Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Puyallup Fair

Last Sunday Matt and I went to the Puyallup Fair with Drew. It was fun. We lasted about 4 hours in the glorious sun before the fair weariness overtook us and the crowds began to freak us out.


First thing we saw was this master carver of giant pumpkins. They were selling giant pumpkin seeds. Matt was considering buying some but what would we do with a 1000 pound pumpkin. Sure it would be fun for awhile but what about when it starts to rot. You know it won't fit in the trash can and that, my friend, would be some stinky pumpkin.


"What would it take to get you to sign a contract for delivery on a lovely inflatable spa today? How's about we throw in the inflatable lady to sweeten the deal?"


This picture doesn't really capture the sadness of the "designated smoking area". There they were, all huddled together under a little tent with cops patrolling the perimeter to make sure that they didn't contaminate any of the non-smoking fair goers. Drew, that should be reason enough to quit right there. You don't get no respect from the Puyallup fair.


Yeah. It seems like it would be easy to crack a snarky comment on this photo but I am tired and WE ARE GOING TO DISNEYLAND TOMORROW!!! so snark amongst yourselves.(and by tomorrow I mean that we are flying to Los Angeles. We won't actually be in Disneyland until Saturday)

White Privilege

Oi! The ever vigilant and always spot on Tengrain over at Mock, Paper, Scissors has spotted a brilliant post over at RedRoom via Acts of Hope. If you can offer a sound and concise rebuttal please try. I look forward to the chuckle.

The Puyallup Fair - Food

Where the prize winning beef goes after the blue ribbon ceremony.

We all know that food at the fair is expensive and yet, we are still shocked when a soda clocks in at $3.25. That is better than the water I bought later: $3.50.

My piroshky. Now is the time for me to say that I am really jealous of the fairs that Nathan has been going to in Ohio. The food looks so much more fun. This is the most exciting thing I could find. I mean a person can only eat so many funnel cakes and elephant ears before they go searching for something new. I miss the Los Angeles County fair. It is a fair that serves up everything deep fried. Ain't nothin' wrong with that once or twice a year.
Here are ladies engaged in piroshky preparation.

Matt's "Flamin' Hot Cheesy Brat"


The Puyallup Fair - Mish Mash of Animals

Drew's favorite dog in the canine pavilion.

This guinea pig wants no part of the fair proceedings. That or there is a tasty tidbit in the bottom of the oatmeal container.


Llama


video
Alpaca


Drew and I have a semi-friendly debate over which is better: alpacas or llamas. I vote llama, Drew votes alpaca. Matt, by the way, votes independant on this, or rather, he prefers niether. That is a fine position for now but what will he do when I come home witha llama someday? It is GOING to happen. No use fighting it. Here is a link to my last alpaca post and a link to my post about Precious, the first llama I ever met.


Maybe this will change my mind:

The Puyallup Fair - Goats (and a Sheep)

video

Did you know that there is a breed of goat that doesn't have ears? I mean they don't have ear flaps, just holes. They are called La Mancha goats. Finding out things like this is why fairs are da bomb.

See the growths on this guys neck? They are called waddles. They are a defense mechanism. In the days when goats roamed free if a wolf or other predator tried to grab a goat of this sort by the neck they would be disappointed. The waddle is designed to tear off so all the predator would get is a half a mouthful of waddle hopefully giving the goat time to run away. This seems like a better plan than that of the fainting goats.



The Puyallup Fair - Rabbits

I didn't have the greatest time in the 4-H rabbit pavilion. First off I held my finger up to a cage so a bunny could get a sniff. I am not stupid. I did not stick my finger in the cage. But no sooner had I raised my hand than a uppity little eleven year old drunk on 4-H power barked, "Don't put your fingers in the cage." I looked at her and moved along. She sneered after me, "There are, like, signs everywhere, duh." Reeling from shame I continued down the next aisle where, I swear, an APB had been sent out on me. Every little girl with a 4-H badge gave me the stink eye.

Then a rabbit peed on me. We had moved from the regular sized rabbits to the giant rabbits. As we stood gazing in wonder a big beast of a thing hopped in a half circle with his butt to the crowd and sprayed. There was an unfortunate family standing directly in front of his cage and they got kind of soaked with urine. On a hot summer day. With lines a mile long for the restrooms! Matt and I got a few drops on our feet. It could have been worse. In fact I get worse at home on a regular basis. Just ask Russell.

This is the happy sprayer. After he doused everybody I went in for a pic and backed away just as he shot again!


Monday, September 15, 2008

Whoaa!!

The crumbling economy is freaking me the hell out. I feel like we are standing in the middle of a rope bridge over a chasm. At the bottom: a roiling river filled with snakes and large jawed flesh eating things. We have started on our construction process but when we are done we must convert from a construction loan to a traditional mortgage. With all the big players falling into ruin what is going to happen to interest rates between now and then? What if they shoot sky high like they have in the past and push us beyond our means? Since the bottom has fallen out of the housing market, if that happens we would not be able to sell the house (not that we would want to) and we would end up another foreclosure casualty. I try not to think thoughts like this too often but when I log on in the morning and the first thing I see is that Merrill Lynch is biting the dust it gives me heart palpitations.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Cat Town Drama Continues

Una had a little oral surgery yesterday. She had 6 teeth extracted! We let it go too long. I wish we had taken her in sooner but there was so much other feline activity that we let it slide. Bad humans!


Matt set Audrey up on the bed with me last night while we were watching a movie. She stayed longer than we thought she would. She still runs whenever we head her direction or call her name.


We later paid for having Audrey on the bed. Russell smelled her and peed on us in the night. Le sigh.


Norah still doesn't know her name but she does still know how to clear a room with her farts. We have tried keeping her on a kitten food diet but she always manages to find a way to gorge herself on the big cat food. I guess we will just have to wait the stinky period out.


Quinten is still gone. Matt and I both dream about him almost every night. Neither of us think he is dead. We both think he has gone Rambo and will show up someday with a sash of bullets and battle scars on his face.


That is all.

After the Election I am Going to Spend Some Time Unwinding on My New Porch!

The back porch has roof sheathing now! We are probably going to leave the wood exposed and not paint it. I think it is pretty.

The mudroom porch is now under construction. Once it is done it will be time to have the contractors come and put on the roof. If I haven't already mentioned it we are going with galvanized corrugated roofing. We are shooting for a rustic look. We had to sacrifice 15 years on our roof warranty to get galvanized instead of painted roofing but we are OK with that. So many of the painted options we looked at resembled the roofing on Subway and McDonalds that we really wanted to steer clear of painted.

AKA IDIOT

OK people, let us get a little perspective on this whole "pig in lipstick" fabricated controversy. I have collected videos of the original statement (IN CONTEXT!!!!), the McCain video (please note there is absolutely no context!), and Barak Obama's rebuttal to the whole ridiculous mess. This is out of control. If you type "Obama/Lipstick" into YouTube you get pages and pages of returns of video snippets of Palin's pitbull/lipstick comment cutting straight to Obama's pig/lipstick comment followed by "carefully considered" commentary by pundits. The whole business stinks of Karl Rove style bait and switch politics.
-First up, video of Obama's speech (the whole paragraph, not just a sentence fragment):

-Next, the McCain camp's online ad slamming Obama for running a misogynistic campaign of smears (!)

-Finally, Obama's testy response to the McCain group's swiftboating of pigs in lipstick:

As of this posting, the last word I have seen is a comment from the McCain camp telling Obama to stop passing the buck and to take responsibility for his comments. I believe in the last video you will see him doing just that. What he refuses to take responsibility for is the faux controversy spun up by McCain.

Oh, and one more thing, watch the second half of this short clip for a video illustration of just what a royal idiot John McCain is blasting Obama on the "lipstick on a pig" comment. I mean, according to his own logic, McCain needs to apologize to Hillary Clinton for calling her a pig, right?


Hat tip to Slate.com. I spent gobs of time searching for video of McCain's own "pig in lipstick" comment and finally found it there.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Who Needs a Bit of Funny? I Need a Bit of Funny

(Mom don't watch the second video. I don't think you will like it!)





A spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Once Upon A Time

Once upon a time there was a little kitten named Norah (Stinkbomb) Conrow. Norah lived with 2 humans, 1 kitten and 4 big cats. One day Quinten, one of the big cats, went missing. Norah noticed that the humans were worried but not freaked out. Quinten was a good hunter and outdoorscat who enjoyed making nests in the grass and burrowing in felled trees. He hated the new kittens and even hissed for the first time when he met Norah's sister Audrey so the humans thought he was just getting some space. Still, the humans called for him every morning and every night.

One day the female human asked Russell, another big cat, to help her look for Quinten in the woods. Norah thought that sounded like fun and bounded along behind. Russell followed the cat trail into the forest a few feet and sat down. Norah joined him. Russell got up and moved a few feet further in. Norah followed. The human waited and called for Quinten but he didn't show. The human then left and went to the house.

A short while later the human returned to the forest to see if Russell and Norah and drawn out Quinten. Russell was nowhere to be seen but Norah poked her head out of the trees. Seeing the human she dashed out howling. The human picked up Norah and continued to call for Russell while walking toward the living space.

Upon reaching the living space Russell could be seen sitting in the window intensely displeased that his plan had failed and that the human was bringing the "lost" kitten home again.

A few hours later Norah crawled on top of Russell in his basket to let him know that "these things" happen and it was probably her fault that she got lost in the woods and how she was sure that he had only returned to the house without her to get help.

Yes, Quinten is missing. He has been gone for a week now. We are much more optimistic that he will return than we were when Una went on her walkabout. He is a very capable outdoor cat. He is really good at catching critters and he actually eats them, unlike Russell. He has spent many a night out in his various hidey holes and is a big cat. He could certainly take a raccoon. We hope he hasn't met up with a coyote. He really was freaked out by the kittens. Whereas Russell began obsessively marking everything in site when they showed up, that is not Quinten's style. He is a loner so it doesn't surprise us that he has opted out of the whole situation. We hope that he is just working things out on his own and will show up eventually.

The Deck

The deck off the laundry room and master bedroom is now framed and ready for sheathing. Yay!

Confession

I am a hypocrite. I just COULDN'T bring myself to watch Sarah Palin last night. I will catch it online soon but right now just reading the transcript is killing me. I know I said everyone should watch speeches, even from those whose views differ, and I WILL watch the speech. I just can't right now. I really, really can't.
This is an excerpt from an AP article comparing and contrasting just one point by Palin with actuality:

PALIN: "The Democratic nominee for president supports plans to raise income taxes, raise payroll taxes, raise investment income taxes, raise the death tax, raise business taxes, and increase the tax burden on the American people by hundreds of billions of dollars."

THE FACTS: The Tax Policy Center, a think tank run jointly by the Brookings Institution and the Urban Institute, concluded that Obama's plan would increase after-tax income [emphasis mine] for middle-income taxpayers by about 5 percent by 2012, or nearly $2,200 annually. McCain's plan, which cuts taxes across all income levels, would raise after tax-income for middle-income taxpayers by 3 percent, the center concluded.

Obama would provide $80 billion in tax breaks, mainly for poor workers and the elderly, including tripling the Earned Income Tax Credit for minimum-wage workers and higher credits for larger families.

He also would raise income taxes, capital gains and dividend taxes on the wealthiest. He would raise payroll taxes on taxpayers with incomes above $250,000, and he would raise corporate taxes. Small businesses that make more than $250,000 a year would see taxes rise.

Again, I know there is spin on both sides, duh! But I would not drink the kool-aid being offered at the RNC for all the tax breaks in the world.


Oh, and one more thing, the meme being pushed by the GOP that Palin is well versed in international relations because Alaska is so close to Russia? Puh-lease. But maybe I am being too cynical. Perhaps she has looked into Dmitry Medvede's eyes just like G.W. looked into Putin's eyes, saw his soul and declared it good. We all know how well that turned out.


Oh, and another thing, boo hoo McCain. Is the media being to "mean" by asking questions trying to figure out just who Palin is? Sucks to be you. Just like it has sucked to be Barak Obama and Hilary Clinton during the exhausting Democratic primary race. If you want to run an unknown candidate then don't be surprised when the talking heads ask you probing questions and challenge your talking points. Obama already walked that gauntlet. Biden didn't really need to as he has been on the scene so long. Take your medicine big boy.

Monday, September 1, 2008

The Story of the Window Seat

My mom just sent me these photos of the house I grew up in. They were taken when it was built in 1968.
I love this picture! That is Ben Lomond in the background with his head in the clouds. At the time, our house was the end of the road in the subdivision. At this point along the foothills it was also the last house before the mountain. How things change! Now there are houses build as far up as possible, nearly hanging on vertical rock. But that is not the point of this post. I had a window seat in my bedroom growing up. I loved it. It made my room something special and gave me a nook in which to read and think about things.


In the housebuilding process Matt and I knew there would be things we would have to compromise on and things that were absolute must haves no matter what the hassle. My no-compromise item is a window seat. I wanted to put it in the smallest existing bedroom to make it special. And look! Here it is!

It is a little bit different than my childhood window seat. We didn't want to change the edge of the roof line so most of the seat is outside the wall line but some of it is inside the room. That way we can fit the box under the existing roof edge. It looks kind of neat that way too - really defines it inside the room. Also, the window is HUGE. In order to count this room as a bedroom we had to put in a window large enough to meet egress requirements. That means the pop-out will be mostly all glass. Not a problem. Just look at that view!.
I am very happy!

Power Tools!

It took me a long time to get the hang of nail gunning. I kept shooting them in crooked when I would swear that I had the gun perpendicular. I think I have it down now. And yes, my tool belt is pink.

Playing Catch-up on House Pics

Battening down the hatches before a storm rolls in:Not a high quality pic but I think Tom's feet hanging over the ridge are funny.


See. I am helping.