Thursday, November 30, 2006

Childhood dream

When I was younger, I used to spend hours looking at National Geographic. I harboured a secret fantasy of becoming a wildlife photographer.

While the Thompson Park Zoo isn't an exotic or challenging locale, it does offer a great opportunity for me to live out my nature stalkarazzi fantasy.

Barred owl, 29 November 2006

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Feline behaviour

One of the things I love about house cats is their strong connection to the larger feline species. They do many of the same things that the big cats do,

like cuddling together between bouts of playfighting,

and tucking their paws under their chests when feeling relaxed.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Insert exasperated sigh and eyerolling here

Hello again, my new internet friends. It looks like there's a bit of a discussion brewing in the comments section of my "Peace On Earth" posting. For some reason, the new blogger beta application won't allow me to remove the comments which I find objectionable. So let me say this: Nazi references and snarky arguments are not welcome here. If you want to indulge in that kind of rhetoric, get your own blog.

To "anonymous" who snarked: Ok. It doesn't offend you. That settles the argument. You are representative of all soldiers' wives, my response is this: I have never claimed to represent any point of view beyond my own. That's why I write in the first person, singular.

We now return to our regularly scheduled pet and photoblogging.

Holy Blog Traffic Jam, Batman!

Greetings to all of my new internet friends, who found my blog via a google search for Bob Kearns/Linda Jensen/Pagosa Springs or some variant thereof. Judging from the twenty-fold spike in visitors to my humble abode on the internets yesterday, I think it's safe to say that Mr. Bob Kearns really stepped in it made an error in judgment.

All is well, though. The Homeowner's Association changed its mind yesterday. The wreath can stay, and the fines have been cancelled.

While I have your attention, I'd like to point out that our soldiers are still being killed and seriously injured on a daily basis in Iraq. Thanks to improved body armour, many soldiers are surviving attacks which would have been deadly in years gone by. But the road to recovery is long and painful. Please consider making a donation to the Fisher House program, which provides a home away from home for the families of the wounded.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Peace on earth, goodwill towards men ..

.. but not for the people who live in a 200-home subdivision in Colorado.

Linda Jensen hung a Christmas wreath with a peace symbol on her door. A few other homeowners in the subdivision complained, including some whose children are serving in Iraq. The president of the homeowner's association, Bob Kearns, ordered the Architectural Control Committee to require Ms. Jensen to remove the wreath. All five members of the committee refused. Mr. Kearns fired them. Ho ho ho, y'all.

As you know, my husband has served in Iraq. Ms. Jensen says she wasn't thinking about the war when she hung the wreath. Even if she was making a political statement with her wreath, I wouldn't take offense. I'd be grateful that someone in America diverted their attention away from American Idol and Britney Spears and Michael Richards' ridiculous rants and the lunacy of Black Friday sales long enough to notice that thousands of American military families and hundreds of thousands of Iraqi families are suffering with no end in sight.

So, Mr. Bob Kearns of Pagosa Springs, Colorado, this is for you:

Edited to add: I'm on the same page as Wil Wheaton. I'm in good company.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

A post which proves that I am a perfectly rational and sane dog person

Several months ago, I found myself in a bit of a culinary quandry. I had taken too many packages of ground beef out of the freezer, and needed to use up an extra pound of ground round. A vague idea of homemade dog food floated across my mind, so I cooked up the beef with some brown rice and grated carrots. Lady Chocolate was quite enthusiastic about my little experiment. I discovered that it really wasn't much more expensive than the tinned food I had been feeding her. It was much less hassle to cook up some food for her than to open the tin, mess up a series of spatulas scraping the gelatinous blobs of mystery meat onto her dish, cleaning the cans, and hauling them off to the recycling depot. Further reading into how commercial dog food is made sealed the deal for us.

Friends and family are somewhat bemused by, but generally accepting of, this culinary canine eccentricity of mine. The vet raised an eyebrow upon hearing of this dietary change, then pronounced Chocolate to be a lucky dog. The ultimate proof of the pudding is the health and happiness of our beloved mutt. And I confess, I feel a little smug in that Martha-Stewart kind of way when I tell people about the canine cuisine served at our home.

Tonight, I am a little less smug. I was searching for a recipe for Spaghetti alla Carbonara when I happened upon this recipe for Canine Carbonara. Once I clarified that this was a dish intended for dogs, I was fascinated. I was also knocked down a peg or two. Not only has someone created a plethora of delicious-sounding dishes for dogs, they've taken the time to compile these recipes in great website.

I just hope my dog doesn't read this.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Spoiled rotten!!!!

In my next life, I want to come back as one of my pets.

That's not a camera angle trick - Gandalf, the cat, is huge. When stretched out like that, he's over 3 feet long.

Gomen nasai*

I'm starting to freak myself out a little bit here.

A couple of weeks ago, I took my son on a homeschooling field trip to Ottawa and Smiths Falls. We visited the Canadian Museum of Science and Technology, the Canadian Museum of Nature, and the Hershey Chocolate Factory. Last week, the Hershey Factory had to shut down and recall several of its products after a salmonella scare. I swear, we didn't touch anything!

This week, our homeschooling focus is Japan. We are studying Japan's history, culture, language, and geography. You can see where I'm going with this. No sooner did we explore Japan's vulnerability to earthquakes and tsunamis, did a 7.8 magnitude earthquake strike the Kuril islands, sending a small tsunami towards Hokkaido.

I think we'll return our focus to the three R's for now!

*Japanese for "I am sorry."

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Monday, November 13, 2006

'tis the last rose of summer

Thompson Park Zoo, 13 November 2006

Saturday, November 04, 2006

To all the winos Oenophiles out there

I know you already recycle your wine bottles, but did you know that you can recycle the corks, too?

In other wine news, it appears that large doses of red wine extract kept obese mice healthy and flexible.