Caturday: Clouds, wind and fur people

Yes everyone, we’re back. I was going to post last weekend until I remembered that we had to do our semi-annual move-out-move-back-in thing. At least the weather was nice. Lastech took last week off so that he could help and have a bit of extra time off to boot. After we were back in place, we took a day trip up Diablo to go cloud watching.

First it’s time for the fur kids to shine.

Mister Tito
The delightful Miss Jenny
Comrade Titanescu
Miss Pepi the dumpster dog (where she was found)

I never get tired of watching clouds. The rainy season is pretty much over, so I enjoy any clouds that appear. This week, the heat has arrived and the hills will start turning back to their summer tan. It’s also dry and windy and that will accelerate the process.

Pretty fluffy clouds

As you can see, the hills are still green. It won’t last long now.

Green hills and clouds

The turkeys were out too. It’s fun to be driving along with the window open and suddenly hear a chorus of gobbling bursting out of the tall grasses. Turkey gobbles always make me smile.

Turkey on alert for danger

Here’s the slideshow for the rest of the photos.

We made another trip last week to the Tilden Botanic Garden. This is just one of many pics. I’ll save those for next week. 🙂

Tilden Botanic Garden
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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: Spring is here, no foolin’

It appears that I have survived to see the onset of Spring. I’m still mostly deaf these days, but this latest round of antibiotics seem to be doing the trick. I’ll believe it when I can go for week or two after the round without getting another ear infection. My fingers are crossed, at any rate.

The pointy eared people and the floppy eared one are enjoying the Spring weather. The kitties are finding the birdie watching to be excellent, while Pepi enjoys spending time outside on the porch with us.

Tito
Miss Jenny looking lovely as usual
Titanescu watching the birds
Pepi: Yes, I eated my bed.

Spring has definitely arrived. Heavy rains have given way to pretty sunsets, pretty birds, wildflowers, and even a turkey.

Sunset from the pier

Female lesser Goldfinch
Male lesser Goldfinch
California poppies and lupines on Mt. Diablo
Just a turkey walking down the road

My ears were good enough to make going to the top of Diablo a safe trip. From the top, we were able to see across the Central Valley to the snow topped Sierra. Here’s a slideshow with the rest of the pictures. It was a beautiful day.


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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: 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: 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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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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