Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Ah the marvels of progress

About halfway through my fiddle practice tonight I realized that I have the ability to record my practice sessions on my macbook. What a way to truely document progress!!!

I won't be publishing any of those practices until I'm at bit better though. I don't want to ravage anybody's ears. My poor neighbors probably hate me right about now.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Eeny, Meeny & Miney

These little ones will be in my home temporarily. We just got them in a few days ago. We're hoping my Nabisco will mother them a little. They may have a mommie cat who will adopt them, but so far they remain orphans. If they mommie cat doesn't take them in, they'll need a foster home. They're almost eating by themselves. They are eating wet food, but not consistantly. I'm syringe feeding them at times to get them going and supplimenting with a bottle.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Tarot Readings

For a limited time I am offering free Tarot readings for both people and their pets. Just send an e-mail with your requests to

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Fiddle Lesson upgrade

I had my 2nd fiddle lesson today. And now I have upgraded. I have a Book of Songs! Yes folks, today I learned a few notes and I am on my way to playing Beethoven like a good little violinist.

But wait! Aren't I supposed to be playing Irish Fiddle? What's with this classical stuff? Well, I have to say that for a classical icon, Beethoven sure did compose a very easy, and yet exercising beginner symphony. That's right, I am learning the legandary Ode to Joy. The movement that everybody knows from his 9th symphony. This is also the first piece I ever learned for the flute for 6th grade band. And then when I was a senior in High School, I sang it in a city-wide choir production along with Faure's Requiem. So you see, I'm rather excited about this being my first song to learn because we have a bit of a history. I can't wait to get this piece down. I also want to move on to the next one, but mostly I want to perfect this one.

I still sound terrible, but things are Much improved now that I have new strings and have had my tuning pegs re-fitted. There is hope this week that I have a shot at being pretty decent. Yay!!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

New feral in the neighborhood

I have another feral family. This mom is brown tabby and white and she has a brown tabby kitten and a torbie kitten. I have not seen any others, so I assume there's only two.

This video was taken this morning via my macbook built in camera. The quality is terrible, but it does the job. Sort of. Watch under the window and you'll see the kittens emerge. The torbie is just about the cutest thing you've ever seen!

I'm working on getting these guys to eat closer and closer to a crate I've set up outside. I'm going to attempt to trap them with a carrier. It'll be a lot slower that way, but I'm afraid the kittens won't be trapped if I use a traditional trap. So we're going to try this. If it doesn't work, I have some pro trappers to give me pointers.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Product Review - Kitty City Climbing Hill

When I adopted my love, Lord Dunbar, his first Christmas present was one of those carpet covered cat towers. It was the budget version as I couldn't afford one of the $200+ deluxe versions, but nevertheless the tower was instantly named "The Tower of Power." I bought that tower 5 years ago and I still have it. My goodness it sure is ratty, though. I keep wondering when I'm going to have the nerve to throw it out in the garbage. The truth is that it is a favored scratching post for at least one of my cats and it would be truly stupid of me to throw it out without a replacement.

Today I was in Target picking up some home supplies and I strolled past the pet supply area. I usually avoid that area lest I find something I can't leave without. Well, that's precisely what happened today.

For years the only options for bargain scratching posts or cat condos were either very small boring basic posts, or were terribly put together and still $80 or so. So I was quite shocked to see that Target was offering a modular budget kitty condo unit with all kinds of perks! With the unit being modular, you have the liberty of choosing whether to go all out at once with building an expansive condo or "kitty city", or you can invest in building a city in pieces. Today, I settled for one modular piece - the Climbing Hill.

As you can see, this unit pieces together in pvc-like sections and all the connectors allow for easy expansion. Even the cloth bottom has velcro allowing for easy connection to another unit. The curved "hill" is made of a mesh material and the cloth bottom is made of nylon. Both are easily cleaned up with a wet rag if soiled. Both the scratching tube and the floor toy can be moved wherever you prefer to set them up. This presents even more options when you add the other modules. You can go to the Kitty City USA website to view all the different modules available. Click on the combos tab to see examples of the different combos you can make with different modules.

But how to the cats like it?

Based on their initial reactions to it after I put it up, I'd say it was an immediate hit in this household.

Time will tell if the module ends up being a lasting favorite, but for now, I'm happy with my $18 purchase and I can now see a point where I can finally throw out my ratty, carpet tower.

Update 7/22/09:
I purchased another section to the unit. I purchased the tower. The cats still love this, however due to the velcro fastening the fabric to the poles, it's a little light duty for two of my cats. Frankly, they're too fat for the velcro to hold, Haha! Actually, one of them isn't very fat at all. He's just a Big Cat. So I would not recommend this product for a larger sized or heavier cat. You'll need something sturdier.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Pure bred Abysinnian cat in need

Hi there folks. Last night I was introduced to a cat who looks to be 100% pure Abysinian. He is rust colored and has all the ticking and the body shape of a pure Aby. I would be surprised if there was anything else in the mix. He's beautiful!

Unfortunately, he is not doing so well in rescue. He is 10 years old and is missing his family greatly. So much so, in fact, that he stopped eating. Yesterday he had to be taken to the vet to be given IV fluids and tube fed. So at this very moment he is out of immediate danger, but he needs further help.

Texas Pawprints is Desperately looking for someone who can foster him. He needs a place where he can feel comfortable and at home so he will eat and thrive. We, of course, also want adoptors for this guy, but he is not officially up for adoption until we can get him stabilized and eating regularly.

If you know anyone who would like to be a foster parent, Please contact Texas Pawprints as soon as possible and ask about the Abysinnian. We'd love fosters for any of our other cats too. We do have kittens!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

New Project - Fiddle lessons

Today I attended my very first fiddle lesson at the Fiddle and Bow Music Company. I was so excited to bring my violin to work and then to spend my lunch learning something new. And even hours after the lesson I am still excited. I made notes on my first day!

It's my understanding that many classical teachers won't allow you to even take your instrument out the early. They make you wait to actually play the instrument. But my instructor believes in doing it the way lessons have been taught since the beginning of music lessons. You learn to play on the first day. Although you can't say I was playing Well.

The first half of my first instruction was spent on the proper bow holding technique. Then I learned the proper bow movement technique. Then I learned how to hold the violin. And lastly, I learned how to draw the bow across the strings to make a sound. I have a lot of work to do practicing my posture and holding techniques. I have a tendency, like many, to press the bow down too hard and I'm not very coordinated in my wrist, but those are things to practice and improve upon.

The funny part of my lessons was my instructor's opinion of the strings that were supplied with my violin. I suppose those are the strings that came with it as I have never changed them and to my knowledge is is practically brand new and never used. He said, "if you can figure out how to get a good tone out of those strings, you can play on Anything!" And later "I may give you another set of strings, because if I have to listen to you..." Then he shook his head. But surprisingly, my super cheap little violin is capable of producing good sound aside from those "beastly" strings. So I am looking forward to practicing my heart out the next two weeks trying to produce a good sound.

My instructor thinks I can pick this instrument up and do well since I've had so much dance, and music in my background. And now that I've had my first lesson, I think I can do well if I make the time to practice. Now I just need to work hard. I have several exercises assigned for my homework and so plenty to keep me challenged until my next lesson.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

A day of mourning

Today the world said an official goodbye to Michael Jackson. Like many people, I watched the memorial online from my office. I have not been an actual fan for many years.

Thriller was the first record I ever bought. I was in kindergarten. When I was a little older I remember wearing out the Bad tape. I think that was the first tape I ever actually wore out and couldn't listen to anymore. Over the years after Bad, I always watched MTV with wonder everytime he released a new video, but I never bought another CD and I soon lost touch with his music as a whole. I was going the Heavy Metal route. But watching this memorial today reminded me of much of my childhood and thus I mourned with the rest of the world. I mourned the loss of someone who so greatly influenced popular culture and even my own memories.

For all the accusations over the years, Michael Jackson was one who inspired many people. He was a generous giver and to his fans, a bright light in a world which can sometimes be harsh or cruel. So for today I am choosing to place all of the negativity aside and think only on the positive side of Michael Jackson. And I bestow my blessings on his family, especially his children. May they continue to remember their Daddy as they do now, and may they also be granted reprieve from the harsh media which often turned so horribly on their Daddy.

Rest in Peace Michael Jackson. I hope that you now have the peace you searched so longingly for in life.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Workin' on the weekends

As if my regular Monday - Friday 9 - 6 job wasn't enough, I often like to work on the weekends too. Fortunately, I have the presence of mind to work at something fun and rewarding on the weekends, otherwise I think I'd turn into a crazy person. Wait, ummm...

So the weekend of the 19th I was off on a road trip with the boys of Hate City Pictures to Larkspur, CO for the Colorado Renaissance Festival. This is the last year of filming for their documentary Huzzah! The Movie. Being that we are Texans used to a land of Flat, we went a little crazy with the mountain photos once we hit New Mexico. Seriously, there was nearly 200 pictures of Just mountains. Here's one or two.

This is a volcano. Seriously, a volcano. See that line that spirals up? That's a road that takes you to the top. There's supposedly a giftshop up there. Did I mention I come from the land of flat?

Ooooh, pretty!

And then there's the actual Faire.

Lookie there, this faire recycles!

This guy was pretty cool. He was etching glass onsite.

This is the Marquiche. What an Amazing character!!

Me Sunday AM feeling the burn of the first day of filming an uphill faire. Oh boy was I not awake.

Me after I woke up and the sun came out. Maybe about 30 minutes later or so.

And here's the crew...

Note my striped socks. You can't buy those at any of my local faires anymore for some reason, so I was just giddy over finally getting some striped socks.

So then on the following weekend I participated in the 48 hour Film Project. I was a part of a pretty sizable team. We pulled Suspense/Thriller out of the bag along with the regular requirements everyone else had. This was my first competition/race to work, so it was all new to me. It was also my first time as 1st AD. I usually just do Continuity.

Thanks to my crewmates from Hand2Toe Creative, there's a few pictures and some video to share.

First day of shooting
The Crane

And here's my little setup.

I'm now totally portable. My tripod is lightweight, yet sturdy. It was designed for nature photographers and thus for being mobile. The mod cost me all of $5. I think I'm going to collect scarves for it so it has a little glam rock personality. I also need one more contraption to hang my clipboard from. Hmmm...

Me, outside, workin' in the heat, with my trusty straw hat. I believe this is just before the temperatures became sweltering.

This weekend will be normal, I promise. I have shopping and BBQs. And chores.