plato caligula lucifersam apollo

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!


from Lucifer Sam the Pirate (complete with Cap'n Jack dreads) and Plato the Holstein Boston Terror



Here's a YouTube vid of some compiled stills during their photo shoot...much easier than making a web gallery of photos.

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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

DREAM: Disney Pets; More Apollo Updates

Just when I said I would't write for a while...

Stan and I were in a very weird Disneyland sort of store or museum. OK, I've never been to Disneyland or Disneyworld* so I have no idea what it is like other than the hideous images I see on TV*. Actually, this was darker and more sinister. It had a very curious display of animatronic animals...puppies, kittens, ducks, bunnies. They were rather realistic except they had no fur or feathers...just a soft rubbery substance that was so soft to the touch it only seemed like fur. They were prompted by people's reactions to them to come up to you and get petted, roll around on the floor, act sweet, but never nip or bite. I was amazed that a robot could react so naturally to environmental prompts, yet puzzled that the exterior remained furless, and that they also looked rather slightly cartoony with exaggeratedly large heads and eyes. I think it would be easier to get the thing to *look* real rather than to program it for real reactions, but what do I know, I'm just an artist and not a geek.

----

Instead of sitting on the futon/couch scrunched up with a Pug while I type this, I'm upstairs with Apollo. Last week we decided that since this quarantine is going to be longer than we had anticipated--even though all odds are that he's perfectly fine**, I'm going to have to find a way to actually make my time productive while I'm up here on kitten socialization duty. Yes, I can paint in the blue room, but I can't really watch the kitten well when I paint and I don't always want to paint. Yes, I can work on my desktop computer in the green room, but I would have my back to the main action, and I really don't use that as my main computer anymore anyway since I've gone into laptop mode. So I thought that having a small table up here to keep in the main upstairs room that I could sit at on the floor and work on jewelry or draw would be a good idea. This room is small and filled with plants, an exercise bike, boxes of envelopes (for my business), and art, so there's not room for a "real" table and chairs. I found some short table legs and some wood at Menards and Stan put it together for me. It's perfect. I sit on pillows on the floor, and the table is lightweight and can be moved aside so I can get out from under it. It's very Eastern, like some tea rooms at Asian restaurants, or some Middle Eastern restaurants where you can sit on the floor. I can eat here (I had a ham sandwich last night which I tried to train Apollo not to beg for) and right now I'm using my laptop on it. It's the perfect height. I'm surprised this sort of setup isn't more popular. It is very comfortable, and very non-Western. I'm not much of a chair person, and I hate dangling my legs. Even when I work on my deskop computer, I either put my legs up on my chair or up on a footstool. This way I don't have to. Why is this culture so chair-obsessed and anti-sitting on floors? I think floor sitting keeps one young. When I think about my parents or grandparents, they never sat on the floor. I don't want to be that way.

*Even if my parents had the money to, they never would've taken me to a place like that, which is one of the rare things I can respect about them. And why would I want to go as an adult? I hate artificial entertainment like that. Give me a natural history museum or a national park any day. Las Vegas, Disneyland...blech. You couldn't pay me to go.

**I did know a kitten that had Leukemia...Otto or Otis or something...one of the only Manx I had known. He was a next door neighbor cat--they thought he had been given vaccinations, but maybe he had come pre-infected and the shots didn't help. He got skinnier and skinnier until he died...sad, sad sad, so I don't want to take chances, although Caligula could stand to lose a few pounds if Apollo had it (I'm just kidding of course).

Good news...despite his sassier demeanor as of late, and his ambivalence about his own name, Apollo *does* know what a stern NO! means. If he's trying to get at a plant or some other bad cat thing, and one says "NO!", he'll chortle and run off.

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Monday, October 22, 2007

Apollo 10.15.07

Here's a videe of the little guy last Monday. We haven't taken any pictures since then, but we'll try to take more now that I emptied out the camera memory finally.

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Sunday, October 21, 2007

Short Apollo Update

Just an update...Apollo is doing fine and having fun with the dogs when we bring them upstairs. Unfortunately, he will be quarantined--away from Caligula--for longer than we thought because the vet said they need to make sure he (Apollo) does not have Feline Leukemia (he's tested negative, buy they need to make sure with one final test after a certain age). Caligula hasn't been vaccinated for feleuk since 2001, since they generally don't do that for middle-aged indoor cats. I guess, had we known ahead of time, we could've gotten Caligula a feleuk shot, but it's a little late now. I'm sure Apollo is healthy, and in less than a month (yes, a whole month wait...ugh) we will be able to introduce him to Caligula.

He's developed quite an appetite. There's a long story in there involving not eating much of the food they gave us at the pet store, trying canned food, gobbling canned food, vomit, diarrhea, Ann freaking out, scheduled vet visit, new dry vet-prescribed food, and kitty tummy back to normal. There, that was concise.

I won't be writing much lately as this actually is our vacation time, and I'm trying to spend life as if it really were a travelling vacation, even though it is just a kitten vacation.

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Friday, October 12, 2007

Some Brave Apollo

We've got kitten! He was born August 1 (a cat that's a Leo) up nort dere, fixed and declawed, and we named him Apollo. We were actually not going to have our new cat declawed this time, but since they already did that when they neutered him, that's ok. He's the color of a striped sand dune.

They say to quarantine your kitten for 10-14 days if you've got other cats in case the kitten has some sort of kitty cold virus. He appears to be healthy and playful. It will hard to be keeping him and Caligula separate, especially since I'd really like to hae him on my lap when I'm downstairs watching tv, but he'll have to stay upstairs until the time period is over. He can meet the dogs, though.

Pictures will be coming when we take them. He's very motorized, probably the loudest purrer we've had. We'll be taking him for lots of car rides. We want him to be a travel buddy so we can take him with us like the dogs and Caligula.

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Hey Dubya!

Here's a t-shirt/bumper sticker line for you:

My Opponent wins the the Nobel Peace Prize and all I got was this lousy Presidency!

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Thursday, October 11, 2007

Plate of Shrimp

Miller: A lot o' people don't realize what's really going on. They view life as a bunch o' unconnected incidents 'n things. They don't realize that there's this, like, lattice o' coincidence that lays on top o' everything. Give you an example; show you what I mean: suppose you're thinkin' about a plate o' shrimp. Suddenly someone'll say, like, plate, or shrimp, or plate o' shrimp out of the blue, no explanation. No point in lookin' for one, either. It's all part of a cosmic unconciousness.
Otto: You eat a lot of acid, Miller, back in the hippie days?
Miller: I'll give you another instance: you know how everybody's into weirdness right now?
-Repo Man (1984)

Not too many years ago our friend Bill was talking about a concept he had read about regarding us being in a metaphorical (or maybe not so metaphorical) petri dish with some large creature poking at us, as if all us humans are part of some large experiment by other greater beings.

A few months ago I heard about the possibility that we're all part of some computer simulation like The Matrix, but without our bodies.

There's these coincidences that Stan and I call "Plate of Shrimp" in reference to the Repo Man quote above, where I'll be talking about something and then on TV, for example, the same topic will come up. I'm not talking about current events on the news, I'm talking about esoteric things.

Here's an example of something odd that happened just last night. Stan and I were watching the news and they were talking about the school shooting in Cleveland and it was said the shooter was part of a gang called The Denison Boys. I looked at Stan and said "The Van Buren Boys?" which is a reference to a Seinfeld episode where Kramer and George separately encounter a gang named after the 8th President. Later that night, I stayed up to watch the nightly syndicated Seinfeld reruns, and, whadya know, it was the episode with the Van Buren Boys. Now, maybe someone over at Channel 27 has an equally twisted sick ironic sense of pop cultural references as I do, but I highly doubt it. I suspect these episodes are programmed weeks in advance.

Or are they? Maybe it's Bill's "thing", the creature poking a stick at us in our petri dish, seeing how we'll respond, or Miller's Plate of Shrimp Lattice of Coincidence or Nick Bostrom's computer simulation theory.

These incidences have happened throughout my life, and have started noticing them with much more regularity lately. Naturally, without writing them down, I cannot recount every one--which is why I will START documenting them today. But there is one moment from 30 years ago that was the beginning of it all. I don't know why this one stands out in my mind except it was the first, and soon there were many more just like it to follow:

I was with a friend at a movie theatre in a small mall and I thought I saw a boy in my class named Tom. As this guy got closer I realized it was not Tom. I wasn't looking for Tom, we weren't supposed to meet Tom there, I didn't even know Tom very well, and Tom didn't even live near this mall. But later in the night, guess who I saw in the mall? Tom.

Are you ever driving along a road and you see some man walking toward you, you pass him, go about a mile more and see what looks like the same guy, same physical characteristics, same clothes, walking toward you? Kind of like when Neo sees the black cat in The Matrix...a glitch in the sim program. Or is it a glitch?

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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

So Sick of The Idiot Contingent

When I have a technical problem and I post it to a message forum, people seem to avoid it like the plague.

I think it is because I provide good information concerning the problem, use examples, and compose and spell correctly.

Perhaps if I

typed helo i have tis prolblem and culd u help me plz this isn't wirking thnx

I'd get more response.

And people wonder why I've become a curmudgeon.

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Monday, October 08, 2007

DREAMs: Turquoise Kittens and Apartment Fires

Some time last week I had a dream that Stan and I were looking for kittens. I think we might have gone to Noah's ark. There were a whole bunch of them, and they were very young. They had a wet quality to their fur, like newborns. I saw a turqoise one and wanted to get that one, but it seemed too young.

The strange thing, is that it was so matter-of-fac t. A turquoise kitten--oh, that's a pretty color, not A TURQUOISE KITTEN?!?!?!?!? WTF?

---

The following night, I again had a dream about a turquoise kitten, this one a little older, maybe 4 months. It was a darker turquoise, maybe a teal. Very pretty. Again, very matter-of-fact, like, "Oh, here's another turquoise cat."

---

Last night I had a very weird dream that I was in an old apartment with very high ceilings---maybe 12 foot high. It seemed more like a old store converted to living space. Supposedly there had been a fire on the top floor where other people lived. They sent in a building inspector or a landlord to look at my unit and ceiling to determine if there was anything wrong. I was worried that my place would catch on fire. They pulled tiles from the ceiling to examine what was up there, and it was a convoluted thick matrix of wiring (The Matrix, Stan!!!), not what one would expect to find inside a ceiling in an old building. The inspector/landlord was talking to me that they would have to do repairs and at that time I'd have to find another place to stay temporarily. I said it was a good place my parents lived in town so I could stay with them, so I guess this place was in Fort Collins. Stan was not in the picture. Weird.

Later, I was at my parents and I had a young cat with me who looked just like Persephone, but had more meat on her. My dad was enjoying this cat. I think I was with Stan in this part of the dream.

Later still, I think I was back at the burned apartment building, standing on the side of it with Stan and talking to some neighbors (late 20s, early 30s) who lived nearby. I showed them an electrical wire that looked like barbed wire and asked them if it was theirs. We discussed the fire. The building was painted similar colors to ours except less subdued and maybe of a mid-value. It was very Victorian-looking and made out of brick.

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Monday, October 01, 2007

Potted Spiced Ham and other Treats

OK, I got comment spam in the entry below this morning, not an offensive spam for p*rn or predatory lending (although the spam did mention the name Ad*m Sm*th which, if one could extrapolate, one could assume he certainly wouldn't be *against* predatory lending, being the father of the free market and all that capitalist libertarian BS...yet I digress--I'm not an economic historian so I don't know what he really would've thought of such a thing.

No, this spam was from some bloody clueless guy promoting his site and authorship, and his soon-to-be famous name. Did it have anything to do with my dog or my pet situation? Or a story about his dog? No. It was just blatant self-promotion and completely off topic. But it was so cluelessly off topic that it was rather amusing. I thought for a short while, I'll just leave it, with my own snarky comment about spam.

But then I realized this guy isn't quite as clueless as I thought. This is the whole point behind comment spam: it doesn't matter if the comment doesn't fit the subject...comment spam isn't supposed to be sneaky...finding people's blogs on a similar subject as your own and then slyly infiltrating them with your URL on relevant on topic discussions so actual interested parties will visit your site. No, comment spam is war...spam as much anywhere and everywhere because sooner or later, search engines will pick up the keywords in your comment and your URL and then you'll get hits...except he didn't really leave a URL. The only link was to his Blogger ID, so you had to go there to find his blog. Not exactly "direct" marketing.

I mean if you're gonna spam, SPAM!!!

So I deleted it. despite the humor involved (yes, admittedly, humor laughing at someone else's cluelessness), I still don't want my blog being used as a podium to promote spamming, or someone's site that has nothing to do with the subjects I discuss here.

---

This weekend we went to some pet shops to look for a kitty condo, and half-heartedly look at kittens. We bought the kitty condo for Caligula (and future kitten). He liked it, but he is too fat to jump up on the first ledge (we feed that cat the absolute bare minimum prescribed by the vet and we never give treats...it must be genetic). So then we had to get a shorter condo so he could jump up on that first. He now loves his condo, and I feel incredibly guilty for not having gotten one sooner. We've had cats for what...22 years? Yes, they are expensive, and yes, we live in a small house with not much room for such things. We have to keep it in the hallway where it hides some of our nice staircase because there is no room elsewhere.

Up until this weekend, I honestly didn't even feel ready to get a kitten. Having seen kittens at the various pet stores (and Stan, Animart's kittens are rescues...I looked it up), I feel I am now ready emotionally. Financially (especially after the kitty condo purchase) is another thing. Timewise is another thing as well, which is why we probably won't do anything until Stan's vacation time when he can help with this.

I don't know if Noah's Ark (pet store in town) kittens are rescues, but they are the best socialized. I assume they are unwanted kittens from litters, as opposed to "bred" kittens. They aren't kept in cages, they are free-range (a good word for everything except human children) so they are well-socialized. Noah's Ark is where we got Persephone 16 years ago.

---

This morning I was heating up some hot water and the tea kettle made a squeak that sounded like when Persephone was in the back room and would scratch on the door to tell us she wanted out. For a millisecond, that's what I thought it was.

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