September 30, 2008

A Tale of Two Kitties

Category: Life — Cranky @

Long-time readers of this web site, all three of them, know that I have two cats.

Thelma, a long-haired calico, is a meat-and-potatoes kind of girl. She loves fish, shrimp, beef, pork, and chicken. She’s also into any dairy products, including yogurt and cream, but I restrict her intake of these items to just a taste as cats and dairy don’t mix very well in adulthood. Last night I had a bowl of fresh strawberries and light whipped cream. When I got up to get a glass of water she seized the opportunity to stuff her whole face in the bowl. She had a cream moustache and beard, and she was perfectly content.

Louise, the short-haired calico, is very different. She’s into anything that tastes like mint, and she’s a connoisseur of wine.

You heard me.

I don’t buy mint-flavoured dental floss any more for good reason. I once left a package of Hall’s mint cough drops on the counter, and when I got home it had been dismembered. Each cough drop had been extracted from its wrapper and thoroughly licked. I knew which one of my roommates was to blame because if I’m actually sucking on a Hall’s, Louise is two inches from my face, staring me down.

As for wine, yes… she drinks wine. Her favorites are:

Wolf Blass Yellow Label Chardonnay
Yellow Tail Reserve Chardonnay
Yellow Tail Reserve Shiraz
Wyndham Estates Bin 555 Shiraz
Blackstone Merlot
Rosemount Shiraz Cabernet

I generally pour a capful of wine on a plate when I have a glass, and if it’s one of these varieties, she doesn’t hesitate. I thought for sure she’d get rotgut, but apparently she’s perfectly fine. What’s interesting is that she evaluates new wines. If it’s one she hasn’t seen, she gives it a good thrice-over with the nose. Sometimes she rejects them completely at this stage, but other times she takes a couple of licks before refusing a wine. If she’s turned her nose up at it once, she doesn’t even look at it again later. Apparently the nose knows.

She won’t drink anything from Sandhill Estates, nor does the non-reserve Yellow Tail do anything for her. She’s never liked a wine under $10. One time I had a bottle of Zenato Amarone open for company, and I poured a bit for her, and she was instantly on it, no sniff and no hesitation. Apparently a $50 bottle will do just fine.

So what have I learned about my cats?

I think there’s something really, really wrong with Louise.


September 28, 2008

You Owe Them. No Question.

Category: History — Cranky @

The toilet seat has been with us for centuries, and I think back with admiration on the early pioneers who went about making the perfect perch for the great throne. After all, when the seat was designed, there were no modeling systems, nor were there virtual design tools. In short, there were no short cuts.

Those who created the toilet seat did so using the only tools available. They had an idea, and they built prototypes and tested them.

Take a moment and consider what that seat does. It’s primary job is to gently spread apart the cheeks, exposing the sphincter, and to allow feces to be ejected with a minimum of interference. If you doubt the necessity of a careful design, cut yourself a perfectly flat seat and try it out. It will become clear to you that without the curvy design, evacuating your bowels would be a messier proposition. The makers of toilet tissue would love it – they’d sell vastly more product.

When they designed it, there was no other way. Somebody had to sit on that toilet, while somebody else had to examine the position and exposure of the volunteer’s anus. For that reason we owe them thanks. I wouldn’t want to do it.

They’re long gone, but their legacy lives on, even if their names did not. Next time you take your seat on the porcelain throne, light a match in honour of those dedicated rosebud-gazers who made the task so neat and sanitary for you.


September 15, 2008

…And Talented, Too!

Category: Entertainment — Cranky @

Tomorrow season one of the television series “Pushing Daisies” comes out on Blu-Ray. It’s an amazing show, really, and one that is a complete surprise coming from ABC. I would have expected such a daring program to come from HBO or Showtime.

In the role of supporting actress we find Kristin Chenoweth playing Olive Snook, a role for which she was nominated for an Emmy. She has a bachelor’s degree in musical theatre, and a master’s in opera performance. She has played on Broadway for many years, appearing in such plays as “Steel Pier” and the Gershwin classic, “Strike up the Band”. She even played Sally in the revival of “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown”.

She has done radio and, more recently, television, performing in “Annie”, “The West Wing”, “Frasier”, and “The Music Man”. She has also been spotted in movies, including “Stranger than Fiction”. She has recorded an album called “Let Yourself Go”, and she is one of only three musical theatre stars to ever perform solo at the Metropolitan Opera House. She won a Tony Award for Best Leading Actress in a Musical, and she has returned to Broadway, where her accomplishments are too numerous to mention.

Indeed, Kristin is an amazing talent on many levels, and a powerhouse performer. She steals the show.

Born in 1968, she’s the hottest 40-year-old on television. I’m buying the discs tomorrow so that I can check out her spectacular boobs in high-definition.