News from Nova Scotia and elsewhere

I can easily believe the RCMP did nothing about a mob of whites almost killing a bunch of Indigenous fishers. But the people who are PROUD of that are  SCUM.

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THIS WILL BE THE LAST HALLOWEEN YOU’LL BE ALLOWED TO BUY FIREWORKS IN VANCOUVER

I am thrilled past words.

Now I know why Buster did a running&leaping paw clap this morning! He was celebrating. (He LOATHES fireworks.)

Phil Shailer of Hollywood wrote this as part of a letter to the editor in 2016

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white disabled people from soapbox: thing
Black disabled people noticing: thing has context, Black people don’t experience it that way
white disabled people to Black disabled people: if you were less whiny you’d experience ableism correctly
Black disabled people: flames dot gif
the above is in response to a simply VILE twitter exchange between a relatively wealthy blind white woman and a relatively brokeass Black disabled woman
Palate cleanser:
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from @theyankeeartist on twitter, Gomez tossing Morticia in the air
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Mailed off another letter

One of the ways to fight anxiety is to think about other people, so I’m trying to write entertaining letters to relatives and friends.

Anyway, if you want a letter, private message me with your mailing address.

Katie dropped by for a visit. Alex was with Suzanne, Dax’s mum, and Katie had just dropped Paul off at the airport – he never, ever, tells me when he’s going to the US, it’s always been startling to me, no matter how many times I learn about it after he’s gone, which has literally been dozens of times, which just goes to show that I am a slow learner. He’s agreed to quarantine after he comes back, and if he misses his friends and girlfriend in the US who can blame him.

She said her car had a mind of its own and she ended up in my driveway. We had a very long and very necessary chat out on the deck. There was laughing, crying and swearing, and she is such a dear person to me. She was feeling a bit low, but she managed to cheer me up, and that was helpful.

Last night I had my first nightmare that I can remember in years. It was horrifying because my subconscious was saying that it’s better to be dead (or to kill someone else to spare them) than to go through whatever was happening (some unspecified apocalypse). I can’t actually say what it was about because the internet is forever, but let’s just say it was nauseating and disheartening and framed me as an entirely heartless and cruel person with no connection to the future of this earth.

And it was all so calm. HORRIBLE things were happening, and myself and my unnamed conspirator proceeded through our horrible response to them as if neither of us had a hair out of place or a care in the world.

Very slowly, as I realized what we had done, I decided to call the cops, and then I woke up.

 

Made chicken breasts, bok choi and onions in ginger and garlic, and green salad for supper last night. Practiced lots, still working on arrangements.

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user chewmynails posted this on reddit saying the MIL crocheted this

r/aww - My MIL crochet my cat her own couch

Speaking of kitties, Buster has been training HARD. He’s a good chonky boi.

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from @gabrielsherman on twitter

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This is quite the poem, eh? Inglorious in Excelsis by Brian Bilston

Yesterday and today

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I do believe you have to be human to die of COVID so I’m assuming most of these people are safe. Yes indeed Trump has tested positive for COVID. It’s the biggest security risk possible and Pence must be just drooling over how Trump could be permanently rendered unPresidential. I really only care about Stephen Miller. If I could publicly announce what I intend to do if he dies of COVID I’m not sure any of you would enjoy it. Trump needs to stay alive because Pence is worse.

Tom needs a heart valve. Schedule willing and the surgeon don’t catch COVID he’s having surgery next week. Tom is one of my favourite people and I like Peggy even more than that so the stress and confusion and foreboding they must be feeling is something else and I guess today is the day I get off my ass and make bikkies for Peggy.

I had a really productive day yesterday, (I pulled up the dead vines in the garden, still need to finish that) and wrote a letter to a family member and did a load of laundry and rehearsed on  three instruments and worked more on You do me Wrong)) and then lost my cell phone. I mean I hiked a reasonably challenging trail with Paul, whose foot seems completely healed. It’s only 3 k, but we went to Goldie Lake, and I took some great pictures, and then somewhere between the last marker post and the parking lot I lost my phone.

Paul took pictures. I’ll keep bugging him until he answers.

somebody shot heroin in Mt Seymour Park I found the needle.

Did I mention in December we have to stop having that little rent break. It was only 25 bucks a month but there’s nothing like feeling you’re putting one over on your landlord.

Now I have to buy a pomodora clock and a proper alarm clock and go back to a paper/electric calendar. Life is twagic.

My phone was set to send me a notification of my meeting with the RN yesterday but it didn’t go off, and that’s another reason I’m glad I lost my phone.

I hated my phone because at this point 3/4 of my calls were spam or phishing texts or women exhorting me in Toisanese or Mandarin.

I’ve actually wanted to stop having that bill every month. Seventy bucks for shitty service and overages after 2 gigs, **** my **** and then there’s the issue of having a cop in my pocket.

I cancelled my service and had to deal with two humans over half an hour to make that happen. I changed the most important passwords just in case there’s something in my phone that will enable them to get my shit. So Google, the blog, my social media accounts…and I went very crunchy and hard and strong on the passwords this time.

Roses are red

Sydney’s in Australia

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courtesy of @thesarahyork

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omg @Stonekettle on twitter this morning saying “If you want sympathy look in the dictionary between shit and syphilis” with respect to Trump’s positive COVID test.

another appointment

Next week. Waiting is.

Here’s a list of gender neutral words, quite thought provoking and useful.

Here’s a list of words to clarify language around slavery.

Speaking of language, even Wikipedia has troubles with shitposts:

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cleanser:

An image of Jupiter taken by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope in ultraviolet, visible, and near-infrared light on Aug. 25, 2020, is giving researchers an entirely new view of the giant planet and offers insights into the altitude and distribution of the planet's haze and particles.

credit NASA, ESA, STScI, A. Simon (Goddard Space Flight Center), M.H. Wong (University of California, Berkeley), and the OPAL team

Further cleanser, which is a stoat on a trampoline

and speaking of shitposts, which we weren’t, right? right? Here’s a lovely hit to the face of christian witness:

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nothing yesterday

Well, not much. Walk in Lougheed Mall and picked up some veg with Paul. I was feeling so exhausted but there was chicken to cook in the fridge so I made asparagus and mini potatoes and corn and breaded chicken breasts for an early supper and then pretty much collapsed after that. I did a little tidying but the air is so oppressive I felt like crap.

AQI currently 139, went up and down all night.

Currently putting together a list of the birds seen and heard in Deer Lake Park. I think it’s marvellous that when I went to the list there was no American Coot! But American Coots come to Deer Lake all the freaking time, so immediately I was one up on the list.

The list is the names of the birds and their habitats and songs, since Paul and I are tired of always hearing the birds and never seeing them. I already know that we’ve repeatedly heard both ospreys and merlins, which blows me away. Their chittering calls are very distinctive. Getting the info here.

Insomnia. Woke at 10:30, up til 3, back down again and up at 8.

Le Mans weekend.

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much better aqi, all things considered

It’s dropped 20 points since 1 am (now 145 LATER AT 8:30 AM UP PAST 160 AGAIN), and should get within kissing distance of normal – under 40 – sometime by Friday.

Buster has been extremely variable about wanting to train. Some mornings he’s all over it, but the last couple of mornings he wants to just be handed treats, so I cut short the training this am after one treat and we’ll try again in the early afternoon. This morning first he huffed training and then he begged for it and we got three paw claps and a jump and chase and a run and chase in.

My experiment, stealing a cushion off one of the downstairs sofas and using it for a backboard, is a success – however finding a replacement pillow even at places like Bed Bath and Beyond that are supposed to specialize in shit like this has proven rather difficult. I will ask Paul to assist with cushion shopping today, then I can put the danged cushion back.

Jeff took me to breakfast at IHOP yesterday and I just ate what was left of the leftovers. We had the leftover sushi for supper last night as the folks kindly shared out leftovers from Paul’s bday.

Doctor’s office phoned me saying they wanted to schedule ‘a medical review with an RN’ and I told them to go fuck themselves until after the 22nd when I (hopefully) get my glucose tolerance test. What the hell is wrong with these people? Why do a medical review when the single most important piece of test data isn’t available? Anyway, I wasn’t as rude as I sound but I took no shit, I assure you.

The hot stone massage at Head to Toes day spa with Pauline was AMAZING, I’m still feeling comfort right into my bones.  I may book another one next month just to have something to look forward to. But I suppose I should probably wait at least that long to ensure I neither caught nor brought anything.

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Review of day:

Didn’t drink enough water yesterday. It needs to be less than half tea, my liquid consumption. Did practice x 3 instruments; did walk 1.5 k, did empty the sink and fill the dishwasher; did not meditate or take my bp and pulseox; I did not work on a manuscript; I did take my pill and brush my hair and teeth; I did my shoulder exercises. No laundry yesterday or today; no osteofit, no dejunking yesterday.

Anarchist circus cat training routine

There isn’t one. Training happens when Jeff is not in the kitchen (Buster’s operable intelligence plummets when the Man with the Can shows up) and Buster and I are. Paul has trained with Buster twice, and the second time you couldn’t get the shit eating grin off his face with a cold chisel, as Buster was particularly aerobatic in absconding with his treat.

Normally training starts sometime between 4:30 and 7:00 am, any day, with him doing a half-wind around my leg, usually my right leg, and he mews. Something soft and undemanding, just letting me know that he’s there.

Then he paces off to the end of one of the carpets mOm made for Jeff’s old place in Victoria, turns, sits, and stares at me. I fetch, or have already gotten, a few treats from the treat bag (Temptations Tasty Chicken Cat Treats… he has not liked other kinds so far but his loss was cheerfully consumed by crows and trash pandas) and I hold one in my hand above his head, anywhere from 20 to 70 cm over him, where it is visible between my fingers.

I never, ever fake having a treat.

One of the things I read about training cats is that while there are cats who will work for praise alone, that is not the way to bet during training. Not only should you give a treat for ever trick essayed, you should reward the cat for (for example) being cute, or reissue a treat when the one you threw (horror) flew under the dishwasher (which was how I learned that Buster has got a solid claw into the thigh of the concept of object permanence, the cognitive fundamental upon which non-computational style thinking depends). Whenever the cat is being attentive and pliable in its behaviour, that is when to push, and you have to push especially hard when the cat briefly wakes up and starts training you.

Buster started napping in a kitchen chair. I’d hold a treat over his head and he’d wake up and jump for it. Within days he was jumping into the chair during the training sessions and the reason he liked doing that is because it livened things up; if he dropped it, as he infrequently does, it can careen off in pretty much any direction, which means he must engage his ears and reflexes and ability to dodge shoes and furniture to be able to pinpoint it before it quits moving.

I am moving some of the aspects of training into words and gesture.  I gesture with both hands to say ‘all done’ when I think the useful training’s done (otherwise he just hoses you down for cat treats). Also I say ‘good boy’ anytime he is behaving, performatively or not, in a way I find pleasing or cooperative or appropriate. So he can misinterpret what he needs to pay attention to, but he knows he’s fine. I believe I am very close to having him understand ‘up’ and ‘down’ as long as there is a treat in the context, and I also believe that it will be a while before I can get him to understand it without a treat in my hand.

Buster is never forced to train. If he feels lazy for days at a time and just lies on the kitchen floor and allows me to pelt him (I can ding him quite hard, but I never aim for his head) with cat treats until he gets up and dances all around like he hails from Kansas City, that’s okay; and if he then gobbles down on each of the cat treats as it reluctantly releases itself from his lavish, explosively soft and furry pelt, that’s okay too. Buster has a lot of prance and self-respect, and he does like showing off how very much his paws are like hands and fingers – he’s continually coming up with eye popping variants on the ‘basic two-paw clap catch’.

These brief retreats into a philosophical megrim of feline life – perhaps the grandson has been here twice in two days, perhaps the construction noise is getting to him, perhaps the fleas are driving him into a state – are to be expected. Buster is studious and consistent, but he is neither a machine nor a true performer, inured to crowds. This is why I am very slowly cleaning my kitchen. Soon, the performances shall begin, and Buster will be the master of the kitchen circus with a video camera to commemorate him. I have no idea what tricks he will perform. All I know is that I’ve been hiding from the world his clever, precise mastery of hacky-sacking cat treats off his wrists, and he’s only going to get cleverer still, because what Buster does is challenge himself. I have provided parameters within which he can demonstrate skill, and he’s the one that brings it, at this point I’m pretty much dispensing cat treats and fangirling while he does ever more improbable and amusing things.

trending on twitter

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this coffee table book is currently trending on Twitter

mOm and pOp of course recognize it – it’s been floating around their living room since the year it was published. At the time, the concept did not exist – that hundreds of photographers, professional and otherwise, were supposed to go forth and take a picture on the same day for curation and collection as a snapshot of the zeitgeist.

Since then, dozens upon dozens of books have been published along this theme, for dozens of countries. This kind of omnibus album became popular.

People have been posting pics from inside the book and making hilarious, occasionally anxious comments about them. It’s great. And that poor cat. And what is the baseball for? is she going to talk to the priest about his handsiness? it looks like a confirmation dress…

and Canada, it was qwhite something then

Also from social media, figureoutthesea AKA Nicolas Demers on Instagram took this at Deer Lake – quite the action shot eh??? He has tons of amazing bird photos, the abovenoted link goes to his blog with better res pics hint hint mOm.

Hummingbird @ Deer Lake, credit figureoutthesea

THE INTERNET HAS A CAT AND IT PURRS headphones or good speakers required.

 

Disney Princess not

So a chickadee at Fraser Foreshore Park tried to cadge food out of me – twice, and I was still chuckling when an elderly German lady and her daughter/caregiver came along the path and held up a flicker feather, so I identified it for her, and she went along her way blessing me, so that was weird.

SO MUCH COYOTE SCAT, one lot was black as tar and shiny.

Saw a heron perched at the little pond. Went and looked at the mighty Stô:Lō from the Glenlyon observation platform.

After, took Paul to the Pho Hong and picked up some more cactus soil and little pots as the babies all germinated. Like….. all in the same day. Germination rate of over 90 percent for two year old seed, so that was nice. They’re all in pots now and I put them outside after getting the soil nice and saturated.

THIS IS KOYUKI

He is a ‘cat monk’ in Japan. Nice blink, Koyuki.

Brief walk with Paul yesterday. Weather outrageously glorious. Four hundred words of fanfic. No practicing of instruments.

Katie will never read this, or not likely read this, but this is for her. Image

SPRITES

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PHOTO CREDIT STEPHEN HUMMEL MCDONALD OBSERVATORY FORT DAVIS TEXAS from an extensive wild storm in May of 2020

listening to Oumou Sangaré on Spotify

the album is called Seya

Kept Buster in overnight, let him out at 4:30.

Trying to think what else to do today besides go for a walk with Paul.

I have a lot of swirling thoughts in my head

Once upon a time
there was a staple gun
it mostly was for work
but sometimes was for fun
when there were bills to post
and scores to settle
we could do it all
with little chunks of metal

Picture the tune for this as something like a fifties pablum ballad

the people are rioting in Minsk

because they don’t like their lying dictator. Belarus rise up! Беларусь, падняцца! Беларусь, скинь свои цепи!! As the CBC said

Belarusian opposition candidate Svetlana Tsikhanouskaya rejects official election results handing incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko a landslide win. She says that the vote was rigged and that protests will continue.

Mr. Sinabung erupted again. Ah, it’s nothing, that sucker’s gone off once a year for a decade.

BRIEF wildlife encounter

If I remember to get a camera, I’m not in the moment, so this is unrecorded in video.

Small brown bird, dapper despite being distressed, greets me by flying through my hair as I go into the media room. I set everything down (I was carrying NOT ONE BUT TWO ARRAYS OF HOT LIQUID GAWDAM AND IT WASN’T EVEN FIVE AM AND I’D ALREADY ALMOST WIPED OUT IN THE BATHROOM) after congratulating myself at not tossing the entire array at the ceiling with an unhinged scream, and considered my options.

While the bird flew pretty much nonstop across the room, NEVER CHEEPING or making any sound not associated with flying, I turned the light behind the TV off and the room light on. That accomplished, I turned on the light into the games room and turned the room light off. The bird obligingly flew into the lit room, whereupon I closed the door, which was the first point at which I could be guaranteed that the bird would not fly up the stairs, into Jeff’s room, and shit on his head as a conversation starter.

And then THE JAPANESE NOREN that has scowled across our living space from various doorways ever since mOm gave it to John in the mists of time BALKED THE CRITTER. It couldn’t fly under it and instead it perched on it – repeatedly, glaring at me.

Talking and moving slowly and carefully, I remonstrated with the bird. “Sister – the door is that way!”

I opened the back door and folded back the noren so the bird could get through the second-last door, and then, scant inches from the open door, the bird communed with my laundry and went all Disney like it didn’t want to leave.

“You may not nest in my underwear, there is a cat in this house, which you already know, dumdum.”

I advanced on the bird and it flew off into the morning twilight. I closed the door and thought, “I didn’t take pictures. I didn’t try to catch it. I just tried to find the fastest way to get our unintended guest out of the house.”

Now I have told you what happened. I supposed one morning I’ll come downstairs and there’s a raccoon going through the trash and then you’ll really hear me screech.