Random September

Before we start the party/countdown to the weekend, I need to put a call for help out there. For years, I have spent a significant part of my time managing Mojo's constipation, but in the past three weeks since her return from the hospital with a diagnosis of chronic pancreatitis, it's a bit the other way. She needs to eat a low-fat diet, but the vast majority of the low-fat cat food out there is also a high fibre and to put it a smidge indelicately, fiber renders her bowels liquid. Even really small amounts of fibre. Although she does well on other foods for about a day, by the third meal, she starts going downhill. Eric the Cat Whisperer at my vet's office has tracked down a low-fat food and although I'm hopeful, history with Her Royal Catness indicates that I should have a Plan B (and C, D, E, possibly down to M). Does anyone out there have or know of an aging, supersensitive cat, possibly with IBD that gets a different kind of food? A friend of mine gave her cat baby food - anyone else heard of that? I need options, I need thinking outside the box - anything is welcome. Well, except the raw diet, because I have a suppressed immune system, so that's probably not a good idea.

On with the show! First, it’s time to get bit ranty.

With the recent flurry of hurricanes, I got curious and started poking around to see how they got named. Found all sorts of fascinating information about hurricanes, including this page listing the names for 2008 hurricanes (and others). In which the hurricane starting with H is Hortense and I is Isidore. Except on this continent, they were called Hanna and Ike. And I'm wondering why, but since I wandered away from Google before I found the answer, I am going to make a huge assumption here it which has to do with the tendency for the English speaking to alter perfectly decent names because they might be, oh I don't know, difficult to pronounce? A little bit foreign-sounding? What is wrong with these people? Isidore is a fantastic name for a hurricane! I realize that "Ike" was rather recent and it’s possibly too early to get abstract about it, but… erm… I mean, Isidore!!

Moving on before I get lynched! The latest product for kids out there is Kelloggs cereal straws and it says right there on the box that it "makes milk FUN to drink!" and is it just me or is this completely ridiculous? First of all, I've looked up the ingredient list on a few of the varieties (example here) and the second ingredient is sugar. It's not enough that the cereal aisle places colorful boxes of sugary crap right in kid height, exiling all the healthier cereals to the top shelf out of sight, now we have to make drinking milk rot the wee ones’ teeth, as well! What's wrong with what my parents did? Taught us that milk was an inherent part of a meal. That's what you got to drink, not pop (except for special occasions), not Ribena, which you might get for your afternoon snack on warm days, another days, you were allowed to put Nesquik into your milk, but for lunch and dinner, you got a glass of milk. As did my parents. And with the exception of a few children out there, it is my opinion as a non-parent that the companies and their advertising departments have persuaded us that it is impossible to get healthy things into kids unless you drench it in sugar. Sometime ago, when I rhetorically wondered why they put all this sugar in food geared to kids (and kid-specific food is a rant for another day), someone I know said "because otherwise kids won't eat it" (name withheld as this person is normally a very smart individual and should not be mocked) and that is my point exactly - because after a lifetime of exposure to this message, a normally very intelligent individual has absorbed by osmosis that kids won't eat something healthy unless you drown it in sugar. It's all about context - my friend AB’s kids who have grown up in Denmark ate no candy when they were here because it was too sweet. Kids will (generally) eat what you teach them to eat!

I saw Halloween decorations in my local supermarket BEFORE LABOUR DAY! I really think there ought to be a law prohibiting display of holiday-specific items and decoration before the previous holiday has passed. Excluding New Years, due to its proximity to Christmas. Shall we start a petition?

On to the political part of the program. As our illustrious prime Minister (or, as he’s sometimes known, Bush’s Mini Me) has just called an election, let’s review why I won’t be voting for him. A video called The Real McCain which is pretty amusing, as well as enlightening. And lastly, you can all blame Lynn for sending me this one. Very definitely NSFW.

The Paralympic Games have been happening in Beijing, but I'm sure I'm not the only one who’s missed the coverage in the media. In fact, the Paralympics did not make the front page of the Toronto Star’s website (and I check it several times a day) until Stephanie Dixon won her fourth medal at the Games (whereas the able-bodied athletes dominated the papers despite not winning any medals for the first week). Two days later, Chantal Petitclerc won her fifth medal at the Games (her 21st medal over five Paralympics) and, according to the article, in so doing, "[r]aised the profile of Paralympic athletes". That's funny. As far as I can tell, they have no profile. However! Via The 19th Floor, a link to some fantastic pictures from the Games.

In just under the wire, sent to me by Trevor, an Israeli village plans a DNA database for dog poop. Wish we had that around my neighbourhood. And lastly, if you haven't tried Free Rice before, do it now. It's addicting and does something good, too. And on your way out, this video of a ninja cat in action had me howling.