October 2006 Archives

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October 31, 2006

Ever get really good news, and then not 5 minutes later, on an unrelated matter, get really exceptionally bad news?

That's the kind of day I'm having.

Posted by Russ at 07:17 PM
October 27, 2006
The Big C

This year has been pretty tough for the extended Emerson family felines. In February, we learned Mycah has diabetes. A couple of weeks ago, sweet handsome Bubba passed, leaving broken hearts behind him.

This week, we learned that a growth on Mycah's tail is malignant.

It's not a great picture — Mycah won't hold still for the camera, and woe be unto anyone who tries to hold her tail.

Mycah still seems to be a bit bummed out by the entire veterinary experience. She has no idea what indignities await her.

[Click for larger]

The vet is certain the tumor — almost exactly in the middle of her tail — can be removed. What's not so certain is whether Mycah will still have a tail after the tumor is gone.

It's malignant, and possibly metastatic — that is, it could spread to other parts of her body. If the only way to prevent that is to remove her tail, I think it'd be better for her to be a manufactured manx than to risk potential spreading. There's no certainty it hasn't already spread undetected, so we'll be visiting a veterinary oncologist, as well. Time is of the essence.

I'm worried.

But no matter what happens, however this proceeds, she'll get the absolute best I can provide for her.

As always, the Modulator's Friday Ark is recommended for a visit. Plus, the Carnival Of The Cats this week is at Watermark.

Posted by Russ at 01:59 AM | Comments (4)
October 25, 2006
Band of Brothers

Today is St. Crispin's Day.

And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remember'd. . . .

Go see the Greatest Speech Ever, and more, at the Llamabutchers.

Posted by Russ at 02:29 PM
I Can Dig It

Via Blackfive, a music video from Australian country singer Beccy Cole.

The song, Poster Girl (Wrong Side of The World), is her answer to those fair-weather fans who didn't like the fact that she supports the Diggers.


Can we adopt her or something? And send the Dixie Twits to, I dunno, France?

Posted by Russ at 01:08 PM
October 23, 2006
Don't Look At Me Like That

Back in my days in the Silicon Valley, when I was an officer of the LUG out there, I used to have a passing acquaintance with a brilliant software developer named Hans. . .

. . .who I just learned was arrested a week or so ago on suspicion of murdering his wife.

Police: Books, Bloody Sleeping Bag Led To Reiser Arrest
Hans Reiser Charged With Murder

POSTED: 6:57 am PDT October 12, 2006

OAKLAND, Calif. -- The Alameda County District Attorney's Office charged Hans Reiser with one count of murder Thursday, NBC11 News reported.

Reiser was handcuffed and wore a red jail jumpsuit during his 2 p.m. Thursday court appearance in Oakland. Well-known defense attorney Daniel Horowitz appeared with Reiser as did attorney Bill Dubois.


It was half a dozen years ago, and I didn't actually know the guy at all except to say "hi" to — on the geek continuum, he was as far above me as I am above my cat — but I'm still pretty sure I could have gone rather a long time without needing to hear news like this.

I don't know anything about the case other than what's been published in the papers, but for some reason, the notion of an Alpha Geek (which Hans unquestionably was and is) committing a violent crime against a spouse just doesn't seem real. I'm not saying he did or didn't do it — "don't know" means don't know — just that it's counter to every geek stereotype you care to name.

Just to get you started: how many übergeeks have wives?

Posted by Russ at 08:45 PM
October 21, 2006

The cyst above my shoulder blade sat there for two months, out of my reach, doing nothing. Except, no doubt, waiting for its moment, plotting and planning. The evil swine.

I got no real warning — just a tingle, no pain, not even an actual itch. Then: Vesuvius.

I'm at the office tonight, of course.

Good thing I chose to wear a black shirt tonight; the blood hardly shows.

Also good that I wasn't on the phone with a customer, as the language following such a surprise might not really be considered professional. Entertaining, maybe, but not professional.

Except perhaps when a router crashes and burns. Then it's completely understandable.

[OK, yes, that was completely disgusting. Sorry.]

[Sunday addition: No, really. I am truly truly sorry for that. At the time, it was uncommonly quiet here at the office, and I had nothing better to do.]

Posted by Russ at 07:51 PM | Comments (2)
October 18, 2006
Deja Vu

Oh, no. Not again:

Explosion Reported At Apex EQ Plant
No Plans To Close Area Schools

APEX, N.C. -- Apex authorities have received multiple reports of an explosion at the site of the Environmental Quality Industrial Services, which caught fire nearly two weeks ago.

A white plume of smoke could be seen above the remains of the facility. There were also reports of a pungent odor in the air.

Apex Police Capt. Ann Stephens told WRAL that the explosion was a small fire in a 55-gallon barrel that cleanup crews were working with, but that the fire had been contained.

"All indications are that it will be localized to that one drum of material," Apex Mayor Keith Weatherly said.

OK, looks like no big deal.

Posted by Russ at 01:20 PM | Comments (1)
October 14, 2006

Everything I am in my present career, everything I do, I am being and doing only because I can no longer be a soldier.

I like my career, but I love the Army. I'd give anything to be young enough to start my Army career over... and to be prescient enough to avoid the back injury that put an end to that career.


(Video found courtesy of Major John at Miserable Donuts.)

Posted by Russ at 11:06 AM | Comments (1)
October 11, 2006
World Cuisine

Go to any restaurant called Luigi's and you can get a plate of pasta.

Go to Chez Pierre and it's an even bet that escargot will be on the menu.

Go to Hernando's and it's a given that you can get something in the tortilla family.

But, I swear, you just try ordering a haggis at McDonalds, and they look at you like you have two heads.

Posted by Russ at 08:09 PM | Comments (1)
October 10, 2006
A Stitch

The truth can hurt.

Right now my ribs ache, having seen the greatest political advertisement ever.

I needed a laugh. I talked to my niece today; we're all still pretty "down" about Bubba's passing.

Posted by Russ at 04:39 PM | Comments (1)
October 09, 2006

My sister's and niece's Bubba is gone, victim of a mauling. The vet couldn't do anything for him, mortally wounded as he was, except to relieve his pain and ease his passing.

He was a great little cat, just over two years old. He brought a great deal of joy to my sister and especially to my niece, and his loss has broken more than one heart...

... mine included.

So long, little Bubba. See you at the bridge. Say hi to Moose, Stonewall, Sam and Snowflake for me.

Now, how to heal a 12-year-old girl's broken heart?

Posted by Russ at 09:12 PM | Comments (10)
October 06, 2006
Civic Pride

Most people like to see a big to-do made about their home towns.

But, not like this:

Apex Plant Fire, Explosions Lead To Evacuations

POSTED: 10:47 pm EDT October 5, 2006
UPDATED: 1:20 am EDT October 6, 2006

APEX, N.C. -- Town officials declared a state of emergency early Friday and evacuated about half of the town after a cloud containing chlorine gas spewed from a volatile industrial fire.

Apex Town Manager Bruce Radford said a leak at the EQ North Carolina plant on Investment Boulevard sent several large plumes of chlorine gas into the air around 9 p.m. A large fire broke out at the plant afterward, with multiple explosions heard nearby.

"This is the worst possible hazardous materials incident you could have," Radford said.

Swell. Just damn superb.

I heard about this while driving home from work in a brief snippet on the radio, before the station returned to the NC State "Wolfpack" football post-game coverage. Great programming decision, guys.

I called my brother in California, and asked him to go to Google News. While I drove, he read the news to me over the phone, and I realized that — whew — my home is as far from the incident as it can be while still within the town of Apex. The prevailing winds work in my favor.

I see now on the local news that there's an evacuation center at an elementary school that's a mile closer to the site of the incident than I am. If there was any hazard here, that school wouldn't be used as a shelter.

But I have friends who live in the area affected by the evacuation order. I hope they're OK. I hope they know they can knock on my door if they need to do so.

I still don't know who won the State game.

Update, 4:30am: Yeah, pride. I've had the local news on most of the time. People are behaving well, there's a minimum of complaining, many evacuees are bringing their own supplies... people are acting like adults.

Best of all, I haven't heard of any injuries. Let's hope it stays that way.

Posted by Russ at 01:42 AM | Comments (1)
October 02, 2006

For his remarks at IMAO, I hereby declare a catwa against commenter "Son of Bob."

Catwa is also declared against Professor Glenn Reynolds for quoting those remarks approvingly.

Cat pee be upon them both.

Posted by Russ at 11:41 AM | Comments (5)
October 01, 2006
By The Skin Of My Teeth

An attempt was made on my life this morning.

I arrived home from work at about 1am, about the normal time. As usual, Mycah was waiting, watching out the front window for my arrival. I expected she wanted to be fed.

I came in, and as I walked into the kitchen with my laptop case over my shoulder, keys in one hand and a bag of groceries in the other, Mycah darted between my feet.

Now, Mycah darting anywhere is a rarity; yes, she's the slimmest she's been since she got here, but she's still roughly football-shaped. A speed machine she ain't... not normally.

Add to the equation the state of my legs: bad knees, and sciatic nerve issues resulting in substandard (read: near total lack of) motor control.

Result: me on the floor. Groceries scattered. Laptop... well, I hope it still works. Given the state of my legs, it took no small effort to get off the floor and back on my feet.

Mycah had scampered out of harm's way and stood there unscathed, meowing to be fed, as if nothing had happened.

She did it to me deliberately, I just know it. And no jury would ever convict her, even though I have previously given warning. She seems so sweet — just look at that face:

OK, bad example. Try this one instead.

4pm Update: The first time I booted the laptop when I got to the office, it served up a hardware error before I got to the login prompt. I thought I was doomed. After a hard reset, though, it seems to be OK.

Posted by Russ at 11:26 AM | Comments (7)