Friday, February 10, 2012

Confession: I've been working for a different blog...

It's called Mad Science Writer, and it does involve updates on my life. Please do check it out.

I'll continue back-filling the posts here, it's just taking longer than usual.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Hangin' with skeptics

I have been working on other things, but I do have a few more posts ready -- mostly photographs because I haven't been keeping the best written record. Sad, I know.
` In my last post, and in my next post after this, there's some nice photos from camping. In this post, I vaguely document my entry into the skeptical community -- that is, people who promote critical thinking and emphasize problem-solving as well as not being swindled.

July 19, 2011:

After a while of getting lost, I found the pub in which the skeptics are meeting. This week's guest is Ophelia Benson -- who has a website about various world issues, called Butterflies and Wheels.

jun-jul 494 Ophelia Benson

I didn't pay much attention, mainly because I had ordered a delicious salad and it didn't come to the table. So, I was really hungry during her talk. Then again, she went on mostly about feminism (and of course someone else brought up Elevatorgate) more than anything, so for the most part I guess I didn't miss much.
` I also met some cool people, including Meg Winston, who was also a victim of abuse/brainwashing, and she says there's a kind of effective, evidence-based therapy that she's actually involved in assisting. Don't remember what it's called, though. I should ask her.

After the talk, I got a cool picture of train station clock tower.

jun-jul 495

In the following days, I got some other cool pictures, too. Here's the neighbors' roses:

jun-jul 496

It's amazing how well the flowers in our flowerbed look despite our not tending them much:

jun-jul 498

Vada seems to be a lot happier now that Rusty has stopped coming back to the house. My poor giant fluffy kitten! I wonder where he is?

jun-jul 501 Me YAWN!

July 21 or 22?

I'M TALKING TO EVAN BERNSTEIN OF SKEPTICS GUIDE TO THE UNIVERSE ON SKYPE! W00T!!! I got a picture of Lucas getting in on the conversation.

jun-jul 504 Me and Lucas chatting with Evan from SGU

I guess that's hard to see. Also, Evan looks kind of like Bruce Willis. Ha! I got another picture later, with the camera at the right angle to see my laptop screen.

jun-jul 506 Skyping with Evan Bernstein

Whatever did I do to earn this? Why, I only chatted with Evan on Facebook and have a hilarious sense of humor, which he likes a lot, and said he wanted help making a blog, which I helped him with indeed.
` He said, though, that he might not actually start a blog for a while because he's learning how to be an accountant, and accounting might take up a lot of his time. Exciting, I know.

Not too long after that night, Roommate Troy noticed that there was a leak coming from the water heater. I called Lucas about it and he freaked out and came home from work, saying that leaking water heaters can't be left unattended or they will flood your entire floor!
` So, off came the insulation and it turned out that this water heater was installed a month after I was born (May 1982!). That's a long-lived water heater, alright! I guess we got our money's worth.

jun-jul 508 Insulation off tank

Lucas hooked a hose up to its little spigot and slowly got the water drained out of it. Not only did I miss going to the gym at my regular Lull Time, but when I caught the next Lull Time, I also took a shower there because we don't have hot water.
` Unfortunately, all the gym showers in the womens' locker room have no COLD water! Lucas told me that I was wrong, because the men's showers have cold water, but I tested all the faucets and found that they have two settings; scalding and off.
` I also got a picture of the gym, along with the sign of the really crappy Tae Kwon Do place where everyone completely sucks and Lucas teaches us not to do the stupid things they do. The funny thing is, it's called Tae Kwon Do Way, and since 'Do' means 'Way', Lucas and I call these folks the 'Tae Kwon Do-Dos'!

jun-jul 510 Gym at night

Here's me the next day, missing my poor giant kitten Rusty:

jun-jul 512 Looking at boats over morning coffee

I was also staring at the moon:

jun-jul 513 Moon in daytime.

And poking Vada with a stick!

jun-jul 516 Poke the Vada!

"Do not poke me!"

jun-jul 520 Chomp!

And I saw a NASA Plane!

jun-jul 521 NASA plane?

Anyway, my next post will be of the Goat Lake Trail camping trip that Lucas and I did, complete with pictures of the really great scenery! To see just the photos, and a lot more photos, here's my July photos Flickr page!

Did I forget anything? Oh yes, the hot water heater. I found this guy from Ireland and England, on Crigslist, who had a big garage sale, and was selling stuff people gave him while remodeling their trailers, including a fairly new hot water heater, also an overhead fan, a garbage disposal, a toilet, and other things that we needed, including a scissoring lawnmower!
` Everything put together was only $100! How lucky was that! We just had to go there and get it! We got the hot water heater replaced within a few days (we needed some help for that), and now we're just waiting on getting the cash for help with getting the downstairs toilet uninstalled.
` I can't wait for that, considering that both my roommates have to share the same bathroom, and it's also right in front of my bedroom, and the fan is really loud, so it's waking me up all hours of the night.

Got to go -- am very busy all the time, but next post will be up soon!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Our unexpected campsite

Always in a game of catch-up with my photojournal...

July 17-18, 2011:

On Sunday, I was all ready to go camping, but Lucas wasn't feeling well. Still, I prodded him to, just to get out of the house and away from the humdrum everyday life.

Rusty sez: "Humdrum? I'm not humdrum!"

jun-jul 426 Rusty in midst of camping gear

Lucas and I set out for Goat Lake Trail, although he wasn't feeling good at all, what with intestinal/ankle trouble. He got me to drive all the way up to Arlington before a woman at the Food Pavillion told us it was in Granite Falls.
` At about this time, I got a call from Anthony. Turns out, HE had just tried to call Lucas' phone, and it was at the Safeway we had just stopped at!
` It was a good thing, because Lucas had thought he'd left it at home!
` As the Safeway was along the way back, we went back there and then continued to the Mountain Loop Highway. Lucas begged me to take him back home, so we wound up compromising and just stopping at a car campsite. Boring!
` But, as it required no walking, and it had a regular bathroom, yet was far away from our house, I thought it was a good place to stop. So, in lieu of hiking, I put my boots on and then jogged around the place for a little while.

Our campsite was next to this river:

jun-jul 427 Misty river

As usual, Wonkyfoot has followed me:

jun-jul 435 Wonkyfoot track

The trees around there were all so covered in moss:

jun-jul 436

Home is where you hang your sleeping bag:

jun-jul 432 Home is where you hang your sleeping bag

The sun has finally come out!

jun-jul 437

This picture is up the river:

jun-jul 438

Another one several minutes later:

jun-jul 440

We only had enough wood for one small campfire, so we saved it for morning. In the meantime, we had an interesting night light:

jun-jul 441

By nightfall there was, as usual, Wonkyfoot-associated UFO activity. Yawn.

jun-jul 442

The river the next morning:

jun-jul 445

Evidently, there was some sort of scuffle during the night:

jun-jul 447

Lovely morning:

jun-jul 450

The river again:

jun-jul 451

The shiny water:

jun-jul 452

Me on a big rock:

jun-jul 453

Looking up the river again:

jun-jul 456

Looking back toward the shore:

jun-jul 459

The trees:

jun-jul 460

Our tent:

jun-jul 462

It's not very far from our car!

jun-jul 463

Trees, trees, everywhere!

jun-jul 464

More trees:

jun-jul 465

Bye, river!

jun-jul 467

Back to my plane-makin' civilization:

jun-jul 469 Look into Boeing!

And when we got home... no comment, LOL!

jun-jul 470 Seriously.

It was not long until we realized that Rusty had been missing since the night before, and I got worried about him. Even so, I stopped to pick the raspberries.

Here's the large variety:

jun-jul 472

Have some, Vada!

jun-jul 475 Have a raspberry, Vada!

Come on, now! Let's go find Rusty!

jun-jul 478

But then, some barking poodles scared her away, all the way from up here!

jun-jul 479 Deckpoodles scared Vada away!

Then, hours later, who should show up at the door? Rusty! He gave a meow and did a little dance, jumping by lifting his paws off the ground one at a time. Very strange! Wherever he's been, he's glad to be back!
` Then he went to join Vada in staring down our neighbor's cat Mr Yoboshi:

jun-jul 483

He doesn't know why she stares at him with such hostility, as you can probably tell.

jun-jul 485 Vada staring down Mr. Y

She must have the loudest stare of any cat I know!

jun-jul 487


jun-jul 488 Mr Yoboshi Yawns

Rusty was like, "Hey!! But I like him!"

jun-jul 490

After this, however, Rusty disappeared again and hasn't come back. I suspect that Vada has chased him off, perhaps with that very stare!
` Poor Rusty. I love the fuzzball. And his piles of debris.

Also, I realize this post has very little substance -- I mostly just crammed in as many photos as probably would not crash the average browser. For the rest of my July photos, click here!

There'll be a lot more next time!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

July fireworks and other cool photos!

Catching up with my photo journaly-life. Poor Rusty is still gone. I miss the poor baby! Myerrrr!

jun-jul 150 Mrawr, welcome to the kitteh club!

I suspect Vada had something to do with it. Just look at her expression when she's around my precious Giant Kitten!

jun-jul 158 Rusty caught the scrap of paper!

I don't have any text entries just yet, but there are some stunning photos. For example, this is a view from one of my neighbor's yards:

jun-jul 160 Sailboat past the beach chairs

A little farther back...

jun-jul 161 Made it to the end of the driveway!

Sunset through our window:

jun-jul 174 The sunset making two "UFOs"

July 3, 2011:

I hate being sick, and have even gone back to being unable to get out of bed for a while. In other news, at the job I just had to quit, there's been a new Joel, bigger than the former Joel, but not fatter, and considerably darker -- asphalt-like instead of pasty.
` He's a really good canvasser, except now he's been accidentally fired and re-hired through a series of coincidences, which I may not be able to explain clearly.

Try to bear with me: It looked like his fiance had signed up from him, but it was actually because Miguel had signed her the day before Joel had gotten hired, and she'd forgotten to cancel.
` Lucas thought he would have to fire Miguel, but it turns out that even though Miguel had since been to her house, he didn't recognize her from when he'd signed her up, that's why he didn't know about it, and OMG it's so confusing! I'm'a throw up!
` Or is that the vodka?

This is just the weirdest story of the past few weeks that I can think of. There are other, similar things that have been going on, but I don't remember because I've been extremely sick and on some days, bedridden. Now it seems I'm slowly recovering.

BEE! In male kiwi blossom:

jun-jul 183 Bee about to land on kiwi

I went to the bank and then Value Village yesterday morning and got some shorts for Lucas and a toaster... and got pulled over on the way back for having tabs 2 days expired.
` I went home and purchased them, having just deposited a bunch of money in the account, but won't have a chance to pick them up until Tuesday because Fireworks Crazy Day is on Monday.

I need something to counteract this impaired state of mind. And I hear meat-pounding. For barbecue, that is, LOL! I sure would like to help Lucas with his meat-pounding. Sigh. But Bob is also here -- he supplied the meat!

Our garden supplied the veggies!

jun-jul 197 Another shot, this time with more contrast

It's after dinner -- THIS! (That's Bob's crotch, BTW.)

jun-jul 204 Oh yeah, cookout food!

And now, they're blues jammin'. Here's the moon at this time:

jun-jul 216 Crescent moon

Also, just over to my right was some Pre-Crazy Day fireworks:

jun-jul 222 Fireworks and ferry again

July 4, 2011:

Fireworks Crazy Day, down by the ferry terminal!

jun-jul 235 Ferry going away

Lucas and I started out sitting by the floaty dock, which was bucking on the waves, and people were having fun riding it. Whee!

jun-jul 239 People gathered on dock

Most of the fireworks are hard to see in my pictures unless you look at the original version on my Flickr site, but here's a flare that's easy to see at blogging scale:

jun-jul 242 Ferry and red flare

Also, you can see some larger fireworks on the land here:

jun-jul 246 Ferry psasing in front of fireworks

I zoomed in on them:

jun-jul 259 Clearer distant fireworks

It was around that time that the park ranger kicked us out, so we stopped by Ivar's checked out the fireworks from there, and went back up the hill. Oddly, we could hear them on our way up the hill, but not at our house.

I don't have any more text entries until July 17th, when I went camping, but I do have PLENTY MOAR PICTUREZ!

Male kiwi blossoms:

jun-jul 261 So many male kiwi blossoms

Neighbors' cat Mr. Yoboshi:

jun-jul 265 Yoboshi does the driveway sprawl

Vada, attacking the fierce grass:

jun-jul 289 Rawr, I eat you, grass!

Here she is near the RoofGarden, saying, "Where won't hoomans bring their leaf blowers?"

jun-jul 291 O hai, just watchin teh naybor

Rusty playing with me, on a chair:

jun-jul 295 My fluffy lion!!

All stretched out!

jun-jul 296 Rusty bent backwards

Crow chasing a golden eagle:

jun-jul 298 Out, out damn eagle!

Get out, vile raptor!

jun-jul 299 Eagle getting the hell away

Female kiwi blossoms:

jun-jul 306 Female kiwi flowers 4

Have you noticed? Rusty just loves to bend over backwards:

jun-jul 309 Rusty bending over backwards

The Abraham Lincoln passing through our neighborhood:

jun-jul 323 Closeup of aircraft carrier

An extremely low-light photo of Rusty on the RoofGarden with the moon in the background:

jun-jul 326 It's Moonlit Rusty

It was so dark I actually used my flash for once. Does that look better, or worse?

jun-jul 331 Rusty caught in flash

Best giant kitten ever!

jun-jul 335 Looking up at Rusty

The plum tree: Rusty's secret ladder to the RoofGarden!

jun-jul 348 Rusty's roof hideout

My hand is so tasty!

jun-jul 360 Yummy hand!

Not that I didn't get any pictures of Vada during this time -- it's just that Rusty is cuter! Here he's drinking out of the gutter:

jun-jul 373 Biggest drink ever!

Vada on the fence and Rusty on the roof:

jun-jul 378 Rusty still stares at her

Rusty says, "Let's play!" and jumps onto the fence:

jun-jul 381 Rusty jumps!

Vada says, "NO!"

jun-jul 382 Get over to your side of the fence!

Vada escapes from Rusty:

jun-jul 387 Vada jumps to the roof!

Can I watch sunset with you, Vada?

jun-jul 400 Closeup of Vada and Rusty

Rusty about to pounce on Vada:

jun-jul 406 He makes ready to strike

Where did she go? (Her ear is visible...)

jun-jul 408 Where did Vada go?

"O hai, Vada! Wat you doin' up here?"

jun-jul 414 What's that over there?

Vada gets ready to push Rusty off:

jun-jul 416 Oh, what are you doing here?

"Why she do dat to me?"

jun-jul 422 Rusty patiently waits for Vada

Vada sez: "Rusty, you fail!"

jun-jul 424 Chimney Cat Sweeps Herself!

These RoofCat pictures took place just before my camping trip -- that will be in the next post!

To see moar of these photos, ones I didn't have room for, go here! It's neat-o.