Wednesday, September 30, 2009

So why are they laughing?

Maybe to keep from crying.

Last night, having perused all 1,357,398 cable channels and finding nothing to capture our interest, we settled on
  • Weird, True and Freaky
  • on Animal Planet.

    This particular episode sounded especially...ah...intriguing.

    "Disturbing deliveries, gruesome newborns, and slithering killer infants. Strange babies born to strange moms in the strangest ways. Counting down the animal kingdom's most bizarre births."

    Hey...disturbing, gruesome and bizarre is right up my alley.

    The fact of the matter is, most of it was pretty ho-hum, though a hairless Sphynx cat giving birth, indeed looks a lot different than your ordinary, run-of-the-mill house cat doing the same thing. No bikini waxes needed for those particular felines...all their lady cat-parts are right out there for all the world to see.

    And then there was the
  • Surinam Toad

  • The partners rise from the floor while in amplexus and flip through the water in arcs. During each arc, the female releases 3-10 eggs, which get embedded in the skin on her back by the male's movements. After implantation the eggs sink into the skin and form pockets over a period of several days, eventually taking on the appearance of an irregular honeycomb. The larvae develop through the tadpole stage inside these pockets, eventually emerging from the mother's back as fully developed toads, though they are less than an inch long (2 cm).

    Think of popping bubble-wrap...or ginormous zits (ewwwww!)...except a baby toad comes out of each bubble/zit. was like that.

    There were several other animals highlighted, but the one that made both Ziggy and I sit up...well, it made me sit made da Zigster cringe...and take notice was the hyena.

    Didja ever wonder how hyenas mate and give birth. either. I figured it was like every other mammal.

    Boy was I wrong.

    Get this...a female hyena. Pees, mates and gives birth. Through her clitoris.

    You gals out there...think about that for a minute.

    Now you male readers, think about this....the female hyena's clitoris looks exactly like the male hyena's penis.

    Unlike trying to insert an "outie" into an "innie", hyena mating is more like trying to insert two outies into each other.

    "Because of the female's awkward genitalia, successful mating for hyenas is tricky to pull off. It takes careful positioning for the male to crouch behind her and somehow get his penis to point up and backwards to enter her clitoris."


    Giving birth, however...well basically, it's like trying to push a watermelon through a garden hose.

  • But providing the extra hormones takes a toll on the mother. The dose of androgen that she received from her own alpha mother damages her ovaries, making it difficult to conceive.

    It also causes female reproductive organs to grow. A lot. Her clitoris, which contains the birthing canal, protrudes 7 inches from her body.

    "Imagine giving birth through a penis", said study co-author Kay Holekamp of Michigan State University. "It's really weird genitalia, but it seems to work."

    Although giving birth through a penis isn't a trivial problem.
    The clitoris' birth canal is only an inch in diameter, and the tissue often tears as a 2-pound cub squeezes through the narrow opening. The rip can be fatal, as evidenced by the high death rate for first-time mothers.

  • Now, I could go into a whole spiel about androgen being a hormone and whores moaning...but I'll spare ya. Suffice to say, during birth, sometimes the hyena has to tear her clitoris/penis...peniris?...with her teeth to open up the birth canal.

    Behold...the Russian female bodybuilder's version of a hyena:

    In an effort to learn more, I also found
  • this

  • Now go forth, dear readers...enlightened and knowing far, far more than you ever needed to know about hyena sex.

    And let us all be thankful for our own, human innies and outies.

    Thursday, September 24, 2009

    A not-so-fractured fairy tale


    The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter.

    The grasshopper thinks the ant is a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away.

    Come winter, the ant is warm and well fed.

    The grasshopper has no food or shelter, so he dies out in the cold.

    Be responsible for yourself.


    The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter.

    The grasshopper thinks the ant is a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away.

    Come winter, the shivering grasshopper calls a press conference and demands to know why the ant should be allowed to be warm and well fed while others are cold and starving.

    CBS, NBC , PBS, CNN, and ABC show up to provide pictures of the shivering grasshopper next to a video of the ant in his comfortable home with a table filled with food.

    America is stunned by the sharp contrast.

    How can this be, that in a country of such wealth, this poor grasshopper is allowed to suffer so?

    Kermit the Frog appears on Oprah with the grasshopper and everybody cries when they sing, "It's Not Easy Being Green".

    ACORN stages a demonstration in front of the ant's house where the news stations film the group singing, "We Shall Overcome".

    Rev. Jeremiah Wright then has the group kneel down to pray to God for the grasshopper's sake.

    Nancy Pelosi & Harry Reid exclaim in an interview with Larry King that the ant has gotten rich off the back of the grasshopper, and both call for an immediate tax hike on the ant to make him pay his fair share.

    Finally, the EEOC drafts the Economic Equity & Anti-Grasshopper Act, retroactive to the beginning of the summer.

    The ant is fined for failing to hire a proportionate number of green bugs and, having nothing left to pay his retroactive taxes, his home is confiscated by the Government Green Czar.

    The story ends as we see the grasshopper finishing up the last bits of the ant's food while the government house he is in, which just happens to be the ant's old house, crumbles around him because he doesn't maintain it.

    The ant has disappeared in the snow.

    The grasshopper is found dead in a drug-related incident and the house, now abandoned, is taken over by a gang of spiders who terrorize the once peaceful neighborhood.

    Be careful how you vote in 2010.

    Monday, September 21, 2009


    I'm always amazed at how these things seem to hit me spot on.

    Your Name is Blue

    Your name tells people that you are friendly and caring. You have a strong sense of empathy, and you aren't afraid to wear your heart for all to see.

    You can often be found in quiet reflection. You rather think about something than act on it.

    People see you as insightful and intuitive. You usually have a wise take on what's going on.

    You try to rise above your instincts. You believe that it's important to live as good of a life as possible.


    You Are Freaky and Funny

    You're the type of person who can sit all day without feeling bored or boring others.

    You find the world entertaining. There's always something going on that you can riff on.

    You give a first impression of being eccentric. Luckily, most people find your weird ways to be highly entertaining.

    You are an armchair philosopher. You are constantly developing your unique, quirky take on life.

    Via the lovely, literate
  • Leslie
  • Pee Wee, we hardly knew ye

    I kept the teeny squirrel in a shoebox overnight Saturday night. I was hoping the injury wasn't permanent and that just maybe he'd show some kind of improvement, no matter how small. I checked him pretty frequently and he was always snoozing or munching on a peanut and, while he still wasn't able to move his hind legs or tail, he didn't seem to be in any pain.

    That wasn't the case Sunday. Though he still looked pretty chipper, he did seem to be having pain when I'd try to pick him up or move him around to position his wittle legs better. He'd chirp out was a much different kind of noise than before. I noticed, too, that there were no pees or poops in the towel...meaning that his bladder/bowel was probably affected and he'd most likely suffer longer and die slowly.

    We decided that the best thing would be to euthanize the poor little guy.

    Of course, that decision was followed by a discussion of who would be the executioner. I immediately excused myself...I couldn't do it, even though I knew he was suffering. Thankfully, da Zigster stepped up. Then it came to how to do it. Putting him back up in the tree and letting nature take it's course wasn't an option...we'd taken him...we needed to see it through. We don't own a gun...yet. But a gun seemed like...well...overkill, anyway.

    We discussed...and dismissed...a half dozen humane ways to kill a 10 oz. squirrel.

    "If we could just put him to sleep", I finally said, running various methods through my mind. Carbon monoxide via the car's exhaust? Too complicated. I have a bottle of vicodin...maybe I could crush one up and feed it to him? But for the life of me, I couldn't figure out how to sneak crushed vicodin into a peanut.

    "Ether?" Zig finally suggested.

    "Yea...I'll run right down to Walgreen's and get a bottle of ether", I replied.

    "No, can buy ether at the auto parts store. It's a's in starter fluid", he responded. "He's so tiny that it wouldn't take much to put him out."

    While he ran to the auto parts store, I held him one last time and fed him a peanut.

    He's buried on the beach, near the seawall.

    A season of contradictions

    Tomorrow's the first "official" day of fall, though it's been feeling a little fall-ish around here for a few weeks now.

    Take, fr'instance, was cool and rainy...a perfect day to whip up a pot of chili. So I did. In fact, last night I fired up our faux woodburner to take the chill off...and for a little ambiance.

    'Course today, out on the deck, it's a different story...

    We're just now harvesting tons of luscious tomatoes from our little garden spot. In fact, we still have quite a few blooms...if the weather holds, we might have fresh tomatoes up through October.

    Weird, weird weather. Makes me sorta apprehensive about this winter.

    Saturday, September 19, 2009


    Poor little
  • Pee Wee

  • He fell out of his tree this afternoon. Zig saw him fall...a considerable distance...and he thinks he fell on his back.

    His hind legs are paralyzed.

    I've presently got him tucked into a shoebox with a towel to curl up in, a tiny water dish and a little mixture of cat kibble, unsalted peanuts and sunflower seeds.

    He doesn't seem to be in any pain, thankfully...seems just as chipper, friendly and inquisitive as he did yesterday. He just can't walk. He ate a few peanuts, but had a hard time balancing on his little butt so he could hold them in his front paws.

    I'm hoping it's just a bad jolt and if I keep him quiet and comfortable, he'll eventually come out of it. From what I've read, it can happen. Zig thinks I'm a bit delusional. I suppose I am.

    I know it's only a squirrel. A tree-rat. A rodent.

    But dammit...he's just so damn...sweet.

    Friday, September 18, 2009

    I think I found my mojo

    And all I had to do was look out our front door.

    Introducing the newest member of da Zigster family...

    Mr. PeeWee!
    (Click the photos to enlarge)

    This little shit ran right up our neighbor's leg this afternoon. Thankfully, he (the neighbor) didn't throw a big hissy fit...all he did was look down and say, "Well...what the hell...?"

    So, 'course, I hadda try to make friends...

    I couldn't believe it...the little guy was practically fearless. He'd come up to me and make these little, playful "..uck...uck...uck..." noises. In fact, he sounded a lot like the ferrets I've had as pets in the past.

    He got so friendly that he followed me right up onto the deck...where he was immediately fascinated with Zig's crocs.

    Gotta say, though...he seemed to find that my lap was the perfect spot to curl up in. I think he'd have fallen asleep if I wouldn't have moved.

    What a babydoll!

    I'm not sure where his mama is...or if he even still has one. He seems awfully little for this time of year, too. I just hope that none of our neighbor's dogs try to "play" with him. He'd be a good little snack for either of 'em (a lab and a boxer).

    I made him a little "nest" on the deck from a shoebox and an old towel...he seemed to think that was pretty sweet, but I hope he has sense enough to hide in it, should the need arise.

    In other critter-type news....

    I caught this big, ole fat groundhog running across our seawall last night.

    We've had probably two times the amount of American White Pelicans this year versus last...hundreds and hundreds. They love hangin out on the sandbar across from our house.

    Aaaand...we caught this big crane...who can normally be found down on the beach or wading in the shallows...waaaaay the hell up in this tree.

    Monday, September 14, 2009

    Pride and joy might have been on display...

    ...but it evidently didn't play well in Peoria.

    Sunday was the first (and I hope annual)
  • Peoria Pride Festival

  • You'll notice that there are no comments on this article. There were a few comments last night...few of which were exactly...favorable. I imagine it only got worse, so they ix-nayed the comments, altogether.

    Is anybody really surprised that Peoria is sometimes looked upon as a narrow-minded, redneck, podunk of a town? Oh, it claims to be forward-thinking and "cultured", but I'll tell ya what...if Peoria can claim to be that, then I can claim to be a 5'8" former super model.

    We both can claim all we want. It's still a big, fat lie.

    We had every intention of going...not because either of us is gay...but because da Zigster and I both believe that people...all people...should be judged by their character...and not by their sexual orientation. We both believe that being gay or being a lesbian is no more of a "choice" than being born with blue eyes or blonde hair. We both believe that you love who you love.

    Unfortunately, I was a bit under the weather Sunday. Ok, the truth is, I partied too hard Saturday night at the Boat Drunks concert at the riverfront.

    But we were spirit.

    Friday, September 11, 2009


    One mojo.

    I have no idea where I lost it. Or when.

    It's always been a little on the smallish side...but quite colorful. It's reasonably intelligent, mildly entertaining and has a penchant for anything quirky.

    If found, please call me at your earliest convenience.

    I miss it somethin awful.

    Wednesday, September 02, 2009

    That pretty much sums it up

    I'm trying desperately...and pretty much unsuccessfully, I stave off a snotty cold. My hair looks like shit and I need a haircut, but just don't have the...ooomph! to make the damn appointment. My knee hurts. There's crap going on at work, while not involving moi, has kinda affected my mood.

    And I feel like I've been cheated out of summer. It's fall already...or feels like it around these parts, anyway. While I normally love fall, I like it to come after summer. We haven't really had a summer this year. And I absolutely dread having to think about winter. And snow. And ice. And freezing my ass off.

    To top it all off, poor Zigster (who's just getting over that nasty cold, himself (thanks, honey...I love you, too!) is gonna hafta go back on third shift. They're a supervisor or two short, so the honor of covering for them has been bestowed upon him. I honestly don't mind him working nights...but I know he hates it, so I hate it for him.

    On the other hand....

    I'm pretty sure that this cold isn't the H1N1 virus. At least I have hair. I can get another steroid shot for my knee. And the Zigster and I still have jobs. Believe me...we're both thankful for that.

    But I'd have still liked to have had a little summer. Dammit.