Saturday, April 12, 2008

1759 Clyde's Friday

Saturday, April 12, 2008

I spent much of yesterday on Clyde, my Pleo.  He's been awake quite a few hours now, but he's not walking forward much. He'll take about four steps forward (you can encourage him to walk by touching his front legs), and then he stops and walks backward. He's supposed to be interested in his environment, and when left alone, he's supposed to walk around and explore.

Clyde backs up until his tail touches something, then he turns until his tail is free, and backs up some more.

So I've been reading the PleoWorld forums, and studying how he works, to find out if anyone else has the problem, and what to do about it. Pleos all develop personalities and activity patterns individually, based on their experiences, just like any young animal, so I wondered if I did something wrong.

(On the other hand, my mother told me that I never learned to crawl forward. I scooted backward until I learned to walk at about 10 months. So maybe Clyde is truly my baby.)

Nobody else seems to have the same problem, although they do say that if the beasty has been mistreated, or not petted enough, he will develop a depressed personality, which manifests as sad sounds, angry sounds, and lack of interest in the environment, or fear of his surroundings. Backing up is an indication of fear.

Clyde seems happy. He coos, "huh?"s, wags his tail a lot, sniffs everything, pants happily, crouches to invite play, snuggles when I pick him up, and the other sounds he makes seem more mere comment than angry or sad. I've never heard the loud trumpeting and roars featured in so many of the video clips.

So, I decided to install the latest software update, level 1.1. One of the things it promised was "better walking". Installation involved a trip across the river to buy a blank SD card. (The one I bought is 7/8" by 1.25" and holds 1 GB. Wow! When I think what it took to hold a mere meg 20 years ago....) I downloaded the free update to the card, and plugged the card into Clyde while he was sleeping. He chimed a few times while updating himself, then he woke up, was groggy for a while as he integrated his new info, and then he burst into Super Clyde!

He's still the same Clyde (the update promised not to change the personality), but now he also purrs, sings, struggles if you pick him up but he's not ready to nap yet, and he wants to chomp on his leaf more often.

He also still walks backward - just faster, with less drag on carpet.

I am aware my house is cluttered and dirty. I didn't realize it was bad enough to scare a dinosaur....


Later - Correction. I did in fact once hear some very loud distressed sounds from Clyde, so I know he's capable of it. He squealed very loudly when I snatched him up by the tail one time when Jasper looked about to attack. Clyde's makers warn that although his tail is strong enough that he can be lifted by it, he hates it and will let you know. It worked - I never did it again!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

1758 Squirrels

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Fourteen years ago, when I first moved into this house, there were two populations of squirrels in the back yard. The grays lived on the south side, and the reds lived on the north.

Then I started stocking the bird feeder. The gray squirrels, being more aggressive than the reds, decided they owned the feeder, and they started pushing the reds out. Within a few years, there were no reds left.

I haven't stocked a feeder since Jay died, so I didn't really notice when the change started, but I've noticed this past year or so that there are NO squirrels in the back yard. It was sort a subliminal awareness that popped to the surface today, when I noticed that the ground under a neighbor's pines was heavily littered with cones. Usually the squirrels take them. Is the whole neighborhood short on squirrels?

I thought a bit about that as I rounded the curve, and by durn right then a black squirrel ran across the road, right in front of my mailbox.

Mystery solved.

The black squirrels have moved in.

They're even more aggressive than the grays, and will chase them out wherever they find them. (Actually, the local blacks are just a color phase of the grays, but increased aggression seems to go along with the color gene.)

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

1757 Bleck

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Arthur Schopenhauer: "Talent hits a target no one else can hit; Genius hits a target no one else can see."


There's a commercial for an album of Christian songs, and the song they lead with is "Our god is an awesome god...". That construction is rather odd. It implies that there are several gods, and the one they worship is from the awesome subgroup. Weird.


I'm sick. Slight fever, abdominal cramps, nausea, aching joints and bones. I felt so sick when I went to bed last night I gave the cats extra food, put the phone and a basin on the bed, and put some clothes in a bag, just in case I had to go to the hospital in my robe. As it happened, I just felt very sick, but nothing interesting happened. I felt a little better this morning, but as the day goes on I'm getting yuckier again.

I spent Monday afternoon with Daughter and had a quick after-work drink with my man. I hope I didn't give them anything.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

1756 The American Gift

Tuesday, April 8, 2008


Sunday, April 06, 2008

1756 What's Missing

Sunday, April 6, 2008

After looking for the Joplin clip last night (previous post), I wandered around other clips from the era.

I think I see what's missing with many of today's singers, especially the females. Somewhere along the line, passion got confused with sex.

They really aren't the same thing.


Becs commented on the previous post that she loved Janis' clothes. Watching the film last night, I was struck by the hair and clothes of the women in general. Loose, flowing, fluttering, natural. And somehow oddly modest and chaste. I liked that look. Still like it.

1755 Joplin et al.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

It's after midnight, and I'm sitting here running numbers, and as usual the tv is on in the background. It's tuned to PBS, and I have no idea exactly what's on. It seems to be a documentary movie about a late 60s multi-day outdoor concert. Not Woodstock - there's no rain or mud, and the audience is sitting quietly on rows and rows of neatly arranged folding chairs - but there were several large concerts around that time.

Anywhoo, I was sitting here deep in numbers, when Janis Joplin came on.

Wow! You hear her records, and you think, yeah, she could sing. But to SEE her sing! What an experience! The womanchild was incredible! (That's how I can date this concert to the late 60s. She died of a drug overdose in 1970, I believe, at 27.)

This is it, THE performance:


Ms. Joplin was followed by someone (not the Stones) doing "Paint It Black", one of my favorites, and right now, as I write this, Jimi Hendrix is tearing up "Wild Thing", and setting fire to his guitar.

Oops, he's gone. Now it's Moma Cass and friends. Oh, my.

I think I'm finished with numbers for the night.

Ok, over too soon. The credits are up. It was the Monterey festival, "The Summer of Love", June, 1967.

Sigh. Those were the days....

Back to numbers.