Pet Sitting

One of the pets I’m pet-sitting this weekend is a geriatric cockatiel with a bell obsession! I made a video of it!

I’m also looking after a delightful little guy named Rosco! He’s a bundle of energy but he’s feeling a little vulnerable right now due to his recent hair cut.



Rosco misses his regular people.

I enjoyed a simple breakfast and took Rosco for his walk. 20120929-104135.jpg

Now I’m off to join a few local authors to take turns reading our stories at the library!

Pet Sitting

The Summer Olympics is educational

With all the hubbub about the Summer Olympics I’m learning something new every day!

Like, did you know marathon runners often poop themselves as they run? Did you know they have a bottom-related product called Butt Shield that prevents buttock chafing? I did not know these things! Apparently cyclists and runners both will pee themselves if they need to, as well! I’m rethinking my ambition to run a marathon. I’m also side-eye-ing those people I know who have run marathons but I don’t, quite, know how I’m going to ask if they’re hard-core enough to have pooped while running.

By now you’ve probably heard of dressage, or ‘fancy horse dancing’, as it’s been associated with Mitt Romney who doesn’t seem to want to be associated with it. Pretty snobby for a guy who’s wife has a horse in the Summer Olympics for fancy horse dancing. I’ve watched a few videos of dressage on Youtube and, while it’s interesting, the subtleties are lost on me. Until I saw this video:

Damn! Suddenly dressage got real!

I was never much of a horse person. My dad was a ranch hand when I was a pre-schooler and he rode a magnificent horse named High Mount, because that horse was hella-tall, so you’d think I’d be bosom buds with those hoofed assholes.

Horseback riding was part of our curriculum in school (I took outdoor education in jr. high.) so we were bussed to a small riding club in the city and taken on a trail ride. My horse, Lucky, was the biggest asshole horse ever. When he actually walked, because he did NOT want to walk so he’d lock his legs and stand there, he’d bounce his hindquarters extra hard. The instructor told me to whack his flank with my hand to get him to go faster but when I tried it Lucky nearly sent me flying over his head! JERK! I was so unwise to the wily ways of horses that I didn’t know about him getting the bit in his teeth. Once he did? The illusion of my being in control dissolved and Lucky ambled along at his own pace like an equine honey badger.

A couple of years ago a coworker invited me out to her ranch for a BBQ. I was hesitant but she told me she also, in addition to horses, had goats! GOATS! I love goats! I said I’d attend but I got a little lost on the way and showed up late.

But not late enough.

She had a horse in a paddock and she was leading it around, giving guests a free ride. I got there just as the last person was finishing his ride and she cajoled me into taking a ride. I tried to warn her, horses and I do not get along, but she fuffed my fears as being silly. Her horse was a sweetie, loved everyone, and was the most docile creature ever!

Until I climbed aboard. The moment I settled into place the horse’s ears went back and she refused to be led. My coworker was puzzled because up until that point her horse been happily walking around with strange people on her back.

Apparently, I am stranger than most.**

Eventually she coaxed the horse into a stop-and-go, reluctant slog around the paddock but it was embarrassing for everyone involved. Thankfully, after that humiliating walk of shame, I was introduced to the goats and happiness once again ruled the land!

The Summer Olympics have also taught me that sometimes swimmers have wardrobe malfunctions.

** The way horses react to me makes me wonder if I’m a werewolf and just don’t know it. Maybe a were-bear. Hm.

The Summer Olympics is educational

Have some useful links!

I have Web sites to migrate today and all the open tabs on my browser are distracting me so here are links to everything I thought was interesting, and useful, enough to keep open for the past week!


Write or Die – Well, you don’t really die but if you don’t reach your goal there are some real consequences! Nothing like adrenaline to motivate your muse!

The Persuasive Power of Small Words – I haven’t had a chance to read this year so I’m putting it here so I remember to read it later!


The Busy Trap – This is something I try to be mindful of but it’s so easy to fall back on being busy as an excuse…

Quitting the Paint Factory – Found this in the comments of The Busy Trap.


Charlie Kaufman’s Anomalisa – An interesting stop-motion animation kickstarter project.

Batman Chucks – I’m sort of in lust with these shoes. The Bat-logo folds down! I can only imagine the confidence you’d get wearing these shoes. Meeting with a difficult client? Bat-chucks got your back!

Web Development

Try GIT – If you’re brand-new to GIT then Try Git! It’s a great little utility that lets you practice basic GIT commands without having to install anything on your computer. Once you’ve been through this free course and have a good grasp of the basics you can move on to…

GIT Immersion – One of the best sites I’ve come across, yet, for learning the ins and outs of GIT. introduces its readers to Node.js – I’m a senior Web developer and I still enjoy getting a daily email from Skill Crush explaining different aspects of my industry. The best thing about the Web industry is it’s constantly evolving. Skill Crush gives you a quick overview of a topic straight to your inbox and if you’re a novice or quite experienced there’s going to be something new to read about!

Making it Snow Without Javascript – I’m going to say it… I squeed when this page loaded. It’s SO MUCH FUN! Augh! It was probably five minutes before I started reading what was on the page I had so much fun navigating through her slides.

No Excuse List – The No Excuse List is a collection of links to free learning resources on the Web. The volume of free learning available is staggering! Learn to better yourself!

Have some useful links!

Spiral-cut hot dogs, 50 Sheds of Gray, and other delights

This video has changed my life. It’s the most simple yet revolutionary way I’ve seen yet to cook a hot dog! You spiral cut it so it’s like a spring made of pureed meat-stuff and not only does it cook without bending, but you get more crispy surface area and toppings will slip between the spirally bits to fully integrate into each bite you take instead of sitting on top so you get a mouthful of condiments sans wiener! My mind! She is blown!

I am not a fan of 50 Shades of Grey but I can totally get behind 50 Sheds of Grey! Brilliant satire!

Over at Women Write about ComicsMelinda Beasi talks girls comics, blogging, and international manga fandom. Melinda has a lot of intelligent things to say about comics.

I ran across this excellent essay, Why Gandalf Never Married 1985 talk by Terry Pratchett, earlier this week.

And finally, Why Tweeting is Good for your Mental Health. Ha! So there! I’m mentally healthy even if Twitter does, occasionally, make me feel stabby.

Spiral-cut hot dogs, 50 Sheds of Gray, and other delights

Books! Glorious books.

Supper last night was sweet and spicy meatloaf with alterations. If you don’t own this cook book yet, what are you waiting for? The recipes are healthy and delicious! So far I’ve made a shepherd’s pie and a sweet and spicy meatloaf; alterations follow:

Recipe Alterations
What the recipe called for What I did instead
natural bran oatmeal (not instant, especially
not flavoured instant)
1/3 cup chopped, dried cranberries 1/3 cups chopped, raisins, dates,
and cranberries I picked out
of a bag of trailmix (who knew
meatloaf would be so laborious?)
2 tsp cayenne powder 1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp chili powder
(on account they are both red
powders like cayenne)
 blue cheese  cheddar cheese (we ain’t fancy)

The  meatloaf turned out wonderfully moist, possibly because it had been a bit underdone but I sliced it up and fried a few slices to finish cooking it through and it was fine! Plus, we had delicious fried cheddar bits to nom.

I’m reading Let’s Pretend This Never Happened. Again. This is my second read-through so I’m using my judgey, critical eye. I’m only a quarter of the way through but already I’ve formed a very strong opinion about Jenny Lawson; her childhood could have been my childhood if my parents hadn’t decided to move to the big city when it was time for me to start school. Also, we should be friends. Also, if it wasn’t for her childhood being in rural Texas and my early childhood being in a mountain on the Alberta/B.C. border, her dad could have easily been one of the guys who’d stop by our house wanting to show off whatever dead/pissed off animal they had in the back of their truck. Hm, actually my childhood wouldn’t have been her childhood because my dad, crazy in his own way, wasn’t a taxidermist.

Let’s Pretend This Never Happened is a funny book you feel sort of horrified at yourself for laughing at because it’s 90% true (as stated in the foreword).

Books! Glorious books.