January 2011

The second picture is just a crop from the first that was enlarged to the same size. This is known as “digital zoom.” It’s all done in editing software. This is the advantage of a really nice lens. It’s also why nice lenses cost so much.



Little Triangle-head Cat



Ups and Downs of the Week

GoDaddy – I switched my personal email account from a POP3 account to a hosted Exchange account today. As always, the GoDaddy tech knew exactly what she was doing and made the switch a piece of cake. No one does tech support better than GoDaddy.

Cancer – Our brave old cat Mary lost the battle with cancer today. She put up the good fight, having battled the disease since last Spring. Poor girl.

xkcd – I love this comic strip sometimes.

Put your hand near and you risk having her teeth perforate it.

Cute but lethal.

Ups and Downs of the Week

Barn Fire – While it’s sad that these folks lost their pole barn, an RV, a ’73 Mustang, and some other equipment, it’s very good that it wasn’t their house and no one was hurt. The temps here today were hovering around zero, so props to the firefighters for dealing with this in such nasty conditions. Hell, in *any* conditions. Firefighters are my heroes, mostly because fires are my greatest fear. Anyone who braves a fire for a living is a better person than I.

Barn Fire Barn Fire

Red Sox – Paps and Ells are signed. All the pieces are in place. I cannot wait for this season to start. I may switch to DIRECTV and get the MLB Extra Innings package this season so I don’t have to deal with MLB.TV’s lousy service.

New England Patriots – One and done again. What is it about this team that makes them forget how to dominate when it *really* counts? They used to be able to win the big game. But since the Super Bowl debacle with the Giants, they seem more concerned about not losing than they do about winning (to paraphrase Patton).

Gabby Giffords – Moved to a rehab hospital already. Simply amazing. While the element of luck can’t be overlooked here, there is no doubt a good deal of courage and determination are also evident. The entire country is hoping for a full recovery for her, I’m sure. Politics be damned.

Motorola Citrus – I picked up a new phone this week. It’s a Motorola Citrus. I wanted something that would cost me nothing (got it as an upgrade), would do email push from Exchange (had to buy a $20 app called Touchdown), and work with the BMW Bluetooth hands-free setup in my cars. This phone pretty much fits the bill. There have been few snafus, though, so the jury is still out. I may still need to move up to a Droid2 or DroidX, which I was trying to avoid. The one thing this phone has over those other two is size. It’s no bigger than my old RAZR. Easy to slip into a pocket.


Veterinarians – We’ve been battling cancer with a cat of ours for months now. She’s really gone downhill the past week and we thought she was near death, so Sarah brought her to the vet with the idea that we may put her down and end her suffering. But the vet said we could try some steroids and some hydration by injection. Lo-and-behold, the cat is doing better and actually ate something tonight, which she hasn’t done in days. She’s still not long for this world, but she’s going to be with us a bit longer thanks to the knowledge and dedication of people who choose to practice medicine for animals.

Ups and Downs of the Week

Three-Day Weekends – I know we just came off the Christmas break, but I really need this long weekend.

Flooding in Australia – Yikes! Talk about serious flooding. Over 3/4 of the state of Queensland (700,000+ sq mi) is flooded. That’s an incredible amount of water.  (As an aside, I love the guy setting his axle locks for four-wheel drive while wrestling with an umbrella. I mean, does it really matter if you get a little wet?)

Tax Hike – Illinois *finally* joined the rest of the US and upped its income tax to a level that might just sustain the government. They failed to raise the tax on cigarettes, though. They also failed to pass legislation to borrow money to pay their immediate debt needs, but that was a two-edged sword to begin with. Maybe not increasing the state’s debt will be a good thing.

Red Sox – I’m so looking forward to this coming season. Papelbon and Ellsbury both went to arbitration today. I think they’re very attractive lures if the right fish comes along. If they stay, all is good. If they get traded for more big-name talent, all is good. Classic win/win.

Arizona Shootings – So many sad stories here. This is what happens when a person with a severe mental illness can walk into a Walmart and buy a gun. I’m ok with 2nd Amendment rights, but let’s at least start doing *real* background checks before we hand out deadly weapons. And what’s with newly elected Senator from Illinois Mark Kirk calling for the death penalty for the shooter? What part of “mentally ill” is beyond his comprehension?  This was a tragedy in every sense of the word, but this Loughner guy is clearly a very sick person. Many people out there knew he needed help but did little. So now we just execute him? Think again, Senator Kirk.

Gabby Giffords – Talk about a combination of strength and luck. One in a million people could survive being shot in the head. But to survive a through-and-through head shot and be sitting up communicating with family in a week? Un-be-lievable. This woman will be back in Congress soon. Maybe her suffering will open some eyes and bring a little decency to the floor. Maybe.

Some recent pics.

Council of Jays Kiki Catnap Box cat Sharing

Ups and Downs of the Week

Yo, Adrian! – Adrian Beltre signed a 6-year, $96 million deal with the Texas Rangers this week. While I think the Rangers are auf dem Holzweg, I don’t begrudge Adrian his windfall. He should kiss his agent, though. In other good baseball news, Sox-killer Matt Garza has signed with the Cubbies, which means the Sox won’t be seeing much of him this coming year.

Time – Another year gone by. Tomorrow I hit 52. Time is sliding by faster and faster every year. Scary sometimes. On the other hand, I still feel young mentally, like I really haven’t hit my stride yet. Sometimes the physical aches and pains remind me that the freight train of antiquity is pulling into the station, but my general outlook is that I have a long way to go. My psyche is feeling like my body is committing treason. Strange.

iPhone/Verizon – Supposedly the iPhone is coming to Verizon in February. *If* it’s not too pricey and *if* the data plan is reasonable, it may be time to upgrade my trusty old RAZR. I really like my iPod touch, and having the phone and iPod combined in the iPhone would be a nice move. But I’m leery of Verizon’s penchant for gouging customers for their data plans with high demand equipment.

Chuck and Lauren – My nephew got married to a (by all accounts) very special girl. ‘Bout time! I look forward to meeting her. Welcome to the family, Lauren.