Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Why I Hate Winter

So, we're in the dead of winter and I'm feeling the blahs an awful lot of the time. Not much to watch on TV due to the writers' strike. Not enough daylight at the end of the day to do anything outside. The bathroom project has been slowed to a crawl due to the cold weather. There is always reading, but that makes me sleepy and leads to napping. It has been slow at work, although that might change due to an assignment I was just given.

Bored at work, bored at home. I can't seem to motivate myself to do much of anything. This is why winter will always be my least favorite season. (At least I moved back to Atlanta, where winters are short and mild. All this was definitely worse when I lived in New England.) I feel sluggish, lazy, and uninspired.

What do YOU do to fight the winter blahs?

Monday, January 28, 2008

44 Strikes and You're (Not) Out

...But you should be.

In spite of our number being on the "do not call" list, we have been getting a surprising number of telemarketing calls. One number in particular has called here 44 times! They called about ten times on Saturday alone. You would think, that after trying oh, say, a dozen or so times without success, these people (or robots, or whatever) would FIGURE IT OUT. We are NOT going to answer. Not now. Not ever. No matter how many times you call. If the caller ID doesn't show the name or number of someone we know, that phone ain't gettin' answered, except by our answering machine. And of course, the fuckwit at this toll-free number never leaves a message.

I plugged the number into google. It turns out we are not the only ones being harassed by it -- and it is listed as a political organization, which makes it exempt from the "do not call" list restrictions. It seems to be a different group at different times. Apparently this number cannot be blocked by standard (or any other) means. But you know what, I don't think it would burden free speech overly much to have a rule about how many times those twerps can call you in one day. Because ten times in one afternoon is borderline stalking behavior. And if their call is so damn important, they can leave a message. But they don't. At least they don't have my cell number. That would be much, much worse.

Friday, January 25, 2008

The Spice Must Flow

Ever get curious about some of your blog's search terms that show up over and over? I do, so I clicked on one - "spice must flow cat" - just to see why people keep looking for it. This is what I found:

The Spice must flow
moar funny pictures

That is freaking hilarious! And adorable... And geeky... all at the same time. And lacking any decent cat pictures of my own from the last week or so, I decided to make it the Friday catblogging post. Enjoy.

P.S. For my non-science fiction readers (Hi, Mom!) who don't get it, click here for the skinny on spice and the sandworms of Dune.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Psycho Kitty

There is a dangerous predator loose in our cul-de-sac. This insane, vicious creature attacks Zima on a near nightly basis. Worse, it is nearly impossible to get rid of and it always comes back. Its lair is just next door. It is always watching. Who is this demon spawn? Skittles, the Psycho Kitty.

Stop laughing. I mean it! This cat is pure evil. That little old lady's house next door might as well be the Cave of Caerbannog, because "the entrance to this cave is guarded by a creature so foul, so cruel that no man yet has fought with it and lived." Skittles, I dub thee The Legendary Calico Beast of Aaaaarrrrrggggghhhhh.

Before I knew better, I once tried to shoo her out of my yard. The standard way to do this is yell at them. If that doesn't do it, maybe lunge toward them, waving your arms wildly. Most cats would take one look at you and beat a temporary retreat. But with Skittles, what did I get for my trouble? She attacked me and clawed a gash in my palm. So I tried again, this time armed with a broom. She attacked the broom and still wouldn't leave. Just about the only thing that even halfway works is water, the mortal enemy of cats. Since we can't use the hose anymore (watering restrictions), we keep a big squirt bottle handy to try to fend her off. And yes, more often than not she attacks the water stream and goes for the bottle. This cat disturbs my calm.

Tonight she struck again. While cooking the evening's meal, we heard the familiar caterwauling. Skittles and Zima were getting into it under my car. We nearly emptied the squirt bottle on her and never did get Skittles to go home. Just chased her around in circles. We had to settle for grabbing Zima, complete with puffy tail, and carefully bringing her inside, out of the fray. I know calicos are known to have a mean streak, but Skittles takes it to a new level. I'd feel better for our safety if we had a holy hand grenade or two...

Monday, January 21, 2008

Round 2, By Request

By request, here is a view from my back patio door on Saturday, during the height of "Atlanta Blizzard 2008". You'll notice that the snow is only sticking to the plants, not the patio. That is why there are no photographs of any associated carnage. The roads remained passable throughout the day. Sorry to disappoint.

Now it is just cold as all get out. But not as cold as the northeast. I remember those times - two weeks or so every winter when it never got about 20F - and I do not miss it. Not one tiny little bit. Nope, this is more than cold enough for me. Looking forward to a return to more normal Georgia weather soon!

I promise the next post will definitely NOT be about the weather.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Stay tuned for Round 2...

They're predicting 1-3" of snow for metro Atlanta tonight into tomorrow. LL, you may yet get your wish - I will have a camera ready to record any passing carnage (or weirded-out kitties). Let the freakoutery begin again!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

What's this white stuff?

Guess what, ya'll? We're getting some snow here in the deep south! This is a rare event in Atlanta. Yup, last week it was in the mid-70s and now it is 33F and snowing. Those Adirondack chairs now have a nice even coating of about a quarter of an inch. I went ahead and took the picture earlier because it was getting dark and there is no guarantee it will still be there tomorrow. We're pretty close to the snow/sleet line and they say we will get freezing rain overnight. Joy.

I predict an outbreak of widespread panic and general freakoutery, both tonight in the grocery stores and tomorrow during the morning commute.

Sunday, January 13, 2008


I ripped this off from LL, who stole it from Sunshine. No tagging, just a meme with some random questions. (It was either this, or I was going to rant about how irritating "self check" is at the grocery store.) Feel free to use it on your own blogs! Copy the list, edit the answers, and call it your name with "ology" on the end.


Q. What is your salad dressing of choice?
A. My homemade herb vinaigrette.

Q. What is your favorite fast food restaurant?
A. The only fast food I eat is Chick-fil-A.

Q. What is your favorite sit down restaurant?
A. Bombay Grill

Q. On average, what size tip do you leave at a restaurant?
A. >20%

Q. What food could you eat every day for two weeks and not get sick of?
A. Pit barbecued pork ribs, PDM's jalapeño cornbread, southern style vegetables and Brunswick stew.

Q. What are your pizza toppings of choice?
A. Sausage, onion and jalapeño

Q. What do you like to put on your toast?
A. Butter and honey


Q. What is your wallpaper on your computer?
A. An aurora at home, and a Hubble photo of a nebula at work.

Q. How many televisions are in your house?
A. One. That's all we need.


Q. Are you right-handed or left-handed?
A. Right.

Q. Have you ever had anything removed from your body?
A. Teeth, tonsils, and lots of splinters.

Q. When was the last time you had a cavity?
A. About 25 years ago when I was a teenager.

Q. What is the last heavy item you lifted?
A. An "electron cone" at work.

Q. Have you ever been knocked unconscious?
A. No.


Q. If it were possible, would you want to know the day you were going to die?
A. Hell, no!

Q. If you could change your name, what would you change it to?
A. I can't think of anything I'd like any better than my real name.

Q. What color do you think looks best on you?
A. Burgundy.

Q. Have you ever swallowed a non-food item by mistake?
A. Gum, little bits of candy wrapper... stuff like that.

Q. Have you ever saved someone’s life?
A. No.

Q. Has someone ever saved yours?
A. No.


Q. Would you kiss a member of the same sex for $100?
A. Why not?

Q. Would you allow one of your little fingers to be cut off for $200,000?
A. No freaking way.

Q. Would you never blog again for $50,000?
A. OK.

Q. Would you pose naked in a magazine for $250,000?
A. Nah.

Q. Would you drink an entire bottle of hot sauce for $1000?
A. I would try to.

Q. Would you, without fear of punishment, take a human life for $1,000,000?
A. Not for any price.


Q. What is in your left pocket?
A. No pockets right now, so nothing.

Q. Is Napoleon Dynamite actually a good movie?
A. Never saw it.

Q. Do you have hardwood or carpet in your house?
A. Beautiful hardwoods.

Q. Do you sit or stand in the shower?
A. Stand.

Q. Would you live with roommates?
A. Only the feline variety.

Q. How many pairs of flip flops do you own?
A. Not sure, probably around 3-4.

Q. Last time you had a run-in with the cops?
A. December 2005, speeding.

Q. Who is number 1 on your Top 8?
A. Huh?


Q: Last Friend you talked to?
A: PDM. Sure, we're married, but he is also my best friend.

Q: Last person who called you?
A: Barbara

Q: Last person you hugged?

Q: Last person to stick their foot in your face?
A: Zima. She gets really restless in the early morning.


Q: Number?
A: 2

Q: Season?
A: Summer


Q: Missing someone?
A: Dad.

Q: Mood?
A: Quiet, winding down.

Q: Listening to?
A: A water fountain.

Q: Watching?
A: The cats and my computer screen.

Q: Worrying about?
A: It is after 11 and I am not sleepy yet.


Q: First place you went this morning?
A: Grocery store (but it was long past morning when I ventured out).

Q: What can you not wait to do?
A: Finish that damn bathroom project!!

Q: What's the last movie you saw in theater?
A: I think it was Stardust, but it has been so long I am not entirely certain.

Q: Do you smile often?
A: Yes.

Q: Are you a friendly person?
A: Yes, but I'm reserved until I get to know you.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Not The Same, But Still Funny

I stayed up late last night to watch The Daily Show and Colbert Report. Or "A Daily Show", as Stewart renamed the interim writer-free shows. Both shows were different than they were before the strike. Stripped down, for one thing. But what I like the most about them was still there, only more of it - the opening monologues and the interviews. I enjoyed seeing Andrew Sullivan on Colbert, but laughed more during Jon Stewart's monologue (or "improv" opening statement, or whatever we should call it when it technically cannot be scripted in advance - even by Colbert or Stewart). Although Colbert did note that Stewart's monologue (or whatever) seemed alarmingly well prepared:

I've missed these shows, especially The/A Daily Show, and am glad they are back because there is so much to poke fun at. If you missed it, Stewart's bit on the Writers' Strike was hilarious!

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Psssttt. Hey you.

Yes, you.

You know who you are.

I've seen dozens of you around my neighborhood. You're one of those people who haven't removed a single item of your garish outdoor Christmas display, in spite of the fact that it is now six days into January and Christmas is oh-so-very-over. And not only that, you are still plugging it all in every night, and every morning your inflatable plastic Santa, snowglobe, nativity scene and whatnot is all crumpled down like some horrific massacre has occurred during the night.

Guess what? Christmas is over, and won't come around again for another 353 days. As proud as you are of your excessive display of holiday spirit, 'tis not the season any more. Do your neighbors a favor and take all that stuff back to your attic. Bonus points for class if you don't leave that last string of lights up on the eaves all year. The temperature is back up in the 60s today, so there is really no excuse. Get crackin'!

Thursday, January 03, 2008

If Rupert Murdoch Owned The Weather Channel

I saw in today's news that The Weather Channel may be for sale. What would happen if Rupert Murdoch's News Corp buys it? Here are just a few of the changes you could expect:

1. Red states consistently given rosier forecasts than blue states.
2. Hurricane coverage eliminated due to confusion about “No Spin Zone”.
3. Local traffic will continue to be covered on the eights, but “obstruction tactics of Democrats” will be listed as the cause for each jam.
4. O'Reilly to interview disaster victims and yell at them for not evacuating.
5. Every report on snow or ice to include mandatory joke about global warming.

Yes, it was a slow day at work today. Why do you ask?

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Copy Cats

Happy New Year from the Cosmic Cats.