misslynx: (Aidan - w/stick)
Me: "It's pretty sunny out. Would you like your hat and sunglasses on?"

Lynxcub: "If a fire truck came into my dreams, I would jump up on top of it and work on it! I would work on top of the cab to make the lights go off and the sirens go off. And then there would be a blowy horn --"

Me: "Um... that really isn't answering to my question..."

Lynxcub: "--and I would work a lot on it and the lights and the siren, and there would be a flashing green light, and... [a fair bit more detail I can't remember omitted] ...and that's what I would do if a fire truck came into my dreams!"

Me: "That's very interesting. But would you like your hat and sunglasses on?"

Lynxcub: "No."

. . .

Lynxcub, junior forest firefighter )

Remind me not to ever have him wake ME up )

A moment of sheer awesomeness )
misslynx: (Aidan & me - w/ dandelion)
The Cub did not want to spend any more time outside today than absolutely necessary - I think he was a little alarmed by the Salsa on St. Clair Festival. He doesn't deal very well with crowds, though he did spend a lot of time watching the goings-on from the window (one of the festival "hot spots" was, as always, the very intersection I live at, where a Salsa school was giving free lessons every hour on the hour, so all weekend I've had not just constant music outside, but periodic bouts of "One! Two! Now, forward! Back! Tap tap tap!" and that sort of thing). I guess music and crowds of dancing people are less threatening when viewed from above.

On the bright side, spending time indoors often tends to lead to more interesting and surreal conversations:

Helpful Lynxcub is helpful )

Simultaneously cute and disturbing )

BTW, for those who don't know, he will be turning three next Monday, the 26th. Not sure yet if there are any official festivities planned (meant to ask when dropping him off, but forgot), but he'll be with me the day before, so if anyone (local) feels like paying the Cub a visit when he's with me on his almost-birthday, I'd be up for that.
misslynx: (Aidan & me - w/ dandelion)
So apparently we just had an earthquake an hour ago. Magnitude 5.something, though centred pretty far away from here.

I did not notice anything whatsoever, and am vaguely disappointed.

I mean, not that I would have liked to be in the midst of a disaster-movie scenario, but I've never experienced an earthquake before, and it would have been nice to have at least noticed it. I suppose it happened when I was out with Kiska, en route to the library to take some books back, and I guess it was less noticeable outside because there's not as much stuff to be shaking out there. But really, you'd think I'd have felt something... Oh well.

. . .

In other news, I have been trying to teach the Lynxcub about geography, via all the World Cup flags we keep seeing around. This has had an unexpected side effect: he's now obsessed with Argentina, because (a) he likes their flag best (two big sky blue stripes and a sun in between), and (b) I made the mistake of letting him know they have penguins there.

Now he will only watch videos of Argentinian penguins. Seriously. The ones in Chile and Antarctica just aren't good enough. When I initially searched for penguin videos on YouTube for him yesterday, he had a near-meltdown over it: "But I want to see penguins from ARGENTIIINNNAAAAAA!!!" (imagine this in a rising wail that went from mildly disappointed-sounding to near-hysteria in about 5 seconds). Thankfully I was able to find some, on the National Geographic site.

This lends a new element of irony to the fact that his big stuffed penguin is named Tango. While initially a reference to And Tango Makes Three, the most banned book in the US in recent years and one of the Cub's favourites (I'm so proud of his tastes in illicit literature), it's also, of course, a style of dance that originated in... Argentina!
misslynx: (Aidan & me - w/ dandelion)
#1 - after passing a golden retriever on the street:

Him (happily): I like golden retrievers! (pause) I like to help them walk.
Me (slightly confused): You like to help them walk?
Him: Yes. I help them walk all by themselves.
Me: How do you do that?
Him: I pet them!
Me: And petting them makes them able to walk all by themselves?
Him: Yes! (pauses again, and then says thoughtfully) Only dinosaurs can walk all by themselves.

. . .

Note: when I told [livejournal.com profile] kettunainen and [livejournal.com profile] optimystik about this after dropping him off, Optimystik said "Well, of course! Dinosaurs went extinct before people were around to pet them, so they had to be able to walk all by themselves. Everything else after that needed petting. Makes perfect sense!"

. . .

#2 - while drawing:

Me: What are you drawing?
Him: A fire truck! (he is, in fact, making a cloud of little dots on the paper, like a small swarm of gnats)
Me: What are those dots?
Him: Tiny, tiny windows. (adds a wiggly line) And that's a tail.
Me: The fire truck has a tail?
Him (in a "don't be silly!" tone): Noooo!
Me: Are you drawing an animal?
Him (distractedly): No...
Me: So who does the tail belong to?
Him: A triceratops! But it's kind of broken.
Me: The triceratops is broken? How did that happen?
Him: It was a plastic triceratops, and someone wasn't very gentle with it.
misslynx: (Default)
...And neither do I, really. But this video is possibly the most entertainingly random thing I have ever found on the Toronto Star web site:

misslynx: (Default)
For [livejournal.com profile] kettunainen, [livejournal.com profile] foxesdaughter, and any other fox folk on my friends list:

more animals
misslynx: (Seal)
If anyone has ever wondered why I love [livejournal.com profile] deepseanews so much:

http://blogs.discovery.com/deep_sea_news/2008/03/ladies-of-the-b.html (Pictures fine, text NSFW)

This entry's actually from back in March, but I somehow missed it the first time, and they recently linked to it so that's how I ended up finding it. You really need to read it all the way through for some of the choicest bits. And don't be drinking any liquids at the time.

This is so not your average science blog. As one of the co-authors put it regarding this entry, "You give the new guy creative license and all of sudden we're Penthouse." Although their off-kilter sense of humour and focus on the bizarre certainly did not start with "the new guy"...

Also, they're in the midst of a series on the "27 Best Deep-Sea Species", which have thus far included such stellar candidates as the Big Butt Worm and Dumbo Octopus, plus the less intriguingly named but equally odd Brachiopods ("sort of the living dead except they won’t suck your brains out") and Xenophyophores ("So to recap, big single-celled animal that secretes a slimy goo all over and attaches parts of dead things to itself.").
misslynx: (Oh R'lyeh?)
OK, this (found via [livejournal.com profile] deepseanews, whence come all things creepy and ocean-related but not penned specifically by H.P.Lovecraft): Oceana, an ocean conservation organization, are running a "freakiest fish contest" where you can vote on which of 13 brain-bendingly bizarre undersea creatures (not all of them fish, actually) is your favourite:


Fanfin SeadevilThey'll announce the winner on Halloween, and then everyone who voted for that particular beastie gets entered in a draw to win a pair of free tickets to an IMAX screening of "Deep Sea 3D!" or a copy of Claire Nouvian's book The Deep (the latter of which has been high on my Amazon wish list for quite a while, so that was a good motivator for me).

Note: I strongly suspect that voting gets you put on Oceana's "wavemakers" e-mail list. I was already on the list, so I didn't care, but others might. It's not a terribly high-traffic list -- just occasional announcements or action alerts on marine environmental issues, and I like that sort of thing anyway. And to my knowledge they don't share their mailing list with anyone else. But it's something to be aware of, anyway...

My pick, cut so as not to bias anyone else's vote, assuming anyone else on my flist finds this sort of thing interesting enough to vote in the first place )
misslynx: (Cat Attack)

. . .

If I have to stay up late working on this project, at least it's good to have some distractions: I Can Has Cheezburger & Daler Mehndi!
misslynx: (Default)
This person needs to win some kind of entrepreneur of the year award. "Best of Craigslist" just isn't enough:

Your Pets Will Not Be Flagged For Removal By Jesus During the Rapture

(courtesy of [livejournal.com profile] dot_pagan_snark)
misslynx: (With Kiska (on couch))
Alert to dog owners in Toronto - in case you haven't heard, there's been another case of dog poisonings in a public park. This time it was Dog Hill, in High Park -- someone laced the drinking water provided for the dogs there with antifreeze, and two dogs died.

Full story

This comes after a few years ago, someone left bits of meat laced with pesticide around Withrow Park in the east end, another popular park with dog owners. And I think in between those two there was an incident in another park where someone scattered broken glass and other sharp objects in a dogs' off-leash area in another park, though I don't really recall the details of that one.

This incident hit closer to home for me than the others, though, because I've been to Dog Hill with Kiska. She's probably drunk out those same water bowls. Not recently, fortunately, but still...

Further thoughts )
misslynx: (Oh R'lyeh?)
Today, I:
  1. Survived a one-shot Call of Cthulhu game with no ill effects except temporary insanity, scars from a shotgun blast to the face, and a deep desire never to see the inside of a cave again under any circumstances (which would probably be less problematic were my character not a professional caving guide). Ironically, I think it was the insanity that saved me, since it made me panic, scream and run like mad for the nearest exit, which all things concerned was probably the most sensible thing I could have done under the circumstances.

  2. Met a dog that had been rescued from Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. His new owner had only had him for two weeks, because he was one of the dogs that the rescue organization had had the hardest time placing. Had he not been adopted within a few days of when he was, he would have been put down. He had reacted to the trauma he'd been through by becoming really skittish and fearful of people, so when people came to adopt dogs, he'd shy away from them, and they'd adopt the friendlier dogs instead.

    But this guy adopted him, and after only two weeks in his forever home, he was much improved. He was able to socialize with Kiska while being only mildly jumpy, though he did initially cringe back and growl a little when I offered him my hand to sniff, so I could see why some potential owners might have reacted negatively to him. But when I stayed still, and his owner and I both spoke to him soothingly, he eventually slunk forward and sniffed my hand and tentatively wagged his tail a little. He seemed like a nice dog, just one who'd been through some very bad times. But it's amazing what a loving home will help a dog recover from.

  3. Discovered that a combination of cooldown time, chocolate and willpower will eventually allow me to answer even an e-mail that pushes all sorts of different emotional buttons and hotspots in a reasonably calm and civilized manner.

  4. Also discovered that, despite not having weighed myself in a long time and fearing the worst, and despite having been inundated with many and various forms of really good chocolate over the course of birthday week, I not only have not regained any weight, but having finally hit 180 (well, 180.2), and thus feel justified in finally crossing out the "30" on my profile and writing "35" (as in, pounds lost, under the Goals Accomplished section).

    5 pounds more to my target weight. Unless I for some reason decide I feel a compelling desire to actually land within the "normal" range of the BMI, which would require another 7 pounds or so coming off. But really, I recall 175 as feeling pretty good, and that will probably do just fine.
More substantial update coming... someday. Right now, the only reason I am awake is that I should theoretically be working, as I did not get a lot of work done this weekend between various things. But I am tired and cannot brain, so I think I will go to bed.
misslynx: (Oh R'lyeh?)
LOLRhizocephalans: Plotting to Take Over the World

More evidence that this is the most brilliant twisted science blog in the entire Interwebz.

If for some strange reason you do not yet have their RSS feed on your friends page, you may correct that oversight here: [livejournal.com profile] deepseanews.

Assuming, of course, that you enjoy reading about freakish quasi-Lovecraftian (but real) stuff from under the sea, interspersed with (a) environmental news about what we're doing to it all and (b) bizarre humour, as much as I do.

A few other recent highlights:

Giant Antarctic Sea Creatures
Shrimp Training for Beijing Olympics

And on a somewhat more serious note:

Plastic Trash Lines the Pacific
misslynx: (With Kiska)
Well. Once my nose had recovered, I went into the bedroom where Kiska had lain down (on our bed!) to have a sniff, and oh my. She did get skunked. So, lacking the traditional remedy of tomato juice, I hit the web looking for alternatives, to see if there was anything I might be able to use in the meantime (intending to get tomato juice tomorrow) and discovered three things:
  1. Tomato juice, apparently, does not actually work to deodorize skunk spray. Neither does vinegar, sometimes recommended as an alternative. All either of them apparently do is mask the smell (and, in the case of tomato juice, stain your pet pink).

  2. It is imperative to get the spray off the animal right away, before it has a chance to soak in, or they can retain the odour for up to two years.

  3. There is an alternative, created by an industrial chemist, that uses baking soda, peroxide and dish soap, all of which I did happen to have in stock.
Virtually every site I pulled up recommended that same recipe, and most linked to the creator's site, so I took the hint and mixed up a scaled-down batch of the formula, given that (a) I only had one half-full bottle of peroxide, and (b) only her left shoulder and neck got hit, so I didn't need to put it all over her.

Then came the fun part of coaxing her into the kitchen and sponging the formula into her fur. I went a little outside the skunked area for good measure, doing pretty much the front left quarter of her body. She was pretty patient with this, considering how much she hates to get wet, and only once in a while tried to wriggle away. I kept the solution on her for about 10 minutes, while sitting in the doorway between the living room and kitchen so that she couldn't get back into the living room or bedroom and get soapy skunky peroxide all over everything. This waiting period was made more exciting by her frequent attempts to wriggle past me into the living room, alternating with shaking herself and thus spraying the solution all over the kitchen.

Then came the even more fun part of wrestling her into the bathroom and trying to find a creative way to rinse her off given our total lack of a bathtub. I did not set much store in the idea of being able to give her a shower in our very small shower stall at the same time as (a) being in there with her to help rinse off the formula, (b) blocking the opening so she couldn't get out, and (c) not getting water all over the entire bathroom. I ended up opting for corralling her in the shower stall and pouring pitchers of water over her with the plastic pitcher I usually use for iced tea, while crouching in the opening of the shower stall to block her in (after stripping my clothes off as I really should have done before I started this whole process at all). She was, again, relatively patient through all this, although she did keep an eye open for possible escape routes, meaning that every time I filled the pitcher from the sink (which I had to do while crouching half under the sink, a dandy logistical challenge) I had to be watching her carefully with my peripheral vision.

But eventually the deed was done, she was rinsed and towelled off, and it actually seems to have worked pretty well. She is far, far more pleasant smelling now. Once she was settled in on our bed (on top of a thick folded dog blanket, this time), I mopped the bathroom floor, rinsed myself off, and then went straight to my little BPAL shelf and applied Black Forest to about six different body parts. Was tempted to also apply some to Kiska, but I think she's been through enough.

Hopefully, at least, she will now know to stay far, far away from anything with black and white stripes.

And I still have a sizeable chunk more work to get done tonight... :-(
misslynx: (With Kiska)
Skunks are so pretty. Why do they have to smell so bad?

I asked [livejournal.com profile] ladyjane this last night, while walking Kiska, as we watched one scurry across the street. I think I may have added something silly about wanting to pick them up and cuddle them and love them.

I do not feel like doing that, right at the moment.

When I took Kiska out just now, she bolted towards where some thoughtful person had left a bag of garbage next to the front porch and began barking furiously, and I heard something scamper away... Thought at first it was a raccoon. Then the smell hit.

I don't think Kiska took a direct hit from the spray, as I am able to put my nose right up to her fur and just smell wet dog, but the overpowering intensity of having a skunk let loose really close to you is enough to completely boggle your nose for some while afterward, I have found. I have a somewhat hypersensitive sense of smell at the best of times, and this was the olfactory equivalent of an albino having a floodlight beamed directly into their eyes. I was smelling skunk all the way down the block, and I am still smelling skunk now. I think it mostly just got the whole area around our porch and little if any directly on Kiska. But really, I'm not sure because my sense of smell is so shell-shocked right now that I don't trust it.

I was actually smelling skunk in through the window by my desk before I took Kiska out, so that probably should have been a cue to keep her on a short leash when we went out. But I'm so used to a little ambient skunkness in the air (our neighbourhood is skunk central, it seems) that I didn't think much of it. And I don't know if what I'm smelling now is from outside or inside or just permanently graven into my olifactory nerves so that I'll smell it forever.

Even if it turns out she did take a direct hit, I can't do much about it -- no tomato juice, no money to buy tomato juice at the moment, and for that matter, no bathtub. :-/ I guess it will just be a stinky night. I may have to resort to excessive application of BPAL just to make sure I can still smell something pleasant.
misslynx: (Default)
I should really be working... That's why I stayed up this late, after all. But I've been wanting to make a brief post about something interesting and unusual that happened this weekend.

We went to Little India on Saturday with friends. More window shopping occurred than actual shopping, due to shortness on cash, but it was still fun. And in one store that we went into, I had a most interesting encounter. There were a lot of Hindu deity statues, from small votive figures to much larger ones. And one that particularly caught my eye was a large bronze statue of Ganesh, the elephant-headed god. It just seemed... for lack of a better word, more there than the others. Like there was a sense of presence about it that I would have associated more with a statue in a temple that was an active focus of worship than one that was for sale in a store.

I looked at it for a few minutes with interest, then went to turn away... and felt an unmistakable sensation of being pulled back. Not physically, but just a compulsion to go back to it, as though something was gently but firmly making clear that I wasn't finished there yet. I turned back to the statue, a bit confused, and felt a distinct urge to greet it, or pay it my respects somehow. At first I thought oh no, not in the middle of a busy store on a Saturday afternoon... But I know better than to ignore that sort of impulse. Ain't nobody going to wind up happy when you start ignoring nudges from the gods.

So I tried to just do something subtle... I raised my fingers to my lips as casually as possible, hoping that to any observer it might just look as if I was wiping sweat off my upper lip (it was a very hot day), then lightly kissed my fingertips and did a very slight bow in the statue's direction. Then I turned to move on again, since most of my friends already had, and once again felt like I was being pulled back. Not good enough was the impression I had. Written out, that looks more demanding than it felt at the time... The feelings all the way through this were more along the lines of gentle-but-firm, not imperious or demanding. I don't even know if it was the god himself saying it, or something within me that was saying that particularly deity needed more acknowledgement from me than that.

Oh, crap, I thought. Please don't make me do something really embarrassing in a store full of people. Especially when I'm one of a small handful of white people in an Indian store in an Indian neighbourhood carrying on some kind of odd silent conversation with a Hindu deity. I'm going to look like some kind of flaky white cultural tourist trying to look enlightened. Like Madonna with her mehndi tattoos. Please, spare me from that fate. I'm usually pretty good about the whole cultural appropriation thing.

But, well... I had to do something. I glanced around, trying to make sure no one was directly watching, then quickly did what was probably a fairly inept version of the Indian namaste greeting with my hands pressed together. That seemed to satisfy him - in fact, I actually got a sense he was somewhat amused by my consternation over it (anyone know if Ganesh has a streak of mischief?). As I finally turned to leave - without being held back this time - I wondered what had prompted all this. I am not usually the united nations of deities like [livejournal.com profile] ladyjane is - the gods I work with have been pretty solidly Celtic for many years now. Why was this one wanting my attention, and why now? And a phrase came into my head: "Destroyer of obstacles". I know that's one of his titles... Maybe he somehow sensed me as someone who had obstacles needing to be removed?

I then slipped away, found Ladyjane, and told her what happened in brief. She made the same comment about removing obstacles that I had thought of, and suggested we see if the store perhaps had a small and affordable statue of Ganesh that we could take home, but we didn't find one - the cheapest statue of him that looked nice was still $30, which we couldn't really do at that point. There were some small and inexpensive elephants of various sorts, but none of them seemed like the right elephant. Well, maybe another time... And I suppose I have some work to do to figure all this out.

*sigh* Lynxes and seals and elephants, oh my... Never let it be said that I do not have a complex, and unpredictable, spiritual life.

Wow. That wasn't brief at all.
misslynx: (Default)
I have finished cropping and sizing all the photos [livejournal.com profile] ladyjane took of my seal encounter at the Niagara Falls aquarium, and even made two new LJ icons from them, including this one which I'm now using as my default, and another of my favourite seal swimming.

I have not, however, finished writing everything up, because really it's turning into a something resembling a novel in four chapters: initial contact with the seals last December and how it seemed to start me on this strange entrancement with them, a ritual I did with my coven in an attempt to understand this connection, and what came of that, this most recent up-close-and-personal encounter, and some thoughts on the whole thing, and on animal spirits, totems, animal identity, and so on. Some of these I wrote small bits about at the time, but kept promising to write more later, and this is the later.

Looks like it may take me a few days to get it all written up.
In the meantime, here, have some photos. )
misslynx: (Default)
I really, really want to see this show:

Dr. Tatiana's Sex Advice to All Creation

Full article for those who don't want to register on the Star site )

It is on the Discovery Channel tomorrow at 9pm. But alas, we do not have cable, as out TV is predominantly used as a video monitor. I don't suppose I could convince someone local to tape it for me?
misslynx: (Default)
An e-mail newsletter I just got from a stock photo company at my business address contained a Flash movie announcing a new holiday of special interest to felines and their admirers everywhere, and I just had to pass it on:


misslynx: (Default)
Haven't posted a whole lot of late, at least not anything all that substantial. But there have actually been three separate posts that have been kicking around in my head for some while now, so I'm setting down at least the intent to write about them here, as a way of reminding myself to maybe write the actual posts one of these days.
  1. Seals. I wrote back in December about visiting the Niagara Falls Aquarium and seeing some harbour seals there and being very taken with them. Since then seals have been on my mind a lot, and last weekend I did a ritual with my coven involving an otherworld journey to meet with certain animal spirits, so as to learn more about them, and unsurprisingly seals were what I picked. I wrote up the results in my brand new paper journal I got for keeping tracking of rituals and meditations and such, but I'd like to write about them here too. Particularly since thinking about that experience has led me into various ponderings about animal spirits, identity, and related issues...

  2. Some thoughts on body image, aging, and ability/disability issues, prompted by the fact that I may soon be needing to buy an item that would have the effect of flagging me visibly as being, to some degree, disabled, and my mixed feelings about that. I've been holding off on writing this one for months, partly because I know there are a number of people on my friends list dealing with way more serious problems than I am, so it feels self-indulgent to write about them. But at the same time... It's my journal, and I suppose I can always hide it behind a cut warning people not to proceed if they don't to hear me bitching about my arthritis and whether to get a cane (the walking kind, not the six-of-the-best kind - already got a couple of those).

  3. The convention I spoke at last month, which I mentioned at the time and said I'd write more about later, but never got around to. Ties in a little with some of the issues in #1 so I might combine those. No, it was not a convention of seals, although that would be interesting to see. I wonder if the chairs would have to be specially designed, or if they would just use rocks?
So, consider this a pledge to eventually write something a little more in-depth about all three of those things.

In other news, clients are starting to actually pay from time to time, the cold I had earlier in the month seems to be putting in a return appearance, and we are now actively engaged in house-hunting with the friends we've been for some while discussing sharing a house with. Saw one place recently that we really loved, but the others felt wasn't really big enough for the five of us that would be living there, and they're probably right. Poo. I liked that house so much. Oh well. Still looking for other options, or possibilities for arranging things differently. We'll see.

Oh, and I may actually have my taxes done on time this year, for the first time in - oh, 7 or 8 years. Will wonders never cease? Mind you, I'm having 2003's done at the same time, but at least I'm on time for 2004!


misslynx: (Default)

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