Ceramic Pelikan   Leave a comment

My wife came home from our mailbox with a new mystery box for me. I love mystery boxes! This one I was not expecting.

Remember my ill-fated Pelikan Hub?

On top of all the other cool things Pelikan did he wonderful folks at Pelikan sent their hub masters a thank you gift.
Ceramic Pelikan with the 600

I’d admired these ceramic pelicans for a long time, having seen them at pen shows and online. It’s about six inches tall, and has a hole to hold a pen (in this case, my Souverän 600). I was extremely excited as I unwrapped it.
How Do You Hold that?
“How do you hold that pen?”

So, a “thank you” goes out to the fine folks at Pelikan for a very nice, and very unnecessary, present. Even though the Cincinnati Hub had an extremely low turn-out, the pleasure was all mine.
Ceramic Pelikan with the 600 (Close)

Posted 2014-07-22 by Mr. Guilt in Fountain Pens

Goodyear Airdock   Leave a comment

Our last stop during our Romantic Weekend in Akron was a drive-by of the Airdock, the construction hanger of Goodyear Areospace, now owned by Lockheed Martin.
Airdock 1

The Airdock was used during World War II for the construction of military blimps. It is 55 million cubic feet of empty space–it’s large enough to have its own weather inside. Lockheed is looking at building new airships inside this large building.
Airdock 2

Posted 2014-07-21 by Mr. Guilt in Aircraft, Ohio

The Towpath and Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad   Leave a comment

The other thing we did on our Romantic Weekend in Akron was ride on the Towpath, a bike trail that parallels the Ohio and Erie Canal. However, instead of a simple out-and-back, we only biked back to our car–we took a train south.

The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad. The train goes between a northern suburb of Akron, to Independence, a southern suburb of Cleveland. It runs through The Cuyahoga Valley National Park, a national forest. Lots of people buy tickets to ride the train round trip, and enjoy the sights and activities. During the summer, however, they offer the Bike Aboard program. Partnering with a local hospital, they offer a one-way rate that is a sixth the cost of the round trip fair for cyclists. The goal is to encourage people to ride on the trail for health an exercise.

It sounded like fun, so, after going to the zoo, my wife and I drove to Independence, and caught the last southbound train at Rockside station.
Rockside Station

Once the train arrived, they unloaded the bikes that were heading north.
Loading the Bikes

Our bikes were stowed in the car behind where we sat.
Stowed Bikes

In the Train

We took our seats, and enjoyed the sites out the window.
Swamp

Including traffic stopping for our train.
Cars Stop for Us

And had a lot of fun.
Selfie on the Train

At Akron Northside, our train bikes were unloaded, and we started heading north. We wanted to make sure we covered the distance before sunset, so we didn’t stop too much, and I didn’t get many photos. One stop we did make was at Szaay’s a farmer’s market. They were closing, but it smelled wonderful walking around.
Szalay's


We got to our car just as dusk was setting in. It was a great time, and a wonderful program. We’re already discussing taking our daughter for a ride on the train.
Engine


Hat tip to the DiscoveringOhio blog, who posted an artical that clued me in to this. Their timely tweet is a great source of fun things to do in our wonderful state.

Posted 2014-07-20 by Mr. Guilt in Cycling, Ohio

Baby Snow Leopards at the Akron Zoo   2 comments

Otter Sculpture

My daughter has been at camp this month, leaving my wife and I alone. This gave us a weekend to ourselves. We felt that the combination of being temporarily childless and our anniversary entitled us to a romantic weekend away…

To Akron.

Not an obvious choice, but there were a couple things we thought would want to do. One of the things we wanted to check out was the Akron Zoo. Zoos are a favorite of my family, but, in particular, we wanted to see Malaya and Makalu, their baby snow leopards.
Siblings

They weren’t quite three months old when we got to see them, and were only out for about an hour-and-a-half. There was a line to see them–groups were allowed to go to the window, and you could get back in line (which we did–four times). It was actually well run. When we got there, Malaya, the girl, was climbing about as snow leopards (and, really, all kittens) are want to do.
Cub on an Incline

On the Cliff

Climbing Cub


Her brother was dozing at first.
Tuckered Out

On our second pass, he moved to the other side, where he could see the deer in the next enclosure.
Interested Cup

It was then that we realized that Shanti, their mother, was in there with her. She was quite stunning.
Mama Shanti


With mom around, everyone settled in for a nap (and a family portrait).
Sleepy Family Portrait
I have a 16:9 aspect ratio version of this photo for use as wallpaper on Flickr.

We walked by the snow leopard enclosure later–it was near the entrance–and Roscoe, the father was out. He was equally handsome.
Roscoe the Snow Leopard

If a bit cheeky.
I Think I'm Annoying Roscoe

Near the snow leopards was a cool jaguar.
Pretty Jaguar

Jaguars are one of three cat species who enjoy going in water (along with tigers, and, of course, fishing cats). This jaguar wanted his floaty.
Getting the Ring

Got it!
Grabbing the Ring

Speaking of tigers, Jae Jae was dozing. Cats do sleep a good chunk of their days.
Tiger Doze

Shani and Tamarr, the lion couple looked quite magnificent on their perch.
Lion Couple

The second most interesting cat was an example of felis silvestris catus, a domestic cat.
Sneaky Cat

She was stealing the food from a pair of storks.
Unaware

We were told that this was a stray who had a kitten. The keepers were trying to catch her, but haven’t had much luck. They said that the storks don’t seem to mind. The cat, however, got a bit annoyed when they took a step too close.
DSC_6085

One thing we did learn in all this is that storks are carnivores. I hadn’t really considered it one way or the other.

The birds were pretty cool. They had five non-releasable bald eagles.
Bald Eagle

I’m afraid I got a bit too close to the burrowing owl. Once again, I’m sorry, little guy!
Burrowing Owl

The flamingos were hanging about in their pond. They always make me think of my mom.
Flamingos!

Two different canids were present. We loved watching the coyote run around, even without a road runner.
Running Coyote

Happy guy!
Coyote Grin

Next door, a red wolf napped in the sun.
Rolling in the Grass

“Why did you wake me?” (We didn’t really wake him, but he did look like he could use a cup of coffee.)
Wolf Needs His Coffee

The otters got a great tank to swim in, and we could easily get different views of them–and them us!
Diving Otter

I love to see red pandas, even when they are in a ball, as Zheng demonstrates.
Firefox Ball

There was a small aquarium, which had lionfish, a favorite of mine.
lionfish

And a Galapagos tortoise sunning himself.
Sunning tortoise

I really liked the Akron Zoo. It is a smaller zoo, but all the enclosures seemed very up to date. Their app is awesome, and gives the names for many animals (in some cases, I couldn’t tell who’s who, but nice to have some idea). They had some neat displays, such as one showing how coral exhibits photoluminescence.
glow in the dark

There was a slide that went through part of the otter’s tank. They could easily stay away from it, but I saw them swim along with sliding kids (or, kids at heart).
Otter Slide


There was a cool sculpture by the eagles.
Eagle-Go-Round

One think I really liked was that almost every enclosure had a tag for an advocacy group for that animal. For instance, by the snow leopards, there was one for the Snow Leopard Trust. Appropriately, I was wearing one of their t-shirts.
Romantic Weekend in Akron


We had a great time at the Akron Zoo, and definitely think we’ll need to go back with our daughter.
Nap on a Log

Bad Blogger   Leave a comment

I’ve been a bad blogger.

In March, 2012, I decided to shoot for twenty posts a month. I was open to how that would be done. Sometimes it would just be a picture, or an embeded YouTube video. Other times, it would be something longer, like photos from a zoo trip, or a pen profile. The idea of a goal was to have a way to drive producing some content, and perhaps sharpen my writing.

It did that decently, until the last several months. Last October, it dipped, and it’s been unstable since. then, this month, the wheels fell off the wagon. It’s the eleventh day of the month, and this is my first post. I sincerely doubt I’ll do twenty.

Why? Hard to say. Part of it has been that I’ve ironically had a lot going on, and just not taking the time to write. There have been lots of bike rides, cooking, pens, and cats. Part of it has been a quality thing: I don’t want to post the same ten pictures from the zoo.

But I still value the exercise in writing, photography, and other disciplines. I know that, even if no one else reads it, I like having the log of what happened–it makes for a great diary.

So, I’m taking the pressure off myself. My goal is now half. Ten posts a month sounds good, with a stretch goal of twenty. Hopefully, a more achieviable goal will prevent this blog from fading.

Posted 2014-07-11 by Mr. Guilt in Administrative

June, 2014, Hodge-Podge   Leave a comment

My whole family did Ride Cincinnati!
62 miles at @Ride_Cincinnati, the last 10 with my favorite team #WeNeedJerseys #selfie #cycling

Lunchtime writing.
Lunch break with @eatfusian, @retro1951, and @LT1917NYC. #foodcatspens #mechanicalpencil

On a ride, we came across a turtle, which we held across the road. Of course, not before taking a #shellfie.
45 miles Helping a turtle. #shelltie

Map of my Buckeye Bridge Ride.

Hard to believe they are littermates.
Birdwatchers. Hard to believe they're littermates. #cats #catsofinstagram #foodcatspens

Posted 2014-06-30 by Mr. Guilt in Hodge-Podge

94.15 miles. Finished! #wp   Leave a comment

via Instagram

Posted 2014-06-28 by Mr. Guilt in Uncategorized

82.93 miles Buckeye Bridge Ride Geetinj Bridge #wp   Leave a comment

via Instagram

Posted 2014-06-28 by Mr. Guilt in Uncategorized

75.5 miles Buckeye Bridge Ride Warnke bridge #wp   Leave a comment

via Instagram

Posted 2014-06-28 by Mr. Guilt in Uncategorized

52.39 miles Buckeye Bridge Ride Brubaker Bridge #wp   Leave a comment

via Instagram

Posted 2014-06-28 by Mr. Guilt in Uncategorized

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