Archive for Life bits

Life with three cats

I admit it. For the past year I’ve been running a zoo.  Let me introduce the protagonists, in alphabetical order.

Cats: Portraits

Two of them grew up together (Aki and Kiki), but all three have lived together at different times in the past.  For the most part, they get along just fine. Aki and Alan get into a hustle from time to time, both being a little insecure in their own way.  Kiki doesn’t care much—after all, whenever there is a bad thunderstorm, he’s the one that climbs onto the back of the couch and stares intently at the lightning and thunder, while Alan tries to bury himself behind the toilet seat (as for Aki, I still haven’t managed to figure out exactly what he does at moments like this; he simply seems to disappear).

Anyway, it’s a full house and the cats run it. They have all picked their territories by now, and they have trained me to stick to mine. A queen size bed is too small sometimes.

Cats: Pajama party

The couch can get crowded too.  They haven’t gotten hold of the remote yet, but one of these days they probably will.

Cats: Couch potatoes

Of course, it’s not always like that; we sometimes have more “intimate” moments. Things can get quite hairy (literally: the bed, the clothes, my face—all things).

Cats: Alan intimate

A year ago I used to bemoan our crowded co-existence; now I think the apartment would be too big without them. If you’ve never had a cat and wonder what it might be like, I’ll let George Carlin describe it in his unique way.

I’ve experienced all these (except the outdoor activities, since our cats don’t get the chance), but not all from the same cat. Aki is an obsessive self-petter. Alan is on a bad drug too often (but at least sometimes I manage to convince him to do his thing on my shoulders: a pretty good massage). Kiki’s is the proudest (and most active) of the three and his ass button is impressive.  I wonder how many cats George Carlin had.  Must have been too many—really, who would have expected this from him?

Comments (1)

So long and thanks for all the fish

On a recent trip to Seattle, we were waiting for someone in front of Pike Place Fish Market. This is a stall that has been selling fish for over 40 years. Whenever someone buys a fish, the staff put up a show, throwing the fish around and chanting. I can see how this could work as a marketing trick: people want to see the show, so they end up buying more fish. They might also tell their friends, who also visit, and so on.

Well, it seems that’s not quite how it is these days. While we were waiting there, for over twenty minutes, there was a huge crowd with cameras of all sorts (I counted at least eight cameras on just one side of the stall), taking aim and ready to shoot the action. However, nobody was actually buying any fish! And why should they? Just search YouTube to find over a hundred videos, some much better than you would have ever taken yourself. As for your friends, well, you can just send them that link.

Participatory, interactive advertising requires other tricks. Perhaps the customers should be allowed to throw the fish themselves. But that would be messy. Instead, you can put your wares on the web, and reach a much wider audience. Live webcam? Check. Motivational books and t-shirts? Check. Free delivery of fish to your hotel room? Check (hmm…). Delivery via UPS anywhere in the US? Check.


Animal abuse

The cafeteria served “Jamaican jerk chicken”—again. Horrible. Not only did they kidnap, slaughter, quarter and cook it, they’re also calling it names. Did the chicken really deserve this? Maybe I should become vegetarian.


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