Friday, January 23, 2009

Six Random Things

I was kinda soft-tagged for the 6 random things meme by Leslie of Leslie's Blog (which I follow via RSS) by virtue of her modification of the rules:
"I am not going to tag anyone to do this meme, but encourage anyone who would like, to do it as an exercise in self silly examination."
The rules as posted by the poster who tagged her were:
1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Post the rules.
3. Write six random things about yourself.
4. Tag six people.
5. Inform the tagees and the person who tagged you.

Ok, so one and two are covered above. Here are my six:

  1. I have an irrational fear that people will find out I'm not as much of a geek as I think I am.
  2. The first book not written for kids I ever read was Year of the Unicorn by Andre Norton.
  3. When I wear a wrist watch, the watch I usually wear is my grandfather's old self-winding watch that I was fascinated by as a child.
  4. My #1 favorite weather phenomenon is hoarfrost, which I'd never seen before I moved to Minnesota.
  5. I think the sexiest things about a man are his voice and his eyes.
  6. I put cayenne pepper and organic ginger ale in my home made cranberry sauce.
Rule 4 is going to fall by the wayside, since I'm always the weak link in any "forward this" chain. If you're inclined to be tagged, consider yourself tagged. Otherwise, you're not it.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

US Democracy Server Patch Notes

A friend sent me a link to Sean Hyde-Moyer's US Democracy Server: Patch Day Version 44.0 on Chrome Cow. The target audience is Democratic gamer geeks, but I don't think you absolutely need to be a hardcore member of that demographic to get a chuckle out of it. I dunno. I'm on the inside guessing out.

Some of my favorite lines:
President: Drain Treasury: There appears to be a bug that allowed loot to be transferred from the treasury to anyone on the President’s friends list, or in the President’s party. We are investigating.

Vice President: The Vice President will no longer aggro on friendly targets. This bug was identified with Ranged Attacks and the Head Shot ability.

Homeland Security: Item: Large Bottle of Water is incorrectly generating threat with TSA Agents when held in inventory. We are looking into the issue.

If you found any of the above amusing, click over to the full version for more in the same vein.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

January 20th 2009

Woke up about 5:30 am to find that one of the kitties peed on my clean laundry that had made it upstairs but that I hadn't put away. A trip to the laundry room to put them back in the dryer... what's that sound? Dripping water. Dripping. Brain gears grind in the fog of a brain not yet fully medicated. Dripping water from... water on the cement floor... dripping from a copper pipe on the ceiling in the unfinished portion of the basement that is the laundry room.

Woke up the Mister. We pulled the shelves out from under the broken pipe and rounded up buckets. Then I had to get ready to go. My physical therapist was expecting me extra early that morning. My Mister saved the day and took over calling the plumber so I could hit the road.

Physical therapy in Downtown Minneapolis. Traffic could have been worse. Gave me a chance to listen to Minnesota Public Radio and the NPR coverage of the inauguration morning crowds in Washington DC. Peeked at the sunrise in my rear view mirror as the traffic poked along.

Physical therapy. Then back out into the traffic. More radio coverage of the pre-inauguration goings-on. The Mister called to say the plumber had come and gone and fixed the cracked pipe and a few other things that needed doing, in record time.

I watched the inauguration of President Barack Obama at the home of a good friend. She made a Spam pie (savory and cheesy, not sweet) for the occasion.

I'm not ashamed to admit I teared up during the inauguration. Tears of hope and pride.

After several hours of working while watching the post-inaugural TV coverage, I headed back across town toward home.

But first, in the patois of the LOLcats, I asked, "I can has pride of country nao?"

Yes. Yes I can.

And I also got the recipe for the spam pie.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

gooshy food blues

Catrina is doing much better now. Her new vet says that - aside from her recent illness - Catrina is in fantastic shape for a 14-ish year old cat.

The problem seems to have been something she inhaled that irritated her throat. The likely culprit was some drywall dust from the work we just had done on the house. She's taking a steroid to keep the inflammation down, and is back to her usual talkative self. The first medicine the vet tried didn't work very well, but the current prescription seems to be doing the trick.

The first med was a liquid that we gave her in a little bit of gooshy food. There is always dry food available to the kitties. Good quality dry food that, under normal circumstances, they all eat happily. Wet food is usually only an infrequent treat around here because Catrina quickly gets neurotic about it.

When any amount of wet food is available, Catrina snarfs it down in a race to finish before the others finish theirs. If she's fast enough, and we're not watching closely, she can sometimes secure a few extra bites by pilfering from the slower eaters, which reinforces the speed-eating behavior. Even if she doesn't manage to steal from someone else's plate, we can't serve wet food in meal sized portions or Catrina throws most of hers up because she wolfed it down so fast.

We tried serving small portions of wet food on a daily basis since they all enjoy it so much. But if Catrina thinks canned food might be in her future she will hold off eating the regular dry stuff and wait until some glorious gooshy food materializes. Portions small enough to stay down aren't enough to get by on, so she starts losing weight, her fur condition goes all to heck, and she gets cranky and demanding while she's waiting on that next dose of the gooshy to appear.

After just three days of having her medication in a tiny bit of wet food, she's all but stopped eating the dry food again. The new medication is in pill form, and I've never met the cat who can't pick a pill out of the food you've tried to hide it in, so there's no point in going that route. So, we're going to go back on the "gooshy is a sometimes food" diet - with canned food happening only at random intervals - and Catrina is going through gooshy withdrawal.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Catrina gave us a scare

While I was at my lymphedema therapy today, my Mister had to take Catrina to the vet.

For whatever reason her larynx swelled up and was making it difficult and painful for her to swallow. The vet has her on steroids to bring the inflammation down. To her joy, it has to be administered in a serving of gooshy food twice a day.

Otherwise, Dr. Sid says she's in very good health for a 15 year old kitton. Catrina, ever the sociable little lady, made friends with everyone who saw her at the vet.

The meds are already helping, but her voice is still hoarse. With luck and an appropriate amount of lavishing attention on her to keep her morale up, she should be back to her old talkative self in a few days.

(Cross posted to Facebook)

Saturday, January 3, 2009

you want fries with that?

The cats have discovered the world outside the front window. (Photos coming soon.) Missy Tash has spent the most time of the bunch on sentry duty there. There are more birds by far than at our last house. But best of all are the bunnies in the late evening and early morning. They come right up to the house to nibble on the twigs and bark of the bushes under the window. And if the neighbors ask, alfalfa hay is an excellent mulch. Why else would it be around those front bushes? I'm sure I had no idea that it would also be a favored food of wild bunnies.

As I type, it appears to have been time for the changing of the guards on the front window. Zabartik came up and relieved Tashania of her post. It's a long window, but since the kittons don't like to sit too near one another, we're going to need to place a long, low cabinet there so they can stand critter-watch more than one fuzzbutt at a time.

On the unpacking front, the Mister is nearly done with the home theater. He's wiring up the speakers today, after having run cables through the walls and behind baseboards. Once that's done, all that's left is hang two more shelves, to find the box in the sea of other boxes that has his console games in it, and the arrival of the Sumo Gigantor (smiling blond model not included).

We've discovered the hard way that the fryer got packed with frying oil still inside it. Neither of us remembered to empty it, and the movers just packed it up as-is in a box marked "kitchen". It had tipped an leaked during it's trip. Seeing the oil soaked carboard - not knowing what was inside - assumed that a bottle of cooking oil had been packed and then inverted. I flipped the box over to open it, thinking I was "fixing" it, and instead emptied the whole fryer full of oil into the box. A mad dash down the hall to the bathroom to dump the whole box in the tub followed. The house now smells of french fries, but I managed to lose only about a cup of oil onto the floor in the process. Oops.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Two Years

Two years ago today I went in for the surgery that cured my cancer.

A lot has happened since then. Some good. Some not so good. A lot of awesome. Some decidedly not awesome.

"Normal" is different now than it was then, but assuming one doesn't live in a vacuum, two years passing brings change to everyone. "Normal" is as impermanent as everything else.

Two years later, I've got new things to deal with, but none of them are cancer. I'll take that.

For the third year, my goal is to get a better grip on how I handle what the more difficult changes in my life have brought with them.

* * *
When you see a truck bearing down on you, by all means jump out of the way. But spend some time in meditation, too. Learning to deal with discomfort is the only way you'll be ready to handle the truck you didn't see.
~Henepola Gunaratana, Mindfulness in Plain English