Furry Friday

This is an oldie, way back from when Titus was a baby and they could both fit in that bed together without spilling over the edges. ¬†Even back then though he thought he was an emperor… Just look at that smug look on his face ūüôā


Bonus Material

I apologize for the poor, phone quality of the video, but if you ever wanted to see an orange cat climb a ladder for a treat, now is your chance! ūüėČ

Don’t mind the mess in the background… One of these days I will hang up all my artwork!

The Road Taken

I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood and I —

I took the one less traveled by,

And that made all the difference

~ “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost

I am not generally a great fan of poetry.  Poetry leaves too much up to interpretation and I much prefer my literature to have a linear story line.  This then begs the question, why feature part of a Robert Frost poem that has been quoted a million times over?

The simple answer is that is seemed quite appropriate for this post; I have finally decided on a path for myself!

I have spent nearly a decade standing at a figurative crossroads.  The idea is to pick a path (a career, a lifestyle, etc) and move on into adulthood, becoming a productive member of society in the process.  Sadly, I am undoubtedly a Libra; deciding on what to eat for dinner sometimes seems like an impossible task, so you can imagine how daunting it was for me to try to decide on a career path!  I wasted a lot of time and money and incurred a fair amount of heartache trying to decide which path will lead me to my ideal career and picture perfect life.  I have been doing a lot of soul-searching though, and a fair amount of research, and I am finally ready to move forward!

This August I am finally going back to school (and I am so excited!)

I have been talking about going back to school for a while but it is quite official now. ¬†I’ve registered for classes and paid tuition! ¬†I think I finally found something that I am actually interested in studying, that will be very hands-on, and that will actually prepare me for a career; a career that I can be proud of and that will fulfill my craftsmen’s soul.

Wish me luck!  (More on the details later ;-))

A Few of My Favorite Things

Think¬†Julie Andrews from The Sound of Music¬†…

A burned spy in Miami with a .40 caliber
Yummy tomato mixed with cucumber
An epic fantasy with too many kings
These are a few of my favorite things

The rhyming isn’t perfect, but it works for this post. ¬†I figured I would share a few of my current addictions.

First up…

“My name is Michael Westen. ¬†I used to be a spy…”

I love this show.  I am not quite as thrilled with the newest season as I have been with past seasons, but it only just started.  It should be especially interesting to see what happens with Mike and Fi.  Their relationship is nothing if not complicated!

My next favorite thing has also been turned into a TV show, but I am hooked on the books.

George R.R. Martin‘s “A Song of Ice and Fire” series is amazing thus far. ¬†I recently finished Game of Thrones and I am now about a quarter of the way through A Clash of Kings. ¬†This series is not quite like anything else I have ever read before. ¬†I am really not even sure how to describe it, so here is what Wikipedia¬†says about it:

The story of¬†A Song of Ice and Fire¬†takes place in a¬†fictional world, primarily upon a continent called¬†Westeros¬†but also on a large landmass to the east, known as¬†Essos.[5]¬†Most of the characters are human but as the series progresses other races are introduced, such as the cold and menacing¬†Others¬†from the far North and fire-breathing dragons from the East, both races thought to be extinct by the people of the story. There are three principal storylines in the series: the chronicling of a dynastic civil war for control of Westeros among several competing families; the rising threat of the Others, who dwell beyond an immense wall of ice that forms Westeros’ northern border; and the ambition of¬†Daenerys Targaryen, the exiled daughter of a king who was murdered in another civil war 15 years previously, to return to Westeros and claim her rightful throne. As the series progresses, all three storylines become increasingly interwoven and dependent on each other.

If you are interested in seeing what it is about, but not quite sure you want to read the books, you can check out the TV series Game of Thrones on HBO.  The first season followed the first book quite well, although I found the books a bit easier to follow.  There are a ton of characters!

I can’t wait to see what happens with Jon Snow, Arya Stark, and Gendry “The Bull”!

Lastly, we come to my latest favorite snack.

I call it tomato salad for lack of a better name.  It is simple and delicious.  Just mix sliced grape tomatoes, chopped cucumber, diced red onion, feta cheese, and a balsamic vinaigrette.  Yum!

A word of caution though… Keep an eye out for “helpers” when you are preparing your ingredients!

Liberty & Justice For All

In light of recent events, I have spent a fair amount of time thinking about our justice system, the news media, the federal government, and even the Constitution.  I admit that my research was pretty casual but nonetheless, I have come to the conclusion that everyone seems to have forgotten some of the most important concepts embodied in the Constitution! (I also lay much of the blame on the news media and their frenzied reporters and talk show hosts, but that is a whole other can of worms.)

Our founding fathers drafted the Constitution to protect our most basic rights.  We have the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty; we have the right to remain silent; we have the right to a trial by jury.  Case and point:

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

~ Amendment 5

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

~ Amendment 6

In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United State, than according to the rules of the common law.

~ Amendment 7

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.  No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

~ Amendment 14, Section 1

These are the things that you should remember before you judge and harass the men and women who sacrificed six weeks of their lives in service to our justice system and the Constitution.  Only those twelve individuals know what it was like to sit across from the accused for six weeks, knowing that her life was in their hands.  Whether you agree with their judgment or not, they should be thanked for their service and sacrifice, not threatened and disparaged.

There is a quote from former President John Adams that I would urge everyone to consider as it puts everything into perspective:

It is more important that innocence be protected than it is that guilt be punished, for guilt and crimes are so frequent in this world that they cannot all be punished. But if innocence itself is brought to the bar and condemned, perhaps to die, then the citizen will say, ‚Äúwhether I do good or whether I do evil is immaterial, for innocence itself is no protection,‚ÄĚ and if such an idea as that were to take hold in the mind of the citizen that would be the end of security whatsoever.

I still have faith in our justice system and in the Constitution.  I still think that in the majority of cases it works as it should.  With many regrets, it is my faith in my fellow citizens that has been shaken.