Thursday, July 21, 2011

R.I.P Runty

Having suffered from terminal kidney disease for several years, our beloved Runty went into renal failure last week.

The vet kindly came to our home to put Runty to sleep as he lay peacefully on his bed.

We will always miss our Runty.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


Someone pinch me please, I need to wake up from the delusional dream I am having. On second thoughts, keep your hands to yourself, I don't want to wake up.

Sitting in a lovely hotel room in the state Capital, Boise, this Countess is having a lovely time. Travelling here was an ordeal, in fact I really didn't want to come. Having to attend a mandatory conference for my new job was not my idea of a good time.

How wrong I was.

Despite the long--seemingly endless drive--I did enjoy the beautiful landscapes I saw on the way. Hell's Canyon does not sound very appealing does it, but it was in fact, a beautiful place.

Rural Idaho is not all flat as I had thought. I drove through some boring flat parts, ho hum, but most of my drive was through mountains with streams running alongside. Nothing quite so beautiful as my end of the state, but pretty gorgeous nonetheless.

The conference, against all the odds--it was a meeting of a bunch of teachers remember--was fantastic. I can say without reservation that I have never enjoyed a meeting more.

No one stood up reading word for word from a PowerPoint presentation, which is always done whenever two or more teachers gather together didn't you know. No one stood up and pontificated, no one sung their own praises or blathered on about their wonderful teaching practice.

Instead, a group of talented, interesting, humble and entertaining people regaled us all, and managed to make a long day of solid sessions delightful and informative. Could these people really be teachers or aliens disguised as teachers trying to fool us all?

What's more, I did not see a single pair of tracksuit pants, not even a solitary wearer of what Americans call "sweatpants." Truly, I am dreaming.

I met some delightful people today. We went 10-pin bowling afterwards and I dazzled them all with my mediocrity. Never has a person so consistently guttered a bowling ball before. I assured them that I teach better than I bowl--they can only hope that is true.

Having been interviewed for my job online, I had not met the staff at my new school until today. What a ripper bunch of people they are.

To top off a good day, I won an Amazon Kindle in a raffle....Lucky! I have a Barnes and Noble Nook already, but so many of the books I want are available on Kindle but not Nook, or are much cheaper on Kindle. Now I have both--Greedy!

Tomorrow I embark on another long drive, but go home with lots of happy memories, some new friends, fresh enthusiasm for teaching, oh and an Amazon Kindle!

Finger's crossed I get home tomorrow without running into any angry yokels in the backwoods towns!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Cars that ate Idaho

What kind of idiot misses a turn and then drives for hours before realizing it?

This kind of idiot.

This clown managed to turn a 8.5 hour drive into an 11.5 hour ORDEAL.

Movies I was hoping my trip through the back roads of rural Idaho did not become:

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre


The Hills have Eyes

I kid you not, I saw plenty of places today that could easily have been the setting for the sequel to any of these films.

How can a person not go the bathroom for 11 hours? I will tell you. Simply by being too scared to stop in places that made one think of a horror movie waiting to happen.

Considering that my vision is still blurry and the room is starting to spin--a long, long journey by car, and not going to the bathroom all day, will do that to a person--no post will be written about the trip today. Instead I will supply the trailor from the movie, "The Cars that ate Paris."

I swear I drove through that town today--minus the Aussie accents.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Things that happen in the country...

Today could have turned out to have been a very, very bad day. I took the dogs for a walk and had the misfortune to meet up with a wolf.

Something was wrong, the dogs were sniffing the air, looking around and agitated. Toby was barking in all directions while Susie ran forward like a bullet.

She ran down a steep slope making it hard for me to follow. I managed to yell enough to get her to turn around and come back. As soon as she starting walking back towards me I saw a grey wolf sneak out from behind a tree stump and run up behind her.

Despite my frantic shouting the wolf kept coming. Susie is such a brave dog, she turned around and fought it off, sending the bugger scurrying away. As I fumbled around trying to get my gun out of my backpack, I watched the persistent creature turn around and go right back after Susie.
Aiming my Glock in the direction but a little too high, I fired a round that succeeded in frightening the wolf away. As it ran I couldn't resist firing another round for good measure, keep the blighter running in the right direction.

Did I hit it? Most probably not, I deliberately was aiming high, I just wanted to make sure it kept retreating. Venturing down to the wet and muddy part just to find out if the animal was hurt was not an option. Not only did I need to get the dogs away, a wounded wolf would have been no fun at all. Especially if it had freinds lurking in the trees.

Wonton turned out to be such a little cupcake. He does not like loud noises and as soon as I fired the first time, he bolted and ran all the way home. Not exactly a brave little fella. Toby stayed next to me. Clever dog. Only Big Suze was brave enough to get into the fray. What a hero dog!

I had seen some suspicious turds out in the woods today. Sadly my life now involves activities such as looking at pictures of poo online, what an exciting life I live!

Taking my newly acquired knowledge of all things shit out into the field, I have been examining the turds I find to work out what kind of bear is around. The good news is that no signs of Grizzlies have been found but those black bears are everywhere.

Today we came across something that looked like wolf or coyote droppings, not too far from the house. Perhaps the wolf that went after Susie has been hanging around close to the house.

Country life never ceases to amaze me.


Obama's Revenge

My last post involved poking fun at Obama after his particularly humiliating episode in front of the Queen. The incident came after another one the same week where he had signed the date as 2008 in the guest book at Westminster Abbey. Our illustrious leader became the source of much mirth around here.

Then, in a cruel twist of fate, a class I enrolled in on the Classics of African-American Literature was changed at the 11th hour into a class about--basically--Obama. A celebration of all things Barry and the effect his election has had on African-American Literature.

I can't lie, I am disappointed. I had read several texts in preparation for the class, yes I am THAT kind of nerd, and was brimming with excitment to delve deeper into the classics. Now I will spend a semester with Obama, and that is indeed fitting revenge for my previous posting.

O! Bama, you've done it again!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Well may they say God save the Queen...

In the history of embarrassing moments, never has there been such an epic embarrassing moment as when Barack Obama toasted the Queen while "God save the Queen" was playing.

I have done some pretty embarrassing things in my life. In a small town in Italy, I walked around for hours, before heading up to Switzerland, having a long piece of toilet paper dangling over the top of my jeans.

This experience was truly excruciating. Fortunatly my moment of shame was only witnessed by some random Italians and Swiss whom I will never see again. No cameras were there to record the event for posterity and it was not witnessed by the Queen!

O, Bama! Thank you this truly priceless moment that I can refer to everytime I disgrace myself in future. I can always stop and say to myself, "At least I didn't toast the Queen...."