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30 Apr

More hamsters

hamsters-31

Above:
If you tear up tissue into smallish pieces and put them into your hamster cage, they’ll chew them up and line their nests with them. One of mine gets pretty fancy about it, too. This always makes me feel guilty when I clean the cage, because it destroys her fancy nest-work and has to start all over. I guess it gives them something to do tho.

Below:
The lighter grey hamster has learned that a hand inside the cage equals probable tasty treats, and thus she stands up on her hind legs, waving her front paws in the air to grab my finger in anticipation. Sometimes she even stands up like that if she sees I’m walking around in the room. She kind of looks like a mini-dancing bear. I could probably train her to walk on her hind legs as a ‘trick’, but I’m too lazy. It’s really cute tho.

hamsters-32a

27 Apr

Tiny room, big furniture

The thing I miss most about our old rented house was having two large living areas. I’ve probably mentioned this before. Trying to arrange/fit furniture in our current small living room is like squeezing that ship into the bottle.

Hubby’s sister will soon be moving to Oregon, and during some of the early prep work, she asked us if we wanted an extra recliner-sofa. We wanted it, but would it fit? Hubby & I thought about it, measured, debated…and decided we could make it work. We moved the TV/buffet stand in front of the fireplace, and the new arrangement has been working out quite well. Especially for watching baseball.

living room

Now if it would just stop raining…seriously, it’s almost May, this is wonky on-again off-again weather for Calif…we’re more than ready to spend lazy, hot evenings lounging on our sofa.

27 Apr

The new pets: dwarf hamsters

dwarf hamsters

During the early Winter I finally decided to acquire some dwarf hamsters as pets. They’re very small and as adorable as can be. These two have very different personalities and so…you guessed it…I have a favorite. The one on the right. She’s light grey, more active/amusing and more affectionate. For a hamster, that is.

dwarf hamster

Much as I love cats, I’m still unsure if I want another cat once Baby dies - the care and time-commitment isn’t as appealing to me now as it was when I was twenty - and since dwarf hamsters are VERY simple to care for and have a short lifespan, I thought they’d be an option. I’d really like a squirrel, but, well, that’s not an option here. Dwarf hamsters are awesome tho, so I’m happy.

And no, Baby-kitty isn’t jealous. ;)

25 Apr

Idle thoughts #0342

Rain, sun, rain, sun. The weather can’t make up its mind this April. I suppose when an area has become used to long drought periods, one tends to forget that rain in April, in California, is not actually abnormal. I do love rain, but I also love seasonal change. Today was very nice, however. Maybe we’ve seen our last major rain? One can hope.

Baby-kitty keeps hanging on. I’m becoming half-convinced that he’s going to outlive my two dwarf hamsters. He limps more and walks slower all the time, but he really doesn’t want to leave us. :)

I saw the cutest golden retriever in the backseat of a small SUV the other night. He was staring out the window with this sad, soulful, doggy expression that was adorable enough to make me consider dog-napping. Not a dog person at all, but certain breeds are very cute. If I were to ever get a dog, golden retriever would probably be it.

My mood has been decent overall, but motivation is still lackluster. Also been feeling more tired than usual. Probably allergies.
Decided to try a fixed-width format for the main content area of the blog. Don’t like it that much, but again, with today’s widescreen monitors it feels like the best solution…for the moment.

Baseball season has been going on for almost a month now. The Red Sox haven’t been doing too well overall, yet. All the changes, all the flux. I am happy for every win, however, and I’m happy for every exciting moment they have.
The Ortiz situation makes me sad tho. Times they are a changin’…

The SF Giants are doing pretty good too. And the A’s. But that’s probably the fluke of early season and small sample sizes. We shall see.

Was going to write something more comprehensive tonight as my first post after a long absence…post a few pictures too…but it’s become late, I’m tired and my brain is all mushy-squishy, so…maybe tomorrow.

13 Oct

Large monitors and websites

I just wanted to touch upon the fact that ever since I bought this 1920×1080 widescreen 23″ LCD monitor, my RAW photos look very nice on the monitor. That’s what high-resolution does for you. (Although I’m still not a big fan of LCD monitors in general…just saying…) The downside is I now have a harder time telling if a crunched down photo, for website sharing, is going to look ok on a monitor with much lesser resolution. I can, of course, still set the monitor to lower resolution settings. But with LCD’s, any resolution that isn’t the “native resolution” means everything starts to look like fuzzy crud, so it’s useless for determining whether a photo looks ok in a lower resolution or not. Does this matter? No, not usually. But it preys on my mind at times, simply because that’s the way my obsessive mind works.

Another, unrelated problem is that my website, when fully expanded, now looks a bit silly. Since I have the pages set up to “expand/contract” elastically depending on what size your browser window currently is, at full 1920 screen -and assuming your browser/pc recognizes my ‘elastic’ way of doing things - the center text/post area is now humongous. Either you have lots of empty white space, or you have to move your head a lot to read the long horizontal lines of text. It is a bit overwhelming.

And yet, I am too lazy to go into things and create a fixed page format size. Even if I assume everyone has at least 1280 horizontal resolution these days, fixed page-styles have their own set of issues that I dislike. Still…the main problem is I’m simply too lazy and can’t be bothered to geek on my hardly-used blog software these days. Sorry. If you have large, widescreen monitor and don’t like the wide main-content area, you can always do what I do…scrunch your browser window to about half desktop size. After all, what’s the point of having such a large desktop size if you aren’t going to multitask with some windows on one side of the screen and other windows on the other side? Hmm?

21 Aug

Of cats and gardens

I love cats and always have. So don’t take this the wrong way:

If you live in a city/suburb and have multiple outdoor cats (more than 2 per household) and don’t care that they turn your neighbors yards into stinky, messy litterboxes, I don’t like you.

To be fair, here’s another gripe:

To whomever used 200pounds of small tanbark as decorative yard mulching for this house that we bought, I don’t like you, either.

The front yard has too many dirt areas near the front door and the windows, and the last month I’ve noticed the smell whenever I have the doors/windows open. It stinks and it permeates the house worse than my own cat’s indoor litterbox. I am not happy.

The entire area under front bedroom window was a litterbox, with the tanbark scrunched up in visible little piles of kitty-burying-activity. So I’ve spent some considerable time the past couple weeks trying to turn the front yard into an area that cats will not, generally speaking, want to pee and poop in.

Rocks as a groundcover in one spot. Shoveling most of the befouled tanbark into garbage bags and then more rocks and cheap cement pavers. That will do for a start. But after that, there’s the backyard, with more dirt strips under the back bedroom windows and all around the backyard fencing that need to be dealt with. Perhaps some chicken wire on the ground for those areas, because the backyard would equal at least a few tons of river rocks, and that’s a bit much to deal with. A long and tiring project. I know about the motion-sensor water deterrent thingies, but they might also keep the squirrels away - as well as humans - and while I’m currently really PO’d at neighbor cats, I still love squirrels. Same thing with the ‘get a dog’ ideas. :P

The occasional cat turd/spray is no problem…that’s life in the suburbs. But apparently our yard has become the claimed super-bathroom territory of the (one) neighbor’s 4 or 5 cats, and I’ve had enough. I shouldn’t have to clean up after YOUR pets simply because YOU don’t want to clean litter boxes in your own home and dump your cats outside. And you better believe if I see a cat in the yard, I’m chasing it away with a hose. And maybe a tossed shoe.

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