Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Mysteries of the paranormal

A couple of nights ago I had this type of bad dream I often have, where I am living in a group house, and have no privacy, and the bathrooms are weird and I have to wait a long time to use them so I end up being late.

But this one was unusual in that it seemed to take place in the group house I actually lived in when I was in college in Boston, which has never happened before. (Although, there was nothing particularly weird about the bathrooms there in real life.)

Today, I got an email out of the blue from the woman who owns that house, because they are having a 30th birthday celebration for it. Of course I haven't heard from her in years but she found me via Google.

Fairly regularly, I have dreams that turn out to be premonitions, but they're always about useless, trivial things. Like this one, or the very first one when I was a kid, which was about an ice cream place going out of business. They're never about the sort of things you'd like to know in advance, like a winning lottery number.

I feel I have to conclude that there really is such a thing as psychic powers. But that, unfortunately, they aren't really good for anything.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Pigs fly

This, in its entirety, is an email from the editor of the newspaper, in response to the last article I sent her:

This story is perfect!

I am not reporting this to boast. Rather, it's because this may be the only time in history that an editor has ever uttered that sentence, so I did not want it to pass unrecorded.

Friday, May 23, 2008

In praise of the "Senior Moment"

I needed to make a note of something while driving this morning. I reached for the pen and paper in the spare cupholder (Why do they think you need so many cupholders in a Volkswagen Beetle? But that's another story.) And I saw that there was a nice pile of quarters in there too.

This was kind of annoying, because I knew that recently I had decided not to go someplace by car because I checked my wallet and didn't have any change for the meter. Obviously I'd forgotten the clever pile of quarters I'd installed for this very purpose.

In another incident: I keep electronic copies of all my published writing. Recently I decided that just keeping them on two or three home computers wasn't good enough. What if the house burns down, or the computers are stolen, or they all give each other a horrible virus?

So I decided to upload them all to the web for safekeeping until I had time to make a proper website for my writing. I started copying them... and immediately started getting that message "Filename already exists, do you want to replace?"

Um. Yeah. I'd already copied everything up to the web for safekeeping and forgotten about it.

Now, most people, when this sort of thing happens, think it's a sign that their mind is deteriorating. But here's how I look at it:

When you are older, you have lots of stuff in your brain. You've had a long time to collect wonderful things. So of course it's harder to locate any one item, just like if you have lots of stuff in your closet, or a drawer.

When you're young, sure it's easy to remember stuff. When you're twenty, there's hardly anything in there. So there are fewer things to choose from, and fewer things to get in the way that you have to rummage about in. Of course you can quickly find anything - It's so bare in there, you can see everything you've got from across the room.

So, would you really want to trade all that great stuff you've got stored in your brain for a big empty space, just so it would be easier to find things? Of course not.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

There are no atheists in federal workplaces

The other day I heard the following radio call:

"Kim to Jesus."

And I thought, hey, maybe I should try that!

Unfortunately, I had to conclude from the rest of the transmission that the word had actually been cheetahs.

Big disappointment. Because they still haven't come to change the bulbs in that room where I'm working with snakes practically in the dark - what I need is someone who can just come in and say "Let there be light!"

Monday, May 19, 2008

At the Zoo

People, think about it. In the wild, when a tortoise accidentally finds itself upside-down, who comes running to turn it over?

It's not an emergency. Just go about your visit. Thanks.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

The rare and elusive Pistachio Frog

On Thursday evening we had our fundraiser at the zoo that involves many restaurants. The theme was Year of the Frog. I looked at every booth hoping to find a restaurant that had the nerve to serve frog legs. I didn't see any, although later when I was doing a demo a visitor told me he had eaten some, but it was too late for me to go find it.

However, I did find these lovely pistachio frog macaroons and spent the rest of the evening looking forward to the opportunity to make a post that would be tagged both 'amphibians' and 'baked goods.'

Friday, May 16, 2008


1. Today, my article's Yahoo email numbers have gone DOWN from over 8,000, to around 6,000, to around 4,000. How do they do that?

2. Today, my article is more popular than Einstein's thoughts on God (although much cheaper):

1. A personality test for your cat AP - Wed May 14, 5:02 PM ET Sent 4,218 times

2. Einstein's musings about religion sells for $400K AP - Fri May 16, 6:41 AM ET Sent 1,430 times

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Fame Update

At ten PM, my story is not only still in the top five Most Emailed, but it is whipping that Girl Scout's butt! (510 to 330!)

Neck and neck with the girl with the twin in her stomach, though.

Fleeting Internet Fame

My most recent story made Most Emailed on Yahoo News. Don't blink or you'll miss it.
I guess a link won't work since it changes all the time, but I have to at least do this:

Most Popular
Most Emailed

* Ants swarm over Houston area, fouling electronics AP - Wed May 14, 3:16 PM ET
* HIV-positive man sentenced 35 years for spitting at officer AP - 2 hours, 44 minutes ago
* A personality test for your cat AP - Wed May 14, 5:02 PM ET
* Michigan Girl Scout sells 17,328 boxes of cookies AP - 1 hour, 38 minutes ago
* State TV: China quake death toll could hit 50,000 AP - 22 minutes ago

Woo hoo!
Link to actual story over there on the right, as usual, for as long as it keeps working.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

At the Zoo

Another suggestion for zoo visitors that I left out of my earlier post:

See those fancy signs with the nice graphics that are posted near each exhibit? They cost the zoo a whole lot of money. When your child asks you what animal that is, could you just humor us by taking a quick glance at the sign before you make up an answer?


Monday, May 12, 2008

Note from the dogwalker

"The colorful cat was super affectionate today. So was Lilly. Rose was all about the cookies."

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Wombat 0, Technology 1

During the several years of owning my current laptop, I have sometimes wondered why the manufacturer bothered to put speakers in it when they are inaudible even when the volume is turned all the way up. But I figured I should just be thankful that they remembered to put in a headphone jack.

The Technical Staff just revealed that there is another secret adjustment, like Balance or some such, that actually raises the volume to an audible level if you turn it up.

Better late than never, I guess.

Friday, May 9, 2008

General Announcement to PR People

If you have to keep repeating "I'm not telling you how to write your story but...," then YES, you ARE telling me how to write my story.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Dubious distinction

The block I live on gets its fifteen seconds of Internet fame: According to Slate, we have the stupidest bike lane in America!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Not so happy Cinco de Mayo

The pugs were thwarted from celebrating, since they are under 21 and don't have wrists.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Go ahead, Dooce me

OK, I have been avoiding making snarky rude posts about work. But I'm only a temp. What are they going to do, make me leave in six weeks?

So, here's the new zoo vehicle policy, instituted after an uproar about the previous new policy which banned driving on the zoo paths after 10 am, which means you can't haul or deliver anything.

When unavoidable with work or special requirements, vehicles can be driven in the park after 10 am with these conditions: slow and careful driving with an escort (person walking in front of the vehicle).
The escort must have a bright colored vest and mild noisemaker/bell...

At first I didn't see what was the problem with this policy. But then I realized that they would probably fire me for swinging the bell and calling "Bring out your dead...."

(Dooce: to lose one's job because of one's website.)

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Not amused

Here's our cat Charlotte, lying next to the solar-powered tail-wagging Japanese cat that we bought at the Sakura Matsuri. (Also included is part of Buddha Pug.) I thought this was rather entertaining but apparently she did not agree.