Monday, 27 August 2007

The cat who needed no guidelines

I came across an interesting article for cats. While I was reading it, Janeway hopped up onto the desk and started playing with one of those plastic-covered wire ties.

Here's the link to what I was reading:

I had the last laugh. She chased the tie all the way down the stairs and by the time she reached the bottom it had got stuck to her collar magnet.

Friday, 17 August 2007


Last night Pussy Janeway trotted into the lounge from outside, a little mouse clamped in her jaws. She dropped it onto the floor in front of me, patted it a few times to check it was dead, and began to eat it head first. After a couple of minutes she had devoured every last scrap.

Those who equate selfishness with inconsiderate behaviour would call that selfish. I call it boorish. Yes, I know she had no obligation to share her mouse with me... but PJ's staple foods are crunchies and the jelly surrounding the "meaty chunks" in the more expensive brands of cat food. The mouse was just a snack, and it would have been polite to offer me some. After all, I always share my king prawns with her.

Thursday, 16 August 2007

Equal but different

Paddy. who comes from a largish family, used to refer to his siblings by number ("my first sister" etc.). He now speaks of the cats in the the same way: "Cat One" and "Cat Two". I regard this as invidious. If we cannot be bothered to call the kitties by their names, Janeway and Kirk, then we must say "Cat One" and "Cat Other One" (I'm not sure which is which).

My boss would understand. We are planning a team visit to one of our facilities but have to split into two parties because of space restrictions. He has designated these "Team A" and "Team 1".

Wednesday, 8 August 2007

Holy parts

Diana Hsieh's recent post at NoodleFood on Creative Swearing, and the ensuing comments, reminded me that my mother used to swear by God's teeth (Teeth?). I'm not sure if it had anything to do with the fact that her father, who was on earth, earned his daily bread as a dentist.

Tuesday, 7 August 2007

Sarah Key

Back problems? Joint stiffness? To relieve the pain take two Sarah Keys:

The Body in Action (Allen & Unwin, Crow's Nest, 2006)

The Back Sufferers' Bible (Vermilion, London,2000)

She's Australian (Crow's Nest is apparently in New South Wales) and the books can be hard to get hold of, but they're worth the trouble of finding. Actually it's not that much trouble if you use a service like Abebooks.

The exercises Sarah Key prescribes worked for both Paddy and me. I tried them when I had back pain a couple of years ago, and they helped me get rid of it. More recently, when my right wrist started hurting from my too-rigid grip on the fencing foil, the relevant exercises fixed that. I only have recourse to the books for specific problems, but Paddy does the exercises several times a week because he finds they keep his joints supple and pain free.

Paddy, who used to work as a doctor, says Sarah Key is obviously fascinated by anatomy as her books give excellent functional descriptions of the joints. (For all I know the knee bone's connected to the T-bone, but I trust his college gold medals - one of them was for anatomy).

Prince Charles, much battered from his polo days, wrote the Forward to TBSB, but don't let that put you off; he too commends the clarity of the explanations and the effectiveness of the exercises themselves.

Monday, 6 August 2007

The Top and the... no, just the top

I know it's a month since I left for OCON in Colarado, but I want to post about my last full day in Telluride, which I devoted to a high-altitude hike. I climbed to over 12,200 feet - here, on the side of a cable station, is the proof:

Setting off from Mountain Village (height c. 9500 feet),

I walked up to Saint Sophia (about a thousand feet higher - it's quicker by gondola)

and from there took the See Forever and Wasatch Connection trails. Hours later I finished the hike in Telluride town (yes, down there).

A man I met coming the other way with his two young sons warned me that the trail was very exposed in parts - right on the edge of the mountain, so you could see how far you'd roll down if you lost your footing. He advised me to watch out for the slippery shale and said I'd have to ford several streams. They all come from melt water...

I'm not sure if he'd noticed my inadequate footwear (old sneakers, no grip at all). Anyway, his advice helped me cope when I got to the tricky bits he'd mentioned. He was another Objectivist who'd lingered after the end of the conference. How did I know? It could have been the look in his eye, or the accuracy of his information... but I went by the fact that he was wearing an OCON T-shirt.