Cats Cats Cats

Another catch-all post, this time full of cats!

Here’s Brian charming multiple cats:


Brian charming a different permutation of cats:CatCharmer

Here’s Walter enjoying his time captaining the fish-ship:


…and Alley doing the same:

Alley in the Fish

Here’s our flounder regurgitating a large feline:
Wally being regurgitated

This cat disapproves:

16896888116_6e18b3da43_zWally wore this jaunty scarf after I made those homemade draft-dodgers:
Wally Scarf

Here’s Walter in a sink:Walter in a sink


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Brian’s Birthday

For Brian’s birthday, we went on 3 Behind-The-Scenes tours at the Zoo.  It was a long day, but very cool.  The first was of the recently-renovated Aquarium.  During the Aquarium renovation, the shell of the building was kept, but the inside was completely gutted.  When they built the Aquarium originally, the water was held in a couple of huge storage tanks, the weight of which was not adequately supported, and the water flowed between exhibits, which is not ideal with regards to quarantining disease.  The guts of a modern aquarium are pretty complicated-looking:

Aquarium Behind The Scenes


Aquarium Filtration

Here’s a quarantine tank:

Aquarium Tank

It’s all worth it though:

Pretty Reef Tank Photo

We got to feed the fishies in the huge tank:

Feeding Fishies

(This tank, different view:)

HoneyBear Aquarium

After the Aquarium tour, we had a tour of the Reptile House.  The Reptile House is probably the building that remains the closest to its roots…The only things that are markedly different are that the pit in the middle of the main part of the building, which I believe housed turtles when I was small, has been filled in, and the addition of Baru the Saltwater Crocodile.  We started with a tour of the main part of the building, which amounted to walking around much of the outer loop of the exhibits, where the keepers have access to each exhibit.  A keeper talked to us about their interactions with the AZA, how they have to practice with venom/dangerous animal drills, etc.  She introduced us to this little Galapy, who we saw poop and pee:

Baby Galapy

Another keeper took us behind the scenes of Baru’s area and talked about the care of Baru, and then we got to go meet this guy, Emerson the Galapy:

Emerson the Galapy

We got to pet him and he was like a big, slow dog…very curious and cute.  We got yelled at by a random Zoo-goer because he thought we were going rogue in entering Emerson’s enclosure.

THEN, we had our Penguin/Cassowary tour.  First we met the Penguin keepers in the new Penguin building.  We were excited to learn that there were 2 secret Penguin babies.  By the time we saw them, they were mostly full grown.  We recently learned that the girl babby was briefly on exhibit but is now on her way to another zoo, and the boy babby’s leg defect (which they told us they could take care of with a boot made of scuba suit) worsened, and he didn’t make it.  I took this picture of the girl baby, right before they told me not to take pictures or publish them online.  I’m not sure why these two babies were such a secret, other than maybe they knew the boy wasn’t going to make it, because just lately they’ve been heavily publicizing a subsequent set of babies.

Secret Penguin Babby

We were supposed to get to feed the cassowaries fruit, but the normal cassowary keeper wasn’t there, and the guy who filled in stress-fed the cassowaries all the fruit.  (And/or some sort of bird flu concern):


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Fourth of July

Nothing particularly notable here…but I kind of like this picture that I took of Tiffin Fireworks from Brian’s parents’ yard:

Fourth of July

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Trip To Keuka Lake 2015

I went to Keuka Lake with Kim again this year.  This year, we actually did a few fun things in addition to planting Aunt Jean’s flowers.

We went to Garrett Memorial Chapel, which is at the CROTCH of the Y-shaped lake.   We didn’t have great weather, but it was still very striking.  The rhododendron were at their peak:

Garrett Chapel

Garrett Memorial Chapel
Garrett Chapel GateGarret Chapel Side

We missed the window (ha) when we could actually go in the church, but here’s an artsy photo of the chapel through a broken glass pane in the door:

Church Window

The slate roof was really cool looking:


Garrett Slate Roof

We also went to Watkins Glen State Park, which connects to the southern end of Seneca Lake. It was bonkers beautiful.

Watkins Glen Signage Watkins Glen Watkins Glen
Watkins Glen Watkins Glen Watkins Glen

We walked from the lower end to the higher end of the gorge trail.  At the top end, there was another visitor center, so we used the restroom and turned around to go back down, and actually there was a more direct path that we could take down.  We saw these Amish dudes a few times on our way up, and then when we got to the top, they were dangerously sitting on this train bridge.  They saw me taking a picture of their RUMSPRINGA devil-may-care antics and waved (they clearly did not think my camera was stealing their souls…actually I just looked up “Amish Photo Beliefs” and it said that since they can’t stop long distance photography, the moral burden is on me).

Amish People

After we were done with our walk, we went into the town of Watkins Glen, where we did a little shopping and had some Ben & Jerry’s.

Ben & Jerry's Car

This was part of a mural inside Ben & Jerry’s.  Cows are cute:

Ben & Jerry's Mural

I think we went to Bully Hill two times – mostly centered around buying some sort of wine bottle-related yard ornament for Kim, Aunt Jean stealing that one, and having to buy Kim another one.  Beautiful view as always:

From Bully Hill

We got Aunt Jean’s plants in order quickly; we’re pretty good at it after doing it together for a few years now:

Down Aunt Jean's Hill

We added some new plants in that mulched area against the house.  It’s a much bigger area than it seems like, so it’s going to take us a while to get it filled in the way Aunt Jean envisions:

Aunt Jean's House with plants

I’m always fascinated with the German people’s cottage/house.  They’re never there yet when I go, but they come and stay for 6 weeks every year.  It’s such a cute cottage and the people who take care of it the rest of the year do such a good job.   It makes me wonder about the financials of the whole arrangement…how do they get 6 weeks off every year, how do they afford cross-Atlantic flights every year, how do they afford NY state property taxes, how do they afford the care of this house, etc., etc.
German Couple Cottage
Here was a really pretty twilight:

Blue Lake

Kim was excited to show me about Chinese lanterns (I’ve never lit/used one):
Kim lighting a Chinese Lantern

Blue Lake Keuka

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Spring Plants/Yard

Just when the winter got to be too much last year, we went to Spring Alive! at the Zoo and saw green plants and beautiful flowers to warm my heart:


It’s always nice to stop and appreciate how cool the Zoo is:

Zoo Museum Inscription

Anyway, not long after that, the first signs of spring were visible in the yard: crocus poking up through the mulch:


Crocus in bloom:


My most anticipated spring happening was the growth of my allium bulbs.  I believe I have started quite the fad amongst copycat neighbors who want in on the magic that is allium. Here’s the first appearance of my allium plants:

16628116700_9f281ed4a4_zAround the same time, the daffodils and these cool tulips bloomed:

TulipSoon the allium plants had produced quite a bit of greenery and the flower buds were finally discernible:

Allium before flowers

As the bud started to open, it was pretty creepy looking:

Starting to open

But then, it started to look a little more acceptable:

A little more open allium

I actually planted 3 different varieties of Allium along the side here – two very similar looking purple varieties and a white variety.  The white flowers were significantly behind the purples in development:

Allium starting

Once the white flowers caught up, the allium flowers were stunning:

Blooming Allium

Orange coneflowers and Purple allium

The only problem with allium is that the bloom pretty early in May/June and are quickly spent.  Bossman told me that once the flowers are spent, you can prolong the time you look like a crazy hillbilly by spray-painting the blooms (also note the beautiful Asiatic lilies):

Lilies with Fake Flowers

I believe these yellow flowers are technically also allium:

Yellow Allium

Here’s a cool Zebra Primrose bloom:


Yellow columbine with woodland phlox in the background:

Yellow ColumbineThe backyard bed prior to mulching:

Back Beds

A cool little friend:

The back corner bed looked pretty good:

Back Corner

Cool toad lily:

Toad LilyAwesome multicolor coneflower:

Wacky Coneflowers


Balloon Flowers Closeup

Balloonflowers in context:

Balloon Flowers

The PeeGee Hydrangea looked awesome for the 3 minutes before the flowers were too heavy for the branches of the plant to hold them up:
PeeGee Hydrangea

We finally got patio furniture.  It is great! (minus the fact that Kim convinced me that I needed to waterproof the cushions, which basically ruined them):

New Patio Furniture

So lush:

So Lush

The Jacob Cline monarda (beebalm) was crazy tall, colorful, and unique-looking:

Bee Balm

I grew several elephant ears from the corm/tuber/bulb (whatever the appropriate word is), but I did buy this one pre-grown and it was worth it:

Elephanty Ears

This year, I had ONE hydrangea bloom on all of my existing hydrangea plants (for those keeping track at home, this is ONE more than I have the past few years).  It was on the plant next to the dryer vent, so thank you, dryer, for your heat lost to the environment that kept my one flower bud alive:

Hydrangea FlowerMore yard stuff soon (I know you’re excited).

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Cavs Basketball

So we went to a few more Cavs games last year, and we had some fun times watching the Cavs get to the Finals and then lose painfully while down a couple of superstars…First things first, we did try LeBron Juice, thanks to my friend Jackie.  It was OK.

LeBron Juice

We spent a one-time-only amount of money to sit 3 rows back from our favorite Cavs players during the first round of the playoffs vs. Boston.  It was ridiculous and fun and insightful and crazy and cramped.  Every player gets heating pads every time they go to the bench, much more than you might think.

Here are the giveaway Nike t-shirts:


Shawn Marion:
Shawn MarionKevin Love (cat with hearts-for-eyes emoji):

This is how close we were to LBJ:


David Blatt (miss you Blatt):


Moondog and his erect tail watching LBJ get interviewed:

Moondog and his erect tail

Andy talking to Mike Miller (miss you Andy, miss you Mike Miller):

Andy and Mike Miller

Kyrie shooting a foul shot, the villain, Mozzy (who, by the way, was startlingly tall, even though I knew it ahead of time):

Kyrie Free Throw

Sloppy Joe Harris (miss you Sloppy Joe Harris:


LBJ, plus fellow Xavierite James Posey in the foreground:


Shump’s hair is something to see, for sure.  Also, I wish that this picture showed the little girl in front of us’s face – she was a mini-me of her Jewish dad on the left side of the photo:


The Cavs won!  Then stupid Kelly Olynyk pulled Kevin Love’s arm off in a later game of the series.

Next up was the Bulls…Here’s Walter giving Joakim Noah the business:

Wally killing Joakim

I was left at home alone with the cats for one of the games of the Finals.  Here’s our watch party:

Cats Watching Playoff Game

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Lady Rockets

Last season was the last season with our favorite Spaniard (well, both of the Spaniards, really).   There’s not a lot to say about the season, other than that I wish Inma had a better team and coaching staff around her.

Here’s the team before a game:

Senior Game Huddle

We went big on the Pink Game again – here’s all the tickets, in a showy display:


Here’s all the associated t-shirts:


Pink game action from the cheap seats:

Pink Game

We went to BG to their high school gymnasium-type arena, and this misguided young woman thought this sign was OK:


Of note, just this past Wednesday, Toledo beat BGSU for the second time this season, and it was the first time in program history that Toledo won 4 straight against BGSU. Excitement.

It’s important that you know that among the many terrible and/or low-scoring shitshow WBB games we’ve seen, we were there for this game:

This was an actual game we saw

There were only two seniors graduating last year, one of whom played no games because of a back injury a couple of years ago:

Steph Recker Senior Night

The other was the good Spaniard, Inma Zanoguera, who plays professionally in Italy now and is the possessor of @InmasArms:

Inma Senior Night

Here she is kissing the court after what could have been her last regular season game at Savage:

Inma Inma Kissing Center Court

One day I went up to school to spend a $20 Fan Plan voucher, and I took the below picture.  A couple of the main thoroughfares through campus were closed because of water line breaks…so I was backing out of a parking spot near Savage, and a college girl who was surely put out by her revised route around campus and going way too fast hit the ass end of my car with her much newer car.  I was very, very lucky because the girl let me go without even exchanging information.  I bought the stuff to try and fix the paint on my bumper myself, but I haven’t done it yet.


We did go to Cleveland for the MAC tournament game:
MAC starting lineup

Spoiler: We lost.   Somehow, they got an invite to the WNIT.  They beat Wright State, which was very surprising.

WNIT vs. Wright State

Here’s a picture of Sophie waiting to go into the game with cool WNIT reflections on the court:

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Trip to Indy

Kim and Jamie hosted us the weekend after my birthday last year.  We went down to Indy on a Thursday and had delicious take and bake pizza and also the only birthday cake/ice cream I had last year, and everyone sang Happy Birthday.  On Friday, we went to the Indy Children’s Museum with Kim and Jack.   It was pretty cool.  What I remember the most, perhaps, is the weird planetarium room where we saw on our phones that the mayor of Toledo had died.

Children's Museum

I’m always trying to get Kim’s kids to collect pencils too, so I bought Jack and I lots of pencils in the gift shop.  The tube full of tiny smooth rocks is a common pencils design at childrens/science museums.


We had dinner at a weird divey restaurant in downtown Indy, and then we went to Bankers Life Fieldhouse for the Cavs/Pacers game.  Here’s Jack:


Our seats were not very good, but we were limited by what Kim wanted to spend on Jack’s Christmas present ticket.  All I really remember is that the people behind us were drunk, and Jack didn’t feel well by the end of it (and, the Cavs lost).

16474956352_b01b76fb6c_z 15853381404_5685e83a60_z

Posted in Friends, GROUNDHOG EXTRAVAGANZA!!!, HoneyBear, I collect pencils., It's weird to watch people play games for money, Random Fun things | Leave a comment

Random Stuff

I’m trying desperately trying to catch up on my blogging…

I had uploaded a lot of pictures in July and never done any of the blogging to go with them, so I’m trying to tackle those before I upload anything else (though to be fair, I’m not sure there’s anything I really want to talk about for a few months there).

At any rate, here’s some pictures that don’t really go with anything else.

I bought some fleece blankets at Kroger, one with owls on it, and I was going to use the blankets to make something for my Australian owl-loving friend…then I realized that I had no idea what I would make that wouldn’t take up more room in an expensive-to-mail package than enjoyment she would get out of it.  I used the blankets and our old pillows to solve an ever-present problem in our house: cat toys batted under doors and the resultant whining cats.


Brian and I got each other Zoo Pal animal sponsorships for Valentine’s Day – I got him an otter and he got me an octopus:


One thing that’s sometimes nice about working nights is the sunrise:


Sometimes, the same garbage that makes it so hard to send drivers out to make delivers is actually beautiful…Here’s some hoary frost.   It was very foggy and the fog was crystallizing on everything:


At some point when it was still cold outside last winter, this happened:

This was exciting

Posted in Cats and more cats, Domesticity!, HoneyBear, Nature!, Parentals, Random Fun things, Stupid stuff, Valentine's Day | Leave a comment

2014-15 TOLWBB Poster

2014-15 Basketball Poster

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