Monday, November 27, 2006

What Surprises are in Your Front Yard???

Because I have a fenced in yard here, I often come out to find that I have a visitor! Skylar stays in my yard 24/7 during the summer, but in the winter his owner takes him inside at night, but returns him to my yard when it warms up in the morning. Very few days here are too cold for him not to spend at least a portion of his day running around my yard.

When asked if it would be o.k. for him to be loose over here, I gave my assent, but was concerned that Morgan would mess with him. Turns out that he is almost as big as Morgan, and has absolutely no fear of her!! For her part, Morgan wasn't too sure about this interloper in HER yard at first, but now looks for Skylar when she goes outside. Why do we always look for Skylar? Because we spent the first couple of weeks he was in the yard noticing he was missing, finding him, returning him to the yard and then figuring out how he got out!! He's a smart little critter, but the yard is finally 'tortoise proof' LOL!

Not being a herpetologist, I have been amazed at how much personality Skylar has. Because I spend quite a bit of time outside and pay attention to him, Skylar has become attached to me and will come when I call and stretches his neck out so I can scratch him in his favorite spots easily. He also follows me all over the yard begging for treats and scratches.

I love taking pictures of animals, and I also enjoy looking at the pictures others have taken. National Wildlife just had a photo contest and there are some stunning pictures there.... I hope someday to be half as good as these people! Enjoy!

Saturday, November 25, 2006

And the Holiday Madness Begins...

The day after Thanksgiving is traditionally the kickoff for the Christmas (or other winter holiday of your choice) season. The 'official' beginning of the season is, of course, the arrival of Santa and his sleigh at the end of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade!

Do you think you are a Santa Conoisor? Well, I have a quiz for you: The Santa Quiz.... Oh, I scored 9 out of 10, and I'm not ashamed of that because the question I missed had to do with the movie Elf that starred Will Farrel <shudder>

And, for a little more Santa Fun, check out this Santa Nation

Feline Friday

The quality of the photo/crop job this week is a little weak.... my computer is giving me fits. I am completely unable to use my Photoshop Elements software. I dug out my Paint Shop Pro7 program and am at least able to crop my photos and reduce the file size to something that is web friendly {sigh} I sincerely hope that Best Buy is having a slow repair day tomorrow so I can take this thing in and have them test it. I am crossing my fingers that it isn't my motherboard, but this computer is almost 4 years old now, so it is possible {bigger sigh}.

This photo is a little washed out because I had the front door open and could only get one angle on  the shot, and it wasn't the best angle! However, DK looks like she is enjoying the sunshine regardless of the havoc it was wreaking on my photo endeavors....

Want to play along? Take a picture of your cat, put it on your blog, and pop over to (sometimes)Photoblog and drop off the link!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Turkey Day!

I am thankful today to be sitting here watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade and waiting for my sweetie to get home so we can go out with some friends and eat a good meal (AND I am thankful it is going to be in a restaurant and doesn't require me to cook or clean LOL!).

I am thankful for my Internet connection that gives me an opportunity to have friends near and far in the blogosphere and J-Land. I am thankful for my laptop so I can surf the Internet (even if it is being ornery about letting me edit any pictures grrrrrr!)

I am thankful for the nice people at Best Buy who are going to look at said laptop next week and tell me -why- it is being contrary! LOL!

I am thankful for the talent in J-land. Today I am particularly grateful to nightmaremom over at This and That and Hockey for not only creating but allowing me to snag the wonderful graphic at the top of this entry.... Hopefully the nice people at Best Buy are going to fix me up so I can go back to featuring photos soon.

But mostly I am thankful for my family (both regular and fur) and my friends (both 3-D and cyber).

Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Veterans Day

Thank You!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Your Monday Photo Shoot: What's in a Name?

I debated with myself about if I would do the Photo Shoot this week over at By the Way or not. See, my first name is boring, my last name is boring, even my nickname.... is boring. BLAH! Finally I decided I would go with my AOL screenname, which also happens to be my identity at most places on the web. Here is the challenge:

Your Monday Photo Shoot: Take a picture of something that relates to your name. It can be your first name, or your last name, or of your middle name (we're not picky). Even nicknames work. And since this is AOL, if you want you may use your screenname as well. Basically, if a name relates to you, let's see a picture of a representation.

My name on AOL (and most other parts of the Internet) is Astaryth. It is unusual enough that I have never been turned down when I've picked it as a sign-in name. Well, except once. Turns out I had a Google account already, but I couldn't remember the passcode nor enough information to get the passcode sent to me. I must have gotten it back in the mid '90's {LOL}.

Why is it always available? Well, probably because I made it up! When I joined AOL way back in the stone age I tried several variation on my real name and my nickname, none were available without adding a number to the end. At the time I was trying out AOL I was already a member of Prodigy... Anyone remember them??? Anyway, I was playing a game over there on their bulletin boards based on the Anne McCaffrey's Pern series of books. My first dragon that I impressed happened to be a Gold. If you are not familiar with the books, a Gold Dragon is not only rare, but the 'highest' color. Apparently the people who ran the 'weyr' thought my writing good enough to award me this honor. If you follow the Pern books you will know that the wonderful telepathic dragons all are born knowing their names AND all dragon names end with th. I named my first gold dragon Astaryth and played her and the character for quite a long period of time.

Back to the screen name dilema. It was getting late in the day, I wanted to try out this service people had been telling me about and in desperation (and the desire not to be known as blank5678) I typed in my name for my Gold Dragon. BINGO! Accepted! And I've used that name (and e-mail address) every since!

Now for a picture to represent my name.... hmmmm.... Well, I thought about one of my pics of a Bearded Dragon, or maybe a Komodo Dragon, but finally decided to pop over to and I offer up:

Three Galaxies in Draco!

There are many other wonderful pictures of galaxies and things over at and, since we all pay taxes, they are free for us to use!

Monday, November 06, 2006

Gatorland Fire

Before Universal, Before SeaWorld, Before Disney there were smaller 'road side' attractions. People came to Florida for the beaches and the sunshine. While here they were presented with opportunities to enjoy a little piece of Florida at places like Cypress Gardens and Gatorland.

This morning I saw on The Disney Blog that Gatorland was being ravished by a three-alarm fire. He gives a first hand account of the fire and also offers up a link to a set of photos taken by his wife. Luckily no human life was lost, and only 3 animals, as most of the animals were housed in other parts of the park. It made the news also, of course, and you can find stories here and here.

Here is a link to a slide show that showed the huge gator jaws that were the unique entrance with flames behind it. I feel so sorry for the owners and the employees... although they were saying that they would have the attraction open again, possibly within a week! This is a family owned and run business, and I am glad to see that they are going to reopen.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Feline Friday

I had a heck of a time with my Feline Friday entry this week. I knew exactly what picture I wanted to use, and I had it off the camera and on the laptop in time. My downfall was trying to edit the picture.

I don't know what has gotten into my computer (and if anyone has had the same problem, I would love to know how to fix it). I added a gig of memory last Monday. I had it installed by the techs because I didn't have the proper tools, so I know it was installed correctly. Seems when I start working in Photoshop Elements (both 4 and 2.. I did try both) when I go to do any kind of effect my computer shuts down. I opened up PSP, but couldn't duplicate the problem there, thus my belief it has to do with the Photoshop program. I finally managed to get the picture done by knocking the size down right away and then working on the smaller file. I plan to experiment more tomorrow and see if I can figure out what exactly is causing the problem. Suffice it to say I was very frustrated! Before I call and whine to the tech, I am going to uninstall and reinstall the Photoshop Elements files and see if that fixes it.... GRRRRRRR!

On the bright side, I've been very pleased with the increase of speed on my computer for everything else. I went from .5GB to 1.5GB

Want to play along with Feline Friday? Post your picture and then head over to (sometimes)Photoblog and drop off the link!

What kind of Writer would I be?

I was over at Pat's and she was doing a couple of 'tags'... I'll spare you the one where you type out a few lines from a book because the closest book to me currently is Head First HTML and CSS.... pretty boring stuff!

I did, however, pop over and check out what sort of writer I would be... turns out I am strange and worry people LOL! Hmmmm..... I think John Scalzi's gig is safe from me, but I will admit to enjoying reading Sci-Fi!

You Should Be a Science Fiction Writer
Your ideas are very strange, and people often wonder what planet you're from.
And while you may have some problems being "normal," you'll have no problems writing sci-fi.
Whether it's epic films, important novels, or vivid comics...
Your own little universe could leave an important mark on the world!

Thursday, November 02, 2006


I've noticed that my posting since the "big move" have been a little sporadic, and dare we say, BORING! Mostly Monday Photo Shoots and Feline Friday entries....Hmmmm.... When did this become a photo blog? I mean it's called Adventures of an Eclectic Mind, not Photos Taken by Someone Boring!

I'm blaming my lack of interestingness (It's my blog and I'll make up words as I go along if I want to ;p ) on the fact that I am currently working on actually learning CSS instead of flying blind and doing a lot of 'What would happen if I changed this...?" type of coding. Not that it hasn't worked so far, but still I was ready to sit down and actually do a little studying and learn to do it the -right- way. Add to that the book on Photoshop Elements 4 I am slogging thru (and meanwhile they released Ver 5. Don't they know I'm not finished learning 4????) . Plus keeping up with all of YOUR blog entries. Well, overbooked is probably a good word.

Many times I see something and think about how I should do a Blog entry about it, often even composing it in my head, and yet not ever getting around to actually doing anything with the idea.Today it occurred to me that instead of just -thinking- about doing an entry when I see something interesting I should just -do- one! What a novel idea!

With all of that fresh in my mind I was reading my bloglines new entries and ran across a post over at My Day and Thoughts and she had an entry on doing an inkblot test. Being curious (and always liking to have reassurance I'm semi-normal) I followed the link over to Tickle and checked it out. It is supposed to be based on the original Rorschach tests. If you decide to give it a try, have a little time set by. It has over 50 questions. Still it was fun! I was a little surprised at my results, but very happy that no words like psychopath or dangerous to the general population were used LOL! So, without further ado I decided that it was interesting and that I would do a blog entry on it. Thus you are presented with my subconsciuos!!

Astaryth, your subconscious mind is driven most by Imagination

This means you have a deep desire to use innovative ideas to enhance your life and influence the world around you. This drive influences you far more than you may realize on a conscious level.
Your need to be innovative drives how you look at new opportunities and the kinds of experiences in life you choose to have. On an unconscious level, the reason you may be so driven by imagination is your fear of destruction, the opposite of creation. When you are unable to create due to restrictions imposed by your environment or even ones you unwittingly impose on yourself, do you feel trapped or confined? You may find these feelings of unease only get better when you find another outlet for your imagination.
With such a strong creative orientation, you are willing to entertain a broad spectrum of ideas at any given time. The world is a fuller, richer place because you can contribute new ideas to any experience. Your natural curiosity inspires those around you and encourages them to come up with ideas they wouldn't have thought of without your help.

Though your unconscious mind is driven most strongly by Imagination, there is much more to who you are at your core.

Want to see if you are normal? Wonder what drives your subconious? Go check it out! If you do, leave a link and let me know... I wonder about the people I hang out with, you know???