Friday, December 23, 2005

All's Well Here

Look, witty pun! So one day, and a huge chunk of change later, we have a functioning well, pump, and plumbing. Evidently there was a hole in the pipe that brings the water from the pump to the surface. Which doesn't sound that bad until you hear how deep our well is. SOME 635 FEET! So while they had the whole blasted thing out they replaced the pump too, as it was 15 years old and on its last legs. And the labor charge to get to the dratted thing forced it into an early retirement. Buh bye!

Finally got the tree up, and some lights on it, but no ornaments yet. Hopefully this will happen soon. Absolutely no progress on the present front. Sorry y'all. I'm really darn close to finishing the living room floor though. That's exciting, right? Gimme a good 30 minutes tomorrow morning and I think I got the bugger. I know, you can hardly wait. Happy Holidays! I did it just for you!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

At Least We Had Electricity

So, wow. Some stuff has been a happenin... Remember last post where I had too much time on my hands? Well that's gone. This weekend was a bit rough out here in the sticks. We prepared to be hyper productive, Lee was out in the yard burning brush piles, and the neighbor came over and helped up rip up most of the rest of the 20 year old carpet. So I'm working away on pulling up carpet tack, and sweeping up a metric tonne of dirt and I hear a bizarre gurgling coming from the dishwasher, of all things.

So I wander into the kitchen to investigate this new puzzle. And on a whim I decide to try the faucet to see if we are having some water issue. And lo and behold, absolutely nothing comes out. I try the others in the house. Nothing. Hmmm. Not Good.

So somehow we figure out that while moving brush piles an outdoor faucet in the yard for the original owner's RV has gotten snapped off. So not only has this leak drained every last drop of water out of the house (including the hot water heater), but it has had our well pump running like the dickens to pump our precious well water into a puddle in the yard. Hmmm.

Since this isn't the first time we've had a plumbing leak, it is old hat now. We run down to the well, shut off the pump, and The Hub gets to work with that sticky purple stuff capping the offending pipe. We let it dry for a while, then nonchalantly turn the pump back on and wait for our cool clear well water to fill the pipes again. Only it doesn't work. Hmmm. Still nothing coming outta the faucets, not even spluttering gurgles of air.

Back to the pump. Shut her down. Scratch head. Over comes the Neighbor Of Goodness. Looks at the pump. Scratches his head. The decision is made that perhaps the professionals need to be called in. Only it is Saturday. And we have the local Mariposa Symphony Orchestra concert to attend. So we go back to our dreary floorless, waterless Double Wide, gather our belongings and go shower at the NOG's house.

Skip to Sunday. Its raining like crazy. Blowing. Bandying the trailer about like a jingly cat toy. We trudge over to the neighbor's to brush our teeth. Their house (due to its straw bale construction and 2 feet thick walls) is a warm calm sanctuary. Storm? What storm? We covet.

We trudge back and put the bad weather to its best use and stay inside. We work like little working monkeys and get 80% of the floor laid across the living room. During which the Neighbor of Goodness comes over with a brilliant idea. He's gonna run a hose from his outlet to ours and pressurize our house with his water. So bickey bam, in one day we go from floorless and waterless to mostly floored and leach-like neighbor water sucking. Ah, amenities.

And then the woman who is my contact for this new "job" thing that I might have mentioned, calls and says they're swamped. And can I come in part time next week? So there went all the time. And there goes all yall's Christmas presents. They're sitting right over there in the corner in their bags and boxes waiting to be wrapped and sent. Wave and smile at them. They miss you.

So today we give the pump one more try, see if the problem was a drained well. And if not, then we, well, start throwing money down the well. Bye bye money. I'll miss you.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

More Computer Geekieness

Have too much time on your hands? Want to do something mindless and yet fascinating at the same time? Then go here and make yourself one of these!

It was fabulous fun, until it told me "You've reached your creative max, put down the scissors before someone gets hurt." Well, I never!

Special thanks to niece Lydia for the tip off!

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Newly Crowned Queen O' Geek

Okay, so it has officially happened. I have become the worlds biggest dork. The change in status has come about because I am now addicted to an online roleplaying game. Yes, that is right, I can now spend hours at a time virtually running around, virtually slaying beasts, and paying a small monthly fee for the privilege. This new addiction is due to the pusher in the family, who shall remain nameless, but can be found here. It is a tiny bit shocking and dismaying how absorbing the game is...

In order to preserve my self image, I have to think that I wouldn't possibly be so absorbed iffn I weren't currently unemployed (which may not last, more on that later...), if it weren't nigh on the dead of winter, and if I weren't in a delicate physical condition. (Yes, dear internets, this again is true confession time. I am officially knocked up, and if all goes well, will be a'birthin' in June.) So, the crazy physical activity that I dearly love is currently on hold for a bit. I'm down to walking a few miles with the local mommies. And wheezing with the effort. That Gulfport Contagion, with pregnancy right on its heels sorta took the wind outta my sails.

So that leaves me with virtual adventure. And I seem to be embracing it with a surprising gusto. Who knew?

So here she is in all her clashing splendor, as I can't seem to find (or make) good armor that all matches! And the knickers, what's with the knickers? I do like the boots and the gauntlets, as I forged them myself with my newly acquired blacksmithing talents... cough... GEEK... cough.

Cute, aint she? And fierce, arrrrrr!

Monday, December 05, 2005

Mutual of Midpines

I found this cool yet slightly creepy critter remnant on our porch a while ago.

Yes, this is a picture of his underside, I kind of liked the "chalk-outliness" of the poor guy's position. The open mouth, the splayed limbs. It looks like distress, but really it was just probably heavenly itch relief or something. Who know what it feels like to shed a skin? And yes, those are pin holes in his tail and chest cavity. Because who can resist tacking him to the kitchen cork board. Certainly not I!

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

If Bush Could Read...

Wow. I have just finished reading an amazing book. As an environmentalist, feminist, and former mother I have no idea how I missed this in the last four years. Okay, so before I step up on any soap boxes, I have a question for you. Have you ever heard those warnings, that say nursing and pregnant women shouldn't eat or drink certain things due to the possible toxic exposure to the baby? You know, things like "all women of childbearing age should avoid eating shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish..." (January 2001 FDA guideline) And somehow those warnings don't usually seem to apply to many people, or seem sort of marginalized. So that at least half of the population can say, heck, that's not me! I don't need to worry! But wait.

Where did they come from, that lucky half? Why from their pregnant mother's wombs of course! How does every single human being enter this world? As of yet, there is no other way. The womb is it. So these warnings are not only affecting the marginalized female half of the population, it affects every future human being on earth.

So why is it that we allow our leaders to get away with things like refusing to cap mercury emission from our coal fired power plants? Even though every single species of fish on the planet now has unnatural levels of mercury bioaccumulated in their bodies. Even though there is a direct and proven link between mercury and inhibited fetal neural development.

I am riled up and on the rampage. Mercury is just the beginning. There's also dioxins, and persistent organic pollutants. And lead. And pesticides, and flame retardants. Augh. All are thought to be safe until "concentrated" in the pregnant or nursing mother. That wacky marginalized percent of the population that really doesn't count for much. Unless of course you are interested in how the next generation of inhabitants to the planet are going to turn out.

Oh, and the book is also a great read. How can you not love a book whose first sentence is: "In a faculty bathroom on the campus of Illinois Wesleyan University, I am trying to pee on a stick."

So, if you have any interest in eating, parenting, ecology, science, fish, polar bears, LBI New Jersey, or just reading a well written book, I highly recommend that you check out...

Last I checked it was available used on Amazon for the shockingly paltry sum of three dollars...

PS. Special thanks to Mrs. CrazyTalent for most forcefully recommending this book, you are so right!

Friday, November 18, 2005

O Brother, We Were Here!

A little while ago, our leetle, teeny, tiny community cranked out with the coolest Geek Family Activity ever. The Hub and I assembled at Mr. and Mrs. Impetus's house and were joined by Mr. and Mrs. CrazyTalent. (Heretofore to be known as Imp or CrazyT.) After an unhurried degustation of tasty tri-tip tacos, we adjourned to the living room, cum music studio. Misters Imp and CrazyT brought out their guitars, while Mrs. CrazyT brought out her cello, piano skills, lovely voice, and violin-know-how. The rest of us warbled along and added enthusiastic mini percussion to the mix, with an occasional, and semi-successful, foray into the realm of long lost childhood instruments. The two year old was rockin' on the snare drum, and the 10 month old did some mean egg shaking. We sang every song that driver knew. Ooo ooo.

It felt a bit like a pioneer town, where there is no live music to go see, so you'd just better learn to make your own. Its a shame though, with all the time and money our parents spent on violin lessons, flute lessons, and various instruments that we don't retain much of that knowledge. Except, perhaps, that is the root of the deep joy derived from our little music night.

That said, I also have to admit that I came home wildly jealous and inspired, and therefore spent the entire next day at the piano, relearning some folk songs. So I'm set, and ready to go, and barring a case of crippling stage fright, I should be able to hold my own on a few tunes next time. So come on out, and bring your humor, joy, and your pioneer spirit, 'cause there's a jug and some spoons that are in dire need a virtuoso!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Anyone Going Sailing?

Fall is here, and what better way to greet it than with some warming comfort food baking activities. Now, I love me some gingersnaps, so I got out the Martha Stewart cookbook and whipped up this batch of little leafies.

Unfortunately, despite the fact that they are cute as the dickens, they more closely resemble a bitter flavored hardtack than a crisp gingery cookie. Darn that Martha. What does she have against me? I wasn't even in favor of her jail time.

Well, it could possibly be my fault, as I lost count of the cups of flour somewhere between 4 and 5. Or possibly the fact that I didn't have ground cloves, so I used Allspice, which smells rather clovey, ya know? Could that be it? Well, regardless, the second batch was slightly better, as I rolled them out wafer thin, and therefore they lost some of that grim tooth-chipping quality. I even tried to ameliorate the bitterness by sprinkling one batch with sugar before baking, but, oddly enough, that was of no avail. Hmm. My next thought is frosting. Everything is better with frosting.

I do have to mention that the dog loved them. Baking day gone flop, or new canine business opportunity? The Frosting Test will have to decide the matter...

Monday, November 14, 2005

Drudgery, Citizenry, and Punk Rockery

Hey bloggy blog, how ya hanging in there? The Hub and I had a very exciting day last Tuesday. Primarily, we finally got the Honda dealer to admit that there was something wonky about the Zippy car's transmission. Essentially, that the jerking and sputtering is not just a fun bonus feature of driving a gas electric hybrid car. Imagine that. So the new tranny is ordered, and will be installed FOR FREE next week. Yay!

While we were entrapped in the antiseptic waiting room at the dealership, we started our online research on California's Special Election referendum(b)s. Good thing too, 'cause some of those things were complex, and we ended up looking at the campaign finance page to see who had what vested interest. But due to the polls being open until 8 pm, we had plenty of time for this research phase, and ended up voting with at least an hour to spare. Yay for citizenship!

And the final event of the day was that I did this.

Or well, I had a very nice, hygienic, punk rock man in Merced do it for me. And now I get to wear yet one more tiny glint of sparklies! I'm a lucky gal. Just don't ask me to blow my nose.

Friday, November 11, 2005


I turned out to be...

Which are you?

(From random visit to burnedoverdistrict)

Monday, November 07, 2005

Oh, Mo.

I know, I know, I have been so darned chatty lately that y'all can barely keep up. I'll try to lower the frequency. To something slightly above coma, okay?

So there has been alot of hubub lately (for example here and here) about the Maureen Dowd article in the New York Times. (Yes I realize that the story is over a week old, an aeon in our information age, but I feel the need to So most likely y'all have read it by now, and are familiar with her finer points. If not, go ahead, I'll wait.

So basically, my take on her article is this. The sexual revolution failed. And, though I come from a wildly different mindset, generation, and background from Maureen, I have to agree. Before you get your panties in a bunch, hear me out. Growing up, my wonderful parents taught me that I could do anything. Believing them, I went on to be interested in math, engineering, adventure sports, women's leadership, etc. Along with these wonderful things, I also believed that a woman had just as much right to show her interest in a man, as he did toward her. There in lies the rub. Because it just doesn't work that way. Being as hard headed as I am, it took me entirely too long to learn that.

A man is expected to make passes at a woman, heck numerous women if he's unsuccessful. Even in our "modern" society, if a woman dares to make her intentions clear to one man (whom she might be genuinely interested in), she is deemed any one of a load of nasty things; a slut, desperate, a tease. Persistence is charming in a man, frightening in a woman. Yes I understand that relationships must proceed slowly, but why is it assumed that the woman will always be the "braking" factor? And this is not just bitter personal experience that no one wants to hear about, I have had some explosive fights with male friends while defending the name of female friends who just happen to be damned tired of waiting around. "Oh, you just love the thrill of the chase, well I don't give a flying fig, I'm lonely now!" Sorry, I'm feeling a bit vitriolic about the entire debate.

I had been having some of these type of conversations with the Whippersnapper in the last few weeks (before she LEFT FOR THE SEASON!) and it is apparent that despite being 10 years my junior, the issues have not changed. I felt the need to help her fill her social schedule so that she wouldn't have to PLAY hard to get, since she would genuinely BE hard to get. And that is the only solution that I have ever come up with, a maniacally full schedule is sure to put you in high demand. Great, at least we don't have to play games anymore.

Now I need to bring it down here a bit in conclusion. I have a wonderful husband. I am a hair's breadth from receiving a Master's in environmental engineering. I love my life, and there's no place I'd rather be. (Well, maybe New Zealand, but that's beside the point.) I feel that I am a blessedly successful feminist. But less than a decade back in time, I had to learn to be the relationship boundary monitor, and not an active seeker. And I can't deny that THAT disappoints.

And in classic scientific paper style, I must now move into questions of the future. Do I try and spare my children some of the heartbreak that I experienced, and teach them that, yes, a woman must play hard to get? Or to I keep flogging my head against the wall of patriarchy, and try, despite culture, media, and a millennium of history, to pass on the mantra that "a woman can do what ever she wants"?

Hope I haven't harshed on your day. Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005


Hey look at my snazzy new early birthday present shoes. They're RED!

Monday, October 31, 2005

How To Spend A Stressful 8 Hours On A Saturday

Alrighty, well, that's done. And it was just dreadful. I guess they say that everyone walks outta there saying they failed... But no. Really. Unless there is an inordinate number of C's in the last row on the scan tron, I think its Re-testville for me. I get the results in the (charmingly numbered) 13 weeks, and then have an ample 3 months to study for the next attempt. I was glad that I got through all the review material that I had, but wished I'd had at least an hour to look over circuits and economics. Yeah, those circuits killed me. Circuit question? Oh, well, the answer then must be C! Heh heh.

Oh, and the Cal Expo, or at least the part we were in, was like a really low rent university. We took the test in drafty cinderblock and linoleum rooms on folding tables and lawn chairs. And it was freezing. Lovely. Maybe if it had been warmer I'd have remembered something, anything, about circuits. Heh heh. Yeah, no, not really.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

And More

Just a quick update to the Wild West entry, The Hub has updated his site including a link to an entire gallery of pictures of our Wyoming trip. So there is actual visual documentation of the canoeing jaunt and the four mile hike that we did. And some just plain wondrous pictures too.

I'm madly studying for the titanic 8 hour engineering exam that happens next Saturday. Wish me lots of luck, and excellent multiple choice wild guessing skills. See ya on the other side.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

The Wild Wild West

I briefly mentioned the fun stuff we did in Wyoming, but have some further juicy details and priceless pictures that I MUST share with you. First in line is this awesome print found in our temporary fancy condo. It was labeled "Cinnamon Bear" but I think it should have been labeled "Cinnamon Bear Sniffing Other Cinnamon Bear's Butt." Awesome!

After The Hub's conference, our first big outing (as I was recovering from The Gulfport Contagion) was an excursion to Jenny Lake in Grand Teton National Park. It was a gorgeous early fall day, sunny, breezy, and, well, all together lovely. At the lake we found that it was the last day of the season to rent canoes, and thus it was impossible to resist the siren call of the cute little vessels. Being all together feek and weeble, however, I was of no use with the paddle. I therefore propped the packs in the bottom of the boat and proceeded to nap. The Knight In Shining Armor that is my husband proceeded to paddle us completely across the lake for the next hour and a half, waking me up part way to see the bald eagle resting in a snag. On the opposite shore we then went for a micro-hike of about 200 yards, and then back to the canoe/napping. Husband. Strong.

Post Canoe Docking at Jenny Lake.

The next day we took the tram up to the top of Jackson Hole ski resort, and I actually managed a whole 4.2 mile hike. I did, however, not take any pictures so... moving on. The third day we took that trip to Yellowstone that I mentioned, and followed the aforementioned self guided walking tour of the geysers near Old Faithful. (You too can virtually take the tour here.) And again, I have to say, that geysers are COOL! Here's The Hub with Old Faithful cranking up on viewer's left, and some other neeto geyser spurting on viewer's right. COOL!

On the way out of the park we saw this cute little (600? 800 lbs?) guy munching grass on the side of the road, and yes, the picture isn't that great, but its my first ever Bison encounter, so I'm stoked with it. P.S. I was inside the car, ready to flee at high speed if'n he got a bee in his britches.

The next day was a bit chilly and drizzly, so we saw a movie and did some shopping in the hyper-western hamlet of Jackson. As a matter of fact, Jackson is so durned "western" that a few things seem to have gone slightly awry. Such as this red eyed, slightly demonic, antler arch. Yikes!

And in classic fashion, best for last, the creepiest thing of all was this Oh So Western Toilet Seat. Wow. Now that's some craftsmanship.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Oddly Obsessed With 80's Kids TV Shows

Cue the Muppets narrator from Pigs In Space...

IN THE CONTINUING SAGA... (uncue) make our Double Wide a livable space, we have finally gotten around to having some professionals install some brand new flooring. The rooms are, of course, not completely done, ie. trim and cabinets, but nonetheless, the changes are stunning if I do say so myself. The old master bath had BROWN CARPET, so the new lino is a veritable boon, to say nothing of the late acerbic wallpaper...

Old master bath vs. New master bath

Old hall bath vs. New hall bath

And that' s where my Queer Eye decorating confidence ends. See, the poor Hub and I busted our buns to get the guest-/sports equipment-/baby (if we get preggers)- room painted before the carpet folks came, to avoid the whole issue of getting paint on Brand New Carpet. And for some reason I thought Shrieking Smurf Blue would look nice with a sage green carpet. So now not only do we have the slight peeling paint disaster caused by the carpet removal, but I'm not so confident that the entire color scheme is, uh, workable.

But man, is that new carpet springy, soft and cuddle-able! I almost wanna marry it and become Mrs. Suzie Berbercarpet. Good thing it can't fix a computer! Heh heh. Just kidding hon.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Buckle Up!

A week or two ago, after my Gulfport stint, I was in a cozy little airplane flying from Warshington, DC to Sacramento. Now generally, I love me a good Jet Blue flight, but this one was especially savory, as it was only about 1/3 full, so everyone had their own row to nap in, AND a choice of THREE personal televisions to watch. So I was nestled down with my micro blanket and my half-pint pillow, for a blithe few hours of Good Will Hunting and third run sitcoms. When what should happen next, but the captain comes on with an announcement.

Now this wasn't your ordinary announcement about drink carts, or seat-belts. No. This announcement contained that one tiny phrase that all airline passengers fear with the blackest of dread. ...Slight Engine Malfunction... At this phrase, all heads snapped around to the closest other passenger visible, and eyes opened as wide as saucers. The pilot continued. ...A warning light has come on, so we are going to do the safe thing and land the plane... in New York City.

WHAT? Safe thing? WE ARE OVER OHIO! Ohio is fine, what's wrong with Ohio?! I want to land in OHIO! But no. We were going to NYC. Which means that we had to then sit, for another horrifying 45 minutes, in a plane with some sort of slight engine malfunction with our innards turning to putty. Eeeegad. Thank goodness Matt Damon was the t.v., or I might have started thinking about our plummetous fiery deaths.

So to cut to the chase, we made it back to JFK just fine, got on another (functional) plane, and all got extra booze, free movies, and a free one way ticket to anywhere that Jet Blue flies. And we all had the option of watching Good Will Hunting twice. I do still like me a good Jet Blue flight.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

A Quick Way To Kill The Joy Of The Flush Pottie

I found a dead bird in our toilet yesterday. The lid was closed. I can't quite figure out the chain of events that led to this, but I'm pretty sure the Molly cat was involved somehow. Molly cats are bird toilet water drowning danger. (New favorite phrase structure borrowed from this comic strip.) There were horribly distressing signs of extended bird splashage. To add insult to an already ignominious death, I had to fish the poor thing out with the kitty litter scooper. I will choose not to read this as some gruesome omen, but instead just a really random, bizzare set of circumstances, that will never, ever, happen again.

Friday, October 07, 2005

I Actually Don't Look At Car Accidents On The Side Of The Road

So for those of you who are interested in the structural carnage from Gulfport, I have tried to set up my flickr account to perform a slide show for y'all. Be warned, if anyone gets angry at me because their property is part of my slideshow, all viewings will be discontinued. The whole process was very awkward, because no one really wants to be a tourist in someone else's devastation. So you will note that many of the pictures were taken from inside the vehicle, and I have not included any displaced or affected persons in the pictures. I feel like there should be some lesson learned from this show of devastation, but I can't come up with one in a neat little package. Don't build in flood zones? Stop global warming? They all seem a bit pathetic in view of what happened. I feel like I am part of a world wide rubbernecking, and am a bit disappointed in myself. So I guess the only reason that I am doing this is because it is one way to understand what the people there went through.

One day my sister and I were driving through our zone looking for returning residents, and seeing a lot of this devastation, and I kid you not, the song "Desperado" came on the radio. Soon to be followed by Sara McLaughlin's "Angel". I have never fought so hard to not cry. So hum along to yourself and take a look at this.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

What I Did On My Summer Vacation With The Red Cross

After some frustrating organizational snafus at the control center in Montgomery, Alabama, and then a repeat performance in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, the Sis and I eventually found ourselves in Gulfport, Mississippi with a crew of the craziest smart alecks I have ever met. Our crew bonded as a happy sixsome during our first few days of shipping air around two different states in stylish Budget rental trucks, and then despite our widely ranging ideologies, hung tight and fast for the rest of our tenure.

From the left, The Crew is as follows: Juneau Jen, The Colonel, Me, Domino Don, The Sis, and Bumper Car Jim.

Our crew was a small part of a fleet of 60+ panel trucks that worked in the Gulfport area. Each day we would load up the trucks at the warehouse and distribute the goods to an assigned sector of the community. And by loading up the truck, what I really mean is toting around cases and cases of donated goods in a parking lot with no shade in 96 degree heat with 96% humidity, building pallets of goods to try and match to the needs of the citizens of our sector. Folks were dropping like flies in that parking lot. Fortunately our crew, drinking in fluids like the desert sands, managed to maintain the sneaker side down and did not end up under medical supervision.

Me and Mad Hattie the panel truck.

After the loading process (an unfortunately slow event, lasting sometimes up to two and a half hours!) each two-person truck would disperse into the community. For most of the time we were split into male/female couples, which, despite my loud internal feminist protestations, probably worked out for the better, as it gave the community a choice of folks to relate to... does that make sense? Anyway, I therefore spent the first half of my Bulk Distribution time with Domino Don, working in a rather needy community right near the warehouse. Honestly, I think that many of these folks could have used the Red Cross help before the hurricane. So in a way our job was easier. We would drive down the tiny gridded streets and chat with folks out on their stoops as to whether they needed food, water and/or cleaning supplies, depending on what the warehouse had that day. The majority of times, once we stopped and opened the truck, we would gather a crowd of folks and empty out the truck in no time. We sure didn't have to go looking for folks to help. The first day of this, Don and I filled up the truck three times! (For some reason the warehouse crew got slower as the weeks went on, instead of faster, so at the beginning, loading was actually quite a snappy affair...)

So after 8 or 10 hours of this hard labor in stifling heat, shuffling heavy boxes in and out of an un-airconditioned truck bed, with an occasional lunch break in a mercifully air conditioned chain restaurant, we would wend our way home to the luxury of our accommodations. Heh heh.

The accommodations were affectionately known as the Shake N Bake Oven. Have you ever had a pajama party with 600 of your closest friends? In an airless muggy warehouse? With no running water? I have. And it was FUN!

This was actually the second shelter we stayed in, but we were there for the majority of our stay. The first staff shelter was an elementary school that had running water AND air-conditioning, but those pesky school teachers wanted it back to actually start the school year. Durn them. So it was off to the warehouse on the Navy base.

Honestly it wasn't too bad when we first got there, but unfortunately it got hotter every day we stayed in Gulfport, and therefore so did our un-ventilated accommodations. The good thing about our new location were the amenities provided by the industry that supports the western forest fire crews. We had hot prepared meals and showers all provided out of 18-wheeler truck containers in the parking lots around our warehouse. The unfun part was the porta potties. Outside in the sun. All day. You'd wipe down your seat, paper paper paper it, do your business, and then spend twice as long picking the paper off your sweaty hide. Ew. And I have a question to all you men out there who read this blog (two, three of you...) why is it that there is always a puddle of piss below the urinals in these porta potties? Is your aim that bad, or is there some sort of engineering design flaw that causes a distressing splashback. Or are you all just gross? I need to know.

So now we were fed, and showered, and the next obvious step is to get some much needed rest. The first few nights I passed out from sheer exhaustion, but as the mercury rose it became more challenging. About three nights in, I hunkered down in my cot and did nothing but some serious sweating for the entire night. I now know what a glazed ham feels like in a 350 degree oven. Stewing in my own juices. Marinating, if you will. Thank heavens no one studded me with cloves. Definitely not sleeping though. So a couple of my crew mates and I moved over to the Ritz. And by Ritz I mean a rickety old wooden flatbed truck in the parking lot, as demonstrated here by The Colonel and Juneau.

Ah, sweet relief. Except for the West Nile laden mosquitoes. And the fact that it wasn't much cooler than the Shake N Bake. But I was beggin, and I sure wasn't choosin, so it was better than nothing. And the really amazing thing about all of this is that I had a home to come home to. This was a temporary situation for me. My house wasn't blown to smithereens like some of our clients' homes were.

So all in all I feel like an exceptionally lucky individual. I met some amazingly resilient people, all of whom were incredibly nice to us. Even in what was deemed "unsafe neighborhoods". Even when I got Mad Hattie stuck on someone's trailer when trying to back out of their driveway. And they had to drive their tractor over to drag the trailer sideways to uncouple the two. Oops. Sorry. Most folks I talked to felt amazingly lucky to be alive. I will forever be in awe of how genuinely polite everyone was despite their varied situations. I also got to see some staggering destruction by good old unpredictable Mother Nature first hand. I have some pictures of this stuff, but it'll have to wait until next time. The people are much more important.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Of Illness, Eruptions, and Computer Mortality...

Hello Blogosphere! Did ya miss me? Sorry for the radio silence, The Hub and I are on our anniversary trip to Grand Teton National Park, and are, uh, busy. And The Hub sorta kinda accidentally dropped my laptop and sort of kinda killed it. He's really, really, sorry though, so I think I'll keep him anyway!

So to quell those nasty rumors going around after my departure from the Gulf Coast, I will fess up with the facts. I did, in fact, get sick after Gulfport, but a quick visit to the doc during my one day back home assured us that it was nothing other than the common cold, and after the ingestion of many vitamin C laden fluids, I am again in fighting shape. A slightly boogery and phlegmy fighting shape, but swinging nontheless.

So now we are in the lovely little Teton Village, Wyoming, and well, it snowed last night. I can't believe the climates I have experienced in the last two weeks. Tropical heat and damp to high desert dry to snow! It's wacky! That and I have now spent the night in every contintental American time zone all within a week. My internal clock now reads "naptime" as a constant. Of course I have always been rather napperific, but what with the illness and all, it is straying into narcolepsy. Good thing I took a week off from my back-hoe driving job, huh?

The Tetons are cool, but sometimes I have a hard time enjoying goofy touristy things. I hate feeling like a poseur in a land full of genuine residents. It is like living in Tahoe and making fun of the tourists, only I AM THE TOURIST. But then we went up to Yellowstone and did the self guided tourist walk around the geyser basin by Old Faithful, and WOW! Forget all that nonsense, because geysers are COOL!

Well, we head home tomorrow, where I will have my very own old computer to work on, and I will spin many a picture enhanced thread of Red Cross travail, airline snafus, and goofy tourist exploration. So nice to chat with you again, and the fates be willing, we'll be seeing a lot more of each other as of tomorrow!

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Look, It Flushes!

Just got back to DC from southern Miss. We are ecstatic to see (and use) flushing toilets and running potable water. I'll try and get some pics up as soon as I get back to CA. Wow.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Pigeons of Mercy descend on Gulfport, MS

"The Hub" here...guest blogging for Suziehulahoop. Currently said hulahoop is truck drivin' in Gulf Port Mississippi along with her sister, giving away truckloads of food, water, and supplies to the folks of that commnunity for the Red Cross. Last I heard (tonight), they are sleeping in a large military base hangar with more than 500 of their closest friends, with complimentary non-existent air conditioning to boot!! That, however, appears to be a better deal than most around there are getting because they at least have walls, a roof, water and power.

Apparently (this info is second hand from "the hoop" as well) many of the container ships that were trying to hide in the small coves of Gulfport to ride out the storm have been destroyed, and their truck-sized cargo containers turned into giant house-sized rolling pins, just in case the winds, storm surge, and falling trees weren't enough to level everything already. Awful.

Is this what the future holds for coastal communities like Gulfport?Probably (from 2004, before Katrinasationalism...). Here's a more recent paper in Nature about it...eerily prescient that science can be eh?

Speaking of which..there's a pretty good Katrina timeline out there, sourced fairly thoroughly as far as I can tell.

And as long as we're getting facts out there (and since the hoopster makes no bones about the whole bleeding heart liberal thing)--there are other examples of less than enthusiastic leadership on issues of national security by you know who... Maybe one day we'll actually get to read the whole report.

(scuffling sound as soapbox is slid to more convenient position for standing on...)

Maybe one day we'll get beyond this whole liberal/conservative smokescreen and just focus on facts. Maybe one day people will realize that there are way too many life and death problems we have to solve now to let matters of taste and culture get in the way...

But I digress...a lot...more on the hoop to come, as I get the updates...

Send the pigeon sisters your thoughts and prayers!!

Monday, September 05, 2005

Still In Civilization, Sort Of...

Well, so far everything is hunky dory here on the east coast. After two false starts, I did finally get into the Red Cross crash training course. (More on that in a sec...)

Yesterday morning after showing up at the FIRST alleged space and hour, and realizing that the info was incorrect, The Sis, RobbyBlog and I rallied and spent a lovely day at the Maryland Renaissance Faire instead. So that really didn't suck. And, extra special joy of joys, our longtime friend Lovely Lisa got to join us a well. All was super fantastic until some spaz at the knife throwing booth gacked out and somehow hit Lisa (standing NEXT to him, NOT in front of him) with one of his knives. It was only a glancing blow to the hand, but probably rather unsanitary, so we spent a few moments over with the nice folks at the Firste Aide. Getting some tincture and poultice. Or something.

After the slight maiming, there was only fun to be had by all, including such show stoppers as: observing the joust, pub sing, oyster shooters, and my personal favorite, axe throwing. Wheee!

So after a good night's rest, we set out again this morning, bright and early, for that darned required four-hour course, and yet again we found it to be nothing but erroneous info. We chose, at that point, to see it as a test of our persistence and stamina (and a chance to do some light shopping in nearby Georgetown), and hung in there, finally getting into the class at noon. Whew.

After the class finished we stopped by The Sis's (The Sis'? Grammar anyone?) local Red Cross branch to make sure we were all set with paperwork, and found out that I have been called up to be deployed! Eeeek! The Awesome Lady Who Is Helping Us, suggested that I wait until tomorrow morning to call in, when, most likely, Big Sis will be called up as well. So cross your fingers that we get to go, and go together, and I'll keep you as posted as I can. And don't forget to keep those knife wounds clean, okay?

Friday, September 02, 2005

Leavin' On A Jet Plane

Okay, so things have been moving quite quickly here at the HoopRanch. Seein' as I couldn't get into the local Red Cross class for another two weeks, I'm leaving tomorrow to fly to the east coast, meet up with said Fabulous Sister, take the class out there, and then deploy with them asap. Part of me feels like even this is too late, but another part is glad that I am in a situation where I can actually do something. Anything.

Um, so I will be gone for a few weeks. I'll try and post if there is any electricity where we get sent, but don't go holding your breath, okay? Send some positive vibes out for us to take along with us. Okay? Okay. Here we go.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Stepping Off My Soapbox Into...?

I, along with the rest of the world, can't believe how bad things have gotten in New Orleans. It seems that there is some fundamental organization missing from the rescue effort, and our president is, as usual, useless. BUT, as a budding engineer, I feel the need to disagree with some current sentiment that finds fault with city civil engineers and the failed flood control measures. There are certain natural guidelines that are incontrovertible, engineering intervention or not. If you build in a flood plain, you will experience floods. It is really that simple.

Check out this site about Holland's 700 year struggle with flooding, and the massive engineering that has gone into preventing it. Also, if you get the chance, check out John McPhee's book "The Control of Nature" where he discusses the Army Corps of Engineers' extensive attempts to save New Orleans from the Mississippi. It is important to realize that we (engineers) can do our best, but Mother Nature will always hold the winning card. The underlying mistake is allowing destruction and development in tidal and freshwater wetlands, and on river deltas! All of the previous "engineering" to prevent flooding in these areas has only made the situation worse.

None of this is to say that we shouldn't try to save established cultural treasures, such as New Orleans. But in addition to flood control, there should be a back-up procedure for swift, efficient rescue and remediation. I am agog at the lawless void that is transpiring.

Okay, now that I've gotten that out of my system, I need to thank my wonderful sister. She has gotten me seriously thinking about volunteering to help. I am currently signed up for a local Red Cross emergency training class, but they are full until mid September... I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Take Two!

We have been off on wedding road trips for the last two weekends in a row. The odd thing is that both weddings were second weddings for the brides. Nothing wrong with that... y'all should know that I am all in favor of Big Life Do Overs. And the events were both lovely, the brides were gorgeous, the grooms dashing...

The grounds were diverse, yet similar. One, a brand new luxury mini-cabin campground, the other a turn of the century bordello! Both with tent camping available for the steering impaired. I hate to say it, but the bordello was the loveliest site for a wedding I have ever been to, including my own. The bride's parents bought the old rambling structure on the Klamath River about 7 years ago and have been restoring it ever since. I guess there was a big push to get ready for the wedding, and it SO payed off. This picture doesn't do it justice, but imagine wandering the grounds on flagstone walkways, by the river, in the shade of huge maples, cocktail in hand, light breezes playing through your hair, with rambling golden ridges all around and twinkly lights in the trees. Got it? Good.

The food at both was fantastic, and again oddly enough, neither had a traditional wedding cake. Steph and Mark had cupcakes, and Chris and Seth had pie! (I like pie...) On both occasions we were short a camera memory card, so I do not have pictures of all the extraneous details. One thing that you are glad I don't have a picture of is the cooked pig carcass from C&S's wedding. Ewwie! (Mighty tasty though!)

So here's to all the women in the world who are brave enough to take the plunge again. It may be hard to take us seriously sometimes, but we are not messin' around this time! I swear!

96 Degrees In The Shade

Wow, with Katrina, this other timely news story and this book I'm reading, its hard not to feel that we are on the verge of something very bad...

The book, by the way, has a few main characters all living in the DC metro area, and between them there is a math person, a science person, a climber and a stay at home parent. Needless to say I related to this book on many levels, and highly reccommend it. WARNING: It is the first of a trilogy, and the two other books aren't even out yet, so if you are impatient, don't start yet!

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Animals, All Of 'Em

This is a picture of our very dirty dog's bum. He loves to roll in filth and then shake it off inside the house...

This is why we will not be having much carpet in the house when it is done. Speaking of which, our bathroom vinyl and guest room carpet have finally arrived at the installers (from Georgia?!) and the install should happen sometime at the end of next week! Assuming I can get it painted before then. Then I'll just need to get on the ball with the living room floor and we may even be finished before winter sets in. Anyone need 300 square feet of 20 year old brown shag? Tempting, eh?

The Hub has a rather cool job. Sometimes for his job he even gets to go backpacking for three days. This is what happens to your feet if you haven't hiked in 8 months and then go backpacking for three days. Ew. He was very proud of the fact that he used one of his diabetes needles to suction the goo out of the big one on the right so that it didn't pop. Did I mention, ew?

And hey, here's something not so gross. The cute fuzzy llama across the street. I tried to get closer, but they seemed a bit skittish. Anyone know the universal llama calling noise that would be used in place of the chuck-chucking you do to a horse? "Hey llamallamallama!" didn't seem to work too well...

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Callooh! Callay!

So I finally done did it. I sent in The Paper. The Best Prof Ever only had a few succinct comments, so it looks like the thing may actually be done by today. Oh frabjous day! At some point in the near future (after many, many years in the making) I may have a Master's degree! Alright, I'd better get to work and incorporate those suggest-chee-o-nays. Don't wanna dawdle, got a bike ride to make it to tonight!

Monday, August 22, 2005

Green Eggs and Spam

To my two loyal reader/commenters out there, who also happen to be my closest living relatives, I have had to add the inconvenience of an anti spam test to the process of commenting. While it was nice to come back and find that 20 people had commented on the old bloggy, it wasn't so cool that they were just using me to sell their junk... Darn blog sabotaging spammy junk sellers!

Saturday, August 20, 2005

And I'm Not Talkin' About Short Cute Lesbians...

Yesterday I managed to survive the entire long day that it takes to do this climb, Snake Dike.

It is a crazy, lumpy, utterly climable feature up the entire (otherwise rather smooth) side of Half Dome. Beautiful day, gorgeous (and cool!) weather. Rather long hike in, and even longer hike out. And yet again, I'm whupped! Off to a wedding in Tahoe, be back soon! (When I will finish That Paper, I promise!)

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Biding My Time

So while my fabulous Pops was looking over the latest version of The Paper today, I found some creative ways to keep busy... This morning I made another round of sparkly earrings, and I can't take it anymore, this time I'm claiming a pair for myself!

Then I was farting around on the internet and realized that I only had two days to get my application in for the FE in October!! So I hopped to it and got that puppy in the mail today! Thank heavens I still have 2+ months to study for the ghastly 8 hour test!

Then a coworker of the Hub's called and invited us on our First Mountain Bike Ride Since Moving (FMBRSM?) and we jumped at the chance. (I think I might have scared him, poor guy, because I was so darned enthusiastic...) Fortunately I had the time to fix all the flats and get some of the kinks out of the mountain bikes, since they have been effectively mothballed for so long.

I was under the vague false impression that all the mountain biking out here would be hot, exposed and dusty, but the nice 1:20 loop that we did was pretty much the exact opposite! It was about the same elevation as our house, but a much wetter area (and yet less than a half hour drive away, go figure) which was super nice for the big shade trees, but not so nice for the attendant mosquito population. Ah well, good incentive to go faster! Needless to say we all managed to keep the rubber side down and make it back to the cars with big goofy grins on our faces. Have I mentioned before how scary it is to be having such a wonderful life?

Monday, August 15, 2005

So Glad I Took That Left At Albuquerque!

I musta missed the exit to Boringburg, and headed straight into Fun Fun City! We had our Preliminary House Warming Party (PHP) this weekend (preliminary, due to the fact that the house isn't actually done...) and it was lovely. We now know three fabulous sets of neighbors all within stumbling distance of our little home. A bunch of folks from the Hub's office came too, as well as some friends from our short stint in El Portal. All in all it was just about the perfect little housewarming party, and this would be a great place to insert a picture, iffin' I hadn't been runnin' around scrounging up enough plates, forks, and gin and tonic receptacles.

And as our little party was coming to a close, our next-door neighbor popped back over to invoke Round Two, and we visited yet another set of neighbors down the road. They were just gettin' cranked up for their annual luau bash, complete with a live band of fresh young local gents with guitars and a free shell lei's for all attendees. We proceeded to have a few beers, dance to an eclectic mix of punk/classic rock and meet yet more neighbors. The fun kicked up another notch when the local sheriffs came out for a friendly visit, and tried to impose some authority on their own PARENTS. Gotta love a small town. Much photo snapping and late-shift officer snacking ensued.

By this time I was knackered and ready to hit the hay. So whupped in fact, that I conned the Hub into doing the initial party clean up back at our house while I sawed logs. Wow, he deserves the Extra Special Super Duper Husband Award. Again. But see, I had to get some beauty sleep, because I had big plans for Sunday...

The Whippersnapper and I had plans to climb this up in Tuolumne Meadows the next morning. And it was beautiful and exciting and pretty much almost the same experience that these guys had, including the erroneous guide book data. We did great, climbing as a team, swapping leads, and managing to climb safely yet efficiently when the weather turned a little sour about halfway through. With that pesky storm brewing and all, we called it a day after this one route, despite the fact that there are many other super lines on this dome. Tough call, but fortunate, because I made it home in time for the neighbor's tri tip barbecue taco night. Life so does not suck...

Friday, August 12, 2005

Next Exit - The Fun Of My Recent Past

Hi! No, I haven't fallen off the face of the earth! Yet. I have been attempting to finish up with The Paper lately, and well, not only is that as boring as dirt to talk about, it has been like pulling hens teeth. Or squeezing turnips from a stone. Or some such nonsense. So you'll have to bear with me for a bit while my life takes a slight detour through Dullsville. So here are some anecdotes from the recent past...

I got to go along to a local water-park for a friend's daughter's birthday last Monday. And now I know why we as adults do not do this on a regular basis. Not only are the waterslides and "rides" designed to remove your head cleanly from your neck, but there seems to be a design feature that attempts to remove half of your rear-end through friction where the slide seems meet. Oddly enough though, the neck actually feels better after its forcible tweaking, sort of like a big, wet, (yet cheap) chiropractor. The abraded butt-bone, on the other hand is taking its sweet time in healing! All well worth it however, and a better 10th birthday was never had.

I also got out one night for an after-work, evening climb with the Whippersnapper in The Hub's office. I was incredibly impressed as she cleanly led up Bishop's Terrace, a very long (takes the entire 60 meter rope)and classic pitch of 5.8 in the Valley. I did my best to not embarrass myself while following her, and we both rappelled off in the gathering dusk. Unfortunately the clean up process didn't go as smoothly, and we ended up getting her rope caught in a tree about 25 feet off the ground. After some dinking around in the pitch black, and scrambling up the easy bits with one headlamp, we ended up having to cut off the last 15 feet or so of the rope that was still out of reach and hopelessly tangled in a branch.
Ah, the joys of climbing.

So I'll leave you here, with stories of fun, adventure, and bodily bruising. And I'll attempt to get back to the mental grind. Wish me luck, and I'll see you on the other side. Happy weekend!

Monday, August 08, 2005

Can We Do It Again Next Week?

Well the girls weekend went swimmingly...

The bride-to-be was adequately pampered...

and embarrassed...

And the whole crew of hottie mommas seemed to have a great time.

Thanks to everyone for being so great! Hope y'all had a much fun as I did!

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Two Down, Three To Go...

This coming weekend I will be hosting a good friend's bachelorette party here at our little homestead, so in order to prepare for guests, the Hub and I have been working our (already fairly tiny) butts off.

Here's my man. Being manly.

The lawn done got mowed.

Here's the old bedroom.

Groovy mint green-dark brown color combo, eh?

Said room has now been magically transformed into this snug haven...

So now if only those little decorating elfs could unpack the boxes still stacked in the living room by tomorrow night, I'd be totally stoked. Regardless, it should be a fabulous weekend of estrogen, adrenaline, and endorphins. Cocktail O' Fun!

Monday, August 01, 2005

Oh For Three

Well, you thought it couldn't be done, but it has. My cat has gotten into yet another brawl. This one either consisted of, or included, zapping herself on the neighbors electric fence. She seems fine, we can't find a scratch on her, but from the kitty howlering that notified us of her newest altercation, it sounded like she was dying. Again, the hub came to the rescue, remembering to bring a flashlight as he sprinted out of the house after an ineffectual lightless me. As Molly came shooting out of the neighbors (2 inch by 2 inch wire grid!!??) fence, he somehow corralled her despite her best attempts to scratch his eyes out. She had the distinct and incredibly disturbing smell of burnt fur about her.

My nerves. They are shot. I'm getting incredibly depressed, I don't know if I can handle this every week. What the heck am I going to do? Give her up for adoption to a place that has less predators, or electric-fence her INTO our yard, or just live with the fact that sometimes this is what it means to be a parent? I feel like the situation calls for some Tough Love or something, but other than locking her in the house and making her (and us) miserable, I'm out of ideas.

Sunday, July 31, 2005

When The Moose Go Marching Out

So I don't know if I mentioned it when we first moved in, but we had some goofy moose marching across an upper wall in our bedroom.

I was sort of dreading the impact these moose would have on my life, because I thought I was going to have to sand them down, primer the whole wall and paint to get rid of them. But Lo! And Behold!

The moose all came off in one piece! The moose practically jumped off the wall! The moose didn't like being up there any more than I liked them being there! Yay! Good moose!

So now that all of the walls in the bedroom are done, we are free to start installing our NEW FLOORING! So the OH SO FUN first step is to remove the twenty year old carpet. Ick. I love me the dirt piles that accumulate underneath carpet!

Wait, wait, is that gross enough? How about an asian meditation garden in dirt...

But, I would like to say that this is all SO worth it. Take for example, the dining room... Before: Brown and Butt-Ugly

After: Airy Ikealicious

So I'm off to roll out some foam underlay and hem some curtains. Have a lovely day!

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Wherein I Turn Into A Cantankerous Old Fool

Try as I may it seems that I might be losing my ability to adapt and change with the times. The latest example of this has to do with climbing. See, I've started climbing a tiny bit again, and let me just mention here, that it has been quite a while since my climbing glory days. It seems the times, they have passed me by.

I've been climbing with a fresh young whippersnapper from the Hub's office (Hi Rachel!) and it has been lovely to get out on a semi regular basis and fling myself at the rock again. Rachel is wonderful and sweet and, well, more than ten years younger than me. So here's where I get the teenyist bit cantankerous. Gospel was, in my day, that you did not, let me repeat, DID NOT EVER, use DEET bearing bug spray anywhere near climbing equipment. The theory was (is?) that DEET eats through nylon. Not only are climbing ropes made of nylon, so are the harnesses, webbing and cordolette that connect you to the rope. So back in the good ol' days this meant that you just didn't use bug spray while climbing. You just wore long sleeves and transcended such pesky things as mosquitoes. But evidently now-a-days I am the only ornery old coot that said young whippersnapper has ever encountered that suffers to such a great extent for some supposed edge in safety.

So what could I do, but turn to the All Knowing, All Seeing Internets! And what did I find? Nothing but conflicting answers, of course! It seems to be common knowledge that DEET dissolves plastics, but then again, one climbing rope company supposedly did a study where DEET was shown to not affect rope strength at all. Of course my new rope is not made by THIS company. I'm also seeing on the chat boards (chat boards, who trusts chat boards?) that it supposedly doesn't affect Nylon 6 or Nylon 6,6. Hmm, it seems that my new rope is made of "Polyamide 6 (Nylon)". Is that the same? And despite my best efforts I cannot actually find a copy of the procedures and results of the Blue Water test. (Did they test only on the day of exposure, did they test a month later, etc?) And all this seems crazy to me in light of the fact that it has been proven that using a sharpie pen to mark the center of a rope can reduce the strength up to 50%!

Okay, so in conclusion, do I stick to my old fashioned guns (and my comfy luddite-ness) here and still say NO! to DEET, or do I give in to progress (albeit slightly sketchily documented progress) and go with the flow (of toxic pesticides)?

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

My Fledgling Is Out Of The Nest. Again.

The MollyFuzz seems to be healing up pretty well, so far no face-fall-offage. Knock knock. She's been getting pretty cranky hanging around inside the house (now, who does that sound like?!) so I let her outside this morning. Lets hope she has learned her snake lesson. Speaking of lessons, I am all submerged in the new Harry Potter book, and I'm not sure I'll be able to get anything done until i finish it... If only I could swish and flick my magic wand WHILE reading.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Horror. Take Two.

So Molly, my Fuzzy, my Precious, did it for real this time, and got herself into a fight with the business end of a rattlesnake. BAM! Right between the eyes. And still, not a peep out of my little scrapper. She was acting odd, and running around the house, and when I went to look for her she was hiding under the tarps on the bed. (Still painting in there...) She was definitely freaked out, bleeding from the bridge of her nose and drooling a bit. Bad news.

So, back to the old drill, we paged the vet, but unfortunately she was out of town this time, so we were directed to the next closest, about an hour away. I think I made it there in half that. After having me sign not one, but TWO, release forms that okayed charges up to $900 they got her all antivenin- and IV-ed up. And then I proceeded to loose my shit, and weep for the next two hours. The docs were holding their cards rather close to their chests at this point, and told me to come back in a few hours to check on her progress.

To cut to the chase, she made it through the night just fine, pleasantly dazed on lots of kitty painkillers. She looked good this morning (despite her slightly swollen Frankenstein brow), and even managed to eat some breakfast. Therefore, I was allowed to take her home early. There is still the danger of infection from those bacteria laden snake fangs, so she will be back on antibiotics. Her favorite. There is also the horrendous possibility that the flesh on her face will become necrotic and, well, fall off. Ugh. I'm just gonna ignore that possibility for now, as she hasn't shown any of the bad bruising that typically precedes it. So we are home, a bit worse for the wear, but thankful.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Essay In Ants

Ant Social

Hey this stuff is tasty!

Ant Fest

Hey Dude, come join in!

Ant Orgy

Mmmm, slurp, glop, mmm.

Update: now mostly dead ants. Yay!