Fridge Friday: Happy Birthday edition

Today is David’s birthday! Unfortunately one planned gift didn’t pan out and now I have nothing for him. The pleasure of living with me ought to be enough, right?

David wrestles with Walt, who pretends to eat us on a regular basis. After being a stray puppy he lived with a Rottie and a Doberman and they taught him all about fun play with a soft bite, so it’s actually pretty entertaining to fight with him. Of course sometimes he just ambushes you, especially when walking in the yard, so you have to be on your toes.

Love of dogs definitely played into David and I getting along so well from the beginning. Dogs and politics are probably the only major similarities we have, though (I’m trying not to count inattention to an immaculate household here too). I’m not mechanically inclined, but he can make or fix about anything. He’s also good at breaking stuff. His trade is roughly trim carpentry, hence the lovely custom cabinets surrounding the fridge submission below. Lacking money and time, though, means the face frames and doors have not yet been built! He does most aspects of remodeling so this relatively crummy bungalow now sports real wainscoting, slate and travertine floors and walls, a finished basement, a privacy fence put together with pocket holes, and even strange security measures like a blue LED that comes on at the back door if any of the gates are left open. That is pretty handy for the dogs but may have been a bigger pain to install than the excitement about this idea compensated.

David is also an excellent pianist and even got his degree in music, which is why he’s a contractor. 🙂 While I did fine at violin when I was a kid, I certainly don’t have a tenth of the natural talent David does. I don’t get how someone can listen to something and just bang it out without sheet music. He also sings well, something I certainly can’t claim. Someday I’d love to buy him a baby grand, but it won’t be this birthday. Nor would it fit in this tiny house.

I’m sure you can see why our freezer space stresses me out. We need a new fridge, but I know people get by with small ones. It’s just the American Dream, as Dad would say, to have a giant fridge. So do we really need one? I can’t justify the purchase but I won’t say if this one died I would be all that sad about getting a bigger Energy Star replacement. Can’t beat a free refrigerator, though.

Help finding your lost pet: FindToto

This service is new to me. FindToto is a service you pay to call all your neighbors with a recorded message about your lost pet. It is exempt from the existing Do Not Call lists (though it appears you can choose to get on this service’s Do Not Call list specifically by going to their website). Someone at work used it recently (see Bruno below!) after having no luck looking everywhere and calling shelters repeatedly for 24 hours. They paid $145 to call 750 nearby homes four times and had their dog back in two hours! Just goes to show that many pets don’t wander far, so if you find the people who have seen him wandering, you have a chance to get him back.

I would totally use this service if we lost one of our dogs! It’s nice to know someone local who actually had success with it. Apparently you can choose how many houses to call and that determines the price.


According to Genderanalyzer, there’s a 61% chance that a woman writes this blog.

This one is really bizarre: according to Typealyzer, I’m an ESFP personality (or at least my blog is written that way). That happens to be exactly the opposite of my pretty well established INTJ! Seriously, I’m “entertaining and friendly”?? They even suggest I use their “I am a feeler” widget.

Meanwhile I write 16% like Mark Twain according to oFaust, where I copied in all of my current page’s text. This may be more like him than you would think, because I copied in an excerpt of Huckleberry Finn and it told me it was 25% like Mark Twain. It thought a Scarlet Letter excerpt was 39% Poe. I gave it Grapes of Wrath and it thought it was 56% like Frank Baum. And then I gave it Goethe’s Faust and it said it was 86% like Goethe, so at least it knows its namesake.

Someone farted (hint: not me), and David thought the frequency was about 180 Hz. He hit it on the piano, saw it was an F, related it to an A in a major third, did some math, and came up with 176 Hz. I feel like I should be impressed but he was just singing along with a fart.

I stepped in vomit this morning

At least it sure looked like it. No one had dressed it with sawdust yet.

Winter coat weather!

How You Live: one word. Meme via Return to Rural

1. What wakes you: dog
2. Your initial look in the mirror reveals: squinting
3. You usually first put on: slippers
4. Your closet: downstairs
5. Your mood before 11am: quiet
6. The first thing you look at online after email: weather
7. Something you tend to snack on: cookies
8. What you see out your front door: mums
9. Your takeout menus: folder
10. Number of boxes of tissue out in your home right now: four
11. The way you sneeze would read: ratt-chew
12. Number of times a day you probably brush your hair: 0.5
13. The most predominant thing in your pantry: tomatoes
14. A smell commonly coming from your kitchen: garlic
15. How you sort your books: pile
16. The way you keep your place in a book: circle
17. Something you hide when people come over: fur
18. Number of people normally at your table during dinner: two
19. Something you put on your nightstand before bed: pager
20. How high you pull the covers when you go to sleep: cheek

Thinking of others in the holiday season

As a diary of sorts, I feel I should be able to rant on discuss any topic of interest to me, but I’m also sensitive to how my opinions (however strongly held) may differ from readers’, and that my opinions do evolve. I’m going to talk briefly about turkeys at Thanksgiving because it’s not something I’ve ever heard about until I went looking for the information, and while this may only be my third Thanksgiving NOT eating turkey flesh, it’s nonetheless important to me and I hope will not be taken as a strictly holier-than-thou entry (which I don’t intend any of them to be, but I’m not sure I’m successful in getting that across sometimes).

This year I decided to adopt a turkey, sort of in an effort to atone for the turkeys that would be purchased to eat at the work and family functions I will attend, and because it makes me feel good to donate to causes that make life better for animals. This is Apollo, who lives at Farm Sanctuary in New York:

Lacking the facilities to physically adopt animals saved from factory farming, I am really just sponsoring him. Maybe someday I will be able to do more, but the foster rabbits will have to do for now. I did get to meet some cool turkeys during a rabbit rescue last year.

While I was at Farm Sanctuary’s website, I found these (all pictures/italicized captions belong to them):

Bred to grow unnaturally quickly, factory-farmed turkeys suffer crippling leg injuries and often die stuck in the excrement that covers the warehouse floor.

Hanging upside down and shackled by their feet, turkeys enter the slaughterhouse.
(The Humane Slaughter Act does not apply to poultry or rabbits, which means they do not have to be rendered unconscious before killing them.)

(Celebration FOR the Turkeys at Farm Sanctuary)

I wish I didn’t feel like I had to apologize for being vegetarian, but an awful lot of people go on the defensive when they find out I am. Or they demand to know if I consume dairy/eggs, somehow looking for a loophole in my sincerity that excuses them from having to think about their own hypocrisy. Nope, I’m not perfect. I still have some leather shoes and I still buy a few eggs (I go out of my way to find free range eggs, but there are plenty of reasons why that’s “not enough”). On the other hand, once I thought about my reasons for eating meat, I decided it wasn’t acceptable for a being to have to die for my lunch. It just didn’t make sense to me. So that’s when I started figuring out where to draw my new line, and it still moves a little as I consider more data (no, it does not move such that I eat any meat or other foods that require someone to die).

Honestly, I haven’t watched the horrible videos that are supposedly out there about slaughterhouses and factory farms. I already know it’s terrible and would make me cry. But I have read enough and seen a few pictures; they make me look for alternatives, whether that’s me eating a fake turkey product at Thanksgiving, or encouraging a meat-eater to find a humanely-raised and slaughtered turkey for themselves. Did you know Californians just passed Proposition 2? It wasn’t just a bunch of vegetarians voting for this:

This law phases out some of the most restrictive confinement systems used by factory farms – gestation crates for breeding pigs, veal crates for calves and battery cages for egg laying hens – affecting 20 million farm animals in the state by simply granting them space to stand up, stretch their limbs, turn around and lie down comfortably

That’s AWESOME. I would like to have an audience that can share in those victories with me, even if we don’t practice the same eating habits. Perhaps they will make small changes in their shopping habits. One step at a time, people… just switching from regular eggs to ones marked “cage free” may not be all fun and games for the hens, but you won’t be supporting battery cage use, and that’s an EASY change at your same grocery store.

On the same day I sponsored Apollo, I also gave to Critter Corral guinea pig rescue, Wheeler Mission (which is uncharacteristically churchy of me, but they are doing great work with the homeless and hungry in our city), and Gleaners Food Bank, which runs nine food banks that distribute food products to 400 central Indiana hunger charities. I tend to identify with animal needs more, perhaps because they really have no voice except the one we provide on their behalf, but I am saddened by my neighbors not having enough to eat. I think I lack the constitution to make myself face the situation in a shelter (though I hope to “evolve” here too), so I choose to donate money instead. The downturn in the economy only means more trouble for those struggling in poverty in the first place.

Give where your heart is this season!

Brighter mood

On the happier side:
1. David had made a yummy onion soup complete with croutons and cheese broiled on top when I got home so late last night.

2. Most of the people I work for were out for a teambuilding event today so I had time to catch up on a few things.

3. Asian stir fry with tofu at the cafeteria and free flu shots today!

I’m going through old computer files at work and I found this meme-like one that was part of a get-to-know-you thing a couple of years ago. We were supposed to guess who the coworkers were based on their answers.

What hobbies do you enjoy?
Rowing, pets

What is your favorite vacation destination?
Someplace with a beach and indoor plumbing

What ocupation would you like to have if you weren’t in your current position?
Actuary, editor, animal rescuer

What is the one job you NEVER want to try?
Sales rep–I don’t want to deal with the public or sell something I don’t think anyone needs!

What was your first pet? What was its name?
Frisky the guinea pig

Who is your hero? Why?
This always sounds like idolatry to me so I don’t have one

How many siblings do you have?
One younger brother

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Disney cartoonist

Who was your favorite teacher? Why?
Mrs. Linebacker, who let me skip recess to do extra classwork

What was your least favorite subject in school?

Would you say that you are more “urban” or “rural” at heart?
Urban for the diversity (but I need a yard!)

What “historical figure” do you most admire? Why?
MLK Jr–a perfect vision and great approach to it

If you could possess any talent, what would it be?
Playing piano or singing would be cool

If you could be any super hero, who would you be?
Is there a Grammar Girl?


1. Annoying changes at work are not being shared with all impacted areas, and gee, no one thought about all the consequences as a result.

2. Just when I was all excited about great new vegetarian options at my work cafeteria, they decide to cancel the pasta bar (and the tofu along with it) and send the cook who hooks me up with these things, asks me how to make the food choices better, and warns me about unexpected pitfalls like bacon in the guacamole to another site.

3. XM/Sirius finally combined programming yesterday. One of the best parts of XM was the lack of DJ yapping, but suddenly my channels had new DJs and an awful lot of talking. STFU. If I want to know the song name I’ll look at the display. By the way, people don’t like change, so if you smooth it over for a couple weeks ahead of time by saying “hey on Wednesday we’re changing programming!” or sending a freakin’ email about it before the day the programming changes, it’ll go over better. Also, I can’t tell WTH channel I’m on anymore because the channels have different numbers on Sirius vs XM, so now they won’t display the channel number in the artist display between songs anymore nor say it on air, but the display isn’t big enough to simultaneously show actual channel number AND artist AND song, and they changed all the channel names at the same time so calling the music type “Spectrum” doesn’t mean I have any idea that it’s adult contemporary vs a Talking Heads channel.

4. Rained all day yesterday, and when I got in the car after 12 hours at work to go home and do more work, my car rained on me out of the map light buttons.