Happy Halloween, Twenty Fifteen

halloween2015purrsea

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

=^,,^=

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!

Purrsea_O_Lantern

 

This is a blog hop.

Click here to see more and join in the fun!

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.

 

492

=^,,^=

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.

=^,,^=


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.

Continue reading

A Tweet For Volunteers

I was having a such a peaceful little cat nap when I was rudely woken by a little birdie tweeting loudly in my ear. Seems my human left the laptop open and I fell asleep on the keyboard after a little internet surfing that ended on Twitter. Glancing sideways at the screen unamused, my ears perked to attention when I recognized the above quote was tweeted by the Canadian Power & Sail Squadrons (CPS).

My humans are members of CPS; volunteers themselves for the past eight years now. They know full well the countless unpaid hours that they and the other dedicated volunteers have put into increasing awareness and knowledge of safe boating. Untold time and energy is invested into educating and training members and the general public, fostering fellowship among members, and establishing partnerships and alliances with organizations and agencies harbouring boating interests.

I rarely volunteer any of my tricks without receiving some kind of treat for doing them, but for humans, if not for the money, why do they do it? Apparently humans have deeper needs so they volunteer for an endless variety of reasons such as to:

  • gain experience,
  • acquire new skills,
  • meet new humans,
  • expand their network of contacts as a way to get a new job or start a career,
  • give back to their community,
  • help a friend,
  • promote a worthwhile activity,
  • feel good.

IMG_2771

Last week our squadron hosted a local shoreline cleanup event registered with the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup which is one of the largest environmental activities in Canada, and third largest in the world. Leading by example, my humans along with many other CPS members making up the over 50,000 Canadian volunteers, removed in a combined effort approximately 140,000 kgs of shoreline litter before it could get into the water. Meowee, aquatic life everywhere thanks you!

Whether discarded accidentally or deliberately, all shoreline litter is the result of human activities. Have you ever visited a beach the day after a public event such as a fireworks show? It’s disgusting! The amount of garbage left behind is staggering, and some of it ends up in the water by wind or wave before any cleanup efforts can get underway. Shoreline litter can significantly alter the sensitive balance of ecosystems and is particularly dangerous for marine life by way of entanglement and ingestion, which can lead to restricted movement, injuries, and even death by drowning, suffocation or starvation. Marine debris is a problem for all of us. It affects everything from the environment to the economy; from fishing and navigation to human health and safety; from microscopic plankton to giant blue whales.

It’s seems quite strange to me that garbage is made up of items humans consider worthless. However, according to a survey from a litter study in 2009, it costs over 11 billion dollars in cleanup and abatements…every year! That’s just in the United States of America alone, and Canada can’t really be all that different, never mind all the other countries in the world wherever humans live. I’ve also learned that the oceans have toilet bowls the size of Texas containing confetti size plastic bits and other debris that just won’t flush. Yes plural because there are apparently about five or six of them around the globe. I really don’t think there’s enough money in the world to pay for it’s clean up let alone the cost of repairs the damage it’s presence is causing. Now more than ever, all humans need to voluntarily clean up their act, and that my furiends would truly be priceless.

=^,,^=


Writing 101 Day 5: One of the goals of Writing 101 is to tap into new and unexpected places for post ideas. Today, let’s look to Twitter for inspiration. Today, write a response to a tweet. Shape your post in any way you choose — agree or disagree with the tweet, or use it as a starting point for a story, personal essay, poem, or something else. Visit Twitter.com and enter #quotes in the search field, which will display tweets with this hashtag. Find a tweet that intrigues you.

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.

geocache

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.

=^,,^=


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.

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?

iphoneart1

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.

iphoneart4

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

=^,,^=

Finally A Furiend in Garden Bay

IMG_3327After considerable scrutiny upon our arrival I was satisfied that the dock master had given us a suitable spot. A welcoming committee was waiting to help secure Minstrel to her starboard side dock assignment. The fleet had all returned and regrouped once again at Garden Bay Marina in Pender Harbour for the last two days of the cruise before heading home.

After we were plugged and settled in, human dad left to set out the crab traps. Meowee, crab! Now wouldn’t that be a special treat to end the cruise with.

IMG_3338IMG_3339Remember on day two when I was looking for a furiend in Garden Bay? Well guess who’s here? Tucker! Tucker likes kitties, and I like him, so I immediately jumped off the boat onto the dock to say hi to my old furiend. The teddy-bear faced bichon frise is getting along in years but is still very photogenic and has been featured in the squadron’s past three annual Pets and Wildlife calendars that human mom has printed. I’m in this years too, of course. I can show you the 2013 photos that have been uploaded to Flickr where you can meet some of my other squadron furiends. I’ve got to get the 2014 photos uploaded soon, which has been on my “to do” list since January. Does that list ever get done!

=^,,^=