Monday, January 29, 2007

Farewell Astoles

Tonight, I came home to find my oldest son's cat, Astoles (pronounced Astahleez) resting peacefully in my front yard, just beside the road. He had been clipped by a car sometime earlier in the day. A phone call to my son, and he was here before I had his friend buried.

My son got Astoles from someone as a tiny furball when he was living in an apartment that was not, shall we say, pet friendly. At one point he ended up in our care while his new master found another place to live. One day, presumably in our driveway, someone ran over his tail. A trip to the vet and close to a thousand bucks later, Astoles came home neutered with a bobbed tail, and he had been here ever since. He already had the markings of a Manx, and the stub just completed the picture.

I'll forever believe this cat convinced the puppy she was a cat as well. He and the puppycat wrestled and played all the time. Just yesterday afternoon, when my son and grandkids were here, the two of them were in puppycat's crate, nipping and playing. The word "cagematch" was uttered. She's gonna miss the wannabe manx, sooner or later. The other cats just don't play like he did..... they whip her ass.

The epitome of cool, he had grown solid and was definitely Alpha in the pecking order; even if he chose not to lord it over the rest all the time. When he had enough, he let it be known. He was, however, generally very loving and very tolerant of his humans, despite our flaws and inconsistencies, and I'll never forget that. There's a hole in the family now that won't fill anytime soon.

Rest well Astoles............ and farewell

Sunday, January 28, 2007

The Crud, Vista, and a new fruit


The most dominant creature on the planet is The Common Cold. There's really nothing common about it anymore. I've had this one for about two months now. Sometimes it's there, kicking my ass and evident... *sniffle*...... and sometimes it's just under the surface, like a gentle undertoe you can't see. But it's still there, all the time, never goes away. Today, obviously... *sniffle*..... it's in full effect. Coincidentally, Winter has finally decided to make an appearance over the past week. Isn't cold weather supposed to kill bugs? On with the post.

I've used Microsoft Operating Systems and compatible hardware since I started this personal computing experiment some fifteen years ago, and I've always hungered for the latest and greatest updgrade for whatever I was using. This is no different for Vista. I've got disks around here with the ISOs for RC1 and RC2 that I played with on this laptop before tiring of the debugging software giving me dialup-like response time. It was okay. I mean, it was pretty. Umm.... okay, it's not pretty enough for me to shell out $400+ for a copy of the final release, but I'll be okay if ever and whenever I get a new laptop or PC, right? Of course, now I'm hearing about all these DRM measures in place that are a result of Microsoft's cooperation (grudging?) with the megalomaniacal Hollywood corporations to pander to their paranoia over High Def digital content piracy. Oh, and let us not forget the semireliable Windows Genuine Advantage. Probably the nicest thing I can say about it is the instant search and IE7. Oh wait, you don't really need Vista for IE7. And, the best thing about IE7 is that it has finally adopted the features I like in Firefox and Opera. Still, the next PC, right?

On the hardware front I decided I wanted to move my webcam from my PC to my laptop today. That's going to be a bit of a hassle. See, when the puppycat was more of a puppy, she thought wire and conduit was very very tasty, ableit a bit deadly. So, I spent an afternoon under my desk making some sense out of the rat's nest assembled there. There's the power cord for the PC, the power cord for the monitor, the DVI cable for the monitor, the USB cable for the mouse, the one for the printer, the power cord for the printer, the connector for the keyboard, the peripheral USB cable for the digital camera, the connector for the speakers, the connector for the mic, the network cables from the router to the PC, the work laptop, this laptop, power cords for each laptop, etc, etc, etc. Anyway, now they're all bundled and wrapped and tied off and safe from the puppycat........and I'll have to undo half of that to get the webcam. And, it's dusty under there which just... *sniffle*..... compliments my cold.

Tonight, I'm looking at Macs.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007


So it was one of those days. The best part was walking my puppy tonight. This is one of the rare moments I'm forced to be patient. We have a 15 foot retractable leash (pink,,, hush, I didn't pick it out), and she's only an eight pound bundle of energetic fur. Seriously, I think she's a cat trying to pass, but that's another issue entirely.

Point is, the best way to handle this little chore (the dog as well as the walking of said dog), is to stand still and let her wander, ponder or run around me. I usually do this while listening to a podcast or some random music on my iPod. Tonight, however, I turned it off and just listened to the rest of the world. The first thing I heard was my own breathing, and it slowed while I stood. This brought the rushing of blood in my ears down to a trickling stream and expanded the realm of sound, allowing me to hear the wind through the trees behind our place. Some of these old pines protested softly as they gave in and swayed, leaning closer to my neighbor's yard to eavesdrop on a very soft conversation between two of the neighbor's kids over the fence, only recognizable as voices in casual dialogue. I recall a time when these voices were very soprano and imature; a startling contrast to the deepening tones now weaving into the growing symphony. The constant whisper in the background slowly solidified into traffic on the highway a mile away, adding a wash of rhythm reminiscent of waves on a shoreline. High above spreading a canopy of distant roar in it's wake, a passenger jet is carrying it's load of human baggage, spreading they're diversity to destinations unknown. I began to think if I stood there long enough, I'd hear the solar winds racing by this planet, and I actually looked forward to it....... but then the puppycat was bouncing around my feet, whining something about how cold she was. We came back in.

Amazingly, the 23 things I dragged home from work were no longer in my house, and the person I love most in life was waiting for me. Trading 23 problems for 1 joy is a good deal, I think. Of course, now she's in bed, the TV has some inane movie playing that I've seen a dozen times (I can't turn it off,,,, it's an evil device that demands constant power), and I'm blogging while AC/DC plays Hell's Bells in my ears. I wonder what I was so stressed about earlier?

Life really is good. Thanks puppycat....... I guess you can stay.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

So, this is a blog.....

Who knows how long I'll keep this up, but hey,,,, I've surprised my self before. Like the time I called my own cellphone and got an answer. Split personalities can be fun.

About me. I'm an aspiring adult. At 46, I think I may be ready in about 15 years or so. Wish me luck on the progress. I was born with the fragrance of seaspray and still find the sound and smell of surf the most calming drug in the universe. I've participated in the raising and development of two young men who could not be more opposite if one of them walked on his hands 24/7........ ((hmmm,, that would explain why we went through so many pairs of gloves)). I've been married to my lifemate for almost 25 years and have known her for 33. Oddly enough, she hasn't yet run away. No account for good sense.

This blog is likely to be a jumble of random thoughts, history (mine, it's the only one that counts), reflection, and maybe some fiction. If you begin this journey with me, be warned. I sometime change direction without notice, I tend to walk away from things like this for long periods of time, and I'm colorblind,,, so don't expect an accurate description of autumn leaves.

Welcome. And thank you for stopping by.