ZEPHYR: old but not moldy

We thought this was Zephyr's last day. He's become rail thin yet he wasn't giving any outward signs of suffering.  Sure, he's blind and deaf, and his nose droops because he hasn't any teeth.  To us, that's not a reason to euthanize a family member, especially one that has been part of our family since 2000.
Off we went to Dr K. 
"Old dogs are thin," Dr K reassured us.  He found a heart murmur (graded at a 4) that wasn't present a month ago but even this wasn't sound reason.  "Is he eating?"
Is he eating? Holy cow!  This wild Iggy learned his new schedule and begins whining Feed Me Seymour antics if we run late. "Yes, eagerly," I reply.
We shrugged at Dr K and he shrugged back.  He wouldn't think poorly of us if we decided to euthanize but he also wouldn't think poorly of us if we took the old dog home.  Zephyr could have a week, or a month, or six months.  It's impossible to tell.
We left feeling more comforta…

WAR OF THE WORLDS: or why cicadas are assholes

Ever wonder what Ohio sounds like during the summer? Look no further than the classic War of the Worlds.

The lower thrum and high pitched buzz (minus the intermittent warble and blaster fire) drone on from sunrise to dusk out here, and are somewhat reminiscent of this movie's sound effects. 
I know I've made references to this movie (and the remake) before.  It was only March of last year that I ran nostalgic (nostalchick?) about War of the Water Towers (or how Big Things with More Than Two Legs scare the shit out of Humanity's offspring). My mind probably wouldn't have drudged up these these movies again were it not for the cicadas.
The Ohio Valley is cicada wonderland.  My own little town, cradled by tree-filled hills and pressed against the Ohio River's western shore, provides a critter haven for things that walk, swim, or fly. They, like us humans, probably wish a prompt extinction to all cicada kind.  It's not hard to imagine a young Bambi pressing his…

GEEK MOMENT: Colossus the fire robot

I haven't had much time to sit down to blog.  This topic was on my bucket list for May.  With only a few days left in the month, I figured I should make some effort towards posting it.  I'll attempt to do the topic justice sometime later.

Shark Robotics engineered these marvelous things.  The corporation's push is to protect and save emergency services personnel. It more than proved its weight in gold during the blaze that could have absolutely destroyed Notre-Dame; this clever robot - in tandem with the men and women fighting the fire - prevented total loss.

The following is a short video from

"One of the tools that the Paris Fire Brigade used to contain the Notre-Dame blaze was a firefighting robot. Developed by Shark Robotics, Colossus is designed to be deployed in environments that are too hot and dangerous for human firefighters to operate." - MASHABLE.COM

More people may be familiar with their Atrax robot which is a "versatile technical s…


Just a quick post.  So busy here with gardening and taking care of family.

I've always appreciated NASA's PR approach.  This is a neat one for STEM educators and their students.

NOTRE DAME IN FLAMES: profound history lost

Anything which offers profound history to a nation and the world itself deserves a moment of silence when destroyed.  It doesn't matter if it's purposeful destruction, such as the case with ISIL members and cultural heritage or a neolithic tomb turned into a picnic table, or a possible accident such as Brazil's National Museum. Such is the case today with Notre Dame.  One need not be Catholic or even Christian to fathom the gravity of the situation.
The Cathedral has sat in disrepair for years.  
"Built in the 12th and 13th centuries, Notre-Dame received one of its most significant overhauls between 1844 and 1864, when the architects Jean-Baptiste-Antoine Lassus and Eugène Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc redid the spire and the flying buttresses and added several architectural tweaks.  That restoration followed decades of neglect and partial damage at the hands of French revolutionaries, and was prompted in part by Victor Hugo’s publication of his 1831 novel “Notre-Da…

2019 WEATHER: Mother Nature 0, Gruffchick 1

You know shit is going down hard when the locals come out of their houses to point and stare at the fast-approaching storm front.  Such was the case this evening as we made our way from Warren to home.   
Most people up north have a good sense for the weather. Better Half and I should as well, given our passion for aviation and our volunteer service during disaster relief missions.  However, neither of us really paid much attention to today's weather other than, "It's supposed to rain some after 7 PM."  We planned to be home by then.
Ah the best laid plans of chicks and men. 
We planned to leave early, say 9 AM.  We planned to just drive up to properties in the Youngstown OH area.  We planned to just drive back home.  But we overslept, and had to run down south to pick up my mother's meds, and the truck needed gas, and we weren't on the road until after 2.  What to do?  Carry on!
Last week's early spring temps carried into the weekend and, thanks to the…

REFLECTION: Rare Astronomamagal Creatures and the Imagination

Today's entry is a hat tip to one of my favorite artists, Sebastien Millon (AKA Sebreg). 

As found on his About page: Sebastien Millon is an artist.

His work is noted for its lack of vision and his art is usually muddled in a turbid stew of crockery.

Many artists, art critics, and frankly most of the public views his work with great disdain and disrespects everything he is about (no one actually even knows what he is about, including the artist himself).

Sebastien Millon's work lacks truth, vision, and sadly, any artistic integrity.

Critical Praise of Sebastien Millon:

"I like his work. But not as much as I like drinking." -Drunky Bear

"Fuck Sebastien Millon. He is a little bitch." -Bunny

Tongue-in-cheek or just all-around cheeky, his wit and artistic talent have banished many a stormy mood cloud.  It's more than whimsy.  Some moments are profound while others summon up recollections of our childhood and an imagination not yet stained by pragmatical adu…