Thursday, June 30, 2011

International Box Day 2011!

Cats everywhere rejoice!!! Today is International Box Day as deemed by Zoolatry!!
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"Isn't everyday box day?" 
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"You aren't allowed in to celebrate box day."
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"I win. Don't mess with The Pants."

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Review: Pentel Slicci Gel Pens 0.7 mm

There are a few reviews out there, such as from Office Supply Geek and The Pen Addict on the Pentel Slicci 0.7 mm gel ink pens. Which pen you prefer is obviously personal preference and what you use the pen for.

JetPens (wonderful, wonderful JetPens) describes the Pentel Slicci as “created to compete against Pilot's popular Hi-Tec-C line, the Slicci pen features comparable widths (.25mm, .3mm, .4mm) and colors. However, the tip is much sturdier than the Hi-Tec-C's point, thus resisting breakage or damage.”

The Body

The first thing to notice about this pen is that it has a slim body, perhaps more slim and narrow than most people are used to. I personally prefer pens that are on the slimmer rather than thicker side - they just fit better in my hand. I don’t have gigantic hands. They are normal sized female hands. This also means the pen is quite light, since it’s plastic.
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The barrel has no grip on it so if you’re, you know, writing a huge and terrifying exam and your hands are sweating like there’s no tomorrow, slippage might be a problem for you. There is a little section that is ridged on the barrel that might be enough for some people but for fast writing on a thin pen, I do like having a little bit of rubbery kind of grip.
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Ridged barrels

I also am a fan of top-heavy pens and this one is quite light even with the cap on the back. This means to get the control I want to write uniformly, I have to hold the pen a little tighter.

The Nib

My particular Sliccies (I’m totally guessing on the pluralization there) are 0.7 mm nib but there are several other nibs available: 0.25 mm, 0.3 mm, 0.4 mm, and 0.8 mm.

The 0.7 mm nib is quite broad and blunt. Usually, I really like broad nibs because I like to doodle and color in my journals and whatnot (you know... waste ink, basically, what with my no-talent). I also like that with broad nibs, you get really nice looking, solid lines, without having to worry about skipping or that dreaded fine-nib “scratchy” feeling. The 0.7 mm doesn’t offer much in the way of fine writing control but for my blotchy doodles, that doesn’t matter much. If you’re a skilled artiste of fine detail, the smaller nibs may be more suitable.

Aside from lack of fine control, a huge plus to a broad nib like this (coupled with really nice gel ink) is you get really smooth writing. If you want a euphoric writing experience, you will want to try these pens out on some Clairefontaine paper (try a Rhodia webbie or a Quo Vadis Habana). The nib is a solid feeling nib and even after tapping it on my notebooks (fyi: I don’t recommend you try this!!), it looked intact and wrote the same as before I abused it.

That being said, this is the first time I’ve written with a 0.7 mm nib that I found peculiar. It’s hard to put my finger on it but I found that no matter what angle I held the pen at, the nib always felt the same. With smaller nibs, by changing the angle of the pen, writing feels different. Often it takes a little bit of writing to “break in” a pen’s nib to your writing but with the 0.7 mm Pentel Slicci, it feels like it’ll never break in, because no matter how you try to write, you have no control over what comes out.

I compared writing with the Pentel Slicci 0.7 mm to the Pilot Hi-Tec C 0.5 mm and although the nib sizes are different, I feel like the reason the Slicci 0.7 mm feels so “blunt” is because it doesn’t flex at all with writing weight. It’s so solid (which is otherwise a good thing) but it has no give. No matter how you try to write, the lines it produces are always the same width.
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Various nib sizes

From left to right: Pentel Slicci 0.7 mm in pink, Pilot Hi-Tec C 0.5 mm in pink, Pilot Hi-Tec C 0.4 mm in pink, Pilot Hi-Tec C 0.3 mm in pink, Uni-ball Signo DX 0.38 mm in blue.
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Writing samples of comparable pens

For the way I try to draw, this isn’t a big deal but if you want a pen that allows you more control, steer clear of the 0.7 mm and try the smaller nibs instead.

The Ink

The gel ink of the Pentel Slicci is rich, bold and vibrant. The colors I have for sample here are: sky blue, green, purple, pink, and red, though there are many, many other colors available.
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Ink samples

I bought the red one for marking assignments but now have plenty of ink leftover after months of us (approximately 500 three-page assignments). I don’t use these pens daily so they have obviously lasted a long time. I cannot therefore comment on how long the ink lasts for regular use. I have found though that wide nibs and gel inks deplete ink supply quite quickly. This is another reason to consider thinner nibs in general.

Eco Conscious?

For those of you who are uneasy about disposing of pens after use, you can rest a wee bit easier. There are refills available in several nib sizes, in a few different colors. Not the really fun colors, but at least it’s something. I’m hoping Pentel will start making refills in more colors. Why should the pen bodies be thrown away?? They’re perfectly reusable!

Overall

Then pen itself is really nice - aesthetically appealing. The richness of the colors in the cap and barrel make it look more expensive than $3.00. I personally love to write with them - they are colorful and write smoothly - and I don't need specific control for what I do. The range of colors and nib sizes available gives a wide variety to pick from. I was really sold on the colors available.

For more general use though, a 0.5 mm nib might be a good middle ground - for thick, bold and colorful lines but not so blunt that you feel like you have no control over your writing. Maybe Pentel will add this to the Slicci line!

I think the 15 packs of colors (which come in the smaller nib sizes: 0.25 mm, 0.3 mm, 0.4 mm) would make great gifts for stationery aficionados, students, and professionals alike. Maybe not pink for professional documents though.

Price:

At Jetpens - $3.00 each (different nib sizes available)
At Writer’s Bloc - $2.75 each

Monday, June 27, 2011

Tyco on Floppycats.com!

OMG! $(#&!%)*&!#@)% Tyco is on floppycats.com as Ragdoll of the Week for June 27! OH YEAH (Vector-style)! But really. He is. In all his handsome glory.
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Wee baby Tyco
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Giant Tyco

A huge thank you to Jenny for putting Tyco up for Ragdoll of the Week!! If you haven't been, head on over to Floppycats.com for all the Ragdolls you can soak up!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Crazy Cat Lady

Well, it's official. I am a crazy cat lady. In a few hours, Kevin and I are driving to Houston to pick up our last addition (... for now anyway) - a beautiful little Havana Brown from Oberlin Cattery. She is a half-sister to our little guy Cheebs (Jake).
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Apparently crazy cat ladies smell like cat pee...To avoid this, I scoop the litter boxes twice a day. And use a great litter (Feline Pine original) that will surprise you in its efficacy! More on that later... This is pretty much a full time job. I often wonder how well-operated catteries with many cats manage to do this.

We are thinking of calling her Ellie but we will wait to decide for sure until after we meet her and get to know her a little bit.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Picking Cat Names

Holiday Peaches
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My brothers and dad and myself all have names starting with “A”. When we got Angel as a little kitten, we were racking our brains thinking of names for her. My dad was the one who had put his foot down and said we were not to have any cats in the house, ever. And of course, he was also the one who suggested Dark Angel and that fit her just perfectly. As a black smoke, and weird and high strung but hilariously so, Dark Angel was just right.

When I finally told my mom we were getting two Bengal kittens, she asked if she could name one. I thought it was fair to her if she got the honor since my dad picked Angel’s name. And she picked Peaches. And it was adorable. Peaches it would be!

I added “Holiday” myself. A very close friend of mine had recommended the book The Lovely Bones. It became my favorite book, as it was hers. She passed away several years ago and but I like to remember her in little ways in my life. We loved the dog’s name in the book, Holiday. Plus, I really like weird cat names and Holiday Peaches makes no sense. Therefore, it’s perfect.

Koa
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Koa’s name is a little more sensible, surprisingly. Koa is a tricolor sheeted marble bengal boy. Marble bengals, especially the sheeted kind, take longer than the spotted bengals to develop. Their patterns start opening up as they grow. They have quite a unique and striking appearance. Koa is black and gold, and in some parts of his marbling, it’s a little bit brown.

Koa’s name is based on Hawaiian exotic hardwood - Acacia koa. I must point out, we picked the name after reading about it on Cook Woods. The wood itself is just beautiful, with a really gorgeous, marbled-type pattern. Koa's color is the opposite, more dark with gold. But it really is lovely. My mom doesn't like the name though.
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Photo from Cook Woods

“It is an excellent tonewood which produces a rich, warm sound. Supply of Koa is getting scarce as the Hawaiians have only recently started replanting their beloved Hawaiian Koa trees. Koa is renowned for its iridescent shimmer and luscious color which ranges from tan to warm gold with brown and black accents. The iridescence in this wood is particularly exceptional on the quarter.” Well that just describes Koa’s coloration perfectly. The iridescence is like the Bengal’s glitter and Koa’s inky black pattern is exceptionally gorgeous.

Koa, in the Hawaiian language, means brave, bold, fearless, or warrior. When I think of him throwing his tiny 1.32 kg (weighed today!) self off the cat tree to attack Tyco, I am reminded that this is the perfect name for him.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

What It's Like To Take Pictures of a Three-Month Old Bengal Kitten

I took literally 15 gb of pictures and videos in the kittens' first few days here at home. Upward of 15 gb if I include today's count. And I had to sort them...I ended up having to delete about 75% of the pictures I took because they're blurry OR captured nothing but their bits (paws, tails, noses coming to sniff camera, etc). I think it might be time to invest in a "real" camera. I'm currently using a Canon S95 which was revolutionary to me, to have a point & shoot camera that could handle low-light conditions reasonably well. But it's just not fast enough anymore. I mean, I could take pictures of Tyco using any old thing...because he barely moves. Hahahahaha.
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Creepy.

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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Burning Off Bengal Energy!

Well, I'm back home with two of these crazies. Yes, two 3-month old Bengal kittens. They're absolutely adorable. Kevin was a little worried, I think, about their activity level before we brought them home. We'd heard some "horror" stories about how they're very active and destructive and what not (not first hand of course, just online stories and whatnot). But so far, we have both found them to be quite normal. They're really no different than Angel was when she was a kitten, and even Cheebs before he got sick. They play hard and sleep hard.

Fortunately, I have no job/life so I get to be at home with them. I'm not complaining. I love it. Anyway, this means I get to be here to supervise them and most importantly, train them. At first, they were always climbing up onto the counters, investigating the sink, the dining table, trying to crawl into our plates of food while we were eating - but with consistent NO's and putting them on the ground, the rules are sinking in quickly. Kevin and I both stick to this training so there's no one faltering in it and they learn really fast.

I also spend a few hours a day playing with them with wand toys. After a good play session, they sleep for hours. I don't know why so many people say they're so destructive but I suspect they're no different than dogs - with proper outlets for their energy, they're just a dream! We do have several cat trees and a big stairway that they love to play on. This probably helps burn off more of that energy!



We absolutely love them. And somewhere from kitty heaven, I'm sure Angel is scowling at me! Having these little ones around makes me think about Angel and Cheebs even more but I am finding there is always room in my heart for another kitty. It's a relief to know I can love another cat again. Or two cats. Or three....

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Venturing In the Real World...in Toe Shoes.

Yessir, I am here in Denver International Airport sporting my black roo-leather KSO Treks(size 39, if you care). A few things to note about me with regards to flying:

1. I hate flying alone. Planes are dirty and every surface is soiled and it makes me uneasy. Planes are also nap machines to me so I inevitably fall asleep leaning on some surface I wish I hadn't touched. Does this make me a prude? Maybe. I'm a microbiologist. This shouldn't be surprising. (Furthermore, about 50% of the plane was coughing and hacking). I also get lonely. What's with airports that don't have free wi-fi?? Fortunately, this one does.

2. Oh my god I've only been without internet for like 2 hours and I'm pining for it already. What is wrong with me?? What a horrible habit.

3. A woman just ran past. She missed her connecting flight. That's going to be me one day and I'll be distraught about it and hate flying for yet another reason.

4. I miss the cat(s) (cats, when there were multiple) and Kevin. And then when I leave my destination, I miss those people.

5. I have a habit of zoning out and staring and people probably think I'm staring at them but I'm not. I just...zone out and stare.

6. Flying makes me ravenous. I really don't know why.

7. I always have to be searched.

8. I like to take off my shoes when I fly but then I don't like to put my socked or non-socked feet on any surface. Not comfortable to suspend my feet mid-air (even though it has happened where they did not reach the floor...). This leads me to the point of this post. I decided to take a risk and wear my KSO Treks to Winnipeg. Five days with only one pair of shoes. I'm not even sure if my legs are quite used to them (I've run about 12 miles in them). Here's hoping they are. But they sure are comfy to travel in. I didn't have the need to "take off my shoes" to get more comfortable during the flight. And walking around is casual and cozy. I love it. What a great choice I made all by myself and with a bit of encouragement (or skepticism?) from Kevin.

The lady who frisked my at security even complimented me on my "cute shoes" and my adorable toe socks (Injinji Lightweight CoolMax Liner Micro Crew Socks, in black).

Anyway that's my update. They're mighty comfortable and I don't feel like a weirdo at all. Well...no more than the usual.

Dammit. They changed my gate. Just after I nested!!! BLAAAST!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Homeward Bound (No. Not the Movie).

Even though I watched that movie over and over...and drove my family crazy. I fell in love with Sassy and Shadow. Sassy is probably the reason I ended up getting a Ragdoll. I still want a golden retriever...

Anyhoots, I will be heading home to Winnipeg on Tuesday. Tomorrow I will be busy kitten-proofing the place here in preparation for our new arrivals... Kittens!! Two of them! I will post pictures as soon as I can, assuming I can capture them before their ADHD kicks in and they scamper off to investigate things.

Friday, June 10, 2011

TotallyLooksLike

Tyco+and+Mr.+Dali

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Review: Quo Vadis Habana Raspberry + Clairefontaine White 90 g Paper - Courtesy of Quo Vadis & Exaclair

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Features:
Blank
Premium Clairefontaine 90 g bright white paper
80 sheets
6" x 9"
Made in the USA
Round Corners
Elastic Closure
Firm leather-like cover
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I happened to be a random very lucky winner of this fine notebook through the Quo Vadis blog. Yes. It is true. I actually won something so I guess I can’t say I haven’t anymore! I was elated when I got the email that I was a winner! I selected the desk size/large Habana in Raspberry and lo and behold, this is what I have! This was my very first Quo Vadis notebook so it was really awesome to get one.

Thank you so very much to the Quo Vadis blog and Karen at Exaclair for the treat!

Not too long ago, Quo Vadis announced they would be switching their Habana notebooks over to 85 g ivory paper, such as those found in Quo Vadis France. See the post here. So my notebook is even more exciting, now that they are being switched over to ivory paper. I have a relic of the past!!!

The Journal:


The large notebook is sleek and cool looking. It doesn’t feel bulky and can actually fit into my purse, which I love.

I have used mine now to journal, “draw” - my feeble attempt at art anyway, and test inks and pens.
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If you journal, 80 pages is perfect. It’s enough paper to fill up and give you that wonderful sound paper makes when you’ve written all over it, but not so much that you get frustrated that you have 1,000 more pages to write on before you get the fun of trying out a new journal. It’s a pleasure to journal in the Habana. I took a long time before I gathered the guts to put some writing in my journal. I didn’t want to soil it with nonsense!

Habanas come in several colors and two sizes, and in lined or blank. You can get black, anise green, red or raspberry in the blank notebook. Having never experienced the other colors, I can’t comment. But the raspberry is not a faded sorta-blah raspberry, it’s a wonderful rich raspberry that makes you want to lick it. And the soft leather-like cover makes it even nicer. In fact, it very much resembles a Starburst. Yes. This means I want to chew on it.

Another great thing that makes this journal ideal is that it lays flat. Have you ever tried to write on the left hand side of a journal that refuses to lay flat? It personally drives me crazy. But this bad boy lies flat and stays open with the sewn binding offering flexibility.
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The cover is said to be firm and that’s what it is - it’s not solid/hard but it’s not so soft that it doesn’t offer some support when writing. I actually quite like it, it’s the perfect balance for me. It has an even feeling to it, and the Quo Vadis logo is tastefully placed on the bottom corner, and the name on the back.
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It even has a handy dandy pocket at the back of the book for stashing of various items. I’ve never used my pockets though, mostly because I forget they’re there when they’re at the back of the book, but at least it’s available, just in case. Though I have recently taken to putting coupons in them.

The Paper:
Quo Vadis describes the Habana’s paper as a writer’s dream and boy is it ever. The infamous premium Clairefontaine paper is a divine, smooth, bright white. At 90 g, it is heavy enough to handle fountain pens with ease and makes gel ink pens feel even smoother. The new ivory paper Habanas are 85 g, but reviews say there is no noticeable difference between the 85 g and 90 g. Although this will become a moot point as the stock of white paper Habanas wanes, the white paper makes ink pop. It’s such a sharp contrast that it really highlights the color of the ink. Some argue the ivory paper offers a more classy look. I can’t say, I haven’t tried one. I’ll have to get one next. I suspect the color of inks will be a bit different on the ivory but the I’m sure the writing experience will still be great.
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The paper is also acid-free and pH neutral which means your writings and doodles are safe for archiving. Although after reading some of the inane things I wrote when I was younger, I kind of wish it wasn’t archived.

This journal makes me want to write, even if I have nothing to write. It’s hard to capture how smooth the paper really is. Especially with fountain pens, the ink just glides onto the paper and it feels like the ink is hopping out of your nib without being blotchy. Even with fine nibs, you will get consistent writing. Inks won’t feather on this paper. Once it lands on its spot, it stays put. If you write with a medium nib, you’ll probably find the ink takes a little longer to dry than on average paper. It’s so thick and dense that the ink doesn’t really soak into the paper, which also means it doesn’t bleed through. A huge plus for fountain penners. While this can be a negative aspect for some people, it’s worth it for the quality of color you get from your ink.

Gel ink and ballpoint pens also benefit from the smooth paper. Colors are vivid against the bright white paper and even the finest of nibs feel smooth.
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The pages have elegant rounded edges which greatly reduces the chances of your paper getting caught and becoming dog-eared. If you’re anything like me, a little part of you dies inside when you see a beautiful piece of paper get folded inappropriately (okay... maybe I’m just anal retentive...) but these rounded corners will prevent that from happening. It won’t get caught on your sleeve when you’re flipping through it quickly. A huge plus for keeping your journal looking new.
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From top to bottom: Moleskine Volant Extra Small (pink/rose), Moleskine Pocket Ruled Notebook (black, hardcover), Leuchtturm 1917 Coloured Notebook (purple, dots), Clairefontaine Hardcover (pink, graph) and Quo Vadis Habana (raspberry, white paper).

Price:
The new 85g ivory paper Habanas can be purchased online but just for example:
At Pear Tree Pens - $19.95
At Goulet Pens - $19.00

Well worth it. I would not hesitate to recommend this piece of art to anyone!

The Company:

Furthermore, as a person with a growing eco-conscience, I am so very happy that Clairefontaine is as environmentally aware as I am. The paper is manufactured from sustainable forests and the brilliant white paper is achieved using calcium carbonate, not chlorine, which can be pretty nasty on the environment. And, the journals are made in the USA, which means less transport costs and energy is used to get it to you! ... Assuming you live on the same continent. You can read more about their practices here and PEFC certification. I feel good supporting a company that is trying to be green. Which means I won’t feel guilty when I go buy 20 more Habanas.

Overall:


What a beautiful journal. I absolutely love it. If you can, stock up on the white paper Habanas, you won’t be disappointed! Whether you use fountain pens or not, you’ll still admire the quality of this paper and the journal overall is just a premium choice.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Ragdoll Blues

Ragdolls are known for their big, gorgeous blue eyes. Here's a cute shot of Tyco with his usual vacant stare, long whiskers, and beautiful, fluffy coat. Tyco is a two year old blue mitted ragdoll with a diamond blaze. He is a pet because his right paw mitten is too high - it's now called a runner. He's still adorable though! He just looks silly.
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Saturday, June 4, 2011

First Wear: Vibram Five Finger Women's KSO Trek

In my research into accessory navicular syndrome (which I was vaguely familiar with for years, having a weird bone sticking out of my foot), I have learned that many others who suffer from this problem have turned to minimalist shoes for relief.
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I am far too lazy to get into the technical research of how and why, but the consensus seems to be it reduces pain associated with this syndrome immensely. So, I jumped on the Vibrams bandwagon. Should I be ashamed to admit this? I thought they were weird, but mostly, I thought people who bought them were just on a fashion statement. Alas, no. Now that I have worn them myself, I must admit, they are quite fun and quite comfy.

I did a lot of research into what kind to get. I resorted to reading plenty of reviews, trying on a bunch, and looking at a lot of pictures to assess the obviously important cool factor.

Where did I look? Birthday Shoes. This wonderful website is chock full of reviews, information, pictures, guides, resources, so much information. More information than my poor little brain was prepared for in my searches. Why couldn’t someone just look at my derangely shaped foot and say “you need X Vibram”? No. Instead, I had to read about all sorts of models, their uses, pros, cons, things to consider, etc. If you are interested in minimalist shoes/barefoot running and such, check this site out. They’ve done a fantastic job of offering information, especially for n00bs like me.

And, just a little tidbit about me - when I do things like jump on band wagons, I like to go all out. No halfway business for me. I figured if I was going to go minimalist shoe, I should get the most darned minimalist Vibram I could find. But no. That wouldn’t make sense, especially since both my ankles are damaged from long term/chronic injuries. Coupled with the fact that I love running on trails, more than the road. To me, it’s just more interesting and feels more challenging. And indeed, for someone as... unaware... as I am, it’s quite the challenge to pay attention to where I’m stepping, which rocks look loose, which tree roots are sticking up so high that I need to jump over them, and more attention-requiring events of the sort.

In the end, I settled on the Vibram Five Fingers KSO Trek, which to me, held the best of both worlds. Both words being, the standard series with the smooth, razor-siped sole (where the ultra versatile, comfy KSO can be found), and the high-tech sole, where the Treksports are found. But I wanted black. I’m not quite ready for the whacky albeit fun colors offered. I found the KSO Treks which are super comfy and have that sole built for rocks (but still feel very minimalist). Hooray!

Mine are the black leather. I was a little weirded out by the kangaroo leather. And I love animals and am now proud to call myself a flexitarian. What the crap is that? A vegetarian except I eat meat that is free-range or organic animals and animal products. And only chicken, turkey, fish (obviously fish are not the classic definition of free range but in this case, sustainably fished), and beef. I would steer away from meat more but I am violently intolerant of soy and cannot tolerate it on the best of days. Anyway, back to the roo leather. They are really comfortable. The KSO Trek, in my uneducated, very unlearned minimalist shoe world, were softer inside than the Treksport so I was sold. I look absurd in them. Come to think of it, I should have gotten brown because I am also brown... (Sorry for the crap pictures. I could barely bend my feet to get them back into the Vibrams after running, let alone stand up and balance to take pictures. Also, they're a wee bit dusty from mushing around on the pebbles of the river bed.).
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First run today. Data as follows (using a Garmin Forerunner 305 + heart rate monitor + foot pod)

Distance: 2.18 miles (don’t laugh!!!)
Time: 46:36.35 (I hear you snickering.)
Avg Speed: 2.8 mph (how embarrassing. I was getting used to them, okay?!)
Max Speed: 8.7 mph (This isn’t too shabby. Makes me look cool.)
Calories: 177 (I used a heart rate monitor so I assume this is relatively accurate)

Now, I realize this just over two miles bit is not impressive. But I have heard and it was recommended that I ease myself into wearing these bad boys. So I ran 1/4 miles, four times. And walked/jogged the rest. By the time we were on our cool down and heading home, I was wishing I hadn’t gone so long. A few hours later and I know, I’m going to regret it tomorrow. My calves are aching and I’m very aware of muscles I didn’t know existed when I walk around. Being somewhat of a crazy person, I very much love the feeling of sore muscles. Means I did some good work! But I’ll laugh at myself tomorrow when I have to drag myself around. They held up really well to the jumping, climbing, hiking and rock-jumping-on that I did. Only once did I step on a really small, pointy rock that I felt a little jab on the sole of my foot and the pain was gone almost immediately.

First impression is a huge thumbs up. It was really fun. And fascinating to be so aware of my feet. No foot pain from accessory navicular yet!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Review: Yeowww! Catnip Banana

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If you are like me, and only have cats (although I would love to have a dog), you wander all the aisles of the pet department in all the stores you go to. Or at least most of the stores. I have always found that dogs get better toys than cats do. They're more fun, they're more interesting, there's waaay more to choose from. I realize a lot of cat haters who are dog lovers would say "dogs rule, cats drool" or something, which I actually find very upsetting because I love both... anyway. I don't think it's because dogs are better than cats that they get more fun toys, I just think they have different needs - such as to chew. Hence all the chew toys. Generally, this makes me want a dog even more because not only would I love to have a dog, I would also love to be able to pick out dog toys. It just seems like so much more fun. But cats deserve fun things, too! And so do cat owners!

Where does this bring me? Catnip. Everyone knows catnip makes cats go bonkers and that's the leading "cat toy" that most people get. Catnip, or Nepeta cataria, is a flowering perennial herb belonging to the Lebiatae mint family. In fact, if you try it as a tea, it does taste minty and it's quite nice. And this clever little plant is hugely popular with kitties.

The compound that is so appealing to cats is the essential oil nepetalactone. As we've all witnessed, it makes cats kooky, but adorably so and very much to our entertainment. However, not every cat is interested in catnip. It's a genetic thing: an autosomal dominant trait, so it's more likely your cat will respond to it but a minority will not. Kittens don't seem to be interested in catnip but alas, who wants to give a kitten catnip? They're already crazy and tearing around without it.

Typically, cats will sniff the source, lick and chew, head shake, rub their chins and cheeks, head roll and then roll around in the catnip. Some lucky owners have cats that drool with euphoria! How very attractive.

Great Reasons to Yeowww!

1. Fulfills Owners Need to Acquire Fun Toys for Their Cats

If you want a fun, fantastic, interesting and quirky cat toy, you want to look at Yeowww! Catnip toys. These toys make even me happy when I have to go pick up a new one. I have always stuck to the trusty banana.

2. Organically Grown

Yeowww! is organically grown catnip made by DuckyWorld Products, Inc, stuffed into those delightfully funny shaped things that kitties love to grapple with. Such as the banana. Or, you can buy it loose for whatever your purposes. Check out their wide range of product shapes here!
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3. Locally Made

Not only is the catnip organically grown - making it safer for the love(s) of your life - it's handmade and stuffed right here in the USA. Yessir, you can feel good about buying a locally made product. And these products are found in local pet stores/independent stores, boutiques and gift shops, not the big chains. The Yeowww! Catnip banana measures 6.5" x 2.5" x 1.25" (though being handmade, they do vary in shape in very, very minor ways) and is made of high-quality cotton.

4. Chock Full of the Good Stuff

Why else are Yeowww! catnip toys outstanding? Well, they're not just a sprinkle of catnip with a bunch of polyester filler, like a lot of other toys are. They're literally stuffed full of premium catnip. Before I toss the banana to my cats (if they haven't already dragged it around themselves), I roll it in my hands to get that smell going and it drives them crazy!

Yeowww! catnip is a signature blend of leaf and flower tops - containing that yummy nepetalactone, making it extra delicious for your kitties.

5. Good for Kitty’s Health

Unfortunately, obesity in cats is a big concern - it can seriously cut your kitty's lifespan down. Yeowww! catnip products are mentally stimulating for your kitties and all that bunny-kicking and excitement is good for their health! You can throw these toys and they'll gallop after it (or in Tyco's case, lumber at a fast pace). This is all great exercise for them and can help reduce chronic illnesses related to being overweight. And they’ll love playing with you, too.

6. Bonding Time

Tossing some Yeowww! catnip toys around and playing with your kitties can offer you both some quality bonding time. You may get to see your young cats go whacky and even your senior kitties become youthful and more active again!

7. Long-Lasting

Now, you may think it's crazy to spend $7 (average) on a peculiar looking lumpy banana full of catnip, but it's well worth it. Not only will your cat be obsessed with it (assuming they respond to catnip to begin with), it will take a good, bunny-kicking, slobbery beating and it will last a long time. If your cat likes to lick it, like Angel used to, it will discolor after awhile. Do not be alarmed. This will not affect your cat's interest in it. They will still drag it around and get frisky with it.


Tyco got a brand new banana all for himself last week. They are quite lovely when they are new - a very warm, inviting yellow. He is actually the first cat we've had that had just grabbed it and bitten right through it with his giant ragdoll teeth. Despite this, no catnip has fallen out. Which means it is seriously packed in there!!

Forbidden Love.
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The verdict?
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We all love Yeowww! Catnip Bananas!

Check out the kitties on YouTube to see some more Yeowww! catnip banana action (and other fun things).

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GourmetPens by Azizah Asgarali is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at http://www.gourmetpens.com.