tiger_spot: (Default)
News in snippets:

Last weekend, [livejournal.com profile] chinders and I went kayaking with one of her coworkers and a large party of birthday well-wishers. It was fun, although I think I like kayaking more as a way to get somewhere, perhaps somewhere with a picnic lunch, than as just a thing to do paddling around for a while.

We saw lots of sea otters and sea lions. The otters were adorable. Ever so often an otter would pop up with a crab or some other food item, and a seagull would immediately swoop down and sidle up to it, keeping a careful watch for dropped bits. (I didn't know you could sidle while swimming, but seagulls seem fairly good at it.)

If you rent an open kayak, the rental guy will offer you a bunch of waterproof clothing. TAKE THE WATERPROOF CLOTHING, no matter what he says about it not being very breathable and how nice a day it is. You will wind up sitting in a few inches of water, gradually delivered to the interior of the boat via the paddle dripping on your knees, so you will be happier with waterproof pants. I did not take the waterproof pants (I did take the jacket), and while I was not miserably cold out on the water, I was trying-to-remember-symptoms-of-shock shivering and clumsy once we got on shore, while I was changing into my dry clothes.

After the kayaking, we ate at this seafood place that was remarkably busy for three in the afternoon, and had all manner of artichokes. Mmm, artichoke smothered in cheese.

Monday, Tethys had surgery to remove a few lumps. She is recovering very nicely.

Monday and Tuesday I was sick like a sick thing. I am also recovering nicely, although I am ready for my nose to stop running. Any time now, nose.

Thursday, [livejournal.com profile] brooksmoses and I took the afternoon off to explore the city. The weather was not the sort of weather we'd been envisioning for this, but we figured if we let it change our plans we'd only be encouraging it. So we charged off down Folsom, stopping briefly for Extreme Pizza (the pizza was not particularly extreme, but they did have a chair made out of skis). Then we went to Humphry Slocombe, where we had strange ice cream (mango carrot sorbet and fluffernutter sundae) and planned to come back and have more strange ice cream later. Afterwards, we poked around the Mission looking at murals, stopping in a used bookstore, poking our heads in another interesting store or two, and getting hailed on twice.

Brooks was pretty tired by the time we got back to the train, and our backs were sore from used books and things, so next time we may plan around bus schedules a bit instead of walking the whole time. But there will definitely be a next time; despite the weather's best efforts we had a good time.

Saturday, the weather was also foiled by my going out to the Save the Bay event with [livejournal.com profile] plymouth. All of the plants of the type we were working on (sticky monkeyflower) had been planted by the time we cleared our last few patches of ground, so we wound up planting some of the other kind (yarrow) instead. It was amazingly muddy, but pretty much all the volunteers who'd signed up showed up despite the rain (hah, take that, rain!) so we finished up early.

Finishing early was good, because it meant [livejournal.com profile] chinders and I could make it out to the tail end of the rally obedience competition to watch the Novice event, which is what I'll be competing in once I actually sign up for a competition. It was educational, although we should have brought paper to take notes -- by the time they announced the scores, I couldn't remember what the dogs had done exactly so I couldn't tell what they were losing points for.

I am really glad tomorrow is a holiday, because I am bone tired.
tiger_spot: (red river hog)
I am signed up for planting and/or weeding with Save the Bay in the Palo Alto Baylands February 19, March 5, and April 2.

It's more fun with people to talk to! I'll talk to you if you'll talk to me.
tiger_spot: (Default)
Hello, living.

I am not sick any more. It got me awfully behind on things, but I seem to be about caught up. Now I shall catch you up.

Our Thanksgiving trip was quite nice, and I have here on my desk a giant hard drive full of all the home movies ever, courtesy my sibling. Yay sibling!

While I was sick, my permanent retainer succumbed to the pressure of years of flossing. I had my dentist remove it, polish off the remaining adhesive, and recommend me some orthodontists to consult about whether it (and/or my top retainer, which has been broken for years) should be replaced or altered in some way or whether I can just have teeth like a normal person now. I am really enjoying having the back surface of my front teeth back, so I intend to be very thorough about explaining to these orthodontists, when I get around to calling them, that I do not care what my teeth look like as long as they are more or less symmetrical, I did not want braces in the first place so the effects of said braces wearing off are irrelevant, and really they should only recommend I do or wear anything if not doing it is going to hurt or make it hard for me to eat. I like eating.

I made cookies for a holiday cookie swap and swapped them for other cookies yesterday. They are mostly gone now. The swapping-party was fun.

Andres put the house lights up and we hung the wreath on the door, but we haven't got a Christmas tree yet. This feels late to me, but we will go fetch one and decorate it up this weekend and there will be plenty of days of Christmas tree. (The live tree we used to have is no more; it was scraggly and horrible anyway, because of having been painted blue before we got it, and it's hard to keep container plants alive outdoors here. Or, as Andres put it: "You murdered Sparky!" Yes. Yes I did.)

Galen has been doing fairly well learning Rally Obedience. The class proper is over, but the instructor has started doing drop-in classes to cover the Advanced and Excellent exercises. He's still having trouble with right-hand finishes, which I expected given how long it took him to learn left-hand finishes. He's having trouble with them in really interesting and consistent ways, which reveals a lot about his thought processes and learning style, but it would be nice if he would just get the hang of them already. Also, apparently he really likes backing up (this was one of the new exercises last week, although I vaguely recall working on it a little bit just as a trick a while back). I should practice that this evening just to see if he's still as enthusiastic as he was in class.

Galen also had a veterinary incident a little while ago. Google has dispensers containing a particular kind of chewing gum that is high in xylitol, an artificial sweetener with some antibiotic properties. Unfortunately, xylitol is also extremely toxic to dogs. Someone spilled some of the gum, and Galen, who loves gum, found and consumed it instantly. Three pieces of the stuff is a lethal dose for a dog his size, so Andres rushed him to the vet, and he was unhappy for the rest of the day but is fine now.

The chickens have been molting. This is an unfortunate state in which feathers fall out, new, itchy, poky pinfeathers grow in, no eggs are laid, very little food is eaten, and tempers are even crankier than usual. (I would be cranky, too, if my feathers fell out in this weather.) I think Teckla's about coming out of it, though -- somebody's been starting to eat a reasonable amount of food again, and all the feathers clogging up the bedding-scoop have white spots so they're definitely Norska's. Also she's been merely her normal level of cranky the last few days, rather than the Bitch Queen From Hell she was last week and earlier.

Cathy is sick again, poor thing. She has a well-deserved promotion and accompanying massive raise to comfort her in her extremity, but it's awfully unfair to be sick again already.

Tethys is no longer sick, which is surprising but good. I was expecting her to need to stay on the antibiotics to manage the respiratory disease, since that is what the boys needed, but one course seems to have cleared it up. Hurrah!

As of yesterday, all the presents that need to be shipped have been ordered and/or mailed. I thought I had about half the household Christmas present shopping done, but then I got an e-mail that one thing I ordered wouldn't be in until after the new year (and did I perhaps want to cancel, which was very nice of them to ask, so I said no, I'll save it for a birthday present or something, but I should come up with another little Christmas thing in the meantime) and decided to maybe add a few things here and there, so there will be more happening on that front. Also the first of the presents I ordered to come to me arrived, so I can begin wrapping now. We probably need more ribbon, I think we were low last time I used some.

Tomorrow I will begin using the Clipper public transit payment system. I think I have set it up in such a way that it will actually work, and if this is so I will e-mail the various companies involved to tell them how to do that, because their customer service departments were well-meaning but entirely unhelpful. Or perhaps I will be ignominiously ejected from the train. We'll see.

... and I think that is the entire contents of my brain at the moment.

How are you?

Axial Tilt

Sep. 12th, 2010 08:30 pm
tiger_spot: (glare)
Axial tilt: I don't like it. I want my sunlight back!

Also, today I raked, mowed, edged, and raked and weeded the flowerbeds around the front lawn. Galen hung out with me while I was at it, so the kids next door and umpty-hundreds of their cousins (well, three or four, but it seems like a lot when they're all moving around!) of course had to come over and pet him and sniff him ("Look! When I sniff him he sniffs back! Watch this!") and hold his tail and ineffectually attempt to order him around (it works better when you don't have six kids trying to tell the dog to do something, even if they're all trying to tell him to do the same thing, which is not necessarily the case).

I'm not really sure what Galen thinks of kids. He always seems happy to see them, but often looks a bit overwhelmed once they've actually arrived. To be fair, this is how a lot of kids react to him, too. He is very patient with the whole petting and ear-tugging and general manhandling thing.
tiger_spot: (magic)
Anybody want to come restore some native habitat with me? I did a round of invasive-plant-pulling with Save the Bay a little while back, and it was fun but would have been more fun with someone to chat with. If that sounds like fun to you, let me know when and I will sign us up.

I am considering the following dates:

Save the Bay at San Francisquito Creek (Baylands in Palo Alto) -- morning; should mostly involve planting this time of year
January 9
January 16
February 13
February 27

High Ground Organics at their farm in Watsonville, about half of which is a conservation easement near a wetland -- morning & early afternoon (potluck lunch); I'm not sure what stage of restoration they're in
December 12
January 9
February 13

I'm not driving to Watsonville unless somebody wants to come with me, but I am curious to see one of the farms that provide the veggies for our Community Supported Agriculture box.
tiger_spot: (Default)
Because [livejournal.com profile] brooksmoses and [livejournal.com profile] suzimoses are off visiting relatives over the holidays, we moved Christmas up to the 21st.

Shiny things back here )


Dec. 24th, 2008 11:40 pm
tiger_spot: (Default)
My lime tree has decided that its first three limes are ripe, and dropped them on the floor. (It was having a hard time dealing with the cold, so it's been inside for a few weeks.)

What should I do with them?

I want something where LIME is the really important flavor, for testing purposes. My thoughts so far:

1. Squeeze over avocado, eat.
2. Attempt to make some sort of limeade (presumably not much, with only three limes).

Your thoughts?


Nov. 18th, 2008 07:22 pm
tiger_spot: (Default)
I have here a flyer that came in the mail today. It offers to replace my messy biological lawn with pet friendly, maintenance free FieldTurf, the world's leading synthetic turf system. The main argument seems to be that this will let me save on water bills, with some secondary arguments around tidiness and lessened effort in things like mowing.

(Had I a messy biological lawn, I would replace it with a strategic mix of native wildflowers. Coincidentally, this would involve saving on water bills and not mowing, and also not cover the earth with green plastic.)
tiger_spot: (Default)
The tomato plant is now taller than I am. It has lots and lots of little tomatoes, a few of which are just recently bright red. I am not sure yet how they taste -- they're red enough to be ripe, but they don't seem to have loosened from the stems at all, so they might not be quite ready yet.

Soon, though.
tiger_spot: (Default)
(This is actually a rather delayed report -- the pictures are from last weekend, so everything except the tomato plant is slightly bigger now, and the tomato plant is way freakin' hugely bigger.)

So I have plants! And a worm bin! And scary, scary vampire mint.

And pictures of all these things! With explanatory paragraphs! And no more exclamation points! )
tiger_spot: (Default)
So this guy on Freecycle[1] had composting-type worms and said I could have some. I went over to pick them up after helping [livejournal.com profile] tenacious_snail move this morning. Turns out his previous housemate had set up the composter and this guy wasn't very interested in it and hadn't been maintaining it much, so I haven't got very many worms, and there's some question about what species they are, and they may not be in the best of health. But they're worms! And they haven't been mailed anywhere!

When I got home I discovered that Andres had accidentally given away what was going to be the bottom part of my worm bin (to the other guy from Freecycle who came to pick up some stuff), so I went out and got a new one, plus some herbs and assorted other Gardening Stuff. Then I came home, cleaned the rat cage, potted the herbs, and set the worms up in their lovely new habitat of torn paper bags, miscellaneous stems, used rat litter, bits of dirt, and lots of mint. I gave them a nasty dried-out bit of pita bread for their first meal, so they'll have some choice between that and mint and used rat food.

For reference, the household is currently:

Two humans (Andres and me); two rats (Echo and Calliope); a small handful of worms of assorted sizes; an Aleppo pine (Sparky); a very small blue spruce (Bruce); a "Sweet 100" cherry tomato plant; a large rosemary; a scrawny little basil or three; some parsley; a philodendron (Phil); and an aloe.

If all goes well, the worms should increase in number fairly quickly, and we'll most likely be getting two or three new rats next month, after we're back from our trip and these guys are off antibiotics.

[1] In the If I Keep Living in the Same Place More Than a Year This Will Probably Happen Again Department: Said guy was the guy we met at the picnic [livejournal.com profile] tenacious_snail helped host last summer who said the remarkably inappropriate thing about [livejournal.com profile] andres_s_p_b's hair. Unfortunately, we got the hey-don't-I-know-you-from-somewhere dance resolved with "oh yes you were at the picnic" before I'd placed which person at the picnic he was. I'm not sure whether he remembered [livejournal.com profile] andres_s_p_b or not, but he continues the wildly inappropriate streak.
tiger_spot: (Default)
Remember what I said about the rats being okay with taking their medication in the nuclear weapon of rat bribery, condensed milk?

They changed their minds.

The first couple of doses were okay, and then we had the following exchange:

Echo: ::lap lap lap lap lap::
Echo: "Okay, I'm done now!"
me: ::looks at spoon:: "You haven't even eaten half of this."
me: ::retrieves rat:: ::presents spoon again::
Echo: "No, thanks, I've had plenty!" ::begins to leave::
me: ::retrieves rat:: ::presents spoon::
Echo (louder): "NO, REALLY, I'M DONE. I'm going to go do IMPORTANT RAT THINGS now."
me: ::presents spoon::
me: ::retrieves rat:: "Dammit, finish the stupid pink stuff. It tastes good. You liked it yesterday."
Echo: "I'm not drinking that and you can't make me."

So it's back to the syringes (Calliope had a similar issue with the next dose). Fortunately, they're only on the pink stuff for another two days, and the Baytril's not much of a problem.

I suspect this may be [livejournal.com profile] andres_s_p_b's fault. He worries about the effect of the condensed milk on their teeth, so he tries to use as little as possible, and I think that might have twigged them to the fact that it's got medication in, so now even when the ratio's better they still won't take it because they are stubborn opinionated little balls of fur.

In other news, I repotted the Christmas tree and bought a new tomato plant. Also, I discovered that the mint, which I thought was dead all winter, had instead been (1) growing into the larger pot it was sitting on top of and filling it entirely with roots and (2) harboring terrorists insects. It has now been removed, to the extent that such was possible, and I used that pot with what remained of the dirt for the Christmas tree instead of the new tomato, on the theory that mint-eating bugs are a lot less likely to eat a pine tree than a tomato.

Ordinarily, I find that sort of persistence endearing in a plant, but it turns out there's actually very little I use mint for. Once I've made a batch or two of tabouli and tossed a few sprigs in iced tea, that's kind of it, but the mint just keeps growing. So this year I think basil and parsley, or maybe rosemary, but no more mint.


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