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      Saturday, November 01, 2014

09:09 AM - 11/01/2014

The topic: Test

Dare I hope?

10:36 AM - 11/01/2014

The topic: And we’re back in bidness!

In case you really care, here's what happened. You know I love my smileys. Well, I use a third party editor in my weblog. Because it does lots more than just the regular editor. You know in some forums you can click on buttons and make words into links and upload images and make fonts different kinds and different sizes and different colors with ease. Well, the software I use for my weblog I got a long, long time ago, it came with my website control panel. The first version was free. The upgrades offered more options, but they weren't free. I was hooked at how easy it was to do the weblog. When I first started back in 1997, I hand coded everything which was very time consuming. This software made it much easier. I bought each upgrade and was happy.

The last upgrade I did (back at the beginning of this year) to this software, well, things went missing. Some things that worked in previous versions didn't and wouldn't work in the newest version. The things that made special formatting easy were gone. Some were there, but most were not. My smileys were there, but there was enough stuff that wasn't, that I went in search of another rich text editor that had what I wanted. I found one in Wygwam. And that worked nicely, until they upgraded and no longer included smileys. Because they were silly, serious webloggers did not use smileys.  So, I stayed with the first version of their software that I had. Because of the smileys.

 I've got a thing for smileys. I love my smileys. knuddel

Well, Wygwam is based on another free editor, CKEditor. And what they did was incorporate CKEditor into their software, which was designed to run with Expression Engine. And as plugins are added to CKEditor by users (some are free, some you have to pay for), it was "possible" to incorporate those into Wygwam. And I found earlier this week that someone had made a free plugin for smileys! And I added it. Or, I tried to add it. I had to make a new file with new code in it and upload it and set paths and upload something else there and let me tell you, it was no fun at all. I spent hours trying to get my smileys working with no positive results. I put in a support request with the Wygwam developers (fyi, I think the name Wygwam is loosely based on the WYSIWIG (What You See Is What You Get) editors) and they couldn't get the smiley plugin to work. Frustrated, I went in search of another editor. And I found one.

Expresso, which also is based on CKEditor. It's more up to date and the CKEditor plugins area snap to install. And I got my smileys back. And once again, all was good.




Until I decided to upgrade the original software. I'm using version 2.5.5. The latest version is 2.9.2.  I saved my SQL database (the thing that wasn't saved at the end of last year, where I lost ALL of my entries trying to get something new to work - I still haven't gone through and formatted all of the so they look right). I tried installing newer versions, one at a time. And I kept getting error messages. Finally, last night I said screw it, I'll start from scratch. Fortunately, I save old files, I don't delete them as I get new ones. And I deleted EVERYTHING that had to do with this weblog (except the database) on my server. And this morning, I started over. I started from scratch.

And I installed 2.5.5. And I installed my third-party plugins (Wygwam, even though I don't plan on using it and Expresso with all of the additional plugins that went with that). When it appeared everything was there, I restored the old database.

And I'm back in business. No error messages, no problems.




02:45 PM - 11/01/2014

The topic: The toilets backed up this morning

When we got our new washer and dryer earlier this year, we had a problem with the plumbing in the house. The plumbing from the kitchen and laundry room. The bathrooms still ran to the sewer, no plugs there. Brian attached hoses to the drain at the back of the house and the grey water was used on our lawn. It was the most cost effective thing to do at the time.

Well, today, the toilets backed up. Brian tried to rout out the pipes, but the plug was too bad. He had to call in the cavalry.


Turns out there was a huge plug towards the street, tree roots. Of course. And the guy ran his camera up there and Brian said the people who installed the pipes a thousand years ago put them in backwards. So stuff that flows through catches where they're attached to one another instead of flowing over. And the house pipes were so bad, the guy advised using their high pressure water system to clean that out. As it was the "grey" water that poured out when he cleaned it was a nasty black thick fluid. It doubled the cost of the trip, but it should be good for another twenty-eight years.

It's nice to not have that smell any longer. That stagnant water smell. It got pretty gross.


04:14 PM - 11/01/2014

The topic: Timelapse

And we've had clouds the past few days. That timelapse photography was calling my name. Again. 

Here's one from Thursday. Hours in, I realized I hadn't zoomed in, so I didn't get as much of the sky as I'd liked to, but hey. It happens.

And yesterday. I remembered to zoom on this one.

I got my smileys back. Life is good!



      Sunday, November 02, 2014

07:45 AM - 11/02/2014

The topic: Ew…

Okay, dear Reader, if you've been following along, you know that Pete has had some intestinal problems. He's better now. He didn't get the full dose of metronidazole because I couldn't catch him. And if I couldn't catch him, it follows neither could I shove food in his mouth. But as the days progressed, he drank more water and if I could corner him and sit on the floor in front of him (because if I didn't corner him, I couldn't beat the other cats off with a stick, even though I did my best to keep them out of reach with my legs), he was more than happy to inhale the pieces of deli sliced turkey I'd toss his way.

Well, by the end of the week, he was starting to eat without urging again, and Friday and Saturday night, he was in the garage with the rest of the clowder for dinner. 

But his stool is still loose, pudding consistency (funny how the comparison to some things nasty is food). And he's a little gassy when he goes, you can hear the wind as it releases. Sounds like Hooter in Captain EO at Disneyland. Last night we were watching television and I heard it. I grabbed the flashlight (easier than finding a lamp in the living room) and checked it out. Tired, I figured I'd just clean it up this morning.

Well, around three this morning (as the bedroom clock read, but it was really only two) I lay in bed, unable to sleep. I got up and figured I'd go hang on the sofa, maybe play a game of Candy Crush or two. And on my way, I stepped in the crap. 


Well, I cleaned off my heel and, once again, put off cleanup until the daylight hour. And headed over to the sofa, where I played on Facebook a little, seeing that another FB friend was having a bad night's sleep. She'd stepped in puke. 

I heard Brian in the kitchen, it was still dark out, he was feeding Miss Elizabeth. I said "watch out for the poop". Too late, it appears, he'd already stepped in it. He dished up some soft food for Miss and took it into my bathroom where she was waiting on the counter. Then he went back to bed.

I ended up going back to bed and got up just a little bit ago. I did my normal morning ritual, taking my BP meds, opening doors for the cats, giving them each handfuls of kibble (same thing is in the feeder, but they wait for this like it's a big treat...doze ) and cleaning up puke and poop.

When I hit the living room to clean that mess up, the little splatty pile from last night was almost non-existent. I've noticed this before. Brian doesn't seem to realize he's stepped in it for a couple of steps. And there was a trail leading into the kitchen. (Hydrogen peroxide works wonders on dried poo - let it set a little, then wipe it right up.)

This is really funny to me, I don't know why, but it really cracks me up.


mrs. crankypants
01:32 PM - 11/02/2014

The topic: My procedure results came back last week

Everything is good! The two polyps removed are benign, nothing about them says pre-cancer. So, I have ten years to buck up for the next one.


mrs. crankypants
01:33 PM - 11/02/2014

The topic: You know what sucks?

Buying thirty bucks worth of fun sized candy bars, putting up all the decorations and having four trick or treaters.


That's it.


Next year we'll put up no decorations and have a small bag of candy for the possible visitor. No wonder so many houses in the neighborhood were dark. They knew. They were realistic, not optimistic like me. "Hey, it's a Friday, the kids have already hit the school and church carnivals, we'll have tons of them!"

Never again.

The candy will be at the vet's office on Monday. Not here. We're done with it, had our fill.


04:49 PM - 11/02/2014

The topic: I always wondered what I could do

With gift cards that had a very small balance. You know, under five bucks. Well, I just discovered that over at Amazon, you can buy their gift cards (with the code being emailed)  for as little as fifty cents. I just cleared out three old cards I had, one for seventy-seven cents, one for a dollar twenty five and one for four dollars and change. As soon as I got the magic numbers, I went over to Amazon and added them to my Amazon gift card balance. Nice!

I think this is a great idea! I don't know if I have any other low balance cards around, but if I do, I know where I can use them.


      Monday, November 03, 2014

07:11 AM - 11/03/2014

The topic: Waking up to a cool house is nice

Last night I shut up the house to keep it a little warmer and it was 46° back at Brian's shop. And it was nice to do our (short) morning walk.

The bad news? 

It's supposed to warm up to the low 90°s this week. I'm not lying. November and ninety degree weather. Would someone please make it stop? Enough with the summer weather.


11:34 AM - 11/03/2014

The topic: Something’s messing with my sleep

We go to bed, I'll fall asleep for a couple of hours, then wake up. And be wide awake. I've gotten one decent night's sleep since my procedure. 

Last night, I even took an AdvilPM before going to bed. My left hip gets sore and I figured this should help. At 1:30, I was awake. Tossed and turned for about ten minutes, got up, went out to the sofa, covered up with a couple of lightweight fleece blankets and was asleep in no time.

I know cats on my pillow are one of the problems. Opie and Richie have no sense of boundaries or the idea that laying across a human's nose will cut off air flow and said human won't be pleased with that. I don't mind that DaNiece sleeps on the pillow, she's right against the headboard. But the boys.... 

And then there's Marco. He likes to step on my hair and pull it. He gets one of his paws as close to my scalp as he can, without touching the scalp and starts kneading. And it's amazing to me how he always manages to get a couple of strands of my hair caught up in his claws. And he pulls my hair.

Other than that, there's been nothing on my mind (since Friday night and that was this weblog), but I'm just having sucky nights' sleep.

I'm so tired....


03:59 PM - 11/03/2014

The topic: Sometimes the cats win

Brian sat down to do some paperwork while I got shipping labels ready. Mario moved off of his blanket (the blue folded up towel) and plopped himself down in front of Brian.

Brian asks Mario if he wouldn't mind moving so Brian can have his desktop back.

In typical cat fashion, Mario ignores Brian's request and Brian has to work elsewhere.

Clicking on the photos will take you to the family album, where you can click on the photo to see it even bigger! Yay!

      Tuesday, November 04, 2014

the morning walk
08:35 AM - 11/04/2014

The topic: A special treat for those of you in the colder climes

Where you're already getting snow. It was in the 40s on our walk this morning, but it will be warming up for sure. Today, I took my new point and shoot camera, because you just never know what you'll see. My old Lumix started having problems and I can't have a camera that's frustrating. Sales have picked up somewhat and Brian told me I could get a new camera. I checked out the reviews on Amazon and ended up going with a Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS20. There are newer models, but I liked that this one has a Leica lens. The reviews are pretty good for a camera this size and price and I jumped on it. It has a GPS system but that eats up the batteries so I won't be using that around town. It's a little bigger than my other one, a little heavier, but the photos are really good. The ones I took yesterday of Mario were taken with this camera. I also ordered a charger bundle that came with two additional batteries. The only other way to charge batteries is to connect the camera using the included cable to an outlet. And the camera cannot be operated when it's charging. Charging this way also takes quite a bit longer. And of course I needed new camera case since the other ones I have are too small. This will give the camera some protection in case I drop it or something furry happens to knock it onto the floor. You never know. We hit Walmart for those, but one was too big and the other too small. I have to take those back. I ended up getting a couple on Amazon. So, I'm set for a while.

And here are some photographs I took on our morning walk.

This camera has a much better zoom than my old Lumix. Clicking on a picture will take you to a bigger photo in my family album; clicking on that picture will open a larger photo.

Parrot on a wire

Another parrot with a small feather floating away

In the process of stripping a pecan tree.


The birds taking flight.

Birds flocking. 

And finally, some fall foliage. We don't see much of this around these parts. Trees changing color.

If you want to hear the birds, head on over to my YouTube channel. I have a video or two up with the parrots squawking.

04:55 PM - 11/04/2014

The topic: No movies this week.

And none for next week. Looks like we'll be ponying up some tunas to see some that we missed. We had a chance to see John Wick on the 20th of October, but I was otherwise occupied. Last Monday we saw Laggies with Keira Knightly and Sam Rockwell (a really sweet, cute movie). We had passes to go see Nightcrawler last Wednesday, we were in line an hour and a half before showtime, they let us in, the movie was supposes to start at 7:30, at 8:00 there was still no sign when it would start. Brian said "let's go". That was fine with me, I was worried about Pete. I never got a request from Gofobo to give a review like they usually do after a screening, so I'm thinking the screening never happened.

Anyway, I made a list of the movies we've seen for free since September 2013. We could have seen more, but some just didn't strike my fancy and I didn't think Brian would care for them. They're in no particular order, just as I remembered them.

  • Riddick
  • Pompeii
  • Labor Day
  • A Million Ways To Die In The West
  • Edge of Tomorrow
  • The Purge: Anarchy
  • The November Man
  • Philomena
  • Thor - The Dark World
  • The Maze Runner
  • The Hundred Foot Journey
  • The Other Woman
  • Let's Be Cops
  • Her
  • How To Train Your Dragon II
  • Draft Day
  • Million Dollar Arm
  • Words and Pictures
  • And So It Goes
  • Into the Storm
  • Expendables 3
  • Walk Among the Tombstones
  • The Equalizer
  • Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
  • Kill the Messenger
  • St. Vincent
  • Laggies

Pretty good for free, huh?


      Wednesday, November 05, 2014

07:59 AM - 11/05/2014

The topic: So, I hear a windy poo last night

The kind that's proceded by a loud blat and then expulsion. Okay, which kitty was it? I look around for the normally splatty gassy cats. Mystie is on the sofa, Opie is on Brian, Pete is right there, under the table. Hmm, who could it be? 

I get up and check. It was Jackie. And I look at what he dropped off. And I'm very, very pleased! 14110205

It had some kind of form! It wasn't like gravy when it first starts cooking and hasn't had a chance to thicken, it was the consistency of frosting you spread on a cake! (Again with the food analogies.)

It would appear the Vetasyl is working on his inflammatory bowel problem. All these years of his nasty, runny stool, finally it looks like I've found something that won't hurt any of the cats (actually beneficial) and is helping Jackie. Yesterday I had mentioned to Brian that Jackie looks like he's gaining a little weight, then I see his poo last night.

This made me so happy. 

And I cleaned it up before someone stepped in it. 

And there was no poo on the floor anywhere this morning. Yay!


mrs. crankypants
12:11 PM - 11/05/2014

The topic: If you aren’t happy with yesterday’s election results

And you didn't vote, then STFU. If you're a registered voter and you didn't vote, shame on you. And if you are of age to vote and you can vote and you're not registered to vote, then shame on you.

If you're a citizen of the United States of America and you didn't vote in yesterday's elections because you just didn't get around to it, or just didn't feel like doing it, then shame on you.

Bad citizen. Bad, bad citizen. 

Don't complain when nothing gets done. Or things get done that you don't like or agree with. Because it's your fault. All. Your. Fault.


      Thursday, November 06, 2014

10:36 AM - 11/06/2014

The topic: This camera makes me so happy

A couple of photos I took just a few minutes ago. Clicking on a picture will take you to a bigger photo in my family album; clicking on that picture will open a larger photo.

Spotty (who is very dirty right now, Brian said he saw him making dirt angels the other day). If you go to the big picture, you can actually see the specs of dirt across his nose and cheeks.


And Mario, who has the absolutely sweetest face I've ever seen in a cat.

And it amazes me how much better this camera is than my old one. Technology is moving so quickly....I'm glad to be alive now and to have been alive in the days of film cameras (I still have my dad's and all the lenses that came with) and cartridge cameras (remember those?) and Polaroid cameras...


      Saturday, November 08, 2014

10:43 AM - 11/08/2014

The topic: Ow, that smarts!

I'm in the office, going through my files on the computer looking for a template for Christmas cards that I can modify to incorporate something from the Disney. 

The printers are covered in dust covers and towels to keep them clean and cat hair free. I notice on the Epson R1900, that the towel has some dried cat puke on it, actually a dried furball. 

I took it out of the office onto the patio and shook it off over the lawn. One of those snap shakes. 

The dried puke/furball flew up instead of down and nailed me on my right cheek. Son of a bitch, that hurts. I sure didn't see that coming. I think I'll have a welt.

Everytime I touch it and mention how it feels, Brian laughs. Yeah, okay, if the shoe was on the other foot, I'd be laughing, too. 

I'll live. 



      Sunday, November 09, 2014

06:55 AM - 11/09/2014

The topic: So, I’m washing the dishes last night

We'd had baked chicken breasts. Placed on a bed of olive oil, covered in tomato sauce and diced tomatoes, add a little lemon juice and basil cover and bake at 400°. I usually cook them for an hour, I like the meat tender. Served over whole wheat spaghetti.  And a side of mixed veggies and garlic bread. It was pretty tasty.

The summer that seems like it's never going to end, didn't end yesterday, it was in the 90s. Add the fact that the kitchen is on the west side of the house, the side the sun sets, the heat of the oven and I was miserable. Sitting at the table, I'd just go into a statue state (I'd use the word "freeze", but it's just not applicable at this point). Brian asked me what was wrong. "I don't even have to move and the sweat pours off of me, that kitchen is so hot; why do the people who build houses not take into consideration the area they're building them? Why put the kitchen in the hottest part of the house?" 

I've felt punky all day, lightheaded. I think it was because I didn't really eat that much all day and I don't know if you can have physical withdrawal symptoms from chocolate, if you can, mine was in raging. Brian took the Halloween candy to the vet's on Friday, I hadn't had any since. I grabbed a few fun sized bars before he left and I made short work of those Friday morning. Add to this our allergies are in full swing. Both of us have nose problems (Brian's gets very runny, mine starts packing up inside my sinuses) and coughs. Even the cats have weepy eyes.

I digress. I'm in my hot kitchen over the sink full of dirty pots and am washing them in hot water, I'm getting close to almost done, just a couple of pot lids left when I hear growling from the other room. I shout out "you'd better stop it!"

It didn't stop. It escalated. Usually at this point Brian would pick up the case since I was busy, but to help my funky mood he had left, going down to the local grocer in search of ice cream. I dried my hands and went into the other room to find the source of the growling and hissing. 

I see Charlie and a red kitty in the family room window. Really going at it. I hope it's not Opie or Richie, they have no teeth. I start yelling. "Charlie! Charlie! Stop! Stop it! Charlie!" The fight goes from the family room window to the dining room window, where there's a large crock of water. My eyes are looking for the squirt bottle, it's over by the garage side of the family room. I rush and grab it, squirt it a couple of times in my hand to make sure it's working. I spread open the blinds and the red cat runs from the window to behind the sofa. They fight behind that. They run into the living room and fight in there. I'm in fast chase, but can't keep up with them, the sun is down, the rooms are dark. The fight continues into the bedroom and under the bed. I bang on the footboard and they run from under the bed back into the living room. I follow and the red cat runs from the entertainment center back into the family room and under the sofa. Charlie finally starts backing off. I found him in one of the cat tunnels in the living room and tried to get him to go outside. (I'd opened the screen door when this first started, sometimes he'll go outside and blow of steam out there.) I pushed at him with the flashlight to get him to go out, but he ran into the office and up onto the bookshelf. He looked like he was coming out of his crazy state. 

Amazingly, most of the other cats didn't even move during this. The running around, me screaming, they didn't even look up in interest. 

The cat he was chasing was Katie and she was still under the sofa. I wanted to make sure she wasn't hurt, not just from the fight itself, but from the falls she may have taken getting away from him. I gave her some treats, but she stayed under there. 

My side of the bed was wet, but that was from all the water they'd knocked over in the dining room window. I cleaned up the fur and water from the dining room window (it's a bay window). 

I sat on the sofa to get back to the previous state of mind and body where I'd just been hot from doing dishes. If I thought I was hot before, it was way worse now. I felt like I'd just done a sprint up the hill. I heard the lock in the door and Brian was home. I followed him into the kitchen where he put the ice cream in the freezer and I finished the dishes.

When I dished up the cats' dinner, they were both there, walking okay, looking okay, no obvious injuries, so that's good.

Katie spent the rest of the evening stretched out on the back of Brian's sofa. 


10:14 AM - 11/09/2014

The topic: Why I don’t get my paperwork done

The temperature is supposed to be pleasant today. Brian's back in the shop, he has a lot of work to do. I should be able to get a lot done here in the office. Should.

Turn on the office television, look for something that I can half listen to. Ah, Ancient Aliens. That should do it.


I get situated, my glasses. Where are my glasses. They must be in the bedroom, I had them on when I changed out of my long sleeved shirt to a short sleeved shirt. I get up and aim that way, but instead go down the hallway toward the family room. I see the spot on the tile where I'd put peroxide earlier, a puke spot. I clean it up.

Having gone into the kitchen to get paper towels to wipe up the puke, I notice the remains of the cat poop I wiped up this morning. Some cat poops like they're making their own little diorama of islands with feces being the media of choice. I'd wiped up most of it first thing, but the edges had dried. Grab the peroxide and cover the island remains. (Peroxide is great for this, the organic material just foams up and is very easy to wipe up.)

I start back to the office when I realize I wanted to put the last little roast in the crock pot. I go out to the garage, get the last roast out of the freezer and take it back to the kitchen. Pull out the crock pot, get the roast out of the freezer bag and start it up. Charlie is on the counter, I give him a big hug. Just because he's an asshole doesn't mean I don't love him. 

Walk out of the kitchen, almost to the bathroom and I hear a noise in the kitchen. I walk back, yelling "Charlie, get out of there". He can pull the lid off of the crock pot. I check and he's already jumped down. 

Back to the office. My glasses. Where are my glasses?

On the bed. Right next to the long sleeved shirt.

Now they're on my face. And I hear a fight from the other room. I get up. I see Charlie running down the hallway. I check for the other involved whiskered one. I see a kitty under the coffee table in the living room. Ronnie.

Not a problem. I don't think Charlie would fare well in a fight with Ronnie. 

Back to the office. I need water.

I'll get this paperwork done. Eventually.

So, I'm finishing up this entry, hey, you know what would be cool? Office smileys!  Google them, find a great new source for more (make a new folder for smileys in my web browser and bookmark the link, really can't justify going through the thousands they've got right now), grab a few, rename them, upload them, change the code in my weblog software, save what I've already written, reload the page, input the saved entry and hey, I think maybe I'm almost to a point that I can actually focus on paperwork! That would be ever so awesome! Because once I start on that, there won't be anything on my mind until I'm done. I'm funnystrange that way.


      Monday, November 10, 2014

10:25 AM - 11/10/2014

The topic: I’m curious about Rocky’s life before us

I know he was an indoor cat when he was with Gail, but before that?

He loves it outside. For the first time since December 23, 1993, we have a cat who stays outside at night. As a matter of fact, he spends most of his time outside. 

He doesn't hunt or anything. Sometimes if I wake up in the middle of the night and look outside, he's asleep on one of the chairs on the patio. Where he is right now. During the day when it's warm, he'll go into one of the cathouses, but for the most part, he's on the patio. He comes inside to eat and if the doors have been set to in only, he'll start pulling at the one in the laundry room, pull it open high enough for him to get his head through it and then he's back outside. 

He's content. He's happy. If I go outside and can't find him, I call him and he comes running from wherever he is. I'll pick him up and hold him close and tell him how much we love him, he purrs, then wants down. In the evening, he'll come in for some people time, laying on my chest or on Brian. When he's had his fill of humans, he's back outside. 

Save for his first month or so here, when he was trying to figure out the deal, I've never seen him cruising the perimeter of the yard. He'll hang in the ferns down by the pool or on the doghouse on the bank. But he shows absolutely no interest in leaving the yard.

I'm glad he's found his niche.



      Tuesday, November 11, 2014

06:55 PM - 11/11/2014

The topic: The second installment of “Do You Mind If I

Shove This Camera In Your Face?"

Clicking on a picture will take you to a bigger photo in my family album; clicking on that picture will open a larger photo.


Sagwa. Sagwa has had an eye problem since he was a baby. His original owner never had an eye infection treated and his tear ducts scarred closed:

Charlie - see the scratch marks on his face? From his fight with Katie last weekend:


Marco and Pete - best friends:

Opie and Sagwa:


      Wednesday, November 12, 2014

03:20 PM - 11/12/2014

The topic: I got the paper all picked out

for my Christmas cards. That's the hardest part for me (next hardest is working with glue!) . It's only take me a week this time.

I'll start cutting out tomorrow. Maybe. 

I'm looking forward to the frustration and annoyance. 


No. Really. I am. I'll take pictures as I go along. 

      Saturday, November 15, 2014

06:25 PM - 11/15/2014

The topic: I’d planned to cut paper today, but

I got sidetracked. So, what's new, right?

Last week I made a calendar of sorts for Brian. A listing of over a year of days, that run into one another, say Thursday is the end of one month, well, on this calendar, the next month starts right after Thursday, it doesn't start on a new page or a new line. I did this so when people want to know when their stuff will be shipping, Brian can easily count how many weeks it's been since the order was placed. His current lead time is six to eight weeks (yeah, he's pretty busy). 

I made two of these calendars and on each one, at the left, there's a ghost image of the text and border. And when I printed the instructions out for some of my SVG kits, the ghosting was pretty bad on those. And it annoyed me. It annoyed me a lot. And instead of cutting paper, I spent the better part of the day trying to get this taken care of. I checked the inks, I ran the cleaning utility multiple times, even uninstalled the printer from my computer about five times and did a fresh install of the driver and utility. Nothing worked. I changed out the printer cable, changed which USB port it was connected to, nothing I did helped.

Finally, I tried using a different cleaning utility (there are two different ones in the printer utilities) and I've never used the one I tried. It ran for probably a half hour with the message it couldn't clean all of the printer heads, to do it manually. The print out sheet didn't look too bad, but I went ahead and ran the manual utility (which is what I'd done earlier in the day). It looked fine and I tried printing out a test sheet and there was no ghosting. So, I tried another PDF file from SVGCuts and it was fine! No ghosting!

The Epson online troubleshooters say to keep running the cleaner until the head(s) are unclogged and I guess that's what I did. Probably ran them at least twenty times. Head cleaning uses up a lot of ink, so I'm happy I have the continuous ink system in place.

But it was time to fix dinner, so no cutting today.

For sure tomorrow so I can get started on my Christmas cards.


      Sunday, November 16, 2014

01:48 PM - 11/16/2014

The topic: I made some more GIFs!

Drinking bird


Handsome (wants that turkey)


Handsome (got that turkey)


Katie and the sprinkler


Pete after a catnip party




      Monday, November 17, 2014

08:26 AM - 11/17/2014

The topic: Once again, it would appear

That the occasional cam is crashing my computer.

We got back from our walk and the computer had "recovered from a really nasty error" and rebooted. I got the camera running and within ten minutes, another BSOD (blue screen of death). So, I rebooted and this time, didn't turn on the camera and have disconnected it from the system.

I need to check the cables and the camera and the software. I won't be doing that this week, I don't think. The cameras don't get nearly the traffic they used to, so I'm not real worried about it.


08:32 AM - 11/17/2014

The topic: Cats. Gotta love ‘em.

Yesterday morning I saw Pancho running across the yard with something in his mouth. I go out and see what he has (a gopher or a rat he can keep). It was a bird.

I give chase, Brian's like "why bother" (well deserving of a quick kick to the butt) and Pancho runs in to the house. Crap. I don't want a bird flying around the house, it will be nuts with the cats and me trying to catch it. I get inside, see a little action in the dining room window. But I don't see any cats besides Rory over there. I check it out, no bird. Then I looked behind one of the little condos on the floor. There's the little fella. I pick it up and take it out front, my hand cupped over it until I'm out of the entry way (don't want it flying up and hitting the skylight). Once it realizes it's free, it flies off.

Later in the day, heading into early evening, I turn on the lamp on my desk. I get a shock. Some cat peed on the on/off switch. It's done. Lots of wetness at that part of my desk. There were expletives. Many of them. I asked Brian if it would work if it was dried out. He reminded me that cat pee doesn't dry. I has a sad. I really liked that little lamp. 

Next lamp will attach to the shelf over my desk and I can aim it down. Not what I want to do, but it's the more practical option.

Cats. Gotta love 'em.


      Tuesday, November 18, 2014

05:08 PM - 11/18/2014

The topic: I worked on cards today

Well, the last three days. I'm going to do them in batches so I'm not working on them from sun up to sun down. It will give me time to do housework and paperwork and stuff.

I've got all the paper sorted for each batch and Sunday I cut out the paper, yesterday I organized the cardstock for each card, then I glittered the pieces that needed to be glittered. Because I wanted to make sure the glitter was completely dry, after the paper was glittered (and there's lot of glitter) I put the pieces in the extra room to dry overnight. 

Today I assembled as far as I could. And I'm really pleased with how they look. So sparkly and glittery and shiny!

I figure I'll be done in plenty of time to get them out for the holidays.


      Saturday, November 22, 2014

03:38 PM - 11/22/2014

The topic: Been a busy week

We had a representative from our local utility company come to the house yesterday and I had to do some basic cleaning, like clean the floors and wash the sofa covers, getting rid of the recent cat messes. Not that it's really bad, I just don't want to take any chances. The reason he was coming was to check out our appliances and maybe we'd get some free upgrades on them. Like washer/dryer, frig, microwave, a/c, furnace, water heater, windows...but the washer/dryer are brand new, don't need replacing, the frig was made in 2000 so it's an "energy saver" and we're okay with the microwave. Brian installed the best windows that were available when he redid ours (back when he was in the glass business), and the water heater was replaced earlier this year when the old one sprung a leak. A new dishwasher would have been nice, but that's not considered a necessity. *lol* 


Since the water heater is in the garage (where there are litter boxes) I did some cleaning out there. He never left the dining room. But the garage is clean! Kinda!

So, we got some new light bulbs. And a new aerator for the faucet in the kitchen. A contractor will be contacting us in a couple of weeks to make arrangements to come put a blanket on the water heater. Oh, and he gave us three night lights. Running them 24/7 will cost about five cents a year in energy. 

Yeah, okay. We had to do this, though, because we get a break on our energy bill.




      Tuesday, November 25, 2014

08:34 AM - 11/25/2014

The topic: Organization is important

When you're working with a lot of pieces. Last month, Brian let me buy this six foot table for my crafts. I set it up in the family room, in front of the fireplace (which we never use because Brian likes wood fires, but he never cleans out the fireplace, that's left for me and I hate cleaning it, it's a dirty, dirty job; it takes longer to clean it than it does to burn a bunch of wood - besides, it really doesn't get that cold here). 

I've been working on my Christmas cards and I've gotta say having this table is making the work much easier. Before I was using a couple of two and a half foot tables, the dining room table, a tv tray table and the coffee table. Hard to keep things in order when they're that spread out. I can't believe how smoothly this is all going this time.

I have things laid out on the big table, I'm working on one of the smaller tables. If I need to run the cutter, I pull out another one of the small tables and put it behind me and put the old laptop on that to run the Silhouette, which is still on that awesome cart I got last year and in the living room so the noise it makes doesn't interfere with the television. 

I'm just amazed. It would be nice to have a dedicated work area, but that's not possible with all of these furry things that we share our lives with. 

As it is, I can't leave things laid out, I have to pull them up when I'm through for the day. But it's still way better now than it was. 

Organization. That's the key.


05:05 PM - 11/25/2014

The topic: Ever have one of those weird days?

The kind where all sorts of strange things happen? Yeah, me neither. Oh, wait. Today was one. 

Like I got my latest Fukubukuro package from Meh. You can see what I got by going to this link. Do a search for "lisaviolet" because my unboxing is pretty far down the page. (Five bucks is all that cost me and I'm getting more.)

For lunch we had pumpkin pie with whipped cream.

Anyway, I forgot to take something out for dinner. 

I got one card made. 

For dinner, we're having potato chips and ranch dip. Brian's okay with that. 

Sounds good to me!  I've been craving potato chips and ranch dip. Yum! I'll do better tomorrow. I hope. *lol*


      Thursday, November 27, 2014

07:41 AM - 11/27/2014

The topic: I’m not quite sure how to categorize this entry

So, I'll just go with "otherstuff". Photostuff would be good, but lots of the photos I take already have categories, like foodstuff and catstuff and entertainmentstuff. So, otherstuff it is.

Last week on Facebook I was challenged to post a different black and white photo each day for five days. Some people use photos they already have, I wanted new ones. And I took a few with the black and white setting on my new camera. I was pretty happy with the way they turned out. Here are the photos and remember, clicking on a picture will take you to a bigger photo in my family album; clicking on that picture will open a larger photo. And on that larger photo if you click on the little magnifying glass at the top right of the photo, you'll get the full sized photograph. One of them is 1000 pixels high, the other four are 2000 pixels wide, so they're pretty big.



An avocado on our little avocado tree

Charlie, in a sunbeam on the grass next to a palm tree

Sunset the night before a much needed storm

A small red rose

Black and white sure looks different than color. 


      Sunday, November 30, 2014

05:34 PM - 11/30/2014

The topic: I really, really, really, really

Need to watch the tutorial video before I start making a card. I mean, before I even pick out the paper.

Got one finished today, halfway through I'm thinking "crap, this card is really boring" and started adding sparkly embellishments to it. Then I watched the video. I slapped my head. 

I finish it, using the paper I'd cut out, except for the sentiment. I ask Brian what he thinks about it. "Don't get upset, but the next time you make these, I'd like to make a suggestion. Forest green." I look at him.

Then I tell him what I learned in the video. He just bust out laughing. "Then I guess forest green wouldn't be the way to go".


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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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