March 2008 Archives

« February 2008 | Main | April 2008 »
March 31, 2008
It's Time

Mycah is at the V-E-T, having not-entirely-random acts of feline dentistry committed upon her. She did not want to get into the PTU this morning, but at least I didn't have to chase her around like last time.

I'll be picking her up later today, after the anaesthesia wears off. What, you think they could do anything to her mouth without knocking her out? Dream on. She emphatically does not like having things put in her mouth. Other than food, of course.

It's time, I think, for there to be another cat in the household. For most of her life, Mycah has has one or two other cats with which to interact. I've had her for four years now, and she's been alone with me for about three years; I think she could use more company.

Mainly because I suck as a playmate.

(I'd have done this a while ago, but my own health issues have prevented it.)

But first, I need to solicit some advice from cat owners, along the lines of "how do I introduce a new cat into the house?" I think there are some factors that need to be taken into account:

  1. Mycah is going to be thirteen years old this year. She's not as spry as she used to be.
  2. Mycah needs to be the alpha-cat around here — her status can't be threatened.
  3. I don't think I can handle a very young kitten, and I'm not sure Mycah would look at a kitten as anything other than a mobile meal. So I'm thinking a juvenile, a "teen" cat - perhaps six to nine months old. Young enough to be the beta-cat, yet big enough to not be completely bullied.
  4. Mycah will eat any and all food that she can get to, so a second cat needs a secure food source that Mycah won't be able to get near. How best to accomplish this?

I'm sure other questions will come up, but this is a start.

Thoughts, anyone?

Posted by Russ at 09:50 AM | Comments (8) | TrackBack (0)
March 29, 2008
Quote of the Day

Allapundit, at Hot Air:

There's something about an 81-year-old veteran and the phrase "And then I kicked him in the teeth" that's simply magical.

Follow the link to see the video of the news report.

Posted by Russ at 11:32 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
March 28, 2008
Skritch magnet

Mycah is a complete and utter hedonist.

But then, not too many cats could be described as altruistic.

Or many people, for that matter.

A visit to the Modulator's Friday Ark is required. Get thee hence.

On Sunday, it's the Carnival of the Cats — this week at Nikita's Place.

And for your recommended daily allowance of Cat, there's the Cat Blogosphere.

Posted by Russ at 09:00 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)
March 27, 2008
We will deal with your rebel friends soon enough

I feel a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. I fear something terrible is happening near by.

Yeah, this would explain it.

Posted by Russ at 11:56 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Real American Hero

Herb Peterson, McDonald's franchisee and inventor of the Egg McMuffin, passed away Tuesday at his home in Santa Barbara. He was 89.

Take a moment to reflect on what he did for the average commuter. He basically invented the fast-food breakfast, giving people on their way to work the opportunity to have something more than a cup of coffee first thing in the morning.

I'm just young enough to not know if anyone did fast-food grab-and-go breakfasts before McDonald's did, but surely they all do it now.

I intend to have a McMuffin in his honor... even (because of my hours) if I have to make it from scratch myself.

[Heavily updated to correct errors. So sue me.]

Posted by Russ at 09:30 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
March 25, 2008
Getting back into the swing of things

Now that I can walk — not well, mind you, but a cane is usually sufficient to my needs — I haven't had a fall in almost a month, now — I'm really hankering to do something I haven't been able to do in well over a year: go to the rifle range and make holes in paper.

There's just one small problem: while I can walk, I cannot carry things particularly well. My balance* is not yet reliable enough, and those of you who've ever been shooting know that a trip to the range always involves a fair amount of toting.

I suppose getting groceries into the house might be considered good practice. Once a week, I order groceries online and pick them up a few hours later. The goods are deposited into my vehicle curbside at the store, but when I get home I have to schlep the week's acquisitions from truck to house. Fortunately, it's a short trip, and there are what amount to handholds almost every step along the way. And of course I don't try to carry the entire load in one trip.

Going to the range would be a different matter altogether, as far as portage is concerned. It's a longer haul, with a bigger load... and if I were to fall, there'd be no easy way to get up again, short of crawling back to my truck and pulling myself up. I can't yet get up off the ground without something to use as leverage.

Since I don't have any servants on staff, what I really need if I want to go to the range is to coordinate with someone for a meetup at the range.

You know, a play-date.

* It's not actually my sense of balance that is weak, it's the ability of my legs to keep me up straight, to react in a timely manner to keep me upright if I should happen to lose my balance.

Posted by Russ at 06:01 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
March 24, 2008
Hello, ladies

Prime marriage fodder, I am.

Women, Want a Healthy Marriage? Marry Man Uglier Than You, Study Says

Monday, March 24, 2008

The best marriages are those where women marry men who are less attractive than themselves, research has found.

Psychologists who studied newlyweds found men who were better-looking than their wives were more likely to be unhappy and have negative feelings about their marriage.

In couples where the wife is more attractive, both partners tended to be very content.

This goes a long way towards explaining my brother's almost twenty years of marital bliss.

And for the record: I am available.

Posted by Russ at 03:05 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)
March 21, 2008
Quote of the Day

His Imperial Rottiness, on helplessness:

Remember: When seconds count, the police are only minutes away.
Posted by Russ at 11:53 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Dude... huh? No, wait... dude... what...?

[Click for larger.]


Mycah is on hyperthyroidism medication, which for the record does not mean she's "on drugs." Even if she occasionally looks like it.

If it's Friday — and you know it is — you have to visit the Modulator's Friday Ark.

On Sunday, it's the Carnival of the Cats at Chey's Place.

For your everyday reading, there's also the Cat Blogosphere. Make it a regular stop.

Posted by Russ at 12:33 AM | Comments (10) | TrackBack (0)
March 20, 2008
"Whoops" doesn't begin to cover it

I'm really really glad I didn't have my surgery in Germany.

(Via AoSHQ)

Posted by Russ at 04:18 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Development under way

I've installed the new software — MT4.1 (the open source variety) and have begun working on the template redesign.

You can see the current state of affairs here.

This is a lot more complicated than the older MT template system. I'm still trying to wrap my head around it. It might be a while before I get even the basic functionality I need ready to roll out.

Posted by Russ at 12:17 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
March 18, 2008
The "Han Solo" Rule

I'm making good progress, recovery-wise. I still need crutches to handle a trip down my very steep driveway, but otherwise I'm makiing good use of my cane.

It's been three weeks since I've had a fall. I attribute this to my finally taking the advice offered to Luke by Han: don't get cocky. Since the surgery, every time I've fallen, it's been because I was trying to do too much, too fast.

Sure, it's incredibly geeky of me to mention the reference. But whenever I'm afoot and tempted to go faster than usual or to cross an obstacle, I hear that voice in my head: don't get cocky.

It's good advice. Falling hurts. More precisely, landing hurts... but the results are much the same.

Posted by Russ at 06:04 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
March 17, 2008
Trip to the V. E. T.

Mycah had a followup visit today, to see how she's responding to the hyperthyroidism medication.

For some reason, she could tell there were evil plans afoot for her. Usually, when it comes time to go to the vet, she's very compliant. Not so today — as soon as she was done with her breakfast, she bolted up the stairs. It took considerable effort to find her, coax her out and back downstairs — a supply of treats can be a good thing. I stuffed her into the Prisoner Transport Unit for the trip to the vet; her meowing was non-stop.

Once at the clinic, she wouldn't come out, and had to be literally dumped out of the PTU, and while we waited in the exam room for the vet to arrive, she occupied herself with trying to get back into the PTU, as if being in there would save her from the poking and prodding.

After the requisite fluids were "acquired" from her, the vet pronounced herself satisfied with how well Mycah's doing on her medication.

Unfortunately, she hasn't been brushing or flossing well, and needs a dental cleaning, which we've set up for two weeks from today. Before then, I need to come up with a better way to herd the cat.

Posted by Russ at 04:10 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)
March 15, 2008

It could be an interesting night here, as the storm system that landed a tornado in Atlanta makes its way northeast.

I hope I don't lose power; I'm working tonight and have major must-do geek tasks on my calendar.

Posted by Russ at 04:43 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)
March 14, 2008
Coming This Summer To A Convention Near You

Michelle Malkin tracks anarchist protest plans for the Democrat and Republican National Conventions coming up this summer.

For a long time I wondered why the GOP had a history of holding its conventions in cities known to be distinctly unfriendly to the party. I mean, wouldn’t you want to have a friendly local government siccing the police on the various protesters?

Then a couple of things occurred to me. One, if there are going to be big disruptive protests and/or riots generated by out-of-towners, wouldn’t it make sense to have them in unfriendly territory?

Two, no matter how things go outside the convention, it only serves to make our side look better. No riots? OK, you have a big crowd of GOPers having a good time and basically showing the denizens of the “unfriendly” town that we’re real people, too.

On the other hand, if there are problems with disturbances, the locals have to clean up the mess, and (should) get the inevitable bad press when the batons start swinging.

Me, I’m in favor of batons (and more) when the anarchists cross the line from peaceful protest to active disruption/destruction... but it never looks good in the papers.

Still… I’m put in mind of the line from Thank You For Smoking:

After watching the footage of the Kent State shootings, Bobby Jay, then seventeen, signed up for the National Guard so that he, too, could shoot college students.

Too harsh?

Posted by Russ at 02:03 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)
March 13, 2008
Changes Imminent

Having reached my fifth blogiversary, and my fourth with this design/layout, it's time to do a little remodelling and, I hope, some revitalizing.

I'm going to start with a fresh install of MT4.1, rather than an upgrade. I may hose my archives, maybe not — I'll keep them intact, but linkage may be broken along the way.

Redesign/rebranding is going to happen, as well. These templates take forever to rebuild, which really slows down commenting and rebuilding, for which I get a lot of grief from my webhosts. I can spike a server CPU without even trying.

Nothing much will be be changing right now, and I won't be putting up a fullly-implemented site all at once — the changes will be incremental — but don't be surprised if you visit one day soon and everything looks different.

Posted by Russ at 01:33 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
March 12, 2008
Don't Drink the Water, Either

I had a bad burrito once, but it was not like this.

Almost, but not quite.

Posted by Russ at 06:06 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Paging Tammy Wynette

Eliot Spitzer announced his resignation today, his wife by his side. Surprise, surprise.

What is it about politicians' wives that compels them to stand by their men, regardless of their betrayals? We see it over and over. Remember Jim McGreevy (D-NJ), who famously resigned his governorship after a gay affair was discovered? Even his wife stood by his side while he announced that he was a "Gay-American" and had carried on with a male employee. Now, of course, the McGreeveys are separated and on their way to a divorce.

More to my liking is the mental image conjured up by something Dick Armey (R-TX) said during the Clinton/Lewinsky scandal:

If I were in the President's place I would not have gotten a chance to resign. I would be lying in a pool of my own blood, hearing Mrs. Armey standing over me saying, "How do I reload this damn thing?"

If only more politicians' wives were like that — there would undoubtedly be less misbehavior.

Update: Heh.

Posted by Russ at 05:34 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
March 10, 2008
Career Terminated

Governor Eliot Spitzer (D-NY), who was lauded by the press as a Robin Hood sort of guy for his actions as New York's Attorney General, is in a huge dang load of trouble.

I always thought he seemed pretty slimy. His pursuits as AG seemed to me to be geared expressly to get him into the Governor's office, and as a springboard to national office.

Turns out he was a different sort of Robin Hood — taking from the rich and giving to the whores.

(Via Hot Air... again. They have all the good stuff.)

Update: Let's play Guess The Party!

The current version (at 3:45pm) of the New York Times' online story doesn't mention Spitzer's party affiliation until the 15th paragraph. If he'd been a Republican, they'd have mentioned the GOP in the headline, in the lede, and in every subsequent paragraph.

Posted by Russ at 03:13 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)
Please Don't Roundhouse Kick Me, Chuck

My niece has lately taken to regaling me with her favorite Chuck Norris facts. (My favorite: There is no chin under Chuck Norris' Beard. There is only another fist.)

Now here's one for her: Chuck Norris the only WMD in Iraq.

Currently in Iraq, I'm sure they meant to say.

(Via Hot Air.)

Posted by Russ at 01:41 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
March 07, 2008
Mycah Speaks

Recently, after going in with family members to get my niece a camera for her birthday, I decided it was time for me to upgrade to a new digital camera. I've had the old one for about eight years, and it was getting to be quite a bit behind the times. I hadn't really done anything for myself in quite a while, and with the amazing prices these days, it was hard to say no.

I shopped around, and decided on a Kodak. It's far more powerful a camera than the old one, at about one third the price I paid in 2000.

What I wasn't really looking for, but was pleased to find, was that the camera has the capability to capture video. Sure, it's limited to the available memory, but I'm not ever going to try to be a Spielberg.

Nevertheless, here's my first shot at making Mycah a star.

I suppose I'm going to have to get some video editing software somewhere.

Since it's Friday, you know you have to go visit the Modulator's Friday Ark.

The Carnival of the Cats is hosted this week at Artsy Catsy.

Posted by Russ at 01:30 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)
March 06, 2008
Deprogramming Needed

Every time I say the words "my cane," it comes out sounding like "McCain."

I have got to stop watching the news.

Posted by Russ at 01:13 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
March 05, 2008
Legs Tested

Yesterday I was the subject of the latest iteration of the Taser test, wherein my legs were covered with electrodes, and varying levels of electrical current then applied, in order to determine the responsiveness and conductivity of the nerves in my legs.

Shocking, I can tell you.

On the plus side, I could actually feel the tingling induced by the lower level current, and the jolts induced by the higher levels.

On the minus side, the jolts hurt.

The result of the test seems to be that my remaining neuropathy is basically the same as it was the last time I had this tested, back in August. This isn't necessarily a good or a bad result; my overall condition declined severely after the last test, and has improved quite a bit since the surgery in December.

I've suspected for a while that there have been multiple problems occurring simultaneously, complicating the initial diagnosis of hydrocephalus. Well, that's been pretty well resolved through the surgery; what remains is anybody's guess.

There's a chance the neuropathy will resolve itself as my recovery continues, so we'll be watching and waiting for a few months. In the meantime, my progress has been pretty good. Regular physical therapy and exercise seems to be helping quite a bit. I still use the crutches for the most difficult walking conditions, but I'm hoping to dispense with them soon; the cane suffices for almost everything.

Speaking of PT, it's time for me to go....

Posted by Russ at 12:51 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
March 03, 2008
Burn, Losers, Burn

So... ELF doesn't like fancy houses. I think that today, in their honor, I'll go pour a can of motor oil into the local lake.

Those ELF tools are the people for whom the expression "DIAF" was coined.

Posted by Russ at 10:45 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
March 01, 2008
No. . . Never. . .

Here's a bit of a weekend palate cleanser, from a recent favorite of mine, Matthew Ebel: video of a live performance of Tennessee Never Cried, off the excellent album Beer & Coffee.

Posted by Russ at 12:58 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Quote of the Day

On firearm ownership:

The next time someone asks me what I'm compensatin' for, I think I'm gonna tell 'em, "The fact that I can't throw a rock at 1400 feet per second."

The Pistolero, via Steve H.

Posted by Russ at 12:39 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)