web analytics

Fixed.

He probably didn’t think he needed fixing.

It was a little scary for a while. This morning, they said to expect to hear from them at 1:30. We didn’t. When we called, they said he was fine…and we could come at 5:30, and then they kept us waiting.

I suspect he didn’t come out of the anesthesia as fast as expected. When we finally saw the vet, she said something like, “the important thing is that he’s awake now.”

After Jack had his op, he was out of his head for twelve hours. Climbing the walls, crying to get out. It was awful. If they were waiting for Booboo to sober up a little, I’m all for it.

Anyway, he was wobbly for an hour, but he’s fine now. Except his pupils are the size of dinner plates and he stinks of disinfectant. Oh, and…no balls.

December 4, 2018 — 9:29 pm
Comments: 12

Lossy

In the prior thread, Wolfus asked if “lossy” was a Britishism. It ain’t. And because I’m desperate for stuff to post about at the moment, I shall explain what it is.

“Generation loss” is a thing in graphic arts. It means that every time you make a copy of something — every time it goes down a generation — it loses quality. If you have an illustration, and you photograph it, and then you do a color separation, and then you print it in a magazine…every stage of that process involves a degradation of the original.

Then if you make a photocopy of the magazine article and digitize it to put in your slide presentation…don’t laugh. I often deal with images that are many generations removed from the original.

That’s generation loss; the term “lossy” is used specifically for digital file formats.

The Targa tiff file — which you may never have run across — was a common early digital file format that purported to be lossless. In theory, you could make a tif file of a tif file and every one was as good as the original. Downside: they were huge.

Lots of file formats have used all sorts of clever algorithms to try to squeeze file size without losing quality.

The jpg file came to rule them all because it’s very, very good at the trade off…it can look very good, or it can compress very small, or it can be a compromise, depending on what you ask it to do. That’s what it’s asking when a graphics program gives you a jpg quality slider.

The image at right is a jpg compressed at a quality of about 70% (100% means very little loss, very little compression) and it’s about 36K on the disk. The inset is compressed at around 10% (lots of loss, lots of compression) and is about 7K.

Notice the characteristic big square blocks that are the hallmark of jpg compression. I bet you’ve seen that before! Different lossy formats are ugly in different ways and when I get my Photoshop back, I can show you.

That’s not my big white rooster, by the way. That’s my old lavender hen Violence (may she rest in peace). I’ve had three lavender chickens, and they’ve all hated me.

November 28, 2018 — 9:32 pm
Comments: 7

Don’t rub it in

Somebody sent me this. It comes from our popular classical station, Classic FM, via a Tumblr called Music Theory. I think I have all that right. I like to attribute where I can.

Those are Polands. I have whined before about how much I want one. I got some ‘fertile’ eggs that weren’t this Spring, supposedly including at least one Poland.

Note, at right, they have a knob on their skulls that those stupid feathers sprout out of. So even when they’re tiny fluffy chicks, they have ridiculous hairdos.

The roosters grow up to look like potted ferns and the hens have fluffy afros. I know owners who have to trim around their eyes or tie their headfeathers into hipster buns so the poor birds can see to walk around.

Oops! I hit premature PUBLISH. Well, that’s all there is to say about that, I guess.

November 8, 2018 — 4:53 pm
Comments: 8

Weasel TV

I hate to admit how much time I’ve spent watching this image. I mean, not this image, the live version. The surveillance cam in the chicken house.

It was originally trained on a hen sitting on fertile eggs nest box. Two months, night after night, I watched that image hoping to see a newly hatched chick poke its head out.

As it happens, the first batch of eggs were all total duds. The second batch was half duds. That’s why I spent two months watching a broody hen when the gestation period is around twenty days.

Anyway, newly hatched chicks don’t poke their heads out. They don’t come out from under mama for days and days, so I discovered any hatchlings by lifting her up and peering into the nest, long before I saw a chick on cam.

I have hours and hours and hours and hours of recorded chicken cam. I actually bought a backup hard drive to store it all. Wanna see?

November 7, 2018 — 10:14 pm
Comments: 5

Gonna give my boys a complex

Uncle B took this on his cellphone. Bigass male pheasant stalking around eating the bits messy chickens leave behind. (Sure and you want to see this pretty boy in color). I wasn’t home so my flock was in the cage, looking stunned.

He’s about three times the size of one of my chooks.

Uncle B asked if we had pheasants in the States and I honestly didn’t know. Wikipedia says they’re everywhere, but they’re only native to Asia.

Any pheasants where you are?

November 1, 2018 — 8:57 pm
Comments: 24

My other boys

Roosters. I swore I’d never have one. I promised the neighbors.

But this year I got it in my head to put some fertile eggs under a broody, knowing roosters were a possible outcome. And how.

The final result: twelve ‘fertile’ eggs resulting in three live chicks. Two of whom are cockerels.

The first six were duds. Then I got four more in a close-to-hatching state, of which only two hatched. I may have damaged the other two somehow getting them home, for which I feel rotten. So I got two more newly hatched from the lady I’d bought the eggs from, from the same clutch of eggs.

What I’m going to do with these two handsome boys, I do not know. It all depends on how they act when the testosterone takes hold.

We’ve started to hear faint and feeble cock-a-doodle-doos of a morning.

September 26, 2018 — 8:31 pm
Comments: 11

Brothers from a different mother

Can I get a d’awwwww? I took this picture a couple of minutes ago, and it’s a first.

We coaxed Jack into the same room as the baby, finally, about a month ago.

This was all made easier because Jack is an absolute pig and kitten food is fatty and delicious. We’ve tried to keep him off the food bowl, but he’s a crafty boy. And visibly fatter.

Then came the playfighting. Poor Jack. Kitten ran him ragged. But, hey — kitten food.

This started as a playfight and turned into a mutual nap. It’s adorbs.

Charlotte is at the other end of the house.

September 24, 2018 — 9:12 pm
Comments: 13

Look! Up in the rafters!

It’s a bat.

It’s a lousy cellphone photo of a bat, I admit, but I was trying not to scare him with the flash gun. The cleaning lady at work discovered him while dusting. He’s been there for two days now, apparently happy as a clam. A teeny, tiny wingéd clam.

Bats are protected here (there too, I think), so we had to call in a bat specialist, who advised us to turn off the lights, open the doors and windows and go away. On a Friday afternoon? I think I can manage that.

Have a good weekend, all!

September 21, 2018 — 7:30 pm
Comments: 19

This little scrap of feline DNA…

This little one showed not the slightest inclination to roam, right up until two hours ago when he made a dash for freedom. I just side-glanced a streak of black and white leaping over Charlotte and pounding up the garden path in the dark.

I think he would have come back, but every time I put his kitten glop out to lure him in, the other two made a grab for it. Adult cats love kitten food; it’s super rich.

I might be out there still, but Jack made a screaming lunge for the baby (taking him for an intruder) and drove him up a tree.

Phew. Running late. Hope you guys had an excellent weekend.

August 27, 2018 — 10:04 pm
Comments: 12

The exciting lamb races

All orphan lambs. The farmer said he went out early in the season when there was snow on the ground and found the first two newborns huddled next to their dead mother. Their hooves had frozen to the ground.

They’re okay now, obviously. Thus they were named after characters from Frozen. The one with the O is Olaf.

The winner, best two out of the three, was Gaston. Yes, I know that’s Beauty and the Beast. They ran out of Frozen.

August 23, 2018 — 9:49 pm
Comments: 4