Tuesday, July 7, 2015

The Saga of Leo a.k.a. Garage Cat

I thought I'd put into words what I remember of Leo's little adventure with my wife and I.

Thursday, June 18, 2015: We noticed some paw prints on the bonnet of our car. We figured it was either a cat or a giant rat.

Please don't be a giant rat.

Saturday, June 20, 2015: I'm driving home at night and on the back of our building, I see a cat crossing the street. I thought it might be the cat that's been dirtying up our car. It was headed for some big rubbish bins behind one of the restaurants on our street so maybe it was hungry. We started to leave some food for it in our garage and whenever we've gone back to check, the food bowl is always empty so we kept leaving some food for the cat every day (sometimes more than once a day).

Saturday, June 27, 2015: Our first photo and actual sighting of Leo! We didn't know his name at the time so we started referring to him as Garage Cat. We came home that afternoon and we saw him on the garage behind us. We tried to get him to come out but he seemed content just resting on those high boxes so we just left some food for him and went up to our apartment.

Thursday, July 2, 2015: We get home from work and look who's there to greet us! He was very friendly to us although still a bit cautious. We spent a bit of time with it before going up in case he hasn't had any human companionship in a while. It seemed to like our company and spend a lot of time rubbing himself against my car and the various items in the garage. We also went for a bit of a walk, trying to chase some birds and just general exploring around the garage area of our building.

The building manager was around so I told him about Garage Cat. He said that he's been seeing him in the security footage. He had some cat food which he gave to us to give to Garage Cat.

It seemed to like my MX5 a lot (maybe because of the soft top) so I started parking it in our garage instead of our other car.

Friday, July 3, 2015: Garage Cat is there to greet us once again as we came home from work. That means more quality time with his new human friends! Or maybe it just wanted more quality time with my car. Yeah, probably that.

Whenever we'd start to leave, he'd follow us and start meowing loudly once we're out of sight. It was a mix of cute and a bit heartbreaking so we've been distracting him with food and escaping while he ate.

Oooh nice.
Can I have it?
Yep, this is mine now.
Definitely mine now.
No, you can't have it back!
Mine! Mine! Mine!

Saturday, July 4, 2015: We're heading out to grab some lunch but it seems like someone doesn't want us to leave. We promised him we'll be back shortly and he eventually let us use his car.

After lunch, we come home and Garage Cat is hanging around so more quality time! He seemed to like rolling around in the sun.

Here he is mid-roll.
Is he saying hello?

Sunday, July 5, 2015: More fun with Garage Cat.

He scratched my face shortly after this photo was taken (see next photo). But I think he was just trying to get close. He's cute so he gets a free face scratch.

We did a bit of research and figured Garage Cat might be a Bengal cat so we got in touch with Alison over at bengalrescue.com.au. She told us that he is indeed a Bengal and advised us to take her to the vet so they can check if she has an owner.

Monday, July 6, 2015: I bought a cat carry case during my lunch break but Garage Cat wasn't around when we got home so we went up and had dinner first then went back down at around 8pm but he still wasn't there. So we looked around the area for a bit and eventually saw him coming towards us. He seemed happy to see us, even rolling around on the ground for us even though it must've been cold. We tricked him into going inside the carry case with some food. We waited a little so he could eat since we figured it must be hungry. Eventually we closed the case and headed off to Struggletown Vet in Randwick. He did his crying meow a lot but luckily we weren't too far from the vet.

Once we arrived at the vet, one of the staff members scanned him to see if he has a chip and yes, he does have one! That was when we found out that his name is Leo! Appaently he's been reported as missing and the owner lives in Surry Hills which isn't that far from Kingsford by car but seems like it'd be pretty far for a cat. I wonder how long it took Leo to end up at our place.

Leo at the vet.
Our first and last selfie!
The nurse said she'll get in touch with the owner and Leo can stay there in the meantime so we left him at Struggletown thinking that we may never see him again. It was a pleasure having him stay with us and being able to take care of him for a short time.


Well... not quite.

After my wife and I left the vet, we just sat in the car trying to process the events of the past couple of weeks and got emotional. After about 20 minutes we went back and asked if we could say a proper goodbye to Leo and the nurse was happy for us to do that so we were able to see him again!

I'm gonna miss this cutie pie so much!

The nurse told us that she's called Leo's owner and that she was over the moon when she told her that Leo has been found and that she's on her way to pick Leo up so we hung around until she arrived. The nurse told us that Leo is 3 years old and he's been missing for 6 weeks. The owner eventually arrived and she was very happy to see Leo and Leo seemed happy to see her too! I hope he enjoys being back home! Stay warm, Leo!

When we got home, we made sure to spend lots of quality time with our own cat Indy who's been very understanding with us devoting part of our time to another cat.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015: I woke up feeling a little empty and missing Leo a lot and hoping that he's doing well back at his home with his family. We only really spent a week with him but it felt a lot longer. I dreaded going down to the garage and not having Leo there to greet me. I'll be honest, I had a bit of a cry. He was a good friend.

Here's the little bed thingie we made for him. He seemed to like sleeping there.
This place feels so empty all of a sudden.

When I got to work, I got a message from my brother about Leo. It turns out that he belongs to a friend of a friend.

And my wife has since found Leo's owner on Twitter.

Closure! And everyone's happy! Woo hoo!

Epilogue: I've never felt the need to name any of the cars I've owned but I've decided to name my MX5 'Leo' in honour of our good friend. And also to remind me who the car really belongs to.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Identity Crisis

I've been on two different overseas holidays since my last post. And even when I've just stayed put in the country, I've still taken a lot of pics.

"But Dan, if you've been taking pics, how come you're not posting it here on your site?"

Good question, Timmy. I guess I'm overwhelmed with all the different options when it comes to sharing my photos. I don't always feel like writing something and sometimes I just want to upload a bunch of pics somewhere.

"So just go with Flickr and be done with it!"

I'm still undecided. Do I treat my Flickr page like a portfolio page? Or a travel blog? Or something else entirely? I don't know. Maybe I'll post about my travels here. I've started using Google Photos so I'll have to see how that can work for me. I have to think things through.

"So how were your recent overseas trips?"

FANTASTIC! I went to the Philippines in February to celebrate my wife's birthday and our 10 year anniversary. I haven't gone through my photos yet so no photos to post here. Then in April I went to Chicago to attend the Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo (C2E2) and the Indie Comix Expo (ICE) but mainly to hang out with friends. I was only there for 5 days but we were able to cram a lot of fun and laughter in those 5 days. Check out the links below for my Chicago pics.

Chicago | C2E2 | ICE

Below is a pic from our lunch on Saturday, April 25. We saw a mouse in the restaurant, it was fun!

That's me on the far right!

"You said you've been taking other photos?"

Well mostly just food pics and whatever silly thing I see while out and about. Check out my Instagram page for those.

Recently though, we took some friends to my home town of Wollongong and we got to do the touristy thing and that was fun. I was just there last week actually for some family matters but I was able to take some sunrise photos at the beach (that photo above was from my recent visit). That's something which I enjoyed doing back when I lived in Wollongong. I've since gone through my old photos and pulled out some pics I took back then. Please have a look at this Flickr album for my Wollongong photos.

There I am taking a selfie of my self by controlling my Sony RX100M2 via the PlayMemories app on the phone.

And there's the usual pics around Sydney. I have a lot more that aren't in that album, I'll have to do an update. The photo below was taken this time last month during a Wednesday day off from work. Nice way to spend the day.

"How's your cat? What's her name again? Something about a famous biologist?"

Archaeologist! And her name is INDY! She's doing great. She's a lot more comfortable with us and her home. I never not enjoy coming home from work and having her greet me when I walk in.

See this Flickr album for my pics of Indy. I haven't updated it in a while though so maybe I should do that. I HAVE SO MANY INDY PICS!

Eat dat paper!

In other cat news, there's been a possibly stray cat that's been hanging around our garage. We've never actually seen it (although I saw a cat that was hanging around near out building and going through the trash, it could've been the same cat) but we noticed some paw prints on our car. This weekend we put some cat food in the garage (food that Indy doesn't want to eat) and the mystery cat has been eating it. I'll post pics if I actually see it.

"I heard you got a new car? How's that going?"

How did you hear about that? Are you a mind reader?

"Dude, I'm you."

Oh, right. Yeah, I got a 1991 Mazda MX-5. But let's rewind a bit...

I sold my old 1996 Honda Civic back in November for $2250. I had her for 14 years which seems like a lifetime considering all the things that has happened in my life since 2000. She never let me down and she always took me where I needed to go. Can't ask for more than that. The family that bought her were good people so that made me feel better about selling it.

After selling the Civic, I thought about my options and I kept looking at MX-5s but I wasn't comfortable paying $6000 or more for a car that was almost as old (or in some cases, older) than my Civic. After looking around for one for months, I was able to find an MX-5 in March for $2300. The seller lived in Clovelly which is very close to where I live but strangely enough, I've never been there. I love the place and have since gone back there quite a bit.

So the MX-5 only cost me $50 more than my old car! Sure, it's an older car and has more kms but it's in pretty good condition and it's a convertible! Plus it came with the hard top which is a few hundred on its own. I never not have a big grin on my face when driving it.

"So are we good? Can I go now?"

Yeah yeah. I'll have a think about my options and hopefully decide on something soon. I have been feeling more energised to not just take photos but to push myself that extra bit more. And also to actually display my photos somewhere instead of them just living inside my hard drive. Hopefully I can maintain this feeling.

"Don't you think it's weird that you have to do these Q&A type posts with yourself to help you sort out your problems?"

Now that you mention it...

Sunday, November 9, 2014

5-in-1 M42 mount lens review: Asahi, Pentacon & Sigma

From left to right: Asahi Super Multi Coated Takumar 55mm f2, Pentacon Auto 29mm f2.8, Asahi Super Multi Coated Takumar 28mm f3.5, Asahi Super-Takumar 28mm f3.5, Sigma Pantel 135mm f2.8

Here are five M42 mount lenses that I'm about to sell shortly. If you've mainly shot with just a kit lens, M42 lenses are an inexpensive way to experiment with different kinds of lenses, perhaps to get a better idea what kind of shooter you are before spending a lot of money on a lens that is specifically designed for your camera system. Even though I own lenses that cost more and I'm perfectly happy with, I find it hard to resist a bargain priced M42 lens.

None of these are exceptional but they can usually be had for cheap and they are capable of some pleasing photos if you put in a bit of effort. I won't write too much on each one and let the images speak for themselves.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

This is why I haven't been posting

NEW CAT! Okay that's a bit unfair. It's mainly due to laziness that I haven't been posting. And it's partially because of the colder weather (this seems to happen every year, I become less active during winter). I'm actually posting now because of the new cat.

A couple of weeks ago, my wife's friend and the friend's housemate (a vet at the St George Animal Hospital) told us that they had two cats that were about to be put down. They felt really bad and were hoping to find a nice home for them so we went for a visit on Saturday, September 20. We liked her a lot and we ended up adopting her a couple of days later on September 22.

Her name is Indy Baker. Indy (short for Indiana Jones) because she loves to explore and Baker because she likes to knead things. She's friendly and affectionate and loves to be around us which is great. Plus I like how I'm able to test out my various cameras and lenses on her.

Below are some photos of her during her first week and a bit with us. More pics are available at my flickr site.