Neil Gaiman reads Jabberwocky

Neil Gaiman does a lovely recitation of Lewis Carroll’s famous poem, Jabberwocky.

Of course, this can’t be compared to the Muppet version.

Posted in Geekitude, Poetry | Leave a comment

Update on kitties

BrieBrie and Phaedra have settled in and are doing incredibly well. BrieBrie has got her full Maine Coon on and has blossomed into a furrball. Phaedra is a cuddle cat: she has started sitting on my lap and purring. The little scaredy-cat has turned out to be pretty brave.

My parents were down for Thanksgiving and stayed in my room. This was the first time the kitties had to deal with people other than me staying in my room. Mom came in and they immediately loved all over her legs, purred against her, and were just so happy to be petted. They weren’t sure what to do when Ed came in. They did come out for him eventually. The kitties even slept on the bed with my parents.

Phaedra and BrieBrie have come so far from when I brought them home at the end of March. Every time I open the door, the kitties come running and greet me. They sleep with me every night. When I’m downstairs, I can hear them galloping upstairs like a heard of miniature elephants. Some nights, like tonight, they are quiet.

To show how much they have changed, here are some comparison pictures. Here is a picture of when I first met BrieBrie at Cat Angels.

BrieBrie on the chair at Cat Angels

BrieBrie on the chair at Cat Angels

Here is BrieBrie over the weekend, with her long haired heritage showing. She’s such a lovely cat.

BrieBrie, Thanksgiving weekend, Nov 2014

BrieBrie, Thanksgiving weekend, Nov 2014

BrieBrie Thanksgiving weekend, 2014

BrieBrie Thanksgiving weekend, 2014

And Phaedra, hiding under the chair at Cat Angels, on the same visit when I first met her. She was so scared, poor thing.

Phaedra, hiding and not very social

Phaedra, hiding and not very social

She is now an aggressive cuddle cat. She’s hysterical when she plays. The laser light is her friend and she goes after it with a frantic passion.

Phaedra looking very cute

Phaedra looking very cute

Phaedra in the sink 2

Phaedra in the sink 2

Phaedra by the food bowl

Phaedra by the food bowl

And finally, BrieBrie and Phaedra in the early morning curled up with me. This is probably one of my favorite pictures of them.

Morning with the kitties

Morning with the kitties

Posted in Cats | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Gentlemen’s sidesaddle benefit class

At the 2014 Region 11 Men’s Sidesaddle Class Benefit for the Arabian Horse in Distress Fund. Hysterical. (Video link won’t display. Sorry.)

2014 Region 11 Mens SideSaddle Class Benefit for AHDF raising over $15,000 from ArabianHorseGlobal on Vimeo.

Posted in Horses, Job Search | Leave a comment

Kenya came up lame

My Mom’s lovely mare Kenya came up lame today. (Kenya is Kasane’s sister by the same sire.) Kenya’s back right leg was slightly swollen above the fetlock. We had the vet out and it turns out Kenya had an abscess. It cleared up shortly after about a week of bandaging… but she’s all better now.

Posted in General | Leave a comment

BrieBrie had Horner’s Syndrome

This past Friday evening, I noticed that BrieBrie was holding her left eye closed a little. I didn’t worry about it because I figured she had gotten into something. If it still didn’t look right in the morning, I would call the vet.

Her eyes were noticeably different on Saturday morning. Her pupils were dilated unevenly: the right one was almost fully dilated open while the left was a slit with the still-droopy upper eyelid. Her behavior, demeanor, playfulness, and appetite were normal. She had no trouble seeing: she chased the heck out of the laser pointer light.

briebrie_horners

I called my vet at Piedmont Animal Hospital in Hillsborough and was told to come in immediately. BrieBrie was so good for the vet. No fussy, no struggling, just curled up quietly and let the vet look at her eyes.

BrieBrie’s eyes looked perfectly normal structurally. No apparent damage any where, whether externally or internally. The vet said that usually the symptoms will resolved in a few days and that there wasn’t a chance of going blind. (I was worried about stroke or a neurological issue because of my experience with other animals.) I’ve attached a picture from Saturday morning and a picture from Sunday afternoon. Her eyes started looking more normal on Sunday and today they look back to normal.

briebrie_recovered

The vet said that BrieBrie has Horner’s Syndrome, a issue that can come up for no evident reason and go away on its own.

I have been so proud of her and Phaedra. When they go to the vet, they are so good. No fussing, no hissing, just quiet and patient. They are both gentle kitties.

Posted in Cats | Tagged | Leave a comment

Upgrading Mac Pro video card

I upgraded the Mac Pro’s stock video card to a Gigabyte nVidia GeForce GTX 600 with 2 GB of video ram. The card requires a special power cable: PCIe Power Cable for Mac. No local stores had this part in stock, so I ordered it from Amazon. It finally arrived so the card was installed last night.

I followed the video instructions below and had the card installed in a few minutes. It was a little disconcerting because when the system booted the screen remained black until the login screen appeared.

I’ve been running a few days with the card installed. The only problem I’ve had is that the system doesn’t always seem to come back from sleep. When that happens, I end up having to reboot the machine. Not crazy about this but I’m not sure what’s causing the problem.

More investigation, which means another post!

Posted in Geekitude | Tagged | Leave a comment

New-to-me Mac Pro

Periodically at work they offer old systems to employees as part of a employee-only sale. For the first time that I can remember, Mac Pros were available. There were a few early 2009 and 2008 models. My friend and I were lucky enough to get the only two early 2009 models left.

I currently have an iMac that I bought in early 2010 (listed as late 2009 model). It has a Core 2 Duo Intel processor. I’ve upgraded it to 8 GB of RAM, which helps. It has a lethargic 256MB video card that barely keeps up with the games I’d like to play. The hard drive was replaced under warranty. The screen is lovely with no bad pixels.

I bought the iMac when my old Hackintosh quit working. What I had really wanted instead of the Hackintosh was a Mac Pro because of the upgrade capabilities and power. Unfortunately, the cost of a Mac Pro was way out of my price range.

Until now. The Mac Pro might be old, but it still has a better processor, graphics card, and upgrade possibilities (four PCIe slots and four hard drive bays!). The system I got had 8 GB of RAM, a 640 GB hard drive, and the standard 512 MB nVidia graphics card. No operating system was installed.

Upgrades for a Mac Pro are different than upgrading a regular PC. Mac-compatible graphics cards are expensive, even old ones. If you know about building hackintoshes, then you know that there is an avid community that has written drivers for dozens of additional pieces of hardware. Why not use the kernel extensions (kexts, the equivalent of drivers) the community has written to enable hardware on a real Mac Pro?

I chose to add a new wifi card, upgrade the video card, upgrade the RAM, and add a new primary hard drive (since the 640 GB was probably original). RAM and hard drive were very easy to do: system now has 32 GB of RAM and a 2 TB hard drive, with the 640 GB available as extra storage space.

Quite a few of the hackintosh sites recommended a TP Link PCI express wifi card. The specific model (4800) wasn’t available locally, but the Wifi-N 300Mbs card (model TL-WN881ND) was in stock at a local shop. I installed the card and found a kext on a hackintosh site that let me get the card up and running immediately. Perfect.

I also got a MSI GTX 660 nVidia card, which should be natively supported from what I read. Unfortunately, I have to order a special power cable to be able to attach the card to the motherboard ($8 on Amazon). Hopefully by the end of the week I will have the system completely configured.

I’m using Migration Assistant tonight to move the data from the iMac to the Mac Pro. The cool thing is that I should be able to get enough from the iMac to cover the cost of the Mac Pro and the upgrades I’ve done.

Posted in Geekitude | Tagged | Leave a comment

Reactions to declawing

After Kiesha died, I adopted BrieBrie and Phaedra fron Cat Angels rescue.  The two kitties have had their challenges, but for the most part they are very sweet. When I adopted them, I signed a contract stating I would never let them be out door cats or have them declawed.

Last night, I started watching a video about one vet’s fight against declawing cats. I couldn’t even get through the credits. I had to shut the show off.

Why would anyone mutilate a cat’s paws like that? If you have cats, then you adapt or teach them not to do things by providing alternatives that are more appealing.

It was very depressing. I went upstairs and played with the cats as therapy.

Posted in Cats | Tagged | Leave a comment

Size comparison

Briebrie is almost exactly twice as big as Phaedra. Here they are both sleeping in the same sink.

Posted in Cats | Leave a comment

Pain in the butt continues

I’ve been going to the spine orthopedic specialist regularly since my tailbone started hurting in April. He did a series of injections on either side of my tailbone. Initially, the injections seemed to help a lot, but the past several ones didn’t seem to make a noticeable difference. (My chiropractor making sure the tailbone was in alignment often helped more than the injections did.)

During the visit today, the doctor used acupuncture. First time I’ve ever had this done. I don’t like needles at all and yet, to try and resolve the tailbone issue, I’ve have regular injections and now acupuncture. The needles were on either side of my tailbone and then on several locations down the back of my legs. The needles were electrically stimulated for 20 minutes.

I was very surprised. The acupuncture really seems to have helped. Enough that I’m considering riding again, even lightly.

Posted in General | Leave a comment

Talk Nerdy To Me

This nerdy parody of Jason Derulo’s “Talk Dirty To Me” is so much better than the original. Between this song and the music videos from Jonathan Coulton and The Guild, it’s a pretty good playlist.

Lyrics

Get nerdy wit me…
Tell me what game that you get on, is it COD or EVE?
What kind of class do you play girl, in an RPG?
Cuz I know what them elf girls need, from WOW to M.E. (Middle Earth)
Im goin 30 hours online straight now…
You make it hard to leave

HOOK
Been to Middle Earth, do you speak my language?
Your elf ears don’t need explainin
All I really need for you to do is…just … please
Talk nerdy to me

Get nerdy wit me
You name all twelve of the Docs, I can’t resist that
And what’s the core in your wand? I think that ours match
Cuz I know, with me, you’d get sort, Durmstrang to Hogwarts
Im pretty sure, on me, you’ve cast a curse girl, the imperius one?

HOOK
Been to comic-con, hope you speak my language
Your Harley Quinn don’t need explainin
All I really need for you to do is…just … please
Talk nerdy to me

Bridge:
Uno, met a girl at E3
Dos, she wanted all my XP
Tres, My 64 makes her want me
Cuatro, Oooohhhhhh (vocal run)

(back ground shout: “One Ring!”)

Rap Verse:
Up, up, down, down, forward, back, A, B
You don’t need a cheat code, girl to get with me
Just add my clan tag, bring your high K/D,
Cuz the headshots we’ll be makin will be toppin the team
Or Magic the gatherin, Deck on Deck,
You like Twilight? Ya, I aint touchin your neck
I got nerd friends, but they’re friends with respect
I can call up Iron Man without breakin a sweat!

And I wanna hear your issues, ya, Im talking about your comics,
Cuz the fact of the matter, aint no girl badder than a girl that talks on electronics,
And for us to get along just tell me Lucas got it wrong,
Cuz clearly in Star Wars the first shot was made by Han. (Snap!)

HOOK
Love the Enterprise, now I speak the language
Your warp drive don’t need explainin
All I really need for you to do is…just … please
Talk nerdy to me

Vocals: Keith Evans
Rap: Keith Allen
Lyrics by: Keith Allen

Posted in Geekitude, Music | Leave a comment

2Cellos play AC-DC’s Thunder

Love watching talented musicians play, especially when they have a great take on a classic rock song.

Posted in Music | Leave a comment

Phaedra takes over the world

Or as close to it as she gets. She’s now coming out to meet me or at least watch me whenever I enter the bathroom. She isn’t hiding behind the toilet any more. She purrs and plays regularly. She even comes up to me now and follows me around when I bring in her food. Her confidence has improved a lot over the past few weeks.

All with this very high pitched kittenish squeak of a meow. So very cute.

BrieBrie meanwhile has thoroughly settled in. She curls up next to me on the bed and (usually) lets me sleep all night. The nights when she plays too hard I end up sleeping down stairs. She rips around the room, jumps up on the bed, jumps over me (usually, some times she launches herself off of my legs), and then rips around the bed again to repeat the process. She is just so cute it’s impossible to be angry with her at all.

I haven’t introduced the two of them yet. I am taking things very slow and easy. I want Phaedra to build up more confidence so instead of running from BrieBrie she’ll be able to sniff noses. Hopefully, at least. BrieBrie is twice Phaedra’s size and a little territorial.

Posted in General | Leave a comment

Still no riding

Pain in my rump is still there. It’s gradually getting better but I am not able to sit long without the donut pillow. I can sit for about 20 minutes without one now, up from 10 minutes. I suppose that’s an improvement. It’s a long way from being able to ride, though.

I’m still seeing the orthopedist. Next appointment coming up for round three.

Posted in General | Leave a comment

Update on the new kitties

BrieBrie has been coming around and is so friendly now. She hears my voice and comes out from under the bed and plays and talks. She’s adorable. She has discovered that the red laser fairy is her friend and she lurves it.

Phaedra is a lot more reserved. She doesn’t come out for me and she usually hisses at me a few times when I first come into sight. I’ve been working with the people from Cat Angels to try things that might help Phaedra. I’ve had her in the second bedroom upstairs. Currently BrieBrie in my bedroom and Phaedra in the second, separated by the bathroom. My “case worker” from Cat Angels suggested giving Phaedra a smaller space like the bathroom. Okay, so then how do I move her?

Phaedra solved that question herself because I found where she had been using one of her bed areas instead of the litter box. I cleaned up the area (arg, very frustrating) and scheduled an appointment to make sure she didn’t have a urinary tract infection. She was not happy with me taking her to the vet, but she turned out to be very good for them. The vet said that Phaedra’s urine was very concentrated and to try to encourage her to drink more.

When I brought her home, I moved her to the bathroom. She has a bowl of tap water, a fountain with filtered water, and a bowl with filtered water. I changed her litter from the pine pellets stuff to Cat Attract kitty litter (which has a guarantee that your cat will use the litter). She seems to be feeling better and has been a little more relaxed.

Imagine my surprise, when she started coming out and purring more for me.

Posted in Cats | Tagged , | Leave a comment