Sunday, October 31, 2004

eclipse photos now up

beginning of the lunar eclipse, about 75% of the moon visible
The eclipse photos are now up on Flickr. Head over and check them out. The series is of the first half of the eclipse. I didn't get a chance to take photos of the moon returning to full. Posted by Hello

carnival of the cats #32

The Carnival of the Cats is up over at When Cats Attack. Head over and enjoy all the fuzzy goodness.

Saturday, October 30, 2004


Silhouette of a Halloween cat against a moon
Here is the cat pumpkin I carved for this Halloween. Oooh, scary. I know it's not the best shot in the world, that's what happens when one takes a picture of a light. Posted by Hello

Friday, October 29, 2004

weekly critter roundup

Check out the Friday Ark for cats, dogs, and all sorts of other creepy crawly things. No humans here.

friday cat blogging

Amon, about 9 years old
This is Amon, a.k.a. Grump, Lard-Butt, or Old Man as he was most often called. Amon wandered into my life in 1997, shortly after my husband and I got Noah. He was a stray, but had been someone's pet since he was neutered and declawed. No one in the apartment complex claimed him, so he decided to own us, and teach that brat kitten already living there a thing or two. He was not a young kitty then, at least 7 by the vet's best estimate.

Amon disappeared from my soon-to-be-ex-husband's house about 6 months ago after getting into a fight with a neighborhood cat. All we found was wads of his fur, which was common after he wrestled with Noah. He was the only one of the 4 cats we couldn't keep inside. He'd been a stray/indoor/outdoor cat for so long that he was intolerable if he didn't get to go outside for a little bit each day. I prefer to keep cats indoors, however, Amon would cry, scatch, and try to sneak out a door when we tried on multiple occasions to make him a pure indoor cat. We weren't able to break so many years of habit.

Amon would have been 14+ on Halloween; that's close to when he adopted us and his "birthday". He wandered into our lives and wandered out again. Whether he adopted someone else or passed on, i hope he is at rest. So much for a happy post for today.

Amon and Noah, enjoying the empty boxes more than their new kitty beds, Christmas 2000

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

tonight's lunar eclipse

Tonight is the last chance to see a lunar eclipse until 2007, so get outside and check it out. In the U.S., it will be early enough that you can take the kiddies outside to see it, too. Just in time for Halloween, a blood-red full moon in the sky. Hopefully, it won't be raining for the event. There's a few showers/storms around right now, and I'm hoping they dissipate by sunset.

NASA's site on the eclipse - complete with start and end times, adusted for each time zone. Also contains links to webcasts of tonight's eclipse.

update - Friday, October 29, 2004 - 08:30

It did clear off here by the time the beginning of the eclipse was visible, about 2030 CDT. I was able to take some high resolution digital pictures of the event, some of which will be in the album later today or tomorrow. I took pictures about every 1-5 minutes during the partial eclipse and about every minute during the total eclipse. I haven't pulled the pictures off the camera yet, so I don't know how well the shots of the total eclipse turned out. The camera was having difficulties "seeing" the moon because it was so dark. Also, my hand wasn't the steadiest at all times, even when using a vehicle or anyting else to steady the camera on.

frankenstein's kittens

Between Genetic Savings & Clone and Allerca, how bioengineered do you want your next kitty to be? I'm sure that Allerca doesn't want you breeding your own hypoallergenic cats, so they will probably only sell "fixed" kittens. So what about sending a sample over to Genetic Savings & Clone, and getting yourself a clone, then breeding them? Just wait, someone with more money than sense is going to do it.

Noah being a very lazy kitty
As much as I'll make fun of little bio-engineered terrors, this is the kitty I'd seriously consider getting cloned. Noah is my personal little terror, has been my buddy for 8 years now, and is a very special kitty.

Monday, October 25, 2004

thoughts and musings - romanticism

I guess one could say that I'm a romantic at heart. Not a lacy, frilly-crap, Victorian type, which is what most people think of when they hear that word. I mean a real, old-fashioned, Lord Byron, Mary Shelley, or William Blake type romantic. Feeling, experiencing deep emotion, any emotion. Yes, I'm the kind of person who believes that it is better to feel anything, even pain, than to feel nothing at all.

Which explains my taste in music. I'll create playlist or custom CD that invariably tends to be on the depressing side. Who Wants to Live Forever by Queen, Iris by The Goo Goo Dolls, or Bring Me to Life by Evanescence are not the most uplifting songs in the world. They are good examples of what I listen to. That type of song is definitely not fluff, which is all too often produced.

This reminds me of a comment about a custom CD of mine along the lines of 'that selection makes you want to go ahead and shoot yourself.' So, being the smartass I am, I got a Sharpie and wrote on my newly burned CD "Just Go Ahead and Shoot Yourself" for the title.

William Blake's Melancholy from Twelve Illustrations to Milton's 'L'Allegro' and 'Il Penseroso'
Gratuitous picture, just because I can.

William Blake Archive

Selected Poetry of Lord Byron

carnival of the cats

The Carnival of the Cats is the up over at IFOC. Head over and check out all the kitties. Sadly, no entry from me for this week.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

election 2004

I found this interesting. From 9 pairs of statements you pick which statement from each pair you most agree with, and the script will tell you which canidate you most agree with, based on the issues.

You preferred Bush's statements 33% of the time
You preferred Kerry's statements 67% of the time

Voting purely on the issues you should vote Kerry

Who would you vote for if you voted on the issues?

Find out now!

Of course, every 4 years I find myself looking at the candiates, shaking my head, and saying "This is what we have to choose from? This country is so screwed."

flu vaccine shortage, part 2

This post over at IFOC is what got me started on this subject again. Read the news story at by the AP.

Prison inmates are getting vaccinated while those who are elderly and sick can't find any. I just hope those inmates getting it are at very high risk of death. I understand not wanting an outbreak in a confined population, like a prison. There's an easy way to prevent it. Isolation. Keep the prisoners isolated as much as possible during this flu season to prevent the spread of the disease.

I'm considered to be at high-risk of developing complications from the flu because I'm 1. a health-care worker, 2. have a chronic illness (which I will not get into right now), and 3. have a weakened immune system from medications. Ya know what, I'm NOT getting a flu shot this year because while I'll probably get the flu, and may develop some complications, it's highly unlikely that I'll die from it. Elderly people on home/portable oxygen are a whole lot more likely to die than I am, so I'll let someone else have mine, like my grandmother. That's what it boils down to. I'd rather be sick, hate life for a week or two, maybe even develop pneumonia and have to take antibiotics than have my grandmother with emphysema die from the flu. We're both high risk, we both should get vaccinated, and neither of us can get the nasal spray vaccine. I'll take my chances.

Monday, October 18, 2004

cloned kitten eats woman's face

Or else he wants some kitty treats.

So, here are all 3 of the world's cloned kittens. Hmmm...kittens from the same litter can also look the same, maybe I need to get some "clones" of my own and make lots of $$.

I can't believe that hussy of a Persian would stoop so low to win.

Read the Story

rainy monday

Oh, yeah, such fun. It's Monday, and it's going to rain. Of course, this being Alabama, it won't just rain. Noooo, we have to get storms, too. Let's all think happy thoughts so the storms won't become severe, and I won't have to play storm spotter/information relay at work this afternoon. Usually I'd be all about this kind of thing, especially since I have a fairly good view of the sky from where I work and can get up on the roof if I really want to - to become the human lightning rod. It also breaks up an otherwise boring day. Today, I'd really rather pass, it's not like I have much of a choice though. Part of that whole "other duties as assigned" thing.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

flu season is almost here

In case you haven't been paying attention to the news, prepare to get the flu this year. The supply of flu vaccine was cut almost in half when Chiron Corp., one of the US's two suppliers for the vaccine, recalled all 48 MILLION doses it was supposed to supply the US with, due to possible bacterial contamination.

That's 48 million Americans who won't get the vaccination this year. Hell, there's a good chance not everybody who's at high risk for complications (like oh, say, death) will be able to get it, much less the average relatively healthy person. If you've never had the pleasure of experiencing the flu, count your blessings.

Oh, how to tell the difference between a cold and the flu?
Cold: Sniffle, sniffle, cough, cough. Ya know, I don't feel so great.
The Flu: Hack, wheeze, hack, wheeze. Somebody, please shoot me now.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

writer's block

Now that I have this nice little place to post whatever I want to, I find that I have nothing to say. Sigh. It figures, that's usually the way it works when I paint, create something on the computer, or anything else creative. These grand ideas are floating around in my head, but once I get the blank canvas in front of me, they seem to evaporate. It's probably a sign that I need to get back in the habit of doing something creative more often, to keep the ideas flowing. Creativity is like any other skill, use it or loose it, and I haven't really been using it much lately.

Sunday, October 10, 2004

first post

Welcome all to my blog. I know that this being my first post, it's nothing stellar. Oh, well, what the hell.

Friday, October 01, 2004

100 things about me

What the hell, here goes, the obligatory "100 things about me" meme. At least it serves a purpose, this will replace a large part of the personal information in the sidebar, to streamline the blog a little. Hopefully I will learn a little bit more about myself in the process.

Edit, 8/1/06 - Updated version here.
  1. I live in the general vicinity of Huntsville, in Northern Alabama
  2. I was born in Seymour, Indiana, John Cougar Mellencamp's "Small Town"
  3. I'm 6 feet 1 inch tall, and weigh, well, a little more than I should, but not much
  4. I have greenish-hazel eyes
  5. My hair is shoulder length, wavy, and light brown/red/blonde, depending on the light and how much it's bleached out by the sun
  6. I have a wonderful husband, who is more understanding of me than anyone in this world, including myself
  7. We were separated for 18 months when we stopped being friends, and I didn't think he was so wonderful
  8. I didn't think I was so wonderful during that time, either
  9. I have a little sister, 2 1/2 years younger than I, who lives in Indiana, with her husband and their two boys
  10. My parents live on the family farm, in Indiana
  11. My closest relatives, aside from my husband, are 300 miles away, in Indiana
  12. I have only a few close friends, who mean more to me than they know
  13. I have 3 cats living in my house
  14. My parents have my other cat
  15. There is also a squirrel and a fish living here
  16. And my brother-in-law (husband's brother), and his 2 cats
  17. I have a degree in studio art
  18. Graphic design is the best way to have an art degree and still be able to eat
  19. I taught myself everything I know about HTML and JavaScript
  20. I tend to hand-code websites, rather than let a WYSIWYG editor screw up the code
  21. I'm not happy unless the code looks good, too
  22. I've had my degree for 4 years now
  23. I've been an EMT for 10 years
  24. I'm specially trained in vehicle extrication - using the "Jaws of Life"TM
  25. I've been doing that for 9 years
  26. I can't remember how many people I've seen die
  27. The one that haunts me to this day is the 14 year old boy who looked into my eyes and then died on the stretcher in front of me, and there was nothing I could do. That was 7 years ago
  28. There really wasn't anything anyone could have done for him. His injuries from the vehicle wreck were too severe
  29. Insomnia sucks
  30. I love the rain
  31. Storms are one of nature's most beautiful and powerful events, which I respect for their destructive, but not fear
  32. I am a National Weather Service trained storm spotter, which gives me an excuse to admire the beauty of a storm, while serving the greater good, should it turn severe
  33. I believe in helping people for the sake of helping
  34. I don't do it because The Church tells me I have to
  35. I believe that everyone perceives the Divine differently, and cultures give him/her/it different names - God, Jehovah, Allah, Shiva, Budda, The Great Spirit. All beliefs are valid, and everyone should be allowed to worship in his or her own way, with certain restrictions, without fear of repercussion
  36. Those restrictions include no cruelty to animals or humans; nothing that endangers a minor (handling of dangerous animals, consumption of drugs); displays of public lewdness; other things that are currently covered by U.S. law
  37. I believe civil unions between homosexuals should be allowed
  38. I think there are abilities that some people have that cannot be explained by science. Call it psychic powers, magick, or whatever you want, it does exist.
  39. My favorite colors are green and purple
  40. I love to bum around the house in my pajamas
  41. I've worn my pajamas to the store
  42. Memory foam matress toppers are wonderful
  43. I have Crohn's Disease and Ankylosing Spondylitis, both of which are autoimmune disorders
  44. I've learned to adapt to both, since I've had the CD for 19 years and the AS probably for about 14 years - AS is harder to diagnose, so it was misdiagnosed for several years as simple arthritis
  45. I take a metric assload of drugs to keep both under control. In EMS we refer to folks like me as taking the WFP
  46. I have a twisted sense of humor
  47. It's taken me about 17 years to accept that I can't do everything I want, that I have limits, and to allow myself to be taken care of when I need to be
  48. I'm a better patient for the doctors and nurses at the office or hospital than I am to my family or friends who are healthcare workers
  49. My regular physician is also a part-time ER doc, so he tells me to stop being a patient, and to stop bringing him patients
  50. I am an INTP
  51. I am a genius, and could join MENSA, if I really wanted to
  52. I do know some rocket science
  53. I often get so involved in what I'm doing that I forget about my own physical needs - eating, drinking, sleeping
  54. I'm glad breathing is automatic because of that
  55. I do loose track of time, not just hours but days at a time
  56. I grew up on a 80+ acre farm
  57. I can knit, crochet, cross-stitch, embroider, sew, spin, and weave
  58. I also can grow a sucessful vegetable garden, and I am able to can, dehydrate, and pickle foods I grow
  59. I can milk a cow, sheep, or goat, make butter, butcher meat, make sausages, bake bread, make pasta, and do about anything else in the kitchen, completely from scratch
  60. I choose not to usually, because it's so much faster to use partially prepared foods
  61. Unless I'm bored, then baking is a great way to pass a few hours, and exercise my arms
  62. I'm mostly of German descent, with some Swiss and Scotch-Irish thrown in for good measure
  63. One of my ultimate comfort foods is chicken and spatzle
  64. Latkes and sour cream is another, which I don't make often enough, from scratch
  65. My other ultimate comfort food is mac and cheese
  66. I'm addicted to sushi
  67. I will try almost anything once
  68. I thoroughly enjoy a cup of fresh brewed coffee made from just-ground beans, with just a touch of cream
  69. Coffee gives me migraines
  70. I can't speak or write German, and can read only a little bit of it
  71. Ditto with Latin, Italian, and Greek
  72. I do read, write, and speak French
  73. If I try to speak Spanish, it comes out this weird concoction of French-Italian-Latin-Spanglish
  74. I learned to read Latin, Italian, and Greek from studying Art History
  75. I speak feline fluently, and cats know this
  76. Dogs aren't my favorite animal, but I won't turn away one in need of help either
  77. I really don't like heights
  78. I can grit my teeth and work at heights, if necessary, and have had to do so as an EMT
  79. Painting is something that helps me stay focused on what is important in life
  80. I don't paint nearly often enough
  81. You're still reading this? You must be more bored than I am
  82. My favorite place in the entire world is the Great Smoky Mountains National Park
  83. That is the one place where I can always feel at peace, regardless of what is going on in my life
  84. I came very close to saying "fuck it all" one weekend, quitting my job, and staying in Tennessee, just so I could be in the mountains every day. It didn't matter that it meant I would have been living out of my tent in the campground for a few weeks until I got another job, apartment, etc.
  85. I had actually looked for places that would hire me in the area that weekend, including the National Park Service
  86. I get destructive when I get depressed, which is why I love vehicle rescue - I can tear a car to pieces and still help a patient
  87. I really need to get back to the mountains, 6 months is too long to be away
  88. I enjoy camping, being close to nature
  89. I will camp during any season, in a tent
  90. I have camped anytime from late February through late October, and ridden out severe and tornadic thunderstorms in my tent
  91. The one time I left the campground, my tent was blown over during the storm. Everything inside remained dry. I really like that tent.
  92. I love reading sci-fi and fantasy stories, including J. R. R. Tolkien, Frank Herbert's Dune series, Anne McCaffery's Pern series and The Ship Who... series, Sharon Shinn, Stephen Lawhead, and Orson Scott Card's Tales of Alvin Maker (it's set in magical frontier Indiana, describing places I grew up near) to name a few
  93. Some of my favorite movies include the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Hannibal Lecter trilogy, Moulin Rouge, Harry Potter, The Princess Bride, Labrynth, The Dark Crystal
  94. CSI, CSI Miami, CSI NY, MI-5, Rescue Me, Stargate SG-1, Stargate Atlantis, and Farscape are the only TV shows I watch. Well, and the Weather Channel.
  95. Have I mentioned insomnia sucks?
  96. Some of my favorite singers/songwriters are Peter Gabriel, Billy Joel, Elton John, Evanescence, U2, Queen, and Sisters of Mercy
  97. I like to write poetry, and sometimes I even think it's pretty good, so it gets posted here, where I inflict it upon the world at large
  98. I am my worst critic
  99. I need to not over-analyize my artwork as much, and just create it, accept not everything will be a masterpiece
  100. My email signature, which has been one of my favorite quotes for quite a long time.

    All that is gold does not glitter
    Not all those who wander are lost;
    The old that is strong does not wither
    Deep roots are not reached by the frost

    - Gandalf the Grey
    Fellowship of the Ring, J. R. R. Tolkien
  101. I really should be asleep right now, but of course, the insomnia has kicked in again.