11/4/11 – Friday

The 2012 calendars are available! All the calendars are marked up by $1, and all profits go to Challenger’s House. I’ll put this up at the top of the entries for the rest of the week for those who don’t read every day or who read via a reader, and after this week they’ll be … Continue reading “11/4/11 – Friday”

The 2012 calendars are available! All the calendars are marked up by $1, and all profits go to Challenger’s House.

I’ll put this up at the top of the entries for the rest of the week for those who don’t read every day or who read via a reader, and after this week they’ll be in the sidebar to the right.

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okay, 13 cats. And now you have a swimming pool. Does this mean you might be ready soon to make your own Cat & Dolphin video?

Never say never!

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Did you have to pay anything for your revision, or is that something the plastic surgeon did for you because of you not liking the initial result? Just wondering, as I may be in the same boat.

I did not have to pay anything at all for the revision. My surgeon has his own on-site clinic, so it might have been a different story if the surgery took place at a hospital, but it was completely free (to me) in my case.

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When I glance at your bio box, every single time, the lines:

very happily married to
Fred (Fred no longer

morph themselves into a different arrangement so that, and let me repeat that this happens EVERY SINGLE TIME, my brain processes it as:

no longer happily married
to Fred (Fred blogs)

and (EVERY SINGLE TIME!) I think, “Whoa, what happened, and why is FRED the one blogging about it?!”

In fact, that’s not quite true, because it’s happened so many times that by now, my reaction is more, “Yeah, they split up, I remember hearing about – wait, NO, that’s not right.”

Elayne, you make me LOL at least once a week!

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Where is that pile of dirt located on your property? What popped in my mind was grade it so it is easy to mow. Landscape it up all nice. Have a area on the top where you and Fred can sit and relax. Observe the goings on all around Crooked Acres.

It’s located in the middle of the back 40 (I’m looking forward to taking a panoramic picture of the back forty so y’all can see (1) just how big it is and (2) where it’s located). Fred keeps claiming that he wants to create a Devil’s Tower out of it, but he’s (mostly) kidding.

I’m trying to convince him that we could use it to make an adobe hut at the back of the back forty, and it could be our summer home (heh), but he doesn’t seem convinced.

He is planning on using some of it to even out bumpy spots around the property, and we’re going to raise the garden’s low spots a bit, and I’m sure there are other plans for that pile of dirt, but we’ve still got wayyy more dirt than we could ever use.

For the time being, the dogs and chickens are really enjoying running (and pecking) around in that dirt!

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Hubby digs ponds for a living (in Kansas or I would have sent him your way) and he’s never dug a square (ok, retangular) pond. That took alot of extra time to have it so perfect, ie extra money. Let me guess — that’s what Fred wanted, right? haha

Fred tells me there was no discussion on the shape of the pond – and we see a lot of rectangular ponds in this area, so maybe it’s a regional thing?

I would think that digging a straight hole with a backhoe (that has straight sides on the scoop thingy) would be easier than digging a round hole, no?

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I have been reading you for going on a decade, and have never commented (guess that makes me the ultimate-skimmer/lurker). Love your postings and miss you while you are gone! I can’t believe I am even posting this of all things I could have posted about over the years, but I have been watching reruns of the Big Bang Theory lately on TBS, and last night I totally thought of you, and your section today about the cat songs makes this (in my head) even more entertaining. Sheldon, one of the geeky main characters, likes to sing a song entitled “Soft Kitty” and last night he and the female character (don’t know her name) were singing it in rounds on the show. It made me laugh out loud, and I immediately thought of you and your brood. Sheldon only allows it to be sung when he or someone else is sick, so you may want to add that to your rotation if need be. Thank you for doing this and being so entertaining while doing it.

I absolutely LOVE that song. We don’t watch The Big Bang Theory (I imagine it’ll be like just about everything else we end up watching – people told us for years and years how awesome Arrested Development was, and we didn’t start watching ’til the show was cancelled, and fell in LOVE, I’m sure it’ll be the same with The Big Bang Theory), but I know of the song, and it always makes me happy to hear it.

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Hey are you and Fred watching “The Walking Dead” on AMC? Season 2 just started. It really is a great show. I’m not into the whole zombie thing, but the characters and story line in this show are great. If you haven’t seen season 1 you guys should Netflix it! I’m just sayin”.

Indeed we are! I’ve never been a big zombie fan either, but the show’s definitely worth watching. I recently read that they’ve already renewed it for a third season.

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I agree! That color green looks mahvelous on you. And once I picked myself up off the floor upon seeing you in something that is NOT a t-shirt that is FAR too large, my first thought was “I want!” Where did you get it?

I do all my shopping at Kohl’s because I’m a fancy bitch, so I’m sure it came from there. Might have been from last year, though – I think it’s been hanging in the closet for a while.

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happy 12th! i’ve been reading you since the summer of 2000. you, robyn, are my longest relationship. 🙂

And you are more beautiful than the day I started posting and you started reading, dahling. 😉

Yes, I completely missed the occasion, given that I was in Myrtle Beach, but my 12th blogiversary (journalversary, I think I used to call it) came and went on October 10th. 12 years, 3,031 posts, and I bet there’s more than one of you who’ve read every one of them, am I right?

Here’s to another 12 years! (I just burst a brain cell trying to figure out how old I’ll be in 12 years. But first I had to figure out how old I am NOW. Good lord.)(I’ll be 55 in 12 years, for the record, if my calculations that I’m currently 43 are correct.)

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We are going to expand our chicken yard and are wondering what kind of fencing materials you guys use for your chicken yard. We will be putting our flock dog in there with them as you guys did. I’ve tried looking back through Crooked Acres Thurs. pics and it looks like you might use several different types of fencing materials, but I wasn’t sure if the different types were for the chickens vs. pigs.

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Will, I’m sorry it took me so long to get these pictures! As I mentioned in the email to you, the fence all the way around the back forty is 5-foot chicken wire. In addition to that, because we were having issues with chicks pushing under the fence to wander around the property, I went around last year and added 2 foot-tall welded wire fence around the bottom. I used wire snippers to cut pieces off, and then pushed the bottom into the dirt, and attached the welded wire to the chicken wire with zip ties. We still occasionally get some wandering chicks who get out of the back forty (there are some small gaps around the gate), but once they’re past a certain size, they can’t squeeze out, and stay in the back forty.

In the first picture, you can see the pig fencing off in the distance. That’s four-foot (I think) welded wire, and has electric wire running around the inside of it.

Actually, we had electric fencing around the inside of the back forty fence up until the tornado came through earlier this year, and the tree came down on the fence and the electric wire got hosed. Fred was planning to replace it, but we haven’t had any issues with George and Gracie getting out, or even trying to, so I’m not sure if he’s planning on doing that any more.

Look at me, rambling on and on about fencing. Who knew it’d be so fascinating? Let me know if you have any questions!

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My Gawd! When you said POND I imagined a nice little round rock pond. What you’ve got there is an Olympic Sized Swimming pool. Since you aren’t going to swim in it what are you going to do with it? Stock it with fish and have a fishing hole? It’s so big you are bound to attract Canadian Geese and THEN you will be sorry. Then you will be forced to buy some Chinese Geese to keep the Canadian’s in order. And those Chinese Geese will scare you and break your eardrums with their LOUD bellows. Just saying.

THE POND IS FOR THE DUCKS, you guys. THE DUCKS. Because this ridiculous setup, right here:

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“Why am I not floating? Oh, right. Because I’m just standing here in this shallow, shallow pool.”

is not working for them. Who’s the brain trust who HAD to have ducks even though we didn’t have a pond? Who? Who went on and on and on about wanting the fucking ducks until I snapped and told him to get the fucking things and then stick them up his ass? I was not the one who HAD to have those fucking things so they’d follow him around and mumble-quack under their breath.

(But they are cute, damnit.)

Also, we are putting catfish in the pond, I think. I hope they don’t eat the ducks. (Catfish are the pigs of the water world, I hear.)

The main reason that pond is so big? So that when the rains hit this Winter/ Spring, instead of the back forty flooding and causing the ditch to flood and causing half the property to flood, the water will go in the pond instead of flooding us out. We’ll see how that works.

Also also, George and Gracie would never in a million years allow any stinkin’ old GEESE to set up camp in that pond. I base this on their reaction when they see a Robin set down in the middle of the back forty. They run those songbirds OFF and then they are so super-proud of themselves they just can’t stand it.

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That IS one big motherfucking pile of dirt. Any takers of the excess yet?

Not a single solitary one – like Fred Tweeted recently, people see a sign that says “You haul it” and think it means Fred will haul it for them. Uhhhhh, no.

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How are you going to fill the pond? How do you keep the water from soaking down?

The rain, hopefully, will fill the pond this Winter. The bottom of the pond is mostly a clay-type soil, and the guys who dug the pond are pretty sure that it’ll hold water.

(Yes, these are the guys who were surprised at how much dirt came out of the hole they were digging for the pond. SIGH.)

The guys who dug the pond packed down the clay with their big, heavy equipment (stop snickering), too. If the pond doesn’t hold water, there’s some sort of… something (sorry to be so technical, but I can’t for the life of me remember what it is) we can sprinkle on the bottom of the pond to encourage it to hold water. If THAT doesn’t work, we can switch the fences around next Spring so that next year’s pigs have access to the pond, because apparently nothing seals a pond like pigs. Given how well their wallows hold water, I’m thinking that’s true!

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I know you probably mentioned it before, but I am too lazy to look for it….what camera did you end up getting?? I love the panoramic shots. I think my camera does that too but I have never used it…maybe it was my old one that did :-/ I need a new toy…it’s been a while since I got one, but I don’t think I will go so far as to have my pet pee on something to get one!

It’s a Sony Alpha A55. I looked at a bazillion different cameras, but in the end we’ve always had Sonys and really liked them, so after reading the reviews on Amazon and thinking hard about it, I decided on the A55. It’s lighter than the A100 was (though that could be because the lens is smaller), and it has a rubberized grip area so that it’ll be a little more difficult to drop (and unless I’m using it, I keep it in my desk drawer to avoid having it peed upon). So far, I really really like it. The next sunny day we have, I have a date with Fred in the foster room to get some jumping kitten pictures!

Also, perhaps I mentioned that I really like the panoramic function?


While I’m recommending things, I recently got and LOVELOVELOVE an Eye-Fi Card for my camera. In short, it automatically, via Wi-Fi, uploads your pictures to your computer. So if I’m wandering around snapping a zillion pictures, by the time I mosey back to my computer, all those pictures are ALREADY on my computer, waiting to be looked at. You can also use it to post your pictures on various sites (Flickr is the only one that I can remember at the moment), but I don’t use that function. You can read more about it at the main Eye-Fi site.

I love this thing SO DAMN MUCH, y’all. Like I told Craige on Facebook yesterday, if this were an infomercial, you’d see the text/ hear the voiceover “NO FUMBLING WITH CARD READERS OR MESSY CORDS!” and me fumbling through my Drawer of Doom looking irritable.

I swear, this is the best thing I’ve purchased this year. I HIGHLY recommend it. (I would have tried it before now, but the Eye-Fi wouldn’t work with the A100 and doesn’t work with my little W300.)

Go get you one! (I got the 4GB card because I’ve never in my life filled up a memory stick – I like a clean memory stick – and also because you can set the Endless Memory function so that when the memory stick is too full, it will automatically delete pictures that have already been uploaded. How neat is that!)

PS: Annika, I will post a more in-depth review of the camera when I’ve been using it a bit longer, along with pictures of the camera itself. I can tell you that it’s not a camera you’d throw in your purse and go. It’s got heft to it, and though I’d take it on vacation (to Myrtle Beach or Maine or any other place where I’d get scenic pictures), I wouldn’t take it with me, say, on a trip to the supermarket (that’s what my little W300 is for!)(Also my cell phone.)(Also my iPod Touch.)(I have too many things that take pictures, obviously!)

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beautiful mb pictures, thanks for putting them up – i miss the southeastern beaches, a lot (i was born and raised in blacksburg, va and spent time during every summer of my childhood at the beach – va beach, nags head, cape hatteras, annapolis, md). did you eat hush puppies while you were there? people out here (utah currently) don’t know what a hush puppy is. 😛

I live in Alabama – I don’t have to go to Myrtle Beach for hushpuppies, they practically hand ’em out on the corners here!

Okay, not really – but since I can have hushpuppies whenever I want, it turns out that I rarely do, and I didn’t have any in Myrtle Beach. Five bucks says that if I were to up and move to a place where I couldn’t get hushpuppies, I’d probably want them all the time!

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Wow!!! That is one giant sparkle ball! Where did you get it?

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I wish I knew! I’m thinking maybe Pet Depot, though I think it’s also likely that I just saw it in passing somewhere, bought it, and wiped the location from my memory.

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Any word on Buster? It saddened me to hear that he did not play well with others. Hope he finds his forever home soon as well.

Buster is still in residence at Petsmart. Lisa (one of the CH adoption counselors, who brought me the big Peppers!) reported that the first time she let him out of his cage so she could snuggle him, he started herding her, like he did me in this video:


I will, of course, let y’all know when he gets adopted – his picture’s over there in the sidebar under “At Petsmart”; I plan to put a big red “ADOPTED!!!!” banner on his picture when he’s adopted!

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20 cats…WOW! Just how many litters boxes do you have in operation right now?? And does everyone come inside to go, or do you have some that prefer to do their business outside?

Right now, I’ve got three litter boxes in the laundry room, two in the front room, and two in the upstairs bathroom. In addition, I’ve got two in the upstairs foster room, and two in the guest bedroom.

(Getting out my calculator…)

So, that’s nine eleven litter boxes. Which I personally scoop twice a day.

I know that conventional wisdom says that you need to have one litter box per cat plus one, which would mean we’d need 21 litter boxes right now and I can just tell you that, um, no. We don’t have the room for 21 litter boxes. We don’t even have the room for the 14 we’d need (following that conventional wisdom). The number of litter boxes we’ve got seems to work well as long as they’re scooped twice a day and completely dumped out, scrubbed out, and refilled with clean litter every other week or so.

We are talking about getting air purifiers to put in a couple of different locations in the house. Not so much for the smell but more for the dust. Even the Cat Attract litter, which is the least dusty litter I’m able to find, produces some dust, and Fred’s been coughing a lot lately.

Most of the boy cats will use the back yard as a litter box (hey, don’t you want to come over for a cookout? We can hang out in the back yard! No, really, take your shoes off and walk around!) and I know Kara will too, but Miz Poo and Alice usually come inside to use the litter boxes, then go back outside. They’re layyyydeeez and they have some manners, don’tchaknow.

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How big is Joe Bob? My male cat, Logan, looks very similar (though he has more grey and less white) and I’m thinking they would be a match made in heaven. 😀 Logan’s 18lbs of tall, long Tom.

Joe Bob’s actually lighter than he looks – he recently weighed in at 11.8 pounds. He’s a big cat, but he’s more tall and long than heavy.

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I’m so glad I’m not the only one that makes up cat songs. I make up songs about our two cats all.day.long. In fact the other day I was hanging with my 2yo when our 22 pound tabby came over. His name is Youk, and after he KNOCKED ME DOWN head butting me, I referred to him as Youkapotomus. Then I began to sing, “Oh I want a Youkapotomus for Christmas,” which is now my 2yo’s favorite song EVER and he must hear it sung anything Youkie comes near us.

Love it!

(Also, I love “I want a Hippopotamus for Christmas” – I have to hear it multiple times every year or my Christmas season isn’t complete!)

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That Elwood, he’s HUGE. Do you know what he weighs?

14.2 pounds as of mid-July (I think). He is a big, big boy. I actually thought he was bigger than Tommy, but Tommy is actually about half a pound heavier. I won’t be surprised if (when) Elwood passes Tommy, though.

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Have you seen this kitty attacking apples…funniest thing I have seen in a long time.

Is that a Scottish Fold, do you think?

How cute is that!

I do think that might be a Scottish Fold, but I’m not super-familiar with the breed, so I can’t say for sure. Looks like it might be, though!

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Is Joe Bob an outside only kitteh?

No, not at all – Joe Bob goes outside during the day (and is supposed to stay in the back yard!) like the rest of the cats, but occasionally figures out how to get out of his collar and comes to let me know that “Hey, Mom, look what I did! Now let me roll around and purr!” I would have thought that he’d make the connection that finding Mom = being brought back inside and recollared, but somehow he hasn’t figured it out yet!

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I think you should calculate (as best you can) the total number of cats you’ve had in yours and Fred’s lifetime, plus all the fosters. When someone asks you how many cats you have, proudly announce that total: “Elebenty-billion!” and when they come to, laugh and say that you’ve had cats all your life and fostered many more, and all “your” cats are living all over the world. Then that ‘thirteen’ seems like nuttin’.


ooo, I like the way that sounds: your cats are living all over the world!

(ok, probably just all over Alabama, but it still sounds pretty cool 🙂 )

I’m not sure I could actually count that high – and wouldn’t I feel awful if I missed/ forgot someone!

My fosters are actually living all over the country, if not the world (though, with the Army base being in Huntsville, I wouldn’t completely discount the idea of them being all over the world!). Remember, Gus and Mike (now Topher and Dorian) went off to live in Oregon a couple of years ago. Hoyt (aka Lugnut) is in NC with Michelle, who drove down here specifically to get him. Starsky and Hutch (now Percy and Jack) are in Indianapolis with Jen and Kiefer. Dorothy‘s in St. Louis with Andrea. And let’s not forget Maddy, my very first bottle baby, who went to Pennsylvania to live with Nance and her family way back in 2006!

Hmm. This appears to be the time of year when people fall in love with one of my fosters over the internet and drive long, long distances to come adopt them! (Well, except that Michelle came in the Spring and Andrea in the Summer.) Something about the cold weather makes people in fall in kitten love, I guess. 🙂

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I love cats dearly but I think twenty in the house would drive me completely crazy. I currently have two and I always feel as though I’m surrounded by cats when I’m home. Like today I am home sick and have one cat under the blanket with me and the other sitting next to me on the couch. I can’t escape them. Twenty would bury me alive.

I have got to say that though there are times when I’m like “OH MY GOD I CAN’T BREATHE, GET OFF ME!”, those times are pretty few and far between. Right now, I’m sitting at my computer and there are four cats (Spanky, Miz Poo, Charlie Peppers and Sally Peppers) within reach, but they’re not on top of me or even against me. Molly will probably come and flop down in front of me in a little while (she comes, she stays for some belly rubbing and kissing, then she goes along her merry way). If I go watch TV later, one or two kittens will probably climb up for some love for a while, then go off to play or whatever.

Sometimes I feel like I’m the Peanuts character Pig-Pen, only instead of a cloud of dirt around my feet, I’ve got a cloud of kittens.

Also, I cannot stand having cats on me when I’m sleeping. I can handle having them up against me (and when the weather turns cold, more and more of them show up to sleep against me), but the only cats who reliably sleep with me are Miz Poo (ALWAYS – she’d crawl in my mouth and sleep there if she could) and Tommy, who sleeps in the cat bed at the end of the bed.

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What on earth do you and Fred do with all your cats when you both go out of town together? This issue has been on my mind since we’ve been arranging care for our three cats during our upcoming Christmas travel blitz (6 nights, 2 states, lots of driving!).

What is this “go out of town together” you speak of? Seriously, since we bought this house 5 years ago Fred hasn’t left overnight even once. I WANT him to come away with me, I keep harassing him about it, but he just… doesn’t want to. We used to go to Gatlinburg pretty regularly, and we even went to Ft. Walton Beach a few times, but since we moved here, EVEN THOUGH we’ve had friends and family members offer to take care of the animals for us if we go away for a few days, he just hasn’t been interested.

I imagine that if I could convince him to go away, we’d either ask a friend/ family member to scoop and feed for us, or hire a petsitting service to come in and do it.

Ideally we’d have a college-aged kid who could come stay in the house while we were gone, but we don’t so that’s a no-go.

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I should have known when the kittens started jumping down from the tops of the bookcases all of a sudden that there was something going on.

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There was.

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A wasp had gotten inside. I had no problems finding it, thanks to the kitten alarm system, and scooped it up and squooshed it before they could get stung.

(Alice’s face is cracking me up. She’s like “What fresh hell is this?”)

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Harlan and Lucy watching bugs out the window, while Charlie gets a bit too familiar with the sniffing of Harlan’s chest. How RUDE.

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“Someone need to clean this window, lady.” Shaddup, Harlan.

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I love the way the sun is shining through Lucy’s ears.

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Our Lucy’s getting to be a grownup lady cat, isn’t she?

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Speaking of Corbie, back in the Spring, someone (or as it turned out, TWO someones) were spraying in a couple of spots in the house. We couldn’t figure it out who was doing it, and so we did the obvious: we bought a motion-detect webcam that would record when there was movement, and so in the mornings I’d come downstairs to a thousand short movie clips on my computer that I had to glance through.

I got a couple of clips that showed just how Corbie – who is kind of muscularly challenged from the midsection back (he’s perfectly healthy, there’s just a lack of muscle back there that makes it so he walks funny and can’t really jump. It doesn’t slow him down – he climbs well in spite of his lack of Arnold-sized muscles) – gets up on the couch.

One thing for sure – we can never clip his front claws, or he’d never be able to get anywhere!

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2010: Sights from around Crooked Acres.
2009: No entry.
2008: Didja vote? Didja vote? Didja vote? Are you gonna vote? You’re gonna vote, right? You know there’s an election today? Didja vote?
2007: Good thing they’re not our cats, huh?
2006: No entry.
2005: Well, well, well. Look who’s a big tough talker, but when the can of whoopass is opened and a little orange kitten gets to smackin’, Mr. Badass cowers like a great big girly-man.
2004: Apparently I had nothing to write about last year, either, ’cause it’s all meme and comment-answering.
2003: No entry.
2002: Now, THAT is a church name!
2001: No entry.
2000: No entry.
1999: She thought “gauze” was plural, so obviously the singular would be “gau”!