Laptop Cats II

Well, I thought I had the perfect answer to my little dilemma below. A stacking tray for legal-size folders. Fits perfectly over the laptop with some room to the sides to let air out, etc. What could go wrong?

Little brats simply shoved it aside.

Cats: is there a level of Evil they won’t descend to?

Didn’t think so.

Laptop Cats

Hello, inventors and marketers. I’m looking for a device.

As most people know, I own cats. I also own a laptop. This is not a picture of it, but it will do.

No Cat

If you know cats, you know that they have an irresistable attraction to computer keyboards. I don’t know whether it’s the texture or the warmth or what, but this is what frequently greets me as a I return home:


Generally speaking, this means that my laptop is probably (at best) shut down, at worst, locked up so tightly that it has to be shut down. Before I password-protected my screensaver, I’d also find various icons renamed from “My Documents” to “Euitodiiiiiiii” and such, depending on how the cat lolled throughout the day.

One time, one of my cats had managed to call up Help, call up Search, activated the “Narrator” function, created a new text document, created a new Citrix session, and been informed that the Citrix session now had to be named. I should get her to do my work for me, huh.

Before you ask, yes, I frequently save my work, so my only loss thus far has been convenience (having to shut down and restart the laptop). It would be nice, I think, to get something that would fit over the laptop. Something like this (three different views shown).

No Anything

This would fit thusly across the laptop:

No Cat

and we’d have this:

No Cat

And notice below, a perfectly happy kitty able to lounge to his heart’s content. The little holes in the top would allow warm air to escape, and also provide some texture. When I want to work, a single scoop removes the cat, and I have no fear of suddenly extended claws ripping keys asunder (this has happened).


So everyone wins, and everyone’s happy.

Oh, and I know there are other methods. I’ve tried tinfoil, but it doesn’t bother my cats for long (ooo, could I say something political, here). I know there are sprays you can buy to keep them off things…but I’d truly rather not spray my laptop with anything.

Oh, and I’m aware as well that I could probably make such a thing myself. But let me ask you, how is that rewarding someone’s entrepreneurial spirit? And plus I’m lazy.

So, how about it? Anyone know of such a thing? Anyone sell such a thing?

iPod News

I thought I’d let you know, now, that I took the iPod out of the cellophane last Thursday. I didn’t want you to worry that the world might explode, so I didn’t tell you then–and since it didn’t, good call on my part. Yes! I rock!

I also charged the thing on Saturday, and last night I hooked it up to my PC…which said it needed to be formatted (using only the Apple software). So I did that. Still, nothing exploded! Woo hoo! Two for two!

Then I went online to the iPod “iTunes” store, thinking, Oh, maybe I’ll buy a song! Ooo, I am so modern. Actually, I didn’t think that, but I was close.

But you know what? I couldn’t find anything I wanted to buy. Not a thing. No Xenakis. No Cecil Taylor (that I don’t already have), and no Residents (that I really want). Some Firesign Theatre, but nothing for 99 cents! Some Wire, some John Foxx, but nothing that told me, in hushed tones, This is why you lived to see the 21st Century. Loser.

Granted, I didn’t check Hector Berlioz. Should have thought of that. Oh, and they had that Coldplay song I can’t get out of my head–that should count for something. But I hesitated over that one. Dunno why.

I guess I should have more popular tastes. I did, after all, buy an iPod.

That’s how it starts, isn’t it?

Am I not popular now?

UPDATE: Hey, this is my 150th post.

Nowhere, Nowhen

Okay, my last post was a bit intemperate, shall we say. What can I offer in defense? Everything is relative. The fact that I could not get a wireless router to work despite the fact that there are about four instructions, and that I am generally good with instructions, should not have entered into the matter…but it did.

Admittedly, in the scheme of things large and small, this one is pretty tiny. There are people who don’t have food in the world. And if they were surfing the web with their perfectly working out of the box wireless routers, and came upon my post, they’d no doubt say, “Man, I don’t have food, and you are complaining about how the internet is not easier! You’re terrible! You are terrible!”

Well, as I said, everything is relative. Mel Brooks once observed, “Tragedy is when I cut my little finger. Comedy is when you fall into an open sewer and die.” When things happen to our very own damn selves, we tend to feel that they loom much larger than actual size, while those observing us (like Galactus) think they’re pretty trivial and we should try to calm down a bit.


Everywhere, Everywhen

Man, life sucks. It just does. Don’t tell me about your alternate explanations, or how suffering is good for us, or how this will all balance out in the end…none of it Do not tell me none of it, or your elfin magick will be as naught for all eternity, and that is bad for elves and stuff.

Life sucks.

That’s all there is to it. We’re born, we provide amusement for some cosmic entity until he/she tires of our antics, and we’re killed cruely. Unless we kill the bear. Then, it’s slightly less cruely, but still cruely. Some graffiti on a tree. Be still my beating heart. And quit beating! You know that is annoying.

Don’t let anyone tell you different. Because they’re lying if they do.

Lying idiots. Man, I hate them. Hope you do too.

Wouldn’t this be awesome if I had readers? Yeah, I’m talking about you and me…losers!

Can’t resist laughing. Because that, ultimately, is all there is. Fortunately, I don’t have readers, or you would have gotten those winning Lotto numbers, and I see they’re unclaimed.

Do I still have readers? Um, BOO!

Ha ha ha. I laugh. Again, I laugh. Ha ha ha.

Block by Block

Dr. Freex, in his latest post, says that he’s suffering from Writer’s Block.

I honestly experienced a chill when I read that, the sort of thing one might feel when being told an acquaintance has a broken leg or something like that. Obviously, Writer’s Block doesn’t fall within the area of a serious injury and I don’t mean to trivialize such things. I make the comparison only to illustrate how the syndrome affects me.

It probably seems far-fetched for me to say that I have had a pretty serious case of Writer’s Block for about five years now. After all, anyone reading this or other sites of mine can see for themselves how I blather on endlessly about giant squids or stovepipe hats or whatever sort of detritus happens to wash up on my mindshore.

But I don’t consider those blatherings to be real writing. Real writing are the stories that I’ve written, those I’d like to write, and those I’ve been unable to do anything with.

Writer’s Block is a difficult thing to talk about, because there doesn’t seem to be any consensus about what it actually is. I can tell you what it isn’t. It isn’t a form of fear. It isn’t a type of depression. There doesn’t seem to be any slowness of wit or crumbling of knowledge involved. What it most seems to be is something that’s gone missing, but has removed all traces of itself in the process. Like one of those time-travel paradox stories, you don’t know what’s missing because it apparently never existed.

For instance, if I find an unfinished story of mine and begin to read it, I don’t think, “God, what utter rubbish, how could I have been so blind?” No, I actually enjoy reading it, and think, “I should try to finish this one.”

The thing is, though, the thought is a fairly hollow one. The story itself is like an alien artefact, some buried pre-human machine washed up on the beach in an episode of “The X-Files.” I have no idea how it got here.I remember the genesis of the idea, working out some details. I remember some of the writing*, but the thing itself seems to be something totally apart from my experience. Like something written in a foreign language, I simply don’t know what words are needed to continue.

I remember the genesis of the idea, working out some details. I remember some of the writing*, but the thing itself seems to be something totally apart from my experience. Like something written in a foreign language, I simply are needed to continue.It’s a hella bad condition. I wish the good Doctor a full and swift recovery.

*I’m not trying to imply a lapse of memory, here; this is the way I remember everything. I can recall certain details of working on paintings, or audio recordings, probably because they brought results that pleased me. The day to day details, however, aren’t stored or backed up. How’d I paint that arm? Sorry, no idea. The teeth, however, ah, that I do remember….

PaintBlog II B – August 9

Some work on Part B of Paint Blog II. First of all, I wanted to continue the idea of the upright columns. So I thought it would be good to put one in the distance, making it blue as if it were covered by atmophere. Here’s the preparation for that, next to the result with the masking tape removed.

Click to open in a new window.

Click to open in a new window.

That one worked pretty well, so I thought I would add another even further in the distance to increase the depth of the world we have here. Again with the masking tape, then the result, with both columns slightly obscured by clouds Also done to increase the three-dimensionality. This reminds me of a guy named Richard Powers, who painted a lot of science fiction book covers.

Click to open in a new window.

Click to open in a new window.

Finally (so far), I wanted to add another pole closer to our POV, to parallel the one in the other canvas. So we start with the masking tape. This time, instead of using blue and white, we used raw umber (aka black) since this one will be closer and thus, more detailed.

Click to open in a new window.

Click to open in a new window.

That’s how it stands as of now. The tape is still on because I have to add some more colors and details after it dries. I’m pleased that this canvas is starting to get going again. (Now if I could jump start sound recording, and make a million dollars, I’d be happy.)

Paintblog Update…

…well, there haven’t been any for a while, yes? Mostly because I haven’t put brush (or, more commonly, finger) to canvas in several weeks.

I’m not particularly worried about this, these sorts of fallow periods are to be expected. I don’t think it’s something like sound recording, which seems to have atrophied rather spectacularly.

I have, however, updated the Gallery page at my main site. It’s now up to date and has all the paintings in it, even the ones that aren’t finished (PaintBlogs 2 and 4 being notable exceptions). Enjoy, and have a great weekend.

Junkyard Nostalgia

I went to college at a small university in a little town on top of a mountain. You could walk from wilderness, through the brief civilization, then back to wilderness in just a matter of minutes. While my career there has, inevitably, been colored through the golden glow of nostalgia, I think I had a pretty good time there.

One thing that was very cool was the local junkyard. It was pretty small, but it wasn’t fenced in or otherwise unavailable. At least, no one ever yelled at me for going there to look around. No dogs, either, other than friendly strays.

For one of my art classes, I went there to find objects to be used in sculptures. I found all manner of intriguing detritus and arranged same on small pieces of wood. I lined them up and declared that they represented the days of the week (I had just conveniently noticed that there were seven of them in total).

I miss that junkyard. Every junkyard I’ve seen since has been fenced off and seems to charge admission. (Admittedly, anything can be turned into a buck nowadays. ) Still, every time I drive past one I get that brief acquisitive surge. Oooh, I wonder what they’ve got.

(Note: I’m sure there are public safety issues involved in locking up junkyards, too. )

It is entirely possible to go to flea markets instead and find some interesting objects. But there, you have to pay for them. I’m certainly not adverse to paying for things. But that throws an element of judgment into the mixture; rather than simply gathering and then conceptualizing, one has to pre-conceptualize. In essence, you have to create the artwork first, then find stuff to fit. I find that a lot less fun.

See also, about how anything can be turned into a buck. That means that a number of things available at flea markets are far more expensive than they ought to be. Admit it–if you’ve ever gone to one, you think, Who would want to buy that? on many occasions.

Strange, now, to think back on my college days, and the one thing I am most nostalgic for is a junkyard.

Watch Out For Doctor Dream

Nightmares, especially those that are so frightening they wake me up at 3:30 AM, are very disorienting events. You lie there, trying to convince yourself that you’re no longer the oneiric character in peril but are, in fact yourself. You look around the room, marking evidence that the various shapes and shadows around you are simple ordinary fixtures of your normal environs, and not the menacing agents that imperiled your dream persona.

I just wonder why the whole process takes so long. It must have been twenty minutes before I was convinced I was just the dull guy I normally am, and not a young lady hysterically clutching an axe and trying to evade silver-skinned invaders. Evil invaders, I should point out. One look at their scowls would convince anyone.

(Points to anyone who can identify the source of this entry’s title.)