Friday, October 31, 2008

BSOD--It has happened.

more animals

Yep, BSOD has afflicted my dissertation. I backed up my hard drive two months ago, and my most recent backup of my dissertation is about a month or so old. Yes, I can reconstruct, but it will take time--at least a week.

In the meantime, a friend is trying to extract what he can off the dead hard drive. If he can just extract my most recent copy of my dissertation, I will be happy. But things do look pretty grim right now for it.

In the meantime, it is light blogging ahead--in between I will be cycling between uttering "colorful metaphors" and mournful whimpering.

Computers I have concluded are also minions for Satan, erm, Basement Cat.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Hungarian Sundays

Years back I attended a concert by Koncz Zsusza (Zsuzsa Koncz). She is a popular singer in Hungary. I really enjoyed the concert, her voice, and her music. This was, and always has been my favorite song by her.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Friday Cat Blogging

Still Blegging

Each year, countless numbers of wonderful cats are euthanized because their only crime in life was that they could not find a good home. This really does break my heart. Kill shelters will often euthanize if a cat has been there "too long", is timid around others, or has developed a communicable, yet treatable disease (like ringworm or an upper respiratory infection). Although I don't agree with this practice, I do realize that sometimes, these shelters have no other option.

The rescue organization I volunteer for is a non-kill shelter. They only euthanize as a last resort (the animal is in pain or as a humane last act--like in the case of total paralysis). Animals that have developed a terminal illness or medical problem are put into their "kitty hospice" and permitted to live out the rest of their lives in comfort and love. Once an animal has made its way to the care of Rainbow Connection Animal Foundation, it is assured that all is done to make sure it is never again homeless and can live out its life in comfort and love. Animals that are returned are re-evaluated and put up for adoption (or put into kitty hospice). Cats, from time to time will develop an illness and that illness is treated in the volunteer's home. Just earlier this year, all the cats in my household developed an upper respiratory infection. Every one got treated (including myself at times as some of the bubblegum flavored amox got in my mouth from attempting to dose the cat). Every one of my foster cats recovered nicely and all of them were later adopted into very loving homes.

I would like to see all this needless euthanasia come to an end. Help me by voting for Rainbow Connection Animal Foundation's contest to win a grant to support them as described in this post.

Please vote every day and pass it along to a friend if possible. Thank You!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Slumbering Bumble

Earlier this summer I took the opportunity to visit one of my favorite bogs. This favorite is Jackson Bog.

It had rained the previous evening and a thick morning fog developed. Even by the time I reached Jackson Bog, the air was still thick with an envelope of cool moisture. As I started to make my way through the bog, I noticed that the majority of the insects and other small creatures were seemingly motionless on all the vegetation. Some made slow and gentle movements as if to try to nudge themselves from a deep slumber. I can only say that it seemed as though a spell of sleep had been cast upon this emerald glen and all the creatures that dwelled in it.

I knew it would not be long before all its creatures would be embarking on their normal daytime activities. Therefore, I decided to take some pictures of this slumbering Bumble Bee.

…a slumbering Bumble in an enchanted place dreaming perhaps of sweet nectar finds.

(click on picture for a close-up)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


When I had my committee meeting late this spring, I was given the deadline of writing a dissertation and two manuscripts in a matter of six months. I have been progressively putting myself under duress to meet this deadline. Not to mention job hunting on top of all this considering that funding for me was due to end in December. It was determined that defending in November would be a realistic goal for me. Personally, I think it was more realistic for me to end up in the morgue than end up walking on the stage to receive my Ph.D. come December.

Thankfully, due to new funding, my contract is being extended to spring. Yes, I still have an awful lot of work still to do--but at least one of those is not funeral pre-planning.

For the very first time in months, I think that just maybe I can see the light at the end of this dark tunnel. For the first time, the Ph.D. is feeling like a tangible goal.

Some days, the sun really does indeed come out.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Favorite Car

Those who know me, know that my favorite car is the Ferrari F40. What can I say? What is there not to like about a fast car on smooth curves?

Below is a nice informational video on it. Sexy!

Anyhow, I am still searching/hunting for a nice Ferrari F40 to photograph. They can run, but they can't least not from me.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Star Trek Saturday

Star Trek meets Star Wars. Enjoy!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Friday Cat Blogging

This week's Friday Cat Blogging is a reminder to vote for Rainbow Connection Animal Foundation as I wrote in this post.

They are one of the few rescues that have a kitty hospice for cats that have a medical problem which prevents them from being adopted out, but are permitted to live out their lives in comfort and love.

Please remember to vote every day! The voting info is in the post. Thanks!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Dark Side?

Expanding my musical horizons

So Dr. D. emails me to remind me of the orchid meeting on Wednesday. I actually forgot which tells me how preoccupied I have been with this dissertation/writing. We will probably end up exchanging the CD's we loaned each other. Still have not finished studying the Malmsteen CD's. I am one of those people that have to listen to something 20-30 times before I can fully appreciate it. Some things I like and appreciate right away, others I listen to many times before I make the determination if I like it.

Although I will listen to top 40's music from time to time (when I want to put my brain in idle), I find that a lot of it tends to be a bit too insipid for my personal preference. How a piece with bad music and bad vocals make it to the top 40, I will never understand. But I digress.

I have to confess, that for the most part, I have been a simple baroque girl. Pop a Vivaldi into my CD player and I am happy. Never ventured over to the realm of metal or its "powerful" and progressive counterparts. Never cared for it. Yet, now, if the piece is well done I can fully enjoy it. I do have to confess that my progression into this realm has been slow and methodical--not for the faint of heart so to speak.

I guess I could even look the part of the "metal girl" if I wanted to. Pair the black satin corset with the black leather pants would do nicely (as Tarja (the previous lead vocalist for Nightwish) did at some of her performances). Yes, if Nightwish were to venture over to these parts, that outfit would do nicely.

At any rate, I am finding there is a lot out there that I have to listen to and see if I like it. I might just surprise myself and go to one of these concerts.

Am I venturing over to the dark side?

Monday, October 13, 2008

Saturday Conversation

This is for Dr. J. It would seem that Dr. J. has a penchant for horror movies. Made me think of this Nightwish song and video.

Thanks Dr. J. for the great conversation!


Went to the store and saw in the personal items isle Hello Kitty Bandaids. Is there no realm sacred from this annoying feline?

The sad thing is, that there was a time I actually liked Hello Kitty and had a few items of Hello Kitty (pens and an ice cube maker). But that was all before this feline went on a quest for world domination.

More adventures with kittens

I have two adult cats of my own--wonderfully behaved cats. I also have two foster kittens that I am caring for as part of a rescue organization.

Those two kittens have managed to go through more cat toys in a few weeks then my own cats do in a few years!

This morning when I got out of the shower, I find what looks to be another detonation of a cat toy. Tiny little orange foam pieces in the hallway, in my bedroom, and even in the living room. I was trying to figure out what the little foam pieces used to be when I remembered Gumdrop was playing with an orange foam ball two days ago. I guess another one bites the dust.

Earlier this year, I remembered thinking that I have way too many cat toys for the cats. Looks like the foster kittens are solving that problem...

Musical Monday

Here is an interesting video clip featuring Joshua Bell on his Stradivarius (I presume) playing my favorite of the Brahms Hungarian Dances (Hungarian Dance No. 1). I have a CD of Joshua Bell playing this piece and I never grow tired of listening to it. I have always felt like Hungarian music so beautifully brings out the emotion of the violin as well as the violin so beautifully brings out the emotion in Hungarian music.

Sunday, October 12, 2008


Ever Dream?

They say that the eyes are the windows to the soul. However, in my opinion, dreams are the true windows to the mind. Dreams can evaporate in the morning’s routines like mist in the warmth of the sun. But some dreams stay with us, and we will find ourselves during the course of the day thinking about them and wondering as to their meaning.

Dreams, defined by psychoanalytical theory are all forms of wish fulfillment. The dreams represent the desires in our hearts (mind). Even the bad dreams are a form of wish fulfillment—it is our mind’s way of trying to change an outcome or work through an issue.

Oftentimes, in an attempt to understand dreams, people will buy “dream interpretation” books and interpret a dream based upon the definitions of the symbols in the book. Yes, some dream symbols are universal. However, it is the dreamer that holds the interpretation to the meaning of the symbols in the dream. For you see, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar and the significance and meaning of the symbols can be unique to the dreamer.

On that note, here is a video of one of my favorite songs by Nightwish, Ever Dream. Seems to fit the post, especially considering that the images are subjected to individual interpretation.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Friday Cat Blogging

A Bleg

All those who know me know that I do a little rescue work with Rainbow Connection Animal Foundation. This is the best rescue organization that I know of in the area. They have no shelter in which to house the animals and as a result they are a series of foster homes. They have a no euthanasia policy and only euthanize in medically warranted cases. As a result, they run a hospice for kitties that have various medical problems that cannot be adopted out, but are allowed to live out their lives in comfort and love. They also greatly depend on the generosity of volunteers and donors. They are also at times barely financially afloat.

This rescue organization is near and dear to my heart. As a result I ask all of you to please vote for them in this contest to get a $25,000 grant. It would go a long way to rescuing and caring for more cats.



The voting site

At the search option type in:

For shelter: Rainbow Connection Animal Foundation
Location: Cleveland, Ohio (hit search button)

Then hit vote button (you will ask to confirm the vote)
And that is it!

(Remember to vote once a day during the voting period)

Monday, October 06, 2008

Music Competitions

I was having a discussion today with someone regarding Puccini's La Boheme. I recalled that I used to perform this piece:

I always dreaded it when my music teacher would insist upon me singing it for competitions. Although my performance got high marks from the judges, it always left me feeling exhausted. I don't know if it was the difficulty on the vocal cords or the emotion of the piece--but I always felt exhausted afterwards. As a result, it would always have to be my concluding piece because I would have nothing left to give after this aria.

My Summer Place

With a chill ever more present in the air these days, it will not be much longer before all is blanketed in a cover of snow.

I consider my "Summer Place" to be the beautiful world around me when I am out doing photography. From the Bald Eagles soaring above my head to the tiniest flowers beneath my feet.

As the plants die down in anticipation for the winter, my photography comes to an end until next year--when I once again return to my summer place.

Musical Monday

A Hungarian Opera

A few years back, I was privileged to attend a concert to hear this aria from Erkel Ferenc's Bánk bán.

I heard it song by an Opera singer from Hungary who was brought into town for a special performance. The performer sung it in full custume and had a lovely powerful voice as needed for this particular Opera.

The aria moved me to the point where I just could not stop the tears from streaming down my face.

Bánk bán: Hazám, Hazám:

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Classic Dame

Your result for The Classic Dames Test...

Carole Lombard

You scored 24% grit, 14% wit, 38% flair, and 38% class!

You're a little bit of a fruitcake, but you always act out in style. You have a good sense of humor, are game for almost anything, but you like to have nice things about you and are attracted to the high life. You're stylish and modern, but you've got a few rough edges that keep you from attaining true sophistication. Your leading men include William Powell, Fredric March, and Clark Gable. Watch out for small planes.

Find out what kind of classic leading man you'd make by taking the
Classic Leading Man Test.

Take The Classic Dames Test at HelloQuizzy

I would say my activities of hiking in nature preserves and falling into bogs probably counts as my "few rough edges". I always did have a thing for Clark Gable though...

(h/t Miz Minka)

Friday, October 03, 2008

More Friday Cat Blogging

Gumdrop has become quite the bold kitten and it has been quite some time since she has hid under my bed. However, she still uses the place under my bed to hoard things. Go figure.

She takes her favorite cat toys and puts them under the bed. For some bizarre reason, she loves to take my socks and put them under my bed. I have seen her literally dragging my socks under the bed. I figured I would just let her do this and deal with it all on laundry day. Sorry, but I just have a soft spot for her since she was an abuse case.

Laundry day arrived last night. It was an adventure to look under my bed and see all that she has hid there. Various cat toys, pencils and pens, small containers of eyeshadow, tubes of lipstick, several socks, and other clothing items.

I got everything out from under the bed (no doubt some things will all be dragged back under there while I am not at home). Even got all my socks matched up--with the exception of one lone sock. Can't find its mate anywhere.

So, I decided to confront Gumdrop as to its location. But she ain't talking...

Friday Cat Blogging

This is cute:
my pet! Locations of visitors to this page