Blog for Stephanie Bryant, a writer with too many hobbies and not enough time.

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Cat Video blog – revisited!

In 2005, I posted on my LiveJournal blog a video of my cat attacking the “mini me” I had knitted him. It was my first time editing and posting a video to my blog, let alone a cat video. The only other video+web I had done was a video from France a few years earlier, but it was put up on a webpage, not a dynamic blog.

This began my journey into videoblogging.

Twelve years later, I made a “mini me” for a friend’s cat. I caught him on camera the other day playing with it in exactly the same way Alladin still plays with his mini-me. So, I decided to take a trip down nostalgia alley. Please enjoy this cat video, starring Salem.


It’s a New Year, it’s a New Day

I hope everyone has had a good and safe New Years celebration, and that you’re not all dragging your feet this week!

This has been an up and down week, juggling some priorities around. I had a really great day this week, the kind of day that makes you really, really happy to be where you are. I celebrated that night with dinner at the casino, and while the casino resulted in a good type of gain ($$), the dinner was heavy on the calories.

The good news is, I lost a pound of weight this week. And I did my first race of the year– a 1 mile fun run which John and I walked in 17 minutes and 45 seconds. I’m grateful that I started with Curves and Weight Watchers 2 weeks before New Years– it means I don’t have as much to learn at the same time as everyone else. It also means I have a little bit of momentum carrying me forward into 2010.

I’ve also signed up for my second race of the year– a 5K on March 13th.

Alladin was under the weather last week, so John took him to the vet. He wasn’t eating for a few days, and so we put him on an appetite stimulant which kind of kick-started his appetite again. This has happened at least once since he was ill, and we have a stash of these pills here to give him that little boost when he needs to remember that food is good to eat. He lost 1/2 lb. between Christmas and this past Wednesday– waaaay too much in that short period of time, even for a cat his size. We were lucky, though, and caught it early before it became serious.

I finished a pair of socks today, the gray ones I’ve been working on so I can wear them to work:


They’re pretty and will do very nicely on non-casual days (on casual days, I can wear my crazy-colored handknit socks).

I also finally got out with my camera to take some pictures, including this cute crocheted beret I just kind of made up while flying across the Atlantic:


And now, to make you smile, here is Barbie in a hand-knitted sweater:


My Cat is a Clock

I know he’s cat-shaped, but seriously. He’s a clock. He alarm-clocks us just after dawn. Daylight savings doesn’t phase him at all.

He swings like a pendulum between John and me at lunchtime– biting John or sitting next to me to remind us to feed him his lunch (yes, my cat eats three times a day. Shut up.)

And now, it’s 10 PM and Alladin thinks I’ve been up too late on the computer. Why aren’t I in bed? He’s staying up with me, but he’s now sitting next to me on the floor, periodically reaching up to say “c’mon, Mom. Dad’s in bed– isn’t it time?”

Anyway, I’m off to bed, obedient servant of my cat that I am.

RVs and Cultural Restrictions

It’s becoming more and more common for RV parks to ask us the year//make/model of our rig before accepting our reservation. A large (and growing) number of parks have a “10 year restriction” on RVs, meaning they won’t permit you to camp there if your rig is over 10 years old.

This is, of course, ridiculous. The idea that nobody should keep an RV for more than 10 years is absurd. Considering all the resources that go into making an RV, and the cost of new and newer rigs, such restrictions are environmentally, economically, and socially irresponsible.

Nonetheless, some parks have this restriction, and more and more parks have started adding it. The rationale is that they don’t want to be stuck with a bunch of “trailer trash” rigs, or they don’t want a lot of disabled vehicles on their park. And who could blame them? But having a “must be operational/road-worthy” requirement is not the same as “must be <10 years old.”

It’s also not a sound business strategy. We stayed at a park that used to have an age/cost restriction– only rigs that cost about half a million dollars new had been welcome. After alienating the entire local community, the park owners had gone bankrupt and sold the whole resort for pennies on the dollar. The new ownership was slowly improving things, but the RV park was clearly lowest-priority for getting upgrades. We stayed there for over a month last year and loved it. There was nobody around– it felt “crowded” when one other camper was in the park, and the space rental was dirt cheap.

We checked in this week at an RV park in the middle of a busy city. The park has breed restrictions– no Rottweilers, no Pit bulls, no Dobermans, no wolf hybrids, etc. And “No Vicious Dogs.” I have to wonder, couldn’t all the breed restrictions be removed solely by saying “No vicious/aggressive dogs; no dogs with a history of biting people or other dogs”? I mean, Rottweilers and Dobermans are generally very sweet, loyal dogs. Their loyalty is why they can be trained to be vicious; they are not inherently mean dogs. Pit bulls are usually problem dogs when they’ve been raised by problem people (although I do understand that some pit bull lines, particularly encouraged in dogfighting groups, are more aggressive and harder to train-out than others).

It seems to me that arbitrary “no old rigs allowed/no dobermans allowed” policies are buying into the various “isms” of the world. It’s like saying “no dark-skinned people allowed because most of the U.S.’s prisons have dark-skinned people in them.” It’s a fallacious argument, one that should not stand. Better to target your real goal in the rule: “No non-operational rigs allowed.” Or “No vicious dogs.” Or “No tube tops.”

So far, I haven’t seen any “no vicious cats” signs, and Alladin is grateful because he’d hate to be discriminated against. I am going to be very saddened the day I try to check in to a park and see the “No plastic flamingos” sign, though. Hopefully they’ll have a large enough parking lot where we can do a u-turn to get out of there!

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