In a struggle to be happy and free

Drystone Wall

Category: animals Page 1 of 6

Backyard dogs

The latest thing I absolutely do not understand has to do with dogs. Julie and I each take Millie out for a walk every day. Millie is young and energetic so it works well for her. We’re not as young but the exercise is very good for us. Everyone is happy.

On these walks through the neighbourhood I pass three or four homes with dogs, and those dogs live in the backyard. No matter the time of day, when we walk by, the dogs in the backyard hear us and bark up a storm at our passing.

What I do not understand is why someone would go to the expense and trouble of giving multiple dogs a home, and then push them out the back door to live outside. In the winter is even worse because of the temperature, but let’s ignore that for now. Why have pets at all if you’re going to keep them outside the house, by themselves?

It just seems like a waste of time and money, and it’s not terribly nice to the dogs.

Best heater ever!

I’ve moved, and in my new digs, Kitty has discovered the best heater ever, perhaps besides the electric blanket. Feast your eyes:

IMG_3898.jpg: iPhone12, back camera @ 4.2mm, 1/12, f/1.6, 640 ISO

She started lying on top of my power amplifier so I had to do something. You see, the top of the amp is covered with vents to let the heat out. Vents her hair might end up dropping into. Can’t have my amp clogged with cat hair!

Many years ago I had a piece of glass cut to protect the amplifier from dust, but dust wasn’t such a big issue so I stopped using it. The cat sleeping there is a big issue so I resurrected the glass and hunted up four hockey pucks to act as spacers so the heat could escape more quickly than placing a piece of glass on top of the amp would allow.

Everyone’s happy now.

NB: Yes, my cable management is a mess. I’ll get to it. I’m still unpacking and I certainly needed music before worrying about tidy cables.

Backyard bunnies

For the second year in a row, a mother rabbit has used Julie’s backyard as a nursery. She has a few plantings of decorative grasses and the rabbit made a nest in one of them for her litter. She must have liked it as that’s the same place she prepared for her babies last year.

20180425-154235 iPhone8 IMG_0530.jpg: iPhone8, back camera @ 3.99mm, 1/30, f/1.8, 32 ISO

File: 20180425 – 154235 iPhone8 IMG_0530.jpg
EXIF: iPhone8, back camera @ 3.99mm, 1/30, f/1.8, 32 ISO

And just like last year, her dogs alerted Julie to the presence of the little ones. As a precaution, the dogs are no longer allowed out there until the kits are grown and finished with the yard.

She and her daughters go out there every day to check up on them and see how they’re growing, and they sure do grow quickly! It was my privilege to see them Wednesday, and now you’ve seen them too. Lovely, aren’t they?

Jean adventure

4M6C3582.CR2: 5D Mk.III, EF 85mm 1:1.8 @ 1/15, f/2.0, 3200 ISO, no flash

4M6C3582.CR2: 5D Mk.III, EF 85mm 1:1.8 @ 1/15, f/2.0, 3200 ISO, no flash

Amazon’s crazy black Friday sale had me discover that now only do they sell Levi’s 501 jeans, and they also sell odd-numbered waist sizes, but they were also on sale! I bought a pair for $39.95. I wanted just one pair so I could wash it and make sure it actually fits. And it did fit! I tried to order more to discover they were all out of my size. I kept checking back and I found one pair for sale a week later. It arrived and I discovered it was dark denim, which isn’t what I wanted, but for $39.95, I kept it anyway. Surely the sale would be over at the end of the week after Black Friday, right? Right! But I couldn’t help myself. I kept checking and a few days later, I saw the stonewash jeans in the size I wanted on sale for $34.95. I was only planning on ordering one more pair, but at an even lower price, I thought I’d better get two. It’s not like they go bad, right?

When they arrived, I opened the box to make sure they were the right size and colour. Happily, they were just what I wanted. I put the box down, and not five minutes later, the cat had to check things out and she seems to have appropriated the box (with my jeans still in it!) for her new bed. Kitties are the craziest people.

Yes, I was surprised that sells Levi’s jeans, and even more surprised that they sell them in my beloved 33″ waist! Before I saw them for sale on Amazon, I didn’t know they were even offered in odd-number sizes.

But sadly, Levi’s are no longer my preferred jean. A number of years ago I got ahold of two pairs of Lucky jeans and they are fantastic. They’re lighter, thinner, softer, and longer lasting than Levi’s. These jeans are also available in odd-numbered sizes and it was with them that I discovered that a 33″ waist is a much better fit than either 32″ or 34″. The problem is the Lucky Brand jeans are more expensive. I got them in Montréal and I’d be happy to pay the nearly $100 per pair for more, but going to Montréal is no longer a viable option for me.

One can purchase directly from Lucky Brand via mail-order, but they are all shipped from the U.S. so I’d have to deal with taxes and possibly import duties, both charged at the border, as well as the exchange. You may not know it, but the exchange rate has recently gone nuts. I’d know the price Lucky Brand charges in U.S. dollars, but the Canadian price, the tax, and the duty would all be a mystery until it’s too late to change my mind. No thanks.

I checked and there is a Lucky Brand store in Toronto, but they do not stock anything longer than a 34″ inseam, which is 2″ too short for me. Happily I called the store before I went to Toronto. The young lady told me that I could come in to the store, try a 34″ length pair to make sure the waist size is right, then they’d order the proper length for me. Great! Then she added, “…and they’ll ship it directly to your address!” She clearly thought this was a good thing, but I confirmed that this would basically be the same as ordering direct, with the advantage of being able to try the various waist sizes in advance. Unfortunately, I wasn’t about to take a risk and possibly end up paying $130-$150 for one pair of jeans! Yes, also offers Lucky Brand jeans, but there is not a single pair available in my size. Some have a 33″ waist, other have a 36″ inseam, but none have both.

So although they’re no Lucky Brand, I paid an average of $42.35, including taxes, for each of the four pairs of Levi’s 501s I bought. That’s a far better match for my current budget!

When are you most active?

I sometimes look up something on Wikipedia, and after reading and following links for twenty minutes, find myself goodness knows where. Surely you know what I mean.

In this particular instance, I was looking up something about cats. I learned that their schedules are quite flexible and depend on their circumstances, though house cats are most active in the morning and evening because that’s when we are most active in many households.

This brought me to some new words. You know the first:

Nocturnal — active at night. From the Latin nocturnum, meaning ‘night.’

Diurnal — active during the day. From the Latin diurnus, meaning ‘daily.’

Crepuscular — active at dawn and dusk. From the Latin crepusculum, meaning ‘twilight.’

And more specifically,

Matutinal — active at dawn. From the Latin matutinus, meaning ‘morning.’

Vespertine — active at dusk. From the Latin vesper, meaning ‘evening.’

So most house cats are largely crepuscular. This definition also explains the title of the Thelonious Monk composition, Crepuscule with Nellie.

Knowledge is cool!

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