Stumbling Through Life and (Cyber)Space
The Meanderings of a Curious Mind
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14th-Sep-2014 09:42 pm - Zeteticon
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This weekend the Zeteticon was at the Doublewood Inn in Fargo. It's a convention for atheists, freethinkers, secular humanists and others who either do not believe or have their doubts about religion. The Prof and I attended talks on Saturday given by P. Z. Myers about the misunderstanding of genetics by creationists and Aron Ra about the current troubles with religion then returned to the house where we found the Monarch butterfly had hatched from her cocoon (they'd taken in a caterpillar and it had cocooned a few days before I arrived) and they let me take her out to release her. I carried her to some zinnias where she clung to the flower I'd placed her on for some time while the wind blew. I hope she makes it safely to her destination. The first summers I visited Fargo, CM and the Prof found and took in many - this year this one was the only one they found. The Monarchs are in danger and I don't know if they can be saved.

Today we returned to the Zeteticon to hear the talk by Richard Carrier, author of The Historicity of Jesus, who confirmed for me that Jesus, in all probability, was a mythological figure who never existed. This was my first convention of any sort and was a marvelous introduction to such a thing. Later that afternoon, the Prof, CM and I went to the Buffalo River State Park where we went on a hike around the park. It was chilly and not a lot of wildlife was to be seen but we did see a heron, a garter snake, a frog and a wooly caterpillar that I petted (it wasn't really furry) along with some wild grapes, plums and rosehips. It's a bit late in the season and even though it's technically still summer it feels like autumn.
13th-Sep-2014 09:50 pm - Wednesday, Thursday, Friday
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Wednesday was a cat day at PAAWS. Both vets and the vet tech were there as individuals brought in cats and Teresa of WE R Furr Feline Rescue brought in several cats to be spayed and neutered and a small kitten named Yoda:

Yoda of WE R Furr Feline Rescue

This photo was taken shortly after her surgery the week or so before; Teresa brought her in to have her check up. She was sooo adorable, small and thin so I just held her for an hour or so after the surgeries were done and no one needed me to run errands. I had my cat fix with Hoss but I needed a kitten fix and Yoda was it. She purred and stayed calmly in my arms and if I was in the postition to own a cat I would have adopted her toot sweet. The vet said all was well with her and once the eye is completely healed she won't realize she's any different from any other cat. It was hard giving her back to Teresa.

Thursday was a lazy day as we ran a few errands but didn't do much else. One of the errands was setting up a cat trap near the condo of a mailman who had been feeding a homeless cat and wanted to get him some help. He was caught during the night so on Friday morning CM and I picked up the cage with the cat on our way to PAAWS. He was nice tuxie and the mailman said if he tested negative for the feline diseases PAAWS tests for he would take him home to his two other cats and adopt him. He fortunately tested negative, was neutered, given his shots and was picked up later in the afternoon and taken to his new home where I hope he will be very happy. LuAnn, another cat rescue lady, brought in a whole bunch of cats including another kitten with a hurt eye (what is going on with kittens in ND?). Dr O operated on the little one and removed the damaged eye. We could reassure LuAnn that she would be fine once she recovered from the surgery as we had Yoda as a good example.

Later we went to dinner at another Democratic fund raiser where we ate yummy steaks, baked potatoes and the best baked beans I have ever eaten. This time we stayed long enough to hear a few speeches before returning to the house.
9th-Sep-2014 09:26 pm - Sunday, Monday, Tuesday
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On Sunday we drove into Minnesota to visit Lake Itasca. It took about 2 hours to drive there and once there we went hiking a bit before going to the stream that theoretically marks the start of the Mississippi. At that point it's not very wide and so I stepped on rocks to cross it and come back again (and for which I was very happy that I've been practicing standing on one leg to extend how long I can hold my balance).

For breakfast on Monday I ate some of my favorite Asparagus and Artichoke Pasta Salad as the Prof made so much of it that there's been plenty left over for breakfasts and lunches. That night was the Harvest Supermoon and CM and I took some pics with our cellphones. They didn't come out that great but here's one of mine:

Moon 9-8-14

Today was Dog Day at PAAWS and CM and I went there to help set things up then left around noon. The temperature is now in the 50s and I hadn't packed for that as it was in the low 80s and high 70s the previous week. CM lent me a hooded pullover sweatshirt with "Crazy Cat Lady" printed on it - how appropriate. For dinner we each contributed something: CM cooked the rice, the Prof made the salad and I fried the pork chops. Everything was delicious - I have a feeling I may gain a few pounds here in Fargo but that's OK as I made sure to be at a good weight before I came.
6th-Sep-2014 04:54 pm - Friday at PAAWS
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I'm rather pleased that though I have owlish tendencies, if I get my 7 to 8 hours of sleep, I can get up early and still be reasonably functional as I've been getting up early since Tuesday. On our way to PAAWS, CM and I picked up 5 cats to be spayed from the local Humane Society now called Homestead. When we got to PAAWS, shortly before 8, there were already several people already waiting with their cats. Fortunately Dr G also arrived on time and we quickly began operating on the cats, some of whom were still cute teenage kittens (don't worry - Dr G did the operating and I was there just to get him anything he needed). After a while the vet tech arrived and then the other vet so when the last cat was done, 19 in all, I finally looked at the clock and it was only 11 am. Of course we had to wait for them to recover, clean up, do a fair amount of paperwork and wait for their owners to arrive so CM and I didn't leave until 4:45.

On the first Wednesday of every month CM has a dinner date with her daughter so while they went to a Vietnamese restaurant, the Prof and I ate my favorite dinner, the Asparagus and Artichoke Pasta Salad Recipe that he had made while we were working. Yesterday I brought some to eat for lunch and it was still delicious - he made enough so I'll be eating it for several days to come - yippee!!

For dinner we went to the Pig Out, a Democratic fund raiser, where I had my first pulled pork; in addition I ate some smoked turkey, baked beans, cole slaw and fruit salad and it was all delicious. We left early before the speeches as CM and the Prof claim they have "speech aversion" but it doesn't matter as we all will vote Democratic in November.

Today we did some grocery shopping and basically relaxed. Tomorrow we plan to go to Lake Itasca in Minnesota where the mighty Mississippi begins. I haven't been there in several years and am looking forward to the trip.
6th-Sep-2014 04:21 pm - Hoss
animal lover

This handsome fellow is Hoss, the mascot of PAAWS. He was found and brought to PAAWS where he was diagnosed as having polycystic kidney disease and therefore was not adopatable - in addition to the disease he has problems with his rear end as in I was petting him today and all of a sudden he pooped right where my hand was (having dealt with a fair number of animals and babies I simply dashed off to wash my hand; he was not scolded or anything as it's beyond his control). He was not a feral cat as he's extremely friendly and was declawed so someone simply dumped him, perhaps after he was diagnosed with the disease (part of me hopes there is such a thing as karma). He now resides at PAAWS, has his own room and loves to greet visitors and to be held and petted. They think that feeding him a low-protein diet and keeping a close eye on him he's certainly lived longer than he would have if he was still living in the wild but as it's a genetic disease there is no cure and no one knows how long he will be with us *sigh* He was found shortly after my last visit in August 2012 and I'm so glad I've had a chance to meet the sweet boy.
4th-Sep-2014 09:47 pm - Here in Fargo
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Well I arrived safely in Fargo after a basically uneventful trip. My friend CM met me at the airport and we went directly to Minn-Kota PAAWS as it was Dog Day Tuesday and the vet was busy spaying and neutering dogs. By the time we got there there was only one dog left to be neutered but he was a rather difficult dog to sedate and it took awhile to get him to sleep so the vet could do what she had to do. Afterwards we went home and had an early dinner as Wednesday was the day for cats and we had to get up early. Dr G was there and I became his assistant as the other volunteer was helping the other vet and CM was busy supervising everything. Among the patients were a pair of adorable kittens, a brother and sister, who started purring the minute they were picked up. All went well and slowly I remembered how to do the things needed to help Dr G (it's been 2 years since I was in Fargo).

Today we were once again at PAAWS to help him spay and neuter one cat and several dogs for a couple who live in another town. Afterwards we had lunch at a restaurant named Mom's (Pop's was the bar at the other side of the building) where I had a soup and sandwich and a hot chocolate as the weather was a bit chilly (there'd been a thunderstorm during the night which I basically slept through as my room is in the basement but which woke CM and the Prof around 4 am). Tomorrow we're back at PAAWS for another day of spaying and neutering cats. Occasionally I think it would be easier if we simply set up beds at PAAWs and just stayed there *g*
1st-Sep-2014 04:48 pm - Buffy Characters as Cats
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What a cute idea - Buffyverse Characters as Cats (there are 3 pages worth of pics).
1st-Sep-2014 02:37 pm - Labor Day
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Happy Labor Day to all. Wow I just noticed I haven't posted since July 19th!! It's really because the summer has been fairly dull and I'm happy to say that despite the dire predictions (horrible winter = horrible summer) the weather has been very mild and not at all humid. Tomorrow I'm off to Fargo to visit my friend CM and her husband the Prof and will probably have a great deal to post about. Hope everyone has been having a lovely summer.
19th-Jul-2014 04:30 pm - Baba Brinkman
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Wednesday evening I went with some friends to see Baba Brinkman perform in "The Rap Guide to Religion" (see It was fairly amusing and I did learn one thing that made a huge impression on me - the explanatory drive. To quote David Brooks in the NY Times: We are born with what some psychologists call an “explanatory drive.” You give a baby a strange object or something that doesn’t make sense and she will become instantly absorbed; using all her abilities — taste, smell, force — to figure out how it fits in with the world. Millennia ago when we had no idea how we came to be here or why there were earthquakes, thunderstorms, changes of seasons etc. but we did have storytellers who made up tales so that the reality of those primitive peoples made sense, satisfying their explanatory drives. With nothing else to do at night they sat around the campfire telling those stories. Children would hear them and remember them and pass them onto their children. This went on for generations upon generations. Unfortunately, now in the 21st century, many still believe those Bronze Age myths from the Age of Ignorance; it is time to put away childish things and grow up.

I'm sorry if I've offended anyone but after the Scotus decision regarding women's right vs the rights of the religious and the corporations I've lost all patience with the religious. I have no more respect for them then I have for adults who believe in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny or the tooth fairy.
29th-Jun-2014 11:31 pm - Direct TV
TV addict
Am I the only one who is finding these ads for DirectTV featuring a man whose wife is a marionette, complete with strings, to be really disturbing?

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