Thursday, 28 February 2008

This blog is bugging me!

The last post I wrote - My cat, the niphead - took me about 40 minutes to write and then about another three hours to post! Now, I could have been spending that time far more productively - watching TV, soaking in a lovely warm bath full of luxurious bubbles, reading a good book, trying to figure out how to use Photoshop CS3 (struggling with that one!), sleeping, annoying my cats, annoying my brother etc. etc. OK, so the only really productive thing in that list is trying to learn how to use CS3 - but that is even more frustrating than posting a blog. Anyway, back to the plot.......The reason it took me so long to post the blog was because everytime I tried to post it, the line spacing didn't space properly. Sometimes, it doubled spaced. Then it single spaced. Then it didn't space between paragraphs. Now, this may not seem like a big deal, but I just like things to be right. I need things to be correct. My brother tells me that I am obsessive compulsive - he mocks me because I need my glasses and mugs to be in the right place in the cupboard, or the canned food to be sorted according to food type and then lined up. Now, don't get me wrong, I am by no means a clean freak - you just have to look under my couch to see the two extra cats - I have dust cats, not dust bunnies - but I do like things to be in the right place. The same is true of my blog, and I should not have to spend 3 hours to get it to look right. I need those three hours, if for nothing else, then for sleep. You may not know what I look like, but trust me - I need my beauty sleep!

Tuesday, 26 February 2008

My cat, the niphead.

Catnip - the feline equivalent of pot. Or is it? If this is the case, then my cat is a niphead and I am her pusher. Can you imagine it? My little Tessie girl - coming in one day looking for her bigman, bagboy, peddler, gunther. She is cashed and she needs more skunk, bobo bush, broccoli, catnip, some real diggidy. She asks me "Anything going on?" and, as always, I let her have just what she wants. She nearly always gets what she wants, since she is just sooooo cute, how could I say no? And then she is off. She is an eater and after just a few seconds she is feeling beautiful, baby. She is hopped up, stoned, spaced out, coasting and flying. Then, after just a few minutes she is done. Luckily, there are no agonies, but she does sometimes get the munchies - she likes to satisfy these by trying to eat bubble wrap, plastic bags or, her favourite, polystyrene.

Translation (for those not down with the drug slang):

My little Tessie girl - coming in one day looking for her drug supplier. She has no more drugs and she needs marijuana, some real good herb. She asks me "Do you have any drugs to sell"? and, as always, I let her have just what she wants. She nearly always gets what she wants, since she is just sooooo cute, how could I say no? And then she is off. She is a cat that eats marijuana and after just a few seconds she is feeling really high and happy. She is hopped up, stoned, spaced out, coasting and flying - I don't think that I need a translation for those ones. Then, after just a few minutes she is done. Luckily, there are no withdrawal symptoms, but she does sometimes get real hungry after the herb. She likes to satisfy this by trying to eat bubble wrap, plastic bags or, her favourite, polystyrene.

You may wonder why there is no translation for bubble wrap, plastic bags or polystyrene - well that is because that is actually what she likes to try and eat - hey, I love my cats, but I am not trying for one second to pretend that they are anything but crazy!

So, is this what catnip is really like for cats? I have done a bit of research and here is what I have found out. If you are not interested in learning anything new today, just look at the pretty pictures, ooooh and ahhhhh a bit and then you are done.

Catnip - from the plant Nepata cataria.
Active ingredient is a terpene, nepetalactone.
Chemical acts via olfactory receptors in the nasal cavity - so Tess, you need to sniff it, not eat it!
After a few minutes, the receptors no longer respond to the chemical, and so the cat will lose interest and walk away.
It is not addictive and appears to cause no damage to the cat - so the fact that Tess is a bit weird cannot be blamed on the diggidy.
Some cats do not respond to catnip at all - it is a dominant genetic trait. If a cat inherits one copy of the catnip gene, they will respond to it. Otherwise, they are completely immune to its effect.
It is thought to mimic a sex pheromone, although this has not been proven and both male and females respond to catnip in similar manners.

Now, when Tess has a good sniff, she gets hyperactive and you have to watch out for her claws. She likes to roll in it and rub it all over her face and body. Willow will also indulge in the weed, but she is a bit mellower about the whole thing. Apparently, the fresh herb is even more effective than dried, so I might try buying them some for their birthday - I shall let you know how that goes - March 21st.


My cat willingly puts her head inside the catnip container - when she can no longer reach it with her paws, well, she has to get at it somehow. So, you don't have to go running off to the SPCA or humane society.

My knowledge of drug slang comes purely from reading - honest, gov!

Thursday, 21 February 2008

And the clouds parted and lo and behold.....

Beautiful! Last night was a full lunar eclipse. I didn't think we would get to see it, since it had been cloudy all day. But, just as I was going to give up and go back inside, because I hadn't actually got a clue where the moon was going to be and I was getting cold, the clouds broke and there she was, in all her fiery orange-red glory. I was even inspired enough to get out my camera and my tripod - and that doesn't happen too often due to my lazy gene. Unfortunately, the lazy gene had its effect, since I couldn't be bothered to get into the car to drive anywhere away from all the lights around my house, so the photo was taken from the warmth and comfort of my home. Oh well, maybe next time - 21st December, 2010 - mark it on your calendars!

Sunday, 17 February 2008

OK, so I didn't have to call him a moron......

Today was a glorious day. The kind of day one waits for all wet and soggy winter. The kind of day one longs for while sliding down one hill and waiting patiently (or not so patiently, see previous post) to try and get up the next hill, which has a nice fresh layer of snow that is covering a layer of ice that any hockey rink owner would be proud of. The kind of day one waits for so that you can say to Mr. Don't Bug me "See, I told you that we didn't need snow tyres" even though you are quite well aware of the fact that you were horribly wrong in insisting that snow tyres really weren't needed in this part of Canada.

So, on this gloriously clear and sunny day, we (Mr. DBM, brother S - yes, he is still here - and I) went for a walk around the local park. The views of the ocean with a backdrop of the mountains, with their sugar coating of snow, were magnificent. The dogs were content, fetching sticks for their owners, who kept dropping them. Parents were happy that they could get their kids out of the house and bike rental places around the park were happy to finally have some business. Everyone was happy with the world. But I had a problem. Everywhere I looked, people were breaking the rules. There were cyclists on the footpath and roller bladers going the wrong way. There were men running while wearing very tight lycra shorts with apparently no support underneath (there may not actually be any kind of rule against this, but there should be)! There were children feeding the squirrels and people parked where there are no parking signs. What I don't really understand is why people think that the rules don't apply to them - why do they think that they are so special that it is OK for them to do whatever they like. Now, my brother did tell me to relax a bit and to stop sounding like Victor Meldrew and he had a point - were any of these wrong doings really so bad? The men in lycra shorts - yes, but the others? It is not as if it were that crowded in the park. So's not the end of the world.

But then I saw something that I just couldn't ignore - I had to say something. A twenty something man was hucking stones at a seagull, who was just sitting on a rock, minding his own business, admiring the view, having a nap - whatever. And this guy picks up a stone and throws it at the seagull. Did I really see that? Was he really throwing a stone at the seagull? So I watch him, and he does it again. Right, that is it - I just had to say something.

"What is wrong with you, you moron. If you have to throw stones, try throwing them at your buddies and leave the poor seagull alone."

Well, it was something like that. I realise now that this was not perhaps the most diplomatic way I could have addressed the situation. But then I have never been known for diplomacy. If that is needed, Mr. DBM is bought in. I am usually saved for when all diplomatic channels have been exhausted and swearing is the only course of action left. Looking back on the incident, I am glad that I said something, but I do now think that I didn't have to call him a moron.....

Thursday, 14 February 2008

Tall trucks and low bridges

Warning - rant and rave follows.

OK, so here goes, my first post as Don't Bug Me, since someone really bugged me yesterday. I was trying to get to work. This is normally a 30 minute commute, mostly down a highway. Just as I get on to the highway, traffic grinds to a halt. This is never a good sign. I sigh, turn the radio up and prepare myself for a wait - why worry, I can't change anything, I have lots of time, just keep clam, you will get there, eventually. All this is just a futile attempt to stop my blood pressure going up as I sit there and fume and wonder what the hell is going on up there. I sit there and I watch the lane next to me. Is it moving faster? Should I move over? There is a gap..... I didn't take it, and now that lane is definitely moving faster - why didn't I move over? Deep breath - remember your blood pressure.....

I really need to know what is going on, so I tune my radio to the traffic channel. Once I find out the answer, there is no stopping the ever increasing blood pressure. Some numb nut tried to drive his too tall vehicle under a too low bridge! Apparently large chunks of concrete are now covering the road and the bridge has a large hole in it! Now, I am no truck driver, I do not own a large haulage company and I have never even set foot inside a large articulated lorry. However, I do know that a truck that is taller than a bridge is high is not going to get under said bridge. I also know that any decent lorry driver should know the length, width, weight and HEIGHT of his vehicle. I also know that when carrying a load that is abnormally wide or high, that it would be prudent to check your route for narrow lanes or low obstacles, such as bridges!

So, a big THANK YOU to the driver of that abnormally tall load that apparently did not know the height of his vehicle - I had a wonderful time, sitting on that highway thinking of all the ways that you should get punished for being such a numb nut. How about standing on the side of the road and holding up a sign apologising to all of those drivers you delayed? No, that wouldn't work, since all the rubberneckers would have to slow down to read it and hold everyone up again! How about dangling you from the bridge over the highway, so you can get a sense of how high it really is? Suffers from the same problem as the first suggestion. How about handwritten letters of apology to everyone you held up - assuming you can read and write? Oooooh, I've got it - how about a honking big fine and a bill for damages!

Any other ideas for a suitable punishment?

While I am on my rant and rave about unprofessional truck drivers, here are a few more issues:

1). Overtaking other trucks on a hill and holding everyone else up - OK, so you may be going 2 kph faster than the truck in the slow lane, which means you are now going 72 kph instead of 70kph. Well, the rest of us can make it up the hill at the speed limit, so PULL OVER!
2). Try actually stopping at red lights and stop signs - barrelling through them because you are going too fast to stop is really not a good excuse. You will probably walk away from an accident with a car, but I suspect the driver of the car will not be so lucky!
3). Just because you want to pull out into the lane that I am actually in and just because you slap on your indicator does not mean you can pull out if I am already there! Wait until I have gone past and there is actually space for you to pull out. I really don't appreciate nearly being pushed into the concrete barrier or ditch at highway speed.
4). Don't sit in the fast lane when you are not overtaking - pull back over!

Now, any truck drivers out there please don't take this the wrong way. I am sure that there are a lot of very good, professional truck drivers on the roads. I also understand that there are a lot of really crappy car drivers out there that haven't got a clue and probably drive you nuts by cutting in front of you, slamming their breaks on etc etc. But remember this - you are the trained professionals and you have the bigger vehicle.

Oh, one more thing that really bugs me - truck drivers are so high up in their cabs that they can't see all my rude gestures and it is not very satisfying making such gestures if they cannot be appreciated by their intended audience!

Monday, 11 February 2008

Alien in the basement

The word is out - I have an alien in my basement. I would like to make this quite clear - he is not an illegal alien. He does however, appear to be making himself quite comfortable in my basement and I am starting to think that we may never prise him out of there. Just yesterday, he was making enquiries about squatter's rights. Today, he announced that my favourite chair was moulding itself nicely around his backside, which happens to be quite a bit larger than my own. (N.B. Having a bum larger than mine does not mean he has an abnormally large backside - on the contrary, it is due to the fact that I have a rather small one, lacking much in the way of padding. Now, this could be considered to be a good thing, but there comes a time in one's life when a nice, slim, pert bottom becomes a bony arse and I am a bit worried that that time might be getting a bit too close for my liking). Now, don't get me wrong, I have loved having him here (notice the ever hopeful past tense?). He is my brother, after all and I haven't seen much of him in the past 10 years, but one has to start worrying when your favourite chair has started to mould itself around his arse!

There are other worrying trends going on in the Don't Bug Me household. One of these is the tendency to sound and act like Eddie Izzard (for those of you who don't know Eddie Izzard, he is an English comedian who also happens to like make up and dresses - I believe he refers to himself as an executive transvestite. Go look him up on YouTube). Anyhoo, for the past week or so, I have been running around the house like a giraffe, covered in bees and the cats have been behind the sofa drilling - they no longer purr, they drill. The other day, Willow wanted to go out and my brother asked her if she had her keys. When the door bell goes, we both have to go and eat. Even more worrying than this is my brother's tendency to sound and act like Mr. Izzard, even when having a - relatively - normal conversation. If I were his lovely wife, M, I would start hiding my make-up and dresses! I don't need to because a). He is not my husband and I don't care if he starts wearing make-up or dresses and b). I don't actually have a busting lot of make-up to hide!

Now, if most of the above paragraph did not make much sense to you, that is because you have not gone to YouTube and watched any Eddie Izzard. I can particularly recommend Pavlov's Cats and anything to do with bees.

Well, I think that is enough for any reader to take in right now, but stay tuned for further updates on the alien in the basement!

Saturday, 9 February 2008

I've been spying.....

This is it - my first real blog. I am going to start by dedicating this blog to English Mum in Ireland. English Mum happens to be my cousin and it is because of her that I started this blog. My brother, who is living in my basement at the moment - long story, may come back to it at a later date - told me about my cousin's blog when he first got here, just before Christmas. So, being the nosey individual that I am, I thought that I would take a sneak peak. It ended up not being a sneak peak. I have been reading her blog ever since and I have reaquainted myself with my cousin, who I have not spoken to in quite a while. It is all a bit odd really. I almost feel as though I have been spying on her. It is a rather one sided relationship, so I have decided to come out of the closet and let her know that I am here and I am reading and because of her, I have started my own blog. I don't suppose I will be posting as much as she does. I still have to pluck up the courage to put fingers to the keyboard and to push that post button, but I am sure that it will get easier the more I do it.

Anyhoo - thanks English Mum! Here is a link to her blog . Perhaps I shouldn't have given that. Now anyone who might be reading this will go to her blog and never come back to mine!

Sunday, 3 February 2008

Hello World!

Hmmm, errr, so, er, well - here I am. Not exactly an eloquent way to start my blog, but I have to admit to being a wee bit nervous about this blog thing. I thought that it would be a good idea, a way to keep track of some of my more important thoughts and ideas, as well as my completely irrevlevant and silly ideas (which are likely to be more numerous), but then it dawned on me that anyone, anywhere, might actually read these posts. What will people think of me? Do I really want to bare my soul and reveal my innermost thoughts to anyone and everyone? Are people going to judge me, think I am boring, think I am a rambling idiot? Then it dawned on me that it is highly unlikely that anyone will actually read these posts. Then it dawned on me that I think too, here we go. Hello world!