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The Easter Bunny Explains All

Hello, I am the Easter Bunny; the animal you see every spring. I would like to thank Cat for the opportunity to clear up a few things before Easter this year. I would also like to thank Kommando Kitty for giving up her spot as this week’s guest writer.

I am a rabbit; a real rabbit.

I look like this:

rabbits are everywhere don t worry i don t mean that literally they ... (not a photo of me)

Not like this:

The Easter Bunny Shoplifter Due In Court The Day After Easter [Video]

I understand that children like to see who brings them candy. However, I think it is important for adults to understand that I do not walk on two feet or have plastic eyes.

I use magic to deliver eggs.

If your children wonder how one rabbit can get eggs to everyone within 24 hours, tell them they don’t have to worry that I will get tired before I get to your house. I do pretty much the whole thing from home.

I used to be a regular rabbit. One day I was running from a small child and jumped down a hole. But it wasn’t a rabbit hole. The place was full of faeries. One of them flew over to me and said, “Thank goodness you made it! We were almost finished.”

I tried to tell her that I wasn’t her rabbit. But before I knew what was happening, she turned me into the Easter Bunny. My job was to find a band of bunnies from everywhere they celebrate Easter.

Those bunnies tell me how many children there are in their neighborhood who will be receiving treats. (Here’s where the magic comes in.)

I conjure enough treats for each bunny to deliver and make sure they get there in plenty of time to be sorted and tagged. (It’s a trade secret how the baskets actually get to the children.)

I don’t know Santa Claus.

I’m hibernating when Santa visits down here. I would never visit a place with that much ice and snow. Rumor has it he has a private island for his down time in the spring and summer.

I don’t have the same job as Santa Claus.

I understand where this idea came from. The Germans were the ones who dreamed up both Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. They decided that we would each decide who was naughty or nice. Then we would bring all kinds of goodies to the nice children.

They got Santa’s job right, but were way off on mine (rather surprising considering how precise they usually are). I originally was responsible for coloring (hen’s) eggs and distributing them. More recently, they added chocolate eggs and jelly beans.

Modern baskets are a combined effort.

Sometimes the parents help me by adding other types of candy to the basket. The home-made cookies and candies are particularly nice.

Any brand-name candy is not from us. I would never buy commercial candy to hand out. My bunnies are busy enough as it is. However, it is very kind of people to buy this candy for children (particularly someone else’s).

And a word about chocolate rabbits. We work hard to get the eggs and candy out. I really don’t appreciate people putting chocolate rabbits in the baskets to be gobbled up. Perhaps you could replace them with dogs or hawks, or something else that harasses rabbits.

Those pre-filled baskets that have been appearing in stores the last few years? An abomination! Not the pretty chocolate ones filled with chocolates. The big ones filled with ugly toys. No child should ever believe that the Easter Bunny is responsible for something that commercial.

If you want your child to have a toy for Easter, buy your child a toy for Easter. Let them appreciate that we both care for them.

Thank you for your time. If you know a rabbit who might be interested in joining my network, please pass their name along to Cat. We’re always looking for good help.

And of course:

Happy Easter Bunny Images Background HD Wallpaper Happy Easter Bunny ...

 
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Posted by on March 29, 2015 in Animals, Holidays

 

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Why am I Working Here?

First a brief overview of my past for those of you who missed it at the beginning (about 95% by my non-scientific analysis).

I grew up blue collar in a Detroit suburb. Went to a highly regarded mid-western university (does not go by the initials ND). Got a couple of very well-paying jobs.

Had two psychotic breaks. Discovered I was bipolar and my job stress had to go. Finally ended up stocking cheese at a big box store. Low stress; low money.

Started blog about work. Got bored with that. Moved on to other subjects. Which is why you are reading a blog called Adventures in Cheeseland that has nothing to do with cheese. Have been told it’s a very bad idea to change the name of the blog.

Life has been pretty good in cheeseland. I like the people (most of them). The work is low-stress. My hours are early, but I like them. We are unionized, but that’s not one of its selling points.

It’s family-owned. When I started it was run by a man who was philanthropic, family-oriented, and good to work for (if you’re looking for that type of work).

[Warning: from this point forward it’s sarcasm, not the kind of humor you usually see in my blog.]

Unfortunately, he died. His sons took over. From all appearances, they learned very little from their father except how nice life could be for them with a lot of money.

They have been steadily climbing the Forbes 500 list of wealthiest people. During the United Way campaign, they asked us to contribute to help support people earning less than $27,000 annually. No one in the room was making close to $27,000 annually.

They started to buy a lot of their inventory from China (not the food). In fact, they have opened a distribution center in China “to be closer to their suppliers.” Some slippage in quality; some increase in price.

Their store brand used to be comparable to the national brands. Now the only thing I will buy are the pasta and canned tomatoes (to start the pasta sauce). They raised the price on cheese so high that sales started to drop.

The company hired a non-unionized workforce to do some of the stocking. Higher pay, same benefits as the rest of us. The union said to let them know if anyone had their hours cut because of these people.

Excuse me?! All of the work they are doing should be done by union workers. Michigan is now a right-to-work state. But standing by while the company pays non-union workers more money is not one of the definitions of right-to-work. At least is wasn’t when I did employee benefits.

When Michigan raised the minimum wage, the union made no attempt to get a higher wage cap for the employees who were already above that level. I’m guessing the idea never crossed the brothers’ minds.

The union contract is up next year. We no longer need to belong and pay dues. They may want to start working a little harder. Even the stewards are advising that we get rid of them. (They did save the job of a guy who went totally ballistic when someone took his food out of the microwave after he left the room.)

But all of that pales next to the company’s most recent initiative.

Work-motion studies have been around for more than a century. (Anyone remember “Cheaper by the Dozen”?) But the company seems to have created theirs without actually studying what the employees do.

Their basic idea is to get the maximum number of employees at work during the busiest times of day. Sounds logical, right? In fresh foods they do it by taking the people who set up the departments and having them start 2 to 3 hours later.

Problem? Nothing is set when the customer levels increase. Solution? Don’t change the standards for when the set-up needs to be done. But don’t allow workers to have carts on the floor because that’s inconvenient for the customers.

Employee can’t meet the standard? Write him/her up.

Best usage of this idea? In the bakery they have moved the slowest person to a schedule that requires her to do the majority of the baking before the store gets busy. Hope she doesn’t currently have any performance points. We only get 12 before we’re terminated.

There is ABSOLUTELY NO OVERTIME. Yes, the memos capitalize it. Currently, we can work 7 extra minutes each day without incurring overtime. It’s helpful when you’re trying to help a customer or finish a display.

We are moving to being paid by the minute. Which means that we can have 7 extra minutes per week before we have overtime. But we get paid for those extra minutes. And we get written up for that 8th minute. Seriously.

If we are helping a customer and it gets close to quitting time, either the team leader needs to take over or we need to call the manager to see if we can stay the extra time. Seriously.

Did I mention that the store is understaffed? The only ones who want to work here can’t pass the background check. Seriously.

I’m guessing that by now you understand why I no longer write about work. Work is no longer humorous.

I wonder if there’s a call for cat-sitters around here?

 
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Posted by on March 24, 2015 in Sarcasm, Work

 

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Critter Capers: Snoops Speaks

Welcome. Snoops here. Mom said that we could each write a post about whatever we wanted.

I want to tell you about a new game I discovered. If I put my paw under the edge of the water dish and push a little, I can make waves! I really like to watch them. The humans sometimes tell me to stop if any water gets out. (They should put less in, more often.)

IMG_20150108_221953331

But they like it a lot more than the game I played before. I would put my paw into a glass and see how far it would go in before it got wet. Sometimes the glass would tip over and lots of water would run out.

It was fun to see the water run out (but I had to be careful so my paws didn’t get wet). It’s their own fault. What else would I do with a glass of water that was too low to drink?

Remember how I said that the humans had to fend for themselves and learn how to catch mice? It’s been really slow going. I brought a mouse to Dad while he was on the computer and let it go so he could chase and kill it.

All he did was yell about how I should have killed it. What good would that have done? I already know how to catch mice.

Not only that, the humans are blaming us cats about some missing chocolate chips. It seems that somehow a bag got chewed open and half of them disappeared. I’d say that’s pretty circumstantial. They didn’t check for mice DNA or anything. Maybe one of the kids did it.

The beta female (we call her Blondie, B for short), has been laying on the sofa a lot recently. There was some kind of problem with her foot, and she had to have surgery. If there’s one thing we indoor cats like, it’s a human who can’t move. Especially in the cold weather.

The only unfortunate thing is that B had to use those clompy things to get around with. The ones that can smash a cat’s tail. I think they’re called crutches. But she got a cool scooter thing too. She puts her knee on it and walks with her other leg.

It’s a purrrrfect perch for a cat. And it’s padded!

IMG_20150310_174337399

Rumor has it that B won’t be couch-bound for too much longer. Good thing the weather has gotten warmer. It’s almost time for cat TV.

I think that’s about it for me.

Oh yeah. Mom won a cool cat mug from a blog called Cats at the Bar (The blog’s great. It’s run by a bunch of cats: http://catsatthebar.org/). I guess she wrote some kind of a poem or something. (It’s a limerick; her real poetry is really, really bad.) You guys seemed to like her other limericks (https://cat9984.wordpress.com/2014/08/25/doggy-doggerel/), so I thought you might like this one:

On a trip to the North for vacation,
Saw a cute cat who lived at the station.
He said, “Name is Orca
“I come from Majorca.
“I’d really like to have some libation
.”

Time for my nap. Thanks for reading.

20150107_234332

Snoops

(B is still learning how to make good pictures. I think she’s making progress.)

 
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Posted by on March 17, 2015 in Humor, Pets

 

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Can Demons Possess a Car?

Yes, I’m finally back. (And those of you who didn’t realize I was missing should not expect any chocolate eggs this year. The Easter Bunny and I are long-time BFFs, and he knows these things.)

I’m concerned about my car. It seems to have developed a bad attitude, at best. And possibly an alternative personality. You may recall that I got my Hyundai Elantra about a year ago. It was wonderful to drive, especially following the car with bad tires and no heat.

The first sign came late last year, after one of the early snows. In our part of Michigan, winter generally starts deceptively gentle with a couple of light snowfalls. After one of these, my car required a little extra effort to get out of its parking place at work. I figured I had just parked the front tires on ice and didn’t worry about it.

The evil side came out a few weeks later. We have a long, wide driveway and a broken snowblower. And lots of ice. One day, I turned into the driveway and stopped. Rather, the car stopped. Right at the entrance to the driveway. (It did have the courtesy to get off the road.)

The usual tricks of rocking back and forth or swearing did nothing. Finally, I asked my son to get it to move. (It must be somewhere in the male gene, because he did it.) While he was working to move it, my daughter came home. She had to wait in the road to be able to get in. (There are advantages to living off the beaten path – she wasn’t an impediment to lots of traffic.)

Her car had been having no trouble in the ice and snow. When she pulled in that day, her car got stuck. I think my car laughed. Not too long after that, the fuel line in my daughter’s car sprung a leak. Coincidence? I think not.

Pulling out one day, my car got stuck on the ice again. My son brought out the kitty litter, and I was good to go. The cats did not appreciate him using the good stuff.

Pretty soon, the kitty litter stopped working. I’m sure the car decided that we’d solved the ice problem.

Next trick was to get a tire caught in the frozen snow at the edge of the driveway. Like much of the country, it’s been really cold here. Unlike much of the country, we really haven’t been drowned in snow. We don’t have the huge snowdrifts that scream out, “Stop! You’d be an idiot to drive here!” So, all of a sudden, I no longer knew how to back out of the driveway. Then we’d shovel, kitty litter, try to move the car, swear, and repeat. A lot. I don’t generally swear, and now I remember why –there aren’t that many words and they’re worthless for fixing the problem.

My husband works in maintenance at a school district. He brought home some incredibly hideous carpet to put under the wheels when the car gets stuck. I’m not sure whether it’s the traction or the car cringing from the pattern, but it works.

It appeared that the car was running out of tricks. I thought maybe we were good to go.

Then apparently it realized that its real enemy wasn’t me, it was my son. He was the one who kept rescuing me. So it started turning into snowbanks when he left his friends’ houses. Nothing serious. Wouldn’t want to harm its good looks. Just enough to require digging out.

The car was designed in Korea and built here. I know it’s been tested in snow and ice.

I think that I have somehow offended the Snow Queen. I wonder if an ice cream cake would be a good peace offering?

 
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Posted by on March 2, 2015 in Cars, Humor

 

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The Year of the Sloth

You can thank Barbara over at Silver in the Barn, a wonderful blog about her insights into life (and photography) for the title. She had a post around the beginning of the year about how certain items seemed to be more prevalent some years than others (https://silverinthebarn.wordpress.com/2014/12/29/minotaur-ukulele/). She also asked what we thought our year might be titled. I had been thinking about writing a sloth post, and it seemed like the perfect title.

Wandering around the blogosphere, I was reminded of the interview Kristen Bell did on The Ellen Show about three years ago showing how much she likes sloths (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5jw3T3Jy70).

That may have been the starting point for the love affair some people have developed with sloths. My daughter has certainly joined the fan club. I was amazed that I was able to find a sloth calendar at a major brick-and-mortar bookstore. There it was amongst the overwhelming number of dogs, cats, cars, sports, and spiritual calendars. (Horatio reminds me that there was also one with pictures of hedgehogs.)

If you type in “sloth” on YouTube, you will get a long list of videos about the little guys (average height 23 in/58 cm; weight 8.75 lbs/4 kg). Google says it has over 22 million results for “sloth”. Of course, we all know that Google lies. Those results include doubles, triples, etc. of the same item and any 600-page essay that includes the word. Nevertheless, this may be the year.

So why did we fall in love with an animal named after one of the Seven Deadly Sins? It moves so little and slowly that algae grows in its fur, so it looks like it has been to the salon for a green tint. Any animal that moves that little has a certain appeal to those of us always yearning for a nap. They sleep 15–20 hours/day (which sounds just fine to the cat sleeping next to me). Even awake, they are often motionless. Kind of like football fans in the fall.

Sloths are versatile as well. They come in the two-toed and three-toed variety, but have basically the same traits. They live almost their entire lives in treetops. Those long arms allow quite a bit of freedom in the trees. They have a powerful grip which may not even release in death. Sounds a bit like some people and their money.

Sloths mate and give birth while hanging in trees. I can’t imagine how birthing would work.Who would catch the baby?  Maybe they come out clinging to the mother. That’s how they spend the first nine months of their lives. (How do they know when nine months is up?)

However, I think people are attracted to them because they are almost excessively cute. How can you resist an animal that looks like it’s smiling all the time and gives great hugs? (http://www.slothsanctuary.com/meet-the-sloths/)

Plan ahead. International Sloth Day is October 20. If you want a real sloth at the party, he/she will need to start moving now. It’s a long way from Central America.

Facts courtesy of National Geographic (http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/three-toed-sloth/)

Pictures courtesy of The Sloth Sanctuary of Costa Rica (http://www.slothsanctuary.com/)

 

 

 
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Posted by on February 2, 2015 in Animals, Humor

 

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Critter Capers: Wintertime Blues

Super Snooper (SS): It’s good to finally be back.

Kommando Kitty (KK): Yeah. Mom’s been sick so much this winter that she keeps putting off typing our article. It is nice having her around to sleep with, though.

SS: Particularly when she turns on that bed warmer thing.

KK: It’s really nice when she turns it on and goes away for a few minutes. We can lay on the warmest spot before she gets in bed.

SS: And she finally understands that it’s impossible to move both of us at the same time. The only bad thing is that they shut the door to downstairs down. So we have to find someone to let us up there.

KK: Dad keeps talking about how much it would cost to heat the upstairs as warm as the downstairs. He makes it sound like it’s warm downstairs.

SS: I know. We have to sleep together to keep from freezing. And we have fur!

                   IMG_20150108_010733762

Horatio Hedgehog (HH): What are you two yowling about now?

KK: How cold it is. Mom won’t even open the drapes sometimes. She says the old windows let cold air in. Why don’t they just buy new windows? Why should we have to suffer?

HH: It doesn’t feel very cold to me.

SS: That’s because your cage is heated!

HH: I come out to explore sometimes.

SS: Dad puts you on a heated blanket before you go anywhere!

HH: Maybe he just likes me better.

(low growls)

HH: Well, you know I am more popular. My introduction was the favorite story last year according to that report Mom got. (https://cat9984.wordpress.com/2014/02/08/horatio-hedgehog-intrepid-explorer )

KK: Yeah, we saw it. You were a couple of spots above the one talking about fake cheese (https://cat9984.wordpress.com/2013/10/24/cheez-whiz-love-it-or-hate-it )

HH: You’re just jealous. There is one problem with Mom being sick. Dad forgot to tell her that I was almost out of treats before she stayed home from work. No wax worms for days!

KK and SS: Awwww. Poor hedgie!

HH: Fine. I’ll just go back to my nice warm bed and sleep.

20150111_221420

SS: Let’s go see if there’s any food left in the kitchen.

KK: OK. Then we can go back to sleep.

 
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Posted by on January 22, 2015 in Humor, Pets

 

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Premio Dardos Award

premio-dardos

A few days ago, I received a comment from Pratyush Dayal Misral of Englishphilia (https://englishphilia.wordpress.com) telling me that he had nominated me for the Premio Dardos Award. Being the savant of WordPress that I am*, I had no idea what the award was about. However I would recommend that you take a look at Englishphilia. I love the last line of his “About” page: “Whatever comes to the brim of my heart, comes to the rim of my blog.” The name of the blog comes from his love of English (which includes some very nice poetry), but the blog also includes a lot of interesting information about life in and around Bangalore.

Once I found out what the award is, I was really honored to be considered:

dardosBesides, it has a really cool logo/image. :)

Enough about me. The blogs I have chosen to nominate are listed below. If you haven’t been to them, you might want to take a look. (Does it surprise you to know I’d find an ethical site about cats?) I’m not sure if any of them live in an award-free zone, but I won’t hold that against them.

Anglo Saxon Celt Creates (https://anglosaxonceltcreates.wordpress.com). Sarah is an amazing artist, and you’ll enjoy looking at all the different stuff she does. But she is also an advocate for various women’s and/or health issues.

Belsbror (https://belsbror.wordpress.com). He writes wonderful short stories and also tells great stories about life in the Philippines. Very vivid images through words.

cancerkillingrecipe (https://cancerkillingrecipe.wordpress.com). Anna has been suffering from cancer and various other ailments. Her attitude toward life is inspiring.

Chotisibaatein (https://chotisibaatein.wordpress.com). The name is actually Hindi “Choti Si Baatein” for “Just Little Things”. To use a cliche, she is showing us how to “Stop and smell the roses.” There is also some great haiku.

Irish Investigations (https://irishinvestigations.wordpress.com). Jim is an extremely compassionate man who tells readers about people who are falling through the cracks in society. It’s very enlightening and humbling.

Katzenworld (katzenworld.co.uk). I can’t get a hyperlink to work, but I know they’re out there. Not only does this site have cool cat pictures, they also do a lot of education for cat owners. Safe products; how to read your cat’s mood; how to travel safely.

Ordinary Handsome (http://ordinaryhandsome.com). Another artist. This one is a photographer. He is also posting excerpts from a novel he is writing that seems to be getting inside the head of one/two of the characters. An interesting look at male/female power dynamics.

Pratheek M Reddy (https://pratheekreddy68.wordpress.com). Interesting view of his India. Personal stories, motivational pieces. Most recently poetry.

Raising 5 Kids with Disabilities and Remaining Sane Blog (http://5kidswdisabilities.com). She and her husband adopted several kids with serious challenges, both emotional/psychological and physical. The blog is all about keeping things in perspective and the importance of love in any relationship.

Riding the Greatest Rollercoaster – Life (https://lifethegreatrollercoaster.wordpress.com). Stories about life in India. The impressive thing is the perception of the author who is 14 years old (I wouldn’t have guessed it but I looked at his “about” page before I wrote this).

Roshan click’s (https://roshanrajclicks.wordpress.com). He is a Nepali living in Delhi who writes wonderful descriptions of both. His photographs are gorgeous.

Silver in the Barn (https://silverinthebarn.wordpress.com). Beautiful photographs. She has a wonderfully quirky but extremely practical way of looking at things. I really enjoy reading her posts.

The Dangerously Truthful Diary of a Sicilian Housewife (http://siciliangodmother.com). I admit that I first looked at this blog because of the title. But she really understands Sicily (She’s from the UK), and she writes beautifully. She talks about sightseeing, the government, shoes, and all kinds of other stuff.

Through Mirrored Lens (http://pathsonwater.com). Uju is Nigerian and writes about a variety of subjects. I really like her pieces on gender equality and humans being humane to each other. She also has some very nice poetry.

Together (https://mintughoshal.wordpress.com). He writes short stories which usually end up having a moral buried in it. He writes a lot about the everyday interactions of people who (I assume) are similar to people he knows.

I’ve counted several times, and I’m pretty sure that’s 15. Hopefully you’ll enjoy giving one or two of them a look.

*If you’re fairly new to reading my blog, you may not know that I am probably the least technically proficient blogger around. This is actually the third award I’ve been nominated for. The first time I didn’t understand that I could receive it by doing something myself. I thought I was being judged “worthy” by some panel. The second time, I couldn’t get my links to work until it was so far past the original post date that I was embarrassed to do it.

 

 

 
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Posted by on January 19, 2015 in Blogging

 

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