Cider Press Hill

Pet wars

Saturday, 4:41 pm

By Kate

Jul

29

2006

partly cloudy

During the warm summer months, Abbie (the cat) chooses to sleep in open windows or on my bed. Her love affair with the new-ish lamb fleece dog bed (in my room) is over until cooler weather. However, that does not mean she has adjusted her thinking in terms of ownership. The bed is still hers and that’s final.

That’s where my mistake began. I told Terry she could sleep on it since no one else was. She gave it thorough sniffing and looked at me as if maybe I was crazy for thinking she should sleep on a bed with cat hairs on it. But she thought about it for a minute or two and threw caution to the wind. As far as she was concerned, it was hers now.

That really upset Abbie’s happy kitty world. She walked into my room this morning and stopped in her tracks when she saw Terry sleeping on HER bed. Her back arched and her tail grew rather puffy. Not a good sign of things to come.

I noticed just a while ago that my darling little cat peed on it sometime this afternoon. Terry won’t get back on it and I’m sure Abbie is chortling her head off wherever she is right now. Another item to be washed. I will not make that mistake again. Aren’t pets grand?



 

Gated

Friday, 4:10 pm

By Kate

Jul

28

2006

partly cloudy

Today I had an opportunity to visit a gated community. The lad had a job interview at a country club (invitation only) that is nestled within the gated community. To enter one needs to stop at the guard house and state one’s business. The guard then calls ahead to inquire if the appointment is valid and to alert the party that the guest is on the way. The guard was very nice.

While the lad interviewed I drove around a bit to gawk. The houses are massive (though they all look alike) and most sit on plots overlooking the golf course. Golfers basically stand around in people’s back yards teeing off or putting. I’m not too sure I’d like that, but I suppose if the golfers are all neighbors or approved members, it’s not quite the same as the general public tromping around your back yard. After the golfers have teed off, they hop in their little carts and drive off to the next putt. Gazillions of little carts and not a soul walking around on the greens. The place seems to be designed with roads criss-crossing the golf course so that no one needs to walk. They just drive their carts to where ever the golf ball lands.

One thing I noticed was the trees. There are thousands of them in the community. Beautiful mature trees. And there are beautifully manicured gardens that run more or less in a contiguous line between and around the homes. Lots of hired gardeners in uniforms were tending them. And the homes are spaced several hundred feet apart. It looks like a paradise in there. So much shade and a peaceful atmosphere.

People at the country club, coming and going, were older. I saw no one younger than late 40s. The women all looked alike (blond hair caught up in their white golf visors) in khaki knee length shorts with white shirts and the men all wore khaki knee length shorts with a polo shirt. Mostly white ones. I wonder if there is a dress code.

I received a few questioning glances (I wasn’t attired for golf), but no one bothered me since no one gets in without approval. Several smiled and nodded at me. It was interesting to watch people. Interesting also that most of the cars in the parking lot were not what I’d have expected. Most were Nissans, Volvos, a couple of Fords, and three Toyota hybrids. Only one Porsche, no BMWs or Lexus or other high end vehicles. Almost all subcompact cars— there were only two small SUVs in the parking lot.

I dunno. Maybe this is the level of wealth where people don’t feel they need to impress anyone anymore.

The lad got the job, he starts on Monday. He’ll be kitchen help and says the crew is pretty cool. He was recommended for the job by a friend who also works there.

I readily admit that this is not a world that I am accustomed to moving around in, but the lad is. He moves easily between the two worlds and I suppose that may be an advantage, though he snarks about the whole gated business. I looked at all those houses and the uniformed worker bees, wondering why people need so much space and such exclusivity. Those houses were enormous (by anyone’s standards) and by the looks of the people at the country club, I’d guess that most of the residents don’t have children living at home anymore. Part of me says, yeah, I wouldn’t mind a house like that. The other part says, it’s a terrible waste of resources and the exclusivity seems kind of incestuous. I think I’d just plain feel guilty living in a place like that even if it is serene and beautiful. Gating one’s self away from ‘lesser’ people is an attitude I can’t accept. 



 

Simon

Wednesday, 9:22 pm

By Kate

Jul

26

2006

clear night

The lad has been corresponding with his new school roommate for the past few days. Simon lives in Germany and is fluent in English. They’ve had remarkable conversations so far. Simon is also half Iranian and half Jewish. He also speaks Farsi and German and a little bit of Yiddish. Fortunately, he is not a neatnik. And, as one might expect, he is rather liberal in his political views. They seem to get along like two peas in a pod already. This may be an interesting year. 



 

Walking plague

Monday, 3:06 pm

By Kate

Jul

24

2006

sunny

I knew this cold was going to cause trouble. Now featuring conjunctivitis and unbelievably painful sinus infection with half my face swollen up like a balloon. At least I don’t sound like a fog horn anymore. Bleh. I’m not happy.



 

War of Choice

Sunday, 5:31 am

By Kate

Jul

23

2006

light rain

So. Via Juan Cole I learned, this morning, that the current hostilities between Israel and Lebanon have been in the works for over a year. A high ranking Israeli army officer gave power point presentations to various US officials and diplomats and think tanks and journalists over a year ago. The power point presentation gave detailed accounts of the The Three Week War, the one currently in progress. Apparently, the captured Israeli soldier was a very convenient excuse for getting this thing started.

I’ll take a wild guess here that Misters Cheney and Rumsfeld were in on it. Probably John Bolton. I’d guess also the American Enterprise Institute and PNAC knew. I’d really like to know which journalists knew. Besides, say...The Daily/Weekly Standard (William Kristol) and the one who wrote the San Francisco Chronicle article.

Professor Cole suggests that, given President Bush’s embarrassing open mike discourse with Tony Blair at the G8 summit, in which he blurted out (along with a few bread crumbs) “See, the irony is what they need to do is get Syria to get Hizbollah to stop doing this sh*t and it’s over,” the President didn’t appear to be in the loop. Because, obviously, if this war has been in the works for over a year and shopped around to the need-to-know people in the US, this war is not going to be stopped by anyone until it has run its three week course, as planned, no matter what Syria or anyone else says, does, or doesn’t do.

Was the President out of the loop or was he lying through his teeth to Tony Blair? I’d think I’d prefer to believe he was lying through his teeth. The idea that he was totally uninformed that this was a planned war of choice with Defense Department approval and weapons support, and fed a completely bogus line of crap to boot, is just too appalling for words.

The other question I have is whether Condi is in the loop or whether she’s trotting around the Middle East without a clue, too. If the latter, she should be enraged to discover she’s been played for a fool on the world stage. I can’t even begin to think about the first alternative.



 

Sniffle and honk

Friday, 2:40 pm

By Kate

Jul

21

2006

fog

It was bound to happen. We’ve been healthy around here for too long. The bugs just can’t stand it. I could almost sense them massing on the borders, waiting for the weak spot to reveal itself. And then wham!

Yesterday my throat started itching. Then it got sore. And then it got so sore that I was beginning to think ‘strep throat’. This morning the sneezing commenced and the drippy nose. Ahh...the summer cold. My throat is still really sore, though. Amazingly sore. This is a nasty little cold and it has hardly gotten started. I don’t think this one is going to go quietly. It’s showing signs of settling in my chest and I should sound a fog horn within a day or two. Otherwise, I don’t feel bad, but the secondary effects may take care of that. This is a sneaky one. It’s going to cause trouble. I know it.

This morning, the lad said, “My throat hurts.” By early this afternoon he already sounded like a fog horn. What a fun household, fighting over the last roll of toilet paper. We’re going through a lot of orange juice, hot tea and coffee to help keep things lubed. I’d better go stock up on extra soft tissue with lotion. Needy noses here.



 

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