Death By Dyson

Every fall, thousands of lady bugs or boxelder insects launch an invasion force against the south side of all the apartment buildings. The little buggers sneak in through the tiniest cracks and crevices if the windows or sliding doors are open and make themselves at home.  The only way of keeping them out is for we apartment dwellers to hermetically sealed ourselves inside until the first frost comes, which is usually November.  And having all the windows closed on a nice fall day makes me grumpy.

So I have a new plan.

For the past few weeks I’ve kept my sliding door open and camped out in front, where they congregate the most.  Then I turn on my Dyson and suck them up.  They never knew what hit them.


The Terminator stands guard.  Buddy doesn’t care.

I stand victorious.

(Because I know you’re burning with desire to watch the bugs in action, here’s a video.  You’re welcome. 🙂


Eclipse 2017

We didn’t have a total eclipse of the sun here in Canada, but the partial eclipse was pretty cool. Friends came up for the day and we managed to snap a few shots before beers and chinese food.  Taking the photo was tricker than it sounds.  One person located the sun looking through the eclipse viewer and then held the viewer in place while the other person slipped in the camera and snapped. Took several tries but we got `er done.

Speaking of eclipse viewers–they were nowhere to be found by the Friday before the Monday eclipse.  (Some entrepreneurs on Amazon were even selling them for $100!) Acting on a tip from a local camera store,  I found mine inside Sky News magazine as a free insert.)


Partial eclipse at 2:00



Buddy and his friend Monty wanted to see too.



Try This One On For Size

It’s summer.  That time of year when my attention turns to enjoying the sunshine, spending time at the pool or beach, drinking beer on my balcony, drinking beer on my balcony (sorry, said that already), and finally getting some decent exercise. Further to the exercise thing, I decided to get some athletic wear because it’s proven that wearing it will burn calories. (That’s my theory and I’m sticking to it.)

Shopping for athletic wear is as problematic as shopping for ordinary clothing: wild variability within sizes.  I used to wonder why this was so, until I discovered that the wrong labels were sewn on.  Exhibit A, below.


These are two difference sizes

Shopping isn’t fun, like in the old days.  Back then, all you had to do was stick your head out the change room door and ask the sales girl for a different size. Now you have to get dressed, leave the change room, rummage around until you find a different size (or, if it’s a suspected labelling problem, another of the same size), run back to the change room (assuming no-one took it in your absence) and start all over again.  This happened to me for over an hour in a store which happened to monitor its change rooms. I spent more time talking to the cloyingly cheery change room monitor than I spent buying clothes.

Which brings me to the other half of my complaint: where are the pesty sales people when you need them?  You know, the ones that follow you around the store and bug you constantly until you want to deck them?  Maybe they’re conspiring with the dummies who sew on the wrong size labels.  I may be onto something.


Golden Boy, Part II

You may remember a post I wrote back in November about Clancy the Cat’s emergency (and hugely expensive) bowel surgery.  He made a full recovery and, except for a slight modification of his diet, life went on as usual.

Fast forward a few weeks ago, when Clancy decided to stop eating.  He clearly felt awful and by the end of the week, ended up at the emergency veterinary hospital.  Fluids were administered, x-rays were taken, blood was drawn, medication was dispensed, but no diagnosis was given.   Three vets had a go at the x-rays and all seemed to see something resembling gas in the abdominal cavity. The emerg vet included the observation that Clancy’s intestines were “abnormally positioned”.  All three recommended an ultra-sound but I declined, asking instead for a consultation with the veterinary radiologist, who I suspected would be better able to interpret the x-rays than the vets. My vet forwarded the email containing the x-rays files she received from the hospital to the radiologist, expecting to hear back by Wednesday.

When Wednesday came and went with no word, I had to consider my options.  It was possible that the radiologist would not be able to determine anything of consequence from Clancy’s x-rays, and I would have waited for nothing while Clancy got sicker. It was also possible the radiologist would render a finding that was sinister and/or required more medical attention that I could not afford. After much thought, I reluctantly decided that it would be best to have Clancy euthanized. The date was set for the following morning.

My vet arrived at my apartment with her tech and we started proceedings.  Just as she was filling the syringe with the pre-euthanasia sedative, her cell phone rang.  Her assistant answered it.

“It’s the radiologist,” she said, handing the phone to my vet.  She was phoning about the x-rays.

Or rather, she was phoning to say that she couldn’t open the x-ray email file.  We told her we would phone the hospital and have them send the file to her directly, and to hang tight.  Ten minutes later the phone rang again. It was the radiologist.

The x-rays were normal, she said, except for some fluid, indicating possible pancreatitis.   Try giving the cat a trial of prednisone, she said.  A stay of execution was at hand.

After the governor radiologist’s call, my vet dispensed prednisone (actually prednisolone, a form of prednisone for cats) and left, asking me to keep her informed.

Twenty-four hours after the first dose, Clancy no longer needed pain medication and began to eat.  Forty-eight hours later, he no longer needed gastric medication and begged for his dinner. A week later, he no longer needed the appetite stimulant and wakes me up in the morning for his breakfast.

He now is being weaned off the predisone and will be off all medicine in less than a week. He’s slightly traumatized by the administration of pills and liquid medication via syringe, but he’s found that taking Buddy’s spot beside me on the couch is a good a tonic as any.


The patient, taking Buddy’s place on on the couch.  Buddy isn’t impressed.

Ah, Spring.

I love spring. My favourite season, besides summer.  Trees budding, flowers in bloom, warming temps, no boots–almost perfect.  Except for my annual bronchitis.  It’s becoming a thing.

Sometimes I beat it, but mostly I don’t.  And it’s not that I don’t try to avoid it–I’m the biggest germophobe I know.   I carry hand-santizer in my car and purse, and wash my hands constantly whenever I’m home.  I won’t eat in restaurants or in fast-food joints during flu season, just in case.  I won’t touch the door handles when I leave a public washroom (the rare times I use them), instead stuffing my hand in my sleeve and using THAT.

And I still get sick. It’s a curse, I tell you.

So I’ve just spent the past few weeks sick and weak, but today I seemed to finally turn the corner. So, seeing as how I was getting healthy, I decided to do this:


I dropped the paper shredder on my foot.  Actually, it FELL on my foot of its own accord, the heavy shredding portion popping off the paper basket when I moved it, just to spite me.

It’s a curse, I tell you.