Archive for July, 2008

Cute pets

July 28th, 2008 1 comment

Sorry, I'm going to subject you to some pictures of my pets.  I say they're cute, but then again they're my pets so I'm biased.

First up we have Muffy.  We inherited her back in 2005.  The cats were not pleased.  She's a Yorkshire Terrier and is just as adorable in person.  And she knows it.

Next up we have Mimi.  We got her in 2006 to keep Muffy company since the cats didn't play the right way.  She's also a Yorkshire Terrier, just a different conformation.  Mimi was a rescue adoption through a breeder and I highly recommend that route if you're looking for a purebred.

This is Newkitty.  He showed up as a stray back in about 1992.  He wasn't meant to stay, hence being "the new kitty".  Yeah, that worked out well.  He's currently also known as "the grumpy old man".  He's not a Scottish Fold.  Not that long after he decided to stay he had hematomas in his ears and when they fixed them his ears stayed kind of flat.  Between that and his habit of not opening his eyes all the way he looks perpetually peeved.

Now, this is Princess.  She's got a story.  Where Mr. Rastl works they have Shop Kitty.  One of his coworkers brought in this cat because he found it as a stray in his neighborhood and no one answered the fliers.  Shop Kitty and the new cat did not become BFF.  As all animals know Mr. Rastl is a soft touch.  So home she came and was duly christened Princess.  She's a tiny little thing, actually.

And finally we come to Popeye.  When we had to make that final decision about Newkitty's companion we talked about getting Princess her companion.  Cats do better in pairs, I feel.  So we went to the no-kill shelter to see who was around.  And we found Popeye.  His name at the time wasn't Popeye – it was Lucky Puck.  Um, no.  With only having the one eye the rename was perfect.  And I swear, he wasn't that large at the shelter!  He's about twelve loooooong pounds of cat.

I can't promise I won't toss in a random pet picture if I get a good one or want to put in one I particularly like.  But these guys are so much a part of my daily life ("No!  Get your face out of the plaster!"  "Minis are not cat toys!"  "Don't pick on the cat that's twice your size!"  "What did I just step in?") that I had to show them off.

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Back on track!

July 25th, 2008 1 comment

I'm as healthy as can be expected so now I'm back on track.

I'm doing some more casting as I found out something interesting.  I used to use a dental plaster called Merlin's Magic for my Hirst Arts work.  Great stuff.  But the cost was getting prohibitive and I had to have it shipped.  I've switched over to Hydrostone.  I can get that locally for a fraction of the price.

The interesting thing is that the two plasters don't take paint the same way.  The paint doesn't seem to soak into the Merlin's Magic like it does the Hydrostone.

While normally this wouldn't be an issue all the columns for the inner temple of the display base were made from Merlin's Magic castings.  The roof sections were made from Hydrostone.  Both of them will have the same color of faux marble painted on them.  And while doing the base coats I discovered that they don't look the same.

So now I'm recasting all the column pieces in Hydrostone so the marble will be consistent when I paint it.

At least I have four fully assembled columns for future use.

Also, for a design detail I'm gluing two curved sections together so they make a round opening.  That will make sense when I post pictures.  I'm putting in four sections so I need eight bricks.  Of course I only had seven.  It's going to be a long build.

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Treasure your health. Really

July 23rd, 2008 No comments

I've been ill with what we'll genteelly describe as 'intestinal distress' for the last four days.  Yes, four days.

Today when I called my doctor they had me on the maximum dose of Immodium – one pill after each 'episode' up to a maximum of eight pills.  Yeah, that worked for as long as I was taking the meds.

Let me tell ya.  I'm so tired of not being able to do anything.  I could have just stopped that sentence at "I'm so tired" as I'm only getting two or three hours of sleep before being woken up by the problem.

Hopefully tomorrow will go better.  If the result is the same as today then I'm gonna have to get more emphatic.

On a funny note, the doctor's office asked for a sample.  We won't elaborate on that.  My medical insurance has an additional coverage for lab tests to be covered at 100% if you use their centralized testing service.  Well of course my doctor's office is attached to a hospital and they want the money for the tests, so they don't do the collection.  The nearest place to have this done is the next city north.  Yeah, I'm going to be able to make that drive.

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Went to see the new Batman movie

July 19th, 2008 No comments

Of course, it doesn't have the word 'Batman' in the title but I'm guessing everyone knows what movie it is.

Don't worry – no spoilers here.

My Batman is Michael Keaton as done by Tim Burton.  Sorry but I'm a child of the 80s.  But I refuse to judge other movies in the franchise by that.

I freely admit I didn't see the previous Batman movie with this actor playing Batman.  Maybe I would have been more prepared for some of the storyline if I had.  Or maybe not.

Overall it was an enjoyable movie.  We saw it at the drive in so I know I missed details (text on cell phones and such) and it was dark enough on the screen some of the action was difficult to follow.  Which means we'll have to see it either in a real theater or on DVD.

I don't know if it's just me but I found Batman/Bruce Wayne to be more of a plot device to launch other characters rather than the center of the movie.  Odd, but that's how it looks upon reflection.  All the other 'main' characters were given much more in-depth treatment and more fleshed out roles.  And then there's Batman.  Maybe that was the intention and the deeper meaning is that they're defined by how they perceive Batman.  But to me if the movie is a Batman movie then maybe, just maybe, Batman should be the main character?

Oh well.  It was a lovely evening and we had fun.  But we didn't stay for the second feature (Hancock) because we were tired.

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Inspiration high. Motiviation low.

July 14th, 2008 No comments

I've got all my great ideas.  But actually doing something about them is tough.

But I did work on my design for the large display base I'm doing.  It's in two pieces – inner and outer.  I'm starting with the inner since it will have more detailed painting.  Yes, I'm faux painting again.

Since the pieces are assembled pieces there are join lines.  In the past I've just painted over them and lived with the result.  This time around I'm trying an idea of filling them in using caulk. 

I did some pre-assembly last night.  I consider pre-assembly things like making columns to length and working with sub-sections.  Essentially making the pieces that will make the larger pieces.

Tonight I filled the join lines.  One of the sub-sections will become a hemispherical roof and there are join lines all over the place.  I'm hoping the caulk will fill them enough so there are nothing but smooth sections where there should be smooth sections.  Considering I'm going to be faux painting those areas I'd like them to be smooth.

I also got smart enough to make a test piece that will be a small section of the intended whole.  That way I can see if my color ideas will work.  I think they will but without a test I can't be certain.  I caulked that thing too.

Tomorrow I hope to do more assembly.  The columns are at length but still need to be glued together on the long sides.  The roof is down to 8 sections from 16.  Tomorrow there will be 4.  Then I'll fill the join lines on everything again.  I'm working on the join lines as each sub-section is assembled because it's easier to get into all the little nooks and crannies when they're still separate.  It might take longer but I'm hoping the final result will be smoother and nicer.

Right now there's nothing that would warrant pictures.  It's just some partially assembled pieces.  And the caulk filling really doesn't show up well.  I don't expect the pictures to start until the main unit is dry-stacked and the test piece is painted.

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I won something!

July 6th, 2008 No comments

I was more than pleasantly surprised to come back from a long camping trip and find a message from the Skullcrafts forum administrator that I won a basing kit!  He's choosing random people who contribute on his forum to win a basing kit of their choice and for whatever reason luck was smiling on me!

I just love his products and have been saving up pocket change so I could get a basing kit once my current supplies started running out.


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