Friday, September 30, 2005

friday catblogging

McCullough is completely shameless in wanting a belly skritching.

Absolutely shameless.
If you need more shameless kitties, then head over to Modulator for this week's edition of the Friday Ark.

writing this a second time

FireFox died, and ate my post, so I'm having to re-create what I was working on last night. I've done it, I've gone Roman. I have submitted my application to Nova Roma, and based on the email conversations I've had with one of the Censors, I'm confident my application will be approved.

My Roman name is Lucia Galeria Mira, and I am establishing a new Roman family. Of one. Woo-hoo! I also have a new Yahoo ID lucia_galeria, if you really feel like chatting with me through that ID, when I'm logged on with it.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

life is good

A creamy peanut butter and strawberry jam sandwich for lunch, Nutella on bread for dessert, a Pepsi Lime, and 2 days worth of Buffy the Vampire Slayer on the DVR. What could be better?

continuing the subject of furry beasties

They all will eventually learn that there will be no fighting, no growling, no hissing, no bullshit before 9am central time. Momma cat and her 1 quart water bottle, with 20' range, says so. And it's the girls causing all this mayhem, the boys just piss on things.

Clockwise, from the black cat on the left: Noah, McCullough, Maleficent, Mac, and Eep.

You will never see this again. Oh, I may drag out this and one photo taken mere seconds later, but this scene will never be re-created: The Night Hell Froze Over.

I want to finish watching my program on Roman Carthage in peace. Is that too much to ask for? Obviously, it is.


How can something so foul smelling come from something so small? The small thing in question?

No, I did not capture for all time what issued forth from Noah's mouth. Gaaa. How in heaven and hell can something so small be so awful smelling? None of my air sanitizers are working, and the throw rug he soiled is being washed right now. Ugh.

Monday, September 26, 2005

want to be a roman?

Then join Nova Roma, the New Rome. Anyone is free to join as was anyone in Ancient Rome, all you have to do is apply, pick your Clan, given, and personal names, and pay your taxes to Rome, which I think is to help pay for website hosting, honestly. As a member of Nova Roma, you can sell your wares at the Market, with a mere 10% of your revenue going to the Republic. After you've been a member of Rome for a while, you can even become a Priest/Priestess, Senator, or hold any number of other public offices. And yes, they have declared sovereignty, complete with a Constitution.

I'm maybe just crazy enough to join.

proof of my fun evening

I did a little storm spotting. A radar-indicated tornado is in the cell I photographed.

A wall cloud forming, and I could see the storm rotating. I was less than 50 yards from my house, which has a basement, should a tornado have actually spun up. And yes, part of the outflow from the cloud looks like a dragon or snake's head.

Another view of the wall cloud.

The trailing end of the storm, before I went inside as it started to pour. I could see the tornadic portion of the storm had moved to the north of my location.

National Weather Service Radar image close-up of the cell I was photographing above. The arrow is pointing to a notch, where the possible tornado was located.

A local television station showing a classic TVS - tornado vortex signature - in another cell. The white box with the line extending to the top-right is the center of the rotation. This shows a rain-wrapped tornado, very common in Alabama, and makes it almost impossible to see tornado until it is on top of you.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

i think i need to change my underwear now

This is not a drill. I have in the past posted images of state-wide tornado drills, which were eerily similar, but this is not a joke. We're getting rain bands from Tropical Depresson Rita, and every little cell has spun up a radar-indicated or spotter sighted tornado. Hell, I even saw the wall cloud of one cell as it passed by the house, and possibly even a funnel cloud forming. I couldn't tell since it went behind some trees before I could be sure.

The rain bands responsible for this afternoon's weather.

duck and cover! duck and cover!

Maleficent just took a look at the most recent National Weather Service Watch/Warn graphic

and decided it's time to take cover.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

rita's aftermath

(Via Lair at This Blog is Full of Crap.)

It's good to know the Houston portapotty is still standing, despite Rita's attempt at leveling it. Now that we all know that, I think we can rest easer. I know I can.

Friday, September 23, 2005

friday catblogging

Mac weighs in on Hurricane Rita.

I think that's a "stay the hell away from here" look, if I ever saw one.

Ok, so here is the real object of his objections. Eep and Mac are not friends at all.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

hurricane rita

No, I've not been living in a little cave, and I do know what a bitch of a storm Rita has turned into. She's currently the 3rd strongest Atlantic hurricane, in the 100 some odd years we've been keeping detailed records. Katrina is the 5th strongest. For this week. At this rate, well, I don't want to continue at this rate, because we're going to end up with Hurricane Beta (that's what happens when we run out of names, go to the Greek Alphabet), is going to be an even stronger.

Something so destructive and so beautiful at the same time. Beautiful spirals, bands of clouds, a galaxy in minature, riding the currents of our own oceans.

M83, a spiral galaxy similar to our own

Nature is neutral, not good or evil, it just is. Hurricanes like Rita, Katrina, and others are simply an energy release mechanism for our planet. The energy becomes concentrated, moved someplace else, and dissipates. Unfortunately for those in the path of these storms, it's hard to see these storms for what they are, neutral forces of nature, with no more malice than a single raindrop.

blogging is now to resume

My wrist is starting to heal, so I can type more, without as much pain. In the event anyone had just been looking at cat posts, this is why I had to take a light week. The ramblings and rantings of a madwoman shall now continue. You have been warned.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

nappy time

McCullough thinks so, and my pain meds are kicking in, so I'm inclined to agree.

I so over did it with my arm this morning around the house, I should have known better. But pain is a wonderful teacher, right? Hard to forget these kind of lessons, and I have learned. Time for my nappppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppp

Saturday, September 17, 2005

a quick wrist update

Some of the swelling is going down, I can see some of the normal shape of my wrist. If you look at the pics of my wrist from 2 days after the injury, the line on the pillow is where my wrist starts. I have bony wrists, like the rest of my Mother's side of the family.

Ok, no more palpating the injured site. I woke up because I heard someone IMing me, and it's time for my next dose of pain medications, not to mention that I'm usually up at this hour, kissing my husband goodbye as he leaves for work. (My brain didn't get the memo about sleeping in late.) Anyway, just I palpated the injured site, and yep, it's still injured. Hurt. Like. Hell.

In my few minutes of mental clarity, I can tell you exactly what I injured. I sprained my wrist, bruising the tissues at the end of the ulna and around the carpals (small round bones in the wrist), and stretching the tendons beyond their normal range. That's a normal sprain. I also injured the periosteum - the fibrous sheath of blood vessels and nerves that feeds the bone. The bone itself can't feel any pain, that's the periosteum's job. What I did is injure the periosteum around the ulna, that's the lump you can see to the left of my wrist on the photos. That's also the area I touched earlier, which sent an electric shot of pain up my arm. All the pain of a fracture, with no actual broken bone. Gotta love it.

I'm so glad I bought a wrist brace with a brace on the top, as well as bottom. No movement at all. The only drawback to the brace is after wearing it 22 hours a day for 4 days, I've found a few pressure points, which are easily enough fixed with some gauze and medical tape. Right now I'm giving my wrist a rest (almost typed a break, which was a little too close to the truth), before the brace goes back on.

Friday, September 16, 2005

friday catblogging

McCullough flips out.

Then she shows off her back markings.
Be sure to head over to Modulator today to see what other animals are hanging out there for this week.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

wrist update

Well, it is feeling better this morning, although I have a feeling the Lortabs are probably a big part of that. Typing is slow going, so posts will take a while to compose.

Now, I have pictures. As I said yesterday, nothing fractured, so no Ick-factor warning. Just some swelling and faint bruising.

My bionic wrist. I love my super-duper brace, it's adjustable, has a removable spoon in the bottom, and a rigid plastic support on the top. It's ambidextrious, and even has a little pillow that goes on top to make more comfy while sleeping.

My wrist right after having taken the brace off. The left most line on the pillow is the end of the end of my ulna (the smaller of the two long bones of the forearm). The lump to the left of my ulna is what Dr. F was convinced was a fracture until he saw my x-ray films.

A closer view of my wrist, after having the brace off and having taken a shower. No more marks from the brace, and a better view of the swelling. Again, the line is where the end of my ulna is, and the lump to the left is where Dr. F thought the fracture was.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

a reduction in blogging

Due to a fall yesterday, I damn near broke my left wrist. Long story short, I slipped and fell outside, on a slope in my side yard. I landed on my butt and left hand, wrist bent back at impact, and elbow locked, so the force went through my elbow, into of my wrist and shoulder. Last night it started hurting like a MF (about an 8 on the 1-10 pain scale), and as I palpated it, one of my carpals (wrist bones) was moving, and it shouldn't have been. Not to mention it hurt more than before.So, I decided I really needed an MD to look at it.

So, I saw Dr. F, my general practioner, who took one look at it and said it was broken, due to deformity, before sending me for an x-ray. So, I had the x-rays done, which was one floor down, and as I carried them up, I had to read my own films. I didn't see any fractures, which made me happy, and I wanted to see if my skill at reading films was still up to speed - several ER docs have given impromptu lessons to EMTs on the films of patients we've brought in. Dr. F came back after having looked at my film, and said he didn't see a fracture. Then he looked at my wrist again, and still thought there was a fracture, because of the deformity. (Yeah, I'm typing more since the Lortabs have kicked in). He felt the bones, and couldn't feel any indication of a fracture, nothing moved, nothing hurt aside from what one would expect from a soft-tissue injury. Still in disbelief, he re-read my films, and had 2 other docs in the office look too. He said that he would have bet it was fractured, but as he put it "you're doing something right" and it's amazing that I didn't fracture anything.

So it's rest, bracing, and pain meds. Posting will occur when the pain meds are in effect, and I'm not asleep. Hopefully once a day, we'll have to see. Always fun in my little world, I swear.

I'm glad my neruologist started me on a week run of Medrol (a cortico-steroid) Monday, which was prescribed to reduce any inflammation in my nervous system, but it will also help out with the wrist injury. I guess if I had to have this happen, it could have been worse, timing wise.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

and i thought i had a trick shoulder

Ok, first, for this to make any sense, my right shoulder is very loose, always has been. I can partially dislocate it and re-locate it without any pain. Stupid human trick kind of thing, I would do it, let people feel my shoulder as I dislocated it and relocated it. I don't do it as much as when I was younger, because I'm having to face the fact I'm getting older. I dislocated it partially at the shooting range, emptying the clip of a S&W .40, since I didn't tighten my shoulder muscles enough to prevent it from dislocating about 7 shots through the clip. Such is life.

Now, I'm watching an episode of Cirque du Soleil's Solstorm series right now, and the first performer was absolutely amazing. It appeared that he could completely dislocate both shoulders, and then he was only limited in movement by the ligaments, tendons, and muscles in his shoulders. It was truly amazing to watch this guy perform. He was one of these people who can fit through a standard tennis racket. It was truly amazing to see, such extraordinary flexibility, to be able to wrap his arm around the back of his neck and reach his mouth. You try that sometime, and see how close you get. The human body never ceases to amaze me. Of course, I know it is a genetic mutation that effects the collagen in the joints, allowing such flexibility, which diminishes with age. Even knowing why he is able to do that, it was still stunning to watch.

Monday, September 12, 2005

the beauty of a voice

I just finished watching a Sci-Fi Channel Cable in the Classroom program about war and propaganda, using Sci-Fi's hit series Battlestar Galactica as the way of exploring a fictional war, and the propaganda used by both sides. It was narrated by Edward James Olmos, in Spanish. I understood a few words here and there, but mostly just listened to his narration. The interviews with the actors and producer were in English (no dubbing), as were the clips from the miniseries, subtitled in Spanish. Not textbook Spanish as I remember it, but I'm guessing colloquial Mexican/North American Spanish.

On a brief aside, I know full well that Mexican/North American Spanish is different from South American Spanish, in subtle ways. I read languages better than I speak or hear them, so I could tell from the subtitles of the English dialouge that it was not textbook Spanish from Spain, which is what I learned so many years ago. If I try to speak Spanish, it's ugly. It's this awful French/Spanglish mix that I know butchers all languages involved, so I rarely try. My French is passable, so I try to speak, IM in it.

I don't know which language is Olmos's first language, or if he learned both at the same time. It realy doesn't matter, I can tell he has mastered the English language, and assume he has done the same with whatever form of Spanish he speaks. It wasn't until I couldn't understand most of what he was saying, that I could appreciate the beauty of his voice. The pitch and timbre, the melodic quality of his voice. Olmos's voice is rough around the edges, the sound of a mature man, one who has lived life and still has many years before him, while also having a mellow undertone, finely aged and smooth. You could almost can hear his life coming through, joys and sorrows, triumphs and defeats. It is a voice I could listen to for hours, in whatever language he spoke, and probably regardless of the subject.

Narration, whether it be for a TV show, or the retelling of a story, is a way that lets someone's true vocal qualities shine in a way dialouge cannot. One or two sentences can't capture the true quality of someone's voice, you need to hear them speak for several minutes uninterrupted. It's even better if you can't understand the language, because then you only hear the pure voice.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

the carnival of the cats #77

This week's edition of the Carnival of the Cats is up over at Blog d'Elisson, with kitties a plenty. Since cats had nothing to do with 9/11, Elisson decided that today's Carnival should focus on the cats, and what happened 4 years ago. I couldn't agree more.

If you need an additional pet fix, head over to Modulator, where you can see this week's boardings of a variety of species, although cats continue to rule over all.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

in memoriam - my otocinclus algae eater

I'm offically declaring my Oto algae eater (Otocinclus affinis) to be dead, his body absorbed into the little biosphere I've created in my aquarium, continuing the cycle of life.

This is the only photo I was ever able to get of Oto that wasn't blurred, etc.

Oto has been MIA for about 5 days now, and I have searched the aquarium many times, looking at all of his favorite hiding places. Oto was about 5 years old, extremely elderly for an Otocinclus, although not the oldest the local aquarium shop I like has hear of. The oldest he knows of was 9 when it died, which is a far cry than their usual lifespans of 2 years in an aquarium, 1 year in the wild. Oto lived 2 1/2 times longer than the average aquarium Otocinclus. I don't know what constitutes a full life for a small fish, but he always had plenty of algae of several varieties to eat, live plants to rest on, rocks to grow algae on, and no predators, so I'm guessing life was pretty good.
Update - Oto is no longer MIA, and the rumors of his demise were apparently greatly exaggerated. When I told my husband that Oto was MIA for 5 days and now presumed dead, he looked into the aquarium. "Hey, Hon, you mean this guy sitting on a rock in the middle of the tank?"

Friday, September 09, 2005

friday catblogging

Another photo in the study of cats in their state of rest. This time the subject is Maleficent.

I have no idea how she is managing to not slide off the back of the couch.

I might as well take the time to tell Maleficent's tale. I've posted plenty pictures of her, but not told you her story yet. So, here we go. First, Maleficent is not my cat, she owns my brother-in-law, Luke, who is living with my husband (his brother) and I right now. Maleficent is a shelter rescue kitty. She was about 1 1/2 years old when Luke went to an animal shelter in his hometown of Columbus, Georgia. At the time he was living in an apartment, going to college, and decided Mac needed a friend. I don't know the exact process of who chose whom, but Maleficent went home with Luke. She had been at the shelter for almost a year, and was already declawed.

Maleficent spent her first few days adjusting to her new surroundings, having spent most of her life in a shelter in a cage with other cats. She wasn't sure what to do with all the space and only one other cat, so she hid for a while. Maleficent and Mac aren't exactly the best of friends, it's more of a toleration of each other. At first Maleficent was a skinny kitty, and since Luke provided dry kibble for the kitties all the time, she acted like she would never get fed again, until she settled into her new home. So, now she is a rather pudgy kitty. She also has the shortest tail, in proportion to body size (excluding the bobtail breeds) I or her vet here in Huntsville has ever seen. Dr. Wendy burst out something along the line of "You poor thing, someone forgot to take your kitten tail and give you a big one!"

Luke, Maleficent, and Mac all moved to Huntsville so Luke could transfer to a local university, and after living in an apartment, he moved into the house, in the guest bedroom. Maleficent and Mac lived in Luke's room because the resident cats were all too happy to pick on them. Recently we started using cat pheremone diffusers, which help to calm cats who are in stress, and cut down on spraying. As recent photos have shown, Maleficent has become a "whole house" cat, and Mac followed shortly after.

The origin of her name? That's the name of the evil fairy in "Sleeping Beauty". I can't give any more details, since she isn't my cat. I can continue to take pictures of her, however.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

how people have found this site

I was doing a little meter reading seeing how people find this site, and here are some of the more amusing way people have found this site:

operation jambalaya ncis (Google) - #4 result
voodoo practioners cause hurricane Katrina (Yahoo) - #1, yay me and my crappy spelling
ncis kate (Yahoo, Google, AOL) - still going good on that one
hurricanes (Google, AOL) - OK, I'm a weather buff, and apparently liveblogging TS Katrina helped
"a little place of forgetting" (Google) - #6 is this site, #7 is my Yahoo 360° page

The first two really got my attention, in a WTF? kind of way.

continuing the tropical system thread

On this day, 105 years ago, the Galveston Hurricane hit, a category 4 storm. The official death count is 8,000 but some estimate it may be as high as 12,000. So many were washed out to sea, it was impossible to know.

Yeah, I'm watching both CNN and the Weather Channel this morning. I have to have some kind of sound to drown out the tinnitis. So this morning is weather trivia.

We're at Ophelia, and only 6 more to go before we're at Wilma, and the last name of the 2005 list. What then, since were only just now reaching the peak of the tropical season? Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, etc... Yep, the Greek alphabet. Never been done before, and this year might just be the year we see Tropical Storm Alpha.

Another bit of trivia, this is the earliest we've reached the O name.

meet ophelia

Meet Ophelia, I can't wait to
Meet Ophelia, yea...
Well she wants to be the queen...

(With apologies to Train and their song Meet Virginia)

Tropical Storm Ophelia is sitting off the coast of Florida this morning, going nowhere fast.

We've all seen this type of graphic by now, from the National Hurricane Center, and they usually are a cone shaped graphic, indicating a line where the forecasters think the storm will go. Here, we have the storm-track donut, which means "hell if we know where she's going".

little furry demons a.k.a. thursday catblogging

Just to reassure everyone, all the kitties made it through the night unharmed. If there was any bloodshed, they did it to themselves.

How can you stay mad at that? And yes, he forgets his tongue all the time.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

damn cats

I swear by all that is holy, if I have to go listen to another hissy fit between the girls tonight, or shove Noah away again after he tries to eat my dinner for me, I'm gonna kill some cats. The little buggers have been little demons all evening. I swear, I'm gonna have some "Cat, the other White Meat".

anyone want a gmail account?

Really, is there anyone left on the internet who doesn't have a gmail account and wants one? I now have 100 to give away, not the usual 50. Email me or place your request in the comments.


one-liner for the day

Better to be a Bleeding-heart than to have none at all.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

this just in

There's E. coli in the flood water in New Orleans. Well no shit. Or lots of shit, is more accurate. E. coli is found in the human colon, and therefore is in human excrement, which is part of the toxic flood brew in New Orleans, along with the oil, gasoline, and who knows what else.

Just thought you should know, the CDC has things under control, from a epidemicological standpoint.

a little catblogging

McCullough gets wrapped up in a nap.

She also seems to think the power supply for the laptop is a nice kitty heater.

yesterday's donation

I have to say last night's dinner, er donation to the American Red Cross, er dinner was very tasty. Kudos to Lonestar Steakhouse, Inc., for donating every penny they took in yesterday, not just their profits, and giving it to the American Red Cross. In all honesty, if Lonestar hadn't done that, we may well have eaten spaghetti at home, instead making a rather decent donation to the Katrina relief efforts.

Monday, September 05, 2005

how you can help katrina's survivors and have a great meal

All day today, Lonestar Steakhouse & Saloon Inc., will donate 100% of their income to the American Red Cross as a part of the Hurricane Katrina relief effort. Not profits, all income. So go out to your local Lonestar Steakhouse, Sullivan's Steakhouse, Del Frisco's Steakhouse, or Texas Land & Cattle for a nice meal and know that every dime you spend will go to the American Red Cross.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

sunday catblogging

Yeah, I know I'm running a few days behind on things, but oh, well. You all will get over it. My Carnival of the Cats and Friday Ark Submissions (and an update on the kitties, katrina - the worst is over, no pics tonight) were about the cats' and mine experiences riding out then Tropical Storm Katrina 300 miles inland in Huntsville, Alabama. I know that we were spared the worst, but by being able to blog about my experiences, I'm hoping that it will help bring attention to the plight of those who were much less fortunate than I, and experienced Katrina at her worst.

All the media are bombarding viewers with ways to help. One of two ways to help is to donate to the U.S. Humane Society, to help the animals who have also been afflicted by this disaster. To help the humans, contact the American Red Cross to either donate money, or to volunteer your time.

And now, since you have read my little speech about how you can help, here is another photo in the McCullouch Perfects the Fine Art of Napping series, taken on the day before Tropical Storm Katrina roared through Huntsville.

Friday, September 02, 2005

just when you thought the whole world hated us....

The following Nations have offered support, whether it be personnel, money, or material goods for the Hurricane Katrina relief effort:

United Kingdom - "Will stand ready to help" the citizens of the U.S. Gulf Coast
Austraila - $7.6M to the American Red Cross, plus an expert disaster response team
Japan - $200,000 to American Red Cross plus donating up to $300,000 in emergency supplies (tents, blankets, generators)
Sri Lanka - $25,000 to American Red Cross
El Salvador - offering troops to help police areas
The Netherlands
The Dominician Republic
South Korea
The United Arab Emirates
The Organization of American States
Now, look at this list, from the CNN news ticker at 8:22 this morning. Take a good look. Most of the time, we end up having to help out these countries after their disasters. Or we ridicule them because of the Nation's foreign policy, but they help us anyway.

We've become the policemen of the world, but we've also become the relief workers of the world. In our time of need, those we've helped have stepped up to help us. Take a look at that list. Most of those Nations are poor, and yes, every little bit helps. They're doing what they can to help their benefactors. Those countries are our friends. Don't forget this list.

the ashes of new orleans

New Orleans, is a great green, gold, and purple Phoenix
From Her ashes She will rise again
It may take years, or even decades for the process to be complete
But She will be more glorious than before

New Orleans is America's Atlantis, engulfed with water by the cataclysm
Unlike the Atlantis of old, She will rise again, more beautiful than ever
She will be a great living, breathing memorial to all those who died
And a reminder to all those who lived

best of luck, orion

First, to clear some things up, I have 2 brothers-in-law. My husband's brother, Luke, who is currently living with us, and my sister, Eirene's husband, Orion.

Yesterday afternoon Orion, who is in the Army Reserves stationed with an Indiana National Guard Unit, was activated with the rest of his unit, and must report for duty at 0730 EST today. Orion will be heading down this way, to the Mississippi coast for relief/recovery operations. The claim is it will be a 10 day deployment. Honestly, Eirene and I think it will be more like 30+ days. If it does end up being what we think, rather what he was told, she, her boys, and Socrates, will come down to visit, hoping to see Orion if/when he gets a day off. If nothing else, they can come down and see my house, which none of them have before.

Orion, be careful. Watch your buddy's back, and he will watch yours. May the spirits watch over all of you, and protect you in your work. We'll all be praying for you.