Polar Bear on the Loose

Chronicles of a polar bear's life in society.

Email: mercuryranch AT yahoo.com

Saturday, May 31, 2003

I could put titles up...

But wouldn't that be just a little too formal for a laid back bear?

Sigh. You've been wondering when I was going to brave the in-line skates again, haven't you? Two words: Not yet. (For those of you wondering, yes, I can put the fourth skate on without outside assistance, but it's a bear.)

"Do I detect an edge?" She asks.

"What edge?" I snarl back. It's hot. I have all this fur, and does She think to turn on the air conditioning? No. "I'm perfectly comfortable," She minces. I don't know why I stay here.

"Then go back to the Arctic if you don't like living in the modern conveniences I offer you here." She's reading over my shoulder again. I wave my paw in Her general direction, and She leaves me alone for a bit. I ask you, what good are modern conveniences if you won't use them?

"It's cooler now that the rain has moved through. The windows are open. Good grief. I'm not torturing you here."

Is the Woman reading my mind? Will I get no peace from Her?

"Not today, Snuggles."

I hate it when She calls me that.

Friday, May 30, 2003

Congratulations, San Antonio Spurs, Western Conference Champions! With the Spurs down at half-time, I decided to take the same approach as for Game 5--I went into hibernation for the third quarter. It worked. I woke up half way through the fourth quarter, and my favorite Spur, Steve Kerr was nailing three pointers right and left and leading San Antonio in the charge to take the lead in the game. Congratulations, Mr. Kerr on an awesome game.

I've been impressed with Steve Kerr for several years now and have long believed he has been highly underrated. I know San Antonio values his work ethic, his game preparation, and his willingness to contribute to the team however they determine he fits in, but I still believe he's been underrated. Of course, I don't know him personally, but She saw him at Alamo Heights Night in April with his young son (She doesn't see or recognize many "famous" people in public, so this caught Her by surprise). As for me, I was delighted to be able to watch him lead the rally that led to San Antonio winning this one.

I would be remiss if I didn't acknowledge the Dallas Mavericks' outstanding achievement this year. They have come off some tough years, did very well this year, and they closed this season out with determination and class.

Go Spurs Go!

Thursday, May 29, 2003

Keeping paws crossed that the Spurs will stomp the Mavs on the Mavs' home court tonight and finish the series. If not, well, the sweet victory on home court would work OK, too. Just so the Spurs are playing whomever that Eastern Conference team is next week.

I got a fresh shipment of books to distract me from my appointed rounds via my trusty UPS man tonight. What did I get? Well.....do you really think I should tell you? She got some writing books that had been recommended by some Forward Motion writers in Chat one night many weeks ago. (They sat in the basket until She was sure it was more than a mere impulse.) Then She also did some impulse buying on Mao Tse Tung. I'll let Her decide if She wants to tell you what for--that's why I (politely, of course) asked Her to set up Her own darn Blog. I got "Shockball" and "Endurance" to continue with the StarDoc series that captivated my interest several weeks ago.

Go Spurs Go!

Wednesday, May 28, 2003

Gee. My grumpiness must have been foreshadowing the Spurs LOSS last night. I blame it all on me falling asleep on the couch after half-time (when they had a nice lead). I don't know what happened (other than me dropping off into hibernation), but I woke up in the middle of the 4th quarter, and they were behind by two points. And it got worse from there! I could only watch in horror as they lost!

To make matters worse, She came home all bubbly today. She got the reservations for Her mom to go to Italy with her. On the bright side, maybe this means She won't drag me along this time. I simply can't imagine a polar bear (especially this polar bear) in Florence in July. Get real! Nope. I'm staying right here in the air conditioning. I don't care if she does lock the computer to keep me off it while she's gone.

Tuesday, May 27, 2003

I'm a grumpy bear. I don't know why. I just am.

Monday, May 26, 2003

She told me someone on Forward Motion, I think it was Ruth, expressed concern about me being a couch potato, so She went out and got me in-line skates to exercise with. Thanks, Ruth, whoever you are. She even convinced the salesperson that I really did have really wide feet and managed to find two pair of skates that would fit my paws (I guess, to explain the two pair, she must have told said salesperson I needed to alternate days, or something?). She even got knee and elbow pads--they just don't make bear-size helmets, our heads are too unusually shaped.

I had no idea how to use these things, but She strapped them onto me the other night and shooed me out the door to try them out. I rolled down the driveway and was promptly dumped onto my backside by the transition from driveway to road. OK. I could have expected that, so with the usual cartoon scrabbling of skates, I managed to get myself back on all fours. I managed to shuffle stiffly and awkwardly back and forth in front of the house a couple times, but when I fell again, I decided that was enough and dragged myself inside.

I also told myself people usually pick this thing up fairly quickly, so why was this bear having so much trouble--with four feet instead of two, it should be easier, or so I thought. I did a search and found a site that seemed dedicated to teaching people how not to kill themselves on in-line skates. After a lttle reading, I think I've found a solution. The polar bear has to do the duck walk. Uh...riiight. I think I can strike that pose with my front paws, but I'm not sure my back paws bend that way! This time I'll do a little "duck walk" practicing in the back yard on the grass before I attemp the pavement again.

I'll let you know how it goes.

And, oh yeah--Spurs are up 3-1 over the Mavs! YES!!! Looking gooood.

Sunday, May 25, 2003

Hmm. There's a little "insert link" button on the top of this entry screen. I wonder if I could have used that to allow the URL I used yesterday to work? Let's try it and see: Lantern Collector's Newsletter. That looks like it will do it. Is it really fair to expect a bear to be an HTML coder, too? OK. You got me there. If I can learn to use a computer, I should be able to learn basic HTML coding. I guess it's been too easy to use the many crutches available.

(whispering) I think She's getting jealous of me keeping this blog. I heard Her muttering something about setting up one for Herself the other day.

Saturday, May 24, 2003

Ahhhh. (picture large fluffy, polar bear with big teeth lying on back stretching all four paws--including toes, and you'll have the image) 'Tis good to be home. Her husband publishes a newsletter six times a year for barn lanterns. The latest issue was in the mail when we got home. I had a good laugh. He chose the cover lantern for the cover lantern. When I first read about it, I thought, "Of course, the cover lantern is always the cover lantern." Then I was given my come uppance--he photographed the brand and model used in the newsletter logo. Interested? You can find more info here: http://www.mercuryranch.org/lanterns.html
Home at last. Home in time to see the Spurs take the series with the Mavericks up by one game (on the Mav's home court). Resoundingly. They're now up 2-1, but I'm cautiously exuberant. I know all-too-well how these things can change.

Another long, long day on airplanes. With the current terror alert status coupled with the holiday weekend, I was electronically strip-searched and patted down nearly every three feet or 5 minutes, whichever came first. Naturally, I slowed things down while they tried to find another polar bear to pat me down. They gave up and decided to have a gender specific, rather than a species specific patter-downer. Thank goodness I had a two hour layover in Atlanta. Without that, I woul have been scrambling to make the transition. On the good news side of things, I did finish Holly Lisle's "Fire in the Mist." Excellent, if I may say so.

This tired bear has to drag off to be now. Nighty-nite.

Sunday, May 18, 2003

Another sunny day in Cologne. The instant messages assaulting this poor bear on the "free internet" connection that is costing Her .15 Euros a minute are becoming annoying. Also the banner that keeps popping up telling me to do something with my browser (this bear's German is only minimally passable--not many ice floes bring us into German territory as we're wandering the Arctic, you know). Ah, but at least it's a connection, and She lets me check in here, so I shouldn't complain.

Saturday, May 17, 2003

A hearty, "YES!!" to the Spurs slam dunk of the Lakers on the Lakers' home turf. It does a polar bear proud. Alas, I'm in the heart of Cologne, Germany, and couldn't watch it, but I did catch it briefly on the news.

Polar bears don't appear to cause much of a ruckus wandering through crowds in Cologne, so I've had a nice leisurely time of things while She has been off at work. One more week to go. Next week we move to a local hotel in a smaller suburb of Cologne, so I anticipate a different atmosphere.

Gotta go!

Saturday, May 10, 2003

Sigh. Yes. I can say, "Slam Dunk."

Got my carry-on packed. I read Holly Lisle's "Wreck of Heaven" while She was gone last time, but I didn't read the first book in the series, "Memory of FIre," yet. That went into my carry-on for this forced vacation She's taking me on. I've also been reading S. L. Viehl's "StarDoc" series. I need to find the third and fourth books before I dive into the fifth (when She went looking for the second book in the series, She also found the fifth but not the third and fourth). She may not mind reading a series out of order, but it seems almost sacreligious to me.

Ugh, I have to go get my fur ready for travel. Be back as soon as I can. Grumble. Grumble. Grumble.

Friday, May 09, 2003

Waiting for the Spurs game to come on. I'm still trying to pack my suitcases. Of course, that isn't really too hard--it isn't as if I need to take any clothes or anything. I do need a carry-on with some books and things--She assures me toothbrushes are mandatory; She was muttering something about polar morning breath. She decided She didn't trust me here by myself, so I have to go to Europe tomorrow. I can't figure Her out. First She doesn't want me out and about and scaring the general public, then She insists upon taking me on a commercial airliner. What gives? No only am I going to be uncomfortable as all get out crammed into a cattlecar seat, but I get claustrophobic. Is this really a bright idea to drag me along?

What is all boils down to is, I'll be off the air for a bit.

Thursday, May 08, 2003

Can you say, "Slam Dunk?" I thought you could. That's what the Spurs did to the Lakers last night--all night, over and over again. It does a polar bear's heart proud. This bear hopes to see two more similar events where the Lakers come out wanting over the next couple days.

Wednesday, May 07, 2003

Watchin' basketball.

Tuesday, May 06, 2003

The Spurs made it through Game 1 with the Lakers. At home. That's a good start. Why are you surprised to hear that a polar bear follows basketball? I'm tall. I outweigh Shaq. I know my teeth are stronger, and my claws are longer. What's so hard to picture about him and me going one-on-one? OK. So I don't have tatoos, and my fur is longer. And I have trouble dribbling and running at the same time. Oh well, too bad for you if you can't picture it.

Her poison ivy appears to be healing--without steroids this time. I think it was the generous poultice of raw oatmeal She applied the other night. Things have been drying up since then--and not a moment too soon for me. Gross.

Monday, May 05, 2003

Rainy Days and Mondays....someone ought to write a song about that. Oh? They did? (And if I hit "m" instead of "n" one more time....) It's been one of those days, and my typing is showing it tonight (I hope I catch them all before you have to read this). It's a cold (for Virginia, but not me) day. She complains that I keep the house too cold, but I tell her to put on a sweater. It's not like I can take anything off. At least She took the tarp off the AC unit outside this weekend, and she lets me eat the cherries she keeps in the freezer--that helps keep my insides more temperate.

I've been noticing the ads on the top of this page, and the ads for polar bear watching in Churchill are interesting. Don't people know they could come here and see me? What am I? Chopped liver (don't eat it, the Vitamin A in my liver can kill you)? I'll be happy to take your three grand. Heck, I'll even do a couple tricks for that! Want me to roar and scare you? Happy to oblige.

Have you ever noticed that you know the right synonym to use in a situation, but you type the wrong one? Or is that just a polar bear thing?

Ah well. The NBA playoffs are on tonight. I guess I'll go watch them. (Don't tell Her, but I'm rooting for the Spurs, too.)

Sunday, May 04, 2003

I tried to get in last night, but the site seemed to be down--at least when I wanted to access it. Oh, well. I got a good laugh at Her expense earlier today. She was getting ready to take the motorcycle out for a spin and lost the screw from one side of Her glasses as She took them off to put Her helmet on. After a quick search of the ground, She came inside, put in her contact lenses, looked again for the screw (and saw how much she really was using the bi-focal portion when she couldn't see the ground from close in!), gave up, and rode off. She did whatever She went off to do--something about a little brother for me (Great! Just what I DON'T need), came home, found Her glasses repair kit, and I got to laugh again as she tried to see to put that new screw into the hole with her contact lenses still in. She eventually had to take them out to see well enough. The repair kit came with a little magnifier that seemed to work well for Her, but She needed a third hand to use it (which I am happy to report She does not have). I heard Her muttering something under Her breath about understanding more where people who needed their glasses to do anything were coming from--even though She's been legally blind for distance since the ninth grade and thought She understood all that already.

Friday, May 02, 2003

She's back. She chewed me out for not mowing the lawn--but She doesn't want me outside scaring the neighbors. What's a bear to do? She also complained that I drank all the milk and Diet Coke (how did she know I like it mixed together?). I left Her a can of tuna fish (couldn't get the can opener to work--why can't She get an electric one like rational people?). Besides, She could have stopped and picked some up on the way home from work today. (Yes, I know She wound up spending two and a half hours on this puny yard that shouldn't take nearly that long, but why is that MY fault?) I didn't drive the truck. I didn't scare the neighbors (except for that one time). I didn't leave the house any messier than it was when She left (and why should I be expected to clean up after Her anyway?). If She would have left me with the mailbox key, I would have picked up the mail. Then She wouldn't have had to call the post office from Texas and have them hold it because She forgot. She'll probably blame me for the poison ivy She came home with. Ah well. Grin and bear it (pun intended). She'll be gone again in a week. I'm still not gonna mow that lawn, but She better leave me with something to eat in this house, or I will be loping down to WalMart for some groceries (make that Food Lion--it's closer; I bet they don't ask ME for my discount card when I check out!).