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Feline vs. Canine January 6, 2008

Posted by truthspew in cats, dogs.
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Tonight when David and Jon came over they brought Chiqui with them. Angie the cat was being a little curious tonight.

They got close to each other a number of times but Angie would always hiss and then bat Chiqui away. So finally Keyron and I are sitting on the smaller sofa and I call Angie into my lap. Chiqui is sitting to Keyron’s right. Angie stops for the obligatory nuzzle, then walks right up to Chiqui, doesn’t hiss or anything, just swats Chiqui.

Cats are no joke.


Tonights observations July 21, 2007

Posted by truthspew in astronomy, cats, Uncategorized.
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So tonight I did a little more stargazing. This time I swung a bit west but the clouds didn’t cooperate. All of these are in the constellations of Virgo and Boötes.

  • Mu Virginis
  • Spica
  • Zeta Virginis (Heze)
  • 109 Virginis
  • Eta Virginis
  • Zeta Boötis
  • Arcturus
  • Eta Boötis (Muphrid)
  • Epsilon Virginis (Vindemiatrix)
  • Delta Virginis (Auva)
  • Gamma Virginis (Porrima)
  • More star observations July 15, 2007

    Posted by truthspew in astronomy, cats.
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    So last night the weather cooperated to some degree and I trained the binoculars southward again. I saw the usuals, Jupiter, Antares, etc. But last night I added to my catalog.

    I saw:
    Han (Which doesn’t have a Wikipedia link yet),
    Sabik (Eta Ophiuchi)
    Yed Prior (Delta Ophiuchi)
    Alnasl (Gamma Sagittarii)
    Kaus Meridianalis, Kaus Australis, Kaus Borealis (All the Kaus’s are part of Delta Sagittarii)
    Nunki (Sigma Sagittarii)
    Ascella (Zeta Sagittarii),
    Wei (Epsilon Scorpii)
    Mu1 Scorpii
    Alpha Librae
    Beta Librae

    All these stars are in the constellations Sagittarius, Scorpio and Libra if that sort of stuff appeals to you. I’m in the process of rigging up a mounting bracket to put the binoculars on a tripod and it also has a flexible arm on which to mount my digital camera. Aim and shoot. Maybe I’ll do a video of the movement of the stars. They tend to move upwards and to the right, otherwise known as right ascension.

    I saw all this with a pair of binoculars, they’re Orion 10×50 and pretty good. But I want something more, something which which I might be able to resolve some of the Messier catalog and NGC catalog through the damned light pollution of my city. The something more is a SkyQuest XT10 Reflector. It’s only 55lbs so it’s light enough to carry, and a 10″ mirror is a pretty good light gathering platform. Of course I should setup the Truthspew relief fund, I mean I’ve already got a paypal account setup. And it’s only $550. Help a poor amateur astronomer.

    Stargazing July 7, 2007

    Posted by truthspew in astronomy, cats.
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    So it’s been some time since I took out the 10×50’s. Those are binoculars if you must know. I consider it my first foray into amateur astronomy. Anyway with light pollution being fairly heavy here in the city, I don’t see very much with the 10×50’s though they do give me a better view than with the naked eye.

    For example, when I focus in on Venus in the western sky I can see Saturn to it’s right, and Regulus (77.6ly away!) to it’s left. Swinging south I see Jupiter along with Al Niyat (741.3ly), Antares (604ly), Tau Scorpii (432ly). Directly to the right of Juptier I see Graffias (530.3ly), Dschubba or Delta Scorpii (402.7ly) and Pi Scorpii (459.4ly). All this in a badly light polluted city.

    The abbreviation ly is for Light Year.

    I’ll be doing regular stargazing logs. During this instance I think I spotted a 737-400 if the light pattern was correct and I actually tracked him on a northerly heading for a few minutes.

    I did take off one of the caps on the focusing mechanism and to my surprise there’s a mounting socket. My next kludge will be a way to mount the binoculars, and my camera on the same tripod that way I can focus stars in and then let the camera take a long exposure picture.

    Growin' Growin' Growin' April 14, 2007

    Posted by truthspew in cats, gardening.
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    Day five and the sprouts are doing well. I’ve posted a little video of it over on Blip.tv

    In a couple of days I’ll take the cover off and start the process of really growing them.

    I must say, the latent gardener in me is very happy. Sometime around July I’ll have fresh tomatoes, dill, basil, rosemary, radichio and then a little later, the squash will be ready. All in all I started small this year. Though I do have to plant some small cucumbers, after all I’ll have all that dill. Oh hell, and I may as well plant some peppers, both the bell variety and some cherry peppers. I think you’re seeing where this is going, that’s right. Pickled peppers and stuffed cherry peppers. Yum!

    All this will be for naught if the cats get to it first. I don’t think Angie (Evangeline – but two syllables are better than four) will try it, but I don’t know if Sassy (Charles’ cat) will. Maybe I need to plant some kitty greens.

    Right now Sassy is in heat and she’s oh so affectionate. It’s driving us a little crazy but once she’s out of heat she can be spayed so it’s not such a big deal. But it’s funny as all hell to watch, at her front she’s low to the ground but her ass up in the air and her rear feet dancing like crazy. She makes a low trilling sound. I remember that before we had Emily fixed she used to be a screamer. Emily would go into the bathroom and start the whining.

    Goodbye Randy January 5, 2007

    Posted by truthspew in cats, Cosimo, Emily, Randy, Tom.

    Today we had to put down my cat Randy. I’ve had him for eighteen years and he was my boy through and through. Last March the vet did say that she felt a small mass in his belly but based on his age and general health, thought he should be good for a year or two.

    Well, he only made it ten months. On Wednesday we noticed he was lethargic, couldn’t stand up, etc so this morning Keyron took him to be euthanized. I’ll miss my bright boy. His real name was Random Numbers from the R.A. Heinlein book “To Sail Beyond the Sunset”.

    He came into my life when I was 25, just divorced having realized that there was something about me that could no longer be denied nor changed. I was managing a local BBS called Syslink and got to be friends in real life with a few participants in particular one who went by the handle polocalvinfluff. It turns out his real name was Ron and Polo was a dog, Calvin and Fluff were cats.

    One day I noticed kittens up for adoption so that’s how I met Ron and Mike, and adopted a twelve week old kitten with ear mites and ringworm. Randy got over both, while I got over my first case of ringworm.

    I had a new pal who we now know as Randy. He was my first cat. Not only that, the first cat I’d ever heard growl, or the first one I’d ever seen play fetch. Or the first I’d ever seen chatter when he saw birds. Learned how bonded a cat can be with its human. Ah well, for the first time in eighteen years I’m now without any pets.

    It’s funny – after putting down one other cat and having another die on the way to the vet I wasn’t terribly emotional about Randy. What hit me was the end of our morning ritual – every morning when I shower he’s right there, waiting. He waits until I finish, and then turn the faucet down to a slight drip. He loved to drink straight from the tap, sometimes so much that he’d immediately throw up. But it was our ritual.

    The other endearing trait was worming himself into my lap, along with my laptop, book, or what have you. He was also a very vocal cat, he let you know what he wanted and when.

    Tonight I met a three year old male cat who has taken a liking to me. We’re adopting him. He isn’t Randy, nor is he Emily or Cosimo. But he’s a new cat that’ll have his own quirks, etc. He’s also a known mouser. His current name is Tom, but we’ll see what nicknames work their way to the surface. At least he won’t be going to the pound.