Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Bees that smell like Earl Grey tea?

When I was coming home from work yesterday, I stopped to admire a patch of wild bergamot (Monarda fistulosa)  Darchala and I had planted beside the front sidewalk.

At a time when bee populations are in peril from dangers such as colony collapse disorder, I was absolutely thrilled to see fuzzy little black and yellow nectar-transporting dirigibles having a grand old time with the flowers.

If they start uttering things like "I say, old chap!" and asking for cream scones and cucumber sandwiches, just oblige them and send Me an invoice for the dainties.

Cable disconnected, network signal lost

Less than a week after losing the delightfully manic Frey Kittehson, our household has suffered a second loss with the death of RJ-45, the youngest of Mama Freyja's five kittens and charter member of the Dark Legion.  RJ, known for her sweet, talky nature, her uncanny grasp of the English language and her book reviews, had been ill for some time.  She went into a sharp decline on the weekend, and passed away this morning.

Missed dearly by all of us here at Astrejurhof.

Friday, July 22, 2016

And then there were two.

My Dark Legion of cats got a little bit smaller today with the passing of Frey "Fuzzy Butt" Kittehson at the age of 15+ years.  This sweet, crazy little guy had been showing his age for the last few months, but this evening while playing in the back yard he suddenly became unable to walk or even stand on all fours.

An emergency vet trip revealed that he had somehow sustained an extremely bad humeral fracture, with a poor prognosis for recovery due to the severity of the break and his age.

Miss you, Kittens.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Think Like A God Day 2016: Divine Intervention 101

Welcome to the 2016 edition of Think Like a God Day! Once a year, on July 13, I ponder what it's like to be a deity and ask you (or in this case, You) to do likewise.

This year's topic is "The pros and cons of being a Cosmic Cop."  In other words, how do You react when it is brought to Your attention that mortals are behaving badly? Do You:

  • Grab Sword of Righteousness, Cloak of Divine Awesomeness and Boots of Butt-Kicking and hustle down to the Prime Material Plane to give 'em what-for;
  • Go incognito and quietly tinker with the troublemakers' reality, making their comeuppance look like a totally, completely un-divine misadventure (bonus points if it makes the "News of the Weird" section of the paper);
  • Delegate to a minion and get on with other things, like e-mailing Prometheus to ask him if he'd like a couple of tickets to the Eagles game;
  • Drop hints to the miscreants' fellow mortals and wait for human justice to assert itself;
  • Sigh heavily and make a mental note to deal with it later;
  • Nod sagely and check off another item on the Divine Plan;
  • Shrug, smile and say "100 quadrillion years from now, who'll know the difference?"

For the record, My preferred option is #2 (Stealth Goddess with wicked sense of humor), but unfortunately My magisteria somewhat limit the ways in which I can intervene. I have no intention of weaponizing the Vernal Equinox, punctuation is too low-caliber to hurt anything more than someone's pride, and any Sword of Righteousness made of chocolate would *burp* get eaten long before I reached the battlefield.

That said, if a high-profile evildoer were to be captured by the authorities because of a Random Equipment Malfunction -- say, a getaway car suffering a catastrophic failure of the universal joint right outside Police Headquarters -- I'll just smile and wave, and disavow knowledge of My own [in]actions.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Life is too short to drink cheap plonk.

That's it.  I am done.  I am so done.

I am not buying any more blended "bottled in Canada" wine.  From hereon in, I'm sticking with the good stuff, made from grapes actually grown here.

This evening I was indulging one of My more delightful hobbies -- cooking -- and currently have a Moroccan lamb stew finishing in a cast iron Dutch oven on the stove.  It needed that something extra, a bit of orange juice and a few scrapings of orange rind, and I had also been making noises about going to the Liquor Commission to pick up a bottle of red wine.

Somewhere between getting the car out of the garage and arriving at the LC I made the above resolution to support better products from Canadian wineries.  What sealed the deal was memories of college 40 years ago, when the usual wine served at parties came in gallon jugs and was served in clear plastic cups.  To this day I refer to the contents of those gallon jugs as "Chateau de Ping-Pong."

No, I think I can do better.  I know I can do better.  (pours a glass of baco noir, takes a sip, and sets it aside to breathe till the stew is ready)  Skál!