Cat at work…

Shyna and the cardboard

I had a big purchase some weeks ago and the products were delivered in a big cardboard box. Whenever there is a cardboard box, it won’t take much time and Shyna will be on the scene. But I think all cats like cardboard boxes.

I formed a habit to leave new cardboard boxes to my cat for a while because it serves some purposes at once,… she can scratch on it, she can relax in it, she can play with it, she can hide in it and so on. I think they really love it. Not sure if I ever heard about a cat that doesn’t like a cardboard box. It must be a lot of fun for them.

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Posted in Animals and Pets, Cats, Life, Nature and Animals, Photography, Photography and Design | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

It’s That Time Again, Chocolate Gingerbread!

Chocolate Gingerbread

It’s fall, and that is the time when they start to sell chocolate gingerbread again in German stores. Did I ever mention that I love chocolate gingerbread? After so much years blogging I am not sure if I did but I wouldn’t be surprised if I mentioned it anywhere on my blog.

I am not really a big fan of sweets, in fact I would rather make me a salad than clutching at sweets, however, that really can change in the fall season. Gingerbread glazed with chocolate is one of the reasons!

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Battlefield Hardline Release Date Announced By EA

If you plan to play Battlefield Hardline, you might be lucky if you hear that EA announced the release date. The game will launch 17th March 2015 in North America, 19th March 2015 in Europe and 20th March 2015 in the UK according to Eurogamer. Battlefield Hardline will be published for several platforms. It will launch for PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360.

In the single player story you will be able to play as cop and you will investigate and fight in a drug war of Miami. The story will be about power and corruption. In the multiplayer mode it’s as easy as in most games, you’ll be able to choose your side and fight the opponent human players together with your time. It’s like in previous Battlefield games, but this time with a different setting… cops versus criminals. Check out the official Battlefield Blog entry about Battlefield Hardline.

There is not much known yet about the system requirements yet, however, Battlefield Hardline will probably have very similar system requirements as Battlefield 4.

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My Birthday Cakes 2014

Yesterday was my birthday and I became 33 years old. How time flies! I wouldn’t say that I am now in a midlife crisis but it definitely makes me thoughtful anyway. However, the better thinking is that we should be happy about each year of our life. I celebrated this with my family yesterday and I should go on with a tradition of my blog, I should post my birthday cakes as I did it last year too. This year we had less cakes on the table as we did celebrate in a smaller circle as some family members were tied up with business matters, but they congratulated by phone. This year I did celebrate with my mother, her husband, my grandma and my grandpa. Here are the two cakes we had…

Cheese cake! Whenever I celebrate my own birthday, there must be cheese cake! I love cheese cake so much, you can’t even imagine how much I like this one. It’s a cake that we had to defrost, not a self-made cake but that one is on the table each year again as I love it. My aunt was not there this year, so that we didn’t have any self-made cakes. But the cakes I show you are very tasty too. As said, this particular cheese cake is even one of my favorite cakes…

Cheese Cake

We also had lemon cake on the table. That was grandma’s idea and that was a good cake too. Very delicious! If you put whipped cream on it, it will be even more tasty. While I am a great fan of cheese cake, I couldn’t withstand and had to eat a lemon cake as well.

Lemon Cake

There were some pieces left that I did put in the fridge. I did eat the other pieces today. I really enjoyed my birthday with my family together.

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Black Mouse Photo

Mouse Photo

My half-brother likes mouses and had several of them. When he presents them, I always have to take photos because they are so cute. I shot the photo above last summer. I really can’t await when I get better photography gear some day because the images would be more clear. Anyway, I think the photo is not too bad. Needs to be in my photo collection!

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Another Cat Paw And Claw Photo

Cat Paw And Claw

I thought I upload another photo for my cat paws and claws photo series. Above you can see a close-up shot that I took with my point and shoot camera when Shyna did scratch on a cardboard box.

Posted in Animals and Pets, Cats, Life, Nature and Animals, Photography, Photography and Design | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

About Homelessness, Poverty And Social Welfare

Today I found a post of a fellow blogger. She was in Melbourne and walked under a bridge and found a bridge pylons where people obviously paid tribute to a person. There were gifts, flowers but also writings on the stone with the word “Mouse”. Please go and read her article. She researched later and found out that Mouse was a homeless man who got stabbed to death.

What a sad end, being homeless and then stabbed to death. The homicide alone makes this story already sad but she brings up another good point, it’s terrible that we have homeless people in our rich societies, and I agree, no matter how they came into the situation, it´s a shame that it is possible in rich countries. And we should do more to prevent it and we should do more to get them out if they are in a messy situation.

There are some reasons why I link her article. First, my blog got a lot of support over the time and I now want to start to give something back at times, in case I find something very important or interesting and that means that I also will share links to stories of other people, if I have an opinion on the subject that makes me write more than a small comment. Her article made me think and inspired me. I do also mean that it is very important to create awareness about this subject. Writing this, I do sit in a warm room in front of my computer and that is ideal but not a matter of course as not all people have this luck. I want to write about homelessness from a German perspective now.

Homeless on the Street

Here in Germany, people without jobs or homeless people can get unemployment benefits but the whole process is a lot of bureaucracy. Most people know how to fill out that form to get help in form of money but even then, the truth is that some people are overwhelmed with that. At times when I discuss about it, the common counter-argument is “You can´t be homeless in our country Germany”. But the fact is that there are homeless people on the streets and that means it’s clearly possible. These people need help, regardless of why they weren’t able to fill out any forms on their own to get help. There should clearly be some kind of “street workers” who patrol cities to offer homeless people help with that bureaucracy and other things. We have enough money to do that. So, what is the reason that I still can see homeless people on the streets when I walk through the city?

We have these “street workers” for young drug addicts because the common opinion is that you can still help them. We can do that with matured homeless people too, there is enough money and enough knowledge, it’s a shame that it doesn’t happen and I disagree when people say “You can’t help them anymore”. Admitted, talking about homeless people, it might be less of a problem here compared to other countries. But I go so far that even if I just see ten homeless people in the city, it still means that there is not done enough. In my small city I might find so many but if I visit Hamburg once in a while, it won’t take much time to see way more of them.

It’s always said that we have enough institutions to help those people and this is true, but how can a homeless know where to go, they don’t even have a phone or internet access and if they get refused in a hospital because they are poor but not ill, it shows how difficult it might be for them. I agree with many people, we can’t force people to get out of their mess, but I believe we can actively offer it. It’s not enough to say that there are facilities that will help people. Workers of the facilities should actively go out and offer advice how to get into a social welfare program. The problems are not inside the facilities, the people there get already help, there are problems outside on the streets as well.

To be honest, I would be amused if it wouldn´t be so sad… because there are a lot of studied people in the governments, institutions and facilities, but they all have something in common. They are highly uncreative and can’t think out of the box. We don’t need to force anybody to accept help, we just need more creative and active ways to offer it, and that directly on the streets. But that is not possible with people who refer to antiquated arguments such as “We can help people, they just need to want it” without going on the streets to tell it people in need directly. I wish that decision makers will some day learn to think out of the box.

I can help too and I did this many times. When I saw a homeless in front of a bakery, I sometimes bought not only buns for me, I bought some more and helped a person at least with one more meal. When a work-mate saw me doing that, he asked “Why do you do that? He could get money if he would ask for unemployment benefits!” and I felt really shocked when I heard his opinion because for some it isn’t that easy for whatever reason. Yes, I am not rich and I can’t give out tons of buns every day, but at times I can spend a few coins more if it’s left over, and then it won’t make me poor but it helps someone for a moment. It doesn’t matter to me why this person is still in this situation. But right, also my possibilities are limited and I can’t allot things every day but that brings me back to the point, governments and institutions can and they do, but they forget those who can’t ask for this kind of help on their own. The advice how to do that and how to accept the help, that should be actively offered where it is needed, on the streets or under the bridge as the folk saying goes.

Decision makers should really think about it. I believe that there could be great concepts if a lot of people discuss and plan it while sitting around a table. I can’t imagine that the society comes up with new innovations and great concepts every day while other areas stand still. My first idea would be to create small units of “street workers” who actively go visit places where the homeless people are, to offer advice how to accept help or how to get into help programs. That wouldn’t even need to happen on a basis that sounds like “You have the choice, accept our help or stay on the street”, I think it rather should start slowly, regular visits to meet homeless people and to slowly check out if some people might want to accept help and if there is potential. A slow integration process that is in order, first a home and welfare application, maybe helping to get them into drug-counseling service, medical assistance, maybe even psychotherapy if needed, integration into programs that might offer social activity like sport clubs or other things that create a daily life structure again. All that is already available and just needs to be offered slowly to the people in need. Actievely and not passively offered!

Yes, the process to get out there were help is needed, that would cost again money, but to be honest, we have enough of it. I wouldn’t believe if someone says we don’t. I just can speak of Germany and a lot of things are already good here but I don’t think that it means we shouldn’t improve further. It’s always good to develop strategies that go far beyond, I wish this would be common practice because that would be humanity.

There are many reasons why some people fall by the wayside, we shouldn’t ask why they don’t come to ask for help, we should ask them if they want to get back on track and help them succeed. That’s my opinion about it. That’s something that needs to be developed further. If I see ten or hundred homeless people on the streets, not even one would be acceptable in a rich country like ours. That we still have homeless people, that is indeed very terrible and a sign that our society is in some cases not really advanced but rather blind on both eyes.

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Shyna And Me… Freshly Pressed

Shyna And Paper

It was a little bit more silent on my blog over the days. There were some bad and good news that kept me busy but today I only want to talk about the good news. The good news is related to my blog. I have a new photo of my cat for you that you can see above! Ok wait, that happens regularly (laughing). There is something else. One of my posts got a lot of attention as it got featured on the front page of WordPress, or Freshly Pressed as it is called here. I researched some funny cat quotes, created a list of my favorite quotes and published it at the beginning of the month together with a photo of my cat Shyna. Last weekend it surprisingly happened, the post got hit by a wave of attention and that kept me busy for some days.

Even if my blog got already a lot of traffic over the past anyway (mainly Google visitors), I was quite happy when I found out that one of my posts got featured. There are also some major differences between traffic that comes through Google and the traffic that comes from the Freshly Pressed section here. If your blog is somewhat established on Google, the numbers will be pretty stable but this doesn´t mean that every visitor will drop a comment. With the Freshly Pressed section it is the other way around as the additional traffic spike period just lasts as long as your article is on the front page but the key difference is that the visitors are bloggers and social media enthusiasts who use the whole tool set that is available to us. That means they commented, shared and liked until my provider and email client worked hard to deliver all the email notifications.

That was clearly a fun experience but also a lot of work. But I would lie if I would say that I didn´t enjoy it. I think most of us share our ideas and thoughts because it´s an activity we started to enjoy. Most longtime bloggers probably did enjoy it in both cases, with zero attention at the beginning and with increasing attention over time. I think this is the right approach because if you like already the activity alone, some extra attention will just round it up. I am very thankful that this happened. I am not only thankful that WordPress featured one of my posts, I do also want to thank those who came here to take a look on my blog, and I want to thank those who already supported and socialized with me since some time.

It´s exciting what our technology makes possible and I am really glad that I can meet so many interesting people even if they are far away. While it is sometimes hard to maintain a balance (spending time on the own blog to create content and spending time on other blogs to read there), especially if you follow several blogs, I found already a lot of interesting stories and media that I enjoyed pretty much. So, I don´t only thank those who came here, I do also thank those who entertained me with their stories, photos and other content. That all makes me want to stay and be a part of the community for a long time.

Talking about the luck again that one of my posts got featured for a moment, I think the comment frequency seems to decrease now back to normal. If you are regular visitor, you know what you can expect next. If you are new follower then be prepared, there is no other way to explain what you can expect, it´s higgledy-piggledy. If I am highly inspired it could be a roller coaster ride through all kind of subjects that I find interesting or even things that annoy me. But it could also happen that you see photos of my cat for weeks but that is her fault (laughing).

I think this introduction fits very well. But it is also a good point to end my article here.

Posted in Animals and Pets, Cats, Life, Nature and Animals, Photography, Photography and Design | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Weekly Photo Challenge: Dreamy

Dreamy Cat

My last participation in the Weekly Photo Challenge is some time ago. The reason is that they don´t send out new emails anymore when there is a new challenge. It´s really some time ago when I contacted them about this issue and they said that it is a small hiccup of their servers. This is months ago. Yes, I could still find their challenges in the WordPress reader but if you follow a lot of blogs, you´ll miss some posts.

Anyway, I saw another person posting an entry today and thought “Right, I should do that again too!”. The motto of this week is dreamy, and as always it is up to us how we interpret it. I though the photo that I did attach to my post would really fit. My cat Shyna looks a little bit dreamy on the photo. Or she looks as if she would daydream. She probably did heck out new plans!

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A Red Flower

Red Flower

Yet another photo for my flower collection. It´s some time ago and I think my mother shot this photo with her phone. This is a very beautiful photo and I like the flower. I guess she did take the photo in her garden. Needs to be in my collection.

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