Caturday: kamikaze hard drive and crappy hearing

Yep, I’m losing my hearing and my hard drive bit the dust. In the middle of all that, Mother Nature was trying to reshape half the state of California.

My hearing was always tenuous at best. I was born mostly deaf and even had an eardrum replaced back when I was in high school. I managed my later years without too many problems, learning how to avoid ear infections and things were going well. Then last November when we got the flu, the resulting infection migrated to my ears. It’s been an ongoing battle ever since. On Monday, the doc will probably prescribe a more powerful antibiotic as one of the three bacteria critters is a bit tougher and really, really likes me. Once we get rid of the infection, we can schedule some tests to see how bad the damage is and I don’t expect it will be good news.

As for the hard drive? It was working fine and then it wasn’t. It’s dead Jim. I went out and got a new one, put on my computer repair hat, and went to work. As you can see, I’m up and running again. I lost a lot of pictures that were on the drive. It’s my own darned fault. I’m going to be setting up an account for online cloud backup. That way I’m covered if this ever happens again. Lucky for me, most pics were backed up to Google Photos, although not in their original size. I want to be able to save everything as is. I kept the old drive and when the budget permits, we’ll look into having a pro look at it to see if the files can be rescued.

So that’s why we were missing for a week or so. We didn’t wash away. In spite of the frustrations listed above, life isn’t bad. We rode out the storms and we’re fine here in our little trailer. We’ll see what kind of crucible 2017 turns out to be.

And now for the stars of our show.

Titanescu giving Lastech a stinkeye…with drunk overtones. Hahaha!
Miss Jenny looking reflective. Seriously. Look at her eyes. 🙂
Tito was thrilled with the sunbeam.
Pepi nomming away on her chewie.

In spite of the rains wreaking havoc, we managed to get out and commune with mother nature. It was cold and wet, but good.

The creek which is usually a trickle, was flowing nicely. Photo by Lastech
Lastech got this cool pic
Yes, spring is coming
Green Heron: run away! run away!
Mystery sparrow
I’m just a lonely goose
Yes, we saw river otters with fishy noms
If you look closely, you can see the other otter peeping out on the left side of the one in front.
Duckies
Bufflehead ducks
Bufflebutt
Black Phoebe. They’re graceful gnat catchers.
Cormorants

Now for a few birdies viewed from the trailer window

Female Sparrow
Tufted Titmouse gathering nesting material
Male sparrow

Between the time I started writing this and now, I set up an account with Backblaze and my files are backing up as I type. Here’s a good review on Backblaze as well as another one (same author) comparing it with 23 others. So far so good.


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Caturday: Floods and blinding sunlight

I feel like a vampire. I stepped out into the sunlight and expected to burst into flame at any second. Added to that is the fact that I couldn’t get my eyes open and the sunlight made me sneeze. Yes, I’m one of those who sneeze repeatedly in strong sunlight. I can’t complain too much though. We’re way over our normal rainfall amounts and I needed time to air out the trailer. It reeks of humidity and wet dog. Especially the wet dog part. Ewwwwwwww

Here’s a pic that Lastech took of the Walnut Creek flood channel. The creek is normally only about 12 to 15 feet wide. This isn’t the highest it’s been. It’s been at its highest late at night, so we’ve missed it.

Walnut Creek flood channel

I’m sure you’ve all seen the news coming out of the state with roads washed out and the Oroville Dam spillway FUBAR. It’s a mess out here. We survived fine, but many didn’t. I’m hoping the next round of storms won’t be so messy. Here’s a vid of the problem at the dam for anyone who may have missed it.

Now it’s time for the pointy-eared people and the floppy-eared one to shine.

Titanescu hogging a sunbeam
Miss Jenny
Tito: WHAT are you wearing?
Miss Pepi watching Titanescu in his sunbeam

The other day I was sitting at the laptop and heard a very loud ruckus in the shrub. It was the sparrows. The male sparrows are wife hunting. There were two of them trying to get her attention. The one on her left started to do his dance, but she wasn’t having it and ran him off. The one on her right was more persistent, but she still wasn’t having it. He wouldn’t go away, so she took matters into her own beak, so to speak. This all happened very fast and I barely got the two pics below. Miss birdy reached out with a claw and grabbed Mr. hotshot by the leg, dangled him upside down, and proceeded to peck the crap out of him.

Mr hotshot managed to get his leg free, but as you can see, she’s dangling him by a feather. Her beak is barely visible at the top.
And don’t come back! She dropped him and his fall was anything but graceful.
Today, the Towhee came to flap and preen on the fence. I love the soft brown and rust tones.

See you next week


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Caturday: A view from the window

Yes, the kitties enjoy the view from the windows. They spend a lot of time there watching the world go by. The only view out of the old apartment window was a busy street. They like it much better here.

Tito bird watching at the window
Jenny was watching the birds from the screen door
Titanescu was watching and wishing he could chase the birds
Pepi wasn’t watching out the window. She was enjoying her chewie.

I’m always posting pics of the fur kids bird at the window bird watching. I thought I might share some of what they’re watching.

While I’m not thrilled about the pruned shrub (it will grow back), we have had a variety of birds come visit and sit on the fence. We’re still having storms rolling through, so we’re finding it harder to get out. As a result, I’m quite enjoying watching the birds along with the fur kids.

Sparrow
Hummingbird viewed from the screen door
This not-a-bird was perched on the fence earlier
Pretty California Towhee

I’ll keep watch for any different birds that might show up.


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Caturday: sadness, anger, refugees, and fur kids

Before I get to the kitty pics, I have to speak up.

I’m beyond sad and angry that the country of my birth is refusing refugees again. Yes, again. My country has a very sad history when it comes to refugees and non-white people. Slavery is the first to come to mind as we’re taught about it in school. Once the slaves were freed, it was followed by segregation. In the middle of that, we had the awful Trail of Tears. Native Americans were thought of as “savages” and were treated as such. Later, we didn’t want the Chinese and other Asians coming, so we built Angel Island as place to keep them while trying to refuse them entry.

Now let us fast forward to WWII. Thanks to George Takei, many have learned more about the Japanese Internment camps than might have otherwise. Out of fear that there might be an enemy hiding among them, my country rounded up Japanese men, women, and children and confined them to camps. Most lost everything they had. They lost homes, businesses, and even lives thanks to inadequate medical care. Pssst, they weren’t the only ones we put in camps. We rounded up the Unangans of the Aleutian Islands and put them in camps as well. As for the Jews? If they weren’t already here, tough. We turned away many Jewish refugees and Anne Frank was one of them.

Now we’re refusing Syrian refugees and more because there might be terrorist among them. We’ve banned refugees and people holding Visas from several Middle Eastern countries. Our 9/11 terrorists came from countries that have no restrictions placed on them, so using them as an excuse doesn’t fly with me. I wouldn’t be surprised to see an attempt to start a Muslim registry. I would hope it doesn’t happen, but I’m not holding my breath. I’m a white woman and fairly safe throughout all this. However, my grandparents were immigrants (one from Mexico) and Lastech is an immigrant. I can’t sit still while my friends and neighbors are afraid of the future and I won’t keep my mouth shut. I will do anything and everything I can to help, even if it’s just calling my congress critters.

Ok, that’s my rant. I would say more, but I’m not eloquent. I’m just angry as hell.

Update: A Federal court has granted a nation-wide stay on the ban of Muslims and refugees. It’s only a stay, but it’s a step in the right direction. The fight is just beginning though. In addition to Muslim refugees, Mexicans and my LBGT brothers and sisters also have targets painted on them. 

Now I can get to the pics.

Tito doing “the sexy”.
Miss Jenny getting cheek scritchies
Titanescu looking worried (he’s not)
Miss Pepi: I didn’t lick the street! Honest! (She licks everything)


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Caturday: Pointy eared people stand with women

We stand with women, men, and “those people”. “Those people” being anyone considered different or foreign, women or not. I would have loved to go to the women’s march today. Alas, I’ve a serious tendency to have panic attacks in large crowds, so I watched via the internet as my friend and her wife marched in DC and my heart joined in. To see the huge crowds all over the world made me feel better about my place in it.

Since my last post, we’ve had rain, rain, and more rain. While we’re safe and snug here, there has been a lot of damage. Trees have gone down, roads washed out, and areas flooded. There’s another storm moving in as I type. Lastech took some nice wet weather pics that I’ll add after the fur people have their chance to shine. In keeping with the march colors, I’ve added a bit of pink and purple in solidarity.

Miss Jenny in black & white
Sweet natured Tito
Haughty Titanescu
Pepi in motion

Now for some wet weather and between-storms pics by Lastech

Rainbow and Pier 39
Embarcadero at night
Wet pavement
Rainbow

Bird
Karl the Fog
latex glove floating in water. This is one of my favorite pics by Lastech

We’ll be back next week, provided all goes well. I’m having an adventure in propane as the hoses that hook up to the tanks went bad, followed by the regulator, etc. Parts are ordered. We’ll see how easily it all goes back together. 🙂 Ta ta for now.


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Caturday: We can haz flood?

Yep, mother nature is wreaking havoc and a flood is a very real possibility. We’re fine where we are. However, many of the burn areas are subject to mudslides, and some major rivers are expected to overflow their banks. We may not flood here, but it’s likely elsewhere. In addition to flooding, the winds will be high so I’m sure there will be plenty of trees going down, and yes, we’re safe from those too. Pepi won’t like having to go outside to do her business in horizontal rain. Ugh!

I hope everyone had a great New Year. It was quiet here and Lastech had to work. Even so, it wasn’t too crazy even for him. There are far less fireworks to terrorize the fur kids here in Concord, which is nice. Pepi doesn’t get fearful either, thank goodness. She’ll snarl at trash bags and tree stumps, but fireworks are ok. Go figure.

Speaking of the pointy eared people and floppy eared one… We had a cold spell. It was down in the 30s, which isn’t bad considering the temps elsewhere. However, our little trailer wasn’t built for winter, so it gets cold. We have two oil-filled radiators and they are much loved.

Titanescu as a purrito
Miss Jenny and those beautiful blue peepers
Tito on Pepi’s blanket snuggling up to the heater
Pepi dragged her blanket to the heater.

Yes, the heaters are loved.

We’ve managed two trips to Mt. Diablo in the last few weeks. It was in the low 30s and rather nippy both times.

Photo by Lastech
Tree in fog, by Lastech
The bay, by Lastech
Wild turkeys by Rudha-an
Tree by Rudha-an
Turkey vultures by Rudha-an

Here’s a slideshow with the rest of the photos.


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Caturday: Holiday edition 2016

Some of my friends celebrated the solstice, while others are celebrating Hanukkah and Christmas. We want to wish all of you the best and happiest of holidays. Lastech will be working the holidays, but we’ll have a bit of celebration on his days off. I have some Cornish game hens to bbq.

It has been cold (for CA, mind you) and we’ve been getting quite a bit of rain. You won’t hear us complaining about the rain. We haven’t gotten out as much as we like, but that’s because we were both fighting the flu. I caught it back in November and Lastech caught it this month. Mine took forever to go away and then decided to start a secondary infection in my ears and sinuses. I’m hoping that it’s finally going away now. Once my ears open up again, we can go play on Mt. Diablo.

And now, here are the furry ones.

Tito (left) and Titanescu staring into the light. Actually, they were both taking advantage of a bit of a sunbeam. It’s been to cold to have the door open often.
Titanescu looking like he just smelled something bad
Miss Jenny sleeping and ignoring the world
Tito: My god! It’s full of stars
Miss Pepi hoping I drop some food for her to hoover.

I was looking for a vid when I came across this one. I follow Angry Ram and I’m glad to see this update. Angry Ram lives on a mountain in New Zealand and they’ve had some awful earthquakes. And no, it’s not sad. 🙂

Until next time, have a wonderful and safe holiday season

Rudha-an and Lastech


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Caturday: Fur people, lights, and a fire

I awoke this Caturday to see news about a tragic and terrible fire in nearby Oakland. At this point there are 9 confirmed dead and approximately 25 missing. If there’s one thing I truly fear, it’s fire. Our hearts go out to the families of the victims as they wait for news.

animated-candle-2-sm

The fur people have been enjoying the windows more these days. The mulberry trees that gave us so much summer shade have been pruned heavily for winter. That makes the windows sunnier to the delight of the pointy eared people who soak up every sunbeam they can find.

I was playing bird sounds (black phoebe) while trying to ID some birds I couldn't see. Tito went to full alert.
I was playing bird sounds (black phoebe) while trying to ID some birds I couldn’t see. Tito went to full alert.
Jenny licking her chops at the thought of birds
Jenny licking her chops at the thought of birds
Titan giving me the I-know-those-aren't-real birds stinkeye.
Titan giving me the I-know-those-aren’t-real birds stinkeye.
Miss Pepi was sleeping and didn't care about the bird sounds.
Miss Pepi was sleeping and didn’t care about the bird sounds.

Our weather has turned rather cold (for us) and the heaters are working hard at night. No rain for a while, but soon we hope. We didn’t make any day trips this last week as other chores got in the way. However, Lastech has been taking a few pics here and there.

Starling and clouds
Starling and clouds
Lights
Lights
Clouds
Clouds
Pier after the rain. I love the colors
Pier after the rain. I love the colors
Lights on the Embarcadero
Lights on the Embarcadero
Christmas poo?
Christmas poo?

See ya next week


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Rainy days, Sunday, and a missed Caturday

Yes, I missed Caturday. On a happy note, it’s rainy. The pointy eared people have been glued to the windows watching the drops fall. My favorite weather is rainy weather, so I’m thrilled. Hopefully tomorrow, we’ll take a run up Mt. Diablo.

Before I post the cloud pics, I better let the stars of the show have the spotlight.

Tito wondering why I'm pointing a clicky thing (camera) at him.
Tito wondering why I’m pointing a clicky thing (camera) at him.
Miss Jenny watching the rain
Miss Jenny watching the rain
Titanescu looking positively angelic in his sleep. No worries, it won't last long.
Titanescu looking positively angelic in his sleep. No worries, it won’t last long.
Pepi looking ever hopeful for noms.
Pepi looking ever hopeful for noms.

Before the rain arrived, we went out to see the birds. However, the clouds were far more interesting. It was very late afternoon and the sun had dropped behind the hills. That made the sky a pretty darker blue.

20161115_162248

20161115_162319

Clouds reflected in water
Clouds reflected in water

20161115_162714

20161115_163327

20161115_164836

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That was our week in a nutshell. Hopefully we’ll have more for next week.


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Caturday: With a seizure and rotten brain update

I won’t discuss the election as I cannot come close to being polite. On the other hand, I can provide an update to Lastech’s rotten brain and seizure episode. Last Monday we went off to Kaiser where he had an EEG and an MRI. Lastech said that during the EEG they worked really hard trying to trigger a seizure but were unsuccessful. From there, he went off to have his MRI. Both tests came out negative. The EEG showed normal activity and the MRI showed nothing but the original injury. His brain is still rotten, but apparently it wasn’t the culprit. The most likely cause was very low blood sugar. His diabetes med works by increasing his production of insulin. This can cause a drop in blood glucose levels. Getting too low can trigger a seizure. Lastech will now check his blood sugar far more often and will also increase his carb intake as he had cut it too much.

I think that was pretty good news. Now it’s time for the pointy eared people and the floppy eared one to shine.

Tito snoozing
Tito snoozing
Miss Jenny on her perch
Miss Jenny on her perch
Titanescu on the lower perch
Titanescu on the lower perch
Pepi and the sad chicken
Pepi and the sad chicken

Along with the awful election, the world has lost yet another treasure. Leonard Cohen, the Canadian poet, singer and song writer passed away at 82 yrs of age. He will be greatly missed.

Here is a piece of music from his final album.

And here is my favorite cover of his wonderful song, Hallelujah.


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