Sunday, March 31, 2013

Cat Tree and Catching Up

Oh, Happy Easter, by the way, it's just Sunday here for us but if you chase eggs and don bonnets then more power to you!  I just decided it is time for an update on various things that have happened with us recently.  Time to start typing again and see what comes out!

20130331 aThe new cat tree has been a major change around the house.  Our little guys have been spending a lot of time on it, in it and scratching at it.  They love it, and I love it even more now that the table is not out there anymore because they were including that into their 'playground' more than I wanted.  They have their own space to get high up now to hang out and see out the windows. (PS - that cat toy that hung off of it lasted less than 12 hours before being destroyed easily, thankfully the cat tree as a whole is much more sturdy.)

The dining table is no longer in the front room and rather than get rid of it (and we have tried to give it to family many times), it has now become my computer desk, replacing the folding table that I had been using for years.  It is rather large, but I think we will adapt well.  It is a nice, quality, wood table that was my mother-in-law's but it is too big for our needs as a dining table so now, with a layer of contact paper to protect from localized wear and tear, it is a desk for the foreseeable future.

A couple posts ago I posted about Wisconsin playing in the NCAA tournament.  Well, they lost in the first round rather unceremoniously and it left such a bitter taste in my mouth that I haven't watched any of the tourney really since.  I glance at what's up and who wins sometimes, but I really lost my enthusiasm for basketball this year after that horrible loss.  Baseball starts and the Brewers open their season tomorrow.  Ho hum Oh boy.  I actually do like baseball but I would like it more if they only played 100 games or so, to shorten the season.

The weather has finally turned a bit milder.  Everything is looking all dirty - the cars, the windows, the lawn, the standing 'snow.'  The snow and ice that lingers along the roads is especially disgusting, as it is every Spring, until a couple good rains can clean and melt everything so the green can finally burst forth.  That's the next step for us around here, but I also wouldn't be shocked by more snow.  Lovely time of year, it is.

Actually, there is much to look forward to this Spring, and there is also much to do this Spring.  Mother Nature controls the schedule, though.  I recently posted the first post of 2013 over at Scoakat's Garden, and I'm sure that posts there will be picking up very soon as there will be a few changes this year.  We're a little behind compared to the past couple Springs, but there is still plenty of time to get things done.

Okay, this post has been interrupted by dinner so I may have lost my train of thought.  Anything noteworthy that I may have missed will be covered later.  Good night, kitties...
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Monday, March 25, 2013

New Cat Tree

20130325 003 The cats have a new toy, and their birthday is not even until April 20th.  We started out with the cardboard scratchers, then a while ago I got them a short rope scratching post.  They quickly outgrew that little thing, so we got them something bigger that will also let them be able to look out the windows.

I just finished putting it together, so they have yet to figure it out fully (Hamish was placed on top here), but they do love the cat toy that is attached to one of the posts.  If you look close you can see part of Basil in the corner, he is playing with it.  I placed the toy in the corner because I know it won't last long.  It will be destroyed soon and then I can remove it.  But until then, go nuts you crazy cats!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Happy (Official) Spring 2013!

Right now, 6:02 a.m., here and now when this is to be posted, it is officially the vernal equinox - the start of Spring.  This doesn't look like the start of Spring to me, especially with mounds of snow outside, but at least there is supposed to be some sun and some supposedly above freezing temperatures for the weekend.

forecast 201303219

But this forecast will change, it always does, and not for the better lately...  We and all we know are sick of it by now, but this is Wisconsin, we know where we live and it sucks sometimes.


Monday, March 18, 2013

Time Lapse: Earth

A short video of the views from the ISS.  Best watched in full screen, of course.

Thanks Joanne!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

St Patrick's Day 2013

Happy St. Pat's Day, all!  No corned beef and cabbage here today, but I did pop out to pick up a new desk chair and tried the new Cool Ranch tacos at Taco Hell.  Meh, probably won't do that again.  They were just okay and so were the nacho cheese ones, I only tried those once, too.  I guess I fell for the ads and novelty of it.

This day, this weekend, revolves around Badgers mens basketball and the B1G tournament.  The Badgers had a first round bye, beat Michigan on Friday, and beat Indiana yesterday - both are among the top ten teams in the country and we face another one today (that's playing 3 top-10 teams in 3 days!) in Ohio State for the tourney championship.   After today is the NCAA tournament where all but one team will finish their season with a loss.  It happens so quick, I'm just enjoying it while I can.  Go Badgers!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Sports, Weather And Movies

It has been a week since we got around 9 inches of snow.  It rained over the weekend and has been snowing almost constantly again for the last day and a half.  At least this time there is little to no accumulation, but we do have quite the pond starting in the back yard.  Thursday and Friday call for temps in the low 40's, (much different than last year,) so there should be even more melting of the several inches of snow still left on the ground.  I have heard others talking of water in their basements but we have seen none in ours so far.  We've never gotten a whole lot down there, but the floor does get wet in some places every so often when it rains long and hard.

Aside from the weather, it has been a usual week for us.  Free agency begins today in the NFL, and the Badgers start play in the B1G tourney on Friday, then March Madness is upon us!  I'm not one to fill out brackets or place wagers, I just enjoy the fun of all the games.  It's win or go home time!

Jerome came over on Saturday night with the movie "Wreck-It Ralph."  It was just a big bowl of okay.  I'm really not a movie person and he really is.  He wants me to get into them but I'm sorry, Jerome, I just don't enjoy watching movies a whole lot - very rarely, in fact.  This movie was a rather tedious kids movie, I thought.  Now, I don't always see late Saturday nights turn into Sunday like I used to when I was younger, but I was so tired just from sitting through this movie that I wound up going to bed at 9:00 p.m.  On a Saturday night.  When I wasn't deathly ill.  (How's that for an inadvertent movie review!  That's "Wreck-It Ralph," everyone!  Ask for it by name!)


Tuesday, March 5, 2013

It. Never. Stops. Snowing.

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It started snowing this morning about the time I left for work and hasn't stopped since.   March is 'in like a lion' this year, I can't wait for the 'out like a lamb' part of it.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Trying To Un-Hibernate

I realize that I'm not particularly sociable in late winter unless I have to be.  It begins with the seasonal holidays that bring us short, dark days followed by all the cold and snow again and again every January and February.  I've been in that funk a bit again this year.  I haven't seen many friends at all so far this year, and certainly not often.  We have had some small meetings with some friends, some even mentioned here, but we have not been out and about as much as we would normally be the other two thirds of the year.  Perhaps that is an excuse, or perhaps that is the reason to hibernate that I use, probably both since they both mean the same thing.  See what winter does to me?

hermitI have been trying to come out of hibernation a bit lately.  Nothing has really worked out yet, but I am starting to make that effort to see friends and be sociable again.  Eventually the sun will shine warmly on green grass and all will be as it should be.  Mostly I look forward to outdoor projects again.   There is much to do for the garden this year as my wife has made grand plans.  And there are several things on my to-do list with the house and yard that cannot coincide with snow and ice.  I like to think about these projects some during the cold months, but most cannot be done until Old Man Winter unwraps its bony cold fingers from around my neck.  What the hell did that groundhog say, anyway?


Saturday, March 2, 2013

New Shoes!

Last week, after pondering it for a bit, I finally ordered new shoes online rather than take that dreadful trek to the store.  Okay, I may be a bit pessimistic about it, but a trip to one store would end up being a trip to at least 3 stores and then maybe returning to a previous one to get the shoes I will resign myself to wearing for the foreseeable future.  Yes, I would have had the opportunity to wear it before I bought it, but searching was just so much easier online.  There was also a far greater amount of shoes for me to choose from than a brick and mortar store could provide.  But I did think ahead, I made sure I ordered from a one of the many larger retailers in the area and that I could return them to the local store if necessary.

shoesLate this morning, shortly after I finally acknowledged the new day, I glimpsed a Fedex truck slow down outside and my new shoes were here!  I waited until later after I cleaned up to put them on, but then I wore them to the grocery store and, well, I like them.  They feel closer to a boot than my old shoes, the soles are bigger and they go a little higher on my ankle, but so far I like them pretty well.  They are stiff and need to be broken in, but I think I can get away with these on my feet for a while, and they do have this neat zipper feature alongside the laces.

It is still the first day in the new shoes so it is hard to know how I will ultimately feel about them, but so far I am tentatively positive.  The zipper does allow me to slip in and out of them without undoing the laces, but barely.  And if I have to add my gel pads and arch supports then slipping in and out of them with only undoing the zipper will be almost impossible.  Of course this is all conjecture at this point.  The shoes are still hard and my feet need to get used to them some but so far I feel pretty good about them, they just need to be broken in a bit.

And, I promise, this is probably the last time ever you will hear this straight man obsess about goddamn shoes, expletive for effect.  You do know that sarc is my second favorite asm, don't you?