Cast of Characters:

Enkidu (AKA Slim)
Beowolf (AKA Wolfie)
Blaze (AKA Blaze)

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Finished another book

This is what it feels like to have time to read...oh I remember.

I just finished reading The Da Vinci Code last night. It was a pretty suspenseful read (though the ending was rather anticlimactic). I figured that I should at least read it so that I could choose how to interpret all the hype about it. (I figure that anything that is so discussed by the majority of the American public is at least worth getting to know. Then you can either choose to love it, hate it, or not really care - at least it will be an informed decision.)

I'm not going to comment on any theological issues about it. When I mentioned to Dad that it seemed to be a pretty quick read, he immediately started in on debunking the theology of it. *shrugs* I really don't care about the theology. I read fantasy novels most of the time when I have something to read for pleasure. There's no need to try to change them into reality!

And actually, if you read the whole thing, you find that the book itself suggests that the Church, while perhaps served by keeping such things quiet, is exonerated of any wrong-doing, having been simply played by a misguided historian.

Let's just read this for fun and not take it any more seriously than the film The Body or the book Das Jesus Video (if you know German, read the book, but avoid the movie like the plague!). Consider it a "what if", just like you would with Stargate!

(Those interested in more discussion of The Da Vinci Code might be interested in this blog entry by Kathy Bledsoe (including the comments) that I stumbled across.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Need a new book

Well, I finished reading Steven Brust's Dzur today. It was Vlad doing Vlad things. It wasn't my favorite Vlad book, but on the other hand, I did read whole thing in less than 24 hours. For those of you on the Renaissance circuit, it might interest you to know that Scratch (or someone very like him) made a cameo appearance in the book:
Few people paid any attention to me. I got a hopeful look from a skinny,
dark-haired beggar who was sitting on the ground next to a pastry shop holding a tin to collect coins in and a small frying pan whose purpose was known only to himself. (p. 105, hardcover edition)

Before that, I was re-reading Emma Bull's War for the Oaks. It's amusing being able to identify some of the settings in a fantasy novel, having been there myself.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


Novalis, nach einem Kupferstich von Eduard EichensI have a prof who is always going on about all of these literary greats who wrote all of their wonderful stuff by the time they were 25 or 30. (Granted, they were mostly dead rather soon thereafter...)

I was sitting there thinking that I don't have all that much time to think. Even if I were a genius, which I'm certainly not claiming to be, I wouldn't know it because there has been way too much distraction. Think of the TV on almost all the time in the background. Then there's the radio. Then there's all the required coursework. I mean, really, the only time in the day where I consistantly have time to just stop and think in relative quiet is on the bus (when I'm able to zone out the other people talking around me) and in the shower. I'd say I've conceived of most of my most recent papers while washing my hair.

The greats of the past didn't have these problems. They read if or when they wanted to. Many came from families with money, so they didn't have to work for a living. There were no TVs or radios. They had to walk or ride horse wherever they went, so there were probably longer stretches of time between point A and point B. Anytime that they were alone, it would have been quiet. (Granted, we can turn off the radio or TV, but we often don't.) They just had a lot more time, I think to think, because they had nothing else to stimulate that part of the brain. Also, they didn't necessarily have other people telling them what to write (say in course work), so they could devote their time to what they were really interested in developing.

NBC has reported on something that I think supports my hypothesis.
Jordan Grafman, Ph.D., National Institute of Neurological Disorders says, "It's quite likely that they're not going to have a lot of pause time to deliberate about the work they're doing. So where's the cost there? It's in deep thinking. It's in being thoughtful about what you're doing."

Note: For those of you who have read this far, I recommend that you read the comments too. They are just as, if not more interesting than this entry.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Low blood sugar in a ferret

I accidentally found out the other day what happens when a ferret has low bloodsugar. The ferrets were in the cage all day and I had neglected to check the food-dish before leaving. Apparently it was empty. Chaos seemed to be the only one with a problem. I got home and opened the doors to take him and Fuzzball out. Usually Chaos would sit on the floor for a minute and then scamper off to take care of business. This time, he ran back into the cage and up to the top floor to get my attention. He was shaking...little seizures through the extemities. I had to give him some Karo syrup to get his bloodsugar up high enough for him to eat again. Then I gave him some olive oil for some (from the ferret perspective) yummy non-sugar calories.

It took me calling the vet and her mentioning blood sugar for me to figure out what had happened.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Peace is apparently anti-Christian and anti-American

This is a wreath on the house of Lisa Jensen in Pagosa Springs, Colorado.

A Pagosa Springs resident is resisting an order by her homeowners'
association to remove a peace symbol-shaped wreath from an exterior wall of her

"I just wanted to put a message of peace out there," said Lisa Jensen, who
hung the wreath Nov. 19. She said Wednesday she didn't intend the wreath as a
statement against the Iraq war.

"I was really trying to be in favor of something - peace," Jensen said.

She was informed by letter from the Loma Linda Homeowners' Association that "Loma Linda residents are offended by the Peace Sign displayed on the front of your house."

The letter, citing a use-restriction banning "signs, billboards or
advertising structures of any kind" within the subdivision without prior
approval, said the wreath had to come down by Friday, or Jensen and husband,
Bill Trimarco, would face a $25-per-day fine.


Homeowners' Association President Bob Kearns said Wednesday that the board had required another resident to remove peace symbols a week before, and that property owner complied.

The above quote is from The Durango Herald.

Can you believe it? A peace sign is being condemned!

(Thanks to Anomalous Data and Eclectics Anonymous for the story!)

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Dzur has appeared

Well, I was at the mall yesterday, very late in the day, after 7pm and wandered into the Barnes & Noble. There on the shelf sat 5 shiny hard cover copies of Steven Brust's new book DZUR. I almost bought it. I must admit, I just finished re-reading all of the Vlad Taltos series that has been decorating my bookshelf for so long. Then I looked at the price and decided that I could wait until either someone gets it for me for Christmas (*wink, wink, nudge, nudge*) or until it comes out in paperback. Well, at least I have something to look forward to!

Monday, November 20, 2006

That's what I said!

So, research has finally backed up what I said a long time ago. (Granted, I only posted on it 5 months ago, but still...)

Basically, Americans need to walk more, and our cities need to be made more pedestrian/cyclist friendly. Our cities are built for cars and not for people who choose to walk or ride bike.

This article at CNN talks about this very issue:

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Cute fuzzy sleepy babies

Sleeping ferrets caught on camera! ( that's about the only time that you can be sure to catch them on camera.)

Images of Women

There's a Keri Shea Butter ad on TV that shows living women in the place of the painted women in famous paintings. However, the living women are much slimmer than the women depicted in the actual paintings. (The proportions are actually off visually, since the women don't take up enough of the canvas.) So...just what does this say??? At the time that the paintings were painted, the women with a fuller body were considered beautiful. Now, they are replaced with skinny women. *grumbles* What was wrong with the original beauty?

Sunday, November 12, 2006

The little Minion of Darkness

Chaos has been rather destructive today. This morning, he has already terrorized a cardboard box and the Olive Garden bag. Those have got to be among the cheapest ferret toys known to man.

I decided to snuggle into the oversuffed chair and make a phone call to a friend of mine. While we were talking, Chaos decided that he really needed to help organize my students' exams. I had three neat piles of exam components on the couch, plus a stack of more or less organized green folders. Well, Chaos apparently didn't approve of my organizational decisions. I could have gotten up and redirected him, but I just wanted to recline in the chair and not worry about it for a few minutes. Well, now most of it is on the floor.

When I finally did get up, I found that either I had left the top section of my backpack unzipped, or he had figured out how to open it. *grumbles*

He's a very inquisitive little boy. He's cute and fuzzy. If he weren't so cute and fuzzy, he'd have been gone long ago...Dammit...I love the little guy, despite (or maybe because of) his little escapades.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Chocolate is bad for ferrets

So, around 6:30, I went down to put a note on the outside door for a delivery person. Chaos followed me out into the hallway. I figured that it was no big deal because all the doors to the hall were closed. Surprisingly, he didn't follow me to the front door. I found him in front of a neighbor's door with a coin's size of chocolate in his mouth. I pulled the rest out of his mouth. He had chocolate breath.

I don't know how much he actually ate, but I had heard that chocolate could be toxic, so I called the vet. She told me that we couldn't know how toxic the chocolate would be, since we didn't know what kind of chocolate it was or how much he'd had. She suggested that I give him half a tablespoon of 3% hydrogen peroxide since it should make him vomit up anything he'd eaten. So, I gave it to him. He didn't vomit. I called back and she suggested that I try giving him water. So I force fed him water with a syringe. He still didn't comply. Then I called the vet again, and she said that I should try giving him something to eat, so I did. He still didn't do anything. So, I called the vet again, and she said that I could give him another dose. I spent about two hours keeping him in the tub in hopes that he would vomit. I shook him up and down (after 4-6 oz of water, he sounded like a water balloon), massaged his tummy, tried to hit his gag reflex.

This all just resulted in a very upset and confused, but rather well hydrated, ferret. I finally put him into his cage, in the hope that he would go to sleep, but he just ran around like crazy. So, I took him back out and held him until he calmed down. I think he forgave me, though. He licked my nose. He seems fine today. Thank goodness!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Once more not so fuzzy Fuzzball

Well, the swelling on Fuzzball's vulva never did go down after her surgery. I noticed yesterday that she is starting to lose fur around her groin / inner thighs. I've made an appointment to take both Chaos and Fuzzball in to the vet tomorrow for their standard shots and to see what we can do to keep Fuzzball fuzzy. Apparently she's in the 40 percent that relapses after the operation.

Monday, November 06, 2006

I'm a believer

Well, on James' advice, I finally bought some Febreze Pet Odor Remover. It's wonderful! One spray and all ferretiness is gone from the room! All I have to do is spritz the litter box, and you can't smell any of the ferret droppings!


Makes me very happy!

I had been hesitant to buy it, because I had read that most pet odor removers don't work for ferrets. I'm proud to report having found an exception!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Just a drug overdose or something...

In case anyone is wondering, the guy that was found dead here was ruled-out as a murder, at least according to the lady at town hall when I registered to vote.

Ratboy: Where's my bed???

So, I did laundry today. When I got home and was replacing the blankets and stuff in the ferret cage, I realized that something very important was missing; Ratboy's hammock. He doesn't sleep in it all the time, but more often than not. After emptying all the laundry that I'd brought back from the laundromat, I found nothing. I decided that I had to head back to the laundromat. I found it in the washer, plastered to the drum. I threw it in the dryer for 10 minutes to get the worst of the moisture out of it and then came home again. Chaos will be pleased.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Door fix

Every time that James would pop his head in or that I would go across the hall, the blanket in front of the front door would be moved. Fuzzball decided that the bare corner was a wonderful place to do her business, even without the litterbox there, which was never a pleasant surprise when I would come back from across the hall.

Here's how I got around the ferrets pooing in front of the door. I bought lanyard clips and eyescrews. I put the eyescrews in the door and sewed the hooks and swivels to the blanket. Now when the door is opened and closed, the blanket comes with it. I had to put the eyescrews about 3 inches up from the floor for the blanket to be close enough to the door. I had difficulty getting the blanket to be close enough to the corner/wall on the right side, so I sewed a couple of overlapping plastic knives onto the edge of it to hold it straight (and still be laundry safe!).

Cute Fuzzy Ferrets

Awwwww! Aren't they precious!

Saturday, October 28, 2006

manhood issues?

So, there is this Mexican guy who lives in my apartment complex who rides this bike. It's a Schwinn 2006 Sting-Ray Spoiler 1 speed. At first when I saw it, I thought that it was kinda neat. I also have an interesting looking bike.

Then I started wondering why he got that bike. Was it because he couldn't afford a real motorcycle? Was he trying to impress girls?

The reason why I pointed out that he was Mexican, is because I had had a conversation with some of the immigrants in the apartment complex, and they said that it was really important to have a nice looking car so that they could pick up girls. They felt that the only way to pick up girls was to make it look like you had money.

So, again, I wonder about the motivation for this bike. It is very short, so it's probably a lot of work to pedal. On the other hand, it has really wide tires, so it could be good for off-road. *shrugs*

Thursday, October 19, 2006

found it!

Fuzzball's harness must have gotten caught on a plastic hanger that was on the floor, half buried under a pile of stuff. She managed to wiggle free. Fortunately, I found the harness! Yea! No more need to spend $20 on a new ferret harness!

Ratbaby did it again...

She managed to lose another harness in the apartment. When I found her to put her into the cage for the night, she didn't have her harness on. In the 5 minutes between when she came over to bed for a treat and when she snuggled up on the shawl between the chair and the desk, she managed to wiggle out of it. Now there are two harnesses of hers floating around, somewhere probably under a piece of furniture. *grumbles* I either need to find at least one of them or buy another, and ferret harnesses end up costing about $20. Damn rat.

Monday, October 09, 2006

The wonderful Olive Garden bag

Ratboy really likes this Olive Garden bag.

He especially likes biting holes in it.

Fuzzy babies on campus

Since I had to drop my laptop off at a shop near campus, I decided to take the ferrets with me and read a bit outside. I was there for about 2 hours reading.

Here are some pictures of the babies.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Ferrets frolicking wildly

There they go left! There they go right! Scamper scamper bite bite jump jump!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Sounds you don't want to hear while sitting on the can, after putting the ferrets in the cage for the night, while getting ready for bed.





*crinkle, crinkle*

Yes, I cleaned out the ferret cage yesterday and did all of my laundry and theirs. After putting the cage back together, I put the kids inside and went off to take care of the evening bathroom things before going to bed. Apparently I neglected to lock one of the side-doors on the cage after replacing all the bedding. After rattling the front door for a while, Fuzzball must have found the side door open, dropped to the floor, ambled towards the light in the hallway, took a detour through a plastic bag, and then wandered up to the bathroom doorway.# Fortunately, she ambled over to the bathroom instead of going into my bedroom, where I might never have found her. I called her over to where I was sitting on the throne, giving her the hand signal that usually signifies "treat forthcoming". She came within reach and I scooped her up and dropped her in the empty bathtub until I was finished with what I was doing. She tried to get out, but the porcelain was just too slippery for her. I put her back to bed, double checked that all the cage doors were locked and then went to bed myself. Fuzzball, encouraged by her most recent success, shook the cage for a while, trying to replicate the results.


# I live alone, so the doors to the bedroom and bathroom are usually always open, except for when I shower, when I'd like to cut down on the draft.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

And we thought ferrets were cute...

While going through one of the sites that links to my blog, I found this little gem of cuteness.

What is it??? Is it that critter from Lilo & Stitch?

It's a baby sugar glider.

And just what is that??? Wikipedia tells us:

The Sugar Glider (Petaurus breviceps), sometimes called the Flying Sugar, is a small gliding possum native to eastern and northern mainland Australia, New Guinea, and the Bismarck Archipelago, and introduced to Tasmania. ...

Now you know.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Fuzzball knows her name!

Fuzzball comes when I call her! Hmm...maybe she'd come when I call Chaos too...I'm not sure. At any rate, I called her, and she came, and Chaos didn't. maybe she just knows the tone of voice that means "treat forthcoming". I just called Chaos and they both came.

*shrugs* At least she comes.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Super Psycho Chaos Boy!

So, I went over to James' apartment to chat and mentioned that the ferrets were awake and hyper. I'm like, 'what? Can't you hear them?' To demonstrate, I opened the door. Fuzzball tawdled out and Chaos came racing/hopping/flopping out, and tore into James' apartment. He flopped around for a few seconds in the living room, and then he ran around the corner, and I heard James say 'oh, shit!' Ratboy had run into James' room. And he knew he wasn't supposed to be there. He played hide-and-seek with us for a while. He stuck his nose out and ducked back under the bed. Then he dashed back behind the dresser. Then he was in the closet. James had wet nail-polish, he didn't really want to grab him, and failed when he tried. There I was, holding Fuzzball in one hand, trying to catch Chaos with the other. He dashed past, I just felt his tail brush between my fingers. Finally I caught him and brought him back to my place, where he is currently climbing all over creation, taking frequent grooming breaks. I hadn't laughed so hard in I don't know how long!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Fuzzball wants to eat...string?

So, I was sitting on the couch reading, and I heard Fuzzball coughing/choking. I got up and went over to investigate and expected to find a hairball, since it seems to be shedding season (in the fall?). Anyway, I found her with a ball of cotton string that she had gotten to start coming undone.

Get ready for the "ewwww! factor":

About the last 18 inches of it were completely inundated with what I can only assume is ferret saliva/digestive juices. Apparently, she tried to eat the string, but then coughed it back up again...go figure.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

"Reverse Graffiti"

So, if you're making graffiti art with soap and water, is it still illegal?

Thanks, Steffen, for this link to, which further links to Soap Not Spray Can: Reverse Graffiti Art.

Murder she wrote

So, the other day, there were half a dozen police cars in the parking lot of my building and on the street outside. Apparently, a body was found of a 20-30 year old man about 75 yards from where I live. Exciting. Here's a map per The body was found under the bridge over the creek next to the property.

So, the autopsy isn't until Monday, but the police are calling it a suspicious death.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Jesus Camp

So...what do you think about radicalizing Christian kids to 'die for their faith' like kids in Pakistan, Israel, etc? Well according to this pastor, that is desireable.

I got this link per, which I got from Steffen.

I don't think that anyone should be declaring religious wars!

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Poor little doggie!

I just read that a Dutchman's dog accidentally got left behind in Sicily. After a lot of confusion and phoning, the dog made it home, "shaken, soaking-wet, and thirsty". Poor little thing!

However, the state of the dog after this odyssey is not what makes me write this blog entry. The thing that really caught my attention was a Dutch word that I didn't understand, and since my "Word of the Day" news source is intended for Germans, it only gave the German definition. The Dutch word was "vuilnisbakje", literally 'little trashcan'. The German word was "Promenadenmischung", something like 'promenade mix'. It turns out that these words translate as "mutt" or "mongrel" in English. Based soley on this word, I would guess the Dutch traditionally don't put much stock in non-purebreds!

Source of the orginal article:
Nieuwsservice van Radio Nederland Wereldomroep
Editie: Nederlands Nieuws, 28 augustus 2006

Friday, September 15, 2006

Casualties in Iraq have exceeded those from 9/11/01

Steffen sent me this link:

Basically, Bush's vengence has cost more American lives than the original provocation, not to mention the deaths of other allies and Iraqi civilians.

So, it's clear that the loss of life has been excessive.

Now the question is, how do we get out of Iraq, without leaving the area in a power vacuum for a new dictatorial (theocratic or otherwise) regime?

As long as we're talking about messed up countries, how about Afghanistan? Show of hands: Who can find Afghanistan on a map? We should figure that one out too and stop allowing more lives to be lost.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Abuse of power

I just read a blog entry at, and I feel the need to spread the word.

This is a video of a professor, taking part in a peaceful protest in Miami, being shot by cops in riot gear with rubber bullets. Not only did the cops feel the need to attack unarmed citizens, but their superior was on tape congratulating them for it.

Here is a news article at ABC talking about it.

Growing up in a midsized town in America's Heartland, I grew up respecting police officers and viewing them as protectors (except for when they are writing me speeding tickets). Abuses of power like this shake that faith in them. Imagine what it does for people raised with a wariness of law enforcement! Steps should be taken to discipline the officers involved in this!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Ratboy dreams

Ratboy is twitching in his sleep. I wonder what he is dreaming about.

The many places of Chaos

Here is a sampling of the many places where Chaos has been today.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Sight? Smell?

I'm starting to wonder if Fuzzball is missing one of her food locating capacities. She seems to have difficulty finding the treat on my hand when I hold it out in front of her. Chaos has no such difficulties.

Fuzzball's annoying habits

Fuzzball has some annoying habits:

1) Although she's gotten better about it, she doesn't always use the litterbox, if an empty corner presents itself.

2) She digs food out of the food dish and onto the floor. Some of it she eats. The rest just sits there waiting to be stepped on.

3) She rattles the cage. She was able to open the cage a couple of times, because I only had one bulldog clip keeping it locked. Now that there are three bulldog clips on the cage doors, she still tries to open them, though without success. She simply makes a lot of noise. This is fine for me, since it's not too strongly audible in my bedroom, despite sleeping with my door open. However, that means that no one would be really happy sleeping on my couch. Since I'm having two guests this week, I called James and got his permission to let them sleep in his otherwise empty apartment.

Ever get the feelin' you was bein' watched?

Ratboy lies in wait in his lair. He acts like he's just hanging out, minding his own business; but as soon as I stand up and walk towards to the door, he's right on my heels!

Random thought from a lazy housekeeper

One would think that it would be unnecessary to sweep/mop the floor with ferrets running around. I mean, really! Don't they just look like they should do the job?