a99kitten’s Musings

I blog about a WHOLE LOT of stuff :)

I finally watched the last 2 episodes of S4 of Game of Thrones last weekend. As usual with GoT, the 2nd to last ep of the season was WAY crazier. Like…amazing crazy. Jon Snow and Ghost continue to be my favorites of all time.

But since this finale was rounding out Book 3, I was hoping to see some things that we did not get :/ And I was very bummed about this. I really felt the story they left was a key one – Catelyn??? KEY. (we’ll ignore the Arya and Hound changes right now.) And would certainly create quite the stir. And I’m left thinking that the storyline is actually not at all important for the books, so all of the future possibilities I imagined with it are non-existent, since I imagine GRRM would have insisted it be kept in if it played a large part going forward. Very Big Bummer. Although I still hope it does. But I must say, I was looking so forward to that :(

Then today I read, for the 2nd time this week and from different sources, the “spoiler” about upcoming story lines. None of it was a surprise and makes perfect sense and I assumed half of it already. BUT…in 1 of the news stories, it said how the upcoming season 5 (which should be following the story lines of Book 4) would have important details from Book 5. Huh?

So now I’m starting to think we will fast forward Book 4, which is actually pretty much fine since it was my least favorite, and head to Book 5? And since we already got things not in the books so far (hints for Book 6?), will the show veer more off the books?

All I know is the end of Book 5 made me want to throw my Kindle across the room. So I really wish GRRM would finish Book 6! And is he delaying on purpose for the show? And if the long unkept secret spoiler of Jon Snow is true (the days before the internet were kind sorta better in a way), I think we need a LOT more story and fast!

Heading to SDCC this week (SQUEEEE!) and will be trying to get into Hall H for the GoT panel. And by trying to get in I mean waiting in line for a wristband on Thursday night and hoping to get a spot in a line on a lawn (if you are on the concrete, you could be in trouble) so we can eat pretzels and energy bars for hours on end and then run but not run for seats…but then once you are in – YOU ARE IN!

HBO is having a pop-up store dedicated to GoT and there is an interactive Survive the Realm at the Omni Hotel. Will definitely try and check out both of those as well. Oh! And don’t forget getting the flocked Ghost Funko POP!! I need 2 of those :) Ned Stark will also be at SDCC…in the form of Sean Bean for a different show starting in August. I just might need to check that panel out as well. I’m still bitter about Ned…

But they never, ever give away spoilers at their panels so not expecting much in that area. Although I am imagining that the In Memoriam they do every year, and which had people almost crying (and not just me!) last year for Robb and Greywind, will cause a break out in applause and cheers for Joffrey. Muahuahuahua!

Plus Jon Snow will be there :) Now if they could just bring Ghost!!!!

Smokey decided on a different route this morning than the last few days. As we are walking I hear coyotes going bonkers again. And we are obviously heading in their direction as it is getting louder. A thought pops into my head about the little husky girl who lives close to there. And is allowed to run free (grr.)

As I turn from the street to head onto the trails I see the lady who lives a couple streets away with 2 of her 3 dogs leaving and walking back towards her street. The lady who has the little husky girl. But the husky is not with her. So I instantly thought “ohmygosh – my earlier thought!” about the coyotes. But NO WAY could this woman just leave her little dog up there?? I must have just missed seeing her?!?!

This husky is small. I’ve actually never seen such a small husky but she is feisty. She is literally about 1/3 the size of Shadow. But what she lacks in physical size, she makes up for in sass. She doesn’t ever back down from any dog and walks up to everyone. And basically is Queen of her street. She used to love Angelus (who didn’t?) but she gives a little grief to Shadow and Smokey. She likes them – tail wagging, follows us – but she treats them a bit differently than she did Angelus. More like she asserts her Queenliness to them.

Anyway, she is tough. But still – she is small and 1 dog. I could hear at least 2 coyotes. And there was no way I could just walk away thinking that all day. So up we went into the forest – getting closer to the coyote yipping. Smokey was excited actually. New forest to smell is always a good time :) He was on leash and frankly I was not too worried about him and I but I was really hoping I didn’t find any coyote den or a hurt dog.

Then I saw 1 of the coyotes who kept howling and yipping as he saw me approaching. I walked kind of closer but around and that scared the other coyote who was closer to us but hidden. He/she shot up out of the bushes towards the the other coyote. Then I saw a white butt and tail tear out of the bush and down the hill. And the 2 coyotes took off up the hill.

I tried to follow the white butt and tail but no way we could catch up (Smokey said he could have easily caught up if he was off-leash!) So we got out of the forest and headed towards the house where the husky lived. And there she was – sitting right in front of her driveway – in the street as usual (again…grrr.) She had dirt all over her head and paws.

I have no absolute proof that was her up there. But all circumstantial evidence points to it. It also points to the fact that her mom left her up there to deal with the coyotes on her own. Something that I cannot even fathom. But I hope I helped anyway. Perhaps it wasn’t her at all. Or perhaps the husky does this all the time and is fully capable of taking care of herself and I wrecked her fun time. But leaving your dog alone in the forest with 2 (or more) coyotes is disgusting. I want to go back over there with a bat and knock sense into that stupid woman. Sigh.

Smokey had a good time though :)

And I don’t mean in the markets! (but yes that too)

I let Smokey choose our route every morning. This morning, we went straight up my street on the way to the trails. First, we came across a wild puppy. Same puppy we met before – Chase. He 100% spaz. Watching the teenaged girl trying to wrangle him was pretty funny. He was off-leash and kept following us to play with Smokey so I stopped until she could go grab his leash.

Not 10 seconds after she got the leash on him, I see a large critter further up the street (I live on a giant slope up and he was at the very top.) At first I thought to myself “what a huge dog – where is his person?” He was just hanging out in the middle of the street. Then I saw another critter come out and the bigger critter bat him away. That’s when I realized it was a bear and coyote!

The teenaged girl freaked out a bit – mostly because she just realized that she had her out of control puppy off-leash not 30 seconds prior and what could have happened. She turned around and went home.

Of course I had to keep going! By now Smokey was pulling because he wanted to go take over this pack and make them his minions! But I kept him on short leash.

As we were getting closer, I see another coyote shoot out from a driveway and the bear swatted again. He was clearly not interested in sharing his booty. Then he moved across the street towards the bushes and trees and grabbed his garbage bag and went down into the bushes. And the coyotes followed. By the time I got up there, I saw the bear box that the garbage came from.

Little piece of wood across doors to keep out bears. LOL

Little piece of wood across doors to keep out bears. LOL

Full time residents used to be able to put their garbage out in the AM of garbage day but any 2nd home owners or rentals HAD to have a bear box. This was so no garbage was left out very long to attract bears. Two problems with this 1) people want to have cute wooden ones that match their homes. Sure – they look much cuter than the metal ones. But thinking that a little wood door will keep out a bear if he smells something yummy is ridiculous. It’s now a building rule around here for all new houses built that you have to install a metal bear box no matter what – full time or part time resident. And if you replace your bear box, it has to be metal. Not sure the bears like those rules :) And 2) Bears are very smart and know the garbage day schedule. They get the locals AM garbage gifts before the garbage trucks come through.

Anyway, I could see the bear down in the bushes going through the garbage bag. He was BIG. And a light tannish brown color. Of course I wanted to hug him :) But I was obviously not going to try and get closer and he was clearly going to stay hidden in the bushes going through his treasure, so no pics :( Smokey and I watched him for a few minutes but then moved on. Didn’t need him thinking we wanted his booty and have him charge up the hill. He was only about 8 feet away and pretty darn sure he was faster than me!

But I saw him! And he was awesome!! Good way to start the day :) First bear I’ve seen since last 4th of July and only 3rd bear ever. Considering I live here full time now and hike EVERY DAY in the woods, that’s a low success rate in my opinion. I need to do better ;)

OK, I was a bad girl. BUT, in my defense, it’s a super rare collectible that I’ve been wanting for a long time found in near pristine condition….PLUS it’s almost May the Fourth Be With You – my 2nd favorite holiday! :)

Thursday afternoon a friend sent me a link to an auction by an individual collector of Star Wars posters. He had every one – every single one from every movie, every version, every re-release. And they were all in excellent condition. Some of the older posters are hard to find in great condition. It was common practice to fold posters so most have been. Or just damaged through the years.

I scrolled through all of the posters and there was 3 or 4 that I would have loved to bid on but there was 2 that I wanted a LOT. One of them had JUST ended and went for a lot of $$$ but the other had 8 minutes left!

It was being held at a private online auction house. I placed several bids on it using my friends ID (I didn’t have time to try and register) but it was real auction style – so after my last second bid it extended the auction instead of being able to snipe like on eBay. #dammit

I was in a bidding war with another guy and he clearly wanted it. Once we ran up the price 33% over where I started, I did a quick internet check and lo and behold I found another in the same great condition. There were others that were folded or had damage and they were still going for a decent amount due to the rarity of this poster. I have found folded ones every so often but I do not allow any folded posters in my collection. So while I watched the seconds tick down on this private auction debating whether to place another bid (and wonder about my sanity), I submitted an offer on the other I found. I was texting my friend who said let the private auction one go – he collects old movie posters and said this was a reputable shop (where I found the other.) And it was less than the auction house one! I sure hope that seller appreciates me running up the price for him #doh

Some Poster Info I gleaned from various Star Wars and rare poster sites (some of it I knew and some I didn’t!):

One of the very rarest original Star Wars movie posters obtainable. A year after its original May, 1977 release, Star Wars was still playing in many theaters across the U.S. To celebrate this milestone, certain of these theaters were presented with this very special anniversary one sheet. Though technically designated “Style E”, it is known by collectors as the “Happy Birthday” poster. It was photographed by Weldon Anderson and designed by Tony Seiniger using 11 of the 12 original Kenner action figures.

The print run of this poster is believed to have been fewer than 1,500 sheets (according to long time Star Wars poster experts it is rumored that there were only 250-500 printed, although no one can absolutely positively confirm this) making this poster one of the rarest and most sought after items for Star Wars collectors. And actually, according to www.starwarsmovieposter.com “print run was originally 400, but only ended up with 250-280 usable copies. Lastly, most of the copies were not distributed to the theatres. Most went to the employees at Lucasfilm and 20th Century Fox. That is why most copies of the posters are still found in rolled condition. (Thanks for the awesome information – Source – Ron Kalter – Gore Graphics employee ’77 – ’82).”

This is a genuine 27″ x 41″ U.S. one sheet issued by the studio when the film was released and meant for theatrical display. Not a reproduction. The reproductions made of this poster were 27″ x 39.5″ and on different paper with different border measurements and different font style on the poster line of “Star Wars Happy Birthday One Sheet”. Allegedly made by the Thai Fan Club…..#nocomment

Rolled, never folded. No pin holes. This one was never used!

Star Wars Happy Birthday One Sheet

Star Wars Happy Birthday One Sheet

The poster shows 11 out of 12 original Kenner action figures. For unknown reasons, the Jawa action figure was omitted. Utinni!!!

My favorite purchases are the ones I do on gut with no hemming and hawing and I find I am always very happy with them. It shipped Friday! Of course the framing will be another small fortune….but it will be a fantastic and well loved addition to my collection. Finding and collecting the old, rare stuff is so satisfying :)

…when if you wear short sleeves, it will be windy. And freezing in the shade. But if you wear long sleeves, it will be warm and downright blazing hot as soon as the sun peaks over the trees.

When if you wear winter hiking/exercise pants, you will cook yourself. But if you wear regular hiking/exercise pants, you will end up being dragged through bushes with only pointy stick branches to scratch you on your way through being dragged by a husky or 2 hunting wabbits.

And if you wear hiking or snow boots, you will be hot and definitely not as comfy had you worn trail running/hiking shoes. But if you wear those, you are guaranteeing the snow piles and mud that don’t seem to dry up until June and are sought out by fluffy snow dogs.

If you take a jacket or hoodie, you will zip and unzip it at least 5 times each depending on the shade/sun/wind ratio and will still be hot and cold on the same hike. But if you don’t take a jacket or hoodie, you are basically guaranteeing a spring snow shower or wind storm on your hike.

If you don’t wear a beanie and gloves, it will be below freezing temps in the shade and your fingers will actually lose all feeling. But if you do wear them, as soon as you hit the sun you will feel like the sun is actually cooking your brain. So always take them and then you won’t need them. But this means you need the jacket with big enough pockets to stuff them in along with the poo bags, treats and phone.

When you hiked in feet of snow on Friday and Saturday, was out on a hike the following Wednesday and Thursday in capris and a tank top and you were sweating. And are now looking at a forecast of possible snow on Tuesday.

Ah springtime in the mountains…

Have been swamped with a couple new clients plus tax time so hadn’t looked at my trading account quarterly P/L until this morning. I knew it would be bad, but ouch. I think was a good case for ignorance is bliss. Sigh… – 10% for the quarter. 10.3 to be exact.

This is my first losing quarter since the 1st quarter of 2012. Which I guess is good but ugh. The really dumb thing is up until mid-March, I was solidly up. I place blame at the feet of Janet Yellen! Of course, my insistence at continuing to play when the game changed was very dumb.

Looking at my trades from the quarter, I **really** owe Elon Musk a big hug as I made a lot trading TSLA. CEO crush confirmed :)

Tesla-logo

And my second biggest gains are tied – trading PLUG and precious metals (both silver and gold in various forms.) This further solidifies my Uncle Scrooge love as well ;)

Another hero :)

Another hero :)

Biggest loser? AMZN calls held through ER. Ugh. First time they let me down though so I guess that I can’t complain too much. 2nd biggest loser? AAPL. I made so much money trading AAPL calls in the past. It was so fun. The fun has sure been sucked out of that stock though. I am making myself a promise – NO MORE AAPL! I have my long term common paying me dividends (and that’s about all it does lately) but no more trading it. It’s a slug. And that’s insulting to slugs. Oh well. My fault. Tim Cook didn’t make me buy the options.

Had I listened to chessNwine (over at iBankCoin), I would have been less invested over this time period. But the gambler in me couldn’t help it. Luckily I never play too large in options since you can literally lose 100% pretty quickly (quickly when playing in the momo stocks anyway.) I know I’ll make it back. But I hate when I feel stupid. And there was more than 1 occasion (a lot more) when I KNEW I should sell something but the greedy devil inside me said “hold out for a little more”. And then POOF. Just like letting it all ride on black and the ball lands on red. Stupid. I get mad at myself when I do stupid things and KNOW I know better. Grrrr.

A Jedi uses the Force for knowledge and defense…so I WILL make it back and then some. But all I can think right now is I should be adding to gains, not making up losses. *shakesfist*

That seems very fitting. Angelus loved the snow. Even more than he loved chicken. And that was a lot :)

…I lost one of my best friends. He taught me that every day should be fun. That every day should have smiles. Rain, hail, snow (obviously) or shine. And if it doesn’t, you are doing it wrong.

One of my twitter friends, who I finally got to meet at Comic Con last year with his wife, made this video for me. And for Angelus. I put off watching it because I knew I would be a wreck. And while I’m bawling like a baby, I can’t believe how sweet and truly awesome, it is.

I still miss you buddy. Every day.

Handsome snow guy :)

Handsome snow guy :)

I LOVE chicken enchilada soup. As long as it’s not packed full of onions, it’s always delicious. I was thinking it would be a yummy thing to make on a snowy, winter day. And in my slow-cooker that I haven’t used all winter yet. So I searched the interwebz for delicious-sounding recipes and found 2 that I mixed together and changed a bit to suit me.

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 red bell pepper, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
coarse salt and fresh black pepper
1 can (11 ounce) diced tomatoes (1 recipe called for Ro-tel diced tomatoes & green chiles but I wasn’t sure if I’d like that – spicy?)
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 1/4 pounds boneless chicken breasts
2 cups petite corn (frozen is fine)
1 can black beans
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon Mexican oregano (crush it up)
1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese, plus more for serving
1 cup sour cream, plus more for serving
tortilla strips, for serving
sliced avocado, for serving
(p.s. Both recipes also called for a diced yellow onion but yuck. If you did want to use that, it gets cooked with the red pepper and garlic and added when you add them.)

Instructions:

In a skillet heat the oil over medium heat. Add the red pepper and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until softened, stirring often, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile add the tomatoes, chicken broth, chicken, corn, black beans, chili powder, cumin, oregano and 1 teaspoon coarse salt or 1/2 teaspoon fine and about 1/4 teaspoon black pepper to your slow cooker. Then mix in the cooked peppers and garlic.

Cook on low 6 hours stirring occasionally. Remove the chicken breasts to a cutting board. Stir the cheese and sour cream into the soup (let’s face it – I “accidentally” didn’t measure these precisely and erred on the side of a little extra for these 2!) Shred the chicken/cut into bite-sized pieces and add back to the cooker. Taste and season as needed. Cook 1 more hour on low heat.

Serve garnished with more cheese, sour cream, tortilla strips and avocado.

YUM!

YUM!

IT WAS SO DELICIOUS!!!! I highly recommend this recipe for a simple, winter recipe.

Been a weird day. Made some good (great actually) trades. Had fun in the snow with Shadow. But I felt weird too. Didn’t know why really. Then just received an email from our real estate agent that the our counter offer was accepted and the bay area house is now is escrow.

Funny./.same lady who made the very first offer that we rejected. We pulled it off the market in December for 3 weeks, painted it, put it back on last week and had 3 offers. OK. Same house….whatever. But then the lady who made the very first offer ended up making the best final offer.

I am happy. Cash money. Cash money is great. And I hate the bay area so good riddance.

But I got sad too. It was the first house my ex and I bought after being married for a year. The house we lived in for years and raised the huskies in. It will be always be Angelus’ yard – we hung out in that yard on his very first day and he always loved it. Always laid with his head in the fence, looking like the Prisoner of Zenda, as he surveyed what was going on. Even on his very last day.

And Stormy will always sleeping in the downstairs hallway and complain when I tell him it’s sleepytime. And on the upstairs deck…even in the foggy mist.

I won’t miss the house. Or the area. The view was great though. And the memories will be forever.