Wednesday, December 23, 2015

It sounds like a lot of pears to me

Really? I can't eat the pillows?
I must apologize for the lack of blogging but there is a lot happening here.

Apart from staring in horrified fascination at the antics of the Trumpinator I also spend an extraordinary amount of time retrieving articles of apparel from the dog’s mouth.

There  was something of a minor triumph when I cooked dinner for our local relatives on Saturday night and everything turned out just right. We had roast lamb, honey mustard chicken, honey baked ham, baked vegetables with Australian native spices, Brussels sprouts with crispy bacon and parmesan green beans.

Last time these people came to our house I cremated the chicken - and the top fell off the spice jar - and the vegetables were buried in it. Ghastly meal.

We are going to their house for Christmas dinner and I am taking the vegetables. But I will not be cooking them so there is not much that can go wrong at my end.

We are having our Christmas dinner on Christmas eve. I am also apparently doing the vegetables for this. I like to try to stay out of the kitchen at Christmas because it can get a bit ugly until everybody has had a glass or two of fine wine and is feeling a nice warm glow for their fellow humans.

Gwenyth is going to make a Pavlova and may do some lamingtons.

Cate gave me her shopping list  and I think I have everything. I narrowly averted a minor catastrophe when I asked what she was going to with 3 ½ pounds of peas – but they turned put to be pears. 

It still sounds like a lot of pears to me.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Just the usual stuff

The Christmas supplies have arrived 
Yesterday I took Georgia to be groomed. This means that she has a wash and a brush and has her nails trimmed. She enjoys this almost as much as she enjoys going to the vet.

I got her out of the car at the dog place and she slipped her collar and bolted.  She was running down the street with me chasing her - shouting things like:

‘It’s not a dog glue factory – they are just going to wash you!’

‘Come back Georgia they are just going to trim your fecking nails not boil you in oil.’

She slowed down when she saw some other dogs and then the dog salon lady caught up and we managed to herd her back towards the car. The other dog salon lady was there and she opened the car door and Georgia jumped in.

That was a valuable lesson and I shall in future take extra precautions. I should of course have a dog who comes when you call her but she failed at obedience school and needs remedial work.

I know you are thinking ‘why doesn’t he wash his own dog?’

Well we are working up to that and will try it very soon. I will ring the hospital first to make sure they have adequate supplies of our blood type. Not that she will bite us but she does now weigh 45 pounds and packs quite a punch with her paws and nails - and leaves us with the interesting wounds when she jumps all over us – as she does constantly.

Also yesterday I took the cats to the vet for vaccinations and a checkup. They are easier to handle because they are in little crates. Getting them inside the crates is an entirely different matter.

It is usually like trying to put a marshmallow into a piggy bank.

So I steeled my self and put the crates on the kitchen table. Sissi immediately hopped into one so I closed the door. Fabulous stuff. I pretended that I was going to feed Monika and then grabbed her and stuffed her into the crate so quickly she did not know what was happening.

It was a bit more difficult getting them out of the crates at the vets but I let the cat wranglers at that end do it. So the cats were both very unhappy about the whole thing - and it was extremely expensive.

Just the usual stuff.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

They are as good as anybody's loonies

I feel better now that 195 nations have decided that we must do something about global climate change.

I have been fretting about this for a while – and especially when we had that idjit in charge in Australia. You know the one who wanted to shut down the clean energy industry and thought that wind farms looked awful. Give him good coal-fired power stations any day!

Not that it matters all that much to me - but I do have children and grandchildren and they are going to be around for a while in a world which is getting hotter and more polluted by the day.

This year is going to be the hottest year ever in Australia and this is a bit scary  – because it is already so damn hot. But at least we are sort of trying to do something about it.

This week in Whacko Land - a town called Woodland in North Carolina decided not to approve a solar panel farm because one of the local idjits said that it would ‘suck up all the energy’.

But we too in the Antipodes have our fair share of people who do not believe 99% of the world’s climate scientists. They believe this largely because – as in the case in the USA – they have it drummed into them by the fossil fuel industry - the conservative media and professional deniers paid by the fossil fuel industry.

Even in parliament we have some real ratbags who choose to believe in a whole range of climate conspiracy theories. I would pit our best loonies against anybody’s loonies – they are world class.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Fair suck of the sav

It sure is exciting here.

I mean I expected the Republican presidential contest to be interesting – but this is just fabulous stuff. The Republicans have been captured by Frankenstein’s monster and they know not what to do.

There is another debate tomorrow and I will have the popcorn ready for that.

But also we are in the midst of the annual ‘War on Christmas’.

This is the entirely manufactured event hosted by Fox in which they find terrible examples of Christians having their rights trampled by ghastly non-religious people – some of whom might even be (shriek) atheists.

No perceived slight is to small. Some religious ratbag complained because Starbucks cups do not have ‘Merry Christmas’ on them. Fox took this up as a prime example of the rights of Christians being trampled by the hordes of pagans who infest this country .

But it is weird because many people say ‘Happy Holidays’  - because ‘Merry Christmas’ may not be inclusive or may not recognize other religions. WTF? People get too wound up about this sort of stuff.  I said ‘Merry Christmas’ to a man this year and he said ‘thank you for saying that’.

Fair suck of the sav  – it is - after all - Christmas.

But I have far too much to do to worry about things like this. On Saturday night we are having our local relatives to dinner and this will be another occasion for me to cremate some chicken on a massive scale. I am doing some lamb as well in case the chicken is inedible. If both those fail then I have ham.

Next week Gwenyth and PK arrive and we have to prepare for our Christmas day – which in fact will be on Christmas eve.

Cate is in charge of this and of course is cooking some esoteric stuff that requires things like one gnats knee bone – but if I can in fact find them they are available only in 50 pound bags.

On Christmas day we are going to visit our local relatives and I am charged with cooking vegetables and a Pavlova and possibly Lamingtons and Anzac biscuits. Gwenyth has volunteered for this task.

Boxing day is a recovery day - and then we go to Mexico.


Monday, December 7, 2015

There are plenty of places to go

For some time I have wanted to change our cable package as it includes lots of stuff we do not watch. I wanted to change it to a much cheaper package which also includes lots of stuff we do not watch – but at least it is cheaper. We were currently paying for 275 channels – of which we watch 4.

The problem with doing this is that I have to talk to DIRECTV  - which is one of life’s more excruciating  experiences. I would rather get caught in an elevator with Donald Trump or Carly Fiorina.

No Wait!

It is not actually talking to them which is the problem – it is getting to talk to them because they have a truly baroque and Kafkaesque telephone tree which at any moment may connect to entirely the wrong person or else cast you into the ether and an inky black silence from which there is no way out but to start again.

So anyway after putting it off for a long time I tackled the issue this morning and it took only three transfers and 45 minutes. I am submitting this to the Guinness Book of Records.

While I was waiting I was looking at some old stuff and remembered a few years ago that I got an email from a friend in Australia asking me to read an article in the Australian newspaper.  This is a Murdoch newspaper and I replied to him that if I did this I would have to wash my eyes out with soap and boil my iPad.

He got most offended and even though I apologized for my weird sense of humor – he un-friended  me on Facebook. This was embarrassing as I have never been un-friended before - so I was unsure of the protocol. Anyhow he has never spoken to me again which I think is a bit of an overreaction.

But I read recently that the vast Murdoch empire has bought National Geographic and has laid off 180 staff.  I received a renewal notice last week and put it in the trash as I have no further interest. 

I have seen what he has done to other Murdoch publications including the once respected Wall Street Journal. If I want to read that there is no such thing as climate change I can go to Fox. 

Sunday, December 6, 2015

It is a great improvement

When we go out in the car Georgia likes to sit with her head on the console between the front seats. To do this she has to sit with her bum on the back seat and her front paws on the floor in front of the back seats. This looks every uncomfortable so I made a little wooden platform so that she could lie flat out and did not have to support herself with her front paws. This was a fine piece of carpentry - with a covering of carpet. It was built for comfort.

This was not a success. She got in the car and discovered this awful thing and tried to get away from it by shrinking into the corner. When I got into the car she tried to climb on top of my head and then sat on the front seat and would not move.

As she wears a harness and is tethered to the back seat belts – this was quite a feat.

The car was very unhappy that something was in the front passenger seat and not wearing a seatbelt – so dinged during the entire trip. The next day she would not even get in the car so I have removed the offending object.

That same day she had a horrifying experience when the Christmas tree was delivered  and I put the cardboard box on the back porch. She was terrified of this box and regarded it with great suspicion from the corner of the back garden until I chopped it up and put it in the recycle bin.

I am beginning to doubt Georgia’s capacity to be an effective guard dog – although she is an excellent barker. She barks loudly for no particular reason and this is particularly exciting at about 3:00 AM when we are all fast asleep.

Having scared the shit out of everybody – cats included – she just rolls over and goes back to sleep - leaving us in a state of some disarray.

However – I have changed her diet and have reduced her farting substantially. She no longer gets rawhide things and this seems to have reduced her level of flatulence no end. Of course we still have to be wary of naked flames - but it is a great improvement.

Friday, December 4, 2015

I will pray for that

After today I am never going to blog about guns ever again. I promise.

Yesterday the Republicans in the Senate voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act (yes again) and to defund Planned Parenthood.

On the same day all the Republicans except one (1) voted against measures to strengthen gun control laws.  

The Senate rejected an amendment that would deny people on the federal terrorism watch list the ability to purchase guns. It also rejected an amendment that would expand background checks for guns purchased online and at gun shows. It also rejected an amendment that would have delayed suspected terrorists from getting a gun for as long as 72 hours.


Suspected terrorists can buy guns? Congress is OK with this?

Anyway at least all the Republican presidential candidates prayed a lot for the latest victims and their relatives. They did rather more praying than they did for the Planned Parenthood victims - when there was a deafening silence in Republican land.

Carly Fiorina said the first thing she did when she heard about the shooting was pray. As we all know prayer works wonders.

I wonder if it can cure Carly from  being a congenital liar? I will pray for that but I am not confident. 

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

We could have 37 cats

I'm sorry I cost so much - I will get a job
I got a reminder from the vet that Georgia was due for another vaccination so yesterday I took her along. Coincidentally she developed a wonky eye a few days ago so I was going to get that sorted out as well.

I got her out of the car but then had a titanic struggle getting her into the vet’s office. She now weighs 45 pounds so when she does not want to go somewhere it is difficult to persuade her. When I finally got her inside she tried to climb on top of my head. This did not work so she tried to hide under the chair. The bleeding on my head was not to bad and I told the vet that no medical work was necessary.

The vet gave her the vaccinations and looked at her eye – and her back knees which are also wonky – with patellar luxation – which affects labradors -  and her skin - which is itchy.

The vet also noticed that she has a broken tooth. This is hardly surprising given what she eats – or tries to eat.

I left with pills and potions after being relieved of $305. She has drops for her eyes, glucosamine for her knees, pills for her allergies and pills for her skin.

One of the prescriptions says – “give two tablets every day for two weeks – and then one tablet a day for life.”

The vet also sent me a quote to have her teeth cleaned and her broken tooth removed. This was for $600. After this happens I can then get a new tooth for her to break. This will require specialist dental work and they wont tell what this will cost until you are lying down and have been sedated.

I have figured roughly that for what it costs us to keep Georgia we could 37 cats.