Monthly Archives: March 2006

Can’t get rid of the Coca; Another wacky cat story; Notorious B.I.G.’s family awarded $1.1 million

Nice kittyU.S tax dollars have been going to Bolivia to help eradicate the Bolivian coca leaf. Under the newly elected President Evo Morales, a former coca farmer, the eradication effort is down 60%. This article from the Associated Press talks about the traditional, and natural, use for the coca leaf besides cocaine. Morales even suggests putting coca bread on the school menu. I made a similar suggestion to my high school about pot brownies. I'm still waiting for an answer.

Cats can't seem to stay out the news
The latest diabolical event was a cat stuck in a wall at house under construction, waving his paw out a hole, crying and catching the attention of prospective buyer. Just yesterday a story appeared about a cat in Sunset Circle Connecticut terrorizing the townspeople, ambushing 11 people utilizing the long claws on his six toe'd feet. Last week there was story about a cat fallingl 80 feet from a tree and landing on his back, then getting up and running away unharmed. And he was on the tree limb for 8 days.

My prediction: a news channel/web site/magazine devoted to serious, domestic, most e-mailed stories about cats.

I dream of similar attention levels being given to this blog. It's a dream I have.

L.A. ordered to give B.I.G.'s family B.I.G. bucks
The rapper's family was awarded the money for legal and other costs relating to a wrongful death suit brought against the city of LA . A detective withheld documents that might have been pertinent to the family's case. A $1.1 million dollar mistake and taxpayers have to pay for it.

I didn't follow the east coast/west coast rap war thing but I did like this song which allegedly was part of the whole controversy.


My dog Tikki

Tikki collage
The story of Tikki really begins with a dog named "Jack". While living in San Francisco, my wife and I baby-sat a yorkshire terrier called "Jack" for some friends of ours. A sleep-over. Jack was about 6-8 lbs. and very friendly. Very lickee (the dog was all tongue). We both loved Jack. The lets-get-a-yorkie wheels starting turning in my wife's head.

We found a yorkie puppy for sale in Oakland off of a classified ad. A woman renting a studio apartment, had to give up her yokie or face eviction. She would hide her ownership of the dog (from her landlord) by pretending it was her cousin's and she was looking after it for the weekend. The landlord caught on and gave her an ultimatum—either the dog goes or you both go.

So we trecked over the Bay Bridge to Oakland for a visit. Or at least I thought it was just a visit (more on that later).

Tikki at 6 monthsWe sat down with the owner in her 10×10 apartment, and this little rug rat jumped up on the back of the couch we were sitting on, walked behind our heads while checking my wife and I out. Her black fur jetted-out in spikes and made her look like Joan Jett the morning after. Honestly, she looked like the ugly duckling of the litter and weighed about 2 lbs. She reminded me of a baby Ewok.

Well come to find out, my wife had already talked to the owner and told her we were taking Tikki home tonight. I had no idea. I just wanted to look at the dog and think about it overnight. I told the owner this and she started to cry. She was emotionally preparing to let the dog go that night. Needless to say, we came back the next night and took Tikki home for good.

She's now 5 1/2 years old and 6 1/2 lbs. and her fur has gone from black to black & tan.

I figured my dog deserves a mention in this blog for all the love and dedication she gives me.
Meditating Tikki

Kite flying can kill; Global warming is unavoidable; Some saucy sites

Kite Flying
My brother directed me to an alarming and unique story. A kite flying festival, Basant, in Pakistan has been cancelled this year in fear of "kite dueling" – trying to knock a rival's kite from the air by slicing through his or her string which are usually laced with glass shards. This has caused seven deaths recently with people getting tangled in the death strings. Read the story from the Guardian Unlimited.

CNN had a lead story on Sunday about Global Warming and how it's here and in full force. Polar caps melting, less ice to reflect the sun's rays back into space, ocean water getting warmer, animal species becoming extinct, drought, severe weather events, and —- the Bush administration refuses to be a part of the 141 nations that have ratified the Kyoto treaty to reduce global emissions. Yikes! The hits just keep coming from this administration.

In keeping with the serious nature of this post, I thought I would list a few saucy sites for viewing:

Finally, on this day in history 53 years ago Dr. Jonas Salk announces on a national radio show that he has successfully tested a vaccine against poliomyelitis, the virus that causes the crippling disease of polio.

Man’s Toddler Son Wanders Into Strip Club; Scientists Learn Why Bird Flu Does Not Easily Infect People; Nats Soriano to Play Left Field afterall

What the hell??A 31 year old father told his son to stay in the car (or monsters would eat him) while he went into a strip bar. Then the kid unstrapped himself and walked into the club. Police arrested the father on a complaint of “encouraging a minor child to be in need of supervision.” Nice. The club manager called police after seeing the kid walk in the club. My question: how did the kid get past the front door? Did the manager only call the police after is was apparent he wasn’t going to drink? Or have a lap dance performed? Full story from Forbes through AP.

Scientists have discovered a natural barrier that prevents us from getting H5N1 bird flu. The virus attaches to cells too deep in the lungs for coughing and sneezing to spread the disease. The disease also doesn’t spread easily between birds and humans. Good news for everyone except the millions of birds that will have to be killed once this virus takes hold in this country. Full coverage on this discovery from VOA news.

The Washington Nationals Alfonso Soriano finally decided that he’ll accept the change in position to left field from second base. He refused to enter a pre-season game yesterday and play the outfield and left everyone standing around confused. But finally he caved and the world has been set right again. ESPN has a story on how the ball club is pleased with his personal sacrifice. Wow.

A doink-headed Dad, potential national health disaster, and a millionaire baseball player making a personal sacrifice to play another position. Aliens observing us are scratching their bald, green heads, putting their spaceships in reverse and leaving this galaxy like a bat out of hell.

I’m still baffled by Sharon Stone making ‘Basic Instinct 2‘ or as it should be titled: ‘Basic Instinct 2: A Little Older and Still not Wearing Panties‘.

The buzzing wood-chipper voice of Johnny Most; Treetop cat falls 80 feet; Tiger Woods commits to play World Match Play Championship

Johnny MostAndrew Ayres writes in The Daily Dime (on about wanting to see the glory days of the Celtics in the 80s, with Magic, Larry, Lakers and Celtics. What I liked in the article was his short but sweet mention of listening to Johnny Most announcing the game. Johnny did have a voice like a wood-chipper. A 2 pack-a-day wood chipper.

I watched a video of a cat falling 80 ft., then running away after bouncing off the ground. I thought it was going to be gruesome and would have regretted launching the video, but the cat lived. And, he/she didn't land on his feet. He/she landed on his/her back.

And finally Tiger Woods commits to play in the World Match Play Championship for the first time since 1998. The tournament occurs a week before the Ryder Cup which is in Ireland this year. I predict a huge year for Tiger (easy prediction).

And one final story: Chicken are Feeling Better. They did have the devastating Bird flu but are starting to recover with the help of some rest, medication, love, and attention.

It’s Duck time

Common Eiders - male and femaleActually, it’s getting a little past Duck time. Ducks have been migrating through New England for a few months now. The past couple of months I’ve taken trips to Rhode Island and Cape Anne and caught some great glimpses of ducks on their way through to the Artic, Nova Scotia, Canada and Maine.

Common Eiders are our largest sea duck. My brother thinks the ducks resemble a battleship. That makes a flock of them an armada. I saw a lot of these on Cape Anne and Rhode Island. These ducks are always on open ocean. They climb up on rocks as well which I witnessed off the Cliff Walk in Newport RI.

Red-breasted MerganserI’ve also seen Common and Red-breasted Mergansers. The Common is a little larger than the Red-breasted. Common Mergansers like deep, clear lakes and rivers while the Red-breasted prefers shallow, sheltered salt water. I’ve seen them in both settings (ocean and fresh water). I’m not an expert but I think this could be due to migration where the Eiders are always on open ocean water.

Common Goldeneyes I’ve seen off of Cape Anne and inland on some local large ponds. Common GoldeneyeThey’re beautiful ducks that are distinguished by their dark head and golden eye. According to The Sibley Guide to Birds they nest in tree cavities near ponds and lakes during the summer. To see this you would have to travel to Canada which is their summer home.

During the winter you can see ducks up and down the New England coast. I’ve had a lot of great luck in Rhose Island at a place called Sachuest Point. It’s right next to Second Beach which is a little ways east from Newport.

Ring-necked DuckJust last weekend my brother and I were checking out the local ponds in Westboro and saw thousands of Hooded Mergansers on Lake Chauncy. It was pretty impressive. We also saw a flock of Ring-necked Ducks. These are easily identified by a ring around their beak.

Bird watching is a hobby of mine and spotting ducks is a part of the year-round fun. In the late summer (mid-August) through November you can catch ducks traveling (through New England) south for the Winter. Then starting January through March, catch them again heading north. Of course this isn’t an exact science and you may catch some ducks during off months.

This just gets me psyched for the Spring migration of song birds.

Some favorite red wines from an amateur

I drink Red WineI love red wine but will not profess to being any kind of expert on the subject. My 78-year old Father loves red wine but I think his reasons are simple as well. The taste, the buzz, and the…buzz. I can never taste the oak and blackberry flavors or the chocolate finishes but I do know a decent red wine when I taste one. And most of my choices are below the $15 threshold.

Here are a few:

There’s many more I like but I’ll wait until I’m a little more refined in my tastes.