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breeden
ursulav

(no subject)

My father called today, having seen the Howling Blizzard Of Death warnings for the area, and mentioned in passing that the rat in "Nailing Down the Moon" looked a lot like the naked rats they used to get on the ranch. And I hadn't thought of 'em for years, but he was quite right, and I wonder if that early exposure to naked rodentia accounts to my modern love of the naked mole rat.

The rats in question were a weird byproduct of Rex rats. See, my stepmother figured that since they were breeding rats anyway--to feed the snakes, and later on quite a large scale to sell to pet stores--they might as well do rat shows, and to that end bred some lovely show rats with the unusual markings and so forth. (Before you say anything, yes, I do know how weird this sounds.) And one of the types of interesting rats is the Rex rat, which like a Rex cat has tight, kinky fur. Fine and good so far. Problem is that the gene appears to be one of those weird recessives that double up poorly--carry one gene for sickle-cell anemia and you're malaria resistant, carry two and you die young. In this case, one Rex parent gets you a Rex rat, two Rex parents get you a naked rat with fur on its head and in an extended mohawk down the spine, and bald pink skin everywhere else.

They were pretty funky lookin' little rats. And the rat in my quick scribble does, indeed, somewhat resemble them in its bony weirdness. Obviously that particular image stuck somewhere in the art brain and was just waiting for a chance to re-emerge.

Neat.

breeden
ursulav

(no subject)

My father called today, having seen the Howling Blizzard Of Death warnings for the area, and mentioned in passing that the rat in “Nailing Down the Moon” looked a lot like the naked rats they used to get on the ranch. And I hadn’t thought of ‘em for years, but he was quite right, and I wonder if that early exposure to naked rodentia accounts to my modern love of the naked mole rat.

The rats in question were a weird byproduct of Rex rats. See, my stepmother figured that since they were breeding rats anyway–to feed the snakes, and later on quite a large scale to sell to pet stores–they might as well do rat shows, and to that end bred some lovely show rats with the unusual markings and so forth. (Before you say anything, yes, I do know how weird this sounds.) And one of the types of interesting rats is the Rex rat, which like a Rex cat has tight, kinky fur. Fine and good so far. Problem is that the gene appears to be one of those weird recessives that double up poorly–carry one gene for sickle-cell anemia and you’re malaria resistant, carry two and you die young. In this case, one Rex parent gets you a Rex rat, two Rex parents get you a naked rat with fur on its head and in an extended mohawk down the spine, and bald pink skin everywhere else.

They were pretty funky lookin’ little rats. And the rat in my quick scribble does, indeed, somewhat resemble them in its bony weirdness. Obviously that particular image stuck somewhere in the art brain and was just waiting for a chance to re-emerge.

Neat.

Originally published at Tea with the Squash God. You can comment here or there.


breeden
ursulav

(no subject)

Annnnd...it's snowing again. Through the night. Odds are good of a nice hard freeze, too, which would give the road the approximate consistency of snail snot, but we'll have to wait and see. The pre-emptive closings filtering by on the bottom of the TV screen are impressive.

Dave, a local friend of mine, made an excellent point awhile back, that whenever a storm is announced, people rush out to buy bread, milk, and eggs, obviously in the hopes that the Storm Gods can be appeased by sacrifices of French toast. I have always hated French toast, so when I rush to the store, I get coffee cake, bacon, and steak. And sometimes a cheese log and triscuits if I'm feeling really festive. So we're armed for the snow. James made Gaelic steak tonight, which involves a sauce of Irish whiskey, lit on fire, then smothered in cream. It's even better than it sounds, which is saying something, and he still has both eyebrows.

When it was still light, I do have to say that it was lovely out back--white snow outlining all the trees, little birds flitting back and forth like they were posing for Hallmark, our local red-bellied woodpecker looking practically artifical with that fabulous red noggin against the washed out trees.

Nevertheless, it is snow, and even if every snowflake grew a tiny fairy body, joined hands, and performed a flawless rendition of the Nutcracker on the deck railing while singing carols of unearthly beauty in tiny tinkling silver voices--I'd still have to slog through that crap to get to the garbage cans.

I think living in Minnesota may have blunted some of my finer aesthetic sensabilities re: winter.

breeden
ursulav

(no subject)

Annnnd…it’s snowing again. Through the night. Odds are good of a nice hard freeze, too, which would give the road the approximate consistency of snail snot, but we’ll have to wait and see. The pre-emptive closings filtering by on the bottom of the TV screen are impressive.

Dave, a local friend of mine, made an excellent point awhile back, that whenever a storm is announced, people rush out to buy bread, milk, and eggs, obviously in the hopes that the Storm Gods can be appeased by sacrifices of French toast. I have always hated French toast, so when I rush to the store, I get coffee cake, bacon, and steak. And sometimes a cheese log and triscuits if I’m feeling really festive. So we’re armed for the snow. James made Gaelic steak tonight, which involves a sauce of Irish whiskey, lit on fire, then smothered in cream. It’s even better than it sounds, which is saying something, and he still has both eyebrows.

When it was still light, I do have to say that it was lovely out back–white snow outlining all the trees, little birds flitting back and forth like they were posing for Hallmark, our local red-bellied woodpecker looking practically artifical with that fabulous red noggin against the washed out trees.

Nevertheless, it is snow, and even if every snowflake grew a tiny fairy body, joined hands, and performed a flawless rendition of the Nutcracker on the deck railing while singing carols of unearthly beauty in tiny tinkling silver voices–I’d still have to slog through that crap to get to the garbage cans.

I think living in Minnesota may have blunted some of my finer aesthetic sensabilities re: winter.

Originally published at Tea with the Squash God. You can comment here or there.