New Look- & Thank You Jassper!

Spooky photo.
Spooky photo of a reflection of me, Jim, taking a picture of my spooky reflection in a window or patio door, or something like that, in 2008.

Okay- We’ve been busy in a lot of areas lately and when we checked this page/ these pages for the first time in months, we found that:  1.) There were 1,942 spam comments waiting to be deleted. & 2.) ‘upgrading’ to a much hyped newer theme can be a pain in the, um, bum.

Jassper, bless his heart, has been fantastic at sitting there, going through the mind-numbing task of making sure none of those spammed comments had anything to say worth allowing them to be approved for, and posted live. I think he said that two out of the first 400 he’s gone through might have been legitimate comments and/or worth checking out.

The new theme, “evolve”, has a couple great features and, as far as our needs and tastes are concerned, a lot of superfluous nonsense-  The developers went way out of their way to make the theme user friendly, probably aimed at the 15 to 35 year old crowd – which means my step son could have whizzed through it at the age of 5. 🙂 But it has some annoying features that I haven’t been able to figure out. The suggested height of a header was “125 pixels”. This like almost everything else about this theme, is customizable. So I changed it to 200 pixels and that worked, for about ten seconds. Then the stupid thing snapped back to showing only 125 of the two hundred pixels of the old header image I had to re-upload. There probably is a setting in here somewhere that I can change, manually, by diving into the code in the code editor, reading through thousands of lines, finding the right line, overwriting the setting with the new numbers, re-saving or ‘updating’ and then sitting back while the wheels spin and hope that when I look at what I think I have just fixed, it just might be what we thought we had all along.


They have some color settings here that are marked “Important!” in the code, as seen through the editor. And I can’t figure out how to get rid of the plain vanilla overly white background all around the guts of the page and put in my own color, or ‘colour’ since we are in Canada. 🙂

And- I wasn’t thrilled with the very green colour block around the ‘sticky’ messages that are supposed to stay at the top of the list of ‘posts’ to be displayed whenever any of you out there in reader/surfer land come pay us a visit. But that may be one of the things in the code that is marked “Important!” And right now, I’m too tired to argue with them or mess with the code to see if changing the color setting launches an ICBM attack on our closest allies or anything.

It also took me between ten and twenty minutes of clicking through all the user friendly options to find the button to push to turn off the ‘featured image’ function, which grabbed the first image in the post and displayed it larger than the image was supposed to be displayed, and displayed it on top of the rest of the article, as a link, so articles with images had a huge honking featured image above itself and then the same image in its normal size down inside the article where it had been told to hang out- and articles with no images included had a huge light gray box with a spooky semi translucent image of a ghost camera above the article, so fraekin huge that the images were often twice the size of the article itself. But I did find that box and clicked it off, grumbling, “We don’t need no stinkin’ featured images.

And Jassper has promised to sit down and delete another couple hundred pieces of garbage ‘comments’ tomorrow and we’re pretty sure we turned off the ability of anybody to post a comment here if they’re not on our staff. So if you really have something to say that we might think is valid and worth posting, you can send it to “” and if you really want to become another unpaid volunteer here, say so, and we’ll send you a user password set to ‘contributer’ and screen everything you try to post until we’re damned sure we can trust you. Sorry, we only needed to get burned once before we turned hard on potential volunteers.

Don’t tell anybody, I just yawned.

— Thank you — And we hope you find something here that makes your day more enjoyable or at least more informed. And since these pages here are more or less aimed at relatives and close friends, we would probably be surprised if you did find something that really tweaked your interest here. But then, again, you may have found something in/or one of the other pages that fired your enthusiasm, and you can write to jassper and tell him you’d like to contribute to that page, include a user name and either a password that we hope you can change later or we’ll pick one for you. & don’t forget we need your real email address to send you this information.

& I’ve clicked every category we currently have listed as pertaining to this message, and that’s what we’re all about, so far. New categories might explode into our consciousness any time, day or night-

— Have a wonderful day, have a wonderful life time, and a wonderful happily ever after –

————— Jim


Catching Up

—Friday, July 26, 2013. 10°C / 50°F @ 6:10 am. (unusually cool for July here)

House For Sale
Our House With “For Sale” Sign.

We’re Moving. Link (Click on “Link” to see an evolving web  page re: the move). I’ve just cleaned the kitchen floor after Moe peed on it again. Maybe he missed the low sided training tray we got because old pudge was having trouble climbing over anything higher and was taking to peeing on the outside of the kitty litter boxes.

Moe, behind bars in the "cat-run".
Moe, behind bars in the “cat-run”.

The cats are peeing and poo-ing beyond their usual places to let us know they’re not happy with the changes in their environment.

Their environment is changing here inside the house because we’re getting ready to move. We can’t move to a new province with mon amour foo’s new job until we sell this house. The cats obviously don’t want us to sell this house.

They figure if they stink the place up enough, nobody will want to buy it and they’ll be safely stagnant in their beloved familiar environment.

They don’t believe me when I tell them they’ll like whatever new place we go even better. Domino’s the best listener, he looks at me and almost rolls his eyes.

I’m guessing that’s the kitty equivalent of, “Hey listen stupid, You know I don’t understand English, why do you bother?” (But we all know they understand a whole lot more than most humans give them credit for. They’re only playing ignorant to shut us up.)

We began knowing we were going to move a while ago. It took the love of my life’s employer almost six months to get the actual gears in motion to bring her on board and relocated to another time zone east of here.

((((( After Midnight, now July 27th, 2013. 11°C / 52° F here in the land where they call their dollars “Luneys” and probably should think of their government in the same terms. )))))

I’ve been resetting the Vonage VOIP telephone router at least once a day, often twice. I think I cleaned up after the cat who can’t quite aim his pee stream at the kitty litter tray mentioned above… um, at least twice a day.

And this evening we demolished our poor worry wart cat’s most secure refuge in the name of selling this place. I built an industrial strength bird sanctuary/aviary/bird cage to protect the kids’ budgies (aka Parakeets) from our sixteen pound Bengal cat.

Domino is the Bengal. He took up residence on top of the six foot high, four feet wide, three feet deep aviary (with a plywood roof and back and Domino-proof acrylic panels covering the top eighteen inches of heavy duty ‘wire cloth’ fencing material that was stapled to two by three uprights and the staples were covered with what look like bed slats) (but made of softer wood) (We will find at least one of our photos of the aviary and edit it in here.) But anyway. The aviary is in pieces outside, ready to be loaded into the van for a trip to the land-fill.

And I just saw Domino up here in the real world slinking into his treat-munching station, so the poor puddy’s world did not completely come to an end. (We did try to put familiar items like his scratching post/big honking speaker cabinet [broken speakers] back in place so he wouldn’t be totally lost transported out of his comfort zone… just maybe a couple hundred light years from where he wants to be….)

Of course, we may have to carefully inspect every inch of this house for signs of his disapproval of the way things are going these days.

But I am so close to ‘brain fried’ at the moment that I better end here and pack it in for a couple hours. We have to take the boof out and lock the cats up again today, more viewers are coming to take a look.

———Saturday, July 27, 2013/ 23°C / 73°F @ 8:22 pm ((Grey skies, threatening.))

——So we stayed up pretty much all last night and dragged ourselves out of bed around 11:00 this morning and pretty much jumped right into getting junk to the landfill and steadily cleaning all the carpets, mopping up Moe’s pee almost before he thought about missing the kitty litter tray again.

We febreezed a lot and left the windows open with the air conditioner on. No, we didn’t cool the town off any. We got out of here with like thirty seconds to spare before today’s viewers were here. And they were already here.

All the cats were in lock down or hiding securely and we brought the dog to the beach where nearly an hour of splashing and digging in six inches to a foot of water wasn’t enough, we had to pretty much drag him all the way to the vehicle, him trying to drag us back to the water the whole time.

Jassper's Favourite beach past time- Digging in the sand. He keeps looking up to be sure Cathi's still okay (that's her head in the background, 12 o'clock high. That's a rock at 11 o'clock.)
Jassper’s Favourite beach past time- Digging in the sand. He keeps looking up to be sure Cathi’s still okay (that’s her head in the background, 12 o’clock high. That’s a rock at 11 o’clock.)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA——But when we got here and I went to let the cats out of the jails, the upstairs guy’s room smelled like he’d pooped and peed the whole time we were gone. I mean it smelled worse to me than ever.

I don’t get it.

The girl’s room, south east of the smelly cat room, smelled almost as bad.

Now this is with the windows open the whole day, and all last night.

How the bleep would keeping the windows open make the place smell worse than closing the windows and baking the smells in?

Cathi flipped the mattress in the girl’s room and gagged, yeah, before we began locking the room up so cats could not get in, the guest cat thoroughly ruined the mattress.

In the guest cat’s current room, Cathi went around and sniffed and came to the conclusion that somebody’s been labeling the old dresser in there. Gaaaaaa-

So it looks like we will be dragging another mattress out to the garage until our next trip to the land fill, and maybe dragging a dresser along with it.

This is turning into “Encounters With the Cats From Hell” (play spooky music here….)

———Sunday, July 28, 2013. 24°C / 75°F @ 3 pm.

———We did drag the mattress out into the garage last night. And Cathi cleaned and sprayed the wall around the dresser. This morning most of the smell upstairs was gone. Only the litterbox smelled. (yay)

———Monday, July 29, 2013. 19°C /64°F @1:30 am. (Cousin Jaimie’s & Kaylie S’s Birfday.)

———We got a call mid morning to tell us that today’s viewers were not feeling well and cancelled or postponed their viewing. We sighed with relief and went back into dreamland. I dreamed I heading back to boot camp and was telling the younger (Much Younger) first time recruits or draftees that I’d been through this before and I knew where we were going.

———Cathi closed the windows upstairs and let the guest cat out of his nightly isolation. She said the only place that smelled in there was the litter box. (This is a good thing.)

———Later took the dog to the beach for more digging in shallow water. He seems to be making progress there. His spot is probably 6 to 8 inches deeper than the surrounding area. I was watching a cloud of silt spread out from where he was very busy with the serious task of digging his trench.

Again, he didn’t want to leave the water, did not want to go home. After he gave up trying to drag me back to the water he plunked down and refused to move.

I snapped the short leash  (while he was hooked to the long leash) behind him and growled, but he did not want to move toward the jeep.

I was thinking about explaining to him that he would never eat another treat again when he suddenly got up and started dancing toward the road and the jeep.

My guess at this point is that he knows what I’m thinking, maybe before I do…. 😉

———Other than that, I spent an hour or so looking at lots of mls listings in and around our destination city.

I might have gotten one good photo today that I can use at my day job.

——— 21°C / 73°F @ 5:30 pm.

——— About half an hour ago we had a short but intense thunderstorm. A few minutes before the storm, Jassper acted like he really wanted to go outside and relieve his bladder or something like that. But when I opened the door (to grey skies and ‘normal’ breezes) he froze in his tracks and headed in the opposite direction.

I don’t think I’ve ever heard as loud and long lasting a rumble of thunder as we had maybe ten minutes after Jassper decided he really didn’t want to go outside. The animals looked at me like the wanted to know whether to panic or take it in stride. We had some nasty downpours that sounded like they could shred the aluminum siding and come in like “Shhh shhhh shhhh shhhhhhhh”. But that didn’t last long.

The real world outside is wet. But I don’t see smoke clouds rising from anywhere. I don’t have the teevee’s audio turned on or a radio on, so who knows? A sink hole might have opened up and swallowed the next county, but it looks ‘normal’ out there.

Now I can get back to making ready for an evening viewing.

———Tuesday, July 30, 2013. 21°C / 72°F @ 3 pm.

———About last night’s viewing. The viewers circled our house for at least an hour before the scheduled viewing. I felt like I was getting dirty looks for being here and wanted to shout, “What part of 8 o’clock don’t you understand?”

———The cats didn’t mess up as usual… although the guest cat did give us his stinkiest poop ever about 20 minutes before viewing time. Gaaaa-

The viewers opened every door, checked out the bathroom, left wet handprints on the towels.

I had a feeling, “The house is sold- They want to offer below the asking price. They want you out of here in five days.” I told Cathi about the five days part and the ‘sold’ part.

———This morning Cathi and I got email. We had an offer. Cathi had to check with her relocation people. The offer was too low. Relocation would not reimburse the difference or anything. Also. Conditions like they wanted to close on August 30th were not possible.

Cathi emailed the real estate guy.

He emailed her back.

‘We’ made a counter offer and we’re playing real estate ping pong.

———I still feel like this is going to work. This offer will rise to an acceptable level. They will be able to move in here in time for whatever they’re worried about.

I think the cats and the people of the glen are happy with this.

I think Cathi and I will find a place we can get that will make the animals happy, make me happy and make Cathi happy. I went to my mls listings homework browsers and selected five of what I thought were our best choices and most likely candidates for a decent place to live for a reasonable price within reasonable commuting distance and all that.

———I am worn out and ready to collapse but I don’t feel like I can relax about anything yet. Gaaaaaaaaaa-

—Mercury has been heading in the right direction for almost ten days now and, according to Astrologists, creative projects and short trips should be going more smoothly than they have been all month, without insane little complications, delays, misdirections and confusions. What do you think? Should we blame all that on the stars? On Fate?

———So anyway, I was sitting in the washroom, half awake, when I ‘heard’ the insight/thought: “This house is sold. The buyer put in an offer quite a bit lower than the asking price. She [the buyer?] wants you out of here in five days.”  I’m wondering if everybody on planet is caught up in a game of ‘dog eat dog’ or ‘at least threaten to eat dog’, or, “You have been divided and conquered, play by the rules or we will humiliate you in public.”

———This evening ‘our’ Real Estate guy came over with a whole lot of papers to sign. I had to sign, as Cathi’s spouse, saying I am okay with her selling this house. ((When we moved here, my legal status in this countries was ‘visitor’. Two and a half years  after we moved here I had jumped through enough hoops to be a “Permanent Resident” and I could legally work and get paid for it. (((where-as before that I could legally be treated as a slave by unscrupulous types and not paid?))) Three years & 4 months after we moved here I became a dual citizen and was sworn in by a judge who looks like he’s related to Bruce Cockburn.))

———Anyway- After we’d signed all the dotted lines (which are solid these days) and initialed inside all the rubber stamped circles (which were rubber stamped in red ink) the agent said the buyer would have an inspector come in and if the house passed inspection and the buyer’s bank or mortgage company approved, we’d know in about a week or so and we could then resume breathing and get on with our lives.

I felt blind-sided and stunned. This is the first time I’ve been this ‘intimately’ involved in a process like this and it feels very much like it was not designed to be in the best interest of those who make life altering decisions and transitions, it’s designed to have evil, manipulating muther fuppers make as much money from you and steal enough power from you as they possibly can.

———Wednesday, July 30th, 2013.

——Yawn. I still do not feel relieved. We’re still jumping through hoops. God did not design this universe (or any one of the other universes) to put us through this kind of bull chips. (creative euphemism is fun on my end).

———My manager at work came down from his hour away office and we tied up some corporate audit / safety issues and finished my month end reports and all that. He also told me more about the process of how to remain human inside the inhuman process of doing things like submitting letters of resignation inside the corporate structure. So, while I’m beginning to believe with all my heart that contracts are a construct of the devil, I’m appreciating the fact that, in this job experience, sometimes angelic beings can disguise themselves as supervisors/managers and actually help you get through life instead of devoting all their time and energy to making your life miserable. (Thank You, God; thank you Mike.)

((Now I have to sit back and closely examine whether my latest insights are leading to the belief that God is a single Entity, with an entirely Loving plan for us all; or a collective Force mostly motivated by Love and Nurturing and ‘Stand back and let these evolving life forces grow or devolve, according to their own predilections or nature.’

———My head us spinning, my back itches and my stomach isn’t taking any of this in stride. But I did not charge straight through dinner so fast that I gave it all back in explosive fashion. I felt the waves of warning coming and slowed down. I am not a good little lab rat or guinea pig caught in the games and self aggrandizements of nasty little experiments conducted by loveless little ego driven monsters who see the human race as ants to be studied as we find our ways through their godless mazes.

——Yawn, I should be forcing myself to get more rest.

———Thursday, August 1st, 2013. (Cousin Leley’s Birfday, Yay!) 18°C / 64°F & raining @ 11:45 am.

—Got off to a slow start this morning. Maybe it’s the weather. When I let the ‘puppy’ out of his crate he charged out enthusiastically and stepped right on my sore toe. I hopped around shouting, “Ouch! OU ou ou ou OU!” & I just realized the English language doesn’t have a good and acceptable abbreviation for that. Ou looks like something that is pronounced “oo” in French, like Ewe or ‘you’ with no leading consonant Y sound.

I keep joking that Jassper wants to be this town’s first 500 pound Labrador Retriever. And the perennial puppy stepped right on my sore toe. Waaaaa-

And it’s grey and could be dreary outside and I can’t find the puppy’s favourite orange rubber bone. He almost can’t go outside without the bone in his mouth. ((Should I feel like mumbling, ‘ack- I’m such a failure-‘  (((sigh-))) ? ))

—Gaaa! I’m realizing how much of daily life is aimed at distracting us these days. I’m not happy with that at all.

—I just tried to add “Personal Insight” to my list of Categories here and the software tried to tell me I don’t have permission to do that.

Imagine being told you don’t have permission to say or think something that isn’t pre-approved by the powers that be? Is big brother that pervasive? Is that where we are heading as a civilization? Are the conspiracy theorists right?

—My eyes are burning fiercely and I’m looking at the world expecting to see at least glimpses of a world I’ll be waking up to in a little more than a month.

———Monday, August 5th, 2013. 16°C / 59°F @ 11:59 pm

—— Today we got kicked out of house and home while the prospective buyers brought in a home inspector and inspected for almost two hours.

——Jassper continued his beach engineering, trying to extend his trench from McLean Beach to Quebec.

——When we got back the invisible little people upstairs here sent me the message: “Sold, sold, sold.” & they felt happy about it.

——Tonight, we had a slight scare, wondering if Moe escaped and ran away or something. No… he was hanging out inside the cat carrier (travel prison), smiling happily at me and after I ran outside and told Cathi that Moe was safe and smiling in a very strange place. Cathi followed me back inside the house and upstairs to sit on our haunches and smile back at the weird orange cat in the ‘guest cat’s prison/carrier.

——Slightly later, Moe the Orange Cat and Jassper the Puppy Horse (dog) were almost face to face, dog wagging tail, Moe looking like it was never unusual for a dog and a cat to be almost kissing for crying out loud….

——I think the animals are trying to tell me that they now know what’s going on and they are pretty happy with the place they know we will end up living in.


(to be continued)