Kiss my ass, Mr. Raccoon Man

The wildlife around here has trained me pretty well.  Each night before going to bed, I of course make the rounds outside leaving food for the many visitors that come through these parts after dark.  Depending on who I’m feeding and where they’re dining, I leave things like fruits (e.g., apples, cantaloupe, blueberries, persimmons, pineapple, and grapes), nuts (e.g., almonds, pecans, walnuts, and peanuts in the shell), vegetables (e.g., corn, green beans, tomatoes, and asparagus), seeds (e.g., sunflower seeds and pistachio kernels), cooked meat (e.g., chicken and fish), and miscellaneous items (e.g., whole grain bread, natural cheeses, and limited and infrequent cat food).  There are even times when I’ll leave them something interesting like a cookie (Strawberry Newtons are a special favorite of the opossums; interestingly enough, most of the raccoons don’t like those).

Last night was no different.  I left goodies in various places.  For the raccoons, a cache of items left inside the fence on the patio, the menu consisted of plain almonds, diced apple, sweet corn, plain peanuts, and whole wheat toast broken up into chunks.  You just wish your life was this good, huh?

All ready to climb into bed around 11 PM, I heard a bit of commotion outside and immediately recognized it as the raccoons scaling the fence.  They’re quite accustomed to me moving around inside while they’re eating outside, so they don’t mind what I’m doing — although they will stop and take notice of me when I get close to the glass, a brief pause to ensure I’m not invading their space.  I made my way to the living room patio doors and sat down quietly to watch them.  Only two arrived, but that was just fine with me and certainly more than enough entertainment for The Kids who have learned that Daddy puts on a great show with whatever he’s doing outside (they get a lot of free wildlife interaction now).

I sat quietly as the raccoons began eating the food put out for them.  The most fascinating thing about watching them eat is how they use their front paws like hands.  They feel for food items and pick them up to eat them, or at least that’s what they do most of the time; usually when they’re alone, I’ve occasionally seen them eat directly off the ground without picking it up first.  As these two ate their meal, there were a few scuffles as they pushed each other away from the pile.  That was when I saw them do something I’d never seen raccoons do before.

When the larger one yelled and pushed at the smaller one, the little raccoon turned around and pushed across the pile of food with his ass end.  I laughed at it as a bizarre attempt to get some food.  It was only after they both did it several times to get to some of the meal while the other one was eating that I realized it must be normal behavior for them.  Considering how mean raccoons are (many predators won’t even attack them given how violent they can be), what I was watching with the “kiss my ass” approach to dining was the safest way to get some food without risking a face in the process.  They would simply turn around and back up across the food while pushing the other one out of the way.

It was quite humorous, I’ll admit.  I’ve never seen that before.  Perhaps they don’t pose as much of a threat that way since they certainly were less violent when pushing each other around with their asses.  I suppose they aren’t seen as competition for the food or a challenge when approaching in this manner, and I certainly know they are at less of a risk in that position.  I’ll look it up later to see what the theories are for this particular trick, but no explanation will diminish the entertainment value in watching them back around the patio just to get some food.  It’s quite entertaining; well, it was for me anyway.

Random Thought

The power of the Executive to cast a man into prison without formulating any charge known to the law, and particularly to deny him the judgment of his peers, is in the highest degree odious and is the foundation of all totalitarian government whether Nazi or Communist.

— Winston Churchill

I know a lot of people who need one of these

Now you can get your own Paranormal Restraining Order to fend off those pesky gods, demons, aliens, and even death.  How do you know if you should get one (and I can’t think of a single religious person who should go without)?  Well, any abusive relationship with a paranormal entity certainly needs one.

It is important to remember that abuse in relationships often starts out fairly mild and then escalates over time. Even if the abuse does not escalate, it is important to remember that no one has the right to abuse you in any way. If you find yourself in a situation where such behaviors are occurring, this may be a warning signal to you that the entity is, or may become, dangerous to you.

Signs that you may be in a relationship with an abusive paranormal entity are:

  • * You frequently worry about how they will react to things you say or do
  • * Your family and friends have warned you about them, or told you that they are concerned for your safety or emotional well being
  • * You leave and then return to them repeatedly, against the advice of your friends, family, and loved ones
  • * You have trouble ending the relationship, even though you know inside it’s the right thing to do

You may need protection from an abusive paranormal entity if they:

  • * Are jealous or possessive toward you (a primary symptom of abusive relationships)
  • * Try to control you, often by being very bossy or demanding
  • * Try to isolate you by demanding you cut off social contacts and friendships
  • * Pressure you sexually, or demand sexual activities you are not comfortable with
  • * Have a history of bad relationships
  • * Are violent and/or lose their temper quickly
  • * Shame, humiliate, or embarrass you, either privately or around family and friends
  • * Claim that you are responsible for their emotional state (a criteria for co-dependency)
  • * Blame you when they mistreat you
  • * Abuse drugs or alcohol

Don’t wait.  Hurry and get yours today!

[via Orac]

Open thread

Be sure to check out Carnival of the Cats #114.  You can find a lot of great feline photos in these carnivals, not to mention poignant, hysterical, intriguing, or otherwise memorable tales.

The feline laws of physics.  These are really funny — and disturbingly true.

Carnival of the Godless #41 covers a lot of territory for the heathens among us.

I’ve recently discovered the Carnival of Socialism and found it to be rather diverse and engaging.

Check out this photo of Alaska’s newly erupted Cleveland Volcano taken by an astronaut aboard the International Space Station.  Wow!

More free speech and right to assemble tossed out by Bush.  While I deplore the idea of protesting at a military funeral, I would gladly die to protect the right of Americans to do just that.  What we see here is more curtailing of liberty and constitutional freedoms.  You see, chip away at it little by little and eventually we’ll be left with no rights whatsoever.

Yet more scientific evidence that sexual desire is genetic, and this time they’ve identified at least one piece of DNA that’s directly and provably involved: “the D4 receptor gene — which is responsible for producing the dopamine receptor protein (DRD4).”  This latest study is yet more undeniable evidence that much of our sexual disposition is not learned as has been claimed by the mindless for ever so long; instead, mounting evidence clearly shows our DNA is pivotal in determining a great deal of human sexuality.

From Atrios: “The willingness to send others off to die for a misguided war because you wet your pants after 9/11 is called ‘cowardice’ not courage.”