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October 31, 2011


thanatopsis \than-uh-TOP-sis\ , noun;
1. A view or contemplation of death.
2. A poem (1817) by William Cullen Bryant.

I don't contemplate death nearly as much as I do dying.

Then I'd Look Like the Beej

You Should Wear a Cat Mask

You are mysterious and tend to keep to yourself. You have your own inner world.

You are freedom-loving first and foremost. You value your independence.

You're widely known for your defiance and strength. You recover from setbacks nicely.

You do and say whatever you feel like. People are sometimes shocked by your outrageous behavior.

Halloween Horrorscopes

From the email archives:


Ascaryus (Jan 20-Feb 18): This Halloween looks to be a scary one for you. But before you go around crying, "Ooooh, I want my mummy! I want my mummy!" think about this: You want more lovin’, right? Well, if you run around like a scaredycat, you will, to quoth the raven, "Neverscore."

Pieces (Feb 19-Mar 20): Vampires are evil, hypnotic people who will emerge in the night and drain you. Sounds like someone I used to date. You need to be careful because you may have closed the metaphoric coffin lid on a relationship, only to find that this person will rise from the graveyard of your heart to worm their way back into your life. One word of advice from "Buffy The Vampire Slayer": A vampire can only come in if you invite them.

Scaries (Mar 21-Apr 19): You've got to pick up every stitch this Halloween because, unless I miss my guess, it must be the Season of the Witch. If only every holiday could be commemorated with a bad Donovan song. Wouldn't it be great, on Thanksgiving, to sit around the table, giving thanks for the bounty we are to receive by singing a rousing round of "Mellow Yellow"? That is truly the most horrifying thought you can be faced with this Halloween.

Tarot (Apr 20-May 20): Sure, you ladies have been looking for some lovin'. But you don't want to go for just any Tom Dick and Harry. And heaven forfend you go for any Jack you find, especially when that Jack is some hollow-headed grinning gap-toothed idiot. But then again, despite his weird exterior, if you look inside, you'll see a flame burning bright. This might be the season of the witch, but if you try not to act so witchy and look past the odd exterior, you'll find hidden depths in the ugliest places.

OnlyOneEye (May 21- Jun 20): Horror is in the eye of the beholder, whether that eye be bloodshot and yellow, peering at you from the shadows of the night, or whether the eye is a horrible dismembered giant radioactive eye. What is truly scary? A werewolf? A werewolf is not so much a horrible half-man half-beast as a chronic undershaver. A headless horseman is just the victim of a particularly bad hair day. In much the same way, you can find the brighter side of anything that comes your way, no matter how horrific or annoying.

Dancer (Jun 21-Jul 22): Scary is relative, and we don't just mean your crazy relatives who threaten to come visit for six weeks, but rather the idea that whereas a movie with monsters made out of cardboard boxes and paper mache may have been the scariest thing you'd ever seen when you were eight, it now looks like crap. You must get over your initial fears of a new project or relationship; although it seems insurmountable now, if you stick with it, you will eventually be able to overcome it.

Tao (Jul 23-Aug 22): Frankenstein's monster was, of course, made out of the parts of a couple dozen other people, which must have been hell when it came to custody hearings. Nothing's more awkward at a family reunion than having one-tenth of Cousin Harry show up at the buffet. You, too, feel like you're being pulled in twenty different directions, but you'll soon receive the jolt you'll need to get on your feet again.

Vertigo (Aug 23-Sep 22): Pity the poor skeleton who wanders around on Halloween, looking so unfashionable in all-white a full two months after Memorial Day. Of course, he can't help it, and he is actually successful in the love department; after all, he is "ribbed" for her pleasure. This week you'll find that you attract more flies with honey than even dead zombie flesh, and being inherently nice to the opposite sex will make them flock to you like vultures to a skeleton.

Webra (Sep 23-Oct 22): Zombies are pretty well-known for trying to suck the brains out of people's heads. As was every high school algebra teacher I ever had. Coincidence? Considering that those people were always pale on the point of being green, had trouble communicating more than moans and incoherent screams, and had awkward, stumbling walks down the hallway, I think it's lucky I escaped without some horrible "Night of the Living Dead scenario." You escape a horrific fate worse than death , if you can steer clear of boring people at parties.

Scareio (Oct 23-Nov 21): You think you're being slick, but the truth is that you're like a ghost; people can see through you, and all the noise you're making is more effective scaring small children and dogs than actually doing anything. It's time to leave your old haunts and take care of that grave matter that's all your vault.

Sekeltarious (Nov 22-Dec 21): Boo! Scared ya!

Capricandycorn (Dec 22-Jan 19): You're in the zone this week! The Twilight Zone, that is, and it's going to be a creepy thrill ride with an incredibly ironic twist at the end that serves as a commentary on our mixed-up Cold War nuclear society. Don't let the creepy situations you get yourself into this week get you skittish. Let them get you Skittles; why not go Trick-or-Treating? It's fun to dress up, get given stuff, and not have to give ten percent to a big guy named Huggy Bear. And Halloween candy doesn't count as calories!

October 17, 2011


lummox \LUHM-uhks\ , noun;
1. A clumsy, stupid person.

I'm a lummox; not all the time, but now 'n then.

Postively Privately Petrified

I was getting in my truck and going to the store when I first noticed it - a stinging in my groin. Now, I'm getting old and growing used to various aches and pains, so I didn't pay it much mind. Then later as I arrived at the store and got out of the truck, I felt the same pain again. It wasn't a usual pain, though, being more like being stuck with a pin right in my scrotum at the very bottom.

At first I thought "Oh no...getting another kidney stone!" but the pain wasn't like it had ever been with that. The pain went away, so I put it out of my head. When I got home, and was getting out of the truck again, the pain came back.

Now I was worried. It was such a sharp, acute pain and certainly not normal. I got in the house, dropped my pants and gingerly reached between my legs. I could feel a small bump through my underwear and when I felt of it with a little more force, the pain was almost unbearable. I felt faint, partly from the pain and partly from anxiety.

Thoughts raced though my head...what could it be? I hoped it was something "normal", like a boil or the like. I'd never had anything like that, but it was much better than my second guess - testicular cancer, or maybe a tumor on my scrotum. Heck, after thinking of those alternatives, I was semi-hoping it was a hernia.

I reached down in my underwear, my hands trembling a little bit, feeling like passing out from the worry. My fingers touched the hard knot and again came excruciating pain, worse than before. Gritting my teeth, I manipulated the small bump and then suddenly the pain transferred from my scrotum to my fingertips. I pulled my hand out of my underwear, expecting to see blood.

It was a sticker, just like the ones I pick off the Beej's tail. I'm going to have to be more careful when discarding them or make sure he doesn't make his bed in my dirty clothes. I guess it was something I missed when I did the last load of laundry. I get those damn things in my socks all the time, but this was the first time I found one in my underwear.

October 11, 2011

New Blogger Feature

Those of you who use Blogger might already know this, but Blogger has a new feature that I've just noticed.  The reason I just noticed is because after I publish a post, it takes me to a page that gives me the option of viewing the post or the blog.  (same thing, really, because viewing the blog will show you the post at the top, while viewing the post just shows the post)

There's also a small box giving hints or announcing a new feature that's just been rolled out. I noticed the other day that Blogger now offers up "stand-alone pages", which I'm thinking means we can put most any feature Blogger offers on a page and then link to it in the side nav-bar.  I'll have to go look, but I believe it says we can have up to 20 of these type pages.

I remember when it was announced that MSN Groups were closing and in a thread in Community Feedback people were discussing the alternatives. I had just discovered Blogger and mentioned that while it had pros and cons, I liked how one could add third-party content and embed videos and use some basic javascript.  One person replied to my post and said that blogs were too "egocentric".   Good grief, as if a person's Group wasn't egocentric? (some more than others, granted)

Anyway, I'm off to take a look at this new feature.  There are probably other new features I've missed.  There are a few I cannot use since I use a custom template, but I don't really care about at least one, having people "rate" my posts.   I don't think my ego could handle the criticism. -bg-

October 10, 2011

Skunk Calls

I've written twice about my recent skunk problem, first in This Really Stinks! and the second time in The Skunk is on the Porch; now I've got a brand new problem.

The skunk is still around, even though I've been a lot more careful about feeding the stray cat. I put her food up on a lawn chair, but she's so stupid, I have to pick her up and put her up there; she just can't seem to figure out that's where she needs to eat. Sometimes I put the food in the bed of my pickup and for some reason, she knows that's where she has to eat. I don't really like going out in the dark to my vehicle though, afraid that I'll step on the skunk.

Just the other night, I opened up the screen door to let the Beej out, but he hesitated and hissed; that's not unusual, because the stray cat is usually hanging around wanting to be fed. (I'm not sure she's pregnant, btw...I think she's eating so well she's gaining a LOT of weight) B despises her and hisses if she gets too close to him. He usually isn't any more aggressive than that, but I've seen him take a swat or two at her in annoyance. Anyway...I had the door cracked, not enough to let the Beej out because I didn't want a fight, but he wouldn't go out. He kept hissing and spitting and I figured the stray just wouldn't move out of his way.

Grabbing a flashlight, I shined it through the screen and saw it was the skunk! No wonder the Beej didn't want outside! I kicked the bottom of the screen door and the skunk hopped off the porch. I let B out and he wisely went off the other end of the porch.

Then, last night, I figured B would want in, so I called for him "Here kitty-kitty-kitty!". This usually brings him in if he's ready (if he's not, he just ignores me) It also has the effect of bringing the stray to the porch, too. I called a second time and here came my cat, followed by the stray....and then followed by the skunk! I guess it's become conditioned to the call, knowing that not soon after the cats come to the porch, there will most likely be food set out.

The outside food has also been an attraction to any stray dogs roaming the neighborhood, as well as other cats. I've been pricing BB and pellet guns at WalMart, thinking if I put the hurt on 'em, they'll never come back, but if they're hungry....

I really don't want to shoot the skunk (with a .22 and certainly not a BB gun -I'd rather have it dead than P.O.'d) and certainly don't want to call animal control, as they'll trap the skunk and the stray (where, odds are, she'll most likely be gassed w/ carbon monoxide from a running vehicle, the method used here in town) or even B. As I've mentioned, he keeps losing his tags and collar. I could bail him out of "jail", but that's something like 30 bucks or more. I have a couple of traps courtesy of my nephew who used to work for animal control in another town. I figure if I bait the trap, then put a large plastic bag over the entire trap -except for the door end - and then run a string to the gate latch, I'll be able to pick up the trap, take it outside of town and pulling the string, open up the door from a safe distance and letting the skunk go w/out harm.

I really need this skunk GONE; sooner or later, one of the cats will get sprayed. If it's the stray, no big deal, her tough luck. If it's the Beej, he'll have to stay outside until the stink wears off and that could be a long time. My main worry is rabies; skunks are notorious carriers of the deadly disease and that's all I need to have the infection spread to not only the stray, but to my beloved B and then perhaps to me!

October 5, 2011

Tea For Me

You Are English Breakfast Tea

You tend to have rather traditional views of love. You are faithful and willing to work hard in a relationship.

Hard working and ambitious, you can survive in the most cut throat work environment.

You're steady, organized, and determined to achieve your dreams.

People can count on you. You take duties and responsibilities seriously.

Except for the first paragraph, none of the rest of the results are really true about me. English Breakfast tea really IS my favorite type of tea, though. I love Earl Grey tea, too.

Love tea, but never cared to add milk. That must be a British thing because I've never, ever known an American to add milk to tea.

The Upcoming Storm

I am subscribed to a Homesteading/Survival page on Facebook and for the most part, enjoy reading their tips about living a minimalist lifestyle. Some of the posts, however, make me SMH in amazement.

For example, in this post someone asks about what to do about the medicine that people need in order to survive.  The question goes on to mention the "upcoming storm". Quite a few people chimed in with some common sense solutions (but probably futile) and others responded with idiotic answers.

It wasn't this question that makes me shake my head so much, but the attitude of many in the forum.  There are many questions about the best preparations for the "storm" and far too many people answer with what sort of weapons one "needs" with specific requirements for ammo and such.  Others blather on about where to live and how much land one might need for various numbers of people and what sort of garden to have.  Others talk about how it's best to own gold and silver; they even advise to not purchase bullion, but invest in small denomination/sizes of coins.

Sorry, but if "it" does hit the fan and food is scarce, I wouldn't trade my last can of beans for all the gold in Fort Knox. (if there IS gold there) I'd think cigarettes and whiskey would be worth many times more than gold. I wouldn't swap one laying hen for a Krugerand. (OR the goose that lays golden eggs) A roll of toilet paper would be worth a lot more than a roll of silver coins. (paper money might have SOME use in case of "the storm", come to think of it)

It's something I've seen in common with these sort of people; it's almost like they're looking forward to the breakdown of society.  Sure, it's not a bad idea to be prepared for disasters, but I think most of these folks don't have a clue about just how bad it would be. 

Stop and think about it; if society breaks down completely, you're on your own.  There will be minimal medical care- only what you know how to do- no law enforcement, no electricity or other comforts of modern civilization.  One small cut on your hand could quickly turn into gangrene...appendicitis or other "minor" ailments mean you die a slow, agonizing death. An abscessed tooth could be your death warrant, an ACL tear could mean you're crippled forever. In my own case, if I broke my glasses I would pretty much be disabled. I certainly wouldn't be much use on sentry duty, couldn't be a hunter...I wouldn't even be much good as a gardener - couldn't tell the weeds from the vegetable plants. (I'd probably only be worth something by being boiled down for my lard!)

All right, let's say you are fortunate enough to have a hundred acres up in the mountains near...oh, let's say Denver.  If the "storm" hits, don't you think that as soon as the food runs out (I've read the average grocery store has a 3 day supply) people will soon be spilling out of that huge city, trying to survive just as you're trying to do?  There's no way you could defend your hideout forever.  Many people in the forum talk about hunting one's own game, but it's easy to see that even if you have managed to get off the beaten path, many, many others will be hungry and armed and competing for the same animals.

OK, let's assume you're prepared to the max; you've got your great survival cabin, plenty of freeze dried foods, a nice garden, your own water well, a generator and loads of weapons and ammo.  First of all, you can only shoot one gun at a time.  Even if everyone in your family becomes a soldier, you could quickly be overwhelmed by a force only a few times your numbers.  What about trying to fight people who have managed to obtain military weapons, such as automatic rifles, mortars, heavy machine guns?  How are you going to defend against REAL soldiers who have banded together and also want to survive and are using advanced tactics to assault your "fort"?  Your trusty, rusty .22 won't quite cut it against an armored personnel carrier.  One homemade Molotov cocktail could drive you out into the open.

What about your neighbors?  Are you going to take them in?  If so, your supplies and resources will immediately be reduced by a factor of how many you've taken in.  Or, do you turn them away and think of your own family first?  Fine, but you've just made enemies, your former friends who are thinking of THEIR families too.  You've just shown you care nothing about their welfare, why should they consider yours?  A desperate and hungry man will take desperate action for his own hungry family.

You HAVE to sleep sometime, you HAVE to go out to tend your garden, go hunting, turn off/on or service the generator, feed and water your animals, even go to the outhouse.  Easy enough to pick you off from a distance then. The noise of a generator, a rototiller, even the sound of talking carries a long way.  Lights at night?  Like moths to a flame, here comes the 2-legged predators.  The smell of a fireplace, meat on the grill, will also bring them, human animals who want what you have, too.

I could go on and on about how relatively simple it would be to kill you and/or take away your supplies and survival cabin, but no need.  I want to tell these people in the survival group that they shouldn't look forward to the "storm" they're so sure is coming.  Like I said, it bothers me that people seem to be eagerly anticipating it.

What are you going to do if you run out of your insulin? Why, you're going to die.

You might be the lucky one.


bandersnatch \BAN-der-snach\ , noun;
1. An imaginary wild animal of fierce disposition.
2. A person of uncouth or unconventional habits, attitudes, etc., especially one considered a menace, nuisance, or the like.

Wow, by the second definition I guess I could be considered a bandersnatch.