Clone Wars!

November 2008:

Clone wars!

At last back amongst the surviving packets on the grand isobaric terrain of the intArweb.  In my travels I have seen many lonely deserted packets, dropped needlessly from their groups… 8, 32, thousands… why do they not care for the feelings of a single packet, leaving them to separate into fragments of bits at our very feet.  But behold, I have before me packets folded to my bidding.  Networks staged on the very air over my living establishment are now mine, MINE, at my very bidding… my beckoned call to bow upon my every whim and desire.

Oh yes… I have internet access now.  Clandestinely perhaps, but I never claimed to be a Greenpeace activist.  I’m not armed enough for that role, yet.

June 2010:

Time progresses and this blog consists of things I have ran across and/or learned within the last 2 years.  In some cases, simply being a documentation for me to refer to later, along with sharing to the rest of the world.  I forget more than I ever type, sadly.
No longer am I clandestinely pirating airwaves to gain ‘net access.  I find my own connection to be far more sound.  That, and I can afford it now😉

New To Straight Razors, First Time Use!

Having been using safety razors for some time now, I’ve grown to enjoy the blade and respect it.  After feeling comfortable with using my safety razors and finding them very reliable/inexpensive to maintain, I’ve decided to go the route of straight razors to experience them.  The reason is mainly because safety razors have a slight issue with cutting hair on the scalp after it’s grown more than 2-3 days due to clogging of cut hair between the blade and head of the safety razor.  It’s entirely possible, but requires quite a bit of rinsing with every short stroke of the blade and takes a large amount of time.  Que the straight razor, with no other surface than the blade itself… and no protection.  It’s definitely a no-frills creation.  I’m not too terribly hot on buying a $100+ new blade simply to try it out, so I purchased an old-school used blade that was reconditioned.  Very well reconditioned, I might add.  It’s a 1930’s German Solingen straight razor with elk antler scales (handle) and looks brand new.  I also picked up an English bridle leather razor strop to maintain the straight razor since it needs to be stropped after being used almost every time.

razor

After receiving the razor, I was impressed by how even after approximately 80 years it was so well conditioned.  The metal is carbon steel, which is different from most nowadays being stainless steel.  Stainless is less forgiving than carbon steel, requiring stropping more often.  It was honed, and ready for use immediately.  The razor strop was in perfect condition, with a little dirt on the fabric section but that has no consequence to stropping.

I will admit, it takes quite a bit of self-training to do properly.  Having never used one before, I researched angle and such beforehand.  Most I’ve read said to use a 20 degree tilt, but I’ve found it varies depending upon which area of the scalp I was in contact with.  The first time (the only time so far) did hurt due to my lack of skill, however the hair removal was done very quickly compared to any other method I’ve used.  I also learned the hard way, always move with slow certain motions.  The blade merely tapped the tip of my ear, and left quite a marking that will take weeks to heal properly.  I used a brand of waterless shaving lotion named “EZ-Blade” which actually works very nicely.  After I removed most of the hair from my scalp, I used my trusty Feather brand safety razor to smooth everything down to the skin.  I noticed that the straight razor (so far) isn’t terribly good at creating a baby-butt smooth scalp, but is wonderful for mass removal.

razor2

This straight razor will be kept as a beauty piece, since I also purchased a relatively inexpensive 1960’s Soviet-era straight razor from the Ukraine which should reach me in a couple weeks.  I will be using that one as the main workhorse, and allowing the German model to be the pretty face of the area.  I’m going to try and continue using the straight razor method to see if I can strengthen up my scalp and allow the blade to make contact without such sensitivity.  Mind you, not bleeding or scarring, just sensitivity.

On to more experimenting!

2 New Ragdoll cats

I took my trip to Ragnarok Cattery just outside of Riverside, CA, and had a good time talking with Dave Chambers (the owner) while I was there.  Since he’s retiring soon I  figured I’d take the chance to hear some of the history and stuff he’s gone through.

Version 2

I originally went for a single Ragdoll breed cat, but once I was there I decided I’d get two.  They’re great cats, just being the first day and being stuck in a kennel cage for the 5-6 hour trip made them a little grumpy and antisocial for the night.

img_0017

They’re so docile, it’s amazing.  I do need to really take some time on their fur though, since it sheds everywhere.  The only downside I’m having is not with them but with Ashes, my black kitten.  She’s not liking them in the house and has turned severely aggressive towards me and them.  I know it’s a territory thing, but the problem is that Ragdoll cats aren’t aggressive at all, which makes them open to abuse.  I’m hoping she’ll calm down over the next few days because I’d hate to have to adopt her out😦  She’s a wonderful cat, just has issues.

 

UPDATE September 26, 2016:
After a little over a week, the attitude with Ashes has calmed down and she’s become very close with the grey ragdoll, Aria.  Both constantly play and lay together.  This has changed Ashes’ personality immensely, as now she’s more like a normal kitten.
Unfortunately though, the white ragdoll, Crystale, is still a very shy cat and has trouble not having her body enclosed in a tight area for protection.  2 times I’ve pulled her out of hiding places inside of my couch and inside of the box spring of my bed.  Once she’s in my arms, she clings tight and nuzzles while purring but right now she can’t stand a room with any noises or motion whatsoever.  I’m going to get another cat bed, litter box,  and food dish for the extra bedroom and put a light talk radio in there to acclimate her to hearing noises without being attacked/harmed.  I have a feeling she’ll take some time to get her ducks in a row, but once she does I think she’ll be a very loving cat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Raising my black kitten, Ashes.

My first cat I posted about a little while ago I named Ashes.  She’s a darling at times, and a terror at other times.  I believe it’s because she was abandoned at less than a month old.  After about a week of having her at my house, she began an offensive attack that most would translate as a severe defensive.  The difference is, she didn’t back off and if you did then the attack became more intense.  Slashing of claws, biting hard and shaking head as biting.  Add in feral cat sounds, and that paints the picture.

kitty

Anyone who knows me in person would know I’m the kind of masochistic person that’d put my hand into burning fire to pull something out.  With a little testing of her in certain scenarios, I found out she seems like she’s never been taught how to play properly.  At first I stayed still and didn’t move my arm/hand as she was attacking.  You could tell that severely ticked her off after a couple of seconds because her muscles would tense up and she’d grip harder with her claws and strike with her mouth wide open in different locations, eyes scarily wide open.  That wouldn’t stop for minutes, and I’d have to pull her off and overpower her.  Since that time, I’ve taken a step by step approach with her.  I don’t allow her to bite me, and when she does I divert her by putting my thumb under her chin and rubbing the back of her head with my fingers on the same hand.  Her eyes do get wide and she goes into attack mode at that point, but I’ve learned that singing lightly to her and rocking her back and forth calms her down to a light playfulness.  The biting will go away with age, since she’s only a small young kitten.  It’s helped with her trust quite a bit I’ve noticed, as well.  Before, she would be avoiding.  Now, she runs to me and knows my actions.  Above all, she knows I won’t hurt her intentionally, and that’s the biggest part.  She still bites, and I can tell it’s her attempting to be playful because if I get my face close she pulls her paws back.  I usually place my forehead against hers and she stops for a moment.

Over the last day or two, she’s become more open and wants to spend time not by herself.  I’ve been taking her to Petsmart for her vaccination, nail trimming, and to get a toy or two.  Everytime, I’ve been making sure to take her along so she gets used to the outside world and noises.  It’s been rough, but she’s starting to get used to it.  Though, attempting to walk across a parking lot while a loud car drifts slowly like they’re letting you go but not stopping and revving their engine a bit.. as a kitten is physically attaching herself more and more to your body with every rev, really isn’t easy.  (My shoulder looks like I’ve been whipped)

New Cat, and soon to be partner cat

Life has been helter skelter for about 3-4 years.  I haven’t been able to have a pet for longer than that because of uncertainties in life.  Things are starting to stabilize, and I figured I’d take the next step!  I normally have gone with dogs or ferrets due to the pack mentality.  The thing is, I’m not home enough to have pack oriented pets.  It wouldn’t be right of me to do such a thing.  I took the next step, and since I’ve never been a cat person I decided I’d get a cat.  Sounds stupid, doesn’t it?  The idea is, don’t go with cats that have a personality I abhor.  Adoptable cats never were my style, they’ve always been not my style.  I’m sure there’s a reason for that, and I’m not up for psycho-analyzing things right now.  After lots of searching, I found one that’s a perfect challenge for me!  A 1-month old kitten that was found by a couple of guys in the bushes near downtown Phoenix.

After having her for 2 weeks, I can tell she was removed from her mother far too early and needs behavior management work.  Trust issues as well.  She also has no role models in her life.  I’ve decided that she needs a partner in her life.  Instead of getting another homeless cat, I’ve decided it’d be best to go with a cat that’d be more my style and an excellent role model.  I’m picking up a ragdoll breed cat, more like a dog than a cat in behavior and very friendly.  There’s a breeder in south Cali that breeds for movies/videos, but unfortunately they’re retiring very soon since they’ve been in operation since the mid 1970’s.  Ragnorok Cattery in San Bernardino, California.  I’ll be driving over there this weekend to pick one out, and I’m aiming for a bicolor… but I’m torn between that and the blue colorpoint.  Since they are pedigree with absolutely no crossing of breed, I’ll know what I’m up against along with a lifespan of over 15 years.

These two were in the movie “Lone Ranger” in 2013 with Johnny Depp.

dn2

2 weeks of keto chow, starting to make own

After 2 weeks of using Keto Chow, I’ve been extremely happy with it.  I’ll be honest and say I didn’t stay 100% on Keto Chow since the weekends were my play time.  This weekend (and the last week) have been me locking myself down to a goal.  I was in partial ketosis during the first week, and lost the water weight (glycogens), but my body never fully went into ketosis due to going out on the weekends and eating carbohydrates.  It seems if you go out to bars, the foods they sell are almost always highly carb loaded.  Since Monday of this week, I’ve committed myself to fine tuning my ketosis by finding alternatives when going out, and steering clear from alcohol.  Beer is basically liquid bread, and while it’s tasty stuff it has a boatload of carbohydrates and sugars which fly in the face of keto.  For the next 3-4 weeks, i’m aiming for less than 20 grams of carbohydrates and no sugar.  It will take about that amount of time for my body to properly cycle itself into a ketogenic state.

Because of my future desire to lose weight once I’m properly keto ready, I’ve taken the available recipe of Keto Chow and researched different styles of protein available on the market in order to lower the carbohydrate count below 20 grams.  I actually ran across an awesome zero carb protein powder called Isopure that is unflavored.  It’s also not terribly expensive compared to normal protein, but it is slightly more expensive.  (3 lbs for ~$40)  Since there’s little to no use to include dairy products, I also changed the fats to olive oil & coconut oil along with using Engalvaer cod liver oil which has all the omega-3 in a 5 gram dose.  It also doesn’t taste bad at all, no aftertaste.  I’ve manipulated it quite extensively based upon my nutritional needs, and am slowly making it into my own mixture it seems.  I’ve jokingly made my recipe (private, on my computer) named “KetoX” since it’s gearing almost entirely on a smooth ketogenic long-term weight-loss regimen.

I am finding the desire to eat solid objects quite intense at times, and it’s funny to me how the human brain has these triggers.  I now have bacon, chopped up rotisserie chicken, and other little non-carbohydrate/sugar items that I can sedate that feeling with when it does happen.  It usually happens in the evenings, even if it’s not hunger I believe it’s more the brain linking dinner/food with relaxation time over the years.

I am excited about this change, and to see how it will affect me physically along with mentally.  I know my body is carbohydrate-sensitive, so this is definitely necessary for me.

Keto Chow

I’ve been wanting to go on a ketogenic diet for a while, but it takes knowing what you’re doing if you do it with food.  The nice thing about meal replacement is it’s very precise in macronutrients and calories.  After having looked around for over a year or so, I saw that Keto Chow became more than just a recipe on the net.  It’s produced now by it’s creator, Chris Bair, takes the preparation of all of the components out of the way and sells a ready-made Keto Chow in resealable vacuum packed bags.  It’s one of the few I’ve seen that you include other ingredients, but it’s mostly because it wouldn’t last if it was stored with the powder.  You mix heavy cream and MCT oil with the powder and water for a ketogenic diet.  It’s very flexible since the powder only equates to 500 calories a day, and the MCT oil/heavy cream controls the remainder.  Since MCT oil is approximately 100 calories per 15 ml, it can be raised and lowered as needed.  As can the heavy cream, which is easier to manipulate since it’s only the fat portion and not the awesome ketone creating tool that MCT oil is!  It’s slightly more expensive than the rest, however.  For a month, the price is $257 for 84 meals.  If you make it yourself, you’ll average around $180 but you’ll lose time that you could be doing anything other than grinding pills and balancing orders, and certainty that you’ll have what you need to go about your day.  For me, the extra money is on the edge but worth it.

IMG_0126

I’ve been using Keto Chow for about 3 days now.  MCT oil takes a bit for the digestive system to become accustomed to, and can cause a slight diarrhea action for 1-3 days.  It does depend on your eating habits previously however, since with myself it’s not effected me terribly bad.  It provides extra energy through the day, as well.

IMG_0127

The flavor I am currently using is gourmet vanilla, and it has a texture much like a melted smoothie shake which I enjoy.  I’m going to run my calories around 1800 for about 2-3 weeks then start to drop by 100 a week to 1400-1500.  With the extra buffering of fat and protein with all macronutrients already available by the body, everything is set for the ketones to do it’s job.  I’m in no hurry, this is a long term thing that I’m willing to wait for.  I need to lose weight so I can put less strain on my prosthesis, and live past 60.

IMG_0129

One thing to note when looking for heavy cream, there’s usually little difference between heavy cream and heavy whipping cream nowadays.  The best thing to do is look at the ingredients list and make sure there are no additions that would include carbohydrates or sugars into the mix.

IMG_0128

It’s super easy to mix up.  I use my blender, and include the MCT oil and heavy cream and fill the blender halfway with water, then do a quick whip to mix the two for a second.  Then toss in the mix and quickly put the lid on and blend for 2-3 minutes.  After, put into a container and let sit for 15-30 minutes then shake to mix up the things that have absorbed water and fallen to the floor of the container.  Then toss it into the fridge.  It’s always best to refrigerate overnight since it allows everything to mellow out and not be a salty taste.

Joylent

After about a week of Joylent use, I did transition away from it but I did enjoy.  It was satisfying, and didn’t leave me hungry.  I enjoyed the chocolate version more than the vanilla, however.  I think it was just the taste made me want it more.

The reason I transitioned away is because I found a more low-carbohydrate version of meal replacement.  I’ve decided to go with Keto Chow, and start a ketogenic diet.  I still have a month’s box of Joylent and a weeks box of Soylent, that will probably be sold on craigslist if I don’t start to use them in a month or two.