Tuesday, December 31, 2013

I Was Missed

I didn't miss anything at home while gone except my own kitties.  The kids have pets, of course, but they aren't my own babies.   Who make it clear that they missed me, too, every time I stretch out to read.

Perry has been insisting on sleeping in my arms since I got home.  That's OK, but he needs to not wash my nose at midnight.  Really.  Fish breath.  And rough tongue.  And it's midnight.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Christmas 2013

A belated Merry Christmas to all! Last week no computer, and using somebody else's keyboard makes me cuss. Saturday night I got home to no internet service, which has finally been resolved. So. Christmas.

Murphy's Law has already blogged a bit about the week here, here, and here.  My daughter and family live in St. Clair Shores, MI, and his family in the Detroit area, so the common destination worked out well.  We left The Mountain Sunday morning, heading north and west with Murphy and Belle in the back of the Jeep.  Don't believe ML - when I was driving I had the cruise control set at 78 mph. He did demonstrate that the Jeep will get up to 100 mph at one point, however. I ignore him and just hope we don't die when he's driving.  I also cling to the handle above the door more than normal.  But at least we drove out of the rain fairly early on.

Monday involved grocery shopping and lunch with B.'s friend and her son, Vasily, who is all of one hour older than Amelia.  He's also 5 inches taller.  Yeah, kid, sorry about the whole Grandma-is-a-dwarf gene thing.  And your Uncle Joe sucked up every bit of height on your daddy's side so there wasn't any left for you there, either.

ML's family was gracious enough to invite us for Christmas Eve dinner, where we were also joined by Aaron and his girls and a very good time was had by all.  There were even gifts under the tree for us, and when Amelia unwrapped her dolly she pulled it to herself and kissed it, eliciting an "Awww" from every female in the room.  My gun light works great on my Glock - thanks so much, ML!

On the way home we swung through Grosse Point (a.k.a. where serious money is) to see the lights.  Wow!  Wish I could find some pics online.  Trees where every limb has been separately wrapped with lights.   I'm guessing there are companies hired to do the kind of lighting we saw. Or people with a whole lot of time to decorate.

And remind me to remember that 40 degrees is not cold.  Detroit cold made my eyeballs want to suck back into my skull...

The bug I've been fighting for 2 weeks now rose back up and bit me Christmas morning, but it was still fun to watch baby's first Christmas.  I really expected her to be more concerned with wrapping paper and boxes but, nope, she figured out toys and books pretty quick.

I went back to bed after, but Punkin' had to get her Christmas outfit on.

We moved Christmas dinner to Thursday because I felt so lousy Wednesday, and so that was a pleasant afternoon prepping food and filling the house with the smells of garlic and sage and roasting chicken and by then I could enjoy them again. 

My son-in-law's family has an Italian tradition of a major fish dinner at Christmas time and he loves to cook so the call went out to ML's family and Aaron for a Friday night seafood dinner after shooting.  D. did the tradition up fine, with B. baking the pies: 3 lbs salmon, 3 lbs shrimp, 2.5 lbs calamari, 6 lbs mussels, 3.5 lbs crab legs, 3 lbs Tilapia, 2 lbs Brussels sprouts, salad, Blackberry Swirl Pie, Turtle Pumpkin Pie, and Orange cookies.  Their neighbor being a master brewer for Red Hook and D. being a wine collector added a fine selection of liquid refreshment.  It was a happy, burp-inducing success.  And I really need to remember that 1 part soy sauce to 3 parts maple syrup, marinade salmon for 3 days then grill slowly recipe. Yowza good!

Had to laugh, though.  I call myself a full contact cook - I make a heck of mess of the kitchen and anything within several yards of any cooking surface when I cook.  D. has me beat all to heck in that department.  The kitchen that had been spotless at 4 pm looked like this at 11 pm.

And then the week was suddenly done, and we met for Coney dogs in downtown Detroit and headed for home.  Murphy whined considerably less on the trip back, but he managed to remind me twice that I need to keep his leash choked up tight when I'm walking him.  He whips that thing around me and takes off and the next thing I know I'm on the ground.  Fortunately, I'm built low to the ground to start with and it's all aggravation and no damage when it happens.  

Now I need to go back and catch up on blog reading.  And think about work.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Quoting MSgt B...

A miserable cold.  With the gut wrenching, pee pants cough if I move.  I'm just hoping that it's peaking today - I have things I need to do over the weekend.  

The way viruses work is to get inside a cell and reproduce madly until the cell explodes.  Kinda makes me feel funny to know that I feel lousy because my cells are exploding.

At least Blu appreciates my company.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

In Case You Hadn't Noticed...

...I'm not feeling particularly inspired.  Too much to distract, I guess.  Back when there's something to say.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Christmas Refuge

The story is that an abandoned dog sought shelter in a church's Christmas creche.

Story also says that dog now has a home with  a church member.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


And I wish I knew where I lost one of my pair of ice cleats I had on my boots.  Probably won't see it again until Spring, if at all. 

Snow Day!

I don't know why teleworkers don't have to work today - maybe there are power outages elsewhere from the freezing fog of last night.  But I'm not questioning it. 

Since my neighbor hasn't plowed his driveway, I suspect his little tractor is broken again  and I won't get plowed either. Guess I'm going to have to put chains on to get out in a day or two.  Having moved up here after too many years in the city, the potential problems of having a steep driveway never occurred to me.  Usually, I park in the front yard when a winter storm is coming but that just aggravates me.  I have a garage.  Garages are most useful in inclement weather.  Therefore I should be able to USE that garage when it snows.

It's lovely and quiet because of the lack of vehicle traffic and we have power so there are no generators going.

Time to medicate cats, have breakfast, and clean house.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

1 to 3 Inches Predicted

But 6 inches arrived.

It pounded down, but the snow part seems to be over.  Next on deck is the 1/4 to 1/2 inch of ice that's supposed to follow tonight.  Joy joy.  Need to go fill the tub for flushing water. 

Heard that the grocery store was swamped this morning.  Silly people.  You were supposed to do that yesterday. 

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Mmm Mmm Good...

With all due respect to Campbell's...

Much of my emergency stores are canned, of course.  Tuna, soups, vegetables, etc.  But it appears that I'm short on certain, um, unique ... no, no, that's not it ... um, unusual ... that will have to do... canned food stuffs.

I'm not that fond of canned stuff - it just happens to be necessary sometimes.  And given the option of that or nothing, I'll take canned.  But something really would need to be done to make this chicken rather more appealing.  The goop around it reminds me of the goop around cold Vienna sausages.  Or my last head cold.

And then there's things that I never, ever would have even thought of.  Like fish mouths.  Who the heck knew you can eat fish mouths?  Yeah - I think there was a horror movie where those bit back.

Other cultures don't have easy access to meat, so they include insects in their diet.  I'd be willing to try bugs on the condition that someone, maybe Chef Zimmern, told me they were tasty rather than just nutritious..  After all,  battering and frying an oyster goes a long way towards making up for the fact that it looks like a loogie when fresh.   I'm thinking crunchy would be better than squishy for silk worm larvae, though.

And one of these days I'd like to try brains - I understand that they are quite good when prepared properly.  But I'm not at all sure that canned is a good introduction to any organ meat.

For the more tasty treats, and some explanations, click here.

Now, that said, confession time.  I like haggis. Yes, yes I do.  I may just order some this winter.  And I have an absolute addiction to a dim sum dish that I can only find in one restaurant, and that 60 miles away - phoenix talon.  Which would be chicken feet in a black bean sauce.  I'm so addicted to that.

Friday, December 6, 2013

A Conversation With the Vet

So Blu, having been put on blood pressure meds after a seizure last month, went in to have his blood pressure checked today.  They put an itty bitty blood pressure cuff on his tail, which he immediately whipped around himself because ICK SOMEBODY AT THIS PLACE TOUCHED ME!!!!!!  But he didn't try to pull it off - just huddled with his head buried against me and growled.  Which is what he always does at the vet's.

Since several measurements had to be taken, the vet and I chatted.  Turns out she has lost her insurance, courtesy of the ACA.  She has several health problems, including pulmonary ones.  She's been trying to replace her policy, of course.  But the closest she can come boosts her deductible to $6,000.  She'll lose her pulmonary specialist.  The standard meds for her problems don't work - she will see an increase of $200 per month per medication in cost.  She's not dumb enough to fall for the "It's the insurance company's fault" line.

I've been to her house - she's comfortable, but not rich.  She has an office, staff, overhead.  A lot of overhead.  She's just middle class, same as most of us.  And she is getting screwed just because people were too stupid to actually think out, let alone care, what the end result of turning the entire health system into the DMV on a bad day would be.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Oh, Ugh.

The guessing game begins.  At least this site is honest enough to call it "First Guess".  We live right on the line between the 2 to 4 and 4 to 6 inch prediction areas.  Guess this storm bears watching, although Accuhunch isn't as dire right now.

I don't drink cow's milk and I have tp already stocked, so I guess I don't have to do the grocery store fight.  Although this always makes me want to run out and buy junk food.  Chocolate cake in particular.

Dead Mice Raining from the Sky

Complete with parachutes.

The headline I saw didn't mention the dead part and I thought Guam was going down the always-a-bad-idea of introducing one critter to control another.  And it made for all sorts of funny mental visuals.  Turns out the mice are dead, and laced with small amounts of acetaminophen, which just happens to be highly toxic to  the brown tree snake that is eating Guam.   And any other environment it can get to, having proved highly capable of hiding in anything, including plane wheel wells. In the 60 years since its arrival on the island it has, among other things, devastated the native bird population of the island.

So a second round of  2000 liddle poisoned mice with liddle parachutes has been dropped into the tree canopy in the hope that they will become snacks for snakes. 

Considering that the brown tree snake population is estimated to be up to 13,000 per square mile, it's going to take a whole bunch more mice, I'm thinking.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

She's A Beauty

And sweet, too.

Murphy's Law hit a home run with this one for sure.  Miss Memphis Belle is a lovely dog- bright, sweet, and affectionate, without shyness or timidity. A bit skinny, but that will improve with time and the curing of the Lyme and heartworm.

She seems to be settling in nicely.  Responds to her name, and obviously has had obedience training.  At some point she had a good life.

I don't think Murphy knows what he's in for yet.  He still thinks he's top dog.

Yeah, well, we'll see.

She does need to learn to eat her food right away, though, or Murph is going to get fat.

Monday, December 2, 2013

It's Over. Drat.

A very pleasant several days over.  Back to the salt mines.  And panic over getting Christmas stuff done and in the mail.  Of course, I volunteered for several Church-related things so that I'd be even busier.  Don't even mention getting a tree up...

But pleasant it was.  The in-laws live in York, PA, or, as my GPS calls it, "Yorkpa".  Just 2 hours away, and that's where I headed Thursday.  Despite Amelia being sick at the end of last week, the kids got out of Detroit before the weather mess came in and the paternal grands got to spoil her for several days.  And she's got some cousins who adore her.  There were some firsts, of course.

A first train garden, which was pretty exciting:

And first Thanksgiving, with so many dishes that many had to go to the sideboard rather than the table:

The kids are doing something called "baby led weaning" - no expensive jars of baby food.  Baby girl eats the same thing as Mom and Dad as long as it's soft and can be cut into small pieces.  She very much approved of turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, corn pudding, Italian escarole soup, and green bean casserole.  The first bite of cranberry sauce elicited a scrunched face and a shiver, but then it was happily shoved in with everything else. 

Then, of course, came numb somnolence until time for the Ravens-Steelers game.  No penalty for that helmet to helmet hit on Bells - unbelievable.

Two hours isn't that far from home, but one of the issues I have with narcolepsy is that driving alone late at night when tired is just asking for trouble, so I retired to a very nice room at a nearby Holiday Inn instead, and after a very restful night and a leisurely cup of coffee and book in bed the next morning, there was more visiting.  And leftovers.  Very fine leftovers, yes indeed.

Eventually I wandered back west, leaving early enough to be back on familiar roads before dark, returning to happy kitties who wanted to snuggle for the night and feeling like I had had a very relaxing vacation.

They only got one night before I was off again, though, to night duty at the homeless shelter.  Where I would have welcomed their warmth - the women's section was COLD.  Next time I take the down sleeping bag.  But it was a quiet night (Except the snoring.  Always an amazing level of snoring.), which is the norm. Being on the streets in the cold is exhausting and usually folks are asleep before lights out time.  They are always so grateful - embarrassingly so. 

Minimal sleep meant a Sunday mostly spent stretched out on the sofa with a book and cats draped everywhere they could find a spot.

A very nice several days, indeed.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

And a Happy Thanksgiving to All!

Add some taters and a refreshing drink and you're good to go.

Note:  My wallet didn't benefit from this post.  And the soda is for real.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

I Couldn't Help It

I was in line to waiting to pick up a prescription and the store's book section is nearby.  Perhaps that's deliberate - it's not the first time this has happened.  Given all the commentary and commemoration, this immediately caught my eye:

It's a really interesting take, stepping away from conspiracy theories and focusing on assassination ballistic evidence and the question of how a total loser like Oswald, using a poor weapon with an even worse scope, managed to kill the 35th president of the United States with a shot to the head that caused the bullet to disintegrate.

One of the theories I've heard was based on time between shots - an insistence that another round simply cannot be chambered and fired in a Mannlicher-Carcano in the time that elapsed between the critical shots.  Don't know - I haven't seen that mentioned in this book.

From a review at JFKfacts:

Hunter’s observations
Oswald’s Mannlicher-Carcano was an inferior weapon that fired a relatively slow-moving bullet. Hunter doubts it was the murder weapon.
Oswald was not particularly skilled with a gun. Yes, he was rated as a “marksman” in the Marines Corps, but he failed to qualify as an “expert,” the mark of an accomplished shooter.
The bullet that killed JFK disintegrated upon impact in a way that an ordinary Mannlicher-Carcano bullet would not. The official investigations never accounted for this fact.
And in the panicky aftermath of the assassination, Oswald inexplicably returned to his boarding house to fetch a pistol that he could have brought with him to work that morning. What prompted him to suddenly need a firearm? Swagger concludes, correctly I think, that after Kennedy was killed, Oswald knew his life as in danger.
Hunter’s theory
If I read him right, Hunter isn’t actually proposing a conspiracy theory that is Historical Truth. He’s proposing a different way of thinking about JFK. The best way to understand the causes of Kennedy’s death, he suggets, is to reason backwards from the incontrovertible ballistic evidence to the guns that caused it.
Not from assassination evidence, but a good pic...

The sins of the past have risen up to attack lives in the present, and that's where the story begins.

I haven't met Bob Lee Swagger before, and I have to confess that his name is of the sort that can put me off a book.  Dave Robicheaux.  Jack Reacher.  Those are sensible hero names.  Bob Lee is just too close to Billy Bob... I'm afraid I can't read a Dirk Pitt book, either.  I just can't bring myself to read a book in which the lead character is named Dirk Pitt.  But this is an engaging read by a guy who seems to enjoy guns, so I'll probably keep an eye out for others in the series.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Once Every 20 Years

Less four months.  You can't miss November 22's significance, no matter what you think of Kennedy - we have a tendency to commemorate in a big way in increments of 50 and 100 years.  I was thinking, though, that there's three moments in my almost 60 year- long-life that I clearly and distinctly remember where I was and what I was doing. Hence the "once every 20 years.

The first, of course, is the assassination of JFK.  I would have been 9 years old. We were on the school bus on the way home and the bus driver at some point said something to the effect of  "Well, President Kennedy was killed today."  Which silenced the bus load of kids pretty effectively.  I remember that as I got off the bus in front of the house, Mom was coming around from the clothes line with a basket of laundry and she was crying and then I knew it was true.  What I find interesting is that I have no memory of knowing who President Kennedy was.  Or even what a president was.  My memories of anything with "President Kennedy" attached start at that moment.  But I must have known or a sense of "It's true" wouldn't have been significant.

And then I remember sitting on the sofa with Mom and Dad and watching Ruby shoot Oswald live on TV and Dad said "Well, that's not going to help anything."  I count that day and the day of the actual assassination as one - they're sort of merged in together.

And then there was the shuttle Challenger disaster.  Oh, how I loved the idea of the shuttle program.  It wasn't deep space, and the ships were shaped wrong, but we were going back and forth into space and that was something I had dreamed of for at least since the first time I read The Wonderful Flight To The Mushroom Planet.   One of my coworkers would bring in a little black and white TV and at first a goodly number of the office would squeeze into his cubical to watch each launch.  Eventually the flights began to be routine and while Dixon would still watch each one most of us just went about our business.  Then one day he burst from his cubical - "The shuttle has exploded!"  And we pushed in and watched in horror - a horror not lessened by its playing out on a small black and white screen.

Finally, of course, there was 9/11.  I was teleworking, sitting at the dining room table, on the computer.  My daughter and I were IM-ing and I had to reboot the computer.  Whatever program we used for IM back in the day always popped up with a news headline when first opened.  I don't remember the exact wording of the headline, but I clicked on the link.  Only a single brief line about a plane flying into the World Trade Center.  Its brevity told me that little was known yet, and of course I assumed it was a small plane.  Wouldn't be the first time such a thing has happened.   I'm not sure if I turned the TV on right then or if something about an update caused me to later on, but of course that was the end of work for the day.  And for several days after.  They closed the government and sent people home.  I was glad I had been teleworking - the sudden flood of people trying get home gridlocked the city and left thousands of people very vulnerable to any further attacks that might have come.  The folks who commuted by public transportation in particular - just because the government suddenly closes doesn't mean the train system has staff on hand to start running trains up the line. 

If I keep to the average there will be at least one more memory-searing day in my life. I'm not really looking forward to that.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

They Can't Ask and You Don't Have To Tell

Caught a little bit of Rush Limbaugh today, and heard a caller say that a medical practice wouldn't take his wife as a patient until she answered questions about guns in the house.  With all the changes that this mess is causing, we need to remember that under the law that has created the mess - the Affordable Care Act - no practice or insurance company can do this.

Section 1001\2717: 

and health promotion activity implemented under subsection (a)(1)(D) may not require the disclosure or collection of any information relating to—
‘‘(A) the presence or storage of a lawfully-possessed firearm or ammunition in the residence or on the property of an individual; or
‘‘(B) the lawful use, possession, or storage of a firearm or ammunition by an individual.

‘‘(2) LIMITATION ON DATA COLLECTION.—None of the authorities provided to the Secretary under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act or an amendment made by that Act shall be construed to authorize or may be used for the collection of any information relating to—
‘‘(A) the lawful ownership or possession of a firearm or ammunition;
‘‘(B) the lawful use of a firearm or ammunition; or
‘‘(C) the lawful storage of a firearm or ammunition.

‘‘(3) LIMITATION ON DATABASES OR DATA BANKS.—None of the authorities provided to the Secretary under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act or an amendment made by that Act shall be construed to authorize or may be used to maintain records of individual ownership or possession of a firearm or ammunition.

‘‘(4) LIMITATION ON DETERMINATION OF PREMIUM RATES OR ELIGIBILITY FOR HEALTH INSURANCE.—A premium rate may not be increased, health insurance coverage may not be denied, and a discount, rebate, or reward offered for participation in a wellness program may not be reduced or withheld under any health benefit plan issued pursuant to or in accordance with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act or an amendment made by that Act on the basis of, or on reliance upon—
‘‘(A) the lawful ownership or possession of a firearm or ammunition; or
‘‘(B) the lawful use or storage of a firearm or ammunition.

‘‘(5) LIMITATION ON DATA COLLECTION REQUIREMENTS FOR INDIVIDUALS.—No individual shall be required to disclose any information under any data collection activity authorized under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act or an amendment made by that Act relating to—
‘‘(A) the lawful ownership or possession of a firearm or ammunition; or
‘‘(B) the lawful use, possession, or storage of a firearm or ammunition.

Happy Anniversary

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. 

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. 

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Abraham Lincoln
November 19, 1863

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Well It's Just Been a $#@!*& Day In The Neighborhood

So life is a tad stressful right now - the major home project is slow because I have to work around furniture and can't move stuff until the floor paint cures enough, which takes several days.  The house is filthy because all the sanding makes dust sift into everything and until I was done with the sanding cleaning was futile.  It's been...on my nerves.  And the whole scare with Blu.  Although at least that's being treated - as soon as I described the seizure in detail to his regular vet she turned off the lights and had a good look-see in his eyes.  Retinal hemorrhaging says high blood pressure.  And apparently what I took as slowing down due to age was just that he wasn't feeling right - within two days of starting the medication he was sailing up on the kitchen counter and stomping through the dish strainer just because he could.  And his appetite has returned with a vengeance so I imagine his next appointment will show that his weight loss has reversed.  So there has been relief there.

Come cold weather, I put a shelter out on my front porch for one of the local wanderers.  I've never been completely convinced that Pretty Boy doesn't have a home up the mountain - he always looks very sleek and healthy.  But he's a handsome, pleasant fellow who has no bad habits and so I leave some food and water out for him and come cold weather put I put a shelter out for him.  He doesn't know I've been discussing relieving him of his maleness with the local trap and neuter folks, but that's for the future.  I figure that even if he does have a home they have been letting a full male roam without a collar or tags and that makes him a stray when it comes to the neighborhood preventing litters of feral kittens.

But a few days ago, just as it turned cold, a cat I didn't recognize showed up in the shelter.  Couldn't see well except to see it is a tortie and from the condition of its fur I assumed it was a feral.  We have a problem with that up here.  It also seemed that it might be ill.  Trouble was, I wasn't going to stick my hand in to a strange cat to see if I could tell.  Did that once.  The cat didn't care for it.  My first mistake was grabbing the cat.  It bit the fool out of me.  My second mistake was letting go of the cat. It escaped and I had to go through the rabies shots thing.  Which was bloody nuisance because it confuses the heck out of insurance - you have to get the (very expensive) vaccine from the state (at least you did then) and the bureaucracy that deals with meds doesn't deal well with stuff that doesn't come from the pharmacy.

So I fretted and worried because the cat didn't seem to move or eat or drink.  I thought it might be dying.  And then finally it came out yesterday morning and I was horrified.  Emaciated, covered in feces, a large lump on its spine.  Worse than I've ever seen any of our ferals.  And obviously not feral - it came to me, meowing.  I had to leave for an appointment right then, and I did see it go down the street.  But all day long I debated whether or not I should try to get it into a carrier and take it to be destroyed.  I was miserable and weepy all day both from the upset at the condition of a cat that obviously was accustomed to being around humans and from the idea of having to kill it just after it had decided to trust me.  But I also remembered that she had headed down the street, and that I almost hit a kitten there a week ago and I was worried that a litter might be involved.

Then today I spotted her in a neighbor's yard with another cat that I had also thought was feral because of its poor condition.  So I walked up the driveway.  They came right to me.  I knocked on the door.  Are these your cats?  It went downhill from there.  I didn't cuss him, despite a strong desire to do so.  Well, right about the upteenth "I work 80 hours a week" I did say that I didn't give a rat's ass how many hours he worked - he needed to take care of his animals.  And oh, yes, the kitten that I almost hit belongs there, too.  Another future neglect case for his kiddies to play with.

So I got ordered off his property.  And at the top of my to-do list is contacting animal control and seeing if at a bare minimum a neglect case can be pursued for the one.  If I could I'd have the police on his doorstep but I doubt they'd be interested.   I imagine neighbor will keep the cats in for a little bit now.  If not and the tortie shows up on my porch again, photos at least will be taken and given to whomever I can find to give them to.  If animal control does respond and take her she will be destroyed.  But I am maxed out on the number of animals I can afford vet care for - my own three are rescues that need a variety of medications twice daily.  Trouble is, it needs to be made clear to these people that if you are going to have pets you need to care for them, not leave them to suffer or for your neighbors to suffer over and care for. 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


...what's going on.  Sometimes I can comment.  Sometimes not.  Sometimes I can get to my blog, sometimes not.  Sometimes no matter what I try do I'm told that it's an "invalid request".  Knew there was a reason I didn't like computers.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


I haven't been online since Friday afternoon, so I'm late, but better late than never.

My heartfelt thanks to all who have served and continue to serve.

And something to watch for, and, if you can, support.

The lack of knowledge of history in this country is frightening.  I rather wonder how many people know the significance of the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918.  Our last witness to World War I, Frank Buckles, lived just down the road and passed away in 2011.  Fortunately, there were some folks who were working to preserve his story at the time he died and the project has gone on.

Read more about the project at  Pershing's Last Patriot.  And if you have a few spare bucks, consider throwing some their way.  The time machine is gone, now a time capsule needs preserved.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Bad Music

I think I once put up the appalling video of the TV rendition of "The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins" that Leonard Nimoy did once upon a time.  Can't find the post but I vaguely remember watching it several times because it had the same fascination as a bad car wreck - it's so awful you can't look away.  And I did have the record - the rest of it was just as bad without hobbits as a redeeming feature.  It's nice to see Nimoy poke fun at it in the Audi commercial, but picking on ol' Spock alone isn't quite fair.  It was an era when TV personalities made records regardless of musical talent.*

So Spock's captain also made a record or two. Actually, over time, he has made several, but this one is way up there in the awful level.

His rendition of "Mr. Tambourine Man" is, well, different.

I have to say that I was never a Kirk fan.  My guys were Bones and Scotty.  But I started liking Shatner after seeing him at a Trekkie convention.  He had me howling with laughter - I loved his sense of humor.  The best word I can think of for it is "impish".  While I never passionately followed him, I loved his Denny Crane in Boston Legal.  And I've enjoyed his Trek documentaries.  Recently I heard that when he realized how difficult he had been when working on Star Trek he went back to people and tried to make amends.  If so, that's impressive - big egos don't do such things easily. 

I stumbled across a listing for his autobiography recently.  Wherever it was (I can't find that particular listing now, of course) the first chapter was excerpted. He had me in tears from more than one direction.  I'm going to have to buy it now.  I think I may be becoming a fan.

*Note to younger folk - a record was made of vinyl, had two sides, was roughly a foot in diameter, and was not stored on some itty bitty digital thingy that I could and would lose in about 2 seconds.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

If I Like Your Plan

The thing is - I don't believe the president's lies will make a difference to liberals.  Oh, they may squirm a bit, but Obama is their warm fuzzy and warm fuzzy is easier to cling to than integrity. So "integrity" will, like "diversity" and "choice", simply be defined to suit the Obama marching orders of the day.

And I really don't get all the hollering about it.  We knew he was a liar from the get-go.  Every one of us that opposed him said so.  And we have been called racist, terrorists, stupid, and every other contemptible name liberals could think up for us just for pointing out the simple truth of the matter.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

I Had That Album...It Was Really, Really Bad


But playing off of a cheesy ballad from it, two generations of TV/movie Spocks, and nearly 50 years of Star Trek makes this Audi commercial really, really good.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Because I Wasn't Busy Enough

So after not the best day on Friday it was 10 pm and I was in my p.j.s, glass of wine in hand, watching "Jack Reacher", trying to decide if Tom Cruise was believable as Reacher.  Elderly cat Blu was, as usual, curled next to me.  Suddenly he started flailing and twisting.  Startled, I turned to look and saw his eyes - they were blank and empty as if there was nothing behind them.  He pulled himself up enough to grab the back of the sofa and started trying to drag himself up the back but he seemed to have lost control of his hind quarters - the right leg didn't work and the left was pulled up as if in spasm.  I don't know how long it went on - an eternity or 30 seconds but it scared the hell out of me.  When the physical attack passed he still seemed confused for a couple minutes, and when he went up the stairs I could tell his hindquarters were still weak.

Of course the nearest emergency vet that I know of is 45 minutes away in Winchester, VA.  Phone call to ML to find out their name and a phone call to them. Clothes thrown on, confused cat stuffed in carrier, dash for Winchester.  At night. Did I mention that I'm very night-blind?  And of course there's more traffic lights than I remember the last time I drove that route, all but one red.  Another eternity.

Turns out this is the same place that saved Perry a few years back, just in a new building.  And by the time we got there Blu was fine, all signs of whatever had  happened gone.  The vet noted that Blu is on medication for thyroid problems - she said that one possibility is a "thyroid storm" caused by his thyroid not being regulated correctly yet.  Also something about blood pressure.  He's got an appointment next Saturday for his 6 month blood test, so we'll see.  And I'm pretty sure that my own blood pressure was pretty high while he was flailing around on the sofa.  He's 15, and although I understand on one level that our time together is growing short very quickly now, I'm still not really reconciled to losing him.

$95 poorer, we came back home and finished watching the movie.  Meh.

Friday caused the weekend to get a later start than planned.  I commented in an earlier blog about physical conditioning.  I'm reminded this morning that tearing up carpet and padding, cutting it into pieces, pulling up tack strips and staples, caulking, and sanding acres of floor is its own conditioning.  It would take less time to list what ISN'T tired and sore this morning than what is.  But at least almost every bit of that nasty, dirt- and mold-filled carpet is out of the house now. 

My bedroom is the last room left with carpeting and it's going to have to wait until after Christmas because of the difficulty of working around the furniture and because I'll have to move into one of the spare rooms while I do it.  Also because floor paint has to be left for several days before you can move furniture back on it and the Christmas season will be on us by the time I finish the rest of the house.  And if I'm going to tear that room up I might as well do the ceiling patch I've needed to do while I'm at it.  I've ignored it because I hate hate hate working on the ceiling and I'm going to have to replace a piece of sheet rock over my dresser.  I hate hate hate working on the ceiling.  A lot.

Thursday, October 31, 2013