Saturday, January 21, 2006

Singing voice

I normally sing bass.  Not always quite as deep a bass as I might like, but bass enough.  With this cold, my breath control is just no good at the moment.  I have fits of coughing that I can't suppress, that nasty, dry cough that doesn't do anything for the reason for coughing, but it does end up taking the back of your head off. 

But even though my breath control is no good, I can hit notes a 4th or 5th lower than normal.  All the crud in my throat is making my voice niiiiiiiiiiiice and deeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep. 

If you'll excuse me, I'm going to go see what I can do with the bass line of "There Is Nothing Like a Dame" from South Pacific.


Nifty blogging tool

I heard about a nifty blogging tool for Firefox 1.5 users (which ought to be all of you).  It's called Deepest Sender and it's a downloadable extension that gives you a complete blogging front end to work with for four or five different blogs.  Now, I grant you that most blogs have some kind of JavaScript front end that lets you do simple character and paragraph enhancements, but this tool supports multiple blogs (on multiple locations) and has a slightly wider range of formatting tools than are available on at the moment.  It's none too shabby. I urge you to try it out.


The cats as kittens

I said that I couldn't sleep this morning and here's the proof. I went through a bunch of digital pictures I had in a general directory, sorted them, labeled them, and uploaded some of them to my Flickr photo directories. (BTW, I don't post everything on the blog by a long shot, but I store all the digital photos on Flickr, so if you've a hankering for more cat pix or STC photos or what-have-you, that's the place you should look.)

One of the photo sets that stood out as not having been posted before was a bunch of photos of Yin and Yang as kittens. Here's Susan holding both Yin and Yang together (Yin's the one with the dark paws, although it'd be more true to form by saying that Yang is the one who's asleep). 

Yang, you'll recall, is the one who lies on top of my monitor facing away from me with his tail and part of this gut lapping over the screen. In this picture, he was about 9 or 10 weeks old and could be held in one hand. (Actually, I can do that still, but it's quite a job making sure he doesn't lollop off to one side or another.)

Yang has always been a cat who enjoyed sleeping. It's nature, not nurture.

This predilection is in no wise disproved by this shot, either: Yin's the one who's awake. Yang is the one who's asleep.

Yang will wake up when the situation seems to require, but this picture with Susan's friend Marcie shows that he won't bestir himself until absolutely necessary.

I only found the one shot of either cat as a teenager, although I'm sure there are more somewhere. This is Yang at maybe 10-12 months. Note the firm muscles, the vigorous constitution, the glint in his... oh, screw it, he's lying down in this one, too.


Can't sleep

It's 4:30 and between this cold making my throat hurt and the muscles in my neck and upper back all knotted, I just can't sleep anymore, even with the pain pills. There's not much going on at the moment, but I do have the satisfaction of having BC come up to me and snuggle a little, after which, he curled up right on top of my foot. It's very nice, really; I can feel him purring on my tooes and he's a big furry slipper. :)


Thursday, January 19, 2006

"My Neighbor Totoro"

I'm very fond of My Neighbor Totoro, an anime about two little girls who have moved to the country with their father while their mother is in the hospital... and they meet the forest spirits that live in the camphor tree.

The movie is sweet and charming and feels very real. It's all quite low-key. And I stumbled over it on TCM when I was channel surfing this afternoon for something to watch on the tube.

If you've never seen it, go buy it.


Aw, lookit the widdle kitties!

Okay, I've spent the last week working on an article for Biz Tech Magazine. Pleasant work and I liked the assignment. It's done now and I've got a moment to update the blog with the pix I promised.

During the course of writing and for the last few weeks, the cats have been really clingy. It's been quite irritating. I mean, I love the little friskettes and all, but when they leap onto the monitor at a full gallop, the whole desk shakes and the back of the monitor will even sink down under the weight of El Catto Grande (usually Yang), which means that the front of the monitor is now aimed at a spot about a foot and a half over my head, necessitating a pseudo-defenestration of the offending cat(s) so I can reposition the monitor without having the cats emulating the counter-weight on a shadouf while I do so.

The worst part is not that the cats have been curling up on the monitor or the desk or walking all over my lap and constantly bumping my hand, it's that they will leap onto the monitor, stay there for... oh... maybe 15 minutes, then they will leap down and do something else annoying, like pushing piles of paper or pencils on the floor, or leaping down and walking off. They then repeat the whole process a few minutes later or send another cat in to do the same thing.

I've been working with the door shut frequently. Unfortunately, this isn't proof against them, either; the cats will bang, paw, and scratch at the door to be let in. BC has figured out how to work the European door latches, so you can hear him pawing at the lever until he manages to get it engaged. If I have the door locked to keep him out, he keeps doing it for a while.

The cats have been given all-expenses paid trips outside periodically, too.

I think that this is about one of three things:

  • The weather sucks and the cats aren't interested in going outside, but they're bored.

  • Susan has the cats dieting, so they're hungry and trying to get us to feed them. Yang really needs to lose poundage. Not only did the vet observe that he's grossly overweight, but parts of him sorta lap over the edge of the monitor, which is rather unsightly.

  • Willow's gone and this is a reaction to the change in social dynamic in the remaining four kitties. (We did see a little of this already; Yin and the other cats were behaving differently. As the one remaining feline female, she's taken over for Willow's position as omega cat.)

  • With Yang sprawling all over the desk, with or without a partner in crime, I've been inclined to get the desk debrided, which has been nice. I actually have a little desk space, that which isn't taken up with snoring cat.