Weekend Open Thread

image4Good morning! If you’ve had a stressful week, I’ve got a nice selection of kitties for you to cuddle. They’re neatly organized by personality, starting with aloof and blasΓ© at the top, ranging through detached and indifferent, and reserved and standoffish down at the bottom.

So grab a kitty and talk about whatever you wanna!

Thanks to sender-inner Cheryl S. for the picture.

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90 thoughts on “Weekend Open Thread

  1. Smartypants June 25, 2016 / 10:06 am

    Remember “cats ‘n’ racks”? This is “Cats in stacks”!

    • Murray C. June 25, 2016 / 10:25 am

      HAH! Good one.

    • allein June 25, 2016 / 12:24 pm

  2. Gigi_the cat lady June 25, 2016 / 10:26 am

    The kitchen is clean, floor washed and I scrubbed all the counter tops (even behind the microwave) now I’m out to enjoy the day, it’s sunny and not too hot a perfect summer day.
    Hope everyone as a great day!

    • allein June 25, 2016 / 10:31 am

      Today I have to do some chores. Tomorrow is a birthday party for my parents’ friend.

    • Murray C. June 25, 2016 / 10:51 am

      Well, I’m impressed. I did part of my kitchen floor last night while I made nut bars for a party tonight. Now it’s out into the garden. I’m late, but I don’t sleep well because of a rotator cuff tear that will probably have to be repaired some time in August. Been through the whole gamut of doctoring, physical therapying, not to mention HURTING. Worst part is that painting (as in water color/ artsy sort o’ stuff) is even more painful that pulling weeds. Is the fate trying to tell me something????πŸ€”

      (Also, I am a night owl.)

      • Mich Patt June 25, 2016 / 11:10 am

        I *really* hope the cuff tear surgery brings you a measure of relief. Living with long-term pain, especially the kind that limit the activities you enjoy, really sucks. Wish there was something we could do to help!

        • Murray C. June 25, 2016 / 1:38 pm

          Thank you, Mich. I get so much joy from this blog that it goes a long way to making life extra pleasant. Mike has attracted a genial gang here.

      • Murray C. June 25, 2016 / 1:41 pm

        I LOVE the greedy little “Uriah Heep” (Heap???) hands at the end. He deserves a treat – it was obviously difficult for him to swing that broom around.

  3. allein June 25, 2016 / 10:27 am

    I dunno…the top and bottom selections seem to be challenging us. I think I’ll take the black kitty in the blue bin.. or maybe the second from the top, he looks a bit shy. Oh, what the heck, I’ll take both.

    Here’s something I thought about the other day…what’s the story behind your screen name? Some seem pretty self-explanatory (mine is just my first name) but others not so much.

    • Murray C. June 25, 2016 / 10:51 am

      Is this on the money!

  4. allein June 25, 2016 / 10:48 am

    My other thing I was saving for this thread, for all the history nerds out there: I’ve been working my way through the BBC’s A History of the World in 100 Objects podcasts (which was also a book). They were done in 2010 but the pages are still archived on their website, and the podcasts are also available on iTunes. They’re all just under 15 minutes each, so nothing particularly in-depth, but interesting nonetheless. Here are some I figured would fit in here.

    Swimming reindeer
    Egyptian clay model of cattle
    Basse Yutz Flagons (Ducky!)
    North American otter pipe
    Inca gold llama
    DΓΌrer’s ‘Rhinoceros’
    Kakiemon elephants

    And here’s the whole list .
    (one note, the interactive pictures don’t work anymore; you can only see the thumbnails; if you do a Google image search for the item and ‘British Museum’ you’ll find better images)

    • jerzowa June 25, 2016 / 11:04 am

      I am addicted to the BBC podcasts: the World Book Club, all the documentaries, the Why Factor, In Our Time (YESSS), I can listen to them all the time. Entertaining, amusing, educative, you name it.

      • allein June 25, 2016 / 11:15 am

        In Our Time is the one with Melvyn Bragg, right? I’ve listened to a handful of those. A few weeks ago I watched his Adventure of English series (read the book last year). Maybe I’ll check out some others when I’m done with A History of the World. I have about 25 or so left. I’ve been listening at work all week while waiting for excel to do thousands upon thousands of find and replace operations. While I listen I skim the item’s page and then Google for pictures.

        Ooh, that reminds me, I have to go pick up the book the library is holding for me today.

      • allein June 25, 2016 / 11:22 am

        I’ve also started listening to NPR’s Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me recently. It downloads over the weekend so I listen on my way to work Monday. Makes Monday a little more bearable.

          • allein June 25, 2016 / 11:30 am

            Great minds and all that… I usually have hot chocolate from Starbucks for my ride. I just got a free drink reward; I’ll probably use that on my way to the library today.

            • Murray C. June 25, 2016 / 1:58 pm

              Love that show – listen when I can, usually just a matter of catching it when I’m home. Tho’ I have sat in a parking lot or in the driveway waiting for the punchline or to see which story is the real one. I want to know who writes the non-real series that seem so outrageous but semi-plausible

              • Duckie June 26, 2016 / 12:36 am

                NTMTOM, obviously.

        • amyliz June 25, 2016 / 5:14 pm

          I love Wait, Wait! Today I also listened to some Moth Radio Hour podcasts while doing housework. You never what kind of stories you will hear; funny, touching, amazing, sometimes downright weird! They are true stories told live and the audience is always supportive of the story tellers. Very cool!

        • Mariana June 25, 2016 / 6:32 pm

          I’m from oporto, Portugal and have been listening to wait wait and this American life since 2011.
          Am starting to explore into BBC podcasts as well, like the women’s hour. I listen to podcasts while exercising or doing house work.
          Really like invisibilia also.

          • allein June 25, 2016 / 6:43 pm

            Ooh, I heard ads for invisibilia and meant to check it out. Thanks for the reminder!

            If I listen straight through, I can finish A History of the World by about 10:00 tonight.

            • Recherche June 25, 2016 / 10:29 pm

              Invisibilia is really simply to This American Life so if you like one you’ll probably like the other.

              • allein June 25, 2016 / 10:45 pm

                Downloaded a few of each. I’ll listen during the week.

                Just finished up A History of the World in a 100 Objects. Now I’m listening to the latest episode of Backstory with the American History Guys.

      • allein June 25, 2016 / 7:06 pm

        Okay, just downloaded a bunch of Why Factor episodes. Looks interesting. Might go back and look at In Our Time again.

        • Murray C. June 25, 2016 / 11:53 pm

          Is there some link to help one download podcasts? I have not a clue how to go about it – I don’t know which device to use. I have ’em all – iPad, Pod, Phone and Mac. My husband is determined that I should be part of the 21st century. Think kicking and screaming. I don’t even know my cell phone number. All these things you all are talking about sound so interesting I’d love to hear them.

          • allein June 26, 2016 / 12:38 am

            If you have an iPod, I assume you have iTunes on your computer? I just do it through the iTunes store and then sync my iPod (I have an old-ish Nano, which does not connect to the internet itself). Search for the title in the iTunes store and you can download specific episodes or subscribe to the podcast and then it’ll download new episodes automatically. I usually get a handful of episodes that sound interesting and listen before deciding if I want to subscribe. (There are other podcast apps and such, like Stitcher, but I’ve never used them.)

            Most shows probably have a website where you can just listen online, too.

            Here is NPR’s list of programs: http://www.npr.org/programs/
            And the BBC: http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts (you can narrow them down by clicking on “categories” at the top of the page).

            I’d also recommend checking out <a href="https://www.radiotopia.fm/"Radiotopia. My favorites are The Memory Palace and 99% Invisible; I also listen to The Allusionist and Radio Diaries.

            Others I listen to: StarTalk Radio with Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Gastropod (about the science and history of food), The Sporkful (about the eating of food), Inquiring Minds (an “in-depth exploration of the places where science, politics, and society collide”), Freakonomics Radio, The Way I Heard It with Mike Rowe (which I just discovered a couple weeks ago and is reminiscent of Paul Harvey’s The Rest of the Story; I like to see if I can figure out who he’s talking about before he gets to the end). Plus a couple that are focused on atheism/religion (The Thinking Atheist and Freethought Radio).

            … Sometimes I listen to music… πŸ˜›

              • Laura June 26, 2016 / 1:43 pm

                I love Radiotopia podcasts. They’re so varied and interesting. And one of the podcasts in their group, Radio Diaries, has a multipart podcast of “Mandela: In His Own Words,” which costs a few bucks but is worth every penny — hearing him speaking as a young man in particular gave me chills. I highly recommend Radio Diaries if you want to learn about all kinds of fascinating people.

              • Murray C. June 26, 2016 / 2:59 pm

                Well, that’s a lot of information, I thank you, Allein. You must be plugged in a good portion of your day? That’s a lot of listening – and wonderful topics.

                • allein June 26, 2016 / 3:13 pm

                  Well, most of them are weekly, but some of them only put out a show every other week, and also take weeks off between seasons, so it’s not like I have a million episodes to listen to every day. Also most are an hour or less, and some are under 20 minutes. (The Mike Rowe one averages about 8 minutes, but that includes him talking about his sponsors and stuff like that, which I pretty much tune out. The actual story part is about 5 minutes. The earlier Memory Palace episodes are mostly 5 minutes or less, but lately they’re more like 15-20, which also includes some sponsor talk. Some of the others vary from 20-40 with the occasional longer episode. And a few are actual radio shows so I know they will generally be about the same length every time.)

                  When I find a new one I often go back and get the older episodes (or just the ones that look most interesting, if there are a lot), but once I catch up then I’m just listening on whatever their schedule is.

                  I listen on my way to and from work (my drive is a little over half an hour), and sometimes at the gym. Depending on what I’m doing, sometimes I can listen while I work. And sometimes on the weekends I’ll listen while I do chores and whatnot. Better than watching mindless TV.

    • Phred's Mom June 25, 2016 / 11:11 am

      Once I get through the post-vacation tidying and laundry
      I will give these a look-see, thanks. We’re still running on
      yesterday’s Tim Horton’s coffee which revved My Mike’s
      engines so that he felt compelled to drive all the way from
      Quebec City to SE Pennsylvania with only a couple of pit
      stops. He is the Energizer Bunny. Today is my turn, water
      plants, put away travel gloomph, pray for rain. The weather
      up Nawth was perfect summer: highest temp 80F, low humidity,
      beautiful puffy clouds. I envy you your Summers, Gigi.

      • allein June 25, 2016 / 11:17 am

        Last night they were saying there’s supposed to be rain during the week (that’s from the New York City ABC station).

      • Murray C. June 25, 2016 / 1:54 pm

        Glad you had a great time – that IS a lot of driving – wow. Yes! I hope we get rain soon. We’re in a 1″ deficit now in the Philly area and it’s only June. I don’t relish having to keep watering all season.

        • Phred's Mom June 25, 2016 / 2:55 pm

          All the rivers and streams we saw on our trip
          (except for the St Laurence, of course!) looked
          pretty low, if not down to a trickle. Canada and
          New England are in a rain deficit as well as the
          Philly area. I have some guilt over watering my
          little lawn here, but the poor thing is starting to
          look like cornflakes. I will try to be wise with it
          and use grey water as much as possible for plants.

          • Phred's Mom June 25, 2016 / 2:58 pm

            Energizer Bunny is taking his second nap.
            Wore himself out driving. Knew he would.
            Tim Horton’s should be a controlled substance.

      • Gigi_the cat lady June 25, 2016 / 2:56 pm

        I’m really glad you enjoyed Quebec Phred’s mom. You were lucky weather wise, we do get high humidity and very hot temperatures but it’s usually later in the season. I’m not a big coffee drinker myself but I have had a few double-double from Tim’s in my life and they bo pack a punch. πŸ˜„

      • allein June 26, 2016 / 1:12 am

        lol, “Post-Catatonic era”

        That’s great.

        • Murray C. June 26, 2016 / 3:01 pm

          Hee, Hee, funny!

  5. Mich Patt June 25, 2016 / 11:08 am

    We’re finally off to see Finding Dory in a matinee showing this afternoon after a lovely Greek lunch. Gardening this weekend too as we’ve got a condo unit for sale in the building so I like to subtly influence prospective buyers with a super, duper tidy yard.

    @Allein: Screen name has flipped from first name w/last initial to first four letters of first name and surname. I changed email addresses recently so thought I’d change my username too.

    And thanks for the BBC podcast idea! Hubster and I LOVE anything BBC. Sometimes cheeky, sometimes serious, but always good quality.

    • dubravkamcvmd June 25, 2016 / 11:46 am

      Enjoy Finding Dory. Hank the seven-legged octopus was my favorite character.

      • Not That Mike The Other Mike June 25, 2016 / 11:57 am

        Hank was Pixar’s most technically complex character. This video shows how they created the Hank model.

        • dubravkamcvmd June 25, 2016 / 12:29 pm

          Thanks. That’s amazing.

        • Murray C. June 25, 2016 / 1:49 pm

          So amazingly wonderful. Just love the detail they get in to when studying creatures. I always loved the Disney animators studying the penguin on a desk ( – not so sure how good that was for the penguin, however).

        • 6rabbits June 26, 2016 / 12:22 am

          That was awesome! (My younger sister had a stuffed octopus with only SIX legs, which we didn’t realize was weird until we were older!)

      • Mich Patt June 26, 2016 / 11:38 am

        We laughed, we cried, and Hank the septapus was our favourite too!

  6. Faye June 25, 2016 / 11:14 am

    I was out of the house at 9. I get my gas near Long Beach, NY. I was determined to get there early to miss beach traffic. Sunny and 75 degrees on Long Island.

    Bank. Gas. Haircut. Home. COFFEE!!
    Now tv and artwork all day. I’m not even going to cook. Ordering enough salads and wraps for today, tonight and tomorrow.

    Sunday: visit with a girlfriend and her two girls 8 and 9. It’s been too long between visits. So I’m looking forward to seeing them. πŸ˜€

    • Murray C. June 25, 2016 / 4:03 pm

      Hey, Faye, how is the artwork coming along? What sorts of things are you doing?

      • Faye June 26, 2016 / 12:21 am

        Hi Murray, Thank you for asking.

        As a matter of fact I finished my third work today.

        I work in technical pens using black ink. Then I add color with professional markers. Usually I draw a sketch in my head and when I can’t stop seeing it I get a preliminary pencil sketch down. So pencil, ink, more pencil, more ink, markers, ink.

        I’m working on a series of autobiographical images from my recurring dreams and therapy. All from PTSD that has improved dramatically over the last two years.

        My therapist literally put a ballpoint pen in my hand one day. And gave me encouragement to not be afraid of what might flow out as I only draw what I think about.

        My technique is coming back and improving too. I’m learning to trust the flow. Very healing.

        • Murray C. June 26, 2016 / 3:05 pm

          I am impressed – I like the idea that it’s coming from the heart and helping you. You have said you went through Hurricane Sandy, so you’ve been through a lot of trauma and upset just in that aspect of your life. I understand art can really channel a course towards well being and I hope it provides that lift for you.

  7. debg June 25, 2016 / 1:29 pm

    Still working on my kitchen. Today it’s sanding the skimcoat on old plaster walls so they’re nice and smooth. Still to come: floor leveling, floor installation, priming and painting before the cabinets show up after 4th of July weekend. (Why AFTER!? Seriously.) Light at the end of the tunnel . . .

    • Phred's Mom June 25, 2016 / 5:08 pm

      Love projects like yours, nest-building and creativity combined.
      Worst part is cleaning up the dust from the sanding. No matter
      what your system, that fine plaster dust seeps into and onto
      everything. Show us the work in progress, please.

      • Debg June 25, 2016 / 8:45 pm

        Wow, does it ever! Can’t wait to scrub down the first floor of the house.

  8. Laura June 25, 2016 / 3:10 pm

    We’re having a quiet day. My husband is off with Melody doing therapy dog visits to two nursing homes, and Sebastian and I have been snuggling. He’s an outstanding snuggler! He’s only allowed up on the furniture if he’s on my lap, so we’ve been relaxing in the recliner. I can still read with him on my lap, but I’m not sure about knitting. I’m sure it will come in time.

    He’s sure a sweet boy. With a LOUD voice for his size! We’d gotten spoiled by Melody, who’s barked so infrequently that we can count the number of times on one hand since we adopted her in December. Sebastian mostly barks at the Evil Mailman or the Vicious Attack Squirrels that use our fence as a highway.

    And Mr. Vet called yesterday to see how he’s doing, and was quite cheerful. So I feel better about the whole situation.

    • Laura June 25, 2016 / 6:15 pm

      And so you can all see and agree with me how adorable he is!

      • allein June 25, 2016 / 6:19 pm

        He seems to be wondering why you are pointing a shiny thing at him instead of petting him.

        Glad the vet seems to be doing okay.

        • Laura June 25, 2016 / 8:33 pm

          He was sitting right next to my husband, who had been petting him up to the moment I took the picture. He is, to use the phrase I used with a previous pup, a real attention slut!

      • Julie June 25, 2016 / 7:27 pm

        YES! He is totes adorbs!!!

      • Murray C. June 25, 2016 / 10:35 pm

        He’s so sweet – those ears must be soft as soft can be.😍

        • Faye June 26, 2016 / 12:26 am

          Gorgeous boy! Looks like a plush toy. I’m a sucker for moist black noses pointed at me.

      • 6rabbits June 26, 2016 / 12:26 am

        Glad Mr. Vet is doing okay, too.

  9. Not That Mike The Other Mike June 25, 2016 / 8:03 pm

    Here’s a funny image related to the recent “Brexit” news. I debated using this in a post and then decided not to. I sure hope all works out as well as possible for my readers over there.

    • fkaWaldenPond June 26, 2016 / 1:00 am

      Since you brought it up…I feel I have been a wet blanket via the commentary commenting these days but this image just about sums me up re world politics and awful events… πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜€

      • fkaWaldenPond June 26, 2016 / 1:10 am

        Or actually, that is a true life stolen image from the security video at work of me arriving to work on a Monday morning. Yup, my secret is out peeps.

      • allein June 26, 2016 / 1:19 am

        That’s not one of those squeaky-toy frogs, is it?

        • Faye June 26, 2016 / 1:32 am

          Frog Trump.

          • allein June 26, 2016 / 1:40 am

            Nah. Frog’s cuter. I’d much rather listen to him squeak, too.

        • fkaWaldenPond June 26, 2016 / 1:54 am

          Although squeaky frog squeaking has the same vocal pitch and demeanor as my boss, gah! that thing is so darn lovable!

          • Murray C. June 26, 2016 / 3:07 pm

            I love how his gullet throbs a bit before he squeaks – looks to me like someone with ill-fitting dentures.😜

  10. allein June 25, 2016 / 8:42 pm

    I went to get my library book, then went to Bed Bath & Beyond, then wandered into PetSmart next door to see the kitties up for adoption. Lots of tiny kittens! I wanted to scoop them all up and take them home. There was one trio of 11 week olds, one black, one gray, and one swirly marmie. All stretched out to maximum length, napping peacefully. Soooo cute!

    • Faye June 26, 2016 / 12:28 am

      Dangerous. Close call.

      • allein June 26, 2016 / 1:16 am

        Good thing you can only get to them from the back or I might have been in trouble.

        “No, that’s not a kitten in my pocket. Why do you ask?”

  11. 6rabbits June 26, 2016 / 12:50 am

    I had a chihuahua encounter!😍 Went to visit friend who has limited walking ability after foot/ankle surgery. Her daughter is staying with her and brought her dog, Elsa, a rescued wawa mix, with her. She is soooo adorable! Looked like chihuahua mostly, but has a rougher type of fur. Elsa was all wound up and yappy, but when she settled down I petted her and then patted my lap and she jumped up! I was surprised she did since I’ve never met her before. She stayed draped over my lap while I massaged her leetle bat ears and stroked her tummy. After about an hour, my friend broke off talking and said “You’re the dog whisperer!” She couldn’t believe Elsa was was so content and relaxed. So I said, “She doesn’t sit like this with you guys?” Friend said Elsa would jump on their laps, but would shiver/shake the whole time and not stay long. She stayed on my lap for about an hour and a half 😘, until she heard my friend’s husband come home, and had to greet him with bouncing and barking. Wish I had taken a picture of her!😊

    • allein June 26, 2016 / 1:15 am

      I’m jealous! Pablo was a total lap dog, but he would sit with anyone. My ex made a point of bringing him around people as much as he could and just handing him off to anyone who wanted to hold him when he was a puppy, so he would get used to people. He still had his favorites (me!) but if I had to get up I could give him to my mom or dad and he would just curl up right up with them until I came back.

      • 6rabbits June 26, 2016 / 9:39 am

        If I didn’t already have 2 rabbits, I would have snuck her home in my purse!

        • Laura June 26, 2016 / 1:58 pm

          I’ve never met a calm wawa, I don’t think. My niece had a sweet wawa mix she found wandering the parking lot, Sadie, who lived a long and spoiled life, but calm was not a word you could apply to her. At least she wasn’t yappy!

          Sebastian is a wannabe lapdog. I asked his former human, Catherine, if he plays with toys, and she said no, he likes people, napping, and cuddles. Silly creature! She’s coming to visit him this week — we of course gave her visitation rights — so it’ll be interesting to see how he responds to her. He’s settling in nicely; he and Melody just went chasing around the house together. Yay, they acknowledged each other’s existence! That was a first. I think they’re going to be good friends eventually.

          • allein June 26, 2016 / 2:10 pm

            Pablo was pretty calm. He rarely barked (and when he did, I think he was as surprised as the rest of us), and if there was a lap and a blanket to curl up in, he was happy. (He wasn’t much for playing with toys, either.) He didn’t even need a leash for walks. He’d just kind of meander and it was easy to grab him. (Though of course I had him on a leash outside of my parents’ yard.)

            Glad the new addition is settling in so nicely! πŸ™‚

  12. Em June 26, 2016 / 1:59 am

    I went for a hike and did a little bird photography in one of my favorite spots along the Pt. Reyes National seashore. Best photo of the day was probably a California quail. Came home and looked forward to reading everyone’s posts!

    • Murray C. June 26, 2016 / 3:11 pm

      I love Point Reyes – been many moons since I’ve been there – back in the early ’70’s! Egad, hard to believe – as the song goes “Ain’t It Funny How Time Slips Away”.

    • Laura June 26, 2016 / 3:48 pm

      That is a beautiful coast. I love the California coast in general — it’s so varied, but all of it is so beautiful! I grew up with the cold coasts of Washington and Oregon, and I still find the warm coasts in Floriduh to be odd. Post some of your photos if you can figure out how to shrink them to fit Mike’s 50 kb requirement, or better yet, send them to Mike to see what he can do with them. I suspect it would be, uh, interesting. πŸ˜€

      • Em June 26, 2016 / 6:44 pm

        Hi Laura and Murray, I sent Mike my best photo of the day, so with luck you’ll see it. A drive out to the coast always helps me think, so I go there often. Many of the counter-cultural parts of the coast are still there, perhaps not as it was in the 70’s, but I’ll bet you’ll see elements of it in towns like Bolinas, Pt. Reyes Station, and Fairfax.

        • Murray C. June 26, 2016 / 8:35 pm

          I had friends who lived in Fairfax, Truth to tell, a group of us from the Philly area all came out to California together, 10 of us, a dog, two cats, 3 motorcycles, an MG, and all the worldly goods of the couple who ended up in Fairfax. I think it took us 6 weeks to make the trip, traveling the southern route because the old school bus they had bought was pretty creaky and wouldn’t have managed the mountains. Basically it had no brakes except for the emergency brake. It was, as you may imagine, an adventure, and if my mother had had an inkling of what all went on she would’ve expired on the spot. Ah, youth.

          • Faye June 26, 2016 / 9:47 pm

            The good young days. 😊

          • fkaWaldenPond June 26, 2016 / 9:54 pm

            Haaa!, I dated a fella who drove an MG and its brakes were always failing– he would rely on opening the door, using his foot while using the emergency brake to slide into a parking spot. I called it the ‘Fred Flintstone’.

            • Murray C. June 26, 2016 / 10:17 pm


          • Em June 26, 2016 / 11:46 pm

            Murray C, I’m often out there and have many photos of that little town. Perhaps if I take a good one, I’ll post it on one of our upcoming weekend cyber meet-ups.

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