Monday, January 31, 2011

1 month down, 11 to go.

January is already written, folks. Here comes February.

Though I made a strong blog presence in early January, the last twelve days I've been quiet. Why? No reason in particular. Other things to do, more pressing concerns have been given attention.

So what has happened?

I've started learning Adobe Dreamweaver, Illustrator, Photoshop, and Flash. These are the cornerstones of web media. Gargantuan cornerstones to be sure. So I've been watching videos, doing tutorials, learning everything I can so that I can turn my parent's website for their B&B into pure gold. I'm only slightly intimidated by the scope and scale of my task.

So, there goes a bunch of hours for you...

I've actually been loving it. It's tapping into a creative vein that I haven't let flow for some time and it feels so good. Read that last phrase again slowly, savoring the goodness. IT FEEEELS SOOO GOOOOOOD! It's like reacquainting myself... with myself?

Anywho, it's fun having fun while doing business. Isn't that the dream?

What else, what else, what else....

I've learned that the pet industry of America is hilariously moronic. Yup. Moronic. Put supply companies have this golden opportunity in which the target for whom the product is made doesn't actually buy the product. Instead, an entirely different species does, and not using the same metrics as the target species would. Let me offer a "for example".

Kitty ran out of food. So, off I go to Pet Smart to compare prices with the Kitty food at Target. I arrive at Pet Smart without a clue about which one is good, which is bad, and how to tell the difference. Right away, however, I discover that it's not about the cat. It's about me. About me? About moi?



How can it be about me? Well, just as humans have designer jeans that are only slightly different from normal jeans, kitty owners have the luxury of choosing from a dizzying plethora of options too. Everything from Science Diet to Blue to Meow Mix to Purina, and these are just a few of the dry food options, not to mention the canned food. CANNED FOOD FOR CATS! Have you ever heard of anything so absurd? Oh, right, kind of like paying five hundred dollars for designer jeans...

Anywho, within all those varieties are an entire world of varieties based on the age of the cat, the dietary needs (and or preferences) of the cat, and so on and so forth. Ingredients, percentages, organics, flavors, ages, diets, and PRICES! Why would I ever pay twenty dollars for Science Diet when I can pay 8 for Purina or 4 for Meow Mix?

(I'm not stupid. I'm sure Meow Mix is four dollars for a reason.... Or maybe I am stupid. Maybe Meow Mix is correctly priced and everything else is gross inflation...)

How am I supposed to know? They all say that they contain a balanced blend of nutrients. So what does it come down to? Packaging. Marketing. How can we appeal to cats when they aren't even the ones buying it. Appeal to the human, not the cat! For CAT food. Ridiculously genius.

Speaking of flavors, by the way, I want to know who decided that my cat needs to eat Lamb and Rice? Or Tuna? Or have Oceanspray flavor food? Were I to release my 2 lb. cat into the wild she would never take down a sheep, harvest rice, or fish for Albacore. In fact, I don't even know if she'd show any interest in the rotting carcass of a ram. Nope. Here's what would appeal to me (because it might actually appeal to my cat): Sparrow and Mouse flavored Kitty food. Afterall, when was the last time your cat dragged a lamb chop up onto the front porch? Never? Didn't think so.

So, I got the Purina. Not because of the advertising, but because it was a middle-price option and happened to be on sale.

And don't even get me started on Cat litter.

Litter for multi-cat homes, organic litter, clumping litter, non-clumping litter, and on and on and on and on. I walked away feeling bludgeoned by options.


What else happened this last few weeks.....

I set a new personal record and biked to work in 3 degree weather! Wind Chill was something awful but with my handy dandy face mask I was rock solid! Or, maybe closer to Frozen solid. It wasn't exactly pleasant, but delightful to know it was bearable.

Do I qualify as insane yet?


No new baking adventures, I've been remiss in that department. Although I did create a fabulous black bean stew with a cornucopia of peppers and spices and veggies, paired with aged cheddar and garlic cheese bread breadbowls. THAT was the epitome of comfort food. Oh! I just realized that I made that on the 3 degree day. No wonder that's such a good memory!

Last week Amy and I went to the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry. We spent four or five hours there on one of their winter free days and only saw about one eighth of the place, and that might be a generous estimation. It's HUGE!!! Of course, the highlight of the trip was taking a tour of the U-505, the only captured German U-boat of WWII. Unbelievable experience. Second only to manipulating a tornado in their live science exhibit! That was pretty awesome too. Basically, if you've never been to the Museum of Science and Industry, you need to go. And if, like us now, you've been there before, chances are likely you should go again. Because you just can't see it all in one day.

So, it's been busy. I'm getting to teach my Sunday School kids about Abram and God's amazing faithfulness these days and it's been a blast. A real highlight.

Well, as this has been a shotgun blast of topics and no real depth of reporting about anything, you can bet that now that I'm blogging again I'll post pictures from the museum and give a real update on our fantasti-cat Marshmallow.

Until then, sleep better than I do (a.k.a. why I'm writing this after midnight)

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