Happy International Cat Day!

posted in: Nonfiction, Our Work, Woof Trekking, Writing | 1 | This post may contain referral links. See privacy policy for more.

Happy International Cat Day! We have two cats that we absolutely adore and celebrate every day, not just on International Cat Day. Mac is the furry mom to Billy, a 9 year old male tabby. You can read more about him here. Billy is the definition of a mellow cat. He loves to sleep and once a day harass Izzy, our crazy Wheaten Terrier.
cat, feline, domestic shorthair
Al is the furry mom to Tyra, a 13 year old female white cat. You can read more about her here. Tyra is not a fan of other animals but loves to cuddle with Al.

We have taken both of them on road trips with us at different times in the past. Check out our book, Woof Trekking: How To Road Trip with Your Pets, where we give advice on how to travel with your favorite cat.

We recently read about a pretty cool cat. The newly elected Prime Minister of New Zealand is Jacinda Ardern and she has an awesome cat named Paddles. Paddles is unique because she has a set of crazy thumbs! She also has her own twitter account which is pretty hilarious.


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Meet Tyra (The Cat Formerly Known as Freak)

Meet Tyra (The Cat Formerly Known as Freak)

posted in: At Home, Woof Trekking | 0 | This post may contain referral links. See privacy policy for more.

Our book, Woof Trekking: How to Road Trip with Your Pets centers around our travels with our two dogs, Izzy and Nana, and Mac’s cat, Billy. We have talked a lot about them, here on our blog.

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However, our family also consists of another cat, Tyra. We have shown her in a couple Wordless Wednesday posts but we have never actually introduced her to our followers. Tyra is Al’s cat. They were made for each other.

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Tyra’s story began in 2004 when we saw a sign for free kittens posted on our community mailbox. At the time we had a retired racing greyhound, Mya. You would think that we would never get a cat with a greyhound already living in the house. Greyhounds are supposed predators and given an opportunity, might rip a baby kitten to pieces, however our’s did not. If anything, Tyra turned out to be more of a problem for Mya than the other way around.

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When we first brought Tyra home, Al had two thoughts 1) what did she get herself into and 2) why wasn’t this kitten normal? Tyra’s original name was not Tyra; her name for about the first year of her life was Freak. Kind of sounds mean, but it’s actually from the most excellent book, Freak the Mighty. However, the name didn’t quite fit her, so we tried other names until finally, Tyra became Tyra. She can also be referred to as TT, the white cat or ‘TY-RA!’, this last one is only used when she is doing something bad.


Tyra has always been wild; this could be due to her questionable paternity. It could have been the cat that lived with her mother or it could have been a feral Tom who roamed the neighborhood. We think she is part feral, mostly due to her territorial-ness and dislike of other animals.


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When she was younger, she was very standoffish, she didn’t want to be near any human. She liked Al, but only because she fed her. Tyra would not display any signs of affection until Al and Tyra set out to tackle the real world. When it became just the two of us, she became very affectionate, but that didn’t happen until she was eight years old. Now, since she is twelve, she is even more affectionate.

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Still, Tyra enjoys spending most of her time alone, sunbathing the day away.

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It is perhaps surprising she has lived this long since she has a terrible habit of chewing things, particularly wires. We had to buy cord covers to protect the wires after Tyra chewed Mac’s Super Nintendo power cord and ruined it. (Not bitter. Not bitter at all. ?)

When Tyra was younger, she enjoyed chewing on fabrics. Nothing was safe from a hole made by Tyra, some memorable items included a cashmere scarf, a pair of Under Armour leggings and a blanket. She continues to eat things she shouldn’t including Kleenex and toilet paper, but usually just takes one bite and then moves on to other things. Now that she’s getting to be an old lady, she can’t seem to be bothered.

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But love is love and Al loves Tyra and Tyra loves Al. ? ?

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How to Resize and Watermark Photos for Your Blog in Photoshop CC

How to Resize and Watermark Photos for Your Blog in Photoshop CC

posted in: Blogging, Our Work, Writing | 0 | This post may contain referral links. See privacy policy for more.

The size of your images can drastically affect the time it takes your site to load. We mentioned this in our earlier post: Basic Blogging Checklist Part I. Today, we will show the steps we use to resize and watermark photos in Photoshop CC 2015.5.

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How to Resize and Watermark Photos for Your Blog in Photoshop CC

Reducing the Size of Images for Websites

Open your photo in Photoshop CC. We opened “Sassy Nana.jpg”.

How to Resize and Watermark Photos for Your Blog in Photoshop CC 1

To resize the image, go to Image Size under Image > Image Size… Alternatively, use the shortcut Option-Command-i on a Mac.

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The Image Size dialog box will pop open. We resize all our photos to 900 pixels wide. Photoshop does the height calculation, provided the lock aspect ratio button is clicked. We leave the resolution at 72 ppi. This is fine for digital work. Only physical prints need a higher resolution (at least 300 ppi usually).

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You can see that with the reduction in pixels, the image size decreased from 40 MB to 1.54 MB. This means a faster load time once the photo is on the website.

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The reduction in image size makes the images smaller on the screen. To increase the view of the image, either press Command and + a few times or hold down option while scrolling on your mouse.

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Watermarking Your Images

There are two main mays to do this in Photoshop. The first is a new text layer. The second utilizes the Brush Preset feature of Photoshop.

The example below uses a text layer in the bottom left and a brush preset in the right corner of “Sassy Nana.jpg”.

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Creating a Brush Preset

Brush Presets in Photoshop CC 2015.5 have a maximum size of 5000px x 5000px. We used a 1000px x 242px canvas size for this brush, since we knew it would never need to be bigger than 900 pixels wide.

Brush Presets uses a grayscale to determine opacity of the brush, therefore if you want your brush to be solid, make your text black. That way when you use the brush, you can vary the opacity and color to your taste per use.

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Next go to Define Brush Preset under Edit > Define Brush Preset…

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Name the preset whatever you like.

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Try it out!

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Using Your Watermark

For the brush, make a new layer via Layer > New > Layer… or use shortcut Shift-Command-N.

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Position the Brush to your liking and click.

Change the Blend Mode of the layer to Soft Light and the Opacity to 50% if you want a translucent watermark. You may need to experiment on a photo by photo basis.

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Zion National Park

Zion National Park

posted in: Entertainment, Photography, Travel | 0 | This post may contain referral links. See privacy policy for more.

Last month, I went to Zion National Park in Utah. Here are a few pictures from the trip!
 
I am experimenting with black and white photos. At first, I felt quite intimidated because I kept thinking about Ansel Adams.
 
I realized a little later how ridiculous my feelings were. There is no reason to compare myself with Ansel Adams.
 
I am just me, shooting my photos.
 
That is more than enough.
 

black, white, nature, clouds, photograph, sky, mountain, canyon

 
 

black, white, nature, clouds, photograph, sky, mountain, canyon

 
 

black, white, nature, clouds, photograph, sky, mountain, canyon

 
 

black, white, nature, clouds, photograph, sky, mountain, canyon

 
 

black, white, nature, clouds, photograph, sky, mountain, canyon

I will post more photos from Zion NP later this week.
 
 
Additionally, I have opened a Zazzle shop to feature my photography. Please check it out!
 
 
Thanks for stopping by!

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