Thursday, July 23, 2009

Ignatian retreat, hooray!

I'm right about to leave with some friends for an eight-day silent retreat like I did last summer, and very grateful for the chance since it's just what I need right now. Prayers would be appreciated. :) I'll be back around August 1. If I owe you an email, for a while I'll have an actual excuse for not having answered you yet. Nobody burn down the house while I'm gone!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Sometimes problems are cannibals and eat each other up

My mom was walking in our neighborhood recently when she met a neighbor who told her about the house problems she'd been having. The neighbor had noticed some marks on the wall above her fireplace mantel. She said to a contractor, "What are these? It's not water." He cut out a five foot section of her wall and found a bee hive that went the length of the fireplace. Behind it was the petrified body of a rat. Its teeth were embedded in a wire which had electrocuted it and started a fire. But the honey had put out the fire, thus saving the house.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

A soliciting purr

It turns out that cats have two different purrs-- the contented one and a more urgent one that has a stronger level of a certain high-frequency sound. This study found that cats use the "soliciting purr" when they want to be fed.
Recordings and a video of the purring here.

I'm not surprised; my cat does have a different purr when she wants something.

Incidentally this reminds me of when I was a Gong Frosh in college, charged with protecting the mallet that the Lloyd House President used to beat the our gong every night at dinner. Somebody stole the mallet and left a list of demands to be fulfilled for its return, and one requirement was that Sandip (the other Gong Frosh) and I had to follow the House President around for a while. Whenever he greeted anybody, Sandip had to bark and I had to purr. It wasn't easy.

Later I discovered that my own roommate had been in on the mallet-stealing plot. It's been thirteen years, but I haven't forgotten. Oh, no. I have not forgotten.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

What's wrong with this ad?

I was reading a realtor's newsletter today. Under a picture of a fourplex was this paragraph, which I copy verbatim in spite of wincing at the "it's":

In 2001 this property sold for $395,000. In 2006, it was refinanced and appraised for $790,000 ($398,000 increase in 4 years; almost $100,000/year increase). It is now listed for $799,000 so it has maintained it's value during the last 3 slow real estate years. It will increase in value as the economy further recovers and surpass the $799,000 value.

Do you think this is a good deal? We do! It's an opportunity staring you right in the face.

There's an outrageous claim being made there. Readers, restore my faith in human intelligence and tell me what it is!

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Never challenge me to a shootout!

I'm the best space ranger in the galaxy.