Caturday: Playing in the snow

Ok, we didn’t quite play in it, we did manage to hike in it. While there has been plenty of snow in the Sierra Mtns., the snow level rarely drops enough for it to cover the top of Mt. Diablo. Last weekend, it was cold enough. I was afraid it would be rained away Sunday night, but nope. It was still there on Monday, so off we went. We had a snow day. I know many of you live in snow country and are probably rolling your eyes. 🙂 This was the first time I touched snow since January of 2002.

I’ll post more but right now it’s time for the stars of the show. In light of the fact that this last week highlighted International Women’s Day and A Day Without a Woman, Miss Jenny gets to lead off the show.

OMG! WHAT IN HECK ARE YOU DOING!
Tito: Me? I’m just watching the neighbors
Titanescu: I do nothing. I see nothing
Pepi: What? I didn’t do anything! I swear!

Back to the snow day. We lit out before noon. It was a beautiful day. We were careful to dress for the cold though as we knew it would be cold and wet at the top.

At the foot of the mountain, the hills are bright green
The birds were out having snackies

The road to the top was closed to cars at the Diablo Valley view point, so we parked and hiked from there. We decided to take the hiking trail up instead of the road. Lots of people were there along with their kids. We decided that some people are just stupid. I mean really stupid. The temps were nice at the base of the mountain. However, it was cold and wet at the top. Idiots were wearing shorts and sandals. Oh well.

As we climbed, we could see sparse bits of snow
The higher we got, the more snow there was. We were also in the clouds, so visibility was low
We finally made it to the top. It was a bit under two miles and a climb of about 950 feet.
This is a view from the top

Out of view on the left side of that last photo, there was a microwave tower. It was mostly hidden in the clouds, but there was no doubt about where it was. Chunks of ice could be heard falling though the structure with very loud crashing noises. After taking the trail up, we decided to hike back down via the road. The upper part of the trail was very steep and icy and while we managed it without a fall, we didn’t feel that going down that way would be as lucky. All in all, it was a 4 mile round trip and I’m so glad we got to do it. I’ve included the rest of the pics in a slide show.


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Caturday: More rain, with kitties and a dog

Yes, more rain. It’s not a deluge this time, I don’t think. The storm isn’t really here yet though, so the cloud watching has been fabulous. We honestly don’t need more rain, but as long as we’re not talking floods, I don’t mind.

Ear report. I’m on day 22 of antibiotics. 5 more days to go. The doc gave a stronger one on Monday and so I think I’m making some good progress now.

A week ago, we made a trek to the lake down at Heather Farms. I posted the pics on Caturday last week. After we were there, it happened that three of the geese got into a bit of a pissy match with some poor guy. He fell and injured his knee escaping them. Maybe one of the culprits was my “lonely goose” from last week. You can see and read the story here. While geese can be very dangerous, they don’t normally go on the attack unless you startle them. Right now, they’re rather territorial as they’re getting ready to lay eggs soon. We heard several goosey spats when were were at the lake. Obviously, keep children well supervised. Oh, the vid is great. I totally lost it with giggles at the end, though I feel bad about the guy’s injury and I hope it heals quickly. 🙂

Anyhow, here are the stars of the show.

Tito looking intense
Miss Jenny as a drawing (photo effect)
Titanescu in the pike position for maximum sunbeam soaking
Pepi taking herself for run

Since I’m still fighting an ear infection and Lastech is still fighting the flu, we haven’t gotten out much. Still, the arboretum showing signs of spring and bird watching from the trailer is still fine.

Seeds. Photo by Lastech
Yellow sneezy tree. I love them, but I honk and sneeze. Photo by Lastech
Arboretum kitty. Lastech detoured around with Pepi while I got a pic. Kitty wanted scritchies, so I provided some.
This is how the pic came out of the camera. The only thing I did was resize it. The sky is crazy blue
Oxalis. photo by Rudha-an
Tufted titmouse in the mulberry
A couple of Towhees came to visit.

That’s it for this week. I’m hoping we’ll get out next week, but Lastech needs to be feeling better.


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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: Fear and loathing

Fear and loathing of garbage bags, check. Fear and loathing of hollow tree trunks, check.

Pepi’s fear and loathing…hackles
Fear and loathing…of tree trunks. Go figure

Pepi’s neuroses are her own, just as Titanescu’s taste for water from a dish placed in the tub is his own. He will not drink from the communal bowl, he will have his own dish, and he needs it available whether a human is in the bathroom or not. Maybe especially if a human’s in there.

Titanescu’s empty dish stinkeye

After this latest round of rains, the temperature has dropped to near freezing. Tonight, we sleep in cats. The furrbutts will be clawing to get under covers and fight epic battles for territory in there. In her crate, Pepi will burrow under her blankets with her squeaky chicken toy. At some point, Tito is bound to go apeshit and run all over the furniture, although hopefully not because a turd is chasing him. He and Jenny might fight over real estate at the foot of the bed, but Jenny’ll find a spot to curl up. It’s gonna be so cold, I’d almost wish she’d fart to warm things up.
Meanwhile, Titan will sleep undisturbed. Or else.

Tito on his corner of the bed.
Miss Jenny napping in a warm spot on the bed
Miss Pepi says the answer is 42

Rudha-an here: Lastech and I (but mostly Lastech) managed to get some pretty pics of the colors at the arboretum.

Photo by Lastech
Woodpecker by Lastech
Photo by Lastech
don’t believe in trouble
I don’t believe in pain
I don’t believe there’s nothing left
but running here again
I believe! I believe!
Photo by Lastech
Photo by Rudha-an
Photo by Rudha-an
Photo by Rudha-an

When you can’t wake em, join em


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