Tuesday, September 30, 2008

the magic cat

Anyone have any ideas about cat psychology?

There is a white cat that has been coming around lately. At first we called it the Magic Cat because it cast a spell on our cat. Our cat HATES and tries to destroy all other cats. He hisses and yowls, chases them and will go into biting, clawing combat with them if necessary. But this white cat came around and none of that happened. They were just hanging out together. The white cat can even come right up to our cat’s face and they sniff each other.

We were excited for our cat to have a friend and thought that maybe this new cat would teach our antisocial and possibly mentally disturbed cat how to play cat games. Our cat grew up on the mean streets of La Jolla so he has some trust issues.

The first time the white cat came into our kitchen, I started to feed them both treats. I dropped a bunch on the floor by accident and when the white cat tried to eat a treat that was near our cat, our cat hissed and swatted at him. No big deal. That's just communication in cat world. The white cat scurried away but stayed in the kitchen. They both happily continued to eat treats.

The white cat has come around a few more days. But now our cat has gotten very timid and passive. We feed him wet food every night when we come home from work. The white cat was around last night. We put the wet food in the bowl and our cat started eating. The white cat started to approach him and I expected another swat from our cat. But our cat just timidly walked away and let the white cat start to eat his wet food. So we put the white cat outside and let our cat finish his wet food.

Later, they were both in the backyard, just hanging. I came out with a bag of treats and usually when I shake the bag of treats, our cat comes running. This time, with the white cat around, our cat just hung back and wouldn't come close enough for me to give him any treats. He wouldn't even eat the treats that I tossed near him. Later I found our cat in the front of our house and he came right up to me. I carried him inside and he did his normal evening activities. We don't let the white cat stay in our house at night.

This morning our cat ate some dry food and then the white cat came meowing at our back door. So I let him in and he ate some dry food too. Our cat seemed like he really did not want to be there with the white cat. The white cat is outgoing and curious and walks around all parts of the house, checking things out. Our cat jumped on the dining room table and the white cat jumped on the dining room chairs under the table. Our cat's paw was hanging off the table and the white cat batted at it - trying to play. Our cat doesn't know how to play and jumped a little and pulled his paw in.

Our cat doesn't seem extremely stressed - he will relax and lay around with the white cat there. He has just become very timid and doesn't seem like his normal self.

This has only been happening for a few days and Josh and I haven't yet tried to find out who owns the white cat. We should do that soon because if he belongs to someone else, we need to stop feeding him. (We couldn't help feeding him. He is so cute and we were FASCINATED by his magical effect on our cat.)

So is our cat forever going to be a wimp? He doesn't even come sit on our laps at night as much as he used to. Or is this just a transition and he will get over it? Any ideas?

Next weekend we'll also be adding the big black dog to the mix. That should be interesting.


Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Blob

So I grab a bottle of water from our refrigerator as I am leaving this morning to go for a walk in the park. We often refill our plastic water bottles a few times. It's less wasteful. Although lately I have used an aluminum, reusable water bottle that works great. But the plastic bottle is smaller and easier to hold when I walk.

In the car, I take a sip. Hmmmm. A slight citrus flavor. Maybe Josh added one of his flavor packets to this bottle of water. But then I look:


A lovely, gelatinous blob is floating in the water. Looks like a jellyfish. Okay, so I stop at the 7-11 and pick up a new bottle of water for my walk. Driving to the park again. I absentmindedly take ANOTHER sip from the blob bottle. Ewwwww. There's that citrus flavor again. I wasn't paying attention and thought I was grabbing the new bottle of water.

So I figure it is either going to make me puke, or give me superpowers. No X-ray vision yet, but we'll see...


The Blob in action:

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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Never again...


There was no embarrassing incident or comical injury, but I've concluded that it is just plain STUPID to try to walk around in shoes like this. I ditched them right after the ceremony and went with a more comfortable backup pair of shoes that I had brought with me. Ahhhhhh...much better.

I will admit though that it was fun to be ridiculously tall and tower over most people including all the men. I felt like the woman from this old film:


But don't worry, my skirt was not that short.

It really was a movie made in 1958. Click here to see the trailer.

Monday, September 22, 2008

One for Matthew

Again, I have to proclaim that this is not my fault. Coming out of Josh's Dad's house in the morning this past weekend, and this bug was just there, dancing on my windshield. I had to take a few pictures.

Matthew likes the bug pictures, so these will be for him.

And I just figured out that if you click on a picture, you'll see a bigger version of it.

One of the reasons I love my job

This is Dundee, the owner's dog. He comes to work every day. The videos show him putting his disgusting, slimy tennis ball on my desk and then patiently waiting for me to throw it. He is so much fun.

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Today's walk

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Saw a couple of deer today while on my walk. The video is not that great, but I only had my cell phone with me. I haven't ventured off the main road in this park, but I still keep seeing wild things. The park is called Mission Trails Regional Park.

There are some places in California where deer are abundant and very common. They are considered pests because they come into yards and eat up gardens. They call them "Rats on Stilts."

Friday, September 19, 2008

These are really my toes...



See how sparkly they are?




And these are my fingers.



I did girlie stuff today. Josh's sister Gena is getting married this weekend. It got a manicure and pedicure. Man, what a whole process that is. There are so many steps. They rub this stuff on and then clip stuff and then rub more stuff on, then file and buff and clip and then put one coat of something and then two coats of color and then another coat of something and then they spritz some other thing on them. It felt like it took forever.



And look at the shoes with the ridiculously high heels that I am going to wear. I walked around the house with them and didn't break my neck, so I think I'll be okay. And I'm feeling adventurous.


See how the front of the shoe is open? Hence, the sparkly toes. I was told by the young manicure girl that silver is the way to go for an evening wedding. I had picked out a classic, understated, pearly white color. I was told that it was sooooo daytime wedding. She also asked me if I wanted extra sparkle things, or glitter enhancers, or something like that on my big toes. I declined.



Thursday, September 18, 2008

Doofus in nature - part 2

I don't know how this has turned into some kind of nature journal, but here I go again.

I saw my first rattlesnake. Actually, I heard him before I saw him. Which is exactly how it is supposed to work. He rattles. I jump ten feet in the other direction. He stays where he is. I stay the heck away. Everyone's happy.

Okay, maybe that is not exactly how it is supposed to work. I'll admit that it might be better if I see him before I get so close that he has to rattle at me.

It was late afternoon and I was walking in the park after work. I was on the main, paved road that runs through it. There is a curb right in the middle of the road to separate car traffic from pedestrians and bikes. I was walking closer to the curb in the middle of the road so that I wouldn't be near the wilderness side of the road in case some early evening creature decided to mosey out. I walked right by the snake before he rattled at me. I really did jump in the other direction.

See my creative overhead view below. The thick black line is the curb running through the middle of the road, and the circle is where the snake was. (No, I wasn't barefoot.)


Then I turned to look at him. I didn't think it would be wise to try to get any closer to take a picture with my crappy cell phone camera. So then I just walked on. I would have told other people to watch out for the snake, but I didn't run into anyone else the rest of the way.

And I call myself a doofus because it is funny. You don't have to worry. I really do know what to do if I were to be bitten by a rattlesnake. Do you?


This is a sign that is in the parking lot of the park.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Hummingbirds



This morning the backyard was just infested with hummingbirds. They were buzzing around everywhere, chasing each other and stopping to feed at the new hummingbird feeder. It took about 7 tries and a lot of patience, but I got a couple of decent movies with my camera. The camera doesn't really take great video, but it was the best I could get.


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(And here's a computer lesson, in case you don't know. Whenever you see a slightly fuzzy picture with a sideways triangle in the middle - that's a video clip. If you click on the triangle, the video will play.)


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Am I bugging you yet?

Okay, just one more bug-related post and then I'll stop. This is a moth on my screen from a few weeks ago.





Cycle of life

This morning I was crouching down near some plants, cleaning out the dead pine needles. I saw what was probably the green bug from before. It was dead. It was hanging from its front legs, tied by some sort of web, swinging in the breeze.

It looked like some poor Guantanamo Bay detainee about to be subjected to "enhanced interrogation techniques." (But no torture...of course we don't use torture.)

Or maybe there is a gang war going on with the bugs. This bug strayed a little too far into the enemy's territory and they had to make a grotesque example of him.

Or maybe that's just the way it goes - one day you are bright green and hopping around and the next day...

Sunday, September 7, 2008

More things in my yard

You might think I spend my time looking around for lizards and bugs. I don't. These creatures just FIND ME and then I must take their picture. Look at this fascinating green bug. How could I NOT take its picture.





The grasshopper at the top of this blog only gave me one chance. He hopped away as soon as I took that picture. But this guy let me take a whole bunch of them. I was putting the camera really close to him and he didn't seem to care. I swear he was looking at me the whole time with his funky red eye.


Friday, September 5, 2008

Pathetic


See!!!

See what happens!!!




I've had this plant less than a week. I did water it (at least I am pretty sure I did.)
And look at it.

What more does it want from me?!?!?!?!?


I know, I know...I gave it more water this morning. And I'm planning to put it in a bigger pot this weekend. I don't know how you crazy gardening people do it.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

toxic dryer sheets and other fun stuff

I don't use fabric softener. I just never understood why it was necessary. I believe it was a marketing ploy by the detergent companies to get us to buy more stuff.

So my clothes aren't fluffy soft - big deal. Sometimes pieces stick together with the static when I take them out of the dryer. So what? I like the crackly noise when I pull them apart. And they don't smell like the chemically-generated equivalent of a field of lavender. That's actually good for me because I can't stand to be enveloped by a single smell.

It turns out there are very good reasons not to u
se fabric softener. Toxic chemicals galore and over time the dryer sheets can damage your dryer. Click here if you want to read more.

There is something called Dryer Balls that you can get at places like Target that helps you
r clothes come out soft without the chemicals. I haven't tried them, but they look cool. (It could just be a big marketing ploy by the dryer ball companies to get me to buy more stuff.)

When I started to write this I was searching on Google to try to find an article that I had read about dryer sheets. It was months ago so I didn't remember where I had found it. I looked up the phrase "toxic dryer sheets." And look what comes up on the search page:


Capitalism at its best. You want toxic dryer sheets? Someone, somewhere will try to sell them to you.

I tried some other interesting search phrases and here's what I got:
It's a little bit misleading of me. No one is really selling children's cigars or flammable toys. Those listings are for books and CD's. But I like how technology can still be so dumb sometimes.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Worm Poop!

I'm so excited today to try my worm poop plant food. I found it yesterday at Target of all places. The nursery that I like to visit is closed on Sundays (good for them!) So I went to the gardening section of Target. Everywhere I looked was Miracle-Gro this and Miracle-Gro that. I don't know why, but anything Miracle-Gro just makes me think of a bunch of chemicals.

Maybe I'm mixing it up with Chem-Lawn. Remember that? The sickly sweet smell after they came and sprayed our whole lawn with who knows what? Maybe that's what made me and Bobby grow so tall. I remember one summer, when the Chem-Lawn guy came we ran around the lawn as he sprayed it, like we were running through sprinklers. The Chem-Lawn guy just laughed and laughed. JUST KIDDING!

So I'm looking for some kind of plant food that isn't Miracle-Gro and at the top of the shelf is a spray bottle. What caught my eye was a tag on it that had someone's handwritten name. The plant food comes in a recycled soda bottle that is collected by different schools throughout the U.S. The schools get money for turning in the bottles. I looked at every single bottle to find one from R.I. but didn't find any. So I settled for Peter from New Jersey.

If you want to read more about the worm poop go here: TerraCycle

The other good thing about it is that it sounds easy. I just have to spray it on the soil and leaves once a week. Even I can handle that.

I also bought a new pink plant to take the place of Mr. Finicky-I-need -full-shade plant that isn't doing well where I planted it. I'm going to dig it up, transplant it to a pot and put it under my bed. Let's see how it likes that.


This plant can take the full sun. Here's the before picture. Look how healthy and green it looks. Let's see what it looks like after a few months in my care.