Wordless Wednesday: Remembrance

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Photo of meow and my humans, taken by my furiend Tank’s human, Sharee Bourke.


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Port Moody Power & Sail Squadron Remembrance Day 2014 – Belcarra Park Dock, Belcarra, BC


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Happy Halloween, Twenty Fifteen

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Halloween Boat Cat
Yup, Floating On A Ghost Ship
Has Risen Again

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This photo was of me sitting on top of the settee cushion at window level on our boat Minstrel as we were leaving our marina, but the background scene in the window was of an ugly oil refinery, so we were very pleased with how a little cropping and a couple of photo effect apps totally blotted that aspect out. First we uploaded the iphone photo into PHO.TO and selected the Realistic Photomontage-> Catoptromancy effect. It needed a bit of a frame finish so then we uploaded it Pixlr.com and applied the Wave effect and Tiny Frame.

And I couldn’t resist a quick Halloween Haiku to go with it. Happy Halloween 2015!!

A shout out in honour of Penelope, The Cat From Hell who designed this pumpkin for me last year!
Thanks again Nellie!

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I Would Rather Be At Sea

IMG_3791Perched in my picture window,
I blankly sit and stare,
Looking over my neighbourhood,
That naught I really care.

For I’d rather be at sea.

Neighbours walk past and point at me,
Like they do every day,
“Look at that cat in the window,
He seems so sad” they say.

Because I’d rather be at sea.

They know not where my heart belongs,
It’s not here on this street,
It’s harboured on the horizon,
Where souls and vessels meet.

Yes I’d rather be at sea.

Was that the cry of gulls I heard?
No, that was just a crow,
His caw gets in my craw I sigh,
He’s such a tease you know.

Yes I’d rather be at sea.

Was that the crash of waves I heard?
No, that was just a car,
Driving past my distant wake,
Washing my dreams afar.

Yes I’d rather be at sea.

Wonder was those days a sailing,
Over the open seas,
Now all I do is long for them,
O take me back there please.

O I’d rather be at sea.

When the window stares blank without me,
And crows fly silently,
I doubt I’ll miss this neighbourhood,
For then I’ll be at sea.

For then I’ll be at sea.

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Where would you rather be?


Poetry 101 Day 7: What do you think about when you think about your neighborhood? Whether it’s your block, a favorite store or coffeeshop, or just a general sense of community (or lack thereof), keep today’s poem local, within the radius of a leisurely stroll from your home. Form: ballad:  at a glance Ballads are dramatic, emotionally-charged poems that tell a story, often about bigger-than-life characters and situations. They can be long, short, rhymed, or unrhymed — though it’s still common for ballads to have a refrain. Device: assonance: Similar to alliteration, assonance is the strategic repetition of vowels in close proximity to each other.

Seven Wonders

There Once Was A Cat On A Boat

There once was a cat on a
       boat,

On top of the sea she did
      float,

Writing memoirs in her
      blog,

Until she hit a
      log

And that was all
      she wrote.

 

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Basically I just hit enter (kind of feels like cheating)…there was no way to rearrange the words to make it stay as 5 lines, so 10 it is.


Day 4 Poetry 101: Write a poem about the imperfect nature of someone or something in the form of a Limerick. Limericks are traditionally composed of five lines of verse. The traditional rhyming scheme of a limerick is a a b b a. It carries with it connotations of frivolity, light-hearted entertainment, and, well, lots of drinking. Today’s poetic device is all about the arrangement of words on the page, and how that arrangement affects the pace of our reading: enjambment: when a grammatical sentence stretches from one line of verse to the next.

Messing About In A Boat

There is nothing – absolutely nothing – half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.

— Kenneth Grahame, Writer – The Wind In The Willows

IMG_2438And that’s exactly what I do. I mess about in a boat along with my humans and their boat friends. We call our group gatherings a “raftup” but another term “messabout” was used for an event in 1990 for the beginning of the Southern California Small Boat Messabout Society, SCSBMS. In the UK, “banter” is used especially in the canals. It doesn’t really matter what it’s called, it’s all the same… the emphasis will be more on talk and camaraderie than actually doing anything constructive.

These are a couple of photos from our Memorial Day long weekend cruise back in May of this year. Seventeen boats rafted together. We called it the Backyard Bash Cruise because this time the location was not far from our marina in local waters. Normally the group cruises across the Georgia Strait to Gabriola Island in the Gulf Islands but human dad felt that was too far to go for just a weekend, even if it was a long one. So we never went.

IMG_2430Our cruise master organized a pirate dinghy poker run and the silly humans frivolously dressed themselves and their dinghies in pirate fashion.  Not me though. Human mom forgot to bring my pirate hats. She had bought 2 of them last year from a Halloween clearance bin because she couldn’t decide which one she liked better. Guess what I’ll be this Halloween. To play, the humans were given some clues to find the location of 5 “stations” on the water where they would get a random playing card to create a poker hand. The winners won a share of the booty (ante). My humans didn’t win, but seemed to have a lot of fun in the process.

Our official cruise schedule for the year is over now. Minstrel is still waiting for one of her sick cats (engines) to recover before we can go boating again anyways. In a couple of weeks we will be taking the students from the boating course out on a day cruise. The students get to put theory into practice and actually plot the course, with paper and pen using paper charts, and take us from the marina to a nearby bay. If all goes well we will arrive in time for lunch and an afternoon to just mess about nothing.

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Writing 101 Day 7: Today, use a quote or passage from something you’ve read to introduce your post. You’ll see a similar technique at the beginning of a book or chapter in the form of an epigraph.

True Catfessions: Where I Write

whereIwriteComing to you live, from the entertainment capital of my house, is today’s post!  Yes, shockingly (or not) most of my writing is done in the TV room. During the day when the humans are at work, it’s actually a very peaceful den. Let me take you on a quick tour, and then please fill out a short poll at the end.

Dark red walls (darker than in this photo), were inspired by the colors of Vancouver Canucks hockey team, and compliments the light brown wall-to-wall carpet,  butter yellow couches, and the mottle of a reddish-brown brick fireplace. A mix of nautical and sports themed pictures and keepsakes adorn the walls, mantle, and matching black coffee and side tables. Those wide-slatted wooden horizontal blinds, covering the large ground level front window, diffuses the bright light by day and adds privacy by night. The extra-wide window ledge, overlooking a small garden bed, is purrfect for full-body lounging when I need to take a break. From there I can watch any street activities, or furiends looking for a drink from the garden’s stone-edged water feature.

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Geocaching – A Study in Electronic Navigation

381I often pawndered how my humans ever managed to find their way around out on the water without getting lost. I mean there are no roads or street signs to follow at sea. I eventually learned that they have special electronic devices that can display charts of the ocean and where the boat is on them. How very useful. They have several of these visual devices, of varying sizes and capabilities, which are either fixed to the helm of the boat or carried around with them. Even though human mom took a basic boating course which included learning basic navigation, she didn’t really put much more thought into applying those skills after that. To her, it was the captain’s job to figure out exactly where they were, and how to get where they were going, and she was the admiral. That was until we started geocaching.

Geocaching is about finding little containers of treasures carefully hidden all over the planet, in publicly accessible places like parks and hiking trails…and beaches! Well the term treasure is used loosely since one human’s junk is another human’s treasure, but you never know what you might unearth. Like a house has an address, a geocache has a set of GPS coordinates. You plug the coordinates into the electronic device and it shows you where it is compared to where you are on some kind of map, or chart in nautical terms.

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Setting up a geocaching activity for members to play on a cruise.

Since you’re given the exact coordinates of the geocache’s location, it may seem deceptively easy to find, but unlike a road map, you are not given the exact route to it, just a couple of icons showing your location and its, with possibly a straight line connecting the two. The essence of navigation is to get from your current position to a pre-planned destination, and then to return safely. However, there could be forests, hills, mountains, lakes, streams, buildings, or in nautical terms, `hazards`that you have to navigate around first in order to get there. Because of all that navigational uncertainty, the key to a successful find whether it be a geocache or some other point of interest, is education and preparation.

Do you understand what GPS is and how it works? Do you know the different types of maps? Do you know how to load maps and GPS coordinates into a GPS device? Do you know what a waymark is? Do you know how to create a route of waymarks? Can you export a list of GPS coordinates to share with others? Conveniently the Canadian Power & Sail Squadrons  & United States Power Squadrons offer in-depth courses that specifically teach electronic charting, electronic navigation, and navigation by GPS, and you don’t need a boat or be a member to take them. But unlike riding a bike, if don’t use those skills often enough, you lose them. Cue geocaching. The rewards of geocaching go far beyond the material treasures you might find. Lessons in geography, map reading, navigation, nature, ecology, history, physical exercise, fellowship, and the Golden Rule come to life and are far more retentive because of this any-day real world game. Of that I am certain.

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Writing 101, Day 3: Prompts come in many different forms. Sometimes, a single word is all you need to get your mind’s wheels turning. Here are six words: TREASURE, REGRET, HOME, LOVE, UNCERTAINTY, SECRET.  Select one word in this list that speaks to you in some way. Have you always wanted to write about that wrong decision you made? Are you a long-term traveler looking for the right city to settle? Do you want to write a poem about your relationship?vThe beauty of the one-word prompt is that it’s open to interpretation. What do you think of when you hear this word? What do you see? This word is simply the seed for your post: feel free to shape your idea as you see fit.

Throw Back Thursday – Cruises to Bowen Island

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Mediterranean Tie at Union Steam Ship Marina in Snug Cove on Bowen Island, BC. Minstrel is center with the blue canvas on the upper helm.

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Meow relaxing on the anchor board of Minstrel

Every Easter and Labour Day long weekends are spent with our boating group, the Port Moody Power & Sail Squadron at the Union SteamShip Marina in Snug Cove on Bowen Island. It’s about a 2 1/2 hour cruise for Minstrel from our home port, and then we stay tied to the dock for three to four days of fun, fun, fun. With up to 30 or more vessels attending, we do what is called a Mediterranean Moor- docking a boat stern-in as opposed to along-side, and anchoring the bow – to fit in as many boats as possible.  The marina is very accommodating to us, but we need to reserve a year in advance. We also reserve one of the restored historical cabins where the humans hold their potluck dinners and other social activities.

This is the time when all the boat dogs really get to know and socialize with each other. They are very well behaved around me but do I get a little overwhelmed being one of the few boat cats. There are four of us now, but the one called Bela, who I’ve met, doesn’t always come with her humans, and then when she does, she mostly stays inside the boat. Polo, and Lucy who I peeked in on this summer, are the other two but they never come out either.

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Yes Blaze the boxer, I know you are there.

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Blaze the Boxer curious about meow.

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Meow curious about Shylo the Border Collie

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Chairs provide good cover.

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Chilling out under the dock chairs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was so looking forward to going on this Labour Day cruise last weekend but unfortunately I didn’t get to go. The humans almost didn’t either because one of Minstrels cats was broken. At the last minute the humans decided they could rent a cabin at the marina but because of some stupid human rule, cats weren’t allowed. So with guilt in their eyes, and Jester the dinghy on a trailer in tow, the humans headed off to catch the Ferry without me.

I know it wasn’t entirely their fault but I was not happy being left home with the she-devil and her human. On the day the humans were to come home, the human son opened the door and I was ready. Out I went. He and some other humans tried to find me but I hid really well. However, much to my worried human’s relief, and mine, I recognized the sound of the their vehicle when they finally got home and I came out of hiding to greet them. And to make it all better, human dad brought me back a crab. Meowee!

Until our next cruise, here are a few photos of me at this marina from some of our past cruises. Paw paw for now.

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Trying to be part of the dock party.

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Magic Monday – Mobile Photography Editing & Processing

The magic of instant effect generators takes a ho-hum or flawed photo and transforms it into something unexpected and unusual. What I like about these types of apps is that at each tap of your pad (or human finger), effects, overlays and borders randomly apply themselves. Instantly. Right on your phone. Meowee, over 2 million possible combinations can make it a real challenge to like just one. So for Sally’s Mobile Photography Challenge this week, we used the same photo with two different outcomes. There are several apps that do this but the one we’ve been using is called Pixlr-o-matic, and is free to download to your iPhone, and probably Android too but we don’t use them to know fur shore. Hipstamatic is another as is Snapseed.

iphoneartoriginalI must have tapped about a hundred times until I decided on the looks I liked best for this photo. You can also makes minor tweaks to change any element of the combo. This ho-hum photo is of meow sitting on the stern rail where the prawn puller gets attached. I was trying to give the humans a hint. Turns out i didn’t have to try too hard; they managed to haul up almost 500 of them overall this cruise. Behind me is doggy-doo island in Squirrel Cove on Cortes Island that the humans took me to play on. As my nickname for it implied you had to be careful where you stepped and that didn’t impress meow much, and I just wanted to go back to Minstrel. The camera focused more on the island than meow so I’m a little blurry. A little insta-magic editing made the save.

In the first photo, the effect is called “Greg“. All the effects have people’s names and they are supposed to set the mood of the photo. The overlay is called “Rain“. It was actually was raining that day. Thirdly the frame is called “Sloppy“. The result? Kind of a pop artish look don’t you think?

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For the next photo, a few more taps and we have the “Lucas” effect, “Morning” overlay, and “Sand” frame. Seems to give it a bit of a washed out retro feel.

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So many looks, so little time. What phone photo editing apps are you using?

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