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      Monday, February 02, 2009

catstuff
09:52 AM - 02/02/2009

The topic: The dinner cam

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I’ve got it up and running again.  Started it Saturday night.  I thought it would be better moved to a different place, where it didn’t get knocked around so much and accidentally out of focus.  The garage is on the other side of the house from the office and it was a pain to run in there, adjust the lens, run back here, see if it made a difference.  If it still needed adjustment, I had to go back out there.  So, I decided I wanted to move it to a place that would be more secure.  I thought hanging it from the rafters would be good, to look down on the dining cats.

I told Brian this and he told me he’d do it, to not do it myself, he didn’t think I’d be safe enough.  And he didn’t want me falling from a ladder.  He was supposed to do it yesterday morning, but he went off to play on his new baby tractor over at his bro’s house (his bro is building a new garage).  I didn’t do anything with the camera, I waited until he got home.  He tried various places in the rafters, but the cable turned out to be a problem.  He asked if placing it on the wall, above where it had been before would be an issue and I said “it should be fine”.  So, he got something out in his shop, came in, attached that to the wall and situated the camera on it.  And we had immediate focus and it will be very hard to accidentally move it.

Because the resolution of the camera didn’t translate right when viewing it live, I set the size back to 320 x 240. But then the table background was too big and I tried adjusting that, just with code, instead of resizing the actual graphic.  For some reason, the file I uploaded (and in doing so, overwriting the original) was the wrong file and the front page of the dinner cam was all messed up.  It was the home page of http://www.catcam.us !  And I had no working copy of the correct dinnercam page.  banghead

I spent the next forty-five minutes trying to do a quick fix of the page and just wasn’t having much luck (that’s what happens when I’m in a hurry).  Then I remembered something someone had mentioned a while back, when the same thing happened to them.

Google Caching.  Where you can look back at previous versions of a webpage.

Thank God for this caching system, I found my code there and copied the source code and pasted it onto the dinnercam home page (don’t know why my FTP client reverted to the root directory on my computer instead of staying in the dinner cam directory).  The only thing I had to fix was the ‘how many people online’ code and it was working like a dream.

And I properly changed the table background, I resized the image itself instead of getting lazy with it.

I also had uploaded an old version of the catcam front page.  There was no link to the dinnercam, only three cats linked at the bottom.  Luckily, I still had the correct updated version in a different file.

I hate it when stuff like that happens, I didn’t even know it until I checked to see how my changes looked.

But the dinnercam is back in action.

otherstuff
10:20 AM - 02/02/2009

The topic: IBS

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Have I ever mentioned I think I have it?  No, wait, make that pretty sure I have it, especially after reading forums from other people who have the exact same symptoms I get.

I know I posted about going to Urgent Care some years ago and they didn’t find anything wrong.  They gave me pain pills, didn’t really help. They ended up sitting on a shelf in the kitchen for years and I took my Correctol (laxatives help -  I get hit with the constipation symptom) and Excedrin.  But this was before IBS was such a huge thing, with so many people having it.  I like that there’s more information about it and that I’m not alone with it.  And that it’s not life threatening, just hugely painful.  Lay on the sofa, not moving painful.  And sitting on the toilet could be excruciating.

Sometimes it lasts for a couple of days, after we lost Wally and Lisa, it lasted for months. It was horrible. 

It hit me again Wednesday morning, after we got back from our walk.  I’m finally feeling better and right now, I’m going to go watch an episode of the Sopranos while riding my exercise bike since we haven’t walked since last Wednesday.

Now that I can move without so much pain, exercise does help.  Like when I pull out the big vacuum and work that around or fold laundry and put it away, the act of moving really seems to help loosen up whatever internal body parts that are giving me grief.

      Tuesday, February 03, 2009

catstuff
08:32 AM - 02/03/2009

The topic: It’s TUMMY TUESDAY #124!

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And, once again, the tummy belongs to Daniece. She likes to sleep on her back.


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That’s Mystie at the lower right hand side.  Daniece is sleeping on MY side of the sofa.  Because it’s the most comfy side.  I made it that way.

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If you’ve got a Tummy Tuesday blog entry, feel free to post the link in the comment section or trackback to this entry. And if you put a link back to this page, then more kitties will get to show off their tummies!

      Thursday, February 05, 2009

disneystuff
07:32 AM - 02/05/2009

The topic: Well, the cameras will be down today

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and into Saturday.  Why?

Because I’m going to Disneyland!  Brian is staying home with the kitty cats.

I’ve finally found someone willing to do the Ridemax thing and we’re going to see how many rides we can do tomorrow at Disneyland.

I’m leaving here this morning and hope to be up at the resort by noon.

I keep asking Brian for directions.  “Get on the 52, take the 805, it turns into the 5 and just stay on it all the way”.  Two days later…..  “What’s the route again?”  “What about coming home, is it the same?”  (No, it isn’t, the 5 turns into a Y and one side goes to the 805, the other the 5 and if “I miss it”, I can catch the 8 east.)

Sounds pretty simple.  Now, if there were just no other cars on the road, I’m sure I’d do just fine.

      Saturday, February 07, 2009

otherstuff
03:32 PM - 02/07/2009

The topic: A word of advice

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for those of you who don’t drive long distances on a regular basis. 

If you have a car that you usually drive, but you are fortunate enough to live in an area with fairly nice year round weather, as a matter of fact, the current average weather is considered drought…..

And you make plans to drive a hundred miles away from your home and the weather decides to not be sunny and warm and droughty, but cool and cloudy and…ahem….rainy….

Take time to (re)familiarize yourself with aspects of your vehicle before going your trip.

For example: 

Don’t try to figure out how to get the windshield wipers to keep working without you having to manually get them to wipe off the windshield, while driving sixty plus miles an hour during a downpour, where the rain is so heavy that it’s bouncing up from the asphalt that you can’t see a damned thing.  And you’re pinned in by traffic on all sides.

Just a little simple word of advice.

(I figured out you push DOWN on the wiper controls to get them to keep going before the next big downpour; made it a whole lot easier and a whole lot less stressful. Oddly enough, I had no problem with the back wiper. Brian asked “so, what did you do, drive backwards?”  Oh, ha ha. Very funny.)

otherstuff
05:25 PM - 02/07/2009

The topic: Citibank still sucks

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So, last week, I’m looking at my Citibank account. The one that really tried to screw us by raising our interest rate.  I see that the rate on our account is 9.24%.  The following is our correspondence (their answers are in italics):

Why does my interest rate show as 9.24%? Is that an actual rate or does it go up to 16.99% if we actually use the card? I miss using my Citibank account, but there's just no way to justify the higher interest rate I'm afraid you'll charge.

Our records indicate the Annual Percentage Rate (APR) for purchases on this account is currently at 9.24%. This variable APR is based on the prime rate (currently 3.25%) plus 5.99%.

The reason I ask is in December, I received a notice that if we used the account, that we were accepting the new terms of a 16.99% APR, which is why there has been no activity on this account since (you oughta see our Chase card balance...*lol*). If the interest will stay at this rate, please let me know, because we'll need two replacement cards. I shredded the other two so we wouldn't incur the higher rate of interest, per the letter dated December 2008.

You may continue to use your account under the existing terms until the end of your current membership year or until your card(s) expires, whichever is later; at which time the account will be closed.

If you wish to get replacement cards, please reply to this message with all the 16 digit account numbers.


I'm still not clear on this. Say our expiration date is 2012. This means, as long as our account is in good standing, we'll get the lower rate until that year? Because when I originally called to question this, I thought I was told that the next time we used the card, the next statement would reflect the higher rate. But if I was mistaken on this, I'd sure be a happy camper.

The change proposed to your purchase APR was due to a reexamination of our policies was needed given the severe changes in the financial markets. Our costs in borrowing the money we use to lend have gone up significantly. In addition we are seeing dramatically higher loan losses and delinquencies for many of our customers. We must manage to the dramatic changes we are seeing by changing some of our rates and fees in order to continue to provide you with products, benefits and services we have today.

Though these changes are being proposed on your account, you still maintain the right to Opt-Out of them. By doing so you can continue to use your card at the current terms and rate until the expiration date of the current card. At which point the account will close and you can pay down your balance at the same terms/rate.

Our records show your expiration date is set for May 2011.


Okay, so if I opt out, I can still use the card at the lower rate until 2011. But if I don't opt out, my rate will go up. I guess I'll do the opt-out thing and I need to request replacement cards, since I've got two more years at the lower rate (providing we keep the account in good standing). Thank you.

Our records indicate your interest rate increased due to a change in your account terms. You were sent notification of the change in terms in November. If you do not wish to accept the new terms, please reply to this message.

 

Did anyone hear me screaming? What a bunch of total garbage doublespeak!

I told them to just forget it.  And that I was glad they didn’t get their jet.

 

      Tuesday, February 10, 2009

catstuff
11:39 AM - 02/10/2009

The topic: It’s TUMMY TUESDAY #125!

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Today, we have the ever fascinating Richie Cunningham as our 125th Tummy model.


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He doesn’t mind.

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If you’ve got a Tummy Tuesday blog entry, feel free to post the link in the comment section or trackback to this entry. And if you put a link back to this page, then more kitties will get to show off their tummies!

otherstuff
06:13 PM - 02/10/2009

The topic: I live in Southern California and

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I’m a weather wuss.  Seriously.

I like the rain we’ve been having, I like the cooler (cold!) weather.  And since Brian reassured me that the very strong winds we had yesterday will not blow our trees over, I like the wind.

But it’s COLD!  I’m frikking FREEZING!  Even the cats are hardly going outside at all!  Oh, when the sun is hitting the back yard in the mid afternoon, they’ll go out, but if the yard is in shadow, they’ll stay inside in their cozy warm beds, thank you very much.

When I got home from Disneyland, I was so cold.  I also think I was coming down with something.  I laid on the sofa with two fleece blankets on me and a single crochet afghan doubled over on top of those.  I was wearing a sweatshirt and sweatpants and socks.  The heat was set to 70°.  And my fingers were like blocks of ice. 

I’m toasty right now, I’ve got a hot cup of greens (some sort of thing we got from the chiropractor that I’m taking, best when mixed with hot water, tastes like tea), heavy long sleeved shirt, sweatpants and fuzzy slippers. 

The upcoming weather is calling for more rain this weekend, starting to cloud up tomorrow afternoon and getting darker.

The snow level is fairly low, too.  Saturday, when I left the hotel and went out to the parking structure to get my car, I drove all the way to the top and shot some pictures of the snow in the mountains. 


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I always like pictures of the snow in the background with palm trees in the foreground. 

Like I said, we’ll be getting more snow here this coming weekend and I hope I can talk Brian into taking me up to the mountains.  I don’t think that will be a difficult thing to do.  I’ll take a camera or two and I’ll dress really, really warm.

      Wednesday, February 11, 2009

otherstuff
08:13 AM - 02/11/2009

The topic: Do you have a passion?

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You know, something that you just love to do?  And if you could make a living doing it, you’d be on it so quick it would make your head spin?

I don’t.  I have no passion.  There are lots of things I like to do, but I think the minute they became a job, I’d not like doing them anymore, they’d cease being fun.  Like when I was a kid, I could iron for hours.  I loved to iron.  But then, since I loved it so much, my parents, in their infinite wisdom, made ironing into one of my chores.  I’ve hated it ever since. Having to do it ruined the joy.

Brian has a passion.  It’s his tractors. Right now, he and his brother are up in central California at an ag show.  Brian thinks that he and his brother can manufacture tools (or whatever you’d call them) for less money and much better quality than is out there right now.  Every dealer they spoke with at the show said they’d be interested in selling the thing that Brian has in mind. Brian is excited about this and rightly so.  He’s tired of what he does now for a living, he took over the company from his father a long, long time ago. He’s good at what he does, he’s got a great reputation and he’s not cheap.  But it’s no longer his passion.

I wish I had a passion. I wish I had something that I could hardly wait to do.

I envy those of you with a passion.

      Saturday, February 14, 2009

catstuff
08:23 AM - 02/14/2009

The topic: Argh!

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I can’t find Little Bit, she didn’t come out for treats this morning.  I’ve looked all over for her and the only thing I can think is she found a new sleepy spot out in the garage.  The garage is a new place to her.  I know she was in last night, since it was raining and most of the cats were in when it was time for kitties in, I didn’t do too much to get them in.  She was standing next to another cat when I handed out kibbles.   Just to be safe, before I went to bed, I grabbed a flashlight and went through the living room counting black kitties. She was in one of the condos, bottom spot.

This morning, she wasn’t there for treats.  *sigh*

And while looking out the back door to see if I could see her anywhere (I couldn’t), I did see another cat.  Didn’t look all that familiar.  Like I told Brian “looks like Katie, but longer”.  And it does look like we have a new kitty.

And keep your fingers crossed that Little Bit shows her face soon.  I get nervous.

UPDATE

When we got back from breakfast, Little Bit was back in her little condo hidey hole.  Yay!

The other kitty is under the pool pump and it looks like the current resident cats are pretty much leaving him alone.  Brian doesn’t want to go see him just yet, wants to let him settle down.  I remember when Pancho moved in, how even though I could hold him inside, once he was in the yard, he went nuts trying to get out.  I’ll be leaving food out for this guy, so he will at least be able to eat until he lets us bring him in.

I’m pretty sure he’s not a feral, but has people (or should I say “used to have”) somewhere, but I look at it this way.  He’s not a kitten, he’s young, but he’s not a kitten.  He should be neutered, but chances are he is not. I think this because the residents have been very interested in the area around the catnip in the back, they keep spraying over something they smell.  The new kitty’s territorial marking would be my guess.

It’s been cold and rainy, it was rainy when we got home from dinner last night and it rained all evening.  This cat should not have been outside in this weather.  And it’s not an easy thing to get into our yard, so there had to be some work on his part to join the clowder. 

Wish us luck.

entertainmentstuff
12:16 PM - 02/14/2009

The topic: Review:  Madagascar 2

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Madagascar - Escape 2 Africa, rated PG for some mild crude humor, 1 hour, 29 minutes long

DreamWorks Animation’s MADAGASCAR: ESCAPE 2 AFRICA Synopsis

All of the loveable characters are back – Alex the lion, Marty the zebra, Melman the giraffe and Gloria the hippo, King Julien, Maurice and the penguins – in MADAGASCAR: ESCAPE 2 AFRICA. They find themselves in the wildest place of all – the vast plains of Africa – where our zoo-raised crew encounter species of their own kind for the very first time. While discovering their roots, they quickly find the differences between the concrete jungle and the heart of Africa. Despite long-lost relatives, romantic rivals and scheming hunters, Africa seems like a great place...but is it better than their Central Park home?

I watched this Thursday, the Blu-Ray edition and I absolutely LOVED it!  IMO, it was better than the first.

I like the way it started off, with Alex (voiced by Ben Stiller) as a cub and how he ended up on his way to New York, where he became “the King of New York” and there were flashbacks to the first movie.  This would be helpful for someone who never saw Madagascar, or a great refresher for people like me.  You know, I’ve seen it, but it was a while ago.

Chris Rock once again rocks as Marty, the zebra.  It’s especially fun when he meets his “kind” once on the Serengeti. Alec Baldwin is funny evil (was he ever anything else?) as Makunga, with the great mane.  Bernie Mac (*sad*) was Zuba, Alex’s father and Sherri Shepherd as Alex’s mom, ever suffering the silliness of her husband (hey, all you married women out there, can ya relate?)

There was romance (Gloria, Melman and Moto Moto  remybussi ), adventure, comedy, this flick has it all.

The visual effects were wonderful, the music catchy (just try to hold your butt still while hearing “I like to move it, move it!”), and the entire package was highly entertaining. 

The extras were good, the Blu-Ray edition has commentary where you can watch the commentators commentating (The Animators Corner). Watch their faces as they watch the movie and discuss it. See pictures of the storyboard as the movie progresses.  And at the same time, you can have trivia pop-ups, which I always like after I’ve seen the movie once without.

I found the “making of” extras interesting.  Watching the crew in Africa, scoping out sights and seeing the real thing and hearing how they felt about what they saw, made me appreciate the effort that was put into the making of this movie, making it as realistic as possible. 

Then you get to see how difficult it was to get everything just right.  Like the dust (all the different forms!), the tall grass, so much of the computer generated images that you never even take into consideration when watching the movie,  how intricate it all is.  Just amazing.  I also like the trip to the zoo.  Those lemurs are noisy.  *lol*  I have to admit, it was educational for me.

There are Easter Eggs on this DVD, but I haven’t figured out how to access them yet.  *lol*  Hey, I was putting a printer cart together, I’m not much of a multi-tasker.

Anyway, all paws up for this flick.  Adult or child, it’s one you’ll want to watch over and over. 

(Hey, did ya know that Disney and Dreamworks are gonna be buds? Sounds like a match made in heaven!)


But wait! I'm not done yet!
I've got more to say!

      Tuesday, February 17, 2009

catstuff
09:52 AM - 02/17/2009

The topic: It’s TUMMY TUESDAY #126!

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Guess who?


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Betcha you think it’s Richie. But you’d be wrong.  It’s Opie!  Caught him spread out last night on the sofa, all nice and comfy.

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If you’ve got a Tummy Tuesday blog entry, feel free to post the link in the comment section or trackback to this entry. And if you put a link back to this page, then more kitties will get to show off their tummies!

 

      Wednesday, February 18, 2009

catstuff
08:36 AM - 02/18/2009

The topic: Bart’s back

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Last weekend, he was playing.  I took pictures, but the memory card ate them.  He was chasing a jingle ball around in the hallway, then was jumping to grab my headset that is hanging from its recharge cord.

Last night, he could barely walk.  Of course, my first thought is his kidneys died.  But watching him closely, it was his back. I petted him, putting gentle pressure with my hand as I stroked down the length of his spine and halfway down, he went to his knees.  *sigh* 

So, last night I gave him as much bottled water as he would lap and he got a dose of Metacam, which he’ll also get today and tomorrow. That was what the vet instructed me to do when I took Bart in last year for this.   If this doesn’t help, I’ll have to call the him.  I’m sure it’s the arthritis.

But he’s already looking better.  He’s back in bed and I was just watching him, stretching out and rubbing his face with his paws.  He’s not acting sick at all, it just hurts him to walk. 

Poor old guy.

otherstuff
08:43 AM - 02/18/2009

The topic: I have a confession to make

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I started hypnotherapy last October for weight loss.  I did this because I just can’t stick to a programmed diet.  Weight Watchers worked for me as long as I did what I was supposed to.  Long ago, Nutrisystem worked, as long as I ate their food and did what I was supposed to.

That’s not how I want to live.  I don’t want my diet regimented.  I just want to change my relationship with food.  There are two private sessions and twenty-eight group sessions.  One of the women who started the same time I did, has lost twenty-seven pounds!  Me, I lost around four the first month and nothing since.  But since I had that bout of IBS last month, the suggestions are finally kicking in.  I’m not thinking about food.  If I’m bored, I don’t go looking for something to eat. 

Without even thinking about it, I’m not drinking as many diet colas.  I’m not making coffee every morning.  I haven’t made any at home for almost two weeks.  I’m not going to the cupboard or refrigerator and opening the doors and looking for something to eat.  Because I’m just not that hungry. When I cook, I’m putting less on my plate.  We went to CostCo the other day and I had a slice of pizza for lunch.  I told Brian to have them split it in two and he could have half.  He said “you don’t need to have it cut” and I said “yes, I do”  because if it wasn’t cut, I’d eat more than I really needed (or wanted). 

When we go out to dinner, I ask for a salad instead of French fries.  At our weekly breakfast, I request the side of fruit instead of the potatoes I could get. Without it being a conscious thing.  Without the “I really shouldn’t have the fried potatoes, the fruit would be so much better for me….” thinking.  It’s just automatic.

This morning, for the first time since my mother died, I weighed under 180.  And I did it without thinking!  I didn’t watch what I ate, I didn’t count points or calories. 

So, I’m feeling confident now that it wasn’t a waste of money.  I can buy the CD of each session for ten bucks and I come home, transfer it to MP3 format and listen to it when I go to bed.  And it works.

I didn’t want to say anything until I felt it was working and I feel like that now. 

Anyway, the therapist has an online store if you’re interested.  It’s Hypnoworks.com.

Check it out.

I know it's working for me.

      Friday, February 20, 2009

otherstuff
09:25 AM - 02/20/2009

The topic: The Roadhouse Grill

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Have you ever heard of it?

There's a Roadhouse Grillin Santee.  We’ve been doing so well not going out for dinners (read that “fast food”) the past month or so since I’ve gotten back into the cooking routine.  Brian told me last night, he’d like to take me out to dinner tonight.  A steakhouse.  Like the Roadhouse Grill.  So, that’s where we’re going.

We went last December, on a Tuesday. I remember because I was kind of out of it all evening and I still wonder if maybe my weekly hypnosis session was still rolling around in my head.  It was one of the strangests sensations I’ve ever experienced while not under the influence of something. 

They’d brought these scratch off games to our table and we both did one.  Brian scored a third prize, I nabbed a second.  He had completely forgotten about these and I reminded him of them last night, wondering when they expired.  He checked this morning and they expire the 28th. 

Third prize is a free lunch entree.  Second prize is a free dinner entree.  So, one of us is getting a free dinner tonight!  Yay!

catstuff
09:30 AM - 02/20/2009

The topic: Bart update

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He’s doing much, much better.  He got the last of the three day course of metacam last night and he’s walking around, still a little stiff. 

Right now, I just saw him jump up into the window in the dining room where he was getting a drink of water.

So, Bart is good.

tales from the parkside
02:26 PM - 02/20/2009

The topic: So, I’m expecting Brian to come home

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he’s bringing some Jack in the Box tacos home for lunch.  The phone rings.

It’s the woman who bought my mom’s place.  I haven’t heard from her since we signed papers.  What, last August?  September?  Anyway, it’s been a while.

She says that they’ve been talking about having the rest of the windows done and who better to do it than the guy who installed the most recent ones?  Yep, you’ve got it, Brian.

We exchanged some small talk and I told her “you know, my mom passed away a year ago today”.

Coincidence?

We’re back.

Oh, my God.  We walked in the back door and it was just like mom was still there.  They’ve painted some of the walls, a really nice mint green, very soothing, very, very nice.  The same mirror is on that same wall.

The dining room has the same dining room set, the living room has the same living room set, the same paintings hang in the same places on the wall.  The same television is in the same place in the living room. 

There’s the same carpeting throughout.  But it’s been professionally cleaned a couple of times.  And it looks really, really good.

The same futon is in the family room.  The only thing that was gone was the master bed and the two end tables that went with it.  It’s now at the owner’s son’s home. 

I was just amazed and pleased that the things that gave my mother so much pleasure are giving this wonderful family the same feelings. 

We went into the backyard and they’ve done a lot of work there, cut back a lot of the overgrowth and it’s open and airy and relaxing.  My mom would have loved it.  That yard was her baby.   Norma said she goes out there in the morning and will sit down and look around and look up and said “thanks, Vi”.  She says she thanks mom every day. 

This was a good thing for me.  To see my mom’s house on the first anniversary of her death and to see how it’s just so much the same.

I miss you, mom.

      Saturday, February 21, 2009

catstuff
07:17 PM - 02/21/2009

The topic: I’d like to introduce you to

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Skippy!

I first saw him in the yard on Valentine’s Day, remember?  Well, after a week of observing him, I’ve decided that he wasn’t somebody’s kitty cat.  If he was, it’s been a long time since.

Anyway, I feed him at night after I get the other cats in and before I let them out in the morning, I check to see how he did with his dinner.  He’s been pretty good.  Yesterday, I put his wet food bowl in a heavier plastic bowl, one we brought home from my mom’s last year.  This way, he doesn’t push it off into the bushes when he eats, he has a better chance of finishing. 

He’s very leary of me, but the cats, not so much.  Jackie is a problem, since Jackie is not neutered and considers Skippy competition.  But as Skippy gets more acclimated to the yard (and, hopefully, eventually the house), we plan on trapping him and getting him fixed and having his left eye checked out.

I don’t know what’s wrong with the eye, but it doesn’t reflect the flash like the right eye.  It does dilate and contract with the available light, which is a good thing, I just don’t think that eye is in good health.

I took some pictures last week and I took some pictures today.

(This is cool, I’m sitting here typing, it’s a mild evening, 66° at 6:30 pm…I hear a cat cry, look around, see Skippy on the patio; Sammy was at the living room door talking to him.  That’s the first time I’ve seen Skippy this close to the house.  Good deal, I can feed him up here now.)

Here are the pictures:


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To the left of Pete (the black and white long haired kitty) you can see Skippy in the dry streambed of the pool.


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A better shot of Skippy.


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If you’re wondering where I got the name Skippy, it’s a pretty easy line of thought to follow.  We’ve got Gilligan out front, because we thought of him as KittyMeezer’s “little buddy”.  Well, if you’ve got a Gilligan, you need a Skipper, right?  And from Skipper we go to Skippy.

And that’s how he got his name.

      Tuesday, February 24, 2009

catstuff
10:01 AM - 02/24/2009

The topic: It’s TUMMY TUESDAY #127!

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I took this picture last week when Bart was on the bed. He was still feeling bad from his arthritis. He's feeling a little better each day.


click for a larger pic

He’s not a young cat and his body is aging faster than his mind.   Yesterday, he followed me through the yard, then ran up to the patio.  Running isn’t something he does much of and it brought a smile to my face.  He was so happy.  I hope he has many, many more days like this.


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      Friday, February 27, 2009

otherstuff
06:25 PM - 02/27/2009

The topic: I have a headache that

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starts in the middle of my right nostril and radiates up into my forehead.

I would venture to guess that this is a tension headache.

Remember last year when the computer that I was running the catcams on died?  And I was able to get one of my older ones running them without too much problem, but I couldn’t play my old DOS games (for you younguns, DOS was before Windows).  See, the last version of Windows to support DOS was Win98.  So, I bought this new (old refurbed) Win98SE computer on eBay for a whopping twenty six bucks.  I was so very, very happy.  Because I could play my games again, right?

Not so fast, little buckaroo.

See, what I didn’t know is that newer sound cards do not work under the DOS system.  And there ain’t no adapter, converter or translator.  I found this out last year and I went online and bought a sound card on eBay.  A Creative SoundBlaster 16.  From what I could tell, this card would work.  I just never got around to installing it.

Here’s one of the major problems with picking up working on something a half a year or more later.  You forget these things.  I’ve spent the past ten days or so, trying to get those games to play.  Earlier this week, I decided that there was something wrong with that computer.  I spent three days trying to figure out how to reinstall the Windows system, after formatting the hard drive.  Installing Windows was a no brainer, but for the life of me, I couldn’t get the thing to format the hard drive.  I know this might be technical for lots of you, but it’s really simple.  To format, you need a format command.  And I couldn’t find it anywhere on my little A: drive disk.  And it wasn’t found on the C: drive.  I spent hours downloading, unzipping and installing software, all with no luck.  It was very frustrating.  Then I did a search of the Windows 98SE installation disk, the CD and I found the format.com on that and was able to get the hard drive formatted!  Success! 

I was up late the past week, because I’d think “this time will do it, just five minutes more and I’ll be out of here”.  Then I look at the clock and a half hour, forty-five minutes has passed.  But I know that it will only take five minutes more, this reboot will do it…..

Then came reinstalling all the drivers that make all the things on it run.  And I had no idea what was inside the box.  I didn’t know what drivers I’d be needing because I had no idea what I had that needed to be driven.  Shoot me now!  I couldn’t connect to the internet because I didn’t have the software that my ethernet card needed to run.  No ethernet, no internet.  Pretty simple.  I pulled out my old software from the system that died last year and found a restoration disk and luckily, that had the needed ethernet software on it. 

After that, it was a piece of cake.  There are loads of great software programs out there, all for a price, mind you, but they’ll actually list out what you’ve got on your computer!  The names of the hardware and links to the software that you need to run them (like the motherboard?  *laughing*).  So, I get everything reinstalled and try running the games again. 

Guess what?  The same sound card that didn’t work last year under DOS still doesn’t work this year under DOS.  Big frikking DUH. 

banghead

Okay, then I’ll just change out the card I bought last year for the card that’s in there now.  I found the manual for my computer (that software was amazing, told me everything I needed to know and more) and printed out the pages on how to open the case.  Took me all of ten minutes from start to finish.  I hooked it back up, turned it on and we have sound!

I plugged in one of the games that wouldn’t run with the old sound card.  I was so excited!  I’ll finally be able get this out of the way and not think “I really should do this” every time I walked into the extra room and saw the computer sitting there.  I was ready, believe me.

I started the game up.  What?  What?  Can’t set the sound?  What?  I don’t understand, there’s a brand new card in there, a different card!  I search the model number.  NOOOOOO!  It’s a different card, alright, but a different card with the same version of software as the card I replaced!  NOOOOOOO!!!  Tell me it ain’t so! 

I actually got the old computers out that no longer properly work and took them apart to see what kind of sound cards they had.  Both have the sound card attached to the motherboard.  That’s not gonna work.

Totally disgusted, I did a search to see what cards will work.  I know that there’s nothing new for this, nothing is supported anymore.  DOS went out with the dinosaurs.  I found a website that listed out cards that will work under the DOS system and started plugging in the model numbers over on eBay. I ended up getting two different cards, for less than a total of thirty bucks.  I know at least one of them should work. 

I shut down the computers in the extra room (the laptop is in there, too), covered the printer, turned off the light and left the room, shutting the door behind me.

And then, imagine how thrilled I was to find out the washer wasn’t finishing loads.  The lights were off.  Turns out, it’s the outlet. It sparked.  Yay, kitties!  Over time, urine does a number on the outlets!  Now, I’ve got a load in the washer and can’t do anything about it, I have to wait until Brian gets home.  And Brian called, he’s stuck at some sort of tractor swap meet.  His brother is selling stuff, Brian’s looking for a part for his dozer and I guess his bro’s wife called and is having some sort of problem and his bro had to leave.  Brian stayed to watch their little doggy.  So, here I am, thinking Brian would be home early today, he’s not, I’m not having the most wonderful day in the world and this day certainly didn’t turn out the way I expected it to.

Oh, and while I was writing this?  I heard some growling in the house.  Went to check it out.  Jackson was growling at Skippy, who found his way into the garage!  Before Skippy becomes a house cat, he’s gonna get neutered.  I walked around the outside of the house, opened the garage door, went in and Bobby followed me.  Skippy saw him, saw the door and went outside.  I know he’s probably hungry right now.  I put some dry food in his dish and will give him wet when I get the rest of the cats in.

Think I’ll go eat dinner.

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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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