Dec 30, 2010

Cold Snap

The first snow of the season showed up today and it's really coming down. We're expecting to get around ten inches overnight. Sigh, we're missing the fireplace we had at Worthington Park Blvd. in Ohio. I'm looking forward to a fantastic weekend: New Year's, possibly visiting Celestial Seasonings in Boulder, and we have tickets to the King Tut Exhibit on Sunday!

Romeo S. Dogpants is doing really well. He's got cabin fever, but his tummy is healing up just fine. He got his staples out on Tuesday. Now he's coming down off prescription painkillers, but don't worry, he's getting spoiled rotten.

These were a birthday present that got here yesterday. And they're juuuuust right. Yeah, I'm one of THOSE nerds.

Dec 29, 2010

A Rare Shadow

I was really looking forward to the lunar eclipse back on the 20th and I wasn't disappointed. I was watching the clock and running downstairs to look at the sky every five minutes, starting around 11:00 MST. At first, the air was really damp and the moon had a halo of vapor. When I took this photo, the eclipse had actually started, but you can barely make it out.

The first time I was able to get a decent photo was at this point. Got to see the whole thing pretty well, the vapor halo was really only an issue behind the lens. I took this shot at a couple of different angles, just because.

People from everywhere were watching the same thing from different angles. And just look at all the different perspectives! It really was a religious experience for nature and astronomy enthusiasts everywhere.

I wonder how cold an eclipse's shadow is.

Dec 26, 2010

Belated Romeo Update and Pics

First of all, happy Boxing Day everyone! So, if you are a friend or family member, you are probably aware of the drama that has been playing out the past month in our home. My adorable and emotionally unstable step-dog Romeo has been through some tough personal times recently. I purchased and put up a pet door to my office so that little old Sadie, a.k.a. "Squeaky Dee McGee" the bunny feels safe and secure in a dog-free room. We've never had any worries that he would hurt her, but pick on her, YES. She can come and go as she likes now, but Romeo can't come into her personal space and bully her. Before, we were always very careful to make sure my office door was shut (with Dee inside) when neither of us was home, and Romeo could come in while I was here. But the temptations for Romeo to come in, chew up her toys and help himself to her litterbox were too strong and he's sneaky. I was unhappy about it, Dee Dee was definitely upset about it, and since I frequently don't feel like putting up with his macho alpha dog moves, I decided enough was enough; much as I love Romeo "Stinky" Dog, Dee and I needed some dog-free boundaries. But even knowing his personality, I would never have guessed how Romeo would deal with the situation. I knew he'd be upset for a while, but he went to extremes to vent his frustration that caught Shaun and I off guard. While we were either out or asleep, Romeo ate a lot of a cotton bathroom rug. We thought he'd be fine, because Shaun managed to pull about ten feet of cotton string out of him. So, we thought we'd gotten it all out of him and we pulled up all the loose rugs and put them away, thinking we'd gotten lucky and he was through the phase. But a couple days later, Shaun noticed one of his computer speakers had had the wire severed. Poor Dee Dee took the rap for that one for a couple of days, but I thought something was fishy. She has only ever bitten one other non bunny proofed cord in all the time she's lived with me, and I thought it was strange that she'd go out of her way to dig out cords from behind Shaun's desk that aren't easy to get to and chew through only one wire. Well as it turns out, Romeo had eaten quite a lot of speaker wire. It isn't unusual for him to be broody for days at a time and finicky about eating, so at first we didn't realize what was wrong. But almost two days after the wire incident, we noticed he didn't seem to be feeling well and wasn't moving his bowels. So the next afternoon Shaun took him to the vet, not a moment too soon. He was rushed to emergency surgery. Here is what they found in his stomach, blocking his intestines. Yep, rug bits and speaker wire, the little bastard.

And here he is after Shaun brought him home, stoned on the pain drugs the vet gave him:

He wasn't allowed to jump up on the couch or bed when he first got home obviously, which are his usual comfort zones. So that sure didn't help make him any happier. But we made him as comfy as possible on his dog bed.

And a good thing too. I took these photos two days after he was home, when the bruising was the worst. They must have had his whole torso clamped open during surgery. Look at all those staples!

The whole situation was frustrating, nerve wracking, and pitiful. Romeo of course isn't able to put together the facts. He doesn't know that he was feeling bad, taken to the vet, and got cut open and stapled back together because of his previous destructive behavior.

Doggie DRUUUUGS! This is Romeo on opiates:

He couldn't handle kibble food. The vet suggested boiled chicken and rice. So I made Romeo a big batch of chicken soup with rice that he finished over the course of several days. Down the hatch!

And here he is the middle of last week, being his usual sneaky self. He got up on the couch without waking Shaun, using his mad stealth skillz. But cuddling is Romeo's forte, sometimes you aren't even conscious while you're getting puppy love!

Little twerp's staples come out this Tuesday. No reason to think that shouldn't go smoothly and then hopefully, things will be back to normal in the family here.

Dec 23, 2010

Visions of pork and vegetarians...

Happy/Merry Christmas! For your viewing pleasure, here is a nativity scene made of sauerkraut and pork that I randomly came across some time back. I have no idea where this picture came from or who it belongs to, but kudos to the creative cook. You will never look at sausage the same way again, after a look at the Baby Jesus as a cocktail weiner:

And now to cleanse your visual palette, here is today's scanned pic. This be my lil sis and mum at the Tower of London when we visited about ten years ago, almost to the day. This was also during the semester I spent at Roehampton University. My fam came to visit and we got to be tourists together over the holiday. I was going through a history nerd phase at the time of being obsessed with Restoration England and Charles II, but I didn't get a chance to take pics of the crown jewels. To view them, you had to stand on this little conveyor belt that didn't really give you a chance to check everything out. I was also extremely unimpressed by Whitehall...) Oooooh, if only I'd had a digital camera back then. If only...

Dec 19, 2010

2 Things Challenge: Unexpected/Order

Yesterday was my birthday. Can't remember the last time it fell on a Saturday! I had several ideas about how I wanted to spend the day and take pictures (The King Tut exhibit? The Botanical Gardens? Hammond's Candies? Or the tarantula exhibit?) and I had a hard time making a decision. I finally chose and we ended up visiting the The Butterfly Pavillion. I found unexpected order and beauty in the tiny indoor ecosystem...:

...and in the little beings who lived there:

Dec 12, 2010

2 Things Challenge: Step/Floor

My interpretation to this week's 2 Things Challenge is also pictures from Red Rocks.



An Early Winter Day in the Foothills

I let myself sleep in a little this morning. When I got up, I headed out to Red Rocks to kick it and take some photos. It felt so good to get outside that I ran out the door and forgot some essentials, like my water bottle and gloves. And boy, did I regret being careless. There hasn't been any snow yet this season. The days are very bright and blue skied. But even so, today the wind was freezing and coming right at you like something alive and starving. My hands and face were chapped by the time I got back to my car.

We've been here a number of times in the past for shows. But I'm not always allowed to take my camera in and the crowds make it tricky to take good shots. This was my first time visiting outside of concert season. I wish I'd gone sooner. I parked on the east side for a change, and took a new way up to the visitor's center. It was a little steep.

I caught a cute bird having a snack. It was plucking something off this pine tree and gobbling it down. I'm having a hard time narrowing down just what kind of bird this is. I was thinking a lark bunting, but it seems to have too much white on it's body. Hm.

In the amphitheater, facing roughly north.

Some various views from the top of the venue.

A distant clifftop.

You can see downtown Denver, about 15-20 miles away east.

Multicolored lichens.

Cold, bright light.

Here is a video I took from the top of the visitor's center, looking out. I was expecting it to be pretty empty, considering the wind. But there were all kinds of people enjoying being out....

...including some fire fighters getting in some training time.

And here is a video I took from next to the stage. There were people everywhere, including some sort of sports team doing some strength training or something. They were taking turns pulling each other up the stairs.

I lasted almost two hours, wandering around and enjoying the view. Then I drove back into town and treated myself to spring rolls and noodle soup at Pho 79, the Vietnamese cafe I've become obsessed with. Finished my Hercule Poirot mystery too. Just a nice, chill Saturday afternoon, exploring in Colorado.