Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Yet ANOTHER Swine Flu Alert, Really.

Yes, you have all no doubt heard about the swine flu and the attending symptoms and panic warnings. The news media is constantly mining the scientific journals and secret medical networks for any other information that will protect the public from this insidious and frightening illness.

The indications are similar to and include the normal flu symptoms of fever, lethargy, lack of appetite, coughing, runny nose, and sore throat, the porcine version may also incorporate nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

Yuck. You only thought you didn't want this stuff. It gets worse.

Further medical sleuthing by yours truly has unearthed yet other warning signs that the swine flu has been contracted. Some indicators the alert patient may notice are:
• in game situations, hogging the ball increases
• in social situations, hogging attention and even hogging the camera intensifies
• melancholy at the smell of bacon or pork chops cooking
• aching in the ribs when hickory smoke is detected
• Snorting/oinking when coughing/sneezing

Please be aware of these symptoms in addition to the regular discomforts. While serious and certainly nasty, for the most part this illness is not fatal, but I hear that by the middle of the second day, you'll wish it was.

As an added precaution, please gargle after any display of affection from a pig, hog, boar or even javalina. (While the last is not technically a swine, it has a generally malevolent disposition and will likely bite your face off after it pretends to want to give you a nice peck on the cheek. Your nose will likely be running, but not from congestion. More like running for the border after being removed from your face.)

Just be careful out there. I can't afford to lose any more readers.

That is all...stay well.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Cat Update: Happy Ending!

Well, the kitties did indeed get re-rescued by their biological mother. While she didn’t knock on the door she did come back for the kids. My girls are bummed, but I am relieved.

We left the kittens out in their box lid and let mama cat overcome her shyness; she did come and gather them back up. Every time we went out last evening to check on them, all I could see were a pair of eyes glowing from the bushes in the beam of my flashlight.

I went out this morning and got the puddin' scared out of me when the black mama cat jumped and hissed at me like some wild, evil spirit flying from the shadows. Lucky I didn't kick her over the fence. Of course, that's hard to do when you're jumping backward with chill-bumps colliding with each other all over your body! She had obviously secured her progeny and for some reason was returning to the scene, possibly to make sure the mittens were recovered as well.

Ms. Kitty had a home under our shed anyhow, I think. We had a frog-strangler rain on Saturday and I think that they just got displaced temporarily. My 13 year-old found them before the mom got back with her FEMA voucher.

I am, once again, a free man. No kittens in the house, no cat food to buy, and hopefully, the family will control the “abundant wildlife” that is in the neighborhood. Sometimes this wildlife finds its way into our attic or pantry. If these cats are going to illegally squat under my shed, they need to make themselves useful. Especially after the fright that mama gave me this morning.

Dang cat.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Dang Cats

Driving home from church in my middle daughter’s car, her in the passenger seat, my youngest called with the news that she found two kitties in the back yard.


The youngest didn’t go to church this morning because she didn’t feel very good. Well, she apparently felt good enough just before noon to slosh around in our rain-soaked backyard to find these wayward little cats. Actually, the dogs found them.

They’re fat little things, not like they have been neglected and abandoned. Most likely the mom had a batch of them under our shed, and the rain drove them out.

The girls have already taken them in, made a box/bed for them and laid claim to each one. Oh. My. Gosh. They’re getting ready to go to WallyWorld, I think, to further celebrate the coming of the feline children.

I am hoping to see a mama cat come knocking at the door looking for her lost kittens. I imagine her showing tiny mittens that she had been knitting for just these-sized kittens to prove that she is indeed the parent.

Whether the mother cat comes to request the children from foster care or not, I feel like this won’t be the last you will read about these little animals.

The cats. I meant the cats.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Golden Memories

Memory is a funny thing, especially for the geezer. For the important things; an onion, toilet paper, paper towels, angel hair pasta, butter and ummmm, what else was I supposed to get?, the memory is an unreliable sense at best.

But for the “unimportant” things; the smell of “vampire blood” that you got for Halloween, what that girl’s favorite headband looked like, the feeling of the sand eroding in fast motion from under your feet and hands as the Gulf waves recede from the beach, the memory is a beautiful, golden picture frame.

We all had great times when we were 16 or 17 when we were at our best. Those days stick in our heads more tenaciously than the grocery list or, in certain situations, the correct names of our children.

My old buddy Charley D. up in Oregon has a blog, Skippin’ Rocksand there resides a series of posts, four to be exact, that start to chronicle the beginnings of his love of playing music. I need all of you fellow geezers, and interested non-geezers, to go over in a couple of spare minutes and read Charley’s thoughts.

Cereal. It was cereal that I was supposed to get. Cap'n Crunch. Yeah.
Be sure to scroll all the way down to the very first section, or you'll miss the beginning of the story, and obviously that's pretty important!