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Inside Cats

Posted on September 7th, 2017

Dave!The air quality improved enough that I decided to let the cats outside for a little while. When I opened the catio door, they didn't last very long... coming back inside after only a few minutes.

I thought that perhaps the smoke was irritating or scary enough that it would keep them from going outside, but my hopes were soon dashed. After verifying that it wasn't a trick and they really could go outside if they wanted to, they started spending all their time out there, as usual.

This meant having to close off the catio again. The last thing I want is two cats with respiratory problems.

Because me having respiratory problems is more than enough. I've been coughing my head off since the smoke started rolling in, and have had just about enough of the stuff.

Given how my cats have been whining about wanting to go back outside, I'm sure they feel the same way.

   

Air Quality and You

Posted on September 6th, 2017

Dave!Well this sucks.

I think I might be dying. At least the smoke is making me miserable enough that I feel like I'm dying.

Believe it or not, the air quality is better today that it was yesterday... you can actually see the nearby hills. What you cannot see are mountains. The sky is just white when you go looking for them...

Missing Mountains!

Smokey Valley
To see the full resolution, click photo to embiggen.

   
You can kinda see hills there... but that's it...

Smokey Valley

   
I've been keeping the cats inside to protect their little lungs... no catio for you! They are not pleased. They just sit at the window being mad that I won't let them go outside...

Jake Wants my iPhone Camera

   
Jake eventually gave up and climbed on my lap for attention...

Jake Wants my iPhone Camera

   
Though it seems as thought he's finally getting wise to my photographing him...

Jake Wants my iPhone Camera

Jake Wants my iPhone Camera

Jake Wants my iPhone Camera

Jake Wants my iPhone Camera

   
Silly kitty.

Here's hoping tomorrow's air quality is better than today. I don't know how much more of this I can take.

   

Where There’s Smoke…

Posted on September 5th, 2017

Dave!The drive back home was awful. In what was just so typical, WSDOT stopped me twice on the pass for projects they'll never finish... meaning I sat in smoke for a half hour. This resulted in an upset stomach and a whopper of a headache. I do not react well to smoke.

Especially when there is so much of it...

Smokey Drive Home

Smokey Drive Home

Much to my horror, it was even worse at home than on the passes. The smoke is so thick I can't even see the surrounding hillsides.

After stopping at work for a couple hours, I ran home to check on my little monsters. And freaked out when I realized that they had been hanging out in the catio when the air quality was abysmal. The first thing I did (after a lot of petting) was close the cat door.

It did not go over well with Jake and Jenny.

Much whining and crying ensued as they tried to figure out how to open the door...

Catio Door Closed!

Catio Door Closed!

Catio Door Closed!

Eventually I relented and let them out for a bit. Luckily they didn't want to stay out long... they don't like the smoke any better than I do... so now I'm in a quandary. Do I keep the door closed so I can rest easy knowing they won't be exposed to air toxins? Or do I leave it open to avoid whining and crying and trust they will limit their own exposure?

Oh I'm closing the door, alright. I don't trust either of them to do anything I want them to do. Instead I distracted them with towels to play with. They love towels...

Cats on Towels!

But eventually Jake started whining again.

So Jenny, ever the loving caretaker, decided to make him feel better by licking his head...

Cats on Towels!

Cats on Towels!

But eventually their gaze kept going back to the door to make sure it was still closed...

Cats on Towels!

This upset Jenny, so Jake returned the favor...

Cats on Towels!

And now... back to finishing assembling a bed, washing linens, stocking guest supplies, and getting some foodstuffs together... just in case my friends have to evacuate their home because of the fires. All I need to do is find a hair dryer and some dentist toothbrush kits in my travel supplies, and I'm ready. I hope hope hope hope that they don't have to abandon their home (I know how that feels first-hand), but I'm happy I can help if they need it.

Betweens hurricanes, floods, wildfires, and other disasters, things are sure a mess in this country right now.

Clearly God is not pleased that Trump was elected president.

Isn't how that works?

Because if I had a nickel for every time President Obama was blamed for natural disaster...

   

Bullet Sunday 522

Posted on September 3rd, 2017

Dave!Don't let smoke inhalation get you down, because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• FIRE! Once again it would seem that the Columbia Basin is on fire. This is the view I had on the drive over the mountains...

Wildfire Smoke Scenery

   
• Chase! My... My... My pants! Jake chases Jenny. Jenny chases Jake...

It's the circle of life up in my house.

   
• Tolerance! A short but bittersweet article that's worth a minute of your time: The Christians Making Atheists. The decline of Christianity in a nutshell. But, in reality, it could also hold true for other religions that attempt to hide their bigotry in the guise of religion.

   
• Fresh! This is what happens when you travel a lot and keep forgetting to pack deodorant...

Deodorant Drawer Madness

That's a lot of money tied up in antiperspirant products!

   
• Thrice! Hey! Did I happen to mention that the latest issue of Thrice Fiction has been released, and you can read it online or download it for FREE?!? Well, you totally can! Just visit the Thrice Fiction website!

Thrice Fiction Magazine No. 20

If you like fiction and like to read... it's worth the price of admission. Which is FREE!

   
• All That We Share! Nice to know that while this country is tearing itself apart that other countries are making an effort to keep it together...

Viva la Denmark!

   
Have a good Labor Day weekend, everybody.

   

Smoke Gets in Your Eclipse

Posted on August 2nd, 2017

Dave!Yesterday was fairly uneventful. Woke up hideously early to make my flight out of Boston... changed planes in Seattle... and... eventually made my way home to Redneckistan. Easy!

Except...

Thanks to wildfires in British Columbia and the Okanogan, things here have become quite dire. Smoke is so thick that the entire county has been declared a hazard. THIS was my view of the valley after pulling over on the way home...

My Smokey Home!

Pretty nasty.

When the total eclipse happens later this month, I'm supposed to be able to see the moon obscuring 92.1% of the sun from my house. I bought viewing glasses and a filter for my camera and everything...

Eclipse Map!

But, if this smoke keeps up, I won't be able to see much at all.

It'll be a real bummer if that happens.

   

Gatlinburg and The World on Fire

Posted on November 30th, 2016

Dave!I first visited Gatlinburg around my birthday in March of 2000. There was a Hard Rock there I hadn't visited yet, and I had some time to drive through the region after a work trip took me to Memphis. So far as places go, The Great Smokey Mountains is a beautiful part of the country. Gatlinburg itself is fairly touristy, but a perfectly charming and lovely town.

And now it's engulfed in flames...

Which is heartbreaking in so many ways... especially when you see families losing everything in the devastation. Fires like this are commonplace where I live, and we've had major fires here the past two years (The Carlton Complex Fire of 2014 and The Okanogan Complex Fire of 2015). I've been through a fire myself, and have come close more than once (the most recent close call being in 2004).

It's hard to know who to trust when it comes to all the charitable organizations that have popped up around the Smokey Mountains fires, but Dolly Parton (who was born in the area and has a theme park there) has stepped up to help...

If you can't trust Dolly Parton, who's giving a huge chunk of her own money to help, who can you trust? If you'd like to help Dolly help others, here's a link to donate to her My People Fund.

Stay safe, everybody.

   

Bullet Sunday 447

Posted on August 23rd, 2015

Dave!Don't touch that back button... because Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Fighter. Before we get started... a huge thank you to the firefighters battling the very serious wildfires that have been plaguing us here in Central Washington State. The most serious being the Okanogan Complex fire, which is now the largest ever in state history (maps courtesy of the NIFC)...

Okanogan Complex Fire Map

Most of the smoke plaguing the valley where I live is from the Chelan fire, which is threatening a lot of people...

Chelan Fire Map

Three firefighters have already lost their lives. Hopefully these horrific fires will be contained before more lives are lost.

   
• Catastrophe! If you have Amazon Prime and don't mind a little adult-oriented humor, Catastrophe had me laughing all six episodes. When an American working in London accidentally gets an Irish woman pregnant, both their lives are turned up-side down...

Catastrophe Still

The show's page is right here on Amazon.

   
• Naptime! Could the solution really be this easy?

Damn. Banned in Washington State!

   
• Noiseless? I've been a huge fan of the Imagenomic app called "Noiseware" which does a pretty darn good job of removing noise from photos. Now there's a new game in town... Macphun's "Noiseless"...

It seems to get me great results with little hassle. I don't know that it can completely replace Noiseware, but I'm sure glad to have it in my Photoshop toolbox. Here's an old photo of me, BEFORE and AFTER at 200%...

Noiseless Demo

Noiseless Demo

Yeah, it looks a little soft... but at 100% it's actually useable. Here's another...

Noiseless Demo

Noiseless Demo

Night shots don't fare quite as well as photos that have enough light... you get some clumping in solid areas... but still, pretty nice work for a one-click fix.

HELPFUL HINT: If you want to save 20% on Noiseless Pro, just put the app in your cart then abandon it. Eventually you'll get an email with a 20% off code. I got one... AFTER PURCHASING THE PROGRAM... which is kind of shitty, but my loss is your gain.

   
• In-App. Looks like I'm not the only one pissed off by all these apps having stupid-ass "in-app purchases"... Apple has been running ads featuring games with NO in-app purchase...

NO IN-APP PURCHASES!

NO IN-APP PURCHASES!

I wish there was a way to turn off apps with in-app purchase so they don't even appear in the iTunes Store. I never download them.

   
• Freedom. If I ever have the opportunity to kick the ever-loving shit out of Donald Trump, please look at it NOT as a heinous act of violence, but as me making America great again.

   
And... it's too hot for more bullets. BS out!

   

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