Wednesday, December 29, 2010


Day 344 - R2D2

Hello. My name is Fermicat. I'm 44 years old, and rockin' my new Star Wars phone. Too nerdy? I don't care. Santa brought me the Motorola DROID R2-D2 and I love it. I even got a clear cover so the R2-D2 design on the back surface remains visible.

I developed an obsession with The Empire Strikes Back when I was 14 and apparently never quite got over it. Fast forward thirty years. When I saw that there was an R2-D2 version of the DROID 2, that finally settled the question of which smart phone to go with.

It is almost unbelievable what these phones will do. (Yes, it is my first smart phone. Can you tell?) I've had a blast downloading apps. Compass? Check. GPS tool? Check. Route tracker with offline topo maps? Check. Interactive sky map? Check. Scientific calculator? Check. Barcode scanner? Check. Pandora? Check. Forum reading app? Check. IMDB, movies, sports tap, shazam, twitter, Earth, photoshop, NPR news widget, traffic reporter, trip advisor, navigator? Checkcheckcheck... Hell, I even downloaded a lightsaber. And with a little luck, I could probably shut down all the garbage mashers on the detention level. That'll come in handy if I ever need to escape the Death Star.

The Force will be with me, always. Or at least until my contract runs out.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry, Merry!

Day 338 - Lights

Happy Christmas from Fermi and her cats. PDM, too.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Night Owls Rejoice!

A total lunar eclipse ushers in the winter solstice tonight. Will be visible throughout USA, although a bit on the late side for us east coast people. Main part of the show starts at 2:40am EST, maximum of eclipse 3:17am EST (blood red moon! cool!), end of totality 3:53am EST. Always a good show.

Here is a bad photo of the February 20, 2008 eclipse (with Regulus and Saturn as part of the dance) I shot with my old point-n-shoot camera hand held behind my binoculars:

Eclipsed Moon with Regulus and Saturn

It is tempting to stay up tonight and try again with the DSLR. Or maybe just set my alarm to catch the peak. Hmmmmm.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

No cookies for you.

Trader Joe's finally let me down. No Candy Cane Joe Joes? No Dark Chocolate Stars? For whatever reason, TJ's doesn't have my favorite holiday cookies this year. Bah, humbug! That just ain't right.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Almost Forgot

It's Friday again. Merry Weekend!

Day 335 - Pensive

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


The usual extent of my do-gooding is to give away money. We enjoy supporting various causes that we care about and think are worthwhile. We make it a point to do this regularly. It is satisfying to some extent, but kind of feels like a cop out sometimes. It's easy for us to give away money. We are fortunate to have a very comfortable surplus. It is not so easy to give away your time, so I usually don't.

But for some reason when the latest opportunity arose (a charitable activity sponsored by my department at work), I decided to give my usual amount of money but also volunteered to do a share of the actual work involved to make things happen. I've gotta say - even though this is a very busy time of year and I had to carve out a couple of my evenings to work on the thing, it was a good experience and I enjoyed doing it. The doing was a bit more satisfying than the donating. I think I might try a bit more of both in the coming year.

Monday, December 06, 2010

It's a boy!

Good thing we haven't named New Cat yet, 'cuz it turns out he's a neutered male. Oops. Sorry, New Cat. Poor guy almost got tagged with a girlie name. Now we're back to the drawing board.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Crazy Cat Lady?

This little sweetheart got lost and wandered into our yard weekend before last. Lucky break for her. She is/was obviously somebody's housecat. Totally sweet and tame, very cuddly, very healthy, very hungry, and apparently homeless. And it seems like no one is really looking for her. We've checked. Thoroughly. No signs posted, no collar, no microchip, no want ads, no sign of anyone who cares. If one of my cats turned up missing, I'd make sure everyone within a mile radius knew about it.

So it is what it is. And we have another cat. *sigh* But I am NOT a crazy cat lady. I swear. Perfectly normal, in spite of the four and a half cats.

Day 326 - Found and Lost?

So...... what should we name her? We can't call her "new cat" forever.