Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Great Cat Sulk

Acorn here,
Elfstone was hauled off by My Human yesterday and came back in an absolutely foul mood.
He slunk into the bedroom grumbling and looking exhausted.
The Great Cat Sulk lasted about a day and a night.
I could have told him the humans would finally figure out he hadn't had his shots in four years. His game was finally up. They cut through the feline fog he'd been emitting in his hitherto successful effort to have them not notice.

I do hope he feels better soon, though. Life around here just isn't the same till I get another chance to whop his butt into shape.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Taking Care of My Human

It is a sleepy foggy day and I am making sure My Human, who is home for once, is properly nursed so she can get better. This involves the usual cat snuggles -- earlier today she had a warmed up nice smelling bag on her eyes, and all seventeen pounds of me on her lap, when she went back to bed for a while. So I could keep the rest of her nice and warm.

Of course a few bribes may be in order. She knows I'm a Very Special Cat, and even told me so. So I let her tell me so with some chicken, and a couple of bites of bacon, and will be making sure she remembers another little treat in a bit...

With all fondness, and a blue-eyed stare,
Elfstone Chestnut Pussycat

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Grateful Humans

There is something especially lovable about grateful humans. Three humans,
two pussycats and four Cornish Game Hens: what a wonderful combination it turned out to be, especially when you added in the sage and bacon.

And My Human went farther and made some kind of yummy bread, which even Elfstone decided to investigate. The Other One said something about cranberries and raisins. Whatever it was, it was good.

We actually saw quite a bit of Our Humans over the last few days. This was a nice change. They're adopting our habits, I think: sleep in the morning, get up and bounce around later on. We of course did our bit and parked on the furniture and radiated warm fuzzy purrs so they could stay asleep longer.

~Acorn Oakmist

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Autumn Splendors



If I can figure out how to add photos on here...you'll love these fall colors.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Souls and Pussycats

After a lot of scurrying about and joyful anticipation, our humans threw a party in the back yard a couple of days ago. We checked it out and made sure they were entertained properly. It was lovely. It had been raining, so one human got busy a few days earlier and put up a big blue rustling flapping something which draped off the edge of the roof and over a rope. Mom and The Other Mom set up a couple tables. One of them was next to an empty chair, but the table had all kinds of interesting stuff on it, including food, which of course I checked out most carefully. It was just high enough off the ground that we could check it out and even walk on it. The humans were very amused. They were sitting in chairs under the blue, inside a circle of autumn leaves on the ground, and flowers from people's gardens. And they were talking. One of them was the woman who takes care of us when our people are away, so of course Acorn made sure she hadn't forgotten her responsibilities and went straight to the fridge when she arrived.

I padded all around the circle and turned my big blue eyes onto the unsuspecting humans (actually, they know cats fairly well, so it wasn't so unsuspecting after all), checked out the food, and nearly got on the empty chair. But then I realized the humans had other guests, so I said a courteous hello instead and kept going.

If you were a human, you wouldn't have been able to see the other guests, but they were very nice. Grandmotherly types. Some that worked very hard and appeared to be working hard now. I recognized a very friendly man who used to come over to the house and fuss over us. We hadn't seen him since this spring. Mom talked about him.

All in all, it was a wonderful party. It only rained a little, and the air was fresh and clear. A nice morning out. And every time the humans spoke, the wind blew, fresh, wet and clean, bringing company in. They noticed. Not all humans do.

And then we all trooped inside after it was over and ate some more, and the humans decided to play music and sing. That was when I made my exit. Acorn, however, curled up between two humans and became the center of attention. He's usually more reserved; this time, he was shamelessly trolling for pats and scritches, and got them.

That was fun. Can we do that again sometime?
Love and purrs from Elfstone Chestnut Pussycat

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Slinky soft velour

Hello World from Elfstone Chestnut Pussycat,
Acorn and I watched as Mom discovered the black velour lounge outfit newly purchased and laid out on the bed. She loves it.

We made sure to add color contrasting fur on the shoulder before she put it on.
After all, that's what cats are for.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Bard in Fur

I am a flash of flame,
A flicker of autumn leaves.
I am an ancient voice,
Guardian encircling the land,
A watcher at the gate,
A seeker at the door.
I am the challenger
With elder wizard’s tongue,
Ruler of human kind
And any kind within reach.
I am a little dragon
Mantled in orange fur,
A bringer of faraway rain
Rumbling in the night.
Listen to my song,
For I am Acorn Oakmist.

(c) 2006 Arvanna

Monday, October 6, 2008

Why don't they Just Ask a Cat?

I heard my humans watching the news and the growing stock market crisis tonight, fretting and worrying and discussing as humans tend to do.

I finally looked over at My Human, sitting next to me on the couch, and The Other One, in the recliner, and said
"Nobody asked me!"

Of course, they heard this as
"YOWL!" But they knew what I meant; for the world's most complex problems, all anyone ever needs to do is just ask a cat!

...of course now that I got everyone's attention, I decided I didn't feel like dispensing the advice after all. At least, not right now. I'll think about it...

Sincerely,
Acorn Oakmist

Monday, September 22, 2008

Acorns and the Witch

Hello from Acorn Oakmist,
one of my humans just found a Broom Hilda comic chock full of Acorn Humor!
Seems she was lonely and someone told the squirrels she had acorns in her socks.
This resulted in her being surrounded by enamoured squirrels.
I love it.
Just be aware that I fit in no-one's socks, thank you very much.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Angelica

Your result for The Angel Test...

Raphael

So you need Healing (50%), Knowledge (60%), Inspiration (60%), and Strength (56%)?


Archangel Raphael is the Angel of intellect, creativity, healing, joy, courage and hope. This Angel will bring guidance and sustenance to anyone feeling lost, whether physically, emotionally or spiritually. He is called "The Illuminator," because he provides a "Torch of Angelic Light" to help humans light their way through life so they can more effectively avoid hurdles, overcome challenges with less effort, and see the opportunities and spiritual rewards that lay ahead. He encourages self-motivation in becoming who we’re meant to be, and reminds us to seek truth in all we say and do. As we light our way into the future, a sense of courage will naturally come to us.


Students as well as teachers are in good hands if Raphael is watching over them. He inspires a heightened creative visualization and allows us to better focus on a particular activity to achieve a specific goal. Raphael is the Patron Angel of doctors, scientists, writers, and anyone working in the field of endeavour in the liberal arts or sciences. Being the leader of the Angels of Healing, Raphael offers cure of all kinds for humans, animals, and nature. He is a protector of children, and that goes for your inner child, too. He teaches us to laugh easily, and to enjoy life. Raphael is said to be the friendliest and funniest of all the Angels.



A Bit of Trivia:


Raphael is one of the four greatest Archangels, the other three being Michael, Gabriel, and Uriel. His symbols are the healing hands and the Caduceus, a winged staff intertwined with two snakes, which can be seen on the signs of pharmacies and hospitals. He is the Angel of Mercury, and thus the ruler of Wednesday, the day of learning and travelling. He corresponds with the Wind signs, Aquarius, Gemini, and Libra. Raphael can be seen on the Tarot card Key 6 – the Lovers, which symbolizes our three layers of consciousness, with the man being the conscious, the woman being the sub-conscious, and the angel being the super-conscious.


Jophiel - Michael - Israfel - href="http://www.okcupid.com/tests/describescore?testid=2537800488750284301&category=4">Raziel - href="http://www.okcupid.com/tests/describescore?testid=2537800488750284301&category=3">Ariel - Uriel - href="http://www.okcupid.com/tests/describescore?testid=2537800488750284301&category=9">Gabriel - href="http://www.okcupid.com/tests/describescore?testid=2537800488750284301&category=7">Raphael - Zadkiel - Jeremiel

Take The Angel Test at HelloQuizzy

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Acorn Moon

The moon was orange last night. Smoke from a faraway forest fire made the afternoon sun look lower in intensity. The full moon rose, a harvest moon, looking just like our Very Favorite Orange Cat.

So we promptly named it the Acorn Moon. It fits the season, too -- acorns are being dropped everywhere by helpful trees.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

A Message from Acorn

Nothing profound. I just want to put officially on the record that I had NOTHING
to do with Elfstone's abscess. Nothing at all.
Regards,
Acorn Oakmist

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Being a Cat Mom

Not so much different from being Mom to humans, says The Other One.

To which I flash my orange fur and say,
**WHAT??***

I gave her plenty of notice that I'd lost my early morning breakfast. She saw it before she walked on it. So what's she fussing about? No, she didn't SAY anything,
it was that patient-mom-martyred look.

So I livened things up by chasing off a big bad intruder a few minutes later. Just when she was trying to catch a bit more sleep, too, and had shut her eyes. That upstart from next door pranced into the house through OUR cat flap as pretty as you please. I showed him! He left some of his fur on the kitchen floor. I told The Other One he was hiding in the garage. She didn't believe me but saw me stare at the door so she opened it very carefully. Next thing we knew, a THUNK followed by a WHOOSH and there he went. Out the other cat flap into the Garden.

I decided to reclaim my space under the truck and take a nap. My Human hadn't stirred from the bedroom, after all. I love to make the Other One pay me all this attention.

Regards,
Acorn Oakmist.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Foot in mouth disease

.I can come up with some good ones.

Here's me eating my words:

funny pictures
moar funny pictures

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Garage Door Surfing

Greetings from Elfstone Chestnut Pussycat,
Mom caught me eyeing the open garage door from the vantage point of her truck, while she was weeding the garden and pruning the rhodie bush just next to the garage. Darn spoilsport human jumped up and down and screamed and flapped ineffectively then remembered that all she had to do was shut the door, which she proceeded to do.

I think she remembered the Amazing Feat I performed several years ago when I'd jumped up there -- it makes a perfect shelf for a cat to park on when open, because it sits flat with some room between the door and the ceiling -- and when she pushed the button to shut it as she was pulling out of the driveway I poured myself through a little crack in the corner of the garage as the door dropped. I surfed down the outside of the rapidly lowering door and jumped the remaining five feet or so lightly to the driveway.

I'm not sure what "HAIR DYE" means but she said that a lot then. She was utterly horrified.

Now she's just saying stuff like "Six pounds heavier!" (And her point is...??)

Hmpf. She just needs to trust me...

Saturday, August 23, 2008

There's the rub

The humans keep wandering off, and lately they come back with evidence of just how badly they have strayed.

Someone else's cat hair. I think we detected the scents of several of them, in fact.

So today, I, Acorn Oakmist the Red, emerged from under the other truck when they returned,
and applied a fresh layer of cat fur onto The Other One's clothes. Rub, rub, hit head on leg, purr, demand scritches on forehead, rub some more. I'll be getting My Human soon too.

Nobody else was orange, I might add.

Elfstone can be the one to sniff The Other One's hand and look indignant and check it out very carefully, --me, I'll just erase the strange scents and start over.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Keeping the Humans Guessing

Hello world from Acorn and Elfstone.

We have made a concerted effort to keep our humans on their toes this week. Not only have we thrown them a bit of the usual confusion when one of them found the dead baby squirrel on the kitchen floor at three in the morning -- and neither of us fessed up -- but we've been cavorting outside in the heat being quite arbitrarily random about Dealing With the Neighbor Cat -- hanging out on the lawn in neat rows, each several feet from the other, or getting in Major Save-Face-Cat- Language Arguments, especially when it can have the most effect, as in six in the morning or just after dark when they can't see what's Really Going On.

This is, of course, to distract them from the annoyances of other humans and to sidetrack them from their usual habit of pacing unaccountably, staring restlessly into distances, or sitting for hours in front of the gadget with the incessant light and noise.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Gadgets?

OK so I'm a dinosaur. I can learn about adding "gadgets" to this blog and still don't know what I'm doing on here in the first place half the time?

That sounds like fun!

Friday, August 1, 2008

The Tao

Greetings from Elfstone Chestnut Pussycat,
I am parked next to Mom on the couch reminding her after she came limping in from a Hard Week
that pussycat wisdom is right there on her shelf.

The Tao of Meow should clam -- oops I mean calm -- her down for a while. It is by a Wise Cat whose human-given name is Waldo Japussy.

(Of course, his REAL name is known only to him, as are the real names of all our kind.)

Hmpf. Instead of relaxing this has now led to a frantic search of the bookcases by Mom, who can't find it. That really wasn't my intention. Since of course, eventually it will be found in that unaccountably elusive location, Right There All Along.

So a quote may have to wait.

Monday, July 28, 2008

The Red checks in

Hello world from Acorn Oakmist "The Red",
terror of the neighborhood.
Yes, I am eleven years old, but what of that? I'm orange. I'm here. Deal with it.

I have two humans well in hand. Their names are "My Human" and "The Other One." I will sit
on My Human's lap and let her fuss over me. I let both of them pet me, feed me, and as part of the Human Full Employment Act, I allow both of them to let me in the front door (which I whap convincingly with head or paw) just after I have decided to exit the cat door at the back.

After all, there is no such thing as a Cat Door --(harrumph) they're ALL cat doors. Just that some of them have human attendants and others do not!

I have heard the term "bionic kitty" a few times when they talk about me. This apparently started when I had some kind of event -- my lips are sealed, because I was involved in some super secret mission possibly involving a roof and some squirrels or another cat -- and had some problems resulting in what my humans called a "Slipped Disc". They kidnapped me, stuck me in a nasty place with a lot of other animals where they say they fixed it, and then sent me home in a cage,... a CAGE! where I was supposed to stay for several weeks! The very idea! I raised enough ruckus that they saw the error of their ways and ultimately, let me out into the back yard. The silly humans thought they could keep me in the back yard, safe, simply because of their mistaken assumption that I couldn't jump over a six foot fence. Well, now. It was sort of true, for a while, but there was this woodpile, see...(kitty wheels turning) So I wound up exploring the next door neighbor's yard, then strolling across the street to inspect another neighbor's driveway, and the field, and the bushes in front of my humans' house, and so on... You would have thought from how my humans acted that I was going to fall apart in little furry pieces. NOt so. Proved them wrong, whipped the neighborhood back into shape and here I am.
That was three years ago and now, I just move...deliberately. That's the word I was looking for.

And the roof is no big deal, either.

My little brother Elfstone, who really does get too big for his britches some days, likes to waste time hunting. I just let my humans cater to me instead. It's much more fun. But I have to keep them in line, you know. Not only am I orange -- I was born around St. Pat's Day and when I purr I have an irresistible brogue. The Other One, purrticularly, likes the sweet talk, especially at four or five in the morning when I wake her up to feed me. You should hear her talk back. Oh my. But then, one does not reveal a Lady's Secret, now does one?

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Allow me to introduce myself

My name is Elfstone Chestnut Pussycat. This is my human's blog. I'm one of the managing editors.

I am a nine year old Siamese mix and my human gives great weight to what I tell her. Actually, since my irresistible blue eyes ARE as big as my stomach, I have a bit of great weight on my own. About eighteen and a half pounds worth.

Can't figure out why she calls me spoiled -- she doesn't feed me nearly enough. Oh, sure, she puts down _cat food_ (!) and gives me lots of tidbits -- but for some reason she keeps wanting to stop at about 25 of them...I'm a poor starving pussycat ;) As a friend of hers aptly translated for me, "What'll I have.. pork, chicken? Oh, I'll just stroll across the road and have some rabbit." (And I'm NOT telling her where I find them!)

Of course, I'm still a kitten, even if she does call me the Giant Kitten: I am my human's kitten the way human children are still their momma's babies.

Now if I could only convince the redhead (my big brother Acorn) to stop trying to swat me on the butt when he's in the mood to whip the neighborhood into shape. I'm bigger than he is now. And cuter. But does this stop him? Nooo.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Cat Comedy

cat
more cat pictures

Silence isn't golden

In a fit of insecurity I'm bouncing off the walls worrying about people. I think this is a reaction to my friend's heart attack death last Sunday. And because I know that some people I deeply care for are very vulnerable to their own inner demons.

(Of course, in a truly surreal Murphy's Law moment, one person I seriously never want to hear from again wrote me a letter this week. Maybe THE only person I never want to hear from again. It wasn't a bad letter; but we have too much history.)

I have been consoling myself this week by web wandering, and have found some cool blogs. One such, seems to have been inactive for a while and I hope it picks back up. (Word Imp, if you stumble across this post, this means you! )

And I appreciate smart and witty blogs by the feline contingent. I may be able to persuade my feline owners to post here some day.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Journeying

I am wandering through this new cyberworld of blogging and stopping a few times in an odd and wonderful assortment of cabbages and kings. More will be added as time permits -- time meaning when I can sit down in a non-multitask mode and find more interesting stuff. This is rare.

A loss

We lost a dear SCA friend yesterday. He was a genius, herald, musician, avid reader, storyteller.
HL Ciaran Cluana Ferta (as he was known in the SCA universe) died at July Coronation in Eastern Washington, doing what he loved best -- in service to this world within a world, camping with hundreds of friends.

We are grieving, even though we have stood down from this group for a while; we were still fast friends.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Southwest journeying

We are in Trinidad, Colorado for a while. We'll be bracketing the stay with a short time in New Mexico. Mom visiting us, we visiting her. It is great to escape the rain and chill from Hometown. Though I think it has been warming up nicely while we are out, it has felt more like November than June up to when we left.

The last time we went to the Southwest, a large forest fire in Arizona blew smoke into our area and cut visibility to less than 20 miles. This time, it's back to its normal 60-plus miles; you can see mountains at distance as friendly and divine presences at the rim of a great bowl in which Santa Fe and Albuquerque and points between are all contained.

New Mexico's midsummer twilights are true magic. There is Presence overlaid into so much sky you get glimpses of what infinity must be like, and the air feels like a living being. It watches you. You feel very small, and reverent. (Dawn this morning was like that, too, and we did some blessing rituals in its Presence.) There is a cleanness to the lines of the land which you do not get in wetter (and more forested) places.

Trinidad sits in a foresty area (pines, scrub pines, juniper and scrub oak) at about 5700 feet above sea level. It has been hot (80s to 90s) and thunderstorm season is well underway. Trinidad (and other nearby towns) are odd mixes of Victorian time-ravished/haunted places, Spanish-influenced stucco/adobe buildings and gradual outcroppings of up to date amenities. It was actually in New Mexico territory before there was a Colorado. Much here is bilingual -- major Hispanic population. Unlike my chosen hometown in the Northwest I don't see a Russian presence here. (Which is subject for another post -- I'm brushing off my Spanish and learning Russian to help me in my dealings with people on the job).

It is surrounded by mesas and up on the eastern hills you can look over some of them and see a faint line of the Rocky Mountains with some leftover summer snow. A blue and autocratic, distant presence. I've been attempting photos. (When this little not-so-geek figures out how to post them on here, I will.)

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Ships happen!

We had a fascinating three hours on board the Lady Washington, along with about forty other curious kids and grownups,including some in pirate costume, and the two tall ships (the Lady Washington and the Hawaiian Chieftain) sailed out into the middle of the Columbia River to do a mock gunpowder battle with each other.  Backdrop of bright sunshine but ominous clouds hovering in the far east and northwest, cumulus cloud buildups and a forecast of thunderstorms.

Two tall ships maneuvering around the normal Columbia River traffic of barges, tugboats, Coast Guard motorboats, small speedboats and jet skis, and big liners! We sailed to the west of the Interstate 5 bridge between Washington and Oregon, and past a railroad trestle/swing bridge which opens for river traffic.

The captain explaining about how to maneuver in light variable-to-calm winds and a strong river current (which is what we had for most of the trip), the flurry of commands and explanation of tactics and the crew taking up and repeating the commands. People in the rigging. People at the cannons (small but effectively loud). Captain explaining that they can tell how the "battle" is faring by listening to the echoes off the surface of the other vessel and the shore.

A crew which is so closeknit that nobody has to shout. They have this stuff down cold. The major crew (permanent) has provided technical advice to the Pirates of The Caribbean movies, and would have done so with Master and Commander had they not overlapped in shooting schedules. They have an eye on the next Narnia movie -- if one is made -- which is all about a similar ship.

Other crew move in and out of the ship's life depending on schedules: high school graduates, college students, and recent retirees, sailing enthusiasts and newbies who can spare months at a time.

As a concession (and requirement for a ship who carries passengers) there is an engine, and a modern galley below for the crew. And a radio. But it's well hidden.

The Lady Washington has travelled through the Panama Canal a number of times. The Hawaiian Chieftain came through there to get here. Each year they sail up and down the coast as far north as Canada and as far south as San Diego.

This summer there is a gathering of tall ships in British Columbia and they will be there along with many others. Mid July, I think, these ships will be docking somewhere in the Tacoma, Washington area on their way up to BC. Captain explains that the two ships here today are ranked as Class B, with at least two Class A (much bigger) expected in Canada -- and that no Class A and not many Class Bs would be maneuvering in the Columbia River the way they did, around all the other river traffic!

When we embarked, it was hot and sunny and the clouds were distant, one cloud buildup over the Cascade Mountains, but beautiful weather. We had a three hour trip scheduled. Mostly calm with some light variable wind. Lots of sun.

At about eight, after a healthy volley of powder from various cannon along the deck, the sky darkened to the east, where a big arch of dark cloud was creeping toward us. The wind picked up: captain pointed out that this was not necessarily a good sign, because it meant the storm was building in height and pulling the air toward it in big gulping updrafts. And build up it did. We headed back to our mooring place with the engine, racing the storm but at the same time heading directly toward it. And it in turn headed directly toward us. (There is a sympathetic-magic process between cannon and thunder that was certainly working here, as well. They were talking to each other and you could feel it.)

I have rarely seen so beautifully dramatic sky. Sunset, a storm cloud east, other clouds tinged by red all around the west, and then a rainbow running from one shore to the other just in front of the storm, glowing redly as it touched down behind modern buildings on the left and snaked through a patch of blue sky on the other side of the bridge span on the right. And big drops of rain beginning to fall. Then the flashes which were from cameras gave way to flashes of lightning, sheet lightning and cloud to cloud bolts, lots of thunder. Both ships made it to dock just as the storm hit.

We headed home, as it was now past nine and dark. The sky opened. So much rain, we had to pull off the highway and take a side road along the river, which is a ritzy residential neighborhood with lots of trees. Even there, there was a lot of street flooding. Enough lightning to light the way ahead, flash after flash. Closer to home some cars got stuck in water. The gutter outside our house was clogged up and there was water all over the street -- we cleared the debris and it drained, and our house was fine because it sits slightly higher than the street, but the trees and bushes were bowed down with the weight of all the water that the storm produced so fast. I think we got an inch of rain in about 45 minutes and the trees looked as if they had received a foot of snow.

Things are calmer today.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Already there

...If anyone asks me if I'm going crazy that's my response.

Now back to draining the swamp.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

"Most sent "

How to ensure that your article gets read by EVERYONE.
Make the headline:
"Great Tits Cope Well With Warming"
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7390109.stm

...It's about birds! What were YOU thinking??

Rolling on the floor laughing....ROFL

Saturday, May 3, 2008

enter if you dare...

I have some other poetry under the pen name Arvanna at this link.
I've been writing since childhood; these are the more recent ones.
Beware. I'm self taught and unpredictable :)

http://www.sacred-oak-grove.org/
Go to Writings (link on left of page) and Songs of the Bards.

Our Webminister hasn't kept up so in a while when that office changes hands we'll all add more.

(I wouldn't know how to work on a web page if it bit me on the butt. However, in my copious nonexistent spare time this will change.)

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

OK, plunge time...

nestclutter:
raven eye
sees past horizon
finding shiny words

raven claw
plays with years of
shredded bits of
ink and paper
hoping for
the right bit
but can only find old words

so she looks at sky
remembering the future

beak opens
wing wind blows thanks your way
breeze before sound

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Seasonally Challenged

What joyous mixups... I've been corresponding on email with people in several different time zones (and continents!) and have at times become so intent on the correspondence that I lose track of what season and time zone I am in.

What hasn't helped is April weather acting like November, or sometimes February, or sometimes May, here in hometown. I keep thinking we're heading into fall, since after every nice day we get rain, hail and dropping snow levels; we cooked red cabbage tonight as part of dinner, and I use it to color Easter eggs -- they come out a brilliant robin's egg blue that way, oddly enough; so I suddenly got confused enough to forget we already had Easter over three weeks ago.


A getaway weekend last weekend found us a four and a half hour drive north, and we lost four weeks of spring in the process there, too: here, the leaves are coming out despite the wild winter, the blossoms are mostly gone, and the grass is growing like mad. There, daffodils were still blooming, and the fruit trees just hitting their peak, but no sign of leaves on the trees yet.

And one of the towns we visited (Port Townsend) is an old Victorian town which looks as though all efforts to bring it to this century are failing -- the romantic ghosts of old buildings and former citizens are vivid and strong, and those of us in the present fade in comparison. Port Angeles, by comparison, is much more bustling and energetic, and has blended all kinds of time periods together. It too is an odd mix: murals on walls of historic district buildings depict Native American settlements, a 1930s aluminum ferryboat which looks like a giant version of either a flying saucer or a motor home; then, there is a brick courthouse whose bell tower clock sounds the hours so that people living or staying nearby fall back a century or so and don't need their own clocks, the courthouse sits next to a big Safeway store, which is next to a few older houses and some new hotels and a senior apartment building. All a joyful jumble of old and new.

What's a person one card short of a full deck to do? ! Except relax and enjoy the ride....

Thursday, April 3, 2008

The Enchanter Cat

We took the Giant Kitten to the vet a while back because of a bite on his tail that needed tending to.

Giant, as in: The vet unloaded him from his carrier, and more of him just kept coming out and her eyes got bigger and bigger ... he is now 18 pounds 4 with the same ol' blue eyes as big as his appetite.

Anyway, they searched through their records and noticed he hadn't been in since the summer of 2004. I thought for sure they were wrong, till I searched through my Very Disorganized Loose Filing and didn't find anything more recent, either.

We always seem to be on the verge of taking him in for annual checkup and shots and something happens to the Orange Menace instead, so we take him, forget about Giant Kitten, and there you go. Escape from the vet yet again.

It even happened again this week, spring break. OrangeMenace came up with an abscess that suddenly made itself visible by draining, we snatched him up and took him to the vet and realized on the way back that yes, once again, the plan had been for GiantKitten to get his checkup and shots and yes, once again, he escaped notice.

We are now wondering if this is big plot and he's casting spells on all of us. Apparently, it has worked for four years now.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Back to the Silly

My junk mail filter bounces junk mail but logs the email addresses into a log I can look at if I want to.

Apart from the usual gibberish there have been a lot of oddly combined names and names that would look great in a junk romance novel (or even a real one, if you're a frustrated writer scrounging for usable names!) and names
which start out serious sounding but have wildly silly middle names.

Surprise! Junk mails are good for something!
Just imagine characters named like:

Sergio Connelly
Nannette Burt Goddard
Sherrie Baffin Street
Virgie Anything Fournier
Darla Wagner
Johnny Holler Henderson
Sharon Honey Kendall
Effie Anode Sylvester
Tequila Roberts
Newton Noble
Bobby Barber Diaz
Chadwick Front Hurley
Imogene Sort MacNair
Carolyn Workmanlike Werner
Clark Slogan Fitzgerald
Malcom Penelope Mack
Carlton Morgen Leonard
Rocky Hartley
Fred Rhodes James
Jason Weeks Rodriguez
Pearlie Heard Maher
Colleen Daytime Dooley
Pauline Permeate Hollis
Gabriel Britt

Not to mention the ever-popular Roqfarmerscoopexchangefis !
(Just think about those desperate mothers-to-be out there who can't figure out what name to name their children. Now they too can be inspired by the internet....)

James Shrug Jones
Lacy Wade Medrano
Evangelina Exercisable Valentin
Delores Houston Courtney
Cleo Manzanita Koch
Veronica Patrician Valenzuela
Zachary Nightshirt Kelly
Therese Monkish Redmond
Caroline Screechy Quick
Angelique Nuance Mclain
Anton Combinate Numbers

And apparently there's a spammer out there who is trying to use up every possible permutation of first names combined with "Danby" or "Davie" or "Dalzell". I've been getting multiple posts of those for so long I'm surprised they haven't used all of them up yet.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

A shot in the foot by local school district

*Sigh*
Our local paper ran an article that one of our local school districts cancelled its contract with Scholastic Books -- "in part" because a parent complained about its publication/distribution of The Golden Compass. At least that's how the paper spun it.

They also pointed out that this deprives our poorest elementary school, 75 percent of whose children need the school to feed them lunch, of a world of books (and I would expect this includes the "more wholesome" fare which could offset any concerns about one book's content. The school has declined to allow parents to run the book order program themselves because it draws a line between those families who have parents with spare time and money, and those who do not, so they're ruining it for everyone regardless of status, and I guess they somehow think this is better.

Nobody has heard of a school district anywhere doing this before.

My immediate temptation of course is to airdrop one copy of the Golden Compass per student over all the district schools. Not that I'm literally capable of same, of course, but I'm really ticked.

I was very poor in elementary school but still managed to order some very nice books through Scholastic. This was forty years ago. Books about Helen Keller's life, horses, Irish heroes, Bambi the book, life in Japan, you name it, I got my hands on it one way or another. What a loss.

A second reading of the article gave me some cryptic hints that the decision "raised other issues" which were supposedly the real reason for the pull -- but said NOTHING about what those issues were.

I have a call in to the school district's legal counsel so perhaps she can explain.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

So much for...

being lighthearted and silly.
We'll go back to that later, however.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Warning: smartass at work

Hello, world:
You are hereby put on notice that this blog is meant to be lighthearted and silly.
So this is a warning not to assume the Seriousness of anything I put here. It's
to reassure the world that #1 I need to keep my day job and #2 I'm ABSOLUTELY NUTS ...

Ok, so with that in mind,

This is what happens when I'm typing at nearly 5 pm on a Friday and my cold is taking over what's left of my brain. I started inputting someone's url and typed .ent instead of .net.

Enter the smartass.

.ent is an extension for people who like their websites to load VERY, VERY, SLOWLY.... at about the rate of a growing tree!

See, I warned ya...

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Cattitude

Under the "cats rule" "cat"-egory:

When I settled in my current hometown -- 21+ years ago -- my feline companions consisted of a macho but reserved gray tuxedo cat, and fluffier gender-challenged longhaired tabby. (His prior human named him a girl name, and he acted the part convincingly till I took him to the vet for his first visit. The name stuck. He was a beautiful cat. He had perfect eyeliner around his eyes, too.)

My idea of a big achievement back then was to survive a day at work and be able to relax. However, I kept getting the mental image of Them Two dashing madly around either writing a novel or putting a franchise together, paperwork firmly "in paw" and a briefcase dumped with its contents organized perfectly on the floor.

Then I "met" a church cat named Toby, whose human decided he had a penchant for writing and introduced his work to the congregation once a month in the church newsletter.

This gave them Ideas.

--- To be continued.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Hello!

Hello...this is a test!
Greetings from the Clearing in the Wood. I'm migrating here from other places.
Bear with me while I check this out. I will be doing a lot of dinking around on this site
while I figure it out and add (and subtract) to the craziness.