Monday, August 23, 2010

A Bolus is what you might cough up...

If you were a ruminant, or perhaps this could apply to our cat Dexter coughing up a big nasty hairball, but actually I am thinking of the campers we met on our recent expedition to Bolin Lake.

After visiting the Redwoods in Northern CA we took a long cut over the Siskiyou Mountains (Hwy 96 closed in winter) to Happy Camp, Seiad Valley and eventually hitting I5 north of Yreka. On our way over the Siskiyou mountains we saw a sign for the aforementioned Bolin Lake. We met some bear hunters who allowed that this was a very nice little lake with camping and brook trout. On arriving at the lake we found a very nice camp site right on the shores of the sub-alpine jewel. Our joy however was short lived. The group camping up the hill from us was enjoying top ten country music at relatively high volume. I made up an excuse to visit them to check it out. The group seemed to consist of 20 something female micro-cephalic douchebags who could just as well have been camping in a Walmart parking lot. When I approached I immediately noticed a very significant pile of empties next to their tent. I enquired if they intended to stay up late listening to their crappy music. They replied that this was indeed their intent and looked to have enough Bud Light in stock to keep the "good times" rolling.
In addition to skanks out camping we met our next door neighbors who while stinking drunk had managed to haul a big-ass travel trailer up the very narrow and precipitous logging road to the lake. They arrived in a cloud of dust and greeted us effusively with tales of the gentleman's military experience and love of scuba diving. They showed every sign of wanting to visit more, a lot, and frequently. The lady wife was scared. I was a little annoyed but more entertained. I know I wouldn't want to meet this yahoo on a blind curve. We enjoyed eating our sandwiches on the bank, I tried casting (without luck) for trout.
We decided to preserve our sanity and head on down the road. We arrived an hour later at the infamous Happy Camp. After loading up on a few necessities we headed out of town heading east. It is interesting to note that Happy Camp very proudly declares itself to be the Bigfoot capitol of the world. Please note life size replica that welcomes you to town!

Another 20 minutes down the road we arrived at Thompson Creek Lodge. Nice people, quiet, kitchenettes, lawn, beauftiful trees, the creek itself and the Klamath River. Much better than trying to deal with the aformentioned morons at Bolus er... Bolin Lake. I hope to return someday when they are not there...
Nevertheless fair readers, please do not let this cautionary tale deter you from visiting the Siskiyou Mountains of S. OR and N. CA. If you have the capacity there are many lakes and beautiful streams available to the hiker. Camp skanks and drunken motor home types do not hike.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Vindictive Cat

This post comes to us courtesy of Jack Bog's blog. It is a real Craig's List advert (expired). Except for a few minor details I thought the seller was describing our cat Dexter, but on further study I must confess that this cat is worse than Dexter. Herewith:

Vindictive Cat free to home (portland)
Date: 2010-08-08, 11:13AM PDTReply to: This Cat is 12 years old. It is very cute and has a long tail, so it will look good sitting in your window while you are away! It has two looks on its face at all times 1) surprise. 2) angry glare. It has always been vindictive and angry. It will shred your arms to the bone if picked up, so handling is not advisable. Cat will use litter box only once and then considers it soiled and will choose your chair (or elsewhere) instead. Free *1 month supply/ 5 gallon bucket of Nature's Miracle* will accompany Cat to new home. Cat hates other animals and children and people so please be an animal free and kid free and spouse/friend/roommate free home. Cat can only live with one Person. Cat hates for Person to have other people over, so you shouldn't have friends or it will pee in their purse or on their shoes. Person should be strong of mind and body and not at home much, as cat is not into interaction. Interaction with its Person makes Cat angry, and it will vomit on your pillow in retaliation. Cat hates to be inside too long, but will not go through doors as it hates doorways. You must chase it outside with clacking salad tongs. Cat's *favorite salad tongs will be provided for free* and will accompany Cat to new home. Cat hates to be outdoors for too long as it prefers to pee, poop and vomit on your things, it likes to do this to claim its Person (this Person could be you!). Cat will come inside easily at dinnertime, no salad tongs necessary. Cat will vomit once during, and up to three times after dinner, usually on pillow, duvet, or laundry. Sometimes it will vomit in doorways. Sometimes it will just poop in these places. Other places Cat will poop: in front of refrigerator, in front of windows, near the litterbox, in front of teevee, on top of you if you are around for too long. Cat should not have access to any bathrooms as it hates bathmats and will destroy them on sight with a barrage of pee and poop and finally clawing it to shreds. Other things Cat will claw to shreds: arms, face, carpet, pillow, chair, laundry. Cat has a loud obnoxious yowl to indicate when it is angry. The yowl is akin to that of a rabid zombie on the make and is quite terrifying, so you would be well advised to take heed and figure out what Cat wants. If you haven't cleaned the litterbox in less than an hour, check that first. It may want you to provide running drinking water from the faucet. It WILL get on the counters, you should not interfere or you WILL be sorry. If yowling occurs between the hours of Noon and 7:00 pm, it may require feeding. Cat will attack you for your food, so it is not advisable to eat in the house. If not fed what you are eating, Cat will knock the dishes off the table in retaliation and eat the shards of glass and porcelain that fall, so that you will be required to take it to the vet. It likes the attention from the vet. Cat will look sweet and pitiful at vet's office and as I said before, Cat is very cute. No one will believe when you try to tell them what Cat is capable of, so don't try. They will look at you as if you are the problem. I will understand your situation and you can call me in an emergency to talk about Cat. * 1 year of free consulting and phone support * comes with Cat. I will not be available in person for support, Cat will not like it and it will escalate situation. Other things to be aware of with Cat. Cat has LONG hair and is prone to fur balls and the vomiting of hairy, slimy bits. This can not be helped. Cat hates any glass of drinking water to be left about and will drink from it and knock it over. You should not drink water from glasses. Cat does not like for its Person to sleep. It will walk/stand on your face with one razor sharp claw in your nostril and yowl like a zombie, so you would be well advised to stay awake and always be ready to attend to Cat. Cat weaves evil spells and makes hexes. Many do not believe this is true, but I am convinced of this fact. Cat will place spells on you while you sleep or read or watch teevee. I think that is the bulk of the information I can provide about Cat. Cat is up to date on shots, sterilized and is physically healthy, it should live on for several more years. Please bring heavy cloth sack, a metal box or crate, face protection (I use a hockey goalie helmet) and long leather gloves when coming to pick up Cat. I will not be available to assist in transporting Cat. Thanks for looking. EDIT WORTHY OF NOTE: Updating ad to clarify that Cat is not abused. Cat is LOVED... from a safe distance, we are experienced animal people. You must love Cat or you will not make it long. Cat has always been uptight and has never been the subject of an abusive situation. We actively love Cat. Look how cute!! But it is hard. We do not abuse Cat with clacking tongs. Cat needs a lot of encouragement to go out, and hates when you have free tongs for you...use them as you will. No, we didn't let Cat eat shards of glass, but Cat would eat the shards if not herded off. Cat does look cute and act innocent for vet. I really didn't expect anyone to come forward to take Cat given the extent of the disclosure I have given. Offers will be the subject of careful, but unlikely, consideration given the only people who would possibly want this Cat are going to sell the poor animal to a lab or have 100 other Cats at home. We have tried it all and consulted with consultants. The cat is 12 years old for crying out loud! We are tired. If you have the perfect situation, and you know how to deal with a Cat like this one, and you are sane, write a proposal and we will give it careful scrutiny. For those giving free advice, please bring it on! Will welcome ideas - provided you know something of what you are talking about. Here's the skinny: Cat has been in care of current owner since kittenhood. Cat was in an apartment fire once - it was next door but, you know, chaos and trauma ensued. Cat has always been "particular" unless in the EXACT RIGHT situation, which is with ONE Person and an "always open and never closed" Cat door to outside area. Cat will not push open a flap...hates doorways. NO other pets (poops in their food bowls). And being always catered to as if in slight fear of Cat. We have 4 cat boxes, each cleaned every day, not enough for Cat. Yes, we've tried the water fountain from Sky Mall magazine, Cat hates the fountain. Cat wants a personal fresh mountain stream or a constantly running tap. Given ALL of these things consistently, Cat will occasionally cuddle with knees at bedtime and purr loudly...lest you move with the intention to do ANYTHING. Cat will then flick the tail in your face, and as I said, the tail is very long. Or Cat will pound on the bathroom door to attack the bathmat, or later in the night, your laundry (or worse). Cat is female. Cat never forgets a slight and her slights are many. She's just a weird Cat, physically healthy, gets regular checkups with vet to prove it. We have 4 other very healthy, contented and happy pets. Thanks everyone for your concerns. Cat probably thanks you too in her way.
Location: portland
it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests

Monday, August 9, 2010

A Cautionary Tale

Yesterday we were working on cleaning out our basement and the Lady Wife took it upon herself to inventory a load of old Christmas cards. She found one that I will never forget...

Many years ago the Lady Wife and I had the good fortune to live and work in Japan. We lived in the far North of Aomori Prefecture (Shimokita Peninsula) in the little backwater of Mutsu. While we had many Japanese friends we were guilty as most expatiates of some degree of gentle mocking of the local culture and the occasional bout of sarcasm. Our chief of Sarcasm was one, Steve Wilkenson. Steve, hailing from England was quite adept at mocking both friend and foe alike.

One year at Christmas time Steve sent the following card to his friends and relatives around the globe. We thought it was pretty hilarious, some others according to Steve did not share the humor.
The Tomb of Christ as described on the sign is in the village of Shingo (formerly Herai) in Aomori Prefecture. The locals (at least some of them) actually believe that Jesus brother Iskiri died on the cross and Jesus himself lived in Herai to the age of 106. For a great deal more information on Herai and its heretical heritage click on the photo above.

A number of years later Steve died in a sky diving accident in Oregon. Apparently he packed his own chute and it failed to open at all. I learned of this accident while watching the evening news on television. To add more woe to this tale, the Lady Wife and I while visiting Japan stayed a few days with Steve's widow, Erico. Within a year of our visit Erico had sucumbed to cancer and left their son an orphan at boarding school in Tokyo.