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Out on the Limb


Tuesday, September 28, 2004

By the way, I used to spend a lot of time wondering what BTW meant. I enjoy word puzzles, so I started working on the riddle. Unfortunately, I approached the riddle with memories of my days amusing myself reading classifieds in Chicago's free newspaper, "Chicago Reader". My thoughts went something like this:


Black Transgender White seeks....
no. I don't think so. Something doesn't work here

Bipolar Transient Worker seeks...
um...maybe; excpet transients don't usually place ads

Bawdy Tree Woman seeks...
huh? What would a bawdy tree woman seek anyway...son of Tarzan? (get a grip, Deb)

Eventually, I just had to ask. And I was told.
BTW = By The Way

Now....about "WTF"...
P.S. The Chicago Reader wouldn't be complete without visiting Cecil Adams. Here is the Straight Dope.
posted by Deb, 10:05 AM | link | 0 comments |

Lassie! Lassie! Lassie!

Have you heard about rats being trained to sniff out earthquake victims and the like? This news takes me back in time to the leech "breakthrough."

Some time ago scientists discovered that leech saliva has healing properties. Apparently their saliva is an anti-coagulant anesthetic.

I haven't quite gotten used to the idea that someday I could be injured....immobile and speechless strapped to a gurney. I see a white masked face with twinkling eyes. I look down and see a pair of green gloved hands holding a bowl of slimy brown....what is that? ....ahhhhhhhhhhh.......LEECHES!!!

"This won't hurt a bit" the doc says gleefully.
...and I'm thinking, "Maybe it won't hurt me, but if you come any closer with that bowl you will be hurting plenty."

Now I have a new fear fantasy thanks to the rat trainers.
I'm an earthquake victim...lying in the dark and dust. waiting waiting waiting
I hear scurrying. I feel something crawling on me.

Awwww crimminy. Let's just stop right there.
For the love of God, would you please just send in Lassie?
posted by Deb, 3:47 AM | link | 0 comments |

Moronic Rice Cooker

Sunday, September 26, 2004

I thought I was fairly intelligent...until I bought a rice cooker. Somebody has a screw loose. It is either me......or it is them. I vote "them."

Maybe I'm old fashioned, but it used to be that a cup is a cup is a cup. Not so with this rice cooker. To a carpenter, a foot is NOT a foot (or a foot). Maybe someone let the carpenter in the kitchen.

I have a couple of gripes about the instructions for my new rice cooker. (see picture below)

1) Why is it so damn important that I use the little wimpy plastic urine specimen container to measure rice and water? Trust me, that is exactly what their "cup" looks like. Is there something special about their cup size that I don't know about? (snicker) Their cup is marked on the side "1/4" "1/2" "3/4".....and perhaps fill level is one cup, but it looks like it falls short to me. I'll never know, because the first thing I did was toss it.

2) Instructions tell me to measure water "from the cup provided" but they did not specify same for the rice. Since they are telling me a cup is not a cup, I need them to be specific.

3) The "line method" mentioned in Step 2 refers to the line marked on the inside of the cooking pot. These lines are marked "CUPS"......ARGGHHHH! So are the lines not standard cups and not urine cups, but a third kind of cup? I'm so confused.

We are talking about steamed rice here. I no longer own a stove (crapped out recently)...so I thought a simple little rice cooker would be handy to have while we are roughing it.

We are cooking white basmati tonight...the same way I've always cooked it: 1 cup rice to 2 cups water.

I have not told you the makers of this rice cooker because perhaps it is a great cooker with lousy instructions. If you absolutely must know, please contact me.

posted by Deb, 3:35 PM | link | 1 comments |

Instructions Posted by Hello
posted by Deb, 3:31 PM | link | 0 comments |

Vile Pig Wash

Friday, September 24, 2004

What kind of apology is THAT, Elton?

"I'm sorry I called you VILE PIGS...........BUT........"

Either you are sorry...or you are not. You can't have it both ways SIR. Has the title gone to your head? It is simply not possible to make a SINCERE apology and reiterate your digust simultaneously.

It appears to me you are apologizing because someone told you that you must.

There are some who still believe that men shouldn't have to apologize properly because it is damaging to the almightly male ego. We've gotten past that archaic hogwash notion.......haven't we?

So here is my message to you, Elton: I think your inability to deliver a sincere apology is vile pig wash.

P.S. I like your music.
posted by Deb, 1:09 PM | link | 0 comments |

No Phlegm Zone

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Once again the water in the bathroom sink slowly dribbled out...indicating that once again I need to scrape out the collective slimy gunk.

The nasty picture you see below might be soap build-up. But I don't think so. I'm with husband #2 and have raised 3 sons; and all of them seem to think it is OK to spit in the bathroom sink. I did cure them of spitting in the kitchen sink because they wanted to continue living. But with the bathroom door closed, they think I don't know....like I can't hear them snorggling and guffawing. If they absolutely must spit, I would prefer they use the toilet.

Why can't men be polite and swallow the phelgm like us women? You don't see us spitting everywhere. Maybe phelgm is good for you. Its gotta be better than genetically modified foods. Give it a shot....maybe that's why women live longer. Hey! Maybe I can get grant money to study the health benefits of phelgm! Never mind....I just looked at the picture again.


CHUCKY HAS BEEN CAPTURED...and appears to be well. He was found in a ditch behind a bank. By the way, when this story first broke, Chucky was reportedly 14 feet long. Then a couple days later an article said he was 13 feet long. Today's CNN article said he was 12 feet long. See what happens when you don't eat regularly, kids?

P.S. Do I have issues? If so, would you please leave me a comment and let me know. Thanks.

posted by Deb, 2:52 PM | link | 0 comments |

Bathroom Sink Posted by Hello
posted by Deb, 2:50 PM | link | 0 comments |

Firefox T-Shirts.....and Chucky

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Let me just say this about that: Firefox T-Shirts and the missing alligator, Chucky, are 2 separate topics.

I am anxiously awaiting the new T-shirt look promised by Firefox (release date as yet unknown). I will be proud to wear it. I have made the leap from Ayyyyeeeeeeeeeee to Firefox without trauma and am having no problems.

Chucky, the 14 foot Alabama gator on the loose, has been sighted but not caught. If you are following this story closely then you won't "hear it here first". I am regurgitating the news because I have a soft spot for big ugly beasts. (I'm leaving myself wide open on that one, aren't I?)

The hunt for Chucky occurs at night. I don't want to see the video of Chucky's capture, although I wish them well with finding him. I want to see the upset in the boat when things that go bump in the night do just that. Of course, they are pros and probably don't soil their pants with every noise like I would.
posted by Deb, 4:47 AM | link | 0 comments |

Chucky....where are you ?

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Chucky is out there in the murky flood waters of Alabama.
He weights 1,000 pounds and must be plenty hungry about now.

Chucky and several other gators escaped from the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo during hurricane Ivan. Let's hope they all get back safely without giving anyone a nasty surprise.
posted by Deb, 1:04 PM | link | 0 comments |


I know why I'm a morning person. When I sleep, I defrag. All those little lines get put back where they belong in an orderly fashion. Dream time makes so much more sense to me than awake time. Dream time is sane. Then I wake up and see that insanity abounds globally, and I start fraggin' again. Can't we just all get along?

This is the child in me speaking....the one who doesn't care about politics or geographic boundaries or who started it; the one who cringes when anger and arguments are rife. I just want to enjoy this beautiful day without fear and pain.

I'm so fortunate- - -rich by most standards (percent of global population); on the poor side by other standards (U.S.). I have a patch of land with a garden and a couple of fruit trees. I have relatively clean air, water and health. What about you?

Share the wealth. You can't take it with you anyway. If you really want to hear me speak out about current events, please visit my other blog.
posted by Deb, 9:22 AM | link | 0 comments |

Positive Outlook

Monday, September 13, 2004

How to start each day with a positive outlook:

1. Open a new file in your PC or right click on your desktop to create a new text document

2. Name it "George W. Bush." Or rename “New Text Document” “George W Bush”

3. Send it to the trash or right click and select “delete”

4. Empty the trash or click on delete

5. Your PC will ask you, "do you really want to get rid of George W. Bush?" or “Are you sure you want to send ‘George W Bush’ to the Recycle Bin?

6. Answer calmly, "yes," and press the mouse button firmly

7. Feel better.....
posted by Deb, 8:25 AM | link | 0 comments |

Fans of Hank

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Whisper, a close relative of Hank the Cowdog, is moving at Mach 5 in the pick-up truck. She "chases" cars from the safety of the truck's bed. (Gooood dawg! pat pat)

At Hank's webpage, you can explore the ranch, meet Hank's pals, and play ranch games (help Drover corral the longhorn). Great for children of any age. Have fun!
posted by Deb, 9:29 AM | link | 0 comments |

Mach 5 Posted by Hello
posted by Deb, 9:28 AM | link | 0 comments |

Hormone-Fueled Songbird Update

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Luke Butler has been kind enough to respond to my questions about the Townsend and Hermit warblers. Please see my post dated 8-27-04 for background info.

Luke says:
"My co-author, Noah Owen-Ashley, and I have been studying androgen levels in these species since 2000, and in Townsend's warblers since 2001. The two researchers do not know if the Townsend levels were naturally selected to be higher in the past, or if hermit levels were selected to be lower.

Dr. Sievert Rohwer, an advisor to Luke and Noah, has this hypothosis:
"During times when glaciers covered much of North America, Townsend's were sequestered into tiny breeding areas at the tops of mountains which we not covered by ice. Because there was so little space, there was extreme competition among Townsend's males for breeding territories. In that situation, the most aggressive males would be selectively favored. Then, when the glaciers receded, Townsend's expanded their range into hermit range and began to slowly replace them. Because hermits were living near the Pacific Coast and did not face similarly extreme competition for territories, hermit males had not been selected to be aggressive. Thus, hermit males lost (and continue to lose) fights with Towsend's males."

I stated in my previous post my concern that the females were "victims" of the more aggressive Townsend males during mating. In response, Luke said "What females do is complicated." I don't imaging Luke will get much disagreement there! It appears that the females are often more interested in picking the right spot than the right mate.

"Males return to the breeding grounds 2 weeks before females from wintering grounds in the south. In those two weeks males set up territories and start defending them from neighbors and other, later-arriving males. When females arrive on the scene they probably "shop" for territories based somewhat on territory quality related to reproductive success (e.g., good spot for nesting, abundant food, etc.), and somewhat on aspects of male quality. We know that in low-quality territories females tend to choose to settle on the territories of Townsend's males (assuming they're around).

Another complicating factor is that there is evidence that some females choose a territory/mate, and settle on that territory. Then a new male displaces the original male through aggressive behavior. In some cases, females stay on the territory and mate with the new male."
posted by Deb, 2:44 AM | link | 0 comments |

Peace breaks out

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

As I began my yoga practice this morning sitting in half lotus position, the cat came to sit on one knee. This is nothing unusual. However, today the dog came and placed her chin on my other knee.

For a moment suspended in time the two were at peace. Then it occured to one of them that the invisible barrier of tollerance had been breached. Although war was averted, tensions escalated when they remembered the hatred they harbor for each other.

It is an unnecessary cold war that goes on in my house daily. I have room in my heart for both. There are provisions enough for both. They are different, yet alike...both having been given the gift of life. Don't they know they are both loved?

Today, let us examine own predjudices and hatreds.

I remember the feeling as a child when I realized the world was not as my heart thought it should be.

The insanity must stop. We must grow up, or perish. Peace starts from within each of us.
It is the responsibility of our leaders to lead.

posted by Deb, 5:26 AM | link | 0 comments |

What's the last line of this Limerick ?

Sunday, September 05, 2004

A friendly competition...
Please add your comments below.

There once was a storm who could boast
her size was larger than most.
Frances came to a stop
like a huge spinning top
and tortured the whole Florida coast.

She crept in under cover of night
to hide the size of her bite.
The rains, oh they fell
to make waterways swell

By the way, it is not my intent to minimize the seriousness of this storm.
I have family and friends in Florida.
posted by Deb, 4:58 AM | link | 0 comments |

Strength of Frances

Saturday, September 04, 2004

Frances is at 105 MPH.

The National Hurricane Center will release an update at 11:00 AM east coast time. (An hour from now).

So...what will it be?

Strengthen, weaken, or remain the same?

I say weaken. She looks like she is wobbling apart. I hope to hear your comments so I can say "I told you soooooo!" If I'm wrong, I'll...uh........I'll...drop the subject.

I like the time delayed infrared satellite at the Miami Herald...and photos.
posted by Deb, 6:38 AM | link | 0 comments |

Coming of Age

Thursday, September 02, 2004

I'm not mashing prunes with toothless gums...yet. So you young folks, listen up.
(I think young people sometimes assume that a disfigured body equals a lame brain. Not so...necessarily.)

The heartbreaking story of the executions of 12 Nepalese has been on my mind. In particular, I heard of one grieving parent who said "How could you leave like that, son. You didn't even call."

I can relate to this particular brand of pain, but thankfully not nearly to the same degree. From what I can tell (and remember) the time for young ones to leave home and strike out on their own is also a time for the young to symbolically cut their own umbilical cord. There is a strong drive to make your own way...be your own person...not answer to anyone else. sigh

Go ahead...do all that good stuff. But please phone home. We love you.
posted by Deb, 12:09 PM | link | 0 comments |

This is NOT funny (snicker)

When I read this story, I wished I could have seen the look on the faces of those in the airplane at that fateful moment when the ashes dropped.

You know the look....that split second when our masks come off and our emotions are left blowing in the breeze.

Speaking of which, have you read Tom Bodett's "The Free Fall of Webster Cummings"? I love that book.
posted by Deb, 12:01 PM | link | 0 comments |

A Fascination with the W E I R D

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

I see the word "weird" and I first think...yeah, right. We'll just see how weird this is. I've been around a few decades (almost 5 if you must know). I'm posting the article below because...it's weird. (It's old news...from August 1, 2004)

No eyes / No stomachs / No mouths
Researchers discover weird worms living on whale bones in bay
Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) - Two strange new species of worms, without eyes or stomachs or even mouths, have been discovered living on the bones of dead whales in California's Monterey Bay.

"Who knows what we can learn here," researcher Robert Vrijenhoek said. "There are many things left to discover in this world. Some we find by accident ... and some we find because we look in places that few people have explored before, as in much of our work in the deep oceans."

Lead researcher Greg Rouse of the South Australian Museum added: "Deep-sea exploration continues to reveal biological novelties" such as this "remarkable" worm.

Vrijenhoek, of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute in Moss Landing, Calif., said the worms, ranging from 1 inch to 2½ inches long, have colorful, feathery plumes that serve as gills and green "roots" that work their way into the bones of dead whales. Bacteria living in the worms digest the fats and oils in the whalebone.

The findings were reported in Friday's issue of the journal Science.

"The worms provide insight into the cycling of carbon that reaches the bottom of the ocean. A dead whale delivers the equivalent of 2000 years of 'marine snow' drifting to the bottom ... where carbon is fixed into organic molecules," Vrijenhoek said. Marine snow is made up of bits of dead fish and other matter than settle to the floor of the sea, feeding many creatures there.

He added that the "worms turn whalebone lipids (fats) into worm eggs and larvae that are carried away from the carcass to produce new worms or to be eaten and dispersed by other animals. This discovery adds to the limited knowledge we have about what happens to organic carbon on the bottom of the ocean."
Marine snow...Yum. I think I'll make some soup today.
posted by Deb, 11:57 AM | link | 0 comments |