Archive for December, 2010

Bun’s Birthday Toy

Dec 31st, 2010 Posted in Papillons | no comment »

Bun picked a blue squeeky kitty cat out of the Big Toy Box for his birthday.   We have a big box of toys in the closet and the dogs (that play with toys) get to pick a toy of their choice out of it on special occasions.   The dogs that do not play with toys get something else on special occasions.  For example, Polo likes to have a cheeseburger from McDonald’s on his special days 😉

Anyway, here is Bun with his special day choice.

Happy Birthday Paxton!

Dec 31st, 2010 Posted in Papillons | no comment »

Our New Year’s (eve) Baby is 3 today!   It seems like just yesterday that Grandma Anna was dropping him on his head 😉

Happy Birthday Bun!

Movie Remakes

Dec 28th, 2010 Posted in General Musings | no comment »

Since there are no original ideas coming out of Hollywood anymore and everything now days is just remakes, all my favorite movies are being remade.  Some of them have been pretty well and some have been total misses, in my opinion.

The original Halloween with Jamie Lee Curtis is, of course, a cult classic horror film and one of my favorites.   That franchise has been pretty much done to death and any true fan doesn’t even acknowledge Halloween 3: Season of the Witch.

So when Rob Zombie remade Halloween, I was dubious at best, but could not resist.  I had actually not seen any other of Zombie’s previous movies, so didn’t know what to expect, but we decided to bite the bullet and actually see the Rob Zombie version of Halloween in the theater.

I actually liked it quite well.   He kept the same characters, but gave them a bit of a different back story and went more into detail on that back story and I enjoyed it.

His remake of Halloween II was ok, but I wasn’t that big of a fan of the original Halloween II so he didn’t have too big of a hurdle to get over there with me.

The remake of Friday the 13th was not too bad.  There is not much to work with there, since it’s pretty much a true slasher flick, though it does have some back story, which the remake handled well.  It also had Jared Padalecki (Supernatural) and Danielle Panabaker (Mr. Brooks) in it, who I like so it got bonus points for that alone.

That brings us to A Nightmare on Elm Street, which is one of my very favorite horror movies of all time.  Wes Craven did an amazing job on the original, in my opinion and I will give anything that Craven does a watch as a result.   I don’t always like his movies, but I will always watch at least once.

The remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street was directed by Samuel Bayer and it was beyond disappointing.   In fact, it really wasn’t a remake by my definition so much as it was A Nightmare on Elm Street X (or whatever number they would be up to now).   John called it A Nightmare on Elm Street 1.5 because he felt like it was more like the original than I did, I guess.

I expected it to be more like Rob Zombie’s Halloween remake.  The same characters with a revamped story.  The remake did sort of have 2 of the most iconic scenes…sort of.  One of them was cut much shorter so it had much less impact and by the time the other one rolled around, I was so disappointed in the movie and it just felt like it was trying to use popular stuff from the first one to save it.

The Freddy in the remake was dreadful, as well.   I am not sure what they could have done, but if you are going to remake Freddy freaking Krueger, he needs to sound scary!   The actor who played him,  Jackie Earl Haley, we just saw in Shutter Island and he was fine in that.    I don’t think he’s a bad actor.  He’s just not Freddy 🙁

I’m glad we didn’t go to this one in the theater.  The only thing good would have (potentially) been the $12 popcorn!

Otter Painting

Dec 27th, 2010 Posted in Cats | no comment »

So I decided to go with a painting of Otter for John’s Christmas painting gift.   It’s hard to decide what pet to get done, but I’ve been kind of alternating a passed over pet with a still living one.  Fortunately, we haven’t lost too many guys so far *touch wood*

Otter was my cat for about 4 years before I moved out here, but it took her about 5 minutes to decide that she was John’s cat.   I’m not bitter…much…over her decision.  It was merely foreshadowing for what was to be a pattern for every pet we have had since then, expect for Cajun.  John can’t win Cajun over from the Dark Side no matter what he does…muahhahah!

We lost Otter suddenly a couple years ago and only 3 days after we lost Zach and it was a very, very hard time.  Otter was my “heart cat” and it was really hard on me.   It’s only been recently that I have been able to look at pictures of her without bursting into tears (and that is still not always possible).  I still miss her a lot.   Parker is very Otterlike, which I think helps some, but no one will ever completely replace Otter.

Nancy did a great job with the painting.   The dog paintings we have done head shots of, but I had a photo of Otter that was taken soon after I moved here that has always been my favorite of her and it required the full body to be in the shot.   I sent several photos to Nancy and she agreed that the photo was the best one, so it was the one we decided to go with.

Riley Helps

Dec 26th, 2010 Posted in Cats | no comment »

Riley, has many titles here.  She is very hard working!  One of her titles is Supervisory Agent Riles.  She dons this “hat” anytime John is doing something that she deems needs her “help.” This  is pretty much everything he does, because he can’t be trusted to do anything right, without Supervisory Agent Riles help, of course.   Parker is Assistant Supervisory Agent Parker, for the record.  Sometimes, tasks are deemed to low on the totem pole for actual Supervisory Agent overseeing so Riles sends Parker in her place 😉

Yesterday after we opened presents, John was transferring the tree ornaments out of the bag we had kept them in for years which was falling apart, into a nice box that some gifts had been shipped in and of course this meant that he needed supervision!

Here is Riley helping him:

As you can see, he would never have been able to accomplish his task without Riley’s expert help.  I’m not sure how we managed to get anything done in this house before we got the kittens 😉

Danger Cat

Dec 25th, 2010 Posted in Cats | no comment »

None of the dogs or cats are allowed in the laundry room.  Cats are definitely not allowed in the laundry room.  Riley a/k/a Danger Cat is ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY not allowed in the laundry room!

Riley, of course, views entry into the laundry room as a right and looooves being in the laundry room.   The door knob fell off a while back and we haven’t fixed it yet, so the door doesn’t shut tight and she likes to push it open and go in there at leisure.   Once, when John was gone to Pittsburgh, I discovered she had gone in and knocked over a brand new container of dog chewies, which the dogs proceeded to have a merry time with, of course.

John sent me this picture today and now you know why cats are not allowed in the laundry room!

Merry Christmas, Season’s Greetings, Happy Holidays, Merry Festivus, etc etc etc.

Dec 24th, 2010 Posted in General Musings | no comment »

Happy Whatever You Celebrate or don’t celebrate this time of year 🙂


Towal (pronounced toll)

Dec 23rd, 2010 Posted in General Musings | no comment »

I was named after a (flooded) railroad station (stop).  I had always thought it flooded several years after my birth, so around 1969 and to be honest, even as much as I am online, I never really had done a whole lot of research into the origin of my name.

Some years ago, I had come to believe that the story I had been given as a child for the reason I was named after the railroad stop was a bit…sanitized..to make it a bit more “family friendly” and I guess I had just never really given it a whole lot of thought.  When people asked the origin of my name, I gave them the story I was told, sometimes with my feelings added about why I thought it may not be the entire story, sometimes not (depending on who it was that asked).

Since the stop was flooded many years ago, it has not been listed on maps, essentially the entirety of my lifetime.  This has always made me kind of sad because being named after a specific place, it would be nice to be able to actually show people, particularly since it is an unusual name.    My great aunt, did find an atlas many years ago in her attic that had it listed, but during the course of several moves, I had lost the atlas page 🙁

A week or so ago, I was talking to a friend on the phone and he, in turn, was talking to someone on IM who asked about my name.   I wasn’t doing anything at the time and for some reason, I decided to see what I could find on the internet regarding Towal, Washington, my namesake.

First, I was excited to see that not only did mapquest have it listed in their map, but they actually show it being underwater…how accurate!

(click to enlarge)

I also found mention of it on a page talking about the North Bank Railroad Centennial:

When the North Bank line first opened there were 43 regular stops for trains, besides numerous flag stops. Beginning at Vancouver and heading eastward the list of stations were: Image, Fisher, Bourne, Seal, Cruzatt, Butler, Cascades, Stevenson,Ash, Collins, Cooks, Hood, Bingen, Villa, Lyle, Skadat, Grandalles, Spedis, Avery, Timms, Columbus, Cliffs, Towal, Harbin, Fountain, Sanda,  Roosevelt, Moonax, McCredie, Carley, Luzon, Sage, Patterson, Coolidge, Gravel, Plymouth, Colbia, Mottinger, Tomar, Yellepit, Hover and Finley. A “flag stop” meant that someone would “flag” the train to stop if there were passengers needing to ride.

I did find a photo of an archaeological dig from prior to the flood here: http://www.columbiariverman.com/Page6/wst_page6.html (you have to scroll down about 1/2 way to picture 14). That gave me a clue when it mentioned the John Day dam flood.

I always thought the flood was in 1969, but according to this it was actually before I was born in April 1967 (I was born in Sept).

I also found this article: http://www.ccrh.org/comm/umatilla/primary/relocate.htm

It doesn’t talk about Towal specifically, but does talk about how they had to relocate towns/roads/railroad stations in the surrounding area when they began construction of the John Day dam, which I thought was interesting and I’m sure that Towal was one of the involved areas, given that when the dam did flood, it was flooded.

I wonder if I can contact the railroad for any historical information on the station/area.   I may check into that at some point.

Patient Parker

Dec 22nd, 2010 Posted in Cats, Crafts | no comment »

So I mentioned that I was crocheting a lot again.  After I posted the hat pictures on facebook, (which was actually quite a while before I got around to blogging about it.  Yes, I am a bad blogger.  I’m working on it!) Anna’s daughter asked why I hadn’t made a sweater for her dog.   The most obvious answer was that I didn’t know she wanted a sweater for her dog 😛   I had never crocheted a dog sweater before, so I set out to find a pattern.

There are a ton of them online, but none of them were exactly what I wanted to make, but I did find one that looked kind of promising so I decided to give it a go.   None of my dogs wanted to model, but Parker (who NEVER disappoints) was laying around minding her own business.  A mistake I am sure she still regrets 😉

I sent the pictures to Anna and she had some suggestions for changes she would like for her dog, Lilly.  So I did a test sweater with those changes and sent them to her for sizing before I made a “real” (ie: pretty) sweater for her.   Here is Parker wearing the test version (who didn’t learn after the first laying around minding her own business episode):

Here is Lilly:

Turner Painting

Dec 21st, 2010 Posted in Papillons | no comment »

After the great job Nancy did with Zach, I decided to have Mr. Turner done for John’s birthday.   This one was a bit harder to choose the photo for since we have had Turner since he was a puppy, but I had 2 pictures in mind that were favorites of both mine and John’s.  Nancy was helpful in picking which she thought would look better for the painting and also which would work best hanging next to the painting of Zach.

My idea was to hang the paintings next to each other down the hallway, but once we got them we have ended up hanging them in the office where we spend the most time so we can look at them all the time.   We are going to end up having to move some other stuff we have hanging on the walls in here to make room for paintings because I have plans to continue to get paintings for John until I run out of pets!    They are such a great way to commemorate our guys and it’s so much better than another t-shirt!!!!!

Here is the fabulous Mr. Turner and once again the painting is so much better in person.