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Natasha Rabbitova's 2014 Blog

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MikeScone

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It's New Year's Day 2014, and Natasha and I have had lots of nice together time since Christmas Eve, since my office has been closed for the holidays. Tomorrow's a work day, but for now it's still bunny and Daddy time.



"Nothing, Dad. What did you think I was doing?"



I'm doing some computer work for a talk I'm giving to our local Aviation Explorers about flying my Cessna from Ithaca to Mack, Colorado, and back in May and June.

Natasha's been in and out of the computer room to see what I'm doing. She likes to play in her two digging boxes near the computer, where she can browse and watch me type.



No better fate for credit card offers than to run through the digestive system of a rabbit...



 

MikeScone

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We've got a Scout Winter Camporee coming up. It's on a science fiction theme - Ice Pirates 3D. You see, the Ice Pirates live on a planet where the oceans are warm Diet Coke, and they hate warm soda. So, they've come to Earth to steal our ice...

At one of the stations at the camporee the Scouts will be able to explore the planet Mars and identify Martian Fauna. In other words, they'll be using a remote-control truck to search out stuffed animals scattered around the mess hall at the Scout Camp. Being Scouts, and ready for nature study, they'll be identifying the Martian animals in their trusty Field Guides:




Each animal is identified by common and scientific names, of course...



To make things more realistic, they'll be doing it by watching a video feed from a miniature camera mounted on the truck. I'd made the original Scout Mars Rover for the 1997 National Scout Jamboree - it was based on a Radio Shack car with the body removed, with a ham radio TV transmitter on top:



The original Rover has received a lot of use over the years since then, but technology has moved on. The ham TV transmitter and black-and-white camera and big battery pack were replaced by a tiny combination color camera/transmitter some years ago. I thought it was time to update the system with a new Rover, which, typical of technology, was a fraction of the cost and more controllable than the old one.



Of course, I had to try it out...



Running it around the house gave me a real rabbit's eye view of the world...



... with a rabbit's-eye view of a real rabbit...



Natasha seemed more interested in the Rover than scared of it. She'd jump away when the tracks were running, probably because of the noise, but as soon as the Rover stopped she'd hop over to investigate it more closely.

Lots of fun for a kind of grey day - Winter Storm Watch in effect for a foot of snow tonight... I love upstate New York weather...
 

MikeScone

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Aww, man, now I want a little video camera to spy on the bunnies with! :p
They're actually surprisingly cheap - I found them on eBay for about $25, complete with camera/transmitter and receiver. You just need a TV set with a standard NTSC video input to look at the receiver output.
 

Imbrium

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Yeah, but I'd rather spend the $25 on power tools and we don't have a TV, lol. Well, I have one at my house in San Antonio, but that's 3h away and we won't be back there until next summer.
 

PaGal

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Love the pics of Natasha as always. She's such a beauty!

That sounds like a lot of fun for the boy scouts. Funny I was always a tom boy. I went to the brownies for a short time but really wanted to be in the boy scouts.
 

pani

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She's a beautiful rabbit! Her fur looks sooooo soft and velvety. :weee:
 

MikeScone

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Yes, Natasha's fur is the softest I've ever had the pleasure of petting - even Scone, who was also a mini-rex, didn't have fur as soft as hers.

We had the day together today, so I got a chance to take a few more pictures.

Natasha seems to be pondering something, here...


"What's up here, Dad?"


 

MikeScone

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It's been a traumatic week for Natasha Rabbitova. I'm having the house painted, for the first time since I moved in 22 years ago, and there are all sorts of new people in the house making all sorts of new smells. Worse, she's been locked out of the computer room, since it's mostly been emptied into the spare bedroom, so her world is both unfamiliar and smaller than usual.

I'm not sure she approves of my choice of paint colors, either.

"Balmy? You actually picked a color called Balmy??"


Natasha has her own concept of interior decoration, and she decided to help Borders Bunny with his space...


There's always a time for an Oat Hay break, of course...


...and time for a little nap - always keeping one ear pointed toward Dad, of course, just in case a food word should pop up.


A bunny girl's got to keep up with her grooming - it's starting to be Spring moulting time, and one doesn't want to look scruffy.


"There, that's much better."


I'd made a few quarts of Tom Yum soup for a Soup Supper a few weeks ago, and wound up with some cilantro left over. I decided to try it on Natasha, and it turned out to be a new favorite. Now, I just say "cilantro" and sit down on the floor, and Natasha's run over to have a snack. I feed her one stalk at a time, and if I'm not fast enough with the next stalk she gets quite annoyed.



"Now that is what I call a yummy snack!"
 

Azerane

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Haha, she is too cute! Bunnies can be quite the demanding little guests when it comes to a tasty treat! Hope all the painting is going well :)
 

Chrisdoc

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She is such a pretty bunny. What is it about cilantro that bunnies love :p
 

MikeScone

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Scone MacBunny had a huge stuffed yellow bunny friend my mother named "Margerine" (because Scone's smaller yellow bunny was "Butter").



Not long after Natasha first came to live with me, I set Marge down to see what she'd think about her - and Natasha freaked out. I realized that I'd run Scone's other stuffies through the wash after he passed away, but because Marge is so huge, she wouldn't fit. Natasha evidently thought she'd finally found the other rabbit she'd been able to smell since she arrived, and decided to show Marge that SHE was the top bunny now. Marge was instantly relegated to the back of a closet.

It's been nearly four years since then, so I thought that it might be time to take Marge back out again. This time, Natasha was fascinated.





She immediately knocked Marge over started to hump whatever part of Marge she could get herself around.



With that done, Natasha decided Marge was part of The Warren, and started to groom her. They're fast friends now.



One more picture for today, Natasha in her litterbox.

 

MikeScone

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I saw a rabbit playing with the Teach'n'Treat toy in a video, and decided to get one for Natasha.

Basically, it's a flat box with eight small wells, into which you put small treats. The treats are blocked off, and the bunny has to figure out how to unblock the wells to get the treats. The box has suction cups on the bottom to prevent the rabbit from just dumping the lot.



There are three "levels" - level 1, where there's a big disk, which can be slid around to expose a few wells at a time; level 2, where the wells are covered by individual covers for the bunny to pick off; and level 3, where there's a blocking square in the middle, and the individual covers have to be slid around a square track to expose one well at a time.

I started Natasha at level 1 - a single baby-cut carrot was sliced into six slices, and the other two wells held dried banana chips. Natasha very quickly got the idea and slid the disk around to eat all the treats.




Today I set the toy out for her the second time. She remembered how it worked, and quickly emptied the first few wells. Then, you could see her think, "the heck with this!", and she pulled the disk completely out and discarded it so she could get at all the wells at once.




I guess Level 1 was just insultingly easy...
 

Chrisdoc

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Some rabbits are just too smart. She obviously thinks you´re insulting her intelligence by providing such an easy toy lol.
 

MikeScone

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I left Natasha in the capable hands of a bunny sitter for a few days this week, and escaped to Florida and the Sun'n'Fun Fly-in. It was great to see all the planes and I got to do something I've wanted to do since I was a kid - ride in a B17 Flying Fortress!

 

kmaben

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That's awesome Mike! I'm a bit jealous at the moment. Good to see you back on though. Was thinking about you and Natasha recently.
 

Chrisdoc

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Wow, that is something. I just love the old planes. We usedto go to the annual air display near to where we lived and I used to love seeing all the old planes from the second world war plus the newer ones. The red arrows display team were always there but I was always fascinated watching the Harrier jump jet take off. Flying fortress was really something, don't make them like that any more.
 

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