Thursday, November 29, 2012

No photos allowed!

With my previous post, Google wouldn't allow an additional photo, saying my free storage on Picasa web is full. To post more photos, I either have to delete photos from my blog or buy storage. I spent a long, frustrating time yesterday evening searching around the help forums and didn't find any happy answers. Did you know that, although Picasa is supposedly only a photo editing site, any photos you delete from Picasa will also be deleted from your hard drive? I find that outrageous and would like to know how other pet bloggers are handling the problem. Some of you post photos daily. Did you buy storage? In theory, if you shrink the size of your photos, they'll take up less of that 1 GB free storage. But guess what, I couldn't find any accurate directions for changing the size of my photos that are already stored on Picasa web. It's no use changing them one at a time; that would take forever. I feel like I'm being held hostage by Google.

Monday, November 26, 2012

A bad week from end to end

The bad week started last Monday evening with water spreading across the basement, under the Pergo floor. I dislike Pergo because it's noisy and slippery but flooding it isn't my idea of preparing for a remodel.  As my son and I mopped and sponged up water with every towel in the house, we squooshed around the room rescuing file boxes and packing up books to carry upstairs. Many houses were flooding that week after days of hard rain.

Then I found the dubiously good news. Water was entering the basement through a pipe that a plumbing company had rerouted and left uncapped last summer. Somebody else would have to pay.The next morning, after recovering from their surprise that I was correct about the source of the water all over my basement, workmen from the plumbing company capped the pipe and set in motion a series of visits of people to rip out the wet floor, install massive blowers to dry the area for three days (think sky-high electric bill coming) and send the odor of mildew and wet cement throughout the house.

Meanwhile, Alanis spent Tuesday at the veterinary hospital having some mammary tumors removed and Miro spent the duration of every workman's visit locked in my bedroom barking his--and my--head off. When she got home with stitches in four areas of her tummy, Alanis was not happy to be confined in a corner of the living room fenced in with convenient boxes of books and an x-pen. I had to make sure Miro wouldn't bounce at her, though. Not until Saturday did I get the news that none of the tumors was cancerous, a relief and a surprise considering she's almost 12 and wasn't spayed until age 8. She'll need a monthly breast check, though, just like humans are supposed to do.
Alanis isn't happy about her post-op tee. She knows she looks better in red.

Along with the floor problems and the heaving around of 30-lb boxes, which I can't do any more without repercussions in my back and legs the next day, I had network connection problems. Over and over. I'd get online and lose the connection a minute later while trying to grade papers for an online class. The Comcast  people have been here twice, replacing equipment. It's a race now whenever the connection works--can I check my email or do some work or write on the blog before the connection ends again? I had thoughts of throwing my computer through the window. In fact, the connection stopped in the middle of my writing this, which is why I cleverly copied and saved to Word before running around the house screaming.

Alanis' stitches are healing and come out Friday. A guy came and measured the basement for new flooring. I expect it'll take a while, since a lot of people experienced real flood damage during the pre-Thanksgiving heavy rains. That's OK; I can live with a dining room filled with boxes of books, though I do have to get some of those files off the kitchen counters. But I'm happy--the flooding was not due to a problem with the house and the foundation, now visible, is intact. So what's to complain?

Well, there's the neighbor dog outside barking at 5 in the morning but I'll save that for another day.

Friday, November 16, 2012

The Joys of Silly Saturday

A few weeks ago, with the help of Silly Miro and even Alanis the Good, when I entered The Teacher's Pets Silly Saturday photo contest, I won that day. I did it just because it's fun to make up captions for the photos but look what happened:
 We won this.


And all this loot. Miro grabbed the chew rope first thing and I now have a certificate that means I'm officially silly. Visit The Teacher's Pets on Saturday and see how silly and creative you can get.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Sunday, November 11, 2012

The eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month

Veterans Day is based on the armistice of "the war to end all wars," which turned out instead to be the first great war of the twentieth century. A lot of great poetry came out of that war. One of the best known was Wilfred Owen's Dulce et Decorum Est but my favorite has always been the more subtly ironic "Naming of Parts" by Henry Reed. Some things don't change much. Not so long ago in the Iraq war there was a lot of "we have not got" when it came to properly armored vehicles.



Naming of Parts

Today we have naming of parts. Yesterday,

We had daily cleaning. And tomorrow morning,

We shall have what to do after firing. But today,

Today we have naming of parts. Japonica

Glistens like coral in all the neighboring gardens,

And today we have naming of parts.



This is the lower sling swivel. And this

Is the upper sling swivel, whose use you will see,

When you are given your slings. And this is the piling swivel,

Which in your case you have not got. The branches

Hold in the gardens their silent, eloquent gestures,

Which in our case we have not got.



This is the safety-catch, which is always released

With an easy flick of the thumb. And please do not let me

See anyone using his finger. You can do it quite easy

If you have any strength in your thumb. The blossoms

Are fragile and motionless, never letting anyone see

Any of them using their finger.



And this you can see is the bolt. The purpose of this

Is to open the breech, as you see. We can slide it

Rapidly backwards and forwards: we call this

Easing the spring. And rapidly backwards and forwards

The early bees are assaulting and fumbling the flowers:

They call is easing the Spring.



They call is easing the Spring: it is perfectly easy

If you have any strength in your thumb: like the bolt,

And the breech, the cocking-piece, and the point of balance,

Which in our case we have not got; and the almond blossom

Silent in all of the gardens and the bees going backwards and forwards,

For today we have the naming of parts.





Thursday, November 8, 2012

Maybe a name change


What? Morning already?
 Things get a little boring around here when it's all work and no play, as it has been for more than a week. There's nothing for it but to let the chickens maraude around the yard and stir up the fallen leaves.
Godzilla imitation.


Despite the shorter days, Bazooka kept laying a daily egg until just recently. She'll have a well-deserved rest for the winter. Bran and Muffin, in their second or third year--I can't keep track--stopped laying when they moulted last August. Edna is more of a free spirit, laying at irregular intervals, as Modern Game bantams are known to do.

Bazooka seems aptly named but I've been wondering if I should call her Blueberry for a while, in keeping with the baked goods theme.  I could go all-out with ChocolateChipOatmealCookie, but that seems ostentatious.
Some people claim that their chickens know their names the way dogs do. I disagree. Chickens know when their human comes out and makes noises that possibly indicate food. They dash up to people because they are naturally inquisitive--and learn that people bring food. But I guarantee that Bazooka would not get confused or offended if I change her name from an armor-piercing weapon  or brand of bubble gum to something more in keeping with chicken interests.
The difficulty is that I'd have to remember her new name. Maybe I should call her Half-Baked?

I just don't know if I'm coming or going anymore.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

I flunked Halloween

This is as far as we got regarding costuming. Miro was going to be a camper with a backpack but he flopped down and refused to march. Alanis tolerated her hat for a few minutes.


Are you serious? Just because I'm elderly, you're calling me an old bat.


Too humiliating.