Archive for the ‘Beso’ Category

Beso and the Snap Circuits   Leave a comment

With Radio Shack filing for bankruptcy, lots of geeky toys may go with it. Yes, the TRS-80 may be long gone, but so have most computers of that era. The thing I remember playing with was their electronics kits. These were simple introductions into circuits. Using spring terminals, you could build an AM radio, or morse code key, or 150 other projects (or more, depending on the exact set you got). About half mine actually worked, but it was a good way to spend an afternoon.

Electronics project #catsofinstagram #cats #foodcatspensThe spirit of this lives on, however, in Snap Circuits, which my daughter is even more fascinated with than I was the Radio Shack kits. Rather than a box of loose parts and springs you have to connect, each component is encased in plastic, with connections made with snaps. While it means you don’t actually get to hold a resister, you’re less likely to lose the part, and the projects seem to have a higher success rate–it’s not as finicky as the spring terminals. Many of the old projects of the Radio Shack kit are present, and some versions even have a computer interface. It’s a great toy to encourage an interest in STEM fields, not that I have much trouble encouraging that with my daughter.

My wife related a story where she was not the only one exploring electrical engineering.

Beso is a watcher. He likes to sit off to the side and observe what my daughter does. I often wonder if he has a notebook in which he jots his observations about life, in a manner like Thoreau. A week or so ago, my daughter was playing with her Snap Circuits. As pictured, Beso sat in the box lid, intently watching what she was up to. She made a circuit which had a switch, and an electric motor that turned a fan. She flipped the switch a few times, and had the fan spin, then stop. She then got up for a minute, leaving her project.

Beso took the opportunity to walk over and examine the breadboard. He sniffed around the motor, then put his paw on the switch and pushed. He wasn’t quite catching it, but it was clear he was paying enough attention to determine that’s what made the fan go. He tried from one side, then the other, only giving up when my daughter returned.

I’m not sure you’ll have the same result with Snap Circuits with your cats. However, I can certainly endorse it as a great education toy for the girls they love.

Mardi Gras 2014 for the Cats!   1 comment

It’s Mardi Gras! Time for the annual photo session for the cats. Luna checked out the beads.
Selecting Beads

Eddy is ready. “Throw me something, mister!”
Strutin' Eddy

Luna, of course, looks good in anything.
Luna, in Beads

I look…goofy (perhaps because I’m not a cat).
Charles, Beaded Up!

But Beso just isn’t in the spirit.

Happy Mardi Gras!!!

Posted 2014-03-04 by Mr. Guilt in Beso, cats, Eddy, Family, felis silvestris catus, Luna

Better Model than Me   2 comments

This weekend, I set about taking a new profile picture for all my internet presence.
Charles, Straight on and Serious

I got a couple options.
Charles, Big Smile Avatar

I kept goofing around with that…
Charles Leaning, Arms Folded

…when Beso showed up.
Beso Looks Up to Charles

Let’s face it: he’s cuter than me.
Charles Looks at Beso

Luna also appeared, and I took a picture with her, too.
Charles and Luna Avatar
She was thrilled!

They wandered off. Luna checked out the snow.
Luna Looks at the Snow

Beso hung out on the bed, annoyed I was still taking pictures of him.
Beso on the Bed

I try to pull out my camera once a week and take pictures. This was an interesting session, with fun results.
Charles Standing with Beso

A Visit from the Christmas Snow Leopard   Leave a comment

Christmas Snow Leopard tagWe started the Christmas Snow Leopard tradition for our cats two years ago. I had ordered a couple of plush mice from the Snow Leopard Trust. The Snow Leopard Trust works with folks living in areas where snow leopards like to roam. They provide income through the production of a variety of things, such as the felt mice, in exchange for protecting the cats. Where before the snow leopards were viewed as a threat to their flocks to be killed on sight, now they are guarded by the herders.

A good example of the effects of this program was recently demonstrated. A snow leopard cub was found on the roof of a home in Mongolia. Before it would have been shot and killed on sight. Now, the only shooting took place with cell phone cameras. The cub was safely relocated to the mountains. I think it is great that this organization looks at how to look at the impact the endangered species is having on the humans it shares a territory with, and helping solve problems to minimize conflict, rather than dictating what should be done.

Last year, I gave to the Snow Leopard Trust through work, as the cats still had their mice. The Christmas Snow Leopard still came, bringing new Beastie Bands for the cats. This year, my wife actually adopted Devekh, a radio-collard wild snow leopard, for me. I have my very own snow leopard!

Adopted Snow Leopard
That’s not Devekh but another snow leopard on the cover of the folder–there was a good picture of him inside. Naturally, our new plush friend now shares that name.

The cats, however, got three cool gifts from a local store called Confetti Cats, specializing in cat toys and products. They had a grand time unwrapping everything.


One, a “Luna Loop,” was a small, simple toy. Unfortunately, I didn’t get any good pictures of it. The other two were well received and photographed.

My wife noticed Eddy really liked this shaggy plume on te top of one of the other toys, which also had a big base. We sound something similar but lighter.

Eddy Loves His Toy

He loved it!

Cuddlin' His Toy

We also got a Cat Crib, a hammock designed to attach under chairs. The box was the first part of that toy.

Boxes Make Good Toys

Then they each took a turn sitting in it.

Beso in the Crib

Eddy in the Crib

Luna in the Cat Crib

Beso eventually figured out he could play with both toys at once, while Eddy sat up top.

Beso Hogs the Toys

It was a great Christmas, and a fun continuation of our little tradition.

Devekh in the Crib

Film Camera   1 comment

I got into photography as an all-digital guy. I’ve never had the space for a wet darkroom, and patience, at least when I was younger, was not my strong suit. When good DSLRs became more affordable, it seemed more do-able to me. I got a Nikon, along with my own “digital” darkroom.

Coincidentally, my late father had a Nikon. He mentioned wanting to get into photography from time to time, but probably had the same limitation. Unfortunately, he never got the opportunity to try out a DSLR to really explore the hobby. He did had a Nikon N80, which he did shoot family events with.

My mom came across it, and asked if I was interested in it. I thought it might be fun to go retro, and try some film shooting. All my lenses were compatible, so the only real expense is the film. Inside, there was a roll of film, half-shot. I finished it out, in part to test the camera.

Film has a different look from digital, though part of it may be because of the film’s age. There are actually filters for Lightroom to emulate various types of film. The roll was Kodak Gold 200, which I don’t believe is made any more.

As always, my cats were eager ambivalent models.
Crouching Pico-Panther

As it turns out one hour film developing is no longer common–two to three days seems to be the norm, though I was told black and white would require more like two weeks. I found one place that still offered it to turn around this initial roll, and they said they would be discontinuing this service early next year.
Luna on her Blanket

My workflow was similar to my digital process. I had the film developed to a CD, and imported the images to Aperture. There, I made my final adjustments. Still, the distinctive look of film remained.
Beso in the Study

The roll of film was over eight years old–to some extent, I was surprised it came out at all. Some of the prints showed damage. I was able to fix some of it in Aperture, but artifacts remain. You can see signs in the doorframe, as well as just above Eddy’s eyes.
Eddy in a Corner

While I doubt I will shoot a lot of film–there is a bit of cost and hassle associated with it relative to digital–I think it will be fun to experiment with it from time to time.

As I mentioned, half of the roll was used by my father, and it was interesting to see what appeared. And, it would seem my dad and I got to shoot a roll of film together.

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

Friday the Thirteenth?!?   Leave a comment

I spent the whole day writing emails referring to “Friday, September 13.” I was late making the connection. Even later did it occur to me: I have a black cat.

One does need to be careful with black cats on Friday the Thirteenth…they tend to steal your heart.
Luna Looks Down on Me
Well, she does that every day.

Truthfully, Luna wasn’t in a mood to pose. Beso always is willing to pose.
Beso, Having Deep Thoughts

Especially when you mention chicken!
Did Someone Say Chicken?

Beso and Luna’s Second Adopt-a-Versary   2 comments

Two years ago today (August 9), we adopted Beso and Luna. It’s been a blast having them.
Beso, and Luna's Paw

Beso remains a very mellow cat. At first, we thought he was a bit of a scaredy cat. But that’s not exactly it. It’s more that he thinks things through deliberately. He remained calm at the vet, for example, where his sister was less comfortable.
Beso in Rebecca's Chair

Beso remains a kitten at heart. He loves to play with toys, and still has a great full-body butt wiggle when he goes to pounce.
Beso, in Rebecca's Chair, on his Side

Luna amuses us with her hacker-ninja ways. Tonight, she was setting up an ambush.
Luna's Paws

She loves to figure out new things, such as training me to hold her to the skylight. We love her insistent chirps when she needs something.
Flopped-Over Luna

It’s been great having them–we couldn’t imagine our house without the “kittens” in it. Happy Adopt-a-Versary, Beso and Luna.

Posted 2013-08-09 by Mr. Guilt in Beso, cats, Family, felis silvestris catus, Luna

Ending the Month with Post of My Cats   1 comment

Here we are on July 31. We’ve had a lot of posts with cats in them: canadian lynxes, jaguars and white lions, tawny lions, cheetahs and snow leopards, even a whole day for tigers.
No, Beso. You’re not really a Siberian tiger.

It seems like I might go the whole month without a post about Eddy, Beso, and Luna. Perhaps you don’t miss it. However, I wanted to try something with my camera, and they are (mostly) tolerant models, most of the time. It wasn’t Eddy’s night for that, however.
Stop With the Freakin' Camera, Primate!

Luna was simply sitting on the bed.
Pretty Luna

Beso, however, never lets anything bother him. Just takes it easy.
Inverted Beso

All in all, a good end to July.

Posted 2013-07-31 by Mr. Guilt in Beso, cats, Eddy, Family, felis silvestris catus, Luna

Equal Time for Younger Cats   1 comment

This month, we had a post about Maggie and two posts about Eddy. Yet no pixels for Beso and Luna. This has not gone unnoticed by a certain wannabe Amur tiger.
What's That?!?

Seriously, what does a cat have to do to get noticed? Play with a ring toy?
Beso Eyes the Toy

Walk over the wave?
Climbing Over the Wave

It’s simply exhausting!
Whatever's Comfortable, Beso

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