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.