Monthly Archives: November 2010

Back to Work

Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday.  It may still be.  Who knows what my sister will unleash.  At least I know that my brother and sister-in-law and my nieces aren’t buying her separatist nonsense.

I’ve got a week to teach gerunds and infinitives and motivate my writing students to write.

I’m already looking forward to planting a couple of fruit trees and expanding the area I have for beds in the garden.

I want to trap one of the last two imperatives to trap tomorrow morning.  I’m thinking Toes is male — so Mommy is the target.

Harry is very affectionate — and I appreciate that.  When I go out to feed them, I am rushed by a swarm of kittens.  I think the garden can handle all of them, I just need to make sure there are no more.


From the Shopping Reports I Heard

I’m pretty normal, or something.

Actually the first gift of this year I purchased last year as a series.

I bought my own gift today, since I couldn’t bring myself to ask my family to buy it before the 30th so as to get extras including a warranty and free shipping.

So what did I get myself?

A dehydrator made in the USA.

I don’t approve of the tactics

I see what they have a problem with.

J. David Jentsch, a researcher at UCLA, does this:

Jentsch uses vervet monkeys in his research on methamphetamine addiction and tobacco dependence in teens, along with cognitive disabilities affecting schizophrenia patients. University officials say their animal research is subject to strict oversight, but the work has come under fire from animal rights activists who say it amounts to abuse.

Some of Jentsch’s work has included administering methamphetamine to monkeys and then withdrawing the drug, a project that includes killing about half a dozen of the primates each year for postmortems.

I’m sorry, but do we need to know how bad meth is?  Don’t we have enough voluntary human subjects to get the idea?  Why do that to monkeys?

That the researcher is so defiant leads me to believe he’s just in it for the money.  Look at his picture and you might agree.

There is something wrong with people who use primates for stupid research that can be easily proven.   What is this guy’s hypothesis?  Meth is bad?   Hell yeah and you don’t need to torture monkeys to prove it.


I Flopped This Thanksgiving

Nobody liked my yogurt cheese spread.   I forgot to strain the yogurt until this morning, but I thought it would be ok.  I mixed in some dill and then spread it on crackers.  I sliced some of the plum tomatoes from the garden and then — to my horror — realized that I had bought crushed olives instead of sliced.  I put the tomato slices on the crackers with the yogurt cheese and then a bit of the crushed olives.  Nobody liked it.    More for me, I guess.

Some liked the ugly Ham and Swiss spread that I made from an internet recipe.  It looked like oil.  It tasted so-so.

I made a squash casserole with the summer squash I picked from the garden.  Nobody cared.  I took some pickles and pickled okra.  My mom was the only one who ate any of it.  I’m sure she felt obliged.  She’s old fashioned that way.

We had dinner from a Tea Shop, mostly because my mom and sister work harder than anyone on the planet has ever.

Funniest moment?  My oldest  niece is learning to play the flute.  Things in middle school are different as far as music goes from when I was going through it.  While I was talking to her about her music class, I asked her if they had chairs.  She looked at me oddly and said yes.  Her mom immediately said no (she was also in band) and we had a good laugh.  My niece had thought I was asking if they literally had chairs to sit in, so she — for an instant — thought I was a moron.  It was funny, trust me.  Even my sister laughed.

A New Post, Just so the Blog Doesn’t Die

I haven’t been inspired to write lately, but I thought I should post at least something.

This is the year for pecans, at least in my yard.  My big old pecan tree does squat for two or three years, and then it decides to rain pecans.  When the wind blows or there’s a squirrel in the tree, the pecans come down like bullets, smashing on the tin roof of the garage and pelting the tomato and squash plants.

I collected pecans all last week, up through Saturday, and put them in a tub full of water.  Sunday, I cracked two large bowls full and ended up picking out about four pounds — more than half in whole halves — if that makes sense.  It took more time than I thought it would.   I’ll give all of them to my family on Thursday, so they can use them for their holiday baking.  I’m thinking that the rest of what I shell I will make into some spicy pecans and give to my colleagues in pretty containers for Christmas.

For Thanksgiving, I’m going to make a squash casserole with pickings from the garden.  I was also charged with preparing snacks, so I’m going to make yogurt cheese and serve it with the pickles I made this summer, as well as pickled okra, which I also made from the garden’s crop, and little cherry tomatoes I picked over the weekend.  I also got the ingredients to make a ham and Swiss cheese hot dip with green onions and brown mustard.

(While I am writing this in spurts, I am watch Globe Trekker.  Tonight it follows the slave trade.  It’s very good.)

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.  I get to enjoy being with my family without all of the consumerism that Christmas entails.  I’m a little worried about this Thanksgiving though.  There are some issues that I’d rather not get into either here or with my family that I am afraid will come up.  I am prepared, though.  I plan to handle anything that might come up much like I do a difficult student at work.  Any insult is just a misunderstanding, any conflict can be won over with goodwill.  Just a note — my family is Republican, and my mom and sister in particular are teabaggers in spirit, if not in fact.

(happy thoughts!)

I had hoped to trap one more kitten before the holiday, but changes are slim now.  I trapped the last of Mommy’s last litter yesterday and lit it go — I have time.  I want to trap Toes or especially Mommy.   Right now, Big Guy and Dot are trying to eat the chicken skin bait with their brains.  Paws crossed.

Guilty Guilty Guilty


I Think Dora Read This Post Yesterday

It’s here.

She started the annoying whining from the minute I got home and just WOULD NOT STOP.  When I found myself yelling at her, and she just kept getting louder, I decided that either she read that blog post (highly unlikely, since she doesn’t have thumbs) or she is just a normal mentally challenged dog.

On the Kitten Front

No pictures tonight, but today was a good day on the kitten front.

To back track a bit — there was a kitten invasion — and I lost my sweet Junebug.  I hope that someone caught her in a trap, realized that she was fixed and tame and kept her.  That’s my hope and I am sticking to it.

Someone clearly trapped Big Guy and got him fixed and ear-tagged.  It’s wasn’t me.  I  then trapped Fanny and got her fixed.  She happy in the backyard now.  Then I trapped the worst of the worst, UnPop, and got him fixed ear-tagged and released.

The newbie (sweet) kitty girl that I trapped last Friday was over across the street eating something this evening.  That was the first I had seen her since releasing her Monday evening.

I caught the little black and white kitten of Mommy’s latest litter Monday night, but she escaped (don’t ask).  After cleaning the crate in the dark, I was ready to grab her again on Tuesday and was successful.  She’s now a very affectionate purring machine.  I’ve just got to get her up to 2 lbs. and she will be off to SPCA for adoption.

Tuesday, I trapped a possum, perhaps twice.  I don’t know if it was the same possum twice — there are two of them around that I have seen — or each of them, but boy, they are not very smart animals.

Wednesday, I didn’t get home until after it was dark, so I decided to set the trap the following morning (hoping to avoid another possum trapping).

I set the trap this morning and when I got back earlier this afternoon, one of the little kittens was in it.  I decided to wait until Roberto arrived to get it out of the trap and into the crate with the little black and white kitten — its litter mate.  It was a struggle — I wore some heavy-duty gloves.  The kitten fought — I was so worried that I might hurt it — but with me holding it precariously, Roberto was able to grab its scruff and then I got a good solid hold on it.  And he (the kitten) and I calmed down together while Roberto took care of the little black and white girl.   He installed her new litter box and cleaned up her mess — she is transitioning from being an outside kitten.

We then set the trap again with more of the fried chicken skin as bait.  Harry and Big Guy REALLY REALLY wanted that chicken skin, but we shushed them off.  After an hour or so, all three of the remaining cats-that-need-trapping were seriously looking at that chicken skin.

Dot took the bate and is now in the trap in the utility room.  he will go to SNAP in the morning.  Unlike the tiny kitten who put up such a fight, Dot seems to trust me, and Roberto — no hissing or anything — he’s just resigned to what he’s up for.

Just a bit ago, I took the flashlight out onto the deck to check on the littlest ones.  They are sleeping together in a pile.  I hope that the little girl will rub off on the little boy and he too will go to SPCA as a tame kitten and get adopted.

And that leaves three:  Mommy, Toes and the third kitten from the litter.

I’m on a roll and I’m not stopping.

We Support the Military RAH RAH RAH . . . Unitil We Don’t BOO BOO BOO

It comes to this.  The Republicans, even the ones who haven’t taken office yet are against ratifying the new START treaty that the President negotiated, and now he has to go to Portugal this weekend in a weakened position vis-a-vis Russia.


I remember during the election in 2008 that wingnut bloggers were freaking out over Obama’s position on nuclear weapons and screaming about how he wanted to do this that or the other, when in fact, Obama’s position was the same as the military’s and a good number of former secretaries of state, mostly Republican.


These incoming Republicans claim that their election reflects their constituents stance on the START treaty’s ratification.  Now I followed this election pretty closely, and I don’t remember any of these guys taking a strong stance on the ratification of this treaty.  I don’t remember any of them talking much about foreign policy at all.   They all talked a lot about changing the Constitution, while advocating close adherence to it.  They talked a lot about taxes and the deficit/debt, while not getting that the electorate is mostly worried about jobs.

But mostly, I think these not even Senators yet want to show some muscle.  Damn what the military wants.  Damn what the public wants.  Damn what is in the best interest of the security of this country.  Damn all that and more.  It is more important for them to try to embarrass our president and wag their dicks.


Michael Berry’s Response

What’s that saying, when you’ve got nothing in an argument?  Oh, here it is.  Joe PagLIARulo:

Once they lose, once they’re against the wall, the only recourse they have is to attack on a personal level and you know what?  I’m too big for that.  I’m too smart for that and so are you.

Obviously Michael Berry isn’t 😉  I sent him an email, pointing out that he got a little mixed up on whether Medal of Honor recipients are recipients or winners.  This is how he responded:

Seriously?  Is ur life so sad?
Im startin to pity u


And another email:

U poor nasty hag
Feed ur cats
Ur life is emptyand deep down u know it
Keep writin ur blog nobody reads
Poor sad pathetic thing
So lonely u must be
Meow, cat lady
U reek of cat urine
Pleade change the litter box
An a third email:
You are a fool
And you know it
You are obsessed with me
I just wish someone had asked you to prom
You are forever scarred
So sad

Please feed the cats

That’s our Michael Berry:  big, smart!