Archive for October 2013

October, 2013 Hodge-Podge   1 comment

Eddy has claimed my chair for the morning #cats #catsofinstagram

Seen at the Cincinnati Zoo. I’ve ranted about this before, but it stands repeating.
Good rule for zoos

Blast from the past! A picture of me and a friend at a computer fair in Dayton in the spring of 1996. It was just as digital cameras were entering the consumer market–I think the photo cost us a buck, and was given to us on a 3.5″ floppy disk (I found it when shuffling through some disks). My friend had just put a Starburst candy in his mouth, explaining the kinda odd look on his face. I have no excuse for mine.

Pretty Tree

Posted 2013-10-31 by Mr. Guilt in Hodge-Podge

Halloween for the Cats   Leave a comment

It’s become an annual tradition–at least since we got the kittens–to take pictures of the cats with the pumpkin(s).

Of course, the boys were more interested in the treats I got out for the photo shoot, rather than the pumpkins.
Checking Out the Treats

Which makes sense–black is really the most appropriate attire for Halloween.
Luna and the Pumpkins

Luna can really look the part of spooky cat.
Serious Black Cat

Eddy, though lacking Luna’s black coat, can bring the attitude.
Spooky Barn Cat

Clearly, he earned his title of “senior cat.”
Halloween Eddy

Happy Halloween!
Pumpkins 2013

What’s with the “Yes on 2?” Look here!

Posted 2013-10-31 by Mr. Guilt in Beso, cats, Eddy, Family, felis silvestris catus, Luna

HallZOOWeen Twenty-Thirteen   Leave a comment


The Cincinnati Zoo wrapped up HallZOOween this weekend. We always enjoy going. My daughter went as Hello Kitty.

We got to see Gizmo, the African white-faced owl, again. He had just come to Cincinnati last time we got to meet him. He’s really a cool bird.

Nearby, we got to see all three members of our giraffe family.

John the lion looked increadibly regal.
Golden John

He was very interestedin what we were doing.

John on the Ridge

The artic foxes are changing from their summer to winter coats. Still, there were a fwe spots of grey.
Getting Out His Winter Coat

The black bear was taking a nap.
Practice Nap

I’m really not sure what this cougar was looking at (I can’t tell if it was Joseph or Techumseh without seeing their face). Watching them, I could see my cats’ moves in them.
What Does He See?

Nubo was looking for something, too.
What Does Nubo See?

It simply bored Renji.
Renji Sings!

Nubo then wandered off.
Nubo Stalks

We’ve become quite taken with red pandas–they’re definitely towards the top of my non-cat list.
Firefox Strut

The zoo has a baby red panda, but he wasn’t out. I suspect this was one of his parents, eating bamboo.
Nomming Bamboo

Overall, it was a great day at the zoo.

Happy National Cat Day!   Leave a comment

It’s National Cat Day! Let’s celebrate cats both wild and domesticated.
Pensive Eddy


Proud John

Through the Hoop!

Rolling Tiger

Pallas Kitten on a Log


I Haz a Toy

Pinot in the Grass

Savanna Trots

Barn Cats (Close)

Caracal Dreams

Pen Profile: Found Uniball Vision   Leave a comment

I was walking back to my office from the data center on a Friday afternoon. As I crossed the last corner, I noticed a pen on the ground. I risked an extra two seconds as I crossed, bent down, and picked it up. It was a Uniball Vision rollerball. It had no scratches on it, and seemed full of ink. Pretty much, it looked like a brand new pen that had fallen.

Abandoned Celeste Green Uniball #rollerball at Fourth and Main. #officesupplies how sad. I'll give you a good home, little guy.

The right guy happened by. Rather than letting it get knocked around the mean streets of the ‘Nati, I decided to give it a home.

While I’ve seen these pens around, I don’t think I’ve ever actually owned one. The one I found was a fine point green–a quirky choice, which made me wonder who had it, and why they wanted green. Was it for some functional purpose, to color code something? Or is it simply a quirky nonconformist act of someone living in an otherwise stiff corporate culture–someone after my own heart? When I get a vintage pen, I often wonder about who had this pen before me. Whose hands did it pass through. How many events did it mark, singing mortgages, report cards, and letters. I like to think every pen can tell a story, be it literally, like Neil Gaiman’s Lamy 2000, history made with Douglas MacArthur’s Parker Duofold, or just a disposable pen, a tool to help someone get through their day.

When I got home, I tucked the pen into the pocket of my “Coat of Awesome,” next to a Field Notes memo book. We went out, and my daughter spent some quality time doodling with it.

Little Miss Guilt trie out the rescued #rollerball from earlier.

The ink is a little bluer than I like for a green pen–it seems artificial relative to the green fountain pen inks I use. However, it balances nice, and the grip is comfortable. We passed it around the table and played with it, waiting for a meal.

Though I will likely favor my other pens, I know that it has a better chance to tell more stories in my house, rather than on Fourth Street. Already, it told a story about a butterflies and bicycles.

Butterflies and bicycles

Missing a Desk   Leave a comment

It’s been ten months since we officially went full-on hoteling at my office, and six since remodelling pretty much enforced it. As an upside, the company is a lot more tolerant of working from home. While I don’t do it everyday–work demands actually have made this infrequent–it is a nice perk to have.

The biggest impact has been the stuff I need to get through my day. Some creature comforts were lost a long time ago–we’re really not supposed to hang things on the walls of the cubes. So, any pictures I want to have to exist on my phone or in the cloud. It also meant I couldn’t have a calendar up. Aside from having a really awesome one this year, I use a calendar an awful lot when scheduling things with different groups. Sure, I can go to Outlook and find one, but it’s not as easy as just to glance behind me.

The really hard thing is office supplies and water bottles. By the letter of the law, we’re not supposed to keep anything at our desks. So, this means that every day, anything I need at the office is either has to be lugged to and from home with me, or I have to walk around the office to find what I need. The office-provided supplies are somewhat annoying. If I need Post-Its, paper clips, or a stapler, I have to go to one of the copier/printer areas where such supplies are kept. While I sincerely appreciate the exercise, it does break my rhythm a bit to have to make a special trip just to, say, grab a pair of scissors.

The stuff I take too and from the office has, in particular, been the most difficult. Some of it, I admit, is just me being fussy–I like a certain type of pad, or some of the other office supplies cum toys that I like to have. During the months I commute by bicycle, I’ve pared that down to a minimum. Other things are in support of the bike commuting, such as leaving my work shoes at the office. Either way, I’m traveling with a lot more than I used to, and have had to adapt.

Some things just seem silly, like having to take a mouse pad back and forth.

Ultimately, these things are creature comforts. I like to have a water bottle at my desk, which I fill several times through the day. That has to be taken back and forth. Is it that big a deal? Perhaps not. However, during the week, about a third of my life is at the office. Having designated space I see as a benefit–I don’t have to reset from a blank slate each day. Some of these things, such as the Post-Its, clearly impact productivity. Other things, like my water bottle, make this a more pleasant place to be. Surely that has it’s benefits as well?

Posted 2013-10-26 by Mr. Guilt in rant, work

Virtual Cat Name for Mac OS X 10.9   Leave a comment

As I previously mentioned, Apple decided to change their standard, and not use a cat name for the latest version of their desktop operating system, OS X.

In my opinion, OS X is the best desktop version of UNIX. It can use standard tools at a prompt when you want to geek out, but has good tools, such as a native version of Microsoft Office. Using cat names for this was a great way to show the power of the OS, while also creating awareness around our endangered felines.

10.9 was released yesterday (October 22), and I think we can do something about this. I’m calling for OS X using cat fans to help select the “Virtual Cat Name.” I’ll leave voting open until Wednesday, October 30. On November 4, I’ll reveal the winner, and, we’ll all start referring to “10.9 felid” as opposed to…whatever that place in California is. I’ll even make a wallpaper.

Please vote below, and tell your friends!

This Was Going to be an Awesome Blog Post   Leave a comment

#dailyArsenal 1949 @ParkerPens 51 #fountainpen, @MonteVerdePens One Touch #ballpoint/#stylusThis was going to be an awesome blog post.

It really was.

I had the initial idea while at the office. That’s not entirely true–the thought had been tumbling in my head for a couple weeks now, just below the surface. I would get a peek at it while drifting off to sleep. Once in a while, it would bubble to the surface of my thoughts while in the shower. I even saw it on a bike ride once. However, it was today that all thoughts different threads wove together into a cohesive idea.

Before I realized it, a rough outline formed. I figured ten minutes with a text editor, a quick spell check, and it would be ready to go. I’d sit on it for a few hours then reread it–something I like to do with any major missive–but, by that point, it would be more an at of polishing.

It was going to be really good, too.

I think that it would easily join the ranks of my most viewed posts. It may have been picked up on Buzzfeed, or some simiar site. Thousands of people would come to my blog. They’d read other posts. I could become a professional blogger, just due to this one idea.

I was slow in getting out the notebook I have just for capturing such ideas. I was trying to pick through a few emails, and didn’t want to break that rhythm. But the idea was still there. Then, I got an instant message from someone–there was some paperwork I swore I complete, but the ticketting system was showing otherwise. I typed three different responses in the chat window, each decreasingly offensive, until I reached a civil tone, and clicked send. I went into the system, updated the ticket, and he confirmed that that task was now closed.

I was at work, where I’m not a professional blogger. Dealing with the ticket was a higher priority for me at that moment.

But now, that idea is once again gone. I have clue where it went. I can’t even tell you what it was. I spent a few minutes looking at the various sources on my desk: my email, IM windows, to-do list, and twitter feed. But nothing was jarring my memory.

I hope one day to see this idea again–it really was a great one. I’ll write it in the notebook I have for just such a purpose. Then, when I have a bit of time, I’ll form the idea into a blog post, and put it here.

You’ll be very impressed. I promise you: it really was goinig to be an awesome blog post.

Posted 2013-10-22 by Mr. Guilt in Random Tale, rant

Cincinnati Mini Maker Faire   2 comments

I read a variety of blogs and lists. Between my RSS feed, Facebook, and twitter, I find out about a lot of random things happening in Cincinnati. Yet, I can’t remember exactly where I saw the Cincinnati Mini Maker Faire. It is a big gathering of, well, creative geeks. I was quite interested in it, and I thought my wife and daughter would enjoy it, too.

At the Faire, there were all sorts of tents with folks creating robots, using 3D printers, as well as artists. One group made a near-life sized whale shark puppet.
Whale Shark Puppet 1

Whale Shark Puppet 2

One tent we were quite interested in was, well the tent. The presenter had a plan for making geodesic dome tents out of PVC pipe, bolts, and trucker’s tarps. He said this one only ran a few hundred dollars.

Under the tent, there was a mini-tent construction kit, for trying out ideas.
Caitlin's Dome

She also got to launch a rocket.
Looking Downrange

A whole group is dedicated to making replica R2-D2 units. When I was my daughter’s age, “The Empire Strikes Back” was just about to come out. I would have gone absolutely nuts to encounter an R2 unit.
Caitlin and R2

Don’t even get me started about three R2 units!
Caitlin and R2…and R2…and R2

It wasn’t just tech. For instance, a cannon was yard-bombed.
Down the Barrel

We had a great time, and are looking forward to the next one!

Posted 2013-10-22 by Mr. Guilt in Cincinnati, Family, Geeky

Oh! There You Are, Perry.   1 comment

Posted 2013-10-17 by Mr. Guilt in animals

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