Friday, October 9, 2015

They Found Me

There are many things about living in suburbia that I do not miss.  For instance, the common occurrence whereby a car stuffed with people parks on the street. The people pile out.  After a brief huddle, they break into pairs and each pair heads off in a different direction.

That's right.  Jehovah Witnesses doing their thing.

Now that I am living rural, I figured the JW wouldn't bother bothering me anymore.

Not so.

Even though my house is some distance from the road, indeed, is barely visible from the road, still they came.  A car stuffed with people. 

I saw the car and went out to see who they were.  The car was pulling away.  A young man in the passenger seat told me they left me a pamphlet.

Sure enough.  There was a pamphlet on the back porch.  "Where can we find answers to life's big questions?" asks the pamphlet in bold letters.

On the next page, you are invited to visit the JW web site for the answers.  JW don't even bother to talk to us non JWs anymore.  They've got a website!  Must be quite the time saver.

The car stuffed full of JWs drove away before I could ask each one of them for their home address.

I was thinking of showing up uninvited at each of their homes and leaving a Rosary on their back porch.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Day Laborers

There are many grasshoppers and crickets and spiders to be eaten. 

It's a big job.  The staff can barely keep up.
Some neighbor ducks came over to help out.
This turkey work crew came out of the woods.
Later, the neighbor ducks headed back across the road.
The turkeys went back into the woods. 
The staff went to the break room.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Clover's Intestinal Adventure

In the course of picking it up, you can't help but observe it's, shall we say, integrity.   The consistency of Clover's efforts went from soft serve to slurpy.

Being a puppy and all, the first thing suspected is worms.  Clover is now five months old, she's been wormed, dewormed, her poop examined for wormage.  There's a parasite called Giardia that is hard to see -even if you whip it around in a centrifuge and look at it under a microscope. The veterinarian explained that the presence of Giardia is so difficult to confirm that you must get three negatives to diagnosis it.  (Should that be three positives?)

The vet also perkily exclaimed that LaGuardia is why you don't drink the water in Mexico. 

Clover was given some medicine called Metronidozole that smells like bacon.  The condition of her bowel movements vastly improved.  Once the medication was gone, her poop grew loose.

Periodic diarrhea is the hallmark of VincentGardenia, Perky Vet informed.  Thus, here comes another course of bacon flavored medicine.  Happily, Clover enjoyed having the liquid Metronidozole squirted into her mouth.  The other dogs seemed to want some too.  It's true about bacon and dogs.  Even if it's artificial bacon in what the vet techs call a suspension.

Clover, to her credit, did not taunt them with bawk bawk bawk.

We went through this unpleasant cycle of good poop/bad poop till Perky Vet was forced to announce that maybe the problem isn't Gargantua at all.  It could be that Clover is allergic to her food.  It's a common problem, usually they grow out it.  In fact, Perky Vet checked the online message boards and found some 1500 dog owners living this same bowel adventure.  Even they're saying that most dogs grow out of it!

Meanwhile we must try different food.  Usually it's the protein source that's the problem (though some dogs are allergic to wheat.  Reassuringly, most dog foods don't contain wheat).  Fine.  Clover has been eating a chicken and rice food, we'll switch to lamb and rice and see if that helps. 

Here we go again.  The other dogs notice that Clover is getting a different food.  They again want to know, what gives?

Clover, to her credit, bawk bawk bawked just a little.

In addition to different food, we've added Probiotics.  Wait, the dog food contains probiotics.  Won't that do?  No.  Perky Vet has a special probotic with a dash of keopectate in chewable form that tastes good.  It may not be suspended bacon, but the other dogs are yet again asking, what gives?

And there's another cycle in the wind.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Walking Sticks

There are different kinds of walking sticks.  For example.

 Fancy Cane


This guy

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Pop Culture Frenzy, Round 38

Welcome once again to Pop Culture Frenzy.  Today's question involves naming a mountain.

The tallest mountain in North America is located in Alaska.  Since 1896 the mountain has been called Mount McKinley.  The mountain has been recently renamed.  What is this mountain's name now?


Because It's There?
Hostmaster:  motivation for the ages.  Incorrect.
Leon Czolgosz?
Hostmaster:  Leon Czolgosz?
He's the man who shot William McKinley.
Now that's celebrating
 gun culture in a big way!
That's not funny Fluffy.
William McKinley would
still be alive if guns
weren't so prevalent
in this country.
Hostmaster:  ahem.
Mt. Denali.
That's what the native
Alaskans used to
call it.  President
Obama is giving
them back their name.
Hostmaster:  basically correct.  The state of Alaska has been attempting to change the name of the mountain back to Denali since 1975.  Some folks in Ohio have fought the name change because it honors former president McKinley who was from Canton, OH.  It seems that legally renaming a mountain requires lots of procedures like creating a bill, voting on it, getting enough votes to pass it, and so on.

Then again, Barack Obama has his phone and his pen.  Presto chango.  The name change is done.
Meanwhile, the native Alaskans who hold the title to thousands
 of acres want to drill for oil on that land.  They are being kept from
 doing so because their land is also government park land.
  Apparently the federal government has veto power over what
native Alaskans can do on or with "their" land. 
Not much has been in the news about the meeting between President Obama and the native Alaskan leaders other than the mountain's name.  Word is though, that native Alaskans were far more interested in discussing the use of their land than in what the federal government calls the mountain.
 After changing the mountain's name, Obama
schooled Alaskans on climate change.  You know, climate
change is a greater threat than terrorism!

Naturally, fossils fuels are
a no-no in Obama's fundamentally
transformed America.
  What are the odds the native Alaskans
will be allowed to use their land as they choose?
As high as Denali?
So ends another round of Pop Culture Frenzy.

Round 38
Fluffy/Molly  16
Bryan/Cyndi  15

Friday, August 21, 2015

Think Like a Duck

We are in the fourth month of duck keeping here at the homestead.   There are new routines to refine.

For instance, the business of moving the ducks from here to there.  Sometimes it's hard to get them to move where you want them to, so in hopes of greater success, I'm attempting to think like a duck. 

See the grass in the background?  That square of dead grass in particular.  This is what is motivating the movement.  The movement of the duck enclosure, that is.

Even though the ducks leave the enclosure during the day to hunt bugs and whatnot, the enclosure grass gets throdden down with big duck feet and the grass under the duck house turns yellow rather quickly.  Thus, we move the duck enclosure and duck house frequently.

At the end of a day of marching around the grounds, the ducks must return to the safety of their house.  You'd think the ducks wouldn't be too fazed when their house is moved a few yards across the yard, right?


Still.  They must be moved.  So.  We notice that ducks have what you might call Space Issues- you walk towards them and they move.  So surely, you can control their movement.   It sounds so easy!  You simply Lead From Behind and they'll waddle right back into their enclosure.  What could possibly go wrong?!

You guessed it.  Plenty.  They don't move in an orderly way.  They dart about in random directions. There is no leader.  Not even you, the mover!  It turns out that thinking like a duck is a bit daunting. 

Good thing I've got helpers.

Like this Sheepdog for instance?  Nope.  Not interested.  She has declared herself retired.  

How about this Pomeranian?  Well.  He's certainly eager to apply his innate reindeer herding skills to duck husbandry.  Trouble is, when his ancestors were bred down to lap size the herding skills appear to have been replaced with a sort of vacuous enthusiasm.

One of these young gals?  Maybe.  Someday.  After they've mastered coming when they're called and can focus on a task for more than 15 seconds.

How about this helper?

Yes!  The husband.  The Handsome One.  (I've got a really good picture of him in overalls brandishing a power drill.  He has forbidden me to post it.  Every now and then I obey to keep the franchise.  So we'll have to settle for this "artist" rendering.)

Anyway.  THO and I descend upon the ducks from opposite directions and eventually they enter the enclosure and we lock them up.

In short.  It beats me how a duck thinks.  I'll have to think about that some more.  Here's one thought though.

 If the ducks knew what really lurks out there in the dark, might they think differently?

To be continued...  You know, the thinking.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Fluffy and George

One guy is in a hole
 and four guys are
 standing around
 looking down at him.
What do you think
they're doing?

Tired of filling potholes,
 they decided to
 dig some?

Maybe they're
 filling potholes
 from the bottom.
That's deep.