Friday, August 9, 2013

Odds and Ends

Olga and I went back to the canal yesterday, where we came upon this wreck of a shopping cart, apparently recently raised from the depths. It reminded me of Julian Montague's Stray Shopping Cart Project and its classification system for derelict or wandering carts, which I mentioned briefly way back in 2006. (It looks like the original web site is no longer online, but Montague summarizes it here.) I'd say this cart was originally a B/12 "simple vandalism," and has transitioned to B/19 "in or as refuse."

I arranged for a dog walker to begin coming for Olga on August 15, a few days before Dave and I go back to work, so she can get used to the system. It's a huge relief to have those plans in place. I think I'm now ready (more or less) to go back to work, aside from the normal new-job jitters!

The wild blackberries are ripe now. I came upon these along the canal and didn't eat any of them -- my hands weren't clean at the time, having been dog-contaminated. But I did pick some on a walk just before we went to Spain, and those berries were tart little devils. Much more sour than the supermarket variety. I always feel so adventurous picking and eating blackberries in the wild!

-- Can you stand a few more tidbits about Laika, the Russian Space Dog? While researching Laika stamps online for yesterday's post, I came across this photo, showing a man who got a tattoo not only of Laika, but of a Laika stamp!

-- And on a related note, my friend Reya sent me a link to an old Calypso song about Laika. It's pretty fabulous: "Now I am very sorry for the poor little puppy in the Russian satellite." Indeed!

-- Finally, I posted a video online of the monastery at Montserrat, which I wrote about when Dave and I visited a few days ago. I took the video when the monastery's bells were ringing and echoing off the surrounding mountain. It shows the mountain's unusual geology, the monastery and the people on the plaza. There's even a glimpse of the huge line we were in to see La Moreneta!


  1. I was up cleaning hairballs...I love the stamp tattoo, and I hope Olga likes the dog walker. The berries looked good but I don't tend to like really tart foods anymore...wonder if the taste buds are worn out?

  2. Those look more like our dewberries to me. Are they on a bush or a vine?

  3. Going to watch the video now. I'm sure I'll love it.

    Love the composting shopping cart! The earth reclaims everything. Everything!

  4. Oh the mountains! They look like wise elders, standing watch.

    Did you take the video while waiting in line for 2 hours?

  5. Now THAT is a decrepit shopping cart! If Richard Thompson were still able to draw his Cul de Sac comic I would have to mention this business of cart categorization to him - he once had a series of strips about cart herding.

    I need to check out that song & video. It's Friday - maybe I can actually do that this weekend :)

  6. Your cart photo is the best of all. Stray extreme! Appeals to my love of rust and decay. Laika is a poster dog for human cruelty, lack of compassion, and an infant space program, Oh Laika, come home, indeed. How sad it makes me and I will not let Dexter know of this event- he thinks he is mistreated if his home made chicken dinner is 3 minutes late! Thank you so much for taking us to the monastery in the hills of rock, Odd formations, fascinating. Led me off to see other you tube vids of that place- I reckon I do not need to go there now, thank you.
    Here is one that is very nearly complete except for the ridiculous crowd trying to see the statue thing . People are nuts!

  7. I've never heard of the shopping cart classification system. What a hoot!

    Loved the video at the monastery. What cool formations and what a lovely place.

    We have black caps growing wild on our road and I am always grabbing a few when I walk by. They are tiny tho.

  8. you have a very rich life. my son is getting a new tattoo tomorrow. and my mother's stamp collection of ten decades has just come to light. so all this talk of stamps and tats resonates for me. i know that back to school feeling of a new job, too. it will be great because you have a great attitude.

  9. I love the video but would love even more being there!