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30 Apr

More hamsters


If you tear up tissue into smallish pieces and put them into your hamster cage, they’ll chew them up and line their nests with them. One of mine gets pretty fancy about it, too. This always makes me feel guilty when I clean the cage, because it destroys her fancy nest-work and has to start all over. I guess it gives them something to do tho.

The lighter grey hamster has learned that a hand inside the cage equals probable tasty treats, and thus she stands up on her hind legs, waving her front paws in the air to grab my finger in anticipation. Sometimes she even stands up like that if she sees I’m walking around in the room. She kind of looks like a mini-dancing bear. I could probably train her to walk on her hind legs as a ‘trick’, but I’m too lazy. It’s really cute tho.


27 Apr

The new pets: dwarf hamsters

dwarf hamsters

During the early Winter I finally decided to acquire some dwarf hamsters as pets. They’re very small and as adorable as can be. These two have very different personalities and so…you guessed it…I have a favorite. The one on the right. She’s light grey, more active/amusing and more affectionate. For a hamster, that is.

dwarf hamster

Much as I love cats, I’m still unsure if I want another cat once Baby dies - the care and time-commitment isn’t as appealing to me now as it was when I was twenty - and since dwarf hamsters are VERY simple to care for and have a short lifespan, I thought they’d be an option. I’d really like a squirrel, but, well, that’s not an option here. Dwarf hamsters are awesome tho, so I’m happy.

And no, Baby-kitty isn’t jealous. ;)

24 Jun

It’s amazing…

…to what lengths I will go to in order to avoid reformatting my hard drive. I used to do it once every year at the least, but once I realized how much more stable WinXP was over it’s predecessors, I started slacking. The last time I think I did a reformat was…um…three or four years ago. Point is, I need to reformat/reinstall XP, but I keep putting it off. Tweak the registry here and there, defrag constantly, and so on. It works…but no matter what you do, the system becomes more and more unstable. And the longer you go without, the more stuff you have to remember in order to reorganize the computing system back to the way you prefer it. I’m not talking about just backing up your “important files,” either. That’s easy. It’s more…

“Which settings did I tweak in Firefox, again?”
“Which things did I tweak in XP and how to do it, again?”
“What mods/patches did I use with that program/save game files/whatever again?”


Of course, the other bottom line in my case is that I also really need to build a new computer altogether. I keep almost doing it, but each time something (or my husband) convinces me it’s better to wait (more bang for your buck later). But frankly, there’s always a reason to wait…it really only, and always, boils down to “do I feel like spending money on that right now?” And unless you’re rich or a tech trend geek, the answer is usually “not really.”


12 Jun

Red Sox Sweep Yankees, again

Penny vs. Sabathia. Didn’t seem like a level pitching match up. I think a lot of us fans weren’t truly expecting to win last night. Hoping, but not sure if we believed in Penny enough.
But then Penny pitched a gem of a game. A quality start and more. And Ortiz blasted another homer, causing fans everywhere to scream in joyful delight for the long-slumping Big Papi, who seems to have finally found at least part of his groove again. His home run gave the Red Sox a slim one run lead, which held for quite some time.

Then the Yankees scored some runs, pulling ahead in the 7th. Red Sox Nation groaned, wondering if the streak of wins against the Yankees was going to end. We had time to get it back, it’s not over, our guys can do it. We held our breath, we hollered at our screens, we pounded fists on tables, we wrote furious notes back and forth via whatever internet social network we had chosen to express ourselves.

Then Rocco Baldelli made a fantastic catch in center field in the top of the 8th, and along with relief pitcher Saito’s strikeouts, that helped keep the Yankee lead from growing.
And then in the bottom of the 8th, Nick Green hit a single. And Pedroia toughed out an amazing 10 pitch at bat to finally wear out Sabathia and gain base via a walk.
Then JD Drew got a hit and Green scored. Jason Bay hit and scored Pedroia. Mike Lowell managed a sacrifice that scored Drew. Suddenly Boston was ahead again, 4-3. Red Sox were making another bid for a comeback win, and as always it felt tingly-dramatic.

Then Jonathan Papelbon, the star closer, walked to the mound at the top of the 9th.
He got some help from Nick Green, who made a stunning, superb grab/spin/toss of a hard liner, stealing a base hit away from Yankee lead-off batter Derek Jeter.
Two more Yankees came to the plate - and two more Yankees were gone.

Red Sox beat the Yankees to sweep the 3 game series. More importantly, the Red Sox have played the Yankees eight times so far in this season, and they’ve beat them eight times. It’s a grand feeling, beating an “arch nemesis” like that. We can feel smug, we can revel in the emotion of being First. Oh, we all know it cannot and will not last…the Yankees have too many good players, and they must win against Boston someday. But the Red Sox/Yankees don’t play against each other again for a couple months - and in the meantime, it is glorious.

23 Mar

Lifes little updates, part 3,423,531

I was going to post a few more squirrel pictures and other odds and ends, but became distracted by:

1 - An extremely bad case of “Unmotivateditis” and mental “CrashandBurnism”
2 - A general lack of interest in “doing” anything besides staring at the wall.
3 - A simple but fun single-player PC game called Mount and Blade. It’s a strategy/rpg type game about medieval Kingdom relations/war/combat that is completely open-ended/non-linear. Great horse-riding combat, too.

I haven’t done much gaming in a while, but it appears that whenever I’m struck by a bad case of the first two things, I tend to retreat back into spurts of gaming. Mount and Blade is an easy game to pick up and then drop, repeatedly, with no plot or escalating “missions” to make you feel you have to finish right now. The game doesn’t even really have an ending, you could play forever. Anyway, I enjoy it.

–In other news, after looking at, then deciding not to buy, another used van similar to the one he already has, hubby decided to just have his van painted. His van has had a bad case of flaking-off paint for some years and had a lot of rust on the roof. Not attractive. The van itself still seems to run ok, which is kind of amazing, really … and now it looks all shiny and new. Well, kind of. At least it’s not a rusting hulk anymore.

–During a couple of days where the sun was out and it felt like Spring I did some weeding in the yard. The dirt patch near the front door had become a hive of weeds seemingly overnight. As I picked and shoveled them out, I came upon the realization that I don’t like empty dirt patches, and I don’t like tanbark ground cover. Oh sure, it’s pretty when new, but a few years later…plus, with all the leaves that fall here, when you try to rake leaves over the tanbark, half the tanbark comes with the leaves.

–Baby-kitty still seems determined to outlive his human owners. Ok, not really, since if he did, he’d be the oldest house cat EVER, but he is one determined senior kitty. Every time I think “uh oh, might be put-down time” he bounces back again and seems fine. A little wobbly and weak hipped, which means he’s beginning to have a hard time balancing while squatting in cat-litter (sigh) but … yup, he’s enjoying his time being the only cat in the house, and he means to enjoy it for as long as possible.

–I’m apparently mildly allergic to hazelnuts.

–The constant stream of new allergies as I get older becomes more irritating all the time, especially when I don’t know what it is causing the problem for a long while. And despite all the “free” detergents they have now, I seem to still have reactions from those now and then, too. I think I’m at least mildly allergic to all the dust the sycamore tree leaves on our street put out - more contact than nose, but some of both. For instance, after weeding the front yard and stirring up a lot of that dust, I didn’t shower or change clothes, and later that day I had some bad contact rashes on the torso. I’d guess from the dust getting into my shirt and through to rub on my skin. A few hours after showering, it calmed down and by morning it was gone. Sigh. I should live in a bubble.

Well, that’s enough babbling for one day.

16 Feb

Rainy days and squirrels

It’s been raining. And raining. Which is good, since we’re in the middle of a bad drought. The backyard squirrels still come to the sliding glass door between heavy downpours. I could talk all day about the squirrels in our yard … one day I’ll blog about it in depth. Maybe.

But in brief, after a couple months of patience, many will now quickly come when I call or when they hear the door slide open. There’s maybe 7 or 9 of them that visit either every day or every other day. I spoil them I suppose, and a few will take food from my hand now, but I’m also careful about making sure they stay wild. In other words, they do just fine if I skip giving them anything etc. :P

The squirrels eat a little of what I hand out - I’m very particular about what I give them, with a large variety of nuts and some fruit - but mostly they love to bury everything. Their favorite nuts to bury appears to be almonds (shelled or unshelled), unshelled walnuts, and unshelled peanuts, in that order. Some will watch and dig up what one squirrel buried, only to rebury it. Their “I must bury” obsession never seems to end. They’re very busy creatures that give me hours of amusement from just watching them through the windows.

I still put out birdseed, too. There’s at least 8 mourning doves and quite a few bluebirds that caw-caw-caw for their daily peanuts. Gazillions of pictures have been snapped…I think I’ll start posting some of them, now. May as well…what’s the point of taking a photo if you never share it?

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