July 23, 2001

More Pet Store Adventures

Yesterday afternoon we (Mark and I) were doing our usual rounds of the pet store before asking for the bag of crickets for the lizard.

First we go to the cats; then the birds; then the reptiles.

Dogs are usually in a glassed-in section so they're not really accessible. The cats are in big multi-level cages that you can stick fingers into; the big parrots are out in the open on perches.

Mark has inherited the cat lover genes from Daddy's side of the family. When he was younger he based his friendships largely on who had cats, and was always over at their houses.
One particular friend (who unfortunately moved away after grade 4) had a 25 pound cat.
I didn't believe that until I saw it.
Then I believed it.
Not only big, but mean. Which is a cat's prerogative, of course.
Mark would go to that friend's home after school, since it was on the way from the school to our house. Once he came in with a particularly grundgy set of homework papers.

Me: What happened?
Mark: Tony's cat sat on it.

I hope he told that to the teachers.. they always can use a good laugh.

Back to yesterday, visiting the cats.

There was a pile of an undetermined number of gray furry ones, trying to sleep on one platform. I stuck my face right up close to one of them and began to talk baby talk to it.
It blinked.
Stood up.
Slowly (languidly!) turned around.
Curled up against its siblings with its back squarely to me.

Mark and I cracked up.

Just about then, I sensed something moving around slowly on the floor. It felt like a short but stocky dog.

It wasn't.


I'd never seen one there before.. it must have been new.
It had the run of the store.
Well, "run" isn't quite accurate. The "waddle" of the store would be more appropriate.
Plus, the floor (plain tile) was too slippery for it, which didn't add to the little grace that animal might have possessed.

We found a small enclosure for it in one section of the store, where it had a bed of shredded paper and a few padded things and toys. The sign said it was female, about five months old.
The strange thing was, there was a flap on the fence that allowed the pig to leave the enclosure, but not to return.
Someone had to let her back in if she wanted to go home.

At one point, her snout bumped up gently against my leg. I chose not to move.
She tried to bite my jeans!
I moved.

I thought pot bellied pigs were supposed to be placid creatures.

Rob (who came in later) said he wants one for a pet when he's out of the house.

That kid is way too trendy for his own good.

Odds & Ends:

The guestmap is filling up fast! Reserve your dot while you still can...
Tom Hanks and Stevie Wonder did!

Headline:   Elephant Park Recycles Dung to Make Paper

Another good reason to do your writing on the computer.

Note to the people at the U.S. National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration:
Someone was using your computer to research "chin tuck" at 11 AM EDT this morning.
Your tax dollars at work...

More cool space stuff!

Linque Du Jour:   Earth Viewer

I snatched this link from Bob's log.

You can view the earth from any of hundreds of currently orbiting satellites.
Some are higher than 40,000 km; others are orbiting at less than 600 km.
It's a trial and error thing; some will be facing the dark side and/or ocean expanse at any given time.

After playing around with this for awhile I began to wonder why it never showed clouds and why the green and brown (desert) areas were so clearly outlined.

Further inspection revealed that there were several views from which to choose; the one they give by default is called "Living Earth" and it's explained here:   it's a colour-enhanced composite view.

For each satellite, then, if you scroll down below the current image, you can choose between a topographical view and several weather-related images - with all the clouds anybody could hope for.

Now if I try to zoom in really really tightly on Antarctica, maybe I'll glimpse a penguin...

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