Monday, March 31, 2008

Just in case you didn't have a need to use Google on Saturday...

...this is what you missed:

Google for Earth Hour

Wow. That's sure to get your attention.

I actually sat waiting for a few seconds, figuring that the browser hadn't finished parsing and rendering the page (there are times when it can be a disadvantage to understand how these things work). Then I noticed the words across the middle of the screen:

"We've turned the lights out. Now it's your turn - Earth Hour"

Given the gazillions of people who use Google every day, I wonder if this wasn't the single most effective promotion for Earth Hour.

(You can click on the image above for the full-size screen capture. If the print appears squirrely, you may have to make your browser window wider.)


Friday, March 28, 2008

A milestone passed

Yesterday Princess Sunni passed a milestone: She finished off her first bag of prescription dog food.

Around New Years Day, Sunni was doing terribly in her bout with brain cancer. Her local vet -- not an expert in cancer, but someone we trust -- insisted that her brain cancer had returned. Her neurologist vet -- an expert in brain cancer but a really flawed person that we do not trust -- insisted that it was a problem in her medications. The neurologist vet's intern suggested that we put Sunni on a prescription dog food to help protect her liver and kidneys against side effects from her medications.

So we went to Sunni's vet's office for the prescription dog food. The Very Nice Pharmacist brought out a ten pound bag. "Do you have a smaller bag?" asked Judi.

"No," said Very Nice Pharmacist. "This is the only size it comes it."

"Okay," said Judi, and I could just see her face fall, her shoulders sag, and the life drain out of her body.

As we were leaving the vet's, the bag of food under my arm, Judi said, "I don't mind spending the money, but it just kills me to think that Sunni isn't going to live to eat all that food. She's going to die first."

Well, as it turned out, the neurologist vet that we don't like or trust was right: It was the medications. And after some weeks of trial and error Sunni bounced back with a vengeance. Today she is thrilling her Mommy with every new recovering stride she makes: Howling at the delivery man when he knocks on the door, for example. Better watch out, Delivery Man, there's a beagle Princess with some kick on this side of the door.

And, yesterday, the Princess of Princesses finished off that first bag of dog food.

We are so thrilled.

Today a fresh bag of prescription dog food was brought home to the Princess's Palace. Ten more pounds. How many more will there be? I don't know. We shall see.

But we are thrilled.

If any of you want to click on the link to the photo slideshow of Judi's butterfly garden, the last slide is a picture of Princess Sunni laying in the grass and surveying her new butterfly garden.


Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Open for business

Judi's new butterfly garden is open for business:

Main View

The plants are just in the ground and have some growing to do, but Judi is very excited. In fact, she's talking about turning the entire backyard into one huge butterfly garden, with paving stone walkways. I'm not sure she's kidding.

If you want to see a few more pictures, click here.


Thursday, March 20, 2008

Happy First Day of Spring!


Judi's yellow lilies (she has a pink ones, too).


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The mortgage foreclosure meltdown is worse than we thought

The mortgage foreclosure meltdown appears to have extended into the very trees. Tree branches, to be precise. With consequent evictions. How else can we account for epiphytic plants being forced to live on telephone wires?

Air plants on telephone wires

(P.S. I don't think any of my three readers are being foreclosed upon, but if so, I apologize if my jest strikes you as off-color. I know losing a home is traumatic.)


Tuesday, March 18, 2008


The Word of the Day today at is nefarious. The definition of nefarious is "iniquitous."

It should be against the rules to define one four-syllable word with another four-syllable word.


Monday, March 10, 2008

Waiting for Spring...

Judi has a good friend who's a nurse in the neonatal ICU of a hospital in New Jersey. Mostly she cares for tiny, tiny newborns -- some no longer than a pencil -- but she also does the bereavement counseling, which, unfortunately, is often needed in her line of work.

Recently Judi sent her friend an email message discussing Judi's plan to put in a butterfly garden. She received this reply:
Judi, great to hear from you. I really haven't been on the computer.

Yeah, this weather is so teasing, because one day the air just tells you spring is coming and then bam!!!! Another reminder that Mother Nature still rules! Your butterflies will come, I'm sure. Work is busy, busy, busy. Oh, and I have a new little love -- his name is [redacted] and he's 1000 grams. This was a twin pregnancy but the other boy died in utero one week before this boy's early delivery. The parents have had several losses before and they are so grateful to have this baby survive. Mom has really been letting out a lot of her feelings, and so far she hasn't touched him yet. She's still talking about the baby that died, and she needs this extra time. After you hold a dead baby it takes awhile to let that go. She's so afraid to attach, but I'm hoping this weekend that will happen. I would love to put him in her arms for the first time, but little steps, that's all we can do. I just hope this kid makes it. He has so many more weeks to go, but the biggest thing is getting through March, then he'll be stronger.

Isn't it funny how we all are waiting for the magic of this Spring? All in our own way, we are holding on as each day passes for the time to come: You will see your butterflies, I will not bust my ass on the ice anymore this year, and, hopefully we can get this baby to grow into his mother's arms.
Here's to Spring, whatever time of year it may come to you.

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Friday, March 07, 2008

Not so tickled

I was just tickled to see this (thanks to Viv for the tip):

CTHULHU 2008 - Why vote for a lesser evil? I bought one (from here), and I brought it to work and hung it with a magnet on the cabinet door above my workstation, pleased with the thought that my coworkers would be just tickled.

My coworkers haven't been "just tickled." My coworkers have been just puzzled. I have yet to encounter a single one who understands. What sad state have we come to when H.P. Lovecraft is so unknown and unread? The end of civilization?

I will have to consult my copy of the Necronomicon.

In the meantime, please support the Cthulhu presidential campaign. Because, after all, why should we have to settle for the lesser of evils?


Sunday, March 02, 2008


Aging is an incredibly complex experience in so many ways: Biologically, emotionally, culturally, intellectually, and countless other "ly's." Today I passed a milestone in whatever "ly" refers to how other people perceive our own aging. This is a milestone in a series. There are earlier milestones in this same series that I have already passed. To wit:

There's the first time that one makes a purchase at a liquor store and is not asked for id.

I don't remember the date or even year that I passed this milestone, but I remember the event and place very well: It was in the liquor store at an Albertsons. I was very disappointed.

Another milestone is the first time a younger person addresses one as "sir." Or "ma'am."

I remember this event in my own life as well. I was angry.

Today I passed the third milestone in this series: I was buying a small Frosty (vanilla, of course) at a Wendy's. And the order-taker asked me:

"A senior Frosty?"

I gritted my teeth.

"No," I said.

The order-taker pressed the issue:

"You can get the senior. It's okay."

I gritted my teeth more.

"No," I hissed.

So there you are: I am now looked upon as one to whom the senior discount should be proffered.

Alas, the story does not end there. I returned to my table and told Judi what happened.

"You shouldn't be angry," Judi said. "It just means that you look like whatever the age is for senior discounts. Fifty-five?"

It's relevant to mention at this point that I am actually fifty-one.

"So," I said, "I look fifty-five? Thanks!"

"It's not that!" said Judi. "It's just that you haven't shaved today, and your stubble is gray, and your hair is in disarray."

"Oh," I said, my voice rising even more, "so old people all look disheveled?"

"I'm digging," said Judi, "myself a deeper and deeper hole."


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Saturday, March 01, 2008

The Return of the Invisible Blog

This blog doesn't get many visits. Less than ten a day, and most of those are bots. But last Tuesday and Wednesday I had almost twenty visits! Still largely bots, but, still, it was quite a spike. I suspect that a post that contains the word invisible draws a little attention.

Invisible, invisible, invisible....

No, seriously, I'm never going to be famous for this blog. But does anyone besides me find a bit of cosmic irony in the fact that word invisible increases the visibility of a blog?


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