Apr 21, 2006

Good Advice for Us All...

From a safety brochure--

"Children should not see adults sticking anything other than bread products into a toaster."

Apr 19, 2006

As Promised...

We love our pets, really we do. It’s just that we’re not above having fun at their expense, as is obvious from Zoe's most recent pic.

A few weeks ago Mrs. Bee (my friend/neighbor) and I went yardsale shopping. Among the spectacular deals I found was a kids’ book for Little Bee to read when she comes over to my house. As you can see in the pic, the book itself is shaped like a kitten, and the story inside is illustrated with photographs of real kittens. It’s adorable, and Little Bee seems to dig it. And it was only twenty-five cents. I do love a bargain.

Poor Pim, on the other hand, is certain that we’ve gone off the deep end and added another
crazed animal to the family. When the book is lying flat, he has no problem with it. Stand it up, however, and he crouches into a defensive position, ears back, growling.

Unfortunately for him, this is not the first time this has happened. At one time we were the guardians of “Flat Cat,” a lifesized cardboard cutout of a cat. How & why we had it is another story, but during Flat Cat’s tenure with us, we found that he was very convincing as a real kitty, at least to Pim. We’d stand Flat Cat up, and Pim would immediately begin with the growling and defensive posturing. We’d lie Flat Cat down, and Pim would suddenly be just fine, as if a switch had been flipped.

Such is the case with the new kitty book. It remains a bit of a mystery, since in times past Pim has gotten along fairly well with other cats, provided they aren’t trying to kick his ass. One autumn, we had a real, live foster-kitten for several weeks. While Pim wasn’t all that interested in being friends, he was more than willing to live and let live. So it seems odd that he would be so hostile toward cardboard cutouts & books with cat photos on them.

The best explanation I can give—and I think it’s a pretty good one—is that while the book looks like a real cat, it doesn’t act like one. It doesn’t smell or move like a cat, or come over to sniff Pim, or even blink or avert the gaze. It probably comes across as fairly threatening in kitty terms, as must have Flat Cat.

Of course, we have had some fun with the kitty book. It turns out that if you get the book close enough to Pim, he will hiss & spit, & bat at it mercilessly, even to the point of knocking it out of your hands. At one point, we maneuvered the book just right so that Pim was able to sniff it and figure out that there was no threat, but the next time the book came out he reverted to the hissing and such…apparently he will never trust the kitty book.

Pim is a passive-aggressive guy though, and he let us know when he had had more than enough. He made his anger known by peeing in a couple of key spots around the house. This is a fully housebroken cat who NEVER has accidents. No, if he does his business anywhere other than he is supposed to, you can bet that it’s deliberate.

We learned our lesson and put the kitty book back in the box with the other toys, where it cannot torture Pim anymore (until Little Bee comes over to read it—bwuahaha!). As for Pim, it appears that all is forgiven. He has had his revenge and moved on.

Editor's Update--04/20/06--I just discovered more evidence of Pim's revenge this morning. Now we must kitty-proof the house to minimize future attacks.

The moral of the story: When Pim gets pissed off, things get pissed on...

Apr 18, 2006


Pseudonyms have been a recurring issue for me in this blog. My blog is open to public perusal, but those I write about don’t necessarily know I’m posting information about them for all to see and read. Plus, you never know who might come across my blog, and I certainly don’t want to get anyone in trouble with my ranting, especially myself. Consequently, my rule of thumb is to use pseudonyms for everyone except the pets.

When writing about work folks, I decided to use names from the Brady Bunch (in case you didn’t pick up on that before), with the exception of my officemate, to whom I referred simply as “Officemate” (and except for Ms. Gillian, whose story you’ll have to read for yourself in my archives). This could have become quite complicated when I moved offices, except that now I work in a cube, so my new officemate is more accurately “Cubemate,” thus eliminating most of the confusion. Come to think of it, I don’t know that I’ve mentioned Cubemate thus far, so don’t even worry about it yet.

I couldn’t think of a cutesy theme broad enough to encompass friends and acquaintances, so I stuck with initials. Surprisingly, this worked fine until the new Mrs. B. got married last month, creating a duplicate with our other good friends the B's.

I have spent the past week trying to think of a new name for the B's and have yet to come up with a fitting and clever pseudonym, so I shall have to resort to the plain and unoriginal.

Thus, henceforth and heretofore, our good friends and next-door-neighbors shall be known on this blog as the "Bees": Mr. Bee, Mrs. Bee, their daughter Little Bee, and their pets Sydney and Tokyo. The new Mrs. B. and her husband, married over a month now, shall remain the B's.

Thus saith skerribee--um, I mean skerrib...

Apr 12, 2006

Deer Dialogue...

I encountered a pair of deer while jogging this morning. Being that they didn't speak English, and I didn't dare speak aloud & scare them, this is our conversation as I imagined it--

Deer--"Excuse us please, we're just going to cross the road Oh good there are no cars because we're already halfway into the lane OK, now just up this hill, and, Good we're safe!"

Me, stopped dead in my tracks, about 20 feet away--"Oh, hello. I've never been this close to deer before."

Deer--"Well, here we are. Did you want to stare all day? We have places to be."

Me--"Um, I have a secret fear that sometime when I'm out jogging, some rogue deer is going to jet out of nowhere and pummel me to the ground out of spite. You're not going to do that, are you?"

Deer--"Oh geez...you watch too many stupid car insurance commercials. Relax, OK? You do your thing, we'll do ours."

Me--"Okay...bye then."

I'm totally clean & sober, honest...

Apr 3, 2006

The Great Scam Leaves Its Mark...

The beginning of Daylight Saving Time seems to be affecting the Cat-Daddy more than me for once. Saturday night I set our two main clocks ahead, so Sunday morning we were good to go. I got ready for church, and the Cat-Daddy headed off to class. He didn't even get out of the driveway, though, before reappearing at the door--

"Skerrib, what time is it?"

"About 8:00"

"Why does my car say it's 7:00??"

"Daylight Saving Time went into effect this morning."

"Are you sure??"

"Check on the computer. Or the TV." (the TV goes on for a short time)

"Does Mr. B (our friend/neighbor) know?"

"I hope so" (Mr. B. was my ride to church that day). "Hey Cat-Daddy, how does it feel to fall victim to the greatest scam ever pulled??"

The Cat-Daddy was not amused.

The B.'s did, in fact, remember to set their clocks as well. I am usually such a time zone wuss that the slightest disruption takes me a week or two to adjust, but thus far I feel surprisingly unaffected. At least part of it is due to the fact that I completely forgot to set my alarm this morning, sleeping straight thru to 7 instead of 6. We shall see as the week progresses. For once I'm heading to bed on time tonight; that's a good start.

As for the Cat-Daddy--who is ordinarily of the "suck-it-up" mentality, especially when I start complaining about time zone adjustments, summer humidity, keeping the house at 60 degrees in the wintertime, or pretty much anything else I decide is unnatural and/or inhumane--he is crashed on the couch as we speak. In his own words, he is "wiped because of Daylight Saving Time."

Yes, I am gloating.

I so rarely get to do so, I feel compelled to savor this moment...

...It feels quite delicious...

...there. I'm done.

Next up will be Pim's most recent adventures. He's quite a trooper to tolerate kitty-parents like us...

Apr 1, 2006

The Great Scam Returns...

It's that time of year again: Daylight Saving Time is upon us. We "spring forward," losing an hour tonight and spending the next two weeks readjusting our bodies' clocks to the time change. I know not everyone experiences the same difficulties I have adjusting to the new time, but I also know I'm not the only one. Slightly higher accident rates occur during the first week of DST--I read it online so it's gotta be true, right?

In all fairness I admit that DST is actually a fairly reasonable idea here on the East coast. Not that I'm advocating it, mind you. I still think the whole thing is a crock. However, our geographical position is such that, even on DST, we still get some decent daylight in the morning hours, as well as the evenings. For all the good things about our last state, Ohio, DST drove me nuts because the sun didn't rise until nearly 6am on the longest days, so we early-morning warriors had a lot of dark & dim jogs come September. And then, come 9pm when it was time to start getting ready for bed, it was still fairly light out. It just wasn't natural.

At least here in the suburbs of Boston we have a nice balance. Plenty of light in the AM to get my jog in, and decent daylight hours in the evenings.

To be continued...