Wide-Eyed Y

CMY’s first visit to the catio.  I had to carry her there, as she probably wouldn’t have noticed otherwise.  Once inside, she climbed around and sniffed, fairly calmly.

CMY on catio 2016-05-22 18.23.19CMY on catio 2 2016-05-22 18.23.22

Yes, she’s big.  As you can see from her even larger brother Rhombus, in the corner, it’s genetic.


Maker Faire

My parents, my spouse, and myself all went to the Maker Faire in San Mateo this past Saturday.  Despite warnings of rain, the day was actually pretty comfortably partly-cloudy, which was a relief since last time I went it was very hot and the exhibition halls were miserable.

I lucked out and found a fiber seller (Woolpops) in the bazaar.  She was spinning on a Ladybug wheel, the same kind I have (but haven’t learned to use yet).  We talked for a bit about spinning and she showed me the less-prepped fibers she had that weren’t on display, though I decided I didn’t feel like picking that much VM out of my fiber.  I got four smallish bits of rovings.

Woolpops fiber 2016-05-22 22.02.14

  1. 1.2oz Navajo churro wool, in med-dark greens (called Sea Glass, but it looks more like malachite to me).  Rather coarse.  I’m not familiar with this wool.
  2. 1.5oz California Variegated Mutant (CVM), in muddy, mossy greens.  I like the texture of this one — fairly soft and springy.  I think I have some other CVM which might blend with it.  Or not.
  3. 1.4oz generic medium wool (feels a bit like maybe Coopworth or Cotswold, which I tend to get mixed up), painted in an ivory-yellow-orange gradient (“Candy Corn”).  Called pencil roving but a bit thicker than I usually think of pencil roving to be.  I’ll likely spin this into one long singles and then ply it with, hm, something.
  4. 0.6oz merino/Cormo cross pencil roving, dyed in muted pinks and brownish grays (“Easter Egg”?).  Really nice and soft.

I’ll likely card all of these except the yellow/orange into batts with a bunch of other fibers.

Later on I found an area where people could learn how to knit and, to my delight, spin.  I didn’t stay there long, but took the time to demonstrate to my longsuffering spouse how bottom-whorl spindles work.  (I don’t actually own any myself, other than the one knocked together for the spinning class I took in 2009.)  If I hadn’t been trying to see everything I would’ve been tempted to just borrow one of the spindles there and start spinning my pencil roving.  But my feet and internal temperature were actually holding up pretty well, so I didn’t need the break.

In another area we found a pair of people with an automated knitting machine.  One of the inventors was pointing out to me the fineness of the color pattern, at higher resolution (his term, where I would’ve said finer-gauge) than most handknitters would achieve — and I pulled out my sock in progress, knit with more stitches to the inch than their samples.  He and his co-inventor were very impressed, which made me happy. 🙂

My parents found some machine knitters elsewhere, from a guild.  I don’t know how I missed them, but that’s all right.  I’m not really that interested in machine knitting.

That’s mainly it for the knitting parts.  Another thing I really enjoyed was the dark hall, where lots of light toys were.  I had a lot of fun twirling a staff with two sets of color-changing LEDs on each end, a la drum major mace.  No one else there (when I was there) could do it as well.  It was still harder than I expected, and I think it was a combination of momentum and the grippiness of the staff, which actually made it hard to let go in time to pass it to the other hand.  I might need one of those to play with out back.  There were also neat conglomerations of lights which turned out to be clear plastic cups stapled together with Christmas lights (or similar LEDs on wires) threaded into them.  A very nice idea.




This past weekend a long-awaited structure was built: an 8′ x 12′ enclosure on our back deck for the cats to go into.  It wasn’t finished until Sunday eve, so it wasn’t until Monday night that anyone went in (and it was only Triquet and one or two other cats that actually ventured out then).  Here’s how it looked from the nearby bedroom window.

Tuesday night saw a few more takers.

Although there’s a perfectly nice ramp built to access the shelf in the corner, Meringue took a more direct route.

Meringue climbs post 2016-05-17 21.30.18

Praline took the even more direct route of jumping straight to the shelf, but I didn’t photograph that.

Today was the first day we opened it up during daylight (we were home yesterday, but it was really hot).  We’d moved in the plastic chairs already and we started moving in some cat furniture too.  And photographing, of course.

Moonstone on ottoman 2016-05-19 15.10.05

I ended up with a lot of pictures of Meringue because she kept being the first to do things.

Meringue climbing netting 2016-05-19 15.18.36Meringue on ramp 2016-05-19 15.15.31Meringue on shelf 2016-05-19 15.14.57

It’s kind of poignant, in a way.  We first saw her on that very hillside, back in 2013.  Probably not too long before or after she gave birth.

I-Gene moved in another piece of furniture, which I realized was actually our oldest cat tree, purchased before we moved here.  Despite the top platform breaking off (we haven’t bothered reattaching it), it’s survived pretty well.

Quot Triquet Rhombus in catio 2016-05-19 18.06.33Triquet and Rhombus in catio 2016-05-19 18.05.33Triquet on furniture 2016-05-19 18.02.29catio from doorway 2016-05-19 18.01.00 (2)

So far, Triquet, Velcro, Moonstone, Rhombus, Quot, Meringue, and Praline have spent a fair bit of time in the catio.  Rhombus is most relaxed, as the previous picture shows; he stayed out there placidly even after everyone else went back in (the humans got chilled and the rest of the cats followed).  Five-Spice has darted in a couple of times.  I carried Licoris over to see it, but she scrambled out in a hurry as I crossed the threshold.  Walnut has watched intently from inside the house.  As far as I know CMY hasn’t noticed the catio at all, and perhaps Vanilla hasn’t either.




Nothing particularly important here.  These are just misc thoughts I had a couple of days ago that are the sort of thing I’d put on Twitter if I had much of a Twitter presence.  I don’t, so I didn’t.

  • It was really hot Tuesday, and for the first time we closed all of the light-blocking window coverings in the front of the house.  Was really quite dark for midday.
  • I keep forgetting that this is graduation season until I find myself amid flocks of black-robed graduates while crawling through traffic full of their ceremony attendees.
  • Said crawl did give me time to read what one new alumna had painted on her mortarboard:
    HI MOM
    I DID IT
  • Parking was horrendous, with lots of 2/3-sized spaces (Smart cars?).  I had to park in the area which become tow-away at 4p.  However, when I moved my car at 3:45, it took so long to find a space that it was 4:01p when I pulled into a section of curb that had no-parking sawhorses to read that the effective time period was 7a-4p.  Yay.
  • However, I was totally parked in when I left (mainly because the big giant truck in front of me had left at least two feet between its hood and the next driveway, which seems almost criminal in Berkeley).  Had to bump vehicles on both sides to get out.  I felt a little bad for this, but when you leave less than six inches of space between your vehicle and the next one, it happens.
  • Driving back through the previously graduate-infested area, I saw a bumper sticker that read “Proud parent of a [lots of white space] graduate.”  I truly don’t know whether the school name had faded or if it really was a write-in bumper sticker.
  • Got a message that a science fiction author whose name I actually know (from reading and occasionally posting comments at the same blog(s)) has followed me on Twitter.  Since I’ve only written about three tweets on that handle (which I created mainly to reply to other tweets), this is bizarre.  I think he must’ve accidentally followed everyone that follows another author.
  • Last weekend our ca…no, I’ll make that a separate post.  Never mind.
  • I noticed this a week ago (about May 11) but decided that, fond as I am of them, I couldn’t eat 19 of these granola bars in two days.
    Kashi bar expired 2016-05-16 14.52.48


Things we have given our cats as treats:

  • Crackers
  • Milk
  • Cream
  • Butter
  • Tuna
  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Beef
  • Lamb
  • Shrimp
  • Scallops
  • Lobster

Things Praline has helped himself to from the counter or stove:

  • Steak
  • Chicken bones
  • Pancakes
  • Zucchini
  • Cauliflower
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Asparagus


Triquet and I were sitting out on the swing on the back deck when we heard an odd noise.  Then a turkey walked out from under the section of deck we were on.

turkey hen 2016-04-30 18.49.46

I took a picture and watched the turkey for a little bit, then returned my attention to Triquet or whatever I was doing.  Probably petting Triquet.  After some time, I looked up to see that the turkey had made it across the “lawn” and fluttered over the fence to the hillside.  And that there was more noise.

turkey chicks 3 2016-04-30 18.52.59 HDR-2


I didn’t dare get close enough to take pics that might be in focus, but I did get a video, and braved YouTube to post it here.  You can hear the chicks squeaking as they try to get to their mother.

And don’t worry, the last one made it too.  Though not before I worried that I might have to chase it in the right direction.

Praline Watching Praline

Praline watching Praline 2016-05-04 00.56.04

Spouse found a video from when the kittykins were bouncy little kittens.  Naturally, we had to watch, and Praline had to watch too.  He probably doesn’t know he’s watching himself though.

(This is kind of extra funny to me because I’m playing Mario and Luigi: Partners in Time, in which several main characters meet younger versions of themselves, sometimes without realizing it.)