Mobile Cat House

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Holy cat snacks!  I bought an RV!!  To be otherwise known as the Mobile Cat House, Traveling Cat Camper, Cat-Assisted Adventure Van, Traveling Cat House Adventure Vehicle?  The idea here is to be able to take extended road trips and bring the cats along so that I don’t always have to make arrangements for a cat sitter.  I wanted something small enough to be able to take most anywhere (cities, state/national parks, even dirt roads) and yet large enough that the cats won’t go stir crazy and hate it.


Click through for the full gallery of the Mobile Cat House!

After debating between the narrower class B and somewhat larger class B+/C, I settled on the Leisure Travel Vans “Unity 24TB” (Twin Bed) model, built on the Mercedes Sprinter diesel-powered chassis.  While it’s lacking somewhat in some of the technical features I wanted, the craftsmanship, aesthetics and build quality are fantastic.  (I’ll be posting my notes on my RV/campervan selection process as a sort of a review of what’s available that might be helpful to others.)

Anyway, I found and bought this only very slightly used 2016 Unity from a previous owner in Montana, with just 3100 miles on it, before I drove it the 1250 miles back home.  It was great to find a relatively new used one, to avoid the immediate depreciation hit of buying new and also to skip the 6-8 month long backlog for new orders.  Leisure Travel Vans are hard to come by and dealer’s orders seem to sell immediately.  I wasn’t even able to look at one in person anywhere in California.

It remains to be seen if Pan and Hera will adapt to taking extended road trips in their new Traveling Cat House.  If it doesn’t work out with the cats, I’m sure it’ll still be a fun adventure.  And it should be easy enough to sell again if I find it’s not something I want to keep.

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Cat Boxing Demonstration

Pan and Hera Demonstrate Cat Boxing

Cat Boxing Demonstration by Hera and Pan

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Polynesian Festival and Races


Darlene and I dropped in to see the Polynesian Festival and Outrigger Races at the Santa Cruz Wharf on Sunday morning.  Apparently anyone can sign up as teams in advance and compete in the races.  We also stopped into the free Monterey Bay Marine Sanctuary Visitor Center.  It’s a small center with some nice exhibits and videos, including a tank where you can drive around a remote-operated submersible.

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Hoan and Quyen’s Family Visit

Hoan and Quyen came up to visit for a few days with their kids Samantha, Sebastien and Sarah.  We went to Moss Landing to kayak on Elkhorn Slough, to the Santa Cruz wharf and boardwalk, to the farmer’s market in Aptos (plus a quick stop to see the dancing chickens at the Glaum Egg Ranch), to hike in Big Basin and then hang out at Four Mile Beach in Wilder Ranch State Park.

Click through for the full gallery:


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Suspects in the Yard

Somebody’s been eating my newly planted flowers in my front yard. I was pretty sure I knew who the culprit was, but for fun I moved my motion-activated camera to the front yard, near the house, to see what I might find.  Well, it took only a couple of nights to catch a whole range of suspects prowling my yard.

I knew there were a couple of rabbits that have taken up residence beneath some of the tall grasses near the house since I sometimes see them out and about in the mornings.  And not surprising to see the coyotes trying to find the rabbits.  But it was a surprise to see a bobcat has been trying to catch the bunnies in the yard too.  And of course I also caught the true culprits who’ve been eating my flowers!  I’ve now installed a motion-activated light and noise-maker now so perhaps the flowers will recover.

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Perseids at the Pinnacles

Darlene and I made an overnight visit to Pinnacles National Monument last Thursday to catch the Perseids in a clear dark sky again.  While enjoying the show, I took a few long exposures and caught a couple of meteors:

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Pirates of Cache Creek 2016

Pictures and video from this year’s annual Pirates of Cache Creek event with the Outdoor Adventure Club – click through for the full gallery:


And a short video montage of the weekend:

(Three minute video montage, 122 MB)

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Wisconsin in July

Click through for a gallery of pictures from a visit with Darlene’s family in Wisconsin/Minnesota earlier this month, including some hiking, canoeing, riding some fat tire bikes for the first time, visiting the Santa Maria and Pinta replicas that happened to be docked on the Mississippi while we were in Winona and recording our successful cracking of another “escape room”, this time in LaCrosse:


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A Messy Birthday Experiment

Several rolls of Menthos mints, several liters of soda, several tie-down straps, one human subject and… cream pie:

(5.5 minute video, 113 MB)

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Kathy’s Visit

Pictures from a visit of Darlene’s friend Kathy and her daughter Jordan and friend Adrienne – we went kayaking at Moss Landing/Elkhorn Slough, visited the Santa Cruz wharf and boardwalk and visited the redwoods at Big Basin State Park.  Click through for the gallery:


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