Saturday, December 30, 2006

ding-dong, the bastard's dead

Now, since I went into early retirement (which sounds better than f***ing disability), I've managed to avoid a lot of news. I don't patrol the news sites like I did a couple of years ago when I didn't have a lot to do on some days.

There have been recent exceptions when I can't hide from the news. The Huntsville School Bus Crash is one instance. Trust me, the city went completely batshit, and for once I was glad I'm not on the Rescue Squad anymore.

Today is another day when I couldn't avoid news. When I went outside to feed the birds and collect my paper, The Huntsville Times proclaimed in 2 inch tall letters "Saddam hanged". Woo-hoo! Time to break out the wine and celebrate.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

thursday catblogging

On a different note, Maleficent napping on the couch.

Maleficent napping on the couch

not dead yet

So, on Halloween I came down with a really bad GI infection. I'm finally on the mend. Yes, unfortunately, you read that right; it's taken nearly a month to start getting better. So, after 1 trip to ER Lite, 2 trips to my GI, 1 abdominal X-ray, 1 CT scan, a dozen or so vials of blood drawn, a fever up to 103 F, a round of prednisone, 2 different antibiotics, heavy-duty pain meds, and a lot of naps, I'm finally on the rebound. On the up side, I've managed to do a lot of quality TV watching, and Maleficent is my new best friend and nap buddy.

In other news, I turned 30 earlier this month. And that sums up my month. Oh yeah, non-stop fun here.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

sunday catblogging

Maleficent sleeping on

Winter must be near. The annual claiming of the laps has begun in the Oubliette. Since the lap to cat ratio is 1 to 2, I can only hope that the bloodshed is minimal.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

the oubliette turns two

As of yesterday, The Oubliette has been up and running with semi-regular postings for the past two years. 657 posts over the past 2 years. Not too bad, considering the recent dry spell in posting.

*raises cup of Dr. Pepper* Here's to another 2 years. Cheers!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

carnival of the cats #133

Yes, I'm a little late with this, but the this week's edition of The Carnival of the Cats. Check out what all the other felines of the blogosphere have been up to.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

rules for eep

Eep watching the bubbles in the water dish

I do not have fingers and the water dish is not a finger-bowl. I don't need to dip my paws in it.

Staring at the water will not make it burble more.

I will not throw up in the water dish, even though I have seen Mommy throw up in the big water dish. She never drinks out of it and I have to drink out of mine.

That scratching post never did anything to me. It does not deserve its fate.

No matter how hard I try, I can't bury the other cats' wet food.
- Nor can I bury anything else on the floor.

I am not The Destroyer of Worlds, therefore I should stop attacking the other cats.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

carnival of the cats #132

Wow, it's been a long time since I typed something like this:

This week's edition of the Carnival of the Cats is up over at Pet's Garden. Go forth and look at all the kitties.

i win!

The Sunday morning Fluffy Cat Trifecta.

Mac poses for a quick photo
Win: Mac

Eep on the stairs
Place: Eep

Callie on a nightstand
Show: Callie

All three fluffy cats of the Oubliette, taken in one morning. Eep and Mac followed me around everywhere, but I did finally manage to track Callie, snap a photo, and not wake my husband in the process.

Yay me!

it must be the end of the world

I had a catblogging post AND I submitted it almost 10 hours before the deadline. The world is about to end. Or something. Go forth and purchase food in cans and water in bottles.

Me. Catblogging. Meeting a deadline. Can't be good. At all. And I'm abusing sentence fragments. Horribly. Right now.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

procrastination is fun!

First, I did play with a new layout. The new one lasted all of about 5 minutes, using the WYSIWYG editor in Blogger Beta. It completely FUBARed everything, so I'll have to hand-code it all. Again.

In the mean time, this is what happens when I get bored, have yarn, my Firefly DVD box set, and a cat.

Maleficent modeling the Jayne hat I knit

Maleficent hiding in the hat

Way too much time on my hands.

And for those of you who are wondering, Maleficent isn't the least bit upset by this. In fact, she was happier in the second photo since she could "burrow" into the hat. It took genuine work to snap a shot with her face visible.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

i need a new layout

I've had my current design for over a year and I think it's getting a little stagnant. I'll be playing with the new features in Blogger Beta since I finally was able to convert my account.

If this site starts looking a little, odd, over the next day or so, that's what's up. I'll be making a backup of the current template just in case things don't go well.

bad kitty!

extreme closeup of Maleficent

No pirogi for the kitties! Mine, they're all mine!

Yes, there's some backstory here. I'm lazy so I don't make pirogi from scratch. I buy the frozen ones and go from there. Usually, once I boil them and attempt to saute them in butter. I generally end up with a pile of mangled, yet tasty, dinner.

Tonight was different, I managed to finally use enough butter to keep the buggers from sticking. I'm happily munching away at my plate of perfectly browned and intact pirogi. Sadly, there is a drawback to tonight's plan. Ok, so there's a couple of problems with tonight's plan. Maleficent and her fat ass thinks she needs a pirogi or 10. She already had her dinner, she needs to leave mine alone.

The other major problem is the brand I buy has 12 to a box. Neither S or K (formerly known as Tom and Luke, respectively; I'm getting lazy) like pirogi, so I get the entire box to myself. Now, I can (should) only eat about 6-8 at a time. I put the extras in a baggie and pop them back in the freezer. Unfortunately, it seems I never use the ones in the baggies and simply buy another box.

Tonight I was a good girl. I pulled out two baggies of pirogi, cooked them, even managed a perfect golden crust. Unfortunately (and there's always an unfortunately), apparently at one point I bought both the Potato and Cheese and the Potato and Onion varieties. Now I have a plate of pirogi roulette. Perfectly browned, crispy, pirogi roulette. I don't like the onion ones; I may have picked up a box for S to try. Or else I couldn't read that particular day. Or both.

You read it here first, pirogi roulette. Go ahead and insert your jokes about Eastern European ethnicity. I'll come after you painted in woad swinging a halberd.

Monday, September 25, 2006

still here

Despite the generally shitty weather in North Alabama over the weekend, the Oubliette and it's occupants are still kicking. Or napping or swimming, depending on the species.

Storm total for the area: 2 confirmed tornado touchdowns within about 40 miles of Huntsville Friday afternoon/evening. No major damage, no injuries that I'm aware of. Here at Chez Oubliette, we managed to avoid the worst of the weather on Friday. Yes, I did watch a supercell form over the house and start to rotate, but no funnel cloud/tornado formed. Friday was all isolated supercell storms, not a line. For those of you who aren't into meterology, isolated storms are generally more violent and unpredictable than a line of storms ahead of a front.

Saturday night was actually the worst weather at my location when the line of storms ahead of the cold front moved through. Wind gusts were approximately 35mph (56kph), enough to sway entire trees. From what I can tell, no damage occured in my neighborhood. Over the whole weekend (Friday afternoon through Sunday afternoon) rainfall totaled 1.8 in, or 4.6cm for you metric people. Ok, so I measured in cm to start with and used a calculator to convert to inches. Why, yes, I can use metric when I feel like it.

Now for some photos of the storms.

supercell thunderstorm that spawned a F1 tornado over Albertville, AL
The storm that spawned the F1 tornado approximately 40 miles SE of Huntsville in Albertville, AL. The dome is the tornadic updraft.

a supercell thunderstorm approximately 40 miles south of Huntsville, AL
A second supercell thunderstorm approximately 40 miles south of Huntsville. This storm did not spawn a tornado.

the back edge of a supercell thunderstorm that formed over my house
The back (southwest) edge of a supercell thunderstorm that formed directly over my house. It became severe but did not spawn a tornado.

All of the above photos were taken within 10 minutes of each other on Friday. It was an interesting afternoon.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

musings on power and those who seek it

One should always be suspect of those who seek positions of power. Power attracts the power-seekers, those who would use their positions for personal gain. The more power a position grants, the more we should distrust those who seek that position. Power attracts corruption. The more power a position grants, the more corruptible those who actively seek that position. The individuals best suited to wield such power are those who are competent yet have no desire for power. Unfortunately, many existing power structures encourage those who actively seek power and ignore those who are qualified yet have no desire for personal power.

Thursday, September 07, 2006


Cats! I can blog about the cats! (It's one of those days, just go with it.) I've been tuning out the furry tumors that sprouted Monday night, so I forgot that I hadn't posted any pics or written about them in a while.

When I walked in the door Monday evening, after having been a bad mommy and abandoning them to fend for themselves for 4 days, I was mobbed by the little furry beasts. At least they thought they had been abandoned. Luke was here all weekend and he did feed them, despite what they claimed. Noah became my head-warmer in bed, Eep and McCullough sat aside their differences so they could each claim a hip. You have no idea how happy I was that they didn't start fighting with me in the middle.

So, right now all the kitties are lounging around, sleeping the afternoon away. If I hadn't been sleeping for the past 3 days solid, I'd probably be doing the same thing. So, without further ado, photos of Maleficent, Noah, and Mac.

Maleficent asleep on the recliner

Noah sleeping on the back of the couch

Mac in his window

ramblings from the sub-conscious

Well, I survived the weekend in Atlanta. Barely. Just for the record, marble tile + water = very bad. Yep, I am truly talented and managed to re-injure my back. Did something resembling the splits in a friggin' ball gown and damn near broke a toe. In a ball gown, complete with petticoats. I did make it to the ball that was going on at the Con, but there was more than an hour wait to get in the room.

So, what did I do? Went to the Stargate room and watched episodes half the night with the other really cool people who decided to hell with the parties that night. All 5 of us. We probably had one of the most intelligent discussions going on in the entire place, aside from maybe the true science tracks. We're geeks, I admit it. Who else would spend a Saturday night discussing medical ethics, genocide, and physics? Ok, some of the science people, but I deliberately stayed away from that group. Mainly because I knew I would know some of the people. (And I was right. Gods, I love Huntsville. An entire city of geeks.)

Why, yes, I am rambling. Why do you ask? Vicodin Land is back, because of my back. So, while I may be posting, don't expect anything stellar. Oh, there may be some gems scattered among the stream-of-consciousness ramblings. I guarantee it will be accidental, though. C'est la vie.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

update on my back and other medical stuff

I went to see Dr. F yesterday for my back, since my trip to ER Lite didn't produce any answers. After X-rays, I have a muscle/tendon strain. The arthritis in my low back is a little worse on the films, but not too bad. Not bad enough to cause the spontaneous severe pain. Fortunately, no compression fracture of a vertebrae, which was a distinct possibility given my arthritis and long-term use of cortico-steroids.

So, rest, muscle relaxers, and pain medication. Yes, this is a familiar regimen, but hey, it works.

Nothing new on my kidneys, still have trace amount of blood being passed. I go back in 6 weeks for a re-test to see if there's still blood. If so, then I'll see a urologist. I had the option of seeing one immediately, but this isn't a critical problem. Probably just a little irritation from microscopic stones or inflammation but not an infection.

On another note, I'm not so sure about my allergy shots anymore. It seems like my damn sinus allergies are worse now that I've been geting them, not better. I've been getting them for 3 weeks now, and I had it confirmed yesterday that I don't have a respiratory infection. Despite the fact I can't really breathe. Yep, having some misgivings about modern medicine right now.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

fun times in atlanta

OK, so I'm a little behind. As mentioned in this post, I'll be spending the upcoming weekend in Atlanta. I will be going to DragonCon, which will be my first Sci-Fi/Fantasy Con. Uh, yeah, my inner Geek is finally being allowed to come out.

I'm really looking forward to the weekend, I'll get a chance to see Shiva again, hang out and generally have a good time (hopefully). Right now my biggest concern is what to wear. I have a chiton (sleeved Roman/Greek dress), a peplos (sleeveless Roman/Greek dress) and a simple Medieval dress that looks more Elvish than anything. You see a pattern here. I'm not wearing anything that's uncomfortable, which means pretty much all dresses.

Here's hoping for some interesting photos. There might even be one or two of me that make their way here.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

my weekend

I've had a very restful weekend. Not exactly because I wanted it, I didn't exactly have a choice. Let me tell you a story...

Thursday afternoon I woke up with a minor back ache. No big deal, right? I didn't think so, so I went about my business of getting my allergy shots and then spent some quality time in a bookstore. Well, the longer I stayed on my feet the worse my back felt so I went home and rested. I went to bed early for me, about 0200, and somehow managed to sleep for 12 hours.

Unfortunately the rest did nothing for my back, so after not managing to get an appointment with Dr. F, I went to the ER Lite - Huntsville Hospital's Acute Care Clinic near the house. I was concerned since the pain was in my spine, not kidneys or muscles, and at a 7 or 8 out of 10 on the pain scale. The upside to ER Lite is, like the regular ER, they will give medications for pain while waiting for tests. The downside is I picked the day that their X-ray machine was down. The only test that could be run was a urinalysis, and I was dehydrated. Not a good combination. After 6mg morphine, 1/2 gallon of water, a Coke, and 2 hours, I managed to produce the required specimen. The result - a trace amount of blood. Whee. Yes, this means I may have yet another kidney infection or stone. No X-rays so there was nothing else that could be done. I left with the profound advice of "if it gets worse go to the real ER." No kidding, Doc.

Monday I go see Dr. F for a follow-up to try to find out what is causing the back pain. Yay, whee. More tests. (I swear this time I won't be dehydrated, though.) I just want to find out what's wrong before I go to Atlanta on Thursday. Hopefully it is simply tendonitis that will clear up soon, and not something that will keep me from being able to walk in Atlanta.

What's in Atlanta? That's another post, which I'll be writing shortly, as soon as I finish this.

Friday, August 25, 2006

sleeping cats

This is one of those days when I wish I knew what was going on inside a cat's mind.

Noah is in the recliner, sound asleep. In the middle of a dream by the looks of things, complete with twitching paws. Now, the amusing/intriguing part is his eyes are cracked and he's yowling. That's right, yowling, in his sleep. I stepped over by the chair the second time he did it, making sure that he was indeed asleep. Even Maleficent perked her head up, wondering what was going on.

Sometimes it's easy to figure out what's going on in their heads. This, however, is one of the times I wish I had telepathy.

And no, Noah isn't the only one who talks in his sleep. McCullough and Maleficent both chatter at times. The standard "I really want that bird" chatter/chirping cats do. Plus Maleficent is the only cat I know that snores.

Friday, August 18, 2006

ahh, autumn

The first signs of Fall are here.

dogwood berries ripening

leaves turning colors on a dogwood tree

a nearly ripe pear

friday catblogging

The return of Tux.

Tux eating

Of course he didn't hang around long enough for us to give him some medicine. That would be too easy. Couldn't do it at the time, I was on my way to a doctor's appointment when I snapped that quick shot. I have a feeling I'll be wrestling a cat today, alone, trying to shove 2 pills in him. Yeah, I'm really looking forward to this. I just hope I don't get bit, because then I'll have to go through all the fun crap associated with a semi-feral cat bite. *whines about getting rabies shots* Maybe Kevlar gloves will help...

Thursday, August 17, 2006

apparently i don't learn...

So, yesterday afternoon I decided that I'd had enough of the yard looking like crap. It hadn't been mowed in the past month. Admittedly, the grass hasn't been growing much due to a general lack of rain, but once the rains started again it took off. Now, there will be those of you who will know what comes next.

Mira snapped. The grass had to die. It didn't matter that I'm sensitive to heat. I drug out the lawnmower, gassed it up, and attacked the front yard. On the up side, the front yard looks a lot better. On the down side, the heat stroke wasn't much fun. OK, so it wasn't full-blown heat stroke. Technically it was heat exhaustion, so a cool shower and fluids was sufficent treatment.

At least I waited for the ambient temperature to be about 10 degrees F below body temperature to pull that stunt.


I had to change to Blogger Beta to log in, but then I'm not qualified for the upgrade? Excuse me? WTF? OK, I'm not going to try to wrap my brain around that one anymore. It hurts too much.

Friday, August 04, 2006

friday catblogging

Callie has decided to make good on her challenge to Mars on who is more popular on the web.

I can appreciate that he's a shelter rescue, but please...he's a dog. Really.

That's right. I'm gorgeous, and I know it. Eat your heart out, Mars.

Sorry, H0rrid, but I only type what the cats tell me to. And yes, I'm fully aware I'm staff.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

because i'm bored

100 Things About Me, updated. Let's see what's changed in the past 2 years... Original post here. Italics denote changes.

  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 - Make that 4 cats that own me, Callie had joined the mix
  14. My parents have my other cat
  15. There is also a squirrel and a fish living here - Catbait, the squirrel is free. His ultimate fate is not known. The number of fish have increased, however.
  16. And my brother-in-law (husband's brother), and his 2 cats
  17. I have a degree in studio art - Forgot the minor in Art History
  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 - Make that 6 years
  23. I've been an EMT for 10 years - Coming up on 12 years. Damn, I feel old.
  24. I'm specially trained in vehicle extrication - using the "Jaws of Life"TM
  25. I've been doing that for 9 years - Make that 11 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 - I've learned to deal with it, and ignore it for the most part. I sleep when I'm tired. Simple solution.
  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 - In other words, a legal, secular marriage. If three people want to get married, then that should be allowed, too. Unfortunately, I don't see that happening in this country for a very long time.
  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 - Twisted doesn't even begin to describe it. Morbid is maybe a little more accurate
  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 - Hell, I know rocket scientists. Comes with living in Huntsville
  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 - The meds don't help with that in the slightest
  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 - Did some research, and more Scottish than Scotch-Irish. Hell, I have two tartans to choose from, Buchanan and Clark/Clerk/Clerke
  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 - I've figured out how to make coffee that doesn't usually give 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 - Actually, I can read, write, and speak some Latin now. Been active learning it since I joined Nova Roma
  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 - That's how I learned Latin before actually studying it
  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 - I now know that Shiva lives only a few miles away. Gotta love how the world works
  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 - Besides, I need to Shiva's new apartment :)
  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, Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson's Dune prequels (based on Frank Herbert's unfinished works), 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 - See Grace Fly, Nothing, Dune, Children of Dune, Thoughtcrimes, Elizabeth, Serenity, and Century Hotel. I've developed a thing for independent films. So help me, there are two Sci-Fi Channel Original Films on the new list, and they didn't suck ass. They may be the only two Sci-Fi Channel Original Films that haven't sucked.
  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. - Add the new Battlestar Galactica, the new Doctor Who, Da Vinci's Inquest, Angel, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly. Strike MI-5 since it's not being shown right now in the US, I'll have to buy the DVDs.
  95. Have I mentioned insomnia sucks? - Yeah, I have. Back on the topic of films, I can't stand film gore. I can hold a human brain in my hands, but still watch horror films through my fingers. Cube is the most recent example. I saw the deaths coming, and could barely watch that film once.
  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.

a dog's breakfast

(See, H0rrid, I do make good on my threats, er, promises.)

Go check out this blog - A Dog's Breakfast. The site promotes an upcoming independent film of the same name. One of the stars of the film is Mars, a shelter-rescue Rottweiler mix. Yay for shelter rescues! Although I think Caliadne Gwenhyfar Bellatrix (Callie) is now challenging Mars to an online popularity contest. She isn't intimidated by who owns Mars, either. :)

A clip from the film has been released, and I recommend watching it. Hilarious. It's also time to play "Name that set". Hint, it's stolen, er, borrowed, from a pair current TV series. Hint #2, one of the series is the longest running sci-fi show in American TV history. (Nothing can beat Doctor Who, which I think makes it the second longest running sci-fi series in the world.)

For those of you who don't know what the phrase "a dog's breakfast" means, it's UK slang (thank you, Google) - noun, a mess - This accident scene is a real dog's breakfast. Ok, so when I made a similar comment, I said something more like "This accident scene is pretty f***ed up." Get the idea? I first heard the phrase on an episode of Da Vinci's Inquest, and figured out the general meaning. Had to look it up to be certain on the meaning, though.

Monday, July 31, 2006

tux returns!

Schrödinger is back. That's Tux for those of you who missed my last post on him.
He's not looking so hot, I think he may have parasites. OK, he probably does have parasites. The local no-kill shelter that Noah came from is giving me some medication to take care of that, although they can't take in any more cats. The Oubliette Cat Shelter is also full to capacity, which means Callie was the lucky one, the last one in. (Yes, Lair, I'll take some new pics of her, as soon as she emerges from wherever the in the 100 Hells she's hiding this week.)

Looks like Tux/Schrödinger/Here, Kitty, Kitty will be more or less an outdoor cat hanging around the fringes of The Oubliette area. I'll be doing what I can to obtain minimal health care for him, but unless you want your own kitty, looks like he'll be staying outdoors for now.

Now if the damn opossums didn't eat all of his food each night, things would be great. Shiny, even.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

stargazing photos

This is what I'm looking at, and the type of objects I'm looking for when I spend half my night in the Evil Chair of Doom.

First Pegasus. (I'll post Cassiopeia separately when I'm done labeling everything, since it's a much more crowded region of the sky.)

Click on the image for larger versions, up to 2856 x 2142, about 2Mb.

Now that the sci-fi geek in me is getting a chance to type, thanks to being in Vicodin Land, I start to wonder. Which of the two galaxies in Pegasus, Pegasus Dwarf Irregular (Peg DIG) or Pegasus Dwarf Spheroidal (Peg dSph) is Atlantis located in?


There is actual, genuine rain falling right now. Oh, sweet rain. I'd forgotten what it sounded and felt like, it's been so friggin long since we had rain around here. Of course, this being the South, lightning was a part of it, but that's fine with me. It made for a lovlely light show. At least this time I didn't have to go running to the house to avoid being hit.

Let it be known that I do eventually learn. When you can hear the lightning coming down from the clouds, you really shouldn't be outside in the storm. No matter how pretty it is.

Friday, July 21, 2006

friday catblogging

Callie has decided to take the day off, so Eep is taking her place.

Eep defends HER place on the back of the couch. Mostly using her Death-Glare, which causes most cats (and some humans) to tremble in fear.

mira's (mis)adventures

Vicodin Land is back again (details of how I got here in a minute) so anything I produce for the next few days will be either crap or crack. Possibly both. I'm hoping I don't screw up posting some kitty pics here in a minute.

Yep, I managed to hurt myself. Again. This time it was the Evil Attack Lawn Chair. You know those folding camp chairs, the ones that come with a nice carrying case and fold up to about 8"x8"x3'? I have one of the super-deluxe models, it has a footrest and reclines. Well, a word of advice to everyone out there, make sure when setting up your chair (unfolding it), that you don't put one of the legs in or over a hole in the yard. This is vitally important. Remember this, it could save your life.

I learned this was Vitally Important when I leaned ever-so-slightly to the right and fell right the fuck over on my side. The Evil Attack Lawn Chair took this opportunity to try to eat me. Even my beloved dogwood tree got in on the action and took a chunk out of (OK, scraped) my wrist.

Let me paint a mental picture. Mira is laying on her side, this damn chair folded up AROUND her, right wrist, shoulder and back hurting like a mother-fucker, and can't get free from the Evil Chair of Doom. The Chair of Doom has her pinned next to previously mentioned dogwood tree, which did nothing to help me escape. Did I mention this is at 1AM, so nobody can see me and I don't have my cell on me?

Yeah. Loads of fun. So I slowly self-extricate from the Evil Woman-eating Chair, and I don't use the word "extricate" lightly. I seriously was trapped when it folded up around me. Considering calling for help kind of trapped. I manage to drag my sorry ass out of the chair and make it to my feet. I ended up using some sort of ninja-roll/kick to free my legs so I could get out of the Evil Chair and make it to my feet.

This was at 1AM Wednesday. Wednesday afternoon I had to work (model) and couldn't get an appointment with my doctor until yesterday. The Evil Chair of Doom was a new one for him, and Dr. F is a part-time ER doc, in addition to his family practice. He ordered X-rays of my wrist (which looks like I botched a suicide attempt with the bandage over the scrape), shoulder, and ribs. Fortunately, I bend, but I do not break. Still hurts like a son-of-a-bitch, though.

So now I'm lazily making my way through Vicodin/Skelaxin Land. It is such a beautiful place, full of pretty colors and funny things.

Evil Attack Lawn Chair: $20
Co-pay for office visit: $15
Prescriptions: Let's not go there.
Being able to tell this story: Priceless.

(Bill Engval, please do not sue me over the use of Vicodin Land(TM). If you haven't seen him do his Vicodin Land bit, you need to. Hilarious. Even while not on Vicodin.)

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

whee, work!

I never thought I'd be excited about going to work. Of course, since I haven't had a job for 15 months does change one's perspective.

Yesterday was my second day, I'll be at work in about 45 minutes, and tomorrow is my last scheduled day for this term. There's still a chance I may be needed next week, but that's unlikely since the scheduled model is dependable, barring any true emergency.

That's why I'm modeling today. I wasn't originally scheduled to, but the scheduled model couldn't work today. Yay for me, an extra session's pay. I'll also be scheduled for the drawing classes in the fall, but models aren't used until about the second half, so it will likely be October before the Art Department needs me again.

Hey, it's something, which is better than nothing. The instructor is understanding, so he picks poses that don't strain my back. This week, I'm laying on my stomach, arm as a pillow, looking like I'm asleep. Yeah, real difficult pose. Hell, yesterday I almost fell asleep.

The students are a great bunch, and have come a long way since the first day of class, when I was thier model. The first day they all had the same problems with see proportion - how wide my shoulders are compared to my hips, or if the distance from the top of my shoulder to my elbow is the same from elbow to wrist. Yesterday they were having difficulty seeing exactly how my shoulderblade is a different plane than my back or ribcage. And they get two more days to work on their pieces, so they get to start having fun with facial details, toes, fingers, and other little details. Heh. They're going to hate that. Yes, years ago when I was a student myself, I took this class. I understand exactly what they're going through.

Time to go, my ride should be here any minute now.

Friday, July 14, 2006

friday catblogging

Callie makes another appearance.

Callie looks pretty from her window perch.

Callie gives Eep the death-stare.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

sitemeter reading

Well, I've been having some fun, going through my sitemeter hits and have had readers from some interesting places.

The most amusing (to me) hit in the log is the visitor from Burnaby, British Columbia. (If you were visiting from Bridge Studios, I swear I'm not the scary, stalker type.) To all of my Canadian readers - Salut! Yes, it never fails to amaze me how many of my readers aren't from the States.

To my Western Australian visitor, welcome! You win the prize for being my most distant visitor, greater than 11,000 miles. Sydney, you come in second at over 9,000 miles away.

Bonjour, mes lecteurs qui lisent français! Oui, j'écris français, mai je pense vous lisez anglais autrement vous ne visitez pas mon blog. Et pardon ma français, je ne pratique pas souvent.

Si alquis legas lingua Latina, salvete!

Yep, that is the extent of my language abilities. I'm not even going to attempt Spanish or German, since it would be embarrassing.

carnival of the cats #120

Yes, this is late, but go forth and look at the kitties at the 120th Carnival of the Cats, hosted at Music and Cats.

Friday, July 07, 2006

friday catblogging

And now I bow to the demands of my readers...

Callie pretending to be a sphinx.

Callie tripping on some prime 'nip.

Die, you Evil Table Leg. Die!

Thursday, July 06, 2006


Maleficent watching Eep walk by.

Look at me, I'm cute!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

finally, a job

Today I worked my first paying job in 15 months. Woo-hoo! It's not nearly full time, more like as needed in the University Art Department. The job? Model. Hey, it's something I can do, and I remember my days as a student, being grateful to have a model to work from during both drawing and clay modeling.

Nope, this is one job where there won't be any pics of me at work. There may be some pics of the artwork the students create, depending on how they progress during the class. Today was the first day so the sculptures were amusing, proportions all wrong. My head half the size it should be, impossibly long arms, stick legs. The Venus of Willendorf looking one was one of the better ones. Everything was exaggerated, but hey, it's art, and they're there to learn.

I'm just terminally amused.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

as promised, a stargazing report

This makes it official; I'm a geek. This is what happens when I get bored and have a pair of binoculars, a planisphere, a red-filter on a flashlight, and Excel.

Edit - Crap. I forgot how Blogger doesn't like tables. Keep scrolling down, I swear there's more to this post, including a table of all 110 Messier Objects and the ones I've seen. Looks best in Firefox (sorry IE folks). I'll try to fix it later, I just don't have the energy right now. *grumbles about Blogger and what it does with its mother*

Edit 2 - Since Blogger hates tables for some reason, so I made the table as an external HTML page.

Link to my Messier Obect Checklist (Will open in a new window).

This is definitely a sign of a woman who has too much time on her hands, and can't stand the daytime heat (it's 97 right now). I've seen everything checked off in binoculars (technically I could say I've seen every Messier Object, but somehow I don't think scanning the sky with the naked eye counts). After last night's session, which I added M15, M31, M32, M110, that makes the tally 23 down, 87 to go. Oh, plus I saw 2 satellites. Sadly, I didn't see any part of the June Lyrids that I can be certain about. The neurological damage causes me to see random lights on occasion, so I don't know if what I saw was a neurological hiccup, or a meteor in my peripheral vision. For the past week I've definitely seen about one meteor a night, but then I didn't have binoculars glued to my face then, either.

Here's the source of most of the data for my table/checklist. Complete with pretty pictures.

must. have. coffee.

It is by caffiene alone that I set my mind in motion.

It is by the beans of Java that the thoughts acquire speed, the hands acquire shaking, the shaking becomes a warning.

It is by caffiene alone that I set my mind in motion.

Yes, I was up all night stargazing (report to come later), and I'm currently running on 3 hours sleep. Going to be a fun day.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

welcome to hurricane season 2006


Say hello to Alberto, the first tropical system to form in the Atlantic hurricane basin in 2006, and it's working on being a hurricane.

2006-6-12 alberto
National Hurricane Center (NHC) storm track, as of 1000CDT, 6-12-06.

2006-6-12 2315CDT alberto IR
Infrared satellite imagery of Alberto, 2315CDT 6-12-06.

If this is the first thing the Atlantic spawns for the season, it's not looking good for the rest of the season. Here's hoping any Katrinas stay well off-shore.

According to the National Hurricane Center, this season looks like it will be just as active as past seasons. Well, not as active as last year, but well above average. From 1995-2005, 9 of those seasons had above average activity and 7 of those 9 are classified as hyperactive. In other words, we're screwed. Again.

In an average year there are 11 named storms, 6 of those storms become hurricanes, and 2 of those hurricanes are major hurricanes (Category 3 or greater). The prediction for this year is for a total of 13-16 named storms with 8-10 of those storms becoming hurricanes and 4-6 of those hurricanes being major hurricanes. Compare this with 2005 which saw a record 28 storms (27 named and 1 unnamed storm), 15 of those becoming hurricanes (also a record), and 7 major hurricanes (the standing record is 8). (I'd put this in a table, but for some reason Blogger is hating tables right now.) For more statistics of 2005, check out this Wikipedia article.

Hmm, I moved to Alabama from Indiana in 1995... Yes, I'll admit, having grown up in the Midwest, I always wanted to experience a tropical system first-hand, but this is ridiculous.

Monday, June 12, 2006

adventures in spam

I swear by all that is holy, these are true subject lines from my current mountain of spam. This doesn't include the mountain of crap that is in Japanese, Chinese, Korean, or any writing system aside from Latin.
  • Alcohol and calculus don't mix... Don't drink and derive - I think it would have made more sense if I had been drinking...
  • Need cash, pebble-shaped - I know I've been out of the loop a bit, but when did we go back to stones?
  • dear russian schoolgirl - Uh, last I checked I'm not Russian...
  • test xeg - WTF?
  • I burned sixty calories - So did I, deleting all my spam.
  • Message subject - Hint: this is where you put the subject. Good guess on what that box is for.
  • We bring Vegas to you! - Can you imagine the shipping costs?
  • Cash out, scale bug - Excuse me?
  • You don't have the guts to stay away from your refrigerator? - Actually, it's quite easy for me to stay away from the refridgerator. The last time I opened it, whatever is living in there told me to turn out the light.
  • Lower payments, hematin crystals - First our currency changes to pebbles, then hematin crystals? What is a hematin crystal, anyway?
  • Keep Sweden tidy, shoot a tourist - I'm pretty sure there's a law against that.
  • oscillotro 2504 - Sounds like something that's only 4 payments of $29.99, and will fix my dinner for me. Or something like that.
  • RE: 25 - I always thought it was 42...
Now, that doesn't include all the emails telling me how to get "lowe$t pr1ces on druug$", or links for "hot poorn". Although this week, for some reason the ol' spam folder is full of emails telling me how I can find "young bonnie lasses". Why the rash of Scottish porn? I don't care about the lasses anyway. I plea the Fifth on the sheep...

Friday, May 26, 2006

a story in 100 words

Watching, Waiting

She watches, waiting for her beloved. Always waiting. She sits on the couch, looking out the window, patient. She knows that he will return, he always does.

So she watches and waits.

A flicker of color catches her eye and she knows he is there. She pulls the curtain open a little more to get a better look. It’s him, she knows it.

He sees the movement and takes off. A flurry of feathers the male cardinal is gone, the feeder is deserted.

She narrows her eyes and waits, her tail swishing in annoyance. He will return, he always does.

Friday, May 19, 2006

friday catblogging

Well, I think I'm going to change Tux's name to Schrödinger. For those of you who aren't physics geeks, go here. Otherwise, just run with the joke. I never know if he's dead or alive until I get visual confirmation, usually after having not seen him for several weeks.

An older pic of Tux, er Schrödinger, since he wouldn't let me take his pic this week.

Schrödinger's cat is not dead.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

a recap of the past month

Yeah, I took another month off blogging. So here's what's been going on.

I developed a kidney infection. My first clue was a stabbing pain in my left kidney, 8 out of 10 on the pain scale. At first Dr. F wasn't sure if I had another stone or an infection, so he treated me for an infection (given my crappy immune system) and ordered a CT scan looking for any stones. The scan was negative, so a week of antibiotics and lots of pain meds. Eventually it got better.

As I was recovering from that, that my oh so lovely balance crapped out while I was walking outside. I fell down the same hill that I fell down last fall. This time I re-injured my left rotator cuff, left wrist, and sprained the arch of my left foot. Yay, whee. More pain meds and my wrist splinted for a week so I couldn't really type anything.

So that's the overview of my month. I did a little more storm spotting, but nothing as interesting as last month. I did get some good pics of lightning, which will be posted later.

Aside from all of that, not much. Watching TV, poking around on the net, discovering some good films. I've become a big fan of Paul McGillion and David Hewlett, a pair of Canadian actors who have been in some excellent, little-known films. They also happen to be in a good TV show right now, if you happen to like sci-fi.

So that's pretty much it. Not a whole hell of a lot going on around here. Now that I have use of my hand again and not stoned out of my skull, I'll see about keeping this updated more than once a month. ;)

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

late friday tornado blogging

Friday catblogging was pre-empted by multiple tornaodes in the area. While I did see one wall cloud and possible funnel right before it went over the house (and damn near was struck by lightning), it was too dark to get a photo. About half and hour later, another tornado went about 2 miles south of the house, and I got to hear a tornado for the first time.

Now, I've seen several tornadoes and funnel clouds in my life. Hell, one of my earliest memories is as a child going outside to play right after a bad storm. I saw matamus clouds hanging down on the back side of the cell that had just passed, then looked straight up. Directly overhead was a perfect spiral in the clouds, moving relatively fast. Yes, I've looked straight up in a funnel cloud. It was one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen. I told Mom what I saw, and at the time she dismissed it, since by the time she looked outside the funnel had disappated, although the matamus was still overhead. A few months later a program on tornadoes was on PBS, and it talked about how matamus often was seen in tornadic cells. Mom believed what I had seen at that point.

I've seen tornadoes on the ground from a distance a copule of times, and been in two tornadoes in my life. One in elementary school when one went right over the school, and one in Tennessee when a storm snuck up on us while my parents, sister and I were going to the Smoky Mountains. Our car was almost blown over, we were in the inflow to the tornado which was on the ground which was less than a mile away.

Friday night was the first time I actually heard a tornado. Not suprising, it sounded like a lot of wind, very low pitched. Think of a jet engine from a distance so you don't hear any of the high-pitched sounds or of a train minus the sound of the wheels on rails. A low pitched, constant rumble. It doesn't sound exactly like a train, you can hear a rhythymic sound in a train that isn't there in a tornado. So there you go, a first-hand account of what a tornado sounds like.

View from my house, looking to the west-northwest at about 1815 hours (6:15pm for you non-24 hour time people). You can see the roation in the clouds. There was a tornado on the ground about 70 miles to the west at that time, heading in my direction at about 75 miles an hour.

Friday, April 07, 2006

i love the south

Snow? We have a spastic fit at 3 flakes. Tornadoes? We're in the "You're fucked area" for today. Seriously, 60% chance of tornadoes here today. Yes, seriously, we're more likely to get a tornado touchtown within 25 miles of any given point in North Alabama that not. And we're talking the big mothers - F2 or larger. I bet they don't close schools for tornadoes that have not yet occured in your area.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

about the name of this blog

Word Y. Smith left a comment wondering as to the origin of the meaning of "Oubliette", specifically how I define it in the header. I can't find the original comment to respond to, so I'll answer it here, since more people wonder the same thing.

"Oubliette" is a French word, stemming from the verb "oublier" - to forget. The "-ette" suffix means "small, little". Drop the "-er" from the verb, add "-ette", and you get a noun meaning, literally, "a little place to forget; a little place of forgetting".

As far what a traditional oubliette is, it's a small dungeon with only one way in or out, through a hole in the ceiling. Literally, one would put prisioners in there and forget about them, let them die slowly. In England, oubliettes that have been found in castles are generally round, and most have spikes in the floor. A prisioner was thrown in from a doorway 20 or more feet above the floor of the oubliette. The prisioner would die, horribly and slowly, impaled on the spikes, lying on the bodies and skeletons of those who previously died in the cell.

I can't remember which castle in England had it's oubliette excavated by an archeological team, but they found something along the lines of more than 50 bodies. One body on the top of the pile had a 19th century pocket watch. Yes, that particular oubliette had been used from the time the castle was built in the Middle Ages through the mid 1800s.

What you may be thinking about, Word Smith, is a Labrynth, which is a maze. I know in the movie "Labrynth" what is called the Oubliette, is really an underground labrynth, mimicing the above ground one. If the pit of hands hadn't gone anywhere, it would have been an oubliette.

I'm guessing the Norman Invasion brought that nice little piece of dungeon technology to England from France, hence the French name. My sources? Sorry that I can't quote them, but they are various documentaries, articles, books, and the entymology of the word. (Yes, I do know French.) J'oublie que libres je leger pour mon information.

Friday, March 31, 2006

yay, tornadoes!

Well, only 1 really. A supercell marched across 2/3 of north Alabama and did a pretty good job of screwing things up for evening commute. West of here really saw the interesting weather, Florence had about 3 inches of quarter sized hail. It looked like it had freakin snowed.

You can look at WHNT 19's website for a slide show. If it's not on the main page, click on "Weather" and it should be there.

A couple of teaser photos...

That's hail on the road, folks.

A wall cloud with a tail cloud on the right. The tail cloud is not a funnel cloud, but inflow into the wall cloud. If a funnel were to form, it would be at the flat bottom of the cloud, not the side.

Fog caused by the hail on the ground. It was about 70° F when this picture was taken.

All of the above photos were taken by members of the public, who emailed them to WHNT-19. I did not take any of the pics, and am not claiming that I did. (Yeah, a little disclaimer there.) The photos are either copyright the photographer or WHNT-19. No copyright infringement intended.

friday catblogging - part II

For Lair.

friday catblogging

Look! It's Friday, and I'm catblogging, and it's not even 0300 yet!

Noah and McCullough want to join me outside and play...then run off.

The 3 cat statues that reside on the front porch.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

find the kitty

Time to play Find the Kitty. I was outside, and the girls had to come and see what I was doing.

Friday, March 10, 2006

friday catblogging

I went on a cat hunt this morning.

Mac comes out of hiding for a drink.


Callie's favorite towel. Don't ask me why she loves it so much. She will
guard it with her life, then proceed to try to eat it.

Face-off at the water hole.

McCullough waits for Luke to get out of the shower so she can play in
the wet bath tub. We don't ask, she's a little dim in that way.

And finally, Maleficent being unbearably cute.

A successful cat hunt.