Caturday: Maniacal beeping and a melted outlet

Hello world. Last week was interesting. I was puttering when I heard a loud beeping. I looked around and saw nothing. Awhile later, I heard it again. Aha! The microwave. I reset it and went about my business. It was beeping again. It even beeped at 4 am. I finally flipped the breaker that controlled it and the beeping stopped. Then the modem kept turning off, followed by the power shutting off at 5:30 am. As soon as the sun was up, I went outside to check on things. I was quite startled to find that our 30 amp plug and the outlet it was attached to had burned and melted. Evidently melting shore power outlets is not that uncommon. The manager managed to get the electricians in to fix things up.

Melted 30 amp plug
Melted 30 amp plug
Melted 30 amp shore power outlet. It was stinky

Needless to say, the timing for these things is never good. Oh well, the Endurance is powered up again. Now it’s time for the pointy-eared people and the floppy-eared one to shine.

Tito lounging in a sunbeam.
Miss Jenny grooming her jellybeans
Titanescu using Miss Jenny as a pillow
Miss Pepi enjoying the outdoors with us

Lastech managed to get a couple of fun pics from the pier and a sunrise

Sea Lions hauled out on the pier
Sea lion getting ready to join the others
Sunrise Noir

We plan on being back next week, provided WW III hasn’t started. Happy Easter to all who celebrate it.

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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: 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: dingle balls, shake it all the way…

Dingle balls, also known as dingle berries, thankfully are not our daily bread, else we’d all go fruitcake. But two instances this past week’s a bit much. First, during our walk through the autumnal glory of the Markham arboretum, Pepi indulged in her ritual pee and poo, in that order. Given that she hoovers anything she can*, I’m surprised she doesn’t ingest the occasional long hair more often.

Anyway, after she was done burying an elf, she began darting and squatting, darting and squatting. On closer inspection, I noticed a broken off turd swinging off her chocolate starfish like Tarzan at the end of his vine (“I COMING, JANE!”). Did we ever mention I’m borderline OCD when it comes to such matters? I went to my happy place, a German pop tune from ’82 playing in a loop somewhere.

Naturally, Rudha-an remained functional, retrieving a paper napkin from the car and proceeded to remove that attacking nugget from Pepi’s butt. That’s what we get for having opposable thumbs, I guess. “Oh. I ate another of your hairs. Take care of it, won’t you, Jeeves?”

Pepita’s s–t eating grin

By the way, not pointing fingers, but I’m bald as a cue-ball.

Later this same week, at oh-dark-whatever, a ruckus. It sounded like furniture crashing. Pepi was in her crate, Jenny and Titan were both on the bed… Even in the fog of sleep I suspected something horrendous, involving crap. Not puke, they do that on the low-low. But Tito has priors when it comes to ingesting and “passing” human hair (“that ain’t no mine..!”). Jenny’s half his age, so perhaps she’ll catch up in time, but there she was brutally awakened on the bed like the rest of us.

Miss Jenny’s what just happened? look

The fracas lasted maybe five seconds, then silence. We didn’t speak, it wasn’t necessary to spell out what we already sensed. As Tito dropped butt burritos in the litter box (which Pepi would treat as a buffet if we let her), the worst “knock-knock” joke played out against his arse. “Bad touch! Bad touch!” And Tito went-a-racing with the stranger-danger tethered to his poop chute until escape velocity threw the turd back near the litter box.

This is how Titanescu laughs. Really

Or so we think. That is where Rudha-an’s forensic exploration located the morsel, but there’s no telling where that thing had been. Tito raced from the box to the dinette, down to the floor, through the kitchen, into the bedroom where he bounced against the wall before running across the bed and back to the rear of the Endurance where the litter box is.

Tito: it’s behind me, isn’t it?

Da-da-da..!
Ich liebe dich nicht, do liebst mich nicht
Da-Da-Da..!
Ye gods.

  • Heard this morning,during Pepi’s early pee walk: “Pepi stop licking the car!?!”

And here’s a kitten being the dingle ball.


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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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Caturday: Halloween and rotten brains

Yes, rotten brains… As in Abby Normal. This past week had a definite Halloween theme, with my waking up from dreams of epileptic sheep in the back of an ambulance early Monday morning, my brain not firing on all cylinders. All day at work on Sunday, I’d complained of a headache. Got home, wolfed down a cheeseburger, still felt weird, popped a couple glucose tablets and the lights went out before I finished the second one. We got home at 4:20 a.m., I emailed work to let them know I would need a few days off.

Rudha-an here: The fur people will have their moment before Lastech continues with his story. I’m going to add though, that it scared the living crap out of me. Lucky for me, my friend came and hauled me to the hospital and “held my hand” as it were. And now for the furry stars of the show…

Tito watching the neighbors
Tito watching the neighbors
Miss Jenny in the window
Miss Jenny in the window
Titanescu watching the birdies
Titanescu watching the birdies
Pepi with her chicken toy
Pepi with her chicken toy
I did some rearranging and shortened the cat tower. Then I put it in the window on the dinette seat. They seem to like that much better. They have bird watching marathons now.
I did some rearranging and shortened the cat tower. Then I put it in the window on the dinette seat. They seem to like that much better. They have bird watching marathons now.

Now back to Lastech’s Halloween story

It’s at times like these you find reasons to feel fortunate, strange as it may seem. For instance, I learned the reason why someone working in my department has been out for the past two weeks: seizures revealed a tumor, which returned after surgery. Stage 3 brain cancer. Then one of the kids we newly hired had to take emergency bereavement leave after his father committed suicide.

So I’m thankful my passing out pales by comparison, even with a 6 months driving license suspension due to the risk of recurrence.
Also, thanks to modern technology, I now have this nice photo of my rotten brain showing dead tissue from 40 years ago. They had to take a drill and relieve the pressure after a nasty motorcycle crash, and it must have been a little like this: NSFW

As for that rotten brain? Here ya go

Yep, it's my brain
Yep, it’s my brain

Rudha-an here: Lastech goes back for more tests on Monday. We’ll keep you posted.


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Fur people, rain, and a loud crash

Yes, I missed Caturday. I got busy taking care of a small repair job and prepping for when it’s colder. I was settling in earlier today to make up for it, when things went wonky and there was a loud crash.

First things first though. The pointy eared people and floppy eared one get to star first. Summer is officially gone and the air conditioner is off. There may be another warm day or two, but the worst is past and the kitties are loving it.

Titanescu having some noms
Titanescu having some noms
Miss Jenny watching the birdies
Miss Jenny watching the birdies
Watchful Tito
Watchful Tito
Miss Pepi was lounging in the sun and hoping we would drop bit of meat (we were grilling).
Miss Pepi was lounging in the sun and hoping we would drop bit of meat (we were grilling).

Now for the crash

My neighbor in the first space in from the Boulevard was moving back in. They had just started to back in into the space when I heard a very loud crashing noise. My first thought was that they clipped the trailer next door, but I couldn’t tell as I had shrubbery in the way. I wandered outside to see. The trailers were fine, thank goodness. However, one of our other neighbors was pulling into the park drive and another car on the boulevard slammed into the back of his truck. The woman in the SUV went to the hospital. My neighbor was ok, but shaken up. As for the cause of the accident? It was unsafe speed, inattention, or both. The street was damp from a prior heavy drizzle making it slippery as we haven’t had rain for a while. It’s a good lesson to alway be alert and watchful. I hope the woman is ok. The ambulance didn’t take off with a siren, so I’m assuming there’s nothing life threatening.

Concord PD providing a traffic break
Concord PD providing a traffic break
The neighbor moving back in is on the right. The truck belongs to another neighbor trying to get home.
The neighbor moving back in is on the right. The truck belongs to another neighbor trying to get home.
It wasn't a mild crash. That's a fair amount of damage
It wasn’t a mild crash. That’s a fair amount of damage
I hope the driver is ok. That was quite a hit.
I hope the driver is ok. That was quite a hit.

To end this on a happy note, here are some desert burros seeing grass for the first time.


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Caturday: It’s fire season

It’s certainly fire season and it’s probably going to be a really bad one. The drought and bark beetles have killed millions of trees and the rains promoted a lot of grass growth. The grasses are now dry and highly flammable. There have been multiple fires in CA and the rest of the Southwest, but the fire at Lake Isabella has already taken lives and burned an area bigger than the city of San Francisco. Some of the photos at that link are as beautiful as they are horrifying. As I type, I’m listening to Con Fire battling a grass fire over by Hwy 4. While the pointy eared people and the floppy eared one are in no danger, the fires are worrisome.

Speaking of the furry ones…

Tito
Tito
WTF wazzat?
Titanescu says WTF wazzat?
Miss Jenny, the beautiful
Miss Jenny, the beautiful
Pepita, the orange barky one
Pepita, the orange barky one

Theo Jansen and his travelling exhibition is at the Exploratorium in San Francisco. I hope we can go see it before it goes away.


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A somber week for First Responders and disaster victims

Since Lastech works odd hours and sleeps during the day, I sometimes plug earbuds into the laptop and listen to either the police scanner or EMS scanner online. I was listening to the EMS scanner when the call came in about the crash of Asiana flight 214 at SFO. For the next several hours I listened to emergency teams coordinate their response. I also heard the sirens of ambulances making trip after trip to the hospital with victims. You see, the airport is ten minutes South of us via Interstate 101, which itself runs right behind my building.

There were 307 souls on board that plane. 291 Passengers and 17 crew members. Two 16 year old Chinese students (girls) lost their lives. 182 were injured, 49 of them seriously. The only reason more were not lost is due to the airline crew and the other first responders.

That wasn’t all that happened this week.

Our neighbors to the north have suffered a huge loss. Lac-mégantic in Québec still doesn’t know what the death toll is and won’t for some time. Train cars carrying crude oil broke away from the engine and rolled back into town and derailed. Five of the cars exploded. The destruction is massive and the death toll (now at 5) is expected to climb. Many buildings have burned and the number of missing is fluctuating.

That still isn’t all.

One week ago today, 19 firefighters from Prescott Arizona lost their lives fighting a fire. They were members of a Hot Shot team and made up almost 20% of the Prescott Fire Department. It’s a huge loss for everyone.

This has truly been an awful week for first responders AND for victims. Our heart goes out to all of them. It has also been a week for our first responders to shine. We are proud of all them, here and everywhere.

For everyone
For everyone


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Caturday: drill, baby, drill…

Another late Caturday edition, this time dedicated to a topic we’ve touched on before, emergency preparedness…

SFFD Mobile Command 1
SFFD Mobile Command 1

Late, because we just returned from the annual San Francisco city-wide N.E.R.T. drill which took place this morning. A couple years ago, Rudha-an and I decided to try and create a family tradition by both getting certified as disaster workers and first responders. We did so by registering with the San Francisco Fire Department’s N.E.R.T. program, which they created in the ’90s following the Loma Prieta earthquake of 1989.

Scarred helmet
Scarred helmet

The program’s acronym stands for Neighborhood Emergency Response Team, and is comprised of citizen volunteers who will act as auxiliaries to the Fire Department in case of a major emergency.

That’s about it for that tidbit of history. More recent events which took place in Boston (MA), West (TX) , and Leshan (China) prompted us to pay tribute to victims, both civilians and first responders.

A tribute and reminder
A tribute and reminder

The San Francisco N.E.R.T. program includes training for animal rescue following disaster, appropriately called D.A.R.T. (Disaster Animal Rescue Team), which we both will likely undertake soon. Now, several of our blog’s friends have lived through or continue to deal with traumatic life experiences, and we would also like to dedicate this entry to them as well.

Long is the way, and hard...
Long is the way, and hard…

The media talks about how to help children deal with the scary news of the past few days, and we think frankly that having them take disaster preparedness classes can be of great help. A young girl at today’s drill graduated from N.E.R.T. training when she was 7 years old and she is now in her teens.

For adults, busy though we all may be, it’s also a good thing to consider doing, especially jointly with a partner or spouse. The trainers, professional first responders, are survivors and generally speaking, great folks. Their spirit, humor and skills rub off and the whole experience is both fun and enriching.

Tools of the trade
Tools of the trade

Whatever tools help us claw our way through life are worth considering. So that others may sleep soundly. 18 hours a day…

Kitties
From left to right: Tito, Titan, and Miss Jenny
Two dogs and a tortoise
From left to right: Midge (a very teeny dog), Dozer the tortoise, and Ginger the Golden Lab.

These are the two furballs and the tortoise from my inlaw’s home.


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