Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Poor Gnorm

What sick creature from the fetid festering pools of Hades would pick on a defenseless, wandering gnome?


Monday, April 28, 2008

A short pier

I am in a foul mood today for any number of reasons in which I feel perfectly justified, even if there are people suffering in Africa a million times more than I am. I have no sympathy for anyone right now.

Part of this attitude is probably due to the fact that because of my asthma and related health care insurance deficit, I was forced to sleep in a semi-upright position last night. I am a light sleeper to begin with and any disruption of optimum sleep position ensures a miserable night.

Still, I decided, once the dogs were cared for, I'd head back to bed for a quick nap. Threw the puppies out into the back yard, settled in and was just about to drift off when a deluge of rain began and I had to bring them back in. So I wasn't there when Gaspode started the preliminaries of a major vomit-fest. Usually I can get him out the back door before any major damage occurs, but since I was preoccupied with the puppies, I wasn't there when he ultimately threw up all over the bed.

Yeah. The bed.

Then it became like that scene from Alien where they're trying to neutralize some acid before it penetrates the lining of the space ship and they run from deck to deck trying to get ahead of the damage. I'm pulling off layer after layer of bedding, hoping I reach a layer that hasn't yet been befouled by the more liquid contents of 'Pode's stomach. I guess I'm lucky that the worst of it didn't reach the mattress, but still...And I'd just changed the bed the day before.

So I come up to my office and I have to come up with something bright and funny and clever and I'm tellin' ya -- it ain't there.

And I'll tell you what else ain't there.

Gnorm. I can feel it in my bones that Gnorm has gone where no Gnorm has gone before.

So here I sit, with no sense of humor and Gnorm-less. And no clue what to make for dinner.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Happy Birthday, Heir 2...

To the kid who introduced us all to projectile vomiting!

Editor's note: This photo is in no way doctored. He actually crawled into that cubby hole.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Gnorm-ally Caffeinated

Hmm...I know I smell him around here somewhere...

You in there?

Nope. Cabinet's empty. I'll just grab my coffee...



Much better. Now for that coffee...


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

As if you need any further proof... (edited)

...that I am a major geek, I've spent the better part of this afternoon with my camera poised out the window* because we actually have a bluebird family moving into our bluebird house...




...the cowbirds are back!

They may not look like much, but their call absolutely sparkles in the trees.

I don't know what it says that these two developments had me in tears of joy this morning. I admit this reluctantly because I'm not really a sentimental person.

To save face, I will share with you that I'm about ready to dispatch this fellow to the fiery and, hopefully, annoying depths of birdy hell.

*Obviously, no luck in the bird photography department. That might have something to do with the four Aussies panting over my shoulder.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

This is what I found on my kitchen counter

That's right: Heir 2 is back to sniffing baking soda again.

And you know what that means: If we have vinegar salad dressing tonight, his face will explode.

Friday, April 18, 2008

A’ ‘ight. I have a confession to make...

I have been sucked into the vortex that is Oprah. It all started with the puppy mill show and since then I’ve been compelled to watch more. Not every day, mind you. Just more than usual.

The reason this bugs me is that television in general, while soothing and seductive, is a gigantic waste of time. And it Gets. Into. Your. Head. Not that getting into your head is a bad thing, if it’s something productive or positive. But what am I to do with Blondie shrieking in my head about dusting my floor?

But my opinion of television is well documented elsewhere. But Oprah, specifically?

Well, you all know that it bugs me when any one person has so much say over our culture or society – that’s one thing, and really not Oprah’s fault. There are other books out there, People. There are other voices and other opinions. And then there is Your opinion, which – believe it or not – is just as valid as Ms. Winfrey’s.

Actually, I find my fascination with watching certain shows (I avoid her celebrity shows) is that I can’t figure out which one of us is out of touch with reality.

For instance, yesterday’s show was about families who volunteered to “scale down” their consumption. This was Oprah’s idea of “hardship”: No computer (except for homework), no shopping, no cell phones, no iPods, no video games; only one hour of television; thermostat kept at 70; and no bottled water. They were required to eat home cooked meals together and, in one family’s case, were required to eat the same home cooked meal together, because apparently this was a family who thought the mother was a short order cook (and I use the word “cook” loosely since her “cooking” involved heating up prepared foods).

My reaction was, What’s the big deal? The families’ reaction? You’d have thought they’d been banished to the middle of the desert with nothing but toilet paper and a spoon. The whining from their kids alone made me want to give Heir 2 a big kiss when he walked through the door. (Ya know – I’m all about allowing my kids to verbally express themselves and understand that sometimes you don’t want to be chirpy and cheerful. However, I do demand a certain amount of civility, particularly when I am treating them civilly. If my kids talked me like these kids talked to their parents, their bedrooms would resemble a cell block on Rikers Island instead of a suite at the Sheraton.)

I can’t believe that this is a fair representation of families everywhere. And if it is, then we deserve to blow ourselves up into extinction. Come and get us, gigantic asteroid.

The day before that featured Maria Shriver who wrote a book about the obvious. Apparently it occurred to Ms. Shriver that who she Is, is not about what she does for a living. That this concept is available in any Philosophy 101 textbook is beside the point. She’s Oprah friend and has a book to ply.

Oprah, however, was absolutely incredulous that Maria Shriver had an existential crisis. “Didn’t that just shock you?” she kept prodding her audience.

Even they were too polite to point out that we’re talking “Kennedy Family” here – the family that on their own supports every rehab clinic in Massachusetts. Just Winfrey’s description of being a guest at Hyannis Port made you realize that Shriver may need more than her little (112 pages) book to find herself.

“You would never let my mother catch you just sitting watching TV,” Shriver shared.

Oh. My. I mean, I hate TV, but talk about control issues…Well, at least it’s good for the figure. Maybe a little too good, if you ask me...

I could go on and on, particularly the juxtaposition of the “scale down and go green” shows with her celebrity “fabulous luxury bathroom that helped her lose 15 pounds” shows; her “the dysfunction of accumulating ‘things’” shows with her “Oprah’s favorite things” shows.

But I’ve gone on long enough. I know this is longer than usual and would even be too long for Spot-On. Besides, I've annoyed Spot-On with my Oprah and television rants enough. I'll save my opinion about the New Earth thing for another day. (Is that an audible sigh of relief I hear?)

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Dark Garden is obviously obsessed by a little dog

I took this picture actually to see the daffodils, since any horticultural success on around here has to be documented, they are so few and far between. It wasn't until I downloaded the picture that I realized there was anyone other than Salt in the picture. So I'll clarify, in response to yesterday's comments.

There are only three real dogs in the picture:

Salt, of course:


And Zsa Zsa (whose ass Dark Garden described so lovingly):

Dark Garden was, in a way correct in that there is, though, technically, a fourth dog on the welcome garden flag:

And, of course, Gnat, who was a kind of afterthought:

As for under the doorknob, DG...I don't know what you're seeing...

WAIT! Now I see it!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Highlights (for Linguinis)

There are three dogs in this picture. Can you find them all?

Bonus: Find Gnat the Gnome.

Points off if the only thing you notice is that my grass needs mowing.

Friday, April 11, 2008


Ya know, sometimes life becomes so routine that the truly bizarre stuff doesn't strike you a weird until you've, say, gotten out of the house for the first time in three weeks. Then you realize that, in truth, your family is, perhaps, a little on the strange side.

So when I read this from Jag, I was, at first relieved that there was someone else around who is following the day-to-day goings on at NASA besides Dirtman. I mean, someone has to, ya know.

Dirtman is addicted to the NASA channel. He even watches when all they are showing is, like, two people milling around the mission control room. He even watches reruns of two people milling around the mission control room. Then he feels obligated to tell me about it.

But Jag's post reminded me very specifically of this one exchange in the middle of the night when I woke at two o'clock in the morning and Dirtman has not yet come to bed. I found him in the Man Cave and on the TV screen was a shot of (once again) the mission control room where a guy was staring at a screen and another guy was shuffling paper off to the side.

Me: You can't function on this little sleep. You need to come to bed.

Dirtman (whispering): The astronauts are sleeping.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

The empty spot beneath my desk

Zsa Zsa is at the vet’s today having “lady surgery.” Yup, she’s put in her time and effort and now she’s going to retire.

But for today, I miss her. She is my constant companion and comes with me wherever I go. I keep looking for her, talking to her. I’m back to sounding like I’m talking to myself again.

Strangely, the other dogs will not even attempt to take her place under the desk or at my side. They follow, but leave empty her space on my left. She’s trained them well.

Zsas was a good mother, but really didn’t enjoy it. I’ve seen some dogs who just plain delight in motherhood, but not her. She did it well out of a sense of duty and almost as a favor to us. But her true joy is just being with us and being petted. Oh – and eating.

We're well matched, Zsas and I.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

The next generation...

This flashed across my screen today as part of the screen saver program. It was taken on Christmas, about five minutes after everyone fell out of bed.

You can't tell by the picture, but I really do have great hopes for the next Linguini generation...No...Really.

Friday, April 04, 2008

So much for rest and relaxation...

Ahhh...afternoon, caught up on work. I'll take the time to relax, look out the back door at the birds and have a nice pot of tea...

Or maybe I'll just throw the Kong ball for the next hour...sigh.