Friday, March 30, 2007

Friday Cat Blogging

Found this on the internet. Hope you enjoy.

Punishing Your Human Being:
Sometimes, despite your best training efforts, your human will stubbornly resist bending to your whim. In these extreme circumstances, you may have to punish your human. Obvious punishments, such as scratching furniture or eating household plants, are likely to backfire--the unsophisticated humans are likely to misinterpret the activities and then try to discipline YOU. Instead, we offer these subtle but nonetheless effective alternatives:

Use the cat box during an important formal dinner.

Stare impassively at your human while it is attempting a romantic interlude.

Stand over an important piece of electronic equipment and feign a hairball attack.

After your human has watched a particularly disturbing horror film, stand by the hall closet and then slowly back away, hissing and yowling.

While your human is sleeping, lie on its face.

Good grief!

I stopped by on my way home yesterday at this convenience store close to where I live. Since it is near to my house, I have stopped in often enough to the point where the store owner is familiar with me to a certain degree.

As I take my purchase to the counter, I notice him taking a "close examination" of me. I also noticed he was going to say something. I figured that since I was wearing one of my favorite cashmere sweaters, he would say something to the effect of how nice I looked, or how pretty my eyes were, or even how nicely I smelled. I figured he would give me the typical nice compliment.

But no.

Instead, he said I look really really tired. Good grief!

I guess I need to take a little shopping trip Bath and Body Works, Victoria's secret, and spend some serious time soaking in a tub of bubbles...

Thursday, March 29, 2007


I am posting this picture in my attempt to find inspiration today. I photographed this Owl Butterfly at the Cleveland Botanical Gardens this past summer. I hope you enjoy this photograph. Please click on photo for a better close-up.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Trespassing Cat

My cats have now taken to inviting their friends over to my house. Without my permission no less.

To make a long story short, I have someone's cat in my house that I just can't seem to get to leave.

I made the mistake of leaving my door open this weekend while I was going in and out of the house. This cat wanders in. All I had time to see was a grey tail that did not belong to any of my cats. I figured, it will eventually wander back out if I leave the door open. Or so I thought.

Yesterday (or actually this morning) around 2am I discovered that the guest is still in my house. So, I open the doors and go cat hunting trying to find the cat and trying to get it to leave. Finally at around 3am, cat or no cat, this Kat decided to go to bed.

So, it looks like tonight I will be doing some more cat hunting in my own house. Probably in the wee hours of the morning. In the meantime, it has food, water, a litterbox, and access to my cats. Somehow I will figure out a way to get it to go home.

Cat antics--it never ends.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Salamander Report

Despite missing the first wave of salamander migration at North Chagrin, I was able to see the second wave of migration. It was quite wonderful and I got some nice pictures. Let me tell you, it is quite chalenging photographing when it is pitch dark. For starters, you have to manipulate much of the camera by feel. Then illuminating a nocturnal creature when it does not want to be illuminated is another problem as well. But all in all, it was well worth all my efforts because I got to see some really wonderful creatures. If I may add, although I was quite covered in mud at the conclusion of this expedition, I did not get as muddy as I feared. With all that said, here are the picures (please click on the pictures for a close up):
(This is a Red Spotted Newt):

(This is a Spotted Salamander):

(This is a Jefferson Salamander--very few ever get to see this one due to its elusive behavior. I was very fortunate to have seen it.):

Friday Cat Blogging

Here is something interesting for Friday Cat Blogging. Click here.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Second Warm Spring Rain

Tonight we are having our second warm spring rain. As a result, I am going out to North Chagrin tonight in hopes of capturing (with my camera) the second wave of salamander migration. Since I missed the first one due to the fact we were having a quite a storm and I did not want to venture out in a storm.

It looks like it should be sufficiently wet and muddy for the salamanders. And it will be sufficiently wet and muddy for me to come out looking like a mud creature.

If all goes well and I get good pictures, I will post them.

Not of me, but the salamanders of course...

Wednesday, March 21, 2007


Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd.

Voltaire (1694-1778)

Tuesday, March 20, 2007


Yesterday I was in a rush to get to the lab. I had to finish the workup on this nitrite/nitrate assay that I was doing. I always get nervous and anxious with this assay because there are so many steps in doing it that is always easy to mess it up.

As a result, I forgot my lunch at home. I put it in a bag and accidentally grabbed the wrong bag as I headed out the door. My lunch was a nice pate with french bread. But leaving it at home was not the worst part. Oh no. Even the fact that the nice pate would likely spoil by the time I got back home. That was a minor issue as well. The main issue of this problem is that I have cats.

These same cats get into bread when I am not at home and nibble on it. I could only imagine what they would do to the french bread and the pate while I was gone. Most likely gorge themselves on it and then get tummy upset and puke pate vomit everywhere. I already was prepared for the worse scenario when I got home. I figured that the pate and french bread combo would have been eaten, smeared everywhere, and then puked on the cleanest areas of the house. I figured my house would stink to high heaven from pate vomit incubating all day.

But no. When I got home, all the cats were soundly asleep. The pate and bread was still untouched (although the pate had seen better days considering it had been left out all day). I could not believe my eyes. Apparently the cats had been sleeping ALL day in my absence and never discoverd the little treasure before them.

Sometimes cats will surprise you...

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Itsy Bitsy

I pose to you, can you find the micro spider in this macro photograph?

One of the joys of doing macro photography is that sometimes I will find things in my pictures I did not know was there. Sometimes not until I bring up the pictures on the computer or I zoom in on the camera display after taking the picture. In this case, I found an intsy bitsy spider when I was taking photographs and I zoomed in on the display on the camera to check how sharp the picture turned out. Unexpectedly, I found this spider. So, I decided to turn the attention of the camera on making the subject matter the spider instead of the flower. Hence the above photograph.

Originally I was not all that interested in photographing the flowers and just wanted to sit down on the ground for a bit because I had already been hiking for about 12 hours and I was tired from the hiking, carrying around my equipment all day, and a bit overheated from the hot summer sun. I photographed the flowers more for study later rather than a photography subject.

At the time, sadly, I did not yet acquire my diopter lens adapter and was not able to make the itsy bitsy spider a proper macro photography subject. The spider was extemely small and my 105mm was still not enough.

But who knows, maybe our paths will cross again...

(If you have trouble locating the spider, you can click on the picture for a better close-up).

Friday, March 16, 2007

Friday Cat Blogging

Let me tell you what one of my cats decided to do last night.

I decided to finally upgrade my cell phone. I was long overdue. I suppose I am one of those people who live by the rules, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it". Thus, since my previous cell phone suited my needs and worked fine, I saw no need to upgrade. But then my network provider made changes and I had no choice but to upgrade. So, my upgraded phone is rather nice with a camera (like I need another camera)and what is so cool about it is that you flip it open to answer a call. Reminds me of the communicators from Star Trek.

Well, last night I was playing with it and I was exploring the various features. I decided to try out the different ring tones to see which one I liked best. When I did this, my cat came up to me, let out a displeased meow, and nipped me on the hand. Nothing hard, just a nip. She has never nipped me before. Odd behavior for her. So, I figured that perhaps she did not like the particular ringtone I selected, so I tried a different one. Same response. A meow and then a nip. Okay, so obviously she did not like that one either. Try another ringtone I figured. That ringtone was met with the same respone. I tried every ringtone and for every ringtone I got a meow and a nip. I think they were about a dozen different ringtones in all.

I really do hope that I don't get very many calls on my cell phone when I am at home...

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Monty and Star Trek

Oh my gosh, this is too funny!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Wet and Dirty

We are currently having our first warm spring rain. That means that after I get done with my labwork, I am heading out to North Chagrin in this rain to get down, wet, and dirty. Probably into the late evening hours. Maybe even until midnight.

Why? The salamanders are making their annual spring migration. They are elusive creatures and this is usually the best time to observe and photograph them. Since I do macro photography, to get a good shot will entail getting down on the wet muddy ground where they are migrating.

I have to confess that a year ago I would not have thought I would be doing something like this. In fact, I still can barely believe I am doing this. And I am actually looking forward to it.

I realize that people who know me cannot believe that I am doing this.

Me, mucking around in the mud looking for salamanders.

This even I have got to see...

(Addendum to Post: The sun unfortunately came out and although the ground is still damp, it is not wet enough for the salamanders. Thus I will have to wait until the next warm spring rain.)

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Till death do us part?

A woman marries a corpse. No joke. Read the story here.

Although the story is somewhat sweet and romantic, I think it would be something a bit too macabre for me. I think that the man that I would someday marry I would like him to at least be breathing.

But either way, it certainly gives a slightly different twist to the words "Till death do us part."

Sunday, March 11, 2007


I have fallen into a dark abyss where seemingly no light can penetrate.

I reach out for a gentle hand, but grasp only emptiness.

I float on a quiet sea of despair; alone and very misunderstood...

Picture taken of the morning mist at sunrise at Indian Point in Lake County.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Turning Point

My advisor knows how to dangle the proverbial carrot in front of me. All he has to do is mention a first author paper in a high tiered journal and I am more than willing to do his bidding.

So, this week, after looking over my data he mentions to me this project he wants me to do. He tells me that it is a great project and it will be published in a high ranking journal. My eyes glaze over at this point and my attitude changes to essentially telling him to just show me the hoops and I will jump. I know that his promise is not an empty one given his reputation in the field and his track record of publications. This project could very well be one of the best things that have come out of his lab.

The implications of the outcome of this project are so profound that I dare not think about it due to the fact it could be the most incredible journey and turning point in my career.

When my advisor saw me today, he mentioned how I am now making my ascent in the lab and how now he is going to put some serious efforts into my publication record. At the moment, I have two manuscripts on the back burner. Now with this new project, I think I can safely say that I should have between 3-5 manuscripts when I graduate.

But even 3-5 manuscripts pale in comparison to what could be the outcome of this new project. Although I dare not get my hopes up, I also know what an incredible mind and record my advisor has. These are not empty hopes and promises.

I am not quite sure why he has decided to make me his star, but for now, I will be simply content at this turning point.

Now, if I can just only find the time and energy to do the writing...

Friday Cat Blogging

Click here for a funny cat video.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Nice lens

Sigma announces their new 500-800mm tele lens. All I can say is WOW! I know that I often say that size does not matter, but it is so very hard not to be impressed with that kind of size...I mean, just thinking about all the possiblities is enough to send my mind into a frenzy where I can't even think straight.

Looking at the picture, it is hard to believe that the little box at the end is the camera. For more information, look here.

I suppose it is a good thing that I can't afford such a lens at this point in my life. After all, I doubt that I can handle such a large size since I have not had anything that big...

It's that time of year

It is that time of year when the orchid society to which I belong has their large international orchid show. It is something that I look forward to every year. I am hoping that it will help lift the curtains of my dark mood. Immersing myself into orchid culture should be the proper prescription to lift my mood.

The only down side of this is that I have agreed to volunteer to do the clerking. What this entails is to help with the judging. In return, I get treated to a free lunch and my name is entered into a raffle for a free orchid. The down part is that I have to be there at 7:30am on Saturday. Argh. But I suppose if I can drag my behind out of bed at 3am for my photography expeditions, then I suppose I can drag out of bed for this as well.

Should anyone be so inclined to go to this wonderful event, here is the following information:

West Shore Orchid Show, March 10-11
Strongsville Recreation Center
Strongsville, Ohio
Saturday Noon-5pm
Sunday 11am-4pm

The above picture is of one of my orchids, Dtps Newberry Parfait 'Picotee' AM/AOS. This orchid will not be entered into the show due to the fact that it is currently not in bloom.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Trying to do good

There is a saying that no good deed goes unpunished. I have recently found out the truth to that saying.

A few days back, one of my fellow labmates sat down next to me. The position and level he was sitting at gave me a rather obvious view of his, well, erm, crotch. I could not help but notice that he had a rather large rip in his pants that I believed he was not aware. So, to be nice, I delicately pointed this out to him figuring that he would probably want to keep his labcoat on and be careful how he sat so as not to expose himself to the rest of the lab. I thought I was being nice and doing a good deed so to speak.

Well, all I can say is that this "good deed" has been punished because now I have been mercilessly teased and accused for the past three days for "crotch watching". Now, I can't even walk into the lab without someone accusing me of staring at male body parts...

All because I noticed a rip in someone's pants...


Friday, March 02, 2007

A smile

We just got in a new postdoc in the lab today.

We were discussing the various ages of the people today in the lab and we decided to make him guess the ages of some of the people in the lab. The reason for this being is that our PI just had his birthday yesterday and turned 49.

It came time for him to guess my age. He guessed my age to be 21.

Makes my day and put a smile on my face. It feels nice to finally smile this week...

Friday Cat Blogging

I always enjoying combining my love of Star Trek with my love of cats. This is no expception.


From one of my links, thanks to Cute Overload.
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