May 2008 Archives

Adventures in Compost Climbing

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Last night the girls spent their first night outdoors in the chicken yard, courtesy of their fancy portable temporary housing unit.

It was a trifle dramatic. I got home just in the last bits of sunlight, and they were all huddled on the concrete slab making lots of noise about how unhappy they were. When I picked them up, one by one, to put them in the house, they squawked and flapped and acted as if they were being killed. For ten minutes after I put them in the house and shut the door, they made quite a bit of noise, but eventually they settled down. When I let them out again this morning they were all worked up again.

Well, getting used to new things is always hard.

They are liking their yard, though, and especially the compost piles, which are full of bugs and seeds for their consumption. Here're some photos:

Here are Debbie, Carole, and Liza on the narrow perch. They are getting too big to be able to balance well on the narrow edge of the piece of wood, but they try it anyway, flapping and teetering.

Debbie, Carole, and Liza on the narrow perch

Then they were exploring the compost pile, eating bugs and looking at stuff.

Exploring the compost pile

Liza was the last one off the perch, still trying to get the hang of balancing with her larger size.

Liza flapping

One of their favourite places to perch is up on the edge of the compost bin. I think because it is well above dog level (and Rosie has been harrying them obsessively; I'm about to break out the heavy guns on untraining her from that behaviour). They climbed up, settled down, and chattered at me for a while.

Debbie on the bin edge

And some movies, too:

The girls on the compost bin, with bonus dog pouncing at them:

The girls on the compost bin, then they start hopping down:

Lumpy Cat

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Simon in the sun

This is Simon. Simon has cancer. We had a tumor removed from one of his boobs last year and at the time the vet said that it might already have metastasized, and that has proven to be true; the tumor came back and lately he's been coughing a lot, too.

There are options for treating cats with cancer, but in this case they aren't right for us (us being the combination of me, Noel, and Simon). Rather than put an elderly, skittish kitty through a lot of surgeries and treatment (which he hates more than anything) we are trying to keep him comfortable and letting the disease take its course. When it gets to be bad for him, we will have him put down.

He now has an enormous tumor. It's under his left front leg, and you can sort of see it bulging here. He seems mostly comfortable except the tumor seems to get in the way of his lounging. I may take him to the vet this weekend to get some pain pills, because he's starting to act a little achy which means he is a lot achy.

This is the last cat we get Ana. When Mikey died, we got her Simon because she was inconsolably lonely. But this time she will have to just Get Over It, because there is a limit to the number of cat graves I want to dig in the back yard in the next few years.

Goats at the Faire

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Yesterday we went to the Maker Faire in San Mateo. It was OK, although very crowded and a lot of the projects really weren't ready; it was more science fair than technonerd fair, in my opinion. But I'm slightly prejudiced as I've had a tech startup in my dining room for the last three years, so my threshold of impressiveness is fairly high.

On the other hand, there were cute little goats.

Little goat looking out

They were pretty playful at the end of the day, when the sun was going down and they heat was fading.

Goats on the straw hill

I made some movies of them playing.

This one started with us looking at the goats eating from their feeder, then there was a dramatic goat-fight on the pile featuring one of the finest GWF (Goat Wrestling Federation) moves ever.

And this one shows more of what was happening most of the time we watched them.