Friday, February 29, 2008

New High (Low?) in Google Searches...

Someone in Sri Lanka ended up here while googling "pictures of rats sitting on shoes".


I took it again...

It didn't help.

You're One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest!

by Ken Kesey

You're crazy. This has led people to attempt to confine you to a safe
place so that you don't pose a danger to yourself or others. You feel like you pose a
great danger to the man (or maybe the woman) or whatever else is keeping you down. But
most of the time, you just end up being observed. Were you crazy before you were

third time's the charm? yes.

You're Jurassic Park!

by Michael Crichton

You combine all the elements of a mad scientist, a brash philosopher,
a humble researcher, and a money-hungry attracter of tourists. With all these features,
you could build something monumental or get chased around by your own demons. Probably
both, in fact. A movie based on your life would make millions, and spawn at least two
sequels that wouldn't be very good. Be very careful around islands.

Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.


You're Watership Down!

by Richard Adams

Though many think of you as a bit young, even childish, you're
actually incredibly deep and complex. You show people the need to rethink their
assumptions, and confront them on everything from how they think to where they
build their houses. You might be one of the greatest people of all time. You'd
be recognized as such if you weren't always talking about talking rabbits.

Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

I dunno if this is me or not. I know I do not talk about talking rabbits all the time. In fact, I never talk about talking rabbits, and only rarely about the more traditional non-talking rabbits.

Later there will be photos from Tess's school thing last night.

Busy busy day...

  • 7:25 am load Abe and Mojo into the Suburban for 20 minute drive to vet's.
  • 7:28 am hit local 4 way stop that morons cannot seem to understand -- really, how hard is it to realize traffic running parallel can all cross intersection at same time? Instead, cars go from one direction at a time. Good thing Suburban is not equipped with machine gun.
  • 7:30 am hit first red light.
  • 7:31 am pull onto 5 mile road with no possibility of passing -- granny out for Sunday drive would be annoyed by how slow the traffic is going.
  • 7:38 am hit second, third fourth, fifth sixth, seventh, eighth, every traffic light red.
  • 7:59 am get to vet's. take Abe in, because Mojo is so hyper I cannot control both, plus neglected to bring second leash.
  • 8:04 am take Mo in, watch (and, okay, kinda enjoy) Brendan the expert dog handler have tough time getting Mojo under control and in the back for blood draw.
  • 8:10 am talking to Mark on phone, and hitting Starbuck's...

enough with the minute by minute...get home, feed Mo -- who shockingly was hesitant to eat. Mo has a thing about food. Mo eats his 1 3/4 cups of food in under 30 sec sometimes. I think he was missing Abe, and perhaps is slightly freaked because I have become Cesar the Dog Whisperer's clone. I actually, just by body language, got both dogs to sit and look at me instead of barking madly at the UPS truck. I made Mojo sit down in the vet's office, even though there was a dog right there, and I made him follow me from the Burb to the front door. I actually want him to do something so I can go all Cesar on his ass...

Called the bank, ordered checks, called Mark about something, walked down to the main street for Zach to pick me up -- he left school to go to the dentist. Dentist took almost no time at all.

Zach was hungry for Taco Bell, but unfortunately there was a school bus/car accident and traffic was routed around the exact block we needed to drive down to get to Taco Bell. He settled for McD's. And it's still only just 10:30, because they switched over to lunch just as we got there. Didn't go well, their switchover -- it took them ten minutes to fill a simple sandwich and fries order.

In the afternoon, Zach and I -- Zach stayed home after the dentist because allergies were making him feel horrible -- we ordered him new luggage from LL Bean and REI. It's his graduation present from my parents, though he's getting it a bit early so he can use it in Italy. We leave for Italy in ... 17 days I think!

I also made brownies with the amazing Ghiradelli's frosting for Tess's fine arts open house, fed the kidlets, sent Zach off to a meeting about the Italy trip and went and saw Tess in a play. She was a robber and got in a big stage fight. It was great! In slow motion she banged two people's heads together, got punched, and crawled off the stage in great pain. Loads of fun. Got one of the biggest reactions of the evening. Photos tomorrow.

Oh, yeah, Abe had surgery again, Dr L is pissed that a third surgery was needed -- pissed in general, just that it's not working. I am going to sedate the hell out of that dog until it heals. Poor dog. It has been a tough time for him...

Gratuitous random photo...Mark and I drove up Mount Lemmon one day...It's a fascinating drive -- goes from the desert floor to 8000 feet or so. We go through four or five or six different zones, from saguaro desert to scrub to mixed forest to conifer. (Okay, this is totally not scientific or probably even correct, but I have to post this in the next minute or it's Friday.)

There are lots of interesting rock formations like this on MT Lemmon. 30 seconds to go...Must post now...

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Proof my dogs are insane gits.

It's not that I don't think my guys aren't adorable, it's just that I would like to occasionally take a picture of them where they don't look demented.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Walking the dogs, part two...

At the end of part one, I had just removed a chunk of cholla from Mojo's paw...

So we kept walking along the wash. For you poor unfortunates who have never been here: This is a wash. A big cement ditch, to control the water when it rains.

(They are not all cement, actually, some are dirt with scrub brush, and some they call rivers. They are delusional, because these are former rivers, and are now dry river beds. Well, dry 363 days a year, anyway. 364, in leap years.)

Most of the time they are bone dry. But during monsoon season, they can have fast running water in them, and can be dangerous. Last year a man fell into one and his body was carried 15 miles in 4 hours. Kids walk in them and jump their bikes on the slopes, but when it's raining anywhere around, the kids know to stay out of them. The coyotes like them, too. Sometimes when we walk the dogs after dark we see a coyote running along one. (They are necessary because our ground is so hard water doesn't soak in, and during the monsoons the rains are heavy but brief. The yards flood, the streets flood, all that water has to go somewhere. How hard is the ground? If you are planting several trees they recommend renting a jackhammer...)

Behind the kids is the middle school Thor went to for part of a year, until we pulled him out of there because they had really bad ideas, like giving kids detention because they didn't have a pencil or they forgot their homework. Seriously. I know. Crazy. That's why we pulled him out.

The sky, the clouds, the Rincon Mountains, the stupid middle school, some lights, and a couple stunty trees. All the trees here are stunty. That's what you get for living in the desert.

Thor's hair is getting very long. It's very thick and curly too. He is completely uninterested in getting it cut, and is wanting to learn how to braid it. I like it. I wish it was mine.

Tess in the school parking lot. This parking lot is where we taught Mojo how to be off the leash. Mojo is very well behaved, except when Abe goes tearing off or barks like a mad dog. Mojo rarely barked until we got Abe, and he never ran off down the street, until he felt he must follow Abe. Abe is not allowed off the leash when he's not fenced in, because he is not all that well behaved. He's kind of flighty and insane. And annoying and loud. Good thing we love him.

We took 177 photos on Sunday. I downloaded 148 into the computer. We finally got some of the dogs where they don't look like complete gits, or insane. Abe generally looks kinda psycho in photographs, according to my sister.

Git is a new favorite word. I have been watching BBC America quite a lot lately. Plus re-reading some of the Brit Chick Lit I bought in London...

If you look at Thor's body language here you can tell that he doesn't have a lot of control over the beasties...they are pretty much pulling him along. His flip flops are slapping the pavement pretty good. They were pulling extra hard because I was sitting on the sidewalk in front of them, taking photos. They don't like me to get too far away from them. It's a little annoying sometimes, and I have stepped on their heads, their tails, and stuck my foot into Mo's mouth repeatedly because they have to lay right at my feet. They make great foot warmers, something I am sure I will appreciate much more once we move to Alaska.

The Dog Whisperer would be so disappointed in us, because our dogs are always out in front of us, which is the dominant position. Something I really need to work on...

This is a mesquite tree. Those thorns are unpleasant. I know, because Abe dragged me under one just before he stepped on a snake and then got attacked by a pit bull. Abe and I sometimes have very adventurous walks.

This is a soccer ball in a mesquite tree. It has lots of those thorns. I think ithe ball is going to be there for a long time.

This is our street. We are almost home. You can see the rear end of my red Suburban down there. Unfortunately right about the time we got to the second basketball hoop, our neighbor's dog -- a mastiff type who is a little bigger than Mojo -- came busting out of their house and ran up to us.

(The neighbor's dog is really good looking -- I am a complete sucker for muscle breeds like mastiffs and boxers and pits, and this one is that cool dark grey color.)

Did you notice the part where I said "a little bigger than Mojo?" Mojo weighs 100 pounds. He is extremely well muscled, especially in the shoulders and jaw. This dog wasn't as heavily muscled, but he was big.

So of course Mojo and the neighbor dog had to get all bristly and "get out of my yard" and "get away from my pack." Things escalated, and suddenly Mojo had a grip on the other dog's jowl and didn't want to let go.

Today I was watching the Dog Whisperer (I love Cesar!) and he said yelling when dogs are fighting only makes things worse. Uh huh. Okay. Then what am I supposed to do? I am pulling backwards on Mojo and he isn't letting go of the other dog's jowl and we are all yelling and the dogs are growling and snapping and the neighbor came running and yelling. Mojo let go, and the other dog backed off. Mojo really does have strong jaws. I would not want him yanking on my jowls...

Mojo has a couple scrapes under his chin, and I assume the neighbor's dog has a couple scrapes or bites on his face too.

Stupid dogs.

Abe I think just stood there watching the fight. He's not much for fighting -- when he was attacked by the pit bull right after he stepped on the snake (which he had a very healthy respect for -- he didn't want anything to do with it. Surprise! He does have a brain sometimes), he didn't even realize at first the pit bull wasn't playing.

(None of us thought to take any photos, because of all the yelling and barking and growling and stuff...)

Then we went home and had sloppy joes.

Monday, February 25, 2008

I never should have used cancer in the title...

Today I had a couple of rather interesting google searches. I have had plenty of rats and laboratory cancer searches lead to me, and lots of them about dogs and fluconazole (I don't know if I spelled that right -- it's Mojo's anti-fungal medicine for Valley Fever) and Valley Fever. I have had searches for "funny laboratory photos" and stuff about laboratory rats and cancer, including wanting to know how to give rats cancer...But these are just huh.

Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin, ended up on my blog while searching "why do pretzels cause cancer'...So not only am I subverting the morals of the world with my hedonism, but now I find out I am encouraging the wanton use of carcinogenic snack foods.

And I am very sorry to disappoint Bedford, of Bedfordshire, somewhere in the UK, who wandered onto my site looking for "photos of rats kissing." I don't want to know why someone would want to see that...but somehow I feel once again that I am subverting the morals of my little corner of the world...

Someone in Petaling Jaya, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia, searched "meatloaf's cause cancer."

All of these people clicked through to my blog. Presumably they did not find what they were searching for. Maybe I could fill a need here... Perhaps the meatloaf/pretzel cancer connection needs further research -- I will have an extra bedroom when my son goes away to college next year, and we already have two guinea pigs, and then I can also supply funny laboratory photos.

Perhaps then I can redeem myself for all those years of pretzel hedonism...

walking the dogs part one

We took the dogs on a walk on Sunday afternoon. It was a lovely late afternoon, temperatures in the 70's. Mostly sunny skies with enough clouds to make it interesting. Great day for a walk. Turns out it was a very eventful walk...

It started like every walk does, with Abe spiraling out of control excitement over somebody touching a leash. Mojo is very hyper too, but he doesn't leap into the air and spin around . Abe is a couple feet tall, and I am 5'7", and when he is excited, he jumps up and looks me right in the eye. Mojo, on the other hand, doesn't bother with heights. He just shreds our kneecaps with this bizarre stiff-legged pawing at us. Moj's paws are like steel encased in sandpaper, so this is really quite unpleasant. See how exciting this walk is? And we haven't even made it out the door yet...

The clouds were really great -- I love living on a plain surrounded by mountains. There's always a cool shot...

We went down to the path along the wash. Before we got to the wash, while we were walking along the street, this kid looked over his backyard wall at us...Abe noticed him and went bananas. I frankly couldn't blame Abe, because it was very strange -- this kid didn't say anything, he just stared at us. All we could see of him was his head. Mojo didn't know what Abe was barking at, but he was all hyper because he must protect the Abe. Which causes problems. More of that later...

Mojo shaking...

We looped the dogs' leashes together...that way they absorb some of the pulling and give our poor shoulders a break. I was surprised that Abe was able to yank Mojo around. Usually Moj is the one pushing Abe around. I didn't think Abe would have been strong enough to pull Mojo away from an interesting bush.

These four photos show just how
impossible it is for my dogs to look noble and non-goofy for even a few seconds...I mean, look -- the first two photos, both of them look normal and you know, of above average dog intelligence. But then their real doofus personalities shine through.

Really you should enlarge this third one. Moj looks like an idiot.
He should be embarrassed.

Shortly after this demonstration of his true self, Mojo stepped on a chunk of cholla.
(apparently he did not check out my Weekly Winners and thus missed a very important lesson --never kick a cholla! (I would like you all to know that this is my mother-in-law's shoe. I have never had a large chunk of spiny plant stuck to me. Yet. The individual spines, sure, a bunch of them, but never a chunk like this. Yet.)
Note the large chunk of cholla in Mojo's paw, Mojo's noble suffering, and the way Abe's tail is curved up over the Moj's head.

Cholla spines are a bugger. They have barbs that make it really painful to pull out. And since Mo had stepped on big chunk of it, there were lots of spines in his paw. And because we thought Mo had learned his lesson about cacti spines, we stopped bothering with taking a leatherman tool along on walks, so I got to pull all those spines out of his paw, and then I got to pull some of them out of my hand. Can I get a Woot?

Okay. So that's part one of our adventurous walk. Part two has violence and humor, amazing skies, more spiny (but less personally painful) plants. So y'all come back now, ya hear?

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Weekly Winners

The brainchild of Lotus, the Sarcastic Mom! Find more weekly winners here!

Killer Bunnies.
New game...Vicious and lots of fun.

I get to kill my kids' bunnies with impunity (and kitchen whisks!)

I know. But it's fun.

I know, I used this one yesterday. But I have very few good photos this week...

I love this photo of Abe. It makes him seem thoughtful, pensive, deep,
when we all know he's a big git...

He's kinda squinty...

and apparently has a radioactive tongue. Look at that glow!
(note the subtle use of focal black and white to hide the enormous dust
bunny under the sideboard...)


Mojo, another big git, sighing on my favorite warlord rug from Afghanistan.

His very favorite position, laying as close to me as possible.
See that white spot on his forehead, the one that looks kind of like
that dot Indian women have? That's his bald spot from where Abe
bit him. I wish his damn hair would grow back already. Oh, and my new jeans.
In the seventies, they would be"bell-bottoms", but I guess that
is hopelessly out of date, so instead these are flare. Way flare. I had
totally forgotten about how you catch your foot in the hem and
fall spectacularly. Not that I have fallen yet. Yet.

The Moon.

Behind my palm tree. This branch is dying, so the photo looks
much better in black and white.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Favorite Photo Friday. On Saturday.

I like this photo of Abe. It makes him
seem thoughtful, when we all know
he's a big git.

Hedonistic Pretzel Club!

Tasina has created a new bit o' bling, commerating my flaming -- I was called hedonistic and replied that I had been eating pretzels and blogging at the time. Serious hedonism there (pretzels being the new cocaine...).

I echo Tasina' words here:

I have created a badge that I encourage all pretzel lovers, Julie fans, anti-flame warriors, and...well...anyone to steal. Or...just...y'know...take it cuz it feels so good. :)

Unite! They may take our lives...but they'll never take....OUR SALTY SNACKS!!!
(Please imagine Mel Gibson painted blue and screaming this at the assembled troops.)
Thanks, Tasina. That poor flamer perhaps thought she was chiding me, and instead it simply showed me that I have some real friends out there!