Saturday, October 29, 2005

New digital camera

When Laurel's parents came to visit last summer, her Mom brought her brand new, hyper-mega-super, oongatz digital camera--a Canon Powershot S2 IS. This thing takes fantabulous pictures--even when handled by unsophisticated photographers such as Laurel and I.

We've been lusting after this thing ever since, but haven't been able to bring ourselves to spend that kind of money on a digicam, until this week. Not sure what the precipitating event was (if indeed there was one) but we took the plunge. Man, what a nice camera. I'm still reading the manual, so I don't yet have a stranglehold on how to put it to optimal use, but we're getting some hella-nice shots out of it already.

We originally ordered it from this web site, but when we weren't getting notices from them that the thing had shipped, etc., we went back and looked at their holiday calendar. And holy cow, I think they're shut down more days in October than they're working! When I tried calling them, they were out for Sukkot (although, according to this calendar, it was actually Shemini Atzeret). When Laurel finally got someone on the phone, she learned it was back-ordered, and wouldn't be shipped for 6-8 weeks. Oy vey. So we cancelled the order and just went down to Circuit City.

All we need now are two sets of rechargeable batteries and a protective case for it & we should be set. Yay!

We've been watching season two of Arrested Development on DVD for the past two weeks. That show so rewards repeated viewings. The gags are packed so tightly that you just can't get them all in a single viewing. So funny.

Last night we took a break from AD, to watch The Chorus, despite not feeling like we were in the mood for something of the quiet-and-heartwarming variety. This was one of the many many movies I put on my Netflix queue long ago after hearing some positive buzz about it, then forgot about, kept promoting other flicks ahead of it etc. Then I stopped paying attention to our queue, and when it showed up in the mail I was like "I wanted this why?".

Netflix can be a harsh mistress sometimes. You pay a flat monthly rate, and can watch as many movies as you like, but you can only have 3 out at a time. There are no late fees--you just don't get any new movies until you return the ones you already have. So there's a bit of pressure to turn movies over, in order to get your money's worth. On the other hand, the lack of a due date means that you can wind up sitting on movies that you're not in the mood to see right now, but don't want to send back because you think you'll be in the mood soon. We've got that dynamic going on right now with Finding Neverland.

Anyway The Chorus completely won us both over--totally charming. Highly recommended.

Peace out.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

The Joy and Sorrow of Serenity

So L and I took the day off from swimming with our darling daughters (Annelise is still kicking a cold anyway) and instead dropped them off at the neighbors, and went to see Serenity.

Ah, so wonderful. We were late fans of Firefly--just caught the buzz over at slashdot at some point, put the first disc on our Netflix queue, fell in love, and the rest is history.

Serenity was very pleasing--a total roller coaster, and with emotions all over the spectrum. Definitely recommended, whether you're a fan of the show or not. I hope they make a sequel or three.

Next eagerly-anticipated media event: DVDs of season 2 of Arrested Development come out a week from Tuesday. W00t!

Operation Downpour

So we've got these two young cats--littermates, adopted last year from the Humane Society. Cuter than the dickens, but quite destructive. They're called Mei and Tsatsuki (after the sisters in My Neighbor Totoro).

Early on we let them be 'indoor/outdoor' cats, and even bought a cat door so they could come and go as they pleased. They really liked that, but poor Mei was soon hit by a car (necessitating ridiculously expensive surgery). So bye bye cat door.

Now, Suki was so destructive that she actually completely ruined our carpeting in several spots--clawing her way down to the padding underneath the carpet. Crazy. We couldn't tolerate that, and had her declawed. Regrettable, but so would bringing her back to the Humane society. So she's not so much a threat anymore.

Now Mei on the other hand still has some of the tools Mother Nature intended her to have. In her quest for freedom she has torn gaping holes in (or otherwise destroyed) no less than five window screens, in an effort to create a hole big enough for her to come and go as she pleases, like the good old days.

These are not wimpy fabric screens, mind you. Well, actually the first one was, but the first time I replaced it I used metal. She goes right through them. Not right away--but she's persistant.

So we've been trying like heck to keep them inside. This is a tad difficult b/c their litterboxes are in the garage (and we do *not* want them inside, thank you) and we keep our car in the garage, so we have to occasionally open and close the door. Mei's preference is to be out all night, until about 4am--just 30 minutes before I have to be up for work. Nice.

Now when Mei is outside and she wants in, she starts meowing and in short order, jumping up to claw at the window screen. Never mind that the window behind it is closed and that she could never actually enter the house this way in a million years. No, this is actually a good strategy because I, sleep-addled and fearing another screen job, hear her going after my baby and actually get up out of bed, go downstairs, and let her in. She's trained me well... Sigh.

But I am happy to report that I've gained the upper hand in this relationship. Or I think so at any rate.

It so happens that the screen in question is directly over our (2d-story) bedroom window. And it also happens that Laurel & I keep a small tub in the shower, to catch the shower water while we're waiting for it to get hot so it doesn't get wasted (L's such the environmentalist.). Can you see where I'm going here? Well, it's only slightly more effort for me to bring said tub of water over to my window, open it up, and slosh some out onto the cat than it is for me to trek downstairs and let the dear thing in. (She can wait a bloody half-hour.)

I've gone through 3 iterations of the sloshing, and am hopeful that this will finally break her of the screen-slashing. If it doesn't work, we're having her declawed.