Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Deer bones and dirty cars

Gordon drives along a dirt road for part of his commute every day. Can you tell? We got the car washed after this photo was taken. By the way, the car is black.

I am always finding interesting things on my walks. Last week, I found these in the ditch:

Now, I can identify a beer bottle when I see it. But I am presuming these are deer bones.

I am wondering if the proximity of the beer bottle is mere coincidence, or proof that some lazy hunter got drunk and left bits of his kill in the ditch?

I know very little about hunting, other than the fact that there are some idiots around here who ignore "No hunting" signs and have been shooting off rifles close to houses. In fact, our landlord chased some idiots out of his cow pasture last week. These are not the responsible hunters; they are the LAZY, STUPID hunters who can't be bothered to hunt in a legal spot, and do the work of bringing their kill out of the bush. Instead they choose to endanger people's lives by shooting too close to homes and cars.

So... are these bones here because some lazy hunter left them there? Are they there because a deer was hit by a car and went down in the deep ditch to die? Or is it normal to field-dress your kill next to the road while drinking a beer?

The other question I have is how come I walked by this for three months and didn't notice it until last week?! It is a deep ditch, but still. The bones are stripped bare, so clearly there hadn't been a smelly corpse down there for quite some time.

So far on my daily walks I have found wild turkey feathers, grouse feathers, a dead frog, two dead snakes, stuff I've forgotten, and now a pile of bones. What next?

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Meese! And another cat bed.

Last night on our drive home, Gordon spotted two moose just a couple of minutes from our house, in a farmer's field. It was a Mama moose and her young one. They loped around the perimeter of the field and came over to have a look at us as we stood next to our car (there was a fence between us and them, and we were ready to jump in the car if necessary!) Beautiful! I even had my camera with me, and although these aren't great photos, I think you can make out the moose...mooses...meese:

We stopped by our landlord's place after that and he said that he had seen them in his horse/cow pasture yesterday morning, and that they were the first moose he had seen around here in 25 years! Weren't we lucky? Beautiful creatures!

Speaking of beautiful creatures, here we have someone else being used as a cat bed for a change:

It's an equal-opportunity household! (And that's our 8-inch telescope behind Gordon's head. One visitor thought it was some strange kind of woodstove!)

Saturday, November 25, 2006

I'm just a cat bed, part 2

Things are progressing... now all three of them think I am furniture:

Zoë is the stripey one, Mashka is the grey one, and Julius is the handsome orange man:

Here Zoë is trying to assert her authority over poor, 15-year-old Mashka, who has kidney failure and has lost her place at the top rung of catdom:

I shooed Zoë off to leave Mashka in peace to watch the birdies outside at the feeders.

And despite the fact that we bought the cats a FOUNTAIN specifically designed for them, with filtered, bottled water circulating through it, Julius and Zoë have decided that they prefer to drink out of the non-cat fountain in my office, which is filled with well water that is salty from softening and has been sitting for days. Figures. Here is Julius, caught in the act:

I will never understand cats. Never!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Squidzilla - not for vegetarians

On Saturday, we bought a whole squid in Ottawa's Chinatown (not to mention a pound of the biggest scallops I have ever seen!) Last night I decided to cook it (Thai red curry, because I also bought lots of Thai ingredients in Chinatown.) But I had never cleaned a squid before, so I looked up the instructions on the internet. And because I am apparently seriously lacking a life, I felt compelled to photograph the whole process for my legions of fans!

Ah, here is the poor squid. I have seen squid while snorkelling in warmer climes, but none of them were as big as this one. Here he is resting in our sink, and I thanked him for giving his squiddy life for us:

Tentacles! Tentacles! Tentacles! including one very long one. And that is my mother's old knife. We seriously need to go shopping for a decent knife.

The ink sack had already exploded inside the squid, but the resulting black mess wasn't too bad, and voila, I soon had the squid prepped for the wok. But raw squid is a scary thing to have next to your face:

Tentacles... more tentacles. "Hmm... should I really eat these?"

Tentacles could also make rather attractive, silvery veil for the face, in a pinch. I suppose they would be rather smelly, though:

Amazing what human beings will put in their mouths, isn't it?

Sunday, November 19, 2006

I am just a cat bed

As the following photos show, I am just a giant cat bed. Anytime I get horizontal, I end up with at least one cat on me. And I would just like to say that while Zoë IS overweight, she is not as fat as the bottom picture makes her look!! The camera really does add ten pounds. Poor little girl!

Saturday, November 18, 2006


We have beavers living around us, lots and lots of beavers. So many beavers, in fact, that the municipality drops by occasionally to break up the dams they make on our lake, and to trap the excess beavers!

There are trees all over our property that have been chomped by these oversized rodents (second-largest rodents in the world, I believe.)

Mmmm, saplings:

This is an ambitious project that has not yet been completed. This tree is about a foot across:

My landlord put fencing around this silver birch to save it from curious teeth, but it hasn't stopped the beavers from chowing down on the parts that grow outside the fence:

They have a lodge on the edge of our property, but you can't see it in this photo. When the lake freezes, we will be able to walk over to it.

Gratuitous water shot:

So there you have it, the work of our beavers!

Monday, November 13, 2006

The Investigator's Legal Handbook

My husband has written a most fabulous handbook for regulatory and criminal investigators! If you know anyone who wants an excellent Canadian handbook for people like police officers, fisheries officers, the list goes on... please send them to the Carswell site where they can order their very own copy.

Makes an excellent gift for all the legal investigators on your Christmas list!

Check out the table of contents. Don't you want your very own copy RIGHT NOW? This will whet your appetite:

Table of Contents

1 Demystifying the Law and Fostering Effective Working Relationships
2 Finding and Interpreting the Law
3 The Importance of NoteTaking
4 The Use and Protection of Informers
5 The Boundaries of Regulatory Inspections, Information Demands and Inquiries
6 General Principles for Ensuring Search and Seizure Results are Not Later Excluded at Trial
7 Choosing the Right Warrant for Your Case
8 Drafting and Executing a Bullet-Proof Warrant
9 Correctly Approaching Special Places for Search and Seizure
10 Defining Privacy Interests and Justifying Intrusive Electronic Surveillance
11 Making Sound Decisions About Detention,Arrest, and Release
12 Taking and Using Great Statements
13 Advancing International Investigations
14 Deciding to Charge, Drafting Charges,and Speaking to the Media
15 Preparing a Complete Prosecution Brief that Still Makes Sense
16 Including Everything in the Disclosure Package Except the Irrelevant and the Privileged
17 Working with the Prosecutor to Prepare for Trial: You are all on the Same Team
18 Testifying at Trial: Being and Sounding Truthful and Precise
19 Working with the Prosecutor At Trial: You are Still All on the Same Team
20 Looking After Post-Trial Procedures: Why a Case is Never Really Finished

Be prepared to answer the critical legal questions of every investigation!

-What law do I examine to verify compliance or gather evidence of offences?
-What law covers the possible charges?
-What law addresses the procedure once changes are laid?


This book was seven years in the making. It includes fabulous charts, diagrams and checklists by a certain excellent graphic designer who has been known to hug elephants.

Don't wait! Buy it today! Buy it NOW!

Monday, November 06, 2006

Snow, anyone?

What is that on the back porch???

Why yes... it's a SNOWPERSON!

By late afternoon, its head had fallen off and melted, but for a few glorious hours, the snowperson sat on the porch rail, proudly symbolizing the oncoming winter!

Yes, winter... I love it. (See, Wendy, the birdbath heater is still going strong!)

Really, this is for my BC friends. Yes, it snowed again yesterday.

Caged kitty

Well! This weekend, we assembled the Kitty Palace. After we buy a place, we can buy more modules for it, expand it, and attach it to our house so that the kitties can go in and out through a window. But for now, we have the basic starter piece. At least Julius can go outside now without fear of being eaten by a fisher, or perhaps a rare carnivorous beaver!

Here is Gordon, working diligently to assemble the Kitty Palace. Mmmm....cedar shelves! Yes,that is snow. It snowed quite a lot yesterday morning but was melting by the afternoon. However, I was forced to break out the snow boots.

Here, Gordon shows me a very long screw:

Ah, and this is my husband where he should be, brought fully under control. (Note to self: buy lock for Kitty Palace):

Finally, we brought out Julius to see what he thought. Two paws up!

And there's lots of entertainment for him:

This Hairy woodpecker let me get within three feet of him to take photos and wasn't bothered at all. The Hairy and Downy woodpeckers are very tame, as are the chickadees who buzz my head when I am filling their feeders!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Bird TV

I bought Julius the Bored Cat two "Cat Sitter" DVDs, which are full of tantalizing footage of birds and gerbils and squirrels and things like that. Julius likes to lie on our bed and watch (the TV, not us!!!!!!)

"If you don't have a squirrel for me, I don't want to know."

"Can't you see I'm busy watching Bird TV? Now get lost and let me return to my finch fantasies!!"

Friday, November 03, 2006

They warned me this would happen.

They warned me that the snow started in November. I guess they weren't kidding. Look what happened last night:

Good thing I plugged in the birdbath heater yesterday!!