Poop by any other name!

Gosh! those Chinese are really into , (see article at the bottom of post) I certainly could learn a thing or two. What with the doggy do do, piles of moose droppings and the black sticky stuff that are bear turds all over my yard I could take a leaf out of their book and gather it all up and wash it and make … nothing comes to mind. What do you suggest?

Some enterprising people actually make jewellery from moose droppings Since it comes out in perfect ovals it does lend itself to this particular art form but I don’t think I would ever wear it. I can’t find a picture to show you but they are dried and then painted and strung like beads. Bear turds are truly irredeemable, I think, Annie the dog likes them though, she thinks rolling in it is the height of doggy elegance.

Cow pat clocks have been around for some time. Somehow the model does not look as if she would have this item in her home. I always have visions of it slipping off the wall on a hot day.

Panda Poop to Be Recycled Into Souvenirs

The Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding Base has come up with a dung-for-profit scheme that turns droppings from the endangered species into odor-free souvenirs ranging from bookmarks to Olympic-themed statues of the animals, state media and base officials said Monday.

The facility in the southwestern province of Sichuan houses about 40 bamboo-fed pandas who produce less than a ton of excrement a day.

“We used to spend at least 6,000 yuan ($770) a month to get rid of the droppings but now they can be lucrative,” Jing Shimin, assistant to the base director, was quoted as saying by the official Xinhua News Agency.

The products will be made at a local handicraft company mostly from undigested bamboo culled from the panda waste through a special process, Xinhua said.

An official who answered the phone at the Chengdu facility said the dung is “carefully selected, smashed, dried and sterilized at 300 degrees Celsius (572 degrees Fahrenheit).” He refused to give his name but said the products will be of all colors because they will be dyed.

“They don’t smell too bad because 70 percent of the dung is just remains of the bamboo that the pandas are unable to digest,” Jing said.

While no price has been set, he said the most expensive souvenirs will contain a panda hair – collected from the wild – in each package.

The 2008 Olympic statues will feature “athletic pandas performing various Olympic sports,” Xinhua said.

In March, base officials said they were looking into making high-quality paper from the fiber-rich panda excrement, inspired by a trip to Thailand, where they found paper made from elephant dung.

The Chiang Mai Zoo in northern Thailand already sells multicolored paper made from waste produced by its two resident pandas. Making paper there involves a daylong process of cleaning the feces, boiling it in a soda solution, bleaching it with chlorine and drying it under the sun.

The panda is one of the world’s rarest and most beloved animals, with about 1,590 living in the wild in China, mostly in Sichuan and the western province of Shaanxi. Another 180 have been bred in captivity. By AUDRA ANG

Here’s a nifty new gadget

I saw an advertisement on TV today for rubber keyboards that can be rolled up. Great to take with you and your laptop Plus when you spill your coffee on your keyboard you can actually wash it off and they are not expensive. You can get a completely flat ones or ones that have more defined keys. Flexible Keyboard.

I just love any new gadget whether it is computer related or not. I would rather have a gadget any day than jewelry, clothes or perfume for a gift. How about you?

Revisiting an old post with an update

I wrote this last September but there are some updates:

In British Columbia, our forests are being overtaken by the Mountain Pine Beetle, which threatens to destroy them in very short order. The trees are being harvested as quickly as possible, so that the wood can be used in buildings where the defects cannot be seen, as the pine beetle leaves a smokey blue streak in the wood which has not been saleable in foreign markets.

My husband, who loves to do carpentry, is building an entertainment centre on a budget. At the local lumberyard he selected the best pieces of 1 x 2 ‘beetle’ wood and has been happily engaged in his workshop for he last few days. He has glued the strips together, planed and sanded them until satiny smooth, next he plans to apply an oil based stain and he was showing me the effect he hopes to achieve.”Anything wet shows the grain” he said, as he dipped his finger in the coffee I had just brought him, and wiped it over the wood to show me. The grain of the wood took on a beauty that was not evident before, the beetle wood gleamed pale gold, with a denim blue streak through it. It was lovely.

We liked the entertainment centre so much and we had so many compliments on it he decided to redo all the kitchen cabinets in beetle wood. I have the most unique kitchen, and it is very pretty. Here is a shot of my kitchen cabinets.

This picture is of a floor made in the denim pine as it is now called. So maybe the forests of can be redeemed. Some of the buildings that are being constructed for the 2010 Winter Olympics that are to be held in Whistler are featuring the wood.

I’ve entered the challenge

I have been blogging for some time now and am always looking for new ways to improve. I found this blog about a week ago One Man’s Goal and since there were a few posts that interested me I put it on my Google Reader to keep updated.

Today I read that he has issued a challenge for those of us who would like to improve our blog. Well I am all for that, so I entered the blogger challenge he gave. It would be fun and I am sure beneficial if some of my readers would also like to take up the blogger challenge.

I realize we all have different objectives for blogging and some don’t care if they have many or few readers, make Technorati’s top list or not, but I do, I may not write the great novel or even author a play but I would like to write a blog that is of interest to people and the pursuit of excellence is a worthy goal don’t you think?

So come and join us as we learn some tips and tricks, hone our skills, and whatever it is Bryan at One Man’s Goal has in for us.

I’m mad, ticked off, hurt and upset

I am upset with my husband right now so I am going to let go some steam right here. It is a trivial thing really but he just doesn’t get it. He told me over supper this evening that I am getting a double chin. Well that is probably true I am sixty after all and everything sags! Another point he has made.

We women don’t need to be told that we are getting less attractive, we are our own fiercest critics. This hurts especially since I have lost 15lbs in the last 4 months. I need to be encouraged, getting old in our society does not come with honour.

I have told him before that it would be nice to be told sometimes that I look nice, that an outfit I am wearing looks good, etc., but he just says I must be insecure in that I need him to admire me once in a while. I think it is a built in human need, not just women need to be admired and appreciated. I often tell him he looks good when he gets dressed up, or something he does has turned out great, but if I ask him if he enjoyed his meal he looks surprised and says “Well I ate it didn’t I”.

Now don’t get me wrong I know he loves me, and I love him, but he just doesn’t believe in compliments, although I notice he likes me to make note of the efforts he makes fixing up our place. He only notices when his daughters have put on a few pounds but never mentions when they have made an effort in another area.

I think this might be the English way of backhanded encouragement. I remember my father and aunt doing it to me. Point out the bad things and maybe they’ll do better, seemed to be the maxim when I was growing up. My father used say to me “How come you only got a B+ why didn’t you get an A”. I have heard my husband’s daughters complain that he also used to say things like this. We all need encouragement in this world we certainly don’t need our nearest and dearest to pull us down.

So I got mad at him for being insensitive but I still don’t think he will change, after all he’s 69 and you can’t teach old dogs new tricks, so that means I will be bitchy once in a while when I get upset. So now who apologizes first, I probably will because he just doesn’t see why I should have got upset in the first place. So that makes me madder still!

Memories of my Welsh Grandmother

I am currently reading a book called “Bronwen” by Hilda McKenzie, and so much of the book has brought memories back of my side of the family.

The story is based in the 1930’s in Cardiff and many times a description has reminded me of my childhood. I had Uncles and Aunts, now long dead, with lovely Welsh names, Ceinwen, Bronwen, Blodwen, Glyndor, Brynmor, and Tudor who was my father. The surname was James and my Grandfather had been a tailor and was known as James the tailor, to tell him apart form James the Death, the undertaker and James top of the hill and all the other James’s who lived in the town.

In the story I am reading there are certain Welshisms that I have not heard for 50 years. Cariad,(sweetheart)is one, also there are words in the book that I can remember being said but I am not sure if they are Welsh or English, or their meaning.

In one of the descriptions about the inside of the hallway she depicts the wallpaper as having baskets of fruit all over it, and painted with green varnish, sounds ghastly, but I remember the very same wall paper in the hallway of my Grandmother’s house. She mentions that women did not attend funerals, and that was the same in my family, I remember when my Grandmother died, the women of the family waited for the men to return.

The older women in the book wear black mostly and she described one character’s best hat, it was the same as my Grandmothers. A black straw boater with a red rose on the brim. She would always wear a hat to go out, with a dangerous looking pearl hatpin, and her long black coat and high button boots and gold topped cane. Every day one had to be tidy (a much loved word) to face the day.

I can remember liberty bodices a padded type of vest that one wore under one’s clothes, I had to wear one as a child. When I reached puberty my grandmother was scandalized that my father would not allow her to put me in corsets. Maybe my posture would have been better if she had. I remember her corsets, with laces all the way down, that had to be yanked tight to make her look slimmer. She was a tiny woman, only 4′ 9″ but with an erect posture and a firm stance that proclaimed that no nonsense would not be tolerated.

Although my widowed Grandmother had come with her sons to London early on in World War 2 she brought Wales with her in many ways and passed on that heritage to me. I visited in 2003 and found many parts of it to be very beautiful.

Good reason to be wary of bears

Another attack by this year. We have heard of moose attacking people, bears and cougars. We are invading their territory, what do we expect really. The moose had a very hard winter as the snow was so deep they could not escape predators easily and it was hard going through the snow. We had 14 1/2 feet, although by spring it had packed down considerably.

Last year the Saskatoon or Service berries were few and the bears need these to keep them going until the big feed of salmon in the fall, preparatory to hibernating. On top of that the salmon were late running because it did not rain and fill the rivers ready to receive the spawning fish. This year we have had so much rain that the berries, although promising in spring to be a great harvest, are late in ripening. All this makes for short tempered bears.

Our mother and two cubs are still around. We saw a baby bear half way up a telephone pole yesterday by the side of the highway. The other one and its mother just looked at us and kept on feeding on the fresh grass. We also saw a baby coyote playing with a grasshopper, it was not concerned as we drove by. Where its parents and siblings were I could not see, further on we stopped to check out the beaver dam as we went by but although there is quite a little lake there now there seemed to be little activity so maybe it moved on.

We are seeing the occasional coming into his antlers now but most of them have moved up into higher country and they will clear the area completely when the hunters come. They have the hunting season dates firmly set in their genetic code, I think, it is amazing that open season comes and not a moose for miles.

Mountain biker killed in bear attack
Bear shot near body of woman on Panorama Ski Resort trail
Last Updated: Monday, July 23, 2007 | 8:35 AM PT
CBC News

Conservation officers believe a woman found dead on Sunday on a ski hill in eastern , was killed by a bear.

The RCMP shot a black bear found next to the 34-year-old woman’s body on a trail near the Panorama Ski Resort close to the Alberta-B.C. boundary.

The mountain biker was reported missing on Saturday night.

Also Sunday, two cyclists escaped with minor injuries after being charged by a grizzly bear protecting her cubs in Banff National Park.

The riders noticed the cubs on the trail near Lake Minnewanka, but before they could react, the mother bear gave chase, but didn’t make contact with the cyclists.

Banff National Park staff have closed down the trail.

Banff conservation officer Dave Hanna said there haven’t been many problems with bears this year because the berries haven’t come out yet.