Archive for September, 2007

Lions And Tigers…

September 30, 2007

… but no bears, OH MY!

First… the reptile show. Long story short… meet Captain Malcolm Reynolds:

He weighs 8 grams, is quite tame and friendly, and knows very well what to do with crickets. (Hint: They quickly become ex-crickets.)

I saw all I needed to see at the reptile show on Saturday, so decided instead of coming straight home, to spend the morning at the Sacramento Zoo. A lovely little zoo, with lions and tigers–but no bears. Not a one. I was there once before, 15 years ago, and they had a group of polar bears that put on quite a show, jumping into their pool over and over again. But now, no bears of any kind.

No, pandas are not bears. Here is a red panda:

And a white-ruffed lemur:

Check out the dreadlocks on the orangutan:

There’s a fair-sized flock of flamingos:

And the best part: the kitties! First, a jaguar:

A young Sumatran tiger:

And how does one choose just one picture of a snow leopard??

Those are the only critters I took pictures of. There are also some strange and exotic birds, river otters, a giant anteater, giraffes, zebras, penguins (on temporary exhibit), emus, wallabys, more primates and various other things, including of course the reptile house, which I went through twice. (No crested geckos on display, but they did have a couple of other kinds of geckos.)

A group of chimpanzees put on quite a show. One took a bite out of a raw onion–and then pushed the rest through the bars of the cage to the outside! Another kept swinging down on a rope and landing on another one who was trying to nap–with resultant indignant screechings and chasings all over the habitat. Very entertaining.

All in all, an entertaining morning. It’s a small enough zoo that you can see everything in a couple of hours. Fortunately, I had found a parking place that stayed shady, so I didn’t have a well-done baked gecko when I got back to the car. In fact… he was quite cold, because I had put a bag of ice near his container, just to be sure. I warmed him up, put him back to bed, and then we came home.

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Stupid

September 28, 2007

I’m blogging from the road, headed for a weekend reptile show.

I followed a van for many miles. Its rear panel sticker asked any busybody to call a toll-free number if the van was speeding.

Trouble was, in order to READ the toll-free number to report the speeding, I would have had to crawl right up the van’s tailpipe–just as illegal a maneuver at 70+ miles per hour as speeding.

I wonder if they use small print on purpose?

And no, the toll-free number was not 1-800-EAT-STUFF.

Service! Finally!

September 26, 2007

Ninjababe (no link ’cause she hasn’t blogged in over a year, the piglet) used to tease me that I had the oldest cell phone on the planet.

Well… I hardly ever use the thing (travel and emergencies mostly), so there wasn’t much need to replace it. But in the last few months it has developed the annoying habit of shutting itself off for no apparent reason, so I finally decided it was time.

I got the new phone a week ago Monday and set about getting my number transferred to it. The customer service representative assured me that the new phone should be activated within 48 hours.

Within 24 hours I could make calls from the new phone, but couldn’t receive incoming calls. Three calls to tech support later, I was told that if it was not working by the end of that day, they would have to give me a new phone number and start all over again.

Well… it still wasn’t working by the appointed time, so I called again. This time I got a tech support rep named Jose who actually spoke very good English, with only a trace of an accent. The earlier reps were all very polite and very professional–but their accents (from India, I think) were so hard to understand, it was hard to keep my patience.

Jose ran through all of the tests the other reps had tried–but then he did something the others hadn’t done, which was to get the number portability department on the phone. They suggested a few things to try. Then Jose put me on hold, called my cell number–and it rang for the first time! So I didn’t have to change my number after all. I told Jose I appreciated (a) his good English and (b) that he actually solved my problem. I hope the “this call may be monitored” police were listening. I also told him to tell his boss I said he should take the rest of the day off ’cause he was so good. He laughed and said, “I wish!”

So, for those in the know, I still have the same cell phone number, and for those who care, there is some good tech support out there, if you just call enough times and by luck of the draw actually get to it on one of your calls.

WTF??!?

September 22, 2007

Mattel apologizes to China over recalls.

Mattel Inc. tried to save face Friday with Chinese officials, taking the blame for the recent recalls of millions of Chinese-made toys as it strives to mend a strained relationship with the nation that makes most of its toys and fattens its profit…

…Mattel is worried that the Chinese government is going to make it difficult for them to produce, put their costs up and hurt their stock price…

Chinese food, drugs and other products ranging from toothpaste to seafood are also under intense scrutiny because they have been found to contain potentially deadly substances…

Wait a minute. Shouldn’t China be apologizing to the entire planet for sending out all those tainted and poisonous products??

Instead we have American executives bending over and grabbing the ankles and mea-culpa-ing all over the place.

The wussification of society marches on.

I’m going to go hide under the bed now.

And In Other News…

September 22, 2007

… a friend who would probably prefer to remain anonymous passed along a groovy video.

(A warning for all you wimps. There’s language. Watch at your own risk.)

Two Kinds Of News

September 22, 2007

The good news: This morning the landlord came by and told me next week they’re measuring for new thermal paned windows. That should mean (a) less outside neighbor noise (alas, won’t do a thing for the through-the-walls kind) and (b) much smaller utility bills in the winter.

The bad news: You would not believe the rearranging and shoveling I will have to do to make all windows accessible to the window installers. Does “dismantling my entire office” bring up any images?? See, I have this sort of cobbled-together wraparound arrangement that covers three of the walls, including of course the window wall, and to move the part that’s in front of the window, I have to dismantle the whole thing. Bye bye desk. The not-so-bad news is that it should take a few weeks at least to order the windows, so I’ll have some time. I hope. I doubt these are stock sizes; but you never know. The other four windows are a lot easier to get to, thank heaven.

What If…

September 20, 2007

… MoveOn.org had been around 65 years ago?

General Eisenhower or General Lies and Power?

Hat tip: Samantha

Growing Children

September 15, 2007

Firefly is taking this growth spurt thing seriously. She has gained nearly 2 grams in just 2 weeks. I took this picture of her last night after she slurped down about 20 crickets:

The Spook, meanwhile, wasn’t particularly interested in eating crickets. He just wrapped his toes and tail around my thumb and wouldn’t let go.

This evening I couldn’t find The Spook in his cage. Turned out he had slithered under his paper towel and was sleeping… upside down.

New Picture Of Inara

September 13, 2007

No, I don’t know yet for certain she is really a she. I hope so.

The Hits Just Keep On Coming

September 13, 2007

Hey, Geico! Time to get up!