This and That Four

So many things going on!
Job hunt, flat hunt, newly discovered archive materials, crazy brewing projects involving catnip… I haven’t even had a chance to think about the upcoming trips!

I have started on a portfolio of sorts! Any advice on which website is good for architectural portfolios would be much appreciated. So far I have Deviant Art but I don’t really like the layout. Not enough customisation. The idea is to eventually create a website of my own but I need something quick so this might have to do for the moment. I just wish the site ‘daportfolio’ didn’t make me sound so gangsta!

Another piece of news, and this might come as a surprise to some, yes Chmeli you, is that we are moving flat again. Our landlord decided to increase our rent by two hundred quid and the agency has been absolutely rubbish to deal with from the start. I’m quite looking forward to writing bad reviews once we’ve got our deposit back. If we get it back that is. We’d like to stay in Marchmont but the area is getting expensive, I personally think we might have raised the attractiveness of it and now it’s backfiring! So we are looking although I don’t even know if I’ll be in the country once the lease runs out in July. With Britain having no architectural jobs available I’m now considering Sweden or Norway. But we’ll cross that bridge when we get there.

My mum found a website which hosts documents from back in the days of Austria Hungary, same ones as those in the archive. Unfortunately there is only one collection for Parnica (Births and Confirmations between 1839 and 1886) which is very hard to use as there is no Marriage collection to cross reference with. The moment you think you found someone, bang… you find another four people of the same name. Still it’s good to be able to view it in our own terms and actually have time to pay attention to helpful little notes on the side. I already found a few things that baffle me, for example, Jan the firstborn of Jan Micik and Katrena Haklik was born at no. 88 (the place where Zuzana Harmaniakova, the woman that was to become Jan’s wife after Katrena’s death lived) instead of their family house no. 139. Were they good friends, staying over because their own house was too crowded after they got married? Would that explain why Jan and Zuzana married later? Were her three illegitimate children Jan’s too??? We can only guess really. I did confirm though, that Zuzana Harmaniakova indeed married Adam Janci and had a child with him before he died in 1887. Jan Micik then did marry Adam Janci’s widow, the fact that confused us.
All I want to do now is go through all this properly, and the collections from my grandfather’s village too, but there’s portfolio work to be done first. *sigh*

In other news, catnip beer is underway! Well, I have planted catnip! We shall see what happens! The aroma is meant to be one of peppermint crossed with skunk!
The whole experiment is meant to provide a beer we could use for a fundraiser (or awareness raiser) for the endangered Scottish Wildcat.
I like my beers to be thematic… This is why I have made a diabolical beer for when Diablo III comes out in about three weeks time. The batch has been fermenting since this weekend so the game better take a very long time to finish!!!

Cat Sìth

I have been living in Scotland for almost six years now but it wasn’t until last Saturday’s visit to the newly reopened museum that I first heard of Cat Sìth! If you don’t feel like reading the Wikipedia article, they are mythological creatures of the Scottish highlands: fairies or, in other stories, witches that turn into black cats. Supposedly these legends were sparked by sightings of Kellas cats. The are black feline hybrids of a Scottish wildcat and a domestic cat. This immediately ignited a spark in my head and the lightbulb came on! We should go to the highlands, to Kellas where a specimen was shot probably on the day I was born (I know it was in January 1983) and try to find one! Also, we could examine the one they keep in Elgin museum. Not knowing much about tracking cats, we decided to do some research and that is how we ended up on the Scottish Wildcat Association website.
Turns out these monkeys are on the verge of extinction. The Scottish wildcat is only found in Scotland, usually in the highlands, and even though they provide quite a good tutorial on recognising them, there seems to be only about 400 in the wild, very hard to spot. Challenge accepted!
I have since been given a years membership as a present. The £25 goes towards the conservation initiative and we have ordered a DVD to learn a bit more about them. New goal in life: observe a Scottish wildcat in the wild!

We think that one of the problems is their name. Scottish wildcat just kind of sounds like a cat gone feral in Scotland if you’re not familiar with the topic. Something like Scottish Teacup Tiger or Scottish Pygmy Nightsaber might attract more interest? Any ideas? Post them below!

More posts likely this week: archive days tomorrow and Thursday and portfolio / job hunt has tentatively started!

The Kattery’s very own LOLCats section…

Finally, here comes what everyone has been waiting for… the Homemade Cats.

The Kattery presents to you an album of cats the way they really are… with speech bubbles and evil intentions. Muggles may find this interesting as our reports say they cannot see either! Here’s a few pictures I took with my camera (but without the Muggle filter on) in the last year or so. Hope you all enjoy them!

I’m grinding my teeth as I’m putting this in the category of Arts and Crafts and Architecture.

A brand new album of cat-less yet fun images including Thor All Randy and Boat Envy coming soon!

This and That Two

I have severely neglected my blog in the last week. This is due to a short trip back home to Slovakia and the fact that I couldn’t directly upload a ‘Picture of the Week’ from my new iPhone. Yes, that’s right… iPhone! I feel cool! And technologically challenged, but thats beside the point.

Even now, I am still unable to find the iPhone pics through my work Mac but if I do figure it out I will add the picture in question for the reminder on the week. The lit up centre of my hometown Zilina.
Since this blog is introduced as ‘Kat’s blog of cats (and other less important things) and marsupials’ I will add an album of cats! I took a lot of pictures of three cats on my last trip home but I’ll just upload one of each, which will be tough! You will find them here!

In other news, I finally got a hold of one of my possible distant relatives in the United States, well I guess that was a few weeks back.
First I got a reply from Cathy Micik, daughter of Emil and she referred me to Susan Micik, daughter of William.
I had also previously tracked down Mildred Micik Zamfino, who is still alive and just turned 104 last week but her grandson has not yet replied to me, Facebook fail methinks.
Also, my suspicion that John is Adolph and that Jean is Mary have proved correct, yet still no sign of Kathryn.

My grandma (above) said that there was another Micik family in Parnica in her time, but I believe that they were probably distantly related anyway. I guess we will, or not, find out after January 24th when my mum and her cousin Eva are scheduled to visit the National Archive. Exciting!

Bill Bailey rocks! Dandelion mind…

The QR…

I am now a self-employed architect / artist in the cruel world of recession, I have finally registered with the HM Revenue Office and am waiting for them to get back to me with a cool taxpayer’s number.

As such I need a cool way of advertising my stuff and I was thinking of ordering a stamp with a logo of my very own. Originally I wanted a stamp for things that I have crafted myself but then a friend Benji gave me a lightbulb and I decided to make it a more global one.
We then spent a day researching QR codes and photoshopping my kitten Whiski into one.

The result:

Why do I think this is absolutely amazing?
Today everyone (but me) walks around with smartphones. If QR codes are not that omnipresent yet it’s only a matter of time. Already most people can read them if they know that that’s what they are supposed to do.
The code itself is very generic. Without a reader, its just a bunch of black and white pixels, four + squares and nothing else but I find the design very attractive. Achromatic, random but not random at all. It can go unnoticed or stand out depending on how you use it.
With the reader it turns into a very unique code that stores specific information. It can lead you to a website, provide contact information, events, texts, etc.

You might wonder why a kitten would be a good logo for an architect, well, it’s not… but unless you know Whiski in person, the picture is just a generic cat… Kat McNabb maybe?
I don’t have a good enough justification but I think it secretly adds a personal touch to an otherwise unspecific barcode. Something to identify it by even without a reader, if you know where to look…

Now I think I need to create one with more information, one I will be perfectly happy using years from now…

Maybe like this one: