5 Reasons You Need CryptoKitties

It was a blustery Saturday afternoon. I had just finished feeding my nubian dairy shows goats their molasses-y lunch, and made myself some jasmine tea and was flipping through my Google news feed. Among all the dismal headlines of nuclear bombs, chemical warfare, and the latest orange gorilla tyrant, I scrolled upon an article featuring pleasingly pastel felines. I got 1/3 through the article and KNEW I had found something.

Lickety-split I had CryptoKitties convincing me to “join meow”, then a Metamask account, an Ethereum Account, a Coinbase (where you can also buy and trade Bitcoin), then Etherscan and even my first Reddit (long been a lurker, never went down that rabbit hole until now). I found myself with my first Ethereum, as well.

I had been interested in Cryptocurrency since last year. Had I invested then, I would be a ten-thousandaire by now.

I always doubted myself with cryptocurrency: was it even legal? How could I ever afford to buy a BitCoin? Well, as it turns out, you don’t need $10,000 to buy your first BitCoin – it doesn’t work like that. You could buy BitCoin with, like, $5. It’s not coins like physical coins, you can have (a lot) less than one – its portions or more of a share. In any denomination, too – you choose. So really, as long as you have a bank account, you can be the proud owner of a little bit of Bitcoin!

CryptoKitties uses Ethereum, a currency with less value per 1 share, so most of your CryptoKitties transactions, as of this publishing, will be in the 0.00X range. Depending on the Gas Limit and Gas Price (which you will learn about very quickly should you choose wisely to join CryptoKitties) you choose, buying a kitty is around $2.50+ and breeding one about $0.50+. You only need two kitties to start breeding. They are hermaphroditic, so doesn’t matter who is the sire and who lays the egg and incubates the bun in the oven.

It would have been a long time to get me motivated to set up a digital wallet, set up security, a way to track myself: since everything is open and public, you see EVERYTHING and need to find yourself in there, and a long time for me to put a few dollars into cryptocurrency! The kitties did it! CryptoKitties won!

So, here are the five reasons you need CryptoKitties:

5. You will finally own cryptocurrency. Yes, the game uses Ethereum, but while you’re on CoinBase, you may as well throw some bones into BitCoin while you are there. And hey, Ethereum and maybe even LiteCoin may be worthwhile to give a serious look.

4. You will become remarkably more blockchain savvy. Understanding mining, speed of transactions, and how to manipulate your choices to work in your favor, especially on such a small scale, will REALLY be in your favor as time goes on. Better to learn it and make a $0.04 mistake now, than be trying to send someone a large sum in the future and totally botching it and not even succeeding, still at a price.

3. CryptoKitties will get you interested in investing and following market trends. Maybe something you want to get back to, or start up in the first place. This simple, kitty-as-token based game will prove insightful, and teach you strategies you can apply in other realms.

2. You will be cool. You will finally have something cutting edge, timely and interesting to talk about during all your awkward upcoming holiday parties. From your hipster nephew to old Uncle Rocco who keeps promising he is going off the grid, you are sure to drum up a refreshing lively conversation, surely better than the red and blue convo’s of recent drunken family / work / acquaintance get-togethers.

1. They are cute. That’s it. Cute and fun. That is what everyone wants, and what everyone needs, including YOU!

Be a doll and let me refer you to CoinBase (I get $10!): Melissa Miko’s Coinbase Referral




The Meaning Behind CryptoKitties Traits

CryptoKitties is an adorable marriage between genetics and cryptocurrency all made possible their matchmaker, madame blockchain.

As a new user / obsessed virtual-kitty breeder (I’m CatcoCat), I began to unlock some of the trait names. This list is VERY partial, but…going to start somewhere, and always a work in progress.



Mintgreen – minty green

Strawberry – baby pink

Chestnut – light tan

Bubblegum – bright pink

Topaz – blue green

Limegreen –  yellowy spring green

Gold – yellow


Body Colors:

Salmon – pinkish brown

Orangesoda – orange

Shadowgrey – grey / gray

Mauveover – lavender

Cloudwhite – white

Aquarmarine – greyish blue

Greymatter – light grey / gray


Tummy Colors:

Kittencream – cream

Granitegrey –  dark grey / gray

Peach – pink

Emeraldgreen – lime green



Sphinx – smooth, skinny tail

Munchkin – medium fluffy tail

Laperm – very fluffy tail


Whisker Styles:

Dali – moustache

Munchkin – short

Soserious – medium whiskers


Hair Do’s:

Ragamuffin – a little fluff on top

Chartreux – super tall hair


Fur Patterns:

Calicool – tri-color calico spots

Luckystripe – tabby stripes

Jaguar – leopard spots

Tigerpunk – tri-color stripes

Spock – points (like a Siamese)


Fur pattern colors for stripes and spots:

Coffee – dark brown

Chocolate – medium brown

Bloodred – red

Swampgreen – green

Skyblue – light blue

Barkbrown – brown

Royalpurple – purple / violet

Cerulean – gunmetal blue

Scarlet – brick red

Lemonade – yellow


Eye Shapes:

Fabulous – almond-shaped eyes

Simple – normal eyees

Otaku – giant glistening eyes

Crazy – eyes looking in different directions, buggy like a pug


Eyes Colors:

Sizzurp – purple

Limegreen – green





Pouty – small mouth

Tongue – visible tongue with crooked smile

Saycheese – teeth sticking out

regular, medium mouth



Raised Brow – one eyebrow raised, one not

Thicccbrows – sad, thick eyebrows


Cheek fur:

Cymric – one fluff

Himalayan – two fluffs





Duck – duck body

Sailor – sailor outfit, big smile and tattoo


In Progress:

Happygokitty –

Totesbasic –

3 Reasons Why Cranky the Crane is My Favorite on Thomas and Friends

I never thought my life would come to this: appreciating the humour of a grumpy, anthropomorphic piece of dockage equipment…on TV, no less! Even when I started buying and collecting Thomas the Train wooden railway parts, pieces, and trains for my little guy, I never imagined I’d give the series any screen time, or be able to name most of the characters. I have to say, a favorite character has grown on me, and it’s Cranky the Crane! Cranky is a stationary crane who works down at Thomas’s local docks. As his co-worker /  “friend?” Salty states, he is indeed “Cranky by name, and cranky by nature.” So what’s so fabulous about this guy?

1. Cutest face. Cranky is the cutest character in the Thomas the Tank Engine world, where everyone has a distinct, gray round or square face. Check out the faces; decide for yourself. I think Cranky is the cutest, hands down.

2. Most realistic personality. This guy is pretty grumpy. Cranky rolls his eyes, bosses the trains around, and is never without a snide or sarcastic comment. As an adult watching Cranky in action, this makes for some very comedic moments in an otherwise tame children’s program. His reactions are very applicable to what one might encounter in the real world. Cranky is just what one would expect from a gruff, middle-aged guy who works down at the docks. Under-paid and over-worked, full of one-liners, Cranky is probably a little too skilled and a little too smart for the job he’s stuck in. Because literally, Cranky is stuck at Brendam Docks; he is screwed into the ground as a permanent installation.

And now, a poem:

By R. Schuyler Hook

Off the train,
Onto the ship,
The crates and barrels
Must not slip.

Off the ship,
Onto the train,
In the sun,
The snow,
The rain.

And forth
And to
And fro.
He has no wheels-
He cannot go.

Day in,
Day out,
The whole year through.
Wouldn’t you
Be cranky, too?”

I feel I could have a real conversation with Cranky, although it would probably turn into an amicable gripefest. This is in stark contrast to, for example, a train engine like Percy. Despite being an “adult” train tasked with delivering postal mail all over an island, Percy believes in monsters, has issues identifying friendship, and generally acts like a flighty six year-old. Cranky may be crabby, but he doesn’t have some of the other psychoses or personality flaws of many of the other characters.

3. Killer Toy: The Thomas Wooden Railway toys, or whatever you want to call them (action figures?) are AWESOME. Having kids is a great excuse to have the time of your life collecting some really awesome and cute characters, and pretty detailed buildings and quality train tracks. This isn’t a kid’s pursuit; Thomas’s Wooden Railway is an adult-driven passion. Any sum of lunch money or birthday checks from Grandma won’t get you very far in this world. This stuff is pricey!

Cranky himself goes for about $45 as of this writing, and he is worth every bit of it. He has a surprisingly pleasant expression on his face, and two controls that spin him and raise and lower his magnetic crane hook. An adorable addition to your train table, your life won’t be complete without a cranky “doll”. Score one of these, and it’s a slippery slope toward getting lost in the world of Thomas the Train, with all of its kooky characters and quality toys. Enjoy!

Turkey Feathers (Naturally Shed)

Narragansett heritage turkey feathers striped black white

Available wing and tail turkey feathers for $3.50 each. Free shipping within U.S. (contact me for international rates).

Naturally lost by our Narragansett  tom heritage variety turkey named Gary. Collected by me or someone on the homestead.

Add a touch of heritage to your home, also great for projects, smudge sticks, fishing lures, hair decorations, or adding realistic movement to a “scare owl” decoy/deterent.

Payable by PayPal, cash, or check. Email melissa.miko@gmail.com and specify size from 6″ – 15″, quantity, and preference for wing or tail feathers.

Duck Eggs and Turkey Eggs

Duck turkey Eggs

Local to East Lyme, Connecticut?

Swang by and try some mondo eggs from these Loco birds! Fresh and clean, our yolks are rich and size is Mega.

Our birds all have names (and personalities, believe me), are loved, and are fed greens, fruits, and species – appropriate proteins.

Contact me for your dozen!

23andMe and You

Late last year there was a lot of hub bub over the issue regarding the FDA deciding to try to regulate interpretations of physiological data gained from genetic testing.
Specifically, the FDA attacked company 23andMe for offering low-cost, direct-to-consumer (via online data to you) genetic tests and interpretations for several thousand gene SNPs. (SNPs, pronounced “snips”, are our little weirdnesses or uniquenesses that make us special, but not too special. To be a SNP rather than a genetic anomaly, at least 1% of the population must share it.)
The FDA claimed the results are “medical data” and should be tested for and discussed with a doctor. I believe that’s a load of malarchy stemming from lobbying by insurance companies and the medical field. This is the Age of Information, and now anyone can know everything. You can figure out how to perform heart surgery on YouTube (for the record, please don’t), and that intimidates a lot of people. The fact is, DNA is not a medical condition; it is you. We all have it, we own it.
Think of it this way: if you were blind, and paid someone to tell you what color hair you have, is that really medical data? Does an organization long-known for outdated, unethical standards and decisions, as well as caving in to big pharma lobbyist efforts, really in a position to decide what you can and cannot know about your own body?
Plus, we are finding out more and more that DNA can be changed. Yes, it is you, the essense of you, but, it can change. Got that? The study of epigenetics and genetic therapies are a testament to this. So whether you think you want to plan a designer baby or you fear you carry a genetic dis-ease, it doesn’t have to be a death sentence. It really is going to come down to a new culture of ethics: helping those that need it, and not tampering with what ain’t broke.
What the FDA claims is that they fear people are going to take these $99 test interpretations seriously and act rashly.
For example, a big benefit of this test is that it tests for a number of BCRA genes, the same that Angelina Jolie had. However, the FDA is worried tgat if a person carries one or more of the nine SNPs linked to breast cancer, they might precede in taking the same action…but how, or by who, without medical advice? And couldn’t that be lifesaving anyways? And whose business is it what a person chooses for their body? Not some big government organization, I’d agree. I would I think more likely, a person would waste no time in bringing their results to a doctor to discuss further.
What is ironic is that many doctors would never randomly test for these genes in the first place, (its not yet routine) unless pressed AND if the person is a female AND has a family history with at least more than one person afflicted with breast cancer. And for $99 and a little initiative on your part, this new technology, this new availability of information could be saving your life and have the power to enlighten, perhaps, your offspring or other family who may carry the gene so they can be proactive. That is probably the most important heatwrenching examples. But, the FDA, claiming our “best interests”, put a stop to that, at least commercially.
Should the FDA outlaw psychics, too? Because although this genetc data is in us, and can be interpreted, there is so much we don’t know or understand about the results. I think making this type of information available to the educated, healthful-minded, positive initiative-taking customers of direct-to-consumer DNA tests is another step closer to preventative health.
Luckily, with 23andMe as well as a few other ancestry-related companies, you get a file of your raw data. And with that, and a $10 donation, open source community project Promethease will compare your raw results to thousands of published research journal articles to provide you with essentially the same enlightening information.
I submitted my spit to 23andMe, then uploaded my raw data to Promethease, and it was one of the coolest, most important things I have ever done. I found it motivated me to take better care of my health through diet and exercise. For example, my data revealed that I may have an increased risk of stomach problems like bleeding from taking NSAIDs. So before I pop a Tylenol, I will instead hydrate with some good old water and try some pressure point therapy instead.
I believe the more you know, the better your decisions will be, and the higher your quality of life will be. I highly recommend researching whether genetic testing is something you’re interested in, and if so, taking the next step.