Friday, April 28, 2006
  tortoises, cats, diving, blah blah blah
i have a hard time figuring out how much wailey needs to eat.  i figure there's a possibility he's getting too much food, but if so he'll soon pork out (tortoises do -- you just have to know where to look for it) and i'll know to cut back..
in the meantime, he gets something to eat every other day.  he ate yesterday, but since i left a salad out for them before i went to work, i didn't get to see them finish it.  which means i don't know how ravenously it was polished off.  which means i had to feed them again today, you know, just in case.
unfortunately, bjorn is a little jerk.  he's going through a phase, you know.  he wants nothing but mazuri pellets and fruit.  "eat the greens, you little brat!"  but he never does.  i think i have to start separating he & wailey at mealtime and give bjorn something especially finely chopped.
so anyway, tonight they had a big bed of dandelion greens covered in mazuri pellets, which had been mushed with apple juice.  it's a treat.  i had to set bjorn outside the enclosure with just some greens that had a TINY bit of the pellet on them.  i let wailey eat most of the rest of the pellets, then stuck bjorn back in to help finish.  well.  this is something i have to observe closely.  wailey is awfully big in comparison, you know.  i wouldn't want him to eat bjorn's head by mistake or anything.  the other way around, it's quite funny, though.  wailey was wearing a bit of the pellet when bjorn spotted it.  bjorn kept trying to eat the pellet residue off wailey's foot.  wailey would get annoyed at the pinch and move his foot. while continuing to eat, of course.  bjorn would move in on that tasty foot yet again.  it was pretty funny to watch.  and i'm sure it was enthralling to read about.
the cats are stuck inside during the daytime nowadays due to the fact that two tiny little doves look like they're going to try to fly any day now.  i thought the kit cats would be clawing at the walls by now, but they seem pretty okay with it.  they've just upped naptime from 20 hours a day to 22 hours a day.  the other two hours are spent locating me and/or crying for treats.  the honestly follow me everywhere, it's hilarious.  then once in a while during the night, they go outside.  i can only guess it's to make sure i will have a dead lizard waiting for me on the porch when i get up in the morning.  it's part of my daily routine by now, you know, like going to fetch the newspaper.  except way grosser.
weather sux for diving this weekend.  so it looks as if i'll be on the sailboat.  thank god for backup outdoor activities.  :)   oh, wait, it says 3-5 now.  it was, like, 8-10 before.  hmm.
  Love at first sight

Actually, that coronetfish looks mad at me. I probably interrupted a nap - sorry! But I love the night diving because the fishies being all sleepy makes them compliant. "Want to pose for a pic? Eh, okay." :)

  Aforementioned crab

See how he's wearing it like a cloak? I love little survivalist tricks like this. And I love little crabs! :)

  Aforementioned parrotfish from last night's dive

Tiswango's parrotfish sleeping, originally uploaded by estacey.

Matt sent me five or so pics. I want to post them all, but they're HIS, so I'm being conservative.

Please note the parrotfish's little sleeping bubble. You can see the sand collected on it.

  Sonar strikes again?
400 Dead Dolphins Found Off African Coast - Yahoo! News: "But the bottleneck dolphins, which live in deep offshore waters, had empty stomachs, meaning that they could have been disoriented and were swimming for some time to reorient themselves. They did not starve to death and were not poisoned, Jidawi said."

My god, what a nightmare. :(
  Remember when I mentioned the school of lookdowns under the pier?

P4160347_edited-1, originally uploaded by tiswango.

This is the very place I went diving, probably an hour before I got there, and this is just what it looked like.

Cool, eh? Mad props to Matt Hoe for this awesome picture.

Hopefully I'll be getting pics of last night's dive up soon.. He's working on them. Matt got a brand spankin' new $800 strobe for his birthday, so last night was its maiden run. We had a dive that lasted 5 minutes short of two hours - my longest dive yet! I came up with NO AIR. No air at all. But I started the dive with somewhere around 2700-2800 PSI (normally you started with 3000 or a bit over) and I had a slight equipment malfunction (air bubbles streaming from my gauge console). Otherwise, I would've come up with some air to spare.. Considering I nearly breathed a 3000+ tank dry in 80 minutes before, 115 minutes is a big improvement. :)

Now, what did we see? The reef is just crawling with life at night, literally. Sea bugs. Little wormy things. Something that look way too much like centipedes. Lots of crabs. A sea cucumber. A parrotfish in its little sleeping bag o' saliva. A very odd looking, sleepy pufferfish. I got face-to-face with a coronetfish and Matt got pics. Four tiny little baby squid. A crab using a sponge as camouflage; it cracked me up. I got it out from under the rock it was hiding so Matt could get some pictures, then felt bad as I was swimming off that it was out in the open, so I made the little crab even crabbier by grabbing him again and tucking him away. Oh yeah, and I saw one lookdown. "Where are all your friends?"

I didn't realize we had jawfish here. I've seen a few particularly mean-looking "blennies" but thought that's all they were. Last night, I realized that one of these guys was a jawfish when I saw all the eggs in its mouth catch my dive light's reflection. A jawfish! Awesome! The boy jawfish incubate their young in their mouths. See?

So, yes, it was a great dive. It was pretty darn cold at the beginning.. 40 minutes in, I didn't think I could make it much longer. But then I hit some warm spots and saw enough things to take my mind off it. So, yes, awesome.

How I love the diving. :) This weekend, we're supposed to have pretty awful conditions, so I'm glad I got at least one dive in this week while I could. Wednesday night, I went to go diving with Paul (who I met last Sunday), but he got spooked when we got in the water and thumbed the dive. We had vodka & cranberries instead, so I wasn't really complaining. But now.. Oh, I wish I would have been able to make the dive! You always see something awesome and noteworthy on these dives..

What's Amazon trying to tell me?

  Matt Hoelscher doesn't like kids.

P4220682, originally uploaded by tiswango.

Thursday, April 27, 2006
  Dad would be 67 today.

My dad and his glasses and my sister, Kelli, originally uploaded by estacey.

Tonight I'd like to eat a fried egg sandwich, a Snickers bar, and drink some black coffee from a thermos in his honor. Sadly, I'll be diving. Maybe I'll watch a Clint Eastwood flick this weekend instead. Or listen to some George Jones. I'm sure that would make him proud. How about Paul Harvey? Is he still on the air?

It sure makes me sad I can't tell him about batfish and ingrate cats and six-foot-long green morays. I'm sure if I could, he'd let out one of those delighted, head-shaking laughs I can still hear. If this thing had audio capabilities, I could do an impression of it for you. When I try in my head, I start to both giggle and cry.

I wish he could visit. I'd take him sailing. I'd take him to Shuckers at sunset. I'd take him on a glass-bottom boat tour in the Keys. I'd take him out for Thai food. Hell, I'd even take him out for ribs. I hate that he's not a part of my life. I hate that he never got to meet Kyle or Macy.

I wish I had those Drew Carey glasses of his. I wonder what happened to them? Or his blue thermos? Or his wallet? I'd like something more of his to hold.
(Today's entry apparently wasn't an original idea.)

Miss you, Dad.
Wednesday, April 26, 2006
  "what died in here?"

that's what i asked myself when i walked in my room last evening when i got a whiff of the air.

i chalked it up to the no-a/c-on-yet and the fact that i have a window fan blowing in air from the outside; there must be something stinky out there, i figured.

i turned my ceiling fan on and laid down to nap.

a nap turned into a 5-hour mini-coma. when i woke up, the smell was better but it was still there. on top of that, i realized it was a smell i should be able to place but couldn't.

i started trying to figure out what it could be.

when i first got wailey, he had to live in the house for two weeks until i was able to get the enclosure built outside. he ate from a plate under my bed, placed on newspaper. he pooped twice but both times i found it and cleaned it up thoroughly.

i started wondering if maybe i missed something. maybe some lettuce/fruit mixture had been shoved off the plate into a place i couldn't see. maybe i missed a poop. it'd be strange it was smelling worse over time, but who knows..

so, i got on my knees and lifted the bedskirt. there, on the newspaper, was a small pile of something. "aha! mystery solved!" i thought. i pulled the newspaper out to see what the heck it was, expecting a pile of lettuce or something along those lines.

instead, i got a rodent. a long-dead rodent. in the process of being tended to by a squirmy gaggle of nature's undertaker, the baby fly. if you know what i mean.

i honestly wanted to cry. it was one of those run-out-of-the-room-and-never-come-back moments. unfortunately, it being 3 a.m., i figured catching a flight to rio would pose a challenge. also, i have no passport. so i had to face the problem: close the newspaper while trying to not look, run it outside, set it next to the compost heap, and hope to god balu would know what to do with it today.

so, yeah, i love the cats. i mean, the carcasses of lizards scattered across the patio outside is bad enough. but at least i see those, or at least know they're there when i step on them (ugh!). but bringing a dead mammal into my house and stashing it somewhere i never look? totally. not. cool. i'd prefer the underside of my bed never again becomes an insect nursery/cafe. agggggh.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006
  Two years from 30. Sigh.

The flower of my youth, originally uploaded by estacey.

Last night, I was talking with Balu about the whole job-switch situation. I think the dates are finally figured out as of today. Anyway, I was playing with the end and start dates of my old and new jobs, trying to make sure I had a couple of days off in between, even if that meant I was unpaid for a couple of days.

I said, "I guess I can just donate plasma. Or, actually, I looked into that whole egg donation thing a while back.." This is more of a joke than anything; I typically don't need money bad enough to start selling off bits of/from my body.

Anyway, then Balu asked, "Aren't you too old for that?"

I hereby take back all of that best-roommate stuff I've said in the past. (Kidding!)

It now looks like I'll have a full week off! It'll be an on-the-cheap, at-home vacation, but luckily I'm in Florida, so that's a nice idea -- I can dive and kayak and all that for nearly free. And this may be too ambitious, but I may even get to get some reading done..! Maybe in a hammock in the backyard..

Monday, April 24, 2006

I saw this girl's pics on She's from Norway. Ahh, I'm always so happy to come across Norwegians on the Internet when whaling isn't involved. Also, she's from a town named Vestby. This, of course, will probably only amuse Dawn and Shannon..

  The weekly post (ha ha)
This weekend, I participated in Baynanza, going out on a canoe with a group Balu volunteers with, the Wildlife Research Team. The mangroves we were paddling through were just gorgeous.. Very peaceful and pretty. And all the crabs we saw!

Saturday night was Matt Hoe's birthday party. I always love get-togethers at the Hoes' and this was no exception. Yummy food, great friends, kids to pick on, sangria..

Sunday morning probably would have been a wash, but Balu had already rented equipment to go diving, so I acted a trooper, took some Excedrin, and went out to Datura. Oh, and am I ever lucky I did! Turns out that Bill's friend Paul who met us there has a boat. We got to do a boat dive! I never go on boats anymore, so now it's such a special treat.. And, apparently this Paul fella dives quite a bit and welcomes people aboard. So, yay! We saw a 6-foot long moray eel and the always-present tons o' fish, crabs, etc. It was gorgeous again all weekend, the water is steadily warming up (although I'm still wearing two wetsuits).. Ahh, life is good. :) I could've done another dive that afternoon, but sadly wasn't feeling so hot so chose to go relax at home instead.

I was talking to Mark last week and he commented on the fact that I haven't been updating my blog lately, or something to that effect. I thought for a minute and said, "Well, I guess I don't have much to say. Although I did find a couple really cool spiderwebs in the yard." He laughed. "I'm not being funny," I said. "Oh, yes, but you are." Ha ha. So anyway, I charged up my camera and here goes: The Most Boring Photos Ever. Except to Me.

I bought a succulent a month or so back. And it's still alive..

And flowering even!

How gorgeous is that?

A dove has built a nest in the grapefruit tree in the backyard. I showed it to Balu when I noticed it and he said that we could check it out from the roof. I brought my camera, but unfortunately couldn't get such a hot picture because that chick on the right seemed very nervous. I was worried it'd try to fly the coop before its time to escape me, so I had to take the pics from pretty far back, despite the fact that I could probably have reached the nest from the roof.

I planted sunflowers a week ago and they're all sprouting now!

I love to see things like this growing and doing well.

I have a pretty little ivy plant in my shower on the windowsill. It's a great place for a plant because I will never, ever forget to water it there. Lots of ants have taken up residence there. Unfortunately, sometimes they go down in the bathtub and die a horrible death in a deluge of soapy water - once I noticed they were there I had to lay a ground rule that they were welcome to live in the plant, but that I could not be dealing with worrying about saving all the ants from the tub before each day's shower. I usually stand by that rule, but sometimes I get coerced by a little ant looking hopeless and whose antennaes are sticking to the tile and I intervene and rescue. When I went to do that the other night, using a leaf from the plant, I got another surprise: I have baby snails in my plant! I've seen three so far. They're super tiny.

This is one of the bigger guys.

And now my cute little crab. I found him while kayaking at Oleta State Park.. or Recreation Area or whatever it is. Anyway, it was just a few weeks ago. There were little fiddler crabs everywhere. But, like, the smallest ones I've ever seen. Half-my-pinky-nail sized. One caught my eye by moving a bit funny. I investigated and discovered that while it had both its claws, it only had legs on one side. Now, I've kept crabs as pets before, including one that only had three legs (that's out of eight), so I know how to care for them and that they'll grow their legs back with the next molt, so I put this little girl in my water bottle and took her home. I made her a little enclosure with a coral cave to hide in. She lives in my bathroom.

I thought I'd have her for a few months, but less than two weeks after I brought her home, I discovered her old exoskeleton laying in the sand. And there was a brand new, perfect little crab - with all her legs! So she'll be going back to Oleta within the next couple of weeks.

Here she is, tucked into the crevices of my hand and resting against the band of my ring.

And now the spiderwebs that inspired this Phototour of the Small Things that Make Me Smile Every Day But Will Probably Get Me Made Fun Of. Both the X and the circle design are part of the webs..

Friday, April 21, 2006
  I had to laugh at this again last night..

I love that Alli's landlords are so hands-off that this poster is still up in her hallway. :)

i went today to my boss to give him my notice.
i have been really quiet about the new job on my blog, despite the fact that it's been in the works very sloooowly and highly on my mind for the past, um, five weeks now.  but yeah, since i know i'm pretty google-able, i tend to not talk about the most personal or important things on there.  when i realized that my full name googled takes you to my blog, i immediately deleted my last name from the blogger profile.  apparently it takes a while to take effect because there is on the results page..
so anyway, i stayed really tight-lipped (tight-fingered?) about this until yesterday, when i cracked and said, "hey, i got a new job."
anyway, back to my story. i went to my boss to give him my notice and prefaced it with a "you'll probably not be surprised."  and indeed he wasn't.  he smiled and said, "i know.  jacob read that last night."  apparently my other boss found this thing.  all i could think was: D'OH!  it's a dangerous thing to be so google-able.
but anyway, it went well - maybe the lack of surprise helped - and i am relieved, to say the least.  i dread uncomfortable situations horrendously, so the fact that we all left smiling.. well, again i just say phew.
Thursday, April 20, 2006

Baby bluebirds, Nestbox #1, Day 3, originally uploaded by lucycat.

This pic literally made me laugh out loud. If it doesn't you, then make sure you look at the large version of this picture. That bald little head! Ahh! Baby birds are the funniest-lookin' little creatures ever! Aside from naked mole rats.. And frogfish, maybe.

I've been so quiet on here. I've just had no net time! But, that means I have accomplished offline things, such as planting sunflowers in my yard and napping. :) Also, I got a new job. I'll not go into too much detail (most of you know it already anyway), except that it's at a company that I love and respect. I am incredibly excited about this.

I'm heading down to South Beach now to hang with Alli for a bit.. Lord let me find a parking space!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006
  Wow. You know, for so many reasons.
BSO: 76-year-old man went door-to-door giving fake breast exams: South Florida Sun-Sentinel
  Cat naps

Kitten & Elliot today, originally uploaded by estacey.

Balu sent me this pic of Elliot & Kitten snuggled up in my bed today. They have difficult lives, eh?

I'm surprised at how close they are. Kitten must've already been sleeping when Elliot came in or she never would've stood for that..

Monday, April 17, 2006
  sorry so quiet..
not only is the office move affecting 'net access, but the wireless network i've been so appreciatively accessing at home has disappeared.. so just a hey for now.  mas manana.  :)
the dive was amazing, i gotta say tho.  lookdowns.  look them up.  they were everywhere, on all sides.. just awesome.  and the water is warming up - ahh, the summers in florida may be hot and humid, but they sure do make for good diving.  i'm looking forward to being all pruney until winter comes again.. or, sigh, hurricane season.
Saturday, April 15, 2006
  I love weekends :)

Baby bluebird, Nestbox #1, day 1, originally uploaded by lucycat.

I know, we all do.. But I feel compelled to say it anyway.

I just signed up for 3 months of Beach Boot Camp. Sadly, I missed today. I think I got about four hours of sleep last night.. Now, they were lovely, peaceful hours of sleep. But when I wasn't sleeping, I was agonizing with my RLS. No laughing! You may have seen RLS (Restless Leg Syndrome) advertised on TV. You may have giggled at it. You know, the lengths we go for things to complain about. But it really is quite disruptive. I'll be TIRED and wanting to SLEEP and my legs feel like.. ahh, I can't even describe it. Even though the rest of me is tired, my legs seem to be jumpin' for a sprint. And last night, I hardly believe it, but I swear my ARMS were getting in on the action, too. I figured if I went and worked out in the sun after so little rest, I'd be basically ruining the rest of my day, so instead I slept. And now next weekend I have the option of doing this Bay cleanup thing, so.. Well, we'll see. Maybe the Colonel will let me come on Wednesday night instead, although I don't count on it.

In any case, I got to sleep in a bit with the cats this morning. It may sound silly, but I really appreciate mornings when I can languish in bed a bit. Usually Kitten is in bed with me and Elliot is on the window perch I got for them, but this morning I had one cat on either side of me. They're so content and agreeable while they're dozing; it's nice to be able to stay in bed once in a while. Being home in the morning was nice, too - I had the chance to give the torts a nice little bath and a salad. Oh yeah, and I also got to intervene in Elliot's lizard attacks about five times. I'm starting to figure that chasing/maiming lizards is most of what he does with his day besides sleeping.

Sailing was gorgeous today. Captain Squid, Matty, Kasia (KAH-shuh), and a new sailor, Tasia (TAH-see-uh), and I went out on the Shirley. We had the usual relaxed, sunny, beautiful day we always have out on the water. We were out on the water for well over three hours, and the time flew right by..

Tomorrow morning we're having a dive and an Easter brunch at Mulligans down by the water.. Later on in the day, I plan to get some new purslane plants I have in the ground and plant the sunflower seeds I bought.

Right now, I feel pretty content. I think enjoying the creatures under my care, watering my daisies, watching the birds and butterflies in the backyard, and enjoying this weather, water, and sun in so many ways is pretty good use of my time.

Ah, how I love weekends. :)

Also, look, one of the five eggs hatched! :)

Thursday, April 13, 2006
  Very interesting poll
Everyone's fat but me, Americans say in poll: "Ninety percent of Americans know that most of their compatriots are overweight, but just 40 percent believe themselves to be too fat, according to a study published on Tuesday. "

Funny how perception slants truth.. This article also explains that people overestimate how tall they are as well.
Wednesday, April 12, 2006
  Hollywood is such a safe, classy place!

This happened today. I was pulling into the Publix parking lot when a group of guys came running into the street, in front of my car, in the midst of a fight.

Thankfully, there's a Dunkin Donuts in this same plaza, so police presence is all but guaranteed.

By the time I had parked my car and walked back towards the store entrance, one of them was in handcuffs.

So yeah, smart move for these guys.

  Some organic links
Long a convenience buyer of organic produce, I’ve begun to do some real research into the whole thing lately, to see exactly what I’m getting for that premium price. Quite a lot, I’ve found. Don’t want to spring the extra for organic produce? Then accept that you will be exposed to a sometimes scary amount of pesticides when you eat these foods that are meant to be so healthy.

The bottom line: whenever you buy apples, bell peppers, celery, cherries, imported grapes, nectarines, peaches, pears, potatoes, red raspberries, spinach, and strawberries, you should buy them organic. Random testing of these fruits and vegetables have shown them laden with as many as 9 (nectarines) or 10 (spinach) different pesticides. Is something meant to kill another living being really something you want to ingest?

There are a lot of benefits of organic produce and farming, our health just one. So although they do not contain as much pesticide residue as the above “dirty dozen”, if your budget allows you, it’s recommended that you try to buy foods such as avocados, kiwis, onions, and mangos of the organic variety when you can too. *These foods are listed from the comprehensive report done on organics by Consumer Reports.

An alternative to buying (conventional or organic) from the local supermarket is joining a CSA (Community Supported Agricultral) group. For example, here in South Florida, we have winter access to an organic farm down in Homestead. Pay $500 ($27/weekly) to buy a share in the farm (allowing them to buy supplies, seeds, equipment, etc.) and get a box of fresh, organic, in-season fruits and vegetables each week. I can't do it until the coming winter, but I think it's a fabulous idea - and one that would make me explore healthy cooking options, too.

I'm trying to be more mindful of the fruits and veggies I'm buying for myself and the torts, but have to research to make sure that the extra dough I'm laying out for my food is put to good use. After all this research, I'm certainly going to make more of an effort to get my food from healthy places. I figure that, on top fo the food I'm getting for myself (or Wailey and Bjorn), the money I spend on organic food goes to support some good folks.
Tuesday, April 11, 2006
  This chick has awesome pics

Helloooo world!, originally uploaded by bocavermelhaL.B..

And her captions will help you brush up on your Portuguese!

BTW, the "chick" thing? Completely unintended. :)

  I just do not get Lindsay Lohan.
As some of you know, and make fun of me for, I sometimes bide my time by checking on my Bloglines blogs. Some of these are celeb-gossip blogs. I know it's not a very good use of time, but I only check up on them when I have nothing better to do with that time. Well, that or I've exhausted myself with doing more productive things.

So anyway, yeah, I check up on the celebrity blogs.

After many months of scrolling through Perez Hilton's daily trash-talk, I have a few things to say.

#1. Nicole Ritchie really just needs to eat something. Honestly now.

#2. Paris Hilton needs to cover herself up once in a while. I'm really just kinda in awe of her that she'd want to go around in lingerie as much as she does. Sometimes doesn't she get an urge just to wear something comfortable? This is what she wore to Hugh Hefner's birthday party. Her other option was pajamas. WHY DIDN'T SHE WEAR PAJAMAS? Most people use these themed parties to show their other/naughty side (like all women do for Halloween), but considering we've already seen Paris in less, why couldn't she just opt for the pajamas?

#3. Could they just quit with the plastic surgery already?

Spot anything that looks a bit off in this pic?

#4. I just do not get Lindsay Lohan. I get most of the little obsessions people have - Britney Spears was hot, now is white-trashy. Angelina Jolie is carrying Brad Pitt's baby, for crissake. I But I just do not get the obsession this country/planet has with Lindsay Lohan. She's everywhere!

I guess it was more understandable when she was a pretty girl with glossy hair and big boobs. She looked healthy. Now she's just a skinny white chick with a bad dye job. And whose eyebrows don't match the rest of her.

OK, I just had to get that off my chest. Now we can return to pictures and links like this:


Naked mole rats have often been one of my favorite animals. Well, maybe favorite isn't the right word. Basically, I'm horrified and wholly amused by how ugly they are.

Reaching Shadow, originally uploaded by thepres6.

So this weekend, I did the Beach Boot Camp thing again (easier this time!).. yes, up at 7 a.m. TWO SATURDAYS IN A ROW! By choice!

Balu came sailing with us this time, so I got to ride in his Fiat.. Actually, I've ridden in it once or twice before, but never before during the day, so it was nice.. It's all modified for racing, so it has this crazy four-strap safety belt which literally took me three minutes to figure out the first time I tried to put it on. Every time I put that thing on, I think of Brian Regan's bit, "Click-click-clickety-click!" You know, how you know you're not the most popular person in the car if you're stuck in the back. How in the back, you only have that waist strap, but how everyone in the front is prepared for space travel.. OK, so you have to hear it for it to be funny. Do so in person, if possible:

Anyway, it was a PERFECT day for sailing. Seriously, perfect. Sunny, but not too sunny. Windy, but not too windy. Just perfect. :)

I'm in charge of organizing the sailing now, so if you happen to be in South Florida and want to give it a try, please email me. I'm trying to get both an afternoon and evening sail going this Saturday..

I mentioned to Balu on Saturday on the lovely drive how we've had such perfect weather lately. "Seriously, it's been ages since we've had a rainy, ugly day." The rain began Sunday. D'oh! I forgot to knock on wood. So now we're scheduled for more all the way through the end of the forecast - Saturday. Joy!

There was another Fluffy-lookin' cat at the shelter yesterday, so I ran in. It wasn't him, of course; it was a poor little feral cat. I noticed the other Fluffy-lookin' cat was still there so I went to place a FOUND ad in the newspaper today for her, but when I went to find her ID number on, she was no longer listed on the shelter website. Aggh. Hopefully that just means her owners found her. I did get to see a sweet-looking doggy I had noticed before being reunited with his owner. She was walking out of the shelter, a big smile on her face, fake scolding the dog, "You don't know what a bad weekend we had! You don't know how much we love you!" I had tears in my eyes. :)

While I was there, I completely fell in love with this girl. Since Fluffy ain't coming back (I'm starting to accept this), maybe Balu would be open to me getting another cat..? Probably not, though. So I wonder if Bethy would mind if I shipped her over...

Monday, April 10, 2006
  Kitten & I had a traumatic day yesterday..
Yesterday morning, I was giving Kitten a run-through with the flea comb. Again, I found fleas. Seeing as how it was warm and sunny out, I figured it'd be a good day to do a bath/flea treatment. This means, I get the cats wet, one by one, then spray them with flea treatment (that's meant to stay on them, but seeing as how it's poison, basically, I always wash it off afterwards), then I comb them, then shower them off and shampoo them with something yummy smelling (this week: Burt's Bees shampoo).

Needless to say, the cats don't like any of the steps of this whole bathing process. Trauma #1.

The local Pet Supermarket had their in-store vaccinations going yesterday, so I put Kitten in the carrier and took her in. When I took her out of the car at the store, I realized the carrier now smelled. Of poo. Great.

I got into the store and figured out where to go. I took Kitten out of the carrier and held her to the table with one arm as I filled out the paperwork with the other. When I finished the forms, I asked where the bathroom was. "Back of the store." "Nope," another PS employee cut in. "It's out of order." I explained the situation and that I needed a sink.

One of the employees took me to the back of the store, where he proceeded to excavate through ladders and boxes of junk six feet thick to get to the sink. "Here you go." "Okay, thanks."
I had to hold onto Kitten, lest I set her on the ground and she wedges herself into someplace good to hide.

But here comes the problem - anytime I got near the sink, Kitten started to freak out, thinking bath #2 was in store. She crawled up my back, making a nice puncture wound on my shoulder, and scratched my face and the side of my lip.

I wanted to forget about it all, to just take Kitten and go home, but knowing my luck she'd use my car as a litterbox if I tried to drive home with her running free (she did it once before). So I ended up cleaning the carrier out, one-handed, and as far back from the sink as I could be, with Kitten clutching onto my flesh with her claws the whole time. Trauma #2. The actual shots were trauma #3.

I left for the pet store in a lovely mood, freshly showered and gardenia-lotioned. I came home in a horrible mood, with horrible allergies, puffy eyes, and smelling faintly of cat poop.

Then Kitten peed in the carrier on the five-minute drive home. This meant getting her butt dipped in the bathwater so she wouldn't reek of urine. Trauma #4.

Lucky for Kitten, I couldn't stay annoyed with her because the vaccinations have made her totally wiped out. She's like the dog from Funny Farm. She literally just slept on the couch all day yesterday. Even when I broke out the treats, she stayed firmly planted on the couch. (I fed them to her there, within mouth's reach.) Before I went to bed, I carried her into my room, where she laid right back down and snoozed. This morning, before I left, I carried her out to her food dish so she would eat. Balu reports that she's back on the couch now. Aww, poor girl..
Friday, April 07, 2006
  Seen on
But it's on Flickr too, so I think it's fair game.. :)

There is something incredibly touching about interspecies friendships like this, isn't there? In fact, I think I may have to set up a Flickr group just for this type of picture...

Speaking of Flickr groups, my Backyard Wildlife pool is doing pretty well. Go check it out!

By the way, I should probably just change this blog name to, like, ecritters, shouldn't I? I promise I'll try to have something exciting happen soon. And I'll start diving again next month! Of course, that just means more first-hand critter pictures.. :)
  CBBC Newsround | Animals | Whale learns to blow bubble rings
CBBC Newsround Animals Whale learns to blow bubble rings

"A whale has been blowing visitors away at a Japanese aquarium, after she learned to make bubble rings. "

I love this picture! Thanks to Andrew for the link!
  2nd Fla. teacher accused of accepting $1 bribes so students could avoid PE: South Florida Sun-Sentinel
2nd Fla. teacher accused of accepting $1 bribes so students could avoid PE: South Florida Sun-Sentinel: "A warrant has been issued for a second middle school teacher accused of letting students sit out of gym class in exchange for $1, authorities said."

$1 bribes? Uh, they really do need to consider raising teachers' salaries..
  The torts

Pics from Balu, originally uploaded by estacey.

Hehe, Balu sent me these pic he got of Wailey and Bjorn. How cute are they?

Thursday, April 06, 2006
  I've had painfully little to do at work lately. So I'm trying to use my time productively.
When I took Jimmy in to get fixed at this place, the little old lady behind the counter asked where I had heard of them. Craigslist, I answered. She asked me to explain. Then she exclaimed, "How nice, we have a good samaritan!" Meaning, just some random person posted it for them. So I guess they appreciate new business, even when it's not-for-profit business!
Our sailing club has, um, five people going out this weekend. Possibly six. Time for some new recruits!
The more time I spend in shelters looking hopelessly for Fluffy, the angrier I get that people still buy pets. It's really quite inexcusable.

I could make them look prettier, but I want to go home now. Still, they're pretty decent-looking for Craigslist posts! And all my pics! Well, except for the ones I downloaded from the shelter sites. By the way, let me know if you have any suggestions to make these more effective!

Eyes on you..., originally uploaded by DonnitaMae.

What a cute, homely little dog! :D She's a rescue, of course. 14 & nearly blind. And toothless. Hee.

  Lookin' even prettier

The pen, after more plants, originally uploaded by estacey.

Last night, I added a fern to the water dish, hopefully to help shade it from the sun, then planted the grass in the little annex, where the torts like to hide. The whole area is really a good hiding spot now. :)


Wailey still tucks himself into weird places...

Kitten likes to come sniff around in the enclosure. Plus, it's a good place to observe the fence, an endless source of lizards and interesting noises (from all the critters on the other side).

The best is when the rooster makes a noise and Kitten hauls her little furry butt back into the house, then peeks her head out the door. "Whatwasthat?" It's happened more than once.

And look, pineapples!

As uncool as it may be to admit it, I sure do love living in the suburbs. :)

  I'm going to be sick.

FW: New Pic of Kitties, originally uploaded by estacey.

I got an email from the girl who adopted Thor & Scaredy today.

"Im ok.... doing ok.... just a lil upset about a decision I have to come to about my kitties....
Me and my boyfriend will be moving into my parents house to help them out... they have a built on room on the side of the house that we would pay them money to stay their...and be able to save alot... from the rent we are paying now... but my dad said he doesnt want the Cats...and I love them to death ...but I need to do what I must do for my fam.... but I dont wanna give them up to just anyone either... I rather know where they are so I could still see them... and know they are in good hands... would you be able to take em? or is that not something possible? This decision is like 95% a I need to see what I can do...
Let me know :oT

I love my babiez... but the only one I can see them with is u"

The bright side is that it's SO much easier to find a home for grown-up cats than baby ones.. Aggggh...


Fox on the Porch, originally uploaded by Rob Lee.

These people have a fox that comes up and hangs out on their porch. He's super tame. Not sure if that's such a good thing, but he sure is cute.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006
  more greenery

can't wait to go home tonight to plant these!

i talked to the neighbor over the fence a bit last night. nice guy, a pilot. he has the two gopher tortoises.. and it turns out that they had babies! i'll go see them and get pictures sometime soon. he also has a pretty little box turtle that someone found on the side of the road. very cool little guy, too. i admitted that i peaked over his fence sometimes to say hi to the tortoises and chickens, but never noticed the box turtle..

it's been a quiet day. sorry - i'm feeling pretty drained. i come to work in the morning with so much energy - i want to do this and this, and when i get home i'm going to do this, and then i'm going to the gym..! but after sitting here for eight hours.. i really just want to go home and nap. how sad!

  happy hump day!

camel snout, originally uploaded by j.warmack.

just a couple of days until (birds chirp) the weekend!

so far i have boot camp, sailing, and mopping the floors scheduled. woo!

Tuesday, April 04, 2006
  I didn't find Fluffy
I check regularly, in case little Fluffers winds up in the shelter. (We're operating under the assumption that he has loved his way into a new, wonderful home, but I feel that I should make sure anyway.)

Yesterday they had a "Maine coon" of an unknown sex. I called to ask if it had a fluffy tail. "Yes, actually it does." Okee! I went to the shelter after work.

But it wasn't Fluffy. She was old and sweet. I pet her for a bit and assured her that whoever gave her that pink collar would probably come looking for her.

This is the one that broke my heart. Look at this sweet, sad little girl. I couldn't get her to perk up no matter what I did. She just sat there, resting her head on the gate. Ahh, I wish my efforts to talking Balu into getting a dog were more successful!
I'm Stacey. I'm a 31(!)-year-old Wisconsin girl living in sunny South Florida. The highlights in my life are my lovely boyfriend, my aloof cats, my adorable/adoring stepdogs, my two lumbering tortoises, select family members, being outside, being underwater, taking pictures, yadda yadda. Stay tuned for lots of babbling!

Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States


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Making a difference

A small boy lived by the ocean. He loved the creatures of the sea, especially the starfish, and he spent much of his time exploring the seashore.

One day the boy learned there would be a minus tide that would leave the starfish stranded on the sand.

When the tide went out, he went down to the beach, began picking up the stranded starfish, and tossing them back into the ocean.

An elderly man who lived next door came down to the beach to see what the boy was doing. Seeing the man's quizzical expression, the boy paused as he approached. "I'm saving the starfish!" the boy proudly declared.

When the neighbor saw all of the stranded starfish he shook his head and said: "I'm sorry to disappoint you, young man, but if you look down the beach, there are stranded starfish as far as the eye can see. And if you look up the beach the other way, it's the same. One little boy like you isn't going to make much of a difference."

The boy thought about this for a moment. Then he reached his small hand down to the sand, picked up another starfish, tossed it out into the ocean, and said: "Well, I sure made a difference for that one!"

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