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2006 June 07 — Why Now?
On-line Opinion Magazine…OK, it's a blog
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Cat Communication

As John notes, living with cats means that you must listen to them.

Sox is the most vocal of my “roommates” with a clear tenor powered by a heavily muscled chest. This is usually heard after he has been subjected to some indignity by Ringo, and is usually following by a noticeable thud as he projects his mass towards a gray streak.

His mid-volume voice accompanied by a snagging extended claw in your clothing indicates that it is time to cease and desist from whatever foolish thing you were engaged in to provide suitable scratching behind his ears, between his shoulders, and a thorough tummy rub.

He reserves his whispering voice for emergencies. You feel his bulk slam onto the mattress at the foot of the bed, but he creeps toward the head of the bed to locate any exposed body part. He then produces a barely audible mewling, as if he were a dying kitten, and lightly touches exposed skin with a velvet paw. This sounds like something you can ignore, but it is not. The sound of this voice slams into the brain stem of the female cats and if you don’t act immediately they will leap onto the bed with claws extended ready to do battle with something. They erupt into battle cries and people on the street will surely believe that murder is occurring.

You have no choice but to get up and add food to the not empty bowl, or replace the water. You will be rewarded by his taking two or three nibbles and a quick lap of water before he flops over to return to sleep.

June 7, 2006   6 Comments


In every era there are “celebrities”, people who are famous for being famous. They have no particular talent that qualifies them for their notoriety, but they seem to get paid to appear at media events, to get into movies, write columns and/or author books while people who have, at least, a modicum of actual talent go unknown outside of a circle of friends.

Recently the ranks of “celebrity” have been swelled by professional haters: people whose only identifiable trait is their bile. While they spew their venom, they attempt to resurrect many of the dead villains of the past, portraying them as misunderstood heroes who are victims of coordinated campaigns of traitors. These people would seem to believe that they can burnish their tarnished “shields” by claiming they are misunderstood like their dead idols.

There is no nadir to their behavior. Every time you think they have reached the bottom of baseness available to anything remotely human, they manage to dig deeper.

There are times when I truly regret my belief in the right of free speech.

June 7, 2006   2 Comments



11,000 flee Indonesia’s Mount Merapi volcano.

East Timor, Aceh, West Papua, the Bali bombing, the tsunami, the earthquake, and now Mount Merapi – at some point you have to wonder why anyone would want to be in the Indonesian government.

The islands are beautiful when they aren’t moving, melting, under water, or exploding. The people are nice when they aren’t trying to kill one another. The cost-benefit ratio of living in Indonesia has shifted significantly lately.

Update: I forgot about the Avian Influenza.

June 7, 2006   4 Comments