Monday, February 28, 2005

shamless plug for my blogchild

Ok, folks, here's a site for you to check out: FireGem's Domain. FireGem is my first blogchild, and my cousin. Her blog is about the daily life of a teenager recently diagnosed with MS. So check it out, check back often, and feel free to comment on what you read.

And the link again, because I can.
FireGem's Domain -

what i learned today

Mozilla Composer really doesn't like Blogger tags. Anybody who cruised through the site about 1600 CST today would have seen a lot of code, and not much else. Maybe my links, and the sidebar, but definitely no posts.

Also, I was updating some of the photos, so there was a time when the links were broken.

this is a warning sign, or something

Really, this is a serious cry for help.

Sony Puts Pizza Ordering in Web Game
Sat Feb 26, 9:49 PM ET
PETER SVENSSON, AP Technology Writer

NEW YORK - Demonstrating a deep understanding of what its computer-gaming audience, Sony has built the ability to order pizza into its latest online multiplayer game.

Type the command "/pizza" while playing Everquest II, a fantasy game with 330,000 active players, and get the Pizza Hut Web site, where you can place orders for delivery...

...Sony plans to integrate the pizza function more tightly into the game, so players can charge pizza to their monthly game subscription bill.

"The goal for the future is to eventually let people do more things like this," Kramer said. "They could type /harry potter and get the new Harry Potter book delivered or /star wars and get the new Star Wars DVD."

Read the entire story here

You think people don't leave their computers now, this will only make it worse. Much worse. Don't even have to leave the game to get food brought to you, a dedicated deranged gamer's dream.

Put the keyboard down, back away slowly, and nobody gets hurt. Understand? Good. That's it. And the mouse. Lay it down, kick it away. Now walk towards me. Don't look back. Good. Attention all units, subject is clear. Repeat, subject is clear. You are go to neutralize target. Repeat, go to neutralize target.

finally, a beauty pageant that's not a load of crap

Every once in a while, usually when I start to get really jaded, a story comes around that reminds me that there are some decent companies and governments in the world.

Beauty Pageant to Choose Miss HIV
By Peter Apps

GABORONE (Reuters) - There is a catwalk banquet, hordes of journalists, traditional dancing and time-consuming hair styling -- but at Botswana's beauty pageant every competitor must be HIV (news - web sites) positive...

Largest global diamond producer Botswana has one of the highest HIV rates in the world with an estimated third of the population infected.

The government is using its mineral wealth to provide life prolonging anti-retroviral drugs -- but many do not know their HIV status or are unwilling to come forward for treatment. Organizers say the pageant aims to tackle that stigma...

Read the whole story here

After a quick Google search, Botswana isn't a nation that exports war diamonds, it's considered a reasonably good model of diamond mining. So buy that sparkly thing if you want, tell DeBeers they can keep their diamonds forever, and buy a nice Botswanan diamond. You'll be funding somebody's HIV treatments while you're at it. You could do worse.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

it's carnival time again

The 49th Carnival of the Cats is now up over at Mind of Mog. This week there is a bounty of kitty goodness. Check out what everybody else, and their cats, has been up to this week. Also, cruise on through the Carnival's main page to find out where future carnivals will be, and how to participate.

If that wasn't enough, there's always the Friday Ark at Modulator. You can check out this week's round-up, or past editions while you're there.

If you still can't get enough fuzzy kitty goodness, ya know, there are places you can get help, I'm sure. Or get a cat, or three.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

more kitty blogging

Today for lunch I made tunafish for myself. The kitties always get the tuna-water as a treat. Here are the pictures from today.

Noah drinking tuna water
Noah caught in mid-sip.

McCullough cleaning herself after her turn at the tuna water
McCullough cleans up after her turn.

Eep passes on tuna water, and just looks pretty
Eep ignores the tuna-water and opts to look cute.

Eep looking pretty again
And again.
Update 2-27-05, 22:01 - While Eep doesn't care about tuna, she's crazy about wheat crackers. Absolutely, out of her little fuzzy mind crazy for Wal-Mart cracked wheat round crackers. Iloveyou, Iloveyou, Iloveyou, give them to me or die puny human kind of insane. At least I know what to give her as a treat. Can't you just see her killing for a treat?

Friday, February 25, 2005

i have got to get one of these

Also via BoingBoing.

Introducing the Voodoo Knife Block.

voodoo knife block

This is too cool. Although there are a couple of places that are missing knives, namely the head and groin. Oh, if you want one, here's the site that has them.

oh, come on, people!

Now, I generally try to keep The Oubliette at a PG-13 , just so it's safe for work, younger surfers, etc. I think this is going to use up my profanity ration for the next few days.

Via BoingBoing, here is the newest thing in gummy candy. That's right, gummy road kill, complete with tire treads.

roadkill gummy candy

As you can guess, animal rights groups are having fits, specifically the NJSPCA, according to the AP story BoingBoing referred to. "It sends the wrong message to children, that it's OK to harm animals" according to the NJSPCA spokesperson quoted in the article.

For fuck's sake, people! It's candy. It's for little kids, and adults who never grew up, who are fascinated with all things icky and gross. Just like gummy worms before, gummy roadkill are amusements. They're not going to make kids into little road warriors. Kids are kids. I bit the head off of my Peeps and chocolate bunnies just like every other kid, and I'm not some psycho killer. I had torture camps for cookie and candy animals that made anything in Iraq look like a Girl Scout Camp, and I'm not the next Hannibal Lecter. Let kids be kids, for God's sake.

now i've seen it all

I ran across this story at The Volokh Conspiracy, and felt the need to force it upon share it, so I am not alone in my disbelief.

Women Sue Over Gorilla's Breast 'Fetish'
By MAY WONG Associated Press writer

WOODSIDE, Calif. Feb 19, 2005

Two fired caretakers for Koko, the world-famous sign-language-speaking gorilla, have sued their former bosses, claiming they were pressured to expose their breasts as a way of bonding with the 300-pound simian...

...The lawsuit claims that on one occasion Patterson (Koko's long-time trainer - mira) said, "'Koko, you see my nipples all the time. You are probably bored with my nipples. You need to see new nipples.'"

In addition to the alleged harassment, the two former workers claimed the Woodside facility had unsanitary and unsafe conditions, including rodents in the food preparation area and gorilla urine stored in the refrigerator where workers kept their lunches...

Read the whole story here

What the hell? Really? Koko likes looking at breasts, and needed a change of scenery? This is just too messed up. I wish I could think of something witty to say here, but I'm at a loss for words. Maybe because it's late. I guess I could make the obvious joke. Koko is a lesbian?

Thursday, February 24, 2005

thursday's kitty

Tonight, for your viewing pleasure is a picture of Mac, whose proper name is Kitty MacBoingBoing. Mac is Luke's kitty, is rather shy, and dare I say it, a scaredy cat. Mac lives in Luke's room and doesn't like to come out much, as he doesn't get along with the rest of the cats.

photo of Kitty MacBoingBoing a.k.a. Mac

Mac is part Maine Coon, which this picture doesn't do justice to his coat, or his size. He on the small side for a Maine Coon, which is still huskier than average cat.

Mac with glowing eyes hiding in Luke's bedroom

Mac is possessed.
Update - The Friday Ark is now up at Modulator. Check out the kitties, doggies, and other critters over there today.

what the heck??

I know there's has to be more to this story.

Thu Feb 24, 8:27 AM ET

LONDON (Reuters) - A blind man has been arrested in Scotland after witnesses reported he sank his teeth into his guide dog and kicked her across the road, police said on Thursday...

Read the entire story on Yahoo News

I'm sitting here thinking, well, I don't know what the think other than what the hell? There is obviously more to this story than is being reported, and that's what I want to know. Is the guy just an asshole, did the dog turn on him for some reason?

This is what bugs me about articles like this. The entire story is a teaser, or am I the only one that thinks this?

who the hell are you?

Frank J. posted this list of questions over at IMAO, in response to the mainstream media's assumption that us bloggers aren't informed or intelligent enough to form our own opinions.

Without any further ado, here are my responses to Frank J.'s questions.


1. Who the hell do you think you are?

I am Mira, Destroyer of Worlds, Queen Bitch of the Universe

2. So, other than blogging, what's your job? Do you work at some fast food joint, dumbass?

I'm a graphic designer and AV support technician. I also double as the Emergency Response Team Coordinator in the buildings where I work. If that wasn't enough, I work 1 or 2 12 hour shifts a week as an EMT/Vehicle Extrication Specialist. I avoid fast food whenever possible.

3. Do you have like any experience in journalism, idiot?

Nope, and I don't need any. Apparently most people who work in journalism don't have any experience in it, either.

4. Do you even read newspapers?

While I could be a real smart-ass here, I'm not. I read various local, regional, and national newspapers, mostly online, some days I read more than others, but don't we all?

5. Do you watch any other news than FOX News propaganda, you ignorant fool?

I only watch FOX News as a last resort. I prefer CNN or ABC News, maybe CBS if I want some laughs.

6. I bet you're some moron talk radio listener too, huh?

Nope, that's why I have XM radio, so I don't have to listen to that crap.

7. So, do you get a fax from the GOP each day for what to say, you @#$% Republican parrot?

Yeah, but I burn it. Or use it for toilet paper, it I'm getting desperate.

8. Why do you and your blogger friends want to silence and fire everyone who disagrees with you, fascist?

Just the idiots who pass off fiction as news.

9. Are you completely ignorant of other countries, or do you actually own a passport?

You mean there are other countries?

10. Have you even been to another country, you dumb hick?

I've been to the United States of America, the Confederate States of America, the Republic of Texas, the California Republic, and the Dominion of Canada.

11. If you're so keen on the war, why haven't you signed up, chickenhawk?

Can't, due to my medical conditions. Otherwise, Semper Fi!

12. Do you have any idea of the horrors of war? Have you ever reached into a pile of goo that was your best friend's face?

Not my best friend's face, although that is the one thing I dread, working on a close friend or family member. I have held someone's brains in my hands, seen the human body folded and broken every which way, and watched a child die in front of me.

13. Have you ever reached into any pile of goo?

Puke, guts, crap, goo, brains, it's all the same.

14. Once again, who the hell do you think you are?!

I am Mira, Destroyer of Worlds, Queen Bitch of the Universe! All shall kneel before me and tremble!

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

now, eat your vaccine

I ran across this at Desert Cat's site.

Genetically Modified Potato Carries Hepatitis B Vaccine
- From ABC News

This sounds like a plan to me. The potatoes produce the vaccine, which can then be taken internally - eaten, taken as a pill, etc. It can be distributed to people third world countries, who are some of the people who need it the most, and are the ones that healthcare workers have the hardest time getting to.

cat poetry blogging

Since I don't have much to do today, except get well, I managed to dig up another cat poem. Since I haven't heard any complaints, this occasional off and on series will continue, whenever I find a piece that is particularly noteworthy.

In the Image of the Lion
Heinrich Heine (1797 - 1856)

Wild beasts he created later,
Lions with their paws so furious;
In the image of the lion
Made he kittens small and curious.

- from Songs of Creation translated by E.A. Bowring

happy for the next 2 hours

Bravo is running The West Wing until noon. Yay, decent TV while I'm sitting here resting, trying to get over the latest round of bronchitis. Whee. I'm gonna find who gave me this crud and duct tape their mouth shut. Argh. This is getting old. At least I'm blogging in my jammies, which I don't usually get to do.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

it seemed like a good idea at the time

When you're married, you share like lots of things, including various sinus/chest cruds. Tom's head was pretty congested this evening, so I let him use my sinus rinse bottle, after telling him how to wash it out so we wouldn't be cross-infecting each other. I also told him to use warm water and a packet of the salt that came in the kit. I heard him in the bathroom using it, so I figured all was well.

Later, while Tom went to get dinner, I took a shower, and decided to rinse out my sinuses myself. While performing the procedure, I noticed it had a somewhat minty smell, although it wasn't constant, so I thought I was maybe imagining things.

At dinner I enquired.

M: Did you use anything other than salt water in the bottle?
T: Maybe...
M: What did you use?
T: I may have used mouthwash...
M: (sigh) Scope or Listerine?
T: ...uh, Listerine. I did dilute it so I didn't scream when squirted it up my nose
M: Oh my Lord...
T: I did use salt water, but it's kinda hard to get the right amount of salt.
M: I told you where the packets were
T: I didn't want to use up any of your supply
M: So how much salt did you use, a tablespoon?
T: Something like that.
M: A quarter teaspoon would have been enough. All you had to do was ask...

Just another night at home.

Of course, I'll not mention any of the less than brilliant ideas I've had in the quest to cure a sinus infection, like swabbing out my nasal passages with q-tips.

now, breathe deeply

I just finished watching a program on the Travel Channel on the Canadian Rockies, Banff and Jasper National Parks. In one segment, when discussing the history of Jasper NP, the program briefly mentioned a WWII aircraft carrier that was being developed in secret in the area.

...The entire aircraft carrier was constructed out of ice, wood, and cooling pipes...

Grow good pot in Canada, eh?

Monday, February 21, 2005

new site for the cats

The cats now each have their own page on Catster. They don't seem to really care, they all seem to be more interested in finding the best spot to sleep tonight. Sounds like a plan to me.

Noah's site
McCullough's site
Eep's site

Amon's site is still under construction, and should be up tomorrow.
Update, 2/22 16:24 - Amon's page is now up.

Noah, McCullough, and Eep each have a journal on their page, and will write in them whenever they feel like it.

rainy day

I had today off work, because of the holiday. I had all sorts of great plans to get things done around the house today. Instead, I slept all day. Tom has some variety of the creeping crud, and I may be trying to come down with it, too. Besides, with the rain, it was so relaxing.

Ok, so it wasn't just rain. We had severe storms almost all day. It started around 10:00 this morning, and finally the thunder quit about 16:00. We had some pretty strong winds, heavy rain all day, and even quarter size hail. Some flooding, but nothing major that I'm aware of.

sunday night

hum of the engines in the distance
blasts of the horn echoing through the night
the steel wheels on steel tracks sings

thunder rolls through the night, lightning flashes
drops of rain fall gently kissing the earth
the rain roars as the sky releases its burden

each passes and only memory lingers
all is silent once again in the night

Sunday, February 20, 2005

catnip tea

After the cats celebrated Mardi Gras, I had quite a few questions about the merits of catnip tea. I'll have to admit, I had never made catnip tea for my cats current group of cats. I did make it many, many years ago using fresh-picked catnip. I had actually made the tea for myself, since it calms the stomach for humans, which makes sense since it's in the mint family. Anyway, I thought it tasted pretty awful, so I let it cool and gave it to the cats. They sniffed it and walked away.

This morning, I decided to make some catnip tea for Noah, McCullough, and Eep, since they had only managed to give up catnip for 1 day for Lent. I put some of the dried herb in one of my tea balls, and let it steep for about 5 minutes, then poured it into a chilled bowl for them. Then I garnished with some dried catnip on top. McCullough sniffed the tea and acted like she was maybe going to drink it, then walked away. Noah was interested in it, and sniffed it for about a minute, then took a cautious taste of it. That was it, just a taste. Eep never even sniffed the bowl.

While I was out today, I left the bowl sitting out for the cats to get to. I think they drank a little of it, and I'm guessing it was Noah. Of course, he's the cat that likes cold, unsweetened coffee with milk, and unsweetened iced tea.

Anyone else tried making catnip tea? For humans or cats? Results?

Hmm...if you're making it to settle your stomach, maybe add some honey and lemon to flavor it some more. Just a thought.

carnival of the cats #48

Flying Space Monkey is the gracious host of this week's Carnival of the Cats, as a part of his quest in hosting every carnival known to bloggers. Best of luck, Spacemonkey, in your endeavor.

Be sure to head over to the Carnival's main page to see where future stops of the Carnival will be. The Oubliette will host the Carnival on 4/24, once the conversion of one of the larger oubliettes into an arena is complete. It's always such a challenge to put doors, seating, restrooms, internet connections, concessions, etc., into an oubliette, especially for the large number of people and cats who show up for the Carnivals.

Also, you will see that McCullough has made her debut as a catmodel. She says this is not what she wants to do as a career, she hopes it will be a launching point for her dream of acting.

McCullough in a sultry pose

If you haven't had a chance to do so already, head over to Modulator to check out the Friday Ark. If you haven't been there before, check it out, I think you'll like it. Otherwise, you know what it is, and don't need me to tell you.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

site traffic

This is kinda interesting. Take a look at this.

sitemeter report
I know what your'e thinking, "Too small of a spike to be an Instalanche, maybe carryover from somebody else's Instalanche? Some other sort of avalanche?" Nope, not that I'm aware of. Apparently last week what I was writing was interesting, or else nobody had visited in a while and wanted to catch up.

See, I know you guys are there. If there is some reason last week was so great, or if it was a fluke, let me know. Curiouser and curiouser...

my drive into work wednesday morning

While driving into work Wednesday, I witnessed the most amazing sunrise, which I will attempt to describe here, since I did not have a camera with me. Oh, well. There was life before cameras, right? Back in the day when someone had to describe something using words, or draw it - which I did, quickly when I got to my desk. I'll scan it later and post it here.

As I looked up, I could see the sky was partially covered by clouds, thicker in some spots than others. Low, fluffy clouds hinting at the day to come. The sky was awash with shades of rose, lavender, and violet. Gold kissed the very edges of the clouds closest to the sun, still hidden by hills. As I left the trees behind, and the road opened up, I saw a narrow ribbon of indigo clouds stretching across the vault of the sky, from the northwest to southeast. Along the entire length of the near edge of the clouds, a narrow ribbon of silver decorated them, shining brilliantly from the sun's light.

More clouds obscured the sun itself. Shafts of golden light fanned out from the edges of the cloud, and through holes in it. Behind the shafts, small clouds ripple across the sky, thin and silvery, with hints of gold. Behind it all, the sky was a beautiful blue, the color of sapphires, pure and crisp.

Friday, February 18, 2005

friday cat blogging - noah and mccullough

Noah relaxing on the rug
Just chillin'.

McCullough stretching
Stretch - I'm cute, skritch me!

McCullough still stretching
Stretch, with a half twist.
The Friday Ark is up at Modulator, so be sure to head over and check out what the other critters have been up to this week.

old kitty photos, and jammer's introduction

I'm digging through the archives for tonight's pics. Both of these are photos I didn't know I had, of beloved pets that have passed on.

Amon outside on a spring day
Since it's colder than...well, I'll keep this PG-13...molesasses in January, here's a nice picture of spring. Amon stops to smell the spring flowers. Then eat a few. Then come inside, and puke them up. Uh, next picture.

my nephew holding my cat Jammer

This is a picture of one of my 2 nephews holding Jammer. This picture is from about 2000, and the quality is as good as it gets (translation, already color-corrected and light-balanced in Photoshop, can't do much else without genuine alteration. Hey, it's an old print, and probably crappy film.). Jammer isn't dead, drugged, or anything else in this picture. He would always go completely limp whenever anyone picked him up. Some kind of passive resistance, or something. He was also very tolerant of kids, allowing them to do whatever they wanted, short of actual bodily harm. Then he would just get up and walk away, or run if they chased him.

Jammer came to my family in June of 1992, 2 weeks after my Papaw died. We found him in Grandma's yard after taking her home from a night out at the drive-in theater. He was only about 2 weeks old, alone, and crying. Lots of loud crying. Grandma had a lot of barn cats at the time, and we figured momma cat was moving the litter, so we left him in the yard. The next morning, Dad, Eirene, and I went to Grandma's and this little white kitten was still in her yard, crying. Momma cat never came back for him. So we scooped him up, and Mom took me to town to get some goat's milk to feed him, and a baby medication dropper. This was back in the day before KMR was available at any pet store, so we had to figure out what would work. Cats are lactose-intolerant, just like me, so I knew what would work and what wouldn't. Goat milk was available in the dairy case of the grocery store, this being rural Indiana, and is very rich, and lactose free. We had kitten formula.

When we got back home, I fed Jammer with the dropper, warming the milk in the microwave. Poor thing was starving. I fed him about 2 tablespoons. He was so little then, that his stomach was visibly full with just that amount of milk. I knew that infant kittens need to be stimulated to have a bowel movement, so I got a washcloth, and started rubbing his tummy with it, simulating a momma cat licking. Then he got a bath, in baby shampoo in the sink, to take care of the fleas. I knew he was way too little for any kind of dip, so the only thing we could do was lather him up in the baby shampoo, then bundle him up in a towel to keep him warm, still with shampoo on him, for about 10 minutes. The shampoo would suffocate the fleas. Then Jammer got his rinse, a good towel drying, and cuddling to keep him warm. Jammer then went to sleep in a blanket-lined box.

Every 2 hours or so, I fed him, and he got a daily bath until the fleas were gone. Every time I fed him, he acted like he'd never eaten before. He would chew on the hard plastic, trying to get the milk faster, and grab at the dropper with his little claws. Eventually, we found a small bottle, so he was able to properly nurse, which was a lot less messy, at least until he bit too many holes in the nipple, then it was time for a new bottle. As the days passed, he grew, and grew, and grew. Each time I fed him, it was so funny to watch. As he suckled, both of his ears would flap forwards and back. The entire time, both ears were going back and forth, as he sucked and his entire scalp moved. Apparently the muscles to suck are attached to the back of the head in cats, or something. It was too funny.

The scarriest moment in Jammers rearing was when I was weaning him to wet food. Mom had bought some canned food that had chunks of "meat" in it. Jammer still thought each meal was going to be his last, so he tucked in like a pro. Suddenly, he ran into the living room, shaking his head. Then he started pawing at his mouth. I realized he wasn't breathing, he was choking. I looked in his mouth, and saw the food. I ran to the bathroom to get the forceps I knew were there, grabbed a pencil from the bejillion laying around, and went to work. I grabbed him, again, forced his mouth back open, holding his bottom jaw open with the pencil - he'd already bitten me twice in panic when I looked inside the first time. Then I reached in with the forceps, grabbed the chunks, and pulled it out. I sat him down, and he coughed up 2 more chunks, then lay down to catch his breath. By the time I pried his mouth open, his gums were already turning blue. He never lost consciousness, but he was close by the time I removed the piece that was choking him. I don't know how many lives he used up, but I know I used 1 or 2 of my own.

Also, that was when I had a pretty good idea I could cut it as an EMT, I didn't freeze up, did what needed to be done. I was a licensed EMT 2 1/2 years later. Never knew anyone could blame being an EMT on a cat, did you?

Jammer lived a good, long life. He passed away last year, at 12 years old. Not bad for a farm cat. He had lost all but 3 of his teeth - the fangs which were chipped - and was arthritic to the point he couldn't jump high anymore. More and more he just wanted to sleep in a nice warm place. One day he decided to go outside, and never came back. I truly think he knew it was his time to go, and he wanted to be alone to meet his maker. The first cat I ever hand-reared, but certainly not the last. There are many, many more stories about Jammer I could tell, which I will eventually get around to on here.

He was a good cat.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

almost live doctor visit blogging

This is almost live because while I am writing this in real time, I'm doing it in Notepad, 'cause there isn't an internet connection at the doc's office. For those of you who don't care about medical stuff that gets done to me, as opposed to medical stuff I do to others, skip this post.

My appointment this morning is with Dr. H, my rheumatologist. It's been 12 weeks since I saw him last and had my last Remicade infusion. This visit is long overdue, I've had mild increasing to moderate back pain for the past 3 weeks now. I haven't been able to receive the Remicade because I've had an active infection of one sort or another for the past month. Today was the first available appointment I could get since I finished up my last round of antibiotics 10 days ago.

An infusion appointment isn't like a normal visit. It starts off the same, nurse calls me back, "how are you doing today?" etc., and weighs me. Carefully. I'll get back to that in a minute. Then we go to an exam room, looks like every other room I've ever been in - desk, couple of chairs, exam table, some pictures on the wall, medical posters from pharmaceutical companies, etc. There's something a little different inside this room, an IV tree, vials of sterile water, syringes, IV needles, and IV fluid.

I sit down, and immediately the nurse takes my temperature, then blood pressure. Generally the first two questions are "How are you feeling?" (medical quizzing, not the polite question when she first saw me) and "Do you have an infection right now?" Remember, no Remicade with an active infection, it supresses the immune system too much.

Next the nurse looks at my weight, whips out a calculator, and works out some sort of formula. The result is the number of vials I get. This doesn't happen anymore, since my weight is steady, I get 4 vials every time.

Now it's time to get the IV, atleast get a saline drip started and running. Standard IV, 24 gauge in the back of the hand, little 100ml bag of saline. Then the nurse starts to mix the infusion. The Remicade comes dehydrated in the vials, so sterile saline has to be added right before it's administered. Remicade solution doesn't keep more than a few hours. 4 vials get rehydrated, then injected into a 250ml saline IV bag, also known as "spiking the bag". Swap the Remicade bag for the plain saline, set the flowmeter to 250ml/hour, and let it go. The plain saline bag is pinched shut and kept to be used again at the end of my infusion.

Now I get an hour to sit and wait. Whip out the computer and start writing this post.

The nurse just came in to check on everything and take my blood pressure again. Approximately 110/70, which is my norm. If my BP drops more than just sitting and relaxing, or if I get dizzy, the infusion has to be slowed down.

La la la. Sitting here, in a cold exam room, sipping my Dr. Pepper. I'm about to turn on the space heater. Going to finish writing my other post in Notepad, about the sunrise on my way into work this morning.

The nurse just came back for another BP check. Asked I Dr. H had been in to see me yet, then Dr. H walked in. He asked how I've been doing, and I told him how the past 12 weeks have been all sorts of fun, between sinus/respiratory infections, and stomach flu. He said that he knows the medications are making me more susceptible to infection, but we're not going to stop. The infections are easier to treat than the AS or Crohn's, and I agree. I can handle being sick more often than living in pain. I told him it also doesn't help when one is babysitting a sick 3 year old, who sneaks me a kiss full on the lips at bedtime (I was trying to do the last-second-turn kiss on the cheek), then is puking half an hour later. Yep, I was puking the next day.

I also told him that my back has been hurting progressively more over the past 3 weeks. He was not suprised at all to hear this. He asked about my sacroilliac joints, and they've been killing me, too. Then he did a joint check. He feels each joint in my hand, and I tell him if any are tender. Repeat with wrist, elbow, then left side. 2 joints today, right fifth metacarpal (base of pinky finger) and right elbow. Not too bad.

Another BP check, after Dr. H leaves, and new prescriptions on my meds that I'll run out of before the next visit.

Lab tech came in to draw my blood for a CBC and liver profile, to make sure the meds aren't messing me up too much. Curbside service, cool. Don't have to stop by the lab on my way out.

Back to sitting waiting. Infusion is almost done, only about 50ml left in the bag.

Remicade IV is done. Time to swap over. Do it myself, or wait for nurse? I've done it myself before. :)

Did it myself. Save the nurses some time, let them take care of other patients. Besides, gives me a chance to play a little.

Argh! All of this fluid that's been put in me is now wanting to get out of me. Maybe shouldn't have had the Dr. Pepper.

Everything is done. Nurse came in, took out my IV, and sent me on my way. Got my paperwork and was sent on my merry way. In and out in 1 hour 53 minutes. Just might be a new record

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

we're sooo screwed

state wide severe thunderstorm watch
The morning starts off not too bad

part of Tennessee goes under tornado warning
Things aren't looking too good for Tennessee...

Mississippi is under the gun now
Mississippi joins in on the fun, things are not looking up

Cental Alabama is next
This is so not good. Everybody prepare to kiss your butt goodbye

all of North Alabama, North Mississippi, and Central Tennessee are under tornado warnings
Commence kissing. This can't get any worse

Central Alabama and Southern Alabama is included
It just got worse. That's a f*^#in' huge tornado!

All clear for Tennessee, Mississippi, and North Alabama
It's a miracle, we survived.

Huh? This was a drill??


Imagine this was a real tornado? Ok, this is Alabama so should I go outside and try to shake hands with it? Or come completely unglued, convinced this is "the big one", and get into a car wreck? I guess the hospital qualifies as a safe place...


I would hate to see what could generate a tornado warning for each of those counties in red. 67 simultaneous tornadoes in Alabama? One massive tornado 300 miles wide? Someone in the National Weather Service confuse a hurricane and a tornado?

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

today's visit to the doc

Today I went to see my ENT and got a head CT scan to see how my sinuses look. Well, there is absolutely nothing wrong with my sinuses, they were picture perfect today. As a result, the doc doesn't want to do any surgery right now, not even take out my tonsils.

Now, while I thoroughly approve of him not wanting to do any unnecessary surgery, both Dr. F and myself think I will greatly benefit from having my tonsils removed. It's not that Dr. T has ruled out a tonsilectomy, he doesn't want to do it now, he wants me to try something for a month or two.

What, you ask? Sinus rinsing. Whee. If you want, you can read all about it here. Basically, one squirts 4 oz of saline solution up each nostril, which washes all the crud out. It's not nearly as neat and clean as the website makes it out to be. I used it for the first time tonight, and the solution went up, like it was supposed to. Somehow I missed the part where it comes draining out the other nostril. Eww. It's definitely something one wants privacy for.

So I'm supposed to do this every day for about 2 months, see if it helps with the infections by keeping everything flushed out. In all honesty, I think I'll be seeing Dr. T in about 2 months to re-evaluate this plan. We shall see.

For those of you who keep track of my post times, and know I really should be in bed right now - Hey, I'm on duty on the rescue truck tonight, so I can't exactly take my meds for insomnia, and expect to hear the pager go off, or at least find my way to the truck in a timely fashion. Also, I'm supposed to sit upright for at least half an hour after rinsing, to keep from swallowing any drainage. So, by the time I'm done writing this, I'll be ready to at least lie down, and pretend to sleep. Which is about now, I think.

Monday, February 14, 2005

carnival of the cats #47

Ferdinand Cat has posted this week's Carnival of the Cats at Conservative Cat. There is all sorts of kitty goodness for your enjoyment.

If you've missed it, Modulator has the Friday Ark, well, every Friday. Good stuff. Highly recommended.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

sunday dinner blogging

I've been working on dinner all afternoon, off and on. Tonight's menu:

Garden Salad with choice of dressings
Roast Beef with Herbs de Provence and Red Wine
Roasted Baby Carrots and Yukon Gold Potatoes
Crusty French Bread with choice of Olive Oil or Butter
Chocolate Ice Cream

Dinner is actually pretty easy to prepare. I put the roast in at about 13:00, and put the vegetables in with the meat around 16:30.

roast beef with carrots and potatoes

The roast after I just putting the vegetables in, before putting it all back in the oven for a couple more hours. I know the meat doesn't look the most appetizing in this photo, the dark color is from the wine I poured over the roast at the beginning.

Roast Beef, Baby Carrots, and Yukon Gold Potatoes with Herbs de Provence and Red Wine

3 lb sirloin tip roast
herbs de provence
freshly ground sea salt
fresh ground pepper
about 1 pound baby carrots
8 yukon gold potatoes, peeled
1 medium onion
1 can chicken broth
about 2 cups Oliver Winery Soft Red wine
dash of red wine vinegar

Season all sides of the roast with the salt and pepper, place in oven-proof dish. Pour half of chicken broth and wine on and around roast. Add red wine vinegar. Sprinkle about 1 tablespoon of the herbs de provence on the roast. Place in 300° oven for about 3 hours. Remove, add vegetables and remainder of of wine and broth. Return to oven for about 2 more hours, until vegetables are tender. Let meat rest on cutting board for about 20 minutes before carving.

santoku knife

My new favorite cooking knife, a santoku, a Japaneese general purpose knife. Tom bought this one to try out, so it's not an extremely high-quality knife, but it's nothing to sneeze at either. It's a Henckles, so it's a good-quality knife. It's not a forged blade, or a very heavy one, but it's good to get an idea if we will like the knife in general, or not, before we invest in a good-quality one. Which we will.

sunday cat poetry blogging

Pangur Bán
Anonymous, 9th Century

I and Pangur Bán, my cat,
'Tis a like task we are at;
Hunting mice is his delight,
Hunting words I sit all night.

Bettter far than praise of men
'Tis to sit with book and pen;
Pangur bears me no ill-will,
He too plies his simple skill.

'Tis a merry thing to see
At our tasks how glad are we,
When at home we sit and find
Entertainment to our mind.

Oftentimes a mouse will stray
In the hero Pangur's way;
Oftentimes my keen thought set
Takes a meaning in its net.

'Gainst the wall he sets his eye
Full and fierce and sharp and sly;
'Gainst the wall of knowledge I
All of my wisdom try.

When a mouse darts from its den,
Oh how glad is Pangur then!
Oh what gladness do I prove
When I solve the doubts I love!

So in peace our tasks we ply,
Pangur Bán, my cat, and I;
In our arts we find our bliss,
I have mine and he has his.

Practice every day has made
Pangur perfect in his trade;
I get wisdom day and night
Turning darkness into light.

Friday, February 11, 2005

visitor last weekend

Last weekend Dika's new kitty, Leaper came to visit Noah, McCullough, and Eep. Dika was going out of town for the weekend, and since I've moved out, Leaper was going to be all alone. He also hasn't been around any other cats since he was adopted from a local shelter, so he got to play with the kitties.

Later I discovered that Leaper loves swinging in the hammock chair.

Leaper swinging in the hammock chair

Noah almost likes it, if he's on somebody's lap. Eep will tolerate it, barely, if she's on somebody's lap. When she's had enough, she's done. It's best to let her go, or there will be bloodshed. McCullough, she tolerates it. She's not happy, but at least she doesn't wig out and try to eat your hand. Leaper, however, couldn't get enough of it.

Leaper hanging out

Update - The Friday Ark is up at Modulator. Be sure to check out what other folks are doing this week. Also, the Carnival of the Cats is currently at Running Scared, and Sunday's Carnival will be at Conservative Cat.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

eep's mood

Yesterday Eep was being a very sweet kitty. She wanted to be skritched , and didn't get ugly when I had to stop for a few minutes. Usually if I stop before she's ready for me to, she grabs my hand with her claws and pulls it back. Yesterday, no claws. She even snuggled up with me in bed, kneading biscuits, and took a nap. So, this amazing display affection rates:

1 on the pissed-o-meter

Eep ignoring the world

Which is a drastic improvement from Monday morning, when Eep decided she wanted to hide in my closet while I was getting ready for work, and didn't want to come out. She really didn't want to come out, and I will probably have a scar to prove it when the scratches heal, which gets her:

10 on the pissed-o-meter

Some days I really wonder about that cat. Maybe she's channeling Mog's Psycho Cat?

sneaky posts

In the event anyone cares, 100 things about me has moved. I backdated it to October 1, 2004 so it wouldn't be on the index page anymore, causing it to scroll forever. There's also a link to it in the sidebar.

Anything that want to post, but for whatever reason doesn't need to be on the index page will be dated October 1, 2004. Since I created The Oubliette on October 1o, any extra stuff will be before that date. Keeps things a little more tidy.

you would think this is a bad idea

Animal Planet has been running a commercial for it's series Ultimate Zoo, where they will be profiling the Louisville Zoo on tomorrow night's episode. According to the commercial, it's about an exhibit "where predators and prey co-exist" while showing a tiger then an orangutan, in separate clips. They're implying the tiger and orangutan live together, in the same exhibit, at the Louisville Zoo. On further investigation, the Louisville Zoo has a press release, concerning the episode.
...The Louisville portion of the program focuses on Gorilla Forest and how the exhibit was designed to meet the diverse needs of these enormous great apes. The initial 12 gorillas from Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo plus the Louisville born four-month-old baby Azizi are featured as comfortably settled in and actively forming two distinct family groups in their new, state-of-the-art exhibit. The story will take viewers behind the scenes to see the interaction between keeper and gorillas...

Okay, so what gives? No mention of tigers happily living in the habitat, just Gorilla Forest. I have to watch it now, just to see what the hell is going on. The press release also briefly describes the other zoos featured in the same episode, with no mention of predators and prey happily living together.

Also, I have to wonder, how are they pulling this off? The tiger's so well fed, so fat and happy, he like "screw this, I'm not chasing anything"? Some bizarre variation of Koko's Kitten?

Update, 2/13/05 - I did watch the episode, and here's what's going on. The episode had nothing to do whith Gorilla Forest. It profiled the Islands exhibit, where 5 species, including orangutans and tigers, are rotated through 3 nearly identical habitats. The purpose is to give the animals the sensory stimulation of predators or prey animals. The tigers never have contact with any other animals, while the orangutans cohabitate with a pig-like herbivore, and the other two species are a monkey and what seemed to be a large omnivorous rodent. When the animals rotate, they smell the previous residents of the habitat which provides additional stimulation and prevents boredom. The prey animals are wary because of the lingering tiger scent, while the tigers smell prey, and go looking for them.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

tuesday night's rescue shift and a psa

I worked the rescue truck last night, and nothing stellar happened. We did get to eat before the fools started running off the road. We were paged to a wreck with possible entrapment, three people injured. We were within 100 yards of the scene when we were cancelled, no one was trapped, although all 3 occupants were injured. We stopped to assist the ambulance crew with the patients, we were there for about 2 minutes when we were paged for a second wreck with possible entrapment. We took off, toward the second wreck, and immediately hit some dense fog, only 100 foot visibility is some areas. We had to shut off the code equipment, because of the poor visibility. After about 5 minutes, the ambulance arrived on the scene, and cancelled us. There was no injuries, no one entrapped. Some folks had run off the road, and were waiting for a wrecker. Someone on a cellphone called it in, I'm sure, and never stopped to see if it was actually a wreck.

PSA - On behalf of public safety workers everywhere, please, please, please, if you see what looks like a wreck but you're not sure if someone's hurt, take a minute to check it out before calling 911 if you can do so safely. Nobody needs to be sent to false alarms, they just tie up resources that may be needed elsewhere. I'm not talking about major wrecks with crumpled cars, where it's obvious that it's a miracle if somebody's not injured. That's a case of well, duh. I'm talking about a car off the road, in a ditch, etc. If in doubt, check it out.

And yes, I've dispatched to a MVA with injuries and entrapment that ended up being a guy changing a flat tire, or Farmer Bob parked his truck in his field. Or to an empty car on the side of the road, with dew on it, indicating it's been there all night. While these are funny, and make good stories, false calls tie up resources that may be needed elsewhere.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

show me your kitties!

It's Mardi Gras!

Noah celebrating Mardi Gras
Rex Noah surveys his domain.

Noah just chillin
Rex Noah being stately.

McCullough partying hard
McCullough hits the catnip tea.

Laissez les bon temps roule!
'ey, dis is empty...(hiccup) where canna git summore? (hiccup)

The cats are all livin' it up tonight. Eep's currently hididng, after already having hit the catnip tea a little hard. They've all sworn they will give up catnip for Lent. We'll see how long that lasts. I should probably hide my dirty socks in the mean time.
...I will NOT soak my catnip toys in my water dish to make tea. I will not get high and sit there drinking my tea and kneading the kitchen floor. I will not then get delusions of grandeur and make tea in the toilet bowl or the tub. Making tea with smelly socks is not very effective after the catnip has been taken away.
If anyone has any links to their kittys celebrating tonight, send them to me, and I'll link back to you. Laissez les bon temps roule!

i just realized...

...almost every post from the past week has dealt with death in one way or another, people, cats, dogs. At least the ones of any substance, other than "look Friday Ark, Carnival of the Cats", etc. Okaaay, time to get out and see some sunlight. Or something.

And you thought the name of this blog was figurative. Dammit boy, I hate it when this happens.

a tribute to precious

I am constantly amazed by the unique ways people memorialize their beloved pets. The Abston Church of Christ is one of the most unique I have stumbled across.

Precious inside a Lego church

Precious oversaw the construction of the Lego church. Sadly, she never saw it's completion.


Construction was completed today with the installation of the chandeliers and remaining roof panels. It was necessary to wrap up construction on this day to mark the passing of our church's guardian angel:

The neighborhood cat called Precious and Little Chirper passed away today. May this church, of such amusement to the little kitty, express some of the joy she brought to our general contractor.

Precious passed away with only a few hours worth of construction remaining.

Monday, February 07, 2005

a special place in the deepest corner of hell

There are monsters in the world, and they don't live under your bed.

Cops: Mom intentionally starved kids
Woman charged with capital murder in deaths of 2 girls, boy
Sunday, February 06, 2005
By STEVE DOYLETimes Staff Writer,

Three children found dead in a southwest Huntsville apartment with no electricity were intentionally starved to death by their mother, police say.

Huntsville police spokesman Wendell Johnson said Saturday that Natashay Y. Ward, 33, confessed to detectives Friday night and was charged with capital murder. If convicted, she could be sentenced to death by lethal injection or life in prison without parole.

... Read the rest here

Tonight on the news, it was reported that the state charged Ward with 3 counts of capital murder. Good, the sooner she's dead, the better for everyone. The kind of evil bitch that can starve her own children to death has no remorse, and will not be haunted by their faces in her sleep at night. The quicker she's put to death, the better for all. For monsters of this magnitude, their lives are forfeit.

I really feel for the officers at the jail who are having to make sure the other inmates don't kill this bitch before she goes to trial. I'm sure there's more than one inmate ready to dispense some prison justice, and spare the time and expense of a trial.

Of course, locking her away, and throwing away the key would be a more than fitting end. Make sure she has plenty of water. A person will die of dehydration after only 4 days, and we can't have that, after all. Make sure she's well hydrated, and starves to death herself. This is one case were I think it is fully appropriate for the offender to be subjected to the exact same crime she committed.

If you're interested, other news agencies reporting on the story (many repeats of the AP story, especially for non-Alabama agencies): here and here
Fox News
ABC News
CBS News
WHNT19, Huntsville, AL - here, here, and here
WAFF11, Huntsville, AL - here, here, here, here, here, here, and here
WAAY31, Huntsville, AL - here and here
The Decatur Daily, Decatur, AL
Dateline Alabama, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa
Columbus Ledger-Enquirer, Columbus, GA
WISTV10, Columbia, SC
WAVY, Virginia
Kansas City Star

These are mostly the same AP story, but it illustrates how it is receiving international coverage.
The Electric New Paper, Singapore
New Kerala, India
News24, South Africa

Sunday, February 06, 2005

early carnival of the cats

This week the Carnival is out early, over at Running Scared. Lots of fuzzy kitty goodness for your browsing.

Also, if you've missed it, check out the Friday Ark at Modulator. Many other critters to check out.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

screwed up layout

Ok, so I was playing around with the layout yesterday, and if you visited between 15:00 yesterday and 22:00 tonight, then you got to witness the screwed up layout. I commented out some HTML and forgot to comment out the javascript too. Oh, well. So that's what was up, if you were wondering.

Friday, February 04, 2005

a way to stay interested in a political speech

From Alabamian's site, The State of the Union Drinking Game. The game rules are here, but you'll have to wait for the 2006 address to play.

this one's gonna be trouble

Story via

10-Year-Old Drives Pickup 70 Miles to Albertville
February 3, 2005
Carson Clark Reports, 2/3/05

A 10-year-old Georgia girl decided to run away, but she didn't just run away--she took her dad's pickup.

The girl lives in Rising Fawn, Georgia. Police say she got the keys, cranked up the truck and drove 70 miles to Albertville. All along the way, she was never spotted by anyone and never had a wreck.

When she got to Albertville, she turned onto busy highway 431. She made her way to Taco Bell, where she tried to use her dad's credit card. Taco Bell wouldn't take it, so she went next door to Shoney's.

At Shoney's, the employees were suspicious, so they sat the girl down and got her some food. They also called police. She was taken into custody until her parents came to pick her up. There is no word on why she ran away.

Some observations/thoughts on this story.

First, there's a good ol' farm girl for ya. Only 10 years old and can drive a pick-up better than a lot of adults.

Second, whatever happened to "I'm running away from home, but I can't cross the street by myself..."?

Third, what the hell did Daddy do to piss her off? "Take away my internet for a week, will ya? I'll show you..."

new photos

A new batch of photos are up on Flickr, from my last trip to Indiana, which you can read about it here, here, and here.

icicles on the side of the overflow spillway at Lake Monroe

more icicles at Lake Monroe overflow spillway

primary spillway at Lake Monroe

empty cornfield under about 2 inces of new snow

my poor Alabama car

friday cat blogging

Some pictures of Mom and Dad's kitties.

Cleo and George snuggled together, sleeping, in a chair

Cleo and George waking up

Cleo (left) and George (right) snuggling together. George is about 12 years old, Cleo is 3. George has never been a momma, but that hasn't stopped her from adopting Cleo, and mothering her. Cleo still gets a daily bath from George, at least on her face.

Update o8:53 - The Friday Ark is now up at Modulator, so go check out what other foks are doing.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

off topic comment

It was:

what kind of webdesign do you do? I am always on the lookout for awesome web
design :)

I don't mind answering it; where it was asked is a pet peeve of mine. I mostly do HTML and Javascript presentations which run off of a CD, so I have the luxury of using lots of large graphics, which I also usually create. The CDs are mainly a give-away for tradeshows. So, there's none of my work on the web, except for this site, which is just me heavily tweaking a template I liked.

keep the comments relevant

Especially on a memorial post. It's simple courtesy. If you really must go off topic, do it on a different post. Or send me an email. I provide my email for off-topic inquiries, that's what it's there for.


Of your life before we do not know
Before your journey brought you here
You climbed upon the banks of snow
Trembling with the cold and fear
You gazed in on that wint'ry morn
Knowing the kindness that was within
At the door you stood, your eyes forlorn
Seeing your plight, we brought you in

You found a home, a pack to call your own
On that bitterly cold winter's day
The others accepted you, you were not alone
No longer struggling for survival, at last you could play
You had a friend to cuddle with to keep you warm
Through the long and dark winter nights
You freely roamed the family farm
Exploring your new home in the crystalline light

Too soon from us you were called away
To roam the meadow and woods no more
In the Elyssian Fields now you play
And there forever shall your spirit soar
The pack howls your song to the stars
Telling all who listen you are lost
Others wail their reply from afar
A requiem, drifting over the fields of frost

In memoriam
June 2003 - February 2, 2005

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

more cat literature

The next installment in some of my foavorite pieces of cat literature. Each piece highlights one of the wonderful qualities of cats that those who have ever been owen by one will recognize.

A Dying Mother
Andrew Lang (1844-1912)

If we take the case of cats, they say little, but they think a great deal; they conduct trains of reasoning. I have read an anecdote told by Mrs. Frederick Harrison. An old lady cat felt that she was dying, before her kittens were weaned. She could hardly walk, but she disappeared one morning, carrying a kitten, and came back without it. Next day, quite exhausted, she did the same with her two other kittens, and then died. She had carried each kitten to a separate cat, each of which was nourishing a family, and accepted the new fosterling. Can anything be more wiser or more touching? This poor old cat had memory, reflection, reason. Though wordless, she was as much a thinking creature as any man who makes his last will and testament.

tuesday cat poetry blogging

A Modest Cat's Soliloquy

Far down within the damp dark earth
The grimy miner goes
Than I on chill nights may have
A fire to warm my toes;
Brave sailors plough through the wintery main
Through peril and mishap,
That I, on Oriental rugs
May take my morning nap.
Out in the distant meadow
Meekly graze the lowing kine,
That milk in endless saucerfulls,
All foaming, may be mine;
The fish that swim in the ocean
And the birds that fill the air -
Did I not like to pick their bones,
Pray, think you they'd be there?