A fluffy lil kitty! Apparently it’s snowing in Ohio.
It hasn’t yet dropped even a speck of snow in London this winter, but nonetheless I’d still like to have Harris here to keep me warm!
My sister has started a new blog about animals at www.furrycousins.com.
It’s mainly her blog, but I’ll be writing as well on occasion. It was another chance for me to practice CSS, and I like how her site turned out much better than my own. Check it out and let us know what you think!
When I was a kid I thought Orangutans were called Orangutangs. I thought that for years. We’re talking decades here. I’m 26. One day I realized there was no ‘g’ on the end of the word and I became dreadfully embarrassed thinking about all the times I’ve said Orangutang. Granted that isn’t a common conversational word, but I’ve had a fair number of discussions about Orangutans in my day, as any person has. I’ve said orangutangs for so long that it’s difficult for me to remember to drop the g.
Now when I hear the word I think “that’s the word I don’t say.” Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt, right?
Aw. He’s cute.
Just a quick post. I’m working on a deeper post concerning how I feel about eating animals, but along the way I find little things like this and want to share them. Don’t worry, I’m not a vegan.
Today was yet another shockingly nice day in England, so my friends Polis, Irene, Liz and I went to a farm in the city. I had no idea there was a farm just east of Canary Wharf, London’s financial district. It’s just off the DLR at Mudchute. The only thing I’ve ever associated with that station is the time Adrian fell asleep on the tube going toward Greenwich and when he woke up he was going the opposite direction and was back at Mudchute.
The first things we saw were a herd of sheep and two cows, and there were no gates or people to stop us from walking among them.
You almost forget you’re in the city until you look back and see the city’s tallest buildings.
Running animals (not from us!) …
Is it just me or does this pig look like she has really sharp nipples? A nearby sign warned us not to touch the pigs because they “have 44 sharp teeth and they will bite,” but I couldn’t stop looking at the chainsaw nipples.
I love this.
Polis action shot.
Then we went for a walk around the area.
Another Polis action shot.
Yet another videotape has surfaced of extreme cruelty and abuse of animals on factory farms, but this isn’t the worst news. Some state legislators are trying make documenting these acts illegal.
If unspeakable acts of cruelty are being comitted with the knowledge that it could potentially be leaked, how much more will happen and how much worse will it get when no one is watching?
Mark Bittman at the New York Times has written another great piece questioning who will protect the animals if laws like this are passed. I thought this quote was particularly haunting:
The biggest problem of all is that we’ve created a system in which standard factory-farming practices are inhumane, and the kinds of abuses documented at E6 are really just reminders of that. If you’re raising and killing 10 billion animals every year, some abuse is pretty much guaranteed.
I’m no fashionista, but I do have a couple rules by which I abide when dressing myself and these are generally dictated by things I don’t want to look like.
1) Dork. Self explanatory.
2) Another living creature. For example, an animal, insect, reptile, etc. This brings me to my main fashion rule that outstands any current fashion trend and has been my steadfast rule since I started dressing myself:
Never wear yellow and black together because you will invariably look like a walking bumble bee.
Yellow dress with a black belt? Bumble bee.
Yellow shirt with black pants? Bumble bee.
It doesn’t matter which way you spin it. In my mind yellow and black as a fashion unit is synonymous with bee. Anytime I see someone violating my steadfast rule, I automatically think, “She looks like a bee. Honey, bumble, I don’t know, but definitely a bee.”
And who knows what creatures in the wild think. What would they have thought if I’d been wearing any yellow with this dress? I could have been attacked by anti-bee creatures.
I honestly don’t know why retailers make mock leopard or snake skin apparel. I can’t think of a situation in which I would ever think, “That seems like a good idea. I think I’ll leave the house in that today.”
I’d also never wear a fur coat because I wouldn’t want anyone to look at me and think, “grizzly,” or something like that. It’s likely that someone else can’t help thinking of bears anytime they see someone in a fur coat, much the same as I automatically think “bumble bee” anytime I see someone in yellow and black.
My yellow & black theory has been validated because my sister thinks exactly the same thing. So if you were thinking, “Omg, no one thinks that except you,” think again.
If you follow my fashion rules you may not be popular, but you certainly won’t be a walking disaster. Good luck!
… just look at a baby marmoset. I found a website called ZooBorns, and it posts pictures of animals born in zoos all around the world. This thing is sure to banish any blues case:
Photo credits: In Cherl Kim / Everland Zoo
Last weekend we had kind of nice weather in London so we went for a walk in a park about a mile from our house and took some pictures. We decided to be healthy and walk the 1.5 miles home rather than take a smelly bus full of crazy people. When you live in a big city there are stray people everywhere. You can’t escape them.
On to the walk:
You’d think once you’ve taken a picture of one flower you wouldn’t need to take any more, but they are so pretty I always end up taking another picture!
The water was so still except for a couple ripples. I think Adrian took this picture.
He also took this one.
Along the walk we came across a farm. It’s always weird to see farm animals. Normally the only place you see cows is ground up between two buns. 😦
I want to hug this guy!
I know he’s dirty, but I really want to hug him too!
I’ve been learning a lot about pigs recently. Apparently they are as smart or smarter than dogs. One interesting point I read in one of Michael Pollan’s books was that many dogs will receive a Christmas present this year, but no one will give a second thought to the pig sitting on the table in the form of the Christmas ham. That made me feel really sad!
Maybe it’s just me. Maybe I’m uneducated about the world of penguins and everyone else is up to date with them and their feeding practices.
When I saw this on David Attenborough’s Life documentary last night I was shocked:
Yep, that’s a mother penguin throwing up into her child’s mouth.
Naturally I immediately thought of “Two Girls, One Cup.” If you haven’t seen this, I’d like to say you aren’t missing out on an important piece of world culture, but unfortunately you probably are. Everyone’s seen it and screamed at it.
This is old, but does it ever stop being funny?
People always make fun of people who love their pets to the extreme, but I have decided I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it. (Unless it turns into some disgusting violation of the animal.)
If you just thought, “Yeah right. A cat is in no way benefitting from a personal check or car license plate,” you are wrong. These are simply expressions of the human’s love for his/her cat, and the cat is very much benefitting from all this extra love.
Look at it this way: the cat gear is love overflow, and we all know the world needs more love!
People make fun of Karen, my sister, for loving Boo more than she loves most people. Here is Karen with Boo at my wedding party. Boo was wearing her pink bridesmaid dress because the theme was pink. Don’t they look happy together?
Another thing people get mad about is when people dress up their animals. I think this is hilarious, and it doesn’t harm them or anyone else. Laughing makes people happy. If the animals don’t like it they won’t let you do it, like Harris. He refuses to wear anything but a tie. Anything else and he says: NO.
How can you look at this picture and not think “AWWWWW!!!”? He’s so intellectual.
Clearly we love putting our cats in clothes, so naturally Karen entered Boo, her sweet Lady Boo, in the PetSmart Halloween competition. If you notice I drew arrows pointing to the fact that out of roughly 7,000 animals who have been entered into this competition, Lady Boo is ranked NUMBER FOUR in the amount of comments!
Below is a screenshot of where you should be visiting every day. Karen could win up to $1,000 cash if Boo wins – but that’s not the best part. If Boo wins she will appear in a PetSmart commercial!
I turned into a 14-year-old girl and accidentally drew a heart around Zac Efron’s sexy face … and then a heart around Back to the Future. Facebook ads really understand me. They just … get me.
First, click here. Go to the upper right and click on “View and Vote.” You’ll have to allow the application, but it’s OK. I’m against applications but this one is fine.
Then click back on your browser and you will go back to Lady Boo. Now you will be allowed to click the paw underneath her picture to vote for her. You can also now leave comments, which you should so she’ll win.
Pet obsessions: everyone wins.
I’ve never had a specific plan for my life. All I knew was that I wanted a career in a field of my choosing. I didn’t want to be one of those people who goes to college only to realize upon graduation that their degree is basically worthless, so they end up as one of the majority of people whose career has nothing to do with what they studied for four years.
Well, I got my career job in a cool city, but I’ve discovered something amazing that has made me start thinking about my retirement plans:
Look at his freakin’ face in that first picture!! So cute!
I was at the Main Street Diner in Richmond, Indiana when I became interested in alpacas. I had a slight interest in them before, but when I saw a picture display of the owners’ alpaca farm I knew that was the life for me.
I want an alpaca SO bad. During my alpaca research I learned that they don’t do well on their own, so they need at least 3 other alpacas to be happy. Here are a few alpaca facts from the British Alpaca Society:
– Alpacas are hardy and relatively problem free.
– Alpacas are very gentle on the land because they have padded feet and therefore do not churn up the ground. They deposit their droppings in piles in only a few sites and cleaning up is easier than for other animals.
– Alpacas are gentle and easy to handle. They don’t tend to bite, but sometimes pull at clothing to attract attention! (awww!)
– Alpacas make excellent pets. They are intelligent, easily trained and are usually very gentle with children. They are inquisitive, approaching people who stand and watch them. They will eat out of the hand if time is spent and training to lead by a halter is straightforward.
Adrian has always said he wants to live in the country, so I thought he’d be really excited about this. I also think it would be exciting because now I can listen to country music without hearing people say, “But you don’t even live in the country.”
Here is what Adrian had to say when I sent him several pictures of alpacas as well as some FAQs about alpacas from the British Alpaca Society:
I don’t want to always be the one to squash your dreams but this one really takes the biscuit.
Never before have I heard you say you want a farm, an alpaca or a combined alpaca farm so forgive me if I’m a bit skeptical about all this.
But hey, sure, we can get an alpaca farm once we buy ourselves a farm and secure all the necessary experience and licensing to be able to keep livestock. Once you get all of that, knock yourself out.
And then in a later e-mail I had to answer a list of seven questions concerning such things as:
Can you get them neutered? Because if you can’t are you prepared to help it give birth (by sticking your hands up its jacksee) or are you again, going to pay someone to do that for you?
I told Adrian he was mean and asked him what was wrong with having an interest.
I have an interest in the psychology of serial killers but I’m not about to erect a fence and herd the f***ers.
I know I’m mean it’s just confusing. If we have a farm though I am actually up for it so don’t worry.
We learned from a previous post that Adrian called Boo and Harris just “a couple cats in a cage,” so let’s hope he warms to these alpacas a little a more than that!
Adrian came up with the idea of making lists of things each of us needs to accomplish. We would be making these lists for each other, based on things we keep saying we want to do but never actually do.
At first I was skeptical because I immediately had a flashforward to January 1, 2011 (even though this was never talked about as a specific deadline) and saw myself looking at a list of failures. It’s easier to deal with not meeting goals when there is no deadline, because you can always do it tomorrow, unless you die today in which case it won’t matter.
Then I was even more skeptical because all I could think of that I actually wanted on my list were things like “ride an elephant” or “ride a camel.” How am I going to ride either of these in London? Two automatic failures.
Top five things on my short-term fantasy list :
One and two are obviously ride an elephant and ride a camel, so I’ll start my list at number three and work toward five.
3. Take two more European vacations.
4. Finish the Stephanie Plum series of books. I’m on Seven Up right now, and the 16th has already or is about to hit bookstores. Give them a try, they are really fun books. They are about a girl, Stephanie Plum, who loses her job and becomes a bounty hunter. They look like mom books, but they are so fun.
5. Touch a pig. No, not in a sexual way. It’s just that their skin always looks really odd to me, and I’d like to pat a pig on the back to see what it’s like. Plus, I eat a lot of bacon so I’d like to have a good inspection of what I’m eating. I touched a shark two years ago and that really grossed me out, although I’m glad I did it because now I can tell people I’ve touched a shark.
Top five realistic things I’d like on my list:
1. Start learning HTML/Adobe Dreamweaver so I can build a website
2. Take a Spanish class, or make plans to take a Spanish class
3. Run a 5k
4. Get visible muscles on my arms
5. Get the bone in my foot fixed, or get the process started. I have an odd round bone near my ankle that sticks out and hurts when I walk too much. I’ve always had it, and when I was young they wanted to put a cast on me, but I couldn’t bear the thought of wearing a cast during summer and not being able to swim. It’s getting worse as I’m getting older so I’m going to try to get it done for free on the NHS.
Bonus Accomplishment: I’d like to read my Benjamin Franklin biography and my Einstein biography by the end of the year. I’d also like to find a really good Thomas Jefferson biography since I’m going to Monticello in September.
Now I just have to make Adrian’s list!