Cat on a warm gravel roof

Despite her age and occasionally impressive creakyness Mosca can still get herself up on the roof.

This is nice as it is always very warm up there on the gravel, but a bit weird as she seems to use the roof as her litterbox lately.

In fact I was going to entitle this the big cat box in the sky, but though it incorrectly implied that mosca had ceased to exist.

Anyhow, the ceilings and roofs in traditional adobe homes are beams with slats on the inside, covered with tarpaper, then tar or sealant and then gravel/dirt for insulation.

They are flat roofs, really gently sloping, the walls of the house come above the roof level and then there are spouts (canales) that allow water to escape. However the whole roof system seems to be designed to trap standing water on the roof.

As any New mexican will say, flat roofs leak. And damned if they don't. This being a dry part of the US the roofs actually work pretty well, but the Los Alamos-Santa fe area gets almost 20 inches of precipitation a year which is really not that dry especially compared to the annual 10" or less you see in Albuquerque and south.

So the roofing is actually being redone. The pic above is the roof minus much of the gravel dirt layer.

It is now in the yard:


There will be a nice layer of foam and insulation sprayed on top and then foam sealant so it is one big continuous roof, instead of sections that are poorly sealed in betwixt.

The insulation will be nice as the walls in the house are 18ish inches thick of adobe brick covered with plaster/stucco, but the roof is rather thin and uninsulated, so what heat loss occurs goes through the windows and roof.


First night well below 20 last night. It was a cold beginning in october, but it warmed up nicely at the end of the month and into november. This week is the end of all that though. Barely above freezing with a nasty wind yesterday. Brrr. Big full moon cast huge shadows everwhere on the crystal clear night.
Nice beautiful sunny day today, still cold though. Mosca rolled about and is covered in an insulating layer of dirt.

Fierce mosca, ruler of the yard, surveys from her dirtmound perch.

Click for big.


Annoy Cat

Moscalita has taken to hopping on my lap as I type, nudging my typing hands demanding petting, and then, failing that, climbing up my chest to get to the top of the chair, and then meowing to be let back down.

Then I have to pay attention to her.
Clever kitty.


Weird Uvas

I found the last of the harvest this year. Some grapes I had stashed in the top of a fruit basket and forgot about since August. Absolutely delicious, especially when I ignore the deceased half hatched moth in the top of the cluster.
Cats I have known

Cymba was a nice huge fat tabby I lived with in the 1996-1997 range, she belonged to my roomate Jen. She was rescued as a tiny kitten from a vinyard in norcal.
In addition to being a mighty 22 plus pounds, she was also the longest cat I have ever seen in my life. She is much as I would imagine mosca would look if mosca tripled in weight. Cymba liked peas and corn. I would heat some frozen veggies under hot water, put them on a plate and shout peas in a high pitched voice and Cymba would follow me throughout the house meowing loudly until I gave her some. Obligate carnivore my ass.

Cymba passed away last year after a good 10 year run.


Screen Door 1, Mosca 0

Yeah ouch.

Mosca and I both learned valuable lessons this week. Mosca, already not trusting the newish screen doors now completely does not trust them. I, in turn, have learned that mosca will often sit right in front of the screen door, waiting to get in, even at night when it is hard to see her. I think the clump of hair there is from her tail, but I could not quite tell, she seems none the worse for it. There is a small, cat appendage pinching, size gap under the front screen door as there is a bit of uneveness in the walkway outside the door. I was walking outside to find mosca. She was waiting patiently directly infront of the door. As I swung it open, some sort of really impressive yowl of outrage/pain emitted from the bottom of the door. Anyhow, the upshot is that Mosca gives the screen door a somewhat wide berth these days. It makes her a bit tough to get her in sometimes as she comes running for the door, but makes a hasty detour back out into the yard when she sees the screen door open. Sorry Mosca.


Abstract Cat

Taken from my pedal powered helicopter:
Kitty Seep

Afore I get ranting on energy, taxes and populist BS, here is a nice calming picture of Mosca contemplating her move from one part of the yard to the other. The wall slot is some sort of concession to utilites but it is a perfect sized cat egress to the other part of the yard. Thus, I dub it the "kitty seep".

More calming mosca photos as she hides amidst the leaf denuded grapevines.

As usual, click for big.

OK, just a little rant. We got a 79 dollar tax refund from the NM state government to "help" with higher energy bills this winter. This is a democrat governor. What a load of populist BS. There. I said it. The right answer when shrub jr gave us $300 vote buying dollars a while back was to tell him thanks for the porn'n'drug money, I guess here I need to git me down t'the wal-mart and buys me a gun. Thanks Bill Richardson may you succeed in your white house bid in '08, you have certainly bought my vote.

Alright, it is not as bad as I thought. It is not, uh, a regressive refund, a-la Dubya, but it scales inversely to tax paid/family size. See here. I am still a bit disturbed by it, but not completely outraged. I will not use the money to buy a gun. I am pretty sure, however, that there are better uses for money already in the state treasury, or at least a better targeting of money. People of my income level do not need a refund to help with rising costs. I could keep writing on this, but have larger fish to write about right now. Maybe some more funding for solar energy programs here in the state of perpetual sunshine would be a nice start though, eh Bill?


Drive by egging

Damn kids.

The yard got egged sometime last week, I suspect on halloween or "mischief night" although my NM sources claim they have no idea what that is. Us east coast hoodlums take the night before halloween to be the night that you go out and soap cars, egg houses and TP trees and what not.

I can deal with the eggs, in the many months I have lived in this house, the damn kids have chunked beer bottles, cow pies and in one memorable incident, hopped over the fence and took a large, uh, dump in the yard. Overall the damn kids are mostly harmless, I hope.

The yowly tiny creature seems to be disdainful of me as I do not let her out at night much anymore as there have been a number of coyotes seen around and about the neighborhood the last few weeks. I can't remember ever seeing the coyotes out on the road near the house before, but maybe there is some tasty roadkill stashed nearby.

Lots of pics, undownloaded, over the weekend. More soon.


Other bike blog.

As long as I am talking bikes and blogs, my friend from Knoxville, now in Co, Mark, has a bikey blog here:


He is a fast skinny roadie guy who likes to ride his 23mm tires on dirt roads. He will come down here soon and kick my sedentary thesis-loving-hating-working-avoiding ass all over the roads of NM.
Welcome Cyclists!

Well my bike and catblogging worlds have meshed as some internet pals from a bike list have put together an abloggeration of all of our personal blogs. Thanks Jim!

The beta metablog is here:


Kinda neat.

So I will add bike stuff here now and again as I promised long ago, but as i went for my first ride in two weeks today (2 miles) I may need a bit of time before I have bike news.

In the meantime here is me racing over the summer up in los alamos, up on the ski hill, 9000 feet plus. Click for big.

This is 20 miles and 3000 feet altitude from the shaggy cowboy pic below. Nice variety of riding here. That was at the pajarito punishment stage race in August, the last time I rode more than 2 hours this year.