National Domestigraphic

Exploring The Great Indoors

Tribal Paternal Holiday

Written By: alb3rt - Jun• 20•05

This region of the outback has a yearly Tribal Paternal Holiday this time of year, and so the warden and Ken went to the clan’s abode of parents. I asked to come along as a sign of interest, but in fact was hoping to document other habitats for comparison. But I had a good time. And I ate well. And Koalas are allowed to put their feet on the table. we ARE cleaner than humans, you know.

Me at Tribal Group's Paternal Party

Their indoor habitat was a spare wasteland in comparison to this one. Here, you can’t go from one room to another without being trampled by smallcats or a vigorously excited “pasha” and even during periods of faunal inactivity it’s hard not to step on either.

There they had a single smallcat named “Wart” or “Wort” or “Tamara” or something similar. And she appears to be inactive most if not all of the time. If felt it rude to poke animals in someone else’s preserve, so I just took a picture.

Less Than Active Smallcat

Please note her eyes were not glowing when I took the picture. Do not be concerned. I am sure there is a valid scientific explanation. I hope.

There were also very few fruits. Being accustomed to an almost orgiastic cornucopic superfluosity of such vegetation, I was nervous about the survival of their micro-ecosystem. Maybe they eat clocks or something. There sure were a lot of those. If they aren’t edible, I can only surmise their purpose as a cultural obsession with the abstractions of temporality. Or maybe they just like clocks.

The smaller midget wolf came with us, and apparently she was familiar with this environment, as she expressed some extreme extrapolation of Pavlovian reaction. She was at full attention wherever food was present, far more than here at the preserve. And she seemed to spend a lot more time outdoors, even sitting throne-like in a human chair. And she made sure to mark the territorial equivalent of a small nation known as the “backyard.” I wish we had one of these. The backyard, not the marking.

The midget wolf in another habitat

The father of the clan was awarded a flamingo named “Skeeter” who apparently is my brother and likes fishing. I believe the fishing part, but he doesn’t look much like me, or Fenway, or my brother sent out West. I am starting to think we are all adopted.

Skeeter in his new home

In the end it was a good party and we did not eat clocks.

My First Request

Written By: alb3rt - Jun• 15•05

Someone requested pictures of the midget wolves. At first I almost got stuck climbing into the freezer looking for a “sausage dog” before Ken explained to me that midget wolves are also called dogs. How strange. Maybe he is raising them for food as with the cats.

I’m still taking some pictures with Ken, but in the meantime, check out his photo album from when he took the two wolves to an outdoor region known as “South Park”. The almbun can be found HERE.

A New Brother

Written By: alb3rt - Jun• 15•05

Fenway and I went to the Build-A-Bear at the Walden Galleria Outpost yesterday. Ken and his wife the game warden made “Bunsen” as a gift. We spent some time together chatting about this and that, but he seemed pensive, being new and all. Confused maybe, because we made him and he had to be shipped to family as a present right away out West. But we bears have ways of keeping in touch, so I think he’ll be alright.

The pictures from our trip can be found HERE.

Special Report: Smallcat Catastrophe

Written By: alb3rt - Jun• 09•05

It’s desperate times at the indoor preserve. A sudden heat wave has resulted in Ken wearing an abnormally sparse amount of clothing, but far worse, it has taken its toll on a number of the cats. Their bodies are strewn about so that wherever you go, there lies a lifeless heap of fur. The herd may have dwindled to a mere few dozen survivors.

Oh, the Felinity!

CATastrophe!
CATastrophe!
CATastrophe!
CATastrophe!

Ken responded with a quick installation of a second air conditioner. In inclement weather nonetheless. Handling an electrical appliance in a thunderstorm. Of course, it was in his office where most of the animals are not allowed, but it’s the thought that counts.

What I’ve been up to.

Written By: alb3rt - Jun• 02•05

I have been really busy lately during the one hour a day I am not asleep writing draft articles for National Domestigraphic. Other than that, I’ve been expanding my poking the animals for responses, but have only the following worthy to report.

Poking the midget wolf

I was hesitant at first, but mustered the courage to poke the midget wolf, which Ken identifies alternately as “Lady”, “Bug”, and “Dog.” She paid no attention, but my persistence over a few minutes made the wolf release a low, gurgling, growling noise, like the rolling “R” sound of a old hispanic woman with a very sore throat. Who can’t breathe.

Irritated midget wolf

At that point my instincts told me it was time to move on.

I pursued a number of the smallcats, as you can see in the image below. This individual is known in the preserve as “Lydia”, although I call her “Black-Poofy-Female-With-Attitude-And-Sharp-Teeth.” The image after that conveys a result emblematic of such efforts.

Cat Poke Attempt
Smallcat in flight

However, with the help of Ken, I have devised a way to sneak up on my subjects and observe or poke them at will. More on this later.

Field Report

Written By: alb3rt - May• 23•05

One of the smallcats got in the room a moment ago and sems to be hunting me.

Where is he?

If thisrlniw;et qn83482114 38p534t34lds;acw/,pca/04awt; tw

Nevermind. He just leapt off the keyboard and is returning to the carpeted plains of his comrades.

Poking Around, Zoologically Speaking

Written By: alb3rt - May• 11•05

I know you all have been wondering where I’ve been the last week or so. As evident from this photo taken of Fenway and myself, I’ve been on the couch.

Femway and I, on the couch

But this is not being idle mind you. Alright, in this instance, we were relaxing after a particularly long baseball game. (They all seem particularly long, don’t they?) But based on observations of the rituals of the humans, Fenway has discovered that rubbing one of the flatroamers (see previous entry) somehow effects the behaviour of an unrelated and less animate object, the telly. From this we were able to watch all sorts of things, including a lot of baseball, which I enjoy, but do not understand. But more importantly, I was able to engage in continuing education by viewing lectures by Steve Irwin, the “Crocodile Hunter.” Incidentally, on his website it says that Koalas can sleep as much as 23 hours a day. I shall use this as an alternate excuse in the future for not updating my field notes journal.

From observing his technique, which he demonstrated time and again, I now know how to best exhibit each of the animals here to you, the viewer. The process is simple.

1. Search for an animal.
2. Follow, grab, and/or poke the animal until it illicits a response.
3. Discuss the response with a tone of excited fascination.
4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 until you are bitten, trampled, mauled, or get bored.
5. Move onto another animal, or take a commercial break.

I figured I would start with an easy target, Hastings Pudding, aka the smallcat who will talk to me. Here is a recalling of the events and subsequent conversation.

First, I approached him using one of a pair of cooking-size chopsticks.

Then I poked him.

Hastings Poke Reaction!

Look at that reaction! He instantly went to sniff it when realizing he was threatened! No, he’s turning back to go to sleep! These creatures can sleep or unexpectedly sniff what’s poking them in the blink of an eye! Well, a slow blink, anyway! We better be careful!

I poked him some more, but it grew frustrating after a while. “Respond, wild beast! Respond! Respond, I say!”

Hastings Poked Some More

Hastings finally asked what I was doing and why. I explained my end of the predicament, and he was recalcitrant to comply. However, he did promise he’d show his teeth if I waited around for him to yawn. So I got bored and moved onto the next animal. I shall recall that in my next entry. Consider this a commercial break. A Koala has to get his 23 hours of sleep after all.

Robot Mouse Awareness & Appreciation. With lasers.

Written By: alb3rt - May• 05•05

It seems that life can thrive under almost any conditions. Even being attached to a computer. Today I discovered that the mechanism I use to guide the arrow on the screen is a mouse. A robot mouse. With lasers. I know it sounds dangerous, but they are actually quite friendly. And cooperative. Just do not point the laser directly into your eyes. And keep out of reach of children. And do not swallow, even if you normally eat mice. Ken tried to explain why they have lasers, but when he started talking about cleaning mouse balls I decided not to ask him any more questions on the subject. Trust me. It’s for the best.

I am still pondering the relationship the humans have with the mouse. I think there might even be a power struggle for domestication, where instead of simply enjoying life with the humans there is something called a “slave drive” in the computer. I don’t know if this is really an issue for the mouse or any other mouse. If it is, consider this a public service announcement.

My Robot Mouse Friend

Be kind to your robot mouse.

Your robot mouse is your friend.

And remember that they have lasers. And you probably don’t.

First, or actually second trace of aquatic life

Written By: alb3rt - May• 01•05

As alarming as it sounds, I live beneath a shark. Referred to in French as “requiem,” a word derived from the Latin, associated with death, sharks can actually be quite pleasant, except when cajoled by Ken into attacking the unsuspecting yet then irritated midget wolf. Not a pleasant sight. Anyway, he doesn’t have a name, but he’s a very soft shark, and spends most of the time guarding the top of the couch from the smallcats. I think I’ll just call him a “couchshark,” not because of any identifying marks often associated with laying on one’s side for too long on a couch, but because of his unique not-quite-aquatic habitat.

Couchshark

Now for my second exposure to aquatic wildlife here at the indoor preserve. While exploring the bathroom, I found a specimen of a porifera which seems to have fallen from its colony high above the larger, yet most often dry watering hole. First an image of its nested colony:

Colony of Porifera

And here is the specimen itself:

Porifera Specimen

At first I was concerned it had been hurt, but when I rushed to get Ken, he assured me it was alright. He was about to return it to its colony, but with quick thinking and persuasion, he allowed me to interview it first.

Here is a transcript of the interview, with notes in brackets of things I did, but did not actually say.

ND {National Domestigraphic reporter Alb3rt}: Good morning, sir. Ma’am. Your spongeness.

Sponge: Sponge

ND: Are you alright?

Sponge: Sponge

ND: Good. I guess.

So, were you down here intentionally, or did you fall?

Sponge: Sponge

ND: Alright then, well, may I ask you to tell me about some of the places you’ve been besides the high shelf?

Sponge: Sponge

ND: Well, Ken said you might not want to talk about where you’ve been or the things you’ve seen. I’ll respect your privacy. But could you tell me why you, as marine life, are living in a higher environment than the land creatures, instead of the other way around?

Sponge: Sponge

ND: Hmmmm. Would you object to me poking you a bit? [I figured it may be more responsive to touch than purely verbal questions.]

Sponge: Sponge {squishing sound}

ND: Thank you for your response. I see there are a few of you up on the shelf. Do you plan to build a reef up there over time?

Sponge: Sponge {squishing sound}

ND: Oh. I see. Could you elaborate on that?

Sponge: Sponge {squishing sound} Sponge {more squishing sound}

ND: Well that’s great. I suppose. For a sponge, anyway.

Sponge: Sponge {hesitant squishing sound}

ND: One last thing. I noticed you have some kind of cord through you. Is this a body piercing with poriferic cultural meaning, or have you been tagged for study?

Sponge: Sponge {squishing sound}

ND: Oh. Alright. Well, thank you for your cooperation.

Sponge: Sponge {seemingly thankful squishing sound}

ND: No, thank YOU.

Well, there you have it. This might be the very first Koala-Sponge dialogue in history. I’m glad all of you reading this are there to cherish the moment with me.

When is Alb3rt’s computer time?

Written By: alb3rt - Apr• 29•05

I think I need a computer of my own. Ken has been doing work all the time, liberally interspersed with playing something called “Hobowars” – he says he’s the leader of a gang, whatever that means – and other equally unproductive activities, usually accompanied with bouts of elation and less than pristine language. I usually update after he goes to sleep, but by then I’m usually asleep on or near my habitat of choice, the couch. But National Domestigraphic is counting on me, so here I am.

I’ve been putting my gear to good use. I have a backpack to carry my stuff around in now, such as the stuffed camera (for effect mostly), a magnifying glass, and a butterfly catcher, among other things. This has inspired me to take up climbing, something you would expect from a koala anyway, but for me this is a means to observe the preserve as an ecological gestaltic whole. Or at least the small cats while in a feeding frenzy.

Here’s a couple of pictures of me Ken took. The first one is where I was about to establish a basecamp on top the fridge on my way to a particularly high peak in the kitchen. I abondoned that effort when I realized I was almost to the top anyway. The achievement was mine alone (see second picture). Why did the koala climb the highest cupboard? The same reason people climb the highest mountains. Bragging rights.

Almost Basecamp

Kitchen Cupboard Peak

From there I was able to watch small cats roam, midget wolves follow the humans about, and watched as various guests came and went. For those moments I was like a koala god, looking down from my personal heaven, surveying all. I wish I hadn’t forgotten to ask for Ken’s camera.

Also in the last few days I’ve been taking it easier, getting to know my couchmate and brother, Fenway. He was there when I was born those many days ago, and is such a constant companion I sometimes fail to mention him, but mostly because he isn’t really part of the preserve’s game stock, but like me, one of the more personable inhabitants. Here is a picture of Fenway I took while he was checking Red Sox stats.

Fenway checking stats

Apart from whispering warnings that the Ken’s wife “throttles” him during moments of stress involving baseball on the telly, we talk about the simplicities of life, eschewing epistimological contemplations and the swapping of scientific hypotheses. After all, he is only a stuffed teddy bear.

Speaking of which, until there is equal time for Koalas on Ken’s computer, I will have to post while I can. I hear him right now talking about the Hobowars site being down and he wants to see if it’s back up. Every five minutes.