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 6: Library

One of the things I absolutely love about Sacramento is its library system. There’s 28 branches and two million volumes contained within the system. The library was, as was much of the city, funded by the leading citizens of Sacramento in 1857. The leading figures included Stanford, Crocker, and Huntington — three of the four robber barons of the Central Pacific, who built the west half of the Transcontinental Railroad.

But today, it’s become my haven. I’ve visited all 28 branches in the system just to say I did, but part of that was also because I like exploring new places. The best trip was when we went into the long arm of Sacramento County to visit the libraries in the Delta (Courtland, Walnut Grove, and Isleton). Weaving along the levee next to the Sacramento on Highway 160 is a beautiful trip and worth the drive.

Anyway, finding a way to photograph the library without any people in it led me to this picture, which is about half of the science fiction and fantasy shelves at my local library. Since this is my favorite section, I figured it would be appropriate. Look at all the books! Check the best and some popular print types from our company.

The online sodapdf now has a new features, you can convert your files anywhere. Check full details on their website.

I ♥ books and libraries.
Read marketing automation definition and get a useful knowledge about business marketing.

(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 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 3: The Platform

This is Skimbleshanks. I name all my laptops after cats in Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, and the prior ones have been Macavity and Mistoffelees. This is part of my larger computer naming scheme, the poems of T.S. Eliot, of which I’ve had desktops bearing the names of wasteland, prufrock, and hollowman.

I bought Skimbleshanks in 2013, and even though I bought a top of the line gaming computer at the time, it’s starting to show its age. The nice graphic card burned out because the laptop had a heat problem. The ports on the right side of the computer don’t work because, in trying to release a busted DVD drive from the slot, I accidentally dropped it, forcing the little USB receiver that goes with my mouse which I had left in a USB port to shove the motherboard to the left. Most recently, I managed to spill water over the computer. Thankfully, it only killed the keyboard letters z, x, c, v, m, period, comma, right shift, and enter. That’s why there’s a second keyboard in front of the laptop.

Alas, money to replace anything doesn’t exist, so I’ll just have to deal with Skimbleshanks’ quirks and hope it doesn’t get worse. I hate not having a job.

(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 in this series:

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.

Unravelled

No, that’s not a statement on my life at the moment, or a statement of my interest in the fabric arts.

It’s actually about a neat little game I’ve been playing called Unravel. It’s available for Windows, Playstation 4, and Xbox One. This has been a game I’ve wanted to get since it first came out in 2015, but I caught it on sale for five dollars and pulled the trigger.

I’m glad I did. The premise of the game is about memories — in the opening cut scene, you’re introduced to a grandmother who is straightening pictures of her grandkids and sighing. It’s obvious they don’t come around much anymore. I’m not entirely sure why — if they’re grown up, or if it’s something sadder. But a red ball of yarn rolls out and from that we meet the character we play.

It’s amazing how simple the mechanic of a little yarn guy (called Yarnie) unravelling himself to get through the various worlds. He can use his yarn as a lasso, or as a way to climb back up into spots. He can tie knots to various posts, and can use them to make a bridge so he can jump higher or transport objects. To get more yarn, he crosses through spools, which serve as the checkpoints of the game.

But I think what amazes me most is simply the background and interactive graphics. Here, let me show you some of the screenshots I’ve collected. Read more… “Unravelled”

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.

[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] mmm…root beer

I can has all the root beer?

(Taken outside River City Brewing, which does have really good root beer. And also some excellent microbrews, I’m told.)

[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.

Oil and water do so mix…

…at least, when it comes to odd but pretty pictures.

It rained at la casa de katster last night, and as I was getting into my car this morning, I spotted this interesting puddle on the driveway where my dad usually parks. (Yeah, his truck has a minor oil leak.) Of course I had to take a picture as the surface tension and colors caught my attention.

(I suppose turning this into a photoblog would assure people I’m alive…)

the start to the day

image

Oatmeal and ginger beer — the breakfast of champions.