Friday, June 30, 2006


Just some bits and pieces, no particular order:

-I've been enjoying the demented hummingbird battles over the feeder I put out a few days ago. A great hummingbird resource is't add color to your syrup, and don't do what I did--get the ratios mixed up! I put 4 cups of sugar in one cup of water, and basically made candy that crystallized in the feeder and greatly confused the little birds. And wasted a lot of sugar!

-I've gone out of the house alone one time in the past two weeks. My colitis is so bad that I CANNOT leave the house between the hours of noon and three...dunno why they all group together there--it probably has something to do with the timing of eating the night before...I tend not to eat during the day and just drink a lot of milk because, well, eating results in colitis and HURTS.
I have an appointment with a specialist in July.

-I've been making Fancy (the dog) little sweaters--I bought one of those Knifty Knitters (the round looms) and have been experimenting with different stitches and yarns. Note: don't buy it online, you'll pay too much. I got mine at Wal-Mart (as much as I hate the store)--the set of 4 looms and a hook for 12 bucks. Oh--and buy an extra hook! I've lost the damn thing so many times from setting it down to wrap the next row, then having to get up and do something.
The advantages over crochet are you don't have to count stitches, so you can zone out and do it while watching tv, and you can easily use the fancier yarns without having to guess or fight where to put the hook for the next row. The disadvantage is that I am way too used to crochet, and being able to back up when I made a mistake a few rows back--with this, you have to obsessively unloop all of your work, rather than just pull on the end and unravel.

It's fun to ad-lib, though--the learning curve is short and when you use the super fuzzy fancy yarns, the mistakes are very difficult to see. Heh.
The smallest ring fits over Fancy's head, so I can just stick it over her to see how far I still need to go. Poor dog. ;-)

*Note to self: change colors on blog to be more readable. Also remember to SPELL-CHECK!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

...But not a Dollar Short...

So, um, our 8 year wedding anniversary was yesterday.
We were so stressed out from the IRS thing, that we didn't really do anything special for it.
I take that back--we didn't go OUT somewhere...I crashed at like 5:30 after dealing with IRS from 8:30 am to about 2:30 pm, and TTK went to the store and got hamburger fixins and lots of chocolate and treats...
when I woke up from my nap and he offered to make us dinner, hamburgers, I got up and kinda ended up taking over and making the burgers myself, heh.
I apologised later for taking over when he was trying to do this sweet romantic thing, and we both laughed and things were good.
We're going to renew our vows during our 10th year, but probably not on the same date as our wedding anniversary--our official "one night stand that never ended" start date is September 13, 1996, but there's no way we're going to get ourselves together to make that our ten year renewal. Besides, we want to hold our wedding in the backyard of our new and fabulous house that we're gonna get, yessiree, any month now, really...

Tuesday, June 27, 2006



That massive juggernaut called the IRS just swerved and missed us completely!
We're alive!

Our case agent called us mere seconds ago to tell us he reviewed our fax (all 74 pages of it!) and he is dismissing the case against us--and that he couldn't believe that we made it through 2003 on only 17 grand...


This only cost us about $100 in printing services, 50 or so hours of labor, and TEN months of stress, fear, and worry. FUD.

Now we have to pay the accountant, who knew the magic words to say during the phone call Thursday to the IRS...

Is it over? Really over? I can finally file away 2 years of tax paperwork?

...fingers are crossed until we get that determination letter (makes typing hard, but hey)...

Monday, June 26, 2006

In Memoriam

Fizzbinn, my sweet little old man, goodbye.
Sleep well.
I don't know how your nose got crooked--looked as if you had had your face shut in an door or something.
You would have these funny little moments where you'd be running around playing, then freeze in place, totally stiff, then *clamp* on whoever or whatever was near you. And boy, could you bite! Very much into biting the top of my feet, so I always had to move fast when I saw you lock up.
5 years you shared with me. I'm so sorry three of them had to be in this crappy little house, with much less room to roam.
You were the first ferret I have ever known who would eat a pinkie first, both you and Az would take the pinkie from me and go hide it somewhere (then I got to find it before it went nasty), but when Az was still hiding hers you started actually eating yours. The past year you started eating them so fast that you'd make yourself sick, so I stopped giving them to you. You still glutted yourself on Bob's Chicken Gravy, all the way up until the end. TTK fed you a small dish of warm food for breakfast, and held you up so you could eat since your back legs were completely unstable.
Despite daily feedings you shrunk away to skin and bones (could I have done more? Oh, always the guilt must gnaw), and I'm so sorry I didn't take you in for the gentle death sooner--I didn't want you to suffer but I couldn't let go and I know doing this was the right thing, but still I miss you.
Fizzbinn, what is Atlantis going to do without you?
We put you in the same cairn as Azrael and Fatboy...when Atlantis follows you (as I know he will, and soon, because he almost doesn't remember when you weren't there) I will put you all in a bigger space so you all will fit. I didn't worry about you fitting, although Fatboy was pretty big--you had wasted away so far you were like a little skeleton.
I saw your spirit go away, watched it in your eyes and felt your heart beat once more, then nothing. I thanked the vet for helping us give you such a gentle death, surrounded by your loved ones and all warm and snuggly in a fleece blanket.
Goodbye sweet Fizz.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Letting Go...

My little old man, Fizzbinn.
It's time.
We're going to the vet Monday, where we'll say our final goodbyes.

I've been saying goodbye for months now, knowing just from watching him stagger about the room that it would soon be time.
He's down to skin and bones, and has lost almost all of his hair.

When he first got the hind end weakness, the vet couldn't find anything wrong with him, so I've been nursing him as he has gotten weaker and thinner and more staggery and just--old.
I've said that as long as he has gusto, joy de vivre, any sign that he was still happy, I would not put him down, no matter what I had to do.

Three months ago I padded the cage and put down vinyl on top of that so he wouldn't hurt himself falling.
He gets Bob Church's Chicken Gravy every day, which until the start of this week he would suck down every drop.
Despite the amount of food he eats, he has lost weight dramatically in the last month...I would take him in for surgery, and would have ages ago, but there's no surgery to be done, and he's no longer a good surgery patient--he's so thin that he would probably not wakeup from the aenesthesia.

Friday I noticed him crying out when he tried to poop (he's almost completely incontinent) and I knew it was time for me to let go.

He's in pain. It's my responsibility--nay, my GIFT to him to release him from that pain.
My sweet little crooked nose Fizzbinn.
I don't know what Atlantis is going to do without him--they've been together for 5 years. When Fizz goes, Atlantis will be alone.
I know they bond, and I know they pine...and I am so scared of losing Atlantis too.

Sybil, Eve, Azrael, Fatboy, Fizzbinn. I miss you all (yes Fizzbinn, I miss you already, even though you are in the next room curled up in a tiny ball, sleeping).

Which is easier--losing them, young and healthy, to an injury or an accident, or watching them grow old and sickly and stagger around until YOU have to make the decision to euthanise them?
I've had both happen, and both carry their own emotional load, and guilt.


I love you Fizz.

Thursday, June 15, 2006


Well, we've FINALLY got an appeals date with our lovely friend
the IRS. Funny, they promised a date within two months, to give
us a speedy trial as is our right--back in JANUARY.

I'm not going to mention details, so as to not poison the waters,
so to speak...the basics are someone filed saying they paid us
lots of money as a contractor, and the IRS says we owe them a
chunk of that $$ (that we never got).
Oh, and penalties.
And interest.
From now on we're using a CPA, so we have someone who can speak
the language if there are any repercussions.

Monday, June 12, 2006

New Graphic Site

Yahoo! has done it again. Ah, the joy of crappy software being implemented without fully examining for security weaknesses...
There is a worm that exploits a flaw in the Yahoo! Mail Service (and currently only hits Windows users, so I'm safe there) and embeds javascript into the html code of an email.
When the user simply OPENS the email (titled "New Graphic Site") with the script, BAM the script is run, the user is redirected to an advertising site, and their Yahoo! addressbook is copied and the email is sent to everyone in it...
So every Yahoo! list I am on is getting these mails, and list owners keep assuring everyone that the list is safe sindce they don't allow attachments.
Um, sorry, guys, but this one isn't an attachment!
It's not an attachment!

So far the best article I've read on it is at the Register.

Symantec insists that it's a minor worm, but they're not seeing all the panicked emails hitting the lists.

Once again, in case you missed it: It's IN the email, NOT as an attachment!
Ah, STDs of the modern age.


Me: Please don't die.

Him: I'm not gonna die--I just need to keep breathing.

Friday, June 9, 2006


So I had a very surreal chicken moment this evening, about a half hour before dusk. I was cleaning off the back porch, and this little red rooster comes sauntering across the yard, heading for the chicken run.
I recognised this rooster.
I KNEW this rooster.

I had taken him and his two brothers to the feed store about 2 months ago.

And yet, here he is, all confident and assured, acting like he never left.
His wings were clipped, even.

I opened the run gate, and in he strutted...and promptly got into a rooster head bobbing match with his brother, the frizzle.
I ran and got my camera, because they were posturing and dancing as if they were big roosters, not little nerf footballs.

By the time I got back, they had gone from posturing to actual fighting, so instead of taking pictures I grabbed a rooster--the Prodigal Son...

He was bleeding from his comb, but was totally calm and let me pick him up...I set him on the outside of the chicken yard, and he stayed all the way until dark, pacing back and forth, waiting to be let in.

TTK said we could make lots of money--sell him, and when he comes back, sell him again, and so on.,,,but this is a ROOSTER.
No one pays money for a rooster.

If he's still here in the morning, I think I'll take him to a DIFFERENT feed store--one further away.


Me: Would you go get the mail?

He: Didn't I go get the mail this morning?

Me: Yes, but it comes every day.

He: Smartass!

Thursday, June 8, 2006



I am never going to take a bath in this house again.

At least, not without bleaching the entire tub and shower and shower curtain, that is...

Carnivore shit is pretty nasty.
Carnivore shit from a carnivore that ate chicken is EVIL.

I discovered a new treat for the tegu a few days ago--chicken wings.
On sale at Safeway, they were in a "value pack" with the whole wing--tips, "drummettes," and, well, forearms (what they called in food parlance, I don't know).

So I hacked ten pounds of wings apart, vacuum sealing up the drummettes for the humans (appropriately marked "human food" in the freezer) and the rest for the Tegu, aptly named Goose.

He ate 8 pieces of chicken Tuesday, and was scratching at the glass today for more.

Into the tub he went: this is not a smart tegu--if there is anything else under his food (carpet, cage bedding, toes, his drinking bowl, etc,) he will try to eat it, so the tub provides a nice flat surface, and he doesn't end up trying to eat the wallpaper. (Natural selection would have eliminated this guy years ago!)

He ate 4 more chicken wing parts, so I left him in the tub while I defrosted more for him.

Suddenly the house filled up with this TOXIC odor. I figured Nefertiti or one of the other big snakes had pooped, since they are the only ones in the front room. The odor usually dissipates, but this time it wasn't.
Ten or so minutes went by, and it was getting stronger, not weaker.

By this time the chicken had thawed, so I took 2 more pieces in to the tegu.
Opening the bathroom door just about sent me into a coma from the odor wave.

Goose had not only shit in the tub, he had spent the last 15 minutes or so busily scraping this "lovely" grey-brown effluent it ALL OVER the ENTIRE tub.
That includes the sides, as far up as he could reach, which is not quite over the edge far enough to climb out (thank god!).

I promptly hosed down Goose (all sorts of goose/shit/slick jokes are coming to mind), and as much of the bottom as I could get, carried the tegu out to his sun cage (where he got his chicken), and sprayed the entire surface down with scrubbing bubbles.

Next I get to get on my hands and knees and scrub, since those bubbles don't really do the work promised in the commercials...