Tag Archives: animals

Coronavirus Clarity

Many of you may be confused about the procedures to follow during the coronavirus pandemic.  Thankfully, FOAF (friend of a friend) has mercifully given us the clear, official coronavirus guidelines.

Follow. Them. Exactly.

Coronavirus clarity2

 

  1. Basically, you can’t leave the house for any reason, but if you have to, then you can.
  2. Masks are useless. But they will protect you. They can save you, no they can’t. They’re useless, but wear one anyway. Now they’re mandatory. Maybe. Or maybe not.
  3. Stores are closed, except for the ones that are open.
  4. You should not go to the hospital unless you have to go there. Stay out of the ER at all costs unless you’re having a medical emergency. Then it’s okay.
  5. This virus is deadly but still not too scary, except that sometimes it actually leads to a global disaster. Stay calm.
  6. There is no shortage of groceries in the supermarket, but there are many things missing when you go there in the evening, but not in the morning. Sometimes.
  7. The virus has no effect on children except those it has affected or will affect.
  8. Animals are not affected, but there is still a cat that tested positive in Belgium in February when no one had been tested yet, and a tiger – and one really deadly but also possibly fictional but very sick bat.
  9. You will have many symptoms when you are sick, but you can also get sick without symptoms, have symptoms without being sick, or be contagious without having symptoms.
  10. In order not to get sick, you have to eat well and exercise, but also never go out to the grocery store so eat shelf stable processed crap and stay inside your four walls but also stay healthy.
  11. It’s better to get some fresh air, but you may be arrested if you’re getting fresh air the wrong way and most importantly, don’t go to a park because the fresh air there is deadly.
  12. Under no circumstances should you go to retirement homes, but if you have to take care of the elderly and bring them food and medication then fine. Just wear gloves. The same ones. All day.
  13. You can get restaurant food delivered to the house, which may have been prepared by people who didn’t wear masks or gloves. But you have to leave your groceries outside for 3 hours to be decontaminated by the fresh air that also may have virus particles floating around in it. Or you can wipe your groceries with Lysol. But not the food because that will make you sick. No, it’s totally unnecessary to wipe the groceries. Even though the virus can stay on cardboard for 24 hours. Also, you can’t get the virus from eating food with contagions on it. But you can get it by putting it in your mouth. Wait. What?
  14. Taxi drivers are immune to the virus apparently since you can still take a taxi ride with a random taxi driver. Just don’t take the taxi to your mom’s house because you know. Stay away from your mom.
  15. You can walk around with a friend if you stay six feet apart but don’t visit with your family if they don’t live under the same roof as you. Even if you’ve all been locked inside for two months already. You may still have the virus and just not know it yet. You’ll find out. Wait another week. Wasn’t that already a week? Might be the next one. Keep waiting.
  16. You are safe if you maintain the appropriate social distance, but you can’t go out with friends or strangers at the safe social distance. Social distancing means you shouldn’t leave your house and don’t be social, except you may go to the liquor store but don’t socialize there while you’re being socially distant.
  17. The virus remains active on different surfaces for two hours, no, four, no, six, no, we didn’t say hours, maybe days? But it takes a damp environment. Oh no, not necessarily.
  18. The virus stays in the air – well no, or yes, maybe, especially in a closed room, in one hour a sick person can infect ten, so if it falls, all our children were already infected at school before it was closed. But remember, if you stay at the recommended social distance, however, in certain circumstances you should maintain a greater distance, which, studies show, the virus can travel further, maybe.
  19. If you have symptoms, call to book a diagnostic test. We will hear your symptoms on the phone and if you are eligible for a test, you don’t need the test. Assume you have it and quarantine for two weeks. If you don’t have symptoms, you are ineligible for the test. Quarantine for two weeks or better yet until we lift restrictions, which may be in a week, a month or six months. Also, whoever wants a test can get a test.
  20. Wash your hands. There are no statistics whatever about whether this matters but you might as well.
  21. We count the number of deaths but we don’t know how many people are infected as we have only tested so far those who were “almost dead” to find out if that’s what they will die of.
  22. The virus will only disappear if we achieve collective/herd immunity… but stay inside until the virus disappears because we have no immunity.

Any questions?

Beestys and Fowlys

 

Dr. Language Guy here.

It has come to my attention that many of you face a grammatical dilemma when encountering strange wildlife in your own backyard. Now I know that, if you sight wolves, deer or locusts, you will immediately call out “There is a pack of wolves or a herd of deer or a plague of locusts in my backyard!”  Packs are common to a number of creatures – wolves, hounds and other dogs – as are herds – asses, buffalo, deer, elephants, giraffes, moose and zebras.  Plagues only apply to locusts and politicians.

But what do you say if, for examples, you encounter baboons, sheldrake or wombats? Never fear. Thanks to the Book of Saint Albans of 1486 entitled Companys of Beestys and Fowlys, aided by Wikipedia and abcteach, you will correctly and properly identify any group of animals that cross your path.  The animals will respect you for this attention to detail.

A Troop of Baboons

A Sedge of Bitterns

A Sounding of Boars

A Drove of Bullocks

A Tok of Capercaillie

A Quiver of Cobras

A Covert of Coots

A Bask of Crocodiles

A Murder of Crows

A Trip of Dotterel

A Fling of Dunlins

A Mob of Emus

A Fesnyng of Ferrets

A Bloat of Hippopotamuses

A Clattering of Jackdaws

A Deceit of Lapwings

An Ascension of Larks

A Plump of Moorhens

A Pod of Pelicans

An Ostentation of Peacocks

A Congregation of Plovers

A Rhumba of Rattlesnakes

A Crash of Rhinoceros

A Dopping of Sheldrake

A Walk of Snipes

A Pitying of Turtle Doves

A Wisdom of Wombats

Beestys

A WTF? of Weird Wildlife

 

We should start applying such terms to groups of people as well:

A Brace of Bloggers

A Klump of Kardashians

A Really Good Deal of Used Car Salesmen.

Do you have any suggestions?

Adorable Puppy Photos

 

I am doing what any proud parent would do and subjecting you to a set of photos showing off our newest addition.  [See Beware of Dog!]  All of the photos are taken in “adorable puppy mode.”  “Psycho-puppy mode” occurs at speeds faster than light and are not photographable.

The puppy has not yet been allowed to sleep with us.  I stress the “yet.”  My wife tells me that when that happens she will find me a good home through the Curmudgeon Rescue Centers of America.

 

puppy17 puppy11
 puppy13  puppy16
 puppy14  puppy15
 puppy1  puppy4
 puppy12  puppy3

Beware of Dog!

 

My wife and I decided to get a dog.  (Translation: my wife decided to get a dog.)

The dog is a female Yorkshire terrier.  Taking the description of one dog breed website, terriers are good for people who 1) don’t want a large bulky dog; 2) want a dog that’s playful and social with people; 3) likes their dog to be busy and active without demanding constant attention; and 4) want a companion that will always be alert and watchful if the local squirrels dare to come into the garden and steal your nuts.

(My day is ruined if I find that squirrels are trying to steal my nuts.)

According to the Wikipedia, the Yorkshire terrier is a small dog breed of terrier type, developed in the 19th century in the county of Yorkshire, England to catch rats in clothing mills, also used for rat-baiting.

(My week is ruined if I find that rats are trying to eat my nuts.)

In the short time that we have had this adorable creature, we have trained the puppy to pee and poo on its pee-pad.  In that same time, the puppy has trained two humans to wait on her hand and foot.  I had thought, up to now, that only cats had staff but I am learning from a three-pound puppy that dogs can have staff as well.

Our puppy has two modes – adorable, sleeping puppy mode and psycho puppy mode.  I prefer adorable, sleeping puppy mode but that mode does not last long.  During psycho puppy mode, the puppy attacks everything in sight, usually the hands and feet of the male human because male human hands and feet and rats have a lot in common, at least according to the puppy and female humans.  (No female human has ever attacked my hands or feet but they have called me a rat on more than one occasion.)

During college, my housemates and I ended up dog sitting a six month old St. Bernard puppy until he found a good home.  If a three-pound Yorkshire terrier does something bad, you hold it in one hand and say “bad dog!” even though it doesn’t listen to your scolding.  If a 150 pound St. Bernard puppy does something bad, you first have to decide how strong you are and how much pain you are willing to endure to tell it “bad dog!” even though it doesn’t listen to your scolding.  We all believe that St. Bernard’s are the well-behaved dogs that rescue people trapped in heavy snow drifts.  We forget that a dog that can travel through heavy snow drifts is very strong and quite independently minded.  The St. Bernard puppy story has a happy ending: the puppy ended up with a couple who owned a farm where the dog had plenty of room to roam.

So I am being slowly trained by this three-pound terror to obey her rules but at least I know that my nuts are safe.

Warning!

 

Yorkysign2

Beware of the Yorkshire terrier!

In Praise of Feeling Bad About Yourself

 I have always liked this poem by poet Wislawa Szymborska.

In feeling bad1

Wisława Szymborska-Włodek (2 July 1923 – 1 February 2012) was a Polish poet, essayist, and translator.  She was described as a “Mozart of Poetry.”  She was awarded the 1996 Nobel Prize in Literature “for poetry that with ironic precision allows the historical and biological context to come to light in fragments of human reality.”

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In Praise of Feeling Bad About Yourself

By Wislawa Szymborska

The buzzard never says it is to blame.

The panther wouldn’t know what scruples mean.

When the piranha strikes, it feels no shame.

If snakes had hands, they’d claim their hands were clean.


A jackal doesn’t understand remorse.

Lions and lice don’t waver in their course.

Why should they, when they know they’re right?

Though hearts of killer whales may weigh a ton,

In every other way they’re light.


On this third planet of the sun

Among the signs of bestiality

A clear conscience is Number One.

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Preferring regret to bestiality, I will accept the moments that my conscience is not always clear and that it is okay, from time to time, to feel bad about yourself.

[As long as you don’t make a habit of it.]