That's so gross!")  People are simply shocked that she doesn't look like herself.  Her face has completely changed-- and like it or not, that's kind of odd.  Especially since in the photos I've seen from just a year or so ago, she still looked very young.  It's just... strange for a woman (in this case, one who was known for a certain very distinctive look) to want to change her facial structure so drastically that she's no longer recognizable.  Maybe she had medical reasons for doing so.  Whatever her reasons, it's her right to make whatever changes she wanted-- but I'm not going to feel guilty for noticing and being confused by the transformation.  (I think it's sad that she no longer looks like herself.  She had an interesting face, and now that's gone.)

"Cis-gender this.  Cis-gender that."
(This one seems to have faded somewhat in the past couple of months.  For good, I hope.)
My only comment at the moment: UGH.  Go away-- and never come back.

"Slut shaming!  Plastic surgery shaming!"
Oh. My. Gosh.  Please!  Can this just stop?
I hadn't heard about "plastic surgery shaming" until today, but "slut shaming" has (sadly) been impossible to avoid for quite some time.

Believe it or not, I don't go around telling people that they should be ashamed of themselves for this, that, or the other.  It's not my place, I'm not that confrontational, and I don't want people telling me about the things I should be ashamed of.  (I am already aware of more than a few of them, thank you very much.)  However, I can't help but think that this "slut shaming" crap is a glaring example of the recent trend of thinking that no-one should be judged/shamed/blamed/held accountable for anything, ever.  (Unless they're accused of racism... or are politically or socially conservative...)  How dare you presume?!  You don't know me!  You don't know my life!

Judge not, lest ye be judged?  Yes, I know.  But I think most of us need to feel at least a little afraid of-- or at least worried about-- being "judged" by our fellow man (or God).  It's that bit of incentivizing kick-in-the-rear that keeps you from sliding into worse trouble.

But no.  You can't have people feeling ashamed of bad behavior.  You might hurt someone's feelings-- and you're no better than anyone else, anyway.  We're all just relatively intelligent animals in clothes, right?  Or-- wait... Maybe we're (mortal) gods, now?  I can't keep up... It gets confusing, sometimes.

...So... Is "slob shaming" a thing, yet?  'Cause that could save me a ton of housework...

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Butterfly Eggs

We've seen a steady stream of butterflies-- bright orange Gulf fritillary butterflies-- visiting our passion flower vine.

I found a webpage full of helpful information on the subject of these "passion butterflies".  We went out to watch the butterflies (and verify if what I'd read was true), and sure enough, they do lay eggs on the ends of the tendrils!  They go from tendril to tendril, looking for the perfect spot.  If there's already an egg there, they move on to the next tendril. 

There are tons of eggs on that plant, now...

Gulf Fritillary Egg

The Spanish lavender (pinata lavender) is still going strong. After reading that it doesn't like heat and humidity, I wasn't sure how well it would last, but it's flourishing. I've really enjoyed it, this year, and am hopeful that it will survive overwintering in the garage. I plan to try rooting some cuttings, but I don't usually have luck with cuttings...

Spanish Lavender

The white clematis vines are giving us another flush of blooms. :o)


And the roses are blooming...

Pink Roses

The Knock-Out roses really are knock-outs. Bloom after bloom, month after month. (No photos of those, this time...)

Now that the cool weather is finally here (after cruelly teasing us, then deserting us again), we've been trying to get a few things done outdoors.

I've been pulling weeds.  SO MANY WEEDS.  Piles and piles of them.  How did they grow so quickly?!  Particularly the aptly-named gripeweed (a.k.a. chamberbitter, stonebreaker, mimosa weed, Phyllanthus urinaria).  Ugh, that weed.  It's awful and I hate it.  Supposedly, it has all sorts of herbal/medicinal uses, and I've read that it's expensive to buy.  Ha!  If anyone wants some, please, come help yourself. ;o)

Then over the weekend, we took out a rotted fence post and put down a new one, which involved clearing some overgrown grass and pulling/attaching the fencing material.

Also, we started work on the round "stone bed" over the septic tank.  Took out the stones (as many as possible), put down old asphalt shingles to serve as a barrier, and put the stones back on top.  (Lesson: Stones work their way into soil with alarming speed, without some type of barrier in place.  Or at least these did.)  We still need more stones to finish the job, but it's much better already.

So much more to do!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

"Ebola Scare" in Mobile

So, this evening there was an "Ebola scare" in Mobile, i.e. just across the bay, i.e. way too close for comfort.

It turned out NOT to be Ebola (thank goodness).  Just an abundance of caution and a little confusion due to a language barrier, apparently.  Better safe than sorry, as they say-- though you have to wonder, with all these false alarms across the country (and around the world), at what point people will begin to let their guard down. With something this deadly, I hope that won't be an issue, but human nature being what it is...

Even though it seemed likely from the beginning that this case would be ruled out, it was still a bit of a shock to think that It could be so close to home-- and yet, why not?  Of course it could show up practically anywhere, in theory.  Not at all likely, no, but still well within the realm of possibility.

...Gee, I sure am glad we've decided not to restrict travel from West Africa!  Makes so much sense...

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Swedish Politics

If anyone's interested in the current state of the Swedish political scene, Donald sent me this link today:

"Sweden: the new Donald Duck government"

Just one highlight (of many):
Sweden's newly appointed Minister for the Interior, Ardalan Shekarabi, was an illegal immigrant from Iran.  He stayed hidden in the country until a government was elected that would grant him amnesty.  He was convicted of embezzlement from a political youth organization-- and this year the Swedish government has accused him of cheating on his income taxes. 

What a wonderful, upstanding citizen!

Okra? Marijuana? Same Difference!

CARTERSVILLE, Ga. (AP) – A Georgia man says drug suppression officers mistook his okra plants for marijuana.

Dwayne Perry of Cartersville tells WSB-TV that he was awakened by a helicopter flying low over his house Wednesday and then some heavily-armed deputies and a K-9 unit showed up at his door. They were from the Governor’s Task Force for drug suppression and they were out looking for marijuana plants.

What they had seen, apparently, were Perry’s okra plants and a shrub at the end of his house.
Perry says the officers ended up apologizing to him.

Patrol Capt. Kermit Stokes says the plants did have characteristics similar to marijuana.

Perry says people keep asking him about the officers at his house, and he worries that his reputation has been damaged.

...That's just embarrassing-- for the deputies.

My okra didn't do much this year.  Maybe I'll try again next summer.

What with that and the cleome I plan on growing from seed, I'll be at the top of the Most Wanted list...

Friday, October 3, 2014

Luna, Destroyer of Toys

Luna & Toys

I was looking through some photos this morning and came across this one-- then realized that Luna has since sent all of these three toys to the garbage can.

She ate off the feet and one of the ears of the yellow one.  (Garbage can.)

She dislodged the squeaker from the pink one, but we kept it around.  It could still make a very pathetic, wheezy squeak, poor thing.  But then she tore off one of his feet.  (Garbage can.)

The blue one hung on.  Sure, it had some punctures from her puppy-teeth days.  It didn't squeak with quite the same force as in its happier, pre-Luna days, but it was a tough toy.  It could take the abuse. Until she ripped open one of its "bobbles" and proceeded to eat part of it.  (Excuse me, but there's someonething I'd like to introduce you to-- GARBAGE CAN.)

Oh! and she also tore (and tried to eat) part of a squeaker from a soft, fabric skunk toy (not pictured).  I rescued the squeaker bit just in time, and I think it can be repaired.  At least I'll try...

(I should note that all of this carnage happened when she was out of her crate, playing in the house "under supervision".  Yeah, if you're supervising Luna, you're not allowed to turn your back on her for a few minutes at a time, happily imagining that she's playing safely and sweetly...)

So now she's destroyed pretty much every squeaky toy she had.  There's one more that doesn't squeak unless two strong human hands work together (with great determination) to elicit a squeak-- and even that one's on his last leg.  Now she's reduced to hard, rubber jingly balls and Nylabones and KONG toys... and a couple of other rubbery balls that she scorns, for some reason.  There's a really fun, new squeaky toy hiding out of reach, but for now, it's not for the likes of her

How many more months before she's calm enough to not ruin most dog toys?