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      Saturday, January 03, 2015

10:50 AM - 01/03/2015

The topic: So, my Christmas cards….

I made them from the SVGCuts.com kit Christmas Box Cards SVG Kit . I made three of each card. Me and glue. We still aren't the best of friends, but I do love my glitter. I even used my Sizzix Big Shot embosser. I've got more photos over in my photo gallery, if you're interested in seeing more detail.

Anyway, here are the cards! Clicking on a picture will take you to a bigger photo in my family album; clicking on that picture will open a larger photo.

The first thing I did was to find the paper I wanted for each.  This gave me a starting place. I did change some of the paper as I went along. I put the PDF file for each card in its own bag and put the paper behind that.

The finished cards:

Merry Christmas:









And some random photos of the process.

Drying glitter:


Trying to stay organized:

There are extras in the kit that allow one to make some modifications to the main files. In this case, I was able to have a church with a cross on the steeple:


Remember my post where I complained (again) about not watching the video first?  Well, on the Santa card above, he's supposed to be coming out of a chimney, not a plaid box. confused Which would make a great deal of sense. 

I used my embosser on the backdrop for the Trees card. I tried using it on the red foil cardstock I used on the ornaments, but it didn't work right and the white core of the cardstock broke through. This did not please me. I also didn't pay attention to the placement of the back stars on the Globe cards and I had to fudge a little on the envelopes. 

On the Santa cards, for the candy cane, I wrapped red holographic curling ribbon around the cane to give it some depth. 

On the sentiment areas, I stamped them with Christmas stamps I had (some pre-marriage, some bought just this year) and used embossing powder I made, well, I didn't really make it, I mixed clear embossing powder (bought for cheap on eBay) with Jacquard Pearl EX Pigment powder I'd gotten a few years back. I already had the heat thingy from before I was married. (I still have embossing powder from Long's Drug stores that sold out a long, long time ago...it's actually kind of fun to see all the stuff I bought way back when that I can still use today.)  It puts out a lot of hot air and my fingers got beyond toasty. 

A lot of the bling I got for cheap on eBay. It came from China, free shipping, so it's something you need to have on hand since shipping isn't really quick. But I was glad I had it. I used Chinese embellishments on the Santa bag, the Snowglobe and the Merry Christmas card (which I also made wrong, but I'm not going to get into that right now...one of these days I'll learn the lesson to watch the tutorial video with complete and undivided attention).

But all in all, I was pretty happy with them. I shared them on a forum I visit and was asked if I am selling them. Next year, I am. I just have to figure out pricing for them, because they're a lot of work, not something mass produced, for sure. rolleyes


12:21 PM - 01/03/2015

The topic: Spot had been having problems again

The blood was back in his urine. I spent $40 on meds at the vet last month, gave him the full course of them and he was okay. For about a week. I researched cystitus in cats because I vaguely remembered some places where a lot of these cases self resolve. And that antibiotics really don't always solve the problem. That a lot of times it's due to stress. 

I had planned on getting more meds, but I figured I'd see if it would resolve on it's own. I did give him some Xanax (the cats have their own prescription) and I waited it out. If there was any chance of blockage, he'd have been right back at the vet's office, but the surgery he had where he was restructured pretty much put an end to blockages. Well, he's better. Not nearly as much squatting around the house and I've not seen any pink urine in the sink in days.

That's a good thing. 

And I'll give him props. He's one of those cats who lets you know that he doesn't feel good. He talks more and spends more time close to us. Because he knows we can make him feel better.

      Monday, January 05, 2015

02:27 PM - 01/05/2015

The topic: Using the annual passports

Our annual passes from 2013 ran out in October of last year. We got renewal notices in the mail and we thought long and hard about renewing. For the first time, we went with the monthly payment option. We figured we would renew because the passes we had were no longer available to the general public. One step up from the cheapest pass, we could go on most Sundays. If we didn't renew at this time, we wouldn't be able to get them again. One of the things we wanted to do was to go up at least once a month as our passes allowed (lots of blackout dates). Well, we didn't go in October, we didn't go in November and we were supposed to go in December before the blockouts began, but Brian's work wasn't at a point where we could take a day off. 

But we really wanted to go this month. Friends of ours who used to have passes told us what they did (although they lived much closer to Anaheim than us).  They'd go early Sunday morning, be there when the parks opened. As the parks filled up and lines got longer, they'd leave. We decided to try our luck. And if we got home early enough, we could open up the house and just kick back. 

Saturday night we went to bed fairly early. But for some reason, neither of us slept well ("too excited to sleep!" we kept telling one another). At 4:44 we got up. I opened the door to let the cats out, Brian jumped in the shower. I checked email, turned on the catcams, got everything I wanted to take with (camera, cellphone, Disney pass) together, made the bed, then he was out of the shower and I waited a little for the water to heat up (when we got the new water heater, we got one smaller than the previous and this one isn't set so hot to save energy) and took mine. 

Shut the doors for the cats (it was cold), took a picture of the moon (actually took three, they were pretty crappy, not share worthy), opened blinds, set the garage door to in only and blocked it (Miss Elizabeth goes out regularly now and we don't want her walking the yard if we aren't home). I shut my bathroom door (again, to keep Miss safe, don't want her falling off of the counter). And we were off!

There are more photos (fifty-four) over in the gallery. And as is usually the case, once in the gallery clicking on a picture will take you to a bigger photo in my family album; clicking on that picture will open a larger photo.

The first stop was the gas station. Brian filled up the car and checked the air in the tires. I got out of the car and watched for meteors. There was a big meteor shower Sunday morning around six. I only saw one meteor, but I saw two satellites. It was cold!

Second stop, the bank  (crunched numbers beforehand to see how much we could afford to take).

I took this picture while I waited for Brian to get money. Sure, 37° is nothing to a lot of folks, but it's cold here in Southern California. And don't forget, I'm a delicate flower.

I like this picture. We were driving through Camp Pendleton and I took a picture of the sun's reflection in the rear view mirror. It was just coming up.

Breakfast at Del Taco in Anaheim. It was cold inside, I had to get my jacket and the food was slow to arrive. Brian said next time we come up, we'll stop at a sit down restaurant on the way instead of Del Taco. He figures at that time of the morning we should get served pretty quickly and it won't be cold. 

Walking right into Disneyland, no line, no crowds.

The Disneyland Christmas tree.

Sleeping Beauty's Castle, all decked out for the holidays.

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad tracks. Another walk on ride.

Next up, Matterhorn Mountain. Maybe a five minute wait, no longer.

On our way to check out the refurbished Finding Nemo ride. Another five minute wait.

From the line for Space Mountain, looking over Tomorrowland. We probably waited around twenty minutes. By the time we got to the entrance, the line was all the way back to the entry to this plaza.

Yeah, see? Space Mountain. We rode it. Yes, we did.

And I used the Disney Gift Card I had from my birthday to get this digitally downloaded photo of me having a blast. 

We were starting to get hungry and ended up at Taste Pilot's Grill in Disney's California Adventure. After we ate, we went on Soarin' over California. There was a thirty-five minute wait there. The lines were definitely getting longer. And we were getting tired. This was our last ride of the day.

Disney's California Adventure Christmas tree.

And the price board. If you go to the bigger photo and do the math, a one day park hopper pass (where you can go to both parks on the same day) is now $150.00. We used to sit and figure out how many trips we'd need to make to make our passes pay for themselves. It used to be eight or nine, if I remember correctly. The passes we have now are the So. California passes, the ones "Currently Not Available". Doing the math now isn't so tough. Three day trips up, hitting both parks, and the passes pay for themselves.

 We were on the freeway at 1:19pm. We were home before three. It was a good day, we were tired, lots of walking (we've been remiss on our local morning walks the past few months). The cats were glad we were home, opened up the house as soon as we walked in. Did a little on the interwebs, shut down the computers and watched some television. It was an early night for the both of us.

We figure the next trip, we'll try to keep our food purchases at Disney to a minimum. That meal at Taste Pilot's was the biggest expense of the day. I was willing to make food, but Brian thinks that would be too much of a hassle. So, next time when we start to get hungry? We'll leave and eat somewhere on the way home.


      Tuesday, January 06, 2015

07:24 AM - 01/06/2015

The topic: In line with yesterday’s Disney entry

And out of curiousity about the cost of entry to Disneyland throughout the years, I found this great webpage with pricing. It doesn't have the pricing for 2014.

The first annual passport was introduced in 1984, $55.00 for Magic Kingdom Club members (I still have our card) and $65.00 for non-members. Entry fee was $14.00 for an adult.

      Wednesday, January 07, 2015

09:18 AM - 01/07/2015

The topic: Advanced screening: “Inherent Vice”


Last night we went to see Inherent Vice. It has quite a list of A-list actors. Joaquin Phoenix, Owen Wilson, Reese Witherspoon, Josh Brolin and more. The trailer would lead you to believe it's a hilarious movie.

It isn't. It's boring. Brian fell asleep.  cwm33  That's two and a half hours of my life I'll never get back.

It's drug laden (just pot, but somebody's smoking in almost every scene - it gets old). The storyline is really hard to follow because there are so many side stories, you're wondering where it's all leading. And it lead nowhere. There's gratuitous sex (if it had a purpose to the story, I don't know what it was). This movie wasn't even meh. 

I should have known better. I can't say that there are too many movies with Phoenix in them that I like. I didn't like The Village, I didn't like The Master, I didn't like "Her". And I didn't like this one.

Save your money. 


02:08 PM - 01/07/2015

The topic: Weblog problems again

This morning I couldn't embed a Youtube video. Turned out to be (drumroll, please) the every popular Mod_Security! 

Too three tries before they found the offending part that has now been disabled.

Kind of frustrating to post a video trailer of a movie and I can't. 

First world problems.

      Thursday, January 08, 2015

09:46 AM - 01/08/2015

The topic: Advanced Screening: “The Wedding Ringer”
What a difference from the movie we watched the night before. Fast paced and funny. Laughing out loud funny. Never a boring moment. 
If you need a pick me up, this is it for sure. 
It's pretty obvious from the start that his fiance is more about the bling and money than about the man. A guy who's worked hard for what he has and has no social life (or friends) because of it. He needs a best man and seven grooms for his wedding, which is in two weeks. 
Hilarity ensues.
Watch it. You'll laugh. You won't leave the theater scratching your head, wondering what the hell it was you just saw. Because this movie does the thinking for you. And that's what I like in a movie. Enough thinking in real life, I don't go to a movie for a lesson, I go to a movie for escape. 
And this one filled that requirement.


      Tuesday, January 13, 2015

09:26 AM - 01/13/2015

The topic: Past couple of weeks have been worrisome

First, Jackie was not doing well at all. He still has kind of diarrhea even though the fiber has done wonders at firming up his stool. What moves out of him is more of a pudding consistency. This would be great except for the fur that's around his butthole. And the drippy poop was just hanging in the fur, making shit stalactites. He smelled like a barnyard. I tried trimming him up and cutting back the crap mats, but I didn't have much success because the minute he heard the snip of the scissors, he was gone.

Well, a couple of weekends ago, I noticed he'd pulled off one of the crap mats by himself. I felt this was a good thing. Except when I saw him laying on a pillow on the patio. His legs and butt and tail were all raw. And I saw fly eggs on the tail. I flashbacked to Chandler and what the vet said about him not grooming. I hoped the eggs was the end of it. 

But they weren't. They actually crawled in to him and fly larvae was coming out of him. A nasty sight, for anyone. 

And once again, I remembered what my vet had said. "If the cat can't groom enough to keep the flies from laying eggs, it's time to say goodbye".

I called the clinic where Jackie had been neutered and asked about euthanizing him. I told her who's name Jackie had originally been under. She checked and told me that we couldn't have him put to sleep, since we were just "fostering" him. This kind of surprised me and when I hung up, I  called my vet's office. My vet isn't fond of ferals, but Jackie can't live like this. I made an open arrangement to bring him in if we could get him in the trap and they'd take care of it for me. Then I got a private message on Facebook from the guy who originally set up Jackie's neutering. The other vet clinic had contacted him. He was upset. We messaged back and forth about it for a while and made the decision that John would come to our house, catch Jackie and get him into a trap. He said it would take him less than five minutes. John had already made the appointment for Jackie. For a shave, bath and checkup. Not euthanasia.

Thursday evening, Jackie went into the bottom of a cat condo. And when John showed up with his net, he had Jackie within thirty seconds. Took the net with Jackie in it into my bathroom, Brian was in there with the trap. And Jackie was in the trap within five minutes. Brian and I were absolutely amazed. Brian took Jackie to the vet on Friday, meeting John in the parking lot. Brian and I are not to go into the clinic with Jackie, John will do it (he doesn't want any fuss from the vet). John contacted me Friday night, Jackie had been really nasty. And he had a burst anal sac, as well as maggots coming out of his butt. All of that had been taken care of. Bloodwork and fecal came back great. 

John was supposed to be bringing Jackie back Friday night, but we decided it would be best if John kept him overnight. (I hate when the kitty comes out of the anesthesia.) And he kept him on Saturday. Sunday morning, John said that he had to work until one, he'd check with us later. Jackie came home Sunday night, a very stressed, tired, clean kitty. 

John gave me instructions on care and we left Jackie in his carrier Sunday night. During the day Sunday, Brian had assembled the double decker large dog crate to house Jackie in his recovery. This was done in my bathroom (not much room in there now, good thing fat smooshes or I wouldn't be able to use the potty or the shower). Brian cut a piece of wood to cover the hole between the stories of the crates and I put down pee pads and took the litterbox from the bottom, putting it on the top. When it came time to put Jackie in the crates, I got a taller cat condo, brought it into the bathroom, opened the door to the top crate. I pulled all of the bedding out of the carrier where Jackie was staying. I took the carrier over to the crate, set it on the condo and opened the carrier door. Jackie was out of that carrier in less than a minute. Into the crate, onto the shelf (Brian cut wood to fit, two pieces and when placed together between the top and bottom pieces of the crate, makes a nice little shelf - I had places some soft bedding on that). 

So, Jackie is using the litter box (he's also getting flagyl) and eating his A/D happily. He hisses at us, but when I pet him, I can put my face against his and he purrs for me. So, he's feeling a lot better now than he was last week at this time. He'll be in there until at least the middle of next week. No feeling sorry for him this time and letting him out too soon. And we've made a promise to John. If anything goes wrong, we will call him immediately. And every four to six month, Jackie will go to the vet for cleaning. Because he doesn't do it himself and it adversely affects his health. But for right now, he's in a nice warm clean quiet place, with very little to distract him. Right now, he needs to get well.

The other problem is with Jackie's wife, Katie Blue.

Two weekends ago, I noticed a bunch of dried blood around the bottom of her mouth. I'd never seen this before, but she was eating and wasn't drooling or anything like that. I took a wait and see approach.Well, the right side of her chin started to swell up. She ate and groomed, she didn't like me putting my fingers in her mouth, but her gums had swollen so much, the skin was pulled tight and was shiny. Knowing that there was nothing I could do about it if it was cancer, I didn't jump right on a vet visit. But while Brian was en route with Jackie last Friday, I called our vet and made an apointment for Katie. I knew that it wasn't an immediate death sentence, that Katie would come home with me because she wasn't drooling and was eating. I kept thinking back to Pepper. After dodging another bullet with Jackie, could it happen with Katie, too? Honestly? I wasn't optimistic. I had accepted the possibility that Katie's time with us might just be weeks. 

Yesterday morning I was like Elmer Fudd in the old Bugs Bunny cartoons. Sneaking the carrier into the family room. Wiping it down. Sneaking my keys and wallet into my pocked. Walking quietly past where she was sleeping. Not talking or doing anything to alert her that some unpleasantness was headed her way. When I had everything I needed, I walked over to where she was, put my hand on her, quickly scruffed her neck and swung the carrier door open and pushed her into the carrier. It happened so quickly that she didn't have much time to fight it. 

Got to the vet, the parking lot was torn up. Someone had complained to the county about non-compliance of the ADA and the landlord was having work done to make the sidewalk wheelchair accessible. Once inside, I talked with Alicia for a while, then it was our turn in the office. Once inside, I got Katie out of the carrier, she was weighed (a little under ten pounds) . Then I waited for the doc, holding Katie the entire time. He came in, there was small talk and he looked inside Katie's mouth. He leaned back and said he had a cat come in last summer with the exact presentation as Katie. And with the other cat, it had been a tooth abscess. Tooth was extracted, everything cleaned up and the kitty is fine today. If it wasn't a tooth, then it was most likely squamous cell cancer. (My fear.) But the fact that it didn't hurt her much when he pushed on it and that the jaw underneath wasn't mooshy (meaning the cancer had infected it and was eating away), he wasn't leaning towards the cancer diagnosis. He took her back for x-rays and I waited. The tech came in and said that he wanted me to come back and look at the x-rays. He had taken two. And he pointed out the left side jaw bone, how it came all the way to the chin. And he pointed out the right jaw bone, the also came almost to the chin. It stopped at the canine tooth, that was very crooked compared to the left canine. No moosh. No loss of bone. Tooth abscess.

So, Katie has surgery scheduled for next Monday. She's on clindamycin for the week and he said that the abscess could very well come to a head and break, not to worry about it. This would make it easier for him next week. She'll also be getting a dental at the same time. 

She's not fond of the medicine and I have to figure out how to get her to not run when she sees me coming. I'd like to take her in to see Jackie, but I have to get her first.

So, two bullets dodged.


If you'd like to help out with donations, I'm going to try to get some new shirt designs up for Valentine's day in my store by next week. And there's those adorable dainty little heart earrings. Or you could just donate to the cat fund. Paypal personal option to nuttybuddy at paypal.com.

      Friday, January 16, 2015

mrs. crankypants
03:01 PM - 01/16/2015

The topic: One of our neighbors is a real ahole…

Well, he's not the only one, but he's a big one. 

He drives his van too fast on the street, like it belongs to him. And he'll pass people he doesn't think are going fast enough to please him. Keep in mind, this is a residential area and we're talking about, at the most, twelve hundred feet from the top of the hill to his house. It's not like driving way fast in that short length is going to save much time.  So, I see this white van passing a smaller car. This van is flying. It's the asshole neighbor. 

The great thing is he backs in to his driveway. And right when he's ready to position his van to back in, the car he passed is right there. He had to wait. 

What a ginormous asshole he is.




      Saturday, January 17, 2015

04:58 PM - 01/17/2015

The topic: Yanno that moment when you

Start digging through the pantry, on a shelf that you've not visited for a while, say years, and you try to move a box to see what's behind it and it's stuck? Because some old can of something or other blew up? Yeah, me neither.

Heh. I spent the better part of the late morning and afternoon getting rid of old jars of peaches and apricots, as well as cans of mandarin oranges. I checked the expiration date on the oranges. 2009. Yeah, I don't visit that part of the pantry very often. I got rid of quite a bit of stuff on that shelf and was able to see exactly what we have. It's a lot cleaner and neater. It really wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. 

The can that exploded was apricots and the sticky was all brown and dark and gross, but it came up pretty easily when I let a wet cloth set on it for a few minutes. 

Now there are no cans on the second or third shelf. Just on the bottom, the shelf with the tomato sauce and paste and beans and soup and canned goods that get used on a fairly regular basis. I doubt will have any more explosions.

05:03 PM - 01/17/2015

The topic: Jackie is doing way better!

He's been in the top of the dog crate since he came home Monday. At first he had a tough time jumping up and down onto the shelf, but he's getting stronger and managing a lot better. He rarely hisses now (this is awesome) and around Wednesday, he started to relax more and his sleep looked way better. No doubt he's not sore like he was before he went in last Friday. 

He's eating about two cans of A/D each day and I also give him boiled chicken, his favorite. This morning I made scrambled eggs with a little cheese for breakfast and set aside a little for him. He ate that right now. I'm sure he misses begging by the table and licking the plates.

I was a little concerned that he was becoming depressed, so Thursday night, I opened the bathroom door so he could see out into the hallway and hear us and smell the house. And now the other cats can go into the bathroom and check him out, but not too many have. Katie kind of ran in, but she didn't hang around long. She runs when she sees me because I have the nasty medicine. And she's not getting as much as she should be, she's faster than me.

For the first time in weeks, today I heard Jackie calling. I think he's starting to want out of the crate. I had thought he was supposed to go in for his recheck yesterday, but was informed that wasn't so. Maybe today, but that didn't happen. I know he'll be okay in the crate for a little while longer, but I don't want him to be caged indefinitely.

He's more amenable to being petted, and like I said, he hardly hisses at all now. And he purrs. He likes having a hand flow down his back and if he's in a good position, he'll actually arch his back into it. 

He's a new kitty. 

      Monday, January 19, 2015

01:21 PM - 01/19/2015

The topic: Bad news for Katie

The vet took x-rays and there has been considerable bone loss since last week. He said it's cancer. He cleaned up her mouth the best he could. We'll start her on pain management and when it's obvious her quality of life has diminished so that she's miserable and sick, we'll say goodbye. 

Having dealt with squamous cell before, it won't be long. If it's grown this fast in three/four weeks, there isn't much hope.


      Tuesday, January 20, 2015

01:18 PM - 01/20/2015

The topic: Fun with the Cameo

With my original Silhouette machine, I had purchased a separate piece to use for pens, so the machine would write instead of cut. I tried using that with the new machine and while it should have worked, I got frustrated with it and just didn't use it (I'm thinking it was because the pens I had were too fat or something). I did the research and found a different pen holder and have had great success with it. Here is a video (I just found on my computer this morning) that I took back in 2013 showing it in action.


If you're interested in getting one for your cutting machine (Susan makes them not just for Silhouettes, but other cutters) check out Hot Paws Creations


06:59 PM - 01/20/2015

The topic: There’ve been some great photo opportunities


This past week. First up, the sunset from last Friday. There's a little airport on the other side of the hill, which is why I have photographs with planes in them. (Clicking on a picture will take you to a bigger photo in my family album; clicking on that picture will open a larger photo.)



Then, yesterday morning, the parrots stopped by, landing in our Liquid Amber tree.






Then tonight, there was another great sunset. This time I could look at the sun and not be blinded!




      Wednesday, January 21, 2015

the morning walk
07:25 AM - 01/21/2015

The topic: We had a great walk this morning

I have pictures I took on Monday's walk, I'll get them posted later.

We have a long hill we walk up, it sucks going up, but it's so nice walking down. A nice way to start the morning. There's one house that has a fountain in the yard. We've watched this house through various owners and the current owner really seems to love his home. He takes really good care of the yard, it's always well manicured. The centerpiece is a four tiered fountain. 

Well, I see this fountain and I know something is missing. Rubber ducks. He needs rubber ducks in that fountain. I told Brian "I have some St Pat's ducks!" and we start planning the delivery. Checking out access to the fountain. Brian figures it wouldn't even take forty-five seconds to get the ducks in the fountain and get back on the street. I said "and then the lights come on and you yell 'Run, Forrest, Run!" 

On the final lap of the walk home, one of the neighbors from up the street, a guy who's been there forever, Brian used to clean out this guy's stalls when he was a kid, is driving down the street. Brian's all "oh, crap" because this guy will stop in the middle of the street to talk and doesn't give a crap about the people in cars behind him. I covered my eyes when I first saw his little truck, like little kids do "if I can't see him, he can't see me" and I started laughing. Well, the guy flashes his lights at us and stops. In the middle of the street. I'm laughing, still. He said something about me being really happy. Yeah, I'm a happy girl. And he asks Brian how he's doing, Brian says great, then cars are appearing over the hill, behind him. I start pulling on Brian's arm and tell the guy we have to go, Brian's making me breakfast this morning. "Oh, what is he making?" So, Brian starts to tell him. And the cars are getting closer. "Oh, eggs and potatoes" then Brian starts to elaborate on how he makes the potatoes! Oh. My. Gawd. 

I yank Brian's arm harder (still laughing) and say "let's go!" and Brian finally realizes that he's fallen into elaboration mode. It's a running thread here, how he elaborates on everything. Last night, he elaborated about not elaborating. It's something I give him a bad time about when he's on the phone with (potential) customers. I'll mutter "I was born a poor black child" from the Steve Martin movie "The Jerk". Seriously, he'll start talking about growing up and his mom's cooking and on and on and on....

As we're walking away from the truck, he says "I was born a poor black child" and the laughter started again.

Yeah, this morning was a good walk.


08:17 AM - 01/21/2015

The topic: Katie

She runs from me. I can't give her pain meds. If she sees me with the food dish, she'll let me approach. I hate this. I want to hold her and cuddle her and pet her and kiss her. It's not like she was ever a cuddle kitty, but right now, it's what I want to do with her. I want her to not be afraid of me. I want to make her feel better.

She was on one of the pillows on the patio yesterday and I was able to get a picture of her (using the zoom function on the camera).  I won't post it on this main page, you'll have to click the "there's more" below to see it. It's disturbing and ugly. But it's my Katie Boogs. The blood on her nose is from the vet trip on Monday.

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

the morning walk
12:20 PM - 01/21/2015

The topic: Monday’s walk

Here are the pictures I took Monday. Clicking on a picture will take you to a bigger photo in my family album; clicking on that picture will open a larger photo. 

There are a lot of blooming flowers.


Morning sky















Happy dogs. Brian tells them to "wag your tails" and they do.




This fountain needs rubber ducks.








      Thursday, January 22, 2015

09:29 AM - 01/22/2015

The topic: Cheaters

Okay, let me start by saying I don't follow football. A long time ago we had season tickets to the Chargers, but the last game I went to, one of the people behind us sneezed and got snot in my hair. Never apologized and it turned out they were in someone else's seats. Brian had changed our seats for that season and we were in the hot sun for a lot of the game and I just wasn't enjoying them any longer. I didn't like the crowds, I didn't like that it took up so much of our time and I was just tired of going. And the Chargers weren't playing well, anyway. So, we ended up not renewing. (Coincidentally, we had just purchased annual passes to Disneyland....)

But I still watched the televised games. It's just what you did on fall weekends.In high school I was on the drill team (Desert High Scorpions! Edwards Air Force Base). Football.  My dad did it, I did it when I was single, I watched it after I got married (Brian was never as in to it as I was). If a game was blacked out (a lot of those here in San Diego), it was as if something was just wrong with the weekend. 

Then Michael Vick was chosen as Subway's "Sportsman of the Year". 


Just no. That made me sick, that someone who had done what he'd done was chosen "Sportsman of the Year". That man had no remorse, he was only sorry he got caught. He didn't give a crap about what he and his thugs did to those dogs. His prison time was for the financial aspect of his operation, not for animal cruelty.  "Sportsman of the Year". Scum. Pure and simple. I quit watching football on the weekends. I quit NFL football. It made me sad. 

So, this past week has been full of news about "deflate gate". The New England Patriots were playing with balls that were under-inflated. The game was a rout of the Indianapolis Colts. What I don't understand is why? Why cheat? They're obviously the superior team, why cheat? 

I don't understand cheating. Lance Armstrong cheated. Look at all the baseball players on steroids, giving themselves an edge over other players. To what end? More money? More fame? 

Is there enough money and fame to block out the fact that quite possibly you aren't the better player? That you got there by cheating? 

I just don't understand it. 

Brian said it comes to a point when it's he who cheats best, wins. He's right. And it sucks.

11:00 AM - 01/22/2015

The topic: Advanced screening: “The DUFF”
We saw this last night. It was cute, entertaining, formulaic....
You know who she's going to end up with at the end. It's the journey that makes it fun.
The star of the show, Bianca (Mae Whitman), is the "DUFF".  Designated Ugly Fat Friend.  Madison, the stereotypical bitch popular girl, is played by Bella Thorne, who played a very similar character in Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.  Bianca's next door neighbor and childhood friend is the very pretty Wesley (Robbie Arnell, who reminds me of a younger, taller version of Tom Cruise), a jock who is well liked by his fellow classmates. He's also the on again - off again boyfriend of Madison. 
It is a cute movie, teens will probably like it. There's some swearing,  Allison Janney drops an F bomb, simulated play sex (nothing bad or risque, everybody/thing is fully clothed), nothing to really get embarrassed about. 
It's not a movie I'd pay money to see at a theater. No big sweeping epic panoramas or scenery. But I'm well past the date nights of my teen years, so who knows?  But I'd watch it again on Netflix or a premium cable channel. 
Oh, they handed out teeshirts to the participants last night. Small teeshirts. One of the sayings is "I'm her DUFF" with an arrow pointing to the side. Seriously,  true DUFFs would NOT be able to fit into the shirt. I thought it was kind of funny. This shirt is headed to the vet's office. 


mrs. crankypants
02:47 PM - 01/22/2015

The topic: Stupid commercials

These are a few of the companies who owe me monetary compensation for subjecting me to their idiotic commercials.

  • Any DirectTV commercial with Rob Lowe
  • Any Viagra commercial
  • Any Cialis commercial 
  • Liberty Mutual commercials

Which is why I like Netflix and recording programs.


09:38 PM - 01/22/2015

The topic: Advanced screening: “Kingsman: Secret Service”

We had the chance to see the new Johnny Depp vehicle, "Mortdecai" tonight. We had the passes. But the last few Depp movies have been really weird. Brian's busy, so we just figured we'd not go.  The screening was in La Jolla and honestly, we were kind of afraid that the trailers for the movie contained (as so often happens) all the best parts of the film and just decided to pass on it. Then I got notice that there were passes available for "Kingsman". From the trailers I could find, it looked like a movie we'd enjoy. Here's one of them.

When the movie was over and we were walking out, I asked Brian "What the fuh was that?"  Talk about a weird movie. What did we just see? What was that? 
It started out violently. But it was okay because the opening soundtrack was Dire Straits' "Money for Nothing". Really! Awesome, this is going to be a great film! Then it kind of smoothed out somewhat. Then there was more violence. Granted, the violence was done in such a manner that it was just surreal. 
The premise is of a British secret service agency, that's been around for hundreds of years, descending from the Knights of the Round Table. They are so secret that no one has ever heard of them. They're called "Kingsman". The front for their agency is a tailor's shop. Lots of great special effects and Bondish types of fun weaponry.  Bullet proof umbrellas, lighters that act as grenades, pens that can poison....all very interesting. Samuel L. Jackson plays the villain, a billionaire named Valentine. He has a speech impediment that's not consistent and annoying. 
The service has lost a member and is looking for a replacement, to be chosen from one of the candidates that each member of the agency has nominated. There's training and learning and one by one, the candidates are sent home, until only one is left. That one becomes the replacement. And that's when the movie gets, um, serious? Wrong word, for sure.
I just couldn't decide if this movie was supposed to be humorous or what?  I wondered if Mortdecai was any better.  Unless you don't have anything better to do, I wouldn't waste my time. I won't watch it again.
And for the first time since I've been doing these little reviews, I'm going to add to this in the "but wait, there's more" section. And there will be spoilers. 


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

      Wednesday, January 28, 2015

06:44 AM - 01/28/2015

The topic: Advanced screening: “Black or White”
We had the opportunity to see this last night. It was a last minute thing, I tried to get the passes last week after I saw the notice in my email, but I was too late (you have to jump on these things,  it had only been twenty minutes since I'd gotten the email). I did sign up to be notified if anymore became available and yesterday afternoon, I got the news. We were invited by the studio (Relativity). I asked Brian if he wanted to go and he said "sure", since he now considers these free screenings as one of our only forms of entertainment anymore. 
Chili for an early dinner, out the door at five. We got in line at 5:20 and there didn't seem to be that many people in front of us, but there is a group that has been doing this for years and they save places. So, by the time we were let in, the line in front of us had at least doubled (this annoys the hell out of me - it's one thing to save for your companion who has to fight traffic on the way over from work, but to save for a huge group of buddies? it ain't right). When we got in, our favorite seats were already taken so I picked the first available seats that had an open aisle seat (I hate having to climb over people when I have to potty). This was a fortunate circumstance last night as there was a radio station having giveaways and there were three winners in the audience. Just check under your seats for our sticker. I got up and checked under mine. Nothing. I checked under Brian's. We had a sticker! Won four day passes to the San Diego Zoo/Safari Park. We'll use two of them at the Zoo and two at the Safari Park (used to be the Wild Animal Park). We haven't been to either in decades. The crowd in front of us in line no longer bothered me. 
The movie was really, really good. Octavia Spencer as "Gramma Wewe", Kevin Costner as "Poppa Elliot Anderson" did an outstanding job. Spencer has some huge eyes and they should get an award of their own. Very expressive. The granddaughter, Eloise, was played by Jillian Estell and she's was just adorbs. I loved this kid. 
It starts out on a sad note, Poppa's wife was killed in a car accident. He's a lawyer and he takes time off to take care of his granddaughter and try to deal with the grief of the loss of his wife. Eloise's mother (Costner's daughter) had died in childbirth and Elliot and his wife took the baby and raised her. Now that his wife is gone, Rowena steps in and wants custody of Eloise since Elliot won't be able to properly take care of her. 
And with his drinking problem, it doesn't look good. 
The movie deals with racism, substance abuse and alcoholism. Uncomfortable topics, but there is a fair amount of humor to soften the heaviness.
I liked this movie. I liked it a lot. I recommend it.


09:12 AM - 01/28/2015

The topic: I made breakfast this morning

There were fried potatoes left from yesterday's breakfast, which Brian made. I like Jimmy Dean's turkey breakfast links, only breakfast sausage I'll eat (they aren't greasy and slick in my mouth). I'll take three of them, slice them up, cook them and add eggs and cheese for a scramble. This morning, I added in the potatoes before the eggs. Then I add cheese and when everything is done, I add more cheese to the top and put a lid on it so the cheese melts.

One of the most frustrating things about the aging process is my eyes. I need reading glasses for everything. Even when I eat, glasses help. I'm okay with the far sighted thing, but this near sighted thing really annoys me. We have reading glasses all over the house. Office, family room, kitchen, hanging on the wall in the hallway. This morning I had the kitchen glasses on and as the cooking progressed, I set the glasses somewhere and couldn't find them. I ended up getting a pair from the family room. Breakfast was ready, I called Brian to come eat.

He walks in to the kitchen, I'm dishing up food and I say "I don't know where I put the kitchen glasses, I just had them and I have no idea where I set them down". He said "you mean the pair on your head?"

Seriously? I took the ones off of my face and touched my head. Sure enough. There they were.

It really happens. I thought it was just an old people joke, a cliche.


04:21 PM - 01/28/2015

The topic: I made a card today

It was a box card. From start (picking out the paper) to finish (taking photos of the finished card) it took me over four hours.

But it looks awesome. 

Pictures won't go up until next week because I've got a lot of paperwork to catch up on before the first of next week (I need to get last year's sales tax figured out so I can remit to the great state of California - the deadline is Monday). 

If only I did my bank account reconciliations in a timely manner....but how long have I complained about my procrastination? I don't see it ending any time soon.


      Thursday, January 29, 2015

09:02 AM - 01/29/2015

The topic: Advanced screening: “Project Almanac”
If you're over sixteen, just pass on this movie.
It's starts slowly (I was checking my watch twenty minutes in). And it doesn't get much better after that. Well, the opening sequence showed promise, but it crashed and burned after that.
It's about a group of high school kids.  The filming perspective is like the Blair Witch Project. You're supposed to believe it was all done with a handheld camera, taken by the smart teen's teen sister. Shaky, out of focus, lots of too fast panning (which is familiar to anyone who's taken any kind of home video), headache inducing. The smart teen is searching for a project to send to MIT in hopes that they'll fully fund a scholarshop for him. His father (who died on his son's seventh birthday) was a scientist of sorts and the son is looking through his dad's old stuff, looking for something he can turn into a project. He finds a time machine.
And that's when the problems begin. Anyone who's watched or read any type of time machine fiction knows you don't change the past, because it messes up the future.
For this old woman, I give this movie a definite thumbs down. I won't watch it again. Ever. Unless I'm being punished in some weird sort of alternative universe.


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lisaviolet is seventy 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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