Sunday, May 31, 2015

Quail Eggs


It's been a month since Dusty passed away. He's been buried next to the kiwi vines. I have hosed the cage with water to make it as clean as possible. I wasn't sure what to do with it. It's a well built cage, so I certainly didn't want it to go to the landfill. I finally decided to post it on Craigslist's free section today. I got the cage from Craigslist nine years ago but paid a small amount of money for it. I was surprised to see this cage is made in Italy!  I don't know exactly how old this cage is, but as we know, almost everything is made in China these days.


It's a very well made cage with two openings, one in the front and one on the side. The bottom panel isn't made of wire, so it's better for the pet's paws or feet. I posted it as "first come, first serve" but someone emailed me a number and requested for a call back. He wanted the cage for his quails and would bring me some fresh quail eggs. That's more than what I expected. It was smart of him to make sure that I still had the cage before driving all the way over from San Pablo. I was happy that someone wanted it for other animals instead of taking it for scrap metal.  I brought the cage back into the driveway and waited for the quail guy to come. I am happy that the cage will be put into good use for many more years to come.


Tuesday, April 28, 2015

R.I.P. Dusty ~2006-April 27, 2015


I adopted Dusty on May 13, 2006 from a family in San Rafael. He was just a few months old at the time. The photo above was the first picture I saw of him. It was love at first sight for me. At the time I lived in Mountain View. I have since moved twice more, and Dusty had been with me all this time. It had been almost nine years. I knew Dusty was getting old and slow. A few days ago he had stopped eating and drinking. I knew the time was getting close. In the last two days, he was not able to sit up anymore. I came home from work today, and he was still alive. A couple hours later he had taken his last breath. I will miss him and all the years we spent together.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Now Under 24 Hours Surveillance

I am able to see Dusty from work in the dark garage

A few weeks ago one of my co-workers showed me how she could watch her puppy through the WiFi camera on her iPhone. I was so intrigued. It appeared to be much easier to set up than I thought. I asked her a lot of questions. I figured if her father was able to set it up, I should be able to do it as well.  She has Motorola WiFi HD Home Monitor Cameras. They were just over $100 for 2. She showed me that they were available at Costco and Walmart. When I finally got around to make the purchase, they were no longer available. I started doing product research and found Foscam WiFi Cameras. They come in many different models. After much comparison, I settled on NVision FI8910W. I got 2 pack for $106 from Amazon. I had a $10 gift certificate.  These cameras are not in HD so they are a little cheaper than the HD model. However, they can be remotely pan and tilt, which the Motorola cameras can't do. I also didn't need to pay for any third party software. After all, I think these are a better deal than the Motorola cameras.

Chico is very curious of Dusty

As I was setting up the cameras, I ran into a complication. I was able to get everything working properly at home on the first night.  I found a very helpful Youtube tutorial from Awkward Hamster at https://youtu.be/2xKu4uZtt3M. I watched it carefully several times. Everything worked until I got to work. I was not able to access my camera login page. Okay, so perhaps I missed something. On the second day I set up IP forwarding. Everything looked great. The IP address pulled up my cameras at home. I got to work, and it was still unable to connect. I ended up emailing Awkward Hamster for advise. He was stumped as well. Third night I got home, I started digging for information on my router. It was obvious to me the problem was that my ports were not open and couldn't be viewed outside of my network. I have a Motorola SURFboard SBG6580.  I found the answer I was searching for at http://forums.comcast.com/t5/Home-Networking-Router-WiFi/Port-Forwarding-for-an-IP-Camera/td-p/1529477. It turned out that I had to enter 0.0.0.0 for the field that asks for external IP. How would anybody know this?  I filled in my external IP of course, and it just wouldn't work. As soon as I typed in 0.0.0.0. into my router configuration. I checked my ports again at http://www.canyouseeme.org/, and finally they were now open. My friends were able to pull up my Foscom login page from their homes.  On the third day, I was able to see my Cracus and Kelsey from my work computer, my Android tablet, and my very old Android phone. I thought I had to upgrade my cell phone, but it works just fine.

I caught Kelsey on the couch though the camera

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Bruce King Memorial Dog Park


I have been meaning to write something about this little dog park in El Cerrito just a couple blocks from our new house. It was one of the pluses when I was considering purchasing our new home. This is the park that's always open and within a very short walking distance. However, we don't usually see people there.  A dog park is pretty lonely when there is only one or two dogs.


We are hosting a young hound for a few days who needs a bit more exercise than our normal routine. We walked over to Bruce King Memorial Dog Park in the morning,  and to my surprise, there was a group of dogs their with their people chatting like a group of old friends. They had all sorts of toys and were all large breeds. Cracus fit right in then. He thinks he's a big dog. It turned out, they are the morning regulars who stop by every week morning before they go to work. Wow, that's dedication.


Monday, April 6, 2015

Building a Bamboo Trellis


We have a  little bamboo patch in the backyard. It's a good and possibly bad thing. If they start taking over the entire yard, then it's a bad thing. If they stay in their own area, I can use them for various purposes. I knew that I wanted to use them to make trellis for growing anything that climbs.  A couple months ago I planted my kiwi vines out in the garden. They have really flourished. This week is spring break, and I knew that I had to take this opportunity to cut down some bamboo and make a trellis for the kiwi vines.


I have the perfect tool for sawing off the bamboo. About four years ago, I bought a Pocket Boy. It's a cute little saw that can easily hurt someone seriously.  It only took seconds to saw off a bamboo stick. I saw off about 20 of them.  One thing to watch out for is getting splinters from the bamboo. They are so fibrous and sharp. I put on some gloves after getting many tiny splinters.  I saw off the top part with the leaves before pounding the bigger ones into the soil. I used some ribbon from old gift wraps to tie the horizontal sticks. They aren't all straight and even, but that's okay. I think they will be functional. Once the kiwi vines wrap around the trellis, you won't be able to see much of the trellis itself anyway.  I will show you how it all looks in a few months.