Jobs Available on Planet Gheekon

February 28, 2009

The other day when I was trying to resurrect my terminally-ill computer, I noted a number of — what? functions, systems — that the diagnostics were checking out.

First came a series of tests. I jotted down the test names, thinking these would make good general candidate exams for any Human Resources department.

Later on, I copied out some other mysterious entities that were being tested. These items, to me, sounded like interesting occupations. One of them is already a bona fide vocation here on Earth; the others I’m not so sure about. I hope at least one of them gives you a smile, as you imagine what the job descriptions would look like.

The HR tests:

  • Confidence
  • Device Self-test
  • Read
  • Seek
  • Start/idle
  • Stop/stand by
  • Verify.

The jobs availabe on Planet Gheekon:

  • Human Interface Parser
  • Volume Manager
  • Enhanced Host Controller
  • Host Adapter
  • RAID Controller
  • Kernel Security Driver
  • Kernel Debugger
  • Bus Driver.

Ace the HR tests, and you, too, will be on your way to a new career!

Awards from Friends Old and New

February 27, 2009


Way back in January, Dennis the Vizsla dog sent me a nice bunch of hearts. I like the chalk marks on it. I don’t like having to decide who to give it to. Eight blogfriends, eh? Oh, arg.

Well okay. Based on my perception of my most ancient and consistent commenters, from the dawn of Lavenderbay’s history through to current times, I’d have to say… in alphabetical order…

Congratulations each and everyone yeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaay! (This applause has been brought to you by Kermit the Frog. )

…and, of course, Thank you.

Dennis the Vizsla himself is obviously a longstanding, constant blogosphere companion — if you look at my sidebar, for example, you’ll note that he’s awarded me with something every month but one since last June. If I ever get an award from somebody else, Dennis, I promise to pass it along to you!


The other thing I’ve decided to nab is S. Le’s proffered “Nice Person Award.” (I’m going on the principle of “act as if”.) S. Le created it from a lovely photo of her lovely kitties having a lovely snuggle in their lovely cat bed. She has offered it to whoever wants it. If you would like to decorate your blog with this award, hie yourself over and make friends with S. Le!


Introducing: Willow House Chronicles

February 26, 2009

Housewarming bouquet of Herb Robert.

Some of you may have noticed a new voice in my comments section, that of Barefootheart. The first time she left a comment, I noticed something in her e-mail address that reminded me of Seabrooke (aka Themarvelousinnature) , so I guessed that this was possibly a family member. The second time Barefootheart left a comment, she invited me to come see a photo on her blog, Willow House Chronicles, so over I went for a look-see. Yep, this was Seabrooke’s mom, all right. How cool is that?

Barefootheart has just begun her blog this year — this month, in fact. Willow House Chronicles, well written and photographed, focusses on her new home, a 65-acre property in eastern Ontario. Here are links to several of her entries, with reasons that you, my readers, might want to go check her out:

Barefootheart has also just posted a “ten honest things” meme, laden with tantalizing little tidbits. I hope you’ll pop over and pay her a visit.

Welcome to my blogklatsch, Barefootheart!

Domestic Shocker: Woman’s Lunch Does Not Coordinate

February 25, 2009

For my lunch today, I’m enjoying a pair of toast — oat and honey sandwich bread — dipped in olive oil and balsamic vinegar, with a chunk of edam cheese and a mug of instant miso soup.

Hey! Where did everybody go?

Better not tell them about how much you enjoyed the salsa you spread on your potato pancakes the other night.

Fifteen Honest Details

February 24, 2009


I was tagged by two denizens of the Blogosphere, Dennis the Vizsla and Alyson, to cough up ten honest things about myself. Rather than write ten factoids for each tagger, I’ve decided to compromise and supply fifteen. Here goes:

1. My blogname comes from two houseplants — a wee Spanish lavender bush and a foot-high bay tree — I had at the time.

2. I’ve gotten hooked on Desperate Housewives. It plays in dubbed French five afternoons a week. I don’t know what year of the series is currently playing. George the sociopathic pharmacist has recently committed suicide. Accidentally.

3. Of the four major characters in Desperate Housewives, I identify most with Bree.

 4. I was assigned the French horn in school . It took me two weeks to develop a good enough embouchure to vibrate the mouthpiece, let alone get a sound out of the instrument.

5. In the school band, I played by ear a lot. I could never remember all the fingerings for the notes, so when I’d hit a false note I would tune it into place by puckering a little more or a little less.

6. My first name is simply one my parents liked.

7. My middle name is in honour of a family member, but despite my mum having explained it numerous times, I can never remember whom.

8. I can never spell “cinnamon” right the first time. It always wants to come out “cinammon”.

9. I have been eating chick peas (aka garbonzo beans) each day for the past six days.

10. My aunt in the big city taught me how to use chopsticks when I was nine. She took me to a Chinese restaurant as a reward.

11. At the Chinese restaurant, the paper placemats revealed that my aunt and I were both Ox-year people.

12. The meal included scallops. My first ever. By no means my last. Mmmmmmm, good!

13. Baseball was the only sport I liked playing no matter how bad I was at it (i.e. the only sport about which I was ever a “good sport”), and the only game whose rules I’ve ever understood.

14. Like my maternal grandfather, I can wiggle my ears.

15. I honestly can’t think of a fifteenth thing.

Close enough? Rate at least a two-out-of-ten on the interest scale? Oh, wait, wait! Ahem:

15. My fantasy life is much more interesting than my real life.


Okay, now apparently I’m supposed to tag seven other bloggers. It can’t be Dennis or Alyson or Livingisdetail (Alyson tagged her) or Almostgotit (Dennis tagged her) or S. Le (she tagged Dennis) or the several bloggers who haven’t blogged for quite a while or who don’t do memes or who don’t really know I exist, so we’re left with:

A SISTER ACT: Goodbear and PennyCat!

A MOTHER-DAUGHTER TEAM: Seabrooke and Barefootheart!

WESTAHERE: Huckleberry!


EASTAHERE: Urban Thought and Elizabeth!

Well okay, that makes eight. Close enough?

Anyway, youse guys, please tell us ten interesting things about yourselves, collect the “Honest Scrap” award, and tag seven other bloggers. Have fun!

Two Out of Three

February 23, 2009

After Fergus’s run-in with the Husky the other day, I was pretty upset. I still don’t think “Who started it?” was the question to ask at the time, and yet it’s very much the question in my mind. Why does Fergus get into these tangles, while Cai never does?

There are a few possible answers:

1. Fergus is still very much an in-your-face kinda puppy; Cai is more mellow.

2. Fergus enjoys playing with other dogs; Cai has never shown much interest, preferring to play ball.

3. Fergus was formerly wary of big dogs; Cai has never noticed size differences.

4. Cai sometimes intercepts when Fergus starts playing with another dog.

Actually, come to think of it, that’s a pretty decent list.

The answer I do NOT want to hear is:

1. Fergus is a sociopath.

George the pharmacist on Desperate Housewives, now THAT’S a sociopath! Not Fergus.

Anyway, yesterday we went to a different off-leash area, one that isn’t fenced in, on the theory that fewer badly-behaved dogs might be there in the first place. In fact, the park’s visitors at that hour were about 90 per cent Golden Retrievers. I walked the perimeter, and the boys followed at my heels or dolphined on ahead.

Everything was fine until (PennyCat! John Deere alert!) Fergus got too interested in the small tractor that was ploughing the sidewalk. Off he bounded. When I called his name in sing-song fashion, he took one glance over his shoulder and continued toward the tractor (which had already halted at his approach). When I growled, “Hey!” in my biggest meanest Bull Mastiff voice, Fergus cowered and stayed still until his leash was on again. Then we all continued around the park a couple more times, Fergus on leash and Cai free, before heading home. So Fergus hadn’t been perfect…

But there were no dogfights.

This morning I decided to try yet another dogpark. As soon as he set paw to sidewalk, however, Cai started limping from the salt, so I took him back inside and continued on with Fergus. When we arrived at this park, completely new to Fergus, there were no other dogs. When I bent down and unsnapped the leash, the little dog stared at me a moment, incredulous — then he threw himself into the snow, leaping and licking and rolling and bouncing all over the place.

Soon a pair of dogs showed up. Then another dog came, and a few more. Fergus played with most of them, including a three-year-old Shipoo named Tofu who was wary of Fergus at first because he was so big. Fergus got 45 minutes of joyful play, no altercations, no snarls, no trouble at all. I even tried calling him a couple of times, in sing-song voice, to which he responded immediately, charging across the snowy field like he hadn’t seen me since July.

That’s more like it.

Turtle Channels Sanskrit

February 22, 2009

Well, no. Fact is, we have only 26 letters to transcribe every word in any language ever written — Sanskrit, for example, has a much more sensible 53 — so the probability of finding a word to match a combination of English vowels and consonants is pret-ty high. Besides, I thought it was Hebrew.

Lemme explain. I awoke from a dream this morning, in which I was discussing Judaism with a Jewish woman about my age. We were in her rec room. I was sitting on the rust-coloured shag carpeting beside a coffee-table-sized memorial, on which sat a cylindrical, pewter urn with the letters CHAYAM inscribed around the top. I tried to remember such a word from my Biblical Hebrew course, but couldn’t come up with one.

On awaking, I decided the word was meant to be “chaim”, which means “life”. You may recall Tevye and his neighbour with their wine glasses, toasting each other with the words, “L’chaim! To life!” in Fiddler On the Roof.

But I decided to google the letters I’d seen anyway, since I so rarely manage to read anything in dreams. Is there a Hebrew word transcribed this way?

Nope; but there’s a Sanskrit one. According to Vedabase ,

chāyām means: shelter; darkness; shade.

ańghri-chāyām means: the shade of His feet.

In some ways, chaim and chāyām are in opposition: life, celebration, darkness, shade. But in both terms there is peace, gratitude, acknowledgment of the Most High. And Turtle, always one for wordplay, thinks that’s kinda nifty.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a sudden hankering for Kosher butter chicken.