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  1.  (10734.1)
    The door and fireplace are fucking amazing. Nice place you've got there.
      CommentAuthorPaul Sizer
    • CommentTimeJun 27th 2012

    Excellent type advice from Dorkmuffin and Ariana.
    I was looking at fonts tonight for similar reasons and did a (VERY!) fast exercise to see how your name would look in my front-runner circular font for the evening, Akzidenz Grotesk.
    The "geometric" version is just that; not a font, just the letter shapes made with all same width lines (I fixed a few in my "F"), perfectly circular "O" and a perfectly symmetrical "X".

    These are very bold examples, which does alter how a font will visually kern and space amongst its letterforms.

    • CommentTimeJun 27th 2012

    For those that do not know, it is a lovely font that was what Helvetica was modeled on.
      CommentAuthorPaul Sizer
    • CommentTimeJun 27th 2012
    When I put them all together, the geometric one sets off so many of my "type spider senses" for why it's best to work with really well designed fonts.
    I love Akzidenz Grotesk in all of its weights; plus, it's a fun name to say.
  2.  (10734.5)

    Keeping in mind that I've never owned a cat, or any lovely woodwork, how about putting up some kind of removable covering? Some nice-looking, thick fabric pads attached with adhesive velcro strips for instance. The upper sections could be left uncovered so you can appreciate them, and you can easily remove the padding when you want to show off the carving.

    (Potential problems - cat being smart enough to rip coverings down, cat deciding coverings are even more fun to scratch, fastening mechanism damaging woodwork.)
    • CommentTimeJun 27th 2012

    I also have never had a cat, but have heard that putting sandpaper or tinfoil or some other unpleasant thing to scratch up will make the cat associate scratching that area with unpleasantness. Perhaps you could try some of that.
  3.  (10734.7)
    Rootfireember -- I went and picked up another scratching thing last night along with a few toys. And thanks, I love the woodwork through out the house.

    GreaseMonkey -- You should see the ceiling...

    Purple Wyrm & Fishelle -- I looked at some different things to cover the frames with but I'd be too worried about the adhesive ruining it more than the cat would. I might try a few things with green painters tape and see if that is strong enough. Sandpaper seems like a good idea because I wouldn't imagine that the tape would have to be very strong as I can't see a cat scratching at that for long before giving up. I've also heard things with a citrus smell deters them so I may try that too...

    She hasn't used the scratching thing yet, and doesn't seem to remember how to play with toys. I think, sadly, she was mostly ignore by the first owner and completely ignored by the second and therefore doesn't really know how to be a cat right now. Original owner told us that she's not very social, doesn't come up to people, doesn't sit on laps, etc. Second owner said that she avoids people and doesn't like being pet / scratched... My wife and I have had her since Friday night, she loves getting attention, usually comes into the living room a few times every evening to get attention and is starting to hop up onto our laps and stay there for a bit. (The first day she mostly hid under the dining room table but would come out if we started to pet her, so long as we stayed in that room, second day she was going between the kitchen and dining room a lot, now she still prefers those two but has come into the living room to get attention. She still won't go upstairs though.)
    • CommentAuthorArgos
    • CommentTimeJun 28th 2012

    In my experience, you have to (gently but firmly) scold them (say NO loudly while carrying them away or something, nothing traumatizing) if they trying using the fancy stuff while giving them an alternative they can use. They don't always like scratching posts, but some do. My cat back home with my parents likes using the carpet, I noticed you have wood floors but maybe you can get some rugs or small sections of carpet and see if she'll use them? Edgar's cat specifically only uses the coffee table we have in the living room and ignores everything else, so maybe a cheap piece of wooden furniture you don't like, and she'll get attached to that one. I personally find that most cats love scratching furniture like couches (which is why my mom had to train our cat to use the carpet and not the nice couches), so if you're not as attached to those maybe you can let her stake a claim on the couches - cats really will do fine as long as they have A THING to scratch, they don't always go scratching everything. You'll even notice they'll always scratch the same spot on the sofa (our cat that uses the coffee table only ever scratches the legs that are closer to the TV, never the ones closer to the couch).

    They do also sell these sprays you can spray on furniture that is supposed to deter cats, and my sisters says it kind of worked for her cat, so that might be worth a try as well.
  4.  (10734.9)

    A lot of what pets respond to is your smell, which means, unfortunately, they're more likely to scratch at your favorite things. It might help to put an old shirt on top of or at the base of the new scratching post - that has helped people I know both in carrier-training pets (lining the cage with an old t-shirt) and getting a cat to change her favorite sitting spot (by a window where she could look out instead of on top of the couch, where his allergic friends sat).

    And that really is some stellar woodwork!
  5.  (10734.10)
    @ Sizer - omigosh, that's fabulous! Thank you thank you! :D
  6.  (10734.11)

    What we (ok, my mom) do is have a cat scratching post (covered with carpet), that we encourage Watson to scratch, next to the chair he likes to scratch (so we catch him scratching the post, we tell him NO, move him to the post, get him going on that, and then tell him he's a good kitty). And yes, sometimes there's a weird location thing going on. You can get special nail clippers for cats, which clip off the very tip of the nail. You have to be careful not to clip too much off because there are blood vessels/nerves or some such in the nail. Usually when he is scratching at a door, it is to get our attention - the door is closed and he wants to get in/out and be fed at 5am or some ridiculous time. Since my parents got tired of being woken up at wrong hours of the morning, he's stuck in the basement, and there are pieces of plywood propped up against the door, so that if he scratches on anything, it's the plywood instead of the door. And my, that woodwork is something special.
    • CommentTimeJun 28th 2012
    @flecky I loooooove you <3
  7.  (10734.13)
    #catscratch fever
    -I've taken care of cats like that before. Undersocialized and under mentally-exercised. That being said, cats are creatures of instinct and most are hunters. Look for toys that can mimic the actions of prey. Like.. basicly the things that are anything on a string, with a wand at the end for you to move it with. When in doubt, an actual piece of yarn may work, though you'll have to be sure the kitty doesn't EAT it.
    • CommentAuthorKosmopolit
    • CommentTimeJun 29th 2012
    #catscratch fever

    A really, really stupid question: are you sure the cat isn't trying to open the door?
    • CommentTimeJun 29th 2012
    #catscratch fever

    Reading everyone's answers with much interest here - we became cat owners a few weeks ago, and our little miss is very fond of scratching our sofa too! As Renee suggests, if you are careful you can trim the very tips of the cat's claws, but in my limited experience this is effective for a few days at most - we clipped Poppy's claws last week, and now she's very much up to full sharpness again! From what I've observed so far, gentle behaviour modification is the way to go. Poppy had also been fairly neglected when we got her, so for us the most important thing has been getting her to a point where she's happy for us to groom her. Fortunately, that's just meant lots of stroking, talking, and play, and now she's at the stage she'll happily bed down on our laps. Which is just lovely.

    So: It's been a little while since we had a pet owner's thread round here - would anybody be interested in doing one again? Or would it just be me posting pics and making squee noises like the big soppy bastard I am?
  8.  (10734.16)

    Argos -- The floor is all carpeted (with the red carpet you can see in the picture of the door). What you're seeing in the picture of the fireplace is the concrete slab in front of it.
    Thanks for the idea about an old shirt. She doesn't seem attached to our scents yet, but I'll definitely give that a shot to see if it helps at all. I looked at some sprays at the local pet store, but everything they had was for fabric. The varnish on the woodwork is really thick and liquid seems to just bead off of it. The second time I caught her I think I was a little too hard on her... she was just being a cat. That being said, I don't think she's done it since. It's hard to tell though; I'm grew up with a dog that would know when she did something wrong and would act accordingly... this cat seems to think she's done something wrong though so her running and hiding isn't a sign of anything other than her being her.

    Trini -- We moved the scratching post just inside the room of the frame she was scratching as soon as my wife thought she heard her doing it and now, whenever she's scratching her post, we pet her to try to encourage her / teach her that it's good to scratch that. We have a pair of clippers but the cat has oddly short claws that don't come out far enough to clip them. And believe you me, we have tried.

    RootFireEmber -- She is terrified of the fur on the stick. She's started playing with her toy mouse though, so that's a good thing. We're hoping that she warms up to the other toys and starts being a cat.

    Kosmopolit -- No, I thought of that, but the door is open, she can go behind it, and I'm pretty sure she's only scratching at the frame.

    Curb -- Trimming the claws is a fairly constant thing (I've never had a cat, but my wife has grown up with many, many cats in her family.) Our cat is warming up to us and coming into the living room quite often now. She's more comfortable with me than with my wife (she loves it when I brush her, usually runs away when my wife tries.) She doesn't like laps yet, but it looks like she's getting closer.

    Pet Owner Thread sounds like a might fine idea.
    • CommentAuthorArgos
    • CommentTimeJun 29th 2012
    Oh, derp, so you do have red carpeting there.

    And I'd be down for a pet owner's thread.
  9.  (10734.18)

    Ok. So, heeding the warning signs that my aging Tosh was giving up the ghost (well, certainly the power socket had gone for a burton as had most of the screws so the thing was a bit old and rattly to say the least), I bought a new tablet, a Lenovo ThinkPad x201. It's lovely, but as it has an Expresscard slot instead of the older Cardbus, I can't use my beloved Echo Indigo anymore.

    One option is to buy a new Echo, the express card version, while they're still making them, I just wondered if any of the musicians on here had any recommendations for any highly portable (as in so portable you could work in a narrow train seat with them), high-quality audio interfaces.

    What I'm broadly looking for, is something with 24/96 ASIO drivers, and just a single input and output. They would have to play nicely with both reason and sonar.

    From looking at the audio stores, the Echo still looks like being my best bet, but intrigued to know something else out there!
      CommentAuthorcity creed
    • CommentTimeJun 30th 2012 edited
    Just stopping in to salute and celebrate JP's use of the expression "gone for a burton", which I don't hear nearly enough these days.

    oh wait, also, #catscratchfever - the lovable little night-murderers abhor the smell of all things citrus - put some lemon juice in a mister and spray it on the areas of special clawing interest.

    Another thing, animals that make visible scratches like that are often marking their territory with a sign that says "I AM VERY BIG AND SCARY" - if your scratching post is too short, or doesn't scar up nicely then it's not going to satisfy their primal need to terrify everyone and everything in range.

    ETA: I just went and doublechecked this advice and apparently it's citrus oils that cats don't like, rather than citrus juice. The oils are mainly found in the peel rather than the flesh, so a mister full of lemon juice probably won't actually work.
  10.  (10734.20)
    Another question. Possibly self indulgent.


    I have been considering this for a long while; legally and artistically changing my middle name, and then going by a more androgynous moniker. I am not religious, and the middle name of Nœl links me to something I am not a willing part of. What if I went by:

    "R. [my name here] Fox"

    and started my creative endeavors again from scratch? Have nobody know that I am me? (well, except you guys, I suppose.) Not that I have such a wide audience, but I have carved out some degree of fan base. Is it a bit late in the game to be doing this? Only harming myself?