Saturday, December 31, 2005

saturday catblogging

Eep has a new window bed, which she loves dearly.

Eep just looks so cute with the curtains drawn, forming a little kitty cave for herself.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

blog musings

I'm sitting here, looking at Sitemeter and the TTLB Ecosystem status for this blog, and I've noticed something odd. In the past year, the monthly readership of this site has increased by approximately 1000%. Yes, that figure is right, I have 100 times the number of monthly hits I had a year ago. My site traffic had increased dramatically, and continues to increase at a slower rate. So, then, why am I de-evolving in the TTLB Ecosystem? I was all the way up to mamalian status, and now I'm back down to a reptile.

Now, I'll admit my content hasn't been the most thought-stimulating, or consistent, but you try taking Valium three times a day and see how productive you are. Now, I have noticed one other connection with my downward slide in the TTLB Ecosystem, which I know heavily relies on links: becoming open about my spiritual views. Has my expression of my views driven people to drop me from their Blogrolls, or has the content reflected my necessary sedatives, and the more sedate nature of my more recent posts? Just curious as to what has caused this trend. If anyone has any insights, feel free to leave them in the comments. And don't get hateful about it, or I'll send Callie Bellatrix and The Wild Eep to go claw your eyes out. Then I'll delete the comment, or ridicule it in a post, depending on my mood. You were warned. Don't make me unleash my squirrely wrath.

the naming of cats, part 2

Ok, I guess that technically Caliadne Gwenhyfar Bellatrix has a fourth name, d'Oubliette "of/from the Oubliette" for those of you who don't speak French. So, here are all of the cats' full names, oldest to youngest, age in parenthesis:
  • Noah Nightstalker d'Oubliette (8) - Hey, he picked his own middle name. Nevermind that Nightstalker is currently splayed out on the recliner, sleeping the night away.
  • McCullough Bruta d'Oubliette (6) - Bruta is Latin Feminine for "dull witted". A nicer form of her nickname "Fur For Brains"
  • Eep Grimalkin d'Oubliette (4) - Grimalkin is the name of the Witch's Cat in MacBeth, and the name means "a female cat" and "an ill-tempered woman". Given Eep's mood swings are legendary, it so fits her, and again is nicer that "You Little Shit!"
  • Caliadne Gwenhyfar Bellatrix d'Oubliette (2) - you'll just have to read this post to get the meanings of all her names, she's Callie or Bellatrix for short.
And that leads to my own name. If you hadn't figured it out by now, my penname for this site means "Mira of the Oubliette". Mira is a Latin name, and the name of the first binary star to be named. It was observed as early as the second century BCE by Greek astronomers, and is located in the constellation Cetus. Mira means "a wonder", and yes, it is my real name. At least one of them. Sorry, readers, I'm not giving away any more that that, because to know someone's true name is to have power over them, or at least makes stalking and privacy invasion much easier. :) And as T.S. Eliot wrote, each cat has a secret name, individual to that cat, that only the cat knows, which is why we will never have any real power over them.

Friday, December 23, 2005

callie's full name

I think I have learned Callie's full name, and while I will never know the name that she keeps to herself, here is her full name: Caliadne Gwenhwyfar Bellatrix.
  • Caliadne - Greek, "beautifully holy", the name of a Nymph of the Nile River
  • Gwenhwyfar - Celtic/Welsh mythology, gwyn "white, fair" and hwyfar "smooth", French/English form is Guinevere
  • Bellatrix - Latin, feminine "warrior"
She has such adorable "snow boots" on her paws, and a white belly, silky smooth fur, picks more than her fair share of fights (and wins), and must have been sent by the Gods to be so lucky. She even knows and responds to Bellatrix, gave me a "what are you going to do about it" look when I ran that name by her. She's a fighter, or else she never would have found a home. She didn't like the name Felicia or Feliciana, both are Roman feminine for "lucky, successful". She's still Callie for short, though.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

merry yule

I haven't had much energy to post anything in the couple of days, since between the sinus infection/bronchitis and the cough syrup that puts me down for the count, I've been sleeping a lot. The infection seems to be holding it's own right now, I'm still waiting for the antibiotics to kick in and the tide to turn. Right now, the infection is still winning, so I wait and rest.

Today is the first day where the days are now longer than the nights, the Equinox has come and gone, and the Sun is once more growing stronger in the skies, the days becoming longer, and Spring is coming. I know the modern calendar likes to think of the Winter Equinox, Yule, as the beginning of winter, but it really mid-winter, the turning point. If you don't think it's been winter for over a month already, go outside, feel the cold air, look at the snow on the ground. Our ancestors knew the rhythm of the seasons better than most of us do today, because they had to live with the rhythm, not be isolated by central heat or air conditioning. We can keep our houses the same temperature year-round, eat whatever foods we wish that are grown on different continents, instead of eating what is seasonal.

Today, I can go to the grocery store and buy fresh tomatoes, even though my vines died over a month ago. I would normally be eating squash, preserved meats, beans and other dried grains, nuts, and dried foods. Today we don't have to eat according to the seasons, I can go buy strawberries that were grown in South America, instead of waiting 4 months for them to be in season again here in Alabama. If I wanted to eat fish, I can go buy fresh fish, instead of eating dried, smoked, and/or salted fish. If I want to eat fish that would be fitting to this season, preserved fish, salted cod or something like that, I have to pay extra for them.

What is the point of this? Enjoy the seasons, and if you can find seasonal foods, enjoy them. Don't rely on the calendar, trust the weather and your instincts. The human race has relied on instinct and the length of the days to note the changing the seasons. We have not lost that touch, if we only go outside and feel the air, you will know what the season is.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

this week's health update

I went to my rheumatologist, Dr. H, last week for my standard bi-monthly Remicade infusion, and we discussed the possibility of all of my neurological problem being caused by Lupus. After having read an article about it, and found a list of the symptoms, which I have about 65% of, I needed to know if that was a possibility. While there is a blood test that can be done for Lupus, the fact I am on Remicade would cause it to come back positive. Apparently the new biological auto-immune disorder treatments (Remicade, Enbrel, Humira, and a couple of others) cause a Lupus test to show a false positive. Also, as Dr. H put it, there are so many other disorders that have the same symptoms as Lupus, it's impossible to make a diagnosis without the bloodwork.

The up side is that I'm not rapidly getting worse after each Remicade infusion, which would be the case if I had Lupus. I tend to feel like crap for a day or two (like I'm trying to catch a cold), but overall the neurological problems don't get any worse. So, at least that's one more thing that is ruled out.

Unfortunately, the Remicade has significantly weakened my immune system for about a week (as it always does after an infusion, this is nothing new), and I've picked up a nasty sinus infection and bronchitis just in time for the holidays. Oh, whee. Mom has made the Executive Decision that I will stay at home and rest over the holidays, and that I can see everyone at a later date, and that Mom, Dad, and who knows else will visit here next week so I don't have to leave home.

So, kind readers, I will be here all week, blogging when I'm not sleeping, and having my own little Yule celebration. My husband and brother-in-law will be heading to Georgia to see my in-laws, and I will stay here to rest. Eunomia (the Voodoo Queen) will check in on me in the evenings, to be sure I've managed to keep myself alive during the day. I think I can manage that, there's plenty of quick-cook food in the house that I can keep myself decently on my own for 3 days. I also have the Chineese delivery menu, I'll be fed one way or another. And I'll have plenty of cats to keep me company.

Monday, December 19, 2005

fare thee well

You were brilliant at your craft, and I'm fortunate to have discovered this before you passed on to the other side. May the Muses embrace you, for you certainly listened to their whisperings. Many blessings upon your soul, and comfort for those who loved you, now left behind.

John Spencer
December 20, 1946 - December 16, 2005

Sunday, December 18, 2005

carnival of the cats #91

This week's Carnival of the Cats is up at Music and Cats. Hooray! Lots of Holiday kitty goodness for all. Be sure to check out what the cats are doing to celebrate.

And if you missed it, The Friday Ark is up at Modulator, so you can get even more kitty goodness, and enjoy the other critters there.

introducing my frappr map

Yes, I have joined the Frappr bandwagon, and have my own Frappr Map. So go ahead and put yourself on my map, 'cause I'm the only one on there right now, and I'm feeling kinda lonely.

how do the other cats feel about callie?

Well, there has been suprising little bloodshed, although there is one kitty in particular who isn't happy. Three guesses as to who it is, and the first two don't count...

That is the patented Eep Glare of Death, directed at Callie.

Friday, December 16, 2005

friday catblogging

Callie is adjusting to life inside the house, and is practicing looking regal.

In reality, she is hoping someone will let her go outside. She's starting to miss the outdoor life, but that is something she will never experience again. She has 3000 square feet of house to play in now, she simply needs to figure out what windows are for.

Again, thank you to everyone who has donated to the Keep the Cats Healthy Fund which was previously known as the Give Callie a Home Fund. If you can spare a buck or two, please consider donating, since the original fund was used entirely in Callie's original visit to the vet, and she still has a second round of vaccinations.

merry yule, saturnalia, christmas, hanukah

The Yule Tree is up, and here are a few of my favorite ornaments along with the mostly decorated tree.

A Victorian kitty. Pull the string and her arms move up and down.

A glass and silver wire ornament I picked up in Colonial Williamsburg on a business trip in the area.

The fake stained-glass star, crowning the tree.

The mostly decorated tree in it's glory. Photo taken with flash, so the ornaments are more easily visible.

And yes, it's a Yule/Saturnalia/Christmas/Hanukah tree. Hey, I'm an equal opportunity Theist.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

what do y'all think

So, how do you like the new background? I thought it was time for a change, a little more of a Celtic theme.

Friday, December 09, 2005

callie is home from the vet

Good news, she is FIV/Feline Leukemia free. She is about 2 years old, and has been spayed. So, we don't have an unwed mother. The only suprise she had was a belly full of tapeworms, which she received an injection to take care of, with a follow up in 2 weeks. Fortunately, the tapeworms wshe will be shedding over the next few days are not contagious to humans or other cats. (They're just disgusting when still alive. I promise to NOT post any pics of them.) She received all of her vaccinations - Rabies, Feline Distemper, Feline Leukemia. In about 3 weeks she has to go back to the vet to get a booster for the Feline Leukemia vaccination.

Poor Callie became incontinent in her carrier on the way home, so it was easier to go ahead and give her a full bath rather than clean her up any other way. Fortunately for me, she was very calm for her bath, and it helped her coat get nice and clean, which it needed from her being a stray.

Thank you to everyone who has donated to giving Callie a home. Here is what she looked like after her trip to the vet. While I was there, I was reminded that Noah, Eep, and McCullough are all due for their vaccinations, too. So, if you can please continue to donate to the Keep the Cats Healthy Fund AKA the Give Callie a Home Campaign. It's all the same donation box. Thanks to everyone who has helped in any way.

when i know, you'll know

Callie has not had her appointment yet. It's at 4:00 CST, had to wait until my husband could get off work to take us. So, as soon as I get back from the vet, I'll post the news, and some pics of one pissed off cat.

friday catblogging

Here you go, something a little different.

A Mac in the Box.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

thursday cat poetry blogging

The Naming of Cats

The Naming of Cats is a difficult matter,
It isn't just one of your holiday games;
You may think at first I'm as mad as a hatter
When I tell you, a cat must have THREE DIFFERENT NAMES.
First of all, there's the name that the family use daily,
Such as Peter, Augustus, Alonzo or James,
Such as Victor or Jonathan, or George or Bill Bailey -
All of them sensible everyday names.
There are fancier names if you think they sound sweeter,
Some for the gentlemen, some for the dames:
Such as Plato, Admetus, Electra, Demeter -
But all of them sensible everyday names.
But I tell you, a cat needs a name that's particular,
A name that's peculiar, and more dignified,
Else how can he keep up his tail perpendicular,
Or spread out his whiskers, or cherish his pride?
Of names of this kind, I can give you a quorum,
Such as Munkustrap, Quaxo, or Coricopat,
Such as Bombalurina, or else Jellylorum -
Names that never belong to more than one cat.
But above and beyond there's still one name left over,
And that is the name that you never will guess;
The name that no human research can discover -
But THE CAT HIMSELF KNOWS, and will never confess.
When you notice a cat in profound meditation,
The reason, I tell you, is always the same:
His mind is engaged in a rapt contemplation
Of the thought, of the thought, of the thought of his name:
His ineffable effable
Deep and inscrutable singular Name.

- T. S. Eliot
Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats, 1932
So, I'm trying to pick Callie's second name. Callie is her practical, sensible, everyday first name. I'm trying to find her second, individual name, with no success so far. For now, the only clue she has given me is that is Celtic or Gaelic in origin. Unhelpful cat, being all coy.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

in rememberance

Happy Birthday, Papaw. Gone but never forgotten.

Also, not forgotten are those who died on this day in 1941, in Pear Harbor. Thank you for your service to our country, and your sacrifice.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

callie has a home

Tonight Callie is indoors. It's currently 25°F (-4°C) outside, which is much too cold for a kitty. So she is now living in the utility area of the basement, which is heated and is about 1/4 of the total area of the house. She is absolutely thrilled to be in a warm house, and has even relaxed enough to start playing, and enjoying a little catnip.

She has a vet appointment on Friday, so in the mean time she will live inside, separated from the other cats, so they can get accustomed to each others' scent. Assuming she is disease free, after her appointment she will be able to join the rest of the cats. Callie and I thank everyone who has helped give her a home.

Monday, December 05, 2005

thank you, catbloggers

I want to thank the Catbloggers who are helping spread the word to help get Callie a permanent home. Here are the Catbloggers that I know of so far that have helped spread the word. If you have helped get the word out and I have mised you, please leave a comment and I'll add you to the list.
Thank you again everyone for your help. So far enough money has been raised to cover Callie's initial FIV and Feline Leukemia test, and assuming those are negative, it will cover the rest of her exam, all of her vaccinations, and de-worming medications if needed. If she is pregnant, then I will let her have her litter and the fund will be used to cover her pre and post natal care. My parents want one of her little girls, having met Callie over the weekend and still missing their beloved George, and the rest will go up for adoption through Challenger's House. After Callie is spayed, the remainder of the fund will go toward the rest of the cats of the Oubliette, their vet care, and anything else they may need. And of course, any other passing cats in the neighborhood will have food given to them.

And for anyone who is wondering about Tux, the neighborhood male tuxedo cat, I think someone already snatched him up and gave him a home. Strays don't stay strays long in this neighborhood, the get taken in by somebody and given a home.

medical update

Well, after having been put on another medication for the vertigo and still not having anything to go on except central and periphral Neuropathy (disease of the nerves) as a diagnosis, I'm going to get some more tests run in 10 days, when I see my Rheumatologist again. The next round of testing is for Lupus, and I've been showing enough symptoms of it that it's a viable suspicion since MS was ruled out. Right now the only thing keeping the intense vertigo episodes at bay are 2 medications, both of which have the "may cause drowsiness" warning which translates to "will knock you on your ass". I know it's been a while since my last update, but there's been nothing to report. No new information. The only good thing is now that it's cooler, I'm not quite as easily fatigued. Just walking outside in the summer heat would do me in for the day, and still if I'm not careful, a hot shower will do the same.

On a somewhat related note, my shoulder is pretty much healed finally, from the fall in the bathtub I had about 2 months ago. I ended up with a badly sprained rotator cuff, and a month in Physical Therapy. My shoulder is still pretty weak, but at least I have full range of motion again with no pain. So now I'm working on strengthening it at home, to get back to 100% of what it was before I fell. Fortunately, the shoulder has taught me to be a lot more careful, and I haven't had any more falls since October. Now I just have to make it through the Christmas snows in Indiana with no falls...

thank you

The Give Callie a Home Campaign is already up to $25 after only 12 hours. Thank you to those who have contributed, and so here is another picture to show why I want to help this kitty.

Callie is snug in her heated bed, and it even matches her coat, which she needed overnight since it is currently 33°F outside and raining. She has food, water, and a warmed bed, but I can't bring her inside until I know she isn't carrying any infections which would harm the other 5 cats in the house already. Please keep the donations coming, and I'll keep posting pics of her.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

carnival of the cats #89

This week's Carnival of the Cats is up at When Cats Attack! and The Meowers of Death did a great job of putting up the carnival.

And if you can't get enough cats, you can always check out The Friday Ark, and all the other critters there each week.

help give callie a home

I'm starting a campaign to give Callie a home. She is a stray, and after having talked to a neighbor, it seems she wanders from house to house looking for a meal or a place out of the wind. Right now she is living in our garage, and eating like she's starving, which she was, but fortunately now is putting on a little weight.

So, if you can, donate a buck or two to the Give Callie a Home Campaign, through my tipjar. I will not bring her into the house without a full vet check-up. The last time I did that was with Eep, and she ended up giving me the scare of my life, that I may have infected all of my other cats with FIV. You understand, then, as sweet as she may be, Callie cannot come into the house without a full Vet checkup, which I cannot afford. To make matters worse, I think Callie may now be carrying kittens, explaining her weight gain and appetite. (I'm not the best at feline pelvic exams, so I'm not sure if I was feeling kittens or organs.)

Here's what I will do: Callie (or whatever her name is changed to) will get a full Vet check-up and her vaccinations, then a permanent loving home in the Oubliette with the other kitties, so she will have a human and a feline family. If she is pregnant, I will let her have her kittens before getting her spayed. I will let her raise her kittens here, in the house, and when they are weaned one will go to my parents', while the others will go up for adoption through Challenger's House, a local no-kill cat shelter, the shelter where I adopted Noah from. You can be assured that there will be many beautiful pics of Callie on the furniture, and if she is indeed pregnant, there will be many pics of her babies.

So please help out and give what you can to the Give Callie a Home Campaign. Any extra money raised will go to the other Cats of The Oubliette, in the form of toys, treats, and whatever they may need. Any of my regular readers will know that I have been out of work since April, so I cannot afford to take in Callie without help from you, my readers. Thank you for your help.

To remind you who you will be doing this for. Callie has a warm bed for now in our garage, complete with heater, food and water, but she is a sweet cat who deserves real home. For more pics of Callie, look at this post.


If anyone received a AOL IM from me this evening that was a "Christmas Card" ignore it, and ignore it in the future. It's some kind of friggin IM virus, you get from someone on your IM list, then it sends to everyone on your IM list. DO NOT CLICK THE FRIGGIN LINK! If I infected you, I apologize for not noticing and shutting AIM down faster. (ducks) Please don't throw stuff at me, it was an accident. If I wanted to infect your computer with a virus, I think I could come up with a better method. (ducks again) Not that I would. Promise!

Friday, December 02, 2005

friday catblogging

I swear there is an invisible sign on our yard somewhere that says "Cat Hotel"

This is Callie, another neighborhood cat of questionable ownership. When she started eating here, my cousin, a vet tech, too, a look at her and said she hadn't been cared for in a long time. Part of her hair was matted, and she was so emaciated that my cousin could wrap her fingers around Callie's spine (just in front of her pelvis) and almost touch one finger to the other. That's extremely thin. So, she eats the dry kibble we leave out for any cats that feel like having a little. Fortunately, she is putting on some weight. She also would love nothing more than to come inside and be a house kitty.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

damn anti-vertigo meds

Last week I started on a new anti-vertigo med, to take in addition to the one I'm already on, so let's say I spend parts of my day looped. Sunday evening I went into the kitchen with my big 32oz water cup, which has a lid and straw to keep the cats from drinking my water. All 5 would try to drink my water without a lid and straw, and even with it, Noah and Maleficent are starting to figure out what straws are for. At least it keeps their paws out of my water.

But I digress. I filled up my cup from the in-door water on the refrigerator, sat the cup down on the island, sealed the lid, and looked for something to munch on. Not finding anything, I pick up what I though was my cup, but was actually a canister of Clorox Clean-up Wipes, and the thing running through my head was "Where did my straw go?" (sigh) Yes, I did finally get my water cup and just went back to my recliner, where I am not a threat to myself or others.

This is why when my husband and brother-in-law are at work during the day, I'm forbidden to do certain activities, like pretty much anything other than getting simple food for myself (as in at most boil water), watching TV or a DVD, going to the bathroom, playing on the laptop, and sitting in my recliner. It's safer for me that way. Even going outside solo is risky, since that is how I badly injured/damn near broke my wrist. So, I'm going to be good, and just here and rest, and try to not be a danger to myself.

Monday, November 28, 2005

carnival of the cats #88

The Carnival of the Cats is up at IMAO, and as with anything at IMAO, it's a little offensive and a whole lot of funny.

For those of you who made your way here from Instapundit, welcome. Feel free to poke around, leave comments, and make yourself at home. Unfortunately, my graphics server is down right now, so you don't get the added enjoyment of my custom graphics.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

birdfeeder watching

Today seem to be the day for the birds to start using the feeders, and so far today I've had the following visitors:

Carolina Chickadee
House Finch
Tufted Titmouse
Carolina Wren
Northern Cardinal

Also, the Tufted Titmouse decided that he/she needed a bath, and the dent in the lid of our county-issued garbage dumpster (it's designed for the robot arm trucks, and holds about 100 gallons) which had filled with rain water over night made a pretty good birdbath. I so love Titmice, their antics are always amusing, and they thing they are about twice as large than they really are. Their actual size is 6", including their tail feathers. I think my husband and I are going to have to find a bird bath on clearance, so they can all have a real bath.

When I get some pictures of my visitors, I'll post them here. Today is not the best day for taking a picture of a brown bird in a brown tree, it's completely overcast here. When it is sunny, I hope to get some good photos of my visitors.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

saturday catblogging

McCullough finds the perfect place for a nap.

Yep, human legs. My brother-in-law's, to be specific. Maleficent settles for a vain attempt at finding a sunbeam.

Friday, November 25, 2005

remembering the forgotten

I was watching History Channel International last night, for background noise, when a program came on about the last mass execution in the U.S., held in 1945. At Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas, 7 German POWs were executed for the murder of a fellow POW who they, and many other German POWs, had discovered was a spy. Now, first let me say I do not oppose the death penalty, there are some people who should not be allowed to live. That's not what disturbed me. What disturbed me is the fact we violated the Geneva Convention in many ways with these 7 young German men, one of whom is probably a cousin of mine, although I cannot confirm this. Yeah, it's personal.

From what I saw in the program, the 7 U-Boat officers who confessed to the murder of the spy were treated horribly. Their confessions were tortured out of them using various methods including being forced to sit nude on a hot radiator, or having a gas mask with crushed garlic put on their faces then having the air inlet closed and the mask left on until the prisioner passed out. At their trial, they were all represented by a single US Army officer, who most likely had no legal background. All were found guilty and sentenced to death. They were sent to Ft. Leavenworth to await their executions. The U.S. Government notified the German Government that they were going to execute the prisioners, however Germany responded that if the U.S. executed the 7 POWs, they would start to execute U.S. POWs slated for execution unless the U. S. provided the transcripts of the trial. Of course, the U.S. didn't want to, because we had violated the Geneva Convention, and we didn't want to give Germany an excuse violate the Geneva Convention with our boys. Then the war was over, Hitler had committed suicide, the Allies had liberated the POWs and Concentration Camps, and we still had the 7 U-Boat officers sitting on death row.

While sitting on death row, they were only allowed contact with each other while under supervision of the Chaplain, a Roman Catholic Priest. They all converted to Catholicism, since they had been denied anything other than the Nazi Religion in Germany. On August 25, 1945, beginning at midnight, the 7 prisioners were executed by hanging, starting with Helmut Fischer, 22 years old, who is very likely a distant relative of mine. Then, adding insult to injury, their graves were all oriented North-South, instead of the traditional East-West, preventing their souls from finding peace. It is also rumored that they were all buried face-down, everything possible done in death to desecrate their burials and ensure their souls would never find peace. They were executed 3 months after the war with Germany was over, mainly because of a need for vengance for the Concentration Camps.

Yes, Helmut was a Nazi, just like everyone else who wanted to live a relatively normal life at that time in Germany. The U-Boat service was "voluntary", but had the highest mortality rate of any modern military service, 75-80% mortality. Helmut and the others most likely had only the choice of serve in the military or die. We cannon fault the common soldiers for the horrors the leaders of the Nazis implemented. It saddens me that many of the notes left for Helmut forget this, and those who never met him leave only words of hate.

May your soul find rest, Cousin. I know you were not much more than a child, and did what you had to do, to protect our family in Germany. I am an American who hates what the Nazi leadership did, but cannot hate all Nazis, because so many of you had no choice. I hope that when we meet in the Summerlands, Cousin, that your soul is as noble as I belive it to be.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

little boy makes an encore appearance

Due to popular demand, Little Boy is making an encore appearance here.

Once again, my brother-in-law to give a sense of scale.

Monday, November 21, 2005

graveyard poetry

This is from a monument in The Protestant Cemetery, Rome.

The bud was opened
To show the rose
Our Savior smiled
The bud was closed

- Anonymous
I have always thought this was beautiful poem, and wanted to share it.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

cat-horse hybrid

Here's a couple of pics of the cat that owns my friend the Voodoo Queen.

Little Boy with my husband, for a sense of scale, who is 6 feet tall. Little Boy is a 26 pound monster of a cat, mountain lion, whatever.

With Little Boy is Cleopatra, structurally a normal sized but fat cat. My brother-in-law for scale. And yes, Little Boy wants to be a lap cat. Omph.

Friday, November 18, 2005

harry potter movie #4

Well, I have some mixed feelings on the new Harry Potter movie. Honestly, about half of the book was left out, it focused on the Tri-Wizard Tournament, and the re-birth of Voldemort. Now, if you haven't read the book yet, I can't really suggest which to do first, read the book or watch the movie. I guess it all depends on what version of imagery you want in your head, the movie version, or your own. Of course I had my own version of the Quidditch World Cup stadium, which was promptly replaced forever by the beautiful computer-generated version.

Overall, I really liked the movie. It's no substitution for the book, it simply has so much more story. But the graphics were beautiful, and it was much more of an action movie than the previous ones. Very satisfying, although I'm waiting for the Peter Jackson style Extended Edition, with an extra hour or so of movie. Maybe that's too much to hope for.

And how did I go to see the movie tonight? Just like this, Death Eater all the way, and a proud member of Slytherin.


I so love Photoshop. I guess I could make one with me casting the Killing Curse, get that nice green color going. Oh, and just FYI, whenever I take a Sorting Hat type quiz, I'm a Ravenclaw. But it's so hard to pass up being a Death Eater for a day. Or maybe I'm one of the evil Ravenclaws. Maybe I'm yet another double agent, in the event Snape screws up his assignment as a spy.

Avada Kedavra!

Or maybe I'm not such a nice Ravenclaw after all.

friday catblogging

Here's what Noah thinks about today being his mommy's birthday


Ungrateful cat.

happy b-day to me

This time, it's Happy Birthday to me, Happy Birthday to me, I'm gonna see Harry Potter 4 today, Happy Birthday to me.

And to prove great minds think alike, both Mom and Irene sent me this Hallmark E-Card. Independently. Scary, huh?

And on the same lines, here's a little movie commentary for you.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

yesterday's interesting weather

A tornadic thunderstorm cell moved over Decatur, Al, yesterday, catching everyone by suprise. It spun up out of the blue, and was pretty impressive.

A shot from the TV showing the storm on TV from yesterday. The hook at the end of the storm is where the rotation is located.

Dopplar radar showing the shear and speeds. Also, add 30mph for the velocity of the storm towards the radar site, for a total of 77mph of wind shear. (You ignore the negative number and just all them all together)

The clouds from that storm as it made it's way from Decatur to my house. Fortunately it had weakened, and had was no longer tornadic, but it still was ugly, or beautiful, depending on how you look at it.

Radar imagery from WHNT Channel 19, Huntsville, Alabama.

watching tv

I'm watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and characters keep commenting what "5 by 5" means, as in "Are you allright?" "5 by 5." Ok, so here my geekiness is starting to show again. It's how you reply when someone asks for a radio check. "How are you receiving?" "5 by 5", meaning receiving strong and clear. Ok, yes, I'm a HAM radio operator, tech level, no code. End geekiness.

Friday, November 11, 2005

in rememberance

To all of the men and women in our Armed Forces, past, present, and future.

Also, one day late, Happy Birthday, Grandad, and to all other Marines, past, present, and future. Semper Fi!

friday catblogging

It's getting cold around here, so what happens?

Maleficent prepares to hibernate.


This is who I would be stuck with on Atlantis?

Rodney is your SGA buddy!
McKay: Shut up and think quick, if you lived on Atlantis you'd be spending your time with Dr. Rodney McKay and neither of you would have a moment to spare if you're working on some doohickey with the potential to determine life or death...

Oh, Hell, I really am a nerd! Then I took the quiz over, thinking about the questions a little more, and just changing 2 of my answers gets me this buddy:

Carson is your SGA buddy!
Beckett: Hope a little bit of blood and guts doesn't bother you. If you lived on Atlantis, you'd be spending most of your time in the infirmary alongside Dr. Carson Beckett, where you'll face many weird diseases... and Rodney McKay's bad temper.

Who would be your best Stargate Atlantis buddy?
brought to you by Quizilla

Holy crap! I'm still a nerd, just a more medical one this time. Big shock from the she who is an EMT - blood and guts? Been there, done that, have the T-shirt. But I still can't escape Dr. McKay! Wait a minute, I hope "spending most of my time in the infirmary" doesn't mean as a patient, I get enough of that already. My luck I'd be the one with the weird diseases.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

life mirrors art

I had no idea when I was bitching about CBSs Category 7, that later that night the deadly tornado would hit Southern Indiana. Evansville is pretty close to where I grew up, so seeing the storms on radar, before the tornado touched down, was pretty hair-raising. I heard the next morning that aside from the Evansville tornado, there were several other small tornadoes in Southern Indiana, so I was concerned about those. Finally I found out that nobody in my family was hit, no property damage.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

watching tv

I'm watching Category 7: The End of the World on CBS, and well, the writers didn't get their data right. They obviously wrote the script over a year ago. This is a quote from one of the "TV Meterologists" - "I've never seen anything like this before, this must be a Category 5 hurricane. The wind gusts must be over 150 MPH. If this isn't Hell on Earth, I don't know what is".

Hmm, now, last I checked a Category 5 hurricane was 155+ sustained winds. Hell, we've seen three of those so far this year, and last I checked 2 had with 175 MPH sustained winds at some point, with gusts of 195 MPH. I think the 2005 Hurricane season gave us all a crash course in hurricanes.

I think this show really should have been called: Been There, Seen That, Have the T-Shirt. Or "My Brother-In-Law Went To Biloxi As Military Relief Effort and I Didn't Even Get a Lousy Casino Chip".

sunday catblogging

How did the cats respond to our return from our short vacation?

Maleficent: Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Noah: Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Mac: Are the food dishes full?

McCullough: Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Eep: Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Yeah, whatever, was the general consensus. As long as the food dishes were kept full, they could have given a crap.

getting back to blogging

Ok, so I needed a whole day yesterday to recover from my vacation. Back to blogging now. First, no kitty blogging, but here are some photos that are a bit different.

We were driving along Rich Mountain Road, when we saw this walking towards us on the road. Immediately we stopped, and with windows rolled down, waited to see what would happen.

The canine in question paused, then walked along the driver's side of the our car, not fearful, merely cautious.

There is some question to what exactly this animal is - a Red Wolf (Canis rufus floridanus), a Coyote (C. latrans), or a hybrid of the two, with maybe a little domestic dog (C. lupus familiarius) thrown in for a little variety. I believe this individual is a female, due to the lack of obvious external genitalia. (It had no nuts, for those of you who feel I'm getting a little too scientific here.)

She was oh, so concerned about our presence.

So concerned, in fact that it's nap time. She stretched out her front paws, and shifted her butt back and forth to get comfy.

Really, it was nappy time, and she was only 10 feet from the rear bumper of the car. She stayed there until some yahoo came tearing down the road, skidding to a stop on the gravel, jumping out of the car to get a photo or two, scaring the poor she-wolf (since coyotes are a type of wolf) off and down the valley.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

normal blogging to resume friday

Right now, I'm writing this post from Pigeon Forge, TN, just outside the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Yay, vacation! I will take plenty of pics, have no fear, but since this motel has only dial-up, I won't be uploading many to Flickr until I get back home and have my high-speed access again.

Monday's adventure was getting out of town, and finally getting to the Mountains. My husband and I are on this little getaway, and tonight we went straight up to the top of the ridge, and stradled the Tennessee/North Carolina state line, at Newfound Gap. The stars were amazing, for the first time in many years I could look up and see the Milky Way stretching across the sky, no artifical lights (aside from the occasional car) for miles. We were cold, since the Park got about a foot of snow last week at the higher elevations, and we were up at something like 5500', over a mile up. There was still snow in the shady places, and neither of us were really prepared for the cold. Later this week, we'll dress warmer and take some shots of the night sky. In the mean time, it's a text version of the day.

Red wolves have been re-introduced to the Park after having been exinct from the area for years, to add another predator back into the mix. We reached the Park about sundown, and went up to the top of the ridge, Newfound Gap, to look at the stars, which were absolutely amazing. We saw one trotting up the road on our way up to Newfound Gap, then one at the Newfound Gap parking lot. Stay tuned to find out what other kind of animals we see...

hurricane blogging

I know there some to many of you are wondering what happened to the hurricane blogging from afar. Well, I have been keeping track, but have gotten behind in uploading the saved images to Flickr. I've been saving them to the computer, but have been kinda busy. Have no fear, I'm still watching the tropics, and looked earlier at something that looked like it has the potential to become Tropical Storm Gamma. I think at the end of this month, and therefore the end of this year's season, I'll do a nice recap of all the major storms, plus anything from the Greek alphabet, since this is the first year the National Hurricane Center has run out of names, and had to move onto Alpha, Beta, Gama, Delta, etc.

Friday, October 28, 2005

friday catblogging

AKA going on strike.

Popcorn theif. So that's where it all went. Her stray roots are showing again.

And yes, I'm going on strike. Show some appreciation for this site, and I'll post more. Oh, yeah, and family is in town, so posting will be even more limited. Be happy you got Friday Catblogging.

Monday, October 24, 2005

alrighty, then

Blogger swore it ate the 2 posts from yesterday about my shoulder, but now they've mysteriously shown up. Whatever. Lets see what else pops up.

shoulder update

First, let's see if Blogger will eat this post or not.

My shoulder isn't torn, it is simply badly sprained and strained. So, no surgery, just physical therapy and pain management. At least I know I don't break or tear, my soft tissue injures aren't that severe, they just hurt like hell. Unfortunately, a rotator cuff injury can take a very long time to heal. When Mom injured hers, it took 18 months to completely to heal her injury. Oh, joy.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

shoulder update

The good news is there is no tear, just a sprain/strain of the tissues of my rotator cuff. So, it's physical therapy and pain management while my shoulder heals. Unfortunately, I heal slow, and when Mom injured her rotator cuff it took her 18 months to heal completely. Whee, just what I needed. At least I don't break and tear easily, I keep telling myself that. It still hurts like hell, though.

shoulder update

Good news, I have no tears, all the problems with my shoulder is simply a bad sprain/strain of the rotator cuff. I'll be starting physical therapy sometime in the next week for it, but unfortunately I know I'm in for a long ride in healing. I heal slow, I know this, and when Mom injured her rotator cuff she said it took 18 months for it to return to normal. Oh, joy. At least nothing is broken or torn. That's what I keep telling myself. It takes more than that to really injure me.

Friday, October 21, 2005

friday catblogging

My brother-in-law's cats, both together in one shot.

Kitty Mac Boing Boing, a.k.a. Mac and Maleficent. Mac has taken refuge from somebody, probably Noah, and well Maleficent is being a couch potato, and could give a crap about what is going on.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

shoulder scan

Well, this afternoon I get a MRI of my left shoulder to find out how badly I injured it last week. Yes, I fell again, this time in the shower. I have a shower chair, and was sitting in it, when I leaned forward to adjust the water temperature when the slipped backwards and I landed in the tub on my ass. As I fell, I tried to catch myself with my left arm, grabbing the rim of the tub, and succeed only in jamming my arm up, injuring my shoulder. Friday I went to the doc, who had it x-rayed, and it didn't show any fracture, so all the damage is soft tissue. Until I know what is wrong, I'm popping my pain medication, since it hurts like a son-of-a-bitch. Here to hoping it's just badly strained and sprained.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

in memoriam

In Memoriam – George

As a tiny kitten you were found
Lying abandoned upon the hard ground
Your brother your only companion
Until by chance you found a champion

Saved from death by an approaching car
In my sister’s shirt, she carried you far
A caring home awaited both of you
Time passed, we watched as you grew

Though you never bore kits of your own
You were mother to any younger born
Mother and friend you were to them
Buddies until death made you lonely again

George, my beauty, who I fed with a bottle
When you followed me in a kitten toddle
An elegant lady you grew into
And stole the hearts of all who saw you

In your elder years another companion you found
Laps suitable for my lady’s naps began to abound
And though the years slowly passed by
You remained kittenish, feeling spry

On one afternoon you heard the call of Bastet
And you went outside, your fate you met
Looking into to the setting sun
The Goddess called you, you did not run

To the Summerlands you went, ushered upon the wind
Reunited with your adopted daughters and your long missed twin
All those who passed before were there waiting to greet
A reunion for you, while we miss you and weep

We miss you, knowing all will be united once more
Parting is not forever, ever since the days of yore
Meeting and passing in a cycle since time began
Sadly we part and merrily we meet again

July 1, 1993 - October 12, 2005