Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Not an ostrich....

So leave it to Fisher Price to still keep 'educational toy' from becoming an oxymoron. This Christmas I, or rather Santa Claus, got my nephew the new Little People ABC Zoo from Fisher Price. He loved the ark so much last year that something with more animals or guys as he refers to them, seemed like an obvious choice.

For those of you not up on the current selection of Fisher Price toys, the ABC Zoo consists of 26 Little People Animals, each one with a name that starts with a different letter of the alphabet. They all have the first letter of their name on their chests which in turn correspond to the little floor mat with a trail of all the letters in alphabetical in a trail through zoo habitats. When you press on one of the letters, it makes the animal's sound. Press on it a second time and it says the animal's name.

My nephew is thrilled with this new toy. NEW GUYS!! And he spends most of Christmas morning using the animals to press the mat and make the noises and here the female voice enunciate their names. "Flamingo" he repeats, "iguana, dolphin, yak, nightingale, koala, xray fish, rhinoceros, jaguar, seal, camel, vulture, ostrich, urial" He giggles while saying each new word. My nephew's vocabulary has expanded by 15 words in one morning!! (And we all have to admit that we can't even guess on which continent one might find a urial. It's a wild sheep found in the mountains of Northern Asia, for those of you who are interested.)

When his grandparents arrive, he holds up each of his new guys and proudly announces their species. Not even two, and he's getting them all right. Grandparents are amazed. We start playing a game. Every time he picks up an animal, we ask him what animal it is. He complies for a while but then loses interest and rebels. "Not an ostrich," with a mischievous grin becomes his stock answer.

Friday, December 23, 2005

TSA is ON the job...

I know a lot of people have been talking this holiday season about the new TSA guidelines that allow scissors and four inch knives into the passenger cabins of American planes and whether or not that actually is making us safer or putting us in danger of those folks who desparately need to wrap their gifts since they couldn't get through security with them wrapped....

Well, TSA has uncovered yet another potential threat to the American skies ~ domestic animals traveling in cargo areas.

Specifically, my eight pound half yellow tabby, half maine coon cat... She's not a particularly good traveler and even less of a people person. So we're at the Delta check-in, mind you I'm flying Delta so that I will be connecting through Atlanta and not Pittsburgh or Chicago or somewhere else my cat might freeze her tuckus off, and we're told that we have to wait for a TSA agent to check out my cat's box before I can leave her there. Now, the cat, who was not easily gotten into said box, has to come out in the main area of a very busy airport just a few days before Christmas, and she's really not having any of it. When I finally tug her out. Her expression is definitely one more of flight than fright. I have to keep a firm hold on her hind hips just to make sure she doesn't take off for another destination and this is no easy task.

When the TSA agent finally saunters over, heck, he's in no rush! He's all gloved up (which always just cracks me up.) He proceeds to reach into the box/cage and rifle through her padded bed and her little toys all the while checking on me to see if any of this makes me nervous. And then, before he lets me put the cat back into her little nest in the box, he actually pats down the cat, as if she might be carrying a concealed weapon?!?! She has teeth and claws, why would she need anything else? Why not check her for explosive residue?

You know, I have heard Al Qaeda is beginning to use cats. You know, because they're so easy to train and control and all. They have an entire herd of them just waiting to attack!!!!

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

You Should Get a PhD in Science (like chemistry, math, or engineering)

You're both smart and innovative when it comes to ideas.
Maybe you'll find a cure for cancer - or develop the latest underground drug.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

It's official -- My cat's a gay man!!

So again, this is probably my fault.

A few years ago, after purchasing one for my brother-in-law (Scientific America, I believe), I decided to get myself one of those gift subscriptions for Real Simple that Barnes & Noble used to sell. When I went to fill out the card, I felt a bit ridiculous listing my own name as "recipient" and "gift giver," so I made my cat, my female cat, the recipient.

So, the cat's got a subscription to Real Simple. Not a big deal. The cat starts getting junk mail. My indoor cat is a member of The National Geographic Society!!! (Can you blame her?) My cat is pre-approved for an American Express card!!! (And it's about time she started chipping in!!) Martha Stewart wants to sell things to my cat!!! My cat can get the first few issues of In Style for free!!! My cat is getting offers for all sorts of home related magazines and very strongly feminine catalogs. We're both girls, we're fine. But then St. Jude's comes along. They want cash, from my cat. And they think they can guilt it out of her by sending her some personalized return address labels. For some reason they NEED to put a title on the labels for my cat (Admiral would have worked!!) and despite all previous marketing to the contrary, they've chosen "Mr." WTF???!

So St. Jude's lost out. They don't take American Express, not that we got the card.