Promoting family and friends

Visiting Gene’s blog today I really like the new look and his cartoons. It gave me the idea to promote my eldest son a bit. Mother’s pride.

My son is a cartoonist and an animator and he has a blog he adds work to on occasion so I thought since I don’t have much to share today I would put a link to it. Steve’s blog.

He has been working on Ed, Edd, Eddy and George of the Jungle recently but is also working on a comic book for some Australian company.

Just wanted to share this with Jeni. This is how I am feeling today, I am sure she has read this before but just in case. I will be 60 in March so I am getting ready and I need to practice. I have some of these down already but some still need work.

When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn't go, and doesn't suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we've no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I'm tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick the flowers in other people's gardens
And learn to spit.

You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go
Or only bread and pickle for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes.

But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
And pay our rent and not swear in the street
And set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.

But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.

-- Jenny Joseph


More winter stories

This week, in our village, a yearling moose wandered into the village and a German Shepherd cross dog chased and attacked it, biting it around the face. The moose was bleeding about the face when our village dog catcher got there, she shot the dog on the spot. The village has no tolerance for harassing of wild life.

In Dawson Creek, many miles east of us in British Columbia, the moose are hanging out in the local shopping centre because the snow has been packed down and they are dining on the trees that line the streets. They feel safer in the town and finding food is easier.

In Stewart a town about 400 miles north of here it was reported on the news this morning that a moose had climbed up a pile of snow and onto a persons roof. I assume the roof must have been fairly flat, but a 1500lb moose on the roof must have been something to see. I wonder how they got it down. One doesn’t argue with a moose.

The cougar (mountain lion) is still hanging around the village and our dog is still spooked and staying inside. The dogs in the village are barking a lot, I suppose they all can smell it.

Tabby cat terror for black bear

Look what Colorado Bob sent me. A great story. Loved it. Go check out his site. Lots of interesting stuff. He’s a Macophile too!

The black bear up a tree with Jack the cat at the base

Jack the cat is possessive about his territory, his owners say

A black bear got more than it bargained for after straying into a family garden in the US state of New Jersey.

The unwelcome intruder was forced up a tree – twice – by the family pet, a tabby cat called Jack.

The terrified bear was only able to make its escape when owner Donna Dickey called the hissing cat into the house.

Ms Dickey said Jack liked to keep a close watch on his territory and often chased away small animals, but one of this size was a first.

“We used to joke, ‘Jack’s on duty’, never knowing he’d go after a bear,” Donna Dickey told local newspaper The Star-Ledger.

“He doesn’t want anybody in his yard,” she added.

The bear was first spotted in the tree by neighbours who thought the 15lb (7kg) cat was just looking up at it.

They then realised the bear was afraid of the cat.

After some 15 minutes, the bear descended, but was chased up another tree, before finally making its escape when Jack was called indoors.

Bear sightings are not unusual in the area of West Milford in New Jersey, which experts say is one of the state’s most bear-populated areas.

Something’s out there

Annie our dog has been acting very strange today. Normally she has a very large fenced area to run in but since we have so much snow she just walks over the fence so we have had to tie her as we received one warning already from the Village Dog Catcher.

I took her for a walk this morning, very gingerly on the packed ice, even with my cleats I was a bit stiff legged, which I know is the worse thing to do as I am more likely to fall, but I can’t seem to help it, but we got home without event. My husband took her for a longer outing this afternoon, into the bush and he said she wouldn’t go far from him, whereas usually she rushes all over the place. Later when she was out in the front driveway where we have had to tie her she was frantic so I brought here in and calmed her down. She stayed in for a quite a long time and then asked to go out about half an hour ago and just now I heard her whimpering so I checked and she is shaking like a leaf, so I brought here in again. She feels vunerable on that blasted cord and I expect there is a large cat prowling around.

We do get mountain lions here but I have never seen one, although we have seen lynx so it could be that, and they would be no fun to tangle with either. Hunting is getting difficult in the deep snow for the predators, maybe they are coming closer to human habitation to try for easier pickings. Coyotes, wolves and other dogs and even bears she’ll tackle but a large cat is another thing altogether.

Our mild spell is over and it drops to -18C tonight and stays below freezing now for a while although we have sunshine forecast every day, but the roads will be deadly until we have a some snow on them for traction.

Dripping everywhere

We have had a mild spell yesterday and today +7C which has caused everything to start melting. This is not particularly good because the roads are thawing and freezing overnight and the weight of snow on roofs is dangerous. Luckily the snow on our roof was practically gone because we had cleared it but we decided we should clear the car port also because of the weight. We now have at least 16ft of snow at the back door. I can’t imagine that I will see the yard this year especially as that is the north side and doesn’t get any sun on it. Tomorrow is meant to be mild and then we dip right down again to -18C. Generally I quite like winter but this one has been a trial.

I took Annie the Dog for a walk this morning, I put on cleats on my shoes but it was treacherous even with cleats. I think she will be missing her early morning walk tomorrow. We didn’t have to walk her so much when she was in her pen but since she keeps escaping we have been forced to tie her up, and we hate to do that, so we have been trying to take her out a lot more often. We are bringing her in at night because it seems wrong to us to leave her tied up outside when there are wolves and coyotes about. She hates being in the house in the winter but she spend most of the summer laid out on the cool floor of our spare bathroom.

The big lake has finally frozen over to about a foot thick, and we heard wolves howling as they ran across the ice last night. I don’t know how fast it could melt again though with this mild spell. We haven’t seen any wildlife much at all in the last few weeks. The snow is so deep a lot of the smaller deer probably will not survive. I suppose it is nature’s way of keeping control of populations but it does seem hard.

We heard on the news about two people out walking in the bush a couple of days ago who stumbled over a sleeping grizzly under the snow. It attacked them but they got away with relatively minor injuries. I wonder how many bears around here didn’t have time to find a den when the big snow came early. How many bumps might be sleeping bear? Maybe Annie the Dog and I will stay home tomorrow.

More Spam anyone?

I won about four milliion dollars today from the UK Sweepstakes International and maybe you will too tomorrow or the next day, butGo to fullsize image of course it is a scam. I have been fortunate up to now in not getting too much stuff but since I have been joining different sites where I have to leave an e-mail address it is cropping up again. Of course it is easy to create a new e-mail but remembering it all. I have a little book with all my current e-mails, five in all for different things.

This was an article I found today at Red Tape Chronicles

The resurgence of spam is generating a lot of attention right now, so here’s a quick explanation of what’s going on, and what to do about it.

One reason spam is once again clogging up your inbox: Spammers have turned anti-spam technology against us right now. Many Web sites require users to create accounts by typing in a word or scrambled letters that appear in a graphic (and sometimes, that word is too hard to see). That technology is called CAPTCHA, which stands for Completely Automated Public Turing Test to Tell Computers and Humans Apart. Web site designers employ this tedious process because it prevents spammers from creating millions of fake accounts — it turns out to be a very difficult problem for computers to “read” images.

Frustrated by CAPTCHA, spammers turned the tool on its head. Now, about half of all spam comes as pictures, which are often impossible for computers to distinguish from snapshots of the grandkids. Image spam is the big reason your inbox seems out of control again. Similar to the problem of computer viruses, there is no simple solution for spam. Instead, it’s a cat-and-mouse game between the bad guys and the companies trying to send us our e-mail but there are some things you can do to minimize your exposure to spam, and to help the institutions that are fighting it.

The first and most important step: Remove your e-mail address from any Web sites where it appears. Web “scraping” of addresses is still an effective tool for spammers. Don’t make their job any easier. If you must post the address, turn it into an image and post that. You might as well use the techniques the spammers use.

Guard your e-mail address like your credit card number. Only give your primary address to people you trust. Create “junk” accounts for newsletters and Web sites that force you to log in with an e-mail address. When they get overrun with spam, discard them.

Also, when at all possible, don’t open e-mail from people you don’t know. Opening some spam automatically sends a message, sort of like a return receipt, back to the spammer. Now he or she will know you’re a live person, and you’ll never hear the end of it.

Stillness

I came across this in a blog called Life2.0 the other day.

To experience reality, to know the truth of anything in fact, we must learn to set thought aside and become still.
The natural world helps us to do this. It constantly calls us back to the simply awareness of ‘what is’ and ‘who we are’.

I have always found the nature has helped me become still. Early this morning I walked Annie the dog and it was utterly still. There was nothing about except us, only the occasional twitter of a chickadee was all that I could hear. It was quite mild and sunny and the skies were clear, the snow still crisp under my feet and I was all alone in the stillness of the wilderness.

I think there is a place inside each person, unique to them, that if they can find it they can retreat to and experience stillness and rest. My place, I suppose is very English. I see it as a small cozy room, with a burning fire in the hearth, books on the walls, a large maroon armchair and a small table with a glass of wine and some bread beside it.

As I was looking at this inner chamber I realized there are no windows in my room, I wondered why. Perhaps it is because the world cannot invade my conscious there.

How do you find stillness?