After two years of owning a pet rabbit, I can report they are…inscrutable. Or maybe too scrutable. All I know is that after 24 months of direct observation and regular interaction with us, Ruby remains a puzzle. I can’t figure out what she’s thinking, other than FEAR RUN PREDATORS.
Work or live with animals for a while, and you swiftly learn that discussions of their intelligence is limited by the arrogance of human primates. No, a rabbit can’t invent a malaria vaccine or discuss the works of Marcel Proust, but she can hear an acorn drop three blocks away and react accordingly FEAR RUN PREDATORS. An animal that is tasty eatin’ for everything with teeth and talons eventually evolves defenses to deal with it, and a lagomorph’s are well known — prodigious breeding, fast runnin’. And those amazing senses.
Our wonderful, departed Jack Russell could be an exhausting pet. Anything could set him off on a tirade of barking, and I yelled “shut up” so often I sometimes wondered if my neighborhood nickname was The Screamer. We’d had him for years before one day we were riding in the car, and he was occupying his usual place — back feet on the back seat, front feet on the console, leaning up against both of our elbows, which were keeping him from climbing into the front. He would ride this way for miles, especially if there was food in the front seat, which there was — we’d stopped for dinner, and I’d carried out a doggie bag of pasta with Italian sausage. I’d given him a little and was leaning forward to get him another nibble when Alan said, “Did you feel that? Feel his chest.” I did; it was noticeably hotter than it had been just a few seconds earlier. “I never knew he could glow red that quickly,” Alan remarked. That rapid infusion of blood to power the muscles to make the leap after the prey — whether a mouse, a rat or a slice of sausage — is something we all do, but not as quickly as terriers.
That’s what interests me about animals, and why I tolerate one like Ruby, who, to be frank, doesn’t begin to fill the dog’s shoes. But I enjoy watching her climb to the top of the sofa and stand on her back feet, sniffing the air. I like to watch her do her binky dance in the morning. I like to take her outside to loaf around in her outdoor pen, where she cocks her head and listens to the squirrels and birds. And then I put her inside, adjust the shade and cover and go back in the house, knowing that when I go back to get her in late afternoon, even though I will put her in a clean cage with fresh food and delicious romaine lettuce, she will run from me, because FEAR RUN PREDATORS. It’s her nature — she really can’t help it.
Tuesday. Another lovely day — summer is leaving on a high note. But work still awaits. So, a little bloggage?
I’m sorry, but who could possibly be this stupid? Ahem:
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is facing a new challenge: He’s having trouble raising money from some Jewish donors who mistakenly believe one of his opponents, Michele Bachmann, is Jewish.
Some Jewish donors are telling fund-raisers for Romney, a Mormon, that while they like him, they’d rather open their wallets for the “Jewish candidate,” who they don’t realize is actually a Lutheran, The Post has learned.
“It’s a real problem,” one Romney fund-raiser said. “We’re working very hard in the Jewish community because of Obama’s Israel problem. This was surprising.”
I’d estimate I save at least 80 percent of my email, maybe more. I’ve never, ever understood the “inbox zero” movement, but maybe one of you can explain it. Evidently my strategy isn’t the one to emulate. But it is mine.
OK, time to prep for various teaching-related duties. Sorry for short shrift, but that’s how I roll.
Peter said on August 30, 2011 at 11:32 am
If my in box was in paper form instead of electronic I would be featured on one of those hoarder shows.
brian stouder said on August 30, 2011 at 11:36 am
Our bunny has the FEAR RUN PREDATORS thing down cold. He will allow me to pick him up when he’s outside, but I only very rarely can reach in and get him out of his cage, when he’s inside.
He has a deep growl that he utilizes at such moments, and this always puts me off (Our 13 year old daughter, on the other hand, has no problem with the growl at all)
Speaking of silly bunnies – here’s a story that our “intrusive government/job killing government regulation” crowd might tsk tsk over:
QUITO, Ecuador (AP) — Ecuadorean authorities are trying to buy back half a million bottles of contaminated alcohol and end an outbreak of alcohol poisoning that has killed 48 people and sickened hundreds.
The country’s health minister says the liquor is tainted with methanol, or wood alcohol, which is used for industrial purposes. The buyback offer involves 14 brands of wine and other alcohol that stores have been barred from selling since July.
More than 500 people have been injured by the contaminated alcohol, with some left permanently blinded. The alcohol came from small provincial providers that didn’t have the required health permits.
So, when I hear Perry yip-yapping about “monstrous frauds” like Social Security, my thought is FEAR RUN PREDATORS
Bitter Scribe said on August 30, 2011 at 11:37 am
Maybe thinking that Bachmann is Jewish helps them cope with the cognitive dissonance of politically supporting someone who believes you’re going to spend eternity in a lake of fire.
Bill said on August 30, 2011 at 11:39 am
Another new word: lagomorph. Thanks, Nance.
Sue said on August 30, 2011 at 11:46 am
Yes, Bitter Scribe, if Romney wants to inform Jewish voters he would do well to get the word out about what’s behind Bachmann’s ‘support’ of Israel.
When our rabbit is excited (always involving food, either breakfast crunchies, afternoon snackies or evening carrot shreds) she “pops a wheelie” as my husband says. Up on her back feet with her little front paws ready to land somewhere, maybe on your lap if you’re sitting nearby dishing it out. I like how her core behavior comes out when she’s alarmed, smacking the floor to warn the other nonexistent rabbits that there is danger nearby in the form of an odd noise or strange light. And in spite of her FRP tendencies, she’s the queen amongst the cat herd, charging them and growling when they get in her space or behave in any way she finds offensive.
Dorothy said on August 30, 2011 at 11:57 am
First thing I saw when I glanced at Facebook this morning was this. Apologies if you’ve all seen it already, but I’ve watched it four times already and I still laugh every time.
Before I watched that video, Mike came back from walking our dogs this morning and he told a story on Augie. He saw Augie pick up something in his mouth, and when Mike tugged on the leash a little and asked him “What’ve you got there, Aug?”, Augie turned slowly, spit out the animal bone he had between his teeth, and looked at him as if to say “Nuthin’…”
april glaspie said on August 30, 2011 at 11:58 am
If there is the remotest possibility of self-incrimination, the Wadministration records strategy is probably the only intelligent policy the fools ever dreamed up. Make ’em all disappear into the ether. Rove disappeared millions of purely political emails he produced on WH computers and should be in jail for outrageous Hatch Act violations and flouting the Presidential Records Act. So did Cheney and the Stovepipe Gang, which was purely illegal in the first place, as it bypassed Congressional advice and consent requirements to run a shadow government. At the height of Shrubster Opacity, the bastards were classifying 125 government documents per minute (according to a NYT editorial):
Had Kommissar Karl and Dickless not destroyed all of the email evidence of their US Attorney malfeasance, they could be cellies at Club Fed, which would be hilarious since the two dickweeds obviously loathe each other.
And connecting Bachmann with Judaism is not so far-fetched at all. Dominionist-evangelicals firmly believe they need to get the entire world’s population of Jews back to the Holy Land in order to be Rapturized. This is why any discussion of illegal “settlement” behavior (Obama’s purported Israel problem) in Palestinian territory is abhorrent to these nutcases. Annexation, apartheid and even government-sponsored high seas piracy are sanctioned as a means to reeling in the Diaspora to facilitate born-agains getting snatched en masse into heaven. Living space must be provided. Of course, in their shrivelled little hearts, these same people espouse the concept of blood libel and believe Jews killed their Lord and Personal savior.
Jeff Borden said on August 30, 2011 at 12:13 pm
I’m trying to wean myself off the idea that American voters are a well-informed electorate. Who in their right mind would cast a vote for a douchebag like Louis Gohmert in Texas, Steve King in Iowa, Joe Walsh in Illinois, Joe Wilson in South Carolina? Everyone of these creeps is a demonstrable fool, yet their constituents keep reelecting them. And just three years removed from a stupid administration drenched in phony cowboy machismo, there are millions who just love the idea of another loudmouth, ‘G’ droppin’ Texan who loves himself some God, guns and political patronage.
I, too, am amused by the support for Israel among fundamentalists. I guess the Israelis figure any support is good for their nation, but surely they must see through to the base motivation of these folks, who want to use the Holy Land as a step stool to the Pearly Gates.
No wonder my Scotch intake is on the rise.
Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on August 30, 2011 at 12:37 pm
I’m with Peter.
Judybusy said on August 30, 2011 at 12:38 pm
And, a little more joy in your scotch this morning as another Republican is resigning amidst a gay sex contretemps. Somewhat NSW.
Love the rabbit video. That is stinking cute!
My otherwise wonderful neighbor has never trained her dog not to bark at passersby. Before we got a dog, this was only mildly annoying. Now our dog is set off by her barking, and she begins to howl piteously. We have worked for a year on the “hush” command, but the only way it works if we physically go to our dog and calm her down. Yelling “hush” from upstairs while watching TV, we have found, is completely ineffective.
Peter said on August 30, 2011 at 12:55 pm
Judybusy, I’m going to need some scotch after seeing that.
Julie Robinson said on August 30, 2011 at 1:02 pm
I’m beginning to think that the Republican party is like certain Catholic seminaries–training ground for closeted gays. Somehow I can’t chortle; it’s just too sad to see that much self-hatred.
In the meantime Jon Huntsman is defending himself against those who say he’s too moderate(!) for the Republican party. Among his sins: stating that climate change is man-made. Jeff, it’s amazing that you still have any shred of your belief left.
Dorothy, I think the cringing doggy video was a winner on that Sunday night home video show. It’s a classic for sure.
april glaspie said on August 30, 2011 at 1:12 pm
Y’know, when the big funding crunch on cleaning up after the hurricane comes, it would be nice if people remembered that Clinton employed James Lee Witt to run FEMA and W had Brownie. Like going from Peyton Manning to Ryan Leaf.
beb said on August 30, 2011 at 1:31 pm
It’s nice to know that Republicans like Eric Cantor are doubling down on their crazy politics. It makes it that much clearly who the bad guys are in government. Of course my sympathizes to all the people needing aid and assistance on the East Coast. Their suffering will only go to make for a better future. [/sarcasm]
ROGirl said on August 30, 2011 at 1:42 pm
I have a hard time believing any Jews think Bachmann is Jewish. That’s a stupid interpretation of Romney’s lack of support from Jews versus Bachmann, or maybe a lame attempt at humor. It’s about her support of Israel due to her apocalyptic worldview.
coozledad said on August 30, 2011 at 2:20 pm
I’m not surprised that O’Reilly thinks he can use police detectives as his private condottieri, the same way his boss, Roger Ailes does. What surprises me is how cheaply you can buy off entire police departments. This coming on the heels of Murdoch’s purchase of Scotland yard pretty much shows them to be whores across the board. I used to think this was a situation that could be fixed by improving salaries, and hiring fewer lowlifes, but it looks like there’s no fix.
Connie said on August 30, 2011 at 2:23 pm
I have a yappy and energetic miniature schnauzer, a big change from the old man Shih Tzu I had for so long. My husband notes that the breed guides state “this is a very vocal breed.” Translated: this is a yappy dog. Also an escape champion.
We had our daughter’s mutt for the summer while she was in Europe. You may admire both dogs in this wonderful picture. http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-R2w2Nci4IhU/TlbUBcgVN3I/AAAAAAAAA74/klxlltX8cKU/s1600/jax050911-720744.jpg
brian stouder said on August 30, 2011 at 2:29 pm
Connie, that is indeed a wonderful picture!
april glaspie said on August 30, 2011 at 2:30 pm
Bachmann, Perry and radical religionism. Long, but worthwhile.
paddyo' said on August 30, 2011 at 2:56 pm
And don’t forget, April G/Prospero @13, Obama’s head of FEMA is the same guy who was merely the best state emergency management director in the country for years, Craig Fugate of Florida. Imagine! A president hiring somebody who, like, actually knows how to do this hurricaney-tornadoey-floody-earthquakey-wildfirey stuff . . .
Judybusy said on August 30, 2011 at 2:58 pm
Connie, love the shot of the schnauzer in mid-air! My MIL also has one, but she just gives the “Hey you’re here! How ya doin’?” greeting then settles down.
Deborah said on August 30, 2011 at 4:30 pm
I hoard e-mails too. It’s how I keep track of everything going on with my projects. I save them onto my desktop in folders by date, each month has a different folder for sent e-mails and for incoming. I would be lost without this method. I save all of the attachments still in them as well. When I’m looking for something, I use the finder, works every time. I get so much spam in my personal e-mail account that I hardly ever look at it; I have to wade through so many e-mails it’s ridiculous. (semi-colon!)
brian stouder said on August 30, 2011 at 5:21 pm
Speaking of animal watching – a digression:
Yesterday at the end of lunch, I hopped into my car and drove to the STOP sign at the end of the street. Seeing nothing to the left, I pulled out and turned right.
A pickup truck soon appeared behind me, and immediately began to tailgate me. The speed limit on that stretch of road is 30 mph, which we were slightly above, and it becomes a school zone, so I was not inclined to speed up any further.
The man pulled finally out and passed me, as we approached the school(!), and blew his horn and shouted obscenities(!).
For my part, I pointed repeatedly (and dramatically) toward the school (and the speed limit signs, which were right there, too), and the guy slowed and waved me forward….and I went left and pulled alongside him.
He proceeded to rain expletives and obscenities upon me, and said I had pulled in front of him (back when I turned right, onto the street). For my part, I shouted three words at him, repeatedly: SCHOOL ZONE, THIRTY!! This caused him to shout a parting epithet, and drive on.
I then proceeded to the gas station and bought and icy cold Diet Pepsi – being sure that the foul-mouthed guy with anger-control issues had continued on past where I was headed (the Circle K with the good crushed ice, near their fountain)
Then, it hit me how stupid I was. Why on earth did I pull alongside that guy? How else might that event have played out? Anyway – other than Pam, and our new driver Grant, you’re the only folks I’ve told this to. I’ve not told the tale at work or socially, as the tale causes me more than a little embarrassment.
But now I have unloaded it, and feel a little better. (I love the cheap seats at this venue!)
april glaspie said on August 30, 2011 at 6:09 pm
But Deborah, you are doing authentic work, not undermining the Constitution, breaking the law, playing dirty politics, or blackmailing the head of the IMF. Although, if you deal with architects, you may need the mail to pin them down on something they “surmised” or “were asked” to comment on. Architects in my experience are the weasel-wordingest bunch I have ever come across. They abhor stating an objective opinion. I’m not sure why this is, because, otherwise they are a great bunch and a lot of fun. But it is characteristic that, though this is not a group of people good with words, they can always separate themselves from an unpopular consensus decision before the consensus isn’t stillborn any more. They are slippery about committing to an opinion. I shitcan all of it except the order paperwork when I buy stuff. Occassionally, I get something from my kid I save to go back to, or from an ex I found on the net who has something felicitous to say. But as God is my witness, I’ve never been implicated in anything I’m ashamed of by my IN or OUT email. Rove, Ceney? Track those despicable assholes down. I save some mails from my brothers. Mostly when they have outrageous musical links, like Led Zeppelin attempting Buffalo Springfield:
Now I love Led Zeppelin, and I think Steve is somewhat better than Clapton. But this is not quite right. It’s very cool, but couldn’t Robert and Jimmie have made the connection with Misty Mountain Hop? Paranoia seems to be a common thread. Drifting into basic Reggae seems pretty reasonable. Whatever. I’m a glib asshole and y’all are heartfelt. I’ve said all sorts of things to y’all I should have kept to myself. So we have the Hurricane season upon us. Why do asshole Republican goverors feel they have to pronounce the final syllable with a short a and no accent? It’s fucking <i<de rigeur for some reason. We say, We are Barbara Frietsche and we ain’t going nowhere. These suckers leave us alone and afflict NC where the born again water buffalos roam. I’ve had it. We have cases of Yellowtail and Sam. We have beaucoup batteries. We have serious triscuits, cheese and smoked oysters, and we have toons in our heads and in our memories. And we have intimacy. Seriously, why would we leave this isle?
Be not afeard; the isle is full of noises,
Sounds and sweet airs, that give delight and hurt not.
Sometimes a thousand twangling instruments
Will hum about mine ears, and sometime voices
That, if I then had waked after long sleep,
Will make me sleep again: and then, in dreaming,
The clouds methought would open and show riches
Ready to drop upon me that, when I waked,
I cried to dream again.
As beautiful as Shakes ever wrote. Or not. But mighty goddam gorgeous. And its in the voice and head of a monster? It seems just some normal twit that wishes he could understand? If not? The most gorgeous thing he ever wrote is the llast words of Richard II.
This royal throne of kings, this sceptred isle,
This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars,
This other Eden, demi-paradise,
This fortress built by Nature for herself
Against infection and the hand of war,
This happy breed of men, this little world,
This precious stone set in the silver sea,
Which serves it in the office of a wall
Or as a moat defensive to a house,
Against the envy of less happier lands,
This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England.
Well yeah, but he also said: You all have to be kidding me but what I think is No matter where; of comfort no man speak:
Let’s talk of graves, of worms, and epitaphs;
Make dust our paper and with rainy eyes
Write sorrow on the bosom of the earth,
Let’s choose executors and talk of wills:
And yet not so, for what can we bequeath
Save our deposed bodies to the ground?
Our lands, our lives and all are Bolingbroke’s,
And nothing can we call our own but death
And that small model of the barren earth
Which serves as paste and cover to our bones.
For God’s sake, let us sit upon the ground
And tell sad stories of the death of kings;
How some have been deposed; some slain in war,
Some haunted by the ghosts they have deposed;
Some poison’d by their wives: some sleeping kill’d;
All murder’d: for within the hollow crown
That rounds the mortal temples of a king
Keeps Death his court and there the antic sits,
Scoffing his state and grinning at his pomp,
Allowing him a breath, a little scene,
To monarchize, be fear’d and kill with looks,
Infusing him with self and vain conceit,
As if this flesh which walls about our life,
Were brass impregnable, and humour’d thus
Comes at the last and with a little pin
Bores through his castle wall, and farewell king!
Cover your heads and mock not flesh and blood
With solemn reverence: throw away respect,
Tradition, form and ceremonious duty,
For you have but mistook me all this while:
I live with bread like you, feel want,
Taste grief, need friends: subjected thus,
How can you say to me, I am a king?
april glaspie said on August 30, 2011 at 6:14 pm
That bastard knew what he was talking about. No shit. Truman Show.
april glaspie said on August 30, 2011 at 6:27 pm
Try watching a possum. Try watching a possum on the half-shell. We kidding?
Dave said on August 30, 2011 at 7:52 pm
Brian, it’s so hard to bite our tongues, isn’t it. I try to let everything go on the road anymore, as hard as it is, there are so many barely-qualified folks driving out there. I realize that reads somewhat arrogantly but I’ve driven successfully with little problem now for 45 years and feel that qualifies me to comment on the skill level of folks on the road today.
Nonetheless, one never knows what one may come up against and one should try to let it go. I had a co-worker gun nut tell me he held a gun up on I-469 and waved it at another driver who’d angered him somehow. Then, he realized just what he was doing and knew he was right on the edge of going too far. One never knows.
Led Zeppelin doing Buffalo Springfield? April, you find the most obscure stuff, it would never have occurred to me to even look for something like that. But then, you even knew Dwight Twilley, who I really didn’t think anyone knew anymore, and most folks never did.
moe99 said on August 30, 2011 at 8:32 pm
Ok, this should have gone up yesterday with Ed the Knife, but I didn’t find it until today. It is definitely not safe for work, so please don’t open it unless you are safely at home with no one else around. But it’s the kinder gentler version of Ed–how you can look like you are emasculated without going under the knife.
Julie Robinson said on August 30, 2011 at 9:10 pm
Brian–two events cure me forever of honking or in any way reacting to other drivers. The first was a similar situation to yours, where a bozo driving dangerously reacted to me honking at him by pulling over and following me to a store, then raging obscenities at me when I got out of my car. It was kinda terrifying.
The other was when a little old lady made a left turn from a cross street right in front of me, and as I was reaching for the horn I realized it was my mother-in-law! When I told my husband, he was just surprised that she had made a left turn. During his childhood she had gone miles out of her way to avoid making a left.
Connie said on August 30, 2011 at 9:13 pm
I saw that yesterday and it was one of the ickiest things I’ve ever seen on regretsy.
nancy said on August 30, 2011 at 9:18 pm
I don’t understand where everything’s hiding under there.
coozledad said on August 30, 2011 at 9:27 pm
I guess there’s a market for infantile men’s underwear. How about a respirator shaped cup with replaceable cartridges in a variety of scents? Or a cup that’s essentially a housing for a small solar powered fan. You could call it “solar wind” or “abbatoir”.
coozledad said on August 30, 2011 at 9:55 pm
I just saw the picture of the guy with his junk cinched up between his balls. He must be going camping or something. It looks like a girl with lipodystrophy. I would call this product “Le Mons”.
MichaelG said on August 30, 2011 at 11:25 pm
God, I know whereof you speak, Brian. I would sometimes act stupidly with my wife in the car. Didn’t help the marriage. I think I’ve pretty well grown out of that stuff but still have to stifle impulses. I wonder how many people are dead behind that kind of thing.
Moe, I could have gone all day without looking at that guy’s pussy. Nance, He’s got it stuffed backward or . . . Naw. Ed’s not still in bidness. Is he?
MarkH said on August 30, 2011 at 11:58 pm
“I still AM big. It’s the PICTURES that got small!”
Dexter said on August 31, 2011 at 3:06 am
My rabbit, but first I have to rave on a bit about Tom Morello’s brand new release , “Black Spartacus Heart Attack Machine”
This is our new anthem, we who hold the history of Organized Labor in high esteem, and it was just released August 29.
Now the rabbit..my older brother had to remind me what happened, as I had apparently blackened it from my childhood.
I was 7 years old, brother was 10 that summer of 1957.
Dad built a hutch which was kept in the big cow barn owned by our landlords in rural NE Indiana.
The landlord had a German Shepherd , Queenie.
My rabbit was Whitie, the other was Blackie.
The dog obviously preferred white and dark meat. The dog left fur and gristle, I guess…poor rabbits…great mystery of life…why did this have to happen? The whole experience must have freaked me out badly because I can remember all kinds of stuff from my childhood. Saturdays, sometimes, the big kid, son of the landlord, was dispatched to their more secure hutch to procure two rabbits. He just put them on the grass and shot them and took them away to skin and begin preparations for Sunday dinner. Living on a farm sucked, if you ask me. No wonder I have been known to utter I wish I had been brought up in a big city like New York.
“Pets or Meat?” read the sign in “Roger and Me”. Poor rabbits. God bless those who can keep a rabbit safe.
Dexter said on August 31, 2011 at 3:09 am
By the way, if Chaz Bono will wear the Camel Joe suit, I will watch “Dancing With the Stars” this year. The entertainment world is all a-ga-ga with Chaz accepting the invitation.
april glaspie said on August 31, 2011 at 3:16 am
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1tqxzWdKKu8. The thing with other drivers is always to keep your door between you and them. It is a masterpiece to kneecap the ahole with the dar door. And the idiot savant is always going to win. That is Rick Perry and he is a hump and a fucking moron. Good luck with that asshole running the alleged country into Riddley Walker territory or clearly stupider.
april glaspie said on August 31, 2011 at 6:28 am
Dexter, Our rabbit was called Hoppy. A fairly huge White Rex, He was my brother’s pet but my whole family loved him. Years later we all read Watership Down. Silflay haraka. My dog was a heroic and beautiful collie named Sandy, after the greatest pitcher that ever lived, and he loved the rabbit too. He was clearly the greatest dog that ever lived. And I find it difficult to believe you will watch that shit on TV. One hopes its on at the same time as SAMCCRO. And Tom Morello, isn’t Bob Dylan, and he isn’t Steve Earle, and he sure as shit ain’t the Boss, but he is authentic, in my opinion, And he is pissed off. DWTS? Who could deal with that idiocy? Now apparently with some Kardashian wide load? Hines? How could you? Greatest blocker in the history of the NFL outside of linemen. And twinkletoes? Say it ain’t so.
Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on August 31, 2011 at 7:34 am
Happy birthday to Dorothy (just in case I don’t get on again today here for the new thread). This seems encouraging as far as copy-editor-bots go as a replacement option:
nancy said on August 31, 2011 at 7:58 am
I’ve had far stupider conversations than that, Jeff. I think Skynet is nearly complete.