BenTha'er-Horizons

Toybob Cats

This show was the debut of the Toybob cats from Russia. They had some kittens there who were adorable. The price ranges from $1500 pet to upwards of $3000 or so for breeding cats. The kittens were calling my name wanting to find a home with us.

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Ramona and the Genius

Ramona Marek, a Facebook friend and cat writer, was set up as a vendor next to us. She was selling her book which I had written a testimonial quote for the book. She is a sweet person and a lot of help for us during the cat show. She sold 15 books and I am pleased to see she did well.

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Show Hall

This is a big cat show in numbers of entries and the gate. Here is the show hall off across the convention center at the Holiday Inn near the airport.

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Scooper Bowl

At lunch time, they had the scooper bowl for young people. You had to scoop as many Jelly Beans from the cat litter box as you could in 1 minute and demerits for too much litter.

It was fun to watch and I did get a video of the activity. Here is a photo.

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Kitty In Window

How much is that kitty in the window. The one with the cute little sweater since we don't have a haricot. This is either a Sphynx or a Rex cat but couldn't tell for sure at the distance.

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Pre-Cat Show

Headed up to Portland today to have a booth at the TICA Portland International Cat Show.This is the first experience being at a cat show as an exhibitor for me. Here is the booth set up though we moved the banner onto the table.

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Victoria and Albert

The Masterpiece TV series on Queen Victoria is going on currently. This link shows the progeny and grandchildren of Victoria.

"Albert's nine children and 26 of their 34 grandchildren, who survived childhood, married into royal and noble families across the continent, tying them together and earning her the nickname "the grandmother of Europe".

Victoria's reign of 63 years and 7 months, which is longer than that of any other British monarch and the longest of any female monarch in history, is known as the Victorian era. It was a period of industrial, cultural, political, scientific, and military change within the United Kingdom, and was marked by a great expansion of the British Empire. She was the last British monarch of the House of Hanover; her son and successor Edward VII belonged to the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha."
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Irish Falconry and Language

Due to the interest of Shakespeare with falconry, the language of Irish falconry entered our lexicon through his writings. More here.

"“Now she’s ‘under your thumb’,” Healy-Rennison explained with a smile.
“Quite literally,” I replied, amused to learn the etymology of a phrase that I’ve used for most of my life. Only now I was standing in the place where the phrase was born – in the wet green woods of the Anglo-Irish gentry, with a giant hawk on my wrist, her jesses wrapped around my little finger. “Yet another phrase we get from falconry,” said Healy-Rennison, who advised me to add the extra grip of my pinkie."
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1901 World's Fair

The World's Fair that was part of the book, Devil in the White City, is pretty well known in history. Details about the 1901 World's Fair is less known but it is where President McKinley was shot and he died several days later as the result of the bullet remaining in his abdomen. More details can be found in this article.
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The Old Book of Cats

Even in 1868, people were crazy about cats. The Book of Cats by Charles Henry Ross was printed. It was an encyclopedic version or chronicle of feline facts and fancies, legendary, lyrical, medical, mirthful and miscellaneous. He argued in support of the cat where some people were repulsed by cats. A very fun illustration and fact-filled old book about our feline friend found here.
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Brilliant Rainbow

I jumped out of the Subaru when Bob stopped across from the little barn and got this very bright colorful rainbow while going into town yesterday.

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The Long Goodbye and Inauguration

Today Barack Obama exits as 44th president and Donald Trump succeeds as the 45th. It seems like it was a very long goodbye by Obama and I was among those who looked forward to moving past his presidency. I felt he was dangerous to the Constitution and also safety of the American citizen. I don't like the interest groups who supported him and he made it clear through his actions he did not support all the people, just the ones who agreed with him. I wish I could say national healing would start but there is too much division now in classes and political thought. I don't think we can come together unless it is an outside threat. A shame.
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Grave of John Wilkes Booth

John Wilkes Booth is infamous in history for his assassination of Abraham Lincoln. After a large manhunt through Maryland and Virginia, he was cornered and killed. He was eventually buried in the family plot located in Baltimore. More found here with pictures of the gravesite.

"The assassin’s body was transported to Baltimore, the city of his youth, and buried in the Booth family plot in Green Mount Cemetery. The family plot is easy to find due to Junius Brutus Booth’s towering obelisk. But the Booth family, John Wilkes’ brother Edwin in particular, believed that an elaborate headstone for John Wilkes might attract unwanted attention and vandalism. Visitors today believe the small, plain, unmarked headstone denotes John Wilkes Booth’s final resting spot. In lieu of flowers or stones, people leave pennies behind on the headstone, as if to give Lincoln the final word."
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Blue Sky

I read a book a number of years ago called "The Cuckoo's Egg" which was about a physicist finding the trail of a major computer hacker/bad guy. The physicist worked at UC-Berkeley and described how one test he took for his advanced degree was a question of "Why is the Sky Blue?". Well, hundreds of years ago, a scientist invented the cyanometer just to measure the blueness of the sky. Read about it here.
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First Synthesized Human Speech

We have Siri and Alexa talking to us through our phones, tablets and other devices. Where did the original debut occur for synthetic speech? It can be found here.

"Today, machine-made voices talk to us all the time. They act as personal assistants for our cell phones, manage our smart homes, and, occasionally, call from unrecognizable phone numbers to tell us we are final contenders in big-money sweepstakes.

Electronic voices may be commonplace now, but the road to speech synthesis is littered with the remains of devices that promised to bring us the voice of the future—but didn’t last beyond their novelty value.

One of the most fascinating relics of this quest for electric speech is Bell Labs’ Voder, the first device to bring us wholly synthetic speech. Even if it sounded like a robot demon."

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New Thought On DB Cooper

Is this a new lead about DB Cooper and who he was? I remember the saga of DB parachuting out of the airplane between Seattle and Portland with money. See what the story and the new theory is. Is he dead or did he survive? The mystery is what fascinates people.
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Frosty on the Trees

It has been cold with frost on the ground and trees often. For some parts of the day, we sit in fog though it is better since yesterday afternoon till now. One can look at the trees and see the frost on the tops of the Douglas fir trees on tops of hills, buttes, and mountains.

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Canadians and 'Eh'

If you haven't heard a Canadian say 'eh" or 'aboot', you haven't been around and certainly don't know many Canadians. It is a bit of a joke about this lovely group of people but why do they say it?

Well, this article does give a bit of the story behind the phrase. When you are done, you realize it shows how nice and polite Canadians are.

"Canadians are not particularly amused when you eagerly point out their “eh” habit, but the word has become emblematic of the country in a way that is now mostly out of their control. In response, some have embraced it, adopting it as an element of Canadian patriotism. But what even is this word? How did it come to be so associated with Canada?

“Eh” is what’s known as an invariant tag—something added on to the end of a sentence that’s the same every time it’s used. A tag, in linguistics, is a word or sound or short phrase added after a thought which changes that thought in some way. The most common tags are question tags, which change a thought into a question. “It’s a nice day, isn’t it?” would be one example. The tag “isn’t it” turns that statement of fact into something that could prompt a response; the speaker is asking for confirmation or rejection.


But “isn’t it” is a variant tag, because it will change based on the subject and tense of what came before it. If you’re talking about a plural subject, you’ll have to change that tag to “aren’t they,” and if you’re talking about something in the past you might have to change it to “wasn’t it.”"
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Marilyn and the Dress

Was there really more detail and film behind the skirt blowing scene of Marilyn Monroe's for the movie "The Seven Year Itch"? Shooting this scene led to the break up and divorce of Marilyn and Joe Di Maggio. This article tells more about a fellow who liked to shoot home movies and that his family found many years later film of what happened during the shooting of this scene. Fascinating.

"It happened one night in the late summer of 1954…

In the famous street scene, the two are leaving the movies as Ms. Monroe pauses over a grate to enjoy the breeze from the subway as it blows up her dress on a hot summer night. “Isn’t it delicious?” she purrs. The breeze came from a large fan under the grate operated by the film’s special effects chief. The night — Sept. 15 — was actually quite chilly. But the stunt worked. It became known as “the shot seen around the world.”"

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Oreos

Yes, we like Oreos in this family, chocolate and vanilla ones. We have to hide them from the grandkids sometimes. I have to get my share before Bob or he will eat them all. Evil man that he is.

Where did the Oreo come from? This article will tell the story. Bet you like Oreos too and would like to know.
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Pink Sky and Snow on the Mountain

Portland got walloped with about 7 plus inches of snow last night which brought the city to a standstill. They are scheduled to not have it melt off for several days due to cold weather hanging around.

Our area missed it. We did have a pink reflection of the sunset on the clouds over the Peter Mountains with it reflecting off the white snow.

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Elizabeth I Clothing Found

A skirt of Elizabeth I, Queen of England, has been found as being part of an altar skirt in a church in England. The is the only piece of clothing of hers that seems to remain from that time. When we were going through the Tower Of London's museum on a tour, we were told that much of the monarchy's belongings were lost, destroyed or given away during Cromwell's time. Such may be the case here.

Read about this find here.
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America and Shakespeare

What is it about America that we love and some (idiots) hate Shakespeare? We certainly do perform his plays and often many variations of it. I loved watching OPB's Great Performances of Henry VI Parts I and II followed by Richard III. It was great TV.

Read more about Shakespeare and his impact on Americans.
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A Glaze of Ice

I woke up early in the morning while it was still dark outside. The yard light was on and just showed how the light glares off the slick ice. I hope it melts soon.

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Snow and Ice in Berlin

We got about 2 inches plus snow overnight or early yesterday morning. Then on top of that with the cold, we got freezing rain too. My fountain is full of snow and an ice block.The gargoyle does not look happy.

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Zombies and Humans 100 Days

I do like Zombies and Zombie trivia. I came across this article where some people decided to game out the Zombie Apocalypse. Well, Zombies would have us down to about 287 humans in 100 days. Not good news.

Read about how it happens here.
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Birds Don't Read

I don't think this bird was paying attention to the sign of not going past the fence. The waves were pounding the rocks behind the bird but Hey…

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Big Waves

It was nippy trying to walk along the top of the beach the other day. The sun was out and so was the wind. The tide was slowly going out but the waves were big and also very noisy.

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Debbie Reynolds

I have always been a Debbie Reynolds fan since I was a kid. I loved watching her play and sing in "Tammy and the Bachelor". Oh, that wicked Elizabeth Taylor and smarmy Eddie Fisher. It was so sad to hear of Carrie Fisher passing last week due to a heart attack and then her mother, Debbie Reynolds, died the next day.

Here is some information about our Unsinkable Debbie.
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A Coastal Birthday

A cold day in the Valley but a sunnier yet cold day at the Oregon Coast. We headed on our for Lincoln City to shop at the outlet stores and eat at Kyllo's in Lincoln City. We enjoy the seafood there and it is consistently good. It is so nice to get away from home and work even for part of a day.

The pass and trees were covered with snow coming back from Newport to Corvallis. It was spitting snow in Corvallis and cold at home but the roads were not bad.

Here I get to enjoy some sparkling wine at Kyllo's to celebrate. Good food, fun times.

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Bob's meal: Crab stuffed halibut on potatoes. It was very tasty looking. I had fish and chips along with a Oregon hazelnut and blue cheese salad with small shrimp. Yum.

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Happy New Year and a New Start

Due to a large amount of work on my plate, I have let my blog slide. I had been until part of 2016 good at placing one blog piece each day for a number of years. It does make me feel sad that I have not kept this going the way I had planned. I can only try to do better for 2017.

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