Jenny McCarthy Body Count widget offline

My Jenny McCarthy Body Count widget had gone off-line and I haven't had time to look into it, until today.
Apparently the lay scientist has gone offline and layscience.net won't be back relaunching until summer 2011.



What to do?
1) Finish Start paper on a 19th century gendarmerie that is due by Easter?


2) Spend all day loitering in the garden, pulling out weeds, sipping beers and relaxing with Dr Livingstone?

Hmmm. Tough choice...


Gardening schemes (part 1)

The sun is out and I feel like I have enough energy in me to do a spot of gardening.
17ºC on Tuesday and I got the tools out. My little project for the day: eradicate the entangled-bush-I-don't-know-the name-of, clean up the excess earth and wood chip, make it nice and tidy.
Bonney joined me, and then scratched me till it bled while I was stroking kitteh.
Mouser wondered around, but spent the rest of the afternoon indoors.
Here are some before (on the left) and after pictures (on the right).

View from the kitchen:

View from the side where we've put down some chairs and a table I Hammerited a while ago:

As seen from the stables:

As you can tell from the pictures the sun had moved about a bit, it took me a good 4 hours (!) to get those sodding roots out of the earth. Those entangled-bushes-I-don't-know-the name-of are a thorn in my side.

Next step will be to prune the bush without killing it. And put down new wood chip.
Mouser will have a lovely little place in the shade, and the view from the house and our sitting corner will have improved (just a bit).
We're planning on having everything torn out, in August we're going to sort out the water pipes and stuff.
But that is still a couple of months away, I've already done this. I'm quite pleased so far.
Follow-up posts will appear from time to time as I make my way through all the flower beds accordingly.


Supermarket peeves

Supermarket peeves: I have lots.
But today I'll leave you with just the one.

Everyone must be familiar with those plastic dividers people put on the conveyor belt to keep their shopping apart?

Ok. About a decade ago those things weren't in existence here. Which was awkward. 'That bread isn't mine, it must have slided over' and stuff.

But now they are everywhere. Joy.

BUT: People now expect you to put one of those things immediately after you've put the shopping on the conveyor belt. No delay permitted. It has to be done in the same flow of the cart-emptying business.
Usually the belt is so long and the dividers scarce you can't reach one from where you're standing in the queue.

So the person behind you is getting all stressed out because he/she doesn't want to have the shopping mixed up with yours and is holding off putting stuff on the belt al long as you haven't put down the divider.
And so this huge gap empty space emerges behind your shopping, like it has lepra or something. You are considered an asocial person if you do not put down the divider. You, being in front of the other person, have to fulfill your altruistic duty.

ALSO (ok, this is the second peeve): supermarket etiquette requires you say thank you and nod politely to the person in front of you putting down the divider. As if your shopping has been gracefully saved the embarrassment of being added to someone else's bill.

Gah. I need to go down the shops again today. Do not want.


Le nouveau spring est arrivé!

Well vive to that and an eclair for both of us!


Owl hunting

We went on an owl spotting walk with the little green men volunteering to preserve nature around these parts.
Quite big group of people turned up. About 25 or so. Needles to say not all of them can be quiet while walking for about two hours in the dark.
This was a recipe for disaster. Didn't hear one single owl that whole evening.

Of course these parts are teeming with at least four different kinds of owls.
So Dr Livingstone and myself did a bit of owl spotting walks these last few evenings. Lo and behold, we had hardly put our nose round the door and were bombarded with hoots coming from all sides. And different squeeks at that. Dr Livingstone is an owl fan and can distinguish between them. I'll just take anyone's word for it.


A Tail of Two Kittehs

Mouser's nemesis paid some visits over the last couple of days. They seem to tolerate each other, no hairs standing upright, no claws extended. They've been checking each other out from a distance (2 meters).
Today Bonny (which I presume is his name) darted out of the bushes when I wanted to sit in the garden. I fetched Mouser to see its reaction.
Velvet Claws stayed in the veranda. Bonny stayed outside the veranda.
It looked a lot like the mirror-act mime actors perform.


The Yellow House

I started reading The Yellow House: Van Gogh, Gauguin, and Nine Turbulent Weeks in Arles by Martin Gayford on google books a fortnight ago. I speeded through to page 70 or so. And of course that was the end of the preview... So it was the perfect excuse to do some online shopping. I found a second hand copy through Amazon for a measly 2£ (shipping was twice the price of the book...).
Anyway, the printed work was forced into the letterbox just before the weekend.
It's a light read so far, easily digestable. Giving me ideas on how to approach some subjects for research.
We studied Gaugain and Van Gogh during the first semester. I wish I had read it before. The book was recommended to me over teh interwebz on a forum I frequent. Very glad I followed up on it and was able to have a little taste of it and not order something on a whim.


Hans Solo

This Japan business is dreadful.
I needed some cheering up.
This made me chuckle this morning.


Pi Day

Happy Pi Day everyone!

Although I don't really feel like celebrating anything. I haz a sad thinking about Japan.


Maru & his human are doing well!

May Ceiling Cat protekt Maru frum teh ebils of Poseidon.



It's funny 'cos it's true.


Saturday Night Fever

Sinusitis is back with a vengeance.
My head feels like there's a Frenchman living in it.
Everything is sore, even my teeth hurt.
I've blown my way through half a box of tissues since yesterday, but the brain drain has subsided and I'm just counting the hours until the chesty cough come seal trump noises start.

Bad enough having to spend the entire weekend in bed with fever and all bodily faculties manifestly causing distress, not only on my part, but also Dr Livingstone's. He wanted to go walking, swimming and move stuff about in the garage, but some bug in my system thwarted his plans

Gah. I really, really don't like these seasons changing all the time. Where's my lovely sunshine?