Extra Early White Death! Yay!- And Don’t Smoke on the Bus!

easton winter

 

I don’t mind winter as much as some people do.  The cold really doesn’t get to me that bad, but I do get wigged out by the dark.  Dark when I wake up (but then again, it’s always dark when I get up, usually between 4:15 and 4:30,) dark when I go to work, dark when I get home.  The only time I see daylight is on the weekends between November and April, and that is depressing.

November 17th is quite early for a first significant snow in beautiful Central Ohio.  Usually the greater Columbus area is spared from the White Death until at least mid-December, because we sit in a valley and most of the weather goes either north or south of us, but not this time.   We got about 4″ of snow, which isn’t as bad as further north, but it’s not typical this early.  It doesn’t break my heart that we miss most of the epic snowfalls that occur in Northeast Ohio.  Cleveland can have it.

vintage-ads-disease

Just another public service announcement from the 1940’s.

Wrap that rascal, bub!

I have to wonder about the state of this crazy assed world.  I still wonder why they let school buses stop on the major thoroughfares during rush hour when there are parking lots close by where the buses can pull in and pick up kids without a.) stopping traffic, and b.) endangering kids by having them wander out close to the major thoroughfares.  I don’t see where stopping traffic for miles is a time saver for anyone.

school bus

I do remember that when I was a little kid and had to ride the bus that the bus driver set the rules. Period.  I had no problems at all while I was on the bus. My problems with riding the bus were before the bus got there and after the bus left.  That’s when I ended up either head first in the bushes or head first in the trash barrel. When I was on the bus and in my place in the geeky-nerd-kid-with-thick-glasses-and-bad-clothes-seat- directly behind the driver- I was fine.   Big John was the driver, and he didn’t take any crap from any kids.  If you misbehaved on Big John’s bus, you got thrown off. Literally.  As far as I was concerned, the seat behind the driver was the Safest Seat, and the one I took every time.  I wasn’t going to have any conflict with Big John.

head first

One morning two of the older boys, neither of whom were terribly bright, and both of whom were known trouble makers, decided to sit in the very back seat of the bus and fire up their Marlboros.  This was a highly unwise move.  I no sooner smelled a faint whiff of smoke than Big John slammed the brakes, flipped down the aisle, opened the back door and tossed both boys right out the back of the bus.  Then Big John turned around and addressed the remaining kids on the bus with, “You smoke on my bus, I throw you out.  Get it?”

bad smoker

Go take your cigs anywhere but Big John’s bus.

Today that would be a lawsuit. Someone today would stir up some kind of horse shit about the two boys being learning disabled (they were, but even they had enough upstairs to understand the bus rules) and therefore completely unaccountable for their actions.   Back then, whether you were in the LD class or not, there were consequences for breaking the rules.  Those two boys, to my knowledge, never rode Big John’s bus again.

throw rubbish

But I think it is perfectly OK to throw miscreant boys off the bus for lighting up a smoke.

That was a much simpler world.

Now the rest of society is stuck having to pander to this or that special condition or bullshit excuse as to why person X doesn’t have to adhere to the rules that are applicable to everyone else.

I know I’m not “normal” or anywhere close to it.  I’ve always known that.  I’ve also discovered that it’s on me to adjust.  I’m not the one running the train, or the one ringing the bell.

If I have a dietary restriction, then I need to bring my own meals, or make do with the available edibles.  Being diabetic I am well aware of that.  Either I bring suitable comestibles or adjust my dining experience accordingly.  If I know my friends don’t have diet soda, for example, then I’ll either a.) bring my own, or b.) drink plain water or black coffee.  I’m not going to pitch a fit because someone didn’t make an exception to accommodate my need for sugar free drinks.  I don’t expect people to go out of their way to have Tab or Diet Dr. Pepper just for me.  The same principle goes for people with dietary sensitivities or allergies.  If you know it will kill you to eat peanuts, then don’t go diving into the cookies and desserts unless you know ahead of time what’s in them- or bring your own peanut-free ones.

killer peanuts

Just don’t eat it if you know it might kill you.

I know I’ve gone on and on about the entitlement mentality, and the whole concept of special privileges for the mollycoddled few, and it really pisses me off. Now I get to deal with parents with young kids who think that other people should do their work for them while they stay home with their kids and get paid to do it.  What makes their kids more special than my son?  The kid I had to leave with a sitter (on my dime, of course) or in daycare for 8-12 hours a day, 5 days a week (or more) from the age of 8 weeks until he was about 13 (unless he was in school), because I had to work?  I’m sorry, but that torques me. Why are your child care issues my problem?  Either stay at home with your kid and suck it up, or do what everyone else had to do- put your kid in daycare and drag your ass to work. You can’t have it both ways.  I sure didn’t.  And I’m not (willingly) going to cover for you.

Child Care

So, if you’ve decided to breast feed until the kid hits puberty, sorry about your luck.

Unless you are independently wealthy, that is.

Cats and Dogs, the Natty Impaired, and Physical Fitness

petting chartI love this chart, because for the most part, it’s true.

Most dogs are not terribly body sensitive.  Sheena is a bit head-shy, but I think that’s because she’s deaf, which means she’s highly reliant upon what she sees and she doesn’t want anything to obstruct her vision.  Lilo is extremely body sensitive (don’t even try to touch her feet or tail without giving fair warning) for a dog, but she’s an exception rather than a rule.  Clara must think she’s a cat, because she adores having her butt scratched as much if not more than a typical cat.

Isabel and Jezebel (the two black cats, and the oldest and youngest) are cling-on cats.  They love attention, seek it out, and can’t get enough physical closeness, petting, cuddling, etc.  Fanny (the behemoth silver tabby and white) and F.B. (Fluffy Butt, the tortoiseshell Angora) are both more selective about who they want attention from, for how long, and when.  They have their moments of wanting attention, but they also have their moments of being downright anti-social.  Especially Fanny.

jezebel isabelMe (Isabel- right) and Mini-me (Jezebel- left)

Jezebel is not going to be a terribly large cat.  Isabel is very small for an adult cat (just over 5#) and Fanny was bigger than her by the time Fanny was three months old.  Jezebel is about 18 weeks old at this point and is maybe 2 1/2- 3#.  Jezebel will likely grow and fill out a bit after she’s spayed, but I doubt if it will be by much.  Isabel’s spayed too.  Cats do most of their growing before their adult teeth come in.  Jezebel already has her adult incisors and canine teeth (yes, cats are carnivores and therefore they possess four elongated canine teeth, like all other carnivores) and it likely won’t be long before she gets the premolars and molars too.  An interesting (nerd alert) aside- a cat is actually more of a true carnivore than a dog, because a cat is an obligatory carnivore that requires meat in their diet to survive, whilst dogs can survive without meat in their diet.  Cats cannot manufacture their own taurine, which is an essential amino acid that has to do with vision and regulating heart beat.  Dogs (and humans) can manufacture their own taurine, but cats can only get taurine from meat in their diet.

Vegans beware- put your cat on a vegan diet and it will soon go blind and then die- so don’t impose your meatless lifestyle on your cat.   Or on me for that matter.  I may not need meat to live, but I sure do like it.

snickersF.B. is a beautiful cat, but she despises cameras.  I was lucky to get this one.

F.B. is probably the quietest and most unobtrusive of my cats.  She likes attention if it’s one-on-one, and she loves to just chill with the other cats. For the most part she sits back and observes, and sleeps.

fanny2Fanny was aptly named.  That’s what I get for listening to Queen.

Fanny is huge.  17# for a female cat is big.  She has big bones, and she has big meat on the big bones also, which is ironic because Isabel and Jezebel- each- eat more than she does.  They are tiny and svelte, yet they are eating machines.  Fanny is a fussy eater who eats only a very few things, (for instance Fanny refuses Vienna sausages, which the other cats adore) and she slowly and methodically chews each bite.  I feel for Fanny and her metabolism.    She also has a bit of a jealousy complex and an attitude.  She was not at all happy about Jezebel coming in and taking her position as the young petulant indulged one, even though Fanny’s four years old and should be over it by now.

claranlilo1Clara and Lilo have always been close.  Sometimes Lilo will get into Clara’s crate with her.

Clara (top) and Lilo (bottom) have been close ever since we got them.  Clara had been with us a few months when we got Lilo, and they are only a few months apart in age.  Even now that they’re older (Clara’s 10, Lilo’s 9) they still occasionally play tug of war with their toys and play-fight with each other.

tugofwar3They still enjoy this, even though Clara’s bigger and usually wins.

sheena311Sheena is well, Sheena.  She is her own dog.

Sheena’s part Husky.  Sheena has a number of flaws that are consistent with inbreeding- severe hip dysplasia, deafness, gross motor deficits (may or may not be related to HD) and she’s downright goofy.  Maybe some of her cognitive deficiencies are related to the fact that she used to live at the Tetanus Farm which was also a puppy mill and (suspected) meth lab.  There’s a reason why it’s a bad idea to procreate with first degree relatives, and that applies to dogs as well as humans.  But Sheena’s endearing in her own weird way.  I have a soft spot for rejects and misfits.  That must explain Jerry.  A warning to women: if a guy’s 38, straight, and never married, there is a good reason why.

Today begins Jerry’s fitness program.  He’s the one who wanted a membership at the Y and actually gave me money to pay for it.  This is almost scary in a way.  I can’t imagine Jerry in work out clothes, on a treadmill or elliptical, or lifting any sort of weight over 12 ounces.

He will be so disappointed when he discovers the only fluids available at the Y are water, diet soda and fruit juice, and there are no beer holders on the cardio machines.  But I will be happy if he at least goes and gives it a try.

On the other hand, I am anxiously looking forward to enjoying the indoor pool, being able to swim laps starting at 5:30 in the morning, and being able to work out on the ellipticals. Swimming and elliptical machines are two modes of exercise that allow me to get the cardio and strength training I need without destroying my joints even more than they are already.  The Y also has nice showers, so if I choose to go there to work out before work instead of working out at home, I can actually swim laps, do some cardio, and then shower and go to work from there. Nice.

jerry richard simmons

Hopefully he won’t think this is what I mean by “work out clothes.”