Archive for August 2010

Minnow is Back!   3 comments

While we were cry excited to see Nia run at the cheetah show last time we went, we were disappointed Minnow, the Fishing Cat, didn’t make an appearance. There was a tweet over the weekend: she’s back! Sunday, we went to see, and she did great!

Minnow the Fishing Cat
Minnow, with trainer Linda.

Minnow demonstrated how fishing cats jump into the water to get their fish. Note the webbed feet.
Getting Ready...


Refreshing Dip

Fishing cats can also lay in wait, getting low in the water like an alligator. It also caused some frustration when her time in the show was over, and she didn’t want to leave.
She Learned this from an Alligator...

One program for cheetah conservation has been providing farmers in Africa Anatolian shepherd dogs. The dog’s bark will scare away a cheetah, protecting the flock. In doing so, the farmers have no reason to kill the cheetah. Pow Wow is part of the cat ambassador program, to educate about this and, occasionally, demonstrate her mighty bark.
Will You Bark, Pow Wow?

Cleo the serval came out.
Cleo the Serval

In addition to deem onstrating their jumping ability, Cleo showed how having long legs help you get your prey.
The Long Arm of the Serval

Normally, only two cheetahs will appear at a show. At this one, however, Chance came out to say “Hi” before everyone got down to business.
Chance Stops By

Bravo, Chance’s brother, made the first run.
Running Bravo

Somehow, the lure bounced, and got hung up in a fence. This made for an easy cat for our boy.
Tracking a Lure

The last run was made by Sara, the world record holder for cheetahs (and, by extension, mammals).
Flying Sara

Thanks to Sara and the rest of the cat ambassador program for a great afternoon!
Crouching Cheetah

Styrene Leak Anniversery   Leave a comment

Five years ago today, we were evacuated from our house. Six months before, a tanker car full of styrene was parked within a mile of my house. It sat there until springing a leak the day before. People immediately around the leak were evacuated; we were told to shelter in place (close windows, turn off the air conditioner). This is something that we had to do on occasion growing up in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Lake Charles is home to many chemical plants, including, ironically, the plant where the styrene was produced.

The next morning, I left for work. By the time we got there, our whole neighborhood was evacuated.
Styrene Leak Evacuation

I drove back to see if I could talk my way into my house to get out my cats. This was denied. However, at the end of the day, we were permitted in. I got the cats and a few random items, then met my wife and daughter. We all spent the night at a hotel that allowed pets, but not exactly close. The next day, we boarded the cats at the vet, and found a room closer to home.

The day after that the evacuation was lifted. We got our cats, and returned home.

It was, in the great scheme of things, not a great thing. At the same time, New Orleans was experiences the worst of Katrina. Still, it was something that stands out for us.

Posted 2010-08-29 by Mr. Guilt in Cincinnati, house

Praying Mantis   Leave a comment

I wonder how he got up to the sixteenth floor? I’m glad he’s on the other side of the glass, in any case.
Praying Mantis

Posted 2010-08-25 by Mr. Guilt in animals, Office Window

E-Readers Greener Than Dead Trees   Leave a comment

“Environmental analysis can be an endless balancing of this versus that. Do you care more about conserving water or avoiding toxic chemical usage? Minimizing carbon dioxide emissions or radioactive nuclear waste? But today, the Lantern has good news: There will be no Sophie’s choice when it comes to e-books. As long as you consume a healthy number of titles, you read at a normal pace, and you don’t trade in your gadget every year, perusing electronically will lighten your environmental impact.”

Brian Palmer, Slate

Posted 2010-08-24 by Mr. Guilt in computers, Green, Internet

Nia Can Sprint!   2 comments

Last year, the Cincinnati Zoo’s Cat Ambassador program got a new baby cheetah, named Nia. She had her first birthday last month, and is running in the shows. I got to see her run for the first time today. She has it down!
Sprinting Nia!

She can catch a lure.
Nia Has the Lure!

Of course, she also likes treats…does her trainer have one?
What Does She Have?
(I think that is Linda, the person who writes their blog and tweets.)

Chance, an older cheetah, also ran. For a portion of each stride, all for paws of a running cheetah are off the ground. Chance demonstrates this well.
Chance, in Flight

Chance took his “kill” into the shade for…what does he do when he catches the lure (oh yeah…wait for a trainer to bring a treat).
Taking the Lure Under a Tree

Jambo the serval demonstrates how he could get a bird flying by.
Jumping Serval

With all the cubs gone, the fishing cats can relax.
Fishing Cat in a Log

Fishing Cat, Intrupted Sleep

A black footed cat tries to see how long he can stretch out to.
Long BFC is Long

The snow leopard was shy today, busy bathing herself.
Shy Snow Leopard

I Made My Bike Look Hot   Leave a comment

As in spicy hot, like a habanero pepper.

About a year ago, I put on new handlebar tape. I instantly regretted it–I simply didn’t like how it looked. I literally didn’t ride for a few days because I was embarrassed to be on it.

Further, the material didn’t wear well. It flaked off, and, from the sweat inherent in physical activity, turned black.

Today, I decided to replace it with orange tape. I went to a local bike store, and grabbed some new tape. I looked at what they had, and picked orange. The salesperson commented it would look good, more so when I described by bike. I brought it home, and, along with other maintenance, wrapped my bars.
Orange Bars

I think it looks great! The bike is a habanero, so the orange tape is a great fit.
Habby with Orange Tape

Posted 2010-08-14 by Mr. Guilt in Cycling

On Jobs   Leave a comment

“You hate your job? There’s a support group for that. It’s called everybody, and they meet at the bar.”

–Drew Carey

Posted 2010-08-12 by Mr. Guilt in amusing

Balboa Park Organ In Action   Leave a comment

Posted 2010-08-11 by Mr. Guilt in San Diego Trip 2010

iPads and PADDs   Leave a comment

A few weeks ago, my wife and I were watching “Star Trek: The Next Generation” while I was playing on my iPad. Picard was handed a PADD, one of the tablets used on the show. My wife remarked on how clunky it looked compared to my iPad. I was amused by that.

An interesting article on Ars Technica today: How Star Trek artists imagined the iPad… 23 years ago. Basically, it speaks of how the creators of “Star Trek,” most specifically artist Michael Okuda, came up with the interface design seen on later “Star Trek” series (“The Next Generation,” et al.). It also looks at how the iPad compares favorably to it.

The short description: they chose the format in order to keep set-building cheap, and stumbled upon an interface that was futuristic, made sense, and did not limit what the writers could include in the plot. My favorite quote: “…And I realized the proper answer to that was, ‘It’s in the software.’ All the things we needed could be software-definable.” iOS devices, such as the iPad and iPhone, really carry forward that philosophy. I call them the most SciFi things I own–this seems to bare that out.

Posted 2010-08-10 by Mr. Guilt in computers, Geeky, SciFi

Fast Land Mammals   Leave a comment

My daughter and I try our trailer bike today.

Posted 2010-08-01 by Mr. Guilt in Cycling, Family

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