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Showing posts from March, 2021

The Hound of Barkingmad

        H ound bays seem to shatter all decibel levels. Climbing into a barrel and setting off a firework isn't as bad as that sudden explosion of dog sound. Either way, your ears will ring. A bay is not a howl (prolonged "WOOOO" that sometimes changes pitch at onset but is one continuous noise) or bark (a monotone "bark bark" or "woof woof" . Yes, hounds are capable of both, but the bay is the classic " BAWOOWOOWOO!!! " warbling noise. The sound is often unique to the individual dog. Trained hounds bay when hunting. That doesn't mean a couch potato hound won't also bay when he pursues and corners a cat, rat, or trash panda. The bay also erupts when the hound wants his annoyed people companions to come see something. Like roofers next door. The Hound of Barkingmad's bay exploded the morning silence the moment he saw a roofer walk through our neighbor's yard. From porch to fence, his noise was classic hound vocalization. ...U

One thing leads to another

I supposedly have a doppelganger. The backstory: An online friend and I often discuss That Chapter where our host, Mike, presents us with some of the craziest cases and unsolved mysteries out there, with some clever jokes stuffed in between.  Yesterday, she sent a link to one of his videos. "OMG a Toni doppleganger!" (That's a direct quote, and her onus to proofread her DM befire sedning.) Specifically, she meant Tanya Skelton and " The Mystery of the Skelton Brothers ". Tanya's three sons went missing while in their father's care.   An online search yielded a plethora of photographs. Some taken at odd angles do make it seem like she is related to me. Tanya Skelton Mum, myself, and Dad   I see a bit of resemblance but she isn't a carbon copy. And her story is a sad one. According to Mike, "The mystery of the Skelton Brothers began on Thanksgiving, 2010. The three Skelton brothers were celebrating with their father, John Skelton, and then vani

Hello weaver!

    A furrow spider ( Larinioides cornutus ) has taken up residency in the corner of our porch. I love these clever weavers (at a distance) for their large webs. Our prior house had a large deck and I would step outside with a cup of coffee to appreciate the morning dew glistening upon the silk. Their webs also adorn our truck, which means we occasionally have terrified spider clinging to a thin line as it careens down a highway at 55MPH. This harbinger of spring is harmless to humans.  She will catch gnats, moths, and other flying beasties drawn to the porch light. One year, on average, is the lifespan for these spiders. She will craft a cocoon, entice a male to visit (he will likely be dinner afterwards), and then die before ever seeing her offspring. I added her to my iNature observations . Perhaps someone will come along and narrow down her details.

Just a little gusty

  It was one of those days when it's a minute away from snowing and there's this electricity in the air, you can almost hear it. And this bag was, like, dancing with me. Like a little kid begging me to play with it. For fifteen minutes. And that's the day I realized there was this entire life behind things, and... this incredibly benevolent force, that wanted me to know there was no reason to be afraid, ever. - American Beauty We live in a valley carved by glaciers and the Ohio River. It is absolutely beautiful here but high wind warnings are not to be taken for granted.   Ohio residents are facing thousands of power outages following severe storms on Thursday night. More than 46,000 energy customers in Ohio are currently without power, according to Power Outage U.S. Late on Thursday night, the National Weather Service (NWS) in Cleveland said that a High Wind Warning would be in place into Friday morning. The NWS warned that potentially damaging wind gusts of up to 60

Canem Dogma: Breathe

      Sometimes it's good to pause  and appreciate our surrounds.  Let the breeze take our stress away. Inhale. Exhale. Laugh. Be well.  

Happy Birthday, Better Half!

At Pembroke March 2006   Jeff is my Better Half. We have been through it all, thick and thin. His health has deteriorated over the years, but his smile remains as fresh as the day we met. In a few months, we will share a decade again (both of us being in our 50s). Doesn't matter. He's still sexy to me. I had hoped that we would have everything in order by time this birthday hit. Pembroke was updated and will stand another 50 years. Instead, we gave it up to take care of my parents - because of poor choices my mother makes. We are starting from scratch in a house that will not last another 30 years without money thrown into it.  By this time next year, I hope to have made it into a cozy home, to have increased its value, to have repaired enough to make it safe. And then, in the next few years, I hope to sell it. This birthday gift will be a small, one-story home that we can grow old together in - a place where my Better Half will never have to worry about falling down stairs, or

Blorft Chronicles: Deflated

      Apologies, readers and those hoping to feed on my usual cantankerous growling. I have not had any tetchiness since my last Chronicles entry. Um, sans the government telling me that I will only receive $600 of the $1400 stimulus. I have depression in spades, however, and it saps my resolve and eats away lingering creativity. It's as though I am trapped between two immovable walls and a slowly dropping ceiling. You know, those cheesy ones with spikes pointing downward. One wall bitches because it wants another bookshelf and its original desk, thus the foyer is filled with the massive new desk boxes. "I want to write!" The other wall rightfully snarls at the thought of us hiring movers to satisfy the first wall's wants. "If she wants it so bad, she can pay the movers!" That wall feels that it is almost impossible, too much for us to do given our health, and the other wall is ungrateful as it is. And that ceiling? I normally harness my manic super power. I

Blorft Chronicles: Desk War

  The Desk War continued yesterday. It started with the "I need another bookshelf!" demand. But now there was a twist: "The desk you bought me doesn't fit!" I confess: My blorft face slid down my neck to hide under my boobs. "The fuck?" It was not anger. It was major disappointment and a bit of feeling insulted. My usual protests arose: Mom, you have too much stuff, you don't need all this. And where would you put it? And I need bookshelves, too. But when she began to demand, I went full-on chupacabra. Not the hairless dog kind, either.  "Fine!" I dug out the screwdriver and put in on the largest box containing her new desk. "Have fun with that." And, with a few choice words about being selfish, I went up the stairs to vent at Better Half. It was absolutely wrong of me to do it, but I have spent months trying to set up a space where I can work, all the while having to pause those efforts to cater to my mother's demands. I to

A glimpse into how badly I behave when I'm in pain

[SKIP IF YOU CAN'T TOLERATE FOUL LANGUAGE! I'm publishing this rant as a snapshot into daily life in April. My pain did reach a nine and I did not bother the Trumpist down the road from us. My pain reached a constant 10 three days before my surgery. My pain level is back down to a 7 as of today. 9/7/21]     Fuck the opioid war.  Fuck the addicts.  Fuck those that allow chronic pain patients to suffer.  Fuck everyone demanding pharmaceutical companies be sued because a moronic family member abused the drug. More than two dozen states have implemented laws or policies limiting opioid prescriptions in some way. The most common is to restrict a patient's first prescription to a number of pills that should last a week or less. But some states like Arizona have gone further by placing a ceiling on the maximum dose for most patients. The Arizona Opioid Epidemic Act, the culmination of months of outreach and planning by state health officials, was passed earlier this

Colors and vexation

"To find the universal elements enough; to find the air and the water exhilarating; to be refreshed by a morning walk or an evening saunter... to be thrilled by the stars at night; to be elated over a bird's nest or a wildflower in spring - these are some of the rewards of the simple life." John Burroughs     The negotiations with my mother are proving to be an exercise in futility. Specifically, my desire to paint the rooms and update the decor. My mother, an 85 year old woman that delights in hoarding everything (memories!), balks at every turn. Except the foyer. I offered to turn it into her office. She can stretch her mind in comfort, perhaps finishing her work-in-progress book or hammering out her plays. She can not write without a proper desk. Fine. I was saving money towards repairing the sewer line, but I will buy her a desk today. With a hutch. And drawers. And a keyboard tray. She wanted to put her old Casio keyboard on the desk as well. No. Just no. You

Jupiter and Io

  Unlike the image above, this is a real look at our splendid backyard. A gorgeous video of Jupiter and its volcanic moon Io. šŸŽ„PassioneAstronomia — Space Explorer Mike (@MichaelGalanin) March 7, 2021    That's it. Just wanted to share the image with you.  

Sunday reflections

  After a week of Mondays, and with Monday starting again tomorrow, it is nice to finally sit down and look at all the damn work I still have to do. Ha. It is not actually as bad as I think. At least, I hope that is the case. We drove to Robinson to buy a new kennel (box) for Hershey. His childhood trauma chased him into adulthood. I need to spend the next few weeks training him, showing him that being confined is a good thing, a comfortable thing, a safe place to be when his humans gone from home. Yes, we should have done this when we first adopted him. However, we lacked the space and means. Now that we have another room to call our own, it will be easier to teach him. As it stands right now, he is laying in the bottom section, on his comfy bedding, fast asleep. My mom is almost finished setting up the foyer as her office space. It looks good. She still wants another bookshelf (hoarders!) and complained that dad's ashes need a shelf. I suggested that she put them on the mantle (w

Be good to each other

 In the aftermath of the elections, when our focus should be on COVID, stimulus, and broader social issues, it is perhaps a stain on our species that our priority is the attacking of others over ideas.  I have several friends that found themselves in this situation this week. It reminds me of a tweet I replied to from last month. @rexthetvterrier (technically, his Mum) did nothing more than express an opinion. I've followed the account for a while now - it's mainly non-political - and rarely do I see anything warranting an attack. Yes, like all of us, Rex's Mum occasionally calls out bullshit when she sees it. And, like my friends this week, the politically-based negativity and petty drama from others is absolutely unjustified. Don't let their words bring your spirit down. Those people don't have lives, Rex. Do what our Gruffmum does and mute 'em. Good terriers are tenacious. Doesn't matter if you're carrying a branch a mile or standing firm on correc


  Parasomnias are nothing new to me. My dreams have always been vivid. That's a good thing, until it becomes an embarassing thing, such as reaching out to grab something not there, going for a walk, or experiencing sleep paralysis. I think the culprit this time could be my endocrine system. It has hated me ever since treatment for thyroid cancer.  The thyroid regulates your metabolism. The two main thyroid hormones are T3 and T4. The thyroid’s main role in the endocrine system is to regulate your metabolism via the two main thyroid hormones: T3 and T4. In turn, these hormones regulate the body's metabolic rate controlling heart, muscle and digestive function, brain development and bone maintenance. They also aid your body’s ability to break down food and convert it to energy. My endocrine system in a nutshell: "Oh, so you thought having our buddy ripped out and subjecting us to radiation was clever? We will make you pay!"  T3 and T4 can cause parasomnias if t