Blaugust Day 30 – Of Mice and Women

WARNING: Rodentophobes, move along. Baby mice picture coming up.

Edit: I was going to call this Penultimation because that sounded cool, but it didn’t have much to do with rodents. Oh well. At least I’ve mentioned it.

This is going to be a very, very short post. [I lied. It’s as long as all my other posts. Figures.] Because this:

baby miceYesterday late afternoon our dogs finally managed to get into a mouse nest that one of our local critters had built within the folds of the grill-cover I had (foolishly) left lying in a heap outside on a deck chair. I had no idea it was there but I suspect the dogs have known for a few days. Ironically of course, I saw that grill cover a few days ago and thought Hrm, now that we’ve moved the grill to the front of the house and away from most of the rain and wind, I really should move that cover to the garage. As usual, thinking about it (and then not doing it) probably took longer than simply picking up the damn thing and putting it away would have done.

Oh well. Long story short, baby mice strewn all over the back patio and surrounding gravelled areas. SO and I found the nest after a bit of judicious searching in the area. Mom was not there, obviously. I have no idea if we got them all — we found 5 altogether — and we’re lucky, I suppose, that our dogs are apparently too gormless (or too aware of what a bleeding heart I am) to have done them any damage other than nosing them around on the cold concrete.

So out came the shoe box, in went the tea towel (later replaced with a lovely cotton nest with a donated sheepskin dog toy, which the Husky is none too happy about), in went the meece. It was late, it had already been a bloody long day and we were tired, so we called our Biology PhD (mammalian no less) friend / neighbour just to be sure we were doing the right thing and fed them what we could of the milk we had in the fridge. It’s not ideal, incidentally, if you ever need to rescue young mammals, but it’ll do in a pinch.

We lost one of the meeces overnight, despite me getting up every couple of hours to try to get them to eat a little more, but the four that are left seem relatively hale and active (for creatures that basically sleep all the time). We hit the pet shop this morning and picked up a small cage, some bedding, and some kitten formula and they certainly preferred the latter to the cow’s milk.

Why kitten formula and not puppy formula, you may ask — I know I did. I’d have thought it had way too much protein in it for rodents. And why not mouse formula? Well that’s one’s easy — your average pet shop does not assume you will be hand-raising orphaned mice. The reference we Googled suggested kitten formula (twice diluted) without explaining why, but a quick perusal of the nutrition percentages leads me to believe it’s because puppy formula contains more than twice the fat (~40% vs. 18% in what we bought), which is presumably not so good for meece, while the protein & carb levels are almost identical.

So yes… as the spousal unit pointed out, we spent $60 on what are essentially back-yard pests, but I’m ok with that. I couldn’t leave them there to die, and having made that non-decision the rest is as much of a non-decision. No, we didn’t get a gold-plated rodent cage, but we did get enough to keep the little buggers alive and well for the 3-4+ weeks it may take them to become independent. Then we’ll release them. We live in a very rural area on the edge of a national forest, and they can go out and thrive and/or become owl or coyote food as nature decrees. I’m fine with that, but I wasn’t okay with letting them die on the concrete.

They have changed a lot in the 18 or so hours we’ve had them, but I haven’t taken any other pictures yet. Last night was very fragmented and I’m kinda tired since the SO doesn’t dare manipulate the babbies as they seem so delicate. They were 2-3 days old I think when we found them, so they’d had their colostum (which is good) and should have a reasonable chance of survival.

We’ll see.

[Edit – here’s an updated picture, less than 24 hours after we found them. The ears are unfolding.]

meeces day 2

SWG – Mastery and Miscellany

This CH stuff is all from a couple of weeks ago, in fact, because times they have been pretty busy in the meantime. More on that later (briefly, as it’s mostly RL stuff).

Ysharros went out hunting with the Donkey Business crew and one of the graul mauler lairs on Dantooine spawned an elite at the end. And not just an elite, but an elite + elite baby. Said baby, a Graul Mangler, took no less than seventeen attempts to tame (and trying not to kill the damn thing every time it aggroed after a failed attempt), even with Ysh’s awesome +taming camo pants. She needs more +taming gear, I know, and some whatever-the-taming-bonus-food is. Anyway, she got him. Suggestions for names welcome.

Graul_mangler

Later that same day I hit Master Creature Handler and headed back to Theed, the home base of the Stylish Corpse alt-collective (but not for much longer). I decided to hang out in front of the spaceport a bit and show off my Master status and awesome pets (as is apparently all the rage in front of Coronet Spaceport); within a few seconds another Master CH joined me, pulled out some of her pets, and we got to talking. A couple of minutes later we had half a dozen creature handlers of various levels hanging out and talking shop, and that is exactly what I loved about SWG — the fact that hanging out and chatting with like-minded folks can trump whatever else you might have been about to do. I’m glad to see it’s alive and well in the Emulator.

Turns out the Graul Mangler baby is pretty rare. I wasn’t able to find any info on it and nobody else had seen one before. It is now level 39 (compared to the level 35 normal mauler), so not much help because you can’t pull him out with another graul since Master CH is limited to 70 levels of pets. Baby stats below. I’ll try to remember to take a shot of the grown-up stats.

mangler_statsIf anyone knows or remembers anything interesting about these guys, do let me know in the comments.

Another couple of I’m-a-Master-CH-aren’t-I-awesome screenshots and we’ll move on. Note that those maulers are baby sized; they’re about three times that now.

Graul_babies

Ysh_MasterCH

In more recent news, the Donkey Business crew has finally decided to join an existing player association, SWG-University or <SWG-U>. In an amazingly Luddite turn of events, SWG-U doesn’t have its own website *gasp!*, but they are nonetheless an excellent, friendly, helpful and fun group of people, at least the ones I met. Their basic tenet appears to be identical to mine in most respects, i.e. “Don’t be a dick” — except I’m more exclusive (Just DON’T be a dick) whereas in the EMU, SWG-U is more “Don’t be a dick with characters in our guild” — which is about all they can control anyway, so it makes sense. A few Donkeys have already moved to the PA’s town on Lok (University Campus), and I plan on doing so as soon as time allows, which should be this week because work and that pesky Real Life game are finally letting up a bit. That’s my Swordsman/Doctor to be, Heloise, admiring the Lokian night sky.

University_Campus_Lok

Speaking of Real Life, here’s one of the reasons I haven’t been able to play much lately:

Twiglet_and_CocoWe rescued two Basenji girls who had to be rehomed together as they are litter-sisters and have only ever known each other. I gather they were supposed to be breeding stock for a puppy breeding operation, but the breeder had trouble finding a male and just gave these girls to a rescue. I guess it’s good that the breeder at least decided to rehome them (she says, trying to be charitable). For those who like dogs, might like Basenjis, and might like to rescue one, here’s the link to the rescue site: Basenji Rescue and Transport (BRAT). Do your research though: these dogs are not for everyone, hence the name of the rescue org.

Because the foster-mom was unable to meet us halfway, we decided to drive up to Missouri and get them, which was an almost 2000-mile round trip and, while fun, totally wore us out. But it’s going very well so far — the new girls get on really well with our dogs but are quite wary around people, especially the black one – who as the pic shows is not easy to catch on camera.

So that’s one of the things I’ve been busy with lately, why I haven’t played much, and why I haven’t blogged much. Hopefully the next few weeks will be a bit less frenetic. I wouldn’t mind having time to log into WoW again either…

 

Short, not sweet

Supposed to refer to this post, but I guess it could refer to me too. I slay me.

1. Hot summer is hot. Where can I find a place that’s 70 degrees (20C) all year round?

On the bright side, it’s so dry here in New Mexico that hot here isn’t nearly as hot as, er, hot in humid places. I should probably work on that sentence a bit more.

2. Bad health sucks. It insinuates tendrils in all parts of your life and makes just about everything more difficult.

I’m not whining (much), just observing. My sympathies to anyone else who’s going through chronic health issues.

3. Work is harder when you’re sick.

Especially if you have a lot of it and feel sick most of the time. Oh, woe is me.

4. Only a month to go to TSW launch if it’s on time. /Snoopydance

I really really want to say more but I can’t so I won’t. I swear, work and health be damned, I’m taking a week off right around July 3rd.

 

Dragon Age: first look

Where AGE is the operative word and I feel like a 120-year old trying to run a marathon in under 6 hours. These last few days have been quite busy, to say the least, so when DA:O hadn’t shown up by mid-afternoon yesterday I was a little peeved but not really surprised, and possibly a tad relieved. Yesterday was “develop interesting new aches and pains day” for me too, for some unknown reason, so I spent most of it working around groans and grimaces.

All of which to say that Sod’s* Law is still alive and well: the second we decided to just slob it out, forget about DA:O and order pizza, the damned UPS man showed up with our Collectors’ Editions.

And again, I find myself wondering why I splurge on these CE versions. The cloth map smells funny, is vaguely waxy to the touch, and is a massive 12″ x 8″. Haven’t done anything with the in-game or downloadable goodies yet. Oddly enough the most impressive thing about it was the cool tin, which not only closes nicely but also holds the two disks in a neatly stacked but easy to get to way. Plus it has red artwork on it.

Oh yeah, and there’s some kind of a bonus disk too. To me, that almost always ends up meaning “Here’s some crap we threw together so we could charge you more for this package. Aren’t you glad you’re a consumer?”

But when the most impressive thing about something is the packaging, it might be time to realise that you’re not the type to buy collectors’ editions. I’ll know for next time. (I should also have done my research. The contents of the preorder CE have been known for some time:)

DAOpreorder_collectors

After all that, when we caved and did install the game on my machine, the character I made in the downloadable character creator imported just fine but looked nothing like the character I actually made. So, yeah… that wasn’t impressive, though certainly not game-breaking. For someone like me though it’ll be time-consuming to have to make her all over again; I’m the type of person who can spend an hour fiddling about with eyebrow sliders, and when I have a character in mind then that character is going to end up as close to mind’s-eye-perfect as I can get it.

And then the intro sequence started, and lo it was quite impressive, but verily we were extremely tired by then and, sadly, we wimped out and stopped. Another interesting thing to note is that while you can select interaction options during the intro sequence, there’s no way to quit the game. Well, other than the tried-and-tested ALT-F4, which worked like a charm yet again.

Today starts with a visit to the vet (for the dogs, not me!), then walking said dogs, then working, then spazzing out because I got no NaNoWriMo done yesterday either (even though I actually have a vague outline of the plot now — whew) and must try to get some in today around all the other stuff going on.

Oh yeah, and we’re trying to move to Albuquerque. Try saying that really fast 8 times in a row. (No prizes! Just personal satisfaction.)

So maybe after all that I’ll get to spend my 3 hours in the char creator and THEN finally get to try this game. I’m exhausted already just thinking about it.

– – –

* Sod is Murphy’s nastier cousin from England.