Here to fulfill all your Nonny needs!

Happy Birthday, Willy Wonka!

Instructions for Commenting


1) Make up a name--don't use your real name.
2) Click the "Post a Comment" link at the bottom of the blog post and then type your comment in the "Leave your comment" textbox.
3) If you have a Google or Blogger account, then click the "Google/Blogger" button in the "Choose and identity" section.
4) Otherwise, click the "Name/URL" button, and then put in your fake name in the "Name" textbox. You can leave the URL blank.
5) Or, you can chose Anonymous. In that case, put your fake name in your comment.
3) Make sure to put your fake name in your comment somewhere. Repeat commentors will be entered on Nonny's Hall of Fame!
4) Use the same fake name each time so we all know who's saying what.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Goodbye, Stubbie

Today, Stubbie was laid to rest in a flower pot all his own. Here is a haiku for my dear friend:

Stubbie, dear fishy,
To the Pearly Gates you go.
Be yourself always.

...there's more to this story--click me!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Sad News -- Stubbie is Gone

I am very sad today because I received a text message from Stubbie's Godmother telling me that Stubbie had passed on. Cl. Panic's secretary found him early this morning. He had still been swimming around and around last night when I left to go home. Poor thing. I don't think I'll get another fish. Instead, Cl. Panic had the brilliant idea of getting two plants and putting Stubbie at the bottom of one of them. That's just what I'll do.

Memorial services will be held tomorrow afternoon at 4pm PST in my office. All are welcome.

...there's more to this story--click me!

Monday, April 28, 2008

300 Movies You Must See Before You Die
by Man from U.N.C.L.E. (guest blogger)

Okay. So I am sitting in my doctor's office today for a 10:15 appointment. It's 12:15 and the office lobby still is littered with 4 of the same fools who were waiting when I got here at 10:00. I've exhausted the fine literature in the lobby and my mind needs distraction from the boiling rage I feel simmering just below the surface. The last selection on the rack is the May 2008 edition of Maxim Men's Magazine. Are you familiar with its content? If not, here's the magazine's home page ( ). This is not my favored reading material, but the slim pickens of distractible stimuli are leaving me with a choice of counting the moles on left arm of the sniffling lady on my right (then distinguishing which ones have hair growing out of them) or diving into cover girl Elisha Cuthbert's tell-all secrets.

What draws my attention is the Header declaring that Maxim Editors have determined the 300 Movies that Every Red Blooded American Male Must See Before He Dies! So I go for it, figuring that the Editors of Maxim have very puerile evaluation skills and I can boost my ego by being a sophisticated movie snob in comparison to their selections. Well, in thumbing through their list I surprisingly found my tastes to follow closely with theirs. I quickly jotted down the list of movies knowing that because I had found something that actually captured my interest it would not fail that the Doctor would see me within the next 13 seconds.

Monty Python and The Holy Grail
Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgandy
The Big Lebowski
Borat: Cultural Learnings of America...
Animal House
American Pie
Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery
Bachelor Party
Beverly Hills Cop
Blazing Saddles
The Cannonball Run
Dazed & Confused
Duck Soup
Dumb and Dumber
The 40 YearOld Virgin
Happy Gilmore
Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle
It's A Mad, Mad, Mad World
The Jerk
Modern Times
The Nutty Professor
Office Space
Old School
The Pink Panther Strikes Again
The Princess Bride
Some Like It Hot
Trading Places
Wedding Crashers
Wet Hot American Summer
Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory
Young Frankenstein

The Bridge on the River Kwai
The Deer Hunter
Apocalypse Now
Black Hawk Down
The Dirty Dozen
The Great Escape
Saving Private Ryan

Glen or Glenda?
Airport 1975
Battlefield Earth
Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls
Death Race 2000
Phantom of the Paradise
Reefer Madness
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
The Toxic Avenger

Taxi Driver
Sid & Nancy
Easy Rider
Billy Jack
Dirty Harry
Dirty Mary Crazy Larry
The Graduate
A History of Violence
The Hustler
The King of Comedy
One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest
Raging Bull
Risky Business
Smokey and the Bandit
Three Days of The Condor

The Adventures of Robin Hood
Lawrence of Arabia
Kind Hearts and Coronets
Double Indemnity
The Night of the Hunter (ROBERT MITCHUM IS GREAT HERE)
On The Waterfront
The Third Man
Touch of Evil
White Heat
The Wizard of Oz

The Empire Strikes Back
Starship Troopers
2001: A Space Odyssey
Back to the Future
Blade Runner
Children of Men
Close Encounters of the Third Kind
King Kong
Planet of the Apes
Star Wars

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
Night of the Living Dead
The Exorcist
The Fly
A Nightmare on Elm Street
Rosemary's Baby
28 Days Later

Jeremiah Johnson
The Searchers
The Good, The Bad And The Ugly
High Noon
High Plains Drifter
True Grit
The Wild Bunch

The Last Detail
American Graffiti
Breaking Away
Glengarry GlenRoss
The Goonies
Lethal Weapon
The Right Stuff
Saturday Night Fever
The Shawshank Redemption
Stand By Me
The Warriors

Rocky I - IV
The Matrix
The Road Warrior
Batman Begins
Battle Royale
Bourne Trilogy
Clash of the Titans
Die Hard
Enter the Dragon
First Blood
48 Hrs.
The Incredibles (I HATED THIS MOVIE)
Kill Bill Vol. 1 & 2
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy
Raiders of the Lost Ark

Fast Times at Ridgemont High
Wild Things
Carnal Knowledge
Body Heat
Boogie Nights
Jackass:The Movie
McCabe & Mrs. Miller
Mulholland Drive
Poison Ivy: The New Seduction
Revenge of the Nerds

A Clockwork Orange
City of God
Annie Hall
Withnail and I
Midnight Cowboy ("I"M WALKIN' HERE!")
The Bicycle Thief
The Conversation
Elephant Man
The Last Picture Show
Repo Man
Short Cuts
There Will Be Blood

The Rocky Horror Picture Show
Blue Velvet
Donnie Darko
Edward Scissorhands
Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind
Fight Club
Pink Floyd:The Wall
The Manchurian Candidate

To Live and Die in L.A.
Hard Boiled
Bad Lieutenant
The Departed
Donnie Brasco
The French Connection
The Silence of the Lambs
The Untouchables

The Godfather I & II
No Country For Old Men
Reservoir Dogs
Atlantic City
Bad Boys
Bloody Mama
The Boys from Brazil
Boyz N the Hood
Carlito's Way
Crimes & Misdemeanors
Dog Day Afternoon
The Getaway
Get Carter
A History of Violence
In Cold Blood
The Long Good Friday
Mean Streets
Midnight Express
Natural Born Killers
Pulp Fiction
River's Edge
Sexy Beast
Sin City
Super Fly
True Romance

So there you have it. My doctor didn't call me in just about 13 seconds into copying the list, more like 13 minutes, but I scrambled nonetheless to abbreviate, hyphenate, and conjugate these film titles before I had to go to the exam room. By the time I got to the exam room my hand was about to fall off and a blister extended from my second knuckle on my pinky down the side of my hand to my wrist from the furious transcribing action of my hand flying over the mag and the notebook I was writing in. I have taken the time to italicize the movies which I've seen. I think there are 185 in all that I've seen. Ironic that the Man from U.N.C.L.E. never really considered himself to be that much of a man. Are there ones on the list that you think I must see? Are there some not on the list that you would recommend over the list?

...there's more to this story--click me!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Boston --- vacation of countless tours (all paid with money)

Day 1:

I picked up Nonnynu around 5 am. Went to Chinatown. The only thing that was open was two bakeries. We got two big pork steam bow...ate...went back to Hilton and napped until about noon.
We got introduced to Dunkin Doughnut. Boston should not be call Beantown. It should be called Dunkintown. In every corne, therer is at least two Dunkin Doughnuts...even in Chinatown!!! It really dwarfed the chicken feet that we ate for lunch.
Freed0m Trail was great. Thanks to my friend at work's recommendation. The tour was done through role-play. We had some sort of colonial guy who said "...taxation without representation...". We saw all kinds of colonial stuff and learned a lot of history. It was worth the price. He was really informative. Paul Revere didn't do all those stuff the poem says. We finished the rest of the unpaid tour on foot -- saw Bunker Hill and Old Ironside (I think). Interesting to know that there are still gaslights at certain really old part of Dunkintown.
When we were near the Boston Common, there was an unusual looking "bus shelter". It was a long hallway made of glass. Each pane of glass is about 4-5 foot wide and about 2 stories tall. There were six of these. It was actually in memory of the victims of the holocaust -- the New England Holocaust Memorial. (OK, I can't claim authorship to this really nice looking picture. Its way beyong the scope of practice of my cheapo camera). to learn more about this memorial.
The numbers on the glass were the number (like a prisoner's number) of each of those died under Hitler's "maw jeung"...a very solem moment. "Maw Jeung"...Nonnynu, that could be your next Chinese idiom.
We ended the day with a Malaysia Dinner.

That night..ok...we are still pre-Day2, Nonnynu told me to get up early so we can go to Patriot Day at Lexington. I shoot the route with Hermie (the name of my GPS). It was only 20 some miles from where we stay. Keep with the family tradition...I told her that if people actually get there by 4:30, I will chop my head down so she can sit on it. Needless to say, I owe her a stool in the form of my head.
The Patriot Day parade was great. The town people were really into it. They had muskets, horses, the British Redcoats. middle-age men with real beer-belly and everything. Between watching people's butt cracks, back of their necks, top of their hair, we saw some of the parades and got the idea how the war for America Independence got started...I'm proud to be an American...
Next year, instead of packing the hot plate, pack a ladder.
After that we went to Dunkin, got coffee and ate our stale Chinese cake from Day1.
We hiked Waldon pond. That was great. We over estimated the "pond" because someone lost the map while taking a pee-stop (I will respect that person and not put their name on this site for humiliation) and hiked to some sort of river. Whenever Hermie didn't come along, we got more than totally lost. Luckily, a kind mountaineer pointed us to the right direction. We hacked our way through nats and mosquito for another hour before getting back to our car.
The rest of the day was filled with fun-filled tours at Salem. It was so fun and authentic that I wonder why historians don't go those these people for help with their history books. Nonnynu even made a good suggestion to get the combination 3 - tours package....Kill me...We suffered through 2 of those tours. All the time, I was hoping for Samantha to wiggle her nose to beam me out.
The high-light of the afternoon was the trip up Cape Ann to eat fresh boiled shrimp and see how rich people live.

...there's more to this story--click me!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Boston (Synopsis)

I don't have time to give you full explanations of where we went, but here is a short listing of what MonkeyPig and I have been (and will be) up to. I'll probably do full entries on some of these places in the future.

Boston, MA: Freedom Tour led by a James Otis impersonator.

Lexington, MA: Battle Green reenactment of The Shot Heard Around the World

Concord, MA: Waldon Pond

Salem, MA: witch history, House of Seven Gables, Hawthorne House

Providence, RI: Benefit Street

Portsmouth, RI: Green Animals Topiary Garden

Jamestown, RI: Beavertail Light House

Cape Cod, MA: Highland Light House

Hyannis, MA: Lobster dinner

Hyannisport, MA: Beach front properties

Plymouth, MA: Fried clams from Lobster Hut

Plymouth, MA: Plimoth Plantation

Newport, RI: Mansions

Norwood, MA: Last Supper at a great Indian restaurant (Minerva)

...there's more to this story--click me!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Happy Birthday to Lucy's Mom !!

Please join me in wishing a very happy 27th birthday to Lucy's Mom! I hope you like the cake. Lucy helped pick it out.

...there's more to this story--click me!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Hiking APB... by sluggy (intrepid guest blogger)

Nonny Nu has declared herself unavailable for the next two weekends... are any local Friends of Nonny Nu interested in hiking either weekend? I offer bacon, and expert banana slug tracking skills, and promise to wince, point and holler "watch the crap" upon sighting horse poop. We shall lament the absence of Nonny Nu, declare it not nearly as much fun without her, and never speak of the hike again. But you will grin with the knowledge you lived "a day in the life of Nonny Nu."

...there's more to this story--click me!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Please Pray for Stubbie

He hasn't been feeling well, lately. For about 1 1/2 to 2 weeks, he hasn't really been eating much. Today, when I came in, I noticed that one of his little fins (not the big ones) was missing. (It's the tiny one on his right that is just below the main fins on his sides that he uses to move himself around.) Also, he looks kinda bloated, and he is listing to the right. Here's a video. Near the end, I think you can see him listing to the right.

I just don't know what to do! Stubbie's Godmother suggested that maybe he doesn't like the office's filtered water and I should go back to giving him dechlorinated tap water. I'm going to try to change out his water little by little today to see how he does.

...there's more to this story--click me!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Happy Birthday to TWoNN !!

Hello! Today is TWoNN's first birthday. Even though this is The World of Nonny Nu, I hope you all feel like this is your own home. Thank you to everyone who has made this blog so lively and interesting!

Pictured on the right is a gift basket I received from sluggy this morning. It was decorated with slugs, butterflies, and an Asian rabbit. It was filled with many goodies that we have come to know and love from the blog: Maggi sauce, Wonder Bread, bacon, husband pleasing beans, Beano (sluggy thinks of everything!), cream cheese frosting, granola, General Foods International Cafe Vienna, and some vino for Mr. Nonny Nu--Bear Boat pinot noir! There are other wrapped goodies in the basket, but I'm going to wait till I get home to open those. Here's sluggy's new stationery and her words of congratulations. Thanks, sluggy!

...there's more to this story--click me!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Water Consumption

Do you drink enough water? I am absolutely positive that I don't. I have tried several methods, including filling a large jug and trying to finish it by the end of the day. I never stuck with any method, and I might go days drinking only a few coffee cups of water. So, I have been trying to do a bit better.

My new method is getting a new cup each day (well, I've only done this two days now) and then jotting down on the cup how many cups I finish. These are just regular sized office coffee cups, so I figure I should at least be drinking 6 a day. So far, it hasn't happened yet.

Day 1
Day 2

...there's more to this story--click me!

My Cry's Adventure

As you all know, Mr. Nonny Nu went into crisis mode on Friday because the living room's TV went out. Kaput. It just shut down. And, besides the TV, he only has us and the Nu kitties to keep him company during the day. Understandably, he went nutters.

Anyhow, the old TV we had was a Sony Wega XBR that we got in 2000 for around $3000. It has gone through one cross-country move, one cross-state move, and one cross-floor (from upstairs to downstairs) move. The one thing that I absolutely hated about this thing is that it was SO FUCKING HEAVY. The TV position is in a corner of the living room, and every time we added a new video or audio contraption to the set up, I'd have to squish back there and try to get everything plugged in.

Okay, back to the story. When I got home Friday night, we just decided not to succumb to the mass hysteria, and to take our time getting the right TV for us. We got dinner and watched Taxi on his iMac. It was great, actually. Then, we went to bed and watched TV on the old standby in the bedroom. It wasn't too bad, even though Mr. Nonny Nu pouted the whole way through.

The next day, we decided to just get an interim TV which would replace the bedroom TV when we got the real McCoy. I wanted to go to Best Buy, Circuit City, or Costco. Instead, I was sent to Cry's. Now, you all know how I feel about Cry's. This was an unforgivable wrong and a complete betrayal of my trust by Mr. Nonny Nu. And, to do what? To do a guy's job--haggling for electronics. You know how your mom always puts the whole family through some sort of hell around the holidays and, because it has become evidently inevitable, the whole family becomes resigned to it and just "let's it happen?" This is how I felt. It is like when a deranged but proud parent who overestimates their kid's ability and charisma keeps pushing the kid to perform in public. That's exactly how it feels.

So, off I went to Cry's. I find one that looks pretty good--the Toshiba 37HL67. Mr. Nonny Nu confirms that it has good ratings on CNET. It's at a very good price ($728), but the only one they had left was open box. And, guess what? They won't give a discount for open box, even though it was bought, opened, and then returned. And, out of curiosity, I ask about floor models. Oh, that would be a 5% discount on those. So, I ask the salesman, "You mean you will give me $36 off on an item that you've been using 24/7 in your showroom for months?" The salesman applied in the affirmative and explained that it was "policy," but I detected a crack in his signature Cry's "we can't do anything for you" mask.

Under Mr. Nonny Nu's instructions, I requested that the TV that I was going to buy be brought up to the sales floor and set up to verify that all the accessories were present and that it really did work. And, who does the salesman get to do this? Another salesman, who happened to have a gimpy leg. GREAT. Can you believe this shit? Now, the gimpy salesman is the only person I like at Cry's. He was very nice and did all of the assembly himself. I wasn't going to touch the thing since I didn't want any liability. But, I wanted to help so much because of his leg. This really killed me. I am a shamed rabbit.

Everything checked out. The TV came with a stand and it looked like the packaging for the stand wasn't even opened. The packaging for the instructions and the remote was also sealed, so it really did look like someone just brought it home and changed their minds. Of course, we'll never know if they dropped it between the car and their house, right? But, the box didn't look like it was dropped. I just don't know! Anyhow, there's a 30 day return policy on it.

So, we put the TV back in the box (I couldn't stand it any longer and just had to help out) and I wheeled it to the registers. As I was paying for the thing, I ask the clerk for help to my car, since is a rather larger rectangular box that is thin and being wheeled on a cart that has no tie-downs. She presents me with a release of liability for any damage occurring during the transport and loading of the item to my car. I ask her, "So, if I don't sign this, you guys won't help me to my car?" Obviously, the answer should be "Yes, if you don't sign this, we won't help you to your car." But, she hems and haws and invokes the "policy" again and says stuff like, "You need to sign this so we can bring the TV to your car." As if I am the one holding us up. What kind of store refuses to help their customers to their cars unless the customers release them from liability? And, if their clerks drop my TV on the way, is it really fair that I eat that?? OMG, I was about to go ballistic.

Rabbits don't do well in these sorts of situations. And, when I say, "these sorts of situations," I'm referring to situations in which I am creeped out by the personnel and feel like I'm getting shafted. What they don't tell you about the flight or fight response is that one can only fly so long. So, I start to raise my voice. I ask the clerk exasperatedly whether I am reading the language correctly, that if their people were to drop the TV I just now bought for $800 (including tax), then I just have to eat that. By now, there were quite a few people in line and at neighboring registers listening in on the conversation. Her response? (You're going to love this.)

"Madame, you did not pay $800 for the television. It is only $799.82."


Sensing that I was about to jam my pen into the clerk's left eye, the manager comes over and asks if he could be of any help. So, I explain to him that I think I have interpreted the release language correctly to mean that any damage caused by Cry's clerks to the TV between here and my car will be on me. He says that this is a correct interpretation. I ask him the question that I asked the clerk:

nn: "So, if I don't sign this, you guys won't help me to my car?"

manager: "That is correct."

nn: "Is your personnel going to take the TV into a loading elevator in the back or something? Because the TV box isn't really stable on this cart."

manager: "No."

nn: "Well, which route are they going to take to get the TV to my car?"

manager: "The same route you would take--out the front door."

nn: "Oh, you mean they are going out the front door, then down the first ramp, turn, and then down the second ramp? You mean that route?"

manager: "Yes."

nn: "Hm. Cry's designed this building, right?"

manager: "Yes, we have a different theme for every location. This one is the Egyptian theme."

nn: "We are on the second floor, right?"

manager: "Yes."

nn: "So, let me get this straight. I think I know the answer, but I just want to hear it from you. Cry's designed this building so that the entrance and exit will be on the second floor and, in order to get to the parking floor, all customers would have to walk down two ramps that have a turn in between them. And, and even though this box has nothing to secure it to the only cart you provide for your customers, the only way that you will help me navigate this $800 television down the two ramps that you made necessary is if I pay for any damage that your people do to my TV on the treacherous route that you designed?"

manager: "Um, yeah. It's policy."

I could not counter his logic. Alright, by this time, I was ready to go home. Actually, I was ready to go home when I parked the Dolly, but who's counting, right? So, I sign the release. Why? Because I'd have to do it myself otherwise, and I'd rather have two helpers that I can supervise than nothing at all. By this time, the helpers had arrived so I put the receipt on the cart's small upper level babyseat so that I can use my hands to stabilize the box as the helpers wheel the cart. As we go toward the door, the cart begins to slow down. I wonder why, and look up in time to see the receipt inspector approach and take the receipt out of the babyseat.

She starts checking off the corn nuts that I bought. Then, she starts to look for the TV box's zebra code to check that off. In the meantime, I ask what she is doing. She ignores me.

No...she...di'unt, did she? This time, I put my hand over the portion of the receipt that she's looking at and ask her again.

nn: "What are you doing?"

inspector: "I'm checking you out."

nn: "I'm sorry, I was already checked out. I paid for this item at register 29. This is why I have a receipt."

inspector: "But, I still have to check you on your way out. It's the rules."

nn: "Oh? That sounds official. Which California or federal statute requires this?"

inspector: "Oh, I don't know, but it's our policy."

nn: "Oh, so it's not a law?"

inspector: "No."

nn: "Well, why didn't you say so in the first place?"

At this time, I snatched the receipt back before she could check off the TV box. I'm not normally this rude, but I guess I just had it. Good thing is, the guy behind me breezed past the inspector and told her, "No, you just said it wasn't required by law."

By this time, the helpers just wanted to get me gone. So they said that they'd handle things from here and suggested that I drive my car to the bottom of the ramp. I politely declined and explained that I would be accompanying them the whole way since I just now signed a release saying that if they were to drop the TV, I'd be eating it. They understood, and we went on our merry way.

Do you guys see why I hate Cry's?

...there's more to this story--click me!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Under Siege
by sluggy (housebound, terrified and highly caffeinated guest blogger)

Scene: A beautiful cloud-free Sunday. The air is still and a balmy 65 degrees. Birds chirping, squirrels running about. The distant hills, the mountain bike in the garage, the muddy hiking boots next to the door all beckon. Sluggy, however, is trapped inside her house, quivering (1) with doors barricaded.

Let me start at the beginning.

One benefit of being Nonny Nu’s hiking companion (2) is enjoying the splendor of nature … au naturale. Whoa people, I mean nature in its natural state, not NN and I cavorting like naked nymphs in horse dung in the Phleger Estate! Minds out of gutter? (3) Please proceed.

As a lover of nature, my absolute favorite thing to do (4) is try to bring a little nature back to where others have left desolation in their wake. This would describe my yard… the ugliest part of which was a nasty side “alley” that barely separates my house from my neighbors.

Over three years, I have spent many weekends working to bring a little nature back to this wasteland and make it a palatable place to pass through and view from the kitchen window. (5)

On a postage-stamp sized lot, it is necessary to use every square foot wisely so I squeezed in some tomato plants (6) and a potted herb garden.

This morning, as sluggy toured the “estate” with coffee in hand, I paid a visit to the veggie and herb section. For no particular reason, the oregano caught my attention.

Is it getting too much water? Not enough? Turning over the pot, I spied THIS squatter living in the side yard paradise!!!!
Sluggy hightailed it inside, heart pounding from this unexpected faceoff with her arch nemesis. (7) The spotted salamander is a CARNIVORE, and EATS SLUGS, people! Supposedly it only ventures out at night. Perhaps I can go out as long as I am barricaded back in before nightfall. These salamanders return to the same mating pool every year, and will travel long distances over land after a heavy rain to mate. (8) They secrete a noxious, milky toxin from their glands (9) to dissuade predators.

Sluggy welcomes suggestions for how to handle the next battle in what is sure to be an epic war to win back the veggie/herb section. The first tomatoes ripen in just two months, not to mention the precious potential visitor (10) whose safety is paramount.

Shall I place a green chair out there as a territory-marking throwdown? Borrow an overpowered shredder capable of cross-cutting Bobby into gushy 5/64" x 5/16" bits?

To be continued...
(1) And not in that good, Fluff-induced way.

(2) A second, even greater, benefit is tempting Nonny Nu with bacon she will never ever get no matter how much she bitches about it. Too bad she canceled today’s hike because I had 12 precooked bacon strips ready to go in a fluffy cushion of shock-absorbing paper towels sealed in a ziplock baggie.

(3) Out of gutter for now. It is permissible for TWoNN dudes to retain the image in their “vault” for later use except, of course, Man from U.N.C.L.E. who may substitute the Rev. Dr. Terry Valentine for sluggy and Cl. Panic for Nonny Nu. Dung element optional. You know who you are.

(4) Even more than writing briefs and working all nighters, alas, ‘tis true.

(5) This involved stripping and staining the fence, building and staining a trellis, planting vines, watching the vines die in frost, crying, finding and planting new vines. The new vines are supposed to bloom various colors of white, yellow and red but have yet to do that. If they ever get around to it, there should be butterflies and hummingbirds a-plenty!

(6) Planting tomatoes in dry, nutrient-starved ground in a location that gets only a few hours of sunlight a day goes against conventional gardening wisdom, but last year the plants grew to over 8 feet!

(7) Sluggy is accustomed to idle references to salt attacks but this attack is coming from inside the homestead.

(8) Not unlike Bobby Peru. Well, actually, sluggy too. If there is a group salamander mating party, I promise to post photos for the prurient enjoyment of all except those subject to the freakishly puritanical Nu, Nu & Nu internet filter.

(9) Another similarity to Bobby Peru. I think I will name the salamander Bobby.

(10) Shameless excuse to mention most perfect niece and try to make footnotes exceed length of post.

...there's more to this story--click me!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Holy Crap it was a nice day for a hike!
by Cl. "watch out for the road apples" Panic, guest blogger

Spring has sprung.

Which means that it was a perfect day for a hike. My good friend from Australia was in town and we decided to try out a new hiking spot at the Henry Cowell State Park. It was also good weather to take Tiburon out for a spin, so off we went. Until we stopped along with all of the other traffic on the freeway. Apparently it was also a great day for the beach, which meant that traffic on the 17 heading into Santa Cruz was backed up to San Jose since every resident of the Silicon Valley flocked to the ocean.†

Acting on a whim, we redirected ourselves to an old standby: the Phleger Estate. It's been nearly a year since my last visit to Phleger, but given the variety of trails and ample parking, it seemed like a safe bet, and avoided the need to deal with Santa Cruz traffic. And so we wound our way through the quaint village of Woodside and into the Huddart County Park. Trail map in hand and poorly identified trails ahead, we were off...

I don't remember the large amount of horse shit on my last trip to Phleger. I mean there was a ton of crap along most of the trails. No killer mountain bikers, just killer road apples.

The park was eerily quiet. Not many other hikers, but there was this one jogger guy that was way too in shape; he lapped us and was moving at the same fast clip whether going uphill or down. Bastard.

We saw a lot of squirrels and lizards. No banana slugs though. Come to think of it, I've never seen a banana slug on any of my hikes. Maybe they know that I carry salt in my back pocket?

I was able to capture a nice macro shot of a flower (a Redwood Sorrel, according to Prof. KIA), and also some strange web-nest-thing. Hey NN: does Professor Know it All have anything to say about the caterpillar orgy?

Did anyone notice that the moon was visible all day? And there were no clouds in the sky? I mean, it was absolutely beautiful out.

After the hike we decided me might try to sneak into Half Moon Bay via Highway 84. No such luck. Traffic was backed up all the way to the 280. Guess the beach will have to wait ...

† Presumably this did not include the Nus who were likely trapped in retail hell trying to solve Mr. Nonny Nu's crisis.

...there's more to this story--click me!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Retail Therapy: ID Theft Edition
by. Cl. Panic, pulveriser of paper (and guest blogger)

There are few things I hate more than credit card "convenience" checks. Every day or so they show up, either enclosed with an account statement or arriving on their own. Unlike artichokes, nothing positive can be said about them. They are a nuisance and a scourge.

As consumers we're warned to watch out for ID theft. Make sure we don't leave important documents laying around. Protect our checkbooks. Be wary of disclosing financial details. Don't put anything finance related in the regular trash. And yet the finance industry can't stop sending credit card offers and convenience checks.

I've been in the market for a new shredder. Apparently older strip-cut shredders don't cut it anymore; their pieces are easily reassembled by meth addicts or other neer-do-wells. There's even software out there that reassembles scanned strips.

Wandering the aisles of Costco, America's best shopping locale, I found the answer I'd been looking for: The Fellowes MS450-cs micro cut shredder. This bad boy churns out 5/64" x 5/16" bits, turning a sheet of paper into something like 3,900 pieces.

On the same day that I bought the shredder, Discover Card sent me an envelope marked "Account Documents - Open Immediately." Inside I found a booklet of convenience checks. Hardly my definition of an important account document. Something had to be done.

Here's what the MS450 did to a single check:

Now that's a good looking convenience check. And those tiny little particles were created with almost no noise from the shredder whatsoever!

Now I just need to wait for a credit card application from Discover Card so I can enclose all of those little bits and return them in the envelope provided....

...there's more to this story--click me!