Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Cat Antics

As the cold weather continues, it would seem that so do the cat antics. For the past few days I have had to deal with the following:

They toppled over a large box containing some of my sweaters. I know, cats have a thing about boxes, but I thought this box was safe since it was a large box.

They gnawed through and partially ate a package of my pita bread. Their food bowl was full this time.

One of them puked on the living room carpeting. Ok, I was planning on shampooing the living room carpeting this weekend anyhow.

They have taken to relocating my socks that I did not put away after doing laundry. This would not be so bad if they relocated them in pairs. But this morning I had the equivalent of going on an Easter Egg hunt looking for a matching pair of socks to wear. Found one under the dining room table and its mate behind the cat perch.

At this point, having them swinging from the chandelier would not be so bad...

Monday, January 29, 2007

Cat Coffee

I am a bit of a coffee connoisseur. Perhaps I even go as far to say I am even a bit of a coffee snob. If I had the funds, I would buy bags and bags of Kona or even Jamaican Blue Mountain. Instead, Kona and Jamaican Blue Mountain are my occasional treat. I am also picky about how I prepare my coffee. The French Press maker is my prefered method of preparation. In a hurry, I will use an espresso maker. One way to make me shudder is to prepare a cup of coffee that has been pre-ground and put through an automatic drip coffee maker. In my opinon, the automatic drip does not fully bring out the nuances of the coffee beans and for some reason, seems to bring out the acidity tones a bit too much. Perhaps it is because the water is heated too high and destroys the other qualities that would normally balance out the acidity? I don't know, but I digress...

However, even Kona and Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee pales in comparison to the price of Kopi Luwak coffee. On average, it can cost around $300 or more per pound. Yet, even if I had unlimited funds, I think I would still pass on this coffee. And not because of the price.

Supposedly, Kopi Luwak coffee is considered the finest in the world by coffee connoisseurs. It offers a taste that is rich and chocolately. Although I love chocolate, and love the rich chocolately after taste of Sumatra coffee, I will still not allow Kopi Luwak to touch my lips.

Kopi Luwak coffee is coffee beans that have been passed through the digestive system of a cat like creature called the civet. The beans are "harvested" from the turds left by the civets after they have eaten the coffee cherries. For more information, look here.

I am sorry, but coffee beans or no coffee beans, anything that passes through a cat's digestive system is still cat sh**.

Cold Weather and Cats

It has been rather cold lately where I live. What I cannot figure out is why is it that cold makes my cats turn into little furry demons?

I am perfectly content to go into "hibernation" mode when it is cold. I am talking heavy blankets, hot tea or coffee, hot bubble baths, and activities that are geared towards staying warm.

My cats on the other hand, take the cold as an excuse to gear up their mischief. These activities include, but not limited to playing with noisy toys when I am trying to sleep, seeing how fast they can run around the house as if possessed by some demon, wanting to play when I want to sleep, using the floor rugs as a sled across the floors, etc. It is as if the cold transforms my normally well behaved cats into furry demons.

I found myself this morning spending more time straightening up after their night of mischief then I would normally spend getting ready in the morning.

I hope it warms up soon. Otherwise I wonder if someday soon I might see one or more of them swinging from the chandelier?

I so dread going home tonight and seeing what mischief they have gotten into while I have been away during the day...

Friday, January 26, 2007

Friday Cat Blogging

For your amusement, I present this for Friday Cat Blogging. Make sure you turn up the volume, the sound goes well with it.

Now, if I can only stop watching it...

Thursday, January 25, 2007

A Prank

Never a dull moment in our laboratory. Never.

Every so often, a practical joke is played in our lab. Usually I am the one that is the victim. This time, I am happy to report, that I have not been "victimized".

It turns out, that our technician was our victim.

She has this cart that is by her bench always and she is very possessive about this cart. She really uses it more as an extra lab bench rather than a cart.

Well, someone, in the wee hours of the night (presumably) removed all the wheels from the cart. So now we have a laboratory cart without wheels. It has had me in giggles since yesterday. Now, the story has spread to the entire pathobiology department and various people are coming through the lab to have a look at the cart without wheels. Everyone has their own theory on the matter as to why this "crime" has been committed.

Well, I always did think we needed more bench space...

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Why do they do this to me?

I am cursed to have light colored, deep pile carpeting in the living areas of my home. Suffice it to say, this carpeting was/is in dire need of deep cleaning.

Since my grant is now completed, I thought I would tackle some tasks that are overdue. So, I spent part of my weekend shampooing the dining room carpeting and repotting some of my orchids.

When I came home the other night, I thought that since I had some energy left, I would start on cleaning the carpeting in the living room.

However, first I decided to deposit my mail on the dining room table and I gingerly stepped in there since the carpeting was still slightly damp. What do I find? My newly potted orchid and its potting medium strewn across the still damp, used to be newly clean dining room carpeting.

Yes, one or more of the cats was obviously to blame. Although none of them would confess to the evil deed.

Suffice it to say, I did not have the energy left after re-cleaning to work on the living room.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Friday Cat Blogging

Here is a heartwarming video.

Just goes to show you, that even big cats need and respond to love.

"...I don't care what they say, I won't stay in a world without love."

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Moving Photography Subject

(Click on picture to enlarge)
This picture was taken on my very last photography expedition during the summer. This picture was also the first picture taken with my 300mm telephoto lens. I have to admit it was unusual for me taking this picture because my main photography interests are in the botanical realm. Thus, I am not so used to photography objects moving and on the go. It proved to be challenging because I did not have the luxury to contemplate settings and composition. Also, since the object was far away, I felt I was more limited in terms of the angle at which to take the picture.

However, even though the photography subject was not my typical subject, I still enjoyed photographing this beautiful Great Blue Heron.

The picture was taken at Sandy Ridge, one of my favorite spots.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Friday Cat Blogging

For this week's Friday cat blogging I decided to post a cat up for adoption, but also in desperate need of a temporary (for a few weeks) foster home. Gosh, he looks like such a sweetie!!!!

He is from my favorite animal rescue organization.

Thursday, January 11, 2007


I have managed to meet my AHA grant deadline. Grant has been submitted. All that is left to do is put together the hard copies and send them on their merry way to Florida.

I am puzzled about something. Although I have a sense of enormous relief after submitting this grant, I feel rather depressed about it and I am not sure why. I feel rather "weepy". I don't understand. I should be feeling happy about getting this rather large task done.

Could there be such a thing as post-grant blues?

Sunday, January 07, 2007

This is my life

(click on cartoon to enlarge)

I can very much relate to this. This is so my life. I present to my advisor the draft of my grant on Monday which I submit to AHA on January 10. I am so very much dreading the revisions.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Friday Cat Blogging

This is too funny not to share!

Thanks, Jim!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007


Being the new year, I thought long and hard about my resolutions. No doubt last year was miserable with my mother passing away so suddenly. I can only hope that this year will be better. It has to be. Yes, I still cry almost every night and find solace in chaos, but I know it will get better--someday.

I was tempted to make no resolutions. But that is not right considering.

So, I make two resolutions for this year:

1.) Continue to improve myself physically. It was something I started two years ago and have made tremendous progress in this area. I can say that in some ways, I am a mere shadow of my former self. Considering that one of my parents died of heart disease and another of cancer, I am not taking any chances with my health. Just today two postdocs in my department thought I was in my early to mid twenties. So, I must be doing something right.

2.) Become better organized. I admit that organization is not my forte. Never was. However, I have a lot on my plate right now. I have a grant to submit next week to AHA, a proposal to defend in the spring, start writing my thesis, finish writing my first manuscript, and start my second manuscript. In all this I find myself suddenly a homeowner with a house to maintain as well. To say that I am overwhelmed is mildly putting it. Organization has to be my key to survival.


Why is it when I am joking people think I am serious, and when I am serious, people think I am joking???

Oh well, with various deadlines looming over my head, I am not even going to try and figure this one out...
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