Aby-a-Day . Shadowing Izaak (Hipstamatic Monday)

It has been raining really hard for the past two days – lightning, thunder, and a tremendous amount of precipitation. Last week, however was sunny and bright.

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When we went outside, I was struck by the way Izaak’s shadow looked. I had to take some Hipstamatic snaps of him.

Aby-a-Day – 23 May 2020: All hail HAIL! (Swedish Saturday)

This afternoon we had a freak hailstorm.

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Alfred was fascinated – he leapt to the top of the balcony door to watch it! I don’t think he’s ever seen hail before.

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It built up quite quickly on the balcony windowsill and railings.

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Lorelai also wanted to see the hail from the top of the door.

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I scooped up some of the hail so Freddy could look at it close up.

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“That…that’s what was falling from the sky? Little ice balls?”

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I am not sure why he was so puzzled by the hail. He’s seen snow plenty of time.

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Rory hopped down from the door to look at the hailstones.

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“Check this stuff out…it’s awesome!”

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Freddy still seemed amazed at the fact the hail came from the sky.

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Meanwhile, Rory examined the tiny ice balls.

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“What is this magical ice, Mom?”

Aby-a-Day – 5 Mars 2020: It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s SuperFreddy! (Thursday Things)

As you saw yesterday, Alfred went a little bit crazy running around in the snow when we had it. He was the last one who wanted to come in from the cold.

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He just wanted to run and run….

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It was a little frustrating. I was only wearing a hoody so I would be as cold as the unclothed cats, and I was ready to go in, too.

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He broke away from me at the door and made a beeline for the swing set that is always so popular in summer.

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He was wicked hard to catch.

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And he was super naughty! First, he peed in the snow. AGAIN.

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Then he moved on and started digging. I thought he was just playing with the snow…

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…And it looked like that was all it was, at first.

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But no. And, yes, that is exactly what it looks like. He pooped in the snow, too! I feel a little bad about leaving it there in the play area, but I guess kids won’t be swinging anytime soon.

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Soon after, he ran back towards our house. Guess that’s why he didn’t want to go back in. But I have never seen him go to the bathroom outside anytime except in snow. Weirdo.

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While I was out there in the “backyard,” I saw some things that I wouldn’t have had Freddy not run back there. Like hare tracks.

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And bird landing/take-off prints. This is probably a magpie.

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I love bird footprints in snow.

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I also love wingprints.

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I think this is a jackdaw picking something up.

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I am guessing this is another magpie.

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Walking and then a take-off. Magpies make tailprints, so this is either a crow or a jackdaw.

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Of course, there were also some cat footprints.

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As snowy as it looks, it was also melting fast.

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Crocuses are already blooming!

And, as you can see, a large area at the back of our building was all green grass. I think we’ll be lucky if we get any more snow this year.

Aby-a-Day – 15 Februari 2020: The weather, it’s a’changing (Swedish Saturday)

As I have mentioned previously, we’ve been having what can only be described as a crap winter. It’s only snowed four times all winter (if you can call it that), and the fourth time it didn’t even stick.

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This. This right here is what’s wrong with winter in Sweden. I took these photos on 11 February. Those are DAISIES.

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Daisies don’t usually pop up in February. There’s usually still snow on the ground in February. Daisies don’t usually pop up until late March, early April. And, yet, here they are.

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So, it’s wet and muddy…but it’s also green and warm. So, cats got to go outside.

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They weren’t as excited about being outside as usual…but it was muddy and wet.

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You could see them being picky about where they put their feet.

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Still, even though it was kind of sloshy outside, it was also 6-7° C (about 43-45°F) which, for February, is pretty damn warm, especially in Sweden. But, you know…climate change isn’t a real thing, right?

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Regardless, I think they enjoyed getting outside so early in the year.

Aby-a-Day – 4 Juli: The rain in Spain stays mainly on the Fred (Thursday Things)

Our part of Sweden and New England have a lot in common, including summer weather. We can have many rainy days in a row in the middle of summer, both here and there. Of course, the cats don’t realise this; to them, outside is outside, regardless of weather.

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Until they actually go outside and find out it’s raining. This was a couple of weeks ago. Lorelai had gone out to run, despite the rain. I went back to grab my camera in order to capture the silly girl running in the rain…but she had had enough of the water falling out of the sky and ran back in when I opened the door…but Alfred ran out as she was running in.

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It didn’t take him long to understand why Rory actually wanted to come back inside.

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Nope, nope, nope, nope…

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NOPE!

Aby-a-Day – 19 March: “Storm” (Saturday Photo Hunt)

This week’s Photo Hunt subject is “Storm.”

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We’ve had some crazy weather lately. It’s been raining for two days (this was the sky yesterday), and it’s even supposed to snow tomorrow night!

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But we all know the best place to be in during a storm, right?

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That’s right! Your blanket fort!

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Jacoby says he’ll be here till May…thank you and good night.

Aby-a-Day – 15 February: Cold Snap! (Hipstamatic Monday)

It’s been really cold in Boston this weekend. I mean, really cold.

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This is how Angel coped with it. Smart girl, our Angel.

Aby-a-Day – April 2: The sun is a lie

We’ve had a few sunny days in amongst the rain and snow.

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Despite the sun, it’s still wicked cold outside. It’s barely cracked 60° this “spring.”

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The morning I took these photos, it was about 25°F.

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In general, when you see a bright, sunny day in winter or early spring it usually means it’s cold outside. Clouds bring warmth.

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Which is exactly the opposite of what Angel and I learned growing up in Northern California. There, clouds (especially fog) = cold.

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It takes some getting used to. Fifteen years of living here and sometimes I still forget.

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So, yeah, the sun is a lie.

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At least, the sun outside is a lie.

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The sun inside, however…

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that sun is lovely and warm and perfect for bathing and napping. Even if the glass is a bit cold to lie against…

Abys (and Somalis) are Everywhere – Weather Whiskers

I am so behind on my “extra” posts, because I’ve been concentrating quite a bit on the cartoons. I have a collection of “other Aby” things to share, and this is one I’ve been meaning to get to for some time.

Weather Whiskers is a smartphone app that my sister got me hooked on last year. It’s just a weather app like the default one all phones come with…but with cats. It’s free, and it’s much more charming than the usual clouds, suns and lightning bolts that regular weather apps give you.

That’s right. Regular, as-accurate-as-any weather…

…just illustrated with cute, dressed up LOLcats.

Like this Oriental Shorthair.

And this Bombay.

But you know I wouldn’t be posting about this app if it was just random cats, no matter how awesome it was. Of course there’s an Aby connection.

I’ve seen this Somali for Fog and also for Hot & Sunny. I have not seen an actual Abyssinian yet, but…

…Weather Whiskers does feature this Frida Kahlo Aby on their Facebook page banner!

Aby-a-Day – June 12: The flowers that bloom in the spring, tra-la

Springtime in Boston is just so much more appreciated than springtime in most places I’ve lived. Jacoby and I were walking home from our visit at Fuller, and were just slammed by the scent of flowers. A lot of flowers.

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We turned a corner and saw this.

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A huge pile of amazingly fragrant purple flowers.

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Jake had to get out and check them out.

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He’s a firm believer in stopping to smell the roses…or, in this case, purple flowers.

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I don’t know what kind of flowers these are, but they sure smelled great.

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And they were in such an unexpected place!

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Jake enjoyed checking them out, too.

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He always enjoys taking little adventures on the way home from visits.

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And it’s a good thing we stopped to appreciate them, too. The next time we went past this place, the flowers were almost entirely gone. Just like springtime in Boston, flowers are ephemeral and fleeting.

Aby-a-Day – October 8: Stormy weather (Cartoon Tuesday)

This was inspired by something Abyfriend Kelli said about her two girls, Allie and Emmy.

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Jacoby doesn’t seem to mind the rain…but neither does anyone else in our house.

(Click cartoon to embiggen, or you can view all cartoons in Slideshow mode on Flickr.)

Aby-a-Day – February 10: Snow show

We decided to leave for the show last night after the driving ban was lifted.

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I was glad we did. The show hall was great, and it was a hotel show, which is always so much easier. It was good to see Meg again…

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…As well as Cousin Taz…

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…and little Cousin Fire, Taz’s nephew.

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Today was a gorgeous day, bright, clear, and sparkling white.

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I gave Tessie the option of checking out the snow (I gave Jacoby the same option, but he didn’t even want to get close to the open door without one of his coats on).

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She was not a fan.

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Jake, as usual, made a great first impression…

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He’s always so congenial in the ring.

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But he actually did really well today. Out of five rings, he ended up making three of the finals, placing 8th Best Allbreed, 7th Best Allbreed, and 4th Best Shorthair Specialty.

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In fact, in his last ring, the judge, Marsha Ammons, said, “I’ve seen this cat in the media!” Meg and I said, “Yep, he was on the front of the Herald. He’s Strollercat.” I ask judges to sign all of Jake’s rosettes, and Marsha wrote “Congratulations to Strollercat” on her rosette. How awesome is that?

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Tessie was a star in the Household Pets class. Showing HHP is fun, and different from showing the purebred classes. Many judges ask the exhibitors to come up and tell their cat’s story. That’s always interesting.

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One thing almost every judge said was that they could tell Tessie had been at a few shows because she handled it like a pro. But actually, she’s only been to two shows before today, and those were back in 2007.

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There was a rescue Chinchilla Persian in HHP, too. It was interesting to see her next to Tessie, since Asian breed actually started with an accidental mating between a European Burmese and a Chinchilla Persian. You can see that Tessie does have some Persian in her ancestry (along with Abyssinian, of course).

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Tessie was the star of the day. She was named Best HHP in three rings, and took 3rd Best and 8th Best in the other two! I was so proud of her. She’s going to be 10 years old this August, not that you’d ever know it to look at her.

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You go, Tessie girl!

There was one disappointment, though. John Rutherford from Ataraxia Abyssinians was meant to be there – in fact, he was meant to be set up on the other side of me! I’ve not met him yet, and he’s Cousin Toki’s breeder…it would have been nice to finally meet him. Ah well, perhaps next time.

Aby-a-Day – February 9: Snowed under Nemo

So, you may have heard something about a little storm happening out here in New England.

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We’ve all been safely hunkered down in our 107-year-old solid brick building and we’re all fine.

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The snow started to fall here in Boston around 10am and hasn’t stopped yet. The MBTA shut down at 3pm Friday afternoon and Governor Patrick declared a statewide state of emergency and shut down all roads – no driving allowed anywhere, on any road, for any reason (except emergency vehicles and snowplows) – starting at 4pm Friday. It hasn’t been lifted yet. According to the reports, “Nearly 22 inches of snow fell in Boston and more was expected, closing in on the 2003 record of 27.6 inches.”

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Problem is, we were supposed to go to a cat show this weekend! Not only were we entered, but I’m a member of the Nutmeg Club (you may recognise the drawing style on that logo), and I’ve been involved with the planning for this show since December! Disappointing, to say the least.

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I was really looking forward to our first show since September. We’d entered Tessie this time along with Jacoby, it was a hotel show, and it had a really special line-up of judges. We’re still keeping the option of going out there just for Sunday’s judging…but since the travel ban hasn’t been lifted yet, it’s looking less likely by the hour.

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Just now, as I’m typing this at 12:20pm, it’s still snowing outside, albeit more lightly than earlier this morning. But both the Mayor Menino and Governor Patrick are telling people to stay off the roads.

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I was really looking forward to my first cat show as a club member, too. Of all the weekends!

Aby-a-Day – February 4: Baby, it’s cold outside (Hipstamatic Monday)

I had to take Jacoby (aka #Strollercat) out to Somerville one night a week or so ago, and it was cold outside. I’m talking the coldest night of the year, cold: it was not including wind chill!

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Well…that’s why he has a coat! I bundled him up well, with his harness coat on underneath his new United Bamboo parka, and his microwave heating pad and off we went.

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He was nice and toasty.

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He was probably warmer than I was!

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And, honestly, we weren’t outside that much. Just to get to the train station and then to the place at the other end. The rest of the time we were inside the station or on the train.

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Jake enjoyed going out again, even though it was so chilly.

Aby-a-Day – November 6: Have you ever seen the rain? (Cartoon Tuesday)

This was inspired by Hurricane Sandy last week…

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(Click cartoon to embiggen, or you can view all cartoons in Slideshow mode on Flickr.)

Aby-a-Day – November 1: Sandy Claws

Here in the Northeast, Hurricane Sandy has been a major…well, a force of nature. Literally. At least 11 dead, Lower Manhattan flooded, the front ripped off a building in Chelsea, not to mention the devastation in the Caribbean while Sandy was on her way here. Boston was lucky; we had a lot of rain and wind, but not a lot of damage in the city proper. There were a lot of fallen trees, downed power lines and crushed cars and roofs in the suburbs, though.

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Jacoby and I got a little taste of Sandy’s fury while we were out at the post office on Sunday.

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Really puts things in perspective, doesn’t it?

Aby-a-Day – January 28: Snow Day!

We’ve been having a really mild winter this year. Although, it did finally snow the other day.

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And Jacoby? Was psyched.

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He really does seem to like snow. I’m not sure if he likes how different it makes the world look, or if he likes to watch it falling…

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…or maybe he likes both those things.

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But Jake’s a lot like a little kid when it starts snowing. He just gets excited and pastes himself to the window to look at it.

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And of course, I love watching him watch the snow fall. Unfortunately, the snow didn’t last long enough for us to go out and walk in it. That’s the kind of winter we’ve been having this year. I’m not sure if Jake was as sad about that as I was, though.

Aby-a-Day – January 21: Finally, snow!

I know we’re two-thirds through January already, but we finally had our first real snow today.

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Crazy, I know. I mean, this is New England!

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But I swear, Jacoby was excited to see that it was snowing this morning!

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I’m not sure why, to be honest.

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I mean, obviously, snow is cool. But is it the flakes actively falling from the sky that entrances him?

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Or is it the fact that everything is suddenly covered in white?

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Whatever it is, one thing cannot be denied: Jake likes snow.

Aby-a-Day – August 27: Come on, Irene

Hurricane Irene is heading fast and furiously towards Massachusetts today.

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We are all safely hunkered down in our sturdy, 105-year-old brick building, and of course, we have our umbrellas at the ready…

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…and plenty of rain gear. It’s already raining here, and the Red Sox-A’s game (the first of a scheduled double-header) is currently on its second rain delay, so we’re definitely in for some weather, but where we are, the worst that will happen is we’ll lose power.

Aby-a-Day – March 22: Better living through technology

The advent of digital photography has seen the biggest improvement in my photography. My dad gave me a Brownie Starflash camera when I was 4 years old and right from the start my preferred subject was…you guessed it, cats (which may or may not have been the fault of the camera’s owners manual). I took so many photos of cats as a child, I think my dad must have dipped into my college fund to pay for the developing. This continued on through junior high and high school; I have more photos of cats than I have of people. I got to the point, once I got my first SLR, where I could take a good shot of a cat in natural light with a 1/8 sec. shutter without a tripod…but for every amazing photo I took, there were dozens of blurry, tilted pictures of cats’ tails as they were moving away from me.

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Of course, this still happens with digital photography, but you don’t have to spend money to develop all your duds to get that one stunner. In fact, you don’t have to spend money to develop any photos at all if you don’t want to.

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I suppose that’s part of my recent fascination with Hipstamatic; it reminds me of my Brownie Starflash and my later Kodak InstaMatic. The photos take time to “develop” and the flash takes time to warm up and you don’t always know how your photos are going to turn out until you see them. Sometimes, that’s kind of fun.

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But no matter what type of film you are or are not using, there’s no denying that thrill you feel when you click your shutter and know, in your heart and in your gut, that you’ve just taken a truly awesome shot…like this one.