Saturday, March 31, 2007

Notes of Marginal Interest

My Cat Is Not A Vegetarian. I just watched Fatso hunt down, torture and eat a gecko. Part of me felt like I should have done something to rescue it, but two years in rural Kenya does something to a person’s sense of Darwinian intervention. The cycle of life is the cycle of life. Cats hunt, geckos run. Plus, it was kind of like watching a train wreck. I really wanted to see every gory detail, from start to finish.

Fatso’s quite the hunter. My house is more free of creepy crawlies than it has ever been. My spider problem is now my former spider problem. Mice don’t bother coming inside. A line of ants is to Fatso what cereal dust is to a little kid. You know, tongues dabbing at stuff.

This gecko was…crunchy. I watched her bat it around for a few minutes, the gecko flopped on its back playing dead hoping she would go away. It looked miserable, and you could see the life slowing seeping out of its beady black eyes. Fatso kept batting it against my mattress and pushing it under my sheets, trying to get it to twitch so she could bat it around some more. I made a note to myself to remember where she left the body so I wouldn’t have any surprise gifts in the morning. But I didn’t have to. Fatso batted the gecko under my desk and ate it. And it sounded like this:

Crunch crunch crunch crunch.

Then she went over to where she had left the tail (which had broken off early in the hunt) and polished that off, too.

Crunch crunch crunch.

I Have Internet At Home! I’ve finally joined the modern world in Kenya. The newest group of volunteers, who arrived in September, all bought internet-enabled phones. It was something that I’d only vaguely heard about through the Peace Corps grapevine and one of my blog readers, and just recently I realized it would be a great thing to have. I mean, internet access in my very own house! So I spent three months thinking about it, and talking myself out of it, and then finally bought the phone last week. The best part is that the phone works in the States, too, so it’s 7,000 shillings unwasted.

The phone accesses the internet through the cell network, so I can theoretically get internet anywhere there’s cell phone coverage. It’s really cheap, something like 1 shilling per 70K of data downloaded. I usually spend about half a shilling to check my email. As if that weren’t enough, Opera makes software for mobile phones (Opera Mini, go to that basically compresses web pages into a few basic elements (mostly text) so a 50K page might end up being only 3K or so. I’m now working on getting software for my laptop so I can browse from my computer, instead of from the tiny screen on my phone.

I’m usually the last to discover new technology, so I won’t be surprised if I get a bunch of comments on this post telling me that this has been around for a couple of years now.


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