Friday Night Cat Blogging: my lovelies

It’s Friday and time for the boys to shine.

We wound up getting a dog bed with high sides on it for the computer desk.  Both cats like to sleep there, but they kept rolling off the desk.  This way, they can sleep safely and I don’t have a heart attack when they crash.

Tito is making the most of the new bed. I get sleepy just looking at him.
Tito is making the most of the new bed. I get sleepy just looking at him.
Kitsy is showing off his pretty eyes and lovely wrinkles
Kitsy is showing off his pretty eyes and lovely wrinkles

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It’s a bird, it’s a turkey: it’s Lastech on a plane!

I don’t like flying, it makes me nervous and cranky… I hadn’t flown since, oh, 2002. You’d think perhaps I would bring a book onboard and try to distract myself, but no…

I prefer to let my mind wander about the aircraft. How long has it been since they banned smoking on planes? Sometime in the ‘80s, wasn’t it? So why do they still have the “no smoking” icon overhead? And no flat screen TVs, old cathode tube units instead. Hmmmm. Just how old are those planes, anyway, I wondered, glancing nervously at the wing flexing at 39000 feet.

In this 1960’s décor of cream and gray plastic, I tried to imagine myself as Dave Bowman on the shuttle to the moon, but no dice.

Kinda like that, but cramped...

Funny how some pilots are smoother than others, and how you can tell by the way they land and take off.

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Conservatory of Flowers in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park: The Aquatic Gallery

Previously, I posted Conservatory of Flowers in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park: Highland Tropics. You can find all the previous Conservatory posts here. This time we have made our way to the last section, the Aquatic Plant Gallery.

Anyone who comes to San Francisco should try to find the time to visit the Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park. Opened to the public 1879, it is the oldest building in the park. It houses around 1700 plant species. The orchid collection is said to be one of the best.

Pitcher Plant
Pitcher Plant


The Conservatory of Flowers is located at 100 John F. Kennedy Drive. It is accessible for motorized and non motorized wheelchairs. Strollers are not permitted inside, but there is a place to park them while you explore. As it is a greenhouse, it will be quite warm and humid inside. As it can be rather cold outside, be sure to wear removable layers. It is open Tuesday thru Sunday from 10am to 4:30pm. The cost is $7 for adults, $5 for ages 12-17, seniors 65 & over, and college students with school ID. $2 for children 5 – 11 and free for children 4 and under. Local residents receive a discount with proof of residency.

Note: On Sundays, John F. Kennedy Drive is closed to vehicular traffic. For those who don’t mind walking, you can just park on Martin Luther King Drive and walk to the Conservatory.

Today we’re visiting the Aquatic Plant Gallery. This section features lily ponds, carnivorous pitcher plants, and a whole host of bromeliads. I must admit that this was my favorite section, by far. I don’t know the names of a lot of the plants and flowers I’m posting, so if you know, feel free to comment and I’ll update accordingly.

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A Video for Cat Lovers, but especially for Flumptytail

Yes, this vid is for Sphynx lovers too.

Our friend Flumptytail is a cat lover.  She has single handedly taken the “trap, neuter, spay” thing to heart.  She has 28 kitties who are ferals and strays.  She has spayed and neutered every one of them and feeds them all.  Her story makes us feel all warm inside as she is doing something rather than just talking about it.

This video is documentary about Jake Perry, a Texan who gave Crème Puff some of her best years.  Creme Puff is in the Guiness Book of World Records for being the oldest kitty.  This man has rescued scores of kitties and even shows them, when he can.  He has had two of the longest lived cats ever. His love of kitties is so very apparent.

Yes Flumptytail, this vid is dedicated to you and all your kitties.

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Felis Catus’ visual acumen: the Wayfarer-Oakley effect

Research continues into the extremes of violence demonstrated by Mazuzu Whang whilst at play.

I have posted before in “Dance Hall Days” about his tendency to not only chase a laser dot on the floor, but to absolutely obliterate it. I’ve also observed his disregard for human comfort or safety when chasing or being chased by Tito, bouncing off us at high speed while we sleep…

I now think we may have an explanation for this Clockwork Orange level of violence.

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“Mother”: Korean neorealism?

Mother” – (2009, South Korea, 128 minutes – rated R)

The film opens with “Mother” (Hye-Ja Kim) walking through a field, stopping and then dancing to a theme by Byeong-woo Lee, a remarkable composition of musical motives evoking works by such diverse artists as Nino Rota, Roque Banos, Nick Cave or Frank Tetaz.

Byeong-woo Lee playing the piece live:

It starts with a cinematic work of art, further enhanced once it is revealed what Mother just did.

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Happy Birthday Julie Harris!

Julie Anne Harris was born on Dec. 2, 1925. She has always been one of my favorite actresses. In fact, she starred in my favorite movie, The Haunting, in 1963. Lastech wrote about it in Midnight Madness. She appeared in numerous movies and tv shows, including East of Eden. In addition to tv and movies, she has perfomed on stage.

According to IMDb,

Julie Harris is the most honored performer in Tony history with ten nominations and five victories. She won the award as Best Actress (Dramatic) for “I Am A Camera” (1952), “The Lark” (1956), “Forty Carats” (1969), and “The Last of Mrs. Lincoln” (1973); and as Best Actress (Play) for “The Belle of Amherst” (1977). Her five additional nominations were: for Best Actress (dramatic), “Marathon ’33” (1964) and “The Au Pair Man” (1974); for Best Actress (musical), “Skyscraper” (1966); and for Best Actress (play), “Lucifer’s Child” (1991), and “The Gin Game” (1997).

Julie Harris in the East of Eden Trailer

JBoD would like to take the time to wish Ms. Harris a wonderful and happy birthday.

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Nostalgia and wonderment: revisiting “forbidden planet”

Science fiction has always appealed to my imagination, for as far back as I can remember, and my favorite sub-genre remains the space opera.

Both in film and book forms, it allowed me to escape and hope the future would be better and more exciting than the present.

“Forbidden planet” is still the single most vibrant example of pure sci-fi for me, as Leslie Nielsen’s passing reminded me this week. This post isn’t intended as a review of the movie, rather it’s a look back on how it influenced me personally.

When someone like Leslie Nielsen passes on, it is difficult not to feel a pang of loss, so familiar was he to so many of us. Not just from films but from countless TV appearances over the years. It wasn’t uncommon to see him in an episode of some show before he’d appear again later the same evening on another.

He was one of those faces we grew up with, and he was never tabloid material. As young as I was when I first saw “forbidden planet” I knew Walter Pidgeon (another Canadian, like Nielsen) from various films and Earl Holliman from TV appearances, but I didn’t recognize Nielsen until years later, when I had an “aha!” moment.

I also believe my taste for electronic music (Orbital and such) stems from the fascinating soundtrack of the film, as does my love of open spaces which ultimately drove me westward.

Everything about the film, from the foreboding skies, ambient sounds and design of the underground city raised the bar for future movies, and for me there aren’t many space operas worth the time. I’ve never been a fan of the “Star Wars” series, so it’s slim pickings out there. I imagine younger viewers might find it hokey by now, but on the other hand, there are some undeniable qualities to this old pre-CGI favorite, after all theater also remains a popular art form. It still takes me back.

Leslie Nielsen in a scene from the trailer for Forbidden Planet

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