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Friday, September 19, 2008

Dolphin Rings

As I pack up at work and venture off towards the airport, I'm leaving something beautiful to head up my blog while I'm away.

This video is of dolphins playing with rings which they have the ability to make under water to play with.

It isn't known how they learn this, or if it's an inbred ability. As if by magic the dolphin does a quick flip of its head and a silver ring appears in front of its pointed beak. The ring is a solid, donut-shaped bubble about two-feet across, yet it doesn't rise to the surface of the water! It stands upright in the water like a magic doorway to an unseen dimension.

The dolphin then pulls a small silver donut from the larger one. Looking at the twisting ring for one last time, a bite is taken from it causing the small ring to collapse into thousands of tiny bubbles which head upward towards the water's surface. After a few moments the dolphin creates another ring to play with. There also seems to be a separate mechanism for producing small rings, which a dolphin can accomplish by a quick flip of its head.

An explanation of how dolphins make these silver rings is that they are"air-core vortex rings". Invisible, spinning vortices in the water are generated from the tip of a dolphin's dorsal fin when it is moving rapidly and turning. When dolphins break the line, the ends are drawn together into a closed ring. The higher velocity fluid around the core of the vortex is at a lower pressure than the fluid circulating farther away. Air is injected into the rings via bubbles released from the dolphin's blowhole. The energy of the water vortex is enough to keep the bubbles from rising for a few seconds of play time.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

*chirp* *chirp*

It's going to be quiet enough to hear the crickets sing around here for the next 10 days - Steve arrives tomorrow night and I'm taking a week off work. That's if I get through everything today and tomorrow. I have a huge incentive to make it happen, getting time with my husband.

Yipppeeeeee, finally we get to be together properly. No more goodbyes at airports, no more "I love you"s over the phone, no more constant texting, no more aching for each other, no more wishing and hoping we could be together.

The 19th of September will become another anniversary we can celebrate in all the years we have ahead of us.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Sky is Falling

Lehman Brothers. Merrill Lynch. As familiar as Coca-Cola and McDonald's. And now, suddenly, no more. It's scarey, sobering stuff. Nothing is sacred.

And while the sky might not be falling, literally, our world has changed in the last couple of weeks and the effects of what has happened in the US are far-reaching. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Merrill Lynch and Lehman Brothers, AIG. It's not over yet.

Our company stock fell just shy of 15% since Friday (our markets were closed yesterday for the Mid-Autumn Festival). It will have an effect on us, though our company has a very long-range vision and it will not, most likely, mean cuts just yet. Personal investments are dropping like a stone and what used to be 'enough' as savings, no longer is. There is unknown territory ahead.

The Treasury and Federal Reserve have taken on some weighty issues. More than ever, more than a month ago, the US needs a government in place which can understand and come to terms with what has just happened.

How do my American friends feel about all this? Do you think it will influence the selection in any way? And what does everyone else think?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Nothing From Me, But Don't Miss Maria's Post

I don't have anything to say today, but please do go over and visit Maria and read this post.

I dare you NOT to laugh out loud!!

Saturday, September 06, 2008

My Boy

Update : A few of you have asked how long it will be before my boy can join us in Hong Kong. Well, unfortuantely, the Canary Islands are classified as rabies-infected and Hong Kong is rabies-free. Therefore to land my pets from Tenerife, would mean four months of quarantine here, even though they have had their rabies vaccinations every year.

The alternative, and the one I am currently exercising is to have them travel to the UK on the EU Pet Passport scheme. This involves a six-month process in Tenerife whereby they do blood tests and repeat them until they are given a clean bill of health. They can then land in the UK without quarantine. However, to travel to Hong Kong after that, they have to have been in the UK for a further six months before they gain quarantine-free status on entering Hong Kong. While Rhona has bought into the six months in Tenerife (it started in August), I will have to find them a loving home for the six months in the UK, from February to August. Basically I'm looking at just under a year right now.

The option, for quarantine in Hong Kong, worries me as I've never put an animal through that and I'm not sure how they would survive it. I'd visit every day, of course, but it would probably break all our hearts, having to walk away every day for four months. I've also heard that the quarantine kennels in Hong Kong are not the nicest places, so the 12-month route does seem to be the best for the two boys.

This picture says it all, when I think about how my boy misses me, and I miss him.

He's no longer allowed on the sofa (Rhona's b/f thinks it's not right - I however have a different take on things). This was the second day we were there, enjoying the apartment without Rhona and her parasitic partner. Steve and I sat on the sofa and right away, Lupo climbed up between us, settled down like this and promptly fell into a long, deep sleep. I swear there's a smile on his face in that picture. This wasn't about him trying to come between Steve and I as, later that day, he positioned himself towards Steve and snuggled into him, sharing his love with both of us. Not to be outdone, you can see Toffee jockeying for a place and the late Sai-Loh already settled along my left thigh (his rear end is visible next to Toffee's head).

I saw in Lupo at that moment, an intense sense of peace, safety and comfort. He was home again, his real home, and I swear he was smiling. Rhona can say what she wants about animals not belonging on furniture - and that is a new thing she has bought into since the boyfriend came into her life, before then Lupo even had his own armchair as a bed instead of a thin blanket on the hard floor. When this dog, supposedly trained to keep off the furniture, climbed up without hesitation, to be close to me like this, that is his heart speaking. And his heart speaks so clearly to me, as it has always done.

He and Steve took to each other right away and I'm so happy about that. I can't wait to have Lupo with us. And on the furniture if that's where he feels most loved.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

19 September 2008

My life and Steve's life, our life, will change forever on that date. He's arriving at 10:15pm. Finally, we shall have togetherness on a 24/7 basis, rather than as it has been, on a text/phone/email/trip basis.

A large bookshelf and six-drawer bureau have been purchased, just for him. I need to clear some hanging space in my wardrobe this weekend. Our first shopping trip will be to buy a new bed, our bed. And in a couple of months, when my lease is up, we'll be looking for an apartment with more space and an extra bedroom for when his boys visit.

Steve has a very tough couple of weeks ahead and an especially hard day, on the 18th, when he flies out to his new life in Hong Kong. I wish we could have everything we want, everything everyone wants, but right now this is what we need, to be together.

Are we excited about this? You can bet your sweet bippy we are!! Oh wow, just oh wow :)

The picture is because.......we love pretzeling.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008


That is the somewhat intimidating number of hours I worked from Monday through Saturday, last week. I am hoping that was hell week and things get a bit better from now on. Yesterday I worked just shy of 14 hours and I actually felt like I was going home early, at 8:30pm, having been there since 6:45am. I just wish we operated a compressed work week - that would have given me this whole week off, from the hours worked last week. Though chance would be a fine thing!

Even working all those hours, I found myself in the midst of a disaster zone by Friday evening. This was my work area - yes, there is a desk under there somewhere:

I hate, hate, HATE working like that. And when I took matters in hand on Saturday, I did find a couple of not too pleasant surprises - Monday deadlines I didn't know I had. Well, I applied myself, got the necessary done and then spent a good long while organising myself. This is how I left my desk and I was a much happier person for it:

It was a joy to come in on Monday and (a) be able to find anything I wanted and (b) finally get some working room back on my desk and its surrounding area.

Half the battle is being organised. The other half is just getting it all done once it's organised!


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