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Dusting Off an Old Script wp   Leave a comment

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Posted 2014-04-15 by Mr. Guilt in Uncategorized

Kittens’ Third Birthday   2 comments

The are no longer kittens, though we still refer to them as such. Beso and Luna are three years old. Beso has deep thought sometimes.
Beso, Relaxed

Luna is still a hacker-ninja-princess, bounding through life.
Hacker Ninja Princess on her Perch

It’s hard work to look this good. Don’t you just love her pedicure?
Pretty Luna

Beso is also a handsome cat.
Proud Beso

Happy birthday, kitties!

Posted 2014-04-15 by Mr. Guilt in cats, Eddy, Family, felis silvestris catus, Luna

32 miles Field of Yellow   Leave a comment

Posted 2014-04-13 by Mr. Guilt in Uncategorized

19.53 miles. Stow-Away   Leave a comment

We got a bunch of $1 plush kitties when my daughter was a toddler to keep in the car. If she dropped one, we could hand her another. If it got lost, well, it was only a buck.

This one must have fallen out last night. I noticed him as I set out for a ride. He got to come, as I didn’t feel like fishing out my keys.

Posted 2014-04-12 by Mr. Guilt in Uncategorized

Friday Afternoon Dance Party: Supermassive Black Hole   Leave a comment

A case where the cover surpasses the original.

Posted 2014-04-11 by Mr. Guilt in Friday Afternoon Dance Party

Catnaps at the Cincinnati Zoo   Leave a comment

As I mentioned, until last week, I hadn’t been to a zoo since right around New Year’s Day. I had to look: it had been since late NovemberNOVEMBER–since I had been to my beloved Cincinnati Zoo.

The Polar Vortex really put a damper on our fun this year.

We made it out this weekend, to make sure we got to see Zoo Blooms. However, the blooms had come up yet.

The Polar Vortex really put a delay on our fun this year.

We did make a point of saying “hi” to the cats. Renji and Nubo were taking a nap, foreshadowing the day.
Snow Leopard Naps

Nubo did pick his head up to greet us. What a handsome boy!

Naps were the theme inside, whether you were a fishing cat…
Dreams of Sushi

…sand cat…
Sand Cat Ball

…or ocelot.

The fennec fox was even catching a few Z’s.
All Ears

Even the animals that were awake were mellow. I’ve never seen a black footed cat on top of this log before this visit. It’s tinyness was obvious.
Cat on a Log

The caracal, another favorite of mine, was taking a bath. Her camouflage is…um…obvious.
Miss Lop-Ears Takes a Bath

Outside, cougar Tecumseh was also napping.
Snoozing Puma

His brother, Joseph, saw something and made ready.
Crouching Puma

He gave chase, only to have his prey, a squirrel, run outside the fence.
Stalking Puma

Better luck next time!

City Museum   Leave a comment

Museum of Mirth, Mystery and Mayhem
While in downtown Saint Louis, we made stop at the City Museum. I honestly don’t know how to describe it. Most of the museum is made of repurposed materials–parts removed from buildings, or even a few airplane fuselages. Climbing on the exhibits is not only allowed, but encouraged. It’s something accessible to anyone of any age.

Outside, it appears to be a some form of a post-apocalyptic junkyard.
Post-Apocalypic Junkyard Cum Playground

Steampunk Elephant

The tubes connecting the towers are meant to be climbed through, as my daughter, in the red jacket, demonstrates. I’ll note that she was about six stories up at the time.
Six Stories Up!

You can take a tube between two aircraft fuselages.

Inside are more tubes!
Caitlin in the Tube

And whales to climb under!
Rebecca Under the Whale

Truthfully, it was hard to convey on film all the slides, climbs, skateboard ramps, and other things around the museum. There were four floor, each with a different theme and different objects.
Caitlin the Top

They did have some pretty cool mosaics.
Dolphin Mosaic

Walrus Mosaic

it’s definitely on my list of “places I’d go back to.” I discovered too late they had lockers to stash my camera in. Had I known that, I might have tried to climb up to a slide…assuming I’m brave enough!

Posted 2014-04-08 by Mr. Guilt in Spring Break 2014

30 miles: Timber Takes in the Sun   1 comment

At Hueston Woods State Park

Posted 2014-04-05 by Mr. Guilt in cats, cougars, Cycling, Route Tracking

The Gateway Arch   Leave a comment

While in Saint Louis, we had to take my daughter to the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial. You probably know this better as the Gateway Arch.
Up at the Arch

Driving from our hotel, we took a wrong turn, and wound up on the east side of the Mississippi River. We decided to take advantage of this mistake, to get a few photos of the Arch from the other side of the river. My wife found just the place, the Malcolm W. Martin Memorial Park.
Arch and Flag

This is a bit of a hidden gem. The east bank of the river seems underutilized. While the South Bank of the Ohio River tries to take advantage of its proximity to Cincinnati with a variety of restaurants, hotels, and similar spots, the Illinois side is a blend of highway interchanges and industrial sites. However, next to some vacant land and what looks like a grain silo is a park, with a small amphitheater and a forty foot tall observation deck–perfect for getting pictures of the Arch.
Gateway aRch

Once we took a few pictures, we crossed the river, parked, and approached the Arch.
Arch and Reflecting Pool

We paced around and took a few pictures–my daughter seems to be picking up the bug from me.
Caitlin, PhotographerH

We took a four minute ride in a tram up the Arch, to an observation deck. It afforded a good view of the area around the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial.
Shadow of the Arch

We got a good look at Busch Stadium, home of the Saint Louis Cardinals. Ironically, they were in Cincinnati that day, playing the Reds.
Busch Stadium

We also got a good look at the Old Courthouse.
Old Courthouse, from the Arch

We could also see the Malcolm W. Martin Memorial Park. The structure on the lower right corner of the park is the observation deck we took the photos of the Arch from.
Malcolm W. Martin Memorial Park

The Arch was completed in 1965, a little over a decade before I got to go up it the first time. I was not much younger than my daughter. As with everyone, anything that existed before I was born had been there forever, at least in my mind. It now strikes me that for my parents, our visit was to see a neat new thing. Now that the Arch is nearing fifty, for the next generation, that sense of permanence is real.
Family and the Arch

Posted 2014-04-05 by Mr. Guilt in Spring Break 2014

Saint Louis Zoo   1 comment

I was surprised to realize that, in 2014, I haven’t been to a zoo. I’ve been to the Newport Aquarium, but the last time I saw non-fish was when we went to the Birmingham Zoo just before New Year’s Day. The Polar Vortex played a large role in that. With Spring and Zoo Blooms upon us, I’m sure we’ll be rectifying that, but it really had been far too long. When we had an opportunity to visit the Saint Louis Zoo, we were excited.
St. Louis Zoo Statue

The Saint Louis Zoo is among the oldest zoos in the country, and has many of the original buildings (at once an interesting and depressing point). It’s also notable that, for what many regard as a top zoo, admission is free. If you look hard enough and/or don’t mind walking, the whole day can be of no charge to you.

The first animal we encountered was a Malayan sun bear. I confess I thought this small bear was a cub until someone clued me in.
Malayan Sun Bear

Next door, a grizzly bear appeared to be sleeping one off.
Passed Out Grizzly

We set out towards the big cats, making a stop to say “hi” to one of our new favorites, the red panda.
Amblin' Red Panda

He climbed up to some of his favorite treat, bamboo.
Climbing to Bamboo

A nearby prairie dog seems to have picked up the bamboo habit from his neighbor.
Prarie Dog with Bamboo

Some of the enclosures are historic. This isn’t uncommon in many zoos, though they do try to house species which are a better match to the space by modern criteria. There was one indoor area for some animals, such as the giraffe, where the age showed, and was retro in the sense that it wasn’t generally done. In there, I didn’t want to take pictures. I’m sure the animal welfare is considered–the Saint Louis Zoo is AZA accredited (the gold standard, in my opinion), and participates in Species survival Plans–but it seemed some upgrades were needed.

Another place this seemed to come out was in the big cat area. The animals did have plenty of space, but it did not seem to have the modern attempt at habitat like, say, Cat Canyon. The Amur tiger, largest of the felids, had plenty of space, but the area had an artificial bent.
Amur Tiger

He was able to confer with a next-door jaguar, again, in a seeming unnatural fashion. Neither cat seemed to be bothered by the presence of the other. Personally, I worry when two cats have too many conferences.
Cat Conference

As you can see, the jaguar is melanistic–a panther! I couldn’t see spots from the distance, but I always love how light plays on a black cat’s coat.
Stalking Jaguar

I have a soft spot in my heart for black cats.
Black Cat

The lioness seemed to be having a chat by a gate.
Girl Talk

The snow leopard took an afternoon nap.
Snow Leopard Nap

The Amur leopard was also taking a nap.
Leopard Nap

Amur leopards are among the rarest cats in the world. There are 176 are in captivity, and less than thirty believed to be in the wild.
Sleepy Eyes

There were only three small cats on display, mostly due to their position on the purr/roar line. The snow leopard, cheetahs (who weren’t out on this dreary day), and cougars. They were also hanging out in a cave.
Cougars in a Cave

However, for some reason, they had a Bobcat in the black rhino’s enclosure.
Bobcat in the Rhino Enclosure

The zebra grazed a bit.

One of the non-cats I always love is the okapi.

The oakpi are related to giraffe, which seems obvious from their tongues.
Okapi Tongue

Two cow-like critters were represented. The bantang…

…and the takin. Not sure if he’s been promoted to Grand Moff.
Grand Moff Takin

A small herd of red kangaroos was munching on grass.
Red Kangaroos

The sea lions were having an argument.
Sea Lion Argument

The Asian elephants kept their distance.
Asian Elephants

Hyenas always strike me as awkward looking.

My daughter is a huge otter fan.
Caitlin at the Otter Statue

A river otter surveyed his domain.
Master of His domain

In the bird exhibit, a rhinoceros hornbill ate lunch.

I had never seen a bateleur eagle before, but was taken by his colors.
Bateleur Eagle

The crested wood partridge also had some great color.
Crested Wood Partridge

The Bali mynah is a rare bird, with only sixty left in the wild.
Bali Mynah

The tawny frogmouths were hanging out.
Tawny Frogmouths

A burrowing owl took a break from lunch to say “hi.”
Burrowing Owl

Outside, there was a bald eagle.
Bald Eagle

His wings were impressive.
Big Wings!

Overall, we had a great time at the Saint Louis Zoo.
Family at Saint Louis Zoo - 5x7


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