Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Name That Tumor Winner

Hey Ya'll,

Got this from the soon-to-be-tumorless friend late last night:

Last min they changed my surgery time to 6am on wendesday so the last couple of days have been really crazy... My choice for the tumor came down to hoffa and my husbands choice the-tumor-which-which-shall-mot-be-named an homage to hp and the sorcerers stone where Lord voldermort was im the back of querills(sp?) head. but i picked hoffa so I sorry to send this so late but if you could let everyone know about tomorrow, I would be really thankful. hopefully I should be back on by sat depending on my strength

So, everybody keep working on all the "go away" thoughts and "heal fast"energy, and Pam, your gift certificate for free coffee & munchies is on the way. You guys rock way seriously for giving her reasons to laugh while she's been going through this!

(bows to everybody)

Friday, July 24, 2009

The Muggsy's New Clothes

One of the many reasons that Liz of Celtic Savage Custom Embroidery rocks is that she does awesome things with colored thread; another reason is that she loves dogs.

I got the t-shirt I'd ordered from her at Pagan Wilderness Weekend 2009, and inside the package - goodies for Muggs!

I was planning on getting him another bandanna, but completely forgot about it (storkdonkey!!). Liz, however, did not forget about the 70 lb. lapdog pittie boy she met at last year's PWW, and sent him this gorgeous bandanna. Muggsy (unlike Winnie and Hoddie, our other two canine kids) adores "clothes", and when Liz made him one last year, he strutted around the campground like a supermodel. This one is also highly acceptable!

"Have Daddy, have clothes; life is good."

Winnie just doesn't get the whole accessories thing . . . .


. . . and I can't even put collars on Hoddie or her without Hodds chewing them off . . .

I'm fairly sure he's merely waiting for the opportunity to snitch it and use it for a blankie . . .

Celtic Savage will be one of the people selling their handiworks at Charlotte's Pagan Pride Day this year, and these are just the tip of her crafty iceberg. Some her own designs, some are with limited run copyright permissions (which means they won't be there forever!), all are quality work. If you're going "OMG, that is so frackkin' ROCK!", but aren't able to make it out to peruse the textiles, tag me and I'll get you in touch with her.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Owning The Blue

Update on Liberty, the previously mentioned bald eagle that was released by the Carolina Raptor Center on July 4th:

Through the GPS tracking system Liberty was outfitted with, her last position was close to the Potomac River - she's flown over 400 miles since she left the Lake Norman area. You can follow her progress on the CRC site.

The two pics featured here are from CRC's Sean Merewood - there are more great shots on his site, Harvest Light Photography, and at the above link for the tracking map.

As I said before, between getting used to what this camera can and can't do, and me tripping over my own feet and other people, the vid footage I got pretty much sucks wombat snot. But since getting the other video didn't work out, I'll go ahead and post it :

Wish you good luck, safe flying, and plenty to eat, birdgirl. I love watching you guys own the blue.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Frankenkitty Update

LJ in her favorite crash site

LJ, the cat who wants to be a patchwork quilt when she grows up, has her staples out now. I'm still limiting her space to (hopefully) let her keep healing more smoothly, as she's determined to impersonate a rubber hi-bounce ball and ricochet off any surface that stays still long enough. But she's at least out of the bathroom.

Backstory Department for anyone new to the LJ Saga:

I found her this past February, when we had our second snow of the season. Was on the way to go switch cars with Miles and move more stuff from the trailer, and saw her sitting in the middle of the road, in about three inches of snow and ice. She was yowling her head off, and her eyes were crusted shut from conjunctivitis. She looked to be around 4 months old, and underweight. She didn't fuss or try to get away when I picked her up, and settled down in the floor board under the heat vent and started purring. While purring can be a defense response to discomfort, I figure either way if she'd found being in the car worse than where she was before, she'd've started complaining again. She was okay with me soaking some of the glop off her eyes with a napkin and bottled water, enough to get them open to see if there were any other problems there.

Turns out she was more like six months old, just small, and tested negative for Leukemia and feline AIDS. So, she came home and stayed in the bathroom till we got the conjunctivitis cleared up. We decided to keep her - after observing her for awhile, we noticed that, in addition to the way I found her mirroring the way I got my older cat (now deceased) Josephine, she has several of Jo's idiosyncrasies, and the other animals all act like they know her already. Miles was calling her Jo automatically, and didn't feel able to call her anything else.

Nimbus and LJ - Lounge Act

We did ask Jo to come back into the household if she wanted to, and the time when this new cat would've been born is a fairly good interval. If it is Jo, we're both seriously tickled to have her back. We decided on Little Jo, or just LJ. We got her spayed, and of course, she stayed in the bathroom while that incision healed up. All that went fine, aside from heavy commentary from her about being tired of the bathroom.

After we got the privacy fence put up and I went around the the bottom with hardware cloth to close any gaps, I let the cats out into the back yard. I only have two that can climb a flat wall (had it installed inside-out), and tipping their claws prevents that. However, Little Miss I'm-smaller-than-everybody-else found a hole I missed. Next thing I know, I come home, and she's on the porch with two inches of fascia lining hanging out of her gut.

So, emergency stitches, and back to the bathroom. She didn't show any apprehension around our dogs, so we have no clue if somebody bit her, or if she got into the neighbor's dog's pen, or if one of the neighborhood strays did it, or if she got mixed up in something sharp out in the shop. I did find another place to put more hardware cloth, and figured on watching her when she heals up until I see where she's getting out.

We get that healed up, and she gets to come back out into civilization. For about three weeks. Then I get up one morning, and she's got a huge abscess-like swelling with a draining puncture, over the healed up previous wound, that was not there when we signed off the night before.

She gets huge staples this time, and by now the vets are talking to me like I might be "one of those" clients. Great way to start off with a new vet in a new town. Back in the bathroom again, getting meds stuffed down her throat again, and uberpissed about it.

Effectively, she's spent most of the time we've had her living in the bathroom. And she's going to go back in every time we leave the house for a bit longer, since we're healing up a double-damage area. I'm wondering if Winnie was the one who messed her up this last time; LJ does like to go out in the yard when the dogs are playing with Muggsy's horse ball (which is bigger than the cat by half again) and run with them, and I have seen Winnie chase her chasing Muggsy. Winnie also has taken to looking dismayed, dropping her ears, and rolling over and giving belly when LJ walks past her. I dunno if she's thinking "O noes, I broke the kitteh" or what, but am keeping an eye on them.

Thanx muchlys to everybody who's been wishing her well this whole time!

Josephine The Former - Gone, but maybe not gone at all.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Name That Tumor!

Hokay Spacemonkeys, a buddy of ours has found out that a presumptuous, ill-mannered tumor, completely uninvited, has taken up residence in her head, in spite of the fact that her brain was already living there. As Kierkegaard said, “Once you label me, you negate me", so we're going to do just that - name that tumor!

Contest rules: leave a comment on this post with your entry. The owner of the invaded brain will pick the winner, and I'll announce it in a later post. There will be a Prize That Doesn't Suck (dunno what it is yet; may be tailored to whoever wins). Will leave it open till July 26th.

Also, feel free to apply any healing/get outta here style energy and thoughts toward our friend's head. Just make sure that if you go for banishing-type stuff, make sure your aim is good. The rest of that brain works real well and she's come to be very fond of it.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Mater Sammich!

Vitally important information to all free-thinking people everywhere!

Cherokee Purples do, in fact, go very well with curry!

Picked the first of the 2009 tomatoes last night (got off to a late start this year with moving and being gone). First up is a Cherokee Purple, an heirloom variety I haven't tried before. They're odd colored little guys, hence the name, but the chick I got the plants from swears by them as a sammich (note proper spelling of food article made with homegrown tomatoes and Duke's Mayonnaise, as opposed to other, lesser bread-enclosed items) tomato. Next in line is a Green Zebra, also an heirloom experiment. Got it at the Cabarrus County Spring Herb Show, supposed to be a very good frying tomato. Pretty plant! The last ones are my time-honored gotta-haves, Romas. No Lemon Boys, Mountain Prides, or Grapes yet.

So, we had the first backyard tomato dinner of the year, curry beef stew with lentils and couscous:

Think there's some leftovers . . . .

Monday, July 6, 2009

"If you go forth on the fourth with a fifth . . .

. . . on the fifth you may not come forth".

On the other hand, bouncing out of bed bright-eyed and bushy-tailed after you've spent a day getting your pyro fix is vastly overrated. Especially if there are blackened, extra crispy things to clean up.

Was going to do a blog on the bald eagle release Carolina Raptor Center held this past Fourth of July, but I haven't gotten vid footage from Mr. Bumgardner yet (sends flying monkeys after him). I can't use the video I shot cuz I tripped over my own feet as she took off (beats head repeatedly on desk) and it's garbage. So, management has decided to put that off for a few more days (I'm real good at that) and go with some segue musings.

Gus diZerega's Independence Day offering serves up brilliant (cues Guinness guys) observations on the perversion of patriotism. He says it better (and with much less gratuitous vulgarity) than I've said it, so I'm going to add to it by pointing out a real patriot.

My buddy is in the US Army. He's tech support with specialization in medical equipment, and he was in Iraq for a total of four years. He does not agree with the "War on Terror", he thinks the Bush Administration was a load of pig swill, and while he's adopted a wait-and-see approach to Obama's presidency, he's lost any trust for his government or his chosen career, and frequently wonders if he's actually contributing anything to anyone besides being a number. His family has been on-off speaking terms with him, some on the premise that his attitude is un-American, others out of a conviction that he has given up moral integrity and is "promoting the culture of violence" by even being in the military at all.

What keeps him going? The idea of what the military would be like if he (and the other service people like him) left and all that remained were the abysmal cretins who couldn't give a shit about the Everyday Joe people they're supposed to be helping, or about tempering force with discernment, or about keeping your word even when your superiors have lied their asses off and stuck you with the resulting mess. The idea that sooner or later, his MO might become popular again, and the Army will stand up straighter because of it.

He's a real patriot. And so are the others like him, the ones who have, through this whole sorry clusterfrack, just kept doing the best they could with what they were given.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Portnoy, Meredith, & Lucy join the tribe

The newest additions to the zoo are an Elephant Trunk snake, or Acrochordus Javanicus, christened Portnoy, Miles' cute little Curly Hair tarantula girl Meredith, and an Amazon Milk Frog named Lucy.

Portnoy's name is a nod to Bloom County, one of the things that got me thru school without strangling anyone. Much.

I had never seen any file snakes before I noticed these little guys at the Columbia, SC Repticon Show. I pumped the vendor for info (half of which turned out to be crap), then went off to pick other exhibitor's brains that I was better acquainted with. He passed the usual test; I walked away from the tank several times, and kept coming back to the same animal. Have wanted to rig up another aquatic habitat for some time anyway, so he rode home with us.

I have him in a 20 long, with large gravel, several fist-sized rocks, a resin cave, water hyacinths, and a load of java moss (thanks to Discovery Place for the moss!) Have found that care sheets on file snakes are kinda scarce; so I'll post anything helpful I find on here. Quality husbandry in the pet trade may be the file snake's hope for a stable future - e
vidently they're borderline endangered in Thailand from being harvested for skin trade. The raspy scale texture that gives them their names and enables them to catch fish to dine on is evidently tres en vogue for handbags right now.

Note to Pathetisad Fashionistas: right now, someone is sizing your selfish, vain ass up to make a pair of boots out of - you just don't know it yet. (sings "I Wanna Be A Statistic", rather badly)

I got my best info from Woody of A Walk In The Woods ; apparently the key to these fellers is security, security, security. Lots of hidey-holes and live plant cover. So far, he's eating like a pig (yay!) and filled out well. He likes to curl up around his water hyacinth at night and let the filter output push him around the tank. It's his personal pool lounger; all he needs is one of those floating drink trays to go with it . . . will try to get vids.