Respite Open Thread: Fowl News

Living her best life.

Buffy is 3 and was adopted from a poultry auction. She loves the wind in her feathers. And that’s a Barbie helmet – Denmark, Australia – Maria Arima

I don’t know why, but this photo of Pearl just quacks me up:

Like, “why am I in a box?” She is in a much bigger box now, so I get fewer of those looks.

She’s doing well. Losing her down (my poor house, it’s like someone ripped open a pillow and spread it everywhere) and getting more feathers. Still doesn’t have her wing feathers yet. We are spending time outside with the other ducks…which is going okay. Pool time seems to be where they are most comfortable. Friends are bringing me a puppy yard to give her a space to safely hang out while Maddie and Mabel check her out. More photos/update here.

I had to run errands this afternoon and about 10 minutes from the house, I realized I secured the cats and the dogs, but forgot to secure the duck. She doesn’t really jump out of her little nest box, but I usually secure her in the kitchen. I wasn’t too worried, but when I got home, I came in through the garage – no duck in the kitchen. I go looking for her (not hard, she NEVER shuts up). She was hanging with the dogs. Bixby looked exasperated. Scout, amused. There was a minimal mess and no one was bleeding. I’ll call it a win.

And representing mammals today, eclare sent this to me a while back and it made me laugh.

So Mary G submits a sweet story about a kitty who rides on the shoulder of her new bestie, and this is the catitude I get from mine. That used to be my laptop, now it is Jacy’s

Those of us with cats totally get this.

No-politics open thread

99 replies
  1. 1
    mrmoshpotato says:

    This is supposed to be a respite thread? That’s fowl!

    Thank you. I’ll be here all week.

  2. 2
    Mohagan says:

    Thank you for the update. Her quizzical expression in that picture is priceless. Hope everyone has a great weekend and Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers out there!

  3. 3
    The Lodger says:

    After this week, it’s good to have some down time.

  4. 4
    debbie says:

    LOL, at about 40 seconds: “Slow Down!!!”

  5. 5
    VeniceRiley says:

    Pearl is a star breaking the 4th wall.

  6. 6
    TenguPhule says:

    New Zealand’s DIY coffin clubs take the sting out of aging and death for many

    HASTINGS, New Zealand — As she painted her husband’s coffin, Judith Aitken was in an excellent mood.

    “He’s a Scottish lad,” she said, pointing out the logo of the Heart of Midlothian soccer club adorning the head end. Near it she’d added a fighter plane used in the pivotal Battle of Britain in World War II.

    “He loves his Spitfires,” she explained.

    Someday, Aitken said, her husband will be buried in that coffin, surrounded by painted reminders of his earthly enthusiasms — although not anytime soon, she hopes. The two are still in their 50s, in a country with an average life expectancy of nearly 82.

    Aitken’s cheerful approach to death hardly makes her an oddball in New Zealand. Across the country of almost 5 million, five major groups like the one Aitken joined in the North Island city of Hastings have sprung up in recent years for people wanting to build and customize their caskets. They’re called coffin clubs, and members have a range of motivations, from thumbing a nose at death to warding off loneliness to cutting funeral costs.

  7. 7
    TenguPhule says:

    @The Lodger:

    After this week, it’s good to have some down time.

    I see what you did there.

  8. 8
    TenguPhule says:

    Two black bears brawled in this man’s yard. Naturally, he filmed it.

    Corey Bale of Frankford Township was alerted to the commotion by a neighbor. He headed out to his deck, where he heard sounds of a scuffle.

    “When I went out to look, I actually heard the bears’ jaws hitting together as they were fighting and growling at each other,” Bale told

    And then, Bale did what any sensible person would do when confronted with the sight of two fighting black bears: He filmed it and put the video on Facebook.

  9. 9
    BC in Illinois says:

    Liked your comment at the link:

    Ducks. Cats with feathers.

    Among the progeny — all close by — we have dogs, cats, chickens, and (used to have) rabbits. If I want to experience ducks, I’ll go visit the cats.

    But the rabbits were the coolest.

  10. 10
    Kathleen says:

    @mrmoshpotato: I’m going to “bill” you for that comment.

    Moving on, a friend of mine instituted “meatless Mondays” in her household. I’m suspecting that she included her cat Rupert in her regimen, because on Monday afternoon Rupert dragged a live snake into her living room. Hilarity ensued.

  11. 11
    Harbison says:

    We’ve had chicks hatch from 7 separate nests around our house, some as long ago as late March.

    Then, yesterday, a mourning dove couple show up and started constructing a nest.

    I hope there it’s not too late for them. I assume most of the birds hatch earlier for a reasons but who knows.

  12. 12
    lamh36 says:

    Ok…I guess you might call this political cause it involves Kamala Harris, but it’s really about this upcoming Mother’s Day weekend.

    So I hope it’s not bad to post in this open thread.

    Sen. Kamala Harris on Being ‘Momala’
    MAY 10, 2019

    California Senator Kamala Harris announced in January that she would be running for president. But aside from being a United States Senator and a 2020 presidential candidate, she’s also a stepmom to her husband Doug’s children, Cole and Ella. In honor of Mother’s Day, Sen. Harris writes about what it’s like to be a stepmom—or, as her kids call her “Momala.”

    My “daddy” is not my bio-dad, he’s my actually my step-father, but he’s been in my life since I was born, and since I can remeber calling someone “my daddy” he’s been my father. I’ve NEVER even called him anything but daddy.

    I know of more than a few people who have horror stories when it comes to step-parents, so I appreciate that what I had is not what others have had. Step-parents are as important in a child’s life as biological parents esp, in cases like mine.

    Anyway…in case I forget to…happy early mother’s day to any of those who like to celebrate.

  13. 13
    ThresherK says:

    Ahh, the time of the week I need some cute animal snaps.

    Jacy looks to be a tortie or calico, which are my feline weaknesses.

  14. 14
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Cat on a laptop…my cat has discovered the “sleep” button on my ergonomic keyboard and delights in plopping down on it. Also, creating screen captures on her own.

  15. 15
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    How do you get down off a duck?

  16. 16
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @BC in Illinois:

    Ducks. Cats with feathers.

    Fuck that.

    Cats. Ducks with fur.

  17. 17
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @BC in Illinois: I’m reminded of a memorable scene from Babylon Five. Londo is complaining about all these annoying trivialities surrounding him, and says:

    Londo Mollari: But this…this, this, this is like… being nibbled to death by, uh…Pah! What are those Earth creatures called? Feathers, long bill, webbed feet…go “quack”.

    Vir Cotto: Cats.

    Londo: Cats! I’m being nibbled to death by cats.

  18. 18
    oatler. says:

    Chelveston the Duck
    (Ray Raynor)

  19. 19
    Yutsano says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Heh. One would think the writers could have come up with an equivalent Centauri bird. Although cats does make the joke funnier.

  20. 20
    geg6 says:

    I can’t believe you’ve managed to make me fall in love with a bird, but I love Pearl. I have never liked birds and, especially, water fowl. As a longtime boater and someone who works on a campus with a large pond, I have always considered ducks and geese destructive, dirty and bad mannered. But for some reason, Pearl has captured my heart. Damn it. I was perfectly comfortable not liking birds and now you’ve messed that all up! 😉

  21. 21

    “Unnecessary fluffness. Out-in-the-yard penalty, loss of down”.

  22. 22
    zhena gogolia says:

    Okay, I’m going to see if this summons NotMax. Last night it was Roy Orbison attempting to act. Tonight it’s Mamie van Doren at the rodeo. In buckskin fringe!

    Somehow I think this ain’t her first time at the rodeo.

  23. 23
    zhena gogolia says:


    Pearl needs to have her own television show.

  24. 24
    lamh36 says:

    Never in a million years would I have guessed @BillGates was secretly scheming with @BarackObama to surprise me on the last night of my book tour. An unforgettable end to an unforgettable experience. #MomentofLift

    Bill Gates gets advice from PBO on how to surprise his wife on the last day of her book tour!

    All I was hearing was… Come back Barack LOL

  25. 25
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @Kathleen: “Have a potato.” -The Old Dark House

    We need details about what the cat literally dragged in.

  26. 26
    dr. bloor says:

    @TenguPhule: Slacker. A true citizen of our age would have tried to take a selfie with the bears.

  27. 27
  28. 28
    rikyrah says:

    Like geg6,

    I never thought of ducks as pets until you. I love the duck tales from you. Hope that we can get video of Pearl with Bixby and Scout 😍

  29. 29
    Ceci n est pas mon nym says:

    My wife was working in her home office all day. Twice she came out and handed me the cat, who kept trying to take over the good swivel chair.

    A little while later I peeked in and saw the cat fast asleep on the swivel chair, my wife in the lesser chair. “The cat won,” she growled.

  30. 30
    WaterGirl says:

    TaMara, did you really say:

    this photo of Pearl just quacks me up…

    Too funny!

  31. 31
    daize says:

    @jeffreyw: So lovely! I so enjoy your bird cam photos. We had a beautiful petite blue bird at our feeder Star Wars Day 2018. Not since, though. A finch? We’re in southeast PA. (Typing is hard with a cat plopped on one’s left hand.)

  32. 32
    peej01 says:

    One of the problems I had when I was using the laptop regularly was that the power button was readily accessible to be pressed by cat feet tromping on the keyboard. My current cat doesn’t get up on any furniture except the bed (strange cat).

  33. 33
    Ceci n est pas mon nym says:

    You wanna talk cats on keyboards? How about playing with a cat on the piano keyboard?

  34. 34
    Ohio Mom says:

    Ohio Family is waiting for a table. The restaurant’s sound system is playing the Beach Boys’ Good Vibrations.

    I just googled, that song came out in ‘66, fifty-three years ago — a half century. In 1966, we were not listening to music from 1913.

  35. 35
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Ohio Mom:

    Yes! I find it so weird. We went out Saturday night and they were playing “I Fooled Around and Fell in Love.”

  36. 36
    Kathleen says:

    @mrmoshpotato: Here’s my friend’s account (names are redacted):

    Rupert doesn’t agree with Meatless Monday. Rather than complain, the kitty caught a live snake and left the slithery serpent in the dining room. It was big enough to feed the 3 of us. I screamed and screamed. XXX flew down the stairs almost stepping on the creature. Quite amazing, I didn’t know XXX (ed note, XXX is 60-70 something) could jump so high. XXX disposed of the snake. Rupert is disgusted with both of us. (Would have included pics, but the snake was between me and the camera).

  37. 37
  38. 38

    @Kathleen: That’s hilarious. I had a friend who lived in the boonies, when I lived in Maine. She had horses, dogs, kittehs on her farm. Her cat used get small snakes and leave them on the bed as gifts. Snakes in Maine are tiny and non-poisonous but still..

  39. 39
    Sab says:

    @Ohio Mom: I don’t much like the Beachboys. I think they were tonally challenged, so a lot of their music just makes me wince. Their “harmonies” simple weren’t . Songs were okay, but not when performed by them.

  40. 40
    Barbara says:

    @lamh36: “the moment I met you was my moment of lift.” That is so genuinely sweet I have tears.

  41. 41
    Sab says:

    My husband just called my favorite cat an “asshole”. Something about feeding standards.

  42. 42
    Barbara says:

    @rikyrah: My sister in law has had chickens, ducks and geese, no less, at varying times, in a very urban environment. The geese are somewhat aggressive so I like the ducks better.

  43. 43
    Ruckus says:

    Sister won a duckling at the city carnival and it grew up to be a mallard. Beautiful guy but a bit messy to clean up after. Also our golden retriever would retrieve him up on the back porch and someone would have take the poor guy away from the dog. Worse of course was the skunks that the dog would also retrieve to up on the back porch. Now the dog didn’t hurt any of the animals that she retrieved, just annoyed them. She annoyed the skunks so much that they rewarded her with perfume. Her and the back porch that someone had to get the stink out of. Fun times.

  44. 44
    The Lodger says:

    @Ceci n est pas mon nym: I think you and your wife are living our lives. At least our cats have similar attitudes regarding territory.

  45. 45
    trollhattan says:

    Trievers gotta trieve.

    You. Can. Not. Stop. This.

  46. 46
    Kathleen says:

    @schrodingers_cat: I’m terrified of snakes (motto: “If it slithers I get the jitters”) so I can totally relate to her freak out. When I was a kid in St. Paul our cat sneaked a bloodied bird into the house while we were eating dinner and I’ve never forgotten it, though it happened back in (check notes) 1961.

  47. 47
    Raven says:

    @Sab: stuff a pike

  48. 48
    Sab says:

    @Raven: What do you mean?

  49. 49
    TenguPhule says:

    Delta told workers to spend on video games and beer instead of union dues. It didn’t go well.

    Two posters made by Delta as part of an effort to dissuade thousands of its workers from joining a union drew a torrent of criticism after they were posted on social media Thursday.

    The posters included messages targeting the price of the dues that company workers would be paying if the union formed.

    “Union dues cost around $700 a year,” one noted. “A new video game system with the latest hits sounds like fun. Put your money towards that instead of paying dues to the union.”

    The other, with a picture of a football, was framed similarly.

    “What does $700 mean to you?” it said. “Nothing’s more enjoyable than a night out watching football with your buddies. All those union dues you pay every year could buy a few rounds.”

  50. 50
    Tazj says:

    @daize: That sounds like one of my cats. I understand why he likes the laptop keyboard, it’s warm and it buzzes, but why he wants to sleep on my left hand, I don’t know.

    @Ceci n est pas mon nym: That’s funny.

    Pearl is beautiful.

  51. 51
    geg6 says:


    I laugh, but my ex and I once got bar stools for our family room bar that were shipped from Malaysia. Unbeknownst to us, one of the boxescame with a snake. Hilarity ensued once I found it. By what I could find later on the internet, it was a very venomous snake that could have killed us both in about ten minutes (venom attacked the autonomic nervous system) had we gotten bitten. As it was, I jumped on top of the dining room table and screamed while the ex swept it into a bag with a broom. He let it go into a ravine near our local Ohio River tributary. I’m guessing the climate of Western PA was not conducive to its survival.

  52. 52
    jl says:

    There’s a demand for ‘ful’ news too. Har har har…

  53. 53
    Sab says:

    @TenguPhule: I like to fly Delta but management assholes.

    I applied for a job with them in the seventies. They sent back an extremely rude letter about why I hadn’t turned up for the interview. I had turned up for the interview, and they were extremely rude.

    Persuaded me not to fly them for a generation, but they were epically rude and racist. What is a nitwit in Ohio supposed to do?

  54. 54
    Baud says:


    “I have had it with these motherfucking snakes in this motherfucking bar stool box.”

  55. 55
    geg6 says:


    LOL, it was before that movie but my sentiment was identical.

  56. 56
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    Pearl is beautiful.

    She is, I agree, but the name grates me wrong. Pearl was the name of my stepmother. She loved my dad, I guess, and no doubt she was a brilliant commercial artist (I know I’ve posted before that she painted the ubiquitous “Little Debbie” image which appears on baked goods and snack foods everywhere), but as a person she had no use for me or my siblings, and the distaste was pretty much reciprocated. I know that makes me shallow, but rant pis.

  57. 57

    @geg6: OMG that’s scary!

  58. 58
    geg6 says:


    Really? Your evil stepmother was the Little Debbie lady? That’s cray cray!

  59. 59
    Ohio Mom says:

    @Sab: I can take or leave The Beach Boys myself — I was just struck, for the umpteenth time, that unlike other generations’ music, ours never stops being played. For whatever reason.

    On the way out, the sound system was playing a newer song: Linda Ronstadt telling us It’s so easy to fall in love. From 1977. Forty-two years ago.

  60. 60
    geg6 says:


    You have no idea. I had been traumatized by a copperhead as a small child (about 3 or 4 yo). I am freaked by black snakes and garter snakes. Imagine my reaction to what I think was a common krait.

  61. 61
    Kathleen says:

    @geg6: What a close call. I’d still be shaking over that!

  62. 62
    Raven says:

    Unbeknownst to me my bride took a pic of me cleaning the big fish for the young man last night. The Bohdi was on the lookout!

  63. 63
    Jay says:


    It often takes a lot of energy for a venomous snake to make it’s poison.

    As a result, they prefer not to use it for “defence”, but instead prey.

    Other than all of the Ozzie ones, Africa’s Black Mamba and a few other ones.

  64. 64
    Ohio Mom says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: There is a reason fairy tales are full of bad stepmothers. Under the best of circumstances, it’s a very fraught relationship. And the circumstances are often not the best.

    Now for me, the name Pearl brings back memories of my rather empty-headed aunt. My uncle, her brother, once remarked “there’s no there there in Pearl,” which crystallized things for me. That uncle crystallized a lot of things for me. I’ll always miss him.

  65. 65
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Ohio Mom:
    It’s So Easy is a Buddy Holly song. Per his discography in Wikipedia, it’s from 1958.

  66. 66
    Kathleen says:

    @Sab: Then you’ll appreciate Senator Sherrod Brown’s take down of Delta on Twitter:

    He starts out with this:

    Shame on Delta for this condescending bullshit. A gaming system can’t give you fair wages, health care benefits, job security, retirement benefits. And apparently, Delta doesn’t want to either. @SenSherrodBrown

  67. 67
    Raven says:

    The Beach Boys were awesome and ya’ll can kiss my ass.

  68. 68
    Jay says:


    Pet Sounds,……

  69. 69
    Ohio Mom says:

    @Amir Khalid: Of course you are right, I’d forgotten. Buddy Holly is just before the rock era that gets played incessantly.

  70. 70
    Raven says:

    And the Wrecking Crew and Swampers played on everything, so what?

  71. 71
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    Yes. She was a very successful and sought-after illustrator during the ‘40s and ‘50s and even into the early ‘60s, until demand for that whole area of talent and expertise dried up. Pearl* painted lots of pinups and calendar girls. Barbara Hale (“Della Street” on the Perry Mason TV show) was one of Pearl’s most reliable nude models, long before she got famous.

    When I was s little girl, I was crazy in love with a paper doll book called “Seven and Seventeen” — two sets of big- and little-sister pairs, with matching outfits for every occasion. Pearl painted the sisters.

    And yes, she is the artist behind Little Debbie. She was paid, IIRC, a flat fee of $1,000 for unlimited use of the image (although, in fairness, the company sent her a very nice thank-you letter). If she had negotiated for a fraction of a fraction of a cent per reproduction, I suppose I’d be a brazillionaire by now. Alas.

    * If you have any interest in seeing her work, or learning more about her, you should be able to Google either PEARL FRUSH or PEARL FRUSH MANN for bios and some images of her paintings.

  72. 72
    geg6 says:


    I’d say Brian Wilson was awesome. Mike Love is fucking no talent, thieving douchebag. And “God Only Knows” may be the greatest pop song of all time.

  73. 73
    zhena gogolia says:


    Barbara Hale (“Della Street” on the Perry Mason TV show) was one of Pearl’s most reliable nude models, long before she got famous.

    OMG, you are blowing my mind.

  74. 74

    That’s weird, I seem to have lost the keys to the place.

  75. 75
    geg6 says:


    That is fascinating. I will check her out. I love pinup art.

  76. 76
    Raven says:

    @geg6: I stand by my statement.

    I guess I should’ve kept my mouth shut
    When I started to brag about my car
    But I can’t back down now because
    I pushed the other guys too far
    She makes me come alive
    And makes me wanna drive
    When she says “Don’t worry baby”
    Don’t worry baby
    Don’t worry baby
    Everything will turn out alright

  77. 77
    zhena gogolia says:


    That’s a nice one.

  78. 78
    Aleta says:

    @Raven: No better song. Ferron’s cover of it was equally great.

  79. 79
    geg6 says:


    That’s all Brian Wilson. All the rest of them could have been any reasonably talented studio musicians and you’d never know the difference. Plus, Mike Love is a giant douchebag MAGAt. And has been ripping off Brian Wilson for decades. I despise him.

  80. 80
    Jay says:

    @Ohio Mom:

    Last Saturday, CBC Radio One’s Vinyl Tap, hosted by Randy Bachmann, had a The Day the Music Died Tribute. Randy and some high school friends had played hooky from school and were on a road trip from Winterpeg to North Dakota to catch Buddy Holly and the Crickets, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper concert,

    And the plane went down,

  81. 81
    Raven says:

    Warmth of the sun is killer.

  82. 82
    Raven says:

    @geg6: you don’t get it, I don’t care what you think.

  83. 83
    Raven says:

    @Jay: Waylon gave up his seat.

  84. 84
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    She was, I believe, considered one of the best female pinup artists of her time. A very gifted and skilled artist, for sure.

    Personally, well….

  85. 85
  86. 86
    geg6 says:


    I may not always love you
    But long as there are stars above you
    You never need to doubt it
    I’ll make you so sure about it
    God only knows what I’d be without you
    If you should ever leave me
    Though life would still go on, believe me
    The world could show nothing to me
    So what good would living do me
    God only knows what I’d be without you
    God only knows what I’d be without you
    If you should ever leave me
    Though life would still go on, believe me
    The world could show nothing to me
    So what good would living do me
    God only knows what I’d be without you

  87. 87
    patrick II says:

    Last week someone here called our Secretary of Energy Rick Perry “governor D in Meats” after a class he didn’t do well with in college. A commentator said that the class was a bigger deal than we thought, and that a Meats college course was important in the restaurant business, and that there was actually significant competition in the best meat analysts. So, perhaps someone from Sports Illustrated reads Balloon Juice? Because today the cover story on the internet version of Sports Illustrated was Welcome to the World of Competitive College Meat Judging

  88. 88
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @zhena gogolia:

    Nice, thank you! I see Pearl Frush (my stepmom) is listed first of the three female superstars of pinup illustration.

    Many thanks for the link. We may not have cared much for each other in real day-to-day life, but I will admit to taking a bit of vicarious pride in Pearl’s enormous and well-deserved success as a painter and commercial illustrator.

  89. 89
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @Kathleen: Livens up the day for sure.

  90. 90
    Jay says:



    Back in the day, I was playing “Love in Vain”, from “Get your ya ya’s out”, for my Mom.

    She recognized the song, went down into the basement, came back up with a quarter inch thick ‘78, and played me the Robert Johnson version.

  91. 91
    trollhattan says:

    Whoa, mom!

  92. 92
    Jay says:


    Yup, Mom was cool.

  93. 93
    mrmoshpotato says:

    Looks like music has taken over the comments.

    Surfin’ Bird by The Trashmen for the win.

  94. 94
    zhena gogolia says:


    Yes, those are great images.

  95. 95

    @SiubhanDuinne: If it makes it any better, I think of Pearl as more Minnie Pearl, complete with price tag/hat.

  96. 96

    It’s long been known that cats read with their butts (which is why they will always sit on whatever book or paper you are reading)… but it is now also clear that they type with their butts as well.

  97. 97
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @zhena gogolia:

    Barbara Hale (“Della Street” on the Perry Mason TV show) was one of Pearl’s most reliable nude models, long before she got famous.

    OMG, you are blowing my mind.


  98. 98
    seaboogie says:

    Ruv. 🙏

  99. 99
    Just One More Canuck says:

    @Raven: got your best side

Comments are closed.