Black & White 7: Merry Grinchmas!

Since we started the week with my cat, let’s end the week with a couple of his cat toys. My sister is a giant Dr. Seuss fan, and she got these for our last cat. (There’s also Horton and the Cat in the Hat running around this house.) Our last cat passed on the Friday of Memorial Day weekend of complications from congestive heart failure.

At the beginning of July, we were given an eight-week-old kitten that weighed just south of two pounds. We have declared (since we don’t know exactly when) that his birthday is Cinco de Mayo, and he’s been a fixture at this house since. Therefore, these toys were passed down to him.

At six months, the monster had grown into what appeared to be a full-grown cat. He was ten pounds at a six-month vet visit. We suspect he’s probably gained a couple of pounds since then. Oh, well, we knew what we were getting into when we adopted a boy and a Maine Coon mix.

And all the toys are his now.

Merry Grinchmas!

(LJ/Dreamwidth readers: The crossposter I use for both these services does not attach the featured image, so you will have to click through the link at the bottom of the post to see the image.)

Prior Entries:
Black & White 1: My Buddy
Black & White 2: It’s What’s for Dinner
Black & White 3: The Platform
Black & White 4: Chairs
Black & White 5: Staving Away the Darkness
Black & White 6: Library

Black & White 5: Staving Away the Darkness

The thing I most like about Christmas is the lights. I like the symbolism. This is the time of year when the darkness presses most closely against us, swallowing up ever larger parts of the day and replacing it with chill night. The lights seem, to me, of being a way of shouting our defiance against the darkness. They say that even at the worst, we know the light will come again, that death will give way to life once again.

One of the things I’d like to do someday is to sit a solstice watch, starting from sundown and waiting all night, the longest night of the year, for the sun to return. It’s never worked out for me, but it’s something I’d like to do.

These particular lights have meaning for me. We’ve had the snowman for a very long time — I remember that he used to sit on the roof above the garage. He’s colorful, which is something that is missing from black and white. Then there’s Santa’s sleigh and the reindeer. And last, curled in front of the oak tree is the little Christmas trees.

I love coming home at night when the lights are all on. It feels like a beacon, calling me home.

et lux in tenebris lucet et tenebrae eam non conprehenderunt
And the light shineth in darkness: and the darkness did not comprehend it. (John 1:5)

(LJ/Dreamwidth readers: The crossposter I use for both these services does not attach the featured image, so you will have to click through the link at the bottom of the post to see the image.)

Prior Entries:
Black & White 1: My Buddy
Black & White 2: It’s What’s for Dinner
Black & White 3: The Platform
Black & White 4: Chairs

Black & White 4: Chairs

I spend way too much time in this room, mostly in the chair at the far end of the room facing the camera. It’s long and narrow, and when it’s a day when the room is full, it can get a bit claustrophobic. The weirdness of the room is because it used to be the waiting room and reception area of a doctor’s office.

But in black and white, it looks artsy.

(LJ/Dreamwidth readers: The crossposter I use for both these services does not attach the featured image, so you will have to click through the link at the bottom of the post to see the image.)

Black & White 2: It’s What’s for Dinner

I can cook a few things. One of the things I can cook is stew, and that’s what I made for dinner tonight. I promise it actually was more appetizing than it looks in a black and white picture. I experimented with potato sizing on this batch and ended up with a thick potato sludge, which means that I cut them too small. I’m still trying to hunt down a happy medium.

However, I hate stew in the very end stages, when it’s boiling through all that thickness. At that point, it turns into a mudpot of the sort they have in Yellowstone or Lassen. The nasty thing about it is that it spits boiling hot stew goop onto the unfortunate hand stirring the pot. I have to wear an oven mitt to stir. It’s crazy.

But it was good. We have leftovers!

Prior posts in this series:

(Note to LJ and Dreamwidth users: The crossposter I’m using does not allow featured images to come through. If you would like to see the post, you will need to click through to the blog post.)

Black & White 1: My buddy

There’s a challenge going around on Facebook to spend a week taking a black and white photo of your life. The catch (besides that it must be in black and white) is that it must have no people in it. I figured it gives me something to blog about.

The picture on this post is Winter, our grey and white kitten (he’s seven months old), who came into our life at the beginning of July and brought joy to a house that had none. He’s part, if not full, Maine Coon, and we know he’s going to be a big boy if he looks like a full-grown cat at seven months. (He looked full-grown at six months, but we know he’s got a bit more to go because his paws are still a little big for the rest of him.)

But he’s my buddy and my fuzzy boy. Okay, technically, he’s my sister’s cat, but I love him and call him mine.

Bacon Soda!

I promised bacon soda and I will deliver!

So I wandered into BevMo the other night because I know they have an amazing selection of root beers and sarsaparillas, and they’re also about the only place in town that sell birch beer, which I adore. (I want to try spruce beer, but I’m told that’s an East Coast thing and basically impossible to find in California.)

But besides the various root beers and sarsaparillas and birch beers and ginger beers, they have other kinds of soda. And some of them get very weird. Case in point: the featured image for this post. Yes. Bacon Soda. They also had peanut butter and jelly soda, but if I was going to get something I enjoyed (birch beer!), I had to choose between novelties.

So with much trepidation, I took it home. And now it has become yours. So let us take a look at this bottle of bacon soda. It’s made by a company called “Lester’s Fixins”, with a good fifties-era man, somewhat like Colonel Sanders — the original, not the weird thing that’s on TV now.

And look at that. It has bacon on the cover. Also, the slogan “Y’all get yer fixins!”

Let’s see. What’s the ingredients list? Do I get real bacon?

“Spring water, cane sugar, citric acid, caramel color, natural flavors, beet juice.”

Huh, that’s not looking promising. No bacon, and beet juice? Wow…

Maybe if we take a look at the nutritional facts:

Not nutritious, just like bacon.
Not nutritious, just like bacon.

Not nutritious in a different way than bacon, though. No cholesterol or fat, and lots of sugar. But hey, let’s have an advertising shot.

Dubious kat is dubious
Dubious kat is dubious

Yeah, that’s probably not going to be a good advertising campaign, but whatever. The important part. How’s it taste?

Chug a lug!
Chug a lug!
What in all God's creation was that?!?
What in all God’s creation was that?!?

Yeah. The verdict. I’ve had worse things, but those are generally trying to be gross. (Any flavor jelly beans, y’all?) This was nothing more that a sickeningly sweet cola with a very strange aftertaste that does not resemble bacon in any way, shape or form. In some ways, I’m disappointed I saved the bottle to drink for so long, but hey, I got an amusing blog post out of it.

My newest acquisition

This piece of wood is the edge of a bleacher seat from California Memorial Stadium, home of my beloved California Golden Bears. In the process of renovating and modernizing the facility, which was originally built in 1923 on top of a major earthquake fault, they tore out the wooden bleachers.  I’ve not had a chance to get back to Memorial since the renovation and retrofit, but I’m told it was done well. 

Turns out, though, that those wooden bleachers date back to the original opening of the stadium.  Wow!

The Wooden Duck, a company in Berkeley that specializes in making furniture out of reclaimed wood, managed to get its hands on the old bleachers and, from there, offer pieces for sale. They’ve done some gorgeous work, which you should check out.

My thanks in particular to TwistNHook, the proprietor and head honcho of the zany crew over at the California Golden Blogs, the best Cal sports blog on the entire Internet, including the North Korean parts. ;) He procured the bleacher piece for me, and I owe him.

I eventually plan to get a nice photograph or lithograph of Cal Memorial and frame this block with that. It will go nicely with my 1959 Rose Bowl pennant/program/ticket and my copy of the Daily Californian dated Monday, November 22, 1982 in my tiny museum of Cal memorabilia. :)

But that is my cool thing.

[Sactown] Penguin Hauling

Why get up and go downtown at stupidly early hours of the morning on a day I don’t have to work?

To see the penguin, of course!

It’s too bad this trip was to say goodbye to Endeavor. I may have more to say about the shuttle later, but for now, it’s enough to say, I saw this.

[sactown] State Capitol Building

So, I’ve promised a friend I would start taking pictures of Sactown to show her. It gets me out of the office at lunch — most of these will be walking distance from work — and it lets me see a bit more of the city I live in. I’ll start the series with this shot, from last Friday, of the State Capitol building here in Sacramento.

I joke Sacramento is a company town. People look at me strange until I point out that the company is the State of California, and when the state hurts, everybody hurts. And it’s been really bad times for the State of California for years. We papered over a lot of it with the housing bubble, but eventually those things come back to haunt you.

That said, I love our state capitol building, and I especially love it this time of year with the Christmas tree in front.

beauty in destruction

My kid sis was in a car wreck on Saturday. She’s got a sore neck and received a concussion in the accident, but she’ll be fine. This is the taillight of her car — it got crunched but it looks fixable. We don’t know much beyond that, but I admit that I love this shot of the aftermath of the accident. It’s strangely beautiful despite being of a smashed taillight.

the start to the day

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Oatmeal and ginger beer — the breakfast of champions.

The future is now

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So I got a new hard drive for Christmas.  It astounds me that something smaller than a standard paperback novel holds 1 terabyte of data.  Even more astounding, it cost less than half of the six gigabyte drive I bought in 1998.

The future is now, and it’s truly awesome.

[tftc] OMG fog

[Yet another post in my occasional series “Tales from the Commute”]

The commute was ugly today. It looked like this most of the way:

It was fun fighting that, when you couldn’t read signs until you were almost on top of them, and people disappeared into the fog way too easily.

But at the bottom of my offramp, it looked like this:
No fogPhoto by retstak

Go figure.

Too much good stuff

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I found this in the grocery store last night.

Me: I’m afraid to look at how many calories that has.

Jill: (flipping package over): Servings per package: 12. Calories: 200. Calories from fat: 90.

Me: Yeesh! That’s one-sixth of one cup per serving.

So I guess if you really like Reese’s, this might be worth it. Just keep in mind, one cup is more than half your RDA.

Been meaning to share

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This is an abandoned car in the parking garage I park in.