The Cat Herder on Safari – Cars and Coffee, Portland, 9/7/2013

I was in Oregon for a couple of weeks recently, undertaking a long-distance cat wrangling assignment. In between feline care sessions, I wanted to take some time to check out the local car scene. I looked online and found two cars and coffee mornings on September 7th, Cascade Cars and Coffee Portland near the airport and Portland Cars and Coffee. The second one was a lot closer to my temporary abode, so I went to check it out. The idea of a morning meet seemed like a good idea, and I’m somewhat surprised there’s nothing like that anywhere near me in Kansas. Anyway, I was late getting going (as usual) so some people had already left but there was a good variety of cars left. There were still some cool cars present, so I broke out the camera and started taking pictures.

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Posted in Automobiles

The best $5 computer sound upgrade ever? Possibly

A few months ago I acquired a used set of Logitech Z680 surround speakers for my office. Since I don’t watch movies at the computer I am using just two speakers along with the sub-woofer. To start, I had it connected to the analog output from the computer through a standard 3.5mm jack. For games, the sound was fine but music was lacking. It seemed as though the satellite speakers and sub-woofer weren’t well matched – even with the bass turned to the lowest setting it was still overpowering the rest of the music unless the volume was turned up to extreme levels. While I’ll be the first to admit to liking loud music, if it’s too loud while I’m trying to work it gets distracting, and it freaks out my office cat. I started to wonder if I could make it better.

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Posted in Technology

Like a western… a small, furry western

Background: I have a farm with outbuildings. I also have a small colony of semi-feral cats that do a great job of keeping vermin under control. Since my barn is open on one side I let the cats into the garage over winter. They get to keep warm, there are no more mice in the garage and I get to come face to butt with the occasional skunk; it seems skunks like cat food.

I heard a commotion in the garage tonight – the unmistakable sound of fighting cats. Since the cats have free run of the garage we occasionally get strange cats sheltering in there. Most of the time, it’s not a problem but sometimes there is fighting, like tonight. I don’t know who started it, or which cats were involved but there was something loud going on in there. I unlocked the garage door and peered in, and silence fell. Many pairs of eyes looked back at me, not one of them hinting at who was causing trouble.

Cats looked at me.

I looked at cats.

Then it happened.

Someone flinched. And it wasn’t me.

All of a sudden, the garage was alive with stampeding cats heading for the flap on the outside door.  Cats bounced off each other and the door in a frenzy to leave. In a matter of seconds, the garage was empty. Only the half empty food bowl showed there had been any occupants just a moment earlier.

It was like a scene from an old western… gunslingers facing off at high noon on Main Street. Silence. No-one moving. A tumbleweed rolls between them. Then, suddenly someone’s trigger finger twitched and bullets started flying.

Posted in Cats

Once upon a time in the east. Of England, that is…

I tend to spend a lot of time online reading car blogs and websites, mainly because I don’t have the time or budget to build my own vision of automotive heaven. There are a lot of sites I visit only occasionally but one that I visit daily is Stance Is Everything run by Dave Thomas out of Toronto. Dave seems to have similar automotive tastes to me, and he really made my week with his Orions Belt post.

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Posted in Automobiles

You know your car is low when…

…your model’s heels are higher than your rocker panel…

Corolla at FatLace


More about this Corolla at Hellaflush.

One day I’ll have another low vehicle, and speed bumps will fear me again… I almost got the cutting disk out on my old Grand Am, but the transmission failed before I could make this photoshop a reality…


Maybe I’ll build myself the slammed mini truck I’ve been promising myself for the last twenty years. Or maybe I should stop reading stance blogs.

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Posted in Automobiles

Road trip thoughts…

Mrs. Catherder and I recently finished another road trip – a quick 2500 mile jaunt from home through Kansas City, St. Louis, Indianapolis, Detroit, Chicago, Des Moines, Omaha and back home. The Focus behaved flawlessly, averaging 32mpg for the entire trip, and our butts were not numb after endless hours on the road. A few things I noticed along the way:

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Posted in Life

Upgrade time!

I’ve barely had my Focus for two months, and I’ve already started the upgrade process. The SES comes with a CD player that will play MP3 files off disc, but doesn’t have any facility for an auxilary device. Since I have have an iPod filled with ripped CD’s and an Android phone that I use for Pandora, being able to have an extra source was high on my list of priorities. When I had my Grand Am, I took the Delco cassette deck (which as seperate from the CD player) apart and used it for the line in. The Focus has some options available for both a plain line-in and iPod control, but they’re not especially cheap and they get mixed reviews for reliability. So I went for the full radio upgrade.

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Posted in Automobiles, Technology

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