Funny stories! (and pets, apparently)

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Funny stories! (and pets, apparently)

Postby Natural ChemE on October 26th, 2015, 3:03 am 

Any favorite funny stories?

Hyperbole and a Half has some truly wonderful stories. For example:
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Re: Funny stories!

Postby Braininvat on October 27th, 2015, 12:45 pm 

This is, to use a Net acronym I very rarely employ (because it is rather dishonest), PIMP funny.

Cats are so much easier. They will emit the noises, but as long as they are in a small dark enclosure of some kind, on a favorite towel or other bedding, they seem to be able to weather all the changes. After all, they are in a small dark box which, after a few miles down the road, smells like them and their pee. And the SDB protects them from the angry engine noise and the demented banshee wail of air rushing past the car, and the jostling and such. The key is, when you arrive at a new house, to keep the small dark box open and accessible at all times for the first week or two.
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Re: Funny stories!

Postby BioWizard on October 28th, 2015, 3:24 pm 

Mammals are just too high maintenance (and strong smelling) for me. I've always preferred the feathered kind.
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Re: Funny stories!

Postby Serpent on October 28th, 2015, 4:26 pm 

had a big old orange tomcat who travelled from Ontario (Canada, not California, which would be just next door) to LA in the extended cab of a pick-up truck, with two people and three dogs. He didn't need a cage, never wet anything, never complained. Waited until the nightly motel stop for toilet and food. Kept the dogs calm by curling up next to whichever one was nervous... until the pup threw up on him. An hour after arrival at a strange, unfurnished house, he was completely at his ease, sauntering over the arbour. I think that guy even had a sense of humour.

What kind of birds?
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Re: Funny stories!

Postby BioWizard on October 29th, 2015, 9:55 pm 

Serpent,

I've kept, bred, hand-raised, and trained everything from finches to passerines to hookbills. But right now I'm a bit obsessed with zebra finch color genetics, so I'm doing some color breeding experiments. I'm collaborating with someone in NC who's doing DNA extraction and sequencing on feathers I send - hoping to nail down some of the mutations that cause the color phenotypes that I like. Recently I started trying to breed show quality birds as well.

Trained Sun Conure to Fetch (dogs got nothing on us)




Trained zebra finches to recall (incredibly hard and you must raise them from hatching)




So well tamed they allow me to hand feed while in the nest



Yes I'm a little crazy :]
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Re: Funny stories!

Postby Natural ChemE on October 29th, 2015, 10:13 pm 

BioWizard,

Aw, those birds are adorable!

I love some of the smarter pups that'll go for a run with you without need for a leash. An ex who lived with me for a few years had one that'd respond to pretty much any basic command, so it was a matter of just telling the pup to go outside and do her business. Then she'd also join me for any outdoor excursion, play fetch, etc. Plus she was a large enough dog that there was some security in having her in the apartment while I was away (assuming intruders didn't immediately pick up on the fact that she was a gentle soul that wouldn't hurt a fly).

I'm currently in the process of training my kittens to bath themselves. They're at the point where I can just turn on the tub facet and they'll hop in and start washing up a bit, but they still tend to be shy about getting their midsections wet. It's hard for me to travel, leaving them alone for a while, but they've handled it well. No need to find someone to take care of them since they'll be just fine with freshly cleaned litter boxes and plenty of food and water.
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Re: Funny stories!

Postby Serpent on October 29th, 2015, 10:23 pm 

I'm impressed out of my frickin shoes! They're gorgeous.... and so small!

There are so many kinds of crazy. This is one of the better varieties, IMNSHO.

(Geez. Can's spell to save my life.)
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Re: Funny stories!

Postby BioWizard on October 29th, 2015, 10:26 pm 

Get this Natural ChemE, the conure you see above was so well bonded, I used to take her to the park and let her fly free. Then I'd call her when playtime was up and she'd fly right back.

Too bad I can't keep parrots at the moment. They're extremely intelligent and emotional. Which unfortunately means that they are also very demanding (some much worse than mammals), and I just don't have the time anymore. Finches are very low maintenance, and I get to enjoy running my little genetics experiments on the side.
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Re: Funny stories!

Postby BioWizard on October 29th, 2015, 10:30 pm 

Serpent » 29 Oct 2015 09:23 pm wrote:I'm impressed out of my frickin shoes! They're gorgeous.... and so small!


Hehe yeah. I use a P200 pipette tip and I hook it up to a 1 ml syringe. I've been pipetting for years, so I'm able to deliver 5-10 microliters at a time using that set up. More than that and they'll drown.
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Re: Funny stories!

Postby BioWizard on October 29th, 2015, 10:35 pm 

Sorry NCE looks like I hijacked your thread. Feel free to split my posts.

By the way, I'd like to have a dog like the one your described one day. But only if I'm living in a house with a yard. Which decreases the chances of that happening, at least for the time being, cause I really like condo living.
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Re: Funny stories!

Postby Serpent on October 29th, 2015, 11:08 pm 

BioWizard » October 29th, 2015, 9:30 pm wrote:
Serpent » 29 Oct 2015 09:23 pm wrote:I'm impressed out of my frickin shoes! They're gorgeous.... and so small!


Hehe yeah. I use a P200 pipette tip and I hook it up to a 1 ml syringe. I've been pipetting for years, so I'm able to deliver 5-10 microliters at a time using that set up. More than that and they'll drown.

I've done a bit of pipette wielding back in the day. Saved the odd orphaned bird, too. The small ones are not necessarily the hardest: sparrows mostly survive, while robins rarely do. Pigeons are easy. I've never had a finch. Didn't like my daughter's lovebirds; used to lust after Baretta's cockatoo. Now, I settle for a couple of feeders outside my window.

On the whole, I prefer furry. A magnificent black-and-white long-haired stray cat has been hanging around the back porch. I put out food and berate him; he listens attentively, but in seven months he's never let me get close. Last night I glanced out the kitchen door and he looked odd; the wrong shape somehow. It was a young skunk checking out the cat-food. Guess it's time to seal up the porch doors.
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Re: Funny stories!

Postby BioWizard on October 29th, 2015, 11:15 pm 

Rarely have I met a cat that I ended up liking. Their personalities are generally uninviting to me. Being allergic to most of them adds to the aversion. If I go furry, I'd definitely like a dog.
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Re: Funny stories!

Postby Natural ChemE on October 30th, 2015, 12:14 am 

BioWizard,

Hah, I like this direction of the thread! Mostly wanted something fun and light-hearted anyhow. =P

I grew up in a dog-people-kinda family, often with a strong distaste for cats. I would've gotten puppies if I had been able to afford the time to take care of them.

The kittens' loving side has been a major surprise for me, but I think that I get why folks see cats the way that they do. The kittens are really, really sensitive and easily scared and hurt. When they're being loving, they'll cuddle right up on my chest or/and keyboard pretty much 24/7, and try to get into anything I'm doing - including eating - which I can see folks overreacting to. I suspect that this miscommunication ends emotionally scarring a lot of animals who don't understand why their attempts at love and companionship meet negative responses.

Raising them's required a lot of patience with stuff. I can't punish them for anything that isn't reasonably obvious to them, and when I do punish them, it has to be immediate and gentle. I usually grab them by the scruff of their neck and hold them up in the air for 15-to-30 seconds. This mildly annoys them, but since I go right back to treating them lovingly afterward, they don't seem to misinterpret it.

Now they just sleep on my chest and follow me around like puppies. They seem to try emulating me, including when I wash my hands or eat. I love drinking milk, so I think that it meant a lot to them when I started giving them milk too (lactose-free, 'course).

They're still timid around strangers 'til they know who it is. And they were super-afraid of me back when I brought them home; took them weeks to really be comfortable sleeping outside of a little cave (like in the couch), and they still sleep in caves when I'm not around - or up high, either seems to work for them.

I guess that they just really love security. I suppose that they cling to me pretty hard 24/7 for the same reason that the used to hide in the couch when I first got 'em.

I love animals. =D

PS - I definitely want some pups, too, when I get a home large enough to give them the quality of life that they deserve.
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Re: Funny stories!

Postby Serpent on October 30th, 2015, 1:05 am 

I suspect the parental instinct is very strong in all humans, of all genders. Something small and fragile needs help, we go all mush inside. That's one of our redeeming characteristics.

I love dogs. Have had some terrific dogs. My partner is pining for one now, but I'm being tough, because at our age, with our health issues, we may very well not outlive another dog.... And, selfishly, I want five shit-free years before one of us ... well.
The cats [raccoons, skunks, turtles, chipmunks] we have no choice about: they just turn up. We lost two cats last winter: a long-legged orange tom we took in 15 years ago, who has been incontinent for the last three, and a B&W brat I plucked off of a soaking wet juniper (kee-rist, those things prick!) and nursed back to health from two near-fatal illnesses; failed the third time. Two cats materialized out of thin air this spring and summer. That B&W spook and a leggy orange kitten eerily like the sweet old guy who died in January in his box by the stove.

She's young, was easy to tame; likes rolling around under my desk, grabbing my feet. And she stinks - ear-crud and digestive disorders. I've been treating the ears and they're improving; feeding her home-made turkey and rice, which has yet to make a difference. I'm trying to love her - but she stinks.

Zathras was right: at least there's symmetry.
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Re: Funny stories!

Postby Braininvat on October 30th, 2015, 11:44 am 

Those birds are amazing. Not crazy to me, I can imagine getting very obsessed with them. I'm pretty omni-species when it comes to bonding with creatures. Penumbra, the stray puddy-tat we adopted recently, is a young shorthaired female with a very warm personality - might even thaw Biowizard - more like a dog than a cat in some respects. She follows you around outside, comes when you call, and likes to spoon with anyone who happens to be in a reclined or prone position. (thread fully derailed! lol)

I may have to confer with you NaturalChemE on the leaving young kittens for a few days, as Penny is pregnant (starting to show, which usually means in the last cat trimester, gestation is about 9 weeks) and might pop before we go out of town for 5 days. If they are real tiny, I guess they'll just stay in the basket (I've put out three towel-lined boxes and baskets in quiet areas of the house, hoping she'll pick one of those rather than splatter amniotic fluid and meconium over our bed or couch) and she will be okay if there's enough food and water. If they are bigger, might have to look into kitten-proofing our 1903 house, which I've been renovating and has lots of ways a tiny explorer could get into trouble.

(In the 80s, we had another old house, with widely spaced louvers on the furnace vents - this might almost veer back to thread topic - and a kitten fell in and slid all the way to the basement. Following the mews (unlike following the Muse) led to a section of duct about two feet from the furnace, and I had to disassemble the ductwork to get it out. Mother cat watched the whole rescue anxiously. meowing nonstop like some kind of cat sonar system she was bouncing off everything to triangulate her child. She did manage to maintain the call-and-response with the kitten that allowed us to locate it. When the kitten stepped out of the duct, nearly black with filth, she immediately started to clean it. After a couple licks, she stopped, her face clearly conveying disgust at the flavors she was pulling off, and looked at me as if to ask, "Would you mind bathing her, this time?")

Anyway, Penny gets one batch, then off to the local torture chamber aka vet, for spaying.
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Re: Funny stories!

Postby BioWizard on October 30th, 2015, 11:47 am 

Braininvat I was worrying about "going furry" being taken the wrong way. You definitely topped it with your spooning with.... ermm, cats.
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Re: Funny stories!

Postby Braininvat on October 30th, 2015, 11:59 am 

Heh heh. I trust all readers know it's the newer definition of spooning (nestled with, usually with both parties lying on their sides) and not the early 20th century definition (kissing amorously) that I'm using. Penny is very physical in her affection, I'll say that much. She will lick eyebrows, ears, and sometimes press a cold damp nose against your nose. I don't know how much of this manifests affection and how much is a time-tested method for speeding the awakening process in humans who are being unnecessarily dormant at 6 am.

You're right about parrots. We had a friend who adopted a parrot that had been neglected by its owner, and was completely bald all around its neck and upper breast - it had plucked all its feathers out, in distress. Smart and sensitive species.
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Re: Funny stories!

Postby BioWizard on October 30th, 2015, 12:04 pm 

Braininvat » 30 Oct 2015 10:59 am wrote:You're right about parrots. We had a friend who adopted a parrot that had been neglected by its owner, and was completely bald all around its neck and upper breast - it had plucked all its feathers out, in distress. Smart and sensitive species.


Yeah... How can I say this... It got to a point where I had to choose between having a GF and having that sun conure... It was very difficult to let her go but it was just not a sustainable situation. Anybody who came near me became a target of sometimes violent attacks. I had to rehome her to someone who had a boy sun conure, so that the tragedy doesn't keep repeating for her. She's been super happy, but doesn't listen to humans as much as she used to (probably cause she finally figured out she's actually a sun conure, not a human). She totally thought she was a tiny human for the longest time, and would insist on joining in whatever she could of my activities. For example, when I'm eating, she would insist on eating from the spoon, not directly from the plate - like I'd be doing. It was adorable but also a little creepy.
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Re: Funny stories! (and pets, apparently)

Postby ronjanec on November 1st, 2015, 3:12 pm 

When I was in church this morning, the pastor gave a sermon basically about "introspection": He said if a person lies to themselves enough about something they will actually start to believe it, and no one will be able to convince you otherwise, so we should look at many of our possibly long cherished beliefs about ourselves and examine if they are actually true(this of course is the short version of the message here)

The funny part? The pastor also said "that this does mean because of my sermon today that I want you to tell your wife husband daughter son boyfriend girlfriend brother sister or even your pastor that they really need to self examine their own faults because of what I am saying in church today": "I am (hello) believe it or not actually taking about you this morning!"(the pastor really knows his congregation!)

Maybe its just me, but I thought this was really funny, because you can almost bet that many of the people in the church were thinking exactly this same thing while he was giving the message, and in the process, of course missing the entire point of the sermon!

He also said that if a number of people you know are politely telling you the same negative thing about yourself or someone else, it is very possibly true, and that you are possibly in complete denial about this("Your new boyfriend is a real loser");

But on the other hand, he also said that when people you really do not know very well seem to offer you "kind" "helpful" and "constructive" criticism about yourself, they are probably doing this actually for their own benefit and not your("change your ways for my benefit")

At the end of the service, I of course had to go up to him and start telling him something that he personally needed to... He was initially very receptive about this for about one second until he got the joke. We both also got a big laugh about how his sermon "had to be about what someone else needed this morning"
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Re: Funny stories! (and pets, apparently)

Postby DragonFly on November 1st, 2015, 4:50 pm 

Think about a supernatural of ghosts, spirits, and such enough times and you may come to believe in them.
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Re: Funny stories! (and pets, apparently)

Postby ronjanec on November 1st, 2015, 5:47 pm 

DragonFly » Sun Nov 01, 2015 2:50 pm wrote:Think about a supernatural of ghosts, spirits, and such enough times and you may come to believe in them.


Well, I certainly hope that you are not talking about me here DragonFly!? And how can you be so certain that this is not true mr. smarty pants? :)
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Re: Funny stories! (and pets, apparently)

Postby ronjanec on November 2nd, 2015, 8:36 am 

DragonFly » Sun Nov 01, 2015 2:50 pm wrote:Think about a supernatural of ghosts, spirits, and such enough times and you may come to believe in them.


http://www.breitbart.com/news/report-ne ... n-a-ghost/ Thinking about it is one thing, seeing is another DF. What is 18 percent of say 325 million people? A little under 60 million right?

I have always tried to keep an open mind about this because of the fact that so many seemingly normal and intelligent people have over the prior centuries also claimed that this has happened to them and they can't all be crazy right? But I have to admit that even I was really shocked at the modern percentage here!

If only say 10 cases over the prior centuries is factual, then there must be some truth to people's religious beliefs right?
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Re: Funny stories! (and pets, apparently)

Postby BioWizard on November 2nd, 2015, 8:46 am 

You're not crazy if you merely "see" a ghost". It appears to be a normal byproduct of our brain's functioning. I recall seeing "ghosts" myself.

We already know our brain and senses play tricks on us.

You're only crazy if you consistently go with crazy/stupid/uninformed/irrational/etc explanations of what you (think you) see.
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Re: Funny stories! (and pets, apparently)

Postby ronjanec on November 2nd, 2015, 8:56 am 

BioWizard » Mon Nov 02, 2015 6:46 am wrote:You're not crazy if you "see" a ghost. It appears to be a normal byproduct of our brain's functioning. I recall seeing "ghosts" myself.

We already know our brain and senses play tricks on us.

You're only crazy if you go with crazy/stupid/uninformed/irrational/etc explanations of what you see. :)


I have never personally seen a "ghost" Bio, you have, and you are implying that I may be a little crazy? :)
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Re: Funny stories! (and pets, apparently)

Postby Natural ChemE on November 2nd, 2015, 11:35 am 

Braininvat,

Hah definitely not a cat expert, but the big thing that I noticed from my trip was that they didn't have much water when I got back. This surprised me since I laid down several extra large bowls of water, though I suspect that they may've tipped over the bowls at some point, then the bowls fixed their orientation. Or maybe they just drank a ton? Or it evaporated? Not sure.

But whatever the case, I'm gonna have to find a way to leave the kittens a large amount of water that they can't tip over or have evaporate next time. May involve some larger pots and pans.

Thankfully their water fountain did have some water left over when I got back, so they were okay even if I'm uncomfortable with how low it got. I was sure to unplug the fountain before going, since I don't know if the motor inside would've taken damage or caused a large problem when the water level got too low and it started sucking up air.

The kittens also ate a lot more food than I thought they would, but I guess dry food can't evaporate or get soaked into the carpet when tipped over, so that wasn't such a big problem.

I tried to keep some curtains open for them since they like to look out. I figured that they'd especially need to be able to see outside given that they were being left alone for a few days; didn't want them to feel all depressed.

'course did the other basics, like cleaning their litter boxes well and unplugging all of the electronics (since they occasionally try to chew on wires). Had to keep the windows closed since kittens like trying to climb on the wire screen, and I'm afraid that they'd tear it and get outside if left unmonitored. Also closed up the toilet seats and such since they do like to hop up on the toilets and can fall in.

I keep doors to rooms that I do projects in closed. I have a lot of little parts like small screws and nuts around, so I'm afraid that the kittens would try to eat those if I let them in those areas.

Oh, and I try to consider where they might fall. Like I have pillows down around the cat tree, and I try to keep sharp-ish corners (like table edges) away from the high places that they like to go up to. Also have some stuff like my shoe rack reinforced now so one cat can't accidentally have it fall over and hurt one of them.

They liked my tie collection too. I had one of those hangers that had a bunch of ties and belts up in the closet, but the kittens saw this as a huge cat toy. One solution would've been to keep the closet door closed, but they really like the closet as a place to hide when I'm out so I try to keep it accessible to them.

Not sure about plastic bags yet. They adore being able to hide in plastic bags - even transparent ones - though I have concerns. But you know the big plastic bags/boxes that are used to wrap collections of bottled water? The cats like those, and since they're relatively rigid, I feel like they're safer than less rigid plastic bags, e.g. normal grocery store bags.

Oh, and funny story: I got more cat food from Amazon.com the other day (this kind). When the box got here, the kittens attacked it. But it turns out that they weren't after the food inside the box (despite liking it) - they just wanted to get into the box as a place to hide!
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Re: Funny stories! (and pets, apparently)

Postby BioWizard on November 2nd, 2015, 11:54 am 

ronjanec » 02 Nov 2015 07:56 am wrote:
BioWizard » Mon Nov 02, 2015 6:46 am wrote:You're not crazy if you "see" a ghost. It appears to be a normal byproduct of our brain's functioning. I recall seeing "ghosts" myself.

We already know our brain and senses play tricks on us.

You're only crazy if you go with crazy/stupid/uninformed/irrational/etc explanations of what you see. :)


I have never personally seen a "ghost" Bio, you have, and you are implying that I may be a little crazy? :)


Hey, I didn't say I was sober when I saw it.
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Re: Funny stories! (and pets, apparently)

Postby ronjanec on November 2nd, 2015, 12:25 pm 

BioWizard » Mon Nov 02, 2015 9:54 am wrote:
ronjanec » 02 Nov 2015 07:56 am wrote:
BioWizard » Mon Nov 02, 2015 6:46 am wrote:You're not crazy if you "see" a ghost. It appears to be a normal byproduct of our brain's functioning. I recall seeing "ghosts" myself.

We already know our brain and senses play tricks on us.

You're only crazy if you go with crazy/stupid/uninformed/irrational/etc explanations of what you see. :)


I have never personally seen a "ghost" Bio, you have, and you are implying that I may be a little crazy? :)


Hey, I didn't say I was sober when I saw it.


Excuses, excuses.
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Re: Funny stories! (and pets, apparently)

Postby Braininvat on November 2nd, 2015, 12:44 pm 

NCE, thanks for all the tips. I know cats love the old paper grocery sacks, which are rigid enough that you can put them on their side, open, and they form a little "cave." I have heard about fountains, that cats prefer moving water, but never used one. I might try an inverted bottle dispenser (like an office water cooler). Water goes down fast here, due to the dry mountain air. Wife says we will have to wrap all the curtains around the rods, so that will also take care of the natural light supply. Scratching - what I've seen pretty consistently is that, if there is access to tree bark, cats will favor that over upholstered furniture. Penny has a favorite tree right outside the back door. If she's stuck inside, I'll have to haul in a log or two, maybe run a lag screw through a piece of plank and into the log, so it sits upright on a base. She might use it just laying on the floor, DK. Will experiment and report back.

All I know about ghosts is: "Don't let the beams cross!"
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Re: Funny stories! (and pets, apparently)

Postby Natural ChemE on November 2nd, 2015, 12:44 pm 

I wonder if ghosts are like test particles for our unconscious brain? It'd then make sense that our conscious minds perceive them more often when we're compromised (exhausted, intoxicated, scared, etc.) since our unconscious mind might be dropping the ball on filtering out brainstorming noise when in a weakened state.

For example, I'm constantly aware of hypothetical situations in which someone might walk up behind me. Presumably my brain's simulating someone actually walking up behind me as a regular activity in the back of my mind. And if I'm in a compromised condition, then my brain's normal systems of thought may be a little off-balance, potentially leading me to interpret a hypothetical person differently than I normally would. Human brains use fuzzy logic, right?

Heh random morning thoughts. =P
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Re: Funny stories! (and pets, apparently)

Postby ronjanec on November 2nd, 2015, 3:05 pm 

Biv and NCE,

Could you please stay on topic? The thread is now about whether or not the founder of our forum(BioWizard) has possibly been working too hard and has now (very sadly) "gone off the deep end"? He has already admitted to seeing what he calls "ghosts"(!) multiple times(please note the plural reference here) in an earlier post and is now very possibly in denial, and trying to blame this on "his drinking".

The best way to determine this is to give him the standardized "are you crazy test?"(or the A.Y.C.T. This test is widely believed to be 100 percent accurate) He will hopefully stop by later, we will give him the test, and we can then decide how to proceed from there.
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