Friday, September 22, 2006

A typical cat / plant interaction in the VelociBadger household:

The typical solution:

Notice how the upper shelves of the bookcase are crammed with knickknacks and breakable objects? Cat / knickknack interactions tend to be very similar to cat / plant interactions. I learned my lesson one sad day at our old apartment when I came home from school to find that the cat had knocked one of the decorative dragon candles my dad had given me off of the three-foot bookcase in the hall. The dragon lost his head in the fall, and worse, the cat had then chewed on the head. I was not pleased. Luckily, I was able to glue the head back and most of the fang marks are on one side, so if I turn the dragon sideways on the shelf, no one can see them. Needless to say, we don't take chances with our fragile and tasty keepsakes these days.

The pineapple in the pictures is the first plant to make the migration indoors from the porch for the year, since it's been getting down to the mid-40s at night and I'm worried that its tropical-ness will not mix well with that. Before we leave for Seattle in late October, the rest of the plants will also have to make the pilgrimage to the spare bedroom, where they'll have to be shut in to protect them from the cat. During the winter, I tend to have daydreams about building a sunroom someday...a sunroom with really high shelves and hooks for hanging plants out of the cat's reach.

Yellow phone, version 3.0

Back in June, I lamented the passing of my cute yellow phone. It turns out that the clerk at the cell phone store was mistaken on one point. There are alternate face plates available for the phones we bought, and MB found a yellow one. He ordered it online, and didn't tell me (though he did torment me for about four days by saying "Girl's getting a present, and she doesn't know what it is!" every five seconds or so). When the face plate arrived, it didn't quite fit, so he spent half an hour shaving down the little plastic edges so it would fit properly. Then, we noticed that the face plate didn't have a piece to protect the screen, so he dug out a clear plastic box that I'd saved from a box lunch at work and cut a piece to fit into the face plate. I know it's cliche to say so, but sometimes it really is the little things that make life (and relationships) so sweet.

As I was assembling the following lineup of Yellow Phones versions 1.0 through 3.0, I started to feel sort of distressed about the throw-away nature of society. I realize that cell phones can be donated and recycled nowadays, but isn't it sort of sad that they have to be donated or thrown away or recycled? My parents got a big black wall-mounted rotary telephone from the phone company when they moved into their house back in the late 70s. They did add a cordless phone to the mix when I was in high school, and have since replaced that cordless twice. The old black rotary is still there and still works. At the risk of sounding like one of those grumpy old men that everyone jokes about, they really don't make 'em like they used to, in really any aspect of consumer goods.

It kind of sucks that you can recycle every unwanted scrap of paper, every soda can, every number 1 or number 2 plastic bottle that passes through your hands, every soup can and spaghetti sauce jar, and yet, at the end of it there's still so much stuff that just has to be thrown away. According to this site, the average American throws away about 1000 pounds of trash each year. If we accept the estimate reported by Wikipedia, there are 299.7 million people living in the U.S. right now. If we go lower and multiply, say, 250 million by 1000 pounds of trash, that's 250,000,000,000 pounds of trash every year. 250 billion pounds of trash. Yikes.


As I was typing out the "hooray, yellow phone!" part, I thought, 'You know, people probably don't care about my phone. Or my plants. Maybe I shouldn't be so shallow.' Then, as I was finishing the part about trash, I thought, 'You know, people probably don't want to hear me lament the state of the world. Maybe I should just stick to plants and cat pictures.' Then I realized I was overthinking things for a blog that is probably only usually read by four or five people who already know me.

So before I overthink this anymore, here are some links! Yay!

Darth Vader Phones the Emperor

the Star Wars Gansta Rap

for fans of Firefox

My pineapple plant was a gift from a friend, and as such rocks more than the average pineapple. If you want your very own extremely-low-maintenance cat-teasing houseplant, this site goes through the steps of growing a new plant from a pineapple top. Once the plant gets big enough, you can even "force" it to produce a pineapple fruit.

And here's the Hiroshige woodblock print I really really want to find as an affordable poster so I can frame it and hang it in my living room:

Foxfires on New Year's Eve at Oji


  1. I don't know what's worse. The fact that I desperately want to know if you might smuggle that cat with you to Seattle?

    Or the fact that I was cheering, chanting, and cursing the rotary phone issue with you (when my grandma passed she STILL had her old rotary phone from cod knows when in addition to a more traditional phone which was easier for her to use)

    Or the fact that looking at your phones I like the old traditional lame plain one (in fact, I had that one! I MISS that one! I also miss the even OLDER Nokia I had before that) and think the new cell phones are a bit alien-esque.

    Or the fact that I started a rant to Josh about how shit really isn't made the way it used to be. How the corded phone we bought when we first got together is total shit yet my grandma had the same freakish rotary phone for 30 years. It's just not RIGHT.

    I, obviously, need mental help. But I heart you. And your little cat. And your little mandangle too!

  2. Every time you mention your yellow phone, I can't help but to think of this.

  3. That's 90% bizarre and 10% frightening, dude.

  4. To be honest, I usually first think about the song... which makes me think about the video... which makes me go watch it.

  5. You mean that song existed before the video? Uh...why?

  6. It's a kids' song that spawned an internet meme.

  7. Huh...learn something new every day.

  8. Stephanie's been telling me about that song forever! I'm not sure I realized it was a Raffi song, though. Once upon a time, I was huge Raffi fan.

    I didn't realize getting that faceplate to work on your phone had been so complicated. I'm very much less interested in seeking out a faceplate for my identical (except for color) phone.

    Also, I 3rd the wasfull thing. Of course, part of the problem with cell phone wastefulness is that some people can't wait for their phones to break, they get new ones for new features. I like the idea of donating old phones, but take mine for example-- it doesn't work anymore. That's why I got a new one. Plus, I don't really understand how the orgs. that ask for the phones get them set up with service. Even if my phone still worked, I think the guy at the Cingular store told me my SIM card was obsolete. Oh, and btw, he was shocked I had the same phone for 3.5 years.

    Oh, wow, I've really, really rambled on...

  9. Usually the faceplates just snap right on, but mine was slightly defective.

  10. none of this new phone talk. i like my phone and have decided for now to pretend it will never break or be obsolete (the only reason my mom has ever gotten a new phone - they made her as they switched analog to digtal to whatever it is now).