Thursday, September 29, 2011

Fatman and the Cat: Or the Kitten Bests Dr. Lobo

This will go down as another family saga.

Day One: Mamma Bear is awakened by high pitched meows outside the window.
Mamma Bear is a Cat Lady (she has 4 cats, I say that qualifies her, she claims it takes 5 cats to qualify). Later in the day a tiny black kitten is observed hollering on the patio. Kitten runs under the door to the storage shed via the large crack that has not been repaired since 2004.

Day two. Same scene and scenario.

Day three: Mamma Bear flies off on an airplane (wanted to make that clear lest you think she had a rug or a broom) to see her daughter in Denver. Leaving Fatman and Dr. Lobo in charge of kitten capture operations.

Day four: Rather night four, Fatman chases kitten around the yard but said vermin is too small and too fast for him.

Day five: Dr. Lobo retrieves Hava-Heart live trap from his workshop and sets it up with cat food on trip plate. Here the real fun begins.

The trouble is that the kitten is very small and lite. So lite, that he eats all of the food off the trap trip and leaves the trap empty and un-sprung.

Fatman was once a farmer. So the farmer method is employed by him next.

Yes, of course, he put cat food under a laundry basket propped up with an old hammer handle to which is tied a long string leading across the patio and through the kitchen door where he sat drinking a diet Dr. Pepper and waiting for the kitten to appear under the basket so he could pull the string and capture it.

First problem was the other cats. They like cat food too.

So he replaced it and set the trap again. The kitten appeared at the crack under the door, hissed and ran back into the shed.

But hunger overcomes caution.

The kitten gets bolder and comes closer to the trap.
Fatman pulls the string and the kitten jumps back and the basket misses.

Fatman tries two more times. On effort #3 he is successful. The kitten is trapped under the basket. But Fatman is fat and Fatman is slow. So as he is bent over attempting to extract the kitten from beneath the basket he falls over and the kitten escapes.

Finally Dr. Lobo comes back with a now well oiled and clean Hava-Heart trap and re-sets it with the food on the far side of the trip plate so the kitty will have to put more pressure on it. Success at last and kitty is caught and then transferred to the cat carrier jail cell prepared for it.

So after using a flea comb to remove 36 fleas from the baby cat, and a general clean up we have a five to six week old solid black female kitten.

Day seven: Dr. Lobo keeps the kitten until Mamma Bear returns. He fully intended to immediately take the cat to a no-kill shelter. Nope. We will keep her and find a home for her ourselves, says Mamma Bear (A.K.A. Okiebookwoman).

Day eight: Please, is there not someone person (acceptable to Mamma Bear) in the OKC area that wants a cute kitten?

Day ten: Will someone save me from the fifth cat please.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Rail Fan No More

As I neared retirement one of the things on my To-Do List was to visit several active railroads in the United States and photograph trains. I had loved trains all my life, and since 1984 had actively engaged in in what's call in America as Rail-fanning. My children grew up chasing trains and waiting by the railroad tracks waiting for the right locomotive to come by so I could take its picture. Indeed my youngest child appears in hundreds of train photographs. In fact there are few pictures of him other than with a train. I used to stand by the tracks for hours at a time to get the shots I wanted. I have many albums full of train pictures I have taken, and box after box after box of loose pictures and negatives of trains.

I retired in January 2002. I didn't buy that pickup with a camper to go train chasing and camping out on trips to catch my favorite Santa Fe R.R. trains in classic places through out the West. In fact I have taken only a few train pictures since I retired. Things change it seems.

One of the consequences of 9-11 was that we began to see terrorist everywhere all the time. Every want-to-be little fascist realized their fondest dreams. Everybody was the enemy. So standing alone by a railroad track with a camera became risky business. Not only did every law enforcement officer that came by legitimately check on you, but many illegitimately told you it was not legal to do what you damn well knew was legal. But to argue with a cop is not wise, especially when they have an obvious tumescent ego involved. What was worse was the non-cop-non-railroad worker security people and general screwballs. People who had no business nor authority to even talk to you who were bound and determined to save America from your photography lest you be a terrorist or some fool who might give terrorist your pictures.

So my days of quite and solitude waiting by the railroad tracks on some windswept rock in Western America were no longer fun. In fact they actually seemed dangerous after a while. So I finally stopped photographing trains in the wild and have to content myself with those that are dead and on display or of those running free as I drive down the road with my windows down and camera inside the car secretly catching their image.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

See Dick, See Jane, See Their Spot ?

Dick and Jane's Spot
Art for the heart, from the heart, in the heart of Washington
101 North Pearl St • Ellensburg,WA 98926

Serendipity is always welcome on a trip. You drive off the highway looking for a local cafe and then you run into Dick & Jane's Spot.

Caught a glimpse of it out of the corner of my eye as we drove into downtown. It was a block off the main street but I had to turn around and go see what it was. Wow! I could hear my wife's moans of regret.

Call it folk art, or assemblies, junk art, or a neighbors greatest nightmare, it is very very unusual.

Some of the most creative uses of everyday things I've seen.

So, how much of this can I use to inspire my own back-back yard creations?

All of it he says....

This is one of my favorites.

Yes. I have some bicycle wheels.

Old reflectors? Yep, got some of those.

Hub caps? Just so happens I have just about a dozen or so.

Now these i don't have. hummm...

I can do this one too.

Bottle caps? uhuh, I got 'em.

I'm going to need more wheels though.

Bottle trees yes, that's great.

May need more bottle caps too.

If I keep it all lower than my 7 ft fence the OKC Neighborhood Code Enforcement people will never see it. Beside it is freedom of speech, right?

Sunday, September 4, 2011


It is August 2010 in the high country of Colorado, out on the porch are two hummingbird feeders. The light is bright but the feeders are in shadow.

This guys as a meal in his beak.

Say dude whatcha doing in my territory.