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Happy VD!

Valentine’s Day! Attentive readers — examples of whom, I feel sure, will exist some day — may remember this as our wedding anniversary. Our second.

Year Two is the Big Mac anniversary, yes? Because we went to the zoo, followed by Mickey D’s. Because basically, both of us, when we turned eight our brains stopped developing.

To be fair, we tried to think of something more grownup to do, but so many things aren’t open in February. And some that are, aren’t open Mondays.

In the spirit of grown-uppedness, we’ll share a bottle of decent champagne tonight. We got two as a consolation prize because the inn which served our wedding supper screwed up our nephew’s vegetarian dinner. We looked it up and it’s suitably expensive, so WHA-HEY!.

Anyhoo, this is a wildlife park I’ve written about before, specializes in British aminals. I didn’t know there was a European lynx. Lovely pussies, seen here being a bit frisky — he’s giving her a playful head-butt, which I managed not to catch, quite. (Wire mesh erased courtesy of Photoshop, a thing it does creepily well).

Also, there’s a European bison. Who knew?

The stoats and weasels were all asleep (I managed to spot a little patch of weasel fur poking out of the straw, expanding and contracting as it snored). Likewise, the minks and otters. All the reptiles were in hibernation, with some of the rodents.

The wolves wouldn’t howl for me, but then an ambulance went by and they all tuned up their pipes. WooooOOOOoooo! That must’ve been effing spooking around the campfire, back in the days when you had nothing but sticks and rocks to drive them off with.

They seem to have a new batch of badgers. Three younguns. The underground sett is inset in various places with glass windows, so we watched Badger A chase off Badger B and dig himself a nice bed in the straw, while Badger C took a dump in the community latrine. Yeah. I was going to say I paid money for that, but I didn’t — they let us in free because we turned up late.

Last up always, we pass the cage of the Scottish wildcat, ounce for ounce the meanest bastard in the park. Really. They look like adorable hearth-rug moggies, but nobody’s ever successfully tamed one.

Solitary beasties, too, so we were shocked at how close this one was. Sitting on a high wooden platform, staring around with seething disgust. Didn’t even acknowledge us.

So, pretty much like Charlotte, then.


Comment from Scubafreak
Time: February 14, 2011, 9:51 pm

HAPPY VD? LOL! Stoatie, only you could state that in so succinct a manner….

Frankly, most VD’s I’ve encountered were quite UNHAPPY, especially before Penicillin…. Think Great Scout and Cat House Thursday hot wire up the ying-yang unhappy……

😉 However, it does mean that we are 1 month away from international Steak and a BJ day, so there is SOMETHING to celebrate… LOL

(now why is it that when you say SCOTTISH WILDCAT, i get a mental picture of a Colorado Bobcat at the highland games wearing a kilt and chewing on some bagpipes? I must be getting wierd in my old age…)

Comment from Sven in Colorado
Time: February 14, 2011, 9:58 pm

Happy Big Mac attack anniversary.

We have our own version of your Scottish wildcat….the Lynx:


I have been privileged to see one in the wild….just once.
They are larger, more gray coloured versions of Bobcats with big snowshoe paws. Their primary winter fare is, of all things, the Snowshoe Hare! While rodents are hibernating, the hare provides the Lynx with winter rations.

I have yet to see the American pine marten http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Marten(our version of the Brit marten)in the wild.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: February 14, 2011, 10:20 pm

Oh, pine martens are lovely. The one today was running all around the cage — though, sadly, I think it was cage behavior. He was picking up his lunch (bunny leg) moving it across the enclosure, dropping it, picking it up again.

I understand zoo programs are important to many of these animals, which are receding fast in the wild, but it is wrenching to see how unhappy they look. And these guys are in comparatively large enclosures.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: February 14, 2011, 10:56 pm

I’m surprised Uncle B hasn’t popped in to defend his cellar. We have some quite nice champagne in stock, aside from this last bottle of free plonk.

And, for the record, McDonald’s and Burger King taste exactly the same here, but KFC is vile. Gray, squishy, small portions and expensive. We’ve only done that once.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: February 14, 2011, 11:02 pm

Animals we saw today: fallow deer, red deer, wild ponies, wild pigs, various storks and owls, pine marten (singular), arctic fox, red fox, wolves, bison, a tiny patch of weasel fur, polecats, badgers, Scottish wildcat.

Supposed to be there but didn’t put in an appearance: various reptiles, water vole, stoat, American mink, otter, assorted rodents, red squirrel.

Comment from Scubafreak
Time: February 14, 2011, 11:31 pm

Stoatie, has Popeyes chicken or Churches Chicken made entry into the British market yet?

Comment from Deborah
Time: February 14, 2011, 11:34 pm

Happy Anniversary!

Comment from Armybrat
Time: February 14, 2011, 11:53 pm

Happy anniversary, and that scottish lynx looks very much like last cat…..he was a Manx. Big bastard…30 pounds, could hold his own with the rotties. Alas he didn’t survive the tornado.

Comment from Spad13
Time: February 14, 2011, 11:54 pm

Happy anniversary Weasel and Uncle B.!

Immagine that something from Scotland with an attitude problem. Huh never seen that before.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: February 15, 2011, 12:24 am

Scoob, we didn’t have Popeye’s or Churches in Rhode Island, let alone England.

There’s a Subway not too far away. Don’t particularly like them, but I think of that as being a very small New England chain. So I thought that was weird.

Uncle B was very partial to Wendy’s, which no longer appears to be around.

Comment from Scubafreak
Time: February 15, 2011, 12:33 am

Bummer. I’d send you a family pack, but Popeyes is always best hot and fresh…..

With Red Beans and Rice… Beats KCF any day of the week….

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: February 15, 2011, 12:46 am

Thanks for the good wishes, fellow minions.

Hard to know what really made the day for me, but high up on the list was when we crested a hill and there, almost as if by magic, beneath us was a steam train, pulling a full rake of coaches, throwing a huge plume of white vapour into the crisp air.

That and the funny little farm shop where, to my utter astonishment, I found my favourite brand of dark soy sauce, which usually I have to buy direct from the Chinese importer, and which I ran out of a few weeks ago.

That was pretty weird, too.

On the whole, though, the badgers were cool, and the lynxen… they were double cool. I’d like to have let those two out.

The weasel’s always the best bit, though 😉

Happy Valentine’s Day, one and all.

Comment from Frit
Time: February 15, 2011, 1:13 am

Happy Valentines Day and Delightful Anniversary Day to you, Stoaty and Uncle Badger! 🙂

Comment from EZnSF
Time: February 15, 2011, 1:51 am

Happy Stoativersary!

McRibs! Both adult and romantic.

Comment from Anonymous
Time: February 15, 2011, 5:46 am

Wolves. “That must’ve been effing spooking around the campfire, back in the days when you had nothing but sticks and rocks to drive them off with.” Pretty effing spooking now-a-days, when the leftys won’t let ya shoot ’em. http://www.montanacattlemen.org/Wolf_Reportings Oh, Well. SSS (Shoot shovel shutup) Maybe we’ll have a season this year. The Baby Boy had one in his sights, but, natch no shooty this year. And there’s a lion I want to put on my wall, too.

I’m not generally all that, but, boy the varmits and democrats (but I repeat myself), are getting out of hand around here.

Sorry. Happy BigMac day to you2! Mcgyver, Out

OOPS! That link is NOT for the faint at heart!!

Comment from David Bain
Time: February 15, 2011, 6:47 am

You got the Scottish bit right, we’ll fight anybody! Lynx have got to be my favourite cat, jaguar being my least fave; not pretty enough. Congrats on another year – does the blog coincide? – of just being there and uniting a rather eclectic group of assorted weirdos.

Comment from McClane
Time: February 15, 2011, 8:07 am

In the days when STD was Subscriber Trunk Dialling VD was something you definitely didn’t want to have.

Scubafreak remembers.

Comment from scubafreak
Time: February 15, 2011, 8:32 am

LOL.. I do remember one sad day aboard the USS Wadsworth, cruising back to Long Beach harbor from Vancouver BC, seeing an entire detachment of Sea Cadets lined up in front of sick bay, and the terrified squeals as the Doc and baby Doc pulled out the heavy guage needles filled with Ampicilline… Seems that they had slipped out one evening during shore leave and had all engaged the services of the same skanky prostitute, and had all gotten the same drippy little gift shortly thereafter…..

The Captain, of course, had the detachment commander up in his cabin, and we could hear him SCREAMING at this guy for about 2 hours, several decks down. He was tossed out immediately on our return….

Not a happy day for the young kids of the sea cadet corp….

Comment from Mike C.
Time: February 15, 2011, 11:45 am

Valentine’s Day – THE Hallmark holiday. Feh.

Happy Anniversary, though. I’ve got one of those ones ending in a “0” coming up later in the year, so that’s going to cost me big-time. I need to give some serious thought to that.

Oh, and a word of advice. You’re going to give up that vile fast food eventually. The earlier the better, IMHO.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: February 15, 2011, 12:21 pm

I ate a Big Mac, fries and Coke every single day of 1975. AND I got change back from a dollar every day. I don’t know what they put in a Big Mac, but every time I finish one, I instantly desire another one.

My dad was among the last draftees of WWII. He was very young and very shy, so when a couple of loose women from the USO tour descended on his group, he took a hike. Literally.

Few days later, all the other men came down with the clap. Thing is, in those days, if you were under 21 and got VD, they told your parents.


Comment from Mark Matis
Time: February 15, 2011, 12:59 pm

Sweas – The only reason they have STOPPED telling your parents these days is that the parents JUST DON’T CARE!

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: February 15, 2011, 2:07 pm

Huh. I just got a comment spam from Ivana Fukalot.

Comment from me
Time: February 15, 2011, 3:19 pm

looks like that 3d software offer worked…they met their goal

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: February 15, 2011, 3:23 pm

Yep. They’re holding it open a few more hours, if anybody still wants in.

Comment from Mark Matis
Time: February 15, 2011, 5:35 pm

Where do you think Ivana got your address?

Comment from JuliaM
Time: February 15, 2011, 5:43 pm

“There’s a Subway not too far away. Don’t particularly like them, but I think of that as being a very small New England chain. So I thought that was weird.

Uncle B was very partial to Wendy’s, which no longer appears to be around.”

Subway are doing very well over here. Sadly, no more Wendy’s, who I believe used to do square burgers?

Not quite sure WHY, since back then square ciabatta rolls weren’t around…

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: February 15, 2011, 9:12 pm

Yeah, Wendy’s deal was that the hamburger meat had never been frozen. It always tasted gamey to me. Their chili was decent, though.

Comment from Nina from GCP
Time: February 15, 2011, 10:10 pm

If yer ever in southern Norway, round ’bout Kristiansand, you simply must visit Dyreparken: http://www.dyreparken.no/om-oss/Spraak/Kristiansand-Zoo-and-Amusement-Park/“. Best “zoo” I’ve ever had the pleasure to visit.

Comment from Nina from GCP
Time: February 15, 2011, 10:25 pm

Oh, and happy anniversary!

Comment from Scubafreak
Time: February 15, 2011, 11:16 pm

Personally, I am still waiting for my free Vegas Vacation with Ivana Humpalot….. 🙂

happy (belated) anniversary.

Comment from Can’t hark my cry
Time: February 16, 2011, 12:07 am

Wendy’s also used to have stuffed baked potatos. Which struck me as radically. . .fresh. . .for fast food. Not that I ever ordered one, mind you. And for all I know they still have them but I haven’t driven through our local Wendy’s drive through in, um, donkey’s years.

Oh, right. Happy belated anniversary, Badger & Weasel. And may you have many more of them!

Comment from Mark Matis
Time: February 16, 2011, 12:14 am

Wouldn’t you have just LOVED to be Dave Thomas’ daughter going through high school back when Daddy was telling EVERYONE in the USA that “Wendy’s hot and juicy!”

Comment from David Gillies
Time: February 19, 2011, 7:30 am

Wendy’s are springing up here in CR like mushrooms after a rainstorm. I like em. Good old McD’s is still the standby though. I came off a seven hour bus ride from the beach this evening and immediately fell on a double quarterpounder with extra bacon. All burgers should contain bacon. As for Subway, I’ve noticed a strange thing. About six months after a Subway opens, a Quizno’s starts up nearby, usually within line-of-sight. My theory is that Quizno’s piggy-backs off Subway’s market research. Their bread is way better, too.

We used to call KFC Kentucky Fried Rat back in the UK. I generally found that if fried chicken and chips was what you were after, the local chippie was probably your best bet.

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