Friday, November 22, 2013

3801 Soup eats?

Friday, November 22, 2013

I opened a can of soup, Campbell's, for lunch today.  On the label were the words "Soup that eats like a meal".

My first thought was, "Soup doesn't eat!"

My second thought was, "Neither does a meal.  So I guess that's true."

My head hurts.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

3800 Jasper and the calendar

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Jasper gets dry cat food all week.  I try to buy food for him that's urinary tract friendly.  I don't especially like the idea of feeding him dry food, but I think it's better for his teeth.  Of course mice, chipmunks, and birds would be better for him all around, crunching the bones is the best thing for his teeth, but he has to kill them himself or he doesn't recognize it as food.

That's weird - that he does recognize unmoving kibbles in a bowl as food, but does not recognize a dead bird (a raw chicken wing, for example) as food.  Especially weird since he was living on his own, feral, when I caught him.  On the other hand, his "hunting" back then consisted of being cute in the parking lot of a long-term hotel, his prey being luncheon meat and cheese caged from lonely businessmen.

He gets canned food on Sunday mornings.  Sunday treat.  The little Fancy Feast fish flavors.

What amazes me is that he always knows when it's Sunday.

Back when I was working and had to be up by a certain time every day, my cat companion would always wake me at that time.  Very handy if I'd forgotten to set the alarm or something.  I haven't been working since long before I got Jasper, so he doesn't wake me.  When I finally do get up, he follows me around until I go downstairs, then he politely reminds me that it's time to feed him, and doesn't mind waiting a bit, because there are always crumbs left in the bowl anyway.

Except on Sundays.  On Sunday mornings when we get downstairs he wraps himself around my legs, and yells loudly NOW! NOW! NOW! (his meows sound just like that) and frantically leads and pushes me to the cabinet, cutting off my attempts to escape, until there's Fancy Feast in the bowl.

How does he know it's Sunday?  There are no churches near here, no bells.  No neighbors loading up the car to go to church.  I'm normally up by 7 or 8 am, so I'd notice. There's nothing different from Saturday.

Ahah!  I thought two weeks ago that I had figured it out.  I watch "Sunday Morning" on CBS at 9 am, so on Sunday I turn the TV on as soon as I go downstairs.  Sunday is the only day I turn the TV on in the morning.  That's his clue!

Last Sunday I slept in. I've been sleeping late a lot lately, since my doctor put me on a powerful decongestant for my sinuses.  Sunday, I didn't wake until after 10, and then only because he was jumping on my legs and yelling NOW! NOW! NOW!  I thought the freakin' house was on fire!

He never wakes me.  How did he know it was Sunday?

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

3799 Blowing my nose

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Heard on BBC radio, in reference to attacks on women in India: "Each attack is more brutal than the next."  Um, doesn't that mean the attacks are decreasing in brutality?


"The government didn't violate a convicted terrorist's constitutional right to a speedy trial when it detained him for five years at Guantanamo Bay before trying him in court, a federal appeals court ruled on Thursday" [not this past Thursday].  Details here.  Basically, a federal court ruled that his right to a speedy trial was not abridged by his having been held at Guantanamo for more than five years without charges, during which time he was subjected to "enhanced interrogation techniques".  From the WSJ Law Blog, "The circuit court agreed with a lower-court judge that the government’s decision to delay prosecution so it could extract valuable intelligence on al Qaeda was reasonable."

Let me get this straight.  The court said that a speedy trial does not trump national security, so it's ok to keep this guy for five years of intense interrogation because he's a terrorist, BEFORE a trial to determine if he's a terrorist.  In other words, if the authorities think you're guilty then you're guilty.  He was convicted right off the bat, with no hearing and no lawyer, without a trial, by his captors. And this is ok?

I don't know about you, but that's scary, and even scarier that a federal court said it was ok.  What if that kind of thinking spreads to other federal or state agencies?

Actually, it has been going on for a long time.  If you are arrested on on drug dealing charges, or even if you are only suspected of illegality, the state/feds can confiscate practically everything you own and sell it, and keep the money, BEFORE your criminal  trial.  If it turns out you are not guilty, you don't just get your stuff back.  It's a long expensive legal battle you can't afford and are unlikely to win.  Too bad, so sad.  Your property is long gone, you had been "convicted" and fined on mere suspicion.  Look up "asset forfeiture" on Wikipedia.


Ever wonder whence the expression "short shrift", meaning you were shrugged off quickly and not taken seriously?  Not being Catholic, I didn't know that shrift is confession to a priest and the penance and absolution that follow.  So if you were given short shrift, either your sins were minor, or you got a brushoff.  Simple.  Wow.


Google wants to scan and digitize millions of books, the entire book, from research libraries as grist for their search mill.  They'd already processed gazillions of books when publishers and authors' guild(s) protested that it was copyright infringement.  It's significant that research libraries buy the books, and don't make money on them.  Google has not purchased the books, and will make money on them through advertising on search results pages.  Fair use?  Not?  I say no, get permission, but I'm not the judge.

If you're interested, the story's at


I'm thinking Google is getting too big.  They provide an lot of very expensive services for free (think of Google maps - how much must THAT cost?) and supposedly they get income from advertising, but, uh, when's the last time you were very aware of Google advertising?  They are gradually taking over the internet, and then tying it all together (Blogger, Gmail, Chrome, you can't have a YouTube account anymore unless you also have a Google+ account, etc.) and they are asking for a LOT of information through those accounts and gathering more information from your activities on those accounts.

Advertising isn't paying for everything Google is doing, I guarantee that.  Not even selling top ranking in search results.  I am very suspicious.  

Pretty soon for every house on those Google maps, they will have the names, ages, details, photos, interests, purchasing habits and preferences of all the occupants.

Who is funding all this, and what is the ultimate purpose?

Sunday, November 17, 2013

3798 Little Drummer Girl

Sunday, November 17, 2013

This is Nugget playing the bowl drums.  The first selection (13 seconds) is from earlier in the week when it was just the two of us.  It's short because the battery in my camera suddenly died (no warning!). 

The second (26 seconds) was a few days later when her daddy was watching, too, and she seems a lot more restrained.

It was windy outside, and the wind sometimes catches the flap over the dryer vent and makes a banging noise.  At the end of the clip, the flap banged and startled her, and she jumped up and ran for her daddy's legs.

[I don't understand why the Youtube logo is on the lower right.  If you click on that, you don't get these videos. Blogger did that all by themselves, and these videos are not on Youtube.  I don't understand.]

3797 Halloween Haul

Sunday, November 17, 2013

I forgot to mention what I gave out for Halloween this year.  I wanted to do it up well because the kids missed Halloween last year because of the hurricane.  I'm still reluctant to give out candy, but I discovered the A&P had boxes of small packages of nice name-brand cookies for a very reasonable price.  So I got those.  I also bought these on Amazon:

LED Finger lights (they're like little flashlights):
and Flashing gel LED rings:
I got them much cheaper than these specific linked ones because I bought them in higher quantity, and they were on sale for Halloween.  There's a lot of folks selling them on Amazon, at a lot of different per-piece prices.

I sat on the porch all evening, so nobody had to ring the bell and freak out Jasper.  The first fifty kids got a package of cookies and a ring (girls) or a finger light (boys).  After I ran out of cookies (I did reserve some for little bitty kids who shouldn't get things-to-put-in-mouth-and-choke-and-lead-parents-to-sue), girls got a ring and boys got 2 finger lights.  Plus I located the packs of cider powder from last year's non-Halloween, and everyone got one of them, too (just to get RID of them!)

My house was the most popular that night.  There were flashing and glowing lights up and down the street, and as other kids on other streets saw them, they got directed here, too ("the house on x street with the wide porch").  I had asked the neighbors how many kids to expect, and was told "between 50 and 60, usually".  I and my neighbors got at least 120 visitors.  Some neighbors were annoyed at me for attracting so many kids. Others, parents themselves, thought the lights were a great idea - made the kids very visible.

The Nugget, well, that was a bit of a sad story.  At first the activity on the street kind of frightened her and she didn't want to go out at all.  Hercules had bought her a dinosaur rider costume for last year's non-Halloween, and he decided that she should wear it this year.
Nugget flatly refused to put it on.

She refused to go outside at all.

Daughter finally convinced her to go over to a playmate's house on the next street over, and carry the costume to show her.  That was ok. 

So Nugget ended up going trick-or-treating with her little friend, to a few houses on the playmate's street, carrying the costume.  If you asked, she was a "dinosaur tamer".

I didn't get to see her that evening until she was all done and came to show me her haul.