Saturday, October 25, 2008

Trash toys

Cats are such strange creatures.

George, well, he is a cat all right.

I have bought this cat real cat toys in the past. He has some little animals that he plays with on occasion. But his favorite thing is the ring from the milk jug. I call them trash toys. He also like plastic forks. But those hurt more when you step on them in the middle of the night.

So what is the deal with that? Lucy is the same way.

She loves to play with the milk ring. But instead of playing with the plastic bags, she licks them.

And of course as soon as I try to take a picture or get a snippet of video, off she runs.

Aspen... well, Aspen is not much for play of any kind. She is a weird, skittish creature.

And then there is the box thing. If there is a box around, they all have to try it on for size.

Some cats are better suited to some boxes.

Big George. Tiny box. No problem.

He totally smashed this one when he tried to get more comfortable and stretch out in it.

Sometimes I look at them and wonder "Why do we keep these odd creatures in our homes?"

Friday, October 24, 2008

Where I spend my days

We recently moved around here at work. I am now sitting on the other side of the building from where I was.
It's not a bad spot, just a different spot.
I am closer to the rest of my team, which is good.
But I do miss my nice, big, tucked-away corner.
But this will do.
With how newspapers are going these days, I am happy to have any desk.

Here is a look at some of my clutter. Some people have nothing personal, some people had boxes and boxes and cartloads of stuff to move.
I have just a few things to make it more pleasant. I like flowers.
Though I have decided not to keep anything here that I am not willing to walk away from.

More clutter and bits and pieces.

My new double-monitor setup. It is nice having the extra screen space. I had news pages up on one side to design and the other side was for the other stuff: messages, palettes, Internet, e-mail, etc.

So, there is is, where I spend my days. Well, my work days anyway.

Getting the boot

A while back I wrote about the trouble I have finding boots in my size.
It's really a pain sometimes wearing a size 12.

But good things came from that post.

About a week after I wrote it, my ex-husband called. He was at the Nordstrom Rack in Broomfield, Colo., with his girlfriend and they were looking at about six pair of boots in my size.
Did he want me to buy them and send them to me?

Um, yeah!

So he did. And I got them a couple days ago.
Going through the box was like Christmas morning.

I ended up keeping three pair of boots of the five pair of boots and one pair of shoes he sent me.
What I don't keep I will take back to a Nordstrom Rack here.
So, what did I keep?

This pair of brown Franco Sarto boots. They have no zipper, they slip on and fit super tight against the calf. The style is very simple and classic, with a nice stitching detail.
They were $45. Awesome.

I also kept another pair of brown boots. These are by Giovanni Z, a brand I had never heard of before. But they are cute. A little more casual and funky with all the buckles on them.
They were originally $99, but were on sale for half that price. Excellent!
Now I have two pair of brown boots.
I was only going to keep one, but at those prices, I am keeping them both. Maybe they will last longer if they are not pulling sole brown-boot duty.

The last pair I am keeping is a black pair. They are a slightly shorter boot, but still work great with pants, jeans and skirts that hit below the knee.
These are a Nordstrom house brand, BP.
They were $65.
They fit so well and I love the heel. Yes, that is a 4-inch heel.
But they are really pretty comfortable. Plus a lot of my sandals and pumps are that high, so I am fine walking in them.
I actually wore them yesterday even though it was about 90 degrees outside. I just paired them with a light-weight skirt and a sleeveless top.
Again, the buckle detail is fun. And they are well-made, so I should have these for several years with the right maintenance.
Good thing I have a great shoe-repair guy!

There was another pair of black and another pair of brown that I did not keep because they did not fit right.
There also was this pair of shoe-bootie type things by Franco Sarto
These are not really my style, but they looked like they would be cute with pants.
So I tried them.
But they are too pointy. Pointy does not work for me, so back they will go.

And the ex also offered to keep an eye out for more boots and shoes when he goes back to the Rack. Turns out his girlfriend has trouble finding shoes, too, since she wears a 10-11.

I took him up and that offer.

Hmmm... red boots could be fun!

So, huge thanks to him, and to his girlfriend who helped him pick out the boots he sent.
Seriously, how cool are they?

Monday, October 20, 2008

Back in the swim of it

It's been a couple weeks since I have been diving.
We were supposed to go Saturday morning, but I woke up very early with a monster headache.
Some ibuprofen and more sleep took care of it, but I was still feeling a little heavy-headed.
With the pressure of the water that comes with diving, I didn't feel comfortable going out that soon after such a bad headache.

So we skipped it and decided that if things looked good Sunday, we would go out in the afternoon instead of the morning.
When we got there, we saw a couple large sailing ships cruising up and down the coast.
Turns out they were replica schooners giving sails and tours. Every once in a while they fired off their cannons.

The water looked pretty choppy. There were no big waves, but there was a lot of chop which made me think there might be too much surge and too much sand being churned up at the bottom.

But we asked another diver who was just getting his gear stowed after a dive.
He said conditions were excellent with great visibility. He also said they saw squid eggs down at about 70-75 feet. Good enough. Time to dive.

Veteran's Park, Redondo Beach, Calif.
Oct. 19, 2008
Logged dive: No. 16
In with: 2400 psi
Out with: 500 psi
Max depth: 73 feet
Bottomtime: 35 minutes

Here is Manfriend. Behind him is Redondo Beach, looking south down the coast.

This is me, with Redondo Beach pier behind me, to the north.

There was a little surge, creating ripples in the sand where we dropped down into about 15 feet of water. They look like tiny sand dunes.

Manfriend gives me the OK sign, which I return to indicate I am good, ears cleared, ready to go.

Sand dollar. We saw what looked like a sand dollar farm. There were dozens of them all standing up in the sand like this. I wonder if it was because the surge tipped them up or if this was some sort of sand dollar spawning thing.

The almost invisible, sun-shaped thing to the bottom of the photo is an anemone.

These are a type of worm. They are all over down in the sand.

Sea snails, um, getting to know one another.

Yeah. It was really odd to see this. They were going at it.

Here is a pipe fish. At first it just looked like a piece of kelp. Excellent camouflage until it started to swim.

Jillifish. Which apparently is a nickname another diver, Reverend Al, came up with for me.
I kind of like it.

The underside of a starfish.

There was, of course, some trash. If I had a free hand and the bottle was not broken on the other side, I might have brought this back to throw it away. I am thinking maybe we need to bring a small mesh bag for trash when we go out at Redondo. There is always something.

There is a giant starfish down there, just as the shelf starts to drop off. It is almost like a landmark.

I put my hand in the frame to give some perspective on how big this thing is.

Then we found the collection of cinder blocks and other assorted items that people leave at a place referred to as the monument. There are some old scuba tanks, a traffic sign sort of thing and this clock.

There was an old camera, a trophy and this rhinestone-studded frame.

Looks like the little trophy dude has been down here for a while.

I like the frame thing. I used the macro setting on the camera. I like how this turned out. There is pretty good detail.

The cinder blocks serve as home to several creatures. They are especially comfortable for octopus it looks like. I saw at least six of them, or at least little tentacles and eyeballs peeking out.

Here is a detail shot of a tentacle. The octopus are fascinating and creepy at the same time.

At this point, I was down to 800 psi in the tank, so we turned and headed back toward shore.

Next time I may use the bigger tank. It is heavier, but it holds more air. So I can take off some of the other weight and dive for a longer time.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Rocking out

I just have to post quickly about how much fun I had last night playing a video game with friends.
The video game? "Rock Band."
I really thought I would just sort of sit back and watch everyone else play.
But I ended up taking a turn on all the "instruments" (guitar, bass and drums) and even singing a few times.
My best vocal performance was "I Think I'm Paranoid" by Garbage.
And I think the drums were my best instrument.
Plus the company was great and the mojitos (my own blend) were the perfect combination of tangy and sweet.
It's been ages since I had a girls night. I really needed it.
We stayed in, ate the snacks I brought, forgot to order pizza because we were having so much fun, ate more of the snacks I brought, drank mojitos and rocked out.
I mean, as much as one can rock out on fake drums and guitars.
I'm not much of a video gamer. But this was a great way to blow off steam.
Sorry. No photos or videos were allowed of this event.