Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Beagle Tales - A Rescue Project

As you can see from the above photo it was marked by the site where it came from. The obvious from it's name German site, is, for people who can't see writing that small It seems to be a German picture sharing site. It does (or my computer/blogger link check does) have a translate feature. So have at it if you want.

As for the picture itself, isn't that beagle puppy cute. Sad looking but definitely uber (a word chosen in the spirit of the German site the picture came from - lol) cute. The sad part is well-suited to this post too because what I wanted to pass on today was a story I saw yesterday on Yahoo News.

I just looked back for it and it has already moved to 40 of 40 featured articles so if you want to see it, check fast. Or google ARME (the Animal Rescue, Media & Education group that took in the dogs mentioned in the article and this post). Actually, you don't even have to bother. I did it for you. So no excuses. Check out

The article I mention if you get the chance to see it and the six or seven minute main video (which is not graphic "just" very sad - you will cry - but uplifting in the end) with it shows just a portion of ARME's work. The article is about something called The Beagle Freedom Project.

It seems that because the beagle has the otherwise positive trait of being extremely docile it unfortunately makes it a good candidate for being used for lab testing of various household, pharmaceutical and cosmetic products. Also, they apparently are better at "adapting" to being continuously caged (a dubious honor if there ever was one).

In fact, as the video highlights, after being "rescued" (with the support of the research facility that had kept these animals since birth) after they had outgrown their usefulness at between 4 to 7 years old, they were being exposed to sunlight, fresh air and wide open spaces for the first time in their lives.

A final few points to mention before I leave you to check out the Yahoo News and ARME's site (again it is so there is no excuse not to take a few minutes to visit it). First, I will tell you about something you will find on the ARME site if you look for it (right now it is on the front/home page. One very important one, for California residents, is the license plate initative.

In California, they now have license plates that promote the crucial spay/neuter message with that state's "California Pet Lover's License Plate program. ARME is now a member of that program. What that means to you and especially to them is that if you or any animal loving friends and family live and drive in California and you get these plates it is important that you mention on the form you use to get your plates that the way you/they heard about these plates is through ARME.

If enough people do this, it will secure ARME some addition funding. And as everyone who lives on a budget [which is pretty much everyone I've ever met :)] knows, every little bit helps. So please help ARME help the animals. Oh and the other things I wanted to mention is that ARME is a registered charity in the United States. Just sayin' in case anyone wants to make a nice little donation. They also sell t-shirts and videos about their cause on their site to and apparently the one on the fur and even the faux-fur trade is quite enlightening.

Thanks for listening and hopefully at least taking a look if not helping just a little.


P.S. I almost forgot in my appeal for ARME to show you one more photo of an adorable beagle. This one has particular signifigance to me. Not because I know the animal in the picture as it is also from Yahoo Images but because long before coming across the article that caused me to write this post, when I put up my first (and so far only) computer wallpaper about a month ago, I chose to make it of a cute animal.

The animal I chose was, of course, the beagle. As you will see in the picture this beagle is doing what the lab animals that aren't "saved" never get to do and that is be out and about in nature. Enjoy the picture. I love it so much I may never change my wallpaper. Before I forget the picture below is, as mentioned, found on Yahoo Images but I neglected to mention that it is via

The C.A.T.

P.P.S. I just went back to Yahoo News after posting this minus this p.p.s. and noticed that, indeed, the item is off the top 40. Therefore use the Yahoo Video button (versus Yahoo News or Yahoo Images etc.) and type in ARME. Look at the 5 plus or 8 plus minute videos. There you will see that these animals are so timid it took about 10 minutes for the first one to leave it's cage and venture outside when given their first chance. So sad!

The C.A.T. Squared

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The "Magic" Number

So today's topic is magic. Well not really. We are not going on a word picture trip to Disneyland either. I was looking for a nice picture of a wizard to signify magic but wasn't immediately successful and well, didn't feel like looking a bunch so when this came up under the search magic... the rest was history.

The Yahoo Images picture via is of course of Disneyland but the larger signifigance of it is that the beautiful fireworks lighting up the Magic Kingdom from behind say magic like no other. So what magic will I be talking about?

The magic number I refer to in the title is, of course, 75. As in 75 followers. A number which I just noticed hitting this morning at 2:00am (never mind what I was doing up then - lol). I'll try to keep it brief. My newest follower is Dan Hillman.

He is the guy with the cross-eyed photo of himself (Dan! Get a more flattering photo. You're a nice looking kid. I saw your twitter picture). He has a blog too. But don't google it. Click on his picture and use the link you get from that. The only person who comes up on Google is not the same Dan Hillman. I checked.

Anyway, welcome aboard, Dan. Welcome to the magic that is C.A.T. Stuff. LOL.

Just a short little note before I go on what I will be writing about tomorrow. It is a sad story I just heard about on Yahoo News. It does, however, have a (sort of) happy ending. So check back for that.


Monday, November 28, 2011

Isn't This Cute? Oh, And It's My First Original Pictures...

Today I am posting, for the first time, a picture that was while not exactly taken by myself it is the next best thing. It is not off the internet or borrowed from anywhere or anyone. It was taken by a staff member in the house that I'd like to think of as sort of a friend. I would have taken it myself but I didn't feel right doing that with her camera.

I asked her to bring in her camera and uploading cord because my inexpensive digitial camera got broken like I mentioned on the day I posted Dr. Rus' picture of a first snow in place of one of my own that I was planning to take until I realized my camera had gotten broken when I had it in my purse.

The picture is an almost but not quite perfect representation of the sizes of both the little bitty orange (2cm's wide and probably about as tall) and the cuter than cute little mini box that it came in with 1.5 pounds of little orange goodness. That works out to about 80 "baby" oranges if my estimating skills are correct.

I got the little darlings from my mom who bought the box and gave me twenty of the last ones she had (she kept only two - of course that means she already had about sixty so I guess she had her fill). That is how I estimated there were eighty. The twenty I took filled the bottom of the box basically and I figured that the box held about four rows. I might be wrong though. I'm thinking now that it could have managed five.

Take a look at the picture below and decide for yourselves

Oh, and aside from the fact that you may or may not have noticed in the first picture that I was totally riffing on the old bigger than (or in this case smaller than) a bread box thing with one of my two reference point items in the picture (the other being of course the ruler) you have to appreciate that the reference points I picked were pretty much perfect. Only two things were wrong with that first picture.

First, the lady who took the picture got it framed almost but not exactly right. There should have been the whole top of the bread box and a little "white space" above it for a perfectly proper reference point in my opinion. It was my fault really though. I didn't notice that. After several poor referencing attempts with a twonie (it caught the light funny) I guess I was too easily impressed with this attempt to notice that that one fine detail was missing from an almost perfect picture.

The second thing wrong was that it could have used a third and final reference point that I put in a separate picture that is immediately below.

 That is, of course, a grape.

And no, it is not a super giant hercules grape.

Now if I were a better photographer/composer of pictures I would have thought of the grape at the same time as the breadbox and ruler. I like to think I have some idea of composition but as this slip up shows I definitely have a ways to go. Regardless, I think me and my "official photographer" Maritess did a pretty reasonable job of "capturing the cuteness".

What do you think?


P.S. They aren't just absolutely adorable they taste awesome too. Also, in spite of what my mom says, they aren't that hard to peel. Of course I've peeled like 2 so far where as she peeled 60 to 80 (depending on whether the box held 4 or 5 rows). LOL.  
The C.A.T.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

I -Heart- My Followers

The picture today is pretty self explanatory. It is also the title of my post. The image, again from Yahoo Images, this time via which is some kind of a picture sharing site I think, based on the minute or less I spent checking out the link. Check it out and see what it's all about.

Now to why I picked today to let my followers know how much I love them. LOL. Well, when I came here something funny (sorta, I guess) happened. I noticed on my dashboard that my followers were now 74. For a brief second, I crazily thought that was a reduction of one rather than the increase of one that it is.

After I cleaned up the puddle on my chair (just kidding, I do get very excited about new followers but not that excited) I went to my followers gadget which, miracle of miracles is still working after being on the frizz a very long time. Anyway, seems that in a round about way I may have lost another follower in spite of what I just said.

You see, just like the one of the last times I mentioned it, there were not one but two new names. Something else just occurred to me, though, and it's actually good news/bad news. First the good news. Maybe it really is two new people and blogger forgot to count one. That is also the bad news.

It's good news cause more followers mean more potential commenters, although all but one of my newest 7 (that's the count I'm going with) followers haven't left comments yet :(  It's bad news of course, cause for me anyway, numbers do count. So get with it blogger. Count all my new followers, would ya!

Oh, and speaking of said new followers they are Ninja Clown and Depends on who you ask. To both of you welcome aboard. Thank you so much for joining and please leave me lots and lots of nice comments. That goes for all of you actually. LOL.

Before I sign off, I couldn't resist adding one more photo. It isn't heartfelt like the first one, nor does it really go with the post like the first one does but I found it while looking for the first one and it is about followers and it is funny. You've haven't been getting funny photos from me recently so this can sort of make up for it.

Obviously you have to be old enough to remember Pac-Man to get it but I think there is still a few of us out there don't you think? :)


Saturday, November 26, 2011

A "Moment" At The Movies

Exciting news. To me anyway, I am at the library doing this blog because I had an errand in my mom's part of town that I wanted done this week (it was at an office so it had to be done on a weekday and needed to be done by December 1st. So anyways, being on a library computer, I wasn't sure if I'd be able to save and add a picture but as you can see, with a librarian's help, success!

The picture is from Yahoo Images as they often are, this time via It is a foreign language site of some kind and I didn't notice a translate feature (I didn't really look hard either) so you are on your own if you decide to check it out.

To the heart of the matter. Movies. I have been at many movies since the last time I wrote a movie review post (heaven only knows how long ago that was). I mentioned (yesterday I think) that I had a number of drafts in the queue. Well one of them was for a review of the movie The Adjustment Bureau.

I hadn't posted about movies for a long time before or at all since and just by the film you can tell how long ago that was! (even though it was at the cheap theatre there isn't that much difference in time).

I was going to talk briefly about all the movies I'd seen since then. However, I don't (but should) keep a list. Why? How about because, in trying to think of them all I am drawing a pretty big blank.
Maybe it's for the best though. I did after all title this a moment at the movies. So I'll just talk about the one that I remembered first. Woody Allen's Midnight In Paris.

Let me start by saying that while I kind of wanted to see it I kind of didn't too. LOL. If that makes any sense at all. You see I can't really remember ever seeing a Woody Allen movie and I wasn't sure I'd like his style. I did like the concept of the picture which was essentially travelling back in time in, well, Paris.

But then there were other Woody Allen movies I had heard about that also sounded interesting but never made a point to see.  Well, in the end I did see it. It took me forever though. It was so far into it's run at the cheap theatre's that it was only playing in the evening. Kind of ironic actually. Late Night at Midnight In Paris.

The movie stars Owen Wilson & Rachel McAdams. An interesting pairing. The OW character is his typical mildly charming guy. The RM character doesn't fare as well however. She's a bit of a bitch. There's not a whole lot of plot really. Just a pleasant little movie about exactly what you think it's about.

The one thing that was a little different than I was expecting was the ending. That is not to say it was especially surprising, just a little unexpected. To me anyways. Well worth renting. If you can find a place to rent it. I mean an actual store that is. Well, I guess there are those kiosks now.



Friday, November 25, 2011

200th Post! - Free Hugs aka A P.S. With Pictures

So, yesterday as I was in my edit feature I chanced upon a revelation. I had kept track of my 50th, 100th and 150th Posts but almost missed the 200th.

What do I have for you on this momentous occasion. Well, I thought that I would offer a continuation of sorts from yesterday's post on commenting. Hence the Hug Coupon. Remember, "Comments Are The New Hugs". LOL.

So either way feel free to use these to share the blog love and otherwise with your's truly and your other deserving internet peeps.

Oh, and just to "mix things up a bit" I'll keep this post as one of my occasional "short and sweet" ones.


P.S. You just knew I was gonna ruin "short and sweet" with a long p.s., didn't you? LOL.

I almost forgot, on the subject of hugs, there is also a group through which I got this on Yahoo Images - that I actually personally encountered once and once saw from a distance, in Edmonton a number of years ago.

Above is not one of them as obviously it is "home made" but the site sells t-shirts promoting their cause. They also have a nice, heartwarming little blurb on how it first came about.

Finally, we have a more tasteful picture I found while visiting their site to check the link. It's also a "more official" photo since, even though I am not her biggest fan, I think we all know that being on "Oprah" when it was still on really meant you had arrived.

That and the founder is wearing a suit with a shirt that doesn't involve pink duct tape. That adds to the tasteful factor just a bit too. LOL. Although, I'd say, "in the trenches", that is on the street where the hugs are typically provided that (the "low brow" version) is more in keeping  with the spirit of the movement. Kind of like the Food Not Bombs types. A lovably scruffy, rag-tag group.

So be on the look out, or go to the site and plan your own free hug day (it needs planning to avoid the police sometimes) and have a wonderful, "hugalious" day.

The C.A.T.

P.P.S. The expansion continues. LOL. I was just checking my files again and noticed before posting but not before signing off - see just above - that in fact this isn't techically my 200th post. Or more to the point, it is technically but not exactly if you want to think about it that way, my 200th post.

You see I have several old draft posts left in from last summer or somewhere around there kicking around. I guess they count in the total.

So this is what I'm going to do. Call it a compromise. Since I'm nothing if not a reasonable person. LOL. I am going to continue to call this my 200th post even though I am not going to besmirch the sanctity of my one a day for the month of November (and the insuing scramble for about three seven posts worth of pictures).

So, where's the compromise. Well, here it is. I am going to go back, after NaBloPoMo and do some backdating to the times of the original drafts inceptions. That is the best I can do. Deal with it. LOL.

Like you care.about my blog machinations that much  :)

The C.A.T. squared.

Thursday, November 24, 2011


Well so much for promises (soft or otherwise). On the plus side (for you not me!) I have no new followers to mention so I'm keeping that promise. However, while it wasn't exactly a promise I did say I wasn't thrilled about using a little narrow picture the day I posted the cheery balloons that came from a wallpaper and was therefore quite narrow and small.

Well, I beat that version of narrow and small all to hell here. LOL. But for good reason.

While using the "next blog" button to check out new blogs I came across an infertility site of all places. For anyone who is interested in checking it out for themselves or family or friends the address is If it is not something that pertains to your situation, consider mentioning it to family or friends, etc. who are so afflicted.

So, obviously as a single, never been married 40 something who doesn't want kids what caused me to stop there long enough to mention it here. Well, two things actually. Maybe three. First, the background template is the same sixties psychedelic orange and pink one as mine. One of the first other ones I've encountered.

Then there was the sidebar. That is the main reason I have for bringing up this site. The background template lured me in and the sidebar reeled me in. You see, that teeny, tiny badge or whatever with the doggie on it is all about a commenting contest that they were participanting in, a la NaNoWriMo and NaBloPoMo, that looked interesting.

Clicking on it (don't try it here as I just copied the picture as the code was not there to take as the contest has already started - you can either go to the site mentioned and click on it or go directly to the main site which I will also mention here) won't work. You can go directly to the contest originator's site, which is another infertility blog called

To get back to my (sortof) third reason for sticking around to check out the first blog - it caught my interest a bit by having a header that used nothing but pictures and only had one slight bit of text that was also underneath it and not so highlighted. While I thought the pictures were a nice touch, I would have liked to see more text and some of it probably either at the top of the pictures or more highlighted at the bottom. 

The final thing I want to say about the first site is that if you, or someone you know is having infertility problems, it is a good site to spend at least a second or two on. Why? Well, as it is not a problem of mine or anyone close to me, I didn't read much if anything of the site so I don't know about the quality of the particular blog itself, although I'm sure it's fine enough. What I did notice though, when looking at the sidebar, was the extensive blogroll of other like-minded sites to also check out.

But back to the main thrust of this post. The commenting contest. I, like probably every other blogger out there, love getting comments. I can never get enough of them. I am also guilty of not leaving enough for others, although I do leave a fair number when I do check out other blogs. That is the problem though. I check out other blogs a lot less frequently than I'd wish to to find good stuff and return the favor to other bloggers who read and comment here.

I do my bit most often through the blogger coffee shop forum that I've talked about here before. Less frequently do I use either my "blogs I'm following" Reading List or the next blog feature that I mentioned using to find the first blog I mentioned today. Finding this blog commenting contest has inspired me (I hope - I can't start it now till next month having found it about 3 or 4 days too late to register for the month, well actually week) to try to do all three on a more regular, and more importantly, systematic basis.

For those of you who want to hear the basics of the idea without going to the other site, here goes. Since going year round from the original one month of the year when the week not full month like NaNoWriMo and NaBloPoMo are comes up the criteria of leaving "x" amount of comments per day has been slightly decreased to make it less onerous a process. Now it is 3 comments to random blogs or blogs signed up with them and 1 reply comment to someone who has commented on your blog.

If nobody has commented on your blog then you aren't "free and clear" of that extra comment. It just becomes one more that you give to a "random" blog/one on the list. Of course, the idea is to properly read a portion of each person being commented ons blog and leaving a quality comment. Basically, do unto others... Sounds easy enough, right? Definitely sounds fun! So check it out.

Oh, and in case anyone caught it, my title and "pronouncing" of the title of the contest does differ from the official title which has gone through a couple changes and is now called IComLeavWe. I use my own acronym because I prefer the "symetry" mine has with it's forerunners that it took the idea from and made it's own. It also sounds better. Also, even though it is only one week of every month and not the whole month like NaNo... and NaBlo... it still comes up monthly.

So, I guess all that remains is to ask... "Are you going to jump into the commenting deep end (it's not really that deep - just 4 comments a day for a week remember) and play next month. If so sign up is from the 1st of the month to the 21st. Then the fun begins on the 21st and ends a week later on the 28th.


P.S. Gotta love the catchphrase "Comments Are The New Hug". LOL. Definitely agree with that one.

P.P.S. Check out the originating site to find out the significance of the puppy on the button.

P.P.P.S. Check back tomorrow for a special post.
The C.A.T.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Up, Up & Away!

I can't tell you just how excited I am. So I might as well show you since it's still "picture month".

Sorry it is so long and narrow. Unfortunately, the perfect picture (this) was a wallpaper. It comes from Yahoo Images via Apparently he is a web designer but if you scroll down the page if you go to it he also seems to take pictures too.

Anyway, onto the subject at hand. Yesterday I talked about my three new followers and one comment - both of which I solicitted in the blogger coffee shop forum. Well today, I came to my blog to see if any of my new followers (or the non-following commenter) left any new comments.

Imagine my surprise when I see another new follower (the previously non-following commenter!) who also left another comment. Yay, Jamie! Then, I left for quite awhile and also checked out and commented on some blogs before coming back to do a post. I wasn't sure what it would be on ... until ...

I notice another follower. Only one (minor) problem. I went looking in my followers list to see who it was and, if you remember me mentioning yesterday that unfortunately I lost track of a few newbies, noticed other than Jamie, not one but two unrecognized names.

That could mean one of two things, I think. First, one of them (but I don't really know this) could be from before. Second, they could both be new and the number only went up by one because I simultaneously lost a follower. Not likely in such a compact, coincidental (took a minute to remember the word - lol) timeframe.

Not likely, but within the realm of possibility. Either way, welcome to all three people I noticed Jamie, who I mentioned in yesterday's post, and lacey wilkins (lack of capitalization as it was) and SuperClown.

Even though it's going on the second anniversary of my blog and my header still (I have no plans to change it - as it "archives" my previous intent) has the plea to give me 75 followers by the first anniversary I am now within two. LOL. Oddly enough, I was close a year ago too. I've only gained about 5-7 in the last year.

If, on the off chance (please God, if you exist) I get some more (two or more ideally) followers between now and tomorrows post I promise that aside from welcoming the newcomers and, of course, crowing as much as is reasonably tasteful, I will actually pick a topic to write about too.

Till then...


P.S. Wish me luck with those last pesky two would-be followers! LOL.

The C.A.T.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You (& Thank You Again!)

This photo from Yahoo Images as is often the case and via and if you go there and scroll down and look at the triple boxes that say other things you might like or something similar you can find funny things like "Rupert Murdoch's No Apology Letter"

As for the picture itself, there were other Thank You pictures that displayed the thank you in greater detail but this was one of the cutest. I think the recipients should like it.

Speaking of recipients, just like the first three thank you's in the title, the first three people I want to thank are my three newest followers Indra, Alexia and Elle. The final thank you (in brackets like this) are for Jamie J over at who left a comment.

Both the new followers and the comment are I believe linked to a post I left yesterday in the blogger coffee shop forum under a thread I started called "My Blog Is Lonely".

While I'm at it, I'd also like to thank any previous people who joined who weren't individually thanked. I know I missed a few of you. I'm sorry. Just know that I appreciate you as well. I just dropped the ball during that period of time. But I still value you just as much. So for you ...


P.S. I just noticed that I hit 2500 visitors (from 44 countries), presumably today, on my Neo Counter. Yay.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Occupy This!

Found this picture on Facebook. Yesterday night at 11:00pm was supposed to be the deadline (a "soft" deadline) for the Occupy Edmonton protesters to take a hike.

The police said they wouldn't be arresting them though. They said they would be "working with" them to "find a resolution" or something similar. I doubt that is going to work. Sorry for the cynicism. Who knows though. They could have just went in and arrested them so ... maybe!

Anyway, wouldn't it be nice if when the police do finally do something it turns out to be something like in this picture. I l-o-v-e this picture. So priceless.


Sunday, November 20, 2011

Cloud Island

I was at a bit of a loss for what to post today until I saw this...

.. a picture that I will tell you right off it that of a professional photographer named Andrea Ricordi (I do not know if this is a man or a woman as there are men named Andrea in places like France or Italy).

S/he managed to catch the picture at a time when the cloud was just hovering above the island.

I take no credit for the title this time as this is what it was called where I found it on Yahoo News. No title I could come up with myself could do it any more justice.

Amazing, isn't it.


Saturday, November 19, 2011

Mr. Snackmaster

Found a funny story in one of the free daily papers (Metro or 24 Hr's) that talked about a actual professor at some U.S. university who actually refuses to teach his class if his students don't all bring a snack to class.

Above, is a picture from Yahoo Images via which, if you choose to follow it, calls itself "a meeting place for spirtual people". Like, presumably, Mr Professor Snackmaster.

Considering his dedication to having snacks in the classroom has spanned 39 years! and involved him walking out of his class in the last week or so because one person seemingly forgot their portion of the class snacks I thought that this would be a good pictorial representation of the good professor.

Quoting from the Edmonton Sun (I found the article - it's the Sun and not Metro or 24 Hours), which was itself taking it's article from the Sacramento Bee newspaper, he tells students on their first day and even puts it in a handout. "Not having a snack = no Dr Parrott (George Parrott of Sacramento State University) or TA's. Now you are responsible for your own lab assignment."


He offers a rational that I won't bother to explain in depth since I'd just be parrotting the article. LOL. But I will summarize it. He says the obligation encourages students to work together and brings together students who might not have anything to do with one another otherwise.

Further, he states that having snacks in class keeps his classes from being too "formal and rigid".

He even goes on in the handout to diss Nabisco products specifically (although I'm fairly sure that they are specifically getting tarred with a brush meant for all processed goodies!) under the category of "Bad Ideas"

"Good Ideas" include homemade or, I guess in a pinch, bakery items, and fruit &/or veggie platters.

I called this post Mr. Snackmaster because, in Toastmasters, in two of my old club's and in some others I've heard of, there was always a person designated to bring snacks for the group - the snackmaster.

I always thought it was a good idea in Toastmasters. When reading the article about Professor Snackmaster I thought that the term the papers used for him - eccentric - definitely fit. But really, what's good for the goose... (if that saying actually applies - lol). Maybe it's not so crazy after all.

I mean he did even offer a rather elaborate rationale, that I mentioned above, as any good professor would. So what do you think? Crazy. Or crazy like a fox?


Friday, November 18, 2011

Flying The "Friendly" Skies

For whatever reason, I'm super tired so just a quick post tonight.

The above photo is from Yahoo Images via If you check out the link then know that the site is in Dutch. There is a Google Translate feature present on the site though.

Today, I will briefly talk about not one but two plane related incidents that I heard about the other day at the same time. The first one was about a pilot who left the cockpit to go to the bathroom and got himself locked in the toilet. He alerted a passenger, who just happened to have a thick, foreign (presumably Middle Eastern) accent. He gave the guy the cabin code and told him to tell the co-pilot.

The co-pilot was having none of it and radioed in to control assuming the worst. Turns out that the flight was minutes away from an escort into their landing, which they were about to make, from fighter jets.

Ethnic profiling or a reasonable precaution?

The second airplane related story is much more disturbing than a simple accident and the insuing drama. Seems a flight from India to Britian was highjacked - by the airline employees themselves. 

Yep. Turns out that getting the passengers fares wasn't enough. While in route, they hit them up for "gas money" - that's right, gas money! before they would go any further.

The passengers were left to search scrounge around for aproximately $30,000 between them in cash before the flight took off again. Unbelievable, right? What is more unbelievable is that apparently this is not the first time this has happened. Huh?

This time though, the airline appears to be "grounded". For awhile anyways.


Thursday, November 17, 2011

I Actually Am Surprised ... and Sad!

This is of course the wedding picture of Ashton Kutcher & Demi Moore. It came from Yahoo Images via

Oddly enough, a site called purseblog that does, in fact deal pretty much with, you guessed it, purses has on the forum part, a celebrity section near the bottom if you check out the site in curiousity that this photo was found there of all places.


Despite the ridiculous hat he is wearing and the fact that she is wearing a veil (and a long one from the looks of it at that) I look at this picture and I don't see a bogus marriage like some are now claiming on the heels of Demi Moore's announcement that she is divorcing her much younger second third husband Ashton Kutcher.

I find it all pretty sad.

For months now there have been rumors, and those rumors were at least tacitly denied while they presumably worked on trying to salvage their six-year marriage.

In case you are inclined to agree with those who believe the marriage was a sham or at the very least doomed destined to fail I will point this out... Moore's first marriage to Bruce Willis, which produced three daughters, lasted only about twice as long at thirteen years.

So, even though six years is a short time, it's not that short.

I guess I can't really logically explain why I find this so very sad other than that it helped validate the choice of woman (& their partners too I guess) to date and marry younger men much like men have dated and married younger women for ions.

So, failing to come up with a reason better than the above, I will let a few pictures speak for themselves and show two people who looked pretty happy together to me.

Looking good in what might have been a more appropriate use of white for a wedding like theirs. Him minus the dopey hat and formal suit and her in a less first wedding type outfit.

The above picture taken at music mogul Sean Coombs 4th of July party (he and presumably all the other guests wore white too) was found at Yahoo Images via 

This photo from Yahoo Images via while a bit of a fashion disaster on her part (he looks pretty good - it wouldn't have hurt her to have classed it up a bit) also shows them looking seemingly pretty happy

Oh, well. You never can tell. Look at Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins. They too were sort of May/December. Although they never married, they were together almost 25 years and then woosh it was over.

One celebrity couple, albeit not so famous, that is also May/December with an older woman/younger man combo and that did marry (and even had a child together!) and is still together after 20 or 30 years is Juliet Mills (of the Mills acting family and of late the defunct soap Passions) and Maxwell Caulfield (of Dynasty and the Michelle Pfeiffer version of Grease). Long may they last.


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Are You There Playlist? It's Me, Carmen

You're probably wondering what this picture, found on Yahoo Images via, has to do with the music sharing. Well, I found it (albeit on page eight) when searching for a picture using the keyword Playlist. Look closely and it seems to be the cover for a playlist compilation.

What I loved about it (other than the fact that there was a dearth of good pictures under the term playlist) was that if you look into the heart of the kiwi (literally) you'll see that they photoshopped a heart into the kiwi. LOL.

So, credit goes to Judy Blume for the inspiration for my title. Playlist has abandoned me. More so than I first thought. But not as much as it could have it turns out, so I guess that's something to be grateful for. You see, this post all started from a conversation I had with one of my blog followers who came from my list of FB "randoms".

I think I asked her if she had seen my blog lately since I had started adding pictures. If I'm correct (because this conversation took place a week or two ago) she said no but ended up following my link that I FB'ed her to quick check it and she complemented me on the music on my blog. I was caught completely off guard as my playlist has been deactivated (in Canada at least) for 6 months or more.

Turns out it must only have been in Canada though because she said she got music. I guess that means I'm vindicated in keeping the player at the bottom of my blog in case any thing were ever to change with the rules. I mean after all, the rules changed once because initially it played in Canada too. I mostly kept it on though so that people (including myself) could see the songs I picked as they still showed up but didn't play.

Anyway, back to my assertion that playlist abandoned me more than I thought but less than it could have. By that I mean since my friend/follower can still hear my songs outside of Canada/in the U.S.& or whereever else they have hammered out a licensing agreement I have been abandoned less. The abandoned more comes from me trying to sign in and finding I can't even get a lost password notification to my e-mail.

Oh well, at least somewhere in this world (likely only the continential U.S.) there are still  people who get the advantage of knowing that that marvelous 80's novelty hit "She Blinded Me With Science" is #1 on my list of songs that I wanted people to hear and moreover know that I actually admitted to liking. LOL. When I told someone else on FB that when I first put up my playlist, I could just hear them cringe over the internet. LOL.

As for what's new here in Carmen World today, my nephew Larry and my great-niece Grace stopped by. Larry had been planning for quite a while now to fix my combination vcr/dvd player that I bought two Christmas' ago and couldn't use because it needed a connector piece since my still incredibly good tv (I love my tv!) is older than it seems and didn't have a third connector. He came over and had it done in about 5 minutes! Awesome job. Thanks Larry.

Now I guess that means I start watching the 100 or so movies I bought when Blockbuster Video was going out of business. Yes. You heard me right. A hundred or so. I bought about 20+ movies when they went to 70% off of the regular price of $6.99-$9.99. Then I bought another 60+ movies (!) when they were going for 10 for $10 on the last day or two. That should keep me busy throughout the winter.


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

I is for Internet or Little Mouse on the Prairie

This picture comes via From checking the link when I added it just now, it seems to be a photo sharing site. I got the picture originally from a search on Yahoo Images.
As you can see, the picture is, in fact, a "little mouse on the prairie". LOL. I titled (or rather sort of sub-titled) the post and added the picture in honor of my speech yesterday of the same name. I thought I'd talk a little about that today. I am writing this pretty much only because I said I would yesterday. It seemed like something worth doing yesterday. Today, not so much. Well, I said I would so I'll at least take a stab at writing something about it.

You see, yesterday when I finished my speech I was sort of on cloud nine. It was my second speech in the first manual like I think I might have mentioned yesterday. While I had completed the full first manual (the old version - actually probably a couple versions back!), I wasn't pleased with most of my speeches from that time around. That's why when I joined Toastmasters again this last January I decided to re-do it. So instead of the CTM I had gotten the first time around, if and when I finish this one my certification will be called a CC.

So, as I said, writing about it is probably silly in the clear light of day (or what would be the clear light of day if I actually wrote many of my posts in the daytime - lol) but here's what I thought yesterday was of such importance to share. My first speech which was titled, "My Name Is Carmen, And I'm A Zyngaholic". Like the first speech my second speech dealt with things internet. This time though, instead of dealing with one aspect only - the game Cityville basically - I talked about my obsession (yeah, I guess it is a bit of an obsession) with "connecting" with all and sundry over the internet.

Through e-mail to Twitter, from Facebook to here at Blogger. I could have went into more of my avenues for exploring the internet like Yelp and such but as it was my speech was almost perfectly timed as it was. Only :37 over the max time span given of 5 to 7 minutes. This was a bit of an improvement (about :45) from my first speech. That one was supposed to be 4 to 6 minutes and clocked in at 7:15 or so (give or take a few seconds). So, in terms of closeness to the target time, I was better this time even though the total time was actually about 30 seconds more.

Other than gloating about being pretty good for time (it's harder to plan than you might think) both times (which is a h-u-g-e improvement over my previous attempts the first time around doing my CTM), I had written my entire speech out word for word. This is another win for me. That in spite of the fact that the program actually encourages  expects you to eventually (sooner rather than later) not use a fully written out speech. It suggests that if you do write it out in full to start, that you then break it down to note cards with the highlights listed that you can glance at - if need be - should you forget a part.

I'm not sure, as my mentor (who I didn't use for the first speech due to time constraints - eg. me doing it at the last minute - lol) is now no longer in Toastmasters this new year (which started in September) so he couldn't help me this time either, but I think you are to try to plan the speech to be a "modified Table Topic" (little extemporaneous mini-speeches) rather than memorize the speech in "chunks" since a notecard wouldn't be entirely helpful if you forgot part of a highly memorized, word-for-word speech.

Thinking of it this way (as a longer Table Topic) might actually make some sense. After all, when I was giving my speeches in my former Toastmaster life and was about 50/50 (to be generous) in giving "ok" speeches I did go the free-flowing style. In fact, that is where I coined (for myself anyway) the term "modified Table Topic" speech. Truthfully, when they work they really work. It obviously allows for freedom to have great eye contact, gestures and just a generally more spontaneous looking presentation.

But back to me saying that writing out my speech for the second time was a "win" even though it is something I will need to get away from if I am to succeed in terms of completing my manual and the program in general as it is meant. I am happy about writing it out in full because the first time around, I had a real mental block about doing this and I think that it is the perfect starting point. This is because if you write it out in full you can flesh out details.

Also, with my former problems with time management in my speeches (shades of my many epic posts - lol) it allows for timing a speech in a way that you can't, at least initially, plan for with a more off-the-cuff like (and I stress the word "like") speech. So basically, consider this my not so short and sweet bit of crowing about my accomplishments to date in my new club. Oh, one final bit of boasting. Just like the first time, I was able to add a number of jokes to my speech. I didn't hear anybody LOL but I was told that people smiled. That's good enough for me. I guess. For now. Eventually, I'll have them rolling in the aisles. That's the plan.

Monday, November 14, 2011

More %*$^# Snow

Ok, so there wasn't this %*$^# much snow after only three days. But being out in it also wasn't as fun as seeing a big giant snowperson either so I guess the exaggerations cancel each other out. Right! LOL.

Now here I go ruining things with my cancelling out idea by adding another picture but I couldn't resist.  Just like the enormous snowperson, the gigantic snow fortress (complete with a drawbridge!) also said in a way that wouldn't make me want to slit my wrists (eg. more "fun" than frozen) that it was damn cold for only the second day of having snow.

I say one or the other (and not .com! - it leads to a buyable name page) because at Yahoo Images the location information cut off just before the end of the address. So take your pick. Both locations have some nice stuff. Check them out.

The second picture is from (don't ask me, I just type it in like it says - lol).

So, today I went out to Toastmasters and gave a speech - my second of the first manual. I'll be talking about that more tomorrow as I'm not really into doing much this post. I blame the snow. Yeah, that's it. Also, I want to make it it's own post. Other than that not much happened today. School was cancelled again today (Monday) just like it was Friday. Friday was, of course, for Remembrance Day and today was PD Day or something.

I'm surprised they have PD Day (I'm pretty sure that's what they called it when they told us about it) because it's just one teacher and an assistant in an upgrading high school for adults in the mental health system. Anyway, that's what it was. Just like with Toastmasters, I have some stuff to tell you about school that will have to wait to another day. With that, it will be a bit (a fair bit?) longer till I get to that because what I want to talk about in this case hasn't quite happened yet but should pretty soon. I'll keep you posted.

Finally, in the "you'd really have to be interested in my life to care about this" department, supper wasn't bad considering it consisted of three out of three things I don't really like at all! How does something like that happen. LOL. We had some sort of pork that was sitting in a nice sauce that covered the taste of pork - that and the fact that I ate only the tiniest piece. Then there was rice. But it was brown rice and there was the sauce too so that explains that. Finally, we had brussel sprouts. Used to like. Not anymore. But had two. Didn't die.

So that, along with reading something funny that will also be shared another day, was my day. Out of curiousity, I'd be interested to know what any readers I might still have did today. Also, where are you from? I ask because I'm wondering if you had to deal with crappy weather today too. If so, what do you plan to do to survive the long winter coming up? As for me, I don't have a clue. Cry everyday? That's definitely an option right now. The future looks so bleak. Ok, now I'm just being melodramatic. But it is true too. Sad to say.


Sunday, November 13, 2011

On Rainbow Love, Being Mad Scary & Just Plain Mad

Today I have three pictures for you. A pair and a spare so to speak. Except the spare is the lead picture.

This picture comes via Yahoo Images from which is a gay men's e-zine site.

It is appropriate that the place the picture originated or at least came from last was a gay site because that is exactly what I am going to talk about now.

For those of you who haven't been keeping up with the news (tv, print, internet) in the last week or two, heres the story. It seems that the a Canadian Zoo - the Toronto Zoo in fact, is going to split up a pair of seemingly gay Africian penquins named Buddy and Pedro. They claim, and it seems from reading a rather complete article on the website , it is to ensure the survival of the species. According to that article, penquins used to number an estimated just under a quarter of a million wild Africian penquins as late as the 1990's. Now, the numbers have nosedived to more like just over 50,000.

So Buddy, 20 and Pedro, 10 (gay human men are often said to partner up with others of quite different ages so I thought that that age difference here with the gay male penquins was ironic, if that is the right word, and just very, very funny), need to be split up. At least it seems for the short term.

The gay Canadian penquins are not the first gay penquins either. It seems that there were some at the Central Park Zoo in New York City. The Manhattan zoo's penquins were named Roy and Silo (ages unknown - lol) and they apparently chinstrap penquins. They got together in 1998 and were still together as of early 2004 according to the online version of the San Francisco Chronicle. The article says that they were offered female companions and flatly turned them down. No loss to the females who were said not to be interested either! LOL.

Lets get back to Buddy and Pedro though. Unlike Roy and Silo, the females at the Toronto Zoo are seemingly hoping that Buddy and Pedro are bisexual. ' "The two girls have been following them; we just have to get the boys interested in looking at them," said Tom Mason, curator of birds and invertebrates at the Toronto Zoo ' according to the article. As I said before though, the zoo says that once they've done there duty they will be put back together. Asking them to "take one for the team" may or may not work though. On the may side gay (bi?) penquins in yet other zoos have successfully been remated.

On the may not side, it's said that penquins mate for life. Which means that either there are also such things as bi penquins who possibly mate with one of each sex (for life) or that they again were bi and hadn't fully mated with their same sex partners. Or maybe, just maybe, "experts" don't know as much as they think they do. LOL.

Oh, and jumping back to Roy and Silo (because that's how the story flowed), there is a pretty funny story about them. It seems that they really wanted to be parents (shades of the human homosexual community again to anthromorphize a bit) so they found an appropriate sized rock and took turns sitting on it. Isn't that cute. What's even better is that there was an abandoned egg that the zoo then let them hatch and then take care of the baby, named Tango, for the first 2-1/2 months of his life until he was ready to go it alone. This, in fact, became a book called "And Tango Makes Three"

So the controversy that has insued over the breakup may all be for naught. The zoo did after all say they would "re-patriate" the couple upon completion of their duties in the name of repopulation. It's hard to say if that consession was a result of the controversy. Finally, it is worth noting that at the New England Aquarium, penquins are regularly split up. This is not however because they are same sex mating and therefore not reproducing. It is again for the future of the species but the reasoning is different. The penquins are separated and re-matched because of being too closely related. Kissing cousins or just too closely genetically matched, I'm not sure. But it does go to show that perhaps this is not about homophobia. Let's hope not. It is 2011.
Now I'll leave you with the last two pictures which are not "naturalistic" pictures like the first one was. These are in honor of the fact that the story, which serves to remind that homosexuality/bisexuality is quite common in the animal world and in the case of penquins said to be "quite rampant", was brought to light thanks to the gay community - a mad scary one that you don't want to mess with :)

This is of course the Rainbow Love part of the title.

This being the Mad Scary part. Oh, and remember if penquins are mad scary and gay people can be mad scary then just think about what you get when you combine the two.


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Cheer Up... Things Could Get Worse.

One day I sat thinking, almost in despair: a hand fell on my shoulder and a voice said reassuringly: cheer up, things could get worse. So I cheered up and, sure enough, things got worse.
                                                                - From James C. Hagerty quote.

Ok. So it's not really that bad. But I was starting to wonder. I haven't been getting much sleep these last few days and only got a couple hours worth before having to go to school today. I wouldn't even have gotten that if I didn't halve my school day from two periods to one. Anyway, I get home, eat dinner and take a nap. After that I get up to take my evening pills with every intention of going straight to the computer because it's already 8:30pm and I know how fast midnight sneaks up on me these NaBloPoMo days.

Well, since I got up a half hour earlier than I planned to to take my night pills I end up watching tv. Luckily, it was only a half hour and I didn't get sucked in further. However, I still have to pick my picture(s) from my extensive file of photos for today's post or find something new through a Yahoo Images search if I want to pick a specific topic not already on file. The idea that came to me, and thankfully very quickly, was a sunrise and a sunset picture because today was so beautiful (it hit +11 or +12!).

Then I thought that since I usually do two pictures that match up somehow, like the sunrise/sunset pictures would anyway, but I had one day with one picture only that today perhaps I could add a third picture that would also fit in and in fact enhance the other two. This idea came because +11/+12 at this time of the year is quite an accomplishment so what better third picture than a nice scene of a lovely fall day. My only worry was doing three different searches and finding, saving and creating the post for all these pictures when I ended up getting started at about 10:00pm. (I ended up losing the time I saved not getting sucked into the tv. by getting sucked into reading  just a few internet news stories.

Of course I couldn't realize that there would be time for that later. No, of course not. Well finally after saving almost the whole first page of sunrises - only the first search! - I decided to narrow my picture search down to one thing only. I changed to full moons, which my roommate said we had tonight. I knew that the fall scenes and sunsets would just present the same problem, one I didn't have anywhere near the time for, as the sunrises. As luck would have it. I found one clear favorite in the moon pictures. So I'm set. I'll just go with the one again like the other time and that will be a book-ended thing. Not so fast. I go to click on it for the post and it says something like incompatible with my system.

So I go back and hope there is a good second choice. Again, luckily one jumps out as a clear second favorite. But wait. Surprise, surprise. Same thing happens again. So I give up on that idea. Wasn't gonna get caught on third time lucky/unlucky. So again, fortunately an idea quickly pops into my head. I'm screwed! LOL. Not so fast. I know what you're thinking. How is that fortunate? Well, I meant search for the perfect picture that states that very point. And sure enough there are some. Thankfully, not too many good choices to overwhelm but enough to give choice. So that's what you got tonight. Hope you enjoyed it. Screwed or not, I can't complain. They were pretty funny.


P.S. So are you wondering what I was talking about saying both they and were pretty funny. If not, you should be. I didn't change the body since I slaved over the wording. LOL. Really, it's mainly because I thought it was kinda funny - in a sick sorta way - that I assumed that the three other pictures I saved, two of which I planned to use as I felt they were a good matchup (they were both demotivational pictures and both of animals - each with a bird and one including a cat).

Seems I was wrong. Both of the demotivationals and a funny but twisted one of football players had the same error message I mentioned above. In what turned out to be the only real lucky break I got here tonight with my picture gathering I found one sorta funny, kinda cute one that was a free stock photo. Bingo. Success. Thank God for that. Oddly enough, for a stock photo, it's not actually lame. That's what I always thought that most that would fall under that label would be. Glad to be wrong. This time. LOL.

P.P.S.  It didn't fit into the body (at the usual place after the picture explanation) because I wanted to explain the picture change situation in a P.S and it would have separated the picture information, but I would briefly like to take the time to weigh in on the Ashton Kutcher faux-pas (I looked and that was the more popular spelling). Actually, maybe it would have fit somehow, because Kutcher got screwed by his "fans", etc. the other day. It seems he was shamed by a hate blitz into making the announcement that he will be taking a break from Twitter - which he seemed to love - because of what I believe is an honest mistake.

People can be such assholes. Seems he spoke up for the imbattled sports guy who was fired for his handling of a sex-abuse scandal because he didn't know that was the reason he was fired. He thought it was due to ageism since this guy, who apparently still cut it as a coach, is in his 80's. I say Kutcher's mistake was the kind any of us could make. I mean who researches every comment they make. Embarrassing, yes. Lynch-mob worthy, hell no.

After all, he is known to be a very vocal advocate for those dealing with sexual abuse. Honestly, people should use there brains and their hearts when they speak. Kutcher did (well, the heart anyway). What are his critics excuses. Personally I don't think he needs to take a break from anything. Nor does he need to turn over his Twitter feed to his handlers like he plans to saying that perhaps it is too much for one person in his position. I say this - Ashton, don't be too apologetic. There is no need. A simple sorry, I goofed would suffice.

The C.A.T.