The Widdershins

Posts Tagged ‘dogs

Happy Hump Day Widdershins!

We are approaching middle of March – and it’s hard to believe the insurrection was this year. So were Jewish Space Lasers. It’s remarkable how time can both fly and drag at the same time. Is there a word for that phenomenon?

Meanwhile the biggest story around is Major Biden. The poor rescue German Shepherd was in the news all day Tuesday. It was the lead story everywhere, journalists kept tweeting, several questions were asked of WH Press Secretary Jen Psaki who remarked at one point “Another dog question.” Although to be fair to the White House press corps, they also asked when the Bidens would be getting a cat. That’s hard-hitting journalism, it’s why we should be grateful to have the first amendment! At the end of the day the vicious mauling perpetrated by Major was a nip that did not break skin and the agent involved carried on with their duties without pause. But a Washington Post reporter, Annie Linskey, did ask Jen Psaki if Major would be euthanized. The answer was “Are you insane?” No that’s not what Jen Psaki said, but it’s what I would have said if I was WH Press Secretary.

The press is also really mad that Biden has not yet held a press conference since becoming POTUS. Remember they were obsessed with Hillary not having press conferences either. The fact is that Biden (as did Hillary) speaks to the press all the time and has given multiple sit-down interviews, plus a town hall on CNN. But the press doesn’t think the public asks important questions, like “Will Major be euthanized?” The press has their finger on the pulse of America and America must know about euthanizing Major. Also note that CNN and MSNBC have stopped carrying WH Press Briefings live. (Not enough lying by the Press Secretary, I guess. They carried every He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named’s WH briefing live.)

Everyone widely agrees that the HBO series “Veep” was a remarkable accurate representation of an administration and DC. And I always remember that one of its least likable and most scummy characters was a reporter.

This is an open thread.


Another week of the Trump presidency, another bucketful of crap. The orange putz is attending the G7 summit. At least he and Boris Johnson will get along. What sort of drama  will develop – who can even predict. Literally, anything could happen. We could go to war with France tomorrow, who knows. Because everything is so unpredictable, our weekend musical theme is unpredictability and surprise!

This is an open thread, as always.


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mardi-gras-beads and mask

Oh yes, it’s getting close to that day in New Orleans ~ Mardi Gras.  Nola is already in full Carnival mode and this will be the biggie weekend of parades around the metro area.  Carnival season officially starts with Twelfth Night, literally the 12th night after Christmas..although there’s some disagreement about exactly which day it falls on.

There’s actually a bit of confusion about the actual date. It’s the 12th Night of Christmas, which appears to originally have been counted from Christmas Eve. So actually the evening of January 5th, the eve of Epiphany (January 6th), is apparently the true 12th night. And it was the final burst of Christmas revelry. Unlike modern times which seem to start Christmas activity around Halloween, Christmas used to be celebrated for 12 days and didn’t start until Christmas Day.

However, 12th Night has come to be most celebrated, at least in New Orleans, on January 6th, the 12th day and night after Christmas Day. January 6th is also known as the 12th Day of Christmas, Epiphany or Kings Day. It’s the traditional day celebrating the arrival of the Magi or three kings at the manger with their gifts for Jesus.

Mardi Gras itself (the day) is actually March 4th this year and will wind up the whole shebang at midnight that night.

There have been lots of new rules as Bill Maher would say, regarding the parades in the city, mostly on St. Charles Ave. and what you can and cannot do or bring to a parade route.  People would rope off entire sections the “neutral ground” (median) of St. Charles Ave. for their exclusive use, putting up their ladders (originally so kids could be up high to catch throws from the floats), putting living room sofas out on the neutral ground and some folks would even rent their own port-o-lets for their exclusive use.

Mardi Gras terlets

Mardi Gras terlets

Well, the city council outlawed “private” port-o-lets entirely, but the city is providing a certain number of them.

It remains to be seen if the city will provide enough of them.

I can tell you from previous experience that quaffing any number of beers or other adult beverages while waiting for and then watching a parade can lead to some unpleasant and undesired consequences.  You either need a good friend who lives along a parade route or have some cash handy to go buy another drink at a bar just for the privilege of standing in line to get rid of the other drinks you had consumed.  Another thing that happens to those who do reside along a parade route is that sometimes paradegoers will take it upon themselves to “leave a gift” in the hallway of an apt. bldg.  hallway threat

I’ve never known anyone who would do such a thing  as described above, but obviously someone has since it seems these folks had to post a warning sign.

Mardi-Gras Liquor

click on me to make me bigger

Now naturally since this a time of celebration and letting the good times roll, liquor will be a bit part of the festivities and as you can see, one store had their varieties of vodka lined up ready for purchase.

That picture is of bottles of “King Cake” flavored vodka.  King cake is sweet.  It is very sweet.  I cannot imagine drinking a vodka that is that sweet.  But looking at the picture they sure as hell must sell a lot of it.  😉

Something that’s new for me is an throw that some krewes were tossing and they were…I’ll call them “booze beads”.  booze-beadsHow clever!  You catch enough of these and you can cut down on the amount of your own liquor you have to drink at the parade!

One of the parades I always enjoyed was not a parade of humans dressed up in costume, but rather the “mutt” parade of the Krewe of Barkus.  I forget the particulars of it now, but either the King or the Queen has always been a rescue dog and they are literally treated as royalty, enjoying a fine luncheon at Galatoire’s Restaurant in the French Quarter.  If you go to the link for Barkus there is a photo gallery of the luncheon that was held yesterday.  The theme of this year’s parade will be :  DOGZILLA – Barkus Licks the Crescent City.   😆
You can believe it will be a hoot and I’ll try to put up some photos after the Times-Pic gets them online.

A special thanks to Jeffrey and his blog Library Chronicles.  I “borrowed” the pics to use in this post, but I did email him and ask permission.  It’s just that I had already downloaded the pics to use when I emailed him.

I’ll close this with two classic Carnival songs.  It’s an open thread.

You hear this one a lot also.

winter skaters

Good Saturday to you Widdershins.  Well we apparently just went through Polar Vortex #2 and according to the local weather “gawds”, round 3 will knock on the door next week.  Here in Bama we had one night of single digits, a night around 10° and a couple of nights in the teens. Tonight (Friday) we’ll be a balmy twenty-something.

Nola and parts of SELA got a rare “gift” in that they had snow flurries and then switched over to sleet and then the fun began when most of the elevated roads and bridges starting getting ice and black ice on them.  The situation even caused the Crescent City Connection to be closed for awhile, thereby stopping travel between the east and west banks of New Orleans.   The situation led to any number of situations like this one:

Icy twin spans nola

Black ice on the twin-spans I-10

They really don’t know how to drive on stuff like this and one item I read stated that there had been over two hundred accidents across the state due to road conditions.

When the stars are aligned just right…

or rather when Fido is aligned N/S with the magnetic field, that’s when he or she will decide to do their business.  Their poop business that is.

It seems that some scientists with the University of Life Sciences in Prague, having nothing better to do, asked themselves “why is it that dogs will sniff and sniff and sniff and circle around and then finally decide to poop?”  So they decided to investigate and find out why.  I am totally serious here.  I mean, they even have diagrams and all!



Several mammalian species spontaneously align their body axis with respect to the Earth’s magnetic field (MF) lines in diverse behavioral contexts. Magnetic alignment is a suitable paradigm to scan for the occurrence of magnetosensitivity across animal taxa with the heuristic potential to contribute to the understanding of the mechanism of magnetoreception and identify further functions of magnetosensation apart from navigation. With this in mind we searched for signs of magnetic alignment in dogs. We measured the direction of the body axis in 70 dogs of 37 breeds during defecation (1,893 observations) and urination (5,582 observations) over a two-year period. After complete sampling, we sorted the data according to the geomagnetic conditions prevailing during the respective sampling periods. Relative declination and intensity changes of the MF during the respective dog walks were calculated from daily magnetograms. Directional preferences of dogs under different MF conditions were analyzed and tested by means of circular statistics.


Dogs preferred to excrete with the body being aligned along the North–South axis under calm MF conditions. This directional behavior was abolished under unstable MF. The best predictor of the behavioral switch was the rate of change in declination, i.e., polar orientation of the MF.

Going by that last paragraph, I guess that when all is going well in the Magnetic Field world, our pooches can kinda line up on a north/south line. These scientists were really getting into their investigations, even going so far as to see if this magnetic stuff held true when the dogs were peeing!  (things must be very slow in Prague)

We found no differences in alignment of females and males during defecation and of females during urination, which might be related to a similar posture the animals are adopting during defecation (in all dogs) and urination (in females). Urinating males have a slightly different preference to orient their body axis than urinating females (cf. Figure 3); this could be caused by leg lifting during urination in males. Indications of different directional tendencies depending on which leg (left or right) is lifted are currently under study.  😯  All recordings were made outside on open fields, and routes of walks were routinely changed to exclude or limit pseudoreplications which would arise when dogs are defecating or urinating at just a few places within their kennel or house yard.

I have a mental image of scientists in white lab coats going around Prague, looking for dogs about to pee or poop and then getting out a compass!  I really don’t want to go there.  And I’m willing to bet that if they weren’t snarled at, snapped at or anything of the sort, they probably got more than one look like this:

Death by atomic wedgie?

Yes, I am serious.  Seems that Brad Lee Davis of the Oklahoma City area was hoisting a few brewskis with his step-father Denver St. Clair on Dec. 21st.  They were at the step-father’s residence when ole Denver decided to make a few disparaging remarks about Brad’s mom, Denver’s wife.  That didn’t sit too well with Brad and things went downhill from there.

Police arrested Davis on Tuesday. The affidavit said he “grabbed St. Clair’s underwear and gave him an ‘atomic wedgie.’ Davis allegedly pulled the elastic waistband of St. Clair’s underwear over his head and around his neck.”

Oklahoma Medical Examiner spokeswoman Amy Elliott said the cause of death was asphyxiation and blunt force trauma.


Investigators said St. Clair’s elastic waistband was stretched over his head and that it left ligature marks around his neck. Blood splatter was also found in the kitchen, the living room and on the living room ceiling.

(sigh)  These things always seem to happen around the holidays.  Moral of the story:  Around the holidays, drink at home…alone.

Some assorted youtube videos and a pic

Okay, no way in hell I’m getting on this thing.  Well first of all I couldn’t climb all of those stairs!

This one is somehow tied into a movie that’s about to be released or is already out.

Preying Mantis:  “I’m just hangin’ around, watching the traffic and looking for another insect to prey on.”

This one reminded me of something Prolix said about the media and their ideas of what is and isn’t important.  Here is Mrs. Alan Greenspan interviewing former Congresswoman Jane Harman about the NSA when she has to interrupt Harman for some important “breaking news”.     🙄

I hope Mrs. Greenspan never gets an important interview again after that.

This last one is just pure fun:  animals chasing laser lights.  Or is it MSNBC correspondents chasing down the latest rumors and stories on “the Beeb”?  I like the pengies the best!

Okay Widdershins, that’s all I have for today.

sick puppy or old dog?

sick puppy or old dog?

Whichever it is, I am sooo out of commission today.  I’ve been having sinus headaches…the ones right around your eyes and inbetween and above them.  I tried my allergy medicine and the Flonase spray but that hasn’t helped.  Finally got some relief with Advil cold and sinus but not a great deal.  I’m just hoping I’m not getting a sinus infection which I seem to get a couple of times a year.  😦

However, I do have a couple of youtubes to view which I thought were cute.  They involve dogs, naturally enough for me.  Hope you enjoy them.

This first video is about two deaf dogs that were abandoned and who bonded at an animal shelter.  One is also missing an eye.  And, has a happy ending.

This next one is about a disabled young boy who bonds with a disabled dog, the dog having been tied to railroad track and losing a leg and his tail.  The two of them are companions and buds now.

Okie-doke Widdershins, I hope you have a great Monday.  Of course this is an open thread.

Biden illustration: REBUILD WITH BIDEN

Nice picture of our gal

Madam Vice President

Our President


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