Friday, January 30, 2009


Dr. G, Medical Examiner, offers insights in this gory yet fascinating discussion of her autopsies.
Among the nuggets: don't drive with your windows down (in a wreck your chances of survival are better staying inside the car, and the windows down makes it easier to be sucked outside) and that she drives around the block rather than make a left turn in traffic, because they are so dangerous.
Recommended only for those with strong stomachs and an overwhelming desire to find out about dead bodies.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


One of Topiary's dear friends from the blogosphere has been laid off.

Topiary would like to speak up for Scones as a hard-working, smart, fun, sophisticated and well-dressed lady with writing (and blogging) talent, who would be sure to add distinction to any business.

Currently living with her cat Mirabelle, Scones is located in England and is seeking employment! Should any Topiary readers know of a position or opportunity they should contact Scones at her blog.

Sad Moo! to Scones and to all who are victims of the worldwide economic crisis.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Rich Men

Finishing the Ted Turner book...scary, because our country was until recently run by another rich man with the same mindset.

For the rich everything has always turned out okay. Even when Ted has (through greed) sold out his company, he innocently thinks he can still call the shots. His plaintive whining over being disregarded is almost comical. For the first time in his life, he is a failure.

Ted's total obliviousness to treating his own children just as poorly as his father treated him is amazing. Despite years of therapy, he says only he was "gone too much." In actuality, his children from his first marriage were abused by their new stepfather, and when he "rescued" them by bringing them to live with he and his second wife, they were made to live in the basement with the servant, and then sent off to boarding school because new wife couldn't bring herself to like them.


Friday, January 23, 2009

Weekend Reading

"My Dear Son,
I am appalled, even horrified, that you have adopted Classics as a major. As a matter of fact, I almost puked on the way home today. I am a practical man, and for the life of me I cannot possibly understand why you should wish to speak Greek....

These subjects might give you a community of interest with an isolated few impractical dreamers, and a select group of college professors. God forbid!

I think you are rapidly becoming a jackass, and the sooner you get out of that filthy atmosphere, the better it will suit me."

Letter from Ted Turner's father to his son in college. Ted in turn provided the letter to the college paper, which reproduced it in full in the next edition.

From "Call Me Ted" by Ted Turner, 2008.


Cow forgot her lunch today.

And wonders, why can't you get regular food? Food that isn't fried. Food that is a burger. Food that is, for instance, just a regular sandwich.

Maybe because everybody who wants that kind of food, DID bring their lunch from home.



Thursday, January 22, 2009

Nothing to Lose

"The shelter was supposed to be repulsive. That's the only way it could be. It couldn't be comfortable or clean. There was a reason the shelter employees were stern in their approach to us. There was a reason we didn't have cable TV, and there was a reason that many of our rights and freedoms were checked at the door: they didn't want us there. Four our own good, they wanted us out.

Can you imagine how many people would come to live there if the shelter was an appealing place to live?

"Hey dude, where do you live?"
"Over there on Meeting Street. You know, at the homeless shelter."
"Oh man. I hear it's nice down there. I'm thinking about moving there for a few months myself. Take a little vacation from paying bills."

Nobody should look forward to living at the shelter. They should come "home" thinking, "Man, I'm sick of this hole. I gotta do something to get out of here."

And, as I was beginning to discover, that was how most of the shelterees felt. Most longed to be free from the realities of such a dehumanizing world."

Readings from Scratch Beginnings, Adam Shephard, 2008.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Weekend readings

Weekend was spent getting some new software to work...the same old story, a one-hour computer job required 2 days worth of mods.

But did get some reading done. Scratch beginnings is a college student who, tired of the woeful refrain about the loss of the American Dream, set out to work his way up from a homeless shelter to owning a car, having an apartment and a salaried job.

Haven't finished it yet, but it is straightforward, well-written, and as for the homeless shelter, why, Cow now feels as if she's there. Ugh.



Some eggs that were a little past their expiration date. A bunch of cooking oil. Some leftover, rather dry cooked rice. A bunch of stale bread.

A piece of chicken which has been in the fridge a while.

Cook it all up, arrange it on a nice bed of dry dog food, and it's dinner.

No, no. Not for me. For the creatures outside. Scrambled leftovers. They love it.

When Cow dines at friends houses, or when they have lunch at work, Cow is hurt to her soul to see what people throw out. If she can, she will rescue this food from the trash and bring it home for putting outside. These leftovers enable starving creatures whose habitat has been paved over by developers to eat, at least that night.

Why is the thought that, perhaps, the earth was created for the use of many animals and plants, not just for mankind, so alien? That yes, even possums and squirrels and raccoons have a right to their lives, not to be branded a "pest" and killed and starved out and made homeless by man.


Thursday, January 15, 2009


The Land of Topiary hot-line rang tonight.

A long-time friend has a new addition in her life. After years of knowing everyone in her family, and everybody therein knowing their respective places, a new addition has arrived.

The friend's sister, (now deceased) had a child who was given up for adoption, who has now located the aunts and cousins of his birth family. Strangely, there is an Australian connection, since the young boy (American-born) was apparently stationed in Australia, met and fell in love with an Australian lady, and now has an Australian child.

Cow finds herself rather wistfully envious of having one's world rocked by a New Arrival. Just when you are bored with all your regular relatives, an exciting new stranger appears!

But to the point. This Aussie-American long-lost nephew/cousin, referred to his (wife?) as his "Partner." Cow and her friend are a little puzzled on this point.

Does Partner mean husband/wife, in a politically correct way, or is Partner a term which doesn't mean that at all these days, but means something (what?) totally different?

Enquiring Cows want to know, and trusts that given the deep intellect, far-ranging interests and geographic dispersal of her wondermous blog visitors, someone will kindly explain.


Monday, January 12, 2009


Cow just sending everyone a brief Island Getaway.

Because, you all deserve it.


Tuesday, January 06, 2009

New Curtain Rods

Brought home two curtain rods.

Tried to get them out of the cardboard.

Used the pictured tools.

Struggled with styrofoam taped together, cardboard, a box which needed a screwdriver to open...the final insult, the rod strapped in with plastic strap which required sawing to cut open...

Even consulted an expert who offered advice...


Cow is going to spare you all the lengthy rant about how it took longer to open the package than to hang the curtains. About the insanity of strapping these rods into so much packaging. About the waste. And about the utter impossibility of opening packages carefully in case you wanted to return it because it didn't fit. Ha!


Craig Ferguson Married!

Craig Ferguson of the Late Late Show is married!

What is so funny about this is, if there were an award for "Most Number of Jokes About How Bad It Is To Be Married" Craig would have won it!

So it was pretty funny watching him trying not to grin about it all night, after breaking the news to his viewers by showing his wedding ring. And talking about its special features, such as gps and sirens if it should be taken off in the presence of strippers, etc.

Seriously, Topiary wishes him well. Funny, talented, smart guy.