Monday, October 29, 2007

Heads or Tails: Halloween

This bat is a real-life character in one of my real-life bat encounters.
You must click on this to see the large version in a new window.

I used Photoshop Elements, diffuse glow filter and mezzotint with edge blur, an iPhoto effect. This was done in conjunction with Rachel Clark Design's Friday Filter Challenge.


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Cats Tuesday: Turnip's Illness


This summer, Turnip was very ill. He had gradually lost weight, his stools were loose and bloody, and he had barely any control over them. At the end of summer, he spent a few days in the hospital and they found he had a bad liver count. He then spent two full weeks in a kennel in the city because he could not receive the medication (he hides here when it's time for meds) or the prescription food he needed because of the other cats. For Turnip, these three weeks away from home were full of terror. He is an affectionate, quiet homebody.

He came home a bit plumper and healthier but within two weeks he was worse than before. He refused to eat his special prescription food. He was crying in pain and became thinner than he had been before. By the time Labor Day Weekend arrived, Anna and I were discussing doing the unthinkable and putting him to sleep so that he would no longer suffer his obvious pain. I could not justify sending him back to the vet or the kennel for treatment because his terror was heartbreaking.

But after Labor Day, my source of Wellness cat food dried up. I then bought what all of my cats had been weaned on: Nutro Max. Within one week, Turnip had gained weight, his stools were normal, he was sleeping peacefully, and was a part of the household again.

Turnip was not "sick": he had suffered a severe, life-threatening food allergy. The vets never diagnosed this. None of us had a clue. The photo above is from Sunday when Turnip was reading in bed with me, in the crook of my arm, purring and warm. My Turnip is back and without any pain. Be careful if you switch your cat food.

Thank you for coming. I wish you peace for the upcoming week.

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Unplug Your Kids: Pumpkin Painting Project (Or: Why I'm a Math Teacher)

Unplug Your Kids: Reflections on the Inaugural Unplugged Project


For those of you who don't know her, Mom Unplugged is a mother of three who has the greatest blog full of ideas for all ages of people (as I have learned). She initiated me in the National Federation of Wildlife Backyard Habitat program, which I have posted about frequently. She has great articles on research and other topics about which she reads. Now she is doing regular TV-free projects. Last week it was stamping, and this week it is pumpkin painting. I participated. Perhaps I shouldn't have. This is why I'm not an art teacher:


LAUGHING IS RUDE.

I will participate in upcoming projects as I am able. I'm looking forward to seeing the results of other kids' pumpkin paintings. Visit Mom Unplugged now!

[UPDATE: next week the project is haiku. HAIKU? What the ^&*! is that??]

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SWEEP! (and I Am In Love)

MY MVP

Isn't Manny the cutest thing on earth? Believe it or not, I fell asleep about the top of the eighth. I never knew (for sure) until 3 AM this morning! I bet these guys are still partying.

GO SOX!

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Sunday, October 28, 2007

LOLCat Bible: Lectionary Readings for the 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time

30th Sunday in Ordinary Time | Proper 25 | Pentecost +22
Joel 2:23-32 or Jeremiah 14:7-10, 19-22
Psalm 65 or Psalm 84:1-7
2 Timothy 4:6-8, 16-18
Luke 18:9-14
If you would like to help with the translation, click here. Only one section of today's readings has been translated:

Psalm 84 (complete)
Ceiling Cat haz teh bestestest ov houzez, O yeah.
I wantz 2 curl up in teh houz of teh Ceiling Cat and can haz cheezburgr.
Teh birdiez, teh swallowz An teh sparrowz who makez teh baybee chickeez I laiks 2 chase An eat, we haz all napped in teh houz of teh Ceiling Cat.
Hai Ceiling Cat, the kittehs in ur houz say kthx for making teh cheezburgrz alwaiz.
Hai Ceiling Cat, teh kittehs cldn’t chazez teh birdiez widdout u.
Teh Ceiling Cat alwaiz makz teh litter box cleen 4 teh kittehs.
An we climbz treez hai 2 see teh Ceiling Cat.
O yeah Ceiling Cat, we luv u. An dat Jacob dood laiks u 2, so lissen, eh?
Lookit Ceiling Cat, lookit ma tail.
I can haz ly in ur houz onlee 4 1day, itz bettr’n mastubatin out in teh tentz all teh time.
Cuz u givez cookiez An cheezburgrz An keepz teh dogz away from teh kittehs dat laiks u An walkz on 4 pawz bhind u.
Dey dat laiks teh Ceiling Cat will alwaiz have cheezburgrz An nap in ur houz. kthx bai.


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THREE!


The Papelbon dance.

Curt Schilling Blog: 38 Pitches
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Saturday, October 27, 2007

New England Earthquakes and Their Aftershocks

Earthquake Shakes Bay State - Boston News Story - WCVB Boston: "BOSTON -- For the second time this month, an earthquake has hit Massachusetts."

This earthquake happened while I was visiting Anna in New Haven. It was an interesting little story, but what struck me was this last sentence:
Earlier this month, a quake measuring 1.8 on the Richter scale rattled homes in Amesbury and Merrimac. Officials said that the quake was a late aftershock of an earthquake from 1727 in Newburyport.
Can aftershocks linger for 280 years? I went to the United States Geological Survey site to learn more. First, about the Newburyport earthquake:
At Newbury, many stone walls and chimney bricks were shaken down, and almost all tops of chimneys were knocked off. Considerable changes occurred in the flow of water in springs and, in some springs, changes occurred in the character of the water. "Some firm land became quagmire, and marshes were dried up." The rise and fall of the ground made it difficult to walk, and houses shook and rocked as if they would fall apart. Sand blows were reported near Spring Island. Felt from the Kennebec River in Maine to the Delaware River on the New York-Pennsylvania border and from ships at sea to the "extreme western settlements." Aftershocks occurred in the area for several months. The strongest aftershock (MM intensity V) occurred in the Newbury area on Dec. 28, 1727, and Jan. 4 and Feb. 10, 1728 (local dates).
Second, the definition of aftershock:
"Foreshock" and "aftershock" are relative terms. Foreshocks are earthquakes which precede larger earthquakes in the same location. Aftershocks are smaller earthquakes which occur in the same general area during the days to years following a larger event or "mainshock", defined as within 1-2 fault lengths away and during the period of time before the background seismicity level has resumed. As a general rule, aftershocks represent minor readjustments along the portion of a fault that slipped at the time of the main shock. The frequency of these aftershocks decreases with time. Historically, deep earthquakes (>30km) are much less likely to be followed by aftershocks than shallow earthquakes. (Univ. of Washington)
So yes, it is possible, I suppose, for the 1.8 quake earlier this month to be an aftershock from 1727. I don't know if it is, though. I could not find any other source to confirm it.


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Friday, October 26, 2007

Photo Hunters: White T-Shirt Bleached PINK By Big Sister


The graphic shown is from the shirt of one of my male fifth grade students on Friday morning. This favorite shirt had been bleached, with dark clothes, by his big sister. It now has a pink hue. The principal told this student the shirt was inappropriate for school ("Why?" the student wailed. "Because it's pink?"), so the student had to wear it inside out all day. The shirt was considered appropriate by staff and students.

Thank you for visiting.
Click for more participants.

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TWO


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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Dogs on Thursday: Haunted Hell: A Vermont Ghost Story from Joseph Citro

Haunted Hell by Joseph Citro

I found this sad, ghostly story of a boy and his dog from old Vermont, as told by Vermont author Joseph Citro on his blog.
One of the most gothic elements associated with Bristol is the belief that a murdered boy and his sidekick, a demonic hound, hold an eternal vigil in the lightless bowels of the mine shaft. They are preternaturally compelled to forever guard against would-be treasure hunters. Franklin S. Harvey wrote, "As these patient toilers hewed their way through the ledge and drew nearer to the object of their search, they could hear the boy sign and groan . . ."
To read the rest of the story, Haunted Hell, click here.

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How-To: Proper Gmail IMAP for iPhone & Apple Mail

How-to: Proper Gmail IMAP for iPhone & Apple Mail

gmail is going IMAP, which I have waited for for a long time. In fact I wouldn't use gmail for a time because it was not IMAP. But it will be any moment now, and here are the instructions to set up mail.app on your Mac. (Also instructions for iPhone, which is not legal in Vermont).


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Wordless Wednesday: Corn Maze Quiz 4

Monday, October 22, 2007

Cats Tuesday: New Haven Stray Cats

I went to visit my daughter, Anna, in New Haven, Connecticut the past four days (I came home Sunday). I am now sick so I won't be working tomorrow but I may be slow in visiting you. Please be patient.

Two strays sleep in her garden overnight. The photo above was taken with zoom from Anna's second story window. The black and white cat is female, two years old, has had two litters of kittens, none of which survived. The neighborhood has tried to trap her but has been unsuccessful.

The little female is very attached to this new male. The neighborhood is trying to care for any strays it can care for. People adopt as many of the cats as they can.

Two more strays seen in the afternoon across the street. What is encouraging is that they all seem to be eating.

This is the male that was sleeping in Anna's garden overnight. He was asleep in the neighbor's yard in the afternoon sun.

This cat had just caught a bird and was racing over the fence with his catch.

Thank you so much for visiting. I hope you all have a wonderful week.

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Heads or Tails: Train

Sparrows on a fence in City Point, New Haven, Connecticut

This was my only idea for today. Being sick, I'm not thinking clearly. But I love this photograph and wanted to share it. Have a wonderful day of peace and thank you for visiting.

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New Haven Wrap-Up

I'm home from New Haven, sick in bed with a bad cold that blew up while I was there. The drive home was uneventful and actually pleasant. But there are other updates to make:

Translation
The blog community responded so quickly to our request for the translation! What a fantastic community we are! My thanks to Jonathan, Moe, Gattina and especially to Captain Lifecruiser for finishing the translation. Anna is thrilled. You have all gone out of your way with this and we are gratified and amazed at the kindnesses. Please be sure to read the comments on the translation post to read what the letter from Brooklyn, June 4, 1900 says (it was Swedish).

Go Sox!
It's no fun being sick — but being in your own bed with your own cats and watching the Red Sox win and go to the Series makes it less miserable. GO SOX!
You can follow the Red Sox on Twitter. Click here!

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Sunday, October 21, 2007

LOLCat Bible: Lectionary Readings for This Sunday


Only one verse has been translated for today's readings.

29th Sunday in Ordinary Time | Proper 24 | Pentecost +21
Jeremiah 31:27-34 or Genesis 32:22-31
Psalm 119:97-104 or Psalm 121
2 Timothy 3:14-4:5
Luke 18:1-8
Psalm 119:
11 Ur word is in my hart, stoppin my sins


Come back next Sunday for the lectionary readings.

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Saturday, October 20, 2007

New Haven: Translation Help Needed

Anna found this 1900 letter in its envelope inside a wall when they were installing insulation in her house. It isn't English, French, or Spanish so we cannot translate it. Can anybody out there help us?

If you click on the photos they will open large in a new window. Thank you in advance for any help!

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New Haven: City Point Photowalk



Photos can also be seen in my web gallery here, or in my Flickr set, here.

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New Haven: Bad Math: Doggie Miles

Daisy's pitiful look.

Yesterday I took little Daisy for a long walk on Sea Street and Water Street. We went on the piers and looked at boats. Well, I did. Daisy tried looking pitifully at me so that I would take her home.

I had been contemplating Text Savvy's latest challenge about tire sizes and odometer errors. And I suddenly realized that when I walk, Daisy seems to walk four times faster. So I wondered: are there such things as doggie miles? Like doggie years? I set out to prove that there are.

Last night we measured off five feet. It took me two steps to cover that. After a few dozen doggie treats and a lot of cajoling, Anna and I finally agreed that it took Daisy 16 steps (we counted all four feet that touched the ground, so her four feet each hit ground four times) to cover the five feet. Setting up the proportions was easy after all of that cajoling and dog step debating:

Finally:

16896 Daisy steps ÷ 2112 meeyauw steps = 8 doggie miles.
1 meeyauw mile = 8 Daisy doggie miles

This doggie mile calculation has to be adjusted for different strides for different dogs. If you have a big dog (or a crazed beagle) these calculations are invalid.


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Friday, October 19, 2007

Photo Hunters: Practical

A carousel horse now used as a planter.
City Point, New Haven, Connecticut

Thank you for visiting.
Click for more participants.

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New Haven: Late At Night

We stayed up late last night. Here, Anna (with her lava cake with Cool Whip) catches her e-mail on the old iMac G4 (800 MHz). They also use this Mac to stream music. Aaron is on the other side of this computer room on a Mac Pro (2x2.5 GHz Dual Core Intel Zeon, 5 GB 667 Mhz DDR2 FB DIMM; 4 cores with a bus speed of 1.33 GHz (phew I hope I got all that down right)):

Aaron took a break from his work to show me how he would have photoshopped my crow photo (a photo that I worked on with filters from Photoshop Elements based on things I have learned from Rachel Carson Designs Friday Filter Challenge) that will be posted on Halloween week. I will also show Aaron's creation that you see part of here. He uses a Wacom graphics tablet in his work. He prefers using layers in Photoshop instead of filters.

A tighter view of what he is doing to my photo. My tiny MacBook laptop seems like a toy next to this magnificent Macintosh that Aaron works on. I have never in my life seen applications run so fast. Photoshop and Aperture, so slow on my MacBook as to make them intolerable to use, just sing.

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New Haven: Aaron Makes Lava Cakes

[photo removed by duress]

Aaron preparing to make King Arthur Flour Lava Cake mix.
Don't do this! He used some vegetable spread that isn't even margarine. Butter is the only thing one should use.

He mixes. He stirs.

He pours the batter into the silicon lava cake forms.

He bakes. He put the timer on (after I reminded him) but we didn't pay attention. We were talking, laughing and having a good time while they baked.

They are done! Timing is critical with lava cakes. There was no fudge sauce in these.

Third mistake: Cool Whip! It is difficult to believe that they even have some. But chocolate cake is chocolate cake and they were good chocolate cakes.

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New Haven: Daisy Has A Bath

Anna gave Daisy a bath last night because it was time for a new dose of Frontline.







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