Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Cats rule the world

Today's issue is about our three furry felines: Mashka and Zoë (our two lazy-ass old gals) and a lithe young orange thing named Julius (aka Mr. Fluffy or The Fluffinator or Captain Fluffalicious.) They are making me write about them. They have been complaining that the stinky dog gets more air time than they do. They said if they weren't featured in today's blog entry, they would set fire to our bed as we slept. Who knew that cats played with matches? How do you light a match without an opposable thumb?

Introducing Mashka and Zoë! Those are actually NOT cat beds they are lying on. They belong to a certain aged English Setter, who is regularly denied comfort by these two holy terrors.

“Piss the hell off, woman! Flash photography offends us!”

Evil, pure unadulterated evil.
We have given up trying to slim down Zoë. She is the only cat I know who gained weight on diet food. She has more toys than she knows what to do with, and I play with her regularly, but somehow the fat remains.

“Mmmmm mmmm good!”

This cat is NOT fat, believe it or not. He is intensely fluffy, but under that fur he is muscular and at a healthy weight. Truly!

Why is Julius licking his lips? Well, the other night we had a very nice roast chicken for dinner (from the farm around the corner that is BC SPCA-approved and treats its chickens humanely and gives them organic food.) There was enough roast chicken left over for sandwiches. Or so we thought, until we entered the kitchen and found Julius on the counter, chowing down on the remains, making hideous little crunching noises.

WARNING: The following may offend some vegetarians!

“The horror, the horror!”
Do you see enough meat for a sandwich on that? No, nor do I, unless you're into bone and cartilage panini or something. That's because the meat was all in Julius' belly. I wanted to get a picture of him devouring the carcass, but I wasn't quick enough, so I had to make do with a catless carcass shot. It looks pretty gross, really.

I grew that sprig of rosemary in my herb garden! I guess cats don't like rosemary. Next time I'll use catnip. Won't THAT be tasty for us humans?

“Get me more chicken, bitch!”

Julius has an unnatural attraction to these roses. I don't know what it's all about. The dining room table has become his new roosting spot, which strikes me as rather unsanitary. I do clean the table before we eat on it. His FAVOURITE spot is on top of my computer printer. One day he left skid marks on it, which was truly revolting.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Knatolee's Nitting

Here are the latest projects. They are examples of fairly mindless knitting, but I love the yarns. They are three different kits from Fleece Artist in Nova Scotia.

Here is a lime shawl knit with “Goldilocks”, which is 56% kid 24% silk 20% nylon. Could it be any easier? Start with three stitches. Add one at the start of each row. Knit in garter stitch. Cast off loosely (my friend Tarantula Pants told me to cast off with larger needles, which worked very well.) Impress your friends and relatives who know nothing about knitting... they don't have to know it's just a giant triangle. This was a good project to work on during boring car trips.

Here is a mostly red scarf, knit with “Slubby” (100% wool) and “Rapunzel” (56% kid 24% silk 20% nylon):

And a close-up (Rasta fringe!):

Same idea, different colours:

Another close-up:

Okay, time perhaps to knit something more technically challenging? Yeah, once I finish churning out a hot pink shawl like the lime one above! :)

Now the hubby is interested in learning to knit. He is fascinated by the “Slubby” stuff. I am thrilled. I have been trying to get him to knit for years. I now have an excuse to drag him back to the knitting store where I dropped $164.00 a mere three weeks ago.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Help pets in future disasters!

Our very own Tarantula Pants has started a campaign to change Red Cross policy regarding pets in the event of a disaster such as Hurricane Katrina (alas, Hurricane Silky Boots doesn't quite rate as a tragedy.) I urge you to fill out and send the letter below!

Silky Boots

Hi all -

I have written a letter asking the Red Cross to consider altering their policy regarding pets in shelters and evacuation transportation, and I am asking you to help this grass roots campaign. Look up your local chapter at the link below, and sent either an e-mail or a hard copy of this letter to the director of a local chapter. and/or to Marsha J. Evans is President and CEO, American Red Cross National Headquarters, 2025 E Street, NW, Washington, DC 20006. If preferable, consider writing your chapter simply saying "please find a way to allow pets to be sheltered during natural disasters so that people will not have to choose between their own safety and that of their pets." Thanks!

Please crosspost.

Phyllis DeGioia

Dear [insert director's name of your local American Red Cross chapter

Chapter Name


City, State, Zip]

Re: The Snowball Effect

Dear [insert]:

I'm hoping that the American Red Cross will consider updating the policy regarding animals in shelters and evacuation transportation. Many Americans watching the televised coverage of Hurricane Katrina were upset to see that young boy on a shelter-bound bus separated from his dog, Snowball. Knowing that scenario was multiplied thousands of times over makes me wonder what we can do to improve it.

More and more Americans are willing to risk their lives to assure the safety of their pets. As pets are not usually welcome at shelters, many people choose to remain with their pets. Unfortunately, their refusal to leave without pets snowballs into more problems, increasing the workload of the S&R and healthcare personnel and causing preventable deaths.

Given the attachment Americans have for their pets, I hope you will reconsider your policy about animals and allow pets on evacuee transportation and in some shelters. Perhaps people and pets could be rescued together, and then the animals taken to the local animal rescue effort or shelter. Red Cross and FEMA personnel could be trained to deal with sheltering animals as part of their regular training.

I understand that the original policy is based on factors such as allergies, potential bites, and fear of animals. People who don't want to be near animals shouldn't have to be, but people whose pets mean everything to them should not have their pets taken away. I am not suggesting animals be in all shelters, but if some shelters allowed pets, or a portion of each shelter, it would speed up the rescue process by eliminating the lengthy discussions rescuers have with people who refuse to be rescued without their pets. If separated, they may not be reunited. For people who have lost absolutely everything, their pet may be the only comfort they have left.

In Milwaukee, bus loads of people displaced from Katrina were allowed to bring their pets and were housed together at the State Fair grounds. In Florida the shelters that accept pets filled up first. A volunteer for Emergency Response in Britain says one of their first plans of action is to make sure that pets are kept with their owners.

I am so grateful that you offer this type of assistance, but please understand that I would no sooner leave my pets behind than I would a child. Surely we can work to find a way to accommodate the needs of all evacuees.


Monday, September 12, 2005

Sisterhood of the Holy Hats

The Spidergurlz are on tour and will be back when I come up with something clever for them to do! In the meantime, I invite you to join the

Sisterhood of the Holy Hats.

Here you see Sister Moggy (of the Ontario chapter) and Sister Knatolee (of the British Columbia chapter) wearing their sacred headgear.

Sister Moggy is reverently holding the Holy Appliance, the true purpose of which is only known to inductees to the Sisterhood. And Braun. Sister Moggy is very skilled in the use of the Holy Appliance. (Just ask her slave, Brother Paul.)

Sister Moggy nuzzles the Holy Appliance as Sister Knatolee clutches to her heart the Holy Book, The Friendship Book, because what is more holy than friendship? ETERNAL friendship.

Secrecy is of the utmost importance to the Sisterhood. If you betray our secrets, we will use the Holy Appliance on you in ways you have never imagined. (Just ask Brother Paul.)

When recruiting new members, we never wear our hats, so as not to frighten potential Sisters. Here, Sister Moggy uses the soft touch on new recruit Tara:

Brother Julius is somewhat alarmed by the examination techniques Sister Moggy uses to discern his gender. However, Brother Julius, being a eunuch, IS entitled to partial membership in the Sisterhood.

Mother of God! (no, not literally!)

Our enforcer, Brother Geezer. When you offend the Sisterhood, you offend Brother Geezer. You don't WANT to offend Brother Geezer! (Note: Brother Geezer is excluded from the eunuch rule. Brother Geezer is not a eunuch!)

Bad things happen to those who are excommunicated from the
Sisterhood of the Holy Hats
Ex-Sister Tara, is now a hooker and a lush:

Sister Snowy refused to wear a Holy Hat, and instead donned a plain black bowler. Sister Snowy was duly punished for her insolence, by the Sisterhood's Satanic Serpent:

The Sisterhood of the Holy Hats...
We're peace-loving (sort of), fun, spiritual, and handy with a doily. Won't you join us today? Or would you rather face the wrath of Brother Geezer (aka Death on a Stick)?

Yup, Sisterhood it is!

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Spidergurlz: The Band

The girls have patched up their differences, sewn Silky Booty's head back on, dropped some legs, and formed the FABULOUS ...

S P I D E R G U R L Z B A N D !!

Left: Dessicated Deb Spinneret (Waiting to catch you in her web!)
Rear: Our manager, Gord "The Injector" Venom Man
Front: The Amazing Tarantula Pants and her magic cheese hat
Centre: Silky Booty, keeping everyone on the straight and narrow
Right" Peg "Black Widow" Palps (She mates, then she kills...)

Here are the TWINS, our most excellent roadies
Gin (left) and Tonic (right.) Band fact of the day: Tonic's real name is LaTonda. Young, blonde and gorgeous... they keep the groupies at bay for us!

Tarantula Pants belts out a sexy solo:

The girls are hot and ready to rock. Call The Injector at 1-800-STIMUL-8

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Spidergurlz Results

The tragic results of yesterday’s Spidergurlz DEATH MATCH:

I think it is now patently obvious which Spidergurl is the most ferocious. Alas!

Tuesday, September 06, 2005


Coming soon to a wrestling arena near you:

S T A R R I N G :
Phyllis “Webzilla” Tarantula Pants
Knatolee “Silky Booty” Arachnawondress

Thrill to the sounds of the Spidergurlz gnashing their gigantic yellow FANGS!
Amaze at their special spidery strength as they hurl each other into the pit of sucked-dry CARCASSES!
Gasp at their ability to turn their victims’ entrails into JELLY!
Watch them fight to the DEATH,
taking along anyone caught into their web of EVIL!

Only ONE of these terrifying, cannibalistic, carnivorous and extremely FARTY creatures will be left with a head. WHICH will it be?

Get your tickets today. Call 1-800-BITE-MEE

Sponsored by Charlotte and Wilbur and “Extreme Arachnids 2005”™

I am not worthy

Warning to all you husbands out there: If your wife has just rolled out of bed and is only on her first cup of tea and has thrown on some clothes and a leopard print headband so she can drag her sorry ass to the gym, it is perhaps not the best time to take an portrait shot with your new Nikon that captures every nose hair.

And even though I covered my face, he managed to make me look like I have a double chin.

Of course, I am a total ingrate. My Sweetie-Muffin MADE the tea in that cup and brought it to me in bed.
I am not worthy, I am not worthy....

Like the mug? My co-worker gave it to me 15 years ago when I worked at the hellhole called Starter Canada, designing graphics for their overpriced sportswear. I love that mug, loved my fellow graphic designers, but hated the company and was so pleased when it went bankrupt a few years after I left. It certainly didn't go bankrupt from overpaying its graphic designers!!! And stoopid, can you say stoopid? They fired some guy for stealing from the seconds room, then rehired him a few months later!

Monday, September 05, 2005

Wildflowers at Manning Park

Here are a few of the flowers/plants we saw at Manning Park. After this, I am going back to my regularly-scheduled smartass posts.

I think this is fireweed. Correct me if I'm wrong!

Indian paintbrush

No frigging clue!

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Wet bumblebees and Manning Park

In August, we went to Manning Provincial Park for a couple of days, staying at Manning Park Lodge. Manning is about two hours inland (east) from our house, and the mountains are spectacular. We went kayaking, hiking and horseback riding. Lots o' fun. Anyhoo, here are some pics to tempt you to BC, although it was rather cold the day I took these, especially on top of the mountain!

Here's view from up a mountain. The body of water is Lightning Lake, where we kayaked and saw loons, osprey, and cute little ducks that nibbled at our kayaks.

The brownness you see in the trees is damage from the pine beetle infestation. It's amazing and sad how many trees have died!

Here's another view. You can see that the grass is crispy brown. It has been a dry summer in these parts!

Don't throw your cigarette butt out the car window!

I miss Nova Scotia, but I can't deny that BC is beeyootiful.

But it was a frigging cold day!

It was also a wet day. Many bumblebees were caught out in the storm and had to hang out on the flowers, waiting until their wings were dry enough for them to fly again.

These petals don't do much to keep me dry!

Wet and bedraggled and wishing for some sunshine.

Starting to get a bit of sun on her wings.

Almost ready for takeoff!

If you can help it, don't kill bees. They are important pollinators and will generally leave you alone if you leave them alone. For a year, I taught kids about honeybees at the Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History. They have a working hive there. Bees, particularly honeybees, are fascinating, gentle creatures and you shouldn't fear them, although if you have a deadly allergy, make sure you carry your Epi-pen and don't go trying to befriend them!

A honeybee dies when she stings you (her stinger is left in your flesh, along with part of her abdomen), so she doesn't sting without good cause. Bumblebees can sting repeatedly, as they have a smooth stinger that doesn't stick in your skin, but they too are gentle and just want to be left alone to collect their pollen and nectar.

So be kind to bees, and they'll be kind to you!