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      Friday, April 18, 2014

catstuff
12:56 PM - 04/18/2014

The topic: Brian’s going to the bank

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to deposit the house payment and then over to Home Depot (I added floor wax to his list). He says "I'm leaving!" and I yell back "bring me ice cream!" (A couple of weeks ago we agreed to not have ice cream during the week - Monday through Thursday and so far it looks like Sunday ice cream isn't a good idea, either, which leaves Friday and Saturday. Unless we go to Disneyland during the week. We can have ice cream at Disneyland any day of the week. Except Saturday. And that's just because our passes don't get us in to the parks on Saturday. Or major holidays.)

He tells me "no ice cream".  I want ice cream! "Well, I'm gonna sit here until I get my ice cream" I respond. He says "then you'll be sitting there for a while". 

Great! Now I have an excuse!


catstuff
08:57 AM - 04/18/2014

The topic: Well, Rocky seems to be

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More interested in the house activity this morning. 

He ate last night and I actually heard him purr. He was rubbing his face all over.  With him the only cat in the office and watching him have a hard time navigating all of the stuff that's piled up on top of the file cabinet over the years, I moved a bunch of it and made it easier for him which makes it better for me since I won't be worried he'll hurt himself.

He'd only eaten half of what I brought in last night, so I moved the bowls to a place where he'd have to get down off of his tower. This morning all of the bowls were empty. Good on him!

I left the office window open for him to watch if he so desired. At one point while I was still in here, I watched him looking outside and he was so intense his body was vibrating. Seriously, that's the only way I can describe it. It was amazing to watch.

Sadly with the office door closed overnight, Mario has gone back to under the sofa, which makes absolutely no sense. He slept in the bedroom under the bed after weeks of sleeping ON the bed. mad

I don't think the door will be closed for long, though. The other cats are really showing almost no interest in Rocky. That will probably change when he comes down. But if he gets to a place where he knows he's safe and won't be attacked, it really shouldn't take long for the integration. 


otherstuff
08:54 AM - 04/18/2014

The topic: Sitting here, looking at Amazon

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Drooling over camera lenses. Thinking to myself, I say out loud "if I had a thousand dollars to spend on anything I wanted" and before I finished the sentence, Brian just bust out laughing.

Yeah, I guess having a thousand bucks to spend on anything is kind of funny at this point in time.

*sigh*

I remember those days.....


      Thursday, April 17, 2014

catstuff
02:43 PM - 04/17/2014

The topic: Cats are out of the office

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and Rocky has the room to himself. Let's see how things progress now. He'll be able to sniff them through the screen door that leads to the patio.

I really don't want him living on top of the stereo, he needs access to food and water and the litterbox. It's not like when Red lived in the rafters. There was plenty of room to put that stuff for his convenience.

There probably won't be a lot of action on the catcam.

I may just do this in the evening and night and let the cats be in here during the day. We'll see how it goes.


      Wednesday, April 16, 2014

catstuff
12:06 PM - 04/16/2014

The topic: Okay, now the big news.

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Last weekend, an old acquaintance contacted me on Facebook. She used to live across the street. They had moved to a bigger property and house a few miles from here. We cat sat for them a few times, but then just lost contact, for whatever reason. She was the neighbor who trapped a very pregnant Lonee Gail so long ago; she's where Lonee got her middle name. 

Well, life goes on and circumstances change. She's single now and lives up in the Los Angeles area. She recently had her elderly parents move in with her. Her mom has a nine year old cat named Rocky and the landlord does not want the cat in his condo. He wants it gone. He'd told her that if he gave her a twenty-four hour notice, he could enter the premises and remove the cat. Well, that's illegal as all get out, he couldn't remove the cat. But he could evict her. He wanted the cat gone within twenty-four hours. 

She asked if I knew of anyone who could help her (okay, okay, just keep your thoughts to yourself right now, we all knew how this was going to turn out, so just shut up about it, okay? boxing). I put out feelers on Facebook. A photo and a plea and a "please share" note. And rescuers know it's all about the backstory. Sad backstory, better chance that kitty will have a home.  This is what I posted on Facebook, along with a photo of him last Saturday:

 

Rocky needs a home, can you help? He's in Sherman Oaks, California.

Rocky is a nine year old kitty who needs a home. His owners have to give him up. They had to move in with their daughter. His dad is in hospice. His mom dearly loves him and is heartbroken, but the landlord doesn't want him there and has told them that as long as he gives them a 24 hour notice, he can enter the premises and remove this kitty.

They've tried local rescues, but the rescues all say he's too old for them to take, that it's too hard to place senior kitties. (As someone with three twenty year old cats, this just amazes me...nine years old? Senior?)

He's neutered, an affectionate lap kitty (and at fifteen pounds, it sounds like he can fill a lap) and seems to get along well with the daughter's Yorkie.

Please help him find a forever home.

There was a lot of sharing and one solid offer by Sunday. But things were getting scary up in Sherman Oaks. She has ten months left on a twelve month lease. Her landlord is an obvious asshole (a human asshole, not the same as Charlie) and has no sympathies for her situation. 

Lots of messaging between Gail and me. I'm in tears. I feel so badly for her mother, I know how much my mom loved her cats. At times, I think they were the only things keeping her alive (well, beer, too, that kept her alive). And she loved the hell out of Bobby, I watched the two of them together the day before her brain melted. He made her laugh like I hadn't heard in years. So, I know how important these little furry four footed critters are. So, Sunday night,  Brian said "he can come here" (was there really ever any question about this happening?). Because we know he'll have a good home, I'll keep in contact with Gail (and by association, her mother). I'll post pictures and stories and updates on my weblog and on Facebook (all of my blog entries go to FB, too). I tell her.

There was some back and forth and originally, she was to bring him down on Wednesday, but the fear of the landlord brought them down on Monday. It was a three hour trip, one way, a long drive for humans, longer for a kitty cat in a carrier. Her mom hadn't wanted to come inside, but I felt it would be good for her to see where her beloved Rocky was going to live. And to see the backyard, where he could chase whatever he felt like chasing. We let him out of the carrier right away (don't do long introductions here).

I think she was as happy as circumstances allowed. We'd let them know that if they moved and lived in a place where cats were allowed, Rocky could go back to them. That's only right.

So, Rocky checked out a couple of rooms, there was some hissing and growling. He spent a few minutes under my desk on some boxes (and threw up). He went into Brian's bathroom and lay on the shower floor.He got on the bed and laid down on a blanket. He growled. He growled at me when I petted him. He was very upset, very afraid. He ended up in the office, on top of the stereo. He spent twenty-four hours awake. I don't know if he got down during the night, because yesterday morning, he was back on the stereo. I got a step stool and tried to get him to eat, but he was having none of this. So, I got out the big guns. We quit giving the cats food with fish in it last year. Fish is NOT good for cats. But in a pinch, tuna is very tasty and has flipped the appetite on switch in many a difficult situation. This was one of them. With stepstool in place and open can of tuna in one hand, I rubbed a little tuna juice on his lips. He licked it off and turned his head away from me. I took out a very small piece of tuna and put it on his lips. He licked it off, looked the other way. I gave him another piece. He didn't turn his head this time, but he started to eat the few pieces in front of him. 

He ate a fair amount, then I backed off, taking tuna and stepstool out of the office. And an hour or so later, he was fast asleep. No longer on guard. He finally relaxed.

Some photos. As always, clicking on them will take you to a bigger photo. If you want to see it even bigger, click on the photo you're taken to...(updated and changed software).

Yesterday afternoon

This morning he starts to relax

Yeah, he's just chillin' now...

 

And then there's this little video:

 

 
He's gonna be okay.
 

otherstuff
09:31 AM - 04/16/2014

The topic: The lunar eclipse

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I learned something that night. Something very important. If you're going to do something that you can't do very often, like take the most awesome photos of an awesome celestial happening, learn how to use your equipment. Become familiar with your equipment. Like camera settings.

Because if you don't, it doesn't matter that the way cool timer takes a picture every thirty seconds. I doesn't matter that the electrical adapter for the camera does a great job and you don't have to worry about running out of battery power. It doesn't matter that you go outside and walk down the steps to the camera set up every fifteen minutes for hours, while your husband is in bed fast asleep, to carefully wipe the late night/early morning dew off of the camera lens, carefully because you don't want to change the angle of the camera. 

Because if you don't learn how to properly use your equipment and get the settings right, when you know you'll be too excited about the photos you just took, how wonderful they'll look, so wonderful that you just know you'll be too excited to sleep so you really should download them straight away, at one fifteen in the morning, a little sad that it's well before the eclipse is officially over, but the clouds have covered the moon...

And you download the lot of them, hundreds and all you see are black rectangles....

Well, you know the lesson to be taken from this...know your equipment, you dolt! 

I was dead tired Tuesday. I went to bed four hours after my normal bedtime. I went up and down those stairs poolside countless times. I couldn't walk. I fell asleep on the sofa after breakfast. Woke up a couple of hours later to find that Brian had made the bed and done the dishes. He had to leave to help his mom with the financial folks and I took a shower, then drove over and joined them. 

And fell asleep early on the sofa and was in bed before 9:30 last night.

And all I can say is "learn your equipment".


entertainmentstuff
08:06 AM - 04/16/2014

The topic: Last week

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We had the opportunity to see two movies in advance. On Tuesday, we saw "Draft Day" with Jennifer Garner and Kevin Costner. On Thursday, we did not see "Heaven is for Real" because we were too far back in the line. We were supposed to have been given passes to another showing, but so far, that hasn't happened.

About "Draft Day". It's about football. Let me preface this by saying we used to watch football. We used to have season tickets to the Chargers a long time ago. It got to be a real pain to go to the games. So much time sucked out of the day (we rode the bus), so much money...my last game was when the jerk sitting behind me sneezed and got a ton of snot in my hair and never said "excuse me" or anything. 

We'd watch the games on television, though, it was just what you did on a Sunday in the fall. I was raised like that and not watching your home team play, well, it just felt like the universe was somehow out of whack. 

*Climbs up on soapbox*

Then Michael Vick got arrested. Then Michael Vick got kicked out of football. Then Michael Vick got back in, with open arms. And millions of dollars. And then he was named the Subway Sportsman of the Year. And I said "f*ck this s*it". Never watched another game. (And before someone starts telling me "he did his time, he should be forgiven", he most certainly did NOT do ANY time for animal cruelty. Those charges were dropped. He did time for racketeering.

That's when I started paying attention to the calibre of the players of the NFL.

There've been so many problems with NFL players and the law (check out the Union Tribune's NFL player arrest database to see how bad it is) over the past years, these men who have so much and obviously feel they have the right to be thugs. Okay, fine, be a thug, but if that's how you want to live your life, you shouldn't be rewarded. It's my opinion that the NFL should have a zero tolerance policy. You know, it's not like there aren't plenty of great players who have good ethics and morals. Recruit those guys. Dump the dirtbags, I don't care how accurately and how far they can throw a football. The players should be someone to be proud of, someone you want your kid to emulate, to look up to. 

So, we quit watching football. The advertisers will make no money from this household. Not as long as they back the National Felons League.

*Steps down from soapbox*

So, back to the movie.

We loved this movie. Absolutely loved it. Brian was surprised, he didn't think it would be nearly as good as it was. It was well told and exciting. In the end, there were tears. 

I had no idea how the draft worked, and I learned a lot from this film. Trading draft picks for players and future draft picks and countdown times and geez, it was so involved it made my head spin. Even if you're not a fan of football, you'll be entertained by this movie, I promise.

We'll be seeing this movie again. 

It almost made me miss football. 


otherstuff
07:27 AM - 04/16/2014

The topic: I have a lot to share

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Which I'll get into in later posts. It's been a very eventful week and it's only Wednesday. Don't worry, it's all good. sick (Hey, if I'm breathing, it's good, right?)

Last night we're eating dinner and because of stuff I was doing Monday, Brian fed the cats for me. I knew we were low on cat food so I asked him "how much cat food is left? How many days worth?" He looked at me and said "how many cans do they get for dinner?" ("The same amount you fed them last night?" was what was on the tip of my tongue, but instead I said "two".) He said one. So, we had enough food for the cats for dinner last night.

And none for Miss Elizabeth and Georgie in the morning. Well, we'll figure something out for them. (And we did, they both got chicken, George got his in the kitchen by his box (I'll have to tell you about his box) and Miss got hers in the bathroom - but when I checked on her, little Potter came running out of the bathroom, I never even saw him go in, so I was pretty sure she didn't get very much, I gave her more, but I digress...what's new?)

We're laying in bed this morning, it's a little before six and I said we may as well get up now. And one of us mentioned going shopping this morning, Brian said "how about now?" We got up, he took his shower, I brushed my teeth and did my morning stuff and off we went to WalMart. Got six twelve can cases of Friskies, three large bottles of Gain fabric softener (price drop...take advantage when we can) and some more containers (Rubbermaid Take Alongs) for the food I send over to his mom. They have some that have dividers in them, they're not huge, but it's perfect for the meat and starch on one side and the veggie in the small spot. 

We drove through Jack's and got breakfast sandwiches and coffee that's how our day started.

It was nice being out so early. The weather's been on the warm to hot side and it's cool this morning, lots of humidity, even some fog coating the taller hills. Reminded me of drill team camp when I was in high school up in San Jose.  I was going to school at Desert High on Edwards Air Force Base in the Mojave Desert, so early morning humidity wasn't very common.

Good memories.

Anyway, I need to decide what I'm going to do next. Or what I'm going to post next, I need to get photos in order.


      Saturday, April 12, 2014

catstuff
03:24 PM - 04/12/2014

The topic: Brian’s gone today

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He went to Valley Center to help a customer install his top and tilt kit on his tractor. We talked about him taking the Vivitar cameras (the head mounts got here yesterday) and take video of the installation, but we never got around to testing them out.

So, today, I tested one out. My subject was Jackie, feeding him chicken. I boil chicken breasts and most of the cats get some of it, but Jackie and Georgie get the most. Georgie's gotten chicken on a fairly regular basis since his pancreatitis years ago and Jackie's been getting it since his neuter last year. It makes him appreciate me more, because I'm the person who gives him yummy stuff.

In the beginning of the video he's by the dining room table, then when he knows the chicken is on its way, he books to the top of the cat center. That red cat in the way is Opie. 

I was pretty happy with the quality. The sound is tinny, but I can live with that. The camera wasn't heavy at all on my head. When I'm handing Katie food, you can see her looking at me. She didn't know what to think about this thing on my head. I figure for less that sixty dollars (camera, head mount and memory card)  this was a decent investment. And I think it will be pretty easy for Brian to use for his installation videos.

Without further ado, here's Jackie:

 


graphicsstuff
03:07 PM - 04/12/2014

The topic: There’s a lunar eclipse coming up

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On the 15th. 

I want to photograph it. I want to time lapse photograph it. Or something along those lines.

Last week I did some research and found that I'd need a timer for the camera. I checked the link to Amazon and it was almost sixty bucks. Nah, can't justify that. So, I head over to eBay for a cheap one from China. Found one, ordered it, the seller is a bad seller, didn't have any in stock and refunded my money. Which isn't what makes him a bad seller, no, the bad seller part is that he didn't delist the auction, he just raised the price a hundred bucks so no one would buy the timer. And checking his feedback, it was a definite pattern of behavior. One poor sap bought something at the inflated price and then was upset when he didn't get it. When I was finally able to leave feedback (eBay wouldn't let me leave any for a week since it's a high powered seller), of course it was a negative and the seller contacted me and offered five bucks to change my feedback. Nope.

There are a lot of these timers on eBay so I got one from a different seller and it arrived on Thursday. 

Yesterday I tried it out. I'm looking forward to playing with this, for sure. I found some other stuff on Amazon that will help do the time lapse (for instance my biggest compact flash memory card is only 4 GB, can't take hours of RAW images at five second intervals with that). Luckily, there's plenty of off brand stuff now and the reviews sure help find what would be best for my situation.

Of course, if the clouds come in on Monday night, there won't be much use for this stuff, but there will be more lunar eclipses, hopefully at some point I'll take some great shots of them.

Here's my first time lapse movie taken with my Canon.

 


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lisaviolet is sixty something, married with no kids, takes care of lots of cats, likes taking photographs, loves Southern California weather and spends altogether too much time avoiding her responsibilities.

In her spare time, she makes pretty things to sell in her store.

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