10/24/2010

Pumpkin Pogrom 2010 Was a Big Success

Uncle AndrewUncle Andrew
Filed under: @ 5:32 pm

Many thanks to all who participated. πŸ˜€

10/20/2010

JUST for the record

MargaretMargaret
Filed under: @ 4:40 pm

We aren’t the type of people who make our cat wear t-shirts “because it’s cute!“.

We are the type of people who make our cat wear t-shirts so she can FINALLY heal up the lesion on the inside of her arm that she’s been picking at on and off since the end of February.
And it is, by god, working! Flitter doesn’t have to wear her silly e-collar (which she could lick around anyway) we’re not having to bandage her leg every evening (thus pulling out more hair further up her arm), and outside of still needing to grow some hair my professional and my paranoid cat-mom opinions both are that the leg is looking fine.

Still, she is pretty damn cute isn’t she?

10/19/2010

My Crush on Rachel Maddow is Complete

Uncle AndrewUncle Andrew
Filed under: @ 1:06 pm

I have something of a history of inappropriate crushes, from confirmed lesbians to cartoon characters. However, my undying love for MSNBC host and political commentator Rachel Maddow is one about which I feel absolutely no shame or chagrin. I would gladly shine her shoes with my eyelashes if it would help her to better prepare for her day.

My crush tipped over into full-blown hero worship when I watched this clip from the October 18th edition of her show. Talk about hitting the nail on the head. That woman is so sharp you could use her to slice prosciutto for an antipasti plate.

Ms Maddow, my eyelashes are yours to command.

10/18/2010

Garden Tally

MargaretMargaret
Filed under: @ 6:37 pm

Really, REALLY poopy year for tomaters. It was a very stereotypical western Washington summer which means that it was cool and damp for much of the summer. Great for the climate, crappy for tomatoes. I’ve got the third batch in the dehydrator even as we speak, but it was just too cold to ripen any of the big tomatoes well (thus the dehydrator — dried tomatoes that are vaguely underripe taste just fine) and even the cherry tomatoes didn’t do very well. The plants did okay, but they didn’t set much fruit.
Finally managed to have some success with the beans. Lots and LOTS of beans in the freezer.
I tried my hand at a jalepeno pepper plant which did, of course, CRAPPY. Got some onions, got a decent number of potatoes.

But what I find the most entertaining about this year’s garden?

I didn’t plant a single one of these pumpkins.

Yet another reason to love organic gardening.

10/15/2010

*Psnort*

Uncle AndrewUncle Andrew
Filed under: @ 9:34 am

Heard about this on the Dave Ross Show today. Truly a gem. πŸ˜€

10/14/2010

Gotta Give Credit Where Credit is Due

Uncle AndrewUncle Andrew
Filed under: @ 9:29 am

I’ve been using the free router/VPN endpoint/UTM Untangle for a few months now, and I have to say, it has proven a real winner. It has allowed me to eliminate or tone down many of my other software-based security measures for both my workstations and my servers. Among the tools in Untangle’s utility belt is an excellent anti-spam module, complete with Bayesian learning and real-time blacklists. Untangle scans incoming mail traffic and sorts it according to the settings you assign it. Then you are regularly mailed a link to access the Quarantine for your various email addresses, and tell Untangle which of the messages trapped are spam and which are not. I generally have about thirty messages a day that pass under the default “dump” settings and make it into Quarantine, and I have only found maybe three messages in Quarantine that were genuine. F’rinstance: not one of the recent “Your IRS Payment has Been Rejected!” spams has made it past Untangle’s automatic “dump” filter, compared to the mail system we use at work, which passed any number of them before we tightened it down. Overall, a very effective system.

But every once in a while something will slip through. It’s usually something that looks very official and businesslike, but is of no interest to me whatsoever; offers from SEO services telling me how much more traffic I could be getting to Uncle Andrew dot Net, that sort of thing. And very, very occasionally, something will fly under Untangle’s radar that is blatant spam but somehow manages to foozle the filters. Maybe it’s coming from a fresh botnet that has yet to show up on the blacklists. Maybe the subject line and/or the majority of the content manages to avoid the common pitfalls of the unsuccessful spammerβ€”non-English characters, ALL CAPS, excessive hyperlinks, etc.

And then, once in a blue moon, a message will manage creep under the fence and drop a steamer on my digital lawn, seemingly on sheer perplexity of wording alone. It’s almost as if Untangle’s anti-spam module reads the message, tries to parse it, and it’s little head asplodes. Such was the case with this particular effort that plopped into my Inbox around 9:00 this morning, and I must admit I was strangely impressed.

The subject line of the message read,

resolute porksword every time

Now, how can you look at a phrase like that and not want to give its creator a little pat on the back? πŸ˜†

10/11/2010

BWAH HAH HAH!

MargaretMargaret
Filed under: @ 4:46 pm

I’m not certain whether this is ironic, an epic FAIL, or merely spooky.

On my way home from work this afternoon I stopped at our local QFC to get some toothpaste. Andrew and I favor Tom’s of Maine and we ran out a few days ago. Lemme tell you, after Tom’s, Colgate Total (a gimme from my last dentist’s appointment) is NASTY.
Beyond the point.

I was at the QFC getting toothpaste.
It’s on sale! YIPPEE! Let’s grab three tubes of toothpaste while it’s 30% off!

I went to the U-Check line because after a long day at work I do NOT want to talk to anyone who is paid to be chirpy.
In the U-Check line, at least in the U-Check lines at our QFC, there are little coupon printer thingies that start spitting coupons at you when you start ringing up your purchases.

I scanned my QFC card, I scanned my first tube of toothpaste.

The printer spat out a coupon for Private Selections brand Premium Strawberry Harvest Ice Cream.

Irony, FAIL, or an attempt to boost toothpaste sales.

10/10/2010

More Uber-coolness

MargaretMargaret
Filed under: @ 5:39 pm

Recently my job has been kind of a drag. I’m employed full time so I shouldn’t complain, but this working five days a week shit is for the…. Well, it kinda sucks because veterinarians DON’T work eight hour days even if they’re scheduled to work eight hour days, and I find most people to be very wearying.
I spent the month of September, as I have every odd numbered month since the beginning of the year, on the swing shift. The 11a.m. to 7p.m. hours aren’t so much the problem, it’s just that the way our schedule works if you’re doing swing shifts you don’t usually do any surgery. Which means that you spend your day seeing appointments. ALL day, EVERY day.
And, as I said, I find most people to be very wearying.

I switched back to day shifts (7a.m. to 3p.m.) as of October 1. And I spent most of my first four days in full bore surgery mode.
This makes Margaret πŸ˜€ very πŸ˜€ happy.

It’s not just that I enjoy surgery, it’s that if I’m in surgery I don’t have to go into a room with a small wiggly critter (and sometimes small wiggly children), deal with their reaction to me (sometimes good, sometimes not), and deal with their people twice an hour for 6 or 7 hours a day. And I don’t have to restrain myself from doing things like smacking the owners upside the head and asking “WELL DUH! IF YOU HAD BEEN VOMITING AND HAVING DIARRHEA WOULD YOU WANT TO GO OUT FOR A 2 MILE WALK AND THEN PLAY EVEN IF IT WAS NICE OUTSIDE?!”
I need a vacation. I’m not nearly so crabby most of the time.

Anyway, cool surgery stuff.
I managed to score another re-plumbing job on a cat. This one, an adult belonging to a neighbor of the hospital, had obstructed a couple of times and was going to do it again. The surgery was interesting and I am much more confident now of my ability to be able to do the same thing again even than I was after the first time.
That does not, however, mean that the suturing job is any easier. Damn that’s an inconvenient bugger to suture. Especially since everything in the world, in a traitorous attempt to make me feel old, seems to be getting markedly smaller these days. Damned global warming making everything shrink! :mrgreen:

The next day I got to remove a bladder stone. Wasn’t nearly as big as the bladder boulder I removed once (I can’t find the photos, maybe they’re at work) which was, no shit, 4 1/2 X 6 1/2 INCHES and weighed nearly two pounds, but it was still a sizable rock. A sizable rock in a small dog. A sizable rock in a small, young dog who had never been completely house trained. Who now has a bladder capacity larger than a teaspoon and may, in fact, be comfortable and completely house trained for the first time since she was a puppy.
Gotta feel good about that.

But the best is yet to come!
Tuesday is my procedures day. Next Tuesday I’ve got seven procedures on my schedule, so seven procedures to complete in eight hours (this is an unusual number by the way, we usually cap the schedule at five).
Four cat neuters and three dental cleanings.
That means I come in to work, I do surgery in a quick, intense burst for about 20 minutes. For the rest of the day I sit, write charts, answer phone calls, and examine teeth as my technician cleans and extracts them.

If I could neuter cats all day…. Well I’d end up with a really odd repetitive stress injury, but boy I’d be the happiest girl in wrist braces.

10/7/2010

A Finite Impossibility is an Infinite Improbability

MargaretMargaret
Filed under: @ 5:58 pm

Because I can’t use this title twice, that’s why.

Anyway….

As I said before, I drive a different route to work than I do from work. It all has to do with driving in (relatively) straight lines and taking as few turns as I can manage to get away with.
I leave our house, I take a left and two rights then I drive in a straight line without having to turn for another 10 minutes which is almost 3/4 of my trip.
I leave work, I take a left and I drive in a straight line without having to turn for another 15 minutes or until I’m almost home.
If I tried to take either route backwards I’d end up making more turns sooner in the drive which, for some reason, irritates me. Especially at a quarter after 6 in the morning.
Regardless, take it as fact that I’m peculiar and stop picking nits.

The meat of the case is this:
Two very disparate routes driven in one day.
Thousands upon THOUSANDS of licensed drivers in King County.
Wild variability in the time I leave work every day. I actually leave for work within a fairly tight timeframe so that’s less of a concern.
And the aforementioned 22 controlled intersections in one direction and the 25 in the other.

So what are the odds that I’d get stuck behind the very same guy for the majority of my drive on both my way to and my way from work on Tuesday?

I’m mistaken maybe? Two guys driving two different, but similar, cars?
NOPE.
The exact same guy with the exact same hat, the exact same two tone Aryan Isle sweater, and the exact same mid ’80s Nissan 240SX.
Who wanted to drive TWENTY MILES AN HOUR.

I didn’t mind so much on my way to work, but dude do NOT get between me and home once I can leave work.


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