I guess it’s been a while, eh?

Posted August 18, 2009 by alphabitch
Categories: dogs, housekeeping, photos, Ruby

My apologies to anyone (hi rootietoot!) whose comments were stuck in moderation since May. I guess I forgot to turn the comments off before I left. I just got tired of the internets and it seemed silly to post a big statement about how I’m tired of posting stuff on the internet.

But anyway, it’s Ruby Tuesday!

Ruby isn't crazy about the toy tire.

Ruby isn't crazy about the toy tire. She only likes toys she can destroy quickly, apparently. Either that or toys she really likes get chewed up within minutes. Hard to say which comes first.

Questioning my faith

Posted April 16, 2009 by alphabitch
Categories: flying spaghetti monsterism, links, news, politics, science

OK, so I am a pastafarian, more or less.  I have been touched by His Noodly Appendage.  I was raised by heathens, though, and tend to be skeptical. I get it, sort of, that if you practice a given religion, you have to accept certain absurd things on what they call faith.  One of the things I like so much about the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, therefore, is that its fundamental tenets are completely scientific, so you don’t really have to, like, question them or anything.  

I mean, it’s perfectly obvious that the earth was created all at once but made to appear to have aged, because His Noodly Appendage is able to change at will any measurement of the decay rate of Carbon-14.  And that global average temperatures really have risen as the global population of pirates has declined.  Just look at the graph!!!

image from CotFSM website

But as we all recall from Statistics 101, correlation does not equal causation, so what I’m wondering about at the moment, as I read the news and learn of the increased pirate-related activity on other parts of the planet, is whether the rise in the average global temperature really is slowing?  Can it even be reversed? Has anyone followed up on this? Are the Somali pirates part of an organized effort to combat global warming?  If they are not, should such an effort be undertaken?  Wouldn’t that be a lot easier than trying to reduce our carbon footprints all over the place?  Also, I do not have a TV but it is my impression that these pirates do not wear full pirate regalia, nor do they, in fact, talk like pirates.  Do they actually have the authority and/or mystical powers to have any impact?

These questions are causing me to doubt my religion, I gotta say.  I am forced to consider the possibility that it is all lies.  Because if one thing can be proved false, then it’s all false, right?

Ruby Tuesday

Posted March 17, 2009 by alphabitch
Categories: dogs, food, photos, Ruby

mmmm whipped cream

mmmm whipped cream

Here’s a picture from Saturday night of Ruby helping with the dishes. Her job is to pre-wash everything, unless it has chocolate in it.  Chocolate is bad for the dog.

She likes whipped cream quite a lot.


[ps thanks to My Lovely Ex-Wife™ for the Pi Day photos]

Hope your Pi Day pies were good

Posted March 16, 2009 by alphabitch
Categories: food, photos, science

steak-and-potato pie

steak-and-potato pie

Mine were delicious, if I do say so. I made the crusts from scratch, which is always dicey if you are expecting guests, which I was, and you haven’t made them in a while, which I hadn’t. But I needn’t have worried, they were all quite attractive and flaky enough.

I made a steak-and-potato pie (above) and also a rhubarb pie, which looked pretty much like the one in the picture, only filled with rhubarb and a coupla apples.  In order to cut the decorative greek letter in the tops of the pies without messing them up, I made a stencil out of a plastic plate, thus: 

pi stencil in window

clear blue plastic plate with the greek letter pi cut into it

If I can find it next year, I will certainly use it again.  I may also celebrate again on 22-July, just because pies are good. I also used the pi-shaped bits of dough that I cut out of the holes to top little single-serving lunch-sized pies.

Running dog

Posted March 2, 2009 by alphabitch
Categories: dogs, photos, Ruby, weather

That's Ruby, running off to the left of the frame.

That's Ruby, running off to the left of the frame.

This is what we woke up to this morning. Kind of magical, except for all the daffodils and hyacinths that have already come up. And see how the clothesline looks? The power lines all look like that too. Ruby wasn’t still long enough for me to take her picture, but she sure had fun in the snow. I really love how the tire swing looks in the morning light. The snow will all be melted into mud by the time I get home, alas.  And then tracked in all over my floors.

In hot water

Posted January 9, 2009 by alphabitch
Categories: dogs, photos, Ruby

Here is Ruby in her sporty new sweater

Here is Ruby in her sporty new sweater

The house has heat now, but it’s still a little chilly outside. I finished knitting Ruby’s new sweater last week and tried it on her before I’d gotten around to blocking it (for you non-knitters, blocking is what you do when a new item is finished and all assembled; it involves getting it wet and doing the final shaping and letting it dry very slowly – if you don’t do it, the sweater will get stretchy & misshapen quite quickly) and of course it got all baggy and kind of, well, chewed up on one edge. I let her wear it for a little too long. It was also not exactly the right shape or size, but it was a good first draft. Anyway, after I took it off, she chewed on it again and hid it under some towels that were about to go into the wash.

In hot water. With extra-strong detergent.

Ever made felt? To do it on purpose, you knit a garment (or purse, or potholder, or whatever item) about 20% or so larger than it needs to be, and then you wash it in hot water with harsh soap and agitate it a lot. You can make it shrink more or less by agitating it longer or repeating the process. But generally it’s the same process you’d use to wash, say, filthy towels you’d been using to wipe mud off the dog’s feet for a week or so.

Usually when felting happens by accident you end up turning your favorite sweater into a lovely placemat or potholder, and it’s very sad. In this case, however, the item was much improved: it shrunk the bagginess out of the sweater and also kind of sealed off the chewed up parts so that they are a) more or less invisible and b) not going to unravel further.

Anyway, I’m going to try again with the shaping, but I’m definitely going to make it larger and then felt it. I plenty left of that grey handspun dog hair-lambswool yarn I used. She seems to like this one very much, in any case. I think the grey turtleneck is a good look for her. And there’s way less static than the pink flamingo fleece sweater generates.

Ruby Tuesday: the Wednesday edition

Posted December 10, 2008 by alphabitch
Categories: dogs, Ruby, weather

It’s finally warmed up in the house, but it was chilly both inside & out over the weekend. I’ve been experimenting with making, um, dog sweaters. Miss Ruby seems to like wearing them OK, but I didn’t want to go out and spend a lot of money on something that was embarrassing AND she refused to wear. The first one was solid color fleece salvaged from some scarves I’d bought at the dollar store. It was OK, but didn’t quite fit, exactly. So I rummaged around in my fabric stash and found this pair of lounge pants that she had chewed part of already. I cut the leg off and it made a nice stretchy dog jacket. And warm. And highly visible while walking after dark.

I’m knitting her another one, out of handspun yarn that is part wool and part dog fur. More on that later.

Ruby interrupted as she hides a chew-bone underneath the Blessed Virgin Mary beach towel on the chair

Ruby interrupted as she hides a chew-bone underneath the Blessed Virgin Mary beach towel


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