31 July 2009

Friday Cat Blogging

Cause, you know, I've not been doing any kitteh blogging at all.

This was not Raxi playing, this was Raxi being asleep (until the camera make it's stupid little "I'm-turning-on" music -- hence the one-and-a-half open eyes).

The sound and flash may have woken her, but it did not cause her to move any bits other than her eyelids.

30 July 2009

A Kitteh Video

If you're not into cats and cute and the conjunction thereof, do not click play!

Also, a very Happy Birthday to my sister Julie!!

29 July 2009


For Jen.

Photo of the Morning

(h/t to Foiled Goil at Big Brass Blog)

28 July 2009

Costa Rican Fun Fact of the Day

We are in what they call here "Indian Summer", because, despite still being in the Northern Hemisphere -- oh, and in the tropics -- people call this time of year winter. It's hot.

27 July 2009

The Answer Is No. The Answer Is Always Going To Be No.

And the question was:

"You don't think that there will be too much chocolate, do you? You know, chocolate ice cream with the chocolate cake with... chocolate... icing...."

26 July 2009

Not As Pretty As Some, But...

Quick and dirty, holding the camera out the kitchen window...

25 July 2009

Fortnight Of Kitteh

As you probably recall, Jen got me a kitteh for my birthday. And it came to pass that Raxacoricofallapatorius had spent two weeks as part of our family. Yea, verily, I determinedeth to photograph her in honor of her first fortnight here.

Raxi does her best Firefox logo interpretation. Not bad, eh?

Uh, oh. I woke teh kitteh.

Kitteh 'tacks!!

In other news, I went to teach my every-other-Saturday beginners English class, and there was no one there. As in, the door to the place was locked and everything! Turns out today is a holiday here in Costa Rica -- Guanacaste Day.

Guanacaste Day is a Costa Rican holiday celebrating Costa Rica's annexation of Guanacaste province from Nicaragua in 1824. It is celebrated on July 25th.

Well, next time I'll know.

24 July 2009


Stop busting through the screen, kitteh!

23 July 2009

Secret Lair Flashback

Late Winter from Ed's back deck:
Full Summer from the driveway:

I lived there for eight years, and I really enjoyed it.

22 July 2009


I just did something I've never done before. I followed a link from a blog post to Free Republic. And... wow. There's a long (" * * R O U G H * * D R A F T * * " -- yeah, ya think) post about overthrowing the government and fixing things. If you want to see full-blown winger lunacy, then follow this link.

I think the best part is this:

...Therefore, We the People of America choose to exercise our right to throw off and alter the abusive government by peacefully recalling and removing from office the President of the United States, the Vice President of the United States and all U.S. Senators and U.S. Representatives effective immediately.

An interim provisional Chief Executive and congressional representatives will be established as follows:

The Secretary of State shall immediately assume the office of interim Chief Executive....

Hey Freeper Dude, you do realize that Hillary Clinton is SecState, don't you?

I think this shows just how unhinged these people have become in their desire to get Obama out of office. They're willing to install ... a woman, and not just any woman, but the pantsuit-wearing, all-emasculating wife of the Clenis!!1! (and, yes, I'm being over-the-top sarcastic)

As I said in the post title, wow.

(h/t to Wonkette)

21 July 2009

Praise Hymn... or Maybe Not. Who Knows?

I don't think I've mentioned it before, but there is a church directly behind our building. My kitchen window looks out on the roof of it, and there is a double door on the side of the church just off to the left of my window that they open up -- for cross-ventilation (hee) -- whenever there's a service going on. Which is daily, and twice -- or possibly thrice -- on Saturday. We have yet to figure out what the denomination is, btw.

Now, as you might have surmised, they speak Spanish in the services. And, as you know, I'm still a Spanish neophyte (although I'm taking a class now). So I really can't understand what's being said.

Thing is, it doesn't really sound like churchy stuff -- except for the hymns. Oh, and speaking of, wow. These people don't "have Jesus in their heart" when they sing. Unless all the hymns in their book are supposed to be dirges.


I was just fixing myself some dinner, and could hear the sermonificating or speechifying or whatever, and I swear, the tone sounded more like accounting instructions than "Praise Jesus" (or, for all I know Cthulu or FSM). I mean seriously, I grew up in a whitey white white Methodist church, and these people make that congregation sound like the crowd in Legba's (where you been boy? He done changed his name to Scratch!) juke joint at the end of Crossroads.

20 July 2009

Dear Internets (and Newspaper) Writers Everywhere

Please do me a favor, okay?

Stop saying that California is the largest state!!

It is the most populous state, but both Texas and Alaska are larger.

Thank you.

Blog Playing-around-with

This is just a test. Pay no attention to this post. I'm just playing with some code stuff to see how it looks. Please to continue your internets surfing. Have a nice day.

One Doesn't Often Get To Mention Zeus

PZ Myers (Pharyngula) has a link to a poll regarding some atheist signage in Vienna -- similar to the bus signs we've seen before in other places
"There's probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life"
"There is no God. [To] do good is human. What we ourselves do is what matters"
and my personal favorite
"God is with a probability bordering on certainty a Czech folk singer. Relax. He will do nothing to you,"
are the posters in question. The link is to an Austrian site, and the text is in German, but the three options are (in order):

Ich finde sie sehr gut. ("I find it very good" -- or, "I like it")
Sie stört mich. ("It bothers me")
Sie ist mir egal. ("It does not matter to me")

in case you would like to go and vote.

But that's not why I'm posting this. I'm posting it because of the following comment, found at Pharyngula:

Here in Italy the UUAR (italian acronym for Atheists and Agnostic Rationalists union) tried to put the same message on a bus in Genoa, but the advertisement society refused.
In a more recent episode, the UUAR put up signs with the same message (The bad news is that god doesn't exists...) and the signs were taken down by police because it offended religious sentiment.

In a funny aftermath, the UUAR choose a substitute message:
"The bad news is that Zeus doesn't exists. The good news is you can say that about Zeus".

Funny and very sad at the same time.

19 July 2009

At The Movies

We saw Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince today, and it was excellent. It may be the best one so far.

Yeah, it was very good and very dark -- not at all surprising considering the story.

18 July 2009

A Cat Post -- Because She Deserves One

She deserves one A) because Jen Said So and, B) because we took her to the vet today to have the stictches removed from her spaying. She DID. NOT. LIKE. having that done, but once the very moment of stitch removal stopped she was all tranquil and sweet again. She's gonna be a very good kitteh, I do believe.

Also, she's cute as can be:

Raxi on the couch, snoozing behind Jen.

Close shot of her snoozing on the back of the couch.

Being all cute and stuff in Jen's lap.

17 July 2009

And That's The Way It Is

I was going to post this in a couple of days, on the 40th anniversary of the actual event, but the news tonight caused me to push up the date.

I was only a few months old when President Kennedy was assassinated, and I don't remember it (I do know where I was, though... in my playpen).

But I most certainly remember the clip below, and all the rest of the Apollo 11 mission.

Good night, Uncle Walter.

From The Department of "You Scratch My Back, I'll Scratch Yours"

We have neighbors who are out of town this weekend, so we're keeping an eye on their house. Result is, I'll be in and out all weekend.

Keep me updated, and all that.


16 July 2009

Quote of the Day

This entire post, by Chris Clarke.

15 July 2009

This Post Is Not Oblong

Okay, so I guess four days in a row is enough posting about the new kitteh (but she's doing great, and even learning boundaries -- a bit).

Only problem is, I don't have anything else to post about. I haven't been watching the Sotomayor Confirmation hearings, Michael Jackson's still dead, and we haven't yet been to see the new Harry Potter movie (although we do plan on trying to go this weekend... hopefully the hordes of youngsters in Heredia will have descended, viewed, and thinned out a bit by then).

So... what else is happening in the wide world other than Sotomayor and Potter?

14 July 2009

"Cats Again? My God", Jen Said.

Oh, but this is no ordinary cat! This is Raxacoricofallapatorius!! (c'mon, say it three times and you'll love it too!)

Ummm, anyway...
Her Kittehship caught mid-yawn

Her Kittehship realizing she was caught mid-yawn.

Also, please to be noting the blue knot of stitchification on Raxi's li'l shaved belly, from the spaying. Also note no sign of post-op infection, yay!

(and, that's a balled up piece of brown tissue paper, aka Teh Bestest Kitteh Toy Evah!!1!, on the floor next to her, not ... any thing else)

13 July 2009

Decisions, Decisions Part II: The Electric Boogaloo

So, my plan was, as I said before, to let SWHYTBN let me know her name. And while waiting, I was gonna let y'all know the names that were in the running. But today, the name hit me. Luckily, I saw it coming, so the impact din't even leave a bruise. (ba-dum-dum)

And, so, without further ado, I give you....

Raxacoricofallapatorius, or Raxi for short.

Also, for being as tiny as she is, Raxi is already proving to be full-fledged kitteh-storm. For example, today alone she has
  • knocked over a travel mug of coffee while I was over at the neighbor's house
  • made two --that's two -- international phone calls on the Magic Jack (and apologies to whomever lives at (555) 555-5555 for the two minute call)
  • snatched a half slice of pizza off Jen's plate -- and dashed away with it

Not to mention slaying various and sundry vicious pieces of paper and vanquishing the fierce Box of Cardboardia & et cetera

Also too and? Right now she's perched on my left shoulder, alternately trying to eat my glasses and dismember my ponytail.

And I couldn't be happier. :)

12 July 2009

Decisions, Decisions

"Have you decided what name you're going to call her?"

I've heard that ... a few times ... already, but the kitteh has yet to inform me. And, as "Old Possum" himself told us (and Andrew Lloyd Webber reminded):

The Naming of Cats

The Naming of Cats is a difficult matter,
It isn't just one of your holiday games;
You may think at first I'm as mad as a hatter
When I tell you, a cat must have THREE DIFFERENT NAMES.
First of all, there's the name that the family use daily,
Such as Peter, Augustus, Alonzo or James,
Such as Victor or Jonathan, or George or Bill Bailey -
All of them sensible everyday names.
There are fancier names if you think they sound sweeter,
Some for the gentlemen, some for the dames:
Such as Plato, Admetus, Electra, Demeter -
But all of them sensible everyday names.
But I tell you, a cat needs a name that's particular,
A name that's peculiar, and more dignified,
Else how can he keep up his tail perpendicular,
Or spread out his whiskers, or cherish his pride?
Of names of this kind, I can give you a quorum,
Such as Munkustrap, Quaxo, or Coricopat,
Such as Bombalurina, or else Jellylorum -
Names that never belong to more than one cat.
But above and beyond there's still one name left over,
And that is the name that you never will guess;
The name that no human research can discover -
But THE CAT HIMSELF KNOWS, and will never confess.
When you notice a cat in profound meditation,
The reason, I tell you, is always the same:
His mind is engaged in a rapt contemplation
Of the thought, of the thought, of the thought of his name:
His ineffable effable
Deep and inscrutable singular Name.
T.S. Eliot, Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats

The first name that comes to mind (besides Li'l Bit, and as Jen points out, that name might sound odd if the kitten turns into a Big Ole Cat) is "Polly", because, well look:

This appears to be her favorite place, all things being equal. Although the back of the sofa (another up-high spot) is also good, it seems.

More possibilities -- and hopefully a decision -- to come soon.

11 July 2009

She Who Has Yet To Be Named

My teaching gig is growing; today I started a new, bi-weekly, class at a local business -- the class arranged through the Centro Multicultural. It's a small group, the folks who work at the business, and it is a beginners' level conversational English class. I was a bit nervous about it, because they speak little English and I speak little Spanish (although I'm working on that, too).

But it turned out well, as in most classes of any type, there are those who are more advanced, in this case one student who assisted me in translating for those who aren't as far along.

Also, I'll be starting another Level III (intermediate-upper intermediate) class next Monday (the 20th), so... more hours, more pay, yay!

But that's not what this post is about. This post is about the Great Thanksgiving Massacree... no, wait. It's not about that, either. It's about what happened after the class. Oh. And it's about today is my birthday. Did I mention that?

Jen (and the girls) had dropped me off at the class, and then came to pick me up after. And Jen said she wanted to take me somewhere "for about an hour or so" for my birthday. I was intrigued, as one doesn't often get taken somewhere. So we dropped the girls off with their dad for a while, and then down the road a bit... to the local no kill shelter! And Jen said, "Would you like a kitty for your birthday?"

Well, does the Pope want a little wine with Mass? Do Republicans want a little hypocrisy with breakfast/lunch/dinner/snack/every iota of their being?... Where was I?

Oh, right!!

I got a kitteh for my birthday!!!!!

This is her, just after we picked her from the dozen or so kitties. When Jen and I walked into the kitty room, she ran over to me and started kneading my shoe with her front feet. We looked around, but I was pretty much hooked at first glance/knead.

You can see that she still has the zip tie ID tag that all the kitties have. The shelter is really cool, and even has a website (in English, to boot!)

Here she is when we got her home after her spaying. She was still groggy from surgery when I took that, but since then she has recovered her spunky, playful self.* The deal with the shelter is that adoption is free, with a ¢3000 (about $6) donation suggested, and the will spay (or neuter, as appropriate) the animal before you take it home.

As you can see, she's just a Li'l Bit o' Kitteh, and she has yet to let me know her name -- although there are a couple that may be in the running. So for now, I'm calling her Li'l Bit or ... She Who Has Yet To Be Named. Kinda like a Voldekitteh for you Harry Potter fans. Stay tuned for more on these exciting developments, and now I leave you for... cake!!! (chocolate with peanut butter icing -- YUMMY!!!)

*SWHYTBN has already played with string, yarn, paper balls, and tried to scoot out the front door -- twice.

10 July 2009


Regarding yesterday's post (what? you don't need a link, it's right below this one), I have figgered out that Teh Google, outside the USofA, must use GMT as their time. Makes sense, they have to choose somewhere, and that is, literally, "Mean Time" -- the world standard.

So, that's six hours ahead of here (no DST in Costa Rica), so when I noticed the Nikola Tesla graphic, it was already Friday in Greenwich.

So Google and Wiki were actually in agreement. I know you'll all sleep better tonight knowing that the conundrum of The Two All-Knowing Sites Disagreeing is solved.

09 July 2009

I'm All Delimmanated, But I'm Still A-postin' It

According to Teh Google, it's Nikola Tesla's birthday, so they've got this image:

However, according to Wikipedia, his birthday is tomorrow.

So, whichever, he was a visionary scientist (but couldn't take care of finances to save his hide) who doesn't really get the respect he deserves.

"This publicity photo taken at Colorado Springs was a double exposure. Tesla posed with his 'magnifying transmitter' capable of producing millions of volts of electricity. The discharge shown is twenty-two feet in length."
(photo and text via PBS online)

Happy 153rd Birthday, Mr. Tesla, today or tomorrow!!

08 July 2009

Quote of the Day

[Obama] never got asked tough questions about his radical friends and associates, except by me and others. -- Sean "Toe The Line" Hannity, complaining about the unfair treatment of Sarah Palin (video at link!).

So, Obama wasn't asked any tough questions, except when he was. Got it.

The Results Are In!

And, accordingly, I am a bad influence. w00t!!

As you can see, that's 12 votes yes, 3 votes no, and 4 votes couldn't be bothered to figure out what the poll was. The people have spoken!!

I promise to use my powers only as they are intended.

07 July 2009

As Promised...

The long-awaited and much-promised video that I shot on the way back from Siquirres last Thursday, as we passed through the Braulio Carillo National Park.

And a couple more photos:

06 July 2009

Best Laid Plans....

So I've got a short bit of video that I shot on the way back from Siquirres the other day, but I've got to find and install a movie (format) converter before I can upload it here.

Bummer, but also gives y'all something to look forward to. :)

05 July 2009

Holy Crap, That Was A Big Ass 'Splosion

It's a sad (and unfortunately not unusual) post-4th article, but whoever wrote that headline needs... help.

04 July 2009

Promises, Promises...

I'll post more tomorrow and tell you more about the trip.

Yes, that was me, two days ago. But then somebody had a birthday, and today was the Fourth of July and we went over to some friends' for hamburgers, hot dogs, even more chocolate birthday cake and homemade ice cream -- the food was so good that we've got a crock pot full of chili that we started this morning and we don't want any (that just means it'll be better tomorrow), and...

Well, the point is, I am gonna post more about my excursion... just not tonight.

The Doctor calls (Jen has now met David Tennant, and we're about to visit New Earth for the first time).

Happy Birfday, Murrika!!!

03 July 2009

I'm Given To Understand That Today Is Somehow Special

Happy Birthday to my soulmate and Darlin'!! A gentleman never talks about a woman's age, but if she herself does so....

Here's wishing you many, many happy years to come!

Love you, Jen!

02 July 2009

When Hot Is Actually Cool

I had to get up early this morning (alarm set for 6, but we woke up a little before that) and go the the Centro Multicultural (where I'm teaching English, yes?) to meet the boss and go on a field trip to Siquirres, which is over near the Caribbean coast, and give a talk to high school students about holidays in the United States. I was told -- more than once -- that where we were going was going to be hot, which makes sense because we're near the equator here (10°N) and Siquirres is near the coast and the land is barely above sea level, as opposed to the 4000+ft elevation we enjoy here in San Rafael de Heredia.

As luck would have it, though, it was a cloudy, drizzly day on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica, so it wasn't really very hot after all -- so I didn't melt into the predicted puddle. :)

On the way back I took some pictures, and here are a couple of them. I'll post more tomorrow and tell you more about the trip.

In the flat lands... notice the lack of topography.

Climbing back up into the mountains... notice the abundance of topography -- or, you would notice if we hadn't been in the clouds by this point.

01 July 2009

Am I a Bad Influence?

In the three months I've been here, I have gotten Jen hooked on Ballykissangel (alas, I only have Series One and haven't been able to find online episodes yet),Big Bang Theory (seen all eps to date, waiting eagerly for the new fall season), and now Doctor Who (we're still on the Chris Eccleston episodes, so no spoilers for her, please).

This is a woman who doesn't watch TV -- although, it could be argued that since we're watching episodes stored online (or DVD in the case of BallyK), we're still not watching "TV" per se.

So, have I corrupted her?