Marauding Squirrel goes to the spa

animated gif of a squirrel receiving a back massage from another squirrel

My friend Lisa in Kentucky has a squirrel that keeps pilfering goodies from the bird feeders at her family’s place. A whole group of friends on Facebook is involved in a running joke about Marauding Squirrel. We may laugh, but I must defend the little guys. Squirrels of all sorts work so hard at what they do, poor things!

They stretch:

And ... stretch Fineshades Park Day Trip 8

They hang:

Stretched Out Drop in and stretch out

They sneak:

Sometimes they’re forced to solve puzzles devised by cruel human beings:

this is my squirrel proof feeder

One of the sacks is living! Squirrel-proof?

It’s exhausting!

Squirrel lounge

Sometimes they just need to relax. Can you blame them?

animated gif of a squirrel receiving a back massage from another squirrel

After a week of looting and pillaging, Marauding Squirrel needed a trip to the spa.

Oh, the difference a hyphen can make

I received recipe newsletter from the Just A Pinch yesterday, the subject of which said Man Catching Fried Chicken. The recipe’s here.

Man Catching Fried Chicken Recipe

What the recipe was called: Man Catching Fried Chicken

When I read the subject line, I knew what the recipe’s submitter was trying to say when she titled it. This is a place where one tiny hyphen would have made a difference in the literal interpretation of the phrase. This is what immediately popped into my mind:

Doodle of man catching a bucket of KFC fried chicken.

What I saw in my mind: Man catching fried chicken.

Actually, my mental image was better, but I don’t have the drawing skills to reproduce what’s in my mind’s eye!

When two or more words modify the noun that come after them, there should be a hyphen in between them (see Compound Modifiers).

Man-catching fried chicken implies, “This fried chicken is so good, it’s sure to catch you a man”. However, without that hyphen, the phrase means this: (The) man (is) catching fried chicken. The words in parentheses are assumed.

Mansight: Things hiding in plain view

Mansight, hiding in plain sight.

The mister and I have a long-running joke about mansight. It’s a term I coined to describe the phenomenon explaining the inability of most men to see what is right in front of them. You know what I’m talking about, ladies. You ask him to get the cottage cheese out of the fridge, but he insists there is no cottage cheese in there. You look, and the cottage cheese container is performing covert ops, stubbornly hiding in plain sight next to the carton of last night’s take-out leftovers. That’s mansight.

So, I laughed aloud the other night when I ordered Chinese food for delivery from the awesome Billy Lee’s Chop Suey House since Howie was at a meeting. This was the fortune in my cookie: “You find what you’re looking for; just open your eyes!”

I didn’t just laugh when I read that, I roared. It’s not often something so perfect shows up in a fortune cookie. So, I made a little sign, writing “Mansight…” and drawing a heart. I affixed the fortune in the heart’s center and placed the sign on the fridge.

Saturday morning, I asked my beloved if he’d noticed the fridge.

“Yes….”, he said, a little testily. I asked him when he noticed it and he replied, “This morning.”

I put it on the fridge Tuesday night.

That, friends, is mansight.

Happy valentine’s day, Howie – I love you dearly!

Sarah the PayPal chat bot kills me. No, really kills me.

I had a question for PayPal, so thought I’d try their chatbot, virtual assistant Sarah-PayPal. I asked if there was a way to cancel a withdrawal that’s in pending status. I learned that there is not. Darn!

While I was chatting with my electronic friend, I asked something about fees. She directed me to the fees page, cleverly circumventing my question. I know, I know, she’s not real. She had the same effect on me as the monotone GPS voice which, though it doesn’t really change inflection, sounds like it does. Turn left. Turn left. Turn left!

In a moment of frustration, I typed, “this is useless”. You see how the conversation went downhill from there.

The conversation quickly went downhill.

My big question is, will PayPal cover my virtual hospital bills for my virtual gunshot wound? That little snip got me right between the eyes! Thank God she’s really tiny. Just sayin’.

What to do if your cat loses its tail

Did you hear about the lady who accidentally cut her cat’s tail off with a weed whacker?

Orange cat looking back where its tail should be.

The cat lost its tail in an unfortunate weed-whacker event.

Very upset, the woman grabbed the cat and its severed tail and told her neighbor she was taking the cat to Walmart.

Her neighbor said, “Why on earth are you taking the cat to Walmart? You should take him to the vet!”

The lady replied, “Don’t you know Walmart’s the largest retailer in America??”

Countdown to Spring!

This winter has been a bear. So much for global warming. I think all the recent snow is beautiful, but I am so glad we haven’t experienced a raging albino crapfest, as James Lileks dubbed such snowstorms on Twitter back in December. Our friends in Frederick, MD are buried after the week’s snowfall and much of the east coast is pretty much shut down.

I think the snow’s pretty, but I don’t want that much. Here’s what it looked like in my neck of the woods after the snowstorm we got last week. These were taken Saturday. Drifts came to above my knees when I walked over the hill in our back yard and took Stella for a walk in the snow. She loves the snow!

I love the pretty white snow, but I sure dread the mud that comes with its melt. That translates to twelve muddy dog feet, four times a day. There’s no way to avoid it, and it’s a mess. We keep a beach towel inside the back door, but that doesn’t get all of it. Sigh.

At any rate, I’m ready for spring. How about you? Howie pointed me toward a nifty little widget for my sidebar, a Countdown to Spring. I just added it. If you have a website, spread the cheer and add it. If you don’t, stop by here every so often and be encouraged that this winter won’t last forever.

2/14/2010: I just removed the countdown widget because it took so long to load and slowed down other widgets. No thanks!