Sunday, December 27, 2009

Dec. 28 -- Semi-decent Kitty Cam Results

Here is Wyatt, the Ramar of the Jungle of our house in terms of adventuring out and about. He is not wearing the camera here but is wearing a golf bag medallion that shows how the camera would rest against his chest when put on a collar around his neck, so it is from this angle that the Kitty Cam will take pictures as he explores.
This was such a fun experience for us today, as we have not known just where Wyatt goes when he disappears. We had assumed he was heading toward the front of our house, where we have frequently found him under the bushes up against the foundation of the house, after going out the back door onto the deck and then down to the patio. But here is evidence that he goes to the neighbor's front porch (east of our house). This picture below is on our patio heading east. He then cut to his left (north -- our backyard faces south), heading up to the neighbor's back yard.

Then he went even farther to the left (north) over the dirt on the neighbor's hill.

Below, he seemed to pause and turn around and look back at our house (that's the front northeast corner of our house, showing the holly bushes where we usually find him hiding, WHEN we can find him at all!) to see if we were watching where he went (of course, we weren't -- we had the camera on him!).

Then he zipped on up onto the neighbor's front porch.

It seems he paused and checked out his view from here, looking to his right (northeast).
Then he looked directly at the house across the street from the neighbor's house.

He then apparently looked for a minute or so to his left (northwest) and a picture was snapped of the house across the street from his (our) house.

This was quite enlightening to us, as we had no idea that he was going over to the neighbor's front porch. We have seen him looking in the koi pond in the house behind this neighbor's house (which is catty-cornered to our back yard due to the corner on our street). Hopefully the next time he goes out with the camera, we can get pictures of him watching the koi pond.

The camera was set to take a picture every 60 seconds, and he was out and about for only about 26 minutes (we got 26 pictures, most of which were either duplicative of the above shots or too blurry during movement to be useful). But in this one trip, the camera has served its purpose and has tattle-tailed on where the little bugger went. Larry and golf agree that this episode was DEE-lightful to follow via pictures, and they look forward to further Kitty Cam Adventures. golf was LOL as she tracked his journey by the pictures and calling to Larry to "come look at this one." ;-) She is going to SO enjoy spring when the weather is nicer and Wyatt can be outside longer.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Dec. 20 -- Yet Again a Few More Christmas Pictures

Here is the tree late this afternoon, after golf finished wrapping all the presents -- for a Christmas when it has been agreed we (family) aren't going to exchange presents. Oh, well, golf just can't do that. But she just has little stuff for her family -- putting little bags of chocolate candy or pistachio nuts in a box and then giving it as a gift, just so everyone will have something to open -- really no big deal. But since she wrapped all the gifts for herself and Larry (new camera, memory stick, spare battery, etc., plus other little stuff she doesn't even remember! Check the end of this post for the Saga of the Missing Marine Pack.), Larry gets to open all the presents Christmas Eve (he has to work Christmas, so they'll "do Christmas" on Christmas Eve. Close-up of the presents -- note the Breyer palomino Western horse at the center just left of Quigley Down Under "action figure" and 8" Madame Alexander Scarlett doll (Christmas present for golf in 1955).
Another picture of the lights outside since golf added the six little candy cane lights by the sidewalk -- already on sale at Wal-Mart at 50% off.

And last night golf moved all the knick-knacks off the mantle and put all her little china Victorian houses with batting for snow there.

Saga of the Missing Marine Pack: golf initially asked "Santa" for the Sony MPK-WE marine pack for her camera. Then Larry's camera broke and golf found out her Sony W220 has no option for any manual settings, but the W290 does ("semi-manual") so Larry agreed he would "get" her new W220 as his new camera for a present (because his MAIN Santa present was his new HDTV) and golf can get the W290 -- because she had already ordered the marine pack. THEN, first vendor she ordered it from canceled the order because the pack is no longer manufactured by Sony --"discontinued." So the Great White Whale Hunt (no pun intended!) began to find a vendor with leftover inventory of the marine pack. She went through three more orders that got canceled -- and every time after waiting a week to so inform her!! DON'T tell her you have something and then A WEEK LATER send an email canceling the order because you DON'T have it! golf was getting really p.o.'ed. She has SUPPOSEDLY now found it at Ace Photo Digital who promised her "100%" they have it in stock because their inventory control shows 36 in inventory. Obviously, it is now far too late to get it by Christmas, but right now she can live with that -- she's not going snorkeling on Christmas or the weekend after -- she just wants to GET the danged thing. However, she will not be surprised -- though greatly disappointed again -- if she hears from Ace that they don't have it after all. If it's discontinued, why does Sony still have this item on ITS website for $229?? She was hoping to pay less than that (she saw it from a seller on eBay for $135 this summer, and that's when she got the idea to get it -- and apparently WHEN she should have bought the bloody thing if she actually expected to receive it). If Ace cancels, Sony might be the only option. Right now she and Larry are probably willing to pay the $229, just to get it. They're getting stubborn and determined to get it now. Will keep you posted. Big sigh . . . . . (from golf) . . . . .

Sunday, December 13, 2009

December 13, 2009 -- I Am Not Amused . . . .

But Larry is. This was his big idea. As a Christmas gift last year, golf was given a bottle of wine placed in this gorgeous wooden box. The wine has long since disappeared, but golf always puts the box under the tree because it's so pretty.
THIS year, Larry asked if I would fit in the box! WHY would he want to know that??
. Is he trying to get rid of me??

Not very subtle, is he?

In the meantime, here are a couple of other ornaments golf has put on the tree -- a needlepoint version of our house here (visited by the 308 Ferrari and TC's heli, along with Santa in a 1995 Chevy Blazer [our previous Golfmobile -- now it's a red Rodeo]).

And here's the house at 383 Park Avenue, as it looked when golf and Larry lived there. golf still loves her time spent at that house. The Ferrari put in an appearance here too.

And so that Santa doesn't think the "coffin" pictures above are a Christmas request:

Happy Holidays!!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Wednesday, December 9 -- Kitty Cam!

Well, not yet. Just practicing. golf has asked Santa for the pet's eye view camera:

Kitty Cam

The purpose of same is to find out where the HECK Wyatt goes when he disappears for a couple of hours when golf and Larry let Sundance and Wyatt go outside for a while. Sundance sticks fairly close and will readily come flying up the deck stairs when called or whistled for. Wyatt will do that SOMETIMES. Other times he just disappears and we have NO idea where he is. He always comes back within an hour or two. Still and all, golf found that camera and thought it would be enlightening and entertaining to have Wyatt wear a "kitty cam." The trick, however, is to get him used to wearing something around his neck, as he normally doesn't even wear a collar. Since we have no pet collars around the house, golf linked two luggage tag "belts" together to make a temporary collar for Wyatt. She tried that first, and he didn't object after just a couple of minutes of puzzlement. Then she needed something about the size and weight of what she figures the camera will be. What would work? Well, she and Larry has been given a couple of metal golf bag tags when they were at Maui Dunes -- she just needed to find one. Not on the golf bags. Not in the golf bags. She had seen one recently . . . . . Okay, on a table downstairs. Attach to collar. Wyatt does NOT like. Too heavy for initial orientation. Remove it, attach a spare key to the collar instead, much less weight but still a dangling object. Okay, no objection, and he adjusted to that fine. That was Monday night. Tuesday night when she came home for work, she switched out the key for the heavier and larger golf bag tag. A little disconcerting to Wyatt for a few minutes, but then he adjusted and paid no attention to it, not even when it was clunking against the hardwood floor while he was eating the kitty treats she gave him for being such a good boy and not objecting to his new "badge." He played around the rest of the night with this rather weighty "iron" hanging on his neck, but there was no evidence of trauma or even discomfort. So he's ready for the camera, whenever it comes in. I have a feeling golf won't be able to wait till she receives it as Christmas present to use it.

So, here's how Wyatt looks - the sheriff in town:

He may look slightly annoyed here, but I think he was objecting more to the picture-taking that his necklace.
Eventually, after he wore himself out playing round the house, he went to sleep. Yes, I can see the badge is REALLY bothering him and stressing him out . . . . .

Monday, November 30, 2009

One more Christmas lights picture -- November 30

golf forgot the little lighted Christmas presents boxes:

She also can't figure out why her fancy-schmancy new Sony camera can't focus on the lights regardless of which setting she uses. She has asked Larry to see if he can get a better picture with his Canon. If so, we'll post one of his pictures.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Friday, November 27, 2009

Sorry it's been a month since we posted anything. We had a great Thanksgiving with golf's parents. Then today she was out in the cold decorating the house. She is SUCH a Christmas freak!

But, hey! In the meantime, I forgot to mention, Larry already HAS his Christmas present -- a 46" Sony Bravia HDTV. Really cool! I'll try to get a picture later of golf using it for her flight simming -- yes! Flight Simulator with a 46" monitor!! Actually, kind of freaky.

In the meantime, here's our tree.

I hadn't exactly planned on becoming a Christmas ornament. But I don't really mind sitting beside the needlepoint ornament golf made as a "representation" of our house.

Here I am with the needlepoint version of the 383 Park Avenue house (remember that post? But I never lived there . . . .)

Doncha love the bubble lights?!?!?

Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Early Sunday morning, October 25 (Happy Anniversary, Dad and Mother!)

EARLY (7 a.m.) Sunday morning, golf was out on the beach with her snorkel equipment (and me). Basing her decision on where to snorkel on the placement of the jetty of rocks and her research on Google Earth, she figured the best place for snorkeling was the east end of the beach.

Of course, I had to oversee it a little bit. I suggested she go out on the west side (between me and the rocks) of the jetty of rocks, just a little farther along the beach from where I'm sitting on the beach chair here.

She did so -- and found very shallow water and the "dark" areas she saw on Google Earth were just seagrass (or whatever you call that underwater "grass" -- not coral, unfortunately). She paddled around for a little while but didn't see many fish -- not even any convict tang, which are usually rather prevalent in Caribbean waters. Finally, when she got out about 50 yards beyond the rock jetty, she started seeing the neon blue tang. Frustratingly, at that point, she noticed that her new air mattress was losing air. Granted, she wasn't really in very deep water but she was rather far out, so she paddled on back to shore (to find the reason the mattress was deflating was not because of a leak but because she had not fully inserted the plug -- yes, she felt rather . . . . . embarrassed/dumb/hey-she's-a-blonde -- never mind . . . . )

So she just gave up (since she wasn't spotting any special fish) and just took pictures of the beach for Larry, since he hasn't seen Bolongo Beach. Below I'm sitting at the rock jetty and this is the east end of the beach.

Sun is coming up a little more in the picture below.
From where she was at the east end of the beach, looking back toward the west end, this is the edge of the bay farthest out into the sea.

One camera turn in toward shore . . .

And for the third part of triptech, the shore west to east to the rock jetty.

She retired back to the condo unit to pack up and get ready to head out. Out on the balcony, she was fooling around on the laptop, checking email and flight status, etc., and took these pictures of her view of the west end of the bay, over the beach outside her second floor condo unit. Note the "wedding arch" trellis where there had been a wedding on Saturday evening at sunset.
Nice little boat in the bay. But note the waves -- a little too much surf for snorkeling here, but maybe that's where one is supposed to snorkel to see the good fish. They sure weren't where she tried on the east end!

So after this rather disappointing morning (in terms of snorkeling -- she was still enjoying a very nice morning beachside on a tropical island, for crying out loud!), she packed up and checked out and headed to the airport for the trip home.

Which leads to an ENTIRELY different story that she's not ready to deal with right now (at least in the public domain). Maybe in a few days, she'll come to see the humor of the episode. (I'm LMAO!) But for right now, let's give her a little "come to grips" time and I'll reveal all as soon as she is willing to concede her stupidity and 'fess up. She usually has a good sense of "black humor" and the ability to ridicule herself. Right now, she's just too embarrassed. I'll cut her some slack -- this time!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Saturday, October 24 -- Back in St. Thomas! Yea!

We are back in St. Thomas, this time at Bolongo Bay Beach Resort. This resort "ain't much to write home about" -- the buildings are pretty old, but the furnishings seem updated and it does have a kingsize bed. And the beach itself is nice, though from what golf found out when she waded a little bit into the water just before sundown, once past the sand, it's rather rocky. Here's the view from our balcony.

Bath is rather small, but the resort does furnish little bottles of shampoo and conditioner, little bars of soap and a hair dryer (Sapphire Village didn't in every unit, depended on the owner, I guess). (Yes, that's golf's laptop on the bathroom counter -- the bathroom had the only available electrical plug she could find to re-charge the battery on the laptop, which she ran down on the flight down, using GoGo internet ["free for one flight for new user" for which she signed up so she could email Larry about the flight, but then he wasn't paying attention to email because he didn't know golf was using it! [gnash teeth] AAAAGGGGHH!!!)
Kitchen, though, hardly qualifies as a kitchen. A tiny wet-bar size sink, a small microwave, and a half refrigerator with no ice trays, much less an ice-maker. golf had to go buy a little styrofoam cooler and a bag of ice (she didn't take a picture of those).
By the way, St. Thomas is on Atlantic time, so it's an hour ahead of Atlanta except when Daylight Savings Time is in effect, and then it's the same time.

Now, as to how we (golf and I) got here. Larry and golf, with their smoking vice, had used up all the cigarettes golf got when she was down here in August, so it was time for another cigarette run. golf was able to get on the 10 a.m. flight down here (stand-by) without an problem, but this time she wasn't in First/Business Class. Bummer! (Is she spoiled or what?) Picked up her rental car, made it through "downtown" Charlotte Amalie (she's learning her way around pretty well) and to the resort without any major setbacks. Got all her stuff into the rental unit and seriously thought about going snorkeling first, BEFORE the cigarette run to K-Mart, but then she decided maybe she ought to do that run before dark, since this time she was taking a cross-island road that she hadn't driven (on the left side of the road, remember!) before, plus the water looked pretty surf-y (i.e., larger waves than she wanted to deal with while snorkeling).

So, golf figured she'd make the K-Mart run and be back in time to snorkel for a little while. "The best laid plans . . . " and all that. The extra stop to have to get ice and the styrofoam cooler added a little too much time to the trip. Nevertheless, golf gave it her best shot and changed into her swimsuit, blew up her inflatable raft, loaded up the snorkel gear, and headed for the east end of the beach. Where she discovered that the loopy thingy that holds the snorkel to the mask -- was MISSING! Had she been able to get her equipment in order, I think she would have gone in the water for 10 minutes or so, just to see if there were any fish there. But without that one little piece of equipment, she reluctantly resigned herself to no snorkeling today. HOWEVER, the resort does have its own dive shop, so she diddly-bopped over there and purchased a new loopy thingy for $2. Of course, by this time, it was too late to go in the water, but she's set for tomorrow morning (YES, she did check her luggage to be sure the loopy thingy hadn't just fallen off in the bag, but, alas, it had not -- or yea! it had not, since she had just spent two bucks to buy another one). Oh, yes, along the line of talking about buying things, the unit may have little bottles of shampoo, etc., but it has virtually NO drinking glasses -- only three mini-orange juice size glasses. So along with the cigs at K-Mart, golf also bought a cheapo set of four "old fashioned" drink size glasses (good for margaritas) and a souvenir-stamped West Indies plastic insulated mug for her diet orange Sunkist in the morning (okay, okay, she KNOWS she can't buy Diet Sunkist here, so she packed four cans of that in the bag she checked [extra bag to be checked for more cigarette cartons room] -- and they made it through the flight without exploding! So she has her version of "morning coffee" -- she never learned to like coffee).

Also, since she hadn't had anything to eat all day but a few grapes before she went to the airport this morning, a Burger King croissandwich at the airport, a couple of cinnamon cookies on the airplane, and a handful of peanuts, she figured she ought get something for dinner. She bought a frozen (what her generation calls a "TV dinner") at the grocery store, so I guess she better go cook it in her little mini-microwave . . . . though now she's not hungry . . . . good thing she decided against the $40 lobster dinner at the restaurant here at the resort. That $40 will buy a lot more than one 1-lb. lobster at our local Kroger . . . .

Signing off for tonight (while I still have whatever internet connection she's managed to piggy-back onto for tonight). !

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

October 17, 2009 -- Another Arachnid

No, this is not turning into a Nat Geo blog -- we just haven't been anywhere to DO anything recently (though I believe golf has something stirred up for this weekend . . . . )

Anyway . . . . although Larry and golf keep "losing" their argiopes, they seem to keep an eye out for potential new visitors. On about October 13-14, Larry found a HUGE web in the back yard -- it stretched from the river birch tree to the ground and over to the patio, a span of about 15 feet. The web didn't cover all that area -- it was just in the center of the area for about a span of 3 feet, but the strands stretched that far. Never found the spider though, and the web didn't look like Ariadne's, Venus', or Emily's as it didn't have the center zigzag stabilizer - it just had a hole in the middle. And it was a very "disorganized" web -- but then it was pretty big to be very detailed. We had a lot of rain over this time period, and I think it was after midnight one night (Thursday, October 15) that Larry went outside looking for the spider and finally found her on the web, busily repairing and respinning the web. He tried to get pictures, but his camera wouldn't focus in the dark. The next night he went out with our old Sony video camera that has a light and filmed the spider again. Our spider expert advised us this is an Eriophora ravilla, a southern orb weaver, usually found in the tropics. Here's a picture of one (not ours, we didn't take this picture).

However, HERE is the video Larry shot. It's not all that good because we don't have professional night-time photography or video equipment. But it's clear enough to see this little lady. We didn't have time to name her before she blew away in a storm the next day and since then the temperature has dropped below freezing at the house (yes, fairly unusual for October in Atlanta), she's probably long gone. Don't know that we'll find any more this year . . . . :-(

(Now what is really neat about this video is that the spider drops and starts swinging on a strand and Larry is able to follow her [in the dark!] and track her as she swings, gets to the ground and moves along in the grass a little, then skitters back up the thread [or another one] -- he was really good at following her in the first place, even if the video is not totally in focus all the time. That he got this much action at all is very commendable, in my opinion.)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

October 8: We interrupt this program . . . .

Are you getting tired of reading about Hawaii? Well, that's fine, I'm tired of writing about it. So I'll get golf to stick some other "news" in here. First of all, we have a new spider!!! If you followed along for the sagas of Ariadne and Venus . . . ., well, now we have Emily (golf flatly refused to name her Charlotte -- "Everyone names his/her spider Charlotte!!" -- so she decided on Emily -- get it?) And here she is (Emily, not golf), in all her glory.

Now, secondly, October 1 was golf's birthday. As usual, she got for herself what she wanted sometime back in March and just kept it hidden until her birthday, when she advised Larry of what HE had gotten for her. Ta-da!!

Is that a good birthday present, or what? It is an actual jacket given out to the crew during the filming of the show. She got it on eBay from a former crew member. She's stoked! Her buddies asked her if she was going to frame it. Uhhhhh, she never thought of that. She's planning to WEAR it -- when it gets cool enough to need a jacket.
So, whaddaya think?