Friday, June 14, 2013

Pandas at the Memphis Zoo

This is a quick report that I wrote on a panda group page that I visit multiple times a day -- Panda-fandom Worldwide. I need to start writing here, too, as old stuff is hard to find in Facebook, especially when you need to extract something from it for later use.

I visited the Memphis Zoo on April 8. One down and 3 to go in the U.S. [The other 3 zoos are Smithsonian's National Zoo in Washington DC, San Diego Zoo and Zoo Atlanta.]

I happened to luck out that a keeper was out to do Keeper Chat for the Pandas. We discussed the mating session. Le Le was so close but they think no cigars. Plus, Ya Ya cooperated this year about being in estrus during spring vs the other years whenever she felt like it. They gave her two anesthetized AIs and 3 voluntary AIs. The voluntary was explained to me as Ya Ya laid on her back and permitted the vet to insert a catheter that contained Le Le's sperm.

Also, MZ is doing a nutritional study with the pandas. They are fed more often than what San Diego Zoo does. It has come to the point the couple are spoiled. If they don't like the bamboo, they just ask for something else. I got to observe how finicky Le Le was today. I'm thinking he's still in the mood to salsa. [Poor captive U.S. male pandas -- wild male pandas can mate as many times as they want. They just need to find a willing female.]

Plus I found out that this couple does not like veggies other than bamboo and the leaf eater biscuits. They do not care for carrots or sweet potato. They rather fruit. Though Le Le seems to have given up on green apples *LOL*

I did convey to the keeper that the internet fans would love if they communicated more about Le Le and Ya Ya. The keeper did not know that they use to do a blog. She's only been working with the pandas for two years.

Will post pics later. In the meantime, enjoy my capture of Le Le in his pool

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Warmth for the Inside

As the weather gets colder, it's time to move to hot beverages. I feel like a cup, no, make that a mug, of tea. After posting this blog, I'm going downstairs to boil some water for a mug of Genmaicha (Brown Rice Green Tea) :)

My Genmaicha are tea bags from Ten Ren Tea. I'm lucky my local asian market carries them. Otherwise, I'm sure you can order it online. Ten Ren Tea makes it with Sencha Green Tea blended with roasted brown rice. It gives me almost the same taste I get from having toasted rice soup after all the rice is scraped out of the rice pot :)

You can make your own Genmaicha by toasting rice grains and adding it to your favorite green tea (1:1). If you are unsure as to how to toast rice, just use your favorite search engine. There are many recipes out there; even ones for making your own Genmaicha.

Try it! You may enjoy it! I do :)

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Behind the Wheel, Not Today

Someone is telling me I should not be behind the wheel today. Really.

Our zoo had free admission today. I was going to go and take my sister and her kid.

I headed out to go get them. As I was backing out of their driveway, I did not see the car that was coming towards my right. I got a honked, I stopped and watch the car drive around me. I guess I was distracted by my convo with my sister.

We almost got to the zoo. I was in the left turning lane waiting for the light to turn green and watching all the traffic that the free zoo admission was causing. BOOM! I got hit from behind. I think the kid who was sitting in the back felt most of the impact. My back bumper got more scratched than damaged. I guess it adds to all the dings and scratches it has accumulated through its 10 years. The car that ran into me got majority of the damage -- mangled license plate, left headlight hanging out and black plastic pieces on the ground.

As the County Sheriff was on hand to direct all the traffic that the zoo was causing, one of them drove right over without us calling anyone. The Sheriff shoved the hanging headlight back into her car. Bad thing, I got to head into Newark to pick up the police report versus our local police department. I don't like driving to cities where I'm unsure of whether there is parking. I'm not a fan of parallel parking.

As this is the first major accident I was involved in, I didn't do what the insurance company says you need to do. I only took the other person's name and phone number and a couple of pictures (handy to have camera on phone). I guess I'm counting on the Sheriff to have taken everything (insurance and driver info) for the police report. I'll see what my insurance agency says. I can always call the driver. Poor thing was distracted by the zoo traffic and thinking about the wedding she had to go to. Plus, it was her third accident.

We decided not to go to the zoo. It most likely will be crowded as cars were backing up the traffic. I drove sis and the kid home and headed back to my house. As I was waiting at major intersection for the car in front of me to complete his left turn, a car from my left zoom pass me. It ran the red light!

After seeing that, it's safer for me to stay home today. Yep, no more driving for me today.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Introducing My HD to My PS3

Well, my PS3 snubbed my new 1TB hard drive. I really wanted them to play nice with each other after I loaded many movies onto the hard drive.

Once I discovered I could turn my laptop into a Media Server my PS3 recognized, I jumped for joy. However, this would have been too much for Pointy to navigate. Start up the software on my laptop. Turn on PS3. Go find the laptop media server. Go find the correct directories/folders. Plus, I later discovered that sometimes there is a delay in transmission since I relocated the laptop to another floor.

There had to be a simpler solution for her as I no longer wanted to burned DVDs.

A harddrive!!!

The PS3 has a USB port that would accept an external harddrive. After some digging, my PS3 will only play nice with drives that are FAT32. PC hard drives out of a box are NTSC.

DISCRIMINATION I say!

Yes, your computer will format a drive to FAT32 but only up to 32 gigs. I did not want to put any partitions on my HD. I needed mine to be the whole 1 TB. We all know Google is our friend. I searched and searched many sites until I finally found what I was looking for -- Formatting to FAT32 Tool. Yeah!!!

I downloaded the tool. Re-formatted my 1TB hard drive (stoopid PS3) and reloaded all the videos.

Now, Pointy is a happy camper as I've now become her VCR/TiVO. I find the programs she watches and make sure I put it onto the HD for her.

I did teach her something new but don't think it's made a permanent home in her brain yet. If the PS3 does not want to play nice with the HD (yes, sometimes the PS3 doesn't like the video formats), she can hook her laptop to the telly via 9-foot HDMI cable and plug the HD into her laptop. I've only shown this to her once. Let's see if she remembers or will she suffer quietly when she can't watch her programs ;) Or, even think of just watching the stuff on the HD on her laptop.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Jusy, You Slacker!

Wow! It's been over five months since my last post. I guess I did not have anything I wanted to say. Okay, I did, but procrastination reared its pretty head :) I'll try to catch you up.

I've got some photos I need to upload so you can see my latest trips. Yeah, I'll get to that soon.

Last month, I succumbed to "Pin It"-itis. I have 20 boards and 413 pins in my Pinterest account. Some of the boards have things I've tried or am going to try. So, I know two that I need to blog about. I'm feeling good about those.

Stay tune :) but not too close as they'll appear... ummm... sometime this year ;)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Droid Incredible FINALLY Updated

After numerous tries the Verizon way and two tries the Android Forum way, I've finally been able to update my Droid Incredible phone with it's latest system update. Thanks to the people on the internet, not Verizon.

The Verizon way was to wait for them to push the update to your phone. If the update does not succeed, it puts you back on the queue for the next push wave. I got the push about 4 times. Once even when I was at Disneyland. None of those updates worked. First time was not enough storage. All the other times was a hung phone doing nothing.

Okay, I will not ding Verizon Customer Support on not helping as I did not bother calling them at all. I'm glad I didn't as reading the members who did call Verizon was unable to get help where the solution was not "Factory Reset".

I decided to seek my help on the internet as I seem to find many of my answers there. The members of the Android Forum gave me all the help I needed. I found them by searching for "droid incredible system update stalls".

It brought me to this 1st step in performing the system update:
Second GB Update/Patch Won't Reboot Issue - SOLVED!

Then I had to perform one of the steps in this post:
For those who want the second GB update/patch
I found that I needed to do Method III. In order to make the date stick, I chose the prior month of next year.

The bummer out of this process was that I needed to removed some apps, clear some data and cache in order to clear up storage that the phone supposedly needed and then repeat the steps above again. I guess I deleted enough to only repeat the above steps once more.

Crossing my fingers that this update clears up problems I've been having with the camera phone. Hope it's not the bigger storage card I installed. It now has a 16 gig card. The user manual said it could handle it. Hope it's not the new extra battery I'm carrying now in case I needed extra power while I was doing a mileage run.

Maybe it's telling me I should be looking at new smart phones as I'm up for freebie credit for new phone in 4 months.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

WOOT! Silver

Just checked my frequent flyer status for next year. I'm SILVER again :D Priority boarding! YIPPEE!

How? Last Friday, I became a mileage runner.

What are mileage runners? They are people whose only purpose in flying is to obtain flight miles to reach a specific airline frequent flyer status for the current or next year. As I plan on making trips next year, I want to maintain a level that gives me priority boarding -- gotta get my overhead luggage space as I don't check bags!

Until this year, I've always been able to obtain at least the lowest frequent flyer status as part of my work perks when it winged me from place to place, but I don't have that perk anymore. In October, I thought I had to get about 17,000 miles -- ok, 3 trips out to the West Coast and 1 down south. Thank goodness I rechecked the requirements as my carrier is in the midst of finalizing its merger stuff with the other carrier. I only need 7,000 miles -- easy peasy, a trip out west and one down south.

I was able to get a great deal out west before the carrier discovered it's mistake with pricing :D However, I could not find one south that I was willing to pay for. I kept looking for deals in November but nothing was acceptable. I just needed less than 2,000 miles to make the lowest level.

What's acceptable? It comes down to cost per mile. I try not to go over 6 cents a mile. My west trip came to 4.5 cents a mile.

I went to Flyertalk, a forum for all travel affinity programs, and hope it would give me a tip on where I could go to get my missing miles to get me to 25,000. It did!!!

I traveled 5,950 miles in less than 24 hours. I left my house at 4am and got back home the next day at 2am. It would have been a shorter day if I flew out of my home airport, but I had to drive an hour to another airport.

Yes, I'm crazy, but I know I'm not the only nut that does this. Yes, it's more miles than I need for next year's status, but it will not go to waste. I'm working towards my goal of 1,000,000 actual flight miles.

With a million miles, I will never need to do a mileage run. The 1,000,000 miles will give me LIFETIME Gold status -- priority boarding and 3 free checked bags ;)

I could obtain this level within four years. I might try to get it over with in the next year or two in case the carrier decides to change rule. With my kid-sitting funds, there will be more mileage runs next year *LOL*