Thursday, July 31, 2008

It would put a real crimp in their ability go unpunished for their crimes

(CNN) -- An American contractor said Thursday the U.S. mission in Iraq will be undermined if the Iraqi government succeeds in revoking blanket legal immunity for American security contractors.
Carter Andress reacted to a Wednesday government report that said the removal of legal immunity for American private security contractors could set off an "exodus" from war-ravaged Iraq and "impose significant limitations" on American reconstruction efforts.
Just in time for our Tax Holiday

There won't be any stores to shop in.

Phht on the Olympics, August 8th,  Animal Planet is bringing us something even  better The Puppy Games , three hours of highly talented amateur pups.
Pet P.T

Eighteen days into Doggers recovery... Is that all? Haven’t we been doing this forever? Didn’t she hurt herself months ago? Hasn’t her crate been in the living room for as long as I can remember? Haven’t I been the worlds greatest cheerleader for years? Hasn’t chanting Youcandoit!Youcandoit!Youcandoit! and Up!Up!Up!Up! and Outside!Outside!Outside! been part of my daily routine always?

It hasn’t even been three weeks.

On day eighteen, I decided to try out some hydrotherapy. I was talking to one of the nurses at work and I told her how Dogger pre-accident hated being outside and would stay out only as long as it took to do what she needed to do and then it was time to go back inside; and now, post-accident she loves nothing more than to go outside and sit in the sun. She really likes it. The nurse told me it was because of the heat. The heat loosens her muscles and helps with her stiffness. I didn’t tell the nurse that Dogger hardly has to go outside to experience the healing wonders of heat.

But it gave me an idea. If  ambient heat makes her feel good, how about hot water? Water is good, heat is good, Warm water would be very good! Do-it-yourself hydrotherapy! All I needed to do was fill the bathtub with warm water and have Dogger stretch out and have a nice therapeutic soak and let the warm water work it’s magic. I thought to myself that she was really going to like this and it will make her feel good and maybe it would help speed her recovery. Dogger has had countless baths and never complained about them, this will be easy and good for her.

Dogger has had countless showers.  I had to get Dogger into the bath tub. Dogger didn’t want to get into the bathtub. She can’t just step into the tub, to get into the tub she has to jump. Dogger does not want to jump, Dogger knows where she is injured and she knows that jumping is a bad idea and she knows that putting too much pressure on her back legs will cause her pain. Hence, she is not jumping at present . Have you ever tried to heft a 90-something pound, recalcitrant, lame dog into a bath tub?

Well I did it and afterwards, my muscles needed a nice long soak. Dogger was not happy about all this water touching her and she would not sit in it and she displayed absolutely no interest whatsoever in soaking in it. I tried. I begged and pleaded and tried to explain to her about the benefits of hydrotherapy and how people with sore muscles really enjoy a nice warm soak...And she gave me a look that said I AM NOT A PEOPLE! AND I AM NOT ENJOYING THIS.

She settled on staying long enough for a shower and I soaked a tee shirt and wrapped it around her knee but I don’t think she was really getting all the soothing benefits of hydrotherapy. She’s not a water dog, it just isn’t in her.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Bunnies in the stream it is what we aaarrreeee

Bunny Rabbit Photo-stream!
Fella's, I could suggest some "options"...
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. congressional panel voted on Wednesday to find former presidential adviser Karl Rove in contempt for defying a subpoena to testify in its probe into suspected political meddling at the Justice Department.
On a party-line vote of 20-14, the Democratic-led House of Representatives Judiciary Committee approved a contempt citation against President George W. Bush's former deputy chief of staff and political adviser and sent it to the full House of Representatives for needed concurrence.
"It is regrettable that it has become necessary to pursue this course, but Mr. Rove has left us no option,"

Full story here.
Expensive Is The New Cheap

I’m giddy, I can’t help it. I just bought $3.62 a gallon gas! I didn’t even need it. I had over a half a tank all ready but the siren call of $3.62 was more than I could stand. So I stood in line. Twice. Because I am an idiot.

I should point out that before I stood in live twice I had been to Sam's and now possessed a bag of frozen chicken riding shotgun - Which would not have been a problem had I stood in line only once or if I had spent .6 a gallon more at Sam's - Which I wouldn’t have done because I didn’t need gas that badly even though $3.68 is still cheap gas. Remember after Katrina when gas was $2.50 a gallon and we all thought Oh My God! What are we going to do?! It’s outrageous! and then gas got even more expensive because of a hurricane off Mexico and the state went as far as suspending travel by state employees because gas was just too expensive? I just checked my archives and I found an entry that said gas was $68 a barrel  and I commented that the Pirates down the street were charging the astronomical sum of $3.09 a gallon.

Today If I ran across $3.09 a gallon gas I would fill my bathtub with it.

Anyway. I left Sam's with my frozen chicken and went to go put gas in my car. I had to park in the street because the stations’ lot was full and the SUV in front of me was piloted by what at the time I saw as a very stupid person who would not move her car forward! I hated her then, but an hour later when I was still in my car, I could understand how she might have just been in line for a long time and maybe she wasn’t stupid, maybe she had died from asphyxiation. But she was not dead, just stupid, and she finally moved her car up and I was able to get out of traffic and into a line.

And I was happy. My chicken was frozen, the line was almost moving and I was having memories flashbacks of my far off childhood of waiting in line with my mother to get gas on alternate days and how that if only half the cars were able to put gas in their tanks this should have made the lines shorter because there should have been fewer people getting gas, but instead they were always long because everyone filled up their tanks even if they didn’t need to because it was Their Day and they were all but supposed to show up at the gas station or else. And sometimes you would be in line but the station would run out of gas and that would be hugely traumatic.

So I am in line and I am waiting. We’re all waiting. It’s the lines at Crate and Barrel the day after Christmas And the car up at the pump always seems to be unattended because the driver had to go inside to pay and go to the john and buy a coke and screw around and waste time then pay for their gas in pennies... and I took a look at the pumps and they were definitely pay-at-the-pump and yet every other car was left at the pump while it’s driver went inside to stand in line to pay inside. This was disheartening. So we all waited for the driver to wait to pay, which took forever and then we waited for them to fill the tank which also took forever because all the pumps were working simultaneously and this slows everything down.

And I am still in line, and I am having real doubts about my frozen chicken and I am trying to think of a safe place to stow it while I am in line and so I killed some time playing hide-the-chicken and the line creeps along and finally both cars ahead of me leave at the same time! Both cars are faced in the correct direction! They both pay at the pump! Huzzah!

I get to the pump

and my tank is on

the other side of the car.

I get out of line which takes a great deal of effort because there is a car parked in the way and so I am now effectively blocking a pump and the offending car is just sitting there and inside the station in the crowd, I see a figure very deliberately going about her business getting a paper and a soda and visiting with the counter help and being in no rush whatsoever and I want to kill her. She finally goes out to her car and then just sits there, very carefully putting her paper down and getting her drink arranged and making sure her seat belt is not creasing her scrub top and then she’s checking her lipstick in the rear view... taking her time, totally oblivious to all the other cars and to the fact she is essentially double parked as well as being a huge bitch.

She leaves. I get in yet another line. It takes three days. But still? $3.62 gas!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

It's not okay if you are a Republican...

Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens to be indicted on seven counts of making false statements to federal investigators

More from McClatchy news

WASHINGTON — Sen. Ted Stevens, the longest-serving Republican in the U.S. Senate and one of the chamber's most powerful members, was indicted Tuesday in Washington, a result of a year-long investigation into corruption in Alaska politics. The 7-count indictment comes nearly one year after federal agents raided Stevens' home in Girdwood, a resort town about 40 miles south of Anchorage. The Justice Department has scheduled a press conference for 1:20 p.m. to announce the indictment.
Shark Week

Live every week like its Shark Week! Words to live by.  It’s that time again. Time to sit in front of your TV and add to your mental catalogue of places sharks can kill you. I have learned that while sharks are salt water creatures they have been found some miles up the Mississippi river.

On Mythbusters I learned that it is a bad idea to take a flashlight with you under water. Sharks love flashlights and want to get to know them better. They also covered the myth that hot peppers act as a deterrent to sharks - Busted! hot peppers have no effect on sharks or fish in general, so you would not save yourself by using pepper-based mace on Jaws or your gold fish if it turned on you. Who knew?

Currently on Shark Week, they are telling us about a South African teenager whose leg was eaten by a great white shark.. He is rushed to the hospital, he dies several times, he is brought back - Lots of discussion about how chewed on his is. And we break for a commercial where the first lines are You are thinking about steak.


The kid survives but I had to turn the channels. I’ve learned the only place I’m safe from sharks is in my living room.  Sharks are smart and they are everywhere. They could be in your toilet, they could be in your sink, they could be in your bottled water! Not only are sharks smart, sharks are hungry most of the time and we are slow and stupid all of the time, and while we may not taste very good they do think we make good chew toys. It’s rather depressing to think that's where are on the food chain - Chew Toy. Now seals,  sharks think seals are nummy.

Speaking of seals, they aren’t very nice either but they don’t eat people, as far as we know... Wouldn’t that suck? To have to say that you lost your arm to a seal? I think I would lie, I would tell everyone I got chewed on by a shark. A big shark. A great white. In addition to Shark Week I am also watching Blue Planet, and the disk I just finished was concerned with the arctic and antarctic and all the cute little seal munchies that live there - And it’s not just killer seals, the polar bears are genuine land sharks. Did you know that a polar bear can take a beluga whale out of the water all by itself? A whale, even a smallish whale is a whale and a bear can take one down or , actually, lift on up and pull it out of the water bodily. That is just not a bear you want to cuddle up with - Granted as baby bears, they are very, very, very cute.

That may be one area the shark lobby needs to work on. A baby shark looks pretty much exactly like an adult shark, only smaller and a smaller shark is not a cuter shark, it’s just a smaller shark and no matter haw small a shark is it is never a “cute” shark. Seals are deadly predators but at least as babies they are cute. They are so cute. My question is, why hasn’t Disney created a happy, anthropomorphous seal movie? I would watch a happy seal movie. I’ve seen seals in the wild and they look like swimming dogs. Happy dogs. Dogs that could sing and dance! Okay, no feet, synchronized swimming seals that long to be in the Olympics! just add a Randy Newman song and you have a Happy Meal and seven Oscar(tm) nominations.

Is it because they eat penguins? Does Disney have some sort of agreement with the penguin lobby that they won’t glorify one of their chief predators? I’m sure penguins go after something, you can be sure as far as the penguin lobby tells us it’s not a cute something. Of course, maybe it is and the Penguin lobby is just incredibly good at hiding it and in reality it is someone or something that can’t or won’t go to the authorities...

Penguins eat Santa’s Elves!

Monday, July 28, 2008

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The White House on Monday predicted a record deficit of $490 billion for the 2009 budget year, a senior government official told CNN.

President Bush inherited a budget surplus of $128 billion when he took office in 2001 but has since posted a budget deficit every year.

The Bush administration has spent heavily on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and faces a large budget shortfall in tax revenue because of Bush's tax cuts and a souring economy.

Full story at:

The White House goes on to blame the soaring national debt on Clinton, because he was such a cheap bastard and was sooo mean for leaving them that huge surplus like some kind of hard ass...
My dog , the cat person

After this weekend I am henceforth going to demand that my vet rename the practice after one or both of my animals as I am now paying a good part of the staff salaries and all of the buildings utilities as well as a speed boat, two jet-skis, and  a kayak.

Saturday morning I was obligated to take The Kitty to the vet so that the vet could be certain that the thyroid pills that are clearly working like they are supposed to, are working like they are supposed to. The vet could have just asked me, and thus saved me an office visit and his staff the stress of trying to get a blood draw from The Kitty. The Kitty could care less, it is all the same to him; He hates being stuffed into his crate, he hates the waiting room and he hates the staff - He in general hates everything all the time and he is while he is doing his hating is irrelevant to him - but for the staff at the vets office, it is traumatic.

When we walked into the waiting room we were faced with a crate of the cutest little baby kitties evah. The kitties were locked in the crate, The Kitty was in his travel bag, four feet from the cutest baby kitties evah and he still managed to chase the kittens from one side of their (large) crate to the other and cause the kitties to become visibly upset. From inside his bag, four feet away where they couldn’t even see him, he was completely terrorizing them. In comparison, Sunday afternoon, Dogger and I were outside on the lawn sitting under the tree. I had one arm petting on Dogger and the other hand occupied petting one of the feral cats. The two animals were maybe two feet apart and they were both completely calm and at ease with each other and we had a nice time. It was one of those times where you wish someone would wander by with a camera. It would have been a nice shot.

Saturday, after extracting a technicians arm from The Kitty’s maw. I dropped him off at home and went to yet visit to another health professional. My camera is ill and I go on vacation in a month. A sick camera simply will not do. I’m would go on vacation if I had to escape from an ICU to do it, but to go on vacation with a camera with the sniffles would be unthinkable. The camera store quickly diagnosed the problem and told me while they couldn’t fix it, I could send it back to the maker, but the repair would run me $300. I asked the camera store if they would take pity on me and just give me one or if failing that if they had anything in my price range with a two year interest free payment plan? The guy went to go check his stock - Which took about three years, a bit surprising because the store was the size of a broom closet - a broom closet full to the rafters with very pricey, very fancy , very high-end professional grade photographic equipment that made my little point-and-shoot camera look like a kids toy. The staff got points for not treating me like a kid or my camera like a toy.

I went home and took out my frustration on my lawn. I had mowed it Friday night - The quickest way to ruin an otherwise lovely evening is to decided to take advantage of the loveliness by mowing your yard. Resist the urge. On Saturday, I edged, I wacked weeds, I leaf blew, I watered and finally, I took advantage of the nice day and sat outside on my deck for the rest of the afternoon with a book and my dog.

My camera is sick, but not dead yet. Here is a  picture of a bloom from my night bloomer

Sunday, July 27, 2008

HAPPY     SUNDAY     !!!!!!!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

HAPPY    SATURDAY      !!!!!!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Friday Cat Blogging
Garden Update

There are two squash plants left. Out of twelve non-productive little bastards. The only reason the two are still in the ground is that one I would have to reach further than I want to to grab it and the other is a leetle to close to my very productive cucumber plant and I don’t want to accidentally yank  it out by mistake. I would like to know how it is that I ended up with only one cucumber plant? I planted six of them, so by this time I should be swimming in cucumbers instead of having mearly enough to soak my feet in. I think I shall blame their loss on the evol sun blocking soil nourishment sucking squash plants and their plans of garden domination. I think they kidnapped my innocent cucumber plants and then disguised them as fellow squash so when the great squash armageddon came, I would take the evil as well as the good. Yellow bastards.

But. If I had more cucumbers I couldn’t be as careful about finding them new homes. You have to be careful about just who you send you veggies home with! The new owners should share you philosophy on refrigerator vs. counter top storage and where they feelings on appropriate crisper drawer settings and where they stand on grilled vegetables... You can’t just send them home with anyone. It’s important to interview and if possible, conduct home visits. So far I have re-homed one of mine and there are two in the wings and two others in development.

The collards are out there collardering. I’m pretty sure when Broskey and Alpha Gal get back from vacation I'm going to yank the remaining plants out the ground, take the leaves and give them as a gift to them. I realized that I really don’t like greens, even greens that I myself grew with my own little hands and the fact that they are just taking up space that my other plants could use. Next year, no collards.

The tomatoes both big and little are doing well - Not as well as my mothers super productive plants, but well enough, as I don’t actually eat tomatoes myself. The larger variety is finally ripening up after weeks of nothing and has even started on a second generation after I was starting to think that I wasn’t going to have grandtomaotes from that plant. Regardless, in a few days I am going to have some grand tomatoes:

After three months of waiting, the peppers are coming in! I’m glad I resisted the urge to go squashageddon on them after they took so long to start producing. And even better, from my inspection of the plants, I’m pretty sure I’m going to get a quite a few of them over the next couple of months and if the weather holds, maybe as long as three months - My reading has taught me that peppers are not very hardy. Doesn't matter! They are finally producing!

And, last and least of my little garden family, the eggplants are also finally starting to produce. I really do not have the patients for all this waiting around. Next year? No eggplants.

In the front yard, my moon flower vines are also starting to produce. The blooms are beautiful. Sadly, however, my camera is having issues and I’m not able to get a picture of them. To get an idea, find a handkerchief or other large, white piece of heavy cloth, perhaps a cloth napkin, and drape it over your hand - That’s what the blooms look like. Oh, not gardencentric, but I am writting this on July 24, 2008. I recived my first Christmas catalouge in the mail.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Anybody want a...

Riding bikes with the Flintstones

I was planning to get an early start on this, so as to be able to sit in front of the TV all night like a normal person, so I eschewed my scheduled  HGTV watching and went straight for the computer where I called up Word and got ready to do my thing. I gave myself two rules though 1) No Dogger and 2) No garden.

So I went looking for handy non-Dogger non-Garden memes and that took a while and then I didn’t find any I would see me answering and I decided memes are lame and I don’t need someone else's  lame ideas to post a lame entry. I can do that without any outside help.

Well shite! What else is there to talk about? It’s not like I have a life or anything. I could talk about how I thought The Kitty was feeling neglected, but I’m pretty sure that resolved after I bought him new food and scored fresh dust for his box - If he’s still mad at me he hasn’t said anything about it and normally he’s really into sharing his feelings and being open about his hostility - He does not suffer in silence, and in fact this morning he lolled across my paper in a really cute n’ fuzzy way and he doesn’t come across with the cute n’ fuzzy unless he genuinely doesn’t hate me at the moment. Passive aggression isn’t his thing. He prefers his aggression straight up.

Even though I am not supposed to talk about Dogger - I can talk about her vet. Her really nice, very knowledgeable vet who lurves her and knows a lot about Addison’s. That vet left the practice and left Dogger and I high and dry - On a desert Island stocked with other very knowledgeable, nice vets from the same practice but they don’t lurve Dogger the same way and I question their Addison’s knowledge. It’s one thing to have studied it, I studied Shakespeare and I can quote it at you but that doesn’t make me a Shakespeare scholar, I know these women studied about Addison’s and the fact they can quote from a text book does not make me feel better. My old vet was an Addison's Scholar! She really new her stuff and that made a world of difference for both Dogger and myself. I just had one really quick conversation with one of the other vets in the practice and now I’m understanding more clearly why the folks on the Addison’s groups are so bitter about their vets.

Lets see. Trying to hold to my No Dog/No Garden theme, and having no idea what else to post about with those two rules in place, I went to Dix to ride the bike trail. It was nice, it would have been nicer to do it on foot and with Dogger but... I did enjoy myself, a little. In the past I remember there being a lot of bike traffic though there but I bet the real hard cases are at home watching The Tour instead. I have a bike question, if you use the hand breaks? Is the bike supposed to stop? Or are the hand breaks kind of like props? Because I tried to stop using the hand breaks and the bike and I kept barreling along and if I had wanted to keep barreling along I would not have used the hand breaks. I finally brought the bike to a stop by going all Fred Flintstone and manually stopping myself. Not cool.

Oh! I am one fake tooth closer to my goal of having a $6 Million Mouth. I went back to the dentist today and got another crown! Woo! And to reward myself for my oral awesomeness I went to the grocery on my way back home and bought some grated cheese and when I came home I made myself cheese sauce ( a little butter, a little flour and a little milk) and I had rice note to self, the new microwave is significantly more powerful than the old microwave, it would be a good idea to rethink the timing of the rice, it was dry and cheese for dinner. It was great, cheesy rice is one of my all time favorite comfort foods.

Tomorrow? Garden Update 6!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Sound and Fury

I came home from work and took Dogger outside, I’m starting to get afraid that she has forgotten why I take her outside. She goes outside but then she just kind of wanders around aimlessly while I prod her to do something, anything, usually in vain. She’s not looking for somewhere to pee, she’s looking for a good place to lay down - And I’m trying to be cool with this. I sit next to her and pet on her and make encouraging noises about nothing, and then I out of habit, go get her tie down to secure her . It’s kind of pointless at this stage of the game but it makes me feel better to think she could wander away .

While she's doing what I choose to see as basking, I water the plants or sit on the steps and read a catalogue and worry about her and she eventually decides she wants to go back inside for dinner. It’s depressing but its better than the alternative.

Last night, I’m sitting on the steps reading a magazine and Dogger is snuffing around and out of nowhere, it thunders, not at a distance, not somewhere else, directly over head. I shrieked like a scalded cat and Dogger found the wherewithal to dive under the azalea plant. I tore down the steps to rescue Dogger and  I noticed the workers next door staring at us. The workers next door didn’t scream or dive under the shrubs.

The really bad thing about the thunder experience is that the a couple of hours later when I tried to get her outside she refused and the time after that, while she agreed to go outside she would not stay. She needs to go to the loo! When you get a pet they never tell you that you will eventually be worrying about things like this. No its all Here’s your puppy! Go have the most fun evar!. There is so much that isn’t fun.

You know what else isn't fun? rideing my bike around the neighborhood by myself instead of walking with Dogger. I am the girl with the dog, I am the girl who walks that dog. It is my identity, it’s my role and now? I’m just some girl on a bike. Walking Dogger made me stand out - Granted, in this neighborhood, especially right after I moved here, the dog wasn’t the only thing that made me stand out, but the dog made me approachable; People who would have never spoken to me, ran up to pet the dog or offer advice on dog management. Having Dogger at my side was a great conduit for getting to know my neighbors or at least their kids, while making everyone comfortable. A dog is a great equalizer. I have yet to ride past a house and have a crowd of kids come out to coo at my bike. I want my dog back.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


I’ll save you some time : So, how’s Dogger? Dogger is fine. I guess, it depends on who is around, if it’s just me she seems more or less the same, maybe a little more perky and alert but at the same time, I may just be getting used to it. Dogger is a consummate showman, she shows off for my family and then comes home and makes like Camille. Lets say Dogger is dancing as fast as she can.

She seems to want to go for now verboten long walks but she can’t go 50 feet to go pee in the yard without laying down - I don’t know which to blame that on, her pain or her pain meds. I suspect it is a combination of the two, but at the same time she is the most hard headed animal I have ever known. I think she’s smart enough to know that playing tug-of-war isn’t possible at present so she does the next best thing, she goes limp. I am reasonably sure if she could find a way to chain herself to a tree she would. I find all of this puzzling, she hates being outside, she does not bond with nature unless she can do so from the street and all of a sudden she finds happiness basking in the sun. She used to hate basking. Now, she’s a freaking snake.

Its confusing to me. I don’t know if this is just her hardheadedness or some kind of new symptom I need to be concerned about. Have I mentioned that everything she does now makes me concerned?

Phone Rings

I just lied to the Shriners! I told them I was bankrupt, morally yes, but financially, well, not exactly bankrupt, but I don’t have a penny to give to anyone I don’t all ready owe money to. It doesn’t help that pretty much everyone who can afford a phone bank has my number, a sob story and their hand out. Right now I have a bill from Breast Cancer on my entry way table. They called me and I told them it was a no-go and so they suggested they send me a pledge card and I could send it back when I could. I said sure because I am ever hopeful that I’m going to uncover a gold mine in my back yard or find buried treasure in the cat box. Right now if it doesn’t show up on my credit report, it isn’t getting paid.

I’m sure there is some sort of Karmic credit report and mine looks like crap. I use those freebie address stickers and I never send in a donation, if I pay cash at McDonald's I never put all my change into the Ronald McDonald House donation boxes, I feed my feral cats only the cheapest kibble I can find and I've been known to buy .99 sympathy cards for greiving co-workers.

No wonder my pets are chronically ill.

Speaking of ill pets. I tried to get Dogger to go outside again. I got her out there twice, no small task in it self, and she failed to perform both times. I don’t know if she didn’t need to, or if she couldn’t go because my neighbor was in his yard doing yard work - and then if she doesn’t go, is it the knee or the Addison's that is to blame? Is it because she has been spending too much time on her feet or too much time off them?

Good news! I tried a third time to get Dogger to do her thing and she did! My neighbor finally stopped fiddling with his plants and Dogger finally remembered the world is her toilet. I’ve read where dogs don’t like being watched when they do their thing but I’ve never known Dogger to demand such privacy, the animal will drop a dog bomb in the middle of traffic and suddenly she’s demanding a privacy screen? I don’t know who she thinks she’s kidding unless this a new symptom of something else I can’t afford to fix.

The knee doesn’t get stressed unless it accidentally gets used, but the Addison's gets stressed out over everything, including the knee. In an attempt to protect Dogger from stress I left the radio playing all day. I left it on because the city put signs in all our yards warning us to not park in the street because they are going to spend this week refacing the street. I came home from work today to a street with the same face it had when I left in the morning. I have my suspicions that they city didn’t put those signs out at all, it is instead a cunning plan to get the renters to get their most recent hulk out of the street and into their driveway where it belongs. This one has tags and a plate and all four tires inflated so I can’t call the city and have it towed like I did with the last one. They might have foiled me but somebody has their number.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Breath in, Breath out

They need to start putting warning labels on swim suits - This suit is not appropriate for ocean use or This suit is specifically designed for pool use, do not attempt to wear under ocean conditions or even something direct Suit May Ride Up in Waves. I tell you what, its a damn good everyone was so occupied with you know , not drowning because I was totally flashing the world. That King Neptune is really cheeky!

I would come up for air after being clobbered by a wave and look down and say Oh. Well. Now! and try to get my top back where it was supposed to be before the next wave came along and knocked me ass over tea kettle. I am really lucky I didn't end up with a painfully toasted ta-tas.

If you haven't been knocked ass over tea kettle by a wave lately you really should try it. It's a very liberating experience to just let go that way, to just turn yourself over to the waves. It's really very meditative, you can't think about anything else, you certainly can't do anything else while you are being pummeled by the waves. An enforced period of non-thought really greases the mental wheels., once you can think, you see things clearer, your minds eye sees 20/20 and whatever may have been clouding your "vision" has been washed away.

Of course my first thoughts were Oh my gawd! I got my suit wet! and Eek! The bad wave splashed me! and Whoops! that got my hair wet! and Sqeee! I got a mouth full of salt water! finally gave way to Show me what you got! which led me to Do me wavy! take me! and Is that all you've got? I'm still upright you lamo! The last guy almost drowned me! Work harder! until I was turning my nose down at swells that ten minutes before would have had me squealing and eeking in shock to find the biggest wave to push me harder under the water because it felt so damn good when I came up for air, Screw you wavy, you may be stronger, but I'm buoyant! I am invincible! I am strong! I can handle anything! Push me down and I get right back up! Hear that world? I get back up!

Sadly, my hair squishy was lost at sea.

Anyway, when I wasn't playing footsie with King Neptune, I was taking pictures

Sunday, July 20, 2008

HAPPY   SUNDAY   !!!!!

Saturday, July 19, 2008


Friday, July 18, 2008

Friday Cat Blogging

You didn't ask for it, but you got it...

Okay, it's kind of a contractual obligation that every blogger everywhere have an entry where we list nominees and who we want to win and who we think will win... Really, it's a rule, it's right up there with posting pictures of our cats. SO without further ado... Oh, also, Movie people slumming on cable and getting to cuss and do drugs and  get to have less fake looking fake sex,  will not get extra credit from the judges.

"Boston Legal," ABC
"Damages," FX
"Dexter," Showtime
"House," Fox
"Lost," ABC
"Mad Men," AMC

Okay, lets get the deadwood out of the way first, shall we? Boston Legal? Really? Again? I watch it, I enjoy it but come on!  It's David E. Kelly's rebuttal to the accusations h only writes for skinny people that he can write for older, fat people too. I used to lust after James Spader when he was slimy in all those John Hughes movies, sadly today he isn't slimy as much as he is covered with chicken grease.  Nope.

Lost? Gonna lose.

 Moving on.. House? I love House! the writing is excellent and I think this season has been particularly strong with great performances all the way around. I applaud the shake up of the Ducklings and the lottery for the new positions. I love House because it makes the average Law and Order look like a pick-your-own-adventure book by comparison. I find procedural oddly comforting and there's nothing more comforting then saving the life of the victim of the week by 10:50 pm. Every Week.  But it's in what it's fourth season and its still without a win?  Nope. Moving on.

Dexter I didn't start watching this show until CBS began running a sanitized version on Sunday nights after Cold Case. Dexter is really good TV and I doubt sincerely that it would be getting the attention it's getting now if it had not been plucked from  Showtime obscurity to run on commercial TV, but it's in its third season and has been almost invisible on Showtime. Glorifying and somewhat justifying mass murder? Not gonna win. Moving on

Damages It has Glenn Close! It's about  high end corporate law and bad business practices that sometimes result in really tough quarterly reviews. Nah. Moving on.

Mad Men , It's about the old fashioned attitudes and old fashioned wacky clothes and old fashioned hair styles and Eames era furniture from the early in 60s and the old fashioned cigarettes they smoked in old fashioned days and the old fashioned drinks they drank at their old fashioned three martini lunches. It's when the men were men and the women were girls. The critics love it, it's fairly new it's on basic cable. Gonna win.

Should Win - House
Will Win - Mad Men

"Curb Your Enthusiasm," HBO
"Entourage," HBO
"The Office," NBC
"30 Rock," NBC
"Two and a Half Men," CBS

I never "got" CYE and I don't get HBO. It got a lot of attention that I also did not "get". Blah. Moving on.

Entourage. I like this show, I've Netflixed all the available episodes, but come on! It's not worthy of HBO, on network TV it would have been over in its second season. Seinfeld claimed it was a "show about nothing",  obviously, none of them ever watched Entourage because truly it is a show about NOTHING. No! No Emmy for them.

The Office. I work in a real office, I don't find  uncomfortable silences and pettiness and  mid level managerial dictators to be funny. Steve Carrol isn't the flavor of the week that he was. Not gonna happen.

30 Rock. Love. It. I want to take it behind the junior high and get it pregnant. I love it that much, this last season was not the wonder that was season one but it was still head and shoulders above anything else, with the exception of My Name is Earl which even in a season where it lost it's way, was still great, not as good as 30 Rock but great.

Two and a Half Men. Ew.

Should Win - 30 Rock
Will Win - 30 Rock

Gabriel Byrne, "In Treatment"
Bryan Cranston, "Breaking Bad"
Michael C. Hall, "Dexter"
Jon Hamm, "Mad Men"
Hugh Laurie, "House"
James Spader, "Boston Legal"

If we remove from consideration shows I have never watched, this is a much tighter race. Spader who was oily is now greasy, Michael C. Hall makes murder sexy,  High Laurie is awesome . I vote for Laurie because by this time we should be tired of him winning every year, it would be nice if he could win this year.

Will - Jon Hamm, Mad Men
Should  - Hugh Laurie House

Glenn Close, "Damages"
Sally Field, "Brothers and Sisters"
Mariska Hargitay, "Law and Order: Special Victims Unit"
Holly Hunter, "Saving Grace"
Kyra Sedgwick, "The Closer"

Working again from the If I Never Saw It, It doesn't Exists para-grim. I would have to say.... Wow.  I don't like Mariska Hargitay, but I do like Holly Hunter from her film work. Have you ever watched Always?

Should - Holly Hunter
Will - Glenn Close

Christina Applegate, "Samantha Who?"
America Ferrera, "Ugly Betty"
Tina Fey, "30 Rock"
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, "New Adventures of Old Christine"
Mary-Louise Parker, "Weeds"

With the exception of Parker, lets hear it for actual TV actresses on  real, live network TV shall we?

Should - Tina Fey 30 Rock
Will - Mary Louise Parker Weeds


Alec Baldwin, "30 Rock"
Steve Carell, "The Office"
Lee Pace, "Pushing Daisies"
Tony Shalhoub, "Monk"
Charlie Sheen, "Two and a Half Men"

This race hurts my feelings. I love Alec Baldwin on 30 Rock but at the same time I lurve Lee Pace on the criminally overlooked Pushing Daisies... Let's face it, 30 Rock is doing okay, it can survive Baldwin walking home empty handed, I'm sure his mouth will be wide open. Has there ever been an actor who needs to be kept as busy? Every time he gets time off he catches a nasty case of foot-in-mouth disease. I also really like Tony Shalhoub and Monk but he has like forty of them.

Should - Lee Pace, Pushing Daisies
Will - Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock

Jon Cryer, "Two and a Half Men"
Kevin Dillon, "Entourage"
Neil Patrick Harris, "How I Met Your Mother"
Jeremy Piven, "Entourage"
Rainn Wilson, "The Office"

I'm sorry, I fell asleep.

Ted Danson, "Damages"
Michael Emerson, "Lost"
Zeljko Ivanek, "Damages"
William Shatner, "Boston Legal"
John Slattery, "Mad Men"

I either don't watch the shows or I don't care for the nominee.

Should - Micheal Emerson, Lost
Will - William Shatner, Boston Legal

Candice Bergen, "Boston Legal"
Rachel Griffiths, "Brothers and Sisters"
Sandra Oh, "Grey's Anatomy"
Dianne Wiest, "In Treatment"
Chandra Wilson, "Grey's Anatomy"


Should - Diane Wiest, In Treatment
Will - Rachell Griffiths, Brothers and Sisters

Kristin Chenoweth, "Pushing Daisies"
Amy Poehler, "Saturday Night Live"
Jean Smart, "Samantha Who?"
Holland Taylor, "Two and a Half Men"
Vanessa Williams, "Ugly Betty"

Another feeling hurting race.

Will - Jean Smart, Samantha Who?
Should - Kristin Chenoweth, Pushing Daisies AND
              Amy Poehler, Saturday Night Live

"The Colbert Report"
"The Daily Show With Jon Stewart"
"Late Night With Conan O'Brien"
"Late Show With David Letterman"
"Saturday Night Live"

Everyone all ready knows that The Colbert Report and The Daily Show are phenomenal, but ...

Will - TCR or TDS
Should - SNL

Tina Fey, Host/Performer, "Saturday Night Live"

"Saturday Night Live," NBC

Thursday, July 17, 2008

2008 Emmy Nominations

Offical 2008 Emmy nomination list

CNNs parred down list
Vegetables and Dogger

There was a birthday party at work featuring tacos and I was able to supply the tomatoes! Yea! true, I supplied only the bare minimum of tomatoes and that was actually a melange of both varieties for the tacos, but there were tomatoes and they did get eaten. My tomatoes from my garden! Sigh, relevance at last.

I did not mention to the people eating my tomatoes that the little amount I had was worth it’s weight in gold and that they might as well be daubing truffles on their tacos, but I didn’t, I just said I grew those, those are mine.

The garden seems to be in waiting mode. I have nothing to harvest except for some of the tiny tomatoes and possibly the largest cucumber that I need to remember to go measure to see if it is at a length that is suitable for picking, according to my book they should be harvested when they are between six and nine inches in length. The longest cuke is a mere seven inches I think I’ll let it gestate a little longer before I present it to Alphagal.

Those puppies grow fast! I had one cucumber perking along and then I had the second one put in an appearance and then out of nowhere the third one showed up and I have two more fetal cukes waiting in the wings.

This tells me that while something is out there pollinating those things that is choosing to not pollinate my squash, another road block to squash husbandry is that my squash plants just do not produce female flowers - There is an official name for this, and usually they will sell you at least one plant of the other gender so that you can get some vegetables but oddly, I got twelve boy plants in two different squash varieties. This is how I’m couching my non-skill in squash farming. Its not me, its them

It’s all kind of moot for mine at this point as I pulled two more of the nutrient sucking beasts out of the ground to give the working plants a bigger piece of the air-and-water pie. The peppers seem to be busy doing something, it’s not entirely clear but they seem very busy  at it as do the eggplants. The larger tomatoes seem to be using their time to gestate; Which I totally approve of as these tomatoes are larger than the specimens that ripened earlier on that were sized more like “David” tomatoes than the advertised “Goliath”.

And how is Dogger? Dogger had a very good Tuesday and Wednesday and in fact, I’m thinking she might need a little more enforced downtime because I think she may not be taking it as slow and carefully as a dog on heavy pain killers and a blown knee should. I’m like, Hon! You’re drugged to the gills, sit back, watch your hand for a minute, listen to colors for a while... But I’m glad, its signs of life. I spoke with my regular vet today and she didn’t embrace Conservative Management as closely as I do. She brought up the Addison's specter and how the knee and everything that goes with it is taxing a system that does not need any further. I countered with that with 20/20 hindsight, it was clear that the knee had been taxing her for a while and I took her in to be examined because she was acting oddly four days prior to the accident and her lytes were perfect. She said Dogger is only acting like she is to please me and she gave me the impression that I am being selfish. She wants me to call her in a week and give her a report.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Hanging on

I’m not ready to let her go. I thought I was, but I’m not ready.

The surgery is not an option. If I win the lottery, then Sure! Lets do this thing!- but I don’t play the lottery. I am going to do nothing. Dogger and I are going to go the Conservative Approach or as it is popularly known, Let Go and Let God. Dogger and I are going to let nature takes it’s course. And I'm going to pray. A lot.

I had Made The Decision. And I felt good about it, I looked at how she was when I brought her back from the vets office and how she really went down hill as the evening went on. I thought is this it? Is this what it is going to be like? Watching her lie there and rot? She would not go outside, she would not void. She was unhappy. I was unhappy. I cried a lot. We were unhappy. I looked at how she was and I would not make her live like this.

I told my family and I called my vet. I even alerted my boss that I was going to need time off.

On Friday instead of Dogger and I seeing my parents and going to the beach, my parents were going to come up here to see Dogger and say goodbye. A long time ago I “wrote” tiny little doggy and kitty DNRs for my animals, there would be no heroics no artificial support. When my animals were ready I would listen and I would do my job as the Human and I would be humane, which I believe is guaranteeing a death with dignity and a life as pain free as possible. I promised both of my animals that when the came into my life, that I would take care of them for the rest of their lives.

It also means, if it comes down to it, deciding when that will be. It’s a serious responsibility, to be Gawd for your animal. Oh sure they’re cute when they’re all little and healthy but what about when that puppy or kitten becomes chronically ill? Or suffers a debilitating injury? Sure, for $2000 you can “fix” it but does your pet want to be crippled? Will they understand the sickness that comes with chemo or the pain that comes with rehab? Are you a hero for giving the animal more time or a monster for demanding more time?

If you are lucky your pet will age gracefully and pass on in their sleep. Terrible, yes, but natural and painless. But what if that doesn't happen?  Yea! Your pet is 17! blind, deaf and paralyzed, but Woo! 17 years old! When is it enough? It’s is the quality of their life or quantity of their life that is important to you?

I was ready to let Dogger go. But. A day later and she was smiling at me. She voluntarily went outside. She figured out which steps are the easiest for her to navigate. One day of practice and she is hopping around much more gracefully. I want to give Dogger time to heal, it’s not going to be fun. I doubt she’s going to love it. Am I being a monster for demanding that she spend the next six weeks effectively bed-fast? Am I subverting nature? But see, I’ve already suborned nature with both animals. They are both all ready medicated for conditions that would kill them if they didn’t take meds every day for the rest of their lives. They did not get to vote on this.

Dogger and I are going to take it one day at a time, she is on a strict diet and more or less crate-fast. For my part,  instead of my daily dog walk, I’m going to pull out my  bike and as I peddle along every day I’m going to pray that I can put my bike away again and go back to walking my dog. Pray for Dogger.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


She voided completely!!!  I was worried about impaction here folks, it had been two days. This is a huge deal. Yay!!!
Sunday the 13th big activity for the day was to take Dogger for a walk and on our walk, she, I pray to God, just hurt one of her toes and the walk back home was kind of a nightmare.

Yeah. About that "toe". It wasn't her toe or her ankle or her hip. Dogger doesn't do things half way. She can't sprain something she has to blow her knee out which when it happens to Tiger Woods, she blew out her ACL.

The walk home Sunday night must have been tortuous for her but she did it for me. We were still close to the rec center when we passed an old woman sitting on a porch. This is a house where a lot of Doggers little kid friends live, I hope they didn't see us. The woman watched us struggle to cross the street and limp past her house and she said Our family will pray for you.

How did she know?

There isn't much good news to share. I took her to the vet and the vet called me later to tell me Dogger had suffered a Cruciate injury.  Prayer would be helpful.

There are possible solutions, the first is Do Nothing, site, which is essentially keeping the dog immobilized for six to eight weeks - You lock the dog in it's crate for six weeks.

Dogger  is still sedated and on  serious veterinary pain meds and she isn't completely conscience and she is all ready over her box. It's not a great solution but it is by far the cheapest. I kind of liked that solution. But more searching got me more sites and more opinions. Some said that this surgery was better than that procedure and then the next site said the procedure as all right, but the surgery was really the way to go.

They all agree that something has to be done.  My vet got back to me and gave me the name of the surgeon who takes care of this in the Raleigh area. That vets' office offers a credit plan that I have all ready been approved for - Which is nice because the surgery runs about $1700 and oh, by the way? Her other knee doesn't look great either.

Dogger and I was really looking forward to going to Marquette in the fall. I don't think we're going to make it.  Depending on what the vet tells me, Dogger will either be at the other end of her six week box sentence or be in recovery from the surgery. She and I have been crying together for two days.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Two Strikes

Well that was kind of a waste.

It’s one thing to get not-much-accomplished one weekend but to do it two weekends in a row? That’s irresponsible.

Saturday? Saturday I did laundry and washed the dog. I gave her a bath in the yard, ya know just to shake things up a bit, and it’s easier to clean up afterwards. I’m like, “shake on you crazy diamond! Make a mess! Do your thing!”.

She was back in the house post bath, and I was in the yard picking up towels and collecting shampoo and a unmarked cop car came tearing down the street and into the driveway of the house across the street from me, where there was nothing. The unmarked seemed pissed and then tore too fast down the street and out of sight.

My plan had been to wash Dogger and take her for a walk. Bath taken care of it was time for the walk and Dogger and I got just past the end of our street when Dogger refused to go further, and of course she did this right in front of a family having a cook-out, so we had an audience. They said the reason the dog would not move was “all the cops down there” And I asked where the cops were, so I might be part of a crowd of on lookers. Dogger wouldn’t walk any futher though and I tried everything to get her to move, I dragged, I cajoled, I picked her up by her harness and carried her, but it was to no avail.

On our way home Dogger and I met up with a group of girls who told me the cops were there to “Pick this guy up but then he ran between these houses and got away” . Well, that told me why the unmarked was upset when he got to the neighbors house but if anyone had fled though there, they were more stealthy than the cop had been. (edit to add - I spoke with the cook out family again Sunday evening and they said the cops search included police dogs and they did find the guy.)

Later on I watched two episodes of a My First Place on TLC. The first episode was about a nice couple in Alaska, he’s a firefighter and she’s clerical worker and they had spent years burdened with medical bills and ultimately had to declare bankruptcy Years had passed and they wanted to buy their own home, which they now shared with two children, the wife’s very ill, very elderly mother as well as the wife’s sister and her baby. They had to work really hard and go through a lot of paper work and being yanked around but they finally got a house it wasn’t 100% what they wanted or needed but they were happy to have it. I liked them.

The second couple was from San Francisco and they wanted a nicer condo, one nearer to shops and restaurants all for $700,000 . They looked at fifty places before they found the “right” one. It’s just hard to feel  for people when their biggest issue for house hunting seems to be that the property they are looking at is not close enough to their favorite trendy bistro and “compromise” is defined as granite counter tops that do not match their china exactly. I hated them.

Sunday I went to Mass and then came home and was stricken for want of a better word with a headache so bad it made me want to die, well first, tear off my head then die. It was awful! Every time I moved I got nauseated and it was just too bright everywhere I went. I finally went upstairs and went to sleep and only after the nap did it go away and that kind of blew my day because it didn’t clear up until early evening and so my big activity for the day was to take Dogger for a walk and on our walk, she, I pray to God, just hurt one of her toes and the walk back home was kind of a nightmare.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

HAPPY     SUNDAY      !!!!!!!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

HAPPY     SATURDAY    !!!!!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Friday Cat Blogging

Thank Gawd it’s not Thursday Anymore

I just had the weirdest day. It started off weird got progressively more weird and ended up kind of messy.

The Kitty decided at 3:35 Thursday morning that it was important that he gak . Nothing gets my attention faster than the sound of my cat gaking and if he can arrange to do that at o’dark thirty in the morning it’s just so much more special. So needless to say I was up with my glasses on and the lights all the way up and The Kitty is sitting there looking up at me with his little head cocked to one side saying It was some other cat that gaked. It couldn’t possibly have been me. I’m too cute to gak! and I’m thinking I don’t have another cat and how I am going to clean up the gak - at o’dark thirty in the morning. I couldn’t find it.

Truthfully, I didn’t look real hard, I hadn’t stepped in it yet so my interest waned. I found it much later, after I came home from work. What fun! But a whole bunch more fun than if I had found it at o’dark thirty.

I went to work. I’m driving along and as I’m passing by Moore Square a woman waves me down to stop. She didn’t look odd, she looked like a Soccer Mom that lost her way. I stopped to see what she wanted. She wasn’t a Soccer Mom. Once I had stopped the car that much became evident. She wanted me to roll down my passenger window. I did not. I asked her what she wanted. She wanted me to roll down my window. I rolled down the drivers window and asked her what she needed.

She needed a ride to Dix. It turns out she was a patient there oh, until recently and she had left AMA and now wanted to go back. I wished her God Speed.

She wanted me to take her back. She had been there for ten days and she was sure they would just be thrilled to see her as they had wanted her to stay longer anyway and it would be a happy reunion. I said I could not do that, I could not drop her off at a psych hospital like a sack of kittens. I would not do that to a human being, I would not do that to a sack of kittens. But she insisted and I kept saying I would not do that. Over and over again.

Her - Take me to DIX!

Me - I will not do that!

One, I do not pick up hitch hikers, I have a rule. Two, I do not pick up people and drop them at the door of a mental hospital. I don’t know how you go about being admitted to a mental hospital, but I don’t think you just walk in, ring the bell and get fitted for your straight jacket. And so I am sitting there parked in the middle of the street talking with this crazy woman and I keep trying to offer her options to her existing plan.

Me - You could call 911

Her - They won’t do anything. Just drop me off at DIX!

Me - No! There is a women’s shelter 75 feet from us, go ask them!

Her - They won’t help me! Drive me to DIX! Just drop me off!

Me - No I can’t do that. I will not do that. No, No, No!

Her - Drive me to Dix! They will be happy to see me!

Me - NO!

Her - Drive me to Dix!!!

Me - No! I can’t do that!

Her - circling my car and peering into my back seat while I quickly take an inventory of the assorted dog toys and garbage there that could be weaponized. Almost everything. Drive me to Dix... Just drop me off...

Me - No. I have to go ( not mentioning that I have to go to Dix)

Her - Do you have any money? I need a dollar for the bus.

Me - I have no cash.

Her - .15?

Me - I have no cash I have no change. I have to go now. I’m sorry!

Her - That’s okay, you were nicer than the other people who stopped.

I drove off. I felt really bad about this. It would be one thing if I didn’t actually work on the campus, but I work within sight of the hospital. It’s right there. But I just can’t, I just can not drop person off at the front door - If I could even find the right front door, and then leave them there. That would be cruel and wrong. What if they wouldn’t take her? Dix campus employees as a whole don’t really like random wandering loonies on campus. It’s frowned on. RWL break into cars and get into office buildings and steal things and make scenes and scare people.

And then I went to work and scanned pictures of a stage four bed sore. Don’t ask. If eating isn’t important to you, check google images. And then I came home and found  the cat gak and took Dogger for a walk and ended up covered with dog shit. It’s just been a really weird day.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Oops he did it again, he opened his mouth

President George Bush: 'Goodbye from the world's biggest polluter'

The American leader, who has been condemned throughout his presidency for failing to tackle climate change, ended a private meeting with the words: "Goodbye from the world's biggest polluter."

He then punched the air while grinning widely, as the rest of those present including Gordon Brown and Nicolas Sarkozy looked on in shock.

For real
Ex-White House Aide Rove Fails to Appear at U.S. House Hearing

July 10 (Bloomberg) -- Former White House political director Karl Rove, defying a subpoena, failed to appear before a U.S. House panel investigating whether the Justice Department prosecuted people for political reasons.

Rove's action today prompted the House Judiciary subcommittee to rule that his reasons for skipping the appearance weren't valid, setting up a possible contempt of Congress vote next week.

Rove? Contemtuous?
What’s eating Tommy Tomato?!

I was inspecting the garden after work today and I noticed that the tomato plant of smaller tomatoes was either getting woody or was growing thorns. And I said “Tomatoes grow thorns?”

No, No they do not.

I was shocked to say the least. I don’t remember seeing this tomato cancer destroying my plant the last time I was hanging out with them, say, yesterday but yesterday when I was looking at them, I was looking at them from the other side of the fence and  I was concentrating on tying up and securing the upper branches and not paying any attention the base and attention must be paid.

In retrospect, I’m always kind of concentrating on the branches and the tomatoes that hang from them and neglecting the parts that don't have tomatoes hanging from them . If I took a more holistic view of my plants health and well being, I might have caught whatever is attacking my plant sooner, before it had Stage IV tomato cancer.

But, but, they don’t look under attack. They look fine and they are growing taller and greener and making more and more nubs every day. They don’t seem sick - But they quite obviously are. Now I’m worried about my other plants and a quick inspection didn’t turn up any other instabark issues but who knows there could be all kinds of evils hiding just under the surface waiting to spring out like the alien in Aliens. I’m totally blaming the squash for this, I don’t know why but they suck but this must be their fault.

I think now that I should have never stopped my regular poisoning schedule. I poisoned frequently at the beginning but once their leaves aged out of the tender, sexy stage I kind of stopped poisoning and started thinking surrender monkey organic gardening thoughts and now my plant is hosting a million nutrient sucking hitchhikers.

And the worst hasn’t even started yet as the little bastards aren’t even hatched yet. The plant is thriving, despite being sucked on by a million tiny nutrient hungry beasties and it gets taller and greener and more productive everyday, all the better to feed the little beasties... The leaves are green there isn’t any wilting and it’s able to support and nourish it’s off spring plus a million little beasties. I see wilting and yellowing and failure to thrive in its future,; Oh and Tipping over! I see tipping over in it’s future and all the little beasties jumping ship to my other plants and crossing over to the neighbors and then taking over the street and pretty soon everything in Raleigh will be dead and it will be my fault the squashes fault.

It finally got around to the plant gawds that I was trying to grow things again and they hate that. I am not allowed to grow nice things and I believe this tomato cancer is retribution from the plant gawds for the happy flowers I have in the front of the house in pots - Maybe that’s what I did wrong! I disturbed the earth and pissed off some long undisturbed dirt deity and now I am paying for interrupting it's beauty sleep.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Garden update IV

The eggplants hate me. They teased me with pretty flowers and I said Go flowers! Bring on the eggplant nubs! and... they dropped them and by extension me. I would just say I do not need this many eggplant plants. I don’t even like eggplant it’s really making me start thinking about yanking out the least winsome of them and moving on. I think the peppers would like it, as they are rumored to not being into crowd scenes. The peppers are such picky bastards for all I know the only thing that has kept them from just going ahead of dying themselves is they are carrying on some sort of relationship with no doubt the lest winsome eggplant plant.. Next year though...

Yanking that which does not please me would be too easy and most likely immoral. I’m fighting the very real desire to yank things. I think : See ya eggplants! Feck off squash! and I look to the plants that are doing their jobs. Big raise for you Ms. Tomato! A corner office for Mr. Cucumber! You’re safe for now, Mr. Pepper but I have my yanking gloves standing by...

They certainly are all working together to make me crazy. The tomatoes still love me but the big tomato plant has worked so hard to produce the six it’s carrying now that it hasn’t even thought about starting another family. I’m trying to help it out by harvesting the kids ( 3!) as they are ready to leave the nest but it still hasn’t starting working on a new nursery. The small tomatoes don’t have this hang up and they just keep right on sending more down the pipeline no matter how many are all ready on the plant.

My tomatoes over all are doing well but I want more. The little ones, if the flowers are indication tell me that I’ll be swimming in little tomatoes. What does one do with thousands of little tomatoes? Are they appropriate for sauces? I know that some tomatoes are listed as “sauce” varieties but won’t any tomato lend it self to sauce? Especially in numbers? My larger tomatoes are there but not anywhere close to the numbers of the little ones. I should have doubled up on the big tomato plants. Next year...

The cukes are still showing me the love even though I may have inadvertent pulled one of the vines up. I blame a terrorist trickster squash plant for tricking me. I was moving around vines and I found one that looked a little peaky and so I grabbed it a little... Fricken squash. I’m really beginning to question the squash, it was a nice idea at the time and people like squash and the flowers are certainly lovely to look at - but that isn’t enough! Being blond and pretty and useless is great if you’re Jessica Simpson and not so much if you are part of the produce aisle. I need those plants to prove themselves and they don’t have much longer, especially if they caused me to screw up one of the plants that is working. My cucumbers are very lovely. The camera adds 15 pounds and two inches.

The less said about the pepper plants the better.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Back to work

It took me a while but I finally figured out how I was going to spend my holiday weekend. I was going to sleep through it. I didn’t regain consciences until Sunday morning. All that time in REM gave me strange dreams.

I had one dream about the ongoing renovation of the Drug Dealers house : They had turned it into a massive garden center. A huge garden center that went on for miles. It wasn’t clear how I got into the drug dealer’s house or why but in real life, I toured a large garden center that seemed endless and maze-like a few days before and I have been reading too many seed catalogs . I exited the massive garden center at some point and ended up a very long way from where I started and I was having a hard time trying to get back home, which in theory should have been just on the other side of the massive garden center and then I was searching for a bathroom and it was a very good thing Dogger picked that moment to wake me up.

Dogger was so desperate to go she voluntarily used the back yard! Nature must have been more than calling her because under normal circumstance she does not think the backyard is really suitable for her needs. She wouldn’t have had to go slumming in the backyard if she had agreed to go outside the night before, but Princess Fluffy Tocks couldn’t go out then because it was raining and she can’t concentrate in the rain and before the rain ruined her concentration she wouldn’t go spend quality time outside because somewhere, like two counties over, they were setting off fireworks and she can’t be outside if she thinks she might hear fireworks or even firework anywhere in our zip code. She has developed very good hearing, drop a plate two blocks away and she’ll wind up under the bed. I am thinking of teaching her to use a litter box, it would make life simpler for the both of us.

Oddly, thunder doesn’t seem to bother her, a kid pops a balloon a mile away and she’s diving under the bed, but thunderstorms do not faze her. The Kitty on the other hand, laughs in the face of fireworks but thanks to the storms, but spent most of the weekend hiding in his travel crate. The Kitty who is afraid of nothing freaked out during the thunderstorms while Dogger who is afraid of everything took them in stride, The Kitty could have cared less during the fireworks while Dogger made like the big furry chicken she is. I remember when he was a young cat and we were living in Dallas and he would flee to the tops of the kitchen cabinets when it stormed. In the spring, when we got really powerful thunderstorms he would spend all his time up there. I ended up putting a pillow and his baby and finally his dishes up there with him.

What is it like to live with pets that aren’t neurotic?

Monday, July 7, 2008

Really lame, even for a Lame Duck

TOYAKO, Japan (Reuters) - U.S. President George W. Bush on Monday kept up his tradition of informal relations with fellow world leaders by summoning Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper with a brusque "Yo Harper!"

...At the G8 summit
Long Weekend

So what did ya’ll do for the weekend? Lot’s of wild adventures? Spent July 4th evening watching amazing fireworks displays? I hate all of you. Sure, I had some “adventures”. On my way to Broskey and Alphagals on Friday, I bravely parked my car at the side of the road and intentionally violated a No Trespassing sign to take pictures of an artfully abandoned farm house.

Really abandoned?

Oh, yes.

And it’s abandoned grapes

And its abandoned landscaping, which was still nicer than mine.

Later on, Adventure Girl, now armed with Dogger, again decided that she was more special than everyone else and the rules did not apply to her and that her dog was not among the unspecial dogs covered under the “no dogs” rule as her dog was kept on leash and she was carrying bags. Obviously, the rules did not apply to her.

 Dogger and I went on a hike through the No Dogs Allowed forest. I had a good time but Dogger had a great time wading through ponds until she noticed that she was not wading alone . It turns out that we can add fingerlings to the list of things she is afraid of. Yes, the specter spending a few moments in the company of a two inch fish was enough to chase Dogger out of the water, but not the forest. . We went because I noticed that the ponds while lovely to look at, were filled with water that stank and the longer we spent in the forest the worse Dogger reeked.

Later, we went to see Raleigh’s fireworks. We saw some pyrotechnics but they weren’t Raleigh’s. We sucked road dust then the lightning started and the thunder and then the rain. I had a great time driving home in a deluge in the dark down unfamiliar streets. Yay July 4th!

On Saturday I watched TV and napped until after three in the afternoon and then I went and checked out Seaboard Station and its grocery store and True Value. I had all ready visited the very fab if very expensive plant nursery and went to go see what else was there and discovered everything is like the plant nursery - Very fab but very expensive. I don’t think I’m going to change my allegiance from Food Lion and Kroger and Home Depot at this time. Everything was very new and shiny and I think even the pipes and fittings at the Seaboard True-Value were certified organic. These stores were put there for the folks who will be living in the condos they are building on that side of downtown. It’s great for them if they are searching for organtics and free trade wrench sets but gawd help them if they have anything larger than a pocket pet waiting for them back at home because they didn’t stock food for anything larger.

So much for bargin shopping. I went home and played with my garden. My one squash died, I think I might just pull those plants out as they don’t seem well suited to the environment and are taking up room from those plants that are. I think I had twelve squash plants and not a single one has done anything but produce a lot of male flowers and then die. The eggplants are also narrowly dedicated to solely producing flowers but at least they aren’t teasing me by making tiny eggplants and then letting them die on the vine.

Saturday night I went back to Broskey and Alphagals and again tried for some fireworks. It rained. Again. I left early and as I was going home I looked up and there they were, fireworks! I pulled into a parking lot and had my own private show. I didn’t do anything else ya’ll did, but July 5th I did get a private fireworks show.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

HAPPY     SUNDAY    !!!!!!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Dogger for her part doesn't think fireworks are all that entertaining.

HAPPY     SATURDAY    !!!!!!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Friday Dog and Cat Blogging July 4th Edition


Thursday, July 3, 2008

Nummy Numbness

I went back to the dentist today and got another temporary crown. It is even more fun the second time around. The dentist worked fast so my jaw wouldn’t lock open like with the root canal. I thought that was very thoughtful of him. Of course I feel like crap almost immediately and I didn’t feel like crap after the root canal, I went back to work. One little temporary crown and I want to die, and going back to work was not an option. On the up side, nothing hurts yet, but my whole head feels offended.

I drove home playing with my numbness Ha! Ha! I think I'm biting my lip really hard and I can’t feel it! Oh, I’ll bite over here and it hurts! Bite here and it’s numb, bite here and ow! Lips are chewy!. I finally got tired of this game and stopped by the Cook Out for dinner, a lovely chocolate chip mint milk shake and went home. I walked in the door, greeted the animals, picked up my mail and collapsed into my chair. I didn’t have the strength or the energy to go further. I sat there until Dogger started to do her I-need-to-go-pee-right-now-or-else song and dance. I asked her to cut me a break and go upstairs and use The Kitty’s box  for once, and she growled at me.

I was busy. In the mail were two new seed catalogs! Once they have your name, they all have your name. Seed companies and garden catalogs are like  horticultural borg. These catalogs were different then the others, they didn't seem to think we all running our own truck gardens and these companies want to sell me  plants.

Burpee will mail me a selection of tomatoes. Two kinds of cherry tomatoes one  white and a red that grows in bunches, three larger tomatoes, one orange, one yellow and the largest one kind of a hot pink! The Cooks Garden catalog, which seems a little more hoity toity then the others I've looked at, sells a collection of six varieties of peppers! From large banana peppers to  grilling peppers to  peppers for stuffing and baking And these just come through the mail!  I wonder if Amazon sells plants? I should check.

Seedlings through the mail, it’s like an automatic garden. No dealing with seeds and no having to deal with the non-variety of seedlings in the stores. It costs more up front but pays off in the long run. It just sounds like the coolest thing ever. Burpee will send you a whole seedling garden though the mail and I thought Now, that’s sexy... until I looked closer and it included two varieties of eggplant. Ew. Not sexy.

It’s too late for this year but wouldn’t it be cool for next year? The varied selection was really what I was going for this year but didn’t really achieve. Okay, I haven’t actually achieved anything but three tiny tomatoes and some collard greens, but it’s never too early to begin to think about next year, it would be kind of nice to have a plan in place before I get started. I have all ready learned for instances, that peppers aren’t in love with direct sunlight - they like it, they don’t mind hanging around with it but they aren’t going to ask it out for dinner. It’s their friend they don’t like it like that. Next years peppers are going to go in pots on the front deck where its cooler and they don’t get as much direct sunlight as the sliver of back yard / surface of the sun where this years unhappy pepper plants are. See, I know that now. I have achieved some wisdom all ready. Not much of a harvest, but I have grown some knowledge.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Seed Thoughts, By Diana Nothandy

I got another seed catalogue today. A big, glossy catalogue full of beautifully photographed vegetables and short on frivolities like flowers. The pictures of flowers in the last seed catalogue I received withered . My house is such a floral dead zone that even pictures of flowers wilt the minute they get inside. It’s very disheartening.

Yeah, well. I don’t order these catalogs for flowers. They can shove their exotic bulbs right up their manure spreader. I’m not in the market for decorative items. I’m in the market for vegetables.

Do I want to deal with seeds though? They don’t call them seed catalogs because the have pages and pages of interesting seedlings . I’m more of a seedling person I think. I’m not sure I have the patience it takes to grow things from seeds. All the pictures are of these gorgeous, lush, healthy all ready grown and harvested vegetables. There aren’t a lot of pictures of the seeds. They gloss right over the seed stage of the vegetable. I think that's a little disingenuous on their part.

I was thinking about all of this while I was riding my bike. Dogger refused to go for a walk, which was not her being head strong.. Dogger is in the middle of her yearly bout with doggy prickly heat and part of the treatment for doggy prickly heat is massive doses of benadryl. She’s on enough downers to stop a smaller dog or a full sized human in their tracks. When she’s sleeping she’s not itching and when she’s not itching, her rash has a chance to heal. I think walking also exaserbates the problem because the rash is in her little doggy arm pit and walking makes it chafe. She wasn’t so tired that she wasn’t able to run from me when I approached her with her leash for a walk though. Bitch.

But it was way too pretty last night to not take advantage of the weather, I mean really. It would have been wrong to not be outside.  When I left for my ride I left Dogger in the back yard and I didn’t even feel bad about it.

And while I was peddling along I was thinking about seeds.

How big a pain in the ass is starting seeds? A 4 or 5 on the PitA scale? Don’t you need light for that? Do windows count? Do I have enough light coming my windows in for that? Peddle, peddle, peddle Do I really see me doing that? And where would I grow them? Peddle, peddle, peddle Would The Kitty agree to a destroying-my-things detente’ and wouldn’t taking care of seeds be almost like taking care of another animal?  Do I want dozens of tiny pets? Do I want dirt in my house? Peddle, peddle, peddle And how pissed would I be if I did take on all that and they ended up just being stringy and leggy and later ended up not producing anything or what if they all died? But what if they all lived? I don’t have room for dozens of plants, even really interesting plants. Peddle, peddle, peddle And the interesting seeds aren’t free either and at least with two or three cheap boring seedlings you know the plants are viable and under your control Peddle, peddle, peddle Hey look there’s my Church! I could ride my bike to Mass! But.. pretty much the only way to get really interesting vegetable plants is to grow them yourself from interesting seeds because gawd knows the vegetable seedlings available at the stores are not interesting. I mean, what I’m growing I could buy at the store.

Peddle, peddle, peddle

But there are more than just tomatoes, green beans! Spaghetti squash! Peddle, the squash I have now hates me! Peddle, peddle Garlic! Dozens of different types of garlic! I love garlic. Everyone I know loves garlic. And I’m pretty sure I could grow broccoli here in the fall, I love broccoli! Peddle, peddle, peddle But geeze, I’m all ready going to try growing multiple varieties of garlic over the winter. How much work do I want to do after it gets cold and the garden isn’t green and sexy any more? Answer:  Not a lot.

Peddle, peddle peddle.