Category Archives: Random

Musing on Cats vs Dogs

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I just watched iDJ succumb to the cats begging for treats, again. They know where we keep the treats, and pester him until he caves. This is not something I would ever do, but they have him sussed and play him like a piano.

Because he is a big softie and thinks that animals have human emotions like jealousy, he also gives the dog a treat after he gets suckered into the cats’ pleadings. 

This is something I strongly disagree with. The dog could kill any cat without trying very hard at all, and relating their food to her food is a terrible idea. She is food-motivated, unlike our previous dog, and hubby just doesn’t get the difference in how she thinks. The only good thing he does is to make sure that the cats get theirs first, which is vital to keeping the cats above the dog in pack order. 

   
All of that isn’t actually why I’m writing this. It’s because the dog eats her treat as fast as possible and then goes running back to iDJ, looking for more. Which never happens. Ever. It doesn’t seem to matter, however. She scarfs up the treat with barely a chance to taste it, and hopes for more she can’t even savour.

The cats? They have had theirs, and are happy with what they have gotten, and proceed to leave him alone for a few hours.

I’m pretty sure this is why I’m more of a cat-person. I understand their thinking, and have more respect for it. I can’t really ever understand why you would rush through a pleasurable experience. Especially when there is zero chance of another one happening right away.

I wonder how many humans act this way? 

Spiders Makes Firelighters! 

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I first talked about making firelighters wayyyyy back in my second month of blogging. I hadn’t tried to make them at that time, but in the four years since I have made them often. They work a treat, and cost me absolutely nothing but the time (and electricity) it takes to make them. These firelighters are made entirely out of things most people would throw away without a second thought.

What things?

Dryer lint!

  
This is a small shoebox full of lint. I save it everytime I clean the dryer filter. There is a lot of hair and fur in our lint, of course. No matter, we all know hair burns nicely. Unless the trap is full of fur from washing the dog bed, in which case it is 100% hair and not worth keeping.

Next? Paper egg cartons!

  
I cut the pointy bits off, to make separation of the individual cells easier once the lighters are finished. The great thing is that all those little points – other than being great fun to put on your fingertips and make creepy noises and theatrically scary movements at the other (human or not) occupants of the house – is that they are compostable.  Being the plant fanatic that I am, of course I have a big compost bin for making my own good soil. In they go!

Lastly, used wax! 

You can use the stubs of candles, if you aren’t nutso like me and save those for making new candles. In our case, we eat a lot of cheese. Cheese that is coated in wax! So hubby and I save the wax coatings and after a few months, you have a lot of wax! Baby Bell is so yummy. It’s my breakfast five days a week. 

  
After cutting the pointy bits from the cartons, I stuffed the cells with lint. I do try to keep each one separate, for ease of tearing apart when finished.

  
You kind of get a feel for how much lint to use after a few goes at it. I did try to use less, but then it took two to get a fire lit. More lint=more heat. I use about this much per cell: but my hands aren’t small and this is a quite dense lump of lint. So kind of a pointless picture, actually. Meh. 

  
I will say that this process is messy. Dusty. I’ve had to clean lint dust out of my nose afterward. Purple or grey nose goo! Says a lot about the colour of fabric we wear, or own. 

I had way more egg-cartons than lint, so when I was done lint-stuffing, I moved to wax-melting. I have a small, €1 pot that is just used for wax. It really isn’t worth doing this if you have to wash out the wax after – wax smells strongly, sticks to everything, and requires a lot of hot water and towels to remove. I also have a crappy little teaspoon just for this job. It could be bigger, but it is what I have.

  
Melting wax! Once it is liquid, spoon a bit over each lump of lint. For my tiny spoon, it takes three spoonfuls. I use the spoon to poke the lint down, too. Sometimes if the wax is really hot, and the lint sizzles a bit as it settles. But it won’t catch on fire.

  
Half-waxed. Wax-on, wax-off?

Wow, look at all the hair. Eww. Two cats, one thick-furred dog, and two humans with super long hair. This is why I love a dryer, despite the electricity used. It does take a lot of the fur off our clothing. Not all. Never all

I figured out today that the unused extra cartons make a good platform for cooling off the finished product. One dozen-sized carton can cool three dozen lighters, with no worry about getting wax on your countertop or table.  
A few common-sense tips. Put paper or cardboard down before dishing out the hot wax. It gets everywhere, no matter how careful you are. I use an expired credit card to scrape up any messes that hit the stovetop or counter. Make sure to clean any drips off your pot before putting it back on to the heat. Don’t use plastic or styrene egg cartons, just paper ones. And if your hob is gas, make these well away from the flame, or turn it off while working with such inflammable materials. Am I covered? I hope so – but I am going to have to state that I am not responsible for any accidents or injuries incurred by following my advice.

That is it – once cool, one cell of the carton should be enough to light your house fireplace, or even your charcoal BBQ grill (but it’s wise to let the firelighters burn up completely before you get food near it – you will have no idea what chemicals are in fabric lint, after all! And who wants to eat food that smells of burnt hair, yuk).

Question Time! Opinions Wanted.

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Our beloved Mini is dying the death of a hundred papercuts. We have spent enough on it in the last three months to decide a monthly payment for a non-death-trap car is no longer an option, but a necessity.

The big question is – what colour? I’ve asked a few of my family and friends, but why not ask my blog friends, too? 

So:  Deep Blue?

  
Or Moonwalk Grey?
  I have a negative reason for each colour, but I’m on the fence as to which I like more. Neither photo is exactly what we will be buying, but these are as close as we could come via Ms Google. We’d not have the orange bits on the headlights and side lights, and it would have a sunroof. Stuck with those ugly wheels for now, though. Likely the side, or wing, mirrors on the blue one will be the same flat black as on the grey one, too. (Pics stolen randomly off the internet, sorry if I’ve violated any copyright. Will remove on request!)

What do you think? Blue or grey?

Sometimes You Just Have To

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Have to buy something that is so terrible, it is good.

  
This is an Official Leprechaun (the Movie) Halloween decoration. It’s one of those hanging thingies, and I don’t have a place to hang it, but it was just SO bad I had to buy it.

I just tossed the elastic over the top of the kitchen door, and it’s still there. Managed to startle iDJ once! Hehehe.

  
What every Irish household needs! Especially for €2.99. Who of you could resist?

Ghost

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Hubby came home early from the pub Saturday night.

He walked in the door, took a wobbly double take at me sitting in the living room, and promptly told me that I’m not allowed to talk to him because he is a ghost.

He’s a ghost because usually I wouldn’t have the opportunity to hear his random blather for another two hours, and I’d be asleep by then and avoid it entirely.

Somehow being an incorporeal being (instead of just, um, early home) made the most sense to him.

Love that nutter.

Why, Thank You for Your Permission!

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We buy toilet paper. TP. Loo roll. Bog roll. Bum wad. Or my new favourite: shit tickets.

Isn’t that great? Shit tickets. I’m so using that next time we run low. “Hey, honey? Buy some more shit tickets next time you are out!”

“Hey, honey? I used too many shit tickets and blocked up the jacks again!” [Jacks being the Irish term for the toilet – of which there are wayyyy too many slang terms for me to list.]

I bet you buy TP, too! Unless you steal it from work. I’m not judging.

What I bet you don’t have is specific instruction on what to do with your new purchase.

  
I’d never have figured it out on my own. Whew, I can poop now! Thanks!

Brown 25

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If you get the title reference, you are officially not a young’in. It’s okay, I’m not a young’in either. We can grow old(er) and more immature together!

This is something I could buy:

  
Now, it is a charity selling these, and I support that of course. But. But. Butt… “brown drops”? 

Sounds more like something that is coming out of, rather than going into, a digestive system.

I do buy their licourice allsorts, but this one scares me.

*Brown 25. Not safe for work, home, the bus, the train, while eating, on a bicycle, on a chair, in a car, or on a motorcycle. And whatever you do, don’t click on this link to Safety Sam

Ear Ye, Ear ye

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Would you like to play a game with me? Yes, it is one of Those Internet Tests – but this one is by NPR, not Buzzfeed. 

This one is called “How well can you hear audio quality?” Now, I’m oldish and all, and I didn’t like CD’s very much when they came out as they sound tinny to me. So there. A record just had more depth, more warmth… more bass. I love the bass. So with that in mind, I thought I would do really well on this test. I enjoyed taking this, despite not being very interested in some/most of the music selections. I got five out of six ‘right’ despite listening on my iPad. How did you do, and how did you expect you would do?

I’ll only tell you which one I got wrong if you play along!