Spellbinding

The Sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever ~Jacques Cousteau~

Once in a while I like to take a stroll in the cold sea water. Earlier today, the water at Baker beach was a nice warm 59 degrees and the air temperature, a balmy 67. Karl The Fog was draping the Golden Gate Bridge in a lovely shade of gray. To put it bluntly, it was a very beautiful time by the shore.

Only a wee bit of the Golden Gate Bridge is visible

Only a wee bit of the Golden Gate Bridge is visible

I thought the weather was great and I wore a short sleeved t-shirt. However, it was cool enough that you could tell the tourists from the locals.

Beach b

I watched a seagull wading in the surf and then flapping away.

Beach c

Beach d

Then my phone went off. I usually turn it off when I’m out, but I forgot. Then I realized it was Lastech who was watching from the parking lot up above. I answered to hear him giving me a “fins in the water” alert. The bottlenose dolphins were out romping.

Beach g

Beach e

Beach f

It was amazing to watch them. I wish I had been faster with the camera, but I did better than the last time. :)

Now for some bonus pics. We were on our way home and we stopped at a red light. We were right next to the freeway. I saw movement to my right and saw a hawk land on the ground just on the other side of the chain link fence. It was less than ten feet away.

Hawk a

Hawk b

Hawk c

To be honest, I never know what I’m going to see when we go out. I’m always amazed. :)


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Angel Island: East Garrison and more

Back in April, I made a post about the Immigration Station on Angel Island. Now it’s time for pics of the rest of the island. I didn’t plan on taking this long to get around to it, but it’s finally done. Photos from our anniversary trip to the West Garrison (Camp Reynolds) can be found here.

After exploring the Immigration Station, we continued on around the island on the perimeter road. We didn’t explore the East Garrison quite as much as we wanted. We stayed up near the road due to time constraints. We’ll go back one day and spend more time exploring. Since there’s not that much to say I’ll let the pics speak for themselves.


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Caturday: Our critters are goofy

I’m a tad late today, but I didn’t forget. As you all know, cats are goofy critters. Ours our no different. Tito likes to stash his toys in the bathtub and will spend time in there playing with them. Titanescu has taken to following Lastech to the bathroom as well. When he sits on the edge of the tub, Titanescu hops on his lap and actually gets a bit lovey. It’s like he becomes momentarily possessed by the Glinda, the good witch. Miss Jenny is obsessed with grooming Lastech’s bald head. If she can get to it, she’s gonna groom it. When she’s not grooming his head, she’s stealing pens.

Tito in the tub

Tito in the tub

Titanescu getting some lovies

Titanescu getting some scritchies

Miss Jenny about to start grooming Lastech's head

Miss Jenny about to start grooming Lastech’s head

Here’s a bonus vid worth a chuckle. One of my FB friends shared it the other day and it gave me a giggle.


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Caturday: The pointy eared people and traveling with children

As I type this, two hundred  searchers are looking for little nine-year-old Ida Rothschild who vanished yesterday while camping with her parents in Samuel P. Taylor Park. This is a heavily wooded area up in Marin County where searching is difficult. My heart goes out to her family and I hope they find her soon.

Update! When I started working on this post, little Ida had not been found. The news just came through that some cyclists found her about 2 and a half miles from the command post. Hooray! I’m thrilled with the happy ending. :)

The following is in no way a criticism of Ida’s parents. It was just a sobering reminder of what can happen when you travel with children. My father was a founding member of a desert search and rescue team. Lastech works in security at a site that’s always jammed packed with tourists. My advice comes from the experiences of both.

One of the most important pieces of advice is this: If you get lost STOP! Trying to find your way once you are lost may only make it worse. This applies to grownups AND children. If you’re on an ATV (or any vehicle) and run out of gas, stay with it. If in the forest, the youngsters to hug a tree and stay there, no matter how scared they are.

Camera or cellphone: Keep a current photo of their shoes, including the soles. Take one showing them in their clothes. You can delete and replace that one as necessary each day. Under extreme stress, it may be difficult to remember those details and it will certainly help the searchers. This should apply to the adults as well.

Get a whistle. Only permit them to carry it when it you are going someplace where they might get lost or wander off. The whistle can be heard much more easily than a voice. You can make it a big and special deal that they be careful to NOT blow it unnecessarily.Whistle

Important: When it comes to blowing the whistle, have them make two are three long toots. Then they should sing a favorite ditty and then blow it again. That way, if the searchers can hear it, they can respond and be heard. If the blowing is constant, it’s harder to locate or respond. The pauses give searchers time to zero in on where the sound is coming from. Since children tend to be impatient, singing a little song between whistle-blowing can help keep them calm and patient.

Clothing: Be sure to have them wear bright colors that can be seen from a distance. It just makes it easier for them to be seen.

Their fears: This is very important. Make sure they know that if they get lost, you will NOT be angry. Some children have hidden (and died) out of the fear of being in trouble with their parents or searchers. The harder part is dealing with “stranger danger”. They have to know when it’s ok to approach a stranger for help.

Time is of the essence: If you should suddenly find your child missing, don’t waste a lot of time searching. Get immediate help as every minute counts. If you know where they were last seen, protect that area to preserve any footprints that can be used by searchers. It’s far better to mobilize searchers only to find them in another section of the campground or park.

The city or large crowds: If you go to a ballgame, or any other place where you find crowds, get a pic of them AND the shoes. When a child is lost in a crowd, it’s easiest to start watching feet.

Getting help: Tell them if they get lost, to find someone in uniform. There will be security or park rangers in most places. The whistle should only be used in the case of a stranger trying to take them away. If they have a pocket, put a slip of paper with the name(s) , physical ,and clothing description of the parent(s). It will help.

Again, Time is of the essence: In this case, do NOT waste time hunting for them. Report it to security or rangers immediately so that many more people are looking.

Last, but not least: If you and your family are going out on a day trip to hike or drive, make sure someone knows where you are going and a check-in time so that they know when to report you missing. If you break down, stay with the vehicle. If you are on a road, an airplane will see the vehicle before they see you. Always carry plenty of water and if you’re in a place where it gets cold, keep extra blankets in the car.

Have a wonderful summer, but above all… be safe.

Now it’s time for the pointy eared people.

Tito's gaze

Tito’s gaze

Miss Jenny's profile

Miss Jenny’s profile


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Remember to stop and smell the flowers

…or at least take pictures of them. Lastech and I have been snapping pics like crazy. This year is a bit off with the drought and all, so none are wildflowers.

Photo by Lastech

Flower by Lastech

Photo by Rudha-an

Flower by Rudha-an

flowers c

Flower by Lastech

flowers d

Flower by Lastech

flowers e

Not a flower by Rudha-an

flowers f

WTF? by Lastech

flowers g

Flowers by Lastech

flowers h

Flowers by Rudha-an

flowers i

Flowers by Rudha-an

flowers j

Flowers by Lastech

flowers k

Flower by Lastech

Oh, I should add that Lastech was finally awake early enough to see Titanescu at his most tyrannical when it comes to begging for his breakfast. There’s no photo evidence, but here’s a close example of what he’s like. Yeah, he’s really a grumpy ole fart. :)


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Caturday: Happy and sad

I’m sorry Caturday is up late. We switched from graveyard shift to day shift and back again so it got awkward. We spent yesterday afternoon attending a graduation party for the son of a friend. It was lovely.

Before we get to the pointy eared people, we want to take a moment to remember and honor constables Douglas James Larche, David Ross, and Fabrice Georges Gevaudan. These three members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police lost their lives much too soon. We’ll not dignify their killer by naming him. Why does it matter? Moncton, located in New Brunswick, Canada is only a wee bit bigger than my hometown and we have friends there. Those friends weren’t just there. They were in the lockdown area and much closer than we care to imagine. You can read about it here. We are happy that our friends are fine, but sad at the loss that their community must endure.

Douglas James Larche, David Ross, and Fabrice Georges Gevaudan will not be forgotten

Douglas James Larche, David Ross, and Fabrice Georges Gevaudan will not be forgotten

Now it’s time for the pointy eared people

Tito playing with one of his paper toys

Tito playing with one of his paper toys

Miss Jenny playing with a toy that was given to her by our friend Grace

Miss Jenny playing with a toy that was given to her by our friend Grace

...and now it's a boy toy

…and now it’s a boy toy

Titanescu resting on Lastech's lap

Titanescu resting on Lastech’s lap


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Caturday: Hey!

Another Caturday rolls around and I still have a bazillion things to get done for the blog. I’m working on it, but it’s slow and I’m slower. :)

Meanwhile, here are the pointy eared people.

One day, we picked up some new pillows. I placed one of the old ones on the computer chair while put pillow cases on the other. Tito adopted it immediately and now the old pillow remains on the computer chair and is his.

Tito on his throne

Tito on his throne

Miss Jenny's ear. She's sleeping in the blanket cave.

Miss Jenny’s ear. She’s sleeping in the blanket cave.

Titan is helping Lastech use the computer by napping on it.

Titan is helping Lastech use the computer by napping on it.

Oh yeah… HEY!


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Wedding Bells!

On May 14, a friend married the love of her life. The road to get there wasn’t easy. While they were together and would remain that way, it took marriage equality to give them all the same rights and benefits that Lastech and I enjoy.

We are simply thrilled that they got to have their dream wedding. Finding your true love isn’t always easy, celebrating that true love should be.

Wedding b

Catgirl of Nekonecko’s Movie Litterbox and her love, Carolyn are the beautiful brides. While we weren’t there in person, our hearts were there for them. May the two of you celebrate many, many anniversaries. Pssst, as you can see, the furkids traded in their bat wings for something more appropriate. :)


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Caturday: with musical pigeons

We survived yet another internet outage this week. Harrumph! I managed to get a lot of housework done that day though. I went through boxes and boxes of books. I’m keeping very few of them. The library will get the rest. It hurts to give them up, but if I haven’t read them in the last year, then the odds are that I won’t read them this year or next either. The books I go back to read again and again will stay. I managed to do all that without putting Miss Jenny into a state of panic. The Feliway really does work.

Speaking of Miss Jenny, she posed nicely for me this week and the boys went out of their way to be cute.

Sleepy Miss Jenny

Sleepy Miss Jenny

Napping Tito with a bit of a pink tongue showing

Napping Tito with a bit of a pink tongue showing

Titan snuggling with Tito and looking quite adorable

Titan snuggling with Tito and looking quite adorable

Now for a bonus video. At Pier 39 there is a musical staircase. Viewed from below, the stairs look like piano keys. According to the Pier’s website, it is an interactive art exhibit presented by Remo Saraceni, who also created the The Big Piano used in the Tom Hanks movie Big. The other morning before the crowds arrived, Lastech found the pigeons making music. You can hear the sea lions barking in the background. :)


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Caturday: We weathered another heatwave and internet outage

We had another heatwave this week and Southern California is again on fire. Elsewhere, I have friends who are still getting frost and snow. Here, Karl the Fog returned to the Bay chasing away the heat, thank goodness. Now we just need to get our friends warmed up and the fires put out. To top it off, we had no internet access from last night until late this morning.

We had also planned a special post for a couple of special friends of the blog who got married this last week. The heat and parental health emergencies have caused a delay. In the meantime, we want to give a shout of congratulations out to Mrs. and Mrs. Catgirl! You go girls!

Handsome Tito

Handsome Tito

Miss Jenny sneaking over to dad for scritchin's

Miss Jenny sneaking over to dad for scritchin’s

Titanescu looking especially regal

Titanescu looking especially regal

This video is a pretty darned good example of what it’s like for us every morning when Titan is begging for breakfast. :)


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