A blog about Cat-Ladders. (#Blogathon)

Proving once again there’s a blog for every topic on the Internet I present to you The Cat-Ladder Blog:

A picture gallery and a tribute to all the fantastic cat-ladders of the world.

Since January 2007.

If you have a picture of a cat-ladder, please e-mail it to me and i will put it on the page.

Right now the website contains approximately 691 pictures.

Click the pictures for full size!

I wasn’t even aware there were such a thing as cat-ladders, but apparently they’re quite common and range from angled trees all the way up to elaborate spiral staricases. Here’s a typical example:

Click to embiggen!

And a more elaborate one:

Makes me wish I was handy with tools.

One of the advantages to reading ***Dave’s blog…

… is that it acts like my own personal weather forecast. ***Dave talks about the weather fairly often and when he does I know that within four or five days we’ll be experiencing the same weather here. For example, here’s what he wrote four days ago:

While the Eastern US is snowed under, we’re facing temps here in the 60s-70s all week. Yeesh.

We missed out on that snowstorm here in Michigan, but it was bitter cold here at the time he wrote that. Today? Today we’re supposed to hit 64 degrees. Granted we start to cool down tomorrow, but we’ll remain in a relatively balmy 45 to 53 degree range for the next few days.

The really nice part is that when it’s miserable and cold here all I have to do is check in with ***Dave to see if there’s any relief coming to raise my spirits. By the same token, whenever ***Dave says things are ball-shrinkingly cold where he’s at I know to prepare myself for some bad weather. Thanks ***Dave!

Momma’s having a Birthday!

Today she turns a youthful 74-years-old. Go drop by her blog and wish her a Happy Birthday!

***Dave Does the Blog evolves into WordPress.

I get all busy over the weekend and ***Dave goes and switches blogging platforms on me. He’s made the jump to WordPress from MovableType and it’s a much needed improvement. WordPress has come a long way from back when I tested it out as a replacement for MT. Depending on how much it’ll cost to move to EE 2.0 when it’s released sometime this year I might be making the jump as well.

Go check out ***Dave’s shiny new digs and let him know what you think.

BREAKING NEWS: Michigan’s Upper Peninsula secedes and no one really cares.

Somehow I wouldn’t be surprised if this were true. Satire by SEB regular Stormin’ Norman over at his blog:

Michigan’s Upper Peninsula secedes from the United States out of sheer boredom. – Alligators In The Sewer

The Upper Peninsula, or “U.P.” as it has been called by locals, so-called “Yoopers,” will become a sovereign commonwealth nation of the United States, the first of its kind. The new nation-state will be self-ruling, with its own constitution and political leadership, but will remain closely tied to the U.S., borrowing some federal government services as needed and sending truckloads of logs in return.

“It just seemed like the thing to do,” said Terry Urbanski, director of regional promotions for the U.P. “This should put us back on the map and get us some media attention for a while. And hopefully, some more tourist money.”

I’ve spent some time in the U.P. and it’s quite beautiful up there… and incredibly boring if you stay too long. There’s only so much logging industry history you can take before it gets a little repetitive. Still, it’s worth checking out at least once for the views.

A shout out to Global Atheist

Wanted to give a little link lovin’ to the folks at Global Atheist. It’s an aggregate blog that pulls in feeds from a number of different sites including SEB, which came as a bit of a surprise considering we’re not a purely atheist in our subject matter. Still I noticed them showing up in SEB’s referrer logs and thought I should send some traffic their way. Go check it out and see what you think.

A little Link Lovin’: Alligators in the Sewer.

Thought I’d give a shout out to Stormin’ Norman and his blog Alligators in the Sewer as he’s become a regular around here and is hoping folks might find his own creative endeavors entertaining. I’ve had a little look see myself and I’m highly amused. If you’ve found Stormin’s comments here at SEB of interest then give his blog a shot and see what you think. Unlike most of what I post, the majority of Stormin’s content appears to be original material or at least plagiarized in such a way as to hide the fact from casual observation. Either way it makes for a refreshing change of pace.

So drop on by and tell him the Bastard sent you. I’m sure he’d appreciate the attention. wink

Momma’s on a rant!

If you’ve ever wondered where I get my ability to tear people a new asshole when I’m worked up, well, I get it from my mother. She doesn’t normally do political posts on her blog, but she got worked up enough today to let loose with both barrels:

I am so tired of hearing ‘what is wrong with my opponent and the opposite party’.  I want to hear that the leaders of this country are aware that people are losing their homes, that not every citizen was able to get a degree in a job that is left in this country, That milk cost as much as gasoline, that people are getting sicker and even dying due to lack of descent health care.  I have sat through let us make fuel out of corn and then hearing that converting it is expensive.  Not to mention what do we eat when this is an accepted method for fuel.  How long will crops like beans, peas, tomatoes, cucumbers, etc. be grown when corn is the ‘cash crop’?

When do we stop hearing about the noise the wind generators make and the dangers they may present when we need all the alternative energy sources we can find.  What happened to using flowing water to generate electricity.  Surely every river, stream, or source of water has not dried up in this nation.

We seem to be the target of ‘make them run scared and you can lead them like sheep’.  Well I’m not a sheep!  I want my right to privacy, my right to make a living and pay my bills, to raise my children to respect other people rights and property.  To lead this country you have to have people who will take a chance, change an accepted way, yet still look back on the ideas that built this country. 

That’s my mom and I couldn’t be prouder.

The best explanation I’ve read for the Wall Street Meltdown.

I said before that I don’t really understand the economics of the financial crisis the country is currently in the midst of, but Jim Wright over at Stonekettle Station sets me straight:

Hubris, the belief that great men dare greatly, and that should disaster fall, those great men should be rescued at the expense of others, set back on their feet, and allowed to try again.

And Hubris, my friends, is exactly what brings us to the current disaster unfolding in the United States financial sector today.

Just like with the Titanic, prideful greedy men set on us a course for disaster. Those captains of Wall Street, in their pride and arrogance, deliberately ignored the lessons of history, 1929, the S&L crash of the 70’s, the Dot Com bust of the 90’s, and all the rest of it. They ordered the boilers lit and the throttles pushed hard to the stops, in order to line their own pockets and to advance their own hubris, and they took all of us down here in steerage along for the ride.

And when we slammed head on at full speed into the iceberg, those arrogant bastards were the first ones to the lifeboats, – or the golden parachutes, choose your own analogy here – demanding safe passage from the crew, or in this case, the government, as they believe is their right.

And, just exactly like the pride of White Star Lines, there’s not enough lifeboats to go around, and a lot of us are going to be left to sink or swim in the icy wine dark water.

OK, I’ve pushed the Titanic analogy to the breaking point – but the comparison is apt.

Now that’s terms I can wrap my head around. Jim goes on to explain the why of why we need to bail out Wall Street even though it would be more satisfying to let it crash and burn. Jim doesn’t have a lot of solutions, but then, like me, he’s not an economics expert. He does have an excellent grasp of the situation and why it’s a problem and why we need to do something about it and how anything we do is going to be far from a perfect solution. All of which helps me to put it into sharper perspective myself. It’s a good read. I’ll be adding Jim to my blogroll.

Digital TV is coming. EVERYBODY PANIC!!

By now you’ve probably seen one of the several PSAs airing on various TV channels about the upcoming switch to all digital TV signals come February 19th, 2009. If you’re one of the 26 million households left in America that don’t get your TV from a cable or satellite provider and you still have an analog TV then this will affect you. The PSAs point out that the government is offering to help by providing coupons to reduce the cost for the digital to analog converter box you’ll need in order to keep your analog TV set working with over-the-air digital signals. You can sign up for these coupons at DTV2009.gov.  What the PSAs don’t say—or rather say in very fine print at the bottom of the screen—is that there’s some strings attached to this offer:

Mouse Print – DTV Coupons: The Consumer Catch-22

*MOUSE PRINT:  Some key facts are buried in the fine print or not well disclosed, including:

  1.   You cannot combine the coupons toward the purchase of a single box (each will cost between $50 and $70 approximately).
  2.   The coupons expire 90 days from their mailing to you, and expired coupons will not be replaced.
  3.   There are only 22.5 million coupons unless Congress authorizes 11.25 million more.
  4. While some boxes have already been approved, more are expected.
  5. Many if not most retailers do not have the boxes in stock yet.

Translation:  The consumer has a dilemna.  The coupons are available now, but the boxes are not.  If you order your coupons now, the 90 day clock will begin to run on them when mailed, but you will likely have fewer choices of boxes and brands.  If you wait for a better choice of boxes, all the coupons might be gone.  And, initially, boxes are not likely to be on sale. Later in the year competition will likely be more stiff, and prices may drop low enough for the coupon to cover nearly the full cost.

Definitely something to be aware of if you were planning on taking advantage of this offer. Of course if you’re getting your TV supplied through a cable company or similar service then this is a non-issue for you as they’ll do the conversion for you.

If you don’t already have Mouse Print in your RSS reader/bookmarks then it’s a great site to keep up with.